I Belong

So close…..I belong,

I always make my bed. I didn’t grow up doing that, but I learnt when I got to University. Mum used to yell at me about clothes all over the room, wardrobe unkempt and bed unmade. So, I would just push everything back in and briskly kind of tidy the room to keep her quiet. But, when I got to University and realized the stress of coming back from lecture to an unmade bed, I started practicing what one of my room mates was doing.

Emiola always made her bed, perfectly crease free. She taught me. She would come back from a tired environment to her own hand made comfort. So it was, I started the same habit from University days and it stayed with me till today. The difference is real. Now, I rarely leave my room without my bed made.

We all have different ways of getting rid of stress. One of mine was my bed time routine. I would have my shower at night and change into my nightwear. Like a new bride preparing to meet her lover, I would find my favourite perfume and cuddle up to my pillow, as I say my prayers for the night. Whispers of gratitude for provision, protection, family and friends would be said to my maker, the lover of my soul. With peace in my heart and a smile on my face, I imagine my head in a warm embrace with my Lord. I belong.

So close, I belong

The sleep is sweet and the comfort is real.

I rarely do a blog post on a Sunday, but as I sang the song in my heart, I knew I had to share the accompanying thoughts with someone who needs to understand their place in the father’s heart. Who needs to know they are loved beyond measure, who needs to develop a place of rest, find their own haven and everything else that this post causes you to do. Also, feel free to share it with someone else to bless them too. It starts from the little things

Let’s just say Reflection.

Spending time in the midst of like minded people, you begin to see similar character traits, physical attributes and general agreement. Thanks to zoom and other online meeting platforms, that bring like minded people from all over the world into one room and close proximity. I have attended so many of such meetings in recent time and I noticed, heads nodding.

When someone says something that resonates with another, the neck drops a couple of times. The degree of agreement determines the frequency and number of nods. We all do it. Some people doing it consciously as an NLP anchoring technique and others unconsciously because it is the most natural thing to do.

To be in agreement means that you recognize value in the subject being discussed or the case presented. We all have the seed of value and greatness in us. The unfortunate thing however, is the simple fact that not every one understands the depth of value that is resident in them. Imagine knowing what you are worth?

What are you worth?

Knowing your worth gives you the power to command the asking price of the value you are bringing to the table. It gives you the power to, not only negotiate your asking price but also the confidence to say No! to some offers, deals and contracts. Value does not happen due to low self esteem, and within certain environmental factors.

Value is deeply rooted in identity. When you discover who you are, and position yourself in an atmosphere for conducive growth, you will find a lot to nod about. Nodding in agreement. More to laugh about; laughing in contentment. Above all, more to bring to the table. You reflecting absolute value.

Busola Shogbamimu is a LIFE (Legacy, Impact, freedom and Empowerment) Coach. She helps women over 30 avoid post retirement poverty through a personalized blend of passion, purpose and profit techniques. She can be contacted for individual sessions, workshops, teams or community building session at busola@rmlclubs.com.

Who’s coming along?

It has indeed been a while since I did a blog post and I sure did miss sharing my thoughts here. Time spent doing other things was worthwhile and valued, but I am glad to be back.

Over the weekend, I was privileged to attend a follow up support call on a training program that I took. The host took his time to explain and gave so much value on the call. Then came the questions and answer session, and another phase of learning from other people’s perspectives emerged. What blew me away was the patience, time and thought that went into answering everyone’s questions. Even though we went over time, the motive of the host was without doubt; no-one must be left behind.

That definitely got me thinking. In our journey of life, who are we carrying along when we are going places? When the prospect is promising, who are we calling to view the other side? What kind of a traveller are we? Are you a solo- artist or you understand the power of two or more?

As the world gets smaller, systems are taking over in automation and fast tracking success. The importance of collaboration, team work, partnership, scaling and compounding is showing up more evidently in business and networking systems. Who are you carrying along? As that may be a wrong question for some people, I will ask then again; who are you going with?

I will leave the thoughts with you to process as I go pull my boat out for my own journey. You are more than welcome to come along my journey.

Contentment Vs Self-Actualization

Happiness is being conscious that #YHTK

One of the most inspiring videos I have had the opportunity to come across tells the story of a contented woman. I watched this video at a time when the world was in chaos and world leaders could barely sleep. Families were dying all over the globe and death toll on a daily basis was the highlight of media channels.

The same time was described as unprecedented and even as I write today, countries are still trying to contain the virus activated life style that we all currently live. Yet, for the few people who could see beyond the chaos, they celebrated that they were part of history. It was famine and rationing in most places and most homes. However, this video caused me to cry tears of joy. The woman’s joy was authentic. What she had and celebrated, most rich and famous people could never get, even if they exchanged all their wealth for it.

This brought me to the question of fulfillment, contentment and self-actualization. She was without any shadow of doubt, contented and most definitely on the path to self actualization. She was realistic, optimistic and open handed to welcome people to her home .If fulfillment is the definition of achievement of something desired, then I cannot honestly answer for her if she is fulfilled or not. She alone will be able to say what her aspirations are and if they are met or not. I leave you to decide after watching the video to share your thoughts below.

Proof that you may have nothing, yet be contented and happy

No matter what the day presents, my message for you today is simple. Enjoy the journey and smell the roses as you go. If you can’t see the roses, take in the fresh air and be grateful that you can inhale and exhale. People on ventilators are struggling to do just that. Laugh daily, find your purpose and live without apology for who you are. Be true to yourself – that is one thing you should not compromise. Be your authentic self, it is too hard being a clone of someone else or a copy. It is better to be a bad original than a good copy.

Be intentional about your happiness and about being the difference you want to see in society. Embrace change, be open to ideas. Keep a gratitude journal as you consciously count your blessings. Accept what you cannot change and change what you can. Be deliberate about redesigning a better version of yourself on a daily basis. Live life as best as you can today, tomorrow is promised to no-one.

Your reason being #YHTK (You hold the key). The difference lies in purpose and living it through.

Scars and Medals

Scars and Medals Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

One of the quotes I am crazy about in recent times is attributed to Winston Churchill and it says “if you are going through hell, keep going.” Every leader knows that there are times when quitting seems to be very attractive, yet it is not an option. Always stop to consider all the shift that has gone before and the medal awaiting you at the goal post.

Life was never a promise of hunky dory and smooth sailing. The times when we acquire the burns, scratches and scars are truly our defining moments. The medal at the end of the race is desirable and it fuels the drive to keep going. No matter what we are faced with on a daily basis, let’s keep going as It never truly ends until the last breath.

Do you have scars from yesteryears to look back on, reminding you that the struggle was real? If you are here today, then you walked through your previous hell and you will do it again and again. Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win they say. If you did it before, sure you can do it again.

All you need to carry on is tackle one day at a time and an attitude of gratitude. It does not matter how big the mess is, start by handling what you can and this too shall pass! #YHTK (You hold the key).

How to live a worry free life

Worry, just like stress does not produce any positive result for your well being.

Looking around you currently with the state of the global economy, the demands on the global health system, the unpredictable nature of the future; Are you thinking of the thin line between managing existing limited resources and poverty threshold? or unsure of where the next income stream is going to come from. Are you stressing about the many bills and people you still need to support? If so, you sure do have enough reasons to worry today.

Some people do not need all or some of the above before they worry. They are born worriers. They worry about the shape of the teabag, the colour of the soup, the middle name of their son’s class teacher, why there are only six waffles in a pack, the look on the post man’s face, people that greet or acknowledge them and the ones that ignore them. Simply put, they always have a reason to worry about something or the other.

On the other hand, some people float through life effortlessly like the world was made for them to skip through every hurdle. Do they have any problem? Sure they do! The difference being that they have taken a decision about the role of worry in their lives.

Livng my worry free life

Who has worry helped?

Worrying has never been known to help anyone or solve a problem. Not one! What worry does is magnify the problem for you, create anxiety and fear. Fear paralyses you. Fear blocks you from seeing any possible solution. Fear eats you up and releases negative toxins in your body, thereby causing further ailments and diseases in the body.

How then do you handle worry?

I have always been accused of sauntering through life like I have no problem. What people fail to understand is the fact that I do not entertain fear, worry or anxiety. I have learnt to live my worry free life by doing four simple things – PTCD.

Pray: As a believer in Christ and the holy trinity. I take all my worries to God in prayer as my no. 1 port of call. Being a person of faith and having lived my life like this with positive results for over 5 decades has taught me to pray with an expectant heart for a positive result. Part of praying includes being thankful for previous victories with a heart of gratitude and also for eternal access to God himself through Christ Jesus.

Trust: For me to trust means there has been proven track record of success. I believe whatever the outcome of the current situation, even if it is not what I am expecting, it will work to my advantage. So I become open minded towards the result.

Cast: I transfer the problem to God to sort out. No, I do not bury my head in the sand and ignore that I have an issue to deal with. Remember, that I have prayed to someone I trust to sort it out for me. Just like if you have a broken car, you take it to your trusted mechanic; you expect him to call you to let you know the job is complete and if there’s any part that needs to be added to the car, he will let you know. (I don’t worry about the process the mechanic takes in getting the car ready. That is his job). That is just how it works when you cast your cares.

Do: Next step is to take action. Once you have done all the above, you have a clearer vision of what your next step of action will be. Whatever step you take will get to the end of the problem, no matter how fast or long it takes. The main thing at that point in time is that you are not stressed or anxious about it. You are taking action.

Takeaway

What you need to know now is that; Worry never added a positive thing to your situation. Worry takes away from you. You can be worry free even if the world around you is collapsing by practicing: Pray- Trust- Cast – Do. Remembering always that #YHTK (You hold the Key)

see http://www.amazon.co.uk/author/busolashogbamimu for more books by busolashogbamimu

Progress? Halt!

Mission stoppers

Rarely will you find a right thinking man not seeking progress or success in one venture or the other. We are mostly constantly on a path of making things better or doing things differently towards a better way of life. We set goals, targets and work hard towards them but sometimes it just takes forever to reach these goals.

One of the things that stops us in our track is often times intangible and unreal. Not knowing the problem is more dangerous than knowing the problem. When you know, you begin to look for ways to find solution. When you do not know, you have no idea what to do to solve a stagnating period of life. One major life goal limiting factor is negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts – This is a problem emanating from the mind that once you can tackle, you are on a winning path. Negative thoughts tells you; you cannot do it, you are not equipped, you have none or little knowledge, you will fail, no one survives, you will die etc, BUT once you learn to attack negative thoughts, progress begins for you.

Since negative thought is a problem from the mind, you need to tackle it at source. First, you start by meditating on the positive, then hearing it so often around you by audio listening or conversation. Then you begin to confess it daily and believing your confession until it manifests into reality. Yet, you keep up your confession or affirmation such that it becomes second nature.

Words used to counter negative thoughts include believing on quotes like Napoleon Hills’ “What a mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” The operating word there is believing. If you believe the lie, it will manifest itself greatly for you. If you change the game and believe positively for yourself, it will manifest itself greatly for you.

Today is the time for you to start changing the game for your life. You have dreams, goals and desires. Start believing in yourself and your ability to win. If you do not have the skills to carry it out, you will take the necessary action to learn it. Focus on your goal and believe in yourself. You can, you will and you start confessing and acting.

I can. I will. I am able. I know. I am. You are in the driver’s seat of your life. Something as flimsy as a thought saying it is not possible will not stop you. Understand this too, it is always impossible until it is done. You can and you will. You are more than able. You hold the key #YHTK.

How Much?

What are you worth in your own eyes?

Think about why people treat you the way you are treated. Confidence in carriage does not arise from copying what you like in other people. Confidence is a product of knowledge. knowledge of who you are.

Too many people suffer from self doubt, insecurity and co dependence on others and lots more emotional problems. Take time to think and understand that not everybody will like you even if you spend all of your lifetime trying to please them. You actually start living the day you stop worrying about other people’s opinion and start doing what is right for yourself.

How much value do you place on yourself. If you think you are worthless, why do you expect other people to respect you? You are already sending a negative signal, why are you expecting positive? If you plant an apple seed, why are you expecting an harvest of banana? Did you plant banana?

As you see yourself, so will the world see you. Change your belief system today and start seeing only value in yourself because truly you are valuable. Those flaws that you are focusing on to diminish yourself, everyone has them in different degrees. You are no different than any other man, the only difference is they acknowledge their negative parts and have accepted it as part of who they are, yet focused on their positive while self improving generally.

What then are you waiting for? Begin counting the good things going for you and you will begin to see value in yourself. Remember also, #YHTK. Start adding value to yourself if you want others to see value in you and change the negative way you have accepted to be treated.

That One Moment!

and now you get it!

If you are a parent or a very caring friend, you will fully grasp my message today. When you try so hard to get your children to understand life issues, to safeguard them for the future, or you try and save a mate from a destructive relationship and in their eyes, “You don’t get it”! That is exactly what I am talking about.

I constantly preach a message of savings and investment to my children, because I was one of those in my generation who got formal education instead of financial education. Thankfully, I copped on before it was too late. I want them to be financially independent and retired from the rat race at an early age. Yet, there is that one missing puzzle – the message is never well received when the relationship is too close.

My daughter called me up a couple of months ago, she had been on a night out with her work colleagues and met one of the directors at work, who happened to be a young girl, few years older than my daughter. This young director was chatting about how she scrimps and saves and budgets on everything, watches her spending habits and she finally has her own house, a three bed house in London and she is only 27 years old.

My daughter’s call was about her eureka moment of seeing the light through another young person’s vision. She was inspired and started planning on how she was going to change her habits and save more and this and that.

That one moment when the penny drops and the blind receives their sight. That one moment when understanding illuminates your life and you realize that all that you need to be who you need to be is already within you. That one moment when you realize that you are a total package, with nothing missing and nothing lost.

My message to you today is to let you know that you are part of a fully functioning body and no one else will do you like you. You thoughts, your style, your ideas, your skills, your habits, your face and all of you is peculiar to you. You are unique and well endowed to live a happy and successful life. The tools are all within you.

  • Start with self love, appreciation of all of you both hardware and software.
  • Identify your inherent skills
  • Find where your skills can solve a problem for humanity
  • Get your audience
  • Deliver your support
  • Find ways to monetize your delivery
  • Success follows

All in that one moment! #YHTk

Final words

2020 excitement

It’s the last post for this year and I am super excited and sincerely words defy me in explaining my enthusiasm for the new year. In all sincerity, I feel like a five year old kid, awaiting Santa to drop the goodies. All for the transition into 2020.

I am compelled to share some of the operating key words that has opened doors of opportunity and favour for me this year and which I am definitely carrying into the next year.

  • Simplify – Don’t over complicate any issue. Less is more.
  • Intention – Wake up with intention and carry on through the day in execution of goals with intention. (It is your commitment to yourself).
  • Mindfulness – A skill to be developed in goal achievement.
  • Affirmation/Declaration/ Confession – 3 words one meaning. keep it positive.
  • Manifestation = Faith in action – Propelling reality from the abstract realm.
  • Journal – Write it down and make it plain. (Good for direction and look back memoirs)
  • Reflection – Looking back
  • Balance – A necessary tool to successful living
  • Overwhelm – A mental state of mind you need to check constantly and avoid at all cost.
  • Legacy – Your obligation to humanity.
  • Expectation – An attitude of the mind that delivers your needs.
  • Happy – A constant state of mind reflected by intermittent smiles throughout the day.
  • Freedom – Your right to living free and to be you in every sense.
  • Impact – The number of lives you touch and make a difference in.
  • Empowerment – Every word, thought or deed from you that propels another to becoming a better person in any aspect of life.
  • Purpose – Your personal task on planet earth. Your raison d’etre.
  • Attitude – Only one word for this GRATITUDE . The key to successful living.
  • Worry – An issue that has nothing to do with you. It resolves itself with minimal action.
  • Time – The equivalent of life. Totally priceless.
  • Identity – Knowing who you are without a shadow of doubt.

These are my definitions for the above words that have blessed me beyond measure and brought great joy to my life. I hope 2019 has been an eventful one for you and pray 2020 brings clarity to your vision.

Let’s get this party started! Right. Happy New Year in advance and remember always #YHTK

Reflection

They can see it too!

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to have one of my life goals accomplished after spending years of looking for the right location, finding the funds to get started and eventually finding a fully kitted restaurant where I took it over as a going concern.

The week before the take over, I had the urge to clean out my space, documents, house and pretty much every area around me needed to have clarity. This was because my subconscious was aware of a new beginning and my mind understood clarity was needed for me to think and take concise actions.

Few years later when I ran into financial difficulties, my state of mind at the time was reflected once again in my environment. All I could see around me was chaos and clutter. Overwhelm became a regular visitor in my head until I took control of my life to find a solution to that situation as well.

The last two days I have spent in a workshop for a self development course, and I marvel once again as I watched the personality of trainers reflecting in all that was done at the weekend. They gave much by way of content, standards, synergy and class. They were super generous and efficient without asking us to break the bank or get in debt to be able to go the next mile.

I don’t normally do this, but I cannot help but do a shout out to Alison Mackenzie and Darren Jenkins of X10 effect. To the lovely friendly staff and excellent meal service at the Sheraton Skyline hotel Heathrow, You guys rock! To trainers and coaches in transformation industry, keep in mind that just as you are in the industry to transform lives, remember also that your personality and especially your motive reflects in your delivery.

To everyone reading this, remember that self development is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your best investment is You. After all, #YHTK

In the waiting room

What have you decided?

A good friend of mine is waiting by her brother’s bed side all day, watching his condition get worse as he is in palliative care. She is anxious and tearful most nights at the thought of losing a loved one to cancer. The outcome expected is no doubt a negative one with nothing to be done but wait and try to make his last days as beautiful as can possibly be. She is in the waiting room.

I am waiting earnestly for a positive response to a request made to someone whose contribution to society inspires me a lot, so that I in turn can continue to add value in my own little way to people in my world. Naturally being a hopeless optimist, I am 100% hopeful of a yes answer. I am in the waiting room.

Someone somewhere under the radar of the sun today is waiting for a partner to put to bed, another waiting for the promotion to be approved, another waiting for the bank to say yes to the credit line request, another waiting for the publisher to say yes, or for the partner to agree to the marriage proposal. Someone waiting for the judge’s hammer to decide their fate or for the train to come on time.

If you check yourself today, you too are in the waiting room for one thing or the other. I am waiting to retire next year and impact the world more with my extra free time. What are you waiting for?

What happens in the waiting room is more important than being in the waiting room. You can allow your brain to frizzle with fear or rise above to the next level. You can plan on your positive outcome or if negative, plan a positive next step of action. You can be paralysed or become a giant threading on every obstacle.

In the waiting room, victims and victors are born. We were born to rule the planet and the tools for success are all within us. Charge up your thoughts today and rise to the next level. Mandela’s prison cell was a waiting room for immense victory. Wherever you are today, remain limitless. A free mind can never be caged. Remember always that #YHTK (You Hold The Key). Your life, your terms.

Tell us about your waiting room experience and the outcome, we would love to learn from you.

Becoming debt free

Pick up the phone and talk to someone

I recall my days as a customer service agent for a utility company. It was in the peak of the recession in Ireland and we were meant to be advising on why the bills are higher, why customers were getting disconnected or going on a different plan. It used to reap my heart out to listen to people crying on the phone and asking me how they were supposed to explain no electricity to their children who is writing the leaving certificate.

Racking up arrears in bills and debts is something that can happen to anyone. If your stream of income is cut off or reduced without backup, or unexpected illness affecting your ability to work with no insurance, or company relocation or business winding up suddenly. My point is nobody opts willingly to be in a negative situation.

But when it happens, it simply has to be dealt with. Burying your head in the sand and wishing it will go away is not a solution. Neither is ignoring the calls of your creditors. I know and can tell from my past experience that this style never works.

If you find yourself in arrears or struggling to keep up with your bills, your best solution is to call the company and explain your situation. Sometimes, they have options in place for cases such as yours. Call up and explain, go into payment arrangement to split the bill into manageable portions. If for some reason, you are not able to catch up still, think of rolling over the outstanding balance with the incoming bill and refresh your payment arrangement. Make sure to be chipping at the arrears, no matter how little.

Note one thing for certain, your creditors need you. They need you to be in good health physically and financially, so that you can pay them what you owe. They need you to be back on your feet so you come back a better customer. They need you as a customer as it saves them the additional cost of replacing you as a customer. You also need them to stay in business so they can continue to deliver the service to you.

Being in debt is not the end of life. It can be a season if you are proactive to snap out of it and keep communicating and continuously reducing it no matter how small. The same way little savings here and there can quickly build a wealthy nest, so does little debts here and there can eventually land you on the street with no shirt on your back.

Be wise! After all #YHTK

Sneak Peak

Picture from celebritieswhogive.com

A beautiful and true quote I came across while working on my new book says “Once you believe you can do something, there is not a single person in the universe who can convince you otherwise.” – Germany Kent.

Now, for those who don’t know. Germany Kent is an LA-based former award-winning college administrator and corporate executive, author, entrepreneur, turned successful Hollywood commercial actress, and media personality, She has interviewed Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and Grammy-winning performers, this in addition to the other power-players, and news-makers. she has interviewed from across the globe. Germany has been featured in numerous print media. She has had a string of good luck with the Film/TV world, especially noting that she was hand-selected by J.J. Abrams to be featured in a STAR WARS movie. More importantly, she is an award winning global ambassador for hope.

Words like Germany’s quote above cause deep reflections for me. For someone like Germany Kent to say something like that, you can tell it stems from a place of experience. This is evidenced in the vast diversity of roles, from academics, to media to business and more she had played in her life. For all the achievers you come across in life, it is because they believed in themselves. Some people believe in the universe to converge the forces of nature to make things happen for them and because of their belief, their expectations get fulfilled.

Some call it the law of attraction; others call it faith. Some call it affirmations; others call it confession or declarations. All in all it is working for everyone according to their belief system.

What I find striking with the above quote is the fact that it is amazingly true. It begs on the question of identity. If you know who you are, you will know what you are capable of doing, and as such your belief system automatically convinces you what you can and cannot do. If you have the resources to do it or not, it does not matter. Once you believe you can, no human being born or invented in the universe can convince you otherwise.

What is standing in the way of your belief? What do you think is stopping you from achieving your desired style of living. Please feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment below.

If you believe you can; you are right. If you believe you cannot; you are also right. I know #YHTK. So let’s hear your thoughts.

What is yours?

Mine was finances and fulfilling purpose

The creatives in the house can attest to the fact that we are unstoppable when it comes to ideas generation. The entrepreneurs will agree that when you think profit and possibility, the music changes to “let’s go there”. Being a creative serial entrepreneur, you find you are constantly on projects without end.

Couple of years ago, I did some soul searching and concluded that I must die empty. Share all my acquired skills and knowledge with as many people as I can, and make sure the grave does not get anything except for my carcass. To this end, I also became a donor carrying card and made sure my family are aware of what to do with my body in the event of my passing.

What brought this about was my finding out the number of unfulfilled talents and gifts that people end up taking to the grave because of fear of venturing out, fear of what people would say, what if it does not work, and many other inconsequential reasons that have no roots or foundation.

I discovered my fear was not being able to fulfill my purpose in life and not having finances to carry out my actions in fulfilling purpose. I did an overall self check and concluded that if others can, so can I. My action plan I will be sharing in detail at some stage. But first, I selected my desired date for an early retirement, embarked on a couple of self development courses, invested myself in multiple streams of income and committed myself to service to help others see the possibility of what is achievable if you believe.

As a serial entrepreneur, I have enjoyed both sides of the fence. When it was very good and when it was very bad. Including having to file for bankruptcy at some stage and coming out of it on the brighter side, starting afresh and stronger. How did I get myself there? How did I get myself out? and How did I start all over to being on the winning side? (Stories for another day).

What do you think is holding you back from becoming your dream self? What do you think is the stop between you and your self in achieving your desired level success? You think you are too old to go after your dreams? Or you think you are too young to start? Age? Finances? You think the resources are not available to get you started? You will be amazed at what you have and can do, when you think deep enough.

Where do you need help getting fulfilled? Is it in finding your purpose or fulfilling it? Or having the support network or family to get you there? There are different reasons for different people. I have shared mine with you. Mine was finances and fulfilling purpose. What is yours? Drop your thoughts on your fears and stumbling blocks in the comment below. A problem shared is a problem half solved.

Above all, remember always that #YHTK

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.