8 Mar 2013

Article Summary - How I Became a Prolific Writer




Most people (including very talented writers) sometimes wonder what makes other writers prolific. "Some people think I am a journalist. My friends ask how I can possibly write as much as I do given all the responsibilities that I have."  Vivek Wahdwa writes in his article about his friends' unbelief of his tough writing schedule.

Starting his career as a nerdy computer programmer and entrepreneur, Vivek wrote his first professional article on Businessweek. He reiterates the fact that he was very poor at English while in high school and that professional writing is much different from high-school essays. He, however, enjoys writing because of how much impact he believes he is making. He wants to motivate others to find their own paths.
He says it got much easier for him to write; from 40 hours/article to 2-4 hours/article now, implying the fact that experience is actually a very important factor in writing and not necessarily talent.

"These really are the keys to writing blog posts, op-ed pieces and columns, and even testimonies to Congress: to speak fearlessly from the heart, get to the point immediately, keep the message simple and focused, and use the fewest words you can" he stresses the importance of originality in writing. He also says that most successful writers accept objective criticism properly.

He rounds up by saying "writing is a skill that you can learn. It gets easier as you go and will help you make an impact. If you don’t have a Bollywood story that you can get BusinessWeek to tell, just write a blog on your own website, or comment on discussion sites such as Quora, LinkedIn, or countless others. Your voice is as important as any other".

Read the full article here.

19 Aug 2012

Gold Medals and Economies


I'm a Nigerian. I am one of the many millions that watched the Olympics day and night hoping for a medal to no avail. A country that has more than 100 million people in their ranks should be able to produce a bronze at least. I watched China and USA grab medals daily while we struggled to qualify for final events. It's saddening.  From the awful basketball team to the Okagbares who disappointed us when it mattered most... 

No, I'm not writing this post to rant about how unhappy I am about the Olympic results - I'm way too cool for that B-). I'm writing this post to talk about the fact that the Olympics made me feel like my country couldn't do anything right - That is the major point that got me thinking. 

All things being equal, the population of a country should play a large role in determining the country's performance in global competitions (such as the Olympics). i.e the higher the population, the better the performance and vice versa. This obviously doesn't work for some countries like Nigeria so I decided to come up with a little theorem of mine.  

THE NUMBER OF OLYMPIC MEDALS A COUNTRY GETS IS POSITIVELY CORRELATED WITH THE STRENGTH OF THEIR ECONOMY




10 Aug 2012

Nigerian Residents And Their Many Problems



I stumbled on a quote when I was going through my twitter the other day. It said 'Citizens of a country should search for what they can do for their country, and not what their country can do for them'. That is perhaps my motivation for doing this post because I realised that as well as our leaders play an important role in helping the country move forward (which they are not doing very well), we also as citizens also play a very important role in doing this. We cannot lay back and expect them to do anything.

For those who are curious enough to have noticed, I did not make a mistake in the topic. Putting 'residents' in place of 'citizens' was quite intentional. Let me explain - residents of a country are those who live in a country for what they can benefit and they are ready to move on when the going gets tough. They are living in the country for what the country can offer them and have no role to play in the development of the Nation. Unfortunately, most people who own a Nigerian passport fall under this category. I'm going to use examples to explain my points.

I was discussing politics the other day with someone. We happened to be in the same car for some reason i connot remember at the moment. He seemed to have a lot of knowledge in that field and he left me hypnotised in his words as my head kept moving up and down in a continuous motion. He continued speaking about how he wanted to make a change and I was really 'feeling his gist' until he apparently finished his nice roll of gala which he had bought earlier. I was thrown into confusion when he flung the wrapper out of the window with so much force like his life depended on it. I really couldn't understand how a person who spoke with so much knowledge could commit such an act. That was a clear example of hypocrisy. It is very common in many people nowadays. After speaking about the country's problems, they will be the ones bravely releasing urinal waste by the roadside. If you're not going to make a difference, at least do not make things worse. The little things you do; no matter how small make a big difference. Malcolm Gladwell carefully explained this point in his book 'Tipping Point'. Nigerian citizens should be ready to forfeit things that do not help no matter how hard it may seem. This is an important step towards the growth of the country. Sacrifice.

What I Learnt From Google Search


It was a tough argument between me and my friend, Toyin. It was the kind of argument that could continue for hours until someone (usually the person with the weaker voice) gave up. I was confident – I could remember Mr. Jones continuously telling us the meaning of ‘yardang’ in the last geography class. To make matters worse, there was no geography textbook close by for us to fall back on so we kept throwing words at each other like market women looking for change in Cele.  I was ready to continue with the argument until this spark (I call moments like that the ‘eureka moment’) reminded me of Google. I quickly pulled out my blackberry and with two clicks; I found a lifeline. Hidden in perhaps the easiest place to search; Google showed me a clear definition – with explanations – of the term ‘yardang’. That just saved us a bucket of saliva but that’s not the only thing we can learn from that story.

In the 1800s, John Dewey defined schools. He stated simply that the general purpose of school is to transfer knowledge and prepare young people to participate in their country’s democratic society. It was a top definition at that time – because really there was no other reason someone would go to school. But that was then; that was the same period when Karl Benz introduced the first automobile which moved at 18km/h at top speed. If we now have automobiles that can move at up to 300km/h, should we still be following definitions from the 1800s?

23 Jul 2012

I Know I Can - Nas!

It's hard to see a proper inspirational hip-hop song nowadays so you have to thank Nas for this one.

It inspires me; hope it does the same to you!



Stay Blessed,
Emeka.

19 Jul 2012

19 July, 2012


I saw this picture the other day and I thought in my mind. 'see how innovative these people are'. I would love to wear a Nigerian shoe brand in the near future - and I would like it to be top quality. I'm wondering what these young men could have come up with if they just had enough capital and enterprise skills.

There is a lot of untapped talent in Nigeria which could just be resolved if there was enough awareness and most importantly, Education. I would really love to wear a brand called 'chuks' or 'femo' one day.

Remain Blessed,
Emeka.

5 Jul 2012

Patience; A Common Misconception


As usual, I’m going to use an example to explain my point here.

I was back home from school for the Christmas holidays last year. It’s a usual tradition for most Igbo families to travel back to the village during this period. We didn’t travel in 2010 so it was quite mandatory for us to pay a visit that year. We booked plane tickets many days before and got everything ready including gifts for family members and the rest. Everyone was getting excited as the proposed day came closer – I especially wanted to breathe some clean air compared with the polluted gas we get in Lagos.

It was a long drive to the Airport that day but we got there early enough and checked in on time. Our flight was scheduled for 1:30pm and we were seated in the waiting arena by 12 noon. As usual, I got myself busy. I quickly opened up the twitter application to tell my followers how hot and smelly the airport could be while I played some music. After a while, I bought myself a snack (meat-pie to be precise). Time went faster than I expected and by 1:15, I was getting jealous of other passengers as they were all hearing their flight announcements.

By 2:30, I already heard about 20 different announcements and each time, I got more impatient. It started pissing me off. How can my flight be delayed this long? My phone batteries were dead and I was eating my fifth meat-pie that day. The plane arrived by 3:30 and when we were about to take off, one of the hostesses walked to my seat and said ‘thank you for your patience’. That was the most annoying this that took place that day.

Many people consider patience as the as the ability to wait for something – and it is thought that the longer you wait, the bigger the returns. The dictionary defines patience as “bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like”. But is this the true definition we should have in mind when referring to patience?
It is said that the patient dog gets the fattest bone. If I paid for a flight and my ticket has the scheduled take off time, is it then regarded as patience when I am made to wait for 2 extra hours? Do I get a fatter meal in the plane? Or is it patience to continue with a faulty phone when I could easily buy another? Waiting may be patience but patience is not waiting.

A definition which I would like to use for patience is “the ability to be in the present moment regardless of your circumstances”. Patience is an inner push to do something when no-one else will rather do it. Nobody tells you – or rather forces you – to be patient. You make a decision yourself whether to be patient or not.

Stay Blessed,
Emeka.