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How to Find Discipline and Develop Your Vision with Funmilola Fagbamila – 023

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In this episode, Funmilola (Lola) Fagbamila discusses our duty to be a positive reflection of our era. Individually, we should all build a greater intellectual and emotional maturity to connect with the world in a new light, showing more emotion and having more compassion for others. Through her work, Lola has learned what it takes to eliminate draining tasks and use energy to manifest your vision. She also reminds us that you don’t have to choose between helping people and being successful, it’s possible to have it all.

Funmilola Fagbamila

Funmilola is a Nigerian American scholar, activist, playwright and artist. She is the Arts and Culture director for the BLM Los Angeles chapter and a professor of Pan African Studies at California State University. She is an original member of the Black Lives Matter Movement. She frequently speaks on the topics such as critical race theory, criminal justice, health and wellness, black arts and intersectional pan-africanism. Her latest project, “The Intersection”, is a stage play on the complexities of black political identity.

Valentine Ewudo and Funmilola Fagbamila

Key Topics

Connection and Judgement

  • Lola works for humans to be able to engage each other with greater compassion and with greater intellectual and emotional maturity.
  • We’ve been thought that feels are a sign of weakness, but vulnerability makes you stronger.
  • If you refuse to show how you feel, you’re preventing yourself from experiencing real connection.
  • It’s possible to train our minds to not be so judgemental of ourselves.
  • People don’t need to be so hypercritical of themselves and should understand that no one can compare to who you are.

The Intersection

  • Lola started conceptualizing the idea for the play 3 years ago.
  • When she wrote the first draft, she thought that people would be angry – but people saw themselves in the characters and became invested in the project.
  • Angela Davis and Erykah Badu saw the performance and invested in the vision!
  • When Lola connected with the Pan African Film Festival, they were fully onboard with bringing this piece on as their featured theatrical production for their film festival!

Finding Discipline

  • In order to make the play come to life, Lola had to prioritize what was important and had to say no, a lot.
  • It’s easy to focus on too many ideas at once – when you split your energy and focus, you aren’t doing your best work.
  • Work on one thing at a time and master it to the point where it becomes second nature, then move on to the next idea.
  • Anxiety or nervousness isn’t a sign to stop, feel it and continue on.
  • The magic happens when we focus completely!

Developing Your Vision

  • In her early twenties, Lola spent time reflecting on who she is, what she wants, and how she wants to contribute to the world.
  • To better understand yourself, spend time researching and reading, it will help you to understand yourself and your own mind better.
  • Not knowing who you are is draining. When Lola spent time figuring out who she was, she was able to develop her visions rather than focusing on insecurities.
  • By exposing herself to new ideas, she became aware of what was going on inside of herself.

F Fagbamila

Key Quotes

Comparison is an act of violence against the self. (quote from Iyanla Vanzant) ([12:55])

It’s good to be poppin. It’s better to help people. ([34:06])

If you want to reach your destination, stop changing your direction. ([28:11])

Yes we are limitless as human beings in many ways, of course, but in terms of the amount of daily energy we have to exert, it’s finite. It’s going to run out at some point. So be careful about what you use it on. ([31:42])

Insecurity is time consuming. ([37:51])

Educate yourself about everything possible. Be inquisitive and question everything. ([45:30])

Funmilola F

Connect With Lola On

Instagram | Website


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