Bitter Salad

Attitude and Health

Imagine yourself in your favorite restaurant taking a look at the menu and when your waiter shows up to take your order, your response is, ‘I would like to order fries, beef burger and a cold soda. However, I would like you to bring chicken strip salad, and black lemon tea by mistake. That’s what most people would want to do, but truth be told we are living in the universe surrounded by a bunch of unhealthy people who are either not interested with their health or are not able to pay the price of being healthy.

In life victory goes to those who make a 100% commitment to the outcome, to those who have a “no matter what it takes” attitude. They give it their all; they put everything they have into having desired results whether it be a good job, a big sale or a perfect dinner. What a simple concept this is yet you’d be surprised how many people wake up everyday and fight with themselves over whether or not to keep their commitment, stick to their disciplines, or carry out their action plan.

The “NO-EXCEPTION RULE”

Successful people adhere to the “no exception rule” when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal, nonnegotiable, case closed! If you make a commitment to eating healthy, that’s it, you never have to think about it again. There are no exceptions no matter what the circumstances, it ends the discussion, closes that door, permits no other possibility.

You don’t have to wrestle with that decision every day, its really been made, the die has been cast. All the bridges are burned, it makes life easier and simpler and keeps you focused. It frees up tons of energy you would have spent internally debating the topic over and over again. All the energy you expand on internal conflict is unavailable for use in other achievement.

If you make a commitment to eat healthy, drink enough water and exercise everyday no matter what, its settled. You simply just do it, it doesn’t matter if its raining, if you are travelling, if your schedule is tight, or if you simply don’t feel like it you just do it.  Its like brushing your teeth before going to bed, you always do it, no matter what. If you find yourself in bed and you have forgotten, you simply get out of bed and brush them. It doesn’t matter how tired you are or how late it is.

Whatever your goal is, you can achieve it if you change your habit. Putting 100% commitment to the daily disciplines will get you there. Just think how better your life and the whole world would work if you were commitment to keeping yourself healthy, eating healthy, exercising, drinking 10 glasses of water every day and taking time to relax you mind, rejuvenate and keep your body at its optimum. If you have made a commitment to allow yourself a bowl of ice cream only once a month, when there is a full moon, just look up for it, and don’t allow yourself to break your commitment, however small.

Thick Face Black Heart

Thick Face Black Heart – Chi-Ning-Chu

In a Nutshell:- Reclaim the killer instinct as a natural part of who you are.

In 1949, as Mao’s communist army closed in on shahngai, a family boarded what was to be that last commercial fright out of china. Chi-Ning-Chu only three years old had been born into a world of affluence but when chi and her family landed in Taiwan, they will have to start all over again. In her early twenties she moved again this time to the United States, two books accompanied her, the famous Art of war and Thick Black Theory. There was something in this later book that Chu knew was important, published in 1911, she describes it as a frank discussion of the use of ruthlessness and hypocrisy that was such a challenge to the powerful and it was quickly banned. The book would become an important source of Chu’s unique philosophy of life and business expressed in Thick Face Black Heart, the Asian path to thriving, winning and succeeding.

Thick Face

Chu simply combines the Asian concept of face, that is saving face, and the western concept of a thick skin to make thick face, meaning a self-image that allows us to brush of criticism she observes that if you are willing to have people not like you, you will go far. Chu notes that the world has a tendency to accept our own judgment of ourselves. If you exude, self-confidence people would naturally want to let you succeed. Self-doubt creates a perception of incompetence the example given is for colonel Oliver North and the Iran-Contra Affair, because he never doubted his actions were those of a patriot not a criminal, the public and the court eventually believed him. A man less convinced of his own righteousness would have been severely punished for his crimes and ostracize by the public. What you believe about yourself, the world will believe about you.

Black Heart

While the concept of think face relates to how others see you, the idea of black heart is about achieving your ends. The black hearted person may seem as if they luck compassion, however compassion can be short sighted. If a boss cannot bring himself to make a few employees redundant, he may witness the collapse of the whole business, sometimes to keep your goal and achieve the result that is better overall, you have to be perceived as bad. Appreciate that everyone has a killer instinct, and sometimes we must draw on it. There is a direct correlation between willingness to use your killer instinct and your success in life. There degrees of think face black heartedness, some will do anything to achieve a result not caring about the effect on other. This is the black heart of conmen and the wicked who eventually understand that most of their fair years are due to their character defects. The higher level of black heartedness is reached when you are not driven by your shortcomings and emotions taking action that is driven by your true spirit.

Contrary to common understanding, a good mans action are not always gentle they may be ruthless, cold and dispassionate, the best surgeons are those who concentrate on the tusk ahead, minimizing pain for the patient. They are cruel to be kind; this is the way of the warrior.

Darkness and light

Acknowledge that human beings are a combination of darkness and light the universe is full of opposites recurring another to exist. To have the necessary drive to live life to the full you must appreciate and utilize all aspect of your character if you like to present yourself as sugar courted you may lose out on any opportunity that may require you to seem sewer or hardened. If you are naturally negative, thinker make the most of it and do not try to adopt false positivity, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you must change yourself before you will have success, you can succeed just the way you are. The problem with virtues that it can lead to stern or even violent righteousness. If someone considers themselves virtue less, they lay ground for a witch hunt for people they consider to be lucking virtue. The thick face black heart practitioner knows that virtue is a contrast, what matters is whether a person has the courage to express their full personality in their life and their work.

Deception without Deceit

In the west people have drummed in them the concept of good and evil, black and white but the reality which most Asian people accept is that there are shades of gray. You need to learn that you can be good and the art of deception without being deceitful. You must also appreciate that sometimes to achieve something great and worthy it’s difficult not to bring an element of deception in your actions. The book highlights Abraham Lincoln, who in his slow ascend to power followed the majorities opinion about segregation and slavery. He knew that if he hadn’t he wouldn’t have gained power, however with the solid electoral victory behind him he made the famous Gettysburg Address proclaiming ‘all man are created equal’

Dharma

The word comes from scent script and mean to support, uphold and nourish it is the natural law that makes the world hung together in its divine coherence. At a personal level, Dharma is the duty that is yours to fulfill in your lifetime, you cannot be a soldiers and refuse to fight, you cannot be a doctor and refuse to operate, if you are a writer you can’t work in a bank. Once you commit yourself to your duty, the universe has a way of protecting you and freeing you from other worries. E-dharma is going against your purpose in life, which only gives you and world misery. Chu looks at the former leaders of Philippine and Pakistan, Corazon Aquino, and Benazir Bhutto, Aquino adopted the patricidal style of her husband, Bhutto the hard line style of her father, neither approach was right for the time in which they governed and both women altimetry failed. They didn’t create their own political style, forgetting the Dharmaic lesson to be yourself.

Yielding

To survive and thrive, Chu says, amid the caning and the ruthless you have to acquire the ability to Yield, a thick face black  heart would not always hit back if struck, they may just accept the blow if it means by appearing to yield it would help them to achieve their end. Gandhi’s powerful none violence is a good example. In the Asian world Chu says, heroes aren’t judged for their powers in hunting, and shooting tigers but rather for their strength and ability to endure the humiliation of being pigs. Ditch Pride and Preciousness if you want to succeed.

Wealth

The Chinese character for wealth is composed of two symbols, a sea shell an Asian symbol of trade, and a symbol that literary translated means brilliance but implies the uniqueness that each of us have in terms of a talent and ability. Wealth therefore comes from selling what is unique about you in terms of a product or just you as a person. Although money itself is a mystery whatever best expresses your brilliance will inevitably lead you to wealth it will free you from poverty and give you a mindset that attracts abundance.

Decide What You Want.

Self Evident
Inside of everyone of us is that tiny seed of the “you” that you were meant to become. Unfortunately, you may have buried this seed in response to your parents, teachers, coaches, and other adult role models as you were growing up.

Things that get in the way of what you want.

You started out as a baby knowing exactly what you wanted, you knew when you are hungry, you spit out the foods you didn’t like and avidly devoured the ones you did. You had no trouble expressing your needs and wants. You simply cried loudly with inhibitions or holding back until you get fed, changed, held, and rocked. As you get older, you crawled around and moved towards whatever held the most interest for you. You were clear about what you wanted, and you headed straight towards it with no fear.

Then somewhere along the way some one said, Don’t touch that, eat everything on your plate whether you like it or not, stop crying, don’t be such a baby, you should be ashamed of yourself. After many years of those kinds of sanctions, most of us eventually lost touch with the need of our bodies and the desires of our hearts and somehow got stuck trying to figure out what other people wanted us to do. We learned how to act and how to be to get their approval. As a result, we now do a lot of things we don’t want to do but that please a lot of other people.

We go to medical school because dad said so, we get married to please our mother, we get real jobs instead of pursuing our dream career in arts. In the name of being sensible, we end up becoming numb to our own desires, its no wonder that when we ask many teenagers what they want do or to be they honestly answer, “I don’t know” There are too many layers of “should’s” pilled on top of and suffocating what you really want.

Stop settling for less than you want

The only way to reclaim yourself and your true desires and get back to what you really want with no fear, shame, or inhibition and get connected to your real passion is by honoring your preferences in every situation no matter how small or large. Don’t think of them as petty, they might be inconsequential to someone else, but they are not to you.

Stop settling for less than you want, if you are going to reown your power and get what you really want out of life you will have to stop saying, “I don’t know; I don’t care; it doesn’t matter to me” or the current favorite of teenagers, “whatever.” When you are confronted with a choice, no matter how small or significant, act as if you have a preference.

Ask yourself, if I did know, what would it be? If I did care, which would I prefer? If it did matter, what would I rather do? Not being clear about what you want and making other people’s needs and desires more important than your own is simply a habit. You can break it by practicing the opposite habit.

Ragged Dick

Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks

At a time when central park was still a rough track of land lined with workers hats, there was a boot black known as Ragged Dick. With his mother dead and his father gone to sea, Dick spends his day shinning shoes for businessman, his evenings, if he has some spare coins watching cheap plays at the Old Bellary Theatre and his nights in doorways, rapped up in newspapers, if he is flash he will stay at the News Boys Lodging House for 6 cents a night and buy a meal at a café.

After an unexpected windfall Dick rents a squalid room that to him seems impossibly luxurious, in return for tutelage, he lets another boy the ones well cared for well-read Hendry Falls Dick shares his room. This two person’s self-improvement society is perfect for both; Dick gets an education and Falls Dick a place out of the cold. Though they must live through a series of adventures, the boys find a way to succeed. Dick’s delights in a few things, like a new suite of clothes, opening a bank account and eating a piece of steak. Dick is very likable, he has pluck and whet to balance his ernest strivings to be spectable and despite firsthand experience of the best roads and swindlers the city has to offer, he is a perennial optimist.

Make your own luck

Dick’s big break comes on a ferry crossing into Brooklyn, he sees a child fall over the side into the water and wastes no time before jumping in somehow managing to pull the child to safety, the panicked father who could not swim is amazed to have his child alive and promises Dick and reward. Later the man offers Dick a job in a counting house at 10 dollars a week, many times his current earnings, a great stroke of luck? Not really, for Dick’s selflessness was the cause for this good fortune, and his diligence in self-education every night meant that he could be hired without the slightest weft of charity. Luck happens to those who greatly increase the chances of its occurrence.

Whatever you do, do it to your outmost

Life seems to require that even if we do not seem to like what we are doing, we must do it to the best of our ability before we can move on to the next thing, Raged Dick is only a boot black but he uses his profession to save money, meet a higher class of people and generally better himself.

Become a reader

Dick meets the son of a wealthy man and shows him around the city for a day, later the boy’s father tells Dick that in this country poverty is no bar to achievement and relates to his own rise from an apprentice printer to successful businessman. He note that there was one thing he took away from the printing office which I value more than money, when Dick asks what it was, the man replies, a taste for reading and study, during my leisure hours I improved myself by study, and acquired the large part of knowledge which I now possess. Indeed it was one of my books that first put me on the track of the invention, which I afterwards made, so you see my Lord that my studious habits paid me in money and as well as in another way.

Be a saver but be generous

When Dick receives unexpected sum of 5 dollars, he opens a bank account. The amount that builds gives him a great source of security and pride, as he no longer has to live hand to mouth, while delighted that he is now a capitalist, he is quick to help a friend in need, Falls Dick the boy with whom he shares his lodging wants to get an office job, instead of shining shoes, so Dick purchases’ a suite of proper clothes for him. On another occasion, he helps a friend whose mother is ill.

Never cheat steal or lie

Though temptation to do otherwise are often great, Dick has a personal code that stealing is mean, his sense of honor and fair play which appears naïve to some type finally proves to be the source of his success. For someone who lives from day to day his believe in doing right is remarkably far sited. The character Mr. Whitney tells Dick that remember your future depends upon yourself and that it will be high or low as you choose to make it. Honesty which seems old fashion to the first crowd is the basis of all enduring success, since it brings with it knowledge of the self.

Don’t drink or smoke

Long before a medical evidence of its harm was available, Alger was calling smoking a filthy habit that gave no dignity to the smoker drinking off course was even worse, it was the enemy of frugality because you could blow your weeks savings in a night on the grog and the enemy of industry because the inevitable hangovers affected your working day. The temperance movement seems okayed today but scores of life would be better without even a moderate intake of alcohol, it sacked dried, pickled the independent mind and eroded good character.

Tongue Control

Conversation Peace
The Bible compares the tongue to a rudder of a ship and to a bit in the mouth of a horse. Though relatively small, all three of those, the rudder, the bit and the tongue have tremendous power. A rudder turns a ship, a bit turns a horse and our tongue turns our lives in the direction we will go. Your tongue can take you into calm or troubled waters. It can make or break your relationship. Emily Dickinson says, “A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begin to live that day.”

The tongue is our principle steering mechanism; God wants to take you to all sorts of fascinating places. However, in order to reach these destinations, you will need to put your hand to the wheel to take control of your steering mechanism – your tongue. Have you discovered that whether you sail into calm or troubled waters depends great deal on the words that come out of your mouth? The tongue is the rudder that determines the destination of your ship.

In verse 6, James compares the tongue to a spark of fire that burns down an entire forest. According to James, the tongue sets the whole course of a person’s life on fire. The Greek word for “whole course” is trochos, which means “genesis” or the beginning. By using this word, James implies that the tongue is the hub – the beginning of the whole round of human life and activity. “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire……It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire.” James 3:5-6

Imagine that the outer rim of the wheel represents all your life circumstances and all the activities you are involved in. The spoke of the wheel represent your relationships – family members, friends coworkers, or neighbors. According to James, the tongue is like the hub at the centre. His point is that our tongues play a central, hublike role in our lives. He wants us to recognize that a small spark of evil on our tongue has the capacity to destroy all of our relationships and even our whole lives.

If the hub of the wheel is on fire, the fire can quickly burn in all directions down the spokes to the rim of the wheel. From the burning hub, the whole wheel can be engulfed in flames.

Words are powerful, cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them. Words can heal, soothing with balm, or cripple, drawing blood like a dagger. They make or break relationships, build up or tear down, bring peace or conflicts, determine the destiny of individuals, families and Nation. That two-ounce muscle between our teeth is more powerful that any other muscle in your body, that’s why its so important to control.

Free and untamed, our words can cause lots of damage. According to James, godliness involves bridling the free, uninhibited nature of the tongue and actively controlling the direction of our speech so that it becomes productive instead of destructive. To harness the power of navigation, we need to put our hand to the ruins, take control of our words, and steer them in a positive direction.

Fortitudine Vincimus – By Endurance we Conqueror

Shackleton’s way

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. —Ernest 

The Story

The Endurance sails for Buenos Aires then South Georgia and into Antarctic Circle, plowing into 1000 miles of ice stream water towards its goal of a base camp on the Antarctic continent, which the men will still have to track. Everything was going great until within a day sail of land the endurance was caught in ice like an airman in a chocolate bar and refused to barge.

The free wind and strong current gradually dragged the ship north for 10 months, just as it seems the ice was loosening up, the floor caught the ship in a vike like squeeze. The endurance was damaged and the men were forced to camp on ice. Three weeks later they watched in horror as the shattered remains of the ship sank to the bottom of Weddel Sea.

They would now spend months on frozen sheets, which threatened to crack open at a moment’s notice. All of this happened 1000 miles from any civilization and they were without any form of contact. Not least of shackleton’s many challenges were boredom and isolation, if they happen to survive surely they would go mad. After months of the shifting pack of the Weddel Sea using up their rations the men realized they would have to move closer to land and the attraction of other ships if they were going to live.

Throwing gold coins, books and expensive equipments into the ice, they set off, dragging 3 small life boats across the ice fields making a series of camps. The time came when they knew they had to make a break for an inhabited storm swept elephant island, which they managed to do.

It was a miserable place and they knew their supply of food would quickly run out so shackleton and a small party in a leaky wooden life boat named the James Caird made 800 miles 17 days dash over cold temperature sea to reach South Georgia where they knew there was a whaling station.

This trip including a giant wave and a hurricane is now considered one of the epic boat journeys, but even then, the ordeal was not over, the men had landed on the wrong side of the island and faced a freezing track across mountains and glaciers to finally find the station.

The six men landed on an uninhabited part of the island, however, so their last hope was to cross 26 miles of mountains and glaciers, considered impassable, to reach the whaling station on the other side. Starved, frostbitten and wearing rags, Shackleton and two others made the trek and, in August 1916, 21 months after the initial departure of the Endurance, Shackleton himself returned to rescue the men on Elephant Island. Although they’d withstood the most incredible hardship and privation, not one member of the 28-man crew was lost.

“There was only 18 skin [sleeping] bags & we cast lots for them,” wrote ship’s carpenter Chippy McNeish. “I was lucky for the first time in my life for I drew one.”
“There was some crooked work in the drawing,” able seaman Bakewell wrote, “as Sir Ernest, Mr. Wild…Captain Worsley and some of the other officers all drew wool [sleeping] bags. The fine warm fur bags all went to the men under them.”

 

In addition, in an attempt to help his crew get over the trauma of abandoning theEndurance, Shackleton literally served his men: Rising early in the morning, he made hot milk and hand-delivered it to every tent in the camp.

Shackleton’s Leadership Role

During the brutal, seven-day lifeboat journey to Elephant Island, Shackleton literally stood tall, boosting the morale of his suffering men by standing at the tiller, hour after hour. Later, during the 17-day sail to South Georgia Island, Shackleton monitored the health of his five companions constantly. Captain Frank Worsley later wrote, “Whenever Shackleton notices that a man seems extra cold and shivering, he immediately orders another hot drink served to all.” Worsley explained that Shackleton was careful not to single out the man suffering the most, for he would not want to frighten him about his condition.

In the face of changing circumstances and constant danger, Shackleton remained positive and decisive, which buoyed his crew. Further, throughout the 22-month Enduranceexpedition, Shackleton was able to bring the best in each of his men.

Each crew member contributed to the team’s survival, from Captain Frank Worsley, whose exceptional navigation guided the men to both Elephant and South Georgia Islands; to carpenter Chippy McNeish, who reinforced the lifeboats; to cook Charles Green, who created meals day after day with limited resources; to Alexander Macklin and James McIlroy, the two doctors, who saved steward Perce Blackborow from gangrene resulting from frostbite; to second-in-command Frank Wild, who served as leader of the 21 men on Elephant Island after the departure of Shackleton and companions for South Georgia.

THE RULE OF 10

Am driving on Sunday afternoon, it is a beautiful day, onboard are my two cousins (ladies) and a couple of kids filling the back seat, we are enjoying some of my favorite music on one of the FM stations until a topic about the elections creates an interruption. One of my passengers tells of an event that took place in their office, which is housed at the UN complex, their director taking time out of his busy day to talk to them about the coming general elections and the difference it might make.

What are the possibilities of having free, fair and peaceful elections in Kenya, the coming general elections? That was the question. In an office filled with many middle class souls, and a few P4s well paid expatriates, they had all figured out. The elections better be peaceful for several reasons, among them, the country needs to be stable to make the jobs stable, the jobs need to be stable to make the finances stable, i.e. bank accounts, mortgages, stocks at the NSE, real estate development,  which needs to be stable to make their lives stable. In the quest to achieve this ends, the decision of who to elect cannot be divorced from the fact that we have to elect people on the principles they stand for in this case the leading one being the rule of law and implementation of the new constitutional.

The bill of rights in chapter four,  article (21) from which I derive strength in writing this article elaborates on the implementation of the freedom that come there after including the  three freedoms, namely of the media, expression and to access information which make it possible for you to read this article. This new constitution, facing challenges on its road to full implementation is the document that  will secure our future and the future of many generations to come.

However, it’s being fought by a few greedy individuals, who want to manipulate it for their personal gains. Its life is being threatened. If the elections came today, this country would need voters to take time and make a decision that will move this country forward, electing a leaders with good morals and integrity, who will not use his chance in office benefiting him or herself, and most importantly who will have the courage to implement this constitution to the last article.

Practice the rule of 10

One of the things that came up in our talk was the youth, and their vote playing the ‘swing’ in this general election. There has been a campaign for the youth to take leadership of this country but a few members of parliament who fall into this bracket have been a disgrace to the fellow youth. They have abused this constitution, displayed uncouth behaviors and not championed youth issues in the August house. Despite all that, they have used the same youth to accomplish their evil deeds.

Its about time the youths took charge to save this county with our swing vote, and to do this we have to visualize the strides this country would make if we elected leaders on the basis of what they believe in and not on tribal lines. ‘The rule of 10’, is simple. If every day as a youth I could talk to 10 young people who will in turn talk to 10 people each, we will multiply to 100 young speople within two days.

The magic of compound interest will help us in doing this, in that if every young Kenyan would talk to 10 youths, consistently, whether face to face, by telephone, on social media or through music, educating them on the importance of using their swing vote wisely, by the time we get to the elections, we will have all our swing votes in the right box.

The youth need to know that the rich and the middle class have their interests at heart, they know how to vote, and since it is us who will be deciding who gets to the ‘soon to be vacant’ house on the hill, it’s our turn to swig our vote to action and we can only do that by practicing the rule of 10.