Paul is a writer I respect and more so a man with honour. Paul is one of the few people I know who is real and honest. He is always willing to share his insight and offer guidance and support when you call on him. His schedule is insane, but he will make the time to be there for a friend and still be there for his spouse and kids and build his business.
By agreeing to share his time and lessons from last year, I do believe it will cause you to reflect and restrategize. I’ll let Paul take it from here.
“I had a crazy year. And crazy here is being an understatement. I have learnt so many lessons and failed the exams of the things I already knew.
Some of the greatest lessons:
FAMILY FIRST. ALWAYS.
I was called to speak at an event and when I was asked to introduce myself I said, ‘My name is Paul Otieno, I am married and my partner and I are raising 3 children. That is my primary function. And that is why I am here. At other times I am a Creative Director, Photographer/Cinematographer and especially now, I am going heavy on the writing.’
Knowing that I am a husband and father first is really important because it anchors me entirely. My partner is my lifeline and my kids are the reason too.
I don’t claim to have a perfect marriage as if there is anything like that. I dare say, I sometimes have found myself taking it for granted, and it’s not that I woke up and decided that today I will take it for granted and tomorrow I will pick it up again. I have made really stupid selfish decisions, but I also know, that my family is held together not because of my choice, but because God in his infinite grace knows that if it was left to me, I would crash-land it.
DRIVING WITH FEAR
Some things happened in my life since around May, that changed the direction of my life and what future I want out of it. First I was just done adjusting to a new physical plan, and kicking in a mental plan. Secondly the twins were about to hit 1. (And my kids mostly shifted this more than I knew then). I also got into a solid creative regime, which I had lost for quite a good chunk of the past three years.
The Theme for the rest of my life is BRAVE. I am going to do all the things I think I can’t. Got a mighty good list.
You know, there are only two stories told, someone left town, or someone came from out of town. I feel I have been watching people come from out of town, and once, two people came together from the same place and gave two conflicting stories. I want to go witness the stories for myself. I want to go on a journey. Real journeys.
And of course there is courage and fear, and fear is super loud, sanguine, shouts all they want and is overly bossy and overbearing. Courage is quiet and confident, and courage trusts you. Fear, though, can break you to the core if you let it. But this year I have learnt to tell fear, you have to keep quiet. And he does for a whole of two seconds and then blares again.
What I do is, I keep reminding myself and fear, that Courage and I will be making the decisions from now on. And fear is welcome but cannot speak unless spoken to.
It’s working, better by the day.
TIME & IT’S FUNCTION
I went on an extended creative excellence push to get better. And it worked, with a great lesson I learnt while losing most of my unnecessary weight.
And the lesson is: SUCCESS. IS. A. FUNCTION. OF. TIME. And how fast you get there and stay there is conversely proportional to the time you give it. And time helps you perfect your art.
I wrote most of everyday of the past year.
I ran most of everyday of the year.
I took a photo and edited most of the year.
I built stories for film most of everyday.
If you ask me, I am the better for it.
Practice makes perfect. Just imagine what perfect practice has the potential to do.”