Shake Off Your Problems

I remember a song we sang as children in Sunday School. It goes thus: ‘Shake, shake, shake into the fire, the light of God is burning in me, I shall know the truth and it shall set me free,

I’m gonna shake off the beast and I will feel alright’. Shake it off….


Problems, challenges, difficulties, and set-backs all come in different forms and sizes. But our response to them determines the outcome we receive. Someone may see a glass of water as half full while someone else sees it as half empty. Our perspective will determine if we’ll view a challenge as a blessing in disguise or a disappointment in tragedy. Our world view determines if we will come out of challenges better or bitter people.


Betrayals, abuse, cruelty, disappointment etc. may have been doled out to us in different proportions by those we trusted. You may have been let down by people you least expected to do such to you, nevertheless, you must put yourself together and move on. The truth is the more you wallow in the pain, the bitter you become, and the unhealthier you eventually become, emotionally and physically. You should go an extra length by forgiving those who hurt you because if you don’t you’ll be indirectly imprisoning yourself. A wise man once said, ‘forgiveness is setting a prisoner free and to realize that the prisoner is you’.


You must come to the point where you accept that nothing happens to you by chance. If something happens, it means God allowed it, and it will work out ultimately for your good. Never give up on yourself. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve failed, you must doggedly go after your goals. Regardless of the odds stacked against you, you must brace up and keep trying till you become the person of your dreams. An English man says ‘if you try and fail, you try and try again. Never give up, because you never can tell how close you are to your long awaited miracle. Even when people give up on you, never give up on yourself because the best project you’ll ever work on is you. A song writer once said, ‘when you fall several times, you fall several times, you will surely rise again’. You must prepare upfront that you won’t remain on the ground when you fall, rather you will rise again and go after those audacious goals. It is said that ‘winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win, be courageous’. Courage is not the absence of pain or difficulty; rather, it is the ability to bravely face pain or opposition without showing fear.

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I’ll sum this up with an inspiring story of a man and his favourite donkey.


A man’s favourite donkey falls into a deep precipice;
He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries;
He therefore decides to bury it alive.

Soil is poured onto the donkey from above.
The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it;
More soil is poured.

It shakes it off and steps up;
The more the load was poured, the higher it rose;
By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures.

After much shaking off (of problems)
And stepping up (learning from them),
One will graze in GREEN PASTURES.


When life throws lemons at you, make lemonades out of them. Make effort to get better regardless of the situation you find yourself. Take a cue from the donkey and resolve to always find solutions rather than curse the problem while remaining at the same spot.


Oluwakemi Zaccheaus


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