Archive for April, 2011


I was sitting outside trying to get some sun, but the weather in my part of the world wouldn’t allow too much of that unfortunately. What I did  get however, was well worth the frantic hunt for batteries, the furious settings management of a digital camera, and the statue-like stillness required for the shot.

The image I took is one that paints a picture of what this season of Easter is all about. Whatever your belief system, the story behind Easter is a powerful reminder that out of death can come life, and that hope can be found in the darkest moments! It’s a powerful and all-embracing story…

Whatever dark clouds you may face, just know now that dark clouds always part, and that once they do, rays of life come shining through! So much so that even the objects in your way can’t hide them!

Be AmazeD

Forget the Silver Lining!!

Over.


In keeping with my last post about Getting Things Done, I’ve decided I’ll put up pictures that I’ve taken once in a while.

If you have read my earlier posts, you will know I focus on choosing a positive outlook on life. It happens to be something I also do physically it seems, as I’m always looking UP for inspiration.

These are sights and signs of the world around me…and obviously you too.

Be Encouraged. Be AmazeD.

N.B. Those of you using phones, please note that some of you won’t be able to view these pictures. I urge you to view via a computer when you see posts beginning with ‘AmazeD’.

Over.

What a sky can give you if you watch.


It has been an issue for most people including myself, to get things done as and when they should. This is bad enough when you have a deadline, but becomes a nightmare when it’s something you can do “in your own time”. Activities ranging from writing a blog (!!!) to going to the gym, all fall under the latter category that is so hard to deal with.

It takes some pretty serious character and resolve to beat the procrastination bug, and many of us sometimes struggle to find that resolve. Is it fear? Maybe it’s a deep-seated sense of pain coming from childhood? Well, it could be either of those, but I find in my case, it’s usually the third option: LAZINESS!

Hey wait, I didn’t say YOUR name. I’m not even looking at you! I’m just sharing a moment of vulnerability here. This isn’t just to say you (or me..for your sake) are like this in every area of your life. Sometimes however we are trained to prioritize everything except ourselves. We can pay the bills, we can go to work, we can finish that assignment…but taking the walk I said I needed to ages ago, just never seems to happen.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty good at distracting myself FROM myself! Read that line again and see if maybe I could’ve been looking at you. I’m not even sure where that started, but it’s happening.

What are you distracting yourself from doing, that could really benefit you personally, even if it’s in a selfish way? Is there a book you should be reading? A person you need to speak to? A situation you need to confront? Whichever it is, you have to resolve to GET IT DONE!

Don’t live your life having done everything except everything THAT MATTERED!
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have more fun with my camera. I bought it to document scenery I love, so I should JUST take those shots.

Take a shot at YOUR life in the free time you have. Get things done.

Over.


I used to (actually still do) read comic books that gave me this desire to rescue the world, and put on a costume that would give me instant muscles and super-powers! Go out there and kick some butt! Yet, I never really found that costume. Oh well, maybe I needed to do something more relevant to my sphere of influence. So I started watching kung-fu movies!

Wait, kung-fu was more relevant than superheroes? Of course it was! These guys were taught all their moves, dedicated themselves (more like subjected themselves) to harsh training, and after proving to be the best of their peers, were chosen to learn the ‘special secret techniques’ of their art. See… Much easier than having super-powers from some random source like being bitten by a radioactive monkey or actually coming from another planet (I know my dad was human, but my mum…….)!

Of course the only ‘master’ of any kind of martial art in my area was the guy down the road who was always drunk. Honestly it was an alcoholism of supernatural proportions! So that didn’t work.

Disappointed by the lack of opportunity, I think my young mind realised there must have been a recession going on in the economy of Heroes! Nobody showed me any signs of distress to respond to. I had no reason to flex my muscles that were obviously hidden inside me somewhere.
“GIVE ME A CHANCE DAMMIT!” was my internal outcry. People walked around with no fear, I didn’t hear any screaming at night, the world didn’t seem to need heroes.

Even more disappointed, I decided to just live a normal life, hopeful that one day my secret would manifest itself as some masked entity with amazing ability and my exact features that nobody would be able to connect to me even if they knew me! Lived as a normal civilian, went to school…and at some point, one of my super-powers kicked in: OBSERVATION! 

I saw something in my teachers I never saw before. They solved problems! Math problems, English problems, Science problems, Sports problems…no matter what the situation, they brought us out of our despair of ignorance…rescuing us from a life of pointless living. These guys were heroes!

Then my mum… I knew she was hiding something! Every time she disappeared into the kitchen, I always imagined her communicating with some outer-space creatures, finding new ways to put vegetables in my plate! To my shock and horror…she was cooking! Not just for me, for the whole house. And when there were guests, she flexed her powers even more!

OH MY GOSH THERE’S HEROES EVERYWHERE! I’d been hoodwinked…bamboozled…played! I was just as blind as all those random extras walking around in the comics and kung-fu movies. Heck I was even the damsel in distress sometimes…and I’m a guy! How did I miss this?

So, I dusted off my dreams of saving the world, and discovered I could be a Hero wherever I was! Sometimes people would know my identity, sometimes I’d be a flash in the night, but no matter how big or small the situation, I would rescue someone from something! Even writing this blog, makes me feel like I’ve put on that costume I’d imagined all those years ago and unleashing those powers to save people from a life of ignorance!

You can be a Hero right now! We all have our powers in us already, maybe the right situation hasn’t brought them out of you, but they’re there! Imagine we all just flew out our windows right now and showed the world we are out there…ready to fight any villains and take on any situation.

It might be helping someone through a tough time, or impacting the way your country sees certain socio-economic issues, or even writing a song that empowers those who hear it. Whatever your power, flex those muscles!

Be a HERO!


Over.


Really? Is the title is true? Yes it is! The Maze knows it very well. You probably do as well. The loss of any desires for the future, will kill off the flame of your heart and keep you on pause, or even rewind! The truth is that our hopes actually do a lot to shape and structure our worlds. Their effect on invisible things like health, joy and peace of mind is so real that we can’t ignore the power of having Hope.

Hope is what we look forward to in our lives. We “hope to have a degree”, or “hope to be married with children”. It’s the image we aim for, and work towards. Sometimes, Hope is not something we actively plot out, but is just a picture we hold on to, giving us light on a dark day, helping you overcome hard times by painting a picture that is still a possibility beyond whatever pain you experience. When we embark on anything, having Hope keeps us engaged and active with life. In other words, it’s a great motivator for whatever it is you’re doing.

Living in this earth requires us to have Hope, because each day could be a brush-stroke in your life’s painting and you want to be sure that there is still something beyond the immediate that helps paint the picture more clearly. Should failure happen, or some unforseen event, Hope keeps you centered and…for lack of a better word…Hopeful!

Hopelessness is different from Depression. They may seem similar, but there is a definite difference. Depression refers to the feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration that become so intense they interfere with your daily activity over a period of time. Hopelessness, however, is tied to having no expectation of success of good in your life. When used to describe situations, they are believed to be incapable of solution or management. Some people actually live this way, being rendered immune to remedies or cures due to their Hopelessness.

A study was done on  “Hopelessness and its Effect on Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Participation Following Hospitalization for Acute Coronary Syndrome“, and the results were that patients who experienced Hopelessness were less likely to continue with their rehabilitation. It’s also very interesting to see how Depression affected someone’s committment to the program. Predictions would say that Depression decreases participation, but amazingly, Depression actually increased participation.

What does that mean? Well, it’s just a study done in one setting, yet it shows something very important. To lose Hope has much farther reaching effects on a person than to lose their happiness or joy. That’s because Hope connects you to the future, and the future gives purpose to today. If you lose your connection to tomorrow, then there’s no point in growing, there’s no point in learning, or understanding, there’s no point in reaching, there’s no point in the entire present tense!! Think about that for a second.

You lose Hope, you lose your sense of living! It’s simple and yet intensely hard-hitting! Hope is the ingredient thrown into your tragedies that has a ‘bounce-back’ effect… It can turn any sad story into super-story… It gives you strength to endure the pain of growing because there’s a reason for it all. It connects today to tomorrow. It can validate experiences that otherwise would be pointless and worth forgetting. To lose that Hope, that painting, that vision, that wish, that dream, would be to kill off your life-support!

Every breath you take leads you to the next one, every day, ends to make way for the next one. Life itself is one big canvas of Hope. Once that realisation is lost, you enter a downward spiral of denying life’s natural Hope-giving power. You have to ignore the processes taking place around you that are ushering you forward, and eventually you will convince yourself that there is no tomorrow. That can only take you to one place.

You can figure where that place is for yourself… Read the title!

Over.


In case you haven’t noticed, The Maze has a thing for Dreams. It’s a topic that is inexhaustible, and yet can become quite clichéd without any foundation on reality. Most people can dream. That isn’t the issue. Getting those dreams out of the realm of your imagination is where we find problems. It’s not something we’re taught at school, or that comes up in normal discussion with people. Somehow it’s an elusive part of the life-process that we’re left to figure out and grapple with on a day-to-day basis…or even ignore if we want. So The Maze thought he’d give you a little help in dealing with this issue.

THE DREAM
This is the easy bit. A lot of times our Dreams are not our choice. Did you know that? Whatever it is that went through your mind that night wasn’t a voluntary decision. Yes it had a lot to do with what drives you, what inspires you, what you think about…but the Dream as you know it wasn’t a conscious choice. A lot of times I’ve heard the phrase “you don’t choose your dreams, your dreams choose you”. It’s a strange concept to consider, but one that makes more and more sense to me.
You will have a picture in your mind of what your desired reality looks like. Another word for this would be vision. Make sure you do everything in your power to keep this Dream vivid in your mind. Write  it down, put up posters that represent it, listen to people who talk about it…whatever the case, your first step to making it a reality is to place it in the physical world where things like forgetfulness and apathy won’t zap it away! It’s a great way to make sure it lasts a lot longer the way you saw/believed it originally.

Stop looking at me… DO IT!!!

THE DESIRE
Having had the Dream and making it visible, another step worth considering is how much you want it. This seems simple enough, but things like encouragement and motivation are easy to experience in moments, but hard to keep up over time. You’ll have to learn how to encourage yourself in your life, because there are plenty of opportunities to forget your dream, and even more to let go of them entirely!
Have you got any quotes that inspire you? Stories of success that motivate you? People that speak to you in a way that makes you feel like a superhero? If not…GET THEM! Once you have these things in place, make them easily accessible. I know people like the “self-talk” idea, if that works for you, then do it! If you have to memorize affirmations, or schedule times of day when you access these tools, do what it takes to keep yourself motivated to go after your dream.

THE DOUBT
No matter how strong you are, you will face doubt with most great things you want to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to change the world, or just get into university, doubt is a universal experience that we must all overcome. Sometimes it can stop you dead on your tracks, and sometimes it can actually get you to think outside the box. Whichever you experience, you have to beat this, and force it to work in your favor. It’s always a choice how Doubt can make you feel, and that’s the good news, cos Doubt will always come in some form, but can’t decide for you!

A tip I’d give (and please use in context, and not as a universal ‘excuse’), is to avoid certain “doubt-birthing questions”. These are questions that early on in your process of bringing your dream to life, could trip you up easily, and yet later become important. Questions like “How will it happen?”, or a classic for entrepreneurs, “Where is the money gonna come from?”
Don’t you HATE those questions when you’re just trying to be excited about possibilities? I know I do! Those questions tend to develop answers by themselves as you mature in your process of making your Dream a reality. Just don’t give up too soon, or else you might miss the answers!

THE DEED
Here is where the REAL magic happens, and where all the ‘nice talk’ ends! This is where you’re no longer JUST talking, or writing… It’s the place of actualisation. This is where you learn to make connections that can help, and work on plans to move forward. People fail many times in this part of the process!!! No Dream that’s worth it will happen without HARD WORK!

There is ample opportunity to drop the ball here, so you’ll need perseverance, determination, confidence, and throw away that pesky fear of failure!
Great people aren’t afraid to fail, because they can learn from failures!
You’ll need to have goals for this to work, because goals put you onto a path, and without paths, there is no destination!

So with that, DO THE DEED OF DESIGNING YOUR DREAM.
A real Dream will have enough room in its house for others…many others!

Be Responsible
Be a Mature Dreamer!

Over.

BLOG-I-LIKE: Free to be Me

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hello everyone. Just thought I’d recommend a blog I’ve enjoyed very much, and hope that it will also be of personal benefit to all of you!

Go check out Free To Be Me by Thumiso Masoha. It’s real, it’s easy to read, and will give you something to think about every time!

Have fun!! And push him to blog MORE!

Over.


Hands up if you’ve ever been called ‘lazy’? You see, you aren’t alone. Now, hands up if you actually put your hand up while reading this, and realised you’re sitting by yourself and could look a little silly? Ok, now we’re talking. That word ‘lazy’ is not a rare word. I hear it everywhere, you hear it everywhere, we might even hear ourselves call our own lifestyles ‘lazy’. That word is not a simple set of activities (or lack thereof), it’s a judgement. It’s one of those strange words we’ve come to use very often, but still has the potential to decide how you live! It’s quite a serious word. So what does it mean? And even more importantly, what does it mean today?

Firstly, it’s interesting to note that it’s one of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins‘ (of Catholic origin), and is called ‘sloth’. I love sloths! They are such funny animals, they just hang in trees…literally hang from branches, and move so slowly it would be two years before you realise the thing’s movement is probably just an optical illusion…but that’s besides the point. ‘Sloth’ was the term used to describe a person who neglected the use of his God-given gifts. This was characterized by someone who spent many hours idle with little to no activity.

So that sounds like a pretty good definition for me, you have a body, with abilities and energy that could utilised for many different things, and yet you willingly refuse to take part in any activity. Okay, pretty good start… We even went Catholic on you guys!

HOWEVER… Today I’m seeing quite a different trend taking place. It is almost as if the term has morphed over time (as it is with most words these days), and it is a lot more difficult to call somebody ‘lazy’ in the classic sense. Now, it’s as if somebody turned the tables on us. Leisure has become something to achieve rather than avoid, and being on your feet all day doing constant menial work, is something to get away from! What a turnaround! You’re successful when you don’t have to work so hard, and still make a killing at the bank.

Not only that, the ‘lazy’ kids out there, are playing video-games – which are actually quite intellectually stimulating – and the really special ones, are playing the sports they love, or getting involved in the creative activities they enjoy! Today, a young boy who loves to sing, and spends hours on it, may be termed as lazy… Or the kid who’s passion is basketball, has many sections of the day just dedicated to shooting hoops and dribbling wherever he can find space. That kid has also been called ‘lazy’ by those who may look down upon him.

In a sense, some of the classic definition has remained intact, as some of the values have remained the same. Today’s world still treasures hard work as before, and things like study, and good honest work to earn a salary are revered as good qualities in a person. What has happened is that there’s been a proliferation of activity that didn’t exist 60 years ago. There wasn’t any Facebook, or Playstation 3, even worse, the internet was just beginning to take shape. With media also bringing in the ‘reality tv’ generation, it’s possible to get onto television if you’re in a competition to win a million dollars (Survivor anyone???). I’m sure this was not factored into the definition of ‘sloth’ way back when!

What I’m trying to say is that there’s a lot of hard work involved in being lazy these days! That kid with the NBA dream sweats all day, but how many people would tell him he’s wasting his time? The singer will struggle to learn the techniques that will make him better at his art, but we all know there’s only ONE winner on Pop Idols!

It’s crazy isn’t it? I’m now lazy if I’m sweating over something that isn’t deemed as hard work. No matter how much I love it, it could be useless in the eyes of those I look up to! That video-game that required all my intelligence to figure out, learn, understand, and play through, is pointless because it hasn’t led me anywhere in my life. Hey, being lazy has become one of the hardest jobs on the planet!

Honestly though, I like the ‘sloth’ idea. It involves an element that is normally not factored into defining laziness: the aspect of one’s gift. As I sit here and type, it would be easy for someone to tell me I should be crunching numbers instead, but this is my gift! This is one of the things I was given the potential to achieve. I could do anything else at this time of day, but I’m doing this…utilising my gifts!

Yes, there will be many things you do in your life that you may not enjoy, or may never want to do forever, but you will always have your gifts. Whether they pay your bills or put a smile on your face, they are always there. They may get rusty, but they never get old (think about that!). It may very well be that your laziness is the job that you’re in. Oops! Okay, let me qualify that: I’m not advocating mass job-resignations. I’m just saying: Don’t neglect the things you have a passion for, if they aren’t your job…and especially if they can help others! I don’t write for myself, I write for you.

Yes, today’s world presents us with many more opportunities to use our faculties, even pointless opportunities sometimes, but it conversely means that you also have many more ways of being lazy! As you go on with your life, remember that…………………………………………………..

…………………………………………..Agh!! I’m too lazy to finish this!

Over.