Category Archives: Education

LIVE YOUR OWN TRUTH

Your life is allowed to be enjoyable,

I think we’ve forgotten this.

We do exercise we don’t enjoy to get a certain type of body.

We do work we dislike to get a certain type of lifestyle.

We are so often sacrificing our joy for some societal goals we’re supposed to want.

And yet, our joy, our enjoyment, our love of our own life-how is that not the standard

For our well-being?

We have normalized that our life is only as good as it looks to others.

This required ignoring our inner knowing, the most vital truth we have at our disposal.

It’s why we hustle.

It’s why we obsess over hard work as opposed to inspired effort.

It might explain why we are exhausted, and yet unfulfilled and burnt out.

Because there is a knowing within all of us,

A map that will lead us to what is most true.

Success is not some external guidepost.

It has always been within – how we feel about ourselves,

The lives we are building,

And the amount of joy, calm, happiness and love we allow ourselves to contain.

Success is not out there.

It’s about creating a life you love so much that feels so true to you,

You have nothing left to prove.

There are a lot of adventures out there, waiting for us to live them!

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T.S. Elliot

For those who don’t know – I have a Youtube channel going by the name – jambukizee and other than enjoying visiting different parts of this wonderful continent called Africa on my motorbike, I also provide the following consultational services;

TRAVEL ASSISTANCE:

With a decade of experience travelling through Africa I’m here to assist you in planning your trip to according to your personal preferences and budget. Including advice on how to get the cheapest flights, best accommodations, where to visit for the best experience while avoiding scams and staying safe. Plus information on finding activities such as World Heritage Sites, Street Food, Nightlife, Motorsports, Historical & Cultural Centres and more. Guaranteed to save you hundreds of dollars in expenses and make your time in Africa safer and more enjoyable.

GUIDED MOTORBIKE TOURS IN AND AROUND AFRICA:

Some of the very best that Africa has to offer lies beyond the traditional go to spots. Visit ancient landscape, incredible history and fascinating flora and fauna that few get to see. What is better than to explore out of way places with a few like minded friends. From the Wet Highlands to the Arid Desert there is always something different to see, to learn about and experiences to build stories around. If you would like to go for a ride…we would love to have you along for either part of the ride or the whole ride. It’s a lot of fun!!! If you are a group organiser for your bike club, friends or travel agent we can tailor a tour specifically for you or your clients. Just tell us what you are hoping for and we’ll offer any advice you need along with making any arrangements necessary. It’ll make everything as simple as possible. Just ask! Make sure you bring your camera as we would hate you to miss something.

EAST AFRICA RELOCATION:

Consultation Services are also available to those looking to relocate to THE EAST AFRICA COMMUNITY to retire, invest or work remotely. This includes helping you decide what area of the region is best for you, how to find the best deal on a condo, information on Visa options, and much more. This is guaranteed to make your transition into your new life in AFRICA as cost-efficient and smooth as possible by helping you prevent the mistakes most new expats make.

Interested – email me me on joseph@shopmarkaz.com and ‘let’s build castles in the sky

Subscribe to my channel : https://www.youtube.com/c/Jambukizee

Cheers!

2022 RULES FOR SUCCESS

  • Morning Routine
    • Create an early morning routine so that you can build momentum for the day. This includes waking up consistently before sunrise.
  • Concentration
    • Concentrate on your daily goals. We become what we think about
  • Think Positively.
    • Have a positive mental attitude so that you can achieve positive results
  • Trust Yourself
    • Ignore the haters.
  • Friends
    • Associate yourself with successful and like-minded people
  • Learn Daily
    • Go to bed smarter by reading books, watching seminars and listening to audio books.
  • Build One Habit at a Time
    • It takes 66 days to develop a habit.
  • Impatience is Weakness
    • Be patient when working on your goals, you can’t be strong all the time, you will have your ups and downs.

COMMON SENSE

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
  • Why the early bird gets the worm;
  • Life isn’t always fair;
  • And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is To Blame
  • I’m A Victim
  • Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing

THE LEADER WITHIN US

Sooner or later we will discover the Leader within us. A good leader is someone who is in Control, gives Directions, Guidance, Headship, is an excellent Listener and has good management skills.

L – Listener

E – Effective

A – Ability

D – Direction

E – Extraordinary

R – Responsibility

Endurance

The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervour, live for it, and if need be, die for it – Alfred North

Educators take something simple and make it complicated. Communicators take something complicated and make it simple – John Maxwell

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example – Benjamin Disraeli

Perseverance is not a long race it is many short races one after another – Walter Elliot

Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure – Edward Eggleston

Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all – Dwight Eisenhower

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting –Johann Von

Rule your mind or it will rule you – Horace

Slump, and the world slumps with you. Push and you push alone – Laurence Peter

To win without risk is to triumph without glory – Pierre Corneille

Tough times never last, but tough people do –Robert Schuller

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being – Von Goethe

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan – John Kennedy

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit – Conrad Hilton

Successful leaders have the courage to take action while others hesitate – John Maxwell

The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses – Napoleon Hill

The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associated smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting thins and are willing to pay for such talents – Amos Parrish

The best leaders of all, the people know not they exist. They turn to each other and say, we did it ourselves – Zen Saying

Of all the properties which belong to honourable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character – Henry Clay

The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged – Ovid

The same hammer that shatters the glass forges the steel – Proverb

One man with courage makes a majority – Andrew Jackson

Nurture you mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes – Benjamin

One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life – Edward Butler

One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this – Don

One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire – John Foster

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency – Arnold Glasgow

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down – Mary Pickford

You must be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might – Henry Thoreau

You must play boldly to win- Arnold

Your opinions are limited only by your fears – Joseph Jambu

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor – James

It is no use for a leader to surround himself with ten yes-men – Nelson Mandela

Goals

When the solution is simple, God is answering – Albert

It is the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative actin, that man finds his supreme joys – Antoine

Whenever I get to a low point, I go back to the basics. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” It comes down to passion – St. James

If you follow you bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else – Campbell

Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence – Bernard

There are one hundred and ninety nine ways to get beat, but only one way to win; get there first – Willie

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience – Joseph Jambu

Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission – ZigZiglar

The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through – Harry

The Jack of all trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim – Napoleon

There is no use whatever trying to help people who do don help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb himself – Andrew

There is only one way……to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it – Dale

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing their inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives – William

Rather fall with honor than succeed by fraud – Sophocles

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal – Ralph

The great thing in the wold is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving – Oliver

Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there – John

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them – John

Leadership is the ability of a single individual through his or her actions to motivate others to higher levels of achievement – Rodgers

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions – Harold

Management is nothing more than motivating other people – Lee

Management works in the system; leadership works on the system – Covey

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it – Lou

Ethics must begin at the top of an organization. It is a leadership issue and the chief executive must set the example – Edward

Moral courage and character go hand in hand…..a man of real character is consistently courageous, being imbued with a basic integrity and a firm sense of principle – Martha

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it – Dwight

Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty. Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense – Churchill

When you are in a valley, keep your goal firmly in view and you will get the renewed energy to continue the climb – Denis

You are the person who has to decide. Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside; you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you’ll lead or will linger behind. Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are – Edgar

The successful men of today are men of one overmastering idea, one unwavering aim, men of single and intense purpose – Orison

Honesty and Humility

Cherish your human connections: your relationship with friends and family – Bush

Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customer. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships – Ross

How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you – Dan

Developing excellent communication skill is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a massage across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter –Amelio

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself – Anna

A big man is one who makes us feel bigger when we are with him – John

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing – George

You can’t do everything at once, but you can do something at one – Calvin

A real leader faces the music, even when he doesn’t like the tune – Joseph Jambu

You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too – Sam

I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occassions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why…. I succeed – Michael Jordan

You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself – Gene

No executive has ever suffered because his subordinates’ were strong and effective – Peter

No man is capable of self-improvement if he sees no other model but himself – Conrado

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history – William

The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has – Confucius

The cynic says, “One man can’t do anything”. I say, “Only one man can do anything” – John

The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people – Woodrow

The tallest trees are most in the power of the winds, and ambitious men of the blasts of fortune – William

We have the high salaries and we are living in luxury: that destroys our capacity to speak in a forthright manner and tell people to tighten their belts – Nelson Mandela

Leaders

Leaders are problem solvers by talent and temperament by choice – Harlan

Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal – Vince

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be – Carter

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership – Dwight

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things – Niccolo

Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader – Newcomb

Remember, what you get by reaching your destination isn’t nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals – what you will become is the winner you were born to be! – ZigZiglar

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant – Max

The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive – Joe

The function of the leader is to produce more leaders, not more followers – Ralph

The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players – Lee

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it – Dwight

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd – Max

Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing – Albert

Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better – Harry

No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair – George

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self – restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it – Theodore

Warriors take chances. Like everyone else, they fear failing, but they refuse to let fear control them – Ancient

If people are coming to work excited… if they are making mistakes freely and fearlessly… if they are having fun… if they are concentrating doing things, rather than preparing reports and going to meetings – then somewhere you have leaders – Townsend

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity – George

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself – Edward

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn – Waldo

When leaders have the honesty to criticize their own mistakes and their own organization, then they can criticize others – Nelson Mandela

It is important to surround yourself with strong and independent personalities, who will tell you when you are getting old – Nelson Mandela

You have to play the mother chicken which provides refuge for everybody. You must be a tower of hope, a model and a motivator. It also takes patience as one has to take all the insult and intimidation because a lot of people will say that you are too assertive – Sarah

Women must rise above being good managers – of the man, the home, the children and all things spicy and sweet – and boldly step out into the visionary leadership – Lucy

Born or made we all have the leader within us, no matter you colour, race, or gender – Delno

Positive thinking

There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life – Booker

He who has done his best for his time has lived for all times – Von

The first rule of holes; when you’re in one, stop digging – Molly

What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things – Mead

There is in true beauty, as in courage, somewhat which narrow soul cannot dare to admire – William

There is no substitute for victory – Douglas

Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything – Billy

It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him – John

Knowledge is the most democratic source of power – Alvin

You can’t measure the heart of a champion – Joseph Jambu

A brave man thinks no one superior who does him injury; for make himself superior to the other by forgiveness – Pope

A leader is a dealer in hope – Napoleon

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices – William

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way – John

You have within you, right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you – Brian

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through – Rosalynn

You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give – Joseph Jambu

The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality – Quincy

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish – Sam

Part of being a champ is acting like a champ. You have to learn how to win and not run away when you lose. Everyone has bad stretches and real successes. Either way, you have to be careful not to lose your confidence or get to confident – Nancy

The mind, ever the willing servant, will respond to boldness, for boldness, in effect, is a command to deliver mental resources – Norman

There is no substitute for guts – Paul

There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability – Robert

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them – Shaw

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self – Joseph Jambu

Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve permanently happy spirit – Norman

Quality begins in the inside… and then works its way out – Bob

Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so – Charles

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises – Demosthenes

Realize that true happiness lies within you – Lucian

Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader – Tacitus

The first step is to fill your life with a positive faith that will help you through anything. The second is to begin where you are – Norman

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around – Leo

Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes – Kenneth

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man – Elbert

You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and delicatest ways, improve yourself – John

Your aspirations are you possibilities – Samuel L. Jackson

Those who wish to sing, always find a song – Joseph Jambu

Dear mentality enslaved…

I hope you find the courage to change your life. In the small ways, in the big ways, in every way that matters. I hope you do not end this story with a heart fully of regrets. I hope you do not spend your years just waiting for your life to begin. I hope you realize that this is not the practice run, this is not the preview. This is it. There is nothing to do but leap. There is nothing to do but allow yourself to exist as boldly and honestly as you can. You will think you have forever, but you do not. It all happens, and it happens quickly. You are not waiting on another person, or the right timing, or for everything to fall in place. You are waiting to feel ready enough to exist within the questions, to not need every answer, and to know that this life does not come to us to be perfectly understood, but to be fully experienced, in every direction we can possibly reach.

Top 10 Rules for Success

1. Everything Is A Season

Never make a permanent decision in a temporary problem

2.Pursue Ideas

Poor people talk about money all the time

Rich people talk about things

Wealthy people talk about ideas

3.Create Your Own Work

Your job is what they train you to do; your work is what you were born to do

Your job is your skill which they can fire you anytime, but your work is your gift – no one can take that from you

Your job is where you get compensation for activity, your work is where you get fulfilment because you love it so much

Your job you can retire from, your work you can never retire because your work is you

So when a person discovers their work, they no longer need a job because their work makes them productive

Every problem in life is a business, all businesses are simply someone solving a problem.

4.Create A Positive Change

Change produces 3 types of people;

-people who watch things happen

-people who make things happen

-people who wonder what happened

5.Become A Person Of Value

We need to be more focused on developing ourselves, rather than trying to grab money now.

Focus on self-improvement, self-expansion, rather than trying to get your pocket to expand because the more valuable you make yourself, the more value you attract.

You are not paid for how hard you work; you are paid for what you are worth to the organization.

The more intellectual development you have, the more spiritual development you have, the more psychological development you have, the more emotional stability – you become more valuable to the world.

If you become valuable to the world – the world will pay you to be yourself.

So it’s important that you become a person of value – not to seek value in things.

6.Follow Your Passion

7.Defy Your Own Experience

You should never judge your success by other people accolades. You judge yourself by God’s instruction to your life and how well you are with that instruction, because the average human being is so mediocre, that to be a genius – just do a little extra.

When experience is your teacher then progress is imprisoned.

8.Use Adversity For Your Benefit

If there is a silver lining to bad times it is this, when facing severe challenges – your mind is normally at its sharpest.

Humans seldom have created anything of lasting value unless they were tried or hurting.

9.Discover Your Purpose

Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, not manipulation. That inspiration comes from a passion motivated by a sense of vision and a sense of purpose.

Leadership is first personal then corporate. Leadership is not something you pursue, it’s something you discover. Leaders are born when human discover something more important than their personal ambition. True leaders don’t seek followers. True leaders pursue a passion to a purpose that gives them a sense of destiny. They sacrifice themselves to accomplish something for the greater good.

10.Learn From Everything

The best thing in life to do is not to regret and try to change what happened, but to interpret it properly, maximise and use it to serve other people.

6 Ways to Exlore Yourself and the World in New Ways

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T.S. Elliot

Adding new experiences to your life is the best way to stay fully engaged, energized, and enthusiastic.

Otherwise you burn out from boredom.

Your routines and monotony will eat your soul.

When you shake things up, you active your brain, and you reengage with your life.  And that’s how you live.

Seek Novelty and Challenge to Be Happier in Life

Science says our brains seek change.  Novelty and challenge are the keys to help you break out of routines and ruts, and to create a sense of energy and enthusiasm.

“After peering into thousands of people’s brains with advanced imaging machines such as the MRI, neuroscientists have concluded that the brain is hardwired to seek and enjoy novelty and challenge

Remember those two ingredients:  novelty and challenge.

You can have all the right fixing for an incredible life–love, respect, abundance, and so on–but without those two ingredients your recipe ends up as a bland soup of sadness and disengagement.”

An engaged brain is a happy one.  When you try new things, you give your brain a chance to come alive and get back in the game.

Your brain loves “let’s figure this out” mode when you give it a chance.

Your brain becomes much more activated when something novel or challenging occurs.  Novel things make your mind snap to attention and become sharp, releasing dopamine and energizing your brain to go into ‘let’s figure this out’ mode.  It’s what motivates us to learn.  If that novelty also challenges us then our brains stay engaged for even longer.  And an engaged brain is a happy brain.

1.  The Ninety-Day Getaway

Take a trip, once every three months (once a quarter in corporate warrior terms).

Every ninety days, plan a getaway either by yourself or with our spouse or significant other.  Yes, every ninety days.  This doesn’t have to be a trip around the world–the goal isn’t how far you travel; it’s how far you get away, the difference being measured not in the miles you travel, but in how far mentally you break the monotony of routine in order to relax and rejuvenate.

2.  The Restaurant or Dining Tour

Date night is a great night to try some new places to eat.  If you don’t have a date night, maybe that’s your starting point.

Make your date nights an excursion to a new restaurant once a week.  If you’re in a small town, get a group of friends to host dinner every few weeks.  The goal is to get about town and experience new dining experiences.

3.  Shows, Sporting Events, Experiences

There is always something going on.  And something amazing might be happening right in your own backyard.

I am constantly surprised when I find out who’s in town, or what shows are playing, or what fun things there are to do, either in the local neighborhood or a hop-skip-and a jump away.

It’s a reminder that I really need to map out and pay attention to local area events.

What’s happening in your city this weekend?  Are there shows or performances you can go see?  Any new exhibits or exhibitions?  Despite the fact that many of us love going to the movies, sporting events, or the theater, most of us rarely do.  Make it a habit to be on the lookout for things you can go see and cheer for.

4.  Travel Adventures

Traveling is a great way to explore new places and try new things.  The most interesting thing to me is how some places don’t feel like any other places on the planet.

Do you have a list of the top-fifty destinations you want to go in your life?  Are you actively checking them off the list, at least once per year?  If not, get to it.  Traveling is one of the surest ways to introduce novelty, engagement, and excitement in your life.

5.  Expanding Your Peer Circle

Long ago a friend of mine gave me a new metaphor for people.  He said that I had looked at the people in my life in a static way.  More like a lake.  He said I needed to take a river view, and keep in mind that people are constantly flowing into and out of our lives.

A little habit I adopted at work is to challenge myself to regularly meet new people and expand my worlds.  And I find new people bring new energy, and I feed off that.

It’s funny how ‘making friends’ is so important to us when we’re young, but we lay off our efforts the older we get.  But your friendship and peer circles are the most important external influences in determining your happiness (outside of your intimate relationship).  Get serious about expanding your peer circle by going to networking events, fund-raisers, and local events and performances.  Be on the lookout not just for networking purposes, but for friendship-making purposes.

6.  Skill Development

Adding new skills is a great way to keep your brain alive and open the doors to new possibilities.

What ten skills should you develop this year?  How actively are you currently chasing and working toward mastery of something like writing, speaking, singing, cooking, programming, leading, playing soccer, or some other artistic, athletic, or professional skill?

The challenge of seeking new skills is one of the surest ways to test and transcend your own boundaries.  Go find something new to learn, and fall on your face trying to learn it.  Enjoy the process of learning–it’s one of the easiest paths to a more engaged brain (and life).

The quality of your life is really the quality of your experiences.

If you want to raise the bar and feel fully alive, then challenge yourself to find new ways to try new things and to add new experiences to your life.

Otherwise, you may slowly lose your spark that makes everything else worth it.

Keep your spark.

time

Live Life To The Fullest!!!

Time waits for no one

Time stops for no one

Your excuses will not slow down time

Your indecision’s will not delay time

Your complaining will not stall time

Your regrets will not turn back time

So, don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries and hate

Because time will not turn back and cry along with you

It’s time to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future

Your only time is NOW

So, make sure you spend your time with the right purpose

With the right deeds

With the right emotions

With the right thoughts

And with the right people

Time flies! That’s a fact

But you can always spread your wings and soar with time

And navigate life the best that you can!

Remember, you will never pass this way again

Make it count

Time. Do what it does… keep moving!

lessons people learn too late in life

Live in the NOW

  1. Everything is temporary
  2. Life is not fair
  3. Family matters more than friends
  4. Others treat you the way you treat yourself
  5. Happiness is a choice and requires hard work
  6. Beneath anger is always fear
  7. Things don’t matter that much
  8. A lifetime isn’t very long
  9. You played it too safe
  10. Time waits for no man – make each moment count

50 life changing chess nuggets

THE GAME OF CHESS

After reading “Little Book of Chess Tips” by Peter French i sought my own interpretation of the same and how the rules can apply in our day to day lives. Enjoy………………………….

Things may not be as they seem!

  1. Pay close attention to every move your opponent makes – figure out the reason behind the step in life.
  2. When you see a good move, wait – look for a better one! – try to find the best move you can in every single position.
  3. Always have a plan in mind – what are you trying to achieve in a few years time.
  4. Remember value according to the type of position – strike where it hurts the most by optimising chances.
  5. Avoid repeating mistakes – analyse your games to understand better your opponent’s plans.
  6. Time is a vital element in chess – establish yourself in the strongest possible way using as few moves as possible.
  7. Control of the centre – everything flows from the heart, guard it with all your might.
  8. Never compromise or neglect your king – stick to what is most important and never derail.
  9. Know when to swap – difference between hoarding and spending relies on both timing and wisdom
  10. Weaken your opponents pawn formation – don’t miss an opportunity of tackling your problems and shuttering it’s structure.
  11. Consider the endgame – envision the end from the beginning.
  12. Concentrate all the time – remain frosty till victory is established at the very end of the game.
  13. If you are losing in the endgame, set stalemate traps – restrict your opponent as much as possible so as to increase chances of your victory.
  14. Be much more alert to your own attacking possibilities – be readier to defend against future threats or even to remove them completely.
  15. Relieve the pin/tie as soon as possible – be aware of any issues that may be tying you down as they narrow down your options to succeed.
  16. Moving to discover a threat from another piece – ensure you consider every potential move your opponent can make.
  17. All games are eventually decided by tactics – the most advantageous weapon that you can carry into a fight is tact.
  18. Always be on the lookout – search for indicators/red flags that may reduce your chances of winning or increase your opponents chances of losing.
  19. Reasons for making a sacrifice – be mindful in order to maximise your gains and limit your opponents options.
  20. Defend with the weakest available piece – wherever possible, use pawns to defend as much as possible.
  21. The knight is the weakest defensive piece – your game is as strong as your weakest link.
  22. Exploit overloaded pieces – read into your opponents game and take advantage of any mishaps.
  23. Don’t spend all your practice time learning opening theory – in any case, a thorough grasp of strategy and tactics is a far greater asset in the opening than mere book knowledge.
  24. When you are not sure of the best plan – improve the position of your worst placed piece.
  25. Balance pawn moves – thereby creating your opponents weakness that will be exploited later in the game.
  26. If your king is under attack – sometimes the best defence is to retreat and evaluate yourself, plan, strategize and come back with a better tactic.
  27. Never begin with insufficient material – the intensity of an attack should correlate with the resources available to execute the same.
  28. If your king is castled behind unmoved pawns – don’t put all your eggs in one basket in regards to defence.
  29. Look for the Greek gift sacrifice – sometimes death of a team member is necessary for the sake of the team’s survival.
  30. Look for opportunities – at times it may need you to make a calculated sacrificial tactical move that can win immediately.
  31. Never attack unless and until – only commence aggression when you have a tangible positional advantage.
  32. Do not attack on the flank unless – the centre should be strong, impenetrable and infallible.
  33. Spend time studying endgames – understanding the endgame makes the player more likely to win when the opportunity presents itself.
  34. Do not underestimate the king in the end game – do not hesitate to use your best resources at your disposal at the time when they can be fully optimised.
  35. The knight should stay as close to the king as possible – keep your priorities in life straight.
  36. Aim to exchange so that when the endgame is reached it is your opponent not you, who has the pawn – foresight is key.
  37. If you are defending the king against the king and pawn – strategy and tact is vital to draw the end game.
  38. When defending with a rook against pawns – sometimes you have to lose some to get some.
  39. To build batteries on files or diagonals – working together will yield a stronger result than the sum of its parts.
  40. Consider playing a system – the more things change, they more they stay the same.
  41. If winning beware of exchange into an opposite coloured bishop endgame – stay on your toes until the last victory whistle.
  42. Consider playing your opponent, not the board – assess as far as you can what type of problem you have and seek to frustrate it by all means necessary.
  43. Never neglect your control of the clock – it is essential to invest you time wisely, and conserve it for when you really need it.
  44. Don’t give checks for the sake of it – every resource should be used frugally in a nifty fashion.
  45. Do chess puzzles – always look for ways to expound your critical thinking ability.
  46. Use a good chess computer program – constantly seek to challenge yourself in order to grow.
  47. Do not fall into the habit – seek virtues rather than vices in all your deeds.
  48. Do not forget to look for traps – nothing is for free, always question and be suspicious.
  49. Play your best game all the time – let your lifestyle reflect your *A* game in all your endeavours.
  50. Remember that chess is a game – be generous to your opponent when you win, and never, ever be a bad loser. Play to win, play aggressively by all means, but treat your opponent with respect!

My favourite take away from this book is “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next – to – last mistake”

Do not be afraid to take risks even though they make your stomach churn – they may just be worth it!

Credit goes to the author of the ‘Little Book of Chess Tips’ by Peter French

The journey is short

An elderly woman got on a bus and sat down. At the next stop, a strong, grumpy young lady climbed up and sat down beside the old woman, hitting her with her numerous bags.

When she saw that the elderly woman remained silent, the young woman asked her why she had not complained when she hit her with her bags?

The elderly woman replied with a Smile: “There is no need to be rude or discuss something so insignificant, as our journey together is so short, because I am going to get off at the next stop.”

This answer deserves to be written in gold letters: “There is no need to discuss something so insignificant, because our journey together is too short.”

Each of us must understand that our time in this world is so short. That darkening it with useless arguments, jealousy, not forgiving others, discontentment and bad attitudes are a ridiculous waste of time and energy.

Did someone break your heart? Stay calm. The trip is too short.

Did someone betray, intimidate, cheat or humiliate you? Relax. Don’t stress. The trip is too short.

Did someone insult you without reason? Shake it off. Ignore it. The trip is too short.

Did a neighbor make a comment that you didn’t like? Take a deep breath. Ignore him/her. Forgive and forget it. The trip is too short.

Whatever problem someone has brought us, remember that our journey together is too short.

No one knows the length of our trip. Nobody knows when it will arrive at its stop. Our trip together is short.

Let us appreciate friends and family.
Let us be respectful, kind and forgiving.
In return, we will be filled with gratitude and joy. After all, our trip together is very short.

nifty nuggets

  1. Life isn’t fair but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next time.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first payslip.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s okay to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to other’s. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of your is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
  28. However good or bag a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside everyday. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waster of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

living your best life

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  3. When you wake up in the morning, Pray to ask God’s guidance for your purpose, today.
  4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli and almonds.
  6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
  8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
  9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything!
  11. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  12. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  13. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  17. Help the needy, Be generous! Be a ‘Giver’, not a ‘Taker’.
  18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  19. Time heals everything.
  20. However good or bad a situation, it will change.
  21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family will. Stay in touch.
  22. Envy is a waster of time. You already have all you need.
  23. Each night before you go to bed, Pray to God and be thankful for what you’ll accomplish, today!
  24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  25. Make every day count!

when i think…..

“When I think about the depth of the grave and the kilos of sand that are going to be thrown at us when we die, there is no need to harm my brother;

When I think of the darkness that pervades the tomb after it has closed, there is no need to hurt my sister;

When I think of the heat driven back by the ground and the amount of water that will drown me during the rains in this grave, I cannot make my neighbor suffer;

When I think that I will be alone abandoned by all, I prefer to enjoy communion when I am alive;
When I think my relationships are cut off by my past, I want to perfect my future.

If I could be reborn and start all over again, I would no longer make mistakes in my actions.
After a long meditation, I understood that all is vanity on earth.

May God help us to cultivate humility and love for our neighbors because vanity only gives vanity, everything will be vanity.
Be happy and make someone happy. “

Three types of people

LEAF

Some people come into your life and they are like leaves on a tree. They are only there for a season. You can’t depend on them or count on them because they are weak and only there to give you shade. Like leaves, they are there to take what they need and as soon as it gets cold or a wind blows in your life they are gone. You can’t be angry at them, it’s just who they are.

BRANCH

There are some people who come into your life and they are like branches on a tree. They are stronger than leaves, but you have to be careful with them. They will stick around through most seasons, but if you go through a storm or two in your life it’s possible that you can lose them. Most times they break away when it’s tough. Although they are stronger than leaves, you have to test them out before you run out there and put all your weight on them. In most cases they can’t handle too much weight. But again you can’t be mad with them, it’s just who they are are.

ROOT

If you can find some people in your life who are like the roots of a tree then you have found something special. Like the roots of a tree, they are hard to find because they are not trying to be seen. Their only job is to hold you up and help you live a strong and healthy life. If you thrive, they are happy for you. They stay low key and don’t let the world know that they are there. And if you go through an awful storm they will hold you up. Their job is to hold you up, come what may, and to nourish you, feed you and water you. Just as a tree has many limbs and many leaves, there are few roots.

Look at your own life. How many leaves, branches and roots do you have? What are you in other people’s lives?

What 25 Movies Teach Us About Love

Love comes in all shapes and sizes and to each his own.  In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I put together a sampling of 25 movies and what they can teach us about life and love.  Even if you’re not a fan of Valentine’s Day, enjoy the quotes and perhaps see things in a new light.  Sometimes just the right words, are like an old song, sung new.

Here they are:

  1. As Good as it Gets – Love can bring out your best.  Melvin: “You make me want to be a better man.”
  2. Be My Valentine Charlie Brown – Just because you don’t get a Valentine, doesn’t mean you aren’t lovable.
  3. Casablanca.  Kiss like you mean it.  Ilsa: “Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.
    It’s the kind of thing you want to hold on to forever.”
  4. Casper: Don’t let go.  Casper: “If I tell you I love you, can I keep you forever?”
  5. Cinderella.  It’s what dreams are made of.  Cinderella: “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartaches. Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”
  6. Dan in Real Life.  Love is an ability.  Marty: “Love is not a feeling, Mr. Burns. It’s an ability.”
  7. Don Juan DeMarco.  The answer is love.  Don Juan: “There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love.”
  8. Ghost.  Sometimes you need to hear it.  Sam: “Ditto.”
  9. It’s a Wonderful Life.  We’ll do anything to impress the one we love.  George: “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”
  10. Memoirs of a Geisha. Love is a bond.  Nobu: “We are tied to each other. I know you feel it too.”
  11. My Girl – Butterflies and fuzzy feelings are what first kisses are about.  Loss hurts.
  12. P.S. I Love You – Cherish the time you have together.  It’s part of the journey.  Gerry: “If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you’re sad, or unsure, or you lose complete faith, that you’ll try to see yourself through my eyes. Thank you for the honor of being my wife. I’m a man with no regrets. How lucky am I. You made my life, Holly. But I’m just one chapter in yours. There’ll be more. I promise. So here it comes, the big one. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends. P.S. I will always love you”
  13. Romeo and Juliet – Puppy love makes you say the darnedest things.  Romeo: “See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!”
  14. Runnaway Bride – Sometimes it’s a bumpy ride.  But it’s worth it.  Maggie: “I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is going to want get out. But I also guarantee… that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart… you’re the only one for me.”
  15. Shrek – Love comes in all shapes and sizes.  Stay true to you.
  16. Sleepless in Seattle.  Sometimes, it’s like a snowflake just for you.  Sam: “Well, how long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.”
  17. The Bridges of Madison County.  You know it when you feel it. Robert Kinkaid: “This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.”
  18. The Crow.  Remember them.  Sarah: “If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”
  19. The Notebook – If you’ve ever really loved, you know what it’s like to really live.  Noah: “I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
  20. The Princess Bride – Nothing beats true love.  Miracle Max says, “Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.”
  21. The Way We Were – Remember how it felt when it wasn’t complicated.  Hold on to that.  Katie: “Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were old? We’d have survived all this. Everything thing would be easy and uncomplicated; the way it was when we were young.”
  22. The Wizard of Oz.  Love isn’t meant to be practical.  Wizard of Oz: “As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”
  23. Titanic. Endings can be bitter sweet.  Jack: “Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me… it brought me to you. And I’m thankful for that, Rose. I’m thankful. You must do me this honor. Promise me you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise.”
  24. Wedding Crashers – Love more.  You’ve got more capacity than you might think you do.  John: “You know how they say we only use 10 percent of our brains? I think we only use 10 percent of our hearts.”
  25. When Harry Met Sally.  Sometimes love is like a new lease on life.  Harry: “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

What movies wrinkled your brain when it comes to love?

WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT

I heard that we are in the same boat

But it’s not like that

We are in the same storm

But not in the same boat

Your ship can be shipwrecked

And mine might not be

Or vice versa

For some, quarantine is optimal

Moment of reflection, or re-connection

Easy, in flip flops, with a whiskey or tea.

For others, this is a desperate crisis.

For others it is facing loneliness

For some, a peace, rest time, vacation

Yet for others, torture:

How am I going to pay my bills?

Some were concerned about a brand of chocolates

Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend,

Or if the noodles would last for a few more days.

Some were in their ‘home office’

Others are looking through trash to survive

Some want to go back to work because

They are running out of money

Others want to kill those who break the quarantine

Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks

Others to escape

Others criticize the government for the lines

Some have experienced the near death of the virus

Some have already lost someone from it

Some are not sure their loved ones are going to make it

And some don’t even believe this is a big deal.

Some of us who are well now

May end up experiencing it,

And some believe they are infallible and will be blown

Away if or when this hits

Someone they know

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2021

Others say the worst is yet to come

So, friends, we are not in the same boat

We are going through a time when our perceptions and

Needs are completely different

And each one will emerge in

His own way, from that storm

Some with a tan from their pool

Others with scars on the soul

It is very important to see

Beyond what is seen at first glance

Not just looking, more that looking, seeing

See beyond the political party

Beyond the biases

Beyond the nose on your face

Do not underestimate the pain of others

If you do not feel it

Do not judge the good life of the other

Do not condemn the bad life of the other

Don’t be a judge

Let us not judge the one who lacks

As well as the one who exceeds him

We are on different ships looking to survive

Let everyone navigate their route with respect

Empathy and responsibility

My wish for the new year

That you have someone to love,

have meaningful work to do,

and have things greater than yourself to believe in;

that you have a reason to smile every day and a shoulder to cry on when you need it;

That you keep your integrity even when the choices are hard;

THAT YOU LOVE DEEPLY,

give freely, forgive willingly,

laugh easily, and live well enough

to be grateful for every day.

WORDS TO PONDER

  • Once upon a time I met a man who told me that: telling the truth and making someone cry, is better than telling a lie and making someone smile and happy.
  • He said to me your true friends are those who will never avoid you just because they have met new friends.
  • As he kept on speaking to me, he said if some people do not appreciate and value my presence, I should work hard to make them value and appreciate my absence.
  • He said I must not be angry with anyone who is quiet on me because there must be a reason why they are quiet, and that I will get to know the reason later.
  • He told me it is always better to be a blessing to others at all times than to be a burden at any time.
  • He said I must learn to forgive others not because they deserve it but because I deserve the peace that comes with forgiveness.
  • I must know that everyone deserves a second chance and many more chances if they ask for forgiveness, but I must not lose my guard over their intentions.
  • I must not only talk to people in my free time, but I must free my time to talk to people.
  • I must know that the truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie will hurt for a long time.
  • I must learn to value and respect people who tell me the Truth no matter how painful the truth is.
  • I must make my decisions when I am in the right mood, not when I am angry, likewise I must not make promises when I am excited with high emotions.
  • I must know that some people are like candles that burn themselves to give light to others. I should not have regrets if I happen to be one of such candles.
  • I must learn to be a caring friend because it is a thousand times better than a careless lover.
  • I should value and protect my relationships of many years of investments, because they are like a book that takes years to write but, can get burnt only within few seconds.
  • He specifically said this repeatedly that: If I have a problem with someone, I should go tell the person and not go tell the world.
  • He said to me that I should know that nobody is too busy, it is just a matter of their priorities within a day.
  • He said to me that people can trust you when you are consistent with what you say and what you do.
  • He said with a low voice, only God can be totally trusted. Trust God 100%.
  • He then said: no matter what, I must not forget those who helped and stood by me in my time of trials and during my difficult times.
  • I must always remember those who turned their backs on me in my difficult times of trials. Not for vengeance, but for the lesson of life.
  • I must be careful with those who put me into difficult times but I must never hate them. It is a lesson of life.
  • He said again: I must be grateful at all times to God for this life and for living. It is a privilege, and not a right.
  • As he was leaving me, he said, always remember how temporary this world is, you must always be conscious of the reality of eternity with God in heaven or with Satan in hell fire.