Mondays are always an interesting day to write about. I have previously touched on the Monday Blues. Those of us who have to get going and get it done at work. It is difficult, but our hard work is what makes America great. Keep it up and keep going.

If you are reading this, you made it to another beginning of the week. The reset button has been pressed. You have your coffee, energy drink, juice, tea, or if you’re like me, just a glass of water. You log onto to read a blog and find an article with the title of Monday Motivation.

I am a believer in living your dreams. I was not always like that, but I am now. I learned that you need to at least try to do something that you enjoy doing. If you try and fail, well, at least you tried. If you succeed and are able to make money doing what you love, then you will always be happy in my experience.

We all know that it does not always happen that way, does it? Life can be tough and unmerciful. As you work at it, you might find that doing what you love can be very difficult.

Sometimes, you try, but it just does not work out no matter what you do, who you know, or where you study. You do not get the break you need and you end up stuck in a job that seems completely mindless. Maybe not even mindless, but it could seem like something you do not want to do at all.

Where does that lead you? You get stuck sweeping floors, in a windowless cubicle, a basement, or working up one too many beads of sweat. Hey, if you dreamed of any of those things, that is great. Those are just examples.

Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that it is no fun when you do not love what you do, especially if you have at one time you did.

It can feel like every day is the same thing over and over again. The annoying coworker, the harsh boss, the too friendly receptionist, and of course the HR director who thinks they are a prison warden. You see and hear all of these things and at times you call in sick just to get away. Believe me, I have done it before.

As each minute, hour, day, week, month, year, and for some, decade pass by, you feel like there is no end in sight. You just want to keep on keeping on, but you also want to pull your hair out when it seems like everything is going wrong. Trust me, things will go wrong. Sad, but it’s true.

Am I striking a nerve with anyone?

I bet you are starting to wonder where the motivation is? Do not worry, that is up next.

I will give you some advice: find something you love and just do it. It sounds so simple that it is almost cliché.


You might be wondering, “Wait, what happened to all of that “life is tough” talk?” It is true, but what I am talking about is during your “me time.” If you do not have any, make some. You need it.

During this time, do not just sit around and watch TV or do nothing on the computer, do something you love.

If you are an artisan: write, make music, sculpt, sew, draw, paint, or whatever. If you are a cook: try out new recipes as often as you can. If you are into computers: program, invent games, or create an app. If you are into sports: join a gym, ride a bike, learn to skate, learn karate, or take up shooting. If like to read: try a new genre, subscribe to a magazine, or read a long old fashioned novel like War and Peace. Of course, all of these suggestions are just examples. There is no shortage of fun things to love or to learn to love.

Whatever it is, you need that time to yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. I honestly think that more people are unhappy in their work because they do not take that special time for them. It is something that is so important.

I honestly hope that this did motivate you. If you find yourself in a job that is not your first choice, do something you love no matter what.

By : Jacob Airey 

Living life is a constant work in progress for each person, but that doesn’t mean that you should get so caught up that you neglect showing yourself love. Break down the walls preventing you from self-love, and enrich your life. Here are 6 ways I have learnt to show myself love, you should try it too.
1. Tell Yourself What You Love About Yourself
Many times, we get caught up in everything around us that we forget to remind ourselves just how awesome we are. Our own disappointment, acceptance, patience, and love that we have for ourselves will always reflect what we show others.
2. Accept Imperfection
One of the most worthwhile things that we can do for ourselves is to give up on being perfect, and start the journey to become our true selves. The best part of that journey is to return to feeling peace within ourselves. This peace comes from training your mind to process life as it actually is, rather than what you think it should be.
3. Know That the Approval of Others Doesn’t Matter
Oftentimes people greatly value having the approval of others, even when it isn’t clear exactly what would gain their approval.You should instead focus on doing what is right for your own self, disregarding what others will think. You do not need anyone’s permission to be happy.
4. Bring Distance Between Yourself and Those Who Bring You Down
Worry less about the people in your life that are not worrying about you. You should surround yourself with those who inspire you, respect you, love you, and support you.
5. Make the Changes You Know Are Necessary
When you know that you want to see changes in your life, you will need to do things that you’ve never done before. Aim to stay away from the things that tear you down, and gravitate toward the things, activities and thoughts that fulfill you in the way that you want.
6. Let Go of Your Past Self
A part of life is that good people like you will sometimes make bad choices. Sure, past mistakes make up who you are today, but they do not define you. It is never too late to move on from them – dwelling will only lead to hurt.

“Esther is an activist, Writer, Columnist, Author and editor-in-chief & founder -Women of Rubies. She is passionate about issues that affect women and children. 

Facebook: Esther Ijewere

Twitter & IG : @Estherijewere

LinkedIn: Esther Ijewere

Email: admin@womenofrubies.com

In the article, renowed writer  Catherine  Kupta stated that in her opinion, the reason why we see so few highly successful women at the top is that women are not as aware as men are of the power of personal branding, whether it’s self-promotion, projecting confidence or strategic networking. She then gives seven tips for success based on her discussions with over 150 highly successful women.

We hope these tips make your journey to the boardroom smoother and shorter.


  1. Speak out at meetings

In general, women tend to speak up less than men in meetings and wait to be asked a direct question before they speak. While this can be polite behaviour, it can be misinterpreted. People might even think that you lack ideas or confidence or talent. You have to learn to join the business conversation and confidently express your ideas if you want to be successful.

  1. Stay “on brand”

Highly successful women know what they stand for and are authentic and consistent in the way they present themselves at every touch point too, whether it’s participating in meetings, leaving a succinct voicemail message on the phone, composing an email or attending corporate events.

  1. Don’t under-market yourself.

Humility may be a virtue but women can take it too far! One global study of male and female leadership found that most women tend to downplay their accomplishments, while men tend to promote their accomplishments. Highly successful women don’t leave career success to chance. They learn how to promote themselves and figure out a way to do it that’s authentic and effective. After all, if you don’t market yourself, who will?

  1. Fake it until you make it

Women are notorious at feeling that they’re not ready for a new assignment or promotion unless they can check off every box in the skill set required for the position. Highly successful women often tell me that they forced themselves to go after stretch assignments even if they weren’t ready. Sometimes you need to “fake it until you make it,” to get over the initial jitters and until you feel confident in a new role.

  1. Be visibility minded

Many women are visibility challenged and are not well-known outside of a very small network. Talent is important, but visibility separates those who are wildly successful from those who are just doing okay. That’s because there is a “visibility premium.” If you’re well-known, people think you are better than others who are not so well- known. She must be good because she’s well-known in the company is how the thinking goes.

  1. Pay attention to style

Women are scrutinised more in the business world, so you might as well turn it into an advantage! Realise that your clothes, hairstyle, office, even your make-up convey “messages” to others. You want to convey the right message for your organisation but have your own style. For most career women, there’s one important message your image must convey; you must project authority.

  1. Take a power pose

Poses such as standing tall, leaning in towards others or expansive hand gestures convey high power. Crossing arms across your chest or crossing your legs convey low power. Highly successful women try to use high power poses to underscore the words that they use.

Source: Source: Catherine Kaputa at http://www.hrzone.com

Our lady also doesn’t seem to understand that the woman was widowed when she was barely 33 years of age and had seven children to cater for!Another lady (who lives in the US) tells me that she has often had to go for therapy over there-to enable her deal with what she claimed was her mum’s cruelty to her-as a young girl.

According to her… her mum would always throw her out of the house and ensure she stays hungry for days. She downplays the impression that she was a wild girl, to whom domestic chores is alien. She would rather call on the boys in the neighbourhood to help her shift the furniture in their sitting room for an emergency ‘disco’ session, once her mother steps out of the house. And that’s even on the days that she elected to stay at home, otherwise, she’s known to leave home to wherever ‘it is happening’ for days.

All these were happening in an era when shame would almost kill a mother, whose Ada (first daughter) is not as homely as the other good girls in the neighbourhood.Two sisters, whose parents divorced, are still nursing some deep-seated resentment towards their mother.

According to them, she left them with their dad when they were barely 10 years of age. And she never looked back. The younger one has outrightly refused to deal with her and the older one does so with obvious aloofness. Their angst is understandable but it also helps to spare a thought in the direction of that woman.

I was told that the marriage began to nose-dive when the years began to roll by without any fruits of the womb. And his meddlesome female relative began to dictate what happens in their home. She’s alleged to be the type that, if there was an outing, would send the man’s wife to the back seat of the car-as she occupies the front seat.Things began to deteriorate so much so that by the time the children arrived…it was like “she dared give birth to girls only!”

The marital ‘nose dive’ continued until the extended families decided to divorce them-traditionally. In those days (in some Igbo tradition)…the woman is told to leave her husband’s home with just her clothing.

I suspect that it’s probably in a bid to ‘stay strong,’ without her girls, that she went so far away and tried rebuilding her life. Those who are in the know also said that she was an exceptional mother-to her girls.

Over the years, one has come across a lot of ladies that have unimaginable resentment towards their mothers, for either what they did or failed to do.In their rights, their feelings are justified but it should also occur to us that most of our parents raised us the best way they knew how. If there is anywhere motherhood is sacrifice, it is in this clime!

Nobody sets out to be a bad mother to the best of my knowledge, but circumstances “arm-twist” people. Some of these women had so much on their young shoulders and probably couldn’t be the super-mum that every young girl idealizes.

You can handle this better by resolving to be, to your own children, everything good that your mother is/was not. Not by burdening your soul with resentments. Some people travel abroad and suddenly realise that their mothers didn’t try at all.

Advanced societies have support institutions for the family, but here, the “straightening out” is done with cane, tongue-lashing and maybe…hunger!I remember those days when I would go play without doing any house chores. My mother would use silence and hunger to straighten me out. I would be the one hovering around the woman with lines such as‘’Mama, did you call me?’’ ‘’Mama should I do this or that?”, anything to make the woman have mercy.

My prayer remains that every lady experiences motherhood…if only to realise that it is not easy at all, especially with a ‘handful’ of a child. These are women we know nothing about their emotional issues, who are operating in a culture that has idealised them into super humans.

“Forgive your mother, not because you don’t have a right to be upset about the way she has handled some things in her life and in your life. Forgive your mother because until you do, there will always be a void in your heart-’’ Iyanla Vanzant.

Culled from : Guardian

I am going to be completely honest: I am a huge romantic. I love love…and as such, I certainly adore the idea of a specific day being set aside to celebrate love. Unfortunately, though, I haven’t had much luck with Valentine’s Day!

My earliest memory of the holiday is of my bubble literally bursting after a package I found in my schoolbag (and had been so excited about) revealed a rusty GL neck-chain which my secret crush -who sadly, wasn’t the guy I fancied at the time- had obtained from his grandmother’s box of rejected jewelries and placed in a card designed with the picture of a half-eaten apple and a mouth that said “You are so delicious”.

Even worse was Valentine’s Day 2008, My 3rd year at Covenant University, when a porter at Deborah Hall, one of school hostels, seized the bag of provisions my mother had sent to me through a family friend, Obinna, with claims that Valentine gifts were not allowed from males at the female hostels. The thought of that day still brings tears to my eyes. It was the worst experience ever. Not only did I have to deal with the pain of realizing that I would have to survive the next 4 weeks without Milk, Milo, Rice krispies, Titus Sardines and other school-life necessities, I also had to sit through hours of watching other girls gush over the Val gifts their boyfriends managed to smuggle into the hall and silently wonder when “amoshine”.

Over the years, I have come to realize that contrary to what romantic comedies had me believing since I was about 6, Valentine’s Day actually isn’t all that great. In reality, it is more like a number of the fancy clubs on Lagos Island- the idea of the club is way better than the actual club in itself. The music is so loud you are in a constant state of stress; the people suck; you spend so much money but never have any fun really; yet, you keep coming back, telling yourself that will it get better.

Let’s face it, Nigerians are submerged in the cultural hypnosis that nudges them to associate true love and commitment with Valentine’s Day. I consider this a form of “conditioning” as the Valentine’s Day of today so obviously has nothing to do with real love. It is now a highly commercialized day of forced love with the main beneficiaries being brands that get to sell you anything from red flowers and chocolates to exorbitant destination getaways. Even worse, having a date on this day, also, has become a status symbol more than anything else, and for some God-knows-why reason, being able to celebrate Valentine’s Day means that you are somehow better or more successful than your single friends.

Quite honestly, the level of pressure this holiday brings is worse than that of a shaken bottle of Coke. The singles who dream of being coupled up, face the pressure of finding a date at all costs; those who are dating feel the pressure to find the ultimate gift or pull off the most original and meaningful romantic gesture ever; and Nigerian girls who like to show off their Val gifts certainly do not want to be at the bottom of the totem pole, so, they weary their men and literally everyone else with their demands. In fact, even the men -especially the stingy and weak ones- who do not want to deal with all the pressure, say and do all they can to get away with not celebrating it. You find them making such silly statements as “every day is Valentine’s day”, “Can’t you see it’s quarter to Buhari O’clock?”, or “Love should be spontaneous and not contrived, Valentine’s day defeats that purpose”. Some even go as far as breaking up with their girlfriends days before February 14th.

The truth is, Valentine’s Day celebrations is not a do-or-die affair. The choice to go ahead with the celebration is up to you and if you decide you don’t want it or that the day is not for you, no one will kill you (hopefully). Of course, the sentiment behind the day is probably worth celebrating but…whether you choose to abstain from the celebrations, or whether you go along with the commercialized way we presently celebrate the holiday, note that your grand gestures will not be able to replace emotional intimacy if the security of your bond is already in question. Also, for those who are single and filled with resentment for people with partner to celebrate the holiday with…please, stop it. Stop jealous. The day is not just for those who have partners, and as such, you are not required to have a “bae” to enjoy it. Make the most of the day. And if not for anything, take full advantage of this day because it is a day in your life.

I am hoping this February 14th will be pleasant for everyone really. Surely, every Nigerian can use a bit of love at this time as we keep standing together #IstandwithNigeria

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Source: Bellanaija