Seun Adebiyi | “Mental Toughness” – How He Built Nigeria’s First National Bone Marrow registry

Just one week after he graduated from Yale Law School, while he was training for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Seun Adebiyi was diagnosed with lymphoma and leukemia. This forced him to put his Olympic dreams on the back burner as he rethought his life plans.

Adebiyi knows all about mental toughness and resilience. After experiencing firsthand the difficulty of finding stem cell donors (the odds of finding a genetically compatible donor is less than 17 percent for those of African descent, compared to 70 percent for Caucasians), Seun took it upon himself to found Nigeria’s first national bone marrow registry–the second ever in Africa.

And Adebiyi did eventually participate in the Olympics, carrying the torch for Nigeria in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Today, Adebiyi is cancer-free, and he made the decision to become an entrepreneur. He’s currently a self-employed, freelance attorney with InCloudCounsel, a legal technology company that automates and enhances high-volume legal processes.

Here, according to Seun Adebiyi, are five ways to develop unbeatable mental toughness.

Seun Adebiyi at 2018 Winter Olympic

1. Never confuse who you are with what you do.

The most common mistake people make is to confuse their self-worth with their accomplishments. Says Adebiyi, “I remember when I first missed the Olympics–fracturing my spine from overtraining just months before the 2000 Games. It was my first major setback as an athlete, and I completely crumbled mentally–all because I had made the mistake of tying my self-worth to my sense of accomplishment.” In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

2. Master your inner dialogue.

What you say to yourself matters more than what the entire world together says about you. When he was fighting leukemia with intensive chemo and full body radiation, Adebiyi refused to wear a hospital gown. Instead, he wore workout sweats and did walking lunges up and down the linoleum hospital floors, pushing his surgically attached IV pole next to him. Says Adebiyi, “Doctors and nurses looked at me like I was crazy, but I never accepted their perspective that I was a ‘cancer patient.’ In my mind, I was an Olympic hopeful who just happened to be overcoming cancer.”

3. Learn to live in the moment.

Let’s face it–sometimes life just kicks you in the teeth. Trying to avoid suffering is like trying to cross the Atlantic in a rowboat without getting wet. When the storms of life start tossing you around like a toy, you need an anchor–something you can cling to when all seems hopeless. According to Adebiyi, “That anchor was my breath. I just focused on surviving from breath to breath, and repeated the following words over and over like a mantra: ‘This too shall pass.'” 

4. Fortify your village, then build a moat.

In many African countries, there’s a popular saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is true in life as well. Learn to pick your associates carefully. Find those handful of people who will support you no matter what, invest your time and energy in strengthening those relationships. As Adebiyi explains, you may also need to distance yourself from the toxic people in your life who tear down your self-confidence. “This might involve some painful conversations, spending less time on social media, and ending a few relationships,” says Adebiyi. “But trust me, it’s virtually impossible to master your inner dialogue and develop inner resilience with someone whispering doubts in your ear.”

5. Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared.

As someone once said, never let a good crisis go to waste. Often, the biggest opportunities for personal and professional growth are found in times of upheaval and uncertainty. The time to “hurricane-proof” your life isn’t when the shingles start to fly off the roof, but when the sky is still blue and sunny. Suggests Adebiyi, “Work on your self-image, inner dialogue, present moment awareness, and key relationships now. It doesn’t take much: You can practice visualization/meditation every day, affirm your key relationships, and minimize negative influences with just a few minutes each day.”

And when life comes knocking, you’ll be ready to rock.  via: Inc.com

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Some more Related News you might be interested in....

Olakunle Churchill Declares Undying Love for Rosy Meurer on her birthday -‘You are an Extension of me’

OlakunleChurchhillandRosyMeurer

Nollywood actress, Rosy Meurer turned a year older today, and entrepreneur Olakunle Churchill took to Instagram to pen a heartfelt message as he celebrated her birthday.  Rosy Meurer Sharing stunning photos of the actress to his Instagram page, the ex-husband of Tonto Dikeh wrote:   @rosymeurer Through your years of growing up, I have observed your inclinations […] Read more

Bishop Frowns at Funke Akindele and siblings for Shunning their Dad’s burial

funkeakindeledadnews

According to the Bishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Ikorodu, Rt. Rev Samson Osundina, he is utter disappointment in Nollywood actress Funke Akindele Bello and her siblings over their absence at their father’s funeral. Funke Akindele and her late Dad It was gathered that their dad, Revd. Godwin Olusoji Akindele, who died on Saturday, […] Read more

Outrage as Oscars Disqualifies Genevieve’s LionHeart For Having Too Much English

GenevieveLionheart

Genevieve’s Lionheart, Nigeria’s submission for the Oscars, has been disqualified by the Oscars Board for having “too much English in it,”. According to The Wrap, Nigeria’s Lionheart has been disqualified from the 92nd Academy Awards race. The film, directed by and starring Genevieve Nnaji, was vying for a spot in the Best International Feature Film […] Read more

G-Worldwide Slams Kizz Daniel with a N500M Lawsuit

Kizz Daniel

Nigerian singer, Kizz Daniel embroiled in a contractual dispute with his then-record label, G Worldwide has taken another ugly turn. The issue was his desire to breach the terms of his contract and exit the label without fulfilling the terms of his contract. As a result of the dispute, an injunction prevented him from performing […] Read more

Davido Splash N36 million On Customized Jewelry for Zlatan

Davido 30BG

Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer, David Adedeji Adeleke aka Davido, splash the sum of $100K (N36million) to purchase customised jewelries for Zlatan Ibile, Skibii and seven other members of his 30BG (30billion gang). The singer rewarded the Nigerian rapper, songwriter and dancer Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael aka Zlatan Ibile, who is also in the United […] Read more

Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 appears On New York Times Square Billboard

TiwaSavage4499

Tiwa Savage‘s new single 44-99 was promoted on the New York Times Square Bill Board. Excited Tiwa could not hold her joy as she shared the news with her 8 million followers. “New York Times Square.We did say WORLDWIDE release 😝#49-99 New Single out now watch the visuals on YouTube .Huge shoutout to @youtubemusic ❤️ […] Read more

// End of script for the slider