Lessons from 2019

Lessons from 2019

Lessons from 2019

31

DECEMBER 2019

Samuel Osho

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: 

 

5 Lessons from 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. 

Conclusion

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! 
Becoming an Effective Listener

Becoming an Effective Listener

Beta Life Series

Becoming an Effective Listener

Samuel Osho

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.

Beta Life Series – Why Curiosity Matters

Beta Life Series – Why Curiosity Matters

Beta Life Series

Why Curiosity Matters

Samuel Osho

“Why do we have to wait for the picture,” she inquired impatiently.
Inventor Edwin Land had just snapped a picture, and his three-year-old daughter’s question sparked a series of thoughts. This innocent question inspired Dr. Land to birth the Polaroid instant camera. 
 
Kids are naturally curious and hence causing chaos while testing their hypothesis. Sadly, as you age, you unconsciously learn to be less curious. You keep your mouth shut as you take everything handed to you as sacred, real, finite, and ultimate.

 

That’s a big problem! 

 
Highly intelligent individuals unveiled timeless theories and principles after hours of research to answer some “why …?” and “what if …?” statements. 
 
Why does Isaac Newton have to bother about gravitational force? 
 
Florence Nightingale could have lived like every other normal English lady and ignore revolutionizing the world of nursing with her meticulous recommendations.
 
The Wright brothers might have lived longer if they stayed clear of passion for having mechanical bodies with wings in the air. 
What would have happened if these individuals did nothing significant in contributing to the bodies of knowledge discussed above? 
 
Well, I am glad they did not stay idle but worked hard to test their assumptions and satiate their curiosity.
 
Curiosity is key to life-long learning and discovering new things.
 
No wonder Einstein once admonished a young student to “never lose a holy curiosity.”
 
The essence of education at the barest minimum is to spark curiosity in students. Unfortunately, instead of lighting a flame, a host of educational systems douse the little sparks that students bring to the classroom. 
Before you conclude that curiosity and innovation are locked to the field of sciences. It is important to note that curiosity is merely asking the right questions that stimulate boundless explorations. 
 
To be outstanding and extraordinary in your pursuit of success, you need to imbibe an all-important skill: curiosity. Your leaps will be boundless. Interestingly, it’s a skill that can be learnt and practiced. 
 
Start by asking the right open-ended questions and relentlessly find answers to them. Be warned. These are not normal and quick quizzes you took in college. 

Getting some answers may take two hours, while some may take two years. Keep searching until you surpass stumbling on new and strange things but becoming the creator, the innovator, and the producer of what your world needs. 

Beta Life Series – What Are you Investing in?

Beta Life Series – What Are you Investing in?

Beta Life Series

What Are You Investing in? 

Samuel Osho

When American statesman Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, he left a sum of $4400 USD as a gift to each of two cities, Boston and Philadelphia. The money had to be loaned out to young married couples at five percent interest. Unfortunately, the cities couldn’t have full access until 1990.

Two hundred years later, Franklin’s $8800 donation had grown to more than $6.5 million between two cities! 

 

Now, that’s a true story! 
 
Well, this is not about investments in brokerage accounts. 
 
It’s about a deliberate investment in yourself – mind, brain, skills, and relationships. 
It’s been a tradition for so many to struggle with reading three or five books a year. What if you can stay consistent with finishing ten or twenty pages per day, you will be amazed at how many books you would have completed by the end of the year. 
 
Set a goal for yourself and go for it. 
 
If you decide to read at least 20 pages of a book per day, you would have finished 12 books (200-page each) in four months. 
If you could write 250 words every day towards the completion of your book, you would have compiled a 120-page (30,000-word) first draft in about four months. 
 
If you devote one hour to learning a new skill every day, imagine how much competence you would have amassed in three months. 
 
There is tremendous power in the act of consistently investing in yourself. 

 

If you are currently experiencing a burnout or knowledge drought, don’t you think this is the best time for you to create a plan that will see you plunge into books, online courses and much more. 

You are your most valuable asset – your life, your mind, your brain, your body, your spirit, and your skills. If you can focus on making intentional investments in yourself, you will discover that there are no limits to what you can become. 

Beta Life Series – No Substitutes for Preparation

Beta Life Series – No Substitutes for Preparation

Beta Life Series

No Substitutes for Preparation

Samuel Osho

Award-winning American novelist, Sidney Sheldon was once asked, “What did you do before you wrote your first novel?” 
 
And there he goes, with an epic answer: “I was busy writing other things. I wrote 28 motion pictures, 250 television scripts and 8 Broadway plays.”

 

Perhaps this explains why his books smashed a plethora of literary records. Maybe this underpins citations that list Sheldon as one of the top ten best selling fiction writers of all time. He remains the only writer to have won an Academy Award, Tony Award, and America Edgar Award. 
 
Great things don’t just happen. Many things happen by luck or perhaps by mistake but true and lasting success is not one of them.   
Spectacular products don’t fall from the heavens. 
 
Every good thing requires process and preparation. 
 
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I am given eight hours to cut down a tree, I will use six hours to sharpen the axe head and use the remaining two hours to cut down the tree.” 
Robust preparation improves your ability to spot opportunities and takes your execution game to a completely new level. 
 
It took Bill Gates decades of coding and hard work before earning his billions. 
It took Usain Bolt six years of running before he got his first Olympic Gold Medal. 
Barack Obama roamed the streets of Illinois for 12 years before he was handed the ticket to represent Chicago in the Senate. 

 

As technology comes with bigger promises of getting things done easier and faster, we must stay true to the timeless principles of preparation and diligence. 

Beta Life Series – Bad Grades ≠ Bleak Future

Beta Life Series – Bad Grades ≠ Bleak Future

Beta Life Series

Bad Grades ≠ Bleak Future

Samuel Osho

The librarians know you by name because you are the first to come and the last to say goodbye. You studied hard and devoured textbooks like a starved soul because you believe in diligence. 

You left exam halls with faces carved in shades of smiles, it was not mere optimism but that of assurance in your answers. 
Suddenly, the results are out, but they are in sharp contrast to the efforts you sowed.

 

Quite frustrating, isn’t it? Shocked and astounded at the results, all attempts to connect the dots failed. I see you giving way to the gravity of your falling grades. Don’t give up too soon on yourself. 

In the silence of your meditation, the voice of your competencies utters comforting words.  

Be honest, you know that there is a genius in you because your solutions to real life problems are smarter than your grades. 

Life will not judge you based on your grades but your competencies – what you can do. 

 

Be strong and don’t relent, the genius in you may be inconsistent with your grades but that’s the only light in you that can change the world. Keep it burning! 

Today, permit yourself to live above your school grades. Live above what school called you and embrace what life has got to offer you. 

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