“Your boos mean nothing to me because I’ve seen what makes you cheer”Rick Sanchez (Rick and Morty)
Every great system on earth is bound to crumble and degenerate not because those systems aren’t great, genius, remarkable (and maybe even genuine – I.e. coming from a place of love, empathy, and understanding) but because humans are far removed from perfection.
Humans don’t only differ in race or gender, but a myriad of (most times) invisible qualities – such as focus, endurance, courage, imagination, discipline, faith, confidence, empathy, logic, and so on.
And, it is not only that some may lack these qualities, but that a lot of people are either having too much or too little of them:
- Some are so courageous that it leads to stupidity. Some are so empathetic that it cripples their ability to make decisions. Some are so logical that they become monstrous. Others are so confident that it become hubris. A few are lost in their imagination – helplessly detached from reality
- Some are cowards and can never stand firm on a decision. Some are psychopathic because they are unfeeling. Some lack logic and reason and are tossed left and right like a leaf in a storm. The rest lack imagination, and can’t dream up anything new.
Hardly is any system good or bad. Hardly is any view right or wrong. In fact, everything is what it is “relatively”. And that is why those who refuse to grow (who refuse to see the truth – the truth which is ever growing and revealing new sides, and dimensions) are the greatest threats – not because they are evil, but because they threaten the advancement of humanity. If there is truly something such as bad or evil, it is remaining adamant – unrepentant, dogmatic, and unable to learn
But all these may be nothing new to you.
Surely you know that the ordinances from generations past (stored and cited in cultures, traditions, holy books, folklore, and tales by moonlight) were meant to protect you (or better yet, humanity at large) from harm:
The truth (please note this word, and regard it in its scientific sense – I.e. as an “attribute” of reality that is made known) is that there may be no end to this truth; and each truth reveals a new dimension of power that we can tap into.
I’m not just talking about the power to live more peacefully and corporate better, but the power to reach the very extremes of the universe – the big and the small – to feel the fabric of reality (from which all truths are obtained) and to possible spool out more truths (having held its tail ends) or to knit a different reality altogether. We could become the Gods of whatever universe of our liking – maybe a universe without such lose ends or imperfections…
But let’s return to reality. This is my 24th eulogy.
This means I’m 24. But I still can’t help but imagine how things got better and worse at the same time:
I’m a bit happier yet sadder. A bit richer yet emptier. A bit more confident yet more scared. It feels like hanging between heaven and hell. It is not particularly a pleasant or unpleasant place to be.
On last year’s eulogy, I made mention that it was the best year of my life – not because it was easy, but because I made major strides. Well, this year happens to be the new best year of my life – and not because it has been easy either (on the contrary, it has been a quite demanding – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and so on) but because I’ve archived the most this year
I wrote and published several books (4-5), made a lot of friends (within and outside Nigeria, though mostly online), made my first 100k (and continued making it consecutively, even to the point of making almost 200k in a month, or did I make more?), went for my NYSC (I’m at the camp writing this), started a community of loyal and happy fans (though I worry it is not as I envisioned – it is actually better on some aspects, though it failed at a couple others), I received multiple daily credit alerts for about 4 consecutive days without break), I received an award, and all these and many more have been achieved this year
All these is without mentioning all the other great things that I may have influenced, and that happened to the people around me (people who I consider the bigger blessings in my life).
The year has been the most productive and successful year of my life…. however
I suffered a huge loss this year – I lost my Dad. I also realized that a lot of things I wanted were bad for me (so I let go), I have been a bit more melancholic this year too (due to extensive thinking, philosophizing, worrying, arguing, ranting, and so much more). I have also been humbled by life in brutal ways (from having to get in helpless situations, to being in places where I was ordered around).
In fact, I now know for a fact that I am a tiny (almost insignificant) part of everything – family, society, country, humanity, earth, the solar system, the entire universe, everything.
And that is why I started by talking about systems. This is because, without a system to bring order to this world (of infinities – because these tiny parts are quite infinite) then everything would collapse in chaos – anarchy, death, destruction.
For instance, if you loved on person, and had to feed only that person with limited resources, you’d be able to give everything to them to prove your love. But if they were say even two, you are bound to restrict your love for one in other to love the two. So also the good things of life come with these trade-offs.
Any superior system must find a way to squeeze the best from its tiny pieces, whilst limiting (and even resisting if need be) the worse part. And people are seldom expressing their best
That’s why being in this camp and being chased up and down by soldiers (during drills) didn’t (or should I say doesn’t?) only humble me, but also teaches me what must be done if there is any hope for humanity. It was enlightening to say the least
The thing to be done? Strike balance!
We need the discipline of the disciplined, the wisdom of the wise, the empathy of the empaths and so on. Never should any be solely relied on nor neglected.
… that’s why I have decided to face the new frontier with more discipline (because I know I have been more focused on developing my empathy and wisdom over the years that I’ve lost all sense of discipline I must confess).
(Though to a lesser extent compared to previous years) I still struggle with my teenage addiction. I still skip work. I still go out of my way to please/impress people. I still fear what others think about me in expense and (sometimes) to the detriment of my duty. I still lack boldness. I still lack clarity. I still lack focus. I still lack patience. I still lack the ability to sit down and plan things properly. I still struggle to make tradeoffs. I still struggle to choose. I still struggle to finish. And, the antidote to this would perhaps be to cultivate higher discipline.
Last year I promised myself to learn Mandarin. I didn’t. This, and so many other promises I made myself but failed. I have been more consumed in quick thrills and rewards. Bad Dav, very bad!
Yes; it is amazing then that this year was nevertheless my most productive year.
The question is:
“Why am I so successful?”
It’s troubling, humbling, yet inspiring that I’m this successful despite the shortcomings…
Maybe it’s because I’m willing to try out new things. Maybe it’s because I can get aggressive when fulfilling my task. Maybe it’s because I speak and act (mostly) from and in alignment with my heart. Maybe it’s because I have a good heart. Maybe it’s because I’m always learning
But a tree is not grown by flooding the ground the first day and then forgetting about it. And, a bicycle can only take you uphill and on long treacherous journeys if you can keep putting in small, yet consistent efforts.
I am successful because I have a lot of these small efforts. And now, more than ever, I’m sure I can become the new best if I make those small efforts more consistent.
That’s why it is perhaps a shame that I’m still where I am in life this day – it is all my fault.
I am striving to repent
About consistency: I’ve found that it is not about having but rather becoming. People are where and who they are because of the thing(s) they consistently do.
I have noticed this first hand (with stark clarity) during this service days. The military is not the same as civilians; they are far more disciplined, obedient, patient, motivated, brave, and pissed (you do not want to step on their nerves). Sure; they can laugh and play, eat and poop, and even die like every other person, yet they are different. Their thinking is different. Their world view is different. And it may be impossible to turn them back to ordinary people (or should I say bloody civilians?).
But this isn’t just about the military…every other discipline (if taken/done with diligence) transforms the performer. Writers think differently from programmers. Singers think differently from footballers. And the poor think differently from the rich.
A quick example to illustrate this would be the mindset of the rich and the poor (I picked this because it pokes at severe insecurities): The poor are always thinking of how to solve their problems (I.e. their feeding, rent, sex, etcetera); whilst the rich are always thinking of how to proffer solution(s) to problems (like food, housing, brothels, etcetera).
Another example is how the skilled are more focused on creating their own opportunities whilst seeking leverage, while the unskilled are more focused on tapping into already existing opportunities and don’t care about leverage (because there’s nothing for it to be used on).
Different people approach life in different ways and experience dramatically different lives.
Look, if Fela understood that Soldiers were different from civilians or corrupt Politicians (and that this was not a bad thing per se) he would have been more respectful and approached his campaigns differently – he wouldn’t have had to lose so much to gain so little. Yes, you can call the soldiers “zombies” if you were being disrespectful, but you must also realize that they are the zombies that can and most times do keep the monsters away. Soldiers are more like a weapon, and depending on how you handle them, they can either be good or bad. It is the nature of soldiers, and is something worth respecting. There are better (more clever) ways to approach such matters…
The more I am mixed with people the less I want to be amongst their ranks – in fact, I get disgusted most times. I don’t necessarily think myself better; I only think I can do better. I can be more – focused, self-driven, goal-oriented, and disciplined…things most people lack)
And, to be anything, one must strive to be it. And to stop being anything, one must be willing to die – to completely kill the idea of who they were, and start acting by the new image – this is so hard very few would ever truly “change” throughout their lives.
But I die often – it is the only way a Pawn can become a Queen.
“Grow Up, Level Up, Step Up”
“Long Live The Pawns”
This year I’ve learned to accept my humanity – frailty, mortality, carnality, banality, etc.
One of the last words I heard my Dad say was “Human Being” as he looked at his failing body, and neither happy nor sad, “mocked” it.
I won’t forget those words in a hurry (and I may never forget them since I’ve now written them down).
Life is short. Remember you are dying. Live like this was your last day. Do it now if you have the time, energy, or opportunity. Don’t hesitate. Don’t waste time. Life is short.
Most people don’t understand this. They do not realize it. And so they do not appreciate it. Not appreciating it they waste it.
Less than 7 days of steady drills here at the camp I have realized (to my shock and amazement) that we can do in 2 minuets what we sometimes do with 15 minuets to 30 minutes. It reminds me of Parkinson’s Law – “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”
My Dad didn’t waste his life (I saw this from the number of people who tried to keep him alive – with meds, money, prayer, and tears – and when he had breathed his last, the number of people who came to pay their last respect. There was also an overwhelming transfer of love (in condolences) – to the point of we having to gift out some of the gifts as it simply became too much.
I do not want to waste my life.
Most people would be more enthused by the frivolous than exceptional. You should not pay them any attention – in the sense of allowing their cheering or booing to influence your decisions; though you may need to consider their needs (even the frivolous) when creating something that would help them (but you must cloak the exceptional with the frivolous nonetheless).
Put on a great show.
Consider MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable). Let your aim be beyond people pleasing. And when you have achieved something great, present it in a people pleasing way.
People need to be pleased if we are ever going to gain a reward for our efforts. This is something working a job makes crystal clear (you only get paid for a job well done). Sadly, young artists and entrepreneurs are often tempted to create from their hearts. This is nice, but may be incomplete if not created with the intent to please someone (or a group of people) in particular. Again, strike balance.
What is the market craving? Once you’ve figured this out, you can proceed to create for that course, or solve that problem in a way that you are inspired to (I.e. from your heart). Don’t let their cheering or booing deter you from doing what would be most rewarding for them or yourself. It sounds hard, and it can be sometimes; but if you master it, you could be doing it happily – headphones on (silencing the noise) and hands put to work.
Interestingly, I’ve also realized this year even the most enjoyable of jobs can become tiring, irritating, and annoying when it becomes monotonous, or overly extended. The only viable solutions are either to automate or outsource. This might cost you money, but it would save you your sanity and passion; plus, you’d get to develop and empower others by letting them do some work for you (in fact, it is still a favor you’re doing them if you decide not to pay them – because knowledge, and the process of impacting it are both worth more than money. If you please, you could even charge them for working for you; and they’d pay)
Furthermore, I’ve realized that our problems as well exposure to danger increases as our money increases. All of a sudden a new dimension of needs materialize and you have more people in need who you can no longer look away from, but rather assist.
Money is meant to be spent anyway, so we should be glad we had the money in the first place. If your problem is a flight, meds, or just fun, don’t feel bad spending the money – be as thrilled as you were getting it when you are giving it out
This year mainly centered on money and all the things it can and cannot do. And, more importantly, all that it represents. Something I’d talk about on a different date.
Sex was completely out of the picture this year; not even a kiss was gotten; although it made me feel down a bit, I think it was worth it.
I’ve learned to believe myself as well as my ability this year, and how to let others be a part of my work – for instance, my Blog is now open for all members of the Pawns Community, and I’ve outsourced some jobs to others
In this new age I intend to build a team of people to work on a platform that would serve more people and generate more money whilst recruiting more people and developing them
In simple terms, I don’t want people to admire me, I want them to admire themselves too – I want them to be like me
This year has also thought me that “Trouble doesn’t send a warning”; and even if it does, it is seldom early enough (but this is an early warning if you’re paying attention).
…I would be focusing on shielding myself from all troubles (as much as I can), by setting up a system (or systems) that would constantly generate money, learning how to fight (for self defense of course), and also keep a close watch on my health and fitness.
One more thing on this eulogy: last year I identified as an Ominist (a person who believes that no singular religion holds all the truth, but that there is truth in all religion – hence they all deserve equal respect) and it guided much of my view of God (and religions in general)…but this year my views have changed. I no longer consider myself an Ominist.
This is because I fear some religions are malevolent, anti-human, or plainly against growth, progression, and change (that is to say, they are against the “truth”).
I do not in anyway feel they deserve respect (though I’m not disrespecting them either). But I can say this, they are anti-life.
I’m talking about religions which have beliefs and practices that are bad for humanity and the world at large.
When you scrutinize these sort of religions, you’d find that they do not possess any truth in them, rather they possess sugar-coated lies, deceptions, contradictions, and at best follies.
You may call me a “Truthist” practicing “Truthism” (because my allegiance is to the “truth”) if you’re wondering what label I’d rather bear.
This is because I believe in searching for the truth (systematically) in nature, science, spirituality, culture, people, and myself. It’s how I’ve always been.
This doesn’t dislodge God in any way; if anything, it enthroned God higher above my reach or the reach of anyone. It makes God infinite and abolishes conceit (it makes us realize that God doesn’t play favorites and that the fate that meets, say a Christian would meet the Muslim with no hesitation or thoughts).
My view is that Nature is entirely indifferent and that is why we need to work, help, and do all that we can as living beings.
And it is also in that regards that I’d rather be dead than poor – not in the sense of the number of a currency I own, but in the sense of owning “Thanks” – thanks from doing good.
… money is a form of Thanks.
A Self-Help Writer And Editor Who Keeps It Simple (Yet Elegant)