Monday, June 30, 2014

Randoms...

Sitting at my table this evening, trying to make sense of the dozen thoughts crisscrossing my mind - I have decided to write. Writing always helps to clear my mind, and thanks to Tosin Akingbulu - this blog has become more of an 'online diary' than a repository for 'finely-written essays', so here we go:

1. Remember my mentor? The one I go on and on about on Facebook and the subject of many 'muses' and 'thoughts' about execution and business? Well...she now has a blog. Head over here for some of her awesomeness :). Thank me later.


2. Back in 2010, I gave up trying to quit my addiction to Coca Cola. I had tried so many things that didn't seem to work and I thought I would never quit, until I started running three weeks ago that is. After experiencing for myself how difficult it is to burn calories and stay in great shape when you have a desk job - I didn't need an epiphany before laying off the Coke. Apart from a joy drink at the boo's birthday hangout - I haven't had a taste of Coke in three weeks. Not only have I not had a taste...I don't even feel like it anymore. For the first time in nearly a long while, I can walk past bottles of Coke in a store and resist the temptation to buy enough to fill my fridge. All hail my running shoes.

3. I haven't stopped running, in case you're wondering where the updates went. I have only stopped blogging about it on a daily basis. (Thought I'd save some blog space and not bore you - you know). I have steadily improved, and I have gone from doing 1km in 9minutes 28seconds (fastest time on day 1) to doing it in 7minutes 31seconds (fastest time today). I can confirm 'exercise high' isn't a myth - that thing is for real people. You won't believe how much I look forward to lacing my shoes and hitting the road these days.

4. Great days make great weeks, great weeks make great months, and great months make great years. How do we get where we want to be? It's the journey of a million steps, the same one that starts out with a tiny weeny baby step... Execute excellently today, then tomorrow, then the day after - and you're going to get 'amaze-balls' results down the line. That's how 'sustainable results' work. Again - life and career are not sprints, they're marathons.

Today was a great day to start a week with. By God's grace, I look forward to tomorrow...

And yeah - cheers to the new month starting tomorrow, and Ramadan Mubarak to all my Muslim friends.

Koye.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thoughts on Stephen Covey, Art and Legacy

Heading off this wet morning to the second day of the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Program" training, I can't help feeling so excited.

I love learning. But as I didn't feel this way heading into most of my Mechanical Engineering classes at OAU, maybe I should correct that - I love learning about theories and concepts I am interested in.‎

And just like my PMP training - this is another one that was best had after gaining hands-on experience (and frustration) trying to balance work and life on principles based solely on my limited experience (and a few contradicting books).

‎But I get ahead of myself, as the above wasn't the intent of this post.

I wanted to quickly explore "legacy" this morning... As we know (or may not know) - Stephen Covey passed on in 2012 at the age of 79. Sitting in the instructor-led training yesterday and looking at his book in a whole new light (I'd read it before at the age of 14) - it suddenly struck me that Steve will continue to be around for a long time to come.

Business-men and entrepreneurs around the world will continue to study his book and apply the principles therein, hopefully resulting in greater effectiveness. Students and young adults will be challenged to identify their core values and beliefs, ‎setting them on an early path to greatness.

‎In the end, Steve will live on for a very long time to come...because he created meaningful art.

Create something. It just might become your legacy.‎

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The 5 Best Questions a Job Candidate Can Ask


This one's for all the Ife grads who have asked me at some point in the past what questions to ask recruiters/interviewers...

Great blog post by Jeff Haden, a LinkedIn influencer I follow...

1. What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
2. What are the common attributes of your top performers?
3. What are the one or two things that really drive results for the company?
4. What do employees do in their spare time?
5. How do you plan to deal with...? (insert a major upheaval or disruption in their business environment).

Head over here to read the full article... Happy reading!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blessed are those who overcome the Lizard Brain...

On Saturday, a random guy walked up to me and said - "you need to trim your hair".

It was so random that I started to smile...I mean, who has the liver to walk up to a total stranger and tell him he needs to visit a barber?

Well, turns out it was a barber actually - my new barber :). I was so struck by his courage that I stopped him from continuing his Sales pitch to ask - "where is your shop?"

I celebrate Michael, my new barber, who for all intents and purposes has defeated the lizard brain - and has practically overcome the fear of rejection.

Cheers to the new week!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Boo


So it's Busola's birthday today, and that's about the only thing I've thought about all day.
 
She holds the trademark for "Open Letters on Birthdays" while I hold the one for "Open Letters on Anniversaries" -- so this is not an elaborate one.
 
I'd just like to state again for the records that my Busola is an awesome woman and I'm absolutely grateful that she chose to share her life with me.
 
Birthdays are an awesome time to reflect on the past and look to the future, and today I'm grateful for her years-to-date and look forward to sharing the future.

Once again, Happy Birthday, honey bun.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Finally, PMP Classes Over... Coming Up: Examinations!!!


So I just had to blog about my recently-concluded PMP training experience.

I am a very risk-averse individual who conducts lots and lots of research before committing my time or money to an option when I have multiple choices - and I probably spent tens of hours between 2011 and 2013 deciding whether to take the PMP training, whether to take an online class ‎or attend a physical instructor-led training, which study-material to use, and  which school to attend.

I recall my conversation with Mary Osinowo a few months ago where we were trying to agree on a training school after discussing merits and demerits of a few schools, and Jide Olatunbode (himself a certified PMP) butted in saying "Guys, just decide already!".

So I trusted Sola's (another certified PMP) recommendation ‎and paid Folbert Consulting - solely based on his recommendation. ‎This put paid to my "analysis paralysis" and ensured that I would attend the classes - regardless of what birthdays or get-togethers might come up on both weekends marked for the training. (Had to pass on some of Busola's awesome fish and chips yesterday :( :().

‎On the morning of last Saturday, I woke up wondering if I'd made the right choice. Given the long week of June 2 and the overcast Saturday morning weather, ‎I'd just have gone back to bed if I hadn't paid already :). But mehn, no way I was going to just give away my money!!!

My 9 Week Journey to 5K: Week 1 Conquered!!!



Yesterday I was introduced to unbelievable pain in my lower legs – aka “shin splits”. While I have a low pain-threshold, I tend to have lots of willpower once I get going – but at some point I had to stop and listen to my legs. The pain was insane. 

Trust me – I paused the workout audio when I stopped; and continued when I felt the pain had sufficiently subsided. Nothing was going to rob the joy of finishing ‘Week One’.

On a more serious note now – one thing common to all the running forums I have read is that newbie runners should quit running once any kind of pain becomes unbearable. So, if you’re a newbie (like I am now) reading this blog – discard my implicit advice above and DON’T run through the pain! 

A few other random things related to running:

1. I had my first idea flash while running yesterday! Yippeeee!!! At some point in the early stages of the run, I took my mind off the road and the voice prompts – and started to think about a few other things I was working on. Suddenly, in what I can only term an eureka moment – I knew exactly what I needed to do about this thorny work-related issue. :D :D 

2. The number one reason why most newbies quit running is trying to go too far too fast. Quite a few people have said things to me along the line of: “But XYZ does 5 kilometres; but ABC does 7 kilometres”…and so on… I’m not XYZ or ABC, and both XYZ and ABC started from somewhere. If I want to be running sustainably eight months down the line – slow and steady is definitely the way to go.

3. Yesterday I did my fastest 1 kilometre yet… in 8.00 minutes. I’m more interested in duration than distance at these early stages, but I just had to mention that.

Cheers to a beautiful Sunday, and to the coming week.

Koye.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My 9 Week Journey to 5K: Week 1, Day 2


Today was a good one!

I went into my run at 8.00pm expecting to complete at least seven of the eight daily races comprising my target for Week One. This would at least ensure that I beat the personal record I set on Monday - of six one-minute runs.

I'll be honest, I was asking myself the "who send me message" question by the end of run six, but then the goblins in my head reminded me how long we'd all looked forward to this, and how "I could do this"...so I went on. It was easier by the end of run seven...as the prize was in sight by then. Actually disregarded the voice prompts in my ear and took a few more strides at the end of run eight to drill it in - "I did it!!!"

Mehn, I don't know how people manage to run for thirty minutes or five kilometers without stopping at all. But come on, if that toothpick-legged colleague of mine named Chuka ‎can do a 5K in 27mins...then so can I. Slow and steady, and I'm sure I'll be keeping up with the DKBs and Chioma Edes of this world nine weeks from now.

To provide a bit of balance...a number of people have contacted me saying "exercise is not the only way to lose weight, you have to watch your diet too"... Yeah, thanks people - I know! I did my research, and I fixed that before even buying my running shoes...‎ Plus, I am absolutely convinced that I look good the way I am...just need to tone the muscles and stay fit...and if I lose some weight by the side - then so be it.

If you're still ‎sitting on the fence, I'd like to say this is a good time to get started... Invest in a good pair of shoes, find somewhere safe to start with 2K - 3K run/walks, download the NHS podcasts - and get going.

If I can, then so can you.

Koye.

PS: 1. Screen-shot is from Endomondo. 2. There's one day of rest after every run, hence no run yesterday :).

What if you could love what you get paid for?


Found this 'great' two-sentence article on Seth's blog and just had to share:

"Really tempting to spend time trying to get paid for what you love.

It's probably easier and certainly more direct to talk to yourself about loving what you do."

Monday, June 09, 2014

My 9 Week Journey to 5K: Week 1, Day 1

Covered 3km on my first day with a mixture of brisk-walking and running

One of the fondest memories I have of Secondary School is of a spectacular race I ran. A little bit of background: Wesley College Ibadan was one of those few secondary schools in Ibadan that celebrated academic and athletic prowess over 'coolness' and 'pedigree'...so I had quite a field day in my three years there.

Anyways, back to the race I was telling you about. I was placed in second leg for the 4*100 on our home tracks, and nearly the entire school‎ had turned out for the race. I never liked to start the races, or finish them - so I was very much at home in the second or third leg.

For some reason, our starter missed it - and I got the baton last of all the contestants in my starting position. And then something remarkable happened. I remember clearly thinking to myself: ‎I can catch up with these guys, and I can be the star of this race. I must have been 10 meters behind the guy closest to me at this point.