Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Power of Movement

There is an interesting story in the history of ancient Samaria. It was of a time they were besieged round-about by a great Syrian army and there was no way of going into the city or out of it. Typically, supply ran short, inflation hit the economy and life became so hard that people couldn’t buy the cheapest foods. In one gross instance, two women negotiated to kill and eat their sons to survive and actually succeeded in killing one.
When things seemed to only spiral downwards, four lepers negotiated the unthinkable amongst themselves. They reasoned that they couldn’t go into their own city because death was imminent for the merciful able-bodied talk less of the physically handicapped. Their other option was to head for the camp of the Syrian army – their enemies. They would most likely be killed but they had a slim chance of engendering enough pity to get food. They summarized their discussion this way: “Why sit her until we die?” and moved towards the Syrians. This seemingly insignificant half-hearted movement of four lepers saved a nation.
I like that question and I think it is important we intermittently ask ourselves this question. Why sit in our conditions and die? Why sit in poverty and die? Why sit in confusion and die? Why sit in ignorance and die? Nothing moves until you move. Nature responds to movement and never to inaction. If you remain the way you are things will remain the way they are.
I remember that I have always desired to be a published author. I especially wanted to write a book that will draw the attention of international publishers. This was an ‘incredible” dream considering the fact that I had no foundation for such. I set out working on my first book, Do it Like Kids, and sent out applications to numerous companies. I got rejected by several but didn’t feel hurt because I wasn’t popular enough to be hurt. It took four years and one evening I received an offer for an all-expense-paid contract with a lovely company.

If I hadn’t moved by writing and pursuing the dream, it wouldn’t matter how long I spent dreaming over and over of being published, it will never happen. If I didn’t move by writing and pursuing, but rather sat back to wish, the dream would be dead today. It would have been said of me, “He sat until his dream died.”

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Creating External Balance in Your Life

We have laid a foundation of how important balance is in life and success. We all have various roles and responsibilities to carry out at the same phase of life. We could be parents, spouses, employees, employers, teachers and students, at the same time. With each of these roles there are accompanying responsibilities. Balance is when you know your specific roles and follow through with corresponding responsibilities. Imbalance is when you do not know your corresponding responsibilities to roles or have knowledge of them but mix them up.
          When you have internal balance settled – the “two peace-steps”; peace with God and peace with self – then you will have laid a proper foundation for external balance, which shows itself as peace with the world.
          External balance is the outer you. It is what the world sees. It is your ability to be organized, to stay focused, and to prioritize every action in your life. Without external balance you have no physical prove for success. People respond to tangibility and external balance creates tangible things. Some years back while sharing my “great” visions of the future to my wife (then fiancé), Gift, she interjected and said, “I have heard a thousand of your dreams. Can you do one for me to see?” I realized at that moment that I may have internal balance but lacked sufficient external balance to bring to bear my dreams and aspirations.
          External balance begins with a vision. What do you see with your mind’s eye? What has your heart captured, or like the ancient prophet put it, is your “heart inditing a good matter”? Vision forms the framework for all success. It turned corn to cornflakes, potato and rice to Pringles, and lemon to lemonade. It is vision that initiates the process of taking nature’s gift to finished products that add value to human life. It is vision that gives you a blueprint for your success journey.
          Then we go to goals – long term and short term. Do you have them? It was Earl Nightingale who likened the mind to a huge caterpillar, which can be used to do a hundred-man days’ work is an hour, but is controlled by a small steering wheel. The mind is to a human what the steering wheel is to a caterpillar. Without goals there may be movement but no direction. If you lack direction you will not arrive at your destination.

          Finally, what is your plan for accomplishing your goals? A plan breaks down your goals into smaller and easier to accomplish bits. Anything can work if you have a plan that clearly outlines strategies for accomplishing it.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Creating Internal Balance in Your Life

Balance in life is indispensable to your progress. A person who lacks balance will continue to be unstable and produce mediocre results. An imbalanced person will mix up roles and responsibilities. He would act in the right way to the wrong person. Have you seen husbands who relate to their wives as though they related to an employee – and possibly vice versa?
          Balance in life means having right knowledge of all your roles and responsibilities and functioning in line with them whenever their specific need arises. Balance means you don’t give undue attention to only one aspect of your life living every other aspect unattended to. A balanced nation, for example, isn’t one that has mansions and luxury cars on every street but one that wouldn’t permit the poor and uneducated remain the way they are. A balanced nation wouldn’t leave others behind because it knows that it doesn’t matter how far it expresses prosperity externally, with the poor and uneducated around they would pull all the structures down.
          Balance begins not without but within a person. The problem we face most of the time is that we try to be externally balanced without considering who we are inside. If you remain internally imbalanced it will be irrelevant how many seminars you attend or the number of my articles you read on external balance.
New wine must be put into new wineskins. – Jesus
          I reckon that complete balance naturally emanates from three sequential peace steps:

To have peace with God means to be believe that he exists, to accept his love toward you, and rely on him to guide you through every step of your life.
          To have peace with self is to recognize and understand the peculiar path for your success journey, to align yourself with it, and ensure your physical needs don’t wage a war with your soul.
          When you lay a continual solid foundation of internal balance you will be able to build skyscrapers of success externally.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Creating Balance in Your Life

So you are a husband, father, teacher, entrepreneur (when the chips are down), brother, uncle, church volunteer, resource person, and you have just 24 hours to be all at once. You feel completely out of place and aren’t able to be one of these things to the best of your ability. You wake up feeling you have infinite responsibilities to accomplish in a finite allocation of time. You go to bed at night feeling like a worse crap than the one that awoke some hours earlier.
          You are not alone in this. Facts don’t lie and it may be interesting to know that you have for a company over 50% of the population of any city in the world. Unfortunately what I just shared with you doesn’t make you feel any better about this situation. You may actually feel worse off – who wants for a company a host of stressed folk?
          What you need is to create balance. Have you seen one on those funambulists [/fjuːˈnambjʊlɪst/] – those fearless people that walk on thin tight ropes? What’s the one word you’d use to describe them? Balance? You are right. They must master the art of creating balance – internal and external balance – else they’d be dead with the first try at public funambulism.
Life is very much like walking on a tight rope. If you don’t create effective balance – internal and external (and in that order) – you’d fall off many ropes until you give up living. If you will be the best you can be in all your roles and responsibilities you must make balance the underlying principle that holds them together.
Internal balance is that which comes from within you. It is the spiritual, the conscience, the inner you. It is the beginning point, the means to an end. When you have it sorted out you will give the external something to work with and build its balance upon.
External balance comes from without. It is the organization, the focus and prioritizing, the outer you. It is the process, the end that comes from a means. Your glory – what the world can see.

I will be writing, in the next few articles, how to develop internal and external balance in your life. These principles will apply irrespective of where you are or what you do.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Gangnam Style Effect

The music video, Gangnam Style, surpassed 2 billion views – and still counting – on YouTube alone early this month. It is by far the most watched video ever. It lasts for 4:12 minutes and that means, like The Economist highlighted, it has been watched for 140 million hours or 16,000 years! I must confess I have contributed to at least 20 of those minutes. In this time we would have built 20 Empire State buildings (USA), or 7 Burj Khalifas (Dubai) or 4 Great Pyramids (Egypt).
Now, I am a considerate person and know that it isn’t logical to assume we shouldn’t watch a Gangnam Style or any other fun pop video but will like to raise the point of how productive resources such as time, money or energy can be gradually dissipated on unproductive activities by one little drop after another.
The fact that time goes in seconds makes it easy to waste. Money is spent in cents makes it easy to spend. Energy goes in tiny calories makes it easy to dispel. The difference between successes and failures is in one thing – the ability to use limited resources and get the very best out of them. To the success, little is much. He knows that the seconds matter, and the cents are important, and each calorie is all too needed. He uses the little of today to produce the much of tomorrow.
To ensure the Gangnam Style Effect doesn’t infiltrate you, you must understand the multiplier effect of “little” things. Remember it is the “little foxes that spoil the vine.” Nobody has it all – time, money or energy. Don’t look down on the little you think you have because as you do the best you can with your little allocation you will produce results that make it seem you have more than your fair share.
Identify what is important to you and your success journey and ensure you don’t spend most of your resources on the things that aren’t important. The “would-be” doctor who spends half of the day watching Entertainment TV will become a “wanna-be” doctor.

I am learning to prioritize and focus only on the things that are foremost to me per moment. I try to live through the day by starting with number one and go down the list. Setting priorities is a difficult habit in a world where things intrude into our plans and make us plan-less. But this intrusion is the reason we must prioritize lest we find ourselves helping Gangnam Style hit 3 billion views.