May 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’d like to preface this post with a note: what I’m about to talk about is a Relative Truth. That is, a subjective truth, based on and dependent on individual experiences for application. This is different from a Universal Truth, which is a truth that is more objective, and more widely applicable.
I love Universal Truths and like to deal in them mostly, but I also believe that we’ve gotta deal in some Relative Truths des temps en temps, as the French say. So, here goes:
It seems to me that some of the heartaches that single people go through, are simply because we don’t talk. We don’t talk to those we care about and who care about us, about people we have an interest in, and/or people that are showing an interest in us. There are some necessary conversations that we’re not having, and this is hurting and costing us in the short and long term, in a number of ways. We should know better. We can do better.
So the idea is this. within this context, it’s ‘brothers before potential baby mothers’ (you may have a catchier way of saying this), and ‘sisters before misters’. If you’ve taken the time to surround yourself with the right people (which EVERYBODY should be doing all the time, and maintaining those connections), you’ll realise what I have – it’s good to talk. So, make good use of your network/friendships/connections, talk things out, and avoid silly mistakes. Some things are better to learn by experience, but others are not.
April 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
So it finally happened – #TheChosenOne became #TheChuckedOutOne.
However unlike most Manchester United fans, I’m not rejoicing at this news. And maybe that’s because I’m looking at things from a leadership point of view.
I have held various leadership positions over the past 12 years or so, none of them sought after (i.e. I was always put forward or chosen by others) and one of the things I’ve learnt is this – a leader is nothing without his/her followers.
Many times throughout the season David Moyes couldn’t get the players to play well (for the club, themselves, or him), most recently against Everton on Easter Sunday, and I believe that was his ultimate undoing; not tactics, though they did play a part. He didn’t start his tenure well, with key players being unsure of what to expect with him, and as the season went on, rumours of discontent in the dressing room didn’t cease. When Vidic announced he was going to leave when his contract was up at the end of the season, he was saying what many fans were saying, and what other players probably couldn’t voice – ‘I don’t believe you can take me where I want to go.’
Players who’ve played for Jose Mourinho say that he is probably the best man-manager in the game. Psychologists agree that he gets in people’s heads – and they say the same about Sir Alex Ferguson. Even Andy Murray, playing a completely different sport, owes at least one, maybe both, of his grand slam wins, in part to conversations with SAF. Richard Branson once famously said that the most important thing in business is people, people, and people. The point is simple, without the right people working for/with him, Moyes could never have achieved what he wanted to. And maybe that was where it truly went wrong for him.
People will analyse the United squad and say that we need “quality” players in all areas, to which I will simply say, these same players, in this same team, topped the league last season, and for many that wasn’t their first title. They have experience of winning, which some say is often what needs to be called on to turn things around when underachievement sets in, and potential isn’t being fulfilled.
However, I think I made a slightly erroneous comment just now by saying that the current United squad is the same team as last season’s – it isn’t. A team, especially a sports team, isn’t just about the players at the forefront, it includes the back room staff, and of course their manager. And the difference that a change of leadership makes to the individuals directly affected, is huge – you just ask any one in any organisation at all, that has ever had to undergo a change of leadership, for any reason.
So what did he do wrong? Tried to assert himself too quickly? Wasn’t assertive enough? Never won round the players at all? Couldn’t maintain their confidence? Wasn’t getting good advice? Was in way over his head? Got his team selections wrong? These and more could be debated to and fro until we win our next title (which could be a while, as there’s no guaranteeing that any manager with a proven track record, will come in and “deliver” in his first season).
What I would really like though, is to hear what certain people in particular have to say, honestly, about what has really gone on at the club for the past 10 months – one or two of the players, who have sensible, balanced thinking; a member of the coaching staff; Sir Alex Ferguson; and Moyes himself.
I’m not rejoicing at this news, because of the uncertainty that a lack of steady leadership brings – the transitional phase is often a tricky one to navigate, even with the best intentions. Let’s just hope the next manager can bring some stability to the club, confidence and togetherness to the players, and of course, trophies. And I only say the latter, because that is the easiest marker by which we will know that that manager and his followers are together.
April 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
There are a lot of conflicting reports about this #Heartbleed Bug – should you or shouldn’t you change passwords, does it really affect you, and so on.
I’m going to try to explain it in layman’s terms, based on quite a bit of reading I’ve done this morning, and discussions with my IT colleagues.
Let’s say you live in a flat, and use a key fob to get into the building, and the same key fob to get into your flat. However your key fob only works for your flat. The owners of the whole building (let’s call them ‘W’), get the key fobs from the same key-fob-issuing company that more than half of building-owners in your country use (we’ll call these guys ‘Oz’). Now imagine that some dodgy types gained access to Oz’s factory, and were able to clone key fobs of various buildings and flats all over the country, without being detected. This means that potentially, they could have the key fob to your building and your flat, and you wouldn’t know it, and nor would Oz. That is where we are now.
So now, what do you do? Well, firstly, not everyone’s building uses gets their key fobs from Oz, so the first thing to do is to ascertain whether this is the case. If like W buildings, key fobs are issued by Oz, then you should find out what W are saying about the matter.
Now, Oz are saying that they’ve fixed the security holes and beefed up the key fob technology. So any building owners like W that use Oz’s technology need to update their systems. W now has to get the system on the entry panel of your building and of your flat, upgraded to the new, more secure stuff, AND give you a new key fob. That last bit is important because curiously, your old key fob will still work (stay with me).
If W haven’t stepped up your building’s security yet, there’s no point getting a new key fob or changing your locks yet, because the dodgy types could still gain access to your building and flat, thereby rendering your efforts at safeguarding yourself, useless.
In the above, Oz represents the people who develop Open SSL – the encryption method in which the “#Heartbleed” flaw was detected, and W represents the websites you access like Facebook and Yahoo. The key fob technology is of course Open SSL, and your own key fob is your password.
The analogy is not perfect as this aspect of online behaviour doesn’t seamlessly translate to the offline, and I have tried to over-simplify the situation. However I hope it does help you to understand what is undoubtedly one of the biggest security issues we’ve seen on the Internet in recent years, what you may need to do about it, and why you should do it.
The most helpful site that I’ve seen about it so far is this one from Mashable . The official Heartbleed website is also good of course, but is not for those who aren’t tech-savvy. Feel free to let me know about any others.
March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
Right. I’m about to mess up someone’s psychology so if you’re of weak mind, please, on to the next one :)… You still here? Well done, you’ll be better for it. I’ll get straight to the point. Personality Tests like the one below, are not as insightful as they may appear to be. Let me explain why. Please go on and take the test. I’ll wait…
Let your choice of colours and shapes tell you more about your personality! Relax, look at the pictures and see which you are most attracted to. Results posted below. I picked #1 Personality Test Results: 1. Freedom loving Freedom is important to you – nothing is worse than when you feel tied down. You may find you move jobs or location frequently because the idea of staying in one place too long unnerves you. The same can apply to relationships! People see you as fun loving, and you are. You attempt to enjoy life to the full, in accordance with the motto: “You only live once.” You tend to attract less energetic people as friends or partners, like moths to a flame, they see you as the light. Careful they don’t drain you! You are very curious and open about everything new and thrive on change. Quite simply, you are a breath of fresh air. 2. Independent and unconventional Your lifestyle is highly individualistic. You do not follow the crowd, on the contrary, you seek to live according to your own ideas and convictions, even if this means swimming against the tide. You need a free and unattached life that allows you to determine your own course. You have an artistic bent in your work or leisure activities. Your urge for freedom sometimes causes you to do exactly the opposite of what is expected of you. You are rather unique, so don’t bother comparing yourself to anyone else. Live life your way. 3. Sensitive and reflective You are comfortable spending hours alone with your thoughts and rarely become bored. You dislike superficiality; you’d rather be alone than have to suffer through small talk. Your relationships with your friends are very strong, which gives you the inner tranquillity and harmony that you require. You love deeply but if someone betrays you it is next to impossible to forgive. You are an old soul, someone who has lived many times before and has seen it all. All you crave now is simplicity and the chance to focus your attention on a meaningful existence. 4. Down to earth and charming You have a natural authentic charm, what you see is what you get. People admire you because you seem so ‘together’. You have both feet planted firmly on the ground and they can depend on you. While others complicate their life with ifs and buts, you know your own mind. You provide security and space to those close to you. You are a rock, and although others may not tell you, you are the sun around which they revolve. You dislike superficiality and tend to be skeptical toward the whims of trends. Where others crash and burn, you motor on, quietly achieving all you need to do. You are a woman (or man) of substance. 5. Professional and self-assured You take charge of your life, and place less faith in your luck and more in your own actions. You solve problems in a practical, uncomplicated manner. You take a realistic view of things in your daily life and tackle them without fuss. You are given responsibility at work, because people know that you can be depended upon. You project self-assurance to others. You are a born leader and organiser. Although you work well in a team, ideally you should be the one giving the orders. After all, you are usually right! 6. Peaceful and timeless You are easy-going yet discreet. There is a timeless elegance about you (think Audrey Hepburn). You make friends effortlessly, yet enjoy your privacy and independence. You like to get away from it all and be alone from time to time to contemplate the meaning of life. You need space, so you escape to hideaways, but you are not a loner. You are at peace with yourself and the world, and you appreciate life and what this world has to offer. You have a strong life purpose and when you discover it, you project your personal brand of magic on the world. 7. Cultured and classical Cultured and sophisticated you value the things money can’t necessarily buy – good conversation, original ideas, music and the arts. You have a fair mind and can see both sides of an argument. You rarely let emotions get the better of you, preferring to assess situations rationally. Calm, logical and yet compassionate and kind. You have ‘old-fashioned’ principles, which at heart make you a real lady (or gentleman). A timeless, vintage classic – the sort of person everyone secretly admires and likes to copy. 8. Sensitive and spiritual You are a highly sensitive and spiritual person. You refuse to see life only from a rational view point. You have great intuition and trust your feelings. You must have dreams to aspire towards or you won’t feel happy. You like to improve yourself, and in so doing make a difference in the world – even if only in little ways. You find it hard to understand people who are only guided rationality. You form true relationships with open souls, people who know there is more to life than we can touch, see or hear. Your psychic sense is highly evolved, trust it and work with it. 9. Dynamic and sparkly You are a mover and a shaker! You are willing to take risks in return for interesting and varied work. Routine tends to have a paralysing effect on you. Being stuck behind a desk 9-5 would destroy your soul and enthusiasm for life. You need to be given the chance to express your ideas and put them into action. You have a rainbow personality, and can cheer others up, even on the gloomiest of days. If you ever feel you have lost your sparkle it is because the situation you find yourself in is not right for you. Follow your enthusiasm, even if it means you chop and change for years. The journey is as important as the destination.
So it isn’t a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of, as there are people who could use it for selfish gain. So the next time you see a personality test, go ahead and read all the “different types”. And when someone appears to have insight into your heart, or they make a prediction about you with a vague statement, understand that that’s not so difficult – because we’re all pretty much the same deep down.
February 14, 2014 § Leave a comment
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
January 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
I was catching up briefly with a friend yesterday, when they told me that they “missed my quirk”. I knew what they meant though, as I’d missed theirs too. But I also realised that it wasn’t the sort of thing that every friend would say. It reminded me of when another friend said they thought I was funny, and I replied that I didn’t think so, but conceding that “I have my moments”.
I realised that there are certain parts of us that certain people bring out, without even trying to. It’s like an unspoken, unwavering connection. I have some friends who no matter how long between catch ups, as soon as we start talking, we fall back into old Nigerian slangs and collquialisms, often before we can stop ourselves, and laughing at how we seem to be negating all the money our parents spent to educate us properly in the English language. But that’s just the nature of our connection, and in truth, why shouldn’t we communicate in the way that comes naturally, that is uninhibited?
Every human being needs to feel a connection to something in order to feel alive, and when that connection is to another human being, the power it brings is sure, immense, and I believe, potentially limitless. It is our connection to other human beings, that enables us to experience a spectrum of emotions, to undertake the most daring of tasks, and when the other right ingredients fall into place, to achieve the most amazing feats. But it’s not just about the big things, it’s also about the little things, the private jokes, the short conversations that leave a lasting impression, the knowing looks, the adopted hashtags, that warm gooey feeling inside – it’s all these things that make life worth living.
So, here’s to you, and me, and what we do, to each other, and to others around us.
Here’s to #ConnectionPower 😉
Peace and Love
November 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
So yesterday I passed my practical driving test, after multiple attempts, and MANY intense mind battles (the majority of which I guess I won). I was (and still am) so happy about it; very relieved, and very grateful.
Oh, it cost me lot. And it was a lot of work. But I’ll still say ‘God did it’, and give Him the glory and praise. Why? Because amongst other things, during the test I made at least two mistakes that could have been seen as major faults, but instead they were counted as minors.
You see after analysing my attempts, and hearing many stories, from people who’d passed first time and those who hadn’t, I realised that after you’ve done all you can, you need favour with the examiner. He/She has got to like you, or at any rate not want to/be able to fail you. So, through the nervous gear changes and slight roll-backs, I just continued to look to God for His favour. And He did it.
If I had been failed by the examiner, I would have been upset, no doubt. I would have rued my mistakes. I would have questioned myself and questioned God. But God would have remained good, and worthy of my praise. I would eventually have booked another test, and carried on with lessons. But as He would have it, I don’t need to do that now.
A speaker at my church this summer highlighted that there is a faith to get things, and there is a faith to go through things – and not be beaten by those things. I’ve certainly needed both this year, as I know many around me have.
So, if you’re reading this and have a goal for 2013 that is as yet unachieved, I’m afraid some of the old clichés are in fact universally parallel truths:
DON’T give up.
If (it is for you and) at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
And of course, (evaluated) experience (yours and others’), is the best teacher.
Stay lovely, keep illuminating, stay winning. Finish well, finish strong.