Unlocking your Potential

“You have to believe in yourself and what you’re doing.

You have to see yourself doing it with your mind’s eye.

If you can’t imagine it, you probably can’t achieve it.”

~John Maxwell

So your dream has been planted in your heart and you have an incredible vision to look forward to. In addition, it is also now the time to set things in the right order to start working on your canvas.

It is the time to do some major life changing improvements for discovering the gifts and talents that are hidden inside of you. This is your season to bring them to life to complete your dream.

Dont-ask-yourself-what-the-world-needs-ask-yourself-what-makes-you-come-alive-Harold-Whitman

Bear in mind that they will not all come at once but you will unlock them as you walk your journey of completing your dream. Through each phase of this awesome journey you will learn to kindle and re-kindle the gems hidden inside of you.

Most importantly, there must be a desire to unlock them and to experience them. Desiring them will unlock them and you will fall in love with them. You must also be willing to embrace them for the season that you will use them. They will grow on you so that others can also be inspired by them.

Just open your heart and mind to a beautiful journey of discovery. Along the road it may seem strange and weird to you, but eventually, upon completion, it will all make sense. Every piece of your canvas will be fully painted with all the majestic treasures inside of you.

Believe me when I say that you will stand in awe at the end of the journey of completion. You will look back and be proud of your process of transformation. It is what is inside of you that will take you to the road less travelled.

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Action plan required TODAY:

  • Discover your passions and talents
  • Choose a career that is suitable for you
  • Capture a vision
  • Create a plan
  • Set goals
  • Break down the process so your dream is achievable
  • Stay motivated, inspired, and focused

Have a Great week!

College SA

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So why should you act Now?

studying, motivation

While you are waiting for “things to get better” you could be improving your qualifications and making things better yourself right now.

Who knows what opportunities for promotion are waiting round the corner… will you be ready for it? Or will it go to someone else?

People with better qualifications get the better opportunities, better jobs and better pay. If you start a Certificate or Short Course right now… you can be earning more by February next year.

Everybody plans to start studying in January. If you join that crowd you will be standing in line, holding on the phone, and fighting for a place with everybody else. Or you can be smarter and avoid the January delays by registering NOW.

But, of course, with distance education institutions like Unisa and College SA, you can start you studies at any time of the year. And even though it works like this, if you ask anybody at Unisa, you will find that in January they have long lines of people waiting to register! How strange, because if you go to register right now, there is no line at all…

Many qualifications have their exams in March or in May. You need to register before January to ensure you got your study materials and to ensure that you are busy studying by 5 January – if you are still planning to register for studies in January, you will not be prepared for exams in March or May. For example, if next year you want to study a Bookkeeping qualification with the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers – www.icb.org.za) then you need to know that the first exams are in February 2016. And you have to register with a College for your studies, and register with the ICB for your exams before the end of December 2010. If you don’t do that, you start the year by being behind!

It is very difficult to catch up with the person who starts early! Do not let other people get a head start in front of you – make sure that you are in the very front of the queue!

Most educational institutions increase their fees at the end of every year. So if you want to avoid paying more, you must register before January 2016.

Your parents, teachers and friends won’t tell you… people are like crabs in a bucket.

If you put a lot of crabs in a bucket, one will eventually get on top of the others and start climbing out. But as soon as that happens, the other crabs will pull that crab back into the bucket. Even before it can get out, there are crabs hanging on to it, and pulling it back into the bucket.

There are two lesson in this:

  1. If people help each other they can overcome anything – so you should help others, even if you can’t see how it would benefit you directly
  2. If you expect people to help you, you are going to be disappointed. Nobody wants to see you improve your life to where you are in a better position than they are. They will pull you back as soon as you get to the top of the bucket.

So if you want to be like everybody else, and do what everybody else does, and listen to everybody else who will improve their lives “tomorrow”, then wait till January…

think-positive1

But if you want to move ahead at your own pace, if you want to improve your life now, and not later, then, if part of your plan is to study; you can start studying TODAY.

Take care!

Life is MESSY and Life is HARD

I’ve had a pretty challenging past 24 hours.  And, being only human, I have felt very frustrated and quite miserable.

Miserable

This morning, a variety of events took place that really challenged me. It all felt like just too much. (I am sure that you can identify with that feeling – feeling completely overwhelmed by life’s challenges). I was about to phone a friend and ask them to come and find me and just hold me while I sobbed. But, before I did, something ‘dawned’ on me, or, should I say, I had a bit of an epiphany:

  • Life is hard – and experiencing this is something experienced by all living beings;

Life is hard for everybody

  • Sometimes, life is going to be particularly hard – but these do not last forever;
  • Compared to many people in the world, my life is absolutely fantastic; and

The suffering of others

  • That I need to make a choice – to allow myself to have a mini-meltdown, or, to choose to carry on driving and do the things that I need to do.

Choose to keep going

 

Of course, we are all entitled to our emotions. There ARE going to be times in which we feel that we just cannot carry on. There will be situations in our lives that will cause us great sadness or great stress.

 

But, just as certain, there will also be GREAT moments. Life will also sometimes be good. There will also be situations that bring us immense joy and satisfaction.

Life will be beautiful

 

In Italian, there is an expression ‘La vita e’ bella’ – this means ‘Life is beautiful’.

 

Oprah Winfrey (the famous US TV presenter) would often ask her audience ‘what do you know for certain?’.

 

Well, one of the things that I know for certain is that life is  incredibly difficult, and, life is also incredibly beautiful. 

 

I would like to end today’s post with a short reference to quite a beautiful story that appears in the Christian Bible, in the Jewish Torah, as well as in the Muslim Koran

All three of these Holy Books tell us of how Joshua and Caleb were amongst a group of 12 people sent by Moses to go and report on what things looked like in the land of  Canaan.  When the group of people returned to give Moses their feedback, 10 of the 12 people gave really negative opinions about what the situation was like in Canaan. The main feedback given to Moses was that Canaan was ‘Eretz Ochelet Yoshveiah’  [Hebrew for ‘A land that devours its inhabitants]. However, contrary to that negative feedback, Caleb and Joshua said that Canaan was in fact ‘Eretz Zavat Halav U’Dvash’ [Hebrew for ‘A land flowing with milk and honey’].

Why do I mention this story? Well, today I choose to believe that my life is going to contain ‘milk and honey’. And, that I am ready and waiting for the good stuff  (‘milk and honey’).

 

Wishing you all a happy day!

Take care of yourselves.

I have been an ASS

My confession: I have been an ASS:

Confession, Forgiveness, Apology

 

When I was in high school, I used to think that EVERYTHING was ‘lame’ and / or cruel:

(Can you see the pattern in the list below?)

  • School rules were cruel because they favoured the ‘perfect students’ and they were lame because they just made no sense.
  • Teachers were cruel because they favoured the ‘well-behaved’ students.
  • The good kids were lame because they obeyed the lame rules.
  • Sporting activities were cruel because they made us non-athletes look stupid (see picture below).

Not athletic

  • Sporting activities were cruel because they were won by the lame students who obeyed the lame school rules as set out by the lame teachers.

 

By the way, I ALSO hated:

  • people who wore pink,

People who wear pink

  • the concept of ‘white picket fences’,
  • mothers in shops whose babies were crying,
  • girls that wore pink make-up,
  • girls that wanted to have a pony,

girls who want a pony

  • girls with perfect hair,
  • girls with long legs.

blonde girls with long legs

 

I was a teenager filled with unkind thoughts that were often not based on any real facts. I despised everything and everyone from the school cheerleaders to the school prefects to the school beauty queens.

I basically thought that these people were aliens from another planet. And, I was not particularly nice or friendly towards them. Why? Because I was an ASS. 

(It was much easier to mock the cheerleader than to admit that I wasn’t pretty or co-ordinated or popular enough to be a cheerleader myself)

 

How do I know that I was an ASS?

Some time ago, a new person started working here at the College. When I first met her I thought that she was the type of person that, in many ways, represented the kinds of people that I would have despised back in my teenage years.

In my mind, my new colleague was:

  • the typical school cheerleader – She is such a happy person and she just loves team spirit activities.
  • the school beauty queen – She is tall, blonde and beautiful.
  • the typical beautiful girl with perfect blonde hair and perfect long legs.

Basically, I thought that she was somebody that was SO different from me.

I now have to eat a huge slice of humble pie:

humble pie

 

 

 

 

 

This new colleague:

  • Is one of the COOLEST, NON-LAME people that I know,
  • She is one of the SMARTEST people that I know,
  • She is one of the KINDEST people that I know,
  • She is so not even remotely cruel that she wouldn’t even hurt a flea,
  • She is one of the FUNNIEST people that I know,
  • She is one of the most ASSERTIVE people that I know.

And, in addition, this colleague helped me to realise that I was an ASS because she pointed out just how similar her and I are!!

similar

  • We both love the same perfume,
  • We both love the same wine,
  • We both love drinking LOTS of wine,
  • We both love to make potjiekos,
  • We both love to tell funny stories about our youth,
  • We both love road trips and adventures,
  • We both love standing up for what we believe in,
  • We both have very loving hearts,
  • We live in the same neighbourhood,
  • We work at the same place,
  • We both used to be rebels,
  • We both like ‘souvenirs’ from places we visit.

The list could go on and on.

We are so similar that we joke that we could have been sisters. People just like her are people just like me.

PS:

If ever I am stranded with a group of people on a deserted island, I can only hope that she will be there with me:

Stranded

  • She will keep me happy and laughing with all her motivational and team activities,
  • She will find a way to steal (for both of us) the last of the remaining wine,
  • She will find a way to make me look pretty in spite of being stranded on a deserted island,
  • She will stand up to anybody who tries to hurt my feelings,
  • She will keep me entertained with all her amazing stories,
  • She will be physically strong enough to build us a shelter (she’s given birth to 3 kids … so this basically makes her Superwoman!!),
  • She will be able to pick fruit from the tall tree branches because of her lovely long legs.

 

And, final PS:

If ever I find somebody to marry, I want her to organise the whole wedding. Because of her, I know that I will be able to have the craziest wedding with 1 000 pink ponies, fountains of red wine, rainbows and unicorns.

She’s so super cool … and I am honoured to call her my friend.

I will try to be less of an ass in the future …

What is kindness NOT?

Hi there everybody,

 

Kindness is often considered to be a bit of a lame word. Kindness is what ‘sweet’ people do, right? People such as missionaries and social workers are kind, yes?

Well, not actually.

What is kindness not?

Kindness is often under-valued – it’s considered to be mostly just the stuff expressed in those soppy Hallmark cards. How sad is that?

So, if most of us think that kindness is ‘lame’, how do we feel when we personally experience the opposite of kindness?

What are the opposites of kindness?

  • Cruelty
  • Indifference
  • Impatience
  • Intolerance
  • Abuse
  • Ridicule
  • Dishonesty
  • Disrespect
  • The need to punish and make somebody feel bad
  • The need to assert your superiority over somebody so that the other person feels ‘less than’ and insignificant
  • Withholding time, affection, intimacy
  • Not appreciating somebody
  • Not recognising and affirming somebody regarding who they are and what they do

And many more …

Can you see how important kindness really is?  How do we feel when we experience these opposites being done to us?

So, is kindness really that lame? Because it is certainly not lame when we get to experience, first hand, any of the opposites of kindness.

I guess it basically boils down to the age-old proverb of treating others the same way that we want to be treated. That’s kindness. 

Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

Kindness for today

Are you naked?

Most of us hate the thought of being naked.

Naked usually means to be without clothes.

Are you naked?

 

But naked can refer to being truly ‘you’ – the ‘you’ that is more real than fake happy Facebook status updates.

Do you know what you look like naked?

 

Who are you really?

 

It is not easy to find out who we really are. Most of us never truly figure that out. 

Hopefully, while we are figuring out who we are, we get to some level of self-acceptance. Part of that self-acceptance means accepting that not everybody is going to love us or accept us.

And that is okay too.

What I have learned

Many years ago I came across a truly amazing piece of writing that has really stuck in my head. It speaks about emotional nakedness.

I would like to end today’s chat with these words. It’s quite long – so I apologise for this. But, I think that these words are really, really powerful.

The author is Oriah Mountain Dreamer, and the extract comes from her novel, The Invitation. I hope that you will find something in these words that speaks to you:

 

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.

I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.

I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.