Ask any millennial what is their stand on a certain subject, (your pick- same sex marriage, abortion, politics, leadership, friendship, family, morality……………… feel free to add some more) and most times their answer will be—- “it depends”. If you’re lucky of course; if you are not so lucky, especially with the much younger generation you will get a ‘whatever’ or ‘I don’t care’.
This is the era of relativism.
Relativism is generally termed as ‘ the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute’
Oh! Don’t let the title fool you, it is a pretty decent book. I promise.
When I mentioned this book as one of the 5 books that have changed my life, I was about halfway done. Now that I am done (and rereading it already) I think it deserves a special review. I like Mark Manson’s fresh view of life, his unapologetic views and opinions and how out of the ordinary this book addresses things that we are all too decent to mention. Continue reading
Self confidence and self esteem are touchy subjects that most of us prefer to sweep under the carpet. The truth is, each person struggles with some insecurity in one form or another. To get what we want, we have to get over the barriers we set for ourselves and reach out. This is why learning on how to boost your confidence and self esteem is really important. For example, you must have read books or quotes by Dr. Seuss at some point. Known for his brilliant children’s books, Dr. Seuss refused to meet children for the longest time. He didn’t feel confidence enough to face his audience (kids!) yet we continue to recite “Oh the places you will go’ to date. Eventually, he worked on his confidence enough to meet his adoring fans and was surprised that they didn’t even notice how nervous he was.
Say what you want to say about self help books, but I learn something from every book that I read. Sure, some of these books make me roll my eyes the whole time as I read, because they sound so obvious and forced. However, from every self help book, (or any other book), I take a lesson that I find myself applying in my life.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic by saying these 5 books have changed my life; but sure enough there is a lesson or two that I have learned from them that have created some form of impact in my life. Here is my list of impactful books and the lesson I borrowed from them.
Oh, have you watched Wonder Woman yet? I loved it! The movie gave me a reason to talk about saving yourself.
We spend most of our 20’s trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives.
When in our early twenties ( or late teens these days), we can’t wait to be done with Uni so we can get good jobs and be independent: Pay our own bills, get into nice nightclubs without being ‘frozen’ at the door, afford nice shoes….and the like. Oh, the naivety!
After getting jobs and getting paid meager salaries (lucky you if you got a great job straight out of college) we encourage ourselves that in our 20’s we work to learn not to earn (there’s some truth to this).
However, no one likes being broke, and after some time, we are looking for a way out to a better career, better relationships, and better hustle.
We all experience some low moments at some point of our life. It may not be rock bottom, but you were feeling pretty low due to some event in your life.
Some causes of low moments are:
When you are jobless or in between jobs and you don’t feel so sure about where you’re headed. This comes with some anxiety, stress and uncertainties especially revolving around your finances. Joblessness can also cause you to experience low self worth. On the brighter side, it gives you some time to your hand. If you had saved enough to keep you going for a while, you can use the time you have to focus on something else.
Do you sometimes get that anxious feeling even when you cannot trace its cause? Most of the anxiety feelings we have are caused by thoughts in our minds, which are sometimes just that, thoughts. We worry about things that have not happened, and may never happen.
Don’t get it wrong, anxiety is an important emotion in every human being. It warns us of impending danger and makes us careful. On the other hand, it is not healthy being anxious at all times. Anxiety can be caused by irrational thoughts, obsessive thoughts, fear, fatigue and uncertainties. Thoughts are termed as irrational if:
- They are unfounded,
- They get in your way and keep you from reaching your goals
- They lead to self defeating or self depreciating behaviour,
- They distort your reality, creating an nonexistent reality
- They lead to unhealthy emotions, such as excessive anxiety.
Unfortunately, as I had written before, most of us tend to think that leadership comes with a position. The only power that we have over those we lead is positional power. Because one is a manager or a supervisor, you quote comfortably; I am in a leadership position.
I have come to learn that leadership is all about influence. By influence, you have to make people to willingly follow you, even when you are not using power or rewards to gain this influence. John Maxwell suggests that, to find out if you are an influence, try leading a group of people in a voluntary program where there are no rewards at all and you cannot use positional power as well because the program is voluntary and you cannot fire them.
Leadership is therefore all about people, besides making money for the organization. As a great people leader, you have to learn to influence, motivate and inspire people to meet the set goals. When you are leading a demotivated and uninspired team, there is dormancy; people have to be pushed to work and as a result the entire work scene becomes like that of flogging a dead horse. Continue reading
Why most of us don’t see ourselves as leaders
John Maxwell noticed that when he announced free leadership training open for all, in organizations or universities, only a few people signed up for it. When he followed up, he found out that most peole did not view themselves as leaders and were quick to say, “ah, this training is not for me!”.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of mentality held by many people. Some do not think they can be leaders while others think that a leadership position is not something they want to be associated with. This is because of the picture painted by our community regarding leadership.
Here in Kenya especially, leadership has been mainly painted as political leadership, which is associated with lies, insults, lack of integrity and a lot of not so admirable traits. Besides those who are interested in political leadership, you’ll find a lot of people turning down any opportunity they are given to lead others, say in the work place unless it is an official appointment.
The one thing we forget about leadership is, you do not have to be in a position of power to be a leader. We tend to think that once you are appointed manager at your work place, where you have to make decisions, it is the only time you will be required to portray leadership skills. When you think about it, you are a leader in many ways than you can imagine; When your siblings come to you for advice, when you have kids and you want them to become sane humans in the future, when you are appointed the head of your chama, when you organize your friends for a social gathering or when you emerge as a group leader during a group discussion in schools or seminars; among others. Continue reading
Most of us struggle in balancing the urgent with the important. The urgent is that which has a deadline, and you need to have it done to keep your job, or to keep that client. Urgent makes us feel very good about ourselves. We feel important, needed and very useful. We concentrate on the urgent, we give it our all.
Examples of urgent:
- Answering emails
- Working on a job that has a deadline
- Attending meetings, even when they have no agenda
- That which will make us look good to our superiors
It keeps us busy all day and at the end of the day we feel very good for getting it done, all the time, while important lies somewhere untouched.
What is important?
- That personal project you’ve been meaning to start
- That master’s thesis you’ve been intending to get ready for defense
- That work project that was allocated to you, aside from your job description
- That book you’ve been saying forever you’ll start writing
- Updating that CV so you can start applying for new job
- That proposal for a new client for your side hustle
- That course you’ve been meaning to enroll for because it will boost your career