“Welcome home”, my grandfather says as he looks at me pleasantly on my arrival, after a long journey. I was just about taking my sandals off, when he interrupted and said “there’ll be no need for that. You’re here to stay.” My family always used to come visit grandpa a lot when I was younger, we would spend some time with him, and listen to his many stories, my father has always been proud of his father and has the best things to say about him. While growing up I learnt it’s a pleasantry while visiting, to dust your feet and leave your shoes out before walking into a home, plus after such a long journey - I feel filthy, and I hesitate at his request. With a slight pat on the back, “Come right in” he beckons. His smile is warm, and I understand I am not a stranger here.
Besides the large decorative garlands spelling the words out, ‘welcome home’ is the thought that raced through my mind, the whole of it, as the renovated interiors prove a sight to behold. I can almost believe my eyes, but what I find difficult to believe is how with-time my grandad is, I mean this is the same man who raised my dad, and he has the best chandeliers, and resolution on any television I have seen on the internet. I truly am home, I mean, I am just starting off with my life and grandad invites me to move in with him! My life just got the support it will eventually need, I’ll take what I get, thank you.
It’s a thrill and excitement to mooch of this man, my life just got easier. I give way for grandad to lead me along into our home, there isn’t any experience that brings back memories than walking after him as he shows me the house I once knew - completely renovated. There’s always something about walking into something new; New boat, New car, New House. Like starting a lined note, the rooms are filled with colour, yet blank waiting for new experiences to form memories. There’s no looking back, it’s an opportunity to leave a mark worthy of a great story... at least until the next renovation.
“Your bags will be brought up to your room. Come, let’s sit together.” This is one part about grandad I absolutely love, treating me like a star. An absolute star, literally! I feel like the light in the room whenever grandad beckons for my attention. He doesn’t write me off for any of my decisions, unlike my Father who just happens to know ‘everything’. Grandad listens to me talk. Right from childhood, he would embrace me and hear me talk about my mate at school who plays too rough, even when I would get bullied. Grandad would always give me the stage to be myself, and there I am a star. I happily walk with grandad to the gazebo, now located in the west garden.
Freedom, is what this is. Not so much has changed in this garden. Compared to the main house, there isn’t a hint of technology out here; the wireless network doesn’t even extend here! Although from a quick glance, I can observe a few changes - there are some new books shelved into the columns of the gazebo, as I spot Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and a water stream not so wide flowing quietly along the sitting area. This freedom is peace. I turn to grandad, “Great job with the place.”
We sit from where I can see the garden wide, it’s just beautiful. I can trace the source of the stream with my eyes, from where we are seated all the way through the garden right to the waterfall, I tell you the stones through the fall look so smooth! You really cannot hear a splash... at least not from where I’m standing. Grandad offers me some tea, “I know you like it warm, let it sit” he says, as he puts a perforated lid over my cup of tea. The man just gets me! The smile on my face fills the room, that’s one less thing to struggle with, my cup of tea.
“Your Father called me. He is concerned about you.” I don’t know why, just why my Father would not trust me and the decisions I make, ugh he happens to just know ‘everything.’ I immediately show some displeasure, as my thoughts towards my ‘life- coach’ Father just come out a bit too expressive. Even though some distance away, my fathers-day father manages to piss me off... I mean, why would he bring grandad into this. It’s just like letting a person have some vanilla ice-cream and a hot slap on the cheek afterwards.
I pick up my cup of tea, “it’s not warm yet” says Grandad. “I know” I reply, as I grip the steaming cup closely, it hurts. “Grandad, I’m an adult.” I let Grandad know exactly how I feel, there’s nothing to hide here, after all I’m home. If there’s anyone who will give me full attention, it’s grandad. I’m starting off my life, young and ready to take on the world, I need to be able to make decisions and make them now, I don’t want to live a life of regret. As I face grandad to continue with my grief, I notice my cup of tea is now warm just the way I like it, I take a sip and observe the garden again, this time I notice the wind. It actually cannot be seen, and unless carrying something along, you cannot know the direction it will sway life around it.
Grandad looking onward says, “It’s your cup, pick it up when you know it’s right for you.” That feeling of being understood fills me and brings me back to smiles. I place the cup on the table, and savour the relief upon my palm as the wind brings freedom all through the garden.
I get asked a question, “how do you think the plant feels when its seed falls off to the ground?” He goes on to make me understand, yes while I may think it is normal, the
plant has no idea where it’s seed will land and grow, it may be carried by the river to good soil or by the wind somewhere far away. Why I think it is normal, is as a result of my expectation - that the plant has no choice. All the plant can do, is maybe hope its seeds find good earth - to grow and become a plant like itself.
“The best soil the plant knows is the one it is planted in, I ask you this, if the plant could talk do you think it would let the river or wind take its seeds just anywhere? Do you not think it would ensure it’s seeds are planted and located around it, even though it might mean or imply a struggle for nutrients? This is the design of life for the plant - the seed must leave and have life.
Now think of the seed, during its journey by either the river or wind, is the only time in life it is truly free, not rooted to the ground and can take flight or swim until it finds where to take root. However, when you really know the seed... it has no certainty of it’s destination or even where could work best for perfect growth. Have no doubt, it could end up just fine or be blown away on dry ground left for nothing under the scorching sun.
While your father fears like the plant, there are things regarding you beyond his control, and there are of course decisions you can make because unlike the plant/seed you have a choice, and so does your father. I do not want you to pick a struggle that takes away your freedom, this freedom is peace. Your father’s opinion is only an advice, and you have a choice whether or not to take it - After all he didn’t take all of my advise and evidently still does not. However, I caution you to seek wisdom to make the decision that best suits you, and grow to blossom in a most beautiful way. Remember, you are like our little seed. Yes, you may appear at times to have yourself covered in manure, but I tell you, nutrient by nutrient you can grow out of it.”
What is blogging? What are people always blogging about? This, I will always ask myself.
There was little or no interest in reading a blog post or even starting a blog. I’d usually come across one almost all the time especially on social media but I never really took the time to go and read. Here I am today 27/09/2020 thinking of what to write, browsing and trying to find out what blogging is all about and how to start.
I had mixed feelings when I heard I will have to be blogging three times a week in a course I offer in school. I had various thoughts run through my mind, like “this has got to be a joke’’, is this why I’m here?, but then again, when my facilitator went further to mention how it will improve our writing skills, I felt a little bit at ease because I knew it was for a good cause and the skill will be needed in the corporate world which I’m headed for.
I will dedicate my first blog post to my Management communication facilitator, Eugene Ohu at the Lagos Business School who has challenged me to blog at least three times a week. I look forward to penning down my thoughts more often.
My name is Uchenna Nwagbo and cheers to a new beginning.
See you soon…xx
What are you grateful for? I know this seems like a general question and most people say "Life" at first thought. But have you ever taken time out to reflect on other things you are grateful for? There is a popular saying that goes "you do not know what you have until you lose it". This reminds me every single time to be grateful for what I have, no matter how little, simply appreciating what I have before it becomes what I had.
During the early stage of the corona-virus lockdown, I came across an app called the 5minutes Journal (A gratitude journal). Every day, I write down the things I am grateful for. You may ask why? The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless, it brings peace of mind and happiness, being grateful for not only materials things but also the small ways we are able to be of help to others, the people in our lives, and our daily encounters.
According to research, people who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness. Expressing gratitude is also a way of satisfying your intrinsic needs.
I will end this with a quote by Eckhart Tolle
----Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
Don't forget to get real about your gratitude practice!
Now let's go back to the title of this blog entry.
it was a fine Wednesday morning in 2016 and apparently, the last day for the NYSC registration. I was at work and just finished a cup of coffee when I got a call from my university's dean asking me to go ahead with my NYSC registration. See, it was like a joke because I had lost all the morale to even go for nysc that year.
I quickly ran to the nearest cyber cafe. On getting to the last stage where you'd be asked to pick four(4) options of states, all I saw on my screen were states that in my next life I wouldn't have imagined coming across.
Benue, Zamfara, Jos, Crossrivers. In my head "who will go to these states with these people, definitely not me"
I finished the registration and went back to work. Three days later, call up letter was out. By 5 am, I got a call from a former classmate.
Frances: Oh my God, Obra have you checked your call-up letter?
Me: no why?
Frances: Guy they posted me to Zamfara!
Me: *laughing hysterically* are you serious? wow God will save you o!
Frances: check yours and get back to me.
I flipped open my laptop, logged into the portal, and received the shock of my life. My sweet self would be thrown to the ends of the earth. ZAMFARA! I screamed! I thought it was some type of computer error, so the same energy I used to flip my laptop open, was the same energy I used to flip it back close.
I went back to sleep. because it's not me that NYSC threw to chad. Absolutely no way!
"Left, Left, Left, Left-Right" The commander screamed in my ear.
See who landed in Tsafe Camp.
March 28, 2020 was the date Nigeria got its first baptism of the COVID -19 PANDEMIC. Everyone was scared and offices began to think of ways to manage the pandemic and staying afloat at the same time. My company was not left out of the struggle for survival and same thing applied to other companies.
During the month of May, the management decided that we would have to decide who would come to work and who would stay at home. A person staying at home will get 30% of his/her salary while the persons coming to work will get 70% of their salaries. All the senior managers picked themselves as persons who would be coming to work leaving their subordinates to stay back at home and receive 30%. Management saw that such arrangement wouldn’t be equitable and when looked into it critically, it’s the junior Staff who actually do the bulk of the job. At that point, the management decided that every body would have to come to work, and receive 50% of their salaries; but on alternate weeks.
Personally, I was glad about this arrangement until I was told that I could no longer stay away from work at any time but would have to come to work on every working day of the month. That arrangement made me really sad and I felt the company was exposing my health to the pandemic. When I complained, I was told to either take the offer or resign.
That was the point at which my freedom was put to test, as I had to make the decision to either work daily and risk being exposed to the virus or resign and stay at home. At that point, I decided to work my exit out of the company. I came to work the next day and browsed Lagos Business School and here today is the consequence of my decision to be free.
I told this story during one of my NHB class with Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi.
In sales, commerce and economics, a customer is the recipient of a good, service, product or an idea - obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier via a financial transaction or exchange for money or some other valuable consideration. Wikipedia
These individuals trust our products and services and this is the reason why they keep coming back for more.
If we have access to their personal informations, whether by legitimate or otherwise means, is it okay to use it in order to determine selling goods and services to them at a premium or a discount? No. This is unethical.
Goods and services should be sold at fair value to all customer. Except, the goods and services are for luxury customers only or are on some form of discount promo.
I stand to be corrected.
...thanks to ABP 😊
Friday, 25 September 2020
We were in the middle of a negotiation for a laptop swap that was about to go awry. I was in my room, working on my NHB assignments that were due for submission at 5 pm. He was in his house and had sent the driver to stand in for us at the meeting point since neither of us could be present.
I had asked him to do the negotiation on my behalf as he had the skill to turn a ₦3.6 Million per annum contract to a ₦300,000 per annum one *no jokes*.
Babe: Why didn't you tell him that your laptop had a dent on the screen and a scrolling problem?!
Me: Haba! I did. I sent him a picture of the screen and a video to show the scrolling problem. Why would he then deny? These computer village people sef!
Babe: He's saying that because of the issues with the laptop, he'll value the laptop at ₦35,000. He says that he would have to replace the screen, fix the keyboard, and then replace the battery to be able to resell it.
Me: My laptop?! The first ever laptop I bought with my hard earned NYSC money? Beats by Dre customised? Clean body work, 15 inches of glorious beauty? Super graphic capabilities? My one of a kind HP Pavilion 15??????? Is he mad??????????
Babe: Sigh! I'll talk to him. I'll call you back shortly.
Me: Okay. Do your thing or ask them to return my laptop jeje.
I call Babe 5 times and he doesn't pick up. I leave him messages on whatsapp and he doesn't respond.
The first thought that comes to my mind, "What sort of rubbish is this? In the middle of this negotiation? I have an assignment to submit at 5 pm. He's leaving me in the dark. If it was his own matter, I wouldn't act like this knowing that he would be anxious to know what's going on."
Then I remembered Dr Yetunde Anibaba talking about how our brain makes first assumptions in situations that are most times wrong. Like when you say that 1000, then 50, then 1000, then 40, then 1000, then 30, then 1000, then 20, then 1000, then 10 added together is 5000 at first glance whereas the answer is actually 4100.
My first assumption was that Babe was ignoring me in this dire situation. I felt like he had abandoned me in my anxiety. If he had returned my calls at that time, I would have spilled some venom and ruined Friday night for the both of us.
Remembering my ABP lessons, I started thinking about my thinking while thinking so that I could think clearly and critically. What if he had been in the rest room as at the time I called? Or on another business call? What if he was actually talking to the seller at that time? What if? What if? What if?
Thankfully, I questioned my thinking and the next call I received from Babe was that the deal had been concluded and the new laptop had been paid for. I felt good knowing that I didn't act on my first assumption and Friday night turned out beautifully! 😊
I hope to make questioning my assumptions a habit. You should too! It could save you a memorable Friday night 😉
What were your lessons from your first ABP class? I look forward to reading them in the comments section!
I have always been expressive of myself, both in writing and speaking, but blogging never came to mind until my first day of Business Communication. When Eugene mentioned that blogging would be a huge part of our journey at LBS, I rolled my eyes so hard, I saw my whole cranium. I mean, I am here to be a business manager, not the anonymous person behind instablog9ja – I said to myself while kissing my teeth. When Eugene went further to say we would blog 3 times a week, I mentally broke a bottle of Heineken on his head because what in the entire ‘shithousery’ was he even talking about. Ironically, I enjoyed the class so much, that I couldn’t wait to get to blogging, I even mentally stitched the injury I caused after breaking the bottle.
Now seated in front of my computer, my mind wandered extensively trying to garner as much information as possible for my first ever blog post. I thought about different topics to write on and different ways to put them together and it was quite an exciting experience for me. Look at me, grinning from ear to ear about different things I could write about on my blog. It was more exhilarating because I came to LBS to get exposed to concepts that have eluded me, and here I am, totally itching to write my first blog post, a flipping blog post. Also exciting for me is, I get to read the blog posts of my colleagues, an opportunity to go inside their minds and just go ‘wow, wow, wow’ like a siren. Lord knows I can get used to this.
So here is to blogging for a while, sharing my thoughts and feasting on the thoughts of others. Thank you, Eugene, for this opportunity to express myself and get better at writing.
This month, my journey as an MBA 19 candidate at Lagos Business School began. So far it's been a quite a ride. Just like every journey, I expect to encounter bumps and I cannot say I am ready for these bumps but they will be part of the experience.
On this journey, I also expect to make fantastic discoveries about myself and about this path I will tread. I intend to push my boundaries, discover potentials I wasn't aware I possessed and most importantly, become the kind of leader I've always dreamed of becoming.
So far, I've been challenged to improve my critical reasoning skills, work on my EQ (Emotional Intelligence), to start speaking up more frequently instead of being the passive observer I've always been and to understand that being an ethical professional is a must.
As a rite of passage, I am obligated to write blog posts weekly. Would I have preferred not to? Absolutely yes! But as I started to pen this down, I believe this exercise will be therapeutic for me. It will be an avenue to share the thoughts and lessons learned in the course of the week. It will be my little haven where I can pour out the ruminations of my mind without reservations and as honestly as possible. I also hope this activity will help me track how far I've come after these 18 months have been completed. I hope to look back and acknowledge my growth and the woman I'd have become.
Cheers to the next 18 months. Cheers to the growth. Cheers to those bumps.
Till my next post.
The uniqueness of character in human has always been a fascinating thing for me to study.
The reasons why humans display different character under different circumstances and react to different situations are based on so many factors such as past experiences, cultural factors ,environmental factors , social factors etc.
It is well known that people attribute certain characters or traits to people of a particular tribe or community. For example, people from ekiti state are said to be stubborn , people from a particular set of place from the west are said to be wicked, people from a particular place are said to be stingy. In as much as sometimes it is sentimental to generalize but this generalization isn't too far away from the reality.
But this is only possible because they have had to commune together in that same place over a lot of time. So if an individual is given birth to and immediately migrates somewhere else, while growing up he/she begins to pick up traits and characters from that present habitat.
I personally believe that the uniqueness of character based on generalization by habitat should be more explored.