Money. Power. Respect!
When Lil' Kim spits this hook in the hip-hop opus "Money, Power, Respect", your body want to just go out there and wreak havoc. This was a pivotal piece in the soundtrack of my b-school application process, with Kim, DMX, and The Lox loading me up with unadulterated jet fuel as I plotted my chess moves to take over the world, specifically the music and entertainment world. With a haunting orchestral loop anchored by a snappy snare and tight kick, the D-Dot and Amen-Ra production had your soul hopping out and snatching other souls.
"Money, power, respect! What you need in life."
That was a lifetime years ago. The chess board is looking not quite as envisioned back then. More importantly, the chess board is as it should be. Since b-school and the myriad of moves made since then, I have grappled with the question of what enough looks like. Not just me, everyone is grappling with enough. "The Chase" is all consuming—the chase for attention, the chase for money, the chase for titles, the chase for power. With the requisite anxiety, comparison, insecurity, escalating wanting, the endless ambition. The always moving goal posts. It was at the depths of catastrophic financial adversity that I had to pull back and ask myself, "Nna, this guy...wetin you dey chase? And Chidi...if you find am, would that be enough, eh?"
In fact, what and when is enough, fam?
"Money, power, respect! You'll be eating right."
The thing about The Chase was that it was exhausting. And yes, I am using past tense because I am not in The Chase anymore. But I was a perennial The Chase All-Star at back in my heyday. Always plotting, doing more and more and getting bigger and better. And miserabler and miserabler (yes, that is a word. I've used it in Scrabble and got my triple word points. Well, at gun point...but still). As the salary and bonuses got bigger, I wanted more. I got the office with the windows, I wanted the corner office with the panoramic view. I was rolling, and one way or the other things were going to go my way.
Until the universe intervened with an elbow smash and clothesline to the membrane. Enrolled me without my permission and with extreme prejudice in the Slow Your Roll Bootcamp for the More More More drug junkie set.
"Money, power, respect! You can sleep at night!"
Ah. Man. Bruh. If you think this bootcamp was just lifting trucks, doing swimming laps in a pool with live crocodiles, and slipping and rolling from money/career wahala, hmph my friend...you never see. Let's not get into it though, that wahala was and is mine, just as your wahala is yours. Suffice it to say, bootcamp slapped me up and down, served me some serious ginger, re-oriented the system, redirected the flow of the current.
If you believe there is some point where you will feel like you've made it, when you'll finally be good, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. You will never be okay by way of external accomplishments—Stillness Is The Key
My tribe is killing it out there. Every week on LinkedIn, I see c-suite/VP/SVP/EVP level appointments and entrepreneurial announcements from my people doing big things at the top and fastest rocket growth firms and organizations on the planet. Prior to bootcamp, that stuff would fire me up, "inspire, push and drive" me. Big kudos abeg. They put in the work, and my people deserve the spoils. Now, I just quietly applaud, give props...and move on. I am good. I have no announcements or appointments to make. Not proving anything to anyone, anymore. Definitely not looking to impress anyone, anymore.
Just taking what the universe gives me, and doing the work. Making it work.
"Money. Power. Respect! You'll see the light!"
(play this record once a day or as needed. warning: explicit language in the track below. I said, there is serious cussing on this track o! Don't you see Lil' Kim and DMX are on it? Okay.)