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Every so often, it is a good idea to reflect back on the last year and what has happened in life. No, not the unpleasant experiences but rather the experiences that have made you stronger.

People always use the Christmas period for such reflection but I chpse to do it today. It happens to be my birthday but the date it not important.

Here is my list. Each has a long story attached so maybe a few blog posts will be written about them.
1. I become a father again to Thomas John.
2. I crashed my road bike for only the second time in 14 years.
3. Have surgery on my elbow. See number 2!
4. Stayed in hospital for the firs time ever. See number 3.
5. Wrote and published 2 books. 2 more on the way.
6. Slowly conquering depression. Will do it!
7. Achieved my CC10 at Toastmasters.
8. Recovered from elbow surgery to ride a bike again.
9. Completed the Tour Durban. Local bike race of 106 km.
10. Bought investment property.
11. Graduated university!
12. Launched a website to help people conquer depression http://conquerdepression.co.za
13. Launched a motivational website http://motivationalwallpaper.org

I could never have down the above without my family, both immediate and extended, and I hold onto them daily.

The list will get longer as I think about.
I suggest you make your own list and when life gets you a bit overwhelmed – go and read it! It will lift you up.

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The attitude you hold or the mindset you have about anything is the crucial factor in life. How you look at things is the difference between those experiences being a drain and a stressful event or an amazing,  exciting time in your life. By no means, just because you have the correct attitude will it mean that the experience will be less difficult to deal with. It might well be as difficult but you will come through and out the other side a stronger,  mpre positive person.

In the workplace,  retrenchment is possibly the most difficult situation to find yourself in. A few years ago, I found my self in a fantastic job with a company that looked only to be expanding and going places. I was under some great people and they were happy to share there knowledge ans expertise so we could achieve those goals and targets.  That dream ended pretty rapidly when I found myself the perfect candidate of the LIFO method ie: last in first out. On paper, it is a very logical and simple way to deal with such a situation.  In this respect, I cannot fault or blame the company.  In real life, the bitter pill was a lot harder to swallow.

After talking it over, I managed to swallow that pill and learned that it was actually one of the biggest blessings I have ever had. I received the news of my retrenchment 2 days after my daughter (and first child) was born and my wife was in hospital. I told her that evening and finished up just days after she and my daughter were discharged. It was an extended stay because of various complications.  My wife and daughter, at that moment, needed me to look after them. The retrenchment gave me that opportunity.  Although I still furiously hunted for a job daily, over the next 4 1/2 months,  I built a bond with my daughter that goes beyond all words.
There is no telling life will bring you. Be sure that when it arrives, you look at it in the right way because, although it may be a exponential learning curve, it may just be the best thing for you to go through.  The attitude you go in with will determine the lessons you learn from the experience.

That Thing

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Masterpiece

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We have all been in contact with taxi drivers at some stage. Maybe you even use them on a regular basis. For most people he image of a taxi taxi is a car, often of a particular colour, with a light on top. In South Africa however,  they are different.  They are are a minibus shape and size. Licensed to hold between 12 and 16 adulta, they are often transporting up to 30 people. They have a poor maintenance record and, in my opinion, are often unroadworthy but carry on anyway.
They are pretty much always viewed as a pain in the neck and a nuisance to other road users. I have actually realised that they have exceptionally important lessons to teach us all.
1. They are important to a lot of people.
Most people in south africa do not own cars so they use taxis to get from point A to B. With the volume that they transport daily, if they don’t take that volume where they need to go, the country literally comes to a stand still. This is because the people cannot get to work. We are talking every level from domestic workers to high levwl executives.
2. They are convenient.
They are EVERYWHERE!  They go ANYWHERE!
They don’t limit their range to town routes. There are long distance taxis too. Some go as far as 180 km. On every street corner ans sometimes the middle of the road,  you can get into one and be on your way. A warning here, they are bound to routes so if you get in the wrong taxi, you will go to the wrong place.
3. They wil, do anything for business.
This lesson is where they get their bad reputation from. I have seen a taxi cross 3 lanes of traffic on a main road to pick someone up. That’s ferocious sales tactics. Just as any other business would do anything to get business, these ‘businessmen’ are the same. There is often nothing illegal in how they do it. It is definitely dangerous. This is what irritates people and rightly so. You have to commend them for the enthusiasm for the business.

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