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DON’T STICK TO YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION

Over the weekend I was say my favourite restaurant. After going through the menu I succumbed to my weakness for malva pudding. When I asked the waiter he indicated that the chef was gone but he would do make the malva himself. It turned out to be one of the most indulgently trusty malva pudding with a spongy caramelized texture that I have ever had. Topped with vanilla ice cream it made music on my taste buds. With my curious mind I couldn’t miss an opportunity to learn from this:

1. Don’t limit yourself to what they said you can do. Thomas was just a waiter but he could cook one ‘heaven’ of a malva pudding!

2. Where you are is not who you are. There is more in you

3. It’s not what you are called that matters it’s what you answer to

One more thing, remember David went to the battlefield to DROP OFF food and and he ended up PICKING UP the crown

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LESSONS FROM THE DENTIST CHAIR | A DEAD TOOTH CAN STILL CHEW

As I sat down in the dentist chair for the 5th time with the same tooth I started to reflect on some life lessons. I rewound to a few months ago when I visited my dentist with this same sore tooth. She took a look and an X-ray too. The diagnosis was that the tooth was bad and the prognosis was that I was on a slippery slope to lose it sooner than later. There were three choices: a filling; an extraction or a root canal.

I am a corporate troubleshooter and I started to ask some questions to understand what we were  dealing with and what each intervention would mean. The ‘filling solution’ would only provide temporary relief and at some point I would lose the tooth to decay – infact this wasn’t an option anymore. The ‘extraction solution’ was a sure way to deal with the problem, but would leave one big problem – a gap and hey chewing bones and my favourite…chibage (corn) could prove tricky because this is a premolar (it’s a transitional tooth between the canines and molars – which helps with tearing and grinding). Hell no! The ‘root canal solution’ would deal with the root of the problem, but was costly, risky (you sign an indemnity form) and cumbersome. I chose this last option because I will still keep my tooth!

Here are some few lessons that came to my mind as the amazing dental team worked on my tooth:

1. Identify The Problem – you can’t fix a problem you don’t know. What is revealed is healed. The dentist took an X-ray and concluded that there was a problem with the tooth; and the specific location of the problem. Certain problems require going deeper – only an X-ray will do.

2. Deal With Root of The Problem – after identifying the problem, the preferred solution was to go and clean up the ‘canals’. In layman terms it means killing the nerves and cleaning up all the bad stuff. This step alone took 2 visits, and I recall my proud dentist remarking that she had fixed all the 4 canals. What is exposed is closed. In life if you don’t deal with all the roots of a problem, you will always suffer from it!

3. Protect Your Vulnerabilities – a few days after my root canal procedure, I was having muesli for breakfast, and I felt something break – it was my tooth tissue. I called my dentist in panic and was told that my tooth was essentially dead and brittle and if not “protected” it would basically crumble. To avoid this I would need to have a crown fitted on top. This would protect my tooth. Aha! Life is pretty much the same – never expose your vulnerabilities – protect your points of weakness.

4. Your Flaws Must Not Floor You – I no longer have a perfect set of teeth because one tooth is basically now dead and protected by a crown. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. This means the tooth will be able to perform normal function like eating ‘chibage’. This is the biggest lesson – if a dead tooth can still function. If a broken tree can still produce fruit. If a broken crayon can still colour the same. So can you. Unless I told you I have a dead tooth, you would never know. Many of us walk broken too in ways many people may or may not know. God uses a lot of broken people to leak His grace to others. The unction to function oils us so we perform in spite of our brokenness. God’s grace is the crown that covers our brokenness like a dental crown covers a broken tooth!

Disclaimer: Any reference to medical and dentistry terms is based on my basic understanding. For any issues about your teeth, please get help from a professional dentist. ]

GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN | LESSONS IN KNOWING YOUR VALUE

“Now therefore give me this mountain…for thou heardest…that the cities were great and fenced:if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out…” Joshua 14:12

Significance is seldom small. Influence is infrequently narrow. Greatness is hardly inconspicuous. David did not play wrestling with Goliath – it was blood sport. Jesus did not tap dance with the devil – he disarmed him and publicly annihilated him. This evening as I read about Caleb, I can’t help but feel like saying “Give me this mountain” Caleb did not ask for a valley. He wanted a whole mountain. Let’s be clear this was not a game of marbles but a mountain mover league challenge.

A few insights:

1. Don’t act your AGE, act your WAGE. Caleb did not behave like a 75 year old man…he knew his true value – there was more life ahead of him, than behind him.

2. Easy roads lead nowhere. Caleb asked for a mountain. Don’t settle for less when you can have more

3. The best opportunities are protected. Caleb went for the “great and fenced” cities. 

Don’t play small. Dream big. Aim for the stars. Like cream, dream and rise to the top. Go ahead …say “give me this mountain”

REINVENT YOURSELF | THE ART OF DISRUPTION

I cut off a tree in my garden about two years ago. The stump remained. 2 months ago I planted a desert rose in a hole in the stump. The plant is now an interesting feature in my garden. The stump has gained a new lease of life too – it has been repurposed! Here is something you shouldn’t miss too – next to the desert rose I placed a leaf – the leaf is now becoming a plant too. Amazing isn’t it?

The key lessons:

1. Embrace the end as the beginning of something new. My stump is now a beautiful flower stand

2. The END means Embracing New Direction

3. If you live your life in cycles and seasons you will always be winning or learning

4. When people make you a side show, steal the show like the little leaf there. Refuse to be an footnote when you can be the headline

ImageCred: MyGarden

#inspiration #motivationalquotes #disruption #disruptivators #personalbranding #RiseLikeAnEagle #LNqoutes

HOW TO BUILD YOUR CORE TEAM & TO BE PART OF THE INNER CIRCLE : LESSONS FROM JESUS

Matthew 5:1-2 MSG

“When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he CLIMBED a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the COMMITTED, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said…”

Nobody was as smart and wise as Jesus. That’s why I study his word. Let me unpack this one for you…

INSIGHT

1. Jesus was drawing large crowds – and he knew the majority of them were CURIOUS but not SERIOUS

2. In life you have HANGERS ON and the CLINGERS ON. Hangers-on come for benefits, clingers-on come to serve. Discern the difference!

3. Jesus CLIMBED a hillside to eliminate the uncommitted. Once he had eliminated the CROWDS…He started unleashing CLOUD stuff – what we know as THE BEATITUDES.

4. You must always TEST before you TASTE or TRUST

5. Don’t share everything with everybody. Jesus only shared with those “apprenticed” to Him

A few afterthoughts:

~If you want to be part of an inner circle – serve with your HEART not just your HEAD (ideas) and HANDS (skills)

~When you serve always think about what you can GIVE than what you can GET

~Those who CLIMB with you will never let you DOWN

ImageCred:RangersDiaries

DEALING WITH A REALLY STINKING PROBLEM | A LESSON FROM LAZARUS’ RESURRECTION

“Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already” – John 11:17
I am a corporate trouble shooter. We handle different strategic and operational challenges everyday. We have a very methodical approach to how we solve challenges. There is a term we call “deep dive”. When we deep dive into an issue it means we go to the root cause of the issue – we dissect, unpack and analyse an issue until we solve it. We hypothesize and test different assumptions until we solve the matter. Now come with me to the Master Problem Solver – Jesus and see how he deals with a stinky problem of his friend Lazarus. Picture this – Lazarus was a corpse/cadaver over 4 days dead! Jesus comes and watch how he solves this dead problem:

INSIGHT

1. IDENTIFY & FACE THE PROBLEM – Jesus asks “Where have ye laid him?” You can only solve a problem you identify. If you run away from a problem you will run into more problems

2. UNCOVER THE PROBLEM – Jesus directs “Take ye away the stone”. Don’t hide a problem. What is exposed is closed. What is revealed is healed.

3. ADDRESS THE PROBLEM – Jesus commands “Lazarus come forth”. Be direct. A headache does not need open heart surgery. Be specific and relevant.

4. DISENTANGLE THE PROBLEM – Jesus instructed “Loose him and let him go”. If you don’t remove the things that entangle you, you will remain bound by a problem.

Today you could be facing a difficult situation – I want to encourage you there is no problem that has no solution. Every problem carries the seed of its solution. There is an answer for every question. Be encouraged!

FROM SHEPHERD GIRL IN MOROCCO TO MINISTER OF EDUCATION IN FRANCE | THE STORY OF NAJAT BELKACEM

We all have purpose encoded in our being. Circumstances do not DEFINE, they REFINE who we really are. WHERE you are is not WHO you are. The cirumstances of your life do not determine the circumference of your influence. These thoughts ran through my mind as I reflected on Najat’s story. She was a shepherd in Morocco but today is a Minister of Education in France.

Many of us can relate to this. I have been there too. I just had a flashback to 1984. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. I will never forget one rainy day at our family farm in Juliasdale, Nyanga. Our Dad bought the farm in 1981 and every school holiday we would all go to the farm. My brother Livingstone and myself were looking after our flock of Merino sheep in the paddock. It was raining, thunder and lightning – scary for the young boys we were then in the overgrown summer grass. He was walking ahead and he looked back at me – he was crying silent tears and so was I. He didn’t say a word neither did I. It was tough. These were character defining moments for us. Today we look back at that and know that we were being shaped to know the discipline of work and to overcome adversity.

I want to encourage someone today – don’t judge your story by one chapter. God has not finished your story yet. It doesn’t matter what you have been through. It doesn’t matter what family or place you were born into – your purpose will locate you even from the pasture land like Najat or back end of the desert like David.

GOD IS IN CONTROL…DONT GIVE UP

And now, finally, God ANSWERED Job from the eye of a violent STORM. He said:
Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? Job 38:1-5

I write to the weary today. I speak to the weak. I encourage the desperate. I inspire the burdened. Whatever you are going through – don’t give up. God is in charge. Reading this passage from Job this morning I wept in my spirit. I wept because sometimes we fail to trust God. Even when everything is breaking APART around us, we forget that He holds it TOGETHER inside us.
INSIGHTS
1. In the eye of the storm God spoke to Job. In the middle of your challenge God will speak
2. Job expected ANSWERS. God asked him QUESTIONS.

3. When you dont UNDERSTAND the PROCESS…STAND UNDER the PROMISE

4. When the enemy brings a BREAKDOWN…God turns it into a BREAKTHROUGH

Two hands preserve a green tree against a thunder-storm. Concept of preservation of the nature

LESSONS FROM THE SWEET & CHILLI CORNER

A few months ago I planted strawberries and chilies next to each other. I called it the ‘Sweet ‘n Chili’ corner. Today I observed that the strawberries are fruiting and doing well. The chilies are struggling and dying.I began to reflect about the metaphor of life – the good and the bad run together; weeds and flowers grow together. Ultimately the good always prevails.

A few lessons:

1. The sweet will outshine the bitter

2. Bitterness will kill your fruitfulness

3. Life is a mixture of the good and the bad. The bad eventually becomes the manure in which the good will thrive.

Today focus on the good and the bad will disappear. Bad stuff doesn’t last long.

Enjoy this little poem I just wrote:

Let the sweet give your dreams some feet

Dont let the bad tie you to a bed

The sweet must give your heart a lift

The bad must never get to your head

LESSONS FROM BORING CHELSEA: ART OF WINNING

I just watched the Chelsea-Manchester United soccer match. Manchester was the better side and they had the lion’s share of possession at over 70%. Yet they lost. Life is pretty much like that. The most educated, talented or articulate do not always enjoy the greatest success. A few insights:

1. If you are BORING and SCORING it’s okay.

 People say Chelsea plays boring football yet Chelsea always scores and is on top of the league for the greater part of the soccer season

2. What you POSSESS does not always lead to SUCCESS. 

Manchester had all the possession but they did not succeed. Chelsea converted their only shot on target into a goal. Life is about taking your chances.

Parting shot – David was not a Rambo when he faced Goliath. He only had a slingshot. How boring…but boy he could score. Goliath possessed weapons of mass destruction and was a decorated war general but he lost!

Biggest lesson is that always do what matters. Balloons and frills, bells and whistles don’t always win. Keep it simple but effective!

WEEKEND LESSONS FROM THE GREENHOUSE

My cucumber in the greenhouse is now fruiting. I planted on the 14th of January. Each day I have to water, weed, aerate or fertilize. Life pretty much the same – you have to water to stay cool, weed distractions, aerate to stay fresh and fertilize to grow

A few more insights:

1. Every place has a specific grace. A greenhouse enables fruit to produce faster, bigger and cheaper

2. What you order you can control. The order in a greenhouse means you can control growth

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