The Game

Generally, names like Brazil, Argentina or Spain (the world champion and number 1) will scare any Country if you had to play any of their national football teams. Does that make these teams unbeatable? No. But how will you know unless you play them?

That describes some of the challenges we will face. The name of some issues alone will make you throw in the towel before you even start to train for the match. But the truth is that some of these challenges are “deafeatable” while others can be better managed provided we seek out the right details.

Many times, we raise our hands up in defeat even before playing the game. “I do not have the right education”. “I am a woman”. “It is not meant for people like me”. “I do not look the part”. The list goes on and on.

Only God know who the 44th president of the United States would have been if Barack Hussein Obama did not run for president because of his skin colour, his name and the fact that people like Rev Jesse Jackson and Rev Al Sharpton had tried but did not win.

Imagine Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic giving up on Tennis because of the “Roger Federers” and the “Rafael Nadals”. Who would have thought Djokovic would beat Nadal and Federer to take the first place on the ATP Ranking?

Before Nadal and Federer, some other people dominated the tennis scene. 10 years from now, the big names in tennis may not even be any of the 4 mentioned above.

How do you go from a nobody to being number 1? You have to join the competition and keep playing, probably loosing at first till you start your own winning streak.

The “game” or “competition”  varies for different people. For someone, it is asking out that lady that you can not imagine will say yes. For another it is putting in an application. For someone else, it is taking on that new challenge.

While I do not know what your game is, these I know for sure:

You can only win/lose a game if you play it.

You won’t know if you will win or lose unless you get on the field and play.

I am not saying you will always win, however, loosing sometimes teaches us the way to win. A child crawls, stands and falls down, before learning to walk and then how to run…..

Seek new and better information. Try out different approaches. Ask for help. By all means keep at it and it is only a matter of time.

So go out there and play the game.

The Tunnel Experience

Everyone will go through the tunnel of waiting at some point…

We fall into 3 camps:

  • Those that have gone through the waiting tunnel
  • Those going through the waiting tunnel
  • Those that are not yet at the tunnel

Note that I describe the waiting phase as a tunnel experience.

So, what is a tunnel?

A tunnel links two places. It starts at one point and leads to another point.

It is usually dark in the tunnel which gives rise to the need for lighting the tunnel. More often than not, it is an individual journey not really a 3 -4 lane express way. Also, it can be very hot and uncomfortable in the tunnel.

The tunnel experience is not always an exact replica of what is happening outside the tunnel. While it may be dark inside, it may be bright and sunny outside the tunnel.

Waiting is almost a foreign vocabulary to our generation. We want everything it NOW.

However, we will not always have what we want now. Sometimes, we need to go through a waiting period.

When we see any and every waiting period from the view of a tunnel, we can be certain that:

  • We are moving forward
  • There is a place called the other side
  • What is happening around is not necessarily the total picture
  • It may be an individual journey but there is always help

Whichever camp you fall into, these lessons will come in handy at some point.

We all will have to wait at some point in our lives; we can choose to wait grudgingly or in joyful anticipation.

This Life…

OK, Jai Mcdowall won Britain’s Got Talent 2011.

Like many people, I had him in my top 5 but my eyes were on New Bounce or Ronan to win.

It is quite interesting how a man’s life changes overnight…

While the press was reporting Jai’s winning story, they were also saying one of the judges of the other show is now out of job both in UK and the USA.

But 6/7 months ago, she was the nation’s SH. She won two series back to back. She even had the record of being the first judge not to choose (which I think was part of her job spec as a judge)

She decided who she took to the life show and who she did not…it was almost like she had the say over other people’s lives.

This life….

Who would have ever imagined that she would now be the one out of job?

I am sure she will bounce back though …

When I think of Gamu Nhengu’s story: the controversy around her being dropped from X Factor, the visa issue/ the court cases, I believe that she will still do well in the music industry whether now or later.


  • No position is permanent
  • When man closes a door, God can open several others
  • The man in charge today will not be in charge forever
  • The interviewer today can become the interviewee tomorrow
  • Nobody can stop your destiny
  • Sometimes things go bad so they could become better…

It was meant to be easy…

There was this small patch of mould at the edge of the bathtub. I tried most of the bathroom cleaning products I could find. I would usually apply the products and use brush to scrub the area. In all honest, the cleaning products were not fighting the mould but they were making the bathroom cleaner.

Out of frustration, I decided to go to Google for help: I searched for mould removing products and found several. I then started reading the reviews on each till I found one that had good reviews everywhere I checked – also it was more expensive.

I set out to get the product but discovered several stores did not have it. After a few visits, I finally managed to get it in one of the stores. I followed the instruction – which was: “Apply it and rinse the area.” For someone that had scrubbed and scrubbed, to apply and rinse the area sounded funny but I obeyed.

To my surprise, the mould area shrunk after the first application, I repeated the application and it has been almost 6 months now that we said bye bye to mould patches.

This is just one example of the lesson I am learning – “Nothing is meant to be difficult”. I did not say it will not require effort but the effort will be result producing one – life was not meant to be difficult.

If it is difficult, it could be that

  • You are using the wrong products/tools like I was doing and scrubbing away
  • You are not aware of the right solution
  • You are not being objective to accept that what you have done till date is not working and something needs to change
  • You are refusing to get help/advise

Whatever you may be doing that seems to be difficult, learn to step back and ask:

  • Am I doing it the right way?
  • Am I using the right tools/products?

God designed life to be easy as long as we follow the right instructions.

Picture courtesy of

More Energy

For the very first time, I am publishing 2 posts not in a month, not even a week but the same day…

My wife and I are on a journey the next couple of days. From the South west to the North east, and then on to Glasgow for my brother-in-law’s graduation – small family reunion…

I just completed about 400 miles (640km) of driving – around 7 hours in total (in those days, it would only have taken about 5 – 6 hours…learnt to take it easy as a family man), and there is another 200 miles (3 hours) to go tomorrow – thankfully, I won’t be doing tomorrow’s driving!

I woke up early and could not go back to sleep, so I sorted out the items I would need for the next couple of days and prepared for the days work. I then completed the last post which was a few days due already.

Why did I wake up early and why could I not go back to sleep?

The answer is – I had so much to do today. I recognised that I was on a long drive. For some reason that I still I can not explain, I find this happening to me most times that I have a long day ahead.

Something kicks in in my system that infuses me with strength and energy. After the first 100 miles, I was not tired at all, as there were still 300 miles to go. Even after 200 miles, it was as if the journey was just starting!

This makes me remember, special days in my life e.g. my first day in the University, the first time I was travelling out of my country, and of course my wedding day.

The common theme to most of such days is that there was so much to do. I end up sleeping late on the previous day(s) and yet waking up early – full of energy and drive to go on on the d-day.

On the contrary, the days I do not have much to do, to even drive a mile is such a big do and a big problem. I am usually more tired on holidays than on days that there was much to do.

It just goes to show that the reason we are tired and weary is probably because we do not have much ahead of us – so there is no need for the body to supply any energy not to talk of extra energy. To have more energy, maybe we need to make big plans…

Paradigm Shift…Boy Driver!!!

I have read the famous paradigm shift story – a man on the tube on a Sunday morning with the children running around and disturbing everyone. The writer was angry and said “Sir, can you please caution your children?” To which the dad replied – totally oblivious to all that was happening around him – “I am sorry, we are just coming from the hospital, they just lost their mum”!

Instantly, the writer’s emotion and reaction changed from anger to empathy.

Recently, I had a very interesting experience. It was an unusually warm autumn evening, I pulled in into a filling station for fuel. I grabbed the nozzle and was almost through with my fueling when I heard the honking of the horn from a car a few pumps away.

Who will be using their horn around here, why now?

I was startled, surprised and miffed at the honking. I looked over my shoulders with a mixture of wonder and irritation – we are not in London where the horn goes off 2 seconds after the light turns green. And there were no black cabs around…

To my amazement, I saw a 4-5 year old boy behind the wheels of a people carrier. Obviously the parent (driver) had gone into the store to pay for the fuel, as such, there were 3 kids left alone in the vehicle.

The first honking was probably a mistake but once the boy realised what he could do behind the wheels, he honked again, looked at his siblings, laughed out loud, raised his hand in enjoyment of what wonders he was performing.

I do not know what exactly was going on in the car with the 3 kids but all of a sudden, the boy literarily sat on the horn and let it run for as long as he could.

Typically, it would have been a prolonged state of anger plus irritation if the person honking was an adult. But amazingly, I found myself smiling in wonder of what this boy was doing.

Obviously, it was not the noise pollution I was enjoying. Rather, it was more of sharing in the boy’s amazement. He was visibly enjoying the magic he just discovered how to perform.

To everybody else, it was annoying. However, I found myself change from the feeling of irritation to amusement in seconds.

As I left the filling station, it occurred to me that, I have control over how I feel, the situation not withstanding.

Was it because it was a boy and not an adult that I was not irritated? Next time an adult is messing up, can I see a boy behind the situation and will that give me a paradigm shift?

It is really not the situation but our interpretation of it…

Picture source:

What do you do when you do not know what to do 2…

We all have times/moments in life when it looks like everything is against us. It looks like we are not where we should be or things are not quite working as we expect.

Sometimes we feel we are not where we want to be despite having tried all. To continue in this line of thought only leads to discouragement and despair.

At such times, when we feel we do not know what to do next, we need to re-evaluate the situation(s). And to help do this effectively, we need to see the situation through the eyes of gratitude


A lot has been said about being grateful. It can not be over flogged. I have discovered that this gratitude thing has got to be personal i.e. it is not a duty or a mechanical event. Sit down, take a sheet of paper and pen and begin to list things you are grateful for example:

  • You are alive
  • You are not in the hospital
  • You have eyes to read this
  • You have hands to type
  • You have opportunity to access the internet
  • You have 10 fingers
  • You have 10 toes
  • You are not bed ridden
  • Things are bad but not everything is bad

Recently, my wife and I decided to take stock, we took a sheet of paper and divided it into two. We listed the good things on the left and the bad ones on the right. As we started listing all we could remember, it became apparent that the challenge is predominantly in only one area.

The exercise helped us to know that our challenges are in only one area and all the other things are working fine. So we were able to give thanks.

The exercise is such that no one can do it on your behalf but you have got to step back and consciously remember the things in your life that are working.

If we forget our problems the way we forget our blessings, life will be great.

It is amazing how when we focus on the positive, we see a light …The more grateful we are, for the things that have worked, that are working, the easier it is for us to move forward. Also, it is as if the exercise turns the light on and you suddenly begin to see things from a different light.

When you do not know what to do and you are feeling down and dejected, switch over consciously to the positive side by being grateful and you will be amazed how things turn around.