In the face of Disappointments

Depressed Person

Everyone gets their own dose of it at some point in their existence on the earth. Disappointments in the story of our lives are like Snow fall in winter, you can bet on it. For some people it could be a failed examination, interview, business contract or relationship; or even the betrayal of friends and family; everyone of us at some point in life set our hearts on certain things and we just don’t get them while some others get certain things they never really wanted.

In a good number of cases, we don’t get what we want because we are not qualified for it or because someone else was more qualified than us. Relationships fail because people who were not ready for it delved into it. Interviews fail because people don’t prepare adequately and so goes the same for examinations.

Solution to this isn’t difficult to see. You don’t need to understand rocket science or see a prophet to know what to do here. If its qualification, get it. If its preparation, get it! If its timing, wait and be patient till you are ready. Whatever the case maybe, keep a positive attitude and try again more intelligently and appropriately.

But at times, the disappointments we face are entirely not our faults. There are times you felt that you’ve covered every possible angle and done all you can do and in all honestly feel you deserve the government contract or the A grade in that course but you still don’t get it. You’ve done your best and maybe didn’t even leave any ‘rest’ to God and yet still got disappointed. Such was my case in a recent project I embarked upon; uhm…..I did leave a ‘rest’ to God though 😀

The question then is, what do we do next after such?

Every disappointment poses a question to you. What are you gonna do next? You’ve got only 2 options. React or respond.

People that react either over react or under react. Hardly can anyone ever find balance when they are reacting because reaction is often outside your control. It is you taking action based solely on what occurred to you- in other words you become a thermometer whose results are influenced by external conditions. You are not in control, you are controlled and so you most likely act out-of-control. When the query is the right you also become right, but when its wrong like a disappointment then you become wrong too.

Responding to issues on the other hand is bringing things under control. It is you being a thermostat which regulates external conditions. It is you giving a reply based on the quality of yourself and not the disappointment of the stimuli. It’s is you being the influencer and not the influenced. You don’t just get to do what is normal or what you are expected to do; rather you do what is better, sometimes abnormal and most times extraordinary or what you ought to do.

See Proverbs 25:4-5. Don’t answer fools according to their folly, or you will become like them yourself. Answer fools according to their folly, or they will deem themselves wise.

Don’t the two statements sound contradictory to one another? Maybe not if you put sequence and scenario to it. The author there was saying that you shouldn’t hastily react to a fool’s utterance; you should respond to it. Hence, first it says don’t answer/react, then it says answer/respond.

Now lets talk about answering disappointments.

Its a mind thing. Disappointment troubles your mind. It tries to reconfigure your heart status. Hope took you on a high and reality is pulling you back…..managing the instability of this process is what dealing with disappointment is.

How do you win?

Stay hopeful by keeping your eyes on the bigger picture. Give substance to your hope by having faith and faith is a product of a belief in certain things like ‘all things are working together for your good’; ‘God loves you and wants the best for you’; ‘You are God’s investment in the world and his attention is on you as he is interested in every detail of your life’. He won’t let you fail.

He is able to do exceedingly and his plans are always better. And as he has begun a good work in your life, he is faithful to complete them. You didn’t come this far to lose.

When you shift focus from the disappointment of the hour to the bigger hopeful picture of life, then there becomes no challenge greater; no valley too deep and no mountain too big. We draw strength from our knowledge that the adversary has been defeated and so we are victors through God. And though a chapter of our lives may contain pain, suffering, and disappointment; we know that this book has a happy ending.

I’ll end on this note is stumbled upon once. It read “Sometimes when we don’t get what we want, it is because we are about to get better things”.

Soaga Afolabihopeful__always_by_sweetxxxgirlxxxjo-d4u7nxw

photo credit: Google

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the blessing of a disability: a fable!

Everyone I’ve had to share this story with had a good laugh and also a great lesson to go home with. Today, I want you also to have a taste of it. Its source is not known but its morale is similar to what the bible teaches when it tells us in Rom8:28 that we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good(MSG).
The story starts with a powerful king of an ancient city and his faithful friend who seemed to have a quite disturbing problem. This friend that I’d today call tony for the sake of identification, had a problem of not being able to see anything bad in any situation. To every event and occurrence in his life, tony would always respond by saying “It is good; it is in fact very good”. This had always disturbed this powerful and sometimes irrational royal friend of tony, but he never paid any attention to it until one faithful day.
Tony on that day crossed the limit of his friend’s patience while they were on their usual hunting spree in the thick of the forest. A wild beast attacked the king and bit off his right thumb. The king struggled to deliver himself from the beast’s grip with little or no help from tony but had to settle with his thumb forever gone, and his blood spilling all over the place…. To his great displeasure, all tony responded with was his usual saying “my king and friend, this is good; it is in fact very very good”.
Not the kind of thing anyone would want to hear after losing a member of the part of his body, the king got a little infuriated rebuking his friend and his comment for as far as he was concerned, there is nothing good about losing one’s finger. But like I said, this is something Tony seemed unable to help. So he maintained his position. “This is good my king” he kept on saying.
By the time they got back to the city, the king had it full and was fed up with his very uncompassionate and unreasonable friend and so ordered him to be locked away in the dungeon till further notice. Anything to keep his friend’s constant ‘it-is-good’ nagging would be fine he thought especially when this friend has refused to be unrepentant about this.
And so many months passed, perhaps even years. Many waters passed under the bridge and the king had gotten used to being without his friend. Deep hunting was the king’s hobby and was ingrained in his character and so in the absence of his imprisoned friend, the king had to do it all by himself.
On one of those faithful days, the king encountered yet another misfortune. This time not with a wild beast, but rather with people of his own kind but who had a habit of eating people. We call them cannibals. The brave king could not fight himself out of this one and so he found himself in the cannibal’s tribe camp in front of this massive pot about to be cooked.
As they stripped him of his hunting costume and dressed him like a Christmas or thanksgiving chicken about to be launched into the cooking oven, one of them noticed that the king was thumb-less. The unfortunate day turned out to be fortunate for the king because it was an abomination for the people of that tribe to eat anything that was not whole or complete. To their greatest disappointment, they had to release the naked man to go. The king managed to cover his nakedness a bit and made his way back to his palace.
After such a dramatic near death experience, understandably, the next few days were ones of deep reflection for the king. As he settled back to his daily routine, the king remembered again his old friend whom he threw into prison. He remembered the circumstances that surrounded that and remembered his famous words that made him irrationally lock up his friend. He had now come to agree with his friend that losing his thumb that day was a good thing because that singular ‘lil-evil’ prevented him from the greater evil of losing his whole life.
With deep remorse, he asked that his friend be released from the prison for he had treated him unjustly. While the king was still contemplating in what manner he’d apologize and try to make it up to his old friend, tony sprang in once again shouting and screaming what has become his trade mark saying “it is good, it is very good”. Neither the sight nor demeanour he expected from his friend whom the king knew had by now heard of the story of how he was saved by his ‘prophecy’ years ago; tony whom the king expected to be angry and gloomy was bubbling with sincere joy and happiness. ‘My dear king, it is good!!!” he kept on saying.
“I can understand that you are happy that I’m alive and well and that is good. But it is certainly not good that I locked you up all this while for saying something that turned out to be true after a long time”. This time around, the king would demand an explanation from his friend.
Like someone who had thought well about the question while spending his lonely days in the dark dungeon where he had been locked up all these while as if he were expecting the question, tony responded with a spontaneous sporadic but yet sound answer.
“Well my king, it is good that you lost thumb that day because clearly it has saved your life this time. Also, it is also good you locked me up because that also has saved my life. If you hadn’t, it would have been both of us hunting that day….they would have captured us both. You are incomplete, I am not….they would have released you while me…….uhmmm, you know what would have happened to me!” then he added, “my king, it really is good……in fact, very, very good.”
The morale of this interesting story is this. There is always something good about everything that happens to us. In comming to terms with this truth, we’d learn to be more grateful and appreciative of the situations that life throws our way. Even when we can’t seem to see any good in those things in the present, we can believe this that good can and will come out of them in the future.
This helps us live life enthusiastically. Enthusiasm stems from the greek word entheous; which means God within. That’s the kind of force and spirit we need to live the God life here on earth and secure the God-kind of victoty over our adversities.
Let me leave you with what joseph said in Gen 50:20. “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now–life for many people.”
It’s possible that Joseph probably heard this fable too, or maybe it was tony that read the bible. But they both were able to see and focus on the silver lining in their dark skies and were both successful at the end. You too should. Have a blessed week!

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the noble impossible duty

IN PURSUIT OF TRUTH
Who is a complete failure? A man who in his quest to please everybody by doing anything and everything fails to do anything and everything right and at the same time, he fails at his original intent/goal of pleasing everybody because everybody cannot be pleased. It is simply impossible! I have reached a conclusion that one of the necessary requirements for victory and success at any task is to know one’s limit and limitations. Knowing what can’t be done would save you time and energy such that you rather focus that time and energy on tasks that can be achieved rather than one the ones that are completely outside your reach. In the field of project management, this is termed the scope of your work. Pleasing everyone is certainly one task better not pursued because it simply cannot be achieved.
Nevertheless, the bible does say that we should follow after peace with all men(Heb12:14)…..by implication, do what pleases all men because that’s how you get to be at peace with men. When a man does what pleases you, you don’t have qualms with him. When he does otherwise, you relationship together will most likely experience a strain. So by asking as to be at peace with all men, the bible was saying that we should do what we can to please those people we come in contact with. It is asking us to be pleasant and likeable people.
But notice the bible did say that as much as it depends on you……because really all doesn’t depend on you. You can only do a part. So the bible was saying here that do your part to please as many people as possible and be at peace with them. No matter how hard you try, you simply cant win some people over. But you can win others….. you can in fact win most others. And this is what that verse of the bible and this piece of writing is about.
One point I’m trying to establish in essence is this: quite alright, we cant win everybody over to ourselves…we can win some over. But what does the bible say we should do? It says its best to win everybody over. Even if we eventually don’t, we should have tried and done our best. Also you can’t please everyone, but you can and should try to. And therefore, despite it being an impossible task, it is yet a noble one.
What are the benefits of getting along with everybody (or more realistically, with most people)? First is that you’ll have fewer enemies and more acquaintances. That’s more peace and rest for yourself. Peace is one of man’s deepest need and its so scarce these days. The less enemies you have, the more peace you can get both without and more importantly within your heart. Also, one of our psychological needs as humans is acceptance. That need is hugely met when you please people. And thirdly and probably most importantly, we would be sowing profitable seeds and obeying the golden rule of doing unto others what we want to be done to us. In every conversation and contact with people that we meet, one thing we look out for is to leave better off….pleased……happy; not angered, frustrated, despised or any of those negative feelings. So also does everyone else. And so by giving this to everyone that meets you, you are sowing good seeds for yourself in this regards towards everyone you’ll meet.
Nonetheless, despite how noble this responsibility is, we need to recognize that a line needs to be drawn. Pleasing people might bring all those benefits at times but at a greater cost. i.e there times when such deal could be likened to you giving up your heart and collecting needed blood in the process. Blood without heart can’t be useful in your body and so such a deal shouldn’t be agreed to. Remember the condition the bible gave in Heb12. “As long as it depends on you.”
We draw the line where the norm contradicts the truth. The norm is what people want and accept. The truth is what ought to be; which in more religious term could be termed what God wants. These two we have been made to believe always contradict. In most cases, they do…..but not in all cases. For example, society today smiles at homosexuality and gives an approving nod to it. God doesn’t! so if being gay or approving it will please your neighbour and make you get along, should you do it? NO. Because it contradicts truth. But on the flip side, being rich is also generally acceptable and celebrated in the society and God has no ‘ish’ with it. In fact, he desires that we prosper. So should I pursue financial success? YES!
To know our limits when it comes to pleasing people and the society, we should line whatever they require with the standard of truth. If they flow together, then strive to get it done. If they don’t, you have no obligation to please them. Always do what is right over what is said to be right….because society’s norm is its truth and so it will tell you that it is right. However, society can sometimes be wrong.
In conclusion, how do I separate what is true from what isn’t. Society has its own rules and methods these day many of which are wrong and anti-truth. How do I distinguish a false norm from God’s truth. The first is through God’s word. Let it be your standard. Leverage your decisions on it and you won’t be wrong (see Gal5:23). Secondly, listen to the voice of your spirit which is your conscience. In every man’s conscience is a written set of truth codes. When we go or are about to go against those truth codes our conscience rings an alarm bell so that we can return to the path of truth. Learn to listen to that bell and follow its direction. Note that the more you ignore it, the less clearer and louder it gets.
So it is noble to get along with all people. It could be said to be quite impossible, but it is something we should do our best at. The rule of playing this game however is this: when truth contradicts norm….go for truth. Eventually, therein lays true success.

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun.

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coded tunes

Today, I’ll be giving my view or my take on the subject music. There has been a lot of talk about this subject particularly in recent years especially with the increased popularity of the conspiracy of the NWO( new world order) and the illuminati. I am not about to add to the list of materials about the dirty underground of the music and entertainment industry, but rather to show you how powerful music can be and why you shouldn’t listen to certain ones. There is no scientific research to my submissions here, just reports of my deep reflections and thoughts. Please, don’t just spare me your time by reading this, follow me closely as well and any comment or question afterwards can be kindly submitted at the appropriate corner at the bottom.

Before suggesting what kind of song is right or wrong, lets take an wholistic view of what a song entails first. Every song has two broad sides to it. The first side is the tune and the second is the lyrics. Most songs are like this although some have just one of this component. Both of these two sides tend to work wonders on us simultaneously.
I believe the tune or the instrumental works to soften the heart or excite it depending on the kind of genre you are listening to and the tempo of the song. But whether at a soften or excited state, the tune leaves the heart vulnerable. Thereby, it creates an opening into it; an opening for information or other ‘coded signals’ to penetrate through.
The lyrics on the other hand conveys the information the singer is trying to pass across. Words are what make up lyrics( most times that is) and words carry more than information, they are vehicles that transport attitudes, feelings, beliefs and infact spirits.
And so the trick is this, the tune is like a fore runner that prepares the way and creates an opening into the heart while the lyrics transport whatever its loaded with into the hearer.
It is generally said that we retain more of what we hear than what we read. True! Its been proven that even that which we retain in quality and quantity is tremendously boosted when there is a coded tune(music) behind it. This is the principle and reason behind teaching nursery students with rhymes. As they sing along, they unconciously learn along.
music is a very serious something and its something we shouldn’t take likely. one of the most powerful conditioning tools I know is music. Haven’t you notice that you remember and sing certain songs with ease that you didnt make delibrate efforts to learn. There are certain songs that I hate and won’t listen to for very obvious reasons that I can sing very well simply because it was played and I slightly over-heard it.
Words are quite powerful. They could mean the difference between life and death, war and peace, joy and sadness. With them God made the world and with them we can destroy or build up things. Like earlier said, they are like vehicles that convey things from speaker to hearer. Every characteristic we could ascribe to words we can also do the same with lyrics since lyrics are primarily made up of words.
Permit me to refrence a portion of the scripture that said that “as he spoke to me, the spirit entered into me”(Eze 2:2). I believe every lyric is inspired by some spirit or force, either good or bad for either good or bad. The operations of the tune and lyrics isn’t something you can conciously monitor and separate like most people claim to do by saying ‘its just the beat, I’m grooving to’ as they move almost with you not being concious at all. These spirits, attitudes, feelings and beliefs enter in stealth mode without any prior notice and then proceed to condition the mind of its hearer. They sow thoughts, thoughts generate actions, actions turn into habits and habits reap you a destiny either good or bad. Most people dont usually know how certain patterns are factored into their lifestyle but just find that their lives are producing after an order contrary to what they planned or desired and they cant help it.
This isn’t a campaign for you to change your playlist but rather an attempt to make you realize what longterm effects some songs can have on you. It is my gospel that what determines the appropraiteness of a song is the content of its lyrics.(And to some extent, the singer of the song as words and meanings could be very different at times. We’d talk about this some other time) so whether its blues, RnB, jazz, rock, afrojuju or fuji, if the words they are right and edifying or at least not damaging and destructive, then the song is right for you.
In subsequent posts, I’ll share more views on this. I hope you have enjoyed this. Please don’t forget to drop any comment, question or contribution below. Kindly reshare also on any social media platform you belong to. God bless.