Category Archives: Sports

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!

A Wollan Shatta!

Be strong, be kind, be free

Do things that make you proud of yourself

Surround yourself with people who bring out the best qualities

and distance yourself from people who do the opposite

Be true

True to yourself and true to your morals

Stand up for yourself

Don’t let people take advantage of your kindness and soft heart

Don’t take sh*t from anyone and don’t put yourself down

Believe in yourself and believe in your journey

Be good to yourself

Be unapologetically you

Embrace your imperfections

Accept the fact that when you grow sometimes you loose people and that’s okay

Celebrate your every success and learn from failure

And most importantly, never, ever let anything stand

in the way of the person you are becoming

The Sweet Spot: Passion, Profit, and Value!

The Sweet Spot – The Intersection of Passion, Profit, and Value

Passion, profit, and value is the key to sustainable results:

  • Passion.  Your passion is your fuel for making things happen.  In today’s skill-for-hire economy, one of your most important assets is your passion.  It’s you’re staying power, and your get up and go, especially when you get knocked down.  It’s how you get up again.  Passion is also a proxy for your values, strengths, and purpose.  Strengths can be skills, but in this case, I’m also thinking about your natural strengths … the stuff that comes easy for you, but might be tough for others.   We tend to love what we’re awesome at, and, our passion tends to help us get awesome to begin with.
  • Profit.  This is about how much you can make.  Just because you create tons of value, doesn’t mean you can make a profit, especially in an economy where free is the new price, and your competition gives away what you try to sell.  How do you know what’s making a profit?  You ask.  This is where your network comes in.  Also, your friendly neighborhood accountant might be the perfect source for knowing what’s making money, and what’s not.
  • Value.  The idea here is that if you’re creating value, you have a better chance of getting rewarded.  Value is in the eye of the beholder.  This means staying aware of what the market values and knowing that the market doesn’t always drive the right thing.  This also means being aware of intrinsic vs. market value. Intrinsic value is what something is really worth, while market value is what people are willing to pay, which could be wildly inflated.  Personally, I like to optimize around providing value for basic needs, and I’m cautious when market value and intrinsic value are out of whack … market corrections can be painful.

To give you an example of the passion, profit and value intersection, I have a passion for making others great.  There’s a certain market value to that.  I already do it for free, but if I wanted to profit from it, I would take on certain clients.  For example, if the President wanted me for his results coach, I’d give him my special presidential discount, but I would still expect to profit from the value I create.

OK, fine, I’d do it for free, so it’s not a great example.

Cutting Questions to Find Your Path

Here are some cutting questions to help find and test your paths …

  • What would you do for free?
  • What’s the minimum you need to make?
  • What’s your minimum and ideal life style?
  • How much do you need to fund your ideal life style?
  • Who has the job that you want that you can model from?

Guideline for Getting Results

Some guidelines for results …

  • Find the intersections of your passion, profit, and value.
  • Passion, profit and value are sliding scales … this gives you a lot of flexibility as well as trade-offs.
  • If you’re creating all value, and no profit, that’s a charity, and that won’t pay your bills.
  • If you’re playing to your passion, but creating no value, that’s a hobby.
  • If you do what you hate, you’ll suck your life force dry.
  • Find the job you love, or love the job your with.
  • You can love the job you’re with, by by changing your why or changing your how. 
  • Some hobbies can be turned into profit, if they create value.
  • Sometimes the key to unleashing your profit potential, is simply finding the right channel or platform.
  • Be careful what you get paid for, because if you externalize your reward, you can kill your passion.
  • Knowing the market demand and the profit potential can help you follow the money.
  • Money is a means, not an end.   When you’re below the line, it means everything.  Once you’re above the line, happiness is doing what you love and service to others … you know, the stuff Maslow taught us.

One important point here is that life’s not static and neither is the market.

One strategy is to follow the growth.  This includes following the growth in the market (think biotech, green, … etc.) as well as following paths that lead to your own personal growth.

It’s one way to keep the skills that pay the bills.

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

Difficulties in Life

Telstra workers
Image via Wikipedia

 There are few positions in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered. These difficulties are, however, our best instructors, as our mistakes often form our best experience. We learn wisdom from failure more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do. Horne Tooke used to say that he had become all the better acquainted with the country from having the good luck sometimes to lose his way. Great thoughts, discoveries, inventions have very generally been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow and established with difficulty.

By Paxton Hood

Life’s Tug Of War

Happy Our Birthday :)
Image by Hamed Saber via Flickr

 

Life can seem ungrateful and not always kind.
Life can pull at your heartstrings and play with your mind.
Life can be blissful and happy and free.
Life can put beauty in the things that you see.
Life can place challenges right at your feet.
Life can make good of the hardships we meet.
Life can overwhelm you and make your head spin.
Life can reward those determined to win.
Life can be hurtful and not always fair.
Life can surround you with people who care.
Life clearly does offer its ups and its downs.
Life’s days can bring you both smiles and frowns.
Life teaches us to take the good with the bad.
Life is a mixture of happy and sad.
SO…
Take the life that you have and give it your best.
Think positive be happy let God do the rest.
Take the challenges that life has laid at your feet.
Take pride and be thankful for each one you meet.
To yourself give forgiveness if you stumble and fall.
Take each day that is dealt you and give it your all..
Take the love that you’re given and return it with care.
Have faith that when needed it will always be there.
Take time to find the beauty in the things that you see.
Take life’s simple pleasures let them set your heart free.
The idea here is simply to even the score.
As you are met and faced with Life’s Tug of War.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

by Author Unknown

Always Be

sam and maddie
Image by The Wu's Photo Land via Flickr

Always,
Be understanding to your enemies.
Be loyal to your friends.
Be strong enough to face the world each day.
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.
Always,
Be generous to those who need your help.
Be frugal with that you need yourself.
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be smart enough to continue learning.
Always,
Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.
Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.
Always,
Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.
Be last to criticize a colleague who fails.
Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.
Be sure of your final destination, by setting your goals along the way.
Above all,
always be yourself.

 
Poet Unknown

 

Lifting and Leaning

There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the good and the bad, for ’tis well understood
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift-flying years
Brings each man his laughter and each man his tears.

Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man’s wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s busy span
He who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go you will find the world’s masses
Are ever divided in just two classes.

And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I ween,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of worry and labor and care?


Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

May You Have

Happy Our Birthday :)
Image by Hamed Saber via Flickr

May you have……

Enough happiness
to keep you sweet,

Enough trials
to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow
to keep you human,

Enough hope
to keep you happy;
Enough failure
to keep you humble,

Enough success
to keep you eager,
Enough friends
to give you comfort,

Enough wealth
to meet your needs;
Enough enthusiasm
to look forward,

Enough faith
to banish depression,
Enough determination
to make each day better than yesterday.

Poet Unknown

It Couldn’t Be Done

Endless love

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.


Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.


There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


Poet: Edgar A. Guest

 

My Creed

SS_20110128_184742_D300s_7634-38
Image by Steve@VICruisers via Flickr


To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I’m alone
As when my every deed is known
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind,
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.

This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.


Poet: Edgar A. Guest

 

Believe In Yourself

Sheffield Park, a National Trust Garden in Eas...
Image by UGArdener via Flickr

 



There may be days when you get up in the morning
and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be,
that’s when you have to tell yourself
that things will get better.

There are times when people disappoint you and let you down,
but those are the times when you must remind yourself
to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your
life focused on believing in yourself
and all that you are capable of.

There will be challenges to face and
changes to make in your life,
and it is up to you to accept them.

Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you.

It may not be easy at times,
but in those times of struggle
you will find a stronger sense of who you are,
so when the days come that are filled with
frustration and unexpected responsibilities,
remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be,
because the challenges and changes will only help you to
find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep believing in yourself.

By Author Unknown

 

Dreamer

IMG_5364
Image by 7D-Kenny via Flickr

Climbing higher mountains

I will not descend downward

Until after I have conquered that fear

Clasping stars within my hands

They shall not stray from my touch

I am a dreamer

My wings lie in my mind

Where they allow me to divide the clouds

As I ascend through their cotton-like tufts

One cannot pierce my heart with any arrow

It is filled with pure bliss and compassion

No one will ever be able to seize that from me

Although at times my eyes may look wounded

My strength has never fled

 


Poet: Michelle Keesling

 

Playing The Game


Life is a game with a glorious prize,
If we can only play it right.
It is give and take, build and break,
And often it ends in a fight;
But he surely wins who honestly tries
(Regardless of wealth or fame),

He can never despair who plays it fair –
How are you playing the game?

Do you wilt and whine, if you fail to win
In the manner you think your due?
Do you sneer at the man in case that he can
And does, do better than you?
Do you take your rebuffs with a knowing grin?
Do you laugh tho’ you pull up lame?

Does your faith hold true when the whole world’s blue?
How are you playing the game?

Get into the thick of it – wade in, boys!
Whatever your cherished goal;
Brace up your will till your pulses thrill,
And you dare – to your very soul!
Do something more than make a noise;
Let your purpose leap into flame

As you plunge with a cry, “I shall do or die,”
Then you will be playing the game.

By Author Unknown

Success


Success is more than arriving – it is also attempting; more than realizing -it is also reaching.
Happiness comes not from having much to live on but having much to live for.
Success never resides in the world of weak wishes, but in the palace of purposeful plans and prayerful persistence.
Pessimism achieves no success over persistence.
Temporary defeat never spells total failure; one victory never assures permanent success.
A real success is one who makes his mark in life without smearing others.
Excellence without effort is as futile as progress without preparation
Work can be our friend or foe, or joy or our woe.
Success, like happiness, is more than a destination – it is a venture; more than an achievement – it is an attitude.
The greatest failure is the failure to try.
Alter your attitude and you will change your life.
Who seeks success, let him prepare.
Improvement is the son of discontent; success is the offspring of preparation.
To emphasize the positive – the affirmative – is to travel the high road of joy.

by William Arthur Ward


 

wisdom

The flame of wisdom
Image via Wikipedia

Wisdom is the sharing of wise experiences and knowledge, but a lot of it is common sense. The difference is how we apply this common sense – we all have the ability to keep going even when we face challenges in our lives – basically it comes down to your attitude.

We can have a positive attitude towards life, or a negative attitude. We can focus on the good or we can focus on the bad. Keeping a positive mental attitude is one of the keys to success.
The choice is always up to you!

 

 

Angels

A young girl of the Bozo people along Niger ri...
Image via Wikipedia

Barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed, but never did one person stop. Just so happens the next day I decided to go back to the park, curious if the little girl would still be there. Right in the very spot as she was yesterday she sat perched on high, with the saddest look in her eyes. Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. As we all know a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play. As I began walking towards her I could see the back of the little girl’s dress indicated a deformity. I figured that was the reason the people just passed by and made no effort to help. As I got closer, the little girl slightly lowered her eyes to avoid my intent stare. I could see the shape of her back more clearly. It was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form. I smiled to let her know it was ok, I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple Hello. The little girl acted shocked and stammered a hi after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked ’til darkness fell and the park was completely empty. Everyone was gone and we were alone. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face said “Because I’m different.” I immediately said “that you are!” and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder, she said, “I know.” “Little girl,” I said, “you remind me of an angel, she stood to her feet, and said, “Really?” “Yes, ma’am, you’re like a little guardian angel sent to watch over all those people walking by.” She nodded her head yes and smiled, and with that she spread her wings and said with a twinkle in her eye, “I am.” I was speechless, sure I was seeing things. She said, “And since you thought of someone other than yourself, my job here is done.” Immediately I stood to my feet and said, “Wait, so why did no one stop to help an angel?” She looked at me and smiled, “You’re the only one who could see me, and you believe it in your heart.” And She was gone. And with that my life was changed dramatically. So, when you think you’re all you have, remember, there is an angel always watching over you. Pass this to everyone that means anything at all to you….make sure you send it back to the person who sent it to you, to let them know you’re glad they care about you…like the story says we all need someone.. Everyone of your friends is an angel in their own – Author Unknown

INFORMATION PLEASE

A toddler girl crying
Image via Wikipedia

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person–her name was “Information, Please” and there was nothing she did not know. “Information, Please” could supply anybody’s number and the correct time. My first personal experience with this genie-in the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible but there didn’t seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. “Information, Please,” I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear, “Information.” “I hurt my finger,” I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. “Isn’t your mother home?” came the question. “Nobody’s home but me.” I blubbered. “Are you bleeding?” the voice asked. “No,” I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.” “Can you open your icebox?” she asked. I said I could. “Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger,” said the voice. After that, I called “Information, Please” for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk, that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called “Information, Please” and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child, but I was inconsolable. I asked her, “Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?” She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.” Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone. “Information, Please.” “Information,” said the now familiar voice. “How do you spell fix?” I asked. All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. “Information, Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, “Information, Please.” Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well, “Information.” I hadn’t planned this but I heard myself saying, “Could you please tell me how to spell fix?” There was a long pause. Then came the soft-spoken answer, “I guess your finger must have healed by now.” I laughed. “So it’s really still you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?” “I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me? I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls.” I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. “Please do,” she said. “Just ask for Sally.” Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, “Information.” I asked for Sally. “Are you a friend?” she asked. “Yes, a very old friend,” I answered. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” she said. “Sally has been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.” Before I could hang up she said, “Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?” “Yes,” I replied. “Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.” The note said, “Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.” I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today? Unknown

THIEF!

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I remember as a small child when we would have these gatherings with either family or friends. Invariably someone would come up and mention my “cuteness” and ask, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Well, it started out being a cowboy or some super hero. Later it was fireman, policeman, lawyer… As I grew older my dreams of the future changed. When, at last, I was in college, I was asked, “What will you major in?” Another question designed to find out what I would be when I “grew up.” By then I had my heart set on becoming a preacher as my father before me. So I studied and prepared for that life. I reached success in that endeavor. I was preaching nearly full-time for much of my adult life. Physical disability keeps me from plying my trade full-time anymore, but I still am called upon to preach here and there. I am content that I could realize my dream and perhaps have a positive influence on someone’s life. My kids are now reaching their dreams and it thrills me to watch them achieve their goals. However, for many, there is a “thief” which goes around stealing our dreams and robbing us of the necessary mental state to attain our goals. Sometimes, the thief will come as a parent, a relative, a friend or a co-worker, but the greatest thief is, so many times, just ourselves. We find ourselves just about reaching the pinnacle, and this “small” voice inside says, “You’ll never make it.” “You can’t possibly do this.” “Very few have ever done this successfully.” And on and on the “small” voice predicts some kind of failure. Failure, though, is exactly how dreams are realized. It is one of the most important tools we have, because it teaches us invaluable lessons. And, when we learn these lessons well, we are poised and ready for success, which is probably just around the corner. The message I always gave my children was, you are capable of doing anything your heart desires. You are smart enough, good-looking enough, strong enough, and worthy of reaching the stars. The human spirit is indomitable. Remember the saying, “If you can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, you can achieve it.” There are no “overnight” successes, but with perseverance, it will come. Imagine yourself in the life you dream of living. Then in your heart, believe it will happen for you, as it has for others. Then work, work, work, work. You get the picture. So, be true to your dream, and don’t let anyone steal it from you — especially yourself. You can do anything your heart desires, so don’t give up or give in. Let the dream in you live. Larry Harp