Monthly Archives: September 2015

Must there always be a Victor and Vanquished in everyday dialogue?

Keep mute for just a whole day while amidst a respectable number of people.

You’ll find that the itch in your throat to eject words is substantial.

Because as you imagine, they’ll have loads to say through the course of the day.

Man has been designed to dialogue, to connect.

In the sea of dialogue, there’ll probably be disagreements, which if not well managed morphs into discord.

You see, the discord that arises in dialogue mostly is due to the desire to “win”.

Win as per ‘my point is the only correct one.

And so you find that a good number of people acquire knowledge and find a way to stir up conversations just for the purpose of receiving validation for their prowess, not necessarily to artfully change an opinion or orientation.

But it doesn’t have to be a case of wins and losses. Sometimes, all you need is to listen, offer your two cents, learn or unlearn, supply insight or be schooled.

Winning – as it were – in most dialogues is highly overrated.

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Forget being cheesy, being a parasite is worse.

A couple of years back, I read Reid Hoffman’s bestseller: “The Startup of you.” The book is majorly about how at every stage of your life, there’s always room for beginnings, improvements, improvisations and all that.

I remember thoroughly enjoying the book to the extent that one of the key phrases “Permanent Beta” (which was described as a situation of unending upgrading) began to slip off my tongue all too often.

Now, if I had been discussing with people who had read the book as well, it’d have probably been quite okay, at least, we’ll have a common ground for understanding. I however went as far as using it in quotidian mundane conversations with very basic people and then tried to explain the implications to them thereafter. Needless to say, mostly, it was a situation I’d describe as EPIC FAIL! Ended up sounding like a ‘faux intellectual’ and sometimes, just plain cheesy.

I’ve found that as much as reading good books is a desirable trait, there’s the tendency for some to try too hard to lift the things they read into their lives without some subtle tweaking. Most of these ‘some’ I speak of end up being corny or altogether annoying.

A very good example is in the implementation of the art of leveraging.

You see, the horse has been flogged dead by writers and speakers alike that it is wise to leverage on the skill set of those who are more capable than you in certain jurisdictions or endeavors, and so you find that in the process of trying to leverage on said abilities, a good number of people end up becoming parasitic or excessively intrusive.

I reckon it’s okay to have model people you look up to, passive tutors you learn from, skilled people you run to. At the same time, it is expedient to know when you’re being too much of a pest. And even in the event that you must frequently require the services of a person, muster good effort from within to not make the person feel used. Sometimes this is achieved when you offer tangible tokens in appreciation for the work the fellow is doing (words of gratitude don’t mean much), sometimes you simply ask for directions instead of burdening the fellow with your whole work, sometimes show you’re interested in the person, not as an object, but as a real person. Time afterall is arguably the greatest resource someone can share with you.

Have a great week ahead!

RANDOM BITS

1. I’m recommending the book “Leadership and Self Deception” by the Arbinger institute for your consumption this week. While the title might not be so alluring for you, it seeming like another of those collection of rules to being a good leader, I assure you it’s a book that talks about how to deal with jerks more than it does talk about leaders.

2. I write to create work that matters, and so I have resolved to write every Monday and Thursday (Twice a week) so this endeavor has more of a pattern than it has always had. The bid is to answer the same question that one of my favorite writers JAMES CLEAR tries to answer: How do we live better?

3. I’m counting on you to have a wider reach, and this is only possible through you when you share the articles you see here whenever you’re inclined to. You’ll find the buttons just below.

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Isn’t regimenting only for Soldiers?

I once heard about a lady who desired to keep fit and have a blithe body. She consumed so much junk, ate in between meals, didn’t exercise at all and in the end became the symbol of fitness.

I heard of a guy who desired to maximize each day. He slept for 10 hours every night, watched two good movies upon waking up everyday, took a two hour siesta after, surfed the internet and ‘briefly checked‘ the highlights of all social media he was part of for about 4 hours, then read a bit before twilight and the need to sleep again. His days were well accounted for.

There was also one who desired to become a meaningful writer. He didn’t like to read, he kept no journals, scribbled nothing, never studied the work of people he hoped to emulate in writing, wrote one page of balderdash every six months. In the end, he became a famous writer.

I shall not forget to tell of the fellow who purposed in his heart to become a great scholar. He went to school, joined one club after the other, extra curricular activities became his main activities, past times his favorite endeavors, failed to attend classes nor study the work of people who had gone ahead to make a name for themselves in his field. In the fullness of time, he became an outstanding scholar.

My mind is littered with examples of such folks. The only problem is that you don’t believe me. You think nobody could be as ill disciplined as the aforementioned ‘heroes‘ and make it big. You believe those fellows only ever existed in my mind. You are so full of yourself for doubting me, but you are absolutely correct for doing so. Even luck couldn’t have made those guys great if they existed. The best that could have happened to them is for them to have happened upon some windfall of finances and have lots to spend; wealthy but by no means the person(s) they desired to become.

There’s no mastery without discipline, no real achievement without proper regimenting.

As such:

The guy who needs to maximize the day will probably wake up so early, take measures such as sitting on the edge of the bath tub to study in the case that his eyes grow weary.

The one who craves bodily fitness will workout more, have a healthy diet and engage in healthy practices.

The one who intends to write bodies of text that are of any relevance will read and write and read and write some more, every other day till he becomes the masterpiece.

The fellow that is mindful of getting to the peak of her career will research exhaustively all there is to her field, study the paths the icons in her field trailed and strive to emulate the excellent practices that got them there.

In the final analysis, there’s not a worthy achievement nor an enviable attainment made possible without a mindful regiment.

Regiment (verb) – To systemize or put in a strict order.

Regiment (noun) – Influence or control exercised by someone or something.

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Follow Me To The Toilet

Sometime when I was young, my father went to work in another city, my sister had gone off to boarding school, my mother sometimes came home late after going to work and heading to some meetings thereafter.

On those days, I’d be home alone with my brother. We’d watch our black-and-white TV, and after a while, he’d zoom off to slumberland (the easy sleeper that he was), and so I’d be left all alone, feeling sorry for myself, sometimes crying in my loneliness. The worst part of those episodes was when I needed to go to the toilet. I had a mental default setting that some shadows out of the dark would be out to get me, so I’d try to wake my brother to see me off/escort me/follow me to the toilet, but he was always a difficult one to be budged.

As I grew older, the idea stayed in my mind that some of my experiences were peculiar to me alone. I didn’t really consider the fact that people I know or don’t know go through exactly similar situations that I go through daily, hence, I thought my failings as well as successes were infinitely unique. How wrong I was.

It wasn’t until after school that everyone made a bid to start life (as it were), pick one job or the other here and there and be faced with the reality that the pages of school notes bore only an infinitesimal relevance to the real thing, start graduate school and so on did I realize that most of us struggle with inadequacies initially, battle with life’s banality occasionally, come face-to-face with our fears every now and then and endure extraneous experiences from day to day.

What keeps most people in their bubble of victimhood and their tortured cycle of unfulfillment and unhappiness is their misplaced idea(s) that they’re the only ones that have things not so rosy. And so they find it hard to live through the hitches and hiccups and come out better.

You are not alone!

In all that happens to you, in all your endeavors, in all hurrahs and ahas, always remember that you’re not alone, at least not like I was when I dreaded the monsters that’ll troop out of the shadows to hurt me when I still was young.

I wish you all you wish yourself this week. 🙂

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