It has always seemed curious to me that pretty much all of our educational systems neglect three of the most important areas we each need to master in order to live prosperous lives – Health, Relationships, and Money. As a result of these often gaping holes in our experiences, many of us tend to fall flat as soon as all the training wheels come off and we enter the “real world”, unless we take it upon ourselves to self educate with books like this. Continue reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
James Marshall Hendrix was an intensely complicated individual by all accounts. This unique man was comprised in equal parts of musical virtuoso, pacifist, voodoo high priest, lover, and drug addict. He lived life fast and hard… spending most of his adult days in an altered state of consciousness due to some sort of extrinsic stimulant. For better or worse, the psychedelic neptunian sounds he came to be known for creating on his electric guitar permanently altered the course of the blues and rock music genres. Love him or hate him, Jimi Hendrix is one of a few who will be remembered for their absolute mastery of a chosen craft. The kind of mastery that ends up transcending the craft itself. Continue reading Life lessons from Jimi Hendrix
Brainy quote: “Too many of us spend money we don’t have, buying things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like”
I can’t remember exactly where I was or what I was doing when I saw the quote above but one thing is for sure… it got to me. The quote above is basically saying that a lot of us give too many f*cks about the wrong things in life and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that it’s the truth. You and I sometimes care too much about the wrong things in life – what people think about you, or what some insulting jackass yelled at you in traffic on your way back from work last Thursday for example.
Continue reading The subtle art of not giving a f*ck, by Mark Manson
Chances are that if you live an active lifestyle which involves high impact sports (running, soccer, basketball, fighting, etc) for a long enough period, you’ll have knee problems at some point. I’m a soccer player who also happens to be a mixed martial arts student and yup… you guessed it, I’ve had my fair share of knee issues. Same thing applies to the runners, dancers, and basketball players that are in my inner circle of friends. All that being said, even people who don’t partake in high impact sports aren’t immune to knee problems.
At this point, you may be wondering why the human knee is so vulnerable to injury. Well I think the answer to that question lies in understanding the structure of the human knee joint. The human knee is mostly held together by tendons and ligaments which you can think of as thick fibrous bands of tissue, as well as some cushioning in the form of cartilage. While these ligaments, tendons and cartilage are usually pretty strong in their own right, they don’t have the same level of structural integrity that bones do for instance. As a result, if enough force is applied to the knee at just the right angle, a tendon, ligament, and/or some cartilage could tear.
When we think about the structure of the human knee, it may seem a bit silly that such an important joint would be held together by mainly ligaments and tendons. Seriously though… why didn’t the creator just cast each of our knees in solid bone so that we never hurt them? Well a legitimate argument could be made that the knee joint is so designed because it has to somehow be strong enough to carry each individual’s body weight while at the same time maintaining enough flexibility to allow either of us to abruptly change direction should we find ourselves in the the way of an onrushing vehicle. In short, we give a little in the way of knee stability in order to gain knee flexibility which ends up being more evolutionarily favorable. Continue reading How to relieve knee pain
Satellite photos such as the one above depict our precious planetary home as a roughly spherical object colored with some mix of white, blue, green and brown pigments. I’m fairly confident that pretty much all of us know that the white color comes from snow, the blue color comes from bodies of water on our planet, the brown color comes from dirt in various forms, and the prominent green color comes from plants.
Continue reading Why are plants green?
A large number of us grew up playing some sort of sport in our youth and many of us still follow our favorite teams, living vicariously through them till present day. Thinking objectively, one may assume that society would view activities which involve a bunch of grown men chasing a ball around for over an hour while trash talking the hell out of each as a rather pointless exercise. In actuality though, a large swath of us continue to open our physical and digital wallets to watch sporting spectacles of all kinds either through the “idiot box” or in person. The next natural question to ask then, is why do we engage in this seeming act of folly? Well, my answer to that rhetorical question is that our affinity for sporting spectacles cannot really be understood from a logical point of view because the pull of sporting spectacles as a whole is much more emotional than logical. Continue reading Sports and society
Thanks in large part to Stan Lee and the Marvel comic universe that he created, hearing the word mutant immediately brings heroic fictional characters such as Storm, Jean Grey, or the perpetually angry but loveable Wolverine to many of our minds. While the underlying story of the X-Men in the Marvel universe has a grain of truth to it, it is important to note that the word “mutant” isn’t synonymous with “super power”. In actual fact, when we call a living organism a “mutant”, it means that it has somehow acquired a slight variation in its DNA relative to the norm. At this point, you might want to read this article if you’re new to all this DNA stuff and would like to get a basic understanding of it before you continue. Continue reading An Introduction to genetic mutations in plain english
Growing up, the modus operandi was generally the same – there was one major life axis to which I gave all my attention while largely ignoring all others. In primary school, it was all about getting the best grades and generally performing with distinction at school. In secondary school, it was all about improving my soccer game every time I set foot on a pitch. At the college level, it was all about getting those degrees and equipping myself with the best qualifications I could. In general, this M.O. worked pretty well up until I hit graduate school… that was when everything changed. Continue reading How to multitask effectively
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was a superstar sculptor, painter, and architect who strides the history of art like a Colossus. He was an outsider who created works of such beauty and on such a grand scale that it is still very difficult to believe that they were produced by a mere mortal. He claimed he was divinely inspired, yet he stole from Popes, fought his rivals, and struggled with his own demons. By all accounts, Michelangelo was a tempestuous genius who would let nothing stand in the way of his quest for eternal fame and riches untold. Continue reading Life lessons from Michelangelo
Last time I asked google, I was told that creativity is commonly defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. These were the kinds of definitions of creativity that many people of my generation and background grew up hearing and reading about. These sorts of statements in addition to the aloof facial expression implicit in Picasso’s signature smirk made us think of creativity as some mystical sacred process that only a preordained few could perform… It also perhaps made us think that only artistic people were creative. In sum, the overwhelming notion of creativity that I was exposed to as a child made it pretty clear that creativity was simply out of reach for mere mortals like us and as young children who knew no better, many of us quietly accepted our fate and got on with our lives. Continue reading Thoughts on creativity
In a previous article, we discussed the scientific reason behind why oil and water don’t mix. At the end of that same article, we noted that there is one special circumstance under which you can actually get water and oil to mix well with each other. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind this special circumstance that facilitates the mixing of oil and water… two substances that we all know typically don’t mix well with each other. Continue reading Oil and water don’t mix. Except when…
So you have this great big presentation coming up, or an interview for your dream job, or an important dance show/recital that might help propel you to the next level of your career, and you are nervous as all hell. We’ve all been there with the nerves thing and the funny thing is that although we logically know that being nervous will not at all help our chances of success, we still get nervous. Some of us feel nervousness so intensely that we get uncontrollable tremors, vomit, and become paralyzed in some severe cases. Just in case you were wondering, everyone gets nervous. So please don’t feel like a wuss if you tend to get really nervous. You might be surprised to hear that even the guy who is widely considered as one of the greatest male tennis players of all time of all time – Roger Federer – said he still got nervous right before matches 10+ years after he played his first professional match. Continue reading Nerves… how to deal with them
As a kid growing up in Nigeria, many of us had roughly the same idea about our future working lives drilled into our heads – “you need to become a professional like an accountant, an engineer, or a medical doctor so that you can make enough money to care for yourself and those around you”. I can’t speak to your own unique circumstances, but I can say for sure that this was my reality growing up. To be clear, I don’t blame any of those people who tried to direct me or the children of my day down the conventional route of earning a living because truth be told, it makes a ton of logical sense. After all, it is probably a lot easier to find a decently high paying job as a medical doctor than it would be to find a job as an independent fashion designer. Continue reading Finding what you love…
Let’s face it, a lot of us struggle with maintaining the ideal body weight that our skeletal frames require for optimal functionality. To be blunt, many of us in my native Nigeria and my adopted home – The United States of America – are overweight. In a majority of cases, the reason why a fair bit of us are overweight boils down to a love of food, and honestly, it isn’t hard to see why because food is fantastic. In addition to being the primary source from which we humans get necessary nutrition, it is also often pleasurable to eat food provided it was prepared by a halfway decent chef. Taking that into consideration, the love of food is actually a good thing. Can you imagine what it would be like if we hated food but needed it to survive? Life would probably be pretty miserable in my humble opinion. Continue reading How to curb your appetite
To be honest, I erroneously scoffed at this book when I first saw it, thinking to myself “what possible value could a book on 50 cent’s bullet riddled past possibly add to the anyone’s life?”… boy was I wrong. In this masterpiece, Robert Greene takes a deep look into the life of hip hop superstar Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, chronicling his tough upbringing and his brush with death which ultimately transformed him into a fearless individual. Continue reading The 50th law, by Robert Greene
Everyday, each one of us is surrounded by a cesspool of germs. It is true that the amount of germs we come in contact with is often related to the cleanliness of our immediate environments. That being said, we can’t completely reduce our interactions with germs to absolute zero. Germs come in many different forms… some of them are bacterial, some of them are fungal, and some of them are viral. No, no, no, not viral as in “viral video”, but viral as in the germ is a virus. I had a good chuckle typing that last sentence by the way… couldn’t resist! Continue reading How to strengthen your immune system
While I was in college, I developed a fascination with exceptional performance. I became curious about what made Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and company so good at their respective crafts. Before the book “outliers” was published in late 2008, the prevalent popular opinion about exceptional performance centered mostly on unique God given talent. To be fair, that line of thinking seems true on the surface. However, the book “outliers” takes a deeper look into the realm of exceptional performance, citing data from incredibly well done research to unearth what some would consider an unpopular truth – genius has a lot less to do with it than we previously thought. Continue reading Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
A while ago, I was in the process of dressing a gorgeous looking salad with some olive oil, until I accidentally spilled quite a bit of the olive oil into my glass of water that happened to be sitting right by my salad bowl. As usual, the oil floated to the top of the glass of water, forming a distinct layer at the top. I shrugged and dumped my ruined glass of water into the sink and got another glass of water to enjoy with my meal. While eating, I wondered how many of us actually took time to ponder the following interesting questions about the relationship between these two fluids: Continue reading Here’s why oil and water don’t mix… in plain english
Loved this book! It is written by the famous Silicon Valley entrepreneur turned venture capitalist – Ben Horowitz. It very clearly lays out many of the lessons he learned throughout his entrepreneurial journey, at “Loud Cloud” and at “Netscape”. Continue reading The hard thing about hard things, by Ben Horowitz
Eventually taking things for granted seems like an inevitable part of human nature. We’ve all done it, we all do it, and we’ll all probably do it again sometime in the near future. You know how you were all excited to get that brand new piano you’d been eyeing for a while, only to quickly tire of it in just a few months? Or perhaps you started taking your wonderful significant other for granted after 2+ years together. Maybe you no longer feel fortunate to have your job and the associated income it provides, or you’ve grown lethargic towards the delicious pancakes your roommate makes every Sunday morning for breakfast. Suffice it to say that I think almost all of us have experienced the emotion of boredom in one form or the other, at some point in our lives. Continue reading Bored? This might be why…
We’ve all been there… You’ve just joined the workforce, and have been given your first assignment on the new job. You excitedly take it on, with the intent of putting in as much effort as possible to ensure that you do as good a job as possible. Against considerable odds, you actually succeed at your new project, and it is looking like you might finish it in record time. You start allowing yourself to think that the success you are having with your work might mean a promotion and a subsequent meteoric rise to the top… that is until reality hits you square in the face. You find that instead of being recognized and lauded for your good work, a group of people a couple of levels ahead of you swoop in at the very end of your project to put their names on it and gain partial credit. You felt wronged by this so you went through what you thought were the proper channels to vent your frustration and lodge a formal complaint. Three weeks after you lodge this official complaint, you’re fired from your job and you cannot for the life of you understand why. Continue reading 48 laws of power, by Robert Greene
For the purposes of this article, brain cell = neuron = nerve cell.
The ancient drink also known as coffee has been around for centuries, with the earliest records of it found around 10th century Ethiopia. Its resilience as a popular drink is remarkable as many of us still drink it on a near daily basis till this very day, centuries after it was first discovered. It is worth considering why coffee has stuck around for so long and is loved by so many. After all, coffee doesn’t get you happy drunk like alcohol will, and strictly avoiding it won’t kill you like strictly avoiding water probably will. So why do many of us still drink this brownish black liquid so often? Well, with the right mixture of sweeteners and cream dialed in to suit each individual’s taste, it actually tastes pretty good. Also, it can give you an energy jolt of biblical proportions when you need to get something done. Continue reading How caffeine works… in plain english
This is a great book about a shepherd boy called Santiago who goes out into the world to seek his personal destiny/legend. He goes through many trials and tribulations along the way to meeting his ultimate destiny, and learns many valuable lessons. Some of the most valuable being learning to take risks in order to fulfill his personal legend, learning that real true love does not plead with you to sacrifice your personal legend, and that when someone really wants something, the entire universe conspires to help them get it. This is a fantastic read. Very inspirational for those of us already on the path to fulfilling our personal legends, as well as those thinking about starting the journey. Continue reading The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
On one fateful 2013 autumn evening, I was racing down the pool in a butterfly stroke frenzy when one of my wisdom teeth started to ache. As I climbed out of the pool, I could feel it throbbing and was now in considerable pain. I waited a while to see if the pain would subside, but I ultimately ended up having to take some Advil right before bed to stem the pain. The first thing I did when I woke up the next morning was to schedule an emergency appointment with my local dentist that same day. I got to the dentist’s office around noon and merely fifteen minutes into the appointment, he said: “you’re gonna need a root canal… this cavity is too deep for me to cover up with porcelain”. Thankfully, he cleaned out the cavity which helped relieve the pain and scheduled an appointment for me with a trusted endodontist (root canal dentist). Continue reading Watch your mouth!… Strategies to protect your teeth
This is without doubt one of the best books I have ever read. Written by Robert Greene (the author of the 48 laws of power), this master work of a book de-mystifies the process of attaining mastery in any chosen field of endeavor. Rather than romanticize and/or sugar coat the process of attaining mastery, it goes into great depth showing the very practical steps required to complete the journey. From mastering the technical aspects of your chosen discipline to mastering your own emotions and interactions with other people, this book covers every last relevant detail. If you are serious about getting to a stage of mastery in your chosen discipline, this book is an absolute must read. It will be one of the best investments you make… hands down! Continue reading Mastery, by Robert Greene
No matter how loving or profound a relationship between two people might be, there will inevitably be a difference in opinion and/or values at some point. These differences in opinion can lead to relatively minor things like silly little arguments between you and the other that you eventually joke about, or they can lead to large scale bouts of all out war which culminate in divorce, nasty legal battles, and so on. While there are some select few who seem to have a repeat pattern of damaging their relationships because of a naturally querulous streak, it is often the case that many people with a history of broken relationships are perfectly good natured. You might be thinking… “Damn that makes no sense… what gives?” I know exactly what you mean and for the record, I agree with you. I think the key to this mystery is to understand and accept that there is a difference between being a terrible person and being a perfectly good person who just happens to be terrible at relating to others. Continue reading In the shoes of another…
While thinking about this topic, I realized that although I had a pretty good implicit understanding of what the word “value” meant, I couldn’t clearly express it in words… so I went looking. According to “Lord Google”, the word value can be defined as the “regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”. Continue reading Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Value
If you’re like me, you grew up being told how important it was/is to eat your vegetables. If you were also as annoyingly inquisitive as I was as a kid, you probably demanded to know why it was so important the thousand odd times that topic came up each year. If we’re being honest, most of our parents probably gave us passable answers to this question as kids but since our youthful brains were still too underdeveloped to really grasp what those answers meant, most of us ignored this piece of wisdom. Continue reading You are what you eat… wait, is that really true?
Almost all of us know the lifestyle habits that are in our best interest to adopt for a better chance at living longer and more fulfilled lives. For example, the average well adjusted adult unequivocally knows that if he/she regularly exercises and takes their vitamins, he/she will probably become a much more productive member of our society. If you’ve been paying attention, you’d have noticed that even though pretty much all of us know the life affirming habits we should be practicing on a daily basis for a better life, very few of us actually follow through. Even though we are probably pretty different from one another, i’m assuming you have human blood coursing through your veins and probably know exactly what I mean. As I typed that last sentence, I got really curious about your take on why we don’t get around to doing things we should but since you aren’t physically here to tell me what you think, I’ll just share my own thoughts on that question with you. Now then, here it goes… Continue reading Thoughts on prioritization