Happy New Year? Not Yet.
Refr(Act)ion, Chidi’s Asks, and Some EOY Quotables
There was no way I wasn't going to write a piece before we bid adieu to the ‘23. Have to put some things back in the drawer, and also lay things out on the bed, see what needs to be done, what needs to start cooking.
BTW, I love the “Wait, hold up, let him cook” memes. One of the best expressions of allowing greatness in process to…unleash. Stand back, people…he’s cooking.
Now those of you waiting for 2024 to come, just chill abeg. Let’s enjoy tomorrow, see what pops eh? No Merry New Year yet…let’s keep our eye on the present prize. I have this anecdote that I love to share about that time when you saw the red light turn green, and you started moving. But it was not the red light in front of you. It was the one ahead of you, ahead of the traffic light in front of you. Tap your brakes…keep your eye on the prize.
So, first. Refr(Act). That is the name of the book. It has taken me a bit to land on this, as I had been struggling for years to get a handle on exactly what I wanted to say. And it all came crashing and crystallizing this year. My writing has always been about fission, creating collisions that generate energy to act. So, everyone claims to take it down during this holiday break to reflect and refresh. Now, while reflection involves mirroring or reconsidering existing situations and ideas, my take on refraction is a redirection toward a spectrum of possibilities, unlike reflection which often offers a single, mirrored perspective.
Am I going to eat reflection? Or do I open my eyes and refr(act), see things thru different lenses, bend and shift my thinking away from the same ole, same ole, and act. I’m excited and scared AF, the plan is for an irreverent but hard-hitting, easy yet enduring read.
The book proposal is written o. Ready to go. In fact, if you know a good book agent that you think I should hit up, hit me up, please. Me…I am asking o. It is time
That’s my first ask.
Some things for you to chew on. Refract your brain a bit.
All this stuff that has happened to you this year, what do you do with it? The common refrain is that you live and learn. Some folks just live and repeat, to their own detriment. In refr(act) mode, you live and:
The two in bold, evolve and transform, those are my guys right there. Action heroes. No rom-com sci-fi fantasies reflected from the mirror on the wall, telling you what you want to hear. Keeping you in stasis. More on this later, and in the book.
My second ask. If you need my help, just holler. You and/or your team need a product sensei to help unpack and handle the big problem? I got you. Need a dynamic presence on stage at your conference or event? Hit me up. Didn’t know that I am one of the best in-session trainers and facilitators out there? Well, now you know. Yes, I’m putting myself out there. Talk to me.
Some quotes that have me refr(act)ing the brain during this downtime:
Amateurs seek the sun, get eaten. Power stays in the shadows. From Oppenheimer, the movie. I like the shadows. Sunburn is less likely in the shadows. And don’t even try to tell me that’s why we have sunscreen…I’ll report you to the police.
Far too many brains have been afflicted by the pursuit of useless knowledge. Seneca. I’ve been asking #3 to biko, abeg level up the types of books she is reading. Knack your brain a bit, throw yourself for a loop, confuse, and then resolve yourself. Because why? The uselessness out there is serious, walai. Protect yourself o.
Your success in life depends on your ability to make good decisions. Your happiness depends on your ability to not care about the outcomes. Your peace depends on knowing the difference. I don’t recall where I saw this, but this outcomes thing is a thing. Really. If I was a drinker, I would be sitting with a thing of vodka trying to figure out the difference. Seltzer water will have to do.
Comfort has killed more dreams than the grind ever could.” LZ Granderson. Get uncomfortable. I am sick and tired of all this soft life talk. So, you just want to kick up your feet and be yachting and galivanting about? Actually, that sounds very good to me right now. NO! Jesus take the wheel, temptation get thee away from me, thunder fire you!
I am fighting against “the undisciplined pursuit of more. Unknown. The smart people on this thread will get all Clintonian and say, “Chidi, it depends on what the definition of more…is.” Come on getaway, my friend! We all know what more is. The question you should be worried about is what do you mean by undisciplined?
One more: “Those whose palm kernels were broken for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.” An Igbo proverb from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. This is not about gratitude the way you think it should be about gratitude. It’s about how folks like to forget to acknowledge the role of luck in their daily hustle. Because most folks are just luckier than others, for real.
My last ask. Why so serious, eh? Let’s come out on the other side and have some fun going forward. Get into the joy of trying. Solving hard puzzles. Going all in on curiosity. Attacking life with some verve, that ginger without the filter. Let’s get shit done and enjoy doing it.