I read Ovie Soko’s book and these are the 11 life changing lessons I learnt
Can Ovie please be my new life coach?
Love Island’s Ovie Soko has written a self-help book, and whilst the usual advice you’d expect an ex-Love Islander to dish out includes not drinking tap water because the government will use it to kill us and don’t poo in front of your boyfriend, this is Ovie Soko we are talking about.
The cool, calm and collected Ovie. This is the man that went on Love Island, wore his bucket hat, sucked on an ice pop and only raised his voice to shout “message” when someone got a text. He was the quiet confidence king who didn’t get involved in the drama and acted like a true gent taking India away from that Jordan and Anna storm. So if this man is offering me positivity advice, you can be sure I’m gonna listen.
Ovie’s new book, “You Are Dope”, is part memoir, part self-help book. He gives you advice on how to achieve “dopeness” through relating it back to his own stories and how they taught him a powerful lesson.
Whilst his advice isn’t always particularly groundbreaking it felt refreshing coming from him, and because he backs it up with real world examples from his own life you believe him.
The only criticism I have of his book is that he uses the word “dope” approximately a thousand times and it gets a bit annoying, but this is Ovie so I can get over that.
More importantly are all the empowering lessons he can teach us, and this is everything I’ve learnt from my new life guru Ovie Soko and his book:
1. I can become dope by doing the bare minimum
Ovie’s introduction is all about what dopeness means to him and how we all have the quality of being dope within us. He says it shows up in everyone in different ways and reminds us that we all have our own unique journeys in life, and just because your path is different to someone else’s doesn’t make it any less dope.
And even the smallest things can make you dope, like buying Ovie’s book or patching things up with a friend or doing the washing up for your parents without them asking. Unfortunately my mum doesn’t see it as dope, she just calls it chores.
2. Drop friends that bring negativity to you
PSA to the group chat, if you stop hearing from me, this is why. Ovie talks a lot in the book about how your friendship circle can affect your journey, and really asks the reader to question if the people they’re around are bringing out the best in them.
Ovie also wants you to assess your friends and question if you really want to be around people who don’t support your dreams, or are doing things that you wouldn’t agree with like cheating on their partner.
3. There are six easy tips for a dopeness detox
Wasn’t aware a dopeness detox is something I needed until I read this book. Ovie advises being wary of negative energy, creating some alone time for yourself, creating lists of gratitude and goals, holding yourself to a five star standard, don’t follow the herd and make a leap of faith.
Whilst being aware of negative energy sounds like something Gwyneth Paltrow would say, making lists and prioritising alone time is definitely something I can get on board with.
4. Always go after the career you want
Ovie talks a lot about his dad, who he counts as one of his role models. He describes how hard working he was in his job as a council housing officer during the week and a security guard on the weekend. But despite working seven days a week, Ovie’s father’s main passion was his art and he had a shed at the bottom of the garden that he would always go to after work.
Ovie recalls how his father regrets not pursuing his passion for art and turning it into a career. He says this is something that inspired him to persevere in becoming a basketball player.
5. It’s never too late to change your career
Ovie equally has a lot of admiration for his mum, who worked as a property manager until she got very ill. Ovie said her illness made her realise how short life was, and that she then went back to study theology in order to preach. It’s something she loves to do and continues with it today.
6. Money doesn’t buy happiness and dopeness isn’t brought through material gain
It’s the saying we’ve all heard thousands of times but Ovie actually backs up the generic statement with examples from his life that have taught him this valuable lesson.
When he goes to his senior school in Mill Hill, Ovie walks down a particular street with impressive looking houses, and when he’s staying in America the house he lives in has a fridge full of Gatorade and snacks. These moments are what makes him see how material objects could contribute to making you happy.
But living in a little village in Greece at the height of the recession and seeing how the villagers were completely happy with their minimal lives made him realise objects and money don’t amount to happiness.
7. Ovie can steal stuff out of people’s lockers and still be perfect in my eyes
One part of the book that kinda surprised me was that Ovie had done something wrong in his life. Ovie uses a passage about him stealing stuff out of school lockers as a way to educate people on positive masculinity.
Ovie describes how the pressure he felt to fit in and have a certain image as a young man led him to steal other people’s possessions. Ovie and a few friends swiped office keys and stole stuff out of people’s lockers after everyone had left. He and his friends were eventually caught out a few weeks later and he writes how this incident shaped his thinking.
He writes about not doing things to fit in and then gives a guide on positive masculinity. He suggests not ignoring your emotions, the strongest thing to do is follow your own path and to question the opinions of people around you. In all honesty men could gain a lot from just reading that section in Ovie’s book.
8. You need to leave your comfort zone in order to progress in your chosen path
A section of Ovie’s book focuses on his basketball journey. At several moments Ovie describes leaving the safety of his comfort zone in order to progress further in his career.
He moves to America at 16, which is scary enough and starts at a safe high school. But after a year there he realises the best players near him are at a different, tougher school and so he decides to move there. And it paid off.
Later in his career he was given the opportunity to join a Greek team in a higher league but for lesser pay than staying in the current league he was currently in which was one tier down. And again the risk paid off, after playing for the team in Greece, he got to join a team in Spain, who are on the next best level compared to the US. This is all according to Ovie btw, I have no idea about basketball.
9. Ovie had three relationships and none of them were with me
I know, I’m hurt by this too. In his book Ovie describes three significant relationships he’s had throughout his life. His first love was a girl called Tabitha at school in London.
His second was an American girl called Rebecca and the third was one called Gina. And I am incredibly jealous of all of them.
10. He described men’s shut down emotional pattern and now everything makes sense
Honestly nothing shook me more than his section on blocking out emotions in relationships. It was as if every bad experience I’ve had with boys all made sense.
Ovie told the story of his first girlfriend Tabitha when he was 12 years old and she dumped him over text. The breakup was his first real rejection and it caused him to feel embarrassed, angry and bitter and he didn’t want to experience that vulnerability again. So he put up a wall and never let anyone in.
This pattern repeated when he tried to have other relationships. He would get close to a girl and then she’d want to be let in and he would end it.
He tells a really sad story of his second love Rebecca. They were in high school in America together and were getting on really well. She revealed how much she liked him, which made Ovie realise he would have to be open with her and didn’t want to be vulnerable so he ended it. She even turned up at his house in the rain asking him to reconsider. My heart breaks for her. Ovie I expected better of you.
11. I am dope
And you know what I believe Ovie when he tells me this. Ovie’s book is packed full of empowering advice, heart-warming stories and a great insight into everyone’s favourite Islander.
Ultimately what I’ll take from Ovie Soko’s book is the power of self-belief, listening to intuition and that being yourself will always be the dopest thing you can do.
Ovie Soko’s book You Are Dope: Let The Power Of Positivity Energy Into Your Life is available to buy now.