Monday, 30 July 2012

Recapture your DREAM

Where there is no hope in the future there is no power in the present. Several years ago, one man shook America, one man changed the world and fired the shots across the world when he stood and proclaimed these words: “I have a dream” and when he said those words it begin to have ramifications that would forever change the world. That man is Matin Luther King.  I define a dream as a clear mental picture of what one hopes to become.  A dream births in your spirit hope for the future. The future we are told belongs only to the dreamers. Perhaps, I should say, that the future belongs only those who do something about their dream.

If you must live a fulfilled life, you've got to have a dream and build on it. People who have no dream begin to shrink and decay over time. Most organizations run out of business not because they don’t have enough money to keep the organization running, they fail because they stopped dreaming; they stopped dreaming of possibilities and value creation.  The only thing that distinguishes one person from another, one organization from another is whether or not they have a dream and are willing enough to step out and bring to reality their dream.
Quickly, I want to share with you three things that will destroy your dream. They are the greatest dream smashers and dream destroyers that cause people to lose hope and give up. They are:

Temporary Circumstances:
Temporary circumstances are those huge obstacles you meet along the way. The challenges that confront you as you try to make your dream a reality.  The people who try to discourage you and make you feel your dream is so big that it can’t be achieved. They are the people who show you the “process” and make you forget the “promise”. John Maxwell refers to these set of people   as “fire firefighters.” They will do everything possible to quench the fire within you by infusing in you doubts about your dream.  Every dream has in it disguised in what I call a “PROCESS”; a phase you have to go through to get to your dream. The PROCESS can be challenging and discouraging, but you must be very careful not to make a permanent decision based on temporary circumstance. Don't make a decision to give up on your dream just because you can’t see the light just yet, don’t name your future by your present circumstances.

Divine Delay:
It can be frustrating when it doesn't happen as quickly as we want it to happen.  There is such a thing as a divine delay; when it doesn’t happen at our clock. If you are not careful you will give up on your dream and begin to live someone else’s dream because you think you are failing while the other person is succeeding and nothing is as dangerous as leaving another man’s dream. 

False Evidence:
 False evidence is something the devil uses to discourage a lot of people from achieving their dream. He uses something that isn't real to make you give up on your dream. Jacob comes to mind as I write this article. He had that his son Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast. The news came to him as a shock because just a while ago, he saw his son leave the house in search of his brothers.  I imagine him crying out loud "my son can't die, he's too young to die." But when the old man saw the coat of his son that his brothers had torn into pieces and immersed in the pool of an animal blood, he said: "without a DOUBT Joseph my son is indeed dead.” Without a DOUBT means PERFECT and ABSOLUTE faith in something. Jacob had PERFECT faith in a LIE because Joseph was not dead, Joseph had not been killed, Joseph was on his way to becoming a prime minister. Jacob was looking at false evidence and developed perfect faith in something that isn’t real.

The old man goes out in his mind, takes a shovel, digs a hole, puts the bloody coat in it, puts the dirt on top of it and says: “my boy is dead, I will go to my grave mourning, it’s over, and the dream is dead.”  Question? What steers at you in the face? Have you buried dreams that are still alive? In the latter part of that story, Jacob realized that his son wasn't dead after all. And he said: “it is enough! Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die" what is it going to take you to get to get to the point where you say "it is enough! My dream is yet alive: I will live out my dream before I die?" I can see the old man in his mind as he goes back under the shade tree, takes the shovel, and digs out his son (dream). You’ve to dig out your dream; you’ve got to recapture your dream. It’s not dead yet, it’s still ALIVE

I want to encourage you to recapture your dream because the survival of a whole generation depends greatly on the execution of that dream. Stand up, dust yourself, and get moving.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Silent SCREAM!!!!!!!

There was a man who lived alone. He had no kids, no spouse, and no friends. He traveled all the time. He had a fish aquarium which harbored beautiful, expensive and exotic fish. He named all the fish, took care of them and fed them weekly or so. They were his companion. He came in from traveling one day; he fed the fish and went to bed. But while he slept the heater in the tank malfunctioned, and when he woke up in the morning all of his beautiful fish bloated, floating on the top of the tank. They were dead. And it bordered him; and he said: “I wonder if sometime during the night they screamed and nobody heard them. He said: “I love them, and I fed them, but I didn’t know that things were getting too hard for them.   He said: “I didn’t realize they lived in a different world from me, faced different circumstance from me, had different problem from me, I didn’t know; if I would have heard them, I would have helped them, but I never heard them scream!!”

Isn’t that how that things border you when you’ve lost so much stuff that one more thing won’t do? I guarantee you that they are a lot of people regardless of how they look, or how fat their bank accounts are, or how expensive the houses they live in are, who scream!!!!! And no one hears them. Life is closing in on them, everyone is leaving them, their body is changing, there is health is changing. They are in a turn; no enough money, they lost their father, lost their mother, lost their boyfriends and girlfriends, lost their jobs, lost everyone, their marriage is crumbling, and something in them is about to explode!! And they are handling it real good on the outside but somewhere inside, they are screaming! Screaming!!! Screaming!!!! Screaming! And no one is listening.

I call it silent scream. That moment in life when you wish your words can express what you feel on the inside. That moment in life when the noise and worries of this life shuts your mouth, put a fake smile on your face but implodes in you pains, emptiness, and brokenness. That moment in life when you are in the midst of people but still feel lonely. That moment in life when you go through stuffs and you wish the people you love wouldn’t leave you. That moment in life when you need someone to tell the world that your lies are the truth. It’s not that you are self centered, or maybe you ask for too much; it’s just that there are some people in your life whom you can’t let go just like that. They have become a part of you that without them it becomes almost impossible for you to survive. And while you are there screaming on the inside for them to hear, they are busy giving attention to songs whose lyrics they don’t understand.

My heart goes out to many people in our world who are broken and somehow who scream!!!! For help but can’t get any from anyone, because only them can hear their scream. It takes someone who understands you, and has been with you through tough times and good times to really hear you when you scream!!!!! I have had the opportunity to be by people who poured out their hearts to me about the challenges they face in their relationship.  People envy  how good their relationship look on the outside, but somehow, somewhere, something is missing that only them are aware of and they are losing their minds because they are helpless. Once, I stood by a lady who was going through a tough time trying to get her man to hear her scream!!! She is one of my greatest friends. The night hours I spent encouraging her couldn’t stop her from screaming!!  I realized that despite her beauty, she screamed!! All day long, and the only person she expects to hear her scream was deaf to her heart cry.

Sincerely, I do have a problem with people who feel they have no issues to deal with at all. They put up this “self righteous,” perfect looks like nothing in the world borders them, and the sad thing is they leave the people around them who go through stuffs feeling worthless. Regardless of who you are, or where you have been, somewhere in your life you scream! Scream!! Scream!!! And you wish someone somewhere, can hear you. I have got good news for you: don’t die, don’t give in, don’t crumble, don’t do something crazy, and don’t swell to the top of the tank. God can hear what you cannot say. God can hear what you do not know how to say. God can hear what you would love to say.
He listens to you when people are too busy to give you their ears.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

STRENGTH made perfect in WEAKNESS

2Corinthians 12: 9: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
I remember how that in the book of Acts how Saul of Tarsus, now Paul had an encounter with Jesus while he was on a trip to Damascus to persecute the children of God. It was this same young man who approved of the killing of Stephen; a man who was mightily used by God. Saul was a man who raised havoc in Jerusalem. Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. He was so ruthless and nefarious that the Christian feared him greatly. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” was the voice he heard while he was still on the ground hopeless, having lost his sight as a result of the light from heaven that flashed around him. Despite Saul’s treacherous, ruthless, and nefarious deeds, God wasn’t so concerned about his past; he was interested in his future; he was interested in making him his mouth piece. A man who once fought against the name of Jesus was now the one fighting for that same name. With so great a passion, he preached everywhere he went.  

Isn’t it amazing that despite the atrocities committed by this young man, God still sent a man named Ananias to go pray for him to regain his sight? (Act 9:15 The Lord said to Ananias, "Go! I have chosen him to tell foreigners, kings, and the people of Israel about me.). God was interested in using this man. Paul wrote from the prison cells, he healed the sick, and even raised the dead. God changed his name from Saul to Paul. This was a murderer whom God picked and transformed his life.

How about Peter? A man who Jesus asked on one occasion: “who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God” Mark 8:29. Peter was among the closest disciples to Jesus. He was among the few privileged disciples that Jesus revealed deep things to. He climbed the mountain with Jesus and saw things other disciples didn’t see. His love for Jesus was so strong that on one occasion he assured Jesus of his loyalty even in tough times. Eventually the test of time came, and peter denied the one whom he had pledged his loyalty to. He denied Jesus. I can imagine how bad he felt when he realized that he had denied his master. But God full of so great a love and mercy didn’t use Peter’s past against him. Instead, he used Peter to win thousands of souls. On one occasion, the bible recorded that they brought the sick and laid them by the street so that at least the shadow of Peter may come on them and heal them all. How amazing it is to know that God can take the broken pieces of your life and make something out of it.

Moses was a man who murdered an Egyptian for trying to molest his fellow Israelite. Realizing that the crime he committed was no longer a secret; he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner. Forty years had passed when God told him to go back to Egypt; a place he ran way from. His assignment there was to go and deliver the children of Israelite. It’s just like God telling an arm robber to go back to the house he once robbed to preach. How amazing! This is the same Moses who murdered an Egyptian that God is sending back to Egypt. Moses had his weak point; he stammered whenever he speaks and God told him to go tell Pharaoh these words: “thus sayeth the Lord let my people go.”He was totally inadequate for the task before him, but one good thing about God is that his strength is made perfect even in our weakness.

Think about Rahab, the prostitute. Her story is so emotional. It demonstrates the depth of God’s loves for the “imperfect” ones.  She had slept with several men and maybe women, and perhaps carried out several abortions. Her house was like a market place; men queued just to have a taste of her. Maybe, many marriages were broken because of her. Wives could no longer satisfy their husbands on bed because rehab was so skilful in her profession that men couldn’t help but come back for more. Despite how bad she was, God was still interested in her. Her emotional tank was empty yes! But God was interested in filling it up with his love. God used her to hide the spies who came from Joshua’s camp and because of that, her life and that of her family was spared. She is today one of the great patriarch of faith. 

We live in a world where a lot of young folks have buried dreams and potentials that are still alive because they feel they aren’t good enough to carry out God’s purpose for their life. They smile on the outside, but deep down on the inside of them there is a civil war going on and that has caused them to feel insecure. They no longer feel good about themselves and therefore live their lives according to the standard people set for them. I imagine a young girl who goes in front of a mirror and feel bad about her image. She says to herself: “I’m not good enough; I wish I was beyonce or maybe Oprah Winfey.”  God didn’t design you to have the attributes of some other person; He designed you in his image.  You are a reflection of his glory. Start feeling good about YOU and know that no one else can do what you were created to do.

God can take the broken pieces of your live, amend it, and give it a meaning. He wants to turn your great mess into greatness. You may be there feeling inadequate or inferior, but I want you to know that God isn’t so much interested in your past or shortcomings; he is interested in your future and what he can make out of your life. He wants to make beauty out of your ashes. He wants to make you the chief cornerstone.  He wants to make you the envy of your world. Just like Saul, Moses, Peter, and Rehab yielded themselves to be used by God, you’ve got to yield yourself and allow him make your life a message. Feel good about “you,” Stop trying to be someone else. You were designed to be just YOU. Remember. He wants to turn your life into a message. All you need do is to just open up and say “lord I’m willing.”

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Why live in a small BOX?

Each and every one us has to come to a point when we no longer have to deny that still voice inside of us, telling us of the way to follow, the love to give, the gratitude to express, and the feelings to feel. But rather to express our true self and the possibilities we all carry.

As children, we were aware of all our gifts. We were innocent and pure. We were immensely creative and wildly passionate. Our imagination knew no boundaries and our dreams knew no limits. We trusted others and had faith in ourselves. We did not really have the need to have everything figured out. We expressed our truest essence as a person without fear of reprisal, and we freely let our light shine. We lived totally in the moment and savored every simple gift that each of our lives brought to us on a regular basis. We loved singing and dreaming, and many more of good things. The world was abundant, a place of boundless possibilities, and a ready partner for our authentic success. But then something happened.

Well, to put it bluntly, we committed a crime. Actually we committed the most serious crime any human being could commit. We began to betray ourselves. We disowned our true self in favor of buying into the beliefs of our society.

 You see, we started to adopt other people’s beliefs about the way the world works and the nature of our role within it. We shut down our beautiful feelings and began to live in our mind—spending our days rationalizing, judging, and worrying rather than skipping, dancing, reading or playing. We became people please rs—thinking, acting, and conducting ourselves in ways that were not of our own choosing but of the choosing of those around us, such as our parents, teachers, and friends. Consequently, the process of socialization took over and our personal magnificence began to be hidden. We did what we were told, acted as we were instructed to act, and thought the way people taught us  to think. In doing so, we began to live in a small box.

 The truth of it all is that most people die with their music still within them.  Most people do die with the great song of their lives remaining unsung. They fail to live the gorgeous lives that they were meant to. And this is not only a great disservice to us—but a great disservice to the world. Therefore, we should live a more fulfilled live, looking forward to everyday to be a new beginning for us and by so doing, we live the most authentic lives.

I want to encourage those who seek to find their best life and manifest the desires of their heart to walk the path of inner discovery, not outer change. The real goal in life is self-revelation: revealing your best self to your current self and then seeing the world through a new set of eyes in the process. Finally, never must we cease from EXPLORATION.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Before you QUIT

I have had the opportunity of counseling people right from when I was very young and trust me when I say this; many people you see with smile on their faces weep on the inside.  Never make the mistake to think that people’s public successes always compensate for their private failures. People go through stuffs you and I may not be able to endure. Broken by life circumstances, they find it very difficult to recover from the pain that comes from being broken, and Some out of the malaise and emptiness they feel on the inside have resolved to just settle for anything life throws at them. And don’t you ever doubt that no matter who you are you’ve had some losses.  No matter how pretty or handsome you are you’ve had some losses. No matter how rich or famous you are you’ve had some losses.  They may not be on the outside but somewhere in your life you bear the scars from the stuff you lost along the way, and the price you paid to be who you are.

Yours may be your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband leaving you. It may be the doctor giving you a bad report regarding your health. You alone know where the shoe hurts most. Whatever the case maybe, there is stage in life called the pruning stage where God will “cut” and carve you into what he wants you to be.

The pruning stage comes with much pain that it leaves you feeling uncomfortable, and not everyone survives the pain that comes from the being “cut.” Some endure while others give up. Are you at the verge of giving up? Wait! Before you do, I want you to think of a lady by name Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at nineteen months old. She overcame her severe disabilities, went on to graduate from Radcliffe College, and became an author, noted lecturer, and champion for people who are blind (people who are broken). 

Think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1921, at the age of thirty-nine, he had a severe case of polio, which left him disable and in terrible pain. He never walked again without assistance. But he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his potential. Eight years later, he became the governor of New York, and in 1932, he was elected president of the United States.  

Think about Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years of his life in prison. I repeat 27 years in prison, and today, he’s recognized as one of the most influential man in the world. Just a few days ago, the world joined in celebrating his birthday. Ben Carson? He was called a dull boy by his class mates. Refusing to accept the name his class mates called him, he made up his mind that he was going to become a solution provider. He became the first Neurosurgeon that gave children a second chance at life.  Wait a minute! How about the popular musician by name Adele who was heartbroken by her boyfriend because she was fat? The disappointment from her broken relationship led her to receive multiple Grammy Awards for excellence in her career. 

Every great person I know or have read about had series of losses that preceded their greatest victories. Just because you have had a series of losses doesn’t mean you are not on the verge of your next win. No doubt, you can think of others who have overcome tragedies or past mistakes to pursue their potential. You may even know personally some people who fought their way back from adversity to become successful. Let them inspire you. No matter what you’ve faced in the past, you have the potential to overcome it. Never allow your circumstances define you. 

As I conclude this piece, I want to share with you a story of a reporter who talked to three construction workers pouring concrete at a building site. “What are you doing?” he asked the first worker. “I’m earning a paycheck,” he grumbled. The reporter asked the same question to a second laborer, who looked over his shoulder and said, ‘what does it look like I’m doing? I’m pouring concrete.” Then he noticed a third man who was smiling and whistling as he worked. “What are doing?” he asked the third worker. He stopped what he was doing and said excitedly, “I’m building a shelter for the homeless.” He wiped his hands clean on a rag and then pointed, “Look, over there is where the kitchen will be. And that over there is the women’s dormitory. This here…” 

Each man was doing the same job. But only the third was motivated by a larger vision. The work he did was fulfilling a dream and it added value to his effort. He was a laborer, but he didn’t see himself as one. Instead he saw himself has a builder of shelter for the homeless. You are just the way you see yourself.  Your perception and not your circumstance is what define you. 

Before you give up wait! And think of those who were able to make it through what you’re going through. 

Have you thought about it? Now you can make up your mind.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Are you ALONE?

All too often, our thoughts and conversations reveal that we wrestle with characters who have moved on and events that don’t really matter. The people who surround us are kept on hold while we invest massive amount of attention to areas of the past that are dead and possess no ability to reward. It is like slow dancing alone, or singing harmony when there is no melody. There is something missing that causes our presentation to lose its luster. Stop the music! Your partner is gone and you are waiting by yourself!

I think that the greatest of all depression comes when we live and gather our successes just to prove to someone who isn’t even looking. The problem is we can’t really appreciate our successes because they are done by us not for us. They are done in the name of a person, place, or thing that has moved on, leaving us trapped in a time warp, wondering why we are not fulfilled by our job, education, or good fortune.

God did most of his work on creation with no one around to applaud His accomplishment. So He praised Himself. He said, “It was good!” Have you stopped to appreciate what God has allowed you to accomplish, or have you been too busy trying to make an impression on someone? No one paints for the blind or sings for the deaf. Their level of appreciation is hindered by their physical limitations. Although they may be fine connoisseurs in some other arena, they will never appreciate what they can’t detect.

Let’s clap and cheer for the people whose absence teaches us the gift of being alone. Somewhere beyond loneliness there is contentment, and contentment is born out of necessity. It springs up in the hum of the heart that lives in an empty house, and in the smirk and smile that comes on the face of a person who has amused himself with his own thought.

Have you reached that place in life where you can enjoy your company? Have you taken the time to enjoy your own personhood? Have you massaged lotion into your skin, or set the dinner table for yourself? Drive yourself to the mall and spend an afternoon picking up a gift for YOU. These self-affirming ministries can never be given to you by someone else. When they leave, you may feel worthless and insignificant. But when you speak comfort and blessings to yourself, it reflects your own opinion about yourself. Just like Jacob was left ALONE wrestling with a man until the break of the day (Gen 32:24), I ask you; are you ALONE?


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Not colors, but CHARACTER

I can’t really remember the last time I woke up at night to do some serious thinking about how far I have come in life, and how far I am to go. But last night, at about 3 am, I found myself rolling on my bed wrestling with sleep. Usually, when such happens to me, I know it’s time for me to think; time for me to do some thorough examination about myself, dreams and my relationships. With such a serene atmosphere, void of noise, mama’s call, phone calls and the disturbances of life, one can’t help but be inspired to reflect critically, about the many issues that affect his or her life. Somehow, my reflection was geared towards my relationships and how it affects my life.
The truth is we all at some point in our lives will have people come and go. And how will handle people leaving our lives tell a lot about our character. You have to, for survival sake, get to the point where you can handle people leaving. Irrespective of the pain and disappointment that comes from people leaving our lives, we’ve got to be open to those who want to come in. Assessing the people in your life and the role they play, you will discover 3 sets of people.

The first group are people who are with you. If you go up they are with you, if you go down they are with you, if you get stock they are with you, if everybody hates you they are with you. They love you unconditionally. These people know what you are afraid that somebody else would find out and they are still with you. These are the people that being around them is so comfortable that you can behave as if you were by yourself. You don’t get tired of them because you don’t have to change your behavior in their presence. They don’t use what they know about you against you. They don’t use what you preach about to fight you when sometimes you fail to live by what you preach. Isn’t that what we want from relationships? To know that you won’t leave even if you know my greatest flaws and deepest scars.  These set of people not only stick around you when times are rough for you, they also stick around you even when times are tough for them.

The second group are people who are with the cause but not you. They are only with you because of the cause. They will confuse you because they look just like the first group I mentioned above; they walk right beside you, and talk like the first category, but you must be careful to differentiate these two sets of people in your life. Their attraction is the “mission” and not you. You can still have them with you but you have to know why they are with you. They are with you as long as you are getting them closer to their goal, and they will leave you when they find someone else that can further their agenda. You thought they loved you, but they never did, they only love what you do, and when they met someone who can take them there quicker they left you, because it was never about you it was about “it.” They are like scaffolding that goes up against the building, giving it support, and leaves when the building is strong. ” The difference between these two sets of people is that they do the same thing but with different motives. They have the color but lack the character of the first group.

Lastly are the people who are not for you nor are they for what you are for. They are just against what you are against. I need not explore on this set of people as I do not intend to bore you any further. But you must understand that we need these set of people in our lives. We need a Judas on our table as well as we need john, James and peter on the same table. As we share with one another, we must be prepared to love each other’s imperfections, even when those imperfections challenge our commitment. Can you be transparent with someone and be assured that your nudity won’t affect his or her commitment to be your friend?  We must ask this question over and over again if we are to know the role people play in our lives.

I hope i didn't bore you? (lol)  feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Lessons learnt along the way

Quiet long I know, but it’s worth the time. Just take out 10 minutes of your time to read my journey after school and lessons learnt along the way. Please feel free to leave comments.
Hmm!! The long awaited life after school is that which I’m experiencing now. The life I intend sharing with you is the “life” itself, and not the life I had imagined while I was in college; whatever that means (loll!). You know, in college, we get to dream and talk about the kind of life we hope to live right after school; from getting a good job in a reputable company to owning our own company to pursuing a masters degree in one of the ivy league schools, and possibly get married to the “love of our life”.  Quite interesting isn’t it? But our dreams don’t just surface overnight. There’s a journey we all must embark on in bringing our dreams to fruition.

It may interest you to know that I graduated from the American University of Nigeria Yola. I say this with great humility; my alma mater is where you find dreamers, achievers, positive minds, wishers, the good, the bad and the ugly. You get to interact with people from various backgrounds and culture who somehow intimidate you, yet inspire you to THINK BIG and become a better person. That’s where you get to meet people whose parents are movers and shakers of my beloved country, Nigeria. You almost don’t do anything except to write term papers, engage in team work, play, read and pass your exams. To be honest that’s all we do; Life made easy.

We don’t get to cook since we have a cafeteria; we don’t get to do the laundry ourselves since we have dry cleaners, the cleaners get to handle the cleaning of our rooms, and we don’t get to stand in long queue for weeks like most Universities just to register for courses. Everything is done online. We have the opportunity to see our Professors, and even the President of the institution any time during their office hours. With such an environment and the comfort you are exposed to, you can’t help but think the “real world” as they call it will give you what you want. Well that’s not the case in the real world.

While in college, I had dreamt of settling down in Abuja, right after I graduate to pursue my dreams and aspirations. Well, the deal day came, May 19th, when my parents and siblings travelled down to Yola, to celebrate with me on my graduation, having successfully completed four tough yet amazing years in AUN, and was ready to leave the friends I had known all these years, the environment I had become so comfortable with into an unknown world full of unknown people. Seated on that chair along side with my fellow ‘yet-to-be” graduates’ as we awaited the calling of our names to receive our diploma, my heart kept beating as I thought of how I was going to start another chapter of my life. “Could it be that I wouldn’t get a good job like most Nigeria youths? How do I get to achieve my dreams? How and where do I start from?” these were the terrifying questions that came to my mind on that day.  Trust me!! It is really scary when leaving your comfort zone.

Well, to cut the long story short, after graduation, I decided to stay back in school for one week to do some thinking of what step to take next. Shockingly, I ended up not doing any thinking as I had not gotten over the “college” mentality yet. Surprisingly, one hot afternoon, my phone rang, guess what? It was a job interview. I had the interview over the phone and after some days, I received a mail stating that I have been offered a job and was to resume work the Monday after that week. Aside the fact that I wasn’t so interested in working for someone, I didn’t like the nature of the job so I declined it. I see someone reading this shaking his or her head saying “who does that, like seriously huntly?” haha! Well, stuff happens *tongues out.*

After some days, I thought to myself “I could stay back and work for my alma mater like most alumni while I use that as an opportunity to give back and even earn what most companies don’t pay fresh graduates.” Fantastic idea, but I felt I needed to live where I had always known and move to the unknown. I decided to leave school the next day for Abuja to start the “hustle.” On getting to Abuja, I realized that I may have to make some adjustment to my plans while still having the big picture in mind.

 Three weeks I was in Abuja trying to lay down strategy for my future. Somehow, I got to discover I would be going to Ogun state to work. “Ogun state of all places, Why me?” I thought to myself. I never saw that coming.  Well, after much thinking, I decided I was going to give it a try. I travelled to Warri first, to inform my parents I would be leaving their house to pursue my future. I thanked them both for all their support so far in seeing me through school. My mum however was skeptical about me packing out of the house right after school, but I made her understand that remaining in the comfort of their house wouldn’t make me the man I was designed to be.

As I write this piece, I’m currently in Ogun state working with PPMC and HISSCO Ltd as a Project Administrator on Pipeline Projects and living the life of a bachelor *tongues out*. Having studied Business Management, I found myself working in an oil industry not as an accountant or business development personnel, but as someone who’s always on site supervising Pipeline Projects. I supervise/lead a team of 7 pipeline engineers and report to the head offices in Warri and Abuja every Thursday.   I usually don’t dress on corporate outfit to work but that hasn’t stopped me from having a “corporate mind.”

 So, you see, life sometimes will bring you things you didn’t plan for. But you must learn to be flexible and adapt to circumstances while you never lose sight of where you are headed. Someday, I know I will get to settle in Abuja, but for now, I’m on a journey. I’m undergoing training that will make me reign tomorrow. God sometimes teaches us character in the most uncomfortable of places. He sometimes isolates us from the people we know so that we can learn to depend and trust on him alone.

 One thing I have learnt so far is; Life always has a place for everyone. You need not be afraid of what your future holds. All you need do is know who holds your future and everything will somehow fall in place. You must start from somewhere in life no matter how small and walk your way to the top. The things we want in life may not come packaged the way we want them, but we must be careful not to mistake appearance for reality. Learn all you can now, stretch yourself daily, read good books, develop your mind, meet great people, love, give, inspire others and DREAM BIG.

Guess what? I learnt to love where I found myself and I am doing perfectly ok.

“Psalm 16 vs. 6: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a goodly heritage”

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Law of Increase

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation"
--- Brian Tracy

We never truly appreciate where we are until we come in contact with people who would give up anything just to be in the place we complain about. We must know that our “hell” is sometimes people’s “heaven.”  Often times we complain about not having enough money to live the kind of life we want to live. We complain about our relationships, family, business and even about ourselves. We complain about almost everything and forget the things we ought to be thanking God for. 

While we complain about those things we don’t yet have, we must know that complaining only limits how much God can do in our lives. In short, complaining only keeps us stagnant, and robs us of our increase/blessings.

Allow me remind you of one the most inspiring stories in the bible (Mathew 6); “The feeding of the five thousand.” These people had followed Jesus because of the signs they had seen him perform by healing the sick. Having so much compassion on them, Jesus asked one of his disciples “where can we get bread to feed these people?” he had asked this question only to test him. The disciple immediately responded by saying “even 8 months wages can’t feed these people.” I guess the disciple was only being realistic about the situation but Jesus understood what I call”the law of multiplication.”

By the corner was a young boy who had five loaves of bread and two fish. Realistically, the provision wouldn’t have been enough to feed the multitude of people. Jesus realizing this took the bread and the fish and what did he do with the provision in his hands? He gave THANKS and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. The more the food was distributed to the people, the more it increased. Don’t forget, what wasn’t enough to feed the multitude of people went round and even had 12 basket full left. Jesus knew one thing that Philip didn’t know; he knew that complaining only results to stagnancy while praise/thankfulness brings increase.

Be thankful for the little things you have so that God can provide the bigger things. Sometimes, it can be difficult to thank God when things are rough but if you really desire a change, if you really desire increase, make it a habit to thank and praise God irrespective of your situation. Increase can only come from being thankful.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Love Poem

I came across the poem below which brought tears to my eyes. So I couldn’t help but share it with you guys. I hope you love it.. Enjoy

It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return but what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel
Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when we meet the right person we will know how to be grateful for that gift
Love is when you take away the feeling, the passion, and the romance in a relationship and find out you still care for that person
A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you only to find out in the end you that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go
When the door of happiness closes another open but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one which has been open for us
The best kind of friend is the kind you can just be with, never say a word, and then work away feeling it was the best kind of conversation you’ve ever had
It is true we done know what we have until we lose it but it is true we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives
Giving someone all your love isn’t an assurance they love you back.
Don’t expect love in return. Just wait for it to grow in their hearts but if it doesn’t be content it grew in yours
There are things you would love to hear but you would never hear it from the person who you would love to hear them from: but don’t be so deaf as not to hear it from someone that
Never say goodbye if you still want to try, never give up you feel you still can go, never say you don’t love a person any more if you can’t let go.
Love comes to those who still hope although they have been disappointed, to those who still believe although they’ve been betrayed, to those who still need to love although they’ve been hurt before to those who have the courage and faith to build trust again
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like some, a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget that someone
Don’t go for looks, they can deceive; don’t go for wealth, even they can fade away. Go for someone that can make you smile but it takes a only a smile to make a dark day seem dark. Hope you find the “someone” that makes you smile

QUALITY, and not QUANTITY is all we need

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
— Norman Cousins
Imagine you had this wonderful dream while you slept last night- that you were a child again, full of joy, passion and innocence. You were dancing barefoot in a small mountain meadow, surrounded by flower filled valley. You could hear other children laughing and playing as you danced, caught up in the wonder of the moment. Your heart felt happy, your mind was quiet, and was completely at peace because of the children that watched you dance.

Friendship is one of the many blessings God has given each one of us. Many of us are so grateful for the lasting friendships we have cultivated through the years. As humans, we know that true friendship is a sacred commodity. This is a relationship that is to be cherished and revered for a lifetime. We've experienced friendships that have come and gone because of misunderstandings, differences in lifestyles, spiritual or personal growth. For whatever reasons, they have left a permanent mark on our hearts of what true friendship really is.

I am known to be a very outgoing person and can interact with people from various cultures and backgrounds. I believe this is one of the many gifts God has bestowed upon me. I say this with great humility: as a child I was very shy and reserved. During my early years, I longed for friends. I wanted people to accept and like me. Even in high school, I felt like an outcast because I wasn't chosen to be in what I thought was the "In" group.

Consequently, this had a negative effect on my self-esteem. I placed little value on myself. My self-worth was overshadowed by the quality of relationships versus the quality of true friendships. As I matured, I learned to filter through those relationships that weren't holding me up in the best light. Sometimes that meant I had to light the path on my own. Like a great philosopher asserted You wouldn’t be able to see the great quality of another person unless you knew that quality in yourself”
Self Acceptance is our elite but society would have you believe that it is about whom you know or who you are connected to. Peeps, there is nothing wrong with having well-known friends or being in the circle of connected people. However, it becomes a problem when your self-worth is based on whom you know.

Be you - love you! Wherever you think you aren't in life yet, should never be an indication of where you are headed. Accept your shortcomings, mistakes; accept that some people won't like you and some you don't need to be connected to anyway. You can receive all the accolades you can stand, but until you can accept and love yourself, they are only a clanging cymbal. In essence, all of life is nothing more than a projection. Like a huge movie projector, we project into our outer worlds that we are in our inner worlds. We collect what we project.

The Key is Quality Not Quantity. Networking is one of the hottest concepts in building relationships in the professional and entrepreneurial world. Business people we know are thought to meet and connect with as many individuals as they can. Whether it is to find a new career/job or build future relationships down the road.

Isn't it funny how sometimes we enter into relationships the same way? We get sucked into a lot of drama and no substance. Then we scratch our heads trying to figure out how we got ourselves into this situation. You will later realize that sometimes less is more. For me, a quality relationship, whether it is personal/professional, is one based on character, excellence, and standard. Not perfection, but one of value that adds to and not distracts from.

There Is Joy In Being Your Own Best Friend. A true friend is someone who accepts you as you are, feels those fears and anxieties with you, and sees your limitations. Just like someone said wisely “A true friend will celebrate you, cry with you, and reason with you for your own good”. I can truly say that I have a small, yet valuable set of friends who have helped me to be the best I can. However, I am learning to be my own best friend too.

When I feel like I'm not where I need to be, I smile and remember where I came from. When I fear stepping out of my comfort zone, I feel the fear and say, "go for it guy". And when I am confronted with my limitations, I tell myself to do what I can. A way will be made because God never fails. I find pure joy in laughing at my quirkiness, the silly things I say and do. When you become comfortable with yourself, you'll realize you don't need a crowd to feel good.

All the dissatisfaction you feel is really nothing more than your best life—your destiny knocking at the door of your current life. The ache you feel in your inner core is your spirit telling you to wake up and get back on track—to become congruent and authentic and be the person that you truly are. As Hermann Hesse wrote ‘Each man has only one genuine vocation—to find the way to himself.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

The sad thing is that most people pay no attention to this malaise, this emptiness, this inner longing that exists within them, this universal prompting to awaken and discover their best selves. They believe that their unhappiness is natural. What’s the purpose of living if you can’t help others?

Finally, Love yourself in spite of the mistakes you made in life, the heartbreaks that keeps you bound and never forget- The more love you give yourself, the more you’ll have available for others.