What do you really want?

Today I begin sharing a few excerpts from my book on Clarity. Enjoy!

What do you really want? How badly do you want it? What are you prepared to do to get that thing you want so badly?
One thing I have come to realize is that most people do not really want the things they think they want. Their desires are usually nothing more than lazy wishes. As the saying goes, ‘’if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.’’
You don’t see many beggars riding horses do you? Wishes are not horses, wishes are ephemeral thoughts that float in and out of our minds at will. In order to make a wish a reality, you need to take hold of the thought and give it substance.
And that is what this book is all about.
I have wished for many things in my life (I wanted to be a tall girl, at least 5ft.8 inches tall, but I’m barely 5ft 4inches!) I wished to have a degree from the UK before age thirty. I wished for a home by the beach. I wished to be at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta
Phew!
So many wishes that never saw the light of day! In looking back, I realize that they did not see the light of day because they were thoughts, I never took hold of and made them into reality. In other words, they remained in my head and went out as easily as they came in.
On the other hand, there are quite a number of thoughts that seemed totally impossible at the time they floated into my subconscious that are today my realities. I will be sharing some of those thoughts-turned-into-realities with you as we go along.
Human beings are essentially co-creators with God. In the Bible it is clearly stated:
“let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
This statement came immediately after the account of the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. Now, if something is made in the likeness of another, it usually has the same properties as the original. It has the same abilities and capabilities. Meaning therefore, that if man was made in the image and likeness of the creator, he has the capacity to create. Again, the Bible in another place says, ‘’…as He is so are we in this world…”
If all of this is true, why then do we live so far below what we desire? Could it be that we do not really want the things we say we want? Or is it simply a lack of understanding of how to get what we desire?

Clarity Versus Reality is due for release in April.

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Define your gain

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No pain, no gain?
March 12, 2019 By Elsie Dennis

I took this snapshot on my way from the gym where I’d spent an hour listening to my instructor shout “no pain, no gain, repeatedly as he did his best to wear us out.

No pain, no gain. I’m not sure I agree. After all, I was sweating because of the weight I had gained and I can assure you the weight gain came from pleasurable indulgence. The issue here for me is the type of pain or gain we are talking about.
Sacrifice is pain and if applied in the right direction it leads to gain in the right direction.
But sweat and suffering does not automatically lead to the right kind of gain.

Today, redefine your pain. Sweat for the right reasons. Be clear about what your want to gain and the pain you are prepared to handle. Clarity always brings success.

My book on the subject of clarity is out on April 1st. Book your copy now.

From the classroom..

We continue with our series from the classroom which has been running on our website. This is a piece from one of our students..

Oh Nigeria my country!

I think I’m in an emotionally abusive relationship with Nigeria. For a few days now, I have been dealing with nightmares and waking up to news of gloom and doom. The boom of good news has been replaced by the burst of sad events. And we seem to be nowhere near enough.

I was born in Ondo state but I lived the early part of my life in Ogbadibo, Benue state. I loved the peace, serenity and love around, and in Adum Market, where another part of my childhood days played before my eyes. During those years, I saw Fulani herdsmen, leading a mass of cattle with a long wooden staff. As children, we, like many of our parents always wondered how one or two small boys with canes lead a herd of cattle, without hassle. It was always fascinating to watch.

Fast forward to 2010, one or two cases had been reported in the news, that armed herdsmen had killed farmers in some part of the country. I was agitated because the herdsmen I knew never carry guns. Five years down the line, this barbaric act had repeated itself so much we could confirmed that herdsmen were now wielding guns. This situation has become a peril to farmers till date.

COUNT YOUR T-SHIRTS

I have lost count of the number of times I stood in front of my closet agonizing over what t-shirt to put on for my early morning walks, or to go to the shop or even just wear around the house. Sometimes I wear the same T-shirt repeatedly simply because I believe I do not have enough.

In the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of travelling and last week I came home from a long trip away with loads of laundry. Knowing that I would soon be off again on another trip I decided that I would wash a little every day until I was done with the backlog. My washing machine is bad so I would have to do all the washing by hand. And that’s how I made this startling discovery.

While sorting through my t-shirts, I realized that I seemed to have quite a number more than I thought. I began to think that I possibly had up to a dozen or more. So, I started to count. I have a separate space for t-shirts in my closet which I had largely ignored and mixed up with up other items of clothing. I decided, ‘’no more, this space would be for t-shirts only.’’
Then I took inventory.

As of this morning, I have sorted, rescued, found, washed, hung and retrieved twenty-five t-shirts from various places of my house and still counting!
Twenty-five t-shirts? Me?? How? From where did they come? How is it I never knew I was so T-shirt rich?

I was pleasantly surprised. Simply by deciding to be more focused with my wardrobe maintenance I have found a huge cache of clothes I didn’t even know I had. All types, colours and sizes of t-shirts, bought by me or received as gifts at one time or the other in the recent past, yet I lived my life like I had maybe half a dozen t-shirts!

What other areas of my life might I be complaining and grumbling about simply because I’m not looking closely enough? What challenges are you crying over because you aren’t taking proper stock? Isn’t it possible that if we focused more on the blessings we would find that we aren’t lacking as much as we thought?

Maybe, before we complain about that thing that isn’t working, we should focus instead on what is. Maybe all we really need to do at this time is go count the t-shirts. They may be more than you think!

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Reduced to clear?

I was washing up yesterday morning when I noticed the label on this mug.

As an avid mug collector I’m always on the look out for pretty mugs at reasonable prices.

Sometime last year I saw these mugs in a shop, they had been reduced to clear and I quickly grabbed two. I took them home and because I had no immediate space I packed them away.

Recently my kids brought one of them out and we have been using them for a variety of drinkables.

More than a year after purchase, I notice that the shop label is still on it.

Reduced to 150

Not good enough to be sold at premium price

Been on the shelf too long

Bla bla bla!

My heart broke for my mug. I quickly yanked off the label and washed it clean. It was a little reluctant to let go of the label…”reduced!” It seemed to be saying to me:

“I’m unworthy, just leave me be..”

For far too many of us, the label that life and circumstances hung on us aeons ago is still around our necks.

Someone called you names in High school and thirty years and three degrees later, that label is still hanging on your neck.

A husband walked out on you and hung the label of “difficult woman” on you and ten years later you walk around with your head bowed in shame and low self-esteem!

Just like my mug -reduced to clear..

What you need to understand is this: the inability of the shop to sell the mug at market value does not take away from it’s intrinsic value.

The shop couldn’t handle it but the shopper bought it. It’s value to the shopper is the value of what it is capable of delivering. In this case, a delicious cup of coffee, beverage, juice etc.

Don’t allow a label hang on you past its date. The minute that mug was taken off the shelf in the shop its value changed forever.

Focus on the value you are capable of delivering today and wash off that old misleading label. Reduction may have brought you to where you are but it is recognition of your intrinsic value that will determine where next you’ll go.

My mug is up on the shelf, standing with pride. What about you?

Keeping the big picture in mind

I am currently doing a rewrite of one of my older books for children. I wrote this book several years ago but recently I needed to do a review and a rewrite.

This is part of the writing process I do not particularly enjoy. I like to write once and never go back to it again, ever! But it is something I must do. It is necessary, for now.

By the time I’m done, the book would be smaller, there would be fewer words, and I would have added a glossary, changed some pictures, and generally made enough changes to make it suitable for the readership I am targeting.

I know it would be exciting when I finally see the ” new old book” in the bookstores, I will be very happy to see the smile on a child’s face as they discover something new from this book I have written. 

But right now, I am not enjoying the process. I have sleepless nights and agonizing moments of wondering what to remove and what to keep as I hunch over my computer.

And as always, I am learning a lesson about real life.

Great outcomes are not always the result of enjoyable processes and procedures. No woman ever enjoys labour, or the whole process of being pregnant. The peasant farmer does not enjoy the grueling process of cutting and weeding and pruning. That something is not pleasant does not mean it is not good.

Buildings look ugly when under construction. When the process seems tiring and ugly think about the finish line and how the outcome would make you feel, change a life, alter a situation. Keeping the big picture in my mind makes it easier to go through the process.

What ugly or unpleasant process are you currently going through? 
Comment and let me know. May you find the strength to go through, and come out stronger and better!

Do Editors need editors?

One of the questions that was asked during the W2I conference was, as a writer/editor do you need to give your work to another writer to edit for you?

Interesting question. Interesting stuff happens at trade shows!

Let me tell a little story to answer that question.
As a child I loved writing essays, and letters too. I loved anything that would require me to write for a long time, loved filling page after page with my not-so-beautiful handwriting. If it was for a test or an exam, I would shoot up my hand after a few minutes and say, “paper”, to the often annoyance of people less inclined to write long epistles. I could write five or six pages while my classmates were struggling to fill two sheets. And I always got high marks; but I wasn’t always top of the class in English language or essay writing. I was very often top, but not always and certainly not often enough for my liking. And I knew why.

I was bedeviled by a reluctance to read my work over. I would write and submit without going through it again to see if I had made a mistake, misspelt a word, or left out a vital point. And I would lose marks because of that. I knew the reason I was losing marks but I continued with my self-sabotaging practice.

Unfortunately when something becomes a habit it is difficult to break and that childhood habit followed me into my writing many years later. I would cring after posting an article because it was only then I would see how many errors there were in it. Yet, I was editing for others and making sure they had error-free documents!

Some of my earlier books have avoidable errors because I was reluctant to give out my work for proper editing. But I have learnt, and I have grown.

No document leaves my hand now until I have checked and cross-checked it several times, and no book of mine gets published until it has been properly edited by someone else.

There are several reasons why an editor needs an editor and soon we will talk about them in my newsletter.

So to answer that question, yes, an editor does need an editor!