It is the first week of the year and many of us have started putting into action all our new year’s resolutions we spent the month of December constructing. From losing weight to spending more time with our families to being more present in our day to day lives, they go on and on. It has been many years since I participated in this yearly ritual that the world refuses to let go of. To be honest, I hate New Year’s resolutions for many reasons but the main reason being that they never truly last. One popular resolution for many is to lose weight in the New Year and YES! Many gyms see their memberships soar high in January but attendance falls drastically from February onwards till pre-summer.
For those that don’t know, I used to be a chubby teenager. I didn’t care much for my appearance until I stepped into university. I remember watching an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where Oprah showcased a book titled “The Sonoma Diet”. Even though the book was titled with the word “diet”, the book was about lifestyle and mindset change. It revolved around making realistic changes that could actually stand the test of time. Till today, I still do the Sonoma diet and will humbly say, I still look pretty good 🙂
So what is the point of my chubby story? It’s simple. Lasting change I believe occurs when we create personal mindset changes. And this change does not have to start on January 1st of every year. It really should start silently and quietly with you and only you. It should start without a worldly date in mind; it should start when you want and most importantly when you are truly READY for the change.
I can see why the beginning of the year can seem synonymous with new resolutions but bear in mind that the beginning of any week, day, hour or minute can also seem synonymous with new resolutions too. Just because the world is making resolutions on January 1st doesn’t mean you have to follow the herd and feel pressured to do what you may not even be ready for. My words for you this New Year is that you should not wait till any worldly beginnings to decide when to “BEGIN” YOU. And when you do decide to make changes to your life, focus on mindset changes that will change your life not only for the moment or the year but for a lifetime.
What are your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps you disagree with my perspective? Do share your thoughts.
Alex Elle is no doubt one of my favourite writers to date. Alex Elle’s work is like food to the soul so I encourage you to at least follow her on social media (if you are not tempted to buy her books yet) as her words will literally change your life. Here are 10 quotes from her that have inspired me and that I am also sure will turn your life around:
1. ON FORGIVENESS
2. ON STRUGGLE
3. ON SELF IMPROVEMENT
4. ON MOVING ON/LETTING GO
5. ON BEING PATIENT
6. ON PROTECTING YOUR SPACE
7. ON REACTING TO ILL TREATMENT
8. ON BUILDING PROMISING RELATIONSHIPS
9. ON FRIENDSHIP
10. ON PLEASING YOUR PARTNER
There are so many inspiring words from Alex Elle, which is your favourite? And perhaps you have other quotes that inspire you?
…you SHOULDN’T envy ME?
I stepped into a supermarket deli in Lagos this weekend to get some food. I ordered a number of things. I told one lady to dish me some beans and plantain and some efo riro (i.e. a vegetable sauce). I walked further to the counters and picked a salad and coleslaw pack (not having picked up food that was being dished for me). A 40 something good-looking lady (also shopping) complimented me saying it was great that I was eating healthy and that my lifestyle looked and seemed encouraging. My response to her was “that beans and plantain being dished over there is also mine”.
She was like “wow, that is why you should never make assumptions of others, you never know what’s going on behind the scene”.
Her response drove me to write today. I live in Lagos, a city where “who you are”, “what you drive”, “where you eat”, “who you know/who you can convince people you know” and “where you live” plays a huge part in how people perceive or even treat you (From that CEO of that company to that guy that sells apples on the street – these factors affect how they treat you). I believe to a great extent people are not necessary only jealous but aspire to being perceived well-off/rich/affluent (Btw this is my own opinion o, you can disagree as much you like, that’s your own)
So why should we be weary of being jealous or envious of one another?
- We do not know where their funds from their lifestyle came from (maybe from looting funds, pyramid scheme, LOANS??, maybe inherited, maybe company paid, maybe they went to one babalawo (oracle teller) to sacrifice a few chickens and some other things (check out #nollywood movies on youtube or ask your Nigerian friends for more explanation lol) – who knows?)
- We do not know what struggle they had to go through to get there (perhaps struggle you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy)
- Maybe the path God has destined for us is different and that is what we should spend our time embracing
- What we may be jealous of is perhaps the least of what fufils those people
- We lose sight of our own beauties and uniqueness
My hope for you is never to be jealous of others…Acknowledge what others have, their success, their drive, their achievements (YES) but don’t hope or pray for it as you could get more than you bargained for. That instagram picture or facebook gallery of that luxurious lifestyle, those luxurious bags, those amazing friendships, those amazing couples could be masking so much fakeness, unhappiness, grief, pain – who knows?
My hope is for you to focus you energy on YOU and YOURS so that you live YOUR life drowning in tears of happiness and success (YOUR definition of success)
What do you think of my rant today? I would love to hear your thoughts
“A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.”
- New Mistakes (DOing MORE, sayING less)
I believe this year, well each day of this year will be a chance for YOU and I to build something new, to try something and of course to let ourselves make new mistakes. I am hoping to let go of all fears and just DO, so stay tuned. Remember “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” (it could leave you broke (but money is just money), it could leave you hurt (but hurt is temporary)…what we stand to accomplish is WAY much more) so LET GOOOOO.
- To see more of Africa (and the world)
I spent a considerable amount of time and money in 2015 exploring destinations from the Maldives to Jordan, Singapore to Indonesia. Even though it seems to those around me that I have explored too many places but with each trip I made, I felt that I had much more to learn about the world (I remember laying on a cruise boat in Halong bay (Vietnam) and thinking “how the hell did I not know this existed”) and I am hoping to do more exploration this year starting with a trip in less than 2 weeks (yay!!). I am also looking to explore more of the African continent, it’s very easy to focus on what is elsewhere “over there”, not realising the beauty that lays right by our feet.
- Learn more about one’s self
I used to think I knew who I was 100 percent but with new experiences, challenges, LIFE hitting me, I have realized that I had changed daily. Even though the core of my beliefs have stayed the same (sometimes tested), I realize that I unlocked new facets of who Sassy is with each experience. For me this is an exciting revelation and I am looking forward to getting to know ME (the good, the bad and the ugly).
- Feeling settled in my home country
If you are a regular to my blog, you will know that I recently made the move back home to Nigeria (a country which I haven’t lived in for near 14 years) having being educated and living out in the west. I am looking forward to seeing how much I would have grown (both personally and professionally – hopefully positively) here. I have only being here 4 months and loving my move thus far but I think only after living for a year will I be able to have a better perspective of how I feel about uprooting myself from the west. (This reason is a more about me so may be less relevant to you lol)
Why are you excited about 2016? I would love to hear YOUR thoughts, visions and plans!!! You never know how you could inspire others so don’t be shy with your words. 🙂
I have been back in Lagos for over 2 months now and haven’t really written much about my experience thus far as I wanted to have a better picture of reality (my reality anyways). To be honest my first few weeks were not the best weeks of my time here. Not that there was anything significant made my experience less than pleasant but because I genuinely believed people weren’t that nice. They were not so welcoming.
Coming from business school where my classmates were literally like family to an environment where people barely said hi or met each other with clear reservations unless there were close mutuals of close friends. I literally was battling whether my choice to move was going to be as great as I anticipated. You will be glad to hear that I feel differently than I did before. So to dive into what I have grown to learn here…there is a lack of trust/openness amongst people (perhaps more so amongst women).
I was having coffee on a weekend with a friend and we were discussing this issue of trust. The coffee shop was like a creative space where likeminded open individuals worked. I was pleasantly surprised when a lady interjected into our conversation and a two-way conversation became a three-way one. This I found surprising as Lagos people form (Nigerian slang meaning a little up themselves) too much. We talked about how Lagosian were not themselves and also how they seeked to live the status quo (Apparently, some girls lie they have boyfriends when they don’t…This is a slight distraction so I will leave the topic for another day lol).
What do we gain from thinking we are better than others (not necessary better but maybe thinking people are “not on our level” and as such they don’t deserve our light of day?) To be honest I understand a bit why people “form”, it’s simply a coping mechanism to avoid people from over stepping their boundaries and a distrust of others. The saying “give them a inch and they take a mile” applies very much in the country.
With that said, I still believe we need to be more trusting of others, to be more open, more welcoming because what we could gain is more than anything we could lose. I have gained the best friendships of my life my simply being open. Just because others are untrustworthy doesn’t mean we should meet everyone with distrust. To change the environment we inhabit, we need to stay away from the norm and get to a place whereby we create our versions of the lives we want for ourselves, our community and our country, not the versions laid for us. That is something I am learning to do myself everyday.
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” || George MacDonald
#SassyFunke – Stay tuned for further posts on my move to Lagos. Let me know if there are any topics/issues you would love to hear about xx
Photo credit: http://nigeriavillagesquare.com
If you follow or stalk me on instagram (which you probably do because I am follow/stalk-worthy but anyways #SassyBeingSassy lol), you will know that I started to read Richard Templar’s “The Rules of Life” a few days ago. As the name suggests, it’s essentially a book of rules to guide us to get more out of life and to generally make us happier in life. One of the rules really struck me and made me realize that I have been doing somethings quite wrong.
The rule states: Know what counts and what doesn’t. It further dives in to say, “There are some things in this life that are important and a WHOLE lot of things that aren’t”. For illustrative purpose (so we get a sense of what Richard is trying to convey), spending quality with family counts, wearing the flashiest designer gear doesn’t. This particular example doesn’t relate to me but I believe what relates to me is that I know what doesn’t count and what counts but I believe I don’t do enough of what counts.
To break it down more, what counts is what enriches your soul, what grows you from within, what is positive and encouraging. What doesn’t count is those things that lack substance, those things that will feed our ego but leave us completely empty at the speed of light. It is not enough to know these things but everything to act upon what we know.
So my short word (aka two cents, aka freebie, aka lottery win) for you today is simple…Know what doesn’t matter and invest ZERO in it, Find what matters and invest EVERYTHING into it.
Can you relate to this rule? Do you have different thoughts? I would love to hear them!
There are some things in this life that are important and a whole lot of things that aren’t
|| Richard Templar
This one was inspired from the sermon I had in church last Sunday. The sermon was focused on identity and giving us time to truly explore who we are (if we actually have an idea). The underlying message of the sermon was that we needed to understand who we were in God. The focus of the post isn’t religious but I believe it will have a significant meaning for every person reading this post.
The pastor used an example to explain to which I will share. She said imagine President Buhari (the current president of Nigeria). He is sure to know who he is, meaning he knows his worth, his struggle, the core of his being. So imagine he is then told that there is a meeting to attend and they brought a “Molue” (Image shared below) to him as his mode of transport.
She then asked “do you think he would get in?” The answer from the room was an uncontested “NO”. She said he would probably look at them and say that they made a mistake and brought this truck look-a-like to the wrong place.
The lesson she tried to instil was that President Buhari was so sure in his worth and being that he had lines and boundaries that were so clear to him that nothing unworthy could cross it. So the question I pose to you is, are you so sure in your being, do you know who you are that your lines and boundaries are so clear that even in the storm, you would still be able to recognise them?
She dived on to say that we needed to ensure that our identity is derived from the right place, a place so deeply rooted. Money or lack of it, where you work or where you don’t, who you know and who you do not know should not be our identity, it shouldn’t define us because if it does, who we are will be shake-able. So who are YOU?
I would love to hear you thoughts
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” || Oscar Wilde
It’s been over a month since I moved back to Lagos and there is this issue that lingers in my mind. The issue is simply “To change or not to change”. Some would say it’s “To adapt or not to adapt” but I think they both to some degree mean the same thing (or maybe not??). When we adapt to a certain situation, a part of us intrinsically is changing whether we choose to admit it or not.
My patience has been tried so many times here, from vendors who promise hell on earth but never deliver on time. I am still yet to attend a brunch, a meet-up or a party that anyone turns up on time. To be honest I knew all this before I moved back but to live it every single day is a completely different experience. I find myself adapting (or changing)…i.e. turning up late too (if only for my sanity, peace and my stress levels). I am a very ‘on time’ (punctual) being…In the past, it aggravated me when someone says “I will be there at 1pm”, tell me at 12.30pm they are around the corner and finally arrive at 4pm (What do you even say to that person on arrival? In Lagos, we welcome them with open arms).
I guess the whole point of my write-up today is to ask to what degree do we let our environment change us or force us to adapt. To what degree do we let our experiences with others, our relationships, our work environment change who we fundamentally are. Can we try and be firm in our position so as to force others to yield to us (and how easy is that)? or is it just a game of “If you can’t beat them, join them?” I don’t want to change some fundamentals of who I am because I know once that begins to change, maybe I won’t even recognise who I am in a year’s time (and I kinda like who I am right now). I guess one could argue that maybe the person I become in a year is better than who I am today…
What are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear them.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” || Leon C. Megginson
Gratitude…Today is all about gratitude and it’s a short one.
I witnessed something that shocked me and brought the word gratitude straight to mind and heart. I was in traffic in Ikeja (the capital of Lagos state, Nigeria) just after a work, on my way home when I saw a boy (a young teenager about 13 years old). I first thought what I saw next was a “film trick” (meaning an illusion) but as he passed by door, I noticed his ailment. His right arm was much longer than his “normal” left arm. His right arm was approximately 10x times the size of left in width (he suffered from some sort of hyperactive growth). I watched as he carried and threw his right arm across his neck, his arm landing on his chest. I was filled with anger, sadness, shame and then gratitude.
Anger that we didn’t have a government that made sure people with such ailments were treated. Sadness that he had to live like that and that he probably had had to endure his illness for years. Shame that I had no power to help (or do I? “This is something I am pondering on”) and then gratitude for all the simple things that I take for granted everyday and for those that I will take for granted for years to come.
I am not going to get sad writing this but I pray (for you and I) that whatever circumstances we endure that even then, we realise that that in itself is something to be grateful for. I hope that even in the depths our hardship and sorrow that we find a way to be grateful for all we have (whether or not it is what we want in that moment in time).
Dare to Be. When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully, When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light. When times are tough, dare to be tougher. When love hurts you, dare to love again. || Steve Maraboli
My blog and instagram account was born out of the desire to have a positive impact on others and also to feed my own soul with positiveness. So why today am I writing about negativity? Simply because I believe that negativity is a positive thing if addressed rightly.
I recently had a negative comment on my blog (the beauty of social media with your life out there is that you get all sorts of messages, both positive and negative) and my first reaction in my head was “oh that’s not nice”, the second being “I have a fan”, “this is how all those controversial talk show hosts actually make money”, “no news is bad news” 🙂
I think we need to change the way we look at negative people, negative souls and negative circumstances. We should not look at them as instruments that have come to play a destructive part in our lives rather we should explore them as opportunities and platforms to propel us into more and better. Propelling us into better could mean making us more tolerant of individuals or making us more open to possibilities beyond our limited view in turn growing us into being better beings.
Kim Kardashian is one extreme example but a relevant one nonetheless: Kimmy K turned a sex tape scandal into a money making venture. I do not have an opinion on how her fame came about but what I can say is that she built her EMPIRE off negativity. You might hate her but I am pretty sure she sleeps well with all the negativity around her and you know why? All that negativity keeps her relevant and keeps the $$$$ rolling in.
Another simple example is one receiving a bad performance review from one’s boss. This review simply gives you an opportunity to prove better performance next time. I truly believe that those we remember are those who make a change rather than those who necessarily remain the same (simply because change makes a better story).
My words for you today are: When you encounter negativity, trying times, difficulties, know that you are simply being tested and given an opportunity to either grow or remain the same. I implore you to choose the former each and every time.
“Negative people need drama like oxygen. Stay positive, it’ll take their breath away.” || Tony Gaskins