Hey Motherland Mogul, Celebrate!

One month down, eleven more to go. I really hope you’re not letting out a sigh yet because my polite reminder to you this year is to take it one day at a time. One, not two or three, but one.

Stop worrying about being the perfect student, mommy, worker, just celebrate each day Click To Tweet

Rather than going through the list of things at the end of the day that you haven’t achieved and turn mauve with anger, how about you just celebrate and be happy because, in this grand dance of life, that’s all you need to get through another day.

I am asking you to stop worrying about being the perfect student, mommy, worker, all that in between and just celebrate each day in its uniqueness.

 

Society has taught us to swank the achievements and sweep the disappointments under a heavy Persian rug. Take a brief look at successful business stories or closer home, social media. They only tell of the good side, the pictures we see are predominantly facades but no struggle is told of at length (probably a few) and only briefly.

We only see the tip of the iceberg but not the rock underneath. What you need to do is, take a long look at that rock and celebrate it. Without it, that tip would never be. Maybe this is the year that the rock is forming, or it could be the next.

Well, lady, celebrate that!

At the risk of sounding like a fluffy motivational speaker, let me share three reasons as to why I am asking you to celebrate these days, these moments, this rock, this masterpiece that’s loading.

1. Your sense of success will be enlightened even better.

The more you face your challenges better, the more your successes will give you a deeper sense of awareness. Here, I am talking about the awareness of the self.

You will achieve that balance that allows you to neither be to be too sad as to sit and wallow in your supposed failure nor be vain about your success and thus become complacent.

If you're irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished? Click To Tweet

2. You will wear gratitude like a daily cloak

You will begin to appreciate the little things, the very miniature ones included. For once, you will start to see and be thankful for that morning ray of sunshine in a different way.

You will give thanks for that roasted maize you bought on the roadside, you’ll be happy for the tiny bedsitter you’re living in as you hustle for that business or job, because hey, you have a roof over your head.

Every single person, event or item will be a point of meeting yourself at the heart of sincere gratitude. You know that they say with a grateful heart, right? Blessings abound.

 

3. You will become a better person

With this kind of celebration, it doesn’t matter if you can’t go out and spoil yourself with material things and not that I am against this but it matters more that you can do it within.

A lot of introspective work goes into this kind of felicitation and it takes plenty of willpower to be okay with the present; to sit in stillness and celebrate the challenges. This creates a deeper understanding of oneself and refines you from the inside out.

Then, you can lift others and encourage them. With your courage, you can elevate someone’s spirit who can see you wear pain and disappointment like Cinderella’s glass sandals. These are selfish days my friend, go on and give some light to someone.

There you go. So now, who’s ready to celebrate with me?


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9 non-cliché ways to celebrate International Women’s Day

International Womens Day

International Women’s Day is upon us! On March 8th, women all over the world will be celebrated as part of International Women’s Day. Every year, this day comes and goes, and sometimes we don’t even notice it. Or for those of us that do, we spend it doing the same thing – girl’s night! Spa day!

Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of these things, but for you, this year is a little different. Why, you say? Well, because this year, you have us at SLA to show you a new way of doing things to mix things up.

Below are 9 ways you can celebrate International Women’s Day this year in the least cheesy, least expensive, most fun way possible.

Spend time with your mum

Mothers are great, and honestly, they won’t always be there. This International Women’s Day, make the most of the time you have with the wonderful woman who bore you. Take her to her favourite restaurant, watch a movie with her, cook with her – however it is you usually bond.

You’ll be surprised by how much she’ll appreciate your spending time with her, and more importantly, how much you’ll learn from being with her. Parents have feelings just like us, and doing this would definitely create a greater bond between you two.

Celebrate with women you admire

If you have a mentor (which you all should have, but more on that later), this is the time to reach out to her. Mentor-mentee relationships should not be one sided with you always taking from your mentor. You should consciously seek ways to add value to the life of your mentor as well. On that day, treat your mentor to lunch or a coffee date.

If there’s someone else you admire who you haven’t yet built the mentor-mentee relationship, then this is a great opportunity to do so! Not only would the person be flattered by your thoughtfulness, you will also get the added bonus of a great conversation with someone you look up to.

Give back to other women

Get involved at an NGO or social enterprise that is all about empowering women and girls. Alternatively, you could even volunteer at your local community centre or help out at church.

The point is to find ways to reach out to women in your community who are in need of help or rehabilitation, and there are many opportunities to do just that.

Accomplish a personal goal

Remember that thing? That important-but-oh-so-scary thing that you’ve been procrastinating on? Yup, you know exactly what I’m talking about, it just came to your mind now. Yeh, so get.it.done.

There is no better way to celebrate than accomplishing a seemingly daunting task. The more difficult it seems, the better. Let your triumph be your gift to yourself this International Women’s Day.

Invest in your career

This year, Accenture is hosting an event to discuss issues centered on women in the workplace. If you’re in New York, Dublin or Sydney you can attend any of the sessions. Also, the event will also be broadcast online, so regardless of where you’re located, you should check it out.

For those of you interested in consulting, this is a great opportunity to connect with Accenture consultants and recruiters, even if you’re not able to physically attend the event.

Visit a local women’s day event near you

Between networking mixers, concerts and art exhibitions, there is a Women’s Day Event in literally every city. So much so that the UN has made our lives easier and compiled a list of all these events here.

The theme this year is #PledgeForParity, and so a lot of the events will raise awareness to the pay difference seen between men and women. There will of course be other issues involving inequality that will be addressed as well, but this would be a great time to learn some more about the problem and what we have to do to reverse it.

Support other women

There are many wonderful women doing powerful things, and we can all find ways to support their enterprises! This Women’s Day, visit that gallery run by that woman whose art you admire, splurge on that outfit by that designer you adore, download that innovative, game-changing app!

If you need inspiration, feel free to draw from one of the many entrepreneurs we’ve spotlighted here at SLA. Fortunately, there is an surge in talent and this trend is something we all want to see continue.

Learn about impactful women

I know, I know. I promised you a fun list, and here I am bringing homework. Since when was learning ever fun? But hang on there, it really depends on how you do it. Get a group of friends and make it a fun, interactive activity. (Games night anyone?) Play a game of trivia and discover who among you knows the most about famous women civil rights activists.

Here, I’ll even give you a few key starting points: Maya Angelou, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Gloria Steinman, Nina Simone, Chimamanda Adichie. Winner gets bragging rights, and a bag of treats!

Spend it alone – Treat yourself by doing absolutely nothing

If you want to stay at home, basking in the presence of your awesomeness that is totally fine with me. Just make sure you commit and go all out while you’re at it.

If it’s going to be you and a book, don’t just stop there. Grab that book and curl up with a hot cup of tea, hot chocolate, biscuits – whatever your favourite comfort food is. If your thing is Netflix, you’re in luck, House of Cards will be back by then, so you have a long day of political drama ahead of you. But even better, you can watch a movie that passes the Bechdel Film Test.

This year, do things a little differently. Celebrate the powerful women in your life and yourself for being just that – powerful.