Sunday, 17 June 2012

God in Handcuffs

Today, I read one of the most beautiful note ever posted on Facebook. I couldn't put off posting it.
Do enjoy:

A friend of mine was narrating how he had gotten to the final stage in the selection process of an organization he so much wanted to work for but couldn’t make it through. What caught my interest was not the fact that he could not make the final stage of the interview. People fail interviews all the time, there’s nothing new there. What I was particularly interested in was the fact that about a year before this interview he had the opportunity to have enrolled for a course that would have helped him in answering the questions he was now being asked but he did not enroll for that course.

In Stephen Covey’s Time Matrix, he broke down all activities we engage in into four groups based on their urgency and importance. As a quick recap these were the four quadrants:

Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important (Necessity)
Quadrant one is full of crises; pressing problems demanding immediate attention e.g. a sick child, deadlines, very important meetings, etc.
Quadrant 3: Urgent but Not important (Deception)
Quadrant three is full of activities that are unnecessary but urgent. Like quadrant one they demand immediate attention but really add no value e.g. a ringing phone, a blackberry message, many emails, other people’s minor issues, interruptions.
Quadrant 2: Not urgent but Important (Preparation)
Quadrant two activities are where we are proactive because we have to deliberately do them e.g. building relationships, training, prevention, etc.  
Quadrant 4: Not urgent and Not important (Waste)
Quadrant four is full of wastes and excess. Activities that are done to escape from quadrants one and three e.g. watching mindless TV, playing useless games, etc.

The reality is that we all engage in activities that lie in the four quadrants. Irrespective of your expertise in time and life management, there are still some things that are outside your control. Once in a while, events will turn out such that the only option you have is to fire-fight: when you just have to drop all the big plans you have already planned out and just fire-fight to put back on track something you never planned for. You suddenly get a call that your child got involved in an accident, every other thing has to wait. Something urgent and important has come up.

But such occurrences happen once in a while. Most times it is our laxity in tackling issues very early that leads to most of the fire-fighting that we do. And then, as is common with most of us in Africa, we start binding the bind-ables and loosing the loose-ables. But like I reiterated in my note The Hand of God; The Hand of Man, God will not do everything for you. You have a part to play.

Affirming your love for your spouse verbally may not be an urgent task but it is very important. Following your child to that activity in his school is a task that you can defer, after all it will happen again next year, but it is a very important task. Reading a book is not urgent, it is always in your room, you can read it anytime, but it is a very important task. If you don’t discipline yourself to do important things that are not urgent, then you better have enough water in your tank because soon there will be several fires to quench.

When your spouse says, "It is over between us," saying "I love you" at that time will no longer fix your marriage. When you sit face to face with that interviewer, the best you can do is wish you had taken that course 6months ago when you had the opportunity. You may pray as much as you want at that moment, speak in the tongues of angels and of men, but at that moment you have placed God in handcuffs, there is nothing he will do for you. When the anointing of God rests upon a man, it is what it finds in the head of that man that it will work with.

You may find this hard to believe but I have not read a single book this year that has to do with the areas I write on. While I write on personal leadership, I have not read a single book on personal leadership this year 2012. For my personal development this year my focus is on financial intelligence and spiritual growth and every single book I have bought this year has been on finance or spiritual growth. The last time I read Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was 2005. But that was where I learnt about the Time Matrix that I stated at the beginning. I learnt and started practicing what I write about today over five years ago. In the same way by 2014 my focus on writing will be financial intelligence so I am already studying in that area and practicing the principles I am learning.

What amazes me the most is that the same person who could not let a ringing phone just ring; the same person who would cut short an important discussion to receive a phone call; the same person who cannot hear her blackberry beep without halting every other thing just to respond to a ping, will defer truly important things like preparation, planning, studying, training, etc. because he or she feels it is not needed now. These people don’t yet know the difference between an interruption and an important thing.

Things which matter most must not be at the mercy of things which matter least. People who live their lives in quadrant one will always be in crisis mode because urgent things act on us. These people usually have a problem with time management. Most problems don’t show up as crises. It is poor time management skill that makes activities become crises.

People who live most of their lives in quadrant three, focusing on urgent but not important things usually have problems with their value system. They mistake urgent things for important things. A ringing phone might be calling for your attention now, but most calls are not important. Most mails are not important but the moment they get the notice, "You’ve got mail," they halt every other thing to read the mail instead of having a set time when they read mails. Because they spend their time on urgent things that are really not important, truly important things are left undone until they become crises. And at this time the hands of God are cuffed.

Truly effective people do what is needful even when there are no indications that they need to do it now. They spend most of their time planning, building relationships, participating in training, studying, preparing, they also value recreation and exercise. They spend time and money on these activities because they know that spending time on these activities is an investment in their future. They hardly get into crisis mode. Nor do they lead irresponsible lives by living engaging in quadrant three and four activities.

You place God in handcuffs when you think that because something is not urgent it means it is not important and when it finally degenerates into a crisis you begin to ask, "Where is God?" when the truth is you have placed God in handcuffs.

Mute Efe.

To enrol for the July session of School for Personal Leadership Text SPL*SURNAME*FIRST NAME *SEX*STATE OF RESIDENCE*COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE*EMAIL ADDRESS*GSM PHONE NUMBER to +234-803-874-9796.  Payment details will be sent to you within 12hrs. N6,000 only. US$45 for those outside Nigeria.

Thursday, 31 May 2012


My dog has had to learn to adjust some of his intuitions and innate behavior.
Earlier on, whenever I sprint into the kitchen because I suddenly remembered what I was cooking might be burning, Max will run after me barking. His thinking was that I was in danger.
Few minutes ago, I was frying plantain, and sprinted out when I remembered what was on fire (narrow escape). Max followed me, but didn’t bark. He just looked at me to be sure I was okay before turning back. Interestingly, I haven’t had to sprint to the kitchen in a while, but my dog had learnt to change his way of reacting to my sprint. Yes, it still piqued his curiosity but he trained himself not to bark again.

In our relationships- romantic, filial, work and so on- people do things that make us bark; but like the famous saying says if you cannot change something, change the way you think about it.


A Man’s world? No! It’s the devil’s world

So many times, I hear the phrase “it’s a man’s world” from both men, and brain-washed women. While laundering, this phrase came to mind, and I mulled over it.
In Nigeria, and to a large extent, Africa, men are expected to be promiscuous, and the women have been brainwashed to accept this. I was a 16/17 year old starry-eyed girl when I heard a university student tell her friend that men would always cheat, and that what one should hope for is that he doesn’t bring such an affair to the matrimonial home.
 I was gobsmacked!
I had never heard of this before, as all I had always heard about was the sanctity of marriage.
Over the years, despite my argument with those who held on to this belief, I’ve come to realize it’s the norm, while not cheating on your wife is unusual, stopping short of being abnormal.
Another side to the “it’s a man’s world” cliché is that men are expected to get married, and retire. Women complain that once they get married, their husbands treat them as glorified housemaids, making them question all the confessions of “I’m absolutely in love with you”. Some go as far as refusing to look after their babies while their wives take a much-needed rest. Some women sigh “it’s a man’s world” in resignation.
I don’t view it as a man’s world, no it isn’t. The bible expects a man to love his wife as himself, and to shun adultery. If this is so, men who do not obey these principles are going against the will of God. Anything that is anti-God is for the devil.
Thus, it’s the devil’s world.

10/1/2012 6.27pm

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Right now, I picked up a recharge card from my wallet to load on my ETISALAT modem as I needed to post on the blog. The moment MAX heard the rustle, he came to me, looking up with expectation, and hoping it was some biscuit he likes, or a piece of candy. I tried to warn him verbally (like he understands English lol) but he didn’t heed the warning.
Funny enough, a lot of us are deceived by what we see or hear without digging deep. It saddens me to hear and read of many ladies who have been deceived by a man they thought was good because he ‘rustled’ or appeared to possess good qualities like their brothers, fathers, uncles or friends. Of course, the male folks aren’t immune to this deception too.
Like the Vances of @BeTrulyFaithful reiterate severally, always check fruits and be led by the Spirit. I’ll also suggest that you test those qualities by probing, prodding and pushing.
If only Max could read this, he wouldn’t come bounding towards me whenever he hears the rustling of stiff nylon, but treat the sound with skepticism.

PS: That's Max waking from a nap (he ONLY sleeps on a bed when the Ac's on)


Impossible is nothing- author unknown

For the past few days, I’ve been unable to browse on my phone, despite being fully subscribed for the Blackberry service. I get the 3G or EDGE signal yet I still couldn’t browse. Anyone who knows me well knows that I can barely do without the internet. For example, Yesterday, while learning El espanol (Spanish), ,my sister exclaimed Mucho Gusto. Now I knew ‘mucho’ meant ‘plenty’, which we had just learnt, but we both didn’t know the meaning of ‘Gusto’ and I wanted to hit the internet to check it out, but I couldn’t, which was frustrating.
Fast forward to this morning; I got a BBC SMS saying that Anelka was going to be a player-Manager. I wanted to read the news and quickly hit the link WITHOUT remembering the PAST network failure. Immediately, I got directed to my phone’s browser, and then I realized that I had only an ‘edge’ signal.
Now, anyone who uses or knows a bit about blackberry will attest to the FACT that it’s almost impossible to connect the internet with an ‘edge’ signal. It has to either be ‘EDGE’ or ‘3G’. When I saw the signal displayed on my phone, my hope of reading that story plummeted, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to connect to the ‘net.

I was amazed when I saw the ‘requesting’ indication change to ‘loading’. I couldn’t believe it, so I tamed the rush of hope I felt, because I still believed it would never open, and left the browser running in the background. When I returned and met a blank page, I thought within me ‘not surprising’. I then touched the screen, and voila! the page had opened fully while I was away. I was able to browse other pages (though I still rue not taking the opportunity to check out the meaning of ‘gusto’) until the signal changed to the so-called ‘almighty 3G’ signal. Then I couldn’t and still can’t browse.
The small guy did the job the big guy couldn’t do.

  • Impossible’ is a human-limiting word.
  • Never underrate anybody, or thing. Insignificant people have achieved great things. Also, mighty people have been brought down by little things. For example, I recall that the former military dictator, General Sani Abacha was a ruthless man, who was seemingly invincible and killed anyone crossing his path, yet he died after eating a small apple offered him by an Indian whore.
  • Do not be guided only by what you see. If I had seen the ‘edge’ signal before reading the sms, I wouldn’t have bothered clicking the link.
  • Trying beats not trying.
  • If you fail at something, and you appear to be faced with same situation, still try again. It could be that the circumstances surrounding the previous experience might have changed.
  • If you tried using a hammer to kill a fly, and you didn’t succeed, try a book. In other words, if you try a great technique to solve a problem, and there was no success, try a smaller one like your common sense.

Do  have a pleasant weekend.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


It’s so easy to ignore the drunken vagabond and not see anything special in him.
This evening, I stopped by a local battery seller to get a battery, when a drunk stopped by. I quickly took few steps backward, as he looked like a lunatic on the loose. His clothes and feet were dirty, and he looked totally unkempt. I soon caught a whiff of the alcohol beneath his breath. I’d drawn my conclusion about this man before he had opened his mouth. But the moment he spoke, I  was amazed!!! He spoke flawless English, devoid of an accent. In that state of stupor, his brain was still sharp, as the trader tried to play a fast one on him, but he still took permanent control.
It occurred to me that he just might be a victim of circumstance, and might even have had a proper ‘buttie’ early education.
I can remember one of the managers of Celtel Nigeria, telling us during training that he had a schoolmate who attended his ‘buttie’ private school (in the class of Andrao and Corona schools) whom he saw at the bus stop one day. He was an area boy with all the ‘area’ around him, but he still spoke flawless English. He lost his father, and from then on, things started going down for them, till he landed where he was.

Before drawing up any negative conclusion about that woman that was caught eating from the bin, and was given some food, only for you to see her smoking, or the lady that would sleep with any man so much as says ‘hello’, or that drunk that isn’t easy on the eyes oe nose, think twice!!!

Written on 10/8/2011


I was playing spider solitaire this Monday morning, instead of staring at a blank screen, when I thought the game I got was super-duper easy. I felt like ending the game for one that would be more challenging, as things started adding up right from the start. I decided to enjoy the ease, and coast along. I didn’t take it serious ‘cause I was very positive that I had it clinched, and was playing on for formality-sake.
I lost the game.
I couldn't believe it, and had to wonder where things had gone wrong.
I realized I had taken the game for granted, because I was sure I had won.

In the real world, this kind of behaviour crops up in various scenarios:
The man who thinks he’s married his wife, and therefore takes her for granted and treats her badly;
Or the woman who thinks “phew! Now, I have him in my ‘trap’, so let me relax, and forget about looking good”;
Or the student who thinks “Well, I’ve got a 4.8 cummulative GPA, and I’m in my final year, they can’t but give me my 1st class”;
Or the parents who take their children for granted, and do not bother fostering good relationships with them;
Or believers who take God for a ride, and don’t give him reverence.

Let’s watch out for areas in our lives we are taking some people, God or situations for granted.

Written 11/14/2011 11:47am

Monday, 19 March 2012

All is vanity

I yearned for a car, how little it came, I did not care,
All my care was that I had my own means of transport,
To take me to places of pleasure,
Beaches, the movies, restaurants, I must visit,
To visit friends and acquaintances, I mustn’t miss,
When at last the car arrived, small it was, yet excited I was,
Alas, the places I yearned to visit, I scarcely went,
All is vanity, my soul then sighed.

I was reading Ecclesiastes today, about how King Solomon got whatsoever he desired. He became the greatest of all men and kings, yet at the end, despite having it all he said “and I looked on all the works that my hand had wrought, and on the labour that I had labored to do: and behold, all was VANITY…”
I look at life, and realize that I’ve had various desires, yet they have no lasting thrill.
My latest desire was to have a dog.
I’d been nursing and nurturing this desire for a couple of years, such that I looked up extensive information about the breed I desired.
It was a dream I thought would take a long time to achieve as my parents didn’t want a pet in the house…until I talked about dogs (once again) to my dad, and he said I could get one.
I couldn’t believe it!!!
I started searching the internet for a local dog breeder, and got one, unexpectedly (of course I prayed about it).
I contacted him, and we arranged on delivery…and of course, payment. Mind you, I was still a bit scared of dogs, and didn’t know what to expect. On seeing him, he was so adorable and cute, and barely filled my palm. That was it.
I love him, I’m happy I have him, but the thrill is all gone ( but this isn’t vanity, as he is a wonderful creature of God).

Written on 25th July, 2011 6.06pm