Posts Tagged ‘lesson’

See the punch coming!

When a baby cries, the parents can tell instinctively whether it’s a hungry cry, a tired cry or a ‘I am in pain’ cry. The same thing can be said about couples in a relationship or even close friends. They can tell when something is wrong or not quite right. They know when the other person is not feeling well or upset.
This is a skill that one develops from time spent together. If you have someone like this,  keep them close because they are a gift. This skill is so often overlooked by the person who knows us the best. Who is this? YOU.
We can tell when someone else is upset or hurting but when it comes to our own health and well being, we simply overlook the signs or symptoms.

Let’s look deeper. When you are sick and go to the doctor, what do you tell him? Can you give real clues as to what happened or when it started? Do you shrug your shoulders and say ‘nothing changed and now I feel like this’? I am always amused when I hear people say that there computer is not working but ‘nothing happened’ or ‘I did nothing and it just stopped working’. The same relates to ourselves. There are ALWAYS warning signs but we fail to recognise them as what they are. They are WARNING us about something!

Everybody can feel good when life is going well. Every can recognise hiccups and the causes when life is going well, when the bills are paid and your relationships are all in a good place. Its when life hits you in the mouth, that you have to be able to recognise the causative factors. I have found this process to be more successful when you work backwards. I will illustrate with an example. I was in a down patch and things were not going well. After a few days, I felt myself a bit down or depressed and linked the 2 together. I had to recognise that I was depressed before I could see the causative factor.
Most of the time, you cannot join the dots in real time but rather only look back and see how they link up. Hindsight is a perfect science as the saying goes.  If you are aware of changes going on in your own life, it will be easier to recognise and maybe even prevent problems in your future.

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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 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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Every person


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Into the darkness

There I am, at my desk working diligently.  I have my earphones in to help distracting noises out of my head. I have a concentration span of half a brick so this helps tremendously. I keep bashing away at the keyboard of my laptop, putting incredibly impressive spreadsheets together so non accounting salesmen can understand what the accounts are doing. Suddenly, it’s dark and very quiet. There is no electricity!  Aaargh – load shedding has struck again. But wait, you have a laptop so its all okay when this happens,  surely? Well yes and no. In a perfect world – yes but the world is not perfect and this means that my laptop has no battery life whatsoever.  Effectively rendering it useless as a laptop and turning it into a fancy looking desktop!

So now what?

Thankfully,  the building we are in has backup generators and after about 10 minutes, they kick in and destroy any hope of an afternoon off.
Load shedding is a very real situation here in South Africa and involves blocks of the country being without power for between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. This gives the power utility enough time to do maintenance or to lessen the load of the power grid. This is a very hot topic in SA and one that everybody will have their little temper tantrum about given half a chance. For me, I actually think it’s a good idea and should be implemented on a semi permanent basis.
Here are a number of reasons to enjoy and benefit feom load shedding or no power.

1. Cost savings.
No power equals less power used equals less money spent.  Enough said.

2. More family time.
No one looks back on their life and says ‘I wish I spend more time watching television or working late’. Use the break from television to spend with your family. Here is a very novel idea – talk to your family during this time. (Note the sarcastic tone in that comment?) More than any other reason – this will ALWAYS benefit you and your family.

3. Explore options.
If your favourite shopping centre or local hangout is in darkness, use the opportunity to break away from the usual places and explore new places to visit. You may find a very exciting place to visit that you will visit more often and even tell your friends about. There will change the usual answer of ‘we went to the usual place’ or ‘we always go to the same place’. Even at home you can do this. This works especially well if you have smaller kids but there is no reason that any age can enjoy it. Have a picnic for dinner. Make something that does not need a firm surface like a table and set up a picnic blanket and pillows etc in your lounge or on the verandah or even in the garden. This is great fun and works wih the lights on too! If the lights are on, NO ELECTRONIC GADGETS!

4. Learn to plan ahead.
Instead of moaning about not having electricity, plan ahead. Load shedding is generally according to a schedule widely published to the public in all forms of media. This gicea you no excuse to not know. Knowing when it’s going off helps you plan ahead of this time. This might mean having dinner slightly later or earlier than normal. It may may , ean bathing childrwn by candlelight. This can be turned into another family experience. My 3 year old daughter loves it when the candles come out and its such a blessing watching her face light up with anticipation. No amount of electronic gadgets can give anybody that joy. If you habe planned a meal out and the restaurant is going to have no electricity – plan a different meal or another branch of the restaurant. The main word here is plan. Refer to point 3.

Being in the dark does not have to be a dark experience. If you put a little effort I to it, it can turn into a great experience that you will cherish forever. What have you got to lose?

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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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