The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Reflection’

Bank on being you!

Bank on being you

Bank on being you

One of my mentors is an event planner who’s been in the event planning business for more than 20 years in Kenya. Let’s call her Alice*.

During a session one day, I asked her what an entrepreneur should protect at all times. I thought she was going to mention networks, investment, knowledge/wisdom, loyal staff members…etc.

Little did I expect to hear her say, “your creativity.”

Alice went further to explain that it is what has kept her in business for more than 20 years. Despite her being one of the pioneers in the wedding industry in Kenya, she has faced challenging times as people check-in to her organisation in the name of “learning” yet in reality some are often sent by competitors to copy her mode of running business. Boy am I learning it first-hand as others try to do the same with my new startup.

Over the years, Alice watched businesses come up and crash down as they tried to copy her approach. They got what they wanted so why didn’t the businesses thrive?

Well, her answer to this is that copying is attractive but in real sense more tiresome than coming up with your own ideas. When a business faces challenges, it is the leader’s creativity that often plays a part in salvaging the organisation.

In her events business, Alice was able to always come up with new products, services and approaches that the “copy cats” found hard to keep up with because they only depended upon her steps. Her creativity helped to fuel her vision which helped her branch out of Kenya and into other countries while some of the “copy cats” went out of business over the years.

Moral of the story: You are your best asset because you are the only one who understands your vision 100%. So protect your creativity as this is what every successful person holds as a secret weapon. Look at some of the most successful initiatives in the world then do a background check on the leaders who contributed to their success. You’ll realise that it’s their creativity that helped them spot opportunities in places, things and climates where others didn’t see possible for the success of their vision.

#StayMotivated

Ask questions a little more

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Children have got the unique ability to boldly ask questions before taking anything as truth.

So what happens to us as we grow older?
Do we lose the excitement and confidence that comes with asking, “Why?”

Studies have shown that the most revolutionary thinkers and successful people on earth had at a young age been exposed to environments they often wanted to be different – for the better. It should then not be a surprise as to why they ended up being successful. When their questions  where not answered, they took action, sought after the answers and they found them.

Having reflected upon this matter recently, I chose to challenge myself and dared to rekindle the passion I used to have as a child who asked questions a little more – to challenge my understanding of what has been defined as ‘truth’ or ‘limit’ to human understanding.

Don’t hold yourself back. I dare you to do the same and deliberately ask questions a little more. Challenge what seems rational with your imagination. Go the extra mile to understand something often affiliated with stereotype. And if your questions are not answered… go out there and find them!

The beauty of success is not found within confinement but in experiences that go beyond normality.

Courage

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I can confidently say that I am not the same woman I was two months ago.
Why so?

Well… fear checked in big-time! I woke up one day and imagined myself as a 50-year-old woman. Judging from the attitude I had in life I predicted the kind of situation I would be in. Let’s just say that it didn’t look good at all. It was pitiful to picture myself as the woman I had imagined.

Snapping back to reality was the best feeling ever! I realised just how much I could still do to end up at a better place than I had seen myself in. There was suddenly an opportunity to work on my attitude and realise that the change begins with me and in my mind.

The best thing is that suddenly I don’t fear much in life as I used to. The greatest lesson I’ve learnt is that instead of focusing on fear of the uncertain future, it is much better to focus on the possibility of great things that lie ahead in my life.

So be kind to yourself. Don’t leave any room for fear, open wide your life to the possibilities of a positive future.

Courage is a state mind!

To New Beginnings in 2014

Today, a friend shared with me a story about a rite of passage carried out by one of the Native-American communities. Boys who have become of age would take-on the tradition by journeying to the center of a thick forest and camp there overnight. An additional challenge to the task is for each boy to go through the whole process while blind-folded. Some of the young men would spend the night in the forest, afraid and feeling unprotected. But at the end of the challenge, the blind folds would be removed and the first person the boy would see is his father. The boy would realize that his father was always there watching and guarding him with bow and arrow. This is the best story to hear as I plan to close this year’s chapter.

The year 2013 has been one rich cocktail of happenings; good and bad, happy and sad, wins and losses, learning and teaching and of course… the dramatic world of the unknown. As many ushered in 2013 with gilts and glam, cheer and beer… I began the year crying in my room because I had had the worst year ever in 2012. Who could have known that a year which began so ominously bad could have ended in such a peaceful and beautiful way?

Death snatched dear ones from me and I could do nothing else but just thank God for the time I had with them. I had to deal with depression early in the year and after healing I managed to draw my friends out of it. So many of us seemed to be suffering from the cruel fate of Murphy’s Law but now we all smile having tasted the sweet fruit of victory over our challenges. I think our tough times shape us into better people and I am glad to have seen the better side of all that I had gone through.

Right now, my life seems like a mess but I trust in God who sees the whole picture.

Right now, I am scared about half the things I am to face or that I pursue but I will do it anyway.

Right now, all I have is faith in God and a vision of the woman I want to be this coming year.

My duty is not to worry, but to carry-on with the task entrusted to me by God.

And so this coming year, I plan to obey dear God and trust that He will be me always:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9

Live. Love. Learn.

Here’s to a fabulous 2014 dear ones!

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

Kenyans Marching-on!!!

Indeed, this month has been one packed with loads of activity, anxiety, drama, but most of all hope for my country Kenya.

So much has happened and today marks a historic day as the Supreme Court is set to make a verdict on the election petitions. My hope, my prayer is that my countrymen shall maintain peace and respect the new constitution we voted-in by respecting the ruling of the law.

Enjoy the few days left this month and see you on the other side in April!!!

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For some positive meditation:

KENYA’S NATIONAL ANTHEM

O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

Let’s keep the peace!

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

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