Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Post: Viaje De La Vida by Opeoluwa Odeyemi

So I happened to observe my colleague reading an article one day and I got interested. Minutes later into reading it, I was practically absorbed into that state of deep thoughts about some decisions I'd made. I made a request to speak with the author so I could publish it here. Few mails later, below is the wonderful article by our guest writer, Opeoluwa! Enjoy...

You are justified by what you see, how you believed in it and the fact that you worked towards it. You are justified by what you become; for the just shall live by faith.

Paulo Coelho said “Man improves himself as he follows his path, if he stands still waiting to improve before making a decision, he’ll never move.”

Everything that is ever fashioned into reality in this life, in Asia, America, Africa, Australia, Bayelsa, Maiduguri, Oyo town, Onitsha was conceived through the mind. The mind, as I have come to see it is a very powerful machine. The mind has eyes, it has legs, hands, and it is the whole body in itself.  Everything that has ever been conceived and became reality is because the mind was able to process and carry it into the physical.

In this world of 7 billion travellers, based on the order of life as a journey, I have distinguished people into 6 categories:
  •           The Runners        
  •           The Strollers
  •          The Sitters
  •          The gist-ers
  •           The intersection dwellers
  •           The bus stop dwellers

Unfashionable as these names may sound, I will like you to pretend like you like them so that we can flow together. Imagine if everyone was divided into this category before they were born, and they were born with the category written on their forehead, then there would be no sweats, everyone would just understand why everyone behave the way they do, and we won’t have to bother why some people act serious and some act otherwise. But this is just an imagination, as we don’t determine our purpose, we only discover it.

Since this is not an option, we have an obligation to discover what God has manufactured us to do and then we do it. So let’s look at these categories.

1. The Runners: They have a sense of urgency. This category knows that life is not stagnant. They are people who have gotten themselves aware of the other categories of people and have made up their minds not to belong there. They always wear a watch (not a physical wrist watch), to remind themselves that they can’t afford to get lost in the crowd. They are people who surround themselves with good people, friends and mentors and still know when to make decisions with or without this people. Frankly, this people have seen where they are going! They have seen the big picture; as such have put their minds to work and their hands and feet to motion. They have realised that the journey of life is within and have learnt to conquer that self. Don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect; they make mistakes, but choose not to see mistakes but lessons that they learn from and become better. They have a sense of urgency and so embrace ideas earlier than most.

2. The Strollers: The people in this category have worked a little to have an idea of what it is to discover and work it out through life. But afterwards, they end there. So they decide to take casual strolls through life, believing they have all the time in the world. Tomorrow will never come they think, not knowing that the ability to contemplate that thought is a signal that adulthood is already knocking at the door of their lives! Nothing is urgent to them so they take their time with everything. And at age 60, they have only been able to achieve what they should have achieved when they were 40. They say they know what they are doing, which is half true and half ignorance because they act as though there is always time.

3. The Sitters: The people in here are not just sitting down; even life sits on their heads. They are mostly unhappy, disconsolate and feel conquered by their environment and everything. They don’t believe they can succeed, as they have given up on trying. Aspiration level is negative (i.e. below zero). When they fail, they don’t try to learn, instead, they pick up quarrels with people around them and look for whom to blame for their failures. They blame everybody. They blame the past in their parents. They blame the present in Government. And they blame the future in their mates. Everyone is to blame except themselves. They have indirectly given up on the ability to hope, saying to themselves “that they are only being realistic”. 

They have lost sight of purpose and don’t remember that by divine arrangement, they were born in this time and in this place.  They forget that it may be tough going, but with life’s difficulties comes patience, strength of character, virtue and nobility. They don’t realize that without difficulties, they cannot learn patience and endurance. Without difficulties we cannot learn faith. And no man has yet possessed the future without faith. Without faith, we lack the ability to hope, without hope; they get tired of trying, and remain stagnant sitting in a spot.

4. The gist-ers: This people have walked up and down the earth but never been able to bring their minds to comprehend what they are doing. They have no just cause for anything they do. They just do things. This people, because of their busybody have seen a lot but done nothing. And so to compensate for this, they tell tales higher than a skyscraper. They are good analysts on every subject, from football to business to politics, but they are beneficiaries of nothing. They know everybody but nobody will put faith in them. They are good argumentators, they have facts, they have figures, but that’s all they do with it; gist it off. They console themselves in the pride that they have the knowledge. But what is knowledge without use?

5. The intersection dwellers: This people have refused to move because they do not want to pay the cost of achievement. They have contemplated what it would take to achieve and just gave up! They are good calculators as they can extrapolate anything, but that’s all for them.  They disembarked before embarking on the bus! Their faith fails because they started off with the little God gave them but in the cause of their integrating and differentiating, they stopped growing it, they just got to one intersection and decided not to move.

6. The bus stop  dwellers: you don’t want to be in the same bus with this people, aside from the fact that they like bus stops, they also slow down the pace of others around them. They are the type of people that find fault in everything. They can move so fast atimes, but quickly loose speed again. 

If this people were to be in the category of the seed-sower parable that Jesus taught in the scriptures, they are the ones that fall on the rock. They enter one bus this moment, get to the nearest bus stop, they get off the bus, then stay at the bus stop to look at every passerby and vehicles passing. They really don’t have a definite destination not because they don’t have an idea of where they are headed, but they haven’t equipped themselves well enough and easily get distracted by every bus stop. They waste too much time on little things. These category have no solid convictions for the actions they take, so everything seems interesting to do and look at. They are often good friends with the gist-ers.

You may consider yourself a mixture of all or some of this, but remember that the story of your life is an inspiration to the generation after you. Do not quit! Find the reason for your creation and fulfil it!
More grace to the man who desires it.

With Faith and Assurance,
Opeoluwa Odeyemi.
Opeoluwa Odeyemi is
 a writer, graphics designer and advertising consultant.
Follow on Twitter @opeoluwaodeyemi

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Work at home wife vs Working Class Wife?

Without much ado, I'd just like you to carefully read the outcomes of a poll I conducted yesterday on BBM with a small sample size of 17 people (ages 21-26). It all started with a thought of what kind of wife would be most suitable for child development.

Then I threw it open to people who I believe would in a few years/months plan to tie the knot. I was glad I did. Enjoy...

I asked the guys what choice of wives they'll prefer...
1. Age 22, Works as a design engineer...(Choice - Working Class)
"Working class, Business women do too much amebo, mostly nosy. It's better you keep women busy at work"

2. Age 21-22, postgrad student...(prefers Working Class)
Work at home mum? Image credit: Here
"I don't want liability, I want asset. I guess that would be working class"

3. 21-23, works in a design outfit (prefers Working Class)
"You've got to be up and doing, staying at home dulls the head"

4. 24...undergrad (prefers Working class)
"working class but it depends on the work though, no banks."

5. 24...(prefers Working class)
"I want both sha...two wives"

Guy 6. 22, (prefers working class)
"My choice? working class"

7. Postgrad student (choice - working class)
"An idle mind is the devil's workshop *laughs* besides I'm an economist"
Me: What of a wife like Tara?
"Tara is one in a billion, I won't mind marrying a lecturer...NOT teacher lecturer"

8. 22, Self-employed (choice - "None")
Me: *laughs* Seriously, just answer
"I don't want to marry"
Me: "Wow! I'm shocked, why exactly"
"I don't see the point, I might have a partner, but don't want to marry. I don't think it's for me."

9. 23, Self-employed (choice - Stay @ Home)
"Once she get belle,She go resign straight-up from working class go home class"
Me: *laughs* "Hillarious!"
"True story o, No be househelp go raise my pikin oo...before my baby first words go be househelp name"
Me: *laughs* "You're right man...But ladies out there, at least from tonight want to be working class...surprisingly"
"Dem dey craze, dem one dey carry my pikin go do office work"

10. 23, Engineer (choice - Anyone)
"Well anyone would do for me, just need a wife that's pursuing a vision. Technically not staying at home, she has to have something she's pursuing. So she's gotta work."
Me: "hmm...makes sense"
"But not those provision store things o! Real work like Tara House"
Me: *laughs* nice one
"Just wanted to point out the difference, I've got my dreams, let her have hers too, support each other and raise a great family"
(continues) "In life vision must align to have a successful union. I can't be thinking global scale while she's thinking village scale"

I asked the ladies what they'd prefer to be...
1. 24, Postgrad - (choice - working class)
- No reason

2. 22, Consultant (choice - working class)
"Working class wife o, she will always represent. At least you're sure she won't become a complete orobo"
Me: "What of the home?"
"You people will juggle things na...Grandmas will have more work to do....Men respect working class wifes than housewives"

3. 25, Postgrad (choice - working class)
"working class abeg...That'll be my own benchmark for fulfillment, I won't feel like I'm achieving much staying at home and chopping my husband's money"

4. 25, Self-empoyed (choice - Stay@home)
"I want to have time for myself, my husband and kids...I will work for a while, probably 10 years or less, the start my line and other biz"
Image Credit: Here

5. Self-employed (choice - Stay @ home)
"I like home wife doing business"
Me: "Lots of ladies went for working class"
"I'm not up for that...business abeg...You get time to take care of your family"

6. 22, Employee (Choice - Working Class or Stay @ Home)
"Working class...It has to be a decision between me and my husband"
Me: "Okay but would you compromise if otherwise?"
"Even if he wants me to be a Stay@home wife, I must work for some years. I'm a career person and I know it. I've got so many plans that must be achieved and dreams that must come to pass"
Me: Okay, so what of the family?"
"Of course, I would always take care of my family,it's the most important thing even at this my youthful age...As far as his work can continually put food on the table and my children and I won't suffer, then no problem (i.e. Stay at home), But if his job is not all that, you can like me to work as well"

7. 26, Self-employed (choice - Stay @ Home)
"Stay at home, you need any info or advice?"
Me: "I'm open, please ride on"

First and foremost, every woman's duty is to her husband and the family they create together. So, in my opinion, staying at home and doing your own business gives you all the time to be with your family and do your duty. That's the first. Think about being a part of your children's development.
And who say's staying at home means sitting in one shop. I believe doing your own business opens you up to a lot of opportunities and helps you explore your dreams and all the chances open to you in life.

Me: hmm...I concur

And if more women think in that line, we'll be able to break the jinx of unruly and uncultured chuldren and if you want to look at it in terms of leadership, nobody builds a leader better than a dedicated mother.

Me: True That! I thought of this same thing from the perspective of raising great children...not average ones.

If we want to look at it from the bible point of view, the Proverbs 31 woman was a very successful business woman, not working for an organization and able to keep tab on her family.
If a man marries a woman that all she wants is to sit at home while she has some maids running her supermarket or boutique for her, then he can definitely say that a Stay-at-Home wife is boring and dulling.
Trust me, a passionate and hardworking woman will redefine working from home and make the best use of her brains, energy, time and all at her disposal, including his money.

In conclusion, I totally stand for a stay-at-home wife doing her own business. That woman is the real woman and she rocks!

That being said, after reading these wonderful perspectives, WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One Last Time...Valentine edition

The lights came on again for the umpteenth time, spilling out from the room into the thick darkness outside. It had begun to rain. Rivulets of rain-water trickled on the surface of the frosted glass as the rain's rhythmic drumming on the rooftop of the bungalow and occasional roar of thunder made Anjola shiver in fear. 

Anjola, seven, with brown eyes, had her hair in a ponytail as she twirled it round her finger on her way to the living room. It rained heavily outside the house as the faint sound of generators echoed in the distance.
She made her way to the living room where her dad was sitting and sat beside him.

"What's wrong honey?...the rain?", he said as he drew her closer with a warm embrace.

A smile beamed across her face as she wrapped her arms round him.
"Yes", came the soft reply, arms locked round her father.

The two had grown a bond over the years and it seemed every adversity that came only brought them even closer. However, his consolation was his daughter -Anjola, sharp, beautiful girl with a questioning mind.
Anjola would ask questions from ‘why chickens never drank enough water’ to ‘what killed Solomon Grundy’. This night she had questions as usual as she gently unlocked herself from the warmth of the embrace.

“Dad…will mum ever come back soon, what’s taking her so long?” eyes beamed with childlike expectance. Just like that of a thirsty man, waiting for the last drop in the glass of milk to land on his tongue like it would make a difference.

“Anjie, would you like to know how I met your mum?” Tade asked.
“Yes, daddy, I’d love to”, her voice had lightened up now, as she clapped both hands in excitement and snuggled back into his arms.
Tade slouched into the sofa, held her closely to his bosom and began the tale as the night slowly crept away. 

He began…

“It was on a Saturday afternoon…
I was driving past on that rainy day and offered her a lift. Relunctantly, she entered after which I learnt in the discussion that followed that she was on her way to her friend’s place…”
I dropped her off and we exchanged numbers but never called each other. Weeks passed by and everything went on normally. 

Thing is, I was a bit shy when I was…”

“A bit…hmm…daddy is a shy boy, iya iya yo”, she chorused playfully.

Tade looked into Anjola’s eyes with so much admiration, the same he had for her mum. Her brown eyes, innocent smile, that peculiar squeaky sound she made when she laughed excitedly and most of all her boldness in confronting whatever she felt was wrong.

“Your mum…bold woman I tell you.”  This was the same boldness that attracted me to her and led to the proposal that night. “I had something to tell her and she knew it. I wanted to propose.”
“Propose? What’s that daddy?”, Anjola sat up now.

“Well, it’s…you know when adults are in love and…okay…thing is I wanted her to be mine forever”, Tade concluded.

“WOW! All for you”, she exclaimed with the most wonderful smile he had ever seen. So go on daddy I’m listening.

Tade’s mind drifted to that very night…It was heavenly.

“Rolake, I really want to thank you for these past months”, I had said that night. “You’ve been a nice girl to me…and there’s something I want to tell you…”

“Go on Tade”, she had replied smiling softly.

“I’ve thought deeply about it and I…um…there’s…okay thing is…I really want us to be together…forever”, 

I had breathed out with relief.

The ‘Yes’ had been resounding. 

I leaned forward towards her and whispered into her ears.

“Daddy what did you say, tell me, tell me,!”, Anjola squeaked in excitement.

“It’s our little secret, darling, I’ll tell you towards the end of my story, I promise”, Tade reassured her.

I remember how the tears flowed freely down her face as I wrapped her in a warm big hug that wonderful evening. The evening that had refused to leave my memory; the evening I held Rolake temi nikan, Rolake ololufe mi, the evening our marriage was consummated in the presence of the black night sky.
I will never forget that night as she stayed in my arms as time passed by. Those minutes were eternal to me. It was more than feelings. I felt her heart beating against mine as warm tears trickled on my shoulder from her eyes. I know she felt the same way I felt. I felt it strongly. I knew we would make great friends, have great children, attend events together, and be the talk of the town, envy of other couples.
I knew we would last forever. But now I crave for that evening one last time. One last time in my arms. Just one last time and I’d be fine.

Marriage they say is two forgivers living together. I was ready to forgive and I did. At least not until she decided to leave the house for somewhere I do not know. 

“Daddy what are you thinking of?” Anjola’s voice jolted me away from my reverie.
I was hurt inside. I wanted my love back.

The rain had stopped now.

“Anjola, it’s time to go to bed”, Tade stood up, yawned and stretched.

“Daddy, do you know what?...I love you!”, Anjola said as she pecked him on the cheek. “I wish mummy could hear this great story”, she continued.

“I wish too”.

The doorbell rang.

“Who could that be?”, Tade questioned as he walked towards the door.

As he turned the handle and opened the door, the smell of that familiar cologne hit his nostrils. It was ‘Elizabeth Arden’, just as Rolake would have worn it.

 As he swung the door open, Anjola’s scream announced the reality of the most beautiful wish he had ever wished.

“MUMMY!”,  Anjola raced and jumped as Rolake staggered backwards with the weight of her running force. “Mummy, mummy…daddy said you had brown eyes like me…and that your laugh was beautiful”
Tade watched all the drama unfold before his very eyes. Anjola hurriedly carried the luggage inside the house, leaving Tade and Rolake.

Both stood at arm’s length as tears trickled down Tade’s face. He spoke first.

“I wished that I would see and hold you one last time”, he said with a shaky voice.

“Remember what you whispered in my ears that night?”, Rolake asked.

“That come what may, you should still give love a chance one last time”, Tade’s face lit up.

“Omotade…ayanfe okan mi, olowo ori mi, *sniff* this is that one last time!”, Rolake broke into tears.

Tade motioned slowly towards her, held both hands and placed a soft kiss on her lips. Arms round her; they held each other tight and felt the warmness of a love that had just been rekindled.

Tade pulled her back and looked into her eyes. 

She blinked. 

He had never seen her this beautiful. 

Holding her closely again, he said, “This one last time will be forever”.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What do you know about Silicon Valley?

I watched a very inspiring video today on Justin.TV. It's an interview that was held with one of the Who's Who in Silicon Valley talking of Mark Zuckerberg. He really touched the 'binary' side of me and I just couldn't resist doing a post on it.

Our main focus anyway would be on Silicon Valley.

Many of you know something or much about it or maybe you just know it's a place where those 'big elite' Tech companies reside.

You're right in a way but do you know one university was influential in its development...speaking of Stanford University.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
"After World War II, universities were experiencing enormous demand due to returning students. To address the financial demands of Stanford's growth requirements, and to provide local employment opportunities for graduating students, Frederick Terman proposed the leasing of Stanford's lands for use as an office park, named the Stanford Industrial Park (later Stanford Research Park). Leases were limited to high technology companies."

The part I love about the little research was that I discovered that my second ranking DREAM company resides there.

My darling sweet CISCO SYSTEMS for sure!
Check out the building...
Cisco Systems HQ (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, a married couple who worked as computer operations staff members at Stanford University, later joined by Richard Troiano, founded Cisco Systems in 1984.

This Stanford thingy freaks me out.
Most of their start-up stories link up to Stanford in one way or the other.

HP was founded here too... check out this extract from Wikipedia:
"One of the major success stories was Hewlett-Packard. Founded in Packard's garage by Stanford graduates William Hewlett and David Packard, Hewlett-Packard moved its offices into the Stanford Research Park slightly after 1953."

There something of interest in 'the valley' that I can't seem to place a finger on. Juxtaposing Technology and Business has always been a puzzle to me but that's just what is evident in Silicon Valley.

Oh and your darling Facebook has it's HQ here too. That was what led me to write this initially cuz I wanted to know more about 'the valley'.*insert grin*.

The controversial part of Silicon Valley is that it is rumoured to be a place of Short-sighted High-Tech startups. i.e. If you have a great idea, you want to start-up a firm to probably sell it in a few years and you're such to get the backing of a Venture Capital firm, Silicon valley is the place for you.

So what led to the rise of the Silicon Valley?
It's simple: 'The right environment'
All the companies had a symbiotic relationship...more like a plant-animal relationship.
You know...you the plant produces the oxygen which I need, I breathe it in and give you CO2 which you need...and I eat you

Check this out:
"By the early 1970s, there were many semiconductor companies in the area, computer firms using their devices, and programming and service companies serving both. Industrial space was plentiful and housing was still inexpensive."

The rise of Silicon Valley was also bolstered by the development of appropriate legal infrastructure to support the rapid formation, funding, and expansion of high-tech companies, as well as the development of a critical mass of litigators and judges experienced in resolving disputes between such firms."

It's a great place to be if you're a Tech-lover like me.

"Even after the dot-com crash, Silicon Valley continues to maintain its status as one of the top research and development centers in the world. A 2006 The Wall Street Journal story found that 13 of the 20 most inventive towns in America were in California, and 10 of those were in Silicon Valley.
San Jose led the list with 3,867 utility patents filed in 2005, and number two was Sunnyvale, at 1,881 utility patents"

So when next you travel to the U.S., make it one of your top priorities to pay a visit to where I call the '9th wonder of the world'.

Here are my 10 favourite companies in Silicon Valley:
(I couldn't put Facebook and Cisco here, those are in a special golden class. LOL!)

1. Adobe Systems (I can't count number of times I cured boredom with E-books and numerous PDFs, did I forget Photoshop??
The first audio mix I did for this blog was with Adobe Audition).

2. Asus ---> my Laptop manufacturer, I just have to acknowledge ;-)

3. Apple Inc. (Innovation on your palms...*faint*)
Apple HQ (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

4. YouTube (acquired by Google) (You made video streaming which is supposed to be annoying attimes coool!)

5. Google (With you...I can become a professor overnight)
The Googleplex-bird's eye view (Image coutesy: Here)

6. Intel (You frustrated my gaming days but with Core i7 on the block, you're the best!)
Intel HQ - Santa Clara, California (Image courtesy:Wikipedia)

7. Yahoo! (My 1st encounter with the internet was with you, I remember it was some days after 9/11)
Yahoo! HQ (Image courtesy - Wikipedia)

8. LinkedIn (Great place for business collaboration)
The current CEO was a former Yahoo executive. This Silicon valley bond is weird.

9. Electronic Arts (Your games made my childhood rock! *raising a glass to FIFA fans*)

10. Microsoft
(*raising hat to Mr Bill*)
You can read more on Silicon Valley.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Let's talk. It's been a while you know. How well have you spent this year?

Okay here's a checklist since I can't get feedback.

On a scale of 1-10, hw would you rate your year goals that have been achieved?

How many books have you read?

How many lives have you impacted?

How close have you been to God?

By the end of this note I hope to get you stirred up.

I subscribed to John Maxwell's daily teachings and so far they've helped me a great deal in my personal effectiveness.
This thought came to my head today and I'd share with you.

Imagine success as a torchlight in a dark environment.
The torch can't illuminate the whole place but can only see a considerable distance. When you take little steps forward, you cover the distance the torch can see and notice that it illuminates another new distance ahead. You take more steps forward and before you know it, you've covered miles with this little torch.

That's success...taking little steps towards greatness.
But sadly, there's tendency to be a 'Torch-holder' . A torch-holder stands and laments at how he can't see far, the ailing economy, the poor government and all.
Torch Holder?
But then, there are 'Torch-explorers'. They aren't limited as they know that limits are simply unexplored boundaries, they explore and make do with the little they have.
So which one are you? Torch-Holder or Explorer?

There's this common myth of money making one wealthy but I beg to differ. Don't throw the tomatoes yet.
Think of it, you enter a bus and the driver takes you to your destination, then you alight and pay the fare.
What you pay for is the value he has offered you? Only people of value can be wealthy!

Why does the employer pay the worker? Value
The only way to be great is to add value. We do not need people to hold torches and complain of the limited light. Explore!

So how can you be a Torch-Explorer?
I'd share with you what a person shared with John Maxwell years ago which spurred his dream and set him on turbo speed. It's the hot-poker principle!

If you have never learnt a thing from this blog, please go with this 5 nuggets and write them and absorb. You'll be glad you did.

Nugget 1: Spend time with great people

Nugget 2: Visit great places

Nugget 3: Attend great events

Nugget 4: Read great books

Nugget 5: Listen to great tapes

Steve Jobs was a man of value. David Oyedepo is a man of value. Will you be a (wo)man of value?

Remember this - "You can become the star of the hour if you make the minutes count". Don't just hold the torch, move!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Before you throw the Mortarboard

This was something I wrote for the Graduating Class of my Alma Mater. It was originally posted on FB and sparked off so many feedback mails and comments of people that were blessed. So here's it for your perusal. You'll enjoy it.

So I decided after much postponement and deliberation to write this note. I initially was to make it a testimonial/interview of a sort with real-life views from various people (which would come later) cuz
people seem to relate well with experiences than some composed text but then again...I know one person will find some facts and be blessed. Enjoy.

Its few days to graduation and I remember how I felt during this time. With few exams to go, after all the stress and project had taken its pound of flesh. Fast-forward a few days later and the supposed TTG came and went. July also came in the twinkle of an eye and bam! We were out into the 'real world' as they say.

I particularly didn't like the hype given to the 'real world' then, like it was some sort of lions' den or like we were Titus fish being released into shark-infested waters. Twas absolutely over-hyped...or not!
I'll get back to that.

Then the big anxiety came after grad. Job, Labour Market, NYSC, MSc...OH! I forgot Marriage too. Then we all began the race and I must say there are a few things we never knew back then.(Hehehe...'back then' like it was 10 years ago, shey. Pardon the drama). Some of which I'd share, not as an experienced one but as one who feels the little he knows is worth sharing.

Till today, I wonder why 20 friends can't just play for 20 years. Life is just not fair!

Then I discovered...At some point in life, you'll be left in that room...after all the celebration...after all the friends are gone to their various houses...party music faded...parents asleep...and you’re staring at that paper you struggled to get for 4/5/6 years in your hand(as the case may be), then you'll be confronted with that big question...WHAT NEXT?

Some will answer the question after grad, some...maybe later...some never. But the essence of this is to charge you to ask it now! What next?
This is not to put unnecessary pressure on you but to actually make you alert and on your guard cuz that's life my bro (or sis).

But before you do that, I'll share with you a simple quote by a mentor and friend, Steve Harris and it goes:
"Your background has no right to put your back on the ground!"

This brings me to the Myth of Grades.
Know this and keep it at the back of your palms: Your 1st class, 2:1 or whatever grade only earns you a seat and a table to write a test.
After that, it ends there. You don't get paid more than the dude with a 2:2 cuz of that. Don't let the 1st class get to your head, neither the 3rd class to your heart.

But notwithstanding, value whatever grade you have and are coming out with. It's a matter of your mindset.

John C. Maxwell said: "Success is good if it doesn't get to your head and failure isn't so bad if it doesn't get to your heart".

Puh-lease! Stop telling me there are no jobs! (BIG YIMU to that) There are jobs but no qualified people.
That is another reason to be thankful for where you are coming from (I won't mention the name but you need to see the high demand for your brand out there)

But I'm not surprised, I mean...With all those core values 'forced' as it were into our blood stream...Why won't our packaging be in high demand? They didn't attend 1am impromptu meetings with you or race to Chapel before the door closes. Let them say.

The thing between your ears...Brain, right?
Trust me, the 'real world' as I discovered is not overhyped o. Nobody cares if you were born and bred in Hebron...or your spoken English is better than the Queen's or that your over-starched shirt is sharper than a sword. What can you bring to the table??? What value can you add?
Oh you dress good...great!
Good grades...perfect!
Spirituality in the package...fantabulous!!!
Just one thing...errr...What have you got upstairs asides what your 'papers' say.

People Networking
Also, please keep your connections green. Know people ooo. hmm. Sometimes doors just open via that person who knows someone that knows another person in a high place.
Not everyone will do aptitude tests. Confirmed, Tried and Tested!

Skills, Skills and more Skills!
You’re in accounting and you haven't started thinking of an ICAN or ACCA or CFA?… not a wise idea I must say.
You have a passion for music production and you're not sound in Fruity Loops or Adobe Audition or the likes? You scare me.
You want to be a Networking guru and you've not tried to ping into Library's router once or immerse in those Cisco things, I piry you.
A Business consultant and you're not reading materials to brush up your knowledge base?...not good at all.
A web-designer and you’re still experimenting with Dreamweaver; you need cane!
On a more serious note, skills are in high demand in every industry. Acquire a skill and know it well.

No one's got it all figured out I must add. Have a mentor in your field. Nuff said on that.

Friend or Foe
You will know your true friends after grad. I won't even talk much on this. Some friends you must never ever lose. They might be the link to your open doors. Some you need to discard.

Mind your company and remember:
Birds of the same feathers flock together.
Warri people will say: Birds of the same feather, na the same mama born them.
Pst. Chris Okotie would polish it: Avians of the same plummage navigate within the same degree of proximity.

“Your life in 5 years will be a function of the books you read and the friends you keep”.

I strongly recommend this book (it’s small and not too lengthy), "Leadership Principles for Graduates" by John C. Maxwell. A friend got it for me for my grad and I can say it’s the best gift I got.

In all you do, know this too:
Value family cuz when all else fails, (even though it seems not sometimes) they'll still stick by you.

Never get to the stage where God takes a second place in your life. He is all you need to have your needs met. (This sounds familiar)

And in all you do, never get too serious to forget to enjoy life's subtleties.
There will always be something to worry about, but with God you're at peace always.
Smile, Pray, Love, Forgive and commit all in God's hands. Only Him can figure it all jare.

All these being considered, come July 22nd, get into your best outfits and throw that mortarboard into the sky! You deserve the victory.
To the Class of 2011, CONGRATS in ADVANCE!

Monday, June 20, 2011

After the Bruise

I'll skip the cliche intros and just get to hit the nail straight on the head.

Disclaimer: Any unnecessary words used here is not unintentional, it is purposely intended to actually bring out the reality of this life we call our world.

Now let's go on an imagination ride. Imaginations are good sometimes you know.

Now imagine a little child crawling, say 10 months old, then he tries to get up. He fumbles a few steps and then crashes down. (Loud infant cry). Parent comes and picks him up, pats him and the cry stops.
Now the child falls and is comforted, right?

We'll have to be patient on this one, come along with me on the next imagery. (This one is sweet).
Chocolate skinned lady walking down Idumota road. Police shades, Prada bag, Skinny jeans (not too tight), she lost her Swatch yesterday and had to manage the Blue Puma watch to match her Gucci shoes.

Elizabeth Arden is kind enough to share her scent with Perry Ellis in a combo smell that mesmerizes your nostrils when she passes.
It starts raining and everywhere is muddy. One Danfo bus from who-knows-where swerves in her direction to avoid a pothole. She loses her chic-ness and tries to jump over the gutter. She misses a step and Splash! Into the ditch.
What does she do next, you ask?

Nothing I reply.

Why? You ask again

She doesn't know she has fallen into the ditch!

This is madness I perceive you thinking.

Or a poorly-woven story with a nice beginning but a shabby ending, I reply (I'm helping you with your thoughts here)

Okay now, I know you'd be wondering what the point actually is. Thats the idea.
Didn't it sound like madness that a good-looking lady like that fell into the ditch and stayed there. I mean, its senseless, isn't it?

Well, that's the world for you. The present world we're in actually. Everyone has got it figured out unaware we might just be in the ditch.
We've got Diplomas in Justification and PhDs in Self Deception.

The fact that I choose to believe that petrol is apple juice will not still change the nature of the fluid. I'm only deceiving me.
A wrong belief system is a moral fall. So we are like that lady when we have fallen and don't even know it.
Bad decisions make us fall.
Secret sins make us fall.
I must emphasize, its human to fall but staying on the ground is pure foolishness.
We need to pick ourselves up from accepting what the media pushes into our face as normal. I'm not talking physical demonstration but Mental Reformation. Your true freedom is not in making any decision you want but the right ones.

Myles Munroe once said "Our decisions are personal but never private"
I'll explain that with this sentence - Live your life not for yourself but for the millions of lives your destiny is attached to.
You can't keep messing around with procrastination, your idea you chose to dump might be a nation's last hope.
If you don't understand, ask Martin Luther King (Jnr.) or Nelson Mandela. Nelson could have chosen to sulk over his prison term but he came out of his fall, after the bruise to become president.

Stop sulking over your mistakes! Get up! There's a whole lot out there to explore.

Our perceptions are bruised when we accept wrong as right.
Our moral values are bruised when we're comfortable with decadence.

So my aim is to share with you what to do after the bruise. Some references will be made to the Bible cuz that's my guiding manual. There so many questions life pushes in our way that can never be answered. So do we sit and watch? Never.

- Understanding the situation is key
Asking the right questions help a lot.
Why did I fall?
What were my options?
Is my present response helping the situation?
If this happens again, what will I do?

Falling is an indication of your weakness/ignorance at the time of falling (just like the baby) cuz the Bible said if your strength fails you in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

- Some situations are beyond your control! (The exclamation was needed)
Sometimes in life, we can't stop that rain from falling, nor the driver from swerving but we can control ourselves from falling in the gutter.
For situations beyond your control, learn to live with them and make the best use if possible.

- Learn from the fall and anticipate more likely causes.

- Blaming the cause of the fall is not the solution.
Imagine her blaming the Danfo driver for the fall, he'll only laugh at you cuz you are the least of his worries actually.
Stop blaming the situation, person, circumstance. That's precious time-wasting.

- Share the experience with someone, you might just learn something.
Don't form Jet Li. Share it with someone (someone you trust), hear their experience.
You might not get the answer you need but you'll be lighter and happier when you let the load off.
There too many fake advisers out there I must add. Too many. Have you tried Jesus?

- Try not to fall again.
Rule number 1 - Fresh chics shouldn't walk in the rain.
i.e. Circumstances that expose you to danger or going back to that same experience should be avoided!
Once you walk in the rain, expect anything.

- After the Bruise, move on.

I end with this quote by Mark Aurelius...

"If you are distressed by anything external,
the pain is not due to the thing in itself,
but to your estimate of it...

...and this you have the power to revoke at any moment!"

After the bruise...what do we do?
We rise!
We shake off the dirt.
We learn from the fall.
We hold our head high cuz that's what is expected!