Do you have a dream? Part 1 of 3

When we are young, we dream of our future lives where we become influential and we save the world. As we grow older, the dreams appear silly and unrealistic. The older we get the more distant the dreams grow. Many young persons who are attaining adulthood have picked up new dreams from their parents, friends or teachers.

Dreams become reality – The world as we know it and every discovery that was ever made were dreams at a time. When the plans for the first train was unveiled, Scientists at that time, thought that people who rode in the train would die because a train would become the fastest vehicle at the time. Now think of other inventions that have been made and how silly the ideas sounded when the inventor tried to explain it to others. The popular saying that ‘if you can dream it, you can achieve it’ has been proven again and again.

Your role is not to worry, just dream – Part of growing up is the worry about how others perceive us. No one wants to be weird or a freak. Young people often worry about saying something stupid and want to be ‘cool’. History has shown again and again that the coolest kids often end up working for the weird kid in school. It’s the geeks who run the work, creating amazing technology every day. If you are a dreamer, forget about being misunderstood, the future will reward your persistence.

Dreams are idealistic impressions we create in our minds about the world. While it may be very different from the way life is, it predicts perfect pictures for the future. To dream is a gift for all.

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It’s okay to wander from a specific dream

A certain video went viral on social media a few years ago. It was about a little school girl who cried because the parents would not let her have a boyfriend ‘forever’. Later videos show this same girl, now older, advising young girls not to waste their time on relationships. The ability to change one’s mind is common among young people. That is absolutely not a bad thing. It is only right that our perspectives about life are shaped by our experience. If a dream is not coming together or no longer seems workable, then move on to the next one. At the right time, you figure out how to fix all your dreams and make them come true.

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Do not be afraid of failing. Many wise and successful people have proudly failed their way to success. This means that they kept working on their dreams and despite failing many times, they eventually succeeded.

How to activate your little steps to greatness

What does greatness mean to you?

To be great is a task that most people aspire to but only a few persons will experience. This isn’t because it’s an impossibility but people are likely to aspire poorly. Les Brown would often say that the ‘problem with achieving anything isn’t that people aim too high and miss but because they aim too low and hit’. The first step is to change your mindset about greatness. Aim higher than your rational mind thinks is realistic.

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Contemporary world views reveals greatness with regards to public adulation, fame, pomp, and pageantry. A celebrity status is the most sought after form of recognition and young people will pay whatever it takes to gain this recognition. The truth, however, is that true greatness is beyond one individual. It should never be about ‘you’ but about the value ‘you’ can provide. Every person who has at any time in history been recognized as great did selfless acts. To be truly great, put other persons first.

 

Everything is possible if you think it is

In the early days of our lives, we believe everything. Every little act was magical and provided some form of entertainment and that’s why children are so adorable. As people develop and become more grown-up, they believe less and find less amusement in life. Hence, the older a person gets, the harder life seems. Things are taken quite seriously and by the time we are all grown up, life is quite screwed, literally. Believe me, if you will, but everything is possible. The distinguishing factor between those who have this belief and those who dont is mindset.

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Developing the right mindset that says yes to life’s possibilities is important. It gives you the right attitude and sets you up for success. There will always be reasons to think something is hard. But that is the wrong way to think. It is better to think that everything is possible if you worked on it. As it is said, ‘if you don’t try you will never know.’ Every time you are tempted to say, it’s not possible, say instead, let’s see how this can be possible.

 

Do the easiest thing first

With the right mindset that is willing to try things out, all that remains is to learn how to conduct all you need to do. Let us consider an example where a girl needs a make a documentary for a school project. At first glance, this would seem difficult except if she broke the project down into 5 tasks.

  1. discuss the documentary ideas with the teacher
  2. choose what the documentary will be about, pets, gardens or about her family.
  3. Record on her phone camera
  4. Edit documentary using a free app on her phone
  5. Submit school project

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When activities are broken up this way, it becomes easier to execute them. Also, note that the simpler things are done first. Nobody fails at doing what is easy. It is the difficult things that are hard to achieve. The other truth is that the more people do simpler things, the less work there is yet to be done. In summary, the more you work on a thing, the easier it becomes. Next time you are faced with a difficult task, never say that it is too much. Start with the easier task and don’t stop until all the work is done.

 

Keep going no matter what and never stop

If you want to achieve greatness, you must learn to keep working on your dreams. All the elements of nature demonstrate this principle so well. They can be found in all things except in a vacuum. Fortunately, vacuums never exist in nature. Water retains its course even if it has to flow through or around an obstacle. But it never stops.

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Science has it that all matter is made up of little particles called atoms which are in state of constant random motion. Even in a frozen state, matter is still able to move despite the restrictions. What we can learn from this is that we never quite stop doing anything even when we think that we are doing nothing. Our minds and bodies are always up to something. Our task in life should be to ensure that the tasks that preoccupy us are worth our time and contribute to our dreams.

When you have decided to be great, then work on your dreams and never stop.

How to Deal with Mistakes

What is a mistake?

To make progress in attaining life’s goals, one must consider mistakes seriously. Not in the attempt to avoid them, but to note the lessons from making them. A mistake is an unexpected result which is contrary to the initial plan. It may be safe to mention that mistakes can have a positive impact, others have negative impacts on us. Some mistakes lead to better results than we expected, and others produce bad results.

Mistakes can be caused by bad decisions we make. Other times, they are caused by circumstances which are not in our direct control. Either way, the result is the same, they mess up our plans and our lives. Some examples of mistakes one can make is to get pregnant while in high school. This is a situation that could truncate a person’s education and progress towards attaining dreams and goals. To be responsible, a person must learn how to tackle mistakes and turn them around for their benefit.

 

Mistakes are worthwhile

Every mistake brings a new lesson to our lives. Thus, they are not entirely bad or evil. Sometimes, we need to fail several times, before we learn how to get it right. This is true if we are attempting to do a thing which has never been done before or in which we have little experience. Anticipate mistakes and never shy away from doing a thing because you are scared of mistakes.

The greatest failure is to do nothing because you are afraid of failing. It is better to keep trying and fail as many times as it takes to get it right. An example is a child who learns to ride a bicycle. It is often difficult if not impossible to find a child who hops on a bicycle and just rides away. Initial effort at riding a bicycle will lead to falls until the act of balancing on a bike is mastered. Only then can the child ride successfully and with ease. On the process of attaining one’s dreams and goals, there will be a few stumbles. Here and there but with determination, every mistake can be overcome to attain success.

How to turn mistakes around

Mistakes can kill a person’s motivation and dissuade from pursuing a dream. It is disappointing to fail at a task and risk enduring the mockery and humiliation in the hands of friends and neighbors. Parents or superiors can yell and scold for the slightest errors. These are normal and expected of them. If you realize this, then you would not focus your energy on being upset with them.

If a mistake occurs, focus on three key considerations:

  • What could have caused this mistake? Take note of this.
  • Can it be reversed? If yes, then consider doing so, but only on the condition that the cost is reasonable.
  • What could be done better to achieve the intended or better results?

Responses to these three considerations will enable you to salvage the mistake and produce an even better result than initially planned. This process is important because once you have solved a particular issue, you will easily avoid and overturn such mistakes in the future. This is the first mark of responsibility.

 

Did you ever make any mistakes that you bounced back from? Stronger? Share your story with us in the comment section below.

 

All pictures are from pixabay.com

If tomorrow never comes

I toil, heap and plough yesterday and today in anticipation for tomorrow; surely tomorrow will be a better day to rest. I travel miles and miles today without a slight second to examine the impact of my travels. Examinations and evaluations are best done tomorrow.

I fail to till the soil today waiting for tomorrow. I fail to plant on the tilled soil today relying on tomorrow. I often think ‘the sun was scorching yesterday and the clouds are gathered today, tomorrow may have better weather.

The business ideas I thought of yesterday, I have left unattended. Why overlabour myself today when I still have tomorrow. The relationships I intend to build, I leave it till tomorrow. The application letter I intend to send will have to wait till tomorrow. Tomorrow is always a better day to make the right connections.

Truth remains that a lot of persons leave things unattended today with the hope that there is always a tomorrow to make things right while forgetting that the success of tomorrow is birthed on the pains and sacrifices of yesterday and today.

Why suspend a journey till tomorrow when you can make it today? Why procrastinate the implementation of an idea when something can be done to begin the process today? Why wait till tomorrow to make an investment that can be done today? Why wait till tomorrow to call a relative or friend whom you have always wanted to call when you can do it today? Why wait till tomorrow to study hard for that examination when you can do it today? Why wait till tomorrow to prepare for that interview when you can do it today? Why wait till tomorrow to launch your project when you can do it today? Why wait till tomorrow to fulfil your promise when you can do it today? Why wait till tomorrow to make that donation or lend a helping hand to the needy when nothing is hindering you from doing so today?

What if the much anticipated tomorrow never comes, will your deeds of today still count? Will you have regrets that you could have done better today? Will you be remembered for the things you did right today? Will your work be enough to speak for you?

You never know of all you’ve got is today, so do the much you can today if tomorrow never comes.

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MY RAPE STORY: A DAY TO FORGET

Blood! Blood! Was all I could mutter as I sat there trying to clean myself up even though I felt dirty inside. After keeping myself all through school, this was what I got rewarded with; RAPE! The scene kept flashing and I couldn’t hold back tears from dropping like a raging sea. All I wanted was for someone to tell me “it’s all but a dream” sadly it wasn’t. I didn’t dress in a suggestive way neither did I stay out late. How did I become a victim, I asked myself.  How do I tell Ade that I’m no longer a virgin? How do I deal with the stigmatization if people get to find out? I should probably just take my life. Or do I start doing Runs? These were the thoughts running through my head.

Oct 1st 2016, a day I can’t seem to forget. As usual, Nigeria marked its independence that day and it was a public holiday. Being a Youth Corps Member at that time, I didn’t have to go to my place of primary assignment to teach. The day started off well and kept reminding myself of the evening service I had in the church that day. I didn’t plan on missing it for anything in the world. We value the prayers we make on the first day of the month in this part of the world. I got to church that evening and I saw myself praying like never before that I didn’t even know far spent the time was. I checked my watch, it was 7 PM and it was threatening to rain. I decided to rush home before the rain started. It was just a 10 minutes walking distance from the church to my house and since I wasn’t seeing any vehicle or bike to take me home, I decided to do the walk.

Halfway home, the sky grew darker and it began drizzling. I started jogging so as to get home before the heavy downpour and in less than a minute I was intercepted by two guys who jumped off a bike. They approached me and one asked “why are you running? “Don’t you know cultists are fighting and you might be mistaken for one? In all my innocence, I responded: “thank you, I was only trying to get home before the rain gets worse”. Before I could take a step away, the other pulled me and asked for my phone. The shock that enveloped me can’t be described as I reached for my phone in my bag and gave to him. The bike guy who was still there waiting for the guys started his bike as they left. Standing there trying to catch my breath and figure out what just happened, the bike stopped again. To my surprise, they were headed to where I was. The thoughts of either running or standing still were battling in my mind and the other won. I stood there transfixed and they got to me again.

While all these were happening, the street was dead silent, no single soul passed and the heavy downpour I was trying to beat, caught up with me. So, they led me into a bush close to my street and I could feel all the emotions you can possibly think of running through me at once. They held my arms firmly and while one of them pulled me, the other supported with a little push from behind when I was hesitant. “What more do you want from me?” My heart teared up. I didn’t know what they wanted but I just hoped I’ll make it out alive, a part of me survived and a part died there. We got well into the bush and they stopped, I immediately started pleading with them not to kill me and that I was just a Corps Member with no money. My pleadings fell on deaf ears as one started rubbing my face and asked me to take off my dress. At that point, it became even more tensed, my heart was pounding against my rib cage and even in the rain I felt my sweat gushing out. Is this where it all ends? After years of waiting for the perfect person and time to be deflowered, I get defiled by touts in a bush. I wouldn’t let that happen. I told him I couldn’t as I was a virgin and it won’t be good to have my first experience like this. In disbelief, he asked me to swear and I did countless times without hesitation, hoping this was my prayer answered. Just then a car passed and I screamed for help but I rather got a heavy slap on my face in return. I obviously couldn’t be heard, no thanks to the heavy downpour.

After several slaps, with me struggling and fighting; they finally had their way. I have been raped and in a bush. The one that actually raped me got up like the spell covering his eyes just fell off. Himself and his accomplice took to their heels. In fear, I took to my heel also. I finally got to my apartment with the blood and filth I could wash away, and with tears and thoughts that I’ll always live with. The rest they say is history. It was the longest night I have ever experienced.

Rape is one thing no person should experience. But the truth is that it is highly prevalent in our society and the world at large. Much noise has and is being made about it but the effect is minimal. Rape, a despicable act of sexual penetration carried out without the consent of the victim who could either be a male or a female. It doesn’t matter if the victim was raped by force or under duress, rape is rape. This act has led some of its victims to their untimely death, while others experience psychological trauma. We should all lend our voices against rape. Proactive steps to ensuring that this menace is curbed should be taken. Enough of the stigmatization, victims should be able to speak up without fear of being stigmatized, and well taken care of and the rapist should face the wrath of the law.