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”I’m a big fan of stating small. Trying differrent things to see which one works and which one doesn’t. And iterating based on feedback” – Moses Auma
The historic book; How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie has sold more than 15 million copies all over the world! But it is not the volume of sales and revenue collected that matters, it is the new found magic how this book was started that really matter. It was started small, very small. And that is the achievement.
While giving a talk to a group of people, Carnegie said “I prepared a short talk. I called it ‘How to Win Friends and influence People. I say ‘short.’ It was short in the begining but it soon expanded to a lecture that consumed one hour thirty minutes.”
After delivering this talk, Dale found that the attendees started discussing their experiences and some ‘rules’emerged. Ultimately, the talk became a course and a need for a textbook of sorts emerged. Here is Carnegie on how the famous book became a reality:
“We started with a set of rules printed on a card no larger than a postcard. The next season we printed a larger card, then a leaflet, then a series of leaflets, each one expanding in size and scope. After fifteen years of experimentation and research came this book”
Yet still, we know that Richard Branson started the Virgin brand with a Student Magazine, but Virgin and Canergie’s book are just two of the many examples which shows that the reality is counterintuitive: truly, the best things we know and adore started as tiny things with almost inconceivable future.
Life isn’t defined by epiphanies, big or grand starts. I’ve always felt life is better defined by lots of small starts and finishes. No supreme moments of clarity, just decisions to try something slightly more challenging than the day before.
I’ve noticed that great things almost always start small. I find similarly that some of the most important achievements I’ve made started as little projects. OneStepBeyond itself is a great example. It started as a short service messages sent to my contacts and classmates via WhatsApp. When I realised people received my messages with positive affirmation, it hit me that I could put pen to paper.
Then I asked magazine Reel to be given a column to pen down a few inpiring words. After one year of consistent contribution, I realised I could create and maintain a blog as part of giving back to the society what I have been privileged to learn from others. Many small starts and small projects, evolving a direction as I went. And I have witnessed OneStepBeyond grow into the most authoritative blog for success, the only journey that the youth need as a manual for success.
We all love to be part of big things. But that leaves all of us looking for big moments. For instance, an agribusiness management graduate will look forward to a bigger job position and huge perks. But you have to start somewhere, continously aligning yourself with the right skills managers look for that grants you such a lofty position. We can’t arrive at success by one magic wand, we have to be patiently working hard at each stage. Small starts don’t need to be perfectly correct, they just need to move you another step further towards the goal.
The art of starting small demands that you don’t wait to jump into your dreams, if your life is inclined towards business, why not start hawking lollipops or ‘kangumu’ or credit cards to your campus friends? If you intend to become a politician, why not contest a campus election and lose? If you want to become a writer, why not start a free wordpress account and fumble? If you want to become a political analyst, why not take your time to study the lives of the existing gurus in that field first?
It is essentially not so bad to have ambitious thoughts. And depending on the type of an individual, one either think big too much or don’t think big enough. It is those who think big too much who should need to pay attention to this post the more.
The day you busk in your success is the day you will be thankful you started small.
Social media undoings
Breaking up used to be a largely personal matter. You could easily toss away all the photos, love letters and anything that is remnant of past relationship, never to be seen again. But social media makes it extremely difficult for people these days to get over their exes. On facebook and WhatsApp, you see their new pictures and statuses pop up all the time. Their lives is so accessible that you find yourself stalking all the pictures you had with them. And you find yourself missing those moments with this person. And you find yourself wanting them all over again. And that’s when things can get dangerous.
Being a friend of divorcing partners
I begin to think this is what it must be like to be a friend of divorcing partners. Before, there was one truth, one story, one reality; now there are two. Each side accuses the other, and amid the raised voices, the unappeasable points of view, the vitriol and distress, the obfuscation and exaggeration and blame, the only thing that is demonstrably clear is that one side is ruder than the other. Seems to me that even if you didn’t know what they were arguing about, you would have to come to that conclusion.
It just sound disingenuous to cause a social faux pass with your personal issues altogether. Deal with it within your faculty.
Before, there was one truth, one story, one reality; now there are two. Each side accuses the other, and amid the raised voices, the unappeasable points of view, the vitriol and distress, the obfuscation and exaggeration and blame, the only thing that is demonstrably clear is that one side is ruder than the other.
Post Break up Competition
Whenever a couple calls it quits, they begin to engage in a race of petty display of who can move on quicker or appear happier to the world. Cluttering up social media with constant updates of how awesome they are without an ex, stalking them to investigate their progress is what I call break up competition. A total madness.
Come on guys, this is real. Take a spot check on the social pages of your dejected friends who feels their partners took them for a ride. You could see a first order violence indirectly meted out on them in terms of: lurid tittle-tattle, suggestive pics which are meant to outshine and all manner of sinister phraseologies. All these are meant to reel them back into nolstagic hell as much as they try to flee into the future.
Just a few examples of facebook posts and WhatsApp status updates:
“I heard that you are a player, nice to meet you, I’m the new coach”
“I would not complain if climatic change saw an end to, say, mosquitoes, hadedas and sharks. Or anything really, that thinks it can bite me or shout at me before the sun even rises. I’m including an ex-boyfriend here.”
“More bold and more beautiful and more happy.”
Every human being is born with some degree of competition in their blood but the one place this primal trait should never rear its ugly face is after break ups. It makes you miserable, it is time consuming and expensive.
I’m no expert on breakups management. To be honest, I suck at them and avoid any confrontation that it can bring. But doing these activities to obliterate past memories will be your panacea for piece of mind:
- Block them. On everything. And anything. It sounds harsh, and unecesssry but, it is truly the only thing that will finally let go of the sadness and pain that breakups bring. Out of site out of mind. When you don’t see their pictures pop up everywhere, you will start to adapt to a life without them. You will not feel the urge to see what they are up to. Clicking on that block button will make your future self thank you. And your ex will probably be thankful too.
Unfollow on instagran. While it may feel extreme and aggressive, it feels unhealthy to be bombarded with photos, period.
Recondition your mind to associate those things you used to do with your partner with other people. Simple, overwrite your ex.
Beat bad memories with busy work. We don’t have time to waste daydreaming about ‘What ifs.’ Use every second of your time to optimize your lifestyle.
Show you still care. While your ex may fire some social media jabs, it is imperative you refrain from revenge. They always expect you to retaliate and defend yourself. They want to feel they have a hold over you and a degree of control. By responding to their pettiness, you are indicating you still care and that your life is impacted by what they have to say about you.
- Move on with your life and let someone who is on your level find you. Your ex is not.
- Repeat after me: Stop following your Ex on Social Media.
No one can predict the future, but plenty of people are out there talking about what the future could be – with a changing technological, legal and cultural environment. Our glitchy human behavior may make it harder for us to take actions that benefit our future selves.
But when you can imagine concrete details of a possible future, it’s easier to close the future gap and put yourself into that future and it will become less of a stranger.
Like many students, I’ve fallen prey to a cardinal paradox – poisoning the present by agonizing over a future hardship that might never materialize. The greatest fear of many students is how they will begin life after their last university paper. See, we are wrapped up in things that have not yet happened. This makes us excellent problem solvers, but appalling worriers at the same time.
So, in this article, we want to ruin our short time alive by setting expectations of how we think everything should be after our university.
University comes with a lot of free things: free flowing water, free electricity, inexpensive accommodation, free WiFi and the fastest internet connections, free meeting rooms, free playing grounds, free gym services, free books in the library, free consulting from professors who always love getting involved in student run startups, free comrades – there are so many ways you can use your comrades for free, of course for mutual benefit, whether it is being shown how to use an application system in the computer, or holding your legs as you do sit-ups – virtually free everything you would pay dearly for outside campus.
Finishing your last paper means you are kissing the world of freebies goodbye. And you begin to live independently. The minute you threw that tasseled cap in the air, your student loans are no longer mythical numbers you’ve ignored for four years, Monday – Friday, 8-5 is a real thing, the year becomes a whole 12 months not two semesters and a break.
First thing pay attention to the present, ensure you have lived a full life so that you will not whine about those things you did not do in college. Fifty years ago, philosopher Alain Watts wrote in The Wisdom of Insecurity,
“It is in vain that we can predict and control the course of events in the future, unless we know how to live in the present. It is in vain that doctors prolong life if we spend the extra time being anxious to live still longer.”
Too often our minds are set on getting somewhere else. Each beautiful day comes to an end with hundreds of unnoticed moments behind us – we didn’t notice them because they were insignificant to us. And over time our entire lives become a massive pile of unnoticed and insignificant moments on our way to more important things. Then the important things get rushed through too… to get to the next one, and the next, until our time is up and we’re left questioning where it all went. But it doesn’t have to be this way anymore. This moment is your life, and you can make the best of it. The future hasn’t arrived. The only thing that’s real is what’s happening right now.
Choose your environment wisely. The environment is more powerful than your internal resolve. As a human-being, you always take on the form of the environments you continually place yourself. Consequently, the best use of your choices is consciously designing environments that facilitate your going one step beyond. Don’t spend all your time with idiots and then wonder why it’s hard to meet someone great to provide you opportunities. Go where the people you want to be like are.
If you move home, have a deadline how long you are going to stay there. It is comfortable yes but the distance between comfortable and complacent is surprisingly short.
Keep learning. Just because your formal education might have ended doesn’t mean you should stop learning. You have got to keep old skills sharp and continue learning new ones.
As for me, I will be willing to do any job in my field that provides an opportunity for moving ahead. I’m a big fan of starting small, trying different things to see which works and which doesn’t. And iterating based on feedback.
Leaders are self-made through chosen responses, not born. Because of intense transformational experience, people make choices that enable them to become leaders. People make the choice to be taught or to teach themselves and to follow the teachings. In summary, leadership is a function of choice- Moses Auma
A decade ago, during our formative years, societal values on leadership were based on the most ephemeral and frail of things. The attributes hero-worshiped then have only remained a pale shadow of what we value nowadays.
Leadership, positions, privileges and favorable evaluations we got from those around us were, in their entirety, pegged on physical strength rather than the ability to perform. I mean the physically stronger carried the day – set the pace.
If you could physically beat all people around you, it automatically conferred on you cheerleader-ship. If you were a lady and could win arguments and quarrels with fellow ladies, you got conferred on a higher position and a revered status so that you became sort of a role model. I am talking from a perspective of rural life, you know.
It is impossible to talk about physical strength without talking about power. In local schools, those who were huge, tough and powerful were made prefects. The school of thought was; they were able to exercise control over other students – through beatings and caning. And that’s how leadership was designed and distributed locally.
Those who had the drive, the zeal and zest to lead but lacked in the physical strength and bulky bodies were tossed to the back. Never in those days did schools practice sensitization of prefects on their role in school governance.
We grew up with a misguided mentality on leadership – if you were able to flog without resentment or rebellion, you made a fine leader. And any time one was made a prefect, the crux of the matter was “am I able to cane everyone without any threat of being beaten back.”
Ladies were often gagged, relegated and adrift because they did not harbor as much physical strength as did their male counterparts and were conspicuously missing on positions and local debates and opinion talks. The explanation for the clear under-representation of girls in school management could go even beyond body size probably because they were neither capable nor interested or they were both capable and interested but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible leadership barrier, based on prejudiced stereotypes, that prevents women from accessing the ranks of power.
What students knew was that leaders were prefects. That was a classical thought then and it stands in stark contrast with my current definition of leadership which simply is inspiring other people to find their voice by affirming and communicating their worth and potentials in ways they come to see it themselves. And that’s what I do in this blog.
The presumptive superiority of huge and tough pupils were, within such an environment, premised on corresponding assumptions about the inferiority of a whole range of other groups.
These societal agreements on leadership and power have since been debunked by time. Today, it is not the physically stronger who will lead, hold office or positions. It is the most knowledgeable, the most innovative, the most creative – and there are no hormones for those attributes. Small men with big brains are leading big corporations and multi-nationals. Women too are shattering glass ceiling and we have been told that the only difference between a woman and a man is the anatomy.
While disapproving these traditional ethos of leadership, we need also to conceive the idea that everybody is a leader. Leadership is about influence and more less about authority according to Ken Blanchard, management expert and bestselling author of The One minute Manager. He says, in an article exploring why you should think of yourself as a leader, that anytime you are influencing the thinking, beliefs or development of someone else, you are engaging in leadership. Everyone has the ability to influence other people whether it’s a younger sibling at home, a co-worker or spouse.
Leadership is therefore more of the intrinsic makeup of an individual.
This is what happens when an ambitious lady goes OneStepBeyond and practice the power of tenacity. Remember miss Mwaura we intervied a couple of months ago? She is back, this time round as the winner of the epochal miss Agriculture Egerton 2017 after trying thrice on the same. Please read her exclusive interview with MosesAumaSpeaksSite. Thanks.
Why did you get into this competition? Modelling is a passion. Like I said previously, I’m determined to grab any chance that come along. I wanted to grow my modeling career and with the title I would be easily exposed to the outside world .I also love Agriculture as it is the backbone of our country’s economy.
What were the preparations and arrangements before the event?
The preparations were not as sloppy as any viewer would think. It wasn’t easy to come up with ideas and outfits though I was well prepared for the competition. I had to spend cash on some attire… the whole look to be precise. Vigorous training that was on point by Mr and Miss agriculture 2016, Jaspher and Gasheri really gave me my footing.
What kept you ahead of the crowd?
The competition was stiff, all the models had great ideas. I just thought out of the box to come up with all of my wears. I listened to corrections from trainers and I trusted in God. With the past experience, I tried my best to perfect my previous weaknesses.
What was your experience?
It was a beautiful experience. The competition was intense and everyone was constantly working out to win the crown. This also being my third time contesting consecutively for the same title, I had confidence, I was easy, giving up isn’t my thing. I would advise anyone getting into the modeling world to always keep trying , trust yourself and trust in the Lord more eventually, success will come your way .
What does the victory mean for you?
It means everything considering it has been a long struggle. It reminds me to thank God for the far and for giving me the strength to handle the incoming responsibilities. I’m so happy. Congratulations to me!
Describe your fans:
Ooh my you would confuse me for a politician. I campaigned massively, helped by my friends. I was mesmerized by the support I witnessed during the event. I’m overwhelmingly indebted to them. I’m so humbled, moved and thankful to my funs and my supportive siblings.
You were required to conduct online voting and campaign. How was it?
I created a link and shared it to all of my friends on WhatsApp and Facebook groups. I also posted it on my instagram page. I made everybody my fan leaders. It was worrying that I was not leading until the last minutes when I formed a whatsapp group where my team did a good work, they voted and spread it far and wide. That is the time I took the lead. Thank you so much team Fai for Miss Agriculture.
What was the toughest part?
Yikes! It was hectic. Two days remaining and I had gathered nothing. I just had blurred ideas. I think gathering all the props was tough. Some you couldn’t get so you had to improvise.
Who were your inner circle working team?
From my well supportive funs who really turned up, my family, my closest friends and to this big team of designers; Millicent Anjiri miss Culture 2017, Winfred the make up artist and stylist, Loureen Chero and finally Ian Duncan, the main designer. I witnessed great support, coordination and love. I’m grateful. I thank God for the far may he use me as mentor…. to others as I strive to reach my goals.
What do you want to stand up for as the reigning Miss Agriculture Egerton?
Now Egerton is on Authority the finest Agricultural Institution in sub-Saharan Africa. I want to creat that impression to the rest of the world and use my position as well to campaign for sustainable farming and reduction of food insecurity. When beauty meets brain, something extraordinary just happens.
Finally, OneStepBeyond gives you chance to make appreciation.
First of all I would like to thank God for everything. Then congratulate my designer Dante and my three friends (Millie, Winnie & Losh), this guy came up with the best ideas. His designs were unique and creative. He was there each time I needed him even though he was dressing another contestant who coincidentally became my Mr. Agriculture and I respect him for that. Working with Dante has been great experience. This guy has a wealth of experience to offer. Thanks for your generosity, time and thoughtfulness. Also to my fans, they really did a great job of voting for me, helped me where they could and even availing themselves in the event. Thanks for being there when I needed you, I really appreciated that. So many people told me to quit and some even gossiped telling me I can’t make it. My nature is that am determined and I believe in myself. I thank God for that. I don’t let anything stand in my way. 2nd Chronicles 15:7 says” But as for you be strong and do not give up for your work will be rewarded.”
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#Writing Is A Labour Of Love ☺
I’m going to post below a message that has been doing rounds on social media.When you read it keenly, you realise these are the exact ethos of living an examined life that OneStepBeyond has been propagating.
“University Of Port Harcourt sending off 5473 students with 78 amongst them graduating with First Class was actually a milestone, but Prof. Abioye Isaac had this narrative:
“Academic excellence is overrated! Did I just say that? Oh, yes, I said it. Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life.
You could graduate as the best student in Finance but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else.
The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyer. The fact is life requires more than the ability to understand a concept, memorize it and reproduce it in an exam.
School rewards people for their memory. Life rewards people for their imagination. School rewards caution, life rewards daring.
School hails those who live by the rules. Life exalts those who break the rules and set new ones.
So do I mean people shouldn’t study hard in school? Oh, no, you should. But don’t sacrifice every other thing on the altar of First Class. Don’t limit yourself to the classroom. Do something practical
Take a leadership position. Start a business and fail. That’s a better Entrepreneurship 101. Join or start a club
Contest an election and lose. It will teach something Political Science 101 will not teach you. Attend a seminar Read books outside the scope of your course.Go on missions and win a soul for eternal rewards….
Do something you believe in!Think less of becoming an excellent student but think more of becoming an excellent person.
Make the world your classroom!”
#Writing Is A Labour Of Love ☺
This link will lead you to my first publication in life posted on Magazine Reel at least a year ago. It speaks of my humble beginnings and struggle with pen and paper. But I have just begun….. http://www.magazinereel.com/why-alcohol-use-in-campus-is-dangerous-and-how-you-may-turn-it-around/
#Writing Is A Labour Of Love ☺