On not shining your eye

One of our famous Nigerian sayings is “shine your eye” — basically it tells you not to be naive that people are out to take advantage of you and to act accordingly.

This is obviously sage advice in theory because Nigeria is a low trust society and how else will you survive in the big bad world that is Nigeria.

However paradoxically this is the wrong thing to do. The winning strategy in a low trust environment is to operate a high trust philosophy.

To put it in the words of one of my favorite authors Lois McMaster Bujold in a Civil Campaign (yes I read fiction deal with it :-p) when two characters are having an argument —

Character 1: know you you trust beyond reason

Character 2: Yes it’s how i get results beyond hope

Read the book and the series, whilst you’re at it.

Will you be burnt sometimes — of course you will.

Will you feel like a fool when people take advantage of you — most definitely.

However believe me the rewards outweigh the negatives a hundred — nay a thousand — fold.

The question is how do you continue to do this when there are people who are actively trying to take advantage of you. You do this by realising that life is a repeat game.

It’s worth taking a temporary loss to enable people to show you who they are . Once they do only work with those people who are appreciative of working in a high trust environment. Working with such like-minded people will be one of the greatest joys of your life.

A book that helps you think about this in the right way is Give and Take — the book I recommend more than anything else these days. It helps people come to terms with the fall out from living this kind of life and provides some affirmation about how to deal with living a “high trust” life.

It’s very hard to work against our normal programming, but trust me it is worth it.

So that’s all she wrote — Here’s to a great 2018.


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