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.

Mugabe the catastrophe of Zimbabwe! Part 1

First of all, this is a blog which l have wanted to write, since discovering that Mugabe had died a few days ago. Mugabe is the former president of Zimbabwe to those who may not know. Like everyone else l was very angry and l wanted to express my anger for the way he ran down the country. After all, this is all l vividly recalled about him.

Young well spoken Mugabe.

However, I resisted writing the blog because life isn’t about doing what other people are doing. It’s about asking questions and taking a critical view of events. Every event that we encounter in our life is here to teach us something about life. So l asked myself, what lesson was l meant to learn from this man? I realized that, in order to answer this truthfully l needed to observe his life, from start to finish.l started researching him and this is what l uncovered!

I discovered that this man, was well educated and well read. At a time in Zimbabwe (known as Rhodesia then), when everyone was grumbling about being suppressed and oppressed by the colonialists and feeling helpless, he became the visionary who rose up from the crowds to deliver his people. He was driven by a purpose bigger than him and believed in serving his people. As a result of this, he founded the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front political party and stood up to the white suppressor and challenged them. He was very articulate and when he confronted the white settlers he had this to say “everybody must be awarded their full political rights, whether they were white or black, educated or uneducated, rich or poor”.

The British settlers found it easy to colonise Zimbabwe because they did not have a defence army. Hence, Mugabe became instrumental in assembling and organising the army which involved recruiting and mobilising soldiers to different countries such as Mozambique and China to procure specialised training. To cut the story short, Mugabe’s party won the war and he became a leader in Zimbabwe. Initially in the first few years the country thrived under his leadership.

Then everything changed in Zimbabwe. I personally would sum it up as a catastrophe! Mugabe and his government became very corrupt. The country was impoverished whilst himself and his party members became filthy rich. The economy collapsed, the health system collapsed, the education system collapsed. The country has no rule of law, there is no electricity or running water. People fetch water from designated boreholes in urban areas unsurprisingly people started dying of diseases like cholera.

Blue roof …Mugabe’s mansion

Mugabe’s grand mansion known as the blue roof. Built by the money of the Zimbabwean people.

Food became scarce in the shops. Nothing works in Zimbabwe and l mean literally nothing in the sense of the word! They are no sewage systems. Children no longer go to school in Zimbabwe. Crime and unemployment are very high. Through all this, Mugabe and his ministers have accumulated insurmountable wealth. Which means the country is obviously generating wealth which they were swindling into their pockets whilst the country deteriorated. The political leaders in Zimbabwe have grand mansions all over the country in every corner of the world. Mugabe’s children wash their hands with champagne and are busy partying and jet setting across the world on private jets. Mugabe and his wife travel with a private jet to hospitals abroad. Mugabe’s wife has earned herself the nickname “Gucci Grace” because of her lavish spending habits. Through all this, the average Zimbabwean is dying from abject poverty!

Mugabe’s 2 son’s who wash their hands with champagne.

How did it get like this? Check out my part two on Monday the 15th of September. l will discuss what l think went wrong in my opinion, based on what l know about leadership.

What does thinking big mean to me?

Recently l thought about what this means to me as an African and my impoverished background.

Thinking big or planning big for me means not sharing the little that l have with my nephew who can’t afford school fees.

It means keeping all my extra money to invest in myself in order to build an affordable school for the whole village.

Investing in myself might even bring a solution to a generational problem.It will stop the cycle, someone has to.

Alignment

My computer has crashed annoyingly. This happened at a time when l felt that l had taken a long enough break and it was time to get back at being persistent!

I decided not to be frustrated and use this time to reflect on my general progress in life.

l listened to a lady called Gabrielle Bernstein and she explained how she was trying to enforce a plan on her life which she had no control over. The plan was failing and making her very frustrated. Until someone told her to ask for help by praying to God.

She was trying to fall pregnant and when she couldn’t she realised after praying that this obstacle diverted her attention to what was already thriving in her life.

This made me pause because like her l have plans that l’m struggling to bring to fruition. Plans that are encountering obstacle after obstacle. But l can surrender those and focus on what is already thriving in my life. Every body has something that is thriving in their life.

Apparently when we focus on what is already thriving we achieve peace and alignment. This is where life purpose which leads to success is realised.

Xenophobic attacks happen when you don’t understand who you are.

When my son started high school l went to meet his teacher with the intention of finding out what l could do as a parent to improve his grade in history. She responded in a very unexpected way! She informed me that she hoped that l would encourage my son to listen to the news to help him gain a deep understanding of the current issues!

On seeing the surprised look on my face she explained that all current issues can be linked back to our history. She further alleged that all human beings behave the same and history enables us to predict future human behaviour!

In order for us as Africans to understand ourselves, we need to study our history. Studying our history will empower us and direct our steps in the future. Most importantly we will discover that Africans are all one?

When the colonisers descended on Africa they started by deviding us,they then split our land into small parts, imposed borders on us and told us that we were no longer the same. We became different countries with different nationalities! Prior to that we were one big happy family (ok this last sentence is an exaggeration but you get the gist?).

For the countries that got devided and still maintained peace they took it up a notch and instigated tribal wars. This is all in our history.

Referring back to the horrors of South Africa…..the current Xenophobic attacks going on in South Africa right now on immigrants are the 2nd round of attacks. They did this before!

When l got sent footage of the horrors happening in South Africa, I threw down my phone in shock. l could not bear to watch the rest of it. I deleted the whole clip without passing it on. It was so graphic l struggled to get it out of my mind!

A man was on fire, obviously an immigrant. He was stumbling about in pain and suffering as he tried to run he was pushed back to the ground by the people surrounding him who stood watching him. They taunted and spat at him, when the fire appeared to die down they threw card board on top of him to reignite the fire.

This has happened in the past in other African countries. Remember Rwanda?
What about the black on black crime in London.

Understanding history isn’t about laying the blame. Unfortunately blaming people who by the way deserve to be blamed does us no good. It simply relieves us of responsibility. It makes us become victims who can’t help themselves. We need to claim back our power let’s educate ourselves let’s understand that we all one people in Africa. If you derive joy from killing one who looks like you then you hate yourself. Look in the mirror and ask yourself where those thoughts came from ? Could you replace them with the truth ?

Nobody can do this for us empowerment means understanding who we are for the purposes of becoming someone better.

Only when we love and understand ourselves will we be able to solve our problems.

What is happening in South Africa is evil and it should never have continued.
However when Nigerians respond by looting South African businesses it demonstrates how deep rooted our issues are in Africa. Two wrongs will never make a right.

Let’s address the issues that we have brushed under the carpet for too long. Let’s talk about it, let’s do something about it. Let’s tell our children our history, they need to know that all who are in Africa and those who came from Africa are brothers and sisters. Our minds were conditioned to hate each other but we can recondition our minds in the same way they did it.