Rise Above Your Fears!

These notes are as much a charge to me, as to anyone who is struggling to rise above his/her fears. I mean, I’m all for the mantra that ‘you don’t get what you don’t ask for,’ but hey let’s face it, the asking isn’t always easy abi? But again, me rationalising with myself, I ask, ‘what do you have to lose by asking?’ Worst case, you get a ‘No!’  which does not leave you in a worse position than you were before asking; and think of it, there’s a 50% chance that you will get a ‘Yes:)’ and if that happens, you definitely get to be in a better position than you were before asking. So doing the maths, risk analysis or similar, you’re probably better off asking.

But…one may whisper, ‘I stand a chance of being looked down upon for asking,’ aka I stand a chance of losing ‘rep.’ After all, you reason, ‘it is better to keep quiet and be thought stupid than to open one’s mouth and leave none in doubt as to one’s stupidity.’ Deep huh! But hey, wait a min,’ what could possibly make you worried about ‘losing face?’ Could this be traced to a twinge of pride perhaps? But what do I know right?

Anyways, one way I approach such situations, fears, uncertainties, potential losing of ‘rep’ and the likes, is to put on my ‘strategy’ (not manipulative…*side eye*) cap to present my case in such a manner that even if I do get a ‘No!’ my ‘rep’ doesn’t also get battered. After all, a word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Nice imagery right? It’s called wisdom if you like, and in any sphere or walk of life, wisdom is the principal thing.

So, while I prepare to make the ‘fearful’ request that spurred me to write this, I do hope I have been able to make you or yours (as applicable), to keep calm and rise above fears.

Cheers to being fearless (without being tactless),
Adefolake

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Beautiful in its Time

Recently, I have been getting practical insights into the Biblical injunction that “all things work together for good…” and I must say that it has been a pleasant experience even though it did not seem that way during the “work out” process…

Like when I had an academic presentation postponed on the presentation eve after expending time and finances to put things in place. However, unbeknownst to me, all those who had a go at their presentations during that period received a “No!” verdict, due to circumstances not fully within their control in some instances. When I eventually made my presentation and had a breezy , “Yes,” I then understood why things had not worked out according to plan initially…

The other time, I had applied for placement in an organisation and could not progress as I had hoped, due to my tenuous computation skills at the time. This propelled me to take courses to improve those skills and a few years down the line, I got an easy walk into the same organisation to add value, without having to take any exams.

Very recently, I had to re-take a particular exam which in itself was a painful experience borne out of my carelessness. It was even more painful when the result came out and my name was not on the pass list. Yikes! I thought, a record two-time failure. I really could not fathom how I could deal. It then turned out that there had been some oversight which caused the omission of my name. I in fact passed the exam very well. Sigh of relief. Shortly after this time, my script for the same exam that showed potentials of causing me grief like never before, was selected and published as a standard for future exam candidates.

In all these, the lesson for me has been that “He has made everything beautiful in its time – Eccle 3:11 (NIV).”

Cheers to experiencing beauty in all our endeavours.

Warm regards,

Adefolake

*photo credit: http://www.google.com

 

 

Be YOUnique – Power of a Personal Brand

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” – Mt. 5:13 (MSG)

Riding on the introductory italicised preface above, the salt is characterised as  flavouring. A flavour improves the taste of something, as we would have noted from our addition of salt to food. The salt is also a preserver as some of us may have observed in our younger days when our mothers/grand-mothers used salt to preserve fish. We may have also observed that salt is a white and powdery substance like sugar. What then distinguishes salt from sugar you may wonder? This distinguishing factor, is the essence of personal branding.

Personal branding simply described, is that uniqueness that separates one and makes one preferable to the other person. It is personal branding that makes the curriculum vitae (CV) of certain persons preferable to the CV of others. It is also this same personal branding that makes a particular interviewee get a particular job and not another interviewee; or a particular artist preferred above contemporaries. It is yet again personal branding that makes one business idea stand out from another supposedly similar business idea.

The bottom-line is that for anyone to succeed in life, the importance of personal branding should not be neglected. Placed in context with the current tide of economic events in Nigeria where the competition has gotten stiffer, one would agree that without personal branding, one can hardly be a success.

One may wonder how he/she can be a personal brand stating, “but I am just an individual not one of those big, respected companies.” In response to this, one would remind that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the right step. Those big, respected companies did not suddenly appear on the scene, they grew through concerted efforts and exhibiting the right values.

Thus, for today’s professional/entrepreneur to grow and improve his/her personal brand, there is a need to reflect on whether the values he/she holds dear are the right values. If you were to ask five persons within your immediate vicinity, for the first word that comes to their minds when they think of you, their individual responses would give an indication as to whether a positive personal brand is being built, or there is a need to re-evaluate values. Today’s professional/entrepreneur should bear in mind that the big, respected companies or even respected individuals with positive personal brands would not have amounted to much by being tardy, sloppy or lazy.

In closing, today’s professional/entrepreneur should make concerted efforts through deliberate actions, to re-write his/her story to reflect the positive personal brand he/she craves for so that like the salt, he/she would remain a flavouring (and preserver) because ultimately, today’s professional/entrepreneur, ought to be an epistle known and read of all men (II Cor 3:2).

Hugs,

Adefolake

*www.google.com

Full Circle

As I pen down these short thoughts on this day, 31st December 2017, I realise that I have come full circle in many respects. I can count moments of successes and failures which have birthed more successes; optimism, despair and a re-birth of optimism; motivation; helplessness and renewed motivation; discovering self, losing self and re-discovering self; plenty, lack like never before and a replenishing; I have felt stretched to my limits in some instances and in some other instances felt like I still had room to expand.

For me, for everything that tried to beat me down, I have managed to come up stronger purely by the mercies of my Maker.

For the birth of my new dawn, for family, for friends, for true love, I am grateful.

And need I say more? But to look forward with eager anticipation to the birth of 2018 and the blessings it has in store for me and mine…

Happy new year in a bit.

Hugs,

Adefolake

*photo credit: http://www.google.com

 

 

My New Dawn🙋🏽

Which of my Maker’s benefits can I forget today even as my soul blesses my Lord? Is it for the gift of sleeping and waking up daily in good health and soundness of mind? Or is it perhaps for making the lines fall unto me in pleasant places? Or for making all things, including my unpleasant experiences, work together for my good? Or the gift of a die-hard loving family? Or those friends who drop all to come to my aid at my slightest whimper? Or bosses who saw value in me, even when I had no faith in myself? I can’t forget any of the benefits I tell you…

Today for me is a day of a pure thanksgiving state of heart because I definitely could never have come this far on my own, not even close!

So in humble adoration to my Maker, I enter my new dawn with eager anticipation and look forward to my next decade because I know that it is settled.

Happy birthday to me💃🏽

– Adefolake

*image credit: Studio De Best UNILAG

*gown credit: Big Sis Dolls😍

 

YOUniqueness

September 2017 has been for me, a month to remember for good and during the course of it, I learnt/reminded myself of a number of invaluable lessons like the benefits of tenacious discipline, passion, drive, and openness to correction, which all add up to making others perceive one in a positive light i.e. makes one have a positive personal brand or if one likes, a unique selling point…

Much as the salt though appearing to have same physical characteristics as sugar nonetheless differs from sugar in its unique ability to serve both as a flavouring and a preserver, we should strive to personalise our brands such that regardless of the population of humans within our immediate vicinity, there would always be a unique feature that would stand us out from the crowd.

We should periodically conduct self-audits and make any necessary changes to ensure that even if our presence seems not to be noticed, much like the salt, our absence would be obvious to all…

And with the foregoing notes, I look forward with eager anticipation to October 2017, the birth of my new dawn🙌🏽

Adefolake

*photo credit: http://www.google.com

 

Can Education really be Separated from Customs?

I am currently musing as to whether education can really be separated from customs…

You see, very recently, I conducted a survey on social media as to the reason why it was commonly a sore point in my environs for a wife to seek to retain her maiden name after marriage or use a double barrelled name, that is a combination of her given name and her husband’s name. I wondered whether this pursuit made such woman less married or perhaps less able to execute her wifely duties. I received a number of comments, some logical, many emotional.

What struck me about a number of the emotional comments was that there was a blatant refusal to consider that there could be justifiable reasons for wanting to chart such a course. There was typically an all too quick readiness to berate the woman for not wanting to toe the cultural path of the days of yore; and that such a home could hardly ever be normal. So intense was the emotion, that even the comments from a woman who chose to retain her maiden name while still maintaining a successful home, was largely viewed with disdain.

It may also interest one to note that those who had responded emotionally are university graduates.

Which makes me ponder that indeed, even the highest of education (which should expectedly make one versed in the use of logic), may not necessarily change cultural mind-sets and stereotyped views.

Of course, it is not unrelated to the above reason that judges are not allowed to judge cases they have interests in as they may be unable to maintain objectivity in such instances.

For me, the lesson refresher is to never assume without asking questions. In these and other matters, one can only say that, to each his own and what may rock one boat may sink another.

*I know this post is a tad serious but oh well, getting older in this blogging thing and generally could do that. WordPress just notified me that today marks the third year  I signed on here *smiles. Pure coincidence that I’m posting today I assure you.

Have a great week!

Warm regards,

Adefolake

*photo credit: http://www.google.com