samuel oloyede

Lessons On My Birthday – Jan. 7th, 2023

Four years ago, I began to write articles on my birthdays, chronicling the lessons I have learned during the past year.

Actually, it’s not just lessons I’ve learned, it’s also lessons I didn’t learn – that is, lessons that life tried to teach me but I couldn’t learn it.

Without further ado, here are the three big lessons I learned since I last did this last year:

1. The importance of self-reflection.

Man, know thyself. And to thine own self be true.

Until earlier this past year, I was so into personal development and making money that I was paying for courses and buying e-books left, right and center. Yet, I couldn’t see much progress.

Sure, that may be because I didn’t read most of the books or watch most of the courses, but still…

Really though, the big idea here is the reason why I didn’t take those courses.

You see, all things are lawful for you, but not all things will take you towards your goal.

Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is seductive, but you must begin to learn the disciplined art of ignoring the lessons which, although good, do not move you towards your goal.

This is closely related to the art of letting bad things happen, according to Tim Ferriss.

Why is self-reflection important here? Well, if you do not know yourself, how will you know which knowledge will not move you towards your goal?

Self-knowledge will help you figure out the right foundation to build on.

2. You are important. But not that important.

Every human being is living a story, and each person is the main character in their own stories.

You would like to think you are so important to some people that they spend a large portion of their days thinking about you, but in reality, most people spend as much time thinking about you as you spend thinking about them.

Understanding this truth is going to free you in a lot of ways.

For one, are there things you need to do, but have been afraid to do because of how people will look at you? Hint: they don’t care about you that much.

Don’t believe me? Can you mention 10 celebrities right now that have been involved in a major scandal in the past year?

Secondly, the realization that you’re the most important character only in your own you-niverse will free you from a lot of expectations – and the disappointments that very often follow expectations.

3. Much of life is beyond the dichotomy of good and evil, fair and unfair

Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires.

― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Not much explanation is needed on this point because a word, they say, is enough for the wise.

Happy birthday to me!

©Samuel Oloyede,

The Emancipator

Samuel is an avid reader and a freelance writer, in that order. He fancies himself funny, but his friends regularly don't laugh at his jokes. I have been a student of personal development for several years, and I created this blog to share my knowledge with others and help them become better versions of themselves.

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