Book Review: Red Eye by Bolu Onasanya
Red Eye wants to take everything from us in exchange for the realization of our dreams. The most contentious is probably our precious sleep.
A REVIEW BY ADEYEMI ONAFUYE
Bolu Onasanya’s new book, Red Eye, challenges the lies that keep us comfortable and trapped in our own desire for a better place. We are often trapped in desires and dreams, unwilling to take action towards their achievement and there are popular beliefs that aid our comfort and keep us complacent. In Red Eye, Onasanya says to us: “Popular isn’t always right. Sometimes, you are the start of a new trend. Believe in yourself and let the lies rest.” To read Red Eye sincerely is to open your inner mediocrity to sanctions. Reading the book, you get the sense that you have probably omitted one crucial factor from the reasons-why-I-am-not-where-I-want-to-be list. That factor is you.
Onasanya reminds us of what we might already know: we are as good as our minds are set. The composition of our mental space in terms of values and very importantly, beliefs is crucial to our actions and eventually our achievements. Red Eye requests that we reconsider and reset the composition of our mental space from that of wishing for the best and drawing plans to achieve the best, to the arena of ruthless execution of our thoughts and ideas till they become realities.
Dreams are lofty intangibles without an action plan for their fulfillment. Action plans are merely intelligent strategies without implementation, and to overly romanticize your plans and ideas is as foolhardy as to attempt to live in an architectural prototype of a castle. It is impossible. A castle only happens when months of effort go into bringing the architect’s idea to life. This is the resounding point in Red Eye. Onasanya makes a case for actions beyond thoughts. He reminds us of the long journey between our dreams and their realization. He tells us that we have backed down too often. We have not been consumed in the execution of our previous ideas and that could probably explain any dissatisfaction we now feel. We have taken the convenient road of thinking up ideas and being proud of how smart they are. Ideas, as Onasanya asserts, do not rule the world. They stay in our heads and notepads and do nothing. We rule the world by working out our ideas. This is a fact Red Eye wants announced. No other way would work.
The book is an easy read, written in conversational style and arranged in nine airy chapters. It makes for a good laugh as the author points out the ridiculous nature of some popular beliefs. It is no comic book however, as for most of it, it is unsettling and reminds the reader of the many things you can and should do to be in that desired place.
Red Eye is Onasanya, author of two other books Never Say Die and The God-Size Void, showing tough love. He does not cajole, he rebukes and challenges our mediocrity. It is smoothing that Onasanya takes on such a hard task in simple language; this is no little source of respite to convicted readers who feel guilty for being their own hindrance. In writing so simply and conversationally, the author has refused to be a judge but rather a voice of reason pointing out things we know but refuse to practice.
Fortunately, the book goes beyond challenging the reader. We also get shown a way towards achievement. The author addresses tangible and relatable concepts like fear, re-echoing the fact that fear simply means “False Evidence Appearing Real.” He highlights the fear of failure, of venture, of success and of looking foolish as some prominent phobias that keep folks less than their best. He advises: “one of the most powerful things you might need to do in facing your fears of either failure, venture or success is to scale down the risk by doing a risk analysis of the goal.”
Onasanya warns however that analysis should not be allowed to drag till it leaves us paralysed. We must take action, “you can’t be over prepared for your dream or goal, you have to be willing to take a step…” He says that the process to success is “Ready, fire, aim” not “Ready, aim, fire” as we would like to believe. You just might “over aim” till you never fire.
Red Eye wants to take everything from us in exchange for the realization of our dreams. The most contentious is probably our precious sleep. Chapter Seven on the book is dubbed: “Sleep is for the weak.” To achieve more, we have got do more. Doing more requires that we free up time and what better activity to cut down than sleep, right? Many would disagree but Onasanya insists with examples of notable achievers who sleep little in order to do more. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote confesses that he works eighteen of the twenty-four hours every day. Perhaps this is where the Red Eye would come from for those who would internalize Onasanya’s message in this book.
Red Eye is a metaphor for the pain we MUST go through as we ruthlessly execute our ideas. If our eyes do not turn this colour, our ideas might just remain lofty thoughts in our heads or beautiful words in our journals. Even though many wish the best can be achieved easily, by this book, Bolu Onasanya jolts us back to the reality of the work we must do.
Visit: www.boluonasanya.com for information on how to get a copy of Red Eye. It is also available on Amazon.
Bolu Onasanya is a Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur and Occupational Therapist. His articles are published on his website: boluonasanya.com. He has authored three books. Follow him on Twitter: @BoluOnasanya.