Taunet Nelel means 'New Beginning.' This blog is about finding purpose and living in purpose. It seeks to inspire hope and help you live a fulfilling life. One with "No Regrets, No Fear, No Shame and No Anger."

Moving towards "What Moves You"

Friday, August 31

What Moves You?

We move out of old houses, old neighborhoods, old territories and move into new houses, new neighborhoods, and new territories time after time. Change is inevitable. We don't like change and sometimes we don't anticipate it. We fight change most times. Others move into new relationships, implement new business ideas and form new alliances.

  Anatole France said it better:

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. 

The word move has various meanings, we shall focus on just these two:
  • Take action
  • Provoke a strong feeling, esp. of sorrow or sympathy, anger

Anybody can either be frustrated or fascinated by what they see in their daily lives; only a few take action or are provoked to compassion. Mostly compassion ultimately compels one into taking action.

  • How to be moved

A 'seeing eye' will sometimes not see, and a 'hearing ear' does not always hear.

To see, or hear -- you must feel after you see and again listen to what you hear.

Many people walk past beggars on the street daily without as much as a look. I am guilty of that a number of times. Only a few notice the despair on their faces, even fewer care to ask why they are on the streets, and only a select few decide to buy them a decent meal.

Is it the loss of hope, the orphans, the abortions, poverty of the mind, poor living conditions, wasted resources, the lack of morals, youth wasting their lives, disintegrating family values, faulty leadership, propaganda in the media... what cry captures your listening ear, what situation gets you really angry and provokes you to action?

  • How to move towards what moves you

It is not about you
You being born was not the grandest event on earth. It is what you do for others that makes your life really count.

Forget yourself

No one who is selfish ever went out of his way to help others. You have to be selfless. Think about others more than you do about yourself.

What do you have in your hand?

Start with what is in your hand. You don't need millions of money to give a smile or to speak out against the ills in the society.

Is there any building that starts with the roof being put up first? You start with the foundation and gradually add the supports.

For anything to succeed, you start small; not big. Mother Theresa believed that sometimes we feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Most times we see the vast ocean, we don't remember the drops of water that make up the ocean. Just as there are no small drops, no contribution is small. Start with what you have and grow from there.

You might fail

The key word here is might. Until you start, you will not know if the probability has a chance to materialize. When you do fail, it will be after you have started and that will not be a failure. Choose to fail forward and pick up the lessons as you go.

Don't listen to dissenting voices

"You can't." "Others have tried and failed."

When dissenting voices speak against you, ask yourself two questions

  • Do they feel as strongly as you do?
  • Have any of them taken action yet?

Most times people criticize what they don't understand.

Learn from others

There are those who have tried and failed forward. Borrow their wisdom. Connect with them through books, seminars, one on one. Do whatever it takes to learn the rules of the trade and then follow them.

Leo Tolstoy said
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
The truth is moving has an action-reaction effect. The decision to move will require you to stretch - the change to be effected without must start from within - and it is a process. A process of forming a character able to effect the change you desire.

If you don't yet know what moves you, you owe it to yourself to make it a lifelong pursuit, until you do. You won't come up empty.

If you know what moves you, then start moving towards what moves you.

If you have already started moving, keep moving and share your insights with others.

Do you know what moves you? How else can we move "towards what moves us." Please share your views in the comment section below.

photo credit: NazareneMissionsInternational via photo pin cc

Mark 8
New Living Translation (NLT)
18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’

Pure Gold Character

Wednesday, August 15

Walking even with no end in sight
In every journey there is a path to follow. Some choose to travel through the less traveled on road ~ a road as Robert Frost said:

"I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
I believe every person's journey is unique; but the choices each of are faced with along the journey are the same. To some the journey is treacherous, we are weary from the baggage, the valleys seem to go deeper ~ the real choice is whether we will give up and quit or we will keep moving forward.

I know of a young boy Joseph in the Bible. He was the darling of his father Jacob. For this reason his brothers despised him. He had a crazy dream about his 11 brothers bowing before him. He shared the dream with them probably not grasping it's meaning at the time. Now that fueled his brothers' hatred towards him the more. They even plotted to kill him. Luckily Reuben the eldest saved him and Judah another brother suggested they sell him as a slave to some foreigners. Fast forward after serving as a slave and a prison sentence albeit on a false accusation; he became Governor of Egypt and true to His dreams his brothers bowed before him.

Joseph's journey to Governor inspires me to know that the dreams I have will see the light of day. What I don't understand or have trouble with is the process of it.

The valleys don't seem to make sense, the storms seem too strong to bear.

In life, your character is formed during the tests and trials. The process to obtain pure gold involves melting of scrap gold in a furnace to separate the impurities from the gold. Just the same way you will have to go through a furnace of sorts, a fire, a dark alley ~ to obtain a character that is unshakeable when your dreams become reality.

Most times we are not patient during the purifying process, we push for the dream to become reality. We wish to bypass the process and make it unscathed. That is a pipe dream. Be willing to endure. Be willing to learn. Be teachable. Allow yourself to be moulded.

I always wonder, do you ever hear good stories without struggle, without enduring pain, without overcoming of the suffering. Mandela had to endure 27 years of political imprisonment before he became president, before his dream of independent South Africa was realized. Just like you, I love the part of the story about gaining independence, but the story would not be complete without the imprisonment.

Helen Keller said, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

If you won't loose heart during the process, you will surely see the reality of your dream. Keep Moving Forward. You need to develop 'larger feet' to fit into the vision you have.

God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. Oswald Chambers

When you bypass the furnace, you will get through to the other side but the joy won't last. You will realize that you shortchanged yourself. You got the raw deal. Keep the faith, choose to endure and don't let the want for ease or the hurry, steal the joy that awaits you. Be patient and let a pure gold character be developed. In the end, you will be grateful that you waited.

1 Samuel 7

New Living Translation (NLT)
12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah.He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”

Don't Just Dream, ACT

Tuesday, July 24

I recently shared about dreams and awakening our dreams. There is a creeping dream buster called inaction, which can also be labeled mediocrity. Life sometimes happens, some say. Time went too fast, after college, job(s), marriage, kids, grandkids; there was never enough time to pursue your dreams.

If it were an analogy we would probably agree that “The dream got drowned in the vast ocean of life.
The question that would naturally arise is, Who submerged the dream in that vast ocean of life?Was it the job(s), perhaps the responsibility that one has in marriage...or are we probably just finding comfort in blaming everything and everyone but ourselves?

Action is not 'easy' but it is the only thing we have to do, take specific actions on our dreams. We fear that we might fail or that people will ridicule us if we fail.

Most of the time when on a dance floor, the ones criticizing your moves are those sitting on the sidelines.

There is no short-cut to realizing our dreams. It takes work and deliberate specific action on your part.
I wonder if you've ever seen a baby learning to take their first steps. They move from one support object to the next being really careful not to trip. It takes time to learn and they will surely fall severally while learning the tricks. Eventually, they walk without any support objects.

What if the baby decided to sit and crawl simply because it was too hard to walk? What would you do as a parent?

Begin taking baby steps to achieve your dreams

Secrets to taking action:

  • It won't be easy but it will be worth it. Nothing good comes easy.
  • You have to be your own best friend and motivator. The dream is yours so no one will help you if you don't help yourself.
  • It will take time to learn the tricks. Don't be in a rush for quick-fixes.
  • Be prepared to trip while taking action. You will make mistakes, learn the lessons and push forward.
  • There will always be people who ridicule you, most of the time, they don't understand the dream as you do. “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ― Winston Churchill
  • Ask for help when the going gets tough. There are always people who have been through the road you are on.

Goals are dreams with deadlines.

Specific steps:

  • Write down the dream.
  • Write the specific actions that need to be undertaken to achieve the goal.
  • Write down dates when you hope to have achieved each goal. This will help you measure progress.
  • Share your dream with people whom you can trust. This will keep you accountable.
  • Adjust the goals and deadlines appropriately as you progress.

To live your life fully, you have to take action. Take it now! As Jim Rohn said, "You do not find what you need, you find what you search for."

Matthew 7 (PHILLIPS)

7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you. The one who asks will always receive; the one who is searching will always find, and the door is opened to the man who knocks.”

Dreaming Awake

Wednesday, July 18

Each of us has dreams.
Of a better tomorrow.
Not of a better yesterday.
Yesterday is gone, so we dream of tomorrow.
Some of us dream only while sleeping.
Some when awake.
Big or small, all are dreams.
Mental pictures of what we envision.

I had big dreams as a child. 
Back then we celebrated each others dreams.
Now we just laugh with our mouths.
Our hearts cry in secret.
We still desire that the dreams have a chance.

I watch those living their dreams with awe.
As if they are an alien species.
Unconscious of the journey,
Of perseverance in the storms.

Some say their dreams died.
I just buried mine alive.
Along with that dreamer child,
I will exhume them today.

Martin Luther Jr. said, “I have a dream.”
That dream came true.
You see I now understand.
Dreams don't die,
We just bury them alive.

Declare your dream,
Set the sails,
Change direction when necessary,
Don't lose sight of the dream.

Believe in the dream becoming reality,
And God the giver of the dream,
Start dreaming again,
Impossibility is only in the mind.

With untapped potential,
Dreamers cultivate patience,
Work on the dream against the storm,
And don't give up!

Response – Ability and the Three Channels

Monday, July 2

Response and ability. These two words seem to make up the word responsibility. How you respond to the events in your life; and how you utilize the ability you have at your disposal will ultimately determine how responsible you are.

From changing a toddler's nappies, making a bed, to cleaning a mess that was made by someone other than yourself. These and many more events call for responsibility.

Imagine a football game where the two opposing teams never score because both teams could never hold ball possession until they score as a team. In such a match, it's always about how “I have an injury, I can't play” or “It's so and sos fault, he didn't tackle well enough” or worse “After all I've done for this team, if they won't consider giving me a pay rise, what's the use?” The three looming enemies of responsibility : “Excuses club, Blame game and Complain mode” Channels.

If you are always feeling inadequate, cheated on or shortchanged; that is a victim mentality – chances are you are not responsible in that area. And you will remain irresponsible as long as you choose to be a victim.

Remaining a victim of circumstances is a state of being that we choose, a choice that:
[1] allows us to blame other people 
[2] lets us blame circumstances 
[3] permits us to avoid responsibility for our lives 
[4] encourages us to feel sorry for ourselves, and 
[5] guarantees that we will stay victims. 
No one has to be a victim!" (Ben Carson, M.D., Think Big (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), p. 248].

I wonder what Channel, you are tuned to at any one point. When something goes wrong, as it is bound to, how do you respond? When someone messes up a project, do you do anything other than equate blame? Do you constantly whine about the ifs, could haves, would haves?

Rome wasn't built in a day. While we could be quick outdoing each other to point out at problems, if we gave it a bit of thought, we would actually have to admit that we had a part to play in the mess. The messes are as a result of gradual irresponsibility on our part. Adam and Eve are good examples of “Blame game” Channel. They blamed each other for the grievous sin of eating the fruit from the tree.

Where there is a problem, there is also opportunity. Opportunity to change, opportunity for growth, opportunity for better solutions. You could as well see it is as a difficulty. See it as an impossible situation. Consequently, you will then not use your ability to effect change. Your response will be to make excuses, to blame or complain.

Walking in the streets, you come across many people. The ones that amaze me are those who sit on the street at one spot daily, are not impaired in any way and choose begging as a day-to-day activity. I realize that I won't be any better than these guys if I am not responding to the problems I face daily in the right way. If my ability to tackle problems is interpreted as inability or disability, I am as good as those in the street. My day will be a torturous one filled with whining and no action.

Just because you have a dream doesn't make you any better than those who don't have one. You could just be as miserable as they are. What puts you apart is taking the response-ability to bring the dream to fruition. That takes work. You have to be willing to face fear, opposition, take risks and make mistakes. Even start the process afresh. This time better equipped.

Being responsible is a choice. You grow into responsibility as with many of life's choices. If you prove to be responsible with little, then you will be trusted to be responsible with even more. Whether or not your dream becomes a reality, choose to live responsibly. Daily purge yourself off of the three channels. You will gradually be a victor over your circumstances and the one who effects change.

2 Peter 1:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Missing Pieces of the Puzzle

Wednesday, June 27

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T.S. Eliot

Life is a puzzle. A puzzle that seems impossible at the beginning. It seems that the pieces don't quite fit into the whole piece of art. We look for the beautiful picture in life only to see cracks, holes, missing pieces, brokenness and a clear mess of this and that. Desperately we try to make sense of the mess, so we make other messes altogether. We are back to where we began in the puzzle.

We long for things, and feel as if our hearts are tired in the longing. Once we find what we long for the search seems futile. The maze seems bigger, seems like we are lost, there is a looming possibility we couldn't get out of the maze. Desperately we trace our steps to try to make sense of where we would have missed the other path. We are back to where we began in the maze.

Where did we begin?

We began as children, knowing our world way before we made our arrival on earth. We were not innocent, maybe naïve but still knew how to get our way if adults were not watchful. The good thing is we were open to ideas, open to criticism, happy at new discoveries, content in whatever state in life, ready to make messes, looking for solutions, clean them up and make messes again.

Where are we now?

We grew up too fast. We matured into adults. Adults who didn't learn how to think but what to think. We learnt that to have things of our own – we had to do by going to school. We learnt that to be accepted – we had to do by behaving within the societal norms and standards. In order to be artists, masons, doctors, teachers, IT specialists, CEO's – we had to do courses and degrees that probably we didn't like. Our mission in life is now to have, have, have.

We have accumulated information, it is called knowledge, but we like to say we are wise. Imposing this knowledge on our children is what we know best. They need to learn without exploring. They can't make mistakes, they have to avoid them. How else do we think they will survive? Our instincts tell us to avoid mistakes, to stay comfortable, to not ask too many questions. Especially, don't question your life, no, don't question the status quo, don't even question the social ills in society.

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” C.S. Lewis

The real answer to the puzzle which is a combination of our beginning and the now lies in three words – be, do, have. These are the missing, maybe even misplaced pieces in the puzzle.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Trying is Not Failing, Failing is not Trying

Thursday, June 14

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me,
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed.
The waves they keep on telling me,
Time and time again. “Boy, you'll never win!”
You'll never win.”

Lyrics of the song, “Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns”

Have you tried your hand at something recently and failed? I would like to introduce us to a new concept today. The concept is: 'If you tried, you have not failed.' Failure is not trying at all. You may choose to NOT TRY hence FAIL because of fear of failure or past failures.

Many of us have dreams. The definition of a dream is an aspiration or ambition that seem as ideals. The dreams remain just that until we put action into achieving the dreams. You have to have deadlines as to when to achieve them; the dreams then cease to be just dreams but measurable goals.

The hardest part of execution of any goal is starting. We think of the risk of failure and distance ourselves from even the thought of starting, we ask, “What if I fail?”. There are always two sides of the coin, just as there is failure, there is also success. Have you ever counted the number of letters of each of these two words? Both have seven letters which means there is an equal chance of occurrence of either success or failure. Instead ask, “What if I succeed?”

The question today is, “Have you tried doing to do something with what you have now?” Don't quit before you try otherwise you fail. Let's assume you don't succeed, every time you face obstacles and difficulties, let them instruct you as opposed to obstructing you. The obstacles tell you how not to go about it the next time you try.

Don't stop trying!

Have you heard of Thomas Edison known mostly for his invention of the light bulb? He tried 10,000 times before he got it right. Do you think you would have been able to stand those number of tries until the finish? In a race, it is not about how many times you fell along the way, or even the hurdles you had to get through. It is about those who made it to the finish line.

Always remember, you are going through the race to the finish line. Start the race, fall and stand up again. Many fall along the tracks in the race and stay down. Choose to stand, dust yourself off and continue running even with more vigor than the last time. Choose to try. Try again and continue trying. That is really what the journey to success entails.

Choose the voice you will listen today. Is it the waves that remind you, “You'll never win” or is it the voice that says, “You'll win, just try and continue trying.”?

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

A Story of Forgiveness

Monday, May 28

A King gets a poor guy, let's call him Tom, that owes him 100,000 dollars. Of course that's a lot of cash, so he wants Tom, his family and all his goods to be auctioned off. Tom begs to be given time to pay back. But the King does something much bigger than that. He forgives Tom of all the debt and erases it, as if he never owed the King anything.

Please forgive me...

Oh, so Tom goes on with life (because it does go on...) and he meets his friend, Tim, who owes him 10 dollars. That's a lot of money right, according to Tom it could help pay back what he owes the king.

The thing is Tom has never believed that the King erased his debt. His plea was that he be given time to pay back. Tom has been going on with life trying to pay back.

Tom gets Tim by the throat and asks that he pays up...Same script, Tim is so poor he can't. He begs to be given time. But this time, Tom wouldn't do that. Tim is thrown in jail until he pays up.

Word gets to the King. Tom did the unthinkable. The king says to Tom, "I erase $100,000 debt and you don't have mercy on Tim for $10 dollars." Of course, the King puts Tom in jail to be tortured until he pays up.

Whose debt do you have to pay back? Whose debt have you not forgiven today? Who have you thrown to jail because of the $10 dollars until they pay up?
Do you expect the one who you owe the $100,000 to forgive you still and you are holding the $10 guy at their throat to pay up?

The lesson is, God erased all your debt. You owe Him nothing. God was merciful to you. But you go around putting all the people who owe you in jail until they pay up. Just like Tom, you'll be tortured until you pay back $100,000 which you can't pay back for.

The torture could mean the pain, the hurt, the load you carry because of not forgiving. Don't peg your forgiveness on people paying back the debt, God didn't and He expects you to do the same. Leave God to work on the people in your life all you have to do is love yourself enough to forgive.

Love yourself enough to forgive : "Unforgiveness is like taking poison but expecting someone else to die."

Matthew 18 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”


Monday, May 21

Our definition of perfection, “being entirely without fault or defect; satisfying all requirements; corresponding to an ideal standard.”
God's definition of perfection, “being in Christ; live upright and throughly furnished unto all good works.”

We live in a perfectionist world. Parents who want a perfect child, who won't make mistakes. Children who seek perfect records, to be in everyone's good book. Adults who seek perfect mates, to be treated just how they want to. Man and woman who seek perfect marriages, for their expectations to be met. The truth is its all a lie. Who is perfect except God? Everyone is imperfect but striving for perfection. Talk of water mixing with oil. Ain't going to happen soon. You will never be perfect and neither will other people. God doesn't want you to be perfect. Yes, He loved you in your imperfection. He loved you anyway. How much more when you accept His forgiveness and love? Stop the endless dancing to the songs, 'If only...I could...I should...I would'
God loves you anyway. He says 'Come just as you are.'

Does reading the paragraph above have implications on how you live and what you expect from people?

Authenticity is a rare priceless gift. My definition of the word authentic is this, “Shedding off the mask you are wearing and revealing the beautiful person hidden inside.” I wonder how many people I interact with are authentic. I ask myself, “Am I authentic?” Recently, I have had the privilege to meet a few successful people who are authentic. They have poured out their lives, their challenges and the lessons they derived from them to me. The impact has been amazing, most of their experiences are similar to mine and some even worse. They conquered and their experiences are a beautiful story.

Imagine with me a box containing all the “stuff” you don't have any use of anymore, good or bad. You lock the box and throw away the keys. You then place the box at the back of a closet that you rarely use, in a room you never visit, in fact the room is locked and the keys either got lost or you threw them away – you just don't remember.

That is how so many of us live, we only see the outcome. Rare forced crooked smiles that last less than a minute, forced handshakes because you simply don't want to say the rare Hi's, worst among them are forced laughters that leave your heart aching because you don't have real joy.

Being authentic is a painful affair, but it is rewarding. You have to find the lost doors and get past the animal called DENIAL. Having hidden all the past hurts, disappointments, successes in a closed ROOM, CLOSET and BOX and trying to live like the “stuff” is Missing In Action; will not help.

Take off your mask

Matthew 11:28-30 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (The Message)

An authentic parent will let their children fail, even if they saw it coming. They won't rub in the all too familiar, “I told you so...”
An authentic child will not feel bogged down by their failings, they will understand that the failure does not define who they are. Many people think that failure is a person when it is only an event.
Authentic couples know that their spouses are not gods. There are mere mortals just as they are.
Understand that only God is perfect, and He loves you just as you are. He will turn your ashes into beauty. He alone can make you perfect.

Refer to this for an explanation on Biblical Perfection: http://www.learnthebible.org/biblical-perfection.html

You have one life, LIVE it fully

Wednesday, May 2

A friend recently shared a quote that I believe is vital to today's topic:

"Life is not a rehearsal, you either leave it or live it."

Have you ever reflected back on your life? Where you came from, how you were born, what your parents taught you whether wrong and right, what you observed growing up? The low and high moments in your life. Where you are now? Where you want to be in 3-5 years? What you are potentially able to do? I'd like to think of this as a graphical representation of your life.

I believe that we are all laden with unlimited potential. There are resources, people and opportunities around each of us but they are hidden in plain sight. Just because you can not physically see something doesn't mean that it is isn't there. All these will be vital in attaining the goals, and the vision you have in life.

All the people that ever died having emptied themselves of their potential have various things in common. It did not matter what religion they were in, what mattered is that they believed in a greater power than themselves. They believed in a cause greater than themselves and pursued those causes even unto death. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gadhi, Mother Teresa, and our very own Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathae are a few examples. They were not driven by material gain, popularity contests, awards, “followers” or none thereof. Their significance was measured by how well every activity they engaged in tied with their purpose. Nothing deterred them from pursuing their calling. Yes, they generated a lot of criticism, but none of them resulted to war as a weapon to champion their causes. They were peaceful even in the midst of turmoil. They remained steadfast and ultimately lived fulfilled lives. Isn't it better dying trying to do something than to live doing nothing?

Have you read the story of one Anne Sullivan? She was an American teacher best known as the instructor and companion of Helen Keller. She epitomizes a life fully lived. She died empty.

The world is devoid of action only small-talk.

What is sad is that many people walk around doing nothing and changing nothing? Always complaining, blaming and excusing themselves from what is essentially their duty. Where you complain the most, please take a moment to see whether you are the missing change agent? Most probably you are the one who'll make a difference. You are the one who needs to change. It's not so much about making a big change in the shortest period of time, rather than making steadfast small changes, one day at a time. It is also not about being perfect as much as it is about striving for excellence.

Maybe the guy who is always throwing tantrums in your office only needs a smile. Probably, no one has ever cared enough to smile at him.
Maybe your small brother just needs someone to tell him, he can do it. All he has been hearing around is that, "It's not possible." No wonder, he's always in his room watching TV from dawn to dusk.
Just maybe, your boss, or the president of your country is not the problem. You just need to wake up from your dream of 'freedom' and take action.

People find it easier talking about others than being introspective and talking about themselves. It's not about being overly self-conscious or on the extreme and being arrogant. It is much harder to look within yourself, and admit that you are fearful of failure, that you can't ask for help, that you never delegate routine tasks because you don't believe that others can do a better job.

What do you love doing most? Give it some thought. What do you hate most and would want to do something about, if given opportunity? If there is something you could do for free and not mind if no one paid you, what would that be? What gives you tremendous energy? These are pointers to what your life's purpose is.

Until you do what you love, your life will be controlled by emotions such as fear, anger, shame and regret. Until you stand up for what you truly believe in, you will always have to compromise, settle for second-best. Opportunities will pass you by in broad daylight. Remember, you are not getting any younger as you age.

What footprints will you leave behind after you die? What is the legacy that you will leave? Will you have made the world a better place to live in? Will you have made it easier for another soul to breathe better in the world? The change has to start inside you, but you have to take actual steps and make an impact.

Dr. Anthony Campolo, Professor of Sociology, Eastern College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania, shares the results of a survey where 50 people 95 years and older were asked: “If you could live your life over what would you do differently?” These old people said they would do the following:

  1. Reflect more.
  2. Risk more.
  3. Do things that would live on after they died.
Do you have to wait until you are ninety to reflect so painfully? (excerpt from Made for Greatness, Anthony Gitonga)
I pray for you my friend today as I do for myself, may we empty ourselves of the uniqueness we have in us. May we pursue our purpose. May we fulfill God's calling of us today. Whatever you do, wherever you are, the Maker is calling for you to touch the life of another, and by chain effect, many others and ignite them through your purpose. Choose to spend your life wisely today, you only have one (life).

What steps will you take starting now? Your “Hellen Keller” is waiting!

Making a Living Versus Making a Life

Friday, April 13

Ecclesiastes 9:4 "... even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!"

This verse really means that no matter how despicable your life is now; you are better off than those who have died even if they were Kings in the jungle. The simple reason is you are alive and they are dead. You are still breathing.

When you are alive, doesn't matter what circumstances surround you, what obstacles stand in your way, who is against you or that no one is with you - what matters is you are still standing.

Recently, I got a chance to visit with three grandmothers who are struggling to raise their grandchildren either because their children, who are these grandchild's parents'  have died or abandoned them. The struggle these women go through is enormous. Despite everything, they appreciate that they cannot do the work on their own, they recognize God's work in their lives and they live by the rule "Take one day at a time."

I couldn't help but admire the stamina with which these women go about their daily lives, doing all they can to help their grandchildren grow into independent adults. To them the obstacles were not deterrent, the goal to provide and nurture is prime.

I also learned that everyone despite the odds that face us, has opportunity to be whoever they desire to be or do. The choice to live is in your hands. It is not about making a living, it is about making a life.

True living is in making a life, by extension making an impact in other people's lives; and not merely making a living.

Making a living denotes one who is driven by survival :
  • Survival is a myopic goal in life.
  • Survival is only selfish.
  • Survival is not for the fittest, it is for the fattest. Those who only think about 'me me me'. The 'what about me' mentality.
  • Survival only sees the problem. Small-picture thinking.
Are you a lighthouse for the ships in distress?

Making a life denotes one who is driven by significance :
  • Significance outlasts you - it's a legacy.
  • Significance puts the needs of others in the right context, above your needs.
  • Significance asks pertinent questions regarding others, "What should be done about joblessness?"
  • Significance focuses on creating lasting solutions to the problems. Big-picture thinking.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 says :
"I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time."
This verse explains it quite well, survivors in life are the fastest, the strongest, the wise, the skillful and the educated - the common trait between all of them is that they have given themselves for one cause to be the best in their field. Apparently they do not always get what they desire.

What happens to the second-bests? What happens to those who tried and failed? What happens when they no-longer hold the "trophy", when someone else breaks their record?

To get away from survival you have to be inclusive :

  • It is better to give than to receive.
  • Teach others what you learn. Most people think in teaching that they loose when in actual fact, they cement their lessons and inspire others.
  • Think about how you can make the world better, make use of the opportunities and people at your disposal.
  • Use time wisely.

Every man has what may be called time and space to act in, and opportunity to do a particular work. These two constants will ensure you are making a life/ creating significance.

Success is a journey, not a destination - Part 2

Wednesday, March 28

Success is more the process and not the end - product. No one arrives at a destination called success.

Success is really defined as the steps we take towards what we envision.

Why is it a process? If you attain a goal you had set, e.g. to read a book every 3 months; does that mean you are successful and that's the end of the quest? No, you were successful at attaining that particular goal. Along the way you may come to the realization that you need to apply the concepts you are learning, that is another goal. Hence, success is ongoing.

Success therefore takes time, it does not involve a "microwave solution", allow the process to have time and space for growth.

You define success in your own way. To define success you have to define it yourself. What would make you feel successful would not necessarily make another feel successfully.

You will also keep redefining success after every step.

Success is personal first, but it will impact many along the way. It will touch lives in ways more than one.

Remember : It starts with victory over self

Let's answer the questions in Part 1 of this post.


What drives you?

Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains. You were created to solve a problem. Everything you have gone through in life, whether a high point or failure, has it's purpose in your life. What lessons did you learn from these experiences?

Remember : Too many people pitch camp at failure when it should just be a warning sign over what not to do!

If you had to think of life after your demise, which is a surety, how can you paint it? Would people notice that a gap has been left and needs to be filled? Or will it be a case of "Gone and forgotten"?

The drive is what will keep you, after everything is gone and nothing is left. If you leave with something today, ask yourself - what drives you?


Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How will you get there? Are you headed in the right direction?

You must have a sense of direction.

Where you are now denotes your current "location". What are your attitudes? What are your beliefs? Do they link to your expectations?

You're expectations have to line up with your attitudes and beliefs. You constantly have to work to change your attitudes and beliefs. What influences these two are your thoughts, and you can change your thoughts. Look at the input of the thoughts that you allow to enter your mind - who are your closest friends, what environment do you live in and how do you spend your free time?

Remember : Garbage in, Garbage out
Where you want to go, denotes your desired "destination". Does it seem too far off, if it does then get to work.

Determine how you will get there :

Setting SMARTER goals is what will distinguish the dreamers from the accomplishers.

A dreamer says "I want to be a good communicator". (This person may keep changing their words as its suits them, it is not SMARTER)

An accomplisher says "I want to be a good listener to my partner in Marriage before May 31st on our Wedding Anniversary. I will strive to let them finish sentences on their own and I will not interrupt them while they are speaking. I will maintain eye contact at all times and ensure that I ask reflective questions such as 'So are you saying you need a bit of help with the laundry tomorrow' just to make sure I understood what they were communicating."

To set goals such as the accomplisher did they have to be :

S  : Specific- Be very specific
M : Measurable- Can you analyze progress?
A  : Attainable- Can you attain it?
R  : Realistic- Be real with yourself
T   : Time - Bound- Have a time frame.
E  : Exciting- They must hold an element of excitement and thrill for you
R  : Recorded- Write down your goals.


This is how willing you are to pay the price for the success you seek. Sometimes, you will have to be mean with yourself, sometimes you'll endure pain to get what you seek, you will have to leave behind friends you thought were for life, you will have to expand your horizons, work more than you have ever worked, give time for your goals to work, adjust if need be and not to give up.

Remember : No one will push you.
Here you are on your own, change tact (gears) when you need to, look back only to derive lessons and push forward.


This is what will help you push forward. Realize that you are 99% responsible for the outcomes in your life. 1% is credited to excusiolitis - a disease where the sufferer makes excuses for their behavior.

Start taking responsibility. Instead of saying "It wasn't me" start saying "I was wrong". Trust me, it's easier than it sounds, just try it.

Remember : You can't lie to yourself.

Stop complaining about people and your circumstances. The economy has nothing to do with your success. You make it your business when you always talking about it. Stop talking and start acting.

Stop blaming other people and your circumstances. You realize when you are pointing a finger, all the other fingers are pointing at you.

Start small, think big BUT start now. They do say, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step." Take that step now, if you will always procrastinate, the best time you are waiting for will never come.

READ the Excerpt below NOW:

When I Become a Big Boy
This is like the little boy who says when I become a big boy, I will do this and this and I will be happy. And when he becomes a big boy he says, when I finish college and do this and this and I will be happy. And when he finishes college he says when I get my first job and do this and this I will be happy. And when he gets his first job he says when I get married and do this and this and then I will be happy. And when he gets married he says when the kids get out of school and I do this and this I will be I happy. And when the kids get out of school, he says when I retire and do this and this, I will be happy. And when he retires what does he see? He sees life has just gone by in front of his eyes. 
(Adapted from You Can Win (1998), Shiv Khera)

You are the driver of your life, are you ready to take charge. Then start NOW.

What lessons can you share from your journey?

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Success is a journey, not a destination - Part 1

Tuesday, March 20

Have you ever thought about the intricacies of taking a journey? Well, I am sure you have journeyed at least once in life - whether by road, rail, water or air. I am also certain you have your reservations about the mode of transport. Maybe you have had a bad experience on the road, as a result you are fearful on the road. Maybe on your first time in a boat, thrilled as you were, the winds were so great - the boat unfortunately capsized. That was your first and last time in a boat until today. Back to the question - journey of life - let's imagine for the purpose of this post - that you are sitting at the driver seat, you are the captain of the ship or plane - that in your life you are the driver as well as the passenger.

We will attempt to derive the lessons from your journey of life.

Who is the driver?

Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In a car, there is just one driver, one person who controls the vehicle. Maybe there is a car that has two steering wheels, I don't know. Conventionally, there is normally one steering wheel, one break, one accelerator, one gear and one driver's seat.

In the journey of your life who steers the wheel, determines when you have to make an emergency brake, accelerates or decelerates and determines which gear is in force - is a question we must ask soberly?

In Kenya, we have a public transport mechanism popularly branded as a 'matatu' - a 14-seater vehicle with a driver and a conductor who collects the fare due to them and ensures that you alight at your designated stop.

 I've never known conductor is a valid English word. Had to cross-check its meaning : 

conductor :  a collector of fares in a public conveyance

Most times than not matatus are the only form of transport available to the general populous.

In the rush to reach a certain amount of gains per day, matatus are driven recklessly on the road. Most who notice this, are other drivers who don't understand the rush, avid passengers may be unsatisfied but because of the hurry they are in, they may let the offenses slide as long as they make it early to their destination. The careful passengers wish they were in control of the vehicle to drive better.

I have gone at great length to illustrate something. If you are in a badly driven vehicle, don't you wish you were the driver and you would do things better and be more safe-conscious. I wish I could give the reckless drivers my two cents of advice, to just slow down and think of the passengers they are entrusted with. If the vehicle were to be involved in a bad crash, wouldn't everyone be in danger and not just the driver. It is sad but most times, people rarely think about the consequences of their actions before engaging in wrong behavior.

M - Pics / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To link this back to our post. You are the driver of your life. You are the passenger in the car of your life as well. It might sound paradoxical, but lets ask critically. Ultimately, who gets most hurt when you are driving the car of your life recklessly? Who is it that is hurt more? Even if you had other passengers as well, their safety is upon your hands. Drive well, and they will arrive well.

Driving badly in your life may manifest differently. You know yourself better, some things to look out for on the road of your life are : -

  • Are you driving your car, or have you delegated that task (willingly or unwillingly)?  
  • Are you on the right road? 
  • Do you know where you are going?  
  • Do you even know where you are? 
  • Are you headed in the right direction? 
  • Are you driving too fast you are not checking the signs on the road? 
  • Is the fuel in your car empty or is it just enough to get you to the destination? 
  • Have you stopped to ask for directions? Maybe you're lost, that is why the journey is taking longer than expected. 
  • Where are the potholes on the road? To avoid them you need to know where they are.
  • Are you complaining and blaming other drivers for your mistakes?
  • Have you forgotten who is turning the steering wheel? 
These are just a few analogies in the road of your life. Hopefully you have been able to answer the question "who is the driver in the road of your life?"

I would love to read your insights on this post. Who holds the keys, who is the driver in the road of your life?

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