My name is Ajibola OLADIIPO and I’ve had many titles in my life. Oyinbo, Bororo, Dr, Engr, Jman, Oga Jibola, Papa, AJ, Bro, Uncle Jibola, Kabiyesi, Jibsss are some of my most common titles. For the purpose of this piece, however, my name is Ajibola and I am writing this note especially for me, in celebration of the 2021 edition of my birthday.
The funny thing about this introduction is that I’ve been meaning to use it for a while now. I’d learnt it from former President Olusegun Obasanjo sometimes in 2012.
However, this article will usher in a new ritual: to document some of my thoughts, threads of wisdom and lessons in the past one year.
The striking thing about this phase is that it’s completely different from my experience of what every other year feels like. The past one year feels so different. The COVID – induced crunch and the fear of contracting the virus. The disappointments and sometimes, the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Keeping a solid front in the midst of all these is magical. A times, it felt as if I’d been caught in a tide, carried along by the current of other people’s expectations before I’d clearly defined my own.
It is important that you have a mind of yours. To be tossed in short – fused cycles is to enshrine instability and also waste time.
One thing holds true: I am endlessly loved by God. I have indeed found succor, strength, joy and peace in God.
Let’s take a rush!
Focus on Your Work
The less energy you expend on performance, the more you’d need to expend on optics. More often than not the energy you expend on looking impressive makes your actual performance worse. At all times, be true to your work.
Acceptance Is Not Necessarily the Voice of Wisdom
Nobody wants to be hated. In the same vein, not everybody will like you. In fact, not everyone likes ice cream. It is okay to understand that some people will not accept you. Even the son of God was despised and rejected.
To focus all of your energy into winning the adoration of a group of followers, without earning respect from those that matters is not wisdom. For example, if you are expecting a baby, you wouldn’t want to expend your time frolicking with the coffin seller. There’s NO match.
You are likely to lose focus if you are all about being accepted by people.
Invest in yourself. Invest in people. Make sure you invest your time and resources!
Now that you’ve invested, you want to cash out almost immediately? WoW – it’d be great if you start a Ponzi scheme. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with others. It’s quite important that you follow through because patience and momentum translate to growth.
Let me add this: procrastination is not an expression of patience. Okay?
I’ve had to ask myself if we really need to take a lot of risks to get ahead in life? I also discovered that the only reason we factor in risk is out of the fear of being wrong and having to bear the consequences.
The experience of those who have gone ahead tells me that the future is most likely to follow the trends of the past. Sounds quite logical. As a matter of fact, history will support this: Spanish flu vs. COVID – 19? Any similarities?
However, man doesn’t know the future. What if the consequences of being wrong are terrible and can cause great harm? If the decision is important, you should largely ignore what has happened in the past and focus on the consequences of being wrong.
If you’ve been managing situations well enough, I think it’s possible to live a life where there isn’t much risk of disaster and where you’re virtually sure to get ahead in a reasonable amount of time.
If we can’t tolerate a possible consequence, remote though it may be, we steer clear of planting its seeds.
– Warren Buffett
It takes a lot of judgment, a lot of discipline and focus – an absence of hyperactivity.
What we say most of the time is if you want to get ahead and stand out, you will have to consistently do good work and always be on the lookout for opportunities to do more.
We often forget to add that consistency works both ways. To downplay consistency is to build a momentum for you to be inconsistent.
Be consistent and let your results compound for good.
One of the most electrifying things about being human is the ability to establish a deep – seated connection with other people. The tender, brave connection you get to share with others is a super – power.
While you keep your inner circle small, be intentional about keeping quality relationships with people who are worth taking a risk for.
Open up and let people know you for who you truly are. To open up doesn’t necessarily translate into sharing every piece of your life with everyone as if it’s pizza.
Surround Yourself with Those Who Will Pamper You
Seriously, life is meant to be enjoyed. Get you people who genuinely care about you and endlessly love you. One more thing, love people too.
It just occurred to me that I didn’t to spend time with my senior friends (aged 80+) whom I get to sit with and relive memories and learn from. Not even my own grandma. Oops. I think I figured why it all feels weird because spending time with them is one of the ways I unwind.
My preference for roasted or boiled corn is almost to the point of addiction and I can recall the last time I had any of that was in 2019. At first, it was because of COVID and then, I didn’t find them anymore. Strange times I must say.
The ability to exercise your choice remains a cornerstone habit that leads to a better life.
Well, I’m on the road to recording my best year yet! A legitimately interesting life with all the varying things I find enthralling.
One more thing, Ajibola: never forget to take your own advice.