Pain Or Pain? Choose One

A research carried out by Jane McGonical, a game developer who wanted to know what the 5 highest regrets of the elderly were, had the line below as number 5 on the list.

“I wish I had lived a life true to my dreams; instead of what others expected of me”

Apparently, everyone would, at some point realize what their dreams are/were and it’ll be time to choose either of two pains. Life would present you with the PAIN A and PAIN B but while you can swallow the first pain immediately, you can’t swallow the other pain until much later in life.

PAIN A is the pain of grinding, planting, enduring, hoping, hustling; just name it. The pain of sacrificing the regular “go to school – get a job – settle down”, kind of life for the “Go to school but if school is a distraction; drop out” kind of life. The pain of having no one believe in that dream that only you can see, when you close your eyes.

Also Read – The End Justifies The Means

It’s painful when you’re putting in all the effort and nothing seems to be coming out of it. It’s painful when at the end of the month, you can’t even afford to cover your utilities. Just as it’s painful when the jeweler sits comfortably at the furnace, refining the gold. It’s painful but he sits there because he knows what it’ll look like by the time he’s done.

It’s a pain almost everyone tries to avoid.

PAIN B is that one life doesn’t allow you swallow till much later in life. It’s the REAL PAIN. It has actually killed more people than you can imagine. It’s the pain expressed by those old guys from that research. The agony of looking back and seeing that you didn’t live a life true to your dreams.

The pain of realizing you sat behind a desk for 40 hours every week, living from the paycheck to paycheck, fantasizing about becoming a chef, a photographer or an artist but you never gathered enough courage to ever live that life. When you look back and your terribly shaky hands can barely hold your walking stick still, talk less of a camera.

Pssh!

Keep being productive.


Long Life Is Overrated

At some point in your life, most especially if you make it past 40, you’ll probably start getting more health conscious. You may have a few health blogs bookmarked in your browsers and probably one or two health/nutrition instructions you’ll obey like you’ll drop dead the moment you derail from them.

While that’s good, don’t get overly attached…

…Long life is overrated and I’ll prove it.

Stay with me.

Methuselah holds the record for the longest living human ever. Dude was alive for almost a century – that’s longer than anybody else, past, present and probably future. Wait! Asides him being the guy that lived for 969 years, what other accomplishments do you know Methuselah for?

His Dad – Enoch, holds the record as the first man ever, and only one of two humans to not taste death, as history has it, he was taken off the earth in a whirlwind when his time on earth was up. His grandson – Noah, helped restore the human race. Screw living for a million years. I’d rather choose a more significant thing to be remembered for.

While a lot of people are doing all they can, to hold on to dear life; only a few people are truly living the “real” definition of life. One of the definitions you’ll find in the dictionary is – “A worthwhile existence”. So, my prayer, however weird it may sound is – “May I live a life that’s worthwhile. A life full of significance and one with immeasurable impact. If longevity comes as a bonus, fine. If not; cool.”

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

Don’t focus too much on the longevity of your existence and ignore the real purpose of living. That’s why a lot of people are just existing from day-to-day and not actually living. At the end of the day, it’s not the years in your life that matters; it’s the life your years.

Make it count!

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally proclaiming: Wow! What a Ride”
– Hunter S. Thompson

Cheers!


Divine Packaging

I’m in shock!… I still saw James leave the office premises on Friday evening, all smiles, looking like he was going to have an enjoyable weekend like everyone else. He was the most reserved of all the new I.T guys and he’d always help as quickly as he could, with as many things as he could.

What could’ve gone wrong?

Work resumed this morning, James didn’t show up. I’d decided over the weekend I was going to have a talk with him during break to ask him not to hesitate to talk to me if he needs anything. Instinctively, I knew he was putting up a façade. His smiles had an iota of emptiness to it.

James was found dead in his room on Sunday evening with a note and all he had the strength to write were just 5 words – “I’m Sorry. I Give Up!

Word has it, he still went to church in the morning before he finally shared the grace on himself and drew the curtains. Word has it, he’d been withdrawn from friends and family but no one seemed to notice. Word has it, even though he wasn’t alone, he was extremely lonely.

Also Read – Short Man Devil

So, all his smiles, nice clothes, helpful hands, and all were just “Divine Packaging”

If only I could have one more day with James, I’d tell him it’s okay to feel like you don’t belong. It’s okay to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It’s okay to feel like you’re neither meeting expectations nor living up to standard. It’s totally okay to carry “divine packaging”

But to every James reading this; please know that it’s also okay to speak to someone. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to selectively expose your vulnerabilities. It’s okay to cry and let the emotions out. It’s totally okay hang on to hope and seek divine directions.

 

SUICIDE is NEVER the answer!

 

Cheers!


The Beginning

It all began on Facebook… 9 months ago. I wrote a post that wasn’t forethought, under 10 mins.. All I knew was that I was done for the day and suddenly, like a man possessed, I grabbed my laptop, yanked it open and the result was THIS POST. I never knew it was the pregnancy for my book.

Exactly 9 months later my book titled – THE SECRET TO IMMORTALITY becomes available for pre-order.

I’m a living witness to the fact that sometimes, the writer doesn’t choose the book. The book chooses the writer.

The Secret To Immortality

Pre-Order: Available – www.maturemindstalk.com/tsti

Soft Copy: 18-07-18
Paperback: 01-08-18

Thank God!


Short Man Devil

During one of my holidays at my cousin’s in Ibadan many years ago, life taught me a lesson I didn’t realize I’d learnt until this afternoon when I was reading a book where the author talked about the two ways humans generally react to gratification. No matter how good you are, if you’re always paying too much attention to the adulations, the praise chants, the roaring of the crowd, you can’t last.

I’m reminded of one particular evening at the field where my cousin and I had gone to play football. It was the normal 5-a-side and our team had already selected four players. We needed one more person and there were two people left to choose from. I remember the tall guy was nicknamed “Aghahowa” probably because of his football skills or his facial resemblance to the Nigerian national team footballer at the time, I wouldn’t know. Oh and the other guy was nicknamed “Short Man Devil”. Apparently because he was “down to earth”. Lol.

We quickly called Aghahowa, left our opponents with Short Man Devil and we were ready to ball. We had barely kicked off before Aghahowa dribbled two people and laid a pass to me. I blasted the ball beyond the keeper and into the… crowd. The crowd were cheering Aghahowa at every deft touch and soon enough, he dribbled again, and laid the ball to me. I didn’t go for goal this time; instead, took a turn, laid the ball to another teammate who slotted it home.

“Aghahowa!” “Aghahowa!!” The crowd chanted. “But it wasn’t him who scored” I thought to myself. Oh well.

Immediately, I saw Short Man Devil… Or SMD, as I’ll refer to him from here on, whisper something to his teammates who seemed to nod in agreement. After that first (and only) goal, Aghahowa was nowhere to be found. When we managed to get the ball to him, it was either he’d be dispossessed easily or he’d hurriedly pass the ball to an invisible teammate. What’s happening Aghahowa? We need you to be our point man and ensure we…

Goal!

SMD had one way or the other dribbled past two defenders and slammed the ball home. Game on! This was where it got interesting. SMD was a left footed player. We all were right footed. Every time the ball was at his feet, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with it. It was so difficult to get the ball off him or bring him down. I’ve over recent years got to know that short people have a low center of gravity; hence, they don’t fall easily. We were all taking turns to tackle him and…

Goal!

SMD again?! He’d dribbled past almost all of us, interchanged passes with a teammate, and left our goalkeeper in no man’s land. The crowd were cheering and chanting his name (I can’t remember now but at least I knew his parents didn’t name him Short Man Devil). Each time the ball was at SMD’s feet, it was like he was in a world of his own and we were unwelcomed guests. Every time he shifted the ball to his left foot, it was a potential goal. He showed us pepper. He scored three goals and assisted one.

He didn’t get carried away with the cheering and chanting. He kept his head down and ensured we regretted not picking him when we had the chance to. Many of us are like Aghahowa. We have starting but no finishing. We allow ourselves drown in the sea of adulations, rather than focus on the game until the final whistle. He who must win the man of the match must ignore the chants during the game.

Keep your ears closed and your eyes on the ball.

Cheers


A Touching Story

Hmm… It hasn’t always been like this. Honestly, it hasn’t. Only thing is, nature had always indicated it’ll be something similar to this. Can you see that image below? Yea – that book? I’ll like to quickly tell you something about that book. Even though it looks rickety and forsaken, that “higher education” note is one of my most priced assets. “Is” not “Was” and that’s the story I’ll quickly share.

I come from a family of creatives and I can boldly say that, because as kids, my elder brother was a record producer. He’ll get empty audio cassettes, gather us together and we’ll sing into Dad’s big black radio while the red record button’s being held down. We’d listen to it after the “studio session” and feel we could make a few bucks off album sales.

My second elder brother was producing fantastic drawings from the images in “The Book of My Bible Stories” (for the tough ones, he’d use the aid of a greased paper on top of the images. If you know, you know). My sister was writing emotional novels, the full length of that higher education. I kid you not. My kid bro also had his stints with drawing… Then all of a sudden; bam!

We grew up.

I wrote my first novel around the age of 12. I can’t remember the title or what it was about. Then I became a comics person. I’d rather buy comics than buy food. I could run errands in exchange for any comic book you have. Then, I was so in love with “Super Strikas”, I was dreaming about Shegz Okoro. I heard they’re still producing that comic series (talk about consistency). I read comics to the point where I began drawing my own series.

I remember people who knew me then, asked if I’ll try to produce it and do some sort of commercial distribution. “Wha iz that?” (In Jenifa’s voice) Me, I was just drawing for fun o. Which one is commercial? While drawing was going on, I became fascinated with writing. My passion for writing wasn’t born from being a very good reader (I sometimes struggle with reading even till now) but I knew there was a whole lot in my head and how I felt after penning things down can’t be fully described.

I’d write on any piece of paper I can lay my hands on, but then came this book in the image, titled “Variety Book”. That book should be around 12 years old or so. I’ll write poems, facts, short stories; oh… And I watched Frank Edoho’s “Who wants to be a millionaire?” with my book and pen. At every opportunity to write, I was just writing. I’d become so familiar with this gold of a gift, I’d totally devalued it.

In my new book – The Secret To Immortality; what I said about “Purpose” was that for most of us, we’ve become so familiar with what we we’re meant to be doing, we almost can’t believe we’re meant to be doing it. The day I stumbled on my variety book after about 4/5 years, I knew I’d been a writer all along. It just took me a few extra years to accept and reignite my purpose.

So on your journey to purpose discovery, look around you, become more self-aware and pick the things you’ve always done and probably still enjoy doing. Definitely what you’re meant to be doing is amongst those things.

Cheers!

18-07-18 “The Secret To Immortality”

Wait for it.


Don’t Envy Them

“…forget my small stature oh. I’m not a young boy. I’m just tired I swear. If I’m not driving my own car by my next birthday in February, I’m not even joking Jaybee; I’m starting yahoo plus. Is it not to have my bath naked and display 30 mins madness?”

I shook my head in pity and utter dismay.

“If that’s what will make you happy, then let me ask you – Do you really want to be happy or you don’t just want to feel left behind just like you’re feeling now”

Bode’s gaze hit the floor as he began scratching his head.

You see, a lot of us are in serious danger. The danger of the pace at which this generation is moving. Thanks to digital media, your junior in secondary school who just bought a car is what Instagram puts in your face the very first time you open the app in the day.

“New Whip… Small Girl; Big God”

Then you begin to whip your self-esteem with the “achievements” of others. You suddenly realize you’re under immense pressure to also make things happen. Like Bode, you don’t care about the process anymore. You just don’t want to feel intimidated seeing that old friend flaunting pictures of his trips to Dubai, London, Russia, etc; while you’re stuck in Akure.

In a time when even the wife doesn’t know if the husband is a kidnapper and the parents don’t know how many red handkerchiefs are hanging on their son’s laptop whenever he goes online.

In a society where nobody seems to care about the workings and only the answer is celebrated; the onus is on you to use your intelligence to select your pressure. Don’t stop grinding. You don’t know how many hours that image was photoshopped for. Filter through the filters; mind your business and don’t envy anybody.

Keep being productive.

Cheers!

© Jaybee 2018


I Was Pregnant

So, last year, blogger decided to confiscate my blog – Mature Minds Talk; just as I was considering moving here to WordPress. I decided I’d use my Facebook wall instead, for my thought dump but along the line, I couldn’t really keep up, and the main reason for that inconsistency was simply because I was pregnant.

Yup… you read that right. I had a baby on the way.

Males get pregnant too. On October 8, 2017, I wrote a post on Facebook which metamorphosed into a book that was birthed on July 8th, 2018. Pregnancy calculators; do the maths. Since yesterday, it’s been congratulations galore on the birth of my new book – The Secret To Immortality.

Thanks to everyone connected to me in one way or the other, who has in one way or the other spurred me on, via messages in my inbox, posts on your wall (you didn’t know I crawl people’s wall?), messages on whatsapp, phone calls and every other form of encouragement.

God bless you guys and this one’s for you.

ATTENTION!
——————-
To pre-order “The Secret To Immortality”, simply send me click on it in the menu or just follow the link below to complete your pre-order form.

The Secret To Immortality

The book officially goes on sale on the 18th of July but the only two reasons why I think anyone should pre-order is because of the current 20% discount and the “Immortality Affirmations” bonus that comes with every pre-ordered copy.

Are you ready to own “The Secret To Immortality?”

Then see you on the other side of the link.

Do have a productive day.

Cheers!


Computer Village Chronicles

I alighted from the bus at Ikeja under-bridge and let out a deep sigh of anxiety. I dreaded coming to this strange part of town. It wasn’t anything personal, except for the fact that I’ve heard so many tales (no, not by moonlight) about this bizarre part of town. It was like an assembly ground of eagles, snakes, sharks and vultures. No, you need to read that animal combination again a little bit more slowly. It was a ground that unceremoniously preyed on its victims.

You can’t afford to look like a JJC, else your trip will definitely end up in SSC (Shouting, Swearing and Crying). This ground cuts you no quarters and you better go in, do whatever you’ve got to, and head straight out. You could easily get absorbed by the nice-looking guacamole, only to take a bite and taste gravel. I had come to sell off my Blackberry Z10 then add money to get myself an iPhone 6S. Finally, I was joining the Apple gang.

I smiled.

I can’t even wait to dispose this blackberry. It has always made me look archaic – like I was far behind (in Charles Okocha’s voice). Everyone was either using Android phones or iPhones. What was I still doing with a Blackberry? Mtchew! Well, I’ve never bought a phone before. I’ve always been “dashed” all the phones I’ve used. So, it’s not really my fault; I only use what I get. Started from Sendo X, now we here. If you say I’m about to now become a man, you might not be exaggerating.

I touched my pockets to make sure my wallet and phone was intact. They were. Don’t blame me I’ve heard stories. Disturbing ones in fact. Oh! I can’t forget Andrew’s saga. He had come to Computer Village to sell his Samsung S5 and he was listening to music on the same phone. One track ended and he kept waiting for the next song to come on. Well, that turned out to be the last time he’ll be hearing from the phone, literally ‘cos boys had “obtained” it.

They left him the earpiece though.

John’s case was a bit more intense. He bought an iPhone 4 from the street, and he was on his way when two angry looking guys blocked him, asking him to allow them carry out a search on him as they were undercover cops. They said they saw him discussing with a criminal who the public had been warned never to carry out any transaction with. Long story short, they seized his new phone, entered the police station, told him to go call the seller and that was it.

“Mpphh! Bros! You wan buy, you wan sell abi you wan swap?” The street dealer who had formed his lips like he wanted to kiss me, asked. He was holding three nice looking iPhones.

My instincts told me to keep walking. I refused.

“I wan swap”

Immediately his face broke into a mischievous smile.

“Oya make we go relate”.

Mature Minds Talk


HAPPY NEW DECEMBER!

Welcome to December guys; My quick advice for us all is to ensure we make it our month of Thanksgiving.

For all you have achieved so far this year, give thanks. For all you are yet to achieve, give thanks in anticipation. I’m not preaching but if there’s one strategy I’ve put to good use in my journey this year, it’s the art and act of appreciation. I learnt from my mentor that “Appreciation always causes an appreciation” I have a habit of confusing you; don’t I?

It simply means whatever you appreciate (give thanks for) either in your life, in the life of others or in anticipation, appreciates (keeps increasing in value) in your own life. Giving thanks in faith, makes you happier and makes the way to getting your desired results clearer.

If you don’t believe me, try it.

With that said, since it’s the month of Thanksgiving, I just want to use this medium to say a mighty big “Thank You” to everyone who stayed with me through the month of November for my 30 Days Writing Challenge. You guys are the real MVP’s. Many of you didn’t know that I was typing “My Surprise Lagos Wedding” when my system developed a sudden fault. For days after, I was posting from my phone.

Even at that, different people and random peeps would slide into my inbox and tell me they’re following me. Thanks for letting me know you’re fully behind me, and that I shouldn’t judge based on comments (biko try and be dropping comments too once in a while. Lol!). I really appreciate the love and support and I do not take it for granted. 

Thank you, thank you and thank you.

(I’ve got something interesting coming up guys; just as a show of appreciation; so you might want to watch out for my next post).

As we round up the year, may we have causes to give thanks, more than we’ve ever done since the beginning of the year. May every missed opportunity since January revisit us, even as we grab them and utilize them to the max. As we fill our hearts with gratitude, there will not be any carryover of blessings and achievements.
Welcome to December comrades.
Happy New Month.

Stay Thankful.



Mature Minds Talk.