A Call to Integrity in Society

integrity

What is your definition of integrity? And do you think integrity is something achievable or a mere pipe dream? For the society to embrace integrity, it calls for personal responsibility on your part and mine. The call to integrity fast starts with you.

Once you get the gist of it, you have the responsibility of transferring it to your family. Family is the smallest unit of a society. From the family units, we can transfer integrity to the entire society fabric.

A Friend’s Testimony on Integrity

A wonderful friend whom I will call Jack once visited a learning institution armed with tender documents to seek a hand in the tender bidding process.

Jack was born in Western Kenya but lives and makes his ends meet in Nairobi. Apparently, it wasn’t his business venture applying for the tender deal but his uncle’s.

Jack was helping his uncle by dropping the application documents for tender at the designated institution.

Jack walks into the institution in the mid-morning hours at about 9:00 AM. At the office where he is to submit the tender documents, he finds a line of other tenderpreneurs also lined up hoping to get a share of the pie.

A Doctored Tender Process

One by one, each person gets to go through the due process. Once they verify your documents, down you deposit your tender documents and off you leave.

Like the lawful chap he is, Jack stands at the queue patiently till his turn comes. But he keeps having this eerie feeling something isn’t right.

Given the social person he is, Jack immediately strikes a conversation with the tender officer and it suddenly hits the roof like they had known each other for ages.

The Call to Integrity Dilemma

Well, the typical Jack is known for being curious about things and about everything.

Deep down, Jack feels the tender bidding process could all be a formality. He thinks the tender board will issue the tender out unilaterally to one applicant.

All this is an internal monologue running in his mind until he pops up the question of the day to the tender officer.

And on Jack goes, “Do you think the tender application process is fair and transparent?” The tender officer responds, “What do you expect?” He pauses. “Do you expect it to be fair?”

He continues to which Jack responds to the contrary. Frankly, the tender officer gives Jack an answer to suggest that life is all about cutting corners and if you aren’t cutting any, then you are at the tail end.

Until we see the call to integrity as a personal responsibility, we shall not achieve the war on eradicating it from society.

To drive his point home, the officer pauses to Jack a question, “In campus, weren’t their guys who used to cheat during exams?” 

Jack responds in the affirmative but says he wasn’t among them. The officer then shoots him a question of comparison.

“Where are they and where are you know?” Jack smiles at the question and maintains an honest path. Whatever their level of success or affluence they have, Jack insists he would still walk the honest path.

In the mainstream media, news is not just news if it’s not bad news. For instance, dishonest headlines that affect our integrity have bedecked our news headlines in the recent past.

Some headlines the media bombard us with include:

Government failing to halt upsurge in graft”

Rotich Corruption case a first in Kenya”

“US blames corruption for slowing down foreign investment in Kenya.”

For such a great nation like Kenya to lower down her values to this level, one is left wondering where the rains started beating us. Are our religious leaders zealous on the call to integrity in the society today.

For such a great nation like Kenya to lower down her values to this level, one is left wondering where the rains started beating us.

It’s only in 2017, that a report by Transparency international classified Kenyans as “willing to pay bribes to access key services.”

The Integrity Issue in Society

In our daily living, life floods us with many opportunities to lie, cheat, and steal.

Unfortunately, moral values in our society today have decayed to the point of someone selling you meat laced with inhumane chemicals without having a pricked conscience.

Today, the maxim is: steal, cheat, and lie as long as you don’t get caught. It’s like something only becomes wrong when you get caught.

The milk vendor lies right to your face about how fresh their milk is. What about the cloth sewer who gives you empty promises on your cloth material?

It has suddenly become very easy to speak the white lie without blinking an eye.

What of the contractor who promises you pure gold on your building project only to deliver shoddiness?

The dishonest culture is getting so deep that even the few good left are made to appear bad. Nevertheless, we should not relent to our call to integrity in society today.

Similarly, promises nowadays are emptier and unfulfilled that any other time in history.

What makes men today to find pleasure in being dishonest, lying, and give promises they know they wouldn’t deliver. 

Well, you could say they cutting corners to make ends meet, evade a tax regulation or they are on a get rich quick scheme. Above all else, they want to protect their interests.

A Biblical Perspective

Whatever background you come from or philosophies you hold onto, allow me to shift your perspective about the larger issue surrounding honesty and integrity.

In the Bible, we had the nation of Israel that was once enslaved in North African country called Egypt.

And when the good Lord had delivered them and set them free from their captors, they began their journey to the Promised Land.

After much turbulence, oppositions and wars, the Israelites finally settled in the promised land.

The Lord began setting new rules that would define and govern the birth and beginning of a new nation called Israel. 

That said, the Lord set 10 commandments for them. From the commandments, we see that the element of cheating, lying, and stealing do not fail to arise. Committing adultery, stealing, and bearing false witness against thy neighbor were all forbidden.

Regrettably, society has got all these upside down. I know we are not living in a perfect world. Neither are Christians the only people in the world.

However, the bottom line is, there have to be guiding principles that dictate or govern the moral fabric of society.

For instance, if we get down to the using the Bible as our centerpiece, Jesus questions a dishonest steward in Luke 16;11-12. “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  

And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

Admittedly, if Christ were to ask this question again, a majority would fall guilty.

The Million Dollar Call

It’s high time we reevaluated our values and be honest. Another verse you would want to put into perspective is in the book of Luke 10:16.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

What is it you are looking for in life and you have less of it? The wisdom Christ dispenses here is that if you are faithful in the little, you have or in your stewardship over a little of something, he will entrust you with much more.

My utmost appeal goes to our leaders and civil servants entrusted with enormous public resources.

To the producers of goods and services and to every person who values personal relationships that we can make a fundamental change towards the honest path.

Supporting the truth, even when it is unpopular, shows the capacity for honesty and integrity. Steve Brunkhorst 

Final Words

Cutting corners could be the easiest thing to do. This is especially true when most of your friends and acquaintances have fallen short of the integrity bar. But I believe you are with me on this. Let’s push the integrity bar higher. The call to integrity is everybody’s responsibility.

Father’s Responsibility

fatherhood

Where did Father’s Miss the Mark?

The question is not rhetorical. It needs answers. What is the father’s responsibility? Because many sons and daughters in society today lack fatherhood love.

On a local television program, I listened with empathy as young people lamented about the lack of a father figure in their lives.                                             

It’s clear that many youths are asking plenty of questions about their fathers. Well, this begs the question when did men abdicate thier fathers’ responsibility?

Of the hundreds of participants who took part in the program, a paltry 20% acknowledged the presence of a good father in their lives.

The remaining 80% lamented on their absentee fathers. Numbers don’t lie.

My Childhood Experience

Growing up, I knew my father to be the best in the world. Being the teacher he was, discipline was the number one virtue he instilled in us.

To top that up, he was there for all of us, including my siblings and I. He endeavored to educate every one of us up to university level.

Similarly, dad would not spare the rod when he had to put it to good use. Well, at that young age, I felt this was an unfair punishment.

More disturbing was the fact that we could all carry the blame for the mistake of the one mischievous chap and get an equal number of lashes.

The Fruits

Going back down the memory lane, I now see why dad had to instil discipline in us. Over the years, I have reaped the fruits of being disciplined in my life. Not necessarily to the authority figures in my life, but my personal life as well.

If there is one thing I’m grateful to dad for, it’s the culture of reading he nurtured in me.

By the time a man realises that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he is wrong

Charles Wadsworth

Reading and writing became part and parcel of my life at quite an early age. If I remember, countless are the days I read the long outdated “Hallo Children” English course book for lower primary.

I also read a lot of short novels such as the “Moses series” and in there the so-called Mukibi Institute of the sons of African gentlemen by Barbara Kimenye. God rest her soul in peace.

Getting out of bed, even before breakfast, I could get down to reading out loud whatever material was at my disposal.

Dad would be there to admonish me to go on. Isn’t this what you would call a father’s responsibility?

Dad would be there to admonish me to go on. Isn’t this what you would call a father’s responsibility?

All newspapers that dad bought and read could ultimately find a way into my hands.

Train your Child at an Early Age

In the Bible, we read about training a child on the way he should go, and he will never depart from it.

Today, I’m a living testimony of the statement above. I read a myriad of materials on end.

The Amazon Kindle app is now an excellent companion. Still buying books in there and counting.

I’m currently reading “The Man in the Mirror” by Patrick Morley and my next book in line is “Money Master the Game” by Tony Robbins.

One common informal saying goes that if you want to hide something from them that don’t read, hide it inside the pages of a book.

I don’t know whether this is true for a fact, but many find it difficult to focus on a book for hours.   

I have been through school. One thing I have realized about life is that you don’t study it by going to school but through personal reading.

Consider this, or else you are losing it.  To master life, study it by reading the great minds of the men and women who lived before you.

To master life, study it by reading the great minds of the men and women who lived before you.

Irresponsible Fathers

That said, lately, the trend of irresponsible and absentee fathers is becoming common.

Not only is it a warring trend but a bomb that has exploded already. From the program that aired live on TV, the speakers in attendance put it clear to us that there are three types of fathers about the fatherhood crisis.

Children today are victims of being “under fathered,” “misfathered” and “unfathered”

Under fathered to mean little of dad at home, always at work. He only shows up for a short time and leaves.

Going by the research done on fathers, many participants lamented on the fact that their dads could only spend 18 minutes or less with their families.

About being “misfathered,” many talked about the lack of parental love, a dad who is abusive, violent, and uncaring.

Just like the first two, “Unfathered” participants complained about not knowing their dads.

In all these scenarios, society needs to ask some tough questions regarding fathers and what is becoming of young men who have not experienced the presence of a father in their lives. If they lost their dads at a young age because of death, this is an all different case.

Are Mothers to Blame?

Is it possible that mothers could also be a contributing factor to the lack of a father’s responsibility?

Take, for example, mothers who cannot reveal the identity of their husbands to their children. Such actions by mothers could stem from the fact that they may have gotten the child in question in a harrowing way, like rape.

Alternatively, the father may have neglected the upbringing of the child.

Parents have a responsibility of taking care of their kids emotionally, mentally, and physically and more so in the ways of God.

Nonetheless, I will talk about Jonathan Edwards. He is an 18th century American revivalist preacher.

He gives an excellent example of what it means to be a great father and a parent at large.  

Tracing his children and grandchildren, the American Educator A.E Winship, discovered new statistics about the descendants of Jonathan 150 years later after his death.

Out of his descendants. There was:

  • 1 U.S vice president
  • 3 U.S senators
  • Three governors
  • Three mayors
  • 13 college presidents
  • 30 judges
  • 65 professors
  • 80 public office holders
  • 100 lawyers
  • 100 missionaries

One hundred fifty years after you cease to exist, what legacy would you want to leave behind in your family?

Can we make a vow as millennials to nurture our children in the right ways and give them the best love a father could ever give?

In contrast to Jonathan Edwards life lived Max Jukes. Max Jukes left behind a horrible legacy after his death thanks to his wayward descendants. He had: 

  • Seven murderers
  • 60 thieves
  • 50 women of debauchery
  • 130 other convicts
  • 310 paupers
  • 400 physically wrecked by indulgent living

Can we make a vow as millennials to nurture our children in the right ways and give them the best love a father could ever give?

Bottom Line

To solve the fatherhood crisis in the society today, we have to accept the fact that it is a present challenge in the community today.

Many are suffering as a result. However, all is not lost. If a victim of the fatherhood crisis, you need not dwell on what you are missing.

Dwell on what you already have. Have an attitude of gratitude. Personally own up your situation and take time to heal as you seek to accept and forgive your dad.

In the same way, the government and like-minded institutions should avail mentors in schools. They will be handy in offering emotional and mental support to students dealing with the fatherhood crisis.

Men! It’s your time to stand up and take the father’s responsibility over your children.

If you want to voice your opinions on this issue, leave a comment in the comments section below.

7 Ways to Discipline your Child without Provoking them

discipline your child

Discipline is a substantial key when raising your child. The forms of discipline determine how the child’s attitude will come out once he grows up.

Many parents around the world discipline their children according to how their own parents disciplined them.

Parents and guardians should stop this mistake. We should discipline in the smartest way such that the child learns from their mistake and not provoking them at the same time.

Scripture Perspective on “Discipline your Child without Provoking them”

Let’s look at some scriptures from the Bible about child discipline: Ephesians. 6:4 (English Standard Version)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Let’s also look at another key verse from Colossians 3:21 (English Standard Version)

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

As you will notice, the writer of the verses refers to Fathers, but it should not escape the reader that the verses are addressing both parents.

So whether you are a mother or a father, you can learn how to discipline your child without provoking them.

Are their times your child was angry at you because you provoked them? What did you do to cause the provocation? Children, in certain times, are justified in having a holy anger towards us.

I justify holy in the sense that they are mad at you, their parent.

Provoking your child will only accumulate to stressful days when the child grows up. I will guide you through some key steps on how to discipline your child without provoking them.

1) Have realistic expectations

Parents and Guardians tend to expect too much from their children. For example, the child may not be superior at academic works but excellent in playing football. The parent will always pressure the child to perform well in academic work and at times punish the child severely for having poor grades. This is a crucial part where most parents fail to put much concern. The child will undergo a series of scolding by the parent. After some time, he will feel provoked. This is where his/ her discipline tends to depreciate. The more the child will be provoked, especially at a young age he/ she will gain hatred upon the parent and may lead to a catastrophe.

The more the child will be provoked, especially at a young age he/ she will gain hatred upon the parent and may lead to a catastrophe.

The parent should have realistic expectations in that, if the child is not doing well in school, or any task given, a more formidable way of discipline should be used. The parent should also not punish the child for unreachable expectations but rather have a positive attitude towards the child and offer moral support. Set expectations that the child may achieve and with time increase the level of expectations. You will notice that the child will gain appropriate discipline and will not be provoked

2) Avoid Constantly bringing out Faults

Children have a belief that their parents give them absolute love. When they are young, you as a parent should avoid rebuking them for every mistake they make. They will obviously get angry then feel provoked. If the faults keep on being brought up, the child will somehow start losing the unconditional love that he/she once had for the parent. The child will be angry and aggravated. As a parent, you should gain a positive form of criticism for the faults caused by the child. Having a positive way of disciplining the child will also avoid seeing petty mistakes and bringing up faults all the time.

3) Choose your Battles Wisely

As a parent, you should not always pick out minor arguments with your child all the time. For example, you set a curfw, and the child comes home late.

You will get mad and punish the child. These small battles should be addressed in more of an affirmative manner.

Issue out a warning if the child fails to maintain discipline. If he/she does it for the second time, have a small talk. If the issue is repeated consistently, then the appropriate way is to combine efforts with both parents and some of your friends.

It may seem like intimidating the child but in the end, the child will learn from their mistake. Picking battles with them most of the time is just provoking their reputation and diminishing their discipline.

5) Comparing your child to others is a way of provoking them

Your child may seem not to fit in terms of many activities, which other children tend to do well than them.

By doing so you will feel obliged to pressure your child to become like the other kids. This is a common mistake among many parents at this age.

The parent will end up thinking that by putting pressure on the child is a way of motivating them. It provokes the child and he/she ends up losing their discipline morals.

As a parent, identify what the child does best and it can be unique from what you compare with other kids.

By doing so, the child will have a motivation to achieve his or her goals and also maintain high standards of discipline.

6) Think about the outcome of provoking your child

If you pick on your child all the time, what are the consequences?  The child will feel irrational. As a parent, you may think you are giving them discipline, but the child in the actual sense is gaining nothing from the correction.

Think of an outcome that may have a positive impact on the child.

As much as you want to discipline your child, you also want to establish a strong relationship with the kid.

So having to think about the outcome will aid to avoid provoking the child and maintain high standards of discipline.

7) Be calm before dealing with a discipline issue

Cases of parents beating their children giving them severe injuries and also children injuring their parents have been common recently.

A parent picks out an argument with the child, this provokes the child they end up committing a crime.

It is so sad for such an image to be displayed because of provoking the child. If a discipline issue pops up, do not start spanking the child. Listen to his or her story of what made them become indiscipline.

After listening, have a civilized way of communication and don’t raise your voice to an extent you piss the child off.

By doing so, you will have disciplined the child by using appropriate communication skills hence avoiding a catastrophe.

Wrapping it Up

Using an ideal form to discipline your child without provoking them as a parent is very important.

According to the Bible verses in Colossians and Ephesians, discipline and instruction are necessary without provocation.

The child has a sensitive way of responding to things. For discipline matters, parents must have a formidable way of ensuring the child has lofty standards of discipline.

Also, maintain a positive attitude in their minds. The child will grow up having high standards of discipline and fewer chances of being provoked by anyone. 

Success in Life: 5 Simple Things you Should Avoid to Earn it

Success in life means unique things to different people. For some, it’s all about achieving your goals.

To others, it’s about inner peace and fulfillment. While many of us want to reach the peak of our careers, health, and business, many are void of the will to succeed. More so, fear of failure sometimes riddles us and we would rather do nothing than try.

However, we shouldn’t walk riddled with that kind of mentality. And here are the things you should avoid to have success in life.

1. Self-doubt

Image courtesy

As one author puts it, no one will ever doubt you more than yourself.

Normally, this appears something that we can easily brush it over our shoulders and put the blame on something else.

But the reality is unless you work on getting past your self-doubt success in life will be an elusive dream.

But the reality is unless you work on getting past your self-doubt success in life will be an elusive dream.

Self-confidence could be the only difference between your failed state and success.

2.  Wasting time

Image courtesy

The rich and the poor have both twenty-four hours a day. How the two groups spent their time makes the difference. Waste time and success in life will be an elusive dream for you.

To avoid wasting time, have a to -do list on your table every day you wake up. Make this easier by buying yourself a personal diary that will help you keep tabs of things you intend to do.

There are many distractions in life that kill our time. Movies, TV, social media are all avenues that steal away our precious time.

However, from today on, you can desire to be a good time manager. You can plan your day well so that you have a constructive activity to do every our of your day.

3. Procrastination

Do it now if you have the chance. Period.

Image courtesy

As pupils back in the day, our parents could admonish us to finish our assignments in time before resting.

This practice was a life of virtue that they were trying to instill in us at a young age.

If we could have procrastinated on them, the consequences would be our teachers punishing us for getting to school late.

As we begin to adult, we always forget what our parents tried to instill in us at a young age.

Even though these habits could still be ingrained somewhere n our subconscious minds, we either ignore them or feel they were meant for kids.

As we begin to adult, we always forget what our parents tried to instill in us at a young age. Even though these habits could still be ingrained somewhere in our subconscious minds, we either ignore them or feel they were meant for kids

It’s today or never. Prioritize and take action.

4. Indiscipline in our Finances

You can watch all the podcasts and attend workshops and seminars about building wealth.

Similarly, you could attend classes on saving money and investing. But all these will be a waste of time if you won’t take action.

Success in life calls for good financial planning. And this means working with a budget.

Image courtesy

I was at this place at one point in life. I wasn’t in charge of my finances and off I went from one debt to another with no savings and any investment plan.

Realizing my lack of discipline and penchant to overspend is now saving me a lot of bucks and my bank account is growing fatter by the day.

How did I curb my lack of financial discipline? I made use of my bank’s standing order to make me never see the money I save.

Also, any delay in depositing money into my bank account for the standing order the bank was to apply meant they would sir-charge me..

You don’t go shopping without a shopping list. You will buy everything at the shop your money can afford – Impulse buying.

Have multiple streams of income to have a constant cash flow. I still balance two jobs despite the pressure to deliver on both. Success in life calls for making tough decisions.

5. Giving Up

Giving up is always the simple thing to do when all else has failed to work. I have been a victim of this in life.

Image courtesy

The environment at the bottom is discouraging and snaps out of you the boundless energy you had.

It’s even worse when you surround yourself with pessimists who tell you nothing is ever going to work.

If you feeling overwhelmed with a task at a hand or a project, take a break but by all means but never give up.

Conclusion

Success in life means many things to many people. That means only you can define the breadth of your success and how you want it to be.

To add to this, not all people can have the same route to success. In fact, some will arrive earlier at it than others.

There is no sense in getting envious or jittery about your friend’s success. They are in their own route with different circumstances compared to yours.

Success in life calls for investing in yourself and focus on becoming a better you.

Are there any of the mentioned points that you still struggle with? Let me know in the comments section below.

Chronicles of a Sunday School Teacher

It is enjoyable to be some kind of teacher. How about being a Sunday school teacher?

Whether a teacher in school, church, or the lecture halls, you have hundreds and thousands of kids paying keen attention to you.

They are eager to know whether the content they are listening to is worth their time and adds value to their life.

Here is a friend of mine who is a Sunday school teacher. He spends much of his time coaching high school students with classwork.

He also mentors them with God’s word and is more passionate about sharing God’s word with children.

mamabiashara_kenyakids
Image courtesy Google [mamabiashara_kenyakids]

Doesn’t the Bible talk about Jesus Christ exhorting his listeners to allow young children to come to him?

As a youth leader and an aspiring parent, we have shared a lot with Dave on parenting and the pertinent issues affecting children, teens, and youth.

Parents today are digital and raising their kids in a digital world. Now, this is not wrong per se. Parents are facing myriad challenges stemming from the age of technology and growing social media influence.

Given his penchant for spending time with kids, my best friend got an invitation to attend his niece’s birthday.

With the festive season at hand, no one will say no to such invitations. Don’t people want to make merry and capture excellent memories?

As usual, friends, colleagues, families converged at the party to celebrate another year of a young one on earth.

Well, Dave, as I would like to call him, has been in parties before but did not expect a party with liquor in the presence of kids.

That being said, the party was wow, to say the least.

Just at that point when drinks were being served, the waitress handed David a bottle of liquor. Hahaha.

The staunch Christian in him could not allow him to say yes to the offer.

Even though given as a kind gesture from the host, this was obviously uncomfortable to somebody who doesn’t take liquor.

What I found funny is how other guests at the party wondered at the choice of his drinks. Hahaha.

Personally, I was a teetotaller two years ago, never to taste any alcoholic beverage again. If in Dave’s shoes, I would have politely declined the offer also.

However, I can attest to the fact that alcoholic drinkers find it rather odd if they meet someone at a party function who doesn’t drink alcohol, let alone taste it.

While Dave sat comfortably with his bottle of water,  people kept asking him: “Are you sure you are okay?”  Hahaha.

Needless to say, he was okay but people, especially Kenyans just do not want to believe somebody can drink something different apart from liquor at a party.

I mean, who said one must party with liquor. Kenyans (not all for that matter), unfortunately, have a soft spot for alcohol and they deem a party incomplete without it.

However, our greatest concern here wasn’t about the party makers taking alcohol but the fact that they were doing it in front of their kids.

However, our greatest concern here wasn’t about the party makers taking alcohol but the fact that they were doing it in front of their kids.

Worse yet, they could send their kids to bring them more alcohol from the fridge.

Ugly Parenting Patterns

Common wisdom denotes that kids won’t pay attention to what you tell them but what you do.

As noted by my buddy sunday school teacher, parenting reared its ugly head rather vividly at the function going by the different behaviors exhibited by the kids.

Notably, when the cake was being cut, kids swam into action wanting a bite and to cut the cake at the same time.

On the other hand, there was this group of kids that watched from a distance, waiting eagerly for someone to serve them.

Evidently, the way these kids were behaving goes back to the way their parents nurtured and handled them at home.

Just as charity begins at home. Disciplining your child starts at home before you even send them to Sunday school or the 8.4.4  education system.

I have lived with young parents whose kids are spoilt brats. They dismiss even the gravest of mistakes with a simple, “I will whip you” and that is it.

Such kids have no respect for adults and visitors in their home. They will jump on the sofa around you, snatch your phone and hit you unexpectedly. Owe unto you if you wear spectacles. I had to replace mine recently because of such an ordeal.

In all these, they expect you to do nothing lest you fall short of the discipline code in their home.

It’s even more annoying when they are doing this to you in front of their parents who don’t care about your ordeal at all.

The only option left is to play along and pretend you are comfortable.

One interesting thing Dave noted was also the health of these young kids. Kids fed on junk food often appeared weaker as compared to kids who fed on carbohydrates and protein diets.

Methinks parents should call the shorts on what their kids should be eating. Snacks are good for kids once in a while, but rarely.

However much he/she always screams for that ice cream displayed at the shops, we must make effort to wean them from the consumption of junk food.

As we enjoy the festive season, let’s remember to be wonderful parents and custodians to our young ones.

If we give the freedom of their desires at a young age, we will have to contend with raising rebellious teenagers. This is because there was a twist already in their upbringing we didn’t want to address.

Successful parenting to all parents and aspiring parents in 2020!

Focus on Who You are Becoming not What You Deserve

Focus on who you are becoming
Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com

You vs Your Environment

Friends, family, acquaintances, old schoolmates, colleagues and I included always have something to say about pertinent life issues. These issues mostly surround our environment.

In the Gospels, in the book of Matthew, Jesus Christ admonishes his disciples. He tells them to first focus on their own selves before raising up their hand to point a finger to the faults of their neighbor. 

Stephen R. Covey

In his bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey mentions the circle of influence and the circle of concern.

Many people fall into the second circle. It’s called the circle of concern. The circle of concern is the category of people who focus on concerns beyond their control and what is outside their power of influence.

Complaining about how bad the weather is doesn’t make things get better.

Same way, whining about how corrupt and selfish our political leaders are doesn’t change them but only serves to hurt you more.

And therefore, by focusing on things you cannot control, Covey argues you decrease your circle of influence.

Complaining about how bad the weather is doesn’t make things get better. Same way, whining about how corrupt and selfish our political leaders are doesn’t change them but only serves to hurt you more. And therefore, by focusing on things you cannot control, Covey argues you decrease your circle of influence.

And what about the circle of influence? People in this circle long realized that if things will get better, then it is up to them to change.

Therefore, they center their focus on what they can control and influence.

If they need to up their game by being proficient in a new skill, that is where they will direct their attention.

They know that it is up to them to do what needs to be done to change the status quo.

If it is financial freedom they are looking for, they will focus their energy on watching their financial habits.

Also, they will use their power to drop negative habits for better and effective financial habits. They will embrace habits such as saving and investing.

Gratitude Score Card

Having said that, it is also important to pinpoint the fact that people have replaced the culture of gratitude has with the culture of whining and murmuring.

As much as you would want to think someone you never respect has risen the social, or economic ladder, they still have little to be grateful for.

First, because they have this big sense of entitlement. They feel whatever job they have, or current position in life isn’t worth the salt.

So, instead of appreciating who they are becoming, they focus on external factors. Furthermore, they refuse to take responsibility because they feel that is not their doing.

An employee who is not contented with his/her place of work because they feel their salary is below standard or they are being micromanaged by an insensitive boss may focus on their boss and throw tantrums on how their work is difficult because of Mr. X or factor Y.

However, they forgets the fact that he is becoming a different person. You can only become a unique person for the good or rather grow if you have the right attitude and mentality in such situations. 

That means taking responsibility for yourself and therefore make decisions that will be for your good and for your company.

What Are You Becoming?

If you choose to take responsibility for any tough situation in your life you will respond to it rather than react. By responding to it, it means you handle the matter before you with sobriety, emotional intelligence, and wisdom. On the contrary, one who chooses to react has actually refused to take responsibility and would rather correct mistakes or turn combative and prove how capable they can control a given tough situation by reacting.

In every sphere of your life, you better learn to focus on who you are becoming. For instance,

Spiritually, are you becoming more alert and finding out your true purpose and call or you are becoming more deluded.

On positivity, are you focusing more on the negatives and therefore, complaining more or you are becoming more of a positive thinker and therefore, focusing on the positives and being a ray and light of hope to those negative around you.

In your career, do you have more skills than the ones you had three years ago and the experience to warrant you the promotion you desire or you still need to cover more track?

In your relationships with people or marriage, do you have or do what you demand of your partner or it is simply taking with no giving.

On your health, Are you doing enough to stay healthy by eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, having the right thoughts and exercising properly or are you becoming lazy, reckless and obese?

In your family, are you becoming more of a responsible parent or irresponsible parent?

In all these circumstances, nothing changes until you change your way of doing things, more reason to focus on who you are becoming.

Take Responsibility

You may be tempted to think that it is your job, your spouse or your friend or your parent who makes you not be an achiever; but then, that’s your undoing because you are simply playing victim to situations you know you can control yourself and are within your circle of influence.

Nothing changes until you change.

If you loved this post, share with a friend or make a referral to someone who may be in need of our services.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3

Run Your Own Race

GLADYS CHERONO
Gladys Cherono, Mary Wacera and Sally Chepyego at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships (Google Images)

You may have heard of the statement – Run your own race. Have you for a moment ever thought of its significance in your life?

In actual sense, many people run other peoples race while thinking they are running their own race. Take for example a young man whom I will call Fred. Well, Fred chose to marry even when he was not ripe for marriage because his close friend and schoolmate, Julian had already married.

So Fred is motivated to marry by the decision of Julian his friend and not because he is ready to marry.

So Fred is motivated to marry by the decision of Julian, his friend and not because he is ready to marry.

I agree that we don’t emulate apes, we emulate fellow human beings and try to do what each one of us does best, however, that does not give us a ticket to run others people’s race.

No man is an island and everyone will always find themselves in a group or community of people at places of work, business, school or social events.

All is well until when you chose to abandon your own race for others peoples pursuit.  Your colleague putting on the latest and trendy fashions in town should not be the driving force for you to upgrade your wardrobe when you know clearly you don’t have the money to do that.

jonathan-chng-751342-unsplash
Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

It is sad that many of us conform to purported norms and generalities and fail to be the CEOs of our lives. Ever heard of a company or organization that had the same mission statement, vision, and agenda as three other different companies? No!!

The same applies to our own lives. We lose our originality, sense of purpose and vision when we allow ourselves to get trapped in others peoples dreams and visions.

Do you have the will to follow your own course in life without wavering or your neighbor’s life is what you copy?

It’s not a surprise that some of the mentally challenged students and former schoolmates are driving posh vehicles and living in luxurious homes. But by the fact that your life isn’t that successful does not mean your drop your values, goals, and vision in life to pursue their course.

If you fall victim to materialism, the truth is that at no single day will you ever be contented with what you have. But later own you will learn the hard way that contentment with divine living does you a lot better.

True satisfaction in life can only be found when you run your own race.  You are your number one competitor better stick to your own lane and be focused if you want to achieve greater things in life.

What many people do in common should never be taken as the gospel truth. Many people could as well be doing the wrong thing while being blinded by the notion that everybody is doing it and so it is right. How wrong?

We should refrain from the temptation to think that there is only one defined way to success in life. People get to be successful through different avenues in life and you better align with yours by running your own race.

Til next time.

Use Common Sense

jon-tyson-604824-unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

 

Twelve years ago, I got enrolled in an institution of secondary education that was deemed one of the best in the country.

We first formers were called “MONOS”.  I guess the older students came up with the nickname because we were always on the receiving end of their harassment and bullying.

Coming from a place where most school mottos could be clearly understood or their intended meaning put out clear, the motto of the secondary institution I was enrolled into seemed to be quite unique and different from most school mottos I know.

The reason it turned out to be that way is the fact that most school mottos always appear to have the same pattern of cheering you on, for instance, you will find school mottos that go like, “Aim higher”, “The Sky is the Limit”, “Together we can”, “Striving for Excellence” and more like them. However, in my new found hub of education, things caught me by surprise because the motto did not follow the common pattern of school mottos I knew about. In fact, what made it more unique was the fact that it did not address the school or a large group of people but you as an individual. You could actually get that feeling in your heart that indeed it’s my duty to abide by this motto and no one else will if not me.

To us first formers, we got more confused by the motto than embracing it. The motto kind of led you to yourself. You needed to know your surroundings well and know what to do at the right time and in the right place. Unfortunately,  many of us, we still had no clue or a proper grasp of the school routine and rules and were therefore in limbo.

Well, the motto wasn’t like something about coding or rocket science. As a matter of fact, it was very simple to understand but how to put it into practice was the big deal.  So when we were told “Use Common Sense was the motto or we rather so it painted all over we got that awful feeling in our stomachs while asking ourselves what all this was about.

But as the school term gained momentum we came to learn from the older students that we had only ourselves to blame because we kept on imagining many unnecessary things about in the school. You simply needed to do the right thing at the right places at the right time. And for you to be able to do it right and maintain discipline, you needed your five senses of see, hear taste, smell and touch to be very and always alert.

For instance, we used to be woken up for morning personal study that was usually referred to us Morning Preps that could begin at five o’clock. There was an old, rusted rim of a tractor tire that used to be hit with a metal object every day at five o’clock. It was actually our morning alarm.

After one student complained about the rusty rim being too primitive for our school image the administration changed it to an electronic bell.

Well, life generally has its own puzzles and people need to realize that not many use common sense in their day to day living.  I interact with both the old and young in my place of living, work and social events but it really becomes disgusting when people cannot use their common sense to do the right things at the right time. However, I agree that the aforementioned statement is itself relative and somebody’s right could be someone else’s wrong but at the end of the day we must agree that facts are facts and there is always a guiding principle to the thing of things.

Take, for example, an adult who cannot leave the washrooms clean as he or she found them. Etiquette dictates that you use the washrooms responsibly for the sake of others who are using the same facility. In the event that you mess it up, common sense dictates that you clean up your mess because it should not be anyone else’ responsibility to do that.

Take, for example, an adult who cannot leave the washrooms clean as he or she found them. Etiquette dictates that you use the washrooms responsibly for the sake of others who are using the same facility. In the event that you mess it up, common sense dictates that you clean up your mess because it should not be anyone else’ responsibility to do that.

To those living in rented apartments or flats, it becomes illogical when your neighbor who is hardly a stone throw away from you to want to listen to their music at the highest volume possible when common sense would have simply told them not everyone likes that type of music or they could be listening or watching something else in their living rooms.

It even becomes more disgusting when adults cannot make a queue to be served food or attended to for whatever service they need but would rather scramble creating more chaos. Some literally walk to the front of the queue or jump the queue and give you that look that says, “Utado?” or “What will you do?” Common sense demands that when you happen to see a queue then all those people standing or seated in that queue are feeling the same way as you feel but have chosen to be orderly, therefore, you need to see the orderliness and follow suit. Haaa!!!

For heaven’s sake, common sense demands that you eat with your mouth closed because you yourself know very well its uncomfortable being on the other end where you have to see the masticated food particles in someone else’s mouth. Right?

On public utilities like latrines, you must always knock on the door first lest you push it through when someone is in there. On the other hand, If everyone around you is using a fork, spoon, and knife to eat, why be the one to do it the opposite way.

While you may want to call it etiquette or something else but the end of the day, it all boils down to using your senses to make the right decisions and choices.

Best.

You are Allowed to Get Stuck in Life but Never Stop

Feel no motivation to write this post this afternoon. So to speak, I have been on a forced writing leave for unknown reasons that only I should be able to comprehend.

Most writers will agree with me that it comes to that point in their writing career when they feel burned out and there is no more fuel for their writing journey.

For a couple of weeks, the procrastination demon has been all over me. Telling me there’s no reason to worry about the writing dormancy. I guess today I have conquered my biggest enemy.

hernan-sanchez-160709-unsplash
Woman sleeping on New York balcony. Photo credit:www.StillsByHernan.com

 

For a couple of weeks, the procrastination demon has been all over me. Telling me there’s no reason to worry about the writing dormancy. I guess today I have conquered my biggest enemy.

For also reasons unavoidable, I have been shifting between offices, sitting before panels, doing tests here and there in the quest to land myself a job. All that is history owing to my potential employer sending me an offer letter for employment.

Congratulatory messages have poured in from all quarters, people encouraging me to go for the job. Well, personally, I take this to be a very important step in my career path.

Having listened and read about many tips on personal finance, getting wealthy and retiring early I’m eager to make things right from the word go. Given that I have been more of a spender than a saver over the years, I now want to put my brain and energy into building my financial muscles that will first start with saving then diving into a business with consideration for a long-term investment strategy. All about goal setting. Right?

 A part of me is also concerned about my hobbies of writing and blogging putting into consideration the fact the past couple of months have been low on writing energy,  zeal, and motivation.

That said, I’m gonna have to push myself beyond my limits. Despite the demanding career life that is gonna come my way,  I’m gonna put my best foot forward in ensuring that this interesting hobby does not die out any time soon.

Same way, you could be at a critical point in your life where you feel your energy or attention has been sapped by the pressures of life. The only one thing you are allowed to do is to take a break or get stuck but never stay stuck forever.

If you happen to be working on building a life skill that you feel has ridden you of all the energy left, it’s okay to feel stuck but don’t stop yet.

Your online friend, Job

 

 

 

No Glory Without Sacrifice

mountain-climber-cliff-rock4
Google Images

This morning while attending a monthly departmental meeting at my workstation I happened to be among those listening to our guest for the day – a recruitment officer with the company I work with.

To say the least, her story was inspiring let alone motivating.

Every sentence from her mouth broke forth through the still air with such wisdom, energy and gusto that knows no bounds.

Though hard to admit, companies /organizations once in a while undergo restructuring to either lay off some of their employees, expand their operations while minimizing costs.

In most cases, the former reason is always the case, where organizations lay off their staff as a cost-cutting measure in a bid to operate on very low costs while expanding their operations.

However, when such incidents occur in an organization what matters most is on what side of the divide are you. If you are an employee like me currently, that means that you will be on the receiving end of the company’s boardroom decisions.

On the contrary, if you happen to be the CEO or owner of the company, you will be more than happy to implement such a decision as long as its helping your company cut on costs while making profits.

It is such a point in time that our guest was called in by the department management to help shed light on internal job hiring process and issues that need ironing out.

Surprisingly, it turned out that many of us were not aggressive enough in getting the job opportunities that were being made available to us. Evidently, it is true that when you stare at the abyss the abyss stares back at you. The point I’m trying to make here is that if you constantly surround yourself with negativity, sooner or later you will become negative.

Surprisingly, it turned out that many of us were not aggressive enough in getting the job opportunities that were being made available to us. Evidently, it is true that when you stare at the abyss the abyss stares back at you. The point I’m trying to make here is that if you constantly surround yourself with negativity, sooner or later you will become negative.

I will say this without fear of contradiction that most new employees who join an organization usually come in full of positive energy and with a skyrocketing zeal to outperform their resumes.

Nevertheless, along their career path something within them gets twisted and a bend is created. Their zeal, passion and positive attitude towards their job dissipates and evaporates into thin air and behind is left an empty shell of a human body who comes to work not because he/ she loves it but because he/she has to. To them, there is no growth, things will always remain the way they are and there is nothing to look forward to.

Precisely, that was the atmospheric temperature in the room when the invited guest trooped in. The once innocent souls with a hunger to work and serve while building their career lives were now seeing this as a waste of time and energy, their hearts demoralized by an organization that seems not to care about their work life.

Interestingly it only remained so until when our guest changed the tune. She gave her own personal life experience on how she used to be lazy and not aggressive enough in searching for jobs that matched her skills and qualifications.

She hilariously narrated how she could write a CV once and use one and the same Curriculum Vitae to apply to all the job opportunities that came knocking at the door. All she needed to do was print her long written  CV from her desktop and send to the whatever job she was applying to at any given time.

Alternatively, she could simply upload one and the same CV while doing online applications and simply click send. At the end of it all, none of her efforts converted into getting her a good job but regret emails and phone calls that never came.

It emerged that she was her own worst enemy and was doing more harm than good to herself. She admitted she was lazy back then something she was quick to point out amongst us. She lamented how sad it was that someone had strong skills to sell to the highest bidder yet did not want to take the time and effort to tailor-make her CV suit a particular position he is applying for.

The challenge is: To the many successful people you see outside there, there is something out of the ordinary that every single one of them did to merit their success status.

Unfortunately, too many of us do not care to ask how did they make it in whatever field of success or line they are in but all we do is get edgy with them, call them names and accuse them of being devil worshippers in some God forbid secret societies.

It’s only when we get positive, refuse to be among the bottom crowd mentality and choose to do something new and positive out of our normal routines that life will have began.

No glory without sacrifice.

 

If you enjoyed this post, like and share