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What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Death of a Dictator

The local paper here made interesting reading this morning. The headline was dominated by Saddam Hussein’s execution and, in a nation that is anti-American in policy, there was little surprise as to the slant of the story. There will be enough quotes from both sides of the fence to be able to justify any position on his death. The bottom line either way is that he is gone and now we face the repercussions of his hanging-positive and negative. The idea to hang him during a Muslim festival was probably taken into consideration-if not it was a pretty stupid oversight. There will be consequences both in Iraq and abroad and they will need to be dealt with, but then there are consequences to every action. It will be interesting to see just how far they will spread or wether they will fizzle out in a short time. For example, the copper price in Zambia is currently high at least partially as a result of the increased demand for weapons manufacture; should his death escalate conflict even further my northern neighbors would be most grateful. So we wait and see…

Friday, December 29, 2006


New Year, new resolutions? While the New Year provides a time for reflection on the past year and a time to think ahead for the second, it is not the only time that it should be happening. Evaluation should be a regular part of our lives, projects and business. I’m not saying that it is wrong to do it at New Year, it just isn’t the only time.

Resolutions-decisions that induce a week of hell before we give them up and experience a brief wave of guilt that is eased by performing the action we tried to quit. Sound familiar? The reason most of them fail is that they are set in the negative-“I have to give up smoking, I have to loose weight, I must stop spending so much, I need to… I have to….”
The resolutions we make are often focused on the think we are trying to quit give up. For example- “I must quit smoking…quit smoking…smoking…smoking…hmmm I need a smoke”. Make resolutions in the positive-I am fitter this year, I am healthier this year, I have saved more this year…it’s a step in the right direction. Having done TPI earlier last month I have seen that there is so much more to the process of change. But getting out of the negative is one thing that will make a huge difference.

So what you doing this year to celebrate? I’m working at the coffee shop. Let me know what you up to-I love the feedback

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Time

I guess I knew that this Christmas would be unusual, being the first one without my mum. It was a time of deep emotional unheaval beneath the surface.No many tears though. I am still processing everything that took place, but have a peculiar peace about everything. One day I may share more on it, but not right now.

I am back in Harare and back at work today-both works in fact. Am psyching up for New Years Eve when I am on duty at the coffee shop-all night!

Just a short post this time to let people know where I'm at.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dodge, duck, roll, aim and fire! That’s what I spend Friday doing. I ended up playing network games against a few friends, mainly Call of Duty and Battle for Middle Earth II (which I still regard as one of the best games ever). I realized that I have a major flaw that I need to deal with. Once I have a working strategy, I tend to lock onto it and use it all the time-to my detriment. Once placed in a different scenario or playing against a different race, the old strategies just no longer work. Arrows work well against foot soldiers, but when the game shifts to artillery unless you change you are asking for a whole bunch of crushed fletching. Instead of looking forward and compensating, I tend to only change after a while. Sure we learn from our mistakes, but there is really no excuse when you know the information before the game starts. It’s got me thinking about where else in my life do I not think ahead. If I behave like this in a computer game where there is nothing to lose but ego, what happens when I am operating in reality. I am aware of the problem, and am working to rectify it, I will let you know how it goes.

On the other hand, tomorrow is Christmas Day. I’ll be of to the farm to spend time with my dad. I may not get a chance to post for a couple of days so MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


There is a unique trend in Africa, especially here in Zimbabwe. It involves placing the blame for any situation squarely on the shoulders of the western governments. I heard it described once as “the economy’s failed it’s Tony Blair’s fault, we have no fuel it’s George Bush, my wife won’t sleep with me it’s the British Government.” We laugh at the absurdity of such comments, yet the real issue is the failure to take responsibility for our actions or the lack of them.

It is one thing for someone to not admit that they were wrong in doing something, it is another to realise that your inactivity has resulted in your current state. I have been lax in getting my book out; part of it is rooted in a fear of failure, fear of criticism and just a general lack of available time to action the process. These are all issues under my control and under my responsibility-fear can be overcome and time can be made. At this point the only person to blame for a lack of publication is myself. Once I have sent it out and released it to an agent, then, and only then, does the responsibility become shared. It has challenged me to look at other areas of my life where I am apportioning a share of blame to persons and circumstances that have little to do with the root-me.

It has been a key trend in talks, sermons, conversations and books this week. Once may be ‘coincidence’ but when the same message comes through again and again it is wise to sit up and take heed.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Habitual Unease

Finished work at 4pm and found myself with ‘nothing to do’ till 7. I began feeling a little uneasy and unsure of myself at the thought of all that ‘unoccupied time’. Most evenings recently have been filled with either work or some social function that only sees me home well after dark. This deviation from my ‘normal’ habit was rather unsettling. I did, however, have a number of things that I could attend to at home, so I stepped out of my little ‘comfort zone’ and home I went. One of the outstanding tasks that awaited me there was listening to my TPI follow up CD (designed to help with the long term application of the course). Guess what today’s lesson was on-breaking habits. It was so weird listening to someone explain exactly what I had just been through and the potential limiting effect on our behavior of such ‘stuck-in-the-rut’ thinking. This is one lesson I am unlikely to forget.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ahead of the Game

Words, thoughts, comments and memories; all currently serve to trigger episodes of paralyzing grief. Often without warning, sorrow grips my heart with an icy hand, banishing all other thought other than my mother is gone and will not be back. It is especially poignant at this first Christmas without her. While I may not be able to choose the unpredictable moments when these “attacks” may occur, I have found that I can choose my response. Rather than experience the total numbness that occurs, I have visualized myself taking these episodes and using them to stimulate the positive emotion of thanksgiving. It is not necessarily easy, but it allows me to move forward.

Deciding what to do before the moment has been one of the key principles I have discovered in life. Someone who desires to remain a virgin till marriage needs to make the decision not to sleep around before the opportunity presents itself. More over, if you can make the choice a powerful conviction and not just a preference then it will stand. I have found it helpful to base such convictions on wisdom literature that you can draw principles from (e.g. the Judeo-Christian bible, the Koran etc.). Internalizing the wisdom of others into your convictions makes them less likely to fail. Let’s take the sex example. The person who decided not to sleep around because he may get AIDS will find his ‘conviction’ weak when handed a condom, whereas the person who bases their choice on the biblical command to remain pure is less likely to compromise their stand. (By the way, I am not ‘bashing’ anyone’s choice in the sexual arena-it’s just an obvious example) Likewise the person who won’t steal because he will go to jail is likely to do so if he finds a situation where he won’t get caught, whereas the person who bases his life on ‘thou shalt not steal’ will probably not. Many of us do not know on what our choices/convictions rest, or consciously make such decisions, but they are worth thinking about.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Rain Dance

It’s about to rain. The clouds are rolling in across the city and the horizon under them is a deep purple. There is an air of anticipation as the breeze ushers in the smell of fresh fallen rain. It’s a beautiful sight, one that is fully appreciated by anyone who has ever lived through a drought. The scene brings back many memories-some pleasant, some not so great; of dancing in the first rain as children, letting ourselves be soaked by the falling droplets as they pierced our clothing with their cool wetness. I’m not sure when I last danced in the rain with such freedom and abandon. There is something in society that says that adults do not dance in the rain, that it’s not a grown up thing to do. That’s the part of society that probably believes that the world should be painted gray and that we should all walk about like little robots on autopilot.

When did you last climb a tree and look out over the world from a higher elevation, when did you last sit on the floor and work on something? There seems to be a point where we loose some of the ‘child’ in us, as if sitting on the floor diminishes our adulthood. There comes a time when many of us loose the sense of exploration that we had as children when the world was new to us, and we slip into the comfort of our quiet routines. Think back and dredge up a memory of younger days, and then go and do that which you used to do. Why not? Who is there to be afraid of? And if you are still young, go out and accept the responsibility of adulthood, but do not ever loose sight of the adventures of childhood. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get wet.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thinking ahead

Friday night was a blast! All the planning, preparation and visualization paid off and we had a successful evening. The coffee shop enjoyed an 80% occupancy throughout the evening and sales were the high. It was an example of anticipating the problems before they occurred and working to provide alternative solutions. It is probably impossible to envisage every single problem, but it is possible to visualize your response to an unexpected hiccup. My traditional response is one of panic and crisis management, but I had spent the week envisioning a calm, calculated reaction to any situation-and that’s what I got. To say it was a flawless evening would be a lie, but I had a great evening. Next week is the National Ballet performance at the same venue and I am already anticipating a phenomenal evening.

This afternoon our church banner and dance team performed at the opening ceremony of the Zone 6 gymnastics competition being held in Zimbabwe. Despite limited rehearsal, we pulled of a spectacular performance. It is always a pleasure to see something that you have invested time in have a positive impact and I am already dreaming up ideas for next year. There is nothing like success as a motivator. So imagine the end result of something you have to do and hold onto that vision through your preparation and practice.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Am about to experience what is possibly going to be the biggest night I have have ever had at the coffee shop. It's the CBZ A-Academy finals tonight (think Idols in Zimbabwe-the 5 finalists will be narrowed down to one winner) and I will probably be swamped with a 1000 people pouring through the coffee shop in a short space of time. So we have planned, we have though, we have envisioned what could happen, we have done all within our power to cater for an incredible evening that flows smoothly. I am anticipating a great night! The food is ready, the drinks are cooled, the tickets are still selling, all I can do now is sit back and wait for what I have visualised to become a reality. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Well it's been a while. Have been rather busy and not near a PC in order to make a post. Spent the better part of last week on an "Investment in Excellence" course with The Pacific Institute.

I have been on courses before that are designed to motivate and inspire, but I can safely say that this one is by far the best. The course is applicable and long term-not just a flash of post course glory. It examines how your mind works and how to maximise that to enable you to set and achieve your goals.

There are many principles, some I have come across elsewhere and some that are completely new. I am still processing most of the information, so to share anything meaningful will take some time. Needless to say, it has been a life-changing experience, and I do not say that lightly.

We live in a country where the general mood in the nation is one of despair and gloom, but as we went through the course the atmosphere began to lift and everyone became a lot more positive. At points you could feel the tangible change. That feeling has not left me three days later, despite being soaked in the same negative environment. It's that powerful...