May 2024


Contrary to what your present situation might be portraying, you are not powerless or hopeless. You have the agency to change the course of your life and the direction you are presently headed. If you want to get a new result, you’ve got to change your approach. What got you here will get you to where you need to be. Albert Einstein once said, “Doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”. It will be tough, but you must look in the mirror more often (personal responsibility) and look less out the window (blaming outside forces). The outside forces/your environment plays a vital role, but the most crucial job starts from the inside. Success is an inside out job, if you cannot go within, then manifesting outwardly is going to be more challenging.

The hardest part of most hard endeavours is showing up consistently, especially when the going gets tough, as they often will. There is a reason why we admire people who play or operate at the highest level of their craft or profession. For instance, young college basketball players hope to get drafted by an NBA team every year, but only a few would make it. Approximately 500,000+ high students will play basketball in any given period, and only around 16,000 will appear in any of the three college basketball divisions. Eventually, just 110 will make at least one NBA appearance.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) stats, only about 1.2% of all college players get drafted by an NBA team. Getting into an NBA team is extremely tough, as the perks of getting drafted are enormous. Many factors determine who gets drafted by an NBA team, such as height, athletic ability, training, focus, determination and a bit of luck. The average annual salary for an NBA player is over 10 million U.S. dollars for the 2023/24 season, with the league’s minimum salary set at 1.12 million U.S. dollars that year. 

In his international bestselling book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, author Stephen R. Covey observed that proactive people focus their effort on their circle of influence instead of paying attention to their circle of concern. He further distinguishes between the circle of influence and the circle of concern:

“Another excellent way to become more self-aware regarding our own degree of proactivity is to look at where we focus our time and energy. We each have a wide range of concerns — our health, our children, problems at work, the national debt, nuclear war. We could separate those from things in which we have no particular mental or emotional involvement by creating a “Circle of Concern.

Life is going to happen to us all at some point; it is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when. The key to navigating life’s rollercoaster is managing the transitions effectively. Whether it is a job loss, losing a loved one, relationship heartbreak, divorce, financial issues or a host of other challenges that we all face at some point in life. It sucks to be at the receiving end of the vicissitudes of life, but one has got to go through the pain, learn from the situation, recalibrate and keep bouncing back. One of the major lessons of meditation is impermanence, the state of things lasting for a while. Everything is always in transition, the seasons and your issues, and they have not come to stay but to teach you the lesson that you need to learn at that time. Don’t let success get to your head, and do not let failure get into your heart.

In The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self, author Michael Easter provides a blueprint for leveraging the power of discomfort. Most people today rarely step outside their comfort zones. We are living progressively sheltered, sterile, temperature-controlled, overfed, underchallenged, safety-netted lives. And it’s limiting the degree to which we experience our “one wild and precious life,” as poet Mary Oliver put it.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

A young lady went home to visit her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She was tired, upset, and annoyed at all these difficulties. Often, she wanted to run away or give up. Her mother listened empathetically, then took the daughter to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and boiled the water.

She then put a carrot in the first pot, an egg in the second pot, and coffee beans in the third pot. After twenty minutes or so, she turned off the fire and put all three items in separate bowls.

She put these three bowls on the dining table and asked her daughter, “What do you see?”

Intrigued, the daughter replied, “A carrot, an egg, and coffee.”

Bad vibe is like porn; we know it when we see it. To paraphrase author Will Bowen, Bad vibration is like bad breath. We notice it when it comes from others but not when we give it out. We all have an element of vibration that might not be in sync with whoever we interact with based on context, environment, place and time. The key is not to be that person about the low-frequency vibration. Some people get into these lower vibrations due to the vicissitudes of life, such as losing a loved one, losing a job, getting a divorce, having a heartbreak or dealing with an incurable health situation. Life can be tricky sometimes, as we all face these challenges. Everyone is going through something that you know nothing about.

 Allowing people to dump their emotional garbage on you continuously is not great for your mental health. One of the beauties of life is that we all have the agency to choose how we will handle any situation. When people bring bad vibrations around you, raise your vibration. Have empathy and be kind, but keep your peace at all costs. Life is too short to be baby-sitting adults, trying to convince or project your worldviews onto others. My life changed the day I realized one of the fundamental truths of life: “You can’t really change anyone but yourself”. Everyone is doing the best they can based on their upbringing, indoctrination, early childhood programming, life experiences and worldview.

Greek philosopher Aristotle once quipped:  “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

In Million Dollar Habits: 10 Simple Steps to Getting Everything You Want, Author and speaker Robert Ringer observed:

  • Remember, life is nothing more than the sum total of many successful years;a successful year is nothing more than the sum total of many successful months;a successful month is nothing more than the sum total of many successful weeks;a successful week is nothing more than the sum total of many successful days.That’s why practicing successful habits day in and day out is the most certain way to win over the long term

“A champion doesn’t become a champion in the ring, he’s merely recognized in the ring. His “becoming” happens during his daily routine.” – Joe Louis

If you knew how powerful and awesome you are by default and design, you would embrace your awesomeness and magnificence. I don’t blame you for forgetting who you are once in a while; we all forget sometimes. What you are going through right now is a moment in time and will pass like everything before it. You are specially made to withstand anything that comes your way; don’t lose yourself in dealing with life’s challenges and vicissitudes. You are not hopeless even though it might feel like that right now, you have agency to change the course of your life.

Good habits are hard to form but easy to maintain, while Bad Habits are easy to form but hard to break. “As the saying goes, Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Routines, habits, regimens, drills, reps, and consistency are some of the tools champions use to elevate and become great. One unintended positive consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic was that it allowed most people to form new habits. One of the habits I have stuck with since the beginning of the lockdown is meditation. It has changed my life as it is one of the first things I do in the first three hours of waking up.

One of the surefire ways to fix a bad habit is to add friction to the habit. Changing a bad habit requires steadily replacing it with a healthier and good one. Bad habits are easier to form but hard to live with, while good habits are tough to form but easier to live with. Habit formation is an easy but hard activity that requires self-discipline, commitment, patience, trusting the process and following through despite the challenges and obstacles that appear.

I recently tackled one of the not-so-good habits I have formed in my years of internet use. A typical work session used to involve opening at least 20+ browser tabs at once and, in the process, deluding myself that I was multitasking. After struggling with this situation for years, I decided to experiment and finally deal with it, as it was reducing my productivity.

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”― Samuel Johnson

Tab Limiter to the Rescue.

After doing some research on how to become more focused on my internet activities, I stumbled on the Tab Limiter Chrome extension, which has totally transformed my productivity. The Tab Limiter helps users limit the number of open tabs – in total and per window. Adding friction to my multi-tasking tendencies, I have become more focused and gained valuable time to do more deep work. The Tab Limiter hack is such an easy solution that I began to wonder why I was not using the extension all this while. Like most of the solutions to our issues in life, they are simple, but we overcomplicate them because of overthinking.

Tab limiter helps you get back control over your browsing – by limiting the number of tabs you can open at once. You can specify the number of tabs in total and per window. Moreover, you can show a customizable message when the tab limit is hit.

In The Wealth Money Can’t Buy: The 8 Hidden Habits to Live Your Richest Life, Canadian writer Robin Sharma shares a framework he learned from his private advisory clients: financial prosperity is only one of the eight forms of wealth. The Eight Forms of Wealth learning model is based upon eight hidden habits used by the world’s wealthiest people to lead a life of purpose and meaning. They include:

Saying no to others is tough, but saying no to oneself is even more challenging. To become more self-disciplined, you have to consistently say no to immediate gratification, doom scrolling social media all day, and say yes to all invitations or anything that catches your fancy. As  Lin Yutang, observed in The Importance of Living, “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.” Knowing life’s non-essentials is tricky, as one can categorize everything as essential. You could doom-scroll the internet all day while telling yourself, “I am building my brand,” or focus on vanity metrics instead of focusing on actionable metrics.

“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.” – Lin Yutang,

American retail businesswoman and TV Personality Martha Stewart was convicted of felony charges in relation to the ImClone stock trading case. She served five months in federal prison for fraud and was fined $30,000. As a result of the conviction, Martha resigned as the CEO of her company and also gave up her sear on the board. After her sentencing, She spoke to a crowd of reporters. Martha said she was sorry for what her actions caused others especially 200 employees of Martha Stewart Living, that lost their jobs. She said she felt sorry that it had to come to this, but she promised: “I will be back.” And come back, she did; Martha rejoined the board of directors of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2011 and became the chairwoman of the Martha Stewart Company in 2012. The Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia brand was acquired by the Sequential Brands Group for $175 million with benchmarked additional payments.

“I will be back.”

In Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius’ book Meditations 1, which is a set of personal writing and ideas on Stoic philosophy, he observed in book 7:

“Nothing happens to anyone that he can’t endure. The same thing happens to other people, and they weather it unharmed—out of sheer obliviousness or because they want to display “character.” Is wisdom really so much weaker than ignorance and vanity?

Things have no hold on the soul. They have no access to it, cannot move or direct it. It is moved and directed by itself alone. It takes the things before it and interprets them as it sees fit.

In a sense, people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them.
But when they obstruct our proper tasks, they become irrelevant to us—like sun, wind, animals. Our actions may be impeded by them, but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.

The impediment to action advances action.
What stands in the way becomes the way.

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