So where does happiness lie?


‎‎There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.

As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.

“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
***********************************************
This story says it all. Stop defining your happiness based on what the world expects it to be. 
Cease focusing on bigger or more. Why? Because those big things we supposedly desire might just be available to us, right away. ‎

Enjoy today. Enjoy the moment.  And make the best out of it!!!

Say no more!!


“Say no more”. Definition :
This phrase is a slang you’d to tell someone that it is not necessary to explain something further because you “over understand” what that person is trying to say.  
It’s a phrase I find myself using a lot, especially when talking to my girlfriend (when she’s not interrupting my conversation with the love of my life). 

For instance, check these out:

So how does this line come into play in that context? 

You are casually talking to your spouse and he or she says “babe, I smelt this Gucci Guilty perfume on my colleague at work. It smelled so good” or “Saturday is my diet cheat day. I need to indulge”. On hearing that, your response should be “say no more”. Why? Because you know you’re about to show up some days later or on that cheat day and show out by bringing your spouse that Gucci Guilty perfume, in fact, the gift set that comes with the lotion, shower gel and travel size perfume, or a fat tub of coldstone ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, m&ms hot fudge drizzle and or doughnuts from her preferred store. 
Please get the picture of the tub of ice cream off your mind and come back to earth. The point is : your spouse, lover, best friend, colleague, or that special person is just available to do it all for you, without you having to use all the mouth to say it (as yorubas say: “fi gbogbo enu so”). I mean, this doesn’t always have to be the case, but that person is ever willing to meet your every (or most) need. 

But how about a non-romantic setting? Your boss gives you an excel file that another colleague had put together. Your boss starts to explain how the columns and rows are all messed up, he’s explaining what and what to do, you’ve worked with him long enough to know what he/she needs from you. He’s telling you that the presentation is at 3pm, you know that means it has to be ready an hour before. Your answer? “Say no more, boss!” Why? You’re about to deliver by 1:30pm with the correct format! 
Or your mom goes out all day to the market, she returns exhausted but with tons of food? She’s about to start explaining how she needs everything put away in the pantry and the meat washed, etc. your answer? “Say no more, mummy!” Why? You’re about to put everything away in cabinets, deep freezer and refrigerator AND wash the meat and boil it, THEN have “Mariam” the house help go blend the pepper! 
I have a friend whose girlfriend dares not mention a want or need…it’s sorted, if not fully, to a large extent…he makes it priority. And I count myself lucky enough to have someone who would give me anything I subtly or loudly talk about.  

When you find such a person, marry him or her!
Ps: This is not a gender specific behavior, and it’s bliss when it’s mutual. In short, if it’s not mutual, erm, OYO is your case.

Also, be that stand up guy or lady whose answer is always “Say no more” to the requests you daily come across!

Read a similar post here

Back to the basics- part 3


Remember the “back to the basics series”? if you missed, please click here to read Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Here is part 3.

Do you ever feel like you’ve strayed so much and you no longer recognise who you are?

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your sense of self, your identity?

Like the fundamental things that make up who you are have either being eroded with totally strange and unnecessary things or have been buried so deep you can no longer reach them?

I feel like that sometimes, like I have become someone else and gotten so used to being this new person. From time to time I remember who I was and I miss the fire that person had but then I quickly shove the thoughts aside and tell myself that as people grow, they find new passions and a new sense of self. Somewhere and somehow, i know I lie to myself and I just tell myself that to feel better.

Where do we draw the line between losing who you are and finding new passions?

Do we find a balance between both? Is it okay to be someone new?

Sometimes I miss the old me whom was a moralist even whilst being liberal. I knew where to draw the line between being liberal and doing the wrong thing. Now I explain almost everything from different perspectives and even when my heart tells me XYZ is wrong I question it. I say is it really wrong? Or I’m being narrow-minded? Have I factored all plausible angles? If seen from X perspective would it still be wrong or maybe not just as right as society would have it? Am I calling it wrong because my background, beliefs and experiences have shaped my thought process into believing it is wrong?

How do you go back to your fundamental make up? How do you find your essence even with all the new things that have become a part of you? Do you unlearn the things you’ve learnt? Do you “un-inculcate” behaviours that reflect or are expressed in your everyday living? Is this where religion comes in and you ask the Higher being for help?

 

These and many more I do not have answers to.
Written by Ayobare

Self development


The other day, I was driving from work-my colleague and I. It was a Friday evening, we were tired, hungry and stuck in traffic. All I could think of was making sweet love to my bed and being knocked out to sleep for maybe 12 hours. He, on the other hand, still had plans of going out that evening to the club and had two weddings on Saturday, church on Sunday and back to work on Monday! I had a similar plan, except mine consisted more of sleeping and hanging with some friends.

 

Maybe it was the traffic or fatigue, but I started thinking and I’m still thinking about it. A lot of us are just going with the swing of things, I won’t necessarily say we are living, but we’re just going. If you really think about it, it’s scary! It is pretty much work, sex, relationship, money, partying, booze and the likes…..same ol’ routine.

 personal-development-plan

But it does not have to be so. Everyone can do something more, just a little bit more, and it’ll be extraordinary. Maybe pick up a new skill/habit/ talent. Something that doesn’t necessarily translate to money (money will be a plus, obviously). Something that when we’re at the end of our lives, we can feel fulfilled to an extent. It could be learning how to play an instrument or a new one, Photography, being a movie/book/food/style critic, bible school even with no intent of being a pastor, learning a new language or just going to study a course just for the sake of more knowledge. It does not have to be anything major.

 

Self development most times open new doors. It’s a vital key to fulfillment

 

 

Calm down


” Calm down, what’s the hurry?! ” That was what Uncle Lawrence always barked in response to marriage related questions, till he turned 46 years old and got a wife.

Elder Jinadu would usually say “It’s not a competition, calm down”, before he finally finished his first published book at his 60th birthday- he started writing that book at age 27.

calm

Unfortunately, in the process of taking life easy, a lot of us have allowed our lives to be eroded of the luxury of attaining certain feats at earlier stages of our lives, because we ‘calmed down’. We responded to the façade of procrastination, allowed her tickle us, and we basked in the temporary aura of relaxation.

Sociologists, over the years, say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. Thus, on that note, if there is something that needs to be done now, and you delay for 3 weeks, chances are high you might never get it done.

 

A little sleep, a little slumber; a little folding of hands, so shall poverty fall mightily on you.

Am I insinuating that you be aggressive all the time and not try to prioritize and take a break at times? Absolutely positively not! In fact, worrying less and taking your time usually helps you strategize and make well informed decisions. However, this should be balanced with being smart and understanding that the world isn’t waiting for you or anyone else.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time to plant a tree is ‘NOW’.

Yesterday would never come back , and not doing it now means someone else is probably taking your market share or exploiting an idea that you have refused to implement on time. When they start reaping the fruits, you might see life as unfair and they’ll see life as fair. That’s it!

An old proverb says ‘the patient dog eats the fattest bone’. However, I think it’s because the other dogs have eaten the crunchy and chunkiest meat from it, leaving the bone to the patient dog. Besides, dogs love bone, you’re not a dog, you love meat!

 

Like the popular Nike tagline says : “do it now”!

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Unconventional relationship habits


The merry go round and brouhaha of relationships can be made better after a thoughtful read on this. its the unconventional habit of highly effective relationships.

  1. Letting Some Conflicts Go Unresolved

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth – John Gottman.

In a research of thousands of happily married couples, some of whom have been married for 40+ years, it was found time and again that most successful couples have persistent unresolved issues, unresolved issues that they’ve sometimes been fighting about for decades. Meanwhile many of the unsuccessful couples insisted on resolving everything because they believed that there should be a void of disagreement between them. Pretty soon there was a void of a relationship too.

People like to fantasize about “true love.” But if there is such a thing, it requires us to sometimes accept things we don’t like.

Successful couples accept and understand that some conflict is inevitable, that there will always be certain things they don’t like about their partners or things they don’t agree with, and that this is fine. You shouldn’t need to feel the need to change somebody in order to love them. And you shouldn’t let some disagreements get in the way of what is otherwise a happy and healthy relationship.

The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes. Some battles are simply not worth fighting. And sometimes the most optimal relationship strategy is one of “live and let live.”

  1. Being Willing to Hurt Each Other’s Feelings

Your girlfriend could be one of those women who spends a lot of time in front of the mirror. She loves to look amazing and you love for her to look amazing too (obviously).

Nights before you both head out, she comes out of the bathroom after an hour-long make-up/hair/clothes/whatever-women-do-in-there session and asks how she looks. She’s usually gorgeous. But every once in a while, she looks bad (or not that gorgeous). She tried to do something new with her hair or decided to wear a dress that some flamboyant fashion designer from Milan thought were avant-garde. And it just doesn’t work.

By the time you tell her this, she usually gets pissed off. And as she marches back into the closet to redo everything and make you 30 minutes late, she spouts a bunch of four-letter words and sometimes even slings a few of them at you.

Men stereotypically lie in this situation to make their girlfriends/wives happy. But we really do not need to. Why? Because honesty in a relationship is more important than feeling good all of the time. The last person you should ever have to censor yourself with is the woman you love.

Fortunately, I date a woman who agrees. She calls me out on my bullshit sometimes, and it’s honestly one of the most important traits she offers me as a partner. Sure, my ego gets bruised and I bitch and complain and try to argue, but a few hours later I come sulking back and admit that she was right and holy crap she makes me a better person even though I hated hearing it at the time.

When our highest priority is to always make ourselves feel good, or to always make our partner feel good, then nobody ends up feeling good. And our relationships fall apart without us even knowing it.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right. The sunsets and puppies, they happen when you get the more important stuff right: values, needs and trust.

If I feel smothered and need more time alone, I need to be capable of saying that without blaming her and she needs to be capable of hearing it without blaming me, despite the unpleasant feelings it may cause. If she feels that I’m cold and unresponsive to her, she needs to be capable of saying it without blaming me and I need to be capable of hearing it without blaming her, despite the unpleasant feelings it may generate.

These conversations are paramount to maintaining a healthy relationship that meets both person’s needs. Without them, we get lost and lose track of one another.

  1. Being Willing to End It

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. Show me almost any romantic movie and I’ll show you a desperate and needy character who treats themselves like dog shit for the sake of being in love with someone.

The truth is our standards for what a “successful relationship” should be are pretty screwed up. If a relationship ends and someone’s not dead, then we view it as a failure, regardless of the emotional or practical circumstances present in the person’s lives. And that’s kind of insane.

Shut up and jump already.

Romeo and Juliet was originally written as satire to represent everything that’s wrong with young love and how irrational romantic beliefs can make you do stupid shit like drink poison because your parents don’t like some girl’s parents. But somehow we look at this story as romantic. It’s this kind of irrational idealization that leads people to stay with partners who are abusive or negligent, to give up on their own needs and identities, to make themselves into imaginary martyrs who are perpetually miserable, to suppress their own pain and suffering in the name of maintaining a relationship “until death do us part.”

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

“Shoot myself to love you; if I loved myself I’d be shooting you.”

– Marilyn Manson

“Until death do us part” is romantic and everything, but when we worship our relationship as something more important than ourselves, our values, our needs and everything else in our lives, we create a sick dynamic where there’s no accountability. We have no reason to work on ourselves and grow because our partner has to be there no matter what. And our partner has no reason to work on themselves and grow because we’re going to be there no matter what. It invites stagnation and stagnation equals misery.

  1. Feeling Attraction for People outside the Relationship

Our cultural scripts for romance includes this sort of mental tyranny, where any mildly emotional or sexual thought not involving your partner amounts to high treason. Being in love is like a cult where you’re supposed to prefer drinking Kool Aid laced with cyanide to letting your thoughts wander to whether other religions may be true too.

As much as we’d like to believe that we only have eyes for our partner, biology says otherwise. Once we get past the honeymoon phase of starry eyes and oxytocin, the novelty of our partner wears off a bit. And unfortunately, human sexuality is partially wired around novelty. I get emails all the time from people in happy marriages/relationships who get blindsided by finding someone else attractive and they feel like horrible, horrible people because of it. Not only are we capable of finding multiple people attractive and interesting at the same time, but it’s a biological inevitability.

What isn’t an inevitability are our choices to act on it or not. Most of us, most of the time, choose to not act on those thoughts. And like waves, they pass through us and leave us with our partner very much the same way how they found us.

This triggers a lot of guilt in some people and a lot of irrational jealousy in others. Our cultural scripts tell us that once we’re in love, that’s supposed to be it, end of story. And if someone flirts with us and we enjoy it, or if we catch ourselves having an occasional errant sexy-time fantasy, there must be something wrong with us or our relationship.

But that’s simply not the case. In fact, it’s healthier to allow oneself to experience these feelings and then let them go.

When you suppress these feelings, you give them power over you, you let them dictate your behavior for you (suppression) rather than dictating your behavior for yourself (feeling them and yet choosing not to do anything).

People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to eventually succumb to them and give in and suddenly find themselves screwing the secretary in the broom closet and having no idea how they got there and come to deeply regret it about twenty-two seconds afterward. People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to project them onto their partner and becoming blindingly jealous, attempting to control their partner’s every thought and whim, corralling all of their partner’s attention and affection onto themselves. People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to wake up one day disgruntled and frustrated with no conscious understanding of why, wondering where all of the days went and remember how in love we used to be?

Looking at attractive people is enjoyable. Speaking to attractive people is enjoyable. Thinking about attractive people is enjoyable. That’s not going to change because of our Facebook relationship status. And when you dampen these impulses towards other people, you dampen them towards your partner as well. You’re killing a part of yourself and it ultimately only comes back to harm your relationship.

When I meet a beautiful woman now, I enjoy it, as any man would. But it also reminds me why, out of all of the beautiful women I’ve ever met and dated, I chose to be with my girlfriend. I see in the attractive women everything my girlfriend has and most women lack. And while I appreciate the attention or even flirtation, the experience only strengthens my commitment. Attractiveness is common. But real intimacy is not.

When we commit to a person, we are not committing our thoughts, feelings or perceptions. We can’t control our own thoughts, feelings and perceptions the majority of the time, so how could we ever make that commitment?

What we control are our actions. And what we commit to that special person are our actions. Let everything else come and go, as it inevitably will.

  1. Spending Time Apart

 

You see it all the time: the man who meets his girlfriend and stops playing basketball and hanging out with his friends, or the woman who suddenly decides she loves every comic book and video game her boyfriend likes even though she doesn’t know how to hold the XBox controller properly. We all have that friend who mysteriously ceased to exist as soon as they got into their relationship. And it’s troubling, not just for us but for them.

When we fall in love we develop irrational beliefs and desires. One of these desires is to allow our lives to be consumed by the person we’re infatuated with. This feels great. It’s intoxicating in much of the same way cocaine is intoxicating (no, really). The problem only arises when this actually happens.

The problem with allowing your identity to be consumed by a romantic relationship is that as you change to be closer to the person you love, you cease to be the person they fell in love with in the first place.

It’s important to occasionally get some distance from your partner, assert your independence, and maintain some hobbies or interests that are just yours. Have some separate friends. Take an occasional trip somewhere by yourself. Remember what made you you and what drew you to your partner in the first place. Without this space, without this oxygen to breathe, the fire between the two of you will die out and what were once sparks will become only friction.

  1. Accepting Your Partner’s Flaws

In his famous book The Unberable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera said there are two types of womanizers: 1) men who are looking for the perfect woman and can never find her, and 2) men who convince themselves that every woman they meet is already perfect.

I love this observation and believe it applies to not just womanizers, but just about anyone who consistently finds themselves in dysfunctional relationships. They either try to make their partner be perfect by “fixing” them or changing them. Or they delude themselves into thinking that their partner is already perfect.

This is one of those things that is not nearly as complicated as it feels. Let’s break it down:

  1. Every person has flaws and imperfections.
  2. You can’t ever force a person to change.
  3. Therefore: You must date somebody who has flaws you can live with or even appreciate.

The most accurate metric for your love of somebody is how you feel about their flaws. If you accept them and even adore some of their shortcomings — her obsessive cleanliness, his awkward social ticks — and they can accept and even adore some of your shortcomings, well, then that’s a sign of true intimacy.

One of the best expressions of this idea came from Plato in the form of a myth. In his Symposium, Plato wrote that humans were originally androgynous and whole. There were no men or women. They felt no lack, no uncertainty, and they were powerful, so powerful that they rose up and challenged the gods themselves.

This posed a problem for the gods. They didn’t want to completely wipe out the human race as they’d have no one to rule over. But at the same time they had to do something to humble and distract humanity.

So Zeus split them in half. He split each human into a man and a woman and doomed them to spend their brief mortal existence wandering the world looking for their other half, the half that would make them feel whole and powerful again. And this wholeness came not from two perfections meeting, but two imperfections meeting, two imperfections that both complemented and compensated for one another’s shortcomings.

The artist Alex Grey once said that, “True love is when two people’s pathologies complement one another’s.” Love is, by definition, crazy and irrational. And the best love works when our irrationalities complement one another and our flaws enamor one another.

It may be our perfections that attract one another. But it’s our imperfections that decide whether we stay together or not.

 

Adapted from Markmanson.net

 

Back To The Basics -2


DANG! DANG!! DANG!!! That’s all that was banging about in my head.

My phone is ringing, it’s Iya Damola. “Happy New Year, may this new year be the……” she is praying *sigh* my head is killing me, another hangover. “AMEN! AMEN!!” I chant right back at her as I look for Panadol.

The woman loves me as DANG, and she’s really proud of me, but she’s still low-key disappointed. She thinks (and I agree) that I should be doing better than I am, for instance, I should have been in church casting and binding for the new year…..well, that didn’t happened. I mean, it was mad fun, there was lots and lots of drink, good conversation, and hot girls, whatever….. it was cool.

But really, is this all there is to life? It’s another year; I should not mess stuff up and have the boilerplate “I am just a bouncing baby boy” excuse at the ready. I should not spend all my salary on my beer and turn up and be like “why I come dey work, if I no fit turn up”. I mean, I really should get my shit together. I don’t know about you, but I live in a world of excess “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?” is the motto. Too much alcohol, too much food, too much women, too much drugs.

It’s about time I ask myself questions like,

  • If I don’t drink 6 bottles of beer, will I die? Like really, will I?
  • I see #TeamLightSkin babe on twitter, must i slide into DM? DMs that the most I can expect from it is meaningless sex that might just land you on @subdeliveryman timeline
  • GTBank retweeted some Shawarma Ad, must I call? I just had pizza delivered?

January 1st 2016 really had me thinking of how to minimize my excess.

It had me thinking like, all i should be working towards.

  • A better life for myself and my family
  • My relationship with God
  • Being as physically healthy as possible
  • Have a good relationship with my friends and family
  • Being happy

Hell, those are all I need!! Man. Those are the BASICS!!!! The main things I should strive and hustle.

DANG turn up, time to get back to the basics.

Written by Adedoja Adedamola.

damdey

Damola Adedoja is a web and graphic designer who works and schools in South Africa. An introvert with so many unpublished articles, loves art and is a very analytical critic.