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Please Don’t Judge Me Wrong

I have my own ways, however they may not be what you are used to but so far they have worked for me. I may not be where you think I should be but trust me, I am not where I used to be. I make my choices and I have learned to live by their consequences. I want to improve but on my own terms, I want to see my dreams come to life but at my own time. Sorry if I come to you as a disappointment but soon you will give testimonies of how you met me.

My methods are not conventional, I don’t use the orthodox approach, being a conformist is not who I am, I may come to you as being lazy but I still get the job done. I may not yield to rules or bind my actions to general principles but I live by my codes. Don’t judge me based on your ideals, you are not the standard I live by. Your truth may not be my truth because we have different facts about living. You and I have a different path to take and a different part to play, so because something works for you doesn’t make it a must for me. I am me!

Don’t judge my faith, my passion, my relationship or my lifestyle they are all part of me, my experience and the way I have come to terms with life. If you truly love me, lead by example and if I am convinced I might follow you. I am not inferior because of the colour of my skin, my background or my level of education, they are no limits to what I can become and I have embraced that fact, so just you know, I have big dreams too.

Please don’t judge me because I don’t measure up to what you expect, I am still growing and I believe I still have enough time to be who I am destined to be. I have my dreams, I have set my goals, I know my mission, they may not be as big as you might have imagined them but this works for me. They will grow as I grow, they will become bigger as I nurture them and maybe you would come to learn a few things too about starting small.

I love who I am, don’t try to change me, don’t measure me on your own scale of perfection. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be measured but against who I was yesterday and who I can become tomorrow. Just as I have accepted you for who you are, do same for me. Watch me take shape, I will stumble but I will pick myself up, I may have my heart shattered but be sure I will pick up the pieces and move on.

I enjoy it when you share your thoughts with me, I learn and I adjust some things about me but when you pass judgement, the lessons become lost in the resentment. I am like the proverbial square peg in the round hole, I may not fit in but I am indispensable, please don’t judge me wrong.

Please Don’t Judge Me Wrong

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Embrace Who You Are

Sometimes, however, there’s no one around to give you that hug you need. When you’re having a bad day, experiencing some sort of pain, or simply craving a bit of affection, why not give some love to yourself? … Mimic the pressure that you feel when you get a reassuring bear hug.

There is so much to you than meets the eye. True, you may not have figured out all about yourself but you can still build on the little you know. Don’t let people shut you down just because they don’t like the way you speak or your kind of ideas. Don’t let people put you down because you are not what they expect. Don’t shrink just because you want to make someone feel comfortable around you. Don’t become someone else because someone close does not like your kind of person. It is who you are, embrace it and make the best of it.

You have to stop apologizing for who you are. You can’t keep denying what your passions are, no matter who is misunderstanding what matters to you. You should be your own number one fan, no one should love you more than you love yourself. Your line of thoughts may seem very odd, don’t be shy to stand by what you think is real, be proud of your views. You may not have as much insights as others do but that doesn’t mean you are not capable of something more meaningful. There is a You in there, embrace it.

You can learn, learning is not beyond you. You can improve on your current self that is the idea of living but never let anyone take away your values and what you believes. These are your identity, fight to keep them, they are who you are, protect them with your life. You are special never let anyone tell you otherwise, even when people fail to see why, never doubt yourself. They will surely come around, each one bearing gifts when you fully form.

Photo Credit: Hugging Myself
by escaped-emotions

Love yourself, no one will do that right for you. Don’t let your head down less others will look down on you. Humility is good but do it with pride, self-belief, self-love, good self-esteem and unshaken desire to excel in all things. You are your own greatest ally, cast away all doubts and trust your instincts, listen to your heart and pay close attention to your mood. They are all part of your making, even when your eyes fail to see they will keep you safe and on track.

Make it all about you, when you learn to love yourself as you should, loving others won’t be a problem. This will impact on your friendship and relationship; it takes a complete you to complement another. You have got so much within you; talent, gift, wisdom, thoughts, passion… loving yourself is all you need to amplify all these. Don’t fail the You inside, embrace who you are and watch life get less complicated.

Embrace Who You Are

NEVER ALONE

NEVER ALONE

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Distanced from the crowd i sit to ponder.
Alone with my thought, a sight of wonder.
I do not resist the help from people around.
The spotlight I hope for, I just haven’t found.

Naked in my world with nothing but me.
This is how alone, I’ve grown to be.
Lost to the world Like a farmer’s only horse.
Feeling so alone though I am not sarcophagus.

The Moon shines and my mood slides.
It creates in my ocean a glimps of lonely tides.
Scared yet proud of what I call my own.
But In the market still, the insane isn’t alone.

Though solitary i wade through this trouble
Very much i know that even when i stumble
No matter how far away I am from my throne
With you my friends I am NEVER ALONE…

By Iconxpression
Aremu Ibraheem Adebayo

The Letter: Awolowo to Odutola

The Letter: Awolowo to Odutola

Here is a letter from history that is bound to change how you view life!

Please take some out of your busy schedule to read the letter below, from Chief Awolowo (at that time a scholar full of potentials and self-belief) to Chief Odutola (at that time an industrialist who was doing very well for himself). Though it is long but very interesting that you will gain a lot from it.

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THE LETTER

Dear Mr. Odutola,

I think it will be an exceeding saving of time and more business-like if I avoid all sweet preliminaries and go straight into the object of this letter and say that I am writing to ask you to be good enough to lend me a sum of £1,400 (One thousand and four hundred pounds) free of interest for twelve years.

It is a staggering figure! More staggering indeed does it become, when it is realized that I, who am asking for this loan, have nothing in all the world to give as a security for this money, excepting my good faith and my brains which again are of value only so long as I continue to breathe the breath of life!

Nevertheless, I here proceed to outline in brief why i want this big loan from you. And I hope you will be kind enough to sacrifice some time to go through what I have to say, even though, in  the end you might find yourself unable to do me this grand favour.

One great ambition of mine since my boyhood days is to be a lawyer, a politician and a journalist, rolled into one. I cherish politics and journalism as a career, and I desire advocacy as a means of livelihood. For you will agree with me that a politician or journalist who has no money with which to support himself and family comfortably, is like a blade which has no razor.

Now, at one time, I was on the verge of making enough money with which I could proceed to England in order to pursue the object of my ambition; but I suffered a twist in my fortune, and I crashed. Ever since, I have tried without success to recover lost grounds, financially. But spiritually and intellectually, I have made appreciable advance in spite of towering difficulties, all of which have now been surmounted.

As you are aware, I have just passed the intermediate Bachelor of Commerce Examination. Next year, I am taking the final B.Com. Having a degree is not my goal; I hate to be a government or mercantile employee. Otherwise, there are opportunities for me here and there to get a suitable and well paid job under government or one of the mercantile houses. As you know, however, once I become an employee of government or a mercantile establishment that is the end to my career as a politician and journalist. I have therefore resolved that under no circumstances will I take up such employment.

That is just by the way. I am now thirty-four years of age. After careful thought, I have come to the conclusion that if I could raise a loan free of interest sufficient to cover expenses, I should go to England, this year and within three years, I should qualify as a Barrister –at –law, and also obtain with Honours the LL.B Degree of London University. In addition this degrees apart from giving me good backing as a solicitor and Advocate will help me immensely as a politician and journalist.

But where on earth could i get the money? Who in Nigeria today could give £1,400 free of interest to help his fellow-man? J. Henry Doherty, Esq., of illustrious memory who did the like to many successful Nigerians is no more. But after meticulous, shifting and weighing, I hit upon you.

I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that out of the bounty with which providence blesses your grit and efforts as a businessman, you can well easily afford to advance such a sum of money. I have no doubt too that as a young and progressive man you will be quite happy to give the money for the pursuit of the project for which I desire it.

But then, could you take this risk?

That is the question. As I have said before, I have no security for this loan. Moreover, I want it free of interest. So that you stand to gain absolutely NOTHING in the whole transaction, except the satisfaction that by helping me to achieve my ambition you are indirectly or even directly helping Nigeria or even Africa.

This risk becomes greater when it is borne in mind that I might die in the course of my studies or immediately after, so that, since I have no security or surety, you stand the chance of losing not only the money but also the satisfaction which you may cherish that you are contributing to the uplift of Africa. It is indeed a great risk; the greatest any man ever embarks upon.

But, this is a big BUT, if I live, as I have no doubt I will do, you will not only get your money back in full, but you will, to the end of your days, have cause to rejoice that you have done one of the most outstanding and most philanthropic acts any human being ever does. Among other things, I shall make excellent use of the money while in England by breaking records in my examination. On my return  to Nigeria, I shall strive to be one of the foremost advocates, politicians and writers in West Africa, and while I do all these, I shall make it a point not only to pay your money back in full, but also to repay your kindness and generosity towards me in every way I can.

All the same, it is a big risk! So, Sir, I like you to think seriously about it, and see if you can take it in the interest of a young man who has brain, industry and determination to back his ambition, but lacks the money. I know we have never been close friends, but I have a shrewd idea that you may take the risk and help me.

On this assumption, therefore, I proceed to the next and last stage of this letter.

I shall not require the whole £1,400 in a lump sum. To start with, you will help me pay a sum of £208-13s-3d to the Inner Temple. I have already received an application form from this Inn of Court; and from the details forwarded, I gather that the sum of £208-13s-3d will cover all the cost of training as a barrister, examination fees excluded.

When I am ready to sail, you will advance me a sum of £100 to cover passage, provision for my family and any other incidental expenses (NOTE: If I got torpedoed on the way, you would certainly lose this £100 but you will recover the £208-13s-3d).

At the same time you will remit to a London Bank the sum of £491-6s-9d. It is out of this amount that I shall pay the university fees for LL.B course and for special courses in political science and journalism, when I land in England. This is to say, the initial advance will total £800.

At the end of the first year, provided I make satisfactory progress in my studies, you will give instruction to the bank to honour all cheques from me drawn on this account. There will be an arrangement to be signed by me on my return.

On my return, I shall require TWO years within which to establish a solid practice and build a good reputation. After these two years, I should commence to pay at least £200 per annum either in monthly, quarterly or annual payments. So that in seven years after the first two years, I should pay back the whole sum of £1,400. That will be TWELVE YEARS from the time you help me to pay this in April or so this year, then I should be due to pay the whole of £1,400 by April 1955.

Now, as you yourself will see, this is the farthest limit within which I can pay the money. It may be possible for me to pay the money within THREE to FIVE years of my return. As a matter of fact, the sooner I pay it off, the better. But it is much better to be on the safe side in a matter like this. It is no (use) making promises now which will be difficult to fulfil in future. On the contrary it is better to mention a period of twelve years and pay within SIX or EIGHT years than to mention FIVE YEARS and fail to pay within TEN years. Personally, I prefer that I should fail to get the loan under these unattractive but sure conditions, rather than succeed in getting it under attractive but precarious conditions.

Now, this is all I have to say. You have my request before you, and the reason why i make the request. It is left for you to decide whether it is worthwhile to take the risk of helping me in the manner outlined above or not.

If you do me the great favour, not only myself and all that are mine, but also God and Africa will be grateful, I shall have no cause whatsoever to grumble or to blame you, FOR THE RISK IS GREAT.

Since this is a very selfish request, I enclosed herewith a self addressed envelope  to be sent under a registered post.

With very kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

(Sgd) Obafemi Awolowo.

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(Culled from the book, Chief Obafemi Awolowo: The Political Moses by Adedara Oduguwa, Page 119-123).

Chief Odutola refused him of the Loan, Awolowo could not travel that year. He buckle up his lace and by August 14, 1944 (one year later) he travelled to England, became a Barrister at law and was called to the Bar in November 1946. Amazingly, by 1954 (A year to the time he promised to pay Chief Odutola the Loan ) , Chief Awolowo was already a Premier in the Defunct Western Region and already giving out Scholarship to over 200 undergraduates (First of its kind in Africa).

There are lots of lessons that could be learned from this letter:

Definiteness of purpose; Awolowo knew what he wanted and he shot at it. He wanted to become three things: A lawyer,a journalist and a reputable politician. He was so definite. Many of us don’t know what we want. To be wealthy is not a goal but a feeling. If you worth billions and you don’t stand for anything, then you have achieved nothing. Letter like this is for you.

In life’s war, the force of determination is greater than that of bullet: Awolowo was so determined and focused. He did not allow the Loan request refusal to weighed him down. He had three children already (Segun, Tola and Wole) but yet, he was so determined to become a politician, Solicitor and a Journalist. Today, we refer to him as the best president Nigeria never had (politics), Senior Advocate of Nigeria- SAN (Solicitor) and founder of the Nigerian Tribune (Journalist).

Destiny cannot be changed nor denied but can only be delayed: Awolowo was so optimistic of travelling abroad and achieving his goals. He planned it for 1943 but failed since Chief Odutola refused to grant him the request for loan. He was not discouraged! Worked harder for the next one year and travelled by 1944. This also explains why the only person that can fail you is YOURSELF. Never blame the third party for your failure. Take the courage to try again.

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Share this! This has become part of our history, a truth so strong it can motivate us to heights untold. Let your friends, family and colleagues learn that even when man fails them, it is not yet fate but a test of faith which can still be overcome.

Adapted from ebiographer

In My Life Nothing is Impossible; The Zidane’s Story

In My Life Nothing is Impossible; The Zidane’s Story

Even if you dream about it, hear about it, see it , want to do it, you tell yourself that it’s impossible, that’s why in my life nothing is impossible.
“Zinedine Zidane” About scoring in a World Cup final

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This motivational slogan “in my life nothing is impossible” came to me some years ago, back then when OGBC (Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation), was a must listen to. I recall it was an interview on Brilla Sports by Larry Izamoje (not sure whether it was a live or rebroadcast) which featured a World Cup winner, the young Zinadine Zidane. The interview gave birth to my most motivating slogan till today, each time I feel down or not sure, I repeat the slogan and I just get comfy again.

Here are bits and pieces from the interview, I hope it impacts on you as much as it does to me…

Back in France 1998 before the final of the World Cup, Zidane recalled a discussion he had with Emmanuel Petit, the morning of the final match against Brazil. Zidane said, “Emmanuel called me and told me he had a dream that we defeated Brazil, 3 goals to nothing”.I bursted into laughter and I told him, he should stop kidding around because that can never happen!  Then he continued, he said “you scored two of the goals but wasn’t sure who scored the third”, Now I couldn’t control my laughter. I remembered telling him that was impossible; with the likes of Ronaldo De lima in front , Cafu and Carlos at back and TAFFAREL in goal and captain Dunga, that was just not possible. We laughed it off and went for the light walkout.

We were well aware of the task ahead of us, in what will be a very difficult match but which we all dreamed of playing. When we filed out, I stood close to Emmanuel, a part of me wanted to believe that dreams do come true but at the same time I was trying to be realistic. When the match finally started we missed lots of chances and my doubts grew. Then the first goal came, I’m not very good with my head. But I went for the near post on the corner from Emmanuel (Petit). I got there and the ball came, and I headed it right for once. It’s fabulous. My thought was, “this is just a coincidence”. Then I got the second goal, I was just ecstatic. Dreams are coming true, I have my two goals as Emmanuel had said. Then in the second half, we lost Marcel Desailly to red card, my doubts came again, “Brazil can still equalize”, I told myself. We held the ball well and tried to see the game through, then the most amazing thing happened, we had a break and at the end of it was Emmanuel, he got the third goal on the dot of the final whistle. I told myself, “little wonder he didn’t see who got the third goal”.

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There was huge pressure, especially before the big games. Not many people believed in us, but we believed in ourselves. We wanted to do something good and we did. Climbing the podium that day to collect the medal everything kept playing over in my head, dreams do come true, I finally agree. It may seems difficult to believe, even if you dream about it, hear about it, see it , want to do it, you tell yourself that it’s impossible. But since that day I never have doubts and that’s why in my life nothing is impossible.

In my life too, nothing is impossible, I might have challenges, I might be faced with limitations, impossibilities might seem written all over my circumstances but I am so confident that in my life nothing is impossible. I have seen dreams come true, I have heard testimonies, I have watch breakthroughs unfold, I have seen the unbelievable happen and I have come to the conclusion that nothing is impossible. Young men making the difference, ladies leading beautiful ideas, events challenging believe, old people giving hope, children with impeccable wisdom and I believe that is life reminding me, nothing is impossible! What about you?

Academic Grades; What they say about your future?

Academic Grades; What they say about your future?

Success is not the amount of cash you have but the value you are able to add to yourself and to the world around you. Someone once said, “Wealth has nothing to do with bank balance but has everything to do with how long one can survive after the loss of one’s main source of income”. Many earn good and project a picture of envy but soon after loss of job or retirement, they become exactly opposite of what they used to be. However, someone who adds value even when out of job, his or her creative value would always make way for him or her.

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Contrary to what we were taught, academic excellence is not same as life success. What comes after the age of 25 is what determines success. I need not tell you that the best and most successful entrepreneurs are either college drop-outs or 3rd class university graduates. This is not to say that first class graduates are not doing very well, however, generally academic success leads to a kind of nonchalant attitude and a feeling of overconfidence which often leads to a life of 30days make one salary.

A typical First class or second class graduate wants to look for a juicy job that pays well-overboard salary, then grow with the company after which they retire, full stop end of life.  A drop-out or 3rd class graduate, on the other hand, realises he is at a disadvantage, so he gets to work, either starting a business, hustle or going into professional certification, from there creates a servicing firm which will ultimately grow and hire the new sets of first class and second class graduates, then the cycle continues. The paradox of academic excellence is in its inherent risk of breeding life failures and people who actually end up not living their dreams or should I say not attaining ground breaking height.

The truth is, while graduates with excellent academic results are relaxed, waiting for the sun to shine, the dropouts and the 3rd class graduates work hard to make their own Sunshine.

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Let me share my own person experience with you.  I graduated from a University in Nigeria and in my set till date the most successful person is a guy who finished with Pass grade. Having realized his academic deficiencies, he went into business, from getting motor spare parts on order for people to importing and clearing assistance. Now he is a big motor dealer with quite a number of outlets in the South West Nigeria.  In my secondary school days, (Boys only Secondary school) Jide didn’t make a single paper. I recall when he went to collect his Secondary School Certificate result he was told to write 6 (which is supposed to mean Credit grade 6) as he was about writing it, the teacher said, “make sure you write the 6 upside down” (meaning a 9 which implies Fail grade 9), then the teacher said “write it for all the subject you took!”. But today he owns an auditing firm with first class accountants working for him.  In my primary school days, in the early days of private primary schools in Nigeria, Taibat seems not understand what goes on in class, she practically struggles with everything and anything that involves reading but today she owns a mall in the United States (written about this before in THE PAST MATTERS LESS ).

My point is academic excellence is not a measure of how successful one will be, what seems as an advantage now may soon turn out to be a disadvantage and vice versa. I have learned something in my life, it is not what people think of you but what you think of yourself that really matters and that academic declarations do not count as limitations when it comes to life success. The main things one has to focus on are:

1. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, what treats lies before you and how you can surmount them then identify the opportunities ahead of you and how you can place yourself well enough to take advantage of them. Simply know yourself.

2. Don’t let your focus be on how to make money rather focus on how to add value. People can always take your source of income but no one can stop you from adding value and the price of a value added is whatever you call it. Even when you are employed, don’t just relax and earn, add value such that you become forever relevant.

3. The easiest way to make wealth and fame is to solve a problem. There are many problems in the world waiting to be solved. While people who are smart and purposeful have continued to earn fortune from solving them. I am not telling you to become a savior but as little as organising lessons for student re-writing certificate exams, running a daycare centre accessible to many big companies, consultancy services etc will ensure you do just fine to start with.

4. Keep adding value to yourself. The best investment is not in properties but in person. Whatever knowledge; by book or practical, one has gathered is like an asset designed to improve one’s self worth and value. Learn new things especially something that can help you on your path to success.

5. Start first then perfections after. Most great ideas die at the embryo stage because most brilliant people lack the mental strength to act their dreams. They want the idea to be perfect first before they implement. This is one act the 3rd class and drop-outs have mastered, they start first then they find ways to make it perfect along the way.

6. Keep moving forward. It will be tough at first but one has to dig deep and find reasons not to quit. People will have different opinions, there will be castigations and reasons why it will never work but it is just one of those things. In the end, it makes it more awesome when you succeed.

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A bad academic grade is not a one way ticket to the gallows of failure, in as much as it is expected of one to always give one’s best. What we will become in life is not defined by anything outside us, it all lies within; our success or otherwise. This is practical, this is what is happening all around, it is reality and it is a choice we have to make if we want to succeed.

Self Esteem

SELF- ESTEEM

It was a dark and lonely night and the room was so empty, all she could see was her shadows, like a fragile bird looking for safety, she crawled around her bed and all she could do was cry all alone, she felt lost and empty with her eyes flowing with uncontrollable tears. Right there in that room she wished the morning would never come she just hated life. Her mind and her cerebrum were not helping matters as they took her through the journey of what a mess her life has been and all she could do was cry harder. She just wanted to be happy, she wanted to be seen and she wanted to be loved.

Many people like this young lady have felt dejected, rejected and unloved. They keep asking themselves every day what exactly is the problem? Self Esteem or put differently Self-belief !

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What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is simply how we value ourselves, how we make the world value us. It is the way we think and feel about ourselves and finally it is a state of the mind. There are two major types of self-esteems
a. High self-esteem
b. Low self-esteem

High self –esteem
A person with a high esteem feels so secured, strong and positive; always confident.

Low self-esteem
A person with a low self-esteem feels so unworthy, incapable, unloved and this feeling stops individuals from reaching their full potential.
Low self-esteem is a dream eater; it stops individuals from reaching their full potential, individuals with low self-esteem often get scared of confronting people, they get so scared of sharing their ideas and thoughts because they feel they cannot be accepted. Individuals with low self-esteem are always dying to get attention and so do some crazy things to get attention. Some of them go to the extent of lying to loved ones claiming to be who and what they are not.

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Signs of low self-esteem
👉👈 Blaming Others
💀    Negative view about life
👽    Fear of taking risks and fear of being ridiculed
💔 Feelings of being unloved
👹 Lack of trust in people
😹 Self-pity

Low self-esteem can be caused by so many factors but what matters is how you deal with it, low self-esteem can kill dreams because it makes people become pessimistic, viewing everything as impossible. It results in lack of self belief  and it gives room for self-pity.
Helen Keller said “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world”.

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How can low self-esteem be dealt with?
To deal with low self-esteem you need to believe in yourself, pay more attention to your thoughts; think positively, have a self-talk all the time. When you look at the mirror every morning tell yourself words like:
I am beautiful,
I am handsome,
I am smart,
I am talented,
I have what it takes,
I can do this,
I am intelligent,
I am not a loser,
I am in it to win it,
In my life nothing is impossible,
Nothing can stop from making it…

As you begin to appreciate yourself the real you comes out for the world to see. You don’t need to beg for attention because you will attract the right people. If you want others to love you then you need to love yourself. Oscar Wilde said “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” if you don’t love You, nobody can love You.

You are the best of your kind when God created you, He created you unique. Don’t allow people or circumstances make you feel less important, you are the best of your kind!

Raise your head high and walk with confidence because you are special and the best you can be is number one.

“Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide on the judgments of others”- Oprah Winfrey.

Make yourself valuable and be proud of who you are, nobody can make you feel less, believe in yourself and keep shinning! You are the best!

God bless you.

By Omodara Oluwabunmi Onome
Image source: Google images