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Didi Kpelly

“Cultivate serenity first (i.e. inner peace) and leaning on that foundation, design a life optimized for happiness.”


About Me

Hi, my name is Didi and I was born in Togo, a small country in West Africa. However, my family and I immigrated to Canada as political refugees when I was still in my teens. Even though I grew up and did all of my education in Canada – I have a master's degree in administration – for many reasons deeply rooted in my experience of our immigration and the way my family was navigating it, I was never able, for many years, to fully embrace my Canadian identity and call Canada my “home”.

After my bachelor degree in social science with a major in international development, I set out to China in 2010 as a 22 y/o kid full of big dreams and with the aspiration of building a trading company that will connect through commerce my adoptive country, Canada, the world factory, China and my motherland, Africa. However, fate had other plans for me and, for reasons that I am now open to discuss, within a year in business, I suffered my first traumatic event. At 22 y/o I lost more than $60,000. And, as the saying goes, misfortune never comes alone, so after coming back to Canada, for reasons that I am now more comfortable discussing, I suffered my second traumatic event, which happened this time, right within the walls of my parents' house, that place that was supposed to be my “home”.

I believe our lives either evolve in an upward direction, a virtuous cycle or a downward direction, a vicious cycle, and when the upward movement is broken, it becomes extremely hard to reverse the fall because both entropy and gravity are against us. In any case, for almost a decade, I “escaped forward”, leaving Canada and going on a whirlwind of entrepreneurial ventures in West Africa, from working on setting up a private equity company, to trading natural resources and even importing disinfectant wipes from China during the COVID pandemic (and much more).

My ventures were risky, capital intensive and funded by leveraging debts (something I do not recommend for novice entrepreneurs). I was frantically chasing fame, success, happiness, but insidiously, revenge and acknowledgment. I sacrificed so much only to understand that the willingness to work hard, to sacrifice and to persevere were part of, but not enough to succeed. Luckily, pain and suffering are some of the best last resort teachers one can have and after many years of wandering around in darkness, I finally woke up to “awareness” and understood that:

1. I have been living as a victim of the interaction between my nature and circumstances.

2. The goal should not be happiness, but first and foremost “serenity” (i.e. inner peace) and then, leaning on that foundation, design a life optimized for happiness.

Serenity is a state of mind that is reached by becoming one with a certain number of principles and each of my scars were words teaching me one of those principles.

I had finally awakened from my nightmare on August 28th 2022 and, since then, had slowly started to write what I call Guiding Words, a (mini) playbook to serenity. Guiding Words is a compilation of the principles that my journey taught me on achieving serenity, which I define as the ability to live in the world without letting the world live inside you.

I am currently working in the mental health sector in a psychiatric hospital in Ottawa (Canada), but there are things one can never forget. I am still an entrepreneur at heart and I have finally found my calling, which is to help people find and cultivate serenity and, using it as a stepping stone, build the life of their dreams without every step of the journey feeling like a nightmare..

If you’ve read until here, I hope you’ve found this little excerpt of my story to be both insightful and entertaining. There’s much more to the story so why don’t you drop me a line so we can schedule a time to get to know each other and for you to determine if my words can be of any value to your community..

Thank you for your time and may Serenity be upon you.

Discover More

Words of Art

What is serenity (i.e. inner peace) and why does it matter? Est. read time: 2 min 33 secs

Didi Kpelly (@gospelofserenity) on Threads

I tried to find happiness but failed at it, but in the process, found serenity as a better option and, if you wish, I can lead you to it also.. 149 Followers.

Profile artwork for Didi Kpelly
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