Epistle Of A Playa: Love is Complicated

I dedicate this to big S. The one woman that has ever broken my heart and big S broke it numerous times. Eight times to be precise. I was never going to be good enough and I knew right from the onset. Love is never enough especially when love comes with a baggage of irritation and immaturity.

Here is to F. The one that could have been. You deserve way better than I could give. Carried a brother through the toughest times. Way too soft and lenient with me, but lost faith at the crucial time. You are a constant reminder that every crucial decision in life is a factor of timing. I will pay your good deeds back. I promise.

E. Where do I start? Ghetto fabulous, shared her deepest secrets with me. Sharpened my street orientation. Took my side even over her own blood relatives. We shared common enemies and that strengthened our Love. However, if I were to be honest, she did not stand a chance. She was a victim of her environment. My ambitions made you the imperfect company.

To big O. For better or worse, we share a bond forever. I appreciate the gift you have given me, and beyond our imperfections you remain the best thing I do not want. The closest but farthest from me. You are the recipient of all the lessons learned from my previous failures. Your chapter would never end with me, it would only evolve.

playboy bunny - Epistle Of A Playa: Love is Complicated

To little S. Chased you for five years, dated you for six months. You were way too immature and I was way too impatient. In retrospect, I think we  just did not know what to do with the limited time our relationship was destined to last. So we vented our frustrations on each other. You are the good girl time won’t let me have.

To the amazing A. My obsession. Work ethics of a horse, broad shoulders to show how much you can handle your own business. Graceful walk like all other ladies were molded off you. Tilt slightly to the left , just enough to show you are not like the others. Having said this, I am well aware of the role time need to play in this. Hence, I leave it to time.

Back to big S. Took me four year to forgive you. I had to be in your shoes to understand your perspective. Just want to say I now understand.

So let us raise our classes,

To the big S’s. The exes the rejected us because we were not good enough.

The exes we want to prove wrong every single day of our lives.

The exes that make us better.

Cheers

Cheers Book Club …..The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles

Title : The Science Of Getting Rich

Author : Wallace D. Wattles

Year of Publication : 1910

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher: Online

 

the science of getting rich ss - Cheers Book Club …..The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles

 

Ok….The title of this book is a bit misleading. A title like ” The Science Of Getting Rich” gives the impression that this book would strictly contain empirical facts. However, a few pages into the book, I realized it was heavily influenced with religious doctrines, but to my surprise, these did not do much ruin to the practicality of the book.

This book uses terms like; forces of nature, the original substance and more metaphysical language that may deter the logical mind, but there is a case to be made for the state of the potential wealthy mind as presented in this book.

”Men get rich by doing things in a certain way. And in order to do so, man must become able to think in a certain way. For, a mans way of doing things is the direct result of the way he thinks about things.” 

Wallace D. Wattles, 1910

We all know a title like this raises eyebrows. People hear the title and begin to feel uncomfortable since our society deems talks of money as improper or arrogant in some cases. However, as you would see in this book, Wattles makes a great case for why talk about wealth is ideal and indeed necessary.

Lessons from The Science Of Getting Rich

Wealth is created by the creative mind , not the competitive mind. You are to create not to compete for what is already created. Although our society is full of  entrepreneurs regurgitating other peoples business products and models, Wattles argues that one’s ability to fore see and solve arising problems is the key to wealth creation.

Although location counts for business entrepreneurship, getting rich is not a matter of environment. For if it were, certain people from a particular environment would all be wealthy and certain people from other environments would all be poor.

Wealth is not exclusively for the smart, intellectual or highly educated. In fact most rich people are of average intellect and some even have intellectual handicaps.

It is the desire of God for you to be rich. He wants you to be rich so that he can express himself more through you.

“Get rich. That is the best way you can help the poor”

Wallace D. Wattles, 1910

Gratitude is important towards wealth acquisition. In the book, the Author suggests that upon receiving any blessings from God, one needs to show gratitude to God and keep close harmony with the being which gives wealth. Turning one’s back to the giver of wealth is always detrimental to what is desired.

You can not create wealth by unformed longings and vague desires. You must form a clear and precise idea of what you want. Without clarity of desired object, you can not transmit the desired energy to bring it into fruition. Wealth is more than just wishful thinking.

“By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action you receive it”

Wallace D. Wattles, 1910

Focus. After you have created an unambiguous path towards your desired wealth, you must not loose focus. Carry this mental destination in your head all the time. You must know what you want and must want it badly enough so it would stay in your thoughts. The more clear and definite your mental picture is, the stronger you desire to achieve you goal would be.

Faith, according to Wattles is an important ingredient in achieving success. Live in a new house mentally until your faith is materialized through handwork. Although Wattles seem to have a religious undertone in this book, he is also of the believe that prayer does not bring wealth.

“The answer to your prayers is not according to your faith while you were talking, but according to your faith while you were working”

Wallace D. Wattles, 1910

“It is faith and purpose in the use of imagination which makes the difference between the scientist and the dreamer”

Wallace D. Wattles, 1910

To be sure you are heading towards wealth, act now. Start with you present environment. Familiarity is your friend in your bid to wealth. Building upon familiar knowledge is easier than starting all over. Success in your familiar field would create access to your next venture.

In conclusion, this is a book worth reading. Filled with instructions to guide the mind yearning for wealth plus its a short read.

Cheers

Cheers Book Club …..Mastery by Robert Greene

 Title : Mastery : How to become the Master of any Skill

Author : Robert Greene

Year of Publication : 2012

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-Help

Publisher: Viking Press

http://www.cheersstories.com/mastery/

Mastery by Robert Greene is the author’s fifth book and has since been regarded the holy grail of self improvement literature. This is a fantastic book, especially for anyone who desires to be the authority in their given work of life.

In Mastery, Greene, analysis the steps taken by historical world renowned inventors, sports-persons,  businessmen e.t.c. Having done this, he comes the the conclusion that regardless of their occupation, these masters followed a similar pathway to attaining legendary status.

Perhaps the most notable of these steps is the 10,000 hours apprenticeship required to be a master in any fields. According to Greene’s research, the best way to learn practical knowledge is through apprenticeship. This form of learning is guaranteed to impact the most knowledge but takes 10,000 hours (approximately 7-9 years ) of  conscious, consistent and continuous learning to reach the level of mastery. This idea has been widely discussed by numerous authors including Malcolm Gladwell in his book : Outliers, The Story of Success.

Lessons from Mastery

Reconnect with your inner self to rediscover your calling. Although society and other influential people in our lives may direct us towards certain vocations, it is best to look within to find which fulfills us most.

”Just as a well filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well employed life brings a blessed death”

Leonardo Davinchi

Having decided on the perfect vocation, choose and commit to an apprenticeship. This is a tested and proven way to acquire the required practical knowledge needed in the real world to perform tasks that distinguishes one’s work. This apprenticeship is going to take years of humble observation, skill acquisition, and experimentation.

Occupy the perfect niche. As discussed in our review of  “The Science Of Getting Rich” it is best to create one’s lane of expertise/ mastery than to compete for already occupied space. As discussed in the book, that case of Charles Darwin illustrates that attaining general knowledge of a chosen vocation is important, but that knowledge shown be streamline into specific areas for the attainment of in depth knowledge.

Mastery is achievable. All of us can, but most of us won’t. Mastery is not a result of some super human genes. No one is born a master. The difference between masters and ordinary people is that masters do not give up on their crafts. Often times we pick a craft and half way though our education, we either get bored of the craft or give up due to frustrations. Greene argues that it is at this point of frustration that one needs to push further. This is a sign of progress and dedicating more time to intense studies would help overcome this plateau.

Mentors are infinitely important (see The New Mentors ). We all have limited time, hence it is wise to find someone with broad knowledge about our chosen vocation to impact as much knowledge as possible upon us in a short time. So what you ought to have learned in 4 year, you would learn in 2 year under the tutelage of a mentor.

You must break loose from your mentor at the right time. Make bold steps towards creating your own legacy by applying and adjusting the teachings from your mentor and years of apprenticeship into your own peculiar area of expertise.

In conclusion, nothing beats hard work. There you have it, that in my opinion is the concluding lesson from this book. This book takes us through the lives of great masters and what you realize in their stories is that, everyone has a unique story of hard work and dedication. This is a book everyone should read and revisit frequently.

Cheers

Moral Licensing : Why otherwise good people do bad things

Moral Licensing is a fairly new phrase coined in the field of social psychology. It explains how past good deeds can liberate individuals to engage in behaviors that are immoral, UN-ethical, or otherwise problematic. Behaviors that they would otherwise avoid for fear of feeling or appearing immoral.I have to confess, I only came across this phrase listening to the first season of Malcolm Gladwell’sRevisionist History podcast. The first episode of the Revisionist History podcast titled : The Lady Vanishes Gladwell discusses a work of art created in 1874 called Roll Call. Roll Call is a remarkable work of art for numerous reasons, but the  painter of the art work  Elizabeth Southern Thompson, a.k.a Lady Butler is more remarkable for this story. Lady Butler was the first woman to have her art work hung on the line ( at eye sight) by the royal academy art exhibition in gallery two.  This was a great deal back in the day and it seemed like an indication of progress with respect to gender rights in the British arts world. It should be said that this exposure was deserved. Roll Call was and is a truly magnificent piece of art (see picture here) so much as that it presently hangs in Saint Jame’s Palace having been possessed by Queen Victoria.

MORALE LICENSING - Moral Licensing : Why otherwise good people do bad things

Well, the story of roll call and Elizabeth Southern Thompson, a.k.a Lady Butler is a unique example of moral licensing because, despite her  artistic excellence,  Lady Butler was denied a sit in the royal academy. A group of elite artist made up of forty male members. Of course, she was denied this position because of her gender. You see, these members of the royal arts academy displayed classic traits of moral licensing. They believe that had adequately demonstrated their open mindedness by displaying Elizabeth Thompson’s work at the royal academy art exhibition  at eye sight, they felt they could discriminate against her without accusation of sexism.

Now lets bring the conversation to more contemporary times. During and before the 2016 general elections primaries, President Donald Trump has been known used racially divisive means to say the least. Couple with the fact that he championed the birther movement against President Barack Obama, it is baffling the  13% (approximately 8.4 million) of 2012 Obama voters  backed  Trump in his bid towards the oval office. These group of people voted for the first African American president of the United States, then felt justified voting for one of the most racially divisive political figures in recent history.

Another instance of moral licensing happened to me directly. My god-father forwarded the following whatsApp message to me a couple of days ago….

"*THE WILL OF GOD - DONALD J. TRUMP.* Donald J. Trump - says a lot of wrong things, but God uses anyone; in the scriptures, the Lord used animals, heathen Kings, etc to bring about His will. Many supported Obama 8 years ago as the First Black President, but the things he has done against Christianity and Morality are deeply astonishing in History: *Christian bakeries in U.S have been closed down by judges appointed by Obama for refusing to bake cakes for homosexual marriages* *People have been told to stop saying Happy Christmas and to say happy holidays because Obama believes that the Christ in Christmas offends none Christians in a country where about 80% are Christians.* *Obama has withdrawn money meant for the education of children from schools that have refused to allow boys and girls to use the same bathrooms and toilets.* *Obama ordered Chaplains in US army to stop using the Name of Jesus during funerals.* *Christian companies have been forced to employ homosexuals by Obama judges* *laws have been made that allows 15 years old children to have a sex change operation without parental consent.* *The Bible has been removed from the beds of US Christian soldiers by Presidential order* *Did nothing for Africa and actually punished African Countries with funds withdrawal because of our broad dislike for homosexuality.* *He sanctioned Nigeria because President Jonathan signed a bill against homosexuality.* *He refused to visit his father’s country of Kenya because President Uhuru Kenyata is against homosexuality – he only visited Kenya last year; 7 years into his presidency so that it will not be on record that he never visited his fatherland as President, and when he visited, he tried to get President Kenyata to legalize homosexual marriage in secret.* Hillary Clinton – supports everything Obama does. Hillary would have continued all of Obama’s policies against Followers of Christ. Many people like her because she is a woman and would have become the first female President just as we supported Obama when we saw he could become the first Black President. *America is the most influential country in the world: once Obama came out to endorse homosexual marriage 4 years ago – the Prime Minister of Britain and the President of France did the same thing within weeks.* According to Trump’s son, one of the things that his father rarely gets credit for, is the way he raised them: *“How many children of billionaires turn out like us – no drugs, no alcohol, no tattoos, very responsible”.* Trump Jr. Clinton ran for the office to protect Obama’s legacy. *Jesus said “He or she that is not for us, is against us”.* Please, let's support President DONALD J TRUMP with our prayers and love from within and far, that he may accomplish: *THE WILL OF GOD.* DONALD'S VICTORY ... A VICTORY FOR THE CHURCH! A VICTORY FOR THE KINGDOM! A VICTORY FOR MISSIONS! Thank God, who has not left his heritage, the church at a time like this Thank God, who has heard the silent cries and prayers of the global intercessors for the American church Thank God, who has not left the church Who has not left the church at the mercy of abortionists Who has not left the church at the mercy of gays Who has not left the church at the mercy of lesbians Who has not left the church at the mercy of transgenders Who has not left the church at the mercy of bestials Who has not left the church at the mercy of the terrorists By this victory, the agenda to run over America with Islam b4 year 2050 has just suffered a terrible blow and huge setback The plan to declare Eid el Kabir holiday by 2050 has just suffered a huge setback The plan to create unisex bathrooms all over America like they did during Democrat Convention has just suffered a setback The plan to plant public masturbation centres all over America has just suffered a terrible setback The plan to spread the law approving permitting sex between animals and humans has just suffered a setback Thank God who has not left his heritage to the Sanbalat and Tobiahs who are bent to run over the walls of Jerusalem on the basis of political correctness Thank you Lord for this victory for a Cyrus that will hasten the exit of the Tobiahs and rebuilding of the broken walls of American church May God grant President Donald Trump the political will to effect all these and many more for revival and restoration in Jesus name Thank you Jesus!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! God bless America!!! Please forward this message at least once. I JUST DID TO YOU."

Firstly, the vast majority of the message reads like a message a far right wing media publication like Breitbart would develop and broadcast. It is filled with lies and fear mongering. The scariest part of this message is the clear homophobic sentiment that is shared by a significant demographic in our world today. This demographic includes people like my god – father whom by every measurable standard are good people, but their “goodness” appears to have a limit and the LGBTQ community is where their “goodness” ends. These people are the right – wing,  white evangelical Christians.

This group overwhelmingly voted for President Trump in the last election. In fact 81% of white evangelicals voted  Trump and they still constitute the vast majority of his supporters till date despite his job approval rating plummeting. Keep in mind that this man is far from what your typical christian would call a godly man. Prior to his election, he had made clearly racist comments towards blacks and Latinos, he had entangled in the Trump University scam where he is alleged to have swindled innocent people of their hard earned money, he had been caught on tape confessing to sexual misconducts, been through numerous wives and even pronounced 2nd Corinthians “two Corinthians” on his visit to Liberty University during campaign run. But all this did not deter the evangelical faithfuls. You see, I believe moral values do not play a role on how evangelical vote. The question I believe they ask themselves is : who does he hate? If their  hatred align, then they have their candidate.

Republican senate candidate Judge Roy Moore is a more recent example of moral licensing. Moore is well known for his dislike for gays, Muslims and non whites, so how he was even a viable candidate for the senate sit in the great state of Alabama is baffling. Most baffling is the unwavering support he seemed to get from white voters. Roy Moore , a man who had been accused of publicly dating a 17 year old girl, sexually touched a 14 year old while he was in his thirties and about nine other questionable sexual behaviors towards minors including attempted rape (all with good evidence). So given that all of his alleged victims are white , let us see how white folks voted in the special elections.

moore vote - Moral Licensing : Why otherwise good people do bad things

So, white voters who could easily have been sisters, mothers, fathers or brothers to Moore’s alleged accusers still believe he was their man. 72% of white women and 63% of white male voters went with the alleged sexual predator. Wonder how white evangelicals voted? The Washington Post reported that 80 percent of white evangelicals who voted selecting Moore in the special election. Of course , this is not to suggest that Moore’s voters are bad people, Moore shares their social ideals and if ignoring his predatory behavior would help uphold their other moral  values, so be it.

Finally, to the far left. The so call anti-fascist group popularly known as anti-fa . These morons are attempting to stop fascism with fascist tactics. Clearly, they have a noble cause, but when your solution to speech you don’t agree with is violence, then you have lost the moral high ground. The antidote to bad speech is more (good) speech not censorship or violence.

Trying to out  asshole an asshole never works. It only reduces you to their level where they would then beat you with experience.

In conclusion, this is not to condemn any particular group of people. We all exhibit trait of moral licensing based on our individual biases, but we have to be cognizance of it when we exhibiting such poor judgements.

Cheers

Affair with a Married Man

I met him at work. I was new at work, and he took a special interest in teaching me everything. He was extremely smart, and I benefited a lot. I tried to keep things professional even with his advances, because I needed his help into knowing the basics at work. It took me one month to be proficient. Am a fast learner!

Slowly, he would call me up after work. He was in a troubled marriage, and I thought the only way i could repay him was by lending an ear to him and his problems.

Now, there is a parallel story to my life. I was in an abusive relationship. My boyfriend kept insulting me and said derogatory things about no good man would ever want to be with me. My self confidence was pretty low. And the truth was this married man way a thousand times better and more intelligent than my bf.

Hence, when the married man showered me with attention, it was a definite ego boost for me! Slowly, he fell for me. He separated from him wife and started living alone. His dedication towards me grew and I felt myself losing my clarity with his charm. After about 2 months we got physical. The first time was magical! We both felt liberated! Sex was so good! The chemistry was inexplicable. I never had better organisms with anyone else. We both got addicted to each other in different levels, sexually, spiritually and intellectually!

http://www.cheersstories.com/affair-married-man/

We would argue about politics, dissect movies and write up book reports. It was phenomenal. We even escaped to clandestine small vacations! We were completely in tune to each other’s body and mind. This went one for about 2 years. I was becoming slowly aware of our differences. The things I wanted eventually for the long term were quite different from the things he wanted. For a while we both tried to align our beliefs, hoping to find ourselves in a middle ground. But we both failed. Our ideologies and our core belief systems were polar opposites. And I wanted to break free before i became intocicated by the awesome chemistry we shared. I took a drastic measure. Broke off all contacts, changed my phone number and cut all ties. He had tried to reach me in several ways, but I stood my ground, because I was sure that we would not have a good marriage, though sex was addicting with him, I could thankfully see beyond sex and find out our differences.

So romances happen. I fell for a married man because of the situation at that time for both of us. We both were unhappy in our respective relations, we needed to vent, we found each other and that’s it! My saga with a married man unfolded.

It’s been 4years since, he still writes to me, but i never reply to his emails. He did divorce his then wife and is married to another lady who shares his vision. I too broke off with my then abusive boyfriend and is married now to someone else with whom i share my life’s goals and core beliefs.

So, I hope you understand, that my relationship with a married man was purely situational and it provided us both a good way to find ourselves and eventually break off from abusive partners and go onto marry the one meant for us. It was win-win, but I only assume so is because we were both very honest about our stance and feelings with each other.

Thank you for reading.

Cheers

Cheers Book Club ….. The Tipping Point

Title : The Tipping Point

Author : Malcolm Gladwell

Year of Publication : 2000

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

tipping point cbc - Cheers Book Club ….. The Tipping Point

why do some  ideas go viral and not others?

What makes a fad a fade?

Why do people gravitate to certain products?

Why do societal changes happen suddenly?

Gladwells attempts to answer these questions in The Tipping Point.

Tipping Point: The magic moment when and idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips , and spreads like wildfire.

This book is filled with certain examples of present and past phenomenons that tipped through gradual germination and replicable conditions to guarantee success in numerous works of life.

Lessons from The Tipping Point

By using principles of epidemic transmission to explain how ideas move, Gladwell teaches his readers what factors need to align to ensure rampant growth or acceptance of one’s work.

This principles, he divides into three steps

  1. The law of the few. The law of the few , in a nut shell says there are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting an epidemic. All you have to do is find them.
  2. The Stickyness factor. Stickiness  factor of a message essentially means there are simple way to package information that under the right circumstances, it can make it irresistible.
  3. The power of context. The power of context relates to how people adopt ideas that are manifest in their own reality.

Another lessons in this book is the concept of “Glocal ” thinking. I heard about this term back in 2013 in a media seminar and it essentially means thinking globally but acting locally. Especially for business owners with big dreams of taking over the business world. Start with you neighborhood, then your city and so on…

For an idea or product to go viral, three kinds of people need to play a role. Firstly, the Connectors. We all know at lest one connector. They are the friends who know a lot of people . They appear to know everyone, and good for linking people from different works of life. They often have influence or rapport with lots of people. Secondly, the Maven. Mavens are information gurus. They are usually the first to know about new developments in numerous works of life and are willing to share or trade those information. Lastly, the Sales man. The one who is gifted in  persuading others to adopt a new idea or product.

In conclusion,The Tipping Point is Gladwell’s first successful book. Business owners would love and appreciate this book. It emphasizes how big changes are a result of minor adjustments.

Cheers

Cheers Book Club ….. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Title : Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Author : Trevor Noah

Year of Publication : 2016

Genre: Non – Fiction, Autobiography

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

born a crime ss - Cheers Book Club ….. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Born a crime is a roller coaster of a book. Trevor Noah’s narrative of his life is full of ups and downs. It begins on a sad note as you are being introduced to  Trevor and his mom as they live their lives in a challenging sociopolitical climate. However as you read on, you begin to flow with the characters and how they make the best of their situation. Humor plays a big role in this book. To be candid, this book would have been a narrative of misery if Trevor and his mom had not adopted a sense of humor towards their challenges.

You see, my prior knowledge of racism in South Africa and apartheid was for the most part from SARAFINA. The movie featuring Whoppi Goldberg , Leleti Khumalo and  the legendary Miriam Makeba.  Don’t get me wrong, I was aware of what was going on in South Africa but SARAFINA contextualized it in ways a seven year old me could understand. This is why this book is important. Trevor’s account details the impact of apartheid even as it affects South Africa till date.

In my opinion, the real hero in this book is Trevor’s Mom. Despite apartheid, she made a decision to have a colored child. Trevor makes this point effectively in the early parts of the book with the following…

“When most children are a proof of their parents love, I am proof of their criminality”

Trevor Noah

Born a crime discusses racism and sexism inductively. By presenting racism and sexism as they pertain to his particular life, Trevor helps the reader see the ridiculousness of these practices in South Africa and in the world at large. Using the typical comic tactic of…. Laugh at me, Laugh at him….. Laugh at yourself… now let us all laugh at the world we have created and live in.

 

Lessons from Born a Crime

You hear people say something in the line of “we may not have lots of money, but we were rich in love”. Well, Trevor’s up bringing and relationship with his mother exemplifies this. Mothers know what love really is. Trevor’s mom is a super hero.

If we could see each other’s pain and empathize with ourselves, it won’t be worth it to maltreat each other. This is a consistent truth in all of human history and that is why one of the core tenants of all types of discrimination is segregation. When you keep people at a distance and threat them as “ the other”, it is easier to perceive them as less human and unworthy of equal treatment.

Another lesson from this book is that our individual struggles are valid but not unique. Everyone struggles. Your worst nightmare could be another man’s dream come true.

Personally, this book has helped me be less judgemental of African – Americans. Being an immigrant, I keep wondering why people just don’t move out of the hood. But in Trevor’s words….

“The hood has a gravitational pull. It never leaves you behind, but it also never lets you leave. Because by making the choice to leave, you are insulting the place that raised you and made you and never turned you away and that place fights you back”

 

http://www.cheersstories.com/cheers-book-club-born-crime-stories-south-african-childhood/

Haven said that , Trevor rightly notes the danger of giving in to the hood life. Although it may be familiar , relatively cheap, and comfortable, it could be dangerous.

“Comfort provides a floor but also provides a ceiling”

The last chapter is nothing short of miraculous. Not to spoil the book but it actually made me question my lack of faith.

This is a really good book. I tweeted this→ after reading the book.

The book is contextual and full of nuisance.

Interestingly, this book made no mention of his success. It seems like part 1 of a success story.

 

Cheers

Cheers Book Club …..THE ART OF WAR

Title : THE ART OF WAR

 Author : Sun Tzu

Year of Publication: 5th century BC

Genre: Treatise, Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Publisher : Visit a Library / online

http://www.cheersstories.com/?p=1669&preview=true

The Art of War is a widely read and interpreted book. Although Sun Tzu wrote this as a guide on how to win wars, teachings from this book can and have been adopted in the art of running an effective sports, politics or  business organization.

 

Let your plans be as dark as night. Then strike like a thunderbolt.

Sun Tzu. 500 B.C

Lessons from The Art of War

Information Management is critical. According to Sun Tzu, leaders should retain the “big picture” to themselves but have subordinates achieve tasks that are critical towards reaching the “big picture”. By doing this, they are spared the embarrassment in case the major aim of the project if not met while maintaining high morale among lower members of the organization.

Leaders must be precise and clear when giving directions. Ambiguity serve no purpose in the pursuit of victory. Going on, there should be clearly stated repercussions for those who do not meet the expected aim of their assignments.

Force is over-rated, intellect wins battles. According to Sun Tzu, it is more important to outthink your enemy than to outfight him. Battles of any sort are costly. The wise leader knows that and only engages in them strategically.

Every war should have a defined  purpose. This rule in recent years has been adhered to more by the business community than the armed forces. For instance, businesses engage in promotional campaign with the aim of attracting a certain clientele base. Unfortunately, the same can not be said of military actions in the last couple of decades. Case in point “war on terror”.

Ultimately, to subdue the enemy without fighting is the most effective form of war. Wars cost money and lives. So if the goals of war can be met without battle then, that is a preferable way.

In conclusion, individual teachings in The Art of War are strong but not infallible. However, if all the rules are understood and applied holistically, then success is the inevitable outcome.

 

Cheers

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Sobriety Revels (poem)

Sobriety - Sobriety Revels (poem)

Reverberating peals resonating thunders
in mind, unsilenceable relentless acute chimes
struck, by hollowing gales unwaveringly carrying
echoes of blemished memories through

the storm, attempting to rescue a forgotten past,
made of laughs and outbursts lost in glasses filled
with tears unshed, by misted eyes weeping only
dry, salted grains of unclear thoughts.

Resounding tinkles of scrambled long
distance calls between, consciousness and will,
conversations repeated over and over, one
speaking truth the other, seductive words

Enticing logic with lies even reason struggles
to defy. Mayday ripples in high waters, searching
for flickering beacons, guidance to shore, finding
the strength to blow, dark clouds from the horizon,

Switch off lightning and behold, the lighthouse
where unyielding sobriety revels.

Cheers

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Cheers Book Club ….. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Title : David and Goliath : Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.

 Author : Malcolm Gladwell

Year of Publication: 2013

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher : Little, Brown and Company

Cheers Book Club post - Cheers Book Club ….. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

At its core, I believe this is a book on strategy. I took a course on strategic thinking and planning during my masters program. Our tutor during this program taught us numerous strategies and I have applied some of them with relative success. Out of the many strategies he taught us, one seemed implausible till I read this book. It was his strategy on handling bullies. It was simply to call them out but to make sure there was an audience. Also, make sure you use the word “bully” in your confrontation. For example, one could shout “why are you bulling me? or, You are just a bully”. I remember my classmates and I laughing at this strategy. It seemed like a strategy that guaranteed further ass-whooping until I realized Dr Martin Luther King Jr utilized a variation of this strategy during the civil right movement.

In this book, Gladwell explained how Dr Martin Luther King Jr understood the need for a villain and public perception towards the success of the civil rights movement. Narratives of how people and cultures have overcome challenges through strategic means are numerous in this book. Perhaps the most important story and bedrock of this book is the story of David and Goliath as discuss by Gladwell himself in the TED talk below.

Lessons from David and Goliath : Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Potential weaknesses can be strengths. Gladwell points out in this book how challenges such as dyslexia maybe an hindrance to a child’s ability to perform in today’s academic structure. Such short coming could lead to adopting useful life skills like cramming, ability to read people better, being comfortable with the possibility of failure and the ability to take more risks. Those that have managed to work around it tend to outperform their pairs. Gladwell goes on to quote a research that concludes that about a third of all successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Example of such successful dyslectics include Sir Richard Branson , Henry Ford, David Boies and Steve Jobs among others.

There are times where it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be a small fish in a big pond. Gladwell made this point in the book by highlighting the strengths and challenges between ivy colleges and less prestigious university colleges. He also used the example of how impressionists artists in 1873 challenged the status quo. The status quo (aka. big pond) can be challenging for individuals to the extend that it kills innovation and individuality. Small ponds on the other hand, tend to encourage individuality and rich in support systems for striving individuals. In small ponds, you do not get lost in the crowd because there isn’t a crowd.

Another core lesson from this book is that for some people, early life tragedy can be advantageous. He went on to cite Marvin Eisenstadt, a psychologist who did studies showing that “of the 573 eminent people for whom Eisenstadt could find reliable biographical information, a quarter had lost at least one parent before the age of 10” — and 45 percent had lost a parent before the age of 20. This list includes twelve past presidents of the United States ; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all lost their fathers while they were young.

Hustle!!! In the stories narrated in this book, one begins to realize how underdogs supplement their obvious disadvantages with hard work.  He made this point using the full-court press strategy adopted by less skilled basketball teams to beat obviously better teams.

In conclusion, although it is not written like your typical textbook, David and Goliath is an intellectual book. It is rich in the advantages in disadvantages and vice versa. David and Goliath is a book worth reading for everyone.

Cheers

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