Your State of Mind is Your Most Prized Possession

Michelle Okafor
4 min readFeb 10, 2018


“How slight a thing will disturb the equanimity of our frail minds!”
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

When I talk to people around me, especially the girls, I find we do so many things for others — our spouse, the children, at work, the church, that we have very little time for ourselves.

When you are tired, irritated and grumpy it feels like nothing is going right. The atmosphere in the house is icy and everyone else is too scared to say something in case they say the wrong thing.
We are in a reactive state and chasing the clock, but never quite catch up.

Even as you lay in bed, you worry about the stains on the carpet, the sink overflowing with dirty dishes and wonder whether anyone remembered to feed the dog.

The alarm clock goes off too soon and you start right where you left off, without so much as a moment’s rest (or so it feels). It never stops.

Here are a few ways we can take control of our day and retain some sanity.

1. Lay out tomorrow’s clothes the night before, for everyone.

Take out your clothes and the children’s clothes. If you still need to dress a 40-year-old, take out his clothes too. It will save so much time in the morning. The same goes for sport and extra-curricular activities.

2. Prep meals for the week on a Sunday.

This is a life-saver especially when you are rushing home every night after yet another meeting that dragged on and on.

3. Do your grocery shopping over the weekend.

You will find that all you want to get is bread and milk, but you walk out with 2 shopping bags filled to the brim. When we are in a hurry, and a little irritated, we tend to do a lot of impulse buying. These are often things that you don’t need and you also tend to spend more money.

Before you go to the shop, make a grocery list. When it isn’t on the list, don’t buy it. You will find how easily you can do without it.

Now it’s time to do a few things for yourself

4. Exercise

I find that I actually cannot function optimally if I didn’t go to the gym that morning. It is the best therapy. Start moving, even if it is just walking the dog. Exercise is still the most worthy investment you can make in your life. Your future self will thank you for it.

5. Take yourself out for coffee

Don’t wait for an invitation. Go to your favorite Bistro, book or laptop in hand to do some reading, writing or just enjoy the scenery. Gone are the days when you felt out of place for having lunch or coffee by yourself.

6. Guard your time and senses

If you are not careful you will get hooked on other people’s problems. At work, there are a few energy-sapping co-workers who eat into your productivity, your energy and time. You know who they are. I work a mile around them.

Other times, it helps to just be upfront and tell them that you have a deadline or are working on a piece that requires all your focus. Less harm is done this way, than you suffering through 5, 10 or 30 minutes of unwanted sob stories.

7. Speak up

I am struggling with this one. I think because we as women take on the role as nurturers, caregivers, and raise children one is sometimes afraid to speak up, so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. The bottled up emotions become like lava in a volcano and you are ready to explode at the next turn.

Take your time, formulate your thoughts and calmly address the issue with the person in question. Most people can’t read minds. Surprisingly they tend to be receptive and you will find that no harm was meant in the first place.

8. Say Thank You

Showing gratitude and appreciation will benefit both the giver and the receiver. If you are the one uttering those words, you will make someone’s day and your own will be made.

I like giving hugs and I must say, not a day went by that I didn’t feel better after having dished them out.

If you can reframe your mind to be open and expectant and see the good in every situation, you can literally be anywhere in the world and feel whole, happy and fulfilled.

In this state, you will find that you require less. You will see abundance all around you and learn to appreciate what you have. There are so many less fortunate who don’t go around moaning and groaning. Instead, they are happy and content with the little they have.

We have so much more. Start to take back ownership of your life. Make a conscious decision to live expectantly and abundance will follow. It was there all along, you are just looking with new eyes.

I overheard an older lady telling a child. The child had a sore and infected eye. My child, have you seen that in Spar, Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths (supermarkets) they don’t sell eyes. You only get one pair and you have to look after them.

In the same way, look after what goes into your soul through your eyes and senses. You can’t not see or not hear, but you can decide about what goes in and what will bear fruit in the form of flowers or weeds. Be your own best gatekeeper.

Life is too short to spend another day in darkness. Be the light.



Michelle Okafor

Writer of short, inspirational pieces. Make the most of your time here, for we pass this way only once. See the good in yourself and others.