One man's comments on everything

Monday, November 7, 2016

Who's controlling your life ?

Who controls your life ?  This is not a religious or trick question .....I am just asking are you in control of your life?  Who makes your decisions for you?  Are some or most of your decisions influenced by other people or do you have the final say ?

People grow up being controlled by other people.   In your youth, your parents had a lot of influence on what you think, what you did and how you respond to challenges in life.  As did your teachers in school.  The fact that they come from an earlier dimension with outdated viewpoints did not really made you think then ,  did it?  Have you ever thought about some of those ideas since ?

 As people grow older some tend to become more independent than others and some even start to think for themselves. They discover that thinking is actually not illegal.

Then there is my favorite word: Dogma.  Most people are influenced by Dogma and whether they are aware of this or not - it gives some security in that you can always find someone that will  back an idea up. When in doubt - ask an expert ?  Which expert ?  If it was ok for your dad - it is ok for you.

Then there are the accepted ways of doing things - probably related to Dogma but not quite Dogma
You must obey all rules - if there is a rule someone made it with good intentions and I haven't got time to query the status quo - it has become  a comfort zone.

Ah, comfort zones  - Comfort zones are life controlling mechanisms.  It is comfortable to do things the way everyone accepts it . Who created the zone is mostly immaterial - it is my comfort zone and I like it and I am not getting out of it.

As you grow older new people start taking control of your life...........The sister in the Retirement village.  The manager in the old age home.  Your children - because you are now getting old and not able to think for yourself ................You get handed a book called "Life in the village"  the origin of which is well intended but another life controlling mechanism.  And you toe the line.........Even your grave has a number now.

Who out there will say with me:  "I am in control of my life.  I will not accept Dogma in my life. I will query the status quo. I will not be a pushover. I have the knowledge and the right not to accept interference in my life if it does not suit me. I will go climb a mountain even if it kills me.  I will learn a new skill - I need to change my life to make it more acceptable and comfortable for ME. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Whiteness and other myths

I read the South African Sunday Times for one reason and one reason only.  My neighbour drops it on my porch on a Monday morning once she is finished with it.  I normally do not pay for quasi-journalism.

On page 22 a lady by the name of Christi van der Westhuizen, whose resume says she is an associate professor at the University of Pretoria wrote an article about "New Afrikaners  & Inclusivity"

These types of articles are sometimes quite interesting in that you can read the prejudice basically throughout the article. You could see where she was going by just reading the first paragraph.  I am now going to do exactly what she did:  Categorise and typify.

Writers in this category claim to know their subjects by "the research I did" Classic Associate stuff

She typifies her victims by the use of all sorts of cliche words , Racial organisation, dominant Anglo whiteness, enclave, expansive and imaginative kind of identity et all.

Very evidently there was a purpose to this piece of junk prose. I could not find it.  Probably to tell the world that Whiteness - yes in the sense that there are white people, of which the writer apparently is one - and Blackness is not the same thing.  No Madame it is not and never will be.  Your assumptions and statements have been made by hundreds of writers before you and it will happen hundreds of times again and again.

What you have written does not encompass even one percent of what it means to be an Afrikaner or Afrikaans speaker and attempts at making it seem like a crime and have Afrikaans speakers come out in droves to repent is not going to happen.

I officially distance myself from such quasi-prose and read it with the contempt it deserves. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spiders, Snakes and Heights

Now what on earth am I on about?  What has spiders snakes and heights have in common?  These are the 3 top phobias in the world.  That is things that people are afraid of.  There are some lesser ones and the one that did not reach the top 100 is called Gerascophobia.
This is the fear of growing old and is the one no-one can escape if you do not die young.
I would like to redefine this phobia by calling it the fear of the knowledge that you cannot turn time around

Once you get to a certain age and you know you cannot turn time around the phobia seems to disappear.  I have not been able to define this certain age in any way.

This morning I interviewed a client who has lived alongside a large open space on a race course facing the course and loving the openness. The time is coming that they will have to move off this beautiful spot and buy something else - the property is not theirs
They have bought a unit in a retirement village and the husband at 65 is not ready to move there.
He might never be ready
Does he have Gerascophobia ?  Probably not - or maybe he does not realise it
Growing old (older) implies a lot of different things to different people.  This change is not an immediate thing - it creeps up on you and one day you are old. That is if you have not planned for the consequential changes this brings on

But the reason for this post is that when you do get old ( and if you are still alive you are on your way there or have reached that dreaded stage called ELDERLY!) the brothers and sisters of the Gerascophobia tend to come visit you and here is some of them that did make it to the top 100 list:

  1. Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces  If you are used to a massive house make friends with the smaller one in the retirement village .
  2. Carcinophobia – The fear of cancer.  new diets seem to creep in 
  3. Thanatophobia – The fear of death.  Those guys in the rugby club in the retirement village has a way of starting conversations about this bringing on panic attacks
  4. Monophobia – The fear of being alone. This is a fact of life - one partner is due to die before the other.
  5. Enochlophobia – The fear of crowds, which is closely related to Ochlophobia and Demophobia. The irony is that there are nearly 700 people living in our retirement village and their are NEVER crowds.  You make your own or join one - the choice is yours
  6. Aphenphosmphobia – The fear of intimacy. Involves the fear of being touched and fear of love. Bound to happen with 700 people around you
  7. Trypanophobia – The fear of needles. If this is a problem - don't grow old !
  8. Anthropophobia – The fear of people. People tend to want to make friends with you in a retirement village - so it should not be a problem if you end up there ! 
  9. Autophobia – The fear of abandonment. This phobia will also soon disappear in a community where everyone has made peace with growing older.  Just watch the 5 o'clock dog walking club......................

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fun on the farm-Busisa family adventure farm Apr 2015

Die plaashuis - 

Inni bos 

waar is my appel?

Opm pad huis toe - watter huis?

Hier is nie vis nie !

Waar is my appel ?

Jy moet vir my ook een gee

Nee loop nou - die appels is klaar !

Gedra jou nou !

Fun in the sun

More fun in the sun

Hamburger time !

Breakfast ( at last!)

Skool werk

Oor die rivier

Swing along

This is the life !

More fun and this is the life !

Hier gaan ons !



Skaap oppas

Hier op die plaas wil ek bly!

Ma en seun

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life lessons : From Mediocrity to Greatness

I have been contemplating writing this article for a while and suddenly this morning I woke up and knew I had to write it today.
There are a few things separating these concepts:

  •         Mediocre says   “Do it Someday” Greatness says “Just do it and do it Now”
  •         Mediocre says  “There are Things to do and They must do it”   Greatness says:"This is what needs to be done and I will do it.  
  •          Mediocre says “Wow, that guy is a massive success, I wonder how he does it?” Greatness says " Wow.That guys is a massive success. I am going to find out how he does it!"

Now, what can be done to move from Mediocre to Greatness?  
This is simple and it just might be the key to the next great thing in your life.  You can act on it.......or you don’t ...The choice is yours.

A practical guide to go from Mediocrity to Greatness. These are the top 9 things you must do NOW:

(I know a lot more can be said about this but bear with me - the rest will come later)

1.       Shift from uncertainty to total Certainty.

We all want something in life.  Most of the time we are not certain what this is.  That is called uncertainty.   To move to certainty requires you to do something. You have to sit and write down a few thoughts and the thing you need most is to focus. You first must know what it is that you are uncertain about. You cannot draft a road map if you do not know where you are going.
2.       Shift  from ‘Them’ to "Me."
You hear this often “Something must be done.”  “They must do something”   Back to point number one: Define “something” Define “What must be done” Define “what needs to be done”
Change “them” to me.  Do something about it – this implies that you ACTUALLY ACT ON IT

3.       Shift from some time to now
If you decide to do something about something you have to decide when you are going to do it
If is in the future it is most probably not going to be done. This is called procrastination. You have to do  “it” now

4.       Focus. And do not get sidetracked
I have two role models in my family.  They are both financially insanely successful. The one thing they do very well:  They focus. Just yesterday the one pitched at a meeting where serious – and I mean serious challenges had to be addressed.  He pitched without any notes, notepaper or pen.  Someone asked: “Where are your notes?”  His answer "I know what the problem is and I know the answer and it is not going to take long to sort this out."  Focused – Not going to get sidetracked.   Short and sweet – Done and over!

5.       Redefine your definition of “success”
You will not be reading this if you are already insanely successful.  Most motivational speakers have a few clich├ęs they always use.  Their favourite is “ Defining success – it is not about money”  I am going to burst your bubble right here and now.  “It is all about money” If you do not believe me stop reading this and go somewhere else – It is not open for discussion.   Everything else you can define as “Success” flows from this.  Fundamentalists have this vague concept of success.  They will and cannot define it more definitely than what I am doing right now. Show me someone that is insanely successful and living in a shack and I will show you the exception that proves the rule.........................

6.       Simplify.
Again I will be using the two family members I quoted before:  They both have very simple systems:  The one run his insanely successful business from anywhere in the world on two i phones. No office, no personal assistants.  Hands on and know exactly what is going on in his business.  Having a simple daily feedback system and getting basically a few answers EVERY DAY; Here are just 2 of them  “What problems could not be solved without my intervention?”  “How much money did the business make yesterday?”  
7.       Do not be too impressed by the “best” – The “best” do not walk around telling you they are
“The best”.  Their lifestyle and simplicity tell you that.
I am ever so often invited to events where the ”best” is going to tell you how he did it.  The world’s  “best business coach”  The world’s “best Entrepreneur” “the secret to success”
If he is the best why is he wasting his time to tell you that?  If it is a secret......Why is he telling the world – Then it is no secret anymore and everyone will be successful!

8.       Find your Niche and find out what they want and how you are going to give them what they want.

Linking up on focus is this:  What are you good at? What are you BEST at?  What can you deliver to a Niche market that is totally different than what everyone else is doing?  What will you do that is “Great” and not mediocre?  And to whom are you going to do it ?

9.       Be the genuine article –

Most people can spot a fraud easily.   You have to be genuine in your service offering and here are just a few things you do to be just that:    Under promise and over deliver.  Never promise something you cannot do.  Always follow up and deliver on your promises.  Always call back. Always follow up.  Be the “go to guy”  Be the one everyone knows that you are the BEST in what you do.

If you apply one of the above you have moved a 100 kilometers from where you were.  If you apply at least 3 of these your head will be spinning because of the change that will be happening.   If you apply them all you will most probably be the next ‘BEST’ and insanely successful person you know. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Facing the unexpected..............The parable of the broken cars...................

And so Christmas day 2014 is drawing to a close...............And the end of another year is only 6 days away.   Nothing new - it happens every year on this day............
And yet every year has something to reflect on that is different.  
I am always amazed at why some things happen when they do.   We started off by having to take my wife's mother to her other daughter for a 3 week visit during which we were going to enjoy a 3 week holiday with  2 of our children and their families.  On our way we were nearing the off ramp to where our son lives and what do you know? The car decided that it is not going on holiday this year and we had no other option as to take it to our son's home and borrow his other car.   At least there was a car to borrow.
They went on holiday with us for a week and everything worked out fine. We left them and went on to start another week with our other children.  As we booked in we received a telephone call from our son whose second car we borrowed.  His car has decided to join ours in an unprotected strike - it broke down and now this family was sitting at home on Christmas day without a car.
Luckily our daughter that was with us on holiday offered their other car to them and after quite a fishing expedition (they had to fish the keys out of the house with a fishing rod) they were back on wheels.
The sequence of events cease to amaze me - I believe that nothing happens by chance.........Our car could have broken down hundreds of kilometers from home, yet it broke down 1 km from our son's home.  His car could have broken down any time during our holiday with them yet it did not. It broke down practically on their doorstep.  The last borrowed one was available yet the only way they could get it was to fish the keys through an open window.  In the sequence a lot of things could have gone wrong , yet it did not.
Somewhere, sometime we might still get the answers as to why these things happened and specifically in the sequence that it did.   It was not just "by chance"  Everything has a purpose.  There is a purpose behind this but maybe we will never know what it was.
We can plan everything in life to the nth degree yet the final outcome is not ours to manage.  And this type of thing just reminds us again.  Always be prepared for the unknown- do not let it out of your sight that Someone bigger than you are looking out for you.......................

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Credit , the scourge of society and the socio-economic effect of debt

In my quest to alleviate the effects of relentless persecution of debtors by Creditors, Debt Collectors and the likes I have come to some conclusions that needs to be discussed and solutions found.

I have always said that my views on the payment of debt in some instances  are a bit radical but there are reasons for this.   Let me explain.   I have been there, felt the pain when you cannot pay for your daughters wedding. When you sit in a house with no electricity for 2 years. When you.......let me stop there.  I have been there................And only a small portion of that was my own fault.  The portion where banks finance you to the extend that you have to pay them R50 000 per month when you only have disposable income of R30 000. Why did I not stop it ?   When you have mouths to feed you will take any credit you can get.  That is why it is called reckless lending and not reckless borrowing.............

For the purpose of this discussion I am referring to banks in particular but this includes any other creditor.   A Bank makes an informed decision on who they lend money to and how much and for how long based on information supplied and proven  to them. Their decisions (should) also take into account the state of the economy, the ability of certain types of people to repay them and the industry in which they operate. They should not lend out money based on "reckless lending" principles.
Banks receive and approve home loans for a  sector of the market based on what I just said.  During a period roughly 7 years ago the property market had a rough time and so did the economy. Yet the banks did business and granted loans based on their criteria. Or no criteria at all.  This was a calculated risk. It still is.

Life goes its normal way. People loose their jobs. They loose their businesses. They get despondent and cannot pay their debts.  The government in its wisdom gave birth to a thing called Debt Counseling.  This is just another debt collection system and have nothing to do with counseling.

This is a dismal failure. It does not address the real problem of over indebtedness in any instance
It does not address the plight of those that lost their income due to losing their jobs or businesses.

What does debt counselors do ?  They just distribute the available money after living costs have been taken off as well as their fees (of course their fees)  to all the creditors.   This is just another debt collection system and have nothing to do with counseling.

The problem with the system is that nothing actually changes.  It is only available to people that have a job. These people should never have been given credit to the extent that they end up here in the first place.  A whole new industry has been created to no end at all. Creditors will now avoid you like the plague and they will sit like vultures to see when you are going to default again.  And you will. Because now the debt has increased with the fee of the so-called counselor !  And because you have not been counseled to apply more discipline you will default again.

Back to normal life : Those that did not get to hide behind a debt counselor in time and those that lost their jobs or businesses.

The banks start collection procedures and at  the end of the initial collection actions of the banks when the client has no way of paying anymore and the banks have either repossessed the property they financed or attached the other loose assets people need to survive  the debt is usually sold to unscrupulous debt collectors who make a living out of people's misery.  Let me state without blinking an eye. I have no feelings or respect for debt collectors. Full stop. If you ever thought I am going to give a hoot for their loss, sorry to disappoint you , I am not !

I think it is time that we have a total rethink on the question of old and sometimes  prescribed debt.

A debtor has to make decisions based on priorities - this is where the socio-economic issue comes in. You have to look after the well being of your family first and foremost.  But should you have unresolved debt the system will not allow you to do this.   This is why debtors resort to all sorts of methods to avoid the phone calls and other methods employed by the vultures.And this is also the reason why I wrote the guide to handle debt collectors - legally.(link here)

We already have the system where you could be sequestrated and it is not called the new beginnings law in the United states for nothing  It allows you a new beginning in life.  But that is only if you have assets that can be divided between the vultures.  Why can't we devise a system where a debtor can be measured as to his capacity to repay debt when he has no work , no business, no income.   And not pursue him again when he is able to find work  again ?

I am seriously pursuing ways and means to help people out of the corner they have been chased into .

To be continued...............................