Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

We have all been around kids at some point and heard some of the classic expressions they say. They will say anything that is on their mind at that moment with no filters on the way out.

Over the course of growing up these filters are added our minds and mouth. We are told to mind our manners around others and watch what we say. This is probably to stop us hurting others and being hurt by others.

This is a good-bad thing.

It is a good thing because, as stated above, we do not hurt others or get hurt by others. It protects us from being hurt – very good.

It, however, is more bad than good. What kids say may be classified as rude or put into various other categories but it can be more correctly classified as brutally honest. For example, if a child thinks your hair style is ugly – they will tell you. If an adult thinks that – they will not. The kid is being honest about what they think of your hair style whereas the adult is not. It becomes a problem when we start burying feelings and emotions. These eventually start festering inside and this will lead to all kinds of hurt and long term damage. This in turn hurts those around us.

There are time when you should not speak your mind.
For personal safety when walking in a not so nice part of town. Telling someone their hair style is rubbish (however true) is not advisable.
when dealing with the law: yes – you think the police man is an idiot and that you were not speeding but keep this to yourself because you will get into more trouble than you are in already. In this instant – keep it to yourself!

Speak your mind!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

One day I decided to quit….
I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. .
I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

‘God’, I asked, ‘Can you give me one good reason not to quit?’
His answer surprised me…
‘Look around’, He said. ‘Do you see the fern and the bamboo?’
‘Yes’, I replied.
‘When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds,
I took very good care of them.
I gave them light.
I gave them water.
The fern quickly grew from the earth.
Its brilliant green covered the floor.
Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed.
But I did not quit on the bamboo’, He said.

‘In year three, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.
But I would not quit.

In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed.
I would not quit.’ He said.

‘Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared
to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. .

But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots.
Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
‘I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.’

He asked me.
‘Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling,
you have actually been growing roots’.

‘I would not quit on the bamboo.
I will never quit on you.’
‘Don’t compare yourself to others.’

He said.
‘The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.
Yet the forest they both make beautiful.’
‘Your time will come’,

God said to me.
‘You will rise high’
‘How high should I rise?’  I asked.
‘How high will the bamboo rise?’ He asked in return.
‘As high as it can?’ I questioned.
He said,
‘Give me glory by rising as high as you can.’

I left the forest and brought back this story.
I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.

Never, Never, Never Give up.

For Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.

Read Full Post »

In every single aspect of life – consistency is crucial and a key to success!
Random examples from all parts of life are available:
Raising children especially when discipline is needed.
Driving a car at a consistent speed lowers fuel consumption.
When studying – cramming does work but not help in the long term – consistency over a period will always produce better results.
In sports – the most consistent will always be near the top and will always have a longer career.

Those examples cross all aspects of life. If you only do something in the short term, even if you do it well – you will nothing more than a flash in the pan or a “one hit wonder”. Anybody can do that. The most difficult part is repeating it but not only once.
Little and often will always be better and more effective than “cramming” it all in at the last minute. Let’s take a very good example – health and exercise. 20 minutes 3 times a week will always better than 60 minutes once a week. Its more effective for your body and your mind copes better too in that your body recovers faster and you get a consistent flow of endorphins throughout the week. These have a huge beneficial effect on your overall well being.

Being consistent may however, have its negatives. Take a long distance running race for example. There will be people that sprint off the line and disappear into the distance leaving nothing but their dust behind. Soon enough though, they will tire and stop and you will cruise past and cross the line first. It goes back to the famous children’s story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare got cocky and sprinted off and the tortoise consistently plodded on and won the race.

Never mind what the activity is – doing it consistently will always win the day in the long run.

Read Full Post »

As much as you do not want to admit it – the world is driven by numbers. Everywhere you look and in every aspect of life – numbers numbers numbers! Computer geeks will tell you it is all 0’s and 1’s. Economists are all about GNP, GDP and percentages. Stock markets are about averages, points up and percentage change. Sportsmen and women are all about Km/h, watts, speed, time and so many other statistics.

I thought I was a numbers person. I do some cycling and have been obsessed with the numbers. I have the complete spreadsheets telling all the ups and downs. I cycle both on a single bike as well as on a tandem. I have computers on both bikes. Recently my dad (tandem partner too) got a garmin computer and wanted to have it on the back of the bike so he could see what the statistics were.
It suddenly changed my mind about numbers. I started to cycle by feel and purely for the love of it. It was so much better. I did not have to worry about average speed and how fast (or slow) we were going. I just checked if my dad was doing okay and that was all I was worried about.
I found I enjoyed the whole experience more. The only numbers I really am interested in now are the total distance and the average speed.

I have subsequently met a female semi-professional mountain bike rider and I asked what kind of computer she used, expected a very sophisticated model. The answer was the opposite – she does not use one at all! She said “she just rides”.

The love for anything diminishes when you get caught up in the numbers. I am not saying do not keep them or look at them but rather do not caught up obsessing about them because it takes you away from what you love and do best. Numbers are important but the love for it is more important.

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

Have you ever got really tense and frustrated just before a big event? Perhaps a conference you are planning, your annual holiday or even the run up to Christmas?

A couple of years ago, I was going to a Christian retreat for 3 and half days. The lead up to this particular retreat was actually horrible. I was tense which rubbed off onto others and it was just not a nice time. The retreat was an amazing time and always worth the effort!

Just the other day, I was at band practise at a local church and before I got a little wound up because plans were changed slightly and it got under my skin when it REALLY should not have. I was thinking about bailing and going home but stuck it out because of various reasons. It landed up being a really good practise and the worship session on Sunday went very well too. Well worth the tense start to the process.

I look back at these and other instances and think to myself “what went wrong?” – there was no reason for that to happen!

There are 2 options to deal with this:
1) We can anticipate it will happen and counter it by watching for signs of it or,
2) Make up for the tense time by having a better time at the event or occasion that we are planning for.

Personally, I try and do the first option because I am quite a stable person and do not like going up and down like a yo-yo emotionally. I am also very aware of hurting people around me for no reason.

Either way we should be aware of this occurrence and plan for it.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »