Monthly Archives: September 2014

Taking Time Off

When last did you take time off?
what did you do with your time off?

Most people that I know do one of two things;
They either try to chemically unwind in a bar as fast as possible, or they get up early and work a second or third job.
Recently a corporate friend took leave from his regular job to spend a week manually chopping, packing and selling braai wood. he was in a spot and did what he had to do to feed his family which is commendable, but is this constant rush to catch up why we are here?
I am embarrassed to look back at my life and see how many braais, coffees, movies and holidays I have willingly missed so that I could work. looking back on my life so far, I realise that I would rather have gone for that coffee and chat with my sister, or spent an hour at a braai with friends who have now immigrated. Those times and those human connections have been lost forever, and in most cases the deal didn’t work out anyway!

We have recently celebrated Heritage Day, a wonderful and unique South African concept that allows us to use our huge cultural diversity to unite as one. How many of us, me included, worked through this holiday as if it was a normal work day?
How many of us allowed ourselves to acknowledge our uniqueness and celebrate our unique heritage?
How many of us have forgotten that we are not automatons in a machine?

Make a point today of taking some time off, even if it is just 15 minutes. Make this time just for you, no family or friends for the moment, just 15 minutes for you!
Look at who you are from a cultural, physical and spiritual perspective, congratulate yourself for your achievements and choose one small thing that you can do or change in your life that will move you closer to your goal.

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What’s The Point?

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.

Galileo Galilei

Perhaps we should rather ask ourselves;

Whats MY point?

Why am I here?

I was feeling pensive the other day and I was enjoying observing myself assisting a client to her point of truth and purpose in that moment. I was cynically laughing at myself because I realised that I had been pining for my point or purpose for over twenty years and had never had the courage to explore the reason for my existence, yet here I was, honestly and sincerely assisting a courageous lady to mercilessly pound away at her insecurities and comfort zones to find a momentary part of her point.

I have found that in moments of self doubt we are forced to look at the meaning of things, either good or bad, and come to some sort of conclusion about ourselves in relation to the circumstances and the world around us. If we are honest with ourselves in those moments of vulnerability, we will find out something about ourselves. That thing that we are forced to face will be a defensive emotional response that is no longer required by us. We are constantly growing and evolving through life, and these pensive moments occur so we can discover a truth about ourselves and there by understand ourselves better.

This truth to understanding process is not always what we want or like, and it is not always pleasant, but is is a vital “spring cleaning” of the psyche. The point of searching for the point is a consolidation of past experience and emotion. This consolidation creates a new solid foundation on which we can build the next layer of our existence and re-motivates us to achieve our goals or motivates us to re-assess our goals.

Thy to befriend those pensive moments, sit with them and allow them to follow their course. They will heal your spirit and allow you to grow faster than you thought possible.

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“We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.”

Haile Selassie

A wonderful statement form an unusual source – wow!

When last did you look around at your local environment and observe where it is that you spend your time – both at the office and at home?

Who are these people who are in close proximity to you?

How do you feel about being part of that specific community?

I recently met an older gentleman through business. He had bee a soldier during the Korean war in the 1950’s. How he introduced himself astounded me. He said;

“Hi! Im XXXX. Im a Marine.”

Up until that moment, I had not realize how great an impact a community could have on the individual. For many years I had been a member of a specific group of people all subscribing to common values and working towards a common goal. It had been relatively easy to join the group because I already shared common ideals and values. I comfortably coasted along in this communal comfort zone for many years, almost taking it for granted. One day petty ego and politics erupted from within the group. I chose to leave rather than compromise my principle.

Strange things started to happen, first I was acutely aware that I was alone – I felt alone even when surrounded by family and friends. That aloneness caused me to distrust friends that were still in the group causing more isolation. This aloneness and isolation served to toughen me up, but was totally unexpected. The community that I had left was an integral part of who I was, and how I identified myself. Membership of that community had changed how I felt about myself in the world.

Who are these people around you, and who are you to them?

As you observe slowly zoom out and look at how our communities overlap. Start with your neighbours, to your street, to your block, to your suburb, to your town, to your city, to your state, to your country , to your world!

Lets be kinder to strangers, they don’t have a support network. Lets strive to build our communities so we can support each other and enhance our experience of life.

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By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.


A dictionary defines wisdom as an experience when knowledge has brought about right action.

From this we can conclude that we are all wise because there is some knowledge that is unique to us that has prompted some form of right action from us which we have experienced.

It seems to be a habit in the Western world to look outside of ourselves to attain wisdom. The reason for this is that we all aspire to greatness in our own way, and in so doing, we look to others to guide us on our path. This seems to be the second step mentioned above in the quotation by Confucius. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method, but I want to challenge you to take things a step further, let’s push ourselves out of our comfort zone for a moment.

Lets be noble and bitter at the same time!

Take a moment to reflect on the unique knowledge that you have. Look for simple every day things to start with and allow your reflection to expand out to greater understandings and concepts that you have. Make a note of these things. After 20 minutes or so, I bet you will be amazed at how much unique knowledge you actually have.

Now look at those notes that you took. Start at the top of the list and understand or recollect what course of action brought you to that knowledge. This may or may not be “bitter”, in fact you will probably find that there are predominantly good and happy chains of events that lead up to your acquisition of knowledge.

We are all infinitely wise in our own lives. take courage and share some of yourself and your wisdom with others where appropriate. Allow yourself to be the motivation for others journey to wisdom!

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Filed under anger management, depression, positive thinking, self help, Stress Management and Life Coaching