Life is in Seasons

A few months ago, my older sister and I spent a weekend together and we got talking about how life is in seasons.

We concluded that you can have all the hopes and aspirations you want; you can believe for great things; you can hope for a wonderful life but one thing that is constant to all people is that life will always certainly have highs and low. It’s the basic tenet of existence.

It’s a fallacy to believe that life will be a constant high. And a lot of us struggle with this because whether we say it or not, we have a sense of entitlement to a ‘good life’.

And don’t get me wrong, we do deserve a ‘good life’, whatever that is for you but it’s not an entitlement – it happens by grace.

The older I get, the more I am able to master the changing seasons. When I was younger, I viewed them as a sentence being meted out to me. I would often ask why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? Why does it always happen to me? When is it going to be my turn? Why, why, why, why, why, why,  why? However, after going through a fair number of seasons you learn to ride the waves – maybe even control their impact on you or your reaction to them.

I hope to God I do not become an expert on changing seasons LOL but I have come to understand that if you can be still in the storm, it will pass. If you can stop yourself from making decisions when you are desperate or scared, you’ll make better choices for yourself. If you can look at the season not as something being done to you but a process of refinement, then you might just learn something through the process. If you can try your darnedest not to see the season as a reflection of your esteem but see it for what it is – a bad time. And if you can yes, hold on for that ‘good life’ it will come – even if it does tarry (oh I sound ancient now).

The opening line of one of favourite songs by Maxwell is, “I was reborn when I was broken“. Only seven words, not a very long sentence, but they speak volumes to me. A different perspective perhaps to pain and disappointment. Lots of people talk about how they go through a tough season and come out of the other side a different person. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a home, redundancy, divorce, a betrayal, an unexpected diagnosis; so many different seasons we find ourselves in; often without warning. Can we be reborn as we pass through them? Perhaps the season may take a part of you and enable a different you to surface. I was reborn when I was broken.

Maxwell’s response is to “take it one day at a time”. Those sound like wise words to me. Maybe he’s walked through a few seasons too. The season always has a byline. It has a knack of revealing it usually at the end though. If maybe at the turn of a new season, we could learn to turn the volume down a bit, we may hear the whispers of the byline; the story it seeks to share. Then perhaps we too can we say, “we were reborn when we were broken”.

 

I am really determined to learn something new in every season. Almost like a do your worst, I’m-going-to-grow-through-this-sort-of-growl. As long as there is life, I can be stronger and say I was reborn when I was broken. I may cry a little but I will be reborn.

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School Run Positivity

Has anyone ever tried positive thinking in coping with the school run? I’m giving it a go today and the rest of the week as it’s the first week back at school.

I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run.

Let’s see if it works or if I return to my soliloquy in B flat on my hatred of the school run.

*breathe in sharply* I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Who is My Neighbour

Yesterday at church, I heard sermon on the Good Samaritan.

For those who don’t know, the Good Samaritan is a proverb told by Jesus Christ to a know- it-all teacher of the law who asks Jesus a couple of questions, the latter being, “who is my neighbour?” To which Jesus replied:

 “There was once a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by on the other side.  In the same way a Levite also came there, went over and looked at the man, and then walked on by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was travelling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he told the innkeeper, ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’”

And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbour toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.”  Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.”

We are living in extremely troubling times in which leadership and humanity is failing us in a dire way.  I don’t know about you but I’m confused, angry, bewildered but most of all at a loss. At a loss for what the practical solution is to the mess the world is in. I’ve been grappling with this feeling for a while but most especially this weekend after the spate of killings in America.

With a thought ladened mind, I heard the preacher say, “there is no point to religious practices if it supersedes mercy or kindness”.

There are many of us who profess to be people of faith. This passage was written for the benefit of followers of Christ but I believe that there is a lesson for us all to learn. Now is the time, more than ever for us to rise up and show kindness to the suffering people of this world. We can’t sit by idly watching so much pain take place in the world. Sadly the one thing we do not have is a lack of issues to solve. Hunger, homelessness, racism, inequality, discrimination of all sorts, poverty, cancer, alzheimers, child brides, war crimes, rape, domestic violence, sexism, education, water sanitation, malaria, misogyny – where do I stop? There isn’t a shortage of problems. What we have is a shortage of people doing the right thing.

So here are 10 practical things we can all do.

  1. Be kind to others.
  2. Listen to one another, even when your view points are different.
  3. Write to your MP about it.
  4. Stand up for those who don’t have a voice.
  5. Give financially to a cause that helps to alleviate pain in this world.
  6. Volunteer your time to one of these causes. You can’t do it all, but you can do something.
  7. Educate yourself on the ills going on in this world.
  8. Explore if you have a direct solution to a problem.
  9. Sign up to https://www.change.org  and be a part change taking place around the world.
  10. Be present in this generation. Don’t sit down and do nothing.

 

Wishes Aren’t Goals

It’s that time of the year when I start to look at the things I wanted to accomplish in the year and analyse the successes and where things might have gone pear shaped.

Then I received an email from a charity I support asking for volunteers to run the London Marathon 2016. I’m thinking about it. Really thinking about it. Primarily because for several years I have always had ‘run the London Marathon’ on my list of things to do. Never mind that I have never ever even tried to apply talk less of run it; yet it remained on my list – probably since my mid-twenties.

I do remember how I came to the decision to put it on my list. It was after watching The London Marathon on T.V for the first time in 1997. I was enthralled, and overwhelmed, by the determination and accomplishment of the runners as well as some of the amazing stories fuelling their motivation. I thought to myself, “I’ve got to do this”.

After receiving that email, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do this. I can finally accomplish my dream. However, I was hesitant. So I asked myself, as you do, if I really did want to run the London Marathon or was it just an interesting thing to do – a list filler?

In my short time on earth, I’ve learnt a few things:

  1. A goal without action is nothing more than a wish
  2. Writing down a goal is pointless if you haven’t made a decision to do it
  3. Counting the cost of a goal before committing to it aids decision making
  4. Feel free to release yourself from achieving this goal if the actions from points 1-3 don’t engender you to the goal.

There might be some things on that list that you can simply cross off before 2015 rings to an end. You are never going to achieve them simply because they aren’t what you really want. Maybe you saw others achieving it and thought it might be a good idea.  Perhaps you just thought it would be a cool thing to do. However sincerely you thought you wanted to; actions speak louder than words.

We all know the things we really want, what we really really want. (See what I did there? 🙂 ) Nothing stops us from committing to those things and seeing them through. No one has to make us do them. Perhaps it’s time to release ourselves from achieving certain things that just aren’t meant for us. Permit ourselves to break free from the shackles of pseudo failure. Those goals don’t belong to us.

However, if the opposite happens. If you feel yourself aching to commit to something on that list, then there it is. That’s your goal. Hang on to it and pursue it.

And if you really really really REALLY want to do it, remember point 1 above though, no action = a wish list.

-Tomi

A Little Change At a TIme

So this year to motivate me, I adopted a Vision board as a visual aid of all the things I want in my life this year and probably the next five or so, God willing.

  

If you know me, my bug bear is preachers, life coaches and anyone else who propagates a message of you-can-attain-your-dreams-without-any-action-required on your part. Maybe that’s why I hate the term New Year’s Resolution.

We are almost half way through the year. Now is a good time to take a step back, assess, plan, re-jig and re-boot.

There’s no point in beating yourself up if you haven’t accomplished all you wanted. There are still six months left to make the right changes. In fact if we start today, we have six months and eight days.

Let’s do this!

-RWW

The Limitations of Having a Vision

Last weekend I spent some time with a friend who talked about a dream of hers and how she was at the place where she was ready to go for it. It’s a very expensive dream to have so I can understand why it’s taken her a while to wrap her head around giving it a go. It’s also a dream that goes against the norm – not always easy to put your head above the parapet.

Having a vision means that you are boxed in. And as you get older, the more you junk stuff you are not interested in and so that vision continues to glare at you more and more.  And if like me you have a vision board on your wall, it stares at you before you go to bed and first thing when you wake up.

You can’t run away from who you are any more than you can can run away from the dreams gestating within you. You can put them on hold or dance around them, but they will always be alive within you waiting for an opportunity to flourish.

When we use the word dream, the tendency is for the mind to always go to some major adventure, project or accomplishment.  The tendency is to let other people’s accomplishments determine what we think a dream is.

A dream is whatsoever your heart desires. A better relationship with your spouse or a loved one, a peaceful home, a healthy diet, time for yourself in a busy world- a dream is whatever you imagine that is not yet a reality.

At some point you’ve got to admit to yourself that you are either not brave enough; hardworking enough; tough enough; committed enough; caring enough; whatever ……….. enough.  At some point you have to admit that just maybe, all along, you are the only one in the way of achieving your dream.

Redefining Wonder Woman Series Seven: Giving Back

This is the first Redefining Woman Woman post of 2015 and I am so excited to introduce my school friend, Ore Somolu-Lesi to you all. Nigeria has sadly had a lot of negative press lately and I’m happy to share one of the many things that gives me hope for my homeland.

Ore Somolu-Lesi

Ore Somolu-Lesi

Ore and I met at Queen’s College (secondary school) about thirty years ago. Although our parents were good friends, we were sort of flung into close proximity by virtue of our height. As tall girls, we often found ourselves together at the back of the line for assembly. At school, Ore was incredibly clever- she seemed to sail through exams effortlessly; serene, strong-willed and really quiet. Whilst life has taken us on very different paths, we’ve kept in touch through the years. Today,Ore is the founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) which empowers girls and women through the use of information technology. I hope her story inspires and encourages you.

RWW: What did you want to be as a little girl?
Ore: I wanted to be so many things. Each week, I had a different ambition and they were all so different: one week I wanted to be an astronaut, the next an interior designer. I guess there was something about each one of these jobs appealed to a part of me or to one of my interests. And I had very many interests. I was fascinated by space and watched every programme that explored life outside of the Earth. I loved to organize things and people. I loved to learn about far-flung parts of the world.

The constants were that I loved reading and liked to write, so I assumed that whatever I ended up doing would involve a good deal of both.

RWW: Please tell us a little bit of your background
Ore: I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria as the eldest child of 3 children (with 1 brother and 1 sister). My parents were both engineers with strong entrepreneurial streaks. My first degree was in Economics at the University of Essex, U.K. and then I went on to study for a Masters of Science degree in Analysis, Design & Management of Information Systems at the London School of Economics & Political Science.

My Masters degree was an interdisciplinary programme that explored the development and management of information systems within organizations and countries. Information systems are made-up of technology, the users, the environment in which the technology will be deployed and any policies guiding the use of said technology. It was a very interesting programme, one in which we studied different theories on change, innovation and management.

Afterwards, I moved to the United States, to gain more practical technology skills and experience. I opted for a certificate programme on Applied Sciences at the Extension School of Harvard University, Boston. In the programme, I focused on programming, web development, multimedia and technical writing. I gained skills that led me to a variety of exciting volunteering opportunities such as helping a small non-profit design and manage their electronic newsletter. I also taught web design at a community technology centre.

My first real job was at a non-profit organisation called Education Development Centre (EDC) Inc., where I worked as a research assistant looking at the different ways men and women used the Internet for learning. I moved on to building the website and managing the technology resources for another department within the same organization. It was a time of incredible learning and stretching for me and I gradually came to realize that I could do so much more than I thought I could. However, it always meant taking myself out of my comfort zone.

RWW: Having lived away from home for so long, what motivated your move to Nigeria?
Ore: I lived abroad for eleven years (five and a half in the U.K and the U.S each). I knew ultimately that I wanted to move back home to Nigeria. From my work with community technology centres in the U.S, I had seen my students grow in confidence from learning how to use computers. I had also seen my former students go on to get jobs based on what they learnt in my classes. My work exploring the potential of using technology for change in the U.S encouraged me to see how women and girls in Nigeria could also learn how to use these tools for learning and empowerment.

RWW: Did you have a plan?
Ore: I got a job offer in an oil and gas consultancy firm. This was a very different industry from the one I had been working in. I wasn’t quite sure what I would be doing there, but it was a job and I had found that it wasn’t very easy getting a job from the U.S. However, I managed to get a job before moving home and was grateful for it. My immediate plan was to complete the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme as soon as I moved back home.

RWW: How did you go from an Economics degree to advocacy?
Ore: In my final year at Queens College, I had to pick the degree I wanted to study in university. I didn’t have a clue! I danced around from degree to degree.

The general thinking then was that the smart girls chose Medicine; the girls who can talk and argue go for Law; the business-minded girls chose business and commercial degrees like Banking & Finance, Accountancy and Business Administration. Then, everyone else gets in where they can fit in. I had no idea what I could do, but I thought “I’m quite smart, so I should pick medicine.”

This was a hilarious decision considering that, all my life, I had an aversion to blood. I closed my eyes during the gory parts of films. I also was not particularly enthused by physics and chemistry.

In the end, I didn’t get high enough grades in Physics and Chemistry to study Medicine. Although, it was such a humbling experience, it turned out to be such a blessing in disguise, because then I could give more thought to what I really wanted to do. I honestly still couldn’t figure it out, but opted to study Economics because I was very good in Economics and Maths. I decided that I would try many different things while at university and so hopefully, by the time I graduated, I would have figured things out a bit more.

RWW: And did you figure things out?
Ore: Before I started university, I went to a computer school to pass the time until I could start school again and learnt how to use a computer properly. A fascinating new world of knowledge was opened-up to me.

When I got to university, I started a business typing essays for other students. It was hugely empowering to make my own money with the skills I had. Then I started thinking about how other women could use technology in their lives for their own empowerment.

I decided to study Information Systems for my Masters degree to gain a better understanding of the role of technology in social and economic development. While I was doing my Masters, I got to learn about how few women were working in the technology space. This included creating technology, developing technology-related policy. Even in terms of access and usage – the figures for women were very low. I was intrigued to know why and to do something to help close that gap.

The idea that would eventually become W.TEC started to take shape. This was firmed-up when I moved to the United States and worked at EDC and my volunteering role at the community technology centres.

RWW: Explain what W.TEC is all about?
Ore: The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian non-governmental organization set-up in 2008 and which encourages Nigerian girls and women to learn how to use information and communication technology as a means of empowering themselves socially and economically. Our programmes include technology literacy workshops; skill-building projects; and research examining pivotal issues related to African women’s use of technology.

Our programmes are a combination of technology literacy classes, mentoring opportunities and research. We offer young girls a technology camp each year as well as after-school clubs which help to extend and deepen the initial learning they receive from the camp.

Through a mix of classes, workshops, presentations, excursions and leadership exercises, we endeavour to build strong, intelligent and focused young women, well-prepared for living and working in an increasingly technology-driven world. Our girls learn how to program, create applications for mobile devices, build websites, make short films, etc. They also participate in career talks led by women working in technology jobs or who use technology in interesting ways for their work.

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W.TEC in Action

RWW: And what do you offer women?
Ore: For women, we have the Entrepreneurship & Technology programme, which is designed to equip current & aspiring female entrepreneurs with relevant business & technology skills to build and manage a profitable and sustainable business.

RWW: Why girls and technology? Why not poverty, health or education in general?
Ore: W.TEC was set-up in January 2008 and conceived in response to research that showed that although ICTs significantly contribute to a nation’s development and growth, women – who make-up approximately half of Nigeria’s population – are severely lagging behind in their knowledge and use of technology.

Over the last two decades, Nigeria has experienced a rapid growth in information and communication technology (ICT) jobs, however women are less equipped to participate in this space. Available research shows that female enrolment in the technology and engineering courses of Nigerian higher institutions is lower than men’s (Punch Newspaper, January 5, 2010). This disparity continues in industry, with women accounting for less than 20% of ICT jobs in Nigeria and tending to occupy mostly junior or non-technical positions (Development Information Network, 2006). This means that women are not benefiting from technology’s economic and social advantages.

Research also indicates that in order to ensure that more women are working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers; it is important that the interest of girls in these subjects is kept and nurtured through secondary school. That is why we pay particular attention to working with girls aged 11 to 17 years.

RWW: Every career or cause has a humble beginning. What form did W.TEC take in the early days?
Ore: The precursor to W.TEC was a project I set-up in 2006 with a friend Sokari Ekine called Blogs for African Women (BAWo). This was a 6-week project that taught secondary school girls how to blog. In doing that, we helped them gain more confidence using computers. As a result, I gained the experience of running a project from the concept stage to the implementation , monitoring and evaluation stages.

A while after the project ended, I saw a Call for Proposals for a small grant that would support projects that helped to strengthen networks. I built on the BAWo project and submitted a proposal for what would become W.TEC’s first project: the Networking for Success project (http://www.w-teconline.org/nfsblog). The Networking for Success project would teach women how to use Web 2.0 tools (essentially social media) and other ICTs to effectively develop and advance their work. We shared a lot of the learning materials online and created a blog where the network of women would discuss their use of the various tools we were learning about.

Thankfully, we were selected to receive the grant in 2007 and at the end of the year, I resigned from my job to set-up W.TEC. In January 2008, I started work full-time on W.TEC. Looking back on it now, those were very exciting times.

Project coordinator, Toyin Ajao, our office assistant, Nkechi Nnamchi, and I we set-up the structure which was the foundation for what W.TEC is today. We implemented the Networking for Success project in May 2008.

RWW: What experience did you have at the time to run the organisation?
Ore: All I really had was a very little idea about what it took to run an organization, but I learnt as I went along. At the time, it was quite nerve-wracking and I always feared I would be ‘found out’ as someone who didn’t really know what she was doing. But, it seemed to others, that I looked like I did. I was very, very passionate about my work and I realise that definitely helped buoy me through the times where I was very uncertain about myself. I handled 90% of the training in those days and all our beneficiaries commented on how well I was able to teach and how much I seemed to love my work.

Over the years, we have grown in staff strength a little (we are now four with a sizeable team of volunteers). We have some more structure in place, but still flexible enough to make decisions fairly quickly and adapt to changing circumstances.

RWW: What challenges have you faced in terms of changing perceptions of women in IT, particularly in Nigeria?
Ore: When W.TEC started in 2008, there was very little knowledge about the gender digital divide in Nigeria – why it existed and why it was important to close it. W.TEC was one of the few organizations working in this area and we have engaged in a lot of awareness-raising over the years through training, speaking at conferences and other events, interviews in the media, and presenting the results and alumnae of our programmes as strategies to educate the wider public about the importance of gender equality in ICTs.

There were many people who did not understand why closing the gender digital divide was even important. They felt that if there were fewer women working in technology than men, then it must purely a matter of choice. There was no understanding of the role of female role models in technology. There was no understanding of the unique challenges that many women and girls have with respect to access to technology, having time for the study and practice required to learn the skills. There was no thought given to the factors that cause many women to drop put of technology jobs within the first 10 years of their careers.

Now there is more understanding about the benefits of closing the gender digital divide and more government agencies and companies are expressing interest in supporting initiatives to encourage more girls and women in ICT learning – it’s use and careers.

RWW: You’ve received several awards. Which has meant the most to you?

Ore: Maybe the very first one, which was the Change Agent award from the Anita Borg Institute. There is something extra-special about the first thing and so I will always remember this first award I received.

The Change Agent award is given to women who are supporting other women in computing. I was invited to the Grace Hopper Celebration, which is the largest gathering of women in computing anywhere in the world and is an annual conference organized by the Anita Borg Institute. I was given the award in a glamorous ceremony by the president and CEO of the ABI, Telle Whitney and Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Research, of Google at the time (and Board of Trustee Member of the Anita Borg Institute).

My sister Ayoola travelled with me for the conference and having her there made it so so special for me.

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RWW: What is your hope for Nigeria and young girls in particular?
Ore: I really want girls to be all that they want to be. They should have the ability, access to opportunities and education that can make this happen. I want Nigeria to be a place where girls and women have the support and encouragement they need to realise their dreams. Although my work is more focused on how girls and women use and engage with technology, I care about the total girl and the total woman.

The vision of W.TEC is a society where Nigerian women and girls are able to create and use information and communication technology for learning, activism, entrepreneurship, and professional activities effectively.

RWW: Thank you Ore.

You can learn more about W.TEC from their website at: www.w-teconline.org, YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/watchwtec and online album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wtec/sets/

Change Can Be Pleasant

I was at a wedding over the weekend and was looking forward to seeing some people I had not seen in a while. By the time I got to the ceremony there weren’t any spaces left close to friends so I sat next to a couple I didn’t know. Turned out the man was the groom’s line manager and we ended up talking about our sons’ obsessions with football, after school clubs, life and general things. It was really nice talking to them.

Still I was hoping that at the reception I would get to sit with some of my friends. As I entered the marquee, I suddenly realised there were no place settings. I looked round for familiar faces but couldn’t see any. I contemplated sitting at an empty table with the hope that friends would soon gather and we could regale ourselves with updates from when we were last together. However, it didn’t happen quite like I had hoped.

At the same time, a woman who I had served with at my previous church sat at the table I was thinking of sitting at. I thought well I know her and there were two spare seats next to me if any friends came by soon. So I sat down, particularly as the place was filling up rather quickly.

I got up to get a cocktail and I met two friends who asked if there were spaces at my table. I replied yes and pointed at the table and one of them commented, “you are sitting with people you don’t know?” And my puzzled response was “so?” They politely declined the proposition of sitting with strangers.

We all like the familiar. It’s comfortable and comforting. I don’t think of myself as a sociable person but perhaps having to make friends in a city with no friends or family has morphed me into a more sociable person.

I had an absolutely pleasant time talking to this lady for the best part of two hours or more. We talked about children, our childhood, what we were up to, the food (which was really nice), some future plans, my blog – we really talked. And it was none of that stilted conversation where you are thinking of what to say. It was just an absolutely lovely time. I really didn’t miss my friends at all. Truly amazing how you can know someone for so long and not really know them.

Change is good – particularly when it opens up opportunities like these.

Alternative Stoptober: Day 24

We had ANOTHER coffee morning at my children’s school yesterday and I got in the queue for hot chocolate. 😦

My friend asked what my plan was from the 31st onwards. Was I going to give it up entirely or go back to the same old same old? Good question. It wasn’t my decision to give up coffee. I was roped into it. It just came along at the same time when I was still exploring giving it up in my mind and I thought why not.

It’s not quite like when I made a decision to drink only water; no juices or anything sweet. Just water. That was about the same time I lived without a TV for about eighteen months. Must have been my hippy phase. With this alternative Stoptober, I didn’t make a decision to change so it was a very good question. What do I intend to do after the 31st of October? I have to tell you the truth, I am going to drink a nice MUG of caffe latte. That’s what!

Seriously, human beings have an innate capacity to accomplish tremendous things. The fact that the life coaching industry is one of the fastest growing industry in the world is testament to this. Yet it’s ironic that all a coach does is assist in helping individuals see the possibilities – the individual still has to do the work. So there is no such thing as I CAN’T give up coffee. It’s I DON’T want to give it up or I’m NOT ready to give it up fully. When I am, I will. It would be interesting though to see the stats on the number of people who pay for coaching but don’t make any changes – but I digress.

The capacity to change what I don’t like about my life, lies primarily with me. The older and hopefully wiser one gets, you quit blaming others for your lack of accomplishment or success in certain areas. Where I can’t dig deep enough it’s wise to seek help, knowledge, understanding- but it’s all there within. Again I reiterate the words of John C Maxwell, “you can’t manage a decision you haven’t made“. When I find myself going round and round in circles, then I have to make peace with myself and accept I am not ready for change and quit moaning. Sometimes, we have to do that but the one thing I won’t allow myself to accept are the words I CAN’T. I may not be ready for change but when the time is right, I CAN.

Who knew coffee could have such a profound effect? 🙂

Leaving The Past In The Past

One adult decision you could ever make is to accept that there is nothing you can do about the past.

You can’t go back and make more time where you have squandered it; you can’t un-date that man that broke your heart; you can’t make debt disappear; you can’t take back what you said and no, you can’t give your children back 🙂

When that time has past, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

However, the future or even tomorrow or the very next minute you take a breath – that’s something you can change. Let’s stop spending an inordinate amount of time regretting not doing this or having that. Tomorrow, if not that next minute, offers a fresh opportunity to start from where you are and leave the past in the past. By all means, learn from the past but for heaven’s sake, leave it there.

And then you are left with another adult decision – to accept that only you can change what you don’t like.