Wow I am visible!

This morning whist going through my emails. I came across several emails from a company that’s inviting me to become their brand ambassador.

Apparently they’ve checked me out and “l’m killing it”. They would like to gift me a 25% discount to sample their products. Afterwards l will be awarded 10% comission for every product I sell?

They’ve tried to choose their words carefully to make me feel like I have been chosen to do something special. But all their asking is for me to sell for them at a comission. Whilst l’m not gullible enough to fall for it, the lesson here is l’m visible and flattered by the attention.

I would like to decline your offer at the moment but thank you for noticing me. When I write it’s ultimately about expressing myself. However,every body who tells a story enjoys being listened to. Tatenda.

Battle of the flab, not literally?

Compliments of the new season! l welcome all new subscribers, thank you.

I have not been writing because, no excuses, l had defaulted to old habits of being idle. For me to be able to come and write a reflection of what l am learning means that l have to keep up with the reading and being intentional about listening to sensible information.

When l made a decision to pursue personal development ultimately, l placed myself in a continual transitional phase. I made a life time commitment to utilise the remainder of my time, on this earth effectively by cultivating fruitful habits in my spare time.

Later on l discovered that, this decision although life changing comes with it’s own challenges. I realised that in order to stretch myself l had to implement new valuable habits in places where l would otherwise have been idle. Furthermore, the everyday challenges didn’t suddenly disappear because l had made a new lifestyle choice! So even on the difficult days l have to strive not to default to old habits of idleness. Speaking of idleness, l read somewhere that, in the olden days people were punished by death for being idle?

It takes silencing the noise of life to read and forgetting about current problems to listen to that important podcast which may or may not change your life. This is what stepping out of the comfort zone has been for me. Through this l began to push myself to be better and stopped being comfortable with past achievements.

Pastor TD Jakes, compared the transitional phase to how the grapes must feel in the wine press to become wine. Or being like the wheat, being beaten down for bread to come out of it. It is a brutal experience that lead me to experience all kinds of emotions, fear, doubt and vulnerability. It felt like l was in an unstable environment in which l needed to activate my core strength to gain stability! It’s a place where everything that’s not meant to be starts to come out and through the pain we get to find out who we are and how to make sense of our life.

Well, I was doing just fine ( in the gym or wine press battling with my flab) and although the six pack wasn’t showing yet l was starting to feel it under the flab. Until the pain got too intense and l defaulted to old habits hence the title of battling the flab on my stomach!

Writing today is my way of battling the flab of my life. l realise that it’s not about the six pack its about who l become in the process of chipping away the flab and whether l’m able to pick up myself and carry on when l fall off the gym bench. ( I have never been to the gym by the way and l don’t intend to go there. I run to keep fit). Although it gets painful and becomes very tempting to quit, we should always strive to persist or resume when we stop because we could never be courageous if we don’t defeat all the emotions that accompany feeling vulnerable.

How my daughter defined courage for me.

When my 7 yr old daughter discovered that her school was selecting the school council committee, she immediately knew that she wanted to take part because she felt capable. The school requested all prospective candidates to write a speech explaining why their classmates should vote for them.

Extremely keen, my daughter scribbled her speech promptly. l then assisted by correcting minimal punctuation and grammatical errors. She began practising and reading out the speech at home while l listened because she desperately wanted to do well. Leading up to the day of reading the speech at school, I noticed that she expressed several fears. She worried about how she would cope with the disappointment of not being chosen. Additionally, she was bothered about her classmates concluding that her speech might be “stupid “.

Now anybody who is a mum knows about the dilemma of wanting to shield your children from the pain of existing in the world. I certainly was no stranger to this handicap. However, my only way of guaranteeing that she didn’t experience the pain of failure was to ask her not to apply, which obviously wasn’t an option. l appreciated her reasoning that defeat was a real possibility but l was aware that winning was also very achievable.

She was reaching out to me for reassurance and l wanted to come up with intelligent advise that would automatically instill confidence in her and make everything ok? Initially l wanted to go down the route of ” let’s focus on the positive only scenario”, but sometimes in life this isn’t always a realistic option especially when dealing with children. I sensed that reassuring her that she would win, would be very misleading if she ended up experiencing failure. She would definitely resent me for lying and l didn’t want that kind of a relationship with my young daughter!

A great human being called Brene Brown imparted some practical advise which helped me support my daughter effectively. Before stumbling upon this lady’s wisdom, l thought that courage and vulnerability were two unrelated concepts. I never comprehended that the two concepts were interconnected. She shared knowledge of her research findings concluding that it’s not possible to be courageous without making ourselves vulnerable.

When l observed my daughter’s situation l understood two things; my daughter was feeling vulnerable because she was doing something courageous. Secondly, even though she had all these fears she never considered giving up.These two things sum up what courage means.

Glossophobia or public speaking is a very common phobia which affects 75% of the population. Amazingly, my daughter was up for the challenge at 7! I personally never felt courageous enough to consider tackling public speaking at her age. It’s still something that l dread to this day as an adult although with what l know now l have added it on my list of skills to acquire.

Understanding all this information enabled me to offer the right kind of support. I made her recognise that it wasn’t about what they thought of her speech or whether they chose her or not . It was about the fact that she had decided to step out of her comfort zone. I explained to her that she was already victorious because she felt brave enough to undertake something that others considered nerve wrecking. Apparently being vulnerable is the only accurate way of measuring how brave someone is. Success in life comes through being brave there is no way to creativity if you are not willing to fail. Being brave is more important than the outcome of what you have chosen to do.

Breaking away from familiar is the only way to exist!

Working long gruelling hours in a casualty department as a registered nurse became an ordeal that resulted in dreadful habits being created in my life. In a bid to recover, my off work days were often characterised by prolonged hours of being idle. Sitting in front of the tv watching endless soaps on Netflix. I felt emotionally exhausted and was completely worn out physically. Tidying up my home was the furthest thing from my mind. I was dog tired and couldn’t be bothered to go shopping which meant l couldn’t cook healthy food and mostly ate unhealthy take away food.

Unsurprisingly l looked around my environment one day and realised that the disorder on my outer surroundings was acting in concert with my inner state of mind. I resolved to change my situation by reading empowering books.

To cut the long story short l managed to change my situation. Nowadays my life has completely changed. Whilst l appreciate all the lessons, l learned from my harrowing job, l am grateful to God that l am no longer in that situation.

Hence, when l started learning success principles, l created this blog as a way of reasserting and reflecting what l am learning to myself and everyone else who might be interested. The most trans-formative principle l have learnt to date, is that to be successful in life, you need to implement daily habits and goals. Therefore my acquired daily habits now include writing, reading and listening to either motivational or inspirational speech.

Since changing my job, l now have plenty of time. However, l have not been resolute in following through with my newly created habits. I wondered why? Distinctly, l explored for answers and stumbled upon something so profound!

I discovered that, out of all the success principles, planning is the most effective principle. Apparently the secret to success lies in mastering this singular concept!

I have not been planning my days or my time . I just assumed that l will be able to do it since l now understand the importance of having daily habits. I did not not realise that when l don’t plan my days, l’m liable to reverting to old habits such as binge-ing on Netflix. I also learned that the only regulator of time is planning and accounting for time before it comes.

What’s more, reverting to old habits is a sign of resisting change which is futile because time and change are inescapable in life! Anyone who desires success must be constantly changing and adjusting to new situations because change is inevitable.

I think l deliberately decided not to plan because l was finding change hard! l wanted to change but still carry on with old habits ? No doubt it turned out to be an improbable feat!

I also realised that for me to implement change effectively l need to understand the value of what may be gained by giving up the things l like ( Netflix) right now. I created a dream board to visualise what l will gain. One thing guaranteed in life, which l have plenty of right now, is time and the only way to regulate it is by planning!

The best thing l ever did for my children as a parent.

One thing that became very apparent to me, even when l was a child is that some people have an exceptional life and some simply do not. Apparently everybody including children aspires to live a magnificent life. We express this need by querying about the state of our future.

Indeed when l was a child l asked my mum what my future will be like and she informed me that the future was unknown and the events of the future were beyond our control. From that answer l built up a belief that the future is very uncertain. Fast forward to now, my life had in actual fact became uncertain and lacked contentment.

As a parent my children also started to ask me about their future prospects. Through that l realised that l wanted a different outcome for my children and also needed to transform my situation. I wanted to give them answers that would be more reassuring but also leading them to more fulfilling careers and wholesome relationships.

I had observed that individuals who raised successful children believed in encouraging their children to dream big form a young age! I really wanted to encourage my children to dream big but the problem or reality was that l had not dreamed big and my life wasn’t how l wanted it to be. So how would l convince my children to do what l didn’t know to be the truth? It was not my reality and l wanted to be authentic!

This conflict in my mind led me to a new habit of reading to seek wisdom and answers. When l began reading l began to understand that what you say in life shapes how you think and what you expect or believe in life. As l carried on reading l became cognizant of the fact that in life, they are things that are certain and uncertain in life. We can use that knowledge to decide how our future pans out. For instance as a christian l became aware that if l knock the door will be opened and if l ask l will receive!

That means whatever we are seeking can be made available to us if we ask or seek that which we need or want. l learned that we are co creators with the universe and that gives us some degree of control about our future!

All it takes is asking the right kind of questions! That is, when we wonder about the future. We must understand that we are craving a better life and wondering how to construct a good future. Therefore the question should be, what do we want in the future and how do we achieve that ?

For instance if we want to be successful in a singing career we can start seeking ways of ensuring success now. Seeking that aspiration would entail practising the craft. We would do this because we have the knowledge that asking and backing it up with action is what separates a dream from a wish.

However, if this is about the future why would we seek what we need now? Because all we ever have in life is now. We can never get to the future or past without experiencing the ‘now’ part of our life. Hence what we are doing now and what we are hoping for in the future is connected.

Certainly, if we want a better life we can start working towards it now and then the only thing that becomes uncertain would be the exact time of fruition.

Apparently when you dream of achieving success there is more?

Tyler Perry has been on everybody’s lips including mine. As l listened to his story of success l began to understand that beyond success is something called significance. That’s what Tyler Perry achieved!

My definition of financial success entails financial independence and accruing enough resources to retire and still live comfortably for a whole life. Initially this is what Tyler was aiming for when he began his journey. All he aspired to, was to earn enough money to tend to his mum. But when he started to work on his goals and plans, it was not plain sailing at all.

The Man of the moment

I sat there and listened as he explained that he invested and arranged shows that no one ever turned up to watch. How he carried on for years without getting much traction and choosing to remain unwavering in his purpose even though throwing in the towel was a tempting option. His perseverance paid off because he eventually made it!

After making it, he realised that he had produced about 20 successful movies and had become financially independent. He felt exhausted and considered giving up because his mum who had been his main source of inspiration had died. But he had a son and wondered what legacy his son would have of him? This spurred him on.

This simple decision catapulted him from success to significance. He became a history maker. I have never met him in real life but he made a great impact on me from across the world. He is now pursuing a purpose greater than him. He stated that when he makes decisions he has to consider other people, as his life is now interconnected with other people’s hopes and dreams. When money can no longer be an incentive serving others becomes the dream.

Even though Tyler’s story inspired me l am mindful of the fact that myself and the whole world would not have been impacted by this man had he not persevered when he felt like giving up. Apparently each time you consider giving up, if you choose not to something great comes out of that option.

He thought about giving up initially when he was starting out and when he decided not to. He achieved success. After achieving success he considered giving up because success comes with substantial responsibility and commitment, which we don’t always contemplate because of misplaced focus. Remaining resolute transformed him into greatness!

My lesson from this, is that the road to becoming successful is a very lonely road and difficult road. The feeling of giving up is very common and familiar problem to most successful people. However, just because l feel like giving up it doesn’t mean l should act on it. l should feel the emotion but act anyway because that is what will lead to achieving goals.

Results can never be as satisfying as the why.

Back in the day when l was growing up and still in school. My parent’s need to guide me led them to impose subjects for me to select at school. They were such good parents they even suggested what courses l should pursue because that would make me more marketable and facilitate a lucrative job.

It turns out that they were right. After doing the recommended course it was fairly easy to land the job as they predicted. Soon after the money started rolling in. Unfortunately this job like any other job came with it’s own challenges. When these challenges started l began reflecting on how far l had come in my career.

I realised that from the moment l started doing the course l resented it. The job was preceded by a practical course and l remember worrying about how l was going to survive the job if l couldn’t even tolerate the course. I would always comfort and reassure myself that life would get better when l started to earn. I figured out that since money solves problems that would make the job bearable.

Eventually l completed the course and started earning but still felt very dissatisfied. l felt guilty about entertaining the thought of quitting my job because l received a good salary and l knew that they were people in this world who would give an arm and a leg to have my job. I refused to acknowledge my feelings l desperately wanted to appreciate the life l had and be grateful!

It wasn’t until l discovered that to be fruitful in life you need to stay truthful to the why you are doing the thing. It was not about whether you are getting results or not. My salary was the result of what l was doing. It was not the why. At least it wasn’t my why . I was doing this job because it had been imposed on me by my parents who had good intentions and it was time for me to face up to that.

Life is not about blaming others especially when they meant no harm. It’s about challenging assumptions and reaching out for knowledge that makes you a better person.

l had become very unsatisfied with my situation. I was getting the results l wanted and getting paid good money every month. I went onto find out that when you do anything in life you get results and the results that you get may or may not be favourable. I was fortunate enough to be getting the results l wanted but still felt exasperated because you can only feel content when you do something purposeful. That is fulfilment!

l had not defined my why and the results could not replace the why and l was feeling it. Everything made sense because l had always wondered what people meant when they said you start with the why and not the how? l had always known that l wanted to do something else and so the homework for me became why l wanted to do this thing?

I need to stop being too helpful

Yesterday l listened to a motivational pod cast done by a super human being called Paul Scanlon. He was talking about how we should stop being too helpful after he had been pestered by a shop assistant who followed him everywhere and offered help? In the end he felt claustrophobic and had to leave the shop before he even bought what he needed. I could relate, can you?

Apparently being too helpful demonstrates that you are a controlling person and you are not able to leave things as they are. You feel a need to interfere and have everything exactly how you want it (Paul Scanlon).

You know how everybody has that one relative who is over helpful to everyone at the expense of their own life. I thought yes, they need to hear this, l wish they were here with me.

Then l became fully conscious and stopped daydreaming. “What about you,” the little voice in my mind asked? “Don’t you have anything to learn from this ?” The voice carried on, “you may not be financially committed to helping those irresponsible extended family members but how about the fact that you do too much for your kids and take away their independence. How you literally do almost everything for your kids because if they did it themselves it wouldn’t look the way you want it to look”.

This was a pivotal moment for me because l realised that this message is for me. It was not for my relatives because they are busy enjoying their bliss in ignorance. I had made the choice to develop myself and l was the one who desired wholeness. I am the one who believed that success isn’t all about mastering financial independence but could also be about healthy relationships with the closest in my life through assisting them to also be better version of themselves.

The extreme end of being too helpful

I realised that l needed to be vigilant and claim that a message will change me and me only even before l start listening or reading a self help message. Has this happened to you before?

Knocking for opportunity

I had often heard that sometimes in life you lack because you fail to ask and the door of opportunity is never open because you did not knock on it. I understood all of it.What l wasn’t sure of, was, what sort of help l could ask for and how l could knock for opportunity.Until l heard of a young man called Reggie Nelson. He did both, he asked the right kind of questions and then he knocked on the door of opportunity and it opened!

I was amazed at how Reggie, literally changed his life by asking and physically knocking on the door of opportunity to change his life. Although a few doors where shut in his face, one door opened and his life was never the same. When l heard Reggie’s story l had to share.

Reggie was born and raised on a council estate by a single mum after his father died. Not long after, Reggie was excluded from school and was already having run ins with the law.His circumstances and environment appeared to be a barrier. They were preventing him from navigating his life to the direction which he wanted. Despite all this he was like any normal child and had big dreams for his life. His dream was of a university education followed by getting a top job with all the wealth to go with it. The problem was he had no idea how to achieve this.

Reggie Nelson in the wealthy area of London

Reggie began to search for answers and he discovered that in order to change results in life you needed to change what you were doing in your life! He thought about what he could do in his life to get different results and he decided on an idea which led him to investigate the richest area in London. He devised a plan.

The plan was to walk up to the doors of wealthy people and just blatantly ask them what skills and qualifications had transformed them into wealthy beings so that he could extrapolate that to improve his life?

To Reggie’s dismay after hours of walking, one day a lady opened a door and ushered him in and the gentleman inside that house turned out to be the senior executive of a big investment company who offered to mentor him.Under his tutorage and guidance Reggie graduated and secured a lucrative job in the corporate world and now he is helping others to get into the financial sector.

What really stands out for me in this story when l listened to Reggie speak, is that he mentioned how some people, in fact lots of people opened their door and just told him to study hard. He carried on knocking even though he didn’t know the exact help he was looking for, his instinct told him that they must be more to success than just studying hard.

It was only when someone invited him in and sat down to speak to him and offer him the internship that he felt that he had acquired what he needed.

That teaches me that you just have to do what comes to your mind even when you are not sure on how exactly it will pan out.

Mugabe the catastrophe of Zimbabwe; failed leader, part 2

As far as l know learning about leadership is about studying a successful leader as well as the failed leader. Mugabe was a failed leader. Observing the atmosphere surrounding his death has illustrated that, despite the good in his former years his judgement is based on copious failures of his government and how much they impacted the many.

As the failed government in Zimbabwe are trying to hail the deceased Mugabe as a hero and founding father of Zimbabwe by building an expensive mausoleum and parading his remains around the country. There is no audience at all, unsurprisingly not many people are interested or give a care. The majority of the country remember him his as a tyrant and detector who caused hunger, unemployment, police brutality and all the negative things that have happened in Zimbabwe.

Although Mugabe was initially managing the country well when he took over, the first sign of his failing happened when he had an affair with his typist whilst his wife was lying on her death bed. After his wife died he went on to marry his mistress, “Gucci grace”.

Mugabe and his respectable wife Sally

His first wife was perceived as an honourable and respectable woman who came from a well to do family. She was well educated and well suited for this role. People labelled her a states woman. She was as eloquent and as intellectually aware as Mugabe. She was very supportive to her husband.

According to John Maxwell, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything”. A well informed man like Mugabe deciding to settle for someone like Grace was a huge oversight on his part which should have been condemned. It appears that when leaders make grievous errors in their private life, they tend to do the same in their work. Apart from failing to choose a suitable wife he had also failed to surround himself with the right people which meant that, there was no recrimination. They could not hold him to account because they were dunderheads who did not know their right hand from their left! There were already busy looting and swindling the country’s resources.

Mugabe marrying his mistress Grace who became his wife when she 41 years his junior.

In my view choosing a wife as good as his former wife, Sally should have been his top priority because he knew that he had not been able to form an effective cabinet. Every leader knows that, behind every good leader, is a supporting team and it really doesn’t matter if that team is made up of just one person.You just need someone who believes in the vision cheering you on!

Grace did not have the education or the know how of running a country and there fore would have no understanding of Mugabe’s vision. However, she became very ambitious and instead of supporting her husband she began to manipulate and influence him to hand over power to her?

Grace felt confident that she had a good chance of taking over power because you guessed it, Mugabe failed to prevent this again. If Mugabe had earmarked someone and started grooming them this wouldn’t have happened. Everybody would have been composed and settled in knowing that there was a capable leader waiting to take over. Needless to say, a power struggle erupted at home and at work!

Whilst driving her agenda, Grace, knew that it would be difficult to realise her ambitions without the aid of aging Mugabe. Apart from fake degrees here and there she was not qualified as a leader of a country. On top of that her morale standing as a decent human being was questionable! Rumours about affairs with different men were rampant.

Hence, her only way to succeed would be to keep flailing Mugabe in power until such a time when she could take over. Progressively he got old and could hardly walk or speak but still carried on presiding as president of Zimbabwe. During this time, Grace was becoming more vocal and preparing the country for her take over.

Mugabe failed to lead in numerous ways but there is always that one big blunder that opens the door to everything else. That one thing for me was failing to surround himself with the right people. You become who you spend time with. In time he started to behave like all those corrupt and unaccomplished leaders whom he had surrounded himself with. It’s ironic to note that, he was jailed by the Smith government for speaking out and when his own citizens began to speak out against him, he arrested, jailed, tortured and then killed them!

Although this man helped facilitate the independence of Zimbabweans from the British, his legacy for me is how he failed his people after he got the power. I will remember the pain he caused. I will remember the people who were murdered, injured or still missing as a result of speaking out against him.