Happy New Year to anyone reading this blog, I pray that the start of the New Year meets you well, everyone is back to work, back to school, probably 10 pounds heavier, this is when the new year resolutions start kicking in, lose weight, eat healthy, start going to church more often, endless declarations come in of how 2018 will be your year of breakthrough, abundance, insert whatever grandiose superlative you wish to describe 2018.
To be honest I don’t have any New Year resolutions this year, this year I will be turning 30 in May, so 2018 is actually quite a big year for me, this year is the first time in my life I started thinking about legacy and what I want to have 20, 30 years from now, maybe I am growing up I don’t really know, I find that a new year’s resolution has to be something that moves you towards a long-term goal of what you actually want your life to look like in a few years’ time, guaranteed 2018 may very well be your year, but what about 2020, 2036, 2050?!, New year’s resolutions are great and a good kick-start, but they are too short-term, for me anyway, nevertheless 2018 can still be your year if you so desire, these tips are what I plan to implement in my life, please don’t quote me and don’t get mad, if come 31st December 2018, and you realize 2018 ,was actually a pretty tough year for you, all good things will come in due time, to them who work hard, are expectant and trust the Lord.
Stay off social media
Hmmm even as I am writing this I know I this is for me, social media is great for entertainment, distraction, business, networking, gossiping, being up to speed with what is going on but very bad for personal development, very bad. Firstly, it is a waste of time on mindless activity that really doesn’t add value, unless you are very mindful of who you follow and what content you allow to enter into your consciousness, chances are you are being sub-consciously fed a lot of images and words that really don’t add a significant value to your personal development, yes I know there are weight loss gurus, spiritual counsellors and a host of other content that offer help and inspiration to people’s life, but by and large it’s mostly just endless gossip we go to read at Theshaderoom or instablog9ja,once in a while escapism is good but when it becomes the order of the day there is a problem, all that time spent arguing pointlessly or passing idle comments on social media can be used to pursue your passions, chase your dreams, hell even just sleeping is better than spending idle time on social media. Another problem I have is that social media encourages hive mentality and encourages us to seek social validation unnecessarily, how many times have you seen (I’m guilty of this too) , so many people jump on various bandwagon just because it is trending, without understanding the critical nuances that are involved in a situation, resist the urge to repost or repeat what you see just because it is popular or trending, try to think critically about why such and such is happening, and honestly share less, most especially about your personal life, there was a time when people got engaged, got married, got divorced, died without people who weren’t close to them not knowing a thing about this, times have changed, as a growing business owner I love social media, as someone who loves to write and has a curious mind I love social media, but I’m beginning to develop a disdain for the unhealthy ego trip and feeding of my vanity that it sometimes may provide to me unknowingly, the truth is that the exposure of social media has led to countless growth in opportunities for SME’s, but somethings need to stay personal and private, not only do you need to be careful about the losses you share, but also your successes you are exposing pieces of you to countless numbers of people who don’t even know you personally, but are making judgments about your personality based on the images and words you put out, you are letting people into your lives everyday whether you choose to recognize it or not, be very calculated about your image and presence, you also have to be careful to ensure that, you are not building a persona online that is really not you, don’t get carried away by the likes and the comments, be sure that who you are online is who you are in real life, before there was Instagram there was MySpace, and after Instagram/twitter/snapchat there will be something else don’t get too caught up in the hype, anything more than 20 minutes a day on social media minus posting or responding to dm’s is a waste of time, if it’s not making you money then it really doesn’t make any sense to spend that long on social media apps I’m sorry.
Embrace your differences
You must learn to be comfortable with the things that make you different, we all cannot be the same, and we all come with our individual quirks and that is what makes us who we are. I have always felt my entire life,like I have never really fit in. Most people don’t know this, (maybe they do), but by nature I’m a loner and i am also an ambivert which means, i have both introverted and extroverted traits which makes me always feel like I’m in between. The truth is what we are always searching and looking for something/someone who is different, nobody wants the status quo, even Jesus wasn’t the status quo in his time.
There is a reason and a purpose why God made you the way you are, you must get comfortable with yourself, do not try to fit into a box that was not made for you, what works for Tola may not work for Chioma. Take time to learn and study yourself, pick friends that make you feel that it’s ok to be you, surround yourself with people who validate and see you for who you are, there is a reason why Beyoncé is Beyoncé there is no other female in her industry who is quite like her. Don’t waste time wishing you were someone else or you had someone’s looks, or their charm or their elegance, or their intelligence, or their taste in fashion, that only breeds envy and you start looking down on yourself and soon enough low self-esteem will begin to fester. Always remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are unique and one of a kind, for as long as the earth has been and will be, there will be nobody ever like you, you came to earth with your own unique assignment and calling, you were destined to have a particular career path, meet a particular partner, and reflect your creator in your own way, why would you want to trade that for being at best a poor copy of someone else.
Read a lot
Finding time to read is hard, finding spare time to do anything these days is hard, most especially books, most of us have sworn off books since we left school, but the truth is that knowledge is great power, and in order to acquire knowledge you have to read. Make time this year to read, I know it’s very common this time of the year for us to focus on self-help books but don’t stop there please, read as extensively as you can and as time permits, if you ever wanted to learn how to cook certain dishes etc. find a book and read, if you ever wanted to know how the world operates find a book on politics and read in 2018, vow to be knowledgeable. Don’t let your information on politics be solely based on CNN or Facebook, or anything else for that matter, even read fiction and romance novels because honestly they make you more imaginative, and who knows what kind of creativity can be sparked from imaginative thinking.
Self-First Others Next
Invest in yourself first and foremost in 2018, helping people is great and all and I encourage it, but fill your own cup first, are you always the first one people run to when they need advice? , When they need help when the bill is due?, when they need you to do this or that favor and you are all too willing to pick up their calls, be at their beck and call, listen as they talk incessantly about their plans and their problems, this needs to stop in 2018, you have to learn how to be selfish with your energy and how much of yourself you give to people. By all means help, but sometimes learn to say no when you are truly incapacitated, don’t say yes just because you don’t want the person to think you are not a bad person or wicked, the truth is that it is that if you are always there for other people can you honestly say they will be there for you the same way when the chips are down? 2018 is the year you focus on your own self, your own dreams, your own goals, your own desires, the truth is that nobody cares about you more than you do, nobody cares about your goals and dreams like you do, hell most of your friends may be supportive and say nice kind encouraging words now and again but the truth is that they too are chasing their own dreams, they too want their own name in lights, friends are good and if you have really good friendships honor and cherish them, but do not let their lives and problems consume yours, there is nothing wrong with limiting social interactions that do not benefit your life goals, there is nothing wrong with cutting off people who are more interested in taking than they are at giving, there is nothing wrong in cutting off people who only seem to want to gossip all the time, who never offer constructive criticism to your ideas (yes you need to surround yourself with people that are not yes men/women), please don’t feel sorry if you don’t feel like hanging around certain people because you have outgrown certain behaviors that no longer suit your purpose, recognize the season you are in and realize with seasons come people, know who is there for a season and what purpose will they serve.
Develop a daily spiritual practice
I didn’t want to put this first so that I don’t scare people away from reading this. Now I’m not going to force-feed religion down anybody’s throat, faith is based on personal conviction done by the Holy Spirit that is not my job. Having a daily spiritual practice is necessary, you don’t have to be a Christian, but we all have a soul that’s needs to be nourished. We live in a world that has completely dedicated to focusing on the material, we workout endlessly, we eat ‘’clean’’, we buy nice clothes, we look good and take care of the outside, but we forget the part of us that is largely unseen and mostly unnoticed, how do we nourish our soul, I believe having a daily spiritual practice is important, having some quiet time with God even if it is 10-15 mins daily, listening to hymns, gospel music, reading your bible, meditation whatever it is, just a short time you set aside every day to nourish and feed your spirit will help to keep you centered,whole and happy, you need something to remind you that there is more to life that what we see and more importantly to connect with your creator because from him flows the source of all life. Our time on earth is so short I can vaguely remember my teen years and yet I am here almost going to be 30 in a few months, choose to spend each day wisely, by starting the day right with a solid spiritual practice, there will come a point where you get so used to it you won’t be able to start you day without it.
I really wish 2018 is the year for all those who read this blog, I wish and I pray that it is the year where all the things you desire for yourself come to pass, but more importantly I wish it a year of tremendous personal growth and development, a year where you discover your life’s purpose and fully live it and become all your creator destined you to be.