Thursday, December 31, 2009

Curtain falls on 2009. Welcoming 2010 sans Fear, Regret and Guilt

Lynette Scavo: Hey! Mary-Alice, are you okay?
Mary Alice Young: Yes, thank you. I'm fine.
Lynette: No, you're not. I can tell. Please, tell me what's wrong. Let me save you.
Mary Alice: You can't.
Lynette: Why not?
Mary Alice: Sweety, we can't prevent what we can't predict!
Lynette: Isn't there anything I could do?
Mary Alice: Yes. You can enjoy this beautiful day. We get so few of them.


- Desperate Housewives (season 3 episode 07)


Looking Back

This is the last day of 2009.

364 days have passed since we ushered in the new year on January 01, 2009. It's now time to look back, take stock and get ready for 2010.

2009 Highlights... or Otherwise

Do not be burdened by guilt, worry or fear


It is true that 2009 had many highlights in our individual and collective lives. In all honesty however, we must have done several things in the year that we are not very proud of. Additionally, several other things never went our way. Even the best laid plans sometimes fail.

Some of our 2010 resolutions may actually be inspired by, and predicated on guilt, regret, missed opportunities and worry.

Inspiring Music

Previously on The Walkabout, we have dealt with these on our inspiring music sections:
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all OK
And not to worry ’cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these

- Jewel (Hands)

Too many shadows in my room
Too many hours in this midnight
Too many corners in my mind
So much to do to set my heart right

... I’m in repair
I’m not together but I’m getting there

- John Mayer (In Repair)

From the Prince of Peace album, Carolyn Arends talks of someone who regrets that he did not "seize the day".
Well I know a man  who's been doin' some thinkin'
He's as bitter and cold as the whisky he's drinkin'
He's talkin' bout fear  'bout chances not traken
If you listen to him you can hear his heart  breakin'
He says "One day youra boy  The next day you're dead
I wish way back when someone had said...

- Carolyn Arends (Seize the Day)

The Way Ahead

The best way to look at the year that ends today is as an opportunity to learn and grow. And even if you missed the mark here and there, use the same as a stepping stone on your way to better days.

It is worth noting that things don't usually go wrong. Things usually start wrong.
Starting on the right track is a key way of ensuring things work out well in 2010. The first day of the year presents a perfect opportunity to get it right from the start.

For what it's worth, do not be held back by regret and guilt. As Mary Alice Young told Lynette Scavo in Desperate Housewives (season 3 episode 07), you cannot prevent what you cannot predict.

Deal with Regret



God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny. Now is the time to seize the opportunities, effect the requisite changes, and make the most of every opportunity.

Let us all face the future with confidence in 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Freedom Writers: Writing for Change

Last weekend, I decided to sit back and watch movies.

Freedom Writers is one of the movies I watched. I find this movie very profound, because it is an amazing story of strength, courage and achievement in the face of adversity.



The Freedom Writers Diary

Based on the non-fiction book: "The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them", this is a story that really edifies and inspires change.

Set in Long Beach California, Erin Gruwell's (Hilary Swank) passion to become a teacher is soon challenged by a group of Black, Latino, and Asian gangbangers who hate her even more than each other.

Mrs. G. is different among the other teachers in this inner city public school because she has the crazy idea that these kids can learn at a high level and learn to develop relationships with each other. Her deep passion for these students end up costing her her marriage.

But she never gave up on her students, nor on her desire to effect positive change. She held on and stayed strong.

Following is the Freedom Writers official trailer:







Changed Lives

The students were vividly reminded through books, testimony and tours, of the Holocaust.

The real beauty of the movie is the fact that Erin's students lives have changed. Their perspective in life, their opportunities, their world has changed - because they chose to see things differently.

I very strongly recommend that you watch this movie, it might just change your life, for better.

Happy Holidays my friends!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inevitable Change: Renewed Strength, Focus and Hope

The first episode of the fourth season of Grey's Anatomy is titled 'A Change is Gonna Come'. Following is an excerpt of the episode transcript:
"In the practice of medicine, change is inevitable. New surgical techniques are created, procedures are updated, levels of expertise increase.
Innovation is everything. Nothing remains the same for long. We either adapt to change...or we get left behind........"

CHANGE IS EVERYTHING

change

The above words got me thinking.
Yeah, it's true that we get inspired and hopeful whenever we envision change. We even get motivated when we encounter new people and situations that effect change and thereby enhance our lives.

But what about that transition period? That period of waiting as change happens? What keeps us going at the time?

I found my answer in a song I first listened to ten years ago - 'Until My Change Comes' by Commissioned. It's from the album 'Times and Seasons', which was released in the year 2000.

Consider the following:
UNTIL MY CHANGE COMES
By Commissioned

It's been a long time coming
But a change is gonna come
When the dark clouds pass away
Feel the warmness of the sun
I know that You love me, oh yeah,
I know that you care
I can't wait to be by Your side
In the middle of the air.

CHORUS
Until my change comes
Here's what I'll do
Renew my strength
Keep holding on
I'll wait on You.

(REPEAT)

It ain't gonna be easy
But I'll be strong. Some say if You
Really cared um,
It's wouldn't take so long for You to
Return for me
If with You is where I ought to be
But I'm gonna believe until that day
I will.... until...

CHORUS

BRIDGE

Gotta wait gotta wait on you
That's what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna stand still
I just wanna be in your will
Just like David and Goliath
I gotta encourage my soul, yeah
Said I'm gonna stand still
Until um...

CHORUS * CHORUS * CHORUS

So back to the Grey's Anatomy transcript...
"Change. we don't like it, we fear it.
But we can't stop it from coming.
We either adapt to change, or we get left behind.
It hurts to grow. Anybody who tells you it doesn't is lying.
But here's the truth. sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same.
And sometimes...oh, sometimes change is good.
Sometimes change is...everything."

Have a lovely, fruitful and blessed week ahead!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chasing Happiness: Why not Wait and Let Happiness Follow You?

Power Up

It's interesting how we rediscover some things.

I have previously shared some stories I used to listen to on Family FM's (now Radio 316) 'Power Up', in both my [now defunct] Facebook Notes and past blog posts on The Walkabout.



Fable


 A dog chasing its own Tail

The other day, I was reading the Sunday Nation and in Mutahi Ngunyi's article, I saw the full text of yet another story that was once shared on Power Up. It is from a fable by C. L. James.

Following is 'Chasing Happiness' for you. Be edified:
CHASING HAPPINESS

An old dog saw a puppy chasing its tail and asked, “why are you chasing your tail?” The young puppy replied, “I have mastered philosophy; I have solved the problems of the universe which no dog before me has solved; I have learnt that the best thing for a dog is happiness, and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore, I am chasing it, and when I catch it, I shall be happy.”

The old and seasoned dog stared at the little puppy and responded, “My son, I, too, have paid attention to the problems of the universe in my weak ways and I have formed some opinions.

I have realized that happiness is a fine thing for a dog. And that happiness is in my tail. However, I have also noticed that when I chase after it, it keeps running away from me, but when I go about my business as usual, it follows me.”

 And the chase goes on...

Precious Illusions

So, are you still chasing happiness?
Chances are, it'll still elude you just as the tail eluded the puppy.
Now is the time to get on with life, doing what is required of us, and purposing to add value both in our lives and those of others.

Only then will happiness follow us. It surely will.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There's Fire on the Mountain, and Nobody seems to be On the Run

"Step by step, heart to heart, left right left
We all fall down like toy soldiers
Bit by bit, torn apart, we never win
But the battle wages on for toy soldiers."

- Eminem (Like Toy Soldiers)




[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Fire on the Mountain: A Time of Crisis"]Fire on the Mountain: A Time of Crisis[/caption]

A Time of Crisis


Reading news articles yesterday, I realized just how many things need our urgent attention.


World leaders are currently meeting in Denmark for the Copenhagen Climate Summit and bombings in Baghdad left at least 127 people dead. Even the rich and famous are not having such a good time, given that Tiger Woods is still not out of the woods yet.


Locally, I was appalled by the news that somewhere in Narok, in the Rift Valley, a man was found with enough military arsenal to power a police station for over a year. And just when House Speaker Kenneth Marende was praising China for hanging criminals and therefore ending impunity, it was being reported that Kenya is a major producer and exporter of pornography, especially to China. The Daily Nation has published an article detailing how young children are hooked to pornography. In an editorial, everyone is being urged to help save our children from greedy porn peddlers.


So what can we do?


Faced with the above and innumerable other crises, we need to rise up and upon realizing that many things have gone pretty wrong, get down to sorting the mess out.


In his Inauguration address, US President Barack Obama spoke words I can never forget, words that are both challenging and inspirational. He said:




...when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it.


...in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter...



Fire on the Mountain








Many musicians have tried to highlight the social ills that bedevil our society, and the following song by Asa is so profound, that upon keenly listening to the words, you might wonder where you've been as many bad things happened all around you.


Be edified:




FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
By Asa

CHORUS
There is fire on the mountain
And nobody seems to be on the run
Oh there is fire on the mountain top
And no one is a-running

VERSE 1
I wake up in the morning
Tell you what I see on my TV screen
I see the blood of an innocent child
And everybody's watching

Now am looking out my window
And what do I see
I see an army of a soldier man
marching across the street

Hey Mr soldier man
Tomorrow is the day you go to war
But you are fighting for another man's cause
And you don't even know him

What did he say to make you so blind
To your conscience and reason
Could it be love for your country
Or for the gun you use in killing

REPEAT CHORUS

Hey Mr Lover man
Can I get a chance to talk to you
Cause you are fooling with a dead man's corpse
And you don't know what you do

So you say you have a lover
And you love her like no other
So you buy her a diamond
That someone has died on
Don't you think there's something wrong with this

Tell me who's responsible
For what we teach our children
Is it the internet
Or the stars on television
Why oh why
Why oh why oh

So little Lucy turns sixteen
And like the movie she's been seeing
She has a lover in her daddy
She can't tell nobody
Till she makes the evening news

REPEAT CHORUS

On day the river will over flow
And there'll be no where for us to go
And we will run, run
Wishing we had put out the fire

REPEAT CHORUS (till fade)



The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Asa. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.


So, are you still not bothered?


Ponder the above lyrics to Fire on the Mountain, and honestly ask yourself if you are among the many who remain unconcerned, those who choose not to be bothered by whatever ills are happening all around us.


If we each do a little more, we all do a lot more. The time is now to do the needful.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Managing Stereotypes: The Danger of a Single Story




[caption id="attachment_467" align="aligncenter" width="357" caption="Misquided presumptions and stereotypes"]Misquided presumptions and stereotypes[/caption]

With every passing day, we get to meet new people. Hopefully, we learn new things too.

Lately, I've had a chance to make new friends, people that I believe will leave some mark on the pages of my life. And some of the marks will be indelible, for that is the way it is sometimes.

Jonathan Haidt on Objectivity

In March this year, I wrote about Jonathan Haidt's Happiness Hypothesis, which I learnt about after watching him on TED where he shared invaluable insights on moral psychology. He had the following to say about objectivity:
“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against.
The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease.”
- Sent-ts’an

Chapter 8 of The Happiness Hypothesis dwells on the felicity of virtue. You can download this chapter free on the book's web site.

The Danger of a Single Story

A few weeks ago, I downloaded and watched Chimamanda Adichie's TED Talk about bigotry and stereotypes. Aptly titled 'The Danger of a Single Story', this thought-provoking talk highlights the myopia that drives bigots and informs stereotypes.

Following is the video:

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Objectivity rocks!

Chimamanda's last words in her talk are a challenge that I in turn pass along to you. Ponder the following words:
"When we reject the single story, when we realize that there was never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise."

Let us purpose to see others through open-minded, objective eyes. Only then can we see them for who and what they truly are. Only then do we get to see the bigger picture... the bigger picture that is invariably beautiful.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Laws of Simplicity

Less is More

Simplicity is a vital aspect of life that is often overlooked. Many believe that complex means more, and therefore better. The truth is quite to the contrary.

In design, simplicity is a key component of a rich user experience and robust function. This has been further explored at Complit Design. Less is more in design, and therefore better.

A Simple Life. A Life most Uncommon

The complexities of daily living make it hard for us to imagine living a simple life. There's simply so much to consider, so much to attend to and so much that is expected of us.

With all this in mind, we seldom have time to even notice and appreciate the simple things in life that matter the most.

The Laws of Simplicity




[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="201" caption="The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda"]The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda[/caption]



John Maeda is a renowned graphic designer, artist and computer scientist at the MIT Media Lab.

He also co-directs the radical SIMPLICITY initiative which seeks to re-examine ways of breaking free from the complexity of today's technology and redefine the way users relate to the technology in their daily lives.

He wrote The Laws of Simplicity in 2005/6. The book details the following 10 Laws:


  1. REDUCE
    The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.

  2. ORGANIZE
    Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.

  3. TIME
    Savings in time feel like simplicity.

  4. LEARN
    Knowledge makes everything simpler.

  5. DIFFERENCES
    Simplicity and complexity need each other.

  6. CONTEXT
    What lies in the periphery of simplicity is denitely not peripheral.

  7. EMOTION
    More emotions are better than less.

  8. TRUST
    In simplicity we trust.

  9. FAILURE
    Some things can never be made simple.

  10. THE ONE
    Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.



You can read about the 10 laws at the Laws of Simplicity web site.

Read The Book

Having looked at the excerpt and watched John Maeda's TED Talk about the simple life, The Laws of Simplicity is a book worth reading.

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

It is bound to remind you some simple truths that can positively affect both your personal and professional life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blind with your Eyes Wide Open? Then it's time for a Revival.

Dire Straits

Every now and then, we get to a point in life where a complete turnaround is all that can work.

Such a dire situation is often characterized by suffering, loss of faith, hopelessness and enduring guilt.

Grey's Anatomy

The following song by The Soulsavers was featured in an episode of Grey's Anatomy, where Dr Miranda Bailley had to operate on a racist patient who insisted on being attended to by a white doctor.







Revival

soulsavers-revival


Following are the song lyrics. Be edified:

Said gonna be a revival tonight ooh
I wanna see a revival yeah
Gonna be a revival tonight
Lord, let there be a revival yeah

Forgive what I have done
It means my soul's survival, oohh
I need you so,it's sin
Put an end to my suffering oh

Why am I so blind with my eyes wide open? ooh
Trying to get my hands clean in dirty water

I wanna see a revival tonight
Lord, let there be a revival yeah
I need to see a revival tonight oh
Wanna see a revival oohh

Why am I so blind with my eyes wide open? yeah
Now I need someone
Let this dark night be done oh

I need you so,it's sin
Put an end to my suffering
I wanna see a revival tonight
Lord, there needs to be a revival

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Soulsavers. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

No need trying to clean your hands in dirty water. It's time for a revival.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beyond Knowledge and Comfort Zones. Going the Extra Mile




[caption id="attachment_449" align="aligncenter" width="337" caption="Comfort Zones diminish our Potential"]Comfort Zones diminish our Potential[/caption]

Real Heroes Go The Extra Mile

Over a decade ago when I was in Form Two, Ezra (my desk-mate) wrote a small list of attributes that make one a Real Hero. One of these things was that a real hero goes the extra mile.

This weekend, I met this lady who at one time, was the housekeeper in a Hall I resided in during my internal attachment at JKUAT. Looking back, we both remembered how she had then gone out of her way and assisted some of my classmates. She did go the extra mile at that time of crisis. We continually acknowledge her kindness, and are invariably indebted.

That extra effort to do something that is not a core part of our duty, something we cannot be compensated for, is what makes some people do extra-ordinary things.

And as we all know, the difference between extraordinary and ordinary is that 'little' extra.

Knowledge and Enlightenment

To know is to be aware. To be aware is good. But we all know that good is the enemy of great.

As mentioned in my earlier (comeback) post, I was inspired by Eric Ng'eno's Facebook Note about Knowledge, Strength, Love and Happiness. Following is an excerpt:
I love knowledge for its irony. It does not enlighten absolutely. It does not define the speed of darkness after mastering light. Knowledge just shifts the grounds and objects of belief. I never stop believing and I never stop doubting, but knowledge enables me to do both well, and to discern more wisely.

Ultimately, knowledge reveals the completeness of of both good and evil, of light and dark, of excellence and mediocrity, and the self fulfilling globe and cycle of the universe. And it leaves me lots of space to fill in with textures, hues, lines, scents and flavors of my election, which gives me identity and personality.

If therefore knowledge fails to reveal the absoluteness of virtues and vices, of values and ideals, if it shows, against my preference, that both good and evil are the reverse and obverse of my desires, interests and ambitions, yet it does not fail to affirm me as a man, a soul, a spirit; divine, magnificent and glorious.

That said, we still realize that good just ain't enough. Knowledge is not an end in itself.

Challenge Convention. Exit the Comfort Zone

Failure to act still remains the biggest threat to our progress. This comes about due to laxity or fearing to fail. For this reason, few ever venture into the unknown. The majority still laze around in their comfort zones.

To make a different in our personal or professional lives, we need to leave our comfort zones. We need to sometimes dare to be different and challenge convention.

Going the extra mile, acting on knowledge gained... these are the hallmarks of risk-taking. Needless to say, the future belongs to the risk-takers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Back on The Walkabout. The Hiatus is so Over!

Inspired Reading

This comeback post has been inspired by  a blog post by a friend  on Purpose, and by a Goals Report by Brian Tracy that I recently read.




[caption id="attachment_443" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="The Purpose of Life"]The Purpose of Life[/caption]

Peter's Walkabout

On March 10 2009, Peter's Walkabout was launched. From the very first post, we sought to identify, share and benefit from whatever lessons life throws at us in everything we see,  hear, experience, think or imagine. In short, The Walkabout was just but a journey of Insight, Inspiration and Self Discovery.

Back in the day, I posted an average of three posts each week. This gradually became two posts every week and eventually, there were no posts at all from July 31, 2009.

Comfort Zones

With time, several distractions made me lose sight of my original goal of writing consistently, on and about things that added value. Looking back, I kept offering excuses to myself and justifying every sundown without an additional post on my walkabout. . . increased design workload, meetings, social engagements and mush more.

Other excuses were that I was reading (yes I do read a lot) or watching TV Series (Desperate Housewives, Fringe, North Shore etc...) and movies.

Eventually, I had to completely redesign my web site. The new Complit Communications web site had to reflect significant growth in my design and creative writing business, and part of this involved the setting up of a design blog - Complit Design. This has since been done, but the already configured blogs (Complit Design, The Walkabout and Green Kenya) still remain unattended.

It was when I finished reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol and a Facebook note titled "Knowledge, Strength, Love and Happiness" by one Eric Ng'eno that I realized I was in pretty much the same illusory state a la Zebediah Lomack in Strangers by Dean Koontz. It was time to wake up, smell the coffee and actually do the needful.

Renewed Purpose

In the movie SAW III, Jigsaw says,
Despite having all the advantages, many of us still choose not to advance.

From Goals by Brian Tracy (all you have to do to get this report is follow Brian Tracy on Twitter), he highlights several things that define success. Key among them is Self-Discipline, Character and Persistence.

In The Memoirs, my friend's journey "will take a lot of commitment to keep it going, a lot of discipline on my part, and a lot of giving."

The Way Ahead

That said, I'll no longer postpone on The Walkabout. This being a purpose-driven endeavor, I'll seek to continually learn and share with my loyal readers.

Finally, let us be reminded of the very reason why we do some of the noble things we do. The reason is far much bigger than ourselves.

From his January 20th 2009 Inauguration speech, US President Barack Obama said the following words:
"This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny."

"let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth..."

Let us continue learning and sharing together.

God bless The Walkabout, and every place else.

Cheers to this Walkabout comeback!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

IDEAS WORTH SHARING

Every once in a while, we all experience something so wonderful that it becomes really hard not to share.

Well, for a while, I have been reading a most wonderful document. Yeah, it is really short (only 24 pages). It's quite a deep piece, trust you me.

It is a report by Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence. A note titled Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.



Following are excerpts from this document:

INTRODUCTION
This note is designed to help you rise above your instincts and urges to begin a search for the life you were meant to live. Once you have abandoned a foolish quest for the ephemeral rewards of happiness, wealth and power, you can begin to look for your true calling on this earth – a Hero’s Journey. To do this, you must first learn to lose yourself.

CONTENTS

The following are discussed:
  • Understanding the Difference between Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment
  • Pursuing Sensual Pleasures and Material Success for the Wrong Reasons
  • A Twisted Sense of Perspective: Misjudging the Present’s Impact on the Future
  • Sliding From Self Interest to Self Centeredness to Self Delusion
  • Losing Yourself in a Hero’s Journey
  • Spirituality: Losing Yourself Through a Connection with the Transcendental
  • Getting Started on Your Quest

A little deeper into the note, you find the following piece, that underscores our need for others.
Love: Losing Yourself in Relationship

Long-term studies of satisfaction and fulfillment show that relationships are critical to satisfaction and fulfillment. We live in relationship with others and we need to belong. We need others to complete us.

People who place a high priority in caring for others have more fulfilling lives. “There are few stronger predictors of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate and lifelong companionship with one’s best friend.” Long-term studies on aging show that a lack of true friends would be one’s biggest crisis later in life. People get depressed when they are alone too long. They revive when with others.

Much of your long-term satisfaction and fulfillment will come from a relatively small group of family members and friends with whom we create the memories of a lifetime. Developing such relationships takes time, energy and courage.

You start with small steps. Beginning a relationship simply requires a little curiosity about others. Relationships grow by give and take. You ask about the other person’s goals, affirm them, and offer to help in some way. (Starting with people who have compatible goals makes it easier to invest attention).

Then something magical happens. You actually become more interested in others than yourself. You forget your own problems. Horizons open. Perspective broadens.

Favors, attention and self disclosure lead to trust. Obligations and constraints add more structure and meaning to life. You learn that giving is more satisfying than getting. Over time, a web of healthy relationships blossoms into a support system. Then you develop a reputation for helping others, a fragile treasure. Extraordinary opportunities follow.

Consciously choosing who to invest in relationships with makes a difference. Want to be a better person? Surround yourself with good people. Close friends have the most positive effect on fulfillment (families have only an average effect). Develop relationships with all ages. Always have friends from three generations: the generation below to add freshness and energy, your generation for understanding and companionship, and a generation older for perspective and wisdom.

SHARING

Download this report in full (24 pages, PDF 345KB) here.

I very strongly believe in learning and sharing useful information. This report is highly recommended.

Learn, share and achieve true Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment in your life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All is Not Lost... It's Gonna Be Alright

"The only thing worth trying when all else fails is again."



Sweet words, but I dare admit, very hard to implement.

fail-try-again-all-not-lost



We all find ourselves in situations that look hopeless, where we feel damned and exploring our options, we find ourselves, much against our will, in 'Catch 22' situations.

The good news is that a way out ultimately exists. Only that we either cannot see it, are unwilling to go the extra mile and try, or are just overwhelmed by the gravity of whatever predicament we find ourselves in.

This post is dedicated to that close friend who shared with me their recent distress and anguish yesternight. I hope this post will be of help to my friend, and the rest of you in seemingly insurmountable and dire situations.

Following are lyrics to a very deep song (I think it's by Tramaine Hawkings). If you can, be sure to listen to it and you will surely be both uplifted and inspired.
ALL IS NOT LOST

"All is not lost when you lose a friend
All is not lost when it isn't your will
All is not lost when you can begin
to start all over again
All is not lost when you look around
All is not lost when God can be found
All is not lost when faith abounds
you can reach above the clouds
to Heaven's ground

It's gonna be alright
We walk by faith and not by sight
Receive the power of His might
For God is on your side
It's gonna be alright...
(mmmhhh yes it will)

All is not lost when you try to do good
All is not lost when you've done all you could
when He said that He would fight your battle
Trust Him, yes you should
All is not lost for Jesus is there
All is not lost He knows what went on
No no no one can compare
To the mercy and grace that He shares
(Oh yes) He knows He knows how much we can bear

It's gonna be alright
We walk by faith and not by sight
Receive the power of His might
For God is on your side
It's gonna be alright...
(mmmhh yes it will)

Thank you Lord
Yes it will, I know it will
Alright, alright, alright, alright
All is not lost with God on your side
Alright, alright, alright, alright
All is not lost with God on your side
Don't you worry no more, alright
It's gonna be alright, alright
Yeah, all is not lost, trust God in your life
Wipe all tears from your eyes, alright
Alright, alright, it's gonna be alright
All is not lost, I got faith by my side
Lift your hands, alright
It's gonna be alright, alright
All is not lost, trust God in your life
Just give it to Jesus
Alright, I know He's gonna work it out
Alright, All is not lost, with God by your side."

Never give up. It ain't over till it's truly over.

Learn, share and purpose to believe that it'll be alright eventually.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Critical Thinking: Tools For Taking Charge Of Your Professional AndPersonal Life

Critical Thinking is a vital part of development and cognition. Every action is predicated on one's thought process, it's therefore imperative that the thinking itself be healthy and forward-looking.



Critical Thinking: Tools For Taking Charge Of Your Professional And Personal Life, was published in 2002 by the Financial Times Prentice Hall. It's written by Richard Paul and Linda Elder.

At CriticalThinking.org, this book is introduced thus:
You are what you think…
Everything you do in life is determined by the quality of your thinking. If you aren't thinking clearly, you're at the mercy of everyone else-from dishonest politicians to aggressive, stop-at-nothing ad agencies. Unfortunately, many people never give any thought to how they think. No wonder they're susceptible to the frustration, pain, ineffectiveness, and financial loss that result directly from poorly considered thinking. Critical Thinking is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life-as a professional, as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and even as a lover.

This book explores the six stages of thinking, and challenges readers to find out what kind of thinker they are. These are:
  • Stage 1 The Unreflective Thinker (we are unaware of significant problems in our thinking)
  • Stage 2 The Challenged Thinker (we become aware of problems in our thinking)
  • Stage 3 The Beginning Thinker (we try to improve, but without regular practice)
  • Stage 4 The Practicing Thinker (we recognize the necessity of regular practice)
  • Stage 5 The Advanced Thinker (we advance in accordance with our practice)
  • Stage 6 The Master Thinker (skilled and insightful thinking becomes second nature)

CONTENTS

Acknowledgment Preface
Ch. 1:    Thinking in a World of Accelerating Change and Intensifying Danger
Ch. 2:    Becoming a Critic of Your Thinking
Ch. 3:    Becoming a Fair-Minded Thinker
Ch. 4:    Self-Understanding
Ch. 5:    The First Four Stages of Development: What Level Thinker are You?
Ch. 6:    The Parts of Thinking
Ch. 7:    The Standards for Thinking
Ch. 8:    Design Your Life
Ch. 9:    The Art of Making Intelligent Decisions
Ch. 10: Taking Charge of Your Irrational Tendencies
Ch. 11:  Monitoring Your Sociocentric Tendencies
Ch. 12:  Developing as an Ethical Reasoner
Ch. 13:  Analyzing and Evaluating Thinking in Corporate and Organizational Life
Ch. 14:  The Power and Limits of Professional Knowledge (And of the Disciplines that Underlie Them)
Ch. 15:  Strategic Thinking Part One
Ch. 16:  Strategic Thinking Part Two
Glossary: A Guide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts References

This book is high recommended for anyone who wishes to become better in both their personal and professional lives. It helps you exercise more informed and effective thinking. This will definitely improve your life.

Get Your FREE Copy 
If you need a copy of this book in PDF format, just Email me [info<at>peternjenga<dot>com] and I'll Email you one.

Learn, share and think more critically.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost in translation . . .

Guest post by PinkM

Well, Pete honored me by asking me to guest post on here. No idea what wisdom is expected, but I’ll do my best to be me.

A couple of days ago, I did this post on giving and uplifting others in all I do, and a couple of comments prompted this post.

sunset-and-couple




See, we have the tendency to use English translations in relationships, and from my observation, they don’t always hold true. For example:

Giving / Receiving - According to the dictionary definition, these two are opposites right? Well, in relationships, they’re not. People have the tendency to believe that one has to be a giver or a receiver; you cannot be a perennial giver, and a receiver. If one is building themselves into being a giver, it’s taken to mean that that person will not receive. That’s not true.
The opposite of giving is not giving. The opposite of receiving is not receiving.

My saying I want to be ever generous means, I want to move from the position of not giving (all the time), to giving (all the time). Receiving comes in another context. Basically, giving and receiving IMO are not mutually exclusive.

Making Others Shine – Again, the opposite of this isn’t dimming my light. It just means that external approval will cease to be so important to me, and instead, I’ll channel that light onto someone who need it more to build their confidence.
Case in point. You have an important project to deliver, but instead of working on it and taking all the glory (which will mean less time, and more efficiency for the company), you help your junior do the work, and let him take the glory.

IMO, in that case, I haven’t dimmed my light one bit. See, I know I can do it and do it well, but the person beside me needs to learn. He needs to build his confidence in whatever task. He’s still growing.
Letting those beside you take the glory is a sign of growth and security in who you are, and as such, outside affirmation doesn’t mean that much (nose in the air self righteousness)

Character vs Personality – I was watching this episode of Desperate  Housewives that they talk about why you should probably love the rude neighbor who will speak their mind, and not trust so much, the polite neighbor, who has nothing but kind words for you, and nothing else (this was in reference to Susan, the rude neighbor and Orson, the ever so polite guy, who was stealing from everyone).

I get this feeling that society is emphasizing so much on people developing perfect personalities, without advocating for fundamental character issues.
We’re taught to say the right thing, the right words and everything to keep the peace.

As long as you’re 'correct' you’re accepted. Something is fundamentally wrong with that. Let us work on character development and sincerity, and at the end of the day, we’ll be a better people.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Unexpected Changes Our Lives

"The expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still
The expected is just the beginning
The unexpected is what changes our lives."

- Meredith Grey (in Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

Have you ever had very great expectations, only to have them nipped in the bud at the eleventh hour? Have you ever had something you highly valued and looked forward to taken away right before your eyes?



Well, it happened to me in October 2008 and I now proceed to share the invaluable lesson I learnt and the insight acquired from that experience.

October 3, 2008 wasn't a good day for me at all. I was quite disappointed upon receiving information that something I had been looking forward to all of September would actually not materialize. For a moment, I felt like someone gave me a 'Shattered Dreams' low blow kick like Goldust used to do in the WWE.

Coincidentally, I had watched "Great Expectations", the 13th episode in the 3rd season of Grey's Anatomy, just a week before this incident. Whereas I am not that bad at accepting reality, letting go and moving on, I found it difficult to embrace the fact that the other party (a large, well respected media house) in the aforementioned situation had not bothered to inform me of the change in plans before the due date. Clearly, courtesy was wanting here, but c'est la vie, that's life.

Thinking of the effect many 'great expectations' do have in our lives, I now realize that these expectations can sometimes hold us back and therefore limit our ability to expand our horizons.

We so badly cling to these 'great' expectations that we are blinded from other opportunities that lie ahead of us. To make matters worse, these expectations do cloud our judgment and hamper our ability to face challenges.

The worst that can happen when we just focus on getting what we already expect is that we become myopic and overlook the long term.

Once again, I found a possible solution to problems occasioned by unmet 'great expectations' in Grey's Anatomy. (If you still haven't watched this show, I strongly recommend that you do. It is funny, and full of wisdom).

Consider the following:
GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Words by Meredith Grey

No one believes their life will turn out just 'kind of okay'
We all think we're going to be great
And from the day we decide to (be surgeons)
We are filled, with expectation...
Expectations of the trails we will blaze
The people we will help
The difference we will make
Great expectations of who we will be
Where we will go
And then... we get there.

We all think we're going to be great
And we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren't met
But sometimes, our expectations sell us short
Sometimes, the expected simply pales in comparison, to the unexpected
You gotta wonder why we cling to our expectations
Because the expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still
The expected is just the beginning
The unexpected is what changes our lives.

- Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

You can watch the entire 'Great Expectations' episode here.

In life, you've got to expect the unexpected. Do not be limited by the familiar. Broaden your view. Cover new ground.


Learn, share and purpose to free yourself from the old, familiar, and 'well known' expectations.
Have the courage to realize that PLAN and REALITY are seldom, if ever, synonymous.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The End of Something. The Beginning, of Everything

"It was the end of something.
It was the beginning, of everything."

-Nokia N Series (The Fourth Screen) TV ad


I once read somewhere that every sundown is a challenge. It marks the end of yet another day. The end of something.

Unfortunately, that is all we see sometimes. We fail to realize that the end of any day paves the way for a brand new day, a new beginning.

Endings are necessary for beginnings to make any sense. The good news is that the end of something can actually be the beginning of everything.

This is because any new beginning can be predicated on what just ended. The lesson has already been learnt. The mistakes can now be avoided. Improvement is now inevitable. Growth and progress is only natural.

Armed with knowledge gained from experience, we can now do all that is required to get to the finish line. We can even go the extra mile. We can go the distance to realize our goals.

Following is the Nokia 4th Screen TV advert video. Be edified:







From now on, purpose to acknowledge that many endings signify brand new beginnings. That the old must pave way for the new. That each sunset heralds a new day. A new beginning. The beginning, of everything.
Now do the needful.

Learn, share, and realize that your best days are ahead of you. It's time to move on.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Laugh is Worth a Hundred Groans in Any Market - Lighten Up!

The year was 1996. I was in High School. All was not well. I had quite many problems and was nearly depressed. I'll spare you the poignant details, let's just say it was really bad at the time.

But then I shared. And a friend wrote me the note below, that did wonders and totally changed the way I handle most things in life.
I now know this "Lighten Up" note word for word, and it always works in my life. Hope you find it useful.

R U Still Down? Well, Lighten Up.



A LAUGH IS WORTH A HUNDRED GROANS IN ANY MARKET

As we become honest with ourselves, we can begin to see that we take most things in life too seriously. We view our jobs, our status, our possessions large and small - even life's little mishaps with far more seriousness than they deserve. The heart of the matter, of course, is that we tend to take ourselves too seriously.

While it's true many things need our serious attention, that doesn't mean we have to go about straight-faced and tight-lipped in all areas of our lives. When we are excessively concerned, we limit our ability to have fun, to be relaxed and happy - in short, enjoy life.

If we find ourselves taking everything too seriously - if we see that we're trying to manage things beyond our control - it's time we reorder our priorities asking ourselves, "What is really important?"

Perhaps then we can remember that we have a choice to either burden ourselves by viewing everything as 'serious' and therefore, probably negative, or to strive for a positive outlook, with the goal of enjoying life a day at a time as it unfolds.

Lighten Up!

This is for you who is going through a hard time. At a time when the outcome of some predicaments is most in doubt, it pays to lighten up, praying and hoping that all goes well. Because it almost invariably ends well.

Learn, share, and have that smile on your face. Lighten Up!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

God Works in Mysterious Ways. And Miracles Do Happen

'Prince of Peace' is a compilation album by various artists. To date, it is my favorite gospel album.




'Prince of Peace' features great music by these accomplished artists: 4 Him, Carmen, Kim Hill, Kathy Troccoli, Carolyn Arends, Larnelle Harris, Michael W. Smith, Clay Crosse, Brent Bourgeois, Dallas Holm, Gary Chapman, Michael Card, Twila Paris, Glad, Kim Boyce, Wayne Watson and Wes King.

God Works in mysterious ways, no doubt. The song 'Mysterious Ways' by Kim Hill is an inspired and conscious reminder of that undeniable fact.
And a very relevant one, in view of recent happenings in my life.
kim-hill


MYSTERIOUS WAYS
By Kim Hill

Living in this game of chance
Driven by the wheels of circumstance
while at the hand of mercy
Balanced on a changing scale
How can life be strong and yet so frail
what is the deeper meaning?
In my feeble mind I try to find the reason
who knows why it's hard to say
God works in mysterious ways
Never show what just lies waiting round the corner
Feeling through this haunting maze
God works in mysterious ways
God works in mysterious ways

Knowing there's a greater plan
Believing still is hard to understand (I don't understand)
Uncertain things before me (I dont understand)
Dealing with the less I know
Learning that His ways are not my own
But still I keep believing
Making sense of consequences hard to fathom
Looking through this holy haze
God works in mysterious ways
Black and white could surely clear this clouded vision
But I live in a world of grace
God works in mysterious ways
God works in mysterious ways

Questions fall like showers of endless rain
Into oceans of the unexplained
Someday it all will be made known...

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Kim Hill. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

The thing is, God works in mysterious ways. And miracles do happen. Period.
That is my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Learn, share and experience the inexplicable work of God in your life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Delayed Gratification. Self Control. Most vital Ingredients for Success

Don't Eat the Marshmallow, yet.

This is a short talk Dr Joachim De Posada gave at the 2009  TED U conference. He underscores the essence of delaying gratification and having self control, character traits which should be grained from an early stage in child development.

In fact, this character trait can be used to predict future success in a person.

Be edified:



Watch the talk, download the video (19.8MB, MP4) and join the discussion at the TED web site.

Learn, share and don't you eat the marshmallow, yet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Forever Young, The Good Old Days

Lately, I've had the chance to look back at days gone by, to those cherishable moments that truly add value and epitomize meaning in life.

It was then that I thought, "What if Pete was forever young?"

peter-njenga-forever-young



The following song by Alphaville, is a timeless reminder .  .  . Enjoy!
FOREVER YOUNG

Let's dance in style, lets dance for a while
Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?
Let us die young or let us live forever
We don't have the power but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music's for the sad men
Can you imagine when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders we're getting in tune
The music's played by the madman

Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
Forever young

Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later they all will be gone
Why don't they stay young
It's so hard to get old without a cause
I don't want to perish like a fading horse
Youth is like diamonds in the sun
And diamonds are forever
So many adventures couldn't happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams are swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Alphaville. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

Learn, share and maintain the spirit of youth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Strategies for a Stress-free Life by G. Gaynor McTigue

Stress-Free Living

This weekend, I came across a preview of this seemingly good book.

It is titled 'Why Make Yourself Crazy: 400 Strategies for a Stress-free Life' by by G. Gaynor McTigue, the author of 'Life's Little Frustration Book'.

strategies-for-stress-free-life


Book Highlights




1. Do One thing at a time



2. Throw something out every day

3. Cut down on competitive stress

4. Eliminate excessive and superfluous activities

5. Put affection back into your relationship

6. Never be embarrassed at having to scale back

7. One sport per child per season

8. Don't let Unhealthy job stress persist

9. Avoid eating as a response to stress

10. Don't fall victiom to a chronic talker

Online Resources



Read the preview online on Scribd. Or download a free book preview (PDF 1.03MB).

Learn, share and have a stress-free life.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Security and insecurity, heroes and warriors: Eve Ensler's TED Talk

Following is a TED Talk by Eve Ensler, founder of the Vagina Monologues.

Be edified:



Learn, share and be safe & secure.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.
- Sidney and Suzanne Simon (WisdomQuotes.com)


power-of-forgiveness



Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. But who gets to forgive who?

In some contexts, forgiveness may be granted without any expectation of compensation, and without any response on the part of the offender. In practical terms however, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe they are able to forgive.

To better understand forgiveness, consider the following:

  • Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do FOR someone else. It is not complicated. It is simple.

  • Choice is always present in forgiveness. You do not have to forgive AND there are consequences. Refusing to forgive by holding on to the anger, resentment and a sense of betrayal can make your own life miserable. A vindictive mind-set creates bitterness and lets the betrayer claim one more victim.

  • The greatest misconception about forgiveness is the belief that forgiving the offense, such as an affair, means that you condone it. Not true. In fact, we can only forgive what we know to be wrong. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with someone who badly treated you.

  • Forgiveness is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it.

  • When you forgive you do it for you, not for the other. The person you have never forgiven. . . owns you!Forgiving someone else is to agree within yourself to overlook the wrong they have committed against you and to move on with your life. It's the only way. It means cutting them some slack.

  • Forgiveness is a creative act that changes us from prisoners of the past to liberated people at peace with our memories. It is not forgetfulness, but it involves accepting the promise that the future can be more than dwelling on memories of past injury.



forgiveness



Ponder the following about forgiveness:
FORGIVENESS
by Reinhold Neibuhr

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Has anyone wronged you lately? Now is the time to free yourself by forgiving them.

This week, be reminded of what Confucius said.
"The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself."

Learn, share and experience the power of forgiveness.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Until My Change Comes... I'll wait, Renew my Strength and Keep Holding On

change



The first episode of the fourth season of Grey's Anatomy is titled 'A Change is Gonna Come'. Following is an excerpt of the episode transcript:
"In the practice of medicine, change is inevitable. New surgical techniques are created, procedures are updated, levels of expertise increase.
Innovation is everything. Nothing remains the same for long. We either adapt to change...or we get left behind........"

The above words got me thinking.
Yeah, it's true that we get inspired and hopeful whenever we envision change. We even get motivated when we encounter new people and situations that effect change and thereby enhance our lives.

But what about that transition period? That period of waiting as change happens? What keeps us going at the time?

I found my answer in a song I first listened to ten years ago - 'Until My Change Comes' by Commissioned. It's from the album 'Times and Seasons', which was released in the year 2000.

Consider the following:
UNTIL MY CHANGE COMES
By Commissioned

It's been a long time coming
But a change is gonna come
When the dark clouds pass away
Feel the warmness of the sun
I know that You love me, oh yeah,
I know that you care
I can't wait to be by Your side
In the middle of the air.

CHORUS
Until my change comes
Here's what I'll do
Renew my strength
Keep holding on
I'll wait on You.

(REPEAT)

It ain't gonna be easy
But I'll be strong. Some say if You
Really cared um,
It's wouldn't take so long for You to
Return for me
If with You is where I ought to be
But I'm gonna believe until that day
I will.... until...

CHORUS

BRIDGE

Gotta wait gotta wait on you
That's what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna stand still
I just wanna be in your will
Just like David and Goliath
I gotta encourage my soul, yeah
Said I'm gonna stand still
Until um...

CHORUS * CHORUS * CHORUS

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Commissioned. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

work-for-change



So back to the Grey's Anatomy transcript...
"Change. we don't like it, we fear it.
But we can't stop it from coming.
We either adapt to change, or we get left behind.
It hurts to grow. Anybody who tells you it doesn't is lying.
But here's the truth. sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same.
And sometimes...oh, sometimes change is good.
Sometimes change is...everything."

Learn, share and be an agent of positive change. Both in your life and those of others.

Monday, May 25, 2009

SPECIAL: Reflecting on Just how Awesome We Are, and Our Place in this World

The following poem is a lovely reminder of just how awesome we are indeed.

Yeah, we are special.

you-are-special



Be edified:
SPECIAL

There is a special place in life that needs my humble skill
a certain job I'm meant to do, nobody else can fill
The hours are demanding and the pay is not too good
and yet I wouldn't change it for a moment even if I could.

There is a special place in life, a goal I must attain
a dream that I must follow for I wont be back again
There's a mark that I must leave however small it be
a legacy of love for those who follow after me.

There is a special place in life that only I may share
a little path that bears my name, awaiting me somewhere
There is a hand that I must hold, a word that I must say
a smile that I must give, for there are tears to blot away.

There is a special place in life that I was meant to fill
a sunny spot where flowers grow upon a windy hill
There's always a tomorrow and the best is yet to be
and somewhere in this world I know:
That there's a special place JUST FOR ME!

If you ever question your worth and place in this world, please be reminded that you are especially special. Much more than you can ever imagine.

Speaking of Our Place in this World, that is tomorrow's post on Peter's Walkabout, so be sure to watch this space.

Learn, share and never lose sight of your worth. You are priceless.

Friday, May 22, 2009

You've got to Work Hard for it Sometimes

Life has a way of presenting situations that often seem impossible.

Such situations are usually appropriate for us to go the extra mile, try one more time, gauge our limits or even realize our potential.

And this only happens if we take the initiative. . .

amerie-gotta-work



The following song by Amerie is quite relevant during those times when you feel you have reached your tether's end.
Gotta Work
by Amerie

Sometimes it's gonna be days like this
Sometimes it's gonna be rain like this
Sometimes you're gonna feel pain like this
Sometimes you gotta work hard for it

Because when u feeling low
And u cant get no lower
That's when u know your close
Sometimes u gotta work hard for it

Woke up in the morning
It's another cloudy day
But that never mattered too much to me
'Cause it's still a new beginning
And I know I got it in me
Had my share of ups and downs
But now I know I can do anything

Some people think I'm aggressive
'Cause I know what I want
But that never mattered too much to me

Show me some body with no goal
Show me some body with no control
'Cause life is for living
So go and get it
When times get rough remember

[chorus]
Sometimes it's gonna be days like this
Sometimes it's gonna be rain like this
Sometimes you're gonna feel pain like this
Sometimes you gotta work hard for it

Because when u feeling low
And u can't get no lower
That's when u know your close
Sometimes u gotta work hard for it

Ohh gotta get it
Hey hey hey
Sometimes the road may seem too far
You never really know for sure
If you're ever gonna make it
Sometimes the end may seem so far
You never really know for sure
If u got the strength to make it

But u gotta remember

[chorus]
Sometimes it's gonna be days like this
Sometimes it's gonna be rain like this
Sometimes you're gonna feel pain like this
Sometimes you gotta work hard for it

Because when u feeling low
And u can't get no lower
That's when u know your close
Sometimes u gotta work hard for it

Days like this
Rain like this

Do it cause I love it
Feel like this
Gotta work hard for it

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Amerie. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

Let us learn, share and believe in ourselves. That we can do anything. If only we try hard enough.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Do You Want to do With Your Life? by Hans Glint

Recently, I downloaded 'What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?' by Hans Glint.
This eBook is supposedly a "Life Plan to find Your Answer".

what-do-you-want-to-do-with-your-life-hans-glint




In the Preface:
“Why do they always tell us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want, and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world - to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”
- Ayn Rand

Many people spend more time planning their summer holiday than planning the rest of their life. No wonder the same people feel they do not live fulfilled lives. However, you are different. You are on your way to break away from the crowd; you are on your way to plan ahead and achieve the life of your dreams.

With imagination and action, you will create the life of your dreams.

Chapters:
1. Introduction to Life Planning
2. Your Past
3. The Influence Of Generations
4. Your Present
5. Your Future
6. Your Alternatives
7. Making The Decision

Download Free eBook

You can download the eBook free at the book official site (PDF 606KB).

Let us learn, share and have a purpose -driven, planned life.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Birds Aren't Meant to be Caged... The Shawshank Redemption

HOPE is the bridge that connects you to where you want to go.
FAITH assures you that the bridge will hold.
LOVE gives you a reason to cross it.


The Shawshank Redemption is my all time favorite movie. Morgan Freeman's narration is very convincing and captivating, the plot is both compelling and inspiring and much more...

shawshank-redemption



This movie is based on the Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
I have watched it time and again, but it never bores me.

Following is one of the deep thoughts you are to find in this movie:
"Some birds aren't meant to be caged
Their feathers are just too bright
And when they fly away
The part of you that knows
It was a sin to lock them up does rejoice
But still
The place you live in is that much more drab and empty
That they are gone."
- Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman) in 'The Shawshank Redemption'.

Watching it, you get to realize that while "Fear Can Hold You Prisoner, Hope Can Set You Free".

To date, it is still listed as number 1 on the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) list of 250 most highly rated films.

I highly recommend that you watch The Shawshank Redemption. It is a story of enduring hope, and good being triumphant in the face of evil and seemingly insurmountable odds.

Let us learn, share and be full of hope. That, will definitely set us free.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who or What Determines, Shapes and Changes Our Character?

"We are each the authors of our own lives...
there is no way to shift the blame,
and no one else to accept the accolades."

- Paul McGill (in A Woman of Substance)



Pathology

Late last year, I watched the movie Pathology. It is a sick thriller in which a group of residents studying pathology devise a lively game: to see which one of them can commit the perfect square murder.

In the movie, Teddy Grey graduates top of his class and joins one of the nation’s most prestigious Pathology programs. On joining a group of elite pathology interns, he begins to uncover secrets he never expected and finds that he has unknowingly become a pawn in their dangerous and secret after-hours game at the morgue of who can commit the perfect undetectable murder.

This is in line with his earlier assertion that human beings are inherently evil, that people are animals who can kill anyone.

Environmental Effects on Character

A fortnight before this, one of my favorite bloggers had written about change. Savvy's question was,
"Who says campus does not corrupt?"
She wrote, "Last year, I used to be up by five almost every morning. This year, I’d be lucky if I can drag myself out of bed before 7am. Obviously, I barely make it for early morning classes.

"Last year, I would have been shocked if I heard stories of students who (smoke) weed, have unprotected sex, get pregnant, abort, use morning after pills on a daily basis and not give a thought to HIV. This year, it doesn’t surprise me anymore." [read more...]

Lost in Character

My favorite TV show LOST, explores this within its mythology. The character and beliefs of John Locke (English philosopher and thinker) are alluded to both in name and character by John Locke. John Locke believed that the mind was a "blank slate" or "tabula rasa".

Essentially, Locke postulated and maintained that people are born without innate ideas - that human beings are born with no built-in mental content, in a word, "blank", and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world.

The Chicken, The Egg and Responsibility

Looking at another source of insight, Ngishili writes on The Chicken, the Egg, and Responsibility. It so happens that in a typical farm,
"each chicken has a specific character that distinguishes it from all the others in the farm. One of those chicken characteristics has to do with the ability to reproduce successfully. The farmer will tell you that some chicken exhibit much responsibility towards the task of parenting while others are extremely careless." "As you can see, the story of responsibility is as old as the story of the chicken and the egg. Whether at your place of work, in personal relationships, in a family or even in a community, life favors always go to the most responsible person."

In life however, we see that many people seek freedom while trying to avoid responsibility. This is wrong, since freedom is responsibility. When you're free, you're automatically responsible for your own future. And the things your freedom lets you do become a manifestation of your character.

Bottom Line

So who or what determines, shapes and even changes character? Is it those we interact with? Is it fate? Do we get to choose to be good or bad, or are we inherently evil?

Now it the time to take a good look at your friends, circumstances, environment and the company you keep. Carefully consider whatever influences you.
Once you identify who or what shapes your character, do the needful and effect the necessary changes.

Let us learn, share and progress together.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pray. Deep from your heart, since the world has lost the way

Inspiration comes to us from many places. Nothing however, compares to what happens when we connect with God, in prayer and supplication. The outcome is invariably beyond comprehension.

prayer-montage



At a time when countless bad things are happening in our lives, our country and even globally, we need to connect with God in prayer. Now is the time to pray, deep from our hearts.

Following is a very inspiring song by Celine Dion. Be uplifted:
PRAYER
By Celine Dion

Can we touch the soul of heaven
Can we unite a sacred lesson
Every child creates a skylight of beauty
Can you hear cathedrals falling
All the universe is calling
Cry a single cello from your heart
Since the world has lost her way
Loneliness journey endlessly
Yet the promised chance remains
Gifts of what could be

So let the children remember the sun
Let them dance let them soar
For their lives have begun
Let the children engender the rain
As the river runs through fields
Forever subsiding their pain
Prayer

Every voice along the shoreline
Standing still within time
Spinning unresolved the walking
As each season passes
Through wonderland and looking glasses
The secret garden shires beckons you
Gentle flower, don't fade away
Sweet innocent still harbors thee
In the faith of golden dreams
Where one love lives eternally

Let the children remember the sun
Let them dance let them soar
For their lives have begun
Let the children engender the rain
As the river runs through fields
Forever subsiding their pain

Prayer
Prayer
Prayer

Bless the children for they are the light
They are the truth of spirit in flight
Yes the children engender the rain
As the river runs through life
Healing their pain
If you could trust with your heart but for time
Sweet angels, conceive you have
Forever and always believed Prayer

Prayer
Prayer
Prayer

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Celine Dion. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

Let us learn, share and stand in the gap to seek God's grace in overcoming the odds that are stacked against us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Communicate. Build Bridges. Interact with People

"Hope is the bridge that connects you to where you want to go
Faith assures you that the bridge will hold
Love gives you a reason to cross it."


bridges-for-communication


Looking back at the days I was in college, I realize that life at the time accorded us many luxuries we cannot have in adult life.

Consider communication and friends. How often do you wish that you had the time to see someone, attend social events, make courtesy calls, make amends, or meet new people? With limited free time and increasing responsibilities, we often find ourselves alone.

Those we eventually interact with are the people who are a part of our daily lives - our colleagues in the office, neighbors at the estate or the people we fellowship with every Sunday. Yet, we still yearn to communicate.

Having listened to the Gospel album "Bridges: Songs of Unity and Purpose", about five years ago, I now realize how important it is to interact with like minded people and seek purpose in our unity. This album was released in July 1999. Its deep and inspired message however still lingers on. Get more details of this great collaborative music on eBay. This is music worth listening to.

BRIDGES


bridges-gospel-album



Some people believe bridges are designed to span chasms and to make possible passage over the impossible. They do span chasms, but more importantly, they encourage communication, making what is inaccessible accessible and what is foreign familiar.

Steel, concrete and wood are materials for bridge building of one kind. But introduction, familiarity and co-operation are building blocks for the human bridge.

Make familiar the foreign and encourage communication.

Remember if I were you and you were me, and if I am not afraid to touch your hand, you will reach for mine, we can stand together, stay together and even soar together as the raven and the dove.

And where there is desire, prayer and belief, all things are possible.

- PAUL WRIGHT (The Album 'Bridges' by various Gospel artists)

Now, go out there and start communicating. You may be surprised to find that those you need to communicate and bridge gaps with the most are the ones closest to you.
Communicate, and share the above words with your friends. You now believe and are inspired. Then do something about it.

Let us learn, share and grow together, in unity and purpose.

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