Blog Archives

Inspirational video

There are many lesson that can be drawn from this video.

I, as a student, sometimes, feel like the little man in the video as I study. This is what assignments, tests or studies in general tend to be in our educational journey.

Assignments, at times, tend to be ruthless, merciless attacking us from any possible angle. At times I feel helpless (like the little man as he tries to avoid his opponent) ….but hold on, I always strive to emerge victoriously.

However, the video ends happily as the little man emerged victoriously…. this is something which seemed impossible in the beginning… one of the commentators identified the tricks which would help the little men victoriously finish the contest.

This inspirational video helps one to mirror oneself in one’s studies, identifying all the obstacles and advantages within the particular situation. It does not end there as one would also have to look into the possible future challenges and opportunities. This helps one to be prepared all the time and maximise the chance whenever it presents itself.

The ultimate goal is to emerge victoriously – as a student, completing studies should come first as one would only enjoy full benefits attributed to after completion and later practical and gainful application of the knowledge learnt.

Advertisements

MID NINETIES LESSONS

About 20 years back (Grade 4, in 1995), I am reminded of my primary school days as a little boy at Manjolo Primary School (Binga). There are many lessons which I drew ranging from motivation; working together as a community; determination to achieve objectives and the priceless contribution made by others into our lives.

It is funny to recall how i began the long journey. My mum tricked me by indicating that i will be registered for Grade 1 if i take a bath (it was in Jan 1992) [Expectancy Theory applied in action]. I willingly took a bath and quickly went to bed; woke up early in the morning only to be told i was under age. I took that as a joke as i had to trick her back by crying non-stop till i get registered. The strategy helped me as it saved me – the registrar couldn’t help out as i even failed their entry test (raising one’s hand over the head, touching the shoulder). I was motivated to go to school as it was like that’s where all the other kids are at – nothing like pre-school was there in my village.

I never knew that going to school comes with a price of being early and life long learning starting with vowels; alphabetic letters; and own name. I was not shy to cry all the way to school every morning. Well, my sisters took turns daily, slowly running to school. Late or early, it didn’t make any difference. When left to walk on my own to school, i would clock even at 10am in class.

We used to go to school with plates in plastic bags and come lunch, we knew that our lunch will be freely provided (pap and beans, sometimes nutritious porridge or mahewu). As young kids, we were not shy to carry our plates around and pushing each other in the queue even making a second round. Villagers voluntarily took turns to cook at the school (Singwemu; Sikalenge; Damba; Chibondo; Manjolo; Keelameenda etc). Well, the efforts of our parents were sacrificial though we seemed to take it for granted. Honestly, I was motivated going to school every day though the six hours before lunch seemed to be like a full day.

Prize Giving ceremonies and sports competitions were conducted by the school which made no sense to me – they only translated as a day not to go to school. Not only because I never got any prize but because no one pumped sense into my head about them. I preferred to assist with cultivating in the garden or fields than going to watch others. Up to now, I have not been moved by this, I would rather read a short story than watching a movies (I translate it as helping others make money at the expense of my time).

I can say we had free education. Paying fees of Z$0.50 per term – at one time we had a two dollar note with two of my sisters and got back a Z$0.50 change. Books and pens were given freely. I am not sure if some would not call that free education.

I was motivated when my teacher would scribble a “Good” in any of the exercises – I measured success by the frequency of them in any exercise book (Grade 4). My favourite exercise book had been one with most “Good” remark comments. The most hectic thing was writing “Corrections” for any exercise. This meant that whatever you got wrong, have to be perfect this time around. The teacher seemed to be putting special attention when it comes to “Corrections” – we as learners observed that we were expected to master what we got wrong in the first place (not just copying from a colleague without a good understanding).

I have no words to describe our learning style. One day, as I was coming from the rest room, under a tree was a class with a frustrated lady teacher hitting students shouting “WHAT IS A VERB?” – From that moment, I had to master the definition of a verb. I slowed my pace until I heard her saying – “A VERB IS A DOING WORD” . . . . and she gave some examples.

Sometimes, we had afternoon classes till around 3pm. One day, our teacher taught us on how we should be prepared for uncertainty in life (that’s my own conclusion). Our Mathematics topic was “Multiplication” – a learner was expected to recall the multiples of any numbers from 1 to 12 (luckily, our exercise books had those tables at the back). So it went like this: the teacher set a condition that EVERY learner should recall multiples of any number from 1 to 12, however, the teacher randomly picks one. That was a FAIR play but not easy for every learner. Well, I had no strategy for tackling the challenge. I unfortunately had to master everything. When the student gets ready, they raise a hand and then everyone listens to them. It was one of those days when we went home individually (instead of walking as a group) as everyone could n’t wait longer for the stuck colleagues.

After recalling this, I now understand how privileged we were, not necessarily comparing with others. But, above all, we face many challenges which leverage our forward movement though we take them for granted at times. It takes no cost to to appreciate such positive contributions.

I wonder what a current Grade 4 student at the same school would recall in 20 years time (2035). Surely, that would be a different story.

Continuous Learning

MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE

Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportional to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I recall that piece of knowledge and use it better.

Mark Van Doren (Columbia University)

With the above quote, I hope you will be energised to strive to master at least one concept every time when you study, be it five minutes or less. Learning is a lifetime investment that cannot be taken away from you.

Enjoy the day!!!

Supreme Educators – 2014

Many thanks to “Supreme Educators blog viewers” from South Africa, United States and Philippines for ranking first to the third respectively. I am glad that you found meaning on what i write on. Also, not forgetting the other 60 countries not mentioned.

Click here to see the post which received most views in 2014 – “Becoming a millionaire while others are sleeping – 8 hour versus 5 hour sleep

Service Excellence

What an inspiring scene in the morning at Golden Arrow buses – Cape Town station. After the driver reached his final station, a group of passengers (about 6 – 10 women) requested the driver to step out as they queued and hugged him one by one.

It was a challenge for me as I learnt many lessons in terms of, perhaps, good service rendered by the driver; good relationship between workers and clients; and or milestone achieved. With such relationships, a company is destined for long-term success.

As I took a second thought on it, I was someone tempted to think that this might be a daily thing. The driver is an asset to Golden Arrow bus company.

It is essential to play the role of such a ‘driver’ in whatever business you are working for or anything you are doing.

Work like you are building an empire – long-term relationships pays for the sustainability of the company.

Graduation-Birthday Celebration

I never thought I will do such a thing – postponement of a birthday celebration indefinitely!!! Yes, this was me (Lucky), this year. My birth date for this year (2014) was at a time when I had about seven if not eight formative assessments within a week – tests, individual & group assignments and a group presentation. Postponement from 7 May 2014 to 19 September 2014. This makes it one of those unique days.

Today, I celebrate my third graduation in conjunction with my birthday – a special one. It is a special one in many ways: graduating on a program which I always wanted (Business Administration) and the pressure exerted by the program to the extent that I had to postpone my birthday celebration indefinitely.

As I grew up, it was clear to me that I will not attain a degree let alone completing any educational certificate besides a Grade 7 which seemed to be a compulsory, I never knew of his plan. By his grace, I am celebrating for my degree – glory to him. Attaining a qualification is regarded as an investment – expensive but with no guarantee for ‘returns on investment’.

First graduation – National Certificate (2008); second – Diploma (2012); and third – Degree (today, 19 September 2014). Basing on this, I now extrapolate my next higher graduation to be before December 2017.

This becomes the day I am reminded of the challenges I went throughout in life and more specifically during my studies such as spending sleepless nights; studying on boring content at times; social life forgone; financial sacrifices.

Yes, it was worth it. Now I understand, it is possible, I am up for the next challenge – the next level.

Want to watch the online celebration, here is the link for the live event from 10 am: http://www.cput.ac.za/live

Robin Sharma

THE 51 WAYS ORDINARY PEOPLE REACHED WORLD-CLASS by Robin Sharma
1. Know what you want. Clarity is power. And vague goals promote vague results.
2. Remember that every problem has a solution. Maybe you just can’t see it. Yet. 
3. In this Age of Dramatic Distraction, the performer who focuses the best wins the most. 
4. Before someone will help you, you need to help them. 
5. Become the most passionate person you know. It’ll be contagious. 
6. Know more about your craft/the work you do than anyone who has ever done the work you do…in the history of the world. 
7. Join The 5 am Club. Your most valuable hours are 5am-8 am. 
8. They have the least interruptions. Devote yourself to learning something new about your field of mastery every day. Success belongs to the relentless learners. Because as you know more, you can achieve more. 
9. Remember that when you transform your fitness, you’ll transform your business. 
10. Don’t check your mobile when you’re meeting with another person. It’s rude. And rude people don’t reach world-class. 
11. Every time you do what scares you, you take back the power that you gave to the thing that scared you. And so you become more powerful. 
12. A problem is only a problem if you make the choice to see it as a problem. 
13. Stop being a victim. Your business and personal life was made by you. No one else is responsible. To make it better, make better choices. And new decisions. 
14. You can lead without a title. Don’t wait to get a position to stand for excellence, peak quality and overdelivery on every expectation. 
15. Find your own style. Be an original. Every superstar differentiated themselves from The Herd. And marched to their own drumbeat. 
16. Understand that when you play small with your success, you betray your potential. And the birthright you were born under. 
17. Eat less food and you’ll get more done. 
18. As you become more successful, stay really really hungry. Nothing fails like success. Because when you’re successful, it’s easy to stop outlearning+outOverDelivering+outthinking and outexecuting everyone around you. (Success is Beautiful. And dangerous). 
19. If you’re not overprepared, you’re underprepared. 
20. The only level of great manners to play at is “Exceedingly Polite”. In our world, this alone will make you a standout. And differentiate you in your marketplace. 
21. Remember that the moment you think you’re a Master, you lose your Mastery. And the minute you think you know everything, you know nothing.
22. To double your results, double your level of execution. 
23. Invest in your personal and professional development. All superstars do. 
24. Get this year’s best Targets of Opportunity down onto a 1 Page Plan. Then review it every morning while the rest of the world sleeps. 
25. You don’t get lucky. You create lucky. 
26. When you push through a difficult project, you don’t get to the other side. You reach The Next Level. 
27. Smile. And remember to inform your face. 
28. Spend time in solitude every day. Your best ideas live there. 
29. Debrief on how you lived out your day every night in a journal. This will not only record your personal history, it will make you uber-clear on what you’re doing right and what needs to be improved. 
30. If you’re not being criticized a lot, you’re not doing very much. Ridicule is the price of ambition. 
31. Develop a monomaniacal focus on just a few things. 
32. The secret to productivity is simplicity. To get the results very few people have, be strong enough to do what very few people are willing to do. 
33. Rest. Recover. It’ll make you stronger. 
34. Buy a smaller TV and build a larger library. 
35. Remember that the bigger the goal, the stronger a person you must become to achieve that goal. So goal-achieving is a superb practice for character-building. Food fuels your body. Learning feeds your mind. 
36. Don’t ask for respect. Earn it. Finish what you start. And always end strong. 
37. Breathe. 
38. In business, don’t play to survive. Play to win. 
39. Protect your good name. It’s your best asset. Remember that words have power. 
40. Use the language of leadership versus the vocabulary of a victim. 
41. Give more than you take. The marketplace rewards generosity. 
42. Know that if it’s not messy, you’re not making progress. 
43. Be a hero to a kid. 
44. In business, aim for iconic. 
45. Go for legendary. 
46. Make history by how awesome you are at what you do. 
47. Please don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many many people are simply busy being busy. 
48. Your doubts are liars. Your fears are traitors. Stop buying the goods they are attempting to sell you. 
49. The best anti-aging remedy in the world is working really hard. 
50. World-Class performers have no plan B. Failure just isn’t an option. 
51. You have the power to change the world–one brave act and one person at a time.

Lesson From Soccer

I am not a soccer fan though I have picked something to learn from the player-teamwork exhibited throughout every match. I have read on various awards won by different players such including goalkeepers but have not read about celebrations with their team players and opponents (awards). Music is another area which can be used as a point of reference as well product manufacturing companies. These are a few point of reference that resembles high level of teamwork needed which I believe celebrations should done considering other players.

I have to admit that I have no idea on how they embrace their success. I, however, wonder if the award winners remember their fellow players when they spend the money (when the award is in the form of money). I understand though that the goal celebration as well the overall match win is mutually celebrated. Examples of activities involving teamwork includes goal scoring in soccer match. Sometimes, more than five players would be directly linked to a goal for instance yet only the goal scorer receives much praise forgetting that one could not have achieved it individually.

Secondly, some instances are common when a goalkeeper wins an award. Do they appreciate their opponents for making them strong? I am of the opinion that such a person would have not to forget the efforts exerted by the opponent as the award would not have been achieved without the troubling efforts by opponents (other soccer team).

LESSON 1: We should, at times acknowledge and celebrate our success with concerned individuals in other words, those who contributes meaningfully towards it.

LESSON 2: We become champions as a result of the challenges which come along our way. Therefore, we should be glad to experience challenges; they help us to become sharper as well prepares us for the worst unfortunate incidents. Our abilities are sometimes correlated to our experiences – challenges, in this context are a blessing in disguise. Someone once said, “I consume challenges as my breakfast’.

Limiting Performance

It is so painful to learn that the outcome of a specific activity is bound to limit an individual in future and perhaps for the rest of one’s life. I was compelled to write this after a conversation which I had with a student who aimed to attain a mere passing mark for a degree qualification. My comment was: “. . . it is unfortunate that getting a mere passing mark such as an average of 50% affects one for the rest of one’s life such as progression and competition on the job market to some extent. . .”

For a significant percentage of learners, career planning seems not to be taken care of. Talking from experience, I had conversations with various learners for the past four years and I have noted that some are offered study courses which were not their first choices.

This is a dilemma in which affected individuals have limited choice on whether to accept the offer or reject. There are various reasons behind and I will limit this article to what I have learnt from the conversations:

With some learners, there is little or no relationship on their natural abilities and the courses they are studying.

Some learners make application into courses they wish to take a career yet their background academic performance would be against such an option. This is so in that tertiary institutions have some guidelines such as minimum requirements to enrol a particular learner into a course.

Interestingly, Fraiser and Killen (2003) emphasises that institutions should enrol students on the probability that the particular learners will successfully complete the course. However, this seems to be actual situation on the ground. This could have been influenced by the various FET Colleges (in the case of South Africa) or private institutions in other countries.

Private institutions seem to be competing for getting clients. It is painful in that at the end we witness learners who are enrolled for qualifications they are literally challenged. With such misconduct, I would casually insist that we should not be shocked by the low through put or success rate. This has many implications not only to learners, but to the education system and the economy as well.

On learner, stress would be the order of the learning process is the learner is not a fast learner. Educationally, the increased failure rate continues to make headlines in newspapers and economically, learners spend more money in repeating courses.

The money could have been invested in other economic activities. Students lose time through repeating courses and such precious time could be spent on earning income if the learner had completed within minimal time.

Key Issue

Despite the presence of a myriad of issues that influence the success of learners, an internal locus of control is vital for learners to challenge the status quo and make positive performance outcomes which will leverage their possible future initiatives. One has to accept that a positive outcomes starts from within, action is needed when there is still time.

Past does measure future?

Past is not equals to future

Many times, we as human beings are tempted to use statistics to make or project future performance. This is not only common in the society but even at tertiary institutions as well. This is why we see courses such as economics, sociology, and data analysis software to mention a few that are being studied and developed to improve an understanding of where we are heading towards basing on what we experienced in the past. This should be challenged in some cases despite that this, to some extent, lead to useful outcomes.

This came into my mind after being invited to join the Golden Key International Honours Society which is a prestigious society to be a member of. A brief description of their selection criteria: ONLY top performing graduates i.e. top 15% are selected from participating institution across the globe are invited to join the elite members. This was after graduating with a Cum Laude in Diploma in Entrepreneurship (2012) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa. As a natural analytically individual, a few thoughts ran into my mind with most pressing one being a reflection of my academic performance in the past. Golden Key is an internationally recognised honour society that is affiliated with universities in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Bahamas and the United States. Each year 15% of the top university students from all disciplines are invited to join the society.

Making projections based on the past information has never worked for me. I have tried to apply this in my life and I have learnt that it does not apply. I will mention a few examples:

1)    Being born in a poor family would mean I would die poor;

2)    Being born in a non Christian family would mean I will die in as a non Christian;

3)    Being born as a below-average-student would mean I will die as a below-average-student.

There are many examples but I will stick only to these three.

I, however, acknowledge that there might be a fierce and lengthy discussion on this but I will ensure that I stick to my above points. Despite the three examples mentioned above, I am certain that I shall not die poor; I am a Christian and I am an above-average-student.

During the course of the year, I was reminded of the innovative skills which I had as primary kid – during my grade 1 in 1992, I took number 71 out of 111 and was tempted to play with numbers with two options (1) to swap numbers and become number 17 or (2) to rub off 1 and become number 7. Rubbing off a 7 was going to be seen as an obvious fowl play by my parents as there was no way I could get number 1 with all red %ages. I am sure I made use of option 1 which seems to justify my performance.

As I was studying for my Btech in Business Administration degree (BBA), there was a point when it seemed to be tough to keep on going as a group as groups needs wisdom to effectively manage. I was tempted to jokingly say ‘I will remove a “B” from BBA and replace it with an “M” to become a holder of an MBA’. This was interesting as it linked to what I once did 21 years back. Unfortunate that it can not be done the ‘primary-kid-style’.

After all this, I came to realise that despite whatever happened in the past, I am not defined in that particular context, I have an undefined outcome to be discovered.