My 10 Worst Life Mistakes: The Compilation (WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT)
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So after last weeks article … 5 Successful Bloggers Share Their Worst Mistakes People namely Jennifer, Oluwatosin Ade-Ajayi and Monale asked me to share my worst mistakes as well.
But like Ikenna Azuike I have so many mistakes I was not sure I would be able to contain them all on my blog. But what the heck … its my blog so I decided to share them all.
But be warned, my mistakes will not be the typical type of mistakes, I will not hold anything back. You asked for it….you have been warned … Explicit honesty ahead!
#1 Mistakes I Made In Nursery School: Shitting in my shorts and denying it to impress a kindergarten babe.
What I learned: Own up to your own shit early or else you might end up smelling and looking like shit.
#2 Mistakes In Secondary School: Thinking friendship was a numbers game.
What I learned: I threw a 17th or 18th birthday party once at my parents house in Maryland, Lagos. I told everyone in Secondary School about it, even called them up which is a big achievement considering there were no cellphones then… But nobody showed up. Okay I take that back, some people showed up, it was my Parents, my Aunty and 2-3 friends. I am sure they were embarrassed for me.
But several years later, I realized something about that day and that was that friendship is not about the numbers.
We like to associate friendship with the quantity of friends we have … but its never about that. It’s about the few 2-3 people in your life that will show up to your party even when there is no food …
RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX MISTAKES
#3 Making key relationship decisions after sex.
What I learned: After a night of heavy love making she turned and asked “do you love” or “so what are we?” I can’t remember what exactly she said but my response was something like “yeah we are dating cause we love each other.”
What I learned is this … never make key relationship decisions after you have just had sex and don’t ask the questions either! There are just too many chemicals flowing in the body that might disrupt a persons ability to think logically. Remember you can always run …
#4 Assuming that no arguments was a good thing.
What I learned: Arguments are a critical part of a relationship. It’s like a new born baby that does not shit … that baby can DIE! And arguments are the same way because it helps people get shit off of their chest, if they keep it in there … the relationship will DIE!
Get shit off your chest!
#5 One size definitely does not fit all.
What I learned: The first time I used a condom it was quite embarrassing. The second time even more embarrassing … the third and fourth time … the same thing. It happened so often that I assumed I was allergic to rubber. At least that’s what I said to explain why I could not get it up. So I avoided sex as much as possible and when I did it, it was dangerously without condoms.
But then one day I overheard a friend mention something about Magnum condoms … he was like “Magnum condoms the large-sized condoms.”
Huh … here I was an educated man with a bachelor’s degree and I never realized that condoms came in different sizes! And if you used the wrong size it could cut your blood circulation which could make you emmmm not get it up … Crazy! But that day I learned that I needed to be comfortable talking about sex. You never know what you could learn.
# 6 Mistakes In Life: Being Homophobic
What I Learned: Coming from Nigeria to the US in 2000 I was classic homophobic … after all homosexuals were evil … that was scripture.
But one day in the late 2010’s I was having a conversation with a fellow Engineer turned Entrepreneur at an Engineering Alumni conference. We talked business, chatted about NSBE (which was the conference we were at) and other items. We exchanged business cards and that was it.
Except that he called me 2-3 days later asking what type of music I liked. Now no guy has ever just called to ask what type of music I liked …. so I was like hmmmmm. And then he asked “do you want to go out to a JAZZ concert with me.”
“Did he just ask me out?” I thought to myself.
And that was when I knew. I was like emmm “I really can’t, I am busy” and some other BS excuse. And then there was an awkward silence and then click. I really felt bad … Nobody told me homosexuals could be engineers, could be entrepreneurs or could have feelings … I just thought about homosexuals as EVIL people.
That moment taught me this … don’t be too quick to judge and don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions …
WORK AND BUSINESS MISTAKES
#7 Speaking In Questions
What I learned: When I started working in Corporate America, I had this bad habit of speaking in questions. If I want to say “this idea really sucks monkey balls!” I would instead say the less confrontational “don’t you think this idea sucks monkey balls?” This meant I was neither here nor there.
I realized quite quickly that you just have to find the confidence to speak your mind without beating around the bush. I found that people that spoke their mind moved up faster in the company and were sought out for their opinions. Speak your mind!
# 8 Trying to manage 3 different websites at once.
What I learned: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket they said, but what they never said was that it would be damn hard managing all those baskets. And that’s where I found myself as I struggled to manage chaynge.org (charity website), ofilisketches.com (for sketches) and ofilispeaks.com (for articles and craziness).
I basically found myself constantly struggling to update and manage all three websites, and because my time was divided amongst all 3 sites, I was not able to give each site the right amount of attention. It was like being in an active relationship with 3 different people at the same time … IMPOSSIBLE.
But then around 2006 or so, I decided to merge all 3 websites into one and the product is what you are reading now … ofilispeaks.com!
# 9 Placing a lower value on myself than others do.
What I learned: It was the summer of 2005. I had just started a new job and had decided it was time to let go of my 1992 beat up Toyota Camry. I posted the advert/sale on Craigslist and a student from the University of Houston approached me to buy the car. In my head the value of the car was $2500.
After test driving the car and checking it with his mechanic, the student called to tell me that he would like to buy the car for $3000. I was excited but then I actually told him that I felt the car should be sold for $2500. I am sure he was like what sort of crazy person is this … but long story short I lost $500 because I did not accept the higher value someone else had placed on my car.
I realized that I tended to make that mistake when it came to other business transactions “speaking fees” or “graphic design fees.” etc. I have since learned how to value myself even higher than what others value me at.
#10 Assuming that every organization is the same.
What I learned: I spoke at Covenant University in 2011 or 2012 can’t exactly remember and at the engagement I sold about 150 books for N1000.00 each. So when I was invited to speak at a public University in another state that I will not mention here … I was excited. There would be hundreds of students and I would just sell a 150 copies like I did at Covenant…
So I took a day off from work and drove down to the school which was outside Lagos and got to an auditorium filled with about 600 students. I had already started doing the Maths in my head … except that at the end of the presentation … I had sold exactly 0 copies of my books. In case you thought it was a typo … I meant “zero” as in “nada” as in “zilch.”
As I drove back to Lagos … I realized that not all organizations are the same.
What you did in one University will not necessarily work in another. I had to learn to vary my expectations to the organization that I was speaking at. Same thing with business, not all clients will be the same the strategy that worked on one will not necessarily work on the other. Be flexible. Remember #5 … one size NEVER fits all!
#11 Just because everybody says YES does not mean everybody understands.
There have been many times work, business, life and especially school, when I am completely lost but everyone seems to understand what is going on. So I keep quiet only to realize after the fact that everybody was completely lost. So I learned to IGNORE THE CROWD and ask questions often … even when everyone … I mean everyone seems to be getting it …
PS: And do feel free to ask me any questions you might have below … I may not answer some but it never hurts to ask. Be awesome!
Written By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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