by Samuel Osho | Dec 31, 2019 | Personal Development, Productivity
Wow! 2019, what a year! A year that taught me many lessons and shaped my character in ways unimaginable. I am not here to tell you “to inspire and aspire your desire even when you perspire …” Wait a minute, what’s that? Stop those rhymes in 2019 and let’s be serious in 2020. It’s a new year.
Here are some lessons I learnt in 2019:
1. No one owes you anything
Yes, you heard that right, no one owes you anything. You can effortlessly find yourself in the web of entitlement where you tie your needs and progress to people. A place where you think A and Y owe you X and Z.
Whatever you are doing for people, do it as unto the Lord and not with the intention of reciprocity.
If you are the type that helps people and broadcast it everywhere, it’s a terrible way to live life. If you help others and think they owe you an obligation to reciprocate the favour, you may eventually find yourself in frustration. Human beings will always be human beings, but if you look up to God for help, you can be sure that your expectation will not be cut short.
2. Learning to quit so that you can win
Over the years, we have learnt that success requires persistence, hard work, resilience, dedication and commitment, but there is more. Not all ventures or causes deserve your devotion, commitment and dedication; you have to quit some projects or causes so that you can win in others. Sometimes, we embark on journeys that are nothing but dead ends, but we lack the honesty to tell ourselves it is time to quit and reroute.
In 2019, I learnt how to quit so that I can win. It could be very hard, especially when you are emotionally invested in a project or you are worried about what people are going to say. But this is a new angle to living a successful life – you will make tough decisions that require intuition, discernment and tactfulness.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
3. Appreciate what you have
If you have a talent, a friend, a skill or an opportunity that you don’t appreciate, you are on the verge of losing it. Whatever you appreciate enjoys a free flow of affection and attention from you; hence it grows. If it is a seed, it germinates and sprouts. If it is a flower, it blossoms and sparkles in the hues of nature. If it is a tree, it buds and bears fruits.
In contrast, if you neglect what you have and don’t pay attention to it, it will wither and die. One of the primary causes of belittling what you have is envy. It stems from focusing on what others have and forgetting to appreciate and nurture what you have.
In 2019, I learnt that what I have is enough if I am willing to commit my resources to its growth and expansion. Keep showing up every day with more water and nutrients and these tiny seeds will become mighty trees.
4. Don’t settle until you get what you are looking for
If the goal is to see the mouth of a river, don’t row your boat to the middle of the river and give up. No, that’s not the way to win! Don’t settle along the road until you reach the destination.
You are the only one with a perfect vision of what you are looking for, don’t let the sermons of lazy people make you settle for what contradicts what’s on your vision board. Keep moving until you find the coordinates of where you are destined to be. Keep shooting until you hit the target.
5. Strip yourself of vulnerability, and you’ll become a robot
This past decade has seen lots of super-hero movies that we always deceive ourselves that we are superhumans. See, you are not a superman; neither are you a superwoman. You are living your life to show that you are flawless, and void of weaknesses is nothing but lies. You are human; you make mistakes, you make errors, some moments will break you, and some moments make you cry. Don’t be ashamed to present yourself as a broken vessel, even broken vessels birth beautiful flowers.
As a leader, I learnt that being vulnerable is one sure way of connecting with empathy and leading better. This idea of an infallible man that never cries and a leader that knows all things is incredulous. Be human; that’s the way to live life to the fullest.
In 2020, there will be lots of abundant opportunities to expand your territories, grow new skills and enlarge your capacities. Be bold, be confident, take risks and chase after your goals like never before. Live a balanced life full of gratitude. As you grow and become bigger, remember to be humble and show love to others. God bless you!
Happy New Year in Advance!
by Samuel Osho | Dec 28, 2019 | Writing
Asides my love for writing, I am a voracious reader that devours books both for relaxation and education. Reading helps to relax tense mental muscles and amplify imagination, it’s also an avenue to gather information on a new subject.
In 2019, I read more books than I have done in previous years, and I am excited to share some of my best reads with you. I hope you find these books inspiring. The books on my list were necessary not published in 2019; in fact, some are quite old, but they are still relevant in their respective fields.
1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott’s compendium of instructions on writing is a superb blessing for any passionate writer. The book uncovered some nuggets via personal stories blended with humour.
Lamott insists that to become a superb writer, you have to write more and don’t judge your competence based on your first drafts. You will have terrible first drafts. The earlier you know that, the better for you. For storytellers, Lamott’s advice is to keep writing until you unravel the hidden gems – the profiles of your characters, the dialogue forms, the setting and many more. The book offered tasks you can do to warm your writing engines before embarking on the “big” writing project.
To finish a story, if you need the help of experts on unfamiliar subjects, don’t hesitate to reach out. Get those conversations going, and the perfect words might just come to you. Lamott also emphasized the essence of joining writing groups and seeking constructive criticism from editors or writers that believe in you.
Success requires lots of dedication, hard work and resilience. Everyone knows that, but Godin introduces a new angle, which is knowing when to quit a project, a company, a relationship so that you can win in other things.
Godin describes those tough times before success as either a dip or a cul-de-sac. In a cul-de-sac, you recite the mantra of resilience and perseverance, but it’s a ploy to drain your energy and resources – it’s a dead end. While a dip mirrors the same climatic conditions you face in a cul-de-sac, except that it’s going to lead you to a bright side – things get better if you push hard enough.
A dip is a shortcut to success and weeds out your competitors. Still, it takes intuition, wisdom and sometimes, data to know the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip. If you spot a cul-de-sac early in your journey, quit the race, save your energy and resources for better ventures. That’s how you quit to win.
“What a blessing it is to love books.” – Elizabeth von Arnim
3. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
This is a must-read for anyone interested in today’s style of entrepreneurship and start-up business. Peter Thiel is a highly intelligent founder and entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience in pioneering innovative technologies. The book makes a case for the true meaning of technology and demonizes the word “globalization” as copying what others are doing.
Thiel goes deep into business secrets that every entrepreneur needs to explore before making entry into new and existing markets. The book contains logical arguments fit for discourse in our ever-evolving world. Although the book tilts towards collaboration between businesses and paints unhealthy competition as idiotic, it has answers for entrepreneurs in both monopoly and competitive terrains.
What takes any business from zero to one is doing what others are not doing – creating new solutions and not merely repackaging what others are doing. I love the part that delved into how to set up a mafia team for a start-up, how to distribute and sell a new product, how to build a company with a robust culture.
4. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Ramit Sethi’s expert advice on personal finance is a brilliant place to start if you are bent on living a life of financial freedom. Management of personal finances requires one to take charge; don’t be reactive but be proactive. The book propels you to take necessary actions towards your long-term financial goals. You will learn the rules of optimizing my credit card(s) and how to enjoy the perks that come with it.
The book shows practical ways to supercharge your negotiation skills and avoid unnecessary bank charges. It went deeper into practical strategies for investing and how to start immediately. Ramit shows how to create a conscious spending plan after looking closely at your monthly spending behaviour. And then the exciting part kicks in with using automation as a smart way of saving more money.
In the end, I enjoyed the comments on saving for a wedding, getting a prenup, buying a house and buying a car. I am more confident about my finances and equipped with the information to make better decisions.
5. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry
Greaves and Bradberry teamed up to create an instant supercharger for Emotional Intelligence. The book is a robust tool for anyone interested in learning about Emotional Intelligence and seeking practical ways of improving their Emotional Intelligence Quotient.
The introduction gives an eye-opener on how the emotional part of the brain continually overrides the rational part of the brain. It explains why the default response of human beings is usually a gust of emotions and not a series of logical and thoughtful reasoning. The scheme of emotional hijacking as many call it.
The book further emphasizes the impact of High Emotional Intelligence on personal and professional pursuits. I learnt that Emotional Intelligence could be seen through four lenses: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. Asides painting what it looks like being in the top or bottom percentile of each category, there were several daily practices you could start immediately to increase your emotional intelligence.
For a list of my favourite books, you can find them here.
It’s your turn, please share with me in the comments section – what are the best books you read in 2019?
Do you have an idea that you would like to share with me?
by Samuel Osho | Dec 11, 2019 | Beta Life
Becoming an Effective Listener
Stop whatever you are doing, turn your head slowly, and survey your surroundings. Count how many people are talking at the moment.
“One, Two, Three, Four, …” You lost count, right?
It’s not just about them, you also love to talk. It’s an innate human desire to express your thoughts and above all, be seen and accepted.
When two parties are involved in conversations, have you observed the pace of responses? One party is barely done speaking before the other party jumps in. Such conversations mirror debates with a series of rebuttals. You are ready to fire back before the speaking party is done. No wonder, several conversations are unproductive.
Is it possible that while you are consumed with the drive to respond, you lose opportunities to learn, you miss chances to understand and consequently show a lack of ability to build trust?
To be a superb communicator, you must sharpen your listening skills. Listen patiently to understand and not with an intent to criticize or reply.
Listening distinguishes itself from hearing because it requires concentration. So, it’s impossible to listen if you are distracted by your phone. Give full eye contact, follow with nods, watch the body language, repeat some of the speaker’s statements when seeking clarifications.
To be an effective listener, you have to follow along with rapt attention, unravel the story behind the message, and absorb everything you can from the conversation before responding.
In a world where everyone is in a hurry to talk, excellent listeners are rare. However, you can spot them in the way they show empathy, build trust, make wise decisions, and lead united communities.
To succeed as a leader, it is usually not about your inspiring speeches but how much intentional listening you can do. In listening with empathy, you connect with the heart, and that’s all that makes the difference.