The Good, the Bad and the Smelly

There is something most people don’t actually know about me that is rather peculiar. That is my sense of smell. Since as long as I can remember my smell has been non-existent. I could not smell the most obvious things which in a way was rather lucky for my family has a reputation for emitting the most horrendous odours at any given time, myself included. It never really had an impact on me and there weren’t many times where I wish I could smell like a ‘normal person’.

This past week however, was a big change in my life. I honestly felt different on that day. My work took me to the mountains on that specific day (which was the first time ever actually) and my colleague asked me if I could smell the scent of the untouched nature. Now usually I take a deep breath and act in bewilderment and say something like: “Hmm, smells great” but when I took that breath I could
honestly smell the fresh air that the mountain was giving. It made the hike even more special to witness another aspect contributing to the beauty of what I was experiencing in that part of the world.

What made it even better was that I was able to smell other things over the week such as diesel, pancakes and some not so nice scents. Even now I can smell certain things that are around me that I never could.

Through this brand new experience I have learned a couple new things.

Before I was shielded from smelling anything nasty or peculiar but that also meant I would not be able to smell things that were beautiful and fresh. So to be able to smell a rose or an enticing meal of food I head to brace the fact that I might also smell someones gas or a dirty room.

And that was the choice Adam and Eve basically chose, to give up the perfect place just to be able to know what is wrong as well as what is right, to be able to see the evil as well as the good.

Being able to know the difference makes you appreciate the times where you see the most amazing things.

You will only be able to know what true love is if you have experienced the opposite (which doesn’t mean you need to find someone to break your heart, just learn from other people). You will only know how to treat others when you have experienced it on both levels.

And that is just life. I am so glad now that I have the ability to smell things regardless of whether it is a good odour or not because it is that extra beauty one can find. Our life is so intricate that there are multiple ways to appreciate life and sometimes the scent of nature is all you need to shift your emotions.

As Jon Foreman says:”The shadow proves the sunshine”, meaning that even in dark places and dark times, positive things are happening in the world.

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

The necessity of being part of a community

Growing up I was an introvert. I enjoyed playing on my own, working on my own and pretty much figuring out life on my own. I had what I would like to say my own advice or my own motto that I lived by and that was: If I can’t do something I try to figure it out on my own and if I still can’t do it I seek advice and counsel from others so that I can eventually do it on my own.

The reasoning for that was: What if something goes wrong and I’m left to survive on my own? I would think of the worst case scenarios that I could possibly fathom and see if I was somewhat capable of living on my own. It was something I stuck by until I came across a new chapter of life that taught me something different.

At the start of last year I joined a gap year curriculum that showed me the value of being part of a community. There were countless times where we had fellowship with each other that was in a very healthy way. Sometimes it was just a time of fun and laughter while other times it was more personal and profound, times that made us open up from the things that affected us in a positive or negative way.

Being part of a community gave us that opportunity to seek help from others. It never felt like a burden to ask someone but actually a privilege for both parties. What I also noticed was that when I became part of the community did I not only seek counsel from others but people came to me for they realised what I could offer that they had less or no experience in.

Being part of a community in my eyes makes life simpler, makes it more convenient. Yes in some ways doing things on your own will make you a much more streamlined person and you will have lots of time to work on your craft or
whatever it is you would like to but if you get stuck then what? If you are in need of desperate help then what?

So I guess there is a balance (just like everything in life). There are pros and cons to either direction but we are made for fellowship and we are made to help others. You will notice certain times where you will have such great love for those around you and other times where you can’t stand them, but that’s how life goes for everyone sorry to say.

Be inspired by the goodness of people and not their flaws.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Can recurring signs and symbols you see have a distinct message for you?

Have you ever had one of those days or weeks that you see a certain object or you hear a certain sound and it happens over and over and over again? Does it then feel that the world is speaking to you? That the world is crying out to you? Or do you believe that it is just coincidence?

There was a day this week that I saw a spider web over and over again. It was in the weirdest places, the places in which one should not see a spider web, but it was there. When I went to do my usual checks in the morning I opened up the canopy of the car and immediately I saw the first spider web of the day.

That’s strange I thought. It didn’t phase me though so I carried on with my daily duties.

After checking the car I went upstairs to my desk and on my monitor I saw the end of a spider web which I again thought was strange but did not take too much notice.

But then it happened again, and a few hours later again, it was probably about 5 spider web’s that I saw that day and by the 5th one I got the message. Something was up and I really wanted to know.

Yes it may have all been coincidental but the places I saw the web’s were very significant because it was technically on the things that belong to me. I didn’t see a web on another vehicle and it was only my screen with a little web on it, so there must be more to what meets the eye.

So the following day on my free time I decide to search biblical meaning of a spider and I found an article that I could really relate to. It was in Proverbs 30:28. “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in king’s palaces!”

It(the article) then further elaborates on the verse stating that a spider was outside the kings palace and wanted to go inside but it seemed impossible for the palace seemed too big and intimidating to reach. Eventually though, the spider gave it a chance and started weaving and each day it got a little bit closer to reaching its target till one day it reached the top of the palace.

Yes it is a short summary of the story but what I learned from the story is that sometimes a task looks daunting and impossible till you give it a try, and it doesn’t take a short while but sometimes very long. But you get there. You may toil for very long but the outcome will be completely worth it. Hard work and perseverance always results in a good outcome.

It does sound obvious but the story for me was a good reminder especially because I feel like that spider in my current situation. I feel like there is a very high wall I need to climb and all I need to do is keep climbing and never give up.

One day I will reach the top and be able to look back to where I once was and smile knowing that the hard work paid off.

So I personally believe we can know more about ourselves and our situation through signs and symbols and I believe God put it there for us to see. He wants us to suceed and He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him. He is so incredible that He can speak to us through things that can seem so small.

Here are a few tips to know if God is perhaps talking to you through signs and symbols:

  1. The sign occurs regularly out of the blue meaning that it wasn’t a recurring happening a day or two ago but suddenly it won’t stop happening.
  2. The meaning of the sign has a relevance to your life or perhaps someone around you.
  3. You feel that others are not aware of it but you constantly see it and it seems to be very obvious for you.
  4. You feel a certain sensation in your body that does not happen regularly.

If you look closely and observe nature you might see something truly amazing that may give you the perfect encouragement in whatever situation you are in life.

A link to the article of the spider: https://www.onlythebible.com/Bible-Gems/Wisdom-of-the-Spider.html

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How to work fast and efficiently

Sparking a fast intensity in everything that you do

It’s almost been half a year that I have been working at my first job and it has been a great learning curve. I have been blessed in countless ways through my work, I have learned countless things about the work that I do, how a business is run, how to deal with clients and employees (which I’m not good at yet but definitely learning from it) and even lessons I can use on a daily basis regardless of where I am.

However there is one lesson that I have learned that I have applied to my everyday situation and it has honestly changed my life. My life is not completely revolutionized these last 5 months but it will have a huge impact on
the years to come.

This skill is swiftness.

You might be confused so let me explain:

I work as an assistant wireless technician, meaning that I ensure that the clients of the company are satisfied with the service that we offer, which is Internet or WiFi. If there is an issue, either my team or another would go out and
sort the problem. We also do installations and set up networks for schools or large businesses. There is honestly a lot more that I do that is not part of my job title and a lot more that is but I’d rather not bore you, otherwise I would have no followers and that would make me cry.

Because WiFi is something that should be working 24/7 the issue needs to be sorted out ASAP. So when we arrive at a client we need to make haste, obviously we do not work too fast that we make mistakes or make a mess but rather operate at a higher level of intensity. It is definitely a learning curve but once you get there it
is actually quite beautiful. I wouldn’t say that I am there yet but I have made great breakthroughs.

What has been so amazing is that I have noticed that certain things I do at home or outside of work simply has become so much quicker to do and it has saved me so much time. I really feel that I have now a longer day
because I just get so much done.

It is important also to have a relaxed day which I do have and certainly refreshes ones mind but on the days that you work or do house chores it is beneficial to work at such a quick and efficient pace.

And working at a fast pace is not something one can attain only through my field of work but in anything you do including what you do at home.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Race day: Part 1-Build up

It’s race day! The annual Jbay wind farm mountain bike race is here. Cyclists from all over South Africa have come to participate. Fierce competition was to be expected and prizes that would match the talent of the racers.

It’s my first ever mountain bike race. I have nothing to compare this to. It is all so mysterious, but packed with excitement. Am I fit enough? Will my bike survive on this terrain? And who am I even racing?

These were all the questions racing through my mind.

But how did I get here? How did it all start?

Let’s rewind a few months…

I was having breakfast one morning, or was it lunch I can’t remember, and the local newspaper was in front of me. So I do the obvious thing and not read the newspaper to keep up to date with politics and the nature of the town, but rather flip to the back and read whatever sport is going on.

After turning over the newspaper the first thing I notice is the mountain bike event is happening 10km away from my house!

Just to give a little info on what the race entails:

There are 3 distances one can race: The 25km, 50km and the ultimate challenge of 85km.

The event has been running for the past 7 years and this year it has become a lot more family friendly which now incorporated a 5km and 10km run for those who aren’t that crazy over cycling.

I was so glad that not only was there a bike race I could enter but also one that I can cycle to without needing to find a ride to get there.

I’ve been cycling to work and back every day and whatever errand I had for the day so I felt I had a lot of pre-fitness. So all that’s left is to go for longer cycles and fine-tune my technique.

It was tricky to go for long cycles because work being very time-consuming and having very little time for anything else in the day, and then to top it off the shortened sunlight due to it being winter.

I would go for one long cycle a week and each time I would add a few km to the tally. I was certainly getting fit and also getting some time for myself in an isolated place.

With places like this you get that sense of refreshment and peace with your situation.

One week prior to the race I was confident that I would at least finish the race but whether or not it was going to be a good time I had my doubts.

Now back to the present…

The 50km racers just set off and it was time for the 25km racers to go, I chose 25km because it was my first time racing with no real grasp of what would happen.

I was catching up with a friend so I ended up right at the back of over 150 racers not realising that they were going to start. I had no intention of winning but the intention of riding as fast as I could and leaving nothing behind. So starting at the back was not the end of the world but I would’ve preferred to be a lot closer to the front.

The countdown had begun. Less than 30 seconds to go. The excitement became evident amongst the racers including myself and once the countdown ended we rode off and the 25km race began…

Part 2 of the race coming tomorrow!

What season are you in?

What word would you describe the season that you are in? Has it been a challenging one? Has it been a time of growth? A time of acceleration? A time of stagnation? A time of reflection? A time of meeting new people? A time of lonesomeness?

It may be difficult to say that you have only felt one way in a season but I’m sure you can agree that there was definitely a theme during your current season.

Also note that a time of hardship does not necessarily mean you had a bad time, it just means that you went through a lot but you learned from your experience and in that way grew from it.

We all go through times where we struggle to keep our head above water but also times where you float effortlessly. Crazy how that works. Like the famous saying from Winston Churchill:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts.”

Right now in my life I feel that I’m lacking certain things and certain traits but I was reminded of these few verses in the bible:

There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under the heavens.

A time to be born, a time to die.

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to weep and a time to laugh.

A time to mourn, a time to dance.

A time to search and a time to give up.

A time for war and a time for peace.

There are loads more verses in between but these are my favourites from ecclesiastes 3.

You may feel alone but instead of realising how you are missing out in your relationship realise the freedom that you have with ‘no strings attached’. If you feel that you are struggling in some way remember that it is not going to last forever, you will get out and you will learn from your hardships, and grow from it.

Just remain hopeful in the fact that things can and will change for the better. If you have a dream that you are pursuing don’t give it up, because you won’t lose if you said you tried, but you will never win if you don’t try.

How to influence a large amount of people

Photo by Sebastian Ervi on Pexels.com

Have you ever felt like you have something to say? Do you feel that if you had the opportunity to speak to a crowd you would change many hearts to give them the determination to not give up and live life to the fullest? How can I convince an organisation to let me speak to their students/employees or whoever you feel you could have an impact on their lives?

To have that opportunity is not as simple as what you may think and I am pretty sure those who would want to do what I just said may sigh because they don’t know how to get there.

If you still have that desire in your heart for public speaking then read on for I have 2 ways that could potentially get you your first gig.

Start small

You want to speak to a thousand people, but have you spoken in front of just a few? We all have these huge dreams of going to the Olympics, becoming a lawyer, a successful businessman or whatever it may be but I’m sure you can agree that to get there one needs to put in the hard work, start small and do whatever needs to be done. Public speaking is the exact same. One needs to find an audience or a place to publish your skills.

How can I do that you ask?

The internet!

Just find a website or even websites to showcase your talents. This will not only give you a platform for what you would like to do one day but it strengthens your skills and gives you a few more. A great place to advertise yourself is You-tube. Almost 5 billion views are watched everyday on You-tube. You are not only getting better at spreading a message but your video skills, photography skills and even your marketing skills could be enhanced.

Another obvious place is WordPress. It may not be a place for all public speakers because now you rely on your writing to get you on the internet but nonetheless a great place to advertise your skills. It is in fact the most used blogging website in the world (this is not a sponsored post by the way :).

I am also one of those people who would like to share my voice and inspire others but that type of opportunity will not always fall on my lap, I need to do something about it. I decided to use WordPress for I enjoy writing as well as public speaking, which is quite funny because it was the complete opposite a few years ago.

But any dream starts with a vision on how to get there and applying it and then your dream becomes a reality.

Just ask

Honestly if you have something you want to say and you have a place in mind just ask! Email them, give them a call or walk up to the front desk and just ask them if you could go on stage and speak to an audience. You may be surprised as to what they say.

There is this one You-tube channel called YesTheory and they live off the premise of seeking discomfort by doing uncomfortable things in order to challenge themselves. They go outside their comfort zone so often I don’t even think they can have an uncomfortable zone(if that is even a word lol). One crazy thing they did which is just a speck of the crazy things they have done which was to ask the Mayor of Venice in California if I am not mistaken to meet up and they actually did.

You should really check them out if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/user/PracProcrastination

If you don’t have a desire for public speaking that is also fine but hopefully I have encouraged you to chase whatever dream you would like to achieve.

You will get your opportunity as long as you are willing to put in the hard work.

Also figure out why you would like to share your voice to others, because if it is just to praise yourself or to become famous people will sense that and may not help you get to where you would like to be.

If you want to be heard you first need to speak.