Focus: The power of

“I never could have done without the habits of punctuality, order and diligence… The determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time”  Charles Dickens

Staying the course and fixing your gaze on your vision can sometimes be very difficult. I often find that when I look around at what others are doing and seem to be achieving a lot I lose momentum for a minute or two. What seems to help me thus far is to ask my self the question “does this tie in with your vision?” “Will this lead you the right way or is it a detour? ”  No matter the seemingly attractive results,  I have learnt not to take detours. I have my vision printed boldly above my bed’s headboard and I align my time to it.

I have seen that consistency and persistency will lead to the desired results as such low level activity that will not roadmap me to success are reduced to the barest minimum.

Consistency makes you better at your game you become an expert in your chosen field you begin to stand for something and do a remarkable job at it soon you begin to attract the top people and create huge rewards for yourself and team if you have one.

Persistency has to do with tenacity without this, there is no success we’ve read severally about Thomas Edison and his almost supernatural tenacity in creating the light bulb. Persistency is to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, discouragement or other forces. I personally find that to remain tenacious I have to seek daily strength from God mine being the Christian God I sometimes  do a little holy communion for myself in which I ask for healing for previous discouragement and strength to move on.

To persist in a thing or course of action one must look at failures and learn the mistakes, one must also get new knowledge daily to improve their skill if you continuously make mistakes and don’t get the necessary knowledge then you are working with blunt tools. Failure is your stepping stone to success, you may sometimes feel shame especially when others are whispering or talking about you but it does not matter, pick yourself up and go back to your drawing board ask yourself what do I need to get this better done next time? Study, practice then do it. It’s not over until you win.

Remember keep going success is around the corner.

Adetoro A Akinseye


John Maxwell’s 10 rules for Success

Video Credit: Evan Carmichael 

I am spending the next few months studying leadership and I’ve picked John Maxwell as my eMentor for my first semester. It’s not over until you win

1. Value Today

2. Attitude is the difference maker

3. Work Smart

4.Make Trade offs

5.Add value to people

6.Lead by example

7.Ask more questions

8. NOW is the time

9.Connect and Communicate

10.Find your purpose


Be Still……..

BE STILL…….. By Olamide Balogun

Still, as a noun means deep silence and calm, not moving or making a sound. This is as much and outward as it is an outward manifestation. In the manual for living, Almighty gives the instruction to ‘Be Still’. ‘Be’ is defined as existing in that state and staying in that condition.

So Almighty says we should stay in a state of deep silence and calm. What does this really mean? What it does not mean is that we should not move or speak and vegetate on the couch.

When you hear something strange, you usually stop and listen before you carry on. I believe there are many of us that Almighty has been trying to reach for a while and we are just so busy. He wants you to stop a while and listen out for Him. He does not shout over the noise of the world ( and to be honest we can all bear witness to the fact that the world is really loud). Just to digress there is a new program where people go on first dates , undress each other at the beginning of the date and all subsequent dates are naked. I hope I have got that right but I know they go on dates naked. This is an example of how loud the world has become. How desperate must the people who undress when they go on dates be? Is the money that good? The cameramen and even the moderator are fully clothed.)

Just to digress there is a new program where people go on first dates , undress each other (to complete nakedness) at the beginning of the date and all subsequent dates are naked ones. I hope I have got that right but I know they go on dates naked. This is an example of how loud the world has become. How desperate must these people be? What do they really stand to gain?Is the money that good? The cameramen and even the moderator are fully clothed in the mean time. Can they not see they are just being used to satisfy a perverse world?

Being still is, therefore, stopping to get clarification. Not just making up your mind based on unclear, biased information.

‘Be still’,following on from the above could be taking stock of your surrounding and your life. This time, you have not been startled by a strange noise or anything like that. Since ‘be’ is defined as existing in a state of calm, you really should constantly take stock of your life and all that is going on around you. Live deliberately. When you do, you may see clearly that what you think is undesirable, is actually good because Almighty assures us that all things work together for our good.

When you are ‘still’ in this way, you recognise the things that you should be grateful for and don’t only see the things that are wrong. When you quietly and calmly (not showing or feeling nervousness, anger, or other strong emotions) take stock you can tell those who are for you and those who are actually against you. You can tell the direction you should take as opposed to the popular direction. You can tell what actions show you to be a fool and which actions validate you intellect.

‘Be still, could be that it is time to remove distractions. When I knew I was going to write this piece, I got up the courage to tell a few people on my WhatsApp contact list, not to send me any more daily devotionals. There is only so many devotionals a person can read in a day. The whole social media scene is so distracting. I am thinking of deleting my email addresses because I can’t seem to keep up with deleting mail that makes no sense and unsubscribing myself from newsletters that I never subscribed to in the first place. (Just between us, I feel when I unsubscribe they pass my email address on to someone else who send me more rubbish)

We need to put off distractions. These come in all shapes and sizes. A distraction is a thing that prevents us from concentrating on things of importance ( assuming we know what is important in the first place). These distractions can cause us great agitation of the mind, spirit and soul.

We also should not be distractions to others. For example, getting involved in someone else’s relationship issues may be distracting them. (Hmmm I was just about to invite my niece’s ex to a party I know she will be attending, just to see if they can work things out. This is with the knowledge that after she specifically told me she was building herself up after the breakup and finally getting her act together. I think maybe I better not be a distraction.)

Be still, could be that it is time to get quiet and think. This is not about distractions. Many of us don’t think. Being calm and quiet will help us recognize that in many instances we are not progressing and we don’t have a full life even though we have all the trapping of one. Thinking lets us understand what true progress is and what it is not. This is a topic for another day. What is progress for each one of us differs and changes so I better not be running your own race, not so?

In quietness and calm, you are likely to hear instructions that make you creative. It is in this same calm that you will hear the Almighty tell you how to implement the new ideas ( or as we like to say…. you will figure out the next steps).

When and where should you be still? Everywhere and anywhere. What does ‘be still’look like at the office? Focus on your work and cultivate listening to instructions. You ‘think’ and so you just know how to find out what will make you excel at your job and then you do it. (Just a tip, doing only what you have been asked to do excellently is not enough. It is a good start but going over and above and beyond the call of duty is what gets you into a leadership position.) When you are still, You don’t get involved with office politics or the office grapevine. You are punctual and diligent. The list is endless.

Surely I can be these things if I am not still. Only to a certain extent, then you will tend to rush off to do your own thing or worse, you rush off, chasing a distraction.

The color of being still at home is just fostering a peaceful environment where everything thrives.To start off with, home is not cluttered with ‘stuff’. Psychologists say we cannot thrive in the midst of clutter and chaos. You, not throwing all your stuff all over the place is being still.

Home does not have to be a palace filled with servants and possessions for it to be an ideal home. Be still at home is being calm such that all who come there are at peace and happy to be there.

Those at home can count on you to hold their hands when they need hand holding, to go that extra mile for them no matter what. To have a listening ear from time to time. If you are married , your spouse feels safe with you, that includes keeping their issues between the two of you. I am not saying you can’t discuss your issues with third parties but be careful who this third party is and what you discuss. All concerned at home being sure you have their back.

All concerned at home being sure you have their back.The thought of your stillness at home just brings joy to all. People don’t run and hide when you come through the front door.

‘Be still” among friends is being a dependable friend who can always be counted on. This is not gossipping with other people about your friend and divulging all you know about him to whoever is interested. Not judging your friend because of what you think you know about them.Not putting pressure on the relationship always recounting how you are such a great friend. Not being a needy friend who is so high maintenance that you make everybody sick with jumping through hoops for you. Not being a manipulative person who must always have his way.

Being still as a friend is knowing when to talk ( and to be brutally honest) and when to sit in silence with your friend. Knowing when you are needed and when you should go home and not be a distraction.

Be still at church is you not breaking the church up because of your opinions and you not having a bad attitude when your suggestions are not taken and implemented. (I hope this is not me. It can be difficult to be still when you think you know it all. Lord have mercy)

In church, you need to help as best as you can and if you can’t be a help, allow those who can and you don’t be a stumbling block (distraction). Be at peace with all (actually this is everywhere not just church). Pay your tithes and don’t argue whether or not tithes are still relevant or that was the old testament times. Who do you think pays for the toilet paper and the cleaning? Give offering because as sure as gravity is real, you receive when you give. This is the basest reason.

How do you measure how still you are? What impact are you making? From the above, you can see that being still makes you a dependable person, who is making an impact everywhere they go. The impact here is in a positive way. The person still makes an impact without that being the primary focus. So at work, you are making an impact but all you are really doing is going over and above and beyond the call of duty.

How stressed out are you feeling? How overwhelmed with life are you feeling. Are you feeling that all your plans are unraveling and you are not achieving your goals?

To be still, you need to get over yourself and let things go. Those who you think have hurt you, you need to forgive them. You need to remove physical clutter and psychological clutter. There things that have happened that no matter what you do, cannot be changed. You need to let it go. If you don’t you may end up running around in circles chasing your owntail.

Deliberately reduce your activity. Pareto principle in this example would be that only 20% of your activity is yielding the best of what you have at work, in your relationships, at home, and in your church. The other 80% is just raising dust.

I met a lady once who did not have a 9 to 5 job and so she was doing like 15 things just to make ends meet. I am sure you are not surprised when I tell you that she never made any money and she was frazzled to bits. She needed to be still and focus.

You have to get linked to Almighty and trust that He is the one working His purpose out in your life. obviously it is not the person who dashes about who succeeds, it is the Almighty who shows mercy and allows all that we do to be impactful.

Is it easy to be still? It is definitely easier said than done. Almighty is the epitome of integrity. Whatever He says is what happens and He says when you are still, completely quiet and calm, He will come out in full force to back you up for the highest impact. There is, therefore, no need to try to do things in our own power.

In calm and quietness, you can ask Almighty direct questions and you will get direct answers.

Like I said at the beginning, ‘Be Still’ is not about being laid back or being a couch potato.

I have so much to learn from this post, In the midst of all the brouhaha, that is living , we must be silent and calm, confident that Almighty has a handle on our lives despite and in spite of all we see. He says He has thoughts of us and they are good thoughts that will get us to our expected end.

Last week, a young lady I know got very upset about something someone said to her and she broke stuff and was in a huff for a few days. When she calmed down, she realised what she thought she heard was not what was said so all her tantrum was not necessary and very misplaced, However, the stuff she broke remains broken and even though we can say she will acquire other things along the journey of life she absolutely did not have to break them.

Stay quiet and calm as this year starts. As you take stock and i think it is good to take stock. This year holds a lot for us , be still and positioned to receive all the good things the year promises and also positioned to take anything not so good, knowing all things work for our good.

Olamide Balogun is a leader, mentor and an extraordinary healthy living enthusiast. She is the founder of Awaken Lifestyle.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

I was talking to a friend in church the other day about getting hot or what I term ‘private summer’ in the midst of winter and she suggested I buy Apple Cider Vinegar the Braggs brand, trust me the information Oracle, I started to do some research to find out its pros and cons. Alas I bought it before the holiday season here is an article below which outlines some of its benefits and also a link to purchase it.
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a cherished natural remedy, used by many as a preventative and curative measure. It also holds an important place in the dieting world – scientific studies, as well as practical experiences, show that apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help you lose weight.

Vinegar is one of those substances that target the problem holistically, and it provides you with long-term solutions. This article will help you understand how ACV works and how to use ACV as part of your daily diet to get the best results.

What Does ACV Do To Make You Lose Weight?

ACV taps into several physiological mechanisms that support healthy weight loss:

1. ACV acts as an appetite suppressor

ACV makes you eat less by producing a feeling of satiety sooner. One research that proved that empirically was a 2005 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Subjects who ate bread with vinegar felt significantly fuller than their counterparts who were fed only bread. The more acetic acid (the primary constituent of vinegar) the participants ingested, the fuller they were.

2. ACV controls blood sugar levels

ACV prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to nibble between meals. When your blood sugar is stable, it’s much easier to stick to your diet and eat only when your body needs it.

The previously mentioned study also measured blood sugar levels in the vinegar-fed and control group. Participants who were given ACV had significantly lower post-meal blood glucose levels (there was no spike that usually follows a meal high in carbohydrates). Furthermore, those who consumed a higher dose of vinegar, benefited from the effect even 90 minutes after eating.

3. ACV prevents fat accumulation

ACV stimulates your metabolism and makes you burn fat faster. It contains a lot of organic acids and enzymes that speed up your metabolism and increase the rate at which body fat is burnt.

There aren’t many human studies that would support this explanation. A Japanese study published in 2009 was observing the effects of acetic acid on rats that were fed a diet high in fats. The scientist concluded that the consumption of acetic acid suppressed fat accumulation. ACV can also help you to reduce cholesterol

4. ACV has an impact on insulin secretion

Insulin affects fat storage. This hormone is closely linked to blood sugar levels and its secretion is disturbed in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Scientists suggested that ACV might work in a similar way to some diabetic drugs and could have a potential in controlling diabetes.

5. ACV detoxifies the body

When our body gets rid of toxins, all the processes (including digestion and metabolism) become more efficient. ACV flushes the body and helps it use the nutrients from food in the best way possible. It is high in fiber that absorb toxins and improve bowel movement.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) For Weight Loss

If you are not used to the taste and effects of ACV, you might want to include it into your diet gradually.

Start by adding 1 teaspoon of ACV to a cup of water and drink it once a day. Then, increase the amount of vinegar per serving, and the frequency of drinking.

Ideally, you should add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a cup of water and drink it one to three times a day.

To kick start the metabolism and influence the feeling of fullness, it’s best to drink it about an hour before your meal. As an addition to your pre-meal serving, some also suggest drinking it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.

ACV is very acidic, so you need to dilute it to protect your teeth, throat and the lining of your stomach. Don’t drink undiluted ACV.

Buy organic ACV with the ‘mother of vinegar’ to enjoy the full health benefits.

ACV is seen as a superior choice due to its all-encompassing health benefits. It cleanses the body and acts in an anti-microbial way. Not only does it help with weight loss, it also has a positive effect on some other conditions.

ACV can help  with, cancer, heart health, high cholesterol, free radical damage, digestion, acid reflux, and it’s even useful for treating kidney stones

What To Expect When Taking ACV For Weight Loss?

ACV will not provide you with a quick weight loss. The changes will be gradual, but permanent. Don’t be impatient and allow it some time. Sometimes losing just one pound a month and not re-gaining it afterwards, can be the real success.

How fast you’ll lose weight, depends on other factors as well, such as your exercise, nutrition, stress and genetic factors. For best and fastest effects, you need to combine this natural product with other techniques for losing weight, so the function of vinegar gets supported with lifestyle changes

Culled from


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T D Jakes rules for Success

Video Credit: Evan Carmichael

Bullet Points:
1. Enjoy the Journey
2. Endure
3.Follow your instincts
4.Find your purpose
5.Own your own happiness
6.Value your time: Are you really effective: Time is irreplaceable: Your Creativity is in your time
7.Believe in yourself: What is your creed?: Do you know who you are? Are you what someone else is manipulating you to be
8.Turn disaster into direction
9.Hit the reset button: Clear your head
10. Give birth to your dreams: You are on the verge of perfect, regardless of the hand that life has dealt you, you need to stand up again and push.
11.Learn how to manage pressure.
12. Leadership starts at the back.
13.Change your mentality
14.Be Passionate
15. Remember you have got what it takes

Oh! My Word am I a failure by Olamide Balogun

I like to start off with definitions. Before I go into definitions I feel I must explain why I have not upgraded as I announced a few blog posts ago.I have two daughters in digital marketing who assured me it was not necessary and I would not get any points for upgrading… so I have not upgraded the blog site.
I am trying to do only what is necessary. We all, however, know that life is not that black and white. Some things may not be necessary but we do them anyway because we can and because it brings somebody joy (not necessarily us).
Back to the definition. Failure is the absence of success. So what is success? The dictionary says it is the victory or triumph of a thing. The good outcome of a thing. This reminds me of a fact about New York crime fighters.
Apparently, when the anti- drug enforcement team are celebrating a huge drug bust, the anti-vice squad have increased work, keeping all the druggies who need a fix and are going crazy committing all kinds of crimes because the cost of drugs has gone up as a result of the drug bust.
This means that success may not be a universal word because what is recognised as success here may be the opposite in other quarters. So, for example, social media is good on some fronts but terrible on some others. Sometimes what was initially celebrated as a success may end up being referred to as a failure in the long run.
I remember when social media brought down a government , many hailed social media. however, the country where this happened has become war torn and the jury is still out as to the success of the role of social media in the preceding anti-government attack via social media.
There is the example of marriages that go south soon after wedding ceremonies. Before the ceremonies, the families think they have been successful but when they go south they think they are failures. However in the cases of domestic violence even upon separation some families think they have been successful because at least their family member came out of the situation alive and not dead or maimed.
I don’t know if you can tell that this was not the way I expected this blog post to go. I was feeling a little down in the dumps because I don’t yet have a break through on one or two of my projects and was going to have a public pity party. Also, it is almost the end of the year and we tend to make all kinds of assessments at this time
I am now seeing however that success has many shades and sides to it. So I am not a failure depending on which side of the coin you are looking at. I can comfort myself by saying that I at least started a project. Many are locked in a comfort zone with golden handcuffs and they cannot see they are prisoners. (Again if this describes the always smiling lady at the check out in your favourite store , then I hope she stays there because her smile is what people need sometimes).
I may comfort myself by saying the snail speed of the project does not mean failure as a turnaround may just be round the next bend in the road. I may comfort myself by saying that tomorrow morning is another day for me to change things and turn them around.
There was a king called David many years ago who experienced what he and the people at the time called failure. So,  he committed adultery with the wife of one of his soldiers who was fighting at the war front. When the lady got pregnant , King David tried to cover up by giving the soldier an exeat from the war front to visit his wife.
Even though the soldier came home he refused (from a sense of duty and team playing with his fellow soldiers still at the war front) , to lie with his wife thereby defeating the whole purpose of his been brought back home. This meant that the lady could not pass off her pregnancy as her husband’s. To further cover up King David sent the soldier back to the most heated part of the battle and engineered his death.
He married this lady and she had a baby. The baby eventually died and King David become depressed. He wrote a popular verse asking himself why he was so downcast( so unhappy).
A few pointers here. When you are feeling like a failure you need to acknowledge that feeling and ask yourself why you are feeling thas way. When you think deeply ( again, thinking a dying but important art) you will get answers that will help you move forward. Do not get stuck. Try to retrace your steps to see where you went wrong. The mind is powerful and can play games on you. ( This is true, go and read about the right brain and the left brain).
This project or whatever, may not even be for you. You may need to take another path that you can use your same skills and passion for, but just not this particular thing.Be careful not to be too all over the place. You may be trying to do too much. when I was younger , you got points for “multi-tasking” now we know that even though you may do two things at the same time , you are not likely to do them both at the same level of quality. You may also be killing yourself with stress and cortisol.
Is it possible that you are not looking at the coin from the right angle? So to go back to King David, even though his affair was not a good thing in the end because of introspection , he repented and himself and this lady had a child that is now known as the wisest and richest man who ever lived.
Is it possible that you are not patient enough to see the success that is not visible right now but is actually there? Who do you surround yourself with? This project may not mean much to them but mean the world to someone else. You may be trying to serve the wrong people.
I watched an Oprah show once and she said everybody always wants to now how they had done on the show whenever the show ended, even the most influential people. We are most times so concerned with public opinion. Maybe the public does not know much about much or maybe you are not asking the right public.
This sounds to me like I have said this before in an earlier blog post. Please forgive me if you have heard this before. It is not for you but that person reading this  for the first time.
Apparently, the man who invented the contraceptive pill died a pauper, almost unknown and unloved. Over the years there have been mixed feelings about his invention, which has now been proved to help keep cancer at bay in the women who use it.
When King David had asked himself the hard truth of why he was so unhappy, he made a wise decision to always put his hope in Almighty and always praise Him. Why should he bother with this, after all Almighty was there before his predicament of seeming failure.
He had however read Almighty’s words that say if He (Almighty) is on your side , you may trip seven times but you will always get back on your feet. Almighty’s words are truths that you can take to the bank because they are everlasting.
This is not the time to throw in the towel. Go back to the drawing board. The world is waiting for your input. You are extremely important and precious. Don’t waste your time pity partying. It is an expensive venture and not fulfilling in the long run.
To answer the question, no you are not a failure but a success about to happen.

Olamide Balogun is a God chaser, a Wife, Mother, HR Consultant, Women issue champion, Inspirational speaker, Health nut, Enabler, Finisher, Mentor and Friend.
She writes her own Blog

Michelle Obama’s Rules for success

Video Credit: Evan Carmichael

Bullet Points
1. Never be embarrassed by your struggle
2. Be Authentic
3. Work Very Hard
4. Don’t be afraid to fail
5. Choose your own path
6. Earn Success
7.Take your role seriously
8.Enjoy the balance
9.Do what is very hard
10.Have Fun
11. Ignore the noise
12.Love What you do
13.Remember you are not the limited edition of what people want you to be.
14. Don’t take short cuts