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Your Better Self with Akanna: My Top Comments of 2018



Just like the year before it, 2018 was definitely another year in which I learnt from my readers.  Sometimes you come across those comments that teach you one or two life lessons and make you grateful to have come online and put yourself out there.

Before I began reviewing all the comments in order to make this list, I thought I wouldn’t even come up with up to 10 very good ones, due to the general decline in the number of comments that I observed during the year.

But that wasn’t the case!  The ‘few’ comments from my readers in 2018 were just so good that I initially was able drill them down to 30 top comments.  Turns out I received Quality over Quantity!

So, Instead of doing a list of top 10 comments like I did for 2017, I decided to make it a list of 15 this time, because I still think it is important to validate those comments that come through to either challenge, enhance or re-echo your thinking.  And we’ll do that today by celebrating my readers with this list of my top 15 comments of 2018!

Ayo on This Year, Do the ONE THING

At the end of my first article of last year, I posed a question to readers: “What is the one thing you can pursue from today such that seeking after it, for the rest of your life, would cause all other things – on your list – to be added unto you?”

And Ayo’s response was just great! Here it is:

Hmm. . . .well written.
Seek the kingdom of God, the only One thing that WILL add other things to you.
Thank you Akanna for this timely reminder.


GraceOfGOD on 4 Steps to Personal Growth

I personally love reading responses from this particular reader because of the blessings always directed my way.  Here’s one with even more than that.  Here’s one with self-realization and a willingness to change:

@Akanna Okeke

Good afternoon SIR.

I really want to say THANK YOU for the effort you put to write such INSTRUCTIVE articles, may GOD continue to bless you so that you can share the “knowledges” with us, THANK YOU from the BOTTOM of my heart for this GREAT PIECE.

I need to focus on ONE area from now on and I want to start with my NO-NONSENSE attitude. Do not get me wrong, I do not OFFEND others just like that, I do not look for TROUBLE but if you look for my trouble I just give it to you DOUBLE DOUBLE. Even though I knew I REACTED WRONGLY to provocations I never REALLY TRIED to adjust by RESPONDING to provocations. I am a CHILD of GOD even though NOT perfect and I MUST make my HEAVENLY FATHER proud of me by RESPONDING the RIGHT way, WITHOUT being DISRESPECTFUL even if they HURT me first.

GOD YOU know I cannot do it without YOU, I have the WILL, PLEASE grant me the STRENGTH to achieve this goal. I apologize in ADVANCE for my “story”. THANKS again and let us TRY to stay POLITE when we do NOT share the SAME opinion. After all NOBODY knows or has it ALL. May GOD bless and protect ALL of you in JESUS name I prayed, amen.


Frida on Don’t Be the Exception, Be the Example – Part 2

Great article!

I hardly get anything on a platter of gold. I used to envy people who seemingly got things effortlessly. But I’ve come to realize that if handled well, failure can be an advantage and can actually make one stronger.

Good take away from Frida on this one!  And my response was:

Thanks Frida! Seems you’re more like Biodun (in the story) while AitySpecial (with the comment above yours) is more like Alex in this story.

Yes, your “failures” will make you stronger as long as you’re willing to rise again after evaluating your fall. Evaluation makes the difference. It would be foolhardy to rise after a devastating fall only to get knocked down again. But once you evaluate, you can rise up in a different position, with a different mindset and obtain excellent results!

Keep growing stronger!! ?

Weezy on Lessons from Beth Moore’s Book, ‘So Long Insecurity’

In general I agree about the message to become secure in your own self.

But I get really uncomfortable with people writing about all women like all are the same. So I have to give a side-eye to both the preacher on the TV and Beth Moore’s liberal use of “we”.

Akanna, would you agree that the following men might want different things from the woman in his life?
– 35 year old member of the Saudi Royal Family
– Donald Trump
– Prince Harry
– A 27 year old McKinsey consultant in Lagos
– your mechanic
– your grandfather

For instance, Prince Harry did not insist on Meghan saying she will obey him in her wedding vows. But Donald might like that.

No one can speak for all or even most women to say what we like or what our experience is. No matter how many books they may sell.

There are billions of us in different cultures and different economies, different races and levels of education. And different ages!!!

A 23 year old and a 60 year old are both women. Recently I heard a pastor reference the saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ and the pastor said “that is not the way to my own heart. If I want a good meal I can go to a restaurant.” His point was that while he appreciates good food that is not the most important thing that got him his own wife.

Me personally, I want to be seen as beautiful, but that is not the most important thing. I want to be seen as wise, resilient, loyal, fascinating, and kind.

Feminism is the radical idea that women are people too. As long as both women and men treat us like a monolith with the same nature’s and desires, we will always have feminism.

This comment got a response from another reader called Elle, before I could get to give my response.  So, I’ll highlight both responses here:

Here’s Elle’s response:

But you will agree that there are certain traits shared by MAJORITY of women, and generally there are commonalities in both genders. So yes, not every woman is the same but there are many common shared traits.

And my response was:

Elle is right, Weezy. If I were to consider every woman, I would be writing about 3 billion articles per topic. Since that’s not humanly possible, those who need to convey strong points look for the general characteristics of a group and address them, while not trivializing the individual differences.

Statistics exists as a discipline today because of this possibility. And we all know how useful stats are in helping us make crucial decisions.

The message is actually not to be secure in your own self – because you too are human and can therefore disappoint yourself- but to be secure in your maker.

God has created you to be individually unique as well as collectively useful. He has made us to understand that everyone is equal in value and different in roles. Once we understand that truth and play the specific roles that He wants us to (both as groups and as individuals), there would be no need for any one group to radically have to prove that they are as valuable too, because everything would be working better and in a more orderly fashion.

And this, once again, will be reflected in the statistics; the general numbers that generally don’t lie.


Mz_Daniels on Don’t Be the Exception, Be the Example – Part 1

Our relationship with our siblings is sometimes an indication of the kind of parent/spouse we will be.

You’re a popular elder bro and your popularity couldn’t rub off on your younger one? Big bro should have just taken younger one under his wings, everywhere he went. Found his younger brother’s strength and highlighted it. Used his popularity to get people to say positive things about his bro.

Some things are caught not taught.

This guy shouldn’t be surprised he’s a bad parent, comes across as someone who is all about himself and shining alone. He lacks the generous spirit required to be a good parent.

My apprentice psychology for the day has ended

And my response to this was:

Very good points you’ve made Mz_Danielz!
A generous spirit is actually required to be a good parent. It requires thinking less about yourself and more about those under your care; and life prepares us for that (or not!).


stacy_kema on What Love Language Do You Speak

I definitely know that my love language is receiving gifts no matter how small (I also love giving gifts) but my bf hmm… I don’t know what his love language is. The last time I sent a surprise birthday gift all the way from Nigeria to India…. my guy received it and said they were inferior before saying Thank you. Those words pierced my heart, I was so hurt so I decided no more gifts.

Stacy_kema’s comment got a response from another reader called  Wonder and I thought it was a good enough response to highlight:

Aww. E-hugs dear. He should’ve known to say thank you first and keep his thoughts on the quality to himself.
In addition to what the poster wrote, whatever love language your significant other speaks, appreciate it even if it’s not your primary love language. Then, in a loving way, let them know how you would like to be loved.


Frida on My Top 10 Books So Far

Two books that changed my life:
1)The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: I read this book at the age of 13 yrs. It shaped my life.

2) How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie: read this book while in my early twenties, during this period I had to make a lot of life changing decisions and was sick with worry and anxiety that I’d make a mistake.

 There you go, two books for you to read this year!

Ephi on The Groomsmen

I like this because it re-echoes an important point from the article:

“One of the marks of a personally grown, well-adjusted individual is their ability to get along with all manner of people with different values, personalities and backgrounds while still holding on to their own values and beliefs and not being easily swayed.”

Great article Akanna. I only just learnt this lesson recently, very hard lesson to learn but necessary. Also, the book recommendations you provided in the Top 10 Books article have been immensely helpful. THANK YOU.

Can we have an updated list sometime later please?

lola on Show Me Your Friends

What I love the most about this topic is that you could share the word of God with one another as friends. I mean do we still have such reasonable, intentional, positive worthwhile people who would come together to do such and not feel it’s boring or outdated or gather to gossip and talk about boyfriends or how a party went?

Hmmm am in awe, I love your friends already I wish I could be jealous but it’s your blessing. Please keep them close and keep it up. We live in a time where as a Christian sometimes you feel like, wait a minute am I the only one left in this world that will not compromise because the wrong things and abnormal lifestyles is becoming a norm?


Funmilola on “10 Wise Sayings

You can’t read the books of Proverbs and not be changed or inspired.

The saying by mum when she taught me about sex: “nkan ti o ni je,fa fi ru’mu” (do not smell what you’re not ready to eat).

And the saying by aunt when I was going through depressing moments and I was trying to compare myself with others: “ma wo ago alago sise” (I shouldn’t set my time by other’s clock, our destines and journeys in life are different).

These wise sayings are ingrained in my memory…. I can’t forget them.


Marian on So, This is My Love Language

In this article, I asked my readers for advice on how to navigate my long-distance relationship.  I got quite a handful of helpful words.  Marian’s advice was very practical:

You have to first love and accept each other the way you are.

I say that because after ‘I do’, over-familiarity kicks in and it’s so much harder to put in the work and speak the other persons love language. That’s why communication is important, if one party feels like their love tank is low he/she has to speak up.

She is also the best person to help you out. Pay attention to what she nags/complains about and ask her to always speak up if there is something she wants you to do more of.

As per the physical touch: Send her one of your t-shirt sprayed with your cologne and she can turn it into a sleepwear. If she wears the same size as you, maybe throw in a boxer too. Send her random pictures (you eating lunch, doing something at work…) during the day to share a part of your day with her; WhatsApp lets you record videos now.


Kike on The 3 Things You Need to Thrive

Well done, Akanna, I would say a good atmosphere (i.e. staying around positive people) is good. But most importantly, everyone should know that having Jesus Christ inside of you is enough to make you THRIVE anywhere because you are a power house now. And as a Christian, no environment positive or negative can change your mindset because your mental stamina and motivation comes from within.

As my pastor once said we change our environment, it doesn’t change us. That is, if you know your new identity in Christ JESUS. So most importantly, let your power come from within i.e. Christ in you.

We are not like others who run from darkness, we are there to change it, but having Christian friends as you are a Christian is not negotiable. I once thought I was never going to set my foot in America because I believe they are way too rotten and decayed a country. But I sat myself down with the word of God and changed that mindset. Now I change things because I carry an AGENT OF CHANGE, which is the HOLY SPIRIT, so it doesn’t matter how stock prices go, or if there’s a fall in dollar I always stay on top.

And my response to this was:

Very beautiful, kike. Thanks for sharing. I like that you know that having Christian friends is still non-negotiable, because evil communication still corrupts good manners.

Keep on being the change agent that you are!! ?


Lamzie on Don’t Be Street Smart, Be Wise

I like this comment because it was written in somewhat disagreement but was very cordial at the same time:

I had mixed feelings when I read this because for the best part of my life (I’m 38+) I intentionally took the position that “wisdom” excludes street smartness and I had to learn the hard way that being street smart is actually a big part of being wise. So, like Ex Illiterate mentioned above, I strongly agree that it is actually wisdom to be street smart.

Guess what, even Jesus taught His disciples to be street wise, they had been with Him for sometime and he had brought them up to take the nature of sheep but as soon as it was time for them to go into the world on their own, the advice He gave them was simple: “be wise as a serpent!”  (“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16, KJV). The NIV says, “Shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

The serpent is street wise, Jesus was saying, in order for His disciples to make it in the world of wolves, they as sheep, must take on the wisdom of a serpent while ensuring they do not lose themselves in the process. This, is what wisdom is.

Urban dictionary is on point with the definition, your family is right, Jesus is most definitely right. Wisdom is profitable for direction.

I didn’t get the chance to respond to this comment because it came long after the article was published.  If I had the chance to respond now, I would say something like: being Wise trumps being Smart.  God’s kind of wisdom gives us the discernment to know even how to act on the ‘streets’ without having to go through the rough experiences that teach street smarts.  And that is what Jesus was passing on to his disciples – wisdom.

susi cho on Don’t Be Street Smart, Be Wise

This one kind of buttresses and amplifies my response to #3 above, so I definitely like it!

Akanna xie xie [this means “thank you” in Mandarin]

I want to say really it takes lots of courage to write the truth especially in times like this when the abnormal has become the normal. I pray God gives you more wisdom to keep writing words that will change people just like Francine Rivers but in your own unique way.

When we talk about God’s wisdom it’s only those with the spirit of God that can understand. My friend who is an accountant, recently was asked by her boss to change the original amount of money meant to be entered to a lesser amount. Here the street wisdom will say “ohh it’s your boss do it so you don’t get fired.”

But I told my friend she shouldn’t and she should rather get fired with honour. Trust me not everyone will understand this, so it’s a choice, and I have heard of people who actually chose the God wisdom and suffered severely. This experience would make them think they should have chosen the former. Lols it is well

Arcturus on 3 Sources of Insecurity

And now, for the number one!!

I chose this one because of the openness and sincerity it conveys.  It’s definitely a good first step in becoming your better self!

Because I’ve been treated badly by people I’ve truly cared for and shown love. I’m insecure about people’s intentions and act ruthless and uncaring. I find it hard expressing feeling because of the risk that it wouldn’t be received well.

Having an extra year while my mates and close friends graduated makes me insecure about my smarts. I tend to overcompensate, and over show my intelligence. I’m also cynical when I’m at a high knowledge position.

I also relate to not feeling cool enough, and that reflects on how I’m quick to judge people as “dead” or razz.

Growing up in a family that doesn’t express love. It’s always weird saying I love you, even when I truly feel it. Also, growing up with constant harsh criticisms makes me over critical of people. This comes of me hating or resenting people I care about.

Pheeew…. That felt good.

And my response to this was:

Wow, Arcturus! You’re so in touch with your inner self. I think you’re in such a good place because you’re able to identify your insecurities, their sources, and comfortable enough to discuss them.
What’s left is to root them out, if you haven’t started that process already. The book helps – it’s helping me see how to respond appropriately to insecurities and I’m almost at the point where she lays out how to root them out. I think you should read the book! ?

Way to go, feeling good! ?

Hope you enjoyed reading these comments and learnt a lot from them just like I did.  This year, 2019, I encourage you to read more, study more and engage in more personal development.  Then, come on here and bless me with your well thought-out comments.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!


  1. didi

    January 2, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Love it. This is very creative of you akanna. This piece of work make me realize every human on the face of this earth is a masterpiece by God, that annoying neighbour wasn’t created that way and if you look within you would see the good in them. Love this.

    • Akanna Okeke

      January 3, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks didi! Yes indeed, taking the time to go back and see what value others have added to your life will change your perspective of and faith in humanity. I’m glad you loved it!
      Thanks for making 2018 worthwhile. Cheers to the New Year!! 🙂

  2. Ephi

    January 3, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Great post Akanna, reading the comments all over again makes one reflective.

    • Akanna Okeke

      January 3, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      It sure does, Ephi! You had very interesting and insightful comments too! I read them all again. Thanks for 2018!!

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