Monthly Archives: August 2018

Raising Good Men

On Raising Good Boys Into Good Men

There are 2 women in my life that serve as good examples of how I will raise my son. They are my Mum and my Mum-in-law (I call her Mummy).

My superhero Mum has raised my 2 brothers to respect and value every human regardless of gender and that they should treat their fellow person the way they will want their sisters or loved ones to be treated and I have seen that manifest in their lives. Yes, they both have shortcomings but none of it stem from misogyny or chauvinism which makes me proud to have them as brothers. They are not married yet and so I cannot speak for them from the angle of how they will treat their spouses but I expect nothing less than how they have been raised to.

Now, with regard to my Husband, Mummy is a queen to me with regard how she has raised this man and how it has manifested in our marriage. Mummy was childless for many years, almost 10 then she had my husband. He ended up being the only child for over 10 years before his sister was born and also a few years after that, she lost her husband (Hubby’s dad).

Telltale Signs of Narcissistic Behaviour (And How to Deal With It)

This is a woman who is very successful in her business and till date employs lots of staff both at the office and at home.  And with all of what I mentioned above, some may assume that after all of that experience, she would have raised Hubby to be overprotected, spoilt and probably even entitled. I am proud to say he is neither of these things. He is one of the most caring, domesticated, thoughtful and loving person I have ever come across and everybody that meets Awhim thinks so too.

My husband is someone that agrees with me in running our home equally in all aspects. We manage our finances openly with each other and take decisions together. When I cook, he washes the plates and cleans up and vice versa, he also takes turns to care for our infant son by bathing him, feeding him etc. Now the most memorable part for me was that he did not know how to cook complicated meals when we started dating because he never really got the chance (not that he was forbidden to learn) and I taught him via Skype (we were long distance for 2 years). When I got pregnant and got tired a lot in my first trimester, hubby became a daily visitor to allnigerianrecipes.com and dooney’s kitchen website lol and he now cooks even more than me. I can say he is probably the main overseer in the kitchen these days because I always want to try his recipes.

I have had Mummy visit us from Nigeria and she gives us our independence that she does not concern herself on how we run our home as long as we have a happy system that works for both of us.

From my experience with discussions with her, I know she wanted to make a conscious effort to raise him as a caring and independent man and not to have a repeat of the misogyny that surrounded a lot of her acquaintances’ homes and boy am I glad she did.

We have been attracted to each other from day 1 and I only planned to end up with such a man. I am glad it didn’t take me long to find him on one of my visits home to Nigeria.

Written by Anu Kasim for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng

When to Quit Your Job

How to Know You’re Ready to Quit Your 9-5

You see influencers on Instagram snapping photos of their decadent lunches before cruising on a sailboat to the next island. You see startup founders taking ski trips with potential investors and bloggers travelling around the country in an RV van to meet up with readers.

While quitting your day job to pursue full-time entrepreneurship seems like #TheDream, it’s not nearly as glam once you take the leap.

Most of us who quit our 9 to 5 jobs are searching for more freedom and flexibility, but we’re quickly met with uncertainty, especially in our finances. But many times, the sacrifice comes with a big payoff (literally).

With big excitement comes big risk, so it’s important to take a deep look into your current financial situation to see if you’re truly ready to quit your job. The more financially stable you are going into your decision, the more at peace you’ll be when putting in your two week’s notice.

So let’s talk about how you can set yourself up for financial success before you quit your job.

Coping With Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy

WHAT TO DO

Have a plan

First, do you have a plan?

No, not just a strategic business and marketing plan, although that’s important too. I’m talking about a full, unbiased analysis of your current financial situation.

It’s easy to get caught up in the fantasy of taking the leap, but looking at the hard numbers will serve you well. And it doesn’t have to be as scary as you think.

Once you put the numbers down on paper, you’ll be able to see a clear picture of what needs to happen before you quit your job. You’ll go into the decision feeling financially stable rather than wondering how you’ll make it through the first few months.

This financial analysis will come in handy when you start to set a realistic timeline of when you’ll be ready to quit your job. For some, their timeline may be a year. For others, it may be within a few months.

Start your business as a side hustle

Are you waiting to start your business until you’re able to leap into it full-time? With so many benefits to side hustling, you may want to start sooner than you think.

By testing the waters and experimenting while you still have a day job, you’re able to take bigger risks and build a dedicated audience. Building a business from scratch takes time, so it’s better to start now than wait for the perfect time when everything aligns just right.

After all, why wait to start something you feel passionate about? Turning your passion into a side gig gives you the best of both worlds when you’re working a day job. Generating extra side income while setting up the building blocks of your business is a win-win!

Instead of your job being the thing that keeps you from pursuing your passion, it becomes the thing that helps you pursue it. How? By giving you the security of a consistent paycheck so you can focus your energy on doing what you love during your off time.

Assess how much income your business needs to generate to make minimum debt payments.

Having a clear understanding of the minimum payments you need to make will help you better assess your financial situation. When you quit your job, you don’t want to be worried about making your minimums, which would increase your debt.

Once you’ve seen real results and can put a number down for when you’re financially ready to leap, you’ll have a plan to help you get there.

Have at least six months of expenses saved before you make plans to quit your job.

This includes business and living expenses. Approaching your finances holistically will help you best plan for business success.

To know you’re covered for the first two quarters of business will help you free your mind to think “What can I do to grow my business?” rather than “What can I do to pay my next bill?”

Do your business finance homework

When you start a business, you become not only a student in entrepreneurship but also in finance. To run a profitable, sustainable business, you need to know the dollars and cents behind it.

When I decided to turn my blog into a business, I didn’t take the numbers seriously enough. I told myself that to be successful, all I had to do was exercise my passion and creativity. Well, you can guess how well that served me. (Hint: not so well!)

It wasn’t until I dove head-first into my business finances that I came out with a successful business. I updated my client onboarding and invoicing systems, did my own yearly taxes (and learned a lot), raised my value-based prices, and got comfortable with talking about money.

By taking the power away from the “mystery” of finances and putting it in my own hands, I was able to take full reign of my business and turn it into a profitable, sustainable career. I know you can do the same, but it starts with understanding the numbers.

Source: Convertkit.com

How to Deal with a Critical Parent

How to Deal with a Critical Parent when You Feel Unworthy

I have a critical dad who is critical of everything including me. Being the highly sensitive child that I am, I used to feel really hurt by his comments. But over the years, I learn how to manage his criticisms and improve our relationship.

Before I go any further, I would like to point out that:

Not all critical parents are unloving.

Your parents might love you dearly, but they can’t stop criticising you. Like my dad, he always criticises us because he believes that criticisms would help us. I used to think he didn’t love me and this created an obstacle between us. So I urge you to keep an open mind about your parents and not judge them as bad, mean, or toxic yet until you understand where they are coming from.

Tips To Help You Recover from a business failure

If you are reading this, you probably have low self-esteem or feel unworthy about yourself, so let’s understand the side-effects of having critical parents on our self-esteem first.

Know what they criticise you for and avoid the “firing range”.

There are different types of critical parent. Your parent can be a mixture of two or more of the following types:

  • Controlling parents: They criticise you because they want to have control over your choices. For example, they might criticise your date or your job to make you feel bad about your choices, so as to influence you to choose something else they want.
  • Narcissistic parents: They criticize you because they feel threatened by your success and independence. But at the same time, if they see you as an extension of themselves, they might find faults in you too when you don’t do well.
  • Emotionally abusive parents: They call you names, they belittle you, and they swear at you because you reminded them of somebody else. These parents usually have some psychological problems or disorder and have a bad or abusive childhood.
  • Anxious parents: They are overly-protective and they criticize you because they are afraid that you make mistakes. They show their care by nagging at you constantly.
  • Negative parents: They are pessimistic and have a negative view of life. They are sceptical of everything and criticise everything including you.

 

These tips will help you:

1. Stop seeking your parents’ approval.

Are you still looking for your dad’s or mom’s approval? If yes, this might be the reason why you are still getting criticized by your parents all the time.

Seeking approval from others means you are asking them for opinions and permission to do something. It means wanting to be accepted. But it also means there’s a chance of being rejected. Which child doesn’t want to be approved by their parent and feel accepted? But we are adults now, we are responsible for most if not all of our life choices.

As children, our survival depends on our parents. If we don’t get approved by our parents, we risk not able to survive on our own. This is not the case now, but most of us still seek approval from our parents for everything ranging from our partners to our jobs to our purchases.

2. Self-approval is more important than your parents’ approval.

Even if your parents disagree with your choices, what’s stopping you from moving ahead? The reason why their disapproval has so much emotional charge on you is that you think they are still in control of you. But no, they don’t. If you don’t want to get disapproved by your parents, then don’t ask for their opinions, especially if you have controlling parents. You just give them the opportunities to criticize you.

Don’t expect your parents will give you the approval and recognition you want so badly someday. This might sound a bit disheartening, but having an expectation like this is going to disappoint you all the time. Instead, always give yourself the approval first. Let your parents’ approval be a bonus and not something you seek.

3.  Don’t believe their criticisms.

What our parents say aren’t the truth. They learn it from someone else, most likely from our grandparents. So don’t trust their criticisms. In fact, don’t believe your own thoughts too. You inner critic is also influenced by your parents.

How do you know if you believe what your parents say? You know when you reacted to it. If someone were to tell you that you are a green monster, you don’t have any feelings for it because you know you are not a green monster. But if your parents tell you what you have done is dumb or stupid and you feel sad about it, then a part of your mind believes that they are right.

4. The criticisms are never about you, so don’t take them personally.

Most parents see their children as the extension of themselves. Whatever they are criticizing you for is what they don’t want to see in themselves too. Know that as children, we kind of trigger problems that our parents don’t want to face and hence the criticisms. They don’t want you to be the lazy or bad child that your grandparents see them as.

And sometimes, parents just don’t know how hurtful their words are and how sensitive their children are. Just recently, my dad called me stupid for eating the rice dumpling before a meal. Then after realizing what he had just said, he clarified not stupid as in really stupid and we laughed about it.

Understand the intention of their criticisms. Extract what your parents want to tell you without believing that there’s something wrong with you. We almost have to develop an internal filter or translator to prevent our minds from forming unnecessary meanings from what we hear.

5. Be compassionate and don’t pass the criticisms on.

When you are criticized by your parents, don’t criticize others, don’t criticize your parents and don’t even criticize yourself. Stop the cycle there.

If someone were to pass you the poison, you don’t pass it on to someone else. You don’t drink it. You find a way to dispose of it without harming the environment.

6. Your parents will not be the only ones who criticise you.

You need to know how to neutralize any poison that is given to you at any time by any person, and not let the poison spread in your body.

Take the time to heal yourself and get rid of any “poison” you have already consumed i.e. all the hurt you have accumulated in the past since you were young. Understand how you have internalized some of the criticisms and believed what they said are true. Be your own best friend and be compassionate to yourself.

Your parents might have been hurt at some point in their life and they don’t know how to undo the hurt they received. But it’s your responsibility to undo the hurt inflicted on you and be impeccable with your words.

Source: Nerdycreator.com

 

Prenatal depression Cure

Coping With Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy

Research has shown that up to 33 percent of women experience clinical depression or an anxiety disorder at some point during pregnancy. Yet some studies indicate that fewer than 20 percent seek treatment, and that treatment is often inadequate.

Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder just like clinical depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry.

During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect the chemicals in your brain, which are directly related to depression and anxiety.  These can be exacerbated by difficult life situations, which can result in depression during pregnancy.

Telltale Signs of Narcissistic Behaviour (And How to Deal With It)

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Being in a depressed mood most of the time for at least two weeks
  • No longer enjoying the things you used to enjoy
  • Decreased interest in the world around you
  • Guilt
  • A sense of worthlessness
  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Appetite changes
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Getting too much sleep, or not enough sleep

The symptoms of anxiety vary by type of anxiety disorder, and include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

  • Excessive worry that’s difficult to control
  • Irritability
  • Tension/muscle aches
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Feeling restless inside
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

  • Recurrent, persistent, intrusive thoughts
  • Compulsions to relieve those thoughts through repetitive thoughts or behaviors

Panic disorder:

  • Recurrent panic attacks
  • Persistent fear of having a panic attack

Risk Factors for Anxiety and Depression

Anyone can experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy, but women with these risk factors are especially susceptible:

  • A personal or family history of a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety
  • A history of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Being a young mother (under the age of 20)
  • Having poor social support
  • Living alone
  • Experiencing marital conflict
  • Being divorced, widowed, or separated
  • Having experienced traumatic or stressful events in the past year
  • Feeling ambivalent about being pregnant
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Having a low income
  • Having more than three children

Risks to the mother include:

  • Suicide
  • Pregnancy termination
  • Postpartum depression or anxiety
  • Use of substances such as alcohol or drugs
  • Impaired attachment to the baby
  • Not taking good care of her physical health
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preterm labor
  • Having a C-section

The cure to prenatal depression

If you feel you may be struggling with depression, the most important step is to seek help. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms and struggles.

A woman with mild to moderate depression may be able to manage her symptoms with support groups, psychotherapy and light therapy. But if a pregnant woman is dealing with severe depression, a combination of psychotherapy and medication is usually recommended.

Source: Americanpregnancy.org

Recovering from business failure

Tips To Help You Recover from a business failure

We all make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are part of life for every business and every working person. That said, a high-profile mistake by the CEO or top leader of a small to medium-sized company can inflict out-sized consequences upon a company and its employees.

How to write a business plan

If you make a similarly controversial decision, how do you manage your way through it?

We recommend following four R’s to help you navigate the choppy terrain of a public failure or corporate mishap.

  • Regret
  • Responsibility
  • Resolve
  • Refocus

Be aware: Every step of the four R’s requires you to flex considerable communications muscles.

Regret

Is it any wonder the two most difficult words for leaders to express are “I’m sorry?” As difficult as it is to admit mistakes, expressing sincere regret for what happened is a crucial first step to demonstrating the kind of vulnerability that rebuilds trust and confidence with your stakeholders. Done right, apologising for our mistakes breaks down defences and sends a powerful message of strength and humility.

Your conversation might go like this: “I realise that my mix-up of the dates really puts your team in a bind, and I’m very sorry for the delay.”

Communicate respect and concern for those dealing with whatever consequences your actions have had. Also, give the other party a chance to voice any concerns and ask questions.

That said, be careful about over-apologizing. Too many mea culpas may make you seem insincere or weak, which will undermine your efforts.

Responsibility

According to Justin Menkes’ book, Better Under Pressure, truly great leaders accept ownership when things go wrong. Owning the problem communicates to others that your relationship is more important than being right. It also sets the stage for taking off the blinders and facing our flaws. While it’s not easy to own our mistakes, hiding or denying them can cause irreparable damage. Remember Watergate?

Resolve

If your decision exposes or creates a problem, you may find your team members are encouraged to create solutions that didn’t exist before.

For example, one financial services company had to cut their workforce by 20 percent to make up for the loss of business after a product failure. Ultimately, the company was spurred to improve several processes and systems that created a leaner, stronger operation.

So, once you have identified a solution, the next step is to communicate your plan of action. Consider, what will you stop, start or keep doing to transform the situation? People are prone to be more understanding when they see you have carefully considered a viable remedy to the situation.

Start by admitting exactly what happened, why, what you’re doing to fix it and steps you have taken to prevent it from happening again. You might start out by saying, “I’m sorry the checks didn’t go out as promised. Here’s what caused the error and here’s what I’m doing to make things right as quickly as possible.”

Refocus

Whether you are recovering from a minor misstep or a more serious strategic blunder, once you have communicated the way forward, it’s time to refocus your energy on the power and promise of your company’s brand. This step reinforces the message that no matter what has happened, your business remains unchanged in the areas that matter most.

Source: Insperity.com

Narcissistic Behaviour Signs

Telltale Signs of Narcissistic Behaviour (And How to Deal With It)

Narcissistic behaviour ruins relationships. Finding out you’re in a relationship with a narcissist is like discovering you’re on a dead-end street — eventually, you’ll have to turn around and start over. Until the end, the narcissist in your life keeps taking and taking while you keep giving.

1. They make everything about them.

Here’s the deal with narcissists: they absolutely love talking about themselves.  When you’re talking to a narcissist, they’re not really listening; they’re waiting to talk about themselves.

Anyone is guilty of this from time to time, but the narcissist will take the conversation and steer it in their direction consistently.

The narcissist could ask you about your day, but it’s more of a way to start a conversation in which they will become the subject. They also tend to interrupt and change the subject.

2. They want control and power, and they want to lead.

Narcissistic behaviour often lands the narcissist in leadership positions because it looks like confidence.

But be careful before you label your boss or your congress person a narcissist. Charisma and the ability to lead are not necessarily signs of narcissism.

3. They make grandiose statements all the time.

You know a grandiose statement when you hear one. Narcissistic behavior is about using these statements to attract attention and earn other people’s confidence and admiration.

The grandiose narcissist feels entitled. Instead of saying, ‘I still have a lot to learn, but I’m fairly confident I can succeed,’ the narcissist will say something like, ‘I honestly feel I deserve to get a raise more than the other people in my department.”

4. They cheat on you.

Narcissists tend to cheat because they get gratification from exploiting others through sexual encounters. Cheating feeds the narcissist’s sense of self-validation and power.

5. They manipulate you until they get what they want.

There are two faces of narcissism:

  • The extraverted, egotistical, and charming type we’ve been discussing so far.
  • And a type that seems completely the opposite — the vulnerable, hypersensitive, anxiety prone narcissist displays a lack of confidence, and may seem introverted, but is actually harboring grandiose fantasies, and will use their vulnerability to exploit others.

Both types of narcissists share the tendency to exploit others by manipulating their emotions.

6. They are in and out of relationships frequently.

While studying narcissists in relationships, psychologist W. Keith Campbell noticed a trend:

Their relationships peak after about four months, then they’re typically over. People in relationships with narcissists report a high level of satisfaction for the first four months, and then a quick decline. This reflects the narcissistic tendency to exploit people until the good times are gone.

How to deal with the narcissist in your life

Don’t put up with it. If you play games with the narcissist, or expect that you can change this person by appealing to their humanity and emotional intelligence, you’re playing right into the narcissist’s plan. Rather, be calm and firm and call them out; assert yourself, your autonomy, and the validity of your emotions.

Source: Lifehack.org

How to write a business plan

How to write a business plan

Business Plan is a formal document that contains; business goals, how they can be achieved, organisation structure, financials, key managers’ profile, and many other valuable information.

A good business plan will not only be the blueprint of your business, it will also provide you with a good entry into many doors, including the doors of investors and financial institutions.

1). Executive Summary:

This comes directly after the title page. The executive summary is the general overview of your business plan. It tells the reader exactly what you want to achieve. In a broad view, the executive summary’s purpose is to list out your business goals and expressively describe your company’s profile.

2. Business Description:

Your business description is an explanation of what your company does, the industry your business is operating in, and what differentiates your business from others. It should also contain a more detailed information about your company profile.

When writing your company description, it’s important you talk about the current trends in your market and how you expect the future to turn out. You should talk about the widespread markets operating in your industry, and how some diverse products or services can benefit or affect your business.

3). Market Analysis & Strategies:

Your market analysis is going to contain a comprehensive research of your market and the competitors in your business industry. When you do a thorough market analysis, you become very familiar with the market, and find it easier to narrow down who your immediate target customers could be. With this information, your business can be well positioned to claim a good percentage of the market when you start out.

If you’re finding it difficult to carry out a market research on your own, you could employ the services of market research firms to help you out in your market assessment. They wouldn’t just provide results, but would also outline a marketing plan you could follow, which covers diverse marketing strategies to get a good percentage of the market.

4). Design & Development Plan:

Here you provide your potential creditors and investors, information about your product design and development plan. You’d show your product development strategy, business development plan, and how the business will reach its goals by creating a development budget.

5). Organization & Management:

The business organisation and management will show what business structure your organisation is going to adopt. Since every organisation is structured differently, picking the right organisation and management structure that would aid you in achieving your goals is important for your business plan to be concise.

6). Service or Product Line:

Here you outline your product line, services you offer, and your general product ideas. You’ll describe how your product lines would benefit your customers, and also show the layout of the product lifecycle.

You’ll list your product line pricing, slightly talk about your product’s market research, your product development process and strategy, and your service line.

It’s important at this phase to tell the complete story of your company’s product line, so that anyone reading through can understand a lot better and easily connect with the message you’re trying to pass.

7). Sales And Marketing:

Your sales and marketing will cover how you intend to market the business and eventually turn a profit. Here you outline your marketing strategies based on the information gotten from your market research and analysis. You’ll also outline how to reach your target customers, your marketing strategies & promotional tactics, how you’ll price your products and/or services, and how you intend to position the individual brands of your products and/or services.

8). Funding Request:

Here you’ll state all your financial needs. If the purpose of your business plan is to get business funding, you should include the total amount it would take to run the company, and how you expect to reap strong financial gains from it in the short or long term.

Getting a grant or seed funding through your business plan can sometimes be tricky if you don’t know the real expectations of the institutions you plan on getting it from. But detailing your business funding request in the most promising and realistic financially rewarding way for the funding agencies to digest, would be your best bet.

9). Financial Projections:

Your financial projections have to be detailed in the most cost-effective manner. This becomes more important if you’re seeking funding from a financial institution. Find out the full information you need to include in your financial forecast for your funding request to pull through or look more feasible. If funding is not the reason for creating the business plan, then you still need to be very realistic in the preparation. Any assumed or exaggerated figure can lead to utter disappointments.

10). Appendix:

The appendix part of your business plan is optional. It usually contains your:

  • Patents, licences, and permits
  • Contracts
  • Letters of reference
  • Legal documents
  • Book references

Source: Startuptipsdaily.com

 

 

 

 

 

Healing a broken heart

The Real Cause of Inner Emptiness (And What to Do About It)

Do you often feel empty inside? Do you believe that others should be filling you up? Discover the real cause of inner emptiness and what to do about it.

If you feel empty, you are not alone in feeling this way.

Many people feel empty inside, and most people who feel empty have some deep, false beliefs regarding why they feel empty.

There are many substances, processes, behaviors and activities that people use addictively to try to fill the emptiness. These may work for the moment, but not for long. Soon, the emptiness is back and you are looking for someone or something to temporarily fill up the black hole.

The problem with all these behaviors is that they only address the symptom of inner emptiness — not the cause.

The Cause Of Inner Emptiness

There is only one thing that truly fills the emptiness. Love. There is only one cause of inner emptiness: a lack of love.

But it is not a lack of someone else’s love that causes your emptiness. Inner emptiness is caused by self-abandonment — by not loving yourself.

Inner emptiness comes from a lack of connection with your spiritual source of love — from not opening to the love-that-is-God and bringing that love to yourself through true thought and loving action in your own behalf.

When you abandon yourself by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings by staying in your head, numbing your feelings through substance and process addictions and making others responsible for your feelings and for loving you, you will feel empty. You are causing your own emptiness by your self-abandonment.

Your ego-wounded self is filled with false beliefs regarding who you are. Your wounded self may see you as inadequate, unlovable, not good enough, not important, selfish, bad, wrong. Your wounded self operates from core shame — that you are intrinsically flawed.

These are programmed beliefs that have no basis in truth, but they may be running your life. When you believe that you are not good enough, then you turn to others and to addictions to try to feel okay — to fill the emptiness that you are causing with your self-judgment/self-abandonment.

Filling Your Inner Emptiness: Learning To Love Yourself

The truth of who you are comes only from your personal source of spiritual guidance — whatever that is for you. When you open to learning with a source of higher guidance about the truth of who you are, and about what is loving action toward yourself and others, you open to the love-that-is-God coming into your heart and filling your inner emptiness.

This occurs when you shift your attention — from protecting against pain and avoiding responsibility for your feelings through your addictive and controlling behaviors — to learning, with your higher guidance, about what is loving to yourself and others.

Today, choose the intent to learn with your higher guidance about truth and about loving yourself — even if you don’t believe that anything is there to answer you — and see what happens. You might start to feel full of love inside!

Source: HuffingtonPost,com

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction: How to Stop Drinking and Start Recovery

Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But it’s not. If you’re ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuse—no matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel.

You don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom; you can make a change at any time. Whether you want to quit drinking altogether or cut down to healthier levels, these guidelines can help you get started on the road to recovery today.

Do you want to stop drinking altogether or just cut back? If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit to at least two days each week when you won’t drink at all.

When do you want to stop drinking or start drinking less? Tomorrow? In a week? Next month? Within six months? If you’re trying to stop drinking, set a specific quit date.

After you’ve set your goals to either stop or cut back your drinking, write down some ideas on how you can help yourself accomplish these goals. For example:

Get rid of temptations. Remove all alcohol, barware, and other alcohol-related paraphernalia from your home and office.

Announce your goal. Let friends, family members, and co-workers know that you’re trying to stop or cut back on drinking. If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you.

Be upfront about your new limits. Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served.

Avoid bad influences. Distance yourself from people who don’t support your efforts to stop drinking or respect the limits you’ve set. This may mean giving up certain friends and social connections.

Learn from the past. Reflect on previous attempts to stop or reduce your drinking. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do differently this time to avoid pitfalls?

Tips for cutting down on your drinking

Set a drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much you will drink. Make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if you’re a woman, or two drinks a day if you’re a man—and try to schedule some alcohol-free days each week. Now write your drinking goal on a piece of paper. Put it where you can see it, such as on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror.

LEARNING TO BE SELFLESS EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO BE

Keep a “diary” of your drinking. To help you reach your goal, keep a “diary” of your drinking. For example, write it down every time you have a drink during the week. Try to keep your diary for 3 or 4 weeks. This will show you how much you drink and when. You may be surprised. How different is your goal from the amount you drink now?

Watch it at home. Try to limit or remove alcohol from your home. It’s much easier to avoid drinking if you don’t keep temptations around.

Drink slowly. When you drink, sip your drink slowly. Take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks—or drink soda, water, or juice after each alcoholic drink. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink.

Take breaks from alcohol. Pick a day or two each week when you will not drink at all. Then, try to stop drinking for one week. Think about how you feel physically and emotionally on these days. When you succeed and feel better, you may find it easier to cut down for good.

Source: Helpguide.org

Oluyomi Ojo Profile

“The most important thing is to find your path and then choose the one which works for you.” – CEO of Printivo, Oluyomi Ojo 

 

Oluyomi Ojo founded his company, Printivo  to make printing be less revolting for Nigerian SMEs, Corporations and the general public. Theirs is a platform that puts the power to design in the hand of everyone. 

In this interview with Diary of a Naija Girl, he chronicles his journey so far and gives some tips budding entrepreneurs can learn from.

DANG: TELL US ABOUT GROWING UP

MR. OLU: I think, I’ve been distinct as a kid. I happen to be the last born of the family and we were raised by single mum, we were all very close to her and she has  always a goal driven person, whatever she sets her mind to do, she gets it done and never get distracted. And in one way, that added to our personalities but on top of that, I was that kid who wanted to be free, who wanted to do his own thing, who wanted to be different. For example, all my siblings went to the same secondary school and university, but I didn’t go with them because I didn’t want to do what everybody was doing, I just wanted to be different. I think it was actually one of the things that dawned on me to take another path.

DANG: ON LOANING 300 NAIRA FROM MY MUM TO START A BUSINESS

MR OLU: So, the interesting part was that, there was no question raised. I was young, I was out of secondary school, making stuff like handmade cards and those things were huge at the time before technology took over. My mum encouraged us to find way to make money as kids. For example, in my house while growing up, when you’re done with secondary school, before and when you got to go the university; you don’t stay at home, you just have to get busy, you can’t sit around, that was a rule that wasn’t spoken about, but it was a rule.

And for me, making handmade cards was a way for me to get busy and even when I was in University, I dabbled into T-shirts business although it didn’t survive long and the greeting cards business closed in 2002/2003 when GSM went mainstream.  I stopped the card business because I sensed that soon, everyone would embrace phones and this led to my T-shirts business which I foresaw would be relevant in years to come especially graphics design.

So, I saved up and bought my first computer in 300 level as an undergrad and in 400 level, I got to intern with a media agency for like a year, which was a fantastic learning period for me and by the time I graduated, I started a company.

DANG: HOW WELL DO YOU UNDERSTAND ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

MR. OLU: So, the first thing I’ve learnt about entrepreneurship is that, everything that surrounds it isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Suddenly, you come to realise that the journey will be filled with too many ups and downs moments. But from all of those events/ times you have something you’re learning, something you are taking away from those moments. And then you realised all these is just a journey, and a journey will definitely have its own destination but all along, you need to make a conscious effort to enjoy the journey as against always having your eyes on the destination which is not a bad idea but, enjoy the journey and it was when I got to that point that I said, “Let’s just ride along”

DANG: TELL US ABOUT GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

MR. OLU: First, I started my first business straight out of the university. I literally started from nothing and we were able to grow. I had just one employee, no money in the bank, zero connection, no clients in the books, but somehow, we were able to grow by turning those things around and by committing to it. So, now when we’re committed to bigger things and we are seeing a few of those challenges coming up or something similar, we definitely know how to work our way around it. We’ve got to that point we just focus. It’s a continuum, it’s a journey and I’m beginning to learn how to enjoy the journey as against the destination. And even when you don’t end up getting to the destination, you will learn enough from the experience that will get you to probably somewhere better.

Sincerely, my internship opened my eyes. It showed how to manage a design business which I didn’t know until I did my internship program and it taught me on how to build a design business.

DANG: ON GOING INTO PRINTING BUSINESS?

MR. OLU: We started the company from a small garage in Ikeja and branded it. And one of the biggest challenges we always face is working with printers. When you do your designs putting together the date and time, the printers wouldn’t deliver on time and then we have to micromanage and all. So, we decided to start our own printing business and go all in; that was how the idea of Printivo was born and along the line we discovered many companies are doing digital market and they are skilled.

DANG: DOES PRINTING STILL MAKE MONEY.

MR. OLU: Yes, printing still makes money. It’s hard but it still makes money. Prints is the oldest communication technology and at every point in time, every new form of technology has been predicted to extinct prints from radio, to TV, and the internet. The point is this, prints won’t change, it is what we print that will change and how we print. As a matter of fact, the technology that will kill prints, will actually help prints scale.

A typical example is, the mass media (newspapers, magazines, journals etc) received a very huge blow when we moved from prints to digital and that’s basically because it’s not about those things, it’s about the contents. So, when the content was moved elsewhere, people’s attention changed as well. The reason we bought newspapers and magazines in the first place was because of the content, the moment the contents were moved elsewhere. Branded T-shirts are still in business that can’t be transferred, business cards are still sought after, in other words, print is always going to be here, it is what we print and how we print that will change. Technology is transforming how we print., bringing prints to the feet of everyone.

DANG: WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY?

MR.OLU: So, there are patterns out there that tells you where people want to go, what people want to do in 5-10years from now and there are certain things we can’t walk away from. For example, there is a future where people won’t probably pay with the money we spend in these days. Recently, we launched a product called ‘Creative Marketplace’, It empowers people, and literally moved us from being a printing company to be a print platform.

And today, Printivo doesn’t make all the money, designers now make money as well, by creating templates for Printivo Prints and every time a customer uses your templates, you earn 15% of that money. A marketplace of designers scattered across Nigeria building their own prints shop on that platform. Because we learnt that, people tend to buy from people they know.

So, if I am selling prints I’ll probably be able to sell to my friends, the power of community is the reason why we all want to be on social media and everything is driven by friends/ friend’s recommendation because of the power in association. People do things most times on recommendation of the people they know. For example; Nigerians still trust to ask fellow human’s directions than use goggle maps and that isn’t changing anytime soon.

DANG: HOW DO PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MARKETPLACE?

MR. OLU: It’s quite easy. For example, if you are a graphics designer, just go on a graphic design website and click on create a shop, it takes you where to fill your stuff, fill in your information, your store goes live in 5 mins and you can start adding your graphics. So, every time a client visit creative.com or even the main website and they click on the product, your template is part of what they see and every time customers use the template, you’ve earned 15% of the value of that order. So, if a thousand customers use that template, you receive 15% on all orders.

DANG: IS THIS YOUR COMPANY’S CSR OR A BUSINESS STRATEGY?

MR. OLU: It’s a business strategy but we’ve seen that it is adding impacts. So far, graphics designers can earn from it a side hustle. For us, it’s not a CSR but it’s adding value.

DANG:  HOW DOES KNOWING THAT NOTHING LASTS FOREVER MOTIVATE YOU?

MR. OLU: It helps you to want to make continuous effort to make good things better and it also helps you to understand that bad things will pass by. Because you’ll understand that, no matter how good this thing is, it’s going to expire someday. So, you need to keep working extra hours to keep it to getting better and then, when things are extremely bad for you, you definitely understand that it’s a phase and it will surely pass.

DANG: WHAT ADVANTAGE DOES PRINTVO HAVE ABOVE ALL OTHER PRINTING COMPANIES?

MR. OLU: First of all, I think it’s important to note that Printivo has been able to move from just a printing company to a printing platform. I believe so much in the people we have even when we lose everything, as long as we are able to keep our people; that okay for me and that’s our major advantage and our clients as well. I make sure to let people around me know never to ignore the competition and never lose your focus and let that focus be your customer and still be ahead of the competition.

“Your Business Needs To Be Viable Before You Quit Your Job.”- Girl Boss: 29 Year Old Ifedayo Durosimi Etti, Founder, Philos And Zoe

DANG: WHAT IS THE WORST MYTH THAT NIGERIANS HAVE ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

MR. OLU: One major myth on entrepreneurship is that, it is the most glorious thing you can do. Don’t let anyone box your thinking into the fact that you have to be an entrepreneur to be fulfilled. That’s the biggest lie ever told to anyone. You can be a 9-5 job and have a happy and fulfilled life and still earn more than entrepreneurs. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur, not everybody can take the hassle that comes with it. The most important thing is, you need to find your path and then choose the one which works for you.

DANG: ANY ADVICE FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS?

MR. OLU: The first thing I will say to anyone that wants to start any business in this country, is to first be sure to know what you really want, what you really want to do. As yourself these questions: “can what you have really start what you want to do, can I start small?” You need to be able to figure out your business requirements, what you have and don’t have and that should determine how you want to try and thrive. My mentor told me this sometimes ago, “Fear game is the lie the weak tell themselves to make the strong feel bad” You need to understand the phase you are at and the phase you want to be.

Signs of an Alpha woman

10 Signs You Are An Alpha Woman

There are very few things as stunning and breathtaking as an alpha woman. Her poised sense of self and her kind yet firm ways are a masterful thing to behold. While others may lack courage and direction in life, the alpha woman knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and she is completely unapologetic about it. Here is how to know you are an ALPHA WOMAN,

1. The spotlight is always on you.

Whether you want it or not, the spotlight is always on you. Your confidence demands the attention of all you come in contact with. At work everyone may look to you for guidance on how to complete a project or for you to take the lead on group assignments.

In social gatherings, you steal the attention of one and all and you capture them with your all encompassing gift of social power.

2. You live with purpose.

Not one day goes by that you don’t know exactly what you are going to get out of that day. You live with purpose and have clear goals for all areas of your life. The goals you set for yourself are more than just things you want to accomplish, they are achievements that define you and therefore you pour your heart into them.

HOW TO DEVELOP FOCUSED SELF-DISCIPLINE

3. You are not afraid of being alone.

So you broke up with your boyfriend of 5 years? That is quite alright. You are not defined by romantic relationships. You know what you are capable of accomplishing with or without love in your life.

4. You understand the importance of balance.

You understand that you need balance in all aspects of your life: physical, mental and spiritual. You are committed to thorough work in each of these areas to better yourself and live life to the fullest. You embrace the importance of believing in something greater than yourself in order to truly be fulfilled. You understand that what you put in your body is exactly what you will get out.

Lastly, you don’t stop developing yourself intellectually, ever.

5. You embrace change.

While most people are terrified of change, the magnificent alpha woman in you welcomes it. You believe there is no growth without change and no change without sacrifice.

For you, the opportunity for self development is worth far more than the fear of sacrificing the comfort of what you already know. This is truly where the beauty of the alpha woman lies, in your ability to face life and embrace the possibilities for change.

6. You know how to love.

While most people may argue that as an alpha woman you are self-sufficient and have no capacity for love, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, they fail to see that you thoroughly understand your worth and therefore accurately guard your heart.

When you do, the love fest is unconditional, faithful and true. While everyone else is waiting to get swept off their feet, you aren’t afraid to make the first move and fight for what you believe is rightly yours, your one true love.

7. You are very much misunderstood.

Society has this incessant need of fitting you into a mold and quite frankly that does not work with you. You are unapologetic about your opinions. You are unrestrained about your beliefs.

You believe in what you believe in, and there is very little others can do to change your mind once it has been made up. Society cannot understand how it is possible for a woman to be so bold, so courageous.. Don’t ever feel like you must change to fit someone else’s opinion of you.

8. You are an uncontrollable risk taker.

For you, there is no life without risk! What others may see as reckless you see as an opportunity for stepping out of your comfort zone and let your courage shine. Taking these risks in life is what drives you and keeps you focused on becoming the woman you long to be. You never conform and always persevere. You are simply a natural risk taker!

9. You know that you don’t know it all.

Your wisdom and constant pursuit for knowledge have taught you that you don’t know everything. This is what saves you and keeps you from becoming self-absorbed.

Continue to keep this in mind, knowing that there is always room to discover and learn from others. With time, you will learn when to step aside and let someone else shine, knowing that stepping aside won’t diminish your light.

10. You never give up.

This is probably one of your most amazing qualities. The fact that you know that it is not over until you gain complete victory over what you are setting out to do. This quality is what allows you to be successful and sets you apart from the rest of society. You persevere with purpose and determination. That perseverance is what gives you the freedom to be bold and courageous.

Source: Lifehack.org

Selflessness Tips

LEARNING TO BE SELFLESS EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO BE

We spend so much of our lives thinking about ourselvesSeeing only from our perspective, how things affect us, what we want or don’t want, what makes us feel good or what brings us joy. But how often do we stop to shift our perspective to see and learn these answers from another’s point of view? Our family, significant others, teachers, friends, acquaintances? How often do we pause to see the world from beyond our own selves?

How To Tell Someone They Smell Bad (And Other Awkward Conversations)

It can be tough to do as we are creatures of habit and lifelong habits take patience and practice to transform. But it’s a way of seeing, one that if we can learn even a little bit of, that can transform our lives for the better. While I’m still learning to implement many of the strategies below, I believe the lessons learned through their practice will bring greater joy and depth to our relationships.

Here are some ways we can practice selflessness today:

  • Learn to Say Yes More Than You Say No. As long as you’re not putting yourself in a harmful or dangerous situation, of course! If you’re like me, you have a strong sense of your likes and dislikes, of the things that bring you joy and happiness, which can make it easy to turn down invitations knowing that they don’t do it for your soul, per say. But it benefits us and our relationships to take a moment to think beyond our-self and to ask, ‘What does this mean to the person inviting or asking us to do something? Will it bring them great joy? Can we help them in some way?’ Perhaps there’s not something to be gained from every situation, but I’m starting to learn that there’s always something to be given 😉

 

  • Get Out of Your Own Head! Practice stepping outside of your own thoughts, emotions, and desires and think about those around you. Learn to see and hear them and to intuitively understand their needs and what brings them joy. Take a moment to think about what they may be going through and how you can add a little more sunshine to their corner of the world.

 

  • Practice Giving Things You Want for Yourself to Others. Start small (e.g., the last bite of your favorite dessert or, for me, the last sip of my afternoon tea). I’m sure this comes more easily for all of our parent readers, but for the rest of us, we aren’t forced to put another person’s life and needs before our own on a daily basis, so it can be easy to forget to do or even think about. Find one way to give something you want to those you care about today and see how great it makes you feel!

 

  • Give More! Don’t simply give, learn to give more. Go one step beyond what you would typically do for others and practice giving more. There are no limits to how much we can Love and share with others (as well as how much our hearts truly receive in return!). Try to put this to the test every single day.

 

  • Love More. Practice sending Love to everyone and everything, including yourself! We can’t truly learn to be selfless until we learn to Love ourselves unconditionally. After all, we can only give to others what we have ourselves.

 

  • Reflect Daily. It’s impossible to know how we’re behaving, thinking, or living without taking the time to self-reflect on our thoughts, habits, and actions. Take a few moments every evening to look back on your day. How did you treat others? How did you treat yourself? Where could you have Loved or given more? Think about these things and remember not to beat yourself up if you don’t like the answers that arise. Simply intend to be better and try again tomorrow. Tip: It helps me to visualize how I wish I had responded in a particular situation. The more I visualize how I want to be, the more I find it easier to act in a way that’s truly aligned with the person I aspire to be 🙂

 

  • Learn to Let Go. Learn to let go of the need to be in control, the need to protect yourself from every situation or to ensure that it’s always enjoyable for you, and see where focusing on others takes you. I’ve found that the situations I have the most resistance to are the ones where I truly gain the most by showing up and allowing whatever arises to be. You might be surprised what the journey holds if you let go and simply go with the flow!

Source: Simplysmita.com

Dealing With Sensitivity

What Every Sensitive Person Needs To Do

“I used to dislike being sensitive. I thought it made me weak. But take away that single trait, and you take away the very essence of who I am. You take away my conscience, my ability to empathize, my intuition, my creativity, my deep appreciation of the little things, my vivid inner life, my keen awareness of others pain and my passion for it all. ~Unknown

My phone rang and it was my boyfriend. I slipped out into the hall. “Hey you,” I answered. We’d been texting about getting together that night.

“Why don’t you just come over to my place and I’ll cook?”

“Hey there,” he replied. “I’d really rather go out. What about the Swan? I can meet you there at 7pm.”

How To Tell Someone They Smell Bad (And Other Awkward Conversations)

“Okay…” I hesitated, “That will work. I should probably get back to work, but see you tonight.”

I didn’t really want to meet at the Swan, a pub near my house. I just wanted a quiet evening at home, but it felt stupid to argue about it.

What’s wrong with me?” I thought. “Why can’t I enjoy going out for dinner like a regular person?”

I arrived at 7:03 pm and he was already there. We found a table in a quiet-ish area and sat down.

The music was loud and there were what seemed like 100 different conversations happening at once. I was having a hard time concentrating on what my boyfriend was saying.

He got up to go to the washroom.

“My boyfriend’s taking me out for a nice meal,” I thought. “I should be grateful.”

But the chair felt hard and my back felt sore.

“Seriously, what’s wrong with me??” I thought. “I somehow find a way to complain about everything. Why can’t I just have a good time? Why can’t I focus on my boyfriend and the yummy food and enjoy myself? I really am spoiled…”

My boyfriend returned and I ordered a second drink to numb the overwhelm I was feeling and the voices in my head.

Whether to go out or stay in was a constant point of tension between us. He ran his own law office and so worked from home most days. He wanted to get out of the house in the evenings. I worked in an office and was introverted and sensitive, so at the end of the day I really just wanted a quiet evening at home.

Embrace your sensitivity and protect yourself.

I live alone in a quiet neighborhood. I only invite a couple of people over to my house at a time. I politely decline invitations to loud or overwhelming parties.

If you’re highly sensitive you have to be insanely protective of your energy. HSPs are often amazing creatives or healers, but if you’re drained because you aren’t protecting your energy you won’t have much to give back.

I know it can sometimes feel stupid to walk around the city with giant headphones playing white noise or declining an invitation to a friend’s party, but I guarantee you’ll be happier and healthier if you protect yourself.

That boyfriend and I ended up breaking up for a number of reasons, but one of them was that he couldn’t accept my sensitivities.

 Ask for help from the people you trust.

This might be the hardest one to do. Well, this and protecting yourself are both really difficult!!

I sometimes dissociate if there’s loud music or even something as simple as a very intellectual conversation. The hardest but also best thing to do if this is starting is to tell the person I’m with what’s happening to me.

I might say something like, “I want to stay in this conversation, but I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and am having a hard time connecting. Can we slow things down for a minute?”

The more you can explain to the people you’re close to what’s happening, the more they can help you. I’m learning that most people actually want to help me when I’m overwhelmed but just don’t understand what it’s like or what they can do.

The more you can say things like “I’m feeling overwhelmed. Can we just walk in silence for a minute?” or “Will you just hold my hand for a minute?” or “Can we just turn off the music for a little while?” the more the people who care about you can help.

You’d be surprised, your non-HSP friends want to help you; they just have no idea what it’s like or how they can help.

 Do things that make you feel happy, safe, and protected.

Figure out what you love and what makes you feel safe and prioritize those activities.

This might include:

  • baths with candle light
  • hiding under the covers for as long as possible
  • walks alone in nature
  • canceling a coffee date and staying in
  • telling a friend you trust what it’s like to be highly sensitive
  • hanging out with other HSPs who totally get it!

I’ve come along way from the days when I would say yes to invitations just to fit in, and my life has transformed into something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

I quit my office job with bright lights and lots of other people’s emotions swirling around and went out on my own. I designed my business where I walk outside in nature while helping people out on the phone.

Just yesterday I was out beside Lake Ontario watching a flock of swallows dip and dive and play. And I had this moment where I thought, “Is this really my life? Is this really what I get to do?”

I’ve realized that the more I protect my energy, the more I can really give to the people I work with, and so I am more protective than ever.

As a highly sensitive person, you have a special gift to share. As you learn to accept your sensitivity and protect your energy your life will change. You’ll become happier and healthier and have more to contribute.

By protecting yourself you’re not being selfish or greedy or difficult; you’re actually being generous. The world needs your gifts and when you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to give more and make the impact on the world you were meant to make.

Source: TinyBuddha.com

Dealing with body odour

How To Tell Someone They Smell Bad (And Other Awkward Conversations)

Do you have something uncomfortable to tell someone? Like maybe she smells bad, or he needs to wash his hair more, or everyone can see her underwear when she bends over? Here’s how to break the news with minimal fallout — and how to decide if you should keep silent instead.

Don’t jump the gun.

Nobody really wants to be the one to tell somebody they stink, so this advice shouldn’t be too hard to follow. Still, you should remember that it’s probably not worth commenting on somebody’s attributes, greasy hair, visible underwear or the likes unless it’s causing a problem for you — or you’re pretty sure it’s starting to cause problems for them.

Wait for a pattern to emerge. Definitely don’t say anything the first, second or even third time you notice it. If it’s something little that can be fixed in the moment, go ahead and speak up. But for larger issues, it can be a good idea to hold off until you’re sure it’s an ongoing problem.

Would I be labelled a bad mum if I took my stubborn son to live with his paternal grandparents?

Don’t speak out of spite.

Before you say anything, you should ask yourself if you want to enrich your relationship with the other person. If the answer is no — if you don’t care about them or even want to take them down a peg — then you should probably keep quiet. People can smell fakeness, and an insincere “I’m only saying this because I care about you” isn’t going to help anyone. Nobody likes a concern-troll.

Pick a private place.

Somebody’s problem is not a topic to bring up at a board meeting or a party. You want to be sure you are alone and in a private setting, one where you know you will not be interrupted. According to Flagg,

[W]hen you do speak up, don’t EVER say that several other people have “brought it to your attention.” That’s horrifying for the individual. He or she will become so focused on who else said something and how many other people were talking about him or her, that it derails the conversation and turns it into something negative. A caveat: Sometimes a person will get crazy, especially if they report to you and they blame you for picking on them. In that case, it is sometimes necessary to say you’re not alone in your observations.

Let them respond.

When confronted with a difficult personal issue, people sometimes react with “denial, defense, or deflection.” Expect this, and stay on track — don’t let the person derail the conversation by talking about someone else’s ugly haircut or whatever. They may have a totally legit explanation — perhaps a medical problem — in which case you should hear them out. But don’t get caught up in an argument if they get defensive. Sometimes, it can be a good idea to just leave and give the person a minute to consider what you’ve said.

Put it in perspective.

Even though conversations about things like personal hygiene can be fraught, they’re not matters of national security. Don’t treat them that way. Says Flagg,

Don’t make it a big deal. It’s only as big as you make it. Be comfortable just saying the words because a sense that you’re ill-at-ease adds to the recipients discomfort as well. Keep it light.

Body odour certainly isn’t pleasant, but in the grand scheme of human problems, it could be a lot worse. Keep that in mind when approaching someone, and everything will go a lot more smoothly.

Source: Jezebel.com

How To Stop Being Lazy

HOW TO DEVELOP FOCUSED SELF-DISCIPLINE

To develop self-discipline requires having a strong desire to achieve a specific goal. Without a strong desire, there is very little hope for self-discipline.

Self-discipline needs fuel, and that fuel typically comes in the form of either inspiration or motivation. You need one or the other to fuel self-discipline. Otherwise, you will struggle to stay focused over extended periods of time.

All this essentially boils down to having enough compelling reasons for undertaking each task or project you commit to doing. Ask yourself:

Why I would consider getting surgery done in the twinkle of an eye

What do I want?

Why do I want this?

Why specifically do I need to follow through and get this done?

The more compelling reasons you’re able to identify, the more fuel you will have driving your self-discipline forward.

Self-Discipline Requires Unwavering Commitment and Accountability

Now, of course, reasons alone are never really enough. You will also need an unwavering commitment to doing whatever’s required to accomplish your goal.

This, of course, is rarely easy. Long-term commitment takes discipline, and typically, this ain’t something that most people are good at doing by themselves. What these people are fundamentally lacking is a little bit of accountability.

Self-Discipline Requires Penalties and Rewards

Our motivation levels often ebb and flow as we pursue our goal. At certain times you will feel extremely motivated, while at other times you will struggle to get through specific tasks and activities.

To avoid falling into these cycles, it can be helpful to put some penalties and rewards in place. Punishments and awards can be used to help direct your behavior throughout the day.

You can, for instance, reward yourself for making particular choices or for partaking in certain kinds of behaviors. Likewise, you can penalize yourself for indulging in other types of behaviors or for making poor choices.

These penalties and rewards will add another element to the furnace that will keep the fuel of self-discipline burning throughout the day.

 

Some Steps to Developing Your Self-Discipline

Now that you have some clarity about what self-discipline is all about let’s break down a six-step process to help you practice self-discipline.

You can, of course, use this process anytime and anywhere. However, please do keep in mind that, as with any process, it can take time to get into the habit of applying it consistently to your life. Therefore, be patient with yourself and play the long-game when it comes to developing your self-discipline.

Step 1: Define What You Want

The first step of this process involves getting very clear about what it is you want to achieve.

Self-discipline can only endure if it’s channeled toward something specific. In this instance, let’s direct it toward the desired outcome you have in mind.

This outcome might be a goal you want to achieve, a habit you might like to develop or any other type of change you might like to make.

To gain clarity about what it is you want, ask yourself:

What is it that I want to do, be, have or achieve?

What new habit would I like to develop?

What behavior would I like to change?

What is the one thing that I want to focus on in this moment?

Step 2: Describe the Changes Required

Now that you have some clarity about what it is you want, it’s time to describe what kind of habits and behaviors will help you attain this desired outcome. In other words, what kind of person might you need to become to achieve your goal?

Every goal we set brings with it a precise set of behaviors and habits that are intrinsically intertwined with the goal we want to achieve.

Gaining some clarity in this area will help you figure out what it will take to achieve your desired outcome.

With that in mind, have a think about your goal and ask yourself:

What specific behaviors will I need to cultivate to achieve this goal?

What specific habits will I need to adopt to achieve this goal?

While answering these questions, it’s important to also keep in mind your core values.

The behaviors you cultivate and the habits you adopt must reflect your core values. That’s, essentially, the only way to ensure that you’ll stick to your goal over the long-run.

Secondly, the journey toward goal achievement almost always changes people in unexpected ways.

As we pursue a goal, we learn and grow along this journey. This, subsequently, helps transform how we see ourselves, how we see others, and how we interact with the world around us.

What this essentially means is that you will need to change and adapt in some respects to have this goal in your life. In other words, you need to become the person that deserves to have this goal in his/her life.

Ask yourself:

With this goal in mind, what person will I need to become to achieve it?

What qualities will I need to adopt?

How will I need to think about myself, my life, and my goal?

Answering these questions is crucial as self-discipline grows from the level of certainty you have about something.

Step 3: Find Adequate Role Models

It’s time now to look outward for answers to help strengthen your self-discipline. Specifically, let’s identify role models (friends, family, colleagues) who have already achieved the goal you are working towards. Ask yourself:

Who is doing this right now?

Who has successfully achieved this goal?

Who has successfully mastered this habit?

Who has successfully made this change?

Who has the necessary self-discipline in this area?

What can I learn from this person that can help me along my journey?

Take time to ask these people how they disciplined themselves. Ask them how they followed through with specific actions that got them their desired outcome. Then use their experience to help you discipline yourself along your own personal journey.

Source: Blog.iqmatrix.com

Shy Person's Guide

The Shy Person’s Guide to Making Your Dreams a Reality

For a long time I’ve had difficulty saying what I want. When I was a teenager, I wouldn’t tell anyone when I had a crush on someone. I remember my younger sister would tell anyone who would listen that she had a crush on the boy in the McDonald’s commercial, and I was jealous of her boldness, but still wouldn’t tell a soul about my crushes.

My best friend in elementary school always had a boyfriend, and I never did. I didn’t date in high school either. I felt ashamed. I thought there was something wrong with me and that nobody liked me.

I thought that if I told my friends about my crush and then the person didn’t like me back, I would be seen as a failure. So it was better to keep my mouth shut but at some point, I realised things had to change.

Here’s the Shy Person’s Guide to Making Your Dreams a Reality:

1. Notice who you envy, and why.

Sometimes when we’re shy we don’t even know what we want, because we may have felt too insecure to establish and set goals for ourselves. So the first step to going for what you want is figuring out exactly what that is.

And, surprisingly, envy can actually be really helpful for this.

Which famous people do you envy? Which of your friends? Is it your sister? A colleague? A cousin?

Once you have a list of a few people, ask yourself what you admire about their lives. Is it where they live? Their partner? Their job? Their confidence?

Now, it’s important to remember that just because you envy someone’s life, that doesn’t mean you want exactly what they have.

It’s also important to look beyond the surface when identifying people you envy. Sometimes we envy people who seem to garner a lot of respect and admiration—celebrities, for example. But as Kate Spade’s recent suicide showed, fame and success don’t guarantee happiness.

The point is to get clear on what might fulfill you, and why. So make notes and start to notice the common themes in those people you envy. As you do this, you’ll start to see the kind of life you really want.

2. Allow yourself to daydream.

Now that you have some clues about what you want, allow yourself to dream about it. If you have a journal, write about it. If you’re more visual, make a collage or do a drawing. Or, alternatively, go for a walk and let your mind daydream about it.

This might sounds totally silly, but I actually made a PowerPoint about what I wanted my business to look like years ago. It wasn’t a public presentation and I only shared it with two or three close friends. But I stumbled upon it the other day and was amazed by how much of what I envisioned had come through.

So use whatever medium works best for you to envision your dream life!

3. Talk about your dreams.

Once you’ve gotten clearer about what they are, tell a good friend or your partner about your dreams. I like to start these kinds of conversations by saying something like, “I’m nervous to tell you about this, and I’m not ready to have any feedback on it yet, but what I really want is…”

Start small. Just tell one tiny part of your dream. See how it feels. See how your friend reacts. If it feels good, tell them a little bit more.

The last thing you want when you’re nurturing a new dream is for someone to stomp all over it. So if the friend doesn’t react in a supportive way, don’t say anything else. Find someone else who will be gentle and supportive of your dream.

Once you’ve practiced talking about it and got some support from friends or family members, it’s time to take it to the next level. Start to bring it up more often.

I know for us shy-types this can be really difficult, but take it one step, one person, one conversation at a time. And remember, there’s nothing more inspiring at a lunch with friends or family event than to hear about what someone’s really passionate about.

As you begin to talk about these things more, it will help you to take small steps toward making your dream a reality. You’ll begin to build your confidence and you might even make connections that’ll help you to get there.

4. Talk about your strengths.

What are you really good at? What do people always ask you for help with? If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to talk about your darkness, your procrastination, your bad habits, but it’s probably hard for you to talk about what you’re good at.

So start by journaling about this and then practice telling close friends or family members.

Does it make you want to vomit? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

I’ve started doing this recently, and one thing that really helps me is to tell the person that I’m practicing talking about my strengths. I start by saying something like, “I’m really good at talking about my challenges and have realized that I’m really bad at talking about my strengths. I want to practice, so I’m going to practice saying one good thing about me. Are you okay with that?”

Once I have my friend’s support, it becomes much easier to say something. And even if I fumble with my words—which, believe me, I do—they’re usually really supportive because they know I’m doing something that’s difficult for me.

And I promise it’ll get easier with practice. So start by saying one strength to one friend and build from there.

5. Don’t just talk—take action!

As you tell people about your goals and strengths, they might introduce you to people who can help you, offer their support, or share helpful resources.

And even if they don’t, there are small actions you can begin to take. If your dream is to be a painter, buy some paints and do your first painting. If your dream is to live by the beach, book a weekend getaway to one of the beach towns you’re considering and check it out.

Whatever your dream is, you can take a baby step toward making it a reality, and those steps will lead you to where you want to go.

What To Do If You Are Living In A Loveless Marriage

And yes, it’ll sometimes be terrifying. I know that it’s not easy to do. So take one small risk at a time and slowly, step-by-step, you’ll move in a new direction.

The more you’re able to share about your dreams and strengths, the easier it’s going to be for you to get what you want. And even if you don’t get exactly what you think you want, you’ll probably be far more fulfilled just by being on a path that excites you.

Even as a shy person, you deserve to have a full and beautiful life. So start taking small steps today to get you there.

Source: TinyBuddha.com

Undergoing Surgery As a Lady

Why I would consider getting surgery done in the twinkle of an eye

Sitting in conversation with my friend recently, the subject of surgery came up and I am sure I shocked her a bit when I answered in the affirmative when asked if I would ever consider getting my body done.

She looked at me for a few seconds, smiling a bit and asked: “For real? Would you really do it?” I laughed loud and answered yes again.

I understand her confusion. I am always singing the song “I love my body. I love myself. I love my face. I am so beautiful.” and all such. Several times, she would pretend to cover her ears telling me she was tired of hearing me talk about my ‘fineness’.

This was primarily why she thought I was joking when I said I could consider surgery.

Childhood Shenanigans: The Story of My Broken Bum Bum

When I announce my beauty to my friends and family, I do not say it to be vain or out of pretence. I say it because in all sincerity, I am in love with me. I love my body, my face and everything that comes with it. Which is why anytime i discover that there is something happening to me (body) which I am not comfortable with, I am quick to do something about it.

It could be as minute as acne scars, peeling skin, bloating, swollen feet and others.

All these being said, I am still not against surgery. I am of the opinion that everyone should do that which they are comfortable with and which would make them happy.

As much as I am in love with my body, I am quite uncomfortable with my legs. Yes, I said so! You see, fine, sturdy legs are one of the things that attract me to people and I always say that were I a man, I would definitely get turned on by fine legs. Lol.

But somehow, the gods have not blessed me with fine legs and I so love wearing shorts (covers face) So while I love me now, the minute I get absolutely uncomfortable with these legs and I feel it can be worked on, this baby girl would get surgery to have finer legs.

I think this does not have to do with worshipping your body or making it an idol. It means that you are confident enough to go for what makes you happy and you are proud enough in your insecurities.

So would I go for surgery if given the opportunity, I definitely would. But for now, I remain content in my self and I still LOVE me.

Written by Ayo Al for Diaryofanaijagirl

Dealing with a disabled person

Dealing with a disabled Relative

For many people, chronic illness/disability is not a short-term inconvenience but rather a long-term, often permanent way of life. In the early stages of adaptation, the changes that happen in our lives and families may seem tolerable—at least while we still think there is a chance that the diagnosis is wrong.

Eventually, denial and bargaining give way to anger and depression. The uninvited guest is still ever-present, and no amount of cajoling or suggestions result in change. Bouts of anger may become a way of life for a while.

Would I be labelled a bad mum if I took my stubborn son to live with his paternal grandparents?

Anger

Many people flow in and out of anger and depression, rather than progressing neatly through one stage and into the next. It is often said that depression is anger turned inward, which makes expression of anger in a safe and effective way very important. Getting adequate support from formal and informal support networks is critical.

It is not unusual for tempers to flare and fuses to shorten during this period of adjustment. People who are typically long-suffering seem to be constantly on edge; those with fewer coping skills may be in a chronic state of agitation and irritability, if not outright rage. It often seems as if they are pushing away those who are closest to them at the time when they need them most.

Loved ones may unconsciously spend less time with the person who seems to find fault in their best efforts. Children are often left confused and afraid. Doctors and other providers frequently find themselves being blamed for their inability to help. This is all part of the process of adaptation.

While most people understand cognitively that their loved one is struggling and coping as well as can be expected, their own feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness may lead them to retreat on some level—if not physically, then emotionally. This often feels like abandonment to the person who is already overwhelmed by disability or illness. It is very important for caregivers and loved ones to be aware of their own feelings and find support.

Coping skills: Separate the person from the behavior. Try to remain aware of the real target for your anger—the illness or disability, not the person in your midst. Remember that we often treat those we love the most with the least respect; make amends as soon as possible if you do so. Give each other a break and extend the benefit of the doubt when possible. If your loved one treats you badly, remember that everyone is under extreme stress and doing the best they can at that moment. It is also good to remember that your caregivers and medical providers are probably not inadequate, but the resources they have to work with may be.

Caregivers and loved ones should speak up if they are being treated badly. Being sick is not an excuse to mistreat people, particularly if there is a pattern of abusive behavior developing. These behaviors need to be identified and discussed in a calm, loving way (not in the heat of the moment). This may require professional help, or perhaps the assistance of a minister or family friend who is not emotionally involved.

Most of the time, the person who lashes out or treats people badly feels guilty and needs the opportunity to make amends. For those who are unaware of how their behaviour comes across, specific examples of the unacceptable behaviour or hurtful/abusive language helps them develop a better awareness of their inappropriate behaviour. In some cases, this is a manifestation of the illness or disability. In others, it may be the result of coping skills that are maxed out. Either way, left unattended, it usually gets worse.

Depression

Depression often occurs during the adaptation process, and may happen at other times or continue. Clinical depression can be very difficult to manage. It is more than sadness or disappointment; depression is a collection of symptoms that exist most days for two weeks or longer and create some level of impairment in daily functioning. The symptoms may include many of the following:

  • sadness/tearfulness
  • low energy or agitation/irritability
  • loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
  • problems with concentration/foggy thinking or trouble making decisions
  • changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • thoughts of death or suicide/not wanting to live
  • rumination/negative thinking
  • others (physical pain, changes in motor skills, etc.)

There is also a type of depression called situational depression that is a normal reaction to a loss or change. Almost all people with chronic illness or disabilities and their loved ones experience this. The same symptoms are involved, but the symptoms may not be present most of the time, or may not be severe enough to impair your ability to function (relationships, work, taking care of your kids, etc.).

The best treatment for depression is believed to be a combination of talk therapy, exercise (I know—it is very hard to exercise when you are depressed), a good diet, and medication, if deemed medically necessary. The right intervention for depression depends on which type of depression you are experiencing. For those with a few symptoms that are not present all the time, self-help may be sufficient. People with four or more symptoms that are present most of the time probably need to see a therapist and possibly a psychiatrist.

Coping skills: I recommend that people talk with a therapist when dealing with situational depression and try to get as much activity in as possible. This may mean simply walking outside to get the mail, sitting on the porch for 20 minutes to have a cup of coffee or juice, watering the plants, or walking the dog. Sunshine is another natural remedy that increases vitamin D, which is often deficient in people who are depressed and those who do not go outside often. Eating properly is also critical, and there are natural supplements available at your local health store that may help with situational depression. Talk to your medical provider or therapist about these options.

Support groups and self-help groups can be very helpful. Groups provide a great resource for people living with chronic illness and disabilities and their loved ones. You can find online and local resources, and most are free. Many are affiliated with local hospitals or nonprofit agencies that serve people with chronic illness or disabilities.

If depression is serious enough to impair functioning, or you/your loved one has thoughts of suicide or not wanting to live, it is important to get professional help immediately. Start with your medical provider or therapist unless the person with depression has a plan to cause self-injury or death.

In situations where someone’s safety is at risk, call 911 or the local emergency number for your area, or take the suicidal person to the closest emergency room. Your role in the situation is not to intervene, but to get professionals involved as soon as possible. If the suicidal person is unwilling to go to the ER (or medical provider’s office during business hours) or you believe it may be unsafe to transport them, simply call for the emergency medical providers to come to you.

Don’t worry about the person who is suicidal being upset by your actions—when people are in crisis, they are usually not thinking clearly, so it becomes crucial for you to make good decisions on their behalf. The medical professionals who are trained to help in these situations will make the decisions once they arrive. This will likely mean that the person who is suicidal will be transported to the hospital for an evaluation, and may need to stay there for a few days until stabilized.

Again, it is not up to you to make that decision, only to make sure the person is safe until medical professionals can take over. It is a lot of responsibility and instills fear in most of us, but in the end, when your loved one is thinking rationally again, he or she will likely be grateful. If not, you will know that you have done what you needed to during the crisis.

Source: Goodtherapy.org

Childhood pranks

#Flashbackfriday The childhood prank that earned me the worst beating ever

I believe I was around 9/10, it was environmental sanitation day. My friends dared me to climb into the well and scrape water from the bottom because the well was almost dry and we didn’t want to go out to fetch water to wash the drainage. I climbed into the well and after scraping 2 buckets of mud and water, I tried to climb back up but my legs and arms were wet and slippery. Climbing back up was impossible.

It was then I knew, all my enemies would be unfortunate.

Chinyere my neighbour, ran to call our closest ally, brother Tunde. Brother Tunde then asked us to hold on that he was going to get a ladder. This man who would later in life represent Judas, came back with my dad and the other two dads living in our compound.

I looked up and I saw these men stick out their necks to look at me. No one pitied me, I think they were intrigued by my foolishness. To me, the three of them looked like the devil. For this reason, I decided I was better off staying back in the well. So I told my dad, “I’m okay here. You can go.”

Dad said nothing. It was too quiet up there. Why? Something was going on in my heart, I felt like my chwest would explode. So I held on to my left breast and began to gasp. My dad asked me without panic “what is it?” My heart pumped harder. I’d rather die in the well still. “Nothing. I just want to stay here.”

Where was my mum when I needed her? They lowered the ladder and I knew it was time to face the music.

What is life?

I hadn’t even gotten to the top before my dad pulled me up. What I saw made me turn back in an attempt to jump back into the well…All my accomplices lay face down on the floor, head on their arms, straight as a ruler.

Childhood Shenanigans: The Story of My Broken Bum Bum

I was asked to join them. I remember we lay there for a long time because the Koboko (whip) that would be our punisher was being soaked in warm water.

I pray for you all, not to have a memory like mine, the type that remembers EVERYTHING! Because right now, as I write this, my butt aches. 12 strokes of Wet koboko on a wet ass, I wish on no one.