Monday, 30 September 2013

Why I Choose Real over Ideal

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

Before I delve into my simplified form of being real to being ideal, here is an excerpt from Chivalry-Now

As a philosophy, idealism is incomplete. It focuses on what should be, rather than what is. By definition, ideals are goals that are perfect. They constantly remain outside our reach, like fictions we aspire to, for reasons of vanity. Our hearts cry out for them, but no matter how hard we try, we fail at their completion.

We find realism, as a philosophy, just as incomplete. It surrenders to what is, collecting and hoarding treasure troves of knowledge, cleverness and common sense, yet lacks the wisdom and direction that we long for. Realism is static even as if advances, flattering and cajoling the biped hominid with words that leave him empty.

 Idealism points to God, or essence, or virtue as an idea. It grasps for eternal meaning.
 Realism resorts to science, utility, success, acquisition. It mourns out temporal nature with recognition of its finality, and lack of purpose.

Away from being too philosophical, being real to me is life’s simple tool for survival. I am a very ambitious person, with very big dreams for my life; financial, career, parenting, love and relationships, health, I would actually call myself an optimist. But I love the way reality keeps me grounded because life happens and that what’s real.

Reality is our actual; we will fall sick and have to face a doctor however we hate it.Our first job will be the lowest in the pecking order.We fall in love with the wrong persons and get hurt.Your best friend will stab your in the back.The cost of living keeps going up every day.Children you have brought up will disappoint you.People you went out of your way to help will repay you with ingratitude.Elected leaders will not deliver their promises.You will be held up in traffic that one morning you have an important appointment.But like Anthony Liccione asks “Which is more real, when you face reality, or when reality faces you?”I choose facing reality because then I choose life,it is the most real thing we got.

I wrote this article feeling a bit disillusioned,I expected so much imagining an ideal situation,yet I knew what my reality is.Doing a rain check opened my eyes that with all my optimism (big goals and big dreams) I got to be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound); realistic is how I got to play life.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ritual of Abundant Knowledge(Excerpts from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S.Sharma)

This is another excellent ritual of radiant living as explained by Robin S.Sharma. The biggest motivator for me to write and blog is my journey to self discovery. Reading excites me; it captivates my thinking power and presents solutions to all my life’s situations. They say we live longer and younger if we read and seek knowledge.

The ritual of abundant knowledge, as illustrated; centers on the whole notion of lifelong learning and expanding your knowledge base for the good of yourself and all those around you. It is all about becoming a student of life. Even more importantly, it requires that you use what you have learned in the classroom of your existence.

It cautions one not to live bound by the shackles of their schedule. Instead, focus on those things that your conscience and your heart tells you to do. When you invest in yourself and start to devote yourself to raising your mind, body and character to their highest levels, you will almost feel as if you have a personal navigator inside you, telling you which things you must do to see the greatest and most rewarding results. You will stop worrying about your clock and start living your life.

It’s all about reading regularly. Reading for thirty minutes a day will do wonders for you. But not reading just anything. You must be very selective about what you put into the lush garden of your mind. It must be immensely nourishing. Make it something that will improve both you and the quality of your life. The power of the book and the principle that a book is, is the best friend of the wise.

Sharma says it is good to read as many books as you can. But to always remember that some books are meant to be tasted, some books are meant to be chewed and, others are meant to be swallowed whole. Ensure to truly get the best out of a great book, you must study it, not jus tread it. Go through it as you do when you read important documents to make sure best decisions are made. Really consider it, work with it, become one with it. The sages the ardent followers of the rituals of radiant living according to this book would read many of the books of wisdom in their vast library ten or fifteen times. They treated great books as scriptures, holy documents of divine origin.

He says thirty minutes a day will make a delightful difference in your life because you will quickly start to see the vast reserves of knowledge available for your use. Every answer to every problem you have ever faced is in print. If you want to be a better professional, parent, friend or lover, there are books out there that will rocket you to those goals. All the mistakes you will ever make in your life have already been made by those that have walked before you. The challenges you are facing are not unique to you. All the problems anyone has ever, and will ever face over the course of their lifetime have already been made. More importantly, the answers and solutions are all recorded on the pages of books. Read the right books. Learn how those who have preceded you have handled the challenges you are currently facing. Apply their strategies for success and you will be astonished by the improvements you will note in your life.

The books quotes several reads that one can thrive on; the biography of the great American, Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography entitled The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, the highly practical philosophy of Marcus Aurelius and some of the work of Seneca. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill .I would add Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert a great read to self discovery. Sharma says that it’s not what you will get out of the books that are so enriching— it is what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life. He says books do not actually teach us anything new. Books simply help us see what is already within us. That’s what enlightenment is all about. Knowing ourselves and that all we can be.

“Pursue knowledge as though it is your life-blood, then you will know greatness!” ― Monique Rockliffe

Thursday, 26 September 2013

How to Turn a Setback into a Comeback

Life happens. Situations, challenges, setbacks, let downs come away all the time. In this life there are those things we try and cover ourselves against, with insurance covers maybe, emergency plans, plan B’s but there those not in our control, a divorce, death, job loss, accidents,,,,,,

As I seek answers on how to handle my setbacks, I realize so much is actually said on this topic, because setbacks are an important part of our life. When things go against our expectations the best way to look at them is as setbacks not failures, because then it means we are ready to start again, its an ongoing story taking a stop mid-way either to change tact or gather new momentum, we are ready to re-evaluate , and we refuse to accept defeat or call it a failure.

My biggest setbacks have been health concerns and career paths, and when some things happen, like being diagnosed with a chronic problem, the river that is our life changes course. In most occasions we may get into pity mode or label ourselves as victims. You realize such a reaction gets us stuck in the problem instead while in the real sense what we need to do is look at the big picture and deal with life.

With the realization that life is going to present many setbacks my way; I am choosing not to be reactive rather deal with the situations. So when faced with a set back always remember to:

1.       Get beyond the drama triangle
Do not agonize too much over what has already happened, most times than not you have very little or no control over the situation. Assess the situation completely making sure to take responsibility only where you should. Do not play the blame game, learn the lessons, let go, stop the self judging and experience what this situation is transforming you into positively.

2.       Accept the new you
When setbacks come our way, we yearn for the status quo, we want things to be the way they used to be, we want our old self. Fortunately that cannot be the case, the bruises, the heart aches, and the disillusionment heal into change, bringing in a new wiser you.

3.       Express your emotions
When bad things happen to us, in most cases we want to act brave and wear masks of strength. Its good to feel the pain, bitterness, anger, shame, it’s a painful situation hence when overwhelmed cry, vent not allowing these emotions to rule your life, but making sure your energy is not used to repress them rather used creatively to propel you forward.

4.       Take the lessons boldly
There is always a lesson. Learn the lesson and apply it, this means taking action. Acknowledge that you have learned something, the lessons may have come in the most unprecedented way but I believe they are the best lessons encompassed with the joy of knowing you are growing to a better you.

5.       Move on
Failure becomes permanent if you quit. Setbacks and let downs should only be learning experiences propelling us to achieve out intended objectives. If one path doesn’t work, pursue a different one until you get right. If the original destination is not feasible set new goals and pursue them.

Having several D.I.Y (do it yourself) strategies to approach life situations in search of solutions makes this journey worthwhile. Of course we should always acknowledge that some times we will need help, we will need expert guidance; but you realize the need for solutions must come from within so that whatever help ,or advice we are given then makes sense and there is inherent motivation to use it. 

It requires time and effort to handle setbacks the right way; but the most important thing is establishing a course for ones life. Hence do not live with regrets, learn form your mistakes and setbacks. Success is not easy; they say it’s a journey not a destination. Once one goal is achieved another has to be set on a higher level.

“All force strives forward to work far and wide
To live and grow and ever to expand;
Yet we are checked and thwarted on each side
By the world's flux and swept along like sand:
In this internal storm and outward tide
We hear a promise, hard to understand:
From the compulsion that all creatures binds,
Who overcomes himself, his freedom finds.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

IN TIMES LIKE THESE (Facing the Adversity of a Terror Attack)

As I pen this down, am sad, angry, my heart is heavy and I am at loss. I blog to inspire, educate and to pass information, but this week I am low on inspiration, the insights wouldn’t just flow. And how would I when our news is all about terrorists, hostages and sieges.

To us these word are too heavy, not that we are ignorant, but because they don’t belong here nor anywhere in this world. Mortality is one thing we humans do not know how to deal with. It is even more painful when we loose lives to indiscriminate shooting for minding our business, for spending time with family and friends, for choosing a Saturday morning/afternoon to run our errands or even hold business meetings.

So many questions run through my mind now, I love reading, writing and critiquing, but in this case ,,,.. I will never understand why a human being like me (come to think about it they are not like me) would shoot a baby, a pregnant woman, a mother with her children, a father, a person who is defenseless, a person who is not a war.

As a Kenyan, terrorist attacks, sieges and hostages are too foreign words /situations for us, feels too out of reach. Yes we have faced bad violence, tribal clashes, political wars, armed robberies, kidnaps, and recently grenade attacks, but terrorists, hostages and sieges…... These unfortunate occurrences are not the things we get used to.

It’s a story that have left me wondering, because I have no lessons to learn here, YES our security measures need to be upgraded but terrorism is plain evil. A terrorist has chosen the path of war and crime, fighting people who are in no war, I call it COWARDICE. Unfortunately security experts say that terror groups thrive on publicity, ridiculous I say (explains why they chose West-gate Mall, a high end market place).

I am a believer, my faith believes in heaven, purgatory and hell (a theologian would call them indulgences). For all those whose lives we lost, may their souls rest in peace, my prayers for the salvation of those who get to purgatory. For those of us who are here, may we be comforted; those traumatized to receive healing; for the terrorist and their masterminds, may the arm of law reach them.

AMAZING PEACE by Maya Angelou (

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft.   Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness
The word is Peace.
It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs

We tremble at the sound.
We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But true Peace
A harmony of spirit, and comfort of courtesies
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace.  We look at each other, then into ourselves,
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation:

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Ritual of Live Nourishment (Excerpts from:The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)

 According to these teachings a poor diet has a pronounced effect on your life. It drains your mental and physical energy. It affects your moods and it hampers the clarity of your mind. They say as you nourish your body, so you nourish your mind.

This practice requires us to eat Live Foods. Live foods are those which are created through the natural interaction of the sun, air, soil and water, a vegetarian diet. Fill your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits and grains and you might just live forever.

It sounds like an extreme move, for us who are used to meats and other animal products, but these teachings are based on the ageless principle that 'one must live a life of moderation and do nothing to extremes.' So if you like meat, you can certainly keep eating it. Just remember that you are ingesting dead food. If you can, cut back on the amount of red meat that you eat. It is really hard to digest and since your digestive system is one of the most energy-consuming processes of your entire body, valuable energy reserves are needlessly depleted by this foodstuff.

The ritual of live nourishment recommends moderate change, like including a salad in every meal and with time adopting a more vegetarian diet, makes all the difference.