Execution

Wow! It’s been a while! First things first, Happy New Year and Happy New Month!

Away from the niceties and into the central theme of this article. So, today I would like to handle a critical matter, that is, execution. I felt the urge to begin my writing this year with an important subject that really separates leaders from followers, the successful from the unsuccessful, the rich from the poor, and the wise from fools. In one way or the other, execution is one of the most significant elements to success in any field. Time and again, we have heard that “procrastination is the thief of time.” Also, we know that procrastination is the silent killer of man’s deepest dreams yet we still find ourselves pushing forward a significant activity. How many times have we backed out of important but not urgent matters? In any case, what often makes us fail to spring into action may be fear, paralysis by analysis, or the discouragement concerning the effort that we need to put into attaining the success. At other times, it may be the lack of enthusiasm or drive to just get it done.

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Image Credits: Board of Wisdom

On a lighter note, I read someone’s post on social media where he had written that the year often begins in March; January and February serve as a period of reminiscing the past year and also as a grace period for preparing to enter into the new year. Funny weird, isn’t it? It is easy to conclude that such comments come from a lack of enthusiasm and motivation to seize the day. In effect, inaction breeds immobility and yet time and tide wait for no man! We ought to be in action, but this does not mean that we just move around aimlessly without a purpose. We need to have a purpose and to attain this purpose, we ought to set goals. To accomplish the goals, we need to execute the steps necessary to achieve them. Ever heard of the quote which says, “Dreams without goals are just dreams…and they fuel disappointments.” We hate disappointments, right?

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Image Credits: Quotefacny

The Good Book tells us that, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” [Proverbs 4:7, KJV]. So, in the above scripture, we have two elements – Wisdom and Understanding. The latter is gotten as people gain knowledge. We know that wisdom and knowledge go hand in hand. However, there is an important factor that connects the two. This factor is execution. Even as man searches for knowledge, there is the need for them to appreciate that the wisdom is in the execution! If you cannot put into practice (execute) what you learn, then the knowledge becomes useless.

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Image Credits: Highland Park Baptist Church

Imagine you are an archer and you have really prepared well for a particular global tournament. When you win the competition, you get to walk home with a fortune. So, the tournament is held in an arena as large as the Wembley Stadium and is being broadcasted worldwide. It is your turn to march on to the field and take your shots. The only challenge is that there is no target! What! After all the preparations you walk into a competition, and there is no target? Well, that’s madness, isn’t it? Well, that’s how a large portion of the world is today! Shocked? Yes, we have many people with all the knowledge in the world, but they do not know where to apply it! It is said that the greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life without purpose.

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Image Credits: InspireCast

Knowing one’s purpose is the first step to living a great life. However, we also have individuals who know their purpose, but they have a rough time living their destiny. They have all the knowledge concerning the direction they should take but are still unsuccessful. In essence, their outward life does not portray who they are on the inside. On the inside, they may be having all the knowledge concerning their specialization, but on the outside, they are unsuccessful in their profession. Mercy! One of the challenges could be that they are poor in applying the knowledge they possess. Yes, we all desire to be wise. However, in our pursuit for wisdom, we face a lot of hurdles that at times make us play low in the name of sparing ourselves the blushes. However, there is a remedy for all that. The power lies in the execution. Simply put, “gaining knowledge is good, but wisdom is in the execution/application of whatever one has learned.” Also, “Knowledge is power but knowledge without action is useless.”

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Image Credits: Brainy Quote

Indeed, wisdom is the principal thing. We could go on and on expounding on the subject, but I choose to leave it at this point. Well, wisdom is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and taking the necessary actions to improve further. So, for a long time, I have been battling with execution. It has been a struggle not only in business but also in life. From time to time, I was wondering why my life was not improving despite all the effort I put in gaining knowledge only to know that I was poor when it came to execution. However, now I have a clear picture of my weakness.
For a start, I have begun reading Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s book titled, “Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done.” I have not gone past chapter one, and I am already learning a lot. In the book, Bossidy and Charan investigate how great leaders are masters of execution. In essence, they state that most companies struggle to make great strides because they are weak at execution. My reason for reading the book is to help revive my side-hustle which is in the negative zone despite having a great strategy and a grand master plan.

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Image Credits: Amazon

Even you today, you can identify areas in your life where you have failed to take appropriate action and begin to move. Remember, wisdom and power lie in the execution. Also, remember that the knowing is in the doing. And when you are overwhelmed, remember to seek assistance. Indeed, there is no shame in asking for help.

Happy Execution folks!

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Bonus Thought

We have a lot of self-improvement books, and we also have a lot of motivational speakers. In the present age where technology is transforming the way we live, we also have motivational channels and accounts. So, we are well equipped with the knowledge we need to live a great life. However, the challenge lies in the execution. Yes, the information we get from all the books, channels, accounts, and the people around us would not work unless we apply it, period! Even the reading of the scripture and listening to sermons would not work unless you work it out! At times, the results may take longer to manifest, but one thing is for sure, the right execution techniques will yield the desired results.

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Image Credits: Pinterest

Hiatus

Wow! Just wow! What a while it has been!

Sincerely, I missed blogging. It has almost been a year since I last composed a blog post (314 days to be precise). Well, I attribute it to a hiatus, a hiatus pegged with many factors: work, travel, reading, business, and worse of it all – writer’s block.

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Image Credits: Wine In

On the one hand, I would say it was necessary that I have the long break from what I used to do best. On the other hand, I feel that I have missed out on a lot regarding the advancement of the mckanyanga brand. Essentially, this is the first blog post for 2018! Just imagine what I have missed for the past eight months!

The hiatus has taught me about life’s brevity. There are so many moments I told myself that I was going to finish the next part of Almost doesn’t count. I had even mapped out the story’s outline. However, I just could not come up with the words to fill it up! I was stuck. I suffered the writer’s block. There are other moments that I wrote a paragraph, and before I knew it, I had hit the backspace key to clear it! I could not feel the flow of the words. I could not make sense of what I was writing. Many writers will tell you that they often have to feel the flow and make sense of their work before they publish and share it with their audience.

During the hiatus, I have learned significant lessons about life which I would like to share with you.

It is okay to be tired, but never to give up

“I think that writing/business/ministry/accounting/sport/law [insert any pursuit here] is not my thing…”

Many are the times we have heard people complain that a particular profession, pursuit, or job is not their thing. In most cases, they reach this point after a long period of trying here and there. It is common to hear them say,

“I did everything right, I followed the rules, I put all my effort, I dedicated myself to the course, but things are not working out at all!”

Perhaps, such comments are made when one is tired, and their mind is clouded with negative energy as a result of the toil. During such time, it is necessary to unplug and do whatever you like – taking a walk, cooking your favorite meal, munching your favorite snack, watching your favorite series, or even listening to soothing music. Such activities have the effect of “deceiving” your mind into forgetting the negative and focusing on the good vibes only.

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Image Credits: Virgin

Remember that it is never that serious. Being tired is okay. Being tired makes us human. In essence, being tired shows that you are putting in the work and that is good! However, take care not to be chocked up in the negative mood that is brought about by fatigue. In this case, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing – focusing on your work.

The break is necessary

When one suffers a writer’s block, they cannot achieve much. It is at this point that taking a break becomes handy. The break is necessary because it helps calm down your mind. Research shows that the brain generates fascinating ideas when it is at rest. As a writer, one of the most important assets to have is a creative mind, and that mind is often achieved when one is at rest. It is advisable that one writes up the fascinating ideas that come through their mind during the break. These notes are necessary for coming up with future blog posts.

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Image Credits: Meet, Plan, Go

Perhaps, breaks are essential in clearing up your mind and hence enable you to come up with better ideas. Additionally, taking a break is instrumental in shaping up your view of the world. In essence, during the break, you tend to focus on other things besides writing, and these activities influence you to see the world from a different viewpoint. Besides, these other activities may give you the answers or inspiration that is needed to fuel your passion.

So, the next time you feel stuck, remember to unplug from what you are doing and take that break.

Consistency is key

Consistency, or lack thereof, can be the defining factor between failure or success. Let’s say that I decide to do a blog post every fortnight and stick with it; it would somewhat be predictable for you to check into my blog for a new post, wouldn’t it?

Consistency enables you to measure your performance. For instance, in the above case where I choose to blog every fortnight, it would be right to say that I would come up with two blog posts every month and twenty-four in a year. My work would somewhat be predictable, and this would prompt me to come up with the best pieces.

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Image Credits: Quotefancy

Besides, consistency breeds accountability. Perhaps, if I know that I should have a blog post two weeks from now, I will start coming up with an outline soon. I would not want to miss the satisfaction that comes with the successful completion of the blog post. This satisfaction and the desire to be consistent in coming up with blog posts would be the catalysts that will enhance my accountability.

Do not chase the result

Your whole focus ought to be on the process. In writing, there is the tendency to focus on the number of likes to your blog post, the target reach, the number of individuals visiting your blog, and the money you make out of writing. It is worth noting that these parameters are not the main goal. I was guilty of focusing on the result, and I was frustrated when I never got the anticipated feedback. Eventually, I forgot the passion, the first love – writing.

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Image Credits: Float Universe

What I appreciate is that I have learned my lesson. When you focus on chasing the result, you will rarely get them. Instead, you ought to focus on the “why” of your work. Perhaps, it could be to inspire lives of teenagers out there or to guide first-time parents on how to raise their first child.

Remember, chasing after things and results only produces a tiring life. Essentially, focus on the “why,” and in no time, individuals will recognize it and start giving you what you are seeking – be it likes, readership, or money.

Have fun

During the hiatus, I invested more time into my business. It is less than a year old and is yet to break even. Of course, as a businessman, there are other great businessmen that I look up to for inspiration. One of them is Sir Richard Branson. Branson is known for his mighty exploits in business through his company named Virgin. I happened to study his autobiography titled Losing My Virginity (I am not talking about what you think here), and one of the essential lessons that I have learned is that you got to enjoy the process. Branson prides himself in having fun at work. If you look at the company’s structure, it is evident that he prioritizes the needs of the employees. He understands the importance of having fun in attaining the desired results. Well, I also transferred the same idea into my work plan. I would rather have fun while writing than being grumpy and grinding out an unsatisfactory piece of writing.

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Image Credits: AZ Quotes

Well, that’s it. Remember the break is necessary but do not give up yet. Consistency matters. Focus on your passion and have fun while at it.

Cheers!

[Featured Image credits: bradsknutson.com]

My Dream Breakfast

Not long ago, I was listening to one of my favorite radio programmes. The topic of discussion of the day was, “3 people I would really want to have breakfast with.” I must say that I found the discussion very interesting as callers kept jamming up the lines, and text messages streamed in thick and fast. On my end, the topic reflected a time for reflection. It made me dig into my bucket list that contains the influential people I really dream of meeting one day. These are the people who I esteem highly and view as role models. My list of 3 was quite simple. Have a look below.

  1. Joyce Meyer

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Joyce Meyer delivering a sermon.

Credits: JoyceMeyerMinistries

Joyce Meyer is a Christian author and preacher at Joyce Meyer Ministries. Despite facing sexual abuse from her father, she grew up to where she is today and frequently shares about the abuse in her meetings.

I first came to know of Joyce through GOD TV programs back in primary school. Having little or no clue at all about what she was teaching, I used to change the channel and move on to interesting programmes. However, as I grew older, I gave more attention to her programme. I have made it a point to listen to her each morning at 4.30 a.m. on Family Radio 316 and I must say that her message usually gets me kick-started for the day! Supposing I miss the morning show, there is always a repeat at 1.00 p.m. Mondays to Friday.

Joyce uses exactly 25 minutes to deliver her message in a programme titled, “Enjoy Everyday Life.” It is amazing how she does not sweat out or seem to be in a hurry to get the message home or even lose track of what she is preaching on in such a short span of time. Besides preaching, she also has sessions where she answers questions regarding one’s walk with God in a programme titled, “Everyday Answers.” She also posts daily devotional messages. Her social media pages are full of messages of encouragement mostly drawn from scriptures. As an author, she has written several books such as Start Your New Life Today (2008), The Secret To True Happiness (2008), and the famous Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind (1995).

I probably want to have breakfast with her as I seek answers to questions regarding life. I might even prompt her to go into her famously known stiff-armed imitation of a robot chanting, “What about me? What about me?”

Joyce Meyer imitating a robot

Video: Courtesy of Youtube

2. Strive Masiyiwa

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Strive Masiyiwa

Credits: Unilever

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder of Econet Wireless, an international telecommunications group. He is also an established entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist. He is also a board member of several organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and The Pan African Strategic Institute among others.

I came to know of Mr. Masiyiwa back in 2015 when he was the Guest Speaker of Kenya’s National Prayer Breakfast. What caught my attention was his humility despite all the achievements. Additionally, I was really impressed with the charisma with which he delivered his 10 minute speech. After the address, the first thing I did was liking his Facebook page and realized what I had been missing.

Through his page, Mr. Masiyiwa usually shares golden tips regarding entrepreneurship. He also gives afterthoughts regarding topics that he has shared and even has the chance to answer few questions from his followers. Recently, his page was ranked as the most influential business leadership platform in the world in the month of April. It is hard to find a public figure like Strive who share tips on what made them get to the top. I urge you to take the time to like his page and follow on his tips.

I would really cherish a breakfast with Mr. Masiyiwa and probably have a chat on starting and running a successful multinational company.

 

Strive Masiyiwa during the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast

Video: Courtesy of Youtube

3. Denzel Washington

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Denzel Washington

Credits: NeoGAF

When one is asked to create a list of successful African-American actors, Denzel’s name would probably be among the top if not top of the list. I bet our parents remember him for his portrayal of Steve Biko in the movie Cry Freedom (1987). I came to know of him after watching Remember The Titans (2000) in which he acted as an African-American coach of a high school team containing players of mixed races. His encouragement to the team members and the way he handled racial differences inspired me to make a follow up on other movies that he acted. Man on Fire (2004), Inside Man (2006), American Gangster (2007), Deja Vu (2006), and Equalizer (2014) are some of the interesting movies he has acted. His movie that impressed me the most is Training Day (2001) where he portrayed a rogue LAPD narcotics cop. In fact the movie earned him an Oscars Award.

Denzel knows how to bring the best out of movie characters that he is given. The charm with which he talks cannot fail to impress any observer. Besided acting, Denzel usually gives short keynote motivational and inspirational addresses. I have always looked forward to his quotable quotes and speeches.

I would probably cherish a breakfast with him and ask him a couple of questions regarding  what makes a successful actor and how one can also be charming and successful in life.

Denzel Washington commencement speech at The University of Pennsylvania

Video: Courtesy of Youtube

I would like to squezee in an extra person: Warren Buffet.

4. Warren Buffett

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Warren Buffett

Credits: AP

Warren Buffet is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and one of the most successful investors in the world. He was recently ranked the second richest person in the United States, and fourth wealthiest in the world.

I came to know of Warren Buffett when I was selecting my university course. Back then, it was all about the money as is today. Money seems to be the guiding factor when one is making a choice on which course they will take up at the university. I settled on a business related course that would lead me into working at an investment firm. At first my parents wanted me to pursue accounting but I was against it. I became drunk with financial markets and therefore settled on finance. Over the campus years, I looked to Warren Buffett as a role model such that when we were required to present a proposal during Research Methods, I chose a topic related to the securities market. In fact, Security Analysis (1934), a book written by Benjamin Graham (Buffett’s mentor) and David Dodd was like a Bible that guided my group during the research process. It was not unusual to hear my group mates and some classmates referring to me as Warren Buffett. To date, I still look at him as a role model when it comes to matters to do with investing in stocks. I am an ardent follower of his advice regarding investment with a longterm view rather than the short term speculative view.

I would really like to have breakfast with him and probably ask for advice regarding the best stocks to invest in now at the Nairobi Securities Exchange especially at a time when the bourse is still recovering from its worst bear run of all time.

So that is my list. Who would you like to have breakfast with? Please share in the comments section below.

I am Powerful

I AM POWERFUL.

I am powerful.
I’m not afraid to risk or to take chances.
I am a person of great courage. I would rather try and possibly fail
than succeed in doing nothing.

Disclaimer:
For more tips on how to use the declarations, it would be advisable that you get a copy of the Millionaire Mindset.

I CAN because I think I CAN

I CAN.

I can because I think I can.
I am programmed for success. I believe I am a winner!
I can do anything. My belief system is limitless.
I can! I can! I can!

Disclaimer:
For more tips on how to use the declarations, it would be advisable that you get a copy of the Millionaire Mindset.

Successibility Thinking…

First of all, HAPPY NEW MONTH!!!!

During this month, I am going to share with you a new successibility thinking declaration each day. I have been motivated and inspired to do so courtesy of a book I read back in the summer of 2014 by the title MILLIONAIRE MINDSET written by Gerry Robert. These declarations are derived form chapter 9 of the book.

Before I go on to share with you the declaration for day one, it will be important to note at this point that there is NO key to success. Why am I saying so? I am saying so because the door to success is always opened. Or on another note, we were all born great, some of us chose to be petty.

Straight to declaration for the first day of this GREAT month:

I MATTER.

I matter to myself and to others.
I am a significant person with incredible potential and abilities.
I am aware of my flaws and choose to appreciate myself even with them.
I love myself.
Disclaimer:
For more tips on how to use the declarations, it would be advisable that you get a copy of the Millionaire Mindset.

 

Confront the fear of failure….

The greatest men of all time are not those who feared failure, but rather those who confronted it head on. Do not fear to fail.
Many people fail everyday anyway but they learn from their failures and re-strategize and eventually they triumph.
You should rather fear NOT TRYING than failure.

Remember:

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Image Credits: http://www.picturequotes.com/in-order-to-succeed-your-desire-for-success-should-be-greater-than-your-fear-of-failure-quote-12407

Strive to be your own inspiration…

While it is indeed helpful, inspiring, and at times motivational for you to study the lives of successful people for your own guidance, there is another way that is also effective and maybe more so. That other way is for you to become your own inspiration.

All you need do is study your own life and take note of all of your accomplishments and successes. These can be from the most
insignificant things to those major obstacles you were able to overcome. This is something that absolutely everyone can do, for if you have lived even a few years you have these experiences in your storehouse.

This process can be the best way for you to stay motivated and inspired by your own life.

Don’t Quit!!!

I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality… I wanted to quit my life.
I went to the woods to have one last talk with god
“God”, I asked,
“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”.
His answer surprised me…
“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo ?
“Yes”, I replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.
I gave them light.I gave them water.The fern quickly grew from the earth.
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Its brilliant green covered the floor.Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.In the second year, the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. He said.
“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.But I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.” He said.
“Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
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It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”
He asked me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots”.
“I would not quit on the bamboo.I will never quit on you.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said.”The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.
Yet they both make the forest beautiful.””Your time will come”, God said to me.
“You will rise high”.
“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned.”Yes.” He said, “Give Me glory by rising as high as you can.”
I left the forest and brought back this story.I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on
you.Never, Never, Never, Give up.
Don’t tell the Lord how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great the Lord is!
Image credits for fern plant: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/deerfern.htm
Image credits for bamboo plant: http://www.bamboogarden.com/care.htm