Beta Life Series – How to Reject Rejection

Beta Life Series – How to Reject Rejection

Beta Life Series

How to Reject Rejection

Samuel Osho

When Colonel Harlan Sanders hit the streets with his pressure cooker and unique recipe for cooking Southern fried chicken, he was rejected 300 times before he found someone that believed in his dream. A testimony of his triumph over 300 rejections is evident in over 22,500 KFC restaurants in 136 countries. 
 
If you are going to be successful in life, you must be able to handle rejection. Most importantly, don’t take it personal and retreat into resentment and self-pity. 

You get rejected when you don’t get the promotion you wanted; you don’t get the job you applied for, you don’t get the raise you want so badly, you don’t get a date you requested or get fired. 

Rejection is a part of the cycle that makes life what it is. 

What should be your default response to rejection? 
As rightly put by the authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen: “When someone says no, you say ‘Next!'” 

To be honest, you must realize that it is a numbers game; there are over 7 billion people on the planet! Someone somewhere is waiting to say yes. All you need to do is move on.

Your idea got turned down, not you. Your manuscript was rejected, not you. 

You must believe that nothing is wrong with you. Maybe you need to work better on that proposal application or spend more time on that manuscript or acquire more skills before you ask for a raise.  

But I must tell you that it has nothing to do about you. 

Did I just hear you say, “Next!”?

That should be your new motto.  

Beta Life Series – Go Back to the Basics

Beta Life Series – Go Back to the Basics

Beta Life Series

Go Back to the Basics

Samuel Osho

Why bother about the union between a noun and an adjective when you don’t know what a verb looks like? 

How can you create lovely sounds when you can’t differentiate musical notes?

There is a reason why we started our journey in kindergarten. 

Kindergarten (German) means children’s garden. A garden captures the journey of a seed into tiny flowers in a nursery pot.  

In the garden, seeds are nourished, nurtured and nursed until they are ready for the unpredictable clime of the forest. 

In kindergarten, you learnt the basics. From alphabets to numbers to drawings to speech; all layers of the human faculty were stirred and engaged by seemingly simple tasks. 

Kindergarten so important and that’s why it’s at the base. Yes, it precedes everything else. 

We learn the alphabets before creating sentences.

We learn how to make bricks before we build. 

We learn logic before we start to code. 

If there is anything so important that deserves your steadied focus all the time – it is learning the basics.  

Everything can go wrong when you ignore the basics, you can’t perform at your best. 

Of what importance is the height of a skyscraper with a faulty base, it is going to collapse anyway. 

So, why not take some time and focus on the basics. 

When you master the basics, you can do exploits and replicate success. 

It’s easy to dream about being the world’s best musician when you know how the musical notes work.

And knowing nouns, verbs, and adjectives even in their disguised apparels can make a hell of a writer out of you. 

Go back to the basics. 

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.

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!

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.

5 Amazing Tips on How to Resume Writing After a Long Break

5 Amazing Tips on How to Resume Writing After a Long Break

5 Amazing Tips on How to Resume Writing After a Long Break
01
AUGUST, 2018
Samuel Osho
As a student, the toughest time to read is when you are fresh in school from a long break. It’s hard to concentrate and get the reading done. Digesting two pages of course content is a headache and pouncing on a chapter is a battle.
Your favorite places are library halls and reading rooms because you are “roaming for a network.” Perhaps, you could call it the calibration of the body and soul to a condition that can confidently assure you of assimilation. The same is true when you plan to resume active writing after a long break.

For writers, taking a protracted break from writing can happen due to several reasons. It could result from a barrage of unforeseen contingencies or a product of sheer laziness. Regardless of the cause of the break, when resumption beckons, it’s usually the hardest part.

Asides the tendency to churn out insipid works, you grapple for the right words to express your thoughts, you suffer from an absence of punchlines, and the drought of inspiration. Some of your readers wonder why your recent works are so bland and shallow. It’s a pathetic state.
What if I can show you how to insert the key in the ignition and jump-start your writing engine? Yes, that’s why I am here. This blog post will show you five simple ways to resume writing after a long break.
5 Simple Tricks

1. Write about the things you are grateful for

The goal is to get you to write, and you can start by writing about the things you are grateful for. If you think genuinely, you will discover a long list of things that fuel your gratitude. You can write at least three sentences about each item on the list to express the details of your euphoric feeling.
From a generic level, go more in-depth to the degree that exudes a detailed description of what makes you go head over heels about the things you are grateful for. Furthermore, researchers have shown that keeping a gratitude journal can make you more optimistic and happier about life.

2. Summarize lessons from your favorite books

It’s advisable to read as much as you can while trying to revive your creative juices. You can re-read some of your favorite books or read a new one from your wish list. From your latest read, you can create a summary of the key points from the book, you can also itemize lessons that you would love to apply to your life practically.

During this exercise, focus on writing your reflections either by supporting or disagreeing with the author’s standpoint. In all, let your voice stand out and shun mindless lifting. Don’t fall into the trap of rewriting the author’s work verbatim because that’s not writing, it is called photocopying.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King

3. Share about an unforgettable experience

As you go about your life, you will have some unforgettable moments etched in your memories. Either they are broken shards of events that happened recently or in the distant past, but they seem not to get out of your head. You can embrace these memories and give them life by writing about them.

Asides reliving these moments, you also flex your writing muscles and paint images of your sacred moments in letters. When you are finally done with this exercise, it will leave you levitating in a creative atmosphere with your lungs full of euphoria. It’s a magical feeling!

4. Comment on your favorite quote

I have some quotes that are stuck in my head – I love them because they inspire me. You might have just one quote that gives you goosebumps or motivates you to chase your crazy dreams. This is the time to bring such quotes from the dusty shelves to the front porches. Take time to think about one of these quotes and write at least 300 words on what the quote means to you.

5. Write a letter to your younger self

If you are in a position to advise your younger self, what will you say? This is a fun-filled exercise. The last time I did this exercise got me reeling in laughter and trust me I had so much to say to my younger self. By the time I was done with the young lad, I have garnered close to 500 words.
Just some tips to accentuate your flow while writing this letter – focus on your eccentricities, expose your childhood adventures, and flog your youthful exuberance with words of discipline. Here’s a good place to start: celebrities you admire took time to advise a younger version of themselves – from Oprah Winfrey to Gabrielle Union.

Conclusion

If you are able to engage in two or more of these exercises, you will be amazed at how quickly you find your writing frequency. You will be surprised at the pace of your pen sprinting like Usain Bolt on a blank papyrus. Give yourself some time, enjoy the process, and you will soon find yourself grooving in a pool of inspired letters. You can also share some of these new write-ups on your social media account and let your audience have a feel of your seasoned thoughts.
If you have some other tips that you think will be of great help to a writer launching out of a sabbatical, kindly drop them in the comment section below. Gracias!

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