I judge a book by it cover

musa-gumede (3)I’m sure you have heard the saying which says ‘you can’t judge a book by it cover’. Which means you cannot conclude by just looking at a person and say you know him.  This has been a belief for many people in the world. I find it not motivating and inspiring especially if you have done something excellently and someone came and say to yo “well done, it’s true you can’t judge a book by its cover”. That person is saying there is something wrong with your appearance. You don’t portray an image of a person who is capable and have ability to perform that specific task. So it might have taken a lot of consideration for them to give you an opportunity to prove yourself, because of your image you portrayed.

So if you adopt this saying to be your policy and allow people to define you by it, that will put you under a lot of pressure and it might makes you lose a lot of opportunities.   To let people define you by this saying means you need to pay less attention on your appearance because you know that you can do the job. However painting a good image is one of the important elements of a human being to create a lasting impression.  There are areas in life where appearance is vital e.g. when you are out to do audition or going for a job interview. The competition is very tough out there. You need to use everything to your best advantage even good appearance. Don’t wait for a time to be given opportunity to do the job, because it might not even reach to that stage. You can face elimination because of your appearance

As an author and an avid reader, I judge a book by it cover, the cover is part of the whole assessment of the book I cannot overlook it. Imagine if you are a lady, would you consider dating a dirty looking guy? Because you hope that he is a good person. If you can’t even stop for him that would been judging a book by it cover.  The appearance of a person set the tone and the manner of approach to be used when engaging in our daily business life. We do judge a book by it cover, it just that we don’t realise when we are doing it.

I’m talking from experience, when I was at school those who didn’t know me  whenever they hear my name called with those who are doing better in their studies they use to say  ‘ hey you cant’ judge a book  by it cover’. They were saying this because they were looking at my outer appearance, a shy guy, a boy from a poor family. As I grew I took a decision not to allow people to say that to me again.  I want to be a person whose inside will reflect on the outside. I was rich in the inside, but poor on the outside.

Good people let us not live by the old sayings without examining them, as to understand what they mean. I judge a book by it cover and I encourage everyone to the same, so we can all paint a good image of ourselves

Musa Gumede

Temptation of Authority

 

63451_10151554086350049_307568727_nFor many reasons, submitting to authority is extremely attractive. It takes the pressure off. We don’t have to think for ourselves. If any problems arise we don’t have to worry about deciding what to do. We can just do what the leader says and be confident that answer is the final truth.Authority is not constrained to a single personage. It takes the form of belief systems, religious doctrines, political parties, and any entity claiming to hold truth exclusive to all the rest. These entities appear to have our best interests at heart. They take us under their wing and shelter us from the world.
In our heart of hearts, we’re all searching for a great teacher, someone who has mastered life and will show us the way. Isn’t it invigorating to discover a potential authority? Whenever I find a new author that strikes a chord I can’t get enough. I read everything they have to offer, hoping to find that elusive truth. But inevitably, my naive enthusiasm wears off and I realize the answer isn’t there.
From childhood we are conditioned to submit to authority. Do what the teacher says or you will be punished. The desire for authority continues in adulthood and there is never a shortage of potential leaders urging us to join them. Consider the books and web pages you read. How many claim to improve your lives, if only you subscribe, tell your friends, and follow their instructions? Understand that all motivation is rooted in self-interest, and be guarded against those who offer simple answers.

There is No One Right Way
I’m not saying that everything offering guidance is evil. There is much to be learned from authority. But it is harmful when accepted unconditionally. There is no ONE right way. The are many shades of truth and ways to live. Growth, intelligence, and perspective are developed by experiencing a broad variety and drawing your own conclusions. By submitting to authority you sacrifice originality and potential for personal growth.
Nothing Will Solve All Your Problems
Many people are of the opinion that if one party took over the government, or if some ideal system was implemented, our problems would be solved. Our problems are not so simple. The root cause is human weakness; greed, selfishness, aggression, and jealousy. There is no system of government that can change human nature. The conflict would remain and people would turn to another ‘answer’.
We see the same weakness exploited at a personal level. Supposed gurus preach miraculous programs. For a price, you can be cured. We are so desperate for authority we flock to these frauds, and in a desperate search for answers oversimplify our problems. Suppose the guru is correct and you make a million dollars, or fulfill some other dream, what then? Authority will give you no lasting peace.

Authority Exploit!
When we submit to authority, we willingly pull the wool over our own eyes, exposing ourselves to manipulation. The greatest catastrophes of human history were caused by submission to authority. September 11th was caused by submission to Bin Laden’s authority. Everyday people are suckered out of hard earned money because they blindly believe in authority. Be distrustful, question what you’re told, and don’t believe that anyone claiming to have all the answers has your best interests at heart.
It is a cold and lonely road to stand alone without authority and rely on your own judgment. But as Emerson said, “To be a man, is to be a nonconformist.” I hope you will choose to trust your own intuition above any outside authority. Be honest with yourself, live by your own principals, and you people will admire you for it. But don’t take my word for it, reflect and draw your own conclusions.
Musa Gumede

What do you have for the New Year!

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It is the beginning of the New Year 2014, just like any other year beginning, some people made this year 2014 a landmark for their personal success. Some confessed as to say this is the year of the new beginnings. It’s good to have time frame for your personal goals and measure them, look what you have achieved, where you lacked and where you excelled. That’s a journey of a purposeful life.

 

Avoid disappointment at the end of the year

The challenge that people normally face is to set up goals and never fulfil them by the end of the year. People at the beginning of the year they make their resolutions, declare their commitments. However not all of them attain those goals at the end of the year, this is actually a disappointment. There are many reasons for not achieving the planned goals e.g. poor planning; laziness cannot be ruled out, lack of knowledge in terms of working towards your goal, etc. This cause disappointment at the end of the year and you can even start to look at yourself as failure. No you are not; it’s the recipe you used in setting up your gaols. People need to remember that we live more than sixty years in this world if nothing bad came up in your way. So you don’t need to confine your entire life in one year, which is only twelve months or just 365 days.  We need to know good people that we can’t get everything we desire in life within one year. This should be a process where you will achieve some goals, and that will lead to another. We have people always having the same New Year resolutions year after year. It’s because at the end of the year they don’t achieve what they wished to achieve as result they put the same thing in the following year’s resolutions.  You need to be realistic and fair to yourself to avoid this disappointment. If you continuously fail in achieving something that might lead to low self-confidence. In most cases people do have the capacity to achieve their goals it’s just poor planning and lack of commitment. In life when you look back you should be motivated by the achievements, so if you always have the same things not achieved that is really disappointing, you need to avoid that disappointment.

You cannot be everywhere at the same time, so you need to have a strategy, be focus because you will end up not  able to  point out your achievements at the end of the year. 

It’s frustrating  to be busy doing something that is not producing good fruits, that is why I say, as it is the beginning of the near year be careful, do things right.  We often hear people asking, what the year holds for them, forgetting that the year is just a combination of normal days. The most important thing is plans you have for the New Year; you can’t just sit and wait for the New Year with no action plan
Musa Gumede

How our generation will be remembered?

Our GenerationLife is full of milestones. Full of seasons. Full of decisions and choices. Driving for the first time. College. First job. Marriage. Kids. Family. Work. Ministry. Empty nest. Retirement. Grandkids. Loss of family members. Death.
It is amazing the impact that one decision can have on future generations.
It is important to connect with history to see a generational snapshot, or you think that your recent generational life experiences are the norm. In studying the generational cycle of our world, you can often see through a bigger lens.  History ebbs and flows, as do generations.  People in different age groups think and behave differently as they progress through the different stages of life, childhood, marriage, midlife, and old age. But a collective generational group has “similar attitudes about family life, institutions, politics, religion, lifestyle and the future.
What will they say about your generation in 2050?  How about in 2114? What milestones have occurred in our nation during this recent generation? What will we be known and remembered for? 
• The first democratic election in 1994?
• Massive government debt and recession?
• Reality TV?
• A materialistic society?
• The beginning of the falling of supper power nations of the world?
Only time will tell.  The rear view mirror will show us clearly one day.   Those few things I listed seem so large that we really don’t think that we could have affected them or made a difference personally.   So let us shut the door, have a seat on the couch, and bring it a little closer to your home.   How will your children and grandchildren remember you?  What influence did you or will you have with those few precious years you have remaining? Mmh…. This is the question we need to continuously ask ourselves
***The full details about the topic above coming soon…***

I’m geared with my heritage, but rooted in Christ.

HeritageI want to look at a sensitive yet simple topic particularly in this Heritage month as we celebrate it in South Africa. I’m saying this because I have heard people proclaiming that  they are not even concerned about where they come from, and they have no history, what they know is that they are living in Christ. For me as a Child of God myself I encourage to have Christ supreme of everything, because our God is Love and we need to allow Him in our heart to live within us on daily basis.
If you look at the book of Matthew, the very first chapter it talks about the genealogy of Jesus Christ, from Abraham to David to a point people of Israel they were exiled to Babylon and to Joseph the earthly father of Jesus Christ.  That was very important to be narrated so we can see the fulfillment of God’s promise that through Abraham’s generation will have the Messiah. If that was not clearly outlined it was going to leave God’s promise open for people who would have denied that. 
Now back to the heritage day, in South Africa is a day in which the founder of Zulu nation king Shaka kaSenzangakhona was assassinated. He was significant to our country because of his capabilities of forming the internationally recognised Zulu Kingdom. So he is a person who contributed to our identity as Zulu’s and South Africans. Now that has become part of our Heritage, how the nation was formed and who was involved and the strategies that was employed at the time. Just like I’m a Gumede it is very significant for me to know which people who played the role within our big Gumede clan, who were heroes and heroines at the time. Just like it is illustrated in the Holy bible in book of Matthew. So that will give me a right to say I’m a Gumede for the Zulu nation in South African and I fear God.
God Himself has encouraged the church to praise Him in different ways according to the ways in which as a nation celebrates. That is why you can dance the way Zulus dances, Xhosa’s, Venda’s ext. That dance and instruments is our heritage, now that can be used in praising the Creator. If you do that, you will do at the best of your ability because you are doing what you know best as member of that particular nation. All is welcomed as long as it is directed in serving the Living God, if fact He made use to be diverse like this so we can praise him in different ways. If we don’t use our heritage for God we are in danger of not gaining people of different nations for God. They will fear that to be the Child of God requires you to forget who you are and start to be this person from space.  As most believers will know that we are not of this world, but we live in it. So the strong connection with our head office which is in Heaven is supreme because without it our life is worthless.
People often confuse heritage and culture, once you pay less attention of the two you are bound to make and uninformed conclusion.  Culture is small part of heritage and if you look at in in conjunction with Christianity that is the topic for another day maybe. What I’m emphasizing to people, don’t be afraid to take pride of your heritage and you can even go further use it to praise God.

By: Musa Gumede

The Smart Way To Handle Failure

When you fail, you have a choice – focus on facts or feelings. If you emphasize your feelings after an instance of failure, you’ll succumb to the victim mindset.
The Victim Mindset
If you are a “victim” of failure, your focus becomes your misfortune. You’ll concentrate on how it feels to have failed (lousy). This is a bad idea for two reasons.

1. You might not try again. Feeling bad and dealing with negative consequences are not the outcomes anyone hopes for when trying something new. Dwelling on these will associate them with your decision to start, and make you less likely to try again.

2. This mindset puts all of the emphasis on the end result, and none on the journey. The journey is never worthless, and is often the greatest part of any project. In a journey that ends in success or failure, you will learn much.
Don’t accept the victim title if you fail. Victims are passive and helpless, and you are neither of those! Failure feels worse than it actually is, which is essential knowledge for handling failure correctly.
The Smart Way To Handle Failure
The best way to handle failure is in the form of a fill-in-the-blank sentence. This sentence puts the emphasis on the facts, and puts your mind in problem-solving mode.
NEXT TIME, I CAN——————— TO AVOID FAILURE
The sentence starts off by saying “next time,” which implies that you’re going to give it another shot! And why wouldn’t you try again? Weren’t you aiming for success all along? How many dart players quit after they throw the first dart and it isn’t a bulls-eye? None. They adjust and try again, and you should too.
The first important thing you can do when you fail is find out why you failed. The unknown blank in the sentence focuses your mind on finding answers; instead of sulking, now you’re problem-solving. When you find out why you failed this time, you can likely prevent it from happening next time.
But what about the emotions of failure?
It’s not always easy or possible to brush those aside. Maybe you feel sad, defeated, and even angry.
The smart way to deal with negative emotions from failure is to transform them into a nothing-to-lose determination. If you already feel defeated, then the bar is low and you can give your next attempt everything you have, without fear. If you feel angry, that’s a great segue into determination and focused intensity.

Be careful of the circle of people around you!

As we proceed with our daily life there are people that we always engage with, it can be a person at work who is cleaning, security personnel, the guy that you always see on your way to work, your bus mate, the shop assistant that you always see, the delivery guy that collect and deliver parcel at work, you customers, suppliers, etc. These are people that we always meet and they form part of the circle of people around you. People mentioned above exclude your former teacher at school, school mate, your relatives, etc. because you always take note of them as they directly impacted your life and you actually noticed their contribution in your life. What I want to talk about here is the first group of people which you interact with them on daily basis and you do business with them while you think you are just doing your work for a day.
Whatever is happening in our life is not just happening; however there is always something that we can learn from it. So have you asked yourself why God at this specific time strategically placed you in a position where you interact with these people that you see on daily basis? What exactly have you withdrawn from your interaction with these people that you are placed with? Maybe the first question to be asked is that are you taking notice of these people or are you opening yourself for an engagement with these people that are in front of you?
The reason I’m saying this I have seen people that you least expecting to get help from, actually receiving help from them. Besides getting help, you are sometimes learning something from interacting with them of which that can be of your great help going forward. Remember you learn from each and every incidence you encounter in life it can be good or bad. So open yourself for more learning it will makes you a better person in future. We need to remember that people we met long ago in most cases we have learnt from them already so there is a little new things that you can look forward to when you try to reconnect with them. It must be the fact that you need to move to the next level of growth that is why you were removed from them, so take up the challenge of learning and learn.
We are not saying disregard your family, your old friends, etc., stay in touch with them, however if you always try to live the past life in present time you will have a little development in your life. The reason for that is because you don’t want to learn and move forward and to understand the importance of the place you are strategically positioned presently.
I have learnt this in my entire life where people outside from my family become so resourceful to me more than the people that you might expect to be. Even the guy next door to you, might be of a great help to you. Our challenge is that we are bound into family tradition, where you only highly consider people from your family or relatives. In most cases that has been proven fruitless e.g. when hiring a person because s/he is your relative/ family member/ friend only to find a person is not even in a position to do that job or getting that business deal. That normally results is poor workmanship which discredits you. This challenge as well that develops a situation where people feel as if you need to belong to a certain family or group to make it in life that demoralizing the society with the capacity.
Good people let us not allow the growth which will be in sailors; we need to fulfill the plan of God to place us where we are and to have the circle of people we engage with. Each and every person is important and let try find out the purpose of knowing or of interacting with people you deal with on daily basis.
By: Musa Gumede

To move from Success to Significant

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DR T Nene

Photo:www.africansway.co.za

What is success? No matter how you look at it, but it will mean accomplishment of your own goal in life or in whatever area of your work.  Success it can be a personal thing e.g. you managed to buy your dream house, car, maybe in business, etc. Depending on what you wanted to achieve. Once you have accomplished what you desired you were indeed successful in that. Others are successfully spiritually, they are able to satisfy themselves and feed the inner person within them.

However being successful do you think is that enough?  Your success will it be inspirational to others?  Your success will able to change people’s life for the better? How long your successes will it be remembered?  Don’t get me wrong we need to be successful in what we do so we can live an exiting purposeful life. However  do not dwell on our success forever.

It is critically important to take our success to another level, meaning to move from success into significance. I’ll mention few people who were beyond success and whom I see or learnt that were operating at level of significance. The founder of the Zulu nation King Shaka.  What he did in unification of the nation is something that will be always remembered by world community. It was more than a success but, it was significant and it will never be forgotten

The late Dr Thokozani Nene what he did for the nation was significant, coining number of isiZulu words that were not even there before. As the society develops, the need to come up with new words always arises. That was significant it will now be passed on to many generations to come. He moved from success and operated at a level of significance. Protecting and promoting the effective utilisation of the African languages in these days seems to be a challenging work.

Paul the apostle from the bible, his teachings and preaching is still changing people’s life even now, irrespective to the fact that it was done long time ago. You often hear people saying ‘you will see what was seen by Paul coming from Damascus’. This is an indication that what he did and what happed to his life was significant.

To live a significant life does not require you to be super rich, you can play a significant role in the community even worldwide.  That is why I call everyone not to limit themselves into success whereas you can do significant things.
By:  Musa Gumede

Be a Believer – Be an Achiever

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Photo by: DTL

Today I want to talk about the crippling disease which as terrorised people for quite a while, without taking heed of it. That is lack of Self- Believe.   When you become a ‘believer’ in yourself you are in a road which will lead you to where you want to go. To believe comes easy when it involves things that are not vital. For example we switch off the lights believing that when we switch them on they will light again.  We make reservations in hotels believing that when we arrive we will find the place reserved. We order goods from stores because we believe they will be delivered to us. The problem begins when we must believe important things
Believe if I can take a closer look at it is just a faith or confidence, if we look at a human being, I can say every person was born a believer. When a child wants something s/he believes that whatever s/he desire will be obtainable if he cries, so a child is a believer not a pessimistic person.
Everyone now appreciate that we are liberated in South Africa, but it was those who believe in freedom who fought for it and made difference, so believers can make difference. To be a believer is to be happy, strong and to believe to have power, if you believe strongly in something you act cheerful. Jesus said in the Holy Bible ‘All things are possible if we Believe in Him’ Believe is a positive power of living.
Believers are Achievers- if you want to achieve something you need to believe in yourself first, have Self-confidence in your abilities and set your goals clear. Achievers believe that this country has more opportunities, and they believe in an opportunity itself. Anyone who wants to advance in a company s/he works for must be believe in that company. People who do not believe in something they will be losers of everything they do.  All believers and achievers have their moments of self-doubts, but have normal self-esteem and sound basic of belief in addition they possess a well-define goals.
Good people let us all be a committed believers, lets replace all negative attitude with optimism and get rid of low self-esteem and believe in ourselves

Musa Gumede