Purpose Versus Money

What are you after; money or purpose?

After a long thought myself, I still find it difficult to answer. It is easy to say purpose but can purpose be fulfilled without money? And if I choose money, is there a life without purpose? It is like being caught between two fantastic options and being asked to choose one while it is obvious one cannot function well without the other.

However, I also know that chasing after money first is like putting the cart before the horse, one is bound to have regrets. Having said that, what we see in reality is most people abandoning their purpose for money. Sacrificing that little boy or little girl’s dream inside of them because they need to meet immediate expenses.

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It has been a long hard life that money somehow seems to be the only solution we can think of. The story of a man, his hammer and every problem that comes his way. Society has somehow put it in our subconscious that living is all about how much you make rather than how well you impact.

So true, all race have that same end goals of money, fame and self actualization. Unfortunately, most prioritize money and fame that they forget self actualization. Desperation, too often, overwhelms that we are in such a haste to get results hence we sacrifice passion and purpose, and all that is left is lust after money.

Everyone has got a purpose, it’s like the reason for existence, a kind of vacuum to fill. You know life has this big picture and everyone of us, somehow fit in some place. To put it in a simpler form, we can say life is like a giant puzzle, and each of us has a role to play. So whichever role you are assigned is your purpose. It manifests in talents, gifts, obsessions, desires, passions, hobbies etc and how these can be used to solve problems and improve the well-being of everyone. Also some have been called to rule while others to follow, some to mend while others to break. We can argue this later but there wouldn’t have been crucification without a Judas, we all have a role to play.

Some are so good that one encounter with them and you know what their purpose is while others have had to struggle and learn the hard way before they figure out what their purpose is.

Unfortunately, most have somehow been lured away from their purpose because…

* all they cared about is here and now (the urge to satisfy immediate needs), the quick fix syndrome.

* they are scared of failing

* of pressure from family, peers and the media

* of pressing demands, the need to meet up with immediate expenses…

If you are someone like that, retrace your steps, it may seem like money is everything now but a time will come when you will want more and realize you haven’t lived.

However, If you are chasing after your purpose and it seems pointless now, hold fast, it will soon pay off. Hot iron, hammer, continuous hitting would eventually produce the desired result.

Don’t give up on your dreams!

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Purpose Versus Money

The Place of The Elders

I grew up in the time when Elders were revered, accorded their due respect whether they were parents, relatives or just bystanders. So far the person is older, we accorded them respect. The fact that we respected them didn’t mean we agreed with everything they do. Too often we disagreed with their methods, approaches and solutions but most times we pass the message across to them without being rude, insulting or damning.

I read recently on Instagram where a young actress called an old actor “old fool” because the man condemned transgender. The man may be old, primitive and Orthodox but he is no fool. Elders talk based on past experiences and they try as much as possible to avoid situations they have not experienced before. This could be a limiting factor but it could also be a warning signal showing us how far this generation is long gone from the norms.

I believe there are better ways to show our disapprovals especially to elders that does not include being disrespectful.

Growing up, we were made to see elders as demigods that you dare not cross. In fact, we were made to believe that a curse from an elder can not be undone by several prayers. This might be fear pushed to far but this kept us in check. When we disagree with elders, most often we just keep quiet even though we will still do as it pleases us or we find another elder who can make them see things our own way. We don’t go on to disrespect or start hauling insults at them.

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I think it is high time this generation learns that there is the place of the elders; a place of honor, respect and understanding. An adage says “what the elders see while seated, young people can’t see them even if they climb on top of the highest mountain”. Listen carefully to the elders, you don’t have to do as they have instructed but always hear them out.

An outburst is never a way out when you disagree with them. You might have more achievements than them but you do not have more failures and that is where the experience comes from. Most times they love you and they just want the best for you, hoping you would avoid mistakes they made and the confusions those mistakes brought. It is true so many things have changed and somehow they have been left behind, you can find a way to explain to them or just get the lessons they are trying to teach and inculcate that into your final decision.

Don’t be rude to elders, even if they come at you ‘rude’ in the first place. I know this new generation hardly lets things slide but please can we give elders their due respect? Not because you don’t know how to be rude or talk back but because somehow you know there is the place for elders and some day soon you would find yourself there.

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The Place of The Elders

Se Bi Oti Mo

“Se Bi Oti Mo elawa Sapon” is an expression in Yoruba that suggests that you should live within your means or cut your coat according to your cloth.

The urge to aspire is a very good one, in fact it is one of the admirable traits of success but there is a difference between aspiring and living outside one’s means.

A student from a struggling home got to University and made friends with party-loving girls and boys from wealthy homes. The student became pressured to wear designers, go to parties, live expensive “lies” which the parents couldn’t afford. At first the student started finding faults in the parents, complained about things he/she endured before and soon the student started looking for other means to fit in with friends. We all know how stories like this end.

It is not wrong to have friends who are way better off than you are, because they will challenge you to be better, let you see that there is more to life and they also become your connection in life going forward. However, you should have at the back of your mind that you have to live within your means. Don’t lose your home training because you want to fit in. What seems like luxury today, give it time would be at your finger tips tomorrow. Don’t push yourself into things that you would live to regret. No matter what cool name is given to atrocities, it won’t make the disgrace that comes with it less disturbing. Remember the daughter or son of whom you are.

Some people lost their virginity because of phones, some ended up in jail because of ride and others lost their lives to a one night fun all in their bid to raise money for jewelries, wears and “owanbe” but in the end they gained nothing, absolutely nothing. Please don’t thread this path. You can get way better things if you could just be patient. There are no shortcuts to success or should I say there are no shortcuts without devastating consequences.

When you live above your means, people won’t know you need help, they see you as having all, while in reality you have no savings and worse of all you are in debt because you want to meet up. Unfortunately, when it all comes down, there is hardly anyone to turn to. Don’t be a statistic on the wrong board. There are lots of people hoping to see you succeed, don’t disappoint them.

You want to look tough, the way of the hood, you are a hustler with street sense but do you know you don’t have to look rough before people know you are tough? Looking decent is not a crime, in fact it opens doors of opportunities. People would take you the way you present yourself. You have already been through a lot, don’t stiffen the few opportunities that are coming your way just because you look like an havoc ready to wreck.

This is just a phase in your life, a test of your resilience don’t mess it up. “Se bi o timo” and you will be able to face the world and tell your success story.

Se Bi Oti Mo

RMD (Richard Mofe Damijo – @mofedamijo) ‘s heartfelt message to his daughter who just graduated from high school is everything.

Dear daughter,

I am super proud of the young woman you’re evolving into. I’m excited to see you graduate high school and as you go on to college, here’s my prayer:

•May you choose what is right over what is popular.

•May you not be too ignorant to know that you don’t need to prove anything to the world.

•May you not be too arrogant to tell yourself the truth no matter how bitter.

•May you not be too uneducated to decipher when you read.

•May you never be afraid to speak the truth, even as a lone voice, speak the truth.

•May you not be too quick to speak, respond or make a point that you end up making no sense.

•May your popularity not be in what you own or how you look, but may they be intangible, measurable achievements of your decent hard work.

•May you not just be proud of what you’ve achieved but may you be proud of how you achieved it.

•May your vocabulary be as expansive as your ambition.

•May you NEVER forget whose child you are and I don’t mean Mom and I, I mean God, who is your father, we are just your earthly parents.

•May God’s wisdom guide your every waking decision in Jesus name, Amen.

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RMD ‘s heartfelt message to his daughter

You First

Everyone is busy trying to make a living and as early as possible many already have dependants. It is the nature of life we have gotten used to as Africans and often it is difficult to plan for self. It is a good life though that sense of family watching each other’s back, caring for friends and looking out for family.

But sometimes, you have to be selfish with your time and resources. You have to also live for yourself, make plans for you, and set yourself on achieving bigger things. You can’t live your life building other’s dreams at the expense of your own.

Reality has shown us that people rarely remember people who sacrificed everything for them when they become successful and few who do can only do so much.

You are better off, building yourself first then pulling others up after. Give it a careful thought, I’m not saying you should be inhumane, what I’m saying is that you should start being selfless by being generous to yourself first.

Put You First!

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You First

I’m not perfect, I have my flaws.

I don’t have to prove to you, why I do the things I do nor what principles guide my choices but know I have my reasons and I know what had led me to this moment. That is not to say I shouldn’t be held accountable for my actions because there are always consequences.

Then sometimes, I make mistakes and I know I owe it to people around me to admit I was wrong, but sometimes I realize it too late. Suddenly ‘I am sorry’ counts for nothing. I guess these are some of the things that makes me human and I don’t think you should hold that against me for too long because soon you would be in my shoes.

The only perfect man to have walked the Earth didn’t make it pass 33, and he was killed for crimes he didn’t commit.

I strive for perfection but we both know it is always relative, there is no common definition of what is perfect if not the most perfect man won’t have been found guilty of some crimes. This is not to excuse me from taking responsibilities for my actions, I have grown to understand that there are consequences and by a Longshot I know there is nothing that can’t be survived. Suicide is for the faint hearted who wanted the easy way out.

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You can judge me as much as you like, that also makes you human, we put to sword when we can’t ration the whys and the whats. I would be surprised if you had done otherwise. However, sins are sins, no double standard before God, because mine seems more grievous to you doesn’t make yours less grievous to someone else.

The things I do to others, can I take them? The things you do to others can you take them? That’s one question I ask myself on daily basis and I hope you can replicate this because we owe it to ourselves. This keeps me in check and also gives me that sense of direction.

This is not to say that I don’t falter sometimes. It might be a hard pill to swallow, I might just survive it only to learn how it hurts and become a better person.

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I am not perfect

Are You Ready?

I had a mind-blowing encounter with a mentee and you know what I realized, most of us want success or change so bad that we don’t know exactly what we want and basically we are not ready for anything.

Okay, so my mentee and I got talking and it got so intense that he had to voice out…

He said, “Selah what I need is help not talk”.

So I asked he him, what kind of help do you need?

He said, I need someone to change my life, set me up and make me rich.

So I asked again, set you up in what area, do you have a business or an idea that you are sure would work?

He said No but when I have the money, I will figure something out.

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At that point I realized he wasn’t ready for anything. Of course, he is tired of his situation and he wants out but he isn’t ready for what he wants.

If you can’t make good of little resources, having abundance of it won’t change a thing. Check most people who have won lotteries in the past more than 70% of them often go back to being poor within the first 5years of winning (facts from Time, Fortune Magazine). The reason for this is simple, luck can get you huge sum of money but luck can’t help you make the money stay.

A quick question, “if you meet someone today who asked you what you want, what would be your answer?”

When someone offers to give you a blank cheque, such people expect you to have an idea of how you want to change your life. If you are thinking of going into business, then I would be asking you what do you know about the business? I once knew a man who got N6 million (Six million Naira about $18,000) as his gratuity from the bank, went into tree felling business and lost everything in less than two years. Yes, he was a banker well grounded in banking but tree business for him was an uncharted territory. Whatever opportunity you are given if you are not prepared for it, it is always hard to sustain success.

Have you ever been in this situation before, you are expecting a huge sum and you are thinking, once I get this money I will start a business, only for you to get the money and not start the business. You know why? Deep down you know you are not ready for that business and before you can say “Jack Robinson”, you have started spending the money and soon you are back to square one.

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Dear friend, you need to put your ideas on paper, and do your findings.

If you are looking for employment and say you met the president and he asked you where would you like to work? You can’t just say The Petroleum Industry, when you know nothing about the petroleum industry. You have to be prepared for what you desire. It is said, that Life changing Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity.

You can’t keep what you are not ready for; money, relationship, opportunities, love, greatness, Fame etc. The power to make what you have lasting depends on how ready you are for it. It is true you can’t be ready for all life has to give but the much you are ready for the more successful you will get.

After our conversation, my mentee realized that the talks would always be needed because desire is one thing, readiness is another and our talk is part of his time he is investing in his desire and what keeps him on track.

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Are You Ready?

Foundational Miracles

Foundational Miracles are not that sudden dramatic turn around as many of us would want to believe and crave for. Foundational Miracles are the little things we fail to appreciate that form the basis for the bigger miracles we so much desire. Foundational Miracles are those daily miracles that gives us hope and courage that we can reach for the Stars.

Big miracles will only become pronounced when we learn to cherish the foundational Miracles and allow ourselves to be hopeful while keeping faith.

Here are 5 daily foundational miracles we should be grateful for that we often overlook

  • Life, the chance to see another day, to give it another try, to mend yesterday and plan for tomorrow. The dead would do anything to put those dreams buried with them to use. But alas, they are dead and you are living, a miracle to appreciate.
  • Good Health: you never know what it feels like to be okay till you have slight headache or stomachache, as little as these are, they can disrupt the best of plans, even though as soon as you take analgesic you feel better. Now imagine what people living with incurable diseases are going through but this isn’t you, because you have a miracle of sound health.
  • Food, no matter how unbalanced you think you feed, what you have is what many are praying for. 734 million (year 2015 approx) people in the world are living in abject poverty, and you not being there I think counts for miracle. Only a man with something in his tummy can make big plans.
  • Choices: will power, you can decide where, when and how, that’s something, you know. Many are incapacitated, needing others before they can decide to use the convenience or dress up, for instance, many can’t decide for themselves because they have their lives tied to one slave master or they have lost their will power to drugs, alcohol etc. My friend it is a miracle you make your choices yourself and not under the influence.
  • Freedom, as free as a bird. You can’t appreciate this enough till you visit people in detention. No matter how little you think you have, your freedom counts for so much. You might not be where you want to be at the moment but because you have your freedom, you know there is nothing stopping you.

Your life is a miracle, you don’t need to ask for proof, just compare. You have a lot to be thankful for, you just have to look closely. I understand you might think there is a lot more you desire but one thing I know for sure is if you appreciate the little miracles, you are one step closer to the bigger ones you so much desire.

Foundational Miracles

Capital Marvel

I love sci-fi movies especially Marvel Movies and you know what I love most about them, watching super heroes rise above everything, to me it serves as some encouragement that I, You and Everyone can rise above our immediate challenges.

Now to the movie, well not as much as I expected, considering the hype and the fact that all hopes in Avengers Endgame rest on what Captain Marvel brings to the table else Thanos would get away with destroying everything and everyone we have all come to love. Anyways, what really got my attention and led to this article were the hidden motivations in the movie.

Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) woke up to realize she had a trilling power which was brought under control by a latch (a computer chip) planted on her neck by the Kree and the Kree warriors trained her on how to get the best of her powers, though they pointed out that her emotions were her weakness and couple of times they showed her how this made her vulnerable.

As the movie went on, soon she got her memory back, she realized her powers weren’t from the Kree or the Warriors that trained her, and in fact the latch on her neck was to limit her powers, against what they told her. The most interesting fact is that what they called her weakness (her emotions) was what eventually set her free.

Now my point in all these:

People will try to limit you and disguise it under mentoring, controlling, protecting, supervising guiding and other whatever-ings you must have heard before. But you would have to discover yourself first to be able to set yourself free. Your strength doesn’t come from what people think or how best they think you can live, your strength is from what you want for yourself.

Parents, guardians, friends, family and so on would try and tell you what you can or cannot do, as much as I would urge you to listen, I would also beg you to be yourself. You have unlimited powers as given to you by God as manifested by your talents don’t let anyone limit how you use these powers to change the world.

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There are cultures that perpetually limit women and people of color because of the imaginary bar (latch) they have put on them and what is expected of them, don’t live in these shackles. You should not be limited because of your gender, color, language, religion or opinion. Break free! Not in rebellion but with every sense of purpose to attain your full potential.

Whatever anyone tells you, this or that is your weakness, please don’t believe them because in fact you have none. What they have been able to prove is your weakness if better understood and harnessed is in fact one of your most powerful weapons.

God doesn’t deal in faulty parts, you are a complete fully functional life changing individual designed to fulfill purpose, if you have a trait that seems like a flaw, it is because you have not fully understood yourself.

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Opera Winfrey was once told she was too emotional and you know what, her success was built on her emotions.

People will try and point out what they are not comfortable with about you as your flaw, don’t ever suppress who you are or what you are capable of because of what people say, no matter how close you think they are to you.

Many would have told Peter Dinklage (the dwarf in Game of thrones) that his only flaw was his height but you know what, that has been his strength all his movie career. His height doesn’t only make him fit for some characters but his ability to embrace who he is made him flawless in the eyes of fans.

It is a tough world and most people put themselves first, whatever is about you that doesn’t make them feel comfortable they try to paint it as your flaw and in their selfishness, if you allow them they will make you second best of what and who you should be.

So friends, know you are capable of so much more, don’t allow yourself to be limited, the world deserves all you can give, so love like Captain Marvel, bring it on.

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Captain Marvel

Baby Steps

The expectations are so much, there are so many people we don’t want to disappoint.

“Silent promises”, we have all made them, vows to repay people who have invested in us; parents, guardian, friends, family they all assisted at one point or the other and deep down we want to say thank you.

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This is putting pressure on us, to try, to give our best, to see things workout but… Some times we have to understand success is not overnight.

The fruits we see yearly on trees was not what was achieved in one year but the years of gradual growth from seed till when it became a tree.

Baby steps, one before the other, inch by inch, we make progress. The consciousness that we are not where we used to be.

The changes might be marginal but you became better, from someone who needs people for daily bread to someone who owns things.

Be thankful for what you have achieved, don’t lose focus of what your dreams are, channel all your efforts to making it big because you have no excuse not to.

Don’t rush the process but make use on the catalysts you find along your way to make the struggle less stressful. Ride on shoulders, don’t be too arrogant to ask for help and never forget to remain loyal to the human ladders that got you this far.

People will betray you, it is just human to become jealous of success. Nonetheless, don’t be vengeful.

Remember, you are taking baby steps, you stagger, you stumble, you fall, you learn, you stand up then you try again. In the end with each experience, you get better.

No one starts climbing the ladder from the top, it has to be from the base. Be prepared to learn to walk and most time stumble, till you become smarter, faster and more purposeful.

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Baby Steps