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

Possibilities

Today, I made a new commitment on giving.

I will find NGOs doing work that matters to me, and give 10% of my upfront allowance as support to their cause.

No transfers will go into personal accounts. Only registered NGO accounts.

For accountability, I will track contribution and impact.

Each NGO to be supported must have a track record of multiplying joy beyond their means. Not plans, but verifiable action.

Hopefully, it helps somebody out there to live a little better.

I am thankful for those who sacrifice a part of their being for the possibility of an alternative ending.

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

Time capsule

Today, I plugged into an old playlist to lift up my spirit at the end of work.

As music is a powerful time capsule, a flood of memories came rushing in.

One of those memories stuck around, and made me place a call to an old friend.

Immediately he picked, his first words were – “Let’s go there.” It is a catchphrase from the club banger by 9ice – Party Rider.

I followed with the usual response, “We do not know what tomorrow holds, but one thing is sure, we will enter it dancing. Let’s go there.”

I am thankful for time capsules.

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

Nothing

Today, I got my usual monthly call from my banker, trying to sell loan packages.

After exchanging the usual pleasantries, he moved into salesman mode.

I asked him a question, “What is in it for you if I take this loan?” He gave a dishonest answer, “Nothing.”

I then asked him another question, “What is in it for me if I refuse to take this loan?” He gave an honest answer, “Nothing.”

I then summarized, “I prefer to do nothing right now.”

I am thankful for the ability to do nothing, especially in circumstances where incentives are not clear.

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

Family

Today, I was reminded of how much hurt is concealed within families.

If you draw close enough to any family, you would marvel at the stories each member bears.

Family is the perfect story of how imperfection can still be beautiful.

I am thankful for family.

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

Keep going

Today, I applied my learning of first finding out if someone truly wants a problem to be solved, or not.

For some, their problem is all they have. They share not for you to take away, but for you to sympathise.

Like turtle, they carry their problems as a shell and recoil into it at the first sight of danger. Taking away their shell might make them lighter, but it also leaves them unshielded.

I stopped when I found out I was dealing with such a person today. I thanked him for sharing his problem, and praised him for being so strong in spite of it. He beamed with pride.

I am thankful that humans are designed to still keep going, in spite of needless self-inflicted burdens.