Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2014 theme created in Illustrator with Pantone 2014 colors: Radiant Orchid, Freesia, and Hemlock

It's that time of the year and I couldn't be more excited!  To everyone that read, commented, or shared my blog posts, THANK YOU for your support in 2013!

If you're like me, you have probably spent days reflecting on 2013 (an amazing year), while prepping for 2014.  I can't wait for what the new year will bring.  No, it is not a passive "anything-that-comes-my-way-will-be-great" approach either.  I have spent time to design the life I love to live in 2014, so much so that my theme for the year is... ELEVATE!

Elevate!  It's time to go higher in every area of my life-- physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional.  Yes, that includes blogging more often :-)  I even sketched out a metaphor of how I intend to approach 2014 (see below). The way I see it, life is too darn short and we were designed to live it fully!  So, it's time to go higher, step up, (insert the verb of your choice).  Basically, it's time for more action.  I even have my ELEVATE playlist for my iPhone ready.  I LOVE MUSIC, so this journey wouldn't be complete without its own soundtrack.

My 2014 life metaphor is a Free-Standing Glass Elevator
Have you thought about how you want to BE in 2014?  What would happen if you lived 2014 unchained?  Unchained and unbound from the "I'm not sure's", "It's not me's", "I'm not ready's", and other self-limiting thoughts and behaviors that keep us stuck, unfulfilled, longing, and potentially settling for less than we deserve.

What if you "designed" 2014 for the perfect end-user? You!

You are the designer and end-user of your life.  You are the Steve Jobs to your very own personalized and one of a kind, iPhone.  If your iPhone/iPad/iPod/MacBook (pick one) doesn't meet your standards, then redesign it.  Hold on to that visual in your mind, let your imagination run free on what to change! PS:  If you don't own an Apple product, there's no excuse.  Substitute whatever product you enjoy and it's creator into this metaphor.  If you don't know the design origin of the product (s), engage your curiosity.

What would happen if you let go of the old stories, people, behaviors, actions, and thoughts that don't serve you well in 2014?  

Challenge yourself!  Act on those "I wonder's", "What if's", "Who's" and the other curious thoughts or ideas you've had ruminating for a while.  Life is NOW!  Stop waiting for all your ducks to line up perfectly before taking the first step to the life you desire.  What have you got to lose?

"Allow events to change you. 
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them...
Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). 

Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.
Go deep. 

The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value...
Begin anywhere.
John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere...
The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others..."
 - from Bruce Mau's Incomplete Manifesto For Growth

What is your theme for 2014? What are you willing to do to live that theme in 2014?  Don't leave it to other people or circumstances to design or define your 2014.   
Make it yours and MAKE IT FUN!

Thanks to Ayse Birsel for her awesome Design the Life You Love workshop and all that inspired this post.

"Elevate" - St. Lucia

"New Day"- Alicia Keys

Here's to a well designed and elevated life in 2014! love+live.life!

Thank You, Madiba!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I wrote this on Dec 5, 2013, the day my beloved Tata Madiba, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela went home to heaven. 

"I sit in shock and joy hearing the news of Nelson Mandela’s transition to heaven.

Shock, because he has played a  critical role in who I am today.  Growing up in Nigeria, witnessing the day he walked out of prison as a child, to the transformative leader he was.

Joy, because we Africans celebrate the passing of an elder who LIVED!  He changed this world for so many beyond the continent of Africa."

What can I say about Madiba's influence in my life?  I wrote a list of 40 things (No, I am not sharing the entire list) and I can say that because he lived, I am (Ubuntu):

1.  "I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.— Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela)

2.  Forgiveness is a prerequisite for complete freedom.  If you are not free emotionally or spiritually, you close the door to the best of what life has to offer you. 

3.  I was not created to live small.  Small is for the birds, so live FULLY!

4.  Certain challenges seem  insurmountable, until you chisel (or sledgehammer) away bit by bit, to the other side.

5.  We are all called to serve.  Your form of service is tied to your passion.  Serve your community, family, friends, etc.   It is a key ingredient to a fulfilled life and legacy.  

6.  Fear and Courage go hand in hand. Everything worth doing comes with a healthy dose of fear.  Victory, in part, comes with the knowledge that you conquered your fear. Be BRAVE!

7.   You will fail at certain things. (trust me)   You have a choice--give up and stay down, or dust yourself off and get back in the game.  It's your decision and ... your life!

8.   Living is not just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well.

9.   Seek goodness daily!  Start your day with gratitude and positivity.  When was the last time you performed a random act of kindness?  If you are stuck, Bat Boy is a good reminder. 

10.  Enduring love is a healthy relationship with the right partner, who loves you flaws and all and vice versa.  It is a connection, partnership, friendship, and it is worth the wait. 

 Nelson Mandela once said his wife, Graca Machel, made him "bloom like a flower." 

Thank you, Madiba! love+live.life

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