Sunday, August 29, 2021

Life Lately: The World as it is

I’m going to be 30 in two Saturdays. I’m very excited about this milestone and I’m looking forward to that week (yes – it’s an entire birthday week away from work). But what’s a milestone where Koye doesn’t reflect? So I’ve also been reading my old journals and thinking about my journey. I found this entry from 2009 about a simple but political decision I had to make, and thought it was a good example of how my thinking has evolved over the past decade.

In our third year as Mechanical Engineering undergrads at OAU, we needed to run practical exercises in a wind tunnel. A wind tunnel is a tube with air blowing inside that is used to observe the interaction between air and objects moving through air. For example you might use a wind tunnel to observe how a streamlined sports car cuts through the air more easily than a boxy truck. The lab at OAU used kerosene to add smoke to the air so we could see the interaction between the air and our scale models. We were all excited about the practical, but a small challenge had arisen. The lab expected us to buy the kerosene.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Life Lately: Working on a Dream

Hanging out with my guy, Shakespeare, on the grounds of the lovely Southwark Cathedral

I know someone who has been planning to apply to business school for just over six years now. These days, I smile and change the topic when our conversations turn to that dream. I have worked with them over the past few years to identify and address a series of blockers, and we’ve reached the conclusion that inertia is the ultimate blocker.

Chances are you too know someone who has dreamt of doing something for a while but has not gotten around to doing it. Maybe they want to start a business, adopt a healthy lifestyle, or volunteer at a non-profit. Heck, maybe you’re that someone. I too have many dreams I have not done anything about. I recently wrote in my journal that I could live a full life working on the dreams I already have without ever having another one.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Life Lately: Are you getting the learning you need?

Taking in the grandeur of the Cathedral of Barcelona

I was discussing this post (Life Lately: Learn & Be Curious from April 25) with someone recently, and they told me how they were struggling to make the time for learning. It got me thinking about yet another post I shared with my Conversations newsletter group but never posted to this blog. I've reproduced it below and edited it to bring it up to date.


When last did you learn something new? It could have been a new Excel function or how to take better pictures. Think about it. Did you do any learning last week?

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Life Lately: What does PIE have to do with Career Success?

Which of these counts the most towards career success?

Performance? Image? Exposure?

If you think it is performance, like I too once did, the research does not agree.

I focused on performance when I started my career, expecting my work to speak for itself. I paid little attention to how colleagues perceived me or how much visibility I was getting. I would deliver complex projects and just move on to the next one without making a fuss.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Life Lately: Self Assessments and How to Read More

Reading Decisive by the Heath brothers a few Saturdays ago at a nearby cafe

Happy new month people!

There are two quick thoughts in this week’s note.


I struggled to prioritize mindfulness in July. I felt that I had to make up for the gap that opened up when I was away from work in June, so I started skipping my morning meditations and diving straight in. I also went well over my budget, often excused with a muttered YOLO to myself. Lastly, I felt like I spent much of my time at work sorting out small housekeeping-type-stuff; you know – the type of stuff that keeps the business ticking along but is not necessarily transformational.

Why am I sharing this? To illustrate the practice I’ve had for a few years of asking myself “What worked? And what didn’t work?” at the end of every month. The answers to both questions help me double-down on the positives and address the opportunity areas before too much time passes.