Monthly Archives: March 2014

My 2 cents

To get ahead, you need to fail early and fail often.

It sounds ironic but it is what it is

With failure come vital lessons

At least for the one with a teachable spirit.

It’s a process, not an event, being successful

Hence, concentrate on and do often what you can do not what you can’t.

Any plan is better than no plan

Decide on a plan, execute, and fail on time if you have to fail

Take responsibility for your failures, embrace vulnerability

Never be afraid of being wrong ‘in the end’

You make a living by what you get, a life by what you give.

An achievement increases your confidence, develops your competence and boosts your level of motivation.


There you have my two cents. Sorry I’m all over the place this morning. Have a fulfilling week ahead!


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YOU’RE NOT AN OUTLIER; What will you do about it?

If you’re not born with a silver spoon, you’ll experience considerable challenges in making a headway careerwise and probably in other areas. It’s not a guess, it’s a fact. Unless of course you’re one of the few ‘outliers’ Malcolm Gladwell spoke about in his bestselling anthology OUTLIERS. Even when you’re an outlier, you’ll still go through difficulties in achieving your dreams, but then, there’ll be an explanation; it’ll be said that you were in the right place and experienced the exact conditions that spurred you on to success. This is why you’ll be called an outlier.

Putting aside the notion of outliers, I’d say the average man with average resources raised in an average environment has to be subjected to unpalatable and unwanted experiences at some point or the other. This is no one’s fault. We simply live in an unideal world.

That said, sometimes, these so called experiences come with valuable lessons that might prove vital in some stage of our lives. Sadly however, we miss the point nine times out of ten. Why?

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Nine days ago, I officially marked the beginning of a personal year. My birthdays have over the years brought out the sentimentality in me to think about and write likewise – on those days – the events I think have shaped my year. This year was different though… extraneous circumstances prevented that.

Yet, for a while now, I’ve been immersed in the subject of TIME and what it means to each individual, at least to me. I’ve been wondering which is more important; the past, the present, the future. I found a handful of quotes that predominantly have to do with time. Here they are for your consumption:


There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” 
― Sarah Dessen


 “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 

– Mother Teresa



“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” 
― George Harrison


“Just because I liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean I’ll always like it, or that I have to go on liking it at all points in time as an unthinking act of loyalty to who I am as a person, based solely on who I was as a person. To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think. The only thing I am for sure is unsure, and this means I’m growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.” 
― Jarod Kintz


“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” 
― Eric Roth


“I don’t understand people who say they need more “Me Time.” What other time is there? Do these people spend part of their day in someone else’s body?” 
― Jarod Kintz


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March 27, 2014 · 10:14 am

The demand for Omo, Indomie, Butter, Maggi as far as the Nigerian market is concerned is very high. But if you decide to investigate the actual products people buy, you might find out there’s an assorted mix of (Sunlight, Ariel, Klin), (Dangote, Honeywell, chicken chicken), (Blueband margarine, Summer County), (Knorr, Royco) and a host of other names I’ve not thrown in the fray.

The bottom line is that excellence, longevity and quality have stood them out as the ‘standard’ and hence, the generic names for Detergents, noodles, food spread and food (cubic/cuboid) seasoning.

It’s only natural that years of hard work and a definite drive at process and production improvement is the reward of the aforementioned household essentials.

As far as man is concerned also, a resolute commitment to tasks and values alike sets one apart as the standard even in the company of outstanding fellas.

Overnight Success is not a sudden event. It is rather a process which is distinguished by the final appearance of something one has been working on over time. There’s no reasonable substitute for determined commitment.


The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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March 26, 2014 · 8:16 am


The regular football neutral, and more importantly the consistent follower of English football will be very aware of how results have tanked at Old Trafford over the past few months. As a fan of Manchester United, it is hard to see the plunge and not be tempted to lay the blame at the feet of the new manager, afterall, Club legend Sir Alex Ferguson led the same team to the title before retiring last season.

It’s no surprise though that the folks who turn up physically in the stadium on match days have not taken the abjectness of their beloved team in recent times as personally as the social media fans and long distance supporters have. Perhaps, this is because they have the love of the club ingrained in their DNA even before the love of success.

Fans of Manchester City and Liverpool will appreciate the recent change in fortunes of their club, but then if you ask them, deep down, staying with the club especially when the results are not forthcoming is what gives them the greatest sense of belonging.

And herein lies the message for today. Your commitment to something, your resolve to stick with a line of action you believe in, your decision to keep pushing through, firmly embracing your core values and beliefs even when the results you see are terrible, especially when the results you see are terrible is a true definition of who you are.

In the end, the pain you feel by virtue of commitment to a cause goes a long way in determining how much of yourself you’re willing to put on the line even when situations are not palatable.



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In a rare display of versatility as evidenced in his non-fiction manuscript, The War Of Art, Seasoned American fiction writer Steven Pressfield observed and illustrated the distinction(s) between a professional and an amateur. While it must be said that some of the words used in his exposition should be taken basically in his own context, the highlighted differences provide valuable insight to those who seek acclaimed expertise in their fields.

Pressfield described an amateur as someone who does a task merely for the fun of it. Someone who picks a task up out of convenience. Someone who merely loves the task but doesn’t allow this love drive him to go the extra mile in breaking new grounds. Someone who doesn’t do his task for the money. Someone who is overly affected by the estimation of others about him as far as competence of the said task is concerned and as such allows emotionality cloud his judgement and performances.

A professional on the other hand is someone whose love of a task drives him to be persistent enough to approach expertise. Someone who turns up every time whether he be tired, depressed or intimidated – who still will turn up even if she were the last person in the world. Someone who treats the task as if it’s all about the ‘affluential’ gratification to be derived and conditions herself to work as if the rewards she’d obtain are enormous (even when nothing is forthcoming). Someone who does not take failure too personal.

You see, professionalism in the end (as far as Pressfield is concerned) is not a state but a process. It involves the consistent effort and emotional stability required to be objective enough to ‘keep at it’ no matter the daunting challenges you face.
You know best what heights you mean to scale with your life, so whether you choose to be recognized as an amateur or a professional, I leave that to you to decide.

I recommend the War of Art for a better appreciation of Steven Pressfield’s ideas and propositions.

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Life is of two kinds; the one we live and the one that remains unlived within us. More often than not, we find that the one unlived would probably have been more exciting and rewarding than the one lived. A popular maxim suggests that if we do all we are capable of doing, we would practically astound ourselves. To me, this – in explicit terms – implies it’s very likely that almost every human will fail to live the best life possible.

I’m sure tomes of books and ‘wisdom materials’ will suggest various opposition that contend with us, preventing us from living our best. Some of their nuggets – if we adopt – are capable of transforming us to live better lives. I’m not about to list hard and fast rules about living. I’d rather mention in passing two culprits that constantly offer resistance to us offering our best self/attitude to life: PROCASTINATION and FANTASY.

It goes without saying that perfect conditions hardly ever come by, yet, we find ourselves putting stuff off till tomorrow (tomorrow that never comes) until one day in retrospect, we wonder if we could have just seized the initiative to ‘start something’ with the little we thought was incapable of yielding good results.

The illusion supplied by a habit of incessant fantasizing about how things ‘could be’ ensures that we spend too much time overanalyzing and over calculating the outcomes possible for all the steps we could take, such that we never really take those steps but live submerged in the sea of imaginary gratification.

Life was meant to be lived. See to it that you think about stuff that matter and do stuff that matter. The earlier you start doing things which you deem useful, the more motivation you get to stay put and push further.

My two cents for today: Live your fantasies spontaneously! (And if those fantasies turn out to be inappropriate for you, at least, you know on time ‘what not to do’).


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In the ever increasing quest for competence and adaptability to a myriad of fields life has to offer, there is a tendency to begin to amass data/information of all sort and thus become a Jack of many trades and master of none. I found this extensive quote attributed to Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle profound:

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. There comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.” 
― Arthur Conan DoyleA Study in Scarlet

In the end, the elastic limit of the brain is the extent to which it can gather knowledge, arrange the info gathered systematically, and then function at the highest level possible.

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Danish ‘superstar’ Nicklas Bendtner was adjudged to have his self-esteem scale the normal charts when the whole of the gunners were subjected to a test by psychologists after a difficult period in their football season a few years back. I hear he was declared to have about 106% of high self esteem or so. I wonder how this is possible.

In the real world, Bendtner is nowhere near as good as he thinks himself to be or as he often declares (he compares himself with the greatest strikers in the modern game). When you see him fail to hit the target from 6 yards out, or comically botch beautiful passes from his teammates, or lose the ball to the opposing defenders uncharacteristically, you’ll know what I’m saying. The estimation of the psychologists is scientifically accurate. Nicklas isn’t short of proper mental reasoning. Then it means that somewhere, somehow, there has to be an imbalance in how good he is and how good he thinks he is.

This condition is not uncommon amongst beings that walk the earth (I like how that sounds). It has been observed that we often adjudge ourselves to be smarter, more attractive, more capable than we actually are. It shows in our interactions and I’m certain it manifests even during our individual private thinking sessions. Why else will someone fail to perform at a level that correlates to what we think she should be capable of?

In some way, it is a twisted effect of the “Curse of Knowledge”; a term coined to show how difficult it is for someone to try to understand in another way, something she believes she knows so much about already.

This debacle really puts a cloud over how feasible the ‘unlearning’ aspect of the oft proclaimed ‘LEARNING, UNLEARNING AND RE-LEARNING’ is. In essence, practically, we as a people often refuse to discard preconceived notions, and the reason is linked to our overestimation of our rightness, intelligence and all round superior qualities as opposed to reality. Hence, it is pretty difficult to ‘unlearn’ what we already know or think we know.

Perhaps if every person’s regard of herself is properly aligned with her authentic value, the world will be a more predictable place as we’d know who gets what and who deserves what based on qualities clear for all to see. But who says predictability is within the realms of possibility?

It still is expedient though to always ensure that our beliefs as regard our intrinsic worth are in proper alignment with the virtues we exhibit. Only then can we present our true selves always, only then can there be growth and opportunities for improvement in our lives.


P.S. – Bendtner is only a ‘superstar’ in his native country when showing up in his national team colors.


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Time. Money. They say time is money. I’m sure they refer to how the using up of time translates to the production of money. Yes. This is a plausible explanation, and very often, it implies that the more money you have, the less time you have for yourself. Whether this is a profitable tradeoff is up to each individual to determine for herself.

I have observed that those who wish to be in almost absolute control of the usage of their time are on the increase daily such that even when they rake in tons of money when the rates are broken down to mere seconds, they still complain occasionally about how time is never enough. On the other hand, those who make little money but have quality time to do stuff with meaning become frustrated when their efforts go down the drain daily. In short, finding a balance is more often than not a pipe dream.

And so the question often arises if the ‘seeming’ wise saying: “We do what we have to do so that we can do what we want to do” is binding to all and sundry. I’d say again, it’s about what suits you… ‘the shoe that fits John pinches Joe.

In the end when all is considered, THE GRASS IS NOT ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE!

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