Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Just think of Kyle

A great person who gives determination, perseverance and focus a new meaning.

This morning at 5:22am to 6am, l was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed is an understatement considering l am still crying and its like 7:15am. I am at work typing away.

Kyle Maynard is what overwhelmed me.

Kyle is a congenital amputee. But that is not what is important. What is remarkable is that Kyle can do everything. Kyle is a wrestler, a model and motivational speaker. The guy is either 18 or 19 years of age. The greatest additional is that Kyle didn't grow up in an exceptionally rich home. He was like any other kid in a normal family. But this family had a great and still has a great attitude.

As Larry King was interviewing him l couldn't help but cry. Look at this guy who can do more than most of us and yet he has not legs or hands...l kept muttering to myself. I thought of all the things l have said l cannot do. Things l have told myself are too hard to do. How could l have an excuse? How can l look myself in the mirror and limit that person l see? If you haven't seen Kyle Maynard's interview on CNN please request for it. If you want a reason never to  give up, just watch Kyle.

It's one thing to hear good stories that cause us to go ahead and live out our dreams. But l promise you that it is entirely another thing to see someone push themselves to achieve beyond human imagination. I don't even know why they haven't done a movie on him.

I learnt alot this morning about making it no matter what life throws at you. I learnt that God has made us stronger than we care to know. But one thing that the parents of Kyle said will stick with me for long. You know, Kyle used to be fed when he was growing up. Sometimes he used to fall on the stairs and of course someone would have to pick him up.  But one day his parents realized we will not always be around him to help him. So they begun to allow him to figure out how to pick up or feed himself. And he did. Now a statement they made was this is kinda paraphrased, "We knew he had to learn to do things for himself because the world was not going to tailor things for him." Simply said he had to learn to make the best of what he had because no one was going to stop and make room for him.

Today l wished l could take that program and take it to all the schools of the physically challenged in Kenya and to all who say they cannot make it.

I made a promise to myself this morning as l watched Larry interview Kyle...

I am just overwhelmed. If you watch Kyle you will get up and do everything that is humanly possible to accomplish your goals. And for real, you will make it. Just think of Kyle

Monday, November 29, 2004


I haven't blogged for quite a number of days. I have been meaning to though. But it didn't happen. As it is, l am tempted to give an excuse. I don't know what it will be but l won't recall it either. I was in a meeting today where l didn't give an excuse for not doing something. Instead l apologised and promised to do it ASAP of course with a timeline. Why am l choosing this path of no excuse? Because it is easier for me to think of an excuse to fail rather than succeed. Its not me alone.

Most of us never think of it that way. But truth be told, that is exactly what it is. I am learning that successful people have fewer excuses than those we look at and wonder what wrong turning they took.

l am also learning that for my very ambitious goals, l need to set an ambitious yet practical lifestyle. A lifestyle that is not dogged by excuses. I am learning that we all
have 24 hours 365days in a year yet some people will accomplish more than others. Why? I have looked at some of my mentors. They dish out very few excuses.

Half of what they want is done. They are focussed and don't walk the path of excuses. I have learnt that the best gift that you can give yourself is to do what you say you will do despite or inspite of.

This is the number one lesson l am learning this month of November. A lesson that is helping me stay on course considering my goals. Maybe l have talked about it before but it won't hurt if l say it again. I have a standing admission from a UK campus to do a Radio Journalism Masters. I haven't attended it yet because for the last 3 and a half years l have been looking for scholarships. Yes three long years. But now l have a strategy. Another lesson for the Month of November.

I am learning that what Dr John Maxwell says in his book Failing Forward is absolutely true. We have been told several times that if you try something and it fails keep trying until you get through. NO!!! Dr Maxwell says. If something fails, stop and evaluate. See where you made the mistake and strategize afresh and then try.

I am taking that advice very seriously because this is no joke. I want to be in class in Sep 2005.

So, if l have failed before what makes me think that l can in deed make it this time round? Different strategy, my friend. Different strategy. As we speak l am working on my first of my many to come academic papers which l am hoping to get published in South Africa or London. In the middle of all that l am still working on my motivational book which will be on my upcoming website. Oh this is better than anything l know. It is an exciting life l have. Why? Because even though l don't have all the money in the world to help me meet my goals as fast as l can, l believe that l will get there slowly but surely. Can you beat that? What? you ask.

Persistence and trust in God? I love life

de ja vu

Last week, l experienced some de ja vu. I like the way that word just bounces in my mouth.

Anyways. De ja vu, l said. In Kenya, like in many developing countries, there are many tv and radio stations sprouting left right centre. That is
especially if you find yourselves in an environment where the media is encouraged to be. One of these tv stations is the oldest and with the
highest professional standards l know of. Yet with a new lot of reporters that has not been displayed. They have been too many grammatical
mistakes. Added to that is the fact that some of their reporters leave you hanging every time they do a story. I remember talking to their news
editor who defended the news reporter. I respected her for that. But this incident led me to wonder, " Why was l being so harsh with a young
reporter for trying to be like the veterans?" Two reasons. 1) Expected standards had been shot down. 2) Maybe she was displaying a situation l
had been before.

I have found out that mostly it is the later that is the issue. When l started what l am currently doing, l didn't have the papers nor the experience.
I am curious by nature. So l kept trying out things and getting messed up. Yet my supervisors were all kind enough to just allow me to be. They
knew that at some point l would require all the patience in the world to get to where l am supposed to be. This is not to say that they have
stopped. In fact, l always know that l have room to grow. Why then am l not offering the same to someone who badly needs it? Pride. That
realization humbled me. How many times have we criticized people as they tried to get ahead in their lives only to serve as discouragement? For
the longest time, l have prayed to God to help me not to be a discouragement to anyone trying to make it in this world. For all l know, l could be
telling the next president that he cannot be. And who am l to do that?

I guess each of us needs some encouragement at some point. I am also learning that from my mentors and especially the one helping me with
my papers. She is so patient. She knows that l haven't done any paper till now. Yet she cheers me on. This is a graduate from Rhodes for crying
out loud. That to me is encouraging. So l will seek to understand first before l am understood