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January 2021
I have no arms
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January 2021
Exciting phenomena
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40+FAB Blog

I spent a lot of time playing outside with friends when growing up and we loved playing cops and robbers. Anytime we played the robber we would ask our victims, “your money or your life?” We did this because we were told that real armed robbers asked thier victims that question.

Can we actually separate our money from our lives? When you take into account how much time we invest in a business, career or entrepreneurial activity to gain money, we are literally spending our lives in exchange for money. I am not talking about being hung up on money, but on doing what is necessary to keep body and soul together.

If for some reason you were robbed of your salary for the month, then you have lost the reward of your time and indeed your life for that month. Anything that takes your money is indirectly taking away from your life too.

In this sense we cannot separate you from your money, and anyone robbing you is tearing away a part of your life as they snatch your money from you. We would normally report cases of robbery with the hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice, and this is encouraged in most societies.

But there is another case where our money or life is snatched away from us with our consent. This has to do with what we spend our money on. When we spend it on what I will call the ‘necessity’, we are spending within reason, but when we spend on what I will call the ‘luxury’, we are at the point of being robbed with our consent.

I will define a necessity as what is important for our day to day effectiveness. Food, transportation, utilities etc are well accepted necessities, but if I had to attend a business dinner, then it becomes a necessity also to get a smart tuxedo to get to that event. On the other hand, I will define a luxury as what we acquire for reasons that do not justify our expense. Food can be a luxury if you are giving in to greed and gluttony, just like any other addiction in the form of gambling, drugs, drinks, etc.

Necessities will refresh your life and keep you appreciative of what you have spent your time to acquire while luxuries will rob you and deplete you of your time and strength spent making the money to acquire them.

From now on, remember that your money is linked to your life, so think and spend it wisely on what will keep you appreciative of your life and not on what comes in to rob you of all that you are.

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40+FAB Blog

My 6 year old son wore one of my large shirts today and he was quite excited to say “I have no arms!” as he went about the house with his arms concealed under the shirt. It made me think how we hide abilities that we have to appear as something we are not.

In some of the circles I grew up in, sometimes you were made fun of for being to bright or too good, and so one had to pretend in order to fit in. Too many people are stuck in relationships where they are pulling back on who they truly are so that they do not lose the partner they are trying so desperately to please.

We may feel like we have achieved our purpose when we fit in by acting as less than who we are, but there will always be a sense of loss and a niggling feeling of knowing that you are more than this.

Another thing that happens is we are sometimes unaware of our true protentional because it is hidden somewhere within us and it usually takes a good friend or encourager to point it out.

Whatever the case, we should always strive to know, understand and use our gifts. Imagine having arms and not being able to use them, the ability to do something with the gifts we have leads to ultimate fulfilment in life. Lets do all we can to be all we can so we can live all we can.

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40+FAB Blog

There is something about certain occurrences in nature that invoke wonder and excitement in us. One of such things is snow.

As I peered out of my window today, I noticed the snowflakes coming down, just then, one of my sons ran into my study shouting excitedly, “It is snowing! Can we go out and play?” Pretty soon the street was filled with people standing in front of thier houses throwing snowballs and building snowmen. Young and old alike were revelling in the amazing wonder of the snow.

From time to time, even nature reminds us to stop and appreciate all that is around us, to come out with our family or friends and play in the bounty of the free and simple yet wonderful things that surround us.

You don’t have to wait for a snowfall to be reminded to take a break from the busyness of life and grab those that surround you to take them outside to enjoy the scenery and to play because it is fun.

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40+FAB Blog

I heard of the story of someone who found a porcelain vase in a car boot sale and paid next to nothing for it thinking it was pretty ordinary. It was later discovered that the vase was worth thousands.

Have you ever found something in the wrong place and wondered if it was original? Like a designer bag being sold on the floor at a roadside market. This is very common with products, but I have found it not to be true with people.

Humans are so unique that it is impossible to ever come across a fake person. I know we label people as fake, but that is trivialising the wonder of the human specie. Our finger prints, hair growth patterns, voice tone, retinas and other attributes are completely distinct from that of any other human being. So in essence, you cannot really call anyone fake.

When you understand that people trying to behave like what they are not doesn’t make them fake, you will deal with them with a little bit more of a human touch rather than as a product that needs to be avoided.

People hurt, so they behave like a fake. People find themselves in the wrong crowd and adapt to it, so they behave like a fake. People admire role models but don’t understand how to get there, so they behave like a fake. People get shoehorned into a lifestyle by those in authority over them, so they behave like a fake.

There is always a story of why a unique soul seeks to be what it is not, taking on behaviours which are not normal, and portraying it to those around, yet as convincing as those masks may be, the original priceless piece is hiding under the rubble of crushed convictions, hoping to be released and be all that it is meant to be.

Always remember, there is no such thing as fake people, only fake behaviour to divert away from who the true person is.

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40+FAB Blog

A committed relationship is defined as an interpersonal relationship based upon agreed-upon commitment to one another involving love, trust, honesty, openness, or some other behaviour.

When I read that definition, it struck me that a lot of us are in relationships but we have no shared understanding of an agreed-upon commitment. The picture that came to my mind was the agreed-upon commitment I have with my phone company, thus my relationship with them clearly states that I can use my phone to make calls and consume data if I pay my phone bills, among other things. The clarity of those parameters has allowed me to stay with my service provider for years without any issues at all. But with some personal relationships, I find that I have been trying to make calls for services that don’t seem to be paid for and vice versa.

For every relationship we find ourselves in, be it with a lover, a friend, a parent or a child, there are agreed-upon commitments that we must honour to keep that relationship healthy and thriving. To one, love may mean spending time, to another it may mean giving gifts. If both parties do not share that understanding, then the relationship suffers because the one who wants time doesn’t appreciate the gifts and the one who gives the gifts doesn’t understand why the other is so hard to please.

Have you ever assumed someone to be your best friend, but they did not feel the same way about you? When you found out you were only one of thier friends it must have hurt. We must spend time to discuss the agreed-upon commitments that we have, and reach a place of shared understanding with all those we are in a relationship with. Don’t let assumptions linger as it will weaken the foundation of understanding and indeed commitment. Know where you stand with each person and give them the best of what your relationship agrees, and accept the best they have to offer you.

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40+FAB Blog

I have learnt a few things about change over the many years of trying and failing to change in certain areas. For various reasons, such as ignorance, faulty beliefs, stubbornness or some kind of pleasurable gain, we fail to change.

When we get stuck in a certain way of doing things, it takes an even longer time or more effort to effect a change. Some people believe that change happens instantly, others believe it takes time, so which is right? The answer is both.

Our ability to change course in life is like a massive ship in the ocean. It takes the captain a few seconds to change course at the helm, but the ship does not respond immediately and it takes a while for the whole body to adjust to the new direction. We can hear truth or information that crystallises a decision to change in our lives. In that moment, we have actually changed course, but everything on the outside remains the same. If we keep those new coordinates in the centre of our mind, then our life slowly but surely begins to line up with the decision we have made, and so over the course of weeks, months or years, we begin to reap the results of the decision we made.

Be mindful of the moments when you can make the turn, the decision to change, and then through determination, follow that decision until you see the physical results of the change you wanted.

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40+FAB Blog

We may have seen this in one of many American movies out there, where a condemned man walking from his prison cell to a place of execution has a herald announcing before him “Dead man walking!”

Those condemned to execution would be remembered for the heinous crimes they committed, and because of what they did they were made to face thier death. In other words, thier actions created what would define the final moments of thier walk to thier death.

It is not at the final moments of our lives that we become dead men (or women) walking. Right from when we are born, we are thrust onto the path that inevitable leads to demise, and to truly live is to embrace the reality of dying. The question is, when you take your final walk, what would be the memories of you leading down that path?

Every day we live, we have an opportunity to etch in time what would be etched on our epitaph. Live each day with the end in mind, for you have the opportunity to create what your life would have been with every single moment you have been blessed to live.

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40+FAB Blog

I heard someone describe money as having a type of energy. I thought to myself, what on earth could that mean. He then went further to explain that if you got some money from a family member who lovingly gave it to you, then what you received gave you a positive feeling. On the other hand, if a couple were divorced and the man had to pay alimony, he most likely pays it with a negative emotion, and his ex-wife is most likely receiving it with a negative emotion too.

In both cases above, money changed hands, but in one it had a positive energy and in the other, it had a negative energy. One could say that money is neutral, and indeed a number of inanimate things that humans find a way to use could be termed as neutral, however, these things tend to possess an energy that ordinarily they shouldn’t.

The reality is we are the ones that give our energy or emotions to the things around us. and as the quote from Shakespeare goes, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” The type of energy or vibe that is predominantly around us is that which we have allowed by our thinking or emotional state. If someone is giving you something with bad energy, you have a choice not to receive it. Don’t receive the insult, don’t take the call, don’t encourage the conversation, protect your emotions.

On the other hand, you also need to control the energy with which you give things. Be joyful, be thankful, appreciate others, be gracious, be enthusiastic. Don’t wait for the external conditions to bring the right energy and feelings into your life, you are the one that controls these things with an attitude that is right.

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40+FAB Blog

Have you ever worked for someone who seemed to be so pedantic about ensuring that work was checked, double checked, triple checked and then cross-checked? I remember my English teacher in primary school always shouting, “dot your i’s and cross your t’s”.

The older I get, the more I realise the wisdom in cross-checking whatever is done, even if one has become an expert at doing it. It may seem like a waste of time to do that due diligence until you actually realise that you have missed out something so fundamental that you thought was there.

Today, I was uploading some data and it was a really simple step to transfer the names from an excel sheet to the database. I then tried to link the names to a group in the database and it would not work. I spent almost an hour investigating what could be wrong, only to go back to my original excel sheet and discover that I had not uploaded ID numbers with the names which were essential to link to that group. In my mind, I had carried out that step and even though the completion page showed the ID’s missing, I did not see such a glaring mistake because I was not cross-checking my work as I was so sure that I had done it right.

I was in a hurry to get things done, and so the 2 extra minutes I should have spent cross-checking I tried to save by moving to the next step without the necessary review. The only thing was that that two minutes I saved cost me an hour extra trying to sort out my error.

So, what do you do so well that you have assumed that you don’t need to check? Where are you trying to cut time or monetary corners by not double checking? It may get you by for a while, but on the day that it goes wrong, you would have wished that you took the little time it takes to cross-check.

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40+FAB Blog

From time to time, there are significant events that we have to plan in life, be it personal, family related, social functions or work. At those times we give an extra level of attention and focus to all the steps that need to be taken to pull off the event.

As the day draws near, we somehow get more tense and impatient with things that don’t seem to be falling into place to make the day the success we desire. One thing that is absolutely mandatory for us to do is to hold our nerve.

The day will come, then it will pass – most times very quickly. You need to weigh the cost of the weeks of worry and stress, the outbursts of anger towards family, friends or colleagues, the many late and sleepless nights, and all the other trappings that can come when we are under pressure. Would it be worth it to “gain the world but lose your soul”?

The problem is not in the pressure or in the process we have to work through to get excellent results, rather, the weight that will tip the balance over lies within us. When we learn to hold our nerve, when we learn to let patience rule in the midst of pressure, or to be fair to others when we are in the fire, then we would have learnt a very important lesson in being a master over situations.

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