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Kelechi Udoagwu: 6 Tips For Getting It Right in 2016

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It’s Christmas again! Which means it’s the end of yet another year. 365 days sure goes by fast, especially when you just chillin’. How did your year go? Did you make any progress? Get closer to your dreams? If you didn’t, it’s kind of your fault. This sounds mean, considering I don’t know you or what your life is like, but it’s the truth. Let me tell you why.

There’s a law in this universe — the law of attraction. This law states that what you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. And what you imagine, you create. This law works every time, in everybody’s life, just like the law of gravity does. Whether you’re a good or a bad person, if you fall from a building, you will hit the ground.

At the beginning of 2014, all I wished for was progress and a change of lifestyle + scene. I badly wanted to leave where I was, and move somewhere else where I didn’t have a boss that was an authoritative jerk who made me feel like I didn’t have a brain.

I lived in Lagos and I hated it. The traffic, the heat, the people everywhere, the rude molue drivers. Everything about the city drained me. There was no obvious way at the time for me to change my life but it was all I could think about.

Life as a striving Nigerian youth seemed pretty set and I was tired of it being my life, and determined to change it. Fast forward to the end of the year, and I relocated from Nigeria to South America (purely on my brain’s merit); moved from paid employment to having my own business with equity free capital funding; left a sucky relationship to one filled with love, and my family is doing fine. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my adult life.

The major factor that changed my life is the way I started to think. I was tired of thinking from a disadvantaged point, and decided to give positive thinking a try, because why the hell not.

These are some things I did:

● I expelled all negative thoughts and emotions from my life, and started to practise feeling good all the time. At a point, you have to get tired of feeling the way you’ve always felt. If life is such a drag, why are you still living? You are definitely alive for a reason.

● I focused on exactly what I wanted from the year, and thought about them every day. Note: I didn’t think about what I didn’t want. I only focused on what I did want. Example, instead of saying “I don’t want to be in debt”, say “I want to be financially independent”.

● After clarifying what I wanted, I started to make small moves towards them, subconsciously and consciously. I wanted to write, and I started to write. I started with small publications who would gladly accept my okay writing, and with time gathered courage to approach the bigger fishes.

● I practised being happy even when I didn’t feel like it. Emotions are fleeting and chemical. That’s why you can smoke weed or sip codeine and start to feel happy, when you felt sad just seconds ago. Skip the drug ingestion and be happy by force instead.

● I surrounded myself with more happy people. My friends from the past lost my number and I lost theirs. Whether it was by chance or deliberate, it was for my good and I let them be.

● I wanted to travel, so I started to apply to opportunities that were outside of Africa. I got rejected more times than I can remember, but I only stayed sad for like 20 minutes before moving on. It takes one “yes” to make you forget the pain of all the “nos” before it.

Success is harder when you doubt yourself and put obstacles (like negative emotions) in your path. When someone criticizes or laughs at your dreams, you call them haters and start to dislike them. But instinctively, you do the same thing to yourself, as bad or even worse than they do. Why is it okay for you to beat yourself up?

As we go into 2016, if the only change you make in your life is a shift in your perspective, it will be a massive and impactful change. Instead of believing and reaffirming what you’ve believed all your life, start to believe that you are capable of BIG things. Follow up this belief with small actions everyday (or every other day; baby steps). Let yourself grow. You won’t notice progress in a day, but when you look back at the end of 365 days, you’ll notice how far you have gone.

Life is long. Life is rich. Position yourself to make the most of yours. Think and act positively, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, if you do.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Scott Griessel

Kelechi Udoagwu is an Accra-based Nigerian writer, consultant, and Founder of Week of Saturdays. She works with organizations and thought leaders to communicate goals and reach new markets. She also guides young freelancers to get a foot in the gig and talent economy.

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