Sunday, December 14, 2014

A love letter to Daystar Christian Center...

With the boo, at the 2014 Carol Service - today

I was overwhelmed at the Daystar Christian Center Carol Service today. I cycled through the plethora of expressions available to me; I shouted, screamed, danced, talked, and cried. I love Daystar Christian Center, and no - don't get me started on the Adeyemis' or Pastor Kenny. I have nothing but admiration for Pastors Sam and Nike Adeyemi and Pastor Kenny Afolarin; they ooze so much elegance and simplicity that I just want to group-hug them tight and never let go.

For a 'mega-church', Daystar has remained simple and unpretentious. A very strong Cell Group system ensures the church is big enough to contain everyone, but small enough to know every member. Daystar also has a huge focus on Social Responsibility - and is always seeking means to leverage its scale to positively impact society. The simplicity of the teaching is amazing. I have never been interested in Greek words and Hebrew translations or transliterations; English is just fine. What I want to know is how to live closer to God, and how to apply the Bible at work tomorrow, in crazy Lagos traffic, in a conversation with the Boo, or in deciding how to eat healthy.

Daystar more than meets that need.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Some Advice to a Young Professional

For a few days, I have pondered sharing my thoughts about being a young professional with other young professionals. Not many pieces advising young professionals are written by their peers, so it was easy to conclude that this was worth the effort. I’ll be straightforward – my advice is based on my limited experiences and learnings from mentors and books. Feel free to keep what you like, and discard what you don’t.

Here goes – some advice to a young professional, from another young professional.

Learn. Whether you’re an Engineer, a Front Desk Officer, or a Sales person – your first few jobs are huge opportunities to learn about yourself, about the world of work, and about what excites you (and what doesn’t). What you learn will be more important twenty years from now than what you earn. Never stop learning. Learn on the job. Learn from others. Reflect. Read. Watch TED Videos. Attend short courses. Learn!

Contribute. Add value – more than is expected from you. Apart from helping you feel great and confident, you’ll be well placed to ride any unforeseen waves. It’s difficult to be let go if you’re pulling more than your weight, and it’s easier to move on if you have solid results under your belt. Either way, you win. Beyond routine tasks, determine how to exceed expectations in your current job, and just do it!

Save. Delay gratification, but don’t become miserly. Many of us get our salaries, then pay Telcos, friends that sold us stuff, Mechanics, Relaxation Bars – and never pay ourselves! All that hard work, and nothing stays with you? Pay yourself first! Set aside a portion of your pay to invest and exploit opportunities – no matter how little. Spend what is left afterwards. Make budgets. Leverage compound interest. Setup escrow accounts. Prepare for rainy days.