Several weeks ago, OluTimehin Adegbeye gave what myself and many others would qualify as one of the best, most touching and most insightful TED Talks ever given. Many people like me started falling in love with the lady right from the beginning of her presentation, and the magnitude of this love kept increasing as the presentation progresses towards the eighteen minutes mark characteristics of TED Talks. At the end of her presentation this love has gotten to a climax. Climax in this regard, though, does not equate to the highest end, as all climaxes are wont to be. The climax of my love for the mind of this beautiful lady signifies the highest beginning of an enchantment journey—a journey that proceeds as I made further research of the new treasure I just discovered.
Somehow, after listening to Timehin’s talk, I stumbled on Bankole Oluwafemi’s post-talk interview with her and then I found her Twitter profile and her personal website and her Medium blog. I spent about an hour or so browsing through and digging dip into Timehin-world and amongst a number of things I discovered about her, one thing struck me the most—one discovery, one fact that both sharpened my understanding and strengthened my conviction of the saying that showing up is the foundation of success. (I don’t know who the author of this saying is and I’m not even sure I’m not the one who coined it just now. This however does not diminish the truth it carries, as is evident in Timehin’s life as well as in the life of many other successful people we celebrate today).
Many people, myself very much inclusive, find it daunting to face a big dream head on, we begin to nurture doubts and fear towards all sorts of hurdles that might keep us from doing the most important things we need to do to actually reach the big dream: showing up—because of lack of courage in our many I-can’t-do-it’s; or lack of conviction in our many will-this-really-work-out’s; or seeming lack of time in our before-I-could-say-T-time-has-gone’s.
As a result of all these things we fail to show up and do the little pieces the universe expect us to do before it could bring luck our way.
The art of writing, more than any other art, at least for me, explains this better. I have always believed that the best cure to writer’s block is to just get down and start writing. As a writer you should understand that before getting the pen and the paper, the inspiration might either not exist or not be concrete but as soon as you pick the pen and begin to scribble the first letter, the magic begins to happen and before you know it the likes of Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, Half of a Yellow Sun or The Catcher in the Rye has been written. This is possible only because the writer showed up for his part and the genius, seeing that the writer has done his part, decided to do his own part of the work which is to bring the magic into a productive mating with our readiness.
This principle is what I discovered in Timehin’s life. A long time before she was invited to speak about the government land grabs destroying the lives of thousands who live in the coastal communities at TED she had been writing about it, tirelessly, on several lesser known media and she had been tweeting about it and even acting on it in her own little way. It is just plausible to say that these little activities, brought together to work together, are the substance upon which the luminous glow that attracted the conference curator’s attention is lit.
This however, wouldn’t have happened if Timehin has kept silent about her passion for whatever reason, be it for fear or doubt or anything. She didn’t. Instead she kept doing her part, she kept showing up and, you know, when she eventually arrived she was able to call her mum’s attention and say, “Look, mum, all those things I’ve been doing, all those showing ups, look where it has landed me.”
I'm so thankful. Look, mum!
— OluTimehin Adegbeye (@OhTimehin) September 8, 2017