February 2024


It took me a while to put a name to it, but I am getting close to a vocabulary for this phenomenon, as a placeholder would call it, “Adding too much value” syndrome. I have always suspected that I see too much good in people. I am always trying to share the great tools that have worked for me, like reading, exercise, meditation, personal growth mindset and lifelong learning. However, the more I shared, the more I realized I needed to understand my audience before I started sharing. We are all at different stages in our personal development consciousness.

I have developed some very great habits that I am very proud of, such as my self-discipline, meditation practice, daily exercise regimen, daily podcast listening and language-learning adventures. These practices and challenges have taught me more about myself than in my two decades of formal schooling. Because of this, I am always eager to share and help people become a better version of themselves. In What Got You Here Will Not Get You There, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shared 20 habits that could hinder further success. One of the habits highlighted is the “Adding too much value” syndrome. When I read about it, it seemed like something I constantly do and I need to work on.

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. – Lin Yutang

The traditional “To-Do list” is a list of activities and tasks one needs to complete. It is a tool I use religiously as I journal what I intend to do daily as a blueprint for getting things done. I have found the to-do list to be very useful for achieving goals. I recently came across the “To-Stop” list concept while reading management consultant Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. The to-stop list is a list of activities that can be professional, behavioural, or personal and need to be stopped or delegated to others. As the Chinese writer and philosopher Lin Yutang once quipped, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

When creating a to-stop list, one of the key questions is, “Does this activity or relationship bring me joy?” If it does not bring you joy or it has stopped being fun engaging with the tool, activity or task, then it is a prime candidate for the to-stop list. The list can include anything from bad habits, toxic relationships, unhealthy choices, behavioural quirks or default activities. Some things I am considering for my to-stop list include my tendency to want to add too much value, speaking more than I listen, oversharing and being too vulnerable with people who have not earned my trust. Some other things I want to stop doing include stop complaining, gossiping, watching YouTube when I am supposed to be studying in the evening, and arguing. The list is exhaustive, but the first step to changing is acknowledgment.

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar

Self-interest is the act of focusing on one’s needs or interests. Enlightened self-interest involves serving the needs and interests of others while at the same time serving one’s needs. At the root cause of most wars, family rifts, divorces, conflicts, misunderstandings, and miscommunication is asking someone to act against their self-interest. The greed, avarice and selfishness often associated with the corporate (dog eat dog) world and capitalism are a result of unenlightened self-interest. Enlightened Self-interest can be expressed in various ways, such as doing well by doing good, paying it forward, not-for-profit organization, mentorship, coaching, and leadership, among others. American author Zig Ziglar once said “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

People will do something—including changing their behavior—only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.

In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful!, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith identifies fundamental problems that often come with success–and offers ways to attack these problems. He outlines twenty habits commonly found in the corporate environment and provides a systematic approach to helping you achieve a positive change in behaviour.

The difference between success that happens because of our behavior and the success that comes in spite of our behavior

One of my favourite compliments to hear is, “You are Crazy”. Most of the time, the complimenters don’t say it as a compliment, but I know I am not crazy; I am just dancing to a different beat. Most of the time, when people call another person crazy, it is probably because the other individual’s action is beyond the field of their imagination. For example, I ran nine full marathons and two half-marathons last year. Most people I share that adventure with usually say or look at me like, “You are Crazy.” Some even think I am lying, while some might think it is a brag. I share the adventure not because I want to brag but because I usually like being doubted when I tell people about my next adventure, like “Running a sub-3 hours Marathon”. I usually laugh when told I can’t do something or it will be tough like I did not know that before. I know I am not crazy because it is really not about the marathon but the individual that I am becoming.

The difference between a coward and a hero is how you deal with fear. You decide to be a hero.

Giannis: The Marvelous Journey is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the extraordinary odyssey of NBA mega-star Giannis Antetokounmpo from an impoverished childhood in Greece as the son of Nigerian immigrants to the top of the basketball world. The Documentary premiered on February 19 exclusively on Prime Video. The documentary was tough for me to finish because I could feel what Giannis was expressing in the doc. Going through the grief of losing his dad, hate as an immigrant and having to navigate a tough world. I cried a lot watching the documentary; it was a tough watch but a very inspiring story.

Relatives are the people you’re related to by blood, and family consists of the people who offer you a sense of belonging, acceptance, and connection.

Love is a verb, not a noun. It is not about what you say (“I Love You”); it is about what you do (Being supportive, listening and caring). Most of us confuse what people tell us they are (title) with what they show us (role). Someone can have a title of relative, family, sibling or friend, but the question is, are they playing the ideal role that the title confers? Your parent might not necessarily have the emotional wherewithal to be a trusted guide as one can not give what they do not have. Age is not the same thing as wisdom. The chronological timeline does not determine how wise someone is. It’s the same thing with who we call family; that someone is your family member does not mean they are your family. Family is anyone who shows you support and empathy, listens and accepts you for who you are. They say blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood.

12-year-old Mark Cuban started his first business so he could buy new basketball shoes. Now he’s one of the most successful people alive. Mark Cuban made his first billion when he sold to Yahoo in 1999, and he’s been raking in profits ever since. A colorful personality and leading investor on ABC’s hit television series “Shark Tank,” he prides himself on helping entrepreneurs and business owners succeed. Most recently, Mark has taken the Dallas Mavericks from a local NBA franchise to a billion-dollar business.

When everything is said and done, everyone dies. Our time here on earth is limited, as most of us find out very late. We live our lives like we would get as old as Methuselah; we delay living our lives to the utmost by living in someday isle and we lead an autopilot life in quiet desperation tiptoeing towards our grave. We don’t make waves because we fear the ripple effects and what other people would say or feel. But the reality of life is that we only have this one shot to make an impact and lead a life of adventure and purpose. Every action we take in life has consequences; our input determines our output, cause and effect, reap and sow.

How you live your life daily, through your choices and priorities, has long-lasting consequences on how your life will eventually turn out. At least in advanced economies, the average human life expectancy is around 80 years old. For an 80-year life, one-third of that will be spent sleeping, and another will be used for work, commuting and preparing to work. If we put this in perspective, we have less than 30 years to live a life of consequence. The more one realizes they don’t have much time, the more it becomes crucial to re-order priorities and things that would matter.

“What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trusting your guts means trusting the instinctive feeling/signal your body sends you when you are making a wrong or right decision. You can call it intuition, instinct, hunch, gut feeling, deeper knowing or sixth sense; no matter what it is called, you know it when you feel it. Our gut feeling is buried deep in our minds, and hearing it will be hard for most of us. We are surrounded by noise, distracted by drama; we are not paying attention; hence, we can’t distinguish between signals and bandwidth. Oprah Winfrey once observed, “When the universe compels me toward the best path to take, it never leaves me with ‘Maybe,’ ‘Should I?’ or even ‘Perhaps.’ I always know for sure when it’s telling me to proceed—because everything inside me rises up to reverberate ‘Yes!’.

Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart. – Gavin De Becker, The Gift of Fear

It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.

We often don’t realize how far our random act of kindness can go to lifting up or making someone else’s day. The little smile, that show of concern, that nudge or push to let others see the greatness in them could light a fire. Many of us are so focused on our lives and responsibilities that we forget to see the constant opportunities around us to be kind. We may not always go outside of our way for others because we don’t feel connected to them. Perhaps we are caught in a mind of scarcity or too busy to notice those around us. There are always opportunities to be kind, and it is essential to remember that the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone else.

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers. – Khalil Gibran

British naval historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson is famous for the eponymous law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” He wrote about Parkinson’s Law in a 1955 “The Economist” Essay 1 and also in his 1957 book Parkinson’s Law and Other Studies in Administration.

“It is the busiest man who has time to spare.”

 High-performance coach Brendon Burchard left a corporate consulting job in 2006 because he was not finding fulfilment in the outputs that were being rewarded. He chose to quit and set up his career as a writer, speaker and online trainer. He began creating content to inspire and empower others.

Like a lot of people new to the expert industry, I thought I had to figure out the writing industry, the speaking industry, the online training industry. I made the mistake of going to dozens of conferences to try to figure out each of the industries, without realizing that they all were the same career of being a thought leader and had similar outputs that mattered most.

Brendon made some mistakes starting out such as trying to figure out the industry by attending numerous conferences instead of doing the work and creating quality output. The frustration led to an epiphany which to focus on quality output. He realized that if he was going to become a professional speaker, his PQO would be the number of paid speaking gigs at a certain booking fee.

Convention is based on or following what is generally done or believed. Convention relates to what is generally accepted or traditional ways of doing something. 1 As the German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein famously quipped, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ‘ To get exceptional results, one must do the exceptional by going the extra mile and avoiding the conventional. Conventional means to do what everyone is doing. You will get the same result if you do what everyone is doing. To get unconventional results requires doing unconventional things, disrespecting the status quo and becoming somewhat unreasonable and obsessed.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

In his book, Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment, American writer  George Leonard describes the learning paths to mastery. He writes: We all aspire to mastery, but the path is always long and sometimes rocky, and it promises no quick and easy payoffs. So we look for other paths, each of which attracts a certain type of person.

The Dabbler, the Obsessive, and the Hacker