Crowd funding Twisted in a Positive Way – the novel

Tags

, , , , , , ,

IMG-20150714-WA0000 (1)

Last week, I wrote a blog post about taking the first step towards writing my novel.

Now the manuscript is with my editor, I have taking a further step to launch a crowd funding page on Indiegogo. http://igg.me/at/twistedinapositiveway

The novel, Twisted in a Positive Way is an inspirational story which takes us into the life of a beautiful young girl, Adaugo growing up in one of the most notorious neighbourhoods in Lagos, Nigeria.

It tells the story of different stages of her life and her constant and endless struggle to reconcile popular belief systems with her own personal convictions. She does this with the help and guidance of a character called her inner being.

It also has an element of romance mixed with spirituality which would leave the reader with the courage to look beyond present circumstances in the pursuit of his or her dreams.

I have set the following achievable milestones in the run up to the publishing date of 23 September 2015;

End of June 2015 – Complete manuscript (done)

Mid-August 2015 – Complete proof-reading, editing and formatting

Early September 2015 – Procure and customise perks

Mid-September 2015 – Printing and production of paperback copies complete

22 September 2015 – Ship! Ship! Ship!

My goal is for everyone interested to place pre-orders in form of taking perks on the crowd funding website. This would help generate publicity for the book prior to its official release date.

In exchange for your donations, I have created 4 categories of perks listed below;

Perk One – The Silent Believer – £5

In exchange for £5 you receive one electronic copy of Twisted in a Positive Way (Amazon kindle or eBook download) + a personalised thank you email.

Perk Two – The Glorious Adopter – £10

In exchange for £10 you receive one copy of Twisted in a Positive Way paperback novel + Personalised thank you note + Free postage and packaging within UK (Please include an additional £3 towards international shipping costs)

Perk Three – The Active Believer – £20

In exchange for £20 you receive one copy of Twisted in a Positive Way paperback novel + one attractive #TwistedInAPositiveWay branded T shirt (Available sizes and colours include S, M, L,XL and XXL in white, green, blue, black and red colours for male and female) + personalised thank you note +free UK postage and packaging (Please include £5 towards international shipping costs)

Perk Four – The Maestro Adopter – £25

In exchange for £25 you receive one copy of Twisted in a Positive Way paperback novel + one attractive #TwistedInAPositiveWay branded T shirt (sizes available include S, M, L,XL and XXL sizes in white, green, blue, black and red colours for male and female + Free e-book/Amazon kindle download of second book “Living and Learning” scheduled for publishing in 2016 + personalised thank you note + free UK postage and packaging (Please include £5 towards international shipping costs)

If you are inspired to support this project in exchange for copies of the novel, please go ahead and make a donation by clicking my crowd funding page here http://igg.me/at/twistedinapositiveway.

Also feel free to reblog this or share the link on your social media platforms. Every donation you make would take this project closer to being a success.

Finally, if there are any other perks you would like to see on the crowd funding page, please make your suggestion in the comment section and I will look into adding them on.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Love,

Chika

Unplug

Tags

, , , ,

Unplug

An over-indulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate.― Criss Jami

One Saturday, about 4 months ago, I had an idea to embark on a one-day personal experiment to evaluate the impact of social media on my personal productivity. The experiment involved me turning off my phones, closing all the social media tabs on my computer and just focusing on checking off items on my to-do-list for the day.

I decided that from 8am to 8pm on that day, I would not go on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, I would not check emails, and neither would I listen to music on Spotify nor YouTube. I was not actively on Instagram then so that didn’t matter. It would be just me, myself, I and my to-do-list.

Before starting the experiment. I informed my partner that I would be going incognito for the day (just so he would not get worried by my absence or silence) and just switched off.

I thought it was going to be difficult when I started and for the first one hour it was.  I had to consciously stop myself from opening any social media app. I was going to take the cold turkey approach and I was determined to win. Those cute baby pictures and funny videos were going to have to wait.

The result of the experiment was almost mind blowing. I found out that once I got over the initial withdrawal symptoms, it was so easy to focus and complete my tasks. It was also less difficult to get distracted because there was nothing to be distracted by. I had shut off all the sources of distractions.

At the end of the experiment, it dawned on me that in this technological age, we have become addicts to social media. I use the word addict because social media addiction is very similar with the more dramatic addictions such as alcoholism, hard narcotics and even sex addiction.

Just like the drug and alcohol addict is unable to function at an optimum level, he or she is constantly at the mercy of the substance he or she abuses, the same applies with the social media addict . We have become at the mercy of social media such that we are unable to function at our optimum because we are constantly getting distracted from doing what we are actually meant to be doing.

Think about the many times you have opened you laptop to do your work or write something meaningful or perhaps study for your exams and without being aware, you type in facebook.com or perhaps go on Instagram. Before you realise what has happened, you have spent the next hour or two on these platforms. Those hours you have wasted are gone for good.

What alarmed me the more I thought about it was that these platforms we spend our time on are the result of someone else’s vision. Someone else has applied focus and worked really hard to come up with these platforms. We are now essentially paying with our time to help other people become more successful and we are providing this service free of charge.

The time we spend getting distracted from what we are meant to be doing is putting more money into someone’s pocket.

This is not to say that you should completely go off social media. Far from it. The point of this post is to make you aware of how much your productivity is impacted by allowing yourself to get distracted and perhaps urge you to consciously start to balance out how much time you waste on social media.

We all need to stay connected to our family, friends and perhaps enemies (just to see how well they are doing). However, where this becomes a problem is when we start to lose track of our tasks and goals.

I also found out at the end of this experiment that when I went back on social media later that evening, I had not missed much. The difference was that I had completed all my tasks and I felt more fulfilled.

I invite you to try out my experiment for a day or perhaps one week if you are courageous enough. Switch off completely and instead focus on completing those tasks you have been procrastinating on or not just gotten round to finishing. It would amaze you as to how much you could actually get done.

Have a fulfilling new week.

Love,

Chika

Image credit: http://www.theinnerseed.com/

Take that first step

Tags

, , , , , , ,

The law of thought

No matter what burden we carry or how rough the terrain, we always discover that we are stronger than we think. It all begins with the courage to take that first step – Cheryl Strayed

It has been more than a month since I last posted anything new on my blog. In this period I have posted motivational and inspiring quotes on the blog Facebook page. (Please like my Facebook page here).

Another reason behind my month long absence is that I have been in the process of finishing the manuscript of my first book also titled Twisted In a Positive Way which is scheduled to be published in roughly 10 weeks’ time.

Now that the manuscript is with my editor, I have taken some time to reflect on why it has taken this long (about 8 years long years) to complete this book project.

I first had the idea to write a book 8 years ago. As at then, I was not quite sure of what I was going to write about so instead I set up a blog, Living and Learning to develop some comfort in my writing abilities. I later took down the blog about 3 years ago and started my current one which you are now reading.

In those 8 years, I found myself dismissing the idea, I battled with it, fought with myself, procrastinated. A number of evenings, I told myself I was too tired, I would do it tomorrow but tomorrow never quite came.

It was not until the beginning of this year, 2015 that I sat myself down and tried to find answers to my seeming reluctance to start my book project. I found out that my delay was not for want of a title to give the book, I already knew what the title would be 3 years ago. Neither was it from my lack equipment to type with – I had a laptop and even got a Microsoft Surface in 2013 specifically for this purpose. Even if I didn’t have any laptop or mobile device, I had my hands and writing materials and I could also string a few words together to make a bit of sense. So why did I delay?

In my sober reflection, I was able to establish 3 major reasons behind my delay. The first one was pure and simple laziness. I would get home from work and convince myself that I was too tired to do anything other than to sit in front of the television until sleep claimed me. Then I would rinse and repeat the same process the following day.

The second reason was inertia – I was unwilling to change my state at the time, I had become very comfortable with just coming back from work and relaxing. I was happy and content with my life just the way it was.

The third, perhaps most important reason was FEAR. I was afraid I would write a really rubbish book so I did not want to even try. I did not want to have wasted my time and energy doing something that may not work. So I squashed the idea and did not bother about it until January this year.

I have found out that the fear of failure is one of the main reasons why most people do not pursue their dreams nor embark on some personal projects they really want to do. They are afraid of what people would say if they launched out and failed. They are afraid to lose money, afraid to lose their sense of security, afraid to be mocked by friends and perhaps enemies.

Sometimes some people are even afraid to succeed because when they succeed, they may even lose friends. So they seek comfort in what they know, squash their dreams and settle for what they have until the dream becomes nothing but a distant memory.

Perhaps it is time to replace the thought of “What if I fail?” with “What if I succeed?”

The truth is there is no way to know if you would fail until you actually take that step and try. The people you are worried about that would laugh at you if you failed have their own failures to think and worry about.

Even if you do eventually fail, at least you have the comfort and the peace that comes in the knowledge that you at least tried. You gave it your best. That in itself puts you in a better place than a vast majority of people in this world who are too afraid to start anything.

You may be worried that you don’t have access to sufficient information to embark on pursuing your dreams. If that is your fear, do not worry. Just take the first step and it would amaze you how the right people with the right information would show up when you need it the most and because you have started, you would be quick to recognise the opportunities as they show up.

For me, I don’t know if my book Twisted In a Positive Way would be successful. Only time would tell but at least I can rest in the knowledge that I have gone out to finish something I have been wanting to do for a very long time.

The knowledge that you have stepped out and followed that dream of yours despite all your fears to me is success in itself.

I hope this motivates you to take that step that you have always wanted to.

Love,

Chika

Open your heart

Tags

, , , , , ,

Open your heart
I woke up about an hour ago, 0530 my time after about 8 hours of sleep. Last night’s sleep was one of those rare nights where I slept for more than 5 hours.

I have found that my life has been so fast paced these past few months, probably because of the work I do and a couple of other personal projects I have embarked on, one of which I would announce when the time is right.

So I woke up, first thing I did after stretching endlessly was to bring out my phone, checked my messages and emails, wrote out my to do list and toggled on to Spotify. I thought about what song would be perfect for a relatively lazy saturday and decided to listen to “He lives in you” by Lebo M. I don’t know how many of you know about the song but it was one of the sound tracks of Walt Disney’s “The Lion King”.

Now this song may not sound too special for those who have watched the movie. I myself watched it every Christmas as a kid. I remember those days, my cousins and I would sit in the large sitting room of my Uncle’s house in the village and watch the Lion King. No matter how many times we watched it back then, we just could not get enough of the cartoon.

So here I was listening to a song I was not unaware of but the difference between when I used to listen to it as a kid and this morning was I opened my heart to the message within the song and I must say it was glorious. When the song finished, I put it on repeat and felt a wave of inspiration hit me.

As I continued to listen, I began to consider how much we miss, how much beauty, inspiration, opportunities to receive and give love we miss because we are all so busy.

At this point, the song had finished playing and it was starting again, my eyes went to the purple orchid sitting in its white vase on my window. The orchid in itself requires little water to blossom. It is one of the most low maintenance plants I know of, yet it remains a source of beauty, a lesson in beauty even in imperfect conditions.

I began to consider other everyday living things like the ant which depending on where you live, could be a source of nuisance. However even ants, as little as they are, teach us lessons on hard work, cooperation and most of all strength in unity. If you have ever watched ants attack and move a piece of sugar, you would know what I am talking about.

As I thought about this, my eyes spotted some soil on my boots which now left a little brown stain on my cream coloured rug. On a regular day, I would have been cross at the prospect of having to clean the stain off my rug but now, in this moment I considered that this soil was a part of a larger collection of soil whose purpose was to provide food for humans, along with thousands of living creatures all over the world.

I had a few other thoughts which I would not like to bore you with but my point is, you can experience a more positive and fulfilling life when you open your heart to all the beauty and lessons around us. We normally miss these sources of inspiration because we are either too busy or too focused on our problems.

I have always been a firm believer that one those not have to wait till a special day in the week to go to a special holy place to receive inspiration or answers to life questions. Sometimes the answers we seek are and have always been all around us.

All we need to do is open our hearts to receive them.

Have a fulfilling weekend

Love,

Chika

Telling Great Lies

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

telling great lies

I know that a number of people who come across this title would wonder what I mean by the title. Years ago, I read the book, “Retire Young Retire Rich” by Robert Kiyosaki where came across the concept.

This has to do with the kind of words we say to ourselves. I found out that when one makes a statement such as “I can never have enough money” or “I can never be rich” or “I can never be happy” that these statements are actually lies because they are not based on actual facts. They have not been to the future to confirm that they can never be those things, so basically, they are lying.

This same principle applies to a situation where one makes a statement such as “I will be very rich in future” or “I will pass my exams” or “I will be happily married”. They have also lied.

However, the truth is that anything you say about yourself will eventually become a reality in future. This means that these lies you tell about yourself, if told over a long enough period of time, would eventually come true. This is because those words are planted in your mind and begin to affect your actions and your future is a result of your actions based on the words you have spoken to your mind.

So when one makes a statement such as “I cannot have enough money”, what happens is that the person’s mind picks up the message of poverty and transmits it to the brain and it sits there, such that when an opportunity to make money arises, the mind shuts off itself from this opportunity thus causing the person to remain at that same level of poverty or perceived lack of prosperity.

The same applies to when a person makes a positive statement such as, “I will be very rich”, the person’s mind picks up the message and the brain continues to work out ways for the person to become rich such that when an opportunity to make money arises, the brain immediately picks it up and the person takes advantage of the opportunity.

Taking all these into consideration, I believe that it makes a bit more sense for me to live a great life which has come about through the telling of positive lies I have told in the past about my future than to have a life filled with pain and sadness as a result of negative lies I may have spoken into my future.

I am not saying that telling lies with the intent to deceive is good, but when it comes to our future, we should watch the words we use because our words do become a reality.

Just as Christians believe that the world was created through spoken word, we as humans have this immense power in our spoken word because we are a product of the superior intelligence that created the world.

Telling great lies in practice is very easy and costs very little, if anything. However, its benefits are amazing as it helps to shape our future and keeps us in a great mood.

So my advice is this,  next time you feel down and negative thoughts fill your mind, just watch yourself and spot when those negative lies are about to pop out of your mouth. Stop yourself and consciously choose instead to speak positively.

Make positive speaking a habit and watch your life and your outlook about life change for the better.

Have a fulfilling week ahead.

Chika

The Power of Association

Tags

, , , , , , , ,


the power of association

This is a repost from a blog I had about a decade ago. Even though it has been a decade since I originally wrote this, I believe the lessons are still very valid for the times we are in…

Read below;

This topic has been on my mind for a while but no introduction ever seemed to fit. It was not until this morning, I was trying to wipe water that spilled on the floor. I had my bowl of water and my mop, and then my mind did a flash back to a HIV advert I watched on MTV about a year ago. Two young guys were about to go diving. The first guy insisted on going in with their safety gear. His friend said, “No we always go in with it, there are no sharks around. Let’s just go in this once without it.” The guy still argued with his friend a bit but finally his friend convinced him and they both dived in without their safety gear. True to the way life usually works out, they both got eaten by sharks.

It is a fact that those we constantly associate with have the power to either add to us or subtract from us. When we constantly interact with people, before long, we find ourselves beginning to act, speak and think like them.

If your inner circle is made up of people who constantly and without fail, sit around and engage in idle chat and gossip, while arguing about non-issues, before long, you would find yourself doing the same.

On the other hand, If your inner circle is made up of people who are focused, driven and serious minded, you too will have no choice but to be like them.

There have been a number of literature that have been dedicated to explaining the impacts of friendships and associations. The Bible also supports it in Proverbs 13 vs. 20 which states:

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

I like to believe that there are 5 different kinds of friends. They include, Refreshers, Refiners, Reflectors, Reducers and Rejecters. Below is a brief explanation of each category;

Refreshers: These are friends or acquaintances who strengthen your faith, encourage and energize and motivate you towards achieving your goals and vision. They too have big dreams and share a similar vision with you. When you interact with these people, your energy level goes up and you stay inspired.

Refiners: This group of people clarify your vision. After interacting with a refiner, you leave the room feeling more energised and with a clearer definition of your vision. They are very similar to the refreshers.

Reflectors: This group of people neither add nor subtract from you. They only mirror your energy. You have a great time interacting with them but you do not feel that you have learnt anything new, neither do you feel worse off. Most work colleagues fall into this category.

Reducers: These are people who actively/unconsciously try to diminish your goals and efforts to bring you down to their comfort level. Most of the time, they are people that are too afraid to see beyond their present situation and they get uncomfortable when they see someone with a large vision. You find out that, after interacting with such people for a long period of time, you feel like your energy levels are down. Perhaps you may feel some feeling of dismay after a long period of interacting with these individuals.

Rejecters: These are people who do not understand you or what you are trying to achieve. They keep criticizing everything and do not attempt to understand. After interacting with a rejecter, you may feel a sense of discomfort and lack of peace.

I believe that it is very easy to categorise your friends and acquaintances into the five categories stated above using their word patterns and reactions to concepts and ideas you come up with. It is now your responsibility to consciously decide who you want to keep in your life and who you need to perhaps not have that close association with if you know that they are/may become hindrances to the fulfillment of your dreams and vision.

I hope this has blessed you as much as it has blessed me.

Have a fulfilling week ahead.

Love,

Chika

Uptown Funk

Tags

, , ,

clip-art-dancing-999292 Good morning beautiful people,

I hope you had a good Easter break. Mine was fulfilling as I got to kick back and relax after what I felt was a really busy week. As fun as my long weekend was, I couldn’t help but feel sad for the over 100 University students whose lives were brutally cut short in Kenya by some terrorists. I hope this plague of senseless killings is brought to an end soon. May their beautiful souls rest in peace. Amen.

The inspiration for this post came yesterday morning. After the long bank holiday weekend, I woke up by 0530 (before my alarm clock rang). What was more surprising to me was the fact that I had “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars playing in my head right from “dreamland”.

This was surprising because I cannot remember listening to this song throughout the long weekend but try as I could, the song was stuck in my head. Not that I was complaining because it is a happy song, dare I say motivating, kind of like Pharrell William’s “Happy”. So what did I do when I found out that all my effort to get “Uptown funk” out of my head had failed, I went on Spotify, downloaded it and listened to it while I got ready for work and on my commute to work.

Boy, I must say that the song is quite electrifying. If you haven’t listened to it, please do. I almost guaranty that you would find your feet moving along to the beat before long. The part I like best goes like this;

“I’m too hot (hot damn)

Called the police and the fireman

I’m too hot (hot damn)

Make a dragon wanna retire man”

I found the lyrics quite funny because first of all, dragons don’t exist other than on the TV show, “Game of Thrones” (in my opinion) but as ridiculously funny as the lyrics were, it put a certain spring in my step. Throughout the morning, I felt quite positive and upbeat. Even when my day went slightly pear shaped, I was still jamming to “Uptown Funk” in my head.

On my train ride to work, I saw a lot of grumpy looking people probably pissed off that the Bank Holiday was over but hey, what else can we do about it? We just have to keep life moving. If we keep filling our minds with everything that is not quite right in life, how else are we going to be happy? We would just keep dwelling on all the bad stuff and through the Law of Attraction, more reasons for us to be unhappy would manifest, causing the cycle to continue probably leading to a really bad day.

I believe that in life, you just have to find what makes you happy. For me it is music and inspirational books (when I get the chance). For another, it could be working out in the gym. For others, it could be writing, reading, playing Sudoku or even singing. I believe that a positively minded person always has a more enjoyable ride on this boat called life.

This is not to say that I don’t have concerns. Very far from it but my point is, what have you got to lose by making yourself happy? Absolutely nothing. I understand that being unnecessarily happy is not everyone’s cup of tea.

I have actually met a couple of people who would much rather moan than look on the bright side of life, so please ignore me if you are one of them. However, I truly hope that being happy makes sense to you and that this post motivates you as it has motivated me.

Thank you for reading, please feel free to leave your comment and remember, keep keeping on.

Love, Chika

Image Credit: picgifs.com

Standing Still

Tags

, , , ,

standing-still Fairly recently, l took on a new role which involves a lot of commuting. A number of friends and acquaintances believe that the number of hours I spend on the train is a bit too much and some of them have stated out rightly that they could never see themselves ever doing this for a job. Personally, I am thankful for the experience because I believe I have learnt a lot these past few months. A whole lot I must say. The thing I enjoy most about commuting is that it provides me with time to think while doing a bit of people watching and writing. In this present day when we are constantly bombarded by social media notifications, phone calls, WhatsApp messages, text messages, BBMs and all other forms of modern day distractions, it has become quite a luxury for me to be able to set aside time to just clear my head and ponder about everything from life plans to trivial matters such as what I am going to have for dinner. Actually, scratch that, dinner is not trivial for a self professed foodie like me. Thankfully, this is where the gym comes in…when I can drag myself there. Lol…Pardon me, I digress. Back to my point… Being able to mentally eject oneself from all these distractions is what I refer to as standing still. Standing still for a period of time, be it 10 minutes or up to one hour in my case, i.e. a time when you can just sit, lie, stand, bend or take up any position that pleases you to ponder, allow your mind to wander while visiting/revisiting your goals. You know those goals I am referring to, those ones you have told yourself that you just have not got the time to think about because you have been so busy. You could stand still and think about these alongside everything and anything else. You could decide to reflect on the past, your childhood days or even embarrassing moments (I know I have had my fair share of them). Any wholesome thought goes within this period of standing still. I usually end up feeling a lot more grounded than I would otherwise have felt if I were constantly checking my phone and getting distracted by God knows what else. A greater feeling of control and peace usually engulfs me after my “standing still sessions”. Maybe this is what yoga does. I believe both concepts are the same because they both provide one with some time to eject oneself from modern day distractions. It is okay if you are reading this and thinking, “This is total bonkers”. However my suggestion to you would be, why not try it out and if after a few sessions, if you come to the conclusion that this is not for you, then at least you know one more thing that does not quite work for you. I personally have benefited so much from standing still and I strongly believe that if you actively and consciously practise this, you would be pleased at how much mind work you can get done in this period of sober reflection. Till you read from me again, keep keeping on. Image credit: nicktyrone.com

Making Hay Before the Sun Shines

Tags

, , , , ,

making hay

The inspiration for this post came to me about 3 months ago.

I was on my way to work having got on my regular train into the city. However, on this day, the weather was not very friendly and as a result, my train got delayed. As you can imagine, there was a mad rush of people whom I suspect also had delayed journeys, milling into the centre, trying to make a dash to their destinations.

As I walked on, I got to a set of traffic lights, pressed the button and stood there, with my headphones on, slightly oblivious to my immediate environment, while waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I was getting particularly engrossed in “Drifting” by Enya when I was jolted into reality by a loud scream and the blaring of car horns.

Naturally, I pulled out my headphones from my ears and looked in the direction of the noise and all I saw was a woman running across the road. In her mad rush, she had crossed the road and just narrowly missed being hit by a car.

Of course everyone was relieved that she didn’t get hurt and some older people shook their heads but the funny thing that happened was that about 10 seconds later, the light changed to green for pedestrians to cross and the rest of us crossed the road.

As I carried on walking past shops on my way to my office, so many thoughts crossed my mind. I kept wondering what would have happened if this woman in her blind haste had been hit by the car. “What if she had waited for about 10 more seconds?”. I believe she would have crossed the road in a much more comfortable manner without having to put herself at the kind of risk she did.

This got me thinking about life in general, “Are we too hasty to go from where we are to where we want to be?”. “Do we in our haste to achieve goals, blindly rush off going after opportunities and taking decisions which in hindsight turn out to be a big mistake?”.

I have seen so many instances where people have rushed off to quit their jobs or relationships based on the promise of an amazing new position or partner elsewhere, only to find out that they may have been better off if they persevered a bit or left after giving it a bit more time and thought..

This is not to say that anyone should stay in an environment that constantly robs them of their joy. My point however is that, perhaps if we gave our actions a bit more thought, we would pursue these new opportunities in a more organised and strategic way which usually have a higher chance of success than if we dashed out like the woman, endangering our lives in the process.

Are we making hay even before the sun shines? Think about it…

Image credit: shutterstock.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 321 other followers