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August 2020

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To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.

Intuition heeded is far more valuable than simple knowledge. Intuition is a gift we all have, whereas retention of knowledge is a skill. Rare is the expert who combines an informed opinion with a strong respect for his own intuition and curiosity.

In The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence, Gavin De Becker shares some great insights on how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it’s too late, how most violent acts are predictable, the need to follow your intuition more often. Gavin De Becker is the founder, and chairman of Gavin de Becker and Associates, Gavins’ firm predicts human behavior, behavior in one category mostly: violence.

The basic premise of the book: Listen to your intuition more, and the gift of fear can save your life. In the book, Gavin shows how intuition works for you, and how denial works against you, how fear can be central to your safety, but is frequently misplaced. He also explores the role of threats in our lives and show how you can tell the difference between a real warning and mere words.

Every type of con relies upon distracting us from the obvious

Here are my favourite take aways from reading the The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker:

We are born with only two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds.

We are born with only two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds. All other fears are fears we picked up growing up, we can, therefore, unlearn all our fears through self-discipline and commitment to follow through.

We all fear something, you can let it drive you or cripple you, The choice is yours, you have to face your fears, doubt yourself if you have to but don’t fall for your fear. You would never have a problem-free period of life, the majority of life is suffering at one point or the other but you have to do deal with it. Your FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real, your fear is in your head and you have to face it with courage.

Author John C. Maxwell, in the “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership” notes

“I once saw an article in the Saturday Evening Post that talked about fear. It said that many”:

  • People fear dying in a plane crash, yet the odds against that happening are 250,000 to one. A person is more likely to be kicked to death by a donkey than to die in a plane crash. –
  • People are also afraid of being murdered, yet a person is eight times more likely to die while playing a sport than to be shot by a stranger.
  • People fear dying on the operating table during surgery, yet they are twenty times more likely to die in an automobile accident. At the same time, millions of people hope and pray they will win the lottery. The truth is that they are three times more likely to be struck by lightning.
  • People’s fears and worries are often overblown. Many times they’re not based in reality. Yet these worries stop them from being productive and successful just the same.

Here are some 30 great quotes on Fear:

Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian Businessman and philanthropist who is the founder and chairman of Dangote Group, which is the largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest on the African continent. According to Forbes, Dangote is the richest African and the 162nd wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $USD 8.5 Billion.

Aliko was born on 10 April 1957 into a wealthy Muslim family, the son of Mohammed Dangote and Mariya Sanusi Dantata, herself the daughter of Sanusi Dantata. He is the great-grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest West African at the time of his death in 1955. He lost his dad at the age of 8 and was raised by his uncle, who gave him his first business loan, which he paid back in three months.

There’s only one rule of show business, or writing, and that’s don’t be boring.

Joyce Carol Oates has been recognized as a literary treasure for more than 50 years. Her work has been honored with many distinguished awards, including the National Book Award for her novel “them.” She’s also won two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal, and the Jerusalem Prize.

Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. She is a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley where she teaches short fiction.

Here are my Favourite takeaways from viewing Joyce Carol Oates Masterclass Session on The Art of Short Story:

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. – Socrates

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. 

According to Social Psychologists, David Dunning and Justin Kruger, People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The bias results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is,

The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.

The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.

Across four studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of the participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities. 

There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly behooves any of us
To talk about the rest of us. – Edward Wallis Hoch

We all fall into the trap of jumping into conclusions even when we don’t have all the facts, we conclude using limited data. We jump into conclusions using various strategies such as Mind Reading, Labelling, Fortune Telling, Mislabelling, among other things. Like Mark Twain once quipped, it is not what we don’t know that get us into trouble, it is what we think we know for sure that ain’t so.

Jumping to conclusions is a psychological term referring to a communication obstacle where one “judge[s] or decide[s] something without having all the facts; to reach unwarranted conclusions. In other words, “when I fail to distinguish between what I observed first hand from what I have only inferred or assumed”. Because it involves making decisions without having enough information to be sure that one is right, this can give rise to poor or rash decisions that often cause more harm to something than good.

Imagine yelling at a stranger at a park because they are not responding to you, only to discover they are deaf, Many relationships have been ruined as a result of jumping into conclusions, your husband is talking to a male friend named kiki but you assume he is having an affair, your friend did not return your email or phone call and you conclude he is ignoring you but on further investigation, he just lost his mum or he died last week,

What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.- Mark Twain

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

Life is over so quickly. It is possible to reach the end with no regrets. It takes some bravery to live it right, to honour the life you are here to live but the choice is yours. So will be the rewards. Appreciate the time you have left by valuing all of the gifts in your life and that includes especially, your own, amazing self.

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Australian palliative caregiver Brommie Ware, documented the top regrets of her dying patients, their insights on living, their dying epiphanies and their top regrets. Having cared for and sat by the bedside of terminally ill individuals for several years, she got exposed to their unbearable pain and anguish of dying with regret. The insight she garnered from being around them led her to start a blog and eventually led to writing a memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.

According to Bronnie Ware, here are the top Five Regrets of the Dying:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.


Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.—Bertrand Russell

According to an African proverb, when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm. If you think you can, if you think you can’t, you are also right. The battle is in the mind, to achieve your dreams and aspirations, you need to have unparalleled self-confidence in yourself. If you are competent and not confident, success would elude you but if you are competent and confident at the same time, you would become unstoppable.

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau

In the Seasons of Life, Jim Rohn writes:

Do not doubt yourself, for where doubt resides, confidence cannot. Do not neglect yourself, for with neglect comes loss. Do not imagine yourself to be less than you are, nor more than you are, but seek always to become all of which you are capable. Do not allow yourself to become arrogant or discourteous, for both are characteristics adopted by those who seek to cover their weaknesses.

Masai Ujiri is a Nigerian-Canadian professional basketball executive and former player, and is the president of basketball operations of the Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association (NBA). As president, Ujiri worked to usher in a period of sustained success, helping the team win its first NBA championship in 2019.

Ujiri was born in Bournemouth, England, where his parents were studying. With the family moving back to Nigeria when he was two years old, he grew up in Zaria, Nigeria.  Ujiri’s father, a hospital administrator and nursing educator, is an Isoko from Aviara in Delta state, while his mother, a doctor, is a Kenyan from Machakos County.