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

Friday, February 29, 2008

What's he gots in his pocketses?

How much money do you usually carry in your pocket? If you shop in the increasingly plastic word of debit cards, how much money do you usually keep in your account? No don't post the answer as a comment here! In Zimbabwe carrying cash is often an inconvenience (you carry the 10 million required for a cup of coffee in 100 000 dollar notes). There are little habits we fall into without realising it-how did you get to work today? Is it really the most convenient route? Now what stops you carrying more cash? Honestly. Or do you get an irrational compulsion to spend money when you have more than a certain amount.

Someone suggested that I increase the amount of cash I carry this week (non-normal denominations)-rather like consiously developing a new habit. Here's the freaky part-it worked. Not only did I manage, but by the end of the week I had people giving me the stuff. I didn't announce it to anyone in particular, it just took place. Cooincidence-maybe, but then again probably not once you understand how the mind works to create opportunities for you to get what you think about. Have a brilliant weekend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Seriously what's stopping you?

The current buyline for this blog (what do you really want out o life, now what's stopping you?) was never intended to be a flipant catch phrase that implies that you can laugh of any hinderances to your dreams. Rather, it is there to encourage thought about what you want to achieve and reflection on your goals that helps you to identify the issues at hand and then to move around them. Some hinderances are simply in our mind, the result of previous failures or suppositions. Only by identifying these and dealing with the issue will you ever move past the block. At all times though, the focus needs to be on what you really want, the goal-if you keep staring at the goal long enough soon you'll see the path around the problem.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Magazine reads

Came across the buy line for a magazine today- 'for the thinking woman'. Does that imply that not all woman think and only those capable of thought should read it, or does it mean that as all woman think all should buy it?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Zimbabwe Trillions

Had a moment of realisation last night, if you put the three zeros that we removed from our currency back on again, I am a trillionaire (bit of a bummer that it buys you less than USD100). And to think that a coke used to cost me 35c 20 years ago. It now takes 10 000 000 to buy one coke which is also our largest denomination-you do the math.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A word to the wise.

Don't ever write anything on a blog that you arn't willing to shout across a crowded room.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Comfortable Christianity

Finished two books in two days this week-made some time to read and relax (helped by a couple of cancellations by patients at work). Both were non-fiction and can be classed as Christian in their content. The first called ‘Saint’ is by Ted Dekker. I’ve read a lot of his work before, he tends to write a combination of fantasy and thriller set in the modern setting. While Christian undertones exist throughout his later work, he phrases it in such a way that his work can be enjoyed by a secular audience without the in-your-face type Christian gospel that is characteristic of some writers (as a result, for an aspiring writer he, along with Steven Lawhead, is one of my heroes). Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this book, great idea and concept but bits of it just didn’t gel for me in the way some of his others have (‘Blink’ by the same author rates as one of my favourite books of all time).

The second is the work of two authors, Hank Hanegraff and Sigmund Brouwer. Called ‘The Last Disciple’ it traces the events of the persecution of the Christians under Nero and the fall of Jerusalem. There is a fair chunk of poetic licence, and from the afterword it is an alternative interpretation of the Biblical references to the end times as proposed by the popular ‘Left Behind Series’. It is fairly graphic in its descriptions and well set out with great character development. A little confusing in places where they jump ahead in time, but I enjoyed the read, only to find that it ends by setting up a sequel that I now need to get my hands on.

As for the graphic descriptions try this (skip the paragraph if you squeamish)… “Alongside charred stumps of posts were new wooden lampposts spaced every ten paces. Men and women dangled from each post. Their bond wrists hanging from spikes in the post above their heads, their entire body weight wrenching at their shoulder sockets…This heat was a form of torture, adding to the excruciating pain of arm sockets slowly pulling loose. But the prisoners could not cry out for water from the passing fountain. Their lips had been sown shut to prevent them from disturbing Roman citizens…Each wore a tunica molesta –a tunic black and gleaming in the sunlight and saturated in tar…At sundown, by the orders of Nero, the guards would ignite their tunics so that these men and women-the Christians-would become human torches to light the streets for the half –drunk Roman revellers returning home.”(The Last Disciple pg 20)

I read something like that and I realise that despite the situation I find myself in (i.e. living in the worst economy in the world), I have a relatively ‘Comfortable Christianity’-few will beat me up for what I believe- less will kill; I can walk down the street and not fear arrest or assault. I can worship where and when I please. For that matter, it is pretty comfortable for any followers of any major religion here-relatively speaking. Open religious persecution is not practiced in Zimbabwe. Compare the complaint of the American church about prayer being banned in schools with the plight of a few Burmese Bhuddist monks, or a Christian in parts of East Asia and you get the picture of relativity. For the most part, while you may be ridiculed for your beliefs, or, in an extreme, be passed over for promotion a couple of times, your religious stance in the West is unlikely to cost you your life. It would be a good thing if any believer (regardless of religion) weighed in their hearts whether or not they would be willing to die for what they believe, not in the suicidal ‘get the message across retaliation’ that created the horror of the twin towers but the acceptance of death under a severe time of persecution when the gun is to your head and you face the choice-lie and live or believe and die. Interesting thinking…

Friday, February 15, 2008

On music, writing and creativity.

It’s not so much about making sense as about making emotion.

A few Thoughts

Singles Appreciation Day (otherwise known as Valentines Day) has passed. A few gems from various reading/conversations this last week:-

-add value (what can you add to an existing product)
-quality service takes effort
-add value (what else can you do for your existing clients)
-discard previous lessons that are no longer relevant
-Vinyl, tapes and CD’s have all been and gone in the last 20 years
-information is only half the job: understanding is key
-spend time reflecting on your progress toward your goals-what else can you do to achieve them.

Am planning on having a ‘chilled’ weekend (and no that does not refer to the temperature of beer), just down time.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Get the Message Across

There is too much information for people to take in. Compress, edit and cut. Utilise the power of the sound byte.

Put your name on your next complaint please!

Dear Neighbour

Thank-you for the notice that you tacked to my gate last night, I was unaware of the discomfort that the barking of my dog was causing you. Judging from the tone of the writing in the note you were most upset at the time, I do apologise for any aggravation this caused you. Unfortunately you failed to tell me who your are, so I am left with no option but to post this reply here and pray that you may Google me (for future reference, my maid has my phone numbers if you wish to speak to me in person).

As to the reason for the animal’s distress, I won’t place that here in detail in case it bores my other readers, but suffice to say that relocating a home can be painful for any creature. I have, however, taken steps to ensure that you have a more peaceful day-I have secured to property better so that said canine now has the run of the entire property with out the fear of her rushing out the gate. This increase freedom will hopefully mean that she barks and whines less. There is the small possibility that she may dig under your fence, but I’m sure you’ll let me know if she makes her way into your garden. Should this not work (and again please tell me) I may have to take more drastic measures that may offend you (euthanasia and muzzling for example will probably upset your feeling for animals, so I’ll have to relocate her elsewhere).

I was intrigued by your reference to ‘my so called religion’, for as I know I have never attempted to forcibly share my religious views with any of my neighbours, nor am I a national T.V. personality-so how do you know what I believe? For the record though I follow a belief structure that originated out of a religion that supported the wholesale, regular, slaughter of animals to atone for sin. Fortunately, for reasons core to our faith, we no longer have to engage in such practices.

Thank-you once again for highlighting the problem,

Yours Sincerely

P.S. If you are the early morning saxophone player I am pleased to report that your skill has reached a standard where it is no longer bothers me while I am trying to sleep in on the weekend, but is rather conducive to relaxation.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Facing Reality

While optimism is a great trait, you need to simultaneously face the reality of your current situation. It was refreshing to see that the December issue of Entrepreneur Magazine was devoted to recovery from failure. This was especially relevant to me as December was a horrendous month for me business wise. The practice nearly went under as a result of the cash shortages and banking problems that bedevilled our nation at that point in time (Dec and Jan are our peak expense months with variable income). Rather scary really. With hindsight, while most of the circumstances were not my fault, there were a number of things I was not doing that were highlighted during this period (you need to keep careful tabs on who owes you money). Thankfully, we made it through the crisis, although some hard decisions had to be made at the time and are on our way out of the woods. I could have buried my head in the sand and ignored it all, then I wouldn’t be sitting in my office today. Likewise it would be foolish for the publishing world to ignore the advent of digital publishing, for the music industry to think that MP3’s will vanish like a bad dream, we have to face the reality of things and make the appropriate decisions or face oblivion (or at the least an unpleasant future).

Friday, February 01, 2008

How far is too far?

When does prudence become paranoia? When do the boundaries of wisdom become foolishness? For example, it is prudent to take out insurance on your property and to maintain it to avoid loosing it. It is foolish not to write a will because you are afraid that someone will take advantage of you and make you loose everything. It is wise to examine business opportunities carefully, it is foolish never to take an acceptable risk because you are afraid of loosing.

In Zimbabwe, foreign currency is often seen as a wise investment option because at least you will not loose real value in our economy. The converse is that you won’t necessarily increase in value either (unless you now invest your forex-something a lot of people don’t do).

Something worth examining. What do you think?