Frankly Speaking Blog
David became frustrated after he realised how difficult it would be to correct an error he committed much earlier in his marriage. David is married to a very beautiful lady whom he met at his younger sister's birthday party five years ago. He was extremely captivated by the unique and uncommon beauty of this girl. Apart from her beauty, she was also very polished and refined. She comes from a rich background and born to very exposed and high profile parents. Well-travelled and classy.
He couldn't believe his luck when this girl said yes to his advances a few months after the encounter. They began to date, became really close and eventually got married. David didn't come from her kind of background nor experienced her kind of upbringing. His parents were average civil servants and right from his childhood, he's learnt to work very hard, endure hard times and solve his own problems.
Somewhere in his mind, he's always felt lucky about the kind of woman he married and felt underserving of her to a degree. He's often asked her why, of all the great and exposed guys in her life, she settled for him as a life partner. She would smile back at him and with a curl smile respond singing that's the way love goes.
About six months into the marriage, David's wife couldn't cope with combining the pressure of employment and the crisis of her first pregnancy. She was very weak, sick and troubled by the condition. David suggested she resigns and relax till after the baby is born, she concurred.
I'm a proponent of the act of personal review. Anything that is deserving of growth and improvement must be subject to reviews. An enterprise for instance is measured in growth through regular and periodic reviews. Performance is checked, accounts are audited, corrections and amendments are made when and where necessary. This is a logical approach to ensuring the enterprise keeps doing well and consistently repositioned for good growth.
As humans we also have the capacity for growth, improvement and better performance. We function in purpose and have a reason for existing. Regular checks and audits of our lives and performance is necessary if we really want to do well and live a great and fulfilling life.
Dear friend, can you describe your experience and achievements in life right now as great? From a rating of one to ten; one being the lowest, how would you score yourself?
To be able to appraise and score your life performance correctly, there must be a benchmark, a pre-set standard. There must be a target, you must have a clear picture of what you want and where you want to be; how close are you now to your dream destination? That's how to fairly score yourself.
Many of us live very busy lives. We are actually very busy. We have so much to do that a day appears not to be enough. From dawn to dusk we are up and about doing one thing or the other, chasing one thing or the other. We can be busy with formal and serious affairs and we can also be busy at pleasurable and entertaining matters. It doesn't really matter which one of both is keeping us occupied, we are just a crew of busy people. It'll amaze you how someone can labour and work tirelessly towards organising a party and this same person will stay awake all night preparing for exams or a presentation or project at work. For pleasure, leisure, adventure or progress in life, most of us are very busy.
The delusion of a busy life is the assumption or suggestion that you're working very hard in life, so you should automatically have something to show for it. Unfortunately, being busy is not the same as being productive so you can be very busy and still have nothing much to show. It's possible to be busy but still broke, backward and regressive.
This confusion is the reason many become paranoid and begin to believe they have spiritual problems hence consult spiritualists to help them tackle the spirit of backwardness and the spirit of the snail. The reality is, many are busy, hardworking and diligent but not productive. Unfortunately, life does not truly reward hard work, life pays only for productivity. It's what is produced - the product, that money is exchanged for, not the labour or activity.
One subject many of us are reluctant to discuss is what our future holds. We naturally love to bask in the experiences of today, we want to take pleasure in today and do all what will make gratifying the activities of our today. Many are hardly mindful of the future, anytime someone or something raises the question or reminder about the future, we mentally just wish to switch off.
Perhaps, we don't really like discussing the future because we are anxious about what it portends. We are uneasy about uncertainties, unwanted outcomes and disappointing eventualities so, we'd rather not think or talk about it. It's scary.
Ladies and gentlemen, the avoidance of tomorrow as a matter to ponder in your mind does not nullify its certainty. Being sceptical in planning and fortifying your future wouldn't push it further away from you. Wisdom hence, is that decision to brace up in courage and critically think about your future and how you can make it superior to your present.
Many of us like to subscribe to philosophies that suggests we are powerless against tomorrow. We like it when it's said that no one knows tomorrow and no one can do anything about the future. We eagerly embrace such theories as it sits well within our wish zone. But the truth is, mankind to a large extent shapes the future. Our collective activities as humans determine the consequences and possibilities of the future. What I do, what you do, what we all do actually shapes the future to a very large extent.
Sometimes one can get emotional when people chose to just talk to you and open up to you on their very personal issues, pain and frustrations without any inhibition, reservation or embarrassment.
When a man is tired of life, tired of living and nothing really matters anymore, the whole idea of being a man, being strong, comporting oneself and putting up a good front can just fall apart like a pack of cards. When a man believes there's nothing more to lose, nothing really matters to such a one anymore.
As this man shared his experience of pain and regret with me a few month ago in my live class, I couldn't help but feel very sorry for him. He looked very tired, his eyes were weak and bloodshot, he had not shaved for a couple of days, his countenance was that of permanent worry, his eye bags confirmed he hadn't been sleeping well, his expensive shirt was rough and had stains on them, it was obvious he had lost some considerable weight and every now and again as he spoke, he would sigh and his voice will get croaky and he would suppress the urge to cry.
I noticed also he would tighten his lips and shake his head vigorously but firmly every now and again and hiss; he would clench both hands together tightly in a fist, release them and let them drop loosely by his side then he'd adjust himself again and his sitting position. He was restless, worried and very anxious.
He's not a poor man, he looked very okay judging by the price of the shirt he wore, his shoes and wrist watch. He looked financially comfortable. I took all these in very quickly and began to pay attention to what he had to say; wondering what the problem was with this, good looking, but very distressed man who appeared to be in his early fifties.
Essential to your rapid growth and success in life are the kind of people you have in and around your life. You cannot succeed alone no matter how you try. The most respected and admired spiritual leaders in human history had to choose disciples and strong supporters for them to effectively fulfil purpose and destiny. Life has been designed for us to work with people and succeed with people no matter how imperfect human beings are.
Positing not to collaborate with anybody to achieve maximum success in life or any venture is a fallacy. It is impossible to make it alone in life. You need people.
More important than having people in your life is having the right people. All the people you have in your life today can be categorised as either assets or liabilities. Some people are really good supporters and helpers, some are just mere weights and burdens in your life.
The nature and function of the kind of people you allow or permit into your life will determine if you'll succeed or struggle through life.
Today, many of us are running helter skelter, up and down, back and forth in search of means for survival. We work really hard, hustling everyday just to make enough cash to pay our bills.
Basic needs is our entire commitment, we need a roof over our heads, food in our stomach, clothes on our back, comfortable means of transportation, communication and of course education.
We want to provide for ourselves, our families and possibly extended relatives. We also covet social relevance, we want to belong to a group of friends and associates with whom we share many views in life, culture, religion and survival – we seek social acceptance and we want to be loved and admired by all. These factors drive us daily as we go on with our lives.
These have become goals and priorities for many and so long as we're able to cope and maintain, we feel all is well.
The psychologist, Abraham Maslow in his theory of Man's hierarchy of needs stated the first three needs as physiological needs – that's food, clothes and shelter, the next is safety and security, then love and the desire to belong.
The last two that tops the pyramid - the hierarchy is self-esteem and self-actualisation.
In a materialistic society like ours, the way you appear, what you wear, how you carry yourself and how people choose to see you is how they'll treat you either good or bad.
As typical Nigerians, on first encounter with people, we tend to judge by the person's immediate appearance. Even after we become a bit familiar with that person, we rate the person more by possessions, positions and power rather than intelligence, character or good nature.
If subsequently we sense the person doesn't have much materially, isn't highly placed or not so famous or influential, we lose appreciation and basic respect for such a one. In a situation when we feel we have a higher level of power, possession and prosperity than such a one, we automatically assume a dominant role in the relationship and in fact demand respect from such a person even if the person is older or more advanced in life.
Sadly as Nigerians, money and material possessions are the basic factors we use to determine who we choose to respect and the degree of respect we accord. Power and influence are the next factors we use in matters of honour and respect. That, unfortunately is how our society rolls. This is my submission.
This being the nature of our society, many of us unfortunately believe the only way we can truly earn the respect of others is through material possession and financial surplus. We hence, hanker after money and material things by all means based on our craving for respect and popularity. We want respect so we opt to buy this respect from others.
He sat right in front of me very demoralised. He's done all he knows how to but it appears all his effort has been in vain. She wouldn't change, she wouldn't bulge.
He loves her very much and would want to marry her, but she's not interested, she's not willing and she's got other priorities. At 35 she's still not thinking marriage. She sees marriage as a trap, a bondage, a limitation and a restricting venture. What's more, she doesn't trust any man, she believes all men are cheats, liars, pretenders and abusive.
According to her, marriage is over rated. She's trying to negotiate with him to father just two kids for her out of wedlock; she'd have custody though; that's good enough for her. All his effort to convince her marry him wouldn't work. He came for me to advise him on what next to do.
I asked more questions about her and her upbringing and it was obvious this lady is actually reacting to a dysfunctional upbringing.
Much earlier in life she was familiar with a father who was a terror in the house. He would beat everyone including her mum to pieces anytime he's drunk and upset. This experience was very regular hence, it became a way of life for them. Subsequently at age 15, her mum decided to send her to live with the uncle, the mum's younger brother in another state to shield her from the abusive behaviour of her father as the only girl.
This uncle, her mum's younger brother whom she began to live with in another city, though wasn't violent or mean to his family or to her, had other unsuitable interest in her. He wanted to have an affair with her and very often touched her and spoke with her in inappropriate ways.
If your career life is to be analysed today based on your motive for all you do, are you leading your career or managing your career?
You see, it's very easy to get confused and assume everyone around you is chasing and running after the same things you're pursuing simply because they're also involved in your job or activity type.
They wake up early every day just like you, rush off to work every day, work very hard every day, return home late every day and maybe some even work in the same team as you. What will eventually tell the difference between you and all these people is the results and achievements at the end of a season or period.
The basis for competition, rivalry, envy, jealousy, strife and treachery anywhere is the assumption you're in the same race as everyone else around you and you're all after the same things.
Back in my days of paid employment, some of my colleagues and superiors criticised my approach to work and my work relationship style. I was definitely not interested in rising through the ranks and becoming a director or something of that sort, no, I've always wanted to own my own establishment. Hence, I was building friendships and relationships across the whole business and had exciting friendships with colleagues in rival teams because I wanted to learn how the entire business system worked. I related well with colleagues in corporate affairs, finance, logistics, production and even admin and even with non-management staff. I had good friends amongst non-management employees; why? I was seeking knowledge and experience I will be needing when eventually I start my own company.
Many of us sometimes get discouraged and frustrated about the issues of life. We have dreams, hopes, expectations and desires that appear to be quite difficult apprehending.
Life is definitely beyond just existing, life and living is also measured in quality and impact. A quality life is what most of us are working very hard for. We want to eat well, we want to be healthy, we want dress well and look really cool, live in nice homes and nice neighbourhoods, send our kids to very good schools, go to places we like, be with people we like and sort out sudden financial developments without breaking a sweat. We all want quality life, good quality life.
I believe we all want maximum peace, health, comfort, security and influence. Good quality life is absolutely gratifying. When your life is good, you'll be happy.
Happiness is an important emotion to humanity, at the end of the day every human pursuit is in search of happiness, even that quality life is consequently expected to bring us happiness.
Happiness is the reward when we apprehend all that we want and desire in life in good time. Good things; good quality life is expected to bring us happiness; or so we think.
There are two main fallacies to this line of thinking. First, a good quality life does not really come by pursuit or hard work or labour, there is more to apprehending that good quality life. Secondly, happiness is not a product of what you have, what you've accomplished, or acquired. In fact fulfilling your dreams won't make you happy because in life, happiness is not tied to things or people, happiness comes from your personal interpretation of life and your experiences.
Organisations become very successful and rich because they plan for success, profit and growth. Every year, the leadership and management of every progressive business will sit down and plan the strategy for growth, progress and profitability for their business. If they fail to do this, the business will soon die. The reason why they do this is because it's been proven over time as a wise behaviour that works.
Success and profit in life is hardly accidental, it must be planned and deliberately executed. This is how businesses grow and earn billions of dollars annually, hence become respected and valued worldwide. Successful businesses plan for success.
The same principle of planning for profit business organisations apply to become multibillion dollar worth is the same principle you need as a person to become a multibillionaire. Your personal success, profiting and growth must be planned if you want to be great and successful in life. If it works for business enterprises, it will definitely work for you as an individual.
Becoming a billionaire in life is very easy if you have your personal plans for success, profit and healthy growth into billions. Unfortunately, many of us have no personal plans, strategy or ambition for multibillion dollar successes. We mostly think of survival and that's all we get – survival. Many of us can never become legitimate billionaires not because it's impossible but because we cannot attract into our lives what we don't think about, plan for and work for in this life.
A couple of weeks ago I was in conversation with a middle aged man who was fighting depression. He was looking for someone to talk to, open up too and just pour out all his mind to. He was tired of life and tired of everything. Life to him has lost colour or flavour, nothing appeared interesting, exciting or fun. He didn't see anything great in his future, all that he loved, wanted, worked for and struggled for now seemed useless and pointless. His job, marriage, children, assets, properties, friendships and relationships appeared needless. He had lost his essence and the need to keep on living. Even religion to him now appeared powerless and ineffective. He just wanted to be by himself and shut out everything and everyone. He was depressed.
In the course of pouring out his mind and as I paid rapt attention to all he had to say without interrupting; just occasional nods to show I'm following, something remarkable struck me. Every single story and experience he shared with me about how he came to this sad state in his life had to do 100 percent with his relationships. The casual factors of his depression included and were exclusive to his parents, his siblings, his in-laws, his children, his business partners, his wife, his friends and investors. There was no single mention of any stranger as also responsible for his crisis.
Now, these are all people with whom, once upon a time he had exciting, interesting and quality relationships. These are people he love, valued, respected, wanted and enjoyed their company.
A major human limitation is the inability to correctly predict the future. No man can correctly tell you what will happen to you within the next hour. Mankind in the desperation to know and control tomorrow has in fact made consultations with divinity and mysticism even with that, control isn't guaranteed. In this life, no one knows tomorrow, no one can absolutely manipulate tomorrow.
Our dreams, ambition and aspirations for the future are all a matter of hope, not certainty. So we work, plan, strategize and pray hoping our expectations from the future shall be met, at times things turn out in our favour but at other times things turn out different.
Not knowing tomorrow is a critical reason for mankind's dependence and relying on God. We pray to God to bring to pass all our hopes and aspirations, we pray our dreams come true, we wish for a bright, fulfilling and rewarding future. We all want a happier tomorrow than today, incidentally the power of tomorrow does not lie with us.
As impossible as it is to tell accurately and with precision the details of how your tomorrow will unfold, and as the control of your future is beyond you as mere human, there are however, some rules, some principles, some ordinances and habits that can to a degree help influence and shape the quality of your future and make your future almost predictable.
In this life, the law of sowing and reaping is rife and real.
I've been working on a project for a while now and a couple of months ago I contracted a part of the job to a man I believed was a professional. He came highly recommended from someone I trust, so I thought it wise to engage him.
During our pre activation meetings when I was briefing him on the job I wanted him to do and how I wanted him to go about it, he came across as responsible, honest and sincere. As I kept taking him through the designs; sharing visuals with him and ideas on concepts and adaptations – also asking if he could do it precisely, his response always had this religious undertone. Do you understand? "yes sir by God's grace." was his response. "Can you do this and that?" "I can do all things sir, through Him who strengthens me"
"Can you meet the deadline?" all things are possible sir, he replied. Most of our conversations at these meetings had strong religious undertone and remarks in his response. Without prejudice, I'm usually weary of people who at the slightest opportunity want to display religiosity, it makes me suspicious. You know, these days it's very easy to learn the language of religion even if you're not religious because religion has become very popular and entertaining especially in Nigeria. "Christianese", the religious language of Christians was what this man kept speaking throughout our business meeting.
Eventually I gave him the job and subsequently in retrospect I wish I never did. He messed up the job completely; wasted time, wasted money and wasted materials. He was always full of excuses and covered up all his faults, failures, incompetence and bad decisions speaking religious language.
From Christ Society International Outreach under:
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