DAY 22 – GRATITUDE JOURNAL

SO! Today has been an awesome awesome day. Although I’m a little bummed that I missed the first session of the HBS resource governance workshop, today was such a rewarding day that I didn’t feel so bad about it.

First ehn…only God can keep a human being going the whole day on 2 hours of sleep and no food. Honestly…it’s been a while since I ran that unholy combo but today was such that I couldn’t take the time til dinner time. But I was fine, I got to do what I needed to do and I am grateful for that.

Next, I’m grateful that all the studying I did paid off…I got to do the task that I was reading up from and even though I am pointing out to myself all the places where I could have done better, I am grateful because I could also have done worse.

I am grateful that I got to enjoy a whirlwind visit to Lagos…I love Lagos…something about it makes me want to write and take pictures. There’s so much vibrancy that it seems that one must chronicle every second so that it is not lost. Add that to the fact that I am just excited about getting to take another trip so soon after the last one. I’m just a happy bunny.

I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I did today..I can’t wait to share the details with you, and I thank God for the opportunity. I thank God for the lovely salads I had for dinner…lovely stuff. I am grateful for my beautiful hotel room, I like hotels and this one is especially nice. I am grateful that God came through for me so many times and in so many different ways today. Doors opening that I didn’t knock on and answers to prayers that I hadn’t even prayed; ease all around. I am grateful for the means to do all l the stuff I did, for the beautiful beautiful dress I got to wear today…for the funds to get stuff that I needed…today was insane…it was busy but it was a truly wonderful day;I feel very fulfilled.

I’m off to bed. If I yawn any harder I might swallow the laptop and then there would be no more gratitude notes.

Have an awesome night (or day)  guys. God bless

 

 

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LAGOS RAMBLINGS

Lagos, Algarve

Sadly not the train I saw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post was supposed to be written at MM2. I had this mental picture of sitting in an airport, typing away, a complete oasis of peace amidst the swirling blur of travelling humanity…however, my battery refused to allow me to be great, so I’m back at home, typing this in the sweltering Abuja heat and not feeling like much of an oasis.

I love airports…as soon as I get into one, I want to travel to some exotic country far away…I am a wanderer at heart, and airports remind me of that desire to explore new regions and experience new things. I remember telling my family years ago that I would not own a home…I decided that I would spend my years travelling with my knapsack on my back and come home periodically with souvenirs of the many places I would have visited. While I have come to the realization that living like a tortoise with my home on my back might not be the best way to go, I still enjoy the hunger that airports spark in me, and indulge them with short trips to Lagos and plans for travelling the world a country at a time.

Anyway…back to the point…whatever it was meant to be…

I took a Dana flight to and from Lagos and I must say it was a wonderful experience. Customer relations were excellent, hostesses were polite, pleasant and professional and my checking in and flight arrangements were done smoothly. My flight back to Abuja was excellent; the plane almost seemed to kiss the ground, so smooth was the landing. I’d like to think that perhaps Dana Air has started again with a renewed focus on excellence in all aspects of their work. It seems that so often, we notice the bad that organizations and corporations do, I’d like to also acknowledge the good and hope that they keep it this way and even improve their services. I was definitely impressed.

I enjoyed my trip to Lagos…I get to see a different side of it every time I travel. This trip, I enjoyed looking at the old and new buildings side by side…Lagos is full of history. I looked at buildings put up in the 1800s and couldn’t help wondering about them. Who built them, how many generations had passed, how the current occupants felt about living in history… I would imagine that houses so old would have an atmosphere full of memories…you would walk into them and feel the joys and hopes and tears of generation after generation…I am glad that in Lagos and also Calabar, we are not so overwhelmingly obsessed with the new that we are recklessly chucking out the old. I know that many valuable architectural and cultural aspects of our past have been and are still in the process of being lost, so it made me very happy to see old homes…some carefully maintained. It told me that perhaps there are some that still care.

I also enjoyed watching the train. Yes the cars were rickety, yes the tracks are overgrown with grass but still, it was lovely to hear the alarm bells ring, see the barriers come down and then watch the train thunder past. Although trains don’t evoke in me the same desire to travel that airports do (those things look rickety abeg), it was still nice to watch these people in the trains and wonder who they were and where they were going.

Hmmm..what else?

I enjoyed shutting down, and I truly did. Barely answered my phone or responded to messages, just disconnected from life, took a step outside the hustle and bustle and caught a moment to breathe. It was a wonderful mini-break; somewhere in the middle of the holiday, I found myself letting go of a “worry list” that I didn’t even know I had been building, and replacing it with a “grateful list”. I knew I was well rested when I woke up this morning and found myself planning work stuff and calling people to get things organized before I show up at work tomorrow. I must remember to take out me-time. I know I can’t hop on a plane (or even a train) whenever I wish, but perhaps I could focus on enjoying my weekends more, making them less full of things to do and people to see and focusing on doing the things I want to do…as I want to do them. Life has been too busy lately.

Ok, rambling over…there’s a bowl of ogbono soup with my name on it and I’m off to find it.

Thank you for stopping by

God bless

SETTING GOALS OR SETTING P?

Ok let me start this by confessing; this blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with setting P. I just liked the sound of the title. So if you clicked on this hoping for a how to manual on how to finally get that girl you’ve been tripping for since January 2010…this might be the wrong blog post for you…

Let me continue by assuring you…this post does have to do with setting goals. However, it’s not a how to manual on how to set goals… (Is that somebody closing the page in disgust?). It is a little story sha, and one I hope you’ll enjoy and who knows, learn from.

Remember how I told you about my cleaning spree on Sunday? If you’ve forgotten or didn’t read it, familiarize yourself here. Anyway, as I was busily dusting and brushing, I came upon a spiral bound book. Now I enjoy finding spiral bound books in my room, because it’s usually a given that I wrote something in it and forgot about it, and I’m usually interested (and occasionally slightly alarmed), by the workings of my mind.

Anyway, I opened this book and came across a list. Not just any list o! An extensive list on my values, goals, rewards and so on and so forth, written 5 years ago! I actually remember the evening I wrote them; an ex boyfriend who happened to be a productivity consultant had asked me to come by with a notebook. I’d gone over, hopefully expecting to be told to write my Christmas wish list, and instead, dude asks me to write my values and goals and tins and tins. I remember how disappointed and slightly bored I had been, but looking at the page, I had written a comprehensive list of personal and career goals, rewards, etc etc.

3 things caught my attention about the list. First, I’ve always had big dreams – one of the goals was becoming a billionaire (no plan of how I intended to make this happen tho). Second, my dreams then are basically the same as they are now. Third, I had only accomplished about 3 or 4 of maybe 40 goals, and those totally by accident. I took to my bed in a haze of depression.

As I lay down in my bed and asked God whether I was a failure, He reminded me of some things that I’d like to share (finally, we get to the point of this long and winding story).

  • As at when I wrote that list, I didn’t yet have a clear idea of what I wanted to be. Yes I had dreams and wishes, but they were not specific and indicated clearly that I did not yet know what I wanted. For instance, I’d written down that I would like to own 5 companies…no mention of what products or services they’d offer…just 5 companies.
  • I wrote that list partly to impress my ex. I’d written down that I would read 1 self help book a month. I do not read self help books. I read fiction, articles and my Bible. I read Biographies, blog posts and editorials. I like to carry out tiny research projects on whatever strange topics happen to catch my fancy. What I do not do however, is read self help books. 2 pages before that list is another list where I wrote that I would read 1 good book a month. Good had been crossed out and replaced with self help.
  • I wasn’t ready. And that’s the truth. Over the course of the last year, I have quite independently arrived at decisions to start some things and stop some others. All the things I’ve either started or plan to start are on my list of goals. I just wasn’t in the right place and it wasn’t the right time.
  • I got to do some things that weren’t on my list. I moved to another place and lived there for 2 years (yes it was only Lagos, nevertheless, I moved), I got to be part of a reality show (something I’ve always wanted but never imagined I’d get an opportunity to do), I got to attend red carpet events and meet and hang out with some of the biggest names in Nigerian entertainment. These were all things I never thought I’d get to do and believe me; they were all lots of fun.
  • Now, I can arrange that list to properly reflect not only who I am, but who I see myself becoming. My career and personal plans, my personal rewards, my obligations – they will all better reflect me, because I have a better idea now of who I am and what I want out of life.

There have been so many changes in my life. My plan as an undergraduate was to get my PhD by 26. Looking back now, I’m glad I didn’t. I have no long term interest in the course I studied, and it would’ve been very difficult to change my career path after spending millions on a Masters and PhD.

So if you’re worried or depressed that life is nothing like you planned, can I use this very roundabout story to reassure you? You’re not a failure, you haven’t messed up. Goals and plans change. People change. Those twists and turns in the road were necessary to make you the person you are today. They are the things that will give your life its flavour. I can say for a fact that this has been true for me. With the extra experiences, you can go back to the drawing board, edit your plans, and then go ahead to make life happen. God bless.