<![CDATA[CORPORATE TRAINER | COLUMNIST | ENTREPRENEUR - Blog]]>Fri, 29 May 2020 03:31:33 +0200Weebly<![CDATA[Crisis, Change, and the Illusion of Job Security]]>Thu, 28 May 2020 15:33:52 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/crisis-change-and-the-illusion-of-job-security
One of the important lessons we’ve learned in the last couple of weeks is that crisis brings change, be it change on how work will be conducted going forward or the new policies we all have to adhere to in light of the ongoing pandemic. Change is inevitable, and it takes flexibility and agility to thrive in the current economic climate.  Charles Darwin once says it is not the strongest of the species that survives, but rather, that which is most adaptable or responsive to change.
Perhaps before reading further, you should pause for a moment to reflect on the following questions: What if there is no job to return to once the lockdown is finally called off? What if the demand of the market you operate in has changed? What if you have to experience a salary cut going forward? What if your skill-set needs an upgrade to meet the market demand Post COVID-19? If these are not yet your realities or impending realities, great. Nonetheless, it’s not yet the time to sit back passively or overly dependent on government stimulus package or relief fund. Everyone, either business owners or individuals still needs to take full responsibility and ownership of their life and well-being.
We live in an uncertain economic time, workers are being laid-off, and salaries are not guaranteed, the pandemic and its impact is a wake-up call for everyone, to think, adjust, and perhaps make some changes where necessary. It is wise to see danger ahead of time and respond appropriately before it arrives. The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has paid out over One Billion Rand in the last couple of weeks, this should be an awakening to those who are still lucky enough to have a job and a stable source of income; there is no job security without ownership. If it is not your founded company, job security is just an illusion. Always expect the unexpected.

In his book, The Magna Carta of Exponentiality, Vusi Thembekwayo narrates the story of Nokia: In the 1990s and early 2000s, Nokia Corporation dominated the global mobile telecommunication environment. Their handset devices were the market standard. This was driven by, amongst others, their use of the Qwerty keyboard. The Qwerty keyboard designed and patented by the world's first typewriter manufacturer, Remington Rand. Their design of the Qwerty keyboard was so advanced that most of their competitors, including arch-rival Smith Corona, paid patent fees to use their layout.

Nokia was the best, the world over. They were unrivalled. The customer bought them because they were the best and as a result, they accumulated dominant market share. Of the fact that they were the best, Nokia became the biggest. Large, lethargic and entitled, Nokia fell into the trap of incumbency. They didn’t innovate at the rate of the market and thought.  The law of competitive dynamics holds that if you leave a gap another will occupy it. Nokia left a gap on the market-end of “best”, and Research In Motion firmly entered and sought to dominate that corner of the market with the Blackberry device.

The moral is, while Nokia did not lose its market share or dominance to a pandemic, they were too rigid and unwilling to embrace the changes, the need for innovation, and the customer demand in the market they occupy.

It is not enough to be optimistic about our current situation; we also need to be pragmatic about what we need to do, either individually or corporately. We need to embrace the fact that life won’t return to the usual routine we are all used to, but this shouldn’t be deterrent in forging forward. It’s time to think, and it’s time to take a new approach.  As the old saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting the same results. There is no better time than now to engage in critical thinking about your career in the long-term.
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<![CDATA[The Pandemic and SMEs: Rethinking Business Models and Service Delivery.]]>Sat, 11 Apr 2020 15:39:38 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/the-pandemic-and-smes-rethinking-business-models-and-service-delivery
​The current disruption in the global economy leaves us (business owners or entrepreneurs) with no choice but to go back to the drawing board. In the words of Jimmy Dean, "If you cannot change the direction of the wind, adjust yourself." Change is inevitable either imposed or self-instituted. The scale of damage in light of the ongoing Global Pandemic (COVID-19) is on the rise. As at the time of writing this column, more than 1,300,000 people globally have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, with more than 79,235 confirmed deaths, according to the World Health Organization.  
The country is in lockdown, and the world seems to be at a standstill. What does this mean for small business owners who do not offer essential products or services? No sales and no cashflow. It doesn't matter what the projections and assumptions look like on your Business Plan, the sad reality is, none of those seems feasible at the moment. The renowned South African entrepreneur, public speaker, and venture capitalist, Vusi Thembekwayo, has always dismissed the idea and relevance of a business plan for small business owners. It is redundant. It is time to go back to the drawing board, not another 300 pages thesis on SWOT analysis, business needs to be run at the "speed of change." 

According to the Wide Wide Worx, there is an estimate of 650,000 small businesses in South Africa employing about 7.8 million people. The question that confronts us today is, in the face of this contrasting odd, where do we go from here? Here are my views:

Brace for a change in your business model if you have one: The post-Covid19 era will have an economy shaped by new habits and regulations based on reduced close-contact interaction and tighter travel and hygiene restrictions. Depending on which business sector you operate from, this may warrant you to reconsider how you reach your customers or how your products and services will be delivered.

Post COVID-19, if public gatherings are restricted to a limited number of people until the situation is completely under control, business owners such as public or motivational speakers will quickly have to adjust or integrate virtual methods of reaching their audience, but also earning at the same time. There are so many virtual communication platforms that speakers can leverage on, and the earlier they get on to them, the better. 
Small business owners who work as travel agents will have to work extra hard as there will be a drastic decline in travelling, most especially international flights. Otherwise, they will need to find additional vocation to ensure continuous cash flow. Business owners who run Cinemas will have to think outside the box to offer their entertainment services.
Consider E-Commerce: Can you sell your products or services online? If yes, this is the time to get started. It is moronic to see a disruption that is evident and not do something about it. We don't wait for the storm to pass, we learn to dance in the rain. It's time for small business owners to start working on their online presence and give as much convenience as possible for customers to buy with a flexible delivery option. New time calls for new thinking. There will be a drastic change in customer behavior, business owners need to get ready for it.
It's not all doom and gloom. Every cloud has a silver lining if we are willing to look for it. It is time for entrepreneurs to stop and think. Life and business as we know it may not return back to "normal." We all need to brace ourselves for the days ahead. Finally, reach out to the department of small business development for financial assistance. Visit their website on www.smmesa.gov.za
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<![CDATA[Live A Principle-Centered Life]]>Sat, 16 Nov 2019 17:16:00 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/live-a-principle-centered-life
​Principles -  A guiding rule for personal behaviour.  Thomas Jefferson has rightly observed, “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” To fly high in life, we must live a life governed by principles, but not only that, we must align our principles with the right values. As Stephen R. Covey once says, "Adolf Hitler was a man of principle, but a person of wrong values." 
An example of a principle-centered life, according to Lovina Thakkar, your friends are calling you to hang out, but you have other priorities, and you say NO. Your mother is scolding you, you get irritated, you too want to shout at her, however, you hold it back and choose to listen instead. Your friends force you to drink, smoke, watch porn, but you didn't.

To earn the respect of the others, let your life be governed by godly principles and values. A life of success is a principle-centered life. 
How your life has turned out so far, is as a result of a certain set of rules, principles, or beliefs you've lived by, either consciously or unconsciously. 
Principles make an outcome predictable. Regular exercise keeps the body healthy, the lack of it makes you vulnerable to a different kind of illnesses. A lack of proper sleep puts your heart at risk, cancer, high blood pressure, forgetfulness, weight gain, diabetes, to mention a few.  These are basic life natural laws or principles that affect our life if we act defiance to them. 

The gravitational force is a universal principle which does not take into consideration your status or social standing, to take effect. How rich or poor you are, your religion, be it a Christian, Muslim, Scientologist, Buddhist, Freethinker, or any for that matter, if you act in defiance to this principle, the consequence takes effect. 

​Write out the set of rules you want to live your life by, principles you want to define your life around. Principle of honesty, respect, hard work, integrity, and morality, not just living in conformity to the societal norm. Principle of boundaries and accountability, a healthy lifestyle, time, and financial management. Principle of godly and edifying conversation. 
In his book, Principle-Centered Leadership, Stephen R. Covey wrote, “Effective people lead their lives and manage their relationships around principles; ineffective people attempt to manage their time around priorities and their tasks around goals. Think effectiveness with people; efficiency with things.”
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<![CDATA[Take The Risk]]>Fri, 02 Aug 2019 15:05:32 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/take-the-risk
It was George Bernard Shaw who says, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” So many people wish for a better life, a better career, a better marriage, a better this, and a better that, but they aren't doing anything about it. Unfortunately, life doesn't answer to wishes, life responds to pursuits, because "If wishes were horses, even beggars would ride."
What risk will you take, if you know you will not fail?
 
At his commencement speech at Stanford University, Steve Job says, "Remembering I will be dead soon is the most important tool have I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices of life, because, almost everything, all external expectation, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death." He went on to say, your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
 
We cannot approach the subject of risk by only focusing on the inevitability of death; rather, it's far wiser to consider how we should live and what acceptable risks are worth giving a shot as we journey through life.
We can't be careless with life, but also, we can't be too overcautious. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Far better is it to dare mighty things than to than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much."

In his book, Take The Risk, Dr. Ben Carson came up with four questions  or formula to consider when attempting any risk:
 
1. What is the best thing that can happen if i do this?
2. What is the worst thing that can happen if i do this?
3. What is the best thing that can happen if i don't do it?
4. What is the worst thing that can happen if i don't do it?
 
Using Dr. Carson's model will help you think through decisions and break down complexities through critical and analytical thinking.
Life itself is risky, and the biggest risk is not taking one. So many people are operating way below their God-given potentials because they would rather die in their comfort zone than take some bold step of faith. Les Brown was right when he says, “Most people raise a family, earn a living, and then they die." What a way to live.
 
I find it counter-intuitive as to why people would rather choose to sit back, go with the flow, trapped by dogma, but never stretch themselves to see what more is possible for their life.  If you avoid risk because you aren't certain or sure of the outcome, how then will you know what's possible without an attempt?

Don't go through life holding back. Take a calculated risk. As illustrated by Paul Hudson, he outlined 14 risks we all should take in life:
1. Risk taking the road less traveled
2. Risk getting turned down
3. Risk not getting the job
4. Risk failing: if you don't risk failing you can't succeed
5. Risk putting it all on the line
6. Risk missing out in order to achieve something greater
7. Risk that person not saying “i love you too."
8. Risk making a mistake
9. Risk losing friendships.
10. Risk not being good enough
11. Risk launching too early
12. Risk putting yourself out there and being judged
13. Risk admitting that you don’t know
14. Risk opening up and being vulnerable
 
You need to be willing to sacrifice your comfort and security temporarily, to see more of what life has in stock for you. Your next amazing experience is on the other side of your next risk attempt. Don't go through life with your handbrake on.
 
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<![CDATA[Leveraging Relationships]]>Wed, 24 Jul 2019 07:53:17 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/build-your-relational-equity
Mike Murdock once observed, "You are always one conversation away to a changed life." I put it this way, "You are always one relationship away to a changed life." Nothing in nature grows, progress, or develop independently. The food chain and the water cycle perfectly illustrates how each member depends on another to survive or stay functional. The same paradigm applies to us as a human being. We move forward in relative to the quality of people or the relationships we build or cultivate. 

​All of God's creation is dependent on external influences to survive. Humans get oxygen from nature and in return gives back carbon dioxide. Plants get nutrients from the soil while the soil also is fertilized by decomposed plants. Inter-dependency is the model for God's creation. Your success or the lack of it has so much to do with how well you can cultivate, manage, and foster quality relationships.
Take an inventory of all your phone contacts, your social media friends or followers, families, and acquaintances, then write down at least 5 to 10 most influential people on that list, then see how you can leverage on those 'exclusive few' in the achievement of your goals. The moral is, everybody has something that somebody else's needs. There is power in your network if you are willing to invest in it and leverage it. As Stephen R. Covey once says, "Building and repairing relationships are long-term investments."

Relationships are like bank accounts, we unconsciously make deposits into them daily and we also make withdrawals. Every act of kindness, care, love, concern, and checking up, you extend to someone else are deposits you are making into your 'relationship account.' The challenge is, most people want a withdrawal when they are yet to make a deposit.

 It is important also to learn how to create a balance between leveraging relationships and not becoming an opportunist. You need to realize every demand you make off of people gradually depletes your 'relational account.' If you always position yourself at the receiving end of every relationship, sooner or later, you will be portrayed in a negative light, that you are only out there to get, not give. Obey the law of reciprocation when relating to people. Let the pendulum of kindness always swing back and forth.

Your network is your net worth. Don't bankrupt your relational equity. "You will always rise and fall on the quality of people you surround yourself with." T.D Jakes once says, relationships are more important than revenue, invest in the former, it always pays huge dividends.

 We are always one chat away, one friend away, or one relationship away to getting whatever we want in life. In-between your present reality and your imaginary future are people and relationships you need to nurture and cultivate. Stay clear from casual, unproductive, and mindless association, invest in meaningful, and productive relationships, it always pays off.

To build your relational equity, give genuine compliments. Check up on people and ask how they are doing. Let them know you are thinking about them. Your colleague bought a new car, congratulate him and tell him you are happy for him. Your friend passes his exam tell him how proud you are of his accomplishment. 

Leave an impression in people's hearts that there's someone (you) out there who truly cares. Maya Angelou has rightly said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


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<![CDATA[MASTER THE ART OF SAYING NO]]>Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:54:05 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/master-the-art-of-saying-no
Anna Taylor once said, “Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” When saying yes becomes your default unconscious response, your chances of succeeding in life are slim. Not all life opportunities are yours for the taking. You need to say no to some that present itself.
Suzette R. Hinton has rightly observed, “We must say "no" to what, in our heart, we don't want. We must say "no" to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say "no" to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else's. We must say “no.”
In his book, the success principle, Jack Canfield wrote, to be successful in achieving your goals and creating your desired lifestyle, you will have to get good at saying no to all of the people and distractions that would otherwise devour you. Successful people know how to say no without feeling guilty. 

In a world where it seems everyone wants a piece of you. Your coworkers want your input on projects that are not your responsibility, your boss wants you to work overtime to finish a report he needs, your sister wants you to take her kids for the weekend, your child's school wants you to bake four dozen cookies for teachers appreciation night, even your pets are clamoring for your attention, the truth is, to create a balance between all these seemingly good responsibilities or requests, you must ensure that you don't have to let yourself be terrorized by other people's expectation of you. We suffer under project and productivity overload at work-taking on more than we can comfortably deliver in an unconscious desire to impress others, get ahead.

To be successful you need to focus your time, effort, energies, and resources only on projects, opportunities, and people that give you a huge reward for your efforts. We need to establish boundaries between our personal and professional lives. When we don’t, our work, our health, and our personal lives suffer. You are going to have to create strong boundaries about what you will and won't do. Most of us are busy but undisciplined. We are active but not focused. We are moving, but not always in the right direction.

You don't have to become the victim of someone else's lack of organization and poor time management. As Jim Collins once observed, Good is the enemy of great. Learn to say no to the good so that you can say yes to the great. Learn to say no to things that compromise your health, no to activities that compromise your family time, your identity, your values, and integrity.

Saying yes to something you don’t want to do prioritizes being polite over being genuine, argues Mikaela Kiner — and all those extra yeses will cost you. Saying no isn’t easy, but it’s essential. To get started, Kiner suggests you start with a simple question: “If I don’t do this, will it matter in three weeks, three months, three years from now?” Putting requests in context can help you determine what’s actually critical.

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<![CDATA[Managing Life Transition]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:00:29 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/managing-life-transition
Losing a loved one, getting married, having babies, starting a new job, quitting a job, flood, fire outbreak, buying your dream house, divorce, separation, promotion, raising capital, becoming a father, sickness, foreclosure, asset repossession, going to varsity, dealing with infidelity, downsizing, all of these, are few of life inevitable occurrences we may all likely go through.

​As we journey through life, we will experience both the "winter days and the summer, the spring and the autumn." The sad reality is, none of these seasons gives a notice when they will arrive, some season come as planned, while others arrived unplanned. You see, we cannot change the direction of the wind, we can only adjust ourselves. The death of a loved one is something we often don't see coming, but sometimes, we just need to brace ourselves up once this season arrives and learn to move on.
During a difficult or painful transition, perhaps a job loss, it's easy to become cynical, negative, or bitter about life and what this does is, it cloud our mind to all other opportunities around us. In life, setbacks are inevitable, but misery is always a choice. You can either pick yourself back up or stay resentful. Have learned that happiness is a choice and so also is misery. Alexandra Graham Bell once says, when one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

In challenging times, you will learn more about yourself, if you take time to reflect, introspect and take inventory of how you responded to those painful seasons. Embrace each phase of your life with positivity, you are better off standing up to life challenges with a positive mental attitude. 
 It is erroneous to believe, that alcohol or drug use will be of help during life painful transition, no, it only makes it worse. Seek the support of friends and family members, especially those who accept you without judging you and encourage you to express your true feelings. A time of transition is also an excellent time to seek the support of mental health professional. He or she can guide you through the transition process in a safe and supportive environment.

 Life is in phases, you will travel through the rough road, as Les Brown says, you will fail your way to success, but hold your head up. What doesn't kill you make you stronger. Life will take you through a series of transitions, either in your career, finances, relationships, or business, don't give in and don't give up.

Don't blame your past. Stop complaining about things you cannot change. Take ownership of your life. Grow in your transition and don't lose your zest for life. Through your thick and thin you will excel and in hindsight, you will be glad you went through some of the things you went through. Don't just go through life circumstances, grow through them. Stay hopeful, remain optimistic because, tough time never last, only tough people do. Whatever current transition you are in right now, be it, joy, happiness, growth, fulfillment, or be it, pain, sorrow, backwardness, regret, hold your head up. Celebrate your success, but heed the lessons of failure. 

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<![CDATA[Rise Above Your Limits]]>Tue, 28 May 2019 00:32:30 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/rise-above-your-limits
​​It is said that if a frog is suddenly thrown into hot water, it will instinctively jump out because of the temperature, but if thrown into cold water and you gradually increase the temperature it won't notice the rise in temperature until it dies. How different are we from a frog if we become so used and insensitive to our current environment, level or circumstances that we fail to realize that we are all called us to a higher life, bigger and better than what we may currently be experiencing.
 
Rise above your limits, all circumstances may not line up in your favour, but find a way to win. Know exactly what you want out of life and go for it with all you've got. As Zig Ziglar once says, if you aim at nothing, you will always hit it every time. Success starts with you defining what success means to you. You are too important to just drift through life, no, you are not a nomad. There is more to your life even if you don't know it yet. 
​Get your life priorities in order. Don't major on minor and don't minor on major. Time is all you have in exchange for all you need in life. Once you realize you can do something well, start training someone else to take your role, and move up to a more bigger thing. Sam Chand has rightfully said, "As you age, you will realize a lot of things that had seemed so important before were no longer things you will die for."
 
Don't accept average, mediocrity, barely getting by as your lot. Reach for the best, there is no greater regret, than coming to the end of life only to realize you've only lived just a fraction of God's intended purpose for your life. Dare for more, reach for more. Don't get used to just an O.K life.
 
Ask yourself, if everything in life line-up as you expect, what will you reach for? Dig up the buried dreams, you are born and raised for such a time as this, your generation is counting on you to make a difference, there is no point playing small, serve your gifts to the world, the grave won't benefit from your unused potentials.  Michelangelo once said, "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we missed it, but it is too low that we reach it" The onus is on you to rise to your higher calling, and leave a footprint in this world. When all is said and done, what will this world remember you for? Myles Munroe was right when he says, "Live full but die empty."
 
Take risk! Fail, but fail faster. It was Theodore Roosevelt that says, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failures than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the great twilight that knows not victory or defeat."   One of the riskiest things you can do in life is to take too many precautions and never have any failures or mistakes. Failure is the opportunity to start over more intelligently.  You will fail. You will make mistakes, that's O.K. A life spent making mistakes is more honorable than a life spent doing nothing. Simon Sinek said, Always plan for the fact that nothing ever goes according to plan. Remember, a ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.  You need to leave your comfort zone if you are going to rise above life limits.
 
Don't go through life chasing shadows. Be specific about what you want out of life. Ignorance is not bliss. Invest in meaningful and progressive relationships. The people you surround yourself with can put a lid to your reach in life. Relationships can be limiting if the people around you are not making you better. Relationships matter but be selective about people you choose to do life with. Get rid of anything or anyone that doesn't further your goals, dreams, and hopes. Put your dreams out there, but you have to follow through.
 
Paul Scanlon once said, if something excites you, go for it. If it excites and scares you, go for it twice as fast.  Just because your younger days are behind you doesn't mean your best days are. Every current season always prepares you for the next, but don't go through life blindly and insensitive, pick the lessons. Celebrate your success, but heed the lessons of your failures.
 
Remember, words may inspire but only action creates change. It's time to start living your best life now. The road to success is often long and bumpy, but stay persistent, you will make it. Be focused and always remember, he who will lead the orchestra, will not face the crowd.
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<![CDATA[HOW EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE WAY WE THINK]]>Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:51:43 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/how-experience-shape-the-way-we-think
Repeated experience of failure or disappointment has a way of re-conditioning the mind to life reality and possibility. It takes strong willpower, and belief system to not let past painful life experiences shape our future. We all have a story of the hands' life has dealt us, but people who succeed amidst all odds, do not let their past experiences shape or define their life.

Our outlook towards life has some of its element drawn from our past and childhood experiences. As pointed out by Hanan  Perez, In order to illustrate how our past experiences (especially childhood) result in the formation of beliefs that strongly affect our behavior, here are some examples  

"A child who was abused forms a belief that he is less worthy than others because of the way he was treated. So he is very likely to have a low self-esteem and live with shame for the rest of his life. He may, therefore, become a shy person.

The youngest child in a family receives a lot of attention from everyone around him and so he develops a need to always be at the center of attention. As an adult, he may become a very showy, successful or a famous person just to remain at the center of attention. 

A girl whose father abandoned her and her mother may form a belief that men cannot be trusted. So, as an adult, she might find it very hard to trust any man and may have problems forming an intimate relationship with a guy. She might end up sabotaging every relationship she gets into without knowing why.

A boy who always felt financially insecure as a child because his parents always worried about money may develop a strong need to become rich. He may become very ambitious and competitive. If he fails to meet his financial goals, he may become severely depressed.

A kid who was bullied in school may develop a need to become strong and therefore he might become very interested in martial arts or bodybuilding. If you interviewed gym addicts, you’ll find that most of them were either bullied as kids or were involved in a physical fight before. Very few do it just to improve their body image."

Because of the experiences that people go through in life, they develop certain deep-seated beliefs, needs and ways of thinking. In order to fulfill their needs, they develop certain personality traits. They might not be aware of the reason why they have certain personality traits, but their mind is working in the background continually seeking ways to satisfy its needs. 

We all are made of our experiences that we encountered in a specific circumstance. If an individual behaves in a particular way, it is because his or her experience thought him these responses and resulting characteristics were born. We all are victims of our life experiences. But we each can change ourselves and others by changing the scars in memories by creating new and positive experiences and circumstances. We can influence opinions, understanding, memories, feelings, responses, love, hatred, prejudice, knowledge and lives by how we chose to behave and the experiences we create for ourselves and others. Your personal experiences are created by how others treat you. Likewise their experiences with you are based on how you treat them. It is a chain of continuous actions and reactions. But to change this link from a negative to a positive one, pressing the “start” button needs to come from you.
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<![CDATA[Embracing Change]]>Wed, 13 Feb 2019 20:50:47 GMThttp://danielcole.co.za/blog/embracing-change
​A butterfly is safe in its cocoon but it can never reach its full potential staying there. Getting out of the cocoon is tedious, difficult and challenging but it is in the process of coming out the butterfly grows its wings. Change can be scary, change can be painful, but nothing is more painful than staying in a place when the season or opportunities is over. It's challenging launching out to the unknown, it sometimes requires a stretch and sacrifice, because naturally, we all have the tendency to assume the negative of what we don’t know.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Change is inevitable. When you embrace change wholeheartedly as an inevitable part of life, looking for ways to use new changes to make your life richer, easier and more fulfilling, your life will work much better. You will experience change as an opportunity for growth and new experience.

Habits are a normal part of every person’s lives. But we are often counterproductive when dealing with change. As humans, we are not very good at changing. We see changes as a negative thing that something creates instability and insecurity. We go through several mental phases when confronted with change; Denial, Frustration and Anger, negotiation and bargaining, depression… Henry Bergson once said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

What Brings About Change?

Government policies and regulations,

Improvements in technology,

Market situation and

Economics

Many fight change because they are afraid of the possible outcome and some fight it because they are not ready to go with the “flow.” The first step to embracing change is acceptance. Things are not always going to be the way they used to be. The human mind grows every day, new innovations, new ideas, creativity and advancement in technology are all pointer to the fact that we live in a world of continuous revolution. Laws are modified, constitutions are rewritten, new ideas are birthed, discoveries are made – change is just inevitable.

When the caterpillar is caught by change, it leaves its cocoon which represents one stage of life in order to become a butterfly so it can spread its wings and fly away. Seasons change from winter to spring so that nature could blossom all over again. No matter how bad the change might appear to be, always stay positive. Lookout for the good in every change, you can sit down and nag about the changes while waiting for the storm to pass, or you can embrace it and learn to dance in the rain.

Over the years, we’ve all been hearing about climate change, top government officials around the world holding meetings, forums, and conferences on how it can be tackled. However, there are still many out there who don’t have a clue about what this is all about and how they can be personally affected by this change in temperature. In my opinion, I think it is everybody’s responsibility to personally observe their environment, notice the changes, and proffer a solution while the governments are still working out the modalities.

In five years to this time, do you see a machine being invented or a software program being written that could do perfectly exactly what you are doing or even better? If yes, why not start forging ahead right now before a little tiny machine makes you lose relevance in the market place. Are there any new courses in your profession that you can do to give you an edge in the marketplace? If yes, I will recommend you go for it as soon as you can.

Don’t just run after the ball aimlessly, go position yourself to where the ball is going so you can get the right passes and make the score. Not all changes are bad, but you need to create the readiness to welcome them. Getting fired from a job may not be as bad as you think it is, dropping out of college may not also be devastating, some change might be difficult to embrace but when we look deeply we can learn our lessons and bring out a better version of ourselves. In order to aim for the best, sometimes, we need to let go of the chains that keep us on to a routine, or the fear of trying something new.

After all, how would you develop and grow wise if you keep living in the old familiar, constantly doing the same things. We resist change because we are afraid of change.

In his book, “Who moved my cheese? By Dr. Spencer Johnson” He wrote:

If you do not change, you can become extinct. The earlier we embrace change the better. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come. The danger of not adapting faster is that you might as well not adapt at all. The biggest inhibitor to change lies within yourself and that nothing gets better until you change. Some fears should be respected as it can keep you out of real danger. But you need to realize most fears were irrational and can keep you from changing when you needed to.”

When change happens, you can either cooperate with it and learn how to benefit from it or you can resist it and eventually get run over by it. It’s your choice. In his book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield wrote:

To help embrace any change, ask yourself the following questions:

What’s changing in my life that I’m currently resisting?

Why am I resisting that change?

What am I afraid of with respect to this change?

What am I afraid might happen to me?

What’s the payoff for my keeping things the way they are?

What’s the cost I’m paying for keeping things the way they are?

What benefits might there be in this change?

What would I have to do to cooperate with this change?

What’s the next step I could take to cooperate with this change?

When will I take it?

Though, it is easy to be preachy about change. It is easy to tell others to change their habits, attitudes, and behaviour. But one can only make a partial adjustment to their personality. And of course, that requires loads of inspiration.
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