Beta Life Series – Why Your Passion Matters

Beta Life Series – Why Your Passion Matters

Beta Life Series

Why Your Passion Matters

Samuel Osho

 A few years ago, “a passionate writer” dropped this question on Twitter for J.K. Rowling:

“What if the passionate writer is broke and can’t afford a MacBook Air?” 

And here comes Rowling’s iconic response: 

“I wrote first two Potters (Harry Potter Book) by hand and typed them on a 10-year-old typewriter. All a writer needs is talent and ink.” 

 

You must have heard countless chatters about a passion for A and J but there are no results to back up the evidence of their passion. 

Does this sound familiar? 

“Oh! All I need to be a superb photographer is a new DSLR camera.” 

The camera shows up, and nothing happens. 

“All I need is a standard microphone and I will start my podcast.” 

You got the microphone as a birthday gift, but you are yet to record a sample podcast show with it.

Passion expresses itself through drives and desires. It’s a fire; you can’t hide it; it burns and consumes everything in its path. As the tender flame glows and grows, everyone can see if it’s a blue or a red flame. 

If you are looking for excuses not to get the work done, you will find one. We often use a lack of specific tools as embroidery for our excuses. 

It’s time to stop looking for a MacBook Air before you get that book done, if you think about it enough, you will find hundreds of alternatives to get the job done. 

 

It’s great if you have the tools but it has often been observed that what stops us from becoming productive is necessary not lack of tools but an absence of passion and drive. 

Let your passion take the wheels and drive you to the finish line. And if passion can’t get the job done, you should add lots of discipline.

Beta Life – Find Yourself

Beta Life – Find Yourself

Beta Life Series

Find Yourself

Samuel Osho

What makes me happy?

What am I good at?

What things do I value in life?

If you have perfect answers to these questions, then this is not for you.

 

In this pool of information overload, how do you prepare yourself for the vicissitudes of life?  

You read twelve books a day? 

Listen to twenty podcasts a week? 

Increase your “net worth” by adding famous people to your network? 

Take twenty online courses a month? 

No, find yourself first. Yes, just like Socrates said, “Know thyself.”  

You are such a big and beautiful encyclopedia that needs to be digested and understood. If you fail to uncap the diverse complexities that make you a unique being, everything else you do might be of no significant impact.

The age-long questions of self-discovery stare at us all the time. But, we can use Rudyard Kipling’s six honest serving men – What, Why, When, How, Where and Who, to untangle knots of enigmas. 

With these men and their shovels, you can dig deeper into the core of your being; you can uncover hidden treasures, and chart pathways into new lands.

 

Books are superb, podcasts are of great benefit, networking is noteworthy, and online courses are superchargers, but if you don’t know who you are, you are a ball in a spinning wheel. You will go everywhere the wheel directs you and ends up a dead ball when the wheel stops. 

Start with these three free resources:  

The 10 Best TED Talks for Writers

The 10 Best TED Talks for Writers

The 10 Best TED Talks for Writers

25

FEBRUARY, 2019

Samuel Osho
The evolution of TED over the years is a true testament to the potency of compelling stories. These stories are birthed from daily interactions with ideas, people and places. TED has not only provided a platform for storytellers to share ideas worth spreading, but it has also created an open library of intellectual resources. 
From its humble beginning in 1984, TED has evolved from a conference limited to topics on Technology, Entertainment, and Design to a wide range of issues – from governance to healthcare to business to psychology – in more than 100 languages. However, these short but powerful talks have served as a tool of change in influencing, educating and transforming the psyche of an unending audience.

 

In this vast library of insightful speeches, you will find stories that tickle your fancy as a writer. I have carefully rummaged through the endless stack of talks and searched for ones that will appeal to writers and authors. These talks are a blend of practical ideas and instructive insights. 

Let’s take a look at my curated list of TED talks for writers.

My 10 Best TED Talks for Writers

The best-selling author of 2016 memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the awkward things we expect from creative minds – artists, writers, and geniuses. Gilbert’s story hinges on the overwhelming burden of innovative minds – staying creative and consistently churning out incredible works. The talk was topped off with a deliberate demystification of the sacredness attached to “being a genius,” showing that every human has a genius in them.  

In this humorous talk, American writer Anne Lamott ponders on the timeless lessons she has learnt in her 61 years of existence. It is a bouquet of wisdom that equips your soul with inspiring insights on family, writing, death, the meaning of God, grace and what it means to be human in a chaotic world full of uncertainties.

Oscar-winning American filmmaker Andrew Stanton knows a lot about great stories and how to tell them, evident in the creation of “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” and “WALL-E.” His engaging talk is a map that shows you the path from the end to the beginning of compelling stories.

In a fast-paced world where charismatic and extroverted individuals usually take the front seats, it can be severe and daunting for introverts to be comfortable in their skins. However, in this exciting talk, Susan Cain extols the power of introversion while reflecting on how a massive chunk of creative minds – artists and writers happen to be introverts.

In a world of convoluted stories about Africa, award-winning Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie exposed the precariousness associated with believing a single story about a person, a country, and a continent. She told the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice as a writer while reading the works of other great writers. Adichie canvasses for well-rounded stories that have the power to heal our world and make it a paradise.

In this hilarious talk, writer and blogger Tim Urban shares about his ongoing struggles with procrastination including the adventures and the hard truths. He explores the logic behind procrastination and why the buzz of deadlines seems to suddenly reawaken a procrastinator’s dormant energy to complete tasks. While he is yet to find a solution for his chronic procrastination, his journey challenges us to think deeply about why it’s easy for us to embrace procrastination.

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” – Lisa See

American psychologist and author Adam Grant delves into the unique traits of creative people and how they come up with great ideas. Grant shares his studies on “originals” – innovative minds who take responsibility for the ownership and actualization of their ideas. In this talk, you will be exposed to three unique habits of originals.

In the search for creativity, writers and artists go through pains, self-doubts, and fears. American novelist Amy Tan gives an in-depth analysis of the creative process while sharing her personal encounters with sheer serendipity on seemingly normal days.

 

Chicago-based Nigerian writer Luvvie Ajayi chronicles her fights with her phobias – from going on a solo vacation to swimming with dolphins to jumping out of a plane. The “professional troublemaker” talks about her rise to stardom as a blogger in the parlance of speaking truth to power. In her inspiring talk, Ajayi shares three questions to ask yourself if you are afraid of speaking up or keeping quiet.

American author of six novels, John Dufresne, delves into the art of storytelling in a way that appeals to fiction writers. The talk is a trip inside a writer’s mind and how a compelling story is created. Dufresne took his audience by the hands and showed them how to create a masterpiece that everyone wants to read and listen to. In fact, if you listen to this speech, you will be half-way into the completion of your short story.

 

In conclusion, writing is both a craft and a form of art. You can learn to be better both in honing your creative and imaginative skills. I hope you found my curated list inspiring and full of practical tips that you can start using straight away in your writing engagements.
 
Perhaps, I have omitted your favorite TED talk for writers, kindly drop a note in the comment section below stating your favorite talk.

I’d love to check them out!

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It!

06

FEBRUARY 2019

Samuel Osho
Nike’s iconic slogan – “Just do it” is a powerful tag line that creates an atmosphere of urgency needed for taking action. It has morphed from a famous motto to an axiom that embodies the criterion for success in life. Life naturally rewards those who take action. Yes, the doers and not necessarily the over-thinkers.

 

No one cares how much you know about writing until you begin to write. It may be hard for people to believe that you are a superb chef until you start cooking meals. In a nutshell, excellent knowledge about a subject matter is insufficient in the school of success, you must take action in the right direction with what you know.

 

When you are on the verge of executing a project, have you noticed how easy it is to be bogged down in the strategy room with volumes of data? You love to stay in the spheres of planning and analyzing because it gives you a false belief that you are making progress.

Often, a movement is confused with progress. When you are moving in circles, you are engaged in an activity because of your mobility, but progress is halted. The hardest part of any project is the launch because it brings you face to face with your fears and doubts. How then do you get results or measure impact when you do everything else but take action?

Unfortunately, the world only celebrates those who get results. I believe that getting results is pivotal to your overall success in life. Results amplify your impact, and it’s a testament to the quality of the knowledge you have amassed.

What are you waiting for? It’s time for you to take action – join a speaking club, enroll in the course, start the business, write the book, do the assignment, call the coach, or start the music lessons.

To be honest, it’s time to take a break from “analysis paralysis” and learn the art of getting things done. High achievers master the art of ruthless execution.

Taking action triggers a chain of reactions that will lead you to your success. These are some of the things that will happen when you begin to take action despite your fears.

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action

1. People take you seriously

Imagine you have always introduced yourself to your community as a writer but no one has seen any of your literary works. You call yourself a writer, but you do everything else except writing.

People won’t take you seriously until they see you do things that resonate with your professed identity. That’s the way it works. If you want people to start paying attention to you and the things you care about, you have to take action – step out today.

2. You attract people with similar goals

What happens when you take the plunge and start your business as a Master of Ceremony for Corporate events? You draw the attention of all the key players on that turf – both the newcomers and the experts.

Taking action means taking your foot off the brake pedal and joining the race to the peak of flawless performance. In this new venture birthed by taking action, you will produce results which will attract others to you. Some of the people you draw will support and encourage you.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth president of the United States

3. You learn from experience

Nothing holds people back like fears, doubts, and uncertainties. You are probably afraid that you don’t have enough knowledge required as a baseline for starters. You will be surprised that folks out there with massive influence don’t even know as much as you know. The difference between both parties is execution – they take action.

Former British prime minister, William Gladstone once said, “No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes.” What’s the worst that can happen when you step out? Let’s assume you make a mistake, you fail, and everything crumbles. Well, that’s not the end, you have to learn from your “great mistakes” and keep moving. Brace up and keep learning from your unique experience. There are many things you will learn when you decide to take action and face your fears.

4. You begin to get feedback

As a writer, when you start a blog or publish a book, it’s more like putting yourself out there. Criticisms will come tumbling down – both destructive and constructive. You begin to get feedback about your work from your readers.
In their book, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” When you take action, you open yourself to feedback which will stimulate your growth.

 

5. You gain clarity

No one has it all figured out, clarity comes when you immerse yourself in the journey of becoming. How do you know the prospect of a business idea you have not executed? How do you know if a book will sell when you have not published it? How do you know you will be a superb public speaker when you are yet to give your first speech? Taking action is all you need to sift the tares from the wheat. You will be equipped with insight to know what works and what does not work for you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you have nothing to lose when you take action. Execution propels you on the paths of excellence and clothes you in the regalia of success.

 

What are the five things that will make you happy and drive you towards your overall goals if you can get them done before the week runs out?
Go for them!
Just do it!

Do you have an idea that you would like to share with me?

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

28

JANUARY, 2019

Samuel Osho

It’s the last week of the first month of the year and you may be lost in mixed feelings. Do you deserve a sharp reprimand for missing your goals or a pat on the back for a job well done? In this self-reflection class, you have to own up and be true to yourself. As 2019 strolls by, are you making every day count? A fabulous year can end in an ordinary way if you lack the energy and enthusiasm to ace your daily goals. 

To be honest, I know how it feels when you have a list of daily goals with unchecked boxes staring at you. If you pride yourself as one, who is a pro in getting things done, missing your goals could be worrisome. To make matters worse, the pace at which your days disappear, you silently wish that you can have more than 24 hours in a day. 

Time is one of the equally distributed resources – everyone has access to the same 24 hours in a day. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and you all have the same 24 hours but how come they seem to be getting more out of their day. Perhaps there is something they do, but you ignore. 

If 2019 will be different for you regarding results, then you have to be intentional about how to excel at your daily goals. Here are some tips that work:

 

7 Tips That Work

1. Create a list of your daily goals

The rule is if anything is important to you, then you have to write it down. Writing your goals gives you an opportunity to think things through and put these tasks in the front burner of your brain.

A list of daily goals serves as a reminder when you are lost in the pool of daily activities. In fact, research has shown that people who write down their goals on a regular basis are more likely to achieve them when compared to those who just have it in their heads.

I have a friend who has a daily ritual of writing his life goals in a journal every day. He described this habit as a powerful motivator and a superb drive for amplifying his productivity. 

What do you want to accomplish today? Do you have it on a list?

2. Do one thing at a time

The power of focus cannot be underestimated when it comes to productivity and execution. I have found doing one thing at a time extremely powerful and magical.

When you don’t narrow down on a single task at a time, you spread yourself too thin and become less effective. You can’t boil an ocean but can boil a jug of water – focus on one thing at a time, finish it and move to the next task. The Focusbooster app can be of great assistance in this regard. 

In the next thirty minutes, which task are you going to give undivided attention? Just focus and get it done. 

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein

3. Start with the big tasks

It usually happens that when you have a long list of daily goals, you unconsciously start with the easy ones first and end up not doing the hard ones. Often, you are unable to finish the difficult tasks when you follow this sequence because you are usually exhausted even before you start them.

Start your day with the execution of significant and challenging tasks. Expend your fresh energy on the tough assignments and finish them before moving to the easy and simple ones. Interestingly, when you muster the strength to complete an arduous task, you get the motivation to keep moving.

On your list of goals for today, which one is the hardest? Let it be the first task you have to face. Go for it! 

4. Reward yourself

When you get the job done, learn to celebrate your small victories and reward yourself. You deserve some accolades for a job well done.

The Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo works based on the principle of rewarding yourself with a five minutes break after twenty-five minutes of uninterrupted work.

Surprisingly, this system works like magic. For example, you can say that you are only qualified to watch your favorite TV show if you score well above 90% in the execution of your daily goals. Watching the TV show is a reward for acing your goals.

The anticipation of relishing a pleasure you derive from your leisure time can be a driving force to complete your daily tasks on time.

After an hour of steady focus on completing a task, don’t you think you deserve a 10-minute break? 

5. Learn to say No

We are naturally wired to say yes to almost every offer. But to stay productive and effective, you must learn to say No. You just can’t accept every invitation to be of help to others.

If it clashes with your schedule, learn to say No or reschedule to what suits your priorities. If you say Yes to people and you don’t have the time to attend to their needs, they will eventually feel terrible when you let them down.

So, why don’t you just say No if it does not work for you rather than trying to please everyone?

Take a critical look at your commitments this week, maybe you need to say No to some of them to increase your productivity. 

6. Starve your distractions

In these days, you have more enemies of progress than you thought. In fact, your most prized gadget – your sleek smartphone can be an obstacle between you and achieving your goals.

Staying on your phone all day can rob you of the precious time that could have been invested in pursuing your goals. When you are set to get a lot of productive work done, you can put your phone in a “do not disturb” mode.

Another way of curbing distractions from social media is to have specific times of the day that you visit these apps on your phone.

Be sincere, do you really need to visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn every 20 minutes? Install these apps to block your access to social media accounts for a specific period of time – Freedom and Cold Turkey.

7. Get an accountability partner

If you know someone that believes in you and is passionately interested in your success. You can ask if they are willing to be your accountability partner.

Having someone to share the list of your daily goals with is priceless. At the end of the day, a five-minute chat can be used to evaluate how you fared and right there you will see the room for continuous improvement.

Draft a mail and send to two friends asking if they will be willing to be your accountability partners. You can stick to a daily or weekly review, whichever works for you is fine. 

Conclusion

Success does not come suddenly, but it builds up one day at a time when we imbibe the art of investing heavily in every passing moment. See each day as an avenue to bake a brick needed for building a monument of greatness.
I have listed only seven tips here and this is far from being exhaustive, please feel free to add more tips that can increase daily productivity in the comment box below. Thanks.

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