Author: Olaolu Ogunyemi
Quick Parent Tip: Father’s Day Edition (Reblog)
Happy Father’s Day to all my Dads out there! We celebrate your accomplishments, sacrifices, and love today!
Let’s dive straight into today’s encouraging Quick Parent Tip for this Father’s Day weekend:
Fight for your family.
You are your family’s physical, mental, and spiritual protector. Embrace it. Fight for peace in your home and for your family’s unity and mental stability. Never stop fighting! You got this because you are not alone. I believe in you!
You are responsible for everything that happens and fails to happen in your home. Let me be the first to tell you that this is both an honor and a burden. Regardless, keep pressing! Accept your responsibility willingly and take pride in being the leader of your home. Keep making decisions with your family’s best interest in mind.
Teach your family.
You are a great teacher and mentor for your family. You have the wisdom, knowledge, and experience to do it; just believe in yourself! Remember, more is caught than taught, so continue to set the example with your words and actions.
Hearing vs listening.
We all do it. We look up, see someone’s lips moving, and realize they have been talking to us the entire time. It’s ok. Next time, engage in active communication. Hearing is passive (i.e. your ears recognize a sound); however, listening is active. So be actively engaged in conversations today. Ask questions, nod along, mirror body language, and share the moment!
Elevate your perception of your contributions.
I know you are working your butt off, and oftentimes, it feels like it goes unnoticed. I want to encourage you to keep doing it. Your hard work, decisions, love, protection, and care are definitely making a difference. Even if no one else celebrates you this weekend, I am celebrating you right now! Great job brother! You are doing exactly what you need to be doing!
Relax and recover.
Take some time to focus on the positives–the great things you have done for your family! You have done (and continue to do) what many have turned away from. Rest well knowing that your impact is felt by more than those in your household. Society is indebted to you.
Thank you for your hard work, commitment, and sacrifices! Happy Father’s Day!
For those reading this who are not fathers, please take some time to thank a father this weekend. I promise you it means a lot!
Embrace where you are!
One of the best parts about visiting my hometown is stopping by some of the places that brought me wonderful memories. I guess you could say I am often overcome with acute nostalgia. One place I always like to visit is my old job that I worked during my college days. This time around, I reflected not only on the fun times I had and the great people I met but on the lessons I learned that I still apply today. The best way to describe my time there is to borrow a quote from Charles Dickens: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Regardless, the biggest lesson I learned was to embrace where you are because there is a lesson in everything. I learned some lifelong lessons:
Although my name tag introduced me as a “server,” I absolutely hated that label. I preferred to be called a “waiter” because “server” felt degrading, demeaning, and humiliating. I often quipped, “I work and study hard, so I am no one’s servant!” It wasn’t until later that I truly understood and began to appreciate how important servitude is. In fact, I learned that servitude is one of every successful organization’s core values, and it is one of each inspirational leader’s foundational principles. Servitude is not about degrading the servant’s self-esteem as I previously believed; instead, it is about putting another’s needs before your own to create an environment where everyone can grow, develop, and thrive. Serving others is an honor.
Servitude is not about degrading the servant’s self-esteem as I previously believed; instead, it is about putting another’s needs before your own to create an environment where everyone can grow, develop, and thrive.
I always considered myself a hard-working guy who does not mind getting dirty. Like seriously, I worked on a chicken farm in high school. I always envisioned I would use that blue-collar mentality to become the leader known for rolling up his sleeves and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his constituents to get the job done.
Even so, there was a part of my job as a server that completely humbled me–“crab leg night.” On “crab leg night,” we added crab legs and other seafood items to the buffet. Aside from holidays like Mother’s Day, these were by far the busiest shifts. Of course there was nothing wrong with “crab leg night” in general; however, some customers really tested how far my attitude of servitude would stretch!
They tested my humility!
Customers complained about prices, questioned me about the quality of the food, threw crab legs on the floor, left a $0.27 tip, and truly tested my humility. Even so, I had to question why I was getting frustrated with these type of customers who made up a very small percentage of the customers I served. My conclusion was that I was frustrated because I felt this kind of work was “beneath me.” That was a red flag because it was contradictory to my can do, blue-collar philosophy. That day I took an oath to never allow myself to become so consumed by my own self-worth that I am unable to willingly and cheerfully serve others.
Remember those busy “crab leg nights” I mentioned? Funny story: I actually made a pretty big mistake during one of the busiest crab leg nights I’ve ever worked. I remember it like it was yesterday: the team and I were working hard to keep customers satisfied–refilling drinks, busing tables, serving orders etc.
Well, it was my turn to make some more sweet tea. As I had done numerous times before, I grabbed two buckets and headed to grab sugar. The first container I opened was completely empty, so I quickly moved on to the second container. Once I opened the second container, I observed the white granular content within and proceeded to scoop it into my buckets. About five minutes later, one customer stopped me to tell me her tea did not taste right… Then another… Then another.
I made a huge mistake.
Before long, everyone in the restaurant who previously had a taste for sweet tea was now waving their glass in the air while making a disgusted face. I am sure it was only about four or five customers, but to me, it seemed like the entire restaurant was about to start a riot. That is when one of the customers yelled, “this is salty, and I’m a diabetic!” If you haven’t figured it out by now, I put about two giant scoops of salt in the “sweet tea.” I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t tasted it myself. It reminded me of my first time wrestling with my brothers in the Atlantic Ocean.
Several customers requested free meals and other accomodations to make up for their salty surprise. As expected, the manager on duty (and owner) was not very happy with me. I later walked in her office fully expecting to be written up and charged for several meals for this mistake. Instead, she asked me what happened, then told me to be more careful in the future.
She forgave me for what should have been an easily-avoidable mistake and inadvertently taught me a lesson about forgiveness. You can win more people over by forgiving them than administering the punishment they know they deserve. I was bought in from that day, and I did my best to represent myself and the company well throughout each interaction. Her forgiveness earned my loyalty and respect.
You can win more people over by forgiving them than administering the punishment they know they deserve.
Embrace Hard work.
Gordon B. Hinckley has a quote that has resonated with me: “without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” I believe I relate to this quote because I have literally spent countless hours pulling weeds while doing yard work. I also metaphorically understand how much we grow and develop from each of our experiences. When I was working as a server, I learned that my work ethic had a direct correlation with my success. There was nothing like walking around for a few hours while ensuring each of my customers had a pleasant experience. My customers’ smiles, words of encouragement, tips, and appreciation gave me a sense of accomplishment each. Pretty soon, I began to crave that feeling of accomplishment and it became one of my driving forces each day. Work hard and grow!
Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.Gordon B. Hinckley
One of my least favorite parts about working at Peking was missing my little brother’s and oldest nephew’s basketball games. It annoyed me so much that I considered just not showing up to work a couple of times. These thoughts were usually short-lived when I remembered I had bills to pay, but more importantly, I accepted that life often presents us opportunities to accept temporary discomfort for long-term results.
I accepted that life often presents us opportunities to accept temporary discomfort for long-term results.
I knew my time at Peking would be short-lived, but I had to remain focused on why I was working there in the first place and how much I was growing in the process. Though I sacrificed quite a bit of my social life, I gained the financial stability I needed to prepare me for life after college which included marriage, children, and starting a career. All of the lessons I learned and the sacrifices I made during this time in my life came to head and made me the man I am today. Although I remain a work in progress, I am grateful that I chose to embrace my time as a server, and I implore you to embrace where you are today. You can and will grow from this!
That was my experience, but what have you learned from your past experiences? What can you learn as you embrace where you are now?
Check out my blog at https://parent-child-connect.com/blog for more great posts like this!
Building Confidence in Children: A book review + bonus tips from the author!
Happy Saturday great people! Want to know how to build confidence in children? Keep reading!
I created the Parent-Child-Connect platform to provide resources for parents, teachers, and mentors to connect and build positive relationships with their children. The intended effect of those positive relationships is that we build mentally resilient children who will pursue their own dreams and become beacons of hope in our society.
That is why I am excited to introduce you to the My Strong Mind children’s book series and bring you words from the best selling author himself, Niels Van Hove!
My thoughts on his latest book: My Strong Mind V
I received an advance review copy of My Strong Mind V for free, but I decided to provide a review because this one (along with the other books in this series) is worth the buy! As a parent of three children ranging from age 3 to age 12, I am always looking for books to help build confidence and mental resiliency. This is one of those books!
As you read through, you will find practical lessons like “catch and change” that encourage children to reflect on their own thoughts and behaviors to develop self-awareness, confidence, and positive thoughts.
In summary, this book is easy and engaging enough for a first grader to read, but the topic and practical advice transcends all ages. I highly recommend My Strong Mind V!
Tips from the author and guest blogger, Niels Van Hove
After facing some challenging times in my own life, I became an accredited mental toughness coach. Inspired by my two daughters, I wrote a children’s book with the goal to help develop mental toughness in kids.
My girls were 6 and 9 when I published My Strong Mind in 2017. All scenes in the book were based on little struggles they had to deal with in those primary school years. Now I’m up to the 5th My Strong Mind, and mental toughness is more relevant than it ever was. Just think about what kids had to go through during the pandemic.
My latest book is called My Strong Mind: I Believe in my abilities and stand my ground. It is focused on Confidence. One of the 4 Cs of mental toughness, additional to Commitment, Challenge and Control.
Confidence describes the self-belief a child has in their own skills and abilities. They give things a go, even when they’re not that great at it. They still feel fear when trying something new out of their comfort zone, however they accept fear as an emotion as part of learning and getting better. They understand failing is part of learning and growing, so it’s ok to feel nervous or scared.
Confidence also covers the interpersonal confidence they possess to interact with others. Confident children dare to stand up for themselves and others. They have high levels self-worth, which make them better at not taking things personally. They can let go of things easier that are out of their control, like the behaviour of others. Interestingly enough, research shows that mentally tough children show less anti-social behaviour.
We can be sure our children will have to deal with adversity and need to show confidence during their life. The book covers some great confidence examples like; asking a question in the classroom, talking to adults and look them in the eye, calling out bullying, standing your ground under peer pressure or overcoming negative self-talk.
The ‘catch and change’ technique is great for both kids and adults. Catching a negative thought like I can’t do it, or I’m not smart enough and replace it with a more positive affirmation, is a great way to change your mindset around for the better. Parents and kids can practice it together or have a conversation about it. I still use this simple technique regularly to reframe my inner self-talk. It’s an evolutionary fact that we have more negative than positive thoughts, so better learn to catch them right?
I always say I want our children to thrive, not to simply cope and survive. My mission remains to bring mental toughness to the world. I hope my latest book can contribute a little bit to this and help children around the world build their confidence over time. May mental toughness be with you.
The author’s portion of this article was originally posted on his website. Find out more about Niels at https://www.mentaltoughness.online/
I collaborated with Stand for the Silent to discuss how to build a trusting relationship! (Blog)
Thanks to Stand for the Silent for sharing the virtual stage and allowing me to discuss how to build trusting relationships! Continue to lead, inspire, and give our children a voice.
Here’s why I love Stand for the Silent:
A group of high school students in Oklahoma City, OK started Stand for the Silent in 2010 after they heard the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley’s son, Ty Field- Smalley. Ty (11) took his own life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully who had been bullying him for over two years. The organization exists as a platform to allow Kirk and Laura to share their story, and offer education and tools that will prevent their tragedy from happening to another child and family. Kirk and Laura’s mission is to continue to change kids’ lives and bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes.
Since May 2010, Stand for the Silent has reached over 3,000,000 kids in almost 5,000 schools!
Thanks for your support! Go check out standforthesilent.org and donate if you feel so inclined!
Mission accomplished: A retrospective look at my time at Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School
In December 2020, I was working out with my oldest brother when the congratulatory messages came rolling in; I had been selected to attend resident United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School. Normally, junior officers celebrate this news because it means you were board-selected to continue your education at Marine Corps University which is accredited to award Master’s Degrees. Instead, I was annoyed (to say the least) because I could only think of all the late nights/early mornings I spent to complete the distant education variant of the school I was selected to attend. I was even more annoyed by the fact that I was leaving behind a great team of people just as we were starting to work together and make significant progress.
After I finished what I can only describe as a private adult tantrum, I remembered one of my favorite verses that I learned as a child:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.Romans 8:28 NLT
That is when I decided to take my own advice and shift my perspective on the opportunity I was about to pursue.
*Author’s note on spiritual fitness*
It is easy to talk about physical fitness because anyone can track and observe tangible results. Mental fitness is fun to talk about because I am enamored by the brain, so I nerd out on things like the cognitive process and neuroplasticity. However, though it is equally as important, I admittedly do not discuss spiritual fitness enough. Too often we associate spirituality with a religious affiliation. I teach that our spirituality is customized to each individual person. Our spirituality guides our moral compass and gives us a reason to live and “do” that exceeds personal gain. Many people call the latter our “purpose” or “higher calling.”
Our spirituality allows us to realize that our situations are all temporary; however, we remain hopeful because we firmly believe each of those situations–whether bleak or lush–are interconnected and will work together to create a favorable outcome. This gives us the courage to search for the growth opportunities in each circumstance. Therefore, when approaching any circumstance, I challenge you to ask two questions: 1. “How can I accomplish my purpose while here? (Extrospection)” 2. “What can I personally and professionally learn from this? (Introspection)”*
I shifted my perspective
Once I shifted my perspective, I was able to develop personal and professional goals. I will share a few of them with you in hopes that I can help you establish and pursue your own goals. Use these as an example vice a threshold, because quite honestly, I did much better in some categories than others.
Just a few of the personal and professional goals I set last summer
- Improve cardiovascular endurance
- How did I do? I decreased my run time by forty-nine seconds.
- Make better dietary choices to improve physical appearance
- How did I do? I cut several food items to include dairy milk. As a result, I lost nine pounds and reduced my body fat percentage by approximately 2-3%
- Help train others to prepare them for their upcoming promotion board.
- How did I do? I offered to train anyone who was willing to train first thing in the morning. One person accepted the challenge, and we began training in September 2021. She was able to achieve a 300/300 Combat Fitness Test score and a 295/300 Physical Fitness Test score. Additionally, she had noticeable changes in her physique and established a workout regimen that she plans to continue.
- Become more studious and a more avid reader
- How did I do? In conjunction with my school studies, I read and studied several additional books on diverse topics and a plethora of scholarly articles. These books ranged from The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy to We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah by Patrick K. O’Donnell to The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge
- Become a more clear and succinct writer and write a scholarly article to publish
- How did I do? I am sure my Faculty Advisor (he reviewed all of my papers) may argue that the “succinct” portion of that goal is subjective, but I believe I did well :D. More importantly, I was awarded the Marine Corps University Foundation Academic Year 2021-2022 “Mutter Marines Command and Control Writing Award” for my argumentative research paper entitled, “Adapt or Perish: A call to revise the Marine Corps Command, Control, Communications, and Computer (C4) Architecture.” At the time of this post, none of my articles have been published, but I am still working with a few editors for future publication.
- Collaborate with organizations and media outlets to inspire our future generation to pursue their dreams
- How did I do? I was featured in several articles, podcasts, and elementary school visits. Check out this link to see a couple of the articles!
- Dedicate time to spend with family
- How did I do? I made it a point to attend every extracurricular activity and practice that I could attend for my children. My children’s extracurricular activities included music lessons, football (in season), basketball (in season), and baseball (in season). Additionally, I did my best to always study and build my personal brand when my family was sleep (either early in the morning or late at night). I knew that I had to take advantage of this opportunity while in school, because work requirements sometimes hamper my ability to give my wife and children the time they deserve.
My hope for you
I hope you are able to use my experience and examples to prepare for your next challenge! All the obstacles you have encountered (to include what you are working to overcome right now) will work together for your benefit. Be encouraged and inspired to keep progressing, keep setting and pursuing your goals, and go win. I believe in you!
Thanks for your support! Please like, share, comment, and check out https://parent-child-connect.com/blog for more!
Happy Mother’s Day!!
How do you Respond to Rejection and Failure?
IMAGINE THIS: You are a basketball player preparing for your first big game in a month. You are not the best shooter on the team, but you have accepted your role as the slasher–the one who zips past the defender to finish at the rim every time. That means your go-to scoring method is the highest percentage shot on the court, the layup.
In the month leading up to your game, you have practiced numerous creative ways to score your layup regardless of how the defender responds. You have rehearsed several countermoves, completed over 1,000 layups, and done countless scenario-based drills to include scoring through contact and making midair adjustments. Saying you adequately prepared to score during your big game is a severe understatement.
It’s game day, and you are having a phenomenal 30-point game doing what you do best. You could not be more confident as the game nears the end. It is now the fourth quarter with ten seconds left; your team is losing by two points. As expected, your team passes the ball to you–the slasher–to score the ball and send the game into overtime. You make an exceptionally elusive move to pass your initial defender.
As you drive to the hoop, you see another defender appear in your peripheral vision. You smirk because this is one of the drills you have rehearsed numerous times, so you are expecting the defender to make contact, foul, and send you to the free throw line to attempt an extra point after you score your layup. First you jump, then the defender jumps. You make a nice, midair adjustment and release the ball close to the rim. Without touching you, the defender swats the ball to the other end of the court. “Rejection!” The commentator yells, “…and that’s the game!” You retreat to the locker room as the crowd erupts in excitement.
Have you ever been there?
Not everyone is an athlete, but we all have experienced some form of rejection and failure. Rejection and failure sting a little more when we feel we were fully prepared to succeed. I believe we usually do an excellent job preparing to succeed but very rarely do we adequately prepare for rejection or failure.
Those who know me know that I view rejection and failure as opportunities. Though we strive to avoid them, we should never fear rejection and failure. One of my favorite quotes from Michael Jordan is, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” This leads me to my first point:
Learning how to respond to rejection begins with properly preparing for both success and failure.
With all that in mind, I am not suggesting we attempt to fail in our daily endeavors, because like Theodore Lindsey Templeton said on Boss Baby, “aim for failure, and you’ll always succeed.” Instead, I submit that we should aim for success but recognize that failure exists on each side of our target. So when we miss, we should identify where/how the shot impacts the proverbial basketball hoop (target), make the necessary adjustments, and shoot again!
How should we respond to rejection and failure?
Now that the preparation is done, how do we respond to rejection and failure?
Validate your own feelings.
Your feelings are natural, so it is ok to feel an array of emotions when you are rejected. Avoid downplaying your feelings; instead, embrace them, and indulge in some healthy coping activities like taking a walk, listening to music, writing, connecting with friends and/or loved ones, and talking to your counselor (just to name a few).
Identify what (not who) is causing those feelings.
I recognized that focusing on “who” causes animosity, distrust, and conflict with others. This does little to help you adequately respond to rejection and failure; thus, we will maintain an introspective viewpoint. When I feel rejected, I like to use the “5 Whys” business technique that I learned from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_5W.htm. Simply put, you ask “why” five times then develop a countermeasure. Use this tool to your advantage. Let’s use the above basketball scenario as an example:
- I am sad.
- Why? (One)
- I am embarrassed that someone blocked my layup.
- Why? (Two)
- I was having such a great game.
- Why? (Three)
- I practiced extremely hard to prepare for this game.
- Why? (Four)
- This was a really big game.
- Why? (Five)
- This was my final opportunity to play in front of my family and friends before the season ended.
- Countermeasure: I will connect with my family and friends, discuss my feelings when I feel comfortable, and celebrate a great game and fulfilling season.
Shift your PERSPECTIVE.
In a previous blog, I challenged you to maintain laser focus on shifting your perspective in eleven key areas. Learning to shift your perspective in these areas will help you develop the resilience you need to respond to any rejection or failure:
Pressures of life
Learn from it and make the necessary adjustments.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Ask yourself, “what can I learn from this?” Then apply those lessons when you are ready to try again.
Take another shot!
This is one of the most important steps. You will recover from your rejection. Your failure is not final. Go out and win!
As always, thank you for your support! Like, share, comment, and bring your friends to https://parent-child-connect.com/blog for their own encouragement, hope, and positive messages!
In case you missed it: Mental Health Monday Discussion with Ashlee B. the Hypnotherapist and Black Connections!
I love joining different platforms to discuss mental health! That’s why I am excited to share my latest conversation with a hypnotherapist, Ashlee, and Sandra at Black Connections! In the first hour, Ashlee and I covered various topics from our unique perspectives to include mental health challenges in the military, proven strategies in hypnotherapy, masculinity and trapped emotions, and more!
We thought we were done!
As Ashlee and I were wrapping up the first hour (planned), Sandra began to provide new perspectives including the struggles returning citizens face adjusting to life after prison, childhood molestation, children in the foster care system, and more! The unplanned second hour became an hour of release, hope, and encouragement! Check it our for yourself.
Do you prefer reading about mental health?
I have great news for you if you prefer reading about mental health: I offer two FREE downloadable journals at https://parent-child-connect.com/free-resources! Also, I have discussed this topic several times on my blog. Here are a couple of examples for you to get you started: Command your thoughts: Three actionable steps to remove toxic thoughts! and How to shift your perspective and live a better life TODAY!
Thanks for you continued support and encouragement! Please like, comment, and share this post.
Olaolu Ogunyemi and Jesse Iwuji join Chip Baker on The Success Chronicles!
Happy hump day! I am humbled and excited to join Jesse Iwuji on Chip Baker’s The Success Chronicles! Click here for the full discussion on Spotify.
During this short session, we discussed mindset, vision, collaboration, faith, and more! Get out your note-taking gear and be prepared to jot down some helpful nuggets!
Who is Jesse Iwuji?
Jesse needs no introduction, but in case you don’t know, in all things Jesse Iwuji does, there are two constant elements: his devotion to service and his inspirational nature to many. Jesse went from competing at the top level of Division-1A college football to rising the ranks of the military as a Lieutenant Commander, and is now the only current driver in all of NASCAR at the national levels that actively serves his country as a US Military member.
It has been key for Iwuji, who is currently serving in our country’s reserve fighting force, to honor his country while pursuing excellence in the business world as a business owner and on the track as a driver. It should come as no surprise that he has championed companies and charities that give back to our men and women in uniform.
Jesse is also a big supporter of NASCAR diversity, equity, and inclusion. Today he is one of two African Americans competing at NASCARs national level of racing. He was honored by NASCAR for two years in a row – the Diverse Driver of the Year Award. He is well versed both on and off the track!
It is fair to say in many ways Jesse is a first in NASCAR. While clawing toward the top tiers of NASCAR, Jesse Iwuji continues to take us all along for a memorable ride showing those who dare to dream that life truly rewards those who stay strong enough, long enough. Find this bio and more information about Jesse on his website: https://www.jesseiwuji.com/
Who is Olaolu Ogunyemi
A loving husband, father, teen mentor, and U.S. Marine Officer, Olaolu Ogunyemi has a deep passion for working with children fueled by an unending supply of energy and imagination! Since he was young, Olaolu has been nicknamed the “life of the party” because he pours his exuberant personality into everything he does. As the fifth of six children, he became intimately familiar with the bond forged during quality story time; thus, Olaolu was inspired to start writing children’s stories to help create loving and memorable family moments. He is the author of the Amazon best-selling children’s book, “Crow From the Shadow,” “Horace the Horsefly,” and “Billy Dipper’s Time to Shine.”
Olaolu writes and speaks in a simple, easily understandable language, and an entertaining style that keeps listeners and readers hooked while learning vital lessons about virtues and sparking a continuing conversation.
Olaolu is a frequent traveler and in his free time, he enjoys playing music, exercising, and spending time with his family. Connect with him on his website: https://parent-child-connect.com
Find out more about Chip Baker and The Success Chronicles?
Chip Baker is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and forth-generation educator. He established The Success Chronicles to feature interviews from people of all walks of life for positive inspiration and motivation. Find out more about Chip and the great things he is doing here: https://linktr.ee/ChipBakerTSC