The Power of Purpose


Ever experience a hypnic jerk, of course you have, we all have. A hypnic jerk is a brief and sudden involuntary contraction of the muscles of the body which occurs when one is usually beginning to fall asleep, often causing you to jump and awaken suddenly for a moment or sometimes during sleep.

Similarly in life, we tend to get a brief jerk, a quick, sudden awakening of what is important to you much like the hypnic jerk, I see it as a restart button, a refresher and reflection point of where we are headed.

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to reflect, take stock and truly look at what is important to me and what’s the continued direction I choose to take for my life. ‘Purpose is the reason you journey, passion is the fire that lights the way’, this quote encompasses the meaning to my reflection.

When you do something with purpose, you do it with determination. When your activities have a purpose, you have an aim or intention in mind. This noun also has a third meaning, ‘function, role or use’, so when you have a purpose you have a key function or role to play.

Over the past 6 months I have experienced an inflection point, one of looking at what I have achieved in my life, how much I have grown and what I would want to continue to achieve, grow and learn, and more importantly being able to add value, shape and have a bigger purpose. This means being more versatile, breaking out from our comfort zone and testing yourself in being able to expand your horizons, skills and know that you are able to take on anything life throws at you.

Why is having a sense of purpose so important? Sense of purpose (or meaning) is the motivation that drives you toward a satisfying future. It also helps you get the most from the things you do and achieve – large and small, right now and in the future. A sense if purpose helps you live by those values.

My change in work environments was one of these points, to test my abilities and skills and to have a real purpose, yes I can continue to achieve success in the same work environments and exceeding in achieving goals in a similar structure, just with different challenges, or I could challenge myself to a totally different environment with greater purpose, one that is fulfilling but purpose driven and that aligns to your values. This is critical, aligning your values to your work space, your family space and your friends is important.

Try what you may if this is not aligned, then everything else will be misaligned. Your priorities in life are important and don’t let anything come in the way of that, have a laser focus. Purpose makes you live with integrity. Knowing your purpose in life helps you live with honour. People who know their purpose in life know who they are, what they are and why they are. And when you know yourself, it becomes easier to live a life that’s true to your core values.

If I relate it to business, a clear purpose gives motivation to people, clarity to strategy and clear branding for marketing. If we are honest with most companies and ourselves the purpose easily devolves into meaning monthly and annual targets, but it’s NOT. It goes beyond this and many companies don’t fully grasp this, its about empowering others, truly growing others, challenging them to be the best version of themselves, sometimes they don’t see it immediately as its hard work but they will see it further down the line. The purpose describes why we are pursuing our goals, for a far greater vision.

Excellent leaders build a sense of inclusiveness, a sense of working as an organisation, by creating a common purpose. A place where people know what to do and why and understand what the organisation stands for, that is what I live by, and constantly aim to instil as a leader.

Another one of these points is understanding my insatiable hunger for knowledge and my thirst for learning and sharing information, is due to my belief in staying ever curious, its because knowledge is power. My intention for doing my PhD is not for the title, but rather for being able to deep dive into understanding a key challenge, finding a solution to it and having a purpose to do so by adding to and contributing to literature, this is purpose. Making a difference to a body of work that you can contribute to has a purpose.

My love for traveling coincides with this point on staying ever curious, as I believe that travel is like knowledge, the more you see the more you know you haven’t seen. I think of the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘ The purpose of life is to live it, to taste, experience it to the utmost to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience’, this is life, rich experiences that make you grow.

As I closed off one decade and continue to pursue the next, as authentic and empowered as I am, I push on with aligning my values and my journey to intention and purpose. Everything in life has its purpose and meaning, when you know what your purpose is, it makes your direction easier, knowing that makes life meaningful. The purpose of life is not to only be happy, it is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have values, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well.

The Importance of Connecting


I reflect on what an extraordinary past few months it’s been, looking at what great opportunities 2018 brought and looking even further forward on what a wonderfully fast start its been to 2019. The key highlight, ‘connecting with people’.

I have been truly blessed over the past few months to spend special moments with family a few times last year, fortunate to see friends I haven’t seen in years, connected with mentors, teachers, previous colleagues and even an iconic sportsman! With the most amazing team in my role leading EMEA/JAPAC, engaging customers across this region driving our customer marketing strategy forward, and kicking off my PhD in Management Sciences with some of the smartest executives I have met across the globe, has brought me significant joy. The common thread, people! People are what make us come alive, and coming together, unified across the globe to share knowledge, moments and experiences is the ultimate. The most important person, being grateful to have an amazing husband, who supports me in being the greatest version of me! Just a quick connect with him during the day, re-fuels my soul.

Make every moment count is my life’s mantra and being a global citizen and connecting with people across the world is what makes me get up in the morning, people make us grow. It makes sense, as to why I love travelling so much, meeting new people and learning about new cultures.  Learning from others, getting a different point of view, understanding the true meaning of ‘point of reference’ as my reference point will differ to yours, (and personally, if there is one thing I can’t stand, is people who impose their opinion on you and don’t take the time out to look at things differently), shared values or possibly learning what people you surround yourself with and what people to just not allow within your circle, are all key lessons to learn.

Over the years I have come to learn that you won’t always like or get along with people in your work, family or friends circle, but knowing when to connect with which person, and how best to do so is key, and even when to cut your losses and to break ties are important too, ‘pick your battles’ is indeed a lesson I have come to learn.

Even though I have always been an avid believer in ‘connect to create’, in both business and family environments we sometimes must learn to let go of relationships you have tried to build or strengthen, and it brings you less joy and as such less overall happiness. It’s okay to admit this and to acknowledge it.

Having a positive peer group provides one with a balanced perspective by serving as a sounding board. It can become very easy to become isolated with one’s own thoughts and feelings and connecting with others can offer objective feedback and support but doing this with people you ‘trust’ is vital.

The reason, I believe, is that we all need to feel connected. Study after study reports that as social animals, humans need each other. We need to feel supported, valued, and loved. Those who have good relationships are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who report feeling lonely.

When I think of my own experiences, it’s amazing how connecting with someone, even briefly, can give me what I need to soldier on. For example, there are times I’ve felt a tad down for no reason (especially on those winter days where leaving home is dark and returning from home is even darker). My phone rings. My impulse is to answer it, but you feel as if you don’t want to, and you answer. I hear a good friend’s voice on the other end, just calling to say hello. We chat for a few minutes and say our good-byes. My spirits have been lifted. I am energised.

Working from home can have you experiencing this even more so, but when you’re having to connect as early as 6.00/7.00 am on a Monday morning, it can be challenging, so I decide to take a walk outside of the house and greet my neighbours at the local supermarket store, you come across the same faces as you walk down the road as they get on the bus, and even when you walk into the tube station, you greet the transport representative as you enter, you grab your coffee and greet the familiar face that helps you this time every morning, and just these few touch points, makes your day much better and leaves you happier  than you had been feeling before your phone rang.

We often think of connecting with others as having heart-to-heart talks where we share our deepest thoughts and emotions or open-up about hard-to-discuss feelings or events in our lives. This is certainly connecting and is important for us all to do at times.

But connections can also be as simple as my walk. A pleasant interaction with familiar faces and a shared smile, even a text message to a family member, can; to some degree, satisfy our innate need for community.

Unfortunately, many of us have almost totally replaced our face-to-face connections with virtual ones. We rack up friends on social media and join all kinds of virtual community groups. We shop online, limiting those pleasant interactions with store employees mentioned above. In fact, we often pride ourselves on our independence, on focusing solely on our own aspirations and desires, and ideally on not needing anyone else. This trajectory might lead us to our personal goals, such as a successful career, but just might leave us feeling lonely as well.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t work hard to reach our goals. I just think there needs to be a balance. In living our lives and pursuing our dreams, we need to recognise how important basic human connections are to our well-being. Once we realise this, we can consciously work toward making these connections that are sure to enhance our lives. And it just might be as simple as going outside for a walk.

This willingness to share, to contribute, to help each other is an important facet of lasting relationships. Perhaps the most important thing you ever do in life is build and maintain long-term, happy, healthy, fulfilling relationships with other people you love and who love you.

Human connection brings complex values to our lives: relationships give us a sense of belonging in the group, a sense of identity in contrast to others in that group, an almost therapeutic-support system, and reason not to feel lonely.

Making connections is just an additional way to describe learning how things are related to each other and how the physical world works. As young children grow and develop, they learn to make connections to understand and master their worlds and so too, we as adults need to continue to do the same. Connecting with humans in person is important and will continue to be important for the success and ultimate happiness in our lives.

Reflection on Time passed


Why count on 2018 to be better when you should look at making each day count and make each day better. Who defines years and puts a start and stop to things? Life exists only of moments, so if you make the moment matter, it all matters. Don’t see things in years but in everyday, start today.

What a great past few months it’s been; fulfilling, satisfying, humbling – I’m truly blessed, thankful and mostly, content with all the great experiences, lessons and success won or lost; still a success.

10 Key lessons I have learned over these past few months and will continue to adopt to leading a fulfilled life:

  1. Having gratitude

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” ~William Penn. Did you know that gratitude has been scientifically proven to strengthen your immune system and make you happier and more optimistic. Try to replace complaints with gratitude; I replace it with thoughts of what I am thankful for.

  1. Living a simple life

We put all the pressures on ourselves, we follow social norms too often and are not true to who we are. We focus on possessions and not experiences. Focus less on things and more on moments. Track your time. Ive been paying more attention to how much time I am spending on doing things that add no value. Life is about choices. Making the choice to live life in a simpler way is something that can be done.

  1. Adaptability

Change is fluid. The need for adaptability has never been greater than it is now. To adapt you must be open to change, which means you must have the will, emotional tolerance, mental fortitude, spiritual guidance to not only face uncertainty but smack it in the face and press on. Adaptable people see opportunity where others see failure. My view, ‘To adapt is to grow’.

  1. Patience

Good things come to those who wait but not to those who wait to late…I have learned to sabr (an Arabic word for patience). Having patience means being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity – we have the opportunity to practice it; remove emotion and goodness will prevail. Patience involves waiting out life’s hardships without frustration or despair.

  1. Determination

See your life and future as totally within your control. There’s a quote often credited to Ignatius: “Pray as if the Almighty will take care of all; act as if all is up to you.” (Cool quote.) Set your mind to something make it happen – for me, personal development, work life integration, moving to a new city, a healthier lifestyle; all thanks to the Almighty but the decisions and efforts leading up to it is the way in which it has been driven; by me. Through determination and focus.

  1. Focus

Focus on the things that matter. Learn to ignore the things you have no control over. Mental strength is like muscle strength, no one has an unlimited supply. So why waste your power on things you can’t control? Focus on things you can control. I have been more focused on my personal development, being able to write more has allowed me the mental agility and focus needed for many things.

  1. Impress yourself

Don’t focus on others, only yourself, do what makes you happy. No one likes you for your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress others and start trying to just be yourself. And you’ll have a lot more mental energy to spend on the people who really do matter in your life. True story.

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. Balance in one’s life is key and doing more yoga and focusing on my practice has allowed me this.

  1. Work hard; play hard

The point is, you don’t have to just focus on the ‘thing’ you’re doing, but why you are doing it, how you doing it and with who you doing it with. Work hard but don’t forget to spoil yourself and enjoy the efforts and fruits of your labour – if you need to have a change of scenery, go on a short break, that’s what keeps me sane, short trips away allows me to see the difference between breathing and living.

10. Relationships

The above has all been possible through the most important relationships I have; one with the Almighty, and the other with my best friend and pillar of strength, my husband. I thank him for his tenacity, authenticity, inner strength and for being true to himself, he has inspired me to take many risks and make many hard decisions.

What an absolute blast its been – ‘When life beckons, let go and hold on…….make each day count’.

Don’t think too much…do what makes you happy


Sometimes all we need in life is to do what makes us happy. Thinking too much will make your life more stressful, you realise very soon that you put yourself under far too much pressure and there comes a point in your life when you realise that being happy, healthy and full of life, doing what you like in both your career and personal space is ideally what you need to achieve.

It’s amazing how we can think about things continuously, looking constantly at things we want to achieve, to improve to get better at, and being a thinker myself I have come to work on not thinking as much and living more.

We think of many things that does not need to be thought about. What we need to do are things that make us happy and that we do not stress about. We need to realise that we can’t always control all outcomes and going with the flow and doing what makes you happy, also helps you achieve the same outcomes.

Leading a balanced life, and doing things that make you happy is key to a fulfilled life. The recent change in my environment with a move to a new city, which I was terribly excited about, would allow me to do more of the things I liked and that would make me happier, such as experiencing more art, theatre, music, sports and people – building new relationships and making new friends.

These are the things that make life fulfilling, experiences that make you happy, leading a balanced life, little vacations, adventures with new friends, new experiences, doing things you haven’t made time to do, like reading, leading a healthier more fit lifestyle like gyming, doing yoga and walking more, or going to places you’ve never visited before and doing things that enriches your life.

Not everyone wants this, chasing just money, increasing possessions and living superficial lives with superficial relationships, is what some people aspire to – and think that to work and acquire possessions is what is seen as success and makes them happy, and that’s fine, as we all have different things that make us happy, ‘to each his own’.

We all have different goals and things we wish to achieve, but its key to remember that life is all about the journey, the experiences and the memorable moments, as leading your life to acquire possessions would not be as fulfilling long-term, possessions come and go and will not be memorable and leave indelible moments etched in your heart and brain, it goes as easy as it comes.

Make THE MOST OF YOUR NEW SPACE, don’t let your environment change you negatively, but positively, stay true to you and further enrich your personality. What change in environment or interest would make you think less and make you happier?

Sometimes all we need in life is a bit more balance and a little happiness to make our lives even better. Think about what makes you tick, what would make you happier and do it.

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.”  ― Rachel Ann Nunes

The only Constant is Change


If one understands that change is the only constant in life then one will more easily recognise what Heraclitus is saying in his ‘obscure’ writings when he claims such things as, “The way up and the way down are one and the same. Living and dead, waking and sleeping, young and old, are the same.”

I quote Heraclitus, the pre-Socractic Greek philosopher, who said that “Change is the only constant in life” to highlight the need for all of us to always plan for and be ready for change in every aspect of our lives.

I think about this as my husband and I recently relocated to the UK for work, and I reflect on the smooth transition this was as everything fell into place because we embraced the change and welcomed it, that it came to us as simple and as normal. People are so afraid and so resistant to inevitable changes in their lives and yet if we go with it and are adaptable and flexile enough we would see even more blessing good and ease come with it. The interesting thing is that I have heard an old man say once that whilst many people know how to live for today and a few plan for tomorrow, most people can never contemplate the fact that there will be a day after tomorrow.

Many people, therefore, live their lives guided by a series of short-term plans and goals but without wishing to contemplate the sustainability of their plans over long-term. Change is fused with time and time stops for no man but many people set themselves up to be long term failures by failing to start in the way that they intend to finish. Life is a journey and series of changes and adapting over time.

So the short term postures that people assume make change a scary prospect for many. Some people fear change because it may mean that they lose their livelihood. Some people fear change because they believe that it may come with a loss of status. Other people fear change because they think that it will come with disruption.

But no one sees the possibility and positives in change and that with change comes only learning and greatness, even in business today, the leaders who are able to thrive are the ones that are able to deal with the constant change and chaos of the ever-changing business landscape.

But our fears, whether rational or not, cannot stop the hands of time and as time marches forward it drags change along with it. So we have to face the fact that change is coming. We must also cease to fear change. Change is only traumatic if we try to resist it. Here are a few steps to navigate the inevitable change without fear?

Step 1 –  Do not tie your whole being to things that are bound to change

One must find a way of ensuring that whatever position you take on any issue does not come to define who you are. Do not hang your hat on one thing. Allow for growth, and evolution of oneself. Maintain a healthy multifaceted identity and do not become one-dimensional. Diamonds are cut to be multifaceted as this increases their ability to reflect light. Every experience adds to our being and is malleable as it impacts who we are and who we become. Allow the freedom and be open.

Step 2 – But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed

If you do not want it proclaimed from the rooftops, do not whisper it to a man who may be secretly recording your conversation and not taking good care of the tapes – in essence, don’t tell all of your dreams, desires and plans, because not everyone is always happy for you. Let the journey take its course and things will be revealed when the time is right. Remember, the Devil was once an Angel.

Step 3 – Avoid extremes

Always be moderate in your views and what you voice, life is ever changing and it is through what you put out in the ether and that of which you speak of that comes to life. When you change and drive change, and when it comes to fruition allow for the possibility that tomorrow you are left back at where you started. Do not change to a point where you are unable to deal with the former situation. Be able to move easily between situations and deal with what life throws your way.

Step 4 – Take the opportunity and position yourself

Don’t wait for tomorrow, make that change now and live it, “be the change that you want to see in the world”, as Mahatma Ghandi once said. Get up, get out and do something. It is only through doing that we will get things done and effect change. We all watch form the sides line as life happens, but in the game of life there are two participants, spectators and players, pick one.

One of my good friends, Aamina Asmal, shared this beautiful quote with me by C.S.Lewis, ‘There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind’ , which is so true, with change comes growth, new beginnings, new learnings, a new you and most importantly a new narrative to your life’s journey.

Create your future



One of my favourite quotes is from Peter Drucker, that says ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it’ and it is indeed the way I live my life and the outlook many people should have when living theirs. Life is not about sitting on your laurels waiting for things to happen but really to create things for yourself and to make things happen for your future.

You are the architect of your future, the king or queen of your future you are able to shape your destiny and it starts with being proactive to create the opportunities and to create your future today, for tomorrow. Remaining steadfast in one’s dreams is key, staying persistent, and never giving up, no matter what trials or tribulations you might be faced with.

When Peter Drucker quoted that the best way to predict the future was to create it, he wasn’t just talking about being persistent; he was talking about using the eternal power of thought, the very fundamental energy that all life and reality is born from, to help manifest your dreams.

Dream Big

An absolute must to creating your future, is to first dream it up, and dream big. Don’t allow others’ perceptions of what’s possible influence how big you actually dream. The greatest innovators and the most successful people in the world have always dreamed big. However, in order to truly dream big, and to really allow your subconscious mind to process and believe in those dreams, you need to write them down. When you etch your dreams in your mind, that’s where they tend to stay. You need to bring them out of your mind and onto a sheet of paper.

Find Strong-Enough Reasons

What drives and compels you to leap forward in life? Who or what do you believe in wholeheartedly with every single fibre of your being? You can’t predict the future by creating it if you don’t believe in it first. That belief starts with your reasons. You need to have strong-enough reasons that you must achieve these goals. What are your reasons? Think about it carefully and really put your effort into writing this out. Envision it so deeply and ensure there is a monumental reason behind it, that you are able to see it through.

Create a Plan

It’s not enough to just dream big and have deep-rooted reasons for wanting to achieve your goals. You also need to create a plan, an action plan. A goal without a plan is just a wish. You need to take the time to create a roadmap. How will you get from the present point to where you want to go in life? What are all the steps you need to take to hit your milestones on the way to your goals? You need milestones so that you can stay on track towards those bigger, longer-term goals.

Analyse Your Results

To get from one point to the next, you need some metric for tracking and measuring your results. No matter what goal you’re after, or whatever future you’re trying to create for yourself, you need to be able to analyse the results. Without this analysis, it’s easy to get lost in the obscurity of your results, and in turn, lose your focus. Analysing your results also helps to give you some momentum. It’s in those small wins that we’re able to keep pushing towards creating the future of our dreams.

Stay Focused and Committed

When goals are new, they’re exciting. They’re lustrous and shiny. But as time passes, those goals lose their allure. They’re not so exciting after months and even years. In fact, for the most part, we tend to forget about them after a while. You have to stay focused and committed, it boils down to just how committed you are to your goals. Clearly, if you want to predict your future by creating it, you have to instil a certain level of belief and faith in your abilities to achieve your goals.

Assess and Realign

Constantly assess your plan and aim to keep yourself honest on where you are in achieving the goals you set out and if are still on the right path. Its important to keep checking in on your plan and if required, realign your compass and get back on track to where you need to be to create your future. Most importantly enjoy the journey and enjoy every moment while doing so.

Seize the Day – Carpe Diem Life is not about how hard you are hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”






Letting go of Social Norms



Growing spiritually and being Happy by letting go of social norms and beliefs, is an important lesson I have learned as I progress and mature in life.

The spiritual dimension influences up to 80% of our lives. On average, our deeds in the past, decide about 65% of events in our life in the form of destiny. This destiny is played out by various elements, both in the physical plane and in the spiritual realm.

The Spiritual Path of Action is inherently about practicing Spirituality by the principle that ’As one sows, so shall one reap’. If we were to look at why we experience happiness or unhappiness in life, from the viewpoint of the Path of Action, then all happiness and unhappiness and all of our life’s events are experienced as either due to destined or wilful actions.

The destiny that we are born with is just a sliver of our accumulated give-and-take account over all past actions. Through our destiny, we pay or gain the merit of past actions and thoughts. There are beliefs about happiness that actually make us unhappy, here are a few:

Belief 1: I need other people’s approval to be happy.

Do you often do things only to please other people? Human beings are driven by “social proof.” Approval is extremely important to us. We wait to buy the latest gadgets to look cool. We attend family gatherings to appease all members. We don’t pursue our dreams because our families don’t approve. But just ask yourself: Are these actions (or inactions) bringing you any real happiness? The pursuit of approval is very different from the pursuit of happiness. Let’s not fail to distinguish between the two.

Belief 2: I will be happy when I have…

…a bigger house, a promotion, a baby, awards, degrees, respect, those designer bags and shoes! It’s the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination (or attain a specific goal), you will be happy. The reason why this belief is so strong is because it’s partly true. Yes, you will feel happy when you get promoted or buy a house. The question is: Is this happiness lasting? While you will escape your neighbours noisy parties, you will have to pay interest on your bond and spend good money maintaining your new house. Each level of accomplishment will bring its own set of problems. Does this mean you stop working toward your goals? No! Goals are important, and one needs to be ambitious. However, think about this: You can be happy now and also when you get the promotion. Do you really need to postpone your happiness?

Belief 3: I can’t be happy unless everything goes right.

Have you ever lost your luggage on a vacation? It upsets everything, doesn’t it? Instead of enjoying the charms of a wonderful new city, you’re running around buying clothes and other stuff, wondering if the airline will ever return your luggage. That’s what happened to me on my trip to Amsterdam about 9 years ago, one of my first trips to Europe – excited and no clothes to wear accept the clothes I had on. Strangely, now when I think about that trip, the trouble I faced because of the lost luggage doesn’t bother me, in fact I recall still having a great time, and managed to buy clothes the next day and on arrival with no clean clothes for the following day, I still painted the down red. The only thing that mattered to me was that I had an opportunity to travel to Amsterdam and experience the wonderful city.

Belief 4: I can’t be happy because of what’s happened in the past.

The past controls us in mysterious ways. You might have lost a loved one to misunderstanding or death. You might have failed to achieve your dreams. As a result, you may have developed one of these beliefs: “I am not meant to find happiness” or “It’s not my destiny to be happy.” I believe that I have the right to be happy, despite my past misfortunes. Your past doesn’t control your future unless you let it. Millions have turned their lives around. If they can be happy, why can’t you?

Belief 5: Happiness is not a habit that can be learned.

Can you actually learn to be happy? Like learning baseball or the guitar? Yes. Happiness is a skill—one that you build through a number of daily choices. Numerous studies have indicated that people who are happier have certain habits: they exercise, meditate, pay attention to their relationships, pursue their goals diligently, lead balanced lives, are grateful. Research shows that by thwarting negative emotions, such as pessimism, resentment, and anger, and fostering positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and gratitude, the brain can be trained to become happier.

Happiness does not depend on fate; it depends on our habits—habits that anyone can learn.

Our beliefs can bring us happiness or sorrow. Is anything in life ever perfect? We have ups and downs every day. Life is imperfect—perhaps that’s what makes it more interesting!

Question your beliefs about yourself, your life, and happiness from time to time. See if they still serve a positive purpose. If not, change them.

What beliefs do you think you need to change to be happier?

Remember, most importantly you don’t have to follow social norms.


Success is an Iceberg


Iceberg Illusion

What people See and What people don’t see.

Do not fool yourself into believing that success for most people comes easily or they are born with it.

Determination, drive and desire are the common themes. Most successful individuals are just very skilled at making it look easy, however it is always a struggle and there is so much people don’t see.

Often people don’t know the hard work you have put in or take the time out to get to know your story.

Success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” So it goes with saying that highly successful people are better at accomplishing their goals.

If you want to find success in your life it’s important to understand what successful people do … and the things they don’t do, to better understand the things ‘you don’t see’ that has helped them achieve their success.

They don’t define success with money.

Successful people aren’t necessarily wealthy … but they’re usually happy. Happiness defines their success more than money.

They don’t make important decisions on a whim.

Successful people think before they act, especially when it comes to important decisions.

They don’t underestimate the importance of planning.

People who are successful keep at least one journal to plan their schedule and track their progress. Many people even keep two journals: one for personal planning and one for scheduling/work.

They don’t go to sleep until their to-do list is done.

Highly successful people always finish what’s on their to-do list. And it makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

They don’t make their to-do list overwhelmingly large.

Keeping a to-do list is essential, but so is keeping your list of tasks manageable. Successful people don’t bite off more than they can chew. They keep their to-do list small and scalable.

They don’t set unrealistic goals.

People who accomplish great things in life set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-driven) goals.

They don’t work for hours on end.

Successful people work in small increments and take frequent breaks. This helps them get more done in less time.

They don’t sleep the day away.

Early risers get more done, plain and simple. The hours you have in each day are limited. Successful people go to bed at the same time every night and get up early, refreshed, to conquer their day. (Unless you have the occasional deadline that might require that from time to time).

They don’t put others before their family.

Successful people put family first. Work is important, but never as important as experiencing life with the people you love most.

They don’t work harder, they work smarter.

Successful people don’t necessarily work harder. They do work smarter though. They work with the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle. They focus 80 percent of their efforts on the 20 percent of work that will give them the greatest return.

They don’t always get what they want.

Let’s face it: life doesn’t always give you what you want. The difference between people who find success and those who don’t, is successful people are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good.

They don’t go a day without giving thanks.

Successful people make it a point to write things down that they are thankful for every day, keep a journal a bucket list to track completed vs still to do and be grateful for your achievements.

They don’t walk past the homeless in the street without giving some of their money or time.

“Success” is also defined by how much you give back. That’s why truly successful people will always stop to help someone in need and give their time or money freely.

They don’t let themselves go.

You’ll also find that successful people are usually healthier. They take care of their bodies and minds and make the time to eat healthy and exercise frequently.

They don’t let bad habits control them.

Highly successful people find ways to turn bad habits into good ones. They tend to maintain clarity and control of the direction they are going in.

They don’t know everything … and that’s okay with them.

Another measure of a successful person is this: they’re thirsty for knowledge. They know what they know, and more importantly, they know what they don’t know. Personal development is always a key driver.

They don’t care what other people think about them.

Highly successful people ignore the naysayers and the pessimists. They surround themselves with people who are going to make them better and couldn’t be bothered with the insecurities of others.

They don’t back down from adversity.

Another trait of successful people is that they choose to see challenges and moments of adversity as opportunities to grow. They fail fast and grow quickly.

They don’t stop.

Highly successful people are relentless in their pursuit of a happier, healthier life. They go to great lengths to achieve success … but don’t stop there. Successful people constantly find ways to continue to improve themselves. They believe success is a choice, and they choose to focus their time and energy on the things that will lead them to that success.

Everyone has dreams but not everyone possesses the power, knowledge and ability to make their dreams a reality. Carpe diem – seize the day!



What values do you live by in your life?


IMG_7013Creating a basis where you know your purpose, making the right decisions in life and leadership becomes easy when you know what values you live by.

Making the right decisions is only the beginning. Leading with values is important for leaders because it creates and maintains company culture, informs employee selection, guides the direction of company growth, and adds meaning to the work required to maintain the organisation. That meaning starts with the leader, and passes down to all levels of the team. In your personal life, it is the basis for your home, your family and the way in which you live your life.

However, understanding your values and doing the “right thing” isn’t simple. In fact, for all of us, it’s a lifetime challenge that requires thought and practice. So let’s talk about the definition of a value.

What is a value?

Many people think that values are ethics or morals; they’re not. Values are what is important to us, what we ‘value’, and what gives us purpose. Just as organisations have values, individuals do too. Most people have approximately 5-7 core values that identify who they are at their core. Each person’s values are unique to that person.

It’s important to note that values aren’t just for work. Values reflect who we are on a daily basis, in everything we do at home and at work. This holistic approach helps us be a leader in all aspects of our life, not just in our careers but also in our homes.

Why do I need to know my values?

Values give us our sense of purpose. On a leadership level, when we align with our values on a daily basis, we have more energy and feel more fulfilled because we are leading from what’s important to us. When we don’t align with our values, we feel less authentic and become demotivated about our daily lives, which reflects in our leadership.

Think of it as a building/structure: values are our foundation that keep us grounded in what’s important to us. The strength of the values determines the strength of the structure, and all the other elements that fills the structure. A strong structure supports the ecosystem around it; a leader with strong values supports the organisational culture.

My mom always taught me the importance of being grounded and understanding that there is a higher being, and being a good person and doing the “right” thing is key. Being mindful of “intention” is key to one’s on-going success. I always remember the saying by the Dalai Lama: ‘Open your arms to change but do not let go of your values’.

5-7 values that identifies me at the core of who I am is as follows:

Appreciation. Taking a brief moment to say, “thank you,” or acknowledging the blessings, achievements and success you have achieved to date is paramount, as it fills your soul with more passion to grow.

Exploration. The action of traveling in or through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it. Exploring and discovering forms a key part of growth, and through wanting to find out more and learn, we grow and we develop ourselves.

Devotion. Some days are just naturally better than others. It’s the same way in our interpersonal relationships and in our faith. Things can get unstable at times, but staying devoted to a higher being, or to a person through the uncertain times is our rock to grasp when things get shaky.

Commitment. Commitment shows loyalty and it can show bravery and tenacity as well. A commitment is a promise made and an expectation we have created. Honouring our commitments can make the difference between achieving what’s most important to us or feeling disappointed and defeated.

Integrity. What defines our character and our integrity is not measured by what happens to us; but rather by how we react and respond to what happens to us.

Optimism. I am a ‘glass half-full’ person. The value of optimism is clear, when your mind is positive, all areas of your life reaps the rewards – take what you have been given and make the best of it.

Vision. Vision is created by our dreams and daydreams. Vision provides the avenue to take our lives to wherever we want them to go. Our vision reminds us that we are always capable of learning and growing into who we want to be.

’Carpe Diem’, seize the day and be the best YOU can be, through knowing your values and living by them.


The biggest risk will be the one you don’t take



One of the most important lessons passed on to me was living life through experiences and exploration.

Life is about exploration – one of my dad’s favourite quotes is: “Dance like no one is watching, Love like you have never been hurt, Sing like no one is listening, Live like heaven on earth”. I remember it clearly, a printed image on my dad’s fridge in his apartment in Chicago overlooking the Chicago Times building, the first time I visited him since he had moved from Joburg to the US. This was my first trip abroad at the age of 16 traveling on my own. This was also my first experience and eye opener to how important travel is in teaching you life’s lessons.

Ever since  then, I have made it my life’s goal to make a list of all the countries I would travel to on my bucket list and all the other experiences I would explore in my life.

If you don’t live your days by personal goals and plans, chances are you will spend most of your time caught up in your day to day activities while life passes you by. In fact I had a teacher who always said “if you have not written it down on paper, it doesn’t exist in the mind to fulfil”. Hence, the importance of writing, making lists, and more importantly a “bucket list”. I started my bucket list in high school, achieving one of my first goals, which was to learn another language, and this was German, but also listing down 100 things to achieve while I am still on this earth.

I have now managed to travel to almost all my bucket list countries and more with one country still to visit which is Peru, and do Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. It does feel good to know that I have worked hard at achieving these goals and have achieved 96 items of my list with only 4 to go. These 4 are a lot simpler than the 96 I have focused on for the past 16 years. These last few I am still hoping to achieve over the coming years are: 1. Whale Watching 2. Machu Picchu – Inca Trail 3. Learn to play an Instrument and 4. Watch a live tennis match, Djokovic in action.

Ever feel your days are passing you by without any tangible output to speak of? What did you accomplish in the past 3 months? I often take stock of my achievements and how much of my list I have managed to tick off and achieve, it doesn’t only inspire you it also makes you see how grateful you should be for being able to achieve these things and how fortunate we all are to be able to do so. Reflection and taking stock of one’s life is important, and often we don’t set aside time to do so. What are your upcoming goals for the coming months? Do they mean anything to you if you are to die today? Having a bucket list reminds you of what’s really important so you can act on them.

Even if you frequently live by goals or to-do lists, they are probably framed within a certain social context e.g. performance, career, health. A bucket list opens up the context. It’s a forum to set anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do, whether it’s big, small or random.

I have listed down experiences such as: starting my own small business, smoking an original Cuban cigar in Havana, swimming with Dolphins, sitting for a couples portrait, building a large snowman, go fly fishing, go skiing, attend an opera at the Sydney Opera House, snorkelling on a remote island, attending a Formula 1 Grand Prix race, eat at one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, it really can be anything your heart desires.

Live in the moment, Take a chance, Live Now – Be in Love with your Life, every minute of it and never lose your sense of wonder. “Our physical lifespan is but a short speck of our existence in the universe”. What are you waiting for? Life is short. Live it. Take risks, as the biggest risk will be the one you don’t take. To new experiences and adventures.