The Root: A Lesson of Persistance – Part 1

There is no need to be a failure as a success.

Plants and their nature never cease to amaze me. You will find them literally everywhere, given half a chance a place that previously seemed to be totally desolate can reveal so much hidden potential.

This should be the same drive by which you need to follow through with your dream. Go ahead and dream big even amidst the most challenging of situations. A certain young man once worked for me as a general hand. He was unfortunate enough not to have completed his secondary education, and I told him he had potential to get ahead in his life through making use of his hands.

For a moment he stared at his hands and could not even believe what he heard me say to him. He just shook his head in disbelief, and replied, “with these hands… I dont think so.” In his mindset, because of his perceived disadvantage of not having gone further with his education, he saw himself as forever banished to being a “failure as a success.”

In his eyes, there was no way he could not ever become any more than what he was. “They have eyes, but they do not see.” He could not even see what he was already doing with his own hands that was already bettering his life. He had already made an active decision to do something with his life but he could not even see what he already had.

Many times, we look at our life, the end picture…. and immediately are blown away by the magnitude of the dreams that we have or the destiny that may be. We often fail to see what resources we already have, some of which we may already be using that have the potential to take us to even greater heights.

The limits to which we may reach simply depend on how much we allow our minds to stretch and wonder and discover the secrets that life has in store for us.

However, it does not always come easy. Bumps and roadblocks are something that can never be totally guarded against, but you just have to hang in there, think postively and allow some unexpected solutions to some of the challenges you may face.

There are very few entirely new concepts, businesses and methodologies that you may come across. Somewhere, somehow, somebody out there has faced the same or similar challenge as the one that you may be facing.

The “six degree” theory, states that we are all seperated by six people in our networks to everybody else in the world. However, subjective that theory may be, it just goes to show just how well connected and intergrated we all are.

So imagine how many solutions and experiences are available for our education from the very people we socialise with on a day to day basis. The key is to know which combination of people is the right one. In the face, of challenges, you can safely take comfort that there is a solution out there for you to get, all you have to do is rich in and reach out to get it.

Plants just dont seem to know when to give up, I especially admire weeds, they are particularly persistant and will grow out of any crack or crevice that they can fit into. They are a constant menace to farmers and gardeners anywhere.

As such successful people are those that are a constant menace to their destiny.

Learn from spoilt children, dont give up until you get what you desire. Jacob refused to let go of God until dawn broke and God was forced to bless him. It was not that God failed to escape, but the blessing was so massive, that he had to make sure that the recepient, Jacon, would really appreciate what he got and not take it lightly. Only then could he become, ISRAEL.

The hollow in his joint an everlasting reminder of the night God visited him with a blessing that would last the ages and be remembered for all time.

So as I sign off I leave you with a question, “what opportunity are you being prepared for by the challenges you think you are facing?”, because it might not be a challenge, but a lesson embedded for the purpose of increased valuation.


Breaking New Ground: Business Reality

Reality depends on your perspective of events, situations and scenarios. Your enterpretations of so called reality is what determines the reality that you exist in.

Successful enterprenuers create their own reality by maintaining an optimistic though objective approach to handling the circumstances they find themselves in.

When a farmer ventures into a virgin piece of land, he can immediatley see the potential that lies within a seemingly useless piece of land with dust and shrubbery. A seemingly desolate piece of land devoid of nutrients life or even minerals can be turned into some of the most beautiful ranges of vegetative microclimates with the right attitude.

I have even seen deserts turned into havens by the use of the right technology. “Whatever the mind can concieve and believe, it can achieve.” Zig ziglar.

The power of the mind rests in its usage in enterpreting events. Events happen and they take whatever form in manifestation they so desire, the course they will take however afterwards depends on the interpretation that you choose to place on it afterwards.

Have you ever been suddenly confronted by an unfortunate situation or bad incidence and taken a downward spiral of self pity and desperation. It seems as if all the energy has been drained out of you and that every hope, dream and vision is all vain and hopeless.

I have been one such victim often losing days and sometimes weeks of productive time before something snaps me back into a more positive reality.

I have realised that there exist certain stimulants around me that encourage a positive mental attitude leading to a more positive reality. They are not always standard and immediately obvious at first glance, but they provide for a better version of reality that spurs me onward and fuels me like a new battery in a child’s toy.

Everyone seeks answers and a prescribed fuel battery cell, that will spur them on to realising their potential, but the truth of the matter is that there does not exist a single prescription that fits everybody.

Each mind is unique and independent in itself and the way it manages the chaos around it.
Dependency comes about as a result of the need for association, as we string together beads of similarities in those people around us.

However, the beads that we choose to pick out from those associations we make add on to the fabric of our reality and creates the enterpratation of what we see around us.

There is a method of farming known as hydroponic farming which makes use of the deadest of medium to grow plants. A brand new hope and future, new life. Most people’s reality depends on convention and what they have been taught need to be done in order to realise certain aspects, but as we take a closer look at what realy make up reality, we make up our own.

So no matter how dead a situation looks, there is always hope that even the brightest of futures can be realised.

Take Root – Be Established

I read somewhere that the chinese bamboo takes about five years before it sprouts some shoots or begins to germinate. Most soft cuttings take a few weeks to a few months just barely holding onto dear life sustaining themselves on what they already have stored within them, except for water which is drawn in in minute doses.

So what will be happening within this relatively stagnant period? One this for sure, the plants will not just be sitting around hoping for some devine intervention in order to begin to grow. This is the time they realise that their original source of nourishment has been removed and they have a choice either to do something about it, or die!

Most choose to live, not all succeed, but most put up a good fight. More often than not, we as human beings find ourselves in that very same scenario, after years training and growing in a particular vocation we become preety good at what we do and fall into a dependency on the system. If as an employee, your boss just happens to go to a party or optimisation workshop or something and suddenly begins to implement retrenchments and you are caught on the “wrong” side of the program life suddenly turns from a sweet orange to a bitter grape fruit.

The key in such an incident is not to panic and lose all hope in desperation, but like my little cuttings realise what has happened and gather up your available resources whilst you still have a bit of life within you and begin to put up your own new system to support yourself. Unlike plants however, so long as we are breathing and sometimes even further than that, we still have potential to make a difference in this world that we live in.

So yes, even if we falter, stumble, and sometimes give birth to still born businesses, there is still yet hope for us. All we have to do is gather our wits about us and go at it again never losing the passion by which we started out with.

It never ceases to fascinate me at the vast network of roots a seemingly small plant develops whilst in the very initial stages of growth. When you look at it from the top of the plant above the soil, it seems as if nothing or very little is happening, but just a few millimetres below the surface growth is taking place at a phenominal pace.

To prove this, just try pulling out a little plant from the ground and see what happens, It seems as if the entire little patch around it has been wired into the little plant’s system.
That is the true sustinance of the plant, in the ever growing network of roots.

Time taken developing the roots of a business system, will determine its strength of resistance to negative external forces. Some truly grounded systems may be totaly wiped out, by an economic disaster, but you can be sure that so long as the roots remain intact, the industry shall rise again.

Some plants only need just a single piece of root to remain intact, and the system can be rebuilt to its fomer glory.

So it is of my opinion, that more time needs to be dedicated towards establishing a fully functional root system, that will stand the test of external pressure

Just plant it – Success/failure is relative

When i first ventured into agriculture I started by visiting the nearest garden centre and bought a few seed packets and randomly started planting. I did not meet 5% of my targeted earnings, but I was not put off, I learnt my lessons and soldiered on to the next step, with continued guidance and mentorship I began to earn more and more and began to step into the reality of financial freedom I foresaw.

Even in investment the same thing applies, the challenge faced by most people is that they put too much of their focus on the expected returns and not enough on the lessons learnt.

Learning the lessons, to me is the most important thing than earning the money, because once a person hits a “lucky” shot and learns nothing from it, that may be the last time the person is “lucky”.

“Chance favours the prepared mind”, the learning aspect is crucial if you are going to create your own “luck”.

“Luck” has to be created, so you can enjoy it repeatedly, but this is only possible through learning, and learning has been done when there is a visible change in behaviour.

To be successful in your ventures continually you have to realise and learn from your successes and learn even more from your failures.

I am always amazed at people who go from venture to venture failing each time and learning nothing from it. Most common mistakes people make are like those experienced by people who go through a chain of relationships moving from one person to the next making the same sublimal errors and not even realising what it is that is happening.

A girl/guy meets a certain type of partner with a particular personality trait and falls head over heels for that person, and the next thing you hear is that they have broken up. The person then moves on to the next partner, who looks physically different but in essence is the same because he/she sports the exact same personality and the next thing you know they have broken up again or even gotten as far as divorce.

The person keeps dating the same personality in different people and expecting different results. Some people classify that as madness, but once or twice most of us have been caught in that endless cycle of hopeless repetitive failure.

To break free, you have to realise what it is that is keeping you bogged down and seek assistance if neccessary to get loosed from your addiction. However realisation does not come about accidentaly, you have to make a conscious and active decision to do something about those things you feel are not quite working in your life.

It is often hard for many people to look back at failure and attempt to critically analyse the steps that led to their downfall without trying to justify their actions.

But that is the most important thing, realise your mistakes and take corrective action, try not to dwell on the overall failure, but also give credit to your little victories realised in the venture.

This helps in keeping an open mind and boosts your moral and confidence to take on the next challenge that comes your way.

Relationships, Risk and Investment

If there is anything that I have ever learnt from farming is that risk is inevitable. There is no one fullproof method of investment or doing business that will give you a 100% success rate in the long or short run depending.

A farmer has to put a seed in the ground and at every stage of development there is a risk that there will be failure. At seed stage there is risk that the seed may fail to germinate, hence farmers sometimes plant seeds in pairs.

Not every seed will germinate in all the cases, but the farmer is not daunted by the failure of a single seed to germinate. Likewise in business, everything you put into it, is an investment.

Actually, in life everything we do is an investment, either we are investing in ourselves through education, in business through financial investment, in others through building relationships via communication, physical, verbal or mental.

We are always investing at every point, and in each investment that we make, you have to realise that there is a certain degree of risk that is involved. When investing in education, for example; computer programming, because it may be the “in” thing at the time a new software may just be developed that renders your vocation completely obsolete. So what used to be the big deal, suddenly isn’t so big anymore and suddenly the invested years become wasted years.

People invest in relationships all the time, human beings are gregorious beings. There is a need for co-dependancy, nobody exists in an island and personally, I feel that relationships are the biggest investment anybody can ever make. Relationships are the cement that hold the bricks of legacy together.

Relationships are the true essence of life, your relationship with God, your peers, your mentors, your wife/husband, your children and relatives, your business network and your casual acquintances.

These all vary in their degree of complexity and the level of feeding that has to be done in order to ensure that they survive. In gardening, there are certain plants that you can afford to leave for days or even weeks at times without watering and they still remain fit and healthy, but the moment you over do it by watering them daily they WILL die.

And then there are others that if you even miss a single day, all your investment in that plant is flushed down the agricultural drain.

In relationships the same thing applies, imagine giving the same amount of attention you give to your spouse, to… say, your boss or a person on one of your business networks. That would be highly inappropriate and inadverntly be disastrous.

Each relationship you have has to be monitored according to its own merits, but the important thing is to monitor it and give it the attention that is due to it.

Most people are very happy to invest in relationships and often do it without trying, its like breathing to them.

And with the advent of social networks like facebook, myspace, twitter etc keeping up to date with your business, social and spiritual networks has just become a little bit meshed together.

A close friend, a strict parent, a spouse, an employer and acquintances have been brought together at the click of a button away.

This has allowed for the creation or breakdown of relationships at the click of a button, but we will not go into that for now.

After spending so much time building relationships and investing on a daily basis, you would think that people would be readily open to financial investment.

Lecturer after lecturer,after teacher, after doctor, after professor may come preaching the gospel of being fruitfull through investment, I mean even Jesus taught of it for example in the parable of the talents, but when it comes to actual investment people are always hesitant or, “just dont have the time” to learn how.

If I ever learnt anything I learnt that a journey starts with a single step. It may not be a giant leap, but even a shy, small span step is still counted a step.