Wednesday, 13 November 2013

I Pledge Positivity.


A good mindset is important for a healthy body, spirit and mind.

It's now November and today I've been reflecting the past year more than usual. Almost a year ago, I made that same reflection and came to the conclusion that I had an amazing professional and academic year.

Reflecting right now... so far I can say that this year has been kind to me, despite me being on my knees a few times this year.

My professional and educational life has been amazing:

From last year, I've definitely stepped things up! I first proved myself wrong (I got my 2.1 despite me thinking I couldn't really get it) and I did things I thought I could/would never do (co-hosting a show in front of a live audience).

I have met many wonderful and amazing people this year, young professionals, old professionals, journalists, musicians, writers, politicians... I have made many amazing and useful connections that I know I have and will be utilising.

But... why am I writing this post... right now? And not in December?

From about August/September, I began to lose steam. I started writing less (as I discussed in my 'writers' block disease' post) and I was working, consistently, almost every day. Some weeks I worked every day, some weeks I worked in just the working week. It's just been up and down for me (the whole entire year but I have to admit the past two months it's just been worse). It was also the first anniversary of my brother's death last September (which didn't make things any easier for me). I am still mourning despite pushing on and appearing joyful. I guess the gap in my life will always remain... the fading memories and the moments I would wish I could share with him.

After two months of being very up and down, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, I have decided to fight back. My friend Onyinye from Onyinyedraws and her positive mindset and incredible achievements has really inspired me to wake up and change my mind from 'I can't' to 'I can' and from 'I don't want to' to 'I want to'.

So from today, the 13th of November 2013 and onwards, I pledge to think positively:

  • I pledge to see the sunny side of things. 
  • I pledge to see the good that can come out of the bad. 
  • I will be positive, loving and giving and even forgiving. 
Tonight I'm reading the first few chapters (and more) of The Secret to just remind myself of the laws of attraction to get myself back into the mindset I was building on. Further, I genuinely believe that if you think positively and embody it, you will gain a lot of positivity in life... 

I'm 'patiently' waiting to go to Africa early December. Preparation (vaccination and visa) hasn't taken full force yet (next week is the week!). I think my trip will add an interesting end to my year... I can't wait to be there and start sharing my experiences.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

I'm an INTJ.

It's one of those days after a six day working week and I'm lying in bed, physically exhausted, mentally drained and feeling like life has sucked itself out of me.

I get a lot of dips in confidence, especially concerning my personality.

I have recently discovered ( thanks to an analysis by a dear friend and even through my own research) that I have an INTJ personality type (introversion, intuition, thinking, judgment).

What is an INTJ?

According to 16Personalities:
  • It's one of the most rarest and interesting personality types. 
  • They are seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious.  
  • They radiate self-confidence, relying on their huge archive of knowledge spanning many different topics and areas. 
  • They are considered as the most independent personality type. 
  • They are decisive, original and insightful. 
  • They do not seek or enjoy the spotlight
  • They often keep opinions to themselves if the topic of discussion does not interest them that much.  
  • They are natural leaders and excellent strategists
  • They dislike rules and artificial limitations – everything should be questionable and open to re-evaluation.
  • They find it very difficult to handle romantic relationships, especially in their earliest stages.
  • They are very good at improving their knowledge of (often diverse) topics and fields that interest them. 
  • They excel at being able to analyze anything that life throws at them, uncovering the underlying methodology and then applying it in practice. 
  • INTJs are very good at improving their knowledge of (often diverse) topics and fields that interest them. They take pleasure in tackling intellectual challenges and their natural curiosity pushes them forward as well.
  •  INTJ personalities can be very patient and dedicated if something excites or intrigues them. They will work hard to achieve their goals, often ignoring everything else.
  • INTJs are very good strategic thinkers, often using this strength to devise multiple contingency plans in both professional and personal situations.
  • INTJ personalities do not mind being proven wrong and enjoy being exposed to something they were not familiar with.
  • INTJ personalities loathe inefficiency and imperfection, trying very hard to iron out all the flaws and analyse all possibilities – if left unchecked, this trait can easily become a weakness, slowing down their work quite significantly and frustrating people around the INTJ.
  • INTJs tend to believe that everything can be analysed, even things that are not necessarily rational – e.g. human relationships. 
  • INTJ personalities often pride themselves in being brutally honest and logical.
Famous INTJs (fictional or not) include: 
  • Karl Marx
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Jane Austen
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Dr House 
I suppose this explains why I can get obsessed with certain tasks, why I like to plan ahead and why I snap when I'm interrupted while doing something... not to mention, I love to learn and I am open to learning new things! 

Of course, a personality type isn't just all that you are, everyone is diversified due to personal experiences and environmental factors, but of course, I think it's definitely the basis of my personality. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

I Suffer From Writer's Block Disease (+ Four Tips To Defeat It).

I used to write a lot. Probably 'something' once a week.

Right now it seems like anything worthy of promotion (actual articles) gets written like once a month. Maybe once every two months if I really push myself.

The only places where I'm currently writing more text than my own blog is Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr... even Instagram (can you imagine I probably have more text on my Instagram than I have written on this blog for some time?).

Ok maybe I'm overreacting a little, but I have had a bad case of writer's block and it's been super frustrating. There's so much I have to write but I actually struggle to find the will to do so. I know I have to but I simply refuse to. It's that bad.

I'm not short of inspiration or topics to write or discuss, it's just the sheer effort it requires; multiple drafts, proper research, making sure it is a unique perspective, etc. It just takes effort.

I've also been working pretty much non-stop and ultra long hours. I don't really like to write at work, I generally prefer writing at home, where much of the inspiration and will tends to come. But I get home late, so I get too tired to write.

A friend told me I should slow down. Stop planning. Stop forcing myself to write... and ultimately, think about writing a lot less like it has to be done, like a chore. If you act like it has to be done, it becomes very unappealing and very job/chore-like.

As I am combatting my writer's block, I have a few tips which I have found helpful for inspiration (of course I need to implement some of these a whole lot more). When I am ready to return to writing on a more regular basis, I know these tips will be useful!*

(*I'll be honest and admit that this post is a way for me to get my post count up and really is my own solution to combat writer's block, see how things work out? Funny).

Here are four tips!

1. Have a notepad or phone with a notepad function on hand.

This is so helpful when you are on the go and consistently thinking... 

When a topic comes to mind or a funny line, write it down! Writing can then ensue. 

2. Stay up to date with current events.

Current events can give you some great topics to write about. This is especially helpful if you're into current events like politics or stuff like gossip.

3. Read books or magazines.

This will help you 1) get the topics you may want to discuss, 2) result in a book/magazine review and 3) help you improve your writing style.

Point 3 is pretty personal to me. I feel like I'm slacking... I feel like my writing is not at the level I would like for it to be. Reading books, articles and magazines will enable me to be a bit more creative in writing and help improve it, thus, I won't feel like I'm a bad writer and I shouldn't be writing anymore.

4. Stop making excuses for not writing! 

Seriously. Stop it. 'I'm tired' and 'I'm too busy' are all excuses to stop yourself from unleashing your potentially next viral article. I am so guilty of making excuses for myself. I truly am. I'll just say to myself, 'I have worked so hard, I deserve a break', while forgetting that freelance writing and writing on my personal blogs is actually an extension of my professional and working life -______-''

Get to writing!!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Juba 2013.

So I wrote about my plans to head to Africa this year after my graduation, I wrote about it here and here.

I am happy to announce that I am leaving for Juba, South Sudan early December.

The plan is that I will stay in Juba for a few weeks then head to my hometown Tonj (in Warrap, South Sudan). I will then return to Juba for new years, go to Kampala for a few days and spend a few weeks in Nairobi before going back to Juba and then back to the United Kingdom.

Of course I won't drive... 
I am really excited about my trip! It will be my first long break in forever. I won't be doing any work when I'm gone, it'll be impossible. I'm just going to spend time with friends and family, relax and familiarise myself with my surroundings.

Do I have any expectations? I've been consistently told to go in without any expectations and just to keep an open mind, something I am happy to do (it's only fair!). 

This week I am going to get my South Sudanese visa and I'm also going for my injections. Later this month I will get my malaria tablets and during the week before my travels I will get everything I will require for my trip. 

I'll be making detailed posts about my preparations, what I will take, etc. and most definitely, posts about my experience in Africa. Looking forward to it.