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Meet Ire Aderinokun: The Tech Genius & First Nigerian Woman To Become Google Developer Expert

She is the first Nigerian woman to be a google developer expert. She is one of the most influential young women in Nigeria and making us proud.

She is truly doing well, which makes her our wcw this week.

Ire Aderinokun is one of the three Google developer experts in Nigeria. Ire is a self-taught UI/UX Designer and Front-End Developer working in Lagos, Nigeria. Since starting her blog, bitsofcode, in 2015, she has written weekly articles on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

It all started at age 14 when Ire Aderinokun played an online game and got stuck in the world of pixels and bits. She went on to get a Degree in Experimental Psychology and a Master’s in Law but never forgot her first love.

Aderinokun’s career emphasizes the importance of being a self-starter and consistency. She has succeeded in building a career on the platform of thought leadership and it has gotten even better as she is giving back to society. Progressing from a mailing list of 1,431 to 2,541 subscribers on her blog, to speaking at the WeAreDevelopers conference in Vienna last year, Aderinokun has shown us that commitment to consistency is the purest form of handwork.

Currently working as a full-time front-end developer at eye/o, she is dedicating her resources to seeing young women through tech programs online.

Source: http://www.womenafrica.com

8 Things the Smartest Leaders Do to Motivate Their Employees

Science has found that positive emotions are at the root of human motivation. It’s how employees “feel” that will drive the motivation deep within them. Here’s where to start.

Usually I don’t go deep to writing about organisations and their staffs, but this is monday I had to post this.

Let me share eight strategies to help managers create the right atmosphere for motivating others.

1. Start with scheduling more one on one time.

Get off on the right track by making consistent clear goals and expectations an operational reality. You do that through the lost art of one-on-one conversations — a great motivational tool. Leaders thrive when they strengthen relationships with their people by spending more one-on-one time with them to hear their suggestions, ideas, problems and issues as well as talking about performance issues and their work. But first, you need to know how to structure these meetings so that it works to your advantage.

2. Find out what motivates them.

Do you know what gets your team members out of bed in the morning? What they’re passionate about — their goals, aspirations, and interests? In other words, do you really know your team members? Great leaders show an interest in their people’s jobs and career aspirations in order to motivate them the right way. Once that’s been established, they look into the future to create learning and development opportunities for their people. They find out what motivates their best people by getting to know what desires will drive each team member. This is about emotional engagement.

3. Provide the resources they need to do their work exceptionally well.

It’s a simple question, but you’d be surprised how often it is not asked: What do you need right now to do your job better? You may be surprised, or even shocked at the answer; it could be that they need access to more information to make the right decisions, bettter equipment or even another work space. Acting on what you find out will be a huge motivational booster.

4. Praise and compliment them often.

“I don’t like to be recognized,” said no human being, ever. Managers have to get into the habit of praising and complimenting their people for their good qualities and work. The companies in Gallup’s study with the highest engagement levels use recognition and praise as a powerful motivator to get their commitment. They found that employees who receive it on a regular basis increase their individual productivity, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and are more likely to stay with their organization. How regular are we talking? Praise should be given once per week, according to Gallup.

5. Help co-create purposeful work.

People want meaning and purpose in their work. In the book Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant says that when people find purpose in their work, it not only improves that person’s happiness, it also boosts productivity. One way to give employees that purpose, according to Grant, is to have them meet the very people they are helping and serving, even if just for a few minutes. Managers giving their people access to customers so they can see firsthand the human impact their work makes is the greatest human motivator, says Grant.

6. Help them develop new skills.

Although important, I’m not so much talking about putting them through another required technical or safety training program to keep them or the business compliant, but actually giving them meaningful new skills or knowledge in other areas that they can use to leverage their natural strengths for future roles, whether with their current company or another company. The point is to serve and value them so exceptionally well as people and workers that they have no reason to leave but use their newfound skills for new projects.

7. Actively involve them.

Great managers recognize that leadership doesn’t travel one way but is multi-directional. While it can come from the top down at critical times, the best scenario is allowing decisions, information, and delegation to travel from peer to peer or from the bottom up, where the collective wisdom and involvement of the whole team help solve real issues in real time on the frontlines.

8. Believe in them.

The best managers delegate often and give their employees responsibility for delivering challenging work. If this doesn’t happen in your workplace, consider two hard questions:

  • Do you trust your knowledge workers to do what they’ve been hired to do?
  • Do they have the right competence for the job to carry out the work with confidence?

So often managers underestimate the potential and ability of their employees to use their brains! If you answered yes to the questions above, be of the mindset to always accept that they can do the work. Then, give them the room to perform and support them with whatever they need to make them even better. This is how you motivate them to the rafters.

Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life

Originally posted on THE POSITIVITY BLOG.

“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

“Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.”

You may know Mark Twain for some of his very popular books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

He was a writer and also a humorist, satirist and lecturer.

Twain is known for his many – and often funny – quotes. Here are a few of my favorite tips from him.

1. Approve of yourself.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

If you don’t approve of yourself, of your behavior and actions then you’ll probably walk around most of the day with a sort of uncomfortable feeling.

If you, on the other hand, approve of yourself then you tend to become relaxed and gain inner freedom to do more of what you really want.

This can, in a related way, be a big obstacle in personal growth.

You may have all the right tools to grow in some way but you feel an inner resistance. You can’t get there.

What you may be bumping into there are success barriers. You are putting up barriers in your own mind of what you may or may not deserve. Or barriers that tell you what you are capable of.

They might tell you that you aren’t really that kind of person that could this thing that you’re attempting.

Or if you make some headway in the direction you want to go you may start to sabotage for yourself. To keep yourself in a place that is familiar for you.

So you need give yourself approval and allow yourself to be who you want to be. Not look for the approval from others. But from yourself.

To dissolve that inner barrier or let go of that self-sabotaging tendency. This is no easy task and it can take time.

2. Your limitations may just be in your mind.

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

So many limitations are mostly in our minds. We may for instance think that people will disapprove because we are too tall, too old or balding.

But these things mostly matter when you think they matter. Because you become self-conscious and worried about what people may think.

And people pick up on that and may react in negative ways.

Or you may interpret anything they do as a negative reaction because you are so fearful of a bad reaction and so focused inward on yourself.

If you, on the other hand, don’t mind then people tend to not mind that much either. And if you don’t mind then you won’t let that part of yourself become a self-imposed roadblock in your life.

It is, for instance, seldom too late to do what you want to do.

3. Lighten up and have some fun.

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Humor and laughter are amazing tools. They can turn any serious situation into something to laugh about. They can lighten the mood just about anywhere.

And a lighter mood is often a better space to work in because now your body and mind isn’t filled to the brim with negative emotions.

When you are more lighthearted and relaxed then the solution to a situation is often easier to both come up with and implement.

4. Let go of anger.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Anger is most of the time pretty pointless. It can cause situations to get out of hand. And from a selfish perspective it often more hurtful for the one being angry then the person s/he’s angry at.

So even if you feel angry at someone for days recognize that you are mostly just hurting yourself. The other person may not even be aware that you are angry at him or her.

So either talking to the person and resolving the conflict or letting go of anger as quickly as possible are pretty good tips to make your life more pleasurable.

5. Release yourself from entitlement.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

When you are young your mom and dad may give a lot of things. As you grow older you may have a sort of entitlement. You may feel like the world should just give you what you want or that it owes you something.

This belief can cause a lot of anger and frustration in your life. Because the world may not give you what expect it to.

On the other hand, this can be liberating too. You realize that it is up to you to shape your own life and for you to work towards what you want. You are not a kid anymore, waiting for your parents or the world to give you something.

You are in the driver’s seat now. And you can go pretty much wherever you want.

6. If you’re taking a different path, prepare for reactions.

“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

I think this has quite a bit of relevance to self-improvement (and also to starting a business online now that I think about it).

If you start to change or do something different than you usually do then people may react in different ways.

Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may be puzzled or react in negative and discouraging ways.

Much of these reactions are probably not so much about you but about the person who said it and his/her life. How they feel about themselves is coming through in the words they use and judgement they make.

And that’s OK. I think it’s pretty likely that they won’t react as negatively as you may imagine. Or they will probably at least go back to focusing on their own challenges pretty soon.

So what other people may say and think and letting that hold you back is probably just fantasy and barrier you build in your mind.

You may find that when you finally cross that inner threshold you created then people around you may not shun you or go chasing after you with pitchforks. 🙂 They might just go: “OK”.

7. Keep your focus steadily on what you want.

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

What you focus your mind on greatly determines how things play out. You can focus on your problems and dwell in suffering and a victim mentality.

Or you can focus on the positive in situation, what you can learn from that situation or just focus your mind on something entirely else.

It may be “normal”� to dwell on problems and swim around in a sea of negativity. But that is a choice. And a thought habit.

You may reflexively start to dwell on problems instead of refocusing your mind on something more useful. But you can also start to build a habit of learning to gain more and more control of where you put your focus.

8. Don’t focus so much on making yourself feel good.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

This may be a bit of a counter-intuitive tip. But as I wrote yesterday, one of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make someone else feel good or to help them in some way.

This is a great way to look at things to create an upward spiral of positivity and exchange of value between people.

You help someone and both of you feel good.

The person you helped feels inclined to give you a hand later on since people tend to want to reciprocate. And so the both of you are feeling good and helping each other.

Those positive feelings are contagious to other people and so you may end up making them feel good too. And the help you received from your friend may inspire you to go and help another friend.

And so the upward spiral grows and continues.

9. Do what you want to do.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Awesome quote. And I really don’t have much to add to that one.

Well, maybe to write it down and keep it as a daily reminder – on your fridge or bathroom door – of what you can actually do with your life.

My take- Mark Twain has always been my favourite motivator. From his quotes to teachings about life.

Share and comment.

This Week’s Top Stories: Meet Mary Azaki Sabo- Marketer, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, And Fashion Designer

Independence is a character trait that many people admire. Independence does not mean that we don’t need the love and support of others in our lives, but it does mean having the courage to pave your own path. Life and career success often requires a level of independence — a willingness to break away from the pack to prioritize your freedom and find your own way.
Many of the successful women we admire today and throughout history are independent women who have overcome adversity and challenged the status quo — they’ve taught a lot of lessons about independent women. They serve as role models for many women who continue to pursue their passions in order to fulfill purpose and become independent, whether striving to be an independent thinker or to become financially independent. If you encounter challenges or ever need to go at it alone – look for successful women to inspire you and keep you motivated.

Today I want to celebrate one of such women. I will briefly introduce her and give you quick detailed profile of this strong independent woman: Mary Azaki Sabo.


Introduction: Mary Azaki Sabo, from Abaji area council, FCT Abuja, Nigeria.

Mary is a serial entrepreneur and hard worker. I have had the privilege of working with her in the past and I can testify to this, she gets the job done. She calls herself a “workaholic”. She loves cooking, travelling, swimming, and playing candy crush.

Mary speaks 4 languages; English, French, Hausa, and her native language Gbagyi fluently.

She is a marketer and the lead marketer for Louis Vuitton in Abuja Nigeria. Aside doing what she loves best which is marketing, Mary is also a fashion designer. Am sure very soon her brand will be going global. Aside this, she also has a laundry service, and passionate about mining. She plans to develop the mining industry in the country, by involving the youths in developing the mineral resources sector in the country.

Mary is also passionate in giving back to the society. She is the CEO of Azaki foundation. Her foundation focuses on “Women in Distress”. Most of them are widows and single mothers. She sensitizes them of their values and never to give up on life.

She supports with the little she gets from friends, colleagues, and very soon getting sponsors for her foundation. She loves to see people smile.

Am proud to call her a friend, and also a future leader of our great nation, leading women to greater heights.

Mary is a very reserved and jovial lady, feel free to engage with her if you interested in her services.

Follow Mary on IG: @azaki_empire

Seyi Awolowo: A Leaders Race To Winning Big Brother Naija 2019 “Pepperdem”

This is a sponsored post.

Seyi Awolowo is more than the next winner of Big Brother Naija 2019. He’s a model of leadership who demonstrates traits and characteristics that are essential for present day leaders and professionals.

Before and after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln confronted a variety of trials and obstacles, but remained committed to his vision to create a free nation. Just like Lincoln, Seyi Awolowo embodies many admirable qualities, two are especially relevant:

Seyi Awolowo is a master listener.

Like most leaders, Seyi dealt with conflicting views and personalities in the big brother house, yet he’s known as a man who listened. People were free to oppose his point of view without fear of retaliation. Of course, listening wasn’t always an indication of Seyi’s agreement. He would simply listen to competing ideas, process what he’d heard, and then respectfully make his final decision.

Seyi Awolowo is a master communicator.

Seyi is a communicator who artfully wove his vision for a new Nigeria for the youths with the priorities of his team. This is no small feat, as one housemate wrestle with daily. Often, it’s difficult to make decisions especially now that he has the veto power to save himself. Seyi is a speaker of the people. In other words, he simplified his vision and presented it in a way that conveyed his understanding of the people.

Having a vision is one thing, but believing that it is possible and will happen is what separates a successful leader and others.

That leader is Seyi Awolowo.

Please show your support and love to this born leader with incredible leadership skills and brilliance in the Big Brother House this year.

By: Cardozo

My Interview With Online Professional Psychiatrist- Dr. Tomi

She is one of Nigerian’s foremost Psychiatrist, a mentor and an influencer. Her engagement on Instagram has helped a lot of people mentally and physically. She is intelligent and very smart. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Dr. Tomi.

Dr. Tomi

You are welcome.

First things first, we appreciate your time and availability to conduct this interview. Please we will like to know you more by asking some questions.

1. Tell us a bit about your background, school,  and Where were you from?
I’m from Ilesha in Osun State. I am married with two children. I studied Medicine and Surgery at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. I did my residency training in Psychiatry at Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos. I had my postgraduate studies in Psychology (MSc) at Walden University, Minnesota, USA.

Me: Wow this is huge…


2. How was life growing up?
Life was simple when I was young. I grew up in a university quarters and saw first hand how to live a simple life without the pressure of impressing anyone. In fact, there was no one around to impress! The houses were the same, the ranks and positions were the same, the schools were the same, the clothes were the same etc. We learnt to turn inwards to find our individuality. I thoroughly loved it.

Me: Something we should all learn to admit and adapt…


3. At what age in your life did you decide you wanted to be psychiatrist?
My interest in Psychiatry goes as far back as my 18th birthday. I was curious about the human mind and finding there was a field dedicated to studying it was great news to me. However, I chose to complete my degree in Medicine and find a path to my passion from it.

Dr. Tomi

4. How do you cope running a fast growing platform on social media?
I love creating mental health awareness and social media has been a crucial vehicle in driving these efforts. Running this platform is not stressful because it’s connected to what I love. It’s almost effortless.

Me: Very true…


5. Is being a psychiatrist a burden or a blessing or a bit of both?
Helping people restore and/or maintain their mental health is not a burden at all. It’s a privilege.


6. What challenges have you had to tackle as a psychiatrist?
Stigmatization of the profession has been a challenge. It is not only mentally ill people that are stigmatized. Mental health professionals too face stigma from the society. People often act differently once they find out I’m a Psychiatrist. It’s almost predictable. That’s why we are focusing on awareness.


7. In your opinion,  what is the most difficult part in mental health and well-being?
Taking the step to get help when facing mental health challenges is the most difficult step I can think of.


8. What’s the weirdest thing a patient/ follower has ever told you?
“Are you a real doctor?”

Me: I can’t stop laughing, this is really funny…


9. Your confident is so bold, especially when you dive into sex talk, do you sometimes have the fear of people’s reaction?
My focus is creating an enabling environment for people to talk freely about these issues that are cloaked in silence. I can’t do that effectively by being vague or silent. The number of people that reach out via Direct Messages make the efforts worthwhile. So, no, I don’t fear the reactions of a few people.


10. Which other professional are you looking forward in working with or have something coming out with?
I look forward to working with Mainstream Media professionals. There are so many ways they can influence social change. It’s amazing! I do hope some of them will join us in changing the narrative about mental health.

Me: Hopefully…


11. If you had a chance to work with one person in the world,  who would it be?
Professor Abiodun Adewuya. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. He is my teacher and mentor. Any opportunity to work with him will always be a delight. That’s the thing. There are already amazing people in our lives. Let’s build those relationships.


12. What are your top 3 points in your note or pad that you always reflect on?
A) Family life B) Long term career goals C) Mental Health Awareness


13. Aside the unemployment nature of the country, what drove you to become an influencer?
I see myself as a mental health Advocate. Unemployment rate of the country does not directly influence my choice. The major drive is stigma. Anything I can say or do that will lessen stigmatization of the mental ill in the world will be a worthy venture.


14. How do you manage to be a Christian and a psychiatrist?
It took me a long time to understand how my profession fits into my christian faith. I finally have my peace about that. I believe that emotional well-being is best anchored in spiritual well-being if it’s to be sustainable and holistic. We have to take care of our spirits, souls, and bodies. It’s okay if it’s not popular opinion. It works well for me.

15. What are your goals to fight emotional well-being and mental health in Nigeria?

a) reduce STIGMA b) reduce SUICIDE c) improve SEX for women.


16. Do you think the situation is increasing or decreasing?
What situation? The rate of mental illness in the country. But that is by the way, with your contribution on social media i think it is decreasing.


17. What are some things that you would like to accomplish but not in view yet in your career?
I will love to be a Professor and teach young minds about mental health but it is not in view just yet.


18. What advice would you give to unmotivated and uninspired people around the world. Please explain???
People can be transiently unmotivated and uninspired. However, if it’s persistent, please change your life. You are not too old to start over.

Dr. Tomi

19. What’s next for Dr. Tomi?
Scaling up of mental health awareness nationwide. Advocacy directed towards government, policy makers, and stakeholders. That’s just the start.


Thank you for having me.

You welcome!

In case you need her services and assistance on mental issues or a psychiatrist. Dr. Tomi Haven is open for sessions and consultation.

You can get her on Instagram: @drtomihaven

The Key To Good Leadership Is?

Ever wonder how to be a good leader? Do you look at people in your life and think that they are good leaders and you would follow them wherever they go?

When sharing with friends and family about my job and the people I work for I have worked beneath a great leader for the majority of the time I have been in my job. His performance in his job is obvious, but the reason I would follow him and continue to trust where he is leading me is one simple reason…Love. The man loves his employees and truly cares for them. But what I have seen and respect more than anything else is that he loves his family more than anything else in the world. THAT is someone I can get behind.

LOVE is the driving factor behind leadership, and one of the greatest leaders in the bible knew this well…Paul. Look how he asked Philemon to do something in his letter to him.

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.” Philemon 1:8-9

Paul knew that he was well respected and was an elder in the eyes of Philemon. He knew that realistically he could have told Philemon what to do (as an order) and Philemon would have more than likely done it out of respect.

But Paul didn’t order him to do it, he simply asked out of love. True leadership comes from love, not orders.

Just a couple of verses earlier, Paul compliments Philemon on the love he has shown to others.

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” Philemon 1:7

If you have such love for others that you are refreshing the hearts of others, then you will undoubtedly have people wanting to follow you. This is not easy to do. I’m guessing that you can think of a handful of people right now that you don’t exactly feel like loving at the moment. But that’s the challenge and encouragement to you today. A song by TobyMac says “I was made to love, and be loved by You” and that’s exactly right.

We were created in His image and built to love God as well as everyone we come in contact with on this earth.

GO BE A LEADER…LOVE SOMEBODY…LOVE EVERYBODY.

Trending: Love Life Women’s Conference Tampa 2018

Finally it’s here and activated. The love life women’s conference is now live in Tampa Florida. It’s the trending conference for the year 2018, make sure you don’t miss it.

You can also stream online live for all activities. Please visit joycemeyer.com for further information. But meanwhile Sarah James Roberts will be live.

And other great women of God.

Watch the videos below….

Have wonderful Friday and weekend guys..

Internal Re-branding

Today, a lot of Christians who are spiritually fit but morally unhealthy. it beaks my heart when i hear people say things like “I did business with a christian and she duped me” or “He is a christian yet he lies a lot”. What these so-called Christians do not understand is that: a morally disabled person cannot be used by God in anyway. So, the big question is- who are you on the inside?
We have mistaken being prosperous to what we see (money and material things) but what unsuccessful people fail to understand is that you attract what you are on the inside. God wants us to be rich in all things- moral wealth, spiritual wealth and it’s likes. People don’t buy into just your great business plans anymore. They buy into you (the person).Macrokiosk | Kuala Lumpur Offices | The Space is built upon the five elements that governs the business model of Macrokiosk – functional, engaging, collaborative, creative and innovative – where the essence of powering connectivity is interwoven into its design approach. Spearheaded by Macrokiosk’s internal workspace design team in collaboration with a local interior design and built company, The Space is a continuity of a branding exercise to streamline the workspace design concept.
The problem is not lack of money but lack of character. Are you dependable? There is money everywhere but if you lack integrity and trust, you won’t attract it. You are a good product created by God but do you act like one?
Reading books, studying extensively about your field of work, putting your mind to work and taking the right actions to attain your desired success level are all part of the process to good success but most importantly the daily renewal of your inner man. Take the time to build your internal capacity and it will show on the outside in due season.

Lesson
Internal cleanliness is necessary for external prosperity.

 

 

Lessons to Learn From Apostle Paul As Christians

Paul was an inspirational man of God and there are many things that we can learn from him.

Who was apostle Paul?

Paul of Tarsus (c. 10 – c. 67), originally named Saul, was one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries, his prolific writings forming a major portion of the New Testament. His influence on Christian thinking has, arguably, been more significant than any other New Testament author, though he himself very likely never knew Jesus in life, but was converted to his faith by a vision which appeared to him in his efforts to suppress Christianity.

For Paul, killing Christians was committed as an act honoring God. Though he was out to bring an end to the early Christian movement, it was motivated by reverence for the law. We can become so immersed in religious traditions that we miss the actual spiritual move of God when He causes a shift. If we are disconnected in the spirit we’ll act out of former understanding and not the “right now” word of God.

The apostle Paul never seemed to exhaust the topic of grace – what makes us think we can? He just kept coming at it and coming at it from another angle. That’s the thing about grace. It’s like springtime. You can’t put it in a single sentence definition, and you can’t exhaust it. When Paul was in prison, he never siezed a day without praying and asking for the grace of God. “Lord your grace is so sufficient”. If he can be saved from all the killings and persecution of Christians, surely it’s just by the grace of God.

So why should we take the time to learn from a previously known murderer? Especially someone who tried to kill off the very thing he later promoted?

Here are lessons to learn from Paul;

1. God can use ANYONE

Of all the people that God could have used to bring so many people to Him, he ironically used the man who had been killing Christians. God changed Paul’s heart and used him for His glory. It’s almost difficult for us to understand why God picked Paul of all people, but honestly that’s what makes Paul so relatable to us. Even though we aren’t murdering other people, we still don’t deserve the second, third, fourth, etc. chances that God willingly and gracefully gives us when we mess up. The fact of the matter is that God cares about everyone . If God can use someone like Paul to do that much good, then that should be encouragement to know that He can use anyone, including you!

2. No one is beyond the saving grace of God.

God was more than willing to forgive Paul for the countless lives that he took and for all the bad things that he had done. God gave Paul grace and transformed him into a completely different person. Like Paul, God can do the same for us. We are broken people that can be transformed by God’s saving grace that He so lovingly gives to us, even though we don’t deserve it.

3. It’s okay if you mess up.

I know that as Christians, we can be really hard on ourselves for our mistakes. It can be tempting to think that if we mess up, that God won’t love us anymore. Paul killed tons of people in his past. He tried to stop Christianity. Even still, God forgave him, had a purpose for him, and loved him. Know that if you make a mistake, it’s okay. We are not perfect people because we live in a sin fallen world. It’s impossible for us to be completely perfect, and that’s why we need God in our lives. Don’t get discouraged by your mistakes, but allow God to use them to transform and strengthen you so that you can be an encouragement those around you.

4. How to get your priorities

Paul talks about how “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
In Philippians 3:7-9, Paul talks about how everything else of this world is garbage compared to his relationship with Jesus Christ. He knew that nothing else in this world even mattered. God was number one in Paul’s life. I don’t know about you, but that can be a pretty difficult thing to do. It’s so easy to put other things in that number one place in our lives: school, work, family, friends, relationships, anything that we find important. But Paul shows us that when it’s all said and done, the only thing that matters is our relationship with God and that He is number one in our lives.

5. What it takes to be with God forever

Building off of point #4, we know that Paul recognized the importance of a relationship with Jesus. He also recognized that’s what’s going to get us into Heaven. He shows us that there is a difference between knowing something about Christ and actually knowing Him on a personal level. In Philippians 3:9-10 Paul writes, “..that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” In other words, Paul realized what is so hard for us to understand: We can’t do it on our own . Our own good works and merit isn’t enough to get us into Heaven because we’re not perfect, nor did Jesus die for us to be perfect. Good works is the product of faith in Jesus Christ, and salvation is about a relationship with God. Knowing Him is the goal.

6. Our past doesn’t define us.

I’ve heard it said, “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
It’s pretty clear that Paul had a very dark and wicked past, but he didn’t let that define him. Instead, he grew and learned from it and was transformed into an incredible man of God. In Philippians 3:13, Paul writes, “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” One thing I have recently learned is that Satan is not God, he just wanted to be God. So since he isn’t God, he cannot see what is in front of us, so that only leaves one weapon for him to use: our past. He’s gotten good at it too; putting the thoughts of “I’m too far gone for God to use me” or “I’ve made too many mistakes for God to love me” into our heads. However, our past mistakes do not define us. They only provide opportunities for us to grow. God knows we are imperfect people, so He will love us regardless, and nothing that we can do will ever change that.

7. The importance of quiet time.

Paul wanted to know more and more of Jesus. He spent quality time with Him as often as he could. In Philippians 3:10-11, Paul writes, I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Paul knew that the only way that he would get to know God on the level that he wanted to was by spending time with Him in His Word and through prayer. Paul shows us the importance of quality time and that it results in knowing Christ intimately and personally.

8. How to care for others.

Paul’s life and his works make it evident to us that he cared for others.
Acts 17:16 says, “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Because Paul had a heart for the Lord, he also had a heart for His people. In Paul’s engagement with others, he didn’t act as though he was better than them, but instead fueled his conversation with compassion. This is an important thing to learn from Paul, especially in our interactions with others about faith. Nothing about it should be condemning, but instead out of genuine love and compassion for God and His people.

9. Humility

One thing that really sticks out to me about Paul is written in Philippians 3:12. Pauls says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Now if there was anyone that could brag about how on fire they are for God, of all the good things that they have done for Him, or all that they have surrendered for Him and accomplished through Him, it could be Paul. But Paul recognizes that he still has room for growth and doesn’t let pride consume him. Paul’s humility amazes me and it is something that we can definitely learn from and aspire to.

10. How to be content in any situation.

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul writes, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in an and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” The secret of Paul’s contentment was that he drew his strength from the Lord. He learned to rely on God’s promises and strength to help him be content in any situation. He knew that God would supply him with everything that he would need and that God ultimately knew what was best for him. I tend to be the type of person who stresses and worries, so I know that this is a very difficult thing to accomplish. However, I know that with God’s strength, it is possible for me to accomplish this.

11. How to stand firm in Christ.

In Philippians 3:20-21, Paul writes, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” The way to stand firm is to keep our eyes on Him. It can become so easy for us to be distracted by everything going on around us, but we need to remember that this world is not our home. Standing firm means to resist the ways of this world. Don’t get discouraged or lose heart when you mess up, but instead continue to press into the Lord. He promises strength, so with Him, you can stay true to the Lord.
These are just a few points that we can take away from Paul, but there is so much more that we can learn from him. All in all God used a man who was wicked and transformed him into an evangelistic dynamite. In all of these points that we can take away from Paul, know that you are not too far gone for God to use, that He has a purpose for you, and that in His strength, He can use you to do great things for His kingdom and glory.

Interview Discussion With The CEO of I. Pearls Fashion: Tabitha Bankole

What motivates and drive extraordinary people to do big things? It’s determination. To continue our series on interviewing upcoming young CEO’s, today we have a creative stylist and fashion designer. A lady of charm, elegant, and spruce. Guys welcome Tabitha Bankole “CEO I. Pearls Fashion”.

1. Tell us a bit about your background, school, and Where were you born?

My name us Bankole Tabitha, the 5th of 6 children. I was born in ogun state but my family relocated to Lagos when I was about 7 years old. I schooled in mbari mbayo school, redeemers high school and redeemers University where I obtained a B.A in history and international relations.

> 2. How was life growing up?

Life was good, had its ups and downs, I wanted to be a doctor growing up but I can’t stand blood… Then I wanted to be a farmer but I can’t hold chicken… Growing up was just growing up, I am still growing.

> 3. At what age in your life did you decide you wanted to go into the fashion business?

Fashion was my plan b, agriculture was my plan A, plan A was never going to work so plan B became plan A

> 4. How do you cope running a fast growing business?

Growing yes but I don’t think it’s moving as fast as I want. Generally it is a lot of dedication, hardwork, sweat and tears, but some day I will get there soon.

> 5. Is being a CEO a burden or a blessing or a bit of both?

It is kind of a bit of both, as the owner of a business you carry a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders, a lot more than you bargained for, but it’s a blessing because I have no limitations, i can go as high as I want which is a big blessing.
> 6. What challenge have you had as a business owner?
A lot of challenges, a whole lot I can mention a few… Dealing with fake fabric vendors to satisfying clients, coping with emergency jobs, getting investors.. A whole lot

> 7. In your opinion, what is the most difficult part about fashion and style?

Creativity : as a designer or stylist you have to keep being creative, it is the only way to stay in the game. There are over a million styles out there and a million coming out daily, so you have you keep thinking and being creative to stay in the game.

> 8. What’s the weirdest thing a customer/ staff has ever told you?

Nothing weird yet, I await that moment (laughs)
> 9. Your business confidence is so bold, do you sometimes have the fear of the unknown?
Yes definitely I do, every business owner does, but you just have to keep the faith and keep moving.

> 10. Which other professional are you looking to work with or have something coming out with?

I am working on something new, I will let people know when it is time.

> 11. If you had a chance to work with one person in the world, who would it be?

Omg that will be Oprah!

> 12. What are your top 3 points in your note or pad that you always reflect on?

Stay diligent, remain motivated, and keep working hard.

> 13. Aside the unemployment nature of the country, what drove you to switch from an International relations graduate to a fashion business owner?

Unemployment played no role in my business. I always knew I want to be an entrepreneur right from high school, in my university days I sold all sorts, so business has always being a part of me. I still love international relations and some day, I might do something in my line of study

> 14. What advice would you give to unmotivated and non inspired people around the world. Please explain???

Just keep doing what you do, the road is not easy but once you start flying you remain flying, there is no traffic in the air, so just keep trying to ‘take off’ and once you do, you will soar for ever.

> 15. What’s next for Tabitha Bankole?
I am working on my ready to wear line, and doing something new in the bridal industry. Once I am ready, the world will know.

Thank you very much for your time and contribution to our platform. Hope we do this again..

Tabitha Bankole: Sure…

7 Qualities of God That Will Motivate You

Is there anything in your life you wish you could change? Your job, your internal strength, your marriage, your ability to handle pressure? Your faith or your confidence to pursue your dreams? Most of us desire change at some point or another, sometimes because we want to move forward in our lives or career or sometimes because we have hit a low point and we want to get out of it.

But change can be difficult. Do you really believe you can change your life?
Throughout the Bible we read about a God who has the power to change not only our lives but our hearts, our families, and our destiny. As we work toward our upcoming Expo entitled “Second Acts” let’s look at 7 qualities of God that will inspire and motivate us to change.

1. God Transforms
A transformation is a dramatic change – not an incremental adjustment to our behavior. Making change in our lives is difficult, and left to ourselves we tend to make little headway on changing our habits.
God has the power to transform anyone into a totally different person. In what areas of your life do you want and need God to transform you? Take time to actually write down the answers to this question. We usually have many areas we want to change, but don’t often take time to admit them and ask God for help.

2. God is Powerful
God can change anything and everything about us. If the power that raised Christ from the dead and brought him back to life lives in us, then there’s nothing in us that can’t be changed.

The question is, do you want God to change you? Or are you comfortable the way you are? Do you allow God to change you? Or are you proud and trying to change yourself? If you’re not changing, the problem is not with God. He remains as powerful as he was the day he raised Jesus from death. He will use that power in your life too, if you will let him.

3. God Helps
Is your focus on God, or yourself? The challenge with change is that we tend to focus on ourselves and what we can do, instead of on what we can do with God’s help. Focusing on our own abilities is dangerous because no one is perfect.

In the recent Disney movie Tomorrowland, protagonist Casey Newton quotes to her discouraged father a Cherokee story:
Where do you focus your energy? On searching for God, working to be close to God, and asking him for help? Or on yourself? When we focus on ourselves we end up feeding the “darkness and despair” wolf because we will inevitably see all our shortcomings and mistakes.

What would it look like for you to feed light and hope more than darkness and despair? Maybe it’s reading more of the Bible daily, or memorizing scriptures, or spending more time praying. Decide to change something simple this week to focus more on God than yourself.

4. God Fulfills His Promises
Over and over again in the Bible we see that God can be trusted because he always finishes what he starts. Sometimes though we can trust ourselves and try to take over what we really should be trusting God to do. We may go to church and do all the right outward things, but completely rely on our own strength. In that case it’s especially easy to become deceived and lose faith, because we are trying to change in a spiritual setting but totally without God.

5. God Gives Strength
Nothing saps our faith in change and our faith in God like sin does. Our conscience gets affected by a lot of things, including not just our actions but our desires, thoughts, and attitudes. Sin saps our strength, but God restores it.

God doesn’t add burdens to our lives, he relieves our guilt so we can be strong. What sins are on your conscience today? Make time to pray about them so God can relieve your guilt and restore your strength.

6. God is Faithful
Even when we are unfaithful, God is faithful . Despite our sins, he is still faithful. Gratitude for God is a powerful motivator. God doesn’t want us to be motivated by dutifulness or guilt or just doing the right thing, but by gratitude for his incredible kindness and patience.

Spend time praying about how God has taken care of you in your life. What prayers has he answered? Who has he sent into your life to help you when you needed it most? How does God’s faithfulness to you personally make you feel?

7. God Gives Us Tools
We don’t change people – God changes people . The Bible changes lives. God gives us the scriptures as tools we need to change our lives and to help others – and we don’t have to do it by our own effort.

When was the last time you memorized a scripture about an area you wanted to change and decided to obey it every day? Trying to change without the power of the Bible will only be frustrating and discouraging, but with God’s help any area of our lives can be different.

Ajayi Olowo: A Leader’s Race To Victory

This is a sponsored post.

Barrister Ajayi Olowo is more than the next Governor of Ekiti State. He’s a model of leadership who demonstrates traits and characteristics that are essential for present day leaders and professionals.

Before and after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln confronted a variety of trials and obstacles, but remained committed to his vision to create a free nation. Just like Lincoln, Ajayi Olowo embodies many admirable qualities, two are especially relevant:

Ajayi Olowo is a master listener.

Like most leaders, Olowo dealt with conflicting views and personalities, yet he’s known as a man who listened. People were free to oppose his point of view without fear of retaliation. Of course, listening wasn’t always an indication of Olowo’s agreement. He would simply listen to competing ideas, process what he’d heard, and then respectfully make his final decision.

Ajayi Olowo is a master communicator.

Olowo is a communicator who artfully wove his vision for a new Ekiti with the priorities of his team. This is no small feat, and one executives wrestle with daily. Often, it’s difficult to make executive decisions that are best for long-term success when they conflict with short-term interests. Olowo is a speaker of the people. In other words, he simplified his vision and presented it in a way that conveyed his understanding of the people.

Having a vision is one thing, but believing that it is possible and will happen is what separates a successful leader and others.

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