I’m glad we’ve made it so far in this series, and I’m glad to have been able to write about the lessons I’ve learnt from valuable experiences of mine.
A kudos to me, and a kudos to you. 👍🏾
After having followed up the series, from here, it’s just intentional repetition. Living a more responsible and accountable life doesn’t require much more than what you’ve been told in this Intentionality Series.
The only thing that differentiates them from the ordinary, average person is how willing they are to constantly repeat these steps that produce results. It’s their consistency, and the fact that they continuously develop their personal value that make them stand out.
As I said in the first article of this series, I gained a lot from participating in the Creative Writers and Influencers Network (CWIN) 28-day Writing Creativity Challenge for November 2022. It opened my eyes to what it means to take charge of the pace and direction a person wants their life to go, and in line with my vision for this blog, I knew I had to share it on this space.
I advise you read every article in this series. Give yourself that jolt this new year.
You could also read my entries for the CWIN 28-day contest on Facebook here.
I’d always love to answer any questions you might have, or simply to connect. Drop me a comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.
And if you’d like to be closer to the blog, or to interact with me through a direct message, Ọlaedo is on Facebook. Feel free to give its page a follow.
The tittle of this post reminds me of the article I wrote for the Hashnode Dev Retro 2022 campaign. In the article, where I shared my three-year journey in tech, I talked about my lack of ‘connections’ as one of the things that really slowed down my progress and learning.
As a beginner coder, I relied on Sololearn, YouTube tutorial videos, and (at a time) Girls Who Code at Home weekly code projects for my learning.
That was great. Not bad, actually. But what I lacked was community.
We all can agree that in the average classroom, it takes the input from other classmates for there to be actual teaching and learning.
Be honest and admit to yourself that if it wasn’t for the questions, jokes, and random statements from members of your class while learning, you probably wouldn’t have been able to understand most of your lessons.
And that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Don’t be daunted when I use the word ‘networking’. A better word to use would be ‘community’, and they mean the same thing in this context.
If you want to live your life with purpose and take responsibility for your actions, you need a network, you need to be in a community of people with interests and goals similar to yours.
In a less formal light, it’s simple logic to make friends with people who’ll be beneficial to you. It’s not only about those who’re ‘in your field’, you can as well make friends with people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, as long as their being part your life will make you a better person.
Now, the question:
How Will I Find that Network?
Honestly, if you asked me how exactly you could find such a community of ‘like-minded people’, I have no proven line of action to give you.
You see, back when I just started out, and had just created a Facebook account, I made endless searches like: Nigerian teen coders, Teen coders, and phrases like that, but all the groups and pages I found were outdated and empty.
In hindsight, I take it that it wasn’t yet the right time for me to stumble across the amazing communities I’m in now, because I wasn’t ready for them.
But with the little experience of mine, I can tell you this:
My best advice on is to begin with making like-minded friends. I use Facebook as an example because it’s my most active social. Make searches on people you already know in your field, and send them friend requests.
And if you don’t have anyone in mind, you can go over to Google and search up things like: Nigerian teen coder 2022, Nigerian programmer 2022, Nigerian teen web developer 2022 (that would be in the case of a techie). You’d be sure to get relevant results.
And once your results are out, you can then hit the socials. It must not be Facebook, as long as you connect with that person: through a follow or a friend request.
And the good thing about social media sites is that from the people you follow or become friends with, you’re given friend, group and page suggestions based on your activity. So it becomes a lot easier to find more people and communities once you reach out.
The perks of making friends with the right kind of people are lot. Here are some benefits, with proof from my personal experiences:
A network keeps you motivated.
I knew this before now, but I’ve just recently been given a reminder. You wouldn’t believe the creative rush I felt when I saw updates from my friends in tech as we entered the new year. And although I was in my village, with my network on EDGE, I found a way to get Internet connection, even if it only came once a day.
My friends, the like-minded peeps I’ve surrounded myself with, motivated me to push limits and start work this year, notwithstanding the serious network problems I faced.
A network keeps growing.
I can’t really remember the first teen techie I followed on Facebook. But since that day, I’ve kept on meeting more and more people. I’ve made REALLY amazing friends in tech, and we’re already making plans to execute projects this year.
In fact, through my Facebook friend, Abigail Johnson, (a fellow girl in tech), I just found out about Princess Mbamalu, who is working with her to build an AI-powered tech innovation.
And I look forward to future interactions with her.
But the other side of this is that YOU have to stay in motion. Don’t fold your arms and deceive yourself by saying you’re satisfied with the friends you have, and the level you’ve gotten to.
Such a mindset is dangerous, because one thing I’ve learned about purposeful people is that they cease to hang around you once you stop being productive.
So, if you really want to grow, you stay productive, keep working at your craft. Once you’re in the right circle of people, it’s only a matter of time before great opportunities come your way.
Every beneficial network influences you positively.
If I hadn’t put the lessons I’d learnt from participating in the CWIN Writing Creativity Challenge into practice, I wouldn’t have developed myself to this point. I wouldn’t have known enough to keep reaching out to like-minded people. I wouldn’t have been enlightened on the importance of making investments for my personal growth.
The major point here is that when you come in contact with the right kind of people, they must SURELY influence you in one way or another.
And it’s not just professionally, in our everyday lives as well.
I take an example from my own life: In my workplace, I’ve met two really amazing women. One of them taught me a lot, actually, about being a young woman of QUALITY and CONFIDENCE; but one of the best things she taught me was that age is just a number, especially where it seems like a factor stopping me from pursuing what I want.
The other amazing woman taught me – although not directly – that your personality is everything. She’s actually a young pastor’s wife, but she’s so cool. Most times, the way she presents God is so refreshing.
I really treasure these women.
The same should be for you.
Points of action.
What kind of an article would this be if there were no in-your-face points of action?
A network, a community of people with goals similar to yours, can only be of benefit to you when you put in your own efforts.
Here they are:
Keep showing up. Keep putting yourself out there.
One of the closest people to me, Franck Mve, is an aspiring footballer – and in recent times, a delver in all things photography. He is known wherever he goes as a football lover, and the best part is that he actually shows his skills whenever and wherever he can.
He’s actually made lots of friends from this, and lots of cool opportunities have come to him.
The moral here is that you should be consistent. Although similar to ‘staying productive’, this is more in-depth in a sense. It’s about getting to work and not stopping. It’s about not just covering yourself up with labels and professional taglines, but rather about working to produce results that will gain you the opportunities you need.
It’s not enough to talk about your ideas, it’s not enough to boast about your skills. The main thing is to NEVER shy away from an avenue to show what you can do.
Don’t live on past glory.
Don’t compare yourself with others.
This, every once in a while, is a big problem, actually. In one of my entries for the CWIN Writing Creativity Challenge, I wrote on this.
Sure, there will ALWAYS be people who’re doing better than you are, no matter their age. Just look at Claire Charles, a 14-year-old Web3 developer. But instead of that to demoralize you, let it motivate you.
In my own case, when I look at my mates like John Oseni, Clinton Imaro, Abigail Johnson, Sumayah Adegbite, and many others making waves in tech, it makes me feel bad that although I’ve been into tech since 2019, I haven’t been consistent enough with it to actually produce much results.
But I soon get over the ‘failure’ feeling, and let their stories inspire and motivate me to keep going – consistently this time.
The same should be for you. The ‘guys on top’ are there to motivate you, so you can push your limits and be better.
Be nice and friendly.
You know, it’s normal for people at a point to no longer listen to others. They become so concerned with their own life’s problems and the work they’re doing that they no longer care so much about what other people are doing.
This problem can rise up in any network, especially one of intentional people.
As a teen blogger, I always love to connect with fellow teen bloggers, especially those who’re Nigerian like me. But many a time, I find myself losing some relationships on this space.
Yes, I sometimes, get so concerned with putting out my own content, growing my blog’s audience, and all other things I have to do professionally that I fail to check out what other bloggers are up to: read their posts, drops some friendly comments, and give a few shares.
What you need to know is that being friendly is important. Underneath the labels and professional taglines, the things that keep MANY influential people going are the shows of care and genuine friendship they receive from friends and family.
I hope I’ve made this three-syllable word, networking, sound a bit more doable, and I hope you get to work on it.🏃🏾♀️
Networking can begin from here, you know! It’d be great to connect with you. Drop me a comment if you have anything to say. And also if you have any pointers for me on getting the most out of Twitter, I just created an account on there in December!🙈
For now, Ọlaedo is on Facebook only. If you’d like to follow the blog there as well, or just check out the page, surf on over here.
For the fact that you’ve taken the decision, for the fact that you’ve spared a few moments to draft a game plan, I think it’s right to say that you have purpose.
Welcome to the 4th post in the Intentionality Series. A blog series where I create the awareness on how important it is for us young people – and, indeed, everyone – to live intentionally. And via this series, I also share my experiences in the journey of living more purposefully.
In previous posts, I’ve been talking about changing your mindset, preparation, and gathering momentum for the big move.
And in this post, I’ll be guiding you to that big move.
This morning, before I began writing this post, I came across a Facebook post shared by a friend of mine. The post, a rather inspiring one, talked about purpose, resilience, determination, as the things us young people need to bring about innovations and solve world problems.
Here’s a screenshot of my favorite part/s:
And from this, I got inspiration on how best to structure this post.
✨That only goes to say that surrounding ourselves with beneficial, inspiring and like-minded people goes a long way in helping us develop ourselves to become better people. ✨
You see, when we decide to take up a task, start a job, establish a business, go into a career, or just make a move from the things we ordinarily do, we often do so out of purpose. And that’s the kind of ‘work’ I’m talking about here.
And so, from this purpose, let’s say we take action. We make a plan, and decide to start doing things RIGHT NOW. Why? Because our purpose motivates us.
But then, a month into your here-and-now craft, and you experience a MAJOR setback. Worst case scenario: your phone crashes, and at that point in time, you’re seriously broke. 💔 In a time like that, it’s your resilience that’ll help you think clearly and reason out a way to get through the setback with as little bruises as possible.
Mind you that this part of the journey isn’t for everyone. MANY give up once things get really hard, because they feel like the hard times are an indication that their dream, or their craft, isn’t right for them.
But say you get through it, head high. That’s a big kudos to you. 👏🏾 And what’s better is that from the challenge you encountered you learned lessons, your brain worked to create different lines of action to take when faced with a problem like the one you did. And so at the end of it, you have a strategy that works, with you as proof.
In my case, when I’m trying to reason a way out to a problem I’m facing, and I’m getting demoralized thinking out the solution, I remind myself that: There’s more than one way to kill a rat.
From there, you place your lessons as landmarks to guide you next time you make a similar move. And one of the best things about this is that it gives you confidence in your actions, and your ability to get through things.
And when you’re confident, you begin to work and think at a greater capacity. You begin to explore, you get creative, and you begin to innovate.
I want to grab this last word: innovate. When I, and I guess most people, hear ‘innovate’, the first thing that comes to mind is ideas and then execution.
Our purpose generally forms our ideas, and the work we do to realize that purpose is the execution.
I don’t know what you were expecting from this post, but if you’re truly serious about getting to work to achieve that goal that made you decide to be intentional, all you need to know is that:
As long as you have that core determination, that thing you want to achieve, that world problem you want to solve, that dream or aspiration, hold on to it very firmly, and don’t waver in your conviction. Expect setbacks, maybe not even from the career aspect of your life, setbacks that’ll make you cry and dare you to give up. Be wise enough to mellow down and think – there is always more than one way to kill a rat – and let your purpose, dreams, aspirations, and the people in your life who make you truly feel like yourself motivate you to keep going.
The setbacks aren’t a one-time experience, sorry to say. But I’m telling you that if you could get through once, the lessons you learned can get you through again… and again and again.
I want to believe that you’ve been following this series, penning down the lessons you learned from each article, because the truth of the matter is in taking responsibility for your life, every step depends on the other: You need to make that unwavering decision, you need to prepare for the new step you’re about to take and have a plan, before you can get to work.
I hope this article motivated you to begin working to achieve your dream RIGHT NOW, no matter your age.
The next article in the series will tell more about surrounding yourself with beneficial people as you continue to your creative efforts.
It’s very okay if you have any thoughts on this you wish to share. I’m open to interactions, and would be glad to answer questions. And even if you just want to connect, or say hi, the comments section is open. Let’s keep the discussion going. 😊
And if you’d rather prefer socials, Ọlaedo is on Facebook. Connect with the blog, and let’s interact.😚
The worst thing that can happen to you is when you rush into something – anything – without a plan.
You want to be intentional? Have a plan.
You want to become valuable on Internet spaces? Have a plan.
You want to finish a course? Have a plan.
Having a plan makes things look more organized, and saves you from feeling overwhelmed at a point. Deciding to live a more purposeful life might be easy, but forming the habits you need to keep up with it is the hard part.
Luckily, as I said I would, I’m here to help.
When I say, ‘Have a Plan’, know that there are two types of plans you need to have: the long-term plan and the short-term plan.
The Long-term Plan.
I would be misleading you if I said that it’s okay to have just one goal that’ll cover all the aspects of your life. The truth of the matter is that for the different parts of our lives: academics, religion, work, career, family, relationships, etc., there should be individual long-term goals.
You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
So, since we’re talking about INTENTIONALITY as a broad concept, you should know that when you decide to be intentional with your life, you decide to be intentional in every part of it.
In this series, I’ll be sharing tips that can be most helpful in the career, academics, and work aspects of our lives. But they can generally be useful in every part of your life with a few adjustments here and there.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s continue…
The long-term goal is that sum total goal you want to achieve.
Take for example, you’re making a plan for your career.
Long-term goal: To become a graphics designer.
The problem is: I feel like I’m not making any steps RIGHT NOW towards my career, I feel like I’m too relaxed and unserious.
The solution is: I’ll take up a course on digital design to begin with (in the case where my career is in design).
The action plan is: For a week, I’ll take lessons in my course for an hour a day to get accustomed to it. From there, I’ll ease into learning for two hours a day. If I learn for two hours every day, I would have completed the course in two months’ time.
Deadline for completion of the course: Two months from the day I started it.
You see how I’ve made the broad statement of ‘make a plan for your career’ seem so doable in five headings?
That’s what the long-term goal is all about: breaking the broad intention into doable parts.
The Short-term Plan.
The long-term plan breaks up your intention into doable parts, and makes it seem less scary and overwhelming. But the short-term plan further breaks those parts into daily points of action that will lead you to achieving the long-term goal.
The short-term plan is very important, because as I said earlier, if you want to succeed at being a purposeful person, you need to have habits that put you in the right direction. And when you have a short-term plan consisting of daily, routine actions aimed towards the long-term goal, those actions for success you carry out every day become part of you; they become your habits.
A good way to look at your short-term plan is thinking of it as a timetable. Many people cringe at the idea of making a timetable for their activities, feeling that it’ll restrict them, but that’s the more reason why people like that spend their day responding to the day’s prompts and circumstances, instead of letting the day be structured by their own actions.
And it’s people like that who, at the end of the month or year, feel like they haven’t done anything meaningful with their life.
To be honest, I was once in this category of people. I used to HATE the idea of a timetable. Back in my JSS1 in secondary school, when my Igbo teacher first told me about a timetable, I just told her I would try it to make her happy. But it was only in my JSS3, when I was to write my Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) – AKA Junior WAEC – that I tried having my first timetable; and that was a reading timetable.
So, what am I saying in essence?
A daily timetable might sound and even BE boring to create and follow up initially, but believe me, it helps. I can’t say I follow my timetable all the time, but whenever I miss an activity, I feel it and scold myself against repeating it. And I often don’t. 😊
Because a short-term timetable can differ from person-to-person, I’ll just be giving you tips to note when crafting yours:
Have two timetables: One for your working/school periods, and one for your holiday periods.
Yup. You have to have a plan for your holidays, too. 😏
The worst thing you can tell yourself is that the timetable you use when you’re working or when your school is in session, will work for you when you’re on holiday.
During work/school periods, you have limited free time which you have to try to slice to accommodate all the extra things you have to do. But during the holiday, you have a lot more free time.
So, make two timetables.
Be realistic: You know how you are. You know whether you’re the kind of person that MUST sleep for two hours every afternoon before you can actually feel rested. You know the time of day – or night – you’re most productive.
In this heading, I advise you to make your timetable bearing in mind the way your body functions.
Taking myself as an example, I don’t joke with sleep. But since I started working, I haven’t been able to get the sleep I need. And that’s why I dedicate my Sundays for sleeping. 😂
In my previous timetables, I always put in a compulsory hour for sleep during the holidays, because on weekdays, I often find it hard to sleep in the afternoon. 🤦🏾♀
The same should be for you. I didn’t say you should get lazy and put in five hours for sleep, or three hours for ‘rest’ and ‘watching TV’. No. Even as we’re realistic, we should know enough to let go of or reduce the time we spend on activities in our day that don’t produce much results.
Always remember to put in emergency time: Of course. No matter how much you try to plan your day down to every detail, there will always be unexpected things that’ll just pop up out of nowhere. An example is how, yesterday, I planned to finish cooking, have a bath, and immediately finish writing this article. But then, I forgot that that day was the World Cup finals. 🤯
And so, when my dad clicked on the TV, I just had to spare some time to watch. 🙃
But good for me, I always have space for contingencies in my daily timetable.
And you should, too.
And just an addy: It helps, at the beginning of every day, very early in the morning, or before you go to sleep in the night, to list out all the activities you have to carry out the next day.
For me, I make my list when I wake up in the morning, not the night before.
And it’s also a good idea to start such a list for the next day with the things you weren’t able to do or finish for that day.
Start from the most important activity to the least most important. That’s what I do, though. You can order it however you wish. 😉
And so, however way you wish to mix and match these points I shared here, know that if you want to be purposeful, you’ve got to have a plan: a long-term one and a short-term one. Without these, anything you may claim you’re doing or ‘working on’ may not give the same results as it would if you had a clear plan with daily points of action.
Try this out, and see how much more confident you’ll be in your ability to plan and execute things you put your mind to. 👍🏾
Look out for the next post in this series, and keep staying enlightened as you journey towards intentionality. 🐱👤
Have any thoughts to share on this? Anything you wish to add? Or do you just want to connect? I’d be pleased to hear from you in the comments! 👇🏾
You can also connect with the blog on socials! Follow Ọlaedo on Facebook. Let’s boost the interaction. 💕🤗
I remember how, when I first created my Facebook account, it was filled with a lot of posts by other people, posts I was tagged in, to be precise. And back then, I didn’t care enough about the account to clean it up. My entire focus was on my blog and its Facebook page. I worked to stuff it up with blog post links and updates.
But what I didn’t know was that if, for example, someone found my Facebook account through my blog’s page and wanted to connect with me on the professional level, the scattered nature of it would scare them away.
That’s the importance of having an organized and nice-looking Internet profile. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to TikTok, and even to WhatsApp, our Internet profiles need to be arranged in a way that they give a good impression about who we are and what we do.
This is the second step of the Intentionality Journey.
The first step is taking the decision to not let people, daily occurrences, and life in general push you around. Being intentional is being purposeful enough to not leave anything to fate.
It’s simple logic, really, for polishing your Internet profiles to be the second step. Because if you fail to make your profiles look professional and presentable, when people begin to search you up on socials because they heard about you through your blog or from any other craft of yours, they may not be so impressed with what they find.
I like to say that your Internet profile is your trophy case, it’s your curriculum vitae, and it’s even your personal essay. Why? Because with a profile that tells about who you are and what you do (e.g. I’m a teen lifestyle blogger, etc…), it makes way for like-minded people to find and connect with you.
I mean, if search up Instagram for teen lifestyle bloggers, how would I find you when nothing like that is indicated on your profile? 🤷🏾♀️😏
Let’s make this discourse a bit easier. We’ll take each part of this one at a time:
For every social media or Internet space in general, you’re given the option to create a username, aside from your real name.
And it’s in choosing a username that people get creative. 😁
While it’s okay to answer something cute, girly, and sassy, like (blxck_barbie, as a friend of mine goes by), remember that if you really want beneficial connections through Internet spaces, you’d have to go for something that sounds responsible, even as it sounds cute, girly, and sassy. 😘
Here are some tips for choosing – or recreating – your username:
🌼 Try to embed at least one of your names in it.
This is great for getting your account to show up in search results when someone searches for you by your real name. And it’s also good when your account is being looked at by people at the professional level. It portrays you as someone who knows the importance of personal branding.
Which you are… riiiight? 😏
🌼 Don’t hold back on your unique style.
I’m a big believer in showcasing your personality and living in sync with your style. And in choosing your username, I’m not going back on that. It’s okay to add something extra to your real name when you’re creating your username. You don’t have to be boring just because you’ve decide to live purposefully.
An example of this is Favour Omasirichi’s Instagram handle. Instead of just her name, her username is _princess_oma. And she’s a young Nigerian model that’s well on her way to stardom. 🤩
So, you can take Favour’s steps when creating your username. Whether you want to add ‘the’, or ‘official’, or whatever. Just make sure the username is presentable and responsible. 👍🏾
Your profile picture.
I remember the profile picture I had on my Facebook before the one I have there currently. It was a really pretty picture of me.
But because of the fact that it got me the attention of boys, who sent me lots friend requests, I had to change it to something else. 😂
It didn’t stop the attention, though, but it at least reduced it.
But now, I’m going to have to change it back to another good-looking picture of myself.
Because people won’t connect with a person they can’t see. Because when someone makes a referral to your account, the referee would want to see the picture of the person behind the amazing article they’ve been hearing about.
How many influential people today have anime’s as their profile pictures? Only a very few, if any. And that fact is because people will often not take you seriously if you don’t have a picture of yourself up there. Again, most people wouldn’t want to connect with a person they can’t see.
So, what am I saying in essence? If you’re guilty of this, go change that profile picture on all your most-used accounts and profiles to a pretty, nice-looking picture. Let it be one you’d be proud to have displayed on a magazine or an interview article. 😉
And still on the subject, for your profile photo cover, as seen on Facebook and Twitter, aside from also putting a nice picture of yourself or some other informative graphic, you can also make a custom banner. On the banner, you can put in another picture of yourself, include another short bio, and even add your usernames on all your most active socials.
It wouldn’t hurt to have your profile cover tell a little more about you, custom banner or not.
All the same, have a look at a sample custom banner of a fellow girl in tech I’m friends with on Facebook:
There isn’t really much to tell about your bio. It’s simply just a description of yourself, including your professional tagline (e.g. 14-year old Web3 developer, in the case of Claire Charles), your job tittle(s) (e.g. web developer, teen lifestyle blogger, etc.), some claims to fame, things you love, and what makes you stand out.
A perfect example of this, and a profile bio I personally love, would have to be the one of Claire Charles on her Twitter:
The content of your profile.
Lastly, fill your profile up with posts. The best way to get connected to like-minded people is not just by your wordy bio, but also by UP-TO-DATE posts that show the projects and work you’re doing RIGHT NOW.
I know why I emphasize ‘right now’. Only a few people would want to connect with someone who’s last post was two months ago. I certainly wouldn’t. 🙋🏾♀️
The consistency in the way you show up and put out content is another thing to be conscious of. It’s all step-by-step, though. And in the course of this series I’ll be sure to take in-depth about consistency.
The way you interact on Internet spaces.
Even as we talk about Internet profiles – that is, the way you present yourself to people – it’s also important to talk about what you actually do on those Net spaces.
Now, I don’t mean the article you posted on your blog and then shared its link on your account. No. I mean the spaces you interact with and the stuff you post directly onto them.
To be more precise, I mean your comments.
As a person who cares about your image both on and off the Net, you should be guided when you comment on posts.
I’m not saying that just because you’re trying to live with more purpose, you shouldn’t comment in rhyme with your regular, every day personality on the spaces you love. All I’m saying is that you should make sure that whatever comment you put out sounds sensible. Make sure that no comment of yours will be one that you’ll be ashamed of at a point. Because as far as the Internet is concerned, everything you post can be used to your favour or to your disadvantage.
Giving your Internet profiles a professional, responsible look and having healthy interactions on the Net spaces is the first and most important step in personal branding. And if you’re going to truly be intentional, personal branding is something you have to take very seriously.
The Intentionality Series will make known to you things you never knew, or things you knew but never took seriously. Look out for my next post in the Series and continue to stay enlightened. 😇
Is there anything you wish to tell me about Internet profiles? Anything you wish to add? How were you able to structure your profiles to be so eye-catching? Do you know any of the personalities I mentioned here? Drop me a comment. Let’s discuss.
Thanks for reading! 💕
Let’s keep the interaction going! Catch up with Ọlaedo on Facebook, for more updates from the blog. ☺
You see, from November 1st, I took part in the Creative Writers and Influencers Network (CWIN) Writing Creativity Challenge. It was a 28-day writing challenge where writers had to consistently put out educational content with the aid of stories.
And although I didn’t make it to the top 5 winners of the contest, I certainly learned a lot about writing, consistency and intentionality. That contest pushed me to make research every day for my articles, it pushed me to think critically for my daily entry ideas and the way I would embed a related, original story into it, and it also taught me (even more) to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines.
Now that I think of it, the deadline aspect of the competition was actually what made it so stressful. For the contest, there were two approval deadlines: for your entry to be approved early in the day, you would have to post before 11am, because by then, early entry approval would end. And for your entry to be approved in the evening, you would have to post before 11pm.
I usually settled for the evening approval, because of the time I get back from work. And so from 3:45 or so, I would begin to write, check word count, and then make my article’s image, rushing to get done before 6pm.
It wasn’t easy, really. 🐱👤
And because I met with so many amazing people who are doing big things with their lives RIGHT NOW, I became motivated to add more efforts into my craft and the things I’m doing now to prepare me for my career.
Because through Ọlaedo, I strive to inform, inspire and motivate, I have come up with the IntentionalitySeries, where I’ll be sharing lessons I’ve learnt from being around intentional people, lessons that have and are still helping me live my life more purposefully.
In the days to come, I’ll be publishing other articles in this Series. But before that, let’s understand the keyword, Intentionality.
What’s Intentionality All About?
Intentionality means the fact of being deliberate and purposive.
In simple terms, it’s all about purpose. Intentionality means living and taking actions with purpose.
Intentionality means not leaving anything to fate. Intentionality is all about planning and taking focused actions to prepare for your future.
A down-to-earth understanding of intentionality is, on discovering your purpose in life, on discovering that thing that’s so easy for you to do and that makes you happy, you begin to build around it. You begin to develop that interest or talent. You learn skills that can make it more refined and on-demand.
The origin of the need for intentionality comes from the simple reality that many people today are so unfocused about where they want their lives to go. They’re so undecided that they constantly make statements like: I really don’t know for now. Maybe one day I’ll know what I want to do with my life. For now, I’ll just wing it.
And the worst part of it is that such statements come from young people. How long would a young person ‘wing it’ before societal pressures would make him see the need of taking up a job just to quiet down the noise and ‘advice’?
And such a job may not necessarily be one he likes.
Long story short, though. It’s because many people – young people, especially – don’t plan the direction they wish their lives to take; that’s why at some point, they see themselves settling for anything they can find, not minding whether it will make them feel fulfilled or not.
People don’t know how beneficial it will be to them if they begin to take decisive actions about how they want their lives to go.
People see things like planning, goal setting, beneficial networking, personal branding, and all others, as boring topics.
Yeah, they are. Believe me, before I began the Creativity Writing Challenge and got into a network of purposeful people, I thought same too.
But now, I’m telling you that although they seem boring, when you begin to practice these standards, the results will really motivate you.
So, reader, which side of the table do you want to be on? Intentional or Unintentional?
Make the decision and look out for my next article in the Intentionality Series.
You can also take a look at my entries for the CWIN Writing Creativity Challenge here.
Do you have any questions on intentionality? Are you already on the path of a purposeful life and wish to share ideas? Have you ever heard of the Creative Writers and Influencers Network? Or is there anything you wish to tell me? Drop it all in the comments. I’d love to interact!
And if you want to connect with Ọlaedo on social media, check it out on Facebook.