Lessons from my children

I was rustling through some files today and found my Toastmasters speech number 3. The original title was: Enduring life lessons from my children, and it made me smile.

This got some help from different sources, and this version is slightly modified…

Enjoy….!

I’ll like to begin my speech today with a little conversation between an adult and a child taken from the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:

Adult: “No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”

Child: “They go to hell,” answered the child

Adult: “And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”

Child: “A pit full of fire.”

Adult: “And would you like to fall into that pit and burn there forever?”

Child: “No, sir.”

Adult: “So, what must you do to avoid this?”

The child deliberated for a moment and then answered quite convincingly: “I must keep in good health and not die.”

Such, is the innocence of a child!

Childhood is the world of magic: all things are new and fresh and astonishing. But beware! Childhood is over the moment things are no longer astonishing. When the world gives you a feeling of “déjà vu,” when you become used to existence, then…my friend, you become an adult – Eugene Ionesco

But you can still learn many things from children. Have you ever noticed a child completely engrossed in something? They have this unusual ability to combine business with pleasure so to speak, they can be serious about what they’re doing without taking it too seriously. You can do the same with your life. You can make every day more fulfilling by devoting the required attention to the things you do without necessarily taking it ‘too seriously’.

Now let’s see if we can apply some of the lessons of childhood to our adult lives.

Our number one lesson today is…

1. CURIOSITY – For a child, there’s only one way to find out how something works – Break it apart! COMPLETELY! The good news is, this is still good advice whenever we’re faced with a complex problem, or project. Just break it down! Giving a speech seems daunting, so give the vote of thanks or do table topics; writing a book seems daunting, so start by writing an essay. If an essay is too much, then start by writing a paragraph. The important thing is to break it to pieces, and attack it piece by piece. This agrees completely with the principle of thinking big and starting small. Once you have attempted something, it is easier to judge what needs to be done, and your ability to do it better. It’s also much easier to improve something that already exists than to work on one that doesn’t.

2. QUESTIONS: In the past few weeks, I have read so much about the importance of questions. It’s been said that the quality of your questions will determine the quality of your life. Questions are the answers!

Just watch the children. Asking questions is how they figure things out. Lots and lots of questions. Mummy, what are you doing? Why? Are we going with you? Why?

Children ask anything that comes to mind, and they never relent until they get an answer. Our brains are wired to be curious. As we grow up and “mature” many of us stifle our natural curiosity. Let yourself be curious! Wonder to yourself about why things are happening. Ask someone who knows. The best way to exercise our curiosity is by asking “Why?” Make it a new habit to ask “why?” several times a day. You will be amazed at how many opportunities and solutions show up in your life.

Next is…

3. MODERATION. My 2-year old daughter knows too well that too much of anything will give you tummy ache. And when she has had her fill, she will declare: “Mummy, I’m okay. See! My tummy is big!”

Those who over-exercise will burn out. Those who don’t will become obese. Okay, fat is a milder word. A boy who studies all the time has no friends. Another who only makes friends fails his exams. Extremity often leads to pain. Moderation is the key to living life the way it is meant to be lived.

Lesson number 4 is about…

4. FRIENDSHIP – My older daughter, who is about three and half declares that her sister is her best friend! And she makes me jealous of her loyalty to her little best friend. You dare not offer her anything, if you didn’t have one for her friend. And if you choose to punish one, get ready to punish both. So, my advice to you is to try to be the friend you were when you were three and half: fun-loving and loyal, with no strings attached. The famous saying that “a friend in need is a friend indeed” tells us half the story of loyalty. A friend in triumph may be even harder to find. Loyal friends not only lend a hand when you’re in need; they applaud your successes and cheer you along without envy when you prosper. Will you be that loyal friend?

Finally, when you act more like a child, you tend to live more in the present rather than worry about the past or the future. And this makes the world open up to you, and you start enjoying every bit of it again. Do you know what the real trouble with the world is? Well Walt Disney provides an answer – Too many people grow up! That’s the real trouble with the world.

The Toastmaster!

N.B: Found this in my archives. Was written in 2013. But the lessons are way still valid….

Don’t forget to share! Hearty Cheers!

 

Stop saying NO to yourself

Source: Google Images

Hey Friends!

I didn’t write here last week, and I almost felt like something was wrong. Lol.

Though I had decided I wasn’t going to write, I kept asking DH ‘Is today Friday?’ Lol. Talk about the power of habits.

I have only written consistently every Friday for about four months, and not only do I naturally enter that writing zone when it’s Thursday/ Friday morning; it has also helped me better my writing skills.

Lessons Learned: If there’s any skill you find important to your craft or to the lifestyle you crave but still kind of struggle with, don’t ever give up on it – schedule it instead. You heard me, Schedule It!

Practice they say makes better or permanent if you like. Notice I avoided perfect. That’s because if you keep practicing the wrong thing, guess what, you master the wrong thing. That’s not necessarily perfect.

But that’s story for another day. I digress.

My topic today is ‘Stop saying NO to yourself’.

I put up this post on Instagram yesterday, and I know not many of my readers here don’t follow me on Instagram (of which I’m wondering why, what are you waiting for?), so I decided to share here as well.

Here you go……

You miss 100% of the shots you refuse to take. It’s true!

The fear of failure is real! And many times can be a stronger force than the lure of success. At least for me it used to be.

You don’t want to look stupid. You don’t want to fail. You want to preserve your streak of successes (me!)….Or stem your streak of failures….

So you don’t apply, you don’t compete, you don’t ask, you don’t try, you don’t push… 

You’re just cool in your corner, romancing the devil you know…at least if you do nothing, you fail at nothing, and can’t be embarrassed ‘unnecessarily’.

It’s time to snap out of that friend.

Remember every story has two sides.  The other side of this story is that you also succeed at nothing….nothing significant.

One of my classmates on the Lagos Business School MBA program had this  mantra ‘you can’t say no to yourself now’, ‘don’t worry about it, let’s try first’.

It has stuck with me, and I have also started preaching that sermon. Not sure they’ll say yes? try….Not sure if you qualify? Ask…Not quite certain if your lack of a certain  requirement could be overlooked since you have plenty other things to compensate? Again ask. Not sure if anyone would invest in that idea that’s keeping you up all night? Tidy it up and ask.

Stop saying No to yourself.

Hope you found this useful, and hope you #SayYes today!

N.B: Though the plan is still to write here infrequently (we shall see), I intend to keep the ministry moving on Instagram with #pmlingo, project management tips, and some inside scoop on what I’m getting up to. You can follow here: https://www.instagram.com/adenikejemiyo/

Please say hi when you follow.

Hearty Cheers!

 

How to change, and make it stick

Be bold for change!

These were the words on the lips of many powerful women in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, just a few weeks ago.

I read many of the write-ups and memes with some level of detachment at first. Then curiosity. And that’s because I strongly believe that it is difficult to push other people to change, it’s hard enough trying to change yourself. So telling someone ‘Change!’ is most times futile.

Yes, you can help someone change. But not by telling them to change. At least if you want true, lasting change.

What works is to sow the seed for change. And making sure that the seed gets enough moisture and nurturing.

How do I mean? A thought, an idea, an image, a discussion, an article, the right movie, even music with the right lyrics – just make sure to point their attention to the lyrics. So they’re not happily jamming to the beats only, lol. These are all seeds for change.

If you have someone in your life who you need to help change, don’t badger them with a constant reminder to change….”you just can’t continue like this”, “you need to change, or else….” Or else what? It never works. This kind of badgering only builds resentment, and rebellion…. “I’m waiting to see you carry out your threat”, or “I quit” kind of reaction.

And this is also useful in marketing, you expose a pain point to a client, then you start to badger them to take your change pill. After some time, they really wonder why it concerns you so much, and may just switch off and become immune to your badgering. Your job really is to keep the pain versus what change looks like in front of them often enough. No more. Don’t nag or badger.

Helping someone change is a subtle process.

No one likes to be overly pushed to do something they aren’t quite ready for, including you. Everyone arrives when they arrive. Let them arrive.

Change management is a well developed practice, probably complete with it’s own body of knowledge. And all of that is very useful especially for organisations.

But in reality, people only truly change if they arrive at that change on their own. Then you don’t have to wonder whether they’ll go back. They have realised the need for the change, and they now own their own change.

I remember my pastor telling a story about how he eventually quit smoking. This gentleman had become born again, but he was still a chain smoker – two conflicting identities. Then he came in contact with the concept of confessions, and he wrote a confession of his new identity in Christ.

So, he would go ahead and confess, but still smoked, after some time what he was confessing eventually took root in his heart, and he stopped smoking of his own accord.

Voila! That’s how to help someone (yourself too) change. Expose them to the image or concept or idea of who you’re trying to help them become (change into) often enough, and it begins to take root. That’s why the bible admonishes to guard your heart (mind) with all diligence. Everything you expose your mind to is a seed, and if you keep at it, it will take root, and you will begin to conform without realising.

Now, this post was really supposed to be about the changes I plan to make on the blog, but has turned out to be about ‘how to change’. Seems like this blogging has become a ministry, so it’s as the spirit leads, hahahaha….

So, to the announcement – Over the next one month or so, I’m going to be settling into a new blogging schedule. I love posting every Friday, and it has sort of become second nature. But, I need the time and energy to finish up a very important project. So, I will be posting a bit less frequently. I’m just willing to explore and settle into a schedule that allows me do some other things. And you bet, the seed for this change was sown over the last couple of weeks. Now, I have arrived and ready to change.

Don’t forget to guard your heart with all diligence!

I’ll miss you too, right! Of course, if you see me ‘drive’ past, holler at your girl….lol.

Hearty Cheers!

Memories…

When the day ends, the year ends, we finally retire, we grow old, the children leave home, memories are what we’ll be left with.

Creating great memories is such an important part of living meaningfully. Great memories with family, friends, even alone often becomes a wealth of warmth and wisdom.

So, what great memories will you create this year?

What interesting things will you do?

What moves will you make?

What new places will you visit?

Continue reading →

Are you ignoring your most important stakeholder?

Hey Friend!

Did you read my last post?

Started experimenting yet?

I’d like to know if you did decide to start an experiment based on that post.

I have said this over and over again, and I think we all know it subconsciously: It’s not really what you know that changes your life, it’s what you do. There is an abundance of ideas thrown at us every day, but it won’t ever matter if we don’t pick out the ones that resonate with us and ‘do’ something with them.

Now, unto today’s matter.

Continue reading →