Sybil Shaibu column: Are you still learning?


Our world now has our people thinking all sorts and doing all sorts, and though social media has played a role there are many other factors that have contributed to our world as we see it now. And this last year like everyone else, I’ve learnt some lessons I’d like to share.

  1. Taking a break does not mean I’m a failure:- we live in a world where success is determined by how busy you look, and so all people desire now is to be seen to be on the move. As long as you’re on the move then you’re on the road to attaining success. With this premise people have come to develop a routine that follows a back to back sequence of activities. But I have come to learn that I can take a break and still be productive.

Taking a break is a necessity that many over look. Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic era afforded many people the opportunity to have a much needed break. Don’t feel guilty when you find yourself taking a break from your routine. External pressure can make you feel otherwise but trust me, taking a break from all that activity means you know what’s good for you. And that doesn’t in any way make you a failure.

  1. Growth can still be found in stillness:- Life now seems to revolve around social media, as such it’s a case of, if it “ain’t on social media, it doesn’t count”. So everyone regardless of their age or background wants to be part of this trend, so are living their life vicariously on social media. This has created an ideology that if you’re still (not active on social media), it means you’re not living.

That is a blatant misconception, not only is there growth in stillness but there’s also a whole lot of progress. Sometimes it’s in the stillness that you get the most work done, because there’re no distractions, interruptions or interference. So don’t be discouraged when you find yourself in a place of stillness, it’s a good place.

  1. It’s important to be patient with myself while I adjust and adapt to new things:- I know I’m not the only one that’s struggled with adjustment or adaptation. Many a time I find that the fear of the new makes me impatient, and as a result I end making such a mess of things. I have come to learn that in order to transition well, it’s imperative that I be patient with myself. It takes time to adjust and adapt hence there’s the need to cut myself some slack. I owe that to myself, seeing that I’m a work in progress and don’t know it all. So like me, be patient with yourself too.
  2. Struggling does not mean I’m failing:- Attaining anything worth your while takes time and doesn’t come on a silver platter. We struggle with juggling lots of things at the same time and sometimes we resign ourselves to thinking we’re failing. I’ve come to learn that there’s no way that struggling is synonymous to failure. Till you attain the height you desire in life, you keep moving and the struggle that is associated with that doesn’t define the end result.
  3. Not giving my mind time and space to recharge is unproductive:- From one “to do” list to the other, one goal to the other, we keep going and going. Back to back targets and times goes by without you giving way for any other activities. The need for rest can never be over emphasized, and we each need to get to the place where we appreciate that. Give your mind time to breathe, relax, rejuvenate, it’s crucial for your own ultimate health and livelihood.
  4. Comfy clothes make uncomfortable times more comfortable:- This is one of the most hilarious yet significant lessons I’ve learnt. Sometimes when going through very uncomfortable situations in life, it would amaze you to know the impact seemingly little insignificant things can make a difference. On one occasion when I lost out on an opportunity, going home to change into my baggy dress, trust me, made a world of difference that day. Don’t downplay the power of little things.


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