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Nono (@RealistXX) graciously agreed to give us her take on 2011. She was taught 7 things in the university of life and wishes to share with us. Hang on for the ride…

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“F**K!!!!!”

That’s pretty much how my 2011 started and it wasn’t the good kind either so stay with me pervs. For the first time ever, I was in Lagos on New years day ’cause of work and my aunt goes on these cooking sprees that look like she’s been given a contract to cook for the nation so yea…I was cooking *eyeroll*. I’d just sliced open my index finger when all the hands of the clock said north. It almost looked staged. Like really? Am I starting the year with blood everywhere? Thankfully that’s the most blood that’s spewed from an injury on my person this year (I feel like I just hit a halleluyah moment). Oh well…..

Seeing as I’m currently getting my MBA, I’m tempted to start talking about the Nigerian economy in 2011 but I’ll spare y’all the obvious bore (I’m guessing this isn’t a business crowd). I’ll just say this: In the midst of all the turmoil that was the Nigerian economy of 2011, life went on. 2011 has been appropriately termed by me “my year of decisions” ’cause I made so many life altering decisions. Others may say 2011 is the year I grew up. You won’t get a word of protest from me on that one. In fact I think I’ve grown so much I now literally feel ancient. Don’t believe me? Aii let’s try sm’in…

You get invited to a party by a buddy. What do you do? You think about going right? The old me would have done just that. The new me just wants to stay home with her bottle of red wine and a good TV series so she makes so much noise about the Ajah traffic and ends up in bed by 9pm.

You are home alone. You’re probably wearing what? Some hot pants/bum shorts with an old tee? Your lingerie? Nothing? Well nowadays I’m more comfortable in a wrapper. Don’t ask.

You are at a bar and this sexy piece of chocolaty hunk walks in. You admire that eye candy right? Well I do too. I’m not THAT old.

So yeah….to make decisions, I had to fully understand the usefulness of knowing one’s priorities. At this point, I’d like to start what I call

                                                                           “Nono’s life lessons from 2011“.

Lesson number 1: Passion matters. I’ve come to discover passion matters a great deal. When you’re passionate about something, it’s very easy to find fulfilment from that thing. The fulfilment you get from doing what you love is next to none and if you keep @ it, you’ll get so good, the success WILL come. NB: I’m not saying quit your 9-5. I’m just saying know where your passions lie and keep an eye on them if you can’t do much more at the moment. But someday take out time to do something. So err…back to priorites (I’m beginning to feel like my scratched Showdemcamp CD). Family. Love. Success. Let’s talk about success…..

I started 2011 with so much uncertainty. I had a job I absolutely adored but my folks hated it and I could understand where they were coming from. I mean I kept the strangest hours and worked round the clock. No I wasn’t a “lady of the night”. I worked with a media house and while I was great at it and loved the job, I didn’t see myself working there for much longer. The level of success I wanted could not be achieved in that position in the time frame I’d given myself so I talked to some people…

Lesson number 2: Seek advice from credible people. It’s always good to talk to veterans in whatever field you’re in to hear what they would have done different if they could go back. Generally, its always good to hear what the older folk have to say about certain issues. I sieved from all they told me, sound advice for myself and I decided to go for my masters. With that decision came another: where do I enrol? (In between came the whole “what course do I do?” etc etc etc decisions but I’ll spare you guys that part). My family is big on education so they of course suggested some of the best schools in the world which I wasn’t against in any way but with each option came the same hindrance. I wanted to get into school right away and all the options on the table required I wait an extra year. No siree! I believe the school I’m currently getting my MBA from was destined for me because of the way all the chips fell into place. It felt like fate…

Lesson number 3: Don’t fight fate. I often hear people ask “but how do you know its fate?” Well….I’ll tell you the same thing I tell em. Its either fate or someone’s screwing with you. There’s a certain order in which events occur that it just has to be one or the other. Using myself as an example again, I was supposed to go inquire about my school on a saturday but I decided to go the wednesday before and I’m so thankful I did ’cause friday ended up being the deadline for submission of application forms. That was the beginning of a whole series of occurrences that one can either term fate or some serious witchcraft in my favour. I’d go with the former.

2011 filled my life with great people. Lesson number 4: Associate yourself with winners (no I don’t mean Winners Chapel attendees). I think many people often confuse knowing people with knowing the right people. You can know practically 8000 people and it won’t mean shit if they are not the right people. By “right people” I mean people you can have a win-win relationship with. People that add to your life and are not parasites. My life was blessed with so many of such people in 2011. People that make me think. People that challenge me to be a better person. You have to be able to say “this person is my friend” and know without a doubt that he/she has got your back. I’ve got a best friend who I haven’t seen in like 6 years because he hasn’t come back to Nigeria since he left for school and I haven’t been to where he’s at but I can say with total confidence that he’s got my back. Everyone really should have that. I’d like to bring up relationships at this point. I’m a strong believer in the “relationships are not a must” school of thought. I had my fair share of heartbreak this year and I believe I’ve come out stronger.

Lesson number 5: Learn.  It’d be totally absurd of me to have made a mistake in my life at some point and when trying to make a new decision, end up following the same route. Once the stink smells familiar, retrace your steps. Its not a must to always be in a relationship. Learn from past happenings. That’s why its called experience. Many people use that whole “biological clock” ish to practically bury themselves in a life they totally detest. We only get to live once. Enjoy it.

I’m sure some people are going “wasn’t she just talking about success?” Fret not. I’m still on success. Everything else I’ve spoken about in the past minute just helps to make success all the more sweet and permanent (yea some people experience success like a 2-minute erection. One second it’s here and the next, gone). 2012 is my year of right slots because more pieces of my grand plan are going to fit perfectly together…

Lesson six: Have a plan. I believe the very successful people are the ones that right from time knew where they were going. You can’t just meander about and say you want to see 9 figures when you go to check your account balance. PARK!! (I’ve been dying to say that this year lol). You have to know where you’re coming from, and more importantly, know where you’re going to. The only way success will know where you live is when you give him an address. Have a plan. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 1-day, 1-year, 10-year, 25-year plan. Having one makes it a lot easier to navigate and make the right decisions because you are focused.

Finally, Lesson number 7: Speak only when you have something of substance to say. This has probably been the hardest lesson for me this year ’cause I’m a bit of a chatterbox. Generally I say only what I believe to be true but I’m learning to reduce the number of times my voice gets heard. It’s actually a very remarkable thing ’cause after a few weeks of practicing lesson 7, people literally can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say. It increases your credibility by so much it’s amazing. 2011 I must say has really been a great year but 2012 promises to be even better (PS: someone gets to see her bestie in 2012 *huge grin*). Here’s to learning a lot more in the new year ’cause life is afterall, a learning process; and right slots. Have an awesome new year!!!

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Hmmmmmm. Our very own home-grown Stephen Covey. 😀  Thank you Nono.

Ok you all need to check out our regular post slated for noon today by Shade. See you…