Archive for the ‘Greatness’ Category

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Good Things

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Who you hang around – that you will become.

“You cannot fly like an eagle when you are stuck with turkeys”.
If I told you that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with – would you believe me?

Do this now:
1. Get a pen and paper and write down the people that you spend the most time with. It may be 20 names.
2. Scratch out family members.
3. Chose out of those names – the names that you spend the most time with.

THOSE are the people that will determine who you are, what you become and where you will go in life.

You have to exclude family members because we cannot choose your family. We can choose how we deal with them though.

I have seen effect on people in the work place environment. A person arrived on her first day – bubbly, talkative and energetic. She was hired for this reason. After her desk was moved into an office downstairs, her whole demeanour changed. The office was very negative with a lot of rumours and back biting going on. Not long after the move she was one of the office. She had changed completely purely because of who she was with most of the day.


Get out your mobile phone.
Go through the personal contacts.
DELETE anyone who brings you down when you talk to them.
How do you judge this? When you see their call come you either: do not want to answer and or go “ah no” not now.
For obvious reason you cannot delete business contacts and family.

This simple exercise will make a significant difference to you and your attitude.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most successful in the room?

When you walk into the room of friends, have a look around and determine whether you are the most successful or knowledgeable. If you are, LEAVE. The only reason not leave is if you are teaching the people.
The reason for leaving the room is you cannot improve your knowledge in any way.
If you are not the most successful person – GREAT! You can learn from people and improve yourself.

Do the small things first

Small improvements can make a massive difference in life. Do not try and make a huge change or many changes at once. Change one thing at a time, master that and then change another and so on. Small changes are not difficult and soon make a huge difference.

“If there is someone you can live without, then do so” Bare Naked Ladies

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I saw a photograph of a cyclist from a newly formed South African team. They are racing in Europe amongst some of the top teams in the world. The message emblazoned in the picture was “if you want to be great, surround yourself with greatness”. They are new to the pro circuit and they are aspiring to be great. They have jumped in the deep end of greatness to get there. After a few short months – they have got many good results and are well on their way to greatness. The name is Team MTN Quebeka.

Their story plays out on the world stage and on television and radios worldwide. You are asking “what about me? I can’t be great”


Greatness happens in all places, it has no favour for race, creed, colour, nationality, gender or age. Greatness comes from within. What is on the inside really sets us apart from others not the list of physical or seen differences above.

How do you do it?
It is actually quite logical and simple. I will use two examples to illustrate how:
1. I am a cyclist. I enjoy it but do not get to do it as much as I like. In order to get better or faster – there are a few ways I can “surround myself in greatness”.
a. Watch the professionals on television both in South Africa and abroad.
b. Read magazines and books about cycling.
c. Get involved with a cycling group that goes on rides locally. This is the most important step. it must however, be a group that is slightly “greater” than my current level. Otherwise I will never grow or move off my current level.

2. I enjoy photography. I really get so much joy from taking photographs. It can something simple like a flower in the garden to majestic mountains to downhill skateboarders rushing past me. “Surrounding myself with greatness” would involve steps similar to the steps above. These are:
a. Read photography articles online about taking the photos you want as well as the technology involved.
b. Attending workshops to develop the art and skill involved.
c. Doing it. Go beyond what you are familiar with and stretch yourself.
d. Tag along with a local professional and glean all the information you can without interrupting their work.

“You will never soar with the eagles when you hang around Turkeys”

I love this quote because its so true and very descriptive. Both the above examples are encapsulated by the people you are around. If I ride with fast guys – I will have to keep up. Yes, I may not keep up at first but if I keep at it (and have a little encouragement) I will eventually hang onto the back wheel and stay there. Over time I may be leading the peloton!

Surround yourself in greatness and soar to new heights!

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1. “To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” – Alan Cohen


2. “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale


3. “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde


4. “Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.” – Sophia Loren


5. “I had to grow to love my body. I did not have a good self-image at first. Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy.”  – Queen Latifah


6. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha


7. “Think like a queen. A queen if not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah


8. “I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be?” – Goldie Hawn


9. “Wouldn’t it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from inside out.” – Alan Cohen


10. “Don’t you dare, for one more second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of the greatness that you are.” – Jo Blackwell-Preston


11. “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.”  – Hafiz


12. “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” – Wayne Dyer


13. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


14. “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”  – Eckhart Tolle


15. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

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Whatever you do in life both in your personal capacity and your professional life, there will ALWAYS be a down side to it. A relationship will turn sour or a business deal will fall through.
There are countless saying that try and conquer this occurrence. Here a few:
“Take the rough with the smooth”
“Roll with the punches”
“There will be ups and downs”
Etc. I am sure you can add at least three more.

Whatever happens and whatever sayings you hold onto, it still hurts when it happens. You still go through stages roughly the same as grief.

After starting my own photography business, there was one family that just was not happy about the photo shoot I did with them. It seemed like everything I did was not good enough. I am not saying it was perfect shoot at all. Anyway, I tried to go out of my way to make it right but when delivering the CD of photos, I got a lecture of disappointment and non delivery. It took a lot of grace and self discipline to launch at the person and tell them exactly what I thought. I stood there and took it and said goodbye and walked away.

You know in the cartoons when the character is so angry steam blows out of their ears – that was me! If it was not for a very wise and understanding wife to talk to, I may not have made it home safely. I was angry and upset to put it mildly.

This incident tore me into little pieces. But I had to hold onto the phrases mentioned above. By the time this incident had happened I have many great shoots and many happy customers and yet this one upset me more than those lifted me.

You have to cut lose of all the bad that is holding you down in order to appreciate the great that you have.

There have been many songs written about overcoming this. The greatest one that comes to mind is We are the champions by Queen. The lyrics include the lines
“But its been no bed of roses,
No pleasure cruise,
But I consider it a challenge before the whole human race,
That I’d never lose”

EVERYONE fails more than once but NOT EVERYONE rises EVERY time.
Only the great rise again!

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I think therefore I am

Do you think you are worthy of what you are doing?
Do you think you are worthy of that promotion to the big job?
Belief is more important than anyone thinks it is. It can come across as confidence or even arrogance in some cases. It is really simple actually – simply believe and you are almost there! But is it that simple to ‘just believe’.
Christianity is based on the belief that Jesus Christ died for you and whoever so believes is saved.
How about this example. You are working as a rep (inset whatever your job title is) and have been doing well so the company promotes you to rep manager. You will do all the duties of that manager job but unless you think you are the manager – you will always be just a rep. Physically, you have to step up in roles but mentally you have to as well. That step up is possibly the most important and most difficult to do.
For myself personally, it is far more difficult to believe in myself than to be believe in something. It is a daily challenge to believe.

Think it and you will be it!

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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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I have been exercising or involved in sport for quite some time. It started about 15 years ago when I was at school. I always played some sport but at high school I started going to gym. I was always interested in sport and training and did quite a lot of reading about programs and the training towards a goal. It was never any formal study but rather from magazines and articles from various sporting codes.


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“The problem with being the unsung hero is you will never get the credit you deserve”

We went to the movies on Friday night. It was the first time in a while. We watched the Harry Potter Part 7 Part 2. Having watched all the Harry Potter movies, it was pretty clear to everybody that Harry was destined to be great from the start. The whole series centered around this fact. The series was very well written in terms of the books and the movies, in my opinion, let the books down a bit. That is my opinion though.

Anyway, whilst I was watching the great series come to a close, I could not help thinking that we are all “destined” for greatness. It may not be well documented like some people. It may come in the simplest of forms. Some everyday examples that have struck are the following:
1. Mothers. My wife and I are expecting  our first little person towards the end of the year and I stand in awe of all mothers whilst they are pregnant. The chaos that the female body goes through whilst making that little person is absolutely crazy!

2. “behind the scenes” people. These are the people who are not noticed for the effort they put in and never ask for any credit either. Everybody knows someone like this. Teachers who teach the “star pupil”, The tea lady who makes that cuppa every day, The coach of the next great super sports star, the list goes on. Let them know today that they are appreciated!

Whatever you do for a living, wherever you go today, do not do it for the credit or the lime light. Rather do because you know that is what makes you great. You may or may not get the credit you deserve but you are still great!

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