Posted by on March 29, 2017 | 0 comments

Do One Thing That Scares You

Do you want to transform your life? Here’s a challenge for you: For the next week, take a cold shower first thing each morning. If you’re anything like me, the very thought of a cold shower will make you flinch with dread. In fact, the idea for this challenge came from a book I read a number of years ago titled The Flinch, by Julien Smith. The book is about stepping into those situations that evoke fear in us and doing them anyway. Smith calls it “flinching forward”. I took the cold shower challenge at the time, and here’s what I learned: It’s just cold water, not hydrochloric acid! The discomfort doesn’t last; my body adjusted quite quickly. I’d decided that taking a cold shower would be dreadful, without ever having tried it. How many other experiences have I made this decision about? When I got out of the shower, I felt on top of the world, not only for having gone ahead and done it, but from the invigoration of the...

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 | 0 comments

20 Lessons to Transform Your Life

Transformation is an ideal many of us aspire to, but few actually achieve. Here are 20 lessons I’ve learned along my own journey: Be honest with yourself about what needs to change. Take full responsibility for bringing about the change you want to see. Devote time each day to imagining your desired reality. Let go of what no longer serves you. Expand your comfort zone. Do one thing every day that scares you. Watch your words, especially those you say to yourself. Establish and nurture empowering habits. Read the life stories of people you admire and learn from them. Learn to make decisions. You will either succeed, or you will learn. Understand that transformation is necessarily tough. If it was easy everyone would do it. Hold yourself to the highest standards. Don’t settle! Integrity works. Be your word and keep your promises. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. Forgive others. Otherwise the energy of resentment will weigh you down. Build your “bounce back” muscle. When life knocks you down, pick...

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Posted by on March 17, 2017 | 1 comment

What Makes a Leader

For two weeks I’ve had the privilege of facilitating a leadership development programme for emerging leaders from six countries on the African continent. We’ve brought in expert speakers in public life to address the emerging leaders, ranging from international thought leaders on the topic of African development in the post-colonial period, to high-ranking politicians, activists and members of the judiciary. The expert inputs have been informative and the discussions in the room have been robust and engaging. Each of our speakers has offered valuable content on how Africa’s future leaders need to think about the development challenges on the continent and to devise innovative solutions to address them. But knowing economic data and understanding geopolitics doesn’t make a leader. While it’s essential to have a thorough grasp of the issues you are grappling with, what distinguishes a leader is much closer to home: the inner make-up of the leader and how that shapes the manner in which she makes decisions, interacts with people at all levels, and responds to...

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Posted by on March 9, 2017 | 0 comments

The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others

We all do it. We observe what other people are doing and we ask whether we are doing enough. We measure our success relative to our friends, competitors or neighbours and we attach labels to ourselves such as “better than” or “less than”. Comparing yourself to other people is a natural human instinct. The danger comes when the comparison leads to paralysis and an inability for you to get on and do what it takes to achieve your dreams. You will know when you are engaging in toxic comparison when: You constantly see yourself as falling short of what other people are doing or achieving. You base your goals on what other people are doing, or you adapt your dreams so that you can be like someone you admire. You are concerned with being impressive, and you look to other people for validation and approval. You feel resentful towards people you consider to be more successful than you. You spend more energy and resources cultivating an image, and less...

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Posted by on March 1, 2017 | 0 comments

A Great Question to Get Clear on Your Dream

When it comes to your dreams, clarity is power. Unless you are one hundred percent clear on what you want to achieve and how this will impact your life, you run the risk of holding yourself back from doing what it takes, or sabotaging yourself when it looks like things are working out. A great way to gain clarity is to ask yourself: “What will I do the day after my dream has been achieved?” This question is valuable for two reasons: Firstly, it forces you to identify what your “dream achieved” means. What is the measure of success you are after? How will you know when you’ve achieved it? Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to have a clear “prize” you are working towards. Otherwise you will be working in a haze, where you are constantly striving and never arriving. The second reason for asking what you’ll do the day after your dream has been achieved is that it provides you the opportunity to unpack what...

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