Focus on the positives, Develop from the negatives

Hello beautiful souls. I hope you had a good weekend and you are looking forward to a better week.

Last week Friday, I told you ‘Our Stories’ series would start running on Mondays and Fridays. I really hope you have been learning a thing or two from this series, cause I have definitely been learning ALOT!!!

The series continues with one of personal persons starting off today. So I give to you, Smish 🙂


Hello, my name is smish and I’m an artist(e). There’s this funny thing that runs in my mind, and it’s that I’m like vincent van gogh or Pablo picasso, the only difference is that my painting brush is my words and the canvass that I paint on is the human mind

I practice my art in different ways, mostly writing though. Writing articles, quotes, song lyrics, etc.

But what I’m best known for is writing lyrics. Yeah, you can already guess, i’m a rapper – I know you probably already picture me as a wild looking, loud mouthed hipster. If you did, erase that picture please, if you didn’t, start reading from the top again, you apparently weren’t paying attention. :>

Contrary to popular belief, not all of us are like that, my most common form of dressing comprises dress shirts, chino’s or denims with a pair of converse all star (I love my chuck taylors) and the only ‘wild’ thing you’d see on my body is probably my goatee – which apparently has refused to connect to my sideburns. If your core friends are #TeamBeardGang you’d understand how painful this is.

When Mayowa told me that I would be contributing to this series, I was quite surprised and a little skeptical too, mainly because I’m not the type of rapper that you’d refer to as popular. I am not a star-yet. But then, the more I think about it, the more I realise that I actually deserve to do it. I am sure there are thousands, if not tens of thousands in my shoes and if we can’t encourage ourselves, then who will?

Following this line of thought, the first thing that jumped at me, considering my experiences in my music and life walk is what you have as the topic- focus on the positives, develop from the negatives.

A story readily comes to mind. I was in my 100l in the university of Ibadan and I just started performing my songs to people on a large scale. There was this day I was billed to perform to a crowd; looking at the overall environment from the back room, it was quite hostile. When I stepped on stage, the first thing I did was to try to cheer the crowd and reduce the tension, while doing this, some people joined in and before I realised, like half of the audience started paying attention, reacting to the words, the lyrics and swaying to the beat. Then suddenly, I looked to one section of the crowd and I saw about 6 gentlemen, 4 of them in glasses sitting down, looking uninterested and bored. Note that at this juncture, I was already feeling like Kanye Clark kent-west. So naturally, I took it upon myself to get the guys hyped, but all to no avail. I left that part but I was still focused on them, trying to impress them and that ruined the whole performance. Before I knew it, the people that seemed to be enjoying the show lost interest after a while and the performance ended in low spirits.

Why did I tell this story? you might ask. Because it’s what most of us do. As creatives, we ultimately derive satisfaction and joy from the fact that people enjoy and appreciate our art. That is like the Grammy to the soul of every creative person. There was a day someone told me ‘thank you,your music inspires me’ I felt like I could crush the moon that day, trust me, at that time, I didn’t care if I was broke/ successful or not, I just loved the positive feedback for my work.

But the moment we hear something negative, we do our best to try to fix it or cajole those people with the negative comments into liking us and appreciating our art, mostly by compromising on quality or content. We usually expend so much energy in doing this that we forget that someone somewhere likes it as it is and has told you that.

As a creative person, you need to understand that your art isn’t for everyone. You don’t need the whole world to like you or appreciate your art. Some people just prefer other stuff and that’s fine. Some people will never like you or your art and that’s fine. Some people would want to deliberately undermine your efforts and bring you down, that’s fine too. Its all part of life. But then there are those that love you, appreciate your art and want you to do well, no matter what. These ones might be less in number right now, but it doesn’t matter. Still focus on them. It’sl the motivation you need, not the number. Keep feeding them and they’ll call others, they’ll bring more ‘fans’, they’ll help to grow your brand.


At the same time, don’t ignore the negative vibes too, be logical. Remove all sentiments and emotions, check them with a clear head, you’ll notice that some of them are actually legitimate claims and constructive criticisms. Its like harvesting yam, you have to get your hands dirty while digging the soil and it could be painful, but at the end of the day, it’s the yam you’re after. Take out the useful stuff from their hate/ criticisms. Make yourself a better person from that, build your art with it. Its only a fool that listens to only what is pleasant to his ears and soon enough, he’ll come to ruin.


Funny enough, this follows a photographic process, where negative images (a negative image is a total inversion, in which light areas appear dark and vice versa) are processed to make positive images ( the normal pictures you see)

Clearly, we can see that the negatives can be developed, it just depends on how you process them. When it comes to criticism(s), don’t be sentimental about it. This isn’t easy I must say, it takes a lot of practice and will power, but it is achievable. Take it in, check yourself, ask questions, is this right? Can I improve in this area? This helps you get better.

But don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives. Remember, FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES, DEVELOP FROM THE NEGATIVES.

Thank you.


  • Mateyscott
    March 14, 2016

    Thanks for this Smish. I really like the part about not everyone liking your art and that’s fine. So true.

    • smish
      March 15, 2016

      Oh, thank you very much for the opportunity to share my experience(s) with people.


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