Are you on the right Waffle Street?

Waffle Street is based on the true story of James Adams who used to work with a hedge company but was unfortunately let go after he was tasked to get investors to invest in junk. He managed to achieve this target when all odds were against him. He later realised he was just a tool used by his employer. I was drawn to the movie and have not regretted it due to the personal and career lessons I picked from it.

PS: I have not been paid to promote the book and the movie but you should make time to watch it and you would thank me later.

These are lessons I picked from the movie and I hope you find them useful too:

Sometimes, you have to go contrary to society’s expectations to better appreciate yourself 

Let me throw a question at you…..would you take a job as a server after losing a big time office job? To be clear you wake up all suited up and business like for work and the next day you end up in casuals with an apron. How many of us would do this? The few daring ones might even pretend to be working in an office by dressing up and changing along the way, which is still deceptive.

Why is that? We have gradually come to accept society’s expectations of us, specifying which jobs are regarded as “respect garners” among others. We find people blessed with craftmanship skills studying courses at the University that would end them up in white collar jobs for which they derive no joy.

Are you working for self-satisfaction or to please others?

As an employer, you have to go down and interact with everyone whether their jobs matter or not, you would find yourself learning something new. As parents, our kids expose us to new perspectives we never bothered to consider or never had it crossing our mind. These examples might not always have the Cinderella ending but nothing is lost right?

James humbled himself and took on the job and trust me, he took home some valuable life lessons.

Believe in yourself! Don’t let others dictate your career or life choices, instead, carve your own route. You would be sure to reach great heights!

OMT


Are you searching for job satisfaction or money?

There was a scene, where James had funds ready to buy the eatery and was in a discussion with the griller to poach him as a manager.

Am sure, like myself, you would have jumped at this opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to be addressed as Manager. In our society our love for titles even exceeds respect for hardwork.

The griller asked him some thought provoking questions which eventually led to him redirecting his path. He was about entering into the restaurant business, he thought he had a passion for (might obviously be lying to himself or his mind deceiving him).

Do you love the restaurant? Would you do what you do for free if there was no money?

The question is, the job you currently find yourself doing, do you gain any inner joy or satisafaction from it or you are stuck in an 8am to 5pm routine job like a robot? It’s different if you sacrifice your satisfaction temporarily for the attainment of a higher goal. In that case, check out What if I told you your job doesn’t have to be fulfilling? by Rich Honesty on how best to manage when you find yourself in a job your heart disagrees with. For instance I blog whenever I need a break sometimes from work or stresses of life. It takes me to my own little world even if its temporary but it surely calms me because I enjoy it.

Do not believe you are a failure just because you have not found yourself yet! Believe me I am still in the process of getting to know myself. It takes time, others discover it earlier. Just remember the journey of self discovery is never a race.

OMT


Never underestimate or look down on anyone in your work or personal circles

Whoever thought a hedge fund manager would find himself getting lessons from exconvicts he worked with at the restaurant? How many times have we found ourselves consciously or unconscioulsy looking down on others at work or in our personal lives because of the work they do or judging them for their past mistakes.

If James had decided to be stuck up considering his educational background and work experience, he would have missed out on learning new things and gaining fresh perpectives.

Almost everyone has something to bring on board. Just give them a chance.

OMT


Give your partner a chance although his plans might sound crazy

James’ wife was against his decision to buy the restaurant but managed to stay behind her husband, believed in him with sound caution. He went to the extent of selling their house and am sure the risk averse peeps like myself would say, “no way”, what will we do if it doesn’t turn out as planned?”.

At work and in life, let’s avoid the phds (pull him down syndrome). It doesnt get anyone anywhere. Even if you are against an idea why not present yourself as the voice of caution. The person might probably discover areas he might have probably overlooked to make his idea stronger or worst case, realise it was not achievevable but at least he or she tried which is better than killing it before it even got any chance at possibly thriving.

Never limit yourself!

This is my personal discovery on my “finding myself mission”. Try out new stuff, be adventurous, see any barrier as a challenge (gather vim and tell the kill dreams and spoilsports to bring it on!). I recently discovered I love to write and research and am seriously pursuing it. Try your hands at new things, thankfully we have free learning websites so why not?

Set a dream, believe in it and implement it a day at a time. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. So dont give up just yet!

OMT

I have come across people complaining about work, life etc. My first response: you might not be able to change your work environment or certain things but certainly, you have control of your life’s choices: value your potential and find another place or activity which syncs with your goals and values. Instead of wasting the limited resources of time to complain, why not find solutions? That’s my new motto.

Today I would like to inform you that I am on course to find my waffle street, what about you?

 

Ibrahim, the self-taught artist

I came across Ibrahim on LinkedIn when he dropped a message in my inbox advertising his works and inquiring if I was interested in acquiring some of his pieces for my home or office. I decided to inquire further about his works and requested for his brochure. Although am yet to get one I felt, why not share his story with others?

Here is a short piece of the interview I had with him mainly through email interactions.

Why art?

Art, because for me it’s the only thing on earth as old as man that doesn’t discriminate or judge, and I believe with it I can make a difference.

What drives you?

First and foremost God and secondly, my doubters.

God, because I see everything He has created as a piece of art from which I derive my inspirations from.
When I say I have a lot of doubters to prove wrong, I mean it in a positive sense. Not everyone will believe in what you do. In the past I’ve had people say I will not get anywhere with my art career and because of that I never gave up. It was this desire to prove them wrong that has helped me to come this far.

” Everyone has what it takes to paint the world just as an artist paints on his canvas.”

Ibrahim

What are the challenges you encountered and how did you manage to overcome them?

As a self-taught artist, raising money for art supplies was my greatest challenge and in the past, I have always neglected my love for art in search of jobs in factories. These experiences have had both positive and negative impact on my art career.

The talent has always been there but nurturing it required a lot of dedication. After my secondary education at O’Reilly senior high I wanted to learn how to paint since what I was taught was mostly theoretical. Unfortunately, the artist who was to teach me told me an artist I know had informed him to turn me down whenever I came over. It was a surprise to me since I had not discussed these plans with any other person. Irrespective of this, he was still ready to take me on but I didn’t return as I felt discouraged. It was at this point that I decided to learn on my own by practicing.

I was able to finally raise money for my art supplies by doing pencil portraits for friends online via Facebook.

How do you use your art for charitable purposes?

I live in a rural area in the central region of Ghana, where I see lots of children of school going age that due to no fault of theirs don’t have formal education. So what I do is to bring them together to teach them how to draw and paint. I use part of the money I get from my art sales to buy art supplies for them.

I believe working with children is like planting a seed.

Artist for Humanity_kids sample

Art piece completed by one of the kid’s under his tutelage

Word of advice or motivation

” Everyone has what it takes to paint the world just as an artist paints on his canvas.” It means that everything in life is beautiful depending on who is looking at it.

 

Samples of his artwork

art 1art 2art 3art 4art 5

 He currently has two kids under this tutelage and his paintings cost between GHS500 to GHS5,000. If you are interested in purchasing any or supporting any of the kids you can contact him directly through a phone call or email.

Contact details

Phone number:  +233 547 115 079
Email: myartmirrorkoncept@gmail.com

 

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/artistsforhumanityint/

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Food for thought

I came across an old post of mine and I thought it best to share with you. 🙂

Appreciation for the good and the bad

How come when bad things come our way we question God and ask for the cup of suffering to be taken away from us?

……Yet when it’s all rosy we do NOT question God or ask for the cup of happiness to be taken away……..

We all love good things but let’s bear in mind that the road of life would not always be smooth, there would certainly be some bumps here and there,

Irrespective of the size of the bump let’s give thanks to God,

Whatever you may be facing today may be the stepping stone to greater heights.

No matter the circumstance, let’s rather focus on counting our blessings instead of bemoaning our struggles.

Have a bumpy free day and should you encounter any bump remember to sail through it like the PRINCE or PRINCESS you are. Our father, the KING would most certainly be proud of you.

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Diary of a Ghanaian taxi driver 3

This post has been sitting in my drafts since June 2016, that’s how long I have been preoccupied with family, work and other equally important things. This is a continuation of my personal project of documenting my encounters with taxi drivers.

On this particular day my assigned official car had gone for servicing so I had to wait to be picked by hubby. He was also stuck in traffic around Kanda and we had to pick our daughter up from school latest by 6pm to avoid paying any late penalty fees. It’s not that much but as an accountant it’s a cost that could be prevented and utilised in other areas………….the opportunity cost of money…………in order to avoid it we decided that I would take a cab to her school for him to pick us both from her school. I don’t recall the name of the driver but we had an interesting conversation………

Date and time check: 30 June 2016 at 5:24pm

Me: How long have you been in the taxi driving business?

Driver: I have been doing this for the past 10 years.

Me: Is this your own car?

Driver: Yes. I initially started as a side driver, then later saved to buy my own cab.

Me: How much did it cost you?

Driver: GHS 6,000

Me: So how are your earnings like?

Driver: On average I can make GHS40 per day and GHS1,000 on a monthly basis.

Me: Are you married (Me and my small body with the BIG mouth!)

Driver: No am not. I got my heart-broken by a lady and since then it is difficult for me to trust ladies. Luckily I was saved and counselled by a pastor.

This is the part that kills me…………..

Driver: Although am not married, as a man I have to satisfy my desires.

Me: Please explain further, I don’t understand. (I asked in an innocent tone).

Driver: I patronize the services of the night workers at St. John’s (area at Dome).

Me: Why do you do that if you are not married? Your pastor and God won’t like it. And how much do you pay for this?

Driver: About GHS50

Me: Instead of going this way why don’t you save the money and settle down with a respectable lady?

(He laughs at my proposition then says he has heard me)

Ironically just when we got to my destination and I was about paying up his pastor called……..I told him to tell his pastor what he has been up to.

I discovered a new short cut the same day thanks to this driver. That’s the route I now use to drop and pick up my daughter which helps me escape the Westlands traffic.So sometimes it’s worth it to ditch your ride and pick a cab or troski!!!

Share your taxi driver experiences with us: the lessons and the fun stories and you would be featured on this blog. Use the hashtag ‘taxidriverdiaries’ and ‘omtsdigest’.