INSPIRATIONAL

  • The Big Suit Sale - Kwame Koranteng

    THE BIG SUIT SALE

    Kwame Koranteng is a renowned multiple award winning bespoke Tailor, stylist and fashion consultant based in London.  After working for George bespoke Tailors as the head designer, Kwame joined KGTKKT couture in 2011, which is now called Kwame Koranteng Bespoke Tailoring as the head designer and stylist. 

    Kwame’s style is to blend his personal flair with the typical formal wear to create individual and unique statement pieces with attention to details and the use of bold colours. Kwame Koranteng also creates handmade gentlemen’s formal wear accessories on request. 

     

    When it comes to fashion and style, Kwame treats each situation differently with a lot of attention to details, personalization and understanding of forms.   Fashion is not about knowing how to put the colours or garments together; it is about understanding the language of the garments, the rhythm of the material while putting it together. It is about knowing where the next piece goes, or understanding the body that will wear the outfit without seeing the body first. That’s how I describe fashion in my own world,” he comments. 

    He adds: “Anybody can be a fashion designer, or a stylist, but to my own understanding it’s totally different. I am passionate when it comes to my work. I know I was born to compliment the body’s royalty. I love what I do, because I was born to bring out the best bold looks in individuals. As I always say, ” wear what speaks for you “. Let your clothes make the statement for you. And believing in yourself is a key to open dream doors. What makes me different is that I’m royal when it comes to my work. Always remember, there is power in a suit, don’t just wear a suit, wear one that speaks for you ”Kwame has won the Prestigious BEFFTA awards for three consecutive years 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also won a special honours award at the Diamond Special Recognition Awards 2014 for his outstanding work in tailoring, and Best Male Fashion Designer at the International Achievement Recognition Awards 2014.In 2015 Kwame was awarded by the Ghanaian community in the UK for his contribution to the fashion industry in the U.K.  Best male fashion designer 2015 at the C A awards and best fashion designer at the Divas of colour awards 2016. 

    Other awards include Best Male fashion designer at the international achievers award 2016 and Best male fashion designer at the MBE awards 2016. Kwame also won fashion industry personally of the year 2016 at the BEFFTA awards. Fashion industry Personality of the year award 2017 at the BEFFTA awards, Pride of Africa award 2018 Barcelona Fashion.Kwame has showcased on international platforms which include Africa fashion week Barcelona, Africa fashion week Amsterdam, Africa fashion week Istanbul, Diaspora showcase Arizona The Royal fashion day London just to mention a few. 

     

    Website: www.kwamekoranteng.com

    Email: kwame@kwamekoranteng.com

    Twitter: kwame_koranteng

    Facebook: Kwame Koranteng Bespoke. 

    Instagram : kwame_koranteng.

     

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  • Excuses the Mind Will Tell You Before You Take the Next Step

    STARTING NOW: NO shortcuts. NO quick fixes. NO blaming others. NO “I’ll do it tomorrows.” NO MORE EXCUSES!

    The mind is a wonderful thing. It’s also an excuse-making machine that frequently tries to convince us not to take actions we know are good for us. And this prevents many positive changes from taking place in our lives.

    I’ve had to learn to watch these excuses very carefully in order to make the positive changes I’ve made in my life: a healthier diet, regular exercise, meditation, more sleep, daily writing, better planning, less procrastination, more focus, etc.

    If I hadn’t learned about these excuses, and how to suppress them, I would never have succeeded in making these positive changes. In fact, until I knew better, I had failed countless times when I was young because my mind’s deceptive tendencies used to get the best of me.

    So why does the mind mess with us and make irrational excuses?

    Because the mind wants comfort, that’s why. It’s afraid of discomfort, pressure and change. The mind is absorbed in its comfort zone, and anytime we try to stretch that zone too far, for too long, the mind tries desperately to get back to ground zero at any cost.......including sacrificing our long-term health, happiness and success.

    So let’s expose 10 of the cowardly mind’s most damaging excuses once and for all…

    Excuse #1: I can’t do it.

    It seems too difficult at first, so you think you can’t stick to the positive change you’re making. You don’t believe in yourself enough to take another step. This is a common excuse that can be countered by looking at the fact that other people no more capable than you have done it.

    For example, my 60-year-old next-door neighbor ran a marathon a little before I started training for my first 5k ran, and so I told myself, “If she can do it, so can I!” And I was right. Truth be told, the only person who can tell you “I can’t” is you. If you hear those words echoing in the back of your mind, tune them out. Realize that your doubts and your faith have something in common—they both ask you to believe in something you can’t see. You simply have to decide which one you want to believe.

    Excuse #2: They can do it, but that doesn’t apply to me because they have it better than me.

    Just because someone else can, doesn’t mean you can, right? You look for reasons they can do it but you can’t—maybe he’s an internet entrepreneur or freelance writer because he has no kids. Maybe she’s way fitter than I am, so she can run a marathon. Maybe she doesn’t have all the work and family obligations I have, or has a supportive spouse, or doesn’t have bad knees. OK, fine, it’s easy to find excuses: but look at all the other people who also have considerable obstacles and have done it anyway.

    Roucheon and I have a family, and have dealt with significant loss in our lives, and still managed to succeed on many fronts. And just as we’ve turned things around for ourselves, we know hundreds of other people who’ve done the same.  Your obstacles can be overcome.

    Excuse #3: I’m stuck because I don’t have enough time to make changes.

    Have you ever met a happy, successful person who regularly avoids responsibility, blames and points fingers and makes excuses for their unsatisfying life? Me either. The truth is, you write your own destiny through the choices you make every day. You become what you repeatedly do. It is more important to know where you are going and why, than to get there quickly. In fact, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.

    Most of us spend too much time on urgent things and not enough time on important things. So do yourself a favor and implement these three action steps every time you’re building or sorting your to do list:

    1. Think about the difference between what is urgent and what is important.
    2. Review all the obligations on your list.
    3. Do what’s important first.

    Excuse #4: It’ll be too hard because I can’t get by without _____.

    Fill in the blank: I need my wine, my phone, my sweets, my TV shows, my ten hours of sleep, my big house, my fancy wardrobe, etc. These are luxuries we convince ourselves we can’t live without, so we can justify not making positive changes like eating healthier or exercising daily or saving money or simplifying our lives or building a profitable side hustle. And like I said, I’m not immune either—in the past I’ve made these excuses myself, but they all turned out to be lies. I didn’t need any of these things in my life, and believing that I did was only getting in the way of the positive changes I was capable of creating for myself.

    Excuse #5: Life is meant to be easier and enjoyed more.

    Sure, I agree that life should be enjoyed (as most people would) but the problem is that the idea that life should ALWAYS be easy and enjoyable is used to justify all kinds of lazy behavior. Might as well sit on the couch and scarf down those cookies, because hey, life is meant to be enjoyed, right? Nope. You can do without junk food and still enjoy life. You can exercise and enjoy it. You can give up a lot of comfort in your life and not lose a thing. In fact, the path of least resistance is often the path of least reward.

    You need to do hard things. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business. There is no substitute for doing the work. So meditate on this every day: “I will do the work. It won’t be easy. It will be worth it!”

    Excuse #6: I deserve a reward (or a break).

    We all deserve a tasty treat, or a day off. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give yourself a reward or break when one is deserved. But if you make this rationalization a primary rule for living, you’ll always be on a break. You’ll always be giving yourself rewards, and never adhering to the original plan. Here’s what I do instead: I see sticking to my plan as the reward itself. I see reaching my goals as a gift I give myself. Going on a run isn’t the thing I have to get through to get a reward—the run is the reward.

    Excuse #7: I can do it later.

    Sure, you can always do it later… but your later self will feel the same exact way. Think about it: Why should your later self be more disciplined than your present self? There’s no reason. In fact, because you’re allowing yourself to slack off now, you’re building a habit of procrastination and actually making it less likely that your later self will be more disciplined.

    So today, stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen. Stop talking about what you have done or what you are going to do. Just do it and let your actions speak for themselves. Most great things in life don’t happen by chance, they happen by choice. You never know what’s possible until you risk finding out. In the long run, there is only one thing that makes your dreams and goals completely impossible to achieve: Your lack of action today.

    Excuse #8: One time won’t hurt.

    This lie is so tempting, because it’s somewhat true: one time won’t hurt. Assuming, of course, that it really is only one time. One scoop of ice cream, one missed workout, one time procrastinating instead of working, etc. Unfortunately, it’s never just one time. One time means your brain now knows it can get away with this excuse next time too, and the next “one time” leads to another, until you’ve completely fallen off the wagon.

    Make a pact with yourself: never believe the “one time” lie. If you’re going to allow yourself a scoop of ice cream, decide this beforehand and build it into your plan—“I will allow myself a single serving of sweets once every weekend” and stick to your plan, rather than deciding on the fly when your conscience is weak.

    Excuse #9: I’ve already failed too much.

    You’re only human. If you break down, it’s fine. Just don’t stay down. Rest, and then pick yourself up so you can go to where you’d rather be. Mistakes make us wiser. Failures help us grow. Hope keeps us going. And love is the reason we’re alive. Keep learning, loving and living.

    As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It is courage to continue that counts.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Persistence is the mother of all productive effort. Failures, small and large, happen every day to the best of us. The strongest, most productive people aren’t the people who always succeed, but the ones who don’t give up when they lose.

    In the heat of the moment when you feel like quitting, think about how far you have come and why you started in the first place. Oftentimes you’re a lot closer to making a breakthrough than you think. Some people give up their efforts when they have almost reached their goal, while others conquer their goals by exerting, up until the very last possible second, more vigorous efforts than ever before.

    Bottom line: Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. Make some necessary adjustments, and KEEP GOING!

    Excuse #10: It’s too late now.

    Change is constant, but growth is optional. Remain stuck or learn and grow. Where you end up is dependent on your daily attitude and response. And it’s never too late to change your attitude about something you can’t change. Just decide to make the best of it. No excuses. No regrets.

    Honestly, nothing is too late until your tired heart stops beating. If you’re reading this right now, congratulations, you are alive, which means it’s not too late for you. Things can change if you want them to at any age. Right now you can choose differently and make something new happen. Your future is immediate. Grab on to it with both hands and keep on moving on. When you come up on a roadblock and are faced with the choice of sitting down and doing nothing or doing something to make further progress, choose the latter.

    Think, work, and climb if you have to.

    Move your life forward.

    Today!

     

    Your turn…

    What kinds of excuses sometimes echo in the back of your mind? What’s one such excuse that has held you back?

    Please share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below. To do so you need to sign up

     

     

     

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  • A List To Live By

    A List To Live By

    Okay, this list isn’ perfect.  Some of these bullet points may be a little cheesy, and there are a few too many “God” comments.  However, you caught me a little drunk on a friday night, because right now I think this is a fairly decent list to live by.

    1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
    2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
    3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
    4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
    5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
    6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
    7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
    8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He or she can take it and i have no problem with the she.
    9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay.
    10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
    11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
    12. Its OK to let your children see you cry.
    13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    14 If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
    15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
    16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
    17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
    18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
    19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
    20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
    21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
    22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
    23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
    24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
    25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
    26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years will it matter?”
    27. Always choose life.
    28. Forgive everyone for everything.
    29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
    31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
    32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family will. 
    33. Believe in miracles.
    34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
    35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
    36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
    37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
    38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
    39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
    40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
    41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
    42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
    43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
    44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
    45. The best is yet to come.
    46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
    48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
    49. Yield.
    50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

     

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  • We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

    When life has to be a certain way in order to be good enough for us, we close ourselves off from so many of the real and present opportunities available.

    On the contrary, when we let go of the way it “should be,” we free our minds to deal with life’s unexpected changes, challenges and chaos in the most effective way possible…

    We create space for acceptance, learning and growth.

    We learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

    We see the world through an unbiased set of eyes.

    And gradually, we allow ourselves to step forward with more peace of mind.

    With that said, I don’t always let go when I need to. I don’t always have a clear and focused mind. Because I’m only human, and human beings have the tendency to hold on too tight. Sometimes life slaps us really hard and we attach ourselves to the pain, even when we know better.

    When I’m holding on too tight, I can really feel it in my gut. I feel anxious, frustrated, irritated, and upset. There’s an aching for things to be different than they are ...... a feeling of rejection or betrayal or hopelessness.

    I’m sure you can relate. We’re all struggling through this one together, in our own unique way right now. And the vast majority of our torment is the result of being caught up in whatever story we’re telling ourselves about how life “should” be.

    So for starters, here’s what I try to keep in mind…

    Quotes and Reminders to Let Go of “How Life Should Be”

    1. We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our attention and gratitude. How often do you pause to appreciate your life just the way it is? Look around right now, and be thankful… for your health, your family, your comforts, your home. Nothing lasts forever.
    2. Some of the most powerful moments in life happen when you find the courage to let go of what can’t be changed. Because when you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself ......... to grow beyond the unchangeable. And that changes everything.
    3. Letting go isn’t forgetting, it’s remembering without fear. It’s stepping forward with a present mind and a lesson learned. So just remind yourself right now: you are not your bad days, you are not your mistakes, you are not your scars, and you are not your past. Be here now. Be free.
    4. Forgive yourself for the bad decisions you’ve made, for the times you lacked understanding, for the choices that hurt others and yourself. Forgive yourself, for being young and reckless. These are all vital lessons. And what matters most right now is your willingness to grow from them.
    5. Be selective with your energy today. If you can fix a problem, fix it. If you can’t, then accept it and change your thoughts about it. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to invest more energy than you have, tripping over something behind you or something that only exists inside your head.
    6. Life is change. You must accept the fact that things may never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending is really a new beginning.
    7. Even though you cannot control everything that happens, you can control your attitude about what happens. And in doing so, you will gradually master change rather than allowing it to gradually master you.
    8. Every difficult life situation can be an excuse for hopelessness or an opportunity for growth, depending on what you choose to do with it.
    9. In the midst of particularly hard days when I feel that I can’t endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far. (The same is true for you, too.)
    10. Too often we waste our time waiting for a path to appear, but it never does. Because we forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting. And we forget that there’s absolutely nothing about our present circumstances that prevents us from making progress again, one tiny step at a time.

    First Steps for Coping with Unfavorable Outcomes

    Reflecting on the reminders above can be incredibly grounding when life doesn’t go as planned. But what can you do if the immediate tension inside you is spiraling out of control?

    • Acknowledge the tension inside you. – If you notice yourself getting angry, it’s a sign that you need to pause, take a deep breath, and practice the remaining steps.
    • Resist the urge to act in haste. – The greatest harm comes whenever you act out of anger ....... actions that might include giving up too soon, consuming unhealthy substances, or even attacking someone else. So whenever you notice anger building up inside you, try not to take any form of destructive action. Instead, turn inward and mindfully assess whatever it is that’s arising.
    • Sit with your feelings, and give them space. – Turn directly towards the tension you feel, and just be a witness. See it as something that’s passing through you, but is NOT YOU. It’s a feeling, a dark cloud passing across a vast sky, not a permanent fixture. Treat it that way. Instead of obsessing yourself with the dark cloud’s presence, try to broaden your perspective — give it the space it needs to pass. Sometimes you need a little distance to see things clearly again.
    • Be OK with not knowing. – Now that you’ve given yourself some necessary space, tell yourself, “I don’t know why things are this way.” And be OK with this unknowing. Give yourself full permission to not have concrete answers in this moment. What would it be like to allow this moment to unfold without knowing? What is it like to not know what’s going on in the hearts and minds of others? What is it like to not know how to respond to life’s chaos? What is it like to be here right now, without jumping to conclusions?

    The bottom line is that when life dishes you a harsh dose of reality, the best first steps involve sitting silently and witnessing the thoughts passing through you. Just witnessing at first, not interfering and not even judging, because by judging too rapidly you have lost the pure witness. The moment you rush to say, “this is absolutely terrible” or “things should be different,” you have already jumped head first into the chaotic tension.

     

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  • Things We Celebrate Subconsciously

    Things We All Celebrate Subconsciously

    There are certain intricacies in life that we all repeatedly and unintentionally celebrate on a regular basis. These celebrated incidents are composed of the smaller things in life, those seemingly inconsequential events that instantly place us in a better mood. If you think about it hard enough, I’ll bet that you have taken part in each one of the following acts of subconscious celebration:

    • Making the Yellow Light – It’s one of those simple pleasures, the act of beating the pack. As you blaze through the yellow light you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. You made it! Hoorah… You will now arrive at your destination 1 minute sooner! For some reason it just makes you glow inside. Life seems great in that moment of celebration.
    • Lunch Time – “Yes… its Lunch time!” It happens every weekday at the same time with the same crowd. You know exactly what to expect and yet you celebrate its arrival with eager enthusiasm. That jerk rice from sainsbury's  tastes better at noon on an idle Tuesday than it would in any other setting, under any other circumstances.  Some people will not get the joke. 
    • Friday Afternoon – Okay, so you probably consider this to be a bit more of a full blown conscious celebration, but it actually does creep up slowly in the subconscious. It starts on Friday afternoon around lunch time. Productivity gradually slows down over the course of a couple hours, and then by 3PM it hits a brick wall. Pretty soon you’re happily chatting away with colleagues that you deliberately avoided all week long. But that’s okay, because you can almost taste the 48 hours of freedom that lay ahead.
    • The First Sip – …of a beer or mixed drink that is! As long as you are not an addict, there is nothing wrong with having a couple alcoholic beverages in your off-time. And when the events leading up to this breath of freedom are hectic, that first sip is the one!
    • Music – There is no better feeling than hearing the right song at the right time. It doesn’t matter what the setting is, hearing the right song in that moment is one of those simple pleasures in life that instantly lifts your spirits. You could be driving home from work, hanging out at a bar with friends, or jogging. When the right song for that moment rattles your ear drums the entire meaning of life momentarily makes complete sense.
    • Post-Workout – Regardless of your fitness level or fitness goals, I have no doubt that you subconsciously celebrate the completion of a solid workout. It’s an amazing feeling of self accomplishment; the one true activity (without taking hallucinogens) that actually makes you feel better and look better simultaneously. When you walk out the front door of the gym you are on top of the world.
    • Getting Things Done – Getting a task completed, no matter how big or small, is a conscious endeavor that usually brings you closer to some outstanding objective. However, this endeavor comes with a huge bonus! The bonus comes in the form of a warm subconscious feeling of accomplishment. Getting something done is like hitting 2 birds with one stone… the most important usually being the feeling of self accomplishment.
    • Sleeping In – Whether you can admit it or not, sleeping in is a celebration of vast proportions. People usually feel guilty for sleeping in because they think they should be out conquering some vital chore. But, you know what? Sometimes it just makes sense to stop and relax. And there is no better feeling of relaxation than sleeping until your eyes just pop open on their own.
    • Friendship – Friendship is something we persistently celebrate, yet somehow fail to consciously appreciate. How does this make sense? Quite simply, we are always in a rush to socialize, and we celebrate the act of doing so, yet we are not necessarily conscious of its fundamental importance. Friendship is always celebrated; consciously when we are aware of its importance, and subconsciously when we are not.
    • Telling a Story – One of the most exciting gifts in life is that of a new experience. One of the most enticing roles we all lead in life is that of the storyteller. What good is a new experience if we cannot share the story with others? We are consciously aware of our new experiences, but that’s only half of the thrill. Subconsciously, we can’t wait to tell everyone we know.

     

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