Posts Tagged ‘Inspired living’

She’s all of me.

From the first light of morningForbidden_Love_by_Maz6277

When I awake to a brand new day

To nighttime when I lay my head to rest

And drift into oblivion.

For her, sleep eludes me

And when it comes

It brings visions of her smile

Of her presence

Of her wondrous mind

Of her svelte body

And her amazing heart.

In her I find inspiration

And when I falter she shows mercy,

In forgiveness she encourages me,

Helping me across bridges from fear to hope.

She’s not mine

But this life is meaningless without her.

Her embodiment has filled my being

And my soul wholly consumed.

I have lost all worldly desires as she possesses me,

Praying to God that she leads me home….


For Onyinye


If we define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance, we can also understand its antonym, anticipation. 

When you work with anticipation, you will highlight the highs. You’ll double down on the things that will delight and push yourself even harder to be bold and to create your version of art. If this is going to work, might as well build something that’s going to be truly worth building.

If you work with anxiety, on the other hand, you’ll be covering the possible lost bets, you’ll be insuring against disaster and most of all, building deniability into everything you do. When you work under the cloud of anxiety, the best strategy is to play it safe, because if (when!) it fails, you’ll be blameless.

Not only is it more fun to work with anticipation, it’s often a self-fulfilling point of view.


Seth Godin.

Two very simple truths:

a. Don’t waste your time initiating relationships that aren’t going to thrive and benefit both sides.

b. Productive connection requires mutual trust. You can’t empathize with someone you don’t trust.

If you enter an engagement filled with wariness, alert for the scam, the inauthentic and the selfish, you’ll poison the relationship before it even starts. Those you deal with won’t be challenged to rise to your expectations of excitement and goodwill. Instead, they’ll struggle in the face of your skepticism.

Instead of seeking and amplifying the sharp edges, consider focusing on the dignity and goodwill of the people you’re working with.

Sure, there are people out there who will disappoint you. But expecting to be ripped off poisons all your interactions instead of saving you from a few dead ends.

An open mind and an open heart usually lead to precisely that in those that you are about to deal with. Perhaps we should give people a chance to live up to our trust instead of looking for the gotcha.


Seth Godin


Stop making excuses and start making decisions.

This mantra has been on my mind constantly lately. I’m certain many who hear me say it find it harsh, direct, maybe even rude. I find it liberating, empowering, and cathartic. Having spent 30 years of my life as a victim, the ability to say that to myself has been a godsend. At times I still suffer from moments of excuse making however more often than not “stop making excuses and start making decisions” creeps into my mind and I am quickly moving powerfully into the decision for which I was making excuses just moments before. Powerful.

I often ask myself why it took me 30 years to stop making excuses and become an overcomer of my history. Many of us have similar deals. We have experiences in our lives which have scared us, shaken us, taken from us, broken us. You have. So have I. Yet we continue the victimization by victimizing ourselves and not allowing healing, restoration, and growth. We continue to make excuses as to why it happened, why we are worthless, unworthy, and unlovable. Maybe it was a divorce, a physical violation, a break-up, a bankruptcy, or a crushing blow. Whatever it was, until we stop making excuses and start making decisions we will not overcome. We must make the most difficult decision; to decide to become an overcomer and shed the victim cloak for good. Even the most tattered rags can feel like a gown when faced with a change. But I’m not taking about change rather transformation. Transformation into what we have always been with one great decision. Over-comers.

Shed fear; you are deserving.

Shed pain; you are strong.

Shed hate; you are deep.

Shed loathing; you are worthy.

Shed the past; you are spectacular.

Making the decision to live is one of the most difficult decisions we must make. Yet we must make it. There is an abundant life just beyond the mindset we live in as excuse makers. You deserve to live a joyful, abundant life. Now is the time.

Make the decision.

Sean Moffet


Used with permission of Sean Moffet 2012

Music or Noise?

Yesterday, popular Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh released two singles from her maiden solo attempt to make a name in the Nigerian music industry. To say the reviews were harsh is an understatement. By evening, joke upon joke and picture memes featuring all sorts of public figures from President Goodluck Jonathan to action film cult hero Chuck Norris had filled the Nigerian social media scene. It was cruel, and I must confess that I also added my own scathing attack to this cruel mix of invectives and derision that was directed her way.

However, I woke up this morning to this Blackberry broadcast from a friend whom I respect so much Steve Harris. He is an accomplished speaker, author, leadership consultant and a life coach. His book “From College Dropout to Corporate Sellout” was published to much critical acclaim, and he continues on his quest in helping to build more effective individuals who will become change agents in their careers and personal lives. He is not someone you take his opinion lightly. This is his view:

“Yesterday, the social media space was abuzz with Tonto Dikeh’s musical debut. While her style, lyrics and vocals were widely panned to unanimous negative reviews, I learned something instrumental (no pun intended) from her.


While I may not know her, (just heard about her yesterday) and haven’t listened to her debut, I think it takes a high level of self belief to take a chance on yourself. When last did you take a chance on you?


Don’t talk about it, be about it! My brother Pastor Jerry sent his broadcast this morning and said “There is only one time that is important in life; It is NOW! NOW is the most important time because it is the only time we have any power over. Have a sense of urgency over your destiny!”

Are you still saying I WILL DO IT or can you say like my fave female rapper, Eva (Alordiah), I DON DID IT!

Year don nearly end o!


Nobody celebrates you for a great idea you haven’t made happen! During the last 24 hours, Tonto Dikeh has been the subject of national conversation: from BB broadcasts to mentions and TRENDING on Twitter. (And for a ‘celebrity’ (from the root word, celebrate), fame or notoriety is pretty much everything)

I wonder how many thousand times her song has been downloaded, shared, bluetoothed and broadcast.

Think about it.

Imagine if she was being paid N100 per download…hmm

Where’s YOUR SONG, YOUR BOOK? Where (is) the EVIDENCE OF YOUR LIFE?  Who’s talking about YOU?

So back to Tonto’s music, Good music? Bad music? The jury is out. You decide. The bottom line is YOU COULDN’T IGNORE HER!

And for that, she has EARNED MY RESPECT!

See you on 20.10.12*

Your Life Strategist

Steve Harris


*Steve’s “Mastering the Business of Your Talent” a specialized training that aims to teach you how to build wealth from your God given talent, holds this Saturday. Details are available on his website or directly from him on Twitter.

The downward spiral is all too familiar. A drinking problem leads to a job lost, which leads to more drinking. Poor customer service leads customers to choose other vendors, which of course leads to less investment in customer service, which continues the problem.

Your boss has a temper tantrum because he’s stressed about his leadership abilities. The tantrum undermines his relationship with his peers, which of course makes him more stressed and he becomes more likely to have another tantrum. An employee is disheartened because of negative feedback from a boss, which leads to less effort, which of course leads to more negative feedback.

Most things that go wrong, go wrong slowly.

The answer isn’t to look for the swift and certain solution to the long-term problem. The solution is to replace the down cycle with the up cycle.

The (too common, obvious, simple) plan is to live with the cycle that caused the problem instead (“When I get stressed, I freeze up, so I need to figure out how to avoid getting stressed”). The simple plan puts the onus on the outside world to stop contributing the input that always leads to the negative output. That’s just not going to work very well.

The more difficult but more effective alternative is to become aware of the down cycle. Once you find it, understand what triggers it and then learn to use that trigger to initiate a different cycle.

“This is my down cycle. What will it cost me to replace it with a different one? Who can help me? What do I need to learn? How do I change my habits and my instincts?”

This works for organizations as well as individuals. The fish restaurant that as sales go down, borrows money to buy ever fresher fish instead of cutting corners that will lead nowhere good. Or the ad agency the follows a client loss not with layoffs, but with hiring of even better creative staff.

Slowing sales might lead to more investment with customer service, not less. Decreased grades might lead to more time spent on enthusiastic studying, not less.

This is incredibly difficult. But identifying the down cycle and investing in replacing it with the up cycle is the one and only best strategy. The alternative, which is to rationalize and defend the cycle as a law of nature or permanent habit, is tragic.


Seth Godin

Success sells. Everybody loves a winner. These clichés are reaffirmed every day in our business and media culture, especially if the winners are young or “emerging.” Fast Company recently released their list of the year’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Every city has its roundup of the local heavy hitters (hello “30 under 30” and “40 under 40”). And don’t forget the World Economic Forum’s posse of Young Global Leaders. What, you didn’t make the cut? (Actually, me neither.) In this kind of environment, it’s all too easy to feel like a failure — but just because the world doesn’t yet recognize your genius doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I talked recently with David Galenson, an economist at the University of Chicago who began studying prices at art auctions — an exploration that drove him to understand the nature of creativity over the course of one’s career. He realized there were two very distinct types of creativity — “conceptual” (in which a young person has a clear vision and executes it early, a la Picasso or Zuckerberg) and “experimental” (think Cezanne or Virginia Woolf, practicing and refining their craft over time and winning late-in-life success).

I saw this kind of fast, “conceptual” creativity and success exemplified not too long ago at my Smith College reunion, where I heard a talk by one of our notable alumnae, Thelma Golden, now the Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Golden has been on my radar for a long time — the year I graduated, she was honored by the college with a special prize. Though it typically goes to older alumnae, she won it only 10 years after graduation for her achievements as a Whitney Museum curator. She’d known she wanted to enter the field since high school, she told us. Her focus was singular, and she attained professional success almost immediately. It’s enough to make anyone feel like a loser in comparison.

“In our society,” Galenson told me, “once you’re famous, you’re always famous.” If you’re a conceptualist who makes a big splash, your reputation is secure. Mark Zuckerberg could quit Facebook tomorrow to become a hermit, and people would still seek him out 50 years later. It’s much harder if — unlike Thelma Golden — you haven’t had a clear vision of your future since you were 15, or you’ve taken a more circuitous route to get to your current professional destination. “The fundamental problem,” says Galenson, “is not simply how society looks at Cezanne at age 45 [before his success]. It’s that Cezanne looks at himself and has a deep, dark insecurity. Cezanne would say, I’m not sure I accomplished anything. There’s no external reinforcement at all, and that’s a real problem. Because you don’t produce dramatic results, people assume you’re a failure and a lot of these people have to give up their profession.”

The devaluation of experimental creativity isn’t just a problem in the arts. Tech journalist Farhad Manjoo recently bemoaned the rise of “blockbuster-itis” in the online world. The rapid rise of Instagram and its billion-dollar brethren can lead investors (and even entrepreneurs themselves) to conclude something is a failure if it doesn’t win millions of users right away. That mentality, Manjoo warns, can easily lead to powerful new breakthroughs being killed prematurely.

But the most poignant part of Galenson’s research is the self-doubt he alludes to. In a world where early achievers are so lavishly rewarded, it’s hard to maintain confidence if your process is a slower and more deliberate one — especially if others lose faith in you. But late bloomers can take comfort in his finding that creativity isn’t one-size-fits-all. If you haven’t been invited to the White House or launched an IPO or made the cover of a national newsmagazine before age 35, there’s absolutely no reason to believe you can’t still accomplish those goals later in life. And as managers and leaders, it behooves us to be open-minded and show similar faith in our employees. “I don’t go out and measure the cost of the errors people make on the basis of this belief [that creativity is only for young people],” he told me, “but it could be significant.”

Are you a conceptual innovator or an experimentalist? How has that shaped your career?


Culled from HBR Blogs

Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant who has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, and the National Park Service. She is the author of the forthcoming Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press 2013). You can follow her on Twitter at @dorieclark.