THE ASPIRE TO PERSPIRE CULTURE AND WHATNOTS

THE ASPIRE TO PERSPIRE CULTURE AND WHATNOTS

I can categorically say that none of us is a stranger to the motivational platitudes and the all too familiar antagonism around it.

To motivate is to encourage or to provide someone with an incentive to do something. Considering how many struggles we all face in our daily lives, maybe some more than others; you will all agree with me that we all need a healthy dosage of motivation to kick start some of our ideas and sometimes to just get up and live. Motivation gives us this push to get up and keep going. Let us consider some very popular motivational quotes by some renowned people;

  • “The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
  • “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
  • “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
  • “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Hellen Keller
  • “For every reason it’s impossible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded.” – Jack Canfield

The words from these people, who can be described as great achievers in their own right, have gone on to inspire millions of others to go after their dreams and to give life a fresh perception.

Words in themselves are powerless to motivate, if not backed by evidence of accomplishments. Click To Tweet

If motivation does these much, whether self-motivation or ones inspired by others, why then is it often easily dismissed by some folks in our society? This is largely due to the fact that many unaccomplished people attempt to motivate others when they haven’t imbibed what they preach.

Dear motivational speaker and writer, before claiming the words of accomplished men and women, do us all a favor by exemplifying these words in your lives first. Test these motivational words and own them. Words in themselves are powerless to motivate if not backed by evidence of accomplishments.

So, next time you hear or read a motivating piece, don’t be quick to dismiss it. Instead, take your time to read about the author, get to know their experiences, and learn from them. If the author’s life however still leaves you uninspired, take their words and make them work for you. What counts is the result the words generate in your life, nothing more.

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE TO BE

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE TO BE

You can be anything you choose to be.

That’s a statement that resonated in my mind back in the latter months of 2015, and it still does. I was going through some rough patches, academic challenges precisely, and I was losing the battle in my mind. Should I quit or should I keep going, to what end is this, can I do it, is it worth it? I had questions I couldn’t get answers to at the time… Or, let me say, I got answers, but just wasn’t convinced by them.

I had developed the fear of dropping out of school and serious low self-esteem because I felt I wasn’t good enough to cope through school. For someone who had always excelled academically until university came, that was not a terrain I knew how to navigate. So, I withdrew into myself, instead of dealing with my fear and seeking help. I succumbed to the notion that I just wasn’t bright enough to cope in my department, not to think of excelling there.

I can’t remember exactly where or how the words came to reiterate in my mind, it’s probably something I had heard repeatedly from one of the biggest influence in my life or something I had picked from constant reading of inspirational books. Either way, I’m indebted to those words. “You can be anything you choose to be.”

They played in my mind so much that it became a mantra for me at the time. I personalized it. Yeah.

While setbacks or failures tend to make us doubt our abilities and capacity for success, understanding that life is a process would better equip us with the confidence to forge ahead despite the hard knocks. Click To Tweet

It not only encouraged me, but it also pushed me. It instilled the energy I needed to forge ahead.

I can be anything I chose to be. I can do anything I chose. I can learn anything I want. 

Understanding it in the light of the scriptures, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), fired it up in my spirit.

While setbacks or failures tend to make us doubt our abilities and capacity for success, understanding that life is a process would better equip us with the confidence to forge ahead despite the hard knocks.

We have all it takes to get started in the direction of our choosing. Dr. Suess reiterates this in his words, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”  So, you’ve got the brain, use it. You’ve got the eye, use it. You’ve got hands and legs, use it. We got all it takes to be all we choose to be. 

Finally, Steve Harris, the Nigerian Life and Business Strategist, has a popular saying that, “it’s not what you do not have that limits you, it is what you have but do not know how to use.” We have what we can use to get started in the direction of our dreams, we only need to realize what we have already and then learn to use them to achieve our goals.

There is no stopping a mind that is made up. So, decide what you want. What do you need to do to get to the destination of your choice? What do you need to learn, what habit do you need to cultivate, what attitude do you need to hold and live by and who do you need to meet and talk to? 

Take the necessary action towards your dream. 

You can achieve whatever goal you set your mind to.

LIFE’S CHOICES

LIFE’S CHOICES

As I laid on my bed ruminating on the happenings around me, I was reminded once again of one of the greatest truths about life. “Our life is a function of our daily choices”. The choices we make define who we are. Not our birthplace or the heritage we inherited from our parents, but what we choose our lives to be. Every single defining moment in our lives is marked by choices.

When I’m faced with a student or any individual who needs counseling or a piece of advice, one of the very first questions I ask is, “what do you want?” or I bluntly ask, “Do you want to get better?” Why?

I’ve realized that as much as I’m willing to help others, the choice to be better is simply theirs to make not mine. People might pull and push us; the media, our parents and peer groups, colleagues and elders within the society, everyone dishes opinions about what we should do with our lives, but in the end, the final decision is always ours to make. Choices cannot be forced down someone else’s throat, because if it were, then it would no longer be a choice but terrorism.

The choices we make define who we are. Not our birthplace or the heritage we inherited from our parents, but what we choose our lives to be. Every single defining moment in our lives is marked by choices. Click To Tweet

Life dishes us some very hard knocks, alright; and we equally get some amazing deals we never bargained for. These two possibilities should however not make us feel powerless or out of control about our own fate, because, in the end, we still have to decide how we receive these possibilities. Do we stay knocked down or do we rise? Are we grateful for the opportunities or are we conceited?

Like the popular saying, “If life offers you a lemon, make lemonades”. We always have a choice not to swallow everything life throws our way just as it comes. We have a choice to make it better for ourselves and garnished to our taste.

Hypothetically speaking, what if life offers you nothing? Like absolute emptiness? Would you just take it, would you stay down and accept defeat? I don’t know about you, but I really do not like lemons that much. If I’m offered lemons, I would most likely reject them and request apples or coconuts. Why? I know what I want and I do not settle for less.

We should apply the same technique to life. When faced with seemingly impossible situations, we should not settle for it as “amuwa olorun (God’s doing)” and be complacent. Rather, we should leave that state and endeavour to achieve what we really want.

We are not powerless and out of control on the path of life. In fact, we have all the cards, even the choices of how to play our lucky breaks and the hard knocks.
No one can be held responsible for how our lives turn out but our individual self. We decide our paths.

The choices we made yesterday, is reflected in our lives today and the choices we make today would be played out in our tomorrow.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live!”

Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT

What are your thoughts on choice; are we the major actors of our lives or are we bystanders tossed to and fro by fate?

WILL I EVER BE HAPPY?

WILL I EVER BE HAPPY?

I watched as everyone jumped in excitement and screamed “I’m blessed” at the top of their voices. There I was, in my little corner, I couldn’t even stand on my feet and say “blessed” not to mention scream like they were doing. I have lost too much in recent times and my life really doesn’t make sense to me at all. I was feeling so miserable. Everything was a mess. Everything! I simply did not feel blessed and I didn’t have the will power to pretend this very day. So I chose to just sit amidst the crowd and keep quiet. Seconds turned into minutes and the screams didn’t seem like it would subside soon, so I carefully looked around, stood up and left their midst. Everyone was happy but me. My heart was breaking and one question kept pounding “will I ever be happy?”. Will I ever reach a point in my life where I’ll really be happy and excited like those people were. Will I be able to someday stand and confidently scream “I am blessed”?

Will I ever be happy?

Sighs

Life, like a rose is filled with beautiful flowers and thorns and some times we feel like we only got the thorns and not the flowers. We get so overwhelmed by our predicaments that it’s difficult to see beyond the turmoils that has clouded our souls. We are pierced at every turn. The tears never seam to cease.
Yeah, pain is real and the tears can be a flood sometimes but joy is equally real.
Happiness is real and very much possible and available to everyone. You can be excited and happy and joyful too! As much as you want.

Life, like a rose is filled with beautiful flowers and thorns and some times we feel like we only got the thorns and not the flowers. Click To Tweet

Don’t be so discouraged and weighed down by your circumstances. No matter how cloudy it may seem, there is light at the end of that tunnel. You are building capacity for greatness. You’re learning and stretching to be a formidable force, the best version of yourself.

Don’t give up.
Don’t lose hope.
Have faith
Trust God
Yes you’d be happy

I repeat, yes You WILL BE HAPPY

You would be able to confidently say and scream about how blessed you are.
It is all going to make sense soon. Until then, keep living one day at a time.


WHAT TO DO WHEN STUCK IN AN UNFULFILLING CAREER

WHAT TO DO WHEN STUCK IN AN UNFULFILLING CAREER

There’s no gainsaying the fact that one’s choice of career goes a long way in determining one’s economic and emotional status and in effect, one’s happiness. An unfulfilling career is tantamount to a lifetime of anxiety and worry. No matter how huge or low your monthly income is, if you do not derive joy doing what you do it would still prick you every time. In fact, the excitement and joy your career brings you have a direct effect on how much you can earn from it because your state of mind sets the mood for innovative ideas.

I have seen a teacher who earns less than 40,000 naira a month exude so much excitement about his career than a bank manager who earns so much more. What brings you fulfilment is not the amount of money you earn from a job but how much the job excites you. However this not to downplay the importance of money in life, in fact money answers a lot of things and the lack of it brings a deadlock frustration.

Permit me to congratulate you if you are fortunate to have a career that excites you and equally brings you financial stability. However if you belong to the set of people who are in a field that leaves them bored and weary to rise from the bed every morning or the set who enjoy what they do but struggles to pay the bills, then this is for you.

I will address the latter first as they have already found their path.
Having a career you love and one that you are excited about is the very first step towards your happiness and no matter what anyone else tells you, you are definitely on the right track. My happiness is very important to me and I am certain this is equally true for you. One thing you must know is that excitement wakes creativity. When you are happy about what you do, you naturally invent amazing methods to get it done. Your charisma and joy attract people to you. What you need to do is sit back, relax and get to work. Let yourself loose. You would be surprised at the amazing innovation all locked up within you, waiting to break forth. Don’t fall for the lie that you should leave what you find fulfilling for what only pays your bill. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life mentally and physically drained, don’t do it. It is a trap. When you are in your niche, you feel excited and that excitement brings out the creativity in you.

One thing you must know is that excitement wakes creativity. When you are happy about what you do, you naturally invent amazing methods to get it done. Your charisma and joy attract people to you. Click To Tweet

The former set of people are those literally stuck in a career that they dread facing every single day. For those who have seen the Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots, remember the guy who wanted to be a wildlife photographer, Farhan Qureshi, but found himself studying to be an engineer because his parents believed engineering was the best for him without for once asking him what he wanted? Thank God the story ended well for him; he was fortunate to have a friend like Ranchhoddas Chanchad who understood that he would only be fulfilled in life if he ventured into the career he enjoyed and helped to set him on that path against all odds.

3 Idiots might have been a movie but it depicts what we face in our daily lives. You will agree with me that at a point in our lives we’ve been faced with making tough career decision like Farhan Qureshi did and like him we need to face our fears and follow our hearts. One of his statements to his dad when he went to convince him to allow him follow a career in wildlife photography was: “Dad, what will happen if I become a photographer? I will earn less, I’ll have a smaller house, a smaller car. But I’LL BE HAPPY. I WILL BE REALLY HAPPY.” And that’s all that matters. It is not just about how much you earn but how much excitement you derive from your career that gives you fulfilment.

To crown it all, the Scripture says, “The gift of a man makes way for him”. So when you key into that gift you have, when you find your niche and establish yourself in it, you tirelessly enjoy a fulfilling career and even when you are stressed out, you’d still be able to confidently and proudly say, “I had a great day!”