Be Optimistic Like The Red Devils

I am a proud die hard Manchester United fan. By die hard I don’t mean I watch every game, enter arguments or get THAT emotional when things go bad for the team. After all I am not getting paid like the players but I will support the team in good times and bad times. I guess you could call it a marraige.

I decided to become a Manchester United fan in 1999. It was a couple of days before the UEFA finals that year and there was a lot of talk in school about whether Manchester United would beat Bayern Munich.

People were taking sides and at that time I didn’t have a clue of what was going on or the history that the two teams had built for themselves.

I am not really a soccer person but it felt wrong to not be bothered about this game and the ticket to participate in the discussions, arguments or pride talks was to choose a side.

Manchester, I believe by the UEFA finals had already won the Premier League and the FA Cup and were in route to obtain the UEFA cup making it a treble. I on the other hand had no clue about this and did not utilize this as a reason to choose Manchester.

I only leaned in the direction of Bayern Munich for patriotic reasons or so I thought. Samuel Kuffour, was a Ghanaian defender on the Bayern Munich squad so my thoughts initially were in favor of Bayern.

I did not make a decision till the day of the match. My younger brother was a Manchester fan and I guess on the day I decided to trust in the colour red and trust in my brothers tastes. We had sibling rivalry like any other normal family and I didn’t think soccer would have been a good reason for us to fight. So I went with Manchester.

Bayern were the first to score that day and I remember asking myself in thought whether I had made the right decision. But I stuck to my red colour.

In the closing minutes of the match I did think of announcing my divorce from Manchester. After all, this was my first match as a fan. I felt the rules would permit me to leave as a fan and move to Bayern as long as the match is not over……..but I stuck with Manchester.

In extra time miracles occurred. In quick succession, two substitutes that came in before extra time delivered the saving goals that saw Manchester win the treble and saw me become a fan for life. Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were the substitute players who saved the day to the shock of the Bayern players and fans who believed they had won.

Fast forward almost 20 years later, Manchester find themselves in similar waters in the UEFA cup. Honestly, I didn’t watch the match between Manchester and PSG but followed the highlights. I wasn’t surprised by the performance of the club. Such optimism hasn’t been felt in Manchester for a while but when the manger leading the team on is no other than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, an individual who has seen the team persevere time and time and again and has a spirit of hope, anything is possible.

I won’t bore you by breaking down how Manchester we’re victorious that night but rather shift the tone of the conversation a bit.

Part of the reason why I am a Manchester United fan is because on and off the pitch the team has a never say die attitude that has seen it become the most valuable soccer team.

This is a team that almost went bankrupt; had a fair share of financial problems; had its stadium bombed during the world war and lost an entire football squad in a plane crash amongst other disappointments. That coupled with their battles on the field which sometimes prove difficult make them a team that gels with my spirit of optimism.

If you are going to be optimistic then you have to have unshifting faith. Had I at the last moment moved as a fan to Bayern Munich, I would not be able to revel in the joy celebrated in victory minutes later.

Sometimes we have fought or struggled towards a goal always believing that things will change; only to give up at the very minute that things were about to change for good.

The question is how do you know when that change is coming? My answer is you don’t. However, the benefits of hanging on to what you believe outweigh giving up. (If you’re fighting for a good thing)

Things may be bad for you and yes, it may seem as if you are destined for failure. Nevertheless, you have to believe in yourself and keep fighting on.

This is always easier in my opinion if you have Jesus with you. He always knows how to provide the right word or send a person your way to encourage you.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of Life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

So don’t give up. It’s easy to think that the successful are successful because they’ve always had it all but that’s not the case. Everyone started from somewhere including great Manchester United.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

You too can accomplish the mission deemed impossible. As long as your intentions are pure and you are right with the Lord. It’s just cooler when you are a Manchester fan and more importantly believe in Jesus.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Just Because It’s A Race Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Catch My Breath

Introduction – My Crazy Thirties

Ever since I turned 30 I feel I have moved from walking on the streets of life with my chalewote (Ghanaian term for flip flops) and moved onto life’s treadmill of which I keep falling off.

I am a husband, father, employee, boss, rapper, poet, entrepreneur and pastor trying to balance or should I say juggle the many hats I wear while keeping my head shiny and my beard looking as neat as possible.

These roles are pretty new to me and though I have been rapping and performing poetry for a while, it has become quite the challenge alongside my other duties and passions. Writing is harder and memorizing and practicing performance difficult because between work and telling a boy to stop crying, the comas do not pause long enough for rehearsals let alone a haiku.

One minute I am jogging on the treadmill and next I am running towards pain instead of getting off the bloody machine. Why? Because I am keeping up appearances. Making an attempt or doing what everyone is doing because………

That’s the new normal!

Well, I AM TIRED!

Enough Is Enough

I am not the son of krypton and neither a super hero in the Marvel universe. Even they are met with situations that cause them to reconsider how they approach their fight.

Paul and Hondred Percent are the same and that often puts me in situations where I am doing things like others and not how Paul should be doing things. We are each different and go about things differently. We tend to forget that sometimes and feel that’s a one size fits all solution to things.

Keeping Up With Social Media

To be more specific, as an artist I have struggled in maintaining a social media presence. I am glad I uninstalled Snapchat because I couldn’t get my head around it’s purpose other than taking cute silly pics with my kids.

My audience hangs out on social media, thus in making a difference, it is a platform I can’t ignore.

That being said. Keeping up with social media is a rat race and there is a tendency to do stuff because the world is doing it or because it will bring about interaction such as likes, follows and comments. There is also a sort of sacrifice you give in the form of selfies, posts, videos etc to show you are relevant.

I tried to do this some years back by trying to write a blog post everyday. It was a good challenge and brought out the writer in me but got me forcing creativity and its natural flow.

I made several plans and executed but never got that post to stick on the wall.

Sometime last year my son destroyed my phone and forced a creative hibernation on my life which was much needed.

Catching My Breath

With a smart phone out of my life I was forced to take a breather.

I had been pushing and looking hard for a way to maintain a social media presence that I never considered the alternative of rest.

“What is rest going to do? What we need is to try something new”. This was my thought process and boy was I wrong.

The treadmill put me on this path of “don’t quit, get up and try again”, and frustrated the poetry in my life. I was not happy and stress was building as my pillow each night I slept. Not only because of my social media presence but other things of which I refused to get off the treadmill about.

I did not want to stop running. The world is running so I too must run without asking why? Or pausing to understand the why?

I believe I am not alone in this running on the treadmill saga of a problem. Because we enter the gym of life with the treadmill already turned on we forget that it has an off switch, that we can slow it down or get off and that seems like weird choices because the whole gym of life has others just running on treadmills in their nice outfits with earphones going faster but to where and for what, it’s not really clear.

I don’t know why the world is running but my running is not helping me reach my cause so I am stopping to catch my breath.

Alright Stop! Collaborate & Listen

Stopping didn’t mean I had quit. It just meant I was figuring out the best way of continuing. Sometimes this could take months and years. In this space I let God reveal what my truth is and how I can exist without faking it.

In the great words of Vanilla Ice in the hit song “Ice Ice Baby”, you have to stop, get in tune with your self, environment and God and listen to what all are telling you.

We’re 90% Done – Conclusion

It’s not easy and I am still figuring out this journey of life. I am however running on my own terms and want to make a difference to those around me. I want to share my struggles and successes with the world and help them in becoming the best person they can be.

I believe this is possible only with Jesus. You may agree or disagree and that’s okay. I believe that if you are truly seeking truth you will meet Him.

Don’t be caught up in the race the world is running. It’s okay to stop and catch your breath. Don’t worry if others keep running. The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Pause and reflect on the journey ahead. Ask for help and let truth help in finding the best way to continue running.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

Do You Proof Read Your Life?

“Are you sure there are no mistakes in the essay?”
That’s my mother asking a question I don’t want to hear. I stupidly respond yes knowing very well I didn’t go over the essay. It’s almost three in the afternoon and if I don’t get out of the house soon, I won’t get a good team to play basketball with on the court.
“Is that how you spell that?”, She screamed.
I am pretty sure that dat is the correct spelling but I should have checked the dictionary to be sure. English has a way of deceiving you with regards to spelling.
Absent fullstops and commas, spelling mistakes and poor paragraphing saw my opportunity to show off my new basketball moves fade away like the glory of Chicago Bulls after Jordan left. I was twelve and knew no better.
I hated to proof read.
I however find it more important in life than blogging. In my new life as a blogger I go over my posts over and over to ensure it reads the way I want it to. Spelling, paragraphs, is there a better way to describe that? These and many more are what I go through whenever I task myself to write for my blog.
But why bother?
I do it because I want my audience to take me seriously and to ensure that my message is channelled properly. I am striving for perfection.
To achieve that proof reading is necessary. Once or twice won’t cut it. A minimum of three times; and more if necessary are needed to ensure your work comes out with little error.
So why not apply this to every aspect of our lives?
Proof reading is an important life discipline. Everything must be reevaluated and assessed to determine feasibility and changes that need to be made before that final decision or submission is made.
You proof read your life over and over again until the very last day. You ask yourself questions to determine whether previous perceptions still hold. You do that with your career, education, love life and religion, all in search of perfection.
So when do you stop proof reading? 
Every scenario demands different rules. The process however evolves rather than comes to a halt. For instance before getting married there is a proof reading process to determine who your spouse will be. Once you have tied the knot, that process evolves to proof reading your life partner to fully understand them and their impact. This enables you to correct both your behaviors, in order for the  marraige to be successful.
Does proof reading lead to perfection?
Proof reading doesn’t mean you are creating an error free life. It just minimizes the errors. If done properly, you eliminate the obvious errors and make good decisions. If however you ignore it or do a poor job, you will be like me in my youth, missing an opportunity to play with friends.
Conclusion
Over time I will come back to this topic in relation to different situations to give better insight into the application of proof reading.
As a Christian I believe that diligent use of proof reading in search of the truth, leads to Christ and salvation.
Stay true to your ways, proof read and keep winning.
This post was proof read four times in search of perfection.
Stay One Hondred!

Are You A Winner Or A Loser?

Just because you win doesn’t mean you are a winner. 
In life one gets faced with competition. Whether it’s sports, debates, fighting for that cute guy or girl or to become the President of a country, there is a competition that ensues that chews opponents and subjects them to the beauty and ugliness of battle and spits out a victor.
However just because you win doesn’t mean you are a winner. Same goes for those who lose.
In my poem “The Pursuit of Happiness” the concluding lines say this:
“You are not born to be a winner
You are not born to be a loser
If you think about it carefully
You are born to be a chooser
If you end up being a loser, it’s because you chose not to win
And that my friends is my definition of sin”
Winning is more than coming in first, aquiring the most votes and picking that trophy. It’s a choice, a state of mind and a life style.
Winners choose to enter competitions to grow and evolve their skill set. They do it ultimately because it makes them better. If they win that’s an achievement, an accolade to showcase their success. 
Coming in second, third or at the bottom for that matter doesn’t mean you are a loser. It could mean so many things. It could mean you need to get better in a certain area, need better strategy, you need to start from scratch, health is getting in the way, whatever it means you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t participated in the challenge.
That’s knowledge. Knowledge about yourself and your abilities that could be capitalized on to bring victory. You only learn this by pushing yourself into competitions.
The only time you become a loser is when you choose not to learn anything from the battle. The value gained from this is far greater than being called the winner. If you won that’s awesome but if you won and didn’t learn from it then that’s sad. Equally sad is losing and not learning a thing from the loss. That’s the ultimate loser mentality. That lack of knowledge is detrimental.

For Lack of Knowledge My People Perish. Hosea 4:6
Hosea 4:6

Your desire to become a better person is why you push yourself. You do it because you believe in yourself and your abilities. You do it because you feel the cause or reason for you fighting is worthwhile. As long as you believe in that fight, go hard and make it count.
Hillary Clinton in her speech after the recent American elections touched on the point of fighting for what you believe in.
“And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks, sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers.
You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts, but please, never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. Nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
That’s a winner mentality. Keep your head up no matter what comes. There will be pain and there will be joy. In both cases always remember to be a winner.
A winner mentality is a decision. A decision to become better. As long as you are becoming better you are winning. Win at your own pace and be sure your goals for pushing yourself are worthwhile. 
A true winner understands that winning is not everything. 
As a Christian I know Jesus had to die in order to win my soul. I became a Christian not by doing something glorious but by acknowledging that I was losing and that I needed help. I was losing before I started winning. Sometimes I lose but I don’t allow it to set me back. I am loading my perfection and due to that I can relate to others who I believe go through challenges and setbacks.
We are all champions in the making. You just have to go out there and grab what’s yours.
Stay winning and keep it One HONDRED!☝️ 

My Superhero Day

I am a big Marvel and DC fan who has been loving superheroes from a young age and flying in my dreams. I believe the idea of superheroes is to inspire greatness and encourage us to put out our best regardless of the obstacles and challenges we are faced with. 
One evening In August I felt like a superhero. 
I was in my digital marketing class when I excused myself to receive a call from my boss. For him to call knowing that I was in class, hints at a possible emergency.
He needed me to highlight changes to an order that we placed to suppliers within 2 hours. The problem is I had saved my changes to the order and thought the new order on my spreadsheet would suffice.
Turns out that wasn’t the case. The task at hand at first glance looked impossible with the given time frame. I expressed my frustration and challenges due to the time restriction and my boss in a “I know only you can do this” voice asked me to see what I can do. I felt like a superhero thrown into a difficult mission. 
I first retrieve the previous order from my sent mail folder and quickly used shortcuts to compare the orders. I started by making notes in Microsoft Word but quickly realized that would be confusing.
I eventually resorted to highlighting the cells that had changes. I know it sounds simple but we are talking about 13 different tabs with minute details and an ongoing lecture distracting me.
30 minutes after, my wife calls increasing the difficulty setting of the mission. The call was to remind me of some groceries I was to get before coming home.
Chaleeeee! Will I be done in time before the shops close? 

When we return we will see whether our hero is able to get out of this sticky situation.


(Sorry it just felt right to add that.)
Anyways, despite these setbacks I came through. I emailed the changes to my boss who was grateful at my success and sped off to find an open grocery store. 
My spider senses led me to an open store where I found my items and as I exited I finally stumbled upon a Charmander in Pokemon Go and caught him in one try.
Now if that is not a HOT conclusion to the day I don’t know what is. I hope tomorrow does not bring upon me similar challenges. 
I felt proud to achieve all this that evening. It’s not often you are able to please your boss, wife and Pokemon Go goals at the same time. I guess God was in my corner cheering me on. I pray you all have a blessed day filled with similar success.
Keep it One HONDRED!

Everything is magnificent…Even YOU!

Last night I was on my way home from class with a colleague when we hit the Tema motorway.
As the journey progressed, something in the sky caught my attention. It was a white bright light of sorts that creeped towards us.
It was a rather confusing sight so I drew my colleague, Robert’s attention to this unidentified flying object in the sky. I was driving, so had to be careful not to be over fixated with this light in the sky.
Robert after a while came to a similar conclusion of uncertainty. What is that light thingy in the sky?
Were aliens upon Ghana? Is this the end of the world? Were we under attack? Is Kalyppo taking over Accra?
All these thoughts flooded my mind and my heart was caught in a dilemma of staying calm or panicking.
After about six minutes in this confused state, still driving and both Robert and I glued to the sky, our unidentified flying object revealed itself as the moon covered by clouds.
Whew! 😅
What a relief. This incident however reminded me of how we take stuff for granted.
I don’t remember the last time I took time to appreciate the moon and its different phases. Last night I saw a side of the moon I had never seen before and it was beautiful. (a tad bit scary but beautiful non the less)
Everyone is like that. We all are magnificent even if we don’t believe it. God created us with this amazing feature. It may be beauty, talent or an ability you possess. The environment and people around you may not appreciate it but it doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful.
For these doubters or unappreciative audience there will come a time where they will have to attest to your magnificence. That’s because you may just go about revealing your self or your ability in a different way.
You may tryout a new hairstyle, sing a different song, do what you do in a different light and get positive feedback for the very thing you did that received negativity.
Variety is the spice of life, so I urge you all to go out and try something different. Who knows you may like the moon, get seen in a different light.
Keep it ONE HONDRED!