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Archive for the ‘Fulfillment’ Category

Growth Keys for Becoming A Born Natural

Posted by Herman Najoli on December 25, 2010

Personal growth has always been a key topic when it comes to realizing personal potential. The truth is that if you don’t grow, you will go. Personal growth is a necessity in today’s world.  The secret to any person’s future is hidden in their level of commitment to personal growth and development. This is particularly true for leaders. It’s your “inner” growth which sets the pace for your “outer” leadership. Here are some principles which can generate a life of continued growth:

1. Have a personal growth plan

Growth is not automatic. You have to make a conscious effort to commit to a daily growth plan. This could include reading books that enhance your understanding of your chosen field, listening to tapes and audio-books that elevate your understanding and subscribing to websites or newsletters that enhance your insight. This has to be a personal commitment. There’s a proverb that goes, “You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather is”. Make that commitment. Develop a personal growth plan.

2. Stay out of your comfort zone

There’s a quote I learnt in college that I really like. Ron Osbourne said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”. Many people get stuck in the rut of ”same old, same old”. You’ve got to stretch and expand yourself. Do something new. Do it in a different way. Some wag oce said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Stay out of that comfort zone. Comfort creates ease and ease is the greatest enemy of growth.

3. Grow for who you will be, not what you will get

You need a proper focus if your growth is to go the distance. You can’t just have the goal of acquiring stuff because once you acquire your motivation will wane. Growth should be geared towards becoming a better person, living a better life. Grow to become, not to have. Growth brings good things; good things don’t bring growth. It is more important to be a better person than to have better things. We win in life by being better people, not by having the biggest and the best of stuff. True success is really an intangible thing – it’s the quality of person that you are.

Posted in Engaging, Fulfillment, Wisdom | 4 Comments »

Purpose, Vision and Persistence: How your passion can enable you to smash through barriers

Posted by Herman Najoli on October 4, 2010

We all experience moments in life when obstacles seem to crowd our goals and aspirations. Whether you are a leader of an organization, an employee in a department, a small-business owner, a student, the President or even just a regular guy, we have all experienced many barriers to our goals. I’ve seen so many people with great dreams that would add tremendous value to society but every time they try to plug into their dreams, they get knocked down by societal barriers.

Regardless of your situation or status in life, you to know that you can smash any barriers that hinder your life goals and your organization’s direction. I know this full well because my life has been about smashing barriers. I come from a community that is not well regarded in terms of access to higher positions in my country – Kenya. I was denied the opportunity to come to the United States four times before I finally got the Visa. I came to this country with a big dream and only $140 in my pocket. Imagine all the barriers I have had to surmount in order to get to where I am now. When I told people that I wanted to speak for a living, a lot of them said, “You are barking up the wrong tree, son. You’ve got a heavy African accent, no money, no contacts, ….how do you ever expect to do this?” Well, I didn’t have to know the “how” since I had a solid “why”. My passion has been one – to help people – and that is why barriers are getting smashed as I begin to slice the frontiers of developing people and empowering them to live a better life. Here are some ideas:

Three Core Hammers for Smashing Through Barriers

1. Generate a Solid Idea of Your Life Purpose

Purpose is the key to understanding the “why” of life. When you know what your purpose is, you will not lose heart in the face of obstacles and barriers. Understanding purpose enables you to stay committed and motivated towards pursuing your goals. Purpose produces passion and that is essential in overcoming challenges. Leaders in organizations need to have a clear picture of what the organization’s purpose is.

2. Develop an Enduring Vision

Lots of people have vision but very few stick to it when barriers come their way. If you will smash through barriers, you need to have an enduring vision. The United States as a country has come through many generations of challenges because of an enduring vision that was cast by the founding fathers. I succeeded in finally being able to come to the United States because I had an enduring vision.

3. When Knocked Down, Get Back Up – Be Persistent!

I like reading biographies. One of the stories I have enjoyed so much was that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had a steady stream of barriers throughout his life and he smashed through all of them. Look at this:

In 1816 his family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them. In 1818 his mother died. In 1831 he failed in business. In 1832 he ran for state legislature and lost. In 1832 he lost his job and wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.In 1833 he borrowed money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the next year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt. In 1834 he ran for state legislature again and won. In 1835 he was engaged to be married. His sweetheart died and his heart was broken. In 1836 he had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months. In 1838 he sought to become speaker of the state legislature but was defeated. In 1840 he sought to become elector but was defeated. In 1843 he ran for congress and lost. In 1846 he ran for congress again. This time he won, went to Washington and did a good job.In 1848 he ran for reelection to congress and lost. In 1849 he sought the job of land officer in his home state and was rejected. In 1854 he ran for Senate of the United States but lost. In 1856 he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s convention and got less that 100 votes. In 1858 he ran for US Senate again – again, he lost. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States!

My! That’s a long list of barriers for just one single guy! But you know what? He had purpose, vision and persistence. You can do it too! Let’s smash through barriers!

Posted in Creating, Engaging, Fulfillment, Interacting, Leadership, Organization, Participating, Wisdom | 1 Comment »

Focused Potential and the Pareto Principle

Posted by Herman Najoli on May 3, 2010

When I was a kid my dad bought me a couple of magnifying glasses of varied colors. I enjoyed playing with the glasses and feeling like a serious detective as I roamed in and out of the house looking for clues to mysteries that I created in my overactive imagination. Perhaps the greatest power of those glasses, I came to discover, was that when I held them over a piece of newspaper and allowed the sun’s rays to stream through, pretty soon I would have a fire (I was a little older and understood the need for safety). We lived directly under the equator and the sun was always hot and directly above us for most of the day. However, it’s rays never burnt anything until when they were brought to a point of focus.

While bringing those rays to a point of focus might seem like reducing the sun’s power, it actually increased it’s intensity and resulted in the generation of heat. This is the same thing with our potential. When potential is brought to a point of focus it results in greater output and results. Activity is not necessarily productivity. It’s what you focus on that brings about your greatest productivity. Much has been said about the Pareto Principle, which I believe to be true. According to Pareto, 80% of your productivity will come from 20% of your activity (paraphrased). Here’s the key to generating lasting results: find the 20% of what you are most effective at and give it 80% of your time and resources. 

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Enthusiasm: The Bedrock of Passion; The Key to Potential

Posted by Herman Najoli on March 5, 2010

Ralph Waldo Emerson, that great essayist and poet whose been quoted so many times, once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Enthusiasm is the bedrock of passion and the key to maximizing one’s personal potential. Henry David Thoreau said that the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation. In other words, they do not have a passion for anything. They have nothing to stand for, so they fall for anything that comes their way. How then, can we break through and find something worth standing for?

The key is in having a desire to make a difference. Making a difference could mean changing the way things are or simply contributing to a social condition or situation. Desire is the ignition key, so to speak, of passion. You cannot pursue something unless you really have a desire for it. We generate enthusiasm by having positive desires that will contribute towards a better life and society. Let’s work on generating greater enthusiasm.

Posted in Creating, Engaging, Fulfillment, Interacting, Leadership, Organization, Participating, Wisdom | 2 Comments »

Discover the Key to Fulfillment in Life

Posted by Herman Najoli on October 16, 2009

As a student at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, I invested lots of time in solitude as I pondered about the future and what I wanted it to look like for me. The more I did this, the more it became clearer to me that I wanted to live a better life than what I had experienced up till that time in my life. At that time I had no desire to leave the third world and head for the industrialized West. I loved, and still love my country, but somehow as I began dreaming of a better life and developing my vision for life, it became imperative that I had to leave the country for a while.

Living and experiencing a better life does not necessarily mean that you have to leave your current environment. In some cases a change of location might be in order but it is more a matter of disposition than position. The idea of Better Life Company was conceived after I had altered my disposition, even though I was still in Kenya. I had to change my outlook on life and that elevated my thinking (see my post on Thinking for Engagement) as I began to see myself as a more productive and visionary member of society. My whole purpose in life now is to empower others with knowledge, skills, wisdom and resources that will enlighten, encourage, equip, embolden and enable them to embody the better life. That statement encapsulates the whole key to an EPIC life for me. My vision deep down is a world in which all people are fully empowered with all they need to live a better life. By getting into the FLOW of engaging in society, participating in community, interacting with difference makers and creating initiatives that change lives, I am experiencing fulfillment in my personal life. Have you discovered teh key to true fulfillment in your own life?

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On Eagles, Geese, Turkeys, Crows, Vultures, and Hawks

Posted by Herman Najoli on September 8, 2009

Eagles have always been representative of high calibre leaders. They don’t flock like geese but rather fly solo. While this may rob them of the ability to draft from each other, it provides them with some crucial advantages that are essential for vision development, maintenance, and casting. Here are two: 

One, an eagle and a turkey react very differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey runs under the barn, hoping the storm won’t come near. The eagle, on the other hand, leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher than it could soar on its own.

Two, when an eagle is attacked by a pack of crows it doesn’t fight back. All it does is simply fly higher and higher, knowing that pretty soon the crows won’t be able to fly any higher. The eagle plays smart rather than lose its sensibility in the mindless games of small-thinking crows.

What additional insights can high calibre leaders gain from eagle-like thinking? Here are six marks:

1. Eagles are catalysts of experiences – Eagles make things happen based on their skills and abilities. They walk the road less traveled, defying models in order to blaze new trails. They make epic experiences happen.

2. Eagles possess great vision and execution – Eagles don’t perch on a tree and wait for the cows to come home. They go out and look for opportunities. They are not risk averse. They know when to unleash their cards.

3. Eagles are change agents – Eagles influences others in positive ways. They are 360° influencers. Their influence is not restricted by any categories or attributes. They confound the simple while dazzling the enlightened.

4. Eagles are multipliers of value – Eagles multiply the value of what they touch. Geese add value, turkeys subtract value, while crows divide value. Some groups are infested with vultures who prey on value!

5. Eagles empower eagles – Eagles don’t hang out with hawks. Hawks are pretenders. They are self-conceited, wait for the vultures to leave the carcass before they swarm in to make an even greater mess.

6. Eagles are sources of creativity – Eagles hunt for ideas that result in quantum transformation. They bring about the revolutionary advances that cement their status as high calibre leaders. Let the eagles fly!

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Dance: The Rhythm of an Epic Life

Posted by Herman Najoli on August 11, 2009

There is a Kenyan saying that “He who spends time adorning himself knows he is going to a dance”. This saying came to mind a few weeks ago as I watched my wife spend almost thirty minutes in front of the mirror. When I jokingly told her that she was spending too much time using cosmetics on an already stunning and gorgeous face, she responded, “Stop it charming … I’m not spending time here, I’m investing time”. Immediately when she said that I thought about the Kenyan saying above. Through this simple interaction, the stunner had just contributed towards refreshing my mind with brilliant insight.

Let’s explore the saying. For the purpose of clarifying the idea of what I’m sharing here (and staying on the same track with my wife’s thinking), let me say it this way, “She who invests time in preparing herself knows that there is something special in her future”. The stunner invested a significant amount of time in preparing herself that morning because she was expectating to meet a client later in the day.

Preparation is the key to securing your future. Are you adorning yourself? You should be, because there’s a dance awaiting you. The dance is the future that you were destined to live. One of the most beautiful things in life is a man or woman who is ready when his or her time comes. You may not be in the ‘dance’ of your life right now, but you can prepare because the truth is that every human being gets the opportunity to experience their dance. The problem is that very few are ever ready when the moment comes.

Start adorning yourself. Invest in personal growth. Read books that will prepare you for the future. Develop yourself into the kind of person who will shine on the dance floor when destiny finally says, “Here’s your chance”. Get ready! The quality of dance you expect in your future determines the amount of adorning you will do today. Raise your expectations. You shouldn’t be expecting to go to some mediocre dance. Your goal should be to dance in the most sophisticated dances reserved for the ones who have invested heavily in themselves.

One very important closing thought: Life was never meant to be a battle. Life is supposed to be a dance. Larry D’Anges said, “If you don’t learn to dance with life, life will pass you by and get another partner“. And I say this: “If you don’t learn how to dance today, you won’t shine on the dance floor tomorrow“.

Posted in Creating, Fulfillment, Organization, Wisdom | 2 Comments »

Flowing into a Meaningful and Specific Epic Life

Posted by Herman Najoli on July 30, 2009

One of the quotes that had great impact on my life when I was in college was Zig Ziglar’s famous question, “Are you a meaningful specific or a wandering generality?” This quote came to mind as I was thinking about the ingredients that make a life of purpose, direction and productivity. A keen study of the lives of people who excel will reveal that the main ingredient for their success is usually one thing: passion. Their dedication to a cause, belief in people and commitment to living their best life come from their passion. They find the one thing they really enjoy doing, then do it with passion. Passion is the key ingredient to success. 

Where does passion come from? How can we use it to become meaningful specifics? Passion is born out of desire – having a dream, vision or longing to see something different from a current situation. What do you see in your future? What’s your dream? Martin Luther King Jnr. was a very passionate man because he had a dream for racial equality. Princess Diana had a passion for charity work because she wanted to see a better world. Your passion will enable you to soar from obscurity and into the limelight. Your passion will enable you to realize something greater than yourself. Your passion will enable you to be a meaningful specific. 

Passion is effective when it is birthed from the inside. You must be motivated intrinsically. You cannot exhibit passion on the outside when deep down you are shallow. You’ve got to cultivate it deep within yourself. That comes by immersing yourself wholeheartedly into pursuing your vision or dream.

Here are two key things that generate passion:

a). Relentless Dedication – In order to become a meaningful specific, you must be relentlessly dedicated to making your dream come true. What are you doing on a daily basis that is adding value to your ability to fully become who you were born to be? Are you being true to the voice within you that is calling you to perform at your optimum level? 

b). Steady Focus – Steady Focus comes from always having your vision right in front of you. Think about why you have immense success driving every day – the windshield is right in front of you and you are always looking out through it! It’s the same thing with your dream. You must keep it right in front of you. There are many ways that you can do this. Write it down and recite it throughout the day. Design your environment to remind you of your vision every day.

Are you a meaningful specific or a wandering generality? Go on, live an epic life.

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A Formula For Fulfillment: How to live an epic life

Posted by Herman Najoli on July 11, 2009

Imagine living the life of your dreams – an epic life! Imagine doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing for a living – flourishing in the flow of peace, fulfillment, prosperity, wisdom and happiness. Imagine having the time to do the things you love to do with your family and friends – a combination of engaging, participating, interacting and creating with them. Now, here’s the formula to make that happen:

Desire + Decision X Determination = Destiny!

What does this mean? Let us look at the three components of the formula:

Desire

In The Road to Arrival, we discovered the joy of positive desire and defined it as being an unsatisfied longing (p. 105). Dreams are the product of desire. The starting point of all accomplishment is desire. The fact that you can imagine a certain kind of lifestyle fro your self is a good indicator that you have a desire. A dream is simply a strongly desired goal. Desire is the key to motivation because it develops within us a passion to pursue that which we long for. Your desires, however, must be backed by good decision making.

Decision

Decision is the ignition key of progress because the instant one makes a solid decision, change will be automatic. It’s one thing to have good desires but it’s quite another to make a quality decision of getting up and pursuing those desires. Many people falter in this area because they do not want to make a commitment. Making a quality decision enables you to find the power of being commited towards your desires. Nothing ever changes until a man or woman makes a decision. Decision should lead to determination.

Determination

In Battling for your Prophetic Destiny, we learn about Abraham Lincoln and how he had many failures yet remained determined to pursue the dream of becoming America’s president (p. 33). Lincoln himself said, “Always remember that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing”. Once you make a decision to pursue a dream, there will be many obstacles and challenges to keep you form working towards your dream. You must be persistent.

The key to realizing your desired destiny is to make a decision to be determined as you pursue it. You can live the life of your dreams. You can reach all your goals and surpass them. Stay focused!  

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KUDOS – Discovering Fulfillment

Posted by Herman Najoli on May 21, 2009

A few days ago I was floored when someone sent an email to someone else to pass along some kudos for me. This is a rare word so I went home and developed a KUDOS formula for encouraging others. Here’s the KUDOS formula:

K – Keep your focus on finding acts worthy of encouragement in your people.

U – Underscore the vital necessity of a climate and culture of encouragement.

D – Discover the 101% principle (Find the 1 thing someone is good at and give 100% encouragement in this area.

O – Outline your expectations, knowing that people soar higher once encouraged.

S – Seek to encourage with a desire for the other person’s benefit, not your own.

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