Adaora Mbelu is a Bright Light, a Dreamterpreter, and a Purpose Driver. She is also the author of “This Thing Called Purpose”, a book that helps people understand the true essence of living with and through purpose. As a brand developer, she has worked on projects with several multinational companies, SME’s, and individuals over the past few years. But as a human being, she has impacted and is still impacting and influencing lives positively.
Enjoy our Q&A with Her and Get to know a little bit more about our 2019 Her Network Inspiration Award Honoree, Adaora Mbelu.
In Three Words, how would you describe Adaora Mbelu? Purpose Driven Light
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your life so far? The ability to influence and impact people’s lives is a gift that I don’t take for granted at all. I’m grateful to have such an influence and be able to use it positively.
How did you discover your “Bright Light” and what inspired you to own this identity? I usually tell people that I knew my purpose from a really early age in life, and I think that really helped me get an early start for where I am today, and where I am going tomorrow. I discovered my purpose by becoming in tune with my spirit first and then serving other people’s needs. For instance, I started my business to solve a problem that I identified in the creative sector. When I first moved back to Nigeria, I found that a lot of creative people did not have the skill sets to monetize their creativity. Hence, I started off helping people structure their ideas, and create sustainable products/projects that would allow them to monetize and build something that made them truly proud. In the process of doing this, I started to help brands find innovative ways to engage with their consumers and tell their brand stories. I believe that we are multi-purpose beings, and can only discover this by actively being and doing.
“Time is a great storyteller. This is my mantra.” – Adaora Mbelu Dania
What inspired the creation of”The Lumination Tribe”? The Lumination Tribe is an organic movement. I set out to bring together people who are committed to becoming the best versions of themselves – I call them a “Nation of Bright Lights”. I’ve always believed that it is not enough for me to become all I can be, without helping other people do the same in their lives. I believe in collective growth. Over the years, I have been able to curate a community of people who I believe are going to create a ripple effect of growth and impact in the lives of people across the world.
You’re an inspiration to a lot of people, where do you draw your inspiration from? How do you recharge in low moments? I draw inspiration from my inner self – the spirit of God in me. I also get inspiration from every single creation in this world. I think that people are the most brilliant creation ever, and simply by watching good people live purposefully and thrive, I’m inspired.
How do you handle situations where you don’t feel so Inspired or Motivated? I have a tried and tested routine that I follow. I first admit that I don’t feel motivated – I take responsibility for it. Then I try to find out what changed? Why do I feel this way? Then I take time out to get a fresh perspective of where you are now, and where you want to be. Whenever I take a break, I return with – Focus on your long term goals. Understand that some of the things you’re doing now are temporary. You won’t be doing them forever. Then I try to break the monotony by picking up a hobby – music, art, instruments, etc. Then I start to share my journey and teach people as I move back towards my path.
If you could give your younger self one advice, what would it be? Live a little more. I’ve always been an “old soul”. I don’t think I lived half the life that my peers lived as teenagers and twenty-something-year-olds. I’ve always been ambitious and driven, and I sometimes wish that I enjoyed some of the fun elements of my younger years. Thankfully, I am now learning to do this in my thirties – wake up and drink a Mojito just for the sake of it. lol.
What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far? Passion is great, but purpose is better. There’s a misconception that Purpose is about our “Why” alone. But purpose isn’t just about “Why are we doing this”. It is also about “Who will benefit”. When I understood that this journey is really about being a solution, I started to express myself more confidently. I’ve also learned that you can beat many things in life, but you simply cannot beat time. Time has to take its course, and you cannot control that. Seed time to Harvest time is a process.
Share with us the role motherhood has played in your life’s journey. Motherhood has gifted me with the spirit of empathy, and calm. In my relationships, I’ve learned to focus on the problem and not the person. I’ve also had to learn to be calm in the midst of storms. At the start of my parenting journey, I would panic each time my son fell, or hurt himself. Now, I’m learning that it’s part of the journey and that while I can try to protect him as much as I can, he has his own lessons to learn. I’m much calmer than I used to be. Time Management is another lesson I’ve learned. Time is one of the most important currencies in life. As a mother, I tend to have multiple responsibilities occurring simultaneously, and in order to be truly efficient, it’s important to learn how to manage time.
What is your take on “women supporting women”? I think it’s super important for women to support women, even beyond the professional space. We are stronger as a collective and can go much farther together. However, even as we do this, it’s important for us to embrace the dynamism of womanhood. This requires stripping ourselves of the programming associated with femininity – what is considered feminine. As much as we crave liberation, we tend to put our fellow women into boxes based on appearance, personality, style, etc, and this has created more of a divide than it has done any good for us. I think we need to truly SUPPORT all types of women, not a certain “type” of woman.
Who is one woman you look up to and why? My Mother is the epitome of kindness. Her life has been dedicated to service and creating structures for leaders to thrive while being a leader herself. She did all of this while being an amazing partner to my father, and mother to my siblings and I. She’s an engineer, turned computer programmer, analyst, turned GM of a construction company. She’s also a deaconess in church and spends time in Ministry, and counseling. Whenever I think about her, I remember that I can be all that I’m meant to become in this world.
What would you like to be remembered for? I would like to be remembered for being honest, loving, and kind, while using as many of my gifts as possible, to help other people succeed on their journey.
What’s one mantra you live by? Time is a great storyteller. This is my mantra. I believe that we can beat many variables in life, but cannot beat time – the understanding and acceptance of this fact, brings focus, peace of mind, and ultimately Joy.
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