What would you do to grow $10 into $20 within one week? Think about it deeply. Allow your mind to roam freely because imagination is the birthplace of great triumph. Stretch that one week into one month if you must, but by all means grow that $10. Double it.
For me, I will invest in design and production of one pair of the twiga (Swahili for giraffe) Maasai sandals. For now, they only exist in my mind but within a week, they wil exist on earth too. I have zeroed in on the actual design and will modify it accordingly. It will be a design of African women’s sandals that will make you feel very tall and elegant when you walk in them. I have identified someone who will buy them. But since selling one pair will not double the $10, I will have to find someone else who will buy a second pair of this same design. That way, the initial $10 investment will birth a $20. So help me God.
Money only grows on trees that are rooted in the fertile soil of a great product and a dynamic market. You must build or buy that product. You must also find that dynamic market. Do this two things tactfully, strategically and consistently. Endure the labor pains of birthing this great product and you will reap the rewards of cradling a bundle of money in your arms.
Sometimes, it helps to find a market then sell to them a product that is in demand. But sometimes, you can build an awesome product then build an awesome market for it. It takes longer but it can reward you with more money.
So go ahead and grow your money. Start small and build your way up incrementally, step by step. If you grow weary, rest for a while. But whatever you do, don't give up.
Remember that the best way of growing your money in the long term is to be the best at what you do, whether in employment or in business.
Here is a shocker. You learned the most amazing things in your life on your own, with only secondary support from a handful of people around you. You didn’t need several professors, several lecturers and even more teaching assistants to learn those amazing things. Yet you actually learned them, largely on your own. This proves that you actually have an amazing brain. It’s simply amazing. You took less than three years to learn those amazing things whose sheer magnitude would have taken adults twice or even thrice as much time to learn. Am talking about talking and walking. Within one - one and a half years of your birth, you had learned how to walk. Within three years of your birth, you had learned how to talk. For some of us, within five years of our birth, we had learned how to talk three languages.
Here is the tragedy though - after learning these amazing things, the graph of your learning ability started going down. Not because of nature but because of the environment around you. That’s why Mark Twain, the great American writer once said that, ‘I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.’
The desire to learn is something that we are born with. Before the world interferes, we learn amazingly well. Tragically, the world begins to interfere. For instance we begin to associate learning with schools. We then go through life imagining that learning institutions are the centers of learning; that we can only learn by going there; that they hold the keys to our learning.
Learning institutions are not the center of your learning; your brain is the center of your learning. Purpose to learn something new every day. Learn from your mistakes; learn from others’ mistakes; learn from your experiences; learn from others’ experiences; learn from reading books eagerly; learn from nature; learn from meditation; learn too from learning institutions but treat them as servants of your learning, not masters.
Recapture the curiosity of your childhood and you will learn so much that the genius within you will awaken.
That book remained glued in my hands for the entire day that I was locked in my room. The Alchemist. A book whose every page dripped with powerful insights. The Alchemist. A book by Brazillian writer Paulo Coelho. A book that has swept the world like a constructive tornado, sweeping away doubt and uncertainties from the souls of millions. With 65 million copies sold, it is the fifteenth best-selling book of all time.
The Alchemist changed my life by giving me more clarity about my purpose. It reminded me that ‘when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.’ This resonated mightily with my spirit. Indeed, books can be so powerful and life changing.
'Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson' is another book whose 571 pages sank deep into my spirit. It unveiled the incredible life of Steve Jobs and allowed me to peep into the driving force of his monumental life. I borrowed several leaves from that life and sprinkled them into my own.
Through the pages of a book, you grow wings and fly to wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go there. Those pages stir up dreams in you. Sometimes, they even help you to realize dreams that you already had.
So go ahead and read a book. And after finishing it, read another one. And another one. You brain will undergo a workout as you read the book. Your spirit will be nourished. Your soul will be sharpened.
Alone in the darkness of my bedroom, I flashed a big smile that lit up my heart. I switched on my bedside lamp, still smiling. I took a shower, still smiling. I took a cab to Wilson Airport, still smiling. I boarded a flight to Lamu Island, still smiling. I landed at Lamu Airport, still smiling. Then I saw it. The reason I was smiling. The Indian Ocean and the little Lamu Old town that had become my second home. My big smile was rooted in the act of going there, not just being there.
Joy stirs awake in becoming, not just in being. That’s why the wholehearted pursuit of your goal will unlock the joy that already lives within you.
Joy is not excitement. Joy wells from within you while excitement finds its oxygen from without you. Joy lives in your heart. Don’t search for it in the outside world.
No one can give you joy. They can only stir the joy that already resides in you. Joy is like an eagle that remains perched on a branch, until there is reason to soar. Give your joy reason to soar by investing your whole heart into your life.
Excitement thrills your mind. Joy nourishes your heart. Excitement draws life from the future while joy inhabits the now.
Joy springs up when you immerse your heart into something or someone. If joy doesn’t result from an endeavor, stop it. If joy doesn’t result from an encounter, turn around. If joy doesn’t ensue from a relationship, end it.
Joy thrives in the journey. It doesn’t lie stationery in destinations along the way.
Half-hearted living immobilizes the joy within you into a coma. You will only know the full extent of joy when you invest all your heart into the journey of your life.
Keep going. Just keep on going even when you can clearly see roadblocks ahead of you. Persistence is the name of the game. If you keep on keeping on, you will get there. One way or another. Just ask that drop of water that kept pounding the rock until the rock eventually disappeared. You may just be a drop of water, uncertain how you will get through that rock before you. Just keep pounding.
Labor pains are like a rock that stands in the way of a prospective mama. But she keeps pushing. And pushing. And pushing. Her persistence pays off when a baby bursts through and bursts into a cry of life.
Persistence entails pushing and pushing until you birth your baby. Until you get your breakthrough. Until you realize your dream. Persistence doesn’t give up or give in. It keeps pushing until birth occurs.
Persistence isn’t about banging your head on the wall until you drop down. Instead of using your head as a tool of pounding that wall, use your head to find tools or ways of overcoming that wall. Persistence finds a hammer and pounds that wall until it comes down. Persistence scales that wall and delivers you to the other side. Persistence turns that wall into a stepping stone to higher ground.
Persistence keeps placing one foot in front of the other until it arrives at its destination.
Loss. Such a painful thing. It tears away a little piece of your heart. Then another piece and another one. And another one. Loss breaks your heart. Shatters your spirits. Loss ushers you into sorrow, that sad, sad place that drenches you in tears.
Sorrow, even when it’s public, is so personal, so intimate that oftentimes, only you can truly feel the extent of its pinch. Sorrow shadows loss. Wherever there is loss, sorrow shows up.
Fresh sorrow is like a storm that uproots you and tosses you all over the place, leaving you wounded and bruised. But in the same way that a storm can transport a tiny leaf to the peak of a mountain, sorrow can transport you to the peak of your emotional and spiritual strength. This strength will cause you to feel the calmness of raindrops even when the wind is howling in your ear.
Like a whirlwind, sorrow stirs questions even as it leaves their answers buried deep in the ground. Worry not about the answers. Some answers only stem from the ground at the right time, in due course. Just trust that sometimes, your spirit knows what your mind doesn’t.
When loss visits your heart and sorrow storms in, don’t wrestle with that sorrow. Embrace it because when you do so, those tears of sorrow will merely pave the way for deep peace to flow in.
Outer beauty thrills. Inner beauty fulfills. As thrill disappears, fulfillment lingers on. As such, work hard on your outer beauty but work twice as hard on your inner beauty. Outer beauty is God’s gift to you, inner beauty is your gift to God. Outer beauty attracts people but inner beauty attracts God.
When you are walking down the street and you catch several people staring at you because you are so beautiful, it feels good. But only for a moment. What lingers on during the day and into the night, is your inner beauty. Outer beauty dissolves with time. Inner beauty flourishes with time.
Inner beauty puts a smile into your heart and a spark into your eyes.
Filters may enhance the beauty of a face, but they are powerless in beautifying the heart. Sunshine knows this. That Friday morning, the more she walked along Karura Forest’s middle track, the more she lost track of time. The deeper she walked into the forest’s embrace, the more she felt beautiful palpitations dancing in her heart. Then she saw it. Oh God, how she loved it. She smiled and walked close to it. Her light, ebony hand reached out for it. Wow. Her eyes said. This wild mushroom is so beautiful. Wow, a guy who was cycling by muttered. That lady is so beautiful, he thought.
Like Sunshine, dance more to the joyous tune in your heart than the flattering words of others.
When you look out at the eastern horizon and see a big, beautiful sun rising, that’s outer beauty. If you can look into your heart and see the rising sun of kindness, fulfillness and unspeakable joy, that’s inner beauty.
Colonel Harland Sanders. Remember this name. You have probably never heard of him but most likely, you have been fed by him. If you have ever stood in queue at KFC, salivating at their famous chicken, then you have definitely been fed by Colonel Harland Sanders. He is the founder of KFC.
At the age of 65, he was already retired but just getting started with his dream. He walked to different restaurants and households in his local area, seeking to sell to them a fried chicken recipe that he had developed. Few listened to him. He even started cooking his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners so that if they liked it, they could start selling it. It is said that he received more than one thousand ‘Nos’ before the first ‘yes’ came through. After this, success poured through. By 1964, at least 600 restaurants were selling his “finger lickin' good" Kentucky Fried Chicken. Because he never gave up, KFC is now sold in almost every country in the world.
Bouncing back. Getting back on your feet when you have been knocked down. And fighting on. That’s resilience. When you get knocked down, don’t stay down. Get back on your feet and keep realizing your dream.
Resilience breathes new life into a broken spirit. Resilience picks the pieces of a shattered dream and pieces them back together.
I smiled at the goals that I had typed into my laptop. Beautiful goals. Run 100 kilometers per week. Cycle 50 kilometers per week. Publish four books per year. Write 3,000 words per day. Travel within Kenya every months. Travel outside Kenya every six months. And on and on. These goals were from the previous year. I had achieved probably fifty percent of the goals. The one word that captures why I fell short in achieving the rest is this – discipline. Lack of it.
In the words of Bwak the Bantu Poet, ‘discipline keeps walking even when the legs keep stopping. Discipline keeps flying even when the wings pause flapping.’
Can discipline be learned? Yes it can.
You learn it by taking that small, first step towards your goal. Then the second step. And the third. Then you keep walking even when your legs keep stopping. This is why discipline is the key to your success. It is the key that ignites the car of your life and enables you to drive forward, towards your destination.
Discipline will unlock your potential and set your firmly on the path of triumph.
So today, stop saying that you wish you had more discipline. Simply take the first step towards your goal. Then keep walking even when your legs keep stopping.
Once upon a time, you used to run. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you used to leap from bed right into the early morning's cold, refreshing arms. Your legs would hit the pavement, then the dirt road, then the tarmac, back to the dirt road and back to the pavement that led you home. You would alternate between 10 kilometers and 12 kilometers. Once a month, the last Friday of the month, you would run for a good 15 kilometers.
Ah, it felt so good to run consistently for two years. Of course there were days you wouldn’t make it, either because your body was teetering in sickness or because you had traveled. But by and large, for two whole years, you ran for three days a week. Your quadriceps felt good. Your glutes too, were in top form as were your hamstrings. Those low muscles were your best friends back then.
Then something happened. You missed one Monday because of a valid reason - food poisoning from the previous night messed up your stomach so much that you simply couldn’t run. But you found yourself missing other runs because of reasons that were not as valid. Actually, no reason at all. You just didn’t feel like it. Before you knew it, you had gone for a whole month without running, then two. Then three. It’s been two and a half years now.
There is a powerful secret for resuming running. Actually, it is a powerful secret of resuming anything awesome that you used to do but no longer do. This powerful secret can be summarized in four words - just do it now. Yes, now. Go out now and run even if it will be for ten meters. Then tomorrow, run for one kilometer. Do it one day at a time, one run at a time.
Restoration is birthed in the fierce urgency of now. So take the first step towards your restoration now.
The crowd was cheering wildly. Even the trees, lined along both sides of the road that cut through Prater Park in Vienna, appeared to be cheering. As I watched this historic marathon from my car thousands of kilometers away in Nairobi, it felt as if the universe had paused for a little while, to cheer Eliud Kipchoge to victory.
Less than two minutes later, his lithe legs leapt over the finish line in under two hours, the first man to ever do so. Two years earlier, he had tried to break the same record at the Formula One Autodromo Nazionale Monza race track in Italy. But he had failed. One of the main differences between that attempt and the successful one in Vienna is that in Italy, there were no fans to cheer him on. But in Vienna, they were there, on either side of the road, cheering him wildly at every step of the way.
In the individual races of life that we all run, we need to be cheered on. One of the best gifts that you can give to those near and dear to you is to cheer them on in their races. Our concerted, consistent and heartfelt cheers can make the difference between their triumph or loss. But you cannot cheer them on if you don’t even know the races that they are running and why those races matter to them. So get to know your loved one’s intimate, critical races.Then cheer them on as if life depends on it because in some ways, it does. When you cheer on someone that you care for, your cheers will lift up their flagging spirits and carry them beyond the finish line.
May the beautiful breeze of resounding cheers from your spouse, your close friend, your sibling, your parent, your children, sweep you to victory.
When you ride on the powerful back of intimate cheers, victory will be within reach.