Posts Tagged ‘Change’

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Some days come and go without a hitch but some will stick with us forever.  The days, weeks, months and years seem to be flying passed more quickly than ever before but some days will change the course of your life and those around forever.
Some of these dates you will remember for the rest of your life and some days you will remember because of what happened on that specific day.
For example. Who can tell me where you were when JFK was shot? When you first heard that Princess Diana had died? Where you were when they first landed on the moon?

These days do not define us but they direct our lives. This can happen as an individual, as a family or group and even a nation. These days certainly change us and it is up to us where that change takes us. We can use it constructively to build a better life or we can use the days to destroy ourselves.

A very good example is the tragedy of 9/11. The USA (and most of the world) was brought together that horrible day. The events have been used to cement the unity of mankind and innumerable positive acts are being told and heard around the world because of the events that followed that event.

In November 2011, I was lining up to having the life I wanted for myself and my family. A good job which I loved. A wife who I adore and who was expecting our first child any day. “one of these days” arrived and I was retrenched just 2 days after our daughter was born. the next four and half months was incredibly tough but I used it in 2 very powerful ways – the 2 most incredible blessings ever. #1 I was able to look after my wife in her recovery after the birth. #2 I got to spend the first four and a half months with our precious daughter. Yes it was stressful but it was an amazing blessing and something that I will cherish forever.

You and only you choose what to do with these days. No one can force you to use these days a building block to great success and to become the person you always wanted to be but know this: no one can force these days to destroy you either. Either way – IT IS YOU THAT DECIDES. That’s rule number 1. Rule number 2 is equally as important. NO DECISION IS A DECISION. people think that because they did not choose something, they are being forced into doing whatever it was. RUBBISH! You may not actively choose something but that means that you are choosing not to choose. By not taking action you are actually taking action to do nothing and that inaction comes with consequences.

We have all had “these days” in out lifetime – both good and bad. Let these days be the chapters of your book that make it a bestseller, the building blocks to your happiness.

What are you going to do with “the days that changed” (and will change) your life?

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Your attitude determines a lot about you as a person and affects everyone around you. The collective attitude of the group of people around you has a bigger (although different) effect. The attitude of entire country has an effect of being to determine where that country is going.
I live in Durban, South Africa and over the last couple of years I have become aware of 3 areas where attitudes make a massive difference.
1. Cyclists.

I am a cyclist and do a fair deal of road cycling. The general attitude towards cyclists from motorists is that they should not be in the road. It goes the other way too with cyclists believing that motorists are out to get them and they are reckless. I am saying that both are 100% to blame for the stupidity that this causes. Being able to comment on both side of the coin, my opinion is this: cyclists often cause their own trouble by riding 2 or 3 abreast. Having said that, motorists often are very impatient and do sudden turns without indicating or stopping suddenly etc. Dangerous to all road users!
What I suggest? If you are cycling, be aware of cars and other road users and ride single file if necessary and let the person pass. Safer for all. If you are a motorist and you come across cyclists – do not hoot! This is very startling for cyclists and causes accidents. If there is a group in the lane, slow down exercise a little patience, make sure there is room to pass and take over as you would a normal car. It may slow your trip down by about 2 minutes but that’s something you have to deal with.

2. Pedestrians.

Not all roads have pavements. Not all pavements are clear from bushes etc. Things happen! Discard those items from the argument. I am talking here about walking in the MIDDLE of the road regardless of any pavements or walkways etc. This is not unique to cities in South Africa – it happens everywhere. Not only does this occur but the following often happens to me. You are turning into a road and have to stop mid turn to allow a pedestrian to cross the road – often holding up traffic behind you. These people do not look left, right and left again before crossing – they just walk. This is ingrained into the psyche of the people who do it. These people often complain with hand gestures when they are asked to move aside for a car! They BELIEVE they are entitled to walk across the road without looking.

3. Litter.
This has become more of an irritation to me over the last couple of years. People with buy something from the shop, use it (eat / look at etc) and discard it on the floor where they are walking. No one likes carrying rubbish around with them. That’s a given. At least have the decency to walk a few steps with it and put it in the rubbish bin! In and around Durban, there are numerous bins all over the place, on street corners, lamp poles and especially inside shopping centres. I would guess that you (on average) could not walk more than 200 metres in any direction without walking past (or into) a bin (or 2) of some sort. You may have cross the road but you can get over that excuse. The result of this attitude is a dirty, grubby looking city which no one likes to see.
I have heard a disgusting attitude say “it provides employment for people” – that’s technically correct but is a horrible attitude to have. That person is educated too which it even worse.
I admit – I have been known throw apple cores out the window. I also made certain that they go onto the grass. They are biodegradable.

Attitudes are great to have but they can also tear into the belly of a great nation. Sort your attitude out first though!

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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.

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Everything you have done, everything you have experienced has brought you to the point where you are right now. It is a pretty simple statement but it needs to be looked at. Everything you have done and experienced has prepared you for what you are about to do.

Let’s look at few examples: a professional golfer stands on the first tee in a tournament. Before this moment, he has hit 10 000’s of practice shots and done exercises to prepare him to be able become better. Practiced for hours on end without anybody watching to prepare for this moment.

A singer stands up front of an audience to give a performance that will make her career and set her up with contracts for a long time. Before this moment, she has sung countless bars of music in countless places. Practiced for hours on end without anybody watching to prepare for this moment.

The examples are every one’s life. Yours and mine. They do not only have to apply to a Hollywood style come back or meteoric rise to fame and fortune. The difference is how we use ‘everything’. We can use it in 2 ways:

1. We can focus on the negative aspects or ‘bad things’ OR

2. Use the whole experience to focus on the positive aspect in order to become ‘better people’

I will use my year of 2011 and show how to apply the above points.

I held 3 jobs that did not work out,

I only cycled about 1 800 km the whole year – pretty dismal distance from a ‘cyclist’,

I failed more subjects than I passed in terms of studying

And I weighed more at the end of the year than the beginning.

Pretty bad points that I could easily focus on. Easy to point fun at IF you do not have the facts behind these facts and the positive aspects to my year.

The facts behind my year:

The first job was a contract position that was not renewed, the second I left in search of better opportunities and the better opportunity retrenched me.

I only cycled that distance for a few reasons. I had hand surgery that kept me out for 2 months at least.

The Positives:

I am now a father to a perfect baby girl.

I am married to an amazing wife, AND

We have an amazing support structure of friends and family.

The positive experience account for the cycling studying not going to well.

So how am I going to use the year that was 2011? By following the second point above in the following way:

1. Analysis what happened during 2011. Most things were pretty much cause and effect for me so this is pretty simple.

2. Plan the year ahead carefully. Take all events into consideration (obviously as much as is available)

3. Use the support structure I / we have to maintain an even keel throughout the year.

4. Be flexible. Things happen and cause things to change so being able to chop and change (only when necessary) is a very good tool to have.

5. Enjoy life. It takes work but it’s worth it! I love my wife and little girl and intend on enjoying them all the time I have them around.

It is never too late to use your ‘everything’! How are you going to use your ‘everything’?

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We all have the New Year Bug – this year is going to be fantastic, the best year yet! We set resolutions that are great in theoryBy the middle of the month, however, most people have already started the slide back to their regular existence, overcome by trying to reach lofty, unclear goals with the same mindset from the previous year.

Why does this happen?

It is because the resolutions and goals are completely unrealistic and really just a dream. In the ideal world, yes, they would probably work out. Sorry to say this but the ‘ideal world’ does not exist.

Here are some tips to help you set goals or resolutions that you will accomplish:

1. Keep it simple: The goal does not have to be elaborate. A novel seldom has a long title but yet can have a very complicated plot. Keep your ‘title’ simple. Read point 2 as a follow up to this.

2. Have a plan. This is probably the most important aspect to a resolution and accomplishing them. It is all very nice for me ( as a cyclist) to say ‘I want to cycle 6000 km in 2012’ but have no real plan to get  to that goal. It is the same with any goal you set. This is where it can get as complicated as it needs to. Daily / weekly and monthly goals are a good start.

Back to the cycling goal – 6000km is 500 km a month and 125km a week (on average). If I plan to do 2 rides during the week and one long ride on the weekend – the goal is attainable.

The plan has to involve the ‘down times’ during the year. These are the times when you go away on holiday or (if exercise related) during the colder winter months, when you do not keep the pace up to what is should be. Rest periods if you will. These are very important to factor into you plan to achieve you goal. back to the cycling example: if during the year i take off 1 month from training – the monthly average jumps closer to 600km per month and so on. This is a big factor to play into the plan.

3. Keep it real! Most often, goals and resolutions are unrealistic. This can either be the time frame that is set or what is wanting to be achieved.

a) Time frame: “I want to lose 10kg” seems fine as a goal over 3 or 4 months but “I want to lose 10kg by the end of January” is unrealistic (and unhealthy).

b) Actual goal. Take the above weight loss example. I should never lose 10kg. I am 6 foot 2 inches (192 cm) tall and weigh 93kg. If I was to lose 10kg – I would be sickly thin and probably very unhealthy.

Have  a look at your resolutions in light of these points and see how you can adjust them to make them more realistic. DO NOT remove them – just CHANGE them.

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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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The finest things in life should remain potent.

1.The f-word. When you overuse it, you dilute its punch. But when the time is right, just see how far “Forget you, man! Forget you!” will take you.

2 Sorrows. They won’t drown. Trust us.

3 Your desires. If you keep to yourself how badly you want a raise, oral sex or a biscuit, you’ll score none of them. Nobody can read your mind.

4 Her T-shirt. Unless she says, “Please, please, pretty please!”

5 Likes and dislikes. You don’t have to dig The Office. You don’t have to hate He’s Just Not That Into You. Enjoy what you enjoy and make no apologies. But you can, if you so choose, decide who to tell these things to. Which brings us to…

6 The truth. Dirty laundry, rattling skeletons, hidden histories: that is the truth. It’s so rare and valuable that people hoard it, bury it and pay huge sums to keep it secret. The truth equals your true worth. That’s why it’s so powerful when you speak it in full. Which you should, when you speak it at all.

7 Your gaze. Focused eyes speak. They are passionate. They tell a woman that she’s meaningful and a man that you mean business. Don’t look away until they know it.

8 Your reaction to someone’s deliberate disrespect.

9 Family time. When you are with the people that matter, leave your phone alone and appreciate what’s really important.

10 Time for yourself. You’re not alone if your cellphone is on. Or if you’re checking email. Or if – hey, what’s your girlfriend doing here? Tell her to go home. It’s okay, really. People may always be looking for you, but they’ll understand if you’re not always available.

11 Your praise. Two things enrich a compliment: earnestness and a heartfelt grin. One thing makes your compliment worthless: the word “but”.

12 Chillies. Water won’t help you a damn bit. Milk, my friend, milk.

13 Pancake mix. Leave it goopy and you’ll get flapjacks like soft couch cushions.

14 Effort. It’s easy to say you’ll give it your all. But if that were easy to actually do, wouldn’t you be done by now?

15 Your other five senses: humour, style, direction, honour and wonder.

16 Your manners. Ladies will appreciate it – and other men will respect it.

17 Your brain. Do you have any idea how much more satisfying Chandler, Hemingway, Capote and other writers are than reality TV? Any idea?

18 Anything you create. Whether you’re building a brick braai or writing a novel, if there’s a certain way you want it, you damn well better make it that way. Compromise with women and neighbours, not yourself.

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Over the last 4 and a bit weeks, certain things have come to light for myself and it has changed the way I think about what I am doing.

My daughter arrived (Yes, I know – it is everything to me currently and it is not going to change) and suddenly the focus changed for Carrie and I. Our whole life and how we do things changed.

When it come to me personally, it only really affected me on a deep level when I started to do some training. Suddenly, the time was short and the opportunity to do the training was dramatically reduced. Gone are the days (for now) that I could go for a run just before dinner or when I get home from work.

I consulted my older brother (father to a dughter of 16 months at the time) because he had obviously was in the same boat. After a chat (whilst running – he did most of the talking), he gave me the insight that only the focus had really changed. It is how you use the time you have available that is now so critically important.

WOW! The value of training just went up ALOT!!

Looking back now, this had become apparent a few years back too, but I had not cognitively recognised it. I was a student full time for a long period and now had to start working. Whilst working I had to study as part of the articles I was serving with an auditing firm. This study was now part time and after hours! Same principle!

It does not matter what you have going on, time to yourself is precious. When you do use that time – there is certainly a concentration of effort in that time. This does not mean you have to work at a super fast fast or sprint the 5 km you planned, it means that when you are doing that activity – your mind is completely focused on that and nothing else.

What are you doing with that precious time?

Are you using to the full?

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”Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”  Benjamin Franklin


Beginning today I will look in the mirror and I will see a person worthy
of my respect and admiration.
This capable person looking back at me is someone I enjoy spending time
with and someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today I will cherish each moment of my life.
I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and I will unselfishly
share this gift with others.
I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today I will take a moment to step off the beaten path and to
revel in the mysteries I encounter.
I will face challenges with courage and determination.
I will overcome what barriers there may be which hinder my quest for
growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time.
Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image,
my desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today I walk with renewed faith in human kindness.
Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope
for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today I will open my mind and my heart.
I will welcome new experiences. I will meet new people.
I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else: perfection does not exist in an imperfect world.
But I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today I am responsible for my own happiness and I will do
things that make me happy . . .
admire the beautiful wonders of nature, listen to my favorite music,
pet a kitten or a puppy, soak in a bubble bath . . .
pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today I will learn something new; I will try something
different; I will savor all the various flavors life has to offer.
I will change what I can and the rest I will let go.
I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.

By: Author Unknown

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