STAY HUNGRY. STAY FOOLISH – Steve Jobs
I made a major shift recently in my life that probably confused a handful of people and a few of my friends. I realized that I was constantly stressed, repeatedly drained and overly busy doing a lot of stuff in pursuit of my goals. I was stretched in so many directions trying to build my PR business, grow my clientele, and pursue my passion as a writer at the same time.
My emotions were stretched thin and so was my perseverance, especially because living a city like Lagos, (the busiest, craziest and the most insanely bustling city in Nigeria) you are forced to contend with many oppositions; its dynamic and infuriated demography, the mad rush and the endemic competitive residents. It can be crazy. It is crazy. And commuting within the city was one of my most dreaded ventures. It was hostile and it sucked out the very life out of you.
I knew I needed to take a break, a breather, something, anything to transfuse the life back into me. So I made major decisions, I dropped everything as in everything. And disappeared. LOL. Yeah, that was what I did. I had to find my Mojo, get back my zip and my tang. I had to revive those dead cells, regenerate the very tissues that gave me my uniqueness, so I did what only me was known to do at the very odd times and the very unexpected moments. I shifted.
My friends thought, “Oh dear, here she goes again.” My new acquaintances thought, “What the hell is wrong with her, is she okay?” My family members, didn’t understand it but supported me all the same. They give me that look that says, “hey babe, we don’t know what the hell you’re about right now but we can tell its going to be gorgeous.”
Before I dropped everything and disappeared, everything weirdly, seemed to be working out. I’d just closed two fabulous deals that seemed like the bomb. They were the bomb. And the clients were nothing short of extraordinary, breathtaking and awesome. They were the kind of people you wanted to spend your lunch time with everyday and in every way. Two stunning and spectacular female entrepreneurs who called the shots in their fields.
Still I dropped it all and disappeared. Why? Something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t in place. Everything wasn’t in place even though everything seemed to workout. I wasn’t in place. I was out of focus. And if you’re into filmmaking, you’ll know that isn’t right. I’m the movie star here. I’m the protagonist. I’m the life of the party. Why should I be out of focus, be the blur? I was off balance. I was tilting to the edge, about to fall off.
That certainly wasn’t right. So in order to get it all back together, to stand still, erect and solid, I had to take my eyes off the chaos in spite of the spotted fabulosity. I had to look away to set my eyes on what was most important and most crucial — me. I had to get back to center. Take my eyes off the exterior and place it on the interior.
Oh, and its been amazing. My muscles are healing, stretching and growing. And this blog happens to be the first fruits of that transformation. I have found my voice and I am building my tribe. It is so easy and insanely fulfilling, I can hardly contain myself. I mean I am so in touch with my inner self, and alive like never before, I am awed by my own growth.
My coach always told me that the inner growth was the most crucial and the most important. Everything else springs from your inner growth. She gave an illustration with workouts; when you workout, you are advised to do it every other day because the space in between is when your muscles heal and grow. Growth happens in silence and quite. You only have to believe, and find the courage to take your eyes off whats weighing you to find what will reenergize you.
It’s never easy to leave the familiar and chase after the unknown. It is perhaps the scariest thing you will ever do. Yet it promises to be good — in the long run. That is where staying focused comes in. Once you find your center, stay on it. Once you find what you love, stay with it. Once you find your silence, never comprise it. Once you take your eyes off the distracting exterior, keep your eyes on your internal core. Let everything else flow from your epicenter.
Stay on that goal, water that seed, and keep watering it, never mind that the shoots take forever to sprout. The seed itself needs to draw from the earth, its nutrients, the sunlight, and the water you give it and these take a significant amount of time. Your seed needs sometime to announce its potential to the universe in order to draw just what it needs for its development, and trust me that doesn’t happen in one day, or one month. It could take years. (More about the seed soon)
So, like my role model, Steve Jobs said, stay foolish — disappear if you have to but find your Mojo, stay hungry — keep chasing after the unknown. You can hardly go wrong. You cannot connect the dots now, I hardly can myself. Still, I’m certain that in a few years from now, I would be most grateful to God, that I made that shift when I did. Stay foolish — you will be misunderstood sometimes, but stay focused. Welcome to August!