The Smarter Brain
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Once each year—typically 6 months into the year—I sit down to reflect and review how well I’m living up to my core values.

I usually keep my thoughts in a private journal, but this year I’ve decided to be transparent and share my current struggles with you.

In this brief integrity report, you’ll learn what’s going well, what’s not going so well and changes I plan to make moving forward.

Let’s get started.

What’s Going Well

1. Writing.

So far this year, I’ve written 29 articles (a pace of approximately one new article each week).

In addition, I’ve spent much more time researching and fact checking to ensure that information used within each article—including scientific research, stories and quotes—are credible and true to the original source.

Most importantly, I’ve stepped up in my thought leadership to share new, thought-provoking ideas, that no one else is speaking about in the self improvement space.

As a result of my hard work, I’ve been approached to build content partnerships with major media outlets including Quartz and Business Insider.

2. Continuous learning.

As much as I enjoy writing and reading (I’ve read 32 books so far this year), I believe it’s important to formally commit oneself towards mastery in a particular field.

So far, I’ve pursued mastery in behavioral psychology. Specifically, understanding human behavior change and improving performance within individuals and organizations.

To further deepen my knowledge, I’ve enrolled into a Master’s Psychology degree at Harvard University, which has been both challenging and rewarding so far.

I look forward to sharing new scientific research and insights I uncover during my studies, to help you live a better life.

3. Healthy living.

So far this year, I’ve completed 101 workouts (a pace of approximately 4 workouts per week).

Here’s a quick glimpse of my weekly workout routine:

Monday: Compound weight training (push exercises)

Tuesday: Boxing training (25 minute run followed by 8 rounds of shadow boxing)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Compound weight training (pull exercises)

Friday: Boxing training (10 minute run followed by 8 sprints and 8 rounds of shadow boxing)

Saturday: Compound weight training (push exercises)

Sunday: Rest

Aside from exercise, I’ve maintained a relatively healthy diet (whilst intermittent fasting three times a week) and slept an average of 7 hrs 40 mins per night.

But there’s still room for improvement.

Moving forward I’d like to spend more time training towards amateur boxing level, going for walks and meditating.

4. Spiritual growth.

This time last year I struggled to stay consistent with bible reading and prayers. This year however, I’ve stuck to these habits on a daily basis.

What changed? I began to piggyback off my old habits i.e. immediately after waking up each morning, I would sit by my desk and start reading the bible.

Even though my daily devotional time is relatively short, I believe I’m heading in the right direction.

5. Family time.

As newlyweds, this year has been a crucial period for my wife and I to build healthy relationship habits for a happy marriage.

Despite our hectic schedules, we’ve stuck to the habit of spending quality time together for weekly date nights, conflict resolution and bonding.

The road ahead isn’t going to be easy, but I’m glad that we’re laying a solid foundation and stacking the odds in our favor to build a marriage that lasts.

What’s Not Going So Well

1. Philanthropy.

This has been by far my biggest disappointment this year.

The irony is that I’d written down philanthropy as my number one focus this year, yet I haven’t made time for it.

On a positive note, I’ve decided to dedicate at least 2% of all revenue generated from MayoOshin.Com towards my charity, which will sponsor the primary school education of impoverished children in Africa.

But there’s still much more groundwork to do.

My mission over the next 5 years is to build a primary school from the ground up that accommodates at least 30 under privileged kids.

Unlike most charities that tend to spread themselves too thin, I’ve chosen to provide high quality teaching, safety, sanitation and accommodation for a few kids at a time.

2. Creative deliberate practice.

Aside from writing on a weekly basis and one live music performance, I’ve hardly spent time practicing jazz guitar, drawing cartoons and taking photos.

There are a million and one excuses as to why I haven’t done so, but if I’m being completely honest none of them are legit.

The key question I have to ask myself now is this: do I continue to pursue my ambition to develop these creative skills to a semi-professional level or do I become a hobbyist?

On one hand I believe that becoming a hobbyist will alleviate the guilt and disappointment of failing to practice. On the other hand, I fear becoming a hobbyist will waste my potential to improve my skills.

I hope to resolve this dilemma soon, and perhaps I should follow my own advice on 5 things to do when you have too many ideas and never finishing anything.

3. Community.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve spent a lot of time connecting with people over the internet, but I haven’t done so offline.

Whilst communicating via email, mobile phone and social media are great ways to keep in touch, it’s difficult to build meaningful relationships without face to face interactions.

Unfortunately, I spend my working hours alone, which means I have to make much more of an effort than team based professionals to stay connected with others.

Changes Moving Forward

1. Regular meetups.

Over the past two years, I’ve really enjoyed connecting with the members of the newsletter on a virtual basis.

Our community has grown from just myself to nearly 10,000 strong members, including successful entrepreneurs, leaders across various industries and many other wonderful professionals across 175 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, Germany, South Africa and more.

I believe the time is ripe for us as leaders to meet in person, bounce ideas off one another, build strategic partnerships and develop friendships.

Within the next few months, I’ll be hosting the first meetup in London, United Kingdom, exclusively for the members of the newsletter.

Keep your eye out for this in upcoming newsletter emails.

2. Regular fundraising reports.

In order to hold myself accountable to my philanthropic values, I’ll be sharing quarterly reports of progress towards the children’s education charity.

Within each report, I’ll briefly review the impact of all fundraising and strategic efforts, as well as failures along the way.

3. Artwork infused with articles.

One way I plan to stick to my creative habits is to incorporate them within each article I send you on a weekly basis.

For example, I could draw cartoons to help explain difficult concepts and keep you engaged with the content.

On that final note, we’ve come to the end of my 2019 integrity report.

I hope you’ve been inspired by reading my progress and struggles.

If you’d also like to create your own integrity report, feel free to use the template within this article and simply ask yourself this:

How well have I lived up to my core values this year?

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