Gym

No place makes you more body conscious than a gym.

Everyone is either checking a mirror or looking at their body during and after every workout.

Unluckily, the body does not change after one workout to satisfy its owner. The body only rewards consistency.

It is not hard to tell those who are comfortable in their skin from those who aren’t.

While the former make incremental externally unforced progress, the latter makes exponential externally forced progress.

Guess who leaves the gym injured? Guess who is inconsistent?

The gym is a perfect playground to understand life. It is not a one day spectacle, but an every day wonder.

– Osasu Oviawe

Home

Today, I had a remote tour of my former apartment.

Each streamed image held more memories than the guy on the other side could see. He wondered why I made him tarry in an area, and skip through another.

Interestingly, the stores and the rooms not used held no memories.

I wonder if this will be the same when we reflect about life in the end – the stores and aspects unexplored will hold no meaning.

I am thankful for the spaces that were once home, and the spaces I now call home.

Believe them

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.” – Maya Angelou

My first encounter with the above quote was in 2005. Sixteen years later, I have not found a more relevant guide to leading people.

– Osasu Oviawe

The water heater effect

Today, I recall a story my younger brother once shared as a hack for turning off his generator.

Let’s call it the water heater effect.

Anytime he wants to turn of the generator, and doesn’t feel like going outside, he just turns on the water heater, and the overwhelming load shuts down the generator. It is like a free accessible remote control.

We laughed about it and I shared my worry that his generator might become faulty with this strategy soon.

Then we talked about how the same thing applies to humans, but unlike generators, we keep struggling to carry loads above our capacity.

Some crosses come to help us know when to stop, but we struggle to keep going, finding no rest until death.

The water heater effect states that when a load above your capacity is thrown upon you, stop everything and take a break.

I am thankful for the funny lessons from the water heater.

Emails

I receive too many emails in a day.

I did a one year data analytics experiment, and what I found was shocking.

I peruse 20% of the emails I get, I skim through 40% of them, and I mark 40% as read without opening.

Out of the 20% I peruse, I act on only 10% of them.

In effect, only 10% of all emails require my direct input, 50% are for my info, and 40% are literally spam.

The above data is after politely excluding myself from many email broadcasts. It could have been worse.

I wonder what life would be like if I only got the 10%. I had always felt the 90% serve a purpose, because once in a while they provide something of value in my responses to the 10%.

In reality, it is a productivity hack to keep weeding until you get to the 10% that matters. It is a productivity hack to get emails that need your action, and not emails where you’re only in copy as an ego boost to the sender, or as a habit of how it has always been.

It is going to be a long journey. Luckily, I love long rides.

– Osasu Oviawe

Conversation

Today, I had an interesting conversation with a colleague.

With permission, I will be sharing my part of the conversation, as it encapsulates my thoughts on some subjects.

“[17/10, 09:33] Osasu: We all have our demons. The less sophisticated people let them show, but we all carry our demons. The one who let their demons show, get ridiculed, but they are also the more likely ones to get help. The ones who never let their demons show, get consumed by them – inside out.

[17/10, 09:38] Osasu: As you go higher in your career, you realise that just as your parents are fallible, your bosses are even more fallible. And just like most parents, they are impervious to correction.
The trick is not to lose respect for them, in spite of their failings.
Because if you lose respect for them, they will know, and they will hurt you.”

The other side of the conversation was even more interesting, but I do not have permission to share it. I am journaling my part, as it will help me to always remember the full conversation.

I am thankful for conversations which help to unravel knotty situations.

Words

The strength in every human runs deeper than they will ever explore.

We get glimpses of this when someone with a terminal illness embraces life with so much gratitude.

Every human you see is wrestling with something you know nothing about. Even when they share, you cannot truly understand, because our experience of reality is as unique as us.

Be cautious with words.

People continually underestimate the power of words.

They are the most significant and most common life changing event humans experience.

The most recurring word a child hears, shapes its future.

It is the longest known and used programming language.

To explore depths of strength unknown to humankind, we must be intentional about the words that carry us into the deep.

– Osasu Oviawe

Cue 147 – Can People Change? The Psychological Möbius Strip That Keeps Us from Ending Painful Relationships

Can People Change? The Psychological Möbius Strip That Keeps Us from Ending Painful Relationships

“While the death of a loved one can make the notion of moving on unfathomable at first, it also makes it, by definition, inevitable — there is no other recourse, for such loss is unambiguous and irreversible. But there is a species of grief, spawned of a type of loss that is more ambiguous and elastic, that muddles the notion of moving on into an impassable and disorienting swamp: the cyclical grief of loving someone on the grounds of their highest nature and watching them fall short of it over and over, in damaging and hurtful ways, which you excuse over and over, because of their impassioned apologies and vows of reform, or because of the partly noble, partly naïve notion that a truly magnanimous person is one who always has the breadth of spirit to forgive — a notion rooted in a basic misapprehension of what forgiveness really means.” – Maria Popova

Stories

Today, I tuned in to watch the food channel.

This is the first time I am willingly going to the food channel, without being forced by some friends in my life.

I tuned in because of a story I recently heard of a man who passed on due to stomach cancer. He was unable to eat for 3 weeks before his death. He loved to watch news channels, but with his situation getting worse, he switched to the food channel for his final days. He could not eat, but he enjoyed watching some of the most exquisite cuisines being made.

In my wildest dreams, I could not have guess the food channel had such a use case, but the story showed me again how limited we are, when we think our interpretation of things is the only truth.

I watched the food channel today, to appreciate what he felt. To see the beauty in each frame.

I am thankful for the power of stories, and how they shape perspectives.

Man’s Nature

Front hair carving is not a cause of receding hairline.

If it was, all other areas carving is applied would permanently lose hair.

This has not stopped men experiencing receding hairlines from stopping front hair carving.

An afro does not solve a receding hairline.

It can act as a temporary cover, but nature ultimately reveals all truth.

This has not stopped men experiencing receding hairlines from trying to keep an afro.

People rarely remember a receding hairline or use it as a judgment call on the quality of a man, but that has not stopped men from worrying about it.

No species struggles with nature more than humanity.

– Osasu Oviawe