Archive for May, 2007

Evaluated Experience, not experience, is the best teacher

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Winston Churchill once said, “The further backward you look, the further forward you can see”. Hindight, in other words, is the basis of foresight. Experience, therefore, is not the best teacher. It’s evaluated experience that makes the difeerence.

The Pareto Principle

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

The Pareto Principle,  founded by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1895 is one of the most helpful concepts in leadership and management. It is also called the 80/20 rule. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the “vital few,” (the top 20% in terms of money and influence) and the “trivial many,” (the bottom 80%). He also applied this theory to all economic activity.

For example, this rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. 20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales. 20% of your products or services will account for 80% of your profits. 20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do, and so on.

This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth as much or more than the other eight items put together. Here is an interesting discovery. Each of these tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value as any of the others.

Often, one item on a list of ten things that you have to do can be worth more than all the other nine items put together. This task is invariably the one that you should do first. That’s what Pareto is trying to teach us. Apply this principle today.

Break Through All Your Plans: How to Out-do Your To-Do List

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Henry Ford once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. While that was great wisdom, it is ironic that Ford stuck so much to his plans that he refused to make adjustments when he was told that people would like cars in colors other than black. Henry Ford is commonly reputed to have made the statement “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” This rigidity of thought cost him dearly, as other companies like Chrysler came in made significant progress at his expense.

Plans are great. We’ve got to have them. I have a couple. However, we need to be open to doing things that are outside our current plans in order for us to attain significant progress. Outstanding progress comes from doing things that are outside our to-do list. If your desire to stay average then I would understand your need to stick to your plans and do only what is on your to-do list. So, how do we break through our plans?

a). Be open to Feedback – The execution process allows us to learn so much about ourselves and what we are doing. The feedback that we get from the execution process is the main avenue through which we can break through our plans. Success and significant progress comes from implementing that feedback. 

b). Review your Plans Daily – Planning is supposed to be a dynamic process. Plans should be flexible. Plans are not supposed to be rigid statue-like blueprints but dynamic changeable tools that support our desires. We are not to serve the plan but the plan is there to serve us. A daily review of our plans allows for this.

c). Experiment Beyond Your Plans – It’s perfectly okay to veer off and experiment beyond your plans every once. How else shall we discover new lands if we don’t march off the map? Maps are good tools to give us direction but we live in a vast world that has boundless opportunity.

 

Go for it. Break through all your plans!

All Causation is an Expression of Thought

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Everything we see around us began as a thought.Everything that has been created, produced, manufctured or developed was first conceived as a thought in someone’s mind. This is a powerful realization because many times we fail to see that how we use our mind is very important. Your mind is really the factory of your experiences. Thoughts become things.

Many times we tend to describe our situationsbased on our current circumstances. I’ve learnt that our current circumstances are the result of our pst thinking. Our current thinking sets the pace for our future circumstances. The key to altering your life, then, is to change your thoughts. Our thoughts really attract the circumstances we go through into our lives. May this be a day of clean, noble and pure thoughts for you. 

The Universe likes SPEED

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

When I was an elementary school kid, my English teacher introduced me to the old English saying, “Strike While the Iron is Still Hot”. This saying, along with another saying, “Make hay while the sun still shines”, became powerful guiding thoughts throughout my life as a young man growing up in Kenya. I would not have been able to complete my schooling had it not been for the perspective that these two sayings allowed me to develop. I would not be where I am today had it not been for the two sayings. When I saw the opportunity to come to the US, I decided to strike while the iron was still hot.

In my quest to continue living an effective life, I have developed an acrostic that enables me to “strike while the iron is still hot”. Hopefully, you will find it useful too and use it to make hay while the sun still shines. Here is the acrostic: 

Start Right Now – You have to be action oriented. When an idea comes to you, do something about it right away. Is it a business idea? Write it down and read a book about that business. Is it someone you haven’t been in contact with for a long time? Write that letter right away. Is it a book that you think should be written? Create that outline right away. The idea is to do it with speed.

Prepare Every Day – One of the most important things you could ever do in life is to prepare for your time. Preparation should be a daily endeavor. What you do daily determines who you will become permanently. Nothing is more beautiful than a man or woman who is ready for his or her time when it comes. Preparation is the magical door that opens the gateway to your desires.

Expect Success Now – Your expectation is the key to you achieving or completing that which you desire. If you learn to expect success right now, you will start to attract that success immediately. Don’t push it off into the future. Expect to attain that which you want right now. That is the key to you being able to manifest all that you want or desire. 

Execute Right Now – Procratination is the greatest enemy of success. You must learn to execute immediately. Do not postpone actions that you have to take in order to realize your desires. Learn to execute immediately. Get out of your comfort zone and just do it! Execute that idea right now! Execute that plan right now! Success comes to those who move with speed. 

Deliver Results Now – Success is all about results. Can you deliver results? It’s not about talking about results, it’s about delivering results. Finish that project. Complete that paper. Give that speech. Write that book manuscript. Do it right now. It’a about results. If you can deliver results, you will experience the joy that speed can bring into your life. 

Enthusiasm: The key to a Better Life

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Author, Napoleon Hill once said, “When you deliver your work with enthusiasm, you are already going the extra mile. You create a success consciousness around you that inevitably affects others for the better. The more enthusiasm you direct into the world, the better you are preparing yourself to attain exactly what you want”. We already know that the extra mile already has less traffic. The simple conclusion then is that few people deliver their work with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, particularly when it’s consistent and authentic, sets an individual apart. Being enthusiastic immediately changes one’s environment. It affects the people around you and creates an environment in which people can be at their very best. Go the extra mile today. Be enthusiastic! 

Expanding Your Reach, Maximizing Your Potential

Friday, May 25th, 2007

I recently was challenged about the real meaning of the saying “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven ..”. The speaker pointed out that the true use of the word heaven in that Scripture does not reflect a place but the vastness of how much we can give of ourselves to the world. Seek to give more of yourself and more will come to you. Zig Ziglar says it this way: “You can get anything you want in this world if you can just help enough other people get what they want“.  

You’ve got to Blow into the Flute, son!

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

When I was a little kid my dad once bought me a beautiful wooden flute. It was my first time to ever see this nice bamboo flute. I had never seen one before so I didn’t quite know how to use it. I ran around the house with it for about five minutes before coming back to him and asking him what it’s purpose really was. He told me that it was a musical instrument and I immediately replied that it wasn’t playing any music. That’s when dad told me, “You’ve got to blow into the flute, son!”

Isn’t life very much like that flute? If you don’t put anything in it you won’t get anything out of it. Your output is directly related to your input. Many people stand around the corners of life with their hands in their pockets expecting a free hand-out. They keep demanding a lot from life but won’t even get their hands out of their pocket in expectation of the hand-out. If we are going to get anything out of life we’ve got to start putting something in. If you want to create some music in your life you’ve got to blow into the flute.  

Use the off button

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Every day we are bombarded by information from every direction. Some of the information is usually pretty good but most of it is normally negative. Think of the news that you watch or read on a daily basis. Almost every bit of “news” that comes across the media waves is normally bad news. You know what the good news about bad news is? We can turn it off! Wow! It just feels so good to say that! We need to fill our lives with the good, the powerful, the positive and the magnificent. Use that off button… turn off negative news.

Let the blame go

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Too many people get in their own way by choosing to blame others for their non-performance in life. Blame only harms the person who enages in it. Successful people understand that they alone hold the key to their exploits. You are the only one who can create the life you deserve. When you blame another human being, you are saying that they are responsible for creating your life for you. Whatever bad things may have happened in the past are gone. The best is yet to come and it is your job to make it happen. 

The Power of Small Differences

Monday, May 21st, 2007

One of the most ironic things about success is that small differences sometimes bring great rewards. Many times we stall because we think that we need to make big changes in order to reap great rewards. That’s not necessarily true. Many times all we need to do is be just a little bit better. When I was in High School I started out each school term by putting in average work but always increased my intensity of study towards the end of the term. This always brought me great results in terms of school performance at the end of the term.

It is my firm belief that if we just make small changes in a few areas of our life, our success will be magnified significantly. Think about a horse-race. If a horse comes in by a nose in a photo finish, it is declared the winner. Same thing with Nascar. The reason why athletes stretch out their body at the finish is because they understand the power of small differences. Make that small difference today. You just never know what kind of results that will bring you.

Dare to Dream

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail? Now, imagine that you cannot fail and you have all the resources that you would ever need. What is your biggest dream? What would you do? As a student in college, I used to tell my classmates that if they dreamt of one day being President of the country, they needed to start dressing like they already were in that position. You’ve got to start living and behaving as if you have already accomplished your goal. I know that might sound spooky at first but it’s true. You have to be, before you can do. That’s the law of actualization.

Unlearn Your Fears

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

A couple of years ago I heard Zig Ziglar describe fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. Since then I have continued to share that definition with many of the people that I’ve interacted with. I’ve also heard it said that it is False Education Appearing Real. Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to learn that no one is born with fear in them. We all learn our fears. Years ago I was very afraid of heights. Today I’ve flown worldwide and climbed many heights. As I little boy I was afraid of ever leaving home. Today, I’ve traveled all over the world – the farthest being over 17, 000 miles away from my home country. We can unlearn our fears!

Overcoming Blogging Anxieties

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Life has enough anxieties. Blogging doesn’t have to be one of them. There have been times when darkness has clouded my inspiration and the ability to produce has vanished from my consciousness. In those moments I’ve always sensed that demon lurking by. The strange irrational fear of losing my creativity implants itself in that part of my mind that doesn’t realize that there is nothing to fear except fear itself. I summon all my courage and pounce at the frightening image lurking in the shadows. In the ensuing battle, I realize that I am fighting myself. The demon was a figment of my imagination! This realization jolts me back to life. Darkness disappears and light floods my inner being. Creativity and inspiration begin to flow out of the depths of my imagination. My tongue gets loose. My fingers start writing. My mind begins to produce. Energy begins to flow out of my inner being. Watch this:

Long time ago in the land of blogauthorsphere,
There lived men and women who found pleasure in writing,
Theirs was a peaceful land until the ghosts and demons invaded it,
Thirteen thousand imaginary ghosts and demons!

They named the huge one Writer’s block,
If he had a father no one knew,
If he had relatives, no one knew,
Only that they feared him so much.

One day a fighter arose from their midst,
His name was Knowisdomagic – full of insight and power,
Knowisdomagic decided that enough was enough,
He dragged writer’s block to the bottom of the lake,
And they all lived happily ever-after in blogauthorsphere.

Demonstrating Capability

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Philosopher Epictetus once said, “Unremarkable lives are marked by the fear of not looking capable when trying something new.” Remarkable lives, therefore, are marked by how confident one looks when trying something new. Confidence separates between the winners and losers. I’ve seen so many games where opponents are defeated simply because of the level of confidence demonstrated by an eventual winner.

The key to realizing your dreams is to walk in full confidence of your capabilities. Confidence is not the absence of nervousness but the mastery of it. There are many times when I’ve stood in front of audiences to speak and nervousness has gotten in the way. There are also those times when I’ve looked confident, even with little preparation, and delivered very good speeches. Demonstrating capability is the first step towards being remarkable.

Oh the joy of focus!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Nothing is more results-producing in life than focus. Focus enhances your ability to really concentrate and get things done. By removing distractions and having a single-minded focus on what needs to be done, we are able to get more results in life. Choose to be focused. Focus enhances your ability to solve problems and execute with speed. Your focus is the key to attaining greater results in life.

Words versus Behaviors: How lip-service is a dis-service to your service

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Yesterday my family and I visited a local restaurant and were given a very cordial welcome at the entrance. “Welcome to _________. It’s a great joy to have you here. Enjoy your lunch.” I was thrilled! I expected that we were going to have a great time, enjoy a delicious meal and have wonderful family time.

Well, my excitement was short-lived. First, they didn’t seem to have enough baby seats. We had to sit while holding our toddler until when our meal was being brought to our table. When the food arrived, our son’s fries were not as warm as I would have loved them to be and I ended up sending them back to the kitchen. Throughout our entire meal no one came to see how we were doing. We ended up leaving some not so good feedback for the restaurant manager.

Later in the evening, I couldn’t help wondering why the restaurant offers a very good welcome but it’s service does not measure up to it’s lip-service. I think that once you utter a promise you should be able to deliver on it. Great companies, organizations and restaurants back up their words with excellent service. I’m sure I’ll not be visiting that restaurant again for a long time.

Perpetual Optimism

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Along with learning from our experiences (previous post), we need to stay perpetually optimistic. Life has a way of making too many pessismists. We have to learn to swim against the current. If we want to make it upstream, where the source of everything is, we need to think and live differently – perpetual optimism. This goes in line with living above mediocrity. The key to being outstanding is your understanding. If you can truly grasp and understand the need for perpetual optimism, you will stand out of the crowd that is perpetually pessimistic.

Perpetual optimism improves your attitude and makes you a winner. Just as we learn any subject, we can learn to be perpetually optimistic. Part of it includes training ourselves to see the positive in every situation. This does not mean we lose touch with reality. It actually means that we are participating in shaping our reality. Choose to be perpetually optimistic.

Unearthing Lessons for Life’s Experiences

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Every day life offers us different situations. In our opinion, some of them may be good while others may be bad. The truth is that every situation that comes our way is a learning opportunity. Our objective in life should be to squeeze every lesson we can out of the situation so that we can better ourselves.

Someone once said that evaluated experience is the best teacher. Experience by itself does not lead to growth. We have to be able to expand from the experience. It is much easier for human beings to learn from positive experiences. Most people shrink in the face of negative experiences. Every experience has within it gems of personal development and growth. By unearthing these gems, we can put ourselves in a position to live better lives.

True Winning

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Everybody wants to win but few know how to win appropriately. We live in a day when people are stepping over others in their quest for a step-up the ladder. Such kind of people are driven by their egos rather than an honest desire to help others. We forget that the same people we step over on our way up are the same people we will need to help us on our way down. True winning comes from serving others first. It comes from helping other people attain and achieve that which they desire. Go ahead, be a true winner.