Thoughts in motion

Hello readers,

I hope you all had a great week. It’s been a week since I last wrote and I know a good deal of you must have missed my blog. I do apologize to those who came but found no content to read. Last week came with its own set of lessons and all I can say is I am grateful.

My partner and I had a road trip right after a festival of chariot and even though we have done the same route many times before, this time the challenges were different. I  have learnt so much in the last week that I feel obliged to share it with all of you. To be honest, sometimes we may be in a very trying situation with a lot of learning opportunities but if we fail to immerse ourselves into the experience given, we will not be able to fully grasp the message being conveyed.

In the face of disappointment, we are quick to judge, blame, and even give up. This is what I refer to as the “reactionary attitude”. Something goes bad, we act accordingly. There is no time for reflection, or time for us to evaluate the situation and then come up with a strategy. Over the weekend I can remember being in a situation whereby my partner and I had some not so good feedback and in the moment because I was carried away by her disposition to the situation, I also lost track of mine. My thinking ability had temporarily shut down and I was at the mercy of my subconscious memory. I was going through the physical motions of moving but my mind and heart were not in proper unison.

Another scenario had presented where I needed to exercise tranquility and remove myself from whatever was happening. I had being able to control my emotions and not act on impulse and the end results was great. It goes without saying that to whom much is given much is expected. Anytime we fall short in a situation we need to ask ourselves; are we utilizing all the resources we have in order to win this war over matter and the mind. It seems to me that we are in a constant tussle between matter and spirit. At some point we are in tune with our energies and spirit is in control, and at other times we allow our base tendencies to take over.

The struggle is real as a common phrase goes. We have to daily make choices that all add up into weekly choices, monthly choices, yearly choices and lifetime choices. We are a sum and substance of all the choices we have made over time in our lives. Whether we agree to this fact or not, it is a bitter pill to swallow. How do we convince someone going through a difficult time that they are in that situation due to choices they have made. The truth is we don’t. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion and as such most people learn by repeated and failed experience. There is the popular phrase “experience is the best teacher”. I used to quote that a lot as a teenager and once my Dad said to me “not in every case. In some cases only fools learn by experience. A first class human being (or intelligent person) learns by hearing from authorities on a subject matter or by the experience of others.”

I have always reflected on his phrase. There are some things I have been through a couple times and I ask myself; am I being a first class human in this situation or a third class human being. (This is someone who even though he has lived an experience still doesn’t learn and repeats the same mistake). There are other times when I have an experience once and I vow to myself never again to relive it. In effect what am I saying; life does get to us most of the time. The other part when we think we are outsmarting life, it is just a break. I don’t want to sound pessimistic or come off as one dealing with issues, I just wanted to share these random thoughts that were circulating in my head.

Another good analogy for life and its distractions is; travelling on the highway. When we travel interstate, we pass many exits. Each exit has its own attraction; food, gas, hotel, etc. However we do not get off at every exit. We keep driving until we need to either rest, refuel or eat. We won’t be able to arrive at our destination if we took every exit we saw. In fact we would never begin the journey if we took the very first exit that we saw. This will take us totally off track and if somehow or the other we got back on track and took another exit again, we would be off track again. In essence what I am trying to say is, it is always handy to have focus and direction in life. This becomes like a compass for us.

There will be times when we might need to pull over from the journey of life to take a quick break but we wont be off track. We still have the goal and our GPS will be our values. They will point us in the direction we feel is most important to us. Just like the regular GPS, it is just a guide to get us to our destination. Our values will always be our GPS, if someone is morally bankrupt or deficient then we can compare that to a GPS that is not up to date. If we hold others to our own values, we will be compared to someone who wants other drivers to follow his own GPS. Everyone has their own journey, we may journey together for a while but never entirely together.

After all said and done, we want to be able to look back and be grateful for the gift of life, the gift of good health, and the gift of basic amenities that we take for granted. To those who wake up everyday with the zeal of a hunting Lion, I say all the best and see you all at work on Monday.

Till next week do follow for more. Read, like and share with others.

Milestones

Hello!

It’s a pleasure being able to share with you all yet another blog this week. Last week came with its own unique lessons and experiences and I am grateful because we either win or learn. As we learn we grow better and our experiences help us create new paths in life. I’ll like to apologize for being two days late on my post, I have no excuses. work has been taking most of my time nevertheless I’ll try my best to be regular.

This week I’ll like to harp on milestones in life and achievements generally. Over the weekend I was at the graduation ceremony of a god-sister and there was a lot of wonderful moments that occurred. Family and friends were there to support and cheer her on and as expected a lot of words of advice and encouragement was shared too. At that moment during the little party, we had in her honor I took down a few mental notes which I am now expounding. Milestones in life are a great thing to look forward to as they help us keep the goal in focus. They also help us see how far we have come and how far we need to go. So let’s say someone has the goal of becoming a Doctor when they do achieve it, it becomes a milestone in their life. As beautiful as milestones can be we need to remember that if we focus too much on the goal, we miss the experience.

In as much as the milestone is important the experiences we gather on the way is what makes the journey special and not so much the destination. So using the same example, our experience from elementary school to high school to college will be the life changer we have to go through. Getting the degree that says we are now certified to be a medical practitioner is for sure a great moment however it is the years of study, exams, pain, tears, frustration, friends, adversary, etc that we gather from elementary school to college that makes the milestone a huge one. When we look back and see how far we have come and all those who have supported us in one way or another and how much they have invested in us, we really appreciate the milestone in a better way.

The second part of achieving milestones in life is the stage of actually utilizing them as tools. So in the case of my god-sister, now she has to go into the work field and secure a job and then put herself in a space where she can practice. This is the part where everyone gave words of advice and encouragement. We all know that once we have achieved a huge milestone in life, we have done but one part of a series of events. So as with the example above, now we have to secure a job and become efficient at it. In that field and space, we will have a different set of experiences, a different set of friends, goals, objectives and all these interplays in ways that help us either grow or regress. During our schooling years, we choose an association that helps us become better students and help us get better grades, similarly in the second phase of work we have to choose an association that inspires us to become better and more efficient at what we do at work.

Moreso, as we continue to devote ourselves to achieving various milestones in life we need to ask ourselves if the “why” is great enough to see us through. The “why” behind our milestones enable us to pay attention to the experience in the journey rather than being too centered on the end product. In the after party of my god-sister, there were a few pieces of advice that kept resonating with me and I felt I should share them here. No matter the of milestone we are trying to achieve we must remember that we cannot achieve them “alone”. No man is an island! Whenever we think we have achieved anything alone we must remember that there are many people who have devoted their time and sacrificed things to help us get to where we are on our journey. We need to be grateful for them and always remember that to go fast in life one should journey alone but to go far one should journey in good company.

Second, whenever we are faced with challenges from life or the world generally and we seem to doubt our own judgment, we should always remember that words of elders are words of wisdom. Our current generation has very little to no regard for older folks and often times refer to them as being “old school” or not in “vogue”. What we fail to understand is that the years of experience that our elders have is priceless. To be able to tap into that wealth of knowledge is a fortune we should never take for granted.

Third, hard work will do the work but it should never substitute our higher self. What do I mean? I know some of my readers may not believe in God and I feel everyone is entitled to their opinion. Nonetheless, the spirit is always superior to matter and thus if all we do and our milestones are just to help us satisfy our basic materialistic tendencies then we lose sight of being able to connect on a deeper level. When Matter is the focus, then a building is nothing but brick and mortar. When Spirit is added, it could be a house of prayer, communion, fellowship or a home. Similarly when our objectives and milestones are subject to only material timelines then we fail to see the experience from a holistic perspective.

Finally, as we strive to set, reach or even achieve more milestones we should take time out to reconnect with ourselves. Goals and milestones that are not in sync with who we really are, will eventually frustrate us. These are a few realizations I felt I should share with you all from my weekend experience. I hope it helps someone out there.

Till next week, read, share, and follow for more.

 

Just do it! pt. 2

Hello!

How are you guys faring? It’s been another learning week for me and as usual, I am here to share with you all some insights, and thoughts. Last week I gave an introduction into my current transition and I promised to continue this week. For those of you who might have missed the first part, please find it here. It’ll help you follow up this second part.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

If there is one thing you’ll need when making a huge life decision such as moving, it is PATIENCE. I say this upfront because as you make any transition you definitely come with a game plan and that plan should be as fluid a possible to accommodate unforeseen changes and events. If your plan is “too rigid” you’ll end up stuck, frustrated and mostly angry with yourself. Having a fluid plan doesn’t necessarily mean compromising your goals and objective. It just means being conscious enough to know that life is a dynamic and not static and to the degree that we realize this, to that degree we are centered. This is not just some sermon to sound “woke” or realized but a real call to help those of you who are planning to make a change or in the process of doing so. 

When we set out and were finally on the road making the drive to a new chapter in our lives, trust me the next emotion that kicks in is some apprehension or “FEAR”. The mind starts playing tricks on you because it is leaving something it is familiar with for the unknown. It could be from light to heavy apprehension; the light will be a little nostalgia of where you are leaving, memories, etc. That is somewhat easier to deal with. The heavy part is when whenever something goes wrong in your plans (which happens), your mind tells you it is because you left what you were used to for something unknown. Then your mind tries to start blaming you for your decision and then you begin to feel sorry for yourself and if you are not able to check this; you might end up reconsidering going back to what you were used to.

Now, whatever it is that made you feel you needed to make a JUMP,  I say stick with it. If it was so wonderful then you’ll never have contemplated that move. This requires discipline, focus, and perseverance. You have to constantly ask yourself, “how much do I really want this?” Until you want that goal like you need air, you may not have the discipline to stick with it.

During our drive, we made a few gas stops in addition to bathroom breaks, stretching, and food. Deep down we knew this was the move we always wanted to make and the sense of inner peace that we felt was all the assurance we needed. As we drove we spoke of the unknown we were trying to embrace and all that would come with it. We contacted the accommodation we had reserved and finally, we had completed the first part of this process; the drive. We unpacked our vehicle and refreshed ourselves by taking full showers. This enabled us to not only feel clean after such a long trip but to also enable our bodies to relax. Water has a very therapeutic effect on the body. After that we got some food and then got some rest. The next day we knew we had work to do. I had interviews lined up and so did my partner and I must say we kinda hit the ground running. In the midst of this, we also tried to get a feel of where we were.

My Partner and I have a little inside joke we use to “judge” an area we live in. We’ll say if we can find a good Indian Vegetarian restaurant, a good pizza spot and a good grocery store with Indian spices then we are good to go. In a couple of days we found all three, and not only did it give us some assurance that we were in a good place but it also made us feel like we were not from so far away after all.

While all this was going on, I must say we were having our fair share of “setbacks, not so good moments, tensed feelings from uncertainty, adaptation to change, etc”. Nevertheless, we just kept saying, we had to stick with it and see it through. As I speak with you we are still trying to “settle in” and our God-family here has been of immense support and to them, we are eternally grateful. So some of you may ask; what if I make a big move that isn’t necessarily a relocation, how can I incorporate the element of a god-family support system? Or what if I move to a place where I do not have any God-family? Well, my response to that is, whatever the details of your big move are, you should try to “remove yourself” from it from time to time otherwise it will consume you. What do I mean by this?  Sometimes during this process, I am the one who is anxious that things aren’t going as planned and sometimes my partner is. 

However, we both try to remind the other when either of us is in such a situation that it’s okay and all will be fine soon. Basically just being a support system for one another. Now does this happen every time, No! So there are days when we both feel the same way and I have to remind myself of the goal and “the WHY“. Once these two factors align then the little setbacks are somewhat easier to deal with. Take time out to appreciate the little things in nature that we take for granted like; a nice sunny day, music, family, etc. These will help you feel centered. Now last but not least, stress is something that will come up whenever you are in a transition. Now people deal with stress differently however no matter what you do, you do not want to “bottle up your stress”, it comes out worse.

Mantra meditation is my go-to method and I have been doing this for years and I can say for a fact that it really does work. I know some of you may have other methods that work for you such as taking walks, painting music, etc. At the end of the day, we all need to find a positive outlet for de-stressing.

Till next week read, share and follow for more.

Habit and Conditioning

Hi there!

It is great to be able to share with you all yet another exciting blog today. I hope the New Year is treating you well. We are 14 days in, out of 365 days. So now is the time to make the best of it. Since it is a New Year and many of us will be creating new life patterns, I felt I share something in that light. Today our word for discussion is HABIT. As a Kid, I  met an elderly Lady who was friends with my God-Mother. We use to visit her place since she lived alone for the most part of the time. She was quite affluent and I guess business trips kept the husband away a lot.

During one of our visits, I remember she was discussing with my God-Mother and they were somehow talking about habits. The lady then said “Lola (My God-Mothers name), you know habits are very difficult to change. They say even when you try to give up a HABIT, you are still left with “ABIT”. Then you try some more and you are still left with “BIT”, and even when you push further, “IT” is still there. They both laughed at the Pun and carried on with their conversation. I was maybe 7/8 years old at the time, but this analogy struck me and I have had this story in my head ever since. I am in my 30’s now and with every passing day and my various interactions with people, the world over I see what she meant. Honestly, Habits are quite difficult to develop or give up. Cultivating a good habit is just as difficult as giving up a bad one IF there is no discipline.

Habits have a way of conditioning us and when we try to break away from them what we are actually doing is giving up the conditioning. I have quite a lot of examples I can use to illustrate this however I’ll pick one that is both physical and psychological. In my early days of Martial Arts training as a kid, I used to have difficulty doing push-ups with my knuckles. It was hard and very painful. Each time we had to do push-ups, I’ll be like “Oh no, not again”. Over time, and as I grew up doing so many push-ups during my training sessions, we can say I got used to it and it didn’t hurt anymore. Well, let’s look closely at what really happened. First and foremost, my reps increased from barely 10 to 50 straight and sets of as many as I wanted. This was from endurance over time and over the years. My knuckles didn’t hurt anymore and in fact, they were now used in other tougher drills like breaking bricks and boards.

A closer look at my knuckles showed I had developed callouses that were now like a cushion (a tough one I’ll say). These callouses on my knuckles had developed from the constant contact with the concrete floors I used to do my push-ups. It is safe to say, my knuckles had been “conditioned”. So the habit of doing push-ups daily had done two things; increase my endurance and created callouses on my knuckles that were sort of immune to the sharp pain of contact with the floor. This is how habits work. When we have a habit, especially bad ones we develop endurance to good ones and we become conditioned ( that is immune to the sense of what is right). we can say habits create callouses on us that make it difficult to discern what is right and wrong. One of the most difficult habits to give up are those we have picked up of time; say from when we were kids. Another set of habits that are difficult to break away from are those we picked up when we had no supervision in our lives; our young adult years.

Unfortunately, I have come across people with habits that just make you wonder if they had any form of adult supervision growing up. You cringe at the intensity of their habits and simultaneously feel sad at the level of their indulgence in it. One of the most difficult parts of giving up bad habits is recognizing that the habit is bad and should be changed. If one doesn’t see that the gravity of the habit and how it is affecting them and those around then change is but a dream. It doesn’t matter what the habit is or when it was picked up, eventually, you will suffer from the conditioning and those who are around you will either suffer or distant themselves to avoid suffering. Whether it is alcohol consumption, smoking, infidelity, pornography, drugs, hygiene, etc the person involved is first conditioned over time on indulgence, then they suffer, then those around them do.

Okay now we get it, habits that are bad are difficult to break away. So does that mean that anyone with a bad habit is doomed? Absolutely not, as long as they are willing to make a change. To make a change, you must first identify what needs to be changed. If you do not see anything wrong with your habit then how can you make a change. You have to realize that even though family and friends may express that you should make a change, you are doing it for yourself ultimately. You get to enjoy any positive changes you make more than anyone else around you. So do it for yourself! As with anything that requires results, you have to be consistent with whatever change program you have adopted and you have to be disciplined to follow it through. One may see the need to change a habit and even go ahead to adopt a change program however if there is no discipline to stick to it and follow it through the results cannot be guaranteed.

It is a New Year and I know many of us do have aspirations and goals, in other to reach them we have to pick up some new habits while dropping off old and bad ones. Lets us make a conscious decision to change for the better and for ourselves. I hope you all have a great week ahead. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

New Year and all that comes with it.

Dear readers,

I must say it has been a pleasure sharing with you all this year the many thoughts and topics in my blogs. It has also been an honor to be able to have your support and feedback throughout the year, I really do appreciate this. Considering that this is my last blog for this year, I’ll try to keep it short and straight to the point. I want to wish you all a Happy New Year in advance and all that you wish yourselves. May the New Year bring you all blessings in all areas of your lives.

Every New Year, we have many people try to get resolutions and decide that they are going to do certain things, give up certain things, and probably a long list of things they would like to achieve by the New Year. I have written a few blogs on New Year resolutions before and I don’t want to harp too much on the concept of resolutions this year. Each year I try to see it from a different perspective. This year I’ll try to look at the whole concept of resolutions from a perspective of what really separates those who achieve and those who don’t. Let me start by saying I have a few things I’ll like to also achieve in the New Year and the probability of me achieving them depends on how I place myself in ways to do so.

The first things about goals or resolution are that they have to be clear and precise. The clearer they are, the easier they are to work towards. This is a fact that I guess some of us are already aware of. It is easier for example to achieve losing 20 Lbs by a certain time rather than just “losing weight”. The difference between those who achieve what they set out to and those who don’t is a myriad of reasons. It is obvious we can not list them all here however we can at least look at a couple. One major difference is lack of hunger. Yea, I know this doesn’t sound like what you might have been expecting to hear. The hunger I speak of here is not the one that is associated with food, but with a dire need to get something.

When our resolve to get what we want is higher than any other thing then we can safely say our “hunger” for it is intense. When our resolve is not resolute and clear, then we lack the desired hunger. This factor as simple as it may sound is what distinguishes many high performing athletes and successful people from their counterparts. The intensity of our hunger determines how much of adversity we can take and overcome. It is this hunger that gets us up to go to the gym even when it is freezing cold outside, it is this hunger that helps us delay gratification because we know that investing for our future is more important than living a life of luxury now. I once heard a motivational speaker say and I paraphrase; that until our desire to succeed (in whatever endeavor) is as great as our NEED to breathe then we may truly succeed.

One thing that is certain is that distractions are sure to come up as we try to achieve our goals for the New Year. If we have a goal and there are no distractions then we need to ask ourselves if the goal is a realistic one. Nothing good comes easy and if it does it is probably too good to be true. If it were easy, then everyone will be an A-list actor or a top performing athlete. When every other motivating factor fails, there is one that we need to keep; the hunger. Every day when we wake up we need to eat to keep our physical bodies going and without food, our bodies will become weak and eventually shut down. The same applies to our dreams and goals for the New Year and beyond. We need to feed our resolutions daily by doing what we need to achieve it. We need to see our resolutions as a pang of hunger and that the only way to satiate it, is to feed it. Feeding it means achieving the goals set.

I hope this expose help someone who might need some direction this New Year. I wish you all a prosperous New Year and hope you can achieve all that you set out to.