Category Archives: Professional Development

For the professional in you. Self help tools to make you excel in your career.

40 Tips that will position you for Greatness

Rab@40

July 2013 is the month when I will be turning 40. Yippie, life for me is about to begin. Got me thinking today about what I can give you as I begin my celebrations of this landmark in my life. I finally decided that I would empty myself of 40 tips which I feel are important as you seek to become a candidate for greatness. Enjoy this unedited version of my outpouring.

1. Be a continuous learner – This is a process that should never stop in your life.
2. Turn challenges into opportunities – Identify a need, meet it and see if you balance sheet will not improve.
3. Think beyond the present – If you can think of the future it will affect how you manage your life today.
4. Use your talents effectively – Stop envying the gifts and talents that others have. Identify your space and occupy it.
5. Be more organised – Success emanates from careful planning. Don’t just expect things to happen. Plan for them.
6. Be willing to work – Don’t be fooled; it is almost impossible to achieve greatness without working hard and/or smart.
7. Manage relationships – You were not born in your own planet, you have people around you that can propel you forward. All the money you want is in the relationships you are yet to make. Don’t burn bridges all your life. Seek help from those around you.
8. Be bold and daring – Greatness will entail that you take risks. Do things that others shun from. Attempt the previously impossible. You greatness is covered in that.
9. Cultivate an investor mentality – Realise that for success to come your way you have to invest your time, treasure and talent. Deploy your resources where there is return on investment you put in.
10. Be open to criticism – Criticism will surely come. It is how you handle it that determines how far you make progress in life. Be open to correction and counsel.
11. Manage your thoughts carefully – Your life is shaped by what you think about. If you can manage your thoughts then you can manage your life even better.
12. Implement your ideas – If you can transfer your thoughts to become something your hands can work on then you become a winner. Don’t sit on your ideas expecting them to undergo metamorphosis on their own. Don’t bury your dreams alive.
13. Have hope and faith – Whatever you lose, don’t lose hope, don’t lose your grip. Have faith that somehow things will turnaround in your favour.
14. Manage your confession – What you say to yourself daily is what you will believe. What you believe you promote, what you promote you become. Stay positive always.
15. Be excellent in all you do – Whatever you find to do, just add a touch of excellence to remain competitive so that you stand out. Anyone can achieve mediocrity. Don’t stay at mediocre level if ever you happen to find yourself there. Aim higher.
16. Learn to manage failure – You are not the first one to fail. Use every failure as a learning point to do even better on your next attempt.
17. Manage your expectations – Frustration is a result of false expectations. Be real with yourself. Don’t over promise yourself. Be objective in your expectations.
18. Manage your time and money – Be disciplined with what occupies your day and your budget. At any given time in life you are either managing time or money.
19. Sharpen your skills always – The world is forever changing which places a demand on our skills to also keep changing in line with the new needs of mankind.
20. Think beyond yourself – As long as you aim to enrich and lift just yourself up you limit how far you will go. Lift others as you rise.
21. Watch your friends – Find like-minded people who share your ideals and passion for growth. Your friends can grow you or bring you down outright.
22. Manage information – The information you have or do not have governs how far you will progress. Always seek to enrich your information power base.
23. Watch who you partner with – As you setup businesses, be careful who you select as your partner. They can either build your dream, steal it from you or simply mutilate it. No matter how well resourced they are, they have to share in the dream first.
24. Start what you plan and finish what you start – Don’t just settle for being a good starter. Rewards are for those who finish the mandates. Finish strong.
25. Be a great listener – Human beings love to hear themselves speak. However, take time to listen to your stakeholders (your customers, suppliers, friends etc.).
26. Be a good role model – Do all you can to ensure that what you do does not stumble others. You may not know it but other people are learning from you.
27. Honour your word – Your word should be your bond. You should not promise what you know you are not willing to deliver. Keep your promises.
28. Introspect always – Take time to carefully assess your own decisions, own progress and rate and appraise yourself objectively. Have “me times”.
29. Celebrate your victories – They may seem small but note them and celebrate them. Stand on every victory so that you aim even higher.
30. Have a mentor and mentor others – You will make better strides when you learn from those you admire and have walked the road longer. Just as you are mentored, take time to mentor others.
31. Manage stressful moments well – You will be stretched in life. Don’t bother worrying about what people are thinking of you. Stay on you track. Do the best you can with what you have. People have expectations on you but manage those situations with tact.
32. Be patient; shortcuts are not recommended – Follow the process. Greatness is not an overnight process. It may take varying amounts of time. Remain steadfast and resolute knowing that your chance to shine will come.
33. Be flexible; change is imminent – Learn to move with the times. Manage the process of change carefully. Change is said to be the only constant in life. You are forever changing physically, mentally, socially etc. Don’t change your values unnecessarily for the sake of change.
34. Manage your reputation – What do you want to be known for after you are gone? Spend time to ensure that you promote what you stand for. It is your reputation that sometimes gets doors to be opened without a single request from you. People will seek your advice just because of what they know about you.
35. Identify your purpose and live it – Your purpose may not bring you millions of dollars but it will help you to live a fulfilled life. Take time to know why you are occupying space. You are not your career. No one can impose purpose on you. You just have to find what you are passionate about and do it.
36. Stop feeling sorry for yourself – You are not a victim; you are not down trodden. You may be down but that does not mean you are out. Yes, you may fall from time to time but that should not define your end.
37. Take responsibility for your actions – Own up when you mess up. It can’t always be someone else’s fault. Your maturity is when you are able to say “I am the one who did wrong; I am sorry”.
38. Be decisive – Not all decisions you will make in life will be great ones but keep making decisions all the same. Every decision you shall make will have varying degrees of consequences but do not shy away from making them.
39. Be a consistent giver – You don’t need to be a millionaire before you can extend your hand to those less fortunate than you are. Making a difference begins with however little you have. Giving is not always about money anyway, you can give wisdom, you can give time to listen to a distressed individual. Just give of yourself.
40. Learn to be content with what you have – This is not a license for aiming low and settling for half achievements. This is a call for you not to exercise greed just because you want to look better than the next person. Watch the motive behind your accumulation.

7 Steps towards Good Decision Making

Decision MaingYour life is the sum total of the decisions you have made. Decision making is one responsibility that every human being has to realize they have. Every day you make a lot of decisions, from the time you wake up until you sleep. Some decisions made will catapult the decision maker to the next level of success while other decisions will cost the decision maker in terms of time, reputation etc. In life you shall make decisions on career choice, who to marry and become a life partner, starting a business, church, to grow up and who to work for. This is merely a fraction of the number of decisions you make in a day. Some decisions are made having gathered all the necessary information. Hence, it is called an informed or calculated decision. Some decisions will either be good decisions since they yield good outcomes, or bad decisions in the event of a negative outcome. Whether you like it or not, whether you are ready for it or not, you will have to be making decisions all your life.

Considerations:

1. What is the financial and legal consequence? – Weigh the costs. How much money do you need to make this happen? Every decision you will ever make has some level of financial impact. It will affect your income one way or the other. Someone needs to pay for it. Who is that person and are they willing? When you count the cost you are saying that you are prepared to meet all the obligations that come with the decision. You don’t want to make a decision today and be the one mourning in a few days about how hard and painful it is. Looking at the financial and legal obligations or risks in advance will help you to plan your decision in advance. I have seen too many projects that were started with the intention of being completed in one year but, because of misinformation, the same projects ended up taking 8 years as financial expectations were underestimated. Be thorough in your financial and legal preparations ahead of your decision. You will save yourself heartaches and frustrations.

2. What skills are necessary? – Will the decision call for your expertise? Do you actually have the expertise necessary to make things happen with excellence and accuracy without compromising the quality of the outcome? Too many times people realize much later when they are now involved that their expertise and experience is called for and they are found wanting. It is worse in situations where your expertise was a requirement and you made a decision to take part anyway, although you did not have the necessary expertise, because “it felt” like the right thing to do. If you fall short having made a decision, by all means skill yourself up in the shortest time possible. Find the relevant course and do it. A person having a good position while not meeting the right intellectual expectations is a recipe for disaster in that organization. Decisions will be made not based on expert knowledge but assumption and just the direction of the wind. It is way too risky to accept a responsibility when you know you are not going to increase your capacity through further education.

 3. Who else is involved in this issue? – You definitely need to know who is behind the issue you are making a decision on. Are they people whose track record you know and can trust? The credibility of other parties will cause you to either say yes or an outright no. Common examples are found in marriage: Do you know the values and beliefs of the family you are marrying into? As soon as you know that background information you are informed enough to take a chance or stay away totally. It remains a fact that where there are many people involved areas of responsibility easily become obscured. Hence, progress may not happen as desired. When you know who else is involved, you need to be bold enough to know what they are bringing to the table ahead of making the decision. If it is a shareholder, who else is involved? Where have they been involved before and what was the outcome?

4. How long will it take for results to show? When you have an idea of time frames, you are able to determine whether you will be able to stretch your patience that far or rather to let go of the issue on the table. You may be looking for investment opportunity and making a decision on your finances. Find out if the investment option gives immediate benefits or if they come in the long run. If the position is such that the time frame does not match with what you desire then you let those with the patience to wait go for it. The last thing you want is to make a decision for the sake of it and then regret it in no time. Sometimes quitting when you are already ankle deep can have a negative effect on others involved in the same decision and it may sound insensitive and unfair for you to develop cold feet later. If you go in knowing that for the next 20 years, our tree plantation requires investment while we are not expecting to harvest even one tree, you count the cost of waiting and decide accordingly. Do you have the patience and determination necessary?

5. What is the potential return for your effort? No one would make a decision in the direction of something that does not bring meaningful return. The expected return must be clearly communicated. Unless one is deciding to be involved in charity work where it is about giving. In general, people desire to know what is in it for them for the investment they would have made (Return On Investment). You certainly do not need to be an accountant to determine the difference between a good deal and one which is more of charity than an investment. It is important to not take promises at face value. There are people who are very good at advertising and enticing potential investors into investing into non-existent deals. Your return must be as clear as daylight.

6. Who will be affected negatively? Your decision is not happening in a vacuum. This means to every good decision you are making there could be others who may be affected negatively by it. When you have an idea of people affected by your decision, you are better able to cushion the effects of your decision in advance. If the place you are deciding to purchase to put a plant will cause residents to be relocated, it would be necessary to know who is really affected and how the issue will be resolved ahead of the decision.

7. What other priorities do you have on hand? As you prepare to make the decision to participate, take stock of other priorities you already have. Are you coping with what you have now? Do you have extra time which you are willing to employ in this decision? If you are already grappling for time, no matter how lucrative this issue is it simply means you have to either let it go or drop another prior commitment. In a majority of cases, decisions you take on are at the expense of prior commitments. You are getting what you want or have decided on but realize that in the same process you may lose what you had. If your new decision is not in any way standing in the way of previous commitments and priorities then it is worth your consideration. Sometimes people simply weigh the priorities and they remain with those that either bring better return or are less strenuous.

7 Ways to Maximize Your Potential

human-potentialEveryone is born with innate potential to do the best in life. Ultimately, it is everyone’s desire to become who they were born to be. It is however sad that sometimes some people discover when time is far spent what they are on earth for. By then it is of no use to them and those around. Time is a very precious resource which must be spent accordingly. This means every day that goes in life is as important as the one just passed. There are no moments to miss especially if they have to do with unveiling and maximizing what is stored within. Sometimes it takes other people to show an individual what they are made of. I have not always been a writer; it took the affirmations of others to finally realize that I had a whole career waiting to be exploited. Other people can observe potential in an individual. Coupled with the right affirmation and support, individuals may grow to become the best they can be. It also sometimes takes negative people to destroy every figment of potential an individual may have. Some people may not be happy to see progress in others hence they go to great lengths to stifle the potential in every way possible.

 1. Read Books – You maybe the next greatest carpenter the community has ever seen. You cannot rely on what you see in vision alone, you need to read books that have been written on the subject of your passion. Read widely in order to increase your relevancy level.

 2. Increase your exposure level – Exposure can be achieved through travel, research and meeting people. Your potential relies heavily on what you have been exposed to since birth. Endeavour to increase what your awareness of the environment, the market trends and possibilities even beyond the confines of your country.

3. Have mentors around you – Mentors help get the best out of an individual. I have a mentor who coaches me in the arena of book writing. I would not have achieved what I have done had it not been for him. I have mentors who expand my potential in other areas of life such as business, family and so on. If you have no one to stretch you, you will never know what you are capable of. You will settle for what you know of yourself.

 4. Attempt difficult tasks – One way to really maximize possibilities in your own life is when you attempt things that are seemingly hard by normal standards. If you always settle for the easy tasks, you could scratch on the surface in terms of what you can do. When I was with Anglo American, I attempted projects that were seemingly beyond my education and experience. Only after I decided to embark on them did I realize how easy it was.

 5. Enter into competitions and challenges – Competitions are important in life. I always attempt challenging competitions that test my resilience and determination. I have participated in the 4th marathon challenge to write 100 Articles in 100 Days by ezine in May 2010. I completed 201 articles in the 100 days to become among 68 people in the world to do so. I also took part in the 5th challenge. Challenging times bring out the best in me.

 6. Do something new – When did you last do something for the very first time? Your potential could be in the things that have not been discovered yet. Who says you are not the one to invent the next biggest thing. It only comes when you cultivate an unwavering desire to do new things and create new ideas.

 7. Follow through on your passion to limit – Once you discover what your passion is you need a determination to follow through. You need to increase the activities that are lined up with that passion in your life. Attend seminars, go to college, find a common interest group, build others in your area, engage the existing systems and so on

Fountain of Inspiration vol. 1 to be launched in Harare

My latest book, Fountain of Inspiration vol. 1 will be launched in Harare, Zimbabwe on Thursday 13 September at the Book Cafe (Samora Machel Avenue). This is in collaboration and partnership with Zimbabwe United States of America Alumni Association (ZUSAA). You are all invited to this event where there will be entertainment and fun. This will happen from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Contact info@greatnesstrust.org to organize collection of your invitation card. See more information here and confirm participation.See you there!!!

Fountain of Inspiration Volume 1 is out!!!

My life is dedicated towards the inspiration of others towards greatness. That is how I sum-up my purpose for existence. To do that, I speak and write inspirational messages that seek to take you from where you are to where you are supposed to be. My new book, “Fountain of Inspiration Vol. 1” offers just that. There are 13 incredible chapters with 70 inspirations in each chapter. It makes it the premier book of inspiration. Read below what Brian Tracy, Dr. John Stanko and many others said about the book. You can also order this hardback by clicking here.

"Fountain of Inspiration Vol. 1", Rabison Shumba's New book

A few of the endorsements of this book:

“This book gives you a series of powerful, practical tools and ideas you can use to unleash your personal power for success. I recommend this great tool indeed.”
Brian Tracy. President of Brian Tracy International, Motivational Speaker,
Consultant & Best Selling Author of over 55 Books, such as No Excuses, Eat that Frog!
Solana Beach, California, USA

“Rabison Sumba has done it again.  He has shared with us out of the abundance of his heart and what we have in this book is a veritable feast of wisdom, insight, and inspiration.  You can literally dive into any part of this book and receive pearls of wisdom about life, leadership, purpose and productivity.  An old adage that states, “A man cannot lead you where he has not been himself.”  Rabison leads us to the place where he lives and draws life, and gives away what he has paid a high price to receive. Thank you, Rabison, for sharing so freely.”
Dr. John Stanko – President of PurposeQuest International,
Author of over 10 books including “Unlocking the Power of Purpose”, Conference Speaker
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

“A well planned meal of inspirational wisdom is how I would describe this gift by Rabison Shumba. I suggest that you turn the pages slowly and read thoughtfully. To read too quickly, one might overlook the depth of thought that went into each phrase. As I read one thought of wisdom after the other, I wanted to take each one apart and find even more. The gift left me with the notion that we all matter regardless of the circumstances of our start. The embrace of individual ‘unselfishness’ is key to long term success for self and others. This was so clear to me.  Such a gift has tremendous application for building a positive infrastructure of relationships in any arena where people gather.”
Clifton L. Taulbert – Founder & President of the Building Community Institute
Pulitzer-Nominated Author & International Lecturer on the Power of Community
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

“It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the negative news to which we are regularly exposed. This collection of short, but powerful pieces of wisdom can be your antidote. With his personal insights on a variety of topics, you can’t help by feel inspired by Rabison Shumba’s writings!”
Charlotte Weeks – President of  Weeks Career Services, Inc.,
Former Co-author “101 Great Ways to Enhance your Career”
Consultant and Author of “I Want to Work in an Association – Now What??”
Chicago, Illinois,  USA

Where to get this book

You can purchase the book in print in Zimbabwe from Innov8 Bookshop, Insignia and many other outlets. You can order a print copy or e-book from here. Get a copy and be inspired.

7 Inspirations – with 2 bonus sets

1. My rule of thumb in all the networking I do is that I do not inherit your enemy list by virtue of us being friends. Yes, you can mistrust me for working with your enemy but be assured that when I am with them, you are nowhere close to the agenda. Quit adopting the little fights that people have and relate with people based on your own experiences. It is easy to miss out from a relationship due to biased information from the one you choose to listen to. It is time to build effective networks.

2. As far as it depends on you, create new friends all the time because enemies are guaranteed. Most enemies elect themselves into that role due to lack of correct information about you. You can not live your life counting and naming your enemies. Rather focus on who is building you and who you are building. It will lower your stress levels.

3. You cannot control who follows you but you can certainly determine who you want to follow. The fact that people do not need a license to follow you places a level of responsibility on you to make sure they get from you what you portray yourself to be. It does not matter where on the ladder of economics you are, you are someone’s role model even though they haven’t told you. Live responsibly.

4. You rather delay your response until you are sure what you want to say than speak too soon and regret your commitment. When you are ready to respond realize that ‘No’ is an acceptable answer. When you do commit then do all you can to meet your obligations even if it costs you. People plan their lives based on your utterances.

5. Everyone is a potential world changer and yet not everyone has the willingness or know-how of what part they can play. There is a general feeling that there are enough ‘world changing’ initiatives in place while others would rather not change the status-quo for what they stand to lose. A majority carry misconceptions about the subject preferring that those with ‘zeal’ should do it. The world will only change if we play our part with what we have from where we stand.

6. A good network has in it the capacity to build your net worth. Business success is no longer merely the exchange of value between total strangers. Just like any relationship, business is now about trusting the service provider before bothering what service or value one can get. Make sure your net does work and is strong enough to hold all the great relationships that come your way. It costs you time and effort to keep your net working but it is worth it.

7. It is not enough to Own something which you cannot Use. Having a talent, a skill, a book or even wisdom is good to the degree that you use it to better your life and those around you. Simply owning it and doing nothing about it trivializes your worth and usefulness.

********** End of Set 1 *********** Digest before you continue

8. The motive with which we do what we do is far more important than what we actually do. We generally see the result of one’s actions but rarely do we bother to examine closely why people do what they do. Every gesture, good or bad has an underlying reason. Nothing just happens under the sun.

9. Meaningful personal transformation starts with the realization of the need for it followed closely by a decision to effect change. A decision without practical steps towards change will always maintain the status quo. Go past wishing for change to changing your lifestyle by changing how and what you spend time doing or thinking about.

10. Sometimes we penalize the one who commits a physical crime leaving a more dangerous type of individual who is the strategist in making the crime a reality. Crime exists because someone has succeeded to steal on paper and in the mind.

11. It is maturity to know what good you can learn from others while ignoring the bad traits. No matter how bad someone may seem, there is always a layer of positive attributes you can benefit from if you look objectively.

12. No matter how much time you spend pondering about a problem, it will not change the situation until you take corrective steps to end it. Worry is the incubator or womb in which problems grow to full term. It incapacitates your creative power that you desperately need to craft a working solution. In the midst of worrying, it seems like the most noble thing to engage in yet it is the worst way to waste your time.

13. The one who labours while others shy away has a higher chance of becoming a supplier to the onlookers. Rather face temporary discomfort that gives you perpetual rewards than hold on to comfort that only lasts for a moment. It is time to rebuild a positive work ethic.

14. We will not change the world by policies, politics and protests alone. The world will change dramatically through people embracing their purpose and maximizing their potential. The smallest component of the world is individuals. To focus on individuals is to focus on the world transformation agenda. Know yourself and it will position you to know how you can help others change the world for the better.

********** End of Set 2 *********** Digest before you continue

15. It is the consistency and excellence with which you do what you do that matters more than the title you occupy. It does not matter where on the organizational ladder you operate from, your attitude towards work will determine the velocity of your ascent or descent. Be the best in your present role before hoping for recognition.

16. One man’s challenge is another man’s opportunity. The one you leave to solve your issues will become your supplier. You can rely on the provisions of others and be enslaved for life instead of preserving your wealth by creating solutions for the things you are spending on.

17. The fastest way to age under the pressure of stress is when you live to please everyone around you. With one act of kindness you will please one and offend another. People are unique in the way they view your gestures. Stay on course and focus on that which you sense is noble and just.

18. Anything that is built to last takes time to finish. Failure to appreciate that every idea has a gestation period leads to frustration and ultimate abandonment. Know what stage your idea is at and refuse to entertain suggestions for you to quit. Those pushing you to stop could be positioning themselves to take over your efforts.

19. You will struggle to keep your word that you give others if you don’t honor your word to yourself. Think of the targets and goals you promised yourself to work towards. If those goals remain untouched, no wonder why it seems complicated to meet your commitments to others. You have been well trained.

20. A student can actually be above his teacher if he chooses to study beyond what the teacher taught. Information is not stagnant; it is ever increasing. Teachers who refuse to upgrade their levels of awareness will lose the grip on relevance, usefulness and credibility. If all you know is what you got yesterday your relevance may have expired.

21. There is nothing more important than the foot print (track record) that you emboss into your lifetime. You will be remembered by the words you said, the residue from your deeds and from the content of the character you carried. Today is another chance to create that indelible mark.

********** End of Set 3 *********** Now reflect on these and implement in your life

7 “Chilly Bites” from Chicago

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Charles N. Abbott

The Chicago experience was one of the most memorable one. It was time to part with some of the greatest brains the continent of Africa has ever come up with. The thoughts below are a combination of inspiration from Chicago and my last stop-over in DC. Enjoy these chilly bites as I go back to my continent after a tour of duty. The mission was indeed POSSIBLE!!.

1. While it’s sunset in one part of the world, it’s midnight or sunrise elsewhere. In our lives, we always have seasons that come and go. You are never the only one in a bad season. Celebrate other people’s sunrise as yours is approaching. Your ability to push through one season determines your success in the next season. Appreciate what each season teaches and teach others from what you learn. You will soon realize that you are smarter than before you faced your present challenges.

2. Be careful who comes near you, it means they have a higher chance to hurt or harm you. However, realize a species that is less relational is more prone to extinction. Relate with wisdom. You still need other people to break into your life and help you achieve your dreams.

3. If you say that you can’t then you definitely won’t. It is important to watch what you confess as being a possibility.Our lips can seal our fate. The same lips can say the most liberating words. Make a choice daily to say that which is positive, that which activates all potential and possibility.

4. Judge not a society by limited experience and contact you have with its people. There is no perfect society yet. However, judge a society by the values it upholds, virtues in place and vision it aims to achieve.

5. Of all the things you have capacity to lose, never lose hope. For as long as you are alive, hope will always draw you closer to your destiny. Death is not merely loss of life. It begins when you lose hope. So, keep this hope alive

6. An agreement entered into without sincerity from the agreeing parties is a mere fantasy. It is natural that either party always desires that which benefits them more than the other side. Realize though that in life you can never have it all to yourself. As you sign pacts, agreements and deals, you have to give away to get. Lose control to gain it.

7. The most painful chains are not those that grip our flesh but the invisible ones that grip our minds. You are born into a world that confines you to limitations, so many hours in a day, you can only eat so much etc. Do not be so limit concious such that your mind relapses into the usual, familiar and common. You can break all limits. You need a mental jail-break. Free at last. To DREAM and become

7 Pulse Points from City of Tulsa

 1. You can not improve on what you are not willing to measure. It is easy to cheat yourself by assuming that you are excellent when you are merely basking in past successes. Always strive to do more than the last time you did your best.

2. Conflict is a part of the human race. It is almost definite that the moment you have two or more people in one place, conflict is imminent. This is so because we have unique experiences, beliefs, thoughts and attitudes. We are said to be mature if we can relate despite the conflict we may be having.

3. Your body merely acts on what your mind manufactures. Every deed (good or bad) starts with a mind-set. It is therefore essential to jealously guard what enters your mind.

4. The world can never be perfect because its inhabitants have no capacity to achieve it. However, most of the problems that we grapple with as humanity can be lessened if we pay more attention to following instructions, laws and advice.

5. Our personal life experiences and conditioning over time have a huge bearing on how we view those around us. these perceptions or preconceived judgements of others tend to limit us from building meaningful relations. Solutions to problems we face maybe in the people we swear that we will “never” talk to.

6. If you do not have a desire to possess it you won’t have it. Success starts with the attitude that says “I want it therefore I am a candidate to acquire it”.

7. Never be caught up in the confines of your culture to the point of becoming numb to the fact that your culture is not in a vacuum. Cultures that are tolerant of those around them are positioned to learn and emerge stronger. Tolerance is always the key to the door of learning. If you stop learning you are on the pathway to extinction.  

7 Spicy thoughts from Saltlake City

As you have come to know me, I get my inspiration whenever I am awake. Whatever my eyes and ears come into contact with sends a trigger on in the inspiration conveyer belt. I have enjoyed my stay in this very interesting city in Utah called Saltlake City. Below are 7 spicy thoughts (not too salty).

1.  The result of lack of information or not having enough knowledge about a thing or and institution always leads to skepticism. If religions could take time to assimilate and be tolerant of each other, their voice and message becomes even stronger.

2. Everyone needs an outlet for the innermost emotions and feelings. No matter how much you can suppress your emotions, they tend to erupt at the wrong time. Therefore, take time to listen to the soft cry of the voiceless. You can save a life by simply listening.

3. Ever realized that we are usually blind to or unaware of how blessed we are until we hear a story of someone in a worse state. Do not become so accustomed to what you have to a point of not realizing how blessed you are.

4. Whenever an economy crumbles, the greatest pain is felt by the majority who were in lack all along. As legistlators, make laws with a greater focus on those who do not have as they get forgotten easily only to be remembered on the next election date.

5. Never be too shy to ask for money which you intend to use to make a difference. There are many people who do not even have an idea how they can use their fortune. If someone ask for your financial assistance, they see potential in you to meet their need. What an honor.

6. A good leader strives to meet all the promises he/she makes no matter how costly or impossible it may seem. It is therefore important to know what you are committing to with your own mouth. You are judged more based on what you have delivered against your original promise. In the worst case, communicate with those you promised in the event of any shift in your plans.

7.  It is always wise to make sure your own house is in order before you focus on helping those around you. The need around you is great and it will be so for some time to come. It is possible that you can make a good name out there when your family lives in neglect.

7 Reflections From New York City

As I left New York City to go to Saltlake City (Utah) on the 4th of September 2011, a couple of thoughts came to mind. 7 major pointers I leave with you as I reflect on the New York Experience.

1. You owe it to yourself to stand-up fore justice and equality. We are born with justice flowing in our veins. The cares of this world, the desire for competitiveness and the belief in the finite nature of resources wipes away every figment of tolerance of others over time.

2. No matter how good a leader you think you are, you will never be immune to criticism. You should continue achieve in the face of criticism not out of fear of it. Keep your agenda clear, take one more step forward. History is made through decisions, popular or unpopular. Keep a thick skin to absorb criticism and yet maintain a soft heart to embrace the views of others.

3. It is never the eloquence of speech that people salute you as leader. What makes an indelible mark in the hearts and lives of people is evidence of your toil that translates to tangible benefits. A leader’s mandate is to get involved in the day to day issues of those he/she serves.

4. It is a waste of energy to apologize for living out your purpose. You owe no-one an explanation. As a matter of fact, those outside you may never understand the purpose behind what you do. Even if they fail to catch-up, what matters is the fulfillment of your assignment before the end of your life.

5. The quantum of your intentions matter less than actions that produce results. Words have never changed the world. Words backed by positive action have a greater meaning. Therefore, measure a man not on the basis of his promises but on what he delivers.

6. Material resources are not the source of national greatness. Nations are great when every citizen is assured of their own individual right to dream and implement his/her own ideas. Resources should be used as dream-enablers for every citizen.

7. Injustices that lay in the past should never be ignored. In order to make strides, the old chapter must be closed properly, apologies offered by the offender and accepted by the victim. Sometimes we fail to blossom in our potential (as individual or nations) owing to the pain that decorates the past and laminated to our present.

Bonus Points: The preservation of values, norms and national heritage/identity is a collective responsibility of a nation’s citizens. You do not wait till you have a high office to contribute to a nation’s growth and pride. Start where you are with what you have and see the nation progress at high speed.

I urge you to look around your community and see what you can do as a family or even as an individual. Make it your goal to create the community you will be proud of in times to come. Problems should not be your reason for leaving your community, they should be the reason why you stick around to ensure they become solutions.