Self Development

I Must Pick Myself Up

Because…

  1. We all have problems.
  2. My solution works for me and yours would work for you.
  3. I cannot live your life and you cannot live mine.
  4. My destiny is dictated by the choices I make (or don’t make).
  5. Because life isn’t fair.
  6. And life, she owes me nothing.
  7. Complaining is draining.
  8. We all have 24 hours in a day. Many have created value with theirs.
  9. My heart will be broken.
  10. I define my version of success.
  11. No matter what I do, I will disappoint some people.
  12. No matter what I do, some people will be disappointed by what I do.
  13. Negativity is self-fulfilling.
  14. So is positivity.
  15. I cannot have a conversation with you if you don’t want to have one with me.
  16. I am responsible for what I do with my emotions.
  17. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
  18. My success is predicated on how much I work for it.
  19. Luck doesn’t exist- only opportunities that meet with a prepared recipient.
  20. Overnight success takes time.
  21. Love is both urgent and patient.
  22. Gratitude is a muscle. It can be exercised.
  23. Miracles happen only when you believe.
  24. Depression is real.
  25. Depression can be overcome.
  26. I am unique. So are you.
  27. I cannot change the past.
  28. I cannot see the future.
  29. Love is a choice.
  30. Death is certain.
  31. What I do between now and then is up to me.
  32. I can.
  33. You can too.

Hi. I’m Tchassa Kamga and I write. I currently live in Buea, Cameroon. I also host a podcast and I freeze stuff on Instagram. You can find me on Twitter,Snapchat, and Facebook.
Together with my good friend
C. Befoune, we started Self-ish where we share personal essays on Self Improvement, Content Creation and Human Relationships. This post was originally published there.

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Who am I?

It’s the parts that you see. And what you don’t see.

It’s the layers.

The lives I’ve lived and those I seek to become.

It’s never what you want, rather, what you have.

I’m only unique because every day, I listen to the silence that tells me who I was and who I must be.

I listen to the silence of my thoughts because it contains more than we fathom.

I’m like you. Different. We all are.

Most choose to be like everyone else and get lost in a sea of carbon hypocrites.

I try, every single day, to be happy. To do what makes me happy. Because I know that when I’m happy, I make others happy.

I try to live in the moment.

I try to improve on who I was yesterday.

I study every day. I learn every day. About me. About man. About the world.

Who am I? I’m a lot of things.

Just like you.

 

Originally published on Self-ish.
Are you on Twitter? Me too!

 

“Taking Advantage”

Making use of a seemingly awful situation for the benefit of a venture seems to be a  trait that cuts across many  entrepreneurs and business people.

I want to believe that if we treated our lives as businesses, we’d spend very little time on non-productive activities.

That we’d  take advantage of our environment, but more importantly our God given gifts.

It is unfortunate that many times when this phrase is used, someone is  being  blindsided.

“She took advantage of his naiveté.”

“Because he knew she didn’t know an original from a fake, he sold her the fake model at the price of the original.”

Here’s the thing about taking advantage of someone:

There’s always someone smarter, more informed and less inclined to be fooled.

It’s only a matter of time before you get caught with your hand in the pot of meat. And how despicable.

I love taking advantage of situations. My favourite is when I have disappointed someone and I know carrying out a particular task or buying that CD or downloading that audio, will put me in his or her good books.

I blatantly take advantage of any situation that would make the person in front of me happier. Even if it is 1% happier.

How amazing would our days be if we took advantage of situations in order to make others happy?

(This doesn’t mean you should wait to disappoint friends, colleagues and family before “cheating”. Don’t be an idiot( like me)).

If you’re going to take advantage of someone, don’t act surprised when karma comes knocking.

…And I am Culturally Incorrect.

I’ve been thinking about the responsibility that comes with being at the receiving end of a gift, a favor or a service. One that doesn’t require an exchange of any sort other than the traditional “ Thank you” or “ I am grateful”.

How far do the impacts of such acts of kindness go? For example, someone buys you a birthday present, do you have to in return, purchase the said friend a gift as well?
Now, if you do, is it because you received a present as well, or is it because you actually wish her well?

Or siblings, when you do something for your brother- that white lie( we both know lies aren’t ever white), does she have to lie for you back?

How far does this “reciprocation” reach? How long does it take to eventually pay a debt?

Actually, my question is more of: is there a debt?

Does a child owe the parents his/her life?

Because you are on this earth only because two people made it possible by the heavenly guided meeting of a sperm and an egg( never thought I would ever use a variant of “heaven” and “sperm” in the same sentence in my lifetime), does this mean all your actions, your dreams, your desires, your goals must be approved by your parents.

Is that it?

I have a feeling that I will be called out as trying to copy the West. You know what? Spare no expense. I am copying the West. But keep in mind that I am very mindful of my context. I know where I come from- a Christian family, with catholic married parents. I went to boarding school for seven years and I have a degree from one of the best Universities in the country. So far, I haven’t been convicted and I am not a father. I neither drink nor smoke for sport.

If that doesn’t establish my “uprightedness”, I don’t know what will.

( Then again, worse crimes have been committed by people with a “saner” profile. But…just bear with me)

There is a term I have been fascinated with recently-“Cultural correctness”. I define it as :

“ deliberately avoiding cultural offense;relating to or supporting the use of language or conduct that deliberately avoids giving offense when it comes to what is acceptable by a community.

Yes, you’re right, I stole the term from political correctness.

Now, my “special” definition limits to the behaviors governing those of children towards elders. In the Cameroonian African environment.

Case in point: You’re 16. You love biology. You watch discovery channel in the morning afternoon and evening. When asked why you don’t watch cartoons, you don’t even get the point of the question.
Duh!
Now, you pass the GCE advanced level. You have 5 papers. Awesome grades. You’re going to the Uni.
Yay!
Not so fast.

Mom thinks you’ll make a great doctor. Dad agrees. One of your Aunts is a medical practioner. Both parents call her name with so much respect.

You would love to study biology. Probably get a Phd. Even have your TV show. You try to argue.
Mom isn’t happy. Dad broods. You consider their option.
“It’s not so bad..” you tell yourself.
You’re smart. So you write the the entrance exam. You make it. Every one is ecstatic! The new family doctor is born!

The family biologist just died. You just became a victim of what I call: emotional blackmail ( note to self: write blog post on this. You’ve been a victim way too many times).

How often do we not stand up for what we really want?

How many times do we sit silent and just do what we are told even when we know that we don’t want to. When we can feel our stomach and every nerve in your body telling you this is a bad idea.

Here are some of the verbal cues of emotional blackmail:
This is Cameroon. Not Europe.
You need experience.
You’re in the virtual world. Reality doesn’t work like that.
Who will pay for this??
Where do you think you are?
You’re going to give me a heart attack.
What about your brothers?
What kind of example are you showing.

OR my favourite…

You’ve changed. I don’t recognize you anymore.

You see, I know all too well all (or a lot) about emotional blackmail and cultural correctness. I have suffered from it for a while. But, recently, I have fought my biggest battle ever.

The battle against the voice in my head. I haven’t won the war. But this post, is part of the battle. The war never ends.

And here are ways to recognize people like me- us- who wage this battle everyday.
We are labelled: stubborn, reckless, selfish, rebels, inconsiderate, bad examples, {Insert other derogatory term to describe someone who does what he or she knows to be what is true to his or her DNA.

( Ok, there is a fine line between someone who knows exactly what he or she wants, and someone who is plain confused. Both seem as confident, only time will tell the difference.)

There are others who can stay culturally correct and live a truly decent and happy life. Many who follow what their parents and elders tell them and find true happiness. I have a friend who wrote the entrance exam even though he didn’t want to be a medical doctor. Today, he’s one of the happiest people I know.

There is no harm in listening to counsel and doing as you’re told.

But if you’re not one of those people, if you’re not built to follow orders, if your heart knows what you’re good at, if your DNA tells you the path to follow…if you’re like me…

Then by all means, I urge you to be culturally incorrect! Please!

Learn the rules, break them- but don’t break the law. Give the world an authentic, true, original version of yourself.

By all means- do not listen to me , your parents or anyone. Find yourself. Shine your light.

Am I asking you to be disobedient? To leave home and be stranded because some idiot on the internet said so?
Nah. I won’t take responsibility for what you do. That’s the whole point of being culturally incorrect.

You make your choices. And you deal with the consequences. No pain, no gain.

But, before you chicken out , let me give you a list:

Steve Jobs, The Beatles, Ev William, Bongajum Leslie, Spielberg, Cameron, Bekolo, Francoise Elong.

These may all be artists. But I want to believe that if these people (and many like them) who have changed the face of music, movies, the internet – if they had listened to those who loved them and wanted them to be safe, we would not be benefiting from their true art.

My name is Tchassa Kamga. And I am culturally incorrect.

What about you?