WHEN YOU ARE DOWN

There are certain times in life when the heavens seems to be closing in on you and you have no where to run to, times when you would wish the world would just pause and give you a moment to breathe and get back to your feet. I have been at crossroads myself when nothing seems to go the way I want them, I had sat down and called on God for a one on one chat to resolve some pending issues, well he came but not the way I wanted. I have tried to get some tips to help people in times of difficulty.

Here are four suggestions to help you survive and grow through upheavals such as an unexpected job loss, the death of a loved one, a failed marriage or a serious health issue:

1) Admit how you feel. That doesn’t mean sitting around wallowing in negativity; it means trusting God enough to acknowledge how you really feel. Pretending things are fine when they’re not, makes it harder to get back up. We all have down times. The Psalmist asked God to help him cope with despondency. And at one point Paul was under so much pressure he ‘despaired even of life’.

2) Identify the source. Discouragement often comes on the heels of a setback or disappointment. Did something you set your heart on fall apart? Were your hopes unrealistic to start with? Did somebody let you down? Or is your dejection coming from a generalised feeling of burnout?

3) Talk with a trusted counsellor. Solomon said, ‘The more wise counsel…the better your chances’. Don’t let pride prevent you from opening up to those who will listen empathetically and respond wisely. Talking to the right people can lessen your sense of isolation, and also pave the way for others who are hurting to do the same.

4) Be open before God. He, not fate or circumstances, gets to write the last chapter. Maybe He’s trying to teach you something or redirect your energies. David said, ‘Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.’ When your hope is in God, He replaces discouragement with confidence so that what you’re going through can become a path to spiritual growth

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WHY SO MUCH BEEF FOR LINDA IKEJI?

So this week was quite interesting for me and I learned a few PLENTY things… the highpoint of this week was the site pull down of Linda Ikeji’s blog on the grounds of plagiarism. I had a very tough time with my colleagues Igoche Egwu and Dare Davids trying to understand why someone would go so far to shut down a bloggers site. Then we went as far as talking about the essence of her blog and how she got to the peak of blogging in Nigeria (this they totally disagree). Well I guess they would not understand as blogging is a gift and you only feel it when you have the experience.

I stand corrected to make bold may statement that Linda Ikeji has developed digital media in Nigeria and blogging has now become lucrative because people like us have gotten sponsorship deals from blogging. It is a pastime that would make you some money if you are judicious with it. Well with the people I mentioned there, I doubt you can ever win any argument as they would come at you with different points, (annoying or sensible) just to make sure you don’t win. Other colleagues saw my points and maintained that the site shouldn’t have come down cos of a mere story. Gossip sells reason why Kim Kadashian, her family and the Jenners have made it big on the biggest Gossip TV ever.

Well I stumbled on a post by one of my funny and hilarious blogger Ofili and below is an excerpt from his blog.

It all started with the Linda Ikeji plagiarism accusation story, which I am sure most of you have heard by now so I am not even going to touch that. But what struck me about the many debates I was involved in on twitter, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, whatsapp and others places is the amount of disguised hate people have for the Linda. People will say “o we are not hating we are just stating that plagiarism is wrong” and “she should apologize and everything will be fine” but then when she apologizes … people will say that “o that apology was not good enough” or “the comma was off a little bit.” No matter what she said or did a small select people will find fault in it. And that made me think and realize something…

And that is that whether you like it or not there are people that will hate you, it is an inevitability of life. And the more successful you are, the more hate you will get … this is nothing new. But the clincher is that the hate escalates even more depending on the job you do. Let me explain…

About a month ago, I was driving down the roads of FM 1960 in Houston when a truck sped past me at about 80 miles per hour converted to Nigerian units it was moving very fast! It was 11:00 pm and obviously dark except for the street lights. I was startled. When something like that happens it is normally an indication of a live street race so I know not to switch lanes so I don’t get clipped … and before I knew it another truck zoomed past me. I was right … this was definitely a street race …

But then another truck sped by and yet another one … that was like 5 trucks in a row and at top speed. Which is odd because trucks don’t do speed races typically. And then I started looking at the trucks much more closely and realized that this was not a street race! These were tow trucks … and they were racing not for leisure but for business…

There had been an accident and they were on a race to get to the site as fast as they could. Their top priority was not who lived or who died or who was critically injured in that accident but rather who got there first … even if it meant causing another accident! “What type of people would do a job such as this?” I thought to myself.

A job that depends on accidents to be successful. No matter how you spun it, tow truck drivers to me were dirt. You couldn’t spin it any other way. And the way I think about tow truck drivers is the way a percentage of people think about “gossip” bloggers such as Linda Ikeji. No matter how you spin it, they are and will be hated by some people for seemingly exploiting people’s social accidents. They could walk on water, build a hospital in Kano and even bring back our girls but they will be hated. That is what Linda is facing and will face continually because of the job she does …

The way I think about tow truck drivers is the way a percentage of people think about “gossip” bloggers such as Linda Ikeji. No matter how you spin it, they are and will be hated by some people for seemingly exploiting people’s social accidents.

That made me realize that I need to be even more objective in criticizing (and supporting) public figures, I need to be slower in jumping to conclusions about people who on the basis of their job description are more prone to be hated … from LASTMA to Nigerian Police to Flashy African Pastors. Because not everyone is 100% evil …

The same Tow Trucks that zoomed past me in the middle of the night are the same ones that helped tow my car when it broke down and the same ones that jump started my Camry when the battery was out. I learned all that this week when I saw someone that has given and helped so many people get her character practically torn down in the space of seconds!

Picture Credit: Mania Magazine

 

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DAYSTAR CHRISTAIN CENTRE KITS KIDS FOR SCHOOL

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Saturday 20th September started very early for me and the usual routine of workout and light exercise but I knew I couldn’t do very much as I had a very busy schedule for the day, as a member of Daystar Christian Centre and a dedicated member of the Benevolence Unit of the Church, I knew the much awaited BACK TO SCHOOL UPGRADED event would be a good means to work out and even wear my body out. I rushed to tidy up and drove to the church premises.
Entering Ikosi road that leads to the Church I noticed a different sight, I noticed long lines of children being dragged in a way you would assume they are rushing to school, then it hit me straight up the event is here. In Daystar and in Benevolence where I serve every Sunday is a big deal for the less privileged as they turn out in good numbers to get food items and clothes from the Benevolence store house, for those where the unit has an event like LOVE AT EASTER, or LOVE AT CHRISTMAS or BACK TO SCHOOL, the church actually throws everything in especially the kitchen sink to ensure they help us to control the crowd. These events are always full to capacity as the attendees come from far and wide, Muslim’s or Christians or Pagans (for lack of word) and to surprise you that as the person that supports communications for the Unit, we limit our info to only church announcements and bullets slots, then also we do online displays, however the turn out far exceeds what we budget for at all times and I wonder can we ever budget enough? Continue reading

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NEVER ACT ON IMPULSE

As twins go, Jacob and Esau were very different. But they quickly learned to negotiate. Have you ever watched children make a deal that favoured one over the other? For example, one offers the other a candy bar in exchange for an expensive video game. Well, that same dynamic was at work between Jacob and Esau. Esau had been out hunting and came home exhausted and hungry. Nothing mattered to him except food-and certainly not something as remote as a future inheritance. In a moment of weakness he said, ‘I am about to die…what is this birthright to me…So…he…sold [it] to Jacob…[for] bread and stew’ It was a decision Esau would live to regret, and couldn’t undo. Recovering addicts are taught the importance of observing their H.A.L.T. sign. When they’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, they’re in danger. And so are you! Acting on impulse will cause you to:

1) Buy stuff you don’t need at prices you can’t afford;
2) React before you get all the facts, resulting in a loss of respect, opportunities and good relationships;
3) Compromise your character for a few moments of sinful pleasure;
4) Quit in the middle of the race, or worse, on the threshold of victory.

The Bible says, ‘He that believeth shall not make haste.’ When you make choices based on short-term gratification rather than life-long convictions and goals, you always lose out in the end. So don’t take the deal; don’t trade your God-given destiny for momentary gratification. Be patient and hold fast. When you do, God will bring your dreams to pass in ways that honour instead of diminishing them.

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LISTEN MORE, SAY LESS

Talking instead of listening-will get you into trouble. Two geese were preparing to fly south when a frog asked if he could go along. They questioned how he could do it. ‘Easy,’ he said. ‘You guys hold a stick between your beaks and I’ll hang on with my mouth.’ Off they went as people looked up, admiring their teamwork. The trio was making great progress until somebody below shouted, ‘Great idea! Whose was it?’ That’s when the frog opened his mouth and yelled, ‘Miiiiiiiine!’ Every time you open your mouth there are consequences! So learn to listen. Plutarch said, ‘The talkative listen to no one, for they are ever speaking. And the first evil that attends those who know not how to be silent is that they hear nothing.’ Listening without having to air your knowledge or interject your opinion is a quality of character that proves you’re mature. Larry King once said, ‘I remind myself every morning: nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.’ Jesus was a great listener, and as a result He attracted people like a magnet.

Doubtless there were times He was tired and didn’t feel like it-but He listened anyway. When the disciples fussed among themselves, and the Pharisees grumbled and caused trouble, Jesus focused on the important things. He listened, He spoke, and people followed. Listening is often more effective than talking. In fact, there’s a point in every conversation where you need to say less and listen more. In those moments you not only hear what others are saying, but what God is saying to you!

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NEVER THINK YOU ARE IRREPLACEABLE

I don’t care who you are, where you are or what you are in charge of.

If you leave your job either voluntarily or because your boss slapped you upside the head and then ninja kicked you in the stomach or because maybe you died from heart attacks from stress as a result of working long weekend hours … guess what?

You will be replaced.

Your replacement might not be perfect, your replacement might even turn your fortune 500 company into a bumbling piece of crap, they may be flawed…very flawed. But at the end of the day when all is said and done, you will be replaced.

No statue will be built in your name, no conference rooms or parking spots will be named after you, and depending on whether your burial is on a Friday or Saturday your co-workers might not be able to show up because they are too busy killing themselves at work. The irony…

The next day everyone would get back to work and just a few people would wear a long face for a few hours and the best they would say is RIP.

A friend narrated a story of his colleague who recently switched jobs and he was hoping his former colleagues would have his back on certain issues, He never knew it is just a matter of seconds and you would be forgotten, well he thought wrong cos in well over a few milli seconds he was replaced and he could no longer sit on the seat he used to sit for the past 4 years.

Irony, he now has to send a mail to see anyone in the same department where he was once a god and king J

Another tale was told of a guy who walked into a HR office and dropped his resignation letter giving a 2 months’ notice, never make threats that you would leave hoping someone would beg you to stay and raise your pay. But guess what, they asked him to reduce it to 1 month notice (just cos that was the policy I knew he would be been asked to even go sef) and immediately they conducted his exit interview.

NEVER EVER THINK YOU ARE INDISPENSIBLE, cos there are a million and one people who are way smarter than you and would do better than you on the job.

 

 

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THE GIFT OF BLINDNESS—Cobhams Asuquo

This is sooo touching, you would appreciate life more from another perspective.

NEVER EXCUSE FAILURE FOR ANY REASON OR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Look beyond your weaknesses, TRUST WITHOUT FAILING, Sight might be a distraction to your goals in life, FOCUS and stay blind to things that would distract you, remember EXCUSES are monuments for FOOLS, TOOLS of the INCOMPETENT and WEAPON for the WEAK.

Your life is what you make of it, regrets have not space in our lives.

Weldone COBHAMS ASUQUO.

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WHY DOES SUPERMAN WEAR A STUPID RED CAPE?

Dear Readers,

I have struggled to write a post all day but the work load mounts, I stopped by at my favourite blog Ofilispeaks  and as usual I was not disappointed, I am free to share as I have done credit to his brains. Enjoy….

Why Does Superman Wear A Cape? Nobody knows. Not even him. He doesn’t need the cape to fly and unlike Batman he does need it to glide. Maybe he uses it as a head wrap or perhaps a blanket to sleep at night…who knows.

I mean the cape does not give him any super powers or any particular advantages. In fact he can function well without the cape but yet he wears it! That red flowing cape that drives engineers crazy!

Especially when they realize that Superman can actually jump higher and fly faster without all the unnecessary drag caused from his cape flapping around in the wind and colliding with all kinds of air molecules … faster than a speeding bullet? Yeah right … more like dumber than a speeding bullet!

The red flowing cape that his enemies use against him on several occasions to fling, strangle and slam him all around Metropolis. Just check out this 2013 Man Of Steel fight scene where General Zod’s loyalists kick Superman’s behind by using his cape against him.

As you can see from the end, even Disney Incredibles know better! And that is that capes are a no no for any serious super heroes. But yet Superman wears it…

Maybe because he is so freaking strong that he does not realize all the disadvantages of having a cape. I mean he defeated Doomsday see video and even beat the Flash in a race see video so why take off the cape? Maybe it’s because he has always worn one? And that might actually be it, because all fiction aside…a lot of our businesses are like Superman with his useless cape.

We have systems just like he has his red cape, we don’t know why they are there or what purpose they serve, all we know is that it has been there from the start so why change it. Even when the illogicality hits us straight in the face we just stick with the red capes not realizing how much they slow us down. How much they hamper us.

If you have ever been to the Atlanta International Airport (I have been but it was a sad experience I almost missed my flight and my luggage did not make it to Nigeria), you will notice something peculiar. It consists of 7 concourses, concourse A, B, C, D, E, F and … not G. The next concourse is actually T, not only that but concourse T comes before concourse A. Which makes no sense at all, but why the illogicality? Why not make concourse “T” concourse “A” and re-arrange all the others to follow a logical A-B-C-D-E-F-G order?

The answer is as complex as Superman’s Cape. The illogical naming of the Atlanta concourses is a thing of legacy as described by David Zweig in his awesome book Invisibles: The Power Of Anonymous Work In An Age Of Self-Promotion. In the book, David inquired from Jorge Cortes the assistant director of Design Planning and Development at the Atlanta International Airport. Here is a summary of his findings:

“I later emailed … to get an explanation for why ‘T’ was first used and why it still in use now. Alas, the reasoning behind it is so layered and opaque, all I can say is succinctly is that it’s the result of repeated airport redesigns, additions and renaming’s dating back to 1980!”

Notice those words “repeated,” “layered,” “opaque” and “1980.”

All of them relate to that one thing that kills businesses and organizations, red cape systems that have become established simply because they were used repeatedly in the past and are now so enmeshed in layers and layers of opaque bureaucracy that is hard … almost impossible to remove … to change. So the company just flies along with the status quo, too un-bothered to realize or acknowledge the detriments of an illogical legacy systems.

But the red cape phenomenon is not just limited to Atlanta…it affects us here in Nigeria.

One of our many red capes are roundabouts.

We build roundabouts all over the country especially in Lagos. Despite the fact that it has clearly not worked in controlling traffic. I mean just check out Falomo at rush hour or one of the many Lekki roundabouts and you will understand the problem with roundabouts! But who dares get rid of the roundabouts? No one!

It is ingrained in our system, likely from the British who gave it to us in the early 1900′s. And boy have wee held on tight to it. Building roundabouts everywhere even when the evidence shows that it makes no sense to do so. I mean just consider the roundabout at Allen Avenue!

Where do I start?

Growing up Allen Avenue was the hit spot, the Adeola Odeku of the Main Land. But today due to population explosion Allen Avenue is packed … so packed that a permanent concrete barrier has been placed to prevent cars from making u-turns in the middle of Allen Avenue. In fact the only way you can turn is via two roundabouts at either end of Allen.

The more interesting roundabout of the two is the one close to Adeniyi Jones.

But before I start, let me explain that a roundabout is meant to function independent of traffic wardens. But this is Nigeria where the roundabouts get so congested that we need traffic wardens … not 1 but several of them. But what makes this particular roundabout crazily “red cape” unique is the fact that it has traffic lights in it! I have never seen a round about with traffic lights in it. The first time I entered that roundabout I was confused … I thought it was prank or some sort of joke. But it was real!

Why build a round about with traffic lights in it? What’s the point? Why not just remove the roundabout and replace it with a fully functional junction with traffic lights. And why do we still build roundabouts! The answer is simply this…just like superman’s cape, like the concourse “T” at the Atlanta International Airport and like many others things hampering businesses, it happens because of legacy, because that’s the way people have done it in the past.

Great leaders, great entrepreneurs are the ones bold enough, crazy enough to question the red capes and take them out of their organizations … because we like Superman don’t need capes to fly!

 

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IN #NIGERIA ZEBRA CROSSINGS ARE FOR ZEBRAS ONLY

When I was in primary school, they had just completed the painting of several Zebra crossings along Allen Avenue and Opebi areas. Our mum was driving us on that particular day when we approached one of the newly painted Zebra crossings and then she told us … and I can never forget

“If you walk on the Zebra crossing, cars will automatically stop for you.”

Well several months after that, the driver or our parents forgot to pick us up from school (St. Leo Catholic School), so we had to walk all the way from Toyin Street to Adeniyi Jones, needless to say no cars stopped for us at the Zebra crossings. It was like the Zebra crossings were invisible. In fact it seemed like cars moved faster in the Zebra crossing zones. Except that you happen to be a Zebra … then they will stop!

But it is not that we have bad drivers, we just are not trained drivers.

People often say that if you can drive in Nigeria you can drive anywhere in the world … “huh” is my reaction … because, actually if you can drive in Nigeria, chances are that you can’t really drive anywhere else. Because other places have rules, and without an understanding of the rules you can’t drive there.

But it is not all our fault…the government has a hand.

They (the government) wake up one morning and paint lines on the road put up signs left right and center, sometimes the signs vary from local government to local government depending on who got the contract. Its like a hodgepodge of road paint. Some roads have lanes, others don’t have lanes. And soon people are ignoring the rules not because they want to but because the implementation is inconsistent and confusing.

Now back to the Zebra crossings…

The reason Nigerian drivers will only stop for Zebra’s is because there is no adequate training. And the people meant to implement this training (traffic wardens) are clueless most of the time except when there is a financial benefit. If the traffic wardens understand that their role is not to prey on drivers mistakes but rather to educate and teach drivers, we might see some change.

But for now and to be safe … dress like a Zebra before you cross!

OfiliSpeaks

 

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WORD FOR TODAY..

Here are two more stumbling blocks you need to remove in order to win someone to Christ:

1) Boredom. Jesus isn’t boring, but sometimes religion is. The story is told of a lady who fell asleep during the sermon. Pointing at the man sitting next to her, the pastor said, ‘Please wake that woman up!’ The man replied, ‘You put her to sleep, Reverend, you wake her up!’ Jesus is called ‘the Good Shepherd’ (John 10:11), and the Greek word for ‘good’ is ‘kalos’, which means ‘captivating'; that’s the Christ we need to present to those seeking spiritual direction.

2) Money. It’s been said the most sensitive nerve in a person’s body is the one that runs to their wallet. Have there been financial scandals in the church? Yes. They even had them in the New Testament church (Acts 5). But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! It takes money to build churches, feed and clothe the needy and send out missionaries. When money is in the right hands, it’s a solution, not a problem. Furthermore, if God can trust you to finance His plans, He will show you how to make more money. He said, ‘…I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit…’ (Isaiah 48:17 AMP).

3) Discomfort. People say, ‘I just don’t feel comfortable in church.’ The truth can do that to you! The gospel is designed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. When Paul preached, some people trembled, but when trembling leads to trusting in Christ, it’s a good thing.

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