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Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono


One of the books I read and found interesting concerning the thought process and decision making and making better choices is Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. Edward de Bono is a physician and psychologist who has studied and written extensively on lateral thinking.

This book focused on simplifying the thinking process. I had never seen someone who has simplified the thinking process in such a manner that it appears simple especially when you have to make decisions. The six hats of thinking categorised thinking into six hats which are the white hat, the red hat, the black hat, the yellow hat, the green hat and the blue hat. The idiom of hat is used by author because hats are not controversial and represent similar meanings and image in many cultures hence people from east and western cultures can easily understand the role and function of hat.

Edward de Bono. Source: Wikipedia
  1. The white hat. This hat is all about facts. A person wearing this hat during the thinking process should provide fats and facts only there should be no inference or interpretation of facts. Only fats should be presented.
  2. The red hat. This hat has a lot to do with emotions. A person wearing this hat focuses on expressing their emotions towards an issue under discussion. The purpose is to identify the emptions that people or the thinker has towards an issues. It is not necessary to explain the mentions, just explains the various emotions.
  3. The black hat. It is the hat of caution A person wearing this hat should think of potential dangers or weaknesses of the idea.  It is the most commonly used hat. Should not be overused as it should all ideas. It is good in identifying vulnerabilities in ideas.
  4. The yellow hat. This is hat of sunshine and looks at the bright side of things and ideas. It looks at the merit of ideas. When wearing this hat a person should only see the good in something, this is the most difficult hat to use because many people are only conditioned to see the negative.
  5. The green hat. This is the hat for growth, improvement and creativity. This hat seeks to create new things or make improvements to existing things. A person wearing think hat should bring out new ideas. The book taught me an important content in creativity which is provocation. One of the way of provoking new ideas during thinking is through random word method.  Use any random word and combine it with another concept. For instance, introduce the word car or road to writing and generate new ideas and thoughts.
  6. The blue hat. This is hat that is focused on controlling the thought process. It is focused on making an overview, summary and conclusion of the thought process. It tends to take an aerial view of the thought process and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the thought process and what can be enhanced in order to make better outcomes.

This book sheds light on how effective decision makers make the best choices in career, business or personal life. The book is of much help to the individual decision makers and organisational decision as it can help them to overcome their own biases by making choices from an informed perspective that includes all types of thoughts and information needed in effective decision making.

You can buy the book from Amazon. By using this link when buying from Amazon you be helping my site to grow:

https://amzn.to/3hZLkNZ

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How to be radically open minded according to Ray Dalio


This blog is mostly about making decision making and its tagline is making better choices. I started out the blog mostly to promote my book about relationships called “So You Want to Get into Courtship”. Years later I felt that success in relationship and in any other human endeavor was all about making certain choices. It was the quality of decision made by the individual that determined their quality of life and attendant consequences. Based on this understanding, I set out to investigate and study more about decision making and decision making processes and productivity and everything to do with making better choices in every dimension of one’s life.  To be a good decision maker one must be radically open minded. Being radically open minded is phrase borrowed from Raymond Dalio of Bridge Water Associates.  In his book, Principles, Ray Dalio explores the topic of decision making by intimating that good decisions are result of being radically open minded.   Here we will discuss 5 ways of in which one can become radically open minded based on Ray Dalio’s Principles.

Ray Dalio’s Principles.
  1. Use pain as guide towards deep reflection. Be keen to identify if you feel pain whenever someone challenges you about an idea or a concept that you hold too deeply. This pain manifests in form of ager, irritation and tension in the body.  This pain is a sign of close mindedness. Whenever you feel such pain, be calm and admit that you could be wrong.
  2. Make open-mindedness a habit. Consistently use feelings of anger as signs that you need to slow down and approach the issue more thoughtfully. By consistently being open minded you can easily learn to overcome amygdala hijackings and emotions that ruin decision making.
  3. Know your blind spots.  Identify and keenly list the areas where you have consistently made poor decisions.  Record the circumstances in which you have made bad decisions. Whenever you find yourself about to make decisions in these areas, ensure that you have consulted others. Otherwise you will be risking and you will not get different results.
  4. Be evidence based. Do not just make decisions based on your subconscious and your feelings. Use evidence. Objectively use facts and evidence when making choices. 
  5. Meditate. Take time to think silently alone. Consciously and deliberately allocate time to think and meditate and reflect. Most people just think on the go, but to be radically open minded you have to take time to reflect and think deeply.

These are some of the actionable steps that any individual can take to improve their decision making by being radically open minded. By being radically open minded, it becomes easy to make better choices because one cannot be influenced by biases, emotions and mental blind spots.

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How Greek religion influenced development of intellectual thought especially literature and medicine


Introduction

Although much of modern philosophy and thought is attributed to the Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates the ancient Greek religion has played significant role in the influencing the modern day intellectual thought including literature science and medicine and philosophy.

Unlike modern religions such as Christianity and Islam that do not provide room for alternative thoughts, Greek religion incorporated alternative thought. People were allowed to question the practices, rituals and other religious practices. In addition, they were allowed to have their own gods, heroes and rituals based on their individual beliefs. Greek traditional religion was therefore unique and its tolerant and inquisitive nature has made it to retain influence in modern day societies. This essay strives to examine how Greek religion and mythologies and influenced intellectual thought.

This essay shall delve into the examination how the ancient religion influenced development of intellect especially in regard to literature, science and medicine. This essay investigates how the religion influenced literature, science and medicine. The first part of the essay discusses the ancient religions gods that were associated with knowledge and how ancient people used religion and religious practices to advance thoughts in areas such as literature, science and medicine.

Athena | Myths, Symbols, Facts, & Roman Name | Britannica
Athena: The goddess of knowledge, Source: Britannica

The influence of Athena the goddess of intellect

In the traditional Greek mythology and religion, those that were after knowledge worshipped Athena who was the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, war, art and craft and pottery (Hemingway and Hemingway, 2000). The goddess was believed to the source of knowledge and wisdom among Athenians and the city of Athens was named after her. The Greek people associated certain polis or cities with some gods and the city of Athens was associated with the god of wisdom because it was the city where most wise people resided. Also sophists who were people concerned with the acquisition of knowledge and skills resided in Athens. Unlike previously where other gods were involved in the physical matter such as water, fire, air or wind, the god of Athens was concerned with non physical matters which were matters of knowledge and wisdom.  Athena the goddess of knowledge was worshipped by people who loved knowledge. They believed that the Athena was a daughter of Zeus the god of thunderstorm and her mother was Metis (Deacy and Villing, 2001). It was believed that Athena was born from the head of Zeus. It was also believed in the mythology that worship of Athena gave the worshippers uncommon knowledge in craft, science, war and other crafts. Therefore the worshippers of Athena paid homage to her by coming Athens city where her temple was domiciled (Murray, 1924).  Other than the rituals offered to the gods in the temple, and unlike in other religions and deities, the worshippers in temple of Athena were allowed to ask questions and debate issues with each other. In addition, the seekers were allowed to question, make observation and deductions.

Contribution of Greek religion to intellect

It is through these practices that people of Athens became more knowledgeable and interested in intellectuality (Bowden, 2005). People were allowed to share thoughts irrespective of how ridiculous they were. It was in this city that famous philosophers such as Pythagoras. Socrates, Plato, Archimedes came from. The philosophers sought for observable or empirical evidence of various phenomena. Instead of purely relying on myths and unfounded explanations, the scholars and seekers of wisdom in Athens were known to seek for provable and proven ways of explaining phenomena. Green (1997) noted that for instance, the phenomena of rain were deconstructed in Athens by identifying that the formation of rain followed particular patterns. They noted that it resulted from sea water evaporating, forming vapour, which led to condensation of vapour into clouds which resulted into rain. The enlightenment aroused enthusiasm and interest in intellectuality as way as way of explaining matter. The city of Athens also housed scientists who discovered that there were small elements in every matter than constituted every matter. These theories constituted the earliest scientific basis which helped in identification of molecules in an atom which was basic foundation of science.  It is in Athens that worshippers and lovers of knowledge and wisdom emerged. This people would mostly be concerned with understanding knowledge and metaphysics. It is to this people that the current knowledge of language is attributed to as they developed the alphabet. Bowden (2005) noted that Greece was the city that developed the current form of alphabets that are used in modern day language. The development of alphabet transformed language and allowed significant amounts of information to be held through writing for future reference.

Contribution of Greek religion to literature

Greek religion has contributed immensely to literature. The Greek mythology which forms part of the components of literature is attributed to the Greek religion. The characters discussed in the famous Greek mythology Homer and Iliad such as Odysseus encounter various gods and goddesses such as indicated the influence of Greek religion on the literature. The religion has mostly influenced the literature especially in relation to myths and mythology in the study of literature (Baron, 2013). Myths cannot be described without taking the examples of Greek mythology as they were the most influential kind of myths that have lasted up to date.  It is also essential to note that Greek mythology has contributed significantly to literature through stories and such as Odyssey which is considered to be one of the greatest pieces of literature (Burkert, 1985). The story depicts how Odysseus wrestled with gods in order to return to his homeland. The Greek mythology especially the ones explained in Iliad and Odyssey remains classical and historical forms of literature that explain humans nature, as well as the nature of gods. The classical have been instrumentals in the development of English literature especially in use of metaphors and synonyms as well as idioms such as ‘Achilles heels” (Murray, 1924).  The most significant contribution of Greek religion to literature was in poetry and play writing. Some of the earliest plays that have been discovered were written by the Greek. Harrison (2010) noted that terms used in plays such as protagonist, antagonist, nemesis originated from the Greek ancient literature. Bowden (2005) noted that Greeks were also first to set the rules of writing plays such as having characters, setting the stage and the audience. The earliest plays were acted and done by Greek in their Olympus theatres.

Contribution of Greek religion to science

Greek religion especially has contributed immensely to science through the worship of Athena. Great mathematicians such as Pythagoras came from Athena and were responsible for the formulation of the Pythagoras theorem (Jones, 1946). The religion played a significant role in the development of science by bringing together people who were interested in knowledge of all kinds such as sciences together. The tolerant nature in the Greek religion allowed freedom of thought at a time when freedom of thought and contrary opinions was prohibited in most of the ancient societies. According to Burkert (1985) most of the ancient societies ascribed to creationist theories without interrogation. However, in the ancient Greek religion people were allowed not to be worshippers of one god. This enabled such people to interrogate nature without religious inhibitions. Burkert (1991) noted that in the Greek religion was made up of stoics and cynics as well as atheists. In fact according Bowden (2005) the ancient atheists were found in Greece due to the tolerant nature of the religion. The detachment from religion was foundational to the development of science. The tolenace of religion allowed people like Archimedes to develop scientific principles through their use of deduction approach to issues.  Burkert (1985) noted that Greek religion and traditions allowed people to make claims and then prove those by testing the statements or phenomena in order to determine whether the theory was true or not. This created scientific advancements because it allowed people to be inquisitive and to test phenomena in order to find the truth. The truth was supposed to be verifiable and observable. However, the limitation of technology and knowledge meant that most of the statements made at those medieval times could not be proven. Nevertheless, the statements and theories became foundation for modern day scientists especially in the areas of astronomy, mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Contribution of Greek religion to medicine

The other significant influence that Greek religion has had on intellect and intellectual development is in the field of medicine. The Greek religion believed in the Apollo the god of youth, healing, truth and sunlight (Wedlake, 1982). This god was believed to be responsible for restoration of wellness. However, those who believed in Athena the goddess of wisdom believed that the healing could also be explained naturally without invoking the supernatural. Therefore through the inquisitive nature of cynics espoused by Greek religion and culture there were those who did not believe that healing was supernatural. They believed that healing was biological and that ailments were a result of imbalances in the body (Jones, 1946). They therefore believed that by balancing the body fluids, they could restore the balance of the human body and thus restore the health of the ill person. This viewpoint led to significant biological research and writings especially by Hippocras who wrote the Hippocratic Oath and other biological writing such as Hippocratic Copernicus. In addition, there was increased scholarly work on the fields of medicine especially human anatomy where the ancients were able to discover the various parts of the body and the roles which played in the body. They also studied various types of ailments and how they affected the different parts of the body (Burkert, 1991). In addition, the adherents of the Greek traditional religion contributed significantly to modern day medicine not only by identifying the various types of illnesses as well as identifying the parts of the body. They also developed code of practice for doctors and people who practiced medicine. Most importantly they developed significant knowledge of human body which has been applied up to date (Longrigg, 1998).

Conclusion

Greek religion has played significant role in the influencing the modern day intellectual thought including literature science and medicine and philosophy. Unlike modern religions such as Christianity and Islam that do not provide tools for alternative thoughts, Greek religions incorporated alternative thought. People were allowed to question the practices, rituals and other religious practices. In addition, they were allowed to have their own gods, heroes and rituals based on their individual beliefs. Greek traditional religion was therefore unique and its tolerant and inquisitive nature has made it to retain influence in modern day societies and religions. The polytheism attributed to the Greek religion also contributed to intellectual development. The conflicts among gods as well as conflicts between the adherents of different gods brought about competition in thought as way of worship and veneration to different kind of gods. For instance those who worshipped Athena resided in Athens and tended to incline to intellectual curiosity and deductive approach to issues. Those who ascribed to Apollo were inclined towards healing, music and sought and their competition with those who ascribed to Athena led to the development of knowledge that pertained to healing of the human body which has led to the development of the modern day medicine practices which are evident today.

References

Allen, W. (2004) ‘New Gods of Greek Tragedy’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 5(4), pp. 21-44.

Baron, A. (2013) Timaeus of Tauromenium and Hellenistic Historiography. Cambridge University Press.

Bowden, H. (2005) Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle: Divination and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Burkert, W. (1985) Greek Religion. London: William Heinemann.

Burkert, W. (1991) Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical. London: William Heinemann.

Deacy, S. and Villing, A. (2001) Athena in the Classical World. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill.

Green, M. (1997) Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. London: Thames and Hudson.

Harrison, J. (2010) Themis: A study to the Social origins of Greek Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hemingway, C. and Hemingway, S. (2000) ‘Greek Gods and Religious Practices.’ In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jones, W. (1946) Philosophy and Medicine in Ancient Greece. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.

Longrigg, J. (1998) Greek Medicine From the Heroic to the Hellenistic Age. New York: Sage. 

Murray, A. (1924) Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation. London: William Heinemann.  

Wedlake, J. (1982) The Excavation of the Shrine of Apollo at Nettleton, Wiltshire, 1956–1971. London: Society of Antiquaries of London.

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Global or Local Entrepreneurship: Which is better for society?


Introduction

This essay assesses which of the two kinds of entrepreneurship orientation is better among global and local entrepreneurship. The first section of the debate exemplifies the advantages and disadvantages of going global. The second section discusses of the merits and demerits of being local. The final section then highlights which of the two is better and the reason why it is better than the other. Global entrepreneurship refers to the ability to create enterprises which have worldwide reach or enterprises which have a worldwide market or have a global vision (McKinnon, Smith and Thomson, 2015). To assess the role of global entrepreneurship Burberry Fashion Company shall be used as a case example of a company which has a global outlook and its contribution to the entrepreneurship and business. Local refers to businesses that have a confined entrepreneurship orientation which means that the business is restricted to a particular country and it does not have global vision or intentions of expanding its markets or production globally (McKinnon, Smith and Thomson, 2015). The aim of local entrepreneurship is to serve the local needs of the local market. In regard to the local business this essay shall use the case of Dandie Fashion Company. The essay shall then examine the implications that each of these enterprises have on the entrepreneurship and business.

Evaluation of global businesses

One of the main advantages of global companies on entrepreneurship and business is that global outlook injects trade in emerging economies. Companies that have global orientation create trade opportunities in the emerging economies (Johnston, 2010). By exporting commodities and products to the emerging economies, global companies such as Burberry Company create jobs and employment opportunities in their economies because they create demand for local products. In addition, Prange and Verdier (2011) noted that successful fashion companies also build emerging economies by purchasing fabrics as well as ready to wear cloth from the emerging countries. Job creation provides the local populations with income as well as disposable income because in many instances the global companies employ locals at a better wages than the local companies. This rejuvenates other sectors of the economy as they increase the spending power of the populations within the economy where they have operations (Kumar and Liu, 2012).

Haar (2012) noted that companies such as Burberry have nevertheless relocated their manufacturing activities to offshore countries. This promotes small businesses and enhances entrepreneurship in the emerging economies (Prashantham, 2016). Fashion companies also engage in skills transfer to the emerging economies where they have relocated their manufacturing. This creates empowers local population with better skills and knowledge for entrepreneurship and business.

The global oriented companies were noted to create accessibility of cheaper goods and services because they had the logistics and the capacity to source for raw materials globally which enabled them to produce their goods and services at lower costs (Vinig and Kluijver, 2007).

However, the globally oriented companies had their weaknesses. McKinnon, Smith and Thomson (2015) noted that the fashion companies such as Burberry have been accused of paying lower taxes in the countries where they outsource their manufacturing. The companies usually do not pay taxes because they are not domiciled in those countries. This denies the government of these countries revenues and results in poor service delivery. The fashion companies have also been accused of exploiting local workers by paying low wages and by overworking the workers in sweat ships. Companies such as Burberry have been accused of contracting manufacturers who use child labour and underpay their workers. This negates the advantages of the global in regard to entrepreneurship and business (Guo, He and Li, 2015).

Evaluation of local businesses  

On the other hand, local oriented companies have several positive impacts on entrepreneurship and business. Audretsch and Keilbach (2007) noted that local oriented companies were eco sensitive and hence contributed to the conservation of the local ecological environment and resources. This implies that local oriented businesses focused on preservation of the local resources and environment. This had positive contribution to entrepreneurship and business because it meant that they developed sustainable ways of doing business which benefitted the local businesses and entrepreneurs. For instance, Dandie has developed solar power systems for its manufacturing facilities which reduces carbon imprints made by the company (Crawford, 2013).

The other main advantage of local oriented business is the creation of jobs for the local population. The company created jobs for the local people as they employed local people and made use of the local skills (Guo, He and Li, 2015). They made the local people have a source of livelihood which encouraged other forms of entrepreneurship.

Nevertheless, the local oriented businesses and companies such as Dandie have been accused of perpetuating poverty (Gorman, 2014). McKinnon Smith and Thomson (2015) noted that the localised business did not provide the local with competitive skills that could make them look for jobs elsewhere. There was no skills transfer in the local companies because there were liminated skills required or the skilled utilised by local oriented business were skills available in that locality.

Locally oriented business do not create infrastructures compared with the global business because they invested little amount of capital in infrastructure (Dimitratos et al., 2013). Lack of infrastructure limited entrepreneurship and business within the areas where the local business was located. This is unlike the globalised which created infrastructures that support other business and entrepreneurship.  For instance, companies such as Burberry could fund factories and access roads to their factories. Also governments tended to support the global businesses with infrastructure in order to attract more foreign direct investment as possessed to local businesses (Guo, He and Li, 2015).

Conclusion

Therefore, once can aver that the globalised businesses were better than local businesses despite their short comings. This is because they created job opportunities; they also increased employment opportunities in the countries where they operated which in turn created entrepreneurship and business opportunities (McKinnon et al., 2015). In addition, it was noted that global business lead to skills transfer which empowered the locals to look for other jobs or to create their own employment opportunities. Also global business creased infrastructure or attracted government investment infrastructure which eased the cost of doing business and attracted their entrepreneurs and businesses to location where there was global business. Despite the advantages of local oriented companies such as creation of local jobs and preservation of environment, the local oriented businesses lacked capacity for skills transfers and attraction of infrastructure development which hindered entrepreneurship and business (Othman, Othman and Ismail, 2012). Consequently, it can be deduced that global oriented business are better than local oriented businesses for entrepreneurship and business.

References

Audretsch, D. and Keilbach, M. (2007) ‘The localisation of entrepreneurship capital: Evidence from Germany’, Regional Science, 86(3), pp. 351-365.  

Crawford, D. (2013) Dandie Fashions and the 1960s Kings Road peacocks. Available at: https://www.candysays.co.uk/blogs/vintage-blog/7232698-dandie-fashions-and-the-1960s-kings-road-peacocks (Accessed 30 November 2015).   

Dimitratos, P., Plakoyiannaki, E., Pitsoulaki, A. and Tüselmann, F. (2010) ‘The global smaller firm in international entrepreneurship’, International Business Review, 19(6), pp. 589-606.          

Gorman, P. (2014) A pop culture treasure trove: Freddie Hornik’s Granny Takes A Trip scrapbook. Available at: http://www.paulgormanis.com/?tag=dandie-fashions (Accessed 10 May 2010).   

Guo, Q., He, C. and Li, D. (2015) ‘Entrepreneurship in China: The role of localisation and urbanisation economies’, Urban Studies, 4(5), pp. 24-45.

Haar, J. (2012) Globalization and Entrepreneurship in Latin America: The Impact of Globalization on Latin America. Florida: Task Force: Centre For hemispheric Policy.

Johnston, K. (2010) The Impact of Globalization on Entrepreneurs. Available at: https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/impact-globalization-entrepreneurs-9998.html (Accessed 10 May 2013).  

Kumar, S. and Liu, D. (2012) Impact of globalisation on entrepreneurial enterprises in the world markets. Available at: https://www.inderscienceonline.com/doi/abs/10.1504/IJMED.2005.006026?journalCode=ijed (Accessed 30 November 2014). 

McKinnon, S., Smith, J. and Thomson, J. (2015) ‘Window to the World: Using Technology to Internationalise Entrepreneurship Education’, Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 3(3), pp. 15-23.

Othman, N., Othman, N. and Ismail, R. (2012) ‘Impact of Globalization on Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurial Skills in Higher Education Institutions’, International Conference on Economics, Trade and Development, 5(1), pp. 23-44.  

Prange, C. and Verdier, S. (2011) ‘Dynamic capabilities, internationalization processes and performance’, Journal of World Business, 46(1), pp.126-133.  

Prashantham, S. (2016) When globalisation meets entrepreneurship it can be a force for good. Available at: https://theconversation.com/when-globalisation-meets-entrepreneurship-it-can-be-a-force-for-good-64415 (Accessed 30 November 2015). 

Vinig, T. and Kluijver, J. (2007) ‘Does Globalization Impact Entrepreneurship? Comparative Study of Country Level Indicators’, Information Systems, 7(8), pp. 7-8.   

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Book Review of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future


The Inevitable: Understanding 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future 

This book by Kevin Kelly discusses the technological forces that will shape our future. The author indicates that the future will be much more interesting than it is now. Unlike other science fiction books that are based on imagination this books are based in in-depth research on the new innovation that have happened and how each of this innovations have high capacity of shaping our future. The author highlights that these technological forces will include, becoming, cognifying, flowing, screening, remixing, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking questioning and beginning.

Amazon.com: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological ...
The Inevitable book cover. Source: Amazon

Each of these technological forces have a significant place in the future. For instance the force of becoming is already here with us. The force of becoming entails having constant improvements on products and services. This means that nothing will remain the same as it will have some improvement especially when it comes to technology. This will reduce the need to own things due to their increased improvements such that a product and service bought will be obsolete the nest one year.

The other technological forces of the future is cognifying. This is embedding intelligence into objects. According to Kevin Kelly, most of the objects that can transmit electricity have the potential to be cognified and made intelligent. This means that objects can be tagged with chips and identified remotely. This force of cognification will also include increased use of artificial intelligence. Activities that are repetitive can now be done by robots which will know how to operate machines, type and do activities that can be repeatedly done by humans. A lot of manual jobs will be lost. However, more jobs will be created that will revolve around robots such as teaching robots, servicing and maintaining the robots.

The other force of technology that will shape our future is flowing. Information will be influenced in future. Also almost every business including real estate is now becoming an online business. It is being transformed into a fluid entirety. Therefore, in future information, business, data will be fluid.

The other technological force of the future is screening. In future information will be disseminated through screens. Unlike in the arts where books were the main way of conserving and transmitting information, technology will be future based. Information will be disseminated through screens. There will be screen in the bedroom, bathroom and in vehicles. People will not need to memorise things as they will just point their screen to get information.

Other forces of technology that will shape the future include, remixing, accessing, filtering, interacting, tracking, questioning and beginning. 

However, the book does not provide amicable solutions or ways in which to respond to the changes that will emanate from the twelve technological forces of the future. The author leaves the readers to make their own deductions on what they can do to respond to these technological forces of the future. 

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Building a reading culture


By Pastor James Wanyonyi

All the points vertically spell ‘Breakthrough Family Chapel’.

Books: Books are ignorance cleansers. Books transport you from where you are to where you are supposed to be. The answers to life’s biggest questions lie in a book.

Reading: Reading is taking the best of many minds and pouring it all in my mind.

Expand your mind: Reading broadens your world. Every adventure begins with knowledge.

Awareness: Read what is in the area of your purpose and establishing an authority in your field.

Keeping reading: Reading keeps you current in a changing world. Your future is determined by the books you read and the friends you keep.

Think: You can’t think big with a small mind. Reading enlarges your thinking and knowledge.

Heal the soul: Reading is a remedy for the soul. Reading is the will of God.

Read the Bible. The books of Daniel 1:2 and 2nd Timothy 4:13 give divine approval to the culture of reading.

Options: For some a book is a means to an education, for others, it is a source of information but a book carries significance when you opt for it to be a form of transportation.

Understand why you need to read: Reading sharpens your mind and develops your skills further. Reading is exercising your mind.

Generations: Generational blessings begin with knowledge. Reading plays a part in acquisition of that knowledge.

Helper: Reading is my destiny helper. It will connect me to my much desired destiny.

Faith: God operates in my life to the level of my knowledge.

Analyse: Have time to look back at your reading, why you are reading, how often you read and what you read.

Motivation: Reading helps to keep you inspired, stimulated and motivated.

Implications: Reading has personal implications; the day I stop learning, is the day I start dying.

Leadership: Readers are leaders. Reading inculcates leadership qualities.

Your books: Lend your books to someone who will surely return them.

Create time: You develop and sustain a reading culture by dedicating time to it.

Have a record: The best way to keep track of what you have read or reading is to record it your benefit.

Age: Read books that are commensurate to your age. Books which will challenge and inspire you in your current and incoming season.

Pathway to greatness: Reading paves the way to your greatness.

Enlightenment: Knowledge is light and reading provides illumination.

Library: Build your own library. And that was Building a Reading Culture by Pst. James Wanyonyi

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The highly productive person daily energy plan


Here is a brief outline showing how the productive persons plan their limited time in order to make most out of it. According to Gary Keller the author pf one thing the body is like a machine that needs a lot of energy in order to function.

Just like automobiles which use different types of fuels, so is the body. The body needs spiritual energy, mental energy, physical energy, emotional energy and business energy. The body must therefore be frequently nourished with all these diets as they provide it with the necessary fuel required to focus and attain productivity.

Project Management Plan: Seven Steps to plan | Nutcache

Here are the steps of replenishing and stocking energy that you need for the day.

  1. Meditate and pray for spiritual energy. Spiritual energy emanates from prayer and meditation. They provide clarity and energy to persevere difficult times.
  2. Eat, exercise and sleep sufficiently in order to fuel physical energy.
  3. Set goals, plan, for mental energy. Goals and plans act as a form of mental energy that keeps on track towards success.
  4. Timeblock or set aside alone time to do just One Thing for business energy.

Having taken those steps you will be energized and fully energetic to attain your goals on a daily basis. Thank you for reading.  

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The four thieves of productivity according to Gary Keller


Gary Keller and Jay Papasan the authors of One Thing intimated that there are four thieves of productivity that must be always be kept at bay.

Three Thieves That Steal Your Peace of Mind – Awaken

Thieves steal when one is not suspecting or is not attentive to keep watch and protect their property or asset. Since productivity is an asset and it has high value, it tends to have enemies and thieves who like to stealing and waste it away when the individual is not attentive and careful to protect it. These four thieves are:

  1. Inability to say No. In order to be highly productive one must focus on doing one thing at a time and avoid multitasking. According to Gary Keller one “Yes” has to be defended by a thousand “No” s.  Whenever you say yes you have to think about what you are saying no to. Learn to say no as many time as possible so that you can focus on one thing or few things which you can do effectively.  One person known to have said many Nays was Steve Jobs. He is said to have been happy for the many products which he said no to and discontinued them. In 1997 it was noted that Jobs discontinued 340 products from the company’s product line and retained only 10 products. This shows that Steve Jobs had mastered the art of saying no to many things. There are effective ways of saying no. One of those ways of saying no is by showing or leading to another person who can say yes.
  2. Fear of chaos. When you decide to focus on one thing in order to have enhanced productivity, chaos is inevitable. There are things that will be left unattended resulting in some form of disorder and untidiness. To be productive one has to allow some degree of chaos and disorder in order to focus on one thing. The good thing with allowing this chaos it that with enhanced productivity, one usually gets the time and resources to easily manage the chaos.
  3. Poor health habits. Poor health is a big time thieve of productivity. You cannot be productive if you are not healthy. High results need maximum energy which can only be produced by healthy body. Do not go for success by sacrificing your health. Always make sure that your health is a number one priority. Many people succeed by trading their heath for success only to realise later that the tradeoff was too costly and not worth it. By the time they realise it is too late and the deal is already done. Eat healthy diet, exercise, meditate and spend time with your loved ones in order to cultivate emotional health.
  4. Environment that does not support your goals. Environment in this case refers to what you see and experience each day. Your environment can be hindrance and a thieve of your productivity. It can distract you from focusing on the most important tasks. Nobody exists as an island, hence the people that you interact with during the day can be a hindrance towards the attainment of your goals. Therefore, be cautious and extremely careful about people who surround you because they highly influence you and your productivity. They infect you with their attitudes, biases, skills and knowledge. Therefore, have extreme care about the people that you interact with to ensure that they are in support of your productivity.

Therefore, inability to say no, fear of chaos, poor health habits and having or living in an environment that does not support your goals can easily rob you off your productivity.  With this awareness, make effort to say no, accept chaos, manage your health and develop an environment that can support your goals in order to attain maximum productivity. You can buy Gary Keller’s One Thing here.    

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How to succeed according to Sam Altman


Sam Altman was formerly the chair of Y-Combinator. He led one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world. He shared about various practices that had enabled him to succeed in the venture capital and in life. 

Sam Altman | Startup Guide for Successful Startups and Entrepreneurs
Sam Altman

Here is some advice on how to succeed by Sam Altman.

  1. Compound self.  Exponential power always works some great magic. Work in such a way that you are continuously compounding yourself.  You should constantly seek ways of creating leverage by acquiring capital, skills, networks, brands and knowledge that can compound your capabilities. One of the ways of building this leverage is by letting small opportunities go in favour of pursuing bigger opportunities. Learn how to take long term view of things. Very few people who strive to develop long term things and perspectives of how things will work out which forces nature to rewards the few who do. Make the effort to have a long term view of your career or life pursuits.
  2. Have self-belief. Those who have self-belief are sometimes viewed as delusional. They have too much belief in themselves and their ideas. Have trust that you can deliver required results consistently. You can never succeed if you are not willing to have contrarian views that do not resonate with the majority. The only way of holding together during such time is by having high sense of self belief. Individuals like Elon Musk have succeeded because they have too much self-belief. They believe too much in their ideas even when there is no one believing or supporting their ideas. Elon Musk demonstrates this with his Space X which has a vision of making travel to Mars possible. However, self-belief must be counter balanced by self-awareness. Even with self-belief, be ready to accept criticism and differing viewpoints as they can enrich your views and ideas.
  3. Be a salesperson. Even if you have the best ideas and self-belief you still have to convince other people to support your idea. You have to be a great salesperson. At some time, all great careers involve some sort of sales. you have to evangelize your product, service to customers. You have to evangelize your mission and vision to employees, partners and shareholders. This demands development of above average communication skills and charisma. You can always get better at these skills by training and continuous learning. Sales and selling may be distasteful to some people but it is still one of the most important skills to have.
  4. Simplify taking risks. Success involves some sort of risk taking. Do not be afraid of taking risks. Many people avoid taking risks. Nature tends to pay handsome rewards to those who take risks. Taking risks is a necessity because you cannot always be right. You have to learn how take risks and adapt quickly to the outcomes. Sam Altman’s sum up this by saying “Look for small bets you can make where you lose 1x if you’re wrong but make 100x if it works. Then make a bigger bet in that direction.”
  5. Focus. Focus is an energy multiplier. Many people spend their time on issues that are not important. They spend long hours on stuff that is less important while ignoring and paying less attention to the stuff that matters. Focus begins by identifying the most important stuff where energy and resources should be spent.   
  6. Be hard to compete with. Most people accept and know that the most valuable companies are those which are very difficult to compete with. This is because they have built some leverage that keeps competitors out. Just like companies, even individual can become hard to compete with. These leverage exist inform of personal relationships, networks, and skills. Most people do what the people who they hang out with do. They mimic other people’s actions which makes them do what everyone else is doing thus eliminating any competitive advantage that they could have by being different.

This explains why Sam Altman is one of the successful individual based on the advice he gives. Thank you for spending your time reading this.   

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Is Data the new oil?


Sometimes back Wired published an article asking if data the new oil. Within this century that is the 21st Century, data is certain to replace oil just like oil replaced coal in the 19th century. Data is immensely valuable, but it is an untapped asset which has not yet been fully exploited.  Those who will develop the means to discover data wells, systems for refining the data and extracting valuable information from the data wells will leap immense rewards. This is because in the twenty first century we are operating in the digital economy where the data is highly valuable and a necessity to the digital enterprises. It is the engine that will power the digital enterprises in the same manner the coal powered engine powered the steam engine. The need for data is not going to be restricted to the private and digital enterprises, data will even be more valuable to governments which will need it for efficient public service provision.

Data Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Data Infrastructure Should Become a Profit engine of the business

Many organizations view their data centers as a cost and expenses which they can find ways of eliminating. However, data infrastructure is very important to the future of digital enterprises and organizations should view their data center as the new profit center. Companies have to view their data as a strategic company asset that has immense value to the company. The asset should therefore be protected and managed affectively so as to realize its value.

Effective management of the company data is essential for companies as this can enable the company to extract customer data as well as share the data about products and services with partners and producers so that they can customize product to suit customer tastes and preferences. The data also provides companies with opportunities to recombine information and ideas about products and services and thereby bringing into life new products and services that resonate with the target market.

Data enhances decision making

Data provides the evidence that is needed in instances where critical decisions have to be made. Data helps the business to stop relying on heresy and opinions during decision making. Data provides concrete evidence that can help the business make better choices that can make the business more profitable. During the growth phase of the business, opinions tend to dominate, but as the business grows, opinions have to be set aside. It pays to use data in decision making. This is because with data, any decision about the business be it marketing, human resource management, can be made by testing, measuring different alternatives and making improvements. The use of data can inspire the business to come up with new ideas, identify new opportunities and trends and take advantage of such opportunities before competitors seize the moment. Most importantly the business owner should know the KPIs of the business and develop infrastructure for collecting refining and developing insights about these KPIs. Different businesses have different KPIs. Retail businesses have different KPIs from the non-retail and software business. Understanding your KPIs helps you to focus on collecting and refining data which is relevant to your business and make most of that data.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will make deliberate effort to collect data from your business and use it to guide your decision making.

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Book Review: ONE THING by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan


The book One Thing by Keller and Papasan expresses how individuals attain extraordinary results in life. This book is based on a simple principle of 80/20 principle of Pareto which rests on the idea that minor inputs, efforts or causes can result to major rewards or outputs. This means that 80% of one’s results come from the 20% of the efforts put in place. This is therefore evident in this book whereby an individual has to allocate the right time to the ONE THING on a consistent basis so as to attain the extraordinary results.

In this book, it is also clear that a ‘to-do list’ is essential when applying the Pareto’s principle because the ONE THING that an individual will focus on will be his/her central idea towards the attainment of success, happiness or any fulfillment. This does not mean that an individual can only have one goal but it implies that it for one to attain the extraordinary results s/he has to set a priority which will be worked on.    

When reading the book it is clear that there are six lies which exist between an individual and his/her success which include multitasking, all matters equally, big is bad, will power is always on will-call. These elements contribute greatly towards one’s failure. the  authors presents  one big question “What’s the ONE Thing I can do today such that by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary? ” which individuals need to question themselves before pursuing anything in their life. This question will help one to understand one essential thing that needs to be done so as to attain the extraordinary success in that particular area. It is therefore necessary to create some habits which will help one embrace the concept of ONE THING.

for an individual to be able to implement this  concept, the authors of the book suggest that an individual has to time block his/her ONE THING as early as possible by allocating four hours a day to that particular thing. it is also necessary to time block the ONE THING by ensuring that nothing is given a priority until the ONE THING is accomplished.  This is evident in the statement that “Until my ONE thing is done—everything else is a distraction!” it is also necessary to time block one’s planning time.

The authors have also noted that there are four factors which can hinder the productivity of an individual. These include the inability to say no, the environmental factors which do not support an individual’s goal, fear of chaos and poor health habits. For one to be productive, the book indicates that one has to rely on focus by concentrating on the one thing which will make everything else to be much easier or make them unnecessary.

It is also clear that the authors’ points are more rhetoric than arguments since they pose challenges to the philosophical idea of balance which they eventually conclude that balance does not exist in real life situations. He therefore argues that balance is a grand idea which is ideal but neither practical nor unrealistic. When the philosophers talk about ethics, the authors of the ONE THIN G talk about the work-life balance. This book is therefore very essential in one’s life since it will inspire one to attain the extraordinary success in his/her area of interest.

You can buy this book from Amazon here on this image:

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5 productivity hacks to keep you on track towards your goals


There is huge fulfillment that comes from productivity and attaining one’s goals. Nothing feels frustrating like non productivity or taking too much effort to produce too little. To be productive, one has to constantly seek ways of enhancing personal productivity. Some of the ways to enhance personal productivity include:

  1. Setting goals. Without goals productivity is a mirage. Goals provides sense of direction and focus. Goals show the intended destination. Just like a driver without a destination can use any road to go anywhere, so is seeking productivity without a goal. Any road will certainly take you anywhere. But if you have a goal, you have a destination hence you have to pick particular roads and tools that will and can lead you to the particular destination of productivity.
  2. Work in short duration. Work in small episodes that last up to 25- 30 minutes. This is because it is usually very hard to retain concentrated focus for long duration. By deliberating setting up short working duration, you are helping the mind to absolutely focus in those 25 minutes without meandering.
  3. Take breaks. After working for the twenty to thirty minutes you can take a two –five minute breaks to allow your mind and body to rest. To maximize on the merits that come with taking a break, please do not engage in anything that is mentally taxing in that duration. You can stretch, stand up, or maybe closed your eyes but please do not get into the temptation of getting into the social media channels and other channels that might take up your mental energy. Your intention is to refresh your brain and make it ready for the next session. Meditate, relax and if possible zone out and think about nothing.
  4. Block web based distractions. These are mostly apps and websites that send out notifications or websites which are addictive and you naturally tend to search and log into when the mind is resting. To avoid this, you can install web blockers like Cold turkey which can help you to avoid and shin these distractions completely. They tend to consume huge mental energies.
  5. Block physical distractions. While web based distractions are easy to block, there can be other physical distractions like people coming to visit and calls. Others can be television or background noise that create nuisance. Strive to work in serene environments that are free from physical distractions. This enhances focus and productivity.

These are some of the productivity hacks that you can use to enhance work productivity and total focus during work hours.  With heightened productivity, one manages to do a lot of work within a short duration which provides one with extra hours that can be used for other non-work related activities.   You can read more about productivity here.

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Book Review: Harvesting in Famine; How to Prosper During Tough Times by Paul Karanja


A very good book from one of my friends called Paul Karanja. I decided to read one of the Kenyan authors since I have mostly been reading foreign authors. The book was quite small and I read it in two days. The book was concerned with overcoming and prospering during famine or in difficult circumstances. It was based on the biblical story of Isaac who was said to have planted during famine and he surprisingly harvested a hundred fold until his neighbors were envious of him. This book is relevant especially during this tough time of Covid-19 that has heightened restrictions on movement and made the business environment tough for many people. It shows you that you can prosper even this difficult and tough moments in the same manner that Isaac prospered during times of famine.

It highlights the principles that guide harvesting and prospering during tough times from a spiritual and physical standpoint that can resonate with everyone undergoing tough times. One of the critical things that I learned about is the principles of harvesting. These principles are:

  1. You reap what you sow. Seems obvious but many people still miss out the connection between planting and harvesting. You always reap what you have sown, so harvesting is preceded by planting. Planting has to be a deliberate action, well thought and planned.   
  2. You reap in proportion to what you sow. Size and effort matters. Law of proportion matters. If you plant in small quantity you have to reap in small quantity.
  3. You reap in a different season from the one you sowed. You don’t get instant harvest, you got to be patient for your harvest.
  4. You reap more than you sow. Reaping implies multiplication of your seeds. the multiplication can either be fivefold, tenfold, thirty fold or hundredfold. Reaping involved multiplication of your seeds. 
  5. Harvesting is work. When the harvest is ready you have to be ready and prepared to harvest. You need to have good storage facilities, labourers and be prepared to work a little bit more during harvest time. Harvest time is not relaxation time. Otherwise the harvest due to you will be destroyed or waste away.
  6. Different seeds require different harvesting tools. Use the right equipment to harvest. Apples would need a different harvesting tool from wheat and similarly all manner of harvesting is product specific. Learn the about the tools needed to harvest.
  7. God is the LORD of harvest. Thank Him for the harvest. Always appreciate and show gratitude for what you have.  The in-depth understanding about God being the Lord of harvest entails listening to God. This can be done by: having a healthy fellowship with God which entails having a routine of setting aside time for God. It can also be done by attracting the presence of God and hearing the voice of God through meditation.

In a nutshell, this is a relevant book that applies to our present reality of living through tough times. In such times people desist from planting and engaging in risky acts yet too much caution depletes faith and faith based actions. The book can spur and reinvigorate your faith in God and help you manifest this faith in action.

You can see other book reviews here

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