Fix Yourself First aka FYF

I had a privilege of counseling a friend recently, he came to me with such a heavy heart and I was moved to tears after listening to him. He lost his job recently and in less than 2months after that his wife of 5years left the house taking with her their two kids; she moved to another man’s house. He explained that, “losing the job didn’t break him as much as what happened after”, his trusted partner in a moment of trial disappeared.

I have had my own fair share of job loss and what comes after however this was on a whole different level of #@$&# but as much as I shared his pains and heartbreak, I also saw something different from what he was seeing. It was bad that the wife left but seriously at this point in his life, if they had stayed they would have been extra baggage. I couldn’t tell him that though but I saw that first.


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Yes, he was filled with self-pity, that sense of humiliation and betrayal, and to him he needed to fight back and at least get his kids back. I agree, all these are true but what is truer is that when you don’t have means to win a fight, you don’t fight (you don’t go into battle you are sure you can’t win). Yes, he needs to fight but a different battle entirely.

So I had to make him understand that his next move should not be fighting for custody or the wife rather fighting to fix himself first. I let him understand that once he is all fixed, he would be the one trying to decide whether to take the wife with the kids or just the kids back when they all start begging him to come back.

You cannot kill an unwanted tree growing in your backyard by plucking its leaves, you have to pull from the root. The root of his problem isn’t the wife leaving or another man fathering his kids, all these and more are just fallouts of the main problem, which is job loss. Problems are never solved when keep treating the symptoms, you have to fix the root cause.


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Whatever you are passing through what you should really be worried about is fixing yourself first (FYF). When you do that all other things would fall in place.

When you are down people would take advantage of you, people you expect so much from will do things you least expect but your move should not be trying to face them else you create more mess rather you focus on getting back on your feet, FYF.

There is this Yoruba adage that says “when big problem comes, small problems would cease the moment too“. So it is expected, people will talk thrash, friends would avoid you, some family members would stop picking your calls, folks would call you names, and there would be several versions of your story. Your next move is not to set things right by confrontation, no! no matter how painful it is.

Your only move is to fix yourself first, work on getting back to your feet, pull your remaining resources together, even if it means disappearing for a while and once you are back on your feet; the thrash would stop, friends would want to identify with you again, family members would start calling you, folk would give you cool nicknames, and there would only be one version of your story, the one you wrote.

My friend yielded to my advice and he is currently working on himself. I pray God hears his prayers and pull him back on his feet and put smiles on his face again and any other person going through similar challenge. Amen.


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Fix Yourself First – FYF

It Is Perfectly Normal to Be Confused

At 24years I had so many things on my mind, some of my friends were lucky to have had life figured out before 25 but for me I wasn’t that lucky.

I had so many thoughts running through my head. It seems there was more I could do and all at the same time. I remember at a time I wanted to be a radio presenter, even though I read Economics, then I wanted to work for World Bank, I wanted to be a lecture and I also wanted to be a motivational speaker not forgetting I wanted to marry an Indian. All these left me so confused, they seemed mutually exclusive but then something in my head told me I had to be all at the same time.

I remember talking to a mentor then and you know what he told me, he said, “It Is Perfectly Normal to Be Confused at 24 but if I want to succeed I should sort my confusion before 30”

There are basically five (5) Stages of Life from what I have learned and experienced, and here is my breakdown

Age 0 to 18years you have no responsibilities and no real worries, life is sweetest at this time. I often advise folks within this age not to be in a hurry to grow up, as much as possible avoid doing adults’ stuffs. Savor this moment, you may think things are difficult and lots of people are trying to control you but trust me, this is the fun part. Another good news about this stage is, it is when the mistakes you make can be easily corrected with little gaps to fill, if the mistake is not fatal, that is death. So at this stage, please just stay safe!

Age 19 to 30years: at this point you are still trying to do life. I call it Testing waters. You are weighing options, testing your strength, will power, control, capabilities etc. This also applies to all areas of life including relationship. However, the earlier you are able to figure out yourself, define who you are, what you want and act on it, the sooner you are likely to succeed.

Note this, because you didn’t find your feet early enough doesn’t mean you won’t succeed neither does it mean that people who became successful before you would be more successful than you. The rule is “It is better late than never!” So you know what, take your time.


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Life Begins at 30! Gone are the days when life begins at 40, this is jet age and you know what, life really does not wait for anyone. If you have not found your bearing by 30, my friend it is okay if you press the panic button.

Seriously, it calls for prayers, self evaluation, change of approach, redefining what you believe and your whole thought process. Yes dear, press the panic button. Sorry, if it seems I am scaring you but this is the honest truth, the earlier you become forceful in your approach the better, at this stage. If doors won’t open, you might as well break them down. Do whatever it takes legally to change the game.

At age 50, you are already thinking of taking the backseat and watch what you have worked for grow in leaps and bounds. I call this the Time of Reflection, because now you want to look back at what you missed, did wrong or could have done better, though you can hardly make amends but you tend to want to teach it to others so they don’t fall into that same trap.

No matter how successful you get or otherwise, you always have things you could have done better. Some books called this stage “Moment of Regrets”, but I think the word regret is too strong. Definitely there would be regrets but also this would be the time to enjoy the proceeds of all your hard work and fulfill fantasies.

Finally at this point (60years upward), life moves from what you have done for yourself to what you have been able to do for others and that’s why most people at this age are no longer contented with making money, there is a new urge in them which is usually in form of seeking power or will to touch more lives. Some go into politics, seek chieftaincy titles and honorary titles while others become philanthropist and most without means to do the aforementioned tend to become life counselors, critic or preachers that most of you tend to run away from because they have that-man-talks-too-much syndrome.

So you can see It Is Perfectly Normal to Be Confused, it is perfectly normal to have too many ideas pulling you right, left and centre. In fact you would be influenced by what friends are doing and you would be tempted to try what is working for others but here is my true advise “you are different, you are a person of your own and only what you feel comfortable doing would work best for you, if you haven’t discovered that yet then just go for what emphasizes your strength, with either of this you can’t miss it“.


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It Is Perfectly Normal to Be Confused

What happened to Balotelli?

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 entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put 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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What happened to Balotelli?

Peer Pressure

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 of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.

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!

Peer Pressure

I Would Have But…

Many years ago in a beautiful village was a blind beggar who was pitied by everyone because he was blind from birth. This blind beggar, would wake up early in the morning and make his way to the gate of the main market in the village just in time for people going into market to give him alms then he would stay at the gate till they are returning from the market so he could collect from those who promised to give him on their way back.

One day a stranger who visits the village occasionally was also making his way into this market when he saw the blind beggar by the gate. He was filled with compassion and curiosity. So he made his way to the beggar, He gently touched the beggar

Stranger: Sir, I have noticed you at this gate for a while and I think you should have gotten enough to start something of your own.

Blind man: Yes! I should have but I am blind and I can’t do anything on my own. Only if I can see… (tears running down his face)

So the stranger handed him a bottle of water and told him to wash his face with the water before he sleeps that night.

Two years after, the stranger visited the village again. On his way to the market, he noticed the blind beggar was no longer there. “He is in the market working for his money”, the stranger thought. The stranger made his way into the market and got his goods.

On his way back, lo and behold, the stranger found the blind man still begging for alms. So he went to him again,

Stranger: Sir, can you see now? Did you use the water I gave you some years ago?

Blind man: Yes, I can see now then he paused, Oh! You are the kind man that restored my sight

Stranger: Yes! But I thought you said you needed to see so you can make your own money. Why are you still begging for alms?

Blind man: Yes, I said that but now that I can see, I would have stopped begging for alms if have someone to set me up on a business

“If you are looking for an excuse, you will always find one” – Unknown

How many times have you used these words just like the blind beggar “I would have but…”

We all have excuses not to do the needful but those who have been able to overcome these excuses have turned tests to testimonies.

Excuses are the tools of the incompetent, used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.” Excuses are cheap, little wonder lazy people can afford it. Excuses change nothing, but make everyone feel better. The origin of every excuse is the failure to do something. Excuses, are nothing more, than a reason to fail. An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie; for an excuse is a lie guarded.

Do you find yourself making excuses when you do not perform? Shed the excuses and face reality. Excuses are the loser’s way out. They will mar your credibility and stunt your personal growth. – Alexander Pope

Thinks about those excuses you are making now just to avoid doing what is required to improve your business, actualize your beautiful ideas, protect your relationship and build your dreams, you would realize that they are baseless. Many people have gone from worse situations to do something awesome. Once your excuses are gone, you will simply have to settle for being awesome!

I Would Have But…

How to Bring Your Dreams to Life

There is nothing quite as empowering as the moment you realize you have reached your dreams.

Sometimes we can allow our excuses and self-limiting beliefs to prevent us from setting our dreams and goals as high as we truly desire in our hearts. There are hundreds of reasons we can tell ourselves about why we will never actually achieve what it is we are yearning for. It could be we feel we don’t have the time, money, strength, or support. Perhaps we believe we aren’t smart enough, talented enough, or good enough to have what we dream about. Maybe it’s because we are overwhelmed, or we believe our dream is an impossible undertaking.

When we live life believing we can’t reach our goals, we will prove ourselves right every time. Not only can we lose that sense of hope and passion, over time we may stop dreaming altogether.
The truth is we are all deserving of success and happiness. We are meant to live fully and experience what life has to offer. When we stay on the journey of pursuing our dreams and goals, we receive opportunities to learn valuable life lessons that help us see anything is possible.

Years ago, I dreamed of doing work in the world that would help empower others to believe in who they are. I knew and felt firsthand how debilitating it is to not believe in yourself. I wanted to somehow help others see their potential and true essence. I started out with a desire to create a resource that parents and educators could use to help instill a sense of empowerment in children. That was my initial goal. It turned out that this dream involved countless goals. Over the course of nine years I published eleven books with the intention, the messages would resonate and help others believe in themselves. Each of these projects was an enormous undertaking. The creative process involved many months of dedication and patience. Most of the projects took well over a year to create. I had to meet thousands of small goals on the journey to reach my original dream.

I had no idea how much time, effort, and perseverance it would require to reach my initial vision. I’m pretty sure if I had known it all before I put my dream in motion, I would have been too overwhelmed to take that first step. When we look at all of the steps and unknowns involved in reaching our dream, we can very quickly lose focus. The bigger the dream, the more daunting it can feel. Often this feeling of ‘overwhelm’ can prevent us from ever taking that initial step.

Over time, I have come to see that my life has been enriched because I have pursued my dreams and goals. Having the willingness to consistently show up and take a step forward is what has helped me truly believe in myself.

7 Proven Strategies To Transform Your Dreams And Goals Into Reality

Here are the 7 proven strategies I utilize to transform my dreams and goals into reality.

Strategy #1
Have fun setting your goals. Imagine how you want to feel when you reach them. Step into that feeling as though it was already a reality. Visualization is a powerful tool to help you know where you are headed. When we know where we are headed, it is easier to trust our instincts and stay on our path that’s aligned with our truth.

Remember to make your dreams and goals BIG, and create visual reminders of what they are. Keep those reminders close by. You will need them when you hit your stopping place and need to be reminded ‘why’ you started out and ‘why’ you don’t want to quit.

Strategy #2
Focus on taking baby steps in the direction of a goal. Instead of worrying about how many steps it will take, give yourself permission to simply take one step at a time.

Strategy #3
Write your goals down. Start with a monthly plan for what you want to focus on. Then create a weekly and daily snapshot of what you will work on — make sure your plan is realistic and attainable.
When you move all of the details from your mind onto paper (or computer), you end up spending less time overthinking and worrying about all of the many tasks and projects you have to do. Spend a bit of time each month downloading your game plan. Then instead of wasting a whole bunch of time fretting, you can use that time to actually get stuff done.

Strategy #4
Commit to allotting some time each day where you ‘laser focus’ in on completing one small task related to your weekly or monthly game plan. Consistency is key. When we spend too much time looking at the big picture, we can get overwhelmed and forget where to start. Know it is okay just focus on the one small thing at a time. Dream creation is a journey, not a race.

Strategy #5
Talk about your dreams with the special people in your life to create lots of energy around what it is you are doing. When you keep your dreams hidden, it is way easier to leave them in the dark and never bring them to light. When we have people behind us who know what our big dreams are, they become our support team. They are the ones we turn to when the journey gets discouraging and we need people we trust to remind us ‘why’ we ever started in the first place.

Strategy #6
The road to reaching our dreams is often bumpy — that’s normal, it’s not meant to be smooth and overly easy. The bumps are where all of our rich learning and opportunities exist. We may question ourselves (often) and we may feel vulnerable and discouraged. We may even be tempted to work ourselves to the point of burnout to try to combat all that is hard and uncomfortable.
When the journey feels overwhelming, that’s usually the first sign we need to take some time out for ourselves. Make a serious pact with yourself to NOT become so laser focused that you lose your joy in the journey.
Regular self-care is a mandatory part of bringing your dreams to life. Know you can take regular breaks to regroup and recharge and you won’t actually get behind. Recharging your batteries gives you a renewed sense of energy and passion you can put to good use. We can hit the restart button at anytime — a much better alternative than quitting or losing our faith in the dream itself.

Strategy #7
Remember to celebrate the achievement of each mini-goal along the way. This feeling of excitement and gratitude will create the momentum and confidence to help you feel like you will reach your BIG dream. Remind yourself often that turning your dreams into reality is not a race — it is a journey. Celebrate and enjoy your journey as much as possible, and above all be kind to yourself through it — you will thank yourself later.

A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to be in the same room with five of the children who inspired the characters in my children’s empowerment books. It was a surreal experience. The children were gathered together to take part in an esteem-building workshop. The books I created, that they inspired, were resources in the program. In that moment, I suddenly realized I had actually reached my dream. It became very apparent to me then that the journey of reaching our dreams is the most memorable part — so enjoy each step as much as possible and make your dreams as big as your heart desires.

On the journey to reach the goals you set, you build yourself up. When you experience what you are capable of first hand, you continue to create dreams that will ensure a full, happy, and satisfying life journey. When you turn your ‘impossibles’ around, it has a way of opening up the world and allowing you to see your limitless potential.

This is an adapted article from Emily Madill’s book, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’ .

How to Bring Your Dreams to Life

There Was a Time 

There was a time when we hoped, and things came through. 

There was a time when we believed, and miracles happened. 

There was a time when our lovers would go to war, and come back to find us untouched, virgin once more and empty again- beseeching the long gone affection. 

There was a time when poems addressed upon the way of life, and more importantly, defined it. 

There was a time when storytelling was a delightful entertainment, as it sucked up the thrilling moments – pumping the mind to wander across all ages – just to find the seeds of hope, salvation, peace, kindness, and love. 
There were times when we didn’t have to speak, because those close to us, saw what lay in the depths of our hearts. 

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…
“Dad, look the trees are going behind!”
Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…
“Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”
The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…
“Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.”
Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.

There was a time when knowledge was equally shared. One mind, one soul. 

There was a time when we would cry, and not because we had been hurt or felt any pain, but because we had been selflessly loved. And gained. We would cry tears of joy. 

There was a time when silence meant souls conversing with each other, and minds debating. 

There was a time when leaders were born, and not made from failed heroes. 

There was a time when time was not a tornado or freaky storms, but just dust in the wind.

A man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

There was a time when we lived to embrace each other – touch ones soul, quench a neighbour’s thirst, light a friend’s heart, and not economically or politically self adjustably taken to what we found fit for our lonely souls.

There was a time when love was not courtship and marriage. Love was a selfless deed that stood irrespective of the grounds that we stood on; irrespective of the faces that we chose to conjunct with; irrespective of how much we were supposed to give. 

There was a time when relationship wasn’t just an “on and off” thing, but a one way path. Though crooked and harsh, people triumphed to die with their lips saying “i love you” to each other’s soul, as they patiently wait to hold each others hearts once more in the afterlife.

There was a time when paradise wasn’t figuratively spoken, but was lived and seen. It was a wondrous infinity that was witnessed.

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to a baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting the right amount, which he wasn’t. Angry about this, he took the farmer to court.
The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure to weight the butter. The farmer replied, “Honor, I am primitive. I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.”
The judge asked, “Then how do you weigh the butter?”
The farmer replied;
“Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker.”
Moral of the story: In life, you get what you give. Don’t try and cheat others.

Many things may have changed but a lot still rests on our choices. We may not be able to control time, trend of new technologies, people’s view about critical issues and what tomorrow will bring but we have power to determine what our response to life should be, our relationship with fellow humans and our God. We can decide to be a better person even in the midst of crumbling moral values. We can chose to see the best in people. We can chose to try again even after a fail. We can chose to tread the right path and not betray trust. We can chose to be selfless in a selfish world. We can always be who we chose to be irrespective of what time it is. There was a time but there is still enough time!

© Basiru Adebayo Emmanuel.

There Was a Time

The Cracked Pot (We Are Imperfect)

He got up from his cot, and went to lay alongside his grandfather. Dev made way for him, but did not speak.

He silently nuzzled into his grandfather, feeling the familiar loving warmth from the old man.

“I am flawed,” he whispered silently, his body shaking with the force of emotion now breaking loose.

Tears rolled off his cheeks and were soaked up hungrily by his grandfather’s cotton shirt.

Love cleanses, Dev knew, and the boy had to be taught a lesson to last him a lifetime.

Catharsis is never painless. But the earlier the treatment could be administered, the earlier the recovery could begin.

When the boy’s violently racking body had finally settled down into infrequent spasms, Dev turned around towards him.

His warm compassionate hand reached across to smooth his grandson’s hair.

“A water bearer,” he said, “had two large pots. Each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck, as he walked a long walk from the stream to his house daily.”

“One of the pots had a crack in it. So, each day the cracked pot arrived home only half full. The other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water.”

“For a very long time, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.”

“Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfections, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been designed to do.”

“After years of shame, and guilt, and what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot finally mustered the courage to confess his shortcomings to the water bearer.”

“I am ashamed of myself, it said, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because a crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

“Did you notice,” the bearer replied, “that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the perfect pot’s side?”

“I have always known about your flaw. So, I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. And every day, while we walked back to the house from the stream, you’ve watered them for me.”

“For years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my home. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace my house!”

“The moral of the story is that we all have our faults. Nobody is perfect! Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots, but can still be useful in our own way.”

“Succeeding despite our imperfections leads to a fulfilled life. This is what can bring out greatness in us. For our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“It’s the cracks, the faults, the flaws we all have, that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. Yep, we’ve just got to take each person for who they are, and look for the good in them.”

“Strength lies in weakness?” Rosh was trying to understand. “You’re not just giving hope to a loser to make him feel good about himself?”

“No,” answered Dev, “a good builder works with all kinds of materials. Wood and metal have different strengths and weaknesses. Clay and cement are different. Yet, there is a place for all of them when one is creating a home.”

“Everything serves a purpose. Even our weaknesses and imperfections. What one can do, the other can’t. So, a good tradesman doesn’t blame his tools. He just learns to make the best use of whatever he’s got.”

‘Indeed!’ thought Rosh, as he contemplated the story. ‘Without the water-bearer’s compassion, his observation of the pot’s weakness, and without his putting it to good use, he wouldn’t be collecting flowers at all!’

‘But if he hadn’t had the foresight and intelligence to plant flower seeds on the path, the cracked pot would have still watered something. What? Weeds, perhaps?’

‘These could still have benefitted insects and our herbivore friends. So, weakness could still turn out to be strength really. Blessings to all of us crackpots! But how do I learn to see things that way?’

‘Would I rather be a perfect pot,’ Rosh asked himself, unaware that his grandfather beside him was already fast asleep and snoring heavily, ‘or a cracked pot who strives to become useful?’

‘Neither!’ he concluded. ‘The pots are what they are. They don’t have a choice in the matter. I am who I am – perfect or flawed – and I have no choice in the matter of my being.’

‘But I can still choose to become. I would like to become the water bearer, the one who knew how to make even a cracked pot lead a full, useful life.’

‘A compassionate, caring person. Smart! Not wasting anything. Not my talents, not my imperfections. Not even a drop of water!”’

Written by Rajeev Wadhwa

The Cracked Pot (We Are Imperfect)

JUST A LITTLE MORE

So sometime this year I had to run away from everybody and went for ‘vacations’ just to think, clear my head, regain my sanity. That’s what I always said when I was asked what the vacations were for. But really I was just running away from situations I thought I could not handle believing that when I came back they would all be gone, gone, disappeared for good. But life is never like that. Life is not for the cowards. When you run you will surely come back and if you eventually don’t come back, the world is the same everywhere else. The situations appear again wherever you run to, this time around clothed in royalty.

So for me, I came back because I had a lot of commitment here- actually I came back because of school. And guess what? Every single situation I left behind was waiting for me right at the entrance of the state. LOL…I would have never imagined that they had missed me so greatly. Damn, it was not easy but I knew I had nowhere to run to anymore- mainly because of cash, cause trust me guys, if I was bucked up I would have fled the country to start my life all over again. I did this twice and I always came back to face life in the face again.

An opportunity arose to run a third time and I am like ‘so young lady, you still have not learnt your lesson. Keep running, keep being a weakling, everyone sees you as a strong woman but you don’t believe in what they seem to see not to mention believing in yourself. After running off, you return back to the very same spot and start thinking of ways to solve them. Life would keep throwing shit at you and beating and hitting you from all sides if you keep running. Stay back, look life in the eyes and make her know who really is in control. Don’t let the wind of life toss you to every corner, stand your ground, have an anchor and show life how shit really is run.’

I never knew I could have such inner savage to talk sense into me. So I told myself, ‘Sharon, you are going nowhere because you are going to face all these and after that when you come out strong cause I know you surely will, you can have your vacation cause you deserve it.’ Guess what? I’m still facing those situations. I’m sure you thought I would write that I have totally overcome the whole stuff. Nope, not at all darlings but trust me I know it won’t be long anymore. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and boy-oh-boy ,I smell VICTORY.


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Listen, when you finally decide to face life, don’t expect it to come at you any lesser than before, expect it to come around as a rushing flood. It’s going to throw various distractions at you just to deviate you and once you take your eyes off the prize you might just lose a great lot and find it difficult to come around. Eventually, you have to start afresh and I’m sure I can get a witness that it could be so freaking annoying, discouraging, and exhausting. You would feel like just giving up but please don’t. Never settle for opting-out because once you do you will eventually have to start all over with greater obstacles. Once you feel like opting-out be sure that you are making heads way and at that point, life is scared to see the precious gold that would be coming out of that fiery fire really pretty soon.

By Chidubem Sharon

Read more at Chidubem Sharon’s World

JUST A LITTLE MORE

Not That I Don’t Have Faith

Faith is a very common word use in different sects of spiritual believes to inspire one thing, and that is HOPE. The root word from which we get ‘faith, the noun is PISTIS, the verb is PISTUEO. FAITH – PISTIS means belief, firm persuasion, assurance, firm conviction, faithfulness to which an end is assured. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (NLT). Faith has an aura of light at the end of the tunnel written all over it but with many questions about what happens before the light comes.

Does faith fail? Yes it does! But why?

Faith is one word we misuse obviously because most of us don’t really understand how it works. Note this, you can have faith and still fail, do you know why? Faith has some terms and conditions attached to it. Faith can’t work in a vacuum, it needs some condiments to make it deliver.

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”
And he said to her, “ There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

Reference 2 Kings 4: 1-7 (NKJV)

Faith would only work well, when you fulfill your own part of the bargain, when you make available certain atmospheres for it to flourish. There 3 basic things you need to make your faith work for you;

1. Believe: You have to believe in something of higher significance; believe in God, His Son, His prophets, in possibilities and importantly in yourself. The widow took the words of Elisha and acted on them because she believed. She most likely had many questions but she was able to shut those questions and scepticism up because she believed not only in the God of Elisha but also in Elisha and the possibilities of miracles. Science has revealed that there is a part of the brain known as the “God Spot”, and its main function is to aide our believe system, and that is why everyone believes in something; that part of the brain must be filled. So it now depends on you as a person to determine what would fill that space in your brain. But if faith is what you throw around and rely on, then you will have to fill the God Spot with God.

2. Be ready to follow instructions: For faith to work, instructions have to be followed. There would be certain things that would be required of you depending on what you are exercising faith on, and you will have to do them for your faith to work. For instance, if you are trusting God for a new job you will have to apply or make your availability known to people, if you are trusting God for a child you will have to have a man to copulate with, if you are trusting God for financial empowerment you will have to meet people and so on that’s how it works. Elisha gave the widow instructions and she followed them to the letter, faith would require you to follow instructions, to be obedient and be detailed. Remember, the story of the Fishermen and Jesus, they had tried all night long but they caught nothing. When Jesus came into the picture he asked them to throw in their net one more time; that was an explicit instruction. Yes! It was the same water, in fact the same spot they had tried all night long but then they had to obey that instruction and the result was abundance of fishes. One could have expected Jesus to command fishes to start raining from the sky but No! there are processes to life, you have to do certain things before certain things can happen.

3. You would have to Work your Faith: Faith without Work is dead (FwWD). There are no shortcuts, if you don’t work for anything you can’t earn something and it is the same with God. With faith comes work, they go together. The widow had to do the pouring of the oil, that’s work you know? Have you tried filling a bottle with oil before? Trust me, just one bottle can be exhausting not to talk of filling many pots. Many people will tell you they have faith yet they are not ready to put their best efforts forward; my brothers and my sisters, it doesn’t work that way. Even the woman with the issue of blood had to work her way through the crowd to get to Jesus, before she could exercise her faith. In scheme of things, it is usually Faith Work Faith then Result. Let me point this out, most people’s faith gets disappointed because they hoped faith would work without them working. Remember, there are processes in life; even luck requires some real work of positioning.

Don’t throw the word “faith” around in ignorance and oblivion of what is required of you. Fulfill your own part, be diligent about it, follow instructions and be steadfast in believe. It might take a while before you see the results but trust me it will be worth every second you spent waiting. God can do beyond your expectations, keep trusting, keep hoping, something beautiful is coming your way.

Not That I Don’t Have Faith