Let’s play a game. Not Squid Game guys (I haven’t watched the movie but a lot of you are very loud about it). This game is simple and nonfatal, please. I want you to read the sentence below, and as you do so count the number of Fs that you find.
Moving on. Today, I’ll be introducing Augustine Ojeh. Let me confess. I have reason to believe that he gets high from giving expression and meaning to the world around him with words. Having recently made his acquaintance, I have no informed impression of his person. However, I can tell you that I deduced he’s a craftsman who has a sizzling relationship with words by stalking his Instagram page. Yes, that’s right! I did that. I was curious you see, and best believe that now I want to know even more about him.😂 I’m aware that he’s an earnest coach – ready to teach and also learn. He’s a book-lover, has no pet that I know of, is a certified night owl, and is an amazing writer and editor.
Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?
A. Augustine Ojeh here. Somewhere deep down, I reaffirm myself to be a genius but, in reality, I’m just another nobody, scratching his way upwards and seeking clarity of purpose. In my quest for clarity, I read books. I wouldn’t say it’s been a lot of books but enough to heighten my curiosity and desire to teach. What better way to learn than to teach? So, I’m a writer, editor, and writing coach. I write about business growth, global and workplace sustainability, diversity (gender, racial, and cultural), economics, and a pinch of psychology (for the love of it). However, I’m a questioner of illogical religious doctrines and the credulity of its believers. Some (including clergymen) have called me an Atheist but I’ll excuse their assertions to their purportedly ill understandings of Atheism.
Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?
A. I wouldn’t say that I have a job. Just as footballers never called playing soccer a job, writing has never been a job to me. At least, I’ve never seen it that way and probably never will. I’d do something else if it has a negative opportunity cost, like starting and building a business which I’m already doing (won’t say more than that). However, I doubt if any of that would stop me from writing.
Q. What’s your idea of real success and how can it be achieved?
A. The “real” seems weird. Success is never faked. And, in my opinion, there’s no rigid formula to achieving it. I have several ideas of success, depending on what area of my life is under the magnifying lenses. In marriage, parenting, career, mental development, and all others, the ideas of success change. The methods to achieving each also vary. In marriage and mental development, for instance, stern principles are important while in parenting and career, flexibility and amenability to change are virtues.
Q. What is your morning routine like?
A. a. Wake up by 9:00 AM. That alarm is annoying and the funny thing is that the 9 am alarm description reads, “OJEH, YOU’VE GOT 1,440 MINUTES TODAY. NOW, GET IN THE TOILET, YOU PISS OF SHIT!”
b. Sit on the toilet seat for 30 minutes (maybe drop some poops if there’s any coming. Eewww! But it does feel good.)
c. Bath right after.
d. Brew some coffee in the kitchen.
e. Read three important newsletters [from the New York Times (US), The Economist (UK), and Punch (NG)] while I wait for coffee.
f. Read and respond to emails.
g. Update my to-dos for the day.
Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?
A. I’m not sure there are any two particular things that I think about each day. However, my mind has been occupied by the book project that I’m working on recently. And why does that occupy my mind? Of course, you know. I think the second thing that fills my head is the business that I’m creating (but I won’t say more). It’s on my mind often because it should be. Nevertheless, I’ve got my family sitting pretty at the corner of my mind. They never leave there.
Q. How do you manage to deal with stress as you work?
A. I use the gym when the spirit leads but mostly in the evenings. I take long walks to clear my head also. And I play snooker as often as I can. It’s an opportunity to meet new faces and share a good laugh. It does help deal with the stress, no doubt. Chess also comes in handy when I’m a bit unhappy or frustrated.
Q. What do you feel is the difference between living and existing?
A. The difference is our perception of time. For those existing, time travels through them. So, they often sit pretty as time rides along. Living puts you in a race against time. It gives essence to time. It’s the reason 24 hours is too short for one day. If only it could be 28. Pfffft! But a jolly race against time without prizes to pick at random stops is a spokeless wheel.
Q. What was the last book you read and what can you say about it?
A. Perfectly Confident by Don A. Moore (Ph.D.). I think Professor Moore does have a lot to say about the dangers of blind optimism and unbacked confidence. I’d say the book is excellently written and laced with relatable research, accurate accounts of events, and exciting exercises to help you stay on track.
Q. Do you think we have a greater purpose or are we just waiting for our turn to die?
A. I think we are on a lap to create our heaven or hell. When this lap is over, we would return to the life that we created, clueless about how and when we created them. So, yes, we do have a purpose albeit its greatness is relative.
I wouldn’t say that I have a job. Just as footballers never called playing soccer a job, writing has never been a job to me. At least, I’ve never seen it that way and probably never will. I’d do something else if it has a negative opportunity cost, like starting and building a business which I’m already doing (won’t say more than that). However, I doubt if any of that would stop me from writing.Augustine Ojeh on Thursday Talk Series
Q. What is that thing that you see as an obstacle that can stop you from having success?
Thank you very much for the interview, Augustine. I’m really glad to have met you and I look forward to all the amazing things you are set to do. For everyone still reading, thank you for being here. Wish you a spectacular Thursday.
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