Finding Balance; The Compartmentalisation Conundrum

Life is balance. Everything you see as life, everything that you see as yourself is beautiful only when it is in balance.


Recently, I have been learning a whole lot about finding and maintaining balance in life. Balance between career and/or school, personal goals, faith, relationships, emotions, unexpected rollercoasters, highs and lows, failures and disappointments, successes and triumphs…the list goes on.

I have also learned a few things along the away about effectively compartmentalising (this word is a mouthful huh?) various aspects of life. Compartmentalising (do not bite your mind’s tongue, lol) in the sense that you learn to put different aspects of your life in their separate place and are able to give a good amount of attention to one aspect even when another aspect may be negatively affected (this can be so so tough in practice).

Life really is all about balance. There is tremendous amount of beauty in balance and being able to effectively devote different amounts of time and energy to separate aspects of life so that when one aspect may be lacking, other aspects still have the chance to thrive. Where there is an upset in balance, this may result to a decrease in productivity and creativity generally.

If tend to be quite an emotional person or perhaps you feel things very deeply like me, chances are, sometimes you have issues with finding and maintaining balance in life. This could be because each aspect of your life may drain you emotionally, mentally and physically. Some days you find that you are too overwhelmed with everything going on around you that how you function in important aspects of your life may be negatively affected. Your productivity and creativity dwindles and you find yourself getting less and less motivated or giving your barest minimum at work or at your goals because you are emotionally drained.

Say you are dealing with a hard break up, the loss of someone close to you, a betrayal in a friendship, family drama, relationship drama, depression or any other mental health issue or you are just trying to get yourself out of a toxic situation. It may just be a nasty mood swing you may be in. You find that- and let us be frank here- if you are negatively affected by any of these scenarios, you may not be in the mood to be productive, creative, chase those dreams, smash those goals. In fact, getting out of bed in the morning could be the hardest part of your day. The reality is that sometimes, this happens to the best of us…no matter how put together “that person” looks to you.

It is however important to remember that finding and maintaining a healthy balance in life is not only essential for your happiness, but for your productivity and creativity. The good news is you have all it takes to find and maintain the much needed balance.

Emotional balance is facilitated by practicing emotional regulation and distress tolerance. Emotional regulation relates to identifying the emotions that are being felt in the moment, and observing them without being overwhelmed by them. Emotional regulation skills include self-soothing activities that help to reduce emotional intensity and provide a calming effect, such as: meditation, intentional breathing, yoga, listening to music you enjoy, progressive muscle relaxation, taking a walk or a hike, reading something pleasurable or spiritual, singing a favorite song, exercising, visualizing a comforting/relaxing image, journaling, etc


So, how can you find and maintain that much- needed balance and learn how to also effectively compartmentalise aspects of life so other parts can thrive while one part may not be doing well?:

Become aware of Self: It is not surprising that alot of people are becoming more self aware in learning to handle and deal with life internally and in relation to other people. By becoming more aware of yourself, you are aware of your emotions, responses and reactions to certain situations. You are purposely conscious of your character, personality and feelings. You then have the ability to effectively manage these feelings and emotions in different circumstances so you do not get overwhelmed.

One way of digging deep in becoming more aware of Self, as I have learned, is to practice the “why” technique. By doing this, you ask yourself a series of questions until you get to the root of why you feel the way you do, especially when it negatively affects your productivity. So if you are in a foul mood, you ask yourself “why am I in a foul mood?” and if your answer is “I don’t know” then you ask yourself “why don’t I know?” and on and on until you hit seeming roadblocks or the root of the issue.

Identify the emotions and Put it in words: By doing this, whenever new feelings pop up that threaten to throw you off balance, you focus on what you exactly feel and how it affects your body. It could be helpful to close your eyes and try to figure out which body part you feel tension.

After you have identified the emotions or feelings that could be triggering an imbalance, be ready to admit and say to yourself or a trusted person “I’m anxious.”, or “I’m feeling sad.” This helps you to take a step back from your automatic reaction and respond more consciously. An important thing to remember is when you feel a certain way, it is okay to not know how you feel or why you feel the way you do at a certain time. Take some time off and revisit your feelings in some hours and get answers.

Practice gratitude: This is another way to find and maintain a healthy balance in life. Find at least one thing that you are thankful forThis could be difficult especially if you are experiencing sadness, anxiety or going through a tough time generally that is affecting all other aspects of your life negatively. However, try to find at least one thing, even if it seems small, to be thankful for. This will ultimately help you become aware of the fact that life is not just composed of bad and unfortunate events and it encourages you to look at the bright side.

A bad day, month or year does not necessarily mean a bad life. 


By doing this, you remind yourself consciously that certain aspects of your life do not affect other aspects negatively. A bad day at home or with your emotions should not necessarily transcend to a bad day at work where you snap at your colleagues or deliver low quality work and vice versa. A break up should not necessarily transcend into a total change of your character for the worse or you giving up on your goals and personal development as a whole. This is easier said than done but with constant practice and reminders, it can be achieved.

Respond, not react:

Learn to respond to situations instead of reacting. By doing this, you take some time to process the emotions and how you feel by practicing tips #1 and #2 above. You then figure out the best and appropriate way to respond to a certain situation. This helps to reduce any feeling of overwhelming-ness, as it were, or taking decisions based on emotions.

Follow Through:

If you say you will do it, do it! No matter what! No matter how you are feeling! If you say you are going to take that course, get to it. If you are going to work on your personal development, get to it. If you want to get that summer body (this does not apply to me as “calories are not counted in heaven”), get to it! If you find that you sad and anxious for whatever reason and it is threatening to cause an imbalance- I know this may sound weird or funny- but allocate time to feel that way, like 6-7pm. After that, follow through! I am learning the true meaning of “time waits for no one”, so if you want to spend two months wallowing in a pity party instead of getting to what you have committed to do, then time would not wait for you. So if you have committed, follow through!

Remove yourself from the situation: This is absolutely worth a shot in trying to find and maintain a balance in life, although not so easy. When you feel intense emotion you try to press the pause button, go and splash some water on your face and think about protecting emotional distance as much as you can. This could be helpful in that makes you more objective in your thinking and making decisions.

Acknowledge the not-so-great moments: While it is important to stay positive and focused to achieve a healthy balance in life, it is very important to acknowledge the not so great moments. Life is full of ups and downs and it would be unrealistic to expect yourself to be positive in each passing moment. Sometimes, life is full of it and we get swayed by negative emotions, but admitting it is the first step to being able to do anything about it and have that positive balance.

"The truth is that sometimes, life sucks and the healthiest thing you can do is admit it. Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life's problems-problems which, by the way, if you're choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you."

Spend time alone: Last but not the least, and this does not have to be said in too many words, spend some time alone. Get to know yourself, your likes, dislikes, your emotions, what triggers you, what makes you feel imbalance. Spending time alone boosts immense levels of productivity and creativity as you are not constantly drowned in the noise of others.

Afraid of spending time with just you? Then you need to look into you and confront that fear.

“You are the only person who will be with you your entire lifetime. Build an intimacy with you.”

I hope these tips are super helpful! They have been and are still helpful to me currently in my journey. If you have any other tips to find and maintain a healthy balance in life, please with me in the comments below! You can also subscribe to my journey by simply inputing your email address below and hitting the subscribe button!

Thanks for reading!

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What Being A Lawyer Has Taught Me

It has been an amazing three years and some months of lawyering, Nigerian style and what can I say? Actually I can say a lot. For one, it’s been an interesting and eye-opening three years full of lessons, wins, losses, achievements and disappointments. But hey, we move.

Interestingly enough, it’s funny how I feel this profession chose me because when I was younger, all I wanted to become in this world was a banker. LMAO. I just thought about how bankers in Nigeria had to go to work today (my sister would read this and kill me). Yup, I wanted to work in a bank because I thought bankers were the richest people on the planet and had all the money in the world (if only I knew right? Lol). Then I wanted to be a computer…whatever. Computer scientist, computer analyst…I did not know the right word at the time; all I knew and felt strongly in my heart was that I wanted to work with computers because I thought all I would do all day is play computer games and “catch fun” in life.

Then I started watching all those 90s law tv shows and I loved how the Judges looked so regal and serious with their black gowns and gavels. So I felt that if I became a lawyer, I could become a Judge as well and then hit the gavel on anyone’s head as I pleased. And the thought of hitting people on the head with a huge brown gavel pleased me immensely. Honestly, this is the reason I became a lawyer…oh and the fact that I talked “too much” and typically, people would be like “oh you talk alot, you should become lawyer”.

Fast forward to decades after I made that decision (at the time of deciding, nobody told me of the devil that is the Nigerian Law School ooo), and needless to say, it was nothing like I imagined growing up but it has been three years of just learning and getting better. So, I currently practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of Nigeria (this sounds really cool, actually) and that means I appear in court on a regular basis and do some non-court legal work as well.

Shortly after the lawyer standing announced his name to the court as “Watchman”. I kid you not. The judge was shocked too. Poor guy, I’m sure he gets that everywhere he goes. Watchman, if you’re reading this..-nevermind.

I have learned quite a number of lessons working in a very high-standard-demanding top-tier law firm and from law in general. I have also learned some lessons from mixing with lawyers from different backgrounds with different ways of doing things. I share some of these lessons below:

There are always two sides to every story

Or should I say three…or even four; the parties’ sides, the truth and what the judge perceives to be the truth. Sometimes you hear a convincing “story” from someone and it seems too true so you immediately hop on it and ride with it to the death, meanwhile you may not even know this person, but you strongly believe“oh this has to be the truth…look how she’s crying or look how sad he is, he must be telling the truth” But I have learned and am still learning that there’s always another side to the same story and one should not get carried away with any sentimentalism no matter how “true” a story may seem. So the next time you are about to mentally bash someone after you’ve been told a story, remember that there’s most likely another side to the same story.

It is okay to not know

Generally, I’ve learned from practicing law that it’s not always about knowing all the laws to quote so as to sound smart to colleagues but also knowing where to find these laws. It is almost impossible to know all the time frames required by law for different issues or all the sections in all the laws (don’t worry, those people who come on TV to talk about legal issues did some research before hand. They’re not just quoting it from the top of their heads as they make it seem) which is perfectly fine.

Well, it’s definitely not okay to not know basic legal principles as a lawyer or not know the answers to questions at a meeting where you’re required to give a legal perspective on things. BUT…the lesson is while it is perfectly okay to not know everything, one must continuously strive to make an effort in personal development…so one does not look stupid when asked questions.

The loudest in the room is not always the smartest

Okay, this one I learned in court. My fellow Nigerian Barristers who have learned this can gather here for a photo. Please how many times have you been in court and someone is yelling at the top of their voice or flapping their gowns dramatically while occasionally glancing back at the gallery to show off their “legal prowess”? Meanwhile, the lawyer has no clue what he/she’s saying! Lawyers know this is generally termed “playing to the gallery” so that non-lawyers in court get the idea that the lawyer yelling is a top shot.

But this has been a real big lesson, learning that you can be smart and know things but don’t have to yell and shout all the time. How do they say it “Empty vessels make the loudest noise”.

Don’t take things personal

They were not kidding when they said “It’s a man’s world”. This lesson is another one I’ve learned from going to court. Being a woman in a male dominated profession (in fact, in law, the higher you go, the less female lawyers one sees) could be tough. And it is filled with so many misogynistic men who genuinely believe a woman would not understand certain things that pertain to law just because she’s a woman. Sigh.

You just learn not to take things personally before you go and die on top of another person’s wahala. Some older male lawyers legit say things like “Ehn you won’t understand, you’re a woman.” or “My dear you know you’re a young woman, you can’t know these things.” And these words have stung when they have been said to me and it can be annoying and frustrating but I guess I have learned that it tells alot about the men making these statements than me and so I have had to learn not to take them personal.B


Yup, another one I learned from attending court proceedings. Like, you just have to be patient. You have no choice. For someone like me who is mighty impatient, there’s nothing you can do when there are 29 cases on a cause list (where the cases to be handled by a judge are displayed…usually on a paper) and your case is the last one. If you like be impatient, you’ll just die there. Where do you want to go? You just learn to buckle in, keep yourself busy and learn to sit in one place for an extended period of time. And yes it can be exhausting and tiring, but I found that subconsciously learning patience is helping me in other areas of my life.

P.S, when I posted this photo on instagram, at least 15 people laughed at me and empathised at the same time. We know the struggle.

When your matter is actually no. 2 on the cause list but other lawyers keep calling their matters out of turn talking about “My Lord, i apologise, i deeply apologise, but my cat just had a stroke and I’m depressed and so with your kind permission I would like to call no 7 out of turn. It’s not even going on” Meanwhile, he’ll be there for 2 years moving motion on top matter that is not even going on. *cries in German*

Give your best!

I am learning to give my best in everything I do which is a hard lesson to learn because some days I’m on fire for the law (if that’s a thing) and some days are just bleh like googling for the next public holiday. But in the law firm I work, you really don’t have a choice but to bring your A-game to the table everytime because we take quality of work seriously.

“My Lord, if I could just adumbrate…just a little bit of adumbration… it would not be more than 2 minutes.” 3 years later…

It’s been an amazing three years and I look forward to many more experiences and lessons in the years to come!

Staying Motivated All Year Long

Is it really possible though? To stay motivated all year long? Like, all year long?

In my opinion, I doubt it is possible to be psyched about all your goals through out the year especially if it is a huge goal which requires smaller steps to be taken. Through out the journey, there will definitely be some “off-days” or some days you are just not “feeling it”. There will be days where you will be like “abeg, I cannot come and go and die” or “okay, I’m so over this. What’s next?”.

Lool. Just writing this makes me think about some of the meltdowns I have where, sometimes, I cry out “But no one even sought my permission before I was born! Now I have to be an adult and have goals and dreams? I just want to sleep all day and have ice cream!…And be paid for sleeping all day and having ice cream” *(and then for a brief moment, I mentally tailor my CV to suit the application for my dream job which, by the way, is to be a human subject for sleep experiments in Asia and get paid in dollars for sleeping for extended periods of time. *sigh. *insert the saddest face known to humanity* (I was going to get a picture of someone who has my dream job, but while you’re at it, kindly resist googling “human subject in sleep experiment”. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!)

I digress, but the point is, I guess we all feel that way sometimes because being motivated is not a constant state of mind; it comes and goes. One moment we are up and triggered, the next we are feeling “bleh”. And I think it is pretty much safe to assume that as long as you are a human being, the up-and-down-ity of it all applies to you and the next person (just in case you were about to compare yourself to someone who always seems to be motivated in a particular aspect of his/her life). 

“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

So how do we then stay motivated throughout the year when it’s just February 2019 (here’s wishing you a happy new month…since that’s a thing, apparently) and some of us are already like “ehen, when is this 2019 ending sef?” ?

Briefly, here are 5 practical ways (which I try to practice, by the way), you can stay motivated through out the year, or at least, try to stay motivated all year long.

1. Write down those goals!

Yes, I have come again with my writing goals down mantra. But I think it really does help. When you can look at your goals clearly defined and written down, it gives you an added push in the right direction. You can always go back and look at them and even when you are feeling down and out, coming across some of them can remind you of what you really wanted to achieve in the first place.

The truth is, 2019 is going to get crazy and some of the things we had initially set out to do may get shoved to the side where we have only mentally noted them, but where we have them written out, no matter how crazy it gets or distracted we get, there is always something to remind us of the goal ahead…this is assuming we do not throw away what we wrote them in the first place. The quote below puts it perfectly…

Clear, written goals have a wonderful effect on your thinking. They motivate you and galvanize you into action. They stimulate your creativity, release your energy, and help you to overcome procrastination as much as any other factor.~ Brian Tracy

2. Share those dreams

I have found that sharing desired personal goals in whatever aspect of life with close friends or family can keep you motivated for longer periods of time. Sharing dreams or goals not only motivates, but acts as a source of encouragement or accountability. These few trusted ones can provide positive suggestions and/or constructive feedback on the plans being put in place to achieve those goals, ultimately giving you that much needed boost.

Funny enough, I have also found that sometimes, when we conceive an idea and start mapping out a goal that may grow from such idea, we often have moments where we tend to get doubtful, nervous and/or scared. Sharing this idea with the right person(s) may just give you that courage to take the first step. Also, through out the year, the said person(s) could keep you accountable and on track so if you get tempted to or fall off the wagon, or have a meltdown where things do not go as planned or you are just not “feeling it”, they can remind you why you started in the first place and help you believe in yourself again!

3. Find inspiration

They say “If you look for something hard enough, you’ll find it.” Well, that’s the truth. The same goes with finding inspiration.

The year is just starting out and you may still be psyched about your goals, but then a time might come where you’ll need all the inspiration the world has to offer just to believe in yourself, stay motivated and encouraged. some of the ways I am able to stay motivated is by reading articles on Medium, watching inspirational video clips on Youtube, following inspirational speakers on instagram and listening to some podcasts. You may find inspiration in other ways, but the key is to find what works for you. In finding my inspiration, I am able to muster some level of confidence or even listen to free advice on how to handle tasks that seem too huge at first. A couple of the podcasts I listen to are below.

4. Finish tasks

I have found that when you break down a goal into mini-goals and micro-mini goals, then you can achieve almost anything. This is because when you are able to break down, and in so doing, accomplish a task, you feel this boost of confidence to do the next and are sort of like energized to go on.

So finish each task, and if you are stuck at any point, reach out to someone for help or encouragement. Most times, when we get stuck in a task, we tend to burn out and the whole goal goes out the window because we feel it is too difficult or that we are not capable enough of accomplishing such a task, or the goal. Remember to take one day at a time and in doing that, take one moment and a task at a time.

5. Stay Positive!

Okay, so the reality of it all is that it is pretty easy to say “be positive!” or “stay positive!” when we all know we have moments where we find it hard to be positive. I guess that is why we need the right people around us to encourage us and feed us with positivity when we seem low on it.

But remember to identify the positives and not the negatives that would come out of achieving your goals. Remind yourself of the benefits and not the difficulties. Remind yourself that you are a winner, you can do it and you will do it! Make a decision to get back on track and stay there!

“Forgive yourself first. Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over again in your mind. Don’t become a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes. Don’t remind yourself what you should have, could have or would have been. Release it and let it go. Move on.” ~ Les Brown

Having a positive mindset, the right enthusiasm about your goals and ultimately working hard to achieve them would be sure to keep you motivated all year long. Yes, there may be ups and downs as it is with life, but remember (and yes it may be easier said than done) to keep going and not give up.

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How dod you stay motivated? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

Lagos, Leisure and Lessons

Happy new year again guys!

It’s been an amazing holiday so far, just relaxing and taking a break from it all, physically, socially and mentally.

I spent the last couple of weeks in Lagos (the city where madness prevails, the city that sleeps not and the city where 100k Naira can go just like that) bonding with family and friends but mostly refreshing my mind and body in…solitude for lack of a better word. I literally cannot remember the last time I did that…did nothing; did nothing and was not pressured by any external factors; did nothing and was proud of myself for doing nothing.

I cleansed my mind and was quite empty for a while which felt really good. People did attempt to call me and lure me into their absolutely unnecessary urgencies but I swatted them away like flies…mentally of course and it felt really good. I’ll be doing a lot of swatting away in 2019 to protect my mental space.

One cannot underestimate the importance of rest for the mind and the body. The mind is so used to doing something at every point in time that you may find your mind fighting you when you try to get some rest and do nothing. It’s like it tells you “You’re not doing anything! You have to be doing something!” Then you lazily scramble around looking for something seemingly productive to do so you don’t feel like a soggy donut.

Anyway I fought my mind back and came out victorious…and slept like a dog for most of the weeks. Sleeping is one of my favourite things really, I remember when I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life some years ago (not that I fully do now anyway) and did some research to find out whether there were any organisations or companies that employed people to sleep and then maybe they tested the relationship between sleep and some hormones in the human body but the job description would entail sleeping and then getting paid in thousands of dollars at the end of the month or so…I digress.

I also watched a lot of movies I have watched before. I love old movies where I already know what’s going to happen in the end. I did however step out of my comfort zone and go see Aquaman (which is a must see in my opinion) and loved every bit of it. I also proudly and without any shame whatsoever, ate to my satisfaction and probably now weigh a million kg, but hey, who’s counting… TeamFitFam2019!

Lagos Island brings back fond feelings of nostalgia and now that I’m not immersed in the crazy Lagos life anymore, it’s weird how I can smile at the traffic, the ridiculously high Taxify prices, the persistent and deafening honking of cars and perhaps humans alike, the craziness and hustle and bustle of it all. I smile at it every time because I know I’ll leave soon to come back again another time and repeat. Loool.

In one of my numerous moments in solitude, I pondered deeply on growth in general and my growth so far as a person in various aspects of my life. I thought about growth from different angles. Growing through phases of life; growing to mental maturity to deal with certain situations, growing through pain; growing in one’s craft and/or career.

The one thing constant in growth is time. Growth takes time.

I’ve found that it is soooo easy to get caught up comparing where you are in life to where you want to be or feel you should be or even get caught up comparing your beginning to another’s end without understanding their beginning. You can admire another person’s destination and learn from their mistakes but do not feel as though you’re not as good or you can never make it or even be better than the person you admire.

I love growth because if you’re deeply honest with yourself, you can see how far you’ve come in whatever area of your life.

“Love yourself enough to create an environment in your life that is conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth. Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Cultivate a vibrant surrounding and commit yourself to making choices that will help you release the greatest expression of your unique beauty and purpose.” ~ Steve Maraboli

Nourish your personal growth. Celebrate the little victories. Enjoy the process and look forward to the destination.