Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whose life is it anyway?

Unfortunately, most of us go through life exactly the same way a treasured object whose owner loses to the waters of the ocean while aboard a cruise ship would behave L .Notice the object gets more beat up the further it travels through the currents of the ocean because it is pummeled by the waves and the elements as it floats aimlessly and endlessly. Finally, it may drift ashore onto a beach. Sometimes someone who happens to be on the beach recognizes the treasure in the object, picks it up appreciating its value and then decides to take it home and put it into good use. Other times, this treasured object might not be so lucky and it simply gets buried in the sands of the beach forever.

A lot of us still believe that life is happening to us when in fact; we are active participants in charting the courses of our lives through our current actions, thoughts, and words. We are creating either consciously or unconsciously every single circumstance, experience, events and even people that come into our lives.

Our biggest problems include the following, a) Having the courage to step into our lives; b) Having the courage to take full ownership of our lives; and c) Having the courage to live life as fearlessly as we possibly can without worrying about what other people will think of our actions.

 The sad truth is that often times, we tend to play the role of outsiders in our own lives who are merely on the outside, looking in! An outsider is usually unable to do much in a situation that he does not own or control. Fear usually holds us back and makes us slaves to other people’s toxic emotions, feelings, and opinions. Unless we are still minors who continue to be answerable to parents or guardians and other care-givers in their lives, nothing should stop us as adults from asserting ourselves in our own lives and being fully present in it!  

For me, truly living our lives to its fullest potential, means taking full ownership of it and resisting that urge that makes us constantly to seek approval and validation from everything outside of us because we have so much power in us to make anything happen!

A life that is lived through the mirror of another’s experience, feelings and opinion, is a tainted life. Until we assume full ownership of our life by living it on our own terms, we really have not started living; we are merely simply, existing.

I personally believe that a lot of inventions, dreams, and aspirations that potentially could have re-written the course of human history are taken to graves by its owners on a daily basis simply because their owners never quite emerged into their own lives!

People sometimes seek affirmations and approval from others and end up abandoning a dream that could have been worth so much! Sometimes, the person you are seeking affirmation from is not on the same frequency as you to appreciate the genius behind that dream or aspiration; or, he does not appreciate the meaning and magnitude of that dream to you; or, he may be simply misguided by other negative emotions like jealousy or envy; or even, they simply lack the requisite expertise needed to offer you any advice on that topic.

Begin asking yourself this question on a monthly basis (I say monthly because I know it is a gradual evolution), “Have I really emerged in to my life; am I still an outsider or have I emerged as the true landlord in my life”?; if the answer is a NO, ask again, “am I ready to emerge into my life as the owner/landlord”? Hopefully, with time and more exercise on “self-belief”, the answer will change to a YES! (See the article on the power of self-belief).

Unless your goal, dream or aspiration injures, or harms the interest of a third person, every dream is worth pursing relentlessly because it is your dream and your life, and you’ve committed to living life to its fullest potential and making a grand exit when it is all said and done.J

Recently, I went to New Jersey on a quest to fulfill one of the greatest dreams of my life. I stayed at my sister’s house and she was in awe of the distance that I had gone to try to achieve this dream. I did not quite achieve that dream this time around but I understood it was one of the many bridges that I may have to cross before reaching that Dream. The part of the story pertinent to this topic was when my sister took me to the gym where she works out! Normally, I try to cramp in some exercise to my day. I run and also do my elliptical and try to burn at least 400 calories on a daily basis. For a long time, I felt pretty good about it. I feel healthier and more energetic! Then my sister tells me that she burns between 600-650 calories on a daily basis. “Whao!!!”,  I screamed!  That is too much calorie to burn for one day. It must equal torture, I thought, because I knew that it must require an additional 20-30 minutes of exercise on the elliptical.  While I was thinking about this and trying to conjure a good reason why I should stick to what I have been doing, (400 calories) I experienced what Oprah would call an AHA moment!

 My thought was precisely this – there is no other physical manifestation of me (Ogor Winnie Okoye) but this one body that I am living in. I do not see any other me.  . . ; if that is the case, why in the world should I not try committing to making this one body as healthy and as beautiful as I possibly can? burning 400 calories per day is great! I sure can make it even greater by burning 650 calories!  With that thought in my head, I stepped up on the elliptical and 650 calories later, I stepped down! Wooo. . . Hooo. . .! I did it! It was not easy, but it was done! It felt really good!

Today, let us renounce living our lives as strangers or like outsiders looking in. Let us commit to stepping it up a notch and announcing our presence in our lives, unafraid of anything or anyone!

On a closing note, a lot of us are still trapped in our cocoon unsure of when we will eventually emerge into beautiful and handsome butterflies that we are meant to be. I do not wanna be in this cocoon anymore. Do you? Some of us like the treasure that washes ashore on a beach, may never get anyone who appreciates our value and take us home finally putting us to good use. Do we want to be in the other category where we are buried in the sands of the beach forever? A lot of us go through life never announcing our presence in it:-(.

Because I am so ready to emerge into my life and announce my presence in my life, ( I really feel like saying, "Hello Life! It is nice to finally meet you!); I really need to ask this, just one more time, . . . , pardon me, . . . “Whose life is it anyway”? If it is your life, . . . then, immerse yourself completely into it; Live it to its fullest potential; Celebrate it as much as you can; Dream as crazy as you wish and please. . ., please, . . . BE NOT AFRAID to pursue those dreams as fervently as possible! Why? Because IT IS YOUR LIFE ~

Lovingly yours,

Ogor Winnie okoye


  1. Excellent write-up! It is both motivational and stimulating! I enjoyed every bit of it! Super write-up

  2. Thanks Bubu! It means a lot coming from you!

  3. Another excellent and thought-provoking one, Ogo!. I'm very impressed at your writing. Being the daughter of a Journalist (God bless my Dad's soul), I know a sound write-up when I see and read one. You're GOOOOD!!. Please, keep it up and let me know when you write another one.

  4. @Arit, Thank you very much Atty. Arit! It means a lot coming from you! Your dad. . .God bless his soul, must be quite proud of you! You know, the goal is for all of us to strive to be better because we all have the capability to exceed even our highest expectations of ourselves! I will keep you posted. . . Most definitely:-)

  5. Aha! This really sound like one of those life coach lectures but it is much more. It is so relevant to us african women particularly because of our cultural and ethnic background.WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY? It is my life! Most of us do not realise more than 80 per cent of what we do is to please people-family, friends or spouse, you name it. Am I saying we should live exclusively for ourselves without giving a hoot about others? No. This write-up is not a call to feminism but a rude awakening to us all. You know growing up, we always tend towards what our parents wants us to do or become. Do I really want to be a Doctor or an actress? Do I want to marry into that respectable family for my parents sake or settle with that struggling young man who I truly love? Do I really want to be a home maker because that is what my husband wants or be a Motivational Speaker going from place to place to inspire people? The list is endless. In everyone, man or woman are special attributes, gifts, talents and specific destinies that has been deposited in us. I do agree with you; we must not give in to emotional black mails, ridicules, opinions or laid out life styles that others have designed for us. Living life to the fullest means recognising our special gifts and using it to better ourselves and others around us.

  6. Interesting write-up Ogor! Keep it up.

  7. @Ime, that was a "WOWWER contribution" to this topic Ime! You brought it down to its nitty gritty elements! Yes Ime, you are so right, our culture makes it rather difficult for us to truly own our lives and be present in it because we are raised to essentially be respectful of whatever our elders or family believes might be best for us! Indeed most cultures of the world have similar problems with women mostly suffering its sad consequences. The resulting effect as you stated is people being in relationships they do not wanna be in, or professions they do not give a hoot about! The reality is that we can never thrive or soar in anything that we lack either love or passion for! I think it is a travesty to waste a God-given talent or gift because we want to please people. That talent or gift was really never meant for us alone, but for us to share it with each other and the world at large.
    You said it all Ime! Thank you my dear for this wowwer of a contribution to this topic!:-)

  8. @Phyllis!Thank you so much! Your comment is greatly appreciated!

  9. Having the courage to step into our lives; b) Having the courage to take full ownership of our lives; and c) Having the courage to live life as fearlessly as we possibly can without worrying about what other people will think of our actions.--The SECRET TO SUCCESS ...GREAT WRITE UP!

  10. @Anonymous, Thanks for reading the blog! Glad you found it interesting:-)

  11. Totally love ur blog. Very inspirational. Keep it up.... believe it or not you are motivating some many of us out there…. May God continue to bless you and your family. Please keep it coming...

  12. Thank you Rose, so very much! May 2012 be that kind of year that we fearlessly step out to reclaim our destinies, after all, it is our lives.:-)