Variety

One thing you learn quickly is that variety is not the spice of life, it is the mark of the beginner.

Variety is required to keep the beginner engaged. It becomes a distraction as  you become more aware.

I remember fondly when I used to get many flavors into my ice cream bowl. I wanted to have a little bit of everything. These days, I just order one flavor and head out.

I remember when I wanted to invest in every sector in the stock exchange, almost mimicking an index fund strategy. These days, I only buy into companies I have been committed to for at least 10 years. A very limited and liberating portfolio.

On the subject of polygamy and monogamy, humans ultimately move towards monogamy. Even polygamists end up with only one partner at their side. I mention this because of some friends that keep making monogamy look like a western forced tradition. It is simply the logical progression of companionship.

In the areas of your life you haven’t figured out, variety helps.

In the areas of your life you have mastered, variety distracts.

– Osasu Oviawe

An excerpt

This is an excerpt from a long note I wrote to my team some days ago –

“High performance is always ‘in spite of”, not “because of”. Individuals and teams that outperform, do so “in spite” of the challenges they face, not “because of” perfect circumstances.

Every day we have 2 choices –

1. A high performance mindset.
2. An explainable performance mindset.

A high performance mindset is about owning and driving results, in spite of circumstances.

An explainable performance mindset is about justifying why you cannot do or be any better, because of circumstances.

One is energising, the other is draining.

Here’s wishing you an energising day,”

– Osasu Oviawe

Peak fragility

Like humans, ideas are at peak fragility during the start of gestation, and just after birth.

Innovators who understand this, spend their early days nurturing, with no time for show-off.

To the untrained eye, great ideas blossom “all of a sudden”. There is nothing sudden about greatness. It takes assiduous work behind the scenes.

Ignore the dopamine lure of sharing your work publicly, before it is ready.

Now, back to the uncelebrated work of creating greatness.

– Osasu Oviawe

Commitments or Rules

You can either lead yourself with commitments or be led by rules.

The former is internally driven, and the latter is externally driven.

Those who are driven by commitments redesign the rules.

Those who are driven by rules avoid commitments.

I prefer to walk my path, than conform to someone else’s.

– Osasu Oviawe

Volunteers

“You only get to be a victim once. After that, you’re a volunteer.” – Naomi Judd

In too many circumstances, we are volunteers, not victims.

And as volunteers, we always have a choice to stop partaking.

– Osasu Oviawe

Good initiatives

A nurse does not pull out the needle because the patient feels some discomfort. He or she administers the drug first before pulling out the needle, otherwise, the pain is pointless and will linger on in memory as needless.

A nurse only pulls out the needle without administering the drug if the damage from administration is worse than the help the drug will provide.

I see too many leaders abort good initiatives because of the short term discomfort their followers complain about. Introducing the initiative already caused the inconvenience, it is wiser to allow the inconvenience to at least have meaning, by seeing the initiative through to the end.

It is a tough call for leadership, but always remember the nurse. There is no point in piercing with a needle if the drug in the syringe will not be emptied. The discomfort from the needle is only worth it, because the drug you will inject restores health.

Resist the urge to take out the needle without injecting the drug.

– Osasu Oviawe

Body language

People can tell if you’re lying down, smiling, frowning or distracted while you’re talking to them over a voice call.

You know this instinctively, and adjust your posture depending on who is calling.

An easy hack to improve connection with people is to assume the posture you would, if an “important” person in your life is calling.

Let’s say you’re an employee, and you get a call from your CEO, you would definitely not pick it lying down.

Let’s say you’re having dinner, and you get a call from the President of your country, you would definitely suspend eating till the end of your call.

In both cases, you would answer the call smiling.

You can choose your posture for every engagement. Just a little tweak in your body language, which is visible, and you will be amazed at how much respect you will command from all you connect with.

– Osasu Oviawe

Old pictures

Three strange things happen whenever I look at old pictures –

Firstly, I look trim. Much trimmer than I felt in the moment I took the picture.

Secondly, I look like I had no dress sense. And I usually took pictures with my favorite clothes.

Lastly, I look like a darker version of myself. Almost as if everyone was darker in the past, even though it did not seem so in the present.

Three things I learn from the exercise –

Firstly, your body is okay. Eat right, exercise, but stop comparing your body to others with a different genetic makeup.

Secondly, fashion is a fad. Don’t over-indulge.

Lastly, time is an enabler that helps to project a better you. Embrace it.

– Osasu Oviawe

Are you frowning?

Randomly send a message asking someone this question today.

The question is perfectly designed to make them smile.

What usually follows is a question with this format – How did you know I was frowning?

By then, they are already smiling.

Thank me later.

– Osasu Oviawe

The first customer

One of the most fascinating things I learnt while growing up was the importance of being the first customer of any trader, if I needed to get the best deals.

The traders had an unwritten mantra that the first customer dictates how the day’s sales would go. So if the first customer makes a purchase, then it will be a good sales day. But if the first customer declines to make a purchase, then it will be a bad sales day.

The traders were willing to even let go of a profit on their first sale, just to start off the day well.

They deeply understand the power of beginnings, and the luck it showers on the rest of their journey.

Who is your first customer? Do they support you or undermine you?

It is important to deliberately choose what your first experience of reality is daily. It shapes your day more than you know.

My first customer is a smile.

– Osasu Oviawe