‘Time to Control Our Enthusiasm…

enthuMotivation dies when hope becomes a slow-moving wagon… ‘Confidence hides its face around dull edges… ‘Anticipation rolls down the road of unknown…’Desire knocks on our doors of in-effectiveness! Where is our drive to move forward in life?

How do you manage your: Eagerness, Frenzy, Joy, Passion, Zeal, Craze, Glow, Keenness and the way I fondly address it with my kids….My Oomph! My energy for life! What Curbs Your Enthusiasm? ‘Your keen Interest? ‘Your Excitement and Passion for a Task?

Enthusiasm is the natural outgrowth of all your efforts toward success. What is important is that you now recognize that every appropriate move you make is building your enthusiasm as well.

Enthusiasm Changes Lives: it is the fuel that drives things forward, a way to control our mind. The same control can be used on our enthusiasm, so that it is continually fed into the cylinders of your mental engine, where it is ignited by the spark of our definite purpose and explodes, pushing the pistons of applied faith and personal initiative. Enthusiasm is power. With faith, it can transform adversity, failure, and temporary defeat into action.

Our mindset is Transmutation. It depends on the control of our thoughts, for they can just as easily be expressed negatively as positively. By controlling our enthusiasm, we can change any negative expressions and experiences into positive ones.

So, when your enthusiasm runs high, make a note of it in a notebook. Write down the circumstances that inspired you and the manifestations of that enthusiasm. Were you spurred to action? Did you solve a problem? Did you persuade someone of something? Also, keep a written copy of your definite major purpose and your plan for it inside your notebook. Then, whenever your enthusiasm is ebbing, pick up your valuable book. Not only will it remind you of the reason you should be enthusiastic, but it will also review for you the benefits of that enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is a spiral, turning inward or outward, rising or falling. To give your enthusiasm a push in the right direction, refer to your notebook when the spiral is collapsing in on itself.

Wow! What power enthusiasm has! Especially when we are able to help others around us! What fulfillment and accomplishment we receive! That power is released to support definiteness of purpose and is constantly renewed by faith. It becomes an irresistible force for which temporary defeat and failure are no match. You can communicate that power to anyone who needs it. This is probably the greatest work you can do with your enthusiasm. Excite the imaginations of others; inspire their creative vision; help them connect with Infinite Intelligence.

I hope someone reading this will grasp their dreams and twist the world’s agenda to fit their passion and share their enthusiasm. It’s infectious. Boredom is a killer, but the world will buy joy gladly. But, because you’ve got IT! Why not encourage someone who doesn’t have what it takes to build-up hope today – share your gift of Positive Influence! Be someone’s ticket to success!

Yours in HOPE as I share one of my favorite Tracy Chapman’s songs.




Is Marriage or Relationship Overrated? (Part One)


Dara lived in a small town with parents who were morally sound and family oriented. She went to church from her earliest remembrance and was baptized when she was twelve-years-old. In high school, she began dating David. After Dara went off to college, both of David’s parents died. He was lonely and missed the close-knit family he had once enjoyed.

After Dara’s first year of college, David began to talk about marriage. Dara was torn, but made the decision to marry David and continue working toward her degree. But after the wedding comes the marriage – something that neither the two were prepared to face.

After five years, Dara was bored with the marriage, restless in her job, and disappointed in her husband. While working in a medical office, Benjamin, a salesman for an international medical supply company took on their account. He was older and lived what seemed like an exciting lifestyle.  It started as friendly bantering, which progressed to enticing flirtation. Dara found herself looking forward to Thursdays—the day the rep made his weekly visits. She looked her best on Thursdays!

A touch here, a lunch there, and soon an affair ensued. Dara packed her bags, left her marriage, quit her job, and moved on to greener pastures.

But the greener pastures weren’t so green. Thorns infested the relationship. Benjamin wasn’t interested in a long-term relationship. Dara was just a young plaything he toyed with on weekends.

What promised to be an exciting life, away from a mundane, monotonous marriage, turned into a deep, dark pit of regret and remorse? Dara discovered Benjamin wasn’t anything special. He was just someone different. And she was his flavor of the month. After her divorce was final, Dara was left all alone in a strange town. What have I done? She cried….What do I do now? hmmmm.


So, every time we take a bold step outside our comfort zone to embrace the world, we encounter different kinds of people. Some with great personality and such charm that melts our hearts and keeps us trapped in their love spell. Some simply splendid and down-to-earth and oh-so comforting to be with!

Some with over-bearing explosive ideas on life and some with genuine uniqueness that radiates true beauty from inside. We get trapped, spell bound, speechless, astonished, and we fall in love with what we see that we like, and ignore the impossibilities.

Relationship, be it before or after any form of commitment requires consistent grooming and trimming. Whether it’s a friendship built on trust that leads to marriage or a courtship of convenience that’s meant only to quench our initial thirst. The end result is a binding force of conflicting emotion, while the refresher is an eye opener.

One of the most important advice I’d received on my wedding day was from my late adopted grandma, Mrs. Oke (who was also my next door neighbor in Lagos) She’d come over as I was getting dressed and helped dry off the dripping water from my wedding bouquet. As she carefully changed the soaked lace dolly wrap and handed the flower bouquet back to me, she titled her glasses to balance on the tip of her nose and looked into my eyes… ’My dear Yinka, I want you to see this union as a can of soup. To enjoy the savory taste inside, you will need to open it with the right tool, pour it out with care and then still make effort to control its temperature , just to soothe your heart” – that was almost 18 years ago. And really, it did not make a single sense to me! Seriously, all I could think of at that moment was walking down the aisle in my dad’s arm! But I replied with a big smile “Ha-ha Mama ‘am getting married now! Why this riddle now?’Lol.

Fast forward to today: I met with a young man in his late twenties during a group therapy session. Cordial, respectful, outspoken with a crazy sense of dry humor, and oh-so-matured for his age! There’s a poise and passion/strong will to excel aura about him, you could feel his drive and hunger to intentionally grab the world by the horn and twist it to his agenda!

Instantly, He’d informed me, “I don’t believe in marriage! But I believe in love and keeping a serious relationship without the hassle of marriage. I don’t think there is anything else in this world that feels as wonderful and as natural as falling in love. But Ms. A, don’t you think it’s reckless to swear an oath to love one person. It’s completely and truly unrealistic, unnatural and unnecessary to force people to stay together with an artificial binding contract. The society may prefer to call it marriage but trust me, it’s nothing more than imprisonment. Love is one emotion that can neither be controlled, so it’s better to let it run its natural course, however long that may be, and die out on its own”.

He’d mentioned growing up in a broken home where there wasn’t a father figure for him, and practically all the people around him never visited the aisle. “Marriage is not cut for me” he said as he looked up into the ceiling, lost and getting emotional. I sensed tension!

“Where did you get your boldness from? He asked, trying to change the topic. I pretended to look puzzled and alarmed. Hmmm I’d answered with a smirk of mischief. He looked at me squarely and said, “African women don’t discuss deep stuff! – He managed to whisper…aha! that was all we needed to ease the tension…we both collapsed into a deep heart-warming laughter that caused heads to turn in puzzlement! ‘What could they be talking about?

So, is marriage overrated? Can we really give ALL of us in a marriage? or in a relationship? Are we living in a paralyzed society that sees marriage as handicapped? And people who fall for it as disabled? Part of the problem with the word ‘disable’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love?

In agreement with my young friend, I feel marriage is all about the person and the circumstances. Most people usually get married because they have to, not because they want to. On the contrary I feel that we should all directly pursue what makes us happy .There are a lot of people who are a firm believer in long term relationships but always look upon marriage with suspicious eyes. However they still get married to uphold the culture and tradition. But is it even worth it? Because with marriage would come the stress and pressure of living your life in accordance with someone else?

Who do we blame? Our youthful desire? Our greed for consumption? Our selfishness? The society? The extended family? The problem with society is that they consider marriage as bliss. There are so many people getting married with all the glamorous “Cinderella at the ball trappings”, only to get frustrated and divorced within 2 years or so.  If you are getting married thinking, this one decision in your life is going to take away all your sorrows, then you need to just look around and you’ll see several partners hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

If you consider the institution worth fighting for, the ground is all yours, but just by “getting married” because you “feel like it”: then you cannot guarantee happiness UNLESS a mutual relationship is built on acceptance, trust, loyalty and genuine love…by giving all of you!   ‘To Be Continued!

Yours in HOPE as I share one of my favorite songs by John Legend.







Introducing… “TeenSHARP”

lara_picOn Tuesday July 1st, 2014 TeenSHARP had the privilege of hosting 25 African leaders, in residence at the University of Delaware (UD), who were selected as part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

Overall, there were 500 YALI fellows representing 49 African countries being hosted at 20 different universities across the United States. The 25 fellows visiting TeenSHARP represented 19 different countries including: Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, The Kingdom of Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

As many of the UD YALI fellows are engaged in youth activism and leadership development work in their respective countries, TeenSHARP was selected for a site visit during the fellows’ 6-week institute at UD.

As a TeenSHARP alumna, I joined a group of other TeenSHARP alumni, students, parents, and staff in planning and facilitating the fellows’ visit to Rutgers-Camden to learn more about TeenSHARP’s work.

After over 3 hours of dialogue, interactive exercises, and idea-exchange I left the event incredibly inspired. The fellows each demonstrated a strong, intrinsic motivation to change the world and a strong faith that they will be successful.

As they explained their different projects and non-profit organizations and heard those of my fellow TeenSHARPies, they shared their passion for social justice in their respective cause and country with such a contagious energy that my own justice-driven heart was elated…

 By Lara Abiona (TeenSHARP alumna and Junior at Trinity College)

What is TeenSHARP?

TeenSHARP is an official certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Awards program. This allows us to acknowledge our volunteers with this prestigious national award after they complete a certain number of volunteer hours.

See www.presidentialserviceawards.gov for more details.

*** TeenSHARP is always looking for dynamic and ambitious volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of young people and their community. Here are a few ways that you can help us achieve our goals:

TeenSHARP session support

Highly-interactive bi-monthly training sessions are a major component of TeenSHARP. These sessions engage youth in team-building activities, experiential learning exercises, break-out discussions, reflection and planning, and leadership skills practice. Individuals who are passionate about working with teens and encouraging high-achievement are invited to apply to serve on TeenSHARP’s session support team. The support team will work with the teens during TeenSHARP sessions and assist the program facilitators in making each session a success.


TeenSHARP engages in regular academic consultations with its participants and in the process learns of the many needs of our youth and their families. Through our discussions with teens and their families and  review of participants’ report cards and progress reports, it is clear that many of the youth served through the program could benefit from regular tutoring sessions. TeenSHARP invites qualified individuals to serve as tutors in math, reading, foreign languages, and other subjects for its participants either once per week or 2-3 times per week.

TeenSHARP Project Leaders

TeenSHARP has opportunities for qualified volunteers to lead projects tailored to their interests and availability. The project leader positions with TeenSHARP allow volunteers to gain valuable project management experience while also impacting the families and communities served by TeenSHARP.

College Prep Mentors

TeenSHARP is looking for qualified undergraduate or graduate student volunteers to serve as college prep mentors for TeenSHARP high school students. The college prep mentors will receive training and will then be paired with one high school student each to provide them with college prep advising and hold them accountable for their college prep action plan.

Donate to TeenSHARP

If you would like to support the TeenSHARP program and lack the time to participate, we invite you to contribute financially to help the program meet its objectives. TeenSHARP is starting a scholarship fund for its participants in 2011 and is also looking for sponsors for its spring college tours. Our participants regularly make us aware of the resources needed to prepare them for leadership and college success and your donation will be instrumental in acquiring those resources for them. You can donate via paypal using the following link:


If you would like to apply for a volunteer position with TeenSHARP, share any ideas about how you can help, or make a donation to the program; please contact us at teensharp@gmail.com or 609.505.4285.

Prescription for a healthy 2015…’let’s tackle our deficiencies.

step up

Happy New Year everyone! It’s the year “two-thousand-and-fifteen” and this is the season to “Step up Our Game for Better Days” in every area of our lives that requires adjustment.

Our deficiency is usually our imperfection, inadequacy, shortage or a glitch in our lifeline. People around us see it as a defect, insufficiency or lack. While the only prescription or remedy is replacement therapy. That could come in the form of (de-clutterring, vitamin, detox, self-appraisal, repentance or deliverance)

Exactly this time last year, by God’s divine appointment a short procedure I’d scheduled almost 4 months ahead was cancelled. I was prepped and theatre-ready, and then it was cancelled! Strange! right? I know…

Unbelievably furious and agitated was I…but eventually was consoled and re-assured that the purpose behind the cancellation was because “It wasn’t intended to be” Hmmm. Come to find out after series of blood work what I needed to do was to “Fix the Deficiency”.

The prescription for my deficiency had always been available right under my nose! Who knew!

It was like telling a child… ‘Common drink up all your milk, and you will be as strong as superman” aha! I wish someone had told me that earlier, I would have religiously gulped down all the vitamins in sight!

So, I know we’re all still somehow in the process of settling down, making new year goals, assembling new year ladders, swiping off remnants of last years ‘errands and carrying some uncompleted tasks over, but really…has anyone thought about actually discussing their personal deficiency? those we are usually not aware of (unless it’s detected).

Since there are better days ahead of us in this new year, let’s choose a healthy-mind set approach to life, lets learn to balance our staggering acts, lets up-root any un-profitable vines and look into a future of newness and wholeness around us. May we all receive divine inspiration to Move Forward in Life…  

**sharing with you one of my favorite songs “Better Days” by Dianne Reeves. See below. Enjoy!

With Love…