Archive for the ‘change’ Category

Are you a builder or a destroyer?


Do you build people up or cut them down?


I was talking to Bob* the other day. Bob and his sister have been mountain bikers for years and have done several long stages races. Recently George started mountain biking and because of his personality and kind of person he is, he decided to do a very tough stage race locally. He gave himself enough time to train and get all prepared.


I personally think he will finish the race. Finishing the race is a very difficult task but not impossible. Its also very prestigious to say you have finished the race.


The story has a point. Bob and his sister are sitting and waiting for George to fail or give up. They are not really offering their time or expertise in the area to build George up and help him attain his goal. They are rather constantly warning him about how hard it is and ragging him about how he is not going to make it.


This to me is not very nice of them but that is who they are. They are not overly ripping him to shreds and tearing him down but rather causing a little bit of doubt every time they talk to him. He is pretty doubtful about it already as he has realised the enormity of the goal. Having said this, he is a relatively fit human being and active too. He has also done a huge amount to attain this target in terms of diet and training so far. These actions lead me to believe he will attain it unless something unplanned goes wrong.


Often people put other people down because they want to look better about themselves. Often they do it because they are jealous of others actions. Either way it is not a positive way of treating people.

Do you build people up and encourage them to achieve whatever they are going for?




Do you tear them down by sowing seeds of doubt about their goals?



* Names have been changed – this does not matter as the story is for illustration purposes only.


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Have you given up already on certain things in your life?

I have!

How many times have you said “it is too hard” or “I just cannot do it”. The list of “reasons” I mean excuses that follow can range from logical to down right stupid. The list can as long as your leg and my leg together. You see, its easy to give up and then justify the action.

I do it ALL the time! I plan to get up early in the morning to go cycling. The alarm goes and I wake up and hit SNOOZE. Once. Twice. Three times. Then I reset the alarm for normal get up time. When that time comes I am now irritated that I should got up. I then list the excuses to my wife or anyone that will listen and beat myself up ALL day for not getting up.
I hate doing it and hate myself for doing it. Yet, I do it almost every single day.

I heard someone say today “she is so honest by saying she cannot do it because of …..”. I do not believe that’s honesty. That’s giving up and not having the courage to hit the tough stuff and get through it.

When you start giving up – the item simply becomes less important than something else. In my case, sleeping in becomes more important than whatever I was supposed to do.

How do you stop giving up?


Just get up and do whatever you were going to do. Stop making excuses and do it.
A support structure is vital. Telling someone makes you accountable and they can help you through the tough times.
Accept that there will be tough times. No one said it will going to be easy!

The rest is up to you. Go and do it! Carpe diem!

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We never really grow up do we? The difficulties of a child and adults are very similar. They do not get any more difficult and in fact they probably get easier!
What am I talking about?
Currently my daughter is learning to crawl. At first she had no clue how to do it or where to start. As the days went past, she experimented and started to get the basics right. She did face plant a few times but that’s par for the course! I then got a message from my mom to say she is crawling to get things. She now is able to crawl around very basically but the progression is there. The more she praised by the people around her the faster she learns and the more she tries. Those people are also there to catch her as she falls or to pick her up and wipe the tears away (or take her to the hospital).

We are exactly the same just different! Take anything you have started for example. You start out clueless but with a few “face plants” and some time, progress is made and soon we are crawling then walking and finally running.

Make sure you have a good support structure to cheer you on and also to catch you before you face plant!

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What is the greatest event that has ever happened to you? Can you list a top 5 or 10?
It is not often that you see a negative event in any persons top 5 or 10 list. Mine however, contains one.
I will explain.
The year of 2011 had started quite badly but on the rebound. I had found a good job where I was happy. My wife and I were also expecting our first child. Our beautiful baby girl was born a bit early with quite a lot of drama on the 14th November. Only 2 days later, I received a letter of intended retrenchment. Despite being the most senior in rank and qualification, the last-in-first-out method was applied and that meant me first!
For the third time that year I was looking for a job!
I told my wife who was still in hospital recovering from child birth and we agreed that we would tackle it as a team.
A fairly long story short … I went to many interviews, some nice some horrible. On the whole, I was on a slippery slope down. One starts to believe after a few interviews that you are not any good and it gets nasty. This carried or for quite some time. Due to immense money saving tactics we were tight but okay. Reserves were running which meant claiming UIF became an option. I used to think that it was ‘below me’ to claim but I swallowed my pride and went to claim. It was pretty painless and quite efficient. Ironically, it was the very day I was supposed to collect my first UIF cheque that I started a new job.
It took a long time at the new job to get used being at work all day. It came back pretty quickly and I soon settled down. Along the way, I started to regain the self confidence lost over the last months. I soon began feeling like me again. This came with a lot of support from family and friends.
I got asked “how did get through that time?” My answer never changes. Those four and a half months were a huge blessing and one of the biggest ever. I could have wollowed in self pity further speeding up the downward spiral or focus on the positive!
I looked back and saw that I had watched my daughter grow up for the first months of her life. Most fathers do not get to see any of their children grow up and I was given four and a half months!
I will always look back in awe of the blessing that was being retrenched and the memories it has given me!

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In an age of unlimited knowledge and possibilities – how is it that speed is more important than accuracy and intelligence?
Let me explain.
We are more clever than ever and yet the language we speak is appalling and written word is even worse. The telephone pretty much advanced the hand written letter and the cell phone advanced the telephone. The SMS came along and decreased the ability of the user to use more than 160 characters and subsequently decreased the spelling ability of the world. It is as though all the vowels in world got sucked into outta space!
I recently received an email, of which the signature was Rgrds.
Come on! Why do this?
When I receive an email like that – the first impressions are that the person does not take the email seriously enough to complete it properly.
Even though emails can be sent from your smart phone now, take the extra time to make the email look professional. Take off the “” line out. Go into the settings and do it! It is more professional and just plainly looks better.
There are times for abbreviations abd short cuts but a lot of the time they are actually a waste of time. You spend years and 1000’s of rands (dollars etc) learning the spelling of words so now when you write words incorrectly it will take you longer because you have to think about how to write them incorrectly. Literally throwing time and money away.
Think about it – take the extra 5 seconds and make sure the message you send is complete and makes sense!

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Good morning, how are you?

I am good, how are you?

That’s good. I am good thanks.


How many times a day is that said across the globe? Millions, possibly billions, I would suspect. Yet, how many times is this actually said?

Good morning, how are you?

I am sick as a dog. How are you?

That’s good. I am good thank you.


Very few people actually start their conversations this way with an intention of listening to the answer. It is used more as a conversation starter and seldom anything more.

We are in fact ALL GUILTY of this at one stage or another. Some people are more guilty, if there is such a thing.

There are times when we intentionally do listen to the answer, of course. Examples are; when you talk to or visit an old friend or meet people face to face.

This behaviour can make or break a relationship. I get really upset if someone does not listen to me. If this were to happen during an important business call or meeting – it may well break the deal or be the difference between yes or no. On the other side of the coin, if people do listen to me, I am immediately warmed to them and it builds a stronger bond without them really trying!

Think about it for you personally – you want to be heard and for people to listen to you, right? Do you listen to others? Really? Try listening to others more carefully next time.

Do unto others as you would have them do to you!

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Step 1

Fill your mind with positive things. Read encouraging, affirming books and listen to upbeat, happy music. Think about happy memories or things you have to look forward to rather than bad things that have happened or things you dread.

Step 2

Develop yourself spiritually. Research shows that those who are spiritual live longer and more satisfying lives.

Step 3

Keep positive people in your life. Avoid people who have a negative mindset and surround yourself with people who are upbeat, spiritual and fun.

Step 4

Practice positive thinking. Try not to let negative thoughts enter your atmosphere. Think instead of all the good things in your life, even if there aren’t very many. Concentrate on your good features instead of your faults.

Step 5

Laugh often. Watch a funny movie or hang out with someone who you can be silly with. Laughter is a great way to get a positive attitude.

Step 6

Learn something new or take up a new hobby. Get out and do things you love to do and enjoy yourself.

Step 7

Reevaluate your situation. It’s easy to think negative or pessimistic thoughts when something happens. However, when you think rationally about the facts instead of the fears, you can see a more positive side of things.

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