Saturday, July 26, 2014

FRAGRANCE OR ODOUR?


(PLS note that the word ‘odour’ is herein used in its negative sense; a foul, unpleasant smell)

Around everyone there’s a smell. For some, its an odour, others it’s a fragrance. Over time it will reflect and come to be identified with us, just like the company we keep.

The above is a slight modification of the words of my pastor back in my University of Ibadan days. He said it at every meeting so it stuck in my head but it never really meant more than the sense it made since he never went ahead to build on it.

Now, about 5years after, it has come to life in the center of my current thoughts.

I have loads of ‘friend’ requests lined up on my facebook page. They’ve been there for days, weeks, some months; and they keep coming in. Most of them destined to be ignored.
I became ‘selective’ and started sieving the people I let into my world of friends on facebook when I hit 1,000 friends.
It wasn’t pride, no.

I had simply come to understand that friendship isn’t meant to be a passive concept and friends couldn’t possibly be dormant (even when you’re not in constant touch). Just by being friends, people either make or mar you.


Today I received a friend request from an unfamiliar name with whom I only had 2 mutual friends (usually I would consider the number of friends we share and what kind of things you have up on your wall before any other thing). See, 2 mutual friends to me means we never shared a common activity that spanned long enough for us to have become friends. Acquaintances maybe, but you are not my friend. So I was all set to delete the request when I decided to check who our mutual friends are.

Adelusi Oluwatobi and Tosin Ayo are mutual friends...
And I clicked “confirm friend”

It struck me instantly how I had made up my mind and changed it in less than 60seconds and it was because of just two persons.
Of course I had requests from people with whom I shared about 45mutual friends and they were never added because somewhere in my subconscious I had come to attach more value to these two people than 45 of my past school mates put together without even thinking about it.

Really, it wasn’t them afterall. It was the VALUE that they represented.
The last time I saw Tobi Adelusi was 2012 and I don’t even remember last ‘seeing’ Tosin Ayo (so I’m not selling either of them, just putting up their names for originality sake) but I get to view their daily posts on facebook and it always bores down to VALUE.

So here’s what happened in my head within those sixty seconds;
Click! Hmmm, I don’t remember you and we only have 2 friends in common so you probably don’t mean much to me… but hey, wait a minute, if these two are your friends, then you’re either a person of value or you appreciate people of value enough to keep company with them. Either way, you’re on your way to greatness so you can be in my circle.
And click!

As simple, short and ordinary as that may come across, it is just that much and not more that opens doors in our real lives outside of social media and its immense pretense culture.

In reality, the bulk of our ‘wealth’ and pass key to places are in the people around us. You don’t always have it all but I can conveniently say that with the circle of friends I have, there’d always be someone to call (even if I have to chain link millions of people) to give me a car ride, a good word of advice, some extra capital for my business or cash in my pocket, a place to stay in a strange town, a link to Mr president (yes ke) if I genuinely need any of these and more.


Sometimes, it’s not just the ‘who’ but the ‘what’s we have around us. Between my laptop, my phone (not internet connected o) and just three out of my wealth of friends I believe I can have any information I need (Frank Edoho can try me and see…hehehe).

What’s on your laptop and phones?
 Movies? I love movies (got tons of them) but are they the kinds that educate or just entertain you?
Music? We all love some music but do the lyrics stimulate your mind or just your body?

I have to go. Check your circle. If what you have there isn’t making you any better than you are by yourself, get up and out. Find yourself a better circle.

They say a single tree couldn’t possibly make a forest but I always knew that even a thousand withered bitterleaf ‘trees’ cant make more than a mini bush.

Bukola T. Odu
Thinkntell

Thursday, November 28, 2013

THE CRITIC’S AUDIENCE



'Baby watsup?'
I had barely opened my fb page when it popped up. I fumed and spoke to my laptop screen.
“What is wrong with people? What am I even doing with over a thousand friends on facebook?”15percent of whom I don’t even personally know (yes, I am guilty of that).
Tired of the annoying posts and chats, I decided to go on an ‘unfriending’ spree and as I clicked to open my friends list, I had a thought.
Picture this:
       A dancer. Her gait beautiful in motion. Hips like the perfect curve of a master craftsman’s pottery. Her waist thin and flexible like the tail of a boneless fish.
The stage is her territory; Extensive and undisturbed. Under a single spotlight with her music in her head, she moves with the boldness of a lion, the stealth of a snake, the elegance and pride of a peacock.
The beginnings of a sweat mixed with the concentrated frown on her brow tells the story of focus. The ease in her carriage speaks of experience and mastery.
She knows her art. She is her art.
Slowly, the dance comes to an end. Spent and breathless, she bows. But in the place of an applause is silence.
Here’s my thought; such a dramatic waste! For all the talent and beauty put into the performance, the dancer was unaware of the absence of her audience till the very end; and such is the life most of us live until the day we pause to take a reality test (usually a little late).
I have had the privilege in my life to meet and work with so many talented persons. Men and women who are skilled in their art and will give anything to deliver to perfection. Question is: to whom do you deliver?
It is so easy when deciding our ‘peeps’ to say things like;
A is so razz and disrespectful.
B is so slutty.
C has got no class.
D’s English embarrasses me.
E is too ungodly and indecent.
F stabbed me in the back and gossips too much.
G is fat and inelegant…….bla bla
If we on the basis of what we currently see and where we are decide to do away with every ‘less than suitable’ person, who then will appreciate our suitability?
If as the light of the world all that surrounds you are equally light, how do you expect to shine in the absence of darkness?
If you do not understand my point, understand this one thing; we live in a world where everyone is needed. Good, bad and ugly, we rely on each other for identity. Some are made for the stage, others are best at applauding and encouraging but it doesn’t make one better than the other. Tell the performer to rush off the stage after a performance to applaud himself and you’ll know what I mean.
PS: I deleted that particular ‘friend’ of mine anyway. I’m not his baby. I’m not a hypocrite either. I’m just an advocate of balance and moderation.


Bukola Odu.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

THE THING ABOUT MOMENTUM


I guess everyone has their anxiety switch and I’ve got mine. One of the things that turn on the red light in my head is when my middle (tummy and waist) begins to expand. I’m not a chubby person so it flips me out to have a big tummy with a small everything else. Anyways, I noticed I had to fight my way into the top of my church dress on Sunday and then my jean yesterday…….red light! So I decided to start running in the mornings (the thing about law school is that your every minute is planned and you do more of mental work than physical activity so except from walking the short distance between the necessary places, you get little or no exercise).
Life in NLS
 
In many ways, I saw life in that 45minute exercise and by the time it was over I had learnt some things. Things like:
1)      That instant before you start

My plan was to be ready at 5.30am then flash my friend to come out of his hostel (I had made an arrangement with a friend the previous day and he had given me a lecture about how he would leave without me if I wasn’t ready and out by 5.30). sure I was ready but he wasn’t and didn’t come out of his hall for another 15minutes during which I had enough reasons (or so I think) to crawl right back into the comfort of my bed. The dawn breeze was chilly and surely I couldn’t run with a jacket, steve(my friend) didn’t appear to be coming and I wasn’t going to risk going round the school by myself at barely dawn plus all the street lights and the hostel lights were out. It was dark and intimidating and just the right situation for me to relapse into my procrastination business and wait till tomorrow. Life is like that. Every new or unusual venture comes across as intimidating at first but should you consider that and wait for the perfect union of timing, resources and zeal, you’re simply never going to start.
2)      Keeping to the tracks
      
The first thing Steve told me was to start really slow (the path from the hostel was untarred and bumpy and we couldn’t see) but me feeling hyped about my run and of course wanting to prove that I’m athletic decided to go on at my own pace. I’d barely gone a full 60seconds when I tripped and landed on the ground (the dude didn’t even tell me sorry). Of course, I’d learnt my lesson. When starting out on a new path, excitement and previous knowledge isn’t always enough of a match against experience. For a little while, you might wanna follow a well laid pattern and take some good useful instructions.
3)      You’re not alone
Of course, the only reason I needed steve around was so I wont be the only one out by myself while the school slept but as I waited outside my hostel, two people walked past me into the dark, we met two other people after we eventually set out and I later saw an aerobics class going on at the field (they had definitely been there before I came out). As we set out to take up unfamiliar activities, its only natural that we might have to start alone but trust me, you’re never the only one on that path. After a while, you either meet up with people who have gone ahead or someone coming from behind you catches up. Either way, you’ll find like minds at some point if you keep moving in the right path.
4)      Out of breath
I’d always been one for keeping fit and exercising but skipping, stretches and sit ups are just about it. I never run for exercise. 5minutes into my run, I was fairly certain I wasn’t going to make it round the school and if I did, I’d made up my mind it wont be more than once. It felt like the air was blowing tiny needles right into my throat and with every breath I drew in, my throat burned. My heart was beating so fast it would probably burst out of my chest any minute and my legs felt shaky (especially after my fall) but I kept at it. By the time I was through the first round, I’d started floating (I was light) and so I went the second round. Steve had been running for a while and he circles the school twice; I’d just started and in one day I did just as much as he because I kept at it. If you stop each time you seem or feel out of sync or breath, you’d never know how far you can go or your potential in that area, field, profession or business but if you push yourself just a little farther with each step, you feel natural at it after a while.
5)      Shedding
       
As the sweat poured out of me, I realized I was each step closer to getting my figure back. I was shedding the excesses in my body which I did not need. When I was reading up on my weight loss options, I’d read that running not only helps you work up a sweat, it speeds up the rate of your heartbeat so that it pumps blood faster and your organs work better at burning excess fat and bla bla. There’s a Yoruba adage that twenty children cannot remain playmates for twenty years. This I believe is because as they grow, their distinct personalities begin to show and clash, experience and desires differ and gradually they don’t have much common ground to keep together. As we keep moving in life, we shed away the things and people who are not relevant to our life. Some might be dear to us but if they’re not helping to move that stage of our life along, they’re definitely going to be a baggage and the lesser the baggage, the easier it is to move along but when we don’t move, we unconsciously cling to the present and keep getting bigger in stagnancy.
6)      Gaining
While I set out only to run, I returned to my room with renewed confidence and this article in my head. With every step I took and everything I noticed, one new paragraph took shape in my head and soon it wasn’t just a run anymore. As we move along in life, we begin to see and experience new things while the ones we had hitherto known and seen now have entirely new meanings to us if we’re open to seeing it from a motion angle.
At the end of my run, I knew one thing for sure, I’ll do it again tomorrow and the day after and the next and this time if steve doesn’t come out early, I’mma be doing the leaving behind.

PS: I need to buy running shoes or go get the ones I left in Lagos before I destroy my cute green Ted Baker sneakers (not showing off or anything) *wink*

Bukola Odu
TWIS

Saturday, March 3, 2012

TAMING ‘ME’


‘That’s just me being me’.
        It’s one of the worst and most used clich├ęs I’ve come across in my lifetime. We use it to excuse the stupid things we do. When we do people wrong and would rather not apologise for our idiocy. When we don’t want to push ourselves to get a better result but would rather stay in our comfort zone(s). when we just refuse to conform to the ‘norm’ in our environment (which could be positive at times).
I’m one of the people who finds a reason every day to be grateful to God for the way I am. Not that I’m perfect (absolutely not) but I most certainly adore myself. I believe in the power of the individual very much and as such am fascinated with ME. But then again, even I recognize that little pal ME has a huge tendency to become rather self-indulgent and go overboard at times:
Sometimes, there is a need to tame ME:

When ME hurts others without thinking about it:
There’s a saying in law that ‘your right to scratch your nose ends where my right to protect my nose begins’ (in other words, you’re allowed to scratch your nose but don’t elbow me in the face while at it). One of the downsides of being the lastborn in a yoruba home is that I started cooking for the family and doing practically all the house chores when I was barely 12 so I basically grew up a ‘caretaker’. So on some days, I wake up seeking only to do something for myself and just be selfish for once and Lord knows I need it occasionally or I would just go insane. That’s just ok but watch out for the times when in your bid to have your complete 3-square meal you walk past someone who’s still hoping for just one or spill sand in theirs. Insensitivity I have discovered is a kind of sensitivity too; except that it is sensitivity only to one’s self.

When ME postpones growth
I love ME days or as some people call it ME time. I get to do all the things I love to do but haven’t done in a while because I have to do other serious things like read ahead of my bar exams or write an article I have to submit at work or cook for my family. Left to me, I’d rather just sit around and watch movies all day or listen to music and fantasize about my big future. To some people, everyday is ‘me’ day. Pushing things that help your future till tomorrow because ‘they just don’t seem appealing right now’. Trust me, they never do; that’s why we’d rather read a novel than read a textbook or a bible and we could sit through an entire season of the 24 series in a day but not through a sermon or a 3hour lecture. Weigh your activities. If you find you’ve been putting off too many important things for the easy stuff just cos you’re waiting to ‘feel like it’, I think its time to tame ME.

When ME is someone else
If you can attach most of the things you do and call ‘me’ to one person or the other and even though you love doing those things, you find they’re not originally your ideas and you would otherwise have not done them then I think your ‘me’ needs some cheking and redefining.

When ME always takes but never gives
That’s the worst and unfortunately most common human trait. Odd that its easy to not notice it. We look to people hoping to receive. We wait to be greeted but get angry when someone walks past us without saying hi, dress to be complemented but we wouldn’t tell a person they look good just so they don’t think too much of themselves. We pray to be forgiven but demand an apology for every wrong done to us. We want showers of blessing but would only pay tithe when its not a chunk of our salary or when all other expenses have been sorted out and we’re sure to be secure for a while. We wouldn’t say a simple ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ to the hairdresser, the gateman or the supermarket attendant because we pay them afterall but we expect our boss to repect us because we work hard and dress corporate anyway.

When ME is self indulgent
There’s a difference between having a life of your own (being able to do things alone and achieve much with standalone efforts even in the absence of company) and being supercilious (contemptuously indifferent and arrogant). Its ok to have a life not necessarily linked to another’s like the dependence of Siamese twins conjoined in the head but when you begin to see people as pawns on a chessboard who are of no importance and lifeless except you chose to move them at will, ME is in need of taming.

When ME is afraid
Sometimes we want things so badly and deep down inside we know we can do it but on the outside, everyone agrees that we’re the quiet reserved one who doesn’t want much out of life because we wont show it. Like when you realize you just cant step away from the mirror when you’re alone because it’s the only one that knows how well you can act but you’d never act in church or take up a role in a class presentation. You write beautifully but its all in your journal locked up somewhere and you say things like ‘that journal is my life’. No offence but I think your ‘me’ sucks and needs suppressing for a bolder ‘me’ to take over.

My opinion; be who you are as much as you can but take a break from time to time to see the world around you. Don’t desire things so much that it makes you harm another or forget the inconsistency that life represents. Don’t get too comfortable; you could swap places with anyone in the blink of an eye so in whichever place you find your ‘me’, let there be balance.

Bukola T. Odu
TWIS

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID...




My father (whom I adore and respect so much and whose jawline I completely took) used to say that none of his female children would ever wear trousers during his lifetime. Today, the only skirts in my wardrobe are my native outfits and the black skirts imposed on me by the legal profession (and he’s still alive by the way).
     When I was writing my final year project (I wrote about criminal tendencies), I came across the concept of physiognomy – the assessment of a person’s character or personality from his outer appearance, especially the facial features (it was well accepted by the ancient Greek philosophers) The concept was born out of an attempt to explain the cause of crime.
According to Havelock Ellis, there was a law in medieval England which stated that ‘if two persons fell under suspicion of crime, the uglier or more deformed was to be regarded as more probably guilty’. (quote from my project. Yay!)
     Annoying and unjust as the idea is, it ruled and determined the fate of countless people whose only crime was to not have being born beautiful. This theory continued for years before it was impeached by another theory of crime.
     For years, twin children (that many people desire so much today. Me included) were considered evil among some tribes in Nigeria and so were killed in infancy. I can only wonder for how long that barbaric tradition was considered a norm before God intervened through Mary Slessor (a British missionary).
While these things have been abolished, others have taken their place in seemingly harmless modernized form. Times have changed but people are still living under the bondage of strong impressions birthed out of arbitrary opinions. I watched countless people sob like children on American Idol because Simon Cowell told them they’re horrible singers (granted that some people’s singing make you go ‘are you kidding me’?) but ‘you’re not a good singer’ is not the same as ‘you’re a horrible singer’ and it depends on which one you chose to hear. It starts from the little ones refusing to go to school because their peers and classmates call them fat. Then you begin to hear of high school students committing suicide just ‘cos a teacher tells them they’d never be good enough and then you have those adults who are cursed with the mentality that Nigeria will never be free of corruption and crime just ‘cos we’re a black nation with a black reputation.
     Funny thing is, these things did not just spring up out of nowhere and if you ask those who practice them, they often have (in some very thwarted way) ‘good’ reasons for holding such beleifs. I think its absolutely ok to have a belief but search deep and you’d find that the bulk of our beliefs these days are only handed to us either by the books we read, the movies we see or the people we have come to trust and have confidence in.
     My editorial team leader in church once said to me, ‘at 21years old, your values are pretty much fixed so be careful what you believe’. While I cant specify a date, I also agree that there’s a point in our lives when we ought to create values and solid positive opinions about ourselves and our course in life. Making a conscious decision to hand pick what rules our mind which is the center of our being and shed away what’s left after the selection.
     I’m talking about friends who would rather tell you your laughter is ‘annoyingly loud’ instead of ‘hearty’ or who would rather call you ‘talkative’ and ‘loquacious’ instead of ‘expressive’. Mentors who would tag your efforts ‘desperate’ and ‘oversabi’ rather than ‘thorough’ and ‘devoted’. Brother’s who wouldn’t let you ride their bicycle just ‘cos you’re a girl (that’s if any bicycle riding 6year old gets to read or understand this). Really cool TV personalities who sing meaningless songs and promote pre-marital sex even when they’re against your values and better judgement.
     While there’s some people and things we cant eliminate from our lives. Like our parents, our nationality, our family and friends, we can wisely create a filter in our hearts for the things they present to us.
Our opinions and ability to make choices are God’s gift to us and life is like a debate in which the winner is not the one with the better side (view) of the topic but the one with the better oratory and convincing skills. You might not be good at convincing others but you’re definitely capable of holding a definite positive perspective to life. Please do. It sucks to follow the crowd.
  
“Never let your rearview mirror be bigger than your windshield” (cant remember the original source of that but I heard it from a friend)

Bukola Odu
Buzz






Monday, February 13, 2012

MY STORY OF LOVE


Bukola Odu once wrote,
Sometimes, to hear someone’s heartbeat, you’ve to stop yours for a while. (Jeez! it feels so good to quote myself.)

I was just beginning to settle into the boredom and dryness January represents in my mind when my friend reminded me that valentine was around the corner. Not that I’ve ever been one to attach much to the day but it definitely is something to look forward to and write about too. So I decided to tell my love story……
        Me and him had been friends since we were but innocent children. They used to live in the big house next to our block and flat. One day I got left behind by the school bus and he missed his bus just to walk home with me. That’s when we became friends. We were just seven and nine I guess. Between growing up, boarding school and university we grew apart. I never even thought of him till I came home one Christmas break. As I stood on my father’s balcony, he just stared at me. It took me like 3minutes to recognize the laughing boy from across the other side. The geek glasses now replaced by a more fancy adultish one and a kind of subtle handsomeness had covered the childhood innocence. I don’t know how I knew but something told me he was the one at my door the next morning. The first two things he said to me as I opened my gate was ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘I think I want to marry you’. ‘Smug’ being my middle name, I simply answered ‘you’re still thinking about it?’. Six months later, we started dating. He’s now a doctor and I’m soon to be out of law school. It’s been 2years now and its been pure bliss…….
        Ok! You just read a one paragraph lie. Except for some few misplaced truths, that was basically fiction (you’re going to have to apply if you want to hear about my love life. Haha!). in my defence though, what I just told is what most people want to hear, read and have.
        The thing about love stories is they’re generally meant to be happy and gay all the way. No hitches, no issues, just all butterflies and isn’t that just great? To have that one perfect relationship with that one perfect person through whose eyes you see the world and who is your refuge from the insanity called life. The one into whose body you fit perfectly and whose smile ties your insides in a strong knot. We all want that.
        Personally, I always imagined a man who would make me laugh and let me love God more than him in our 20’s.

who would love me more than money in our 30’s.

Dance runnyman with me and bring me chocolate in our 40’s.

Carry me in a twirl dance in our 50’s.

French kiss me in our 60’s.

Take me on walks n tuck flowers behind my ears when we’re seventy-ish…..

Grand right? I noticed. I also noticed that its all filled with me, me, me. If he would do this for me and let me do that and give me those, bla bla bla. Truth is, most people who crave for this never get it. Not because there is no such thing but because they are unwilling to write their own love stories.
        Somewhere in the combination of Hollywood movies and the excitement of young people in love (which mostly turns out to be lust anyway), we seem to have thrown away the beautiful culture of giving and sacrificing such that when we say ‘I love him/her’, we’re actually saying I love what he gives me, how he treats me, how he makes me feel, how he looks et al. There’s almost always something attached to the way we love.
        In reality, you sometimes have to create the kind of love life you want. Just as the golden rule in life is to treat people as you want them to treat you, the rule of an enduring love is mostly to give and be what you want from the person next to you. Love is a giver and its nature is expressed in a constant desire to see the other person smile and be the cause of their every laughter. So as you celebrate this valentine, my challenge to you is to for once turn the tables and let your plans be centered on the next person and what you can do for them rather than what you expect from them. Meanwhile, let purity of heart and mind accompany your every action and keep in mind that Love comes only with the baggage of ease.

(i hope you dance-Lee Ann Womack. i love this song. i think you will too)
Happy Valentine
Ps: this is not restricted only to the people in your life. Extend your heart to someone who really needs it.
Bukola Odu
T.W.I.S


Friday, February 25, 2011

THERE ARE TIMES…..

   So the bible says that to everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven. To that I say absolutely true;
     There are times when you are so high and alive you could feel the energy running through you and making you feel like you’d burst if you don’t channel it fast. When you don’t need anyone to tell you that you can achieve anything and impossibility suddenly vanishes from your dictionary. You have all you need and cant ask for more because you probably don’t know what to do with all that you already have. Good for you but remember to work and ‘sow’ at that time because that drive would never stay around forever. What you make of it is what you’d wake up to the next morning when the season’s over.
     There are times when you wake up in the morning and you just don’t want to go anywhere, see anyone or do anything. You’re out of ideas, the world seems bleak and chances are no one would understand how you’re feeling anyway. You’d rather stay alone to think about your life and feel sorry for yourself. Take a hint from Nike and ‘just do it’. Your pace or frame of mind doesn’t matter more than the fact that you’re doing something.  All you have to do is put one foot before another and don’t stop. Along the line, you’re very likely to find some encouragement which would never come to you in your little pity cocooned world. The world never stops moving. It’s you who can decide to quit and quitting is a conscious choice not to win. You may appear to be slower than the rest of the world but you’d get there someday if you remain in motion.
     There are times when your world is turned inside out and upside down. Everything you believe in suddenly takes on another form, what you work for seem to insist on not coming to you. Those you wholly trust begin to look like strangers and familiarity is like a foreign concept. Adjust. They say isn’t anything new under the sun and you can never avoid changes. I believe everything and every situation that is exists with potential but until tapped and utilized, it really cant be termed anything for sure. Its simple really. Fit into your circumstances and make it work for you. Ability is not always about just doing things; its sometimes about doing things even when it’s not convenient and making something out of it.
     There are times when your life seem to be at a standstill and try as you may you just cant get yourself to move. The world is rushing right past you and you’re still the same. Younger cousin #3 is getting married and you have to attend without a ring on your finger. Your friends are winning trophies and holding positions and you’re just the guy/girl they see with them. You want to do something but you cant find the drive because in reality you’re just trying to live up to what the people around you have achieved which really isn’t your passion. Its time for reminder. Go back to your drawing board and remind yourself what your values are. If you don’t have them then its time to get some. Values are like foundations. A builder knows there’s going to be rain someday but if he’s got a secure foundation, he’s not moved. The same way you’re sure of your purpose when you have and are constantly in tune with your values.
     There are times when you’re looking to do somethind and the ‘world’ is looking in another direction. You have your convictions but it looks like the world is just waiting to chorus I told you so when you fail. Well hold the world in one hand and your conscience in the other and ‘res ipsa loquitor’- let the thing speak for itself.  Never walk out on your conscience or passion for what the world would say.
     There are times when its all in your head at once. Things you have to do, places you ought to go, things you need to have and people you need to see. Everything seems to fall in place and then run into each other and you just feel the need to attend to them all at once. Be still. You’d never get two things perfectly done at a time. You need to step away from it for a while and get your priorities right. The time it’ll take you to organize your thoughts and carry out your tasks in an orderly fashion would never be the same as if you’d delved into an avalanche of activities without a plan. It only creates a long line of mess.
The point is; don’t ever think of your circumstances as strange or unthinkable; think of it as a time which would change. The world is not stagnant, there’d always be times and seasons. Work with it!
Odu Olubukola
B2UZZ

Friday, February 18, 2011

WHERE TO BEGIN?


So I decided to be a ‘blogger’ (a friend called me that).That was kinda easy considering a number of people had been telling me that my thought pattern was quite different, deep and thought-provoking and that I needed to put down my thoughts for sharing. The next step was deciding and specifying what I want people to see on my blog. Human beings naturally have the capacity to think in countless diverse angles within a single minute  but when one allows every thought to flow and take root, what would have been a perfectly focused and organised mind becomes home to a myriad of incoherent logic (that’s talk for another day) so I had to streamline mine and define the purpose(s) I plan to achieve with my blog (name) and that brought me here.
At that point/stage, most people would believe that you’re “good to go” but I realized that at the time when it mattered most, I was stuck. I needed to write an article (my first) and I just didn’t know where to begin so I sat down, watching the speech made by President Barack Obama to the students of Whitfield high school, Arlington Virginia and it struck me that what plagues me is the same that has delayed many and brought countless ‘ideas’ to an abrupt standstill; the question of where to begin.
Life is only as diverse, different, stable or as confusing as the viewer. In other words, what you ‘see’ (seeing is a choice) is what you get and what you sow can’t breed so much more than itself. Its like the law of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out), you know that computer principle that whatever the computer gives you is only as good as what you put into it? They say life is a circle, and what goes around comes around but do you ever wonder what stands at the beginning/end of that circle?
There is one single force that sends forth and therefore determines what circulates and returns to the starting/end point with its assets. That force is YOU. Everything (I mean every trial, success, failure, achievement et al) in your life begins with (or shall I say within) you. (Keep in mind that when I say you, I mean your mind).
Every day, hour, minute, or second that passes by we make choices; the choices of what to  wear, who to greet, what to eat, when to answer the phone…bla bla. What choice we make may be conscious, instinctive or totally unintended; either way, we make them and they affect us. Every part of us.
JOHN MILTON (considered the most significant English author after Shakespeare - I like him because he was born on my birthday) said:
A mind is not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
I’d interpret what he said to mean that the mind creates its own movie and directs it at will and the only factor that may influence it is the script it has been given.
It is simple really, realizing the magnitude and power of your mind leaves you no better place to begin all your endeavours.  Your mind is the most powerful force that drives your life (after God). Think of it as the food or blood that sustains your body, the string whose length determines the extent to which your kite soars or whether it will soar at all or the capital that starts and determines the size of your business.
 That way, you know that if it (your mind) isn’t in a perfect state or condition, you either aren’t going anywhere like the cordless kite or aren’t going to get too far like the N50 capital business (i've been challenged on that one... just saying).
So what to do with your mind?
Feed it: no matter how hard you search an empty space, it won’t produce anything. It’s like when I’m sick and unable to eat for days. I feel like vomiting but no matter how hard I choke, nothing comes out. You have to start putting information into your mind. It never gets filled up anyway. You might not absorb data with the speed of other people but take it in at a pace you understand.
Build it: building the mind takes you a little further from just feeding it. It is about filling it with the ‘right’ info. It’s ok to take in food but if you take the wrong meal at the wrong time (like eating morsel at 11pm, vegetables when you’re purging or feeding a 2month old baby pepper soup), it just kills you (not literally) instead of helping you.
Challenge it: It’s hard to accept or even prove, but the truth is, every human mind has pretty much the same capacity (except for savants and other weird people). What sets some people apart is the extent to which they are willing to broaden their minds. I can just sit down, think and write an article but if I don’t read and research, my writing would be just another one-sided, selfish opinion and that doesn’t really count because everyone has their own opinion. Go beyond yourself and give yourself more to do.
Guard it: unrestricted in-flow of information only generates mental noise. Select what you let your mind linger on. Some things might be true, it doesn’t make them receptive to the growth of your mind; kick ‘em out or better still, don’t let them in at all. This is also a spiritual principle (see 1Peter 1:13a). Negative information is like Samson, it comes across as harmless and bound but in one passive moment can bring down the strongest fortress. You may think of it as a virus in your hard drive.
Check it: introspection is very much a necessity from time to time. You’d be amazed at the things you pick up and even imbibe without realizing it.
Whatever you do, understand that you cannot do IT without your mind so keep it sane and stable and always begin from there.


QUOTES:
All men should know that the brain, and the brain only, is responsible for, and is the seat of, all our joys and happiness, our pain and sadness; here is seated wisdom, understanding, and the knowledge of the difference between good and evil
- HIPPOCRATES-
A healthy mind is both the foundation and the pillar of a healthy life
- Odu Olubukola-
You matter.