It's December...let the reflections, and refractions begin.
So. Yes. It’s been a bit. Too long of a bit. A bit indicative of how things have been for a brother.
Clawing back, though. Bit by bit.
Well, I figured I just do an upload of accumulated thoughts, nothing specific but a lot to do with this theme of manufactured bliss that seems to be all over and around this bobo these days. I mean, just eyeball your three-sixty-degree surroundings right now. Can’t even tell what’s real these days, right?
Ok, so let’s go.
Refraction. I’ve been asking folks to refract, to write a refraction journal, as opposed to reflecting. What do I mean by refract? Instead of looking in the mirror, you see yourself through a refractive prism, where you bend and reshape and see things from different angles. By refracting or bending your mindset, your current situation, there is an opportunity to reshape stuff. Not stay mired in the same old BS that you find yourself in. Work in progress.
I don’t know about you, but a browse of the Whatsapp statuses (stati?) on my feed has gotten a bit…feverish. I mean, maybe it’s the overwhelming African flavor of my contacts, but the declarations and God messages are getting a bit out of control. Maybe folks know something I don’t (maybe, maybe not), or maybe it is a new form of social influenza. Hard not to think most of it is performative. Most, not all. And yes, I know I will catch serious heat for this. On a Sunday, Chidi Afulezi…this guy. I am an observer o…and I am just observing bikonu. As God is my witness.
Manufactured spirituality? I am not judging, please. Again, doing what I always do…observing, reflecting, wondering. Refracting. Catching heat.
Illuminators vs Diminishers. Listen, I read this piece, The Essential Skills of Being Human, and my mind has been blown. Please read it (it is long as hell…so warm up some tea, it is worth it). This excerpt was the kicker:
In any collection of humans, there are diminishers and there are illuminators. Diminishers are so into themselves, they make others feel insignificant. They stereotype and label. If they learn one thing about you, they proceed to make a series of assumptions about who you must be.
Illuminators, on the other hand, have a persistent curiosity about other people. They have been trained or have trained themselves in the craft of understanding others. They know how to ask the right questions at the right times — so that they can see things, at least a bit, from another’s point of view. They shine the brightness of their care on people and make them feel bigger, respected, lit up
The question I have been asking myself is: how do I get rid of the diminishers (or faux-illuminators) who seem to flourish all around me? I’m asking you too o. Who are the BSers’ that we need to unfollow on LinkedIn or block on Twitter? Unsubscribe to in real life? A “close friend” kept saying to me, “Chidi you are so talented, I’ll find a way to get you to do work for us” for almost 9 years now. Abeg, my sister, that subscription has been discontinued, money not well spent. Because…manufactured illumination.
Manufactured BS, the realm of diminishers.
Meanwhile, the lady who was not a close friend during my last stint in corporate, took my General Assembly class once and brought me in for a three-month engagement during a rather rough patch. Saved my life that summer. Forever grateful, Beth. Illuminating gangster, that one.
If you have been following the whole overblown OpenAI drama, with the CEO being fired and then reinstated, and then the board now a bunch of imperialists…yeah, we are in very serious trouble for real. If social media hedonism and crypto fanaticism are any indication, AI is where we finally lose control. So, stop saving all your money for retirement and postponing your enjoyment…Skynet is coming to your hood o.
The fun part? I am a bonafide ChatGPT Oga Sah on Top. Created a number of GPTs already. Go figure. Manufactured intelligence.
And with all the noise these days—the politics, the wars, cancellations and callout, this vs that, all the versuses—signal is not coming thru. We don’t see reality…we see our reality, which drives how we act:
Wild as hell. Manufactured reality.
I sent myself this note from the past: Do not fly off the handle, Chidi. Be objective, clear-headed, calm. Keel your even, boy. Be indifferent (not oblivious) to wealth, health, pain, pleasure, life, death. Stop. Regain your composure. Calm your spirit down, already.
That indifferent part hard o. Kai. 2023 has shown me pepper!! Manufactured indifference.
I have to give my ace and biz partner, Zain, a huge shout. Every time I announce a new course, she signs up…doesn’t even know what the hell I am teaching. Or how much it costs. Illuminator.
Get you some more illuminators, walai.
Speaking of finding lifelong illuminators and manufactured bliss, this thread written by a GenZ (I think, maybe GenMill) on the current attitudes towards marriage? Chef’s Kiss. Click and read one of the best posts ever on Twitter (I will never say X…TWITTER!!!).
"These are my best years, I need to have fun before settling down" directly means "I'll let you know when I get a lot worse, and tired, and broken, and then you can ship me off to whatever unfun life you wanted to show me."
Kai! Can you imagine? Manufactured delusions.
Finally, was in Kigali for the latest African Leadership Network gathering. Wish more of my people had come…invites were sent. Next year, abeg. Wonderful experience. Folks looked and sounded good…plenty plenty illuminators, and yes, diminishers abounded too. Beats of Boldness, the thematic framework we rolled with for the two and a half days:
The ALN folks had no idea but they got a little taste of Fashi Mindset, a simple message which I’ll leave you with:
Boldness is asking for help.
Boldness is taking the help.
Boldness is giving the help.
Greatness is not seeking thanks for giving the help.
Pure undiluted boldness. Not manufactured.