In the path to growth and greatness, most highflyers drive themselves too far.
Whether it’s the singer Kesha who drinks her own pee just to stay in shape, Dangote who gets only 3-4 hours of sleep daily just to keep up, Elon Musk ( now the second richest man on earth) who drinks 8 cans of Coke daily or the British football legend Rooney who can’t sleep without noise, so every night he turns on a head dryer just to feel the sensation of noise. Behind the good spirits of awesomeness comes our own demons. The actor Nicholas Cage is such a genius and spendthrift that he once spent 100Million Dollars within a short span on unnecessary things (which included an octopus, two private islands and a dinosaur skull). We perhaps know of a popular brilliant Nigerian pastor with alleged cases of rape. We’ve had great Nigerian leaders who smoked heavily, including Shagari, Fashola and Yar’Adua. No pun intended, but highflyers need exhaust pipes to let out toxins too. Most executives have weird excesses as side effects.
We all know that the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs just like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, just wore only one color of shirt for most of the time to save time from fashion. But Steve Jobs did the same with his food too. I mean, did we know that Steve Jobs never really got the idea of a balanced diet as he was known to eat only one food everyday for at least a week, and then he repeats that cycle again with another. This poor dieting may have been responsible for the cancer that took him away. The famous Indian actor Shashi Kapoor drinks about 10 cups of coffee a day!
The side effect of being a highflyer on a very fast lane most times is not knowing when to stop. And some take it too far into addiction. For some it’s womanizing, for others it is weird superstitions (you would be shocked by how many Nigerian executives have their lives being dictated by either pastors/prophets, clerics or even the occult!). For some, it is their sexual fetishness (Amy Winehouse loved spanking and aggressive sex while the basket ball legend Shaquille O’Neil is menophilian, that is, he is highly sexually aroused by the menstruation blood of a woman). Worst of all is substance abuse.
Last week, the world lost a legend, Diego Maradonna, arguably one of the greatest soccer players. And yet another product of the crack epidemic of the 80s. Before you judge him, if you were already socially active and a highflyer in the 80s, it could have been you.
Cocaine and Heroin in the 80s was what Arizona, Loud and SK ( the different grades of marijuana/weed) is today. It was rampant and everywhere, especially if you were wealthy. The likes of Diego Maradona, Whitney Houston, Majek Fashek, Jean Michelle Basquiat, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Lee all lost their lives to it. The American soldiers lost the Vietnam War possibly to it, and the indiscipline and low morale that came with it. People lost concentration. There were cocaine buffets and cocktails in parties like we have weed today. People made fortunes from them. Loads of our politicians who are wealthy today made a killing from trafficking it. It was a global epidemic that necessitated the NDLEA to be set up locally in 1990 to curb its business.
The world is currently mourning the death of Diego Maradona, one of soccer’s greatest. So today’s article is about self sabotage, how we cut off our own crown through our heads. I’m inspired by a painting by Basquiat ( a highly priced NewYork arts legend who died of heroin overdose). In one of his paintings, came an inscription which were eventually made popular by Jay-Z , that “most kings help get their own heads cut off”.
Being a genius in your workplace is a combination of Talent and Hardwork. And in between, comes discipline. Without it, comes an ugly fight between Talent Versus Hard Work. And in talent versus hard work, hard work only beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
You’re gifted, hardworking and smart, so what? You’re intelligent, says who?
True intelligence is in its tangible application. It’s in knowing and managing self before others. It’s how you can conquer your excesses. It starts from self control. And the basic or self control is how you can first control your thoughts and associations. In other words, watch your associations, they inspire your thought. Watch your thoughts they become words. Watch your words they become actions Watch your actions they become habits. Watch your habits for they mould your destiny and end. And even after your end, they are passed on to your offsprings as genetics!
Weird is a side effect of awesomeness. Know thy self, especially your weird and excessive part; keep it away from your awesomeness. Master thy self. And it comes from understanding self and creating a balance amongst the wheels of your own life (you can’t claim to be intelligent or successful if it doesn’t balance well with your health, family, spirituality and your inner peace). So in being successful, don’t be a successfool. Create balance and order. Sadly, success doesn’t just come from finance, the same way intelligence doesn’t just come from school. True success and intelligence isn’t grades or accomplishments, but 360 Degrees results from real life. It’s your life in order.
Create routines that help you strike a balance; that keeps your life in order.
Strategy. Business StartUps and Corporate Restructuring Consulting
Uwaoma Eizu is the lead strategist at Hexavia! He is a graduate of Mathematics with a PMP®, two MBAs and over a decade of experience working with startups and big businesses. His core is in building startups and in corporate restructuring. He is also a certified member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the Project Management Institute, USA. By the side, he writes weekly for the Business Day newspaper.