<![CDATA[EVERGREEN LIFESTYLE GEMS - Blog]]>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:54:32 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[THE STARTING POINT: A Beginner's Guide to Personal Development]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 06:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/the-starting-point-ebook
Picture
 
​    Hey guys, I’m super excited to announce that I’m ready to launch my latest project which is an e-book I've been working on for a while. It is a collection of my blog posts arranged in a course-like manner for maximum efficiency and reader benefit. Even if you’ve read my blog posts, there’s still some new stuff in here that you can’t afford to miss!  Let's goo!

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required

  LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!!!

Picture
Credit: Warrior Princess 4 Him
 
   Well, let’s start with some questions: Are you a young person who is confused, uncertain or lost in life? Are you happy with the way your life is going now? What have you done about it? Do you wanna turn your life around but don’t know where to start from? Well, I have some answers for you because the more you know, the more you can do.
Picture

   You can learn how to dramatically change your life today if you seriously FOCUS on THREE areas which I shall call the “TRINITY OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT”, they are:
  1. Mind Matters 

    If your mind isn’t right then the seeds of success will never grow and bear fruit. Your mind is like a mine full of gems and you as the owner, it is to reap it's benefits but you must know it's value and also how to utilise the countless gems and turn them into riches in both a physical and spiritual sense. 

   This part of the book shows you how to better utilise your mind through topics like negative thoughts, positive attitude, fear, self-confidence & self-esteem, insecurity, rejection, stress and mental health. This part is the biggest part of the book and it provides easy and actionable steps on handling, managing, overcoming or improving any of the issues addressed.

  2.  Purpose Driven Issues 

    A person without purpose is like a headless chicken running around without direction. Do you know your left your from right? What are you actually doing with your life?  There was a time in my life, about 2 years ago when I didn’t have a purpose or any productive passions, I would get interested in things and after a short time drop them off. Yes, I was in university to get good grades and bag a degree and in a way you could call that purpose.

    In reality, I was as lost as a mole in daylight. Questions like "what would you do with your life after uni?" scared me, but I sure as hell knew what I was studying wasn’t gonna give me a good answer. Heck, I even had a prophecy telling me that law isn’t my path.

   As I have come to see, a solid purpose will give you a solid resolve to do the needful, it helps you stay on course, when to say yes, when to say no. A clearly defined purpose is no different than a telescope, it helps you see far into the stars.

    When your purpose isn't clear or absent, part of what makes you human will be missing, you'll be like a plane that has lost contact with the control tower. This part of the book covers the topics of finding your purpose, goals and planning.

  3.  Habits

    Habits are the glue that holds everything together. Without the right habits, you will never come around to doing anything that will make you successful. In essence, success remains a wish or dream if you don’t have suitable habits.

   Habits affect every aspect of our lives from when we sleep to when we wake up, what we eat, which shoe’s laces gets tied first, and a whole lot more. In fact, if our brain had the opportunity, it will make everything we do into a habit because things that aren’t habits gives the brain extra work that it rather not do.

​   This part of the book covers bad habits, then focuses on one bad habit i.e. procrastination, good habits, then focuses on one good habit which counters procrastination i.e. time management and lastly success habits i.e. those habits successful people possess that makes them successful but it is by no means an exhaustive list. If you want your income to stream to be as long and rich as the Mississippi River or the River Nile, then it still comes back to Trinity of Personal Development.

   Lastly, the book also comes with 30 book recommendations that address most of the topics in one way or another. Why book recommendations on my book? Well, because I’m a beginner as well and those guys are experts.
Picture
Credit: Slideshare

   The book is centred around three main subjects which I have explained above but sometimes, some things overlapped or are repeated, don’t worry about the repetition because that implies emphasis and every new repetition is presented in a fresh way. Some common themes include
  1. Positive thinking or positivity
  2. Goals & Planning
  3. Accountability
  4. Biblical References
  5. The power of the mind
  6. Fear, worry & doubt (FWD)
  7. Rejection
  8. Anime and Movie References
  9. Wise quotes (every chapter ends with 5 quotes to make you think further)

    There’s a whole lot more so don’t be surprised if you see a tip being repeated or even given a full-fledged chapter!

    It comes in both a Nigerian and International English version for better a reader experience and at its core, it is a book filled with Nigerianisms, youthful vigour, mixed with classic, evergreen, or timeless advice. After all, it is a personal development book for young people, written by a young person. Furthermore, it is based on personal experience, wicked imagery and analogies and research. 
Picture

   Do you want to get a deeper insight into these topics? Well there’s only one choice for you and it is to buy the book! It costs N2500 or $8.99 ($7 + 1.99c charge) or £7 (£6 + 99p charge) or 7.65 Euros (6.70 + 95 Euro cents charge)
 

  Note: International payments will be made through World Remit due to some issues I’m not able to resolve for now. Once I’m able to, the international payment process will be a breeze! Please bear with me for now. For first timers on World Remit, use the promo code FREE to remove the charges.
   As the author of this e-book, I want to make you 4 promises which are the ideology of Evergreen Lifestyle Gems and they are: 
   i. TO ENLIGHTEN YOU
   ii. TO ENTERTAIN YOU
   iii. TO ENCOURAGE YOU 
  iv. TO ENGAGE YOU
   
Before making your final decision, here are some reviews on the book so far...
Picture

    "The book is practical. It captivates the reader with its real life situations that most people if not everyone has experienced, it’s almost as if the author is in my mind." — Meshacq I. 

    "I'm not a self-help reader but I found this book to be illuminating. I personally found the part on stress helpful because I got a new job and had to move to a new state. This book has given me a simple but in no way mediocre look on some aspects of my life I had overlooked."  - Tracy E. 

    "This book is well written as it covers a lot of areas. It is well articulated as well, you could tell the writer, Ofai Edori spent adequate time researching and analysing his points."  - Timi A.

   "The book is truly a beginner's guide to personal development, it covers what so many persons have experienced in life including myself. I found the part on time, bad habits, procrastination and understanding the mind so interesting because those parts if not understood kills slowing. Expecting more from the author, Ofai."  - Chinaza U. 

   "The book is very inspiring and why is it? Because it opened my eyes to so many practical things I didn't even know were real, a lot of inspiring things was shared and learnt. The book is simply the bomb!" - Sheyi O.  


    To buy my bookif you’re a non-subscriber in Nigeria click here.
If you’re a subscriber in Nigeria click here
If you’re an International non-subscriber click here.
If you’re an international subscriber, click here.
 
  TRUE CHANGE STARTS WITH A BURNING DESIRE AND ONE DECISION. MAKE THAT DECISION NOW! CLINK ONE OF THE LINKS AND BUY MY E-BOOK
 
   Don't be afraid because as Will Smith said, the good things in life are on the other side of fear. Make your choice today. 
  Do you have any thoughts on the book or landing page or any questions? Please Comment below, Like and Share this on social media, let your people know a new author has been born. Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE so you don't miss a thing and Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.  See ya next time!                                   
                                            Thanks.

                                              Ofai.

   Previous Post: 3 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone Today!

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
]]>
<![CDATA[3 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone Today!]]>Tue, 02 Oct 2018 11:52:48 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/comfort-zone
Picture
Credit: Multi View
 
   Hey guys, apologies for all the inconsistency but I've been working hard on my book and that takes priority but it is finally done! The only issue I'm having is with international payments but Nigerian payment is all sorted out, please bear with us as we try to resolve the issue. In the meantime, enjoy this short post on reasons why to leave your comfort zone today! Let's goo!

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
   Introduction
   Your comfort zone is a seemingly nice place, a safe haven, it embodies security but is it really what it’s cut out to be? Your comfort zone is like a calm sea but no great sailor is recognised on how s/he navigates the calm sea, it is in the furnace of turbulent seas that great sailors are forged.
 

​    Naturally, we all crave comfort; would you rather sleep on a hard rock or a soft bed? Our comfort zone is a place where stress and anxiety are low and where things are predictable. There’s nothing wrong with staying there but just like a house it’s good to leave it once in a while and it’s also good to come back to it, after all, a house connotes "shelter and security." Don’t put yourself under house arrest! Staying in this zone for too long will halt productivity, innovation and breeds complacence and lack of commitment among other things.

3 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone 

As a person, it is necessary to remember to challenge yourself and flex your muscles once in a while. Muscles that aren’t used will only shrink and get rusty. On that note, here are some reasons why you should step out of your comfort zone.  
  1. Self-Improvement Occurs Out of It
Picture
Credit: African Leadership
   
    "Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

    There is the saying that "pressure makes diamonds" and when you wanna forge any metal it has to go through intense heat to get the desired result. You can apply this to humans as well, struggle and discomfort is where growth happens; the strength and durability of a rubber band it’s in how much it can stretch. J.M. Barrie said, “we are all failures- at least the best of us are.” and John Gardner said “there is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life. It’s as simple as that.”

    When you were little and you wanted to learn how to ride a bike did you do without the risk of injury or damage to the bike? When I was little, my dad got me a bigger bike I was super excited and he used to help me out when I was learning how to ride it but one day when he was confident enough he left all the riding to me. When I took it out for a spin to show off to my friends I was feeling myself way too much and I found myself speeding into a gutter and I had to save myself so I jumped off the bike; the bike was damaged a little bit. After that experience, I got back on my feet and got better.

  As kids, many of us were adventurous and curious a.k.a. natural risk takers and we were developing and growing but along the line this trait starts to wither like a dry leaf in the scorching heat in many of us. It reminds me of the saying that the curse of knowledge is pain. Because we know better and experience have showed us pain we kind of stay in a ‘safe space’ like a foetus in a womb. This make us settle into a life of predictability and certainty.  

    According to a study done by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson in 1908, for us to raise our performance levels, we must be in a state of relative anxiety i.e. a state in which our stress levels are slightly higher than usual. This state is called "optimal anxiety," and it's just outside our comfort zone but too much anxiety will drop our performance levels. If you’ve watched the Captain America: The First Avenger then you’ll remember when he was put in the chamber and the serum were injected that he was in a calm state but when his transformation began he screamed loudly and there were some sparks in the lab before his transformation was complete. Another example is from Vampire Diaries or The Originals you can see and hear the pain those with werewolf blood go through before they fully transform into wolves.

  There’s always opportunity to grow and to make some lemonade out of lemons, no matter the circumstance.  Many settle for mediocrity due to fear of failure, but I believe that the fear of failure is the beginning of failure. Failure isn't a dead end, it’s a secret door to success because you’ll learn and gain more from failure than from success. Leaving your comfort zone is a gift that keeps on giving because whether you fail or succeed you’ll grow compared to doing nothing. So, whether it’s burning the midnight oil to achieve your goals or going to the gym often just keep it at the back of your mind that no pain no gain.

​  2.  
Self-Discovery
Picture
Credit: Self Discovery

        "The longest journey is the journey inward." - Dag Hammarskjold 

   Discovering and understanding yourself isn’t a one day’s job and it will require you trying out new things and for some people it is quite hard especially when they like the life they’re used to or are too afraid to change it. Finding your passion or purpose in life may take a while, kudos to you if you’ve found them. Quick question, how will you know you don’t like something when you’ve never tired it? If you keep living your life the same way you won’t discover anything new about yourself, we know the famous Albert Einstein quote about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.

    When you leave your comfort zone you’ll be able to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to and also new things which will make you appreciate living a lot more. For example, I only discovered I love blogging in February 2018 and prior to that I never took writing seriously. After posting my 
first ever blog post and received positive feedback I decided to set up shop in the blogging world and I’m all the better for it. I never knew I’d be passionate about blogging but I’m glad I discovered it.

   The main reason I even started a blog was because I was very curious about the online business world which I knew was there but never quite paid attention to it. Waiting around won’t achieve anything, it’s not the same as patience; when you take action and stroll out of your comfort zone the results can be amazing!


  3.  It Prepares You for The Unexpected
Picture
Credit: Arbutus Solutions

   "To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." - Oscar Wilde

  Like I said before, the comfort zone is characterised with predictability but we all know that life throws things at us that we didn’t plan for. When you’re usually in your comfort zone you’re reactive instead of proactive so you may just complain and then accept it. When you leave your comfort zone often you look for creative ways to deal with the problem. I believe that problems are like coconuts, you have to break them to see the white inside.

   Creativity is risky business but no risk no reward.  Being creative will involve putting yourself out there and when you do that once and you liked it then you’ll do it again. When you open yourself up to the unexpected, you’ll become more vulnerable but at the same time better equipped to deal with life. Pretending that uncertainty doesn’t exist and thereby providing yourself with a false sense of security is denial and it’s bad for you because what happens when this self-imposed illusion is broken? You’ll be broken yourself.

  So, for starters, you should take calculated and controlled risks by doing things you wouldn’t normally do. So, go talk to that person, email that company for the internship, etc. These things will warm you up to the idea of living out of your comfort zone and it can give you the flexibility and adaptability skills you need in life.

  In conclusion, reality exists out of your comfort zone and you can’t keep living in a bubble because when it’s popped unexpectedly you’re gonna end up homeless! So, try something new today, it might be as simple as ordering a different meal than your usual. Start little, take one foot out of your zone before the other one, it might be scary but it’s worth it!

  WELL, THAT’S FROM ME, GUYS! NOW…
Picture
Credit: Living Waters Bible Church
 
   So what action will you take to leave your comfort zone today? Comment below or if you have any more reasons why we should leave our comfort zones more often then please Comment so we can all learn. Share this post on social media with your friends and family.  
SUBSCRIBE to our blog for some more personal development tips, book recommendations and quotes. Follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter & Pinterest. See ya next time!
                                              Thanks.
                                               Ofai. 
 
  Previous Post: 21 Cool Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
]]>
<![CDATA[21 Cool Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday]]>Sat, 22 Sep 2018 06:00:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/21-cool-ways-to-celebrate-your-birthdayPicture


​    ​Hey guys! Today is a special day, it’s my birthday. I usually talk about it a lot but when the day finally comes I barely end up doing anything because planning events is not my thing so I end up doing small things if at all. I don’t even eat cake. I know, a bit sad, right? Lol. Anyway, I’m 21 today and in the spirit of that here are 21 ways to celebrate your birthday. I’ll be excluding the obvious stuff like spending time with your family and friends at home because we all do that. Let's goo!

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required

1. Go-Karting
Picture

​   I shouldn’t be mentioning this because I had the most embarrassing moment go-karting and I haven’t been back. Long story short, it was in Get Arena in Lagos back in 2013, it involved tight trousers, me crashing into a pillar, flying out but being determined to land on my feet and ending up with a ripped pair of trousers and some people laughing at me.Regardless, go-karting is a fun activity to participate in when you’re out with people for your birthday, it’s like bumper cars but a bit crazy. I’d recommend it as a means of friendly competition and to show off your driving skills (if you have any).

 2. ​Paint balling
Picture
 
  Paint balling is like a shooting game in real life, a bit painful, tactical gear, a lot of sweat, competition but way less lethal or deadly. I’d recommend this with work friends because it builds teamwork and requires some strategy and tactics so it’s a big team building exercise! Plus, if you have someone you don’t like you can always air out your grievances with a good ol’ game of paint balling.
 
3. Sky Diving
Picture

   When I was younger and less afraid, I wanted to go sky diving, I’d see it on TV and get excited. Now, I still wanna go but not as much. Sky diving is fun for those who like to rock up the dare devil in them and what better way to do that than falling (sorry diving lol) from a plane all the way to the ground with the safety of a parachute and an instructor of course. If you’re scared of actual sky diving but wanna do it regardless, you can try indoor sky diving. I suppose it offers a similar feeling.
 
​4. Themed Party
Picture
Credit: Shindigz

    Wow! Halloween just came early. If you wanna know a cool way to celebrate your birthday, try a themed party where people dress a certain way and possibly even talk a certain way lol. You can try a medieval themed party, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s party. You can even try another culture but try not to overdo it because it might be cultural appropriation. You can even do a superheroes themed party. Which hero would you dress up as? Me it has to be Batman of course! Or you can just go normal heroes of history, you can used a local hero in your country or go international.  The only way to make any party, fun and awesome is by having a theme. Yes, give it a theme. Plan out a themed party that is unique and fun.

  5. Take A Road Trip
Picture

    Hot day, loud and good music, AC (or top down), some 20-something year olds in a car, and a good amount of fuel in a car, these are the necessary ingredients for a fun road trip. What is being young without a road trip or two especially on a special day like your birthday?Road trips are an absolute blast and the destination doesn’t always matter, the destination is important but it’s the trip itself to wherever you’re going that is more important in my opinion. So, when it’s your birthday, grab your car keys, get your luggage, stop and fill up your tank and call some friends. Don’t have a car? No problem, you can always use a bus.

  6. Visit Museums
Picture

    The last time I went to the museum, I was in London and I went with a good friend, last year. In fact, we went to two: British Museum of Natural History and British Museum of Science (or something like that); it wasn’t our birthday but it was a great time. Plus, it was free! 100%, so if you’re interested in history and the arts but wanna keep it cheap for whatever reason, call up your people and storm a museum building. It doesn’t have to be boring you can spice it up by trying to act like the people from different eras and stuff, take pictures, etc. but don’t touch the glass lol.

  7. Give Back to the Community
Picture

    Some people like to spend their time living lavishly but others are the more philanthropic type. If you fall into the latter category then giving back to your community on your birthday may be a no brainer. Giving back is just a way to attract blessings plus you’re helping others while simultaneously feeling better about yourself. You can visit a soup kitchen, volunteer at your local school or church, you can visit an orphanage, etc.  

  8. Games Night
Picture

   We’re all adults here right, if you’re not then skip to the next one lol. Games, who doesn’t love them right, and some say it’s better a little wine involved. You can have a games night as a way to celebrate, if you be some good ol’ fashioned truth or dare, monopoly, charades, or you can make up your own games and involve everyone. Games are something people get passionate about so you know your competitive friends are gonna spice it up.

  9. Attend a Music Festival
Picture

    This is definitely more of a summer time and it’s definitely all types of fun! I’ve only been to one festival and it was Wireless in 2017 and I can categorically say it was the best day of my life. A more popular festival, I think would be Coachella. I mainly went to see the two Star Boys (Wiz Kid and The Weeknd) and I was happy with the other acts like Kojo Funds, Stefflon Don, Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign, Nas, etc and the guest they brought with them. Festivals are cheaper compared to shows of a particular big artist and you may get to see more people, I mean where else would I have seen Wiz Kid and The Weeknd in the same place if not a festival?

​ 10. Have a Barbeque
Picture

    BBQs are a fun way to spend time with your loved ones. Who doesn’t like the smell and taste of roasted meat, some bread and drinks to go with. Oh wait, we can’t forget the music as well, good music is integral to having a fun BBQ. You can also have some other activities as the BBQ is going on, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be lining up for some take home BBQ as well, my favourite part of any BBQs lol.
   
​   11. Did Someone Say the Spa?
Picture

    Your birthday should be all about you so that means self-care. What says self-care more than a spa? You should be almost stress free on your birthday and a spa can offer that, you can get a massage, some Jacuzzi time, maybe even get some time in the sauna. All these activities will have you feeling relaxed and you wouldn’t wanna leave. Man, I need some spa time as well, who wants to join me?

​  12. Watch Some Movies and Shows
Picture

    For my 19th birthday, I went to the cinema to see the movie, Magnificent 7 starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, etc. I can categorically say it was a good time. Now, I know it doesn’t have to be your birthday to watch your favourite movies and shows and I agree. You can log in to your Netflix and binge watch some shows just for the fun of it for your birthday (for those of us that are not rich we have Putlocker lol). You can invite your friends over and yeah tell them to bring some popcorn and drinks because it’s your birthday and you can tell them to bring popcorn and drinks if you want to.
 
​  12. Camping
Picture

  Nature helps us recharge, it brings us closer to our source. Sometimes, city life can be overwhelming and overbearing, what better way to get in touch with Mother Nature than going camping. Get your camping gear and have a birthday weekend camping trip with your fellow nature lovers.

​  13. Attend a Comedy Show
Picture
Credit: Pop Sugar

   You should spend your birthday laughing, you know, cracking ya ribs. The best way to do that is go to a comedy show of your favourite comedian. Who’s your favourite comedian? When’s their next show? Have you bought a ticket? Mine is Trevor Noah at the moment, I love his African stories, delivery, intellect and most especially his impressions.

  14. Bowling
Picture

    I don’t know about you but I love bowling. I used to see it on TV and get excited because where I’m from, there’s no bowling alleys around. I even got to like it more after playing for the first time and winning the game, I even got a couple strikes in! The next time I went with my boy, Johnny and I whooped his ass, he swore revenge on me and he got it because he whooped my ass in the rematch about a year later lol. It was good times, you can have also share this sort of moment with your people.

​  15. Go to a Sports Event
Picture

    Are you into sports? Then why don’t you go see a sporting event for your birthday? For example, if you’re into football, you can get tickets for a Chelsea game.
  
  17. Flex Your Artistic Muscles
Picture
 
   I assume we all have an artistic side and birthdays can be a good way to express or explore it. You can try pottery, drawing, sculpting, painting etc. 

  18. ​Spend the Day Reflecting
Picture

    We all need a little reflection in our lives every now and then. Your birthday present a great avenue for some reflective time, you can reflect on your life from the beginning to now or just from the past year till now. Have you achieved the goals you set out? You can even set new ones, (see How to Set Your Goals and Smash Them) draw up plans for them, etc. (see 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan).

 19. Pool Party
Picture

   We like pools even though we may not get in them, at least that’s how it goes at pool parties. Pool parties are a good way to socialise and hey, if you have nothing to talk about you can always talk about the pool and make things up as you go.

​  20. Vacation Time
Picture

   Vacations are nice, especially the pictures that people post on Instagram that leave the rest of us jealous that we can’t go as well. Vacations present a great getaway and a great birthday present. Pick up your passport today and go somewhere if you can, I know many of you like the islands. If you plan it well, you won’t even spend that much money.

​  21. Eat Your Favourite Foods
Picture

   Your favourite foods may not be good for your health especially if you’re watching your weight or a gym head. Your birthday should be your official cheat day to eat whatever you wanna eat, like pizza, wow, pizza is amazing. As long as you can buy it or cook if you’re free to eat whatever, go on, you have my permission, lol. 

​   WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS! NOW…

Picture
Credit: Living Waters Bible Church

   Which of these things have you tried before or are willing to try? Or just tell us how you celebrate your birthday. Comment below. Please wish me a happy birthday below as well. SUBSCRIBE to our blog so you never miss a thing! Share this on social media with your friends. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter & Pinterest. See ya next time!
                                                    Thanks.
                                                     Ofai.

   Previous post: Stuck in Northampton

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
]]>
<![CDATA[Stuck in Northampton!!!]]>Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:05:26 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/stuck-in-northampton
A Welcome to Northampton Poster
Credit: Phil Garner
​   
   So guys I was gonna talk about another experience that happened on my street but it was a secondhand account. After writing the whole thing on paper, I couldn’t find one good thing I said so it was too much bad energy and I didn’t wanna transfer that to you guys. After all, Wiz Kid said “bad energy stay far away” so I’m adopting that lifestyle.

    Anyway, like Bryson Tiller said “I’m back and I’m so much better” so here’s a more light-hearted story of how I was stuck in Northampton, England for a while. I never really told anyone this story because I was embarrassed but now I’m in a story telling mood so here it is. Let’s goo!

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
   
​    It was the first week of January 2015, I was going back to Colchester, Essex to finish my essays before uni resumed. I spent the Christmas and New Years holiday with my big sis in Birmingham. I have only been there twice and this was gonna be the last time. My route was Birmingham New Street Station (Grand Central) to London Euston (underground) to London Euston (overground) [it may be the other way, I confuse my Euston stations] and finally Colchester Station.  So basically, I had 3 stops.
Picture
Credit: Mailbox Express
 
   The first time I went to Birmingham (Brum), everything was nice and smooth but it was considerably colder than what I was getting used to. My sis came to get me and from there we went all the way to her place. Going back alone was smooth as well, I didn’t have a railcard which gives about 30% discount for train journeys. My sis used her railcard to buy me a ticket. It wasn’t allowed so she told me to be cautious.

    I was pretty cautious or you could call me lucky. The ticket she got me was anytime and any train but there were only two train lines going my way if I remember correctly. They were Virgin and london midland. Virgin staff ask to see your ticket before boarding so I was weary of them, LM on the other hand didn’t so I boarded with them. Going back to Colchester the first time no one checked my ticket and same goes for when I was going to Birmingham the second time.
Picture
Credit: Translink

     The second time I was leaving Brum I wasn’t so lucky even though I was still cautious. My sis had repeatedly told me to buy a railcard but I failed to see the point of spending about 20-30 quid when I barely used the train.
    She got my ticket, I used my LM again because Virgin was checking. So everything was pretty much the same as before. Until it wasn’t.  There was a female inspector on board, let’s call her Ticket Theresa. I remember being told that if you pretending like you’re sleeping when they’re checking tickets they won’t bother you, I must’ve thought “wow! Brits are so nice.”
​  

   Anyway, I didn’t act fast enough so she got to me and checked my ticket. She asked for my railcard which obviously I didn’t have. “How did you get this ticket then?” She asked, I replied in a low panicky voice “my sister.” Ticket Theresa wasn’t having it she asked me to buy a new ticket right then and there, it would’ve cost me about 80 quid. I became more panicky, I was really broke so I told her. I had cobwebs and about 60-something pence in my account and to my name home and abroad. If you had compared me to a church rat at that point, the church rat would lose.
Picture
Credit: Alamy

    Well that sucks. She said in that case, I had to come down in Northampton. A strange town that I knew nothing about. I didn’t hear her properly so she repeated it. It was clear, I was coming down in NORTHAMPTON, not Colchester my intended stop. Ticket Theresa didn’t have mercy on your boy lol. The only thing I knew about Northampton was that one of my friends used to live between there and London but I didn’t think I was gonna take an early ride there. I just didn’t think that’s how I’d end up there, you know. 

     Later on, I was falling asleep or trying to so I could minimize the pain of the unwanted situation I was in. She tapped me saying “wake up, you won’t get away.” I thought to myself “yeah I know, too late to fall asleep.”  We reached Northampton and with my big big luggage I had to reluctantly drag myself alongside my luggage out of the train, we were both stopping there. I guess she was looking for company so she won’t get lonely and I was a scapegoat.
Picture
Credit: Colchester Gazette

    Now, I was in a real panicky mood but I was trying not to show too much of it, when I spoke, my voice was cracking like a WhatsApp audio call on bad connection. I was an immigrant in unfamiliar territory plus I was broke and I asked myself the infamous question of questions, how the hell did I get here? She passed me on to a man at the station, let’s call him Station Stewart. Theresa gladly narrated my story to him before leaving for home.

    Stewart told me to call my sis so she could go to the station to buy me a ticket and I would print it in Northampton. I’m not gonna lie yeah, I thought about doing a “me no speak no English” but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, I lacked the necessary composure, it was too late they heard my English properly.

  He asked for my age and I said 17, if I was 18 or older I would’ve been prosecuted. As a law student, I knew exactly what prosecution meant for me, I had no leg to stand on in this argument, my panic level increased. I was there for an hour or more looking at trains pass and briefly talking to some Nigerians who were friendly.
Picture
Credit: Hair Appts

   To divert a bit, there was also something else I was embarrassed about and it was my haircut even though people couldn’t see it under the hat I was wearing. I was pestering my sis for a haircut so she took me to a white barber recommended by her black friend so I didn’t think much of it. I should’ve but I didn’t, I saw other black barbers on the way but I wanted to believe in this friend of hers.

   This barber did me dirty big time! I guess all the he had, deceived me or let’s say I was in awe. I was only used to clippers, combs and steppers. He had more, it was my first haircut in England so yeah I was open. I requested a straight high top fade and what did I get? A distorted looking right angle triangle shape and a missing hair patch on the back of my head.
Picture
Credit: Tutor Vista
   
    Initially, I didn’t notice so I was satisfied with the cut so I didn’t wear the hat I came with and my sis didn’t observe anything unusual. I guess it wasn’t that obvious, not until I blow dried my hair and combed it properly. I told someone I got a fresh haircut and he asked for a pic and after seeing the big error, I sent him one. But guess what I did? I used my left hand to cover the side of my hair that had taken a sudden deep slope like a hypotenuse.


  So there I was in the station with a bad haircut, broke and stuck but thankfully my sis came through and you bet I took my black ass home! Never to return to the Midlands. THE END!   

   WELL, THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS! NOW...

Picture
Credit: Living Waters Bible Church
  
    Have you been stuck somewhere before? Maybe in a familiar or strange place. What did you do? Comment below! Share this story on social media and SUBSCRIBE to our blog so you don't miss a thing and for more stories. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Be on the look out for my book which will be released next month called, The Starting Point: A Beginner's Guide to Personal Development, it is for those who wanna improve their lives but don't know exactly where to start from, don't worry, I've got you covered! See ya next time!
                                                    Thanks.
                                                     Ofai.
 Previous post: Robbed at Gun Point

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
]]>
<![CDATA[Robbed at Gun Point]]>Wed, 05 Sep 2018 10:30:00 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/robbed-at-gun-point
Picture
Credit: 123RF.com
   The day was 2nd September 2018, it was a Sunday evening, typically where I live for now in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria had no electricity; that’s just how it went down on Sundays. I went to the local barbershop to charge my phone and laptop. I’ve done this same routine for about 6 months +. On Sunday evenings, I work on my blog post for Monday so I’d be able to meet up with my Monday schedule, often times than not, it worked.

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
Picture
Credit: Daily Post
    This Sunday wasn’t as typical though, it was different. Things wouldn’t go as planned, predicted or foreseen in my mind’s eye. But not yet, for now, things were still as typical as ever, same faces, same things. The same old skool CD mix always played in the shop and tbh it drove me crazy, it frustrated me. I tried to play music on my phone with the help of one of the familiar faces in the shop. We tried but my phone wouldn’t charge connected to the DVD player’s USB port so I decided to bear the repetitive music. I’ve heard the CD mix play more times than I care to admit to you or myself. I’ve heard it so many times that I knew the whole playlist. The mix contained some songs by DMX, Sisquo, Destiny’s Child, B.I.G., Tupac, Juvenile ft. Lil Wayne and one other (forgotten his name) – Back Dat Azz Up (my favourite!) among a couple other songs, so you can imagine how old the CD must be.  
 
Picture
Credit: Graphic River
  I was writing an article based on a request and it was about making friends (coming soon). Honestly, I was a bit distracted with the texts from my phone but I was doing my work regardless, it was just how I work. Several texts where coming through on my phone and I was replying them when suddenly…(somebody say suddenly).
Suddenly, someone dragged my laptop and instinctively I pulled it back and thought to myself “who dey play this kind rough play with me sef?” (prank) I looked up to see that it wasn’t “rough play” at all, it was real life! I was looking at 3 unmasked guys whom I’d say are in their early 20s or late teens, 2 of them pointed their guns at me and ordered me to give them my laptop and phone without resistance and of course I complied. A gun had never been pointed at me except toys ones but now it wasn’t one real gun, it was two. Out of the two gunmen, one had a small revolver-esque pistol and the other had the same gun but in silver colour. The small size of their guns was comical but the potential bullets inside were no joke at all, and if it was a joke, it wasn’t funny at all, no one was laughing.

Picture
Credit: Japan Info
    
    The third guy had a machete, it was almost as long as his arm, it was new like he just bought it for the raid. It was so clean that you should see your reflection before being dealt a nasty injury. The blade was so sharp that even a little touch would cut you like a Samurai sword. I didn’t need much convincing of how sharp the machete was, just ask the owner of the shop at the entrance who tried to resist them and his finger paid dearly for it. I later heard that the cut was so deep that his finger was kinda dangling on his now visible bone. But for now I definitely didn’t know that.


Picture
Credit: YouTube
  
​    The guys made away with all the phones and my laptop in the shop and threw a cupboard to the ground just cause. After they were just outside the shop, they came back in to grab my bag, as if they hadn’t taken enough from me, they were taking a piss. They were in charge and they made sure we knew. As they grabbed my bag, everyone else was on the floor so I did the same so as not to give them an excuse to attack me. This bag, I’ve used it for almost 4 years, if you’ve known me for that long then you’ll know my bag. It was a real companion, it saw every and anywhere with me such as Colchester, London, etc. even Kaduna, Abuja and Port Harcourt (Nigerian cities).

Picture
Credit: Charles Duhigg
​They took the bag but threw the book I was reading on the ground outside. I was reading the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I was reading it for a second time because I enjoyed it so much the first time and it was giving me some pointers for my upcoming book (watch out for that). I went out of shop because I wanted to drop my remaining stuff at home, I hadn't thought about the book yet, I was still in shock from what just happened. I saw my book on the ground, it was a bit wet because it was raining. The rain wasn't too much to keep people at home so it was perfect to raid three streets full of unsuspecting people in one night.

Picture
Credit: The Art Stack - Raden Saleh
   
   The barbershop owner who was cut was pissed off, matter of fact, supremely pissed off! He was bleeding everywhere, he said "bring something wey I go use tie my hand sharp sharp". I didn't get a good look at the state of his finger but I knew the cut was pretty deep based on how much blood was dripping to the floor. He then said "find me machete, find me machete" and after tying his fingers with a dirty cloth, he ran into the night to get a machete to chase his assailants, since then I haven't seen him as of the time I'm typing this. He was angry, he was like a wounded lion and those they say are the most dangerous. This night however, that proved to be false. The armed robbers got away, no harm done to them.

   I was left with my extension cord, my power bank and my chargers but no phone, laptop or bag. So, under the rain, I took my remaining belongings home. The whole incident was like "film trick" I couldn't believe what just happened. I was bewildered! In less than 10 seconds so many things happened, too much for my brain to immediately comprehend or compute. One can say I reacted too slow but shock can do that to you. It sucks. Actually, IT SUCKS A LOT! All of my files of about 5-6 years from my PC and phone, gone! All those memories and what not gone because they weren't backed up. I may get a small number of stuff back from my iCloud but the memory has been full since 2015 and didn’t wanna pay for more space so you can imagine. But, such is life, at least I can say I'm grateful that I wasn't touched at all, that would’ve been a totally different story. 
Picture
Credit: City Pulse

   I went home, it was pitch black, music was playing from my neighbour's beer parlour as usual. I was a bit wet because of the rain but that didn't bother me, it was obviously the least of my problems. I went out again but on my way back to the scene, a man came out of a keke (tricycle used for public transport), he told another keke driver driving toward the scene that "Dimrose dey hot o! Just turn back or park for somewhere." He entered his keke and went the opposite direction of the scene. I overheard everything of course but still I wanted to go a bit closer but the street was dark for the most part except for the headlights of passing vehicles and a few houses who'd put on their generators.
​    I could hear the voices of some guys just up ahead and I didn't wanna risk it. Being short sighted during the day is bad enough, I can't even recognise people's faces that are just up ahead unless I have my glasses on. In this case, I didn't. The night was dangerous enough, not being able to see who was up ahead was potentially dangerous and your boy definitely didn't wanna risk it. 
Picture
Credit: Penn Live

​   A few moments later, I heard a gunshot sound, boom! I don't think I'd heard one in real life until that day but definitely in movies, online videos and games like COD or Uncharted. For all I knew, that shot could've been an air shot to scare away wannabe pursuers or they could've actually shot someone, with the look in their eyes, they seemed to be down for whatever. They looked hungry and vicious like we can do this bloodless or bloody anyhow, we no send! (We don’t care).
The gunshot was my cue to turn around and head home so I did. It was still pitch black, music was still playing from the nearby beer parlour, vehicles were still passing by. I took my shirt off as usual and laid in bed like a sack of potatoes.  
​  

​    I was tossing and turning, it was too hot, too cold, not enough leg room on my bed, this and that. The way I tossed and turned, it felt like I was at sea on a boat, waves crashing at the sides of the boat as I rested below deck. Indeed at sea I was, I was in a sea of my thoughts. I was replaying the events in my head, what could I have done differently? I asked myself. Even if there was electricity on Saturday as there usually was but it wasn't the case for the first day of September. I would've still ended up in the barbershop on Sunday doing my usual Sunday evening routine.
Picture
Credit: TWEB

​   Becoming a bit overwhelmed by my thoughts, I looked up to the ceiling and prayed, there was really nowhere else to run than God, the police would be incompetent for sure, it doesn't take a smart person to figure that out, the community people won't do much either, it wasn't the first large scale armed robbery that has happened in the area but at the time I didn't know that either. I made God 3 promises that night but I'll reveal only two, paying my tithe when was business kicks off and no more swearing, the latter has been a bit hard but I'm trying. I couldn't sleep so I switched on the light of my fan and continued reading the book I mentioned earlier.
   I thought to myself that on the bright side, all those things I've been putting off I can finally do them. Thoughts like "optimism is the weapon of a winner" also crossed my mind. Some negative thoughts intruded my mind without knocking as they usually do; just like a sea, there were benevolent and malevolent waves but I wasn't gonna let malevolence get the better of me, at least not that night. The thought of me getting depressed came and went, what will I do with my life now? I recently wrote an article,11 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health and subsequently gave a presentation on it which everyone seemed to like. So, tell me, how can I afford to get depressed?
    Subsequently, I slept off, then I woke up but I didn't know the time, I don't own a watch or clock so it was always down to my devices to tell me the time. Now, they were no more, in a sense, I was handicapped which is very telling of the 21st century.    
Picture
Credit: Daily Post

   Anyway, later on in the day I went to do my NYSC (Nigerian Youths Service Corps) clearance and I told some people what happened to me and they sympathised, some even shared their robbery stories. Later on, I saw a work colleague, told him what happened then used his phone to call another colleague, T. I knew for sure she would've been calling me, it was inevitable because I was with her clearance letter. On the phone she said, “Ofai, what happened? I’ve been calling your number since but it was switched off.” I told her I'd explain everything when we see. I went to the zonal office where I do my clearance and saw my other colleague, R, I was also with her letter. I briefly narrated my story to her.
   After our clearance, T,R, and I went to a restaurant to have lunch, I gave them a more detailed account of what happened and they gave me advice on what to do such as retrieving my phone number. After a while, I left them to go do something at the bank which I didn't end up doing. This was about 1 pm 3rd September, it was a bit rowdy, some sort of election campaign was going on, it was like a mini rally, a group of young boys were gathering. I was a bit uneasy, I became more vigilant. I left the bank around say 1.30 and went home. It was raining a little bit once again.

   The next day, 4th September, I wake up, read, eat, do some exercise, say my affirmations, bathe, etc. and got ready for work. Meanwhile, the events of Sunday was still playing in my head like a looped Vine video or a gif. As far as Vines go, that could've made the cut, the events of Sunday night felt like 6 seconds! 
Picture
Credit: Office Lovin'
 
    I came to work and told my other colleague, E what happened, she was shocked and also offered some sympathy. I chose not to tell the staff because too many "I'm sorry"s or "Eh ya"s was gonna be painful and I didn't wanna deal with that. R walks into my office, she said "did you hear what happened to us?" I said no. She said T and her got robbed of their phones just about an hour after I left in broad daylight! Like 2 pm and the on lookers did nothing, they didn't move an inch nor did they say anything or even try to stop the guys who were part of the mini rally, I guess they were legally blind. I was trying not to laugh, it was comical. What are the odds that after narrating my ordeal to them a similar thing would happen to them? I was even going to use her phone to login to Instagram. Well, that was no longer an option, her phone was gone. Gone with the wind. It felt like a series of unfortunate events like the Lemony Snicket novels.
   Luckily, T got her phone back, the police said to track her phone was gonna take 2-3 weeks and she had to pay money and then extra money for transport for them to go and pick it up from wherever. The police as usual wasn't a good option. A friend of hers paid the N20,000 ransom for her phone on her behalf.
   At work, everyone in our department and some people in other departments heard our story, the "I'm sorry"s and "what happened"s rolled in like tumbleweed on a windy and dry day. It was a crazy experience altogether but one has to thank God for life, last last we go dey alright.

​  WELL THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS! NOW...
Picture
Credit: Living Waters Bible Church

    Do you have any robbery stories you’d like to share? Don’t hesitate to Comment below! Share this story with your friends and family on social media and let them share it with theirs. Subscribe to our blog so you never miss a thing! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Btw, I still don't have a phone or laptop yet so don't expect much from me.
                                                       Thanks.
                                                       Ofai.
Previous post: 11 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health

Subscribe to our mailing list to get new blog post updates in your inbox and our free e-books

* indicates required
]]>