Should You Ignore the Opinions of Others?

Be it at home, in school, at work, in religious settings or other social gatherings, a constant feature is that we have to interact with other persons, the variable being in the degree of interaction.

Just as preferences of persons differ, so also would different persons have different and sometimes diametrically opposed opinions of you. The real question is, should you navigate through life without giving a hoot about what others think of you? After all, it’s been said that you can’t control what others think of/about you init?

However, if you really think about it, you will find that you really can influence what others think about you by your words, actions or inactions. After all, even the most notorious criminal has those who think fondly of him/her and this cannot be divorced from the perceived treatment gotten by those with the differing opinions.

But should worry about what others would think of/about you prevent you from calling them out when need be? In my opinion, no, once it is done respectfully because believe it or not, some persons do not appreciate ass-kissers or patronisers who only tell them what they think would like to be heard. Windy right?

There’s nonetheless always that balance  between saying what you regard as the truth and saying it in a non-belittling manner. That balance needs to be carefully maintained.

So no, we should not ignore the opinions of others but neither should we suck up to them or shy away from calling them out when the need arises, for fear of being regarded in non-glowing terms.

Best,

Adefolake

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

Back to the Roots

Some not so random thoughts…

A few days back, I felt nostalgic about my primary school…I know right? It’s been more than 20 years since I left it for higher studies. But you know what? there was a sudden ‘click’ in my brain that ‘oh wow’ the foundation I had there truly prepared me for my current journey in life.

My primary school is what you call a ‘Staff School,’ that is, a primary school built by a university (of which mine happens to be the university of first choice in my country… yeah let’s hype ourselves small) to cater to its employees’ children. Anyway by its nature, all classes of children attend a staff school –  from the professors’ children to the cleaners’ children. That kind of mix in my foundational school meant that I was exposed quite early to experiences of the highly placed and not so highly placed children. That gave me balance and helped me become adaptable to different classes of people, of course without losing my essence. I learnt to relate ‘wella’ with both the ‘butty’ and the ‘aje pako’ which pays out in my journey today.

Of course, attending Staff School also showed me quite early that the fruit of hard work is no respecter of persons. Many times, the brilliant and hard working children of the ‘cleaners’ topped the class ahead of lazy children of the ‘professors.’ I mean, even I enjoyed such fruits of hardwork at that time when my dad was not one of the movers and shakers of the university.

In all, I have come to find – thanks to my Staff School foundation – that there is dignity in hardwork and that how you treat people at any level in life may just determine whether the door to your next level is opened or shut against you.

Up University of Lagos Staff School!!!! Indeed, instilling and reinforcing a ‘Tradition of Excellence.’

Cheers to our next levels,

Adefolake

*image credit – http://www.google.com

C’mon Wear Those Shoes, Don’t Hide that Talent!

So I got the shoes in this post’s featured image in October 2015. ‘Big deal,’ you snicker. I have never worn them since I bought them. Did I just hear a ‘wowu?’

You see, I got the shoes at a budget-friendly price at the time and hey, they are white too, why not save them for that appropriate time instead of having to scrub them clean all the time. So I kept them in the accompanying box, all nice and wrapped…

This evening, as I was ‘lazying’ on my bed catching up on my social media, I remembered my shoes, took them out of the box on a whim and voila, discovered that they have started showing signs of cracking though this is not noticeable from the featured image…

Which brings me to my point, that when we get an opportunity, there is no need to cower, waiting for the most opportune time to show forth, let’s seize every moment and make it count. Let’s stretch our talents to bear forth more talents and not hide them in the ground  so that they diminish in value like that unwise servant did and dare I say, what I had done to my shoes till now…

‘Cos you know what? Life is short and is only for the living. So live life, within reasonable limits I may add.

Wear those shoes and walk comfortably in them as I sure am gonna do with the ones in the featured image.

Cheers to walking comfortably in our shoes.

Adefolake

*image credit: my ‘Phone Cam

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

No Excuse For Mediocrity!

Does it bother you, as it does me, whenever a person wallows in self-pity and tries to justify average behaviour or results with such words as, ‘it’s because my parents are poor?’ You see, I have come to realise that whilst being born into luxury may be a spring which can easily propel one to greater heights, being born into penury does not mean all hope is lost. Far from it! Granted, a person without luxurious antecedents may need to work smarter to achieve the desired goals but the goal post is by no means beyond his/her reach by virtue of his/her humble roots.

In any case, life is not always a bed of roses for anyone whether rich or poor, and if you seem to feel otherwise, remember that even roses have thorns. For all you know, that smart, rich kid is battling a terminal illness or other mishap. After all, only he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches. Why then, would 100% healthy you believe there is no hope simply because of the circumstances of your birth?

In closing, when life throws lemons, we can either duck, wallow in self-pity or catch the lemons and turn them into some tasty lemonade. The choice is entirely ours.

·    Adefolake

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

 

Jumping to Conclusions

I am a chic who likes to learn from my everyday experiences and recently I made a friend under circumstances which made me realise the futility of jumping to conclusions.

Ok, so I met this friend at a gathering and not surprisingly, Facebook suggested this fellow’s name as a friend. Well typical me, before I add any one on Facebook, I check out our mutual friends and view the profile.

Well would you know, my friend’s profile showed the place of work as a law firm and our only mutual friend was a lecturer at law school. So would you blame me for almost assuming this friend is a lawyer?

Well my assumption was wrong as I found out during subsequent discussions.

So, my last line is that there is always a need to take care lest we break our legs from jumping to conclusions.

The little things we take for granted…

I was recently assigned some follow-up duties and had to make time out of my somewhat cramped schedule to discharge the duties effectively. 

Well, I managed to discharge the duties reasonably well, if the commendations I got from my contacts are anything to go by.

I turned in my handover notes to my ‘supervisor’ so to speak and he thanked me for a job well done but jokingly remarked that I had not followed-up on him, the originator of the tasks.

Of course, I had a ready flippant answer but later on I meditated on his words and realised the gravity of his seemingly joking statement…

That in life, we sometimes put so much efforts into doing the big things, yet unwittingly disregard the little things which are usually significantly more important.

The above scenario gave me a wake up call (as I hope it does you) on the need not to be too busy that we take the seemingly little things for granted.