We published the first part of 40 relatable things to completely avoid this year. This is the concluding part and we hope that it helps you set boundaries both for yourself and your social and business relationships. Be spontaneous, courageous and resilient but respect boundaries. I hope this helps you to scale business and relationship hurdles while maintaining your dignity. Enjoy!

  1. Holding onto Grudges– See every offence and hurt as an opportunity to learn. Learn what works and what doesn’t, who to associate with and who not to. Don’t store the anger; forgiveness frees your spirit. Throw away the hurt of last year and fill this year with positivity.
  2. Over-apologising– I saw a short movie where one young lady was always apologising; she gladly took the blame for every problem around her. It is an irritating habit. Build some backbone by getting efficient at what you do. Don’t allow yourself to b      ecome the foot mat for any and everybody. When it is really your fault, man up, own   and clean up your mess but more importantly, improve yourself so that you don’t keep making mistakes.
  3. Settling– Go for what you truly want, not just what’s easy and available. Don’t mortgage your vision on the altar of mediocrity. Get the right skills that will land you the job you truly want, don’t settle for the one that makes waking up every morning a chore. Improve on yourself and your circle in order to get the right partner.
  4. UnrealisticExpectations – Don’t allow yourself to have unrealistic expectations and don’t allow any other person to put that on you. There is a place for pushing boundaries and going an extra mile. It becomes unhealthy when the expectations have no bearing on reality.
  5. Burden of Perfection – Right on the heels of unrealistic expectations is the need for perfection. I am a Christian and we believe that the only perfect person is God. Don’t remain on an assignment for ages because you are trying to achieve perfection. Sometimes, perfection is illusory because what might appear perfect to you may not impress the next person. Do your best and be satisfied.
  6. Over-committing– If you say yes to every request, you will either disappoint many people or burn out. Prioritize what is important and possible and feel free to say NO when you need to.
  7. Negative News Overload– Some people draw bad news like moth to flame. While it is good to be aware of what is current and existent, you have to be selective in the things you feed your mind. Cultivate a positive information diet.
  8. Ignoring Boundaries– Boundaries are very important. It helps you to maintain your self-respect, integrity and personal space.  It helps you to maintain cordiality in your relationships. Set boundaries, respect and enforce them.
  9. Guilt Trips– Prioritize self-respect over other people’s expectations. Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you or their expectations push you into doing what you would not ordinarily want to do. Be true to yourself always.
  10. Limiting Beliefs– There are many documents and videos online teaching people how to overcome limiting beliefs. Go and take a look. Sometimes you may not even be aware that what is keep you on a plateau is an old belief that you had picked up from the time you were a youngster. Limiting beliefs may come in to determine the kind of partner you choose, your career and even the level of financial success you may experience.  Challenge those beliefs and overcome them; your potential is vast.
  11. Neglecting Gratitude– Don’t hoard appreciation and gratitude. In words and action, let people know that you appreciate them. Start with God – in whatever manner you understand the supremacy of God, be thankful for your space and impact in the universe. Appreciate people’s efforts so that when you are displeased, it will count. Some wise people say that what you appreciate keeps appreciating and abounding to you. Find joy in the little things daily.
  12. Constantly Seeking Validation– When I was very young, I had a cousin who used to say ‘If you don’t say ‘here I am,’ nobody is likely to say ‘there you are.” It stayed with me. Self-approval is your superpower. Don’t let anyone browbeat you into thinking that you are less than you are and certainly, don’t base your self-worth on someone’s poor judgement of who you are.
  13. Unproductive Worry– Worry is a form of pity party and hardly produces any meaningful result. Focus on what you can control and do your best under the circumstances available to you.
  14. Putting Dreams on Hold– Don’t wait until you have all the resources, start now and continue to improve. Many people have thrown away their dreams because they waited too long; they wanted everything to be just perfect. Unfortunately, dreams often have seasons and when the timing is missed, it may be difficult to effectively capture it back.
  15. Skipping Learning Opportunities– Never miss an opportunity to learn; knowledge is power. There is no getting around it. Keep learning, keep improving and keep succeeding. It is that simple.
  16. Living in PastGlories – Build new memories and new connections. Forget how grand things were for you yesterday or the beautiful relationship you had. If the situation is different just remember that if it happened before, it can be achieved again. If you could go so high, you should aim for something higher. Let the past remain in your memories, your future is calling, pick up and get going.
  17. Mind-numbing Routines– Spice up your life with new experiences. Treat yourself to a new experience as often as possible. Experiment with new hobbies, new skills, new vacation spots or something as little as new genre of novels/movies, new restaurant and meals. Don’t get into a rot. Variety is a zest booster.
  18. Fear of Asking– Just go ahead and ask. Worst that can happen is that you’ll get a negative response. Asking puts your expectation on the table. If it goes south, it might help you to reassess your position and what options are available to you. If you get a positive response, there you go.
  19. Skipping on Quality Sleepand Recreation – This is a non-negotiable for wellbeing. Take your health care seriously. Adequate rest is important for overall wellbeing. Do the things that bring you joy and be intentional about nourishing your body and mind. Spend time with friends and family and give your body the hours of sleep it needs. That task that seems so urgent would have to wait if you fall ill.
  20. Sweating the Small Stuff– Learn to prioritize. Don’t spend the larger proportion of time on issues of negligible importance. There’s so much to achieve in 2024, focus on what truly matters.


Fatherhood with Ibe


In a world often fraught with challenges and uncertainties, the simple act of paying compliments emerges as a powerful force, capable of transforming relationships and fostering a culture of positivity. Beyond mere pleasantries, compliments hold the potential to uplift spirits, boost confidence, and create lasting connections.

Compliments, when genuine and heartfelt, have a remarkable ability to create a ripple effect of positivity. Think of a time when you received a compliment that resonated with you deeply. Perhaps a colleague praised your presentation skills, or a friend admired your creativity or your dressing. In those moments, a surge of positivity likely enveloped you, affecting not only your mood but also influencing your interactions with others. It is even more profound if it comes at a point when you are entertaining some self-doubts.

March 1st is known as the World Compliments day and I think it is a good time to remind us all to see good in others and not to withhold praise. Start from your siblings, your children and colleagues. Be authentic and specific, not hyperbolic. Done right, even seemingly superficial compliments can make someone’s day.

Years ago, when I was a senior manager in an oil company, I noticed a young man who was looking quite sharp in a navy blue suit. As I passed him, I said: “Nice suit! Looks good on you.” He thanked me with a wide smile. A few weeks later, he sought me out and told me that I helped him make a very good impression at a project presentation that he went for. He told me that the boost in morale that my compliment gave him lasted all day and definitely created a good impression on the panel that he was presenting to. Good thing, it cost me nothing.

I also remember a particularly challenging period, as a young Nigerian graduate student at Harvard, new in the United States, there was so much to do and assimilate that I was getting a bit flustered but just a compliment from a more senior student did me so much good. He was already rounding up his doctorate programme and was a sort of mentor to other newly admitted African graduate students then. He asked me how long I’d lived in the US and when I responded that I just arrived a few weeks earlier, he was truly surprised and said I had adapted far quicker than any other student from Africa that he knew. His warm compliment not only lifted my spirits but also instilled a renewed sense of purpose. The positive energy emanating from that simple acknowledgment propelled me to approach my studies and assignments with greater enthusiasm and resilience. It not only bolstered my confidence but also fuelled a newfound belief in my abilities. It became a pivotal point in my academic journey in that institution, illustrating how the power of positive words can act as a catalyst for personal growth.

One of the most profound impacts of paying compliments is its ability to boost confidence and self-esteem. Humans, by nature, thrive on affirmation and recognition. A well-timed compliment can serve as a powerful antidote to self-doubt. It also dispels loneliness.

I have learnt not to stint with compliments because I have seen its overall effect not just on the receiver but on the giver as well. Research has been reported as saying that random acts of kindness improve the wellbeing of the giver. Genuine compliments build relationships, improve communication, motivate people, and boost one’s self-esteem and self-confidence.  Whether in personal or professional settings, expressing appreciation and admiration creates a bond that transcends the mundane. Authentic compliments serve as a language of connection, fostering a sense of mutual understanding and respect.

In my own life, I’ve experienced the transformative impact of compliments in strengthening friendships. As a minister, a colleague once shared how my kind words and support during a challenging period in his ministry made a significant difference in his life. This compliment not only deepened our relationship but also highlighted the reciprocal nature of positive interactions. It reinforced the notion that acknowledging and appreciating the strengths of those around us strengthens the fabric of our relationships.

Beyond individual interactions, the power of paying compliments extends to shaping the culture of entire communities, workplaces, and societies. In environments where compliments are freely given and received, a positive culture emerges, creating a conducive atmosphere growth and collaboration. In a corporate setting, I witnessed the transformation of a team when the leadership actively promoted a culture of recognition. Regular compliments, both public and private, became the norm. This not only boosted employee morale but also translated into increased productivity and a more harmonious work environment. The workplace thrived on the collective understanding that everyone’s contributions were valued and acknowledged.

While the benefits of paying compliments are evident, it is essential to recognize that sincerity is the key to unlocking their true power. A compliment, when perceived as genuine, has a lasting impact; conversely, insincere flattery can ring hollow and even be counterproductive. Rather than offering generic praise, take the time to notice specific qualities or actions; this adds authenticity to the compliment. For instance, instead of a generic “good job,” acknowledging the creativity, attention to detail, or dedication involved in a task makes the compliment more meaningful and resonant.

Despite the undeniable benefits of paying compliments, many individuals struggle with both giving and receiving them. The compliment deficit, characterized by a hesitancy to express positive thoughts, can stem from various factors, including societal norms, fear of vulnerability, or simply a lack of awareness.

You need to make conscious effort to break free from this mindset and cultivate a mindset of appreciation. Start with little things, compliment accessories, hairstyles, speeches, etc until it comes a little easier. In a world often marked by its fast pace and relentless challenges, we glimpse the profound impact of sincere and thoughtful praise, illustrating that in the currency of kindness, compliments are priceless.

Lastly, someone close to you might be going through a rough time, some are even entertaining suicidal thoughts. There’s a lot of research that shows that loneliness and negative emotion can be transferred from person to person; a friend feels melancholy because his friend is sad. In the same way, a ray of positivity can lighten up the emotions of a group of people. You have an opportunity at no extra cost to you, to lift someone’s spirit. Don’t miss the opportunity.

So long!