What they didn’t tell you about change

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My first week in Calgary- somewhere in Inglewood

If you know me decently enough you will probably know that I moved to the States recently. Please forgive me if I am behind on responding to emails or comments, its been busy 😉

Last week I met up with friends to say goodbye and it finally dawned on me that I would never call Calgary my home again. Next time I’ll come as a visitor and while I would still know all its corners so well, it wouldn’t be the same. Some people that I met in Calgary will go just like me. Everything will reshuffle.

While I have made so many major moves in my life, it seems that as you grow older you start to be more reflective about choices. It don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.

Especially since I will be in Colorado for a while, I had those moments of wondering-  should I or should I not, will it be worth it? Don’t I need to just dig in my roots somewhere?

Am I sure? Really sure? Really Really sure?

While I don’t have an answer to that question, one thing I know for sure is that this year God has been calling me forward into that sense of focus that comes from trust.

Life only happens once so how could we be sure of anything?

We could never really be sure of every move. We could never predict if it was right or wrong, we can never predict how it will change us, we can never predict how it will work out, we can never predict how it will impact our relationships. The best we could do is trust and to die trying to follow that sense of calling that only us can really understand.

I knew those tears were coming eventually, I just couldn’t really figure out when. Its always been the same. It would start with apathy and just doing all I needed to do but my breakthrough always came after I cried it out, grieved that part of me that is dying and finally embraced that part of me that is reborn.

Even as I sorted through clothes figuring out what to take and what to leave behind, so would my emotions and personality and relationships be sorted out too, sieving out what’s not helpful anymore and strengthening new connections.

With every transition, whether it is committing to a relationship, moving to a new place, moving houses, welcoming a child or saying goodbye to loved ones who pass, that liminal space between one end and one beginning can be very complicated.

While we are told that its for good, and to be strong and to be excited, I think we also need to begin to say that its okay to not be excited. Its okay to not be sure. Its okay to grieve even when we are supposed to be excited about good news. Grieving simply means we are closing one chapter and in the same way letting a new chapter unfold.

So if you are like me and you have moments where you think you are supposed to be excited but find only apathy or maybe apprehension, remember that it is more complicated than that. Give yourself room to grieve. Then let go- and TRUST.

My tears are so powerful. After them I become ready to move on and start another new beginning.

in Stanley Park, Vancouver

Another distraction on the road to clarity: analysis paralysis.

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Life is a series of endless choices that we make and in that sense there are unlimited possibilities on the type of future we could potentially create.

Thanks to my analytical mind I can sometimes think of 100 possible endings to every story and wonder what is the best choice for me.

Maybe some of us tend to be worse at this than others but we all do it or don’t we?

What choices should I make in a certain situation?
What are the alternatives I left behind?
Did I make the right choice?
Repeat cycle every time a trigger sets it off.

Sometimes we compare imaginary pasts with the real past, imaginary presents against the real present, and possible futures against themselves.

We can even compare ourselves to others- where they are in life, their strengths against our weaknesses etc

I find a good example to be when I talk with Nigerians in the diaspora- their imaginary ideas of the ideal life they are missing out on in Nigeria and then talking to Nigerians in Nigeria and their imaginary ideas of the ideal life to be had outside the country.

That made me realize the most important thing is to love where you are and believe you are there for a purpose and make the most of it.

If anything, overanalyzing tends to lead to more confusion for me, because most times it blocks me away from listening to my own spirit.

So here is a better way I have found for myself- to love and learn.

I have made it a calling to love every step of my life- today, yesterday and tomorrow when it comes. To love every moment and every ‘mistake’ because all it did was help me recalculate.
If we are exactly like everyone else we can’t find our own treasure. But in finding our own treasure it is tempting to start comparing yourself to others to figure out if it will be worth it. What are you missing out on? Where should you be instead? Where is the grass greener?
The grass is greener where it is watered.

Comparing ourselves to others is just another unnecessary distraction on the road to clarity and helps us miss opportunities right underneath our noses.
Better still to love your own place in this world right now.

Love it completely – then learn from others instead of comparing yourself to them.

“… but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise ” – St Paul the apostle.

 

Ps: This blogpost was also featured in the ‘Finding personal peace’ blog here:

http://findingpersonalpeaceblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/blog-carnival-for-finding-personal-peace-for-august-18-2013/

7 lessons from talking to strangers

Hello everyone,

So I have good and bad news today.

Bad news is that I don’t have a video for today:(

I talked to a couple of people and they said no and I had to go and get work done. I thought I would be able to come out again but I was tied up and couldn’t unfortunately. I really tried my best to see if I could set up something virtual but it didn’t work this time. Let’s hope tomorrow’s will be fun and totally make up for today.

It has been a very eventful month for sure. Do you know we are already halfway into January? In the absence of a video I wanted to share with you 7 lessons I have learnt so far from a few weeks of street-side convos. That is the good news by the way 😉

Lesson 1:

Suck it up. On Sunday I really didn’t feel like going out and I called my friend Pelumi to see if she would help me find a good reason not to. (Un)fortunately she just told me- well you said you were going to talk to strangers everyday so just suck it up and go. Tough love right? I was expecting some more feminine validation 😛

That’s the truth though. If you want to get something done, then regardless of how you feel, suck it up and go do it. Enough said.

Lesson 2: 

Be consistent. Most people must think I am very bold to have talked to so many strangers so far. The truth is, sometimes I get nervous and I don’t feel like doing it but when I take it one day at a time, before I know it, a week will be over and I think, wow, look at all the people I talked to! So its all about just putting a little bit of effort everyday.

In the popular book ‘The Slight Edge’ Jeff Olson puts it this way;

‘The right choices and wrong choices you make at the moment will have little or no noticeable impact on how your day goes for you. Nor tomorrow, nor the next day. No applause, no cheers, no screams, no life-or-death results played out in Technicolor. But it is precisely this very same, undramatic, seemingly insignificant actions that, when compounded over time, will dramatically affect how your life turns out’

What huge goal do you have? Start today. Little by little.  Be consistent even though you are yet to see results. Have faith in the process. The secret is in those little undramatic things we consistently do.

Lesson 3: 

Proactive planning is everything. I got a huge package today, a belated christmas gift from my lovely sister and because it was so huge, I wanted to go and drop it off, do some work, then come out and meet people. If I had decided instead to pick up the package later in the day after I had met people, then I might have met someone today for the video but because the package was gigantic I couldn’t carry it around and had to go and drop it, then from there I had to work. A little more proactive thinking would have helped me meet my goal before it was too late.

Lesson learnt: Whenever you have a goal, you have to plan in advance how you will take control of your time to create those results. What situations do you need to be in to achieve your goals? How are you going to meet the right people? How will you use your time to make sure you meet a certain goal ?etc. When you spend a few minutes planning to hit your goal and charting the course of action it can dramatically improve your outcomes.

Lesson 4: 

Don’t prejudge people. To be honest I like to evaluate people I am planning to talk to. Does he look friendly? Does she look busy? Is he going to be rude to me? Is she going to think I want to steal something from her? etc

Most times some people I expect to be mean end up being so much fun and people I expect to be fun end up very unadventurous. So now I just shoot.

No need to over think things, you might as well save time by taking your chances and seeing what happens.

Its a lesson for life in general. Its always good to give people a chance. You might be surprised at what comes out of it and to find the resources you need in the most unlikely people.

Lesson 5: 

Have fun. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we have to do that we forget that we should try to enjoy whatever we are doing in life since its taking up -well-our lives! When I make up my mind to have fun, it doesn’t matter how anybody reacts to me, I am having fun in my world and if you say no, its your loss. When I have fun, I also get to connect better with the people I interview and in exchange they are more fun and open. When you have fun at whatever you do, people connect with your enthusiasm, you become believable and its easier for people to want to follow you in achieving a certain aim.

Lesson 6: 

Don’t take rejection personally. My first day was my day of the most rejections coincidentally. You should have seen how sad I was. I thought- wow I had this great idea and now they’ve crushed it:( And I thought- who do I think I am trying to be all curious and creative? Maybe it is not actually a good idea.

Guess what I have learnt? It is not always about me. People may be busy, they may be having a bad day, they may be shy about being on camera, they may be a bit insecure, they may be private, they may be afraid to be randomly approached, and if they are a lady they may be too self-conscious if they don’t have makeup on. There are so many reasons why. Now when I get a no I just mentally say ‘next’. No offence taken. I love that I have been able to come to this place.

When people tell you no, it doesn’t mean its the end of your goal, it simply means they are not the right candidate to achieve it with!

Lesson 7: 

Its always worth the extra time to get to know a stranger. 

People are actually exciting with their dreams, hopes, wisdom, place in their life journey, etc. Talking to strangers really opens your mind to other people’s worlds instead of being stuck in your little world. It also helps you connect more to place because you get to learn about the different people sharing the same space with you and how they create their own life and joys and passions out of the same place. I love it.

“Life is a transaction between you and others.

People are indispensable. For most goals you need in life you need people- to love you, to lead you, to follow you.You are always exchanging goods- material ones like food, services etc and immaterial ones – like love, wisdom, friendship, time etc.While you are at it, you might well as make sure that both parties make the most from the transaction” – Me 😛

There we go. I am sure by now you would have realized that these lessons can be transferred to anything else- life, friendships, ambitions. Try applying them and I am sure you will get more out of your goals in life.