The 10 Human Regrets

FeaturedThe 10 Human Regrets

Only the mediocre die always at their best. Real leaders are always improving- and raising their bar on how superbly they can perform and how quickly they can move.

-JEAN GIRAUDOUX

Have you ever regretted forgoing an opportunity or chance in your life path that would have proven a sure and better prospect in propelling you toward your personal vision and self improvement goal? What could be the one dreaded thing that lives and eats life away within you and scares the sense out of you yet you keep pushing it further, never get enough time to really confront and do away with it…? Personally i regret not taking up one particular job offer, within one company i so much wanted to work for even for a day…because i was so scared of the work load and culture shock i would meet…plus too much negative opinions from my ‘trusted friends’…how can i just jump onto this when i haven’t even stayed in my current job for 3 weeks…what will my boss think of me…blah blah…

Eventually i found a place in my heart to forgive myself and more importantly learn more about my fears and drives as an individual. What really motivates me…what puts me off…how far can i embrace uncertainty…and most of all how much faith do i have? I realized that getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you’re meant to be on. Sometimes we need to get off track before we can develop the clarity to be on track.

On that note i owe deep gratitude to one special person in my life, who through their influence, subtle nudge, a strong presence even in absence, iced with a worthy reading culture, has proven to be a constant beam and pillar to motivating me in creating a habit of reading meaningfully.( Of course i have been an ardent reader but truthfully…most of the time just for fun and entertainment. Nothing more or less…). They lent me this book from which i base today’s title…with a usual reminder of how the rich and most successful people tend to also possess the largest libraries. Odd. Simple. Plain. True.

‘A hare inherits a swifter pace than a snail, but a snail may distance him in the end by  slow and sure progress day after day. It is not usually the most brilliant scholar in a college class that wins the valedictory or the highest place in after life. His very brilliance is his peril, for he depends upon it rather than upon hard work, which is the winning horse in the race of life, even though he gets a head-start.’

What our society,businesses,families and communities lack and are in dire need of are enthusiastic,initiative and responsible young men and women ready to be leaders without a title. No one needs formal authority to lead- only a desire. A will to be involved and the commitment to making a positive difference. It starts with an excellence in our current roles.

Leadership has nothing to do with what you get or where you sit. Leadership is a lot more about how brilliantly you work and how masterfully you behave. Right where you stand. One cannot be creative and innovative if they are too scared to think ,feel and be different. Everyone is an original copy of themselves ( unless of course there is a duplicate of you in existence somewhere…i hope not 🙂

So lets dive into this 10 regrets…enough blubbering.

  1. You reach your last day with the brilliant song that your life was meant to sing still silent within you.
  2. You reach your last day without ever having experienced the natural power that inhabits within you to do great work and achieve greater things.
  3. You reach your last day realizing  that you never inspired anyone else by the example you set.
  4. You reach your last day full of pain at the realization that you never took any bold risks and so never received any bright rewards.
  5. You reach your last day understanding that you missed the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the mastery because you bought the lie that you had to be resigned to mediocrity.
  6. You reach your last day and feel heartbroken that you never learned the skill of transforming adversity into victory and lead into gold.
  7. You reach your last day regretting that you forgot that work is about being radically helpful to others rather than being helpful only to yourself.
  8. You reach your last day with the awareness that you ended living the life that society trained you to want versus leading the life you truly wanted to have.
  9. You reach your last day and awaken to the fact that you never realized your absolute best nor touched the special genius that you were built to become.
  10. You reach your last day and discover you could have been a leader and left this world so much better than you found it. But you refused to accept that mission because you were just too scared. So you failed. And wasted a life.

Many times we play victim and blame everything outside of us for the mess we find ourselves in. When we learn to assume responsibility for the place we are now, we begin to realize that each one of us alone creates the lives we get to live. Choices make or break us.

It is estimated that we live an average of 960 months.(subtract the ones you’ve already lived...) Life is short if you really slow down and think about it. Remembering the shortness of life strips away all distractions of life and reminds us what’s most important. Will you just die and be manure or will you leave something to be accredited to you? You do not have to be a freedom fighter or the president. Start where you are. Trust me noble acts have a way of getting out and about.

Ref:

Robin Sharma, The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable On Real Success In Business And In Life. Pg. 45&46

Wilbur, Successful Men Of Today Pg. 32

Is The Majority Always Right?

FeaturedIs The Majority Always Right?

I have always found it fascinating and quite intriguing when you consider that thought processes are not just mere patterns of routine brain activity but rather complex and highly enigmatic energy shots that lighten up certain areas of our minds, consequently…our entire system. Living in present plays a vital role in generating new thought patterns.

While riding the bus to work this morning, i let my mind flow and be carried away to the lush green grass and bush stubs that cover the pleasantly adoring Nairobi National Park. The tall,graceful giraffes i could see from a distant were already up and religiously engrossed in an almost ritual-like grazing routine. Further ahead i could catch a glimpse of the beautiful ostrich flapping its huge heavy wings, maybe signifying a new mode for the day ahead…till a cool gust of wind, breezy zephyr jolted me to the throbbing noise inside the matatu.

” If you arrest him you are arresting another tone of 45 million other citizens…let our people come out in large numbers and vote for better. Vote for change…We ought to send them home this time…,” the heated radio conversation rumbled on as i unsuccessfully tried to listen in and connect the dots. At the back of my mind i kept on wondering how much will power ‘democracy’ yields and how extensively majority power dynamics influence our daily lives as citizens. Whether we consciously notice it or are swept unknowingly in the masses.

Some few years back in high school,my literature curriculum included a play- An Enemy of the People ( i consider it a privilege to have studied it) authored by famous playwright and who most consider as the father of modern realism- Henrik Ibsen. The drama predominantly addresses the hypocrisy of society as a rotten sepulcher that tolerates moral degradation as exemplified from the highest ranking of power hierarchy, the noblest, to the humblest of persons in society. Moderation. Democracy. Though written as a response to disapprove the hypocrisy exuded by leadership during the Victorian Age, i figured the dynamics and patterns are relatively ,if not completely the same as in our current society as a nation.

Ibsen humorously lays out the play, with a guised, resilient backdrop that seeks to address issues that even our present society has problems grappling with; corruption;moral decay; shrewd deals and an elusive address of justice for the minority in society. The common denominator reiterates to the ‘fact’ that ‘the majority is always  deemed right.’ I find it true that ideas grow stale and platitudinous- they  die. Henrik ,through his main character Dr. Stockmann, shoots straight that there aren’t absolute principles of either wisdom or morality. Everything is relative.

He further portrays that the masses are nothing but raw material that must be fashioned into the people. Most of them are not ready to stand up, but are rather intimidated and ruffled at the thought of facing down the hypocrisy of the aristocracy clothed as a democracy within their current jurisdictions. They are people run down completely by the brain wash of governmental bureaucrats and unsated political mongrels’ greed for power and wealth. This makes it imperative for individuals to cultivate humane qualities that will shape a society and masses into a more rational and educated level, one that fully understand and participate in real democracy.

Majority rule dynamics are deep rooted in the Bible era too. For instance the time the Israelites are sojourning to Canaan from Egypt; Moses being a sensible leader sends forth a 12 man reconnaissance party to go out and spy the land. After several weeks this party returns and gives an account of what they observed. Unanimously they agree that it is a beautiful, fertile country with strongly defended cities and with men of huge stature. However, when it comes to the final verdict whether or not to pursue the promised land and take over, there is disintegration of 10 against 2- Joshua and Caleb.

It is clear that victory had been guaranteed to them from God but due to majority mentality the Israelites are thrown into a panic frenzy and become uncontrollable. Some even suggest hysterically that they go back to Egypt! See how majority power waters down a pre-determined course of action? It only needed a few influencers to press the correct buttons and exert an adequate amount of pressure for the masses to go berserk like untamed mindless creatures without a sense of sanity or reasoning ability to make logical decisions on their own. Fear, Irrationality. An enormous lack of faith and confidence. A risk averse mentality.

Even though they finally reach the promised land, the Israelites have to spend a painstakingly 40 years extra time to achieve it. Something they could have done roughly in a year after crossing the Red Sea. Look around you…Within you…do you have the guts to confront what is wrong and stand for what you believe is right and can benefit the community and society? Soon we are casting the vote. How mentally prepared are you? Do you vote for change or a community,family,tradition,party and popularity?

It’s deeply embedded within the human nature to want to be associated with and affiliated to things, people, organizations, movements – innocent on their own- but life threatening and huge impediments to personal and societal growth if supported for all the wrong reasons as vessels to put pressure and bring about a shift in dynamics. Whatever the reasons you are affiliated to a political alignment, activist movement…think…is the cause right for development or is it just cool and popular with no real issues to be addressed?

The majority is not always right and only the strongest man stands alone.

How firm are you?

 

Phenomenal Woman (Maya Angelou)

Phenomenal Woman (Maya Angelou)

i just had to share this…to every woman…

                twiconiniconfaceincomtumblricon amaicon youicon


Phenomenal Woman

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.

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Is God In Your Success Story?

Is God In Your Success Story?

Success is quite an elusive topic to extensively cover considering we all have our individual pre-determined scoring cards of what is an achievement and the lower threshold of what is a failure. I have an enormous quest for knowledge and a thirst to really understand some of the unconventional ways we all, as different persons view and conclude in matters of life in general.

Armed with this desire, i have come across different authors, all who inspired and impacted my general outlook on success…but one kind of altered the entire spectrum of how i have been viewing and understanding the whole concept of success – Malcom Gladwell in his famous bestseller title Outliers – The story of success.

Gladwell seeks to uncover the untold elements of famous grass to glory encounters we hear and stumble upon frequently. He clearly points out the discrepancy and popular notion of self-made success. In this book, he argues success is hugely influenced by our place of birth, values surrounding us,timing and most importantly the people we surround ourselves with.

I like it. However, as i progressed it got me thinking…where does God stand in all this? Does he have a role too in the whole picture of success and future accomplishments? Joseph’s story of grace to glory has been highlighted in the book and how the other factors played a role in his rise. So i went back to the original passage- Bible of course- to try and see if i could get extra information or an overlooked fact of the whole story.

First, Joseph from the beginning gets a head-start by being the most loved and favored of his father Jacob. Since he begot him in his old age.Obviously, this pitches him against his brothers who later, due to jealousy, sell him off into slavery. Now i want us to look at Joseph’s predisposed character, environment and the culture he held dear- in relation to his future success. I would like us to also keep an open eye and mind on whether God predominantly played in his progress.

By nature, Joseph was a dreamer. His dreams sure got him into trouble earlier in his teen life but later on they also turned out to be a blessing in disguise. First, he ends up a servant in an Egyptian officials’ house called Potiphar, as the story unfolds; his master notices that the Lord is with him hence ,he prospers. So Potiphar makes him in-charge of all his servants and possessions. Something negative occurs when he turns down the seductive offer of his master’s wife, which inadvertently ,throws him in prison. The place where the Kings prisoners were confined (wondering if this is a disguised blessing too!). The same pattern still continues…there he finds favor in the eyes of the prison warden who shows him kindness and grants him favor because the Lord was with himJoseph is put in charge of all those held in the prison and made responsible for all that is done there.

Still with me? It does not matter how well-trained, bred and mannered or richly endowed we are for us to be automatically pivoted to success; some greater invisible force has a major role behind the scenes. Which according to me, is a stark contrast to what we popularly hold true and close to our hearts- self made. It is all Gods will and favor upon us daily. Other things are well beyond rational explanation in the way they happen.

Another idea in my current read is the Matthew effect- a bible verse in Matthew that states; ‘whosoever much has been given, much will be added in abundance and whoever has little even it will be taken away.’ Looking at it generally it seems true. The richest get huge tax pay cut offs, the smartest get scholarships, the most talented get popular and so on…what about the rest? Are they locked out of the success curve? Some, like Joseph, have risen in much unconventional ways because the bottom line lies- God is with them. They do their part and let Him handle the rest as he did with Joseph.

We tend to look at success from a skewed point of view that most times we fail to recognize the role of God in it all. We give credit and overplay certain aspects of the whole circumstance that even though they have contributed to the whole achievement, cannot overshadow the will of the Lord.

Fast forward to Joseph’s success story. The climax is when the Pharaoh, pagan, admits that Joseph is surely being led by God. This unseen power is what makes him discerning and wise. He goes on to place him in charge of the palace and his subjects. Joseph a foreigner. Pharaoh is so amazed that he exclaims, ‘ can we find anyone like this man? One in whom is the spirit of God?’  Its an indirect admission to the works of God despite the individual brilliance, determination and a great character.

It does not matter your place of birth, who favored you or did not, how rich or poor you are ( disadvantages and opportunities still do create the gap); but one thing stands out…do His will and he will Lift you up. No philosophy can go round it. No intellect can go beyond this simple reasoning. God has and still reveals it in all who choose to be led and guided by him daily. Yes He does play, and actually casts the final vote in who he wants you to be. More like the Jonah analogy…eventually he ended up in Nineveh.Is God in your success story?

But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth,and so confirms his covenant ,which he swore to your ancestors as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18

REF: 1. OUTLIERS-The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

2. NIV BIBLE Genesis  chapter 37 & 41

Expect The Best And Get It (continued)

Expect The Best And Get It (continued)

So far we have seen how our thoughts influence outcomes in our lives from the previous post. This begs me to quote famous William James who became a very successful businessman, he said – ‘ our belief at the beginning of  a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that insures the successful outcome of the venture.’ When you expect the best, you attract to yourself the best. It is more like a magnetic force in your mind and often times works with a sustained expectation of the best setting in motion forces which cause that best to materialize. That’s how universal science would put it , but from a christian point of view, i simply call it faith. Believing in what is yet to be and trusting it will come to pass.

Famous sport writer Hugh Fullerton in one of his stories which concerned Josh O’Reilly (one time manager of the San Antonio Club of Texas League), illustrates this faith system. Josh had a roster of great players,seven of whom had been hitting over 300. Everybody thought that his team would easily take the championships; but it fell into a slump and lost 17 of first 20 games. With this, the players started accusing and blaming each other. Expected when tension is flying high and failure looming above their heads, right?

Playing the Dallas team, a rather weak team that year, one Dallas player got a hit and that, strangely enough, was the pitcher. O’Reilly’s team was badly beaten that day and the players were inconsolable. Josh knew he had great players, their only problem was simply how they thought – negatively. They did not expect to win. They did not expect to hit. They were resigned to losing. This was a mental attitude of doubt not expectation.

It so happened that a preacher named Schlater, popular at the time, claimed to be ‘a faith healer‘ with apparently ‘outstanding‘ results. People believed and had confidence in his ‘abilities‘ (perhaps that’s why his power achieved results!). So O’Reilly asked each of his players to lend him two of his best bats and stay in the club house till his return. He put the bats in a wheelbarrow and off he went with them for an hour. He returned jubilantly to tell the players that Schlater, the preacher, had ‘blessed‘ them and they contained ‘power that could not be overcome‘. The players were astounded and delighted!

The next day they overwhelmed Dallas, 37 hits and 20 runs thus, hammering their way through the league to a championship. For years in the South West a player would pay a large sum of money for a ‘Schlater bat‘ after this experience. Mmmmh. What do you think…?

Whether the coach really visited Schlater or not is a controversial issue to contend with, but one thing stands out clearly; something significant happened in the thought patterns of of these players. They began thinking in terms of expectation not doubt. The expected the best, not the worst. They expected to win, to score and eventually, that’s what they got. You realize all along they had power within them to get what they wanted. The bats remained the same ones they had used in the previous matches, but there was certainly a difference in their minds later.

Simply amazing! Things become better when you expect them to be better. Freedom from  self-doubt allows us to put our whole self into the endeavor. Nothing can stand in the way of a man who focuses his entire self on a problem. When you approach difficulty as a personal unity, the problem tends to deteriorate. Expecting the best means that you put the whole of your heart into what you want to achieve.

We are defeated not because we lack ability, but because we lack wholehearted devotion to what we have at hand to accomplish. We do not wholeheartedly expect to succeed, we allow room for doubt and fear. Perfect faith and love drive out fear. I love children because they have that drive and can-do-anything mentality. They have a kind of  peculiar faith and belief system even when as an adult you’re thinking that’s damn impossible! No wonder Jesus advocated we be like children at heart. Believe. Trust. Hope.

” Learn to give every bit of yourself holding nothing back to whatever you are doing. Life cannot deny itself to the person who gives life his all”.

 Start today. It takes time but it pays.

Expect The Best And Get It

Expect The Best And Get It

When Wilma was a young girl, her left leg became paralyzed. Her doctors told her she would never walk again. Heart breaking. However, Wilma decided she didn’t want to be an invalid. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and resigning to her fate, she said ‘i will walk again’. Not only did she want to walk, but also to run. She began telling herself she would be one of the fastest runners in the world. Affirmative thoughts. In High school, she competed in every race despite finishing last ,until one day she came in next to last. To cut the long story short, eventually Wilma Rudolph won not only one but multiple races and went on to set a record as the first American Woman to ever win 3 gold medals in the same Olympics!

Wilma’s story is an amazing example of the powerful influence our thoughts have over our success of failures in life. This is best explained in the universal law of reaping and sowing – essentially, we are what we think. Positive, happy thoughts produce chemicals that actually strengthen the body while the opposite, is true.Words like ‘i cant’ or ‘i never’ limit our abilities  in the subconscious mind.

What are your expectations in life? Do you believe and look forward to the best or you are a doubting Thomas? When we lose insight and steer towards disbelief,negativity and lack of faith in God and self ; most definitely the best of expectations turn out to be sour. Training our thoughts to expect the best and believe it will occur goes a long way to making those dreams a reality.

Disclaimer though – We do not always get what we wish for, because for a reason, maybe it wasn’t the best or good for us as much as we wish for it at the moment. Learning to put your trust in God, He will guide your mind so you do not want things that are not in harmony with His will for your life. Trust means accepting and having faith that everything happens at its appointed time. Belief makes the impossible possible. Remember you don’t have to see the whole staircase to make the first step. Every great thing at last becomes for you a possibility…

… to be continued