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My grandma died this morning. Now it feels like a stupid excuse when I write that I planned to return her…Read More
I got a call from the head of the organization I worked with at a rather odd hour. That hardly ever…Read More
Richard Overton is a 110-year-old veteran who still walks, still talks and still drives. He’s the second oldest man in the…Read More
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My grandma died this morning. Now it feels like a stupid excuse when I write that I planned to return her...
I got a call from the head of the organization I worked with at a rather odd hour. That hardly ever...
Richard Overton is a 110-year-old veteran who still walks, still talks and still drives. He’s the second oldest man in the...
Choose Posts by Category
Choose Posts by Category
My grandma died this morning. Now it feels like a stupid excuse when I write that I planned to return her call today. She called me two days ago but I didn’t pick up because I was at work. I didn’t want to have to face the ridicule I would have subjected myself to if my co-workers heard me speaking in her native language which I sucked at.
Thank God I was driving alone when my mom broke this to me because I needed to cry this one. So I let the tears flow in synchronicity with the rain that was falling (why does it always rain when someone important dies)
I cried mostly because I was going to return her call today. But I could have picked up when she called. I could have called her yesterday. This kind of regret is why the but-she-was-old consolation isn’t much consolation.
And that is regret #1.
I initially started this article yesterday and the title was supposed to be Three Regrets and Two Lessons. And it was supposed to read this way:
I stood in front of him while he sat down to listen. It was usually the other way around- I sitting in the audience and him on the stage. Sometimes, I read his articles online. Sometimes I would see a flyer, a poster or an online ad with his face on the left side of the advert. This time around I was in front of him telling him all the things we shared in common- my fascination with behavioral psychology and Neuro linguistic programming. A few mentalism and card tricks later, we had exchanged numbers. He seemed rather disappointed that I hadn’t at least emailed him to invite him for one of the events I organized last year. You see, at the HighLifer launch party he was that one person I wanted to attend, to share my idea with, and to somehow mentor me. I looked at his calendar(it was publicly available at that time) and saw he was busy. Why email? Someone like that gets a lot of more important emails. And that was Regret #2
A few years ago, I got a job offer from one of biggest companies in the world. It was Google. I had just taken a promising job with another multinational; a 6-month contract with Google had its uncertainties. So I dangled the offer letter in front of Leonard Stiegeler, who had hired me, while asking for a pay raise. Should I have taken the job? Regret #3
At the age of 8 years old, I had started taking classical piano lessons. Unlike most people, I enjoyed the classes immensely. It was particularly interesting watching as I got better. A piece starts really complex, I feel like I will never ever ever play it. Two weeks later, it’s like a nursery rhyme. Easy peasy. When it was time to choose the course I wanted to study in Uni, I wasn’t bold enough to tell my parents I wanted to study Music. So I went with the bold and utterly ambitious choice, Medicine. I studied Music up till it was time for the West African Examination Council papers and I could not hang on anymore. Up till now I have interesting ideas for what I could/would do with music. Up till now, I still peak at Hans Zimmer’s scores(I wrote my own scores up till about 5 years ago). Regret #4.
There are different types and classes of regret. We all have them. But I have learned two major lessons from the most painful of them.
When it comes to many types actions and decisions, I have learned to assess my inhibitions by weighing what I would gain if I succeeded, what I would lose if I didn’t try. That’s my definition of Risk Assessment. My life is splattered with many good intentions. I intend more than ever living with those intentions. Just do it!, says the Nike slogan and I will remember.
While we have those regrets, it’s not wise or meaningful to live in those regrets. There are opportunities, always opportunities, to right wrongs. Looking back to the past has a hold on our feet and moving forward becomes a drag. Sometimes it’s just better to untangle regrets and press forward to those good intentions.
Easier said, I still wish I had made that call. But moving on, I am realigning my priorities when it comes to relationships, especially with family. I am particularly glad that I made the unusual decision to travel all the way to my grandma’s last year to spend two days with her. Something I had never done before.
The absolutely vital thing is to become capable of enjoyment, of living in the present, and of the discipline which this involves- Alan Watt
I got a call from the head of the organization I worked with at a rather odd hour. That hardly ever happened so I knew something was wrong. He gives me the detail of the issue and I knew we were on our way to losing one of the biggest clients we had. We needed to fix this issue. We scheduled a first-thing-in-the-morning meeting with relevant heads while I pretended to be in control. I had dropped the call to pop the last few pieces of groundnut in my sweaty palms.
Like when you step on a thread mill that’s already rolling, I jumped into a panic mode that lasted a few minutes before I went to bed. “Tomorrow will sort itself”, I told myself the way I tell myself these things every once in a while I face challenges. But I was unknowingly adopting a technique that actually exists. Ever felt better about an issue after going to bed?
If you remember from my article, How I Got Out Of Depression, I talked briefly about a Mind Program I *purchased(the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought online) called the Silva Life System 2.0. One of the techniques in this audio mind program is called the Glass of Water Exercise.
According to Laura Silva, The Glass of Water Excercise is used for problem solving and goal achievement. Here is how it works:
Just before retiring to bed, get a water glass and fill with water. while drinking approximately half of the water, close your eyes, say to yourself mentally, “this is all I have to do to find the solutions to the problem I have in mind”. Put away the remaining half, go to bed and sleep. In the morning upon aawakening, drink the remaining half, then close your eyes, turning them slightly upward, say to yourself mentally, this is all I have to do to find the solution I have in mind. With this programming, you may wake in the morning with a vivid recollection of an idea that contains the solution to the problem. Or while doing your day-to-day, you may have a flash of insight that may contain information for solving the problem you have.
Witchcraft yeah? Does it work? Wrong question. Right question: How does it work?
Thomas Hardy once said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”
In an article on Inc.com, Benjamin Hardy talks about learning to channel your thinking both conscious and subconscious creating a condition that makes achieving your objectives easier.
He instructs, “Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish. Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing. In Edison’s words, make some “requests.” Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the more clear will be your answers.
“While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work on those things.
I add a further excerpt from his article, “Research confirms the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is most active and readily creative immediately following sleep. Your subconscious mind has been loosely mind-wandering while you slept, making contextual and temporal connections. Creativity, after all, is making connections between different parts of the brain.
In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, Josh Waitzkin, former chess prodigy and tai chi world champion, explains his morning routine to tap into the subconscious breakthroughs and connections experienced while he was sleeping.
Unlike 80 percent of people between the ages of 18-44 who check their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up, Waitzkin goes to a quiet place, does some meditation and grabs his journal.
In his journal, he thought-dumps for several minutes. Thus, rather than focusing on input like most people who check their notifications, Waitzkin’s focus is on output. This is how he taps into his higher realms of clarity, learning, and creativity–what he calls, “crystallized intelligence.”
If you’re not an experienced journal writer, the idea of “thought-dumping” may be hard to implement. In my experience, it’s good to loosely direct your thought-dumping toward your goals.
Consider the “requests” you made of your subconscious just before going to bed. You asked yourself loads of questions. You thought about and wrote down the things you’re trying to accomplish.
Now, first thing in the morning, when your creative brain is most attuned, after its subconscious workout while you slept, start writing down whatever comes to mind about those things.
I often get ideas for articles I’m going to write while doing these thought-dumps. I get ideas about how I can be a better husband and father to my three foster children. I get clarity about the goals I believe I should be pursuing. I get insights about people I need to connect with, or how I can improve my current relationships.
So whether you’re drinking water or gurgling Ribena down your throat just before bed in hopes that the next morning will find solutions to your problems, remember the words of James Allen, “A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.”
I guess it’s right for me to slot in the words in Christian scriptures that say, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God”.
*This is not an advert or a recommendation.