Remember The Improvement Challenge? Last month, I started and ended an Improvement Challenge that lasted for twenty-one days. For more information, click. Emmanuel Faith joined in the Challenge (albeit he didn’t inform me) and he sent me his Improvement Challenge story and how it has helped him. Do enjoy!
Our mind is like a rubber band, the more it stretches, the more its effectiveness
I was captivated by my beloved friend’s status which read “21 days improvement challenge”. My adventurous mind pushed me to making some inquisitive enquiry and with few words of persuasion, I was convinced to join this “movement”. Dont mind me, I particularly love puzzles, mental tasks and challenges.
“What do I want to do consistently for 21 days?” I asked myself. Different ideas flowed through my mind as my thoughts tussled to and fro. After ruminating for a while, I decided to write a poem daily and read a chapter from the book of Proverbs.
I missed my quill that spilled God’s will, and mine too. With vivid vivacity, I picked up my pen and made it dance heartily, scribbling my first poem titled “Black and White” which was dedicated to all my friends who are barristers in the making.
Dedicating an hour daily to my newly found quotidian adventure, I wore the clothe of consistency until laziness paid me a visit bringing procrastination along. There was nobody to monitor or check on me (Next time, I suggest we do this with an accountability partner). I lost my zeal and momentum. However, like Thomas Edison said, “You are not a failure until you fail to try again”, I sent laziness packing and continued with a stronger zeal and guess what! In the span of twenty one days, I wrote twelve poems, two essays and three articles, not forgetting the book of proverbs which I read up to chapter twenty four.
I derived maximum benefit from this challenge and I encourage mental tasks like this often.
Thank you very much, Emmanuel.
Did you join in the 21-day Improvement Challenge? How did it help you? Please send your stories to: [email protected] Looking forward to hearing from you.
Welcome to The Improvement Challenge, Day 3! It has been a purposeful ride all through. I appreciate all those who have committed to this challenge with me too. I am positive that it is going to be worth it! If you have no idea what the Improvement Challenge is, read it up here
My Day 2 of #TIC21 was fulfilling. I did everything I was supposed to do; studied my Bible, wrote something and I started reading the book I intended to read. For my 21 days Improvement Challenge, I’m reading John C. Maxwell‘s “5 Levels of Leadership”. Although I started reading it some weeks back, I felt the need to start reading all over again. So, I would be telling you one or two things I learnt from this book yesterday. For those who have read John C. Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, this might look familiar.
P.S: I am not doing a book review. If you want to know all that is in the book, gaan buy it *tongue out*
The first lesson I learnt from this book is that making a positive impact in your world is dependent on your ability to lead. Contrary to popular belief, Leadership is not being in position. If you think leadership is position, how then will you lead effectively if you do not occupy a position? The only way to enforce that change that you so much desire in your country and in your immediate environment is by learning to be a better leader. And this, of course, requires intentional efforts. Read books, listen to messages, find ways to learn how to lead without being in a position. And if you would like to learn Leadership, the Improvement Challenge of 21 days might just be exactly what you need. *wink*
Thank you for reading. Have a purposeful week ahead!
At long last, the dispensation of Change that Nigerians have so anticipated for a long time has come. Hardly could members of the opposition party wait for May the 29th to arrive and now, it has come, and gone. And here we all are, trusting and hoping that this would truly be the season of change we have protested and prayed for all these years. It is of no doubt that every citizen expects the new government to look into the problems we have in this country. And while that is not uncalled for, I am quite afraid that there is one major problem eating Nigeria up hard, that President Mohammadu Buhari might not be able to look into or solve.
Over time on twitter, there have been sessions of uproar which have transpired between people of different tribes (The Igbos and the Yorubas, specifically). I am totally fed up of the unseeming bants the Yorubas throw against the Igbos and vice-versa. You know, this has driven me to think. Perhaps corruption isn’t our greatest problem. Perhaps the lack of love is. Perhaps tribalism is. Furthermore, I ask, if we truly want a better Nigeria, are we looking forward to achieving it this way? Do you ever wonder if the last line of the first stanza of our National Anthem would ever come to pass? How this infuriates me every now and then, not because I am yoruba, but because I hate to see that the so-called great people of a great nation can not even join hands together without thinking of or calling out the faults of other tribes. It is even alarming to think that the open hatred and condemnation amongst Nigerian tribes on the social media is but a shadow of what truly is in reality. If we want to build Nigeria, can we build Nigeria without building one another? And can we build one another without loving one another? I would like to know.
This might mean nothing to you, but I am plain tired of the twitter bants. So, this is what I believe. Buhari might be an agent of true change but this is not a problem I think he would be able to solve because the problem lies in the hands on every Nigerian (you and me) to solve. I know the tribal conflict will come up again on Twitter or on Facebook or anywhere else but I believe that with every Nigerian who will take the effort to love his neighbour without segregating, and without hypocrisy, an effective step will be added to the national journey towards peace and unity.
There have been cases of freshmen (females) who have either been sexually or monetarily exploited by guys who were stallites (in some cases, both). These cases occurred because the girls were perceived as naïve. Permit me to bring to your notice that there will be guys standing at AngloMoz every night, some with cars or expensive gadgets that could catch your eyes, observing carefully like lions looking for a prey(or preys) to devour- young, beautiful, ignorant and fresh-blooded girls. They come, at first, like those who come in peace and harmlessness but the end of their mission is pain and regret.
Remember, first and foremost, that you are too precious to be carried away by the sugary words of any guy. You are too big to be moved by the “accolades” that he could present to you- like being nice, having a cool car, having a house in town, or even being able to speak impeccable English.
While I’m not asking you to run away from guys or push your face up when someone walks up to you or assume that all guys are out there to ruin your life, I urge you to be careful. Be as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove. Set your standards and stick to them. Don’t be shaken. Don’t be moved. You’re worth more than rubies. You are priceless, not worthless. You are greatly-sought after. You are a great woman. You command respect. Don’t let anybody deceive you. SHINE YOUR EYE. Have a wonderful stay on campus!
I Love You,
Change, they say, is constant. Every being is susceptible to change. Even the most resistant to change is likely to experience one form of unconscious change, or the other, at a point in their lives. People want change. In 2008, when President Barack Obama was contesting for the Presidency of the United States of America his mantra was “Change” and, of course, we know the outcome of the elections. Presently in Nigeria, one of the country’s leading political parties – the All Progressive Congress(APC) – has won the hearts of millions just because they have promised them what they so crave for – ‘Change’. So, you see, the desire for change is not esoteric but is common to all individuals.
This want for change is not left out in our personal and interpersonal relationships. We are continually, and unavoidably, surrounded by people who we always think could do better or get better, people who we strongly believe should change a habit that we think is unacceptable. We, sometimes, wonder why a certain individual would act in an annoying manner. Employers are constantly baffled as to why their employees choose not to work better. Spouses constantly sigh, in frustration, at the thought that their partners seem not to want to grow. We all want someone, somewhere, to stop doing something we hate with our entire being. And when this doesn’t happen (probably not as quickly as we want it), we throw our hands up in the air, in frustration, asking: “why don’t you just want to learn?”; “why don’t you just want to grow up?”
But then, perhaps the conflicts we have with other individuals are not as a result of what they can’t do, or don’t want to learn, but as a result of who we are. Perhaps our own characters are so flawed that we can’t see that these people are probably better than we are. We want others to change. We coax and coerce them to do things in a way which we think is better. We don’t focus on ourselves. We don’t put ourselves in the equation of change we so badly want to implement. Maybe, just maybe, if we invested in our character, we would begin to see others in a different light. We would begin to understand that we badly need the change we want for them ourselves. Maybe that little step of introspection could make us see what or who exactly needs to change, or be changed. And maybe, if everyone focused less on changing the other Nigerian and focused on changing himself more – in character – Nigeria would not only be a changed country but a country with changed people.
More than the need for others to change, more than the need for even our country to change, is the greater need for our person to change. I want change. And I know you do too. But before we ask for change in others, let us seek for change first in ourselves.
Edit Credit: Damilola Yakubu (@DamiYakubu)
Hello, folks! How are you doing today?
To my wonderful first-timers, regular and irregular visitors, welcome. Thanks for visiting. This post would be short so you would be able to read through and go on with other things. So, enjoy.
“Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses”- George Washington
For every good and important decision you’re going to have to make in your life, you would be faced with two conditions: One, a reason why you should do it, and two, an excuse why you can not do it. More often than not, the force of the excuse outweighs that of the reason. I believe it is absolutely safe to say that excuses are the greatest hinderances to achievable goals. Most people give excuses for almost everything they’re supposed to do but do not want to do or do not feel like doing. I do too. It most probably is the reason why we have far more failures in our world today than successes.
Perhaps it is just a natural inclination for people to put a blame on one thing or give an excuse for another. We blame our poor backgrounds, insufficient funds, lack of resources, incapability, little or no support from people and any other irrelevant thing we can get our hands on. If there was ever a great idea that once crossed my mind, or a great opportunity that once crossed my path that later didn’t materialize, it was most probably because I found an excuse that did not make it work.
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it”- Jordan Belfort
Why haven’t you drawn that business plan that you thought of yet? Why haven’t you started writing that book yet? Why haven’t you learnt that skill yet? Why haven’t you enrolled for that class yet? Why haven’t you recorded that song yet? Why haven’t you started developing a close relationship with God yet? Why haven’t you…? I could keep asking you a thousand more questions and you would have excuses for each of them. You know what? You will always have excuses not to achieve your goals, but all you need is one reason why you should. Excuses are enemies of progress. I bet we would achieve more if we stopped making excuses. Make a commitment today to find a reason to do something good and worthwhile amidst a hundred excuses not to do it.
“It doesn’t matter if you come from the inner city. People who fail in life are people who find lots of excuses. It’s never too late for a person to recognize that they have potential in themselves.”- Benjamin Carson
Thanks for reading. Please, don’t forget to drop your thoughts- your comments and in fact, constructive criticisms. They’re important and would be appreciated. And don’t forget to share too. 😉
Follow on twitter: @Orifunke
Hello!!! It’s great to have you here! Thank you for visiting! Please do well to leave comments when you’re through. Bless!
It was a few minutes to 2am.
I stood under the leaky shed, shivering. The rain had totally drenched me. I didn’t have an umbrella, I didn’t have anywhere to go and worst of all, I was four months’ pregnant. I looked at my protruded belly for the umpteenth time and shook my head in tears.
“See what you’ve gotten yourself into”, a voice within me accused me. “See where covetousness and disobedience have led you to.” The voice continued, “Think of your family, your father who is well-known in your church, your mother who is also a teacher in your church. Look at your siblings. What standard have you laid down for them?”.
I shook my head. I remembered how much my father loved me. It was the thought of the fact that I had disappointed my father that was so painful. Well, they didn’t even know I was pregnant. I ran away from home after I found out. Even though I knew they would have been searching frantically for me, I still didn’t want to go back home. I feared the unknown. I feared my father would reject me and send me out. Going back home would be suicide! So I decided to stay outside my home, outside safety, I knew I was exposed to the dangers of the outside world. But I still stood under the rain, shivering, with my protruded belly…
It was a few minutes to 2am.
Many of us are this way. At a point, we did something very wrong to God. Something very sinful. We got pregnant with the sins of the world. Now, we’re so scared of going back to God, we’re scared of asking for His forgiveness. We know He’s our Father and although that should make us eager to ‘come back home’, that still makes us shiver the more. We think God hates us because of our sin, we think He wouldn’t accept us because we’ve gone against His will, we fear He’d reject us if we go back to him. So we run away, into the world, out of God’s mercies, out of His watchful eyes, into unsafety. We know it’s not safe out there but because we’re feeling so guilty, we’d rather stay outside where we’re bound to be attacked by the enemy(the devil) than go back to God, our Father.
Are you in such a situation? You think you’ve committed more than enough sins that God is so mad at you? The good news is God isn’t mad at you. The devil wants you to think God doesn’t want to accept you. The devil wants you to keep living in insecurity, in guilt, in total condemnation. That’s not what God wants. God wants you to come back to Him. Forget whatever sin you’ve committed. Forget the uncountable wrongs you’ve done. God’s not looking at your sins, He’s concerned about you. He loves you.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”- Isaiah 1:18 [KJV]
God, your Father is saying, “Quit running away and come back to me. I still love you and I always will. No matter the number of sins you’ve done in the past, I still have the power to wash you clean.” Jesus has the power to forgive ALL your sins, that’s why He died for you. And Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus would give you peace. Don’t let the devil stop you from getting peace. Come back to God through Jesus Christ.
If you’d like to give your life to Jesus Christ or re-dedicate your life to Him, kindly say the prayer below:
I know I’m a sinner,
I believe you died for me,
I ask you to forgive all my sins,
I accept and confess you as my Lord and Personal Saviour,
Come into my life.
Thank you, Jesus! Amen.
If you said that prayer, I welcome you into God’s glorious Family. Don’t let the devil put you into the bondage of guilt again. Should you have questions or comments, please make use of the comment box. Thank you for reading! God bless you!
You could follow on twitter: @Orifunke
Add me on Facebook: Orifunke Lawal
Or email me: [email protected]
HI!!! *shines teeth*
You’re here again! Thanks for stopping by! Are you a first-timer? You’re highly welcome! Thank you for visiting! Please relax, read and learn. And when you’re done, please don’t leave without dropping your comments. I’d really appreciate them! Okay! Leggo!
Just imagine this. You’re on a queue and you’re trying to get something others are struggling to get too. You’re being pushed from the front and being pushed from the back. Then by mistake, someone steps on you and looks back then turns away her face. You’re like, “You stepped on me.” Expecting the person to say sorry, she replies, “Can’t you see there are many people here? It wasn’t my fault!”. How would you feel?
All of us are naturally ego-driven creatures. We always want to do things that would increase or support our self-esteem. As a result, when we offend people, it could be quite difficult for us to say Sorry. Apologizing when you know quite well that you’re wrong seems like the hardest thing to do. Now what does apologizing mean? Saying Sorry? Yes, but not just that, it means admitting you’re wrong, saying sorry for doing the wrong thing and assuring the person that it wouldn’t repeat itself. So you see, apologizing isn’t just about saying sorry. The part of apologizing that seems to be the hardest is admitting the fact that you’re in the wrong. Everybody wants to be the one in the right part. And naturally, we all hate being the one who has to admit doing the wrong thing. That’s why we use the sentence “It wasn’t my fault” to support ourselves.
However, as difficult as it could seem, it is very important that we apologize when we offend others. The first thing you should tell yourself is, apologizing doesn’t make you smaller than you are, it doesn’t reduce your self-esteem one bit! For you to keep your relationships with people, you would have to learn the art of apologizing to others. Why? Because you’re imperfect. We all are. And that’s why it’s possible for you to step on people’s toes.
When you offend someone, don’t try defending yourself! It’s not going to get you the forgiveness you need. Come out plain and say, “I know I did this and this and I’m sorry”. Don’t say, “This and this happened and I’m sorry about it. You know it wasn’t my fault.” NO NO! Also, when you’re apologizing, be sincere about it. Don’t do it because you don’t want to look proud or because people are asking you to do it
or because Orifunke asked you to do it. And finally, endeavour not to repeat the wrong thing you did. If you do. that would show or make the person assume that you weren’t sincere at first.
So people, this is it. I hope you’ve learnt one or two things from this. When you offend someone, sincerely apologize, don’t try covering-up by saying, “It wasn’t My fault!”.
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.– Benjamin Franklin
I really should thank God. I asked Him for speed in writing this and He gave me. ^_^
Thanks a whole lot for reading through! I’m sure you learnt something, even if it wasn’t so new to you. Now, please don’t leave without dropping your comments. Corrections, contradictions and contributions are welcome as usual! And you could also follow this blog so you wouldn’t miss out on posts that would be coming up in the future. Bless!
Nice to have you here again! Visiting for the first time? You’re highly welcome! For old-timers and new-timers, thank you for stopping by! Today’s post is a bit long. Sorry, I just had to write it this way. But you know how it is now, you read, learn(this is important) and drop your comments after. Thank you!
It was a Saturday morning- the last Saturday of the month. And as we usually did on a day as this, we had to clean the whole house thoroughly. Mother gave each of the seven children in the house particular places in the house to clean/clear. To me, she assigned the kitchen area. Since the kitchen was the easiest part to clean, she left me alone. It was going well until my eyes went towards the top of the cupboard and I decided to climb an ”apoti” to bring down the sets of glass wares that were on it. To my non-Yoruba readers, an “apoti” is a small sort of chair,more like a stool.
I was feeling good with myself (like a good girl). I got hold of the set of glass wares- about 24 plates. And as I tried balancing myself on the apoti to get down, I lost my balance and all the plates came crashing down on the tiled floor! I stood still on the apoti looking at the broken pieces of glass wares that had gone round the kitchen now, too shocked to move. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they weren’t my mother’s most precious glass wares which she had been given on her wedding day, twenty-seven years before.
Just as I expected, Mother came running all the way to the kitchen.
“YEEEE! MO DARAN OOOO! O ti fo gbogbo awo mi tan ooo! (she has broken all my glass wares ooo!)”, she shouted as she ran into the kitchen, with my six other siblings following her. When she got in, she paused and looked at all her precious plates now in pieces.
To my utmost surprise, instead of giving me the beating of my life, she began to cry.
Words are almost the most important things that pertain to life. In fact, there’s no life without words. We communicate through words. God speaks to us through His Word. Everything has to do with words. Cassandra Clare definitely wasn’t wrong when she said, “We live and breathe words.” It is no surprise, therefore, that the words we speak(and of course, hear) play a very important role in making or marring us. Whenever we are in the position to talk to others, we have the opportunity to tell them good(positive) words or bad(negative) words. The words you speak to others would go a long way in their lives and possibly in your own life too.
Your words really matter. Your words would represent you anywhere. They would stand for or against you in your absence. You see, where you legs cannot reach, your words could get there. The smallest words could destroy the greatest relationships. You probably knew that before but didn’t think it was important.
It’s easier to say bad things when you’re angry, and that’s why when you feel you really should ‘blast’ someone with words, you should calm down, that may be the right time to keep your mouth shut. At times(many times actually), you might need to keep quiet. Wisdom is knowing the right thing to say and when to say it in the right way. God didn’t give us brains for nothing. Before you say something, it wouldn’t be wrong for you to ask yourself, “I hope I wouldn’t be driving a penknife into this person’s heart by saying this?”. Bad words always want to force themselves out of your mouth.
Saying words might not have to be through your mouth alone. It could be through other means such as texts and yes, even social networks. Someone said something on twitter and it hurt me(Cool story, bah?). Funny enough, we weren’t even following each other. So, watch the words you say everywhere!
You almost can tell the kind of person a person is through the words they speak. Words are a reflection of who you are. Wondering why people don’t get along with you well, or why you don’t get along with people well? Maybe you should check the words that are coming from you. Nobody wants to be around people who break hearts with their words.
A nice sincere word is not to hard to say. Making someone smile is not so hard. Complementing people is not a sin(if you’re being honest). Even correcting people would be a lot better if you don’t use terrible words. It wouldn’t remove anything from you to think well before speaking, rather it could remove a lot from you if you don’t do that. It is less expensive to say the right words in a non-offensive way.
Great people live according to positive things(which include positive words). Remember, words are like glass wares. The best way to keep them is to handle them in the most careful way. Once broken, they can’t be put together again. Don’t end up saying words that you’d after wish you never said. Speak right, Live right.
“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity”– Proverbs 21:23(NIV)
“You can change your world by changing your words. Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue”– Joel Osteen
“When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken, you reign over it.”– Arabian Proverb
P.S: The story you read before the write-up itself was made up.
Thank you very much for reading even up to this point! I hope you gained something! Now, don’t leave without dropping your comments. Corrections, contributions and contradictions are always appreciated! Please share with others too. You could also follow this blog so you could get the posts direct to your mailbox when published! Bless!
Uh-hmm… It feels awkward writing again. Well, It’s good I’m back!
Good day, Great Ladies and Gentlemen, It is sooooo great to have you here once again! If you’re visiting for the first time, you’re welcome and thank you! I hope you’d learn one or two things from this. Please remember to drop your comments. Thanks!
We all want to be successful and standing beside the fact that we want to be successful is the reality that we have to see ourselves as successful people before we can actually be successful.
In this world of ours, it is not unusual to hear someone say, “I can’t do this!” or “I can’t make it” or whatever. The devil has put so many things around us that have made so many of us think and believe negative things about ourselves. One reason why many of us can’t do something is not because we can’t do it, but because, more often than not, we do not believe we can do it. We have all grown up in different places, with different people and have heard words of encouragement and criticism at one point or the other. The bad thing is many of us care more about what other people think of us, we care more about what other people say of us. We fail to realize that in this journey of life, those who always end up winning are those who can see themselves winning in the first place. I think it’s an important life rule that for you to be great, you gotta see yourself as a great person. You can’t be who you do not think you are. And success, greatness starts from thinking and believing- not what others think and believe about you but what you think and believe about yourself.
I do not know the kind of words you grew up hearing and I do not know the kind of words you hear now. People would always be there to remind you of your flaws, they’re always going to tell you that you can’t do a particular thing. If you think you’re always going to have support from people, my dear, you’re dreaming! People are always gonna tell you what they think about you. Many people aren’t going to believe in your dream or vision. But you know what, life’s a game, and you can only win by seeing yourself as who God sees you and as who you want to be. God sees you as a great person, people could see you as a small person, what are you seeing in YOU? What are you saying about YOU? What do you think about YOU? What do you believe about YOU?
It’s high time you stopped listening to the negative things people are saying. Greatness starts from within. It starts from what YOU think and believe. It is your life and that’s why what you think is highly important. You shouldn’t give other people the chance to rule you for YOU. Whatever it is that you know you want to start, pray about it, get God’s approval and go ahead. The devil is always going to put discouraging, criticizing people and conditions around you but you don’t worry! Get past them! Bother less about what they think. God wants you to be great, see yourself as that great person! In your success story, the only person who really matters is YOU!
You can make it! You’re great! You’re important!
I am Orifunke Lawal. I know God sees me as a great person. So that’s what I am. That’s who I am and that’s what I’ll always be. I am One Great Woman.
Thanks a whole lot for reading through! Please don’t forget to drop your comments. Contradictions, Corrections and Contributions would be highly appreciated!