Why try too hard to impress?

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I like to make references to football because it was my first real education. As a kid playing in different teams, I was made to understand football teaches one so much about life – the essence of hard work, team work, dedication, determination and zeal to achieve one’s goal.

My coaches helped me understand that football, as a sport, allows me make use of my three brains (the right, the left and subconscious). As a consequence, I was equipped with indelible capabilities such as attention to detail and maintaining focus on my goal.

If a player, whether amateur or professional, can maintain his focus, he has attained a certain level of maturity. This seems easy on paper but it is very hard to maintain focus with fans/girls screaming your name. Personally, I learnt this the hard way.

I invited a beautiful girl (I was interested in at the time) to a football match. During the first half of the game, I couldn’t concentrate on the team’s goal – to win the game. I was keen to impress the young lady with my dribbling skills and by halftime we were one goal down. I got an earful from my teammates for my below-par performance and that was my wake-up call. I was apologetic, remorseful and went into the second half more focused. We ended up winning the game 3-1 with yours faithfully grabbing a brace.

This made me ask myself, why do we even do things to impress others and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves? I believe it is human nature to want to impress others. However, when one consciously tries to do so, it becomes a burden to oneself.

Even though we are reluctant to admit, the desire to impress others motivates our lives. There are many things we do because they seem cool and thence lead to societal acceptance. The clothes we wear, the way we speak, the genre of music we listen to, the movies we watch, the religious beliefs we embrace, the technology devices we use, the beard we keep, the places we hang out, the friends we keep and the careers we choose are heavily influenced by the desire to impress others.

Unfortunately, sustainability of these behaviours is often elusive. In a digital world, things are constantly evolving and changing. And things that impress people today will probably not impress them tomorrow. As a result, we put on a show and run ourselves into debt, get stuck with people and jobs we hate, and envy those who seem to have it all.

Vernon Howard succinctly explained this when he said “The need to impress others causes half the world’s woes.”  The funniest thing about being an ‘impresario’ is that most of the things we do are for those that don’t give a fuck about us. Pardon my French.

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Many mistakenly assume that they have to do big things to impress others however it is the little things that leave the biggest impact on us. According to Zinga Theory, if one has to try so hard to impress another person then the ‘impressee’ is probably not worth it and can’t be bothered.

I sincerely believe the worst person to date/marry is an ‘impressario/wannabe’. It is hard for such people to be satisfied and happy because of the pressure they put on themselves to meet up to expectations. Expectations they created in the first place.

Everybody can’t like you so instead of living your life to impress people who don’t really like you, you should channel that energy into being yourself.

It Is A Selfish World

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One has lost count of the number of people he’s been “friends” with. In hindsight, these people became friends with me for different reasons – most of which (if not all) were selfish.

I used to be annoyed when people portray their selfishness but some events made me realise that I am as selfish as the people I loathed. This epiphany led me to another Zinga theory, that no matter how awesome we may think we are, there is a (selfish) reason why that man/woman is around us. And everything we do has a selfish connotation and engineered in such a way to make us happy.

Selfishness is often regarded as something evil; an image of one who cares for no one but himself or herself and pursues nothing but his or her own happiness. Being selfish has never been given to anyone as a compliment.

This is a common misconception about selfishness; being selfish has a variety of meanings. Melissa Deuter, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center once said “Selfish is an ugly word but it can mean two different things. One connotation is that you’re unkind and inconsiderate of others. The other is that you take responsibility for getting your personal, emotional and physical needs met, and that’s an important part of becoming an adult.”

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Everybody is selfish in diverse ways and to varying levels/degrees – after all, we are self-centred in our daily pursuit of happiness. Epicurus wrote, “We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it.”

Almost every action we take is to satisfy our needs and happiness. Everyone is dire pursuit of what he/she is greedy about – love, knowledge, sex, acceptance, money, success or any other activity/product that gives a sense of gratification.

Don’t misconstrue the point here, you can still be the best person you can possibly be and be selfish. Altruism – the act of being selfless for the wellbeing of others – can also be linked to selfishness. There are a lot of kind and generous people in this world but most of the effort people put in is for selfish purposes.

For instance, many believe people will like them more if they do everything others want. They yearn for love and acceptance to feel good about themselves (happiness) but instead, they become pawns controlled by others. Nathaniel Branden wrote in his article “Isn’t everyone selfish?” “No one ever really sacrifices himself. Since every purposeful action is motivated by some value or goal that the actor desires, one always acts selfishly, whether one knows it or not.”

Biologically, human evolution depicts that natural selection abhors selflessness and favours selfish behaviour. Human beings have a deep survival instinct – to fight for food and shelter or against adverse circumstances. These instincts may be the reason behind our selfishness.

People seldom praise others without selfish motives. They may sing your praises today because you are in power but will waste no time to disregard your achievements and magnify your flaws as soon as you lose that power.

It is all about survival. Happiness is a survival mechanism, a reward for our actions. As far as mankind chases happiness, it will always be a selfish world.

What do you think?

Everybody Is An Option

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A lady wrote on Twitter recently, “I am always a priority never an option.” Although this depicts confidence and self-respect, I found myself disagreeing with her.

It is a fact that no one wants to be treated as an option, everyone wants to be seen as a priority but this tweet threw me into a reverie of some sort. I kept asking myself, “aren’t we all options?”

After a long consultation with my number 6,  I came to the conclusion that no matter how beautiful/handsome you are, how blessed you are, how much you have or what you think of yourself, everyone is in dire pursuit of happily-ever-after and thence an option to somebody. After all, there are billions of people in this world of ours and there’s always someone out there willing to take a chance on us.

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Think about it; we always assume that there is “the one” reserved for us to love, learn and go deep with but how often do we end up disappointed? According to Zinga’s theory, there’s nothing like “the one” and we have mutiple “ones”. We run into these ones whether we are single or in a relationship.

Social media has helped bring a catalog of possible matches right to our fingertips. Tinder, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, take your pick…people have met their ones on these sites.

We are then burdened with the choice of building a relationship with them or not. Consequently, many miss spending the rest of their lives with people they truly love due to one reason or the other so they fall back on their next option. Everybody is an option to somebody but the easisest way to be an option is to fear of being an option.

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P.S. seeking love can be hard and tasking so please don’t misunderstand the point here. I am not asking you to make yourself vulnerable and lose your self-respect. We all know when someone is really into us. They do whatever it takes to be with us – make out time, cancel plans or offer an alternative but we go through trial and error till we settle for “the one”.

Thank you for making out time to read this article. If you have enjoyed it, please comment and share your views on this issue. Also, do like, share and follow the blog.

NYSC And The Enclosure Syndrome

You could always feel people’s (intending corps members) excitement, joy and expectation whenever it’s that time of the year for the NYSC Orientation Camp. People are always impatiently anxious and ready to get on with the programme.

I must admit I’m not a fan of the programme. I see it as a charade. I mean the main aim of the scheme is to promote national unity among Nigerian youths, develop the rural areas and prepare the nouveau graduate for the challenges ahead.

Yes, it does promote national unity but I believe it has contributed to the growing unemployment problem we are facing. These institutions and organizations see corps members as cheap labour and prefer employing them every year and discard them at the end of their one year programme, to employing capable hands on a permanent basis.

Let me ask these questions: Are we only allowed to serve Nigeria for a year after which we can do whatever we like? How many times have you seen a child of a top government official or member of the ruling class sent on assignment to any of the rural areas?

Anyways, let’s leave that topic for another day and concentrate on the topic at hand.

The Enclosure Syndrome, according to Zinga’s theory, is a condition that develops when adults are enclosed or confined in a place, which makes them foster transient feelings for each other to the extent of believing they have found love.

The enclosure syndrome is synonymous with the NYSC Camp. Just a week or two after the opening of the camp, you’d see people holding hands, frolicking, kissing, cuddling and doing things that lovers do.

If you have served or still serving, you will testify that it is difficult or almost impossible for one not to develop false feelings for the opposite sex in a place like that.

The saying ‘nobody wants to be lonely’ greatly applies here. The quest for companionship, sex and love is very high under these conditions. That’s why year in, year out; you hear stories of people falling heads over heels for each other in camp only to separate immediately or few weeks after the closure of the camp.

This condition is transmittable and contagious just like the common cold/flu. The married women/men aren’t immune to this syndrome either; they catch up with the bug. 

As a matter of fact, a married lady was recently caught pants down with a fellow corps member and was sent packing, along with her fellow culprit after the NYSC officials had informed the husband about her misdemeanour.  

Have you ever been diagnosed with this malady? Or are you still suffering from this condition?

This syndrome is only treatable and curable by distance; out of sight is definitely out of mind.