Month: January 2020


Sunny days wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for the rain/Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain.” – 50 Cent (Many Men)

Be sure to read every word of this.

The irony of pain is that over time it becomes bearable.

Ask fitness enthusiasts and people in abusive relationships. Some days I feel so tired to work out, but 30 Jumping Jacks and 16 Pushups in, my body starts responding.

That’s why over time you build muscle, adapt and somehow even begin to enjoy and crave it. You go from complaining to enduring to tolerating. Human beings are hardwired with adaptation and evolution.

But your pain is useless if you don’t reflect on it, and find ways to feed and grow off it. No, be suffer head you be!

So, instead of luxuriating in a situation that you have the power to change or to fight or to flee entirely away from (e.g an abusive relationship) just because you think you have to endure it, for no plausible reason whatsoever, you have to learn how to differentiate.

Don’t kid yourself! 

There is a right and wrong pain.

And though I can’t claim to know what the right and wrong pain is at every crossroad in my life, there’s always the opportunity to learn from prior events. Yours and others.

The lessons you learn from life come from the tuition you’ve paid overtime in the form of experiences, directly or indirectly, your experiences or others’.

Some wise man once said, “life is a journey, but nobody was made to travel it alone.” 

Our individual existences are so connected in such a collective way that your life is a conduit that the universe runs through and is a part of. 

When we die, our mortal bodies will be laid into the ground, either as dust or ashes. To become part of the Earth. Our spirits already a part of the supernatural. An ever continuous cycle.

You and I are connected in ways that we don’t even understand. You might have never heard this, but even in our individual pains, we are so damn connected.

Therefore, understand that all your battles and blessings, wins and losses aren’t yours alone, even though your current troubles are yours to bear alone. And though it feels unbearable, understand that your story wouldn’t be yours at the end alone. Yours to tell, yes, but a part of someone else’s too.

So, no matter how much pain you are going through now, it is meant to teach you, and then to inspire and motivate someone else.

Your tears, blood, and sweat will lead you to success and possible greatness, but it will also lubricate someone else’s path. Your pitfalls and mistakes would be the lighthouse redeeming someone else on verge of getting lost.

And this is not an attempt to justify pain and suffering, rather it’s a call to arms for you to show empathy, and at least ‘mourn with those who mourn.’

A call to be of help – to be part of your brethren’s distress and trouble. Nobody was made to feel alone.

So, keep grinding and growing, there are people waiting for you.

The Mirror

Who am I gonna be when it’s all over?” – Drake (Heat Of The Moment)

Mirrors are smooth surfaces made of glass usually, with reflective material on one side for the reflection of light and the formation of images. In most contexts, a mirror is used to paint a picture of soul searching or remembering.

Full-length mirrors represent introspection, looking inward, self-examination, self consciousness, and reflection. Car rearview mirrors represent retrospection; the deliberate recall of events, past actions, and regrets.

All in all, mirrors literally, figuratively and contextually reference reflection. The deliberate asking of self.

There’s a slew of opportunities every day to embark on self reflection. From self help and motivational books to fiction, art, religious guides and doctrines, pop music, social media, relationships, and the one thing that is constant in every one of us, personal evolution.

But we miss these opportunities most times.

Time fritters away.

And during reflection, we take the route of regrets.

Things we should have done. Things we shouldn’t have done. Places we could have been. People we could have been with.

But we don’t ask ourselves if we would do these same things we did if we knew what we know now. That’s what retrospection should be like.

The acknowledgment of where you were before and where you are now. But the temptation of regret runs too deep.

Reflection has to be in tune with personal evolution, maturity, deliberate observation and the acknowledgement of where you are today.

Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror

Lil Wayne – Mirror On The Wall ft. Bruno Mars

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
James 1:22‭-‬24 KJV

All the above mentioned are opportunities that should push to help us ask questions of ourselves. Some clearly, some subtle.

To ask yourself questions like:

Are you comfortable in your own skin? In who you are, and where you are currently on your life journey?

Are you really a good person, or do you do good to others because your religion asks you to? Or out of a sense of empathy? Or to court public opinion, maybe? Or better yet, because you’re scared of going to hell someday?

Do you hold yourself to the same standards you put other people under the microscope for? Do you still say nobody is perfect when someone wrongs you? Or does it only pertain to you when you are wrong?

Do you treat people a certain way because that’s how they should be treated? Or do you treat them in a way you’d want to be treated?

When friendship and love are on the line, are you as loyal to others the same way you demand loyalty from them? Do you let “loyalty” stand in the way of truth and happiness?

Are the principles you claim to live your life by consistent with the values you claim to have? Do your principles connect your values to your actions? Or are you just a hypocrite like the rest of us? Behaving counter to the beliefs you claim.

In striving to be understood, do you try to understand others?

Do you love yourself like you love others? Do you truly love people as you claim you do?

Are you truly satisfied with who you see when you look in the mirror? Not just satisfied with your physical looks, but satisfaction with the consistency between who you are and who every other person thinks you are.

Do you have the integrity you so much demand from others?

Who are you?

The Arena

Be alright, and walk your truth.” – Poodieville (Be Alright And Walk Your Truth)

I can assure you that this post might be the longest thing you’ll read today.

And so if you are not a creative or a patient person, you might want to stop reading this right now. But for lack of nothing else to do, continue at your own risk.

Just remember, I warned you.

These first few weeks in January have been nothing short of a gladiatorial experience. Toughest days I’ve seen in a long time.

In ancient Rome, there was nothing as worse being thrown into the arena. Whether as a gladiator pitted against other gladiators, or as Christians been thrown to lions or packs of wild dogs.

The discipline -physical and mental – and the conditioning required to survive as a gladiator can’t even be summarized. Mad stuff!

Even the understanding that anytime you walked through those gates out on the sand in the arena could be your last was hella sobering. A gladiator died every day.

Not just from the physical hardship of training – the sheer mental and physical exhaustion – or the sharp point of an opponent’s weapon. Sometimes, they died from public opinion.

Last year, in a discussion with someone who I deeply respect, we talked about how no other civilizations like the Greek and Roman affected the world like they both did.

You see it in languages, art, architecture, building construction, government, culture, books and studying.

Every nation on Earth has been deeply influenced by those two, in ways we can’t even imagine.

Some of the greatest men to walk this Earth did under Roman or Greek colours; Alexander the Great, Caesar, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Cicero, Ovid etc. Christ was born during the Roman annexation of Israel. He paid taxes to Caesar even.

Both nations understood the conquering power of words and swords.

The power of agreement and strategic alliances. Greece had Sparta and Athens. Ferociousness and Deep thinking.

But whatever Rome lacked in ferociousness, they made up for it in organized efficiency and effectiveness.

Rome laid down most of the guiding principles for militaries all over the world. Watching a Roman Legion drill was a sight to behold. The books and movies say so.😁

There was room for deep thinking too.

And so these empires expanded. Conquering and swallowing other cities, countries and empires within its reach. But somewhere along the line, it all fell down.

Everything washed away. Greece first. Then Rome.

The fall of Rome might be attributed to the moral decadence that had soaked up the entire empire.

Seeping from the top down to its lowest reaches. 

Or it could be put down to the constant struggle between the aristocracy over power and money. Civil war and financial insolvency. Time and resources spent in expanding and swallowing other city states. 

Maybe Rome stretched itself too much. Past elastic limit. Past yield point, and boooom!!!

But the truth is, Rome succumbed to the crowd it hard tried so had and went so far to please. 

Which begs the question, how long can you keep up appearances?

History says there was nothing as insatiable as the Roman mob.

They wanted anything and everything. So much energy and they got bored easily. They loved you today and tomorrow demanded your head.

Politicians and wealthy aristocrats courted them. Gladiators and slaves. Whatever you could be was dependent on their whim.

But it fell down. It all washed away.

These past few weeks I’ve been in some really enlightening discussions about the importance of public opinion, especially in reference to the arts and artistic expression.

The hardest part of being an artist is being a starving one.

On one hand, we should create what we love, on the other hand, we have to create what the public craves or in certain situations when the public has no idea what it wants, we have to find a way to win them over to our side.

You want to be deep, you also want to be engaging without losing your audience.

I now know where my hatred for poetry comes from. 😂😂

You create with one eye on artistic expression and the other on financial responsibility. As much as you don’t care if you are paid or not to do what you love, you don’t want to die hungry while chasing artistic excellence. 😂

And so, you create with one eye on the purity and essence of your expression and the other eye on the commercial viability of what you are offering.

You want to give of your soul, but you hope what you give puts some change in your pocket too. You are tempted to water it down to cash out.

This artistic life is hard.

There’s one eye on a body of art, there’s the other eye on your budget. 

They tell you to follow your heart, sometimes they don’t tell you to bring your head along.

One of my motivations for personal financial success is so my kids can choose to comfortably be artists without recourse to the financial implications of following their hearts.  And hopefully we get there. Amen.

Because half of us in professions did so because of financial security. That’s why there are so many angry and discontented people everywhere.

And then some artists don’t get celebrated in their lifetimes.

There’s a long list of poets, writers, painters, sculptors, musicians who died broke and penniless. Not from financial mismanagement, but from public acceptance of their works. No one or very few people thought their creations made sense.


Those same creations are regarded as masterpieces or command crazy sums of money. Cue Van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe. It’s a long list.

Some artists even commit suicide in a bid to draw public attention to their work. After all, who else does the artist create for? Himself, or an adoring public?

I have no answer to the above.

But artistic pursuits aside, how would you gauge your level of competence without people’s opinions? 

Are you really a good child if your parents, teachers, relatives or older folks don’t say it or show you how proud they are of you? 

How much of a good worker are you if you don’t get praised by your boss? That is if he’s not someone who gladly withholds appraisals.

As a business owner, people would gladly buy from you if they like you or trust you.

How much do we pine for those special words from that special someone?  

So, is it really damnation to people’s opinions?

As human beings, there’s a deep and overarching need for love and acceptance. Of ourselves. Of our creations, efforts and offerings.

We thrive on reciprocity. Give and take. And no matter how unconcerned you claim to be or actually are, you crave to be accepted too. By someone. By people.

The first time I made an attempt at writing poetry it was an ode to unrequited love. 😂😂😂

I don’t think I know a lot, I just know that life is an arena.

There are people cheering, for your success, for your downfall.

Some cheer you on from a place of love or a deep sense of adoration, even responsibility.

Some people are cheering you on because they see others do so too. Even those doing for or against you. Some people love you because others do too. Some hate you the same way. 

Soak it all up, and enjoy the moment. It’s yours.

But don’t forget who you are at the core. Why you are here, or what brought you this far.

There’ll always be a crowd. But will they always be a you?

Never lose your head in the process of pleasing the crowd.

People’s opinions will matter, but you decide which, and how it does.

So, dear creative, please create, and just be alright, and speak your truth. E go better. 😁


Life is like a beach chair.” – Jay Z (Beach Chair)

I ‘ve had to fight with myself these last two weeks over what my first post of this year would be on.

I was in the bathroom when I reminded myself that Sunday was days away and I had nothing down for the week.

Na like this you wan start this year?

Two weeks ago, I wrote an unpublished draft on the New Year and productivity.

It was filled with gems that have personally worked for me, and which I was very sure would have made 2020 your most productive year yet. But I had to stop writing it. 

I had to slow down on completing it because as much as I already knew what I needed to say to make it compelling, it sounded hollow and rather incomplete to me.

There is this thing about the completeness and the mental state.

Something from deep inside that assures you that you have done as much as you should about something. It’s rather hard to explain.

And though one of my rules is that nothing is set in stone, as anything could happen, and I believe that anything and everything can be edited or resized – added to or reduced in a bid to be made better. This is the sole reason why I usually leave room for a second look sometime in the future. So, most of the time, I have lots of half-finished writeups.

But since I operate on the whim of an internal compass that tells me when it’s time to stop, I do not write it if I don’t feel it. 

Completeness matters to me, whether in daily chores or set goals, it is pertinent to finish whatever you start.

Grand satisfaction comes from that.

Asides praying, writing is the closest I feel to being spiritual. So, I don’t write with the target of polished oratory or perfect testimony in mind.

Even though I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and I feel my writing skills grow every single time I manage to put my thoughts into words and somehow string these words together into something cohesive, I don’t write to wow you.

I write as a way to express myself. I write as a way to let out the thought patterns that form in my mind from when I read. From when I listen, think, look around and observe. 

I write because there’s a lot going on in my head at every point in time, and I have to write so I don’t forget. I write because I have a personal target to publish at least one article on this blog every week until this year runs out. Lol 😂

But I think I write because I’ve tried everything and nothing worked, and somewhere in my heart of hearts, I hope faintly that this does.

People write for one or more of four distinct reasons:

-to educate.

-to entertain.

-to inform.

-to inspire.

I write because it gives me satisfaction. 😁

This past week, my friend turned a year older and we had to go to the beach to celebrate.

Going to the beach reminds me of how life is.

Look at the waves. The rising and falling tides. See how they go up and down.

That’s exactly how life is. Up. Down. Up. Down. UP! down! On and on and on.

I stood at some considerable distance from the water’s edge, and the waves washed up at my feet at least twice over the span of thirty minutes.

I stood there thinking about all the possibilities my mind could spin.

I thought about the uncertainties of life. All the highs. All the lows. The miracles. The unexpected.

Shocks. Rude awakenings. And something inside of me kept saying this over and over again, “this is exactly how life is.”

I know that I sound really philosophical right now and you are probably wondering if I’m any fun at parties, but below is an excerpt from a devotional I read this morning by Nicky Gumbel:

I have never forgotten a talk I heard over thirty years ago. The speaker started by saying that the Christian life is ‘battle and blessing, battle and blessing, battle and blessing, battle and blessing, battle and blessing… battle and blessing…’

At the time I thought, ‘Why is he going on like this? Will it never end?’

But he was making a memorable and profound point. When we are in the battle it is hard to believe that it will ever come to an end. When we are in a period of blessing we sometimes expect it will go on forever. But life is not like that.

There are battles and blessings.

Wins and losses (or lessons, depending on how you chose to spell your L’s).

No matter how covered, safe, secure or invincible you think you are, it always gets to you. With everything.

The good and the bad.

This means no matter how bad things are in your life currently, life must surely happen.

But I can’t tell you what’s going to happen next.

I can’t assure you what’s going to happen next won’t be worse.

I stay positive though, and I always remind people that even though life isn’t easy and it doesn’t get easier, I think it always gets better.

It could get worse, but it could get better. It always does.

There would be good days and bad days, but faith in the complete enjoyment of those days no matter how hard they are is the only way we know how to live.

Please, drop a comment. It helps shape up subsequent posts. Thank you.

PS: I’m the life of the party. 😁