#TUTS19 - Having a bias for action.
This newsletter is listening to Good Life - G-Eazy & Kehlani on loop and sipping scalding hot tea.
Hey Beloved, welcome back to my newsletter!
I have had a fair amount of new subscribers so if this is your first time receiving this, I welcome you to the geng👀. This newsletter was started to share my thoughts on books, writing life, and new stuff I’m learning. Think of it as a personal blog delivered to your inbox twice a month. It was started to test my consistency in writing, and up until earlier this year I have been fairly consistent and it has paid off massively. The letter is split into two sections: Premium Shalaye - where I share things I feel you might benefit from and The Gist - juicy details about what I’m up to and stuff.
So, Beloved, here’s to another long stream of consistency and I hope we both get into it 🥂. I have been trying to cultivate some healthy habits over the last couple of months in my personal life such as working out thrice a week, sleeping early, and drinking more water.
Aside: I’m not a fan of people who say ‘you must drink xx litres of water every day’. I mean, if your body needs water, it will tell you by being thirsty, right? Plus, there’s a reason your brain has that autoregulation system going. Even if you want to take voluntary control over your water intake, it shouldn't be a formulaic answer like xx litre/ day. I mean, your daily need for water fluctuates depending on the kind of day you’re having. I believe it should just be something like making sure you take in water (and not other fluids that do nothing to quench your thirst but add calories and caffeine to your system) when you feel the urge to, and reducing the friction between you and chugging water (hello, water bottles🤷). Anyways, that might just be because I hate pee breaks.
Anyway, back to my habits kinni. My major struggle has been with working out. You see, all those gym rats who say things like ‘starting is the hardest thing about working out’, those people are dirty dirty liars. Working out is the hardest thing about working, tbh. Although I won’t lie that it doesn’t feel good afterward sha. One hack that I’ve found out is just switching on the YouTube channel I use and watching the lady start up. No matter how demotivated I am, once she finishes the pre-workout talk and starts doing the warm-up exercises, I am inclined to join her. I’ve realised this singular act triggers an action in me and I just power through the rest. I’m still convinced planking is from the devil arsenal sha.
Now, I was thinking about how not having an inherent bias for action has robbed me of a few things. Last week, I saw a tweet where a mutual alerted us to the closing date of the application for a program I’d have loved to get into. I saw the tweet late and by the time I clicked, the application had closed. Poor me, I thought, if only I’d seen the call for application early enough. Funny thing is, a couple of days ago, I saw that I’d written ‘apply for so so program on one of my discarded post-it notes’. There it was, the same program.
Truth is, not having this inherently often stems from the impulse to procrastinate. Believing that the future you will be more inclined than the present you to do more things, to be productive. You assume that he/she will be willing to bear the hardship of doing the task that you are too unbothered to do right now. Odds are against you that your future self will be swamped with other new chores and tasks to bother about a stale one, so how about saving both selves by just doing and getting it over with.
From all my habits building and failing, I’ve realized that it helps a lot to have a bias for action. To do, rather than just stew about doing. Yes, even better than writing out all your plans in neat little boxes with multicoloured pens. And this transcends habit building to leadership abilities to corporate culture, and just about anything else. A company with a predisposition to say ‘yes, let’s test that’ to new ideas is more likely to be speedy at innovation, break into new markets, and exist for longer than one that goes ‘ah, we don’t do that here’ every time a new idea is suggested.
You want to learn how to write, start writing. You want to learn how to cook, sign up for classes or YT videos and start cooking. Public speaking? Do it scared. You can learn the theory of everything from now till tomorrow, but until you actually do it, you are going to suck at it. Plus there’s a level of information/knowledge hoarding that you’ll get to that it’ll start to cripple you. There is a limit to how much you can learn theorized knowledge without testing it out practically. Get out of the rut and do. You lose 100% of the shots you don’t take.
The world we live in is so fast-paced and the best way to ensure you don’t get left behind is by taking action. Having a bias for action can help you shorten your decision-making process and get more done when others have their heads in the cloud ideating. Whoever does the most win. And it happens like this everywhere even, I daresay, in the choice of partners. The good thing about it is that the more actions you take, the more actions you are likely to take and by doing, you can even learn more about calculated risk-taking.
Read that article now instead of putting it in your bookmarks folder. Do that meal prep for the week instead of scrambling every morning for your breakfast or going hungry. Apply for that thing as soon as you get some free time. Truth is, you probably have more free time than you think.
And like I said here, little actions compounds. Get into the doings, if not for anything but so that when you say ‘Doings dey’, doings actually dey.
Honestly, there's so much that has happened that I haven't updated you about, Beloved. I doubt I'll be able to tell it all in one issue, so I’ll just tell you of the interesting ones I can remember rn. I've been doing a bit of writing, which is a good thing. Remember a story I raved about writing during the lockdown? It's now published in Agbowo. The people at Agbowo are really god’s gift to mankind, from their enthusiasm in accepting the piece - it really shone through in the mail, no generic acceptance mail from them plus there was a payment error and they mailed me back several weeks after to rectify it. Plus, their magazine issues are always so delightful, especially the covers. The next one is themed ‘Chaos’ and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. My favorite part is always the Editor’s note, ugh so goooodd. If you’re interested, you can get previous issues on their website: https://agbowo.org/.
Ugh, I’ve gone off a tangent. Sha read my story in Agbowo, please and thank you. Also, have you ever wanted to take a picture and then switched from your camera app to your Snapchat or Instagram to use the filters? I know I have, several times in fact. I wrote about the effect of Instagram filters on body image here. She Leads Africa is a community that I’ve been following and has interested me over the last year, so I did a profile on one of the cofounders - Afua Osei for an International Women’s Month series. I wrote about other things such as the limits of social media advocacy, the doctors’ strike in Nigeria, and discriminatory laws in Africa. I don't want to bug this down with too many links, so everything is here in my portfolio link.
I’ve also been quite bullish on learning since I have some free time on my hands, so going ahead with the storytelling goal of last year (yeah, ik you might not remember) I’ve been attending physical and virtual lectures on creative writing and journalism, ranging from feature writing, investigative journalism and now Op-ed writing. Hoping I get to put all of that into use soon.
On to exciting news, I got contacts!!! I’ve been raving about it to friends and honestly, I don't know why it's not mainstream. I'm enjoying it so much and I need my babes with refractive errors to get in on this tbh. I still use my glasses at times, but now I get to live my dream of using sunshades. I remember last year when I was home, I kept telling my mother and sisters how I’m going to slay in the different many sizes and colours of sunshades I’m going to get. Lookat me living my dream😂 This is your sign that your dreams are valid!!😉
I’ll like to do more traveling before I resume but omo the state of this country scares me. Plus I have a couple of things tying me down, sigh. I hope I get to do it sha because this might be the only chance I get for a long while. Sha sha, this is getting too long. I'm going to try to spruce up the contents of this newsletter and I might have something new for you for the next issue to test things out & see how you like it.
Until then, stay safe, Beloved. Have some tea, enjoy whatever pockets of joy available to you, and don’t let the nation’s current state settle in too deeply in you. Ciao!