Blog

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.

Is your Passion enough for your Career?

download (1)During our last outreach program on the 1st of November, I observed that the kids had questions around their future career options, possibility of combining different careers and were generally quite excited about the talk and games.

Their curiosity and excitement encouraged me to do a little research and make enquiries from people who I consider successful in their chosen careers. I felt it would be a disservice to simply say, “Follow your passion”, especially when that strategy alone had not been entirely true for me. I find it strange that almost everyone says “follow your passion, follow your interests”, yet there seems to be a growing discomfort and un-fulfillment in the work place. It begs the question, Does Passion matter in one’s career? The outcome of my research is, yes Passion matters, but it is not sufficient in itself. I will explain.

download

 

I recently listened to a Ted Talk By Benjamin Todd, CEO and Co-Founder of 80,000 hours and he was of the opinion that each individual had 80,000 hours in their career hence the need to “Do what’s Valuable”. According to him, it has become important that we move beyond this mantra of follow your passion and focus on what we can do for other people and how to make the world a better place

Dear girl, without trying to bore you, what I am trying to say is that no doubt passion is important, however, there are some scenarios where passion matches the work but the individual still does not find fulfilment. What this means is that your interest is not a basis on which to choose a career. When it comes to real career decisions, your interests are just not a decisive factor other things matter much more like what your skills are and what your mindset is. Indeed, we think that our interest matters a lot more than they do because we really underestimate how much they change.

Your interest five years ago will have probably changed compared to what they currently are now and in 5-10 years’ time they will probably change again. Focus on getting good at something that genuinely helps others and makes the world a better place. That is the secret to a fulfilling career. Helping others is a secret to personal fulfillment. What causes people to be truly satisfied and happy in their life is doing what is valuable. Let that be the foundation for any career path you opt for.

Get good at something that makes the world a better place. Do what is valuable. Even if you work as a Doctor, Web Designer etc

If you focus on helping others, most people will want you to succeed. It is much true to say do what is valuable which will lead to passion and subsequently, a fulfilling career. It can be artistic or intellectual such as being a business analyst. Focusing on doing what is valuable will give you clear concrete meaningful goals that will make your life better. There will be no more endless reflections on which of your interests represent my true calling.

What practical steps should you follow?

Explore; Learn all you can about the world and test yourself out on different things: this will include reading, asking questions, developing a creative mind, watching movies and for those who can afford to, Travel. To discover what is valuable, you have to discover what is out there in the world you just cannot figure it out by simply thinking only about your own interests.

Get some skills and get good at them; These should be skills that are in demand and can be used in different areas(Flexible).

Solve a pressing social problem using your skills. Pick one that has been unfairly neglected, you will thrive there. Big social problems can be and often are solved by research, by developing new technology, by spreading big ideas in the art etc.

The key is to work out where your skill can fit in to have the greatest impact.

In conclusion, From the way I see it, Altruism is one thing you will never regret. If you really want to be successful in your own career, you really need to stop focusing on your self-interest and instead ask what you can do for other people.

*Pictures from google

Love and Light

Nkiru

 

Hello November: Full Circle

The Big Sister Initiative is a year old, the journey has been enlightening and an interesting learning curve, but most importantly, we are grateful to have impacted lives in our own little way. On the 1st of November, we visited Ajao Estate Grammar School to spend some time with the students and it was indeed an amazing experience. Our discussions spanned from career to relationships to money and it was great watching the students (girls and boys) excited about learning and asking questions.

i

 

 

What struck me during the session (this happens at almost all sessions with the students ) was how accommodating and eager they were to learn. Their curious minds  eager to know more and trying to figure out ways to be successful. One message we try to reiterate during our sessions with the students is that -you are only a decision away from a completely different life- We realize that the adolescent stage is one where critical life decisions will be made and it is important to reiterate the need for the students to have core values and principles that will guide their choices. There was however a red flag I observed , I must confess that I was concerned about the state of the infrastructure  of our public schools, it speaks a lot to the deterioration of the educational system in Nigeria. Nevertheless, we at the big sister initiative remain focused on the students  and the content they are exposed to especially the parts that are not covered by the school curriculum.

 

If you are a school administrator and you will like for us to spend some time mentoring your students, please leave us a message or contact us via any of our social media handles.

Lots of love,

From All of Us.

Unending Learning: My Recipe for Greatness

‘’Knowledge is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” ― Albert Einstein

books

Last year, I did some soul searching which was basically evaluating my life and the lives of those who had access to me. I made a long list of those I have always admired (The fine ones with fancy stuff), Those that motivated and inspired me (the ones I wanted to be like), during my evaluation it became clear to me that each category of my peers had distinguished characteristics/attributes that made me form the perceptions I had about them. More importantly for me, were the ones I wanted to be like – Oh My! They shined all the way, had answers to every question in class, among friends, anywhere and everywhere and I remember attributing it to them being the teacher or lecturers favorite. Guess what I discovered from my evaluation series – The people I wanted to be like were not academic intellectuals, they simply had a deep quest for knowledge and were inquisitive about life and its components, they were bold to ask questions and never afraid to fail at first attempt; they take every moment as an opportunity to learn, they are not close minded and they embrace every form of teaching.

bookss

This made me have a rethink on my journey and how close minded I have been which has been nothing but self-limiting and I made a vow to make it right by actively developing and cultivating the habit of learning especially because every gathering of successful people I have been privileged to sit in has been governed by a common principle – Learn, Learn, Learn! You just can never be too old to learn because Knowledge never goes out of style, it is power, it is what makes us who we are and what ends up placing us where we want to be, it is the driver of our path. And because of this, the things I thought were fascinating and interesting suddenly became meaningless as I decided to pick up hobbies that will enhance my growth such as meeting people from different places, trying to find meanings for words I never knew existed, trying to learn new language and the best of all my appetite for reading grew overnight.

I have come to realize that great and successful people don’t know it all, they sometimes don’t even know it at all but they stay with the questions much longer than ordinary people, they stay learning as if they are going to live forever because they believe so much that it is only through learning that they will go places others only dreamed of.

Personally, the more I read, the more I realize that I know nothing and I can only keep at it to get answers that will catapult and prepare me for every next level of my life.

My dear young ones, you cannot get tired of learning, you cannot get tired of seeking answers, you cannot get tired of failing because Failure teaches important lessons and you cannot get tired of getting Involved…. And Do not forget – The Goal is to be nothing short of the best there can ever be.

I will round off with one of my favorite quotes;

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Lots Of Love,

Eniola