Archive for ‘motivation’

August 8, 2010

Stress Control

I choose not to allow unnecessary stress to control me. I deserve peace. I let go of unnecessary stress in my life to make way for peace. I deserve peace and recognize its value for my health, productivity and relationships. I consciously embrace peace when I find myself facing stressors and I refuse to waste energy on things that are outside my control. While I recognize that there are situations in my life that will cause stress regardless of what I do, I assess each situation to determine if this stress is beneficial or pointless. I know I am free to remove that stressor from my life. I am responsible for my own well being. I can choose how stress affects me and how I respond to this glitch in my day. If I am stuck in a traffic jam, for example, I choose to see it as an opportunity to listen to audio books or sing along with my favorite tunes. Stress does not control me or dictate what kind of day I am having. I control my own responses and choose to make them positive, because this path leads to greater peace and productivity. Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Are there any unnecessary stressors in my life that I can eliminate?
  2. Why do I hang onto things that unnecessarily stress me out?
  3. What is a common, but unavoidable, source of stress that I could respond to more positively?

July 23, 2010

Flip Your Switch!

Flip Your SwitchI keep wondering how many things in life simply flow naturally, maybe springs and waterfalls (perhaps!!!). More often than not, we are necessitated to put things in motion. Quite frankly, your vehicle engine will not move of its own accord, it requires the user to get it started. Whether by voice recognition or some other form of technologically advanced technique, you still need to get the engine rolling. Your living room may be well decorated with exquisite chandeliers and warm light fixtures but without flipping the switch, the lights remain as simple decorations.

The laws of physics have clearly demarcated the lines between what we consider as potential, static endowments against that which is activated, kinetic, and in motion. Potential energy is defined as energy possessed by an object by virtue of its position and/or composition. It is energy stored within, with the innate capacity to be transformed to other forms. Kinetic energy is said to be energy possessed by an object due to its motion or advancement.

Every human being was born with a measure of potential to a specific purpose and end. Each individual is uniquely identified to be different from the other. Specific characteristics, qualities, habits, proclivities and endowments make each individual distinct from the next.

Every now and then, human resource professionals have categorized people by their intrinsic attributes, skills and abilities. Essentially, each person is recognized for what his/her potential is at present, and what such potential may be developed into (going forward).

Recently, the award winning entertainer, Dapo Oyebanjo (a.k.a d’banj) released a new single dubbed “Endowed”. He possibly attempts to depict the potential deposited within (and without, who knows). Somewhere in between, he also cuts across gender lines, implying that endowment is a generic thing, and irrespective of gender. Both male and female are endowed with potential.

Thinking through, this quickly paints a picture of the ‘said to be’ greatest nation in Africa, Nigeria. A country absolutely endowed with innumerable wealth of both human and natural resources, nonetheless plagued by poverty, dilapidating infrastructure, corruption, power failure and dysfunctional parastatals.

To this end, it becomes sufficient to conclude that endowment is not an end, talent is just a resource, ability is only a starting point, and potential is not enough!

Crude oil has got enormous potential but as long as it sits still in subsurface source rocks, it remains potential alone. It must be explored, located and subsequently produced and refined to create benefit and profit.

It is the same way with every individual, society and nation. Until you put your endowments to work, you remain a beautiful chandelier in a dark house.

Potential without activation leads to stagnation. Stagnant water tells the story better. You, as an individual, need to set your potential in motion. Convert your ideas and concepts into useful benefit. Activate your abilities and flip your switches.

Even corporate organizations periodically pen down what they see as their core competencies, strong points, sellable edge, based on what they consider to be their skills, potential and endowments. Then, they activate a strategy to create profit from their potential.

As such, the challenge remains yours to take your potential and set it in motion! Irrespective of the fact that the environment may be limiting and frustrating, the buck certainly stops at your desk. It’s time for you to activate. Walk through these suggestions and see how:

  • Document your potential
    • What can you do? (Ability)!
    • What do you like to do? (Passion)!
    • Are you a go-getter? (Characteristic)!
    • Do you have a unique style of doing things? (Gift)!
  • Develop activation strategies
    • How can you use what you have, what you do/like to do, into useful benefit?
    • Pull a group of like-minded friends together and brainstorm (over a meal/few drinks possibly).
    • Seek a mentor who’s activating his/her potential in a similar regard.
  • Do your potential…..convert your innate abilities…set your vision in motion.

Whatever your potential is – starting a business, establishing a political frontier, motivating people, teaching, entertainment (in its varied forms), sales and marketing, public speaking, reasoning and analysis, writing, advocating, philanthropy etc, it’s time to flip the switch.

Are you still wondering and pondering? Get going right away….Just do it!!!


written by Kunle Durojaiye

April 16, 2010

How To Live The Life You Want To Live: Roz Savage

“She was so full of life! Never missed an opportunity to live an adventure.”

I turned to my right to see who was speaking. It was not even someone I really knew. . .well, I might have seen him once or twice as I went jogging early in the morning but that was it. How did he hear about today? I shrugged and moved amongst the people gathered by the graveside, eavesdropping here and there.

She held my hand when my sister died,” one lady said through her tears “And I had only started working for her a week.

On and on like that, I circled the guests there. They could not see me anyway. So I listened to different stories about what an influence I had affected their lives positively or how I had inspired them by the kind of life I had lived.

All of a sudden, it all faded and I am just sitting in front of my laptop, trying to write this post. But as I write, one question keeps popping up at the back of my head: what is my life saying to people?

That was a scene from what I would love my life to have meant to people around me. But how close to reality is that scene? If I should go today, what then? Thinking about this could inspire gloom in my heart, but I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said that it is not too late to live the life you would have lived or something to that nature anyway. With that in mind, I know I can still make a choice to live my life differently. But if that is not enough motivation, I have Roz Savage to emulate.

Roz Savage was a management consultant and project manager at an Investment Bank. She had a comfortable income and a house in the suburbs. One day she sat down and wrote two versions of her obituary: the first was what she would have got if she continued with her present lifestyle while the second was what she really wanted her obituary to be like. They were vastly different. In her mid-thirties, she decided to change her lifestyle and live the obituary she wanted.

She had spent her years after her Oxford law degree, pursuing material satisfaction; and she had that in abundance. She lived in a big house, had a happy marriage and exotic holidays. And she ended up having an affair. Roz was unhappy deep down inside. What is not so surprising is that she was a Preachers daughter (in her case, both her parents were ministers). Like every old fashioned PK would know, material possessions are usually short while growing up. I suppose this fueled her desire to have. It was after she left her husband that she decided to write the two obituaries. That was when she knew something had to give.

So she gave up her job and began rowing. Yes, rowing. She set for herself an extreme rowing challenge and in 2005 signed up for the Atlantic Rowing Race. The race was from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies and she was the only one to row solo. It was 103 days of self realization as she had to battle with the tail of a hurricane and nearly got washed out to sea. Although she came last in the race, she completed it. She made it to the finish line.

She came to a place where she could honestly say that her experiences

…made me realise that happiness never comes from material wealth. It comes from inside, and from experiencing the world and having adventures.

She has set a challenge for herself to be the first woman to row the pacific – solo. She has already completed the first two legs of her journey and is getting ready for the third and last leg.
This British rower had the commitment and determination to change her life and also to grow as a person. It has been an incredible journey thus far. She is a motivational speaker, author and an environmental campaigner – a United Nations Climate Hero. Her message is simple: We have only one earth. She wants people to know that every plastic bag that is used ends up in the ocean. Rowing is how Roz chooses to give back.

So maybe you cannot row, I know I cannot. But it is never too late to set your life on the course you would prefer it to take. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and to keep doing the same futile thing day after day. It is easy. But easy is not always the way to go. It is time to take one bold step towards adventure and a fuller life. Personally I am not interested in being the first woman to row solo across the pacific ocean. However, there is something to be said for a woman who was able to halt the avalanche that was her life and turn herself around with quiet determination and a strong will. With Roz Savage as an inspiration, I know exactly what I am going to do to live that life I would love to have lived. And I will not have to leave my husband to do that.

February 8, 2010

A Story About Motivation by Peter Bregman

Delance the chic watch makers twitted this article yesterday and I found a read that made my day.

The article was written by Peter Bregman for the Harvard Business Review. Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc. a global management consulting firm and his focus is on leadership. This article was on motivation.

He told the story of how he and four others stopped in the pouring rain of New York City, to help a man with a disability board the special bus. The driver of the bus, who was paid to help, sat in the bus and watched as the five of them struggled to help the man unto the bus. He was not prepared to go the extra mile.

He goes on to examine the motivation that drives people to go the extra mile. He wrote:

People tend to think of themselves as stories. When you interact with someone, you’re playing a role in her story. And whatever you do, or whatever she does, or whatever you want her to do, needs to fit into that story in some satisfying way.

The article made me think and I started to ask questions of myself about my own personal story. It also made me want to ask all those who read this:

  • what story are you telling people?
  • Is that the story you really want to tell them?
  • How can you make sure that the story people read is what you want to tell?

Read the article here. It is fast paced and I was at the end before I even realised it.

July 5, 2008

Not Giving Up!

Sometimes it is easier to give up, but not always. Growing up, I had this constant thirst to go into business. My mum told me that as far back as when I was about 6 years old, I’d try to sell off all my shoes! It was much later in life I discovered that I belonged to a tribe of business people (believe it or not); that is what my tribe is mostly known for.

Well, I’v tried my hands at different types of businesses. Once, during a vacation while I was still in Secondary School (High School), I started selling a local drink in recycled bottles. It was non alcoholic and I made variations to the local recipe so it really caught on. I could keep up with the demand and I closed shop. Another time, just after University, I opened a boutique selling fairly new clothes but I had to go to law school and the sales girl also decided to take several days off, every week. The shop was closed more than it was opened, so I folded that up too.

These are just two of countless adventures I’ve had. I choose to call them adventures even though my dad sees them as my failures. But how can they be failures? They are just the testing ground for the real business…this is where I get to learn what works and what does not.

I have refused to give up. I could give my bloodlines as the reason; but it’s more than that. It is a fierce determination in me to eventually be the best in my chosen niche. See, I believe I have a choice and I choose to not give up.

May 25, 2008

Radical Purpose

I just read an excerpt from Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Life that will blow apart a lot of preconceived notions you have. It made me pause and think again.

The purpose of your life is far greater than
your own personal fulfillment, your peace of
mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater
than your family, your career, or even your
wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to
know why you were placed on this planet, you
must begin with God. You were born by his
purpose and for his purpose.

You can download the first 7 chapters of the book here. I’ll write more on this later; I need some time to digest what I’ve read.