Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Your Marks, Get Set, Marry!



A few years ago, I participated in a marriage seminar where something happened that really struck me. After concluding a session titled ‘Like Father like Son, like Mother like Daughter’, the facilitator asked the audience to raise their hands if they wanted marriages that were (at most) as happy as their parents’. We were at least 350 young people in the audience, and only one lady raised her hand.

Today I pose that same question to you. Do you want a marriage that is (at most) as happy as your parents’?
 

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I am grateful for my parents, both of whom are Pastors. Among other things, I have learnt a lot from various marriage-counselling sessions they have ‘hosted’ over the years. I have seen marriages disintegrate, and worst of all – I have seen children suffer the effects of ‘failed’ marriages. Failed marriages are real, and they are a scary prospect!
 

I have seen husbands splurge on luxuries while their wives went without necessities! I have seen wives refuse to speak to their husbands for weeks!! I have seen husbands reduce their wives to the role of ‘cook and sex-slave’ – regardless of her level of education!!!
 

All these people were very much in love with their spouses at some point. They used phrases like “I love you tori torun”, called themselves “baby” and “bobo”, and shared plans for a ‘great future’!
 

So, what happened?
 

*****
 

The curse of youth is to assume that we are magically exempt from the problems of our parents. ‘Falling’ in love is magical, and we get the feeling that ‘this’ is meant to be and we are destined to live happily ever after. But then, time passes and the magic recedes. Even with the best intentions - the ‘feeling’ continues to die, problems creep in, resentments build and communication breaks down. The magic of love is lost.
 

Good intentions are never enough.
 

If we are to build happy marriages, different from many of those we see around – we need to learn, and work to do things differently. Teachers can teach what we need to know – but the responsibility to ‘do’ remains ours.
 

*****
 

In ‘On Your Marks, Get Set, Marry!’ Temitope Akinyemi attempts to teach what we need to know.
 

Across fifty-five chapters, she discusses themes as diverse as ‘cooking’, ‘arguments’ and conflict resolution, mentoring, ‘baggage’ and ‘emotional clutter’ from previous relationships, and ‘communication’. In the staccato style that is necessary to cut through the ‘noise’ that badgers us from all sides today – she uses phrases like “stop sulking, grow up!” “Guy, if you can’t handle the thought of a more successful wife, you’re yet to be ready for marriage” and “If your opinion doesn’t count in the relationship, then your presence doesn’t count either”.
 

She addresses men who believe women are only good for food and sex; women who have refused to marry because they await tall, dark, handsome (and rich) dudes; and couples that go into debt to run big wedding ceremonies – then cannot afford amenities like a refrigerator and cable-TV after the ceremony. She also addresses couples who confuse sex with love; the situation of “mama’s boys”; and high maintenance relationships.
 

*****
 

Are you single and ready to mingle? Read through the book, think over it, and allow your thoughts to influence your actions accordingly. Are you in a ‘maritally-intended relationship’? Study through the book with your partner, and strike issues at their roots even before they arise. Are you married already? Read through the book with your spouse, and discuss the themes in relationship to your marriage. Do you know someone who is getting married soon? Buy their aso-ebi, make plans to buy them that Haier Thermocool cooler, and yes – buy them a copy of the book before the wedding!
 

Remember, good intentions are never enough!
 

Godspeed!
 

*****
 

Call Koye on 08168930124 (MTN) or Busola on 08153100374 (Glo) to order copies.
A few paraphrases are taken from 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' by John Gray

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reinvent Yourself: Learn (7/7)



It is nine days today since the first post in this series. Six days out of those nine, we have discussed simple ways to reinvent ourselves. Before we wrap this up today, I thought we would do well to consider a re-cap.

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In ‘Connect’, we discussed alternative uses for digital media that would see us making real connections, earning permissions, and gaining insights from people we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to interact with.

In ‘Be Generous’, we discussed the power of ‘free’. Since it does not cost money to play, we have the ability to give before we get. We can write essays, distribute free eBooks, and upload music tracks – gaining satisfaction and name-recognition in the process.

In ‘Make Art’, we discussed the need to stand out by being original. In a world where so much badgers people for their attention, you, your product, your service, or your brand need to be distinctive!

In ‘Acknowledge the Lizard’, we discussed the fact that most of us do not ‘make art’ because our ‘lizard brain’ is afraid of being laughed at. So what do we do? We acknowledge the lizard, and then walk to the podium and do the work!

In ‘Ship’, we discussed the fact that good intentions never get us anywhere. No one builds a reputation on what they are going to do. Quit obsessing. Ship! Execute! Do!

In ‘Fail’, we said that we should not let the fear of failure hold us back from trying. We should learn to embrace ‘failure’ as just another step on the path to finding out what works. We not only acknowledge the lizard – we also challenge it!

*****

In many ways, the seventh ‘pillar’ is the key to the other six.

It is simply amazing how fast the world is changing today. Methods and paths to achieve success and growth are continuously evolving, and what worked a decade ago will not necessarily work today. To bring a ‘rigid’ mindset to ‘work’ today is to court certain failure.

These days, school is never over. School is now. School is blogs and experiments and experiences and the constant failure of shipping and learning.

Reading through this series is just another step in the right direction. The path to reinventing ourselves is just that – a path. One of the greatest opportunities of our time is to discard what we think we know, and instead learn what we need to learn. Every single day.

PS:
Excerpts and paraphrases from Seth Godin’s manifesto – Brainwashed.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reinvent Yourself: Ship!!! (5/7)




Henry Ford said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do”. If you haven’t heard that before, think about it for a second and let it sink in. Those words are as true today as they were decades ago when they were first spoken. Nobody remembers the guy who was going to do something; history remembers the guy who DID SOMETHING!

How many of us know guys who are always talking about the next big thing, but who never actually get anything done? Show of hands please! Now let’s bring that closer home: how many of us have spent hours talking about dreams – but have not taken any steps to make them happen? If you have…cover your face with your hands! (I just covered mine too!)

One of the most important keys to the reinvention of who you are, is to become someone who ships – someone who gets things done!

The ability to ship is very, very SCARCE! That is why we have an abundance of young people who spend their every waking hour reading self-help books, and sometimes the Bible – and still appear to be stuck in a rut! They are not DOING! “We all ought to become doers of the word, and not hearers only – deceiving only our own selves!”

At some point in Ife, I realized I knew what exactly I needed to do to get straight A’s – but I never got straight A’s because I never did those things! Did I want straight A’s? Yes! Was I dissatisfied with my grades at some point? Yes! Did I know what I needed to do? Yes! Did I do it? No!!!

It follows everywhere…that if you can get something out the door while your competitors cringe in fear, you win. If you’re the team member that makes things happen while others obsess over PowerPoint presentations, you become indispensable. If you ship – do – execute – you win!

Shipping is sometimes difficult because of the ‘lizard brain’. If you push your ‘art’ onto the market, you might fail; if you fail, we might laugh at you – so the ‘lizard brain’ shuts you down! But you need to acknowledge the ‘lizard’, and then go on and ship your product!

Don’t spend all your days reading posts like this and learning to ship. Don’t spend all your days talking about how to ship. Don’t even decide to ship! Just ship!!! Execute!!! Do!!!

That’s all!

Koye


PS: Excerpts and paraphrases from Seth Godin's manifesto are reproduced in Bold print.