EPIC FLOW

Engaging, Participating, Interacting, Creating – Fulfillment, Leadership, Organization, Wisdom

Three Keys to Living An Epic Life

Posted by Herman Najoli on August 18, 2010

There are many different traits that are essential for a better life but when it comes to truly winning in life, there are three crucial traits that one must embody. These are knowledge, passion and humor. Let’s take a quick look at each of these: 

Knowledge

Knowledge is the key quality that enables a man or woman to realize his or her true personal potential. Knowledge sets one apart since it enables you to demonstrate higher capacities and capabilities. The difference between one’s current state and a future desired state is normally bridged by the quality of one’s knowledge. Knowledge lifts you up from the pit to the pinnacle of your desires. 

Passion

Passion separates between the committed and the non-committed. Passion is the one essential quality that enables the realization of dreams and desires. Passion births zealous commitment in an individual and enables him or her to stay focused on the quest for a better life. All revolutions throughout the history of mankind have always been brought about by passion individuals.

Humor

Humor is an essential trait because it provides us with the motivation to continue striving through situations that may not fully be desirable. Having a sense of humor about life is essential. Fun, excitement, enjoyment, laughter and happiness are key pieces in teh puzzle of life. Life offers us many unique experiences and challenges. Humor enables us to ride these unique experiences and challenges without losing motivation.  

Posted in Creating, Engaging, Interacting, Participating | 4 Comments »

Engaging, Participating, Interacting and Creating at the Global Level

Posted by Herman Najoli on July 30, 2010

Nothing demonstrates the beauty of humanity more than a coming together of people of all races and backgrounds. I’ve always enjoyed mingling with people from other countries and cultures. That is why I chose to volunteer with an organization that is doing a lot to build cross-cultural understanding in my city. If we are going to make a positive impact in this Century we will need to understand our place in the global community of humanity. Every human being, regardless of social status, needs to have a dream of at least visiting another country and culture at one time or another in his or her life. Having a global perspective really changes how you see your own community.

It’s true that kids dream of visiting other countries and touring around the world but somehow that dream dies before they even get into their teenage years. What kills the dream? Is it the comfort of being in their own safe and secure neighborhoods? Whenever I visit schools to speak with kids, I always encourage them to hold onto that dream. Such an opportunity is an eye-opener and should never ever be passed up. I’ve been to a few countries and each experience was amazing in it’s own way. In today’s world it is unthinkable to live and operate without an understanding of the world around us.

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Elevate your life; give maximum value

Posted by Herman Najoli on June 7, 2010

We have been told many times in the past that “If you build it, they will come”. This line was popularized by a movie, Field of Dreams, I believe. While this was a great line for many years, it proves to be insufficient for today’s world. Today’s world demands that whatever you build must provide value. Value is measured by the contribution that your idea brings to the table. The line that works in our world today, as opposed to the world of Field of Dreams, is this: “If you build it and it provides value, they will come.”

Let’s talk about value then: the value that you and I bring to the table. I know and feel that, as conscientious individuals, you and I absolutely love what we do. Just like you, I wake up every morning and I want to give my absolute best in whatever I do throughout the day. Some people will say that most people don’t have a passion for what they do. They do just enough to keep from getting fired because they are being paid just enough to keep from quitting. I hope that’s not your situation because I want you to embrace the idea of providing maximum value on a daily basis. When you embrace such an attitude, your life gains immense purpose and power. Elevate your life, give maximum value on a daily basis. 

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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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Nurture Your Ideas

Posted by Herman Najoli on April 25, 2010

There’s a quote that I once heard which has been attributed to a number of people. It’s about the delicacy of new ideas and how they can easily be lost. It says, “A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” My hope through this post is to inspire you to live an epic life by nurturing your ideas.

Ideas are seeds of potential and promise. Careful nurturing of ideas leads to breakthroughs and success. Poor nurturing results in a failure of not knowing what might have been. I grew up on a farm in the Western region of Kenya. We had lots of chicken and one of my favorite tasks was collecting eggs after they had been laid. Eggs for me have always symbolized ideas – you drop them and they are gone. It’s very hard to salvage a dropped egg. I’ve seen some people scoop it up and still use it but by that time it’s already a mess that not worth saving.

Well after the eggs had been laid, I would go around and collect them into a nice padded bucket. Some of the eggs would go to the market right away and others would be carefully selected and put aside so that the hen can brood on them at the opportune moment. There are some eggs that are usually ready to go to the market soon after they are generated. These eggs don’t last long in the market. After a short while they get cooked and eaten. But there are those eggs which are brooded on by the mother hen. These eggs usually hatch into beautiful chicks which become the hope of the future of poultry population.

Now, think about your ideas. Are you sending them to the market too early or brooding on them? Do you want to add value or to multiply value? Which one is more preferable to you: making profits or reaching pure potential? Learn to nurture your ideas and your ”brooded on” idea will become the seed of pure potential. 

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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 »

Leadership Anatomy

Posted by Herman Najoli on February 20, 2010

One of the key characteristics of an epic life is being in the flow of leadership. A few weeks ago I drove by a bakery and discovered the anatomy of leadership. I was attracted to the bakery by a group of people that were hanging out to get some free bread. I came up with the following four things that leaders should follow:

1. Follow your ear (I heard the noise)

Learn to act on what you hear your followers whisper. If you can act on the whispers, you won’t have to react to the screams later on. Sensitize your ear to the imperceptible cries of your people. Your ear should be able to vibrate with what is resounding from the lives of your followers. A leader should always have his ear on the ground but not all the time because if you are always bent on the ground and listening you can’t be able to see ahead. There must be a balance. The leaders ear must ring with the voices of the people. 
 
2. Follow your nose (Oh the smell of bread!)

Strive to perfect your ability to smell what is coming. I learnt this from watching leopards hunt back home in the plains of Kenya. Their main advantage is that they can smell their prey from very far. Let us endeavor to smell the future before it arrives. The better your leadership smell buds, the more accurate you will be in anticipating inevitable happenings. The leadership nose is able to determine what is good and what is bad. We like what smells good isn’t it? Leaders should be able to sense the flavor before serving their followers. That’s the key to winning their hearts. 
 
3. Follow your eyes (I saw the crowd)

This is where many leaders lose it. They leap before they look. In more adverse situations, they think before they look. I would like to change a very popular saying. They say “Look before you leap” but I say, “Look before you think and then think before you leap.” As a leader, you must be able to first analyse a situation, synthesise it and then pounce on it. Because leaders possess the big picture and see the whole view before their followers, they can easily be enticed by what looks appealing. Leaders should be able to see, then use their minds and determine the right course of action.

4. Follow your gut (I sensed they were getting free bread)

Intution is a leader’s best friend. This is something that many leaders have yet to fully grasp. You can’t teach anyone how to listen to the gut. It’s something that is cultivated personally. Just a little wisdom to help you as you do this: THE GUT SIGNAL is like red lights flashing within you. Leaders should be able to sense things so that they are not caught unawares.

Ear, nose, eyes and gut – the anatomy of leadership!

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Creating Strategically

Posted by Herman Najoli on January 12, 2010

We can learn a lot from architecture. Some of the most beautiful creations of mankind have been done through architecture. Architecture is simply the structure of anything. In construction circles, it is the act or process of building.

In the flow of life, the architecture of vision is the act of giving structure to that which has been intangible – your vision of the future – and you need a strategy to do that. Going back to our opening quote, we are the architects of our own fortune. Fortune is a child of vision. When it is said that where there is no vision people perish, what that really means is that where people lack hope in the future, there are no fortunes for them to reach for. Vision should birth strategy and strategy, my friends, is the key to your fortune.

Let us briefly look at the work of an architect. An architect takes a user’s vision and brings it to life. He plans and designs that which had been conceived in the mind. Many architects are great visionaries and strategists.

One of my favorite visionary architects is R. Buckminster Fuller, the creator of the Geodesic Dome. His concepts were revolutionary. The dymaxion car (contracted from DYnamic MAXimum tensION), for instance. Fuller had a superb ability to dream big and develop audacious goals. 

Living an epic life is directly proportional to how well we act on vision – strategy. Developing goals and objectives that bring the vision into clearer focus is essential.

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Interacting by Sharing Your Vision

Posted by Herman Najoli on November 8, 2009

As a young teen in the late ’80s I used to enjoy watching heaveyweight boxing fights. Those were the days of men like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis. What enabled me to understand each fighter’s vision for a match-up was the press conferences right before a fight. I liked it even more when it was between the heavyweight champion and a contender. The boxers would vividly describe what they would do in the ring and then it was up to them to go out and show that they could back-up their words with action in the ring.

I think living an epic life demands that we be able to share our vision with the wider society and then back it up. I have shared a lot about my vision on this blog and on many of my other sites. Sharing vision gives us the ability to pursue it on a higher level. We don’t share vision to impress people but to set standards for ourselves and benchmarks that will provide us with a goal. Share your vision today.

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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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