Monday, 10 February 2014

Ignore That Detail

It's just funny that paying attention to details can be time-wasting. In a TedX video, Cobhams Asuquo said sight can be a distraction. I quite agree with him. When you see too much, you feed our mind with all sorts of information and this permeates your thoughts, choices and life. Some details are just not worth our attention. Some people/actions are not worth our reaction.

Perfect the skill of ignoring every unnecessary detail. But you first need identify what matters so that you can ignore the rest. Identify key details and pay attention to them. Afterwards, feel free to let your hair down. Look the other way. Turn the other cheek. Look ahead and get going. Ignore that flimsy detail.

Ignore that detail.

Friday, 3 May 2013

How Much Is Enough Money?

I remember when I used to believe that one hundred naira (less than a dollar) was a lot of money. I felt it was more than enough for anybody. My daily allowance in primary school was five naira. Yes, I was in primary school and like every other kid at that time, I now know better. There is a direct link between the bills you have to pay and the amount you perceive as enough money. A Pastor believing God/his congregation for a private jet will consider himself poor if he has 'just' a million dollars. If a Nigerian Senator's dream is to pay the bills of his entire lineage up to the sixth generation, his statutory earnings won't suffice. Irrespective of how fat that monthly paycheck is, once your bills exceed it, it is no longer enough.

You don't know how little you have until you start paying bills; you don't know how much you have until you calculate the total amount of bills you pay monthly or yearly. Surely, the size of the pocket shouldn't determine the size of the dream but at times I think it's best to cut your dreams temporarily according to the size of your pocket. Once you have enough money, you are covered. The rest is extra. Enough money is not a fixed amount, it's a situation-specific figure determined by dynamic exigencies. What is enough at this moment might not suffice for another moment. Every individual has the responsibility to control his/her dreams and bills.

Making money is a continuous chore. We will keep doing that till kingdom comes; hoping that we will always have 'enough money' at  those critical moments. I am not against having loads of cash in excess, in fact I love that. I want to have more than enough money but I keep reminding myself that what I really need is 'enough money'. When you know what you need, you will know how to use what you get.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Separating Issues from Personalities

Education basically informs and transforms; the latter, in my opinion, is more important. Until you have been transformed by the facts and figures you have learnt either in school or in life, you are not yet educated. Education expands our minds and reasoning. It fosters intellectual tolerance which gives us the ability to separating issues from personalities. It’s worrisome; really, that many will accuse a man who can easily separate issues from personalities, of being a hypocrite. For some Nigerians, once you speak out that you don’t like what someone has done, you are not allowed to like whatever he/she does in the future because you have been filed under Category ‘H’ (Haters).

I am not a fan of the late Goldie and to put it more appropriately, I am not impressed by her ‘talent’. But I felt sad when I heard about her death. She was just too young to die and her sudden death hurts. Some of us who shared this view were castigated and there was a lot of name-calling. A popular female Lagos-based OAP even chided those mourning Goldie’s demise for not showing the late singer enough ‘love’ while she was alive. I agree that the late Goldie and everything she represented went through hell since the moment she started releasing her musical videos. Her brand was further rubbished in the Big Brother House. Many got angry because she ‘fell our hands’ and didn’t ‘represent’. These views were expressed via social media platforms and they were really intense and very insulting. I agree that all of that happened. In a few tweets, I registered my displeasure then about her ‘exploits’ during the reality TV show.

However I mourned her demise because I can separate issues from personalities. I had an issue with her music and brand not her as a person. I agree that there were some people who, even after her demise couldn't find kind words for the late singer. Their minds had nothing but hatred and bitterness. These ones are irredeemable and perhaps, will be glad to be filed under Category 'H'. I will advise that we should all consciously learn to separate issues from personalities. You are allowed to hate her music but that gives you no right to be glad she died. 

You can hate his sense of hygiene but I bet you will always love your dear husband. You can complain about her time-wasting habit but she is still the love of your life. At age 11, Junior still pees in his sleep but I am sure you still love your son. Your boss might be the most annoying animal on planet earth but I am sure you still obey his orders. God hates sinners and one would expect that He hates us all but He doesn’t, because He can separate issues from personalities.

Get Real!

Being ‘real’ is misconstrued and over-hyped. Someone goes on rampage on twitter, abusing everything in sight without any form of mental restraint and his/her followers gather to cheer the ‘realness’ of the tweets. It seems the definition of ‘being real’ is making unguarded statements or having no form of mental restraint. These days your realness is measured by your ability to insult others (especially celebrities) and talk about sex with zero restraint. It is not uncommon to see people who say everyone is just a silly faker and they are thirsty for ‘realness’. Many try too hard and they tweet silly things, do stupid things and release shameful pictures and videos.

Realness in my personal dictionary means, being honest, outspoken and having a constant character. A good boy in church is real when he is also good when he is on twitter. A chronic womanizer shouldn’t be seen as the ‘spirit-filled’ head of ushers in church. A gentle worship leader mustn’t be something else at his/her workplace. A responsible husband and father must also be ‘responsible’ when left alone with the neighbour’s daughter. 

A real person is constant, unashamedly. Get real guys. Life is too short, don’t live it on other people’s terms.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Entitlement Mentality

I expect little from people. When I get what I expect I am happy and grateful. When I get more, I am really surprised and very grateful. This approach ensures peace of mind and happiness. When I get little acts of love from friends and family I am happy. When I get an avalanche of TLC from them and from unexpected sources, I get high. In all scenarios, it's a win-win situation for me. I try to make sure I do not put myself in a situation where my yearnings and cravings are at the mercy of the actions of an individual or his/her inaction. This, for me, is a reasonable decision. Human beings are fallible. We fail, fall and disappoint even ourselves. We change from bad to good, get worse and sometimes some of us just shuttle between the good and the bad. We are dynamic, largely unpredictable and just human. It is safe to guard your joy by ensuring that you do not put your hope and trust in fellow mortals. You will fail others and others will fail you. We are largely unreliable. This is the truth. Entitlement mentality gets in the way of the acceptance of this truth.

Entitlement mentality makes you expect more from people and in some cases it makes you demand more from people. It is difficult to experience true peace and joy when all you do is sit down in a corner and expect 'more' from people who give far less than what you feel you deserve. The individual who goes about demanding 'more' from everyone around will irritate many and eventually get frustrated. Have you noticed that respect does not come to those who demand it? Only those who command respect, get it. To command respect, never ask for it. 

Many got angry when they got a last-minute invite to their friend's wedding and turned down the invitation because they felt they deserved more. Other's get mad whenever food is served and what they get does not match the plates on other tables at the party. A strange few actually cause a scene when they do not get those plastic hand-fans shared at some owambes. In all of these, the embarrassing role of entitlement mentality cannot be overstated.

Entitlement mentality gets in the way of gratitude, robs you off your self-esteem and puts you at the mercy of others. Many can never be grateful because they will always feel they deserve more. Confidence is non-existent in some because they feel unworthy as a result of the many entitlements they were denied. 

I must confess, entitlement mentality shouldn't be totally discarded and it is even almost impossible to achieve that but it must not play a major role in determining our actions and reactions. A decent sense of entitlement keeps us close and connected with friends and family. I am not advocating for an individualistic approach to life or narcissism. I believe we are created to relate and co-exist with mutual dependence. All I am saying is stop expecting MORE from people (no matter how close) because no one is obliged to meet all your needs and even if he/she is indeed obliged, he/she cannot meet your needs forever. He/she will fail you at some point because he/she is just human and entitlement mentality won't prepare you for this reality. And the worse part for that person is that, instead of showing understanding and appreciation, you will judge and condemn him/her for failing you all because of your Entitlement Mentality. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Don't You Think 'Speaking In Tongues' Is Overrated ?

There are a host of Spiritual Gifts but 'speaking in tongues' seems to be the most popular one. It seems to be a basic requirement for every believer. Christians rarely ask questions like 'Do you prophesy?', 'Do you have the gift of discernment?' or 'Do you have the gift of knowledge?' but are quick to throw the 'Do you speak in tongues?' question at almost every brother/sister that comes their way. One gets the feeling that 'do you speak in tongues?' is the modern Christian's version of the civilized world's 'do you speak English?'. It is that bad. 

Several questions ran through my head after reading Apostle Paul's thoughts on speaking in tongues and spiritual gifts detailed in I Corinthians, Chapter 14. These questions are for those who have read that chapter of the Bible, those who speak in tongues and those who look forward to doing same.

1.) Those things worship leaders say before/during worship songs, are they also 'tongues from heaven'?

2.) Is 'speaking in tongues' premeditated or a divinely inspired utterance?

3.) How come many who speak in tongues sound like a stammerer repeating the same syllables?

4.) Can I learn how to speak in tongues in a formal christian class?

5.) Is speaking in tongues taught by men or received from God?

6.) Is it compulsory for all worship leaders to speak in tongues during every song?

7.) Is it compulsory that all prayer warriors must know how to speak in tongues?

8.) Are our prayers incomplete if we don't speak in tongues?

9.) Is speaking in tongues a pre-requisite for getting to heaven?

10.) Speaking in tongues = heavenly language, human language or both?

11.) Is speaking in tongues a must-have skill for all Christians?

12.) Where do you get your words from when you speak in tongues? (be honest)

13.) Do you understand the words you utter when you speak in tongues?

14.) Is it important you know the interpretation of the 'tongues' you speak or it doesn't matter?

15.) How come Jesus never spoke in tongues?

16.) Don't you just think speaking in tongues is overrated???

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Ultimate Gift

Giving is often underestimated and wrongly emphasized. The correct estimation of giving can only be realized when we see the big picture. Until then, we will keep emphasizing aspects while leaving out the main substance. 

Human beings are capable of giving money, advice, attention, their resources among-st other things. All of the above-mentioned are mere branches supported by a main stem. If the main stem is not firmly in place, these branches wont be fully effective.

The parameters used in measuring a 'good gift' are usually the size, quantity, quality and perhaps the status/condition of the giver. Many will not appreciate a N10,000 donation from a 'big man' because we all believe with his status, he should do better. In the same vein, when your retired grandma hands you the same amount, you feel awed and really grateful. 

I have discovered that money is not the ultimate gift although this seems to be the popular opinion. Yeah yeah, 'money answereth all things' I know, but I still insist it is not the ultimate gift.

The ultimate gift is you, yes you. Give yourself to God, your family, a worthy cause etc. and you will experience the true satisfaction and inner peace that comes with giving. Even God Himself, gave the ultimate gift after giving us the earth with all it's resources. For God so loved the world that He gave Himself (well, that is my interpretation of "His only begotten Son"). 

Give yourself to your spouse, not just your money, sex and attention. The greatest gift from a rich dad to his son is not money but the 'rich dad'. Giving yourself entails giving the total package; it is demanding yet fulfilling.

Give the ultimate gift, give yourself.