Category: Life

6 Things To Do Before You Reach For Your Phone Every Morning.

Just like you, the first thing I do most mornings when I wake up is to grab my phone. I mean, who doesn’t?

I open WhatsApp and start viewing people’s statuses or go on Twitter and just scroll mindlessly.

I wish I wouldn’t sometimes, but it’s almost a habit. And then at the end of the day, I end up doing less than I intended to.

So, in trying to get more out of my day I decided to try a few things and since they’ve been working for me so far, I decided to share them with you.

1. Say Thank You

It’s easy to forget you once prayed or wished for the things you have now.

So, while striving for more, don’t forget to be grateful for waking up today. As a new day is always a brand new opportunity to get everything you missed yesterday.

Don’t also forget to be grateful for your family, friends, and loved ones.

Be grateful for growth opportunities.

Be grateful for people who continually believe in and invest in you.

Be grateful for the hard lessons. At least, there were opportunities to learn something.

And it doesn’t even matter if you’re an atheist because gratitude has no religion. It’s simply therapy for the soul – the single master key that unlocks everything.

2. Drink water

Your body needs about a gallon of water (around 3.7 litres) daily to function optimally.

Drinking water immediately you wake up helps release toxins from your body, aids bowel movement and boosts your appetite.

I also hear drinking water and minding your business helps you look younger and live longer 😁

So, if you’re going to be drinking 1 gallon of water every day, starting with a good litre in the morning is the best way possible to kick off your day.

1 litre of water is just 2 sachets or two small 50cl bottles. Easy peasy!

3. Read

Reading is an opportunity to go into someone else’s mind and then getting to reimagine things from there.

It helps you develop perspective, widens your horizon and gives you much-needed nuance on varying topics.

Imagine being the guy/girl at the party who everyone wants to talk to because you have an idea about almost everything. That’s your superpower, Hero!

1 page. 1 chapter. 1 line of thought. Nothing is too small.

4. Write

This is an opportunity to clarify your thoughts. An opportunity to brainstorm ideas and work on plans/projects you’ve been thinking about too.

And shockingly there’s no limit to what you can write about. One of the world’s best-known books, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was written by a 13-year-old.

It was simply a collection of thoughts from her diary.

5. Meditate

There’s a Bible passage which says deep calleth unto deep.

To move from a level of life to somewhere higher would require a lot of meditation and deep, clear and focused thinking.

As much as this is the hardest thing to do especially in a world filled with so much noise and distraction, you need to learn how to still your mind to achieve this kind of deep and clear focus.

Your future will be glad you did.

6. Exercise

I hard to leave the hardest part for last. I know 😁

At a beginner level, you can make do with:

5-10 pushups.

5-10 situps.

5-10 pullups.

5-10 jumping jacks.

Walking distances where you’d naturally use other options. And none of these requires a gym or workout equipment. Only determination and a will to live well.

What’s funny is that doing all of this will take just between 20 minutes to 1 hour and you’d still get to do everything you planned to do today. But the difference is you’d have started your day on a flying note.

So, try this over the next 6 months and watch your life blossom.

But wait, how do I have time to do all of this?
The answer is simple: Sleep early.

Inheritance And Our Role As Parents.

“You’re only 27 you just being you/
“You’re your father’s child, man, thank God you got some me in you” – Drake (You & The 6)

Over the last year, I noticed I’ve been singing the same songs while praying.

These were the same songs my Father would sing during family devotions.

My Father’s been dead for almost 4 years. We haven’t had these devotions for almost 5.

What’s funny is how I sing them in the exact sequence without missing a beat.

Someone reading this right now might think “Oh, he feels that way because he had a great relationship with his father.

Well, I don’t have anything to say to that, except there’s a lot you can pass down to your children aside genetics and money. And most of these things are subtle.

Your children spend most of their lives watching you.

If you are a great parent or some kind of titan or uber successful individual, they spend their whole lives trying to beat your records.

If you are a bad parent, or probably a good parent who made costly mistakes, they spend their whole lives trying to avoid it.

Someone said this once, “I’m sorry I only talk about money, investing and finances all the time. I’ve seen so much poverty. That’s the only way I can deal with the trauma.

And just to add, these lyrics from Older by Sasha Sloane shows how much we pick up from our parents.

Some of it is untreated trauma we end up carrying throughout life.

Of course, it’s easy to criticise whoever’s driving from the passenger seat.

Kids grow up and see what life was like from their parents’ perspective.

But it’s clear, every single choice we make as parents ripples across generations.

I know I’m not even a parent yet, but I’ve got 5 siblings who look up to me and telegraph my every move.

I’ve got peers who see me as some sort of shining light in their lives.

I’m also personally motivated to keep pushing myself to the farthest limits of my abilities.

All of these is enough fuel to constantly try to be better and do better.

I have no idea who you are reading this, but whoever you are, I hope you too try to be better and do better… Every. Single. Day.

If not for anyone, at least for yourself.

If not for yourself, then for those coming after you.

Shalom.

7 Productivity Hacks You Can Use To Crush It In 2021.

You’ve probably read countless posts since the 30th of December with people sharing different insights or tips for having a great year.

Chances are you’ve even seen some of the same things I’m about to share with you.

The only claim I make is these are things that work for me. And hopefully, they might work for you too.

Let’s go!

1. Do 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 Things Every Day. No More.

What are the things you need to do every day that will make you feel fulfilled or feel like you had a good day?

For me, I read a daily devotional and pray, read a book (fiction or nonfiction) for about an hour or more (long enough to finish at least one chapter), practice Spanish on my phone with Duolingo for 5 – 15 minutes, read a sales letter, and write for at least 30 minutes. I work out at least 3x a week.

As long as I get all of these done in one day, then that day is a great day for me already. I don’t need to do more. But if I end up doing more, good!

And just to add, I’m not some sort of Superman. I’m sorry, but there are days when I’m low on energy and I can barely manage to do all of this.

On days like that, I might just read for 15 minutes, work out a bit or not even work out at all, practice just one lesson on Duolingo, read just one page of a book, write for a few minutes, and read either just a page, a few paragraphs of a sales letter or none at all.

The most important thing is consistency and frequency.

By being consistent, I’ve managed to lock down these habits. As such, my body doesn’t need a lot of motivation to do any of them. The response is almost automatic. And boy, does it feel fucking good!!!

I can also sleep peacefully.

2. Know What Works For You + Understand Your Body.

This is not an excuse to be lazy or procrastinate. But it’s a great idea if you understand your most productive hours and maximise them, plus also understanding how your body works and how to gain the most from it.

I’m a bit of a nightcrawler (been this way since secondary school). I don’t sleep much at night plus my most productive hours are between 11 pm and 4 am. It’s quiet, less disturbance, plus it feels like this is the time the heavens are open and my brightest ideas are born.

But as much as I’m a nightcrawler my body still demands that I sleep at least 6 – 7 hours every day. If I don’t I end up having a fucked up day!

Well, thankfully, I work a very flexible day job and my resumption time is between 9 – 10 am, plus I live about 20 minutes away, which means I can catch in an extra 4 – 6 hours of sleep every morning. I’m also careful to nap during the day, or once I get back home in the evening.

Going outside this and my day would be a mess.

I read somewhere that our bodies are alarm clocks. This is why people with bad health habits get heart attacks, people with crazy working schedules are strained and become mentally tired over time, and people with bad sleeping habits have a less than an optimal day. It’s simply your body begging you to slow down.

I work out enough to keep myself exceptionally trim – defined muscles, flat stomach, a bit of chest and arms, at least enough to look good naked and in tight clothing.

Doing more than the above doesn’t end well. My body can hardly keep up (passed out in a gym after doing too much in 2019, fell seriously ill twice when I aggressively increased my workout regimen in 2020).

3. Don’t Make Wishes, Set Goals.

You’ve seen this before, in fact, I’m certain that every productivity and getting the best out of the new year post will carry this.

But I read somewhere that dreams are dreams, wishes are wishes, but goals are dreams with a plan to achieve them.

It’s typical for people to make lots of resolutions every New Year and get lost a few months into the year.

Sometimes it’s their fault, sometimes it’s not. Which is why you must have plans to achieve anything you set out to do.

And these plans involve cutting your goals down to bit sizes. Small achievable sizes.

Do you want to write 100 songs in 2021?

It’s a big goal.

But it’s simple.

There are 52 weeks in a year. And you just need to write an average of just 2 songs a week to reach 100 songs. You could spend just 1 hour every day to do this.

I used this as an example because I know someone who did it.

He reached the 100 songs mark in 8 months, and write around 50 more over the remaining 4 months to end the year.

I read at least 40 books every year, for at least the last three years.

But I don’t spend all day in a library. Far from that!

I’ve got a job, a family to feed plus a myriad of personal ventures and I can’t spend my whole day reading. But I manage to read for at least 15 minutes to 1 hour (or more) every day.

At that pace, I can comfortably finish 1 book (or sometimes 2) in 1 week.

There are 52 weeks in a year, remember?

So, I can comfortably read 40, 60, 80 or even 100 books in one year, and neither my business, job or family will suffer.

In 2020, I set a goal to get better with my writing.

But we all know that is a vague goal.

What exactly is get better with my writing?

I simply identified I needed to write more, at least once a week or even every day.

So, what did I do?

I started writing for at least 15 minutes every day. I also started a blog where I post my thoughts at least once a week (Sunday evenings). I wrote at least 50 blog posts in 2020 alone.

I won’t lie to you, it was hard some days.

Sometimes I was so mentally wiped out that I didn’t know what to write about. I just managed to put down anything that came to mind.

Some days it was so easy that my Sunday posts were already ready early in the week. But sometimes I had to write some last minute.

It was so bad sometimes that I had no idea what to write about until I started writing.

Inspiration met me halfway.

But inspiration needed to find me working.

And that’s the most important thing about setting goals or making plans – EXECUTION.

Execute!

4. Focus

I just got a push notification from Netflix. A new series I’m interested in has been released. I still haven’t finished over 40+ episodes from the other series I downloaded.

There are so many distractions to keep you going for the next one thousand years. You look at everything you have to do every day and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. But it’s unnecessary to wallow in it.

You can make your life simpler… by simply focusing on the IMPORTANT things.

Focus on one important thing at a time.

I learned late last year from my mentor about the importance of deep work.

It’s simple.

You have something to do? Turn off every distraction and just zero in on that single activity.

But it’s also important you understand your body.

Some people work for at least 6 hours straight nonstop!

I can focus for at least an hour and up to 3 hours straight just working and churning out content.

But not everyone can.

So, you must find what works for you.

20 minutes? 30 minutes of totally focused deep work? 45 minutes? And then intermissions in between to recharge your brain. This simple exercise will push you farther than anything else this year.

Remember, whatever you focus on grows.

5. Say No

“You can’t be everything to everybody” – J.Cole (Sacrifices)

Some people aren’t good for you.

Some requests from even the good people in your life aren’t good for you.

Some opportunities aren’t good for you.

Learn to say no to people, to things, to ‘opportunities’ etc.

Offered a drink or weed at a party and you don’t want it? Say no. And don’t try to explain or defend your stance. Just keep it moving!

A friend asks for a small loan and you can’t afford it? Say no.

A job or career opportunity opens up and you don’t see it aligning with your purpose? Let it go.

Be willing to walk away from people, things, situations, circumstances and even ‘opportunities’.

Every open door isn’t meant to be walked through. Accept that fact.

6. Exercise

Need I say more about this?

Few activities leave you feeling good about yourself, while also boosting your health, improving your appearance and elongating your life.

You don’t have to run for a thousand kilometres. Or lift as much weight as Arnold Schwarzenegger does.

It’s okay to just take walks regularly.

Walks have been even proven to be one of the most important factors behind the longevity of the Japanese. They work almost everywhere.

10, 15, 20 pushups, situps or squats everyday compound over time. You don’t even need to do too much. Just keep it regular.

7. Read

Reading 15 minutes or more, or just one page a day can change your life.

Reading changed my life. I have nothing else to add

No Pressure

“Once you’ve been bitten by a snake, the paranoia make you pop a lizard in the face” – Jidenna (A Bull’s Tale)

I just went out for a walk this evening and when that soft cool breeze hit me, I realised that almost everything (at least 90%) of what causes worry and anxiety is man-made. In fact, it’s self-made.

The human mind tricks us into creating scenarios and battle scenes that will probably never happen.  A case of being at war with ourselves and our senses.

And even though much of the paranoia that fuels anxiety and worry is based on trauma off of experience (ours and others), we forget one simple thing:

No two human beings have the same story.

Even if they end up having similar experiences while living their respective lives, they can never have the same outcomes at the end.

Understandably, you’re afraid because you’ve been here or you know someone else who’s been here before, but most of that changes nothing.

When we live life like this, we end up involuntarily pitting our future against our present based on information from the past. Incomplete information even.

History might repeat itself but nothing stays the same.

So, instead of being paralysed by anxiety and worry, I rather take the high road: Do everything I can and should and then leave everything to God.

I think you should too.

What Is Your Biggest Problem With Getting Things Done?

“Smoke good, eat good, live good” – Kendrick Lamar (Poe Man’s Dreams)

It’s a common theme nowadays to have a ton of half-done or unfinished projects.

So many times it’s from bursts of unsustained creativity. Other times it’s just down to a lack of organisation and cluttering an already overcrowded life and schedule.

But focus changes everything.

Focus and an emphasis on purpose totally simplifies your life.

It defines where you direct your priceless enegy – what you do and don’t do.

Unfocused people try to do too much – and this eventually leads to unnecessary stress, avoidable fatigue, and conflict with your inner self and with others.

Focus simplifies your life.

You concentrate your effort and energy on only what’s important. And so, you grow in every area of your life by simply being selective with a few parts of it.

There is nothing quite as potent as a focused life, one lived on purpose.

The men and women who have made the greatest difference in history were the most focused.

“Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals – hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart. You think, Maybe this time it will be different, but it doesn’t solve your real problem-a lack of focus and purpose.” – Rick Warren

Instead of being involved in too many things at once, just simply spending one hour completely dedicated to a particular project could change your life.

Make a decision today to focus on what’s important. Not just only focusing, but also carrying it out to the end.

What It Means To Fight The Government.

I remember my earliest football memory.

It was the Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup. I was 7.

One of the World Cups with too many wonderful highlights: Ronaldo Da Lima’s haircut(I was rocking something similar, although less bizarre 🤣)
Klose scoring all of his five goals with his head. His HEAD only!!!

I remember that diving header against Saudi Arabia. How I described it to whoever cared to listen. I used to tell them he used his head to roll the ball over the line. Lmao

I even tried it a few times and thankfully never got kicked in the head.

But my most wonderful memory of that World Cup was the Turkish team.

That team had incredible ballers like Hasan Sas and Hakan Sukur.

I remember watching the third-place playoffs between them and South Korea at my Uncle’s house. Amazing stuff!

Their goalkeeper Rustu Recber (I didn’t even know his name till this morning) had anti-glare paint under his eyes.

It made him look like Oded Fehr in The Mummy. You have no idea how impressionable that meant to a child.

If you’ve seen The Mummy, you’ll surely remember a Samurai lookalike with pretty tattoos on his face.

So, I woke up last night and couldn’t go back to sleep again.

Somehow, my mind drifted to that team and I decided to do a quick Google search just to relive the experience.

That Google search led me down a rabbit hole and affirmed something that’s been on my mind for quite some time.

I started with Hasan Sas, but what I saw on Hakan Sukur shook me to the marrows!

From scoring the fastest goal ever in World Cup history to being the country’s all-time leading goalscorer to being named as the greatest Turkish player of the last fifty years, he built on that reputation and delved into politics becoming a Member of Parliament.

But guess what?

Nowadays, he’s wanted for arrest in Turkey after he was charged with insulting the Turkish President on Twitter.

It doesn’t even end there.

He’s being charged with being a member of a movement designated as a terrorist organisation in Turkey.

According to his Wikipedia, Şükür fled Turkey in November 2017, taking up self-exile in San Francisco, California and planning to become a restaurateur in Palo Alto. He left this job because “strange people kept coming into the bar”.

In January 2020, Şükür told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag that he was working as an Uber driver and selling books in the United States. He also said that his houses, businesses and bank accounts in Turkey had been seized by the government.

Imagine going from the greatest player in a country’s history to being on the run from the same country. Alarming.

This post has nothing to do with Sukur’s political leanings, neither is it a demonstration of sympathy, but it’s always funny when people bash celebrities for not using their platforms to protest against the government, or not becoming the next Fela.

Fela was tortured and imprisoned repeatedly by different governments. His ageing mother was thrown from a balcony by soldiers, resulting in her death, just to prove a point to him.

Being Fela came with a prize.

Fighting a government is the hardest thing any single one individual can do.

It’s always an unending battle.

Ostracism, threat to life (yours and family), alienation, loss of money and property, and the list goes on.

There’ve been reports floating around already of DJ Switch being haunted for her Instagram Live broadcast of the #LekkiGenocide at the #EndSARS protest.

In certain quarters, DJ Switch is a hero.

In some, she’s the ultimate villain. And her crime? Exposing a government that opened fire on unarmed and harmless protesters.

At this point, being DJ Switch has a prize.

From Fela to Hakan Sukur to DJ Switch, the underlying theme is simple: fighting the government sounds easy in theory, but is not for faint of heart.

So, the next time you feel a certain urge to call out a celebrity for not speaking up with their platform, ask yourself if you’d truly do the same if you were in their shoes.

No need to rush into saying yes, self-awareness and soul searching doesn’t happen in a split second.

Random

“Fake niggas, mad snakes, snakes in the grass, let a nigga know he alive” – J. Cole (Love Yourz)

People will fail you. Family members, close friends and people you never expected will.

Maybe it’s fate or destiny, but getting no from a place you expected yes is all part of what makes life.

Forgiveness is simply accepting their part in the story.

People will go out on a limb for you too. Strangers, outsiders, acquaintances and people you never expected will.

Accept their part in the story too.

I think a lot about Judas.

It Will Happen, But It Might Just Take A Little Longer

“Don’t worry, it will come full circle” – Big Sean (Full Circle)

Hard to explain the concept of patience to someone who’s been waiting for something for a very long time.

It’s super hard not to be worried when it hasn’t happened yet.

But the beauty of patience is holding on until it finally happens. Until it comes full circle.

I have no idea who is reading this right now, but I just thought I should tell you that it always comes full circle. Just hold on

“Regret looks back. Fear looks around. Worry looks in. Faith looks up.” – Nicky Gumbel

Control

“Everything I touch may disintegrate into dust/Everything I trust may dishonour me in disgust” – Kendrick Lamar (Holy Key)

Most of the things you’re bothered by right now might not matter in a year – money in the bank, a spouse, a stalling career, your family – not because they weren’t important in the first place, but because time has a way of reordering things.

At every point of our lives we want to be in total control of everything happening to us, so, the absence of a spouse when you are lonely or a career stalling after putting so much time and effort into it makes you feel helpless.

No adult likes to feel vulnerable. One of the reasons people have a hard time falling in love.

Vulnerability and helplessness reminds us of a time in our lives when we were children and had to depend entirely on our parents for even things as simple as feeding ourselves.

And so we build buffers. Buffers for security – financial, mental, emotional et al.

But the uncertainty of life means those buffers might fail someday.

Knowing this, the anxiety goes from an inability to build these buffers (or build them quickly enough) to the ability of these buffers to hold when things go awry.

Worry becomes an endless cycle.

And this eventually spills over into your decisions, affecting everything it comes into contact with.

Do you need my advice?

Two sets of advice actually.
Hold on. Let go.

Holding on is a reminder that you should have an unshakable belief in yourself and in your abilities. A reminder that it gets better eventually.

Letting go is a reminder that you can only do so much. A reminder that there are a thousand other things beyond your sphere of control, and just letting the universe do its magic.

And you’ll find peace of mind from focusing on the things you can directly control.

True freedom comes with control. True control depends on knowing what to hold on to and what to let go. Because holding on to what you should let go is you simply creating unnecessary battle scenarios in your life.

The worst battles have to be the ones you intentionally or unintentionally create in your head. Saps all your energy, keeps you anxious, drains you mentally and physically and eventually weighs you down completely.

Better to be focused on what’s in front of you. A better use of your time and energy.

Your life doesn’t have to be in overdrive all the time. It pays to take your foot off the gas sometimes.

That is true control.

Advantages And The Importance Of The Small Things

In trouble waters I had to learn how to float” – Jay Z (Oceans)

Many people don’t believe they are advantaged. And can you even blame them?

I mean, it’s hard to see any sort of advantage in being impoverished or coming from a hard place.

Yesterday, I was thinking about David’s epic battle with Goliath and something profound struck me.

I know the recurring theme is always about how a simple shepherd boy could down a well-seasoned war machine with just a common sling.

Many books have been written, sermons preached, millions of anecdotes told and analogies made concerning the difference in size between both parties, as that’s usually the most captivating part of the story.

But what if David’s brothers weren’t in the army?

Let me tell you all the things that might have happened.

1. His father would have never sent him on that errand.

2. He’d never have heard of Goliath’s challenge.

3. His brothers’ initial resistance had to be enough to cause a furore that attracted Saul’s attention.

4. He might never have had access to Saul’s presence to even present his case about taking on Goliath.

5. And just to prove God’s providence, Saul’s armour was too big for David. He’d never had been able to sling a single stone wearing something that heavy.

These all go on to prove how crazy life is.

Having brothers in the army was the opportunity David needed to showcase his talents and God’s grace in his life. But being rejected and a lack of acknowledgement of his abilities by them was the final piece of the puzzle.

What about the experience he got from tending sheep, sleeping in the blistering cold and hunting down lions and from bears?

Aside from helping hone his military abilities, these were the tools he needed to go guerilla mode and evade Saul when his life was in danger.

Can you see the pattern?

No experience, no matter how innocuous or mundane or even painful and heartbreaking should be counted out.

Everything and everyone matters.

But it goes to show you that some of the levels you might eventually reach in life won’t be entirely on your own. And that is regardless of how much you push yourself.

Someone or something will have to push you. And it might be under the most unlikely circumstances.

Which means some of the advantages you’ll enjoy through your journey in life would be from knowing other people.

And this is not me promoting an already selfish culture of networking and connecting with people based on personal interests or WIIFM (what’s in it for me). In fact, your advantage might end up being from the ‘small and unimportant’ things.

Never count them out. That’s what builds you up.