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.
I had a few misconceptions on HIV until I did my internship at an ART (Anti-retroviral Therapy) center for the management of people living with HIV.
A person infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), if not diagnosed and managed early can progress to the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV was first discovered in Nigeria in 1985. There are two strains which are HIV 1 and HIV 2.
Over the years, it has infected and killed millions of people around the world. It was considered a killer disease ; for individuals who tested HIV positive, it was as good as a death sentence. With scientific breakthroughs on how to manage the disease, people infected with HIV can live normal, healthy and productive lives through early diagnosis, adherence to drugs and lifestyle modification.
The virus is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, injuries arising from cuts of unsterilized needles, blades/clipper blades at salons, blood transfusion from infected blood or by any other form of contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Unprotected sexual intercourse accounts for majority of HIV cases.
An individual who tests positive for HIV is counselled by a trained HIV counselor and clinician. The patient undergoes other tests such as the CD4 viral load test, blood chemistries, full blood count, hepatitis, syphilis and tuberculosis (these tests are carried out periodically because they are susceptible to opportunistic infections).
The virus destroys the T-cells of the immune system in the body that helps to fight diseases. Early detection is very important in preventing progression to AIDS characterized by a breakdown in the immune system and opportunistic infections/diseases leading to complications and death.
Immediately the individual is diagnosed with the virus, he/she is placed on anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) with the viral load monitored continually over a period (viral load is the concentration of the virus in the blood; the higher the viral load the more dangerous it is for the patient).
There is a window period of about three months whereby HIV antibodies are undetectable in the body fluids of a newly infected person. From counselling individuals (who have engaged in any risky behaviour such as unprotected sexual intercourse, use of unsterilized instruments etc.) are advised to repeat the test within three to six months after the first test which gave a negative result.
The treatment and management of people living with HIV has evolved over the years. A lot of research has gone into this and even though there is no known cure or vaccine yet, people living with HIV can live long, fruitful and fulfilling lives. They marry and procreate even when the couple is sero-discordant (one spouse is negative while the other is positive) or even when both spouses are positive because of advancement in science; as long the viral load of the positive person is monitored and if consistently very low it minimizes the risk of transmission during sexual intercourse. Through the prevention of mother to child transmission therapy (PMTCT), HIV positive women can give birth to HIV negative babies.
People living with HIV should not be discriminated against, stigmatization kills faster than the disease. We cannot get infected by holding their hands, hugging them, sharing cutlery, toilet etc.
Magic Johnson the former American basketballer has been living with this disease since 1991 and is still as healthy as ever.
HIV is a condition that is easily managed once diagnosed early. Do not discriminate or stigmatize persons living with HIV.
I am an event planner! I say this very proudly because I know that I was born for this line of work, I am very grateful that I found my passion early in life. As an event planner, I plan, execute and coordinate social and corporate events. I work with clients to identify their needs and also ensure they are satisfied. I facilitate details such as décor, catering, logistics and location.
My job is to bring joy and happiness to people, it is also to ensure that their vision is brought to a reality. I promote socialization and ensure satisfaction of all guests at the event and not just the client. As an event planner, it is essential to have certain skills that can come naturally and can be learnt. Some of these internal goods that I have developed over time include: Great interpersonal skills, flexibility, keen eye for detail, organizational skills, high energy level, good time management skills and excellent leadership skills. I am still working on communicating effectively and efficiently. In order to achieve these goods, I have had to be courageous, disciplined, self-aware and open to learning. External goods I would need are good clients, money and a great vendors list. Working in itself makes me happy, working in line with my passion feels less like work and is extremely fulfilling. Towards the end of every event I plan, I step to the back of the location and look at everything happening, my heart beats with pride and I give a sigh of relief and fulfilment.
I understand that ethics is personal and not subjective. It is something we have to attain as humans but it is not dependent on our thought process or experiences. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Being in the event industry, I have witnessed many planners take a “commission” from each vendor they work with on an event, even after they are paid a fee. Their excuse is after all, they gave the vendor a job/money making opportunity, therefore they have the right to get a cut. It is ethically wrong no matter how they try to give excuses, it just shows a complete lack of integrity.