Who’s Kenya’s Designated Survivor?

Who’s Kenya’s Designated Survivor?

Kenya nchi yangu, naipenda kuliko asali…” (I love my country Kenya more than honey), sang one of the patriotic state choirs early this morning on a local TV station. Those beautiful rhythms bring back the nostalgia of what this special day meant to me when I was a kid.

 We’d wake up early, to watch our heroes and freedom fighters. Learn a thing or two about their role in making Kenya an independent and democratic sovereign nation. Religiously and keenly follow the defense forces march in sync saluting and showing reverence to the head of state. Later We’d perch on walls eagerly waiting for the famous jet Somersets and spiralling exhaust smoke that would decorate the blue sky. Funny thing actually is “Kenyatta Day“- as it was formerly known- was always sunny. Hence a blue sky was a guarantee.

Today I don’t know if kids still wake up to watch the TV and follow the proceedings. I bet the culture has slowly and stealthily disappeared from our routine as ‘patriots‘. Do we really have anything to smile about?

These days we are not sure our students in school are safe. When ironically, some years back ,boarding schools were a prestigious and respectable way of going through the 844 system. It was kind of elite. Especially if you were lucky enough to end up in the so called national or provincial school. Is it now? 

Just the other day the Kenyan manufacturer’s body made an expected announcement of looming lay offs amongst their staff. Companies are downsizing and hiring cautiously. A diminishing intent on recruitment and hiring of new staff starting in the first quarter of next year. This is not surprising anymore. That’s what is expected in a politically anxious nation.

But that aside. Bado najivunia kuwa mkenya. I live and die in Africa as sauti Sol put it in one hit. I’ll never stop smiling at the sweet sound and melody of our national anthem being played skillfully by the defense forces band. The slow beats. A patriotic beat that melts my heart and reminds me am Kenyan. There might not be much to smile about. But there is a lot to be grateful for. 

Life has to move on, it’s about time we celebrated the small insignificant achievements we are making as individuals within this nation. We should learn to adopt a gratitude attitude. Extend trust and love to the next door neighbor and truly see politics as the game it is. Realistically this is just a fight between the haves. Let them. The have nots should be rational and cautious. Don’t die like a fool for someone who doesn’t even know your surname. Want to be a hero? Do it the right way and fight for a worthy cause. Fight for peace and cohesion.

We have our children. Families. sportsmen and women. Our institutions. Our diverse heritage.Our defense forces. Religious freedom still. Plus a tropic climate that makes excursions all year long suitable. Maybe when we learn to appreciate the little and good we have. We won’t be so darn worried about who takes it all but rather what they will bring with them in leadership.

Hopefully that person is the designated survivor like Kirkman ready to do just.

I think its about time Kenya sworn in its designated survivor so we can move on and concentrate on other things. What do you think?

Breathe peace. Exhale peace. Happy Mashujaa day!

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How to slow it down

How to slow it down

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci once said that, and I don’t think anything could be closer to the truth.

But how can we bring more simplicity into our complex lives? How can we uncomplicate things for ourselves?

It’s time for a reality check…

Life is actually pretty simple, but we insist on making it complicated!

Here are a few easy ways to uncomplicate it:

1. Learn from the past, and then get the heck out of there! – Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderful future; not cause you to be afraid of it. Don’t carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones. Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. Success is not about where you are standing at any given point in time; it’s about how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come to get there.

2. Focus on being productive, not being busy. – Don’t just get things done; get the right things done. Results are always more important than the time it takes to achieve them. Stop and ask yourself if what you’re working on is worth the effort. Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals? Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important. Identify what’s most important to you. Eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else. No wasted time, no fluff, no regrets.

3. Organize your space. – Start clearing clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t use and then organize what’s left. Keeping both your living and working areas organized is crucial. If you have a cluttered space, it can be distracting and stressful. A clear space is like a blank canvas, available to be used to create something great.

4. Be efficient. – Stop being inefficient simply because you’ve always done it that way. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Many times we live with unplanned, complex systems in our lives simply because we haven’t given them much thought. Instead, streamline your life by finding better ways of handling common tasks. Focus on one system at a time (your cleaning system, your errands system, your paperwork system, your email system, etc.) and try to make it simplified, efficient, and logical. Then, once you have it perfected, stick to it.

5. Let things be less than perfect. – Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have. You must accept the fact that life is not perfect, that people are not perfect, and that you are not perfect. And that’s okay, because the real world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards people who get GOOD things done. And the only way to get GOOD things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.

Wish you luck!

Do you Believe you Have what it Takes? 

The most comon way people give up their power is by thinking they don‘t have anyAlice Walker

Sometime ago when i received my first dismissal letter it felt as if the ground beneath me had given way to a tumultous crush and crumbling of my future prospects. Little did i realize there would be more to come:-). At that time all i could dwell on was on how bleak my future seemed in a faded unpleasant oblivion. 

It’s natural to want to hold on and prevent or entirely avoid loss whatsover in our life or even business. The warm and comfortable feeling of familiarity and constancy tends to spark a resisitive element within to resist change and eliminate it.  I had a lesson to learn though that breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. Turbulent conditions can actually elevate one’s skills, show hidden talents and boost your game.  

I had to embrace and learn that i actually needed to move closer to the place i fear most instead of pulling back from it. What we resist will persist, but what we befriend we begin to transcend. Adaptability

Loss and rejection have a way of benumbing the active nerves and emotive bases of our being.  Some shutdown completely. One negative shift in life could throw us spiralling down the steep slope of self pity, despondency and self loathe. It’s in this pit i had unconsciously slid into and i knew i had to summon enough strength to pull myself out of it. 

Within this maze of disillusionment and loss i had to rekindle a habit of active reading.  We can all agree knowledge is power.  (I must admit though that i had fanatically collected lots of books i rarely read end to end). The more i sharpened my mind, the more i realized that the greatest freedom I’ve had; is the ability to choose how i view my role in the world and power at my disposal to make positive decisions in whatever conditions i happen to find myself in (Sounds cliché right?…) 

The more i accepted that success is created through conscious  choices as an inevitable and final consequence of superior decision making, the more confident i became. 

Do you believe you have what it takes? What other people think of you is none of your business.  Personal leadership is about having unshakable faith in your vision and unrelenting confidence in your power to make positive changes happen. Remember, “great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds-Einstein. “

I’m not there yet- but i believe that if i advance confidently in the direction of my dreams and to live the life which i have imagined, i will meet with a success expected in common hours :-). 

I have stopped wishing for something better rather than realizing that, often everything I’m searching for actually lies exactly where i am.  It’s learning not to take for granted what i have at hand or failing to appreciate all the positive aspects contained there in. 

How about you? Got what it takes? 

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well‘.-Martin Luther King Jr

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