Day 30 – Get a straight razor shave

Day 30 – Get a straight razor shave

shaved head

Fortunately or unfortunately, facial hair isn’t something I’m abundantly blessed with; a point both MsOreoluwa and ToniAnni have variously pointed out doesn’t bode well for finding Mrs S. I went for the next best thing, a shaved head at the Turkish Barbers on the corner of Crown and Union in the ‘Deen. Can’t really complain about the look, if I say so myself.

That brings the 30 day challenge to a close. Thanks to OluSimeon and SingleNigerian for providing much needed accountability as we plodded through the last thirty days. There were quite a few interesting challenges – defining values from Day 1, finding a mentor from Day 3, reconnecting with an old friend from Day 7, writing a letter to my father on Day 14 and a love letter from Day  28 which I intend to revisit again at some stage over the next few months/ years… Good stuff!

#27, 28, 29 – Better Man in 30 Days

Day 27 – Start a Book: Currently ten books into my thirty book plan for the year. Have two on the go at the moment – Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty. Hopefully I manage to complete them by the end of next month.

Day 28 – Write a Love Letter: Very much work in progress. I suspect this is one I will have come back to again and again. What is clear is that it wasn’t love at first sight by any account – I am far too rational for that – but over time I find a bond building, and increasing joy in the simple things.

Day 29 – Conquer a fear: The fear I had to conquer was picking up the phone and calling my father, made especially difficult because we had a big fall out last weekend, and certain things I’m not entirely proud of were said. There and done then with minimal fuss. Hopefully we can make this work better going forward…

Day 26 – Take The Marine Corp Fitness Test

Day 26 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Take the Marine Corp Fitness Test

Managed the 3 mile in 29.5 minutes (includes the very leisurely 3 minute warm up), 46 crunches in 2 minutes and a barely there 4 pull ups for a total of 95 from a maximum 300 points possible. Not great but better than I thought given how a certain HIIT youtube video kicked my ass on Day 24.

Feels like a KPI I should track going forward. Hopefully I can keep improving on my score as I get fitter and healthier.

Days 22, 23

Day 22 – Improve your posture and Day 23 – Learn a manual skill

I didn’t need the prompt to tell me I had terrible posture. Managed to set up my chair at work as intended – to provide better support to my lower back and at the right height. Hopefully I begin to reap the dividends of improved posture, not least a less prominent keg.

On manual skills; I installed ceiling fans for fun in my undergraduate days and still know my way with a soldering iron, a legacy of my previous pastime – tinkering with the innards of dead radios. I happen to also be the go to guy when my buddy O needs to set up a new bed or move stuff around in his house… Could use a few more automobile related skills as I haven’t changed a flat tire in nearly six years. Have to but that Z4 roadster first (and win the lottery before that or something).


Day 19 – Schedule a Physical Exam

Day 19 of the Better Man in 30 Days Challenge – Schedule a Physical Exam

I am required to get an offshore medical every two years which covers quite a few of the items specifically referenced on the challenge viz blood pressure, weight/BMI, vision, lung function and audiometry. ECGs, bloods and urinalysis get taken six monthly for other reasons hence I consider the challenge covered between both. The main exclusion is the probing and probing of the man parts for potential prostrate problems.

Out of interest I contacted one of the private health insurance providers around and got quoted a fee in the range of £590 for a full health check. One to stick in the budget for Q2 2015 then, unless someone can point me in the direction of a Groupon deal. 🙂

Day 18 – Find Your N.U.T.s

Day 18 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Find Your N.U.T.s

Your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms that is. For me these are inextricably linked to the Core Values from Day 1– Faith, Family, Continuous Improvement, Mentoring and Health. Soooo, here goes:order:

  1. Living out a real world faith – continuously seeking ways to translate the undergirding principles of love and consideration for others, and social justice – will be the single most important thing that will guide my relationships with others;
  2. I will honour my daily spiritual practice and journaling;
  3. My family, and adequately fulfilling the various roles I play in it – Son,Brother, (future) Husband and Father – will always take precedence over other considerations;
  4. I will schedule regular (monthly at least) time to go through plan-do-review cycles for each of my core connections and the roles I play in them – friends and family, professional and within the wider civil/social context;
  5. I will take care of my body – eating well and exercising.

Day 17 – Talk to Three Strangers

Day 17 of the Better Man in 30 days challenge – Talk to three strangers.

One of the more difficult challenges for me, given spontaneity and friendliness are not exactly my forte. Just about pulled through though I think

  • Ran into a (relatively) new (Nigerian) start in the building I work at whilst on my way out to grab lunch from M&S. A quick search in the people directory – and a dive into LinkedIn – turned up an interesting factoid – even though his current job description is as far away form it as it possibly can be, his first degree is in Materials and Metallurgy.
  • Chatted up the sales attendant at M&S whilst she was running my items though the scanner. The lunch time shift can be draining given it is as much of a revolving door/capacity optimisation exercise as there can be. I swear her eyes lit up when I asked how her day was (I might have imagined  it only though).
  • Blew over an hour on a good natter with the office mates, something I’ve not done a lot of lately given all the (far more) serious things that have been on my mind lately..Totally claiming this as in my humble opinion it fulfils the spirit of the challenge 🙂

Another one I should work a tad harder towards improving on..