Iyabo Ojikutu. Pediatrician. Author. Permanent Happiness
HOMETOWN | Atlanta, Georgia | Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria | SINGLE
Interviewed by : Shahrzad Nadizadeh. Public Relations and Marketing Strategist
Permanent Happiness celebrates the journey to finding happiness in just three steps. What sparked this journey for you, personally, and why has it been so important to share with others? The journey to the birth of Permanent Happiness was an instinctual one. I did not plan to write a book. My dad passed in October of 2015, and I was journaling-transcribing all my thoughts down as I grieved. I noticed I could not stop the thoughts from flooding into my consciousness, so I picked up my laptop and started to type instead. Day by day, chapter by chapter, the book became whole. It has been so important to share with others because of the automatic, and unintentional way in which my book came to be. I believed it was a divine calling on my life that I had to answer to, and I knew deep in my heart that I must share the messages in the book with the world.
This book has really resonated with your readers. As a first-time author, what has surprised you the most about your overnight success on Amazon? Wow. Yes. Permanent Happiness was released on May 26th seven weeks ago, and it is doing well on Amazon. I am surprised and humbled by the great feedback from readers. I have heard so many various ways in which my book has touched and inspired readers, and this is just amazing. Every reader has a different part of the book that has touched their lives. I am so happy about the success so far!
You talk in your book about ‘aha!’ moments. What has been the biggest ‘aha’ moment for you since the debut of your book?
The biggest aha moment for me has been the realization of the impact my book can have-not just locally and countrywide, but even globally. On social media, this is so easy to achieve, as long as readers are connected with the content, message, and vision of the book. I see that connection already happening.
You are a successful pediatrician running your own practice, a single mother to two young women, and now an accomplished author. So of course we have to ask the age-old question:how do you manage it all?! Yes! I knew that question was coming. I manage it all by taking care of myself first- spiritually and physically. I make time for exercise, solitude and spiritual devotion. I also delegate a lot professionally and personally. I ask for help-paid or unpaid, in order to make my life work. Without a solid team, I cannot be successful in all my roles. I am also very conscious of the company I keep, and places I go. My time is obviously very valuable, so I am mindful of who I spend it with and what I do with it. I only engage in roles I am truly passionate about, and which will impact my community and the world positively.
You’re obviously not slowing down! What’s next? I still have a lot to do to achieve the dreams I have. The dreams of global connectivity to bring people together with one common goal-to make the lives of the weak, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, and the children of the world much better. This is a tall task, and a hefty dream, but that is what I do. I dream big, and my hope is to bring others along with me to participate in this big, but achievable dream.
Your social media channels are a source of inspiration through beautiful imagery and uplifting, motivational messages, including one of our favorites:“Like your own life first.”What does this quote signify for you? Oh my! How could you possibly like other people authentically if you have not allowed yourself to get to know yourself first, and get to like yourself first? Many of us don't even know who we are, but we want to be involved in, and like other people's lives. Social media promotes superficial behavior, and if we are not careful, we lose our identity trying to be someone else we see online, instead of being our own unique, special self.
What is the one thing you would encourage anyone to do in order to live their best life every day? Be authentic, be real, be special, be unique, be genuine, be the original, wonderfully created you! They are all synonyms, so that is just one thing. Be You!