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In his very great book, Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business that Works, best-selling author and Entrepreneur Daniel Priestley observed that there are three key part of an ‘Entrepreneur Brain'”: The reptile, The monkey and The Entrepreneur (Visionary).

DON’T LET THE REPTILE RUN YOUR LIFE

The reptile – fight, flight freeze (emotional often in a bad way – aggression, fear, panic, etc).

If you operate from the primitive, survival part of your brain, you can expect to live like a reptile. Reptiles don’t achieve very much, they eat scraps, they crawl all over each other, they don’t evolve and they feel the cold when the winters of life come around. Reptiles are either fighting for scraps, mating or conserving energy while watching anything that moves to see if it’s good for food or sex.

Operating from this survival brain gives you more scarcity in the times we are living in. This part of the brain has no empathy for others, a skill that is vital in ‘value creation’. The reptile isn’t able to reason effectively and it has no concept of time. It’s not a logical or strategic part of the brain, it’s programmed to seek out situations that seem good for immediate survival with as little effort as possible.

“Unfortunately, it’s easily fooled in these modern times. It’s the part of the brain that will gamble on slot machines for hours on end, trading small coins for the hope of many coins, but it will never compute the folly of this activity. It will play repetitive, colourful games on the phone, scroll through endless social media accounts and get fooled into buying dumb things like weight-loss pills on late-night television.”

It’s the part of the brain that will hope for ‘passive income’ and will sacrifice relationships and genuine opportunities in exchange for a shot at having an endless stream of ‘flies that land in your mouth’ every day on their own.

The reptile believes the only resources that exist are those it can touch right now. If it can’t see money, there’s no money. If it can’t see food, there’s no food. The reptile will destroy everything around itself if it thinks that will bring an immediate benefit to its survival. If you have ever lashed out at someone close to you, if you have ever smashed something valuable or sent a venomous email that later cost you dearly, it was you ‘going reptile’. This short-term view will have you make your worst decisions, often leaving you having to apologize or losing someone or something important to you.

THE MONKEY BRAIN DOES WHAT IT’S TOLD

The monkey – learn, remember, repeat, stay in the comfort-zone (practical but not very adventurous). 

The monkey brain isn’t much better than the reptile brain if you want to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

If you operate from the purely functional part of your brain, you will live like a monkey. You will have friends and you will be able to perform repetitive tasks, but most of what you do will not be very meaningful in the long term. You will have a repetitive, comfortable existence, spend your time nit-picking and stay amused with very simple things.

The monkey brain works closely with the reptile to stay entertained. The monkey does all the repetitive tasks, and the reptile provides a variety of peak emotions like anger, sadness, happiness, anger, surprise, sexual arousal and excitement. The chiefs of the industrial age discovered that you can keep the monkey working on repetitive tasks for 40 years if you make sure the reptile keeps it entertained with emotional ups and downs on a daily basis.

The monkey believes the only resources that it can access are those it has been told (preferably in writing) it can access. If you tell the monkey it earns £45,000 a year, it believes that’s all there is. If you tell the monkey it has a credit card limit of £3500, that’s it until a letter arrives from the bank saying that it’s now £4000! The monkey cannot perceive how life can be any different from the way it is now because no one has told it how. The monkey can only act if it’s shown how to do something and then it can repeat it.

All the monkey wants to do is stay safe and see what the reptile comes up with next as entertainment.

If you’ve ever gotten caught in meaningless repetitive endeavours or felt helpless about how to change your life for the better because you don’t know how, you were caught in monkey mode.

THE ENTREPRENEUR BRAIN TRANSFORMS YOUR WORLD

The visionary – insight, inspiration, strategy, empathy, compassion, play, creativity (emotional in a good way – passion, love, humour, etc).

If you want to innovate, transform the world and build an inspiring empire, you need to access your entrepreneur brain.

If you operate from the entrepreneurial part of your brain, you will live like an emperor. You will develop a space that is truly your own, people will be honored to share conversations with you, you will solve big important problems and make a difference to many people.

The entrepreneur part of your brain has great amounts of empathy, logic, reasoning and higher consciousness. These are all great skills for turning a vision into an empire.

Your entrepreneur brain has a capacity, quite literally, to love the world and everyone in it. It can connect with people and events over vast distances. It can calculate future consequences, it can draw unique insights from your own past or even the stories of others and naturally devise strategies. It’s wise beyond the comprehension of the monkey or the reptile.”

While the reptile believes in resources it can touch and the monkey believes what it is told, the entrepreneur believes in its ability to influence.

An entrepreneur believes that if a resource exists somewhere in the world, it can have a powerful discussion about how that resource gets used. The entrepreneur brain doesn’t care who currently ‘owns’ the resource, only that it’s possible to access it. If someone has a set of skills, the entrepreneur wants to enrol them in using those skills towards their vision. If someone has money, the entrepreneur is curious to see if that money could be put to better use with their company. If someone is famous, the entrepreneur sees the potential in them drawing attention to a common cause. The entrepreneur always sees the win-win relationships and therefore the entrepreneur doesn’t need to own things in order for them to be useful.

Richard Branson sees the media as a resource because he has mastered such influence over the media, but he doesn’t own it. SoftBank founder Massayoshi Son raised $45 billion in a 45-minute pitch to build his vision for the future – the money existed in a sovereign wealth fund and he influenced how it would be used”

If you have ever had moments of pure inspiration, where you feel anything is possible, you want to start a movement and do something meaningful for humanity, you were having an entrepreneur brain moment.

All the bet in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. – Pele

Author Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. This means that any person who knows what they are doing and where they are going is a success. Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person. Success is personal and subjective hence what I think to be successful might not mean success to you but no matter what your definition of success is, you still need to aim for something. Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success in life is just showing up. It is the writer who sits down every day to write, the entrepreneur who is always growing his business, the salesman who is always pitching, the artist who is always rehearsing, the sportsman who is always at the gym training, the student at the library studying.

You are either Preparing or Repairing.

  To become successful requires a relentless pursuit of your goals, long hours of training and deliberately practicing, continuously believing in yourself, and trusting the process. The reason we love pro-athletes is that they show us what is possible and what we can become. All the people we know by their first name showed up: Jordan, Serena, Pele, Alli, Lebron, Beyonce, Brady, Kobe, Messi, Bolt. They all worked hard for a long time; they trained, prepared, always the first in the gym and the last to leave the gym. They became so good no one could ignore them; they worked so hard their signature became an autograph.

 The successful have a great work ethic, they are the hardest workers in the room. Their success was the result of the deliberate and relentless pursuit of their goals and aspirations. They got rewarded in public for what they practiced and refined in private. As James Allen observed in his great book, As a Man Thinketh:

“The thoughtless, the ignorant, and indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of law, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky is!” Observing another become intellectual they exclaim, “How highly favored he is!” And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, “How chance aids him at every turn!” They don’t see the trials and failures and the struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness and the heart aches; they only see the light and the Joy, and they call it “luck”; do not see the longing arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune”; do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it “chance”.”

 The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is that the successful persevered, persisted, and resisted the urge to become lazy; they followed through on their commitment to train, read, rehearse, and prepare. When it was time to execute, they were in a state of flow.  The successful set themselves up for success; their success was not an accident. As American Businessman and Motivational Speaker Chris Gardner observed, their goals followed the 5C Complex: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Committed, and Consistent.

According to  Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his seminal book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He Writes

Flow is a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand in a goal-directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues about how well one is performing. Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant or worry about problems. Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted. An activity that produces such experiences is so gratifying that people are willing to do it for its own sake, with little concern for what they will get out of it, even when it is difficult or dangerous.

The most successful people are usually in a state of flow, they found what they loved, prepared, trained and they eventual discovered who they are meant to become. They toiled in private and they get rewarded in public with the medal(s), the endorsement deals, the respect and prestige.  Their success is not an accident but most of us attribute their success to luck, they worked on themselves because they understand that success is what you attract and not what you pursue.

They created value and they got rewarded with the perks of their hardwork and sacrifice. As Albert Einstein observed: “Do not try to become a person of success but try to become a person of value.”

As Former World Heavyweight Champion, Joe Frazier said:

“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.”

Success is not an accident; it is determined by our choices, daily routine, work habits, and the vision we aim for day in and day out. What you put in is what you get out. Garbage in, garbage out. Suppose you sow the seed of greatness, reap the reward of your persistence and hard work by becoming successful. Luck is what happens when Preparation Meets Opportunity. The successful created their LUCK by Labouring Under Correct Knowledge. They took personal responsibility for their lives, and they became successful eventually. If you can not pay the price, you can not win the prize; greatness cost more; it requires sacrifice, training, and executing your plan.

All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

One of the greatest truisms of life is that we are all going to DIE; that is our ultimate destination. A lot of us would not achieve our most cherished aspirations in life not because we do not know what to do, we know what to do but we wait for the perfect time, we say: “Someday I’ll“…….when I do…I’ll do this or that. Our time here is short as we are all living on borrowed time. The key to starting is to START, take baby steps. As Chinese Philosopher and Writer Lao Tzu famously said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” and as The Buddha quipped: “The trouble is, you think you have time.” 

Alfred D Souza. observed:

“For a long time, it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last, it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

You do not have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Many of us have misplaced priorities; we do what we are supposed to do tomorrow today and do what we are supposed to do today tomorrow. Hence we do not achieve our goals and aspirations. If you do what is hard and pay today, your life would be easy tomorrow, but if you do what is easy and play today, your life would be hard tomorrow. Garbage in, Garbage out, what you put in is what you get out.

In his book “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition” Scottish mountaineer and writer W. H. Murray, writes:

“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”

Author, and Cardiologist George Sheehan quipped

“There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down—until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.”

So stop waiting . . .Until your car or home is paid off. Until you get a new car or home. Until your kids leave the house. Until you go back to school. Until you finish school. Until you lose ten pounds. Until you gain ten pounds. Until you get married. Until you get a divorce. Until you have kids. Until you retire. Until summer. Until spring. Until winter. Until fall. Until you die. Until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Life is for the living; this is not a dress rehearsal. You Only Live Once. If you live great, one time is enough. Stop waiting for the perfect time, the perfect season, the perfect mood. There would never be a perfect time; the key is to make your decisions align with your principles and values. The key is to start, have a daily routine/agenda, follow-through, and achieve your goals.

Author and Leadership Expert, John C. Maxwell, in his book Today Matters advised:

Getting started is often the hardest part of making changes in your life, whether it’s an exercise regimen, a personal growth plan, a diet, or a program to quit smoking. Because we already have so many reasons not to start in the back of our minds, John shared some compelling ideas about getting started:

START WITH YOURSELF

If you desire for just one person close to you—your spouse, your child, a close friend, an employee—to change in some way, then become a model of change yourself. When that happens—

• You gain experience, confidence, integrity, and influence.

• You become content with yourself. (As the popular psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw would say, “You need to be there for you first.”)

• You must have something to give before you can give to others

START EARLY

There’s an old saying that Noah didn’t wait for his ship to come in; he built one! If you take a proactive approach to changing your life and you start early, you increase your odds for success—and you create more options for yourself later in life.

START SMALL

The bigger the change, the more intimidating it can be. That’s why I recommend starting small. Just about everyone believes he can take a small step. That’s encouraging. When you start small and succeed, it helps you believe you can accomplish the next step. (Besides, you can’t do step two until you’ve completed step one, right?) It also helps you to prioritize your actions and focus your energy. But here’s a piece of advice: As you get ready to begin, don’t expect to understand all of what it will take to get to the top. Just focus on the next step.

START NOW

Dick Biggs, author of Burn Brightly Without Burning Out, says, “The greatest gap in life is the one between knowing and doing.” Deep down, we all know that if we want to change and grow, we need to get started. Yet we sometimes hesitate. That’s why Maureen Falcone says, “Most people fail in the starting.

You may have a million reasons not to get started now. But deep down, none of them can be as compelling as your desire to change, grow, and succeed. In a month or a year or five years from now, you may have only one regret—that you didn’t start now. Today matters. The way you spend today really can change your life. But the first decision you must make is to begin.

Start Now and Stop waiting for the perfect time, perfect weather, perfect spouse, perfect mood, perfect country, perfect friends, Don’t Worry be Crappy., Just Do It: Start that Blog, Start that Business, Start that Regimen, Routine, Start that course, and remember: You do not need to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

In Zen Buddhism, the beginner’s mind is called Shoshin (初心). It refers to the idea of letting go of your preconceptions and developing an attitude of openness and eagerness when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, With this approach to study, we can grow and learn faster.

Zen monk and teacher Shunryu Suzuki, In his great book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, shares some great insights on the beginner’s mind:

In Japan, we have the phrase shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind.” The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind. Suppose you recite the Prajna Paramita Sutra only once. It might be a very good recitation. But what would happen to you if you recited it twice, three times, four times, or more? You might easily lose your original attitude towards it. The same thing will happen in your other Zen practices. For a while you will keep your beginner’s mind, but if you continue to practice one, two, three years or more, although you may improve some, you are liable to lose the limitless meaning of original mind.

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our “original mind” includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

   If you discriminate too much, you limit yourself. If you are too demanding or too greedy, your mind is not rich and self-sufficient. If we lose our original self-sufficient mind, we will lose all precepts. When your mind becomes demanding, when you long for something, you will end up violating your own precepts: not to tell lies, not to steal, not to kill, not to be immoral, and so forth. If you keep your original mind, the precepts will keep themselves

In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, “I have attained something.” All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.

The Earned Dogmatism Hypothesis

In an article that appeared in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Volume 61, November 2015, Pages 131-13, titled: When self-perceptions of expertise increase closed-minded cognition: The earned dogmatism effect” by VictorOttati et al. The Researchers writes:

Although cultural values generally prescribe open-mindedness, open-minded cognition systematically varies across individuals and situations. According to the Earned Dogmatism Hypothesis, social norms dictate that experts are entitled to adopt a relatively dogmatic, closed-minded orientation. As a consequence, situations that engender self-perceptions of high expertise elicit a more closed-minded cognitive style. These predictions are confirmed in six experiments.

Although cultural norms place a positive value on open-mindedness, open-minded cognition varies across individuals and situations (Ottati et al., 2015). For example, closed-mindedness is associated with a predisposition to experience psychological insecurity, and increases when individuals encounter morally objectionable viewpoints (e.g., communications advocating discrimination; Ottati et al., 2015).

In examining the determinants of open-minded cognition, the present paper focuses on self-perceptions of expertise. “Expert” designates someone who is relatively knowledgeable within
a domain. “Novice” designates someone who possesses a limited amount of knowledge (Delli Carpini & Keeter, 1992).

Individuals induced to believe they are experts tend to overestimate the accuracy of their beliefs. The Earned Dogmatism Hypothesis proposes that this finding arises, in part, because social norms entitle experts to adopt a more dogmatic cognitive orientation. Because experts have already given extensive thought to issues within a domain, they have “earned” the privilege of harboring more dogmatic opinions and beliefs. In contrast, social norms discourage individuals from being dogmatic when they possess a limited amount of knowledge. Expression of dogmatic convictions can be viewed as warranted, justified, or appropriate when the communicator possesses high expertise. This is less likely to be true when the communicator knows little about a topic. Social norms dictate that novices should adopt a more open-minded orientation.

For example, self-perception of expertise (“I am knowledgeable”) may possess an affective component (“I feel powerful”). These cognitive and affective components of expertise might cause individuals to feel normatively entitled to formulate strong opinions that are defended in a dogmatic fashion. Consistent with the Earned Dogmatism Hypothesis, this interpretation presumes that the effect of expertise on open-minded cognition is mediated by normative entitlement.

Developing a Beginner’s Mindset

  • Open Mindedness

Have an open mind to other suggestions and ideas that might not be close to your previous way of looking at things, empty your mind of preconceived notions and ideas. According to Shunryu Suzuki:

“When you listen to someone, you should give up all your preconceived ideas and your subjective opinions; you should just listen to him, just observe what his way is. We put very little emphasis on right and wrong or good and bad. We just see things as they are with him, and accept them. This is how we communicate with each other. Usually when you listen to some statement, you hear it as a kind of echo of yourself.

    You are actually listening to your own opinion. If it agrees with your opinion you may accept it, but if it does not, you will reject it or you may not even really hear it. That is one danger when you listen to someone. The other danger is to be caught by the statement. If you do not understand your master’s statement in its true sense, you will easily be caught by something which is involved in your subjective opinion, or by some particular way the statement is expressed. You will take what he says only as a statement, without understanding the spirit behind the words. This kind of danger is always there.

  • Live without Shoulds
    Try to live without the should and must of life, when we think of how things should/must be done a certain way, we remove a wide array of options. To the beginner, there are no should just coulds as they open limitless opportunities.
  • Don’t be an Expert
    Let go of the idea of becoming an expert, have a beginner’s mind, and explore the field from different angles like a beginner would.
  • Focus on questions, not answers
    Asking new questions that you do not have answers to, can give you a new perspective on things you already know. As René Descartes once quipped “I think, therefore I am”. He asserted that the very act of doubting one’s own existence served- at minimum – as proof of the reality of one’s own mind; there must be a thinking entity- in the case of the self – for there to be a thought.

“Look for people who have lots of great questions. Smart people are the ones who ask the most thoughtful questions, as opposed to thinking they have all the answers. Great questions are a much better indicator of future success than great answers.”― Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work

Having a beginner’s mindset is one of the essential skills needed to become a life-long learner because the more you know, the more you know you do not know. When most of us are studying, we do not have a beginner’s mindset; hence we are always looking for information to validate our present behavior and worldview.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

“There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines.” – Brian Tracy

It is that time of the year again for new years resolutions, we want to exercise more, read more books, eat healthier, spend more time with family and friends, lose weight, save more money, the list is endless. The challenge with a lot of this new year resolutions is that they are mere wishes as most of us go back to our lives of quite desperation, tip toeing through live and we go back to where we started by february/march.

Gyms around the world always see a surge in the number of people in their facilities and they already know this new year gym goers would soon drop out of the fitness program. The reason a lot of us would not follow through on our new year resolutions just like the new year gym-goers is that we have not mastered the art of goal setting. The key to achieving any goal requires what I call the DCE framework: Decide, Commit and Execute.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

It started a long time ago from the moment you were delivered to this world; your family and friends are wired to make you want to take the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, the challenge with that is that the ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are made for; you have to follow your bliss, discover your purpose, reinvent and become who you are meant to become. Live, learn, leave a legacy and make the world a better place.

Haters, Doubters, Critics and Naysayers do not really hate you, they despise themselves because you are the reflection of what they could have become had they followed their bliss.

 “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill

The key to letting the doubters eat their words is to focus on yourself; Winners focus on winning, and losers focus on the winners. The key is to work on yourself, tune out the noise, execute relentlessly and be the best version of yourself. When you eventually make it, you will know the value of the haters as it would propel you; it becomes the fuel to execute. They would remember your name. As doubters would always doubt, haters would always hate, they would underestimate you, but you have to believe in yourself as you are born to be extraordinary and exceptional.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. – Mahatma Gandhi.

What people think about you and your dreams and aspiration is none of your business, they have the right to their opinion but not the fact; you determine that.

“An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until finally he knows everything about nothing.” (A manager, therefore, must be someone who knows less and less about more and more until finally she knows nothing about everything. So what happens when an expert and a manager meet?)”

People would always have opinions even the so-called experts, but most times they might also be wrong, Remember there are no right answers, just informed opinions and opinions are just transitory perceptions, it changes all the time. Imagine if the following inventors listened to the naysayers and experts, we would not have the following innovations:

  • “The phonograph is of no commercial value.” —Thomas Edison, remarking on his own invention in 1880.
  • “There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” —Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize winner in physics, 1920.
  • “It is an idle dream to imagine that automobiles will take the place of railways in the long-distance movement of passengers.” —American Road Congress, 1913.
  • “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.” — Business Week, August 2, 1968.
  • “I think there is a world market for about five computers.” —Thomas Watson, chairman IBM, 1943.
  • “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” —Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  • “While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.” — Lee DeForest, inventor.
  • “There will never be a bigger plane built.” — A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people

Imagine if the innovators listened to the above statements by the gurus, the experts are usually well-meaning most times but they do get it wrong sometimes. If you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t you won’t. It is all in the mind, what the mind of a man can conceive and believe it can and would achieve.

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” – James Allen

We are all going to be doubted at one point or the other whether you are Barack Obama, Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Lebron James, Usain Bolt, Lanre Dahunsi, the key is to prove them wrong and strive to be the best version of yourself. Don’t rest on your laurels, work so hard that people know you on a first-name basis, Ronaldo, Barrack, Lebron, Jordan, Brady and turn your signature into an autograph. The only way to shut the haters and doubters up is by your results, as your results would cancel the insults and Success is the Best Revenge.

You have to use the doubt, hate, criticism, and noise as fuel to achieve your dreams and aspiration. It will not be easy; the road will be rough with its twists and turns, peaks, and valleys, but you have to promise yourself that you would not let the success get into your head, neither would you let your failures get in your heart. You’ve got this, you are made for extraordinary, and exceptional feats, Just Do It.

In his book, “Put Your Dream to the Test.” Author John C Maxwell writes: “Which critics count and which don’t? Heed the advice of the critic when . . .

  • You are unconditionally loved by the one who criticizes you.
  • The criticism is not tainted by his or her personal agenda.
  • The person is not naturally critical of everything.
  • The person will continue giving support after giving advice.
  • He or she has knowledge and success in the area of the criticism.

You have to analyze who is criticising you or giving you the feedback have they done what they are talking about. We live in a world where someone can give you advise on writing who is not a writer, entrepreneur coach who has not started a business, Life coaches who have not got their shit together, the key is to be mindful of who you listen to and try to listen more to your inner voice. Block out the noise, execute and the results would eventually come but you have to hang in there. Start that business, start the manuscript, attend the class, write that goal down, the key is constant motion and getting things done.

Vision + Action + Passion = Unstoppable Momentum

As Anthony Robbins often says, we do not get our shoulds in life; we get our musts. You need to tune out the noise, believe and bet on yourself, do the work, and prove the naysayers wrong. I would be rooting for you as I do hope to see you at the Top.

All the Best in your Quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Most of us live our lives like we would be alive forever, but the truth is that we are all living on borrowed limited time. The Buddha once said that the challenge is that we think we have time. When we hear someone DIE especially if they are young, like Kobe Bryant or Chadwick Boseman, we reflect for a minute about how short life is and how one needs to have a sense of urgency. Still, that reflection does not usually last for many of us as we go back to our lives of quiet desperation.

We continue to perform for the world as we have always done in most of our adult life, spend 4-5 years of our lives studying a course we are not passionate about and would not use for work eventually, we eventually get a job we are not excited about, and we keep jumping from one job to the other with perks such as promotions, health and dental benefits, salary to pay for our mortgage and hence we do not follow our bliss. We give a shit about what people think about us and edit our performance for their validation; what would my family members say or think? How would my co-workers look at me? How would the social media platforms algorithms validate this?

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking about you.
When you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you.
When you’re 60, you realize that nobody has been thinking about you at all!

We say to ourselves, I would start the business when I have gathered enough money, start traveling when the kids leave the house, volunteer for great initiatives when I retire, and read more books when I leave paid employment. It follows the same pattern: Someday, I’ll...When I get here, I will do this.

We all start the day with the same amount of time: 86,400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, 24 hours. The billionaire, the homeless, the politician, the celebrity, the entrepreneur, and the 9-5er. We all start the same way but what determines how successful we become is our use of time, which invariably determines our decision making, choices, and routine. Imagine your time like a bank account with credits of $86,400 each morning, and it is carried over no balance from day-to-day.


Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance.
It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”.
You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today

In his very thought-provoking 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, advised that we find what we love to do and live every day like it could be our last as our time here is limited:

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

We are all on a journey in this world and having a sense of urgency can not be overemphasized cos Life is very short. Most of us do not understand this very profound message of life until we lose a loved one, escape a ghastly motor accident, survive a terminal diagnosis, or endure a boiling point moment. Depending on which part of the world you are in, let’s use the USA as a reference country which has a life expectancy of 79 years.

We spend at least one third of our lives sleeping, and spend another one third of that working. After spending 2/3rd of our lives working and sleeping. After factoring in grooming, schooling, commuting, gossiping, watching TV, Social Media, Whatsapp, we have just like 10 years left to be really productive and try to leave a legacy in the world.

The moment you realize that your time here is limited, you begin to re-order your priorities. Instead of viewing 90 minutes of soccer, you view the highlights instead, most times; it does not feel like the time is much, but when you add 4 hours of viewing premier league soccer, midweek and weekends; it eventually adds up that is 200 hours (8-10 days) of soccer per year, in 36 years, you would have used one year of your precious life to view soccer.

Your time here is limited, don’t waste it performing for others, follow your bliss, have fun, get things done, be remarkable, exceptional and leave a legacy in the process.

All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

I first stumbled on the sentence “Don’t worry be crappy” in one of Guy Kawasaki’s book and the concept really helped me with my perfectionist tendencies. Anytime I want to get into the analysis paralysis mode, I remind myself that you do not need to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

One of the favourite concepts have learnt from reading Guy Kawasaki Books is Don’t Worry be Crappy, it was an aha moment for me when I was first  exposed to the concept around 2012 while trying to startup some projects. This singular idea changed my perspective on starting anything as I discovered most big brands did not  start as fortune 100 companies they worked their way up the value chain.

 Anytime I have the resistance when trying to start something new and I over tweak or try to over analyse, I go to Archive.org to view how top brands I personally admired looked like when they were starting out. Do this little experiment and check out brands like Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola to name but a few to view how they looked like when they were starting out.

Don’t worry, be crappy. 

Guy Kawasaki:

An innovator doesn’t worry about shipping an innovative product with elements of crappiness if it’s truly innovative. The first permutation of a innovation is seldom perfect–Macintosh, for example, didn’t have software (thanks to me), a hard disk (it wouldn’t matter with no software anyway), slots, and color. If a company waits–for example, the engineers convince management to add more features–until everything is perfect, it will never ship, and the market will pass it by.

The key to the concept of don’t worry be crappy was very paradigm shifting for me when I first discovered it and it has always been a framework for shipping creative projects for me. One exercise I always experiment with whenever I am over analysing with executing is that I remind myself that every project started from somewhere an acorn before becoming an oak tree.

I get it been perfect is very desirable especially in our filter perfect social media world, it is hard not been perfect not having figured it out. You are not supposed to be perfect as it is the constant struggle that makes life worth living, we listen more to others than to our own internal voice. We constantly compare ourselves to others, it is ok to be imperfect in your life, with your product, your project, your blog, your book just do it because life is short and it could be over before you even start living.

It is extremely tough been vulnerable and admitting your insecurities, life becomes worth living. The fear of failure, disappointment and making a mistake stop a lot of us from following our bliss: we ask ourselves what would so and so think but the key is that no one is really thinking about you.

Kintsugi

kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

In her Book, Kintsugi: Finding Strength in Imperfection, Author Céline Santini writes:

This ancestral technique, developed in Japan during the fifteenth century, consists of repairing a broken object by accentuating its cracks with gold—instead of hiding them. But the philosophy behind it goes much deeper than a simple artistic practice. It has to do with the symbolism of healing and resilience. First taken care of and then honored, the broken object accepts its past and paradoxically becomes more robust, more beautiful, and more precious than before it was broken. This metaphor can provide insight into all stages of healing, whether the ailment is physical or emotional.”

In his Book, Art of the Start 2.0, Guy Kawasaki shares some more insight on the concept of Don’t Worry be Crappy:

The first step in launching a company is not to fire up Word, PowerPoint, or Excel. There’s a time for using these applications, but it’s not now. Instead, your next step is to build a prototype of your product and get it to customers.

“I call this, “Don’t worry, be crappy”—inspired by Bobby McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, calls this the minimum viable product (MVP). Ries explains the MVP concept in this way:

It is not necessarily the smallest product imaginable, though; it is simply the fastest way to get through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop with the minimum amount of effort. . . . The goal of the MVP is to begin the process, not end it.

I’d add two words to MVP and transform it to MVVVP: minimum viable valuable validating product. First, the product can be viable—able to get through the feedback loop and make money—but that’s not enough. It should also be valuable in that it jumps curves, makes meaning, and changes the world. Let’s aim high!

Second, your product should also validate the vision of your startup. Otherwise, you may have a viable and valuable product (which is good) but not necessarily one that validates the big picture of what you’re trying to achieve.

For example, the first iPod was not only a viable product (early to market and profitable); it was also valuable (the first way to legally your kids ride in it? If you don’t have kids, then your golden retriever.”

Archive.org Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web, founded by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit library based in San Francisco. It allows the user to go “back in time” and see what websites looked like in the past.

Anytime the perfection tendency and procrastination creeps in, my favourite website to visit is the wayback machine that allow users to go back in time and see what any website looked like in the beginning. I check my favourite brands and see how they started; brand such as Apple, Microsoft, Nike,

Here is a screenshot of Apple’s website from 1996 to date:

In a recent podcast episode with Tim Ferris, Seth Godin shared a very great insight on writers block, he asked “Where is your bad writing?”

And there’s no such thing as writer’s block. Writer’s block is real, but it does not exist. What it really is is misnamed. “I have a fear of bad writing. I have a fear of what the world will say when it encounters my bad writing,” and the way through is to do your bad writing. You don’t have to ship it to the world, but you have to do the bad writing and bad writing over time if you do enough of it can’t persist. Good writing will slip through, and I learned this from Isaac Asimov. He and I worked together on a project years ago.

He published 400 books back when it was hard to publish a book, 400 books, and he told me that every morning — sorry, that’s the volunteer fire department. Every morning for six hours, he would sit and type. It didn’t matter if it was good or not, he had to do six hours of typing. Now obviously, he didn’t have a typing problem. Just about anybody can do six hours of typing and then at the end of the shift, he would look throughout the bad writing, whatever was left, what was left and the subconscious understood that if he’s going to type anyway, you might as well type something good.

Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: live with Passion.

Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.

Commitment is the ability to stick with something long after the initial excitement is gone. Anyone can set a goal but until you decide and commit to getting things done, it would not happen. As Aristotle, once quipped: “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.

Commitment is a power we all posess but we do not explore it because greatness has a cost. You can either commit to medicority or excellence, productivity or non productivity, happiness or sadness. The moment you commit providence and the universe get the things you need around you.

  The price of greatness is hardwork but the challenge for most of us is that we want to have the joy of winning without the commitment to succeed. The Principle of life is pretty straightforward what you see is what you get gabage in gabage out.

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. —William H. Murray”

“If you disagree with an idea, you should work especially hard to implement it well because that way when it fails you’ll know it was a bad idea. Not bad execution.” — Andy Grove.

Disagree and commit is a management principle which states that individuals are allowed to disagree while a decision is being made, but that once a decision has been made, everybody must commit to it. Disagree and commit is a method of avoiding the consensus trap, in which the lack of consensus leads to inaction.

One of Amazons’ leadership principles is Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit:

“Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.”

In his 2016 Letter to Shareholders, Jeff Bezos writes about “High-Velocity Decision Making”

Day 2 companies make high-quality decisions, but they make high-quality decisions slowly. To keep the energy and dynamism of Day 1, you have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions. Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations. The senior team at Amazon is determined to keep our decision-making velocity high. Speed matters in business – plus a high-velocity decision-making environment is more fun too. We don’t know all the answers, but here are some thoughts.

“Convinced that we are not good enough, we can never relax. We stay on guard, monitoring ourselves for shortcomings. When we inevitably find them, we feel even more insecure and undeserving. We have to try even harder. The irony of all of this is . . . where do we think we are going anyway?”

You are not your job description, your place of birth; you are not your abuse; you are not your defeat, rejection, or failures. Many of us attach our self-worth to external factors such as our jobs, cars, material possessions, etc. When we lose any of these material things, it usually affects our self-worth and mental health because we have attached so much meaning to them.

In the social media age we are in right now, many of us place our self-worth on the number of followers, retweets, likes, reshares, and all the other metrics used by social media to validate our popularity or awesomeness. The metrics used by social media platforms to validate us are all ephemeral yardsticks, which is not built to last but built to make us come for more; it is like a drug addict always needing the next shot. We are all in a trance.

There is a story about an elderly dying man who told his child:

Here is your grandfather’s gold watch and it is a couple of hundred years old. But before I bequeath it to you, I want you to go to the watch shop and see how much they would offer you.

The child went, and then came back, and said the watchmaker offered 7 dollars because it’s old and has some scratch.

The old man said: go to the coffee shop.

He went and then came back, and said: they offered 4 dollars.

The old man said: Go to the museum and show that watch.

He went then came back, and said to his father “They offered me a million dollars.”

The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values you in the right way.

Don’t find yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you are not valued.

Those that know your value are those who appreciate you, don’t stay in a place where nobody sees your value.

Never doubt, and always believe in yourself by knowing your worth and that there are those who clearly appreciate these values.

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”  – Bruce Lee

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”- Theodor Seuss Geisel

You are either living a storm, going through a storm, or entering a new storm. Whatever would go wrong would always go wrong (Murphy’s Law). Life happens to all of us. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: ” 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.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”- Viktor E. Frankl

Life is a roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, twists and turns; sometimes you are down, sometimes you are up, sometimes you want to smile, but the tears come rolling. At one point in our lives, we are going to be faced with challenges and tribulations. There is no trouble-free life, life is in seasons, and whatever is happening to you right now, it has not come to stay; this too shall pass.

The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red light called Enemies, caution lights called Family, You will have flat tires called Jobs, but if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, a driver called willpower, you will make it to a place called Success.

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.- Jack Dixon

One thing that is hard to argue with is results; it is hard to argue with because, as they say: “you have the right to your opinion but not your own facts.” The thing about results is that it shows up as the truth, and as Winston Churchill once quipped: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”. Your Results would cancel the Insults, and you would eventually be called to Consult. Your results are the quickest way to access where you are right now and where you want to go.

Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t. check the scoreboard.- Jayz

Result is what gets a young person like Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook) multiple invitations to the white house and Capitol Hill; Result is what makes Warren Buffett pledge $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Result is what makes Barack Obama through his manifesto of hope (Yes we can) become the first African-American president of the United States, Result is your six-packs showing up after repeated work out in the gym, Result is graduating with fly colors after consistent study. Result: They don’t Lie.

One of my favorite verses from the Christain scripture is Proverbs 22:29, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Your results are a mirror of your discipline, efforts, and sacrifice in life, gym, library, body, and health. As Author & Motivational Speaker Jim Rohn often said: “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” Long term success requires paying the price through discipline, sacrifice, and effort.

“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.”― Joe Frazier

We live in a world where an entrepreneur does not have a business, an author does not have a book, an artist does not have a single, a web developer does not have a website, a life coach does not have their shit together, a world where anyone can call themselves anything but the thing about results and number is that they don’t lie, like Jay-z said you just need to check the scoreboard.

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

In his great book, Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, Author John C Maxwell shares a great story about getting results:

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

Staying Hungry when you are achieving success is very hard as Bill Gates once quipped: “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Successful people and teams always have to deal with this issue at some point in their life/career; the ability to still stay hungry when you are achieving success and not get content/complacent is a great skill needed to stay at the top.

Staying grounded in the midst of success and not getting carried away with the praise, awards, recognition and all the rewards of succeeding can be very tempting. We all want to be recognized for our initiative and success but it can get into our heads which invariably leads to complacency and laziness among other self-defeating behaviors

Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.

Darren Hardy, Author and Former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, in his great book: The Compound Effect noted that:

“The truth is, complacency has impacted all great empires, including, but not limited to, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English. Why? Because nothing fails like success. Once-dominant empires have failed for this very reason. People get to a certain level of success and get too comfortable.”

People get to a certain level of success and get too comfortable.

Someday – The legendary place where your hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations all magically come to fruition.

Someday is dangerous and paralyzing. It traps you in the land of Nowheresville.

What do you want to become when you grow up? It is one of the silly questions you get asked by adults who are also yet to figure out their lives; what they don’t tell you is that they live a script you might follow someday. The Script was handed to them by the society, their parents, their caregivers, and their indoctrination by the school system. We get domesticated to stop listening to our inner voice, and we become fixated on the future, someday. A lot of us live on a deferred life plan, always looking to do everything in the future.

The script goes thus: Go to school, get good grades, graduate, get a good job, get married, have kids, and DIE. If you deviate from that script, you get called a rebel, maverick, a black sheep for going against the herd or the groupthink. The “what you want to become question” makes a lot of us to be more interested in the Event (future) than the Process (Routine, Habits). We go to jobs we don’t like, share one-third of our lives with colleagues we can’t stand, to get the money to impress people who don’t give a sh*t about us.

Wooden Allen once quipped,  ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’ When we eventually grow up after our indoctrination and domestication, we begin to live by the script and settle for less than we can become; this is when we start to live in the Someday Island. We say things like Someday I will start that business, Someday I will quit my job when I have saved enough money, Someday I will travel when…Someday I will give to the needy when…Someday I will…When…Fill in the gap.

In his book, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, Brain Tracy writes about the Someday Isle: