13 Jan

Other People’s Opinions

This has been on my mind this week as I recognise that leaning on other people’s opinions has played a part in some of the worst decisions I’ve made in life. 

Maturity is coming to a place where you trust what the Spirit of God is saying to you. You trust your own gifts and God-given ideas.

Relying on the opinions and views of others creates a false safety net, it gives you a temporary sense of assurance in case things go wrong, but in reality you are not safe at all.

When God gives you an idea or a plan, He also gives you all of you need to bring it to fruition. Sometimes that means connecting with the right people but the decision on whom to connect with also lies with you. Spreading your idea around and cherry picking from the pool of other people’s views is dangerous. Too many cooks do not make the broth tastier. Your gift, not the gift of others will make room for you and your gift lies inside you, not them.

I sat back and began to observe the circumstances in which I took on the opinions of others when I shouldn’t have. I noticed that it tended to happen when I shared my thoughts with someone I loved or admired, held in high esteem or they were simply strong when putting forward their views. I discovered that if I was unsure about something, then shared it with someone who was so assertive or sure of themselves, their opinion was placed higher than mine and I’ll run with it.

I have now learned to mull over things and work on it first before asking if I must ask, for input from others. It may be out of laziness that we avoid the process of thinking through an idea, rather we want the finished result presented on a platter by someone who seems to be an expert at presenting finished ideas, in other word someone who appears to have it all together.

When we do this we are living only skin deep as opposed to living from the inside out.

I have also learned not to talk about an idea or plan that I am still very uncertain about. There must be some degree of comfort in it before I put it out there, that way I am on fairly solid ground and won’t be easily toppled over when they begin to shoot holes in them.

I am not denouncing getting advice from people, but I am suggesting we learn to dig deep and unearth what God has placed in us, trust it before allowing the opinions of others to be a part of it. And even when that is done, we are to be objective.

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/eph.4.13-14.nlt

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31 Jul

Inspiration from 90

The number 90 has been a motivator for me this week. I learned that the founders of crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, approached venture capitalists 90 times before receiving funding. Today, Indiegogo is worth ‘several hundred millions of dollars’ according to Forbes and has helped raise millions more for businesses.

  
I started a project last week, it’s the second time and in a year that I’ll attempt it as the first time I did not obtain the results I set out to, got discouraged and quit. So here I was one year later dealing with familiar thoughts of it fizzling out just like the last one did. I received an email which would determine if what I feared was what had happened. I was driving when the email popped up so didn’t read it until I arrived at my destination. In the short 4 minutes between receiving the email and opening it, I had played out various negative scenarios in my head. And then coached myself back into a positive place by reminding myself disappointment is merely a human emotion that’s passing by, I was to embrace it briefly and keep on moving. I recognise that I don’t fear negative scenarios, it’s the negative emotion I dread. Then the number ’90’ popped up in my head. And I smiled, 90 times, I had only attempted this twice with a ridiculously large one year gap in between, Indiegogo tried one project 90 times.

That really perked me up and helped to readjust my thinking. Embrace disappointment; in it is the fuel required to try until you succeed.

Why did Indiegogo’s story affect me positively? After all, we’ve heard about Einstein trying 1000 times, JK Rowling being rejected gazillion times and even Oprah and Steve Jobs have had their fair share of disappointments. It’s because Indiegogo is a company I can relate to. They started with nothing but a dream that 90 other people didn’t believe in and today they are where they want to be. It is easier to empathise with or be inspired by a person going through something you’ve been through. I don’t know what it’s like to have my work rejected by publishers 100 times, although I do draw lessons and encouragement from JK’s story, it is even more powerful when it’s someone or a scenario I can relate with.

If you haven’t done so, research personalities or companies that are similar to yours and use them for inspiration, it doesn’t have to be a famous story either. I am currently drawing inspiration from Michelle Obama because I read a quote that spoke to me in an area I was dealing with at that particular time. She is a strong black woman with high career and family ambitions like I do, she inspires me.

Have a truly blessed week!

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24 Mar

If you’re going through hell…

The beseeching not to worry. To trust God, He is delivering you. To just wait while this season comes to an end.

  

 I read one of such exhortations today and My mind formed a picture of stagnancy, waiting on God to change the terrain we have found ourselves in. Don’t we have to walk, to move if we no longer want to remain on the same spot or be in that environment? Too often we pray for God to change the world around us instead of simply picking ourselves up and walking.

Sir Winston Churchill said of you are going through hell, don’t stand still, keep walking.

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06 Dec

Notes from Brunch: Authenticity Journey

Last Saturday 24 beautiful minds gathered together in the Viceroy suite of the Grosvenor Hotel for a hearty brunch and life-changing conversation. Fun, food and friendship flowed freely, and when it was time for us to leave, no one wanted to!

As we introduced ourselves, it turned out the room was filled with amazing stories of transition, life changes, and growth. We were blessed with the most relaxing and beautiful music by Rachel Yvonne & Rajiv Perseedoss.  It was in this intimate setting that I also shared a journey I began 2 years ago.

I sat down to write my goals for the coming year when I received a single word in my spirit, authenticity. It bothered me and I didn’t fancy my grandiose goals being distilled into a single tired, overused word. But I took on the challenge and ran with it, starting with understanding the meaning of the word which is being true to one’s own character, personality, and spirit. This meant I first had to find out who I really was, love everything about me and then strip off the layers that hid the original me so I would at least know what I was being true to. On this journey I discovered that we are all swaddled with layers that conceal our individuality; the layers can be viewed as positive like wealth, prestige or titles, they can also be perceived as negative like the suffering of abuse, poverty or disability. The list of possible layers is endless. It is your responsibility to find out what layers cloak you, and peel them off.

Connections
I believe that we are like jigsaw puzzles on earth, looking for our coordinating pieces. When you try to force a piece that does not fit, you end up with friction and dissatisfaction. This is shown in relationships that are tumultuous and can apply to business, platonic as well as romantic relationships. Perhaps it’s a job that you are unhappy with yet have chosen to remain in. The removal of layers is vital if your connections are going to recognize you and pick you out from a crowd of other pieces. It is also worth noting that we are not meant to connect with everyone. There will be people that you feel are a good match for you but in reality they don’t feel that way. And that’s okay.

The removal of layers, the becoming of an authentic man or woman will give you the confidence to live freely and with purpose. It will enable you to connect with humanity and give of the love that you have, for when all is said and done, all that really matters is love. Love for God, love for your neighbour.

Daily practice for authenticity

1) Intention. In everything you do, think or say, get into the habit of identifying your true intention. You may be able to fool others into seeing you in a particular light, but what exactly is the point in that? I have caught myself commenting on issues I have no real interest in for the sole purpose of wanting to appear wise to the listeners. Our intention should be as pure as humanly possible

2) Clarity of purpose. Be clear about your purpose. Purpose is not your career. Your career should be a platform to live out, or at the very least lead you towards living your purpose. We must know the reason we were created, and spend the rest of our life living for that reason. Purpose, like success, is not a destination we aim to arrive at, rather it’s a lifestyle we choose to embrace.

3) Declutter your mind. This is a practice that helps with clarity and intention. Thanks to social media our minds are stuffed daily with information about who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to do. Practice digging deep for solutions rather than running to others. Inside you is everything you need to live a fulfilling life, don’t allow the noise to drown your truth.

4) Honesty with yourself. Like the serenity prayer, practice changing the things you can and accepting the things you can’t.

5) Rewrite your story literally, with a pen and paper. No one really enjoys hearing a sob story, how about you rewrite your past, take the instances you are ashamed to talk about and leave out the painful or gory details? Don’t embellish, lie or exaggerate just rewrite it from a positive stance. If there’s one thing to take away, this is it!

Our next Brunch will be held in March 2016, date and venue to be confirmed. We will have a conversation over food on how culture affects us in business. More on that later 🙂

On the subject of authenticity, I’ll leave you with India arie’s song, video.

 

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