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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

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Ways To Overcome Negative Thoughts

Your thought pattern is responsible for 99% of what you become. As the saying goes, “he who thinks he can and he who thinks he can’t are often right; your thought your destination”. Having said that, one cannot rule out negative thoughts from time to time; intentionally or unintentionally, those gloomy moments have a way of creeping in and disrupting a perfectly planned day.

So I was researching on how to deal with the down moments when I came across this article and I wish to share it with you. So sit back, relax and see if this can help you deal with those ‘I don’t feel like anything’ moments. 

PS. As for me, options 8 to 12 are just what I need!

13 Ways To Overcome Negative Thought Patterns

​1. Have Daily Negative Thought Time

A paradoxical strategy to gain control over negative thinking is to commit to 10 minutes a day ruminating and reviewing them over and over again. Negative Thought Time (NTT) must be 10 minutes and must be every day. When you have a negative thought during the day, jot it down, and tell yourself that you’ll review them during NTT. Over time, you will gain control and negative thinking will stop. – Julie Kantor, PhD , JP Kantor Consulting

2. Replace the Negative Thoughts

We don’t overcome negative thought patterns, we replace them. For most of us, those negative thought patterns are well-worn neural pathways. Four simple steps:

a. Notice when you have started the pattern.

b. Acknowledge that its a pattern you want to change.

c. Articulate what you want to be different.

d. Choose a different behavior — one that serves your goals.

– David Taylor-Klaus , DTK Coaching
3. Be Your Own Best Friend

We are mean to ourselves. Nearly 90% of self-talk is negative. Three steps:

a. Release it. Let it out to help process, not to dwell. Three minutes, then the pity party is over.

b. Track it. Identify when you have negative thoughts. Awareness will enable reframing.

c. Reframe it. Once you know why you are being mean, consider what your best friend would say to you. Then tell yourself what you need to hear. – Michelle Tillis Lederman, Executive Essentials

4. Write Instead Of Think

Write down why the negative thought is present. Writing versus thinking helps purge the thought out, and when you can see the words on paper or a screen it is easier to make sense of it and move forward. –Steven Cohen , Meyvn Global

5. Make A Conscious Effort To Find Things To Love, Like And Appreciate

Instead of fighting negative thoughts, consciously reach for better feeling thoughts. One powerful way to do that is to speak (out loud if you can) to what you love, like and appreciate. Heading into a tough talk? “I love the way the coffee tastes today.” “I like the way this chair feels at my back.” “I appreciate the chance to process ideas with my team.” Reach for the relief, and you’ll find it. – Wendy Pitts Reeves, C2C Consulting, PLLC

6. Ask Yourself Some Tough Questions

Reflect on your answers to some tough questions. 1. What do I get from having negative thought patterns? What’s the reward for me? 2. What do I lose by engaging in negative thoughts? What are the costs? 3. What benefits would I receive from engaging in positive thoughts? What costs are associated with thinking more positively? 4. What in my past made me think negatively? 5. What will I do now? – Bill Gardner , Noetic Outcomes Consulting, LLC
7. Establish New Habits

Rather than thinking of it in terms of “overcoming” negative thought patterns, think of it in terms of establishing new habits. You do that by directing your attention to subjects where there’s nothing to “overcome”: subjects that you already feel good about, and therefore think positively about. That could be your pet, your painted toe nails, being outside, the beach… Start with something easy. – Christine Meyer, Christine Meyer Coaching

8. Stop Watching The Morning News

Research has shown just three minutes of negative news in the morning will significantly increase your chances of a negative experience over the course of the day. Research has also shown that positive mindset increases productivity and satisfaction while reducing errors rates. Mindset is a choice, but not always an easy one. Look to eliminate negative influences and stop watching morning news! – Dr. Woody Woodward , HCI

9. Use Affirmations

When you wake up, open your eyes and feel gratitude for the new day. Write down daily affirmations: “I love the people I work with,” “I make positive contributions every day,” or “I am open to inspired thoughts.” If a negative thought creeps in, think of a success you’ve had and the feeling that went with it. Positive thinking is a daily task, but worth it. – Erin Kennedy, Professional Resume Services, Inc.

10. Develop Your Success Routine

Every morning for fifteen years, I’ve done a process I created called “Quantum Programming.” It involves taking time each morning as you wake to meditate and focus on the person you want to be and the quality of life you want to live. You also set a few important goals to keep your momentum building toward your dreams. When you know what you want and are driving at it daily, negativity will fade. – Brett Baughman , The Brett Baughman Companies, Inc.

11. Channel Those Thoughts Into Something Constructive

Negative thought patterns can easily take over, but a fantastic (and constructive) trick is to identify what the negative thought pattern is and a project you’re excited about. Then, consciously commit to this: Every time you find yourself focusing on the negative, refocus your thoughts for five minutes on your exciting project. I did this recently and a new initiative is now ahead of schedule! – Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRW , ReFresh Your Step, LLC

12. Focus On Gratitude

Gratitude is underrated by most but is essential to a happy life. Life doesn’t get easier, but we become stronger as we reframe difficulties by recognizing all of the little good things going on around us. Keep a Good List and refer to it daily. Also, focus on what you really want and be very specific. A focused, positive mind will attract what it is seeking over time. – Jen Kelchner , TeenTrep.co

13. Try Movement And Meditation

As a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and a writing coach and author, I know that you can’t escape negative thoughts without physically disrupting them. To get out of your head, get into your body. A few minutes of deliberate breath work (seated 10-15 minute meditation) or body movement (like a yoga class)can dican’tpt those thinking patterns. To get out of your head, move more. Feel more. – Dave Ursillo, The Literati Writers

Written by: Forbes Coaches Council

Top coaches offer insights on leadership development & careers

Definitely you can’t do all these at a time but I am sure if you can combine two or more, you should be free of negative thoughts holding you back. Your life is precious, you can do so much if you have your thoughts where they should be – in the game!

Ways To Overcome Negative Thoughts

Why The Devil Is Winning

Why The Devil Is Winning


This is not another preaching or a talk about God, I understand you know a whole lot about that, even more than I do. This is not about the devil, because a prominent Pastor once said, ‘we talk too much about the devil, we give him too much credit while we take less responsibilities for our wrongs‘. However, this is a talk about you and I, the way we reason and the thoughts we nurture. It was said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince people he doesn’t exist, yet I feel there is more to why the devil is winning than this trick.

Recently, I was offered a tract by a customer to show his gratitude for the service I just rendered. When he handed me the tract and said ‘thank you’, it felt somehow to me, money I understand, souvenir I understand but tract!?! Anyway, I collected it, it was looking so unattractive and I was really not interested in going through it, I was so sure it’s the same old story, so I decided to pass it on (I had to respect the hard earned money it took to print the tract). I tried giving it to different people that I came across that day but none of them took it home, some said, it is the same story, others said, they don’t need it while few just collected it and left there on my table. At last, I took it home and decided to go through it. It was the same story as I guessed and ended with give your life to Christ but something was different about this tract, it didn’t focus on heaven or hell, rather it was more about earth and why the devil is winning. I thought about it for a while, I soon slept off and forgot about it all.

Then this morning I was chatting with a friend and while we were at it, series of discussions we had led me back to the tract and these words kept echoing in my head “why the devil is winning”. As much as I wanted to demonstrate my faith and say, ‘yes to God’s victory’, realities of time suggest that gradually, the devil is claiming more souls. So I want to share with you just five (5) of reasons why the devil is winning and I hope after reading this you would be part of the comeback team for God.

1. We believe in self righteousness: Most of us believe we don’t need to be a believer to be a good person. We believe with good deeds we can win the heart of God. Here is the twist, devil is not afraid of our good deeds, in fact the devil is unmoved by our good deeds, because the devil knows that without Christ, even the best of deeds are like filthy rags before God. Come to think of it, even when we claim to be all about good deeds and behaviors, we can only be good to those who are good to us and that doesn’t make us good enough for God.

2. Godly things don’t seem interesting to us: We are young and vibrant, we want to have fun, dance, sing, flirt, take pictures, feel sexy and be famous. All these seem right, since we are not harming any body but unfortunately we are harming ourselves. Some say do it in moderation but who determines what is moderate? The devil knows that our body would always win in our battles with our head when there is no Holy Spirit in our lives. I am not saying fun is wrong, I love fun too but without the Holy Spirit in us, fun will always lead us to a funny position with the devil.

3. Freedom and rights: This is one good thing with a bad after taste. Currently some schools have forbidden prayers or the use  the name of God in their schools, some TV stations consider the use of God as derogatory, people want to be free to choose; association, sex, partner, worship etc. People reserves the right to dress the we they please, but then when you are your brother’s keeper, you would spare a thought for what your sexy dress might be doing to him and his thoughts.  When we remove God from our daily routines, something else will definitely fill the void, that’s as sure as the sun rising from the East.


4. When it comses to God, we think we have time: How many times have we said, “oh I can’t make it to church today, I will go next week or I have not gotten a fine church yet, I will get before the end of the month or Sunday is the only time I do my laundry so I can’t make church etc.” We believe with God, we can do it when it pleases us and some of us will round it off by saying “God understands”. Yes God understands our weaknesses but unfortunately, the devil does too and the devil takes advantage. Yes, there is time with God but then the devil also knows corruption is an infestation that eats deep with time and gives little room for retrace.

5. We believe we know: When it comes to God vs devil, everyone is an expert. We believe we need no tutoring, it is the same preaching since we were young, nothing new, a twist of prosperity has been used by some church to lure some of us back but majority would still argue that  you don’t need God to be rich. Here is the truth, you might not need God for anything in this life but He is the only thing you need for afterlife. Yes, it is the same preaching but the truth is, no matter how many times it has been told, it won’t stop being the truth. The devil knows the constant battle in our heart before we make a choice and each time he counts on our ego to keep leading us back to him. 

Devil is winning because of the little things we take for granted. What we wear, the kind of friends we keep, our shyness when it comes to talking about God, not talking to our kids about God, putting morals above godliness, wanting to belong etc. We are the end days’ army, the team ‘comeback’ of God, we have to do our bit to right some of these wrongs, not just because it is a safer earth when God is winning but because we owe ourselves the peace that comes with godliness. 

Liar’s Corner

Liar’s Corner

It is said that, “a good liar must have a good memory”. This is indeed true because lying is a big task. It is born from hasty generalisation, assumptions, exaggeration and unnecessary make-believe. For one not to be caught, he/she needs to recall every history of lies told to a person or in a situation so, it can be built upon and adequately updated. Believe me, this is not an easy duty. So, I concur fully to that nugget for liars.

Most liars live in a world of fear and adjustments. They hardly notice or accept it though. Even when he is looking so calm in appearance while explaining his ordeal or convincing you about a deal, he is undergoing series of calculations and adjustments inside of him. His thoughts counter each other… he’s studying your actions and noticing your responses to know if you believed his last statement or not and how well he can continue to bamboozle you or shroud his last flaw. It is such a complex world for them. However, is it really needed?

Nothing tarnishes one’s personality more than when he is found to be dishonest. It takes just one lie to have all the truth you have ever told questioned. It ruins relationships, business opportunities and even one’s integrity. Someone who has never met you might not trust you because of your track records of lies that has widely spread; that can hinder so many opportunities untold. Your report, analysis, personal history and so on, does not have to sound interesting all the time. Just say it as it is! If you do not get an applause in the end, never mind… you got an integrity boost instead. Another badge of trust got added to your personality chest.

Telling a lie for a good reason doesn’t make it the truth and doing wrong with good intentions doesn’t make it right. When trust is betrayed, nothing else really matters. -Selahsomeone

It does not take a good lying technique to thrive in business or a relationship. It takes good strategy and communication skill. “If you don’t cheat, you won’t make profit”, who’s theory is that? Develop a good business strategy, get a good location, be appealing to your target market, be friendly and do not compromise your quality in goods and services… your business is going to soar. “My spouse/ parent never believes me until I lie”. Are you for real? Why not keep up with the truth? When loved ones find your words and the reality to be consistent, they will come to terms with your honesty, eventually you would become more appreciated and your bond would grow stronger.

There is no reason good enough to lie. Consider your options again… a safe route is staring at you in the face. Exploit it! Relieve yourself from the stress of internal clumsiness. Make the world a more reliable place to live in. Speak the truth always.

​CHANGING INABILITY TO ABILITY

CHANGING INABILITY TO ABILITY
It is true that every normal being posses the ability to do one thing or the other, but do you know that despite the possession of this ability, there are some factors that want you to throw your ability or abilities as the case maybe into the a flaming incinerator.  

The greatest factor is FEAR! Most people give room for fear in the best place of their life, and this would make them shrink themselves; this would make them stop the rolling ball from doing what it was created to do, just to avoid what might happen in the process, such as rejection, condemnation etc. There are a lot of things that could happen if you take a stride, you could slip, the sole of your feet might get punctured by a nail or you could even hit your leg on a stone, but if you consider these possibilities strongly, you might never take a step, you might never move in life. 

My dear reader, there is a clear difference between “I wish I did” and “Thank God I did” and the ball is in your court to choose which statement you want to end your life with. 

The second factor is Low Self-esteem. Low self-esteem is when you see little of yourself, when you think the ‘top’ or the ‘best’ is not meant for you, Zig Ziglar said “It is only when you start seeing the ‘good’ in you, that’s when others will see the ‘best’ in you”, that is, you are in the position to set the ball rolling by never looking down on yourself. 

“It is only when you start seeing the ‘good’ in you, that’s when others will see the ‘best’ in you”

Lack of Boldness: This is the school mother of FEAR, the inability to express your feelings, emotions, mind set, thoughts, ideas and all sorts. Now tell me, you have a talent given to you by a Supreme Being, and the next thing you could do is to give it all up because you are shy? No, that’s not right, you can’t do that. Why not start reading motivational books and articles online, on the grave and unredeemable consequences of not been bold as brass. Watch T.V shows sharing outmost experiences on the regret of not having faith in themselves when they were supposed to be. 
These three factors works hand in hand, when you don’t allow them, no one can drag you down, be like the Aloe leaf, and stay strong. I am sure you should be able to change your inability to ability; it is just a matter of determination and focus.           

Post By Guest Writer

Kajopaye Gbenga

http://www.literaryking.WordPress.com  

​You are responsible 

​You are responsible learn to take responsibility

​In the end, we are responsible for how things turn out for us. Not the gods neither is it the unseen spirits, not fate neither is it destiny, it is simply the cumulation of all the choices we have made; one choice after another!

Recently, a friend of mine lost his job because of an obvious silly act, and when he was asked what happened his response was, “it was the devil” (I am sure the ‘devil’ must be so confused by now considering the number of accusations he/she gets daily). Then I simply asked him, ” did the devil make those choices for you?”. He wouldn’t reply, he just kept starring blank. This is exactly what most of us do, when things go sideways, we are so comfortable at passing the blame, while others use words like “God understands, it is well, I can’t kill myself etc.” to cover  up for their laziness and indecisions. Don’t get me wrong, supernatural forces are real but 99% of consequences are as a result of bad decisions; our own choices.

Too often we shy a way from taking responsibilities for our mistakes, bad choices and nonchalant attitudes however, we are quick to take credit for things we got right. Life works both ways, sometimes it is just so perfect while other times it seems like we can’t just get anything right, unfortunately, we have to be responsible for both outcomes. We want to ask questions like; why me? what kind of luck is this? who should I blame? When the most important question should have been ‘will I be able to bear the outcome of this choice?’.

I know most often wrong choices are as a result of pressure, pressure so powerful that our natural line of thoughts become distorted. Such pressures include peer pressure, greed, hunger, body desires, laziness, anger, jealousy, alcohol, drugs, cravings etc. but the truth is, no matter what is responsible for the pressure, when the did is done, no one sees the pressure and distortion again but the fact you made a choice and you must face the consequences; even where you don’t pay the ultimate price, the scar just never goes away. 

Now I am not going to assume, we all have equal self-control, in fact I agree it is often easier making a wrong choice than the right one, right decisions require more sacrifices and sincerely it takes lots guts but we also must have it in our subconscious that we will be responsible for the outcome of our actions. If it’s our action then the responsibility cannot be passed.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn.

To achieve your goals in life you have to take responsible for your actions and inactions, and you have to be disciplined enough to make right choices, even when they really don’t sit well with your immediate desires. Apologize when your choice affects others most will forgive your sincerity, when you give your words honour them because second chances are very rare, own your problems and be about solutions, and don’t feed your lazy thoughts by being inactive, even the devil needs an idle hand before the devil can manipulate.

It is your life and you are responsible for the outcomes, you hold the pen to write your own story, the moment you drop the pen others will pick it and write whatever pleases them for you. I don’t want that and I know neither do you. So don’t handover the control of you life to someone or something else, own your existence and make this one life that you have count for something good.You are responsible for your life, so learn to take responsibility!

Messi Vs Ronaldo; My choice!

If there is one topic that divides football lovers all over the world currently, it is “who is better between C.Ronaldo (CR7) and Messi?” There have been diverse expressions from stakeholders; statement of opinion from other footballers, unguarded utterances from sport officials and facts from analysts but one thing is still lingers on; there can’t seem to be a consensus.

I am a football lover too and like many others, if I do not allow my judgement to be clouded by my other sentiments, it is hard to pick from these two. However, this article is not meant to help me or you choose between these two, rather I will attempt to point out those things; traits and characters that has made these two legendary, which I think we can use too.

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1. Talent Vs Hardwork
Looking at the two stars, easily one can see that Messi is more talented however, what Ronaldo is missing in talent he made up for in hard work. Messi is a workaholic too but undoubtedly Ronaldo is the most hardworking player ever known.
Lessons: Because you are talented doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard. You have to sharpen your talent if not you will soon forget what you think you are good at. And if you are not talented at something, it doesn’t mean you can’t be great at it, it only means you have to work twice as hard as someone who is talented.

2. Passion Vs Love
Messi in my own analysis has the love for the game, he wants to enjoy the game and be exceptional while Ronaldo has passion for success, he wants to be more efficient and want to achieve results.
Lessons: The best way to achieve success fast is to enjoy what you do. Love for what you do will definitely keep you going even when the odds are against you while your passion for success will ensure that what you Love is paying the bills and making available what you want; success, money and fame.

3. Re-invention Vs Acceptance
Over the years, Ronaldo has had to re-invent himself, as many times as required, in order to become more efficient; from the right wing, to the centre then to the left side. He has re-invented his styles to make sure he remains relevant. On the other hand, Messi had worked with the acceptance of what he is capable of. Many like him had been called ‘great’ but ended up failing to deliver, but he has always delivered. He accepted what was expected of him and built on it.
Lessons: No matter what you are called, if you don’t accept it you can’t be it. Whether good or bad, you have to accept it first before you become it. If you have been called something good, accept it and build on it but if it is something bad, you can always re-invent yourself as many times as possible to prove them wrong. It is your life and you can always write how your story will end.

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4. Endless Push Vs Self-assurance
The life of Messi can be seen as one based on self-assurance, right from his discovery, treatment to stardom. The pressure must have been overwhelming but somehow he has kept assuring himself it is doable. Ronaldo on the other hand, epitomizes endless push, each time you want to write him off, he finds a new way of surprising you; sometimes seemingly coming back from the dead.
Lessons: You have to believe in yourself, and sometimes even against all odds keep assuring yourself it is doable. Nothing matters, not the pressure from families, the expectations from friends and the doubts from haters, none should really matter; you must not give up on yourself. You have to constantly keep pushing yourself, till you reach your goal. Often times, it is convenient to give up and say “l couldn’t have done anything” but the truth is there is always something to be done, even when people think you are dead and buried, you can still beat the odds, if you don’t stop pushing.

5. Self-belief Vs Persistence
Too often people mistake Ronaldo’s self-belief for arrogance, I don’t intend to debate this though, but like most success driven individuals, there is the aura of “I know what I am capable of” around them and I think that explains self-belief. While with Messi you will understand persistence, he keeps coming in your face, so hard to stop and eventually you will have to give way because he won’t stop.
Lessons: Having self-belief and being persistent for me takes your drive for success to another height. Ordinarily, It is hard to sell yourself to others but it is even harder if you don’t believe in yourself. This is why I believe, the first step to success is self-belief, even if some people mistake it for arrogance. Then you have to keep stepping up even if you are up in other people’s space and you have to keep doing this persistently.

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There is a lot we can learn from these two idols, if we can, for some pretty few seconds, forget whatever we have against them and see their great sides. People who are up there didn’t just get there, no matter how lucky some of us might think they are, they must have worked some things up, which if we can borrow from, our climb to success won’t be that hard.

Life’s Decision: What Do I Do?

Life’s Decision: What Do I Do?

Picture these:
You just rounded off fabulous years of academics, you have served your nation as it is mandatory and now you have high hopes of what the future holds. Then you remember your Uncle Paul who finished some 5years ago but still lives with his parents because his job can’t pay the high rent. In the same thought, you remember Uncle Dan who got a job with oil servicing firm and now drives flashy cars and has a nice house at a choice location. Again you thought of Aunty Grace who is into interior decor and event planning, you just love her schedule as she is often free, a boss of herself and so rich….sigh! but then you can’t forget Aunty Rose who also went into personal business of Cake making and small chops, and still she begs for change whenever she comes around…

I hope you can relate with these pictures.

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Life is about choices, decisions we make that permanently impact on our lives and some times impact on the course of history. Maturity and self awareness often present us with three major choices:

1. Do I go look for job?
2. Do I still further my education?
3. Do I start my own thing?

What we have seen of others and how they came out, too often leaves us confused about what next to do. The pictures above look too familiar; same thing one person did and got result often may not work for another, leaving the rest of us wondering which is the right path to take.

In this article, I will breakdown each of these options then I will leave you to make your own decision.

1. Do I look for job?
“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Getting a job, any kind of job, is easy. All you have to do is to apply and be ready to take any amount you are offered. However, getting a good job means you have to prove you are better than every other person eyeing that same job. You must have the best qualifications, best certifications, best command of skills and presentations, and in some cases know a few more persons than your closest rival for the job. In the current economic situation, opportunities at these Blue Chipped companies are rear, recession has stiffen their desires to recruit more hands and the old hands have just refused to retire. The question now is, are you ready to compete for those good jobs like Uncle Dan or you will be comfortable with just any job like Uncle Paul?

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2. Do I still further my education?
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo
Growth comes with learning and with learning comes the key to unlock opportunities. Furthering education in any book is a welcome development; it is investing in yourself, becoming more valuable and increasing your worth. However, you must have understood yourself, identified your values and known your current worth before you can say that you want to (grow) add something; this is the only sufficient reason to further your education. Furthering your education is not restricted to going for higher degrees, you can go for certifications, diplomas or just learn something new like a trade or how to use your talent better. Whether you want to get a job, start a career, use your talent or go into business, learning is imperative. From our mental pictures, Uncle Dan and Aunty Grace must have improved themselves significantly, one way or the other, which has made them above board but like I said earlier this must be done for the right reason. The question here is, if you think you need to further your education, is it for the right reason?

3. Do I start my own thing?
“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
People often mistake chasing one’s dream for setting up one’s personal business, No Sir! Some people have the dream to work for a big company while others have the dream to own a big company; people have different dreams. Relating this to W. Edwards Deming’s rule of 3-97%, we can easily say only 3% will start their own business and employ the remaining 97% but you have to be sure which is your dream, is it to be among the 3% or the 97%? Note this, the fact that you have chosen to be part of the 97% doesn’t mean your dream is inferior and because you have decided to join the 3% doesn’t mean you are unrealistic. However, there is nothing as comforting as being your own boss and there is nothing as heart-troubling as knowing that being the boss means you are responsible for what you earn; it won’t be all fun and games. Your passion and your dreams might be the only fuel you are left with, when things don’t go according to plans, when people start condemning your choices and things seem destined for the rocks (the stage Aunty Rose is currently), and trust me, your Will will be tested before you start reaping the good of “your own thing” like Aunty Grace. So if you are thinking of starting your own thing, you need to ask yourself, “is that my dream and do I have the passion to endure the storm?”

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You can be whatever you choose to be, but you first have to choose before you can be. Choose wisely, don’t let fear push you into settling for something less than you deserve and don’t let the noise of the crowd pull you into something you are not cut out for. There is something special about you, people might not see it yet but trust me, your light will definitely shine through.

We all need somebody

We all need somebody

A young man once lived in a town where everyone knew him. He’s handsome, rich, educated and intelligent. He had everything he wanted, no matter the situation. Everyone adored him; men envied his success, wealth and the authority it gave him, and ladies were attracted to his “drop-dead” gorgeous body, his properties and style. He could get any woman at just a beckon yet he chose to remain single. His decision was not because there was no beautiful, educated or well-mannered young lady in the town but because he believed he was self-sufficient, an island that needed no one.

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This young man saw a wife as an extra burden, a luggage that would definitely slow him down and a venture with no significant importance. He was of the opinion that a wife would only come into his life to make demands and share his properties with him. He wanted to live in his own world, where only his ideas would be considered and the only people welcomed are those that would serve him. He had no friends, no one he confided in, he welcomed no family and he listened to no one. People around him were either people working for him or people serving him. “An Island needs no one!”, he kept telling himself and truly he was doing fine, with little or nothing to worry about.

Life was good to him, he made so much money and kept all for himself. He kept expanding his coast and everything went according to his plans until one day he fell sick. This sickness was like none he had experienced before, the pains were excruciating and weakening. He visited the best doctors in the town, most had no answer while few that had ideas gave him prescriptions but the medications did not work. His condition worsened and he became very worried. His businesses began to suffer, he couldn’t trust anyone to manage them, he became sad and confused but there was no one he could share his problems with.

Orthodox medicine had failed him, he needed something different and very fast, then he remembered a friend of his late father who cured sicknesses with herbs. He visited him and explained everything to him. The old man listened carefully as he talked. In the end, the old man told him that his sickness had a cure. If the sickness is attended to promptly, he would be well in three days otherwise he would die in the same number of days. He heaved a sigh of relief, he had money enough to buy a whole field of herbs and enough assets to pay off the old man. He told himself, “what money cannot do, can never be done”.

The old man listed the things he would need to prepare the concoction and amongst them was a particular leaf that could only be found by the riverbank. However, this leaf only works when it is plucked by someone that the ailing person loves most. At this point, the young man knew he was going to die; he knew the leaf, it’s location, the usefulness of it in his present condition but there was no one he truly cared about. He loved no one but himself. He finally realised “no man is an island, everyone needs someone” but then it was a lesson that came too late for him. With no other remedy, the young man died three days after in the house of the old man, away from his own home and all the wealth he had gathered.

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Islands were created to exist in nature alone, not for humans to become. No matter how good, intelligent, educated, rich, handsome or beautiful a man or woman is, it does not replace one’s relationship with others. There is an extent to which money or any other asset can go but human connection is limitless. Either with people of one’s status or below, there is always benefits from interacting with others; sharing ideas, time, problems, success, failures, knowledge and advice. We can’t put price tag on companionship, it might be easy to take for granted but life is never complete without someone to share it with. Happiness might be from within but we need people around to make it worthwhile.

By Ayodeji Oluwatosin

I Don’t Have A Choice

I Don’t Have A Choice

” I Don’t Have A Choice”…This is a little lie we tell ourselves each time something happens, which could have been avoided, if we had made better choice(s).

Choices are different ways a particular event could have been handled and in real life situations it is absolutely impossible to have just one option. Choices could either be easy or hard. What many people call “No Choice” is simply the absence of “an Easy option”. Hard choices often require more energy, overcoming fears, humility, faith, lots of brain activities, controlled emotions, self-sacrifice, self-discipline and hope. Easy choices require less or nothing and often times it produces nothing extra-ordinary.

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Two different houses were robbed sometime ago, after taking the possessions of the people in these two houses, the robbers demanded to sleep with the wives before their husbands, at gun point. The husband in the first house did not put up a fight, because he felt at gun point he had no choice, so he allowed them rape his wife and the robbers left. However, the husband in second house, resisted the robbers despite the guns, he was shot at and because of the screams and pandemonium that followed, the robbers fled without raping his wife.

After the incident, the first house never remained the same. The husband could not look at his wife again neither could the wife forgive her man for allowing the robbers to have her, they divorced after some time and the kids were shared.  In the second house,  though the man now limps, his wife and his kids love and respect him more, he became the hero of his family and a confidant of his wife because he made the hard choice.

Yes it is not easy to make the hard or tough choices but then it will always set you apart.

Many people complain about their current jobs but still they don’t resign, telling themselves, ‘I have no choice’; many are trapped in a bad relationship and they hang on, saying, ‘I have no choice’; some keep doing shameful things and they know it is shameful but they tell themselves, ‘I have no choice’; someone insults you and you fight back, saying, ‘I have no choice’; all my friends are bad, giving my life to Christ will make me look silly, see ‘I have no choice’…

Dear reader, we all have choices and because a choice is hard doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Heroes, Legends, Martyrs, Extra-ordinary people, Successful entrepreneurs, World leaders, great icons have all made the hard choices many times in their lives and if you intend to be amongst them you have to learn to start making some tough choices too. Everything in life requires making choices but for the best things of life, you need to make the hard choices. Take the bold steps, make the right choices no matter how difficult they might seem and life itself will reward you.