January, 2018 has a bolt on its heel. It’s the 27th already and I can still smell the turkey we had on new year day. All the euphoria of happy new year, Bonne anneemesamis. BienvennueDeux Mille Dix-Septis gradually wearing out, yet we may not have started the year on the right footing.
Have your done the stock taking of last year? We all do either consciously with a detailed process and a documented report or hazily in our subconscious with results well written in the plates of our heart; same reasons for resolutions, decisions and new choices. When we see the grace multiply in the life of some people, we wonder why. Many of us merely continue to focus on the problems e.g. new year resolution ♯1 –I want to lose weight ♯2 – I want to pray more ♯ I want a new source of income………… (Clap clapclap)….this is starting the year on a beautiful note. However, it is beyond the list of new resolve. Infact, most new year resolutions are list of problems. we need to demystify those challenges and embed our resolves into our lifestyle as a “new everyday behaviour”. It is not about what you want to do (the challenge) but how you intend to do it (the solution). The list should look like ♯1 –I want to lose25kg- I will jog before going to work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. ♯2 – I want to pray more – I will have my quiet time from 9-10pm every day before sleeping etc. We must do things differently this year. Several things hovered on my runway at the start of the year but on landing, three things stood out. “Be Still, Be Steel, Be Sleek.” Yes! Three things you can do in this coming year.
When I was in secondary school, we had what we call “Silent Hour” invented by thefirst principal, now late – LayiOwoade aka “OBA”. We had it once a week in the evening. We move to the large sport field and sat in any part we find comfy. It was “1” hour of solitude, meditation and absolute silence. No giggling or chatting with anyone. You must be by yourself. It was “1” hour that you used for whatever you thought was important to you as an individual – think, meditate, pray, read a book or sleep if you choose; But the rule was “absolute silence” and “all-by-yourself”. Stillness is a psychological detachment from everything else but you. Physical stillness, If done regularly enhances calm, peace, the act of listening especially to your inner mind, hearing from God and communion with the holy spirit. Emotionally, stillness helps our self-control. Each time Jesus wanted strength, he went away to seclusion, where he drew strength from communion with God. If you read Psalm 23 – he leadeth me besides the still waters, he restores my soul…….It is a time of restoration for us. We need this stillness also for spiritual seclusion. We must imbibe stillness when we pray. We must seek out time – absolute stillness, when we can pray with concentration. Some people call it “Me Time”, others call it “Quiet Time”, whatever you choose to call it. You must own it, use it and replenish your physical, spiritual and emotional needs. Be Still, Be Prayerful! You will need a lot of God’s grace this year. If you are married, you may want to share this stillness with your partner. It is absolutely wonderful to watch each other in silence. From stillness, we draw out strength. We become the beautiful , admirable and enduring stainless Steel.
Scary thunderstorm, blinding lightening, the rain started, the wind blew the curtain, and everything on the shelf fell off…….garraaangangangan….., noise everywhere from the steel cup but the fragile cheap china crumbed and shattered everywhere , causing a huge mess. The rain stops, the sun came out in all its glory. The stainless steel is cleaned and returned, the china is swept away into the bin. Which would you rather be? Even this will also pass, Don’t panic! Many of us crumble and shatter like a piece of cheap china, when something happens. A phone call about family issues, a project deadline, relationship frustration, marriage and its attendant daily pressures, children and their tantrums, money issues etc. The list of life challenges is endless. For firstborns, every family issues ends on your table for ratification, clarification or settlement (lol). Truly, life is a cocktail of sweet symphony and chaotic confusion. However, our choice of emotions and reactions are ours to determine. The truth is no matter how hot the volcanic eruption maybe, there is always a neighbouring coolness some distance away. It will soon be over! Yes, some wounds are so deep, it takes ages to heal, but gradually we begin to lose the pains and see only the scars. But while it last, you need strength to think clearly and take decisions. You need to have the resilience of a steel to survive the storms. The world steel association says there are 3,500 different types of steel. What type of steel are you? Be Steel means be Strong; believe me, some muscle flexing will not hurt. Physically, you can build your strength by doing some exercises, swimming, tennis, jogging, walking or whatever sport you find pleasurable. It’s not just about losing calories or becoming a skinny model or a weightlifting guy but it’s about fitness and good health. Be steel emotionally: show strength in marriage, family issues, with friends etc. Inner strength, enhances external beauty. It gives more elegance to your strides, gives better posture and you ooze confidence. People with inner strength are twice likely to develop strong characters than those that lack it. Strength is a precursor of genuine beauty. cheap cocktail dresses
Your looks and dispositions are very important in the journey of success. The Parlance “You are addressed the way you dress” is so true and real. However, you don’t need to join the Jones, to have that endearing looks. It goes beyond what your money can get you. In the story of Esther, the queen; It was not yet her time but she had to meet the king. It was a matter of urgency! Her life was on the line. She prayed and fasted for 3 days (Be Still), She got the boldness and courage (Be Steel). Then she dressed up in her best attire, displayed good grace and carriage (Be Sleek). Never save the best for last! Wear your best now. Take that opportunity now. There will always be a better time and a better opportunity. Leave the past, Live in the present, desire the future. Esther had the rare combination of beauty and intelligence. She never gave herself away as an orphan. Tell me, when you present yourself, what do people see? What signals do you send? Attract the right people with your choice of words and actions. You don’t need to spend all your money to look good. A combination of good high street fashion will beat designer freaks who lack sense of fitting (Like my mother will say “Oyinbo se asoni, ko se fitting”) Grooming starts from your hair, nail care, undies etc. Your health is inclusive. Cut out those unhealthy food, Go for medical check-ups. Take your rest. Sleekness means been graceful. Display an engaging carriage this year. Walk, don’t run! Be smart, don’t always be in a rush. Sleek communication, Sleek talks. Sleek beauty, Sleek health and God’s grace.
Remember, when you chase the sun, you will catch the clouds, when you long for the moonlight, stories are heralded. Never seek perfection, simply stay genuine.
DayoOladele-Ilori is a management consultant, an entrepreneur, an author, a wife and mother. She isthe HR Advisory at House of Procurement. She is also the convener of WELEAD - www.weleadnetwork.org