Attitude of Gratitude

gratitudeeHow often do you stay thankful for acts of goodness (and even the seemingly unfair things) that happen in your life? And do you stay grateful on a regular basis?

 

Over the past few days, I have heard several people complain about one wrong thing or another in their lives. It could be bad grades at school, a disagreement with a dear friend or not having someone to talk to. These are some examples of real life occurrences; however, it is important to emphasize that our attitude about any state or condition in our lives is always within our power to choose. Attitudes are rooted in our own beliefs and are unique across most individuals. They do not form overnight but rather, throughout the course of one’s life journey. Although one’s attitudes are initially nurtured from the environment, we nonetheless always have a choice on what to keep or discard eventually. It is important to develop a positive attitude of gratitude since it will be very difficult to retain a certain kind of integrity where we create a wrong impression of being ungrateful.

grateful

So dear girl, how do you stay grateful, you ask?

Have a list: Developing a sense of gratitude might not happen overnight. It is a habit that should be practiced. I personally wanted to learn how to stay thankful, so I deliberately became more mindful of daily activities that happened in my life. The best way I could keep track was by keeping a journal. Every day, I would write down the things I was thankful for. Overtime, I found it easier to count my blessings and to generally have a positive outlook about life.

Express yourself: If you feel grateful, say it! Tell people around you. Don’t bottle up your emotions or how you feel. That way, you inspire yourself and those around you as well.

gratitude-piglet

Watch what you say: Your words are powerful. It is almost impossible to channel yourself to say two contradictory sentences and to believe them wholly. It’s either you believe one and are paying lip service to the other. If you find yourself constantly being critical or negative about events that happen in your life, there will almost be no time for you to reflect on being thankful. Be deliberate about the words you say and make sure you are appreciative of everything that happens around you, even the seeming bad things.

Get creative: Creativity will spur you to being grateful. For instance put little notes of positive messages around the house will help you stay grateful, set reminders on your mobile, tell your friends about the new plan and start an accountability thread. Make it as much fun as you possibly can. Start with people around you- You can stay grateful by celebrating those around you.

gratStay Mindful: To develop an attitude of gratitude, you have to be intentional. Don’t take things that happen to you for granted. Appreciate everything. Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.

And even when the odds seem against you: This becomes a test of character. Personally, 2018 started with me receiving three consecutive bad news that left me reeling in disbelief. I had entered the new year so certain about how the year would play out and next thing, all my plans came crashing. I remember sitting in my car and bawling my eyes out and then it hit me, why not choose to see the unseen benefit. Why not stay grateful to God for protecting you from unseen dangers. I did just that, trust me, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it paid off, because the rest of the year has turned out way better than I imagined.

So, what will you do when it seems like the odds are against you or that no one understands? Stay grateful. Find the reasons to be happy. No matter how minute they may seem.

Help others: Finally, help others. Volunteer. Be a light in another’s life. One sure way to live a thankful life is when you can see your the value you bring in the life of others and you know you are responsible for the smiles on their faces.

Love,

Nkiru

Hello June – A word of encouragement

you make it happen.jpgHey Guys

Hope you enjoyed the mid-term break.

It’s the sixth month of 2018 and we seem to be sprinting through the year. Now is a great time to check the goals you had written down in January. How far have you gone with them? Have you lived up to the set targets or it is still a work in progress?

Whatever the case is, stay persistent and stay consistent. Don’t give up on those goals if you haven’t started at all. Today is a good day to start from the beginning and also a good day to make the necessary adjustment if you have already started. All it takes is a step from you.

If for instance, your goal was to read up six books this year and you haven’t started any at all. Start with one today, the first page of the first book is just the perfect place to start.
Also, try as much as possible to have an accountability partner that way you have someone to subconsciously motivate you.

An important reminder, “You make it happen”.

Keep pushing.

Strength of Character

strength of characterHey Girls,

It’s the beautiful month of May and we at the Big Sister Initiative are appreciative of the fifth month of the year and the goo

The nugget for today is Strength of Character. How do you behave under pressure? In the face of fear or temptation especially where you know that no one will ever find out? One of the important life lessons I have come to appreciate is that there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

This does not mean that you are guaranteed to always make the best decisions but the values you hold true, will always guide the actions you take.

Have a beautiful week ahead.

Inside Out

Dear Girl, at one point or another in life, we are faced with pressures. It could be psychological, emotional, personal, tied to your finances or your relationships with people. To be honest, it can be feel quite overwhelming and your safety net might encourage you to lean towards emotions such as fear, disgust, anger or even sadness, however it is important that you do not despair.

attitudeWhat’s on your inside, will always be brought to the surface when you are under pressure. Work on your inside out. Build your inner self to be resilient, kind, thoughtful, patient, build your character and your words. When a teabag is dipped in hot water, the content of the bag spreads through the water, in the same way when you are under stress and pressure , the words you speak and the actions you take will reveal what’s on your inside.

Does this mean you write yourself off where you falter? No, but it means that you are a work in progress and that you should actively strive for self improvement. It is important that we become the best versions of our selves, this will go a long way in self actualization and also in improving the lives of those around us.

As you enjoy your school break, try adopting some positive characters and letting go of some of the “not too nice” attitudes.

Will love to hear from you.

Lots of Love,

Nkiru

 

Stephen Hawking: As the curtain drops

stephen hawkins

Today the world mourns the passing on of the greatest scientists of our time, Stephen Hawkins.

One of my best quotes of his is :

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically.”

Absolutely brilliant that he was a fighter in spirit who refused to be beat down by the rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that gradually paralysed him over decades. He was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 21 and was given two years to live, however, Hawkings was resilient about life and passed on at the age of 76.

There are a lot of life lessons to learn from Hawkings and some include:

-The quality of life you live is dependent on you and not the circumstances around you.

-Perfection is overrated.  Hawkings once said – However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at, It matters that you don’t just give up.

-In any course/path you opt for, ALWAYS put your best foot forward and never compromise on excellence.

While Hawkings legacy remains, the question now is, What do you want to be remembered for. What impact do you seek to make in the world around you.

Please see below some other quotes of Hawkings that will motivate you to strive for more regardless of what life throws your way.

  • Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
  • “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist” 
  • “So next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist”
  • “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.”
  • “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
  • “It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.”

Have a refreshing Wednesday.

Love,

Nkiru

 

International Women’s Day 2018- #PressforProgress

iwd

The theme for 2018’s International Women’s Day celebration is Press for Progress, and we can’t agree more.

The emancipation of women from the shackles of stereotypes that have held them bound is indeed one to be celebrated. Have these shackles been completely destroyed? Definitely not, but women have come a long way in 2018 than where they were in 1918. Yes, women are still faced with pay inequality at the work place, stereotypes and biases that shape how society allows them thrive and even self-limiting actions and beliefs they have come to accept.

Nevertheless, It’s no doubt that women remain a force of change in their societies. Today, Indeed we celebrate, acknowledge and express our love to women across the world. From those at the home front taking  steps in shaping their families and communities to those leading protests around the globe and even to those breaking the glass ceilings that were put in place to hold them back. These women have one thing in common: they see themselves in a different way and chose to exercise their power.

We salute you. the future is revolutionary because of your actions.

And to our young ladies that aspire to be women of change in the near future, I will say, “you are the change the world needs. ”

You are powerful

You are sufficient

You are bold1wd2

You are light

You are loved

The world needs you

 

Lots of Love,

From us at TBSI

 

love Love

Saint Valentine’s Day definitely came in a hurry. It feels like a few days ago we all excitedly welcomed the new year.

Anyway, how are you spending your Valentines day. In what ways are you sharing love, showing love or doing something out of love? Remember, Love is sometimes in the little things.imagesLots of Love

Tough times? Read This

butterflyA few days ago I had a phone conversation with one of the children affiliated to the Big sister initiative. She sounded so upbeat about school and life in general. “I like my new classmates and my grades have improved”, she said. I was so excited, It felt like a major win. We talked about other things, like the possibility of us having another outreach at her school this quarter, her plans for the new year, my plans for the new year etc

This was a sharp contrast from the girl who had reached out to us a couple of months ago. From our initial telephone conversation, she was bawling her eyes out. She had just received her report card from school and she had been asked to repeat a class. “my world has ended”, “I feel so stupid”, “God doesn’t love me”, ‘why am I so unlucky” were some of her words. I simply listened for the first few minutes because I knew it was important for her to go through the emotions. Then I offered some advice and we ended the call on a bright note. During our follow-up calls, we talked extensively and seemed to have settled in. Her recent call was a further affirmation that she was indeed in a better place.

What lessons have I taken from the experience?

One of life’s greatest gifts is the fact that life can be difficult. We build invaluable strength while dealing with life’s difficulties.  This strength enables us to successfully fulfill our deepest, most meaningful purposes.

Over time you will find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than you thought it was going to be; it’s just that the easy and the hard will not be exactly the way you had anticipated, and will not always occur when you expect them to.  This isn’t a bad thing; it makes life interesting.  With a positive attitude and a deep-rooted knowledge of who you are in Christ, knowing that God loves you and wants the bets for you, you will always be pleasantly surprised.

Your mindset and the frame of your thoughts will play a major role in how your journey will play out. It’s okay to have down days and tough times, try not to get overwhelmed by them. Trust God completely.  Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise and never come crashing down.  However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs.

If your year didn’t start off on a positive note, don’t let it beat you up. You are just starting the 3rd week of the year. I strongly believe that 2018 will be an exciting, defining year for many of us. It is also one that will stretch us and require us to come out of our comfort zones. For some of us, this could mean writing your school leaving examinations, preparing for A levels, starting out as a fresh year student of a university, starting out in a new class or a new school, moving to a new country, starting a new life afresh etc. How you respond to these changes will be crucial for the next level. Irrespective of where you currently are; project into the future, stretch the limit and keep pushing to achieve your goals(yes, the ones you had written down earlier this month).

The stimulus for growth is discomfort. Times of stress are also times for growth, challenges give room for opportunities and if we use setbacks properly, we can grow through adversity.

Love,

Nkiru

Hello 2018

 

2018-Happy-New-Year-Card

 

A new year has rolled in and with it comes fresh opportunities. We, at the Big Sister Initiative are excited about the plans for 2018. One thing is clear, we are resolute in improving the lives of the adolescent and are committed to expanding the reach of the initiative. The future is indeed bright.

2017 was a learning curve for us, from having outreaches with the E and R foundation, Command Children School Oshodi to Ajao Estate Primary School amongst others.

During the Christmas Carol session held at the Muri Okunola Park in December, we had a lot of girls give us feedback on the impact the platform has made in their lives and it was a humbling and inspiring moment for us as it showed us that the platform is indeed gathering momentum and we are adding some colors to the world we live in.

We see 2018 having a lot of disruptions in our manner of engagements, we will be reaching out to teens in schools, clubs, associations, we also see a lot of collaborations and partnerships with stakeholders that have similar objectives. This will be an exciting year for us here and we will like to encourage you to continue to positively impact the world around you from your corner.

Lots of Love

 

Celebrating 2017

 

EOY9

2017 turned out to be a beautiful year for us in terms of the activities organized, the reach covered and the impact we made in the lives of the children.

On the 10th of December, we partnered with the Emmanuel and Rachael foundation to have a fun fair and Carol event, the proceeds of the events will be channeled to the welfare of the kids of the Foundation. We are thankful for the kids, Meimunat, Ikechukwu, Esther, Eniola, Sharon, Michael and the many more whom we worked with closely this year; kids who constantly reach out to us for words of advice, encouragement and support. We took the opportunity to showcase some of the handiwork of the kids and to generally have a good time to wrap up the year 2017 and to plan ahead for 2018.

Pictures of the handiwork of the kids:

EOY 1

 

And more…Please follow us on Instagram and twitterEOY10

And some more…

EOY 5It was an event that also allowed us understand where the kids of the E and R foundation where in terms of their education, welfare and the next steps.

We believe that the year ahead will bring with it many positives for the kids and the initiative in general.