What It Means To Be A Write-off

Sometimes people take pride in having people give up on trying to help them become the best version of themselves. They have this bravado
“They can’t touch me, person A, person B and institution C have tried and failed, I’m invincible.”

Sure that tenacity is great when you’re starting a revolution and fighting against some sort of injustice; rocking the boat is necessary in order to catalyse a change in the right direction, for example, Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus.

“After Parks refused to move, she was arrested and fined $10. The chain of events triggered by her arrest changed the United States.”

Sometimes, you may just have a rebel without a cause on your hands. In this case you may try to guide and correct them. They could reform or they could choose to turn a blind eye to your guidance or correction. There comes a point in time where you may just choose to withdraw and keep your two cents because there’s no telling that individual anything.

“Write-offs” in action
1. The student with the wrong uniform who refuses to do anything about it. After weeks the authorities give up on trying to correct him/her.
2. The teacher has been complaining about a long overdue assignment. After a while he/she stops begging, records naught for half the class (Write-offs)
3. The one kid in the family who gets away with murder, not because people don’t or can’t see but because the wise words go in one ear and come out the other.

They may see this as a victory, it may appear as though you’ve given up because they are “all too powerful” and they’ve won, but that isn’t the case. Let them think whatever they want to think.

After a car accident do you send a car for panel beating if its a write-off? Nope. You just leave it because its beyond repair and you then make do with using the bus or buying a new car.

And that’s how life and people operate.

When people see that you have potential they will advise you and guide you, that’s the “panel beating”

But if they see no hope, they’ll keep quiet because you are now viewed as a write off. A write off as in you are impervious to constructive criticism, so instead of wasting precious breath on you, people just don’t give you the time of day anymore.

Who is the loser now?

So basically if noone is trying to help you get better by giving you a certain degree of criticism then that may mean you’ve pushed them far away enough for them to believe you’re a lost cause.

For any relationship to work, or better yet, for any growth to be achieved in any sphere of life; some difficult conversations need to be had, things need to get ugly sometimes. Its like a plant that needs to be pruned: you should prune a plant to remove damaged or diseased branches which will stress it.

Take a look at Proverbs 27:17
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”

You need people around you who will challenge you to improve yourself, without them, the only voice you’ll hear is your own and more often than not you can lie to yourself.

Humans may give up on you, I’m one of them, I could give up on you, I’m capable.

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Our patience can wear thin. However, God is patient and merciful, you are never a write-off to him but remember

Hebrews  12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

You cannot run away from guidance, advice or correction.

Continue reading “What It Means To Be A Write-off”

The Ultimate Guide To Hurting Your Own Feelings

This is the 101 on hurting your own feelings.
For those who don’t know, 101 means “the introduction to”

So essentially this post is saying “An introduction to hurting your own feelings.”

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So I think the process or action that takes the cup and can guarantee a frown, grimace or even tears running down your face is

Drumroll please

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How you perceive a situation. To be specific, a negative mindset or perspective.

Case in point

I’m allergic to a lot of detergents so I wear gloves when I handle them. When I don’t wear gloves when doing my chores its a disaster. My skin breaks out big time; especially my right hand because I’m right handed. Long story short, its not that big of a deal, we move-

Right?

Well to me it was a huge deal, I thought my hand was terrible, scary even. I’d be so self conscious when shaking people’s hands, signing papers while people are watching, writing the names of late comers – people notice. Some stare. Some ask about it.

Others would flee from me. (or tried to, either way, you hate to see it)

So me, the owner of the hand got even more self conscious and anything negative or awkward that happened… I attributed it to my hand. I perceived every shrug, snicker, frown and shudder as a response to my hand.

“..like one who takes
Everything said as personal to himself.” – Robert Frost

One day my friend’s little brother dropped his ruler while packing his stationery and since I was much closer to it, I picked it up, with that hand that has something wrong with it, the right hand.

And he held it with two fingers like the ruler was diseased or something.

I was so hurt. In my mind I started saying a bunch of stuff and started getting all defensive.
He thinks my hand is gross, how dare he do that it’s not even contagious, it’s an allergic reaction, have you no shy, oh you, its not my fault, why? I’m human too, walk a mile in my shoes…

He’s then handed car keys by his aunt. He does the same thing.

Wait. What?

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Then I realised he was trying to wash his hands. He’d put handwash on his hands and was waiting to wash it off so he wouldn’t get soap all over the place.

The ruler situation had nothing to do with me and my hand. I made it about me and in doing so I hurt my own feelings.

If you have a negative mindset then somehow you’ll always manipulate the facts and the story will never have a happy ending. Its like wearing a certain lens over your eyes, the reality will always be warped and altered.

Another thing I learned from this was that the things that happen to us can sometimes impact us negatively because they consolidate an idea we already have about ourselves. That was simply someone trying to multi-task; washing their hands and packing their stationery, then there was me, I had the idea that my hand was “terrible, scary even” and the slipper fit when that ruler was picked up in that manner.

To lighten the mood I’ll end with a pun.

This post had to do with my hand.
What do hands do?
Touch
… A touching blog post




What Pritt Taught Me About Reputation

Source: https://twitter.com/aunty_tracey/status/963444701927038977?s=20


Its taken me a while to get this lesson to really stick.
Pun intended.

Reputation, a noun for “what somebody is known for”

When I think about glue, the first things that come to mind are “Pritt” and “Bostik”

For as long as I can remember, covering my school exercise books involved khaki cover, a picture from a magazine to stick on my book, scissors, plastic and glue. (in hindsight I don’t know why books needed a picture on the cover but 8 year old me wouldn’t have had it any other way)

Back to the lesson!
Right.

So a schoolmate of mine was asking for lip balm or Vaseline and another girl whipped out, as far as I could see, Pritt glue.

**Record scratch

I was so confused. And I interjected “I don’t think that’s lip balm.” And I was reassured that it wasn’t.

Mmmhhmm

It was indeed lip balm.

Well me and the audience (the people present at the time)  were a bit taken aback at first and rather reluctant to use it. I remember laughing at the thought of applying glue on your lips instead of Vaseline.

Imagine, a detergent manufacturing company suddenly releasing soft drinks under the same name. Like domestos soft drinks.

A hard pass.

I wouldn’t be keen on buying or drinking the soft drink. I thought twice about using the lip balm because I know what the company is known for.

So it’s about reputation. It applies to people too, it applies to us too.
You steal – you’re known as the person who steals, the person thief
You gossip- you’re known as the gossipmonger, you cannot be trusted

So sometimes, people’s approach towards you is based on what they know about you (or think they know about you). They could gravitate towards you and want to stick to you like white on rice

Another pun!

or, they could run from you like you’re the plague.

It be like that sometimes. Unfortunately.

Of course I’ll say be wary if your actions, be known for good things. Be kind, reliable, sincere… the list goes on, there’s scores of good things you can be known for

But let’s say “thou liest in reputation sick”
Like your reputation is ruined so to speak. You can change, its never too late. Every day, scratch that, every second is an opportunity to make a decision to take a step in the right direction. Don’t wait for tomorrow, don’t wait for next year.

People may still have certain ideas about you despite you making efforts to do what’s right. They could view you as suspiciously as I viewed Pritt lip balm, but nevermind that.

People are prejudiced. I am prejudiced, I have some reservations about some people and some institutions. (Trying to work on that by the way)

But NEVERMIND.

What matters is what God sees. What matters is what God thinks about you.

The fact remains that there is actually lip balm in the container and not glue.

2020 Vision

I’m a couple of days late but happy new year.

Its been overplayed, this “2020 Vision” thing but that won’t stop me! Ever since I understood what the term 2020 vision meant I’ve been waiting to use that pun.

Such witty wordplay.

This time last year I was biting my fingernails, dreaming my results at one point


thinking about the creative answers I’d written, the blanks I’d left on my answer script and trying to gauge whether I’d gotten the passes I wanted.

After what felt like forever the results were released. I was in the clear. I was able to move to the next stage. Well I hadn’t thought that far ahead, I didn’t have a solid plan for that next stage. A level. I had tunnel vision, it hadn’t really clicked that life doesn’t end at IGCSE. My vision didn’t extend that far.

It was only a night before registration did I try conjure up my A level combination and I started the year with 4 subjects instead of the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 3 subjects.

Unlike my other years at school I had no drive or motivation because I didn’t envision what I wanted to achieve at the end of the academic year. I was walking around like this

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I get that A level is no walk in the park (it’s Advanced level after all) When you’re still learning the ropes you can expect low marks, and there’s a learning curve. But I could have done much better in the first half if I’d set targets and come up with a better strategy.

Having a vision, a goal, an objective can really help you to get the highest level of output possible out of your work. Not having a vision can leave you exhausted: you can be busy but ineffective. With no destination in mind or map in hand you can walk around in circles for hours without having achieved anything.

Having no vision puts you on autopilot, you cease to be intentional and mindful. (Remember my previous post about how growth is intentional) So progress and self-actualization become rather unlikely when you’re static.

Success doesn’t happen by accident, you have to see where you want to be and work towards moving in that direction. So I urge you to have a vision.

Every piece of sophisticated machinery, every staggering building has blue prints The Burj Khalifa didn’t come about as a result of people milling about aimlessly.

So don’t expect the best version of yourself to emerge out of thin air without having a plan on how to get there.

This year, I strive to have vision.

Another really helpful thing is making a vision board. I’ll delve into that later.

Growth

IMG-20190914-WA0015One of the things my sister likes repeating is that growth is intentional. Time is beyond our control, whether we intend to or not, as long as we’re alive we’ll grow older. Character building requires thought and effort, its not a passive process like turning a year older.

So its no shock when someone at their big age is being told to grow up, sometimes I tend to question whether there is always a correlation between age and maturity.

Its like caring for a plant or crop, you need to water it, weed it, add mulch, fertilizer, prune it and you may even have to keep it in a greenhouse,
It is so much work and consistency is a must! None of the things on that list are a once-off, so growth is a really hands-on process. If you water a plant once a year and leave it exposed to the elements I’m pretty sure 9 times out of 10 you won’t find that plant alive and kicking the following year.

Or trying to get 4C hair to grow

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You need to consistently moisturise your hair, condition it, wear hair masks, wear protective styles, trim split ends for your hair to grow…

So why do we neglect ourselves? You read yourself positive affirmations once in a blue moon and you’re baffled when nothing comes of it. You practice positive self talk when you feel like it. You don’t read nearly as much as you should…

Mind my harsh, accusatory tone.

And seeing as we’re 8 days away from 2020 I might as well touch on New Years Resolutions.

Most people tend to set goals for themselves and give up on them or forget about achieving them within a couple of weeks into the new year.

(It’s me, I’m most people)

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Growth means following through with things to the bitter end.

For a long time I’d sit and wonder why I’m not where i want to be and its been made clear to me that I didn’t see things through. Making plans and timetables and not following them, reading self-help books and never really applying what I would have read.

Another lovely reality about personal growth is that your progress or regression is determined by you. The external conditions may be unfavorable; there could be a drought, an outbreak of a plague or pest, nutrients leached from the soil…

But you can take active steps to combat those challenges and make sure you achieve your objective. Growth.

Its not easy, it is a challenge at times and sometimes all you can do is survive or stay alive.
But when the dry spell is over it is possible and growth is essential if you’re planning on living a fulfilling life.

Remember growth is intentional.

The MBTI Can Ruin Your Life

What is the MBTI

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Its the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The original versions of the MBTI were constructed by two Americans, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers.
Source Wikipedia

Note how they said
Introspective.

Examining one’s own perceptions and sensory experiences; contemplative or thoughtful about oneself.

Where am I going with this?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is excellent for you when you’re trying to get some answers as you go on a journey of self discovery.

For example
Upon taking the test it became clearer as to why I hate planning and I’m more of an improviser. I have the “P” trait, for perceiving/prospecting
So, I like to be flexible and keeping my options open
That helps me to regulate myself in a way. Forewarned is forearmed. Now that I know I’m hard-wired to not have methodical approaches to situations, I take active steps to override that “instict” or predisposition.

Like coming up with a timetable. And sticking to it.
Setting deadlines.
Facing situations as they arise and not sweeping them under the carpet.

Oh that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

I recommend that you take the test. Here’s the link. It really aids in self assessment.

16 Personalities Test

Now here’s the tea.

Its when you get so dumbfounded and awe-struck by the indicator that you base your life on it does it become detrimental.

For example
An ISTJ or rather a logistician (basically these people value order and prioritize logic above feelings) find themselves expressing emotion or getting “all up in their feels” they chastise themselves like
Oh no this isn’t me. What am I doing? The test said I-

That wasn’t the intention of Isabel and Katherine. Shame on you. (and me because at one point I was headed in that direction)

Its to aid you in introspection, its like looking in a mirror. You are not supposed to use it as a GPS through life. In some way it helps you view your progress in terms of – how are you mitigating your weaknesses.

But. It’s not a map and I’ll repeat that it’s just a mirror.
It shows you who you are and gives you a breakdown of how you are inclined to act in certain situations NOT HOW YOU SHOULD ACT.

Another error. Basing interactions on the MBTI. It’s not a cheat sheet. Lastly, just because you know someone’s personality type doesn’t mean you know them personally.

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A Life Lesson From Circuits

I’ve heard a lot of songs with the words “without you”

With our without you, with or without you I- I can’t live, with or without you. – U2, With Or Without You.

That’s tough. I understand clearly why you wouldn’t be able to have certain people in your life. (Betrayal for example, and all those other unpleasant things)

But how is it that, sometimes, we feel like we cannot live without some people even though they are no good?

Let me shed some light on the situation.

Think about lights.

There are two ways in which they can be connected in a circuit, in series and in parallel.

Series connection

  • All the lights are connected along a single conductive path
  • The same current goes through them but the voltage drops and this drop in voltage means that the lights don’t shine as brightly as possible.
  • There is shared resistance.
  • OH and lest I forget, if one light is not functioning, the circuit breaks and all the lights switch off. (Like dominoes, one falls and the rest go tumbling after

Parallel connection

  • Lights connected in parallel are connected along multiple paths so that the current can split up; the same voltage is applied to each light and the lights shine brighter than they would if they were connected in series.
  • Get this, one light stops working, the rest keep on shining.
  • I repeat each bulb has its own circuit, so all but one light could be burned out, and the last one will still function

So I hope you can see where I’m going.

“People are flighty, they leave, you cannot and should not put all your trust in them.”

Psalms 118 backs me up on this
Verses 8-9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

No man is an island, we have to interact with people to live a fulfilling life, we have to connect with people. Now you must consider the connection you would like. Series or parallel?

Series connections perfectly illustrate toxic interactions where there aren’t enough clear lines and boundaries.

Robert Frost was right “Good fences make good neighbors”

In series you align all aspects of your existence to a person or group of people to the point where you feel like you cannot live without them, but since they make your light dimmer – you can’t live with them.. yet you can’t sever them because they complete your circuit. They are your lifeline – they falter, you falter. And if you fall they fall too. Just thinking about the constant uncertainty scares me.

Parallel connections.

You have clear boundaries, thus there isn’t shared resistance. Their problems aren’t your responsibility and your problems aren’t their responsibility.

In parallel, you live in comfort and you can be the best you can be because the voltage is not lowered by your affiliation with people. If the person has to leave for some reason or another, you’ll be able to live without them because, well, your lifeline isn’t based on something as fleeting as a human being.

People leaving

That is a lot to deal with in both cases, it’s just the pain of one kind of loss is more pronounced than the other. In series, the whole room goes dark. In parallel, the room just becomes less bright.

We’re supposed to complement and not complete each other.