EXECUTING YOUR DREAMS

This is now the 8th month of the year. At the beginning of the year, you had a great plan with a clear vision, specific timelines and deliverables. Today as you read this you may be frustrated and probably thinking the plan wasn’t so good after all. Hold on, there is no need to go back to the drawing board. I want to share with you a most remarkable story I read over the weekend and gleaned some useful keys to execution. There was a man who was paralysed for 38 years. He lived by a pool which was called Bethsaida. This pool had healing powers. An angel would come periodically and stir the pool – if any sick person jumped into the pool at that time, they would get healed. This man for 38 years desired to be healed. Jesus turned up one day and saw the man. All the man could tell Jesus was “There is nobody to help me into the pool”. He was looking for a pity party. Jesus responded with three verbs: “Stand up, pick up your bed and walk” The gap between wholeness and 38 years of lameness was in ACTION!

 

The difference between those who leave dreams and those who live dreams is in execution. Many dream few execute. Many desire and few perspire. Action must now succeed where words have failed. Action is the spark in your dream. I want to share with you four principles critical to executing your dreams.

Principle One – Change Your Mentality

The lame man had a dependency mentality. For 38 years he was waiting for someone to help him get into the miraculous pool. It never happened. He could have made his wait much shorter if he had thought of ways of getting into the pool. Execution of your dream is one thing you can never delegate. Your dream hears your voice and understands your body language. What YOU can conceive YOU can achieve. You have the power to turn your dreams into reality. If your mind is operating old limiting software, there will soon be an “execution crash or failure” Have a “can do” mentality. Yes you can!

Principle Two – Change Posture

Position determines possession. The man had been sitting for 38 years. Jesus asked him to change his posture – “stand up!” Execution sometimes requires that you change your methods. If you are a fisherman, changing your posture may mean lowering your nets to the deep end in order to catch a net breaking and boat sinking catch. In business if you are not getting the results, changing posture may mean changing the structure.  If you pitch a tent in one place for too long you rob yourself of the thrill of discovering new opportunities. Changing posture at a personal level may mean visiting new places, changing your route to work, changing your wardrobe, changing your routine. Breaking your routine engages different side of your brain and can stimulate new ideas, even ‘aha’ moments. At a very practical level you get to meet new connections who may just connect your dream.

Principle Three: Change Your Focus

You become what you behold. For 38 years this man focused on his inability to get into the pool. He had a deficit inquiry than appreciative inquiry approach to issues. He looked at what was not working rather than what could work.  He chose to wallow in self pity. What you focus on gets done. A great lesson in focus is from the biblical Abraham – he never focused on his impotency or the barrenness of his wife Sarah. He focused on the promise of God that he would be “Father of many nations” It came to pass! Positive focus is the force that turns dreams into reality. If you focus on each of your goals just for 15 minutes every day, you will achieve results by end of the year (money back guarantee!)

Principle Four – Action, Action and Action

Action is the bridge between your dream and reality. It is instructive that Jesus did not make a hell shaking prayer or sing a powerful hymn for this lame man to be made whole. He gave a simple command – stand up, pick up your bed and walk. 3 verbs! Therein rests the greatest key to executing your dreams – action. I want to persuade and cajole you to turn the great ideas from thin paper to thick action. That song must be sung. The book must be published. That business must get busy. The project must get off the ground. If you so ardently desire to achieve your dream, then you must show us your faith.  Faith is a verb, show us your works, and we will show you your faith. Rise up, pick up your ideas and fly!

 

CREATED FOR MASTERY PART 1

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power – Lao-tzu

Have you ever sought to understand why some people seem to be more successful than others? Why do other people appear to always be making progress where you battle? Are great or successful people born or made? Are some people wired for success while others are not? In my search for answers, I have come to the revelation that there are four levels of mastery in life namely Personal Mastery, People Mastery, Societal Mastery and Business/Organisational Mastery.

If you are going to be a success in life, you need mastery in all these four levels. Mastery is the possession or display of great skill or technique. It is the power to dominate or defeat or the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond the usual limits.

Created to Dominate

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…” – Gen 1:28

The very first commandment to man, by the Creator was for us to be fruitful (profitable), multiply (replicate and expand our sphere of influence) and to have dominion (mastery). This is the general purpose for which you were created. This settles any lingering doubts you might have had about whether you were created to be great. If you are not pursuing a path of greatness, you are abusing your general purpose in life. The genes of greatness are set in in you. If you do not activate this greatness, your life is like a Mini Cooper running on a Mercedes Benz engine. You are limiting the full potential of what’s inside you.

Personal Mastery

Your life is like a ship. The seas of life include the winds of economic cycles, the pirates of bad politics, the storms of failure, the icebergs of uncertainty and calm moments of smooth progress. You are the captain of that ship called your life. Is your life in safe hands? Can you trust yourself at the helm of this ship? It’s not what happens on the sea which determines whether a ship reaches its destination safely – it’s what happens in the ship’s control room. If you are not in control, you will soon hit an ice berg or you will be swept away by stormy seas of life.

In order to be a master at anything in life you need to master self. Personal mastery is the ability to make the most of your abilities, strengths, passions and talents. This helps you navigate through challenging times with confident balance. It is an ability to deeply listen and respond skillfully to the soft whispers that warn you when you are drifting off course. If you wish to control and direct the forces you possess, you must act from the throne of your being – the head office of your life.

Personal mastery is continuously making conscious choices…to get from who and where you are to who and where you want to be as opposed to wandering through life making unconscious choices. It is playing the game of life…enjoying the journey of life and not just waiting for the destination. You always have choices and you have the power to choose. You are never a victim of circumstance, but a product of choice. Personal mastery is managing the conflicts you face each day between expectations, consequences and choices.

Steps To Personal Mastery

  1. Create A Personal Vision: Where there is no vision, a life will perish. A personal vision creates a central theme for your life. It gives your life meaning and a sense of purpose. It’s the roadmap to your destination of greatness. It’s the shining beacon which keeps you focused, motivated and fulfilled. It accelerates the progress while inspiring creativity and risk.
  2. Self Awareness: You are a creature of thought and habit. You therefore need an awareness of how your beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviour impact yourself and your environment (family, friends, and colleagues). An awareness of your strengths and weakness determines how you position yourself in life, how you build your personal brand, and play your strengths (competitive advantage)
  3. Self Acceptance: own your thoughts, belief and blind spots and stop believing that the world is doing things to you. Neither does the world, employer or your country owe you a living. A captain of a ship who is always blaming the sea elements for lack of progress will soon give up. You are in charge of your own success – not your employer, organisation or the people around you.
  4. Self Responsibility: understand how your choices (action, attitude, thought) influence and create your life. It is also about integrity – a life based on values and principles. Without these your life is like an unfortified city which will soon be run over by enemies of your success.

Quote of the Week

He who rules his spirit has won a greater victory than the taking of a city – Yeshua Mashyach

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HOW I BECAME A C.E.O | LESSONS IN CREATING OPPORTUNITY

“Talent is Universal …Opportunity is not”

So yesterday I was telling my children about some of my childhood stories. We laughed so hard my eldest fell of the chair with laughter. A few things struck me in my story and I picked up some patterns, pregnant with life lessons.

Let’s rewind to 1990 – I had just finished my junior certificate (Form 2). I arrived in Harare for the first time – yes first time to visit my brother who was already working. After a few days in Harare I got my first “job” working for my uncle – Bamnini Bevan who had a carpentry shop in Magaba in Mbare. Every morning I would wake up early and go to “work” – I was only 14. After working so hard he never paid me as agreed! Bless his soul. I was never bitter – we even laughed about it.

Fast forward to 1992 I completed my O levels. Even before the results were out I went to Gweru for the the first time – this time I went to stay with an Uncle – Sekuru Munhanda. He owned a small college which was a Pitman exams Centre so I started studying Accounts & Finance during the gap period! When O level results came out I suspended the studies because I had to go and do A level studies.

While at University, I invested about $500 of my payout in a recruitment business. Two smooth talking gentlemen – Phillip and Patrick talked me into it. I was naive I lost everything and was almost beaten up following up on my “lost investment”.

Years later the year is 2008, I am now working in South Africa – I am just a few months in a foreign country and I got myself a side gig as a columnist in Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) magazine. In no time I was already getting qouted in the respected IT Web’s i-Week(www.itweb.co.za) and national broadcaster SABC as an expert in my field.

When I was recently studying (2 week block release) in Kenya in 2013 I offered to go and teach Strategy at a local university for FREE- it was an exciting lecture. In 2014 I also helped a technology company in Kenya set up their Strategic Programme Management Office (SPMO) and I did some cool consulting stuff for them in my spare time for FREE. In short this is how I became a Creator of Empowering Opportunities (C.E.O) of my life.

Let me share some insights:

1. Don’t wait for opportunities – create them. Talent is universal – opportunity is not.

2. It’s okay to start small – my first job I was a carpenter crafting wood…now I am a strategy expert I shape organisations

3. When you go to a new place don’t think of checking out the fun places only – invest in networks, connect with opportunities. First time In Harare I picked a job. In Gweru I picked a new skill. In South Africa I build my personal brand. In Kenya by offering my skills for free I put a down payment for opportunities I may need to go and close one day!

4. You don’t always win or earn – sometimes you learn. I lost $500 in a bad investment

5. It’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you end up – I started working in Magaba-shed and now I am in the C-suite

6. Don’t be driven by the PROCESS (what, how, when)…be led by your PURPOSE (the WHY)

7. A skill is a seed. Don’t waste it invest it.

8. If you only link the value of your skill to a salary you will never grow your influence beyond job titles and job grades

Lastly because of an attitude of being a Creator of Empowering Opportunities (C.E.O) most times I don’t have to apply for jobs…I am given work. You can too!

DON’T CREATE A MONUMENT OF THE PAST : INSIGHTS ON MOVING ON

“So Moses, the disciple of the Lord, died …. and the Lord buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but no one knows the exact place” – Deuteronomy 34:5-6

It is instructive that God buried Moses out of sight. The children of Israel up to now do not know where the grave of Moses is. It’s pretty clear God wanted the Israelites to move on and possess the land and not be sentimental about Moses the deliverer.

A few insights as I read this scripture:

1. Emotions take you to the past. Motion takes you to the future
2. You were created for movement, not monuments
3. Aim for attainment not sentiment. Sentiment affects your mood but brings no good
4. Not everyone who starts with you must finish with you
5. Move on…you are not a robot. Your feelings don’t always get it

DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS WHEN YOU CAN HAVE MORE

f we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan. – Numbers 32:5

INSIGHT

The Gadites and Reubenites wanted to settle before crossing the Jordan. Moses rebuked them. Although this land was good…it wasn’t what God had promised. Imagined they begged to settle for less. A few thoughts crossed my mind:

1. Don’t settle for less when you can have more
2. Not everything that is good…is godly
3. If you are hunting for elephants don’t be distracted by rabbits

EXTRAORDINARY DECISIONS NEED EXTRAORDINARY REFLECTION

The New Year requires making a lot of key decisions. Your life is shaped by the decisions you make and fail to make. The quality of your decision making process impacts the quality of your decisions. Jesus chose his twelve disciples after much consideration. These twelve went on to impact the world. How did he do it?

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued ALL NIGHT in prayer to God.
And when it was DAY, he called unto him his disciples:and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” – Luke 6:12-13

It’s extraordinary that Jesus didn’t go in the valley – but went to the top of the mountain. Let me unravel this.

KEY LIFE LESSONS HIDDEN HERE:

1. Never make major decisions backed by minor prayers
2. When you spend time in the night with God you will see clearly in the day before man
3. To make major decisions take an elevated view – Jesus went up the mountain

Declaration

I make sound decisions. I gather enough facts and information backed by prayer to make impactful decisions.

 

 

 

 

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A FLOWER IS A WEED WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE

Another masterpiece from my 7 year old daughter. I will add my poetry to her art:

Flowers O flowers, beautiful flowers
I could smell you for hours
A flower is a weed with a good attitude
A weed is a flower without gratitude
A flower chooses to bloom
A weed chooses to gloom
Flowers rise in blossom
Weeds fall to the bottom

Today choose to be a flower!

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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.

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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’

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IF I WERE A BOY …NOT JUST FOR A DAY

Disclaimer: This blog article bears no resemblance to Beyonce’s song not in the spirit or the letter….now read on.

I bet you almost trashed this blog before reading on. If you have just read this sentence you are doing so well…read on.

Let me take you back to the past – the year is 1980…am still a young boy. I think my father’s Peugeout 404 station wagon is the best car in the world. We live a simple house and I think we are in a mansion. Having chicken and rice once in a month is a big deal. Wearing my Sunday best crowns my wonderful week. Life is great. Life is simple. When my older siblings give me the crust slice of the bread – it’s an act of great favour – and I must be so thankful. I believe that my mother is my guardian angel – if I trip myself, she faults the stone, if I cut myself, she blames the knife. Life is beautiful…life is simple. All things are possible.

Oh the simplicity of being a boy.

Fast forward, 2014. Things must make sense first before I can do them. How we complicate our lives. If God wanted us complicated, He would have created us confused. He created us simple – made us in His likeness so we would never be confused about our identity. He gave us the measure of faith so all things would be possible.  He gift-wrapped us in hope so all things would work.  He gave us the gift of love so all things would be beautiful.

This is the simplicity of life as God created it. Let the girl and boy in you come out. Keep it simple. Believe the incredible, hope beyond what you see and love without reservation. Life is simple.

Lessons to reflect on:

  1. Life is simple, don’t complicate it
  2. All things are possible
  3. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
  4. Have the faith of a child

Have an awesome day and remember simple does 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.

 

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GRATEFULNESS LEADS TO GREATFULNESS

Gratitude is the way to altitude. What are the keys to experiencing the extraordinary? Many times we limit God by failing to thank Him for what we have. We focus on what we don’t have. Grace works with a structure (that which is there). Faced with little resources to feed 5000 people Jesus activated the key of gratitude:

“Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and LOOKED UP into the sky and GAVE THANKS; then he broke off pieces for his disciples to set before the crowd. And everyone ate and ate….” – Luke 9:16-17

A few points to reflect upon:

1. What you have may not be much, but God will multiply it with His touch
2. Jesus didn’t look at what he had (5 loaves & 2 fish) He LOOKED UP to the Father.
3. Change your perspective – say “this can do” instead of “this is too little”
4. Give thanks! If you are not grateful, you are a great fool. Be grateful and you will be ‘greatful’

Today celebrate that which you have…that job, spouse, that small business, few customers, few dollars, that small church. What you celebrate appreciates.

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