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STARTING OVER

It’s a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.

Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear,
Try, try again.

Once or twice, though you should fail,
Try, try again.

If you would at last prevail,
Try, try again.

If we strive, ’tis no disgrace,
Though we do not win the race;
What should you do in that case?
Try, try again.

If you find your task is hard,
Try, try again.

Time will bring you your reward,
Try, try again.

All that other folk can do,
Why, with patience, should not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
Try, try again
.

This poem, try, try again written by William Edward Hickson encapsulates what I want to write in today’s blog post. As we stand on the brink of a new year at my end here. Well, China and Hong Kong have started celebrating with fireworks marking the New Year as I write. Samoa and Kiribati (officially the first country to enter the New Year) are way ahead

Don’t know how your year panned out to be? Don’t know whether you achieved all your yearly goals? Every December 31st presents two classes of people: the fulfilled and the unfulfilled, the happy and sad ones, the filled and the hungered ones, the hopeful and the hopeless, the joyful and the mournful ones

What really matters is you are here! Be grateful and thank God for the chance to live again! Start the new year tackling those same projects which perhaps might have been a source of pain. Pain is not an indication to give up all the time, sometimes, it means you have to go back to the drawing board, look at it from another angle, draw pragmatic and realistic steps, pray and then start it all over again

I pray for you today that you will enter the new year with a great deal of fortitude and hope to pick up the pieces that remain. It pays never to give up

Happy new year & enjoy the celebrations

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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This Christmas

Hello, as we all know, tomorrow is Christmas Day! Whether you are a celebrant or not, a believer in it or not, the day arrives with festivities, food, friends, family and fun as it has been characterized to be. For some, it is also a time of rest; others, a time to make more money on that particular day. Christmas is known as the day Jesus was born to the Virgin, Mary which ushered his entrance into the world

Tomorrow, as we celebrate, let us focus on love. Christmas is a time of love and loving one another. Let us learn to forgive one another and not hold on to grudges. Practice releasing all grudges and saying, “I forgive you” before the year is over. Do not carry forward every hurt, betrayal and pain you suffered at the hands of cruel people over into the next year. Please drop it- it makes your baggage heavy and the rest of your journey from now on a tough one. Travel light from now on. Free yourself off emotional clutter! Let us choose love

As we celebrate, let us focus on hope. Christ’s birth into the world heralded hope for mankind- he was promised to be the end of all sin for mankind and save people from their sins. It was hope to the people of his day that there was a remedy to sin which I truly believe. Be hopeful; let go of all pessimism- a negative outlook in life and a negative attitude. Start to see the good in the bad. Practice seeing the bottle half full than half empty. I have come to realize with time that life is what you will make of it- it depends on your viewpoint. Be a can do person! As we focus on the fun aspect of this celebration, focus on changing your attitude to a positive one. Hopeful people are grateful! Cross over in to the next year with an attitude of gratitude! Christmas promotes a fantasy of miracles; it is even seen in the movies that are shown during this season but in reality, there is such a thing as a miracle that is far removed from a fantasy. Hopeful people experience a miracle. Change your outlook and attitude and see what it takes to experience one. Miracles do exist! They only happen exclusively to a kind of people- them that are hopeful!

Finally, in this season choose to embrace the gift of Christmas- Jesus Christ. Choose to know him personally. He is as real as the person sitting next to you. Choose to believe in God and serve Him. Man was not created for things but for a higher purpose of serving a God for a much greater purpose. I don’t know your religious inclination or how you perceive life as you are reading, but to me life is bigger than what we see and there is more to it than chasing the next buck. Make a quality decision to know God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about Jesus, I volunteer to help and answer all questions. Jesus is real and he is the reason for this season. Have a greater perspective of this spiritual side of life by worshiping God. Go to church this season and learn about Him and find out about the true meaning and purpose of this celebration

Have a merry Christmas and till we meet again…

Peace & Love

NB: Today’s blogpost is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother whose undeniable legacy was her heart of gold, hospitality, love and her faith. Rest In Peace, Maame

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When an expert says “No!”


Hello, I haven’t blogged in a while. Been taking these intermittent breaks because before this year, I gave myself a target of writing 30 blog posts, which I must admit, I am close to that goal hence “my no-show” of late. Are you looking forward to Christmas with excitement? What do you have planned?  Anyway…

One of our favorite TV programs to watch when I do have the time is Shark Tank. The last time I viewed was three weeks ago and that is the inspiration behind today’s post. The program is basically coming to meet a group of millionaires or business minds to pitch your business idea to them for money to invest in and in some cases, a percentage of your business for their expertise and connects, so there are these entrepreneurs- some aspiring and others, seasoned, who walk through the doors in the view of our living rooms (averages 5 million viewers) being scrutinized rigorously before one or more of the “sharks” invest. Like every good show, there is the element of suspense that makes it nerving to watch at times. Some succeed, others are turned away because they don’t have a good business plan or the business will not be viable according to those experts

I thought about this when my wife and I were rooting for this particular guy who got turned away. I immediately asked her, “what will you do when an expert says no?”. It was an interesting dialogue that day. There comes a point in our lives that nobody will believe in our dreams, ideas or business ventures we are planning to execute. We will be subjected to the scrutiny of an expert in a field we plan entering; his opinion will be less than unsavory and a big fat “NO”. What do you do when all odds are stacked against you, do you freeze like a cold turkey and abandon it?

What do you do?

Man has an innate desire to succeed and excel in life and most times, we wish our family, friends and even our mentors who could be the experts will join in on the bandwagon as we push forward to break boundaries. It is idealistic, but you and I know that in this world, it is not always realistic. Let us learn as we apply these pointers:

Am I passionate?– most successful entrepreneurs who have “made it” give this common advice. If you gather ten successful people from all walks- entertainment, fashion, politics, sports, business… and ask them to share their secrets to success. I bet you, this point will be the common denominator among the ten views. Do what you love. If you are passionate about it, then you love it. Don’t ask, “where can I make the biggest revenue?” but “what am I passionate about?” At least, that is a start to something. Some years back, I watched a Kevin Hart interview and he narrated how nobody believed in him. Prior to making it big time as a box office movie star and one of the bankable comedians of his era, he said he had 17 years of rejection and a whole bunch of “NOs”. The story that stuck out for me was when he auditioned for Saturday Night Live, the comedy sketch program responsible for launching out the careers of Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, just to mention a few. In the middle of his audition, he was stopped by Lorne Michaels who told him he wasn’t funny, had the wrong height and was not going to make it as a comedian; he should look for another job. He said he left the place in tears and drove back to Philadelphia from New York. Well, the rest is history… If a “Lorne Michaels”, an expert, tells you, you are a long shot away, will you fold up? Lorne is an expert and an authority in the world of comedy. Let us choose the things we are passionate about. Passion kept Hart in the face of rejection. Had he not made it in the 18th year? Would he have given up? Personally, I doubt it!

Do I have the requisite knowledge and skills?- almost everything in this world is scientific i.e. systematized knowledge, where you can learn something and break it down to a technique or a science. Almost all endeavors have become technical. Thank God for the internet- because this is where it becomes an invaluable tool and resource for knowledge and education. In this present century, not having a degree or attaining formal education is not a limitation. There are books available and a wealth of information on the internet for anyone who wants it. Any venture you undertake requires knowledge and skill. The expert maybe right at times because you don’t have the skill set and based on your answers too, your shallowness was evident. It is said, 80% of graduates after school never pick up a book again to read or upgrade. Constant learning gives you a leading edge in your venture

Keep working– don’t rest on your laurels. Keep working and grinding. Work on your dream, that business and in due time, you will reap a harvest of your expectation. Sometimes, I wish the cameras could follow all those rejected on Shark Tank. I want to believe, some are doing well irrespective of the pushback. A passionate, knowledgable and skillful person who is hardworking has no limits. No need to prove people wrong because they didn’t believe in you, rather focus on being your best you – break every ceiling; visual or imaginary and rise to where you belong- the top

Don’t take “NO” for an answer from no one if it is possible and in sight. Personally, the most important “NO” is from God but if he hasn’t said it and there is a way around it, I am going all in! Best believe- it is possible!

Will like to read your take on this one and please share this article if you were encouraged

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Gratitude

“Give thanks with a grateful heart…”

This is a quote from the lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs by Don Moen. Instead of the usual Monday posting, I decided to defer it today in honor of the day we are celebrating on this other side of the world.

Today is our Thanksgiving Day- a national holiday in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November set aside to give thanks for one’s blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest. That was the origin of its celebration. Today, it has become commercialized that we have lost its meaning

Last week, I wrote on remembrance; that and gratitude are very interwoven. Remembrance has to do with reflecting on the past to appreciate the present; more of a thought thing, gratitude is an action word- it shows in giving thanks by deed or word

To those of us celebrating, let us take time to acknowledge God and be grateful to him for our health, our family and friends, (…) and the fact that we are alive today. Today’s merry making and socializing should be a time of forgiveness, peace and love. Whilst breaking bread and drinking, let the value of sharing amongst us continue to be encouraged and still be an imprinted value in our society

Thanksgiving is the time of meeting many strangers we don’t know and yet will welcome in our abode in the spirit of the season. May this gesture never stop but teach us to be acceptable of all. There is only one race- the human one. Let us find a common ground to stand together and fight off every schism and division that breaks our rank and unity

To those not celebrating today, you are not left out! The import of today’s message is let us always be grateful to God and count our blessings, let us believe in the power of love. Love is a strong force that conquers hate and division.

As you read this today, let today be the day you start to be giving. Give of yourself! Be a gift to someone’s life. Giving of yourself starts with a small action like giving of thanks

The most gratifying way to live and have a full life is to give of yourself than living for yourself. Lose yourself!

Happy thanksgiving, Americans & a happy Thursday to all my friends worldwide

I am thankful and grateful to God for all of you. Thank you for inspiring me to keep on writing

Today’s post is dedicated to my brother in-law, Randy! He is a very giving person and I appreciate him. He is my friend and a brother indeed! Great husband and a great father too

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Remembrance

“God isn’t unjust so that he forgets your efforts and the love you have shown for his name’s sake when you served and continue to serve God’s holy people”. Hebrews‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭CEB‬‬

I am a Christian who worships God! This is one of the encouraging truths out of the many to keep on worshipping Him and living my life for Him- he is a God who does not forget.

Yesterday was 11/11 and on the calendar of the world, it was known as the Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. It is a day set aside to honor veterans particularly those who fought in World War I. It also marks the day the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities; more like a formal peace treaty

Such an important day to remember and honor our fallen heroes who laid down their very lives for us to enjoy the peace, freedom and democracy experienced in majority of the world. I came to find out that there is a link between honor and remembrance. You can’t honor what you forget easily hence the need for dates set aside for some important events in this world.

For you and I embarking on this earth, we need to do this journey with gratitude and remembrance, and see fit to whom honor is rightly due. Otherwise, we raise a generation full of ingrates devoid of history going no where. In order to move forward, it is necessary to know where you started from which was your point of origin. When you know that, it is easier for navigation to your destination.

Yesterday’s event is over until 11/11 of next year. For us, we need to remind ourselves constantly of certain key people who have played a major role in our lives and shaped us in the way we are. What are you grateful for as you travel down memory lane? I believe we can all remember these key people we all have in common

1. Your parents

Always remember your parents. Half of you comes from your father, the other half; mother. You will never exist without their contribution and care. You might be reading this saying, “I don’t have parents”. You might not have met your biological parents but you have one. Anyway, whoever stepped into the gap of your parents should be seen as such and accorded the honor they deserve. Most don’t treat parents well because they have forgotten. God has never treated me unfairly because he never forgets. That is my personal testimony! It is hard to treat with contempt and esteem lightly when you remember

2. Your teachers and mentors

Teachers and mentors play a very huge role in our lives. No one started experienced or skillful. We all started in various junctures of our lives as novices. It took the guiding hand of one that has been where you are going to train and teach you to where you are now. Always remember those key people! Life can be so amazing that when the student outshines the teacher and becomes great, he starts to look down on the teacher forgetfully with dishonor and disrespect thinking he is all that. Don’t forget that loving supervisor or colleague at your work desk who showed you the ropes in the company to be the “real McCoy”

3. Good friends

It is easy to have friends but rare to have good ones. Good friends are like pearls- pearls today are rare in our society. It can be found if you want them but it will take a bit of work and effort. In my generation, one of the things taken for granted are relationships. Few have relational IQ. You can have a relational IQ when you remember! Friendships and relationships have a shorter life span than before. Why are we changing friends every week? How soon can you forget the great contributions which are too numerous to list in this article? Before you sleep tonight, remember THAT FRIEND, say a prayer for him or her and if possible, reopen the communication lines

4. The elderly and aged

Show respect for old people and honour them…” Leviticus‬ ‭19:32‬ ‭GNB‬‬

We will all grow old one day! Please be careful of how we treat people who are the aged in society. Life has an interesting concept called the boomerang effect. What goes around, comes around. Try throwing a boomerang after reading this! The force with which you throw that thing, it will return with the same force to you! Pretty interesting, right? A child loved his grandfather and they were very close until one day, the child’s father (who was very busy with work and didn’t have time for either the father or his child) decided to send his father away to an old people’s home. The child cried and was very sad at loosing his grandfather when they had to part ways at the care center. Now on the way back, the car was quiet till the dad asked his son, “Johnny, what’s wrong?”, then the son said, “I have been thinking that when I grow, I know when to send you one day when you are becoming a nuisance like how your dad is to you”. These words cut to the father’s heart so strong that he made a u-turn real quick back to the care center to fetch his father for Johnny to be happy again. The morale of the story is treat people how you want to be treated in the future

I hope you enjoyed today’s read and will like to hear from you and also establish correspondence. Have a very good week

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Keep running!

“Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24‬ ‭CEB‬‬

We are in the fall season; where leaves shrivel and wither, longer nights and short days; not forgetting the biting cold accompanying the rain making way for the winter season. In this part of the world, it is sometimes amusing when the gloominess of a weather can make us downcast at times. In November, many resign and conclude their year- whether it was a failure or success. You go to stores and you will see 2019 diaries and calendars on sale.

Well I couldn’t help seeing this scripture which served as a source of encouragement personally and thought I should share it with our community here. I came to tell you: KEEP RUNNING. Don’t know how your year has turned out to be but don’t throw in the towel yet. The next one and half months is an opportunity to end well on a victorious and good note

Let us focus our attention on the athlete (not just a runner, but the sportsman) who is running to win and see if we can glean some pointers in our race of 2018. Permit me to share a few:

Endurance– John Orozco, the US gymnast comes to mind when I think of this quality. He has faced a number of serious injuries but always came back stronger. He tore his Achilles in 2010 and 2012 which was career threatening but that didn’t stop him from rehabbing, training hard and coming back in time for the 2012 Olympics in London and won the gold. Where are you mentally and emotionally? Don’t check out! Recalibrate for the journey and keep on till it is over

Focus– I admire comeback stories. Tiger Woods in 2008 was on track to becoming the first billionaire athlete until everything around him came tumbling down in November of that year. His carefully packaged and marketable image was seen as a laughing stock. He was among the most decorated winners in his sport- golf. Lost endorsements, his marriage, and the trust of his fans who felt somewhat betrayed- just a few to mention. It has been a long road to redemption with bumps here and there. Well, in September 2018, he won the Tour Championship which has put him back in the books of the elite. The ten years of struggle had to do with his break in focus. Around this time, it is easy to break focus when you are not hitting your target. You have travelled too far to lose focus now. Keep focusing! You will win

Diet– This really counts! An athlete needs to be within a certain weight for optimal capacity. You are almost treated like a car. You get what you want out of the car, if you put in the requisite fuel! You can’t eat and drink anything for excellence on the track field. Paul Gascogne popularly known as “Gazza” could have been one of the greatest English footballers. He had skill, strength, stamina and was a very good reader of the game, but he had poor conditioning and was injury prone due to his poor dieting habits. He underachieved! What are you feeding your soul and spirit, and to an extent your body? Watch the foods that make you sluggish, overweight & prone to inertia. Please take a personal inventory after reading. Information, like fuel to the car, is food for the soul and spirit. What are you reading, watching and listening?

Treat the rest of this year like an athlete and monitor your energy levels. Don’t let anything or anyone eat at your endurance. Protect your focus and arm yourself with the necessary and relevant information! If I may add, please eat well! Be determined to finish well no matter how you started this year

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Lessons from our marriage II

Glad to be back again and sorry for unable to pen down last week. I started my week with power outage then once the hurdle was over, internet connection problems… but finally, here we are! Ha!

The last time we left on lessons from our marriage and touched on teamwork, solving issues urgently and the element of friendship in a marriage. I want to talk on five lessons so we will wrap up with the remaining two

Lesson 4: spending time together is not communication necessarily

Communication in a marriage can never be understated. Communication means both spouses speak the same language, understand each other and are on the same page. Chatting per se is not communication. The first two years of our marriage, I really understood that concept. Say, you have gone to a restaurant and ordered with the waiter that you want a plate of rice with no salt, corn with butter & steak with pepper and onions. Your meal comes in thirty minutes: salted plate of rice, corn without butter and steak with pepper but no onions. You can say there is no communication between you and the waiter because he didn’t understand you and you both were not on the same page concerning your menu. With marriage, it is patient work getting to know each other, reading each other’s moods, that is, when is a good time to talk and also getting the attention of each other and understanding what was said. So when we communicate, we make it a point to repeat what was said to each other to check whether we both are on the same page. Knowing your partner’s love language and personality aids in better communication. You can enjoy, laugh together, have fun together but not on the same frequency when it comes to certain quarters of your marriage. That is the mystery of marriage: communication is hard work which will demand time

Lesson 5: money matters because money matters

According to an article I read, 21% of divorcees cite money as the cause of their marriage breakdown. It takes faith to plan and have a wedding but once that event is over, and you are now in the institute of marriage, faith will not be enough; money talks and counts. That means there should be a regular stream of income to keep it moving. Money is a topic that should be treated intentionally and consistently. Not talking about it doesn’t mean problems will suddenly disappear. We have on our calendar a particular day of every month set on our phone reminders to have a Money Date. This implies we talk about money at least twelve times in a year. This idea is from David Bach, author of the popular and best selling book, The Automatic Millionaire. When you go online, money date questionnaires and templates are available that you can sort of use as a guide in your discussions. Our date is not wine and dine but extensive talks which means we cover all our bases, set some targets and deadlines ( if it needs be) till the following month we meet. If you don’t set the time and the place to talk on and about money, you will fight about it. To earn money comes from working; to be rich requires financial literacy. Knowledge is the key! Please get information on what to do with your hard earned money. The internet is a great resource tool. I use it a lot when it comes to this area. I don’t know about your area, but in mine, they do free financial seminars for the community so if you have the Eventbrite app, it is one of the best ways to search for such information in your location and do attend for insight if you have the time

For those about to enter into marriage, wish you the best and arm yourself with these keys of knowledge, and to those of us in a marriage, keep keeping on and upgrade your knowledge base to keep the union fresh and from stagnation

I hope you have enjoyed my take on what I have learnt as a married man. I will like to hear from you and know what you learnt and also share with us any experiences or lessons you have which can benefit us all

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love