Human Beings, when will we learn…

Why are we, humans, so afraid to leave our comfort zone?

Even if it compromises our values, dignity, integrity, passions, belief… and even sanity?

This is a crippling mindset to have. This fear/dislike of anything new is the reason why so many people in our world exist… rather than LIVE the life that they could!

Let me give you a further explanation…

I’m interning for an entrepreneur (or should i say “was” because I’ve already resigned) and the whole internship is pointless. Besides, I’m not passionate about the vision of the company nor do I fully understand it (I was placed here through a program.. it wasn’t my choice) so I won’t be as productive as i need to be. I’m also at a point in my life where i want to see impact.. MY impact on a project, person, proposal, etc. as oppose to simply doing busy work. I know, i know what you may be thinking readers, “Well, you have to start from somewhere” and guess what I already have! I’ve had a number of internships under my belt and the kind of mundane, pointless, busy/administrative work I’m doing now.. i DID THEN! But, this stage of my life is entirely Different!

Let me explain…

Graduating college has helped me to recognize some of the gifts and talents that I’ve been endowed with and I refuse to live a wasted life or better yet the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” life.

At my internship, I work with the entrepreneur (whom we’ll call CEO from now on) and another gentleman (who is a full-time paid employee). I’ve watched several encounters with this gentleman and CEO and I’m wondering why this fellow is still working there. The CEO is not a leader at all! There’s a difference between entrepreneurs and leaders that i discussed in another post (Link Here). Anyway, this CEO tries to impose his work ethics/ brainstorming/task-completing styles (which in his eyes are the “Almighty Ways”) on everyone including the guy he works with.

Side Note: We all know, any natural born leader would want his/her employees to have reverence/respect for her/him NOT fear. But this gentleman is scared of the CEO…

Today, CEO gave me a mundane research task to do and I was a bit confused because  I didn’t see the correlation between the work I was doing and the organization or my role there. So, to get some understanding, I asked the fellow to explain to me what the vision of the organization was in relation to CEO’s overall vision, to which he replied “I don’t know honestly. Sometimes, I think I know what this company does but then he (the owner) asks for more and I’m just like oh, there’s more.”

When I heard this, I laughed thinking it was a joke but this fellow was actually quite serious. [This just shows that there is a clear difference between entrepreneurship and leadership].

Anyway this fellow pointed to the “brain board” (which the two use to jot down event/partnership ideas) and started explaining some of the upcoming programs they’ve planned with a hope that I could figure out the vision from there. 10 minutes into his explanation, our boss (the CEO) walked in and he immediately sat down. Uh.. Whoa! (was my reaction). I didn’t get it… was he afraid to leave his desk because of what the CEO might say? Was there no freedom in the office? Was he not allowed to help an intern with work that would ultimately BENEFIT the CEO?

I know you’re thinking “Oh M, you’re being dramatic… He probably had an urgent project that needed to be completed before the boss came in and fraternizing with you would give CEO the wrong impression..”

Listen, I’m not here to bad-mouth the CEO or the fellow in the scenarios described above by any chance. I’m just honestly interested as to why a person would choose not to a) change the dynamic of the work environment—that is if the boss is inviting/accepting of suggestions or feedback OR b) leave that kind of environment entirely.

Listen, you need to be at a company/organization that correlates with YOUR values. You should WANT to work for someone who takes an interest in you as well no matter how slight.

We as people need to recognize our worth/value (with all humility of course) and sometimes reevaluate the conditions or environments we find ourselves in. Sometimes… where we are may not at all be the right fit.

But I am hopefully optimistic that when one door closes, another one opens! **I hope this encourages you**

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Strong Personality Dilemma

**Hopefully, this post doesn’t get any drastic backlash. But i wont be pleased with myself unless i share it, so here goes…**

Today, I went through some things that sparked this question in my mind:

Why are strong, passionate women always associated with negative words?

I think this stigma is more so associated with minorities, especially African American women.

I happen to be a proud Nigerian-American (which means I’m automatically placed in the African-American bracket) young woman and I also stand at 5’11 so you can imagine how many times my personality has been associated with negative words. I have heard a countless number of times that I have a strong personality and that my communicative approach to others always feels like an attack.

So for a very long time, I’ve TRIED working on myself…trying to “be a passive student/coworker,” “speak up a little less,” “look down when I’m speaking (because too much eye contact is an attack),” or “dismiss pressing issues with my white counterparts” all because I didn’t want to be called an “aggressive/strong, black girl who has no emotion and is always attacking others.” But I’ve found that that has done me no good. In many of the instances where I’ve been called “aggressive” I haven’t been in the wrong.

Granted in the past I’ve been told by my loved ones that I sometimes combine my passion with aggression a lot and it comes off in the wrong way. In the past 3 years though, I have definitely changed. When e-mailing, I no longer use all caps to express my excitement or frustration, I smile more often when I’m speaking just to make sure my counterparts don’t feel “attacked” But even in making these adjustments, it never fails that any time I open my mouth to speak I am accused of “attacking” someone.

I’ve expressed my frustrations with people that I hold in high esteem and they’ve often reassured me that while my approach/intention may not at all be malicious or aggressive, “there are in fact weak minded people that exist and will often confuse my genuine intention as an attack.” So, my next question was, what do I do in these instances? …

Someone suggested that I don’t lose myself in trying to please everyone or trying to remove the “black woman” stigma from my life because it’ll always exist. This person said… “what can’t be insulted is knowledge.. being book smart is one thing but being both book and street (or should I say school/work smart) is entirely different and will undoubtedly work in your favor.”

When my father would stress the importance of an education when I was younger, I would always say “this guy is just being overly dramatic.” But he would insist… “They can call make fun of your complexion or judge you for speaking differently but they can never take away the education. They can’t take from you what you know.” The sad reality is that this is not entirely true but it does hold some truth (if that makes sense)… Education can definitely earn me respect but there will always be a stigma associated with “black people” in general and the matter gets worse for “black women” of all kinds.

I would never understand why my genuine passion is almost always mistaken for aggression but I DO know that I can use everything I’ve been through as learning experiences—with the hopes that my decisions will be inspiring to young women who look like myself (and possibly mentor brown-skinned girls like myself).

To my Readers, ponder on these questions:

1. Why are passionate, result-oriented, goal-driven African, African-American or Latino women seen as aggressive?

2. Will the stigma of being a black woman ever go away?

Is “senioritis” all in the mind?

This is for my seniors in colleges all over the globe–those graduates who will be among the Class of 2014. Here’s the underlying question…

Is senioritis all in the mind? Now, for my readers who have long graduated from college or may not be familiar with the term, i’ll try my best to explain it in the most dignified manner. A case of “senioritis” is when a college senior becomes extremely lazy and pretty much refuses to do any coursework with the mantra, “I’m graduating anyway, why put in all this effort. I’d rather do nothing”

I was going through my normal routine of things today when this question popped into my mind. I know of so many current college seniors and recent graduates who have all caught the case of “senioritis.” Their arguments were always that they were drained from school, tired of doing mundane, busy, coursework and wanted to get into the real world–the workforce. I’ve always wondered, how this disease crept up on them and took a large chunk of their DRIVE. Or, was it just their way of finally being able to proclaim their laziness that had been innate? After all, in the workforce, there are professionals who have been working in the same companies for 4+ years (the equivalent of an undergraduate degree) and never complain of “senioritis.”

I’ve heard stories of college students that were A students for the majority of their undergraduate career and when they caught the case of senioritis, they were barely able to maintain their magna cum laude holding.

One case in particular that really sparked my interest in this topic was of a young lady who started off her college career decently and desperately wanted to graduate summa cum laude. Her sophomore year wasn’t the best so her dream to graduate summa had quickly turned into magna cum laude. This young lady was consistent and diligent to graduate magna cum laude but life got into the way and her dream of graduating magna sadly turned into cum laude. Nonetheless, she purposed in her heart that she would graduate cum laude. But, by her senior year, she was also bitten by the senioritis bug and this young lady who initally was determined to graduate summa cum laude was praying that she could at least keep her GPA above a 3.3. Now, if that’s not a bad case of senioritis, then tell me what is? How can such an idea virtually suck out the motivation of a student to do well, all with the belief “Hey, i’m graduating already, what more do you want.” I think it’s time for us to reevaluate this senioritis epidemic.

How can we combat this senioritis beast? Can it be defeated or will there always be a brutal case of it somewhere in the world? #Foodforthought

To all of my seniors: I just want to encourage you to press forward. You are almost there and you definitely didn’t come this far to give up now! #Godspeed, #GoodLuck, #You’veGotThis!

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Women, Young Women, where are thee?

Where are the passion filled women whose sole goal is NOT about getting the following (to “look right”)

-Hair

-Nails

-Clothes

-Makeup

-Boys, etc

I mean. I’m looking for those young women who want to change the world one day at a time.

On my walk to the train station today, i started thinking about my life and the friends (or lack thereof) that i have and i became really frustrated. Literally, 75% of my friends are males and i have no problem with that but i want more female friends. I noticed that of the female friends that i do have 98% of them like to talk about nonsense or DONT like to engage in meaningful conversations– WHY is that?

I’ve tried to bring up topics relating to the WORLD in our discussions but they just brush it aside and bring up their “girl issues” i.e. no boyfriend, need new weave, wanting to become a fashion blogger/ stylists and the likes. But to that i say “GBISSHH” (my version of hissing my teeth) partially because i need NEW female friends who can have engaging conversations.

Now don’t get me wrong, i do talk about hair, clothes and makeup too (i mean come on, i AM a DIVA) but that is certainly NOT my ONLY conversation starter. I’m really looking for those young women who can join forces with me and we change the world together.

HELLO WOLRD, Meet OMI (source of sustenance)

This blog was initially created because i Regularly have nomadic thoughts, i LOVE writing and on occasion, (some people say) I talk a lot. I like to say, I happen to enjoy long discussions, frequently :-).

Either way, I’ve decided to share some of my inner-thoughts and ideas with the larger world to see if other people share my sentiments.

The goal of this blog is to be most transparent with my words.

Now if you’re reading this blog, you are probably wondering what omi stands for.
Well, its not to expansive:
Omi translates to water in a language that i find very interesting— Yoruba —from Nigeria, West Africa

The essence behind the name of this blog is as follows:

Simply Put, I want my blog posts to be a type of sustenance for my readers. We obviously all need water to survive and my hope is that readers of OMI:sourceofsustenance will be dependent on it for weekly doses of passion-filled, transparent, discussions.

I hope you’re excited to follow me on this Journey… (that i started two years ago and am now reviving). #LetsGo! #I’mback