Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
When I was 10 or 11 had a disability. I remember losing control of my legs,
then stopping suddenly stopping to walk. Being disabled in a rural Kenyan community was the last thing one would want to see. It was very difficulty to get out of the bed, my mother, who at this time had other young children had to juggle around all our needs. She had also to work in the farm to provide for us, my dad did not care very much it was the role of women to look after the family. I remember crawling on the dusty floor, as our two bedroom thatched and mud house was not cemented. I remember trying to chase my younger siblings on my knees unable to catch up with them, I remember crawling on the bumpy ground looking for the best spot (with lots of sunshine) to take a nap.
I remember my mum and sometime neighbors carrying me on their backs to take me inside the house. I remember being pulled on a sack (sisal bag) back to the house. There were many embarrassing moments such as going to the bathroom right in the bed because I could not crawl or get help to go to the outhouse. My family and I had to endure this moments of shame, desperation and fear of living for the rest of my life handicapped.
That all changed one day, after my mum’s prayer. I started to have feelings to the feet again. I was so happy and I was ready to restart my life again. I had been in that condition for more than a year. I could not wait to start praying soccer again, I could not wait to go back to school, my dreams were renewed and I could not wait to live my dreams again. I now live in Canada, my experiences working with persons with disability in Canada has been very different from what I and other persons with disabilities have to go through in countries such as Kenya.
In Kenya, the traditional view of disability often focuses on the individual, highlighting in capacities or failings, a defect, or impairment. This focus creates obstacles to participation on equal terms since an individual who seems to lack certain capacities may not be able to attain autonomy. In Kenya, many children with special needs are considered a bad omen by some families and are therefore locked in and denied opportunities for personal growth and development. It was and (possibly) very painful and difficulty to be disabled in a rural village in Kenya and if your family is poor you suffer even more. This is what I had to go through for a year.
I can never take walking for granted, it is a gift. I can not imagine what would have happened if I never walked, I would still be crawling or I might have died by now, and if I was still alive I would have caused many more shame to myself and family. For many people who have been fortunate to get out of their dire and desperate situation you probably feel like it will never change, you were born to be in your situation. I can not completely walk in your shoes but I am here only to encourage you, to mention to you that may be your miracle has not happened like it did for me but do not want you to lose heart. It is by responding in the proper ways that we are able to progress toward our dreams. God gives each of us dreams to strive for. Yet for a number of you those dreams has not yet been accomplished. You have encountered many obstacles and setbacks and now your dream seems distance and unreachable. Those are the obstacles that we see. I am always reminded that every obstacle that we overcome and every hardship we endure serves to make us stronger. Make a list of difficult circumstances you have endured and what you have gained from them. For example, losing a job may prompt some people to further their education and learn a new trade thus opening the door of opportunity to bigger and better things.
- Lack of vision. One of the biggest reasons people miss opportunities to live for the moment in life in life is simply because they have no hope and vision for living. A lack of vision can cripple your ability to look on opportunities that may be right in front of you. You must learn to train yourself to be sensitive and alert to opportunities that come along, and you can start by taking stock of your current situation, setting achievable goals for yourself in the present, and developing visionary long-term goals for your future. Doing so should enhance your ability to evaluate potentially advantageous situations and make you more keenly aware of opportunities that may truly be right for you. Additionally, while evaluating situations and circumstances on their merits is a prudent course of action, avoid the urge to be inflexible and closed-minded; opportunities can present themselves in completely unexpected ways.
- Fear is another huge obstacle that keeps people from seizing opportunities. Fear can come from many different sources: past failures, lack of self-confidence, overestimation of possible problems, uncertainty or concern about taking a loss, etc. However, sometimes in life chances need to be taken if you are ever to progress, so fear must be overcome regardless the source. Having vision and ambition may not be enough if you do not have the willingness to persevere. Hence, work at bravely meeting challenges and fostering confidence in yourself. Adhere to your convictions with constancy, and behave in a positive, proactive manner. If you do these things, you will likely find fear easier to overcome and opportunities more accessible. And remember, failure is not necessarily an ending; it may just result in a new beginning. Many extraordinarily accomplished people experienced failure before ultimately achieving success.
- Listening to doubting voices. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott shares an ingenious method for coping with the critical voices in your mind (the ones that say “I can’t do it” and “You’re ridiculous to even try.”) Your critical teachers (and the not-so supportive friends you may have had) are all in your head when you’re trying to seize an opportunity. Instead of letting their negativity reign, try to isolate one of the voices and imagine [it] as a mouse. Pick it up by the tail and drop it into a mason jar. Then isolate another voice….And so on….Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people, clawing at the glass, jabbering away. This exercise helps you to mute the volume on the voices that don’t serve you.
Koi is the Japanese word for carp, a brightly colored type of flesh water fish. The fish come in a variety of colors and have symbolic meaning in China and Japan.
One fascinating thing about the koi fish is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will grow to be only about two or three inches long. But if you place it in a tank or a small pond, it will reach six to 10 inches. But if you put it in a large pond and it may grow as long as a foot and a half. However, if you put it in a lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach a size of up to three feet. Amazing, isn’t it? The bigger its space, the more it will grow in size.
Similarly, people are like the koi fish. Each individual has the potential to grow their vision big, beyond the dimensions of ones boundaries. I was sharing this story with First Nations leaders recently, I told them for us as we envision the future of our children we call to happen what we see in the future. I believe that the future of strong First Nation communities in Canada lie with the generation of today. In our discussions we envisioned the land based healing that First Nations can lead, the leaders talked of land based wholistic education as a pathway to wholeness and self determination. Seeeing this happen keep me excited, it keeps me eager to see the dream we are working on together come true… just like Koi, the bigger the vision and dream the bigger the outcome.
Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can be, have, or do in life. Just for the moment, imagine that you have all the time, all the money, all the education, all the experience, all the friends, all the contacts, all the resources, and everything else you need to achieve anything you want in life. If your potential were completely unlimited, what kind of a life would you want to create for yourself and your family?
Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom, and Wishesby Susan V. Bosak. This beautifully illustrated book examines the power of dreams, and how we find the courage to achieve what we wish for. It is filled with inspirational quotes and poems about pursuing your dreams, no matter how big or small. Listen to your middle school students’ conversations, and you will hear of aspirations to become the next big NFL star, famous actor or actress, or even president of the United States. However, you may also hear of goals that will touch your heart.
I want to speak to leaders or Mangera for a moment, you as a leader are the ones who can establish such boundaries in your organization, you have the opportunity to create a small or larger limits to your team’s potential, you can choose to grow slowly, you can choose to stay on one place, or you can create a boundless environment where better opportunities are provided for the team to uncover their hidden potentials like the koi fish.
In my experience as a leader of different projects here in Canada and Kenya, I have found out that the limiting factor that restricts people with gifted abilities from excelling is fear. Fear is one of the most powerful forces in life. It affects the decisions you make, the actions you take, and the outcomes you achieve. Who you are and what you do has at one point or another been influenced by fear. And while the primary role of fear is to protect you, fear very often becomes a significant obstacle that stands between you and your your dreams. It is therefore the responsibility of each lead to lift that cap and unleash every team member’s potential just it’s for the Koi fish growth potential.
Do not stop at the peak, keep looking for new peaks to climb. Look at Google. Google became famous for its search engine — and its leaders probably could have stopped there if they simply sought fame and fortune. But the tech giant has debuted Google Earth, is testing Google Glass, and has created the first self-driving car. How’s that for dreaming bigger?
Always be constantly improving.
“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.” Walt Disney
Walt believed in the future. He insisted that Steamboat Willie have the sound synced and recorded, unheard of for a cartoon at that time. Before Snow White, there was no such thing as a feature length animated film. After it became a huge success and literally changed the film industry, it led to the success of several more beloved Disney classics like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Fantasia. Walt Disney could have rested on his laurels, but that wasn’t his style. Instead, he completely switched gears and set out to build an amusement park where parents and children could have fun together. Once Disneyland opened, Walt would walk around the park, personally testing all the rides, noticing if anything was out of place and asking the guests their opinions. If he noticed something was wrong, he would personally see that it was fixed. As his animators could attest, good enough was never good enough for Walt Disney.
Take action. Simply wanting something is not enough. Reaching your goals is no one else’s responsibility but your own. Goals written down on a piece of paper are a great idea, but if you don’t go out there and take action, then what’s the point! You must do everything you can to get what you want. If the overall task seems hard, break it down and do something small each day. Taking small steps consistently over time will eventually lead you to reaching your goals. As the saying goes, it may not happen overnight but it will happen, as long as you keep taking action.
Big dreams lead to big things.
In the Cartoon strip of Charlie Brown, Peanut and the Gang, Snoopy was the biggest dreamer of them all, but his wild imagination often led to even wilder, more fantastic adventures in real life. Snoopy knew that you must have a big dream if you are going to lead a big life. Keep your dreams alive all the time. Every day you should become a little better than you were the day before. If you can become one percent better daily, you can recreate your life every 100 days. Learn to get better daily; look for ways to improve, to be kinder, more intelligent, and more helpful.
Never give up.Most great accomplishments are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Nothing happens overnight. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. All achievements, no matter how big or small, need just a little stick-to-ness, determination and a lot of hard work.
People that get into the habit of dreaming big will accomplish those goals because they have the right mindset. You need to look at life with the Koi fish perspective that you can achieve anything that’s possible. If you can accomplish big dreams, why wouldn’t you go after them? Why would you want to settle for small dreams?
What if money, time, looks, and gender were no object? What would your biggest dream be? Often we short-change ourselves. We listen to others’ put-downs, and internalize them. It’s hard to remember our dreams. Harder still, to imagine that we could achieve a dream. Take Walt Disney’s words to heart. Start dreaming. Then believe that you can achieve your dream.
So you’ve just ended a phone conversation where you were looking for some concrete help, and now you feel frustrated!
Thinking back on it, you realize that “yeah but” was repeated (by you) at least three times. You want advice, yet the conversation took turns that didn’t feel satisfying.
I know I am not alone on this, have you ever suggested something to a friend and had them respond, “Yes, but…”? Or have you yourself made that comment? I call this the Yes, but Syndrome, and I’ve worked hard to put it out of my life.
All too often, the “yes, but” phenomenon can be heard in ordinary conversation. One person makes a positive statement; however, for some strange reason, the listener feels compelled to respond with: “Yes, but…and so on.”
There have times where I have found myself suffering from YBS. I find myself judging my ideas than imagining them. Yes but it will be probably be too much work. Yes but it has probably been done before. Yes but it will probably be too expensive. Yes but it probably will not work. Any one of these internal judgments would prevent me from fully imagining an idea and would certainly prevent me from sharing it.
I know I am not alone on this, so many of us often find ourselves saying, “Yeah, but he constantly watches what he eats…” about a thin friend. Or we say, “Yeah, but he’s a slave to his schedule…” about someone who achieves multiple goals. Or we say, “Yeah, but he took on way too much risk when he started his company…” about a successful entrepreneur.
Yeah, but that’s how success works.
Here is the thing.
The reason we find excuses is because we’re looking for them.
Let me say that again.
The reason you find excuses is because you’re looking for them.
You’re looking for a way out. You’re looking for a reason why whatever you want to achieve is not possible. That way you don’t have to put yourself (your ego) on the line. You don’t have to be vulnerable, and actually try.
Instead, you get to remain comfortable, eating potato chips, masturbating to porn, and pretending that you’re happy with your life.
The reason you fail to achieve your goals is because the mental framework you have for achieving them is flawed.
You suffer from what I call “Yeah, But” syndrome. Here’s how the conversation goes in your head:
“I really want to start my own business. Yeah, but, I don’t know how to start a business.”
“I really want to travel the world like Cam does. Yeah, but, I don’t have any money to do that.”
“I really want to finally quit gaming for good. Yeah, but, I don’t have anything else to do with my time and I would just be bored all day.”
You may believe joyful celebration is the best time to challenge the troops. Usually it isn’t.
If you think so, then you minimize past success by using it as a platform to challenge people. “Great job everyone! Yeah, but we’re behind schedule for our next project.” Yeah-but moments are kill-joys and de-motivators.
You can challenge everyone tomorrow. Today, pause and celebrate.
Instead of “Yeah, but”… use “Yes, and”.
Look, achieving your goals is not easy. There are obstacles… there are adversities… and who cares! None of that has to stop you from going for it.
The only person who is stopping you is YOU.
But accepting potential obstacles isn’t the only thing you need to do. You also need to commit to action. Action is what will get you the results you’re looking for.
Which brings me to the next phrase in our new mental model: “And, so…”
And so here’s what I’m committed to doing (action!) in order to achieve this goal.
Always do your best.
Some days your best will be different than on other days. Figuring out how to maximize your best self is important.
Remember: In every situation, do the best you can. Removing yes, but from your vocabulary is a good start. Don’t beat yourself up and remember yes, AND.
What is your yes, and story? Share it with us.
Japan is known as a very polite society. People bow to show respect and to greet one another with a measure of humility and respect. Drivers are very patient with each other and with pedestrians and will quietly wait for others. Sometimes while waiting for a red light drivers will turn off their headlights to avoid shining their lights into the eyes of others. Vending machines are places in all sorts of places and they are left alone—I’ve never seen any of them vandalized in any way. When using an escalator everyone lines up behind one another on the left side leaving room for anyone who might want to walk up more quickly.
The best way to show others how important they are to you is by putting them first. Giving your friend the biggest piece of cake, your relative the most comfortable seat in the restaurant, your guest the center position in the photo, or baking a cake and sharing it with your neighbors are all part of everyday life in Japan.
Focusing on our own needs can protect us from burnout and other negative consequences. However, in the leadership world, this focus often crosses into a decidedly more selfish territory. In today’s complicated workplace, if you don’t put other’s needs before your own, you will lose in the long-term. If losing in the long-term isn’t big enough, when you put the needs of others before your own as a leader you do two big things.
The biggest investment you can make in your people is your time. Your team wants to spend time with you. Giving your time is a surefire way to let them know how much you care. Spending quality time with your team will impact their job performance directly and will, therefore, have great impacts on your bottom line. Spend time connecting with them as often as you can. Talk to them about non-work related topics and show genuine interest in them as a person. You’d be surprised how much this will mean to your team.
A final thought
So, whilst you might be a very integral cog within your team, you are a lot less integral without the people beneath you. Pay them heed by showing them you understand that it’s not all about you and that business success is dependent on them as much as it is you.
“It felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest.”
– Jennifer Lopez on Ben Affleck, in her memoirTrue Love
“In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids’ sake. “I’m not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don’t think I doubted we’d end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that’s what they have.”
– Elin Nordegren on Tiger Woods, People
“I think when I came into marriage—especially when you’ve had divorced parents like myself… You’d want to try even harder to make it work and you don’t want to fall back into a pattern that you’ve seen happen in your own family. I desperately want it to work; I desperately love my husband and I wanted to share everything together. And…
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During a war 15 soldiers lost their way in the desert then suddenly they found themselves in the face of an enemy camp that had at least 400 soldiers. The enemy noticed them and shortly they started chasing them.
14 men ran away and only one man decided to stand his ground and fight. The man was shot in his arm then luckily a sandstorm came that allowed his friends to save him and run away.
The 15 soldiers survived the war. They didn’t win this battle nor they even won the war yet the man who stood his ground lived feeling proud of himself for the rest of his life.
Why is it that many of us spend a lot of time faulting ourselves for what we think are our imperfections? Why waste our time thinking this way in the first place?
Instead of reflecting upon this negativity, we should be doing the exact opposite. We should be focusing on the reasons to be proud of who we are and what we’ve accomplished in our lives thus far. With this in mind, when you feel the urge to think negatively, take a moment to remember all of the reasons why you are a great person who is worthy of self-love, self-respect and self-pride. Despite having many inevitable flaws, there are so many reasons to be proud of yourself exactly as you are.
Think about it, this time last year, where were you? What were you doing? What state of mind were you in? Then please be proud of you, be proud of how far you have come. Sending infinite light love blessings, may all keep their journeys strong.
The feeling of pride comes because you have the resolve to keep going and keep working on the things that are important to you, and because you’re honest and truthful to who you are. It’s only when we deviate from that, that we then lose that sense of pride — when we’re following somebody else’s agenda, or when we’re worried about what everyone else thinks of us, or when we don’t live up to our fullest potential.
Instead of it being all about these measurements and scale indicators and dictators, what if I’m proud of myself because I showed up today? I did the work at the gym. I put in everything I had in that moment.
You don’t have to feel guilty about being proud of yourself. It’s completely different than going around showboating or telling the world how you’re the greatest thing since low-cost index funds.Telling yourself that you are in fact proud of the efforts you putting into your life is really important. Even if you aren’t necessarily working towards a goal, it’s still important to be proud of yourself. It helps to train your brain to be more positive. You should be proud that you’re aware of the discomfort and the dissatisfaction and you should be proud that you’re one step closer to finding where you belong, one step closer to finding what makes you happy.Even if you’re not in a relationship or you’ve been single for too long, you should be proud of your heart. You should be proud that you’re not settling. You should be proud that you’re not sitting at home crying about it day and night. You should be proud that you’re not sacrificing your life for something out of your control, for something you can never guarantee. You should be proud of your love whether it succeeded or failed. You should be proud of your heartbreaks because they shaped you into who you are now and they’ve taught a thing or two about people.
Even if you’re lost or unsure of what you want or who you want to be, you should still be proud of your journey. The way you ask questions and try to find their answers. The way you deal with the bumps on the road and the way you handle your pain. You should be proud because being lost means you’re not following the crowd, you’re not following the rules, you’re trying to find your own way, your own light and your identity. You should be proud that you’re not afraid to walk a different path.
Even if no one is proud of you, you should be proud of yourself because this is where it all starts, this is what changes everything, this is how you rise and this is how you stay on top. You have to root for yourself even when no one is rooting for you.
You have to look at the things that people don’t notice or see and give yourself a pat on the back. You have to believe in yourself before you make anything happen. You have to prematurely be proud of everything you’re about to accomplish.
The thing is, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we have to do something extraordinary and brilliant to be proud of ourselves. That we have to be rich, famous, successful, married with kids and in great shape to be proud of ourselves.But sometimes you have to proud of the small battles you fight and win that no one knows about. Like smiling after a traumatic experience or being there for someone when you can’t even help yourself. Like giving someone who hurt you a second chance, like telling someone you love them when they’re heartbroken. You have to be proud of the things that people don’t see. You have to be proud of everything that happens behind the scenes even if the movie doesn’t make it to the box office.
“Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take.” ~Karen Salmansohn
It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about achieving some crazy, lofty goal. It’s about, in that moment, doing what you can do and being proud of yourself for that.Look at the glass as half full — look back and see what you’ve done so far, and feel proud of your progress. Be happy about how far you’ve come so far, even if you have a long ways to go yet.
You have to be proud of your minor accomplishments because some days, you really need someone to clap for you and cheer you on and you won’t always find that person next to you. They won’t always be available to validate you. Being proud is more than just a feeling. Being proud is showing self-respect. We would never allow someone else to disrespect us so why not shut down the self disrespect and just be proud.
The key is to step back, and look back on what you’ve done. Sure, I missed some workouts, but look at how many I’ve done! And it wasn’t long ago when I wasn’t even a runner at all! Instead of beating yourself up, celebrate your success, no matter how small!
Every victory will not always be a “big” one but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy that you weathered the storm.Being proud of you is a celebration of you for weekend and evening workers. Being proud of what you do every day. So, what are you proud about today? And tomorrow?
The Koi fish, their beauty and symbolism are highly valued by both the Chinese and Japanese cultures. Placing a picture of them, an ornament or the real thing in certain areas of your garden or home will enhance the energy of good fortune, success, prosperity, longevity, courage, ambition and perseverance.
One fascinating thing about the koi fish is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will grow to be only about two or three inches long. But if you place it in a tank or a small pond, it will reach six to 10 inches. Put it in a large pond and it may grow as long as a foot and a half. However, if you put it in a lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach a size of up to three feet. Amazing, isn’t it? The bigger its space, the more it will grow in size.
Similarly, people are like the koi fish. What I realized is that people are just like koi. We will only grow as far as our boundaries allow us. A koi in a fishbowl will never grow to be three feet long…or even one foot long. The fish bowl limits the amount of its growth. Each individual has the potential to grow the dimensions of his boundaries.
Are you growing or u have are stagnant in your life?
Here are some suggested things that you can do to grow:
1.Change your thinking. I put this as number one because if your thinking doesn’t change, then nothing else will ever change. If you’re not happy with where you’re at in life right now, the first place that needs a checkup is the quality of your thoughts.
2.Create a plan. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar
You don’t just maximize your potential because you want to – but you must plan to. Without a plan, it’s easy to stray from the course of getting things done that will enable us to move forward.
3.Be Yourself. Remember the scene where Elsa in the hit movie Frozen sings “Let it go”. That’s exactly what you need to do. What I mean is, give yourself permission to be who you really are, just as Elsa did during the song.
4.Create your purpose. Great CEOs always have a purpose. It is the driving force of everything else and it has never been more important than right now.
5. Create leaders in your team. We can’t do everything alone! Great leadership is often demonstrated by empowering others to lead — whether that person is a peer, superior or direct report. Successful CEOs know they aren’t always the expert. They know when to take a back seat, let others showcase their talent and provide insight into their area of expertise.
You have what you have in your life right now because of the personal standards you keep. If you have low standards of yourself in various situations, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you are getting sub-par results.
Raising your personal standards to higher levels helps you perform at higher levels. When you raise your standards, you are no longer settling for mediocrity. You are instead shooting for the stars and pursuing higher-level actions that will get you better results.
Forgiveness is the highest form of love and is accessible to all of us. I wish you a blessed day in which to discover the power of forgiveness. God bless you forever!❤️❤️🙏
We all need to grow into self acceptance. Self acceptance means casting off the self-hate born from over-scrutinizing your flaws, allows our gifts given to us by our loving God to shine brighter. It’s what ignites God’s light inside you and me, that which shines out for all the world to see.