Thursday, 28 April 2011

Do Something About It

Sometimes we are exasperated with our position in life it could be financial problems we maybe be struggling with too much debt on minimal income. We may be experiencing marital problems, a cheating spouse or a relationship breakdown. We may be struggling to obtain gainful employment, we are applying everyday but we are luck if we get an acknowledgement. Or it could be any other type of problem that we might encounter in our lives. We have now resorted to using such exclamations as "I cannot stand it anymore", "Why me?", "God I wish the earth would just swallow me up", and sooner than we know it we sucked in the vortex of helplessness, worry and anxiety.

What we need to understand is that we are already in a problematic situation irrespective of how h anxious we become or how much time we devote to just thinking about the problem. Thinking about the problem in itself rather than the solutions to the problem will only lead us to the point of exasperation, which does not solve the situation. While its important to look at our lives, acknowledge and own up to the mistakes we have made in order to learn from them so that we do not repeat the same mistakes again in future it is where we stop mentally dwelling on the problem. A continual look or thought about our problems is the one that triggers the feelings of helplessness which will manifest themselves physically when we are stressed such that we have headaches, we become grumpy, negativity starts to creep in finally we give in to low self esteem. By doing that we block our intuition or sixth sense to the nudge they give us that will lead to the solutions to our problems.

Once you have identified the problems that are impeding you in your success, happiness or health, lets immediately shift our mental focus from the problems to the solutions. If you have money problems, focus your mind on the solutions, to cry yourself to sleep but never looking at the solutions will not help you. If its debt that is dragging you down, start debt management. If its amount of money that you earn which is not enough focus on how you increase your income. If marital problems, an alcoholic or cheating partner have you communicated about it, if you have have you also tried therapy. For my fellow Africans I not only referring to a professional therapist that you have to pay for, but the traditional system of therapy that provided by older aunts and uncles. Is it job hunting have you tried to think outside the box of sending CVs, responding to employment adverts to something drastic and dramatic such that the potential employers will want to do nothing other than hire you.

All I am saying is if there is a situation in your life that you do not want there is no point worrying about it without acting. Do something about it, be solution focused rather than to dwell on the actual problem and live in fantasy land of thinking that it will disappear on its own. You dont like your job change it, you no longer benefit from your relationship move forward. If its debt pay it off do not just sit there do something about it.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Lessons From Arsene & Arsenal Football Club

Today the fickle and fair-weather fans of Arsenal Football club are disappointed. Partly because of the results of last night's match against arch-rivals Tottenham as well as media fuelled obsession with how many years have passed since Arsenal won a major trophy. But true Arsenal fans count their blessings, they would not swap their position with supporters of say West Ham. Yes its true Arsenal have not won a major trophy in the last 6 years, but they have been consistent for 15 years. Never have they finished outside the the top 4 teams in England a feat which can never be underestimated. Not only have they out-performed some the teams on financial steroids, they have over the years played some of the most eye-watering football on a shoe-string budget. The Arsenal board should be commended for their inspired appointment of Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger in 1995. They broke the mould when they replaced George Graham with a foreign born manager which was a first for the English Premier League. He is acknowledged by many as a manager who introduced free-flowing football in England as well as enforcing professionalism beyond the playing field in things such as nutrition, training and off-pitch conduct.

Mr Wenger is one of the few most enlightened people in the world, as a result people who are not at the same level of illumination often misunderstand him. It is also a misnomer that such a highly intelligent person chose to work in one of the most competitive industries in the world, for he does not compete with anyone despite his job requiring him to prepare for competition with a different team every week, he only competes with himself. He has said it in interviews that he is a futurist just like yours truly, he only looks at tomorrow he is never bothered about yesterday's performance. He truly understands however good or bad the performance was, he cannot change it. He knows that he can however change what happens tomorrow by concentrating on today. Its no secret that when preparing for the next competitive match he does not watch the opponents. Like I mentioned above, he is never concerned about the other team, only the performance of his own team bothers him. He has truly mastered that when he does his best, then it does not matter how the other team fairs. He is only concerned with surpassing his last personal best, knowing that by doing that he will one day surpass some of the best teams in the world. He is aware that success cannot be overnight it takes time to be achieved. He is has refused to succumb to media driven pressure which mirrors today's world and its obsession of "the sauna and jacuzzi syndrome"; people want to sweat but they never want to work out. That's why its immaterial if Arsenal does not win the Premier League this year they are winners in more ways than one.

So what lessons can we take from this:
1. Success is not overnight
2. Avoid competition with anyone other than yourself
3. Never be concerned about past events which you cannot change, rather;
4. Concentrate on now, knowing that if you do your best today then you have tomorrow figured
5. Do not be concerned about what will people say about you its not a factor in your quest for success
6. Being number 1 is not the only way to win, there many other ways in which success can be measured.

Have a great day!

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Importance of Setting Goals

In the movie Alice In WonderlandAlice meets Cheshire Cat and asks 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. 'I don't much care where'said Alice. 'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat. 'So long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation. `Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat,`if you only walk long enough.'

Most people approach their lives like Alice, they do not care which they go as long as they are going. They do not have specific goals and time plans on how to realise their goals. Then they wonder why they do not reach their goals, its not rocket science as to why they fail to achieve their goals; they never had any. Most people confuse working everyday with achieving goals, they think as long as I am working I surely must be getting ahead. Their lives is all adhoc, they just make things up as they go, hoping it would lead them to the lives they dream about.

When you decide to embark on a journey by car, you will have a destination to which you will be driving. You will probably consult a map to determine the best route or the shortest or the most efficient one and to calculate how long it will take you to drive there. You will also calculate the fuel you will need for the journey, if not you will find out before hand if there fuel stations along your route if you run out of fuel. There is no way you would just get in the car and start driving, deciding mid-journey where you want to go. Yet that is what most people do in their lives, they do not have any destinations, they do not where they are going it is no wonder they never arrive.You need to set goals, short term as well as long term, you need to write them down, consult them regularly just like a map or sat-nav to see if you are on course. Sometimes it seems daunting to long-term goals, like a 5-10 year plan, but the best way to tackle the inertia is to concentrate on achieving your daily goals, if you are on course everyday then you will be on course at the end of the week, month, year. Visualising yourself as you reach your goals will also provide you with the needed motivation to tackle whatever tasks that lay ahead. Be realistic about the goals you choose, its no use setting goals that are unachievable for you to give up on the whole exercise.

Many people are vague about what they want in life, they profess to want to be successful. They think having money equates to success but wealthy people have money as a result of their success. If you want the results of success then you should also willing to take the necessary steps that will bring you those results of success. If you do not set goals you will be reacting to situations and you will leave fate and chance to dictate what happens to you. Start today do not procrastinate!

You Cannot Change The World But You Can Change Yourself

A Jewish man incarcerated at the concentration camps in Dachau, Poland made a startling discovery one day. After a great length of time being physically abused which included brutal canning he decided to stop reacting to the abuse. Before his decision, he had reacted like what a normal person in similar circumstances would have done; cry and plead with his tormentors. He discovered that when he cried as in wailing it just incensed the tormentors more, they increased the canning, it became more brutal more sadistic. He found out that his tormentors took pleasure in causing him pain and they enjoyed it more when he cried, instead of his wails acting as a deterrent on the contrary it spurred them to be more brutal. So one day before he was due to be canned, he made a decision that nor matter how hard, how brutal and sadistic the canning would be he would not react and give his tormentors the pleasure of seeing him suffer. He stopped crying, wincing and grimacing no matter how hard, brutal he was canned. At first the tormentors increased the canning but he refused to cry, he just stood there and took the brutal beating without ever showing an emotion. The tormentors were confused, they thought he had put extra clothing to cushion the blows, but alas he was as were other prisoners dressed flimsily. At first the non-reaction of this prisoner spurred the tormentors until they discovered that it made them physically tired while the prisoner was actually unaffected by it all. Then they decided not to bother canning that particular prisoner as it served no purpose.

Life is like that, you can choose to react to the challenges that life throws at you and let your reactions boggle you down. The world is full of depressed people who chose to react to their circumstances with feelings of helplessness, guilty anxiety and fear. Yes there is racism in the world, there is tribalism, sexism ......and a whole litany of unpleasant circumstances out there, you cannot control that, but what you can control is how you to react to those circumstances. You can sit there twiddling your fingers blaming Mugabe for your life's turn of events or you you can get up and take the necessary action needed to change your life. No one can do that for you, not your spouse not your parents, teachers, siblings, friends, society or the government only you can and you alone is the author of your own destiny.