Day 26 – How My Blogging Experience Has Been

Rigozo

My experience blogging has been one of a kind. I’m more comfortable reading than writing. You can find me curled up with a book and I’ll stay that way for a long time. But I wanted to own a blog, so I had to write. It was not as easy as I thought.

What I thought blogging was in the beginning

When I started blogging, I wanted to share stories and pictures in this space. I was really excited to begin the journey because of all that was happening at the time – wrote a memoir about it. What I wasn’t aware of was that I had to be intentional about blogging.

After my first blog post, it took me weeks to write another. Hah! I did not have any inspiration on what to write. Lol. All I knew was that my friends had blogs and shared the links with people. Tada!

It would take me months of researching blogs before I could make sense of what blogging was all about.

Sidebar: In retrospect, I should have done the research first before googling, ‘How to Open a Blog on WordPress.’ It would have saved me the headaches and confusion.

What blogging is like for me

It was such a relief to find out that I could write about anything. That I could blog about my experiences on this blue-green planet and everything that it involves.

The most important thing should be that my content is relatable and connects with my audience. However, by the time I realized that another worry had set in.

Already I had posted a couple of stories and shared the links with friends and family- usual. I got comments, which was awesome. As people started getting involved, I had to become committed.

When my close friends pointed out typos and grammatical errors in my work, I had to improve my writing (got a long way to go). I was getting obsessed with the number of likes and views. And google was feeding me articles like – How to Grow Your Blog in a Month; How to Write SEO Optimized Articles; 10 Ways to Make Money from Your Blog, etc. Stuff that I wasn’t even thinking about but the algorithm thought I needed to know.

It was crazy. It was another hurdle I had to face. Several times I just wanted to walk away from everything.

Sidebar again: It was chaotic. I didn’t know that so much went into writing – all kinds of writing – or blogging for that matter. I was spending days trying to complete a story. Did my favorite authors have to suffer like so? I see why writing should be a full-time job, please.

I tried and tried, again and again

Two years after and I’m still blogging, and I still face challenges – I’m not so disciplined and I did not grow my audience in one month. I’ve since read books on writing and experienced the biting wind of criticism.

Sometimes I hide behind the characters in my stories. They reflect my inner turmoil, my faith, my dreams, my photography, my excitement about life, and the things that make me come alive. I started an interview series – why not? I got to know a lot of people and make great connections, and I plan to do more interviews this year.

Still blogging and loving it

My blog feels a lot like raising a first child. It has also been a lot of fun and a lot of tears. One thing I love-love the most is the people that encourage me. And I’m grateful for the feedback I get. The experience has been amazing, and it has helped me in a way to grow into the person that I am. I’m still testing the waters, and have a lot to learn. The good news is, I look forward to it with stars in my eyes. Cheers!

#Day 26 of 30 days writing challenge – Not Enough Writers

Photo Credit: Pexels

Human Nature – Dream vs Reality

Rigozo

It’s one of two things – I’m a bloody genius or I‘m bat shit crazy.

You can decide after you are done reading this post. I already have the answer.

It’s 2:33 am and I had just woken up from a hair-raising dream.

I believe that this dream happened because I started watching Shingeki no Kyojin – Attack on Titan (AOT) a few days ago. It’s a dark fantasy anime about how humans where driven to the brink on extinction by gigiantic man-eating humanoids called titans (Eotenas), and settled behind three huge walls to protect themselves. I found out that the Director, Tetsurō Araki also did Death Note – now that’s another mind-blowing anime. I know some people would say the hype about AOT is not worth it, but guys I’m in Season 3 and so far, I’m intrigued. I think it’s a masterpiece.

And no, this is not just about my love for AOT. It’s about dreams and reality, and how the two overlap.

Back to my dream.

About ten soldiers were together in a log cabin at night. There was a fireplace and candles were scattered around the sparsely furnished room. The scene was rustic and shadows cavorted in the gloom.

The atmosphere in the room was tense. They all stood in a loose circle, but I still couldn’t make out what they were arguing about as I watched them. One man stood out from the rest – I assumed he was their commander – and clearly, he was the one in charge. Or so I thought.

Nothing prepared me for what happened next.

As the commander fought for his life, I heard him shout at them in an agonized voice, “I knew something was off. I saw the evidence of it on the battlefield.

I noticed that the lone fellow that didn’t attack him pulled back into the corner as shocked as I was by his comrades’ actions. At first, it looked as if he was going to help the commander but the odds were against him – mind you nobody paid me any attention. Anyway, he didn’t stand a chance.

Soon the commander was screaming his head off because his men tore into him with their teeth.

They were eating the commander alive.

Yo! I did not see that coming.

The commander’s screams were raw and anguished, as if pulled from the depths of his soul, even as chunks of his flesh were bitten off savagely and consumed by his men. Their eyes were fevered and their faces were covered in blood as they clawed him like wild beasts. The man in the corner was frozen, his eyes glued to the scene before him, wide with terror.

The fire was crackling in the hearth, the commander was choking on his blood, his men were feasting on him and my heart was hammering in my chest.

Hei! The shock of what I just witnessed was unlike anything. If I could, I would have emptied the contents of my stomach on the floor. I was terrified to the bone, and even though a part of me knew I was dreaming.

Sometimes a dream can feel so real, reality pales in comparison.

Thankfully, I woke up.


I was reeling from the dream and was unable to shake it off even after several minutes had passed – usually my dreams fade away from memory as soon as I open my eyes but this one was a keeper.

And so, I mulled over the dream in the dark, unable to go back to sleep. Can you blame me? My brain was keen on it and started up threads of thoughts – like a mind map.

No spoiler: If you’ve watched Attack on Titan, you’d know that the Titans or Eotenas preyed on humans and pushed them to the brink of extinction. Eren Jaeger is the protagonist and had enough reasons to hate the Titans. Along with his childhood friends Armin Arlert and Mikasa Ackermann, they joined the Military, Survey Regiment and fought side by side to wipe out the Titans.

Of course, I was aware that the nature of my dream which drifted towards human depravity – in this case, cannibalism. In fact my brain needed no extra push to bring up The Tenescowri from the book Memories of Ice (A Tale of Malazan Book of the Fallen). This is a series that I am curently reading.

Interpretation of the Tenescowri by Jeanfverreault

No spoiler: The Tenescowri were the peasant army of the Pannion Domin (a continent in the book). Their ranks were made up of survivors of the Domin’s crusade against its neighbors. The Pannion Seer (their god-king) purposely starved them and used them to support his army as an expendable force. They were all bat shit crazy and fed on the dead – even devoured their comrades that fell in battle – and the women raped dying enemies to give birth to The Children of The Dead Seed. They overwhelmed the enemies with the sheer force of their numbers and hunger. Their leader was a guy called Anaster.

No spoiler: Another instance of cannibalism was a tribe mentioned by Major Hange Zoë in AOT – She’s a member of the Scout Regiment (one of the three armed forces that make up the military) and commander of the fourth squad. While conducting a research on two captured Titans – she took the liberty to name them Bean and Sawney – she told them a story about a vicious tribe of humans that developed a taste for human flesh (just like titans chomped on humans). They hid in caves tucked in the mountains and terrorized travelers that used the roads – they robbed them, killed them, and ate their flesh. They continued unopposed for 25 years and about 500 people fell prey to them before they were wiped out.

By now you may have concluded that my head holds a lot of rubbish scenes of bloodbaths and so it’s no wonder that my dream was fifty shades of messed up. I agree with you. Every genius must have felt overwhelmed like I was, it’s the price to pay for awesomeness. Which was why, while normal people slept, my mind was having a fine time churning out human depravities, both real and imagined, as I lay in the dark.

Is man by nature good or evil?

Somehow I started considering the statement, ‘The strong prey on the weak.’ By weak I mean those that are unable to defend themselves from getting crushed by powerful entities; those that are easily influenced; the poor and the sick. And last week I had a conversation with a friend and he mentioned that Weak is relative. He was trying to say that even in the gathering of the strong, they will not all have the same level of strength. This was all just floating around in my head and of course AOT conveniently fit into it. I’m reminded of Armin Arlert.

No spoiler: Armin Arlert is also a soldier of the Scout Regiment and childhood friend of Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackermann. Armin, although percieved to be the weakest, is highly intelligent, most definitely a fine deuteragonist, and such a dreamer. 

“We’re going to explore the outside world someday, right? Far beyond these walls, there’s flaming water, land made of ice, and fields of sand spread wide. It’s the world my parents wanted to go to” – Armin Arlert

“The strong feed upon the weak. It’s such an obligingly simple rule. Except in this world, my friends tried to be strong.” – Armin Arlert

“I don’t like the terms “good person” or “bad person” because it is impossible to be entirely good to everyone. To some, you are a good person, while to others, you are a bad person.”
― Armin Arlert

My brain was full steam ahead. Somehow it conveniently forgot that we should be resting. So rude! And moments later I remembered a bible passage that I came across in a book titled Love – The Way to victory by Kenneth E. Hagin (I had to open my bible and do a search of the general area because I couldn’t recall it exactly).

Hebrews 8: 11And they shall not teach everyone his fellow or every one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest. Revised Standard Version

Okay! I think I had something there but mehn I was tired and I wanted to shut down everything and call it a night. The way it was, I had a dream, and thereafter I was unable to sleep because my mind kept churning out random thoughts that seemed to have no direction whatsoever, but had the making of geniusness.

My final thought – I could feel my brain start to power down – “All men are born equal, is hogwash”. It sounds like a dream or something out of fantasy an epic fantasy. Because everybody cannot be at the top. Men may say it but the reality is that circumstances of birth, resources, and many other factors determine a man’s place in society’s hierarchy.

I’m not exactly a fan of dreaming, especially when I just want to shut my eyes, my body and my mind – including childhood trauma – I dig day dreams though. But before I could file this thought away and reclaim my sleep, another part of my brain went King-Kong on me. If I was reading the fireworks going off correctly, the disagreement was based on the context in which, ‘All Men are born equal,’ was used. That at the time Thomas Jefferson wrote it, he didn’t mean individual equality and …. blah blah blah (In retrospect I’m glad I didn’t bother to delve into it because in reality, that is a lot of garbage to sift through).

Dreams are products of our deepest desires and a reflection of our reality. Sometimes, dreams can be so far removed from reality and make no sense whatsoever. I was not inclined to solve the mystery of man’s nature in the middle of the night, despite my mind forming sense – I know myself.

At that moment I just didn’t care anymore, and let the warring factions in my head slug it out while I sought out sleep.

Side note: I should mention that I got up, grabbed my journal and wrote a draft of everything that happened from the moment I woke up because I didn’t want to forget any of it – which I usually do.

Also, I tuned in to a small voice that nagged me to make the entire midnight escapad into a blog post – dream versus reality – I agreed with it. And I had the perfect opening sentence.

It’s one of two things – I’m a bloody genius or I‘m bat shit crazy.

Which is it?

What If Tomorrow Never Comes And You Have Been Procrastinating

Rigozo

Holla!

Happy New Year 🎊

Disclaimer: This post was unplanned.

Hah! I want to chat about a thought on procrastination that crossed my mind.

Like omg, I can’t believe I’m saying this – I feel led to talk about it.

Well, I’m currently doing an audit of my blog and wanted to wait until I’m finished before I post this year, but it just came to me…

“What if I never finish the audit?”

gasps

I mean. Goosebumps.

Procrastination is real. I face it every time and a lot of people are battling it. Because it lies in wait to grab your attention when you lose guard. The creep is watching you.

In my writer’s group yesterday, Not Enough Writers, it was a declaration or should I say a confession that procrastination is a problem. And a few people came out of the closet to say that they also procrastinate. It’s crazy.

Big goals for me include : BEAT THE HELL OUT OF PROCRASTINATION and get my time management skills in order and everything else will fall into place. Daz all!

Syreeta from Not Enough Writers

But I’m not ready for tomorrow

I honestly feel that way. I sometimes wish that life should be on a fixed schedule. That there should be consequences for slacking.

The way it should be planned – if I don’t meet up with my commitments, I will get electrocuted. Shock me so that my head will be correct. Zero procrastination. But life is not like that, and I am thankful for it…lol.

Get up and get to work

Do the work today and let tomorrow answer for itself. Periodt. Tattoo it on my wrist or somewhere where I can see it all the time.

This reminds me of something I wrote a few months ago.

I ache to chase the sun across foreign cities. I feel fevered at the thought of rolling fields and the contrast of azure skies.

If tomorrow refuses to come, I believe I will be devastated.

Rigozo – Lia

Okay! I can be a tad dramatic. Still, I think a lot of us are at this table – “I will do it tomorrow.”

I did not say all of us because there are people out there that have this organizing and time management thing on lockdown. I mean they have systems, journals, planners, all the arsenals in their armory of productivity to put the rest of us – Association of Procrastinators – to shame. Wow! I need a friend or two in this category, please sign up. Or I can become that friend to somebody else, one day, someday.

Endless possibilities you know.

I just found this article 20 INCREDIBLE WOMEN ON WHAT THEY WISH THEY HAD KNOWN AT 20 and this is what Margaret Atwood had to say.

If tomorrow never comes…

Then you’ve missed whatever chance you had to do what you should have done today. And I mean the important stuff.

I don't want to be a prophet of doom, even though I'll look dashing in a black hooded cloak with the air of mystery around me - Eau De Mysterioso. You know, I gotta say that it is possible.

I’m trying to be intentional about the person I am becoming. It’s not easy.

Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and hide. I don’t because something stops me. Somebody stops me.

There’s this woman that I see and she’s me. She wears this lovely smile that says without words that she has conquered. And I am so psyched to meet her. I want to rush over and marvel at her beauty, her strength, her poise, but the journey is a long one. Tomorrow seems so close, yet so far away.

So, I’m making patience my bosom friend, and discipline and diligence are also part of the gang. Journaling helps me keep track of my thoughts. Together with faith and my humble self, we are all going on this trip.

Doing all I can today so that one day, tomorrow, I get to meet the woman with the lovely smile, who is me.

Therefore, I pray for tomorrow to come. And I hope you’ll say the prayer with me.

Have a good day and I would love to see your comments. Bye✌️🏾

Thursday Talk Series | Oluebube Ogoke is an Unapologetic Apologist, Loves Her Job, and A Good Book

Rigozo

When a person I just met and was getting to know asked me, “Who are you?” I was taken aback by the question for a second. I quickly recovered and told him my name because that was the answer I could come up with. His reply was something like this, “That’s not who you are. Do you know that there are other people out there that have the same name as you do? So, your name can’t be who you are, because it’s just a name.” In my head, I was like, “Eskise me brah! What do you mean? Okay, maybe, I didn’t answer your question, but my name is a part of who I am, at least give credit to that.” Sigh. Well, if you ask me what has been on my mind, I’ll tell you that I’m concerned about the woman that I am. I couldn’t answer the question truly because I had no answer. It’s funny that uncertainties about myself pop up unexpectedly. I am conflicted about the choices that I’ve made, experience fears when I think of starting something new, and just find myself stuck in a whirlpool of what-ifs. There are times that I stand as the champion of my story and other times I play the villain. Why else will there be a constant war within me about who I am? Who else feels this way? Let me know in the comments.

Today, I’m so excited to introduce our guest, Ogoke Oluebube – no wait, before you say I am always excited, for real I’m over the moon that I got to interview her. Not to sound like a tv commercial, but you know that I’m all about first meetings. Well, meeting Ebube was one of the highlights of this year. Okay, storytime. It was a beautiful day and I was excited about working with an NGO, Led Initiative, on the launch of a library for their latest project (Lead 2 Read). So, this amazing group of people had volunteered to make a library for a Boy’s Correctional Home. After many weeks of designing, decorating the place, and asking people for supplies, the library was ready. I was the photographer covering the launch and it was a first for me (I will share the pictures). Little did I know that the day would hold more firsts. I walked into one of the rooms and Ebube had a spread of books on the table. I only had eyes for the books because they were new and shiny. While I was taking pictures of the book, she started talking about how she purchased them, and how many bookstores she visited. Maybe I forgot the books and started paying attention to her. A few minutes later we had introduced ourselves and were both reading nursery rhymes to each other, and laughing so hard at our slip-ups. The best part, it felt natural to be that way with her. Now, that’s something I won’t ever forget in a long time. Because of this interview, I’ve gotten to know Ebube a little more and I still have stars in my eyes (even though it took her forever to do the interview. Note to everyone else, don’t behave like Ebube).

Q. Can You Introduce Yourself?

A. I am Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo. I am an uptight recovering Perfectionist, learning to loosen up my uptight personality. I’m currently exploring life’s hardest questions by trying to view the world from God’s perspective (not quite an easy task). At sunrise I am a Business Lawyer (for Startups and SMEs), at sunset, I am an aspiring Novelist, Poet and, an Apologetic obsessed with the Historical, Literary, and Creative Arts. On a good day, the perfectionist in me expects a certain standard of morality and uprightness in the conduct of everyone, but the explorer in me just wants to fit in and get to know people for who they are.

Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo looks fierce in a portrait.
Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

I have an obsession with seeing small businesses and startups grow from inception to a multinational (yet to see that) – hence the passion for my job in proffering business solutions to startups and SMEs. I position them to take advantage of the legal and financial structures put in place to encourage the growth of SMEs and startups. While my job as a Creative Writer, Poet, and Apologist, is more like a ministry than a job. If I am to do something else, I would love to be a Freelance Journalist and would love to travel to the ends of the world to report stories unheard of or that no one is reporting.

Q. What’s your idea of real success?

A. I measure success by how well my actions and words impact people, businesses, communities, and states. Even if it’s only one person.

Q. When do you feel the most confident about your work?

A. It speaks for itself. I am diligent and put my heart into my work. I provide my clients with everything that they want, therefore the result speaks for itself.

Q. What have you accomplished so far that made you so proud?

A. Writing and publishing my short stories and entrepreneurial articles.

Q. Can you describe who knows you best?

A. I can’t think of anyone at the moment. But would love to think that my future husband would know me best (whoever he is lol)

Q. What was the last book you read and what can you say about it?

A. I am currently in between books at the moment so can’t say. Nevertheless, I can recommend one of my favorites reads this year (as I have read quite a lot), lol. His Only Wife’ by Peace Adzo Media, is a perfect read for every young woman that have expectations about love and marriage. The book made me realize that sometimes love is about letting the person go.

Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo sitting crossed leg in a prayer pose.
Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo

Q. What pet peeve would you make illegal if you could and why?

A. Bureaucracy in civil service is a poor excuse for internal control and creating jobs in the civil service.

Q. What do you appreciate about yourself and what would you like to change?

A. I appreciate my mind and its thirst for knowledge. I would love to change my lazy and nonchalant attitude to opportunities I deem less important. I mean that I no longer want to undermine the little opportunities that I get – “Don’t try to eat the big size of cake when you have not learned how to swallow the small size.

Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo is showing a book that she likes.

I have an obsession with seeing small businesses and startups grow from inception to a multinational (yet to see that) – hence the passion for my job in proffering business solutions to startups and SMEs, by positioning them to take advantage of the legal and financial structures put in place to encourage the growth of SMEs and startups. While my job as a Creative Writer, Poet, and Apologist, is more like a ministry than a job.

Ogoke Oluebube Chinazo on Thursday Talk Series

Q. If you could, what’s the one thing you do change about the world?

A. Let every human harness his/her inherent ability to reason rationally. I believe that we do not reason as we should and prefer to follow trends. We set aside rational thinking and let others think for us instead. In my experience, those that reason, stand out.


Thank you so much Ebube for the interview and for the book that you recommended (your reminder to send the book to me). I wish you all the best with your job and look forward to reading your publications. To everyone that stuck to the end, thank you. I wish y’all a terrific Thursday.

Follow Ogoke Oluebebe on Instagram @Oluebube

Books Donated by the LED Initiative
Project Lead 2 Read | The Led Initiative
Project Lead 2 Read | The Led Initiative
Project Lead 2 Read | The Led Initiative

Pick your favorite christmas wallpaper

Tips On How To Manage Anger

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. (Ephesians 4: 26 – 31) English Standard Version.

I said I would let everyone know how I deal with anger in my last post for Thursday Talk Series. Let me make it clear that there is no universal code for dealing with anger. I might be wrong and there is one, please don’t hesitate to share with me.

What I’ll be discussing today is what anger is and tips on how to manage anger.

What is Anger?

Anger is our natural response as humans to perceived threats. It’s a normal emotion. When you get angry, your body shows symptoms like increased blood pressure, muscle tension, irritability, rage, and stress.

There are various reasons why you can get angry. These are your triggers and it is not the same for everyone.

• You get angry when things do not go as planned. For instance, an event was scheduled for 10 am but it didn’t start until 11:45 am.

• When you are wronged. Those times when you get into a fight with your sibling, and your parents take their side without consulting your side of the story.

There are other instances, like having unwelcomed memories, a tragic occurrence, when you are in pain, depressed, or worried.

So anger is not a “bad thing”

Yes! What is important is how you manage your anger.

Why?

Anger can be a force for good. It can motivate you to make a positive decision. It can also bolster your confidence to speak up for yourself or take a stand. However, if you are not careful, anger can be unhealthy and destructive. It can be toxic to you and your relationships.

Tips on how to manage anger

Know your triggers

If you don’t already know your triggers, you are wrong. If you see a storm brewing, you can either avoid it or brace yourself for impact. That is why a lot of people say, “I don’t know what came over me,” but it’s already too late. Knowing your triggers helps you to be prepared for various situations. I’m a big fan of self-reflection and it is one way I use to understand my emotions.

Walk Away

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have pulled the plug on my anger by removing myself physically from the place. If it’s an argument that is going nowhere, I walk away. If I find myself wishing to act violently, I walk away. I need a time-out before things escalate.

Breathe

I don’t know the science of it but it works. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. Each breath drives away the fog of anger that sits heavy on me and helps me gain clarity.

Talk it out

Sometimes, all it takes is to reason with yourself or with the other party. You do not want destructive anger churning in your gut, so always try to find ways to avoid it. Talk about why you got angry. Apologize if you are at fault. Forgive the other person if they apologize. Move on from the entire thing if possible. Let it go.

Tips on how to manage anger

What is important is to find a system that helps you manage your anger so that it is not destructive. Remember, choose good vibes always.

Let me know how you manage your anger in the comments.

Bye!✌️🏾

My latest wallpaper for the holidays

Receiving Flowers And All The Benefits

Rigozo

The other day I found this on Instagram.

Credit: @blommavase on Instagram
Credit: @blommavase on Instagram

I’m very upset. Because I have never received flowers before.

Ever!

You may be wondering why I’m turning red in the face because of flowers. It is because a few days ago, I saw dried flowers used as a prop at a photo shoot. And after reading much about flowers and appreciating them from afar, it was a sore reminder that I was missing out.

Flowers are not forever, but how I wish dearly and look forward to receiving them. I’ll place them in a jar of water and put it where I can see it as often as possible. Afterward, I will dry them and press them within the pages of a book. Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic.

The longer I wait for that elusive someone to give me flowers, the more likely it is that my anxiety level rises. I mean who doesn’t like receiving gifts, however receiving flowers is a whole new level. The only remedy is to order flowers for me by myself and act surprised when it comes. That would be hilarious but I don’t want to miss out. You may think it is such a little thing but receiving flowers or having them around does amazing things to your health.

Photo credit: Pinterest

The good news is I have received a plant before from my friend Noah (I can’t find where I saved the pictures).

It was an Aloe Vera bush with the most beautiful coat of green I have ever seen (yes, I’m biased). I called my plant Catherina, and my mood honestly improved when I got her.
I felt all loving and nurturing like a mother and had this connection with mother earth. I had been granted the responsibility of watching over life and witnessing its transforming power and yes, I was a bit conceited😂. So, I want flowers as soon as possible (even though they won’t last for long).

PS My Catherina (aloe vera bush) emaciated weeks after staying with me. I had to return her to Noah before she returned to the earth. I guess I need to learn how to take care of plants first.😓

Photo credit: Pexel

Studies have shown that flowers not only appeal to our senses of sight and smell but there are also tremendous health benefits to be had from receiving flowers.

To purify the air

The basic science that we all know is that humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants require carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, and in turn, they give back oxygen. Our leafy neighbors also help to reduce dust particles which is a great help to tackle respiratory problems. When next you receive flowers and you keep them in your room, know that the air just a lot cleaner.

Get your glow on

Ever feel gloomy and down, and everywhere you look has a gray cast? That moment right there is when receiving flowers would make all the difference. Well, studies have shown that flowers can add the dash of color that you need to brighten up your day. You BLOOM and GLOW, and open up to positive vibes and energies. When women receive flowers, it improves their mood and gives them that much-needed feeling of being cared for and loved. The same goes for men. Receiving flowers induces warmth and leaves you feeling like cotton candy inside.

Improve your mental health

Flowers help to improve your emotional balance, keeping you on the sunny side of the spectrum. This is great because you get to tick off depression and anxiety from your list, and your mental health improves tremendously – that bottle of Xanax will stay untouched in the cabinet – especially when you are receiving flowers from the ones you love. Lavender and Jasmine are known to reduce stress, and Chamomile, commonly taken as a tea is notorious for its anti-anxiety effects. I guess you can say that flowers are all-natural anti-depressants.

Sian Wild says, “Flowers are proven to help reduce recovery time. Although flowers are no longer permitted in hospitals, if someone is ill or recuperating at home, a thoughtful bunch of blooms can generate a sense of wellbeing. Blood pressure and heart rate levels will be reduced.” Flowers and good health are related.

In my previous post, I talked about how little things can make a big difference, and the act of giving and receiving flowers is one of such little things. It conveys emotions that do not require words, puts a smile on people’s faces, and remember that it can improve poor health.

Now you know why I want to receive flowers and why you should too. If you can, send your loved one flowers today, it would be a simple gesture that will go a long way to make their day sparkle.


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Why Little Things Make A Big Difference

Rigozo

Hello guys, let’s play a game. No need to panic it’s not Squid Game guys. This game will help us understand why the little things are impactful.

I want you to read the sentence below, and as you do so count the number of Fs that you find.

A game that serves as an analogy for show how the little things affect the big picture - Matt Abraham, Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Awesome. How many Fs did you find? 3, 4, 5, or 6?

Did you perhaps miss the two-letter words ending in Fs?

Feel free to check the sentence again.

Matt Abraham from Stanford Graduate School of Business used this game as an analogy in his lecture – Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques – to teach his class the little things that can affect speaking in public spontaneously. According to him, “It’s the little things that make a big difference in being effective.”

If your answer was incorrect do not think that you are not smart (olodo). However, it’s as a result of not paying attention to the teeny weeny things.

Little things can make a big difference

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that neglecting the little things will only have consequences in spontaneous speaking. Can you not recall a time when it was the little things that kept you sane?

The other day I was washed, pressed dressed, and ready to leave the house. I was going to be late if I did not leave on time, traffic being what it is in town. I was going to take the bus but couldn’t find my keys. I hear you groaning too. It is one of the most infuriating situations a person can find themselves in.

I was disgruntled and pulled at my hair as I searched all over the apartment for the keys. I went back to the table where we kept the keys and stared blankly at the empty spot where the keys should have been. I was late and bemoaned my existence.

The takeaway is that you need to pay close attention to those little things that can be easily overlooked. They come back to bite you in the butt – take a huge chunk too. They may likely ruin your plans. So keep it in mind that doing the little things make a huge difference between getting it right and making a mess.

If only I had returned the keys to the table when I got home from work the previous day. It was such a little thing to do that would save me time and energy.

For you, it could be taking a 20mins break from work every day, or waking up early to meditate and plan your day, or it could be a smile from a stranger, or wearing your favorite shirt, or cooking a meal for your spouse, or staying consistent with your exercise routine, walking the dog in the evening, tending to your plants, feeling wanted and loved and so on.

These little things can a big difference in your day, your relationship, your work, and your life in general.

Conclusion

The little things are called little for a reason. They are those things that you see and yet you don’t see. You may not be able to realize it until it may be too late. By paying attention to yourself and your surrounding you’ll be able to notice the little things that you miss. Spend time doing these little things that give you pleasure, makes you stronger, lifts your spirit, improves your productivity and better your life.

Photo Credit: Pixels


You rock🤘🏽

Thursday Talk Series | Augustine Ojeh Seeks Clarity of Purpose

Rigozo

Let’s play a game. Not Squid Game guys (I haven’t watched the movie but a lot of you are very loud about it). This game is simple and nonfatal, please. I want you to read the sentence below, and as you do so count the number of Fs that you find.

Awesome. How many Fs did you find? 3, 4, 5, or 6? Click here to see the answer and find out whether you are smart or not. Did you get the right answer? 😁😏

Moving on. Today, I’ll be introducing Augustine Ojeh. Let me confess. I have reason to believe that he gets high from giving expression and meaning to the world around him with words. Having recently made his acquaintance, I have no informed impression of his person. However, I can tell you that I deduced he’s a craftsman who has a sizzling relationship with words by stalking his Instagram page. Yes, that’s right! I did that. I was curious you see, and best believe that now I want to know even more about him.😂 I’m aware that he’s an earnest coach – ready to teach and also learn. He’s a book-lover, has no pet that I know of, is a certified night owl, and is an amazing writer and editor.


Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. Augustine Ojeh here. Somewhere deep down, I reaffirm myself to be a genius but, in reality, I’m just another nobody, scratching his way upwards and seeking clarity of purpose. In my quest for clarity, I read books. I wouldn’t say it’s been a lot of books but enough to heighten my curiosity and desire to teach. What better way to learn than to teach? So, I’m a writer, editor, and writing coach. I write about business growth, global and workplace sustainability, diversity (gender, racial, and cultural), economics, and a pinch of psychology (for the love of it). However, I’m a questioner of illogical religious doctrines and the credulity of its believers. Some (including clergymen) have called me an Atheist but I’ll excuse their assertions to their purportedly ill understandings of Atheism.

Augustine Ojeh at his favorite space that he calls Saturn
Augustine Ojeh

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

A. I wouldn’t say that I have a job. Just as footballers never called playing soccer a job, writing has never been a job to me. At least, I’ve never seen it that way and probably never will. I’d do something else if it has a negative opportunity cost, like starting and building a business which I’m already doing (won’t say more than that). However, I doubt if any of that would stop me from writing.

Q. What’s your idea of real success and how can it be achieved?

A. The “real” seems weird. Success is never faked. And, in my opinion, there’s no rigid formula to achieving it. I have several ideas of success, depending on what area of my life is under the magnifying lenses. In marriage, parenting, career, mental development, and all others, the ideas of success change. The methods to achieving each also vary. In marriage and mental development, for instance, stern principles are important while in parenting and career, flexibility and amenability to change are virtues.

Q. What is your morning routine like?

A. a. Wake up by 9:00 AM. That alarm is annoying and the funny thing is that the 9 am alarm description reads, “OJEH, YOU’VE GOT 1,440 MINUTES TODAY. NOW, GET IN THE TOILET, YOU PISS OF SHIT!”

b. Sit on the toilet seat for 30 minutes (maybe drop some poops if there’s any coming. Eewww! But it does feel good.)

c. Bath right after.

d. Brew some coffee in the kitchen.

e. Read three important newsletters [from the New York Times (US), The Economist (UK), and Punch (NG)] while I wait for coffee.

f. Read and respond to emails.

g. Update my to-dos for the day.

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

A. I’m not sure there are any two particular things that I think about each day. However, my mind has been occupied by the book project that I’m working on recently. And why does that occupy my mind? Of course, you know. I think the second thing that fills my head is the business that I’m creating (but I won’t say more). It’s on my mind often because it should be. Nevertheless, I’ve got my family sitting pretty at the corner of my mind. They never leave there.

Q. How do you manage to deal with stress as you work?

A. I use the gym when the spirit leads but mostly in the evenings. I take long walks to clear my head also. And I play snooker as often as I can. It’s an opportunity to meet new faces and share a good laugh. It does help deal with the stress, no doubt. Chess also comes in handy when I’m a bit unhappy or frustrated.

Q. What do you feel is the difference between living and existing?

A. The difference is our perception of time. For those existing, time travels through them. So, they often sit pretty as time rides along. Living puts you in a race against time. It gives essence to time. It’s the reason 24 hours is too short for one day. If only it could be 28. Pfffft! But a jolly race against time without prizes to pick at random stops is a spokeless wheel.

Augustine Ojeh

Q. What was the last book you read and what can you say about it?

A. Perfectly Confident by Don A. Moore (Ph.D.). I think Professor Moore does have a lot to say about the dangers of blind optimism and unbacked confidence. I’d say the book is excellently written and laced with relatable research, accurate accounts of events, and exciting exercises to help you stay on track.

Q. Do you think we have a greater purpose or are we just waiting for our turn to die?

A. I think we are on a lap to create our heaven or hell. When this lap is over, we would return to the life that we created, clueless about how and when we created them. So, yes, we do have a purpose albeit its greatness is relative.

I wouldn’t say that I have a job. Just as footballers never called playing soccer a job, writing has never been a job to me. At least, I’ve never seen it that way and probably never will. I’d do something else if it has a negative opportunity cost, like starting and building a business which I’m already doing (won’t say more than that). However, I doubt if any of that would stop me from writing.

Augustine Ojeh on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What is that thing that you see as an obstacle that can stop you from having success?

A. Death.


Thank you very much for the interview, Augustine. I’m really glad to have met you and I look forward to all the amazing things you are set to do. For everyone still reading, thank you for being here. Wish you a spectacular Thursday.

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Morning Musings

Rigozo

Today, like most days I find myself awake even before the sun is up. The sky is inky black and I look out my window as if anticipating a lover. The hours before sunrise is one of my favorite times of the day. I like to wake up early in the morning so that I can spend time with myself.

I like to imagine that every morning is like a painter painting over an old canvas. I like to tell myself that I’ve gotten another day to love and be loved. I like to think about all the things I would like to do and the process I’ll have to follow to get there. Another chance to give meaning to my existence and going after the things that I want. I like to watch the window like I’m waiting for my lover to jump in and carry me off farfarfaraway.

When I hear someone say that they are not a morning person, I just cannot relate. For me, I just love to be up early, to breathe deeply, and listen to my heart thud in my chest in a quiet rhythm. Also, it makes sense to revisit yesterday with fresh eyes, accepting that the past is in the past – I’m in the present. Those things that hurt me before are all behind me, and I do not have to be shackled by them. Morning comes with its uncertainties yet I would rather run into the future than dwell in the past.

I hope today stays fresh and wonderful to you too.❤️ Have a wonderful day and a happy weekend.

Photo credit: Rigozo


I love city lights. I took this picture in the early hours of the morning after it rained.

Thursday Talk Series on Tobe’s Life and Work As a Photographer

Rigozo

I saw a Bollywood movie yesterday and as always their storyline is intriguing, and the acting was superb and hilarious. The name is A Magical Love Story, and it’s about love, family, fate, curses, deceit, and magic. We know real-life is not the same as a screenplay but we do all we can each day to find happiness. There is no substitute for trying again and again. Sometimes life is to be enjoyed and other times it picks you up, does a little spin, and sets you down. You can be sure that it will take a while before you will be able to find your balance – you will eventually find it. Let have this in mind, “Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLaren. Whether you believe that love/life is magical, it’s up to you to write your own story.

Today I’m introducing Tobe and I’ve found him to be one of those people (rare) who are completely honest with themselves. This makes him able to interpret his feelings without trying to convince himself otherwise. He pays attention to details, especially in his work, and always tries to find a balance between business and personal life – to the best of his ability. In his relationship with people, he is understanding and reliable, makes amazing connections (he always knows a guy). I can’t remember our first meeting but we’ve had several easy and open-minded conversations. That said, he’s the first to start conversations with people – he still hasn’t realized that he has an amazing gift of relating with people – even strangers. He is a goal-getter and an exceptional manager, and when it comes to having fun he gets into the mood 100%.

Trivia on Tobe

- A foodie

- Loves to dance

- An Arsenal fan

Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. My name is Tobenna Afamefuna Nnamdi Amechi. Yes, I do not have an English name and for a while, I didn’t like it. However, today I am proud of my Igbo names because each of them has specific meanings which are relevant to life and living. I am a photographer and I run a photography business in Lagos, Nigeria.

Tobenna Amechi

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

I started the business because it was a skill I had and I needed to make money while waiting to get full-time employment. I wasn’t also so bombed with the idea of working for someone except for having the idea of ‘corporate work’ at the time and being responsible. Over time, the reasons for being in business have grown from money-making and now emotional and core business principles. At some point, I just wanted to make money, other times I just wanted to be happy. There was a period it was powered by how people felt when they got served by my business. Now all of those things have faded, and I am more interested in building a business that solves clients’ problems while meeting the needs of the individuals offering the service. There are days in the cause of running this business that I felt I would rather be doing an actual 9-5, step out every day and do actual work, and then come back. I have gone ahead to even apply for jobs on some days. In the end, I am still here going through the motions and believing. I am a corporate guy. I have an affinity for emails, suits, ties, warm regards, etc. It excites me, and I sincerely want to experience it, if I get the opportunity, either by building it into my own business or getting that actual job and maybe just doing it for 6 months. For me, the travails of being a business owner are always looming. There are busy days, lazy days, and days I question my existence and relevance to both myself and the universe. I like activity – purposeful activity – hence I feel very uncomfortable when I am not doing anything. Why do I currently do what I do? I am not sure I know anymore. I believe many entrepreneurs have gone through this phase too. However, I am at the point where I want to prove my relevance to myself. I want to be sure I am not just existing, and inconsequential to the happenings of life.

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

  • Growth – I am really scared of not measuring up to my mates, of poverty and stagnant.
  • Relevance – I want to make a mark in peoples lives I don’t want to have just existed, I want to have touched lives so when I die in the next 80 years, people can have good testimonies about me.
  • Money – to make more and never lack while giving to people in need.
  • Love – I feel alone most times, I need a girlfriend in my life.
  • Sex – How I am not having it and wish to get married quickly so I can indulge without guilt
  • Family – current and future.
  • Heaven – How I try not to do the many different things I could be doing that seem normal but will cost me eternity, I can’t go to hell Biko.

Q. What is the best thing about what you do?

A. Sincerely, the best thing about it right now is delivering to the clients’ satisfaction and the consequent balance that comes. Of course, making great images satisfy me, and this was the best thing at some point but not now making great images also means the client would be satisfied.

Q. What do you appreciate about yourself and what would you like to change?

A. I appreciate my soft nature which makes me want to do good for people all the time. I also would like to change it, to be a little more strong-willed, not caring what people will say and a lot of other things.

Q. What have you accomplished so far that has made you proud?

A. A little while ago, I was in a virtual meeting with my staff. I looked at my computer screen and saw their names registered and I realized how blessed I was to have two individuals on my team. I am proud to have been able to build Wise Visuals by God’s grace from a one-person team to where it is now. I am proud and grateful for it.

Q. What was the last book you read and what can you say about it?

A. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. There is no successful person who didn’t have opportunities handed to them, in most cases they didn’t realize they were opportunities that would make them world-famous. However, they still made the best out of the opportunities that were presented to them, putting in the time and work needed to be great at what they did, clocking their 10,000 hours of work to be excellent. In light of this, I figure that everyone is presented with a series of opportunities in their lifetime, we are tasked to view each season as an opportunity and make the best of it. Achieving expertise at something requires you to have put in much time work approximately 10,000 hours, which the successful people we know put in both voluntarily and involuntarily as a result of the opportunities they were presented with. If this is true which does make sense, then intentional practice over time helps the mastery of and success at one’s craft.

Q. What do you feel is the difference between living and existing?

A. The major difference is impact and self-satisfaction. When you live, you affect lives, small and big and you are happy and self-satisfied doing that.

Over time, the reasons for being in business have grown from money-making and now emotional and core business principles. At some point, I just wanted to make money, other times I just wanted to be happy. There was a period it was powered by how people felt when they got served by my business. Now all of those things have faded, and I am more interested in building a business that solves clients’ problems while meeting the needs of the individuals offering the service

Amechi Tobenna on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What is that thing that you see as an obstacle which can stop you from having success?

A. Inconsistency. I find that I can start things and most times I don’t know how to finish or sustain them. Knowing this is a challenge, has also posed an inhibition to start for me, because I don’t want to start and not finish.

Q. If like a movie your life up to this point is played for you to watch, describe how you’d feel about it?

A. I’d feel how I am feeling now, unsatisfied and some level of regret. Grateful for the wins and optimism and faith for a better ending.


Thank you so much Tobenna for the interview and I hope you find what gives you satisfaction. And thank you everyone for sticking around. Have a blissful Thursday.

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“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs

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Frank Herbert’s sixth book - Heretics of Dune
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