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Decide

Sometimes, momentous events take place on random, ordinary days. Not the first of the month, or the day before your birthday, or the day of a major terrorist attack. Just a random, unremarkable day. But that may be the day that changes your life.

That decision that you have been thinking about, but felt unprepared for, or that you have felt things were not in place for yet. But time has been passing and the situation has not changed, or has gotten worse.

So one random, unremarkable day you hear something, or read something and you just decide. You make a decision to act. And you do. 

And your life is never the same again.

Yesterday, I decided.

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38 Things – Part 3

You may want to read the first part of this subject for a little background.
The second part is here.

27) Nothing is obvious. At least not to everyone. What you think is obviously the correct thing to do, may not be as obvious to your partner, or to your neighbour. So don’t expect them to act in a certain way (meaning the way you would act), and don’t get upset if they act in a way that is different from the way you would act, unless you have discussed and agreed on a particular course of action. I wish ladies would remember that.

28) Ask for help. Someone helping you may lead to better results, happiness in them helping you and you being happy that they helped you. You going it alone may lead to mediocre results, or you feeling abandoned, or overwhelmed or the potential helper feeling ignored or unrecognised. No guarantees, though.

29) Protection of young is a strong animal instinct, especially in human mothers. A mother will want to protect her young. A woman will (usually) fight anything she sees that she thinks may be harmful to her children, directly or indirectly. That is probably why wives do not get along with their mothers-in-law; because the mother-in-law is trying to protect her son from perceived ‘harm,’ while the wife is also trying to protect *her* children and their interests from the ‘interference’ of the mother-in-law. This is just my opinion.

30) People do not always recognise or like the truth. People sometimes want things not to be the way they are. Some want to lose weight without exercising or changing their diet. Some want to prevent a problem that has already happened: “You should have turned off the tap.” People are prone to believe what they wish to be true.

31) Anticipate group dynamics. In groups you will be in, there will be people whose priorities differ from each other, and therefore want to act differently from each other. Some will avoid dealing with problems just to avoid possible disagreements, some will not want to do things they had not planned for, some will be unwilling to spend on Item A, that the rest of the group wants, but are ready to spend on Item 4, which the others do not really want. Some will think the group is paying too little, while others think the group is paying too much. Expect such scenarios in most groups.

32) What People Buy. This is somewhat related to No 31) above. If you are doing some sort of business, then out of the population of possible buyers, aim to sell to those who do not really mind paying for whatever they consider to be good value for money. I read somewhere that people normally go for whatever seems to represent the least risk for them – you buy a brand name gadget because it is less likely to break down, eat familiar food because you know what to expect, deal with a known company because they are more likely to be there tomorrow to offer support when you need it. I also think people buy convenience – the same soda can cost twice as much in a restaurant as it does on the roadside, simply because the restaurant allows you to comfortably sit and chat with your date. But the soda is the same. A small car will transport you from home to the office, but a bigger car is more comfortable, accelerates faster, can better handle bad roads, etc. But either still takes you from home to work. You may just need to leave home earlier if you are using the small car. So as a person selling something, once you offer these two things – low risk and convenience – price is normally not a big issue. Those who actually have the money will pay a higher amount of money than the ‘recommended retail price’ to get these two things. Those who need to control their spending more will usually forego the convenience, or take a risk with a less-known provider, in order to pay less money. As a seller, aim to sell to the people with (lots of) money. If you are the buyer, well, you decide. You could take a risk and get good value with a less known seller. Or maybe not.

33) Focus. Put your time and effort to those things that will actually make a difference. No need to argue about something if you, or the other person is unlikely to change their position, unless you are just arguing for fun (in which case you are making a difference by entertaining yourselves).

34) Dress up the Messenger. People’s judgement is influenced by appearance or perceptions or feelings. Many people (especially women) will be more receptive to your message if they like you to an extent, or you first make them feel good.

Their feelings will affect their interpretation of your words or actions. That is partly why advertisers come up with amusing ads. If you want to persuade, make effort to be appealing – in appearance, demeanour, speech, or at least avoid aggravating your audience. You will need to find out for yourself what your audience finds appealing.

35) Go big or go home. You only live once. If something is worth doing, do it big. But not wastefully. Do it thoroughly. Do it whole-heartedly. Give it a proper shot.

36) Charge your mobile phone. You never know when you will be in a jam and you need to call someone to bail you out.  Or someone may call you for a profitable deal.

English: it is my mobile phone picture took by me

English: it is my mobile phone picture took by me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

37) Avoid Words That Distract When you are trying to make a point, avoid using words or examples that may aggravate, annoy, puzzle or otherwise distract your audience. They may react to those words or that example and dwell on it and the

point you were trying to get across may get lost.

37) Stay the Course Many good things take time – investments, fitness plans, building relationships, building businesses. Give them time. Don’t quit too soon.

Bonus point, since this has taken a year 🙂
39) Get a Mentor I think I would have been much further ahead in many areas of life if I would have had a mentor: Someone who has successfully gone ahead of me to sort of hold my hand and guide me on where to invest, where to focus, what to watch out for, skills to acquire, links to form and so on.

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You may want to read the first part of this post for a little background.

14) If you can, do it now. This I learnt from my grandma, and fairly recently I have seen it proven right over and over. If you can do something now, then do it now and get it over with, rather than postpone. (It is actually just two words in the original tongue 🙂 ). This applies to something that you need to do. It could be something simple like making a phone call, or something bigger. The ‘later’ you postpone to may not come, or may be inconvenient, and you will have lost an opportunity to do what you needed to do.

15) Forgive. Even if you are 100% right and the other person is totally wrong. Holding on to grudges and bitterness will usually harm you more than the person who wronged you, and will sometimes not set things right anyway. The truth may come out one day, or it may not, but forgive and set yourself free and be at peace right away.

16) A good name is rather to be chosen then great riches, so the Bible says. A good name earns you goodwill, favour, credit and benefit of doubt. Protect your name. Let your people be proud to bear your name.

17) I first came across the quote saying ‘Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle’, on a friend’s email signature.
A variation says ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ The quote seems to be variously attributed to one John Watson and to Plato. (Link and link)

That person being unpleasant to you is probably being pained by something. No need to start a new battle with them. A little patience may get you a long way.

18) Businesses exist to make money. If there is a ‘special offer’ being pushed, think about how the business will profit from it. This profit may not be obvious to you, and may not even be immediate, but keep that in mind as you decide whether or not to take up the offer. They are probably not offering you something just to help you; they want to make money from you.

 

19) Measure, track, count at least for a while. Record all your expenses for one month. Or two or even three. You will get a realistic idea of what you actually do with your money, not what you think you do. Measure how long it takes you to get to your place of work, or how long you take from the time you get up to the time you leave the house, and so on. You will then be better placed to make any necessary adjustments, or to plan things and so on.

20) Have a place for everything and everything in its place. (Ok, it need not be quite ‘everything.’). You probably already do, but be actually aware of them: know where you normally place your keys when you get home, or your wallet. You will probably save yourself the frustration of looking for things (especially when you are already running late), and you will perhaps have a neater house/room.

21) Plan your meals. Apparently this is a strange concept to some people. Determining beforehand what you will eat each day of the week has a number of benefits: You will be able to include the foods that you want. You will be better placed to make healthier food choices, rather than just eat whatever is easily available, which may not be the best choices. You will be able to shop in bulk and probably save money. You will avoid having to frequently ask “What shall we/I eat today?” Of course you do not have to stick to the plan 100%, but you will have something to fall back on when you do not have something else in mind.

22) You are responsible for your children until they become adults. You brought them here, take care of them. Teach them the things they need to know. How to live well. How to get along with others. How life works. Build and enjoy your relationship with them.

23) Don’t just follow the crowd, even if that crowd consists of your friends. Don’t buy a new or ‘better’ item simply because your friends or peers bought new ones. You do not know what sacrifices they make, or what quarrels they have because of those purchases. Do something because you know it will actually help you and you can actually afford (you have the money, time and any other resources) to do it. Some sacrifices are worth it, but be sure that what you want is indeed worth sacrificing for.

24) Try new food. Especially if you are visiting a foreign place and your host has offered the food. If other people eat it, at least try it. Unless you have religious or medical reasons against it. You may find that you love it and that it is just what your body has been missing.

25) Tell the truth. People usually lie because they fear they have done something wrong. It is better to own up and fix the problem than lie and later get caught and accused first of the original wrong, and then secondly of lying. Trust once broken is difficult to rebuild. Also, when you tell the truth you need not keep track of what lie you told who.

26) Listen to the accused before you pass judgement. I was once quite angry with a friend for a variety of things that she had done or failed to do. When I told her, she gave me explanations that made perfect sense. I was right in my conclusions before I heard her side, but my knowledge was limited. When I got her explanation, my whole view changed and I was no longer angry.

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I am evidently off track with my two-posts-a-week plan. The way things are now, for me to reach my 104 posts this year, I will need to blog once every weekday for most of the remainder of this year. Let’s try that.

Yesterday was August 1st. The (20th oops!) 30th! anniversary of the attempted coup in Kenya. I was nearly eight years old at the time. I remember hearing gunshots that Sunday morning. I went to my parents’ bedroom and asked my dad what that noise was. He said the Indians were celebrating Diwali. I think he was actually unaware of what was going on, since I think he was still in bed. The next day, I actually walked to school and found one other lone pupil. I remember later seeing pictures in the newspaper of dead bodies in the streets and of people having looted shops. I think it was after that that many shops in town started barricading their windows.

In other news, I started a new job yesterday. I was first interviewed for it about eleven months ago! But I am glad to be here. I had been asked to come in around noon yesterday, so today is to be my first full working day. I did not know how long it would take me to get from home to the office. Yesterday it took me about two hours to drive the twenty kilometres from the office to home, so to be safe, I was to leave home this morning at 6:30, so as to be at the office by 8:30. I left home around 6:50 and was at the office around 7:30! One of my former bosses would be amazed!

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