Zamai Banje

Knowledge For The Modern Millennial

Solitude: The Only Validation You Need is Within Yourself

What runs through your mind when you see or hear this word? For most people, they define solitude as loneliness, sadness or even depression. In a way, they are right. The word Solitude originally comes from the Latin word solus which means alone.

Yet, there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. Loneliness is a negative state of isolation. On the other hand, solitude is a positive state where you choose yourself.

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self

May Sarton

In a world of overwhelming information and search for public validation; solitude is now more important than ever. Everyone seeks to grab your attention ranging from obsessive ads from companies and internet entrepreneurs to a casual friend asking you to hang out. You must have had your own fair share of these attention stealers.

WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC VALIDATION?

What about public validation? This comes from you. It is the tendency to seek attention from others. The compulsive need to gain likes and shares on your social media posts. The need to be adored by a special partner. Or even the urge to constantly gain favour and approval from your seniors, peers and juniors. Yes, you must have had your own fair share of seeking public validation too.

It’s easy to stand in the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone.

Mahatma Gandhi

These things are not bad. Adverts inform you about certain products. A casual hangout can lead to influential relationships in the long run. Even those likes and shares increase awareness about your brand or business. However, when these activities distract you from the things that matter most, that is when the problems start.

This is where the practice of solitude comes in.

Without solitude, no plant or animal can survive, no soil can remain productive, no child can learn about life, no artist can create, no work can grow and be transformed.

Paulo Coelho, manuscript found in Accra
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger from Pexels

WHY YOU NEED SOLITUDE

Knowing yourself gives room for reflection. It is the only time you can give honest feedback and seek ways to improve your talent and work ethic. Solitude actually enhances creativity and productivity too.

Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.

Pablo Picasso

Practising solitude also gives you the opportunity to know yourself more. Mental strength, empathy is best built in this optimized state of knowing yourself. In this state, you make independent decisions free of external influences. These decisions help you develop more insights into becoming a better person in varying aspects of your life.

Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.

Paulo Coelho, Manuscript found in Accra

HOW TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER

There are different ways to practice solitude and know yourself better. Here are five major ways I have tried and these steps are highly recommended too:

  • Communicate and pray to the Creator. This allows you to build a personal relationship with God.
  • Meditate. This sounds like an ancient technique, but there are now modern apps for meditation. (I have used the Calm app and it worked really well. It is available on app stores)
  • Read books. Books are little powerhouses of knowledge. Learn to apply knowledge got from these books into your life.
  • Take a personality test. This is science’s way of knowing your strengths and areas you can improve. You can take one of these tests via this LINK
  • Journal and jot down your thoughts. This gives you clarity and a sense of organization around your activities (I wrote an article on how to journal perfectly: Journaling: How To Constantly Channel and Control Your Thoughts)

Yeah, you made it to the end. Practice solitude, know yourself more and you will definitely see the world differently.

Journaling: How To Constantly Channel and Control Your Thoughts

Hello, beautiful one! Have you heard of the power of written words? I mean not just the words you read, but the words written (or typed) by your hand. Words are very powerful and have always transformed lives. So is it possible you are not controlling yours? There is a hidden power you and I can use. It is the power of Journaling.

Journaling is the activity of keeping a diary or journal for personal and productive purposes. Journaling can take different forms. This ranges from writing daily tasks on a diary to writing concise applicable reviews of a book you just read. This largely depends on your personal style.

Journaling: How to constantly channel and control your thoughts
Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

Before you learn more about this power, please check the following scenarios and see if you have ever experienced any of them?

  • Have you ever lost track of time and don’t know what to do at a particular time? Or do you have such overwhelming work that it paralyses you to do something?
  • Have ideas run through your beautiful mind, yet at the opportune time, you forget the exact steps to execute these same ideas? Or sometimes do you forget the entire idea itself?
  • Are you an avid reader, yet lack the capacity to what you apply what you have read? Have you listened to so many videos and podcasts, yet the information got has little or no lasting effects in aspects of your life?

Well, if any of this has happened, you are not alone. I have experienced most of them and recording my actions on journals really helped me a lot. Don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple of reasons you need to start journaling today:

WHY YOU NEED TO START JOURNALING NOW

  • Journaling helps you to stay productive and organized. Yes, dear, it’s true. Recording your daily thoughts and tasks helps you prioritize and keeps you focused on specific tasks throughout the day.
  • Journaling allows you to filter ideas. When you jot down major ideas after reading a book or watching a video; you tend to write down only the major ideas that matter to you. This is really helpful in this world of overwhelming information.
  • When your journal, you learn the subtle art of connecting the dots. This sounds surreal but writing or recording your thoughts helps you evaluate certain situations with a fresher and wiser outlook. You have had the chance to rethink and now pour these ‘second chances’ in your journal.

I hope these reasons are good enough to start recording those ideas. However, before you start writing, there is a mistake you must avoid. When journaling, most people tend to record their entire activities in a single journal. They record work, daily musings, eureka moments and knowledge nuggets in the same journal. This is counterproductive because it eventually leads to messy and cluttered information. This defeats the major purpose of journaling.

Here is what you need to do. Have different journals for different purposes. Here are the major journals you must have to stay on the right track to channelling and controlling your thoughts.

JOURNALS NEEDED FOR THE ROAD

  1. Spiritual Journal: Needed to record your conversations with God, including scriptures, revelations and insights. This keeps you constantly connected with the Creator.
  2. Goal Journal: Needed to record your goals and track progress as you go along. This keeps you accountable and focused.
  3. Day-to-Day Journal: Needed to record the good, bad and the activities you need to improve every day. This keeps you energized and monitor your thoughts.
  4. Gratitude Journal: Needed to record things you are grateful for on a daily basis. This keeps you in a positive and happy state.
  5. Knowledge Journal: Needed to record insights, strategies and quotes you pick from your book studies, videos and podcasts. This should include actionable steps to later on.
  6. Ideation Journal: Needed to record ideas and eureka moments you want to work on or connect later. This keeps you creative.
  7. Work Journal: Needed to record your work-related activities. This keeps your head and workspace minimal with maximum efficiency.

Here is the best part of this article.

HOW TO START JOURNALING TODAY

So far so good, there are two major ways you can start journaling today.

  1. Get a notebook and a pen. Start recording your activities. Just as we have mentioned earlier, get different notebooks for each interest.
  2. The second method is to download a dedicated journaling app. Examples of these apps are Evernote, WriterP and Google Keep. WPS Office and Google Docs can also help your journaling journey. However, the key is to be minimal and to avoid distractions.

QUICK TIP: Create different notebooks (in place of notebooks) in your dedicated app to separate each journal.

Personally, I would recommend the first method – keeping physical journals. There is this sense of serenity and sincerity within yourself when you take a pen and write on a physical journal. Nonetheless, I still use my phone (I currently use WriterP) to record ideas especially in public places (I don’t want to be known as the weird guy who brings out a notebook immediately an idea pops in his head)

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

FINAL WORDS

This might sound like hard work to you. Especially if you have associated writing with schoolwork in times past. The easiest way to break this fear is to break the rules.

Write whatever you feel like. You can write just two words daily. Draw or doodle by the margins if you feel like. Open your dedicated journaling app and edit a post you copied.

But by all means, journal. I want you to write something today. Cheers.

Invest in Relationships the Right Way: Read this Now!!!

I previously published an article: The Best Investments To Do Right Now In Your 20s and 30s. The post highlighted relationships as one of the most valuable investments you can do right now. (Please read it now and continue this post when you’re done)

To understand this better, here is a little backstory. I used to believe individual strength was the most important virtue to succeed. I had this warped mentality. As long as I constantly honed my talent, nothing else mattered.

My dear, I was wrong. Extremely wrong. Relationships are very important. Building healthy, positive and beneficial relationships is key in climbing the ladder of success as a modern millennial.

People own companies and build businesses. Technologies are developed by people. People share knowledge and teach skills.

The closer you get the right people, the faster and better your chances of building a wealthy future.

Zamai Banje – the best investments to do right now in your Twenties and thirties

After reading this article, you will learn tips on building beneficial and influential relationships. Investing in people always brings exponential returns in the long term. Here are the tips:

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash

1. BE SINCERE AND GENUINE

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love

ROMANS 12:9-10 NKJV

When it comes to building relationships, don’t fake it. Be honest. Love from your inner being. Show care from the innermost parts of your heart. This is true sincerity.

2. BE LOYAL

Loyalty is a valuable currency when investing in people. Be a good friend. Treat the most important people in your life as family. Be devoted to them.

3. PUT THEM FIRST

…in honour giving preference to one another

romans 12:10b NKJV

If you want someone to be a significant part of your life, put their priorities first. Make them feel honoured always. Give them more respect than you give yourself.

Laugh with them on their joyous moments. Weep with them on terrible days. Don’t get jealous of another person’s victories. Celebrate with them. Learn to recognize people’s needs as your own.

4. BE HOSPITABLE

…distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Romans 12:13 NKJV

Always look for ways to meet the needs of others. Be a person of value. Be kind. Always feel free to share your energy, expertise and experience with people who need your help. This creates an abundant mindset for you. A person with abundance never lacks.

5. DON’T RETURN EVIL WITH EVIL

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

ROMANS 12: 17-18 NKJV

Yeah. This sounds difficult especially in this era that glorifies paybacks and clap backs, but it’s best to never return evil for evil. Two wrongs don’t make a right. In contrast, return evil with good.

There is beauty in everyone. Seek this beauty and complement their strengths rather than downplaying their weaknesses.

Don’t insist on getting even. Be the odd one. Be kind and friendly.

6. BE OPEN-MINDED

Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

ROMANS 12: 16 NKJV

Be fair and open-minded when communicating with people. This allows you make good judgement of people’s character and competence. Do not ever feel superior to others either because of your rank, race or gender.

This also feels counterintuitive but be willing to be friends with people who don’t look important to others. This world is a small place and you never know what could happen in the days to come.

Yeah. That’s it. These tips look simple. However, they are very powerful. I am already utilizing most of the tips (especially number two) and they have worked wonders.

What about you? Which tip will you work on today?

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