Happiness is the Inner Joy that can be Sought or Caught, but never Taught or Bought…

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TMI

Interjection

  • acronym for “too much information”.

                  Person A: I meed to take a dump.

                  Person B: TMI, I did not need to know that!

Show of hands if you have ever revealed too much information on the internet?

 If I weren’t typing, my two hands would be in the air right now. Not that I reveal such Tmi’s like ‘taking a dump’, or anything about ‘periods’ or stuffs like that, but sometimes I say something on the internet that reveals more of who I am than I wish to reveal. And there are people who reveal way too much information that I cringe just reading it.

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 I feel it is the social media effect because prior to this time (the emergence of social media), people did not have an avenue to reveal much to others especially strangers. The only way you could know much about a person, is if the person had told you in person or if a gossip filled you in.😀 You know what I mean? Now, especially on Facebook, people put so much on their status update that I can’t help but wonder why. I don’t remember the first time I heard about Facebook or Twitter or blogs or even Hi5 (is it?) or MySpace. But since then, I have noticed that a lot of people have blurred the lines between social media and real life. People started revealing so much of who they are and what they are thinking on social media, so much so that when you meet them in person, they say everything too!

 Example

 Recently on Facebook, someone posted that she has a crush on one of her bosses. Another said he was about to have sex. One said he just did and enjoyed it so much. Another said she was having a ‘good time’ with her boyfriend. One posted a picture of some cash on a shirt, with a wrist watch, a ‘gold’ chain and a phone on a scattered bed in a dirty room. The room was so bad, I would have thought he was just being sarcastic if I did not see the caption “Living the life, who God has blessed, no man can curse” (I am not really sure of the caption used, but something like that). Some tell about the fights they had with their bfs and gfs, while others post pictures of food they are about to eat.

 My question is, is all that necessary?

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Someone said that social media is the most self-centered place to be. I agree. It’s such an irony considering that the word ‘social’ has little to do with self-centeredness. It’s a place where you can talk and talk and everyone has to listen. Once you have read a status update, you cannot un-read it. And as you can trust, people use that medium to go on and on about how awesome their lives are and at the same time how they deal with ‘haters’.

 Another example.

 Last week, my friend and I were going somewhere but couldn’t get a cab. After a while, we saw one but the cab driver told us he already had a customer waiting for him. The customer was a fine looking man and he was flirtatious gracious enough to ask us to share the cab with him since we were going in the same direction.

 As we entered the car, he received a phone call. When his call was over, he turned to us including the cab driver and started telling us the story of his life. He was telling us who the person who called him is, how the guy had beat his wife who was now in the hospital and he was begging for money to pay her bills of 40k. How, he himself had to send him 45k out of the 60 k he had for the weekend. How he is divorced. How he had a big house but had to rent it out because the house was too big for him and he was hearing noises. How he works at so and so place, how marriage is not by force, how this and how that… phew!

 I was appalled. I felt like asking if his wife divorced him because he talks too much. We were not even responding and he kept talking. The moment the cab driver nodded at his ‘marriage is not by force’ speech  it was like fuel to his fire. Imagine if I has said “is that so?” Bam! He would have talked my head off.

 Good thing he paid for the cab, it was a small consolation.🙂

 Anyway, my point is and I am also talking to myself, we really should be careful of how much information we reveal concerning ourselves. Let’s hold on to a little mystery.  I really do not need to know all that goes on in your house especially in your relationships. If you’re bored, write in a diary and keep it to yourself.

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For those of us who live in Lagos, at one time or the other, you must have come across someone peddling a cure-all drug. At one point, I used to believe their claims but I never patronized them because I hate drugs. I throw away drugs prescribed by my doctor, not to talk of buying drugs on road.

Anyway, these wonder drugs concocted by people who call themselves ‘trado-medical’ practitioners, are said to cure all manner of illnesses. From acne, to ulcer, to arthritis, to ‘stomach noise’ (lol), to infertility, to STDs! Same drug! Ha!

I’m not here to dispute their claims but recently, I have been thinking about it. Since the spiritual precedes the physical and things around us are an imitation of things in the spirit, then there must be a spiritual cures-it-all drug. The first thing that came to my mind is LAUGHTER:  a physical activity with emotional implications.

I don’t know but I just kept getting the feeling to laugh for no reason and laugh when things get tough. Even when you are feeling down, when you laugh for long, you start to feel better. Laughter does more than the alcohol effect of remembering all your troubles when sober, it actually makes you understand that your troubles are not as bad as you think they are.

Laughter is the tranquilizer with no side effects (Arnold Glasgow)

Wonder why if someone who causes you so much pain, makes you laugh, you start feeling, “they are not that bad, after all”? It’s because “Laughter is part of the human survival kit” (David Nathan). It helps you bear some burdens.

So here is my therapy. Normally, you laugh when you are happy or something is funny. That means something appealed to your emotions then translated into the physical action of laughing. Well, I reversed the process. I laughed so hard that even annoying things started to appeal positively to my emotions. Things that would normally get me upset started to feel silly. Then the silliness of it all made me laugh and the cycle continued.

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Now here is the weird part, I was alone but I laughed so hard I fell off my chair and couldn’t stand up. Thank God I was alone or else, you would have been reading this in the, “Memoirs of a Psycho” written from Yaba left, Lagos, (for those who know what I mean :-D)

But I felt good and the feeling stayed with me all day.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22)

I take the bible’s words for it. If it says it is a good medicine, good medicine it is. I am correct to assume, good medicine for all illnesses because it did not state any illness in particular. It also says, ‘a crushed spirit dries up the bones’, therefore it is referring to laughter as a good medicine for physical illness, not just emotional.

So if you find yourself down or battling one chronic illness or strange illness that has no diagnosed cause, try laughing your heart out! It might sound far-fetched but it is what it is.

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Non-stick kitchenware are first of all very pretty to use. They look very cool with their dark interiors unlike their aluminium ‘sticky’ counterparts. They add immediate class to your kitchen. Apart from the aesthetics, they are very good because you can cook with less oil in them and your food will not burn easily.  They are also easier to wash.

However, if one is not careful, your pretty pots and pans can become an eyesore. They don’t last forever, so they are bound to stop being pretty after a long time but here are tips on how to keep them looking pretty for a very long time.

1. Always cook at low temperature. Not too low, but just enough to cook your meal without burning it. I had my smoke detector screaming at me many times before I learnt this.

2. Do not put the pot or pan on fire empty. Some of us like to dry our pots by putting it on fire before we add oil. This is wrong. Use a paper towel to wipe it dry and add your oil before you put it on fire.

3. Never use metal utensils on it. There are special utensils made from rubber, silicone or wood made specially for non-stick pots and pans. Food that is burnt doesn’t stick to it so you do not need to scrape the pot with a spoon (for those who like the taste of burnt rice or beans).

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4. If the food you are cooking in it gets burnt, remove the excess burnt food with a silicone spoon then put water in the pot and allow it to soak for an hour or more. Then gently wash with a sponge (made of cloth or rubber).

5. Do not take an iron sponge anywhere near your ‘non-stickies’! Also avoid using harsh scoring powder.

6. Use a little ‘grease’ when cooking. Because the manufacturer said ‘no oil needed’, some of us will be tempted to fry our eggs like that. (Guilty!). You will be disappointed. Use a little oil. Some drops of oil or a little butter is OK.

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7. Don’t use your pans as a storage unit. Always remove all food when you are done and wash the pot or pan.

8. Allow your kitchenware to dry properly before stacking. You can wipe them dry with towels. When stacking, put one or two sheets of paper towel in between while stacking. This will prevent the bottom of the top pan from damaging the surface of the one below.

With all these, you can keep getting that ‘new’ feeling when you bring out your kitchenware.😉

CURRENT FAVE: WORKOUT

For a while, I have been looking for a fun way to work out and still get results. Well, somewhere along the line, I started looking for a lazy way to work out and still loose weight like doing slow bicycle kicks while in bed…🙂 . Apparently, that doesn’t work.

Recently, a friend of mine gave me a work-out DVD by Shaun T, a famous workout expert. I mean, the guy is a guru. For those who don’t know him, he’s a machine! I have known him for a while and have seen his work-out video called Hip-Hop Abs. It’s designed to help you get your dream abs without crunches or whatever, just dance! I love the way he dances and I’ll definitely get that DVD.

But that’s not my current fave for now. The workout video I am hooked on right now is called INSANITY!

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When I first saw it, I was like, ‘ well, let’s see. I’ll be bored with it in a week’. However! When I started the work-out, the first thing I said after like 5 minutes is “This is insane!” Note: I said this after the warm-up only!

Trust me, you will sweat in places you never thought you could..never knew you had! It’s not for the faint-hearted, I call it the workout for workout trainers.  The participants in the video all look like their bodies were chiseled out of rock.

Anyway you’ll feel really good after every workout. And since it’s a video, you can go at your own pace. I am yet to finish one part of the video. It has about 10 parts including a fitness test (I couldn’t even finish the fitness test…smh).

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It’s not a ‘fun’ video per say… but my crush on Shaun T is enough fun for me😉. There are stretches to do and he’ll guide you in such a way that you don’t sustain injuries.

So that’s my work out current fave. But ermmm…that does not mean you’ll eat like a horse. I have to also watch what I eat…*sigh*

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The easiest way to spot is a junk addict is by looking around them. When you enter a person’s house and you need to wade through piles of things to move around, then you know the person is a hoarder.

However, like I said in the part 1 of this post, most junk junkies do not see anything wrong with it. In fact, many will disagree with you when you point it out to them while others will tell you, they are collectors.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometime in our lives, we all have bought things we did not use and are afraid to throw away. That is understandable. But when this happens all the time or when anything that enters your house does not leave the house, that’s a problem.

The first way to spot out a hoarder, is that they never throw things away. Some of them still have old newspapers from several years ago. Newspapers that have no significance in their lives. Some never throw away old furniture, gadgets and electronics. The moment you ask about it, they tell you they want to repair it as it can still be used. It never gets repaired or re-used or thrown away. They still keep clothes they haven’t worn in years because one day, they’ll wear it to that special event that never takes place.

They always buy things they already have or might never use. Hoarders buy a lot and sometimes have no savings. They spend all their money on acquiring new things. The moment they pass by any shop, they always spot something they ‘need’. I am being careful not to use the word ” shopaholic”. This is because, being a ‘shopaholic’ TO ME means entering a fabulous boutique and just picking out clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and nice things. To me, a shopaholic buys new, pretty and expensive stuffs while a hoarder buys everything from shopping at thrift stores to buying used items from friends.

They ‘collect’. Some even go as far as picking things from the roadside.

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000They have a hard time letting go. The argue, they fight, they go back to take already thrown away items and some even have panic attacks. They most times have interesting, almost acceptable reasons for hoarding. “I’m saving money” (Most times, it’s the opposite), “I’m helping the environment” (Thank you Captain Planet but please, save your immediate environment first. Ever heard of recycling?). “These items are collectibles” (Really dude, really? Old torn bug infested couch, really?) “Someone will need it someday” (Yeah, but they might never have it because it’s in your garage under a pile of wires and rods. By the way, what are you using all these wires and rods for?).

Sometimes junk junkies keep things because they try to fill a void in their lives. For some it satisfies a longing in their souls but it’s only temporary. They have to get more stuffs. Some hoard because of the fear of tomorrow. They fear that if they throw some items away, some day, they’ll need those items and won’t be able to get them. Some are afraid of poverty so they build a fortress of junk around to protect them. Some find it hard to share or give out stuffs, even when they see the need.

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So, while reading, did someone come to mind? Your friend? Your Neighbor? Your Boss? YOU?

If you realize that you’re a hoarder, that’s the first step to curing it. On another post, we shall be discussing how to cure (or manage) hoarding.

Thank you.

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Do you always feel cheated anytime you get back from shopping? Do you regret some of the things you buy? Do you end up buying what you do not need? Do you forget to buy what you do need? Did you go with the aim of getting item A but somehow, the shop attendant talked you into item B which you now see as over-priced and unnecessary?

I shout a big YES to all of them. This used to be the story of my life, until I decided to put a stop to it. Not that I don’t still feel cheated at times, but it has reduced so much! I am going to teach you some of my anti-bad shopping moves. This is especially for ladies. You know how we love shiny glammed-out looking things? Well, I have figured ways to put on mental sun glasses.

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1. Make A List

I’m sure we’ve heard this a thousand times but it cannot be over-emphasized. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or shoes. Make a list of exactly want you want to buy. While making this list, bear in mind that you have to be sure you NEED all you put into that list.

2. Budget

Take the exact amount of cash you need, plus or minus a few extra bucks. For me, taking a little less than I budget for works better for me. Not having enough make me observe my scale of preference better. It’s better not to buy enough than buy too much. I have never done normal shopping with a credit card except to buy some few things online so I don’t know how this move will work with credit card users.

3. Don’t be in a hurry

Look for a day when you do not have much to do. Don’t go shopping when you know you have to pick your kids in an hour’s time. Also don’t leave work and shop during break so that you don’t end up hurrying to get back before your are missed.

4. Eat first

I don’t know about you, but when I’m very hungry, everything another person says sounds good or bad to me depending on if it will help my situation or not. So eat first so that you can relax especially if you are shopping for groceries. You could also hold a bottle of water or juice. An empty stomach can make you empty the aisle for chips or cookies into your cart. On the other hand, an impressive dress shop can make you forget you are hungry😉

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5. Shopping Buddy

Take a friend along if you can. Friends have a way of making us realize that what we choose isn’t right. However, make sure you take a person who knows how to choose the right stuff. If you don’t know how to choose the right quality stuff, don’t take ‘another you’ along or else, you’ll fumble even more.

6. Go Around

Try going to different shops before you settle at one. Don’t just get excited and jump at the first shop you see what you want in. Apart from Original Art works and some few items, you will most likely see what you need (the same item) in several shops. Ask for the price, look at the quality. After checking several shops, you will be in a better position to get good deals. Another reason to not be in a hurry.

7. All That Glitters…

Shiny does not equal quality. In fact, depending on what you are buying, shiny means poor quality. For instance, when buying a shoe, the ones with shiny leather, are most likely of inferior quality. However, also bear in mind that mud does not shine. So make sure you look at what you are buying closely. And things shine differently. The shine of a diamond bracelet, is as appealing as the shine of Loubs. *wink wink…ting!…*

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

8. Light Reveals

Especially when shopping in Nigeria, you see many shops with fancy colored lights, blue, pink, purple… Don’t be deceived! When I shop at such places, I take the item I am interested in out of the shop to daylight. This is because if you are not careful, you will buy a purple blouse and when you get home, you’ll discover it’s baby pink. All those fancy lights have an effect on people, they begin to see things as finer than they really are.

9. Attendants

“I want to buy a birthday gift for my wife, can you show me something nice?” The pretty smiling shop attendant takes you to the handbags section and brings out one. “This is the latest design”, she says, ” Many celebrities carry them these days, your wife will be thrilled”. You paid and carried the bag home feeling happy with yourself. When your wife receives it, her smile fades and is replaced with a fake one. Celebrities carried such bags quite alright but that was like 5 years ago. it’s not even vintage!

Always realize that shop attendants are there to make sales. A few of them are interested in satisfying your need…but that is also to make sales. So, know exactly what you want before you get there. Ask around or check online.

10 Don’t Be Surpriced; 3.99=4, 3.99≠3

So many people fall for this pricing method. It is also called psychological pricing because people tend to perceive these prices as significantly lower than it really is. You might think you are gaining, while in truth you just might be wasting your money. To reverse this effect, I always round up numbers to the nearest high figure. This means that even if i see 3.07, I round it up to 4 to be on the safe side.

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11. Promotions and Sales

Beware of promos, beware of sales, if you do not really need that item, the promo is not for you. Remove your eyes and walk away. People acquire junk by buying things just because these item are on promo. When they see 10% off, it almost looks like ‘free’ to them. When some see ‘buy 2 get 1 free’, they buy the dog food forgetting they don’t even have a dog!  But seriously, don’t buy what you don’t need just because it is on sale.

12. Fat-Free, Caffeine-free, Sugar-free Means You Don’t Have to Pay for the Fat, Caffeine and Sugar in It.

Translation: BEWARE OF FAKE PRODUCTS AND FALSE CLAIMS

13. Better thing No Dey Finish For Market

Translation: Don’t buy as if there is no tomorrow. New, prettier and better things come out everyday. Ease up on trends, don’t be a trendy. Good things do not finish in the market.

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Phew, I hope some of my strategies can help you. Please share with us some of yours. Thank you.

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You know, at every point in our lives, we all are wanting something. For some, it’s the ‘next big thing’, for others it’s anything to make getting out of bed worth it. Whichever the case, what many do not realize is that we have a big part to play in making our dreams come true and also maintaining it. We have to do our home work.

This is the reason why a man will decide to get married, then after the wedding, he starts treating the wife badly. Not because he doesn’t ‘love’ her or want to marry her, but because he does not really know what marriage truly means.

A lady wants to get married at all cost and when she finally walks down the aisle, she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She becomes a shadow and a mirror, only reflecting the desires of her husband and children. She loses herself.

There is a new business opportunity and everyone you know who is in it, is making it big. You decide to invest in it. Suddenly, it’s like you have bad luck because you made losses and incurred debt.

He wants a particular job so bad he can do anything to get it. Now he has startedd work and a month later, it is the worst job ever!

Now it’s I marry her or I die, tomorrow it’s she must leave my house or I kill myself!

What’s the problem? They wanted rain, it fell and now they are confused. This is the story of many. They simply had not prepared for the rain.

Rain is rain. Whether it is a blessing or a curse, depends on you!

Rain is rain. Whether it is a blessing or a curse, depends on you!

One of life’s most painful moments comes when we must admit that we didn’t do our homework, that we are not prepared. (Merlin Olson)

Many times we pray and beg and cry about things we want, but we forget that part of the process of receiving is preparation. That is part of the faith process. Imagine a a man asked that he be supplied water, that he needs a lot of it urgently. Then when the water tanker arrives at his home, he brings out two cups as his water storage unit. That’s how many of us live our lives and we don’t even know.

There are two popular rain-related analogies about faith and preparation.

  •  Two farmers prayed  for rain. The next day, one farmer went to prepare his fields while the other did nothing. Who is prepared out of the two?
  •  A whole village decided to pray for rain. The next day, they all went about their business of hustling and bustling. Only one little boy went out carrying an umbrella. Who is more prepared for the rain?

Prepare and prevent instead of repair and repent.

How to prepare?

1. Pray. Ask God for guidance.

2. Study 1. Study the word of God and see what it says concerning that which you are asking for.

3. Study 2. Read up all you can concerning that job, marriage or what have you.

4. Ask questions. Don’t assume. If you are not OK with the answers, ask again…and again…

5. Plan. Make and write out detailed plans on how you want to achieve your goal, or how you intend to sustain your goal. Make sure you carry out these plans.

6. Be focused.

7. Be patient.

Preparation makes life easier. Remember, the price of mastery in any field is thorough preparation. If you haven’t seen the movie, Facing the Giants, please make sure you see it. It’s such an awesome movie.

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Thank you… Enjoy your day!

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