A Legacy of Peter Moleme Mamabolo

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My dad passed away last Saturday, 12 November 2016. He was 68.

He taught my brother and me so many things that we will always be grateful for.

Thank you for teaching us the love of books.

Thank you for teaching us the value of hard work.

Thank you for reminding us how much it mattered to care.

Thank you for teaching us the importance of discipline and sacrifice.

Thank you for teaching us to take initiative, to pick ourselves up, not wait to be picked.

Thank you for teaching us humility.

Thank you for teaching us the power of sitting down and hashing out issues instead of screaming about issues standing up.

Thank you for teaching us gratitude and to say “Thank You.”

Thank you for teaching us to always be positive. Even in your darkest hour, you remained hopeful.

Death might think it has won, but our love for you will always win.

Thank you for teaching me not to seek attention and spotlight but to seek and do work that matters, and give attention and reflect the spotlight to others.

Thank you for believing in us.

Your impact on us will live forever in our hearts.

I tried all my best to help you recover from your illness, but my best was not enough. I’m sorry that I couldn’t help you heal. I really tried.

Thank you Peter Moleme Mamabolo.

Thabo and myself will miss you so so much.

Until we meet again, robala ka kgotso Kolobe Ya Bjatladi.

 

Abundance or Scarcity: Which way do you live?

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Scarcity mentality;

  • There will never be enough;
  • Believes the pie is shrinking;
  • Competes to stay on top;
  • Seeks attention, me mentality;
  • Hoardes things from others
  • You have to lose, if I am to succeed;
  • Will not share knowledge;
  • Will not offer help to others;
  • Secretly hopes others fail;
  • Suspicious of others;
  • Exclusion;
  • Promotes only self and accomplishments;
  • Afraid of being replaced;
  • Thinks small and avoids risks;
  • Fears change.

Abundance mentality:

  • There will always be more;
  • Believes the pie is growing;
  • Let me help you, as you grow, I grow;
  • Collaborates to stay on top;
  • If I succeed and you succeed, we all succeed;
  • Shares knowledge;
  • Gives attention;
  • Want others to succeed;
  • Freely offers help to others;
  • Inclusion;
  • Promotes others and their accomplishments;
  • Strives to grow;
  • Believes the best is yet to come;
  • Does not seek to control, but to empower.

 

Abundance or Scarcity: And the connected world

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We are moving out of the industrial age, an economy based on scarcity and into a connection economy based on abundance, abundance of  choice, connections and access to knowledge.

In our new connection economy where it is easier to connect with anyone in the world, we can connect with more people and leverage our skills at a higher level.

This is leading to two races:

  • A race to the bottom which is forcing us to lower our prices, because it is easy to find plenty of people who will do something cheaper; or
  • A race to the top which gives us the opportunity to use our new connections, resources and knowledge and become the one “they can’t live without.”

The connection economy does not create jobs where we get picked and then get paid; the connection economy builds opportunities for us to connect, and then demands that we pick ourselves.

It is no longer sufficient to just do your job and get paid a good salary; a connection economy is all about standing out and not fitting in, it is about being remarkable, not average.

We need to invent, not duplicate.

So how do we stand out in a world of abundance and noise?

I believe we need to be authentic and true to ourselves.  We need to take the ultimate risk and listen to that voice inside because that is the voice that should be heard.

We need to be vulnerable in order to race to the top. 

At the end of the day, we are all human and we can spot a fake or an imitation when we see one.

Most of all we need to remember, we are human beings with basic human needs, one being the need to connect with our fellow human.

We do not connect merely on devices alone, you connect by telling your story. If your story resonates with others, it spreads.

Today that means it gains traction quickly and spreads globally.

But you do not connect with people by doing the same things as everyone else or regurgitating the same information.  You make connections because people are human and they will always spot “the real deal” in a crowd.

So be vulnerable, be different, be brave enough to stand out with a fresh approach to old problems and you will not need to race to the bottom along with others clamoring for those scarce jobs. 

You will be the one carving out the opportunities and picking yourself.

Abundance or Scarcity: Enough

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In the scarcity mindset, all that matters is how you compare to others.

In the abundance mindset, what matters most is how you compare to yourself, how you live out your own ideals in your day-to-day life.

Social media encourages scarcity mentality.

On social media, people often post highlights of their life, showing off all of the good things going on, but avoiding the mundane things and (usually) the bad things.

If you spend time comparing the whole of your life to someone else’s highlights, you are going to naturally feel inadequate.

Social media will make you will feel you are not enough, you will feel you need to get more and more things, check-in at fancy events, check-in at airports slow-lounge, post a selfies with important people.

You compare yourself to your peers, whilst a middle class individual compares themselves to a millionaire, a millionaire compares himself to a multi-millionaire and a multi-millionaire compares himself to a billionaire. Who does a billionaire compare himself to? A god, a mega celebrity or an esteemed historical figure. There is an insatiable appetite for glory manifesting as scarcity among most of humanity, even among the wealthy.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scene with everyone else’s highlight reel.

If you are struggling with comparing yourself to others, cut back on Facebook and other forms of social media. Instead, focus on thinking about what you can do right now to make your life better.

There is more than enough for everyone.

There is enough pie to go around, there is no need to compare yourself to others.

I think we each need to be confident that we are enough. Each of us, innately, is enough. We don’t need validation from Facebook likes, retweets, or attention-seeking.

And beyond that, we have enough.

We have enough time, we have enough talent, we have enough energy. And if we don’t, we have enough intelligence to go find it.

We each have to find our own ways of getting what we need. If we don’t, it won’t be because there is not enough. There is enough.

You are enough, you are so enough it is unbelievable how enough you are.

Abundance or Scarcity: The joy of not being sold anything

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Almost every form of media, in some way, revolves around cultivating desire for things you don’t have, which is a key element of the scarcity mindset.

Advertisements are particularly nasty in this regard, but that is just the first piece of the equation.

Quite often, the programs themselves [or the articles, if you are looking at written media like websites and newspapers and magazines] are written in a way to cultivate desires.

You watch TV, you get to see things you don’t have, the scarcity mentality then sets in and you know what you want to buy the next day.

TV is like one long cat-walk stage. You watch Suits or The Fixer, you already know what you need to buy at month end, a suit or smart formal dress.

You are bombarded with adverts on your way to work, billboards trying to sell you something, adverts on social media selling you something, adverts everywhere at the Gautrain while waiting for the train, at the airport, in newspapers, radio, friends selling you something.

The best way to battle that onslaught is to simply reduce your media consumption.

Take an hour where you might have watched television or browsed the web and instead spend it doing something outside with your hands.

Use that time to do something to improve yourself in some way.

Media drives the scarcity mentality.

Peace of mind is the joy of not being sold anything.

Abundance or Scarcity: There is enough for everyone

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You breathe in. You breathe out.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

We both need oxygen to survive.

Would you worry that there would not be enough oxygen for both of us? Of course not, air is abundant.

Abundance mentality is the paradigm that says there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody.

It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making.

It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

Typically, the abundance mentality focuses on the long term.

It involves a deep understanding that just because you do not get to have something right now does not mean you will not be able to have it later.

There is no need for the stampede to get to be the first in line.

Skipping a party right now does not mean you will never be able to have a good time again.

Someone else getting a raise or promotion at work does not mean you will never get a raise or promotion.

Another person finding a nice relationship is not a source of jealousy, it is a source of genuine happiness for that person, because you know that person’s happiness does not take anything away from you.

Abundance mentality mean you become less paranoid and too much money does not give you itchy hands.

Something will come around. It always does.

I think the world can be a better place should all the people across nations adopt the abundance mentality mindset.

Nature provides for all but scarce mentality mindsets makes it difficult for fellow inhabitants.

There is enough for everyone.

Poverty is created by leaders who have scarcity mentality.

Leaders who only think of themselves, their own followers, countries only at the expense of other nationalities.

We celebrate our leaders because they are doing very well for us and only us, we are oblivious to the sufferings of people in other countries.

Matured leaders are leaders who make decisions for the greater good of the world, not necessarily of the people they are leading.

Scarcity mentality says as long as we are happy, that is what matters.

Abundance mentality is about connecting to people, doing work that truly matters, bringing remarkable change.

LORA Entrepreneurship Series: Lynette Magasa – Saturday, 12 November 2016

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LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship strives to bring thought leaders, men and women who are pathfinders, entrepreneurs and change agents, men and women who have affected the very fibre of our thought processes, who influence our set of beliefs, and engage our mindsets in elements of value. 

LORA has invited 10 experienced entrepreneurs to share their stories with us. On Saturday, 12 November 2016, we will host Lynette Magasa, founder of Boniswa Corporate Solutions.

Lynette Magasa sold fish and chips at her grandmother’s shop during her school holidays. Today she heads her own firm, which operates in SA and the rest of the continent.

She started her career at state-owned defence technology conglomerate Denel as a receptionist while she studied human resources. She was soon was promoted to a human resources administrator’s post.

Three years later, she moved to Sambou Bank, where she was responsible for creating financial packages for corporate clients.

Behind her drive to succeed was her determination to study, which she has done with hardly a break for nearly all her working life.

She has a national diploma in logistics, a BTech in IT and is currently working for her master’s in IT.

Today, Boniswa’s annual turnover is about R35 million and it employs 70 people, ranging from engineers and technicians to administrative staff and cleaners.

Her inclusive approach means she never talks about “my company”. It is always “our company”.

Lynette Magasa was a finalist in the 2013 Topco Top Women Awards and the winner of the BBQ 2013 Trade and Investment KZN New and Innovative Business award.

Come join us and interact with Ms Lynette Magasa and other like-minded entrepreneurs.

Date: Saturday, 12 November 2016

Time: 13:30 – 15:00

Charge: R100 (LORA Centre students get 100% discount)

Venue:

eNitiate, 
Building A, Country Club Estate, 
21 Woodlands Drive, 
Woodmead, 
Gauteng South Africa

(there is secured parking)

To RSVP online: www.loracentre.com

Abundance or Scarcity: What you think matters

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I first learned about the scarcity mindset from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Most people are deeply scripted in the scarcity mentality.

They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.

The scarcity mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life.

People with a scarcity mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit, even with those who help in the production.

They also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.

The scarcity mindset revolves around the idea that there simply is not enough to go around. 

There can be only one increase at work and if one person gets it, everyone else cannot have it.

Scarcity mentality creates the culture of “never enough.” We always seek more because we feel if we do not amass more and more, we won’t get the opportunity again.

Scarcity mentality says if I win, someone has to lose, and if someone is winning and succeeding it means I’m stagnant and losing.

Scarcity mentality says if I’m elected a leader, I have to amass wealth as much as I can because I have a limited period on this position. If I have not amassed enough, I will have to extend my stay in position and create an impression that I am the only best person for the position.

Scarcity mentality say if I am an entrepreneur, I have to exploit and pay as little as possible to my employees and service providers because that way I will be seen to be ruthless and wealthy, and only the ruthless survive in business and only the wealthy are respected by society.

Scarcity mentality says there can only be one person among my friends who drives a fancy car, stays at the right address, and that person should be me.

Scarcity mentality says I only live once, and that means I have to have fun while I’m still young. If I do not party now when I am young, I will never have the chance to party later.

Scarcity mindset always focuses on the extreme short term of every decision. It focuses on the smash and grab, the one hit wonder.

Scarcity mentality forget that you don’t live once, but you live everyday.

Scarcity mentality forgets that you have to work hard now to earn your success later.

Scarcity mentality forgets to remind you that if your business fails, it is not the end, there will other businesses that you will start and succeed.

Scarcity mentality forgets that the pie is enough for everyone.

The beauty about the connection economy and the pie is that even if the pie is small, you have the opportunity to bake your own pie and stop fighting for a single pie with too many hands on it.

There is an abundance of opportunities, and you will see them once you change from scarcity to abundance mentality.

Book Review: The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

 

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This book about innovation in the technology space, to be precise it is about the history and evolution of innovation in the technology space.

Walter Isaacson takes you back to 1843 from Ada, Countess of Lovelace, who published “Notes” on Babbage’s Analytical Engine and takes you through a journey of other innovators in the 1930s, 1960s, 1990s until 2011.

Most of these innovators in the book I have never heard of. It is only when Walter Isaacson gets to the early 1970s that I recognize innovators such as Bob Metcalf, Alan Turin, Paul Allen and Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Steve Case, Larry Page and Sergey Brin,

One of the biggest challenges with innovators is how to commercialise their inventions.

Techies are not very good dealmakers, dealmakers are not very good techies.

What Walter Isaacson manages to do very well demonstrating the importance of collaborations in the innovation space.

Innovators need entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need innovators.

No one person is responsible for the innovation of computer technology.

There are innovators who perfected the transistor, others mastered the internet, others developed the web, it is always about collaborations between different inventors in different periods.

The invention of one led to the emergence of another innovation in another era.

The book is technical, with a lot of computer jargon. It looks at the evolution before the birth of the computer, programming, the transistor, the microchip, video games, the internet, personal computers, software, online, the web.

Walter Isaacson introduces you to so many innovators in the computer technology evolution. The book is well researched and has depth.

Ranking

8/10

It is a great book if you are a techie, I love history. I believe anyone who considers herself an expert in a subject matter should understand the history of that subject.

If you are in the technology space this book is for you.

The challenge for me was the technical jargon in the book and too many people involved in the evolution of computers. I got lost in the jargon and in the characters.

It is a thick book, over 400 pages. I enjoyed certain chapters and other chapters were a challenge to finish because they were too technical.

I would recommend it to techies. If you are an entrepreneur and loves innovation, Walter Isaacson wrote a brilliant book about Steve Jobs’s life. Steve Jobs

Favourite Quotes

  • “But the main lesson to draw from the birth of computers is that innovation is usually a group effort, involving collaboration between visionaries and engineers, and that creativity comes from drawing on many sources. Only in storybooks do inventions come like a thunderbolt, or a lightbulb popping out of the head of a lone individual in a basement or garret or garage.”
  • “Progress comes not only in great leaps but also from hundreds of small steps”
  • “Innovation requires having at least three things: a great idea, the engineering talent to execute it, and the business savvy [plus deal-making skills] to turn it into a successful product.”

  • “Innovation resides where art and science connects is not new. Leonardo da Vinci was the exemplar of the creativity that flourishes when the humanities and sciences interact. When Einstein was stymied while working out General Relativity, he would pull out his violin and play Mozart until he could reconnect to what he called the harmony of the spheres.”
  • “The tale of their teamwork is important because we don’t often focus on how central that skill is to innovation.”
  • “Authority should be questioned, hierarchies should be circumvented, nonconformity should be admired, and creativity should be nurtured.”

  • “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
  • “One day ladies will take their computers for walks in the park and tell each other ‘My little computer said such a funny thing this morning!’ ” he japed in 1951.”

  • “During one maddening session, Kay, whose thoughts often seemed tailored to go directly from his tongue to wikiquotes, shot back a line that was to become PARC’s creed: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Life is not a race

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…. You have nothing to prove.

Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain first and shout, “Look at me!  Look at me!”

There is an invisible competition that we are unconsciously forced into.

We don’t know who has set the rules to this competition, but somehow we are competing against each other.

We measure who wins this competition by how many users follow you, how popular are you, how many conspicuous material things you have.

Social media has amplified this race of showing off our score in this race. We post all these nice things to show off how far we are in this competition.

Being an unknown millioneer is shunned upon.

People have to know that we are successful. We measure our success by wanting everyone know about our success.

But the truth is, all your happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing, not while you are sitting at the top.

Enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step. Don’t rush through your life and miss it. 

Forget where everyone else is in relation to you.

Take a deep breath. Inhale what you have created and exhale the worry that weighs you down. Recognize the blessings. Observe the support. Understand divine timing. But most of all stay grounded and positive and have faith.

This is not a race.  You get there a little at a time, not all at once.

Life is not a race, it is a journey.

Finding Your Element: Decrease Conformity

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If you want to live in your element, you need to buck the trends.

Stop confirming to what most people do.

Most people watch hours and hours of television everyday, checking their phones more than 50 times a day, constantly reacting to what life is bringing them, not taking time to create their ideal life.

At the age of four, you were an artist. And at seven, you were a poet. At the age of 25 you are an administrator because you have been told being an artist or poet is for less ambitious people.

Pablo Picasso says: Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

If you want to live in your element, you need to be a non-confomist. Don’t be like everybody else.

Don’t be different for the sake of being different, be different because it is better. Be different because it makes a difference.

In one of my favourite books: Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem, Suzy Kassem wrote the following poem

AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL

Dear Mr. Schneider,
I attended your elementary
School almost thirty years ago
And I’m very sure that
You will remember
Me.

My name is Suzy.
I’m that hyperactive girl
From the Egyptian family
Who used to always play dead
On the playground during
Recess.

You used to keep me
After school a lot,
And then my father would
Force me to make the long
Walk home in the cold or rain.
Sometimes I would arrive
After dark.

I’m writing to tell you
That I was bored as a kid.
I was bored by your curriculum
And the way I was always taught a
Bunch of useless
Junk.

I did not like being locked up
In a prison of scheduled time
Learning about irrelevant material,
And watching belittling cartoons and
Shows approved by academia that
Made me even more
Bored.

As a kid
Who was constantly
Growing, evolving, and
Being shaped by all around me,
I wanted to travel,
See other kids
In the world like me,
To understand what was going
On amongst us and around us,
To know what we were here for
And what was our real purpose
For existence.

I have some questions
I would like to ask you, Mr. Schneider,
Now that I know that you are no
Longer a school principal,
But the new superintendent
Of the entire school
District.

I want to know
Why racism today
Was not clearly explained to me
Even though we covered events
That happened long ago.
I want to know why you
Never shared with us
Why other countries
Never liked us,
Why we are taught to compete,
To be divided in teams,
And why conformity is associated
With popularity, while
Eccentricity is considered
Undesirable?

I want to know
Why my cafeteria lunches
Were slammed packed
With bottom-tier
Processed junk food
Only suitable
For pigs?
And why is it
That whenever a bully
Slammed a kid into a locker for
His lunch money,
Nobody explained to us
That egotism, selfishness and greed
Were the seeds of
War?

I want to know
Why we were never taught
To stick up for each other,
To love one another, and that
Segregation sorted by the
Occupations of our fathers,
The neighborhoods we lived in, our houses,
Choices of sport, wealth, clothing,
Color of our skin
And the texture of our hair
Should never, ever
Divide us?

And lastly,
I want to know why
Is it that whenever I pledged
Allegiance to the flag,
I was never told that I was
Actually hailing to the
Chief?

You used to say that
I was a troubled child,
A misfit, and that I needed
Obedience training,
But you never acknowledged that
I was the fastest runner in the district
And that I took the school
To State and Nationals to compete
In the Spelling Bee among kids
Grades higher than me.
And that it was me,
Who won that big trophy
That sat in your office when you
Used to detain me for hours
And tell me I was no
Good.

Mr. Schneider,
If we are not taught truths as kids,
Then how do you expect us to
Grow up to be truthful citizens?
If we are only being taught the written way,
And it has not shown positive effects
In societies of yesterday or today,
Then how can we progress as a
United and compassionate
Nation?
What good is it,
To memorize the histories
Of our forefathers,
Without learning what could be
Gained from their lessons and mistakes
To improve our future
Tomorrows?

And finally,
I want to thank you;
For I know you have a tough job
Dealing with rebellious children like me.
Your job of mass processing and boxing
The young minds of America has not been an easy one,
And I congratulate you
On your recent promotion.
But I sincerely want to thank you,
Thank you,
And thank you,

For always pointing out that I was different. 

Finding Your Element: Perseverance

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If you are to bring your element into the world, it is not a matter of just snapping your fingers and saying I love doing this, I’m good at it and there is a market for it and therefore I have found my element and that’s it, I’m done.

That is not how it works.

You need to have sheer determination.

People we admire, who have figured out their element, demonstrate a sheer high level of determination. They persevere in the face of obstacles.

We need to expect obstacles and we need to move through them, again and again.

The obstacle is the way to success not the pain in the butt.

Just like going to the gym, by lifting weights we develop muscles and become stronger. Going through obstacles develops and makes us stronger

We are not going to achieve our element successfully without challenges.

You have to continue doing it even if you don’t feel like it. If we quit every time we don’t feel like doing anything, we wouldn’t achieve much.

Keep swimming… until you find your way.