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The very thing!

We were in a session this week which my boss was facilitating. As she stood amongst the people I looked at her with amazement. She was so good at what she was doing and what really impressed me the most was how attentive the audience was. My colleague next to me uttered “she’s really good at this”…and I nodded with a big fat smile on my face.

After the session some people came to her and thanked her for the session and her passion for her craft. Ah! Passion! Fascinating word! Whenever someone mentions this word it hits an area in my core that I can’t help but find myself pondering…

I remember going down memory lane and reliving the moments when passion was the order of the day in my life. I was one of those people at school who excelled in oral communication competitions. I was so good that I was always the one chosen to represent my schools’ in district and regional competitions. Be it a speech contest; debating or a biology talk, I knew I left the audiences’ mesmerized.

I  remember every time I would present be it a speech on xenophobia or racism or human cloning- as a teenager it was like God was confirming something deep in my core that this is it my child, this is what I have called you for. I may have had the nerves at first but believe you me as soon as the first word came out of my mouth, the peace that will transcend was impeccable. I knew somehow that God had called me to be a communicator and through my speaking I will share messages and knowledge that would help people.

But somehow along the way I lost the confidence…but how could this happen as this was supposed to be a part and parcel of my purpose?

Have you ever been at a point in your life where you questioned “the very thing” you thought was your greatest gift and to add fuel to fire when others also utter statements that negate “the very thing” you thought was your greatest asset.

Not too long ago I was in one of those days and was asking God what I should do about this. And all of a sudden I received a WhatsApp message from a dear sister of mine. She had sent it to our group chat. It was long but oh so powerful…these were the words that really touched me.

“…For the first time, what I have always thought was my calling, was now a burden. As I sat, looking into my computer, this thought saddened me. This has always been my way of communicating. I have grown up to believe that God wants me to do nothing but write…But today God is asking me, Lethabo, what did I say about you?…as I thought about this, I came to realise that I have been listening to too many voices in my head. These voices were of tiredness, doubts, and troubles. Along the way I met more experienced and great writers and I started looking down at myself and the gift that God gave me. The truth is there are things God has declared about us, but as time goes on, it seems to grow weaker. We stop believing it because of our surroundings. But remember God’s word does not change. God has declared me a writer for my generation and He has declared that I will give hope to people through my writing. This encouraged me to dust myself and start writing again and I hope this gives you hope… ”

I wish I could fully express how liberating reading this was at that moment. This was it; this was God’s response to my plea. For the first time in a long time it felt good to know I was not alone in feeling this way…

I kept asking myself what made me so good back then and kept my confidence intact. Two key things kept popping in my mind. Number 1, I always spoke from my heart as opposed to speaking from my head. Number 2, I was numb to the applause of the audience.

I remember my joy & motive was because I really loved what I was doing. I didn’t censor myself too much by making sure that I use bombastic words. I was simple and so genuine in my speaking.

I am on this journey of regaining the confidence so that I can fulfill “the very thing” I believe is a part and parcel of my existence. And can I be honest? There are days where I still struggle. I guess the older you grow somehow we over complicate life…I’m also learning a very powerful lesson and that “it’s not about me”

My enjoy life tip is this: In whatever you do remember “it’s not about you”…you are just a vessel. I urge you my friend to pursue “the very thing” once again, there is only one you and humanity and all of creation is eagerly waiting for you to take your stand…

Speak up my friend, oh but please, SPEAK LIFE!

My brother and I were watching this interesting celebrity lifestyle magazine show that targets the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

In this week’s show they were interviewing a very well-known radio Dj and business man. To be honest, before I listened to the guy’s interview I had already put my judgemental cap on. I had always viewed the guy’s over confidence as arrogance …but this particular interview ignited something in me and I can safely say I have gained new respect for the brother.

In fact the more I listened to his interview the more I was inspired by him and really got an opportunity to “know” his side. He didn’t just rise to fame but he has faced so many struggles that most of us face.

What really got me sitting on the edge of my sofa and excited was what he uttered in the midst of his interview. He mentioned that during the times when he was still trying to build his name and was working for free, he would speak life over his situation. Despite his situation at the time he continued to believe in himself and continued to speak positive words. I can safely say that today he is one of the most respected and successful media moguls of our time.

I sat there in amazement and realised that indeed it is true when the scripture says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”-Proverbs 18:21.

Why is this so true? It’s true because most of the time you speak what you believe. What you believe also leads to the kind of actions you take and ultimately shapes who you become.

In the midst of the interview the TV went mute because of some technical glitch. My brother and I got a bit irritated as we felt like we were missing out on so much more of his wisdom and It really hit me that WORDS have power.

Even history teaches us that some of the most celebrated humans used words change the course of their destinies and forged societal transformation.

Who can forget the great “I have a dream speech” by Dr Martin Luther King Jr… he stood up and spoke of a better America, one where all Americans will enjoy equal rights. We can testify that his speech was a great catalyst to the laws that were passed between 1964 and 1965 which ultimately ensure that “his dream” of a free and equal society came to pass.

The great Nelson Mandela spoke during the 1964 Rivonia trial and said, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

I am particularly more intrigued by the bold words as those were a great catalyst for the 1994 democratic elections. We witnessed an amazing moment in history were South Africans who were previously marginalised had a right to vote for the first time.

My enjoy life tip is this: Be very careful about what you say about yourself and others when you open your mouth. Even if you not living the life you want now…start by creating it with your mouth…My friend speak your dreams into existence…create your own reality by the words you speak.

Are you dressed appropriately?

I am not a winter person period, I’m more of a summer babe and I am so happy that in South Africa we are approaching the final chapters of winter this year…But one thing I do love about winter is that it’s the only time I can wear my really short skirts and get away with it because of the thick stockings I wear them with.

Recently though I was wearing one of those very short skirts and was asked to go somewhere to speak. But I was actually uncomfortable. Now don’t get me wrong I was cool with the skirt the only point of “uncomfort” came when I realised I had to stand in front of people and it hit me!

Instead of people listening to me, they will be looking at my waist downwards and I realised I don’t want the message I had to share to be diluted by what I was wearing.

So unfortunately I lost out on an opportunity to share something and who knows maybe I would have said something to help somebody and who knows what opportunities would have opened up for me.

As I was reflecting, this thought came to my mind; most of us are not “dressed” appropriately for our destinies/purpose.

Can I ask you a question- Would you leave your house to go to an important meeting naked or wearing shabby clothes? Of course not!  Why? Because, it’s just not appropriate.

Many of us want to be the next great business man/woman; academic; media mogul; sports personality; preacher; writer; actor and whatever it is but we have not taken the time to “dress” ourselves with the right knowledge, skills, exposure so that when those opportunities come our way, we will be able to embrace them.

Most of us think we will just stumble into our purpose. We don’t write down what we need to do and actively go after what we want. We often wonder why we don’t achieve most of the things we desire.

My enjoy life tip is this- Dress appropriately through actively reading, seeking knowledge; getting the right experience or whatever else you believe will assist you. To be able to achieve anything you need focus and focus is a deliberate daily effort.

Don’t change routes- Just pass the truck!

There are two things that really get on my nerves- A dripping tap and traffic!

A dripping tap just makes me think of the millions of people in the world without access to water and traffic on the other hand makes me want to pull my hair as I always feel like I am wasting precious time. I’m sure most of us can relate with the latter- right?

A couple of months ago I was stuck in traffic and I decided to change routes so that I can get to my destination in time. To my dismay the route I changed to was worse than the one I had been in. I ended up being stuck for about 2 hours. A week later as I was heading to a friend’s place, I found myself stuck in horrible traffic again. This time around though I decided let me be a bit patient and not change routes.

What a great decision this was! I was stalled for just about 5 minutes and after that the traffic began to flow smoothly. Turns out, there was truck that had broken down in the middle of the road and after I passed that truck I was home free.

I was so happy as I was driving on the open road that I began to draw a lesson from this. I ended up asking myself what would happen in life if we were just patient enough to see our dreams come true and not give up because of the “traffic”.

My enjoy life tip is this – Just because there is an obstacle in front of you, it does not mean give up! Maybe life is teaching you one of the greatest virtues and that is patience. And if you do find yourself in traffic any time soon, take time to enjoy yourself, put on some good music, talk yourself happy and enjoy life.

Why lose your sleep? It always works out eventually…

One Sunday afternoon I was cosy in bed and having a really great conversation over the phone with a friend of mine. I had my laptop on my lap and my external hard drive connected to my laptop. We were on the phone for almost an hour and my phone battery became very low. Since I didn’t want to end our great conversation, I reached for my charger in my bag next to my bed but as I was reaching for my charger, my laptop slipped to the floor and my external hard-drive flung and smashed my screen. Now me being Zulu I exclaimed “hawe ma” which is an exaggeration in my language and just simply means “oh my goodness”

My friend on the line asked what’s wrong. I told him and he simply said with great calmness, “you know it’s going to be alright right” I said yeah rolling my eyes and thought to myself “easy for you to say”. But actually he was right. When I prayed that night I thought to myself life is really interesting, the most unexpected things can just happen to you.

I began asking myself in the midst of my panic should I really lose my sleep over this? Now my panic was not me necessarily overreacting, but it was born out of the fact that this was my work laptop and this unfortunate accident happened over the weekend and we all know how people at work love to talk!

The next day I went to our IT department and they quickly offered a solution that calmed my nerves down. My laptop screen took about 10 days to get fixed due to internal processes that had to be followed. But thankfully during those 10 days I connected my laptop to an external monitor and I managed to do all that was required of me that week.

My enjoy life tip is ,life is so unpredictable. Your brand new car that you just purchased can get bumped by another car; your favourite item of clothing can get torn; you may make a bad decision in your business or job, the list of “blunders” is endless.

But truth is you never stay in the same situation forever! Eventually insurance will fix that car; you will buy new clothes and you will eventually come to the right decision. Don’t lose your joy over something that will change eventually…as some old wise men once said “…and this too shall pass”

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