“But the highest rung of what’s possible is far beyond the world you can see…” Trevor Noah

I have just been listening to Oprah’s chat with Trevor Noah during her Super Soul Sunday podcast.  For years I have been fascinated by and enjoyed the comedy of Trevor Noah.  I don’t see him as a comedian though, I see him as a storyteller whose stories make us laugh.  I never imagined though that he would climb so high that he would break the South African ceiling and ascend to the world’s stage.  I never imagined but I did hope.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his book when it was released in the hope of getting some insight into the life experience that gave rise to these stories and it did not disappoint. I guess as a Coloured person I saw him as one of “us”  and, technically, by the old government’s definition, he is.  His upbringing though was very different and in a lot of ways unique, so his life experience was unique.  It was as though he is born to walk straddling two worlds at a time.  I know that sounds strange so let me explain what I mean.  He is neither white nor black but grew up as a black person.  He was treated differently even within his own family because his skin was lighter.  This led to very unique experiences for him as a child.  Now he is a South African (and a proud one at that) living in New York and hosting a top-rated American show once again allowing him to experience the world from a unique point of view.  I guess we all do but this guy…eish…his experiences seem to be the stuff of legend.  Ok Ok I exaggerate but you know what I mean 🙂

I am in awe of Trevor Noah for various other reasons as well though.

  • He is authentic- He has no airs and graces.  He is always true to his roots.
  • He has integrity – when he was first called by Jon Stewart and invited to the US, he turned him down because he was in the middle of a tour and didn’t want to disappoint his fans.
  • He works hard– not just on the daily show.  on everything.  He puts 100% into everything he does.
  • He is passionate about what he does – I love his Trump rants especially..lol
  • He gives back – He has just launched the Trevor Noah foundation but that’s not all.  Before he became an international sensation, he was touring South Africa with up and coming local comedians using his notoriety to raise theirs.
  • He is wise – he views the world from a different perspective to most of us and, together with the wisdom his mom has handed to him, he has gained insight about the world that has led him to model behaviours and make decisions that have led him to where he is today.

I truly hope that he is working on part two of his book.  I don’t know about you but I am dying to know how he went from becoming a stand-up comedian to the host of The Daily Show.  He has done a ton of travelling in between so I can only imagine the stories he has to tell.  I can’t wait.  (Please release the next episode sooner rather than  later Trevor!)

There is no way Trevor Noah has reached the top rung of his ladder yet.  There is definitely more beyond the world that he can currently see.  May he continue to rise.

What I love most about Trevor’s story though is that it is a reminder that anything is possible if you work hard.  It’s a reminder that you don’t have to come from a rich family to achieve.  It’s a reminder that we are all capable of greatness. We just have to believe while we work at it. It’s not gonna happen overnight, but it can and will happen.  Don’t give up.  Keep on rising.

I’ll leave with another of Trevor’s pearls of wisdom…

“Progression, in my opinion, is often identifying shortcomings – whether it’s views or the things you’re doing in your life, your relationships – and trying to find the places where you improve on those.” ~ Trevor Noah

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5 life lessons to keep me moving forward

At the beginning of this year I promised myself that I would make some changes so that I could move closer to achieving the goals that I set for myself. You see, I had made a conscious decision to put my plans on hold over the last 2 years for various reasons. I have no regrets but I have also learned a few valuable lessons through the experience.

Lesson #1: Pay yourself first

The financial gurus always tell you this and, as a woman and as a mother especially, I find it hard to do so. It’s like we are preprogrammed to give of ourselves and never take. I have learned that I need to pay myself first not only financially but also physically because poor health doesn’t help me or anyone else. Of course I have to pay myself emotionally because being a woman requires an inner strength of note. It’s easier and quicker to replenish that strength before it is depleted and not after. Lastly, I have to keep my spiritual self in balance as well. Life is so much easier when you know you have a higher power on your side. This is a tough one but a lesson I had to learn. It’s not selfish, it’s as necessary as living and breathing.

Lesson #2: Not everything you do will be appreciated. Do it anyway

Those people who know me well, know that I like to give of myself and of the little that I have. I love to see the delight on people’s faces especially when you surprise them with an unexpected little gift or compliment or act. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to light up someone’s day. This helps me replenish my spiritual and emotional self. My only expectation has always been that you either pay it forward or that you help yourself move forward. It breaks my heart when that doesn’t happen but I have learned that I should do it with no expectations of the recipient. Of course I also won’t do it indefinitely if I see that you are merely abusing my kindness. That would just be stupid on my part. I will continue to do it anyway though because I don’t know what the knock on effect could be. It might not be visible to me right now but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason.

Lesson #3: I do things differently and that’s ok.

I have spent my whole life lambasting myself for not fitting in. There are very few people in this world that “get me” and accept me as I am. You know what…that’s ok. I view the world differently. I am a “deep” thinker and not a “quick” thinker. Don’t tell me a story now and ask for my opinion. I will probably stare at you blankly. I often need time to process what I have taken in and when I do give you an answer, it will be worth the wait. I am an introvert. I actually love that I am. I love that I don’t have to be part of the hustle and bustle of life 24/7. I don’t have to be on social media constantly (although I do admit to a mild addiction to Twitter in particular 😜) I am different and that’s ok. It actually feels like I have taken a load off every time I write that. Wait gotta do it again…I am different and that’s ok. 😁

Lesson #4: I am enough

This one stems from lesson #3. It’s not enough to just accept that I am different. I am also enough as I am. I don’t need to be better than everyone else at everything. I just need to work at getting better at things that I need for everyday and for the future. At work we set “stretching” goals for ourselves every year in different areas so that we are continuously growing ourselves as people, our skills and ultimately the business. That’s all I need to do in life to keep myself challenged, moving forward and growing as a person. I am enough as I am but God has given me the capacity to keep growing so who am I to say no.

Lesson #5: Travel is a gift to yourself. Give it.

I love traveling to new places and doing different things. I especially love exposing my son to new places and people and then watch him grow because of the experiences he has had. This is one of the items that was put on hold over the last two years that I need to get back on track. My trips overseas this year reminded me of what an exciting experience it is. The exposure to new cultures helps me look at the world through different eyes. Even a trip within the country is enough to get perk the brain up😁. I am so excited just thinking about it! I can’t wait for us to go on our first trip!

As always, I leave you with an African proverb to ponder on…

#Africanproveb #Life #lifelessons #groundedafrican

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Changes and Travels

It’s been a hectic start to the year!  My poor brain has moments when it just feels like it wants to shut down.  So I gave it a break from blogging and a few other endeavours for fear of overloading it.  Time to hit the road again so welcome back and enjoy the ride 🙂

My first two months of 2018 has been filled with change and challenges and lots of excitement.  I am thrilled to say that March will not be any different!  In fact, I was sitting in a meeting this afternoon which was attended by a new director.  Turns out he is a very curious mind and approached the topic under discussion from a very different angle than I had encountered in a while.  It was a refreshing and energising change.  It got me thinking about how easy it is to develop tunnel vision when you are constantly surrounded by the same people or get yourself into a rut when you get into a routine.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some routines are a good thing.  They help give your day structure so that you do what you have to do so that you can do what you want to do.  (Got that one from Denzil Washington on Oprah 🙂 ) They also help you implement good habits that you may want to instil in yourself.  So yes, routines definitely have their place.  Some routines eventually just become a bore though and before you know it, you are feeling like a hamster in a wheel.  Round and round you go.  I feel like have been that little hamster for a while now.

Then 31st December rolled around.  I saw in the new year with my loved ones as well as a few new people.  It was the first time in about 7 years that I had stepped out of my comfort zone to see in the new year.  It was as if that small change has triggered lots of  new experiences for me.  I don’t always realise that I am having a new experience or experiencing something familiar in a new way until the moment is over.  Fortunately, I do realise it at some point after and am able to take a moment to be grateful for the experience.

What’s all this new stuff you ask…well…where shall I start?  I have rekindled an old friendship and bonded with some of my favourite cousins.  I largely only see my cousins at family gatherings as we live far apart.  It has been refreshing and fulfilling bonding with them all.  These are people that I can be myself with and they love me anyway and that means the world to me. They also enlighten me by sharing their life experiences with and challenge me when I am going off on a tangent.  I love it!

I have finally fufilled my promise to take my son to the museum.  It’s probably seems like a small thing but it was a big deal to him.  We both love museums so I was pretty excited to go as well. I must say that it was much smaller than we anticipated although they were renovating so perhaps that’s why.  Mr suddenly got a bee in his bonnet about seeing snakes so he ended up missing an entire section (just in case…sigh).  The joys of having a smart munchkin who can also be a bit OCD about certain things…lol.  He makes my day everyday though!

About 2 weeks ago I had the privilage of spending a few days in Dubai for work.  All very last minute and very daunting as we were hosting our global VP.  I was beside myside.  I had never had to have breakfast, lunch and super with my VP for 3 straight days before. Glad I had the opportunity though.  She is a remarkable woman with loads of knowledge that she enjoys sharing.  It was a huge learning curve.  In those 3 short days, I also fell in love with Lebonese food, rode a camel, saw springboks in the desert(!), marvelled at the architecture (especially the Burj Khalifa) and was floored by the sheer size of the Dubai Mall. Oh wait…I had a cappuccino with camel’s milk as well (Super rich!).  Totally by accident of course but hey it counts as a new experience and I also had my most expensive cappuccino at the hotel. I could have bought 3 for the same price in South Africa!

My trip home was a daytime flight so for the first time I was able to see the landscapes we were flying over.  As we flew over the desert just out side Dubai, I was amazed to see that every “farmhouse” had a tree or two next to it.  The landscape varies over the Middle East but it is all brown.  Once you enter Africa, the landscape changes to green and stays that way. Beautiful to see.  I love Africa!

#travelling #Godscountry #DubaitoDurban #groundedafrican #african
Saudi Arabia to Tanzania to South Africa

Well,  that’s just a taste of some of the change that has happened in my world of late.  Like I said, lots more still to come so do stay tuned.  Better yet…sign up via email so that you don’t miss out.  I promise your email will not be shared or sold.  I hate spam as much as you do.

I’ll leave you with a Kossi proverb about change…#Africanproverb #african #groundedafrican #change #life

5 things I would change if I had to had to go back into time

I was looking at my skin in the mirror the other day and thanking God for the good genes that He has blessed me with.  Unfortunately, genetics is not enough to keep my skin looking good. It definitely lays a great foundation though! 🙂  I haven’t always looked after my skin. In fact, as with most things, I started my face care routine a little late in life. This got me thinking about some of the tweaks I would make if I could live my life over.
 
#1. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
As a kid, summer was my favourite time of year.  I spent many hours in the sun swimming and playing outside.  As an adult, I have spent many hours at the beach and driving in the sun.    I never ever applied sunscreen in all that time. Shock and Horror!   No doubt it’s the reason for the damage I see on my face today.   It would be a lot worse if I didn’t eventually heed the warnings out there about the dangers of sun exposure.  SPF50 is now my friend.  Remember…it’s never too late to start the habit either.  I know it sucks trying to find one that doesn’t leave you looking ghostly if you are a person of colour. It looks like the companies are getting better at it.   We live in hope I  guess.
#2. Don’t smoke
Let me start by saying that I LOVED smoking.  I loved the ritual of smoking.  I loved lighting the cigarette and taking that first deep pull on it.  I loved smoking while drinking coffee (my other vice) or after a good meal in particular.   Yip…you get it…I LOVED smoking.  The thing is though, if I had never started, I would never have known what I was missing out on.  It’s been almost 5 years since I stopped and I will never go back.  Stopping was not easy and brought on a host of other issues so nope…I am not going to start once more.  I have no desire to go through that drama again.  This leads me to #3…
#3. Be an exercise junky!
Here’s the thing…once my life as a student ended, I became quite sedentary.  I also had a car so walking hectically long distances was no longer necessary.  Initially, the weight crept on.  You could still find me dancing the night away in the club over the weekends. The impact of having a car was negligible.  I stopped clubbing.  Well…that’s when the problem really started. The weight started creeping on faster and faster.  I was in denial.   I had been thin my entire life.  “This can’t be happening to me”.  I did nothing.  Then…I had a baby.  The weight piled on.  Only then did it twig that I better get my A into G and move.  I lost some.  I gave up smoking…sigh.  I gained loads more than I had lost!   Yip…Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho it’s off the gym I go.  I’ve got this!  This war I will win.  An exercise junky I will become!
 
#4. Take more risks
Those of you that know me, know that I can be quite scared of my own shadow at times.  I have probably missed out on a lot of opportunities in various areas of my life because taking a risk scared me.  There are times when I see my son been afraid of taking risks. My heart breaks because I know that he is missing out on something exciting that he will actually enjoy.   Sometimes he surprises me and faces his fears head-on.  That’s when he inspires me to face mine 🙂 
#5.  Fail more often
One of the reasons I didn’t take more risks when I was younger was because I feared failure.  I was soooo embarrassed to fail.  I am also a control freak.  The problem with taking a risk is that you don’t know how things will turn out.  Being in control has kept me feeling safe.  Life is short though and safe has become boring so my new life rules have become:
  • “I won’t get if I don’t ask”
  • “I won’t learn if I don’t try”
  • “I can’t win it if I’m not in it”
This is the tip of the iceberg for me.  Striving to give my son a great life experience has forced me to question my beliefs. I often have to unlearn things so that I can relearn them, especially through his eyes.  The world becomes a marvellous place again when looked at through the eyes of a child.
I leave you with an African Proverb …
#africanproverb #groundedafrican #african #blog #learning #life #quotescreator
Photographer: M. Frankson Venue: Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, Durban

 

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Quality time with my little human

Holidays…what a pleasure!  It’s been a week and I have to say the time I have spent chilling with my little man has been priceless!  Not only have we been out and about spending time with family and friends but we have also been just been enjoying each other’s company.

This time with him has given me the opportunity to really “see” him and pay attention to the person he is becoming.  I must admit that I am blown away but what I see.  I see a big boy who is evolving into an impressive young man.  Of course I am biased but, at the same time, I definitely see lots to be proud of.

If I look back at the year past, he really got to grips with the concept of self motivation. He embraced affirmations and, on New Year’s Eve, was very keen to participate in a Law of Attraction exercise. He listed the things he wanted to let go of and the things he wanted to achieve or change in 2018. In a nutshell, he has matured a lot.

He has such a sense of humour as well. We were actually just chatting about the year ahead and the importance of discipline and focus.  When we were done, I hug him and tell him that I love and him and that I want him to prosper. His response, in his driest tone,..”like Absa”.  I laughed so hard.  (Absa is the name of a bank in SA that promises to help you prosper).  He hits me with these deadpan jokes of his when I least expect it. Cracks me up everytime.

This time has also been spent reconnecting with old friends and with family. My dad came to see in my birthday with me. We spent the evening playing monopoly. We all had such a blast that we completely lost track of time that night. Another of my favourite moments was driving down to the farm with my son. It’s about a 2 hour drive one way. The scenery is amazing. We had lunch with my aunts and their families. Lots of laughter was shared as well as great food. The time spent with them was so worth the drive.

Unfortunately, it’s time to return to school and work. 😔 I return feeling grounded. Centered. Clear on how I want to spend my year. I probably could have done with another week of rest but it’s ok. Some rest is better than none.😁 I hope that you have had the opportunity to rest as well this festive season. We forget how important it is to look after ourselves so that we have the energy to keep grinding and looking after our loved ones.

I’ll leave you with another African proverb I found…#africanproverb #groundedafrican #african #life #motherhood

Another year older…

I get to experience “New Year” twice in one week.  The first time on the first of January like everyone else.  The second, on my birthday,  a week later.  The second one always feels more important to me.   It’s when I really take stock, decide on my goals and lay down plans to make those goals happen.

I haven’t always done things this way.  I have largely flown by the seat of my pants for most of my life.   There are goals that I had as a teen that I actively pursued but I didn’t really understand what I was doing.   Looking back, knowing what I now know,  I see why and how I managed to achieve certain things and why I didn’t achieve others. In the last 3-4 years I have gotten into the habit of creating goals and actually thinking through how I will achieve them.  I know, scary that it has taken me this long but  I still believe in “better late than never”.  I have been reading about goal setting for a while and have even written a few down but I never had the discipline to plan how to make it happen.  It became clear that setting goals was a fruitless exercise if you had no plan on how to achieve them.

I have been talking to different people and reading different books in order to find a method that would work for me.  In my last post, I shared a method that I believe in and will be implementing this year.  If you missed it, you can read more about it here.  I have come to realise that, although I may have lived most of my life flying by the seat of my pants, I am actually a creature of habit on a day to day basis so this method should be pretty easy to make mine.  Will keep you posted on how it’s going as we move along through the year.

I will leave you with a pearl of wisdom from the African continent to inspire you…#African #Lifeskills #life #groundedafrican #motivation #africanproverb

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Bye for now

The year that was and the year that will be

It’s the last day of yet another year.  A year that has brought many a great moment and many sad moments too.  I have changed over this year and I like the changes I see.  Fears have been faced.  Obstacles have been overcome.  New habits have developed as well.  I see the world differently today compared to 365 days ago.  I am blessed.  For all of this, the highs and the lows, I am grateful. To the people who have supported me and been there for me, I thank you.  The greatest thanks goes to God for guiding me and shielding me this past year.  Nothing is possible without Him.  Of course the two VIP males in my life must be mentioned as well, my son and my boyfriend as they have been my rocks.  I could not have gotten through this year without them. Thank you both.  2017 is for all intents and purposes over.  2018 is on our doorstep and I am super excited to open that door and let it in!

I was reading the story of Warren Buffet and his pilot, Mike Fint,  and the “two list” strategy earlier.  In a nutshell Mr Buffet’s advice to his pilot to help him achieve his goals in life was as follows:

  • Step 1 – write down your top 25 career goals.  (I know, it sounds daunting doesn’t it.  Once you start though, you will be surprised at how quickly you get to 25 so give it a go.  It doesn’t have to be career goals, it can be anything you want to achieve).
  • Step 2 – review the list and circle your top 5 goals.

You now have 2 lists.  List 1 contains your top 5 most important goals and list 2 contains 20 goals that are important to you but probably have a lower priority.  If you are like Mike Flint, you are probably telling youself that List 1 is the list you will focus on and list 2 you will get to as when you have time between the items on list 1.  Yip, that’s what I was thinking too.

Guess what…the story goes that Warren Buffet told Mike Flint to put that list aside.  List 2 is your “Avoid-At-All-Cost” list.  He apparently says that you should not give the items on this list any attention until you have succeeded with your top 5.  List 2 will be a distraction.  Success requires focus.

2018 brings with it new hope and new opportunities to grow, to learn and to succeed.  I stand on the otherside of the door, waiting to open it,  armed with the tools that life has brought my way.  One of those is my new found habit of meditation.  Yes, I eventually got myself into the habit and I am so glad that I did.  The last few weeks have been a different experience compared to the rest of the year especially at work.  You can read more about the changes I have experienced thus far on my Quora page.  I highly recommend you give it a try in 2018.

I won’t be making any New Year Resolutions for 2018.  I will, however, be setting myself those 5 goals and then implementing the new habits that I will require to make those goals a reality.  Sounds weird right.  Think about it though.  How many times have you set yourself a goal and made no changes and expected success?  How many times have you achieved success this way?  I am guessing that it was probably none. Whenever you have achieved success, you made a change somewhere in your daily life in order to make it happen.  In every interview I have read about how someone has lost weight for example, they will all say the same thing, they had to develop new habits in order to succeed.  Some created a habit of running/exercising everyday.  All developed the habit of drinking more water and all had to create new habits around mealtimes and the way they thought about food.  They had to make changes in order to be successful.  So yes, I will be setting goals and creating new habits within my daily routines that will allow me to focus on those goals and give me every chance of succeeding.

Before I go, I would like to say thank you for your continued support this year.  Thank you for all the messages I have received over the past few months after you have read my blog.  Please keep them coming in 2018.  Your messages are valued.

Lastly,  I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  May your 2018 be filled with love laughter and prosperity. Please don’t drink and drive and do strap your yourself and your children in if you will be on the road.  Definitely don’t forget your sunscreen 🙂

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