Excellence, Anybody?

Excellence, Anybody?

Every once in a while, I take time off work to check out something fun. It’s actually intentional (for the sole purpose of maintaining my sanity). Well, here’s what I stumbled upon today:

And then, from the same videographer, this:

And then this!

And then a bunch of other stuff that’s guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

As much as I’m impressed with the actual stunts, the general adrenaline-y feel and the wide-eyed wonder in which you’ll watch these videos (et al), I’m actually a bit more particular about the Videographer (I hope that’s what they call them), Devin Graham. His attention to detail, his risk-taking persona, the well-selected background music (is that even supposed to be a thing?), his 4K camera and a million other things that he has to do behind the scenes to produce stuff this awesome.

I could write an entire article on how awesome this guy is… whoever he is… but… erm… okay. Maybe I will. Sometime later.

Today’s lesson? If you wanna get the attention of those that matter, you had better be excellent.

There’s no other way around it.

Depth…

Depth…

In life generally, but most especially in my work with Grappleline, I’ve learnt a whole lot.

Trust me. I can’t even begin to explain, or scratch the surface of the insight we’ve had to seek… the normalcies we’ve had to radically question… the proverbial boxes we’ve been forced to shatter. The things we’ve had to learn, unlearn and relearn, in the process of building an organization of worth.

We’ve had to do these, not because it’s particularly fun or easy, but because, in order to stay relevant. we’ve just gotta do it.

And boy, do we have a long way to go…

It’s a long process… Yet, so humbling.

Most notable among what we’ve had to do, is that we’ve been forced to break past the barrier of regular, on-the-surface thinking. I mean… anyone can follow a thought, or think through an eureaka-ish idea up to a certain degree (maybe 2 degrees deep at best, with a lot of painful reluctance). But how easy could it be to actually dig much deeper? To ask the difficult questions? Be willing to follow an idea through, into the deeply-situated, dark and dirty depths where the treasure is often realised?

How easy could it be?

Wait, the story is not over…

And when that treasure is finally found, how easy would it be to heat it up, knock it around, burn it down, and mould it back up till it becomes invaluable… golden… useful… sensible…

To turn it into insight?

I really don’t have the answer, but I can give you a little clue…

It’s freaking hard.

But somewhere within me, I know… and I trust… that we humans… popularly and scientifically heralded as homo-sapiens… were built for challenges like these. We were in-built with the capacity to bend so much without breaking. To explore, even if seemingly virtually impossible, the edge of our intellect. The part that makes us truly ‘higher animals’.

That internal, not-so-obvious tensile intellectual strength that we so easily and often ignore… or underestimate, is what makes us stronger than we could ever imagine.

So, after all is said and done, in the end, I know just one thing…

I was made for this…

You were made for this.

We were all built for this.

But are we ready to accept the challenge?

Are we truly ready to step out of that uber-mediocre comfort zone resident in our minds?

Now, that’s a question worth asking.

Up All Night…

Owl City’s latest song from his Ultraviolet EP has this ‘Surreal’ feel to it… speaks of love lost, dreams rekindled, and ambitions revisited…

Many things…

Anyways, here’s my favorite song of the week:

PlayStation

PlayStation

A few days ago, after making a withdrawal at a bank close to the office, I made a detour to a nearby supermarket to see if there was anything interesting I needed to get. As I’m not much of an impulse buyer (last time I checked), I settled on two humble items – a large can of Pringles, and 3 different flavours of air freshener.

Once I got back to the office, I placed the air-fresheners in their regular positions. Once done, I was left with an extra pack – the Rose flavour. So I decided to take it home.

Fast-forward to this evening. 10:42pm. I get home, open the air freshener’s tin foil, put it on top the room cupboard and then leave the room. I haven’t left the room for up to a minute when my brother beckons and tells me something really interesting…

“Papa… do you remember this scent? It’s the same Air Freshener we used for our game center in Magodo…”

And I remembered…

That was 8 years ago. I was 14.

The beginning of my journey. My entrepreneurial journey. And it all started with a PlayStation. A PlayStation 2.

Well, since I have a long day tomorrow, and can’t afford to sleep too late, I’ll finish up the rest of the story when next time I’m relatively free. Please stay tuned. Gracias! 🙂

Islands…

Islands…

“No man is an island…”

Sometimes, I have wondered what would happen if I was the only one on the planet. Yup, just me. In the whole wide gigantic world! Okay, to make it a bit more realistic, let’s add plants and regular animals to the mix. So, yup… me, plants and regular animals in this whole wide ‘humonstrous’ world!

Well, those kinds of things are best left to imagination. But let me turn the tables for a bit – can YOU imagine if you were the only person on Earth?

Hmmm…

Well, hold that thought for a second…

I have a long list of unfinished tasks before I leave work, so I can’t let my mind wander more than it already has. Here’s a song from my favourite band in the world, that sheds a little light on our existence… that little thing that we all need, but so often neglect…

One another.

What is the single most revealing thing about a person?

What is the single most revealing thing about a person?

I was recently sitting in a doctors office waiting for an appointment. A man approached the reception desk with no shirt on, using it as a sling around his leg.

He was sweating profusely and he stunk. He was dirty. He looked like a bum. He was pleading with the receptionist to get a doctor to see him because he didnt have any pain pills.

The receptionist and I smirked at eachother and the waiting room all shot eachother a knowing glance.. As if we were all thinking “oh brother”

The receptionist patronizingly explained that he would have to make an appointment and the doctor was too busy to renew his prescription. She refused to ask. I felt like rolling my eyes at this man. I mean HELLO DUDE make an appointment and for god sakes put on a shirt and have some self respect. He disgusted me.

At that moment the man dropped to the floor and looked up at the sky. He started to weep. I mean REALLY WEEP. I will never forget what he said.

He said ” just take everything. I have nothing left. Nothing but pain. Nothing. You’ve taken it all.. Just take me. I’m tired! I’m tired! I’m so tired.. What do I have? Nothing but pain..”

I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I was covered in goosebumps. I felt so much shame.. So much shame in who I was.

I looked at the receptionist as she called security and Turned from him. I looked around as people started snickering and smirking at me .. Disgusted that I had been one of them.

I can’t tell you how I found the courage, but I got up and I went over to him. I got down on the floor and to the shock of everyone, especially myself, I put my arms around his sweaty body and held him close.. And I didn’t let go. I held him and I told him that everything would be alright. I told him that I cared about him and that I was so sorry.

He went limp and cried in my arms in front of everyone until the security guard came.

As he was leaving he looked into my eyes and we connected. It was the most real and deepest compassion I have ever felt for another person.

I knew that that man had not been touched, comforted, or treated with respect for what could have been years. He was living in poverty, with nothing in his life but his addiction to pain pills and his medical problems.

This was a grown man at the end of his pitiful rope. A Person just like me with a heart and a soul. And I judged him. I laughed at him.. In the lowest part of his life.. When he had lost all hope and all self respect.

I learned that day that the measure of a person is not their success or accomplishments.. Not their intelligence or charm or appearance, but how they treat the least of all men.

Source: Quora.

Signatures…

Signatures…

Two days ago, in a knee-jerk decision, I decided to leave work a bit earlier to catch the movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction” along with a friend. It was scheduled for 5:15pm and traffic to the cinema was terrible. So, we decided to trek the whole distance. Well, 30 minutes and one newly purchased but subsequently soaked white handkerchief later, we arrived, got our tickets, skipped the regular snack purchase and rushed in. Luckily, we were only about 15 minutes late.

I was excited. I even had to hold a full bladder for more than 2 hours because of the movie.

Well, here’s why.

I vowed never to watch a Transformers movie on my laptop. It just has to be on the big screen. I don’t know… maybe it’s the thrills of metal flying everywhere… the cinematic slow-motion scenes… the subtle humor… or the 150+ minutes of pure awesomeness that makes me feel like the movie was worth the money spent. No other movie comes that close.

Well, here’s what I learnt from the movie. A bit more specifically but maybe out of context, I admire the director, Michael Bay.

In all the Michael Bay films I’ve seen (see me talking as if it’s a lot… actually, it’s only two – the Transformers Series… and Pain & Gain), I couldn’t doubt the fact that he was involved. I lack most of the technical jargon used by film analysts, but his movies have this ‘thing’ to it. Bright lighting… obviously advanced, from-the-future cameras… particle effects… things flying everywhere… his unapologetic use of jaw-dropping slow-motion scenes (like when the robot cars have to transform and fly over some bridge in a bid to evade an attack while impressively catching and holding on to the humans that were driving in them… or when Mark Wahlberg got hit by a passing car towards the end of Pain & Gain… ouch) and the overall thrill to his movies that literally keep you at the edge of your seat.

In what would appear as serendipity, running a quick search on him earlier today, here’s what I found:

Michael Benjamin Bay (born February 17, 1965) is an American film director and producer. He is known for directing high-budget action films characterized by their fast edits, stylistic visuals and extreme use of special effects.

Michael Bay has a signature. And he’s very unapologetic about it. Here’s what he recently had to say to his critics:

“They love to hate, and I don’t care; let them hate,” Bay said. “They’re still going to see the movie! I think it’s good to get a little tension. Very good.”

Here’s something I also stumbled upon:

If anybody is wondering why the “Transformers” franchise keeps getting louder, longer and less dependent on silly movie cliché’s like character development,  it’s because director Michael Bay knows people will see the sequels no matter what he films.

Well, here’s the lesson for today:

Have a signature. Let people know you for something. In so much as it’s something good, be unapologetic about it. But remember to keep getting better with the times. Or you’re gonna end up being laughed at… and if there’s one thing people don’t need a degree to do, it’s laughing.

🙂

P.S: I heard he’s directing the Ninja Turtles movie. When the time comes, Silverbird Cinemas, take my money!

Update: I wasn’t the one that needed to use a handkerchief. My friend was. I can walk for 3 hours without breaking a sweat. *feeling like a proud Kenya… sorry… Nigerian*

Unfair Advantage…

Question: What are the advantages of having a low GPA?

Answer: A GPA of less than 1.00 can be expressed to 2 decimal places with only three keystrokes (e.g. .32), whereas a GPA of 1.00 or higher requires 4 keystrokes. There is also a corresponding savings in ink when the GPA is printed on paper.

Source: Quora.

You guys should check Quora more often. You’d learn a lot. And maybe have a few laughs in-between.

Wolf Bite

Wolf Bite

I’d be honest. Very honest. Nothing in the world makes me more excited than when I’m listening to a new Owl City song for the first time. To put it into context, My Zune player reads 85 Owl City songs (only Switchfoot holds the same record in my playlist). And I’m always on the prowl for any new content he comes up with. This has been going on for over 5 years now… *covers face*

Well, here’s the 86th addition to my Owl City playlist – Wolf Bite:

Hire.Fire

Hire.Fire