Adulting, need I say more? If you could opt out, at least for a period of time, would you take it? This episode is about the realities of adulthood.
It’s been a little quiet over here and I’m starting to think that I’m talking to myself and I don’t know how to feel about that. Having said that, I am choosing to believe that I am talking to millions of you. Yes you heard, millions of you.
Last week was rough for many people myself included. All sorts of weird and painful things were happening, but if you’re reading this it’s not too late to turn things around.
It’s a new week and whatever happened last week is now in the past and no longer happening, so what would you like to do next? You can choose to hold onto it OR let go and keep sowing great things now for your future.
One way to turn things around instantly, which you can do right away, is to shift your perception on your reality.
Can it feel fake at first? Yup, but with persistence it will feel normal and this will alter your reality.
For example, many people see paying bills as a chore and a pain instead of gift that affords them the lifestyle they live. Rather than bemoan it, say thank you every time you pay an expense, because you’re effectively being grateful for the things you get to experience everyday that once upon a time was but a dream. You remember what it felt like to not have the money to pay that bill and you had to ask someone for it, well now you don’t have to. That’s a blessing.
Shifting your focus onto what is good about a situation will always bear better fruit than exacerbating an already negative situation.
Pick one thing you want to feel different about and change the story you’ve made about it. Your mind is something you can control and that’s a super power. Use it wisely, be intentional for your good and that of others.
Speaking of which: you will have a great week, receive wonderful news and enjoy being alive with your loved ones 🙂
Recently I have felt like my interactions with those close to me have become a bit stale, and it seemed to have happened ever so rapidly.
We’re just not gelling like we used to, and with life evolving so quickly, our paths are diverging in a way that’s challenging and causing me to really reassess my relationships.
And so I made a decision to limit my engagement and take some time out to figure out what’s going on and in the meantime redirect my focus on other things.
It’s important to evaluate what’s going in your life from time to time, especially if it doesn’t feel right- The whole elevation requires separation bit.
Now I’m not sure if my game plan is to elevate, although as I think about it, I suppose it is. To mentally elevate.
Maybe you’re in similar place to me, having to figure things out and that’s okay. For your own self development, it is sometimes necessary.
There are a few things I’m doing more of in this period:
- Positive affirmations
- Reading a minimum of a chapter a day (currently, Crushing it by Gary V)
- Investing in my goals
I don’t know how long I’ll be disengaged for, it could be a week, two weeks or a month, I’ll know once I feel different.
I’ll still be here though, on the blog that is.
Last week Thursday I was looking back on the things I have done to date and I have to be honest, I was pretty impressed with myself, like really impressed. I love what I have been able to do so far and I didn’t think I would ever say that at this point.
As a perfectionist, it could always be better, yet here I was, looking at my work and saying to myself ‘I’m dope af’.
Side note:The lack of acknowledgement or praise for your gift and contribution does not exclude the existence of it.
Now that may be my inflated ego talking, but as I sat there and mulled over why I hadn’t seen myself in this way before, it came to me. Time, work and effort was why.
Becoming great at anything requires time, not only that but work, repeated effort and consistency. You cannot become great at anything if you do not put the hours in. There is absolutely no conning your way into it and most people start at the bottom and by bottom I mean you’re usually shit…at first.
Think Serena and Beyonce. When you look at their success, its awe-inspiring, but truthfully what you are looking at is decades of hard work, failure, repeated action, consistency and a whole lot more.
They started as kids whose talents had to be cultivated. An overnight success they are not, not by a long shot, and if we ever sat down to converse with them about their journey, I am not sure many of us could stomach it.
Want to be great at anything? Give yourself time, be religious with doing the work, learn from it, take risks, fail, celebrate- do whatever it takes and you will surely become it, in time.
And this could be for anything. A great relationship, apply the above, a great career apply the above, a great body, apply the above, creating the life you want to lead, apply the above, great health, apply the above… you get my drift. The work must be done and there’s no shirking the responsibility that is required to be great.
So, if you want it, it yours, but its not free.
Do you always get what you want?
Some time back I wrote in my notes that my expectations are making me depressed.
They’re such a weird thing, like you’re “meant” to have them, but then having them makes you prone to disappointment. On the other hand not having them can mean that you accept much less or that in some cases you receive much more, so what exactly are we supposed to do? How do we get the balance right?
At one point in my life I was the person with little to no expectations of things and people and without realising it received everything. I have also been the person with high expectations and intentions and consistently seen it fall through in epic proportions and consequently been gravely disappointed. For this reason I have spent some time really ruminating over ‘expectations’ and I think I have it figured out.
When I think about it, a lot of the times that I’ve had a clear vision of what I want, it typically doesn’t materialise in that way. I still get it, it just looks a bit different.
Lots of motivational speakers talk much about belief, faith, setting intentions and so on, but what they don’t tell you is how to do these things; and believe it or not I do think there is a method to it. Not one that suits everything of course, but one that produces a healthier balance for your life (subjectively speaking).
Follow me for a moment. Ever watched a film adaptation of one of your favourite books and after watching it you thought ‘this was shit’. Well of course it was! It is NEVER going to match up to the imagery that your intricate and unique mind conceived.
Now using that same analogy, apply it to other situations, a job, a friendship, a lover, money, children. Can you see how you could live in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and disappointment? How will you or anyone make it when your thoughts have determined what EVERY action and outcome should be? You have left no room for deviation, no room for creativity, no room for life to do its thing and with this way of thinking not even God will make the cut.
So many people are walking around depressed because things didn’t work out how they thought it would and then spend a considerable amount of time focusing on the results that didn’t happen. In doing this you miss out on what did happen, the blessings in that and also what you could do to make it better.
When we create and cement the outcome down to a T and refuse to be open, we deprive ourselves of being able to witness and appreciate the beauty in what IS happening. We stunt its growth and ultimately our growth. The happiest people as we know are those that make the best of what is there not of what isn’t.
The most successful people are successful because they keep moving. They didn’t get stuck on what didn’t happen, they focused on what did and made it better.
So do be expectant, continue to visualise, but refrain from becoming overly attached to it and restricting what it should be. Okay, you might say that’s settling. It’s not. We have to remember that we are not the only ones involved in the makings of something. There are so many other factors involved, ones that we can see and ones that we can’t and we need to consider that too.
Allow life to happen because whether we like it or not, it will happen with or without you so you might as well roll with it.
P.s My sister took my pictures and I was obviously pretending to be cool or whatever.
Sunday night I say my prayers, set my intentions, I feel good and I go to sleep.
Before 8 am this morning, I had 2 unexpected things pop up with a promise to throw me off track.
I say to myself ‘It’ll be fine, I’ll handle it’.
I jump in the shower and as I scrub myself I suddenly remember one of the intentions I had set the night before: ‘I want to strengthen my mind (positively)…’. It dawns on me that those 2 “pop ups” were a part of my “mind strengthening training”. I laugh at the physical representations of it and mentally accept the challenge.
What is the challenge? Don’t lose my shit, maintain a good attitude and alter the way I do and respond to things to further develop my character.
Anyway, I have work to get to and I must be there for 9 am. One of the managers is up my crack and onto me and I’m never one to fall back from a challenge and I like to prove points, so like I said I must be on time.
I leave out and I’m doing okay for time. I arrive at the closest underground station to me and there’s 100’s of people at the top of the escalators. The Jubilee Line has a fault. Now if you know me, you know commuting is one of my least favourite things. I think I vocally complain about it at least once a week so this is not good and like I said I HAVE A POINT TO PROVE (wtf is the universe ignoring me?). We’re all hanging around waiting to be told that service will resume. It doesn’t. Instead they tell us the line has been suspended both ways. Feck.
By this point I am teetering on resorting back to my usual reaction to situations like this. I can feel the urge coming up from my stomach creeping up on me, but I utter no words for fear of undoing my efforts. I won’t go out like that. I plan another route to get to work.
Upon arriving at the alternative route, I walk down the stairs looking towards the platform to see if the train has arrived as it’s due now. I see the train is there, but it hasn’t quite pulled up to the full length of the platform yet. That’s odd. I overhear a bystander tell someone something about the train but I only caught bits of it, so I asked her what she had just said.
‘A person has jumped in front of the train’. What?! Okay, this is too much mental strength training for me in one morning. You mean to tell me a likely dead body is somewhere underneath this very train I am looking at? It deeply saddens me and my eyes well. Whoever they were, was in so much mental turmoil and pain that they couldn’t bear the thought of living another day. If you’ve ever been depressed or suicidal you know just how much of a battle it is.
I attempt to say a prayer for them ‘I hope they have peac…’. I don’t quite finish the sentence or really know what to say. Can a person who took their own life have peace in death? What about the afterlife? Is there really an afterlife? Too much to think about. There goes my morale.
I eventually make it into work 2 hours and 50 minutes after I left my house, for what usually is a 1 hour journey door to door. Time: 10:50 am. Oh, have I mentioned I’m a contractor so every hour counts…fun.
Don’t get me wrong I know some of the above pales in comparison to things others have to deal with, but this is what’s mine.
I share of all of that to say this: Be aware of what you are asking for and what you want.
You usually hear be careful what you ask for, but I think it’s equally important to be aware of it, because whatever you want or ask for, you will be tested by it and if you are unable to recognise it when it comes, you’ll abuse and lose it.
Being aware puts you in a better position to readily succeed at, improve and appreciate the thing that you have asked for. It also helps to manage your expectations. For example, some women want husbands that are rich. Nothing wrong with that right? Except the reality of that might look like him working long hours, travelling the world, being available to his work responsibilities 24/7, missing important dates, forgetting important dates, and so on. Being wealthy usually comes with huge responsibilities and yes the payoff is nice but at what price?
You want to be a world class athlete? That’ll mean changing your diet, knowing every single ingredient in your food and its properties, being disciplined, limiting social outings, training every single day, and the list goes on.
Get my drift?
I wanted to reinforce my mind to be steadily positive and what I have been faced with are things to build more of a resistance to negativity or things not going as planned and because I am aware of this, I can effectively adjust to meet this need. Will I always do right? Um no. But I can always do better.
So, what have you asked for? Is it here? And how are you rising to the occasion?
For anyone who’s in need, please help yourself here.
achieve, author, Better, career, change, expectation, Failure, Family, Friendship, Goal, growth, January, Money, Motivation, New me, new year, perception, Reality, relationship, Speaker, success, Work, writer
First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! However you spent it, I hope it was good for you.
At the start of the year, we’re so strongly convicted of all the things we’re going to do and how this time it’ll be different (queue in the ‘This is my year’ warriors). How Sway? You won’t push yourself, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t change your habits, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t commit to anything, but somehow it’ll be different, you won’t alter your thinking, but somehow it’ll be different. Do you and I a favour and stop being deceitful.
The reality is, changing and improving the quality of your life is A LOT of hard consistent work and the results of it may not materialise until months and years later, so the question is, how bad do you want it and can you go the distance?
The unrealistic expectations that we sometimes hold of ourselves cause us to repeatedly fall short of our goals (myself included). We have it in our minds that it’ll be easy to accomplish and when faced the actuality of it, opt out and resign to a life of mediocrity.
With anything worth having, you will have to put the work in, not only in attaining it but to maintain it also. Whether it’s money, career, relationships, family, if it is to be successful, you will have to constantly work for/at it.
What does the work look like in real life? Time, effort, patience, sacrifice, discipline, self-control, consistency, commitment, developing, sweat, tears, failure, restarting, stress, balance, challenge, criticism, the list is endless. And yes, looking at that list it’s very easy to see why anyone would say ‘It’s not for me bro’, but if you want it, it’s a package deal- You can’t pick and choose the bits you want.
In my experience, when trying to change anything, the idea is to focus your energy on one thing. Full focus and attention on one thing is bound to produce greater results at a rapid rate than giving your divided attention to many things. The latter is also a sure fire way to not only be ineffective but stagnant. You will feel like you’re working but the reality is you’re working on too many of the wrong things at the same time and going nowhere fast.
Now I’m not advocating that you abandon everything else, simply that you devote most of your efforts to accomplishing one thing before diversifying. Become skilled at one thing and that will give you the necessary tools to increase your success rate in other areas of your life. Continue as you are? Well you already know what that looks like.
Usually there’s a process when posting, but today isn’t one of those days. I’m writing this off the top of my dome, no editing, nada!
Do you ever feel like you can’t catch a break? As if you are doing a dance with life, taking two steps forward and five steps backwards? And every time that happens you say ‘Commmme orrrnnnnnn (South East London accent), give me a break!’ That would be me right now.
I’d be faking the funk if I said, I was unaffected and I’m thinking positive thoughts because the truth is, I’m not. Being ‘positive’ isn’t high on my priority list. Only a few moments ago did I think, ‘Right, I’m selling all my possessions and going to be mediocre AF’. But that thought lasted all of one minute, it’s not me. That’s the one good thing about my stubborn nature, I don’t relent easily.
To be honest, I am not entirely sure what the point of this post is, maybe it will reveal itself shortly…
Okay, I think that’s it. I am going to document for the next 7 days, how my week goes, with every intention of turning it around. Wish me luck! No, better still send me prayers and good intentions.
Oh, the things that started my week of badly? My mother was suddenly unwell, I had a minor but HIGHLY inconvenient car accident (No one was hurt, thankfully), and of course there is long a**, costly a** process that goes along with that, my job is stressful as hell and in between ALL of that, life is happening, ugh.
Touch base tomorrow!
P.s I promise, I will be back tomorrow, honest 🙂
You’ve been trying a ting* for a while now but it’s not quite working.
One possible reason is this: You’re living in your head!
What do I mean by that? There are certain things you say to yourself on a daily basis that contradict what you deeply want for your life. You hold incapacitating beliefs that limit your ability to make your dreams a reality.
You’ve held onto these things for so long that whatever you attempt to do is really futility at its best. You’re living small, acting small, doing enough to look like you’re doing something, all the while, side stepping doing the VERY thing that will make a massive difference to your life. Your fears and insecurities make you a spectator to the life you really want to lead, in other words, it’s bitch.
Take me for example; I believe that what I do IS valuable to someone, yet my other thought is, who the hell will listen to me? Who would even care about what I have to say? No one cares!
Unsurprisingly, there are going to be behaviours that follow these thoughts, like not speaking up, not promoting your work, being critical of yourself and so on.
But enough is enough! As my mother would say, ‘Time waits for no man’.
If you want a different experience, you have to think and do things in a way you have never done before. Say f*ck it and just do it. Not half-heartedly, not cowering, do it with your chest! There’s no other way to get around it or over it. No matter how silly or unqualified you might feel, do it anyway. It’s the only way you’re going to get closer to living the way you truly want.
It could be buying a home, speaking to that family member, setting up a business, starting YouTube, getting an agent, returning to university, sky diving, travelling to another country alone, ending that dead relationship, clearing your debt, changing careers, whatever it is, know that you can do it.
Free yourself from the things someone once told you about yourself, the things you have told yourself, the belief systems that have crippled you and begin a new, more edifying conversation, starting with believing in your-bl**dclart-self!
You can, you will, you have.
P.s Ting is a Caribbean/London slang for ‘a thing’…that was obvious right? Anyway bye.
The Magic Circle
When I was a teenager, I remember my peers saying things like and please excuse the crudeness of this next statement, “If she is a hoe, then her friend must be one too”. I strongly disagreed with this statement (and still do to some extent). I thought it is very possible to be friends with someone who has a different lifestyle to you and still not be influenced by it.
The older I have become, the more I realised that the latter statement doesn’t necessarily present reality. My mother would always say ‘mind the company you keep’, ‘yeast works through a batch of dough’ or ‘Iron sharpens Iron’. These idioms didn’t come out of thin air, they came as a result of noticing the patterns within of a group of people or things.
If you think those in your immediate circle do not affect what you do and how you do it then think again.
In fact as I am writing this I just remembered a recent incident that occurred between my friends and I.
We were in Mexico for a friend’s wedding and on one of the free days, we had a fun filled day with different activities. Quad biking, zip lining, jumping into the river from different heights, it was a lot, but a fantastic day nonetheless!
One of the activities, although you had a choice on whether you wanted to do it or not, was zip lining and or jumping from different heights into the river(Fresh water). Now I am a new swimmer, so I’m not at all confident.
My friend Ref is a incredibly adventurous (she beats me hands down), a thrill seeker if you will. She is game for almost anything. She had been jumping in and out of the river and had already been on the zip line.
I didn’t want to be a punk and leave Mexico without pushing my boundaries. I too decided to get on the zip line, fear will not make me its b*tch.
What possessed me to do it? Well aside from my desire, my friend with her zest for life did it for me. There were times during the trip in Mexico where she would encourage me to try things I was apprehensive about doing, but it was her fearlessness and action that sealed the deal for me. If she can do it, then so can I and I did.
Which brings me to my next point, I had another friend with me who couldn’t swim at all, Remi. We are like two peas in a pod, out of us, I am the more daring one. After my first go at zip line, guess who wanted to do it too? She did. I nearly fell on my face when she said she wanted to do it, but not wanting scare her, I didn’t make a big deal out of it at the time.
Need I remind you that she CANNOT swim, we went towards zip line, “1, 2, 3 GO!” off we went and down we ascended. To say I was a proud friend was an understatement; the act represented so many things for me. After being friends for nearly 15 years, I was happy to know that we were still in this race together not just physically but mentally.
Would she have done it, if I hadn’t done it first? Would I have done it, if Ref hadn’t done it before me? The answer to that question is likely to be a hell no!
If your friends are perpetually broke, the chances are (if you are not already there), that you will follow suit. It’s just like how we adopt our parents characteristics or do the things commonly done in our community. For example, why do people from a particular background or area, join gangs? It is what is done and for them like a rite of passage, what they are “supposed to do”. In the same way if you’re from a Nigerian background, university is a given.
Millionaires attract and hang around with other millionaires. Naturally their finances will increase. Why? Because they share their knowledge and expertise with one another, and often times collaborate.
Married people associate themselves with other married people, it’s a no brainer. Even if there is an anomaly amongst the group that is single, or in the relationship, the chances are high that the end result will be marriage.
You become what you see or are in association with.
Creatives hang around with other creative people, and if you are one and you don’t, I can guarantee than your production rate is minimal because there aren’t others like you to heighten that desire and inspire you.
If you have friends that are always late, you’re probably always late too, and if you’re not, then you’ll soon join them. I can vouch for that, my mother’s sense of timing is way off, so you can imagine mine isn’t fantastic,although I am working on it ( I promise).
By no means am I saying ditch your current friends, I am however, encouraging you to expand your network of friends, partnerships and associations.
When advancing onto the next level and there is no one like minded around you, you must then brace it alone.
Years ago I started attending events alone. The result is I now have no problem being in strange environments alone and can thrive in them. Once upon a time asking a passerby a question was a challenge.
Go to where you want to be. Don’t wait for that ‘time’ or when you ‘make it’, do it now! Until you arrive (whatever arriving means to you) saturate your life with the things that reinforce your aspirations. There have been many a time where I have felt and overwhelming sense of despair based on my environment alone.
Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course, but if you are trying to achieve something quickly then get around those who are achieving and living it, fast. If not, you will continue to remain where have always been.
Shout out to my friend Sam, who was inspired to begin writing again and start his blog www.theskepticalromantic.wordpress.com because he came across mine 🙂
Still think it’s not that important?
P.s the feature image is Remi and I.