Cold showers

In the month of February I decided I would take a cold shower everyday regardless of the weather. The only time where I did not take a cold one was when I didn’t shower at all that day, so I would say it was a pretty successful challenge. And for those in the northern hemisphere you may think I’m crazy, but it’s summer for me in the southern hemisphere so I’m not completely crazy.

So why cold showers?

Well most people hate it, it’s not very pleasant and also a task in which I would really have to encourage myself but in many ways it was simple for I did not have to change my lifestyle, routine, I just never turned on the hot water tap.

There are also many health benefits in taking these cold showers. It reduces your stress levels because it imposes a small amount of stress on your body so in a way you are conditioning yourself to actually face a situation that causes tension.

Cold showers are great in the morning for it increases the state of alertness. You will need to take deeper breaths when in the cold shower decreasing the carbon dioxide in the body helping you to concentrate.

Gives you a stronger immune system. Cold showers have shown to increase the amount of white blood cells which protects you from diseases.

You can even experience weight loss with cold showers.

As always the first few days were difficult, but when I came to visit my family the beach changed from the Indian ocean to the Atlantic, and that is a stark contrast in temperature, so much so that after swimming at the beach the cold shower is actually warmer. It was just like extra conditioning for my body and adapting to the cold.

They say in a marathon one quits somewhere in the middle because at the start you have the adrenaline keeping you going and at the end you realise how close you are to finish. For me though in this challenge it was at the start and the end in which I wanted to quit. The start made me question what I was doing and what the meaning of all of this was and the end I started to lose that motivation, thinking that I’ve done enough cold showers already.

But I made it!

I would encourage you to try it out for at least a week and see the changes in your life and body. Do it for whatever reason, but have a good one for that will help you to never stop.

This challenge made me realise how important it is to push through and encourage yourself because there will be times where you will be the only who can, you may get into a situation in which you are alone and then you will need that inner-being pushing you and taking through your ordeal.

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Atlas

Dancing in the flames

To quantify the pain

All that’s made is dust

What can we change?

Oxygen infused

Dazed and confused

Born to rust

In what can we trust?

We fall down

We fall short

Will we ever measure up?

Dream so large

Gaze at the stars

Consternation of the constellations

We men rule the nations

We were the fall

We are the fall

He loves us all

Call me atlas I’ve got the world on my shoulders

No man’s an island but I’m sinking like Atlantis

Doubt that scientists will uncover me

It’s a spiritual discovery

Large thanks to my brother for this

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Self-Improvement

I’m not one to say: “Apologies for such a long wait for my next post, it has been busy, ” or something like that. But it has been a while, a very long while. So apologies. Perhaps you will find out why in another post. Who knows.

Entering a new year one surely has a new year’s resolution, or at least some sort of goal that you would like to achieve.

At the start of 2019 I had long-term goals. Goals that I set out before I even knew where I was or where I would be going. And quite frankly, the 2 big goals I set out were unattainable.

I did in actual fact have smaller goals that I also set out. Some were realistic while others were not so much. In many ways I was surprised. I did fall short on some but even the ones that were real challenges were eventually completed. The one goal was actually accomplished a week before the year ended.

So assessing the previous year I acknowledged that I was in many ways too audacious and unrealistic. So instead of making such large goals as last year I have decided to do monthly self-improvement exercises, as the title suggests.

The first challenge was 31 days without a grain of sugar. The reason why I chose it is because I am rather addicted to it. It is something I feel that I can’t live without which is not a good thing in any sort of way. It is a real challenge, but attainable.

An excess of sugar can lead to many sicknesses and diseases, perhaps more than you think. Diabetes is one of them. I have nothing against the sugars you find in fruit or any natural food, but rather any added sugar.

The problem may not come right away but there is a long-term issue when it comes to sugar. It can lead to blindness, tooth loss, fatigue in mental capacity and even produce Alzheimer’s. It’s sounds harsh but that is the reality.

It’s as if we are not aware of it and I think we all have more sugar than the sufficient amount. So I challenged myself in January (and I challenge you too).

Sadly, I failed the challenge.

On the 25th day I was almost forced to take a chocolate. I refused at first but this person was someone who just doesn’t understand the word “no” and unfortunately I’m not usually the one to argue. So I left it and grabbed a piece of chocolate.

It wasn’t even that tasteful. It tasted like regret.

But the rest of the month I held out strong. Actually, no I didn’t. I felt so disappointed that I indulged in sugar. I had too much. But it was a good challenge and I learned from it.

To set a goal for yourself you need to be relentless with it. As “V” would say: “Beneath this mask is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof.” If you are passionate about a plan and you believe in it, then it will be very difficult for you to give up on it. Even if those around you don’t believe in you.

It is already the end of February so perhaps one can start the next month with a 30-day challenge. To give a few ideas such as waking up earlier than you normally do. Read a certain amount of pages in a book each day. Or how about no complaining for a whole month!

It is still good to have long-term goals, and also good to adjust them to be realistic but yet takes you out of your comfort zone. When you write down your goals your motivation to complete them increases. Some say it makes you 42% more likely to complete a goal.

Set goals that excite you and scare you at the same time.

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Home

I have been requested by a fellow blogger, in fact someone I feel even to say a friend, to share a post in which I show some photos of my beautiful country South Africa.

Firstly, let me say this: No, there aren’t lions that roam the streets, in fact it is rather a safe place. Yes there are wild animals, but outside the city, hence the word ‘wild’.

There was this one time where a horse crossed the road, but that was a one time thing.

So I guess I could start where I grew up. It was a suburb just outside of Cape Town. I grew up there my whole life basically. From the day I grew up to exactly the day I left I was in one home. Literally the next day my family moved, oh the irony.

I have nothing bad to say about where I grew up. Great community and lovely people, beautiful forests and things to do. There just wasn’t a beach nearby, but I guess I can be content with a 20 minute drive to the beach.

Image result for majik forest durbanville
This is Majik forest. A place that gave so much memories, many walks, bike rides, picnics and one of the places to have quiet time. And it was just a 5 minute walk to get there.

Something I enjoy to this day is hiking. It may have been ingrained in me due to my father and his father going out for a hike on a regular basis. The more daunting it is, the better. I still have a dream to climb Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world, but more daunting than that I want to climb Mount Everest. It sounds like a silly thing to do because of the high danger factor, but that is what fuels my flame. They say if something excites you and scares you at the same time you should probably do it, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Here are some of the photos one can see in the southern tip of Africa. If you ever need a tour-guide/ hiking buddy you know where to look.

Moving into adolescence I came to the lovely town called Jeffrey’s Bay, the place with arguably the best waves. And this is no understatement, you can really look this up.

Image result for jeffreys bay waves

I am very fortunate to have seen what I have seen thus far and to what I will see in the future. I have met some incredible people, some which I can call my friends. Just reminiscing over these experiences makes me realise how we can be so focused on what is wrong in this world, why we are treated unfairly. But then I see these beautiful places I have been to, the wonderful untouched nature in which I have placed my feet on. It is truly unique experiences that I have memories of, pictures I can take a look at every once in a while. Who knows what lies ahead? What is the future? It is rather unclear and that is why we need to make the most of our experiences. Sometimes the hardest thing to say is yes but it may change your life.

On another note, I am going to change my username to something a bit different. What I have noticed is that someone has in actual fact the same blogging name as me, just another domain. So if one has any ideas I would like to hear it. Hope these photos make it a bit easier.

Thanks for reading to this point! May it be a great year that lies ahead!

Can’t beat a sunset at the end of a post can you?

Recipe for success

Sorting out your relationship with God can actually sort out other things.

Starting a career can be challenging. You have reached that stage where you are mature enough to think with substantial intellect as well as live an independent life. For some it may be more difficult than others, so the age varies.

What I have realised as an adolescent is that your time is devoted to many things that was once not previously assigned to you, such as doing your laundry or washing the dishes. With so much less time to relax and socialise one needs to make the most of their day. Sometimes your day is just not long enough.

My focus as my first year as an independent man was on my career. My friends, family, leisure and adventure was important to me but I certainly put work over everything. The first few months was tough: Most nights I would go to bed and wake up after and before the rest
of my housemates. If I wasn’t at work I was programming at home, public holidays were my days where I could optimise my day to just programming. The only rest I would really get is Sunday mornings if I didn’t have to be at church early. So it was tough and I struggled to see growth. It felt as though I was in some sort of stagnation mode.

Fast forward to the start of the year and things were different (I mean obviously, you can’t blame me for making new resolutions and sticking to it for at least a few days ;). I received a word of guidance from my dad stating that at this stage of time in my life I need to be careful where I cast my rod out, to keep it to those who can accept it rather than any person I come across. My rod at this point of time should stay in clear waters, in the church.

My focus shifted.

From being completely focused on work it has now been completely the opposite. It has been focusing on being a disciple of Christ, reading the word and most importantly spending time with Him.

Regardless of the way things are going at work, home or my sorroundings I have been grounded due to the fact that I am with Him. Things look brighter than what they may appear to most.

It has been a few months though that I have been waiting for growth in my life, for acceleration, going to the next level. Now it hasn’t been my current aspirations,

Then when listening from Travis and waiting for it, boom.(I don’t blame you if you have no idea who Travis is, neither do I.)

A job offer.

An opportunity to go the next level at work. A promotion if you may. It has been something I was waiting for so long and now it is here.

Even though my mandate for the current season is not about work,I have received opportunities to grow and to gain responsibility. As soon as I shifted my focus to Him things changed for the better.

Yes there has been a lot of growth over the months and I am certainly ready for promotion I still feel that it has more to do with my posture. Putting God as your ultimate will always make your end result the most blissful outcome you can fathom.

At the end of the day it is not about what you accomplished in your career but rather what difference you made and who came with you.

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How to walk with confidence

I read one of the funniest stories in the bible the other day. Significantly short. But the message I found was impactful on my own life, and it gave me a laugh.

The story comes from Acts 20. Paul is in the town called Troas. He intends to leave the next day so he decides to speak to the people until midnight at a home. When it started to get very late one of the men started to fall asleep. He was sitting by the window and when he eventually fell asleep he fell 3 floors. When they picked him up they said he was dead! But when Paul came and picked him up he said:”Don’t be alarmed, he’s alive!”.

As soon as Paul touched the man, he rose from the dead! He didn’t say a word, didn’t pray for the man. He simply had so much power and anointing from the Holy Spirit that simply by touch he could raise people from the dead. And even in his other stories, people would use a handkerchief that Paul touched as a healing tool for the sick.

What stood out for me was how confident Paul was. I’m almost certain he walked to the man with the faith that when he touched the man that he would wake up. The confidence that he had was not in a spirit of arrogance and in the belief that the miracles that was done through him was because of his doing, instead he had the spirit of confidence that God had shown and given to him.

I feel that we need to live the way that Paul lived. With the confidence not in our own ability but from our creator. The one who has set us free. The one who gave His only son to take the burden of all our sins on himself. Our boundaries should be defined by our Father and not by the things that others tell us are boundaries.

Another thing I realised was that the way Paul postured himself was a direct reflection of the relationship he had with his father. They were probably so close that he could audibly hear the voice of the Lord. He would know when to do what, when to take a step forward, when to take one back, when to leave, when to stay. All because of the relationship he had with the Lord and the time he spent with Him. There was definitely tough times, times where he wouldn’t hear the voice or touch of God. But he knew what was in him, and that’s enough.

We all go through phases. And there are times where we neglect our bibles. We don’t have the drive to get out of bed and go to church, saying a simple prayer is tiring. We just go through a rut with our relationship with God. So how do we get out?

Going back to the basics.

Taking it slow. Start by just reading a chapter a day. Pray for 5 minutes and you will see your life change for the better. Imagine not seeing your friend for a few months. You would lose that tight bond you had. It’s like your daily bread. You constantly need a fresh loaf of bread, otherwise it will go stale and won’t fulfill you the way it should. We need to constantly spend time with Him so that He can reveal another part of His complex heart. We may never understand Him while on earth but there is so much we can while we are alive. Intimacy. That’s all I’m saying.

Confidence and intimacy. That may change your life. Having these 2 key characteristics will show you the way ahead for yourself and to others.

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Life without pain is painful

If you had to ask a world-renowned sports athlete how he became so prosperous he would say that he suffered. If you had to ask a famous writer how he has become so crafty with words and sold many books he would tell you he suffered.

I heard this today in an interview with Jon Foreman, the lead singer and guitarist from the band Switchfoot, great band by the way, and he overheard it from someone else at the store funnily enough. Long story short the message he wanted to bring was that there is light in the chaos, a reason for adversity. if we never struggle in life we may struggle!

My favourite passage in the bible comes from a story in 2 Corinthians 12:10. It’s when Paul gets a thorn in his flesh and at first he is angry that it has happened to him but then comes a moment where he has come to terms with it. A moment of euphoria.

He then says: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and difficulties for when I am weak; then I am strong.”

Through the pain and suffering he finds his strength in God and grows from the experience. I’m sure there was an experience you had in your life that was seemingly impossible at the time but now would seem rather doable, perhaps easy.

I had that moment just recently, I do find it hard to say that it will be easier and less stressful next time around but even so I will at least know how to deal with the situation a lot more efficient.

I was challenged with an amount to pay that was just too much. Although I have some savings in case of an emergency I would still not be able to cover it. I would have to take out a loan that would possibly take me at least a year to pay off while I change my lifestyle to extreme minimalism. Practically never eating out. Not buying miscellaneous items I might need. Not putting money aside for my future. Nothing.

I had that plan but it was stupid. Flawed. I only started to get a better way to sort out the problem by seeking counsel from my mom. Aren’t they always the best advisors?

So I would have to plead to the other party and request that there is anything they can do, but I was nervous, worried what they would say. So I gave it a day. That evening my life group worshiped and sang the song Good Father. It reminded me how good He is, crazy isn’t it? The coincidence. Even though things are not going the way you want them to, even though you walk through the valley of suffering, fear and even though it seems impossible God is good. Maybe I do take out a loan, maybe not. Regardless He is good.

I started to declare it. When I was ready to confront the other party I was filled with peace and it turns out I couldn’t have gotten a better deal. I saved myself from a large loan. I was thrilled.

You may look at adversity and shake but I look at a time of suffering to produce growth(sometimes). What God also said in that passage is this:

” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

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