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Failure

Today’s topic can be a nightmare for some people, because they are still reeling from the effects it has caused. Failure is the modern day “leprosy”. Nobody wants to be tagged with that word or hang around anything or anybody for that matter who has that aura.

One thing we can all relate to is we have all failed before. As far as you live in this world, failure is inevitable. Today’s post is not necessarily on how to avoid it- it is not really possible, but how to look at it in a different view.

I once heard, “your view point will determine your point of view”. Each one of us narrates things by how we look at it in our thoughts or perspective. If you have a healthy perspective, the matter will be a healthy one; a negative outlook will produce a negative point of view. My prayer before I wrote today is someone’s mind will be disabused from the fear of failure.

What is failure then? It is when you have come short of your goal. Your goal was to pass an exam, you failed. Your goal was to start a business, you failed. Your goal was to have a healthy marriage, you failed at that and divorce.

We can give many more of that. There are many reasons why we fail at some things, but don’t beat yourself over it and have a belly full of regret about it. What really can you do when an egg is smashed? You can either mope about it or get the bucket and mop to clear the accident. If you are reading and have failed, welcome to life 101. It’s normal and not that strange- we have all experienced it one way or another.

Facts on failure

It is an event, not your identity– don’t attach failure to your identity. The fact is you failed, but please listen to me because I came with the truth, “you are not a failure”. You need to repeat this to yourself. People have felt depressed and committed suicide because they see failure as part of their identity and make up, so they conclude, “I am dumb, useless, worthless, good for nothing”, “how can I make such a silly mistake?!”. It is nothing more than an event. It is just a page in your book, but it doesn’t tell the whole story, flip a new page and create something new until your story book is complete. Don’t determine your intelligence on some exam you failed, you are smart, dude! Don’t let the 48 interviews you have failed label you as a burden to the society and nothing to offer because you are unemployed. In life, people call the package what has been labeled. If you see yourself as a failure, people will start calling you that and it will affect your self confidence.

Successful people fail a lot- that is why they are successful. They have tried so many avenues, many methods, hit and miss a lot, done “trial and error” before hitting their break. Thomas Edison upon inventing the light bulb failed several times and this is what he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work…”. Failure is at times an indicator you are very close to success, if you don’t give up. Failure should serve as motivation that you are at least trying. People who claim to have never failed before are lazy and complacent people. The folding of the hands is no adventure really! Keep pounding the pavement.

Failure can contain you- one of the many battles we fight is that of containment. To be contained means to be restricted to go beyond what you were wired. Say, if you were to go at 5,000 miles and you are doing 2,500, you are contained. Failure has such a devastating effect that if not checked, can paralyze you and cripple your hopes from ever trying again. Some never finished the course, because of one failed test- they couldn’t get over it. You have gone back to alcohol because you relapsed when you were sober. I understand the pain, disappointment and frustration, so don’t throw all the years of sobriety away because of a relapse. If you truly can’t be celibate and not called for that, why have you given up on marriage, because of a past divorce?

I pray all of us reading today will be set free from the sting of failure so that we can have the freedom to be.

I will like to read your comments on this one. Your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this post.

Let me thank you all for the reviews, feedback and the traffic I have had on this site in the past month because of your unwavering support. I am deeply appreciative.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character IV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”– St. Paul the Apostle

Last weekend was a holiday here, hence not posting. I trust this weekend went well? In this part of our world, we are counting down to the end of summer, which I personally do not look forward to.

For sometime now, we have been looking at character. We looked at what it is and how it was formed in the first part. The second and third parts have dealt with the entire make up of character culled from Paul’s letter to the Galatian church which is the quote above.

There are nine virtues which make up character in a biblical context. The first three dealt with our attitude, the second trio focused on social relationships. Today’s triad focuses more on principles guiding a person’s conduct. Let us wrap up with the remaining three:

7. Faithfulness– the meaning of faithfulness is fidelity. Another word used is loyalty. Loyalty shows in three areas: how committed you are to your word, to your work and how you relate with authority figures. Most people who are insubordinate are unfaithful. Unfaithful people are very disloyal people. In my humble opinion, I value faithful people than skilled people if I am to choose between the two. Skill is scientific- it can be taught; faithfulness on the other hand, is a character trait- it is a matter of having it or not. Of course, people can be taught to be faithful with time, but it is an uphill task than teaching skill. It is difficult but not impossible.

8. Gentleness– sometimes our definition of being gentle is incomplete but not incorrect. Mostly, it has to do with appearances pertaining to the men: good grooming habits, a sense of fashion, and having good manners and etiquette. That is one half of the definition which is very laudable and needed in society to stand out sometimes. The other half of gentleness shows in how composed you are when you are faced with pressure or meted out with an unexpected circumstance. The person who can keep his or her cool in times of unpleasantness is considered gentle. So in relation to the men, have a high fashion sense, wear a nice cologne & dress the outward, but don’t forget the inward as well. Having a nasty attitude and temperament in a designer suit with expensive shoes is a misnomer.

9. Self control– let me use one word for this: restraint. It shows in our speech: how we talk, how we answer to questions and how graceful we are in our conversations. It also shows in how we relate with people of the opposite sex for that matter, or people in general. Can we relate in decorum and decency without the slightest smell of a scandal? Will we take the advantage or give them the advantage? With that quality, you don’t easily give in to a fight or quarrel. You don’t bite the bait! It takes a strong person to be self controlled. Honestly, I pray to God a lot for this quality, because I cannot think of any man made tactics and strategies that will enhance this attribute in my life better than prayer.

I will like to end on this note that none is perfect. We are all a “work-in-progress”. We will all get to our destination if we don’t quit and put in the work required. This should rather encourage you to be your best you. One of the ways to be that is to allow these fruits to show forth in your life.

Believe that you can do it! Will like to read your thoughts on this one. Your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character III

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” St. Paul the Apostle

I trust you had a great weekend? Last week, we looked at character in the nutshell using Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatian church as our template. We dealt with the first three in love, joy and peace which speaks of our attitude.

The second triad we will look at deals with social relationships. In the last year and half, I have personally been studying on emotional intelligence. It is a skill I really want to be great and adept at. Looking at these three shades and applying it to our lives personally can help at that.

4. Long-suffering- long-suffering in a biblical context means long tempered. It speaks of the ability to patiently forbear without cracking up in relation to an unpleasant circumstance meted out to you. It also talks in regards to dealing with difficult people. My mother comes to mind as I write. She embodies this quality. Long-suffering means I will weigh the consequences of my actions and speech when I am under pressure. This trait helps you respond rather than react. A response is premeditated, calculated and well thought out, whereas a reaction is impulsive and off the handle based on your current feeling at that particular moment. One practical way that will enhance this trait is learning to take your time, and make it a habit not to follow your emotion but your head in those times.

5. Kindness- this has more to do with your disposition or nature. The Greek meaning of this word conveys having a benign manner. Benign can be used adjectively which means kind, warm-hearted, good-natured, warm, friendly and the like. Kindness here is also defined as moral goodness. We start relationships on a kind note and sustain the relationships on that. Most kind people have very long-standing relationships. In this day and age of social media, most relationships are fickle like a fake dollar bill. The ingredient of kindness is a missing trait and a rarity hence the disintegration of all relationships from personal to corporate ones, and even to marital ones. Kindness means I think good of and about you, that is, I will give you the benefit of the doubt before jumping into conclusions. One type of strong people I know are kind people. They don’t easily give in to gossip or contribute to that. The world will be a better place when kindness comes back to the fray.

6. Goodness- you can’t be good without having a kind nature. They work hand in hand. The fruit of kindness shows in your goodness. How do I define goodness then? Kindness in action! I have heard people say, “I wanna be good!”. The better way should be, you want to be kind. It is then out of kindness, that goodness will emanate from. Goodness is second nature to kindness, and focuses more on our acts and actions.

I will suggest read books on emotional intelligence and take tests which are available on the internet. Most are free. They will help gauge where you are in relation to these three and start to work your way up. They have many practical ways that can enhance these traits. As a Christian, I also believe prayer can help and goes a long way in the development of these aforementioned.

Will like to read your comments on this one. Your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character II


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”- St. Paul the Apostle

We looked at character last week; saw how it is formed, and then some facts on that. Today and in the weeks ahead, we want to turn our attention on what constitutes a good character. I am going to use Paul’s letter he wrote to the Galatians in the Bible as my template.  

In the Christian circles, one of the common terms is fruit of the spirit. What is that? It is when one becomes a Christian and relies on the Holy Spirit, a divine helper, to shape his conduct into a Christlike one. As Christians, our role model is Jesus Christ, who was the embodiment of these virtues. The first three we will look at concerns our attitude.

1. Love– in the Greek culture when this letter was penned, love had three different connotations: romantic love, shared goodwill (friendship) and familial love (as pertaining to parents and children especially). Paul didn’t have any of these in mind, but talked about a superior kind of love called agape in the Greek which means universal love and loving like God. Out of love, will all the attributes listed alongside flow. Each one of the attributes we will look at has its base in love. This kind of love is unconditional and has no hidden motives or strings attached. Let me end with this quote by Paul on love which explains it better.

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

2. Joy- it has to do with having a disposition of a calm delight and cheerfulness. It is deeper than happiness which depends on the happenings around you. Joyful people don’t necessarily need external happenings or indicators to be merry. It is from within and radiates outwardly. A joyful person rarely gets moody. How do you know you are joyful? When you can easily let go of grudges and forgive easily. Forgiveness is a result of inner peace and calmness.

3. Peace- anybody who has an attitude of joy has peace, they are interwoven. So, what is peace? It is a state of inner tranquility. It is more than being a peacemaker. You can be a peacemaker, but if you don’t have inner tranquil, you are truly not at peace. Peace is a rare commodity today; people are searching and looking at the wrong avenues for that. From my personal experience, one of the best ways to experience peace is through prayer

“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NCV‬‬

I hope this scripture will encourage you to pray. You may ask, “how do I pray?” It is just like talking to a friend. There is no superstition about that. God hears and answers prayers! Peaceful people are confident and hopeful. You lack peace if you fret a lot and always pessimistic. How do you handle interviews? How do you deal with unexpected emergency situations? How do you handle pressure? Does a failed project get the best of you and make you fold? I pray peace upon anyone reading.

As we step into this new week, let us challenge ourselves to developing a good attitude. Our attitude will determine our altitude indeed. Don’t beat yourself up and throw your hands in despair if these are lacking. No one is perfect including this writer. We are all “work-in-progress”. Be rather encouraged and go all out!

Will love to read your thoughts and comments on this one. Your feedback is valuable to me and please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Character


Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”- Lao Tzu

Based on this quote, character is the summation of who you are. It starts from your thought life to the formation of your habits which in turn shapes who you are. Will love to read your definition of character when you comment. Character is very essential, because it reveals your destiny. Destiny is not a mystery- if you want to know yours or another’s, look at the character, that is key.

Today, let us look at some truths on character that could give us a macro view on this all important subject:

1. Character is not the same as reputation 

Character is not your reputation. Reputation is what other people think you are, but character is what you really are. Character is who you are when nobody is looking. It is who you are when you are not on stage. I have heard couples bemoan the fact when the marriage turns sour that, “I thought he or she had character”. I normally respond to that in my thoughts, “he or she is a character but never had one: huge difference”. In most replationships, especially at the beginning, reputation will play off till you subject that relationship to time to see the cracks in the person’s reputation and that is when the real him or her shows up- character. I am not an expert on relationships, but one advice to give is take your time when forming one. Let the relationship be tested and don’t swoon too much into “Lala-Land”. It is one thing to be praised in public that you are a man of honesty and integrity, it is another when you are by yourself with no press, and tempted to “cook the books”. D.L. Moody said it best, “character is who you are in the dark”.

2. Character is also determined by your network.

Heard this phrase as a child, “show me your friend and I will show you your character”. Every human has five strong influences that will shape your upbringing on this earth, and one of them is company. Traits and habits can be learnt and passed on. Maybe, it is time to audit your relationships this week and trace why some habits, whether positive or negative are reoccurring in your life presently. A series of habits is the last stage in forming your character according to Tzu. When I look at my life personally, one good trait I developed was writing notes. I didn’t use to write notes and saw no need for that, until one day, I sat by a friend in Sunday School called Solomon who was always writing. As our friendship developed, I saw the benefits of writing in him. Perhaps without him and learning that from him, I would not be here today penning a blog. I met this guy in my pre-teens, though life has taken us in different directions, one of the many positives I picked from him is documenting and I am grateful for that. We thought our parents were the fun police when they told us not to hang around or play with certain people. In hindsight, what they were really telling us is the people you play with today could end up forming your character which will predict your destiny. Your network indeed determines your net worth.

3. Character can be reshaped

There is nothing as a permanent character. To me, I see it very temporary. You can be good today, bad tomorrow; optimistic today, pessimistic tomorrow; grateful today, ungrateful tomorrow. Why do I say that? Because the first step to forming a character, whether positive or negative, has to do with your thought life- what words are you reading, what conversations do you have and what images are you watching. Basically, your information base is where your thoughts are formed. When one undergoes a criminal investigation, one of the things the detectives do is to find out his knowledge base, hence seize his laptop, go through his library, screen his phone conversations and check his financial statements (which speaks of what he is passionate about) among many more. Your knowledge base tells a lot about you- by this assessment they build your profile to tell your character and that is a clue to whether you are a suspect in their case or not. All that I am saying is, if your thought life changes, it will go a long way in determining your character. 

Let me end with this quote again. Perhaps, today will be a good time to muse on what changes we all need to make when it comes to character:

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”- Lao Tzu

Will like to read your comments because your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t also forget to like, share or subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love 

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Integrity

I thought I understood this word till I came across this word, Structural Integrity Test which has to do with testing an existing stricture’s ability to carry the assigned load limit. In a sense, the existing structure is being tested for its wholeness.

It is so funny how little things can flick the light bulb in our heads. From that day, I understood why integrity is wholeness. The root word for integrity is from the Latin adjective, integer. In Maths, an integer is divisible by 2 if its last digit is 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8. It is considered a whole number

Integrity is when the thoughts of our minds, the desires of our hearts and our actions are integrated. That is a state of wholeness. So for instance, when I think of making a call, I don’t just desire or want to do it, but will also follow through with my action by calling. In this part of the world I live in, the elections will be next year, and the buzz word we will hear from every politician is, “I am a man or woman of integrity”

So, the question is how I do become a man or woman of integrity? Let me share this quote:

“Integrity is not a given factor in everyone’s life. It is a result of self discipline, inner trust and a decision to be relentlessly honest in all situations in our lives”

According to John Maxwell, self discipline, inner trust and most importantly, a decision to be honest can make us people of integrity

Mediate on how these three qualities can be enhanced in your personal life. The development of these three will lead us down the route to integrity

May we indeed be people of wholeness. I wish you a happy new month

I will like to read your thoughts on this. Your feedback is deeply appreciated. Please don’t forget to like, share or subscribe to this blog

Till we meet again…

Peace & Love

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Introspection 

Introspection simply means to look into or examine yourself (thanks, dictionary😊). Sometimes, it has to do with examining your feelings or your mental state.

In fact, this word came to me (around last month) when I was listening to a speaker giving a talk on The Power of Becoming. He just mentioned the word at random, and I thought to myself, “that will be an interesting topic to write on”. So in fairness, this was not planned way ahead of time to write on.

On Saturday, I had a late night phone call from someone who needed help finding a place to stay after been evicted. As I was talking on the phone, I had flashbacks of helping people in the same predicament and the like, then later, they will take the advantage and be ungrateful. I was feeling very used like it had happened in the past and felt like my fingers were about to be burned again.

Honestly, looking back in hindsight, the response to this guy’s plea was cold. When we hanged up, I was very quiet and then my mind drifted away in the company of my wife. She later asked whether it was the best response, and if we could do something to help even if we are taken for granted again or hurt (she read my thoughts).

Let me state this disclaimer: I am not an advocate of been taken advantage of, or been treated like a doormat. That is tantamount to emotional abuse. Sometimes, firm stances are good, even if it makes you look callous. The truth is, you are not but may seem like that in the heat of the moment. Howbeit, learn to decipher between a genuine need and one that wants to make a buck out of you. The problem is when we have allowed so many people to make a buck out of us, when the ones with genuine needs show up, we recoil and retreat to our nest. In my instance, a past bad experience was clouding my judgment in being Christlike, which was wrong on my part.

The following day, I was searching inwardly to know why I gave that response. I found three things which triggered that response, and one of them was my emotional energy was almost deplete. When it gets to that level, thank God I know how to refill to make sure I don’t drive on “red”.

The morale to this story is had I not had an honest introspective look, I wouldn’t have helped myself to become a better man, and that destructive path of coldness and aloofness will still have trail-blazed regardless. In life, you will never get the answers to many of life’s questions and cannot control the outcome of outward circumstances either. What is within your control is how you act, behave or think. That is not a mystery.

Please take time to invest in yourself by knowing the real you. Take an honest, hard look at yourself and ask questions; perhaps some uncomfortable ones too. Introspection gives you an inward look or tour of your inner man- the real you. You will know and discover much after this exercise.

Let me end with this scripture I have come to love from the Psalmist, David:

Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns!” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:23‬ ‭NET‬‬

May this also be your prayer! Will love to read your feedback on this. It means a lot to me. Please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to this blog

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love