28 things I’ve learnt at 28
Today June 28, 2020 is the day I clock 28.
There’s a lot that I’ve been through over those years and learnt and had good memories and some not-so-good ones. This year especially has changed my perspective on a lot of things about life, love, friendships, growth, work, and lots more.
I thought I could share some of them with you (not in any order of preference but the first one is top of mind for me).
Trusting God: In my life, I have learnt to trust God for everything. Many things don’t seem to go well many times but I have learnt and know that putting my faith in God settle my mind and I need not worry about anything because everything will be alright. God says in His word – For I know the plans I have towards you, they are plans of good and not of evil to give you an expected end. That’s what I hold on to.
While on the matter of trusting God, it might interest you to know my most favorite verse in the scriptures – it’s Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.
Happiness: I deserve do be happy and so I do everything to ensure I stay happy. If it’s talking about God, tech or music, or just enjoying some smooth jazz and gospel songs or just Netflix and chill. Once I realize I’m losing track of my happiness, I take a step back and switch back to doing things that make me happy.
Settling down: I have always loved the idea of having my own home – wife and kids that I had planned to get married at 27 since I was 13. As God would have it, I got married before my 26th birthday and this gave me so much joy. I love the idea of having joint ownership – of ideas, experiences, properties, and the good things of life and getting married, I realized I could achieve more easily.
I am married to a wonderful woman – Mary – who completes me in every way – most especially in the things of God. She gives me all I need in a woman.
- Family: For me, family is crucial and very important. Family was there when I was child, had nothing, supported my growth and it would be nice as I grew up and started achieving to also be there for them. Checking up on them, spending time with them, loving them. Family is essentially a fabric of my being that is top priority.
- Career: When I set out to become an IT Professional, I had no idea how vast the field was. I was a young boy who grew up in Ibadan and my only view of a Computer Scientist was someone who fixed computers for others. I set out at it anyways and it was when I got the University that I got to understand there’s a whole world out there to explore and I decided on a path for software because I was curious as to how the buttons clicked and what went on behind the scenes. I’m very happy with that path I chose because I have met thousands of peoples, trained tens of thousands either directly or indirectly and I have made some impact that I thought would take me decades to make in the few years I’ve been in the industry.
- Friendships: As I grew older, I try to keep some of the friends that were instrumental to my growth. My best friend John I met in 2002. We just hit it off since then and he’s been a good one. I have several friends that I value so much, and we have mutual respect. I learnt keeping friends who push you in the right direction is very helpful in your journey. Your circle of friends tells us who you are.
- Role models: In many areas of my life, I have learnt that having role models (heroes as some would call them) help shape our thinking and decision path. I have role models in every aspect – programming, music, family, career, education. I look out for what’s good in them and emulate to my taste
- Speaking: When I talk of speaking, I talk about the positive speaking. Many of the major good things that have happened in my life I somewhat see are a result of my positive speaking – even when it seems they’re not going to work out. I can still remember back in 2011 when my brother asked me when I was going to get my laptop. I just told him – *this week*. I had no idea how the money was going to come. Alas, the next day my mother called me to help her go to the bank to withdraw some cash and she handed it all to me to get my laptop. There are more experiences that are like this that by just keeping a positive mind and outlook to things, they work out.
- Planning: Those who are close to me know how much I like to plan to the details even to the point of having plan D. Planning give me the power to know my next move – maybe not all of it clear – in situations. I know sometimes, things won’t go according to plan, but it helps put things in perspective and allows for flexibility of adjustment of goals and expectations.
- Defining friendships: I mentioned I have quite a few friends, I sometimes cannot explain how I have over 1k contacts on my phone with the kind of reserved person that I am. But what I actively do is when meeting a new person is defining where they fit in my circle – just know before you get in my close circle, it could take years. I check values, I check commitments when assigning a person to a circle. There are friends I can pick their calls at 3am, there are others we only relate on chat, others can visit me in my home, some others know my family members.
- New adventures: One of the many things that has helped my growth is that I take on new adventures a lot. I take on challenges out of comfort zone and it helped me in a lot of ways. Yes, sometimes I fail, but I learn from my mistakes for the next adventure.
- Listening: This skill I learnt from my work with Microsoft – to be the trusted advisor for your clients, you should be able to listen and understand the problem. There are more than 1 way of solving a problem. Learn not to push your ideas/solutions on people. Rather, listen to them, understand the problem, then think of a solution (or a few solutions) to that problem
- Saving vs Investing: It’s good to have savings and it’s better to have investments. That’s one of the things I’ve learnt. Savings for me are for short-term goals, investment for long-terms goals. I would get old one day and probably would not be able to work or earn income from the works of my hands, what would give me income then would be returns from my investments.
- Teaching others: It’s one of my core passions to teach. I have learnt that by teaching others, I know more and understand the concepts deeper.
- Helping others: I have learnt also that helping others is indirectly helping yourself – we may never know when we’ll need help from them or others who by helping them you have empowered to be in the position to help you later.
- Taking a stand: There is always a chance to be a mediocre in many fields of endeavour, to compromise our standards to fit it in. I have learnt that by doing this, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Take a stand for the truth and good deeds, be known for integrity, kindness, and excellence. It pays.
- Moving on: I have had to let go of some friendships and relationships. Some required a total break-off, while other required just breaking off the commitment. Learning to differentiate is wisdom.
- Opening up: Before I met my wife, I mostly figured things out by myself – it sometimes took me weeks and months. Many feelings I had bottled up from my childhood. I found that one person I could open them up to. What I have learnt by this is you should have that one person you can fully open to. It reduces stress on the heart and frees you.
- Learning: I have a very busy schedule – as most professionals who really have something going for them. But that is no excuse to not brush up on my skills. We live in a fast-changing world, so we need to continuously learn to be in shape mentally.
- Mentoring: I also have learnt that I am a failure if at my time of leaving a stage of my life or career, I don’t have at least 1 person at that stage or about to get into it who has learnt from me.
- Simplicity: No matter how comfortable or rich I may get in life, I have learnt that I need to live as simply as possible because I know I would have with people who are above, on my level and below me in status. Keeping it simple helps relate with everyone easily. I should be able to live in a village without stress and a in a glass house with ease.
- Compromises: At some point, there will be a need to make compromises of opinion. Do not mistake this with compromise of integrity and truth. When I say compromises here, I mean trying to meet someone/a situation at a plain ground to move forward.
- Compliments: As much as I try to run away from compliments, I still get them. I have learnt to handle this by appreciating the effort of those who give me compliments. It means it comes from a good place in their hearts and should not be taken for granted. While I appreciate hard work, I also have learnt to give compliments. This encourages to do better work.
- Celebration: I did not have a lot a celebration in my life growing up. But as I grew older and I achieved a milestone, I have learnt to celebrate those little wins. Because if I don’t celebrate now, I may never do in the future. There are lots of mountains to conquer. As I conquer one, I celebrate that victory.
- Perspectives: I may be right, you may be right, we may be both right, but we could disagree on the same point. I have learnt to see things from the perspective of others so I can understand better and come to a decision on matters.
- Partnerships: I cannot do it all. I have learnt this. So, I foster partnerships in fields where I don’t excel. These partnerships create a stronger force of achievement and is highly beneficial.
- Firmness: I have learnt to mean what I say and say what I mean. When I say NO to a request/person, I should mean it. And when I say YES, I should mean it. My word should be my bond.
- Legacy: Lastly, this is my guiding principle every day, when I am long gone in age or from this world, how do I want to be remembered? This helps put quite a lot in perspective for me and guide my everyday thoughts and actions.