Life Lessons Best Learnt @ home

It’s amazing the lessons you will learn about life in the simple activities of the home. The other day we were scheduled to have a group of visitors coming to visit our new born and amid all the preparations that go into making a lasting impression that will not embarrass the head of the house out there, I called in for help. I needed assistance with cooking, setting the table, doing the dishes and taking care of princess at the same time.

It is the creative lot rather than the copy cats and inflexible, who land in the world’s halls of fame

After a successful day, I went to bed tired and thinking about everything we had gone through. It was then that I realized a few things about life. I take this opportunity to share them with you and I hope you find it worthy of your reading time.

1. Get in the game

Watching others help, and through watching by the sidelines, we make very good instructors and referees. However, you have to get in there and get your hands and feet dirty for any real impact to be felt over a long
time. From the sidelines you may think you are learning something but unless you get into the business you ain’t gaining much.

2. Have a plan

I’m very keen on planning in general, but a time-tested recipe is a godsend. Overtime, it has been proven to me that it is always right to plan and at best, it gives you the confidence to get started. Any plan is a help and it gives folks the sense they aren’t aimlessly flailing. However, sometimes we might plan for the wrong things and no matter how well the plan is executed, the end result is wrong.

Imagine if people never planned for a coming baby. For nine months since conception, they have known that there will be a birth; but they do not plan for the hospital or attending doctor or clothes or house, how chaotic would it be for the new family?

3. Creativity

The plan is an outline – not a law cast in stone. The creation of a plan, implementation, revision and recreation are what constitute creativity. It is the creative lot rather than the copy cats and inflexible, who land in the world’s halls of fame. Blind devotion to any plan is downright dumb!

4. Trial and errors

Agreeably, you can watch a master at work and believe that you have learnt. However, when you get down to do what you have learnt through observation, you will not just make mistakes; you will make so many both big and small and in business or personal life, error is the fuel that drives you. As such don’t “tolerate” mistakes or get embarrassed by them. Embrace them! How many times did Edison go wrong before finally crying out “Eureka” with the new invention of a bulb?

5. The same mistakes.

As I grew up I was often told, “It is okay to make mistakes, but don’t make the same mistake twice.” How many times do you make virtually the same errors, in something as relatively simple as baking or making chapatis over and over … and over. Just remember this, nobody ever did anything remarkable right the first, second, third or fourth time.

6. A sense of humor

For the few people who know me really well, they know I have a very hearty laugh. And I don’t mean hearty simply in terms of voice, but my laugh is simply from the heart. Even when things are a mess or awkward. I would rather laugh all my troubles away than fret over them.

The ability to laugh, even at yourself is a great cure and prevention of stress. Go through life with a smile, you’d be surprised how much you achieve. Experimentation, whether in business or personal life, depends on learning to laugh at yourself and you can never achieve the best without experimenting. It is said that learning is precisely about making a fool of ourself and often in public.

7. Persistence

An ability to laugh at yourself and contain your ego is key to success in life, but so is steely-eyed determination. Winners want to do everything well, no matter how trivial; and that takes focus and an unrelenting drive. It is also worth keeping at the top of your head that winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.

I love the analogy of the alley cat. It doesn’t have much to live for but when it gets into a fight, it fights like the whole world will be stolen if it doesn’t fight. If it loses, it retracts behind dumpsters and lays in the dark licking its wounds. The next day, it will be up fighting again until the visiting enemy goes away.

8. Perfectionism

To master one’s craft requires nothing less than pain-in-the-butt perfectionism. It doesn’t matter how much mess you create to get to the level of perfection. Just perfect your art or skill. Mediocrity didn’t ever do any man justice. Perfectionism sets you apart from the rest of the flock.

Am sure not many people look at painters, artists, sculptors, and cooks like they do engineers as structured thinkers. Chances are that they are dismissed as jokers in life. However, it is the most perfected cook whose book the engineer’s wife will spend some money on to get a recipe to please her husband; it is the best artists’ painting that the engineer will buy to hang in his library!

Carry it always with you that creativity is an essential handmaiden.

9. Ownership

If you don’t own the process, you will not have any passion for the job. You will simply do it to fulfill an obligation. Without passion you will not weather out the rough patches because you will be lacking the very crucial aspect of perseverance.

There is no such thing as partial or joint ownership when it comes to doing that which your heart urges you to do. My business enterprise (Esteemed Royale) is my responsibility even though I need the team we have to make it a reality and a success. Ultimately, it falls  on my shoulders – squarely. There are no backups available and I have two options – succeed or succeed.

10. Accountability

Until you’re engaged in all aspects of a job, you don’t fully engage. Accountability has to do with taking ownership of the product, the process and everything else that comes with the job. You can have good results and not have someone or something that is responsible for the results.

If you are going to be accountable you will often step forward and say, “I saw the problem, I took a risk and I fell on my face. Even then I stood up and I have learnt my lesson.”

Being accountable gives the impression of responsibility, and trustworthiness.

11. Take pleasure

Greatness takes practice and brings exquisite pleasure. When you get at your profession, do an apprentice thing and let someone else take up after you. Why? It gives you opportunity to enjoy the fruit of your toil and a chance to start another business. Your business needs an injection of fresh ideas, a new outlook and you can’t give it that. If we want great products, we need to find, attract, and retain great creators.

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