Saturday, December 31, 2016



PreScript: I'm torn between writing this as a Letter of Gratitude to God and writing it as a narrative of my year 2016 and so it would be both. It would start as a letter but if it follows the already written script in my head, along the line it would seem like a narrative. That said! let us flow.

Dear Lord,
I am immensely grateful for the year 2016. For relationships sustained, those made and those that blossomed. I am grateful for how career took off, for opportunities and Journey mercies. I am grateful for turning 21 and lessons learned, I am grateful for love. I am grateful for delays that weren't denials. 

The year started with Ministry... TGIF and WhatsApp masterclasses. For the vision, the team members - Milton, Samuel, and Derrick, for the lives touched and the souls won - OH! the Joy that filled my heart when those kids stood up to give their lives to Christ, Lord I am grateful. For our Bible Study Sessions, the friendship watered and the lessons learned. I am grateful.
As TGIF continued and grew - as we took off, the busyness began. It started with classes at CCT. oh! CCT, Microsoft Word, and Excel classes taught me that no matter how great you are at something, there is always something extra that can be learned. I did shine in those MS classes, hehe! blew their minds during the seminar presentation and then came MySQL. Database Management, first real IT - related challenge I faced. I'm grateful for the opportunity to acquire those certifications - Complete Ms. Office and MySQL.

It was during CCT, I did the Google - Digital Marketing Trainings in Benin. First met Rev. Laurie - her warmth is contagious sha. Trained over 150 people, had the best feedbacks EVER! Nodded to myself and said... Teaching/Training is for you. Event organization? A piece of cake too.

Amidst CCT, came my first real job - though remotely - with the best Boss ever, Bola of GTech Designs. She totally represented the kind of boss I'd love to be. Work with her gave me confidence in my skills as well as boosted my beloved resume. GTech Designs was an experience I'd love to repeat again. (lol! Permit me to be vain - even if it's just to brag that I work for a company in the US.) The learning curve was HUGE! I'd be eternally grateful for it - the Money was awesome too, lol but the learning experience was the best. And so, to you Lord - for the opportunity, for willing me to send my cv even when I already said to myself that I didn't want the job, I'm grateful. To Hendrix, for the referral and to Bola for taking a chance on a raw talent... I am grateful.

Just before the illness episode, right before I quit with GTech, came the AdWords Analyst job with Lol! Twitter Conversation with Mark, no cv, no tests but got the job... Maybe it was the referral from Taslim or maybe because you Lord wanted me to better understand and develop my AdWords Skill. Whichever one, that one month was Epic! Another good cash mixed with awesome learning Experience. Google Search and Taslim, you guys saw me through this.

As Hotels and GTech came to a close, I dragged Joyce to DBM+,  that began a new era for Rene and began the traveling episodes that didn't end until December. DBM+? I remember Ayo's class on STDC Framework, I remember the project brief and how I effortlessly developed the strategy and slide for my whole team. I remember presenting extra fast because of time and feeling intimated (for the first time in my public speaking career) by that other Lady, by how calmly she delivered. Coming second place was good for the team but my ego suffered a blow. I remember spraining my ankle at Mag Mercy and the two weeks sentence to pain and walking with one leg.

Oh Yes! that first time at Mag Mercy was where I gave up on that love when I realized my place had been taken months ago. The pain, the Denial, the Acceptance, and Lord, you remember the few weeks that followed? The inner struggle, the fight to not show pain, the struggle to remain calm & collected like it was no big deal. The way I rebounded. lol! That 2/3weeks relationship we both needed for our individual selfish reasons..., Darl you remember? Fun time! Ironically, though, that 2/3weeks was stage 1, I had no idea that completely getting over that would take a lot longer... But It's cool. One of those things that showed me how STRONG I was. The experience that soared my emotional intelligence. I'm grateful for it sha, very grateful especially because of how immensely beautiful the friendship has blossomed to be.

So Yes! DBM+ plus was an experience to remember. What followed? Star Agency trips. The excitement that followed after that 20 minutes interview with Tolu, meeting Yewande and the hope that filled our hearts when we saw the potentials Rene had. It was somewhere between before DBM+ and star Agency Interview that Uzo came on board yea? lol! I remember trying to emulate Bola, to as nice, sweet and yet stern like she was. Mentoring Uzo on Content, amazed at her willingness to learn. The times I got pissed at the distraction - allowing personal ish affect work but handling it so maturely. I love team/people management sha! That's it.

Where did we go from here? Star Agency training, CYF! Yes CYF... I'm a barrier breaker, I'm a line crosser. The respect I developed for akpororo because of how into God he is. My commitment with you on 10x greater. Meeting Pst Niyi and Pst. Edosa who later became one of our favorite clients/retainers.

Just after CYF was the speaking to Teenagers, First at the Apostolic Church in Warri via Zion (the kids were awesome. It was heartbreaking seeing how ignorant of the internet they were but yet how willing to embrace knowledge they were. I mean, breaking things to the barest minimum was hard and even so, I feared they wouldn't get it but the questions, the reviews and Thank you ma's I got filled me with so much warmth, so much purpose and longing to do more. It is my desire that those kids would learn more about the possibilities on the internet), and then the one at Baptist church Benin via Osato - those kids were harsh mehn! lol, the Kids at Warri were ignorant yet receptive, these ones? they did not send mehn. They just wanted to rest... lol! Broke my heart sha and then the best at LFC, Warri! hmm mmm.... Heartwarming. I can't begin to describe it... I don't know if it was my delivery and how all the Teens Teacher and the Senior Pastor's Wife gushed over me, or how enthusiastic to learn the kids were or maybe it was because they were neither ignorant nor non-receptive and so the mix was excellent. Whatever it was, I had a GREAT TIME speaking there. Thanks, ETE, for the vote of confidence.

I can't remember exactly when but I know both eBooks - goal setting and the online business eBook was released before the LFC appointment right? Anyway, whatever the timeline... Lord Jesus, I am super grateful for the ability and capacity to write and with the help of Joyce and Rene, release two eBooks this year. The feedbacks, oh the feedbacks warms my heart every time. Kudos to Jerry for the Design of the online business ebook.

So many wonderful things happened this year, I'm struggling to remember them... so let's just go Straight to my 21st Birthday.

But First, Webcoupers. I remember I officially began work at Webcoupers, October 4th yea? Yea! Webcoupers was the first live job interview I have had and yes, I aced it... I'd carefully leave the dynamics of the job out but I'm super grateful, like super grateful for the job at Webcoupers. The last three months even though I get to work remotely has already given me so much professional agency experience and my colleagues are great, learned so much from Oyinda already.

21st...I turned 21 this year. I remember how I freaked out three months to October. I couldn't believe I'd be turning 21 - an adult but as always you calmed me, telling me how you got my back and how everything would be alright. How you'd ensure my adult days are far glorious than teen years and so, all I could do on that day, was bask in love. My birthday was awesome. I almost cried a couple of times and then eventually when that CFite called, I let the tears pour. Lord, Thanks for using me, for allowing me to be an inspiration to so many people. I am most grateful for that,. For the accoladesI get, for the thank yous, the prayers and wishes, Lord I am grateful. Oh Yes, I remember that Mumsi sent me off on my birthday, the woman was so excited that her baby turned 21 and so repeatedly said she was sending me off! Amazing!

I remember that aside my birthday, two other amazing things happened in October, I met Bishop Feb then from that 15minutes meeting got to meet Maya, Yele, and Registered for HGAS which held in November. HGAS was one of our most productive trips to Lagos this year. 1. Because of the people we met - Debola Williams, Uche Pedro, Yele, Vconnect CEO, Dr. Ndidi Edozien. 2. Because of what it did to our minds. and yea! it was on that trip I finally holla'ed at and saw Ejay again after our big-ish a year and six months before. HGAS got us tentatively two acquisition channels/partnerships and for that, I am immensely grateful. Immensely Lord.

Yea! the other amazing thing was Mumsi's birthday on the 30th. Lord, Thanks for providing for me to celebrate her. Lol! I remember how we all started crying - Myself, Kaiser, Chisom and Jerome when I started my own tribute. Thank you for my Mum Lord. Because of her, I know you love me. I couldn't have had a better Mum.

November was a great month too, aside from attending HGAS, it was the month I started working at Rejuvenate Media (Yes! 4th Company aside Rene I worked with this year... Lord, when you said Jobs would look for me, I didn't know It would start so soon and for this again, I am extremely grateful...much more because this is just the beginning... For you promised that the latter would always be greater). RJV was easy, fun work. Manny thanks for rooting for me. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to work at RJV (hehe! the extra cash came in handy, oh Yes! it did. It paid its dues in December)... November/December, My months of overflow. A great way to end the year yea?

Oh, Wait! November was the month I taught Social Media for Bytemars yea? While the live class was great, The webinar class was my favorite, always wanted to hold a webinar and Bytemars gave me that opportunity.

December! This Month. It has been the toughest month - emotionally thus far. From dealing with Mumsi's illness, seeing her in so much pain, to her going for surgery and me been scared shitless to falling in love, Seeing Chisom get Married, visiting an orphanage... lol. This month was eventful. But here Lord, you showed me clearly that 1. Delay is never Denial 2. All that money you enabled me make this year was for a cause 3. You would ALWAYS MAKE A WAY. I don't know how to write how GRATEFUL I am, for keeping my mum, for providing the finances, For giving me a skill and opportunities, for MAKING A WAY! I am most grateful.

I know I'm still dealing with that particular ish - the messed up situation and I can only pray you give me the willpower and ability to not blow things over. Keep me Sane! Keep the ish Quiet... Let's all move on with our lives bikonu.

So, Lord, this is me saying Thank you for my best year yet! For an Amazing 2016. Thank you for keeping NYSC away this year, I appreciate the opportunity it gave me to explore and discover.
Thank you for Journey mercies. Oh lord! Thank you for Journey Mercies to and fro Lagos - Benin, Ibadan - Benin, Warri - Benin and Benin - Benin! oh Yes! the few Abraka - Benin in the early weeks of the year.

Thank you for a Mum who gave me the opportunity and permission to do me...
Thank you for Rene Lord! Thank you for Rene. For the idea, for the business, for the clients, for the team, for Joyce... I am very regretful for Joyce, for being someone I can talk to, learn from and grow with. For her always being there. I totally appreciate you... see Eh, if you read this, just go to Abraham's IG page and find the repost of my birthday message to you and then all the thank you tags I have put on IG for you. I cannot type it all.

Thank you for the Clan, For Kaiser and our blossoming friendship, though the nigga is always harassing me to eat and drink water, he remains one of the most disciplined and loyal male friends ever. For Darlington, though your God maybe not exist phase creeped us all out, we love you till thy kingdom comes. I'm super excited that you have found the ish you want to focus on, I pray you stick with it. You remain one of the most intelligent people I know and I still hope, she finally says yes in January 2017. Maybe your luck would turn lucky for me. For Ete, lol! weird one, It was great to finally know you, not just as Chisom's friend but as mine too. I see the craziness. Chisom, you remain one of my favorite people on planet earth. Let's leave it at that. No! Lemme add that from the deepest, purest and most sincere part of my heart, I love you and I wish for you the BEST of marriage. It would bring FAVOUR like you have never seen. WEALTH that you cannot contain. Just bikonu remain you abeg.

Thank you for Jay and my Nephew - Nathan. I love that dude sha. Kai! Thank you for Justice and his Yandi Team! Keep Excelling bro!

Thank you for Gold! Lol! I'm I even supposed to Thank you for that? knowing that it is not exactly something you like/approve but oh well, the ish has shown me a part of me that I didn't know exist and that is something I am grateful for.

oh Yes! the most important thing about this year was that I Learned and I grew. I discovered just how Strong I was, my self-awareness and emotional intelligence was at an all time high. I am grateful for the ability to keeping finding and knowing myself. Lord Jesus! Thank you for me, for the lives, I inspire... and those who inspire me, from Steve Harris to John Obidi, to iFunto, to Adaora, down to Chude, to Heather Lindsey etc etc.

I know I forgot a lot of other amazing things that happened this year, especially those special moments like conversations and chats that were an icing on the cake. They were plenty... too much Lord! My screenshot folder is full, I'd keep it for the days I feel like quitting.  I can't even count how many people I mentored this year. God sha!

Thank you, Lord, for helping we check out most of my goals for the year 2016. Let us do it again in 2017. Did I forget to thank you for the ability to Multitask? Since May, working for 2/3 companies simultaneously. I'm grateful for the strength - while the combined cash was always awesome, the mental stress was so NOT EASY. 

Thank you for 2017 would be a far GREATER YEAR. At least 10x GREATER. 2017 is my year of GREAT EXPLOITS. 2017 is my year of EXEMPTION, when the majority say there is recession or a casting down or that it is not possible or too hard, my testimony would be that MY CASE IS DIFFERENT. In Advance, thank you for Journey mercies ... I agree to travel more in 2017, for more training and summits, for greater meetings and to just explore. Thank you for Relationships, the once that would be sustained and the ones that would be formed. Thank your for NYSC, for Lagos, for my PPA, for I will testify that MY CASE is different and Delay isn't denial. Thank you for Finances... Lord, the money I would make in 2017 would shock me. The investments and things the money would do would be AWESOMELY SUPER EXTRA AMAZING AND TO YOUR GLORY. In 2017, Love would find me... In 2017, Health is my portion on a steady. In 2017, more brands would spring up and blow... From TUA to the Agric Ish, Investment Co et al. Clients that Rene would have in 2017 sha! OH MY GOD! I'd write more in 2017, blogs, books... who knows maybe a hard copy? Cheers to more certifications. We start First week of January!

Thank you for being my chief strategist, because of you I know that all things always WORK TOGETHER for Good. I commit my life into your hands, Lord. Let your will be done.

Yours' for Life!
ITIMI, Egwolome Peace.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Popular Concept of Open-Mindedness is Flawed

A few weeks ago, I got obsessed with the concept of open-mindedness and this was because I was in situations and conversations, that required me to be 'open minded', nonjudgemental and receptive to people's different truth. It was a great test but as I explored and trained my mind to be more open minded I began to wonder if there was a limit and if yes! What was it? I mean, to what extent does one stay open minded? Does open-mindedness require you take everything? Does it mean to have no filter? No boundaries? Does been nonjudgemental mean you 'fit in'? Where is the stopping point?

The more I thought about it, the more obsessed I became and so of cause, I kept thinking about it - and doing surveys - until I found for myself (Lord, Thank you for blessing me with an amazing analytical mind), an answer that felt right (Mind you! This is my opinion). With this answer, I concluded that the 'general perception of open-mindedness' is flawed. Here's why.

First of all, let's define open mindedness.
I asked a few friends what open mindedness meant to them and most of them responded by referring me to the Zen Story of a cup of Tea. And so it seemed that open-mindedness is likened to being open to new ideas/opinions, being open/receptive to learning, not necessarily having a filter but coming like a child, always open to learning, not holding your opinions and beliefs as truth but willing to accept the opinions and beliefs of others (if they argue well enough. Lol). This is correct, even Wikipedia says open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas.

This is also where I think the concept of open-mindedness is flawed because I believe there should be a limit of some sort to how receptive we are to new ideas and opinions due to how gullible and credulous the mind can be.

Yes! The mind is gullible, it easily bends to what it is continuously exposed to. What you watch, read and hear forms the content of your mind, produces your thought pattern and ultimately forms who you are (as a man thinketh, so he is). This is clearly seen in babies. They come into the world blank, open, and ready to take in, and oh! Take in they do. With No filter, no experience or lessons to look back to, they take in everything they see or hear.

Apostle Pauls advises in Rom 12:2 that we should constantly renew our mind so we can be transformed by God's word lest we would conform to the things of the world. It other words, Focus on God's word so your mind and thoughts do not get filled with the things of the world because once you pay much attention to those things, you would naturally conform. 

And so when we are advised to be receptive to new ideas and opinions, it is an advice that puts our minds at risk. Because if what we are being told makes sense, If it sounds logically correct and the other person knows how to put forth a great argument, then it would be easy to convince our minds to pick the new information and call it truth.

This bothered me a lot. I began to think, does this mean that I should stay closed minded? Do not partake conversations that are contradictory to what I currently know? {Yes! In business, being receptive to new creative ideas is highly advised (I advise it too)}, but when it comes to our belief systems ... That gave me a pause.  If I stay closed minded in an attempt to protect my mind (Prov 4:23 CEB - More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it), then how do I learn? How do I grow?.

This new set of questions, drove me into another round of obsession but as usual, if you diligently seek light (knowledge), you would find it (James 1:5 - If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking).

So Anyway, I realized that a great way to stay open-minded (receptive and willing to new ideas/opinions) is to develop a backdrop for your mind, a foundation that acts as a filter to which all new ideas have to pass through before they settle in. This way, while you still listen to and engage in open-minded conversations, read various kind of books et al, you would always have a filter that every information has to pass through and 'fight with'.

I recommend no other filter that the Word of God - (lol, for the atheists and non-believers, I guess you would have to figure out for yourself your core beliefs and stick with them otherwise, you'd be continually tossed back and forth, left and right by every new opinion you hear, by motivational/inspirational messages, and by logically sound ideas).

It's great to be open minded, that's the only way to learn, but you have got to protect your mind and ensure that it doesn't mess with your beliefs. It's important to love your truth, but to live your truth, you have to first discover what your truth is and always leaning to what you read in motivational or what not books wouldn't help.

Now, I understand that just because one is open-minded doesn't mean they accept any idea the minute it is presented to them. It's expedient that you always consider thoughtfully or evaluate new ideas and beliefs before you accept them as true but my issue is this: The more you are exposed to an idea or opinion, the more likely you are to accept it. The more eloquent the person selling the idea to you is and the more motivational/inspirational and logically sound an idea is, greatly increases the likelihood of its acceptability. Thus, without you consciously developing and using your filter, the more gullible (albeit subtle) you would become.


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do share with me by commenting. Gracias!