One wise person said, “The Man Who Does Not Read good books Has No Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read.” This applies to women as well by the way. Three years ago today, I decided I wanted to be a more prolific reader.

I identified the Kindle as the device that would enable me accomplish the goal. Instead of carrying a boxload of books, I would just pack then in one small portable device, and read a dozen books a month. After all, kindle versions are usually cheaper than paperback books.

So I sought to buy an e-reader, and the kindle paper white was the obvious leader. (show picture of kindle paperwhite) It is slim and very portable, can accommodate hundreds of books, and it does not develop dog ears.

So I went shopping on the Amazon website for that perfect paper white kindle. Amazon had like 10 versions of kindles. I was a bit confused. Why give a man a choice while you can have only one perfect product and save him the paradox of choice? They had the paperback version alright, but they came in different dimensions and capacity. 5″, 8″, 1GB, 2GB. And they had the Kindle HD that had Android operating system and could do a lot more. This also came in 8″ and 11″. Then they had the Kindle HDX ultimate, which came in 32 and 64, and 128GB, and 8″, and 11.5″. The HDX was dazzling, crystal clear images, great front and back camera, HD movie support, Internet browser, wifi, Bluetooth, and all bells and whistles that come with modern tablets. I fell in love. You see what Amazon did, they oversold a product to me.

This is a Kindle (show the big kindle). I know, It’s big, right? So I ended up buying the Kindle HDX, at a price I would not disclose to my mother, because that was the same cost of a 40*80 plot in our neighborhood. The plots where when you step out of the house, you are on the streets. Never mind.

Now I have this sparkling new Kindle HDX, that could do more than just read books. I could tweet great paragraphs, or Facebook them. Of course if I switched to Twitter, I had to check who had followed or un-followed me, scroll through the timeline, and lazy around retweeting and replying to fans, before switching to Facebook where I would spend another hour in vanity. Then to compensate for the lost time, I would open Temple Run the game and run, and run through the jungle, and slide through cool looking streams collecting golden coins and treasure. By the time I realise what I’m doing, 3 hours have gone by, and my reading time is over.

This pattern went on for a while, until I vowed to arrest it. I bought some physical paperback books which I can read with minimum interruption, with the phones and tablets stored far away. (show the books).

The paradox is, the paper white Kindle could solve all that. Friends, don’t fall for the paradox of choice. When you have rationally made a decision to pursue a path, let distractions not derail you. Pursue it with singular vision, and that way, you shall achieve your goals.

 

You see now, I still need to buy a Kindle, the paperwhite.

Speech delivered at Sema Toastmasters on 22nd November 2017, in the Humorous speech contest, at United Kenya Club, Nairobi, Kenya


“A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.”
― George R.R. MartinA Game of Thrones

“Did you think the lion was sleeping because he didn’t roar?”
― Friedrich SchillerDie Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua

“She slept with wolves without fear, for the wolves knew a lion was among them.”
― R.M. Drake

“Truth does not sit in a cave and hide like a lie. It wanders around proudly and roars loudly like a lion.”
― Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“If ever you feel like an animal among men, be a lion.”
― Criss JamiDiotima, Battery, Electric Personality

“Only in art will the lion lie down with the lamb, and the rose grow without thorn.”
― Martin Amis

“A lion does not flinch at laughter coming from a hyena. A gorilla does not budge from a banana thrown at it by a monkey. A nightingale does not stop singing its beautiful song at the intrusion of an annoying woodpecker.”
― Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“A Lion that hunts for survival in the jungle does not envy the one being fed in a zoo”
― Suhaib Rumi

“Should five slaves dictate to a king? If five baboons bark, must the black-maned lion tremble?”
― Wilbur Smith

“If a lion kills a gazelle, the Universe does not judge the lion as evil and the gazelle as good. The energy and matter of the gazelle is transferred to the lion. Because we are all connected as one, what appears to be death is in fact transformation and rebirth.”
― Russell Anthony GibbsThe Six Principles of Enlightenment and Meaning of Life

“Clever and civilized men will not stay home
Leave your homeland and explore foreign fields
Go out! You shall find replacement for those you have left
Give your all, the sweetness of life will be tasted after the struggle
I have seen that standing water stagnates
If it flows, it is pure, if it does not, it will become murky
If the lion doesn’t leave his den, he will not eat
If the arrow does not leave the bow, it will not strike
If the sun stands still in its orbit
Man will tire of it
Gold dust merely soil before excavated
Aloewood is just ordinary wood if in the forest

Travel by Imam Syafii”
― Ahmad FuadiNegeri 5 Menara

“Lions are neither predators nor killers. They just go for hunting like kings; because they are the kings!”
― Munia Khan

“The personal power of being confident and clear about our actions and saying what we know without holding back is described in the texts as ‘the lions roar.”
― Sharon SalzbergLovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Adopted from goodreads on 6th November 2017


Do you want to change your life? Successfully create happiness, prosperity, abundance, fulfillment, and all your heart desires?

Psychologists say it takes 21 days to form a habit, including a new belief system, with repetition being key. I call this how to brainwash yourself.

Your mind is extremely powerful. It records what you are hearing or saying. It records all your life memories and events as mental movies. It does not hear NOT or NO. If you say I will not procrastinate, it hears “procrastinate“. It cannot comprehend the future. It only knows the present. That is why you should always see your goals as accomplished. It does not know the difference between imagination and reality. That is why we get scared at the movies.

You will draw to yourself the situations, circumstances, people, and events that match your dominant feelings, thoughts, and words. You usually think the same thoughts over and over again, and that is why you get the same results over and over again. It’s no wonder Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results”. So, how do we brainwash ourselves? I find the following four steps effective in brainwashing yourself.
Firstly,
1. Make a list of what you want in full details. This may be things about Lifestyle, education, adventure, or public speaking, whatever it is.
2. Visualize having already attained your heart’s desire. Maybe see yourself speaking at Engage. Begin to talk about what you desire as if it’s already a fact. Use your imagination as a child and pretend. For example, talk about your new found love. Talk about that residence in a top address. Talk about how you are a great public speaker. Stay away from any influence that contradicts your wishes. This can be negative people, negative movies, or even news.
3. Create an affirmation for your needs. For example, “I am”, or “I have” then add your need. For example, “I am a great public speaker”. Every day, recite the affirmation over and over again. Do this for a minimum of 21 days. Make sure it does not feel like work. “I am a great public speaker. I am a great public speaker”.
4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, until you believe it. Repetition creates new beliefs in the subconscious mind. For example positive affirmations work even if you don’t belief them at the beginning. You attract the things that you think about most often.

To recap, make a list of your desires, visualise having achieved your desire, recite your affirmation, and Repeat.

Remember, it takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new belief system.

 

A Toastmasters CC2 Organise your speech, delivered on 1st November 2017, at United Kenya Club, Nairobi, Kenya. NB. Most of the actual speech was paraphrased, and did not follow the script written here


I was having a conversation with @MercyMutemi, and it came to the elected representatives in Kenya who have got into power despite being implicated in grant corruption. “Yaani. We love thieves. Love them. Love them!”, Mercy exclaimed. This led to this social explanation on why we love our looters.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

The tragedy of the commons is an economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the greatest benefit from a given resource. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, every individual who consumes an additional unit directly harms others who can no longer enjoy the benefits. Generally, the resource of interest is easily available to all individuals; the tragedy of the commons occurs when individuals neglect the well-being of society in the pursuit of personal gain. (Source: Investopedia).

Ok, let me now put the Tragedy of Commons into context where the normal villager can understand. This is if you have ever been to a grazing field. In most African societies, we have common grazing fields. All villagers graze on common grazing fields. This is what we call community land. But because the land has no ownership, we overstock livestock, deplete the pasture, until there is no enough for our livestock, and our animals die. On the other hand, if you have your own land, say 10 acres, you will be careful not to overgraze or overstock. So you will partition your land into paddocks, and ensure your animals graze in the paddocks using a pre-determined timetable not to deplete the pasture. That is the perfect example of the tragedy of the commons.

The tragedy of the commons: We only care if our MCA, MP, or Governor stealing from us. But if our Minister or President is stealing, he is our tribal hero. He is increasing the size of our paddocks.

What is the political relevance?

If a politician from our tribe is stealing, we have some untold pride. They are grazing on the community land of other communities thus not affecting us. We are sad if a politician from the other tribe is stealing from the common basket of all communities. We are sad when our governor steals because we are all from the same tribe in a county. The governor is grazing alone in our communal land, and denying us opportunity also to graze. All this translates into the convoluted book by Michela Wrong of 2010 who quoted whistle blower John Githongo philosophy of “it’s our time to eat”.

In a nutshell, the idea is this, if the politicians are stealing from the National coffers, then they are stealing for us, and denying other communities [enlarging our paddocks]. Which is good for us. That is the narrative some politicians use in their campaigns. They tell the electorate they stole from government to bring to them. Perfect psychology that sells to the majority simpletons in our midst. When one of our own steals, we say “wacha ajisaidie na pesa ya serikali”. We never see it as our money. Its on a bigger budget pool that we cannot comprehend. We don’t even know how it is distributed. That is the main reason we love our thieves. We love our thieves, that is in no doubt. Check the results of your last elections, and see how many politicians who looted public resources are back in positions of power and influence.

@lordmwesh


Tesla Model 3 now on roads

Tesla unveiled the Model 3 in 2016, with Elon Musk promising a cheaper electric car than the Tesla Roadster and Model S.

In July 28 2017, Tesla hosted its delivery event for the first batch of 30 Model 3s pre-ordered in 2016. During this event, they released a bunch of information regarding the price, options, features, and specs of the Model 3.

David Imai, Senior Manager, Exterior and Interior Design at Tesla described the Tesla  as designed in a way where  “form can follow function without sacrificing comfort, performance, or styling”, because the cars have been build from the ground up.

The Model 3 starts at $35,000, but with options the price can get as high as $59,500. This dies not include taxes for your final destination, or country.

Standard Model 3

  • Unit price: $35,000,
  • 220 miles range (354 Kilometers range),
  • 5.6 sec 0-60mph (96kph),
  • 130 mph top speed (209kph top speed)
  • Full self-driving hardware
  • Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity
  • Free over-the-air software updates
  • Full LED lighting
  • Eight year, 100,000-mile battery warranty

Long range model 3

  • Unit Price: $44,000,
  • 310 miles range (499 Kilometers range),
  • 5.1 sec 0-60 mph (96kph),
  • 140 mph top speed (225kph top speed)
  • Rear wheel drive (the beginning configuration)
  • Premium upgrades
  • Three customization options: wheel size, exterior color, autopilot features

Options for Model 3

  • Long range battery – $9,000
  • Paint: Black, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, silver metallic, pearl white multi-coat, red multi-coat (all colors but black cost $1,000 extra)
  • Wheels: 18″ aero or 19″ sport for an additional $1,500
  • Upgrade interior for $5,500 – Heated seating, two rear USBs, wood decor, 12-way power adjustable seats, premium audio system, tinted glass roof, auto dimming and heated side mirrors, LED fog lamps, center console with storage for docking two smartphones
  • Enhanced autopilot – $5,000 – Match traffic conditions, keep in lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit freeway and self park
  • Full self driving capability – $3,000 plus Enhanced Autopilot – This isn’t available now

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be. – Patañjali the compiler of the Yoga Sutra


A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can’t live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, but once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride… So ask yourself at the end of the day, ‘Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?’

— Newt Gingrich


I once met a mysterious guy at a dingy coffe house “ABC coffee house”. The coffee house was located somewhere between KTDA Plaza and development house along Moi avenue in Nairobi. He gave me some random wise words that still resonate today. The crowning moment of his speech came at one of my lowest points of my life, little education, jobless, in a strange land, and business doing badly. He said “success is like a road. It’s a journey you have to travel. The road must have corners, although corners do not last long, and neither are they longer than the straight paths”. That was way back in April of 2007.

This reminds me that it’s not the big things that coubt, it’s those small steps you take in life that propel you to greater heights. Remember, first you have to row a little boat.

To try is to risk failure, not to try is to guarantee it


According to investopedia.com, leadership is the ability to make sound decisions and inspire other to perform well. My definition of Leadership is the intrinsic ability to bring out the best in all team members by putting the group’s different talents to work for the betterment of a situation. Leaders are trustworthy, and demonstrate to their followers that they trust them. A leader is able to see a better world and convince others to join in his vision.
Leadership includes inspiration, confidence, courtesy, a clear mind, and respect to others. Empowering followers is paramount to success of the leader. Leadership also includes giving guidance, and consultancy. Leaders have the ability to share their vision, purpose and passion with others so that others can do remarkable things that they didn’t believe they could do. Some people have described this phenomenon as the reality distortion field. A good example is when Henry Ford directed his engineers to cast an engine with 8 cylinders in one block. The design was drafted but the engineers agreed, to the last man, that it was an engineering impossibility to cast an 8 cylinder engine in one piece. But Ford persisted and it led to the famous V8 motor.
Leaders have foresight to see the future needs of an organization and they have the commitment to move with the vision, making the leader greatly respected.
An icon of the 21st century that I greatly admire his leadership style is the late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple computers. His resilience when odds were against him, his unrivaled work ethics, his humble upbringing, his ability to question the status quo, his vision to change the world, and his unwavering believe that whatever man can conceive, he can achieve. This is a man that had major carries setbacks, but he bounced back to the topmost positions in corporate America with indisputable financial and popular support to Apple products, with a cult following to boot. This is a man, according to his own words “put a dent on the universe” thought the revolutionary products he produced. He said “My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products”. Sarah McInerney of Sidney Morning Herald observed that Jobs was a passionate advocate for his vision and incredibly effective at communicating this to shareholders, customers and staff.
A statement I find great inspiration from was a 1997 advertisement by Apple Inc called Think Different where they refer to the leaders who change the world as “The misfits … The round pegs in square holes … The ones who see things differently, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”.
If you look at all the inspirational leaders of the near past, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Teresa, and Henry Ford, you will see the same traits mentioned by the Apple Inc advertisement. These are People who believed they could change the world, and they did.

I have learned several leadership lessons in my line of work, and from observing successful leaders. My favourite lesson is never to stop learning. The more knowledge you acquire, the more you’ are able to solve life’s problems either in the organization or at a personal level.

Lesson two is that a leader needs to seek for advice. We should realize that we don’t posses the sum of all human knowledge, and when we seek for advice, we will see the world through another persons view. Consultations make other team members feel that they are appreciated and meaningful in the overall scheme of things. Good leaders are those that can listen. It’s puzzling how LISTEN is an anagram for SILENT!
Lesson three is being decisive because after you have lived the greater part of your life, you will only regret the things you never did. Decisiveness is based on the premise that better to try and fail than never to have tried at all. Decisiveness also means that there is no one way of doing things correctly. Different leaders can take different approaches and still arrive at the same goal.

Lesson number four is confidence which can also be termed as burning the ship. This is best espoused by the Spanish Warrior Hernán Cortés who is claimed to have burned his ships during battle so as to cut all sources of retreat for his troops. Confidence entails moving as if failure is not an option; as if failure does not exist. Confidence is the unwavering belief that you will succeed whatever the challenges you face.

Lesson number five is team work. Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said “We must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall hang separately.” Team work is the principle that you will achieve more in the long run if you cooperate in tasks than if you work alone. If you go alone, you will go fast, but if you go as a team, you will go far. A good demonstration is a Marathon race where athletes run in groups, with pacesetters leading the pack. This way, the race is faster, covers greater distance, and the athlete that keeps to the group is likely to win the race which is a gruelling 42 kilometres. In the contrary, the 100meters race is very short, but the athletes run with individual effort, at super-human speeds. With such individuality, you cannot go far.

Lesson number six is having ambitious goals. Without ambition, man has no difference with other primates. James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies called this principle Big Hairy Audacious Goals “BHAGs”. A leader should understand reality but give hope to the team, dream big, and pursue those dreams. All the greatest inventions in the world from the Piano, to the light bulb, to the Airplane were all because of ambition.

Lesson number seven is concentrate on one task and give it undivided attention. When you are distracted from your goal, you will loose focus, your target might take forever to achieve, or it might be superseded by other events. Apple Computers have employed this lesson very successfully by concentrating on very few products, but at the same time ensuring that the few products they concentrate on have the best quality in the market.

Lesson number eight is encouraging growth within the team, and boosting others self esteem. When the team is empowered, it means that you can perform more since even with the absence of a key individual, others will be able to fit into those shoes, and the performance will not be affected. Encouraging growth also helps with succession. A company with good succession ensures Knowledge is transferred between team members.


While growing up, we used to live next to a white family with fiery dogs, probably pure breed German Shepherds. I never got to know the name of the old lady of the home, but she had an old grandfather-like servant called Baba Nduva. Now in the same compound as us lived a large nuclear family called the Tendenis. White man’s dogs don’t live by leftovers. Baba Nduva’s Master ensured she stocked the leanest of beef for her canines. Being sly, a contract not known to us was made between the Tendenis and Baba Nduva.The Tendenis used to take beef every waking day, a delicacy that could only be savored occasionally, maybe a fortnight for those of us who lived below the fabled one dollar a day.

Tendeni was a man towards his pension, with three sons and four daughters, and a wife to say she was overweight is an understatement. Once in her bedroom, I fitted into one of her underwear and it was bigger than a child wearing his father’s suspenders. I could not comprehend the purpose of the rug sagging on my pelvis as I held the hip level-band with arms stretched above my head, until the older daughter reprimanded the youngest one for letting me fit into the underwear. The things kids do!

Back to Baba Nduva. One of the Tendeni’s daughters would stand by the live fence and shout, “Baba Nduva, Baba Nduva …” Occasionally they would call for more than an hour not knowing Baba Nduva had gone to Nakuru’s Bondeni estate for Chang’aa, a locally brewed potent alcohol. The fiery dogs on the other side of the fence would bark continuously the whole while, as if to say “dare steal our meal”. But Baba Nduva would come staggering back home from his drunken stupor and have his way, and sell the dog’s meal for a song, no matter how hard the canines protested. He was assured of a steady income to maintain his drinking habit.

Based on a True Story. All characters are fictional, any semblance to real people dead or alive is purely coincidental.