You Are Where You Are Supposed To Be—A Mantra
Listen, if you haven't figured out by now that I am an avowed "social media is the devil" dude, then you need to pack your stuff and leave my TED talk.
Ok, please don't leave...stay abeg.
I have always been an early adopter, and because of my product gig I had early access to Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Foursquare, Path, LinkedIn and the rest in the early days. I deleted my Facebook account in 2016 (it had turned into high school), my Insta is private and used for stalking the 'behind the scenes' lives of people I may need to deal with, and Twitter is like going to the market...just to see if there's anything good, and then I am out. I am very lucid with the fact that people present avatars of themselves on these platforms that bear no resemblance to reality, so useless envy or FOMOing in regret are exercises in a complete and utter waste of time (watch Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One...actually read the book and the sequel Ready Player Two, you'll see where this virtual madness is headed).
LinkedIn, though, is funky. Lots of cool stuff, people doing big things. Big announcements. Big plays. Just in the last three to five years, many of my folks and connects have been making big moves:
LinkedIn: Congratulate Mr X on his new role as CXO of Big Co here.
Ms Y: I am humbled to be going to Another Big Co as their new HNIC of Marketing, it has been a great journey.
Extremely Serial Entrepreneur: I am pleased to announce that our startup, The Next Big Thing, has raised $2B in seed funding, and we are blessed to have Jeff Bezos and The Pope as investors and board members.
And so on. I am not mocking these moves, abeg. I celebrate and applaud them all. People are busting their butts, and nothing but love and kudos their way. Inspirational most of the times. I do admit that it has taken me a significant amount of work, reflection, and gladiator battles in the arena to get to a place where the level and frequency of accomplishments in my circles do not cause me to question myself and whether I should be killing it out there on the big stages like these folks are. Shouldn't I also be in this wonderful carousel of big player announcements, with my big wattage smile flashing across LinkedIn feeds across the world?
Well, so...not really.
Some context. I have suffered great career loss. A path that I had designed to the tee for ultimate glory came crashing down about eight years ago. It was my "going down", the ship wreck that was followed by a rapid descent to a place where I landed violently on my back, "exhausted, coughing up blood" as Scott Herbert describes. The learning and reflection during this time resulted in the discovery and embrace of a number of clarifying mantras. And these mantras keep me on point, provide me with spiritual ginger to enjoy or celebrate whenever I hit those triggers on LinkedIn and on the cables when my folks are doing big things, as opposed to feeling envy, regret, or angst.
And these mantras all give me that kick in the behind when the false impressions, distractions, or the crush of everyday life come with their wahala. They are my invincibility cloak, my health bar manager, my photon torpedos.
My main mantra is "We keep pushing." We keep pushing. A lot of folks quote and utter it all the time. Me? I mean and embody it fully. I own it and embrace it completely. We keep pushing. Life is pulling at me, at my people, at everyone, throwing road blocks and all kinds of katakata our way as we strive and hustle. Yet, we keep pushing. It is not a trivial saying for me, I take it literally, as it energizes and provides that extra oomph when the limit is hit. With it, I am the Lord Chief Rocka Number One, freestylin' on the block, now I Chief Rock.
Some old school hip hop there for you.
Here are a couple more in my weapons arsenal:
Keep your identity small, Chidi, and do big things—I like to call this God Mode. You're not seen, yet your impact is felt. Not shrinking myself, just not interested in making noise just to get attention. I just let the work and the moves do my talking.
If you want to live happy, live hidden. Embrace the quiet—same as above. Seems like being off the radar has its benefits, a lower profile suits me. I would rather be the producer behind the camera scenes as opposed to the talent in front of the flashing lights.
Take all is given, and give all it takes—simple. Life will give you what it gives you, take them and just go bananas. Don't freaking force it.
The world does not, and will not, revolve around you—the world does not give a crap about you, even when folks act like they do. Nobody is plotting your freaking greatness behind your back.
Remember you are mortal—you have only but so much time. Get to it.
Are you going to die?—We flip it here with a question mantra that breaks the gridlock that fear and BS bring along when I am looking to drop some serious stuff.
And finally, You are where you are supposed to be—I don't care how bad or good things are, the universe has you exactly where you should be. This is where you are because that it where you should be right now, nowhere else. Don't fight it, just be with it, own it and then use your current situation as forward momentum to the next place you should (and will) be.
The Lord Chief Rocka, Number 1!
Alright. That's me. We keep pushing.
What are your mantras?