While We’re Busy Being Experts Of Why Others Are Wrong Or Succeeding

Listening to all the disses and praise of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus, reminded me of how many will never do anything significant with their lives. It has shown me how little we pay attention to history. Not in the sense of the past, but how it is being made, today.

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The Influence Of Others’ Bad On Your Good

It is not always easy to judge sincerity. Especially when surrounded by great need. A couple of weeks ago about five hundred people in an informal settlement in Cape Town were affected by fire that ravaged their (makeshift) homes.

Fifteen minutes’ walk from my house there’s glaring need. There are people who’ve made the cover of a bridge their bedroom. Across the street from that group is another community of people living on the street.

A walk downtown Cape Town city has many people asking either for food or money. Mostly money. In that crowd there are people with genuine needs as well as frauds. Me and my friends spoke recently about how challenging it can be to separate the frauds from the truly needy.

Some of the stories of how kindness was constantly abused was both maddening and sickening. Enough to encourage cynicism.

Despite this, it was inspiring to hear that some of the bad experiences caused them to think carefully about how they gave, without robbing them of the privilege or opportunities to be generous.

I’m glad they chose to err on the side of being generous. I’d rather be generous on the possibility that I could actually helping someone who really needs help. And yes, there are as many occasions where help and or generosity was not just a handout but a ‘handup’.

I’m not in any way encouraging irresponsible giving (whatever that is) all I’m saying is:

Don’t let the bad others do stop you from doing good [Click to Tweet]

The frauds will always be there. At the same time, those with real need for a handup will be there. Not all the good in the world is lost…

There is still opportunity for kindness. There’s still the privilege of doing good in the world. Of making a difference, making the world a greater place.

Don’t stop. Be kind. Help someone. Generosity has great rewards not only for the receiver but also the giver. Indeed, greater fulfilment for the giver than the receiver ;-)

[image Ben Grey | cc]


Saying Someone’s “No” – Self Robbery

Nothing significant is ever achieved in isolation. You need others and, likewise, they need you. No man or enterprise is a piece of land surrounded by water.

We all have everything we need to do things that matter. We just don’t have them all within ourselves. Thus, we are sometimes at the mercy of others and they, in turn are at our mercy at other times.

Collaboration and negotiation become necessary in our exchange of needed resources, to meet set goals.

Saying Someones No Self Robbery

Doomed is the one who says others’ “no” for them. That is, never assume the answer is “no” until it is said directly to you. One of the worst things you can ever do to yourself and enterprise is work under the assumption that you can never get from anyone or a particular person something you need.

You say, someone else’s “no” when you don’t ask them, directly. Speculation, mis-informed and mis-formed perceptions result in self-robbery.

Rather get a “no” from those you ask than say it for them. In the worst instance, you never had their “yes” anyway. In such a case it helpful to use your arsenal against “no”. It will simply mean exploring other avenues or sources.

Also, when “No” is said never just accept it. Negotiation is not impossible. Sometimes a little thought and exploration will expose need that the “No” sayers have, of which you can leverage.

Getting a “no” from someone doesn’t mean you can’t get a “yes” from another. Never stop exploring. Don’t stop believing. Optimism is necessary for hope, so nurture it. Someone will say, “yes”.

“Yes” can come just as easily as “no”. Success is a result of working past “No”. Sometimes many of them. The worst and most debilitating “No” is the one you say to yourself on behalf of others. For a successful enterprise, you never tolerate no.

Just never say, “No” for someone else.

image by Luke Hayfield | cc

Why I Want To Go First

So, I made it into the alpha testers of the DeskPM (Desktop Publishing Machine)! Woot! I’m writing and will publish this post using this, so far very cool, and writing inspiring app. It is clean. Simple and no distraction writing app. From Pressgram to this, John is onto something…

Anyway, I was thinking about what to write about, then, it hit me: I thought to write about why I like being first. Why do I love running ahead and trying stuff before it even gets perfect?

I love new. I fall into the category of “early adopters”. I wish I had beat someone to this “early adopters” phrase… I would’ve used a very different word or phrase. “Early adopters” sounds rather calm and non-disrutptive, safe, dignified.

I see the work of pioneers as messy, passion and courage-demanding. I hail the heroes who dare to make the path. There are parts of the immature and younger me that had a little scorn on those who waited for the world to take up something before they did. The ones who play it safe.

Maturity and time have taught me that there is nothing wrong with people who are wary with the new. That is who they are. It is not me. I love being first. As with many things I can rationalise why I love being first but I’m more convinced that I don’t know entirely why. Perhaps the most truthful reason would be, “that’s just how God wired me”.

I think these are some of the reasons I love being a pioneer, in a sense:


This may not be valid for you but it is for me. There’s a thrill in figuring out something first. Some may think this arrogant, but I couldn’t care less. For me, nothing summons adrenaline as the dealing with challenges and contexts that few or none have dealt with. Like X-Games athletes “thrill” is reason enough.


I think the story of anything is not in the result. It is in the journey. I love being a front-runner because it allows me to not only witness a story but to make one.


I take the kind of world posterity inherits as a very personal thing. I have responsibility to generations after me to give them a world with more value than I found. Posterity deserves richer lives and inspiration from me. This is not about a hero complex. Neither is it about fame or ego, it is a matter of principle.

There are a myriad of people, most of which I’ll never know, who have contributed immensely to some of the things I enjoy today. From technological advancements to education and other research. I have more than an obligation, but the privilege to pay some things forward.

Yes, for me this includes backing Pressgram, DeskPM, Not Marked (a book by Mary DeMuth for people affected by sexual abuse). It is the reason I work with young people and tell them they matter and have something of worth to offer their generation and others beyond their time.

Can’t Explain

I’ve already alluded to the inexplicable… The reasons I’ve highlighted are just some of the reasons. I’m still trying to figure out why, but not obsessively. I’ve made peace with the way I’m wired. Not that it was ever something that has bothered me, all I’m saying it is something I embrace much more aggressively as I mature (whatever that is).

We all have things we can’t explain about ourselves. Why we find some pursuits and contexts exhilarating or not. It is both what we can explain and cannot explain that define us. Define our pursuits…

Your Turn

For me, it is blazing trails… What is your approach to the new? What are some of the things you like, yet cannot explain about yourself? Looking forward to hearing from you ;-)

Human Rights Day In South Africa

Nelson Mandela‘s words… Hmm…

Today is human rights day in South Africa. The challenge of holidays is holding healthy tension between the rest / time off AND keeping their integrity.

For South Africa it is a day to remember the Sharpeville massacre where sixty nine people were killed as students protested an injustice of their day.

Injustices in different forms still exist. My thoughts today: what is the most effective way to pretest for significant change in our time.

We must see AND act.