Wednesday, January 10, 2018
I recently watched Tim Ferriss's TED talk on Fear Setting; yep, not goal setting as is the norm but fear setting.
It is basically a technique whereby you enter the boxing ring with your fear, look it in the face, question its validity (remember the acronym False Evidence Appearing Real), sometimes acknowledge that it does have a chance at winning and then do a simple risk assessment while you put your boxing gloves to use.
Now that I have broken it down that way it seems pretty easy yeah? Well, it isn't as I have come to realize how easy it is to set goals in comparison with facing our fears, why else do some of us have a PhD in procrastination?...lol.
So I was naturally curious when I stumbled upon this interesting reversal to the usual articles on goal setting; most articles point to daily habits and routines but I had not seen any (yet) that address the root cause of and practical remedy to procrastination and failing to achieve our goals no matter how well planned out they may seem and it all boils down to FEAR.
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being enough, fear of the unknown, fear of not being in control of the outcome and the list goes on.
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
But as seen in this video (below), most times fear is like a mirage that appears quite real if not looked at properly and taking a realistic look at our fears helps us decide on what we can control and what we cannot control. I tried the technique on my plans for the Year and I realized how unfounded most of my fears were, how surmountable the ones that can happen are and basically buttressed my dear beloved mantra - what is the worst that can happen?
So why not try it out for yourself too, maybe just maybe that big scary monster that seems to be in your way is just a nylon flying loose in a dark corridor and giving off the illusion of a monster; take a step towards it, touch it and with all pleasure yank it off as you go on to conquer what lies right ahead.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
I procrastinated writing this post mostly because I view it as a touchy topic but now, more than ever, especially with the online debate concerning tithing and offerings; I feel it is just the right time to chip in my two cents.
I know how wild the crowd goes when we are promised of God's financial breakthrough, healing etc and it is perfectly okay to be expectant of these things and be excited about them but I also know how we suddenly become quiet when we are asked to do the giving (no condemnation here and if you read the rest of the post you will understand this).
I will understand if most of you don't go past this point as I am about to say some "uncomfortable" things concerning GIVING.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
I recently stumbled on a video by Simon Sinek, where he talked about the wide spread of instant gratification promoted through fast food, social media etc while building deep relationships, patience and consistently working to make an impact is frowned upon and just plain frustrating.
In as much as technology has made life wayyyyy easier, we simply do not know how to wait anymore, we want it and we want it now!!!!!
Just the same way you want to know the end purpose of this article and you want to know it now!!! Patience my friend, patience :-).
Saturday, April 8, 2017
I once had a conversation with someone about fear, according to him, fear is best conquered through knowledge; the more you know about something, the less you fear it.
I was of the opinion that fear is best conquered through action; taking a step into that dark unknown uncomfortable path demystifies fear and shines a light on your illusions.
Let's just say we agreed to disagree concerning who was right or wrong.
But with a wide grin on my face, I can now say I was right (mostly, since his opinion was right too).
And I can say this now because I took a plunge into the unknown by choosing to do two things for the first time ever:
1) Travelling solo - I always imagined travelling solo would be so boring and from the opinions I got before I took the plunge, many people think so too.
2) Travelling to the most unlikely destination ever - To be fair, this happened by chance as my first destination was cancelled due to visa requirements so I picked the lasttttt spot on my travel list - Rwanda (yep, it is OK to be shocked that I would do this, I was still shocked even when I was in the last leg of my flight especially after having to answer the weirdest questions on why I would choose to go to Rwanda - the amusing one was when someone said Customs ought to search me again, he just couldn't understand why a young lady would choose to go to Rwanda on her own).
In my mind, I was thinking - "My brother, I am still trying to let the effect of my decision sink in too, so it is OK to think such thoughts".
I was scared out of my mind but I had two choices: To stay back in my comfort zone and always wonder what could have been or to take the plunge thinking what is the worst that can happen?
And the worst did happen....
Sunday, February 19, 2017
There is something interesting I have observed recently; it seems VITAL for everyone to give off an "illusion" of a perfect untainted life.
God forbid we talk about those sad lonely nights you cried your eyes out. God forbid we talk about those times you were not sure of your next steps and couldn't seem to figure things out with all the darkness around you.
How can we let our enemies see our tears? How can we retire from the pepper dem gang so early???
So we drown the pain in booze, sex, drugs, relationships or whatever can take our minds off the hollow void deep within. We smile and fake it until we make it.
And most times we do make it, we actually feel better when we get up, get dressed and step out with our heads high - lipstick set, heels clicking and weave in place; we actually make it.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
In my previous post, I promised to use An Anchor to describe God against the illustration of the fire-spitting-gavel-striking God we often hear about.
Why don't you come with me, let's delve in?
"An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a ship to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current"
synonyms: cornerstone, chief support, main source of stability/security and foundation.Wondering how an inanimate object can be used to portray God through a lens of love and not fear?
Why don't you come with me, let's delve in?
Monday, December 12, 2016
*long silence + you can literally hear a needle drop*
I have discovered that we are more comfortable talking about recent trends, politics and gossip than talking about God, you can automatically hear the bleep in your audience's minds as soon as the word God is mentioned, just like on TV.
And when we do talk about God there seem to be that attachment of thunder and condemnation to the message; for example:
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Bola was the life of the party; she had the latest clothes, knew the hot spots and was the unopposed leader of her bubbling group of hot chicks. Nonso is the classic definition of a geek; quiet, studious and to top it up he was a very very religious brother.
Time and fate led Bola's and Nonso's paths to cross and for some reason (maybe opposites really does attract) an intense love filled relationship started between the duo. There was something about Bola now; a certain glow, and Nonso suddenly developed a more confident stride in his steps.
But there was a huge problem...
Neither could share this new found exciting-giddy-intense-feeling with their close friends or even the public. How would Nonso explain falling in love with Bola, a "sinner"? How would Bola keep her social prestige intact after falling in love with geekolious Nonso (that was the nickname she and her group had coined for him), surely they would laugh at her?
So they kept it on the down low until neither could contain their excitement; for it was already obvious something had changed in both parties, and they decided to tell the whole world about their relationship, regardless of the effect such public declaration would cause and it sure did cause a storm; Bola was overthrown from the bubbling group and Nonso was judged by the "Scribes" and "Pharisees".
But they didn't care, for at last they were free to love and grow as a couple and of course as all classic love stories goes; they obviously lived happily ever after.
Now bringing it back home (of course I was heading somewhere with that story), Bola in the story represents me (not in all components since from my records I can't remember leading a bubbling group..lol) and Nonso (not in all components also) represents God.
You see, I fell in love recently...
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Just the other day, I failed to adjust my side mirrors before setting out and half way through my journey, I noticed my right side mirror wasn't set right so I put on my multitasking cap and proceeded to adjust my mirror while driving; obviously one task had to take precedence, so I did not realize that I had set the adjuster wrongly and kept on clicking and adjusting (messing up) my left side mirror while staring from time to time at my right side mirror.
Obviously, I wasn't seeing any change and I began to worry; thinking of the time that I may have to spend trying to get it fixed since I assumed it refused to budge because it was broken but alas I decided to quickly glance at the adjuster and then realized it was set wrongly. With a sigh of relief, I went on to place it in the right place and adjusted the mirror.
By now you must be wondering why Semira would come here just to tell you about her side mirrors; but do you know seemingly mundane events can also be a reminder of simple life lessons? So this is not just a story about my side mirrors; there is more:
Friday, September 2, 2016
Can you remember when you used to sneak outside to go play in the rain?
Can you remember the excitement attached to holiday season; anticipating gifts, new clothes (oh how I loved my Christmas clothes), plenty food and the "treasury reserve" from money gotten from neighbors and relations?
Can you remember patiently sitting in front of the family's treasured black and white TV set; waiting for those annoying lines to clear out by 4 pm so you can start watching Tom and Jerry, Voltron, Ninja Turtles etc.
Can you remember when your greatest worry was....absolutely nothing?
Can you remember your first crush; that crazy giddy feeling when you exchange letters or catch a glimpse of him/her?
Now can you remember wanting to grow up sooooooo fast; so sure that life would be more interesting and free once you get more "adult" (yep, I said that - literary license)?
And in some ways, you were right, life did get more interesting and free despite the responsibilities now attached to it,
Just like our childhoods, we are still in a haste - in a rush to settle down, have kids, have a great career, have plentttyyyy money etc.
And don't get me wrong these are wonderful and valid goals but aren't we forgetting something great?
That thing called NOW; that very thing we have at our disposal, right in front of us to build on and to enjoy so immensely.
This moment, as I type, is all I have assured and as I click on these keypads and listen to the sound of Young Galaxy's Cover Your Track playing in my ears, I feel alive - right here and now I have stored another memory; maybe years from now I will remember the feeling, maybe I won't but what is important is I am present.
NOW is my reality and it can be yours too.
Tomorrow will sort itself out and your plans will fall into place or fall apart (I can hear someone shouting God forbid...lol) either way, my love, you will live (added for my Nigerian folks; even with the recession).
Let's open the door to NOW, shall we? - how else are we supposed to archive memories.
Take us back on a journey, do share your memorable childhood memories, we all have one?
Saturday, August 27, 2016
And the story continues...
Over a year ago, I wrote about my mom's passing and lessons learnt from the experience, see post The Awakening and literally dropped the mic (for lack of a better phrase).
I have had to give one excuse or another when asked "Semira, why haven't you written in a while?" - ranging from writer's block, absence of the urge to write etc.
But the truth is beneath all those excuses was fear; after loosing my parents and a series of other events that had me wondering if an old woman in my village was on my case, my idea of reality was shaken from the core and I was not the same person I used to be anymore, I was a different person with a largely new perspective trying to get comfortable in my new skin and it was scary as hell.
And since I largely write from my real life experience, I was worried about putting these new thoughts and emotions, which I was still trying to make sense of, out there; wondering what if I seem too philosophical now, what if people can't relate to what I am writing now, blah blah and each time I opened my computer to type, I quickly shut it; saying tomorrow, tomorrow I will write but not today.
And finally tomorrow came and here I am; drowning that irrelevant critic's voice (God, i have missed this sound - hearing my keyboard click) about to write a letter to my nineteen (19) year old self; things I wish she knew back then and things I am glad she didn't know:
Thursday, May 21, 2015
It has been a really long time I talked to YOU.
I could come up with a million and one excuses for not visiting but I have none except one:
27th December, 2014: Started out as any other day, asides my mom being ill, it was just the typical Saturday morning; busy with household chores and market trips. But everything virtually changed within minutes for me, from a routine check up in a clinic to a confused me rushing my unconscious mother to a bigger hospital just to be told she had died.
My world literally stopped spinning. First came denial, then shock, then a deep sadness that cannot be explained but truly only experienced.
Everyone who really knew me knew my mom was my world. I was not only her “auta” (last child in hausa) but the closest to her. I used to fondly call her my baby (as she said I reminded her of her mom) and I took that title seriously, I wanted the best for her and from an early age my mind was already programmed to work hard and buy her an aeroplane (lol...yeah that was my first promise to my mom).
In a way, she became my focus for success, anytime I felt like giving up, I imagined how she would feel and that forced me to carry on instead.
So I am not joking when I say my world literally stopped.
The haze of burial preparations kept me busy for a while and the whole incident hit me when everyone left, it felt surreal because I was still tempted to call her when I got back home but I finally realised that I was not going to touch her again, talk to her or even see her smile.
Trust me, it hurt a lot.
But hey that is not the moral of this diary entry, here is the reason I am sharing this with you:
Thursday, December 4, 2014
I love good art.
It is really that simple. Art takes your mind on a journey of awareness; opening a door to a visually pleasing and creative space.
Those who live in Abuja and share the same love for art will get an opportunity to indulge in the visual pleasure to be offered at a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings tagged "Sensory Experience by Sor Sen":
Date: 13th to 19 of December, 2014
Venue: Dinaka Art Gallery, No. 4 Koutiala Street, Near Amigo Supermarket, Off Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, Nigeria.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Tiwa Savage just broke the internet...at least she broke mine...lol.
Woke up to her latest video, "My Darlin"; great visuals (kudos to Kemi Adetiba) and very catchy melody, I can actually imagine people dancing to the tune at weddings.
Of course it had to be my music (video) of the week.
Watch, enjoy and relax those mid-week frayed nerves.
In the meantime, what do you think about the video? yay or nay?
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Every day I turn on my TV, I get flashes of destruction, man inhumanity to man and just plain old evil.
And seeing such darkness may make one wonder what is the plan of God in all these chaos; that is a question I cannot answer but one thing I am absolutely sure of is God's plans are always for good.
It is so easy to direct our anger and disappointments towards God in the midst of chaos but in such times that is when we need to believe in Him the most and trust in His ability to make things right.
So in the midst of the darkness and destruction, all we can do is speak up, act, hope, pray and trust that things will someday make sense in the world.