Sunday, October 4, 2020

Happy Is A Verb



One of the greatest discoveries by psychologists in the last century is that we humans are able to affect how we feel about anything, independent of our circumstances. To cite an extreme example, someone sick and dying can find reasons for joy in diminished circumstances while another, a wealthy and favoured person could live out their days in despondency.

Without trying to undercut the seriousness of the medically diagnosed illness called depression, their is a lot each of us is able to do about feeling happy in our minds, being happy with ourselves . I admit it is usually easier to be happy with a chunk of juicy BBQ in my mouth. Your preference might be a glass of wine. A lot of elderly women like to fuss around with their grandchildren, it gives them a reason for living. We all have things we associate with wellness and just having those symbols around would make us feel better.

Many of us were lucky as children to have parents who did things to make us happy. Sometimes they sang songs to us just to entertain us. They told us stories and mimed for us. They bought gifts and toys and wrapped them in packaging and stories because unwrapping the gifts and celebrating the seasons ( birthday, Christmas, New Year) are things that bring joy. They tended to our healthcare and made us feel safe and secure. And by doing all these things, they taught the happiness that comes from doing things because making us happy made them happy.

As adults, you become responsible for your happiness. Your great super power is that ability to mix what is available to get something better. Sometimes life serves us lemons, sometimes it is honey. It is entirely up to you to make lemonade or do something else. Space and time can not permit me to list all the uses of lemon , starting from the peel to the juice to the fibre.

Another super power we have is the ability to change your location either temporarily or permanently. All situations have their merits and demerits and all are not equally favourable to your circumstances. Some are a lot more suitable to your preferences than others. The beach is a more bearable place to be on a sunny day. Living closer to work and escaping long commutes might be what will give you a better quality of life. Your job or individual orientation might be better appreciated elsewhere than where you are now. Do the hard work of changing your situation and moving to where the odds favour you to instantly start enjoying a better life. Sometimes the key to your happiness is just three words; relocate, relocate and relocate .

An active body also engenders a happy mind. Don't stay sedentary and alone, go out and do things. Dance. Sing. Go to places of worship , attend social gatherings. Entertain and be entertained. A little exercise can go a long way. Form the habit and it will not only do good for your health but it will make you happy about yourself .

Cheering yourself up is among the things that you have to learn how to do for yourself as you grow up. Helping others, changing your environment and staying active are all actions that are proven to make you feel better about what you do affects what you feel. Your happiness is what you do. In some cases however, what you need to do is seek medical help. When the doctor asks, "How do you feel?", don't just say you are fine. Help her to do her job of helping you by telling exactly where it hurts.

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Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Happy Independence Day

 Reading the news today, you’d think Nigeria is what statisticians call “doing okay” . Half of the news analysis say the government of Nigeria is okay, the other half think the country is in a mess. So on average, that is okay, abi? They make everything about government as if government is equal to Nigeria.

Government is not Nigeria and Nigeria is not government..

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Build A Bigger Sphere


 It just so happens that the earth is shaped like a sphere, roundish but with depth. It is a wonderful form, filled with metaphorical meanings. You read about the seven spheres of life, the nine spheres of heaven (planets), four spheres of well being, i.e. Emotional, Physical, Social, and Financial. The cynic in me makes me wonder if the numbers are arbitrary. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

See The World As It Is

beware of dogma
Beware of Dogma

One of the major challenges of living is being able to see the world exactly as it is. Too often, we see what is projected. Let's do an experiment. What is the colour of your skin?
What ever is your shade or tint of the human pigment, it certainly is not white or black. Yet mainstream media persists in pushing the prevalent ideology of this non existent absolute skin pigments just as it pushes other extremes of good and bad, faithful and infidel, friend and foe, us against the others, what matters and what does not matter. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

. Be With People Who Love You

Inner peace
Protect Your Inner Peace (c)

My good friend, B.A was nursing the metaphorical broken heart. Tall, dark, rich and handsome, he ticked all the right boxes of the clichéd definition of a desirable male like it was a class quiz. A sports enthusiast, he had the physique of an Olympian but the mild manners of a well groomed alter boy. Normally, he was accustomed to having a firm control of his emotions. But the failure of a three year relationship revealed the chink in his armour. Believe me, it is a depressing thing to see a grown man muffle his tears with a pillow as he cried himself to sleep. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Those Fated To Succeed

So long a go, in what appears now to be like a previous life, I lived and worked in the welsh town called Aberystwyth. It is a rugged and picturesque place, with lots of public art that imbues it with a sense of heroic history. The proud aborigines Wales retained the use of their local tongue and it was quaint to see road signs written in their Cymru script. I was a student then, and in between work and sightseeing, I also visited their universities and used their librarys. It was on one of such visits that I met Pastor Dr. Lanre**. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

What Will You Do With A Million Naira?

" Make It Rain ". Photo Credit : Scooter Lowrimore

A million is not what it used to be but it is still no chopping change. For those who think is USD, that is about $2500 at the MasterCard Forex rate. There are lots of traders in Lagos markets , keeping a family and sending their kids to university with less than that as working capital. Add a lot of hustle, some advance payment from buyers, a little credit from suppliers and it all adds up. As a wise UK philosopher called Tesco once said, every little helps. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Cherish The Simple Joys

Simple Joys: My Daughter Travelled To Accra and Got me This
Simple Joys: My Daughter Travelled To Accra and Got me This :)

ALWAYS find something to be happy about, however small.

Don’t get it twisted, money is a wonderful thing for all the monetary reasons. And also, for the extra leg room in aeroplanes, corn fed prime beef barbecue, avocado sandwiches and decadent celebratory champagne showers. And Cohiba cigars.

But life has it’s yin and yang, both part of a total experience. Having a good time need not cost a lot of money, what one needs is a trained palate. A cultured mind will know that happiness can enjoyed in both the previously mentioned experiences as well as in a communal feast of roast corn on the cob or plantain baked its skin. That summer in Europe is just as swell as Christmas in your home town. That the most important things are not price tags or things but experiences and the people we share them with.

A very wise elder once advised a younger me that everything one has and values which can be taken away from our grasps will be (taken) eventually. Health, wealth, life. Rather that struggle with this eventuality, embrace it with gusto. Use your body like a prized vehicle, caring for and fine tuning it so that you can enjoy the maximum pleasure therefrom and for as long as possible. Plan to earn and give away as much wealth as possible while you are alive, while you can see the joy in the faces of your beneficiaries. Buy the gift now rather than bequeath it with your estate. Live your life so thoroughly that when the time comes, you are totally at peace that one life is enough.

Let those you love know you love them. Do not take the love of your lovers lightly,

Find a hobby that gives you a tremendous shot of dopamine at very little cost, preferably by doing something of benefit to others. Paint, draw, sing, play a musical instrument. Personally, I took up making barbecue and discovered there was much more joy in the smell and sight of slow cooking meat over burning charcoal than in the meal itself. And joy of watching them lick their fingers!


Develop a personal spiritual experience that nobody can take away from you. I’ve seen people change their mind from one religious organisation to another; it is only when you lose faith in yourself and your purpose in life that your mental health becomes at risk.

Learn to be able to stay at peace in a room of your own. The Yorubas say that it is in confusion that we look upwards; there is no secret wisdom hidden in the rafters. You have all you need to propel you to become whatever you want, hidden inside you, and you have a life time to discover it.

One of the most wonderful experiences I had in my life so far was sitting in the balcony of our family house with my mother, sharing a magical moment, drinking a bottle of Guinness small stout apiece.

Two bottles of Guinness small stout: Five Hundred Naira

Real conversation with my mother, three months before she died: Priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy.

Now I only pray to have it become a ritual with my children as adults.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

A First Lesson In Business

Dish Washing: Nobody likes doing it
Dish Washing: Nobody likes doing it

You will have to do LOTS of things you DON'T want to do.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Don’t Give Up

Crash! Now Pick Up The Pieces
Crash! Now Pick Up The Pieces

Contrary to whatever you’ve heard before, failure is a natural consequence of making an attempt at your goals. It’s not the only consequence or the most important one. It is just the one of the options and most of us get to experience it. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Protecting Your Dreams

Dreamcatcher: Charm used by American Indians

Your desire for success is like planting a seed.  

In the Bible, there is the story of the guy who went about planting seeds everywhere, even on rocky hard places. Good for him but you are not him. You have limited seeds and time. Protect your dreams. Before you plant, you need to do a proper soil test, read the meteorological forecasts. Then you start by planting the seed in a nursery and nurturing it till it’s strong enough to go outside. Call it a stealth launch. 

There is a right way of starting out, find it. 

There is this story I heard about my favourite band. The Roots. Years before they became stars and all that, they were at a concert of their favourite band and they got an opportunity to go back stage to meet the big stars, sign autographs and do what fans do. But they passed.

See, they had this dream that one day, they’ll be collaborators, they and their dream band, and that one day the story will be written and it will be history. How The Roots met the X band (I can’t remember the name). They didn’t just want to meet as fans, they wanted to meet as collaborators and colleagues. So they passed up the first opportunity and instead worked on their craft, worked on realising their dreams, which in fact they did. That’s how you build a team that stays relevant in the music scene for twenty years and counting.

One day, you too are going to make history. Believe me. 

Before you get there, there are people you need to attract but who can’t come in yet if there are no vacancies in your life. So, you should also get rid of the negative people in your life, those who think you can’t make it. Since we are being drastic, get rid of all the shady people too.  Mentally put them in the outside circle. Instead, surround yourself with enthusiastic supporters, even if it’s only one. Even if it’s you alone. When it comes to friendships, like actually attract like and it gets better.

There are shortcuts you are going to pass up just because you know that should not make it into your biography. For example, every body like a sex tape but maybe you shouldn’t make one. And say no to drugs. It’s hard, I know, but when you become made and famous, you don’t need that back story. Give yourself higher standards, like you are already the ish. You know that phrase, “fake it till you make it”? This is what it means, it is not about living a lie. Live up to a higher performance standard until it becomes your normal.  

Protect your dreams with zeal. It is rough out there and if you don’t, nobody else will. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Take Your Medicine

Take Your Medicine
This Must Hurt

You are hurting.

Once you had a dream about this venture, it kept you up at night and woke you up in the morning. It featured in every prayer from your lips, your divine contract with God. It became your identity; you say, this is what I do, this is who I am.

For a while it seemed feasible, even almost certain. Then the skies started to shit bricks and you started to wonder if the previous progress was just beginners’ luck.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Entrepreneurial Contract

The Entrepreneurial Contract

Recently I got a WhatsApp from an undergraduate student. I don’t know the young personally but she apparently knew enough about me to know I own a property in Epe town, which had facilities for a fish farming. This young man – let’s call him Emma – requested permission to use these facilities – tarpaulin ponds, land, borehole, electricity supply etc. for a cycle of fish farming and she asked quite respectfully. I actually admire a student who decides to put a little downtime in his academic calendar to better use. Only one thing was missing in his request. Did you notice the missing clause? 

Life is A Journey

  Some time ago I read an article written by some guy ( I can't remember his name). He was driving around New York and they say NY has v...