Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes

Y’all, it’s women’s month!!! Happy 31 days of KWEN APPRECIATION!!! The fight for womanhood never sleeps so here’s to the start of another year of fighting!!

So, we’re doing things a little different this month. *You’re welcome*. I’ll be profiling one of the books in my reading list this year… Shonda Rhyme’s Year of Yes. What better way to mark this month. Really, it’s just vital life lessons that I picked up for myself through my reading. Enjoy!!

  1. Always remember that your happy ending is YOURS and it will, probably, not look the way others think – and expect – it to be.
  2. You are ALWAYS saying YES: To mediocrity, manipulation, unhealthy living, terrible habits, etc. Whenever you say no to one thing, you are automatically saying yes to something else.
    1. So, NOSI, every time you say no to working out you are saying yes to laziness and unhealthy habits, every time you say no to putting in work you are saying yes to procrastination, and every time you say no to saving you are saying yes to poor financial choices … Go figure!!
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Learn to take moments and plan – learn to take moments out to “dance”
    1. Y’all, I felt this one!!!!
  4. It is one thing to “stand” like wonder woman and it is another to “be” like her.
  5. Don’t undermine your accomplishments. Receive praise, in humility, when it is given
  6. KNOW YOUR TRIBE AND INVEST IN IT!!! Invest your time, your love, your presence!!!
  7. Always say “Yes” to the things that scare you the most, that is where you will experience the most/best growth.
  8. Don’t just dream, do. “Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just…Do”
  9. Learn to be a better friend to yourself.
  10. Pay attention to the way you view people. See them as they are, not as what you want them to be – if the two perspectives are the same, you have found a unicorn.

 

P.S. Image sourced from: https://cafe4apps.net/year-yes-shonda-rhimes-epub/

#BECOMING – Featuring Njabu “Enjay” Khoza

Ok, ok!!! I am so excited about the July edition of #Thriving!!! I don’t get to write this month but Enjay graces your phones (or laptops, or reading apps, or whatever). If you are in Swaziland – aka Eswatini, aka the best kingdom on this side of heaven – you’ve probably heard her spit fire… If you haven’t, you’re a slacker and you need to do better fam!!!

Imma be nice to you and hook you up with her Instagram! Check it out….

There are a lot of things we will do in this lifetime. Some of them pleasant, and exciting and some of them not so much. Some we do accidentally and others intentionally. Becoming, however, remains inevitable. From birth, our parents overlooked the process, well at least as far as we know, they were supposed to. Teaching us right from wrong, what’s appropriate and what isn’t, which road is worth the hustle and which one isn’t, and every other ideal imaginable. So much can be said, on becoming, but one thing for sure is that if you are old enough to read this, then it’s about time you took the rails, and control who you’re becoming, what you’re becoming.

Quick disclaimer, I am not an expert “becomer-er”😏, quite frankly, I’m barely a functional adult. But I’ve realized the power of being honest about where I am, in order to get to where I am going, because it is evident that I’m going somewhere and I’d like to know where that is, God forbid I end up in a place, in a person I dread. Which is why I had to start somewhere,

Step 1: Scary step. Call yourself out on the person that you have found yourself. Question who you are, shake your foundations now while you do not have to, before you encounter a situation that insists on it. This is not a one day step, to be honest, this is a state you must live in. Do you really hate racism? Why Christianity? Why do you use the toilet paper that you use? Question everything that you have inherited, and allow yourself to change your mind after careful consideration. This is the 1st and final step to becoming, simply put, introspection.

I know it often seems like the day we were born our body landed in one place and our purpose or truest self or whatever it is we are in search for was broken into a thousand pieces and scattered all over the world, and the body was tasked with the mandate to run around like a headless chicken trying to find and piece those pieces back together.

Before God sent us into this world, he whispered all the things that we are, and not just those we ought to be when we get to earth, but the vigorous journey seems to have wiped our memories clean. And the only things worth piecing together are those lost within ourselves. What we are looking for is not abstract, but is greatly familiar to us, and focusing all that energy on improving personal existence in every moment is how we jog that memory.

Hold it right There, please get me right. When I speak of improving yourself, I’m not even on that St Teressa tip. The noblest course a person can ever pursue in life is that of self-fulfillment. Do not do things that do not resonate from within you. Do not contribute to a course you do not believe in, not until you’ve established who you are, who you want to be, and where you’re going with all this. Putting glitters on a wound makes it pretty, but also spreads the infection. Do not donate to orphans or other vulnerable groups if that is not where your sympathies lie. If you do not like the fact that you don’t sympathize with them, find out why and perhaps you will learn that you would much rather be involved in their empowerment. Do not fall into the pressures of political correctness. Do not smile at people you don’t like, if you don’t like the person that makes you out to be, then get to the root of the problem and address it. Stop with painkillers and start with treatment. From the inside out. So as far as “fake it till you make it” is concerned in this matter, I rule against it, this world needs people with conviction, and to build conviction “address it till you become it”.

Decisions are never final, only consequential, and if you ever find yourself regretting a decision. Pick another one, with consequences more along the lines of what you can live with.

With your patience, I’d like to share where I am with my journey to becoming. After carefully considering the pros and cons, the whole saga, I’ve decided that I’d like to put all my efforts into preserving my youth. 😒 Okay, wait, before you roll your eyes at this cliche, her me out first. I want to hold onto my free pass, being exempt from the formalities of the world. Always needing empowerment of some sort in a certain area of expertise, in all areas of expertise. I want to hold on to the feeling that at any point in time I can choose a different path for my life for whatever reason my recklessness sees for. I never want to know better. I’ve seen the people that know better and their lives are a sight for sore eyes.

I have no desire to walk about this world as though I possess some kind of profound wisdom when in fact it is wisdom that possesses me. There is no running away from the knowledge the journey, but I will not worship it, I will acknowledge it’s existence and use it in relevance but I will not be a slave to logic. For the longest time, this has been the enticement of adulthood for me, the ability to command this aura of wisdom and knowledge. The fastest way to close yourself out to something is to possess it. A person who owns a cell phone or 2 has no reason to get another and must simply be satisfied with what they have. I cannot bring myself to be satisfied with what I currently know. I want to die, still not having figured life out, But having explored as much of it as possible.

So to put it less dramatically, I’d like to become young at heart and mind, ever inquisitive and well established yet humble building my convictions from the ground up as opposed to adopting them. Without being ignorant of the less rosy consequential attributes of a questionable sense of loyalty. Nonetheless, at the sight of new information, I have the freedom to change my mind 💁. Although when it comes to becoming, I’m not sure if anyone ever arrived

New Years Resolutions aka the thing I am not doing this year (Part 3)

I promise this is the LAST PART of the NYR post. Also, I know I said 3 weeks but hey, I just wanted to make sure everyone had their 100 dreams/goals you know *insert shrugging woman emoji here*. I was about to give a summary of the first 2 posts but then I was like, nah fam…It’s all good… So, if you have forgotten, check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

100 Aspirations, now what?

At the start of my “new year” – aka the week after my birthday – I got aaaaall the way into productivity strategies and anti-procrastination habits (If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll know!!! Sorry not sorry). So I was like, ok Nosi, how do you implement these things, how are you going to get stuff done? How do you DO.THE.THING.NOSI? Hooooow? I will be the first to admit that some of my aspirations were more “blue sky-ish”.

I started off with things that I was certain I could achieve. I had “get a Bachelor’s degree” in there which, now that I think about it, was lowkey counter intuitive since I have that already. But, the more I wrote goals down, the more I realized that I had to dream more! I had to believe for the things that I hope to accomplish and write it on paper even if I thought it was impossible… I told self and was on some, “self, IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!” BHAM!!! (I can’t remember where that’s from but I told ‘self’ that). Now, when I did that, the ideas started coming, the things that I hope to achieve in my lifetime kept growing and I even got to a place where I felt like 100 is not enough!!

Y’all, there is something powerful about dreaming!! It gives you a purpose greater than yourself and encourages you to get up and go each morning. It gives a focal point, you know, like the lighthouse when you sail through dark waters. I don’t know about you but I got SO MUCH ENERGY from coming up with my 100. Harness that power into action and you are golden!! There is so much to be said about writing goals down too, it makes them more vivid and, I mean, you have to work at it if it’s on paper no?

Introducing End Of Year Objectives (aka EOYO’s)

So, Instead of NYRs I am doing EOYOs this year!!!! *Mic Drop*… I see you reading that in disappointment, STOP!!! Stop right there!! Humor me for a few more minutes, please?

What are they? Good question, I am so glad you asked… I decided to call my strategy “End Of Year Objectives” because #wordsfam!! Basically, it is a list of this that I hope to be consistently working towards by the end of the year; a plan, really, of how I will have gotten to a specific place with my 100 goals by the end of the year.

Why? Remember when I said, “every day is a good day to start again”… Welp, I feel like I stay winning with this statement and that’s why I believe that EOYOs are the future for me. I have learned that, with NYRs, I find myself wanting to see the results overnight!! I want to change in a heartbeat; I want to transform from not going to the gym ever to going every day and losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks (not safe fam, not safe).

EOYOs stay winning because they open the window to small steps, small improvements, that are constantly being altered; Steps that become habits and practices you adopt over time… It breaks down long-term goals and plans into short-term palatable bites… It has me on that, “how can I start working, today, on the things that I want to accomplish in 5 years, 10 years?

For me, this has been transformation (which maybe it might not be for you because you’ve “got your life”… Teach me, oh wise one!! I NEED HELP). It has allowed me to alter my perspective and never lose sight of the ultimate goal. I had to sit down and type EVERYTHING OUT using the SMART strategy. From here, I got really specific with my aspirations and gave myself a timeline. I literally have a milestone – for each – that I hope to accomplish every month.

Hold on, let me backtrack for a minute. I got ahead of myself. So, From my 100 Aspirations, I picked 5 that I “definitely want to accomplish” by the end of the year and 5 that “I would like to work towards”. Then, I drew out SMART approaches for each of these 10 (by drew out I really mean wrote out.haha). Finally, I scheduled 1 day every 3 months to evaluate these goals, see where I’m at, and see if they are on track or if I need to alter my timeline. Then I started tracking – for the active ones – how much I commit to each goal daily/weekly/monthly.

So, you are probably asking yourself, why tracking though? Like, isn’t that a lot of “busy” work? Well, let me tell you *insert hair flip here*… Tracking allows me to course-correct constantly… Yes, it might seem like a lot of busy work to track stuff or have a quarterly evaluation but, it allows me to see how far I’ve gone-how much I need to course correct, and if that EOYO is still relevant to my current sailing direction (aka don’t change your goal but change the course of action??? Right? Right!!)

My first quarterly evaluation has me at 2/5 of my Objectives on track. I’ve got some work to do! Hahaha… I also had to tweak some things but that is the fun of going on an adventure right? I am excited to see what this year will look like and where my adventure will take me. I am excited for YOU too!!! I hope that, if nothing else, this 3-part post allowed you to think about where you want to go – this year and in your future – and how you will make moves to get to that place. I hope that it has motivated you dream, again, and to work at realizing your dreams frequently. We are on this adventure together and it will be what WE make of it.

So here’s to EOYOs: May every morning be an opportunity to become, to improve and to work on being a better US than WE were a year and, even, a day ago…

 

New Year’s Resolutions aka the thing I am not doing this year (Part 2)

Look at me doing the thing and ACTUALLY posting part 2! I am so proud of me *insert slow clapping emoji here – or would it be a gif?*. If you haven’t, check out part 1 of this post here (disclaimer, it is kinda long). So, just to recap, I decided I wasn’t making NYR’s this year because:

1- I have ALWAYS failed at them

2- I didn’t Resolve SMART

3- I did not track my habits

Now, I learnt last year that deciding to just stop NYR’s and not find an alternative wasn’t going to get me anywhere so I wanted to do something different this year. Ok listen though, this is not some new “oh my gosh Nosi created this thing, she is amazing” mess – although I do think I am pretty amazing *flips hair*. No, this is a combination of a variety of ideas from other people. Part of it is influenced by the idea of NYRs, to be honest. So, if you think this is just NYR’s renamed, there’s freedom but I promise you it is not. Or at least I believe it is not.

First of All, every day is a good day to start afresh

Yes, I said “first of all” (because I’m a cool kid and “cool kids” use first of all. Hhahaha). I know we romanticize the New Year as a clean start or whatever and that is great. It gives us something to look forward too, yes, and it gives us the hype to work towards something different. I had to get myself to mentally get over it though. I realized that, for me anyway, there was a self-created pressure to do something right from January 1st and then, if I stumbled along the way, hold off on correcting for the mishaps until the next January 1st. Drilling in the fact that every day is a good day to restart allows me to pick back up at any day. So if I do well January to March and then mess up in April and May, I can wake up one morning and decide to move right along, correct my timeline and keep going.

It started with 100 Aspirations

So, you need a framework right? You need a starting point. I think one problem that I had with my NYR’s was the fact that I thought I had to think up things that I wanted to get better at on December 31st (or January 1st). In doing that, I had a very shallow “why” and, consequently, didn’t have motivation to work at my resolutions diligently. I needed to find a deeper why, and finding a deeper why meant that I had to understand my aspirations, what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to become. So, after conversations with my sister and with myself (yes, I have conversations with myself. A lot of them. If you don’t have deep conversations with yourself you are missing out. Try it and you will see what I mean). Woah, what I was trying to say is, after these conversations I started jotting down my aspirations.

The goal: jot down your 100 aspirations. See, when I started doing this I thought it would be suuuuuuuper easy; like, I am a dreamer so 100 aspirations shouldn’t be a big deal. It was a lie!!! It took me 2 weeks to have 100 aspirations written down, TWO.FREAKING.WEEKS. I was halfway through November and was like, hold on mami, why are you not done with this yet. Yea, I said November, I start my yearly planning right after my birthday because why not. Anyway, I would encourage EVERYONE to have their 100 aspirations written down because it is seriously eye opening. I discovered more about myself during those 2 weeks, I discovered my why and relearnt what it meant to dream. I pray that none of us ever stop dreaming.

SO, IF YOU DON’T HAVE THEM, PLEASE STOP RIGHT HERE AND GO DREAM. FIND YOUR WHY, GET THOSE ASPIRATIONS ON PAPER AND BURY THEM – IF YOU MUST – SO THAT THEY CAN GROW!!!!!!

100 Aspirations, now what?

I was about to go to the next thing and then was like, waaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute. Yea, I just said “wait a minute to myself.” So, I am going to end this blog post here. I had every intention of finishing this right here, right now, but I realized that it might be a long one again (So look out for part 3! Hahahah). At this point, it’ll be December before I get this whole NYR thing out of the way.

Buuuuut, on a serious note, I am stopping here because I really, really, reaaaaaaaaaally think everyone has to have 100 Aspirations/life goals/dreams/objectives (whatever you want to call it) on paper. So, since it took me 2-ish (read as 3-ish) weeks to get mine together, I’ll give you three weeks to get yours together so we’ll move forward together. Kapish?

“Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the one who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2: 2-3

 

1 Lesson a month – excerpts from my “A lesson a day” Collection

*AKA OBLIGATORY NEW YEAR POST

Sooooooooooooooooooooo…..Drumroll……. We are OFFICIALLY, OFFICIALLY WITHIN TWENTY-ONE-EIGHT (That’s 2018 for anyone who didn’t get that!). Why do we get so excited about a new year? Well, I don’t know *insert shrugging emoji here* but we do so hey… I am excited to be seeing another year and I am excited to grow further – and deeper – this year…

Well, while we are at the growth thing, I figured why not partake in this “new year, new slayage” excitement and share some of my personal “quotes to live by”… Well, not really, you can live by whatever you want to live by… But, here’ are 12 quotes for every month of twenty-eighteen (I don’t know why I just typed the year out like that but oh well).

(*) Indicate Nosi thoughts because you know I had to add some Nosi thoughts to everything, right? ahaha

January

“Whenever we frame our problems as things being done TO us we fall prey to the trap our ego has set for us” – Ayodeji Awosika

*Don’t let your ego define your purpose. You’re not the victim fam!!!

February

“Love gets messy and in order for a relationship to work, the people involved need to learn how to handle their own unique brand of messy” – Stella J. McKenna

*Aka stay out of people’s relationships this year… Just kidding… More like, relationships don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re in it, be in it to win it and work your butt off for it!

March

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking” – Eckhart Tolle

*Your thoughts matter, the things you think about the most will be amplified

April

“Start your day with your number 1 priority” – Benjamin P. Hardy

*This is motivation y’all. One way to be excited about waking up in the AM is knowing that the first thing you’re going to do is the thing that is central to everything else.

May

“Find your boundary – then push it” – (Y’all I can’t remember who wrote this one)

*Ask yourself, how far do I think I can go? Then work at getting far beyond your predictions. Overdeliver, for yourself

June

“The normal Christian life is one of energy, enthusiasm, faithful effort and patient hard work” – N.T Wright

*Translate this across the board with ALL you do

July

“As long as you are living you’ve got to keep moving, keep trying, keep rising up” – Chef Leah Chase

*There is no room to be stagnant, you are above that.

August

“You will not always be successful at getting it right but keep trying” – John W Gray III

*Failing a couple of times is not a reason to quit

September

“Be willing to wait” – John W Gray III

*Speaks for itself, the best fruit comes when you wait. Think fine wine/triple distilled whiskey… You get my point.

October

“Everything you do with no real purpose is a waste of your precious time” – Thomas Oppong

*Ask yourself what the purpose/ your purpose is before you do anything. Then, ask yourself if the “thing” you are about to do aligns with your purpose

November

“Stand by your dreams. Embrace them. Believe them, and don’t let anyone mock you for them” – John Westenberg

*Dream loud, dream wild, then go ahead and live your dreams

December

“Don’t put your life off. It takes a while to figure things out. But that doesn’t mean you should quit” – Darius Foroux

*Simply put, today might be rough but it’ll get better IF you work at it.

Bonus quote

“No matter what you want to achieve in life, your actions must back up your words. If not, you will never achieve anything [worthwhile]” – Darius Foroux

*If you want to achieve something, put in the work

One more thing…. As we get into the new year, let us never forget that EVERY SINGLE DAY is a good day for us to press the restart button. It’s fun to set “New Years Resolutions”, aka the thing that I am not doing this year, but I hope that we never let a mere clock dictate how we live our lives!!!

P.S. I know someone out there was waiting for “that thing part 2” to come through, my bad fam…. My bad

I am DOING.A.THING!!!!

Sooooooo, I am doing a thing!!! I hear you right now, looking at your neighbor and being like: “what thing is she doing.” Yeah, I see you. Don’t act like you didn’t just ask that…. And I know your curious mind has you over there murmuring, “what thing are you doing Nosi?” So I will tell you. Wait for it….. It’s almost here….. Here it is….. (Ok, y’all don’t even understand the smile that was just brought by the last few lines!) I digress, my apologies…..

I AM GOING ON A NEGATIVITY FAST!!!

Maybe going is not the right word since I have already started this fast. Let’s just put it this way; I am fasting negativity this month. I know, you’re probably thinking what the???? Or not. Maybe you’re just thinking, “you actually have to fast that?” because you have negativity in check. Well, if you are thinking the latter then can I schedule a coffee date with you so we can discuss how you managed to be this person!!!

Why a negativity fast?

It’s December (duh) and the year is almost over (also, duh)…. Cue Christmas plans, lamentations on how terrible (or great) the year has bee, reflections on the top stories of the year. I mean, you know how we all get when the year comes to an end. I believe, strongly, in the power of introspection and am constantly looking within to see where I am and where I need to grow.

Truth be told, this year hasn’t been terrible. If I start to think about it, there have been several depressing moments and events but the good outweighs the bad. In the midst of that, however, I realized that I had developed some sort of negative vibe and was on some “Nosi – you are not this person. Get it together!” So, as I approach a new year, I decided I need to cleanse myself the best way I know why. *insert meditating person emoji here (do they have those?)*

Tell me more!!!

I knew it! I knew you’d want to hear more about this fast!!! I did some research online (by research I mean I really just typed “negativity fast” and ran a google search. hahaha) and felt like the following plan was the best route to go. Feel free to join in on this fast, it’ll be exciting to share the stories after. *wink, wink*

The Plan

Abstaining from…

1- Talking about situations and people with a negative viewpoint

2- Pessimistic expressions about people and circumstances

3- Critical talk about myself and others

4- Complaining of ANY KIND

5- Negatively gossiping about others (gossip nje – ain’t nobody got time for  that)

6- Using sarcasm to hide my negative and bitter views*

*Between you and I, this will probably be the hardest for me.

 

Intentionally Focus on…

1- Meditating (For me this’ll be focusing on my relationship, and intimacy, with God)

2- Meditating on, and speaking out, thanksgiving and praise

3- Declaring who God is and who He says that I am

4- Speaking life, love and hope to myself and others

5- Speaking solutions and calling forth answers to problems

6- Focusing on what God is doing in my Life

Practical Applications…

1- Start and end every day with thanksgiving and personal declarations

2- Abstain from watching, listening to, or reading media that fosters negativity

3- Limit my use of social media

4- Each time I am tempted to be critical of someone, I will speak kindness over them

5- Be intentional not to let negativity dictate the atmosphere around me

6- Practice forgiving people quickly

7- Spend time laughing each day

8- Bless every place I go with hope

9- Do not criticize others for being negative.

Some more resources…

If you do decide to join me, here are some additional resources. Also, halla at me so we can keep each other accountable.

Mark Dejesus at markdejesus.com

ignitinghope.com

Letter of Imperfection

November 27th, 2017

Dear sir/madam,

I am writing this letter in response to the “Perfection is overrated” position. I saw the quotation, “the more perfect people appear to be, the more they’re probably suffering, beginning with you” and I feel my qualifications make me a great candidate for this position.

The socially constructed perfection meter made me this way. No, I did not wake up like this. I definitely wasn’t born like this – granted my mother did call me the perfect cupcake so I don’t know if that counts *insert shrugging emoji here*. Forgive my use of emoji statements, there were no emojis for me to use and, did I mention I was imperfect? I have, time and time again, highlighted my imperfections but – from the outside – the perfection meter seems to rank me high on the “pretending to be perfect” indicator.

Religion (or should I say the legalistic aspect of religion – I almost went on a tangent, forgive me sir/ma’am. I’ll bite my tongue) has given me a label I cannot accept. Some seem to think I have my spirituality in check, look at me successfully pretending *flips hair*. I do realize, however, that I am flawed. I am a fallible creature with faith in an infallible God, constantly in need of Grace. Thankfully, this infallible God is willing to give me new Grace and Mercy every morning. Trust me when I say – ma’am or sir –  that if it wasn’t for the constant Grace and Mercy, I would have a front row seat to hell. I would probably have the master key even. Side-note, I still could have a free pass there as I write, being the imperfect sinner that I am.

I have created internal perfection rubrics that are simply impossible to achieve. See, what I did is, I mixed the social constructs, the religious expectations and the cultural success determiners to create an idea of the perfect me. I told me what I have to become, created a timeline, and constantly beat myself up when I miss the mark. If you do not agree that I am the perfect candidate by now, then I don’t know what you want.

Here’s the kicker though, I have said “MISS ME WITH THE 100% QUALITY”. If anything, this alone should be what gets me this position. I want others to see my flaws, because what human doesn’t have any. I want to be an imperfect human being and display the scars and bruises, followed by an extrapolation of the lessons received as a result. I have decided, success isn’t getting to 100%; it is merely moving further away from the 0% mark. The final destination? INFINITY (let me know, sir/ma’am, when you find someone who has reached infinity).

Benjamin P. Hardy says this of success: “success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate”. Sir/Ma’am, I have even left you with a powerful quote here. You really should just give me this position already.

I am not trying to be perfect, just successful. For me, this means constantly being better than I was yesterday and the day before… And I’m down with that.

Sincerely,

IMPERFECT SUCCESS SEEKER