December 30, 2018


The best thing about pushing self- imposed limits is that you discover there is more to challenge.
 - Omonaikee 

In last year's end of year post, I wrote a post I titled "The year has not ended" to state the obvious- it's not over, there's much to do. The end of the year is an opportunity to start the new year early not wake up in it late. I also wrote "Launch in 30 days" in relation to new year goals, which I came back to read several times in the year to remind myself not to be limited by the assumption that things would take more time, money or effort than I thought I had without first testing that this was actually true. 

Some things you think you’d need a year to do can be done in 8 weeks, others you think you’d need years worth of savings to accomplish can be done in months worth of instalments and things you think you’ll only be able to complete when your skills are at expert level or when you have more experience, education or resources may well be satisfactorily executed at the level you are right now. Click here to tweet this 

This year, I bought things and experiences I couldn't afford because I realised it was only my thinking that limited me. I questioned my phobia for debt, interrogated why it was common sense to save or pay bills not spend and gave in more to the demands of my inner child with the same consideration I would show my daughter every now and again when she wanted chocolate, juice or TV instead of commonsensical options. 

I did not cancel my gym membership even if it made financial sense to do so. I swung my hips at Zumba and regret not being bolder or I would have twerked along with my eccentric instructor and the sexy ladies who were up for the fun of the challenge. I punched hard at fit boxing, played hard at kick boxing, worked my way up to level 12 on the cross trainer and splurged on clothes, hair and makeup *because why not?

I drove for the experience of driving and it didn't matter if I was chaperoned, car hiring or testing for a license. It mattered that I speed, I revved and I learned even when it was at the expense of common sense.

When I played student, I uncharacteristically relied on my study group on my MBA to do the work contributing scantily because my head was in my nest waiting to hatch a baby. 

When I played worker, I caught a train to far away New gate street where I had my three pound meal deal lunches from Tesco and wandered sometimes buying, sometimes window shopping. I travelled hours in the belly of the dragon that is London's underground, snaking through tunnels, conveyed by escalators along with the other characters I studied as we grunted in the smell of soothe and the icy cold air the train left in its wake. 

When I played housewife, I regained my curiosity in the rows of spices, baskets of vegetables and packets of carbs that didn't come labelled as rice. Seeking variety to spice my life, I bought cumin and tumeric, aubergines and nectarines, beetroot and celery, asparagus and cauliflower, mushrooms and shrimps, barley and Bulgar wheat, turkey and pork. I cranked up the oven, bought a food scale, measured my food, sized my portions, counted calories and tailor made my menu. 

When I played mum, I created tradition, taking the best of Christmases past to create a blend of the Christian Christmas with carols, services and the message of the birth of Christ; the Nigerian Christmas of Christmas cloth, Christmas rice, Father Christmas and meal sharing and the Westernised Christmas of jingle bell choruses, decorated fir trees, snow and gingerbread men, and Santa with his reindeer driven sleigh.

I pushed the limits. And in this end of year's post I'm challenging us to push them further in the new year.

Consider how much of your inherent potential you can release if you overcame the critic in your head that creates the self doubt, fear of failure and vote of no confidence which interferes with your performance to the point where you don't do what you think yourself capable of or never find out how great you can be at it. Click here to Tweet this 

This inner critic comes from voices we have internalised that tell us how to live and be and see ourselves and others in this world. In learning this way, we loose sight of our own initiative to learn as opposed to the initiative of the people around us to teach; our own knowledge about how we learn as opposed to the way we learn to learn in the school house and the way we operate and create naturally as opposed to the way we see or are told about how others operate and create. 

We don't teach a child how to cry, suckle. It's in them. 

Littleman figured out how to crawl on his own.  He wanted to move so he did. 

When Angelface was learning how to talk, she repeated the sounds she heard over and over until they began to sound like what we said. She did not bash herself for not saying them 'correctly'. I believe she heard every sound we made but was saying what she could pronounce with her limited diction, expanding them in the process. She laughs with self awareness when I imitate her pronunciations and say "schweeping" instead of "sleeping" which shows she recognises the difference.  

Now that she has the lexicon to express herself in the way 'I understand', I can suddenly hear things she has been 'saying' from day 1- "what's this?", "what's funny?", "where are you going?", "who's that?",  "It's scary.", "I like it.", "I want to come down.", "I want that not this.",  "I want food.". 

We forget this intuition and this way of experimental learning as we enter the 'system'. Even worse, we stop seeing that initiative in our children and treat them like robots needing constant direction, teaching them not to think but to rely on us to do their thinking for them. As we progress, we stop learning or hide our need to learn under the hubris of expertise especially in environments like the workplace where I've seen people pretend to know to survive. Environments where we loose out individuality for the badge of uniformity as we think of what people think, look to them for what to think and how we're supposed to think to fit in there. But when we go back to being observers, thinkers and practising learners, we create ways of being and feats people describe as out of the box- but that potential had been there all along.

What I write is first a process that begins with the narrator in my head narrating to me what I am observing. There is no instinct to learn how to write it down, no concept of trying to write- it is written at the speed of thought. There is also no concept of form like book or page. What is understood, observed just is- seen in an instant. There is no definition of what is speaking like writer, narrator, author or blogger- just the I am that I am. Here and lost in the subconscious before you can even define it.

Imagine then what is possible when we remove external limitations of methods we think we have to follow, standards we're judging our output by and the boxes and titles we're trying to fit into.

So here's this end of year's challenge for the new year- release your potential- raw and untainted! Lets see what this baby can do! 

And if you want to do something, do it. If you want to be somewhere, go. If you want to experience something, make it happen. Cut through the things you put in the way and just do it!

Lets keep the conversation going in the comment section, I'd like to hear your thoughts!

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*because why not- Taken from "Becoming Michelle Obama" by Michelle Obama


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