5 magical SelfCare ideas for Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Christmas season!

Tope Hassan Africa Travel

December always brings mixed feelings - it's not only a season of reflection but one that reminds us that the year is over and a new one is about to start! Suddenly, we begin to have anxiety asking ourselves questions like…

Did I achieve my New Year goals? Did I grow successfully in my career/personal life I am not yet married! I am still broke! I need a new job! I still have these bad habits! I have not lost any weight!

With so much to think about, we become fixated on “boot camping” our goals through the remaining days of December and forget to be intentional about the season. Here are some magical ideas that will leave you attaining a higher measure of selfcare during and after Christmas.

FAMILY

Spend some time with family that makes you feel inspired and loved. Truly our very own family are the ones that love us no matter what however if you are not able to visit because you are far away, find the nearest family you have - friends, partner, pen-pal, hosting resident family - They will be open to share the season and their table of love with you. Allow yourself go on adventures with them and remember to always give them warm hugs. Its a better and warmer gift!

Tope Hassan Africa

SPEND TIME ALONE - HOUSE SWITCH

The true essence of spending time with oneself is to discover new parts of oneself that we never knew before. While it would be so cosy and comfortable to spend time at home, try to leave your comfort zone this season and spend some quality time with yourself in a new environment. You don’t have to go big, you can remain in the same city and have a house switch with someone you know. Ask them to either allow you to house sit their home while they are away on holiday or swap houses - they stay at yours and you stay at theirs. The essence of this idea is to not move anything else apart from your clothes and not return to your home until the period is over (2-5 days would suffice). During this period, feel yourself opening up to new things, methods, ideas and finding a way around bottlenecks. During this period, take the time, NOT TO PLAN, but to write down everything you achieved in life and be thankful for it. I would usually get sticky notes and markers, then write everything I achieved and stick to a wall as I remember. Write the smallest and biggest things - you would feel much better after all.

TRAVEL

You may have a busy work load or not so much money to travel far and for long, but you can spare at least 2 days to go somewhere. Forget going big if you can’t. Take the bus to the next city. Try to book your ticket now before they become expensive or sold out. Rent a hostel - not only because you’re broke but because this is your chance to meet new out-of-the-box people. If not hostel, rent a shared AirBnB or get a host on CouchSurfing. Take something from home and share it with them. Let them feel some love from your home as they share theirs with you :)

Tope Hassan Africa

TRY SOMETHING NEW

This is the hardest part because we all wish to do something new everyday but we sometimes do not follow through so for this time of the year, find someone who will keep you accountable. You could even ask people on your timeline to keep checking to ensure you finish. Some of the new things I have tried over the years are Hiking 3 mountains at once, Yoga, Surfing, Swimming in the Sea, joining strangers in one car on a ride somewhere, singing at an open bar in a restaurant, baking cakes, learning to code, spending a day at an orphanage etc. In each of these experiences, I learnt something new that has helped me through Life. So think of that one thing you have been hoping to try, find someone with the skill and ask them to help you! If you can't think of something, take a walk down your street, find something interesting and walk in.

Apple Paris Bears Nikon Gloves

GIVE

It is the end of the season and you have accumulated so much over the year in wisdom, material and finances. Give back to people around you by sharing something of yourself - donate some material items to the needy, offer to teach uneducated kids something you know or donate some money to charity. Remember; it does not matter how much you have or how knowledgeable you are - what matters is the joy it brings to someone’s heart :)

Tope Hassan Africa
SelfCare is all about loving others like we would love ourselves, first.
— Tope Hassan

So, while trying to be the best person you can be, do not forget to share with others. There is no guide to selfcare apart from making someone’s heart smile - at this moment, you have loved yourself and shown others how it feels like.

I wish you and yours an enjoyable Christmas holiday!! I am going to try to attempt all 5 but have about 3 scheduled for the season :) Have you got any ideas planned and would love to share? I would love to hear yours!

A guide to enjoying your own company without a phone

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Learning to enjoy one’s company is a necessity for life’s survival.


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To be honest, I’m not only always on my phone, I’m required to be on my phone because 

  • My company team is remote

  • I manage several company accounts 

  • As a desired influencer, I have to be constantly online as I hope to build my personal brand

  • I belong to diverse cross continent communities and the only way to nurture them is by being online

  • My yoga classes are online

  • My family and loved ones

  • I work remotely and earn money from these jobs

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See why I need to be on my phone always? I can’t even lose my phone for a moment; I’ll worrying about getting another phone. And this is the more reason why our generation must learn to be offline.

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When I was growing up, Kids learned to enjoy their company before they got a phone but in this time, kids get a phone before they realise self-awareness.
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It’s a conscious decision so that when you are forced to be without your phone, you can gratefully bring yourself to enjoy your time alone with yourself or people without your phone. 

My phone detox plans are an hour a day, a month per year  and every vacation I take. 

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To learn conscious phone and especially social media detox, you need to fix the following

  •  What are my hobbies? What are the things I love doing that won’t make me miss my phone. I love to listen to folklore and classical music. I would dance to it that it would make me feel so good I’d forget my phone. I love reading fictional and magical fantasy novels. I also love writing far fetched classic poems. I love water so i enjoy swimming, learning to surf, kayak etc. I love taking walks & visiting the gym. I love sleeping or meditation sessions. I can go 5 meditation sessions at once. I love practicing yoga. I can go 1hr - 2hr stretch at once. So whenever I want to tune out, I’ll do one of these. 
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  • How much time can I truly afford to be away from my phone? Do not deceive yourself and copy someone’s stamina from being away from their phone. Competition kills spirit and consistency. When you go through that list up there, I have evaluated my schedule and I know that I can give 5am - 7am, 12noon - 2pm, 9pm - 10pm free from my phone. So whenever I create my schedules, I try to leave at least one of them free. I race out of meetings just to catch 5 mins alone with myself. It’s the only way I can recharge. So be honest with yourself and look through your schedules to find what works for you. Even if it’s only 30 mins. It’s a start. 
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  • Mental Interval checks. Be conscious to take mental checks on yourself. You may have decided to spend time with yourself but you need to remind yourself to do it. I’ve come to a place where I easily run mental checks on myself. Within each hour, I would instinctively remind myself to put my phone down and breathe. In that second, I appraise if what I’m doing is truly necessary before I continue. If I was having a needless chat or surfing the internet needlessly, I would close all the apps and get back to the most important thing or pick up a book or write a poem or take a walk or do any of my hobbies. I have a friend who couldn’t remind herself so she set a reminder 3 times a day to “put down the phone and breathe”. 
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  • Find a community and make time to connect with them. Community is the most important thing in a human’s life. I remember years ago when I connected with communities that did not truly inspire me, it reflected badly on my work so I decided to setup my own type of community. One that I connected with. I was afraid I wouldn’t find my type of people because we’re very “country people style” but I put the word out there and started hosting minimal hangouts. Either bring your own food to share or minimal cost where you pay for yourself. Now my social media looks much different than that time & I’m constantly inspired when I come online. I’m so jealous of my new found sanity that I do not risk mixing up in the wrong communities. I’ve put in so much to come this far, I can’t let it go. Find time to meet up with your community offline and always try to do new things with them. You’ll see how much you can grow together and your phone will become useless. This also means that if you’re part of a community that does not inspire you, unsubscribe. 
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  • Travel & invest in experiences: one best way to learn to love your own company is by investing in experiences. Anything that requires materialistic fulfillment can only satisfy you for as long as that material is needful or relevant. Experiences are embedded in your memory. They’re unforgettable. Especially when you have a proof of a picture. So try to travel at least once a year. If you can’t afford to travel yet, go on an experience. From school, take a day and go to the beach. Meet people and connect with nature. Or travel to the next city. Take a bus down to the end of the city and back home. Enroll for a local city tour or group experience. You’ll hardly find the time to respond to your phone but rather, take pictures with strangers. Learn so much about them and make new friends. You can even send a DM to a travel agency or tour guide and ask them to give you a free trip locally or internationally while you offer a free service by being an assistant on the tour. Most of these tours use buses and they will always have a free seat. You can even pack your own food from home to reduce costs of which I doubt they won’t want to feed you. You can also offer photography if you’re a photographer or offer to be guide in your local government or area if you know a good tourist attraction there.  
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  • Love your company. Love her/him. He/She is going to spend the rest of your life with you and even in the after life. The earlier you start loving your company, the earlier you start doing amazing things together. I purposely set my phone to go mute mode after 10pm except for my family and loved ones so no calls, texts or notifications can come in. I also avoid needless chats. If a chat does not have an immediate action, I either ignore or reply asking the person for a purpose. Chats are the quickest way to drain your time and intellectual use. Call the person or create an alternative.
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My phone use is termed into two

  • Personal Use - I use it for what I intend. I make posts, read information and stay up to date. In this time, I’m not particularly answering texts or reacting to any information. 

  • Reactive Use - this is when I decide to answer messages, or texts or interact with people online. I’ve had people question my use of social media and not responding to them. I tell them the same thing, I’ve not had time to sort through my messages. I’d reply later.  Don't let your phone control your impulses.

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Practicing to be alone with one self is in itself an improvement to allowing one more time to be alone with one self. 

Exceptions should only be for emergencies or business hours. 

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LUFASI PARK

In a bid to take time away from the busy activity of the city, I spent a day at Lufasi Park in Lagos, Nigeria to relieve my soul with an amazing friend. You pay 1000 only to get to Lufasi Park and you can totally bring your own food and picnic pack. Be careful not to go with a professional camera because you will be charged for those however my iphone was just enough. The environment is perfect and the natural light is all you need and the sky as your backdrop!

 
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Outfit Haul

Dress Shirt by Fashion Nova

Sun Glasses by HauteSignatures

Skin Hose by BrunEtNoir

Ankara Shorts by Pop Beach Club

Ankle Boots by Timberland

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Photography Credits

Images Shot by @Tobbinator

Image Edits by AfterLight & Lightroom CC Apps

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This is why Your Frenemies/Haters will stay Winning in Life

Yesterday, my best friend and I were gossiping about one of my "farewell fre-enemies" and their new updates on Life that was splashed on Social Media.

While we are very serious minded hard-working business women who have goals in Life, we indulge in occasional gossips - good or bad. After-all, it is healthy for the soul. (Duh... go ahead and judge us for it.). You just won't find us hawking gossips Haha.

It turns out that this frenemy is finally getting her Life goals and we were so here for it! Inasmuch as were not friends, I still respect this person & support her work from afar. I understand that supporting one's business does not require friendship nor does friendship requires support for one's business. These tenets must be of free will.

I had decided to cut ties with this person because after simultaneously hurting me, they were also hurting my business & my friends which created a toxic environment and made me the worst version of myself. So one day, I sat myself down and told myself: "Inasmuch as you like this person, you are gonna have to let them go or else you would slowly die - spiritually & mentally." There are times when we need to take desperate measures so that we can save our own souls from hell.

So even though we were no more friends, I had resolved my feelings about them and was able to celebrate their successes when it came around and even recommend them for contracts etc. This morning, I had similar experience where someone heard news about their frenemy winning in Life and they were not having it. The person yelled out about how it will never last and nothing good will ever come to them. Whooaaaa... Chill! 

Now I know that naturally, the human nature is never prone to celebrating people who have hurt us deeply in the past but I will share two reasons why you need to love your enemies and resolve those feelings in your heart.

1. The Earth Has No Feelings

God has provided everything on Earth and in each human that they need to succeed. Do you remember how God said Go and be fruitful and multiply... How he made man to have dominion over everything on Earth from the trees, animals, universe etc? Can you remember how some of Earth's most accomplished heroes and historians were oddly wicked men? There is no amount of curses that you rain upon a man that will prevail against him as long as his own mind is made up to succeed and achieve his/her heart desires. Even the Holy Word forbids us from cursing & swearing. Whether a man is evil or not, the sun and moon will shine upon him, he will dominate the land, have water and food, breathe the very air you breathe and most importantly have new chances every single moment of time and in the eye of every new person he/she meets. Think about the lifetime and billions of multitudes (World Population) of chances he/she has? We talk of Karma and how it deals with our enemies. Get your mind from the gutter haha. Karma is simply the Law of Balance and it happens to everyone besides you can avert it. Karma happens to everybody whether you are evil or not. However, if such a person repents from their evil ways and change their mindset to do better, guess what? Karma is averted. I'm sorry but that is just how the world works. Let's put it this way, If you fall from a Plane freely, the Law of gravity will attack you and pull you hard to fall against the ground but if you suddenly put on a parachute, guess what, you're going to fly and you wont end up smashing your skull against the ground. So let that person go.

 

2. Redemption

As a Christian, you may have heard of how Christ died for our sins and redeemed us on the Cross. This implies that before our enemies carried out their acts, they have been redeemed and forgiven on the cross! How cool is that? Or uncool? I mean why would Christ just give wicked people free passes and not let them suffer for everything they did to us rewarding them with eternal damnation? I am sure if it worked like that, at the age of 8, we would have been eternally damned and by 18, our parents would be justified to send us to hell for all our teenage tantrums! That means mortality rate would be an all high at 99.9% after-all is there a teenager that never hurt their parents? It's as bad that a killer (say a Serial Killer or Terrorist) who has killed so many people (you probably know one of the victims) will end up in heaven on the last day and you would be asking God "Whhyyyyyyyyyy?! I can't even begin to understand my dear Angels! Why he gotta let this man in here? I can't live here with this guy in my backyard!" God will point to his son and say "Jesus has redeemed him!"

Seeeee?

This is simply painting a worse case scenario about the very worse people on Earth much less than the person that hurt you. Do you know what even shakes me more? The fact that if you hold a grudge against your enemies and do not totally resolve your feelings about them and wish them well, God will accuse you of things like "Lowkey Hating, Eye-Rolling Grudges, KMTing, Bad Desires, one-line responses, replying with an ill-mannered 'K' and using mean emojis (Lmao). These wrong things alone without committing other sins can remove your name from the final guest list in Heaven. More so, it can blindside your heart from receiving blessings from the universe.

So Dudeeeeee... let your enemies go! Whether you like it or not, they will succeed. Just like how you equally hurt people in the past and yet, you stay winning everyday! Open your hearts - let them go, love them and celebrate them. 

 

Every Human is another Humans’ Enemy and Every Successful Enemy is another Humans’ Super Hero. Embrace an Enemy Today!
— I said it.

Steps to building Solidarity Friendships

Last year, I was in a state of exasperation because I was lacking Solidarity Friends who I could build my substance & worth with. I had recently moved to Lagos & the social scene was very shallow. I met people daily who could barely hold a seasoned conversation for 2 minutes. Gists were full of empty hype, gossips, complaints, ignorance & opportunistic wishes.

Now you must know that friendships are either Social or Solidarity in nature. The social friendships are casual, peripheral & popular while Solidarity friendships are built on partnerships, deep substances, trust and care. The Solidarity friendships are the people who share your weaknesses & strengths, those who would do anything for you and ensure you grow progressively together. So last year, after appraising my friendships, I posted this tweet;

A year later, I was cashing out on my solidarity friendships & had to update that tweet;

Bolaji & Tolulope inspired me to share tips on realizing good friendships in 1 year. Here are the basic tips that helped in building & keeping solid friendships;

WHO ARE YOU?

First of all, What are you bringing to the table? You cannot function dynamically in a friendship if you have not discovered yourself & your friends cannot openly tell who you are. Friendship is a partnership of selfless rewards for a better future, therefore, you need to identify what it is about you that is effortlessly remarkable. What is your brand? what are you passionate about? What would you love your friends to do for you? What do you seek that is beyond your present? What is your goal in Life? 30 years from now, what do you want to be doing with your friends? Be aware that discovering one's self is never ending and evolves with time however you need to be certain about the parameters your life will take. For Example, even though I don't know exactly what I'll be doing in 20 years time, I know that My Life's purpose is bounded by my love for Africa, Entrepreneurship, Media, Yoga & Art. These are a huge part of who I am & can give effortlessly. You gotta come into yourself confidently and be the boss of your own Life.

WHAT PERSONALITY TRAITS & TALENTS INTERESTS YOU:

Now that you have something to offer in a friendship, what do you love most in people and what personality traits can you accommodate. You will have a lot of social friends but you will need solid friends that will embark on Life's journey with you. A lot of people make friends but are hesitant to share their goals, their desires for life, discover the passion & goals of the next person, introduce possible methods to reach those goals together. If you cannot talk about your life purpose & mission with your friends, then they are not your solidarity friends. You also need to figure out what character traits irritate you the most and learn to avoid such toxic people. I love making friends who are entrepreneurs & yogis but one of the things I can't stand are cheats, male chauvinists, pompous people & tale bearers. I have had friends who cheat on their partners openly in front of me and that is something my values will never accept. People who are truly amazing but tend to make you fall short of your values & principles are very toxic for your Life. No matter how talented they are, remove them from your inner circle. You can still be peripheral friends to them but you don't have to be solidarity friends.

MAKE AN INVENTORY OF YOUR FRIENDSHIPS AND OPEN YOURSELF TO NEW ONES

There is need to appraise the friendships you currently have and identify the trend of people you keep. Are they aligned with the two terms above? Do you constantly have toxic friendships & rebound off the same people that potentially influence you badly? It's time to demote those people to the bottom of the pyramid. However, the fact that someone has flawed character does not mean you cannot learn or benefit one or two things from them so there's no need to condemn or hate them. Moreover, for the potential friendships you have that have helped to improve your growth as a person, begin to draw them closer. Open up discussions about your personalities, goals & purpose, what they are going thru in life, the opportunities/possibilities you both hope for, talents, SWOT analysis, common causes etc. This will help you appraise the kinds of friends you have and the types you need to bring closer to achieve your Life purpose & effect change around your community. Observe potential people and walk up to them to introduce a friendship. From the beginning, tell them what you hope to build with them so they can show you by their actions if they are dedicated to it. Remember, No man is an island! To achieve your goal in Life, you will always need help & what better way than the help of friends who would do anything to see you grow because it correlates with what they know to do best. When I founded my company, ISOKO Africa, the creative process from my logo to my first few podcasts was in partnership with my friends who had companies that provided these services. I've always said that Business Partnerships tend to make lifelong solid friendships than social friendships.

FORM A WINNING SHARED HABIT

Most of the time, we get into really great friendships and go to sleep. Soon, we see this amazing friend doing something great and it suddenly seems like we are on the sideline not the friend and you wonder what happened? It becomes hard to even get them on a call or ask for a favor. What happened to the friendship? How did it slacken? Truth is, it's not their fault. You both neglected to build a winning habit for both of you. If a friend is important to you, chances are both of you have similar goals for Life. Which means that you may not have the luxury to hang out always like you do with your social friends. Solidarity friendships are hard to come by. They are the future Avengers or the next top executive cliques which means that in your twenties, you will be busy building yourselves and in your thirties, you will be busy building your empires. Maybe in your forties, you would have the luxury to hang out more often but right now, you will be scarce. The sooner you accept this, the better you are able to achieve more from your friendships. So, how can you keep the friendship blooming? Try Shared Responsibility & Trust; introducing partnerships between your companies, or occasional friend retreats to update each other of your growth, send them documents of new things happening in your life & determine periodical updates for accountability, ask for help & give it,  follow their work closely and support it at every milestone (cash or simply sharing on social media/your area to tell everyone about it), form a habit to use their services either through partnerships or pay for it (even if at a discounted price), create an opportunity & involve them, embark on a simple short-term project together (a cause, a short book, a community fundraiser, a small donation, a trip etc), avoid excessive social hangouts & encourage strategy brainstorming sessions or conferences, invite them as a guest on your blog, show, event etc, network on their behalf (find a person with a service they need & connect them both. Follow through to their satisfaction). Forming winning habits can take any shape but the most important thing is to form habits that are effortless to render that's why number 1 is important & your inner clique has to be kept small, tight & relevant. Few of the many things I can give my friends easily is a shared yoga workout, a quick business branding session, a connection to a platform/person anywhere in Africa, setting up their digital presence & actually paying/partnering to use their services amongst others.

BE THE CORNERSTONE & BUILD YOURSELVES (DO THE WORK)

You may be wondering why you should be responsible for building shared winning habits? One of the spices for a happy life is expecting nothing and appreciating everything. In every clique of friends, a cornerstone is needed however no one wants to take responsibility because the world right now does not "give a damn" (pardon my french). No one wants to do the work, nor check on others, nor go the extra mile nor build together because people of the world want to be the Boss but not a Servant. So, if you really want to inspire solidarity friendships, you are going to have to accept that you are responsible for it and dedicate yourself as the cornerstone. Pump your brakes! I'm not asking you to be Jesus Christ. Think of every clique you come across and how there's one person who is the most influential. If that person is sick, everyone will be on a roller coaster! Yes, that's you! The extra effort you need to put in is to ensure you are dedicated to your own growth as a person first, be kind and humble, say sorry a bit more, occasional calls or storm their social media & share their work, introduce a common cause & work towards it (ie: Politics, Family, Entrepreneurship, Career, Tech etc), write words of inspiration or a little dedication for them, know all their personal details (bank account, email address, skype id, social media handles, home address, family history etc). Most importantly, create a network around your clique by introducing your solidarity friends to each other. Let them know they are dear to your heart & why they should love each other. Discuss each other's work with the others and when one of them is in need, inform the others so they can also be part of each other's lives. If one is getting married, invite others to fundraise a gift together no matter how small or write words of encouragement for someone's birthday (that is how my website was created). That way, you are encouraging them to grow & build with each other; making you a reference point and a person that everyone wants to introduce themselves to. Remember, you cannot receive what you haven't given.

While you're constantly repeating this process at major points of your life, be aware that friendships take the time to define. There are some people who will welcome you with open arms from day 1  while others take longer to connect with them. Our zest for friends who challenge & inspire us constantly may tend to attract older or more successful people than we are so we may lose our confidence & identity in the overwhelming flood of their presence while trying to get our footing back. Think of them as humans with superpowers. Without the powers, they are simply humans. Also, you must always remember that if anyone despises you as a friend, then they were never meant for you in the first place. Quit trying to prove to them your worth and move on to others who will build with you. After all, there are so many fishes in the sea.

Disclaimer: You don't have to be an introvert or extrovert neither do you need a crowd to build meaningful friendships. You just have to be passionate enough to grow towards a desirable future. And remember to be true to yourself and find out what works for your own clique!

Solidarity Friendships come in morsels.

 

* Here's an image to help you remember & keep these tips at your fingertips. You can share with your friends, on social media & Pinterest *

 

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Enjoyed reading? kindly drop a comment below & share on your network. Thank You!

How to remain endlessly Charming!

Few days ago, a new friend visited my office and his verdict was: I am highly popular! Which is weird because I am not actually popular in numbers LOL. I met him a week ago and within a week, he had experienced all parts of my three personalities; as Founder of ISOKO Africa, as a Yoga teacher and a Corporate Professional. As we walked through the office to the restaurant and seeing him off, he analysed that at least 1 out of every 3 persons that passed knew me from colleagues to random strangers. Hell! Even the Police and Security were frantically waving.

This is not an article to "hoot my toot" but I thought to share basic tips on maintaining a charming personality which is different from being popular. I was not always charming. As a teen, I had self-esteem issues which I learned to conquer with time but never recognised that my true personality could be charming. The truth is;

  1. Everyone should be Charming
  2. Being charming is simple and I think I know 5 things about how to remain Charming as Pomp!

Let's go;

  1. SMILE THROUGH YOUR EYES: I am not talking about the thing you do when you're flirting because that has an ulterior motive. When you walk around and see people (you don't have to know them personally), smile through your eyes genuinely. When I see people, I look for something on them that I could like. I also don't leave them without a compliment on either their dress or hair pin. If I have nothing to like, I try constructive criticisms like "Hey! That dress looks lovely! If it came in Blue, then all the men, even I, would fall hopelessly in love with you!" That person is bound to blush & if they are smart enough, they recognise you just told them that bright or blue colours fit them most. But remember, never lie about your emotions. If you feel low, don't pretend to be nice. People can tell when you're faking it. If people around you know you to be lovely, they are bound to recognise your downcast mood when you're not smiling. It also helps you to discover those that care about you.
  2. CONFIDENCE & HUMBLE ARE DIFFERENT THINGS: Don't play yourself. Accepting a compliment or a pleasant tease does not mean you are not humble. For example, someone walks up to you and say "Hello Globe Trotter! I love your style and wanna be like you!" There are three elements in this phrase; a pleasant tease, a compliment & an unreasonable remark. I would reply "Hey! Thank you for confirming my dreams coz yeh, I'll soon become a Globe Trotter but you can't be like me. Your style is just as amazing! Don't lose it". I have not exhibited pride but confidence in who I am by accepting the compliment but thereby maintaining humility. Plus, yeah no one can ever be like you! It's just 1 of you in this lifetime ;) Stop saying "Me? I am not a Globetrotter oh! Stop teasing me!" YUCK! That's not humble... it's Crappy Self-esteem!
  3. READ YOUR PASSION: Crap to the Myth about reading hardcore, sense-making, ideology-bullshitting, formula-coughing, biography-boring books. If those books rock your boat, read it. If drama & fantasy novels rock your boat, be proud of it. We all have those books that we think would make us look good but actually hate reading! My point is, what matters is how you read the book. A person could read an inspirational book and yet learn nothing while another person could read a book about love, learn its systems and help lots of people to understand how romance works. Remember, be comfortable with what you read but never forget to understand the mechanisms behind what you read.
  4. LOVE YOURSELF FIERCELY: 999,999 out of every million people hate themselves. The population of the world that truly love themselves can fit inside the eye of a needle. People go around seeking for love to wash off on them because it's simply a commodity you cannot buy. However, hateful people want to feel good about themselves knowing they are not alone in the hate clan so they tend to tear you down first but the fierce ones that strongly proclaim self-love, end up becoming role models to look up to.
  5. SUBSTANCE & INCLUSION IS KEY: Learn the art of actually connecting with people individually. Ask yourself, for example, if you had to raise a GoFundMe page today to raise cash for a new project, how many of your thousand followers actually care about you to donate? Exactly. They would make it popular by sharing but hardly a 100th of them would give. People tend to invest in people, not the really the cause. The more you can humanise a cause, the better chances of people investing in it. So learn to create inclusion and substance in your interactions. Start with their birthdays, to a new promotion, or following up on an issue that is important to them, or sharing an uplifting nugget/quote with a personal note to them, give full hugs & linger a second to converse with them, introduce them to your friends, even if you can't call occasionally, put up their images to tell the world how proud you are of them, know about their projects & tell everyone about it, find an angle on how you can work together or just buy their product or support their event even if its just once. That is the true meaning of social capital. Learn to be included in people's life.

The downside of being exceptionally charming is that you tend to look for the positive traits in people & see them for who they truly are and vice versa which tends to spark up butterfly feelings. Sometimes, when I begin to feel this way, I mutter to myself "You're such a people whore!" & remind myself to stay focused. But this would happen rarely if you learn to keep everyone on your radar and manage them lovingly. The best way to cure this is Cross Networking. After few months of meeting gorgeous & amazing people, I host a hangout/cookout where I bring everyone together and help them get comfortable enough to network.

During these sessions, people fall in love, start up new businesses, partner on projects and make new friends. There are weak personalities who tend to fall prey to the cunning ones by succumbing to their demands thinking you set them up but that's a post for another day. What you have successfully achieved is create a cross-dimensional mechanism where you become a point of reference within different clusters of people bringing you more charming points, referrals and credibility. 

Stop expecting reactions from people. You're not Physics! Think of yourself as Jollof Rice!

Most of all, be very clear about your purpose. If you mention Tope Hassan, everyone would shout "AFRICA!"

 

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10 Reasons to Love Cecilia Ibru #TechpointInspired

Last week, on Democracy Day, Techpoint's CEO, Adewale Yusuf invited me to discuss Education & Entrepeneurship with Cecilia Ibru at a Fireside Chat. I had 20 Minutes with a Philanthropist and Financial Executive who is recognized as the First Lady of Nigeria's financial sector as well as a noted contributor to humanitarian efforts & founder of Michael & Cecilia Ibru University, a large scale educational system qualified as an international standard university education in Nigeria.

tope+hassan+cecilia+ibru+techpoint+inspired

Cecilia Ibru & I

at Techpoint Inspired

In these 20 Minutes, I gained a wealth of insight that everyone needs to know about Cecilia Ibru. And just because sharing is caring, I'll give you 10 quick reasons why you should love Her. 

  • Her Late Husband, Michael Ibru was a Genius and she adores him!

She says & I quote "Being married to a Genius is a rare Privilege... My husband taught me a lot about combined entrepreneurial pursuits... He inspired me most in my Life". Her husband (25 Dec 1930 - 6 Sept 2016), did not attend university but instead negotiated for a managerial training. He would have become a film star in Paris but ventured into business and finally found his niche in Fishing, Aviation & Oil blocks. It is believed that he was the first man to introduce ice fish into Nigeria.

  • A Sociologist & Educator

She is from an educational background where her father pioneered primary & secondary commercial schools when there were none in Delta state which offered courses from Choreography to Welding. She says "You educate your mind & also educate your body physically (sports, dancing etc). I feel that Nobody should be without Education. You just need to be able to read & write and express yourself either in English, Yoruba, Ibo or Hausa; which ever way, but be able to express your mind." 

  • She's rooting for Nigeria Entrepreneurs

"Every Nigerian is an entrepreneur because we love Trading & exchange of values. Nigeria is an el-dorado and money is flowing on the streets; that's the average talk among Europeans." She lived in England for 17 years & built a career as a treasurer but felt unfulfilled, seeking excellence within herself to contribute to the Nigerian Economy which led to her return. She further implored on professional and entrepreneurial Nigerians not to quit their nation. She says "It is the private sector that will move Nigeria into its rightful place in the economy of Nations. The government won't be able to do it because they are not that way inclined."

  • A Motivation & Inspiration

"You need people to tell you that you are better than you think are". She advises young people to find their passion and discover how to create a niche to it, working hard until they become successful. "Do you have a niche? What is the passion behind your niche? How do you create that niche and work through with it until you become so successful? Perseverance, dedicated pursuits of those ideas, ability to articulate, strategise those ideas and keep on nurturing it without losing sight of it"

  • A Business Woman

She shares her mantra for building a good Foundation for a Growing Business; "Your thoughts must be written down; and then analysed, packaged into bringing out the business proposition."

  • On Mentorship

"Many of us need to have a mentor that has been through it before. Be submissive & listen to him/her. I was submissive to my husband. He was teaching me what to do in business and I listened to him and we became successful in Oceanic Bank."

  • Watch Out! She's planning a Comeback!

Talking about Oceanic Bank, She Says "If not for the tsunamis of the banking industry, we would still be there. But never mind, you never know, we will come back!" 

  • Motherland Mogul

She Says "After leaving the banking industry, there was no where I could go apart from large scale education. At Oceanic Bank, we had over 500 branches across Nigeria and I was managing it so going into education now, the primary school is not good enough. It won't task me. We had to scale it through Creche, Nursery, Primary, Seconday & University". 

  • No Segregation

She says "In our school, there is no question of being rich or poor. You come according to your ability. Whether you can pay or not, we insist you must pay even if it is N20. We try to achieve an even playfield in that the uniform & home clothes are the same, no food in the dormitory & they are fed 6 meals per day."

  • A Mother

Even at age 70, she's gunning hard to ensure her children (Students) are well fed and educated. She believes that they are young and need to feed their brains. She says "Students at MCIU are fed 6 meals per day! We believe that if you feed a child well in a good environment, he/she will excel and give all his/her best." 

Additionally, she has joined the Tech vision and implores on Leaders of Industry to invest in IT education. She is soon introducing Skype lectures with professors from HAVARD university in her school who have pledged to render this service pro bono.

This is a new kind of woman. Are you still blinking your eyelids? Watch the full video of our chat in the following video by TechPoint. Fast forward to 2:37:15:

Download my version of her bio here to learn more about this Badass Woman!

 

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Learning How to Walk

May 2017 was an iconic month of realization, appraisals and pure Joy! It gave birth to my official website by wonderful people who have challenged me to squeeze the fire out of my Skin. That is what this website is about.

The first decade of my Life was filled with childish curiosity and exciting imaginations. In those years, I received an international passport, discovered I loved the butterfly feeling in my stomach whenever I flew and resolved I would rather live on a plane. I experienced all sides of an economic coin and rocked harder than a Tomboy. I was told I was a genius so I believed it and threw caution to the winds.

In the second decade of my Life, I saw the sea and lived in it. The turbulence of my teens were characterized by double lives, complexes, experiencing Africa from its core and cleaning up the sins of our Black Heritage. I visited the ruins in Porto Novo, planted trees with the local community in Nyrutarama, ate the best oven baked rice at Kenyatta airport, fell in eternal love with Waakye at Aflao, sang in the choir at Lome, played the piano at Kabeza, fought with my identity at GHA, had my first job at 14, designed my first frock at 17 and fell in love for the first time in Ethiopia.

Now, I am in my third decade, and life is zipping fast down the Zipline. I am fully evolving into someone who is passionate about something. So everyday, I reach out and test new things, theories, discover new likes, proove my passion and gradually find labels. In the third decade of our lives, we begin to experience what fear really is, we learn patience and just like a baby, we must learn to walk. We step into our path and only we, can create where that path leads to.

So in this time of my Life, before I exhaust the peak of my Life, I will learn to Write (relevant stories), Think (invention and growth) and Walk (in my Path). I will tell stories of Africa where I am from, My Life as it grows, Life Lessons as Experiences deals with me, Badass Humans, Events that shape my progress, Yoga to inspire healthy lifestyles and the Disruption of Diaspora.

Hopefully, we can do it all together.

 

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