Thursday, August 25, 2011

Always Rise Again and Move On

The only thing worth trying when all else has failed... is again.

This is a short post, featuring words that are not from my mind, but words that a essential for a healthy mind.
These words are so profound, that I see no need to add anything to them.

Check out the following videos:

Still I Rise by Yolanda Adams

Move On by Abba

Have a great day guys

Monday, August 22, 2011

Take Initiative. Seize the Day

Four Film Favorites: Final Destination Collection (Final Destination / Final Destination 2 / Final Destination 3 / The Final Destination)This weekend, I was on Twitter and chanced upon this Saw or Final Destination trending topic. Well, I am a great fan of this film genre. The Saw franchise is a particular favorite largely because there's some thought provoking quotes therein.

Speaking of Saw, I am reminded of something that resonates very well with something I've been thinking about lately, in regard with some things I should be, but I'm not doing, in my life.
In Saw III, the ailing Jigsaw says the following:
Despite having all the advantages, many of us still choose not to advance.

That said, I realize just how intelligent, blessed, and fully equipped I already am. But things won't just happen. Good intentions, just like potential, are just that. Until and unless someone gets something done, things will inevitably stay the way they currently are. In effect, things will generally tend towards disorder as espoused by the law of entropy.

How to Win in the Coming Jua Kali Boom is one of the best books I've ever read. The author's note that introduces the book clearly states that "status, wealth or attainment are the result of endeavor and not natural endowment." This in other words, reinforces the fact that there is need to get doing things for progress to be realized.

The final chapter of this same book, aptly titled Results, is totally succinct but the author still takes time to reiterate that only action begets results. He says
Dream as you will, plan and analyze. But while you dream, remember that only action leads to results. Cleverness and strength that does not result in action, knowledge that does not lead to better methods is dead stock.

Action always begets results... Results are your only reality.

Finally, Carolyn Arends reminds us that life continues to slip away just like hour-glass sand. For that reason, we need to seize the day. Otherwise, we may end up like the following miserable man.

I know a man who’s been doing some thinking
He’s as bitter and cold as the whiskey he’s drinking
He’s talking ‘bout fear, about chances not taken
If you listen to him you can hear his heart breaking
He says, “One day you’re a boy and the next day you’re dead
I wish way back when someone had said…

…Seize the day – seize whatever you can
‘Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
Seize the day – pray for grace from God’s hand
Then nothing will stand in your way
Seize the day

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm a Human Being. Period.

I'm this, not that.
I've always wondered why we need to keep trying to belong to this and not that. We try so hard to establish a difference, proclaim it and whenever possible, exploit our position of advantage to the detriment of those who do not belong.

Here's an example in my case:
I'm a human being, not an animal.
I'm a man, not a woman.
I'm an African, not Caucasian, Asian or any other race.
I'm a Kenyan, not just an African in other fifty-something countries.
I'm Kikuyu, do not belong to other Kenyan tribes which exceed forty...

... and the list goes on and on.

Beyond Difference

When I recently mentioned Karen Armstrong's TED wish that called for the formation of a Charter for Compassion, the overriding mission of that carter is [in part]

transcends religious, ideological, and national difference. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter activates the Golden Rule around the world.

That said, it still defeats me why we totally love to glorify our difference from, and perceived advantages over, other people. In fact, some of the worst atrocities in human history were carried out on the premise that other were different. For example, the crusades were against anyone and everyone who didn't subscribe to the faith. The Holocaust was predicated on the superiority of the Aryan race, and therefore considered other races, especially the Jewish race as unworthy of life.

Admittedly, it is important to belong to something because that way, we can find common purpose with those who are like-minded like ourselves.
Without opposing teams, there would be no competition. The same is unfortunately the reason many wars are fought.

In his 2008 TED Talk, Jonathan Haidt emphasized that every human being inherently think s/he is right.

We possess "righteous minds" which ultimately
- unite us into teams
- divide us against other teams
- blind us to the truth

That is the main reason we are seldom objective even in matters where we have no direct interest.

Just Being Human

Can we simply remain human beings? It is my humble opinion that when we only see others as other human beings who are in no way less deserving that ourselves, we can respect others and see that which is good in them.

In 2006, Alexander Nderitu penned The Golden Man, a poem that continually reminds me that it is indeed possible to transcend racial, religious, geographical and other difference... to simply see humanity as one...
...the Golden Man is without colour;
He knows that racism is ignorance and doesn’t bother
With petty prejudices, seeing humanity as one.

Are all these divisions necessary?
Kindly share your thoughts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What Really Makes You Tick?

This is a quick post, but I hope a profound one.
The Walkabout is a place where we learn and share, and having come across the following thought-provoking document on Issuu, I deem it wise to share with you.

It contains 10 questions that you should ask yourself, in preparation for self improvement.
Check it out!

A snapshot of the document contents:
  1. What do I really want?
  2. Should I really change?
  3. What's the bright side of all this?
  4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing?
  5. Have I done enough for myself?
  6. Am I happy at where I am today?
  7. Am I appealing to the opposite sex?
  8. How much could I have?
  9. What motivates me?
  10. What really makes me tick? 

It is my hope that you like it. If so, then be sure to share the link with your friends or embed the document on your site as well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time to Think Again

Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal LifeSlightly over two years ago, I wrote this post on The Walkabout, about a most profound book. Aptly titled  Critical Thinking: Tools For Taking Charge Of Your Professional And Personal Life, the book is all about our thoughts, especially how they affect our development and ultimately, the quality of our lives. It then behooves us to channel and leverage our thinking such that we are in charge of our lives.

At the time, I even gave a few copies free to some of our readers.

This book is one of those you keep getting back to read, if only to refresh whatever you have so far gained from it. In this regard, it is worth noting that there is something new to gain every time I take another look at it's priceless insights.

You are What You Think
That's what the good people at say in introducing this book.
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.

Following is a snapshot of what you'll find inside this awesome book:

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

The Challenge
What kind of a thinker are you?
In writing Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life, Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder detail the six stages of thinking. 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)

I very strongly recommend that you get a copy of this book. "Why?" you ask. My answer: You are what you think. It is the quality of your thinking that determines all else.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Art of Giving

This post is a corollary to a recent post on The Walkabout, that urged all Kenyans and other people of goodwill to act now and help in feeding Kenyans who are dying of hunger and drought related ailments.

Thankfully, people had generously contributed and on Sunday, the Nation reported that the first food consignment was headed to Turkana. This will feed some 20,000 people who are in desperate need.
Thanks to all who came to their aid, we need to continue helping those who are in need even as we seek long term solutions to this recurrent problem.

Should you be wondering why we are repeatedly urging you to help, the following photos might hopefully give a better reason:

In addition, I came across the following document about ICT professionals who hold demanding jobs but still  find the time to engage in volunteer work.

All the best in all you do this week.
Be blessed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

CAMPUS: Memories and Life Lessons

This Walkabout post appears as a guest post on the ever interesting Tales from Graduate School by SavvyKenya.

Campus Memoirs

Savvy is more than an awesome tweep, she invariably reminds me of a place where I spent slightly over five years [thanks to a lecturers' strike during our sunset days]. A place where I got much more than a Bachelor's degree. A place that ultimately got me ready for whatever life throws my way.

I remember the good old days when some guys, suddenly overwhelmed by unfettered college freedom, would spend vast amounts of time getting drunk, getting healthy [taking drugs] and getting laid... but would still work hard and pass exams.

Six, Sex

I first experienced a University students strike barely a month after joining campus.................

Now go right ahead and read the entire post on SavvyKenya's blog.


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