The Digital Minimalism book is by far one of the most influential books have ever read because it contained lots of insights and suggestions on dealing with the social media pandemic/addiction.

After reading the book, I took some very tough decision which have been experimenting with for some couple of years (Since February 10 2018) such as among other things:

  • Deactivated my Personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Accounts.
  • I go directly to the pages I want to view instead of going to the homepage of the platforms directly for example:
    www.linkedin.com/in/lanredahunsi instead of www.linkedin.com
  • I only install whatsapp, 1-3 times per week to respond to messages and make some international calls. I have found that whatsapp is one of the hardest platforms to leave and one of the major time wasters as people always have your attention all the time.
  • I use tools such as Rescue Time and Freedom to help me stay focused, block distracting websites and stay locked in with major goals I want to achieve.
  • Remove all notifications on my phone
  • Digital Declutter: Deleted all apps on my phones and only have In and Out apps such as Google Map, Podcast App, Screentime, Google Authenticator,
  • Have high quality activity to replace the always on the internet habits. I replaced the digital maximalism with Reading Books (100 Books Reading Challenge), Ran Multiple Marathons, Run my Blog(s), Exercise More, Dedicate more time to writing IT Certifications, Listen to more Audiobooks.

Think about this: If you use social Media/stare at your screen all day:

-Social Media – 2 hrs /day – 730 Hours /Year = 1 Month/year – Every 12 years = 1 year on Social Media
TV/Laptop/Entertainment : 2 hrs/Day =730 Hours /Year = 1 Month/year = 1 Year watching TV

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.


Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. ― Bruce Lee

How do you answer the question: What do you do? Do you answer with your present/past Job Description(s). For Example:

The above responses are what have done in the past/presently doing but they are not who I am because I am constantly re-inventing myself like we should all be doing. We need to constantly be in Permanent Beta Mode.

In the The Start-up of You, Reid Hoffman notes:

Technology companies sometimes keep the beta test phase label on software for a time after the official launch to stress that the product is not finished so much as ready for the next batch of improvements. Gmail, for example, launched in 2004 but only left official beta in 2009, after millions of people were already using it.

One of my favourite quote from a movie is from “Akeelah and the Bee:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I developed my keen interest in playing various board games such as Scrabble,Monopoly and Chess after watching the Akeelah and the Bee Movie.

Our deepest fear quote is originally from Marianne Williamson, I agree profoundly with the statement.

Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.  – John Wooden   

We give ourselves various excuses/reasons and we talk ourselves out from achieving our greatness by saying things like : I am too young, I am too old, I am too skinny, I am too fat, I am too dark, I am too this I am too that.

Like Murphy observed, whatever would wrong will always go wrong. It is not that things would go wrong, the most important thing is that you do not go wrong with things. There is a lot of anxiety, hysteria, worry around the world with the COV-ID 19 pandemic but in times like this we all need to say the Serenity Prayer and live by it:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

It is normal in trying times like this to worry for the future but the thing about the future is that ??????

Here are some of the most inspirational quotes on anxiety and worry:

Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.– Robert Eliot

Don’t sweat the small stuff, It’s all small stuff.

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.– Mary Hemingway

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.― Carl Jung

In the book, Atomic Habits by Author James Clear shares the step-by-step plan for building better habits, why tiny atomic changes can make a big difference in forming good and breaking bad habits. The book is rich with insights, examples, anecdotes and real life scenarios which is easy to connect with.

The book expands on the concepts earlier shared by Charles Duhigg, in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Atomic Habits are tiny changes with marginal gains, 1% improvement, tiny incremental changes which if sustained to for a long period of time leads to significant changes.

Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement. At first, these tiny routines seem insignificant, but soon they build on each other and fuel bigger wins that multiply to a degree that far outweighs the cost of their initial investment.

The basic premise of the book is that small incremental changes lead to long term result. Here are some the ways have been using the atomic habits to enhance my productivity:

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. 

Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills

Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.

― Jim Rohn

Failure isn’t so bad if it doesn’t attack the heart.

Success is all right if it doesn’t go to the head.—GRANTLAND RICE

I learn more through my failures than my successes and preparing for an Information Technology Certification is one of the most exciting ways to fail forward. It is very exhilarating with its twists and turns, scenario based questions, certification and re-certification, study guides, online video tutorials (Linkedin Learning, Pluralsight, Udemy,), braindumps, online forums, blogs, official certification blog etc.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. – Bill Gates

I would be experimenting with listening to 50 audiobooks by December 31st 2020. Audiobooks and podcasts are my favourite learning strategies in my quest to get better daily.

Strategy

  • Buy one Audiobook every month which comes with my monthly subscription on Audible.com
  • Borrow Audiobooks from the Public Library
  • Re-Listen to more audiobooks in my compilation as I have come to realize that with repeated listens I get the concepts better.

Listening Times –

  • First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.
  • While in commute and in the Gym.

I have been experimenting with a digital detox/minimalism for the past 6 years since 2013 but I became more deliberate with it since February 2018. I have not used the following Apps personally since February 2018 but I still manage some project related social media accounts

Twitter – Deactivated
Facebook- Deactivated
Instagram- Deactivated

I am presently using only two apps sparingly and am always looking for aways to limit my use of these apps and it is a constant battle of will and discipline.

Linkedin – The only app that still has my attention
Whatsapp – I try to install once to thrice a week and delete immediately after using it to make international calls/replies – it seems cheaper.

“Loss, grief, and disappointment are profoundly personal. We all have unique circumstances and reactions to them.”

Losing my mum is by far the toughest thing have had to Endure thus far and in healing/grieving, so many lessons have been learnt in the process.

The Book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant made me teary a lot while reading it as I could totally relate with most of the stories, anecdotes, pain and experiences she shared on losing her husband Dave Goldberg.

The book explores the psychology of recovery and the challenges of regaining confidence and rediscovering joy. Option B shares Insights on facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.- Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl

“A fractured team is just like a broken arm or leg; fixing it is always painful, and sometimes you have to rebreak it to make it heal correctly. And the rebreak hurts a lot more than the initial break, because you have to do it on purpose.”

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics, cohesion and team failure. The book details many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to “grow together”.

According to the book, organizations fail to achieve teamwork because they unknowingly fall prey to five natural but dangerous pitfalls, called the Five Dysfunctions:

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt

In Unfu*k Yourself, Bishop explains the concept of Getting out of your head with a series of seven assertions:

I am willing.
I am wired to win.
I got this.
I embrace the uncertainty.
I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
I am relentless.
I expect nothing and accept everything.

Assertion One: I am Willing

Willingness is a state in which we can engage with life and see a situation from a new perspective. It starts with you and ends with you.

“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.” – Martin Heidegger

Momento Mori is the symbolic/artistic reminder of the inevitability of Death. The thing is that we are all going to DIE at one point in our life. No matter how long you and I live, whether as long as Methuselah (969) or as short as Jesus Christ (33) or Tupac (25), Steve Jobs(56), the most important thing is the legacy we live behind.

In his very wonderful book Unf*ck Yourself, Gary Bishop shared this thought on dying:

Imagine that you’re on your death bed. You hear the beep… beep… beep of the monitor nearby. Your health is critical, and you’ve only got a few hours to live. You can feel your heartbeat and energy slide.

I completed my first marathon in September 2013 in Accra,Ghana. I stumbled on running marathons after losing my closest cousin who was outside of the country. It was one of the toughest period of my life as he died on his Birthday July 16th 2013 in questionable circumstances. It was extremely tough for me as I did not really have family members around me but I grieved through it and still tear up thinking about him. Rest In Peace Bro.

During my grieving period, I was looking for something to numb my pain distract me, I tried reading lots of John Grisham Novels which I read in the Accra Public Library, It helped a bit as John Grisham took me on a journey with his story telling with books like the firm et al but it was not enough.

You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.― H. L. Mencken

I recently lost my Mum on the 31st of March 2019, it was one of the toughest days of my life. My mum was sick for a while but never thought she was going to be gone so soon. She battled cancer for 9+ Months and it was a roller coaster year but she did not survive it.

The following days, weeks and months have been extremely tough -the overwhelm, the despair, the withdrawals, the tears, the silence from so-called friends and family members, the longing to have just one more conversation with her, the memories.

We all grief differently and life can be cruel with its twist and turns, losing her also brought one more thing into my Life: Learning to number my days, having a sense of urgency and finally understanding the real meaning of Life is Short.

I first explored the idea of reading 100 book in a year in 2016. It was part of my new year resolution and have tried to do it yearly ever since:

2016

Goal: Read 100 Hardcover Books
Outcome: Read 50+ Books by December 31st 2016

2017:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle.
Outcome: Read 80+ Books by December 31st 2017

2018:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle
Outcome: Read 10+ but stopped to make & execute some life decisions (Relocation et al)

2019:

Did not set the goal to read 100 Books but read some books : was not counting but I guess I read 20+ books all year round.

I am presently committed to reading 100 books in 2020 through my 100 Books reading Challenge, You might be wondering how do I intend to read 100 books in 365 days? Here are the strategies that would enable Me (you) achieve it:

  1. Start with Why