Master Chess Players

Life is like chess. To win at it, one must learn its principles and put them into practice.

Robert Gwaze

Do you know how to make like a master chess player and make a move so good it forces your enemy to taste the flavour of defeat? 

Chess masters are well-known for having the godlike powers of analyzing and assessing situations coolly, weighing options calmly, good vs bad, making plans and executing them flawlessly, all this with their eyes closed. Lets us not even consider the surprising fact that calculators are jealous of their superior calculative power and that binoculars hate not being able to see as far as they. I bet even army commanders covet the skills of strategy they possess. 

Simply put master chess players are Nikola Teslas in the Science of Decision Making. Doesn’t this just make you want to be a master chess player, able to outwit obstacles, sacrifice your fears and checkmate your way to success?  I do.

Laza the wanna-be chess master😅

To be honest, however, you don’t have to fantasize about making binoculars, calculators and commanders covet your skills because you are already blessed with the same capabilities bestowed upon master chess players.

The only question is ‘Are you playing chess with life, or are you busy blundering and letting it’s challenges checkmate you?’  

Sage Advice

If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.

Jeff Bezos

Imagine you are a healthy and wise old man or woman, you’ve lived a long life punctuated by a plethora of enlightening experiences.

What single most significant piece of advice about charting life’s pathways would you share with a child?

If I was a dusty gray-haired sage full of age, and I was limited to imparting only one piece of advice to my child, I’d use my last breath to inspire them to cultivate a Growth Mindset, because it bestows upon its owners an intense desire for learning that can’t like a fire be put out by the waters of circumstance. I believe a Growth Mindset will go a long way in ensuring its owner can successfully navigate their way through the wilderness of life, as it embraces the scholastic attitude of learning that enhances and leads to the evolution of the human species. Life is about learning, it’s a better teacher than your Morphology lecturer. The only time you’re at risk of failing and stagnating is when you’re not learning, from your and other’s faux pas. Which is why I would advise anyone who dreams of living to be as wise as I to find lessons in every moment of their life and to turn tough circumstances into a school where they can learn to pass the difficult tests that life throws their way.

What about you? What advice would you give your child if you were old and wise?  

Would you encourage them to make like the Nights Watch and stand atop the wall of their attention, on the lookout for negative thoughts that may invade and conquer the kingdom of their happy peace of mind?

Will you be a staunch advocate for embracing positivity like it was a long lost lover?

Or would you make like a bill-board and advertise patience as a prerequisite to pursuing successful dreams?

Let me know in the comment section below. I’ll be elated to hear your advice.

If You’re Happy And You Know It

Your attention is the most important asset you have. Be deliberate with it.

Zat Rana

Whoever came up with the song ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’ was not only a musical maestro, for their skilful ability to make music that lasts for more than a millennia at the pinnacle of every child’s favourite song list; but also a Good-mood Guru, for I don’t know anything else with the ready power to instantly elevate my mood as much as ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’.

My gratitude goes out to that person, whoever you are, wherever you are, Thank you, Baie Dankie, Merci Beaucoup, Gracias, Domo Arigato Gozaimasu, Tangi Unene, for making that most wonderful song, for whenever with my mood there’s something wrong, and there’s nothing else that’s like a body-builder strong, enough to lift me out of the pit of doom and gloom, I can always count on it to serve as the remedy makes me feel happy.

It is during uplifting moments like these when I’m reminded that blissfulness is a choice and that if today is Monday I don’t have to wait for Tuesday to come in order for me to choose and wed happiness as my beloved state of mind. It is at times like these where I wish that everybody knew the lyrics to ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’.

Ideally, I would’ve sung the song and inserted it as an audio, but due to the fact that my singing is prone to at worst destroy your eardrums and at best make your ears bleed, I’ll instead just share the lyrics of the song with those who don’t know it, and hope that someone else with a more alluring voice has or will sing the song and upload it onto the world wide web so as to familiarize you to it’s melody, otherwise you won’t reap the full blissful benefits of the song.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. (Hands clapping)

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. (Hands clapping)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. (Hands clapping)

If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet. (Feet stomping)

If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet. (Feet stomping)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet. (Feet stomping)

If you’re happy and you know it shout “Hooray!” (Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it shout “Hooray!” (Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it shout “Hooray!” (Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it do all three. (Hands clapping, Feet stomping, Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it do all three. (Hands clapping, Feet stomping, Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it do all three. (Hands clapping, Feet stomping, Hooray!)

Be warned not to go fight with other people in disagreement because there’s another version that goes…

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. (Hands clapping)

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. (Hands clapping)

If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. (Hands clapping)

If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet. (Feet stomping)

If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet. (Feet stomping)

If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it.

If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet. (Feet stomping)

If you’re happy and you know it shout “Hooray!” (Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it shout “Hooray!” (Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it.

If you’re happy and you know it shout “Hooray!” (Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it do all three. (Hands clapping, Feet stomping, Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it do all three. (Hands clapping, Feet stomping, Hooray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it.

If you’re happy and you know it do all three. (Hands clapping, Feet stomping, Hooray!)

That consumnates this article, I hope you enjoyed reading it, and that If you’re happy and you know it you’ll let me know, otherwise I’ll be forced to go another round singing the song just to dispel the sadness sparked by your not commenting on this post.

A Letter To My Unborn Daughter

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Dalai Lama

My dear darling daughter, do not be alarmed for this is your father and I’m very happy you’re reading this.

I can imagine how angry you are with me for not being there in your baby years, I’d like to enlighten you that I didn’t abandon you, it’s just that I’m needed in heaven to help the angels defeat the devil.

If you can read this then you must be a big girl now. How I wish I could’ve been there to raise you. But I see from up here how well your mother raised you. Please thank her for me.

You’re probably pondering why I penned this letter? It was not simply because I desired to connect with you, my dear darling daughter, nor because I wanted to immortalize my love for you in these lines; but mainly because I’d like to bestow my fatherly advice upon you, my dear darling daughter, hoping you’d take an old man’s words to heart and from it not let them depart.

The first golden nugget of advice I’m giving you, not because it’s most important but because it’s most significant, is that you should follow your heart and do what you love. Your heart is a compass and it will not lead you astray. If you follow your heart I can guarantee you’ll be happy.

Thinking before you act is the second gold coin of counsel I’ll be departing with for your sake. If your heart is the compass that knows the way, then your mind is that which walks the way. It’s no use knowing where to go if you can’t get there. Don’t just rush into the jungle if you’re not prepared to meet the lion. Desire and feelings are nothing without action, but action is nothing without desire and feeling. Your heart and mind should be in harmony like rhyming poetry. Only then will you experience the beauty that is being happy.

Thirdly, don’t neglect your body or your mind. Exercise them both by doing things that stimulate them for the better.

Fourthly, if you ever want to get to where you’re going, then you’ll need to be a quantum dreamer as well as a big believer in yourself. The world will try to knock you down, but do not let it. Society will try to make you frown, but I implore you to not let it. The day you do is the day you destroy your dreams.

If it so happens that you don’t take any of the aforementioned advice, then I won’t really mind, so long as you please, please do listen to this piece of warning: Beware of shy boys and don’t listen to Cardi B’s music.

There you have it, my dear darling daughter, it was a pleasure writing to you, may you live joyously and carefree, confident in the knowledge that I’ll be personally watching over you.

Be strong in the face of temptations

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.

Pablo Picasso

There is a passage from the pages of the past–in the bible, in the forth chapter of the book of Matthew–that tells a most inspiring story, of how the devil sought to tempt Jesus into taking the path that leads straight to hell.

The temptation came at the ripe time, as Jesus–after fasting for forty days and forty nights–was probably at his weakest. But even though Jesus was not at his strongest, the devils endeavors at tempting Jesus can be likened to those of a fool flapping their arms so they can fly, utterly and uselessly fruitless.

Whether you’re a God-fearing Christian who never misses church or not, I think you will find golden nuggets of value in this tale if you but look at it closely.

To me the story is a metaphor for life that serves as motivation for me not to let myself be derailed by distractions when I set my mind to achieving something.

With social media a tap of the finger away, and app notifications but a beep away, we live in a world were there are distractions at every corner, so it’s not easy to focus our attention on one thing.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll unlock my phone with the intent of responding to a text, but instead I’ll find myself seven videos deep into Jason Silva’s Shots of Awe. Now, there’s certainly no problem in watching Jason Silva’s inspiring videos, what’s amiss is that I was supposed to be replying to a text and I let myself get sidetracked.

I know I lack the level of spiritual strength possessed by the Son of God, so I’ll probably come undone here and there, but I will do my best to be strong and not let myself be seduced into straying from the path of my purpose.

What of you?

Will you do like Jesus and be strong in the face of temptations?

Or will you give into your weakness and let yourself be swayed from the path you were on by distractions?

Don’t be shy to let me know in the comment section below, I’ll be elated to hear from you.

To super duper days

If your heart and mind rhyme, then your life will be sublime.

Lazarus Shatipamba

Do you ever just wake up feeling like today is going to be a super duper day,
and then today does end up being a super duper day?

Yes?

No?

Maybe?

In the quest to be my best I like to put the powers of my mind to the test by setting positive intentions for my days.

Why? Perhaps I’ve read way too many inspiring books on self-mastery that encourage courage to take on the day?

Mayhaps my inmost desire to be the creator of my reality demands that I use my ability to be who I want to be, to live my day as perfectly as I can?

It’s possible that my innate nature as a bliss junky is what drives me to seek out experiences that elevate my mood and stimulate my mind so that I can grow, to know how it feels to wow at the wonder of life.

On more than a few occasions I managed to make my mind and my heart rhyme–by aligning the mental intention that ‘Today is going to be a super duper day’ with the elevated emotions that are associated with good days–the result of which is usually a sublime day–a day where everything seems to go my way, where I learn new things, do new things, and get to meet and greet inspiringly interesting individuals.

It is on days like these where I strut out of the rut of daily rigid routines, and walk into a new reality abundant with the unpredictability of perpetual possibilities that inspire a sense of mystery and awe.

It is on days like these where I marvel at the combined powers of mind and heart. The minds power to create my dreams is simply astounding, and the hearts power to lead me to success, mesmerizing.

Because of days like these, where I awaken to the proof of my spiritual powers, I have decided that from now on every single day of my life is going to be a super duper day.

It’s audacious, I know, but I’ll give it my best try.

What about you?

Are you going to let your powers sleep, deeply dreaming whilst you are in a nightmare?

Or are you going to awaken to the fact that life is a dream and you are lucid enough to do whatever you want to do?

I’d really like to know, so don’t be shy to let me know in the comments section below.


Gratitude 101

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Albert Einstein

Guten morgen to you my friend. I hope you know no sorrow today, that instead the only thing your emotions know is how to glow to show the wow you have for life.

Welcome to my blog, and thanks for tuning in, I always feel blessed to have you here.

In this post, I would like to talk about the fascinating concept of Gratitude.

So what exactly is gratitude?
What does it mean to be grateful?
How can one cultivate gratitude?
And why should you even bother planting seeds of appreciation in your mind?

The Google dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful, basically it is the readiness to show appreciation.

Being grateful means you are aware of the value something brings into your life.

Gratitude is an emotion that elevates the mood and makes us feel happier. As a result, negative emotions will find it hard scaling the tall wall of our gratitude.

So either than an increase in emotional vibrations, are there any other benefits to gratitude?

Yes! Studies show that over prolonged periods of time, feeling grateful enhances our overall well-being by boosting both our physical and mental health.

Research into gratitude has shown that grateful people are less likely to be caught in the grip of depression. Instead, they are more likely to be in a state of glee which is said to promote longevity.

To be a Gardner of gratitude, all you have to do is become aware of the things which bring value into your life and make it worth living. Ask yourself why you’re better off with them. You can have a dedicated journal–called a gratitude journal–for this practice, or you can simply consider your blessings mentally. I find that it’s better to put things on paper.

In my practice as a Gardner, I’ve found that there are many, many, many things to be grateful for. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the sheer number of blessings in my life. Blessings which make me feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

Because there are so many, many, many blessings in life, we are liable to take many of them for granted.

But fortunately, it doesn’t matter how many blessings we take for granted, so long as we take time to appreciate those we are aware of, we will be able to eat from the fruits of our labour.

Practicing gratitude is now more important than ever, because we live in a world where many of us are constantly chasing after something, emphasizing lack by focusing on what we don’t have, rather than emphasizing abundance by focusing on what we have.

I’m not suggesting you stop wanting things which will make life more fulfilling, I’m simply advicing that you be mindful of all the things you already have. You’ll be amazed at how much you actually have. Only once you are truly appreciative of what you already have, will you be able to be grateful for receiving what you want.

And so, there you have it ladies and gentlemen, my ink about to run out, but before I go I want to ask what 3 things you are you most grateful for and why?

Contradictions

Rule your mind or it will rule you.

Buddha

Have you ever thought about the old saying “Ignorance is bliss” and contrasted it with the ancient adage which quotes “knowledge is power”?

If you have, you’ll know that life is very, very paradoxical in nature.

In fact, the way it juxtaposes its contradictions to make philosophers seem like oxymorons is simply astounding.

If you haven’t then you must be living a very blissful life, where you don’t get to break your mind thinking about things you’d rather not know.

Either way, it doesn’t change the facts. That I’m happier not knowing I’ll be dying tomorrow.

Imagine all the sorrow that would bring me.

But then again wouldn’t it be better to know?
Wouldn’t it be better to  go into that good night, mentally and spiritually prepared to take on its terrors?

Would you rather the bucket just kicked you, without the possibility of your mind getting ready to weather and use the pain to make you stronger?

I don’t know…why life has to be so paradoxically contradictory.

Perhaps it leads to the telling of many an interesting story? About how we die, but are reborn, as stronger beings, higher in the pecking order of Godliness.

All I know is that the border between ignorance and knowledge is very much blurred. In fact I can’t quite see it clearly.

But I’ll try to make sure I don’t cross the line and step into the unreachable territory of God known as omniscience.

I’ll try to tip-toe my way towards the bliss of ignorance, whilst also making sure I remain a sucker for the expansion of my consciousness.

Balance. It’s what the sages of a thousand ages recommend. Who am I to go against their wise words? Simply a fool.

So I’ll listen and align myself to “Ignorance is bliss” and I’ll make my actions rhyme with “knowledge is power”.

I’ll be contradicting myself. But hey, life itself is paradoxical.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

I’ve been thinking a lot about them lately.

In fact, just this week alone, there have been at least a million questions Usain Bolting through my mind all hoping to win the race of demystifying thoughts.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

Where do they come from? And where do they go?
How do they affect me?
Why do I think? And is it even possible to stop thinking?

These are just some of the curious questions that have been wandering around in my mind, wondering if they will find the food which will satiate their hunger for answers.

Thoughts have always fascinated me, right from the moment I thought my first thought–I wonder what it was–to right now whilst writing to put my thoughts on digital paper.

In my quest to find answers, I’ve come across a few sources which claim that thoughts come from nowhere, yet also from everywhere. This may seem paradoxically contradictory, but it must be true considering that life itself is paradoxical.

If you think about it, you’ll realize that like something out of thin air thoughts just pop into our heads. We only detect them once they are already comfortable, at home in our heads. So subjectively speaking, where they come from is a complete mystery to us.

Objectively, according to cognitive psychologists, thoughts arise in the brain, when it takes in information through the senses. In this sense, thoughts come from everywhere, because our brain is constantly taking in information from our surroundings. This explains why seeing something can spark thoughts which either illuminate the dark, or add to its intensity.

It’s interesting to note that whether we know not where thoughts come from–nowhere or everywhere?–we still have the power to summon or banish them from our heads using our attention.

Thoughts, as we well know are a powerful force since they can seduce our emotions–which are what allows us to enjoy the beauty of life–into feeling a certain type of way.

If you don’t believe me puase for a few minutes and think of the last time you really enjoyed yourself.

How does doing this change how you feel?

Unless you are in a gloomy and perpetual state of chronic depression, you would’ve noticed that thinking about pleasant memories inspires your feelings to be pleasant in the present.
The opposite is also true, however, that reliving unpleasant memories results in you stirring up negative emotions in the pot of your psyche.

So as you can see–or feel–thoughts have an unbreakable relationship with our emotions. Therefore, as people always chasing after happiness, thoughts are actually our best friends–or our worst enemies.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

What type of relationship do you have with your thoughts?

Are they your enemy, invading the space within your face and conquering your sense of well-being?

Or are they your friend, entering your mind and inspiring your emotions to vibrate at the frequency of positivity?

An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth

Each day you must choose, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

Eric Mangini

Have you ever heard of the old saying “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.”? 
Yes? No?

Maybe? 


It rhymes with the concept of fighting fire with fire, and I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot lately. 


Am I for it or against it?


If I’m against it, would that mean I promise not to steal your girl, even if you do the same to me? Would it mean I have to smile and congratulate you even as I watch you walk a mile down the aisle with the love of my life? Does it mean I won’t fight back after you hurt me or those I Iove? Does it mean I have to stand back and witness the chaos you bring to my order?


If I’m for it, that certainly means if you make me bleed I will definitely put you in a state where you need the doctor, if not worse–your maker.


Being against it sounds philosophically and ecologically viable, but not very emotionally rewarding since it doesn’t satiate my evolutionary desire to retaliate, and get that sweet, sweet revenge.


In my musings, I’ve been thinking of how an average guy like me can get to navigate these potentially rough waters? 


Do I simply surf the waves of philosophical reasoning, and try to be constructive in the face of waves which seek to drown me in the deep? Is this much easier said than done?


Or do I give in to the desires of my emotional and reptilian brains? 


I don’t know. 


I’m still thinking about it.


I guess only time will tell, if my actions rhyme with the saying “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.” aka fighting fire with fire. 


What about you?