Massive action: Actualizing your dreams

August 21st, 2011

Exactly ten years ago on this day, August 21, 2001 I left my birth country of Kenya with $140, a small 21-inch suitcase, and the dream of a better life in America. One of my single most powerful dreams was to further my education. My! What a journey it has been! I paid my way through graduate school at Regent University and I’m now pursuing a terminal degree at Indiana Wesleyan University. I’ve learned, among other things, that dreams emerge from massive action. My full strategy is captured in my first book, The Road to Arrival: Ten Empowering Principles for Actualizing Your Dreams. In this book I focus on ten power-packed principles that are essential for making dreams come true. If dreams are not pursued with massive action, they can easily become nightmares.

What’s your dream? What’s that one thing you absolutely believe you were born to do? What keeps you up at night and keeps you dreaming during the day? What’s your greatest desire in terms of accomplishments? Each of us have been created with a desire for greatness. There is no human being who does not have the capability to dream big dreams. Greatness does not necessarily mean being rich and famous. Greatness is simply understanding what you were born to do and doing it to your utmost potential. All human beings have the potential to dream great dreams and achieve them.

 T.E. Lawrence, in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, said, “All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” Don’t let your dreams become nightmares. Back them up with massive action and sound strategies. Go for it!

Creativity: How do you “C”?

July 6th, 2011

Creativity comes when we can ‘C’ things differently. Notice that the difference between creative and reactive is in where you place the ‘c’. In being creative you ‘c’ first and then develop a game plan. In being reactive you ‘c’ in the midst of the situation. How do you ‘c’ (see)? Do you use foresight or hindsight? C first! 

Quantum leaps: What it takes…

June 3rd, 2011

Success is the offspring of leadership. It takes having a good leader for a group to achieve results at whatever it sets out to accomplish. Now, excellent leadership brings significance, which is the highest quality in the success family (lack of leadership leads to survival, poor leadership leads to stability, good leadership leads to success and excellent leadership leads to significance – those are the four members of that family: survival, stability, success and significance). Leadership has a lot to do with having the right vision, the courage to pursue it, the aptitude to share it and the wisdom to develop others as they join in the dream.

What it takes to achieve excellence is greatleadership. It takes a certain kind of nurturing by life’s events before one begins to change his posture and ascend in the nature of results that he or she gets from life. Quantum leaps come from dramatic alterations of perspectives, positions, purposes and passions. All it takes is leadership – not money, not ideas, not buildings, not anything else – but excellent leadership! 

Reflections on a journey of learning

May 1st, 2011

As a student at the University of Nairobi I always spent lots of time in solitude as I pondered the future and what I wanted it to look like for me. The more I did this, the more it became clearer to me that I wanted to live a better life than what I had seen and experienced up till that time in my life. I never at that time desired to leave my country and head for the West. I loved and still love my country but somehow as I began dreaming about a better life and developing my vision for life, it became imperative that I had to leave the country for a while.

Living and experiencing a better life does not have to mean that you leave your country. In some instances a change of location might be in order but it is more a matter of disposition than position. The idea of learning has been empowering for me and continues to alter my disposition. One has to change one’s outlook on life and elevate quality of thinking. My whole purpose in life now is to empower others with knowledge, skills, wisdom and resources that will enlighten, encourage, equip, embolden and enable them to embody the better life. My vision deep down is a world in which all people are fully empowered with all they need to live a better life.

The Next Level or A Legacy?

April 18th, 2011

People today are consumed with the idea of going to the next level in their lives, be it in their relationships, careers, finances or other area of life. While this is great because it motivates them, I find it can limit our true potential. We need to be consumed with the idea of the kind of legacy we will leave behind at the end of the seasons of our lives. Thinking about your legacy every day, rather than thinking about the next level only, makes you a better leader. Thinking about a legacy makes you other-people centered while thinking about going to the next level tends to make one self-centered.

How do you transition from thinking about the next level to thinking about developing a legacy?

1. Be more focused on other people rather yourself

The idea of being a ‘people person’ has been around for a long time. Dale Carnegie’s 1936 masterpiece, ‘How to Win Friends and influence People’, has helped so many people over the years to develop a people-centered perspective that has enabled them to leave great legacies. I would highly suggest a reading of the book. 

2. Ask how you can help rather than what others can do for you.

President John F. Kennedy immediately became a world figure with his acceptance speech in which he said, ” And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of teh world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” In order to leave a legacy you must ascend in thought to where you are asking what you can do for others rather than what they can do for you. 

3. Be a giver more than a receiver

Nothing shapes a legacy more than the spirit of giving. When you give of yourself to others you become a part of the solution. It’s solution-centered thinking that sets the pace for the kind of legacy a person will leave behind. Again, when one is thinking of going to the next level, the pre-dominant question is “What can I get (or receive) that will take me to the next level?” When one is thinking of leaving a legacy, the pre-dominant question is “What can I give that will help others?” Be more of a giver and your legacy will be unshakeable because the truth is that what we give is ours forever!

4. Be a leader more than a follower

Leaders impact and influence other people greatly. The great thing about being a leader is that you are able to take other people to the next level as you develop a legacy. What a beauty! Leaders pass along the best in themselves to other people. I’m always pleased when I hear from people I led in high school and at the university. They always say things like, “Herman, that idea was awesome. It took our group to a whole new level.” While those short-term moves were great for whichever group I led, the best thing is that a legacy was developed because even today they still talk about what we did.

Are you living for the next level or developing a legacy for and with your people? Start shaping your legacy today. 

To dive or not?

March 17th, 2011

In exactly one week I will be presenting for my comprehensive exams. Over the past few years I have been in a graduate program that has, besides other things, kept me from developing this blog consistently. I feel almost like a sky-diver just about to jump out of a plane, not knowing what to expect once he leaves that which he can see, touch, feel and smell. He looks down at the sheer expanse of sky below him and knows that the flight will be exhilerating but he shudders at the idea that anything could happen that could potentially alter his entire life. What does he do? Should he jump out of the plane and experience the infinite limitless or should he stay in the plane and forever live in the finite limited? What should he do? You ask, “Is he scared?” You bet he is!! You quip, “But he’s conquered almost similar challenges before!” Yes, he has but no one ever stepped into the same river twice. Every new attempt at the impossible (even the possible that is seemingly impossible) is a whole new endeavor that calls for a rising of new human spirit. You wonder, “What is he going to do now?” The answer to that lies within the individual because every one of us is a sky diver whether we know it or not. What separates the true divers from those who never do it is GANAS. GANAS means desire. Live life as a meaningful specific so that you do not settle as a wandering generality.

Don’t settle for less! Seize the day!

February 22nd, 2011

April 2010 was a rough month. Those who know me closely understand the pain I went through in losing my younger brother. At that point I stopped working on this blog for a couple of months. What I know for sure is that life happens and we are not meant to stop our path towards destiny when we encounter difficult situations. I once received a card that has encouraged me to remember this message. The card, titled, Follow Your Destiny, Wherever It Leads You!, has a message on the inside that says,

“There comes a time in your life when you realize that if you stand still, you will remain at this point forever. You realize that if you fall and stay down, life will pass you by.”

This is significant because we tend to forget these deep messages that are hidden within our underlying consciousness of what life is all about.  The card went on to say:

“Rather than wondering about or questioning the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now. Shake off the “why’s” and “what if’s” and rid yourself of confusion. Whatever was – is in the past. Whatever is – is what’s important. The past is a brief reflection. The future is yet to be realized. Today is here.”

What a beautiful message! This card cemented for me the truth that we are engineered for greatness. We were born for accomplishment. The key to greatness is in being able to seize every single day and utilize every life’s opportunities to live up to your full potential. Don’t settle for less when you can have more. You were designed for accomplishment and engineered for greatness!  

Fundamental Optimism

March 17th, 2010

No man demonstrated greater leadership in the 20th Century than Nelson Mandela – that icon of a man who was jailed for more than twenty years yet stayed focused and came out to break apartheid’s back, becoming his country’s first black president. In his book, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela has a quote that I have always enjoyed reading. He says,

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature of nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lay defeat and death“. (p. 377)

Leaders face many unique situations. There are times when their vision is clouded by present circumstances and it is so easy to give up and throw in the towel. There are times when even driving the process of change becomes a weary task and their motives and judgements are brought into question. All leaders experience those times when they are surrounded by situations that don’t seem to align with their purposes and plans. It is in those situations that true leaders thrive. True leadership demands an optimistic attitude. If you are going to achieve that which you set out for, you must stay focused and continue to believe in the vision. That is the key to success as a leader. 

Grow Within First

February 22nd, 2010

Personal growth has always been a key topic when it comes to realizing personal potential. The truth is that if you don’t grow, you will go. Personal growth is a necessity in today’s world.  The secret to any person’s future is hidden in their level of commitment to personal growth and development. This is particularly true for leaders. It’s your “inner” growth which sets the pace for your “outer” leadership. Here are some principles which can generate a life of continued growth:

1. Have a personal growth plan

Growth is not automatic. You have to make a conscious effort to commit to a daily growth plan. This could include reading books that enhance your understanding of your chosen field, listening to tapes and audio-books that elevate your understanding and subscribing to websites or newsletters that enhance your insight. This has to be a personal commitment. There’s a proverb that goes, “You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather is”. Make that commitment. Develop a personal growth plan.

2. Stay out of your comfort zone

There’s a quote I learnt in college that I really like. Ron Osbourne said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”. Many people get stuck in the rut of “same old, same old”. You’ve got to stretch and expand yourself. Do something new. Do it in a different way. Some wag oce said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Stay out of that comfort zone. Comfort creates ease and ease is the greatest enemy of growth.

3. Grow for who you will be, not what you will get

You need a proper focus if your growth is to go the distance. You can’t just have the goal of acquiring stuff because once you acquire your motivation will wane. Growth should be geared towards becoming a better person, living a better life. Grow to become, not to have. Growth brings good things; good things don’t bring growth. It is more important to be a better person than to have better things. We win in life by being better people, not by having the biggest and the best of stuff. True success is really an intangible thing – it’s the quality of person that you are.   

The Art of Influencing Others Positively

January 13th, 2010

Making a mark with people means being able to influence people positively. Everything we accomplish with people happens because of our efforts to influence them positively. The key to doing this is to master the art of positive influence. The art of positive influence centers very much on your ability to meet with people where they are and inspire them to a higher level. This happens through our perfection of the skill of encouraging people to go to the next level.

To make a mark, we all need the support and encouragement of others. When we positively inspire them through our interaction with them, a desire is birthed within them to want to work with us. This is a key competence for anyone in a leadership position; but it is also an essential competence for anyone, regardless of leadership position or title. Influencing people means appreciating them. It means listening to people. It means sharing ideas with them and equipping them to be better people. If you master the art of influencing others posititvely, you will make a mark worth remembering.

Defining Reality – The Present Situation

December 15th, 2009

It’s understandable that many organizations have vision statements that attempt to define and crystalize what the future will look like for them. However, many of these organizations fail to develop a clear idea of where they currently are. The present situation is the key to a future desired vision of where and what the organization will accomplish. Great leaders take the time to define the present as well as they define the future.

Someone once said that leadership is taking a group of people from where they are to where they should be. Based on this definition, it is clear to see that an understanding of where your people currently are is critical to the journey of taking them where they should be. Defining where they currently are means looking at their present successes and failures, clarifying the obstacles in their path, reviewing their resources, assessing their capabilities in light of past accomplishments and outlining what is being done that is bringing in desired results. Every journey has a starting point and an end. By starting with where you currently are, you are able to set in motion a process of advancement to where you want to be. 

On Crossing Bridges

November 7th, 2009

Some wise sage once said, “We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have ‘crossed bridges’ in their imagination far ahead of the crowd.” I’m thinking of leaders like Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. These men crossed bridges way ahead of the societies and times they lived in. Life demands of us to be prepared for our time when it comes. But the truth is that in order to be prepared we must be able to cross bridges before we get to them. Crossing bridges before we get to them means having a healthy imagination full of ideas on how we can solve the challenges of today and avoid the obstacles of tomorrow.

I’m at a point right now where I’m beginning to develop that capacity to block out time in my day where I can get into my creative space and do nothing but cross bridges in my imagination. Any thinker should be able to do this. That’s the key to leadership – being able to see farther than everyone else and then communicating the dynamics to those around you. I think that we can all develop that capacity to cross bridges before we come to them. Putting in that extra effort in the beginning will save us from lots of trouble and heart-ache in the latter part of our various missions in life. 

Vibrationary Leadership

October 17th, 2009

We live in a critical day that calls for more vibrationary leadership than visionary leadership. If you’ve seen the movie Click you may be able to discern how we need to go BEYOND vision and into a vibration mode of life. So much has been said and written about visionary leadership but few people understand vibrationary leadership. I’m calling for a new kind of leadership. I am calling for vibrationary leadership!
The difference between visionary and vibrationary leadership is that whereas visionary leadership guides and directs by the power of a compelling desire propelled by a glimpse of the future, vibrationary leadership discerns trends, senses opportunities and taps into potentialities. Understanding the heartbeat of the future is more powerful than any vision we could ever have. We learn this easily from the human body. Before thoughts are deposited in the mind, they are birthed in the heart. The heart is therefore the center of life. Out of it flows the issues of life. The seed of vision is always in the heart. That’s why a visionary has passion and fire in his soul. His heart is ablaze. Vibrationary leaders develop the ability to hear the silent beating of coming changes in society and thus strategically position themselves to make the very best of the moment.

If we are going to be precise in the 21st century, we must transition from visionary leadership to vibrationary leadership. Otherwise we shall have visions that will stall in the face of rapid societal changes. A New millenium requires a New strategy. Our organizations should be able to vibrate with the beating of society’s heart. Transitioning from vision to vibration is in essence shifting our focus from seeing to hearing. While it is essential that we be able to see what is happening in our environment, it is much more important that our ears be well tuned in order to hear the silent rumblings of change. This means that our ears should be close to society’s heart and needs. Sound is a series of vibrations moving as waves through air. Ringing a bell for example, sets off vibrations in the air. Detection of these vibrations or sound waves is called hearing. It is essential to understand how the ear works. Humans hear by bone conduction or primarily by detecting airborne sound waves, which are collected by the auricles. The auricles help locate the direction of sound. Then one turns to focus on the direction. Therefore hearing comes before seeing. This is very important.

This transition will require a change from structure to rhythm. We should be able to learn the unforced rhythm of guiding our organizations through transitionary moments. This will require a greater degree of sensitivity. Making the transition from visionary leadership to vibrationary leadership will require that we change from critical thinking to modulating. What we hear should be properly deciphered and transmitted to the masses. What are you hearing? Make the big transition – be a vibrationary leader!

Climb out of the pile

September 24th, 2009

Human beings are so designed such that they move forward based on the quality of their thinking. If our thinking is stagnant then our growth will be stunted! One of the things that keeps many people at the same level is herdthink – they go with the masses instead of using their quality of thinking to chart out a path that is truly theirs. I like the trailblazer mentality. A trailblazer is not somebody who speeds up the highway in their thirty thousand dollar black 2007 Chevy trailblazer. While it might seem ‘cool’ to some people to do just that, they may not necessarily qualify to be real trailblazers. A true trailblazer is a pioneer – someone who helps to open up a new line of pursuit and purpose. The key to being a trailblazer is to be a good thinker.

A few years ago I really enjoyed reading John C. Maxwell’s book, Thinking for a Change. I had already been practicing some of the concepts he developed in the book but he added superb insight to my understaning of the essence of good thinking. Three of his ideas stood out:

1. Good Thinking Creates the Foundation for Good Results

What do you want to achieve in life? The key to that will be in developing a reservoir of good thoughts that are well implemented. Your progress in life is directly proportional to the quality of your thoughts. As I set the Better Life Company in motion I had to assess the integrity of my thinking. That provided me with the confidence of knowing that I could head into action.

2. Good Thinking Increases Your Potential

Many of the thought leaders I have come to respect have been great proponents of the need to understand and pursue one’s full potential in life. Potential is simply the capacity that a person has for effectiveness in life. We can all attain our potential as we begin to elevate our thinking. Good thinking increases the level of results one can expect in life.

3. Good Thinking Produces More Good Thinking IF . . . You Make It a Habit

Nothing dominates life more than a habit. As you practice good thinking, you develop a foundation from which you can continue to harvest even better thinking. Internationally respected leadership authority, Stephen Covey, explains that we cannot face the challenges of today with the responses of yesterday. We have to continually raise our response – it takes a habit of good thinking to do that.

Will you climb out of the pile or will you stay rooted in it? As you climb out of the pile, remember the story of the crabs in a bucket. As one tries to climb out, the others will, without question, try to pull it back in. But know this one thing, there are encouragers who will make themselves available to push you out of the pile and I’m one of them.

DESTINY – Seven Keys to Making Your Destiny a Reality

August 12th, 2009

Every single human being has a special and particular destiny that they were born to make a reality. In my book, Battling for Your Prophetic Desiny, I have written at length about specific strategies that can be utilized in making one’s destiny come alive. I recently developed an acronym that captures seven essential things that we can all do to make our destinies a reality. These thoughts form the acronym DESTINY:

Determine your true passions

You have to find out exactly what makes you tick. Many people stop pursuing their true passions when they get a job. A job is your pre-occupation while your true passions are your true occupation. What gets you excited? Perhaps one of the hindrances to finding our true passions is limited imagination. Edmund Burke once said, “There is a boundary to men’s passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination”. Allow your imagination to unveil new passions that will enable you to stretch yourself.

Embrace your assignment

Your true passions will reveal to you your assignment. Your assignment is that which you are meant to accomplish with your life that few others will be able to do as well as you could. Every human being has the capability of expertise. What are your talents? Your talents are the key to your potential and purpose. Use your talents to unleash all you can be, do and have. What do you enjoy doing most? That could be your assignment. Knowing your assignment in life is more important than finding a job.

Start right NOW!

Life is lived in the now. Most people’s undoing is that they live either in the past or in the future and experience very little of the now. The company that you’ve always dreamt of starting, start it right now! That song that you always wanted to compose, write it right now! Myles Munroe once said, “The richest place in the world is the cemetery, because there are people there who died with books that were never written, songs that were never sung and companies that were never started.” You’ve got to commit to living in the now! That incident that’s been lingering in your mind for months, let it go right now! Move on and experience the fullness of what life has for you.

Transform your thinking

Your thinking sets the pace for your doing. Thinking makes a great difference. You can’t experience greatness if you continue to think in the same manner that you have always thought. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the rut of bad or poor thinking. Elevate your thinking by associating with good thinkers. This can be accomplished in many different ways – through reading their books, face-to-face contact with people that spur your thinking, listening to audio-books or watching educational video or TV.

Identify your strengths

Winners play to their strengths. If you are going to be massively successful in life you have to start that journey of identifying your strengths. This will not only expose you to your potential but it will also aid in constructing your character. As you identify your strengths, you will definitely uncover some opportunities for improvement in many areas of your life. Strengthen your areas that need improvement and you are well on your way to a great destiny. Don’t play safe, play to your strengths. That is the key to having great outcomes in life.

Notify key personnel

You need a circle of support around you that will motivate, support and keep you accountable. Share your dreams with them. Allow them to challenge you towards realizing your full potential. They may be the key to your ability to move to the next level. Find trusted people who will become your inner circle of confidence. Build a team of people around you who will encourage you to expand your sights. Never under-estimate the power of your close associates. People who achieve greatly in life have mastered the art of notifying key people around them what they are working on and allowing these people to be encouragers of their pursuits.

Yoke with thought leaders

Someone once said that who you become five years from today is determined by the books you read and the company you keep. You have to be strategic about the environment that you invest your time in. Last month I had a post here in which I explored different dimensions of bad company and good company. I think it’s worth revisiting and really taking a good look at. Associate with thought leaders and your life will improve greatly. You can make that destiny that you dream of a reality!  

Thinking Makes A Difference

August 1st, 2009

Human beings are so designed such that they move forward based on the quality of their thinking. If our thinking is stagnant then our growth will be stunted! One of the things that keeps many people at the same level is herd-think – they go with the masses instead of using their quality of thinking to chart out a path that is truly theirs. A few years ago I enjoyed reading John C. Maxwell’s book, Thinking for a Change, which helps in developing that ability to think efficiently and correctly. I had already been practicing some of the concepts he developed in the book but he added superb insight to my understanding of the essence of good thinking. Three of his ideas stood out:

1. Good Thinking Creates the Foundation for Good Results

What do you want to achieve in life? The key to that will be in developing a reservoir of good thoughts that are well implemented. Your progress in life is directly proportional to the quality of your thoughts.

2. Good Thinking Increases Your Potential

Many of the thought leaders I have come to respect have been great proponents of the need to understand and pursue one’s full potential in life. Potential is simply the capacity that a person has for effectiveness in life. We can all attain our potential as we begin to elevate our thinking. Good thinking increases the level of results one can expect in life.

3. Good Thinking Produces More Good Thinking IF . . . You Make It a Habit

Nothing dominates life more than a habit. As you practice good thinking, you develop a foundation from which you can continue to harvest even better thinking. Internationally respected leadership authority, Stephen Covey, explains that we cannot face the challenges of today with the responses of yesterday. We have to continually raise our response – it takes a habit of good thinking to do that.

Will you climb out of the pile or will you stay rooted in it? As you climb out of the pile, remember the story of the crabs in a bucket. As one tries to climb out, the others will, without question, try to pull it back in. But know this one thing, there are encourager who will make themselves available to push you out of the pile and I’m one of them.

Family First: Making a Mark Begins at Home

July 21st, 2009

As I celebrate my birthday today, I want to clarify what I believe making a mark is all about. As a young kid growing up I used to hear many of the significant people around me say that charity begins at home. This particularly became a joke when my brothers and sisters would want some act of kindness or generosity from me. As I’ve advanced in age, I have come to realize that being charitable is simply one of the ways in which we can make a mark in society. Just like charity, making a mark begins at home.

The key to success in life is to have a set of values that guide one’s life. These values are best developed in a family environment. If we will make a mark, the needs of our families must come first. You cannot mess up in the family arena and expect to make a solid mark in society. Making a mark begins at home. What value would there be in making a difference all over the world yet being a wreck when it comes to making a mark with the people closest to you? You have to focus first on making a difference with those closest to you before you can make a significant mark with the rest of society.

Use PEGS to Increase Other People’s Opinions About You

July 8th, 2009

When I was a kid I used to love it when my mom would wash the bedsheets. Mom had this theory that for bedsheets to smell fresh and nice you had to hang them in the open air. She set up a clothes line in the backyard where she would use wooden and plastic pegs to hang the sheets and have them dry. The fun, for me, came in two ways. First, my younger brother and I used to like running in between the sheets. Of course it drove my mom crazy but she also joined in the play, knowing that we were just kids having fun. Second, we enjoyed sleeping in the fresh bedsheets at the end of the day. The key to this whole process were the pegs she would use to hang the sheets. Without the pegs the bedsheets would simply fall to the ground and it would be impossible to dry them. 

This is exactly the same thing with other people’s opinions about you. My mom taught me that there are four key things that are important to observe when an older person is talking to you. I want to modify those four things to develop the idea of PEGS as key to increasing people’s opinions of you. Without using what I call PEGS, it is impossible to increase the opinion that people have of you when you are talking to them. What do I mean by this?

PEGS simply stands for Posture, Eye-contact, Gestures and Speech. Let us look at each of these:

Posture

Mom taught me that it was important to sit up when being talked to or when talkign to someone else. She added that if standing, it was important to stand with shoulders back and head upright. When you sit up or when you stand upright you convey to other people that you respect them. When people see that you have a high regard for them, they will naturally have a higher opinion of you. Your posture sends a louder message to people around you than the words that you use.

Eye-Contact

Mom taught me that it’s hard for people to tell whether you understand and are following them if you did not give good eye-contact. She also stressed the importance of looking at the people I was talking to so that they could see that I was being sincere and honest with them. Making eye-contact enables other people to know that you truly appreciate them. The eyes are the window to the soul. Eye-contact enables you to connect with those whom you are speaking to or anyone who is speaking with you.

Gestures

Mom taught me that any gestures I use during conversation should be purposeful and relevant because they will determine how other people view me. She taught me that if my gestures reflect hostility and contempt, people will not have a high opinion of me. Over the years, I have come to learn that there are three key gestures that people focus on: hand gestures, body gestures and facial gestures. Any gestures used should deliberately add value to the conversation.

Speech

Mom taught me that what you say and how you say it are both very important in determining people’s opinion of you. She urged me to always speak slowly and clearly, carefully choosing my words and making sure that I’m using appropriate language. Along with language, the tone of voice that one uses should communicate respect for the other party. This is particularly important when speaking in one-on-one settings or small group settings. Careful choice of speech will increase people’s opinion of you. 

Saying No Can Enable You to Make a Mark

June 29th, 2009

Many times we get involved in situations where we are tempted to engage in so many trivial things that may not necessarily be beneficial to our passions in life. Sometimes these temptations can come from people who want you to join them in projects, activities or events that may not add value to who you are and what you are accomplishing with your life. Making a mark in life sometimes depends on being good at saying no to these distractions.

You have to get to a place whereby you clearly understand what your passions are and will not be sidetracked by tempting distractions that do not add value to your purpose. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to distractions, yes to tempting events, yes to someone else’s projects or yes to activities that have no value. You have to get to a place whereby you can say no to all these things (and more) without feeling guilty. Saying no can enable you to make a mark.

High Self-Esteem – the Secret Key to Making a Mark

June 14th, 2009

Many people fail to realize that self-esteem determines the quality of personal performance and the impact that one can have in the lives of those around him or her. We all have certain degrees of ‘mini-self-esteems’ that govern each and every one of our activities. We have a self-esteem for relationships, a self-esteem for finances, a self-esteem for work ethic, a self-esteem for public speaking, a self-esteem for exercising, a self-esteem for social interaction, a self-esteem for spirituality, a self-esteem for recreation, a self-esteem for friendships, and a self-esteem for many other areas of our lives. Our self-esteem really means how we see ourselves. More than likely, you will always perform in a manner consistent with how you see yourself. High self-esteem is the secret key to making a mark.