Tag Archives: motivation

To catch a falling star

Chill, I talk not of the heavenly body
Indeed not of celebrities.

It is of average men and women
Who daily lose hope and give up their dreams.

“Stars” that felt they no longer shine
Or they have no reason to give light.

We are all stars, in this world
And it’s because of us that the world is bright.

Our skills and talents,
Our compassion and empathy.

Our love and dedication,
Our ability to be visionaries and pace setters.

But sometimes we forget the reason that we shine.
We forget that we give light to others.

In those moments, it is “I” over us
And so we need an energy boost.

We need to be reminded, that our lives matter.
That we no longer exist for ourselves alone.

That our being able to shine brightly
Is a source of hope for another dimming star.

We encounter failure and question the need to go on.
We are met with obstacles and we wonder if it’s worth the stress.

But then you have to pass thru the thorny branches to reach the Rose.
You have to dig thru the mud to find the gold.

The heavenly stars are so far away, millions of light years away.
Yet they give light to us wayfarers down here.

In this our interconnected world,
Distance has been blurred and so our light reaches the ends of the earth.

We inspire beyond our immediate space and time zone
We are encouraged by lives beyond our physical reach.

So why not encourage and motivate somebody by your story.
You just might catch a falling star.



Random thoughts on success

Success is never accidental,
Consciously or otherwise there must be a plan.
If you don’t plan to succede then you plan to fail.
The hunger for success must be more than the allure of mediocrity.
You tried before and you failed, so what?
You can see it as failure or as a new way not to do things.
In essence you need to be a “half full glass” person not a “half empty glass” person.
You must motivate yourself
Nobody will or can do it better than you.
You must desire to move beyond the present state.
Once you get too comfortable you sleep off in stagnation.
Success is a point along a line
Reach it and move on don’t stay there or you will miss other “points”.

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Life and its Layers.

At certain points in your life when, you just stop and look back; its always amazing what you find. You see the parts that led to victory and the despair that followed a loss. These things that make us are things we tend to forget when all is “rosy”.  I am at such a point in my life and as am looking back I am seeing all the things that contributed to my being me. And for that I say thank you.

For the failures and disappointments that I have had, probably without them I would have been too proud and “self centric”.

For the frustrations and the times that my patience was stretched to the elastic limit; without them I might have easily been broken by life’s storms.

For my moments of disgrace and embarrassment; how would I have trusted in another person’s talent without them?

For the times I worked hard and didn’t get the prize; from them I learnt that  my mind’s applause is more important than the crowd’s

For the times when being patient did not get me the “fattest bone”; I learnt that your bone is as fat as you see it to be. 

For my successes and achievements; without them I would have been hopeless.

For the times I thought my life’s velocity was too slow ; without that I wouldn’t have learnt that my life is not a race or a competition.

Standing on the cusp of today between yesterday and tomorrow I am happy that I am where I need to be today. 

All these and many more have become the various parts that make me who I am and I am thankful for all of them. Its because of the old mans experiences that he is considered wise. My hairs are learning enough to be termed wise when they turn gray.

Find joy in yesterday’s victories to give you courage for today’s wars.

After the Celebration…

There is so much to celebrate in life; from birthdays to weddings to house warming , job promotion ,baby shower , bridal shower and a whole lot more than u can think of at the moment.

We plan and prepare, we wait with baited breath and watch as the performance begins. The choreography of celebration, from deciding what to wear (which might take weeks ) to the welcoming of the guests to the food and drinks or is it the music and dancing. Its always awesome to watch or be a part of.

The celebrant basks in the attention of the moment willing it to last forever. But alas it ends sooner than he or she would have expected.

The day after, the euphoria has disappeared, the energy of the day before is replaced by sore muscles, throat hoarse from shouting , head banging from a riot of alcoholic beverages ingested.

But you must begin the day cos it will not wait for you. So hard as it is you get up from your post rave slumber and begin the day.

The day after a celebration is usually the best time to sit down and reflect on where you are coming from and where you are going. It is always the time to decide what your tomorrow will be like.

Ok, so the celebration of this success is over, how do I move to the next phase. We shouldn’t be too caught up in celebrating success to forget that it is an event. When we so get caught in the success of today we stagnate there and eventually become irrelevant when another person tops the success we were celebrating.

So plan to win and when you win don’t sleep on one laurel when there is so much more to be achieved. Happy celebration to the ever successful you.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit-

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a fellow turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It might be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


Do It Yourself (DIY)

Don’t wait for anybody to motivate you, motivate yourself.

Don’t wait for friends or strangers to encourage you, encourage yourself.

Don’t look for accolades from others, the one your conscience gives is most important.

Don’t wait for love to find you, look for love. 🙂

Don’t wait for good fortune to locate you, search for it.

Don’t look for who will give you a hand, grow your own hand.

Don’t be engrossed in other’s dreams, dream your own.

Don’t wait for wisdom to fall from the skies, learn from your experiences.

Don’t wait for situations to favor you, make them so.

Don’t let people always do for you, do for yourself.

If you don’t do it yourself for yourself, don’t expect anybody to do it for you.

Small Victories

I don’t know much about love either,

except that it gets all mixed up with things

 that don’t have anything to do with it. 

And that it’s awfully hard to find.

                                                            Marita Golden

I recently read the story of an exceptional girl in Canada. Her name is Na’ama Uzan. She was born two years after her elder brother Nadav. She grew up seeing her brother suffer serious health challenges; from recurrent seizures to speech abnormalities and other neurological delays. Her brother has Angelman syndrome which is a rare Neuro-developmental disorder with no known cure. Knowing her brother sickness was incurable, she came up with a novel idea to raise $100 to contribute towards the research for a cure for the syndrome. To achieve this, in the spring of last year 2014 when she was still 4 years old, she started a lemonade stand in the community where they live hoping that by selling glasses of lemonade she can make up the money. Over the months the stand evolved to include muffins and chocolates among other things. This according to the little girl was all aimed at making a contribution to a research foundation for Angelman syndrome, so they can quickly find a cure for her brothers’ sickness.

When community members got to know the purpose of the lemonade stand they went out of their way to contribute to the fund and as of today she has raised a little over $25,000 for the foundation with another $21,000 raised on her behalf by parents of a boy who also has the disease in California, USA.

In respect of her contribution the Foundation For Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) has been able to establish the Na’ama Uzan FAST-TRAC Award (Targeted Research to Advance a Cure),  and promised that every cent she raised is going to Angelman specific research.

She made a difference in the world and most importantly her brother’s life at age 5. She wasn’t a genius or an entrepreneur, or an athlete. She was just a little girl who wanted her brother to be better.

It is not by spectacular achievements 

that man can be transformed, but by will.

                                                               Henrik Ibsen

A lot of times we have been made to believe that it takes a lot to make a difference, that we need all the money in the world or all the talent in the world or that our little contributions will not matter, that only the big ones count. And that’s the malady of today’s society. So we grow up waiting to “make it” before we think of making a difference, we focus on acquisitions so that we can be better positioned to make a difference and yet the irony is that even with all we have and strive for, we still miss out on making a difference in the way that it counts.

The small things are the ones that matter a lot, the homeless man you pass on your way to work every day does not need you to build him a house, he just might need a warm meal, the destitute girl that greets you as you enter your office building may just need your advice and a listening ear. Small victories aggregate to become big ones.

If you cannot help in small measure, by what force do you think you can give when the measure is big. Charity has never been known to demand a lot from us it is always the least that it begs for, attention is what it screams for but never gets. Oftentimes we throw money at circumstances that we could have talked people out of, situations that a listening ear could have made a difference we write checks for.

Don’t get me wrong, money is good to solve problems and propagate charity and indeed make a difference, but paying attention is much better. Because it’s in paying attention that we can really know the problems money can solve and the ones human communication can solve.

How do you make a difference? There is no syllabus for this, and you can start from where you are presently. Do not look for recognition and awards because that is not the goal. You can volunteer to serve food in a soup kitchen near you; you can give out your used clothes to the homeless man on your street. You can offer conversation time to a destitute that seems to need it. It is endless the small things we can do to make a difference in somebody’s life. You might not be appreciated by the person or by society but you are laying a solid foundation to be a better you.

There was this single father who was left with his daughter after his divorce with his wife. As the girl was growing he found it hard to make her hair, as simple as that sounds to women. Eventually deciding he needed help he approached a cosmetologist colleague who gave him advice to get some training in hair dressing. He did, and today his daughter is the better for it, he has made tremendous difference in his daughters’ life. Even if she doesn’t appreciate the gesture now, in later years she will understand the sacrifice her dad made so he could make an awesome difference in her life.

Little things not big things.

As you reflect on these stories and the suggestions swirling in your mind about how best to make a difference, remember that it is about giving and not counting the cost, doing good without expecting a reward. Go out there and make a positive difference in your community.

The face of fear

In Nigeria we call it “ojuju”, at least that’s in the Eastern and Western parts, in Europe and the Americas it is the bogeyman. Across cultures it is known by different names but has the same effect: fear. As children growing up we were indoctrinated into the fact that “ojuju” is resident in every dark corner of the house. Now we all know the implication of that when suddenly electricity fails at night. Every child looks for his or her mother to hold onto ( I wonder why it’s always the mother). In a way we raise our children on this culture of acceptable fear.

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you,
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
I will show you fear in a handful of dust

T.S. Eliot

Acceptable because the adults know it’s nonsense so they catch their fun for the day watching kids try to flee the clutches of “ojuju”. We grow up and understand the joke played on us and we set out to do the same to our kids.

Fear is a common denominator to all human beings, we have all been afraid and we are all still afraid. I try to arbitrarily classify fear as conscious and unconscious fear. Conscious fear will include the numerous phobias; from agoraphobia to xenophobia to claustrophobia. The list is endless, these fears are known to the individual and he/she tries avoidance as a panacea. When the individual is exposed to this type of fear the individual freezes, pulse racing with palpitations, excessive sweating, maybe tremors and other physically observable symptoms are present .these phobias are incapacitating to the physical person.

You may take the most gallant sailor,

the most intrepid airman, or the most audacious soldier,

put them at a table together—what do you get? The sum of their fears.

Winston Churchill

What I term unconscious fear on the other hand comes from our minds, the object of fear is abstract, it is intangible and the effects have a less physical manifestation if any. This is the fear that that limits our drive to succeed because we fear failure, or the drive to form relationships because we fear betrayal. It limits our desire to know God because we fear what we can’t comprehend.

I once refused to write an exam because I was afraid of failing, my classmates were preparing for this exam but I found a convenient way to sidestep it. Now looking back I could have written that exam even if I failed I would have learnt of a better way to write it the next time. But my fear kept me from moving.

That’s the type of fear we are talking about, the fear that stops your mind from taking necessary steps. After years of being made to feel like fear was a defect in my life, I have come to the understanding that fear is essentially necessary for growth and development. It is a necessary motivator for success if well understood and applied.

Today we celebrate people that contributed in no small way to our development as a species in this century. Men and women who through hard work and determination gained knowledge that is helping us know our world better. We like to paint them as fearless achievers but I like to remember them as men and women who knew and understood their fears and employed these fear in their journey of life.

Every man has a House of Lords in his own head.

Fears, prejudices, misconceptions—

those are the peers, and they are hereditary.

David Lloyd-George

The difference between success and failure lies in the ability of one to feel afraid and yet do the needful, to be mortified and yet not be paralyzed by fear. Courage is not overcoming your fears but having mastery over them.

We can’t talk of the courage to succeed or to achieve and make exploits if we don’t talk of the fear of being a mediocre. Courage to eat right to be healthy can only come from a healthy fear of becoming sick through unhealthy eating habits. Fear, healthy fear should drive us to succeed, it should drive us to not conform but to be positively different. The business man who is striving to be wealthy is probably afraid of seeing his children suffer the want that he suffered growing up, the medical researcher spending night and day looking for the cure of rare diseases may well be afraid of seeing the despair in the eyes of a patient he could not help. The wealthy individual that became a philanthropist may well be afraid of how he will be remembered when he lives the world stage, and that drives him to try and write a new epitaph for him/herself.

More than being the negative force it has been described as, fear is a positively motivational force for success. When we were in school we were always  told to strive to be better than our fathers in terms of education and achievements in life, so at some point in life the fear of being less lettered than your father drove boys to school. Even now that a lot of us are professionals the fear of not standing out among your peers drives a lot of people to pursue excellence so that they could be outstanding.

Okonkwo’s fear … was not external but lay deep within himself.

It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father.

Chinua Achebe (Things fall apart)

This is not to disregard the negative influences of fear but to focus by choice on the positives. Because at the end of the day the path we follow is a path of choice.

Two young girls came from the same village, both their mothers were widows and were petty traders striving to make ends meet. For both girls the fear of not wanting to be like others in their age group in the village drives them to look for a better opportunity in life. One apprenticed in a hair dressers saloon and years later has become the owner of a number of saloons. The other, driven by the same fear found herself with a group of girls that took her down the wrong way, she became a prostitute and started having unprotected sexual intercourse. She got infected with HIV/AIDS and died. Same fear different outcomes.

Today the call is to acknowledge your fear and strive to master it; it’s only the fool that thinks there is nothing to be afraid of. Your courage will be measured not in the mountain of fear you overcame to become successful but in your understanding of your fears and having them as a companion on your path to success. Someone once said that “the opposite of courage is not cowardice it is conformity”, choose not to conform today and take a dive into the deep end of the ocean of courage.