Archive for February, 2007

In honor of Black History Month

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Today being the last day of February, I thought it best to post some thoughts on what has been the key to the progress of the black community. The key to progress has been teh eradication of a key barrier that had been hidden to so many but was clearly revealed in a statement by United States senator Henry Barry, made in 1832, concerning Negro slaves. He said,

“We have, as far as possible, closed every avenue by which light may enter the slave’s mind. If we could completely extinguish the capacity to see light, our work would be complete. They would be on the same level with the beast of the field, and we would be safe.”

From this statement, it’s easy to see that light is the key to progress. In my second book, Quest for Light, I defined light and outlined key strategies in which we can embody more light in our lives.

q4l.jpg

In honor of Black history month, I will be offering Quest for Light for a discounted price of US $ 9.99 (plus shipping and handling) throughout the month of March 2007. In order to get this discount you will need to email me at Better Life. The email is herman(at)betterlifecompany.com.

Living Under Above The Circumstances

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

This evening I took my son for a leisurely drive as I listened to the local PBS station. The speaker who came said something that resonated deeply with me. He said that “75% of world class leaders were either born in poverty, had a serious disability or were abused as children. This shows that it’s not what happens to you that matters but how you handle it that makes the diference”. Isn’t it true that so many people live under the circumstances when they could be living above their circumstances? We were designed for accomplishment and engineered for greatness. Circumstances should never govern our existence. Living above the circumstances means having a proper attitude about everything that happens. It means having a bigger picture of our situations.

Huts, Granaries, Missiles and Canoes – Final Pt.

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Every vision needs to be strengthened by the underlying philosophies and values that guide the organization. You can’t expect to achieve a big vision when the guiding philosophies do not match up to the vision. You cannot expect to accomplish great things when your strategy is flawed. Here are some ideas that can enable you to secure an output that is worthy of your input:

1. Have a Mission that matches your Vision

A company’s daily undertakings need to fit into the bigger picture of it’s ultimate objectives. Many organizations have dropped the ball by engaging in activities that are outside the range of the company vision. Vision is guarded by staying on the critical path with the company mission. Do this and you will be able to fire missiles from your canoe. I guarantee it!

2. Develop Goals that align with your Philosophy

Company philosophy is crucial to the outcomes and output of an organization. Your goals should align with the values that the company holds dearest. Every organization needs to clarify what it is that it holds as fundamental to it’s existence. Enron failed because the leader’s activities veered off the course of the company’s core values. Your have to hold onto your core values. Do this and your granary may be able to fit into your hut.

3. Create a Strategy that builds on your Accomplishments

Strategy is the key to building value in an organization. Value is measured by an organization’s accomplishments. The more a company accomplishes, the more it acquires a competitive advantage over other companies within that industry. Strategy therefore is key to the long-term existence of a company.

These three keys, applied in an orderly manner, will not only ensure that you fire missiles from your canoe but also that your granary fits into your hut.

Huts, Granaries, Missiles and Canoes – Pt. 2

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Let us think of organizations. Robert Schuller once said that “You can’t fire a missile from a canoe”. A leader’s vision for his organization may sometimes be limited by current structures in the organization. There are also times when vision may be limited by structures that are not present within the organization. The organization’s objectives too play a great role in determining the results that will be yielded. There must be a solid foundation that ensures that any goals pursued will be achieved satisfactorily. A granary cannot be pushed into a hut.

How then do we ensure that our output will be measurable to our input without having to demolishing our present structures? How do we develop a system that allows us to fire missiles from canoes without toppling over into the water? There are three key ideas that will empower us in this area. The conclusion to this series comes tomorrow… (Final part comes tomorrow).

Huts, Granaries, Missiles and Canoes

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

We have a saying in Kenya that “A granary cannot be pushed into a hut”. This saying has been upper-most in my thoughts this week as I look at the idea of personal potential in the light of current capacity and the limitations that surround it. We all face moments when our ability to perform is limited by current structures that pose immense threat to the vision within us. What is one to do in those situations?

A granary is a storehouse for grain. It symbolizes the fruit of one’s labor, or the yield of one’s hard work. A hut on the other hand is a dwelling of simple construction that is the common living area for many in African rural areas. Most huts are usually made of mud and have grass thatched roofs. Granaries on the other hand are made of wood and have tin/aluminium roofs.

To be continued tomorrow…. 

Smashing Through Barriers

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

We all experience moments in life when obstacles seem to crowd our goals and aspirations. Whether you are a leader of an organization, an employee in a department, a small-business owner, a student, the President or even just a regular guy, we have all experienced many barriers to our goals. I’ve seen so many people with great dreams that would add tremendous value to society but every time they try to plug into their dreams, they get knocked down by societal barriers.

Regardless of your situation or status in life, I want you to know that you can smash any barriers that hinder your life goals and your organization’s direction. I know this full well because my life has been about smashing barriers. I come from a community that is not well regarded in terms of access to higher positions in my country – Kenya. I was denied the opportunity to come to the United States four times before I finally got the Visa. I came to this country with a big dream and only $140 in my pocket. Imagine all the barriers I have had to surmount in order to get to where I am now. When I told people that I wanted to speak for a living, a lot of them said, “You are barking up the wrong tree, son. You’ve got a heavy African accent, no money, no contacts, ….how do you ever expect to do this?” Well, I didn’t have to know the “how” since I had a solid “why”. My passion has been one – to help people – and that is why barriers are getting smashed as I begin to slice the frontiers of developing people and empowering them to live a better life. Here are some ideas:

Three Core Hammers for Smashing Through Barriers

1. Generate a Solid Idea of Your Life Purpose

Purpose is the key to understanding the “why” of life. When you know what your purpose is, you will not lose heart in the face of obstacles and barriers. Understanding purpose enables you to stay committed and motivated towards pursuing your goals. Purpose produces passion and that is essential in overcoming challenges. Leaders in organizations need to have a clear picture of what the organization’s purpose is.

2. Develop an Enduring Vision

Lots of people have vision but very few stick to it when barriers come their way. If you will smash through barriers, you need to have an enduring vision. The United States as a country has come through many generations of challenges because of an enduring vision that was cast by the founding fathers. I succeeded in finally being able to come to the United States because I had an enduring vision. (Please see my post on “Does Daydreaming Work?”).

3. When Knocked Down, Get Back Up!

I like reading biographies. One of the stories I have enjoyed so much was that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had a steady stream of barriers throughout his life and he smashed through all of them. Look at this:

In 1816 his family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them. In 1818 his mother died. In 1831 he failed in business. In 1832 he ran for state legislature and lost. In 1832 he lost his job and wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.In 1833 he borrowed money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the next year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt. In 1834 he ran for state legislature again and won. In 1835 he was engaged to be married. His sweetheart died and his heart was broken. In 1836 he had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months. In 1838 he sought to become speaker of the state legislature but was defeated. In 1840 he sought to become elector but was defeated. In 1843 he ran for congress and lost. In 1846 he ran for congress again. This time he won, went to Washington and did a good job.In 1848 he ran for reelection to congress and lost. In 1849 he sought the job of land officer in his home state and was rejected. In 1854 he ran for Senate of the United States but lost. In 1856 he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s convention and got less that 100 votes. In 1858 he ran for US Senate again – again, he lost. In 1860 he was elected President of the United States.

My! That’s a long list of barriers for just one single guy! But you know what? He had purpose and vision plus he got back up each time he was knocked down. You can do it too! Let’s smash through barriers!

Here’s a helpful resource:

Battling for your Prophetic Destiny is packed with insight on how you can conquer every barrier as you pursue your purpose. Your destiny is secure!

Does Day-dreaming Work?

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

In January of 2000, I sat in an economics lecture at the University of Nairobi in Kenya with my eyes on the Professor and my mind on a land far away – “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I vividly remember that day, because later on in the day I opened a free email account with yahoo – for the first-time ever – and sent an email to a leadership internship organization in Texas, the Honor Academy. At that time, I had only five months left to the completion of my course-work and eleven months to my graduation from the Univeristy.

On December 4, 2000, I caught myself day-dreaming again. On that day I was seated among the graduating students of the Class of 2000 at the University of Nairobi. While everyone was shouting excitedly about their new status, my mind was in a land far away, far across the seas and oceans – “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

On both occassions I was fully in the moment. I paid attention to my Professor and I enjoyed the commencement speech and my graduation. However, on both occassions, I had a healthy discontent and dissatisfaction with my present situation. I fully appreciated where I was in life at those particular times but I also knew that there was the potential for more.

To cut the long story short, I’m now in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. So, I pose the question back to you: Does daydreaming work?

READ AND DREAM:

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.

T.E. Lawrence
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
 

Finish the Race

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

One of the most prestigious events of the Olympic Games is the Marathon – 26 miles – 385 yards of one of the most severe tests of human endurance. In the 1968 Summer Olympic Games, held in Mexico City, John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania started with the other runners but fell way behind the leaders.

At the finish line – the 100,000 plus spectators packing Olympic Stadium – cheered the winners of the race. Other runners entered the stadium and crossed the finish line to the cheers of the crowd. The race was over. Other events took place. Thousands of spectators had left. Then, one lone runner entered the stadium – John Stephen Akhwari. Akhwari’s pace was slow. His steps were wobbly. His knee was bloody and bandaged from a fall earlier in the race. He looked terrible. As He entered the stadium and began to slowly complete that last lap around the track the few remaining spectators began to realize who he was and what he was doing. As Akhwari slowly – painfully – crossed the finish line – they cheered – saluting the man’s determination.After the race, Akhwari was asked – what kept you going? Why didn’t you quit? Akhwari said, “My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me here to finish”.

Personality Plus

Monday, February 19th, 2007

My one year old son has been developing so fast. In many ways I think he’s got the greatest personality ever possessed by any human being. He is just such a joy. Very expressive. Vibrant. Laughs a lot. A fast learner and such a wonderful human being to have around. The stunner and I feel deeply honored to be his parents.

Well, he’s been making rapid progress in the development of his own personality. He’s been giving us all sorts of smiles, squeezing my shoulder affectionately when I carry him, leaning forward to give the stunner and I kisses and bonding with us in many different ways. It’s just amazing watching him develop his own self, solidify his trust in us and become more independent.

Watching my son like this has enabled me to gain a lot of insight into human personality. Junior is just being himself. There is no outside force that is coercing or driving him to be someone that he is not. He is a born natural. So is every other human being on the face of this earth. We are all wired to be born naturals. The influences of society and our environment lead us to be what we are not.

Let your true personality shine through. You are a born natural. Don’t be a fake, or worse still, a cheap copy. 

Meaningful Specifity – Pt. 2

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

This is in conclusion of yesterday’s blog. Here are two key things that generate passion:

a). Relentless Dedication – In order to become a meaningful specific, you must be relentlessly dedicated to making your dream come true. What are you doing on a daily basis that is adding value to your ability to fully become who you were born to be? Are you being true to the voice within you that is calling you to perform at your optimum level? You need to have optimum outcomes. That is why we call our magazine BLOOM – Better Life Optimum Outcomes Magazine. Our goal is to encourage you to pursue your dreams on a daily basis.

b). Steady Focus – Steady Focus comes from always having your vision right in front of you. Think about why you have immense success driving every day – the windshield is right in front of you and you are always looking out through it! It’s the same thing with your dream. You must keep it right in front of you. There are many ways that you can do this. Write it down and recite it throughout the day. Design your environment to remind you of your vision every day. We shall be discussing all these strategies a lot more as we revisit your plans for 2007.

Looking at yesterday’s and today’s blog, are you a meaningful specific?

Meaningful Specifity

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

One of the quotes that had great impact on my life when I was in college was Zig Ziglar’s famous question, “Are you a meaningful specific or a wandering generality?” This quote came to mind as I was thinking about the ingredients that make a life of purpose, direction and productivity. A keen study of the lives of people who excel will reveal that the main ingredient for their success is usually one thing: passion. Their dedication to a cause, belief in people and commitment to living their best life come from their passion. They find the one thing they really enjoy doing, then do it with passion. Passion is the key ingredient to success. 

Where does passion come from? How can we use it to become meaningful specifics? Passion is born out of desire – having a dream, vision or longing to see something different from a current situation. What do you see in your future? What’s your dream? Martin Luther King Jnr. was a very passionate man because he had a dream for racial equality. Princess Diana had a passion for charity work because she wanted to see a better world. Your passion will enable you to soar from obscurity and into the limelight. Your passion will enable you to realize something greater than yourself. Your passion will enable you to be a meaningful specific. 

Passion is effective when it is birthed from the inside. You must be motivated intrinsically. You cannot exhibit passion on the outside when deep down you are shallow. You’ve got to cultivate it deep within yourself. That comes by immersing yourself wholeheartedly into pursuing your vision or dream. More on this tomorrow….

Power through Self-Knowledge

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Isn’t it interesting that human beings have a tendency to want to be like someone else instead of focusing on just being themselves? I had quite a laugh watching the McDonalds Celebrity basketball game between East vs. West on ESPN earlier today. I got so much laughs from watching musicians, actors, football players, etc take a shot at being NBA stars. Judy Garland advised, “Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else”. Life would be so much easier for many people if they stayed content with who they are. Know thyself.

What’s your dance?

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

There is a Kenyan saying that “He who spends time adorning himself knows he is going to a dance”. This saying came to mind this morning as I watched my wife spend almost thirty minutes in front of the mirror. When I jokingly told her that she was spending too much time using cosmetics on an already stunning and gorgeous face, she responded, “Stop it charming … I’m not spending time here, I’m investing time”. Immediately when she said that I thought about the Kenyan saying above. Through this simple interaction, the stunner had just contibuted towards refreshing my mind with brilliant insight.

Let’s explore the saying. For the purpose of clarifying the idea of what I’m sharing today (and staying on the same track with my wife’s thinking), let me say it this way, “She who invests time in preparing herself knows that there is something special in her future”. The stunner invested a significant amount of time in preparing herself this morning because she was expectating to meet a client later in the day.

Preparation is the key to securing your future. Are you adorning yourself? You should be, because there’s a dance awaiting you. The dance is the future that you were destined to live. One of the most beautiful things in life is a man or woman who is ready when his or her time comes. You may not be in the ‘dance’ of your life right now, but you can prepare because the truth is that every human being gets the opportunity to experience their dance. The problem is that very few are ever ready when the moment comes.

Start adorning yourself. Invest in personal growth. Read books that will prepare you for the future. Develop yourself into the kind of person who will shine on the dance floor when destiny finally says, “Here’s your chance”. Get ready! The quality of dance you expect in your future determines the amount of adorning you will do today. Raise your expectations. You shouldn’t be expecting to go to some mediocre dance. Your goal should be to dance in the most sophisticated dances reserved for the ones who have invested heavily in themselves.

One very important closing thought: Life was never meant to be a battle. Life is supposed to be a dance. Larry D’Anges said, “If you don’t learn to dance with life, life will pass you by and get another partner“. And I say this: “If you don’t learn how to dance today, you won’t shine on the dance floor tomorrow“.

The V Day – Happy Valentine’s

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

According to legend, Valentine’s Day began when St. Valentine, a Roman, was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. Legend says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine. The day of his death was February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. It is also said that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine. My opinion is that Valentine’s Day therefore should also be about the other V-word, Vision. St. Valentine had a vision at the time of his death – that he and the jailer’s daughter would share a special future together. On this Valentine’s Day, my wife and I are not only celebrating our anniversary (we got married on Saturday, February 14, 2004) but we are also celebrating our vision for the future of our love. When we were still engaged, we developed a marriage vision statement that has continued to empower us towards a better life. Here is the vision:As we join our lives this morning of Valentine’s Day, Saturday February 14 2004, we commit to love and live with each other as husband and wife in the honorable estate of holy and lawful matrimony. We embrace the rings that we exchange today as the symbols of our unbreakable union and our faith and belief in God’s plan as the pillar of our destiny. Our vision and mission, as a couple, is to manifest a marvelous family unit that demonstrates abundance of life and empowers others to do the same. 
 
On the same day, we also developed values for the family that we refer to as our nuptial values. These are all outlined in my book, Battling for your Prophetic Destiny. In sharing them here, I hope that they will spur you on towards success in your relationship. Here we go: Our entire life is driven by six key values that make up the acronym FAMILY. We have dubbed these our Nuptial Values and they are:
 
Friendship – We believe in and are committed to the existence of affection and mutual esteem in our relationship. We endeavor to exhibit to one another the great sentiments of intimacy, respect and harmony that enrich our souls. We offer friendship to one another and those within our environment.
 
Attitude – We believe in and are committed to cultivating a stellar attitude. We focus on out look more than looks, disposition more than position, principles more than actions, character more than reputation, and wisdom more than knowledge. We empower one another and those within our environment.
 
Maturity – We believe in and are committed to interacting with one another with a high degree of sound judgment for the purpose of mutual development. We secure honest compassion, continuing perfection and a progressive condition of growth for each other and those within our environment.
 
Integrity – We believe in and are committed to trust, sincerity, honesty and candor in our relationship. We model sincerity, forthrightness and truthfulness with one another, valuing the other partner as better. We honor each other’s point of view and respect each other and those within our environment.
 
Leadership – We believe in and are committed to sound guidance and direction based on a Biblical perspective. We consistently serve and submit to each other and take initiative by providing suitable direction, solving issues and exercising measured influence to one another and those within our environment.
 
Yo-heave-ho – We believe in and are committed to working together to make our life the greatest it can be. We provide each other with a positive, supportive and creatively uplifting environment through which we can achieve our goals and enable those around us to do the same. (Yo-heave-ho is a motivational cry formerly used by sailors while pulling or lifting together in rhythm. We use it as the metaphor for our joint efforts in building the Najoli dynasty!)

How to Breed Success

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

This morning I’ve been thinking about keys to success and what the real secret to success is. Of late, all the talk show hosts have been talking about this new DVD, The Secret, and how it contains the one thing that will make whoever watches it achieve anything they want in life. In today’s blog I’d like to share my idea of what the key to success really is.  The key to success is simply one thing: action. Successful people act – and when they fail, they don’t quit. They act on something else that will bring them the results they desire: a new methodology, a new strategy, a new idea. Thomas Edison was a great inventor because he acted on his imagination. Florence Nightingale etched her mark on history because she acted to remedy a social situation. When darkness surrounded her, she lit a lamp and kept on working, earning the name of The Lady With The Lamp. Lance Armstrong is great because he acted on his dreams. Oprah Winfrey is loved because she is acting on her dreams. Massive action is the key to greatness. Greatness does not mean being famous. It simply means realizing your personal potential.   

 

You breed success by being successful in small actions. Think of a sport like boxing. It’s easy to see in boxing that the key to the knock-out is the consitent jabs. Short consistent jabs could easily open up an opportunity for landing the upper-cut. If you want to be successful you must tuck many small wins under your belt by acting consistently on your dreams. You do that by staying active. If you fail you don’t quit, you stay flexible and continue engaging in massive action. Constant action will provide you with opportunities that you never saw coming. Go on. Breed success.  

Positive Input

Monday, February 12th, 2007

With the onslaught of major media, we live in a day when there’s too much negativity coming across all day. The only news coming through seems to be CNN – Constant Negative News. Everywhere you turn it’s negative news – in the newspapers, on theweb, on TV, on radio, at the mall, etc. Our only recourse in this day and age is to turn on what’s positive. researchers have said that it takes one correct input to overcome eleven incorrect inputs. That basically means that for every negative bit of information that comes your way, you need eleven positive bits of information in order tocontinue progressing towards success in life.

How can the ordinary person then attain success given this situation? I think the most effective way to do so is to engage in a lot of positive self-talk. Learn to speak the good, the powerful, the positive to yourself as you go through the various activities of the day. It doesn’t have to be loud. This hait alone can guarantee you tremendous success in your daily life. Constant and consistent positive input is the key to realizing the fullness of your personal potential. You’ve got to feed yourself with material that will enhance your quality of life. Let’s turn off CNN – Constant Negative News.    

Failure isn’t final

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

One of the things that would greatly improve our performance in life is an understanding of the fact that failure is never final. Many people never “start something” (yesterday’s blog) because of the fear of failure. A few years ago while at the University of Nairobi, I wrote an article in a newsletter that I used to publish for fellow students on campus. The crux of my message was that failure was part of the journey of life. What causes us to quit in the face of failure is our attitude. Your attitude determines your altitude. Failure does not mean that it is over.

While reading through some of my material I came across a poem that I think would be worthwhile to share.  

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
And that’s worth thinking about.

Friends, develop a success attitude. That will be the key for prevailing over the arrows of failure. Failure isn’t final!!

Start Something

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Today the entire nation will be tuning in to hear Senator Barrack Obama make the announcement of his run for the 2008 Presidential nomination. Senator Obama is a sensational man and I wish him well in his plans. The one thing that I find to be the defining mark of anybody who ever soars and ascends into the public limelight is that they start something. Be it in politics, religion, science, business, sports or any other field. Those that become torch bearers in these fields do so based on something that they started – either a new idea, a new invention, a new philosophy, a new product, a new movement, a new skill or technique.

Your personal goal in life may not be to make it into the limelight but your contribution to life demands that you start something. Starting something is the key to adding value. Adding value to life is the rent we pay for the space we inhabit on this earth. Step out of your comfort zone. Gone are the days when breakthroughs were limited. We now live in an information age that offers boundless opportunities for those who will make the effort to embrace a superior level of life. It’s about reaching your full potential and maximizing your life.

Desire + Decision X Determination = Destiny

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Imagine living the life of your dreams. Imagine doing what you’ve always dreamed of for a living. Imagine having the time to do the things you love to do with your family and friends. Now, here’s the formula to make that happen: Desire + Decision X Determination = Destiny!

What does this mean? Let us look at the three components of the formula:

Desire

In The Road to Arrival, I talked about desire and defined it as being an unsatisfied longing (p. 105). Dreams are the product of desire. The starting point of all accomplishment is desire. The fact that you can imagine a certain kind of lifestyle fro your self is a good indicator that you have a desire. A dream is simply a strongly desired goal. Desire is the key to motivation because it develops within us a passion to pursue that which we long for. Your desires, however, must be backed by good decision making.

Decision

Decision is the ignition key of progress because the instant one makes a solid decision, change will be automatic. It’s one thing to have good desires but it’s quite another to make a quality decision of getting up and pursuing those desires. Many people falter in this area because they do not want to make a commitment. Making a quality decision enables you to find the power of being commited towards your desires. Nothing ever changes until a man or woman makes a decision. Decision should lead to determination.

Determination

In Battling for your Prophetic Destiny, I talked about Abraham Lincoln and how he had many failures yet remained determined to pursue the dream of becoming America’s president (p. 33). Lincoln himself said, “Always remember that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing”. Once you make a decision to pursue a dream, there will be many obstacles and challenges to keep you form working towards your dream. You must be persistent.

The key to realizing your desired destiny is to make a decision to be determined as you pursue it. You can live the life of your dreams. You can reach all your goals and surpass them. Stay focused!  

Work works wonders

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

There’s an old African saying that “To till the land is to love oneself”. When I was a kid I heard this saying a lot. I come from a community that tilled the land using very rudimentary tools. It wasn’t easy but it was rewarding. I remember being in the village and tilling the land for upto six or seven hours a day. Work works wonders. In today’s blog, I would like to share a few thoughts on work.

1. Work should be driven by purpose

Work is supposed to be meaningful. The key to this is for the work to be driven by a vision that is guided by purpose. This means that you have to know what your purpose is first. Work that is done outside of purpose is activity without productivity. This leads to sweat and waste. You want your work to be sweet. This begins by having a solid vision that is founded in your purpose. In an organization, leadership has to clarify to employees what the purpose is. Once they clearly understand what the main objective is, then they will have joy as they work.

2. Work should add value

The beauty of giving time to work is that you have an opportunity to add value. Value is the prime motivator for the expenditure of energy. People enjoy putting in the hours when they know that they are adding value. True reward does not come for the time put in at work but for the value added during that time. Adding value means being able to see a measurable change. When I tilled the land back home in Kenya, I would always look at what I had done with immense satisfaction and joy. Nothing brings more fulfillment than work that adds value.

3. Work should be fun and exciting

When I was in High School I used to enjoy playing soccer and rugby. It was always fun to score in any of these games. It was even more exciting just to be part of a winning team. Most people enjoy sports because of these two reasons: scoring and winning. Work should be fun and exciting too. The key to this is to create an environment when scoring and winning is possible at work. People need to be able to celebrate these moments too. That’s what brings spirit to work. It’s unfortunate that too many people think of work as burdensome and boring when it can be exciting.

 

Work does work wonders! May this be an enjoyable day of work for you!