Those lazy people at work who get promoted anyway!

A young, newly employed doctor walked into a hospital for the first time. After observing all the different nurses in their impressive colourful uniforms running around performing their busy tasks, he couldn’t help but ask? What do all these different uniforms mean he asked? Dr Patel who was writing his notes on the nurses station, quickly got up,  introduced himself and immediately launched an  explanation, you see Dr  Lee, the  nurses in the navy blue tunics are the ones who do the talking and they are very popular with the nursing management even though they do nothing!  Then you have the nurses in the light blue uniforms, now these ones do the work. They really do work hard. Indeed, but they are not so popular with the management! Obviously, Dr Lee was dumbfounded by this exposition!

The different kind of uniforms worn by nurses in hospital.
Nurses working in a hospital ward.

Although the nurses in the navy uniform, appeared to be all talk and no work, they were mostly  managing the department.  Certainly, part of their duties involved delegating most times, but they also had their fair share of challenges in their role. Insinuating or labelling them as lazy was unfair. The nurses in the light blue uniform were the junior ones and their work involved a lot of the basic nursing care. Which is probably the most important aspect of nursing care. However, nurses work as a multidisciplinary team and the general consensus is that all the different nurses play a crucial role and none is less essential.

However, Dr Patel flagged up very familiar and common misconception not just in nursing but in all the work places. Many a times myself included, felt frustrated in a work situation because some individuals appeared to be able to talk their way, not only into a promotion but could also  manipulate the boss to consider them as the  favourite employee? Whilst all the hard working and smart people who really do the work are overlooked and perceived as unpopular. Remaining plugged in to motivation has led me to change my thinking and challenge this assumption!

I have discovered that they are two types of people in any work place, the whiners and the thinkers. The whiners are often very smart and dedicated employees who work long hours but  they  are always  in the managers office complaining. Apparently, they are great at finding fault with other employees and pointing out the wrongs in the system. The problem is that  they are a  drain on anyone who comes into contact with them. They are so negative and  you end up trying to make them feel better  and after that you feel depressed. The thinkers on the other hand have a different way of handling issues they also go into the office but they are not in there to complain.  They have seen the same problems as the whiners but they have already thought of possible solutions and they go into the office with ideas of how to solve the  problems. I know which one l want to be.

 When you commit to self motivation you will follow the realm of the thinker naturally These people are more valuable to the organisation and themselves. It’s no wonder they are doing so well!

I am not my hair.

Lately l have noticed how hard  it is to stay motivated. It is also challenging  and  difficult to remain positive. What’s more, motivating people is  worth a staggering billion dollars, so lucrative!

I pondered  about this and concluded that they can never be too much motivation material produced. Once you begin the self development journey you begin to realise that you need more and that you will will need it for the rest of your life and it becomes a lifestyle choice.

 I reached this conclusion  after interacting with a newly met friend in the name of stepping out of my comfort zone.During the interaction l even bagged a compliment! So why was l left with the bad taste in my mouth?

We had ended up sitting next to each other with this lady, l had just met, whilst out and about socialising. The conversation lingered on to what we both did for a living. At which point l offered a response explaining that l was taking time off from my career with a view to changing it altogether.

Although l made it clear that l wasn’t in a hurry to make this move my new  friend went onto to tell me, how she had a lovely job and recommended that l put in an application as they’re always recruiting. I was going to tell her about how l believed that all skills are transferable and that l actually believed l could fit into that job,when she looked at me smiling and said they will absolutely love your hair?

She really meant well there was no sarcasm or any malice intended. In that moment l realised that she was equating all my worth to how l looked!  l knew that l certainly didn’t want a job where l could be perceived based on my looks. As any women of colour would tell you l look forward to having my hair done and l want to look presentable attractive etc.

But when l present myself for a job l would hope that they would look beyond my hair and that they would realise that even when they don’t approve of my hair, l will still be able to carry out my duties to the best of my abilities. I never wanted to accept a job where l will be obsessed with my hair and paralysed with worry knowing that if it looked a certain way then it may affect my job?

Whilst it’s acceptable to push myself and step out of my comfort zone, the reality is that l  have to deal with the consequences of dealing with people who might think less of me.

This is the challenge with staying positive. It’s literally day by day moment, moment by moment, hour by hour decision kind of thing. Being new to this way of thinking  can be exhausting and draining and that’s why l need to stay plugged in to a good source of positive inspiration and motivation. 

 I acknowledge that she thought my hair was lovely. l kindly thanked her for the compliment but l realise that l can only grow when l make a conscious decision that l will not be boxed in. I am more than my hair.

Would this have stopped you?

A young man was extremely ambitious, driven and very keen to become a politician. When he felt ready he decided to launch his campaign.

On the day of launching his campaign, only one person turned up. After waiting for a while hoping and wishing for more people to turn up, it finally dawned on him that they were no other people coming.

So he walked up to the only person who had turned up and said, “Man l’m only a young inexperienced politician, do you think l should deliver this speech?” The individual, who was from the nearby farm, replied and said , “l don’t know anything about politics, l’m just a cow handler from the farm.But what l do know is that if l called the cattle to feed and only one came l would go ahead and feed it.”So the young politician went ahead and delivered the speech. He spoke for 2 hours straight and his audience ,which was made up of this one farmer, maintained an expressionless face the whole time so the politician had no idea how he had performed.

So he asked the man what he thought of his speech?.The man cleared his throat and stated, ” like l said before l’m only a cow man from the farm and still don’t know much about politics but what l do know is this, if l called my cattle to feed and only one turned up l certainly wouldn’t dump all the hay on just the one cow.”

Being proactive versus being reactive.

When my husband and l noticed that the car had deteriorated in age.  Although we had no major problems with the car.  We began planning to change the car for a newer model.  We knew that if we prolonged use of the car, it might end up completely breaking down.

 Hence, we decided to search for deals available to buy a new car. We had our old car assessed to assert it’s value. The company responsible for assessing our car informed us that the car was worth a measly amount and we disagreed with this conclusion.

 The car was a decent Honda-CRV, and fully functional. Consequently, we enlisted the car on Ebay, with a very detailed description of the age and state of the car .We invited bids by requesting prospective buyers to offer what they perceived the car was worth.

 Proving what we thought, customers began bidding until they got up to a thousand pounds!  The individual who won the bid and subsequently bought the car paid one thousand pounds.

Consequently, we raised the deposit for the new car. Through this, we acquired a decent amount for the much needed deposit.  The car was not broken down yet, hence we had plenty of time to hunt for suitable deals matching our circumstances. I realised that by taking this option we had started to grow our proactive muscle.

However, if we had decided to carry on, with the old car until it was completely broken down, we wouldn’t have had enough time to raise a deposit. We would have needed the car immediately to avoid becoming desperate and stranded at home. We would have had no means of getting to work and school. This would have left us at a disadvantage, liable and vulnerable to accepting unfavourable deals and terms.

Taking the later option would mean reacting to the situation.  Although the problem would be resolved we would end up gaining a bad deal. Being reactive is dealing with things as they come, not planning in advance. Generally, always unprepared and surprised at the turn of events.  Blaming the circumstances and everyone around and ending up in difficult situations.

Trying to improve myself has been about looking at every decision and every thought to see if I’m being proactive or reactive to my situation. Being proactive is about being very organised and projecting myself into the future.  Never blaming anyone when things go wrong. Understanding the relationship between being reactive and proactive and making the choice is what constant improvement is all about.  

What made me decide to pursue my purpose.

Even though I was juggling a busy job, enjoying being a mum and a wife l still should have been experiencing fulfilment, l thought. I concluded this because having a marriage and a family is a blessing from God, it is the epitome of self-actualisation.

l couldn’t help but notice the growing feeling of discontent. I presumed that this feeling was being generated by the stressful job in my life. Needless to say l now know that this job could have been less stressful if my life was being guided by vision, goals and dreams.

 l discovered that in order to have a fulfilling life l needed these things in my life. The problem was that not only did l not have dreams, but I didn’t know what my dreams were. Worse still l didn’t have any talents and l hadn’t spent any time exploring what my habits or passions are. This is typical when you neglect self-love, you become a stranger to yourself and no one can help you.

The more l searched the more l discovered that every single one of us has talents. The only way to discover the talents, dreams and goals that could transform our life was by engaging self-love and getting to know ourselves.

Prior to this l had assumed that I was too busy to spend time on my habits, l thought l  had no talents and felt like l didn’t need these things. I just focused on the job which enabled me to earn a living.  This is the reason why l had remained stressed and lacked contentment with my life.

l needed to have dreams and goals to eradicate the stress in my life. Having dreams and goals means that you have something to focus on no matter what challenges life throws at you.

The sunflower has a special skill called heliotropism, it always faces the sun. It can turn itself and follow the sun no matter what and we possess this same strain. Being stressed is a decision we can avoid.

We avoid it by creating time and spending it on getting to know ourselves. This can include journaling and reflecting on our lives.   Becoming really intentional about searching for our likes and dislikes. The secret desires that God has hidden in our hearts.  Considering what our expectations out of life are and deciding that achieving our dreams is our birth right and we are entitled to them.

Feeling   convinced that we are worthy and we deserve the best out of life. This is selflove, when we practise this, we will be able to create a vision for our lives.  We will develop our dreams and create goals then banish the stress from our life. We will become very busy  pursuing our dreams to feel stressed about life.

My son is doing better than his peers!

After writing his end of year exams, my son came home excited, and announced that he had received his science result back .

 After finding out the result l expressed my concern as a parent and encouraged him to do better. This immediately wiped the look of excitement off his face which was replaced by a look of surprise! “But mum”, he argued, “l did better than all my friends”.  I could tell by the look of satisfaction on his face that he thought this would impress me?

 “I do not think that’s necessarily true”, l replied earnestly. At which point my son looked very defensive because he thought l was accusing him of lying.

I wasn’t and l proceeded to explain.

Children learning in class.

 I have learnt that, it’s impossible to judge how people are doing in their lives, if they haven’t shared their goals and aspirations with us, l informed my son.  I made him aware that, although his friends scored less than him, we will never know if they failed or not! As we do not know what the vision for their life is.

 Friends could be pursuing other interests outside the classroom such as sports, singing or playing instruments etc. They could be excelling in their chosen fields outside the classroom and scoring low marks on their school-work.  It might simply mean that academic performance, may not be on top of their priorities. If that is the situation then, technically, your friends are achieving their goals, even when you assume otherwise.

Life is not about comparing yourself to others.  We should never resort to taking comfort in other people’s failures or conclude that how other people perform has anything to do with us. This lowers our standards, we miss our goals and encounter a failed event! Although, we can learn lessons and move on.

Emphasis should be placed on always formulating our own goals based on what we are good at and what we like. Then focusing on that, no matter how our friends are performing or how they might perceive us. It’s about accomplishing the goals and vision we have for our lives. We aim to do better because of the kind of individuals we want to become. Our friends are never part of the equation when it comes to personal matters concerning our life!

I had a bad day!

Whilst reading a book by John Maxwell.  I came across a chapter about what defined a good day and whether we have a list of things to tick off in order to decide if it was a bad or good day?

As l listened l had a feeling that l knew where he was headed with this! I was very familiar with John Maxwell’s teachings and l quickly deduced that he was going to talk about a personal development plan!  The chapter emphasised and discussed more on having a personal development plan which leads to success. As success is hidden in our daily habits.

I think his day got worse than mine!

I took this opportunity to pause reading the book and explore my daily habits to see if l was on track. I considered that l was writing, journaling, reading my bible and praying more.

I was especially proud of myself for being very persistent on the Blog.  l went to bed on a high that day!  It wasn’t until l woke up the next morning to discover that l had completely missed my husband’s birthday?

What’s worse was that, by the time l remembered, he had already left for work. I was very disappointed with myself!  While it’s not always about the gifts. I value acknowledging, honouring and reminding him how much myself and the kids love him.

Therefore, l felt that although l had established daily goals, l had failed on one important aspect of my life! And if l had to reflect on that day l would have to conclude that this day had been a bad day. Resulting from this oversight on my part. I believe that life is what happens between the busy plans that we make.   l never want to become one of those individuals who achieve their goals but discover that they are still unhappy in their personal lives.

Consequently, having daily goals means evaluating them each day to see if the priorities need altering.

Fortunately, l now understand that failure is an event that can be learned from and l intend to make good use of lessons gained from this incident.

The guy who led a dance craze but couldn’t dance.

Recently l watched a you tube video that went viral seemingly for the right reasons. Although this video is quite old, ten years to be precise, l couldn’t help but reflect on what this video meant to me.  The you tube video is titled, “Sasquatch music festival 2009- guy starts a dance party.” Seriously l recommend you check out this video it has 15 million hits!

The Sasquatch music video starts off with everyone sitting down and looking decidedly bored!  They appear to be waiting for the concert to begin.   Out of the blue, one very bold guy gets up and starts dancing! What makes it especially painful to watch is, the fact that this guy’s moves are by no means   graceful or rhythmical at all.  It’s quite obvious, that he can’t dance. His moves appear somewhat awkward and all over the place.  Everyone stops to gawk and there is a sense of uneasiness as they glare at him!

Sasquatch dance festival guy defining leadership moment.

Needless to say, this guy appears completely unfazed by the peering looks and the uncomfortable glances. He continues to dance in a cheerful and good- humoured manner daringly, all by himself on the dance floor!

And as he carries on, those same people begin to appreciate and almost envy his determination to extract pleasure from this uneventful setup.

 Interestingly when they continued watching, they were transformed from perceiving him as shameful to noticing how refreshing he is.  They realised that his liveliness was contagious.

In that moment a second guy joins the dance floor. When the first guy notices this, he quickly moves over to where he was and smiles to welcome him. Then he held his hands and danced alongside him.

Before long everybody registers how much fun is being created on the dance floor and they can no longer resist joining in the fun. One by one they all get up to join this happy go lucky guy.

This for me, sums up a good example of leadership.  This guy did not beg people to dance with him. He simply showed them how much fun he was having.  He made it so tempting and irresistible!

Evidently, he made a decision before joining this group, that he was going to have fun when he got there, no matter what.  Therefore, when he got up to dance alone this is the vision that he’s upholding in his mind. He believed in his vision so much that he didn’t care whether people thought he was a good dancer or not. In the end when the crowd noticed how sure of himself he was, they had no choice but to join him. His belief in himself is what made them become his followers and he in turn became a leader.

Hello somebody?  Hold on to that vision. This is for you!

My truth about Blogging.

I started blogging in January this year. The focus for my Blog is to keep me creating and reflecting on what l am learning.

However, I have come across other bloggers and noticed how much success they’ve achieved.  I wondered if the same could happen for me? l started to work harder and putting more effort into writing, that’s when l noticed how difficult, it is to make a mark through blogging. I became curious about what it would take to produce the perfect article that will catapult me to success!

 I searched for answers and discovered a fantastic illustration which helped reshape my thinking…..

An art teacher divided the class in two groups, (A & B) of students. She instructed group A to create a large amount of art, she informed them that they would be solely graded on the quantity of art they produce. Whatever quality was fine. Each one simply had to create as much art as time would allow.

The students in group B, on the other hand, were instructed to create the perfect piece of art. Each student would be graded solely on that one piece of art. At the end of the course all the art pieces were ordered based on their quality.

Interestingly all the best art pieces were made by the students in group A. That is the group instructed to create as much art as possible. Because their goal was quantity, they had a lot of experience with the process itself. They really learned how to work the materials and the tools. They had practised turning their ideas into reality. At first poorly, then better and better more and more aligned to their own vision. Due to their experimentation they had become more skilled by the day.

While group A was busy creating, group B the ones instructed to create the perfect art piece were busy planning and designing the idea thing. They were thinking a lot but not creating. A lot of them had become paralysed by the task, afraid of producing anything less than perfect.

This made me realise that through quantity l too can create quality!

Is Zimbabwe about to give birth?

Although, l have been living outside Zimbabwe for almost 20years and settled in the diaspora. I have maintained a deep connection to Zimbabwe.  I believe that sometimes you can never know where you are going until you understand where you are coming from.

Personally, as a Zimbabwean in the diaspora l have remained interested in the current affairs of Zimbabwe and will stop at nothing to devour any media news as long as they’re reporting news on Zimbabwe.

 I listen to Zim-dance hall with pride. My children absolutely adore this type of music. My 12 yearold son run’s on the treadmill listening to killer T. My daughter thinks the world of Ninja- Lipsy and idolises her!

 Sometimes being away from home exposes you to being treated as if you don’t belong and   will always be required to prove that you deserve to be here.  The media is full of news slandering immigrants.

Whilst the British government is actively recruiting more professional foreign workers to come and join their indignant workforce. When these foreigners accept the job offers, much like me, they will initially think that they are welcome, just like l did. Before realising that they are never seen as individual human beings or professionals but rather perceived as opportunistic leeches draining the British economy. I have to say though not all British people agree with how foreign people are perceived in their country.

 Maintaining a connection with home is comforting because it reminds me of a time when I was accepted for who I am. When l knew that I was black but never noticed it.

 A favourite author of mine Chimamanda, migrated from Nigeria to America and noticed how black people are pigeonholed with a negative connotation. She initially decided to separate herself by arguing that she didn’t see herself as black but rather as an African. Eventually she realised that it really didn’t matter what your origins were.  The perpetrators of discrimination concluded that if you were black, you are an unwelcome foreigner regardless of what you have to offer.

Despite all this, existing in the diaspora has availed a set of privileges   I wouldn’t otherwise have experienced in Zimbabwe and for that lam grateful will always be.

So, my fellow Zimbabweans back home there is no us and them. We are all really, still Zimbabweans where-ever we are on the world map. Each time we hear of another stay away we feel anxious even though we know that it needs to be done. What kind of a government silences it’s people by killing them?

We have kept a close eye and we too are just as fed up with the inconsistencies in policy making. We all agree that the Zimbabwean government has abdicated it’s duties for too long, they have failed the people of Zimbabwe. Today my thoughts are with you as you launch yet another peaceful and non- violent shut down. It feels like Zimbabwe has been pregnant for a long time  and has begun to experience intense contractions, vanhu havachada and havachatya  l pray and hope that we give birth to a healthy bouncing baby!