Saturday, 17 September 2011

Dare to Dream

Dare to dream
Let your wings fly
Reach out to the sky
Touch the whole world
Broaden your horizon
Dare to change the world

Dare to dream
Dream about the impossible
To achieve the impossible
Let down your hair
Forget the challenges
The problems that hold you down

Dare to dream
Set things in motion
Make things happen
Hope for the best
Live your fantasies
Effect changes in the world
Dare to dream

Have you forgotten what it is to have fantasies? To let your thoughts run wild and uncontrollable? Have you forgotten how to conquer the world even in your dreams? As a child, we dreamt big, wild and wide. Some dreamt to be a superstar, some dreamt to change the world. Some wanted to be millionaires, some teachers so as to impact knowledge and modify attitudes. So great and large were our dreams that we said it with pride once we were asked “what do you want to become in life?” We never hesitated to mention our dreams and proudly too with chin raised high and our hand to our chest we answer “I want to be a doctor” emphatically. Then we grow up and everything changes. How many of us have actually lived our dreams? If you have lived your dream, luckily you but most people have forgotten about those dreams and have started coasting through life and the challenges it brings

We have all become used to not living our dreams that we declare our children’s dream as being childish instead of helping them to nurture theirs or sometimes, we want to live our dreams through our children thereby, preventing them from living theirs. However, it is never too late to dream if we would only dare to do so. My brother once told me about a lady he met at a party who could not stop talking about her native Australia. She says she used to play tennis really well as a young lady and her dream at the time was to play at the highest level at Wimbledon. But then she took ill and that was it, she never fulfilled that dream. Now she is forty, with two boys and it has become unlikely for that dream to ever come to pass. She however jokingly told them how she plans to bring her dream to pass, she said that she plans to rent a court at Wimbledon and play with someone. Their host suggested that she can rent a crowd as well, give them free drinks and they will happily cheer her along as she plays. He then added that if she did all that, it was likely that Sky News will cover the event and her dream would have come true. They all had a good laugh!

His story reminded me of a particular time in my life when I almost gave up all dreams. I had faced a lot of challenges and set backs. It was a huge burden for me at this time-broken relationship, poor health, loss of job, business failure etc. It was like every attempt to move on was being blocked and I was disillusioned. I was afraid to move on and worst still I was afraid to dream. But I realised later on that my failing to dream was bowing to the challenges I was being faced with. I decided to raise my head and despite all odds dare to dream.  My experienced taught me that not being able to dream again shows lack of confidence and self esteem. If we do not dare to dream again, we would lack the zeal and passion to break into a new horizon; there would be no desire to achieve great exploits. This means we have nothing to aspire too any longer and we would be like a ship without a rudder. 

People that have attained greatness had encountered some form of challenges in their pursuit of greatness. I am sure their dream to succeed was the propelling force that made them to keep at it before achieving greatness. Today, they are known for their achievements. Read the story of Sir Richard Branson in “Losing my Virginity” There will always be challenges but no matter what you go through never stop dreaming. Your dream gives you positivity, a spring to your feet and a reason to smile. The size of your dream does not matter. Just dare to dream!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Be Positive

I have a cousin who has being ill for a while now. It has being one thing after the other for the last ten years  and each time there is a problem, she appeared stronger and more positive than the previous challenge, ready to confront whatever it is. I went to visit her at the hospital sometime ago where she was undergoing chemotherapy and I marvelled at her bravery. It was obvious she was going through a lot of pain but she still had a smile on her face despite her discomfort. I sat with her while she took her treatment. We talked about this and that and left more inspired and positive than I was before the visit. Despite her challenges, she had a positive word for everyone who came to visit her.

"Where did she get her strength from?" I pondered as I walked out of her hospital room. "How come she is so optimistic despite her somehow ever present challenges?" These were my thought as I left her. I realised that everything has to do with her attitude. Because she has a positive attitude she was able to forge on

At some point in our lives, we would face adversity. The way we handle our challenges will determine how we would find solutions to whatever confronts us. Having a pity party is very easy and rather attractive. Also, getting up and facing the challenges with courage and a lot of positivity can be daunting.  We have to be optimistic. Optimism comes from the Latin word optimus, meaning "best," which describes how an optimistic person is always looking for the best in any situation and expecting good things to happen. Optimism is the tendency to believe, expect or hope that things will turn out well. Even if something bad happens, like the loss of a job, an optimist sees the silver lining and also the light at the end of the tunnel

How can we be positive despite the daily challenges we are confronted with? The first thing to do for me, is to realise that you are  the only one who can make yourself happy. No one can achieve this for you. You are simply responsible for your happiness. As an optimist, you expect good things to happen to you. You don’t blame yourself when bad things happen neither do you blame others for whatever happens but you look at the situation holistically and proffer solutions or way out of the problem without indulging in pity party.

Be thankful to God for all your blessings because whatever it is, it could be worst. Having a sense of gratitude actually makes you see things in a clearer picture and realise that it is not as bad as it appears. Do not complain and moan. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and your challenges are not perculiar to you.

Be confident that there would be other opportunities because there is abundance of opportunities in the world for everyone to succeed. Moreover, there is nothing to hold you back from succeeding unless if you have the wrong attitude and approach to confronting issues.

I wrote this poem sometime ago when I was faced with some challenges. I was so overwhelmed that I felt the whole world was crashing on my head.Then I realised I had to confront issues. I wrote this poem titled "Take Every Step" to encourage myself  and I hope it would serve that purpose for someone too

I take every step gingerly
Like the careful step of an old woman
With dry and brittle bones
I take every step though difficult
I must forge ahead

I take every step
Bent and beaten by the issues of life
Head raised high, refused to be defeated
Like a man in command
I take every step

Trying not to look back
I must keep on moving
Irrespective of what life
Throws my way

PS Thanks so much for your comments so far. I really do appreciate everything.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

What is it about compliments?

I trained some teenagers on team building skills during the long vacation. Part of the games played was to write something good and complimentary about their colleagues in the class. The students initially were reluctant to do so largely because they felt they didn’t like everybody in the class. In fact, there was a particular girl they had planned for because according to them, she was a bully and very proud. I however, insisted that they must think deep and write something complimentary about everybody. After this little exercise, I asked them to pick their papers and read what was written about them. We later discussed how it felt being complimented and having to compliment someone. Some said it felt good to read the good stuff about them and they were able to see something nice about other people too. Of course, some said they felt strange doing the exercise and reading all the nice things written about them. However, the most important thing was that the majority felt good and were going to keep what their colleagues wrote about them.

A word of compliments boosts confidence and elicits cooperation from whoever we give it.   No one is hundred percent bad or good but we should, whenever we  see something good about someone  highlight such good points. A simple good morning brings a smile to the face of whoever we say it to and a thank you shows that we are appreciative of the person who just served us. A smile brings a sense of camaraderie even if the smile is to a total stranger. There is something warm about a total stranger greeting and smiling at you. Smiling also makes us more approachable and removes the rough edges.

Being very generous with compliments shows that you have a positive and high self esteem. This also affects how people relate to you as a person. Generally people are drawn to you and want to have a relationship with you. Be respectful and courteous to people not because there is something you want from them but because that’s who you are as a person. Of course avoid being fake and insincere about your compliments because the recipient will always know if you are being insincere and this raises suspicion and could undermine a relationship.

The most memorable compliments are those that are specific and not vague. It shows that you are paying attention and actually notice the person. Compliments are like little gifts of love. They are neither asked for nor demanded. It tells the recipient that he is worthy of notice.  How the compliment is received validates the donor. Unfortunately, most people like my students feel uncomfortable when they are being complimented. Given a negative response to a compliment deflates a donor. The best way to receive a compliment is to graciously smile and say thank you without having to explain it away.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Turbulence of Love

Hi, this is Ose. This is my blog. I am going to write about anything that catches my fancy here. A bit of politics, socials, love, parenting and everything that affects our daily lives. I am taking a look at the world as it goes round sitting at my verandah in Lagos. I will review happenings in the world the way I understand it but will love your comments and views about issues that I may bring up. I will try to be very light in my writing because I think I can be a bit   too serious.

I am starting this by sharing this poem with you. It is titled Turbulence of love

We sang the songs of sorrow
And danced to the mournful tune
Where did the promise go
To hold and to keep
Life is but a motion
Since you left without a word

I gave you my heart in worship
You threw it back in pieces
I gave you my love freely
You accepted it without passion
Now the reality is obvious
The past was placed on the altar of worship

I am caught in the turbulence of love
The pang of pain is potent
My heart is trapped in the sham of love
Mourning the phoney of love
I am like a ship without a rudder
Sinking in the turbulence of love