Fearless = Legendary!

On Saturday Jacques and I were fortunate enough to attend the Robin Sharma conference in Cape Town. I have to take a minute here to thank the fantastic people at African Billionaire Events Management and Mi-Fone who made this possible. You are a fantastic bunch!

A lot has been said and written about motivation, success and personal growth over the centuries. Robin Sharma, however, definitely goes into my Top 5 list and on Saturday he again confirmed why he has earned his spot.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing some of his principles and techniques with you. First of, though, I want to cover a very important aspect.

Why do we not succeed? Why do we struggle to attain the things we want, be they physically, emotionally, spiritually or tangible? Why do we have dreams and goals, but seem to be just incapable of doing what is needed to make it a reality?

The answer my friends lies in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of ridicule. We can blame circumstances and people. We can look for every excuse possible – and we will find it. Like Robin said: The funny thing about excuses are that you’ll always find them. You don’t even have to look very far, an excuse is always lurking just around the corner, it is after all one of the cornerstones of a failure.

I heard a beautiful quote, which really hit home with me:
Fear and faith both requires us to believe in something we can not see.

Is this not true? You can not possibly see into the future, you can not possibly know which opportunity awaits. It is just all too easy to look at things and, through fear, only see that which can go wrong. Don’t blame yourself, it is not your fault! It is simply the result of years upon years of conditioning. We are not conditioned to explore, to speak out, to act on what we want. From early childhood we are told: don’t do this, don’t speak to strangers, do act like that, don’t question things! Don’t, don’t, don’t! The result? Adults, young and old, who are highly dissatisfied, depressed individuals. We have suicides, divorce, infidelity – all because we are unhappy to the core and too scared to do something about it!

My favourite saying from Saturday would have to be the following:

We are born into genius, we are born to be legendary, to be iconic.

Wow, does that not just sound fantastic? Stop a minute here, look at yourself in the mirror and say it out loud, say it with conviction:

I am iconic! I am legendary!

WOW!!!

I must admit I failed miserably at the 5AM club this week (eish, that’s a tough one still, but I am determined to master it!), but I did say these words to myself each morning. Want to know a funny thing? It worked! This week I made more sales than the previous two weeks combined!

I certainly can’t wait to see the results a month from now, once I’ve put the other practices in place.

Try it! Really, what do you have to lose?

Bilton Wines – a serious diet threat!

For anyone wanting a unique tasting experience, I can definitely recommend Bilton Wines. They offer a restaurant, picnics, play area for kids, vineyard walks and a state of the art tasting center.

Bilton-Wine-Estate-300x225

History
At around 377 hectares it is the largest privately owned wine farm in Stellenbosch and thus I also expected the largest cellar in Stellenbosch. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to learn that cellar handles only about a third of the grapes (about 100 tons) compared to the average Stellenbosch wine farm.

The farm’s history goes back to 1726, when the first vines were planted. In 1959 Don Bilton, who was knighted for his charity work, but never used his title, bought the farm. The famous Sir Percy (a classic French style blend) is to this day made in his honor.

In 1996 they undertook a massive re planting operation and they currently have 79 hectares on which 12 cultivars are grown. To ensure no compromise on quality, and under the watchful eye of consultant Giorgio Dalla Cia, only the cream of the crop, the best 20% of the grapes are hand picked and used in their wines.

The Bilton Sir Percy is one of their flagship wines.

Bilton-Sir-Percy-2004-211x300

Wines
The quality shines through. Their latest accolades includes 4.5 Star John Platter ratings for their 2008 Cabernet, 2008 Shiraz and 2008 Sir Percy. Unfortunately we were not able to taste the very exclusive, first of it’s kind in SA, 500% oaked The Bilton, but I believe it is something that any serious wine lover owes him-/herself. In my view their best kept secret, however, is the 2008 Viognier, with Acacia wood normally reserved for use in grappa!

Chocolate and Wine – WOW!
Next time you find your way to Bilton, make sure you treat yourself to this unique experience, and be sure to ask for Moira, who adds a great deal of value to the experience. Prepare yourself for a taste explosion! Initially Belgium chocolates were used, but in recent years they have opted for locally produced chocolate. Every year the chocolate is changed and remodeled according to the vintage and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.

2008 Cabernet is paired with Dark Espresso chocolate – dark, sultry and sexy!
2008 Shiraz is paired with Milk Cape Malay Chocolate – I am definitely getting me some of this for Easter (and my birthday, and Christmas) – warm, spicy and inviting!
2008 Merlot is paired with Dark Cherry and Malt Chocolate – fruity with the most mouthwatering fragrance.
2009 Pinotage is paired with Milk Rose chocolate – an unmistakable Turkish Delight explosion.
2012 Bonnie Anna Sauvignon Blanc is paired with White Lime and Crispy Apple Chocolate – a fresh summer zing that leaves you rejuvenated and ready for another round!
All of the chocolates and wines are sold via the tasting room at incredibly good prices. For more info visit them at http://www.biltonwines.com.

Detour to Bilton next time you are in the valley, you will not be disappointed, but your diet might take a serious knock!

Also published on http://www.wine-sa.com/wine-news/bilton-wines-in-stellenbosch/

Hero or Zero – judged by all.

It is with bated breath that South Africa and the world is watching the Oscar Pistorius case unfold. If you have ever wondered about the real power of social media, this will surely enough prove it.

Never before have I seen twitter this active. It also goes to show the wonderful reporting capabilities of our journalists. In this regard I must refer especially to Barry Bateman. His up-to-the-second courtroom reporting of the case has been of an exceptional quality!

Why is it that this case is drawing so much attention when we have had much worse cases in SA? Is it because Oscar is the Golden Boy of SA who crept into our hearts during the Olympics, overcoming the most horrendous of odds? Is it because we are so shell-shocked by this, what appears to be, brutal slaying of a beautiful woman in the wake of Anene Booysens murder? Is it because our children watch the news in horror and tearfully say “He is supposed to be one of the good guys”? Is it because we, as a country, so desperately need a good clean hero to look up to? Someone who can show us that no matter what the odds are, you can make a success of your life.

Honestly, I don’t know. I just know that I hope against all hope that it was indeed a horrible mistake, a tragedy. Which one of us can in all honesty say that they have never done or said something in a fit of rage, which was later regretted? I know I can’t!

Fact of the matter is that we will only ever have Oscar’s version of the nights events. If that will be the true and correct version, only he will know.

Speculation is rife and we have seen the many faces of Oscar painted all over the media, faces good and bad. His accomplishments and his arrogance have been displayed in so many different ways. Amongst all the news and speculation, of a few things I am certain:

1. I am very grateful I am not Magistrate Nair. What a huge responsibility rests on that man’s shoulders!? Remind me again why we don’t work on a jury system in SA? Why does the responsibility of such a grave decision rest on the shoulders of one man. He is, after all, only a man who can err, as any one of us.

2. If ever, and I mean ever, I am in trouble I will want anyone of Nel, Roux or Oldewage on my side! Every one of them have the ability to make you believe the case they are making. This is definitely going to turn into a legal battle of note!

3. Thirdly, and most important of all, two families have been changed for the rest of their lives. They will never be the same again. Reeva’s family and friends are grieving the loss of a child, a sister, a cousin, a confidant. The world has lost a good soul and heaven have gained an angel. Oscar’s family and friends are grieving for their son, brother and friend. Guilty or not, he will never be the same again. Can you imagine what he must be feeling? Thinking? The guilt and shame. The emotional toll on him will be a tremendous one. If guilty, I can hear you say, he deserves what he’s got coming. If not guilty, he will carry the hurt with him forever. I don’t wish that on anyone.

Tonight, and for the foreseeable future, each party involved is this case will be in my prayers.

I will reserve judgment in this and allow justice to take it’s course. Until then I will cry for Reeva and I will cry for Oscar.

May God be with them all.
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First ever Valentine’s Dance

Jake kicked a stone, threw a brick and shouted his frustration and anger out into the world. The wind, drowning his voice, nearly blew him off his feet.

“Why, why did I even bother to go?!”

The night’s events replayed in his head and he helplessly watched on, unable to control the memories of the night that was.

Hours earlier he head spent an hour in front of the mirror, experimenting with style after style, carefully selecting his outfit. Just before leaving home, he had rushed back inside to brush his teeth again, check his hair and add another touch of deodorant. Everything had to be perfect tonight.

Arriving at the dance, the sun had just started to set and the hall was bathed in a golden rosy glow. He nervously scoured the hall. Finally he spotted her amongst the milling crowd, as usual surrounded by the group of friends, who never seem to leave her side, and his heart skipped a beat. When their eyes locked, he could feel the irritating blush creep up his neck, warming his cheeks and ears. “Pull yourself together mate, this is not the time to make a fool of yourself.” Jake mumbled to himself as he approached the group of giggling girls.

“Care for a dance?” was the question to Mia, which was met with uncontrollable laughter from the irritating friends. Before she could answer, they pushed him away and told him to try again later.

Disappointed and embarrassed Jake slouched away to find his friend, Mark. Well, looking back, he wasn’t much of a friend after all.

Jake and Mark spent the next hour or so eating hot dogs and studying the crowd on the dance floor.

Suddenly Mia’s friends were there, right next to them. “Are you going to keep her waiting all night? Mia wants to dance”. He looked to Mark for courage and started out. “Wait!” Mark said, “you’ve known each other for almost a year, it’s time you told her how you feel.”

The dance started out well enough and about halfway through the number he suddenly blurted out “I love you”. Immediately he wished the floor would swallow him. “You idiot, why did you do that!” a voice was shouting in his head.

Mia looked at him and he couldn’t figure out the emotion on her face. Was it surprise, relief, shock? She turned around and left him there in the middle of the dance floor, the music drowning the sound of her voice and the strobe lights mocking him with the sight of her back appearing and disappearing to she beat of the music.

Embarrassed and angry he stormed off the dance floor to find Mark doubled over with laughter. “Let me show you how it’s done”

Jake watched in horror as Mark and Mia swept across the dance floor, laughing and glancing his way every now and then. The rest of the night was spent trying to find a dark corner to hide in.

Several times on his way home, Jake paused to kick a stone, punch a wall or shout into the wind. By the time he reached home, he felt defeated and sad.

While rummaging around to find a movie to watch, he suddenly looked up and said;

“Mom, I think next year you should be my Valentine. At least you will never embarrass or disappoint me! I love you mommy, happy Valentine’s Day”

Tears sprung to my eyes. At 10 he was fast becoming a big boy, but he will always be my baby.
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

First ever Valentine’s Dance

Jake kicked a stone, threw a brick and shouted his frustration and anger out into the world. The wind, drowning his voice, nearly blew him off his feet.

“Why, why did I even bother to go?!”

The night’s events replayed in his head and he helplessly watched on, unable to control the memories of the night that was.

Hours earlier he head spent an hour in front of the mirror, experimenting with style after style, carefully selecting his outfit. Just before leaving home, he had rushed back inside to brush his teeth again, check his hair and add another touch of deodorant. Everything had to be perfect tonight.

Arriving at the dance, the sun had just started to set and the hall was bathed in a golden rosy glow. He nervously scoured the hall. Finally he spotted her amongst the milling crowd, as usual surrounded by the group of friends, who never seem to leave her side, and his heart skipped a beat. When their eyes locked, he could feel the irritating blush creep up his neck, warming his cheeks and ears. “Pull yourself together mate, this is not the time to make a fool of yourself.” Jake mumbled to himself as he approached the group of giggling girls.

“Care for a dance?” was the question to Mia, which was met with uncontrollable laughter from the irritating friends. Before she could answer, they pushed him away and told him to try again later.

Disappointed and embarrassed Jake slouched away to find his friend, Mark. Well, looking back, he wasn’t much of a friend after all.

Jake and Mark spent the next hour or so eating hot dogs and studying the crowd on the dance floor.

Suddenly Mia’s friends were there, right next to them. “Are you going to keep her waiting all night? Mia wants to dance”. He looked to Mark for courage and started out. “Wait!” Mark said, “you’ve known each other for almost a year, it’s time you told her how you feel.”

The dance started out well enough and about halfway through the number he suddenly blurted out “I love you”. Immediately he wished the floor would swallow him. “You idiot, why did you do that!” a voice was shouting in his head.

Mia looked at him and he couldn’t figure out the emotion on her face. Was it surprise, relief, shock? She turned around and left him there in the middle of the dance floor, the music drowning the sound of her voice and the strobe lights mocking him with the sight of her back appearing and disappearing to she beat of the music.

Embarrassed and angry he stormed off the dance floor to find Mark doubled over with laughter. “Let me show you how it’s done”

Jake watched in horror as Mark and Mia swept across the dance floor, laughing and glancing his way every now and then.
The rest of the night was spent trying to find a dark corner to hide in.

Several times on his way home, Jake paused to kick a stone, punch a wall or shout into the wind. By the time he reached home, he felt defeated and sad.

While rummaging around to find a movie to watch, he suddenly looked up and said;

“Mom, I think next year you should be my Valentine. At least you will never embarrass or disappoint me! I love you mommy, happy Valentine’s Day”

Tears sprung to my eyes. At 10 he was fast becoming a big boy, but he will always be my baby.

Oscar & Reeva – a crying shame!

It was with utter shock and disbelief that we heard the news of Oscar Pistorius fatally wounding his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of this morning.

Even more shocking, however, are all the tasteless, disgusting jokes doing the rounds! I can’t believe that we live in society so sick that it is OK for people to believe that they have the right to joke about something as serious as this. Actually, if you look at the state of our nation, I should not be sickened by this. I’ve mentioned before, and still feel very strongly, about the fact that it is time that each and every person in this country does a lot of soul-searching. Fixing this sick society starts with each and every one of us. Only if every one of us focuses on fixing yourself, we will start to see a difference.

Sure there are two sides to the coin, as we see it at the moment:

1. It was an accident, as reported. In which case it just bring me back to the sorry state of our country. We live in a country we fear is so embedded in us that we take the law into our own hands and feel that we have to kill to protect ourselves. If this was not the case, you would not have had people sleeping with loaded guns next to their beds.

2. It was not accident and there is a lot more to the story. In which case it just proves that we all have skeletons in the closet and no-one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.

We will have to wait and see what happens as the police investigation proceeds.

Bottom line is this, a family lost their daughter. A human life is lost. A life has been ruined.

None of us know the facts of the situation and none of us have the right to comment or joke about this.

It is a crying shame!

Stop Rape Now Campaign

OK, we have gone live! As per my previous post we have started a campaign to support to fight against rape.

Bumper stickers are now available at R20.00 each – remember all profits go to Rape Crisis Centers to assist victims where needed and to fight the battle.

To order stickers, make payment to FNB Somerset West, Account Number 62384289130, Branch Code 250655, Elna Potgieter – Stop Rape. Proof of payment can be emailed to nansuchkasblog@gmail.com together with the quantity ordered as well as delivery address. Please, EFT only as the bank charges on cash deposits are ridiculous!

Make a difference now!

STOPRAPENOW

Out with the old…

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the bad habits I want to and need to replace in my life.

A great man, Og Mandino, taught me through The Greatest Salesman in the world that it takes 30 days to replace one habit with another. This bestseller is a must read for one and all.

This weekend I read a narrative about habits, which really touched me. It goes like this:

An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly, he stopped and pointed to four plants nearby. The first was just beginning to peep above ground, the second had firmly rooted itself into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree.

The tutor said to his young companion “Pull up the first plant”. The boy did so eagerly using only his fingers. “Now pull up the second”. The youth obeyed, but found the task more difficult. “Do the same with the third”. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it. “Now try your hand at the fourth”. The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tree and couldn’t even shake it’s leaves.

“This, my son, is just what happens with our bad habits. When they are young we can remove them readily; but when they are old, it’s hard to uproot them, though we try and struggle ever so sincerely.”.

We all have weeds and enormous trees that need to be uprooted, but it takes a lot of effort to become strong enough to move those big ones.

Bad habits have a way to sneak their way into our lives, slowly and quietly. If we allow them to linger, they will soon be so rooted that it will cause a huge internal struggle to remove them.

This is such a short yet powerful little story, but one that had me thinking.

Guess I need to start working on those little critters before they turn into a forest!

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Welcome to Rape Town!

Today I encountered by far the best ever marketing technique, ever!

From 6AM to 6PM 94.5 KFM played a “ding” every four minutes to create awareness of the shocking rape statistics in South Africa. Initially when I heard about, I thought it would go by unnoticed. However, by 11:00 I had a shiver running down my spine every time I heard the sound. By 13:00 I was in a state where hearing the sound made me want to cry every time. It made people so uncomfortable that they wanted to change the radio station.

My beloved rainbow nation, the country I love with my entire being has earned itself the title of Rape Capital of the world, which is extremely embarrassing and the reason why we have decided to embark on this campaign. Statistics prove that in SA a women is more likely to be raped than educated! Seriously! We live in the country with the highest number of rapes and we do nothing about it. Nothing.

In India a young woman was brutally raped 7 weeks ago. The Indian community is still protesting and marching to call for justice. In the 7 weeks since that has happened 9000 – that is nine thousand! – woman and children have been raped and sexually abused in SA. Have we had any protests? Have we had any marches?

It took the brutal rape, which lead to her death, of a 17 year old girl from Bredasdorp to bring us to action.

You see, in SA, rape, sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse – these are all the black sheep of the family. It is like that one family member that we would rather not think or talk about. It is out there, it exists, but it does not affect us. How wrong we are. One in three women in SA will experience some form of sexual abuse in her lifetime. Now, quickly think about how many women you know. A third of them have been / will be affected by sexual abuse!

I will not go into details about my personal experiences, for various reasons. I can tell you however that it happens more often than you care to know. The minister at church or the church elder. The doctor or psychologist. The police officer and lawyer.

Sexual predators are not limited to the lowlifes, the drunks or drug addicts. Sexual victims are not limited to those living in previously disadvantaged communities.

It happens every day all around you.

A while back I read a “Rapist’s guide to women to avoid being attacked”. What it boils down to is that women should completely desexualise themselves, not wear tight fitting or short items of clothing, cut their hair short and walk around with umbrellas or something else that can be used as weapons. Basically, we should live in fear and do everything in our ability to not celebrate the beauty God have blessed us with. Well I say hell no!

It is time that we stand up and say enough is enough. How many babies, innocent girls or women need to be destroyed before we act?

We are too scared to say something when see something or suspect something is wrong.

Open your mouth. Very few victims will speak out on their own accord. Speak up, ask the question, you just might save a life.

Jacques and I have decided to embark on a campaign to create awareness and raise funds.

I propose Black Wednesdays. Let’s be heard. Let us show that we will not stand by quietly while this continues to happen. From now we will be wearing black on Wednesdays to show our voice. I truly hope that we can get more people involved in this and make it a national and international movement.

We will shortly have Stop Rape Now! Bumper stickers available at R20 each. All profit will go towards Rape Crisis Centers or victims who need medical assistance.

Please help us to make this project grow.

It is the least we can do.

Come on South Africa, if we can turn around from being the biggest racist country in the world to being a rainbow nation, surely we can turn around from being the Rape Capital of the world to being a society and country where abuse and rape is not tolerated!

What kind of lover are you?

February, the month of love is upon us!

I have read a number of articles on the subject lately and inevitability it left me looking at my own concept of love.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I simply love ‘love’! Not only the magic of falling in love (which in itself is the best natural drug on this planet!) but to actively love someone – well, I just can’t get enough of it!

Unfortunately, this is not the case for every one. There are, in my view, 5 different kinds of lovers in this world:

You get the hippies
My kind, the die-hard romatics who see love and beauty in every day. They love the magic of caring for someone. The beauty of baring your soul and innermost feelings and thoughts to someone – without the fear of judgment. The sense of belonging. The knowing that you have a safe harbor to turn to.

You get the wanna-be’s
Those that desperately want to love, but simply can’t. They have been too hurt and damaged by the junkies and the users to be able to love. They are caught in a battle within themselves. Their hearts that want to love, yearn for it, desperately want to reach out to it. Their minds however, tell them to stop, to back off, to guard and protect at all cost the heart from being broken again.

You get the junkies
We all have met someone like this. These people jump from relationship to relationship like a butterfly flirts from flower to flower. They love the rush of the chase. The thrill of the catch is what grabs them. However, once they have made the kill and have their new partner hook, line and sinker, they loose interest and move on to the next one.

You get the users
These are by far the most dangerous kind! They will love you, strictly on their terms and strictly as long as your love serves their purpose. They will love you enough to make you want to stay around, but not enough to upset their carefully balanced apple cart. They will love only as long as the love they receive does not require them to move outside of their comfort zone. Run, run as fast as your legs can carry you. Do not get caught in their beautifully constructed lies!

Lastly you get the lost ones
These are the ones I pity most. They have been through the wanna be’s, the users and the junkies. They might even have had their own hippie, but for some reason that didn’t work either. So, they are left feeling that love, true love, does not exist. They have given up on it entirely. More often than not they turn into hard, cynical, bitter human beings. In some cases, I’ll admit, they give up on love completely, yet are content with their own company, but again this is the minority.

There is no better time than now, February, the month of love, to examine not only your relationship but yourself too.

Get rid of denial and answer yourself: what kind of lover are you and what is it doing to your partner?

Go forth and love like a hippie, love like there is no tomorrow.

All we need is love, tra-la-la-la-la!