Never Believe the Hype

I love my job. I look forward to my job every day, on weekends I get disappointed at the prospect of not having to go to work. It has nothing to do with my exuberance, I simply love what I do.
But ever since I started working here, I have rarely felt good with myself. I keep feeling I disappoint myself. I keep feeling I have not really contributed something ingenious to my job, I keep feeling I haven’t done anything special. That I haven’t differentiated myself from any other person.

I keep a work diary, there I write down the tasks I carry out and how I go about them, every time I go through that diary, I feel disappointed, I keep writing the cruellest things about myself. The impression is that I’m a “Black Einstein”, I rarely feel like a Chike Obi to start with.

It got me really bothered, why do I keep rating my contributions to the job so low? Most times when there’s a task in the office and I struggle to come up with a blockbuster distinctive solution, I always end up feeling disappointed with myself. It’s like my brain has let me down.

But don’t get this twisted. I’m only giving what I have, if I haven’t come up with anything blockbuster, it’s because it’s simply not there or so I think.

Meanwhile, when you hear reports from my colleagues about me, you’d be shocked at what I have written. When they say all those dope stuff about me, I’m left confused. Am I the same person they are talking about? In my head, I have been average, but apparently, they see something different. It is deliberate.

I put too much pressure on myself that there’s no chance to rest on my oars. Never believe your own hype, the day you do, your downward spiral becomes expedient. You can never learn anything new if you don’t empty the “bin”. Until you pretend to be a novice on something you’re absolutely good at, you won’t learn something new. So I never ever feel I’m on top of the world (unlike DBanj). That way, I strive for more.

I’ve conducted numerous Microsoft training for people before, I’ve been called a Microsoft genius from various quarters before, and I’ve really done some cool stuff with Microsoft before but alas! When I stepped into the new job, I pretended to be a “john”, listened carefully to the directions I was being given on how to do basic stuff, you wouldn’t believe how much more this supposed “Microsoft genius” has had to learn.

Imagine I came fronting myself as a genius, I wouldn’t have learn all those supercool new stuff I have learnt. This is the bane of our generation. We never ever want to come across as empty, we always want to say something even if it’s irrelevant. I call us the “Noisy Generation”, we always want to show off, either by putting up deep quotes on Facebook, or dope captions and pictures on Instagram, all in a bid to create this pseudo aura of awesomeness. Listen to me, the day you begin you hover around what to give to the public as against what you feed yourself with, you will perish.

There’s something called an overflow. Anything you give to society should come out of an overflow, you should saturate yourself with so much knowledge that there’s no space anymore. Let me give you a little story.

I used to be known (still known) as “a people’s guy”, people say I make it very easy for people to trust me and all that stuff. So it brought so many people into my life, people who relied on me for some sort of support or something. I was pretty good at that though, but I recently decided to toss the trash. I told myself, I wasn’t going to be a pro for any one coming into my life, I was going to forget all the “how-to”s conversation starters I knew (and lectured people on).

Ever since I took this decision, I’ve had quite a good number of people throng into my life for the first time. I have seen how tedious it has become for me to keep conversations going, most times the urge is there to switch on my “pro-ness” and give life to the conversation, but I always win that battle. During this period of dry and boring jokes to keep conversations going and keep people in my life, I have learnt a valuable lesson. A lesson I wouldn’t have felt the need to learn, if I didn’t deem it fit to start all over.

In acting like a boring guy, I have learnt to appreciate how tolerant the human soul is. I have realized that most often than not, what keeps people in your life doesn’t have to do with your awesomeness or what you do for them, it is how you make them feel. And, how you make them feel is independent of what you do, those that want to stay in your life will stay. Someone that wants to stay will stay, irrespective of the devil in you. You don’t have to do nothing to impress them.

This is just one example, I’m sure you’re subconsciously doing a self-appraisal of your life, you must have seen different areas where you need to start all over again, don’t be like religious people who keep using testimonies of over 30 years ago to preach to a new audience, don’t be misinformed about the current trends around you, simply because you’ve stuck with “ancient and modern”.
Keep trashing, that’s the only way you can take in more!

Miracle Roch.

The Throwback Birthday

I may not have access to the internet by the time it’s 12am, August 30, 2015. Which is why I’m posting this now. Things like this make me thank God for Mark Zuckerberg’s which aims to stream down internet from space to underdeveloped countries in Africa and other continents. When you see the giant stride Mark is making, it makes you wonder about your own life. That young man is already a billionaire, yet rather than rest on his laurels and watch the income flow, he’s still out there trying to make a difference in other ways that he can. It really tells you that it’s not always about the money, at some point the money makes less sense and you begin to look at the list of lives you’ve impacted on rather than Forbes’ list. That is surely a lesson to be learnt.

If you go through the archives of this blog, you’d notice a regular occurrence, since 2011 when this blog went live till now, there’s always been a birthday post whenever it’s my birthday. A closer look at all these posts will show a similar theme, the ever increasing need to get better. But this year is going to be different, rather than mumble and muse about what I should do and what I shouldn’t do, I have decided to rather look back with a grateful heart of thanksgiving to God for all he has done for me.

I have recounted my childhood so many times on this blog, I’m not prepared to go through the motions and rigours again but there really is plenty to be thankful for. But before we continue, I must confess that I truly feel like a winner; I’ve finally created a Gmail account after almost two years of “network error” messages, and having to deal with the rubbish Yahoo! spills sometimes. Although I must confess, Yahoo! has definitely become better, is this due to Marissa Mayer? I don’t know.

For one, this is the first birthday post I will be posting as a graduate. I have just finished my final exam from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. And you can’t fault me when it comes to prestigious schools, I’ve been opportune to go through some of the best; my high school was the prestigious Federal Government College Enugu, of course as is the case with prestige, we have produced many governors, senators, and men of substance. I started out my primary education at Citizens. If you followed the trends of the ‘90s well enough in Ikorodu, Lagos, you’ll agree with me that Citizens was the bomb. So I’ve been through the very best at all tiers. A round of applause, if that comes with any prize. Yeah it does, the thing with prestige is that it attracts prestige too, so there’s the chance of meeting up with great minds (like people have done with me; I’m a great mind!)

I had to retype the last two sentences; this is due to the absurd weak nature of my laptop battery. It went off immediately electrical power was gone. The fact that I could remember almost verbatim what I had written is also a stroke of genius. I deserve some credit for that. The auto-save function of Microsoft Word 2010 is abysmal, if it were Word 2013; it would have recovered everything I had typed. So which is the better form of genius? The ability to remember (as I have done) or the ability to ensure you need not remember (as Bill Gates & co. have done with Office 15’s auto-save feature)? Think about your answer carefully, therein lies the recipe for your success and I mean it.

Since I’ve delved into technology, let’s flow. The last time I wrote a birthday post (exactly a year ago), I had a fully functional 750GB HP 2000 laptop, a Blackberry smartphone, lots of money, and all the other good stuff. Just 12 months later, I have no hard disk, no laptop (just the empty casing to stare at me), no phone (not even an un-smart one), barely no money and almost no good stuff. I’ve lost every digital file. I then begin to wonder, has progress been made at all?
Back then, I lived virtually my whole life on the internet, how have I been able to cope without first hand access to the internet? A stroke of genius! It must be.

Looking back, that experience certainly made me better off. It turned me into a man-mountain. It gave me lots of time to do me-stuffs, ample opportunities to relax and think straight.
I finished reading all Malcolm Gladwell’s books with my favourite being David and Goliath (which influenced one of my previous posts; “Underdogs or just Dogs”). I must confess that most of my paradigm during this past one year was shaped by the philosophy portrayed by Malcolm in his books, and I don’t regret it one bit.

I’m here sitting on my scattered bed, with my diary on one corner, my NKJV Bible on another end with my notepad besides it. At the opposite end is my little detachable dell stereo speaker and a reading lamp. I just took another look at my bed and I’m wondering why my notepad is closer to my bible than it is to my diary. And I’ve just picked up a lesson from there, what I write, what should shape my thinking is what God’s word says and not what I think (which is what I write in my diary).
So it’s been one year of mainly no internet, no phone, no laptop, none of those things that supposedly makes life tick and yet my life ticked. I’ve found happiness despite having no temple run to keep my mind engaged, I’ve not suffered depression despite not having a laptop to watch movies with, and my dexterity with the keyboard is still high grade despite not having to frequently type as I would have wanted.

But it has also been one year of God’s goodness. God has just been so good! Saved me from reckless situations, shown me mercy and just been too good to me. This one year without internet and some of the supposed basic necessities of life has only made me seen that the one basic necessity is just the Presence of God working out all that stuff in your life.
I’m thankful for those God has brought my way. I’m surrounded by wonderful people, people that are ready to take all the shit I constantly throw at them and still love me nonetheless. For all those in my life, thank you for hanging around despite my weird manoeuvres. I really do love you all.

We look forward to the next 365 days with renewed vigour and hope that will be fully functioning in Nigeria so that yours truly can also enjoy this good act of philanthropy.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.