Sunday, March 30, 2014

Garbage truck encounters

In the rush to freshen up and get out of the gym, this guy was washing his hands next to an automatic hand dryer and moved too close it that it automatically went off with the usual loud hissing noise blowing air towards him. The humble gentleman was so startled that he bumped his head from the sudden movement he made in fear, then immediately laughed at himself and at the hand dryer while nursing his head. As I watched this situation I thought about how another person could have handled the same incident, probably banging and cursing that poor machine, which I have seen happen before in other instances. I once read an article about “garbage trucks” moving around looking for someone to dump their load on. Not literal garbage trucks, but an analogy of situations, incidents or miserable, gloomy, moody and sometimes angry people who act like fully loaded garbage trucks looking for someone ‘clean’ to dump their garbage on. Do not for a moment be fooled by the clean dump truck representation herein, I am just being sensitive to your situation unknown to me as you read, because dump trucks are quite messy. We all get that and you could have just had such an experience today as you read this article and it can affect how our day goes. There you are, having a great day and someone acts like they just woke up to mess your day. I mean they literally act like they have been sent out on a ‘mission impossible’ to suck up every last bit of peace, vibrance and joy you have within you and clone their misery in you. Whether you are on the road in traffic, in a mall, at a market or at work, there can be that garbage truck driving around and ready to offload on you and make you as miserable as they are on impact. Keep your bay clean and avoid being dumped on. Most times in a work environment you can detect the truck before it hits and offloads on you. The fact that someone acts towards you in a certain way does not hand you one option to respond back. You have at least two choices to react, negatively, losing it and completely going nuts while emotionally draining yourself in the process, or positively, remaining calm, composed and peaceful and realising a garbage truck when it is in action while retaining your energy for more productive use. Once you know this truth, you can be alert and ensure your day is not determined by situations and people in a negative way. I try to deal with people and incidents by strategically pre-planning the way I react and respond, as it gives me leverage and may help the other party as well. As a value add, a gym work out helps, because heavy iron has a way of absorbing garbage. Watch out for garbage trucks and avoid impact that steals your joy because, believe me you will meet or pass them, figuratively and literally. How have you dealt with garbage trucks lately?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Realising intrinsic value

When investing in shares on a stock market, the actual value of a company's share, which may be the same as or different to the market value is referred to as the intrinsic value. The market may over or under-value a share but this does not change the intrinsic value. I am not going to confuse you with stock market jargon, and this article is not about shares and investments at all so do read on. In the investment world, value is relative and not absolute most of the time. Interpretation of value is internal to the buyer and cannot be accurately set or standardized, hence different values for a similar item. As art is a form of investment, when a WITS University student used her pocket money to buy the Jane Alexander sculptor "Untitled" for a few hundred rands more than 25 years ago, she had no idea that this artwork would reap her an unimaginable return while simultaneously making Jane the highest selling living artist in South Africa. If one is to look at the piece of art, they may not see the R5.5 million value someone actually paid for it, but to the buyer, it was worth every cent paid. The old adage says beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is exactly how it played out in this case. This is much the same with every human being. Beauty, let alone value, is never a standard measure equally recognized and appreciated by all we cross paths with. Our inner value is only revealed when we meet with the right people who can see it deep within us. We all are valuable in varying degrees and people see our value differently. To some I am worth nothing and to others I am priceless. The important thing to know is that I am valuable. Sometime back we started out worth just a few hundred dollars in life, undeveloped, unrecognized with little accomplishments. But as we find ourselves and work on our dreams, nurturing them with passion and patience, our intrinsic value slowly increases in the eyes of more and more people. Let us therefore hold on to our dreams until the right time and act on them as we blossom to our full potential and value. Just like the owner of Jane Alexander's artwork held on to the painting until the right time and benefited from not letting go, we should not let go of our dreams but hold on and act on them in due season while realizing our intrinsic value.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hidden treasures walking past

I have previously passed people in a street, mall or a staircase, without thinking much about what I am passing by. Yes I walk past a male or female figure but my writing passion has made me realise how much more I fore-go when I pass someone anywhere without interacting with them. When I walk past someone, I am walking past treasures of expression, experience, information, knowledge, tears, hopes, dreams, thoughts, views and opinions, bottled up one person. I recently read about what made people blog in one of my associate writing groups and that is when I started viewing people I come across differently. Now this bring an interesting perspective to light. How many times in a day or a week does one reach out to treasures outside their own? How open is one to sharing their own treasures with that of others? It is like there is a digital timer running each time you walk past people and their treasures of information, inspiration, education and more. The timer goes up when you ignore the treasure and goes down when you tap into it. Every time you decide to reach out of your comfort zone to ask someone one question, can unleash treasures you never thought you would get in a day. It is not everyday that I feel like opening my mouth to have conversation with a stranger but most times it has been worth while. So today I challenge you to reach out and not let hidden yet free treasures pass your by. Tap into the treasures around you and gain more treasures for yourself.

Image from Timitrius

Friday, March 7, 2014

Determination doesn't care

Determination is not giving up, not letting go and not giving in. No matter how hard or painful things may get, or how badly you want to give up, you just keep going. The Sochi Paralympic games of March 2014 are not all glitz and glamour for every participant. Paralympians compete for the honours at this prestigious event and Samsung recognised them with an inspiring advert titled "What's your problem, sport doesn't care" which quickened me to write this piece. As I watched this ad for the first time, I could almost feel the anguish a paralympian goes through in his/her quest to succeed but also the determination dominating the anguish. I imagined my own excuses of why I have failed in certain areas, which they echoed, I am too tall, I am not a mornings person, I hate the rain or I just cannot do it. They also face the same issues I face, and more as they miss some organs which I take for granted. I realised that they have made decisions of not allowing anything to stand in the way of their dreams. Putting in double, if not triple the effort that I may put in doing anything, they have gone against the odds. On top of overcoming the normal fears I face and maybe succumb, they face additional fears which I do not even think about on a day to day basis. So in echoing the question asked, I ask you, what is your problem today? What dreams have you buried in the sand because you thought it was not possible? Is it really a problem or a figment of your imagination which you can overcome? Maybe you have lowered your aspirations and desires to succeed and it has become easy to succumb to failure. It is my challenge today to you to re look at those things you have not done because you thought you cannot do them. Someone once said we humans are much more tougher than we can ever imagine and you can only underestimate yourself at your own peril.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I am not just me

My existence is sustained by many words, wishes, prayers, goodwill, encouragement, people and support. I am a product of love, rebuke, discipline and mentorship. I have not come where I am just by chance or default. Loving people have dedicated their time in moulding me. Laughing, crying, celebrating and scolding me at times, when I rejected their advice, throwing all caution to the wind. They have stuck with me knowing I could be a better person. My thoughts and actions are guided by many role models. When I think, assess and consider, I have frames of reference to tap into. When I decide and act, I have experiences and backgrounds to refer to. I do not just do or act, but I have men and women to refer to who have a vested interest in my daily acts, seen or unseen. So the next time you say or do something wherever you are, do not do it for yourself, as you inevitably do it for others. You are doing it for me and that person who sees you silently. You will be my frame of reference in similar circumstances. I will reflect and refer to what you did in your situation. I will reflect on how you handled that difficult episode. So you see I am not just me as you see me. I am made up of all your actions which I see. You are a part of my life by what you say and do. Much of who you are rubs onto me by our relation. If you are challenged, make me a better person. Don’t just live your life, live it to make me and you better. As we work these building blocks of the many lives we affect. As for me, this much know that I am not just me.

Image here