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Volume 01 Issue 10: Health is Personal

Those of us who are petite often find ourselves trying to keep our physical development involvements a secret. A common question from family and friends at the mention of our physical development observances is usually “what for?”. I have come to appreciate that the fact that one has no fat to burn nor weight to shed doesn’t make him/her any healthier than those who do. Health and fitness is for everyone, big and small alike. We all need our physique to deliver our goals regardless of our size. Other than non-modifiable factors of genes, inborn defects, age and sex, health is determined by diet, exercise, rest, social and emotional environment. This implies that health is largely a product of lifestyle. Genes for instance only load the trigger. Lifestyle pulls it.

Diet

We are largely ignorant about the foods that we take. The Bible warns us that God’s people perish for lack of knowledge. Just the way we value our vehicles and give them fuel that we deem to be good. Shouldn’t we make an effort to learn about the foods that we feed our bodies? Are you letting modern society determine what you should eat? I do not purport to be an expert in diet but my observations indicate that what you feed your body with determines its useful life. My own practice confirms that taste buds are indeed in the brain, not in the mouth. The more you eat foods that you would otherwise consider tasteless, the more you develop a taste and liking for them and eventually prefer them over the not so healthy ones that appear tasty.

Exercise

Engaging in physical fitness is not just for weight loss as it is wrongly construed. Once we attain our personal ideal weight, we exercise to maintain it. But more importantly, we exercise to attain and maintain cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance (which come in handy in emergency situations), flexibility and body tone.  All body parts benefit from physical fitness, the heart, the brain, muscles, GIT and the skin.

I take it that engaging in physical development in our youth is commensurate with making financial savings and investments now for future consumption when we lose our earning abilities. Invest in health and fitness now while you are healthy. We usually watch with sadness whenever we find an elderly overweight fellow in the gym struggling to exercise because the physician has advised that his/her life depends on it. Why don’t you eat well and exercise now while you have the privilege of youth and vitality? Healthy living doesn’t guarantee us a disease free life. But there is plenty of wisdom in choosing preventive measures over curative ones for our health.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 09: Master Your Time

What is your relationship with time? Is it a happy one or an unhappy one? Do you often feel like you don’t have enough time to do the things that are important to you? The only time we have is the time as we make use of. Time management equates to self management, implying that if we can manage out time we can manage ourselves. We are responsible for the employment of our time. We have to choose to organize our time or agonize over losing it because once lost, it cannot be recovered. Given the number of things that compete for our time in any given day, an analysis of the abundance of time reveals that we have very limited personal time. After deducting the time we spend at work, travelling, with family and at social events, we are left with very limited personal time. Hence the urgency to plan and prioritize our time in order to make efficient and effective use of this valuable but limited resource.

Assign a value to your personal time. How much is your hour worth? Once you determine the value of your time, sieve out things that are of less value. Find practical and creative ways to make optimal use of your personal time. See if there are tasks that you engage in that you find that as you do them, an activity that would better add value to your life is neglected. If you are like me, I spent about an hour most early Saturday mornings in the local market shopping for fresh groceries until I realized that that was not an optimal use of my time and requested the grocer to deliver the supplies. For me, shopping for groceries is a good task but it does not require my personal touch and attention. It is good but not important to me. Important tasks are tasks in line with our goals. What are the important things in your life that you must determine to do first? It takes planning our time and activities to get what makes a difference accomplished. Look out for things that you can effectively delegate. However, I must add that we have to be cautious not to delegate tasks that only we should do, tasks to do with raising a family for instance. We must find practical balance in the employment of our time.

To manage our time we need to identify our time distracters and deal with them. Strengthen your boundaries. Other people’s activities must not distract you from your goals. It is also worth noting that the abundance of activities does not imply effective use of time. If you find yourself busy moving from one activity to another, stop and reflect on the value you derive from those activities. If they do not serve to develop you, find ways to limit them to a bare minimum. Choose to spend your most productive time on activities that develop you and for instance, attend only the reception of a social event if your only role in the event is to bear witness. Although time is never too much, it is never too little. But it is enough. As we make deliberate efforts to master our time, our immediate goal should be to work towards the point where we can say that we have more than enough time to do the things that are important to us. As amply put by Anthony Gitonga in Made for Greatness, time is what life is made of. If you love life do not squander time.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 08: Value Equation

Have you defined your success? Success means different things to different people. One person’s success is not another person’s success. What does success mean to you? You must define your success statement to know what it means to you specifically. If you have already defined your success, what are you doing to attain it? Success is not a matter of chance; it’s a matter of choice. It’s not something to be waited for; it’s something to be achieved. To succeed we must have specific goals to aim for. Goals are the steps we take along the way to attain our success. There must be things that you want to accomplish in this lifetime; things that you want to make a difference in; contributions that you want to make. How will you know you have accomplished them unless you set your goals? The tragedy in life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The real tragedy of life lies in not having a goal to reach for. Anthony Gitonga, in Pathway to Purpose, emphasizes this thought. “When set, goals determine our pathway of navigation to success. In the absence of goals there’s no desire to make a difference. What do you really want to do? Write it down, then go for it!”

To know your goals you must self reflect. Take time to critically self reflect. Self reflection raises self awareness. It is in the process of self awareness that we discover what we value. Success is uncovered in the diligent pursuit of the things that we value. To help you discover what you value, ask yourself the following questions;

 

  • Where do I spend my time?
  • Where do I spend my money?
  • Where do I spend my energy?

Do the things that you value come together with the way you spend your time, money and energy? Your value equations determine how you spend your time, money and energy. For instance, if you say you value your family, qualify it by assessing the adequacy of your time and energy that you spend on and with your family. It is worth noting that every time you say “yes” to one thing, you say “no” to another. For instance, every time you give in to an extra hour of sleep beyond what your body requires, you automatically say “no” to engaging in an activity that would develop you. Every time you say “yes” to working late you say “no” to spending time with your family. Whenever you do this, consider the value the thing you said “no” to would have given you had you chosen it. Knowing what we value leads to self choice and action. Self action leads to self discipline, self mastery, self leadership and subsequently, success. Once you define what success means to you, come up with clear activities and clear disciplines that you must do every day to achieve your goals.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 07: Charisma in Greatness

Listening to the speeches of the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, US President Barrack Obama, Our Prime Minister Raila Odinga, we may be drawn to interpret that leadership is only for those with charismatic abilities. You may look at yourself and admit to having no pinch of charisma and subsequently disqualify yourself from greatness. That on the grounds that you can’t draw a crowd’s attention to yourself, you cannot be great. But what really is charisma? Is it standing at the podium and speaking to people? Real charisma is not about impressing people but being other people minded. Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic speech “I Have a Dream” was not about impressing people but the expression of his deep felt commitment for the freedom of his people. It is not charisma that makes you great. It is your gift. Everybody is charismatic when operating in their gift. When you do that which you love to do, that which you were built for, that which you passionately relate to, you cannot help it but be charismatic. The honors is then to get in touch with yourself and identify your gift. There’s that one thing that gives you the greatest satisfaction when you do; that you do with ease/naturally; and that you can be the best at. When you discover it, you will realize that you too are charismatic whenever you get an opportunity to operate in it. The Bible reiterates that your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men. Doesn’t it then mean that we receive the most fulfillment, recognition and reward when we operate in our gift? Due to the dynamics of life it is a given that we do not operate in our gift all the time. But it certainly would serve us well if we took every opportunity to maximize the times we operate in our gift.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 06: Money is won or lost at the habits level

Today I am inspired by the merry go round idea that many ladies relate to as a savings group or Chama. Most of us have been in a Chama at one point or another for purposes of contributing a set amount of money per a set cycle of time. The money collected in a particular Chama sitting is given to the one whose turn to receive has matured. Let’s say you are in a Chama of ten women and you contribute 1,000 shillings a month, nothing substantial on your budget, but a worthwhile saving none the less, as far as you are concerned. You are number 10, so after contributing for ten months, you receive 10,000 shillings from the Chama. What do you do with this 10,000 shillings? Do you invest it or save it for future investment? Or do you immediately transfer it to your spending pool, treat yourself, buy something for your house? Do you buy an appliance for your kitchen and feel you have made a great investment? But think about it. Is this really an investment? Were you really saving when you contributed that 1,000 shillings a month if this is how you end up spending your receipt?

Savings is money which leaves your hand and doesn’t come back. We save when the money we have set aside is somewhere growing. It is the act of your money leaving you permanently for growth. Are your habits winning you money or losing you money? Of importance is not the amount you save but the savings habit you cultivate. You can be a millionaire in habits by doing things that will create you millions. Your wealth is measured by the number of days you can live at the same standard of life today after retiring from active work. How wealthy are you today? How many days would you be able to live at your current standard of life if you retired from active work today? The more you save from your daily earnings the more wealthy you are. Experts advice we save 30% of our earnings every day. Save a minimum of 10% for emergencies, a minimum of 10% for charity/community and a minimum of 10% for investments daily.

Emergency savings is important for the day when nothing else is available. It should grow to an equivalent of at least 12 months of your living expenses. Emergency savings is strictly your money. It is not for meeting other people’s emergencies.

Investment savings is for growth. It’s the money you set aside, invest somewhere to earn you passive income. This is the money that works for you.

Charity/Community savings is the pool of money you set aside daily for givings. It sorts out social costs such as funerals, weddings, other fundraisings and givings to relatives and friends that otherwise catch us unawares and throw our budgets into disarray. Lock givings out of this pool to a maximum of 10% of your daily earnings. Once the pool is exhausted at any given time, discipline yourself to give zero, otherwise any more givings on this eats into your remaining 70% float for spending, and if you are a Christian, 60% since out of the 70%, 10% belongs to God (tithe). Eating into our remaining 60% for spending is what gets us into trouble, isn’t it?

Lillian Chebosi