Sunday, July 25, 2021

Life Lately: Thanksgiving

2006, 2012

The most afraid I have been in my life is the two incidents when there was a real chance I could lose either of my parents. And that one time I was halfway through a daredevil roller coaster ride and promising Jesus I would never try it again if the ride ended without drama.

It’s my dad’s thanksgiving service in Ibadan today. While I can’t be there, it’s all I have thought about through the weekend. So I figured I’d do some thanksgiving of my own in today’s entry.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Life Lately: Freedom Day and my roadmap for living with COVID-19

Enjoying the sun and glad to be free of my second self-isolation in seven months

Tomorrow is Freedom Day in England. Most measures for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 will be dropped. Mask-wearing in public and social distancing will no longer be mandated. I’m not sure how I feel. Having had COVID twice, both times with symptoms, these changes spark a little anxiety. But I also believe society needs to move on.

I don’t think COVID-19 is going anywhere. Given the respiratory nature of the virus and how far it has spread, I don’t think we’ll be able to eradicate this one like we did smallpox. I believe COVID-19 will become endemic, circulating in pockets and causing localized outbreaks. I’m not alone in thinking this. Smarter people who are more familiar with immunology have reached similar conclusions. (See here, here, and here). What this means is we need to learn to live with this virus, as we have with other viruses.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Life Lately: Consistency >>> Intensity

It's a big day for sports today! There was the Copa America final, which I didn't watch as the time didn't work (it's hard to wake up at 1am for football). Then there's the Wimbledon men's final (Djokovic vs Berrettini) which I am very fortunate to be seeing in person. And it ends with the EURO 2020 final, where I'll be rooting for England to bring it home!

The atmosphere at the Stade de France was electric after France won the 2018 World Cup

One of my favorite experiences in 2018 was seeing the World Cup Final alongside thousands of French fans in the French national stadium. The game was beamed live from Russia on large screens and the Stade de France went berserk when Beyonce came out singing "We are the champions" after Hugo Lloris lifted the trophy. Remembering it still gives me goose bumps.

*****

A colleague asked me last week how I got so good at financial modeling. I immediately thought back to my first few models and how embarrassingly bad they were. I learnt to build good models by sticking with it, asking for feedback and trying again, over and over. (I'm glad to no longer be building detailed financial models but those skills still come in handy). So I figured I'd share this post I wrote about consistency in October 2019 but did not post to this blog.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Life Lately: On Yoruba Nation and Secessionist Movements; Lights Out at General Electric

What else has the current Nigerian government got right asides the trains?

Nigeria is not working. I wanted to open this with anecdotes from my last trip but reading my notes was draining. Is it the needless death; the spike in the number of people, mostly women with sickly babies, standing outside pharmacies seeking help to buy medication; endless kidnappings; or rampant inflation? The present administration is underperforming expectations by a wide margin.

These trends have caused a decades-old question to resurface. Would the constituent parts of Nigeria be better-off on their own? While they never really left, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is back in the news following a spate of attacks. Calls for a Yoruba nation have regained prominence, with Google searches for “Yoruba nation” peaking last month (the Oduduwa republic was a previous name for a similar idea). The Federal Government went after the leaders of both movements over the past week, arresting Nnamdi Kanu (IPOB), and arresting a cat and allegedly killing two people in a failed raid on Sunday Igboho’s (Yoruba nation) house.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Life Lately: I Can Do Hard Things

Through hardships, to the stars

A few moments ago, I was listening to Shankar Vedantam (host of the Hidden Brain podcast) discuss how commercials from our childhood influence our decisions as adults while vacuuming our living room and half-thinking about slow cooker recipes, and it hit me that I was “back”. I realized that was the first moment in four weeks I was thinking just about myself and something I wanted to do. It was the first time I wasn’t consciously in “go” mode – speaking to someone, hurrying somewhere, managing familial stakeholders, or making what felt like an endless run of important decisions.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Life Lately: Don't worry, about a thing...

This post is short as this is one of those weekends where I shouldn’t be able to find the time to write. But I’ve done this every Sunday for 18 Sundays in a row and I really like the sound of that, so I thought I'd share a quick one about worry.

I was recently scanning through my journal (Day One!) and saw a few things I had listed as making me anxious a few months ago. It was interesting that the time spent worrying about those things had turned out to be a complete waste as none of those ‘worst case scenarios’ had materialized. Even more interestingly, the two most significant troubles in my adult life almost literally hit me in the face when I wasn't looking.

It all caused me to remember this paragraph from Mary Schmich’s Wear Sunscreen essay

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

That’s my word for you this week. Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

Cheers to the new week!

Koye

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Life Lately: Ibadan - A Poem

Ibadan from Bower's Tower

Every new day sets a new record for how long I've gone without being back home in Ibadan. It's harder than I let on. The most random things remind me of that place. I dream about it from time to time and recycle my favorite memories from growing up there. I even made a list of those memories so I can access them quicker.

Therefore, today, I thought I'd share this piece I wrote late in 2018 about growing up in Ibadan.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Life Lately: The Trouble with Open Offices and Two Thoughts on Investing

I know way more than I want to about a guy who sat behind me at the office on Friday. There were three people in that row of desks but this one guy stood out. I heard what he ate for breakfast. I heard that he was born in India, moved to the US, and just bought a flat in London. I have a pretty good idea what projects he’s working on. And so on…

He held many meetings at his desk, speaking as though he was in a noisy stadium rather than an almost-empty office building. His sing-song voice cut through my noise cancellation earphones and the focus music I put on in attempt to keep him out of my head. His voice sparked garish flashbacks to the loud people from the open offices I’ve worked in. When I eventually moved to get away from his voice, I couldn’t help wondering how I got anything done in open offices before the pandemic.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

The Power of Weak Ties

Picture of Obama from his 2004 keynote speech at the DNC

Barack Obama met John Kerry for the first time in April 2004. Three months later, Kerry selected Obama to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama went on to deliver a great speech that announced him nationally, eventually resulting in a two-term presidency. Obama’s big break came from a weak tie, not someone he had known forever and was best buddies with.

We know relationships are important success drivers. There is a lot of material about the importance of friends, mentors, and sponsors. These are very important people who make and shape us. We know that already, so this isn’t about them.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Life Lately: How recognition from a kind teacher changed my life; Work anniversary

1998, at Adesola Kings & Queens School, Ibadan, Nigeria

I posted this picture on Instagram during the week with the caption “I am somewhere in this picture doing what comes naturally to me in a large group”. 19 friends responded, some with one word, and they were nearly all right. If you look closely, you too can see me. Go on, look for me. Do you see me?