Category Archives: Motivational
You’re not too old.
This morning, I was speaking with someone dear and I told him that whenever I find myself in a potentially emotionally draining situation, I remind myself that I am too young to be facing that kind of thing.
When there’s something I want to start, I tell myself that I am not too old for that.
Why do I do this? I do this because I understand how much pressure you could unknowingly create for yourself when you put yourself under that age scrutiny.
You’re 25, you’re thinking you’re too old for this or that. You’re 27, you’re allowing yourself think you’re too old. At the end of the day, you hinder yourself from doing certain stuff because you’ve put that age bracket on yourself.
Studies have shown that people naturally find it harder to take risks as they grow older simply because they feel they’re too old for them. This means that your chances of starting a business at 22 are greatly reduced when you’re 35 because then you want to think about your age. In that case, your age restricts you.
Other times, people find it harder to apply for certain roles and jobs as they grow older because they feel they’re too old for them.
Feeling like you’re too old can also prevent you from subjecting yourself to learning from someone who is younger than you are, to your own disadvantage.
Do. Not. Be. Restricted. By. Your. Age. Darling.
Of course, when it comes to certain immature stuff, feel free to let yourself know you’re too old for that. But do not allow yourself to be boxed into old age before you actually get old.
Like I told my friend this morning, I honestly don’t feel old. And when I am 54, I still would not feel like I’m too old. I will enjoy this baby girl status for life. ?
How has the pressure of being “too old” stopped you from doing certain things or reaching out to certain people? Do you think it’s something you should correct?
I have attached an image that you could post on your status or social media and include what you’re not too old to do.
I am not too old to start to pursue my dreams. I am not too old to leave that bad relationship. I am not too old to take that course. I am not too old to start that business or project. I am not too old to find better experiences. I am not too old to find the love of my life. ??
My name is Orifunke Lawal and I am planning to send you posts like this all through the month of May. If you wouldn’t like that, please let me know so I can remove you from my BC list. I hate BCs too unless they’re important to me ?
Thank you! If you’re re-BCing, kindly include credit because you’re not too old to be sued for plagiarism sha. ???
Reading through this young woman’s story for the first time, I was both thrilled and intrigued. Her story sent a number of emotions through me. I was awed by how much and how well she was able to handle her son’s physical disability and turn it into an advantage and a strength. As someone who has a brother who is struggling with another type of physical disability, I can quite relate. Her story encapsulates the genesis of the problem, the journey through the years, the struggles she has had to face and the eventual victories. Her name is Anne Bessong and you will enjoy this story and be inspired by it down to the very end.
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I got married in December 1994 and on January 3, 1996, our first baby was born. At birth, David was just like any other baby until he cried or smiled. Then his whole face shifted to one side and the contorted sight wasn’t nice, to say the least. That was how our journey into the world of physical human disorders started. The doctors called it partial facial palsy, asked us to observe him till he was over 9 months old and we started getting referrals to go to different places.
After he turned two, I got fed up & stopped taking him to the Children’s Hospital. I just ensured he exercised his facial muscles by chewing on all the recommended stuff we had been told to use.
Just before he turned three, we travelled to America where a doctor commended David for being well-behaved and handed him a lollipop. David accepted it, smiled and said “thank you” & the problem started! The doctor began to ask several questions as she wrote down everything. Next thing, she brought out her pager, sent a message and some other doctors rushed in. We kept a few appointments before we returned home to Nigeria and he continued with his schooling. Needless to say that every time he cried or smiled, he was made the butt of jokes and jeered at because his face got contorted as it shifted to one side.
At age 5, David began to ask questions about people’s reactions to his laughter or cry. I got tired of telling him not to mind them, got tired of making excuses for their insensitive behaviour, got tired of buying him toys to take his attention away from it all. I quit my Media/PR job and had to become a full-time teacher so as to be closer to him. (I grappled with the financial step-down for a while).
Fortunately, he is very brilliant and so each time he got laughed at and came to me, I’d bring out a mirror and ask him to smile at it. I’d then ask him what happened. He would reply that his face moved. I’ll ask him to look at the mirror without smiling. He would say his face was okay. Then I would smile at him and tell him in a firm voice that his problem was outward and so temporary. I would also encourage him that it would have been a big problem if an internal organ that we couldn’t see was affected. I encouraged him to be the best at everything and after some years, he believed that the problem with his face wasn’t as bad as his peers with woeful results since that meant they had a problem with their brains!
And that was how my son went through primary and secondary school. People still made fun of him, laughed at him when he laughed instead of laughing at the joke he was laughing at. But I had groomed him to develop a thick skin and instead pity their lack of knowledge. He even went a step ahead each time he introduced himself and always added that he was born with partial facial palsy which made his face shift to one side when he smiled or laughed (remembering to add that it wasn’t contagious). Against all odds, I groomed David and his brother (who I had after him) to be complete gentlemen, God-fearing, well-behaved, focused, respectful and helpful.
In December 2015, at the age of 19, my son graduated with a First Class in Network & Telecommunications Engineering from Universitie Africaine Du Management Et Du Technologie in the Republic of Benin! He was posted Bayelsa State for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)! I talked about it with him and my young hot-cake First-Class engineer was excited and expectant about going to serve in Bayelsa. Even at the Orientation Camp, he was nominated the Social Leader of his platoon!
Today, I can claim without sounding boastful that I’m one of the best teachers there is! My pain led me to a profession I’ll never give up for anything. Today, I encourage other mothers and help them see that indeed there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today, I can say with even more pride that I have a son who conquered stigmatization to become the best in his chosen field of study. He has since completed his NYSC and is leading a normal life like any young man his age.
To mums out there with children facing challenges, let David’s story encourage you. Focus on the good in that seemingly bad situation and work on it like raw gold in the refiner’s furnace. The journey may not be easy, but the outcome is sure worth the effort! His face still shifts to one side but years of exercise has reduced it a tiny winy bit and we’re grateful for that little improvement!
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Thank you for reading. Do you have a story you would love to be published on my website? Send a mail to [email protected]
For a while now, I’ve been considering a lot of my plans, commitments, goals and ideas. And I must confess that, usually, I am awed by how gigantic my dreams are. Let me tell you something about me: I am one person who dreams a lot. I sit down or walk the road daily thinking about the big dreams I have. Trust me, I have massive ideas almost all the time. Only thing, though, is you’d rarely get to hear me talk about them. I personally prefer to do first before talking about it.
Sometimes, I talk to myself, consider the goals I have had and why they didn’t materialize. I do like to be open and sincere with myself even though it’s easier to shy away from the thoughts of pain that accompany every failed step I have taken.
Since I really am free to sharing my mistakes with you, I am writing this. Hopefully, you can read through and relate well and yes, also be inspired.
So here are some of the biggest mistakes I have ever made:
1. Being afraid of failing.
In the past, I did have a fear of failing. I basically had to always ask myself “What if it doesn’t come through as planned? What would people say? What would I look like?” and all other questions like that. Somehow, being in that comfort zone of not having to bother about failing feels good. Looking back now, I wish I had taken many steps I desired in the past without a fear of failing. I have come to realize that those who are scared of failing really do not go far in life. This is because being scared of failing means being scared of following your dreams and goals and ideas.
2. Not acting upon my ideas
Until much recently, I was more of a dreamer than a doer. I would sit and dream and plan and never really get around to doing. This would happen until I eventually forgot about the goal or till I got demotivated and had to move over to something else. However, I had to consciously make myself understand that if I had a plan or an idea, I had to actively work on it. In 2015, I had this idea of doing an improvement challenge for twenty-one days and involve other people as well. I sat and planned and at the point I discovered I was doing much planning than doing, I instantly set out to start. The project came out great and the number of people who joined in amazed me. The same thing happened a few months back when I had the idea of a ladies’ spiritual meeting back in the university. I have quite recovered from this mistake and still recovering too. Learn not to only dream but to also act on your dreams.
3. Waiting to have everything perfect and in place before starting out.
This has to be the biggest hindrance to me doing most of the things I really have wanted to do. I like things being all in place before launching out on anything. I’ve learnt, though, that to achieve results, you must drop that feeling of wanting to have everything in place and all perfect. Everything won’t be perfect at any point anyway so why not do what you want to do?
4. Thinking too much about what others would think or say or feel. Yes, I’m one of those people who care about opinions. And I do regret how much achievement this has caused me in the past. I have learnt that people really don’t care about what you achieve and if they do, you can do without their opinions. Too many people hold back on a big deal they should be doing or landing because they’re pretty much bothered about what other people will say. I guess this is due to the fear of disapproval. Well, I’ve learnt it’s my life and nobody’s opinion should rank better than mine.
I’m grateful for the mistakes I’ve made because they’ve taught me how better things could be done. And well, I really am still learning from a host of other mistakes. What are the biggest mistakes you have made? Can you share them with me?
Some weeks ago, the idea of having a challenge for twenty-one days that would help me improve in certain vital areas of my life crossed my mind. It sounded like a much better idea when I thought of the fact that I could also involve other people who needed to improve themselves also. So, after much deliberation, I embarked on #TIC21 which stands for The Improvement Challenge of 21 days. Today is Day 21 of #TIC21 and I am happy, thankful and fulfilled that I made it to the end. I would be sharing with you how The Improvement Challenge has helped me.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done”- Nelson Mandela
Yes, that’s the first lesson I learnt. Nothing will be possible, or seem possible, until somebody actually does it. About to start the challenge, I had a whole lot of reservations and questions. It was my first project of its kind and I didn’t know how to start. I didn’t know what people would think and if they would want to join in the Challenge. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it till the twenty-first day. I feared that I would start and not be able to finish. Man, I had so much worries! However, I decided that I was going to do it whether it seemed possible or not, whether people joined in or not. I just did it. I knew that even if I failed at it, I would have learnt a lesson or two from it. I also knew that I had nothing to lose if I started it. The success of #TIC21 has made me see that I could do whatever I set out to do. It has inspired me to dream of bigger challenges. It has taught me better ways of doing stuff like this. I am the only limitation that I have. People aren’t my limitation. Money isn’t. I am my own limitation.
How #TIC21 helped me.
I am of the belief that everybody must work hard to improve themselves. Being contented with who you are and where you are is a sign of mediocrity. You might be doing so well at a particular thing but the truly successful people never get satisfied with wherever they are. There is ALWAYS a need to improve. #TIC21 made me constantly remember the need for improvement. There were times when I was tired but I knew I had to keep improving myself. I built the habit of writing, reading everyday and now that I am through with the challenge, I see no reason why I should stop writing everyday or why I should stop reading everyday. I know I am a better writer than I was twenty-one days ago. Albeit I am not where I want to be, I see this as a good start for me.
#TIC21 taught me commitment, not just commitment to improvement, but commitment to people. I knew I couldn’t stop halfway because there were people always asking how the Improvement Challenge was going. There were people who wanted to see me end well and so I just couldn’t stop till I got to the end.
I am grateful to everybody who saw the possibility of this when I was not even sure about it; Tolulope Ahmed, Abraham Ologundudu, Samuel Akinlotan, Adebayo Michael Em.A, and those that space will not permit me to mention- Thank you so much. Also, Thanks to those who kept sending in their encouragement messages. To a very wonderful set of people I can not but acknowledge, those who joined in the Challenge. Thank you for seeing this as a worthy cause to join in. Thank you for working everyday to be better. Thank you for making this journey worthwhile. Keep growing. Keep improving. You are your only limitation.
And that’s it, folks! #TIC21 has come to an end. Watch this space for further challenges. *winks*
I could give you reasons why we really shouldn’t be happy about the NASU strike but that would only be me reopening closed wounds (or, almost closed wounds). I know you hate to have to go home as a result of a struggle that has nothing to do with you. I do, too, but then I have just learnt to see the bright side of things even in the darkest of days. I mean, there is always a silver lining in every cloud. So, amidst a thousand reasons to be sad and disappointed about the issue of the school closure, let’s find a reason to be happy about it.
You know, what if this is an opportunity for you to develop yourself regarding the activities that really matter to you? What if this break is an avenue for you to grow, to improve? The reason a lot of students give for not improving at what they would like to improve at is lack of sufficient time due to the need to study hard, attend classes, group discussions et al. And of course, that is so understandable. But now, there are no classes to attend, no group discussions, no notes to write. This is the best time for you to learn that skill, read that book, take that course, and whatever else it is that you would love to do. I have learnt from bitter experience that you don’t expect OAU to resume one week after a strike or even, a legitimate holiday. They would most likely spend a month or two or even three! Don’t sleep away and be patiently waiting for OAU to resume whilst doing nothing worthwhile with your life.
I have a suggestion for you as you start your break; PLAN! Really, plan! Most of us are home now without knowing the next step to take. For a lot, this break will not be wasted not because you don’t want to make optimum use of it but because you have no definite plan for it. Don’t tell me you want to improve at this and that. Show me HOW! Set goals! Show me how you want to achieve these goals. Write your plan down so it is possible for you to follow up with it. If you want to work, for instance, write the type of work you would like to do, how long you would like to work there. If you want to learn a skill, write down the skill, how do you want to learn it? Who do you want to teach you? If you want to read books, what type of books do you want to read? For how long do you want to read a book? What do you want to have achieved after reading each book? Our problems can be solved by asking the right questions and by planning to solve them.
I hope this has helped you. Any questions? Or is there any way I could help you achieve your goals this break? Please feel free to mail me at [email protected]
Today is Day 13 of the Improvement Challenge. The Improvement Challenge (#TIC21) is an initiative aimed at helping people improve at things that they do and would like to improve at. Learn more about the Improvement Challenge HERE. You could also view previous posts:
Thank you for reading. Please share your thoughts as they are very valuable to me. Thanks!
Some years ago, you had this amazing idea that got you all excited whenever you thought about it. As a wise person, you sat down to think about it and plan for it. Then it occurred to you that you weren’t perfect enough to conceptualize the idea. It also came to your notice that the conditions that surrounded you at that time were not perfect enough. Years down the line, that idea is still in your kitchen cupboard, waiting to be remembered. Just a few months ago, you refused to work on that business idea or take up that project that could have helped to positively impact lives in your community because you thought you weren’t capable enough or that the conditions weren’t perfect enough for you to do something about it. Months after, that idea is still under your bed, forgotten, because the perfect conditions are yet to arrive and you are yet to become perfect.
I understand how this happens because it has happened to me a lot of times. The chord of pain that strikes your soul when you see that someone who doesn’t even know you is carrying out your idea is not something I think I could describe. And all that, because I wanted more perfect conditions to start something perfect.
Listen up! If everyone waited till they were perfect before doing something that they thought was great then nothing great would ever be done. Nothing! Perfection is insuperable. And so are perfect conditions. I believe there is no such thing as a perfect timing to start something right. You have to seize the timing itself and make it perfect. Nothing would be done in the next ten years if you keep waiting for you to be perfect. There has never been, and will never be a perfect you for a perfect project. And situations may never be more appropriate for you than they are now. You’ve got to stand up and stop waiting for a better time to do that important stuff that’s still lying on your shelf; start writing that book, take steps towards starting that business, start that project, take that course, start something! For if you don’t, in ten years time, you will still not be a perfect man.
P.S: I started an Improvement Challenge last Friday, 3rd July, 2015. The Improvement Challenge, which spans for 21 days, aims at helping you develop habits towards achieving your goals by doing them every day for 21 days. Looking forward to having you join us. Learn more about the Challenge here
Are you sure this is not the opportunity you have been waiting for?
You have often wished you could get yourself to write a page of that book everyday, w ished you could get up earlier than normal everyday so you could adequately prepare for the day ahead, wished you could take some time out everyday to study your Bible and pray, wished you could take calculated steps everyday towards the achievement of a particular goal. However, it seems as though you lack the human will to make resolutions and keep to them. You’ve tried and tried but it’s not just working. Or, you probably have never seen the need to daily work towards a particular goal.
Well, The Improvement Challenge might be JUST FOR YOU! YES! The Improvement Challenge is a 21-day journey towards getting better at a particular thing(s) that you do. It starts today and we’re waiting for you to come on board. Joining us is easy!
1. Write out a particular thing or list out a set of things that you really want to improve at. For me, one of them is my writing and so, I would be writing everyday for the next 21 days. I would advise that you have a small number of things to improve at so you can focus and measure your growth/improvement. Too many of them might make you “burdened” along the line.
2. At the end of each day, please share your story for the day to encourage all others who are also in the challenge with us. If you please, you could send me your story to share with others.
If you have any questions and comments, and if there’s any help I could render to you with regard to this challenge, please feel free to message me personally. Thank you!