So You Are A Life Coach?

Are you a life coach?
What does a life coach do?

Just like everyone else, I have encountered many kinds of coaches in my lifetime. And they come in different colours and shades towards a given end.

I am sure you remember your math coach, dance coach, music coach, swimming coach, basketball coach, football coach, chess coach, business coach and any other kind of coach you might have come across in your life.

As far as I know, people who answer to any of the coaches above possess some identifiable, specific, special skills and experiences with which they impart other people who learn from them.

I do understand those ones…But I am a bit curious about those who call themselves a life coach. Those are the people this post seeks to understand better.

A life coach!

So you are a life coach? That sounds too enormous a title to me, and I am making some efforts to wrap my mind around it. That’s why I am asking these questions.

Are you a life coach? Can anyone, including you, fill that shoe properly?

Coaches are experts in something. Are you an expert in life? Have you mastered all about life itself in all areas to qualify as a life coach?

Can you give impeccably useful direction, guidance, instruction, training, support, to anyone and everyone in life that comes to you for help? Do you have the global picture?

Life coach…

Are you really comfortable using that term to refer to who you are and what you do? Can you let me into your world please?

Just how did you come about being refered to as a life coach? Is it a divine calling or a training, or both?

So you are a life coach, or is it just a nomenclature? Are you well rounded in all areas of life? Or shouldn’t you be?

Who certified you as a life coach? Is it God? If it is not Him, then who is the mortal that can take up that responsibility?

Speak to me! What exactly do you mean when you call yourself a life coach? I ask because I do not want to misunderstand you anymore.

You are a life coach? Is that not what they call you? Or am I the one that did not hear well?

Have you known, seen, experienced and understood life in all its ramifications? Have you been to the highest heights or descended to the lowest depths, and covered all the breadths of life?

Please don’t say I am pushing it too hard on you. I am not… I just want to know about you.

Can you help people in all areas of their lives? Can you meet people’s needs at the “spirit, soul and body” levels?

Can you excellently direct people in business, in politics, in religious, in sports, in health, in education, in entertainment, in aviation, in construction, in computing, in communication, in relationships, etc? Doesn’t being a life coach entail all of the above?

I just don’t understand you when you say you are a life coach. Should I say you might be a coach in an aspect of life and not life as a whole?

May be you should come to my aid and explain to me exactly what you mean when you say you are a life coach.

I am waiting…

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Remembering The Fools Around The World

What are you if you say there is no God?
Who is a fool?

Every 1st April is marked as fools’ day around the world. Many people celebrate this day by playing different so-called harmless pranks, called April fool.

But this post is not going to be a prank, neither am I going to shout “Äpril fool” at you to show that you have fallen victim.

The post is going to touch on an important matter that reveals the identity of a person you are already familiar with, or at least have heard about one way or another – a fool!

In remembering the fools around the world today, let us begin by asking this simple question:

Who is a fool?

And then provide the answer:

A fool is someone who is unwise, lacks sense, and lacks judgement. Fools don’t want to learn the truth. They laugh at the truth and turn their eyes away from the truth. Fools are wise in their own eyes failing to take in wisdom and advice, which will be their downfall. They suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…. Fritz Chery, Biblereasons.com

The above is a familiar definition of who a fool is, and I will agree with you on that. But beyond that obvious meaning, let us look at it from another perspective, a better perspective I should say.

In exploring a better perspective on the topic, it is good we refer to the Scriptures for the perfect answer. Does the Bible tell us who a fool is?

Yes it does. Let us see it in Psalms 14:1(NLT):

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

The Bible passage is quite clear. But in case you missed it, let us say it again: anyone who says there is no God is a fool. So the next time someone tells you there is no God, please do not take offense. Just remember that person has just revealed who he is: a fool, a big one at that.

Read: 16 sobering things every atheist should know

If you are one of those fools who have said there is no God, and you happen to be reading this post, I owe you no apologies. In the first place, I do not even expect you to be offended that you are called a fool. Why should you?

Since you are comfortable saying boldly that there is no God, in the same vein, you should be comfortable answering your Biblical name: a fool.

Today is your day. Enjoy it. But remember that one day, you shall stand face to face in judgment with the God whom you fail to acknowledge here on earth.

You have read my take on remembering the fools’ day today. What is yours?

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

8 Simple Reasons I Do Not Follow Your Blog

Why your blog doesn't have many followers.
Reasons I do not follow some blogs

I have found out through my own experience that part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc.

I take it that you too do not mind sharing in the joy of blogging as it were. But as you already know, it is not always easy getting people to follow your blog. And there could be many reasons for that.

As far as I am concerned, here are 8 Simple Reasons I am not following your blog:

1. I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.

Your blog does not show up on the first pages when I do specific key word searches on Google. Neither do you leave a trail on other people posts by liking them or putting in some appropriate comments.

Without having any of the above leads to your site, how am I supposed to know that your lovely blog is tucked away in one hidden corner of WordPress?

2. You are not following my blog

I do not mean to say that if you do not follow my blog I will not follow yours. In fact my blog stats show that as at now, I follow twice as many blogs that follow mine.

Just that like an average blogger (I’m not sure I am up to that yet😀), once I notice that anyone has followed my blog, the next natural thing I do is to head to the person’s blog to see what is on offer.

I cannot guarantee that I will follow you back once I see that you have followed my blog. But I guarantee to always checkout any blog that follows mine to enable me make up my mind on whether or not to follow back.

When you don’t follow me or leave a comment or a like on my blog posts, it becomes a bit harder for me to discover and follow your blog.

3. I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.

Sorry if that is you, I will not follow your blog. For instance, I stumbled on a blog one time. I saw that all the posts I managed to read thereon seem to have centred on promoting ‘unwholesome’ sexual behaviours.

I am not judging that blog, but I could not follow it because I did not want to be receiving posts bothering on promoting sexual perversion.

My point is that it is much easier for me to follow blogs whose values I share than to follow those whose values are completely different from mine. Please raise your hand if you are with me on that!

4. The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.

Some blogs make sense but the contents are in conflict with my values. Some others I have come across did not make much sense for me to opt in.

Usually, when I encounter a new blog, I would try to read three posts on the site (usually the last three). I may not follow the blog if I did not derive any value reading them.

To follow you, I will have to like at least one of the first three posts I read on your blog. Is that too much to ask?

5. Your picture is not on your profile.

This point may seem inconsequential to you. But believe it or not, it matters to me and to some other WP users too.

I find it easier to follow blogs that have the profile pictures of their authors than the ones that do not have or have inanimate objects instead of a real person’s face. You know that faceless individuals on the internet are usually troublesome. Engage them if you want, but sometimes one would rather avoid them.

6. You did not join any blogging community.

I have found out that by belonging to a specific community of bloggers (on Facebook for instance), I have discovered and followed new blogs. If you do not belong to any of such community of bloggers and actively participate there on, the odds against discovering your blog have just increased.

7. Your blog language is totally different from mine.

Needless to say, English is my blog default language. If your blog is set to another foreign language, I am sorry I cannot follow you. This is because I do not not understand your language, so it is of no use to follow you.

I know one can reset the default language on your WP blog, but that means I will have to spend extra time and energy doing that.

Usually, it is easier for me to move on to other blogs written in English than to be involved in the task of changing your blog language so I can read it.

8. No one has recommended your blog to me yet.

I have followed some great blogs simply because they were recommended to me by some other bloggers. Just like in advertising, word of mouth (or written) recommendations on WP promotes blogs too. That means, at least in part, that I am yet to follow your blog because no one has recommended it to me yet.

Why are you not following some blogs yet? We will like to hear from you.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

One Special Kind Of Love You Should Embrace This Valentine

The greatest kind of love.
Experiencing the love of God.

Everybody is looking for love. And to love and be loved is one of the greatest feelings in life.

What kind of love are you searching for this Valentine? What kind of love have you experienced before? You might have experienced a form of love in the past. But  I will like you to experience the greatest kind of love there is.

Whether it is the love for the members of your family, love for a partner, friendship kind of love, none of them can last forever. But there is one special kind of love that will never pass away. That is the kind of love that supersedes all other kinds of love.

It is called the agape, the God-kind of love. It is the kind of love that made God give His Son for you. It is the kind of love that made Jesus Christ go all the way to the Cross for you.

More than anything else, you need to experience the God-kind of love. It is the kind of love you should live by. In it you will find true meaning for your life.

If you are yet to experience the love of God, you are not safe yet, either in this life or in the one to come. The good part is that God’s love is already given to you – made available in Jesus Christ to everyone.

All you need to do is to accept it and let it transform your life. No one can receive it for you.

The love of God is the only kind of love that can change your life forever. It is the love you should embrace.

3 reasons you should embrace God’s special kind of love

1. The love of God is unconditional

God loves you as you are. But He will never leave you as you are. He will make your life better than He met it. He is the greatest Lover there is.

2. There is security in the love of God

God is not a kind of lover that will love you today and jilt you the next day. His commitment to you is forever.

You have an assurance in His word that nothing can separate you from His love. In other words, there is an eternal security in the love of God.

3. You will have what it takes to love yourself and love others.

If you embrace the love of God you will be empowered to love yourself and love other people too. Those who neglect the love of God will never ever be able to truly love. It is God who gives you the capacity to love.

As you celebrate this Valentine’s Day, remember there is no greater love than the one God offers you. It is the most special kind of love you should embrace.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

A Dream That Never Came Through!

What was once my dream car

Time changes things. Dreams do change over time too. The things you cherish today can become obsolete in no time. That’s what I found out about having a dream car.

Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order. Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has, in sum, more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original…;Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity… Wikipedia

That last sentence from the above quote “…obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity,” captures in part the spirit of this post. Read on, you will see why.

As a result of the passage of time, what was once a dream car for me has (well, expectedly) declined in popularity, leaving nothing but only unfulfilled memories. It is not that I am sad about the unfulfilled childhood dreams. But I am glad that I had dreams as a child that once in a while pop up in the physical reality of my adult life.

For instance, on my way home from work recently, I saw something that brought back memories that made me smile. It is the car you see in this picture above. I was caught up right behind it in a very slow moving traffic. So I had the ample chance to take that photo shot.

“Why did I smile,” you may ask? I smiled at the sight of the car because right then I remembered when that same type of car used to be my dream car. That was about 28 years ago… when yours truly was just a boy.

Then, I was still in primary (elementary) school. I had a strong liking for the referenced model of car. And I had imagined that I would one day drive it when I grew up, had become an undergraduate or a bachelor.

“How wonderful it would be to cruise around in such a nice ‘sport’ car” I had envisioned. Yes, right or wrong, I had the thought that the car was ‘sporty’ yet classy for me. But that pre-teen dream of driving it or owning it never came through. In fact, I didn’t even get to own any car as an undergraduate.

But much time has passed since then… As you might rightly expect, the once-upon-a-time dream car now looks so obsolete to me; so much so that I can’t even desire it any longer.

I say so because it is like nothing I want now. I drive a ‘nice’ car now, alright. But it is not my dream car yet.

Of course, when it comes to having my dream car, the bar has been pushed higher over time. From dreaming about having something simple and classy, my idea of a dream car has now metamorphosed into having something more fantastic than the one I had as an elementary school pupil.

I now desire a sophisticated vehicle properly fitted with appropriate functionalities, better than the modest one I currently own. But then I ask myself, why have a dream car, when the one you desire today can easily become out of fashion tomorrow?

New models of cars are churned out each year, with better fittings and functionalities. So why continue to have a dream car without having the strong economic power required to make the dream come through?

But keep in mind, this is not just about dream cars only. It is about all our pursuits as human beings. The things we cherish so passionately today gradually will usually decline in popularity over time. Sooner than later, we find ourselves back to where we started – feeling unsatisfied and wanting for more.

In the final analysis, only dreams of eternal value are worth pursuing. Only things that will count in the light of eternity should truly count for us.

What’s your take on this?

 

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

2016 In Review: Top 10 Posts On This Blog

 

10 most liked post
10 Most Liked Posts On Victorscornerdotorg.wordpress.com in 2016

Based on the posts with the highest number of likes, here are the summaries of the top 10 posts on this blog in 2016:

 # 10. Towards A better Marriage: 6 Simple Reasons You Should Not Blame Your Spouse

  • When you blame your spouse for everything that goes wrong in your marriage, you paint the false picture that you are perfect.
  • You hurt your spouse’s feelings when you heap the blame on him/her every time, without taking any responsibility yourself.
  • You risk being resented by your spouse if you continue the blame game.
  • As you already know, you will not be able to build a happy and healthy relationship with anyone if you blame or resent him/her a lot.
  • Blaming your spouse does not solve the problem in your marriage.
  • Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated.

# 9. Can Unhappy Parents Raise Happy Children?

I want to be a happy father to my children and a happy husband to my wife. After all, a grumpy man would not make a good companion to anyone – family or not family. This is part of the reason I have realised that I should strive to always have my emotions under control…

It seems logical to think that unhappy parents may not be able to raise happy children. And I don’t want to be caught in that web.

#8. How You Can Know God At The Friendship Level

Distinguished and best-selling Author, Rick Warren, in one of his devotional articles, stated that there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.

To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her. Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.

#7. Communication in Marriage: 4 Super Lessons In A Surprising Way

Various situations could arise in your marital relationship that may want to force a communication gap between you and your spouse. But don’t allow for a breakdown in communication between you both. If communication fails, many other things will fail along.

  • In a thorny situation in your marriage, know that your spouse is not the thorn.
  • If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
  • If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him/her.
  • Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him/her that you are there for him/her

#6. Jesus: 8 Special Things About The Baby That Changed The World

Jesus was more than a baby. He is the God-incarnate. As the Saviour of the world, in Him lies the eternal hope of mankind. Here are some special things about Him that set Him apart from any other man in recorded history:

  • Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
  • His conception by a virgin and birth were both undeniable fulfilment of Prophecies.
  • He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
  • The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
  • Jesus was born to die.
  • Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death and resurrection.
  • He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.

#5. Finding The Friend That Sticks Closer Than A Brother

There’s one thing I have come to know.
Many friends will always come and go.
Their going away may not be caused by strife.
It is a normal phenomenon of this life…

We can always find a friend in the Lord Jesus,
Who has promised He’ll always be there for us.
Whatever we go through in this time and space,
We can get succour by looking unto His face

#4. Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it.

#3. Sixteen Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know

If you don’t want to end up in the wrong destination, you should not continue on the journey in the wrong direction. The prodigal son found his back to his father, so can you! If you are an atheist, here are 16 sobering truths I wish you to know:

  • God exists – whether you believe it or not.
  • To know God, check the Bible
  • God loves you, I thought you should know.
  • God is not angry with you.
  • Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
  • You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
  • The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
  • There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
  • Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
  • Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
  • God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
  • If you die today, where would you spend eternity?
  • The problem of sin cannot be solved except in Christ Jesus.
  • You are accountable to God, now or later.
  • There is a future reality called Hellfire, for everyone who rejects Jesus.
  • Very far from God is not too far yet.

#2. A Broken Piece of Heart

For many years, I went about my life
With a broken piece of heart, bleeding.
No one could fill the great void I felt
Or mend the awfully shattered part of me…

But then I met the greatest Friend and Lover
Who truly loved me as I am, unconditionally.
The One who gave up His life for me
And gave me a brand new heart too.

#1. Six Simple Reasons To Forgive Offences

Everyone needs forgiveness.  On the other hand, everyone needs to offer forgiveness too. Here are 5 simple reasons you should learn to forgive others:

  • God has forgiven your offences and He expects you to forgive others too.
  • Unforgiveness is a big weight, free yourself from it.
  • Don’t you expect others to forgive you too?
  • Happiness and unforgiveness don’t mix.
  • You have the capacity to forgive, no need pretending otherwise.
  • Forgive yourself so you can forgive others.

 

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment.

©CopyRight 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

10 Suggestions to Still Be Happy While Reviewing Your Goals In The Past Year

Now that the year is ending, you can choose to focus on the things that made you happy on dwell on things that made you sad during the year.  I will urge you to choose the former.

At one point or another during the outgoing year, just like anyone else, you might have experienced what someone described as “the good, the bad and the ugly.” But that doesn’t mean you should ‘kill’ yourself.

It is time to move on…

You have survived the year 2016, and 2017 is there for you to conquer. Do not jeopardise your interests in the new year by dwelling so much on the mistakes of the previous year.

There are more opportunities awaiting you in the coming years than the ones you might have lost in the past. Stay focused… you will get to the promised land.

So as you review your goals for 2016, here are some suggestions I will like to give you:

  1. Find more reasons to be cheerful than you can find to be tearful.

  2. Count your blessings, not your losses.

  3. Focus on your gains rather than on your pains.

  4. Be thankful for everything, and regretful for nothing.

  5. Appreciate people and begrudge no one.

  6. Be grateful for the answered prayers rather than be bitter about the yet-to-be-answered ones.

  7. Think of the faces that smiled at you more than the ones that frowned at you.

  8. Celebrate the positive developments in your life rather than continue to regret over the negative ones.

  9. Be positive about life, not negative.

  10. Embrace the new year with renewed hopes and vigour.

Whatever might have happened to you in 2016 is now in the past. There is no use crying over spilt milk if things didn’t work out well – the way you expected them to. It is now time to be ushered into the new year with new hopes and new aspirations.

Happy New Year!

Finding The Friend That Sticks Closer Than A Brother 

When I thought I had reached an awful end.
I came to know a faithful and true Friend.
Who completely loves me as I am.
And never causes me any kind of harm.

Many a friend have come my journey way.
But some of them would not afford to stay.
Many were willing to help but were unable.
A few unwilling to render help, but capable.

There’s one thing I have come to know.
Many friends will always come and go.
Their going away may not be caused by strife.
It is a normal phenomenon of this life.

It’s okay when some friends go away for good.
Especially if they can’t stand in your ‘hood’.
When that happens, I’ll try not to feel too sad.
Because I’ll soon find out it’s not all that bad.

Indeed, there is a friend that sticks closer,
Than the most loyal biological brother.
But that will be a very difficult kind,
That only a few will be privileged to find.

I may find one friend that stays longer,
That gives me a kind of support stronger,
Than anyone else has ever given me.
But what if that never comes to be?

We can always find a friend in the Lord Jesus,
Who has promised He’ll always be there for us.
Whatever we go through in this time and space,
We can get succour by looking unto His face.

He is the friend closer than a brother.
I am staying with Him forever and ever.
He is the truest Friend I’ve ever met.
He is known as Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

Proverbs 18:24

 

©CopyRight 2016 -Victor Uyanwanne

Beautiful and Talented: Who, Me?

Talented, beautiful, handsome

If you are asked to mention #talented people, don’t count yourself out.

If you are asked to mention #beautiful / #handsome people, don’t count yourself out.

You are beautiful / handsome and you are talented .

You may not feel like it sometimes, but you are still talented.

You may not feel like it all the time, but you are still beautiful / handsome.

No matter who you are and where you are from, take it from me: You are beautiful / handsome and talented!

I know this because I know you were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Have you ever had that feeling of not being talented or  beautiful / handsome enough? How did you handle it?
©2016 CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

2 Missing Treasures Found in The Midst of Chaos

Lost but Found

It’s been my desire to build a private library in my bedroom for a while now. To that effect, I have been acquiring scores of books covering many areas of interest such as leadership, productivity, parenting, character and talent development, faith, prayer, prosperity, evangelism, business, public speaking, and so on.

But as I am yet to build the appropriate shelf to arrange the books away as nicely as they should be, I have them temporarily stacked up on an average sized table placed at a far corner of my bedroom.

From there I can always take any book to read as often as I am able to do so. One obvious constraint I have with this arrangement is that the retrieval of any specific book is always difficult.

Most often than not, the title I want to read is always tucked in the middle of the others, or so it seems. Therefore, I always have to scatter a few others in order to get to the one I want.

This was the situation I found myself during the penultimate week of June 2016. I had scurried through the stack to fish out a nice book to read during the few days I took off work. In the process, I had inadvertently strewn a few other unneeded books here and there on the floor around the table, with the hope that I would rearrange them back later.

Little did I know that this was a sufficient invitation for my energetic 2 and 4-year old boys to help do further unsolicited scattering. I came back to the room several hours later only to find all the books scattered everywhere on the floor. Instead of the usual stack, what I saw was an empty table with all the books sprung everywhere on the floor.

I stood there dumbfounded. “What type of chaos is this?” I asked myself, without expecting any meaningful explanation from the two toddlers who obviously had a nice time scattering the books on the carpeted floor.

I quickly drove them out of the room and called my wife to see what these boys had done in the bedroom. She too could not believe her sight….

Chaotic mess of books

I was obviously not happy with the chaotic situation I met on the bedroom floor. But I would not ‘kill’ the children for it. I simply abandoned the room partly for a few days… I had more important things to do… It wasn’t until the third day before I returned to arrange the books back on the temporary ‘shelf’. And it took me almost three hours to get the job neatly done.

But I discovered to my utmost surprise that I had tremendous fun doing it. I skimmed through all the titles and had the books sorted according to their authors (I read authors as much as I read titles). In the end, I had all the books back and stacked neatly on the table till when the proper bookshelf would be provided.

Here was the most interesting part of the exercise of bringing order out of the chaos: I found two precious items that made me so grateful.

One was a diary I had kept about 8 years ago, which I didn’t know its whereabouts. As I flipped through its pages, I found poems, songs and other thoughts I had personally written down previously, which I had never shared with anyone. I came to realise that many of them would be suitable for posts on this blog in the weeks to come. Honestly, it will be my joy to share them with you.

The second thing I found was the last updated manuscript of a book I had written over 10 years ago which I am yet to publish. Our home computer then had crashed and unfortunately I couldn’t  recover the soft copy. So the surviving print out meant everything to me. But I couldn’t trace it until that day, due to a change in our accommodation then.

All I had before I found this one was an older version of the manuscript. Now I am grateful that I can now revisit the newest version, have it reviewed again and then hopefully have it published someday.

Although I was initially annoyed that my children scattered my books into a chaotic mess, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And out of what I perceived to be a disorderly situation, I found two treasures I thought I had previously lost. All things worked out together for my good, I might say!

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Please leave a word or two in the comment section.

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

3 Solid Things That Will Make a Christian not Suffer Identity Crisis

The real you is not the one that stands in front of the mirror every morning. The real you is inside of you. The word of God is the mirror that will reflect your true identity. As a Christian, your true identity is in Christ. It is only in Christ (the Word) that you can discover your true identity….

(Victor Uyanwanne in 11 Powerful reasons you should improve your interest in the Bible).

I know who I am.

Your identity is who you are. And as a Christian, who you are is important, but who you are in Christ is far more important.

That brings me to this important question: Do you know who you are? Or better still, do you know who you are in Christ?

You should know who you are! If you don’t:

  • You will go through life not maximizing your full potentials;
  • You will suffer from identity crisis; being unsure of yourself, unsure of why you exist in life;
  • Your self-esteem will not be at the right level;

You will end up being unhappy or depressed, emotionally. And of course, you deserve better than that! That’s why I am writing this post.

I know who I am.” That’s the title of the monstrously successful hit song by popular Nigerian worship gospel singer, Sinach.

There is no time I play that song that I don’t get inspired by its lyrics, which are deeply rooted in the word of God. I could never be depressed or unhappy with a song like that on my lips.

But just like many other Christians, there were times I wasn’t so sure about who I am in Christ. I would often ask myself questions such as Am I really saved? Are my sins truly forgiven?

Does God love me personally? Am I completely acceptable to God? Does He have a purpose for me? Am I Sure I am qualified for Heaven?

Looking at myself back then, those were not easy questions to resolve. But once I began to look more in the word of God than in my feelings, the pictures became clearer. As I began to see myself in the light of God’s word, my doubts began melting away.

I am not saying I’ve got everything figured out yet. But at least, I am not where I used to be; I now have a firmer grip of my real identity in Christ than before.

Having said that, I don’t deny that it is possible for a Christian to suffer an identity crisis. But you don’t have to, or why should you?

Many of the identity issues you might face as a Christian will arise if you continually focus on something different from what God says you are. Whatever you might have gone through in the past or you may still be going through presently, they should not make you confused  about your true identity.

Who God says you are is your true identity. At any point in time, you ought to be able to say “I am what God says I am.” That is to say, you have to always align who you think you are with who God says you are.

How can this be achieved?

As a Christian, here are 3 three sure ways out of the problem of identity crisis:

  1. Knowing who you are in Christ.

It is good to have a very firm grasp of who you are in the Lord. Who you are by your spiritual birth is far more important than who you are by your natural birth.

In other words, who God says you are matters more than who others, or you, define you to be.

At a crucial point in His lifetime, Jesus was cross-examined by the authorities of the day. “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” They asked him.

“I Am” was Jesus response. No mistake about it. He knew who He was and He embraced it with all His heart, even though it carried a fatal consequence – He was condemned to death! (Mark 14:61-64).

Jesus Christ never suffered an identity crisis, why should any Christian for that matter?

  1. Embracing who you know you are in Christ with all your heart.

It is one thing to know who you are in Christ and another to completely embrace it with all your heart.  Sometimes you may not feel like you are what God says you are. But it doesn’t depend on how you feel about it. It is a matter of the integrity of God Himself.

You have to apply faith and accept that you are who God says you are. Stand on it even if your senses try to tell you otherwise.

Embracing your identity in Christ is the key to guaranteeing that you will not be caught up in the quagmire of an identity crisis.

  1. Living your life according to your revealed identity in Christ.

In Christ, you are a new creation, old things have passed away. The point has been made that who you are in Christ is your true identity. And that’s the identity you should live by.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9.

I know you are familiar with the things spelt out in that quoted scripture above. If you embrace them with all your heart and live by them by faith; If you see yourself in the light of who God’s say you are, you will never again suffer from identity crisis as a Christian.

I know who I am in Christ.

Let’s take a further look at who you are in Christ:

  • A new creation. Old things have passed away in your life. You have been reborn.
  • Disciple of Christ. You are not a ‘nobody’. You know and follow Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
  • Light of the world. You show the way; you are a trailblazer. Your light shines forth even in darkness.
  • Ambassador of Christ. You are a VIP (very important personality); an approved representative of Heaven on earth, with full benefits attached.
  • Salt of the Earth. The world needs the flavor God has put in you.
  • Son of the most-high God. You are valuable. It cost God His only begotten Son to get you to become His Son too.
  • Royalty – You are a royalty, you became one when you got born again.
  • Holy and righteous – God has declared you guiltless. Your sins are completely forgiven.

The Bible didn’t leave us in doubt about who you are in Christ.

Knowing, embracing and living by the revealed identity you have in Christ are solid things that will make you not suffer the issue of identity crisis. And your life will take on a new meaning if you can get to the point where you can boldly say: I know who I am!

How does knowing  who you are in Christ help you overcome any problem of identity crisis? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

16 Powerful Benefits of Asking Questions You Should Know

Written by Victor Uyanwanne

16 powerful benefits of asking questions

Leaders ask questions. Followers too need to ask the right questions to move ahead.

Whoever you are, everyone should develop the habit of asking the right questions. Whatever position or occupation you may find yourself in, there are appropriate questions you should ask to get the clearest pictures of things or about people.

The essence of asking questions is to get answers. If you don’t have the answers you need, then you should ask the questions you have. There are some things you may never know or understand, except you ask the right questions.

Let me ask you: Are you ashamed or afraid to ask questions? You shouldn’t be!

A Chinese proverb I came across reads: He who asks questions remains a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask questions remains a fool forever.

There are many things you stand to gain if you will dare to ask the right questions.

Here are 16 powerful benefits of asking questions you should know:

  1. Assists to clarify your thoughts – Asking questions will help you to clarify your thoughts and those of others too. If someone says something to you and you don’t understand it, it is more honourable to ask questions for more clarifications than to make unsafe assumptions.
  1. Helps to elicit interest from your audience – Don’t you know a few people who won’t talk to you until you ask them questions? You can use questions to break the ice! On many occasions, I have used questions to start conversations with people I met for the first time. It works with me!
  1. Demonstrates your interest in other people/things – who/what you ask questions about reveals whom/what you are interested in. The questions you ask reveal what matters to you. The questions you don’t ask but you should ask also communicate some things about you.
  1. Clears or reduces your doubts – You can sometimes deal with your suspicions and doubts by asking the right questions. If you get the right answers to your questions, they will either dispel or validate your doubts.
  1. Improves your knowledge – Naturally, questions can be used in the quest for knowledge. What you don’t know that you should have known is probably what you haven’t asked about. You can ask Google if you are afraid to ask people.
  1. Enhances your understanding – If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you grasp it well enough. I used to have a very funny teacher that would tell the class: If you don’t ask any question, that means you understood everything I thought you today. Otherwise, ask now!
  1. Enhances your communication skills – communication is not complete until there is an understanding and feedback. Asking relevant questions will help you to achieve better understanding of any subject matter in discourse.
  1. Enhances trust – Asking the right questions and getting appropriate responses may promote good communication and friendly communication builds trust. You need trust to build any meaningful relationships.
  1. Helps you to solidify relationships – As trust level increases through the good answers you get to your questions, the cord of good relationship toughens.
  1. Tool for sifting information – Asking the right questions helps you separate relevant information from irrelevant ones. Not all information you get are useable. You can use questions to separate the grains from the chaff.
  1. Promotes better decision making – Good information is the heart of a good decision making process. The answers you get from asking questions will affect the quality of the decisions you make.
  1. Saves time and other resources. Have you ever tried to locate something or some place on your own for hours without finding it? And then you decided to ask someone about it and you got immediate help that showed you what you were looking for? Imagine the amount of time you would have saved if you had asked the question ab ni tio!
  1. Removes or reduces prejudices – If you ask the right questions and you get the right answers, you will soon get to discover that there is no need to hang on to some previously held misconceptions about some things and especially about some people.
  1. Promotes personal confidence – Believe it or not, your ability to ask the right questions is a kind of pointer to your level of confidence. Confident people ask questions. Don’t wait to boost your confidence before you begin to ask questions. Boost your level of confidence by asking questions.
  1. Clarifies direction – “He who asks questions never misses his way,” so says an African proverb. If you don’t know where you are going, ask questions to get the needed direction.
  1. Enhances your personal effectiveness – Knowing what to do and achieving results thereon could partly be a function of the questions you ask and the answers you get. What you don’t know, ask! Once you know, act!

Have you ever gained any benefits from asking questions? Please share your experience.

 

P.S. Adapted from a previous post on this blog: YOU NEED TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHY

What Is The Best Way To Appreciate A Blogger Who Inspires You?

Thank You

There are many ways God speaks to us as His children. One of the ways is that He uses men and women to carry a specific message of hope, encouragement, inspiration or blessing to us.

I can honestly say that God has been using some blogs to speak to me. One of such blog is  CHRISTian poetry by Deborah Ann.

God has used Ann to bless and inspire me through her beautiful Christian poems. Every morning, Ann waits upon God by meditating on the Scripture until she is able to get a message out from it.

The message is then packaged and delivered to us on her blog in the form of rhymes. That way, she has written a good number of inspiring Bible-based poems which are always a blessing to read. Any ardent follower of her blog can attest to that.

One cool morning recently, as I read one of her posts May Peace Rule Your Heart, I found myself flowing in an appreciative poetic anointing. So I left her these comments:

Ann, I cannot thank you enough
For all the wonderful lessons
I have learnt from your poems
Which are always inspired blessings

Every morning you get from God
Poems that leaves us greatly inspired
Reading them makes me smile
Indeed, you are greatly admired.

Ann, may the grace of God
Overflow more to you
So that you will always for us
With beautiful poems come through

May our glorious God in Heaven
Give you good health and longevity
Fill you with strength, joy, peace
And fulfilment without brevity

Please keep the flag flying
Keep your light shining bright
And to the God who inspires you
Keep holding on to Him tight.

That was my humble way of appreciating a humble woman of God who has consistently demonstrated that we can tap into the wisdom of God when we fellowship with Him through His word.

 

When I penned the words of that poem into the comment section of the post, I wasn’t sure if she would like it or not. But thankfully she did like it!

Here was her comment after reading my comment:

WOW [Victor], you have blessed me so much with “your poem.” I was not expecting anything like that and have never received anything like it before.

Each day I pray for the Lord to inspire me and that He should send me something from time to time to quicken to my spirit that I am indeed doing this all for His glory and His purpose. Every now and then I get a word of encouragement from someone that confirms I am using my gift for Him. This not only confirms it but it solidifies this is w[h]ere God wants me.

Thank you again for giving me such a huge blessing. ~ Have a wonderful day with Jesus ~ Deborah Ann

Of course, Ann, I know you weren’t expecting it. But I had to do as I felt led to do. So I thank you for liking it. 

Your poems always make my day. And I pray that your gift will continue to used for the blessings of mankind and to the glory of God.

I decided to share my experience with your blog here so that my readers can be blessed and inspired too. I hope that one day you will publish a compilation of all your poems into a book for us to have.

Indeed, the Bible is right: he that blesses us is blessed. And when we bless others we are blessed too.

Is there anyone whose blog posts have greatly impacted your life? Why don’t you reach out and say a thank you to such one? You will make his/her day by doing so and also bring glory to God.

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

What Happened to Trusting God in Your New Year Resolutions?

Every year people make new year resolutions. But they always end up not keeping most of them.

Instead of focusing on making new year resolutions, Christians should find out out what the will of God is for them and follow it. Please read more….

NOW THAT THE YEAR IS ENDING

NOW THAT THE YEAR IS ENDING

Written Victor Uyanwanne

wp-1451499606356.jpg

A few hours from now, we will all be bidding farewell to the year 2015 and embracing a brand new year 2016.

Just like anyone else, I know you have plenty of hopes and expectation for the coming new year. But before we finally draw the curtains on 2015, I thought we should have a few things to reflect on over the outgoing year.

I am sure there are milestones that took place in your life this year that you would not want to forget in a hurry. I for one, will remember 2015 as the year in which this blog was ‘accidentally’ started. If the feedback I get on the posts here are anything to go by, then I can gladly say that I have enough reasons to be grateful as the Sun sets on 2015.

For an average person, irrespective of the geographical location, the year 2015 presented them with opportunities for celebration or for mourning or for anything in between. No one of us is unfamiliar with such… At one point or another during the outgoing year, we all experienced the good, the bad and the ugly.

But whatever might have happened to us in 2015, let us put a positive construction to them.  That way we will not be depressed and we would be better prepared to face the challenges of the coming year. 

I said that because I am aware that not all things that happened in our lives in 2015 were all bright and beautiful. For instance, I lost my aged mum in the course of the year. So effectively I have became an orphan in this year 2015 (pushes back tears!).

I miss my mum; that need not be said. But rather than continue to wear a mournful look over her demise, I have decided to focus on the great life she lived. That way I am able to cope with the irreparable loss as I began the new journey of my life without her. (You may want to look at the Tribute To My Mother).

Likewise, the remaining hours of the outgoing year should afford you the opportunity to begin to refocus your gaze rather than having to regret over your not-so-fruitful chase in the course of the year.

Now that the year is ending, here is from me to you:

  • Find more reasons to be cheerful than you can find to be tearful.
  • Count your blessings not your loses.
  • Focus on your gains rather than on your pains.
  • Be thankful, not regretful.
  • Say ‘cheers’ rather than cry ‘jeers’.
  • Appreciate that one person that made a difference in your life rather than begrudge the multitude of people that may have disappointed you.
  • Thank God for the answered prayers rather than be bitter about the yet-to-be answered ones.
  • Think of the faces that smiled at you than the ones that frowned at you.
  • Celebrate the positive developments in your life rather than continue to regret over the negative ones.
  • Put a positive construction on the not-so-bright and beautiful things that happened to you in the outgoing year.
  • My point is: No matter how hard, find a reason to be grateful for the outgoing year 2015. That way, you will be bettered prepared to usher in the new year 2016.

Happy new year in advance.

IT IS CHRISTMAS

image

It is Christmas
The day we celebrate the greatest birth
The birth of a Saviour
The Saviour sent from God
The God of mercy and love
The love that is true and unconditional
Unconditional because we didn’t deserve it

Yes undeserved, but freely given
Given to all who will receive in faith
Faith in the born Saviour we celebrate Today
Not just today, but
Everyday for the rest of our lives.

Merry Christmas to you.

WHEN YOU ARE CAUGHT CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY OF A STRANGER

WHEN YOU ARE CAUGHT CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY OF A STRANGER

Written By Victor Uyanwanne

Reason for the Season

 

Birthday celebration is a common phenomenon amongst people of all cultures around the world. Apart from a few exceptions, such as members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, most people I know irrespective of religious or socio-political affiliations observe either their own birthdays or those of their loved ones etc.

When it comes to the issue of birthday celebration, Christians are no exceptions. Right now we are in that special season of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what Christmas is – remembering the birth of Christ!

From homes to churches, shopping malls and other public publics, one would have to be blind not to notice the effect of the special season. Colourful decorations adorn the landscapes, feeding the eyes with resplendent appearances. Everywhere we turn, we can hardly evade the Christmas frenzy as there are melodious Christmas tunes churned out by one form of music media or another.

Without doubt, we have all been caught up in the spirit of the season. But whether everybody acknowledges it or not, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

I do not want to delve into the argument in some certain quarters as to whether it is good or not for Christians to celebrate Christmas. It suffices to say that it is not a sin to celebrate it and it is not a sin not to celebrate.

What matters is why we celebrate it or why we chose not to celebrate it. After all, the beauty of Christmas is not in the actual celebration but in the essence of the celebration.

I believe the essence of Christmas can be traced to the reason for the birth of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus was born, an angel had announced to Joseph that his wife “….will give birth to a son, and you [Joseph] are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

In fulfilling the mandate of saving His people (and the world in general) from Sin, Jesus would have to die. But would he die if he wasn’t born in the first place? We celebrate His birth at Christmas and his death and resurrection at Easter. To the average Christian, both celebrations are significant!

Jesus was born to die to save us from our sins. This is part of what we ought to bear in mind as we celebrate Christmas again this year. Through Jesus Christ, our relationship with the God has been restored.

 Those who celebrate Christmas without having a personal relationship with the Jesus Christ are celebrating the birthday of a Stranger. But the Stranger is standing by to be turned into a Friend of eternal significance.

Unfortunately, many people around the world celebrate Christmas without knowing the real essence of the celebration. Generally, most people recognize Christmas as:

  • A time to share love
  • A time to give gifts
  • A time to eat special meals
  • A time of visiting with family and friends
  • A time to rest
  • A time of shopping
  • A time to buy new cloths
  • A time to party
  • A time to do Carols
  • A time to hold other special events.
  • Etc

None of the activities listed above is bad in themselves. But they end up as meaningless activities if Christ is not the main focus.

How can one make Christ the centre of one’s celebration? One has to begin by establishing personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

Have a Christ-filled Chritmas
Have a Christ-filled Chritmas

In the Vanguard 2012  Christmas eve edition, Gabriel Osu wrote,

“In today’s day and time, it is easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Amidst the delicious meals, sweet drinks, lovely songs & dances, beautiful friends & family members we would come across this season, let’s try not to forget about the child, born on a winter night so cold, whose bed was made only of hay & animal food; our lord Jesus Christ, who taught us all what real, genuine & unconditional love is. As we celebrate the birth of our saviour, let’s be human & kind enough to remember & show some love to those motherless babies, helpless orphans, hospital patients, prisoners, beggars & all those who are not fortunate enough to be actively involved in the celebration of the birth of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.”

Christmas would be more meaningful if all the people celebrating had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the celebrant.

In any birthday occasion, the pleasure is more if one knows the celebrant personally, than if you one is a  complete stranger to the celebrant. For instance, if my father was celebrating his birthday, it would mean more to me to join in the celebration than if the birthday party is for some man down town.

In the same vein, Christmas would be more meaningful if all the people celebrating had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the celebrant. Those who celebrate Christmas without having a personal relationship with the Jesus Christ are celebrating the birthday of a Stranger. But the Stranger is standing by to be turned into a Friend of eternal significance.

To such people, Jesus is saying “”Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” Revelation 3:20 NIV . My friend, this is the time to invite Jesus into your heart, if you haven’t already done so. Make this Christmas the most special you have ever had by becoming a friend of Jesus Christ the celebrant.

To all of us who already have a relationship with Jesus Christ, He is no longer a stranger to us. He is our Lord and Master, faithful Friend and Lover. Therefore let us bring glory to God as we have the opportunity once again to remember the birth of His dear Son. So let us:

  • Do everything in love;
  • Reflect Jesus in every way as we celebrate
  • Seek to bring other others into a personal relationship with Jesus.

Merry Christmas in advance.

 

CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

WHEN YOU HAVE AWESOME FOOD ON ONE HAND AND BEAUTIFUL CASKETS ON THE OTHER

WHEN YOU HAVE AWESOME FOOD ON ONE HAND AND BEAUTIFUL CASKETS ON THE OTHER

Written By Victor Uyanwanne

Food is ready

I live with my family in Lagos, a highly populated city in South Western Nigeria. Just like any other major city in the world, Lagos has its fair share of what some people have rightly described as the good, the bad and the ugly.

The city is full of all kinds of activities – social, economic, religious, political – that keep residents on their toes most of the time. As one notable media personality once said, “Everything happens here in Lagos.”  And that’s not an exaggeration, if I may add!

Despite the well-known hustle and bustle that takes place here in Lasgidi, (colloquial name for Lagos), many people agree that the city is an interesting place to live in. As the indisputable economic base of West Africa, the city is blessed with enormous human and financial resources without which the story of the economic success of Nigeria would be incomplete.

Nigeria presently stands as the country with the biggest economy in Africa. Apart from the oil exploration down south which forms the single highest contributor to the nation’s export, most of the other economic activities that swell the nation’s GDP take place in Lagos.

City of Lagos
Lagos, Nigeria. courtesy TVCnews.tv

The population of Lagos is enormous and so are the opportunities and the challenges. Having lived in the city for twenty years and still counting, I am already well familiar with the usual problems we have had to grapple with over the years. Unfortunately, some of these problems have refused to go away as one would wish.

From epileptic electricity supply across the State to the hectic traffic situations in strategic routes, from the menace of the ever-unrepentant ‘area boys” (street urchins) to the recurrent fuel scarcity, living in Lagos can be very stressful and full of fun at the same time.  And it is better experienced than described, hence people always find good reasons to live in Lagos.

Talking about fuel scarcity, it was while in search of fuel for my car on one Sunday afternoon recently that I came across the ironic sight that inspired this article.

The Sunday was very wet. The rains had started in the morning while we were still having our morning Church service. It had continued for a while until it later subsided, creating a humid atmosphere that tamed the scorching hands of the Sun for the rest of the day.

I drove to a certain part of the buzzing city in search of PMS (premium motor spirit) for my car. It wasn’t too long before I came to realise that the essential commodity in question was not readily available in many of the usual filling stations around my residence. My search took me to a certain corner of town I have never really driven to in the past.

I had veered off the Federal Inter State expressway into an adjoining road with a view to negotiating an ‘under bridge’ short tunnel so as to get to the other side of town where I gathered petrol was available for sale. In the process, I ran into an unexpected traffic gridlock that gulped about an hour of my search-travel time.

Traffic in Lagos
Heavy traffic is seen on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos November 11, 2010. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA – Tags: TRANSPORT SOCIETY) Courtesy:topetemplar.wordpress.com

Sitting quietly, listening to the radio in my car and waiting for the traffic to start moving fast again, I looked out of the window and saw something that completely got me thinking. Right to my right hand side of the road was located a mini shopping complex with various business outlets.

The neon signs within the complex beamed with beckoning smiles and displayed adverts, horizontally scrolling appropriate expressions to inform people of the type of available products or services.  There was nothing unusual about this observation until I noticed that right beside a food cafeteria in the said complex was also located a glittering showroom displaying well-designed wooden coffins ready for purchase by people who have the dead to bury.

“What a sight!” I said quietly to myself as I stayed glued to the driver’s seat of my car. “What is the meaning of this?” Food on our side and caskets on the other – in the same place!

I do not know if it was by pure coincidence that brought those two unusual businesses together. But the sight certainly got me thinking. As I ruminated over it, a few sobering questions came nestling on my mind:

  • What is the relationship between food and caskets that they had to be sold on the same premises?
  • Is this a case of “eat all you can today because one day you die and be laid in a coffin like one of these?”
  • Do they mean to say that it is only what you have in your stomach that you will carry into one of those caskets?
  • Are the caskets a reminder that life is not all about food?

Those were questions on my mind still begging for answers. Does any have anything to say about this observation? Please share your thoughts.

THIS IS HOW FOUR PEOPLE DRIVE A CAR AT THE SAME TIME

THIS IS HOW FOUR PEOPLE DRIVE A CAR AT THE SAME TIME

By Victor Uyanwanne

Victor Uyanwanne Family When Newman Turned One year
Victor Uyanwanne Family When Newman Turned One year

The fifth anniversary of my marriage is still some five months away. Yet within these few years of being married to my beautiful wife and having two lovely kids, I have had several experiences in my family interactions that I consider great.

As a great-dad-wanna-be that I am, I always enjoy the company of my nuclear family members. Apart from the time we spend together at home, it’s always a wonderful experience whenever occasions demand that we go out together, especially, in the same vehicle.

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.  C. Everett Koop

As Dale Cooper observed, “Family road trips are a great way to escape the daily grind. Taking your kids on a trip will provide them with an unforgettable experience, but a long drive can put a strain on the family. Saddled with short attention spans, children don’t always behave well in small spaces for long periods of time.”

post from Dale Cooper
Road Trip– anationofmoms.com

Apart from a few instances, I have not really taken my family on a major road trip around the country. However, our regular intracity travels in the same car are enough eye-opener…

This is not a post about any road trip, but one that gives a word about how the four members of a young family all drive the same car at the same time.

 To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.  — Josh Billings

We own a Toyota Camry car. Being our only car, it serves as our means of necessary mobility. The other alternatives being to call a taxi or use other means of public transportation.

By default I am the authorised driver of the family car. But more often than not, I have three other ‘assistant drivers’. There is nothing wrong in having assistant drivers. The only problem is that all four of us drive (or at least attempt to drive) the car at the same time.

I use the car alone whenever I have to do personal runs. My wife uses it too. That makes us two authorised drivers for the car.

But on family outings, we are usually four drivers in the said car – the others being my two energetic boys, Best and Newman. Believe me, they are ‘drivers’ in their own rights too. Smiles!

Going out together in the family car gives us a room for family interaction away from the home setting. But it can be stressful sometimes having two restless boys to manage on the go.

How easy would you find it to control two restless infants who do not really like to be controlled? Parents in the house, how do you cope in this regard? I would really like to have you share your experiences.

I think Melanie Radzicki McManus made some useful suggestions in 10 Ways to Keep Your Kids from Driving You Crazy on a Road Trip. You may want to check that out.

Out of the many experiences we share in the car, the one that makes me deem all four of us as drivers, is the observed roles played by each one in the driving process. One person mans the steering wheel while the rest three somehow find a way to contribute to the driving routine.

Our second child Newman is 19 months old. He is the most audacious ‘driver’ of the four of us. He doesn’t talk legibly enough yet, but by his actions we see what he can do.

Whatever he wants he goes for it without blinking. He even wants to physically take over the authorised driver’s seat from me. Often times without warning, he moves from the back seat to the front to grab the steering wheel.

Whenever he did that, I could see in his eyes, “Daddy let me drive too.” But of course, I would always say to him “please go back to the back seat.”

Road Trip - Howstuffworks.com
Road Trip – Howstuffworks.com

The third driver is our older boy, Best, who is slightly over 3 years old. Like his younger brother he seats in the back seat too. Although if not for mummy and daddy’s refusal, he would have preferred sitting on the front passenger’s seat and run the shows on the dashboard.

Best has a unique ‘driving’ style and he is definitely easier to manage in the car than his younger brother. He ‘drives’ the car with me through his probing questions; he never fails to asks me questions for any driving maneuver I make that he doesn’t seem to understand.

“Daddy, why are you moving the car backwards?” he would ask whenever I put the car in reverse motion.

“My dear, I am moving back so we can then move forward in the right direction” I would respond.

If I mistakenly drive the car into a pothole and the car experiences a vibration, he would query again, “Daddy, do you want to break your car?”

“No Best, I don’t want to break the car. It’s just that that part of the road is not so smooth …” I would try to explain.

The fourth driver is my beautiful wife. She drives (in the real sense of the word) as the need arises. But by the way I drive, she thinks I am trying to compete with Michael Schumacher on the fast lane. I wish I had that much driving skill!

“My Love, slow down please” she would say, “You are over speeding,” even when my speedometer says otherwise!

At other times, she would be like, “See that big truck ahead of us, please don’t drive us beside it”.

“Don’t worry, I will overtake it by flying over it,” I would tease.

This is my experience driving in the same car with my family. What’s yours?

8 THINGS YOU SHOULD STOP WISHING

8 THINGS YOU SHOULD STOP WISHING

By Victor Uyanwanne

NEVER TOO LATE TO START OVER

If we continue to live in the past, we will not enjoy the present and we will mess up the future. This is why we should leave the unpleasant past where it belongs and cease from regretting over some things we cannot change in our lives.

“Stop wishing and start living” should be the appropriate advice here!

In the light of this, I have come up with the list of a few things we should grow up beyond and stop regretting over:

1.  I wish I was younger!

It’s obvious you are older now, so why still cry over spilt milk? You missed some good opportunities when you were younger, but you also had some good memories. Now that you are older, you can’t get them back any more.

Grow up and make the most of your older age now. Otherwise, the older you get, the wider your margin of regrets becomes.

If you spend today regretting about yesterday, you will spend tomorrow regretting about today.

2.  I wish I had more time!

Excuse me please! Hasn’t God given all of us 24 hours in a day? How come your neighbour had enough time to do what he had to do and you didn’t? How come your colleague was able to deliver that time-bound report and you weren’t?

Plan well, prioritize, do what you have to do when you have to do it and you will see you have all the time in the world to do the things that matter to you.

There is always enough time to do anything we really want to do. Someone once said, “It is the thing you really don’t want to do that you don’t have time for.”

3.  I wish I married a different person than my spouse!

Come off it please! What if your spouse too has the same thoughts about you? You were so dumb to propose to the person you got married to and she too was so dumb to scream “Yes, yes. I will marry you.” That’s your decision, it’s too late to change that now.

Whomever you got married to has become the right person to be married to. Do away with all regrets about whom you got married to. Make that relationship work now. Shut the door on the divorce option and you will see that no unhappy marriage is irredeemable.

Enjoy the present
Leave the past behind

4.  I wish I had more education.

Formal education is good but that’s not the greatest ticket to success and happiness in life. If you think you need more education than you currently have, go get it. But if it’s no longer possible for you to do so, get over it and stop regretting.

True education could come from other places besides the four walls of a university. In any case, never stop learning.

5.  I wish I was a billionaire!

I am not being pessimistic if I say that some wishes will never come through. But that doesn’t have to be yours. Just that as a 16th century English Language proverb says, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. Simply put, people don’t always have everything they wish for.

If you want to become a billionaire, work towards it. You are neither too young nor too old to become a billionaire. The last time I checked on the Forbes list of world’s richest men, it had both young and old people on it.

In any case, if you have found out how to become a billionaire, please  let me in on it because I am searching too.

6.   I wish I was born into a rich family!

Thank you for letting me know that your father is neither a Bill Gates (the richest man on Earth) nor an Aliko Dangote (the richest black man on Earth). But that’s as far as it should go. Never blame your parents for not being as rich as you wished they should be.

It is neither yours nor their fault. But know one thing, your life can be better than those of your parents. You can be richer than your parents if you properly take your good chances in life. That’s what you should be doing and not regretting over the economy of your parents.

7.  I wish I chose a different career path!

Fortunate are those who made the right choices as far as their career is concerned. If you are not one of such people, there is no need to keep regretting over it. It’s either you make the most of the career path you are on now or you make a career switch.

I once read the story of a Nigerian school teacher who later went on to become a medical doctor at the age of 50 years. When a journalist asked him about it, he responded, “I have always wanted to be a doctor.”

I thought that was fantastic until I heard about Genevie Kocourek who achieved similar fit at the age of 59 years.

8.  I wish I was created with a different gender!

Why can’t you accept who you are? Are you a man wishing you were a woman or a woman wishing you were a man?. That’s of no use! You are good enough as either a man or woman you were created to be.

What about those who are transgender (oops, I have finally used that word)? I wished you wouldn’t ask, because I don’t have an opinion now.

Please share what you think.

© Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

WHEN YOU ARE NOT HAPPY, BLAME THIS GUY

WHEN YOU ARE NOT HAPPY, BLAME THIS GUY

By Victor Uyanwanne

Everyone wants to be happy in life but not everyone is happy. You don’t need to look hard enough around you in your family, workplace, church and neighbourhoods to find huge evidences to support that assertion.

I once rode on a public bus in Lagos, Nigeria, with someone who claimed she didn’t want to be wealthy in life. Of course she stated her reasons, even though I felt differently about her position after listening to her. But I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t want to be happy in life.

In this article, I do not mean to explain why people are not as happy as they should. But it is my objective to point out who people should not blame if they find that they are not as happy as can be.

Who to blame if you are not happy

Have you not noticed that most people who are not happy blame other people but themselves for not being happy? I don’t know about you, as for me, I know that I would not feel nice if someone blamed me for his unhappiness.

Please be honest with me now, how would you feel if other people blamed their unhappiness on you? I am sure you would not like it too! So if you don’t like other people blaming their unhappiness on you, never feel justified to blame your own unhappiness on other people.

If you are not happy as a husband/wife, don’t blame it on your spouse. 

That has to be said because it seems to be natural to blame someone else once anything goes wrong.

“Whatever you do with your life don’t blame me,” an angry mum once said to her wayward teenager. That sounds like a familiar tune in some families.

Right or wrong, even you may have someone you may readily feel is responsible for your unhappiness. But blaming someone else for your unhappiness will not cause you to be truly happy.

Here now is the big question: If you are not happy in life, who should you blame? The answer is……………  NO ONE!

Actually, a better advice would be that you should take responsibility for your perceived unhappiness and snap yourself out of it.  I am not saying it’s easy but it can be done. No one can do it for you except you.

Looking for Happiness
Looking for Happiness

In a previous post on this blog, it was asserted that the key to your happiness is in your hands – not in the hands of another person. As everyone is responsible for his own destiny, so is everyone responsible for his own happiness. That is to say, if you are not happy, don’t blame another person.

But what do we see in people who are not happy? They blame others for their unhappiness! Unhappy mothers blame their children. Unhappy children blame their parents. An unhappy spouse blames the other half, and so on and so forth.

Should it always be so? My candid answer would be a huge NO. Here are my summarized takes on it:

    1. If you are not happy as an employee, don’t blame it on your employer.

    2. If you are not happy as a citizen of your country, don’t blame it on your Government.
    3. If you are not happy as a teacher, don’t blame it on your students.
    4. If you are not happy as a student, don’t blame it on your teacher.
    5. If you are not happy as a husband/wife, don’t blame it on your spouse.
    6. If you are not happy as a child, don’t blame it on your parents.

    7. If you are not happy as a parent, don’t blame it on your children.
    8. If you are not happy as a player, don’t blame it on your coach.
    9. If you are not happy as a team member, don’t blame it on your other team members.
    10. If you are not happy as a pastor, don’t blame it on your congregation.
    11. If you are not happy as a member of your congregation, don’t blame it on your pastor.
    12. Most importantly if you are not happy with your life, don’t blame it on God.

You have read my thoughts. Please feel free to share yours. I will be glad to read your comments.

© Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

WHEN YOU HAVE AN AWESOME LAST NAME LIKE MINE

WHEN YOU HAVE AN AWESOME LAST NAME LIKE MINE

By Victor Uyanwanne

As I interact with the outside world,  it appears that I meet more people who are unable to correctly pronounce the name than I meet those who are able to do so.

Uyanwanne, that’s my last name. And I love it when people pronounce it properly! Or is it not normal for one to so like one’s name?

I have been using the name for almost four decades now and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

“That’s expected,” someone may say.

Well, I agree with that! I consider it a great name, not necessarily because it has a deep meaning which accentuates brotherly relationship and trust, but because of the person that bore it – my late father Pa Uyanwanne Bakwunye.

Of course, Uyanwanne was my father’s first name, but now it has become our family’s last name. The awesome old man has passed on since 1994, but the name continues to live on with us and through us; the name naturally lives on in our lives as the identity remains in use by us his sons and his grandchildren.

JAW-BREAKING LAST NAME

To the people from my part of Nigeria and to some others outside of it, the name is very easy to pronounce. But some how, as I interact with the outside world,  it appears that I meet more people who are unable to correctly pronounce the name than I meet those who are able to do so.

To that extent, I am indeed grateful to all those who are able to pronounce the name correctly, especially those who do not speak my native Ika dialect or the Igbo language by extension.

But to people of the outside world, I have observed that it is a different kettle of fish altogether; pronouncing the name could be a mouthful. And that I completely understand!

“It is a 4-unit course” teased one friendly wag, who had difficulty pronouncing the name. All the same it is my name. Well, bear with me.

Here in Africa, and I believe in some other parts of the world, it is not unusual for people to bear long names, with multiple syllables

Over time, I am often amused by the way some people (mis)pronounced the name. Different – albeit irregular- versions of the name could be formed from the way some people have pronounced it in the past.

“Please don’t muddle up that name,” I have heard myself say to some people who mispronounced it.

But then I don’t blame them; they don’t speak my native Ika tongue. They need not!

I am not an expert in Ika dialect grammatical and pronunciation rules either, but the name could be counted into multiple syllables as follows: U/ya/n/wa/n/ne or simply as U/yan/wan/ne. Observing these syllabic divisions will naturally lead to the correct pronunciation.

Unfortunately, when I searched the name using an on-line word processor, it returned the name as a 3-syllable word. Obviously, that’s incorrect as it would result in a wrong pronunciation of the name. So as I said, the correct pronunciation would follow the traditional lines earlier noted.

Uyanwanne

In any case, some people still think the pronunciation of the name is jaw-breaking. Hence they sometimes feel at liberty when they mispronounce the name.

Do I mind? Not any more! I am aware that they are not intentionally muddling the name. Gladly. Some ‘foreign’ language speakers are able to pronounce it correctly without much ado.

But sometimes, I wonder why some others could not get the pronunciation right, even after being corrected. I wonder too if I do so badly in pronouncing the names of people from other cultures! May be, sometimes!

I am neither Chinese nor Korean so my name couldn’t have been Lee, Chan, Chen, or Chang – which spell mostly in one syllable format

Unfortunately, I am not about to change my last name. In fact, the name will continue to be used after my own generation is gone except of course, if my children decide otherwise. For now, it is the name I am known with and will continue to be known with.

Here in Africa, and I believe in some other parts of the world, it is not unusual for people to bear long names, with multiple syllables. That’s how it is too in the Mid-Western part of Nigeria where I was born.

Take for instance, one of my other names is “Okechukwuyem.” (pronounced O/ke/chu/kwu/yem). You see, the names we bear usually come in multiple syllables. That’s what I am saying….

I am neither Chinese nor Korean so my name couldn’t have been Lee, Chan, Chen, or Chang – which spell mostly in one syllable format – and very easy to pronounce. So please take my last name as it is and employ the best of your pronunciation skills where necessary.

The correct pronunciation of Uyanwanne may be jaw-breaking as some people have claimed, but it is still my last name.

Do people find it very easy pronouncing your name? Please share your experience.

Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

YOU NEED TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHY

YOU NEED TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, THIS IS WHY

By Victor Uyanwanne

 

Asking The Right Questions

This post is about asking questions. So why don’t I begin by asking you these questions? All right? Thank you!

“Are you asking questions as you should?” Secondly, “Are you asking the right questions?” Furthermore, “Are you asking the right people?” Are you satisfied with status quo? Don’t you wish for a positive change?

Somebody somewhere has the right answer to the question you might have on your mind. Just ask! I believe that if you ask the right kinds of questions, you will get the right kinds of answers provided you ask the right kinds of people.

I may probably not know how you feel about asking questions. But if you are like me, asking the right questions at the right time should not be considered an out-of-place thing.

Excuse Me Please! Cure Your ignorance, Ask Questions

As someone rightly observed, “questions are one of the most powerful methods for gaining real insight and understanding…” 

The questions you ask reveal what matters to you. The questions you don’t ask which you are supposed to ask also speak volumes about you.

A notable French historian and philosopher, Voltaire, once said “judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Therefore my candid suggestion is that if you don’t want to wallow in ignorance, please imbibe the good habit of asking relevant questions.

Ignorance is temporary affliction
Cure for ignorance

Some people desire answers but somehow loathe asking questions. You should know better! Sincerely speaking I learn by questions, so I asked a lot of them as appropriate. That’s me!

I am not saying that I have fully arrived on the habit of asking perfect questions and getting perfect answers. But my experiences so far have shown me that the knowledge and insights gained in the process of asking needful questions have placed me on a veritable pedestal I could not have otherwise attained if I didn’t ask relevant questions at the right times.

When it comes to asking questions, there is always room for improvement!

There is only one way to get started on the path of asking questions. Begin now!

Well, I concede that it may not always be smooth sailing when it comes to asking questions; some people may feel slightly inconvenienced by your perceived probing questions. But thankfully, I know (and many people will get to understand too) that you ask questions in order to learn, not to cause mischief or be unnecessarily intrusive.

Quite frankly, when you ask questions, it should be that you are genuinely interested in knowing more about the object of the question, or for some other unprejudiced or beneficial reasons. So if you are not disposed to asking needful questions, you are seriously missing out on the derivable benefits of doing so.

It Helps To Ask Questions, I am a Witness!

Looking back in the chequered history of my life, I can recall instances where I have missed a few things (including opportunities) because I failed to ask relevant questions at those points in time. I like to think that you can identify with that too! Right?

Asking questions
Are you asking the right questions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a lot of things about you and around you that will change if you will ask the right questions. Just muster up a little courage and begin!

If you ever feel the need to know more, achieve more, learn more, and to improve on the status quo, then asking questions is an appropriate habit you should well imbibe.

Let me make this sweeping statement: It is not in your best interest to stop asking questions when circumstances actually prove it is right for you to ask. I mean you should not stop asking questions altogether simply because of the negative feed backs that may sometimes stem from them. Rather you should learn better ways of doing the asking.

The issue really should not be whether you should be asking questions or not; but rather it should be whether you are asking the right questions. When it comes to asking questions, there is always room for improvement!

Expand Your Frontiers, Ask Questions

If you ever feel the need to know more, achieve more, learn more, and to improve on the status quo, then asking questions is an appropriate habit you should well imbibe.

Questions help your imagination and hence your creativity. I make bold to say that it is not possible to expand the frontiers of your knowledge base or improve the standard of the lives you live if you don’t ask the right questions as the need arises!

The essence of asking questions is to get answers. Questions give birth to answers and answers may in turn give rise to more questions and then more answers.

When it comes to asking questions, it doesn’t matter your age or status or position in life; whether as a student, a professional, a parent, a child, a politician, a sportsman, an artisan, a blogger, etc, everyone, whoever, wants to be anything worthwhile should be able to ask relevant questions as the need arises.

My dear friend, the questions you ask tell a lot about you! Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

In my own limited experiences I have known that asking questions have helped me know better, achieve more, behave better, live healthier, live happier and hopefully live wealthier.

One of Forbes once listed richest persons in the world, the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, Eric Schmidt,  was once quoted as saying, (speaking about Google) “We run this company on questions, not [on] answers.”

I think the sublime wisdom in the quoted Schmidt’s statement is pretty clear. But someone may ask, “Are questions now considered more important than answers”?

Let’s say it depends on individual perception, so to that effect I could leave that for you to decide. On the other hand, I could refer you to the quote of Voltaire earlier cited for further insight: “judge a man by his questions rather than his answers”.

You Want Knowledge? Apply ASK!

I came across a very short acronym that lends voice to the point being made here:
ASK >> Always Seek Knowledge.

Seek knowledge
Always Seek Knowledge Acronym

The essence of asking questions is to get answers. Questions give birth to answers and answers may in turn give rise to more questions and then more answers.

It is this cycle of questions and answers, answers and more questions and then more answers that helps to expand the frontiers of your knowledge base that in turn enhances the quality of the life you live.

We are where we are today in development because some people dared to ask relevant questions at appropriate times in history.

For further advancement in life to be attained, status quo must be positively challenged. Questions provide the veritable media for doing that. So Always Seek Knowledge: ASK questions.

Asking Questions Will Help You In These Areas

At this juncture, you will probably agree with me that it is very beneficial to ask relevant questions when you feel the need to do so. In my own limited experiences I have known that asking questions have helped me know better, achieve more, behave better, live healthier, live happier and hopefully live wealthier.

Here are 16 areas questions can help you too:

1. Clarify your thoughts – and those of others too.
2. Elicit interest from your audience – don’t you know a few people who won’t talk to you until you ask them questions? Questions break the ice!
3. Demonstrate your interest in other people/things – who/what you ask questions about reveals whom/what you are interested in.
4. Clear / reduce your doubts – you can sometimes deal with your suspicions by asking the right questions.

Asking the right questions promotes communication and good communication builds trust

5. Improve your knowledge – naturally, questions can be used in the quest for knowledge. What you don’t know that you should have known is probably what you haven’t asked about.
6. Enhance your understanding – if you don’t understand something, ask questions until you grasp it well enough.

Six most commonly asked questions
Concept image of the six most common questions and answers on a signpost.

7. Enhance your communication with people – communication is not complete until there is an understanding/feedback. Asking relevant questions helps will help you to achieve this.
8. Enhance trust – asking the right questions promotes communication and good communication builds trust.

Asking the right questions helps you separate relevant information from irrelevant ones.

9. Help you to solidify relationships – as trust level increases through the good answers you get to your questions, the cord of good relationship toughens.
10. Sift information – asking the right questions helps you separate relevant information from irrelevant ones.
11. Promote better decision making – information clarified via asking relevant questions do promote better decision making.
12. Save time and other resources due to better decisions being made; this happens in the long run mostly.

“He who asks questions never misses his way” so says an African proverb.

13. Removes/reduces prejudices – if you ask the right questions and you get the right answers, you will soon get to discover that there is no need to hang on to some previously held misconceptions about things and especially about people.
14. Promote personal confidence – believe it or not, your ability to ask the right questions is a kind of pointer to your level of confidence. Confident people ask questions.
15. Clarify your direction – “He who asks questions never misses his way” so says an African proverb. If you don’t know where you are going, ask questions.
16. Enhance your effectiveness – knowing what to do and achieving results thereon sometimes is a function of the questions you have asked.

Your comments are always welcome.

 

 

 

©Copy Right 2015 | Victor Uyanwanne

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER
By Victor Uyanwanne

First and foremost, let me be frank with you. As the title clearly portrays, this article is not about me. But I had to begin with a short narrative of a personal history to be able to put things in the best perspective. Kindly indulge me as you read on.

My mother, Victoria Ofunim Uyanwanne Bakwunye (nee Okwuedei) went home recently to be with the Lord at a very ripe age estimated at 90 years. Needless to say, it was our greatest honour and privilege as her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to gather from far and wide in June 2015 in our home state of Delta, Nigeria, to give her a very befitting burial. Before her death on April 18, 2015, she had been all my siblings and I had since our father passed on twenty one years ago at an equally ripe age.

Despite her being advanced in age, I am glad that she didn’t die until her wish came through.

As at the time our father, Uyanwanne Bakwunye, passed away in the morning of June 13, 1994, I had hardly fully understood the meaning of death because I was probably too naive – an innocent teenager I was – to have fully comprehended the full import of death as it were. It was shortly later in life after his death that I came to the full realisation that I would never see my dad again in this life. Poor me!

I missed my dad (especially his love and friendship) since his passing on. But I am not complaining; all has been well with me and I have many reasons to be very grateful to God for everything. Thanks to my recently departed mum and my older siblings who ensured that I was well taken care of from then on.

I was the baby of the house. My parents gave birth to me when they were already advanced in age. This realisation often reminds me of something similar from the story of Joseph in the Bible. It was recorded of him in the book of Genesis (37:3) that “Joseph was a son born to [Jacob] in his old age.” I guess I could easily identify with that depiction! (Incidentally, for many reasons other than this, Joseph has become my favourite Bible character).

As a child, I wasn’t so sure of the number of years between my parents’ ages but one thing was very clear to me then: my dad was much older than my mum. I grew up knowing both of them as “Baba” and “Mama”. In those days in the Nigerian environment (a small town known as Owerre Olubor in the present Delta State) where I was born, (and I believe in many other parts of the world), that was how children called their parents – especially if they were advanced in age as mine were.

We didn’t live in any remarkable luxury, but we were happy and contented

Being the fifth and the last child of my parents, I would say things were relatively easier for me than it was for my older siblings. While growing up, I was never under any kind of pressure. I was much loved by my parents and my siblings and I knew it. They protected me and shielded me from any ‘bad weather’.

They met my needs to the best of their abilities. They shouldered most my responsibilities, leaving me with lots of time to play and to read my books. (To be sincere, I played more that I read then. Smiles! Let’s leave that topic for another day!)

Suffice to say, to a very large extent, I could aver that I was the object of the love of my parents as well as those of my siblings who were much older than I was. We didn’t live in any remarkable luxury, but we were happy and contented. I couldn’t have asked for a better family than mine, as I was convinced that the best family to be born into was this one I was born into.

I hardly wanted people to know I was the last child of my parents. But somehow, some people were always able to figure that out.

My family members had some pet names for me. For instance, my mother called me “Ugochukwu” (meaning God’s honour), while my eldest sister Caroline Onumuzor fondly called me ‘Lastborn.” That’s what she and some other people from my home town still call me till date!

To be honest, I didn’t mind them calling me “Lastborn” anywhere, provided no ‘outsider’ was around to hear them call me that. Smiles! To me the reason was simple: most people thought that all “lastborns” were spoilt brats. And that’s not a compliment! So as much as possible, I hardly wanted people to know I was the last child of my parents. But somehow, some people were always able to figure that out.

Back then, most people knew me as “Okem” for short (which simply means “my bequest” or “my gift”; the name in its fullest form being “Okechukwuyem”, meaning “God’s bequest/gift to me”). I later became known as “Victor” before the age of six years when my mum took me for infant baptism in her church, St. Barnabas Anglican Owerre Olubor, Delta State. She remained a member of this church until her glorious exit from the earth earlier this year.

Thanks to mama, she was the light we saw that pointed us the way to Christ!

About sixteen years after I underwent the said infant baptism, at which time I had become an undergraduate, I had to undergo what in Pentecostal cycles is referred to as “baptism by immersion” ; that was after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour. This didn’t require a change of name, but a change of heart. Thanks to mama, she was the light we saw that pointed us the way to Christ!

Now fast forward to the present year, 2015. Baba and mama’s lastborn has become a man. I am now a full grown adult, married to a beautiful lady from heaven and blessed with two wonderful boys (Best and Newman) as children.

Needless to say, I have not only increased in stature, I have also increased in wisdom in all ramifications. So when in the morning of Saturday April 18, 2015 I was informed via a telephone conversation with my eldest sister, Onumuzor, that my mum had “just passed on to be with the Lord”, I was already well abreast with the real meaning of death, the death of an aged parent.

To be honest, I had always been scared of losing my mum.

I heaved a deep sigh…. Mama is gone? Instantly, emotions welled up like a flowing river from within me and my eyes were filled with tears as I managed to end the telephone call. I found myself sobbing my eyes wet, with a nagging thought in my heart like “the day I feared most had finally come: mama was no more.”

To be honest, I had always been scared of losing my mum. I mean I knew she would die someday, but I didn’t expect it would be that very day. I also knew mama was well advanced in age, yet I had the secret wish that she would stay on earth a bit longer. After all, despite her old age, she was still relatively strong in her body and she always had the love and care she needed from her children and grandchildren. Her health had also remained relatively stable until she suddenly had a relapse two weeks before her demise.

Mama came, she saw and she conquered! That’s the feeling all of us her children share.

There I was standing in my sitting room on that fateful Saturday morning when the news of her death filtered into my ear drums. At first, I had tried not to cry aloud but I couldn’t. I then walked from the sitting room towards the kitchen to tell my wife, Jennifer, about the sad news I just received. I sobbed for a while in her warm embrace as she tried to console me. I then regained my composure, but not fast enough as not to allow my first son notice that everything didn’t seem well with his daddy.

“Mummy, why is daddy crying,” he asked, “did he fall down?”

“No Best, he didn’t fall down. Don’t worry, he will be fine,” my wife tried to explain to the boy.

I wouldn’t blame him; he had never seen me cry since he was born three years ago. Besides, he is only a child and would not even understand the full meaning of death. How would we have explained to him that his paternal grandmother was no more? The last time mama saw him, she was very fond of him; they bonded well together.

I was still a bachelor when mama told me she would be ready to go ‘home’ only when I had given her a grandchild.

I remember then, Mama heart’s was really glad that she had seen a grandson from her last born child – Me! Some years back, I was still a bachelor when mama told me she would be ready to go ‘home’ only when I had given her a grandchild. Over the years that followed, I never forgot those words!

Despite her being advanced in age, I am glad that she didn’t die until her wish came through. In fact, I would say she had more than her wish because she had two grandchildren through my wife and I – in addition to several others from my older siblings and their respective spouses. In all respect, she died a happy woman, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Fulfilled!

I wept on hearing the news of mum’s passing. But moments later that same day, the negative emotions I felt about her passing began to wane and positive stimulations about her life and times began to well up from my spirit.

Mama came, she saw and she conquered! That’s the feeling all of us her children share. I for one, her exit made me cry. But at the same time, I felt relieved when I began to put things in the proper perspective. I am convinced that she had gone to be with the Lord, because till her death, she maintained an unwavering faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as her Lord and Saviour. It was this realisation that gave my siblings and I the greatest consolation of heart we needed.

I know I would not be able to describe all things my mother represented, but I know I wrote from my heart.

As I very well recall, naturally, I wept on hearing the news of mum’s passing. But moments later that same day, the negative emotions I felt about her passing began to wane and positive stimulations about her life and times began to well up from my spirit. Suddenly, I thought about her strict love, fearlessness, self-discipline, self-control, contentment, patience, courage, independent mindedness, industry, smiling face, generosity, strong faith in God, fidelity, sense of loyalty and many other sublime qualities too numerous to mention in this space.

In response to the positive thoughts overflow, I pulled by tablet device and began to type as fast as I could and as the words flowed. In the end I came up with these verses of poetic expression below that informed that title of this discourse. I know I would not be able to describe all things my mother represented, but I know I wrote from my heart.

TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER

Mama, today you are gone from our midst
But you are not gone from our hearts
Cos we will always remember you
Though you are no more here
Your legacies remain alive with us
You were a mother like no other
You were unique in your own ways.

You lived your life the best way you could

You lived your life the best way you could
You ran the race God set before you
Now you have gone the way of all men
We are sad that you are gone,
But we will always celebrate you.

You found the gospel light at a tender age
And you followed it till you breathe your last
You did not only find the way of Christ
You pointed it out for us your children to follow
You told us you knew no other way, but the way of Christ.

You were a mother like no other

You told us to follow Jesus Christ
Till our days on earth are gone
Now that you are no more here
God will help us to follow through
You taught us how to give the tithe to God
Since the time we were kids
Now that we are grown men and women
We have not forgotten this lesson of yours.

You were a mother like no other
You proved that love and discipline can go together
You never spared the rod to spoil the child
You never feared any man, except God
You showed courage even in danger
You stood for what you believed in
Even when no one else stood with you

You are a shining example of faithfulness, loyalty and discipline

You never went back on your words
You always did what you promised
Your face always carried a cheerful smile
That radiated to those around you
The daughters of men testify of your generosity
Your love was strict, but it was also true
We are glad we had the chance to know this.

You are a shining example of faithfulness, loyalty and discipline
You stayed faithful to God until your last breath
You were loyal to our father even in death
And you disciplined us in love unto maturity
You may be gone from our eyes
But you will never be gone from our hearts.
Adieu Mama, a woman of faith and focus.

 

Copyright| Victor Uyanwanne

THERE IS ROOM FOR MORE

There is room for more
By Victor Uyanwanne

There is always room for more
Seek it and you will find it
The room of improvement is never filled

There is always room for more
Your life can be happier
You can live healthier
Trust me, you can be wealthier too

Be you, but be the best you
Check where you stand, you can stand taller
Check where you have been in life, you can go further
Evaluate your achievement, you can achieve more

Yes you know much, but there is much you don’t know
You have learned a lot, but then there is still much to learn
Don’t close your mind, so you don’t imprison yourself
Live free, but not without limits

Smile, it doesn’t hurt anyone
Forgive more than you want to be forgiven
Love better than you are doing now
Give more than you have ever done before

Improve your life
There is always room for more…….

THE BEST FAMILY TO BE BORN INTO

THE BEST FAMILY TO BE BORN INTO

What family would you love to have been born into? Given a second chance would you be okay to still be born into your current family?

Contrary to what you may think, the best family to be born into is the very one you were born into – irrespective of its social status. It is the best because it was divinely arranged, whether you like it or not.

To question being born into the family you were born into is to question God.

BE KIND ENOUGH TO SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW

BE KIND ENOUGH TO SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW
By Victor Uyanwanne

Some people think they don’t know so much about anything to be able to teach it to other people. But that’s probably not true. I believe there is always something you know that someone else close-by or afar off may not know, which he may need to know in order to lead a better, healthier and happier life.

Don’t wait until you become an expert before you can begin to share what you know with other people who may need your knowledge. What we often don’t realise, is that no matter how little we know, there is always someone we know much better than who will be interested in what we know. So sharing your so-called ‘little’ knowledge will no doubt be of help to such people.

Nobody will know much if everybody waited to become certified experts before they began to share what they knew . It will not be kind to withhold useful information that someone might need simply because you think you are not an expert yet. So I am of the opinion that sharing what you know with people that need it will not be a bad idea. You will be surprised how much it will improve the quality of lives of people around you.

If we relate with the right kind of people, we will get the right kind of information at relatively no cost.

Sharing what you know can enable people make better decisions that will improve their lives. As I began to think about writing this article, I mentioned to a colleague in the office that during the break hour I would go see an ophthalmologist whose eye clinic was on retainership with our company. The place is located about 3 kilometres away from our upscale office location.

“Why go all that distance,” asked the colleague, “when there is a good one right on our street here”?

“Really? I didn’t I know that!” I enthused. Following my colleague’s suggestion, I simply walked only about 100 meters to get to the eye-clinic he mentioned. As it turned out, and to my pleasant surprise, I got an excellent service from there. That little information volunteered by my colleague saved me the stress of having to drive down a farther distance along a vehicular traffic prone area on that hot afternoon.

When I returned to my desk in the office, I thanked my colleague for the information and also quipped, “The quality of decision one makes depends on the quality of information available to one.” Without wasting time my colleague replied me, “The quality of information one gets depends on the quality of questions one asks”. A third colleague overheard our discussion and also added his voice, “Good quality information costs money, so you have to pay for this one….” We all shared a good laugh over all this.

Besides helping you in clarifying or improving your own knowledge, sharing your knowledge and experiences in life can make life better for someone else, near or afar off.

Well, to be honest, it is true that getting good quality information might cost money, but not necessarily all the time. If we relate with the right kind of people, we will get the right kind of information at relatively no cost. That’s the reason it will be appropriate to commit to sharing what you know so that others can benefit from you.

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I enjoy sharing useful information with people that need it. However I must admit that it is not always as easy as it may seem, especially when I don’t get the kind of positive feedback as I might rightly expect. I don’t mean to scare you here, but I believe getting you reminded that you might be criticized for sharing what you know may help you handle the challenges whenever they begin to come.

What you know now that you refuse to share may be what someone needs to hear to open his eyes to a brighter world than he is right now.

I am sure your background, education, training and experiences in life have afforded you the opportunity of knowing some things that someone else around may not necessarily know. Besides helping you in clarifying or improving your own knowledge, sharing your knowledge and experiences in life can make life better for someone else, near or afar off. Sometimes, you may not be able to go all out to do that, but giving little tips here and there as the need arises could be of immense help to someone.

“How do I start?”, you may ask. Here are a few suggestions to assist you:

• Be willing to be a teacher – you don’t have to be in a classroom setting to do that. Anywhere you find yourself where someone lacks a particular kind of useful knowledge you possess is a good point to begin. People can do things better if they have better tips made available to them. What you know now that you refuse to share may be what someone needs to hear to open his eyes to a brighter world than he is right now.

• Answer useful questions – when someone asks you to explain a concept you know or give information that may be of help to them, be kind and humble enough to do it. A local proverb in Nigeria says that “He who asks questions will never miss his way.” So if someone is humble enough to seek your knowledge by asking you appropriate questions, please be kind enough to answer them.

• Be ready to guide people – there are many people who want to know how you got where you are right now, or how you achieved what you have achieved. If such people want to be like you, please show them the way. “We see farther when we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.” More so sharing what you know does not decrease your knowledge stock. Isn’t that good pretty obvious?

Use any other strategy that works for you in sharing what you know. It is a world of no limits. Just don’t hoard your knowledge.

• Document your useful experiences in life. Don’t carry your wealth of experience to the great beyond just like that. Write a useful book so others can read about it. Long after you are gone, you will still be speaking via your books.
• Start a blog. Write about what you know. Share your experiences, unique or not so unique, it matters less. Your blog will reach people even in other climes that you might never meet face to face.

Create appropriate videos and post them on youtube for others to see. A number of times, I found some “how to…” videos on youtube to be very helpful. I remain grateful to all those who posted such knowledge sharing videos I have had course to access at one time or another.

Use other social media like Facebook, twitter etc to reach out to people in your cycle and beyond. Share useful tips there. Write useful articles and post them. A number of times, some people have told me that my posts on my Facebook page really helped, inspired or encouraged them. I can say the same thing about what some people posted on their facebook walls that I accessed.

Start a column in a local newspaper of your choice. Have you not noticed that people still read the traditional newspaper despite the internet revolution? Sharing what you know through this medium will sure reach people.

Organize seminar or workshop if you can. This may cost you a bit, but the impact will surprise you.

• If necessary, prepare relevant audio CDs and distribute them. This way, people can gain knowledge listening to you.

Do podcasting too if you can. Someone will be interested.

Use any other strategy that works for you in sharing what you know. It is a world of no limits. Just don’t hoard your knowledge.