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I grew up like most people making and breaking new year resolutions. Usually, they are made on a whim, they are made as a promise to stop a bad habit, start something new, etc.
My list for over 20 years were pretty much the same:
Lose weight
Make more money
Pray more, etc.

That was basically it, every year until about 12 years ago. I stopped making resolutions and started setting GOALS.
There’s a big difference! Resolutions almost never work, why? They aren’t followed up with a set of plans. Goals are different. They are usually followed up with details and steps on accomplishing that goal.
Goals are attainable, they are realistic (for the most part), they are concrete, and most importantly they work.
For the past 12 years I dedicate the last couple of days of the year to plan out and set my goals for the new year.
This is done with the family. We write down our goals for the family, individual goals, the goals for the children, spiritual goals, and financial goals/career goals/ business goals.
We talk about what worked, what didn’t work, and how we can fix it. We discuss successes, failures, wins, growth, areas of concern, issues, conflicts, etc.
The last thing we do is pray. No goal, or plan for a new year is complete without prayer. Also no goal or plan for a new year is complete without creating a step by step guide on how to achieve them.
So this year, do not make resolutions, instead set goals. You can set monthly goals, quarterly goals, and yearly goals. Write it down, get accountability partners, work on it, and most importantly celebrate the new year with an open mind.
Happy new year in advance!


Be Authentic: Wear Your Crown

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Zozibini Tunzi won the heart of the world when she was crowned Miss Universe. She became the first black woman to win the pageant since 2011. We love her simplicity and style; she did it with her beautiful hue and natural afro-textured hair. But we are celebrating more than her win or hue. This is more than her hue, or hair; it speaks to the acceptance of oneself and living free from any form of societal judgments. Accepting who you are no matter how different you look is key to being happy. Authenticity is about being yourself, and not hiding behind a mask because people can usually spot a phony and fake.

Most people can relate to Zozibini because her authenticity exudes conviction and confidence and staying true to who she is, teaches young girls that they don’t have to be someone else to be accepted. We all can learn a thing or two from watching women like her live unapologetically. In the coming year, take sometime to evaluate your life and live authentically. Living for the Gram or approval of Facebookers, won’t get you far, faking a life that isn’t yours won’t make you happy in the long run.

Be confident and happy about your journey, change the things that make you unhappy, accept those things you can’t change, be truthful about your place in this life and live that TRUTH. Be Authentic! Be Real! But most importantly accept who you are and wear your crown proudly.

Miss Universe: Zozibini Tunzi








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Bloom & Brunch 2017

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Happy New Year! 

We are excited about this new year and more excited about this past weekend with our 2nd Annual Bloom event. It was a time of reflection, beauty, food, and inspiration. Our keynote speaker Jokotade spoke about the essence of minding one’s business in the new year and working with your hands. We drew inspiration to give back from Stacy Egbo. We were serenaded with Annette Eberly’s beautiful voice and strings, and Damilola Gbadamosi read an amazing poem to inspire us all.

Last year’s bloom was simply beautiful and we can’t wait for 2018!

Here are some of the pictures from the event.




The common advice you get these days is to look inwards. Everyone says it’s better to take care of the inner person.  They tell you to be yourself, protect yourself, improve yourself. You do so many things for yourself all the search of a happier life and more money.

Maybe if you walked a little bit more to the right of the road, or if you didn’t interrupt people so much, you are the one always needing your attention. “Take a vacation,” they say, pamper yourself to a bowl of ice-cream. Its always all about you and it feels good while you are following all these ideas.

Gradually, it becomes difficult to be so “focused” on yourself.  You have become quite judgemental of yourself while trying to improve. This also makes us more selfish because everything we do and say is now seen from the perspective of how “you” would have done it. You no longer really listen to people, it’s becoming so easy to just see what you would have done and not the unique reality of other people.

Empathy begins to die a slow and excruciating pain. You are soon unable to take perspective from others because the only reality that exists is the one from your own side of the table. This leads to unproductive days, unfulfilled socialization, a resounding disconnect from others and less fulfillment in your personal life.

Look Away from Self

It’s time to shift focus a bit, stop giving so much attention to you. Look at other people, engage with their needs and connect with them sincerely.
Most times we get so carried away with our own needs that we lose touch with other people. What’s the essence of success if it does not bring us closer to people who matter to us.

Here is the challenge. Determine to look away from your present circumstances and give more time to other people’s needs.
You will find more fulfillment, the difficult situations will shrink in magnitude and you will be more fulfilled.


One phenomenal thing about ants is their resilience. As a child I was very observant and if I was bored enough I would set traps for working ants (lol). Have you ever tried stopping an ant from going somewhere? Its so fascinating because if you block a path, they look for another one… If you block the new path, they go around it.

They never stop searching for new paths, they never get tired of doing what they’ve been called to do. I use the word Called because the ant was created for a purpose. An ants purpose on earth is defined clearly and the ant itself knows it…that’s why an ant does everything to live that purpose. The worker ant was created to serve the colony so it does that till its death.


The number 1 ant philosophy is to never QUIT. If one path closes, look for another path. If one door closes, surely there’s another one to swing open. That means in your pursuit, in life, in your relationships. its important not to quit.
Ants never quit. If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over. Sometimes, they’ll climb under. They’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy; to never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go”~ Jim R.
The essential lesson is your ability to keep going no matter who or what tries to stop you. There are paths everywhere…start searching for those new paths.

The ant philosophy #1Watch, like, and share

Posted by Vivian Elebiyo on Thursday, September 28, 2017



Have you enjoyed this lesson? Would you want to learn tactical skills that would help you overcome the quitting habit? Join the Designed Life Courses. 


The “Houston Money Week is more than innovative,” and it serves community. The organizers packed the 2017 calender with exciting sessions, free financial literacy services and student opportunities. The HMW is a collaborative effort of the Houston Money Week Charity,  Houston area businesses and over 50 partners.

“In this citywide effort, more than 150 free public events were held at libraries, churches, schools and community centers throughout Greater Houston, offering consumers the opportunity to increase their financial literacy and learn to better manage their personal finances. Workshops, seminars and other activities targeted diverse audiences, including women, seniors, youths and workers without bank accounts.” – ePerspectives

Financial education and literacy –

The gaping void of financial literacy tells on community living and health. Neighbors with stable economic situations are more likely to sustain healthy relations. 

“Houston Money Week (HMW) is a community-wide financial education initiative that empowers families and individuals to be successful in making financial choices. HMW serves individuals, families, veterans and small business owners across the greater Houston area, offering free financial education events and raising awareness of community resources.” – HMW 

To achieve sustainable financial inclusion resources and training are provided to members of the greater Houston area. The training facilitators are train participants to achieve above poverty level financial capacity.

Diverse audiences –

The programs and events are all-inclusive. Irrespective of age, gender, career, educational background, you fit right in. Student communities also participate fully in this city-wide effort. The Houston Money Week Middle School and High School Student Essay Contest are huge incentives for the young community members. Other Educational partners are the Sam Houston State University and East Side University. 

Business owners and Families get to participate too. Workshops, seminars, and special events cover all facets of personal finance on such topics as establishing a budget, credit reports and credit score awareness, and understanding net worth and investing. The events are designed to suit people from various backgrounds, income level and financial intelligence.

Partnership and Collaboration –

With over 50 partners, individuals and businesses get opportunities to network with financial experts on business ventures. You can be sure to get enough support and advisory services that would set your small business on the path to growth.

Niedria D. Kenny says that “Participants will be given vital information on topics such as creating or updating business plans; human resources; marketing; access to capital and much more. They will also have opportunities to connect with other business owners, mentors, financial advisors and industry experts.” 

Tackling Poverty –

Research conducted by HMW shows that about 25.7% members of the greater Houston community lack the net worth to stay consistently above poverty level for 3 months. These are alarming figures and tackling poverty is collective responsibility. As a part of the HMW, participants with long history of debts and cash-trap get help to become stable and financially healthy again.

FREE Assessments –

Facilitators provide free tax preparation, financial advice and vocational trainings and lots more. It’s practically a whole box set of equipments at no cost to you.

Houston Money Week is one indicator that there is increasing awareness about the need for financial health services and training. You may have missed the April 2017 edition of the HMW but there are many more opportunities to participate in the coming year. You can visit the Houston Money Week website for details.

Join Designed Life “Monetize Everything” Online Course. Click here to register  


Instead of complaining about things that are not going fine, leaders take a break. You must be confident enough to know when to stop pushing, especially now. That moment when you see that all you do as a leader si complain, that’s when you need to stop. Take a break and check your priorities again or you will only keep struggling with suboptimal results.

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” 
― Maya Angelou

It’s a Sign of Bad Leadership Skills

Some Christian fellowship leaders in the University I attended were known to speak rashly to members.  They sometimes suspend and even exile members or executives for not falling in line. The fellowships were usually affiliated to these student’s home churches so the leaders could get away with such entitled behaviour. Complaining brings out the worst in you.

I was once leading a group of people who had no affiliations to me, they had nothing I could hold them to. If I tried to blackmail them, I would only wake up to a dead group. These guys stuck with me till I graduated. Even though the group is no more functional, they are still friends I can always count on for anything.

I had to realize that my team members had their own separate world views. Regardless of whatever I felt God was telling me to do, these other people are humans too. I knew there is a limit to which people can carry your pain on their head and if you want better results or you want people to follow, then you have to prove to them that its a worthy cause of which it must also align with their goals in life.

Take a deep breath

I work with a team of writers now for my writing platform. Some left and new ones joined. I have provided content for websites and businesses with a team of other writers and even when I knew I was going to pay these writers, I still had to respect their separate situations.

You being emotional about anything could get you into deeper trouble than you expect. When tension is high and emotions are running riot, be careful the way you see other people. Be careful the tings you say and how you interact with people. It is those times that show the true nature of who you are. This week is another opportunity to represent yourself as a better person worthy of respect. This changes everything for you, your confidence grows and you would be more focused on developing yourself than seeking undue attention from others.


Brand new movies are great! It’s so much fun standing in line at the theater, breathing in the buttery popcorn smell, giddy with anticipation when a new movie is released.

My children love watching the latest and greatest movies, but I just grin when I hear my children singing the songs I used to sing as a kid – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “Tomorrow”. Hearing their little off-key renditions is the best music to my ears.


Have you introduced your children to the movies you enjoyed when you were younger?

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
The Robinson family gets shipwrecked near an island. With hard work and togetherness, they build a majestic tree house. They are faced with many trials – wild animals, weather, and pirates, but their ingenuity carries them through. Great family values!

The Parent Trap (1961)
Twin daughters are raised not knowing about each other, each living with one parent. They unexpectedly bump into each other at summer camp, put two and two together, and work out a scheme to get their parents back together again. This movie is just plain good fun.

Mary Poppins (1964)
Mr. and Mrs. Banks are both so preoccupied with their own interests that their children, Jane and Michael are unhappy. When the magical nanny, Mary Poppins enters their lives, she brings the family closer. Between the penguin scene, the chimney sweep dance, and the magic, your children will be entranced.

The Sound of Music (1965)
The hills are alive with the sound of music. Your home will be alive with the sound of music once your kids watch this one.

Annie (1982)
Oh, how we love Annie! The music, the dancing, the wealthy Mr. Warbucks, and a happy ending. It doesn’t get much better than that!

These five movies are a must in every family library. Share the memories, and sing the tunes. It’s ok if you’re a little off-key. I won’t tell.

Image from:
Image from:

The beauty of the casket reminds me of how much we conceal beautiful things. We then open up after our loved ones have died. Eulogies are wasted on the dead.

I have always hated funeral services not because of the sight of the dead body or cries of the mourners. Funerals are the moments when the most beautiful words about the dead are spoken but they are dead. It is lamentable that half of the sweet words spoken about the dead was most likely unknown to them while they lived.

I remember the priest who preached at the last funeral I attended. My camera clicked away while he spoke but I listened. He told a story of how his late friend saved him from a terrible mistake that would have cost him his life and that of his family. He spoke at length on the impact he made and by the time the sermon was finished, the congregation was in tears.

Tears and Eulogies

I struggled to hide my own tears not because of his words but because the priest never told him. His friend did not even know he did anything that made such influence in his life. As far as I was concerned, telling the story at the funeral service was a waste since the dead man did not hear it while he was alive.

We must realize that people really do not have to die before we say how much they have influenced us?
Everybody needs to be told how much impact they have made on people’s life while they are alive. Many people spend their entire lives wishing that other people would acknowledge them. Your kind words of appreciation and honour at their grave side would really not make any difference.

All that matters is what you have told them while their spirits was in their body. Never throw away a chance to say how much you love and appreciate other people. If you see something beautiful in someone, say it now. Do not wait for that moment when the now cold ears of the dead cannot hear the beautiful words spoken about him.


Would you want to learn a bit more on how you can build better relationships? Join the DL academy.


One day all of humanity will die, but should we also die while we live? This is the question Americans have debated over the previous weeks. The Charlottesville protest has unearthed too much bile and acrimony for comfort. It may seem that on of the greatest world economies is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

White Supremacy

The events surrounding attacks on anti-semitism and anti white supremacy protesters have been ugly. It has left not less than three person dead and a lot more injured. The concern has not been much about the unfortunate incidence but the indecisive stance of the Trump administration. It’s been reported that a number of states have also joined Charlottesville in the move to bring down confederate statues. This decision has been motivated by the Charlottesville attack but will they not spiral into more of such clashes? German Lopex reports that “White supremacists went to Charlottesville to protest. The city planned to tear down confederate monuments, particularly a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The confederate statues have allegedly represented America’s history of black slavery and white supremacy. The move to pull them down was definitely going to strike some wrong cords. The American population may have been in denial of racism before now but this changes everything. It’s as glaring as day that there is still that toxic energy driven by difference in skin coloration.

Brene Brown on Charlottesville

This events have also seen a lot of thought leaders doing their best to lend a voice to humanity. Despite the disappointing response from President Trump, we can still have some joy after listening to someone like Brene Brown. The researcher and writer, has gone to great lengths to provide a video lecture on how to build a wholesome attitude in times like this. I would love to share some of the points she laid out briefly. Brene Brown says “own your story and don’t let your story own you.” I put that in simpler terms, stop living in denial. There is a need to empathize, connect and correct the effects of this historical mess.

It is easier said than done, and denial is natural human instinct. Most of us hide away from issues we secretly know are true. In Brene’s lecture I was able to pick out three major tools that everyone in Charlottesville should employ and they are as discussed.

3 tools for the White: own your story

  1. Privilege: These events require us to start to understand that privilege exists and it is those unearned rights that we have as residents or citizens of any society. Those things that you have access to without a fight or struggle, they are privileges and could be a result of your skin.
  2. Perspective taking: Brene Brown explains the need to accept people’s world view without questioning it’s authenticity. She says that we must see that that other person’s experience is just as real as ours and we don’t need to turn around and reject whatever experiences people claim to have due to their gender, race or social class.
  3. Power: this is the most important part of all our life experiences. We must open our hearts to seeing the destructive effect of powerlessness and how this could erupt into violence, depression and hate.

Brene Brown calls them the three (3) P’s. This is a message that needs to be strongly emphasized as part of awareness, if America will heal from these events and move forward. These conversations have continued to spiral into even more dissent and hate because there is little or no resolution. I hope this message shared on this platform would be our own drop of water in the ocean that will douse this raging flames. We also sympathize with the families of the dead and injured and hope that they find comfort in these difficult times.

We need to keep talking about Charlottesville.

Posted by Brené Brown on Tuesday, August 15, 2017