Write The Vision Down

Approx 2.5 min read

Hey there! Back again are we? Fantastic! Good to have you.

Remember when I started off this series and I mentioned that bit about how some of the things I will be sharing will be from experience while others will be from principle? Yeah? Well this is one of those things that I’ve done in part based on principle and it’s already working.

To start this off I’d like to insert and idea into your head. One of the most powerful things we can do as humans is create an image. No, I’m not talking about photoshop. I’m talking about the ability to see something that doesn’t exist physically as real, and behave accordingly. In Christianity it’s referred to as faith and it can sound a little crazy but we use it all the time. You don’t believe me? What is time? What is a country? What is a company? What is money? What is a government? In a way, crazy as it may seem – these are but figments of our imagination which we allow to govern our lives. Things with no actual power but are given power because we agree with the notion. But that’s just my opinion (or is it?).

One way to break out of one’s comfort zone is to provide an image of the thing one wants; to see it daily until it is etched in one’s mind. In my case I have a dream (Martin Luther King Jr., please do forgive me for stealing what I think is your best line, I just couldn’t help it!) that I will own Manchester City football club. It sounds ridiculous and is possibly downright insane. That’s even before you consider the fact that the entity is worth over 2 billion dollars right now.

However. once that idea seeps into the recesses of my mind and is as real to me as money is… I can’t be comfortable lying in bed until my body feels like waking up on a weekend. I can’t be comfortable being unproductive. I will be forced to change because the thing I envision and my current behaviour don’t align. Just like when your goal of achieving a certain body shape becomes crystalline you adjust your diet and exercise accordingly, so too will your attitude change when your goals become very clear.

And the tool to make your goals clear: a vision board.

So get on with it. Get a large sheet of paper or prepare some kind of powerpoint. From the 8 areas of your life that have the most significance: spiritual, health, family and friends, relationship, career, personal growth, money and fun and recreation – stick images that align with what you envision yourself achieving, then put the vision board in a place where you can see it everyday. Let that become as familiar to you as the crush’s social media page and see yourself working towards it.

One awesome thing about this. It can be proven fairly easily just by doing it. So… just do it. (Sorry Nike.)

See you tomorrow.

Stay awesome!

Fancy A Reward?

(Approx 1.5 min read)

Welcome to episode three of ‘Comfort Zone’!

Hey you. Yes you! Who else did you think I was talking to? Jeez… Would you like a reward?

Come on. Who doesn’t like gifts?

Let’s use this and some points to flesh out our discussion today.

Point number one – Gifts are nice because they get given to us, which implies very little work on our part. However, working for something and then receiving a reward based on that work adds value to the reward. It doesn’t become more expensive but mentally we attribute the effort we put into attaining it as a cherry on top of the original value of the thing we earn as compensation for our work.

Point number two – Do you know why we find it easier to stay in our comfort zone than to break out of it? Any guesses? Ding ding ding! You got it! (I think) We find it easier to stay in our comfort zone because it’s comfortable ditto the name “comfort zone”. (“Wow. World-class content there Ayanda.” “Yeah XD well… it doesn’t make it any less true.”)

Point number three – Like any chemical reaction – to move from one state to the other requires activation energy. This is the extra push that gets the ball rolling, otherwise if we believe, think and say things are “ok” as they are, why should we want to change? This activation energy can be in the form of a new perspective, motivation or (the topic for today) … a reward.

Conclusion – Do you want to escape the confines of your comfort zone? Do you really? Like, REALLY? Well then, to help you achieve that dream, apply yesterday’s lesson ie look up something new you’d like to do, then once you’ve pinpointed that I dare you (Dare you I say!) to do something outrageous. Are you ready? Here it goes… plan a reward for doing it. Then once you’ve done it, reward yourself with that thing.

That’s it.

If you love yourself as much as I love you, do make it something nice.

See you tomorrow.

Stay awesome!

I Don’t Like It – You Ever Tried It?

(Approx 2 min read)

“I would never ever do something as crazy as skydiving. I can’t do something so absurd. Do I look insane to you? You’re mad!”

I’d never do anything as extreme as that I thought. But guess who looks forward to skydiving now? I can see the seeds that led a shut-in neet who only ever lived for gaming like myself to enjoy and seek after the more adventurous lifestyle. It started simple… a bicycle with training wheels for balance, removing the training wheels, then in-line skates, sand boarding and finally the Disney rollercoaster known as ‘Screaming’. All of these newfound experiences shattered a fear harboured and ignited a curiosity for more. This is our topic for today.

Far too often we limit ourselves because of mindsets often reinforced by our speech. The words “can’t” are more powerful than we give them credit for. I advise against using them and instead adopting the phrase “I do not want“. “Why?” you ask? Well…

‘From the depths of the heart the mouth speaks‘. ‘Life and death are in the power of the tongue.’ To get us speaking right, we need to be feeding right information into our minds.

To get us out of our comfort zone in terms of speech, which is the first step towards achieving what we are aiming for, we need to diversify the sources of information we take in. Am I using too many words? I feel like it. So what do we need in one word? Exposure.

How did you know that you liked your favourite meal? You tasted it, right? Therefore would it be crazy to say that without tasting that particular meal, it wouldn’t be your favourite? I assume you say that’s a logical conclusion… but that doesn’t change the fact that you were always going to enjoy that meal – all that was missing was your experience of it. In other words, the things we enjoy more than anything are out there, they exist. They are perpetually waiting for us to encounter them, experience them, live them and enjoy them. But you can’t enjoy something you don’t encounter. You can’t do something you don’t know or never hear about. Want to get out of your comfort zone of thinking and in doing so speaking? Start by expanding the content you feed your brain. 

Thank God for the internet.

Thank God for you.

Let’s meet again tomorrow.

Stay awesome!

Out Of Comfort

(Approx reading time 3.5 min)

If you’re like me then you like your comfort. If you’re not like me and you like to experience new things which have a possibility of being unpleasant for the sake of adding to your experiences… congratulations! You’ve mastered life. Sort of.

I’ll kick off this series with an anecdote. I moved to a new school in fifth grade. Everything was different here. For example, everyone had to run the long distance course under the banner of ‘Cross Country’ at the beginning of the year. I didn’t know what that meant. In my previous school I’d only ever run one race, early on in first grade. There were 200 children in my year and I guess in pursuit of reducing the workload of the teachers only the children who finished within the top 2 of each race partook in athletics. The rest of us didn’t receive any further push to do anything physical. I came third in that race, one place too far to make the team… I could have persisted; I could have protested – but I didn’t. Why? Well after seeing all those kids practise while I got to go home I figured, “Why would I want to do that?” After all, I was comfortable.

“Why would I want to do that?” After all, I was comfortable.

I didn’t so much as sprint any other time except when I ran for the playground at break time. Fast forward to my first year at my new school and the now chubby Ayanda is about to take part in his first race in years. “Cross country? What’s that?” I asked at the start line. The evil fifth grade boys just smiled their devilish grins at me and warned ominously, “Oh you’ll see.” I decided not to let their words get to me. My pride wouldn’t allow me to be laughed at. When the teacher shouted, “Go!” I bolted like a winning racehorse the laughter of my knowing competitors following in my wake.

You have to understand… I was so chubby when I walked by people looked up wondering where the applause was coming from – it was my thighs smacking together. I was unfit and asthmatic. I failed that first attempt at the course dismally. Some 400 metres into it I thought I was going to die. I even approached the teachers wheezing like a 1927 tractor engine trying to come first in a Nascar race. It was awful. But I wasn’t given reprieve. The teachers made me start afresh for trying to weasel my way out of work. How did I respond? By doing the thing that made me most comfortable. I started walking the course instead of trying to run it.

This is the trap we need to beware. When faced with an obstacle you have two choices to make. You either pull up your boots, psych yourself up and try your best to overcome it or you tell yourself, “Meh. It’s not important anyway,” and miss out on what could have been in store for you on the other side… all so you can stay comfortable.

I wake up at 0530 daily to run for about 45 min now. I’m also not “walking applause” chubby anymore. What happened?

Well… the teachers forced me to become uncomfortable walking the course instead of running it. 10 year old me was already becoming fascinated by the opposite sex and even had an eye on one particular member. She was great at Cross Country. The dastardly teachers decided to have the boys run first and then let the girls run some five minutes afterwards. Just one glimpse of her gracefully running past me while I walked like a pimp in a Red Light District supermarket lit up a flame in my heart… ok that’s a lie. It’s the fact that she wouldn’t stop laughing when I rocked up an hour later, long after she’d changed and finished her homework. So – I started running, the aim being not to be embarrassing, because you can’t be embarrassing in front of the girl you have a crush, on right? Screw the logic, that was law to me at that age. I pressed on, increasing the time between when she caught up to me the previous day to the next. Even when I was wheezing like a clogged up train exhaust.

The teachers shifted the ball game for me just by changing the order of how things were done. I probably would be several pounds heavier than I am now if it weren’t for them… or maybe not. Maybe something else would have triggered the transformation. The essence is, so long as you’re in a comfort zone – what triggers you to seek or desire change? Here’s the answer. Are you ready? The answer is… Nothing.

That’s why starting tomorrow we’ll look at tools to help you change your comfort zone. You excited? Coz I am.

Let’s meet up again tomorrow.

Stay awesome!

Comfort Zone

Aaaaand we’re back! Lovely people – this long, unanticipated hiatus is finally over! I missed you almost more certainly than you missed me. I am about 51% sure this is the case. Regardless, we are going to jump right in and get the ball rolling again, faster and with more purpose than ever before.

While I’ve been away I’ve published two collections. (“Yay! Congratulations Ayanda!” “Why thank you very much, I love you so much! :)” )  One of short stories and the other of poems. You’ll find both available for purchase and download on Amazon under the titles: ‘Unrealistically Plausible Short Stories’ and ‘Bleeding Heart: A Collection Of Poems’. If you can, get ’em. I promise you will not be massively disappointed.

We’re embarking on new territory, governed by experience but mostly principle. The topics we’re going to cover in the coming weeks should help us all do amazing things and  take small steps towards achieving the goals we set in our lives. So… right now I have 3 SERIES LINED UP!

The first is called ‘Comfort Zone’. Here we will look at the things that keep us tethered and like an anchor, prevent us from reaching far, as well as looking at what we need to do to flourish outside of the waters we have been paddling in all our lives.

The second is called ‘Communication’. We are going to look at the benefits of knowing how to communicate effectively and find out which tools we can use to help us do so. We’ll discuss things like love languages and preventing misunderstanding. This is going to be lit!

Third but not last (can you feel my excitement right now? “Not last” because there’s loads more to come!) we are going to talk about ‘Friends’. This will range from how to introduce yourself to people who you would like in your inner circle, to identifying who you should spend the most amount of time on and/or with. We’ll talk about what I’ve learned are referred to as “quality people”, how to identify them and keep them in your life. 

New posts coming up Every. Single. Day. Be sure to let your friends know all about it, it could change their lives – it could impact their lives positively… and as you know that’s what we’re all about.

Till tomorrow!

Stay awesome.