Try Blogging…

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Today’s post officially marks my 50th entry. It’s been a fun journey of learning how to write, figuring how to write, simply writing. And sometimes when I get the block, I choose to read or watch stuff – mostly watch. So the other day I stumbled across a podcast by Michael Hyatt giving 10 reasons why every leader needs a blog. Not that this blog provides leadership but I really loved Hyatt’s viewpoints. And so in this post, I use his thoughts to reflect on my blogging journey:

  1. Blogging improves communication skills – I definitely am not where I was a couple of months ago. Putting out no less than 500 words a week – as Hyatt puts it – has forced me to distill my thinking and communicate with precision or so I hope 🙂
  2.  Blogging creates a repository for best thinking – I sometimes meet people who are confused about my car, people who ask questions about my neighbours or simply investigate into my love for telenovellas. The last telenovella I wholeheartedly watched was Esmeralda and AMINI is not about me 🙂 but an assignment that was to be submitted several months back for a creative writing class I took. Blogging encouraged me to complete it and the teacher to read it 🙂
  3. Blogging provides thought leadership to your industry – I had to recheck the definition of thought leadership – one whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. Let me not even pressure myself 🙂 I am here for leisure!
  4. Blogging raises your organization’s visibility – Lets just say I am glad to have a place to share my heart sorry art 🙂
  5. Blogging shares your organization’s vision – Hyatt’s podcast made me really think about where I am going with this blog. When I started it I just knew I wanted to write. I thought it was easy to write until I put down 3 posts and ran out of ideas, energy and most importantly patience. For now I am determined to grow in the skill…
  6. Blogging networks with people who can help you – This blog landed me an invitation to my very first writing class and more recently BAKE awards. Bloggers Association of Kenya Awards that is. But most precious was when my cousin sent me a kindle. A KINDLE! Because he thought I deserved it. I am still over the moon ❤
  7. Blogging builds trust with prospective customers – Hyatt’s podcast details how being professional, practical and personal helped Thomas Nelson Publishers, where he is CEO, gain more revenues. One day, one day…
  8. Blogging builds authority in your niche – see point 3…
  9. Blogging gathers feedback from your constituents – The best feedback yet was getting a message from a friend that went like this “…totally loved your Amini 11 post. Just had to tell you…” That remark will last a lifetime. ❤
  10. Blogging mentors the next generation of leaders – I am subscribed to / read a couple of blogs and they for sure challenge me to better writing, to better thinking, to better betterness!

Michael Hyatt has great leadership insights and I have been waiting desperately for his next upload. For this particular one, he concludes by saying TRY BLOGGING

Of Coaches and Amens…

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Over the weekend I was with one of my coaches… (You can read about him here…) and I was explaining to him what a coach does 🙂 To cut my long story short, see excerpt below…

COACH Wise

How long have I known you? 8 years, right?

Right…

And do you have friends you’ve known a long time?

Yes…

Do you think it has ever counted to them the type of VERT you are?

No, not really…

And do you know any VERTs with your very inclination?

But of course, there is Aye, Bee, and See…

Aren’t they great people?

Yes they are…

So explain to me what you understand as the differences between the 2 *VERTABRAEs?

One turns outwardly to the world of behavior, action, people, and things and the other turns inwardly to the world of ideas and reflection. O yeah and there is the ambivertabrae who stands somewhere right in the middle of Jung’s & Myer’s propositions…

So why is it that you wish to morph into another VERT? Don’t you know that your bones are of God?

Now that I think of it, I do not want to convert…

And with that my dear, always remember that God has allowed you to become the best of YOU and it is what is in you that matters most

(*smile of relief*)

Amen?

**Amen!

___

*VERTABRAE – any of the bones composing the spinal column, consisting typically of a cylindrical body and an arch with various processes, and forming a foramen, or opening, through which the spinal cord passes

**AMEN – a declaration of affirmation found in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Its use in Judaism dates back to its earliest text. It has been generally adopted in Christian worship as a concluding word for prayers and hymns. In Islam, it is the standard ending to Dua (supplication). Common English translations of the word amen include “verily” and “truly”

ANNA…

AnnaOnce a week, Anna comes into my house and turns it from a parasite into a paradise. I mean she dusts, cleans, mops, arranges, re-arranges, polishes, shines, irons, folds, hangs, and before she calls it a day, a sumptuous meal she prepares.

I don’t know about you, but I have crazy days. My day starts at 6.00am with deadlines and to-do lists on my mind. Lunch hours  are reserved for that pending school assignment. I try to leave the office at 5 o’clock to be in time for my classes. By the time I get home, all I can do is sleep.

I am very grateful for Anna. Her presence every Saturday not only brings me the much-needed hours of rest, but also a peace and order that transcends into every new week. For this reason, I see Anna like any other employee and a good one for that matter. One who is entitled to proper treatment* and a pay that is above the daily minimum wage. And whilst a good pay will secure me a place in Anna’s loyalty list, I also realise that I must teach Anna how to fish. Here’s a (true) story that really amazed me…

One evening Bella came home and found Anna unwell. She could tell that it was an Asthma attack but Anna repeatedly said that someone was out to get her; she was bewitched! This was not the first time that Anna had talked of the dark world and the many ‘African’ movies she subscribed to did not help dispel her fears. Tired of her deliriums, Bella called a cabbie and took Anna to Nairobi Hospital – no not a Nairobi Hospital but The Nairobi Hospital! This was the first time this 28 year old was stepping into a hospital and she was blown away! That night Anna not only received a cure for her body but also for her mind. Her perspective on life has changed and works excitedly in helping her kids ‘fish’ too.

Last Sunday our Pastor challenged us to liberating at least one Kenyan family out of poverty, if you don’t know where or how to start, think about your Anna.

R & R

A while back, I was admitted and spent a couple of days in the infirmary. Every morning while taking my vitals [temperature, pressure, and heart rate], the nurse would ask these questions:

  • Did you sleep well? “Yes.” I’d nod even if my night was not so good. We are somewhat conditioned to give a positive response to the how-are-you or similarly equivalent question, I think. And depending on whether we like, trust or respect the person, we disclose the details. Mine was a do or die situation and withholding any information was simply detrimental.
  • What about your bowels? And as the days went by I got worried if I had nothing positive to report on my peristaltic movement. It was not only important for my body to get rid of the toxins but if it didn’t happen, there was a high risk of complicating my situation further. I now take my veges very seriously 🙂
  • “Is she walking?” The in-charge would ask the nurse assigned to me. Medication I could handle but walking was the most difficult part of the treatment. I remember one night falling off my bed as I tried to grab something. I laughed! I thought it made a very funny sight. Walking is the most effective way of getting rid of gas ‘pains’; a painful after–effect of being under anaesthesia*. It also prevents the formation of blood clots in the feet.

It’s still challenging to walk but each day I give it my best. On some days, I just watch movies; it eases the recuperation. I am truly grateful, however, for having a time to reflect on my walk [pun intended] and the footprints I want to leave behind.

___

*Anaesthesia – Was just surfing through the net and thought these stages were interesting:

  • Stage 1: Induction – patient loses consciousness and can carry on conversation!
  • Stage 2: Excitement – marked by excited and delirious activity.
  • Stage 3: Surgical Anaesthesia – skeletal muscles relax and THE work can begin.
  • Stage 4: Overdose – lethal! Can lead to brain damage or death.

Accounting for the Environment…

maathai-wangariA couple of years ago I had to read a chapter on Environmental Accounting to pass some exam. The read was difficult particularly because my mind could not agree with the concept of costing of emissions – it was simply intangible! Thankfully I passed the exam never having to revisit the subject til recently when it was proposed as ‘majoring’ option. “Nice!” I thought and quickly begun to imagine how I could gain professional mileage by becoming one of the few Eco Consultants around. 

Environmental accounting (also social accounting) attempts to measure the social and environmental impacts of business decisions. An accountant is able to measure the true cost of production and make appropriate pricing decisions. But most importantly, companies can work towards reducing pollution, protecting wildlife and preserving the environment in general. see more: http://www.ehow.com/about_4673698_environmental-accounting.html#ixzz1ZKu7euPZ

I thought about it again (majoring in Environmental Accounting) and I was like “Nah! I am not that into trees.” But Wangari Maathai was. I mean this environmentalist not only cried for the felling of trees but also fought for sustainable development, democracy and peace in Africa. She loved Africa too! and in one of her speeches said “…we need people who love Africa so much that they want to protect her from destructive processes…”

The news of her death is still very shocking… Her work amazing… Her legacy outstanding… and because of this I hope to give a better account of my environment. RIP Professor RIP …

…serenity…

Ever been in a relationship that started all right but one day something happened (can’t quite tell what) but one blow led to another leaving you disfigured for life. I am not necessarily talking about an abusive sort of relationship but one you have to keep up with because there is some never-ending court case or a baby involved.

Or have you ever found yourself surfing through a Facebook friend’s wall (NOT a friend’s Facebook wall) and wondered how it got to this. I mean all you do is ‘like’ his status and he ‘likes’ yours back. Yet in another life you virtually did everything together. Where he was, you were. I mean this guy was your boy and he is the reason today you support Arsenal.

Or do you know one which is absolutely heavenly! never having to worry whether it will ever come to an end. It is secure in love, trust and respect. “But weren’t all the others?” you retort. Disillusioned, you thrust yourself in busyness not so much for the amassing of wealth but to forget the disappointment and pain that comes from knowing people and promise yourself never to be ensnared by (wo)man.

In the process you discover the joy of carrying a heavy purse and the joy of living in splendor. And whilst agree with the goodness of money, people are better. They always will be better! People make life rich, exciting and make each moment worth living. And though we may sometimes have not-so-good experiences, relationships* can actually work for our good. Yes, every cloud has a silver lining!

And because we’ve all at some point had a bad or broken friendships, let us pray that God will grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference ~ Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 – 1971).

ps: relationships in this note means the connection between people as family, friends and fellow countrymen. || Have a splendid week!!!

do men eat SOIL?

Maasai“Do men eat soil?” I asked them. “Ni ya wanawake!” they retorted. We had just driven past a hill of rich red soil touched by silent drizzle. It released such freshness only describable as delicious! It is said that many women when pregnant crave for the soil or ‘Odowa’ as it is locally referred to. One is left to wonder whether this habit peculiar to Kenyans only is as a result of environmental conditioning.

But it is not every day that my calcium deficiencies respond to these piles of dirt. For most days, they are a grim reminder that vehicles have been redirected elsewhere to facilitate construction. One must therefore sit patiently in traffic to arrive home a little less upset.

Yet such is the sacrifice we must make if Nairobi is to retain its name, a place of cool waters. The greater truth is that there is more to development than roads. The kind that can only be built and sustained by those who inhabit its soils. Yes! The soil in which men place effort and eat from. The soil in which they bear children and bring them up. The soil in which they lead and leave behind a legacy.

The question is who will be part of the creation that will bless this land this nation so that plenty may always be found within our borders? ( I wrote this piece a couple of months ago. Great to see the structures of steel and concrete take shape. Truly where there is will, there is a way!)