ZIP THAT LIPS

If everything that passes through the eye gate and the ear gate spills through the mouth gate, then there is need for a padlock — Esho Kemi.”

Sometimes ago, a friend made mention of something to me which I doubt she had told any other person. On a number of occasions, I was tempted to spill out the information during a conversation with some other people, but I just found myself being restrained from speaking. It paid off in the end, because if she had wanted others to know, she would have let it out herself. This was beside the fact that what she said was not a secret as such.

One thing I know is that people would have saved themselves many trouble if they had the discipline to seal their lips at times when it was extremely necessary to do. Many relationships and homes wouldn’t have hit the rock bottom if parties in the relationship had the ability to control what slips off their lips. Nations and generations would be delivered of unnecessary problem if they knew the best time to talk and the best time to stay quiet.

The mistake many people make is that they are always eager to talk. They’ve turned themselves to human parrots that chatter about everything that comes to their mind, whether or not it is wrong or right, confidential or public. Whether or not it edifies the listener or dampens the hearer.

The benefits of knowing when to and when not to speak cannot be overemphasized. The Bible makes us to understand that “every man should be swift to hear, slow to speak…” It also makes us to understand that “he that keeps his mouth, keeps his life.”

What then are the benefits of being slow to speak? Knowing the right time to speak and the right time to keep silent saves you from many troubles. At the spur of the moment, some words you may say might cost you many things. You might have revealed sacrosanct information that may be used against you, all because you’ve not practised the ability of taming your tongue.

One good thing you can do for yourself and those around you is practising the ability of thinking before you talk. Zipping your lips affords you that priceless opportunity. It gives you the opportunity to evaluate your thoughts and weigh the effect of your words on your hearers. It also affords you the luxury of choosing your words wisely. You are able to pick your words, sieving irrelevant things you might have said if you had just blurted out everything that comes to mind.

It enables you to keep secrets secret. Even the Bible makes us understand that “in the abundance of words, there wants no sin.” If you are in the habit of being a chatter box, some confidential things meant to reside within you only becomes an open news for all and sundry. The ripple effect of this is that those who are not meant to know things about you know, it also makes people lose confidence in you.

Knowing the benefits of keeping sealed lips, it is of utmost importance to know circumstances when you have to zip your lips.

1) When your words will not edify, zip your lips.
2) When what you want to say is not necessary, close your mouth.
3) When you know your words will hurt, don’t talk.
4) When you are pressed to leak a secret, ask for grace to keep shut.
5) When you just want to wag your tongue, ask for help to tame your tongue.
6) When you want to speak, and you have a nudge not to, please keep silent.

To wrap up, one thing we should know is that every one has a tendency to have a running mouth, but there is one effective prayer made by the Psalmist in Psalm 141:3. He said “set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

This is an earnest prayer that can help us in our daily interactions.

Blessed? Then do well to share. Thanks.

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GIVING UP? NOT YET

Have you ever been in a situation where it seems you can’t go any further, and the best thing to do is just to throw in the towel. I’ve sure felt that way. I was passing through neck-deep depressing situations, and the hope of getting better was so bleak. I have on many occasions voiced out my desire to just give up on so many things, and even to the point of wanting to give up on life.

Not to sound abstract, I’ll cite personal examples of times when I almost dropped like a hot potato. At a point in time, I was having academic challenges that was way beyond me, I couldn’t comprehend what exactly was happening as results were not commensurate with my efforts. I was frustrated and gliding into depression, until I eventually spoke to someone about the negative thoughts of wanting to quit.

I have on many occasions thought about the use of continuing my Christian journey and wanting to put it behind me because of the many things that I was going through; times when it seems I’m all on my own, and God is so far way and the many struggles I encountered. I’ve had times when I just felt like giving up on people, friends, and funny enough even this blog.

So in times when I felt like giving up, what did I do? I voiced out this thoughts to trusted friends who encouraged me to hold on, because there is still hope. I was supported with words of encouragement and without any shadow of doubt, prayers. In fact one of them sent me sent me a note encouraging me not to mix fear together with my desire for success, because of it’s capacity to kill efforts, as well as neutralise endeavours.

Perhaps, you are equally passing through some life challenges, and you want to capitulate. You’ve tried hard at achieving that goal, but it seems impossible; you’ve made applications for jobs or scholarships, but you’ve been slapped in the face with several no’s. You might have entered into relationships, and it is as if you can’t move on; or perhaps you are even about to call your marriage quit because of the roller coaster of problems in it.

If all you want to do is just to give up, then I’ll be sharing few tips that will aid you in killing the desire to give up. Before I do, one thing you should understand is that your breakthrough is closer than you think the moment you want to give up.

Over to the tips.

MOTIVATE YOURSELF
At the point where all you want to do is just to throw in the towel, ask yourself this question “what made you go into it?” When you can point out the reason for embarking on that endeavour, motivate yourself to press on. Constantly encourage yourself to go on, remind yourself daily of your passions, and constantly uproot thoughts that would want to pull you down.

DON’T EXPECT RESULTS RIGHT AWAY
One reason I always wanted to give up was that for everything I do, I always wanted instantaneous results. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t expect result; of what benefit is working at something without expecting results. What I’m wanting to point out is that results may not come right away, and if you set your hearts to get result straight-up, you might be disappointed. For instance, if Thomas Edison had given up because he did not get results all the time he tried, he may not have been the one to invent the light bulb.

KEEP HOLDING ON
A song writer has this to say:

“I can’t just give up now, gone too far from where I started from nobody told me the road won’t be easy,but I don’t believe you brought me this far to leave me.”

One thing that should constantly keep you going at that dire moment when all you want to do is to surrender is to constantly remind yourself that you’ve come too far from where you started, and you’ve got no choice but to hold on. I tell you, you won’t hold on for too long before the ray of light will shine again. There is always a silver lining in every cloud, and light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep holding on.

TRY AND TRY AGAIN
The best thing you can do for yourself is to be resilient in everything you do. You have no choice but to learn perseverance. When you see yourself failing at what you are doing over and over again, keep trying over and over again, for by so doing. Never have the mindset of quitting. To be honest with you, it might not be easy to keep trying, but you just have to persevere.

SPEAK OUT
A common quote says “a problem shared is half-solved.” By talking to trusted people about what you’re passing through, you might be able to get help that would take you out of the problem you’re passing through. Not speaking out was my undoing, and I constantly groaned under the weight I carried in silence until I found the strength to speak out.

All in all, the moment the thought of giving up crosses your mind, the best thing to do is to uproot it immediately. To conclude, Panam Percy Paul said,

“don’t give up, it’s not over; when you give up, then it’s over; hold on to the Lord, and trouble not your heart; even if you fail, it’s not over.

THE 3 H’S OF SUCCESS

Success is an earnest desire of everyone. From students, to career persons, couples, and even parents, there is an innate desire in everyone to be successful.

What exactly is success? The dictionary makes us to understand success to mean the achievement of one’s aim or goal. Success actually has a wider meaning than this.

To this end, it happened that I attended a thanksgiving service in honour of a friend, and during the period of exhortation, the rhema, which the Pastor released to the ears willing to hear was incredible, and as the writer that I am, I brought out my phone and began to jot some notes, which now turned out to be a post I have decided to share with you. You might not have been there in person, but I’ll do the honours of sharing some life changing rhema’s with you.

During the course of the exhortation, the thing that really caught my attention and kept me meditating was what the Pastor called the 3 H’s of success.

Surprised right? what is 3 H’s again? You’ve probably heard of 4 D’s and SQ3R and what have you. What exactly is 3 H’s. Well! The 3 H’s have to do with the following;

HEART: What your heart cannot conceive, your hands cannot utilize. The problem with so many people is that they have not allowed their hearts to conceive the success they desire. Hence, they have not been able to achieve it. The Bible makes us understand that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. This shows a perfect usefulness of the heart in a bid to achieve success

There is also a need for the heart to be connected to God so as to receive discernment, illumination and creative knowledge to achieve success. When your heart is disconnected from God, you cannot achieve through success.

HOOK: Your hook has to do with your passion; that or those particular thing(s) that envelopes and takes you out of the ordinary to the extraordinary. The thing that consumes you and sets you doing things effortlessly is your passion, and you will definitely excel in your passion no matter what it takes. You have no business pursuing anything you do not have volition for. The reason many are poor today is because they are merely photocopying machines: they are yet to discover who they really are, and all they
do is merely desiring to be like others, not finding their passion.

To achieve success, God wants you to rediscover Him and rediscover yourself, then you see yourself set on the pedestal of success.

HAND: People are not achieving success nowadays because they fail to take initiative of what God is laying on their hearts per time. Many people have failed not because they do not have what it takes to excel, but because they have refused to get something done with their hands. They are grossly undisciplined.

Working with your hand, you have to be bold, be courageous, ‘doubt your doubts’ and pay the price so as to get to the top.

In conclusion, constantly remind yourself that what you need to succeed is right inside you: there is a seed within you waiting to be exposed to the appropriate growth condition and environment for it to become a big tree someday.

Go and succeed. We’re only permitted to see each other on the success lane. GO AND SUCCEED.

If this impacted you, please do well to share.

HARASSMENT: HIS FAULT OR MINE?

We live in such a decadent time where sexual harassment has no respect for dressing, age, status and even sex. In time past, girls that were often harassed were shaded for dressing like whores, hence attracted sexual predators to themselves.

Well, the world has journeyed past that stage as we now have sexual predators preying on all sorts of people, ladies being the worst hit of this menace.

Whether or not you dress like a prostitute or you are fully clad like a church girl or Alhaja, the randy predators seeking ladies to devour will still go hunting seeking preys.

It was a bright Friday morning when I went to the Human Resource manager of the company I worked so as to get some stamped documents I needed. On getting there, I met two other guys which were set to take their leave, and upon entry into the office, I was sensitive to the look the HR cast on me.

I gave a wry smile and thought within me that “this man as met his match today.” As the guys left, a lady walked in. Before now, he walked the guys out, and eavesdropping on their conversation, I deciphered that the guys have rubbed his palm with a token of #500. He payed attention to the lady who came in after me, abandoning my documents.

Upon the exit of the lady, he began quizzing me as to the church I attend, and he began ranting saying he is sure I have a man I am seeing. His basis for this cheap suggestion was as a result of my accessories- merely a phone and a bag.

He went further with an unsolicited advice saying that I shouldn’t follow young guys, that won’t cater for me nor treasure me, I merely acknowledged him with a nod, and he pressed further to say that I should go out with men like him.

There was an interruption by a lady who came in for the same documents I came for, and he responded to her, keeping me on hold. The lady left, and he changed the direction of the conversation to sexual matters, and at long last stamping my documents, telling me to wait in his office for another document which had been exhausted. I pondered within, “wait in your office?” It can’t happen.

At this time, the company was near empty and I knew it would be sheer foolishness to remain within danger zone. He eventually let me be
and said he would give me a call to inform me as to when to come for the letter. He further requested that I drop my number so we could talk better, that he has a lot to talk to me about.

I just really thank God for wisdom in responding to his questions. Need I say that all this happened not as a result of indecent dressing. I was well clad, and would be easily recognised as a member of on of these SU churches, yet I was still harassed by one randy HR.

Reported by Olanipekun Deborah.

Editor: Esho Kemi.

Photo credit: fairygoodboss.com

BREAKING OFF FROM INFERIORITY COMPLEX IN 2018 AND BEYOND

Inferiority complex was something I battled with right from my days in primary school, secondary school and shortly after I gained admission to the university. I can’t really point to how it started exactly, but all I know is that many things happened in my life that are factors; from being sent back to my previous class for inability to read, and being publicly embarrassed by a teacher for not wearing my shoes properly as a primary 2 student, my many average scores in junior secondary school, and a desire to fit in and just be accepted by people.

I was an extremely shy person and never wanted to relate with anyone because I felt I was not up to their standard and would therefore be rejected. I was more of a follower of people’s opinion about me and what I thought about myself mattered less. Lest I forget, I was a bunch of negative; I hardly said anything good: my statements were often laced with ‘I can’t’ amongst others. It was so bad I saw myself as no good because I constantly compared myself with people around.

I’m so glad I’m walking out of it and over time building my confidence, and I’d love you to take this journey along with me as we begin a new year, and even beyond the new year.

According to Wikipedia, inferiority complex is the lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty about oneself, and feelings of not measuring up to standards. The dictionary makes us understand that it is the feeling that one is inferior to others in certain aspect.
Inferiority complex may have been developed as a result of a faulty foundation during childhood, for instance: bullying, living with judgmental and critical people, or exposure to negative information. It could also be developed at an older age due to inability to fulfill goal set, which eventually results in feelings of inadequacy.

Inferiority complex is capable of limiting a person as s/he is unable to explore his/her potentials due to feelings of inadequacy or rejection. It also goes a long way in affecting a person’s relational skill: s/he finds it difficult to have healthy relationships for fear of being judged by others. It also affects a person in work related environment as such person may find it difficult to relate freely with colleagues.

To have a productive and balanced life, it is expedient that we check out from this unhealthy habit, as well as strike a healthy balance so as to avoid getting to the other extreme of superiority complex. The main goal is to develop a healthy self-esteem that speaks for you wherever you find yourself.

So what are the steps to checking out of inferiority complex in 2018, and on a larger scale, beyond 2018.

LOCATE THE ROOT OF YOUR INFERIORITY COMPLEX.

As stated earlier, it could have started at a young age or at a more advanced age. In my case, it began while I was a lot younger. I faced embarrassment, had failures and in some cases rejection. This followed me till I was in the university, as I constantly felt inadequate and of no use. I never believed I could do well in whatever I set my heart to because I did not have much achievements until I was in senior secondary school which did not change much. Finding the reason for your being inferior will give you a headway on how to overcome it.

DEAL WITH THE ROOT OF YOUR INFERIORITY COMPLEX.

You don’t just stop at locating the root. Nothing much will happen if you just locate it and leave it there. The best it does is that it gives you the idea of a problem, but it doesn’t solve the problem. The next important step is to deal with the root of your problem. Perhaps, you found out that the source of your inferiority complex is as a result of comparing yourself with others, excessive desire to be like others, fear of what others think about you, focusing on your flaws more than you do your strengths, and what have you. In my case, I used to compare myself a lot, want to be like people I feel are better than me, as well as fear of what people think or will say about me.

What you have to do is to consciously do the opposite of the cause of your inferiority complex. If you compare yourself with people a lot, make a deliberate effort to stop it. If yours is fear of what people might think about you, ingrain it in your subconscious that what others might think doesn’t matter, and it is only what you think about yourself that matters. Here, you need to have positive thoughts about yourself for this to yield positive results.

DETERMINE TO DEVELOP A HEALTHY SELF ESTEEM.

Having dealt with the source of the inferiority complex, the next thing is not to relapse, but to build your self-esteem to a healthy level where it speaks well for you. Developing a healthy self-esteem is not going to be an easy one because of past thoughts ingrained in your subconscious that has to be consciously exhumed.

In developing a healthy self-esteem, you have to make a deliberate effort to work on yourself, thoughtfully uprooting negative thoughts planted in your subconscious and discreetly implanting positive thoughts in your mind. You also need to surround yourself with positive people, because the type of people you surround yourself with will affect the rate of your growth. There is also the need to improve your social interactions with people, as well as confront your fears.

With this few tips, I know we are well equipped to ditch inferiority complex, while embarking on a journey to building a healthy self-esteem.

BEGINNING 2018 ON A CLEAN SLATE

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43: 18,19.

Yeah, I understand that in the past, you faced many things; challenging and bad times, good times, times when things were not as expected, but you just had to pull through and get your head above the waters of life. You might have even felt like throwing in the towel at a point in time, and at another time you were in a very high spirit due to one achievement or the other.

Many things have definitely happened, that I can say assuredly. Many waters have passed under the bridge, but you were not swept away by it.

Now, can you do me a favour? Let us put all that has happened, particularly the rough and hard times, and face this new glorious year with a new zest and pure mindset of greater and better things ahead.

Coming into a new year, let us not just see it as just another year, a random, regular stuff that happens year in year out. Let us approach this novel transition with a new mindset. One thing is that 2017 is gone, and can never be again, it can only be remembered in archives and perhaps diaries. However, 2018 offers you a new opportunity and a wider platform to achieve all it is that you have in your heart to do.

My fellow survivors, let us face this new year with much gusto. Drop old habits, poor mindset, grizzled behaviours and what have you; it won’t help if you really desire change this year. One thing I’d love us to do is to journey beyond the past and begin to sojourn into the future picking up new habits as well as developing new mindsets that would launch us to greater things this time around.

The Bible makes me understand that it is not possible to put old wine into new bottle, else the bottle will break. New wine is put in new bottles so that both the wine and the bottle will be preserved. Now my question to you is that hope you are not planning to put old wine into a new bottle? The consequence is not always palatable, so please change your mind, it is not too late.

I this day urge you to choose to start this novel year on a fresh start and consider not the former things. It is also not too late to drop the luggage of sin and carry the easy yoke of Christ.

HAVE A PROSPEROUS BRAND NEW YEAR.

I LOVE YOU ALL.

TOWARDS A PRODUCTIVE 2018

In the past 365 days, we’ve set so many goals; some achieved, others yet to be achieved. There were times we wanted to loaf around doing nothing, other times we are enthusiastic about fulfilling the goals we’ve set. There are times of productivity and times we were grossly unproductive. I’m sure we have all passed through this phases, haven’t we?

Well, we are embarking on another 365 day journey come 2018, do we wish to remain just as we are or we wish to make tremendous improvement in the coming year? The journey to become more productive all year-long is the crux of this post, and ways to go about this.

Casting my mind back, I realised I was grossly unproductive; I was always busy, but what I was busy doing could not be accounted for. At a point, I had to sit back to highlight what exactly was going on, as well as proffer better solutions to become a better version of me. So briefly, I’ll be sharing some of the things I highlighted.

FEAR OF FAILURE: A person who is afraid to fail never gets to try out new things, you remain stuck in routine. What most people do not understand is that the more you get used to doing routine stuffs, it drains your enthusiasm and eventually leaves you just as you are or a less productive. Do you know you can do old regular stuffs in new ways, being innovative and creative makes us want to do more. Failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts. Stretch out your wings as wide as you can and fly without limitations.

PERFECTIONISM: This is an unwillingness to settle for anything less than perfection. To be honest, I’m a sucker for perfection; I always want to get it once, even if it is my first try. Being a perfectionist is not all together bad, but one thing it could lead to is you not doing anything at all because you want to get it once. Remember, it is constant practice that makes perfection. Your first may not be the best, but with constant practice you will surely be the best. There is every possibility that you remain inert if you are such a lover of perfection at first hit. Please just go ahead with what you want to do and give room for improvement.

PROCRASTINATION: It is a common knowledge that procrastination is ‘a thief of time’, yet many still find delight in procrastinating; I’m sometimes guilty of this though. The amount of time you invest in the valuable things you do goes a long way to determine the level of your productivity. The best time to do whatever you want to do is NOW, there is no better time for such time may not surface again. The best thing you can do for yourself in this coming year is to be determined to ditch procrastination.

VAGUE/NO GOALS
: If we aim at nothing, we will definitely hit it. When we set unclear goals, or in the extreme case, we set no goals at all, we live life as it comes, we aren’t able to measure your progress, and we will never know where we need improvements in our lives. A life without a goal is like a ball on a pitch that lacks direction; it can be easily tossed around, therefore making such goal unproductive.

WISHFUL THINKING:
If wishes were horses, beggars will ride. The best way to move forward in life is to quit wishing and start doing. You can never achieve anything by merely wishing, you got to put yourself to work. Also, quit the what if’s: “what if it doesn’t work, what if I’m not accepted. what if, what if, what if…” All these doesn’t help, it only succeeds in keeping you stagnated.

SELF-DOUBT: The worst thing you can do to yourself is to doubt yourself and your abilities. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? The mistake people often make is seeking for validation and motivation from others; I’ve been there before, and it did me more harm than good. First off, if people don’t see anything you are doing, then what is there to be validated. If you continue seeking for validation, you might be grey before any comes, if any comes at all. Be your self-motivator, you are the major determinant of how far you can go. Believe in God, believe in yourself, and keep moving, keep doing.

Let this be at the back of your mind, if you aim at nothing, you will always have nothing to target let alone hitting it. As the new year unfolds, get something doing, and get going; don’t be afraid of slow progress, just be afraid of standing still.

HAVE A PRODUCTIVE NEW YEAR AHEAD.