Lanre Dahunsi


“It may have short ears and it may have long ears; it may have a lot of hair and it may have no hair at all; it may be brown or it may be gray; but if it’s big and has tusks and a trunk, it’s always an elephant.”

We all deal with manipulative, narcissistic, and people with personality disorders on a daily basis at work, marriage, family, and life in general. According to Dr. George K. Simon: “Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it.  Often those they abuse are only vaguely aware of what is happening to them.”

When you’re being manipulated, chances are someone is fighting with you for position, advantage, or gain, but in a way that’s difficult to readily see.

Although the extreme wolves in sheep’s clothing that make headlines grab our attention and pique our curiosity about what makes such people “tick,” most of the covertly aggressive people we are likely to encounter are not these larger-than-life characters. Rather, they are the subtly underhanded, backstabbing, deceptive, and conniving individuals we may work with, associate with, or possibly even live with. And they can make life miserable. They cause us grief because we find it so hard to truly understand them and even harder to deal with them effectively.

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” -Steve Uzze

Multitasking is our tendency to split our attention on more than one task or activity at the same time. It is a concept emanating from the computing world -the execution by a computer of more than one program or task simultaneously. Multitasking is a great lie we all tell ourselves, we feel we can juggle 5 things at the same time, hence we open 50 browser tabs, listen to music while surfing the internet, at the same time vacuuming, etc but the challenge is that we do not get much done because of this divided attention. Our brain is not wired to do multiple things at the same time.

It is only possible to do two things at a time if they require different cognitive capacities like reading a book & listening to music, driving, and talking on the phone (handsfree). We live in a society where multitasking is seen as a superpower – you see it in job descriptions, productivity experts encourage it, social media enables it and we groom our kids to be natural multitaskers. While multitasking, it seems like we are getting a lot done but in reality, it leads to reduced productivity and ultimately anxiety.

Title: Deduct Everything!: Save Money with Hundreds of Legal Tax Breaks, Credits, Write-Offs, and Loopholes
Author: Eva Rosenberg.

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, known as the Internet’s TaxMama®, publishes the popular website, cited by Consumer Reports magazine as a top tax advice site, and a LIFE Magazine Editor’s Pick. In Deduct Everything, Eva shares tips, tools, and strategies for saving money through legal tax breaks, credits, write-offs, and loopholes.

After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen before – households surviving on virtually no cash income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $ 2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to one and a half million households, including about three million children.

The authors argue that in-kind benefits like SNAP (food stamps) are important—even vital. Yet in 21st Century America, they are not enough—cash is critical. The book is about what happens when a government safety net that is built on the assumption of full-time, stable employment at a living wage combines with a low-wage labor market that fails to deliver on any of the above. It is this toxic alchemy, the authors argue, that is spurring the increasing numbers of $2-a-day poor in America.

A hidden but growing landscape of survival strategies among those who experience this level of destitution has been the result. At the community level, these strategies can pull families into a web of exploitation and illegality that turns conventional morality upside down.

“Stopping the war of perfection that’s happening in your head is just the first step. Once you’ve quit trying to be who you’re not, you can make an assessment of the things you’re doing with your life.”

Journalist and novelist Will Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the “selfie” generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now. Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately―because it’s us.

Growing up most of us get asked a well-intentioned but somewhat silly question by adults: What do you want to be when you grow up? Really! How is a 10-year old supposed to really know what they want to become at that stage of their life unless they are a genius? The Irony of that question is that most adults are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their adult life but they expect a 10-year-old to answer the question.

 Young children answer the question with much self-assuredness and confidence, believing that anything is possible. They come up with answers such as I want to become an astronaut, engineer, medical doctor, lawyer, footballer, or basketballer. They answer the question based on their mental conditioning, media programming, societal indoctrination, religious dogma, and most importantly they aspire to be like their parents, caregivers, teachers, and their environmental definition of success, prestige, and honor.

 From a very early age, we aspire to become what our parents expect us to be. Sometimes our parents live their lives through us, they want us to do well and conform to the dictates of the herd, the group, and the society. The challenge most of the time is that we live the role self instead of following our bliss to find our true north or true self. The result is a life lived in apprehension, anxiety, fear, obligation, shoulds, musts, guilt, shame, and conformity. Based on our answer to the “What do you want to become when you grow up question? We try very hard in adolescence to be consistent with that answer, even when the reality is now different. We continue to want to become a lawyer even though, we are a not passionate about the profession.

At every stage of our lives we make decisions that will profoundly influence the lives of the people we’re going to become, and then when we become those people, we’re not always thrilled with the decisions we made

So young people pay good money to get tattoos removed that teenagers paid good money to get. Middle-aged people rushed to divorce people who young adults rushed to marry. Older adults work hard to lose what middle-aged adults worked hard to gain. On and on and on.

The question is, as a psychologist, that fascinates me is, why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?” –Daniel Gilbert, Harvard Psychologist

  We get sucked into the societal lies that we are here to just pay bills, drop two or 3 kids, pay a mortgage for 25 years, save for your retirement till 65, by which time you would be dealing with health-related issues. We slave our youth in the rat race of life, busy paying bills, working in jobs that are not fulfilling for us and we settle for less than we can become. We continuously put on the mask, play the role expected by our family, society, religion, and the world at large. We are afraid of becoming the black sheep, scapegoat hence we lack the courage to live life on our own terms. We settle and do not follow or explore our passions and inclination to become great.

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin.

In our bid to live up to the expectations and obligations of the world around us. We use the mask as a coping mechanism: we pretend, lie, mask, create a persona, project, gaslight, fake it, and we do not show our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. We want to fit in with the crowd, the peer and societal pressure are very strong, hence we conform and settle for less than we can become. We project an aura of perfectionism based on the fear of failure in the world.

“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

There is a great story about the howling dog:

There is a story of an old man and his dog sitting on the porch. It’s hot outside. The old man is sipping on his lemonade, and the dog is sitting next to him, howling in pain.

The neighbor across the street hears the dog howling for several minutes, and his curiosity gets the best of him, so he approaches the old man.

He asks the old man, “Why is your dog howling in pain?”

The old man responds by saying: The dog is sitting on a nail.”

Perplexed, the neighbor asks, “Why doesn’t he get away from the nail?”

The old man takes another sip of lemonade before replying and says – That is because he doesn’t find it painful enough yet.”

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. – Maya Angelou

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else is a book by Journalist and Canadian Politician Chrystia Freeland. The book’s theme is economic inequality, lives of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and the rise of the global super-rich.

“This book is about both economics and politics. Political decisions helped create the super-elite in the first place, and as the economic might of the super-elite class grows, so does its political muscle. The feedback loop between money, politics, and ideas is both cause and consequence of the rise of the super-elite. But economic forces matter, too. Globalization and the technology revolution—and the worldwide economic growth they are creating—are fundamental drivers of the rise of the plutocrats. Even rent-seeking plutocrats—those who owe their fortunes chiefly to favorable government decisions—have also been enriched partly by this growing global economic pie.”

Self-esteem is the disposition to experience oneself as competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and as worthy of happiness.”

In the six pillars of self-esteem, Canadian–American psychotherapist and writer Nathaniel Branden introduces the six pillars-six action-based practices for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem-and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large. 

“The greater the number of choices and decisions we need to make at a conscious level, the more urgent our need for self-esteem.”

A caste system endures because it is often justified as divine will, originating from sacred text or the presumed laws of nature, reinforced throughout the culture and passed down through the generations.

In Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, American journalist Isabel Wilkerson, describes racism in the United States as an aspect of a caste system – a society-wide system of social stratification characterized by hierarchy, inclusion and exclusion, and purity. Wilkerson delves into the origins and evolution of classifying and elevating one group of people over another and the consequences of doing so to the presumed beneficiaries and to those targeted as beneath them.

She compares the experience of African-Americans and other people of color in the United States to the caste system in India and the experience of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Wilkerson explores man’s inhumanity to fellow humans based on religious dogma, eugenics, Endogamy, politics, unconscious bias, etc. She defines eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations including divine will, heredity, and dehumanization.

Everything that happened to the Jews of Europe, to African-Americans during the lynching terrors of Jim Crow, to Native Americans as their land was plundered and their numbers decimated, to Dalits considered so low that their very shadow polluted those deemed above them—happened because a big enough majority had been persuaded and had been open to being persuaded, centuries ago or in the recent past, that these groups were ordained by God as beneath them, subhuman, deserving of their fate.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

 In his thought-provoking and inspiring commencement speech to the 2005 graduating class at Stanford University, Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs said:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Jobs was right; almost everything falls apart in the face of death. He probably had this conviction based on his scare with pancreatic cancer that eventually took his life. We are all going to DIE at some point in our brief stay here on earth. It could happen any time; the challenge is we do not know when; hence we waste our time believing we still have lots of it, we procrastinate, we fail to prioritize, we major in minor things, and at the end of our life we are filled with regrets, should have and could have.

Title: 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities


Bill Eddy is a psychotherapist, lawyer, mediator, and the co-founder and president of High Conflict Institute (HCI) in San Diego. Bill has been studying high-conflict personalities from many perspectives for the past thirty years.

The Theme

Learning to recognize warning signs that most people ignore or don’t see—and then overriding your natural responses with actions based on your newfound wisdom about High-Conflict Personality (HCPs).

Never tell someone they are a high-conflict person, or that they have a personality disorder, no matter how obvious this may seem. They will see this as a life-threatening attack—and a valid reason to make you their central Target of Blame, perhaps for years to come. From their viewpoint, it will be as if you’d said, “Please do everything you can to ruin my life.

“For the same reason, never use your belief that someone is an HCP as a weapon against them.”