What will your catalyst be and where will it lead you?
There’s been some noticeable catalyst in my journey as an individual.
A few years ago, I was often fond of giving the illustration below:
“An object of adequate weight falling from the sky will continue to fall until a factor outside of that object hits it and changes its direction. The new direction can be to go left or right or back up or even a faster all. The point is for there to be a change in direction, there has to be an external catalyst – something outside of the object itself.”
Down the line of the years, I forgot that illustration as I haven’t used it in about 3 to 4 years or so.
But, it explains a lot of things that had become my life today. You are going a direction as an individual then something happened and your otherwise “falling life” takes a new turn. A good number of us have experienced this event one time or the other in our lives. Maybe I am fond of introspection is the reason I could tell the story.
A Life-Altering Catalyst
I’ve always wanted to be heard trust me. Not for the sake of money or any of the material wealth that comes with it. It just occurred to me that I needed to find a place for my voice in a world full of noise. One day, I will open up my previous years’ attempts at writing, some funny things.
As I near the end of my National Youths Service Corps program, the need to get a job became more urgent. I realized I can improve my leverage by using LinkedIn. To do that though, I needed to start writing one thing or the other on the platform. Beyond clicking like or commenting “make sense or congratulations”, I needed to write.
Or what do you think, if I care for my voice to be heard am I not supposed to voice out my voice? Well, I did and it was heard.
That was only the beginning. That event of writing my way to getting my first job and the second job (I didn’t take this one) led me to start considering the ramifications of having a voice out there and its interplay with the internet.
Simple, the internet offered my voice an unbounded and unconstrained distribution. It means I can write here in my house in Lagos and someone in Akure is reading what I have to say. That’s smaller in ramification, someone can even be reading “my voice” in Singapore or the UK and have a perception of me has a brilliant one.
Understanding this simple interplay started to spur some deep desire in me to not only write more but to write brilliant things.
Then 2019 happened
I said 2019 happened because it was a year of turn around for my writings, my voice was heard from far and nigh. But what happened exactly?
Remember, my illustration said a falling object will continue to fall until a catalyst outside of it hits it to change its direction.
I was “an object falling”, I must say.
Before the beginning of 2019, I determined to read a biography and that would be no other than the well-acclaimed “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin“
The book served as the catalyst that my writing adventure needed. Of all points raised in the book and poignant, one thing that stood out to me was how Benjamin Franklin rose from “no one” and became a founding founder of the US. All on the power of his pen and there was even no internet then.
Just a solid mind and a column in the dailies, he birthed a life for himself, kinsmen and generations.
While there are many ways to the rivers, I was particularly fascinated by this particular way, it resonated with me, plus, I’ve been threading it.
As I finished the book, I came to a very good understanding of the ramifications I was considering. Writing and publishing your thought is the ultimate leverage available to all no matter your economic status.
Before you know it, I started seeking opportunities beyond what was previously available to me to share my voice.
The first of such opportunity came from Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a man I was constantly fascinated by his prowess at the time (I still am), and he also is an example of where writing can take you. The rest they say is history.
I wrote my first article and then the second one and I never stopped again… Benjamin Franklin’s story was my catalyst.
Do I write the best of things? Absolutely, No. I wouldn’t consider it the best but I know I’m getting better. But that’s not even my point.
Have my writings brought me acclaim? Damn, Yes. Even more than I envisaged. But that’s not even my point.
Where is my writing taking me? I’ve got no idea. But if history is any indicator, it’s unprecedented where it will take me seeing where it has brought me. But that’s not even my point.
My point is what will your catalyst be and where will it lead you?
My point is if all was stacked against you and you feel you have no advantage at all, can you consider the ability to write and develop your writing over time as an advantage to be harnessed?
My point is what’s in your hand that you need to start taking seriously?
My point is what’s that one thing you feel you need to do as well just as mine was writing?
I never thought about a writing style nor did I think I have one. But I am always focused on writing what my readers can understand. Well, that’s the unintended consequence of writing, your readers start to see what you can’t even see yourself because they have an intelligent mind just as you who is sharing it have.
Chibuike’s comment was the motivation for this story. It reminded me of the days of small beginnings. And I had a really small beginning.
You never know how much better the quality of your life can become if you just choose one aspect of it and obsessively optimize for making it better every day.
My obsession has been writing and it is only in my wildest dream that I would have imagined what it has brought for me so far. Not to talk of what’s on the way.
What are you obsessively optimizing for?