My Narrative

What do you see?

People close to me know very well that I am a strong advocate of early retirement. Each time I mention early retirement among people my age, the reaction is always the same. It comes in the form of brows going up, a bit of a frown and a singular thought saying “Really?”.

We were raised to go to school, study hard and achieve but were not told that the world of work consumes your life till you die, if you don’t learn to break from it and learn to live. Understanding the very essence of living successfully has propelled me in recent years to make certain choices to change my narrative.

Like you, I grew up with a desire to be successful. Like some others or you, I got an education in a field that was contrary to my passion. Like you or some others, I find myself trying to live my passion and working myself to the bone. But, when I realized that my definition of being successful as a young one was warped and discovered that being successful by me was only defined by MY standards and not society, then my reality began to change.

I embarked on a journey of self discovery. I found success was on a parallel scale of balance in my chosen areas of life. I found purpose and the desire to be the change I wanted to see. I found value in people and not in things. I found the ability to create my chosen path of life lies within me and above all, I discovered the ability to manifest my chosen path. The rest became stories.

My narrative changed from being a grafter to fulfilling purpose. My narrative changed from what people say about me while I am alive but also to what will be said when I am gone. My narrative changed from striving to contentment. I am an advocate of early retirement and ways to work towards its achievement because of my journey this far, and because of the vast majority of people still chasing bubbles on the high way on a daily basis, wondering “How do I get out of this?”

There are loads of narratives out there in the world today such as:

  • A grafter – A grafter is a hard worker. Works 2 or more jobs, Does nothing but graft no social life. (Ref: Urban dictionary)
  • A die hard – Someone who is willing to do anything for a cause or a goal. (Ref: Urban dictionary)
  • Basic – Calling someone Basic is essentially calling them predictable or unoriginal. You’re saying they blindly follow trends and have no individuality or style of their own. (Ref: Dictionary.com)
  • Extra – You know what it means when you call someone too much right? You mean to say they’re “excessively good or bad,” or that they’re prodigious or overwhelming. Well, there’s too much, and then there’s extra. (Ref: Dictionary.com)

While there are many more descriptive words that tells what we spend our lives doing, it is up to us to make our days count and our lives meaningful. I have shared my narrative with you. What is your current narrative and what do you hope to change yours to? Drop your thoughts in the comment below. Let’s get the dreams moving together. After all #YHTK and it’s never too late or too soon to start!

Expectations & Roles

Could this be you or another AI style?

It is 100% crazy how society places demands on us based on gender, culture, background, appearances and whatever it wakes up to and we like puppets conform to those roles and struggle to live up to those expectations, sometimes without questioning the basis of such demands because it has been accepted as norm.

What is normality at the end of the day?

Years not too long ago, men were supposed to be the bread winner while the woman is the home maker and then comes demand on the boy child to be a “MAN” and the girl child to be submissive and answerable to the “MAN” who is the breadwinner. The poor boy then begins the race of chasing money making ventures that will pay the bills, put food on the table, clothe the family and God help his blessed life if the wife is a demanding one that checks out the life with the “Joneses”

The girl on the other hand must make sure food is available for the man when he comes home from hard work, his clothes clean and ironed, the house clean and spotless and the kids fed and decent.

What happened to individuality?

Because of the expectation from society, we become like robots conformed to roles that were shaped for us and some forget what it was like to have a dream, to run with your dream. Some never experience the joy of seeing visions become reality. Some gaze into the night sky daily watching their dreams die a daily death, some stopped dreaming while others daily chant “if only”.

Know this for a fact, you can never be completely happy if you continue to live according to other people’s expectations of you. Sometimes what is expected of you is what you want and the role you are playing is what has been designed for you. Other times, you are just fulfilling obligations like a pre-programmed robot with no thought for itself but what was punched or drummed in.

Start checking yourself against your current role and expectation. Don’t end up as another asset in the grave yard. Live your life fulfilled and impact others with the good in you. Make a difference and be the difference you want to make. Life is too short to live AI style when you are a total package and breathing human blessing.

After all #YHTK

It’s not December

What value do you place on it?

No, it’s not December but it is time to take stock and determine what needs keeping and what goes in the bin. Not all relationships are beneficial and not all relationships are toxic. There are some people in your life who are taking up space when they should not be in your life in the first place. There are places in other people’s life where you are taking up space and you really should be at the door marked EXIT.

What value do you bring to the table in your relationships? I remember a very dear friend of my sister who added the term “Salt” to her name. She made a point of being a seasoning spot to people that cross her path. She is a blessing and encouraging others to be a blessing even through a single meeting or message.

In the same manner, I worked with a girl who willfully makes up defamable stories behind people’s back about everyone to cover her own inadequacies while claiming love and sisterhood to the outside world. A pure judas style relationship. Clearly relationships mean nothing but word of mouth to such a person and the value of her relationship with her work colleague is determined by her choice of knife when she stabs them in the back to save her face.

It’s not December I repeat, relationship stock take should be done periodically and not only at the end of the year. How are you adding value to the people in your own life? Where are you being taken for granted? Where have you left your dignity on the floor to be trampled on? Who have you constituted yourself as a nuisance in their lives? Do you need to exit, review or amend?

The essence of stock taking is to ascertain worth. What value do you place on yourself and the relationships you have. Time to think and evaluate. After all, #YHTK.

Beyond your nose

It’s within your reach if you look well enough.

I had a conversation with my son recently about his plans for the future and clearly his answer as a young adult is exactly what I hear a lot of people say about starting out. Planning for success is simply daunting. The conversation for me as a parent trying to encourage my “baby” to move beyond fear, was more enlightening than I imagined.

Often times when we look at starting a project, business, relationship etc, the resources we need are foremost the imaginary stumbling blocks. This is more so especially when it is a capital intensive project and credit rating is not in your favour. The big needs often stand in front of our dreams blocking out the resources we currently hold that can work out the big needs.

Some of the resources we ignore and can leverage are human capital, contact list, support network, skills leverage – getting someone to do what you need in exchange of services they need and you are capable of doing for them or even linking them with someone you know who can.

What is most important in executing our long term plan is what we know already but need to be reminded of every time. Start from the exact spot you are. Start from your comfort zone and let your dreams carry you, manifesting into a workable business plan. Leverage your people, your network, your skills and all resources at your disposal. Make sure you do something daily and mindfully towards your success.

It’s not always about money. Look beyond your nose. Think outside the box and go achieve your dreams. For foodies like me, I say turn that loaf of bread into a sliced pan and work at having a toast a day. After all, #YHTK

Closer Look

It starts with you

Take a close look at your life today. Despite all the challenges, difficulties and so-called failures, you are still here. You are still forging ahead, still trudging along. It is sometimes difficult to see the bright side of life when all that surrounds you is distraction, struggles, complications and tight schedules.

Have you taken a closer look at your achievements recently and see all the trophies you left on the side walk. Have you seen the victories you won at work that was not recognized? The excellent contribution to the family that everyone took for granted as your job or the keeping it all together for the friends in confidence, advise and guidance that was taken for granted.

Stop for 5 mins today to take a good look at you and appreciate the lines on your face, the hardness of your hands, the sweat on your brow, the heaviness of your sighs and for goodness sake show yourself some love that you truly deserve. You are doing a great job and it will come together in time. Love yourself as you go and let yourself tell yourself that “YOU, are doing a good job!”

After all, #YHTK and you have a lot more to be thankful for.

Become a life designer

Be the architect of your own destiny. If others can, so can you!

I used to think it was a bit exaggerated to live life just the way you want it, that you can really have all that you want. But, recently I have moved away from cynicism to become a believer and also concluded that understanding your role in life is vital to becoming your best version of yourself.

Think about it, if you don’t know your current location or have the address of where you are going, of what use is google maps to you? You need to know yourself – Identity. Know who you are, likes, dislikes, passions, gifts, capacity. That is your current location.

You also need to know what you want from life, who you want to be, what you need to discard, what you need to adopt, how you want to be known or seen, what you want to deliver as a sign of being on this planet, who you want to identify with etc. That is your destination address.

The designing tool – Your personal life google map is found within yourself. You were created to be a creator in the image of who created you. All that you need to be you in within you. However, you need to learn to harness it and bring it forth. Some people call it the power of faith and others call it the law of attraction.

As far as I am concerned, you can give it whatever name that will help you be the best version of you. I am sharing Helene Hadsell’s video of her SPEC method of getting what you want from life with the hope of you joining the group of very few people who have hacked the secret of faith.

Panic Paralysis

Like you and many others, I am on a race against time. I have set deadlines to achieve certain goals in my life and I know I will achieve them. However, because there is so much calling my attention, I am sometimes caught up in distractions here and there. What I have learnt though is that the distractions stop me in my tracks, I back track a bit and then I start to think of time lost.

Then I sometimes panic. (Not good at all). I don’t know about you but once I panic, I become confused, disoriented and paralysed with inactivity. I once shared one of such experiences with my sister and she likened my brain to the computer, with many windows opened. After a while if it is still working, the processes slows down and if unable to slow down, sometimes freezes, then ultimately crashes!

Our human body is the same, just like the computer and the brain, everything needs a break. If we keep working on high speed roll without sensible break, the body will shut down in phases. So, sleep is essential, balance is important, break is inevitable.

It’s a new week, fresh targets and goals to be accomplished by Friday and some by the end of each day. Don’t panic, if you want the goals achieved. Learn to stay calm, step back and restrategize your action plans in a more focused manner. You get more done with a clear head than in a panic form where nothing is moving.

Worry and stress has not achieved much for me so far in life and I am sure same goes for you. I implore you to join me this week as we work through a calm, refreshing focus on our live goals, while stopping to smell the roses, watch a movie, treat yourself, pat yourself on the back with the small wins, catch up with friends and family. Life is to be enjoyed daily and not endured.

Real success comes with mindfulness of your actions and articulated rest is indispensable to the human body.

From my heart I wish you a brilliant new week in every form, after all #YHTK.

Random Reflection on Time Accounting

I read a beautiful write up about time sometime during the week. It was a post shared on my old girls association platform. The reason why it resonated with me so much is because I have been reflecting on time in recent days, so coming across that post, simply opened my eyes to my other perspective of time.

The writer began with “It is a mistake to think time is going. Time is not going. Time is here until the world ends. It is you that is going. You don’t waste time. You waste yourself. You are finite. It is you that grows old and die. Time doesn’t. So make better use of it…….”

Harsh as it may sound. it is absolute sense. Which brings me back to my reflection on time accounting. There are 24 hours in a day. What do you spend yours doing? Who pays for the time you spend at work, play, family time and unaccountable time (wasted time).

When you show up at work, you have exchanged a part of your life for a fixed amount of income, that you agreed with your employer. The passage of time is the passage of life. Whatever you spend your time doing must add value to your life. it is not always monetary value because time spent with loved ones is priceless and should be memorable.

As we go into a fresh Monday week, the onus lies on you to make your life count. Think time. Think value. Think life and make sure it is worth your while.

One thing you can do this week is to evaluate the cost of your time. write out every hour of your day in one column, match each hour with an activity that you performed in that hour. In a different column write out how much you receive as income for each activity per hour. Value for each activity will vary from person to person and some activities will be priceless.

You will easily identify where you waste time, and how you can start saving on time and making good use of your life, because time is life. You will also be able to identify where you add value to other people’s life, where you let other people steal into your life and where you steal from other people’s life.

This time evaluation activity is a mindful exercise that you will be glad you did. Take 20 minutes at the end of every day to review your time evaluation sheet and I guarantee you, if mindfully performed, you will be a transformed human being by the end of one week.

Above all, dont mix business with pleasure unless business is pleasure. After all #YHTK.

euuhh! That is disgusting!

Euhh! Yuck!

I am probably ranting as opposed to writing with this post today! It is so annoying the way people show case their ignorance and lack of basic manners in expressing their dislike for anything that is foreign to their everyday experience.

Show someone a cultural experience or ask them to taste a spicy dish that is uncommon to their everyday experience, and they come up with “that is horrible” or “that is disgusting”.

When will people learn to understand that the horrible or disgusting experience is personal to them alone. If one person out of every hundred in the world can enjoy a thing, then there is nothing wrong with the activity or product or thing.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in saying “I don’t like it “. or “I find it not to my taste”. That is still a true expression of your feeling.

Learning to express your experience as personal to you is basic manners rather than showing absolute lack of grace. Simple ways of expressing your experience can be:

  • Sorry, It is not my thing. (Your facial expression will automatically tell the story)
  • I don’t like it or that is different (For more cultured people who are conscious about other people’s awareness).
  • I find it disgusting or I find it horrible (For people that really want to express the extent of their intolerance. Your personification of your FIND experience shows your feelings).

Some people think it is posh to knock other cultural experiences by saying “it is disgusting or it is horrible”, without realizing they are the one’s being pitied by their sheer display of lack of grace.

It is also a reflection of people who blame others for their own short comings and who fail to take responsibility for their actions.

If you belong to that category, check yourself. Respect and tolerance should be evident in all that we say and do.

All in all, the onus lies on us as change agents to raise our children with good manners, as a reflection of positive upbringing and understanding of equality and diversity in the society.

Also to comport ourselves in like manner. After all, children do what they see and not what they are told.

Rant concluded!

Remember! #YHTK. Only you, hold the key!

Who is Deji Adenuga?

Deji Adenuga, celebrating the historic moment when HIS wife became the first black woman to be elected into a county council in Ireland.

On the 27th of May 2019, the Republic of Ireland held both local and European elections. History was made in Ireland as a black woman was elected for the very first time to a county council in the name of Yemi Adenuga. Navan was once again made a historic point for Ireland.

The news went all over media and celebration was huge among the African and faith communities in Ireland. This is so because if you have met Yemi Adenuga and held conversation with her, you know without a shadow of doubt that she is a woman of faith and integrity. I recall a conversation where she stated clearly that her name is her integrity and she goes all out to protect it.

In the age where women are subtly emerging to be able to stand on equal platforms and deliver along side a man, it is without any shadow of doubt that Yemi has been nurtured and shielded with love by a man who definitely understands how to treat a woman.

Deji Adenuga, a well known Nigerian actor plays no game and is neither entertaining when it comes to showcasing real men. His support for the numerous causes and projects that his wife dabbles into is publicly unflinching. He does not see her as a threat, but rather as a star shining on the top of his crown. She bears HIS name and showcases his home. In his own words “I am the husband of a strong woman”. That, is a fact.

The first time I heard Deji Adenuga say that, I knew without any shadow of doubt, that this is a man who has no doubt about his identity. He knows the capabilities of his wife to be limitless and understands his role as her husband, was to help her burn her unlimited energy in motion in the most positive way, by impacting lives together for a fulfilled destiny globally.

As history was made in Ireland on the 27th of May 2019, I proudly stand in the light of well defined feminism to celebrate a STAND OUT man – Deji Adenuga, for knowing his identity as the head that propels the neck to lead the body into fullness of purpose. Lack of identity and understanding has been a key force in destroying many relationships, particularly within the African culture.

Deji Adenuga, you are today celebrated among men and women and this historic victory is clearly yours. On behalf of women struggling through different conditions for fulfillment in relationship, purpose, freedom and empowerment, and on behalf of men taking your victory as a learning curve for their own self improvement, I say “Thank you”.

One month only

 

Stop and imagine just for one moment.  You have worked hard this last month, you woke up early to do the morning commute for one or two hours in to work.  You have dealt with the insatiable demands of your manager and the incessant questions from subordinates, or the queries arising from curious and unappreciative customers.  

It’s lunch time and you take a quick peek at your email and it is that time of the month – bills coming in.  Not bad, tomorrow is payday! But, the wages fail to hit YOUR bank.  Some problem with payroll and they don’t see a solution in sight but they have assured to give you an IOU for some amount of money that does not meet your need.  When the problem is resolved, the balance due will be paid with next  month’s wages.

Just one month wages messed up through no fault of yours and your total financial system is ruined temporarily.  We have been conditioned to live from one pay check to the other with slim chances of breaking free, one month’s paycheck can be the beginning of a poverty cycle.

Imagine!

It is not the payroll next time, it is ill health. You or any member of the family can fall ill anytime without notice, requiring your attention and time away from work.  Unplanned time. One month or one week.  

How many weeks can you afford without pay with no effect on your lifestyle or set you back into a poverty trap?  Do the math.  After all, #YHTK.

Save!      Invest!      Plan!     Multiple streams of income!     Network! Build!    Trade!   Sell!    Leverage!    Skills!    Character!    Attitude!

Think and Fast!

Photo by pranav digwal on Pexels.com

Have you ever been in a situation where you ask yourself, “How did you get into this kind of exclusive mess?” Or be in the company of someone who just landed themselves in a peculiar mess. It is particularly difficult if you are one of those people that take extra precaution before execution, or a good thinker – you think things through to the last detail and put every safeguard in place. The first thing that usually comes up is HOW?

How? Could be solution or review. At the point of problem, what is needed is solution. Well, It is time to train your brain for quick fix thinking. For you to become a fast problem solver, your How, What and Who will need to be working at the fore front of your thinking panel. Not only will you be capable of thinking fast, you will be able to increase brain memory capacity, You will do more for yourself and others through multitasking both simple and complex situations.

So, get your thinking cap now and your imagination for solution solving practice and be your household hero. After all, you hold the key! #YHTK

Whose race are you running?

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Few years ago a friend referred an insurance agent to me to carry out a life insurance policy. As I welcomed her to my home, she asked a question totally out of context, but it indicated what was uppermost on her mind. She said “What do you think of people emigrating?” We live in Ireland, there was a time of mass entry into the country and at the time she was asking, people were indeed emigrating en masse.

I answered her that, if people were thrown into a field with different job specifications, one was to clear the ground, another to sow the seeds, another to water and another to harvest. And the person sent to harvest sees the one that cleared the ground and the other that sowed the seeds going home, will he then pack up and say it is time for him as well? She pondered for a while and said it is true.

So, even though you are on the same street and doing the same job, your visions and missions are not the same. Stop comparing. Live your life on  your own terms, according to your own vision. Be focused on your own goals and leave others to walk their journey.  Stay in your lane. #YHTK

The small things – Getting ahead

The year is just in and days will roll over each other, then it’s December again. Don’t forget to celebrate your small wins as you daily go about achieving your dreams and visions. The small wins leads to the big victory.

No matter how small they are, they all add up. Setting deadlines, meeting goals, saving costs, saving time, innovative ideas, creative suggestions,taking notes, marking off checklist and so on. Trust me, they all add up.

Be proud to share your small wins at the end of the page and encourage someone else to be like you. Together for your success.

People Thingy Economy

It was one of those days when reality dawns on you like a light bulb. I was wondering why in spite of all the wealth in less developed countries, the level of poverty ranks up to the highest heavens.

In comparison, developed countries are thriving, systems are working, their corruption is well hidden in fine lines like Ryan air service agreements and fine prints. I was deeply in thought about the extreme situations in 2 different world and it dawned on me that the difference lies in the understanding of what is valuable.

Developed countries are focused on people. Human capital. They understand that it is important to take care of the children, care for the quality of their food, health, environment, family structures etc; because they will be the work force of tomorrow and subsequently leaders driving the nation forward, who will in turn decide on policies affecting the aging generation.

Developed countries focus on looking after the aging generation, who spent the better part of their life contributing to society and nation building and as such, they need to be paid back in their old age when they are no longer able to help themselves. Schemes such as home health aides and skilled nursing care, home-delivered meals, help with household chores, transportation to shopping and medical appointments, as well as counseling, advocacy and legal aid.

Developing countries, on the other hand are more material focused. Leadership is based on personal acquisition of wealth at the expense of the well being of the average man on the street. His family may not be able to feed a meal a day, talk less of three. Education that should be priority now becomes a luxury, while poverty, insecurity and corruption spills over into every system of the economy, grinding it to a halt. All at the expense of less than 1% greedy b****rds.

My Eureka moment came in the focus of the two worlds. While one economy focused on people, the other was thing focused. While one is accountable to its people, the other is ridden with injustice and lack of accountability. People! People!People! Human beings, carriers of life. The economies will thrive. The government is dealing with living things, bringing LIFE (legacy, impact,freedom and empowerment), sustainability and continuity to the nations.

Things! value is limited to its current usage. Materialism is nothing and can all be wiped away in one “act of God” event. Remember Tsunami, earthquakes, mudslides, etc. This brings me to the truth of Zig Ziglar quote “You can have everything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”

I implore you as you go about your business and various activities this week, please focus on helping someone else be better, do better, get better. You were placed in that little corner of the world purposefully to reach those people around you. Your thoughts, your words and your deeds may mean little to you but mean a lot to the guy sitting next to you.

Finally, remember it’s about people not things! #YHTK

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