Keep Your Head Up

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I was in Junior Secondary School the first time I watched the music video “Baby Don’t Cry” by Outlaws featuring then recently deceased Tupac Shakur. Tupac Shakur was one of the most influential hip hop artists and poets of all time. So many years later, the lyrics of that song Baby don’t cry, I hope you got your head up even when the road is hard, never give up have come to mean so much to me in this torrid journey of life.

The world is awesome when things are going to plan. We feel on top of the world, get comfortable and possibly criticise others. After all, it is easy to criticise others when you are comfortable. We assume nothing could ever bring us down.

But what do you do when the tables turn? When you try your best but you don’t succeed. When you lose something you can’t replace. When you love someone, but it goes to waste.

You feel so tired but you can’t sleep because you feel trapped by something or somebody. The tears come streaming down your face; you feel stuck in reverse, leaving your vision blurrier than it was before. You start questioning if you can take another step without falling on your face.

When faced with problems, take a deep breath and keep your head up. Believe in yourself and understand that failure prepares you for success. Without failure, we wouldn’t know how gleeful and exhilarating success is.

Failure is an important part of life – it is the rate-limiting step in life. Scientifically, rate-limiting steps are the slowest steps in a metabolic pathway or series of chemical reactions, which require the greatest activation energy. They determine the overall rate of the other reactions in the pathway.

29-year-old Kenyan marathon sprinter, Hyvon Ngetich exhibited this energy on Sunday 15th February 2015. Competiting at the Austin marathon, Ngetich raced into an early lead and seemed destined to win the race at a point. However, with two-tenths of a mile to go, disaster struck. She collapsed.

Unable to walk, not to talk of run, she was offered a wheelchair by the organisers to take some respite and/or throw in the towel but she refused. She crawled on all fours finishing third the race just three seconds shy of second place and ten minutes after the winner Cynthia Jerop (of Kenya) had crossed the line. When asked about the race afterwards, she said she doesn’t recall the final two kilometres of the marrathon or the crossing line. “Running, always, you have to keep going going,” she said.

Life is like a marathon with hurdles along the way. These hurdles can make or mar you depending on how the approach you adopt. You may choose to adopt the Ngetich approach – refuse to succumb to self-pity, apathy and depression – or wave the white flag.

Whatever you are going through that has made you question your existence, always remember there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The moment will definitely hurt but don’t give in to its pain. Focus on your dreams. Never give up and keep your head up!

Is everybody an addict?

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I was listening to the song John Doe, performed by B.O.B and Priscilla, last night and some lines from the song go like this.

Errybody’s addicted to something
Errybody gotta grip onto something
Even if it’s just to feel the response of appeal
Maybe once, maybe twice
Maybe hundreds of times, hundreds of times

This got my mind racing; is everyone really addicted to something? Is addiction part of our make up as humans? Does it help one to fight his/her inner demons?

To answer these questions; yes I think everybody is addicted to something or capable of being an addict and addiction is a part of human condition. However I don’t know if it helps us crush our inner demons.

Whether it is drugs, sex, violence, alcohol, porn, nicotine, food, gambling, coffee, shopping or something seemingly innocuous like gossiping, exercise, power, religion, love, attention, TV series, music, looks or obsession to work, every individual has addictive tendencies. So, it is left for one to acknowledge that particular bane of his/her life.

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Our world encourages and demands addiction. Just like Oliver Twist, we yearn for more – more money, more power, more knowledge, more success, more status, more gadgets, more cars, more happiness.

Boredom is directly proportional to addiction. Most people can’t handle boredom. To be fair, nobody likes being bored. Once we are bored, we look for things to keep ourselves busy until we cross that fine line between loving or using something a lot, and being addicted. You know what they a say, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

In the end, it is safe to presume that everybody is addicted to something and everybody is an addict but we can channel our addictive tendencies into something positive.

What are you addicted to?

9 TYPES OF INTELLIGENCE (By Howard Gardner)

 

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
 
Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).  This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.  It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like. 
 
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
 

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.  Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves.  They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.
 
 
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

 
Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.  Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.  Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships.  They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.
 
4. Existential Intelligence
 

Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.
 
5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)
 

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.  Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.
 
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
 

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
 
7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
 

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.  Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
 
8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)
 

Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life.  Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition.  It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.  These young adults may be shy.  They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
 
9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
 

Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

Heart Doesn’t Break Even

Music is my life, everything about me revolves around music. It is everything to me; it inspires me, calms my nerves and soothes my sorrows – not necessarily but it helps me deal with my fears.

A day without music makes me itch like a crack-addict who is deprived of a sniff. Music is to me what sex is to a prostitute.

I listen to music everywhere while working, driving, walking, studying, prior to a football match; in fact music takes me to another world and aids me perform at an optimum level.

My best genre of music has to be Rock – Soft Rock to be precise. Here in Nigeria, people see Rock songs and its artistes as devil incarnates/worshippers and weirdos but these weirdos thrill and provoke my thoughts each time I listen to them with their unrivalled choice of words. I implore you all to listen to bands like Coldplay, One Republic, Hinder, NickelBack, The Script, Keane, Avril Lavigne and pay attention to the lyrics of their songs – believe me, there’s a message in between the lines of all the songs for you. Thank me later.

Anyways, let’s get down to the crux of the matter. Yesterday, as I laid down my head on my bed to retire, I sought the help of my music library to take me to El Dorado. That’s when a song (Break Even) by The Script came on and I fell into a trance.

Read carefully the lyrics of this song.

“I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing
Just prayin’ to a god that I don’t believe in
Cos I got time while she got freedom
Cos when a heart breaks no it don’t break even

Her best days will be some of my worst
She finally met a man that’s gonna put her first
While I’m wide awake she’s no trouble sleeping
Cos when a heart breaks no it don’t breakeven… even… no

What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you,
And what am I supposed to say when I’m all choked up that you’re ok
I’m falling to pieces, yeah, (One still in love while the other ones leaving)
I’m falling to pieces (Cos when a heart breaks no it don’t breakeven)

They say bad things happen for a reason
But no wise words gonna stop the bleeding
Cos she’s moved on while I’m still grieving
And when a heart breaks no it don’t breakeven even… no

Oh you got his heart and my heart and none of the pain
You took your suitcase, I took the blame.
Now I’m try’na make sense of what little remains ooh
Cos you left me with no love and no love to my name.”

Truly, it is never a two-way thing when lovers break up, it’s always one sided. One side hurts and grieves while the other moves on. When a heart breaks, it doesn’t break even.

Thank God It’s Friday…

The Ex Effect: Sex With My Ex

A fortnight ago, I ran into my Ex, Chinelo and her bestie, Nkeoma at the movies. I had gone to watch Total Recall, the new blockbuster starring the multi-talented Colin Farrell but I was told it was yet to hit the cinema so I had to settle for ‘Think like a Man’ for the umpteenth time, I never get tired of seeing that movie though.

Chinelo and I broke up almost two years ago because the fights were getting worse. When a woman is fed up in a relationship, you’d know. She starts bringing up old dirt and gets agitated at the slightest provocation so I used my sagacity and annulled the relationship amicably for both parties to be happy. Although we became friends, we hadn’t seen or talked to each other for 18months.

She looked like a bag of money: sassy, beautiful and enchanting. Chinelo has always been a nymphet; she is worth more than a second look. At a glance, I was bewildered by her pliant lips and curvaceous body. It brought to mind all the good times we had – the mind blowing sex, the incredible adventures and the crazy games we played.

We watched the movie together – though we talked throughout the length of the movie. At the end of the day, we exchanged numbers, twitter handles, BB pins and other relevant information and set up a date in the near future – that’s where all the temptation started!

We hooked up again last Friday, had a drink or two and went back to my place for some sexual eruptions. We couldn’t resist each other; to make it worse, the sex was better than before; it was as if we were never apart. After the first round, my iTunes randomly selected Lil Bit’s joint with Yung Joc and Jim Jones “Sex with my Ex” from my music library. A line in the song goes this way “…can’t believe I’m having sex with my ex” and post coital tristesse set in, we vowed never to do such again but after some minutes, we were at it again.

We wanted each other so bad but there was an obstacle – we had new relationships so in order to save our present relationships, we had to stay away from each other.

Often times, I hear people blabbering about their Ex and it makes me laugh all time. It’s a very common scene on twitter, people diss their Ex every 10minutes on that social network. Some of these people may have gone back to their Ex for sex, care or help at least once in the past but here they are, raking over coals and cursing them on twitter. Anyways, Nigerians are known for their hypocritical ways.

I keep asking myself why we repeatedly feel affection when we see our Ex. This iteration is still mystical to me. I don’t get it, if we still feel something for each other, why then did we separate in the first place? I must say it takes courage, self control and GOD for one to resist the sexual advances of an Ex.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says: “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way & expecting a different outcome.” Some often get bemused after these happenchance with their Ex and find themselves craving to go back to them. The fact remains just because you had awesome sex with him/her doesn’t mean when you leave your present partner, that things will be all cosy as you want/expect/dream. Returning to an old flame is like reading a book over and over again expecting a different twist in the end. Things will never be the same again.