Rethinking Birthday Remembrance in this Fast-Paced World

Rethinking Birthday Remembrance In This Fast Paced World

Birthdays have always been a day where friends and family write something remarkable about the celebrant – do you remember when we usually table these writings on an actual card? Now, we do this in the comment section of our social media posts. Isn't this interesting? lol. However, while this tradition is deeply ingrained in our modern society, I can't help but wonder if there's generally a more practical way to approach birthdays.

Can we maybe normalise celebrating people a day after their birthdays? I mean, if you think about it, as much as it's nice to recall the exact dates of people you love, the reality is that we meet hundreds, if not thousands, of new people to cherish all the time. Each person holds their own special place in our hearts, and we do remember their existence and often reach out to them. However, in the fast-paced world we live in, it becomes nearly impossible to remember each and every personal date.

As adults with numerous commitments and responsibilities, there are countless mornings when we wake up without even knowing the exact date. It's not until we open our social media account at night after work hours and come across a photo of someone celebrating their birthday that we are reminded of the occasion. For me at that point, I'm faced with a dilemma. Should I just get this sleep now and simply send a belated birthday wish the next day, or should I leave a basic comment on their post as if I am just another follower who forgot the birthday, then stumbled upon the post just now, when I know that I could do better by at least planning an ideal gift, or a bear minimum of writing something a tad more heartfelt as oppose a “hbd llnp”.

The pressure to remember and acknowledge every single birthday can be overwhelming. Sometimes, I am left feeling as though if I'm not part of the pre-birthday build-up, I am somehow less important to that person. But is it fair to judge the strength of a relationship based on one day? Shouldn't our love and affection transcend a single date on the calendar?

And then there are those friends who take offense if their birthday is forgotten altogether. They become upset, feeling neglected and unimportant. But should the ability to remember a specific date really determine the value we place on someone? Shouldn't the love and support we show throughout the year matter more than one day?

It was this very dilemma and these questions that inspired me to write this article.

Screenshot 20231124 220853 InstagramI'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Fifidiny for recently posting a reminder to her birthday. You are one of the most authentic individuals I have come across in Scotland, and I know you read my articles. Therefore, I am confident of using this medium to deliver my wish for you on your special day.

Fifi, as you embark on this new age, I wish for you greater success in your music career. May your streaming hits soar beyond imaginations and may your talent be recognised beyond the hills of Scotland. Your hard work and independence will surely pay off, and I am excited to witness your continued growth.

 

So, to conclude on this musings, what I'm essentially attempting to convey is that Fifi has sparked this unconventional custom by offering a heads up. This ensures there are no excuses for failing to commemorate her special day. We should start welcoming the spirit of sharing your special day prior to the actual day, allowing your loved ones the chance to extend their well-wishes in their own distinctive manner.

 

Again Fifi, Happy birthday today and every year!

Rethink Your Idea of Talking Stage in Relationship Building

Rethink Your Idea Of Talking Stage In Relationship Building

Relationships can be a tricky subject to discuss. Often times, I get reluctant to write about them because it can be argued that I couldn't possibly understand the intricacies of a relationship especially as I'm currently not in one. But a fact is that it's often those who are outside the chessboard that have a clearer view of the game.

You see, when it comes to building a strong foundation in a relationship, it's important to steer clear of the misconception that it's mostly rainbows and butterflies, couples strolling and holding hands, travelling to places and taking up on new challenges together. While those moments may come, I'm not of the opinion that it should be the primary focus during a relationship, especially in the early stages. Instead, both parties should channel that time on having difficult conversations, being inquisitive, and especially building tolerance – this tolerance part should not even be left out if you don't want to find yourselves practising so much of it when inside the actual marriage. All of these mentioned are the building blocks of a healthy and long-lasting connection.

In fact, as the term “talking stage” implies, this is the time to talk, talk and talk. Talk about EVERYTHING!

Now, another thing to understand is that this talking stage is an actual relationship in itself. It's a time-demanding investment. In fact, it's one very underrated aspect of the relationship because people are so quick to “defining” things, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to play it safe without having to create resentment if one party chooses to call it quits. This talking stage is the time to truly get to know one another, to learn about each other's flaws and if these are within your tolerance level. So do your due diligence! Talking stage shouldn't be rushed or taken lightly at all. It sets the tone for the future, so investing time and effort into meaningful conversations is essential, and stop texting “wyd” all the time πŸ™„

The concept of dating should only come into play when both individuals are certain that their relationship has the potential to last forever.

Dating should not be used as a trial-and-error phase, but rather a period of getting to know each other on a deeper level with the intention of commitment. In fact, picture dating as that stage that you consider yourselves unmarried due to financial constraints or simply poor timing. I think dating should be for a very short period of time between a proposal and a wedding (you read that right), a time when both parties are confident in their choice and committed to making it work. In fact, dating stage is almost unnecessary after that period when you both already have learned about each other. Technically, if your talking stage lasted for 3 years, you could date for only 6 months before marriage.

Marriage, on the other hand, is where the excitement should truly shine. The beauty of marriage is having a lifetime to consciously explore and experiment with the things that bring joy and fulfilment to the relationship. Whether it's indulging in new adventures or creating a safe space for each other, marriage presents that opportunity to intentionally invest in this. Even if romance is not typically your thing, recognising its importance and actively working towards incorporating it into your relationship can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful connection. And I preach this to you, THIS IS NOT the time to build an understanding with your partner! Yes, there would be new things to learn about this person, but it should not be too far from what you already know about them from the talking stage, hence, tolerance level should automatically be lowered.

While it's true that relationships can be filled with moments of joy, romance, and excitement, the message I'm trying to pass here is that we must begin to take that talking stage as a serious challenge of being vulnerable and open to those difficult conversations. If it doesn't help you find that person as a potential partner, it would as least help you towards personal self discovery and growth. It is only through all of these experiences that we learn, evolve, tolerate and build lasting stability.

The Name “Brendan”: For a Reason

The Name Brendan

Throughout 2023, many have questioned my decision to choose to bear the name Brendan instead of my given name, Chukwuma. To these questions, my response have always remained the same: Why not?

The truth is, I chose Brendan because I found more than a number of ways it resonates with me as a personal brand far more than Chukwuma does. This reminds of an article of a friend who once wrote about how our names are not solely defined by what our parents give us at birth, instead, our names become a reflection of our personal identities as we mature. This concept is akin to “brand positioning” in marketing terms.

Consider the numerous brands that do not use their legal trading names on their packaging. Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., for example, is known as Toshiba worldwide. Walkers in the UK is the same product as Lay's in the United States. TK Maxx in the UK goes by TJ Maxx in the US. The list goes on. These brands have chosen to adopt names that better align with their target markets and brand image, or possibly even the regulations of the land in which they establish on. Similarly, my decision to be called Brendan while retaining my surname, Njoku, is a reflection of my own personal branding journey.

Allow me to further address some common questions and misconceptions:

1. If I have no intention of using my middle name, then I can only wonder why it was given to me in the first place. While I cannot speak for my parents' intentions, I believe that names, like life experiences, serve as building blocks that shape our identities. My middle name, though not in active use by my immediate family, remains only a part of my story but not the whole of it.

2. The name Brendan holds a stronger personal resonance for me. Its meaning, “Prince,” reflects the sense of self I embody. On the other hand, Chukwuma, meaning “God knows,” is a beautiful name but does not evoke the same connection. After all, I can never claim to know what God knows.

3. Another reason for my choice is the practicality of pronunciation and explanation. With Brendan, I avoid the need to constantly explain and teach others how to pronounce my name. This challenge extends beyond foreign lands; even within my own country, other tribes encounter difficulties in pronouncing my name. By adopting Brendan, I simplify interactions and save time without compromising my cultural heritage.

4. As I reached a certain stage in life, I desired greater control over my values, vision, and overall identity. Choosing Brendan as my personal brand name symbolizes this journey of self-discovery and self-expression.

It is important to note that my decision to be called Brendan does not negate or reject my heritage. Neither my first name nor my last name, Njoku, has been changed in any official documents. By adopting this as a sort of trading name, I am simply highlighting a specific aspect of my identity, much like individuals who are given foreign first names such as John, Patterson, Nicole, yet still staying connected to their roots.

So basically, when I introduce myself using this name, Brendan, I expect to be addressed as such, unless I explicitly state otherwise. Going forward, for those who enquire about my name choice, this article is simply where I would direct them to for free insights on what encapsulates my rationale and experiences.

 

Perks and Troubles of Looking Younger Than My Age

Perks and Troubles of Looking Younger Than My Age

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered what age you actually look like? Well, that's a situation I find myself in quite often. You see, sometimes I feel glad that I look way younger than my age. It often allows me to see through people, especially those that underestimate my intelligence and potentials.

I recently had an interesting encounter that perfectly illustrates this point. There was this lady who seemed to think she could boss me around like I'm a child. I could have sworn that she's only about a year older than me. It was quite amusing, to be honest. I mean, she must have been very convinced that she had the authority to dictate my actions. Of course I resisted the urge to confront her and chose to maintain my cool. After all, I wouldn't want to stoop to her level. But deep down, I couldn't help but smile at the absurdity. It was a reminder that looks can be deceiving, and age doesn't necessarily determine one's capabilities.

This incident also reminded me of another occasion when a group of bratty kids decided to play pranks on me. To them, it would be hilarious to treat me like their peer with their childishness. The fact that they mistook me for someone their age was both amusing and flattering. But well, I'm well aware of the challenges that come with looking younger than my actual age anyways.

Also, another aspect of my age that often catches people off guard is my voice. Unlike many of my peers, I don't possess that deep, masculine baritone voice. In fact, quite the opposite. I often find myself being addressed as a woman when speaking on the phone with someone who doesn't know me. I can't help but wonder where I was when my mates were developing their voices. I guess I missed that memo. But hey, that's a topic for another day. lol.

Despite the occasional demerits of looking younger than my age, I firmly believe that the merits far surpass them. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to socially blend in with almost any age group. Whether I'm interacting with teenagers, young adults, or even older individuals, I've always found it relatively easy to establish a connection.

The ability to blend in with various age groups has also opened up numerous opportunities for me by allowing me broaden my horizons, gain diverse perspectives, and develop a deeper understanding of people from different walks of life.

Of course, there are moments when I yearn to be taken more seriously, to have my opinions valued without any preconceived notions on my appearance. But then I remind myself that age is just a number. It doesn't define who I am or what I'm capable of achieving.

Looking younger than my age has its fair share of challenges, but I've obviously accepted it as a part of who I am.

It’s Possible to Love Someone You Don’t Know

Yesterday at Glasgow city centre, a candlelight procession took place to pay tribute to a Nigerian artiste who had recently passed away. As a presenter for a local radio station, I found myself in the unique position of covering the event. Little did I know that an unexpected encounter with a stranger would lead me to contemplate the profound concepts of love spreading and the influence of collective admiration.

During the event, I had the opportunity to interview a stranger, Muhammad Ali, an individual from Uganda who, surprisingly, had no connection with the Nigerian music culture and was unfamiliar with the deceased singer. Our conversation took an unexpected turn as Muhammad shared his perspective on love and admiration, shedding light on a remarkable human phenomenon.


Finding the picture of the Nigerian artiste, Mohbad, on Muhammad's scooter, I enquired about his association with the late musician. Muhammad's response was simple yet profound. He explained that despite not knowing Mohbad's story, he felt compelled to love him because the majority of people around him loved him. In Muhammad's eyes, their shared racial background was enough for him to feel a deep connection with the artiste.

Muhammad's words resonated with a powerful truth β€” the ability of love to spread based on how a majority perceives an individual. His genuine affection for Mohbad stemmed from the overwhelming love he witnessed from others. He acknowledged that although Mohbad was no longer alive to witness the outpouring of support, the collective love and admiration demonstrated by the crowd was a testament to the impact the artiste had on countless lives.

In Muhammad's view, he didn't have a choice but to love Mobad. This makes me realize that when we encounter a person who is widely adored, the love they receive becomes contagious. It transcends personal preferences or individual knowledge of their story. It is almost like an involuntary response, driven by the realization that when so many people love someone, there must be something remarkable about them, and this makes me realise how possible it is for us as humans to love somebody we don't know.

My Ideal Home Design Vision

When I envision my dream home, there are a few key features that I believe would make it truly unique and functional. One aspect that I feel strongly about is the concept of open living spaces. I believe that the only rooms that should have doors are the bedrooms, as these are the spaces where privacy is most needed.

For instance, I don't see a need for a door leading to the master bathroom. After all, it's an en-suite bathroom meant solely for me and my wife. Who else would be using it to take a shower? By eliminating the need for a bathroom door, we can create a seamless flow and an open, airy feel within the space.

Many people underestimate just how much time can be saved with a studio home design. Also, by removing unnecessary barriers, such as doors, it becomes easier to see, hear, and digest what is happening around us in a family setting. For example, in an open living room, it would be nearly impossible for my daughter to sneak a man in through the kitchen backdoor without me noticing. This type of design encourages transparency and communication among family members.

Another important aspect of my dream home is having the master bedroom located on the ground floor. This allows me to stay connected to the foundation of my home and be aware of everything happening on the ground floor. I believe that anyone coming in late at night would have to enter through the ground floor, making it important for me to hear the sound of their arrival. By having the master bedroom situated downstairs, I can maintain a sense of security and awareness in my home.

Furthermore, I would love to have the entrance to the pool and outdoor recreation area directly connected to the backdoor of my bedroom. Why would I want to climb stairs every time I want to enjoy a simple moment of relaxation? By seamlessly integrating the outdoor space with my bedroom, I can easily step outside and unwind without any unnecessary hassle – feel free to call me lazy. Lol

I must acknowledge that my imagination knows no bounds. Finding an architect or real estate consultant who can bring my vision to life may be a challenge because they will need to have an open mind – wish me luck!

Your Weakness is in Your Patterns

In life, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some weaknesses are inherent to our character, while others stem from the patterns we create in our lives. It's these patterns that can leave us vulnerable to being taken advantage of, as people begin to anticipate our reactions to certain situations. This knowledge gives them an edge in planning their next moves, without us even realising it. But here's the thing – our weakness isn't in who we are as individuals, but rather in the predictability of our patterns.

It's easy to blame ourselves for falling victim to manipulation or exploitation. We might think we're too nice, too troublesome, too vigilant, or too nonchalant. But the truth is, it's not about our personality traits. It's about others understanding how we would react in any given situation and using that knowledge to their advantage. This dynamic exists in every type of relationship, from friendships to romantic partnerships to professional connections.

But here's where things get interesting. I believe that each one of us is equipped with multiple personalities. Now, before you start thinking I'm suggesting we all have some kind of split personality disorder, let me explain. When I talk about multiple personalities, I'm referring to the different aspects of ourselves that emerge in different situations.

Think about it – we're not the same person when we're hanging out with friends as we are when we're in a professional setting. We adjust our behaviour, our tone, our mannerisms to fit the context. This ability to adapt is a strength that not everyone fully embraces. Those who are the strongest understand how to choose which personality to call upon in different situations.

Let's consider an example. Imagine you're someone who is known for always giving in to demands, never saying no, and always putting others first. Your kindness and willingness to help might be seen as a weakness because people know they can manipulate you. They know that by pressing the right buttons, they can get you to do whatever they want. But what if you were able to recognise this pattern and choose a different personality on this given occasion? What if you could tap into your assertiveness and set clear boundaries? Suddenly, the power dynamic shifts, and you become less susceptible to being taken advantage of. This is also applicable in situations where you have those who deliberately just want to get on your nerves.

The key here is self-awareness and the conscious decision to choose the personality that aligns with the situation at hand. It's about recognising the patterns we've fallen into and breaking free from them. Be it a good character or a bad one wee possess, it's about reclaiming our autonomy and taking control of how our actions and reactions affect us and those around us.

Of course, this isn't an easy journey. It requires introspection, and a willingness to step out of our comfort zones.

Ask yourself if there's a different personality you can tap into to alter the dynamic. Remember, your weakness isn't in who you are, but in the predictability of your patterns.

True Leadership Roles in Conflict Resolution

In today's interconnected world, conflicts and disputes are bound to arise. Whether it's a disagreement between coworkers, family members, or friends, finding a peaceful resolution can seem a little extra daunting. As such, I strongly believe that effective leadership plays a crucial role in promoting peace and resolving conflicts.

Throughout my life, there's always this one common approach to conflict resolution that I often encounter, which I consider a rather very lazy one. Some leaders simply tell the subjects involved to “squash it” without bothering to delve into the root cause of the conflict. I find this approach extremely inadequate particularly because it fails to address the underlying issues and merely brushes the problem aside.

True leadership involves taking the time to understand the cause of the conflict. Effective leaders don't just dismiss disagreements as petty, or as a command to do so out of respect for them; instead, they make an effort to listen, empathise, and seek common ground. By taking the time to understand both parties' perspectives, leaders can create an environment where peace-building becomes possible.

A key aspect of leadership in conflict resolution is encouraging active participation. It's not enough for a leader to impose their own solutions; instead, they should foster open dialogue and ensure that all parties have an equal opportunity to express their concerns and views. By creating an inclusive and respectful environment, leaders empower individuals to take ownership of the resolution process, which ultimately leads to a more sustainable outcome.

Another essential role that leaders play is helping their subjects identify their own flaws and challenges. This is not about placing blame but rather about encouraging self-reflection and self-awareness. By guiding them to understand their role in the conflict, leaders help to pave the path to a peaceful resolution. This approach shifts the focus from accusation to personal growth, thus enabling them to take responsibility for their behaviour and work towards positive change.

Promoting a sense of shared responsibility is also crucial in conflict resolution. Effective leaders emphasise the collective responsibility involved in finding a solution. They highlight the benefits that resolution will bring to all parties involved and even to the wider reach. By tapping into the common purpose and shared goals, leaders motivate their subjects to overcome their differences and work together towards harmonious coexistence.

I believe that promoting peace and resolving conflicts requires effective leadership that goes beyond a lazy and dismissive approach. True leaders actively work towards bridging differences, fostering empathy, and facilitating open communication. By helping individuals identify their flaws, encouraging a sense of responsibility, and emphasising shared goals, leaders pave the way for peaceful resolutions.

Revenge Can Never Buy You The Respect You So Yearn For

Revenge is a tempting instinct, but it can never truly buy the respect we so desperately seek. In fact, seeking revenge often leads us to lose the very respect we yearn for. I vividly recall a particular incident where I charged a client for a mistake they had made. This mistake could have easily been avoided, but their casual disregard and misplaced sense of superiority led them to ignore all warnings.

When the time came for me to provide my service, I billed the client without any remorse. Not only was it the right thing to do, but I also firmly believe that my time has value, even if it's just a single second. In fact, I even felt that I should be compensated for the time it took to warn the client about this potential mistake.

A few weeks later, I discovered that this client was deeply hurt and angered by the charges. It seemed that she had gone to great lengths to tarnish my name as a service provider, attempting to dissuade others from engaging my services. However, I was not overly concerned by these actions. I had already established trust with individuals of good reputation and moral standing. Nevertheless, this experience left me pondering whether or not I could ever truly respect this client again. Did she really need to seek revenge? And what value did it actually add to her life?

Engaging in revenge may feel satisfying in the heat of the moment, but it rarely leads to the desired outcome. It is often driven by a sense of anger, hurt, or a desire to restore a sense of justice. However, instead of achieving respect and reconciliation, revenge usually results in further damage to relationships and reputations.

Respect is earned through actions, integrity, and how we treat others. Seeking revenge only serves to weaken our own moral standing and diminish our chances of rebuilding respect in the future. It is a negative spiral that can lead to a cycle of conflict and animosity.

In the case of this client, her act of seeking revenge stemmed from her inability to accept responsibility for her mistakes. Instead of reflecting on her actions and finding a constructive way to address the situation, she chose a destructive route that ultimately harms her own reputation as well.

In contrast, taking the high road and responding to such situations with grace and understanding can be incredibly powerful. It allows us to maintain our own dignity and moral integrity, even in the face of provocation. By choosing not to engage in revenge, we demonstrate our ability to rise above pettiness and show empathy towards others.

Moreover, seeking revenge often blinds us to the bigger picture. We become so fixated on the desire to inflict pain on others that we lose sight of our own goals and values. We waste valuable time and energy on negativity, which could be better used for personal growth and pursuing our aspirations.

Always choose to rise above pettiness, focus on personal growth, and build a reputation based on integrity and compassion. In the end, respect earned through positive actions will always be more enduring and fulfilling than any fleeting sense of revenge.

Challenging Gender Roles in Wooing and Dating

The idea of men being labelled as hunters in the context of wooing a woman into a relationship has long been prevalent in societal norms. However, upon closer examination, the analogy of a predator chasing its prey raises questions and challenges the perception of traditional gender roles. This article explores the notion of men as hunters and examine how modern society and changing dynamics are reshaping the dating landscape. We will argue that women should be encouraged to take an active role in pursuing their romantic interests, as both men and women are capable of expressing their intentions genuinely.

Challenging the Stereotype of Men as Hunters:

The traditional concept of men as hunters (predators) implies chasing and conquering women (prey) for their own gain, raising concerns about the authenticity of their intentions. However, equating men with predators and women as passive prey is an oversimplification that does not align with the values of equality and respect.

Shifting Power Dynamics and Empowered Women:

In today's society, women have gained significant empowerment and are breaking free from societal expectations. This shift in power dynamics encourages women to take charge of their own romantic lives, challenging the notion of men as the sole pursuers. There are women out there expressing their desires, pursuing relationships and finding success in a world that constantly tries to subdue them.

Women's Role in Wooing:

When women take the initiative in pursuing romantic interests, it sends a powerful message about their confidence, passion, fearlessness, truthfulness and vulnerability. Gender should not determine one's ability to express affection or interest in another person. It is time to embrace the idea that women can pursue men just as effectively, and that their actions should not be seen as negative or desperate.

The Impact of Gender Bias and Societal Expectations:

While men traditionally carried the burden of approaching women, societal shifts that favour women more have led to increased suspicion and uncertainties in modern relationships. Many men now approach dating with caution, as they assess a potential partner's true intentions. Women, on the other hand, are capable of making their intentions known upfront and eliminating that uncertainty.

Affection is Not Gender-Biased:

The heart knows no gender bias when it comes to affection and attraction. People of all genders have found themselves going against their beliefs and expectations, solely driven by a deep connection or affection for another person. This demonstrates that the desire for affection and connection transcends gender norms.

Redefining Wooing:

In a world where gender roles and expectations are evolving, it becomes essential to redefine the concept of wooing. Rather than relying on outdated stereotypes, both men and women need to meet each other halfway. Encouraging open communication, mutual pursuit, and shared responsibility in relationships can lead to healthier connections and long-lasting partnerships.

In conclusion:

The notion of men as hunters in the context of wooing women into relationships is deeply ingrained in our society. However, as society progresses towards equality and empowerment, it is essential to challenge and redefine these gender roles. Women should feel empowered to actively pursue their romantic interests, with the understanding that both men and women are capable of doing anything they intend to. By embracing a more inclusive and balanced approach to dating, we can create stronger and more authentic connections based on mutual respect.

To be cont'd….