Saturday 28 December 2013

Decade Blogs - Akin Oyebode - How Will You Measure Your Life?

Decade Blogs
Akin Oyebode, I met on Twitter along with a number of young professionals who have become my friends, they have a vision, a purpose, and a mission, apart from much that I have learnt of what they want for Nigeria.
However, I have a more personal story, someone had successfully conned my mother in Nigeria into thinking I was in trouble, having inveigled his way into her confidence and blinded her reasoning by tugging at a mother’s emotional concerns, he made off with some money paid into a bank account he provided for his scheme.
When I got the information, I wrote a blog and lamented my plight on Twitter, there is where Akin got involved, he assigned a bank officer to the case and with that an investigation started which unveiled additional bank accounts of the conman at other banks, and the heat was on.
He had to go to ground having hastily vacated his home realising he had bitten off more than he can chew. The bank was very helpful, I was regularly updated and informed of progress, and though we did not get the man, the con channels we had discovered were closed.
Akin Oyebode immediately responded to my request to write for my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series commemorating my Decade of Blogging. Thank you.
He runs a blog at and goes by the Twitter handle @AO1379. Talking of life observed, dreams that change, lively ambitions and leaving a mark, this is one blog to inspire and cause you to reflect deeply. Enjoy.
How Will You Measure Your Life?
Life, while rewarding in fits and starts, is hard and temporary. That is what I learnt from reading Clayton Christensen’s book, whose title I have so shamelessly stolen. As a kid, strange things kept me up at night. I watched my parents sign the report card or a letter and wondered if I could ever get to sign my name the same way more than once.
Later, I sat in the back of my mother’s car, copying her driving skills; the head rest was my steering wheel, the window winder, my gear box. I always wondered how it what it felt like to drive a car. A few years later, I admired my neighbour as he drove us to work, one hand on the steering wheel, the other on his cigarette; it made me wonder how cool it must be to smoke.
As I got older, the dream changed. I learnt how to sign my name and drive a car. As for smoking, I spent a decade actively pursuing that dream till one of my closest friends died of Pericarditis. For one who is an insufferable hypochondriac, I don’t know how I spent a decade puffing on Benson & Hedges like my life depended on it; oh well. My early teenage years were spent dreaming about things like kissing a girl in the Introductory Technology laboratory and playing for the school football team. I’ll spare you the details, but those dreams became reality and I quickly needed new ones.
I rolled into university, where my dreams became buying a car (driving one wasn’t a big deal anymore), working for a bank (specifically the one with a nice building close to the embassies) and getting married. I never thought a woman would be gullible enough to spend the rest of her life with me. An hour or two, yes; but an entire lifetime, why would she? I played through university, spending a lot of the time partying and learning how to drink lots of Guinness and cognac, but thankfully I managed to emerge with a degree.
I’ve spent the last decade in a suit and tie, in banking; and the last four have been spent in the building I always dreamed about. As for buying a car, there’s always vehicle finance to thank for that one. Not only did a woman agree to spend her life with me, she also threw a wonderful son into the deal.
Now, it’s time to dream about managing (and owning) a bank, or governing my people in Ekiti. My bucket list has also changed, riding a bicycle has been replaced with the driving the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta on the Autobahn, and watching Manchester United lift the champions league has been replaced by a wish to take my son to his first game at Old Trafford.
Life is a collection of moving goalposts, and the frenzied nature of today’s world means the journey is often ignored for the destination. There will always be new targets; it starts with making the Forbes list of wealthiest people, or winning a Grammy. If you are as lucky as my idol, the white haired wordsmith, you might even get on the stage in Oslo, seen by most as the pinnacle of literary achievement. Otherwise, it could be a goal to replace Steve Jobs as the icon of innovation, or to go a step further than Sergey Brin, Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg did with the behemoths they created. For some, it’s simply the chance to live for another day.
In the last two years, my goals have changed. The banking and political ambitions are still in place; my racing urges still need to be fulfilled; and taking my son to watch Manchester United remains very important. However, after seeing both spectrums of life and death, my main goal is to build beautiful memories; day by day, year by year, and hopefully, decade by decade. Seven months ago, I watched joyfully as my son came into the world; two months ago, I watched helplessly as my friend and colleague left it. It was a reminder of how the world is in continuous regeneration.
I do recommend you read Clayton Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life? It is a simple and meaningful attempt to remind the reader about life’s biggest treasures. I chose to write about it, because I remembered my first meeting with Akin Akintayo. It was in a crowded coffee shop at King’s Cross, and I learned his story first hand, as he described his successful battle against Cancer.
I spoke with a man who knew life handed him a second chance, one he planned to use his own way. A few days later, he was kind enough to join some of us at Emukay, Tunji Oyelana’s spot for food and drinks. It was one of my favourite nights; Guinness, good food and entertaining tales of old and new Nigeria. For contributing to my scrapbook of memorable moments, this is my way of saying thank you.

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