Zamai Banje

Knowledge For The Modern Millennial

Archives (page 2 of 5)

The Paradoxes and Parodies of Life: How They Celebrate and Mess With You

Is all this living really worth dying for?

Photo Credits – Pixabay (Pexels)

As a millennial trying to live life to the fullest or seeking your inner potential; this question might have crossed your mind in one form or the other.

There are so many theories, philosophies and principles on how to live a happy, successful and content life.

For instance, here are the most baffling concepts of life:

GOD, UNIVERSE AND YOU

When you were young, Religion made it easier to acknowledge the fact that God gave his only begotten son to die for your sins; but as time comes and knowledge creeps in, you wonder if God created millions of stars, planets, and galaxies just to have a personal relationship with you.

Photo credits – Snapwire (Pexels)

Does this statement strengthen or weaken your belief system?

One minute, you’re taught to be powerful and beckon on the power of the Universe to help you. The other minute, you are confused, bewildered and pondering on how in reality, you are just an insignificant speck in a planet amongst millions of other planets locked in galaxies.

TODAY, TOMORROW AND YOU

Make Today count. Live life to the fullest. Sorry about Today’s troubles because Tomorrow will take care of itself. But the next day, you are asked to have self-control. Sacrifice Today to enjoy tomorrow’s rewards. Invest in Today to reap tomorrow. It’s absurd.

Or is it about gratification?

Delay instant gratification to enjoy future benefits but the world revolves so fast you might not have the time to look up and see those beautiful moments.

KNOWLEDGE, IGNORANCE AND YOU

Then when you try to find out for yourself, the confusion simply expands. The more you seek, the more you find. The more you get clarity, the more you get confusion.

Photo credits – Matheus Viana (Pexels)

The famous philosopher Socrates once said, ” A man who admits he knows nothing knows something himself.”

This then leads to the path of ignorance. There’s a popular adage that says “Ignorance is bliss”. Does this mean you stay ignorant and enjoy the bliss that comes with it.

But life is not fair. Because Success is also part of this unbalanced equation.

SUCCESS, FAILURE AND YOU

Now, let’s take a look at Success itself. Have you realised anytime you remember your past successes, it’s the struggles that play out in your head first. When someone asks you about your triumphs, you start by narrating the trials and troubles you passed through to triumph.

All of a sudden, you will realise Success is not a final destination. Success can become failure over time when laziness and sluggishness take over. Because Success is simply overcoming failure at that particular time.

This brings us to the final complexity of life. The topic young people are always scared of talking about.

LIFE, DEATH AND YOU

You only know if you’ve lived a good life when death comes. Because it’s Death that gives life meaning. The shadow of death gives life its potential for meaning.

For instance, Eternity (infinite time) only makes sense and rewarding because we’re given a short time and brief lifespan here on Earth. Immortality becomes an ultimate goal only after we realise how fleeting and fragile life can be as mortals.

Now.. The Big Question Is…

WHAT IS THE KEY TO LIVING A SUCCESSFUL LIFE?

When you meet your elders, they tell you the same thing:

BALANCE. They would say Life is Balance. Good overcomes Bad in the long run. Obey the Ying Yang philosophy. Obey the law of Karma which says you reap where you sow.

However, here is the truth. The saying of the elders obviously does not work every time.

Because Life is not a Balance. It’s a PARADOX.

Photo credits – Matheus Viana (Pexels)

REAL LIFE AND YOU

Life was made tangible by an intangible force. Reality is first brought to life by Faith. Physical bodies moved by souls and spirits. Complex physical actions performed by simple disembodied thoughts.

Logic clearly does not work here. Because everything you relate to life revolves around contradictory yet interrelated elements. And these elements exist simultaneously and persist over time. Because the paradoxes of life make existence a parody on its own.

CROWNS, CHOICES AND YOU

So here’s what I believe:

You have to choose a side. You’re either yin or yang. There is no in-between. There is no fence to sit upon as you live through life because the fence is the most dangerous place to stay while living.

As you get close till the end of this post, I hope you already know there is no single formula to living a happy, content and successful life.

Personally,

I believe in God. Because he framed this world with his words.
I believe in Faith. Because without this virtue, it’s impossible to please God.
I believe in Tomorrow. Because God has taken care of me today.
I believe in Knowledge. Because it sharpens my core values of curiousity and creativity.

So here is the answer to the question at the beginning of this post:

“Is all this living worth dying for?”

Yes, it is. As long as you hold your beliefs, values and attitudes firmly.

Now is your time to answer.

What do you believe?

The Ultimate Do It Yourself (D-I-Y) Ebook Toolkit: All the Resources you need to create that eBook

Right now, this is definitely the most informative article you will ever read on writing and publishing an e-book all by yourself.

From my years of experience and expertise, I have used and experimented with different tools and resources to get my e-books done.

And these are the ones that have worked for me, And many others too.

P.S: Each resource can be found on either computers (PC) or smartphones (mobile).

Here we go.


1. GOOGLE DOCS/MICROSOFT WORD (PC and mobile): This is mostly used for typing the drafts of your e-book. Both of them are easy to use with a minimalist interface (This reduces distractions).

But for project collaboration, Google Docs is preferable. From time to time, I switch between both tools for effective and efficient e-book writing.

2. EVERNOTE (PC and mobile) / WRITER P (mobile): Each tool (Both apps are free to download) is to prevent ideas or potential content from escaping from your head.

Whether you are stuck in a bus, at work or in an event, you can open the app on your phone to jot down points. This can now be expanded into paragraphs or even chapters in your e-book.

Insider tip: Most people use EverNote, but when I started using the Writer P, it became an instant go-to for me. The app is simple. You can compile ideas in different folders. Save your favourite articles. And it is free for download too.

3. CANVA (PC and mobile): As a content strategist, I am an advocate of the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator). Until I found out about Canva. This online platform already has e-book cover templates you can edit to your taste. It is faster, efficient and user-friendly. Especially for beginners.

Insider tip: You can also use Canva to create flyers and social media banners to promote and market your e-book.

4. POWERPOINT (PC): This tool is also a lesser known hack in the e-book industry. I use PowerPoint to create powerful short e-books (as lead magnets) for businesses.

After creating your e-book pages as slides, you can save them as PDF and use it as an e-book. Very cost-effective.

5. ADOBE PHOTOSHOP: This is a more detailed way of creating e-book covers, book trailers and mockups. If you are already familiar with Photoshop, this will boost the excellence you deliver while writing and ‘glamorizing’ your e-book.

Insider tip: You can download free e-book mockups from Freepik. They have tons of design resources for e-books. Both free and premium.

6. ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR: Like Photoshop, this is also detailed. But the awesome thing about Adobe Illustrator is that your e-book covers will be in vector format.

This means you can resize and stretch the picture to any width and length. And the quality still remains the same.

Insider tip: I have seen mediocre e-book covers all over the internet. I don’t blame them. Most of them don’t know the principles of design.

For a better understanding, you should read ‘The Non-Designers Handbook by Robin Williams.’ It breaks how to design stunning and amazing graphics into baby steps.

7. VOICE RECORDER (mobile): Ha, this is one of my favourite tools. Even if you are not close to your phone or don’t feel like writing. You can share your thoughts in audio and then transcribe later. Very powerful tool.

8. NOTE-BOOK/ JOURNAL: I always tell people, ‘never underestimate the power of paper.’ Before the digital age, we recorded ideas on books and jotters.

Our writing instincts also came from drawing and writing on paper. You should use this to your advantage.

Insider tip: You can use your journal for mind-mapping your e-book. Deadlines. Ideas. Chapters. Illustrations. You can map them out in your favourite journal.

9. YOUR BOOK IDEA: The last and definitely not the least is your book idea. Without it, the tools mentioned above will be useless. It is the central framework on which these tools and resources.

And make sure your e-book idea is a winner.

So that’s all. I just gave you a comprehensive list of resources to get your e-book done. This is the ultimate e-book toolkit.

From your content strategist,
Zamai

Any questions? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

Keep creating magic

What my Twenties is Teaching Me about Patience, Rejection and Talent.

What my 20s is Teaching Me About Patience

When you are in your 20s, the energy is often there. You try a lot of things, and work with people but the impact looks minimal, compared to the time and energy spent on the hustles and projects.

And in this present age of cybercrimes and increasing display of wealth, it is easy to sway from the right path.

Let me explain this with a few real life scenarios:

1. You just started your business. You sell cakes. Or probably shirts. Your cakes are sweet and amazing. Your shirts are top-quality and fitted. But the customer patronage is low. The sales are coming as you expect.

Then you ask yourself, Why do I have Few customers?

The keyword is PATIENCE.

2. You wrote your first book. You spend a lot of energy and time on it. You are excited. You are hyped up. You finally launch the book. You get a lot of congratulations, but the sales are few. It’s nothing compared to the resources spent.

Then you ask yourself, why is my book not a bestseller?

My dear, the keyword is PATIENCE.

3. You organise an event. You design flyers and publicise on social media. The venue is set. You even bought light refreshments for your guests. You tell your friends, family and even enemies.

Most of them promise to come. You are already imagining a fully packed event. Then the D-day comes. Only ten people attended. And three of them only came because they heard there will be light refreshment.

Then you ask yourself, am I missing something here?

The keyword is PATIENCE.

In these situations, you have two options. You can either wait for your friends to make money and then buy your products. Or you can search for clients who are willing to pay for your services.

Both choices will still take time. It will still require PATIENCE.

Does this mean, you should stop trying? Of course not.

In my 20s, I am realising patience is one of the most underrated virtues. When climbing the ladder of success, it takes patience to stop making rash or stupid decisions. It takes patience to analyse a situation and make the right decision.

My 20s are integral in building my future and it’s teaching me to trust patience. To trust patience for today’s activities. And to trust patience for tomorrow’s expectations.

It’s only a patient man that can work today when he knows his end goal will come tomorrow. It’s only a patient lady who shows up every day for the future’s rewards.

You can always SPEED UP the process through direct mentorship, deliberate practice and careful observation of the greats. But you should NEVER SKIP the process altogether.

TRUST the PROCESS. ENJOY every MOMENT you spend TODAY in improving yourself and your craft.

So as time unfolds, remember this:

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

The light cannot stay hidden for long. Things will always work out. Always SHOW UP. Your time will surely come.

BE PATIENT.

What my 20s is Teaching Me About Rejection

Dear Creative,

Sometimes Creativity involves the process of rejection. Some days, you have to reject your right to be right all the time. You have to reject instant perfection if you wish to constantly improve.

For you to create works continuously admired by true fans, you have to reject the fact that everyone will truly appreciate your work.

For you to create true success, you have to reject failure as an end, but see it as a means to a victorious end.

So, keep praying for clarity and fulfillment of purpose. Keep applying for opportunities. Look and learn from mentors to guide you on the right steps.

Read Also: For you To Create: You must reject.

And when you win, celebrate. Rejoice in the small wins. Revel in the big wins. Tell yourself you deserve it. Tell yourself God’s grace brought it to your doorsteps.

Then humble yourself once more and continue the process.

In Johnny Drille’s words,

“Keep your heart my friend, don’t lose yourself. In the morning time, the sun go shine.”

What My 20s is Teaching Me About Talent

There’s always the argument whether talent is the only requirement for success. Or if you need other attributes apart from talent to be successful.

Your doubts will be cleared with the famous parable of the Talents. But I will give you a perspective you have never noticed before.

Just read on till the end. The parable started like this:

A man traveling to a far country, called his servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave FIVE TALENTS, to another TWO, and to another ONE, to each ACCORDING TO HIS OWN ABILITY.

In those days, talents were units of weight and money. Both now, a talent is a natural ability or skill.

But both serve the same purpose: GENERATION OF IMPACT and INFLUENCE.

Now let’s continue the story with this context in mind.

The one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and DUG in the GROUND, and HID his Lord’s money.

At one time of our lives, our talent can be buried in the ground. Buried by ideologies, fears, past experiences and loss of interest in developing our talent. It takes a conscious effort to remove the talent from the ground and try to trade with it.

At this moment, this talent is no longer the problem.

As the story unfolded, we discover that RESPONSIBILITIES were rated and rewarded over ABILITIES. It was their capacity to grow and “trade” that earned them their accolades.

But what about the man with the one talent? What is the lesson you can learn from him.

Now this is his statement that will blow your mind.

“…. And I was AFRAID, and went and hid YOUR TALENT. Look, there you have what is yours.”

So these were his reasons. And it can affect us in our daily activities:

1. He was AFRAID. Today, this fear comes in different forms. Fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of failure, and fear of being seen. These fears often push us to bury our own talents in the ground too.

2. He never acknowledged it was his talent. Sometimes, we never accept full responsibilities of our life. We don’t claim the risks and rewards of our decisions and choices. This could be another reason why our talents are still buried.

We also have to guard our talents from dream thieves, vision killers and anybody with a negative approach to our life. These are people who have disregarded their own talent (unless they change) and they want the same for you too.

Now, This is how the parable of the Talents ended:

“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away…”

Today, there is a version of this,

THE RICH KEEP GETTING RICHER and the POOR GET POORER.

It is why 1% rule over the majority. It is the reason the top .01 talented are constantly embarrassed with success.

In my 20s, this is what I am learning to apply to my own Talents; It’s from John C. Maxwell’s Talent is never enough:

Use Belief to lift your talent,
Use Passion to energize your talent,
Use Initiative to activate your talent,
Use Focus to direct your talent,
Use Preparation to position your talent,
Use Practice to sharpen your talent,
Use Perseverance to sustain your talent,
Use Courage to test your talent,
Use Teachability to expand your talent,
Use Character to protect your talent,
Use Relationships to influence your talent,
Use Responsibility to strengthen your talent,
Use Teamwork to multiply your talent.

My 20s is teaching me to keep improving my talent, gaining relevant experience, and meeting people of high networth and network.

So that’s it.

Don’t BURY your TALENT in the ground. Make sure your light shine before men and the desired impact and influence will surely come.

To your continued Creativity,
Zamai Banje.