No Pictures, Sorry

The last time I and my brother went to Epe, we stopped at a KFC and saw a marriage proposal scene as the young ones of nowadays do it. And we were discussing whether public proposals are necessary and whether KFC is even a romantic location.

Fast forward to the present day. Another couple did a proposal at KFC in South Africa . Some tourist took their pictures and it started trending. Companies are falling over themselves to offer the new couple free food, drinks, cable subscription, phone and data, etc, etc.

Now I and F are wondering whether we have deprived the Nigerian couple of their moment of blessings. If we had taken pictures 📸 and shared it, maybe – just maybe – the whole world will be loving them now ❤️💵💰🎈🎁 . 📸

Sorry, I didn’t take pictures.

Make Love

The best teachers will tell you that you should do what you love. Every vocation has it’s trials and challenges and there will come a time when it takes grit ,tears and bare guts to just hold on.

At times like this, you need something to help you along another mile. Passion helps.

Love may never seem enough when there are other motivations.. But loving will fill you up in the beginning. Love will make you wake up in the morning and whip you up to do the long 10000 hours required to bring your craft to perfection. Passion helps.

Love will make you continue practicing , doing what needs to be done , what can only be achieved in obscurity. Love will make you work for free and call it apprenticeship . Love will feed you until you are bold enough to ask to be paid because they will never want to pay until you ask.

Love will help you to make peace with rejection.

It will comfort you when they say you’re not good enough yet. Passion helps.

Love will help you to make peace with rejection.

It will comfort you when they say you’re not good enough yet. Passion helps.

Love is for all time . Later in your career, you need love to maintain a sense of perspective or you will want to quit. At some point, money may not be a good enough motivation to keep going for another year. The second hundred thousands is easier to get than the first but not as sweet to receive poster. After a while even the best hotel rooms become still another room away from home. After a while , the success you wanted becomes a monotonous grind. Passion helps.

There comes a time when a lot of good folk reach for their favourite poison,; powders, pills and potions. They go numb. That’s when people develop the bad habits of self-destruction. That’s why they take risks and do anything just to feel – just to feel anything , even pain.

It’s easy to lose focus when the Love is Dead and when it’s hard to think of 10 good reasons to keep doing what you’re doing. It’s easy to become confused and to lash out, floundering in every direction.

When eventually the curve turns steeply downwards, when your progress flags and your best efforts achieved even less traction, you will need Love soldier gracefully. The heavy and hard bearing waves of life eventually buries the best of us. It takes courage and pride to meet all events with equanimity. You will need Love. Passion helps

This is why all you should be literally making love, every single day.

Practice Happiness

A wise one once told me, “if you probe in a trashcan, you will find rubbish. But if you stare at a rainbow long enough, you’ll see dancing fairies”. Everything is magnified by the power of focus.

What will you do with your mind?

Life has many pits, for every hill, there is a valley. When you are looking down, you are likely to see more valleys. I’m not saying that there aren’t many negatives, I’m just wondering why you should dwell on them.

If you are the kind of person who dwells on what’s in the media, you’ll find it is mostly depressing stuff. As one war ends, another starts. The economy? Crime? Don’t even get me started on the environment. Yada, yada, yada. You’ve heard it all before.

Like the drip drop from a faulty sink, these unending noise is the background of our life. At least you might be able to do something about leaking plumbing,

most of the things in the media are completely out of your control. You can’t do much to affect it.

By all means vote and if you feel passionate enough, write a protest letter, carry a protest sign, contribute to that fund. And once you have done what you can do, let it be.

Do not let what you do not like take away from you what you love. Do not let disagreeable people prevent you from sharing positive energy.

Cultivate the happiness of your mind as a habit. Find the things you love doing and do it. Find people who like the same things you like and associate with them.

No matter how small the scale find something you love doing and keep doing it. Give your happiness a time and a place in your routine. Small things can give big rewards. Small things can grow.

Let me give an example. After one of my business failures some years ago, I got interested in barbequeing. I didn’t know jack about that kind of cooking so I watched videos, read books and started practicing. I come for my family and they hailed my faulty efforts overtime until I got a bit better. I never quite become a MasterChef although a friend started calling me a backyard grill activist. But it was fun. It was therapeutic too. No matter how I felt, the hobby was always able to give me a pick-me-up. It was fun to learn, it was fun to cook and it was fun to watch people eat my food.

There were times when I would come home depressed, I found that throwing some meat on the grill did not let me stew in my negatives juices. The spark that lit the fire also did light up my mood.

Depression is real and some may need to get medical and psychiatric attention. Most of the time, it comes like the drizzle that you think does not need an umbrella until a few hours on, you discover you are drenched through and through. Invariably, it helps to plan a few feel good activities into your day.

Take a walk in the park. Tend to a potted plant or garden. Help a stranger. Play board games with friends. Volunteer. Go out and have a drink, just to spend time in conversation with friends. Cultivate a hobby.

Whatever lifts up your mood, find time to do it regularly. Often that will involve making other people happy. Happiness is like a skill; the more you practise it , the better you get at getting better.

Be Pragmatic

One of the greatest burdens people bear is “what will people think?”. Especially in social media where approval is disdain is only a like or down vote click away, it is easy to fall in for the pressures of the virtual world.

I’m here to tell you it’s all lie. No sane person is really watching you. That click was just second of entertainment and then we are off to the next.

Really, nobody cares that much about you, we all have our own issues. Don’t feel bad, I’m sure you don’t give a jack about my emo issues too. But hear me out, there’s an opportunity here.

Most people wait until their back is up against the wall before they do daring things. The need to have social proof prevents us from doing things that we need to do because it seems embarrassing, crazy or demeaning. But all along , nobody cares.

Think of the unemployed professional who does not want to take menial jobs because “what will people think”. So you get a visa and one way ticket to another country and their it’s okay . Think of the guy who has an idea for a business recycling trash. Do you have to wait till you have no options before you are forced to make a move? Think of the guy who wants to become an actor, a singer, artiste. Do you have to wait to win some contest before following your dreams?

Don’t get it twisted, by all means, do you your due diligence. But once you have decided, don’t wait for no one’s license. Act first and act for permission later. Do wait to be pushed or chosen, choose yourself.

It’s going to be uncomfortable at first and you will have failures.

Don’t worry, nobody is looking.

Just get up , get the dust of your shoulders and start again. And again. And again.

You are going to NEED to do a lot of things you DON’T feel like doing to get what you want.

You will never be able to do it all if you are waiting for permission, or worried about what people will say, how you will look.

Grit your teeth and take a big bite. Be pragmatic and do what needs to be done.

Help Yourself

One of the first things you will notice when you are down and out is that often nobody is willing to help you .

An old man, a retired office holder, was telling me the other day ,’Even people that I have helped in the past avoid me when I need them’.

A stream does not flow upwards; do not expect people to come to your aid because of whatever reasons. If they do so, that’s nice. But do not take it for granted. You might be disappointed.

There is only one person you can count on to help you and that person is you. If you don’t act in your own best interests, that is a terrible situation to be in.

Always bet on number one . Vouch for yourself. Invest in your ambitions. Stand up for yourself. Get rid of bad habits and the people that pull you back.

If you have ever worked hard while in the employ of others, do even more so in the pursuit of your enterprise. Don’t wait to be chosen, chose yourself. Volounteer for leadership. Recognize in you the seeds of greatness and water it .

Every time you step up , you give people permission to follow your lead.

Stop waiting for people to help you, it might never happen. Depend instead on the strength of your arms, the sweat of your brow, the excercise of your brain, the depth of your purse.

You need to always be ready to take initiative. They say heaven helps those who help themselves. I say, even if heaven forsake you, do not forsake your own course.

There is worthier cause, no greater investment than that which you do in yourself. You must be always willing to do anything necessary to help youself.

Never Give Up

You probably know people like that . They have been to hell and come back and they have scars. But mysteriously they still hold it together.

I’ve met such people in schools, hospitals , people’s homes and churches . One thing they have in common apart from their serenity is there attitude to life. One thng they have in common is that they treasure living and life.

They do not give up. It is just not in there DNA. Like champion pugilist, they get up and get in the ring one more time. They have no time to feel sorry for them self. Do you have no time to lament the tragic fate of their destiny .

I noticed sometimes but they’re not bothered about the final outcome of the battle. They have a hope that assures them that victory is in the horizon. So all their focus is in the now. The next one second.

When you are fully into the fight, you are at the zenith of your capabilities. Your vision is directed at only what is going on within the ring of battle.

If only you can take or dodge the next punch and give one more jab at your adversary, victory is possible. In the heat of the fight, when you are the iron when you are in the eye of the tiger, what you do in the next moment will determine whether you will live.

That that is not the time to debate philosophy and ask a questions about the meaning of life. Everything you have been thought and told have prepared you for this moment. Now is the time to put it all in practice, to turn theory into actions.

Trees do not question why they have to stand all through their life. A river does not question why it has to keep flowing. This is not the time to question whether it is what it or not. You have only one choice and one option and that is to live and to fight.

Make make yourself the hero in this story. Join the long list of brave combatants who stoicly fight and win their battles.

Never never give up.