THE DAY I BECAME COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN

My key message is that its not what you are called that matters , but what you answer to. Your identity in life is not defined by your blemishes, but the inner glory of your personality

I was barely 5 years old in 1981. I was at a preschool. I was afflicted with eczema so my skin was all spots. There was a house adjoined to the school fence, which had a peach tree. We went as a group of kids to get peaches over the fence. As I stretched out to ask for some peaches, a small boy who was hardly older than me said, “ I wont give you any because you have skin spots”

Boy was I gutted. My confidence took such a dive. However as I was to reflect over the next few days, I decided that I was not going to be defined by a blemish on my skin. No a thousand times no!

This incident has helped me to be more confident about who I am. The labels of others do not have an impact on me. Importantly I learnt that its not what you are called that matters but what you answer to – I answer to greatness. Through all seasons of life – the winter, the summer, autumn and spring – I now listen to the ‘great within’. I have learnt to live my life under the quiet approval of God than the noisy applause of others.

I am now comfortable in my own skin. This is the message I bring to many others. Today I am in a place where I use my voice, heart, hands and head to help others find their own voice. When one’s identity is secure, then the destiny is sure.

 

NO PRISON CAN HOLD YOUR PURPOSE

Today in History: 11 February 1990 Nelson Mandela walked out of prison a free man.  In the remaining years of his life…well after his prime he changed a nation. It’s never too late to make a difference. You are never too young or too old to fulfil your purpose.

Step out. The world is waiting for you. No prison can hold your purpose.

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YOU HAVE BROKEN EGGS … MAKE AN OMELETTE

My 7 year old girl was recently hospitalised. She has such an unshakeable spirit. While in the ambulance I asked her how she was and she replied “This is so cool Dad…this is like a fireman’s car” A few hours in the hospital she asked that I bring her colouring kit. Instead of wallowing on her hospital bed she has decided to put her gift to great use. She has made several awesome paintings from her hospital bed amongst her best to date! The picture in this blog is one of the several she has done. I am inspired and challenged.

A few lessons to ponder about:

1. Masterpieces are born in moments of adversity
2. When life throws stones at you build a foundation. When life gives you clouds make some rain. When life gives you broken eggs make an omelette
3. You can’t decide what happens to you but you can decide how you respond

Have a great weekend. Remember your situation is not your destination. Where you are is not who you are.

I also share some of these key life lessons in my book How To Rise Like An Eagle which is available on Amazon.

CHANGE YOUR WORLD WITH YOUR WORDS

Your life goes in the direction of your words. To see where somebody is going with their life, you don’t need to see their life plan, just listen to their talk. Your language locates you.

I was talking to my brother in law about how our words shape our worlds. He shared how he once saw a car parked at a garage and he just said “I will buy this car and paint it black, and inscribe Knight Rider at the back”. Two years later he bought that car and he still has it – painted black and  inscribed “Knight Rider”  He  once told his friends that he was working at a top advertising agency when he was not working there at all. A month later he got a job in that company! The words we speak have creative power. In fact Hebrews 11:3 tells us that “ …by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God”.  God spoke and it became! Let there be light, and there was light. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind, and it was so.

Reorganise Your World

In the beginning the earth was without form. It was just a chaotic mass. The picture was not beautiful. However God spoke His word to ‘frame’ the chaotic mass. Deep darkness covered the earth, but God spoke light into existence and a frame of light covered the earth. Words reorganised the landscape of the earth to give us the beauty we see today. There could be disorder, a mess, chaos or lack in your life today? You can speak your way out of the situation. If the bank account is in negative balance, you can declare that “my account is overflowing”   If there is sickness in your body you can say “I am bubbling with health”. This sounds like a simple solution to life’s complex problems. But that’s the way it is – profoundly simple!

Words Create The Context of Your Life

I recently read the autobiography of America Civil Rights leader, Rev Dr Martin Luther King. What a powerful man of his generation. He was graced with exceptional leadership gifts. Yet his life was cut out at such an early age. As I read his book, I picked up in more than five instances how he would speak ‘prophetically’ about his own death. I couldn’t help but feel that he should not have predicted his own death. His words framed or created the context of his own premature death.

Words are spiritual. They create a reality. If you want to be the CEO of your company in a few years time, you better start speaking it now. Start framing the kind of life you want by using your mouth. Do not snare yourself with negative words. If you say I am going to get into trouble you will surely get into trouble.

There is magnetic force field created by our words. This force field is based on a principle – therefore it can work for or against you. Positive words will create a positive forcefield. Financial markets use this principle – one positive word from an opinion leader can create a bull run on the stock market, even without any fundamental basis. In psychology there is the labelling theory, which follows this same principle – if you label something good it will be good. Another sociological principle – the self fulfilling prophecy – if you expect things to turn our bad they will turn out bad. Create a positive context for your life.

Prophesy over your politics, economics, business, children, marriage, ministry or job. Start today to speak words that are positive, words that are seasoned with grace. Be an encourager. Only speak good news, and not be a bearer of bad tidings.

What we see now did not come from things that can be seen. This is the essence of faith – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Call things that are not as though they were. Something might not be so beautiful but by faith just say  “Oh, this looks so beautiful”, then it will be beautiful.

Your words must be backed by faith – speak what the eye of faith has seen, so tomorrow your hand can receive the fruit of your mouth.

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A ‘HARE’ RAISING BIG FUSS: A SMALL TRADEMARK WRECKS A NATIONAL MONUMENT

I just read a news item of a small matter that has become such a big matter in South Africa. Its not completely unexpected – this is Nelson Mandela’s statue we are talking about. Here is the story – the sculptors who did the 9 metre Mandela statue wanted to put their trademark rabbit on the statue. They decided the best place to do it would be in Nelson Mandela’s ear  – how dare you!

The little rabbit is barely noticeable to the naked eye – but some prying long lens camera or binoculars picked it up. Then all hell broke loose. This small rabbit cannot stain the big person of Mandela. The little rabbit must go! The little rabbit probably costs less than USD1 compared to the almost USD1 million dollars cost of the statue.

Just a few thoughts ran through my mind and as usual I thought of some lessons:

  1. The small things in life have the potential to damage big things
  2. Little harmless actions can have serious unintended consequences – imagine a little trademark rabbit has become a sign of big disrespect!
  3. Always check the small stuff – ‘the rabbit is in the detail’

DECLARATION: TO…

DECLARATION: Today whatever was a burden of shame will become a weight of glory. Streets of failure will be highways of progress. Blanket of despair will be a sea of hope. Tears of sorrow will become rivers of joy. So be it!

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TIME FOR A LIFE FACELIFT & UPLIFT : ARISE & SHINE!

“There was a woman present, so TWISTED and BENT OVER with arthritis that she couldn’t even LOOK UP. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was STANDING STRAIGHT and TALL giving GLORY to God” Luke 13:11-13 (MSG)

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. You may be going through an ugly situation or dealing with a challenging matter. It doesn’t matter – God can deal with any matter. The condition might have gone on for years. So what? There is no condition beyond the grace of God to deal with. It’s time to know the following liberating truths:

1. Jesus makes the twisted financial, marital, business, work, relationship, health situations straight
2. If you are bending over under the weight of challenges today you are free.
3. The indignity and shame of your situation is taken away – you can now LOOK UP . You have a FACELIFT now.
4. Where you came short, Jesus has given you an UPLIFT – you can stand tall again

Declare this:

I have a major facelift and uplift. Every shame has been replaced with fame. I can rise and shine above the crushing weight of inadequacy, guilty and shame.

 

ONE SIMPLE THOUGHT THAT CHANGED A VILLAGE

I have a friend from Burundi.  Years ago he observed in his village that a lot of the people had gaunt cows that were ‘basically good for nothing’. They had low milk yield, their grazing habits damaged the land and because they were all over the place, no meaningful dung could be collected for manure. In most cases they were sold aged and sick hence could not fetch much money for their ‘proud’ owners.  He so ardently desired to change this.

Inspirationally dissatisfied, my friend sought to change this. He went to Tanzania and bought two Friesian cows that were fat and sleek beasts like the biblical ‘cows of Bashan’. In no time the two cows were producing 30 litres of milk per day and a mount of manure. All the villagers noticed this simple success story and asked my friend to help them. He obliged, and today through his initiative in this village there are 65 Friesian cows in 65 households each one producing 15 litres of milk per day for sale in the capital Bujumbura. Livelihoods have been changed, and there are testimonies of villagers who now have decent houses from milk money! The whole village has been turned into a ‘milk factory’. The young men and women, who had flocked to the city in search of the elusive Burundi franc, have been lured back to the village by the milk miracle. Transformational impact!

 This simple story is pregnant with some principles that I want to share. It doesn’t take an earthquake to change a nation let alone your life. It doesn’t take billions to end poverty. The simple ideas you carry can change a nation. It’s not in the mystery of Keynesian and macroeconomic theories that the nations will find their salvation. It is when revelation comes to people that the salvation of nations will come. The profundity of your convictions and depth of your desire will make you change the landscape of your life.

Principle of Thought

In order to change the landscape of your life you need to THINK. What you can imagine, reflect and ponder upon will eventually come to pass. If you ardently desire and vividly imagine something it eventually manifests. The reason why lust is wrong is because it eventually gives birth to sin. Covetousness is an urgent desire that may eventually lead to stealing, robbery or even murder. This simple principle works both in the negative and the positive.  If you nurture thoughts of success and progress, it eventually gives birth to projects and results.

My friend from Burundi told me that he STRONGLY desired for many years to change the fortunes of his fellow villagers. He wanted to come up with a simple model that could be used to tackle many social ills caused by years of war and poverty. In his owns words, he then “got a revelation”. The principle of thought gives birth to revelation. Revelation means the unveiling of preexisting ideas and opportunities. It is insight into realities that are hidden – the unraveling of concealed treasures and mysteries. I want to challenge you today, brood over your thoughts, incubate over your ideas and soon revelation will cause you to birth simple and nation changing ideas.

Principle of Seed

There is a universal principle in all creation. Every seed produces after it’s own kind. The ability to reproduce after the same kind is inbuilt in every seed bearing fruit. Hence an orange seed will produce oranges. In order to create this success story, my friend put in initially his own money and gave the villagers a few cows. They did not need to pay him in cash but in milk. In a short while a group called Samaritans heard about this simple project and invested a further 20 cows into the project. The simple principle is that your ideas represent your thoughts, and you demonstrate your commitment by investing into your ideas. The power of a seed is not in its size, but in the ability to reproduce. Start today to invest in your ideas. Step by step the picture will soon be complete. As you sow, the power of your ideas will multiply and soon the whole universe will conspire to bring multiplication. No idea is too small or too simple. Muhammad Yunus started the billion dollar Grameen Bank by lending as little as UD1 to rural Bangladeshi women.

Applying the principles of thought and seed will quickly usher you into your inheritance. Start today with what you have and where you are. You can change the landscape of your life today. Surround yourself with images of success. Meditate on success thoughts soon you will breed babies of success.

Authors Note: This is an extract from my book Seeds of Greatness which is available on Amazon

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AN OBAMA SELFIE, ZUMA BOOS AND A FAKE INTERPRETER: LIFE IS FULL OF SIDE SHOWS, FOCUS ON THE MAIN SHOW

This week 3 events threatened to become the main show at Mandela’s funeral – the President Obama selfie, the fake “Interpreter” and the President Zuma booing. It was lost on the media that while Obama was caught getting himself a picture, his moving speech was by far an outstanding portrait of Mandela. While an interpreter failed to make meaningful signs as the speeches were being read, this should have never become big news – Mandela is the real and eloquent deal…his life needs no interpreter. I still can’t get over the fact that South Africans chose the occasion of Mandela’s funeral to boo their President. When we publicly humiliate our leaders we ruin their confidence and diminish their capacity to lead. This is not my point but I had to say it! Booing President Zuma was out of place on a day when there should have been cheers for Mandela.

Lessons to ponder about:

1. Never let a side show become the main show
2. People always criticize because it makes them feel better and bigger
3. The one with the ball is the one who is marked. Keep playing!
4. Criticism is meant to diminish so learn to replenish your confidence

HOW TO TRANSFORM YOURSELF TO SUCCEED (PART 2)

In the last blog I shared about the Passover Stage where you need to go out of present limiting circumstances. Its not enough to ‘go out’, you must ‘go under’ in the second stage – the Makeover stage. If you have watched the TV show “Extreme Makeover” you may have a some idea of what this stage is about.

Makeover Stage

Your mind-set determines your life-set. To upgrade your life you need to upgrade your mind.  You may come out of the village, but it’s also important for the village to come out of you. Your mind needs to go under some transformation. Jesus did a bit of ‘surgery’ on the man’s eyes laying hands and spitting on them. Some scales which were blinding the man had to come off so he could see clearly. Once you come out of the village you need to do a mental and physical makeover. When the children of Israel left Egypt they were used to being slaves. In the wilderness God wanted to get Egypt out of them and change their slavery mindset. You cannot continue to wear village clothes in town; neither can you walk like you used to do in the fields. Change your style!

There are simple physical and mental makeover tips to consider:

  1. Know your true value – your value is not in things or people. Its made up of your self-concept (how you SEE yourself) and self-esteem (what you THINK about yourself)
  2. Based on how you see and think about yourself – don’t talk yourself down. Have positive affirmations about yourself such as “I am a success, I am a champion…and more”
  3. Change your talk – your talk determines who listens to you. Your language locates you. Your life follows the character of your words.
  4. Change your wardrobe. Dress the way you wanted to be addressed
  5. Change the way you carry yourself. There are so many grooming experts who  can coach you on ettiquette and deportment
  6. Set high standards for yourself – reject mediocrity and pursue excellence

Mental transformation is a key element in the journey towards achieving lasting success in life. Without a complete mental makeover you will not be ready to Crossover and Takeover…to be continued…/

YOUR THOUGHTS ATTRACT YOUR DESIRE

What you perceive, you will conceive. What you conceive you will achieve

A few days ago I was traveling with a team from work. We passed through a place where I buy my favorite Aloe Vera. I really wanted to grab a few bottles but we were out of time. I didn’t talk to anybody about it, I thought about it. Some few minutes later, a colleague just said ” O I have got your favorite drink” pulling two ice cold bottles of Aloe Vera from their bag. I was dumbfounded. I was reminded of this scripture:

Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] —

A few points I want you to think about:

1. Your thoughts are a forcefield – they attract that which you desire
2. What you ardently DESIRE will TRANSPIRE
3. Solutions and answers gravitate towards the area of greatest need, but your heart needs to be ready to receive
4. What you PERCEIVE, you will RECEIVE
5. Your life goes in the direction of your thoughts

This week I wanted to challenge you to think the right thoughts. Create an atmosphere for possibilities and answers by meditation on the positive, the good, the lovely and the pure. There is no thought too small, or too big – this principle of thought works the same all the time.

WINNER MENTALITY – RESULTS MATTER!

“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi

The story of David and Goliath is a familiar story. I want to quickly share a few thoughts on some success principles from the story. David was a trained killer – he had killed a bear and lion before. Goliath is a described as a “man of war from youth”. Simply put David was a trained killer and Goliath was a trained fighter. David went into the battle to kill, Goliath went into the battle to fight. A few lessons to ponder:

1. Don’t be content with ACTIVITY, but focus on OUTCOMES. Goliath was concerned with fighting, David was concerned with killing
2. Never get bogged down on methods. David refused to be weighed down by armour – he chose an unusual method – sling and no armour
3. To have your way, do it your way. David stuck to his style learnt in the desert

Action to be effective must be directed to clearly conceived ends. Action without production is sterile. In a game of football teams play to win, not to entertain. Today approach life with a mindset to produce results, to make a difference, to leave an impression and make an impact.

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