Friday, May 31, 2013

HERE IS WHY YOU OUGHT TO JUDGE YOURSELF FIRST...

I saw this photo on social media and I immediately commented by saying that close to 84% of those who would 'rate' the Kenyan President's performance have never in their lives rated themselves on anything, yet they were busy 'allocating marks' to their President. What a farce!

No body performs optimally all the time. There is always a curve in life, never a straight line. As long as we are the inhabitants on earth, whether with advancement in technology or otherwise, progress in life will always be a curve...or a series of downs and ups.

I am not only talking about companies: Big sized, Multi-Nationals, Mergers, SMEs and what have you, I am also talking about individual lives. They are all progressing through curves! Think about that for a minute. When is the last time a company (apart from Safaricom Kenya hahaha) operated optimally month in and out? 
When is the last time an individual, athlete or 'ordinary' person operate optimally?

Look, if we all did operate optimally, then I can bet you that Physics, Statistics and Mathematics would never have come up with averages, moving averages and the like. Yet have you asked yourself why we all generally accept to be rated either as below average, average, above average and exemplary?

First of all, why would we want to rate ourselves? You got it! It is because we are not perfect. So why on earth would schools and parents expect sustained excellence bordering perfection from kids? Why would we   expect absolute perfection of ourselves? I think that this can be self defeatist. The only way we can escape the downs of life is to get out of life itself!

But here is the thing: I am not in any way condoning mediocrity. What I am saying though is that 'graphs' are part and parcel of our lives. Without the down moments, we would not know what effort we need to expend to propel us to our next high. Again without rating ourselves, we might not be able to know how good or how bad we are doing!

The world has subconsciously accepted that we are creatures of limitations. We operate against opposition from the moment we are born. We inhabit a planet that has the force of gravity. Yet can you imagine a life without gravity? We would not be able to walk. 
This is how my monthly graph since January looks like...

One of the most important things that you can do as an individual is to rate yourself. What progress have you made so far? Come on! It's mid year already! Are you on a downward trend? Upward? Holding it steady? Average? Above average? What is your progress? I do this on a daily basis. Sometimes I have those down times...and of course I know exactly why they are there and what I need to do next time.

In summary, down times as well as up-times will most definitely characterize our Life Signatures. There is no question about that. Down times are never comfortable, they are never liked. Yet without them, there is no guarantee of growth. You want to grow? Face some down times. In fact, the most successful have faced as many down-times as they cannot remember. They keep track. How is your 'track' looking like so far?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DO YOU KNOW YOUR FORMULA?

The world is full of formulas. I can bet that anything that has a definition has a formula. A formula for its make up. A formula for its existence. It has inside of it, a formula for it's optimal existence.

You also have a formula. The question is: What is your definition? Do you know it? It is a sorry day when grown ups who can read and write have no idea what their definition is. And no, I am not talking about the biological definition of a human being in terms of Kingdom, Class...and so on. I am not talking about Zinjanthropus and all that monkey-related definition of human beings.

I am talking about one's definition in terms of essence. I am also talking of one's definition in terms of their Life Signature. Knowing one's definition is the starting point of knowing one's formula for optimal performance, and I dare say, it is the pathway of understanding the make up of one's full existence in life.

One thing about a formula is that it always works. A formula either incorporates principles or respects them. There is a formula for speed. There is a formula for climbing a high hill. There is a formula for a good marriage. There is a formula for success at the work place. There is a formula for leadership.

Here is the thing: Formulas in life are so inherently personal! This means two things:

  • What works for you might not work for me, it's personal
  • All formulas must be owned to work. Without a formula being downloaded in the heart and applied, it will not serve the owner!
So here is the thing. Known formulas are as useless as unknown formulas. It is applied formulas that work. That is why you will hear of there being a secret for success from just about everybody that is successful. Why is it called a secret? Simple. It was known, and applied! Period. It is secret to you because you did not know it and therefore you did not apply it!

So how do you know your formula? Three things:

  1. The Heart: Everyone has one. I am talking about interests, passion, purpose and pursuits. The reasons why most people fail is because they apply a formula for success that totally excludes the heart. When you do away with the heart, you die.
  2. The Hands: This speaks of taking action. Once your heartbeat is set on something, it is in the relentless pursuit of what matters to you that will sweep any obstacle off of the way and make you successful. It takes time! That is why I have been navigating away from anyone telling me that there is a shortcut for me to get rich...and obtain that which I dream of in life. We all love shortcuts, but they dispossess us of growth.
  3. Momentum: Your formula will not work like a magic wand once! That is not life. Even God himself did not fill the whole wide world in a day! He started by two people...the seed principle. Your formula
    has to be applied again and again and again and again...the secret is in your daily routine. Secrets should not be things that are outside of us....someone else's formula. Secrets are what we know and do daily.
Everyone will tell you that there is a formula for success. What if you had your own? You would own it and use it right? You would also preach it and show it to the world, right? Right. Why? Because it worked for you.
My challenge is that we should stop chasing other people's secrets and start using what readily is available for us on  a daily basis. True, we should borrow as much as we can, but we should never be silent to that which is personal and readily available. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

FIVE STEPS TO BECOMING TOP EMPLOYERS' TARGET (Funny Video Inside)

At the back of our minds, we are all conscious of the fact that achievement and success has always been, is and will always be a process, at least this side of heaven. That is why most of us, and all of us really should always be figuring out our 'next level'. 

I have come to realize that growth is made in any area of our lives through levels. I have also come to realize that it is very easy to become satisfied with one level and stay there. The only problem with that is that life does not wait for you. 

Can you imagine if you were comfortable with your first Motorolla phone that looked like a roll-on anti-perspiration (Motorollon)?

Can you imagine if you were comfortable with crawling and stayed at that level?

Can you imagine if you were OK with your level of formal education and stopped learning? (By far, this is one areas that kills many people. Either people graduate and stop learning, or are dropped along the way by the system and consider themselves dumb!)

So, here are the several steps to use that will guarantee you a seat at your most coveted next level.

1.     Be there Now: This is a simple principle that says that the body does not go where the mind has not been! I recently trained a team of men and women that would help me in a project that I am running. After showing them the organizational heirarchy, I told them to start seeing themselves as if they were on the level above them now. You know that works, It worked for me. You are doing yourself a great disservice if you always think of yourself right now as who you are instead of whom you can be.

2.     Decide to be massively excellent where you are: This has been a major motto for me in life. Literally everywhere I have been since I got into active employment, I have left an indelible mark. You do not deserve the next level if you have not mastered the current one. This is one of the biggest life principles that people forget.  Most people unfortunately are trashing their current positions as they look forward for new ones. The only result is a delay in ascending to the next level!

3.     ‘Race’ against yourself: Highly successful people who will ascend to the next level faster than others have mastered this habit. They daily and consistently put their life on the line as they play it all out…there are no crowds to cheer them, there is no medal to be won…but they ‘race’ ruthlessly against themselves. They beat their own deadlines without instructions from a boss. They track their progress. They re-evaluate their situation again and again. They constantly set the bar high and always seek to beat it. They put time frames in accomplishing their goals. Sooner or later, the world takes notice of such visionaries. Don’t wait to be told. Be reflective and proactive. The next level beckons. This is what Jim Rohn's mentor told him: "If you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than on your job"

4.     Understand the Difference between Relief and Comfort: Is there a human being (or even an animal) in the whole wide world that doesn't love comfort? We all love comfort. However, comfort never takes you to the next level. Comfort is the reward for mastering your current level. Relief on the other hand is the temporary reward for a purpose-filled task being completed. It is the prize you get immediately after enduring the pressure to finish a task. If you really want to get to the next level faster, you need to experience relief at very short intervals. That means you are taking massive action. That means you are growing.

video
5.     Build Reserve Energy: The winning athlete in this short video understood the importance of finishing strong. You cannot do that without lots of reserve energy. Reserve energy comes through persistent and consistent training. Finishing a ‘race’ is the most important thing. Sometimes, the need to experience relief from the current pressure can really work against you, so you drop out of the race prematurely…like helping a butterfly in its pupa stage, like getting the cake out of the oven minutes before, like digging up a bean seed that you planted few days ago, like actually walking down the finish line instead of running. When your strength to propel you to a finish is greater than the relief you get when you finish, you have mastered your current race and are now ready for the next level!
 If you will do these things, your ascendancy to the next level will be reversed: Instead of hunting for the next assignment, you will be head hunted! It works!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THE WORLD'S NO.1 EXCEPTIONAL INGREDIENT TO MAKING IT IN LIFE


"Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn" ~ Robert T Kiyosaki.

You might not like this, but it is the one and only powerful ingredient of its kind for success. Have you noticed how a child who is learning to walk is so celebrated when they fall in the process? At the back of our minds, we always know that soon enough, they will be standing on their feet, walking and eventually, running. Why do they fail? Because they got started! Getting started is the guarantee of attracting failure! Yet getting started alone is not the ingredient for success.

Have you noticed that people give themselves lots of benefit of the doubt when they are 'trying out'
something? They know that either they will fail, or may be they will make it. The atmosphere is relaxed, an atmosphere to learn.

When you are training let's say your body by doing push ups and your goal is for 50 per day, you most definitely know that it will be a process. That is why sometimes you do just one (especially when you are starting), you stay down and laugh at yourself silly. It happens!

But here is the thing...you normally accept that 'temporary failure' with the comfort that you are not superman...and that you need more time, more trials to make it to 50. So what happens then? Two weeks, three weeks or one month down the line, 50 push ups they are!!!

Failure (I really do wish it was given a different and positive name) is a very powerful and valuable friend. Failure is the bridge between our goal and our success! The period of failure should be called training. 

Here is the thing: Failure and flukes are never compartmentalized from the process....you cannot count a fluke out of the process. 

  • It is that fluke that gives you a different idea, 
  • It is that fluke that gives you a better idea.
  • It is that fluke that give you a break to regain some strength.
  • It is that fluke that give you the chance to re-evaluate the distance between where you started and where yo are going.

Failure and flukes should be embraced. I read about how Roberk Kiyosaki's wife embraced this process when he says the following about her efforts in financial education:

"Her real-life financial education was a long-term process of classes, seminars, study, reading, successes, failures, good times,bad times, crooks, con men, liars, cheats, mentors, bad partners, and great partners"
Notice the obedience to the process...

  • In my first major public speaking engagement, I walked there will passion and a stack of papers that I constantly referred to. I get so embarrassed watching that DVD. In fact, I just watched it once and felt so bad. I had failed.
  • My first sales call was bizarre, so much so that I did not sell for another quarter. What if I had taken it lightly by giving myself the benefit of doubt? I would have learnt and had fun and moved on.
  • My first chairing a spiritual mastermind group was mechanical to say the least. 
  • My first time on radio had some listeners texting to say I should move away from the microphone...and stop shouting.
  • I was so embarrassed the first time I attended a prayer meeting. I didn't know how to pray out loud...and when I did, I was embarrassed that my 'neighbor' heard me. You should hear me pray today.
  • My first blog post was...three paragraphs, you can read it here:

My point is that we might never nail it the first time we attempt. So we need to give ourselves the benefit of doubt and not be so hard on ourselves. Take some time and rest. Re-evaluate. Thank yourself for giving it an attempt. Gather the feedback. Where did you go wrong? How could you have done it? Ask those who have gone before...find out why you must do this in the first place...then give it another try...and then another...and then another.

Your growth is in the next try! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the world's number one exceptional ingredient to making it in life!

Friday, May 17, 2013

ONE OBVIOUS REASON FOR REPEATED FAILURE, FOUR LESSONS TO LEARN

I loved music and singing...but when I got to school, someone whispered to me that Music as a subject was for Sissies! I do not remember who that was, but that human being owes me an apology for having me believe them in toto!

My Wife Performing one of her Jams
In music, we are taught how harmony creates beautiful music. When the instruments being played and the singers singing are in perfect sync, it inspires.

Music can be used to change the mood in an instant...Music can be used to blend inspiration, enhance learning and relax the mind. One thing that molds music is harmony.

The very first lesson in learning to play guitar as a music instrument is to learn how to tune the guitar strings. You do not just pick the guitar and start strumming and expect inspiration.

That makes you wonder...how come most people in life just move through un-tuned? If I was in church, I would ask you to "turn to your neighbor and ask them, 'Are you tuned-up'?" (By the way, that is one part of church I do not like...turning to my 'neighbor' every minute and telling them something!!!)

So I went to the gym the other day...and this body builder insisted on having his music play in the intercom. I knew that the lyrics were not edifying me at all. Something was missing...or something was awfully wrong. Here I am jogging while being backed up by background music that was spitting out expletives!

My face was a frown. My mental strength to ignore the background music was under a big stretch of stress! So this is what I did. I decided that the very next day I will step into that Gym, I gonna arm myself with my very own Wifey's jams...and that is exactly what I did.

Can you imagine working out while being inspired by your own wife's songs? And am not just saying that because she is my wife...no, actually, that gal can sing! The woman is gifted! 

But I digress!

The biggest reason as to why most people fail and fail and fail and never learn to succeed is because they are  out of tune even before they get started! There is lacking harmony in their lives. Something is discordant in the whole make up. There is no harmony! So there you have it, we largely fail because we do not have harmony  That is why we need training. Training is nothing but harmonizing!

People fail because...
  1. Either, they are discordant about their Audience: We all have been wired to serve a specific audience. We cannot please everyone! We do not have all the talents and gifting and preparations to do everything to everyone and call it a purpose! Jack Bauer is a fiction! He exists not in real life! Who is your audience? Stop saying the whole world...because the whole world doesn't know you....even Bill Gates doesn't serve the whole world! In my village, someone of this nature is referred to be 'playing the guitar to a goat'. Ain't dancing happenin' there!
  2. Either, they are discordant about their Purpose: The sorriest thing I see every day is a job seeker who knows not why they are existing in life. We cannot be successful if we are not purposeful...for life...not for job seeking or money making. Ask yourself..well, after the job, then what? After the house, then what? After the car, then what? After the marriage, then what? After the kids and vacations, then what? At the point of death...what really matters?
  3. Either, they are discordant about the Process: Most people hate processes...that is why they would want to circumnavigate them. I tried this.I actually thought that I was working 'smart'. Ha! Working smart will never ever ever replace working hard! The result is that I lost two years and ended up in police cells! Follow the due process!
  4. Either, they are discordant about Themselves: In-congruency is the chief cause for struggle in life. People either do not know what matters to them, or they blatantly ignore these in pursuit for happiness. There can never be happiness if you knew that you achieved it in-congruently ..that's just it! At the very core of our being, we want to be productive. It is reported that most people die two years after retirement. I have seen that happen, and now that Dad wants to retire...he will be hiring me as a life coach, I kid you not! But here is the thing, our happiness is not just linked to being productive, but also being productive in a fair way. Fairness comes from what is right internally with us merged with what is morally right and acceptable externally in society.
So there we have it. To be honest, I am still in the process. I always will be in the process. That is why sometimes I might experience some set back..but like a butterfly on its path, my progress to success is herky jerky...but I sure do know where I am going. Do you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

SEVEN IRREFUTABLE STEPS TO BEING AN EXCELLENT FINISHER: Sir Alex Ferguson Special

On 12th May 2013 Sunday afternoon, the whole wide world stood in ovation of one man. His name is Sir Alex Ferguson, the outgoing Manchester United Manager. There has never been a one like him in English football, or in any other country, and probably, there will never be one like him (Unless of course Arsene Wenger has some ideas on that one).

No doubt Sir Alex Ferguson is an epitome of an excellent finisher...that is the best example the world has of a finisher...a fantastic finisher at that.

There are seven billion people on the planet earth as we speak. That is seven Billion (with a B) of starters in Life Signatures, each and every one of them. The world today is awash with ambitions, desires and well... starters. What the world lacks is that same number who are excited to start something to be faithful enough to finish it!

Sir Alex Ferguson Finishing Excellently in 2013
When we talk about finishing, we are not talking about simple things like eating lunch, building a house or putting up curtains. Although some of these that I am calling simple things can actually be major things for some people. What I am talking about here is living up to the full expectation of every human being on planet earth--to matter to others! 

My life alone is littered with several unfinished projects. I know what causes that situation, and I am here to suggest that the same impediments and weaknesses that I face are universal. It is actually very simple to be a finisher.

Let me say this, finishing is not an automated process. Finishing needs mastery. Finishing does not happen, finishing is MADE to happen. Anything worth doing is worth finishing....and anything worth finishing is worth finishing with a spirit of excellence. We just have one chance to life itself...ye that one chance to life offers us myriads of opportunities to start over...because we are not gods, we are human!

The following are what you need to consider if you are going to be an excellent finisher.

  1. Start with what is worth the finish: This sounds simple yet it is so profound. There is nothing so cheap in life like a human being dedicating their life on what does not matter to them. "You can only be  yourself because every other position has already been taken", is a powerful quote. It goes with the thought that you stick with what is your passion, avoid comparisons and competitions.
  2. Finish it and then start it: This is why God is so successful. He pre-ends before he gets started. Again, this is a very simple yet sound principle. It is the principle of being a visionary. A visionary is known for two things...dreaming and scheming. The two go hand in hand. Once you have found what is worth the finish, take some time to dream big about it: What is it? Who shall it impact? Where are they that will be impacted? How will they be impacted? For how long will they be impacted? Use these questions to really and I mean really see the whole nine yards before you get started.
  3. Prepare your victory speech: In April, I got involved in a new project. Right before that, I told my wife  of what I will say when I am asked about the secrets of my success!  You cannot be a finisher if you are thinking of losing. You need at all times to see, and think of yourself as a victor, a finisher, a strong finisher at that! If need be, visualize yourself delivering the victory speech.
  4. Expect Obstacles: Naivety is when you think it will be all smooth-sailing. Anything worth finishing will stretch you so much even to the point of having you abandon it altogether. And yea, there have been times that I have abandoned some things for a little while and come back to them.  You will do well if you anticipated hardships and formulated strategies to navigate through those tough times. That way, you will become awesomely resilient. It is resilience that creates finishers!
  5. Get Started!: Duh! You can never finish if you do not get started. And I am talking about starting, not finishing at least with this point. Nothing is as exciting as starting. We love new things. They say a change is as good as a rest...and a start is as good as a change, I would say. Many people are motivated by fresh starts, and so should you.
  6. Bounce: Well, you would be the most naive person to think that you will succeed in Life Signatures at the very first try! That is not how life was structured. Our fallen black world requires us to learn through trial and error, trail and failure! The key word here is processes! Failure is part of the process...and when it happens, you got to bounce back. No business succeeds without going through a dip...yet it is seeing that dip through that makes you a finisher!  Come back from that relationship disappointment, from the financial loss, from loss of a loved one, from financial crash, missed chances, wrong investments.
  7. Prepare a Daily Routine: If you would remember just this and forget the other six, you still would have a more than 70% chance to be an excellent finisher. Excellent finishers work at it daily, routinely, repeatedly! I have a strict personal routine that I follow. I track it, and I award myself some scores. It is in my interest that my scores are bettered or maintained. When the otherwise happens, I am not a happy person. I also document the things that caused me not break the routine, I do not give myself excuses! This, ladies and gentlemen, works!
    7.5  Be Consistent: This is a bonus point, yet so critically important. Finishers have a very small interval in between their inspired actions. They are not spectacular, but they are consistent. They do not jog for 2 hours one day and rest the whole week...they jog for 20 minutes daily. Bite off small chunks and be consistent with your bites. Before you know it, you are a spectacular and excellent finisher!

So there you have it! What matters to you in your life? You wanna run the race to finish it? It is possible, don't you think?




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WANNA BE A C.E.O? TRY DO THESE THINGS


WANNA BE A C.E.O? TRY DO THESE THINGS:


Founding a company is something that can be done instantly with the founder declaring to the world that they are the C.E.O. Yet we have millions of C.E.Os of either dead or dormant companies or still those of briefcase organizations.

Everyone seeking to seriously develop their legacy must at one point either work with a CEO or become one. The truth of the matter is that a C.E.O is the Chief Executive Officer, the main person leading the organization. In life, everybody who intends to be successful should be what the Author of "What's Your Genius", Jay Niblic calls Self Executive Officer.

Over the past several years, I have worked with a C.E.O of a company that is growing throughout Africa. The following are some of the things that I have learnt either from this CEO or from others that I have studied:
  1. They Get 'it' Done: Anything worth doing by a CEO is worth finishing. CEOs want things to get done. They will put everything on the line to have 'it' done. They are vision oriented and seldom take no for an answer. I saw a quote in a CEO's office that goes, "Lead, follow or get out of the way!".
  2. They think on their feet: They know the importance of meetings but most CEO's make decisions on their feet. Time is of essence and it is seldom wasted in meetings. A CEO comes to a meeting with a clue of what he wants and rallies the team around it. He knows the people want to be led and are looking to them for direction.
  3. They have a board: No, not that traditional board you are thinking of! CEOs have what I call a 'Sounding Board'. That means that they throw ideas around to some trusted people and feel the feedback before taking action. 
  4. They take No Excuses: A CEO is not embarrassed to deal with an excuse ruthlessly. Nothing irks a CEO so much like an excuse especially if a task was assigned and resources allocated. A CEO cannot be at all places in time, and that is why when they entrust someone with a task, the want it done, period!
  5. They Work Now, Play Later: You will not find a true CEO taking a luxurious trip when there is a task to be done. You will seldom find them 'sleeping over' something. As long as it can be done today, it MUST be done today. They have a zero tolerance to procrastination.
  6. They Must Be Right on Schedule: CEOs run tight schedules...and they run them with a tight fist. A small 30 mins delay can cost a CEO a billion-dollar contract. They have planned and prioritized their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities. They don't operate like a butterfly in flight, although they can be flexible enough to accommodate change.
  7. They Acknowledge Mistakes: CEOs as much as they allow little room for error, they do acknowledge that mistakes do happen. They quickly learn from them and move on...very fast. They do not build monuments of mistakes.
  8. They Negotiate Relentlessly: I have noticed that most poor people who get some money would like the world to think that they are not poor. So what do they do? They buy at the exact quoted price. CEOs are so meticulous about their expenses. They check them through. If there is a chance of a discount, they will grab it, and I mean GRAB it! They negotiate relentlessly.
  9. They are always in motion: You will not find a CEO idling around...there is always a task that they can accomplish. They are always on the move.
  10. They Take Charge: There is no waiting! CEO's take charge. There is no turning down anything until it has been thoroughly scrutinized. 
If you want to be a CEO, which you should, consider modelling your life around the above points.

Wishing you all the best, am sure you will make it!

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