April 2024


‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ -Vivian Greene

Life is a series of storms, either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or heading into a storm. It is not a matter of if but of when the storms of life will visit. As Vivian Greene famously said, ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ We can’t really do much about the storms of life, but we can surely be well-dressed for every stormy weather. There is nothing like bad weather, we only have bad clothing as the Scandanavians would say.

Life can be extremely tough sometimes, and the storms keep coming from every angle. The key to navigating life storms is to understand that it is an essential part of life. No pain, no gain, no mess, no message, no test, no testimony, no mud, no lotus. The storm will eventually settle, the sun will rise again, and you will ultimately be fine. Weather the storm while it lasts, life is about managing transitions and learning to stay grounded amid the turbulence. Nothing lasts forever; don’t let success get to your head, and do not let failure get to your heart.

English mountaineer George Mallory was once asked by a New York Times reporter why he was attempting to climb Mt. Everest for the third time; he replied, “Because it’s there.” 1 Mallory participated in the first three British Mount Everest expeditions in the 1920s. Although Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine perished on their attempt to summit Everest, they persisted and gave it their best shot. In a 1923 New York Times interview before his third attempt at reaching the summit of Everest, Mallory made the following observation about the conquest:

“Everest is the highest mountain in the world and no person has reached its summit. Its existence is a challenge. The answer is instinctive, a part, I suppose, of humans’ desire to conquer the universe.” 1

Whether it is summiting a mountain, running a sub-3 hours marathon, running your enterprise, or achieving your wildest dream. Achieving anything worthwhile requires taking the first step and baby steps to achieve it. As the ancient Roman Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca once quipped, “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” Most of the things we consider to be impossible are mainly a result of our mindset and our inability to try. It is not about the marathon run, starting the business or reaching the summit of the mountain, it is more more about what you will become in the process of your attempt.

In Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick, Clinical Psychologist Wendy Wood, highlights strategies for using our conscious understanding of our goals to orient our habitual selves. If we know how habits work, then we can create points of contact between them and our goals so that they sync in astonishingly advantageous ways.

We spend a shocking 43 percent of our day doing things without thinking about them. That means that almost half of our actions aren’t conscious choices but the result of our non-conscious mind nudging our body to act along learned behaviors.

Your path to greatness will be filled with obstacles, challenges, opportunities, near-misses, failure, mistakes, self-doubt, naysayers, yay-sayers, doubters, supporters and a roller coaster of storms and battles. The key to making the journey less turbulent is to trust your path, embrace the challenges, bet on yourself always, show up daily, go all in and trust the process. It is going to get more challenging as you climb higher. Remember why you started the journey in the first place and keep it moving.

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

We spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on our smartphones, and the top 20% of smartphone users have daily screen time of over 4.5 hours. 1 With the average user spending 143 minutes daily, the world spends 720 billion minutes using social platforms. Over a full year, that adds up to more than 260 trillion minutes, or 500 million years of collective human time. 2 We spend at least 3-4 hours daily picking up our phones, using social media platforms, and interacting on instant messenger platforms, among other media.  That means we spend at least 1/8th of our time daily surfing the internet; if you are going to be alive for 80 years, that would amount to close to 10 years of your short life spent surfing the internet.

90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. Everyday, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data–so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone

Social media is one of the greatest innovations in the past three decades. But having said that, I also believe, like most technologies, are beginning to cause more harm than good. We are all in a collective digital slumber, busy scrolling through our timelines, as educator Neil Postman noted in his 1985 book “amusing ourselves to Death.” The quest for virality and validation is so seductive that it takes a lot of self-discipline not to fall into the trap of spending an enormous amount of time on these platforms.

Everyone is dealing with something you know nothing about. We all try our best based on our level of consciousness, emotional state, and worldview. We are all transmitting energy all the time, either low-frequency or high frequency is based on the context. As the law of energy conservation states ” “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another”. You cannot control how other people behave, but you can control how you transmit your energy around people. We constantly transmit energy with how we talk, move, and show up.

   At some point, life is going to happen to us all. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when. Life’s storm, grief, pain, and emotional roller coasters are inevitable. The key is to transform the pain to gain, the mess into a message and live fully to the best of your abilities. You will encounter difficult people, energy vampires, time wasters, and manipulative people on your path to greatness. It is tough dealing with this set of people, as trying to change them is like filling a basket with water. Protect your energy by being the change you want in the world, regulating your emotions, showing, not telling and being true to yourself.

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Life is a series of storms; you are either going through a storm, leaving a storm or heading to the next storm. During the storms, people are going to show you their actual colours. Your so-called friends will become silent, your frenemies will gossip about your situation, and you will feel incredibly lonely. People come into our lives for a reason, a season and a lifetime. During the stormy seasons, few people will stick with you, most will disappear while others will come around to check if you are still stupid.

 No matter what season of life you are in, always trust your path, your greatness and your purpose. Don’t engage anyone, situation or relationship that does not value you or your greatness. Vote with your legs by not going to anywhere you are not celebrated or encouraged. You are being called crazy all the time because the people you are hanging around don’t get it yet. Change the crowd you hang around, and those supposedly crazy goals will become routine. If you hang around professional athletes, saying you are going to run a sub-3-hour marathon does not feel out of the world, but if you hang around people aiming to run their first marathon, you will probably be seen as crazy.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-discipline is the art of keeping your promise to yourself after the initial inspiration has subsided. We all start the year with enthusiasm to change our lives for good. But for many of us, we don’t keep that promise, and hence, we don’t achieve our goals. As the late American author Jim Rohn often said: “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.” Success is never an accident, while failure is not usually a coincidence. Success and failure are somewhat predictable; Garbage In, garbage-out actions do have consequences. If you put in the work, what is hard will work, but if you take shortcuts, you will be cut short.

Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out. – Robert Collier 

“When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.”

American Media personality Oprah Winfrey considers “The Seat of the Soul” as one of the most impactful books she has ever read. Oprah’s Favourite Insight from reading the book:

“When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.”

Oprah’s Living Creed from the book:

“Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect. If we participate in the cause, it is not possible for us not to participate in the effect. In this most profound way we are held responsible for our every action, thought, and feeling, which is to say, for our every intention.”

Cause and Effect

“If your intention is to do what other people want, they will keep asking you to do exactly that. That was an aha moment! When I changed my intention to be about doing what I wanted, what I felt was worthy of my time, the effect automatically changed.”

 ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’ – Robert Frost.

We teach people how to treat us, knowingly or unknowingly. We allow people to treat us unfairly because they are our childhood friends, family members or the only friends we have. It is tough setting boundaries for our closest family members and long-time friends because it is not easy but at some point, one has got to draw the line. By setting healthy boundaries, we can have a mutually beneficial relationship, but we fear and don’t want to rock the boat; hence, we enable the drama queens and the chaos kings in our lives. Life is too short to be spending it with energy vampires, even if they are family members; you’ve got to protect your sanity.

We know our friends during adversity, and our friends know us during prosperity.

Love is a verb, an action word, a behaviour, not a role. Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood. The older I get, the more I believe less of what anyone says; I only believe your actions. You can say you are my friend, but we can’t confirm that until the chips are down and everyone needs to step up. As Maya Angelou famously said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time”. Most of us don’t heed the advice of Maya; hence, we give people the benefit of the doubt all the time. In the end, they get the benefit, and we are stuck with the doubt

People are usually who they’ve shown themselves to be in the past. Stop acting surprised when they behave as they always have.

Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency ask the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.

When Steve Jobs was 20, he co-founded Apple with his childhood friend Steve Wozniak. Within 10 years, the company had grown into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. At 30, he was fired from the company due to a power struggle with the company’s then-CEO, John Sculley, and its board of directors. It was a devastating experience. He felt rejected, but he still was in love with his craft, so he decided to start over again. In his 2008 StanfordUniversity Commencement Speech 1, noted that getting fired from Apple was the best that could have happened to him then:

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

I recently heard about the BBC Maestro from listening to Chris Williamson’s podcast conversation with author of the Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman. In the podcast episode, Burkerman mentioned his BBC Maestro session on time management. I immediately checked out the platform and I was hooked. I try to watch a full session almost every week as I am also addicted to that platform. The BBC Maestro platform is still relatively new with less than 40 experts ranging from :

Single-tasking is the act of focusing on one thing at a time. To single-task is to fully immerse oneself and concentrate on one activity at a time. For most of us, multitasking is our natural default mode; we constantly switch from one task to another, switch across multiple web browsers, and self-interrupt our work. Time tracking software Rescuetime estimates that we switch between apps and websites more than 300 times a day and check email or chat every 6 minutes. This continuous context task switching comes with an enormous cost. To gain traction in any activity, one has to reduce the dis(tractions) that could sway one away from the task at hand. We live in a world where there is a plethora of tools, technologies and activities that are readily available to get us distracted.

 ‘Be yourselfeveryone else is already taken.’ – Oscar Wilde

You are unique; you are masterfully made to discover your purpose and make the world a better place than you met it. There has never been anyone like you in the universe’s history, Sui generis (class of your own), you are king (queen), and you must remind yourself often. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Most of us are leading lives of quiet desperation, sleepwalking through our lives in a digital slumber that has gotten us engulfed in our own bubble.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

True equanimity is not a withdrawal; it is a balanced engagement with all aspects of life. It is opening to the whole of life with composure and ease of mind, accepting the beautiful and terrifying nature of all things. – Jack Kornfield.

Equanimity is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by the experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind. 1 Equanimity can be defined as an even-minded mental state or dispositional tendency toward all experiences or objects, regardless of their origin or their affective valence (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral). It is a mental state or trait that is not easily achieved and typically requires some form of practice. It is an “even-mindedness in the face of every sort of experience, regardless of whether pleasure [or] pain are present or not”. 2

Equanimity is derived from French équanimité, from Latin aequanimitatem (nominative aequanimitas) “evenness of mind, calmness; good-will, kindness,”. 3  Equanimity is being at peace with whatever is in our experience. As French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once quipped. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Equanimity is an even-minded mental state or dispositional tendency toward all experiences or objectsregardless of their affective valence (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral) or source. 

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