I can be that too

(by a Guest Contributor)

Often, I sit down to watch a movie or television show and on numerous occasions, a particular character in the movie starts to really get on my nerve. In a relationship, it’s the girlfriend who is touchy, angry at every little thing, controlling, lazy and just altogether selfish in the relationship (you know that one who cannot seem to have fun with anything). There are times that it’s the guy who just thinks the girl is a possession. Sometimes, it’s the wife who has been offended and then apologized to, but who insist on leaving the relationship. At those times, I am torn; I understand where she is coming from but then I am often asking for a need to be logical.

When I see friendship portrayed on television, I love the give and take, the mental stimulation, the ability to chastise each other when wrong as well as jubilate with each other when someone achieves something remarkable. I would usually dislike the friend who is always jealous, who wants to be supported but never turning up to support others. I sometimes get angry on their behalf and wish that they throw the nasty one out of the squad already. I mean, what’s the essence of friendship when we cannot really depend on each other, right?

But then, after the movie is done and I accidentally walk past a mirror, I see that bitch staring back at me. Certain situations happen in friendship and relationships that make me see that self – involving bitch that I so detested on television, in myself. As much as I would like to think of myself as a saint, I have been that selfish and touchy girlfriend on numerous occasions. And there have been situations that made me unavailable to turn up for my friends when needed me to. I have on numerous occasion be that child who just wants to get away from her parents (I wish I could say that I regretted that, but nah (TMI)).

With this in mind, I have begun to work on the judgmental side of me (I am human and an African for that matter, so I have it). Daily, I strive to carry logic all around into every situation so that I can see without bias and deal accordingly, without any sentiment. It’s a struggle but I try. Because, I know that I could easily be that bitch* I am judging so terribly, if the situation present itself.

*According to the writer, the word ‘bitch’ means a person who is belligerent, unreasonable, malicious, controlling, aggressive, or dominant.

Follow The Daily Vulnerable on YouTubesocial media channels, and Podcast (search for #WithChude wherever you get your podcast from). If this daily message blesses you, reply to this email, comment, like, share or forward it to your friends and loved ones. Even, those who think themselves your enemies :).

Note the facts

(by a Guest Contributor)

One of the grueling aspects of my work is fact-checking. The more sensitive the issues being reported, the more I have to be careful about how I define the details that are facts and others that are mere opinions.

It took me a long time before I learnt to apply the same rigour in my personal life. I wished I learnt earlier to subject the things said about me by those I respect as their opinions and not facts.

When my son makes me angry, it is better to remind myself that he is not a ‘bad boy’, rather, to remind myself of the facts - he is human, and he is worthy of love.

When my boss says something unkind, I will remind myself to distinguish between opinions and facts. If you follow your opinions too closely, you’ll find how many times you’ll be wrong about several things.

Note the facts. Don’t trade them for opinions.

Follow The Daily Vulnerable on YouTubesocial media channels, and Podcast (search for #WithChude wherever you get your podcast from). If this daily message blesses you, reply to this email, comment, like, share or forward it to your friends and loved ones. Even, those who think themselves your enemies :).

The majority is (almost) always wrong 

A weekly summary of my dance with Life – in 9 subheadings 

The most important lesson this week taught me

You know what I have learnt from years and years of reading research and biographies? It’s remarkable how often and how deeply the majority is always wrong. It’s stunning how bad popular wisdom often is.

The reasons for happy marriages, good health, great companies - as gleaned from the research and the informed, reported experiences of the successful - are so far from the consensus of common wisdom because people don’t link cause to effect, and benefit from the wisdom of well-designed systems without knowing why things happen the way they do (you don’t need to believe in science to be cured by Paracetamol). 

Leadership gives you a vantage position to see the bad behaviours that make people leave jobs too early and lose out in their careers, why entrepreneurs enter bad businesses in a hurry, how people make long term plans for their lives based on what their friends are doing in the short term, based on the feeling of missing out, or based on a quote on Twitter shorn of context or detail. 

I think of all the things I have heard in my life that I know to be wrong. You can’t find a woman to love you without money. You need money to make money. The best way to motivate staff is via pay. Successful pioneers are those that innovate fast. Strategy is the most important thing. Exercise is the key to losing weight. You can’t be friend with your ex. Young people don’t stay long in companies. No pain, no gain. Long courtship leads to good marriages. What Nigeria needs is young people in power. Vulnerability is weakness. 

I wrote this to myself a while ago, and I remembered it this week as I saw a bright young person that’s dear to me make a decision I know to be unwise:  It’s remarkable how often, and how much, of the majority is always wrong. Almost everything you know about running a company successfully, or finding and keeping love, from the public, from movies, from ‘street wisdom’ is very often, too often, just wrong.

Here is what I have learnt for myself: If you are able to resist the pull of the crowd and truly think for yourself, your chances of winning big, and staying a winner in this world increase dramatically.  

What I am rumbling with

Someone did something to me last week that I considered so lacking in grace and goodwill that I was filled with such anger, and sadness. It’s one of those things where people forget grace in the pursuit of ambition; where they thank you for doing them a favour while refusing to do you one in return. 

In that moment I was so full of disappointment that I wanted do something graceless to him in return. And that moment led me to empathy: Ah, that’s why this CEO walked out that employee from the office. Oh, that’s why that pastor stopped funding that gospel artiste’s concert. Now, I see – that’s why those best friends don’t speak again. It makes sense now why that former governor wants to punish this new governor, even at the cost of his reputation. 

I am grateful for the grace of restraint, however. I remembered the kind of person I want to be when I am 80. I remembered the epitaph I have written for myself. And I recalled all the people above who had let bitterness blind their eyes. I empathized with them. And I chose to learn from them. 

God bless you, I said instead. And I meant it. 

For The Culture 

It’s a useful reminder that bluster doesn’t erase reality. I am speaking of the video I just watched where Donald Trump, for fear of his life, wears this big, bold, black mask while driving out of the hospital. 

He has Covid-19. The same Covid he has sought to delegitimize, minimize, and even deny. 

Maybe it’s a publicity stunt. Maybe it’s a secret plan to drum up sympathy and strength through recovery. I wouldn’t put it past him. 

But he didn’t wear a mask. And he was encouraged and enabled by his staff, friends and family. Not wearing a mask in a country with over 200,000 dead from this disease is irresponsible when you’re exactly that most-at-risk demographic, and you have the potential to infect so many people.

Bluster doesn’t cancel reality. Politics doesn’t trump gravity. It’s a useful lesson for us to remember in a time of fake news. 

A mistake I made/a challenge I am facing 

“You should have just let them go.” 

I heard team member after team member say to me this week about a decision I approved of that turned out to be a questionable one, judging by the short term outcome. 

There are very few feelings more maddening than copping out from doing what you are supposed to because you are trying to be nice, and then the people you are trying to be nice to don’t even know the sacrifice and restraint that it took you to make that decision.

It makes me smile because I know better, but I didn’t do better.  

So now there is the wrong decision taken, no credit given, and judgement questioned. 

Also, hopefully, lesson learnt. Amen. 

What I am watching/reading/listening to 

A fantastic and beautifully presented TED Talk (I have been binge-watching, sorry!) on why and how the majority is always wrong. 

“Whenever people teams and organisations hit a wall, they tend to do more of the same things or less of the same things,” he tells us. “What you seldom see is that they do different things.”

I have watched this one before. Watching it again gave me the final inspiration for today’s post. 

Fine sentence

“Second, most books are old. This is not a disadvantage: this is precisely what makes them valuable. They stand against the conventional wisdom of today simply because they’re not from today. Even if they merely reflect the conventional wisdom of their own day, they say something different from what you hear all the time. But the great books, the ones you find on a syllabus, the ones people have continued to read, don’t reflect the conventional wisdom of their day. They say things that have the permanent power to disrupt our habits of thought. They were revolutionary in their own time, and they are still revolutionary today. And when I say “revolutionary,” I am deliberately evoking the American Revolution, because it was a result of precisely this kind of independent thinking. Without solitude—the solitude of Adams and Jefferson and Hamilton and Madison and Thomas Paine—there would be no America.” -- William DeresiewiczSolitude and Leadership

From my gratitude journal 

I am grateful for resources. 

I am deeply grateful to the leaders at RED. 

I am grateful for the Nigerian film industry’s strides. 

From my daily affirmations

Humility. Always student not teacher. Number one job is to listen.

Food for thought

“But it seems to me that solitude is the very essence of leadership. The position of the leader is ultimately an intensely solitary, even intensely lonely one. However many people you may consult, you are the one who has to make the hard decisions. And at such moments, all you really have is yourself.”

Follow #WithChude on YouTubesocial media channels, and Podcast (search for #WithChude wherever you get your podcast from). If this daily message blesses you, comment, like, tweet, share or forward it to your friends and loved ones. Even, those who think themselves your enemies :). 


Emotional independence in times as these?

[The Joy List]

From Joy, Inc.

> Chude traveled to Ogbomosho in Oyo State earlier this week to speak with the parents of Isiaka Jimoh, who are telling their story on TV for the very first time. 20-year-old Jimoh was killed by the Nigerian police only last Saturday and the grief is still so fresh.

This interview will be aired on #WithChude, and you need to hear the voice of this powerful, angry mother who just lost her child to Nigeria. You can tune in at 9:00 pm WAT on TVC Entertainment [use this link to watch online], or on Wazobia Max (on DSTV Channel 259, as well as GOTV channel 98, Star Times Channel 195, and on Terrestrial TV) - at 5:00 pm WAT on Sunday. Chude explains it here.

> The Daily Vulnerable video clips are available on our YouTube channel. It is also available on TV Continental every Monday to Friday at 7:00am WAT, and on Nigeria Info at 5:10am WAT daily. Check it for yourself.

Worth Reading

> “Emotional independence leads to absolutely nowhere – except to a would-be fortress, whose only and useless objective is to impress others. Emotional dependence, in its turn, is like a bonfire that we light.

In the beginning, relationships are difficult. In the same way that fire is necessary to put up with the disagreeable smoke – which makes breathing hard, and causes tears to pour down one’s face. However, once the fire is alight, the smoke disappears and the flames light up everything around us – spreading warmth, calm, and possibly making an ember pop out to burn us, but that is what makes a relationship interesting, isn’t that true?” — Emotional Independence by Paulo Coelho

> “Not talking about our feelings in professional settings doesn't mean we're not having feelings during those conversations--we're just not talking about them. And because emotions are essential inputs in our decision-making and reasoning processes, not talking about them means that many conversations in professional settings get stuck, with issues going unresolved or being resolved in only a superficial way.” — Five Levels of Communication

> “Loneliness is usually framed around your relationships to others—community, friendship, family. But that’s not the whole picture. To feel less lonely, you have to also build your relationship with yourself, which requires time alone, free from distractions, and that can feel scary. This is an essay about why you might want to give being alone a try. — Being Alone

> “Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: ‘A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.” — Eleanor Roosevelt on Happiness, Conformity, and Integrity

> “Humans inherit convictions mimetically from each other — we learn what to value by imitating our peers. Don’t force yourself to do anything you hate. If you get too good at this, you won’t be able to figure out when to quit.” — Mimetic traps

Worth Thinking About

"Our great goal in life is to love. The rest is silence."

Look Up Now

(by Guest Contributor)

It is easy to get bogged down by all the things happening around you. But don’t. Look up at the sky once in awhile. Watch the clouds, watch the birds, observe the moon. Don't lose focus.

That sounds like silly advice, but it really does help. It helps us get out of the mental bubble we often keep ourselves in.

The world is so much bigger than just what’s going on at ground level.

Follow The Daily Vulnerable on YouTubesocial media channels, and Podcast (search for #WithChude wherever you get your podcast from). If this daily message blesses you, reply to this email, comment, like, share or forward it to your friends and loved ones. Even, those who think themselves your enemies :).

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