I grew up in the time when Elders were revered, accorded their due respect whether they were parents, relatives or just bystanders. So far the person is older, we accorded them respect. The fact that we respected them didn’t mean we agreed with everything they do. Too often we disagreed with their methods, approaches and solutions but most times we pass the message across to them without being rude, insulting or damning.
I read recently on Instagram where a young actress called an old actor “old fool” because the man condemned transgender. The man may be old, primitive and Orthodox but he is no fool. Elders talk based on past experiences and they try as much as possible to avoid situations they have not experienced before. This could be a limiting factor but it could also be a warning signal showing us how far this generation is long gone from the norms.
I believe there are better ways to show our disapprovals especially to elders that does not include being disrespectful.
Growing up, we were made to see elders as demigods that you dare not cross. In fact, we were made to believe that a curse from an elder can not be undone by several prayers. This might be fear pushed to far but this kept us in check. When we disagree with elders, most often we just keep quiet even though we will still do as it pleases us or we find another elder who can make them see things our own way. We don’t go on to disrespect or start hauling insults at them.
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I think it is high time this generation learns that there is the place of the elders; a place of honor, respect and understanding. An adage says “what the elders see while seated, young people can’t see them even if they climb on top of the highest mountain”. Listen carefully to the elders, you don’t have to do as they have instructed but always hear them out.
An outburst is never a way out when you disagree with them. You might have more achievements than them but you do not have more failures and that is where the experience comes from. Most times they love you and they just want the best for you, hoping you would avoid mistakes they made and the confusions those mistakes brought. It is true so many things have changed and somehow they have been left behind, you can find a way to explain to them or just get the lessons they are trying to teach and inculcate that into your final decision.
Don’t be rude to elders, even if they come at you ‘rude’ in the first place. I know this new generation hardly lets things slide but please can we give elders their due respect? Not because you don’t know how to be rude or talk back but because somehow you know there is the place for elders and some day soon you would find yourself there.
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“Se Bi Oti Mo elawa Sapon” is an expression in Yoruba that suggests that you should live within your means or cut your coat according to your cloth.
The urge to aspire is a very good one, in fact it is one of the admirable traits of success but there is a difference between aspiring and living outside one’s means.
A student from a struggling home got to University and made friends with party-loving girls and boys from wealthy homes. The student became pressured to wear designers, go to parties, live expensive “lies” which the parents couldn’t afford. At first the student started finding faults in the parents, complained about things he/she endured before and soon the student started looking for other means to fit in with friends. We all know how stories like this end.
It is not wrong to have friends who are way better off than you are, because they will challenge you to be better, let you see that there is more to life and they also become your connection in life going forward. However, you should have at the back of your mind that you have to live within your means. Don’t lose your home training because you want to fit in. What seems like luxury today, give it time would be at your finger tips tomorrow. Don’t push yourself into things that you would live to regret. No matter what cool name is given to atrocities, it won’t make the disgrace that comes with it less disturbing. Remember the daughter or son of whom you are.
Some people lost their virginity because of phones, some ended up in jail because of ride and others lost their lives to a one night fun all in their bid to raise money for jewelries, wears and “owanbe” but in the end they gained nothing, absolutely nothing. Please don’t thread this path. You can get way better things if you could just be patient. There are no shortcuts to success or should I say there are no shortcuts without devastating consequences.
When you live above your means, people won’t know you need help, they see you as having all, while in reality you have no savings and worse of all you are in debt because you want to meet up. Unfortunately, when it all comes down, there is hardly anyone to turn to. Don’t be a statistic on the wrong board. There are lots of people hoping to see you succeed, don’t disappoint them.
You want to look tough, the way of the hood, you are a hustler with street sense but do you know you don’t have to look rough before people know you are tough? Looking decent is not a crime, in fact it opens doors of opportunities. People would take you the way you present yourself. You have already been through a lot, don’t stiffen the few opportunities that are coming your way just because you look like an havoc ready to wreck.
This is just a phase in your life, a test of your resilience don’t mess it up. “Se bi o timo” and you will be able to face the world and tell your success story.
Everyone is busy trying to make a living and as early as possible many already have dependants. It is the nature of life we have gotten used to as Africans and often it is difficult to plan for self. It is a good life though that sense of family watching each other’s back, caring for friends and looking out for family.
But sometimes, you have to be selfish with your time and resources. You have to also live for yourself, make plans for you, and set yourself on achieving bigger things. You can’t live your life building other’s dreams at the expense of your own.
Reality has shown us that people rarely remember people who sacrificed everything for them when they become successful and few who do can only do so much.
You are better off, building yourself first then pulling others up after. Give it a careful thought, I’m not saying you should be inhumane, what I’m saying is that you should start being selfless by being generous to yourself first.
Put You First!
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I don’t have to prove to you, why I do the things I do nor what principles guide my choices but know I have my reasons and I know what had led me to this moment. That is not to say I shouldn’t be held accountable for my actions because there are always consequences.
Then sometimes, I make mistakes and I know I owe it to people around me to admit I was wrong, but sometimes I realize it too late. Suddenly ‘I am sorry’ counts for nothing. I guess these are some of the things that makes me human and I don’t think you should hold that against me for too long because soon you would be in my shoes.
The only perfect man to have walked the Earth didn’t make it pass 33, and he was killed for crimes he didn’t commit.
I strive for perfection but we both know it is always relative, there is no common definition of what is perfect if not the most perfect man won’t have been found guilty of some crimes. This is not to excuse me from taking responsibilities for my actions, I have grown to understand that there are consequences and by a Longshot I know there is nothing that can’t be survived. Suicide is for the faint hearted who wanted the easy way out.
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You can judge me as much as you like, that also makes you human, we put to sword when we can’t ration the whys and the whats. I would be surprised if you had done otherwise. However, sins are sins, no double standard before God, because mine seems more grievous to you doesn’t make yours less grievous to someone else.
The things I do to others, can I take them? The things you do to others can you take them? That’s one question I ask myself on daily basis and I hope you can replicate this because we owe it to ourselves. This keeps me in check and also gives me that sense of direction.
This is not to say that I don’t falter sometimes. It might be a hard pill to swallow, I might just survive it only to learn how it hurts and become a better person.
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Foundational Miracles are not that sudden dramatic turn around as many of us would want to believe and crave for. Foundational Miracles are the little things we fail to appreciate that form the basis for the bigger miracles we so much desire. Foundational Miracles are those daily miracles that gives us hope and courage that we can reach for the Stars.
Big miracles will only become pronounced when we learn to cherish the foundational Miracles and allow ourselves to be hopeful while keeping faith.
Here are 5 daily foundational miracles we should be grateful for that we often overlook
Life, the chance to see another day, to give it another try, to mend yesterday and plan for tomorrow. The dead would do anything to put those dreams buried with them to use. But alas, they are dead and you are living, a miracle to appreciate.
Good Health: you never know what it feels like to be okay till you have slight headache or stomachache, as little as these are, they can disrupt the best of plans, even though as soon as you take analgesic you feel better. Now imagine what people living with incurable diseases are going through but this isn’t you, because you have a miracle of sound health.
Food, no matter how unbalanced you think you feed, what you have is what many are praying for. 734 million (year 2015 approx) people in the world are living in abject poverty, and you not being there I think counts for miracle. Only a man with something in his tummy can make big plans.
Choices: will power, you can decide where, when and how, that’s something, you know. Many are incapacitated, needing others before they can decide to use the convenience or dress up, for instance, many can’t decide for themselves because they have their lives tied to one slave master or they have lost their will power to drugs, alcohol etc. My friend it is a miracle you make your choices yourself and not under the influence.
Freedom, as free as a bird. You can’t appreciate this enough till you visit people in detention. No matter how little you think you have, your freedom counts for so much. You might not be where you want to be at the moment but because you have your freedom, you know there is nothing stopping you.
Your life is a miracle, you don’t need to ask for proof, just compare. You have a lot to be thankful for, you just have to look closely. I understand you might think there is a lot more you desire but one thing I know for sure is if you appreciate the little miracles, you are one step closer to the bigger ones you so much desire.
Going through Twitter, I came across a tweet that really got my attention. The fellow tweeted “What happened to Balotelli?” First, know that this is not about judging the young man but strictly about learning and understanding what is expected of us as individuals in spite of what life throws at us.
Okay, to bring you up to speed, in case you are not a football fan. So who is Balotelli?
Balotelli is one of the few footballers to have been earmarked for success at a very young age. He had the potential, the skill and the opportunity to be a superstar but something went wrong somewhere. Mario Balotelli Barwuah is a Ghanaian- Italian professional footballer who had the chance to prove himself and quite well as he has shown like a million stars on his day but his disciplinary records always find a way to out shine his talent.
Balotelli is one of the most racially abused personality in soccer history and a player most times misunderstood by fans and media alike. And so few people are of the opinion that these might have broken him.
Over the years he had couple of chances to start all over again but on each occasion, his attitude left so little to be desired. From having nonchalant attitude to training, to fighting coaches while not sparing fellow players and fans alike.
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Now back to question the fellow asked what happened to the star that has failed to light up the sky? Find below what people thought.
So the poll shows what people think happened to Balotelli and you watch closely you would see, even though he went through a lot of negativity, the only thing that mattered was how he responded.
“An entireseaofwater can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside theship. Similarly, the negativity of the worldcan’tput you down unless you allow it to get inside you.” – unknown
Life will throw a lot at you and most of it would be unfair, truth be told. People will hate you for things beyond your control, you would feel cheated, you will be treated unfairly by people you adore and respect, unfriendly faces would await you at times you need a friend, this is life sizing you up but of all these, what really matter is how you respond. You can survive all the negativity in this world provided you don’t allow them in and this has everything to do with your attitude.
We may be judged for the colour of our skin, we may be judged wrong because we don’t belong to a particular tribe, people may assume the worst about us just because of our assent, people may deny us opportunities because of our religion and folks we look up to may disappoint us because of our gender but you know the good part? None of these would write our story. The pen is in our hands, only what we think, feel and accept would determine where we will end up in all these.
You are not defined by what people think of you, what defines you is how you react to all the negatives. No one would judge you based on what you have been through, in fact no one is rewarded for what they have survived but what they were able to achieve after they survived. It is true that we have limits, as individuals, to what we can endure and some people tend to brake faster than others however, I also believe that not giving to negatives as a lot to do with our own conscious effort.
Life is not as promised. Because everyone thinks you have what it takes doesn’t make success automatic and because you have the talent or skill doesn’t mean life would be fair to you. Just because you can talk doesn’t mean you have to talk, just because someone got you angry doesn’t mean you have to let it loose. I know self-control is not something you can easily get a hang of especially when you are hot-headed like me but you know what? “practice makes perfect”.
You would have to fight, work and persevere for what you desire and above all you will have to have the right attitude.
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“Do you need people’s approval before you act on your burning heart desires?”
Many people have asked me this question in different forms and each of these questions come with its own peculiarity. The first question I always ask is, “who are the “people” involved?” and answers have ranged from family to acquittance.
So what I am going to try and breakdown is how much do you need people’s approval. I will divide the types of people into five and then explain
1. Family: Your family most likely don’t want you to get hurt, they want to protect you but most of all the want to protect the family name. Hence, they will most likely stop you from trying something crazy, something they are scared may bring the family name to disrepute or something they are convinced would fail.
So with family, it is often best to listen to their side of the story but don’t let them transfer their fears to you. You don’t need their approval to follow your dreams (even when there are your only source of finance) but you need to hear them out and find a way to handle their worries.
2. Friends: Friends want you guys to roll on same level, it is not about envy, it is just what friends do. Little wonder when you are doing better your circle of friends become smaller or change. So if your next step will take you out of your current friends’ level, they would probably not support you. Usually, friends won’t tell you don’t do it but they will try and show you why you can’t succeed doing it, giving examples of people who have tried and failed it at.
So with friends, just like family, you don’t need their approval but listen to all their points and take it for what it is “what you should watch out for”. Most of the fears your friends will project are real but they are not insurmountable as they have painted them.
3. Professionals in the field: These are people who are eager to get you on board. You get to here stories of how hard it was before they got to where they are and how they feel it is not impossible. Some paint scary pictures just to show you how strong they have been over the years (just to massage their own ego) while others only tell you the fun side just to alley your fears.
With these sets of people, be smart. Be sure you have made the right choice before you talk to these people because they can easily infect you with their passion or totally kill the little passion you have. However, you don’t need their approval but you need their endorsement. To be honest with you, to move up very fast, someone up there may have to hold your hand up, so on that premises you need them but not their approval to start.
4. Target market/audience: Once you are providing a solution to someone’s problem, the person doesn’t care about who you are, all the person cares about is the solution you are providing. The market/audience even though buys packaging alongside the solution but most often the solution is the cake, the packaging is just the icing.
You don’t need the approval of the market to start your business but you need to understand the need or problem you want to satisfy; you need to understand the market/audience. Gone are the days when supply creates it demand, these days you will have to identify the demand before you create what you want to supply.
5. Others: Others could be anybody for you, your pastor, your imam, your mentor, a motivational speaker etc., anyone that falls outside the first four group of people. For certain reasons you must have felt they need to give you the go ahead, but let me shock you, you owe nobody an explanation for why and how you wish to follow your dreams.
There is only one person that needs convincing and that is YOU! You need no approval from anybody to do something meaningful with your life. I always say this, “whoever loves you will eventually come to terms with who and what you are”, it is as simple as that.
You want to write, so what’s stopping you; you want to be a social media celebrity, do your thing; you want to drop out of school to follow your passion, by all means help yourself; you want to travel out to pursue your academics, may God so help you! look for scholarship abroad; you studied law but realized your passion is fashion, quit dilly-dallying and start looking for fashion school already; trust me you need no one’s approval to become who you are meant to be.
Your only limitation should be that which you have set for yourself, come on, don’t live life waiting for one command center to tell you when to jump. Check history, those who have stood out were those who have gone against the odds, even when loved ones tried to stop them from doing it they did it anyway.
This is your chance to join people who made history, don’t let “seeking approval” stop you!
So Why Do You Need People’s Approvals?… Because YOU DON’T
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I know the temptation to make list of things to accomplish or goals for the year is so high right now and believe me when I say it is a right step in the right direction but pause, take a deep breath, do you thinking listing so many goals make you more serious about life or you are just flowing with the tide?
Honestly, whatever your answer is, know this having too many targets don’t make you look smart rather it makes you lose focus.
How about we try this, ” one step at a time”, that’s, one goal at a time. When we achieve one we move to the next one and of course we set each goal with the full consciousness of what our ultimate goal is.
Have you ever wondered when is the right time to get married or you are not sure of what men or women look out for before thinking of settling down?
Pressure is one of the leading reasons why people take wrong steps. Pressure can come from anywhere and anything; family, work, friends, enemies etc. When you are under pressure and you give in to that pressure you are most likely to act outside your normal self. However, pressure would not push you unless you give in first.
Recently, I had this conversation with someone who was trying to retrace his steps after losing his job. He said “I lost my job because I stole from my company and this was all because my wife kept comparing us to her friends”. He said the wife kept putting him under pressure, because she wanted their kids to attend expensive schools, use exotic cars and do holiday trips like her friends; it was like they were in a competition. He said but he couldn’t afford all these on his income so he had to start borrowing and when borrowing could not sustain his wife’s lust for expensive lifestyle, he decided to borrow (steal) from office fund. The rest is history.
It was saddening to hear him talk, especially when he explained his background and how hard he struggled to get the job, only for him to lose that same job because he couldn’t manage the pressure around him. Of course we might want to blame him or the wife, but I won’t want to go into that, I will rather leave that to The TYs Show and @onomewrites , however one thing is certain irrespective of who we blame, it still comes to the fact the someone gave in to pressure. An entire sea ofwatercan’tsinkaship unless itgets inside theship.
Now, of all the causes pressure earlier listed and much more, the most “pushy” for youths is the peer pressure, i.e. pressure from people within their age group (I have been there before). This pressure can be direct or indirect and dealing with pressure often depends on the type of pressure and individuals’ mental strength.
Dealing with Peer Pressure
A. Direct Peer Pressure
Direct peer pressure can be explained as peer pressure coming directly from one’s peer; either a friend or an enemy, who is within one’s age group, status, ability or profession. Take for instance, a friend you finished school together with, who is now married asking you when you will get married? That kind of pressure could push one to “unprepared for marriage” and if not careful one will marry the wrong person. Also for instance, because one hasn’t gotten a job yet and one’s close friend who has a job calls one lazy or bullies one with money, one becomes pressured to make money by all means just to prove a point. These are examples of direct peer pressure.
How do you handle it?
1. Give space: Give as much space as possible to the particular person or group of persons putting you under pressure. This doesn’t mean you should not get in touch but ensure it is at arm’s length. It is a negative energy and staying away is the best solution. It is good to get motivated to want more but let the motivation be from within not because someone bullied you.
2. Focus on your big picture: At 25years, it is expected you have a rough idea of what you want and how you want to go about it, don’t lose sight of this. Even if your friends have taken a different route and it is working, if it doesn’t fit into your idea of living don’t do it. Running one’s race on another man’s time would only cause untimely end to one’s race. Focusing on your big picture makes it difficult to be carried away by peer pressure.
3. Don’t try to satisfy anyone at your own expense: You know what, playing the hero is for movies and story books, in reality you don’t put others before yourself. If you keep this in mind when friends pressure you, the first thing you consider is “how does this affect me, my personal plans and my future?”. Then you will be able to make an informed decision.
B. Indirect Peer Pressure
Peer pressure becomes indirect when no one is hipping it on you but yourself. Indirect peer pressure is self inflicted and this is more dangerous. You can easily walk away from a direct peer pressure but an indirect peer pressure requires winning the battle from within. For instance, after a long thought of how other friends and school mates have succeeded, one finally concludes one is the worst and then decides it is suicide time. This isn’t a pressure from anyone, it is just you. Or A man who feels he is too quiet, he wants to be loud and lively like his friends so he turned to hard drugs to get the ginger. Self inflicted peer pressure.
How do you handle it?
1. Pray: As much as I don’t want to sound spiritual in this matter, the spiritual facts cannot be denied. Our thoughts are meant to be guided and the only guide we can get is by screening what we allow in, as simple as words can put this, in practice it is not all that simple. It takes a high-level of spiritual discipline once you realize you are under this kind of pressure. So yes! Pray because that’s all the spiritual I know.
2. Win the mind battle: Indirect peer pressure like I said is more of a mind thing, so you have to win that Battle to have a clear mind. You may have to do affirmations or speak reassuring words to make you keep believing in yourself, because without self believe this battle is already lost. The truth is, others would have what you think you deserve and one could easily be tempted to compare and do the unimaginable but when you believe in yourself and you are ready to trust the process, you would find reasons to wait for your own time.
3. Talk to Someone: A therapist, a mentor, a godfather talk to someone who is older or more experienced when you are caught up with indirect peer pressure, this would save you from ruining your life. In fact, talking to people is not only going to help you with better decisions, it would also help unburdening your soul and spirit. You would also learn from their mistakes in similar situations. Please don’t underestimate how far seeking counsel can help.
Above all, LEARN TO SAY NO! Don’t be too shy to reject what you don’t want. Use the word “NO” as often as it is required. Whether someone is trying to influence you, persuade you or even when it is your thoughts playing tricks on you, let your NO be resounding. When it seems everyone else is heading that way, if it doesn’t work with your plan(s), pull out and let everyone know you have made your choice.
We are who we are and we got here being ourselves. Even if there are reasons to be different, they should be about improving on who we are. We would always have many questions and there would always be lots of options, but we best be wise in choosing. Don’t get pushed, don’t get pressured because when you fall, it is going to be big and it is going to be only you!