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Food for Thought

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5 Ways to a better year

Many of us have made new years resolutions by now. If not, it’s probably safe to say that all of us, at least have a desire to either achieve more the coming year, or simply live a better life. Here are 5 ways that could lead to you having a better year. 

1. Be a leader and take on added responsibility.  
Everyone is a leader in some way or the other. You are a leader if you have a younger brother or sister. Consider the colleague who always ask you for your opinion, or a neighbor asking you for advice. Embrace your leadership role because there is a family, a community, and an organisation looking to you for guidance, wisdom and courage.

2. Attend a new course and continuously look for other ways to grow.
With access to the internet, you can do a free online course to broaden your knowledge. Also  identify community organisations/non-profits that provide training opportunities. Also, never forget to learn from your friends, parents, neighbors  and colleagues. They possess a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

3. Do something for others.
We are designed to be part of an ecosystem of support. In essence, as I recently heard on radio; “All of us are gravitating towards acceptance.” We want to be accepted by others and to belong. The year ahead could be a great year to purposely seek out opportunities to do something special for someone.

4. Start a business or take on a new job.
For some this is a scary thought, for very obvious reasons. Years ago, my mentor told me that the easiest way to commit, is by calculating the risk upfront. Know how much you can afford to lose, and make your attempt. Others have risked. And many of them had all the odds against them, but were rewarded for their courage and faith.

5. Become more innovative in your current job.
Businesses usually focus on innovation to come up with better products, services and processes. They also innovate to ensure sustainability. Likewise,  you and I, may also innovate in our jobs. Find ways to improve on the things that you struggled with last year. Call on a friend for help, and try without fear of failure, different approaches to your tasks.

So, these are the 5 things that could be extremely useful for having a better year. Is there anything else that you will focus on?  

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The things that matter

I decided to ask some of my team mates at RLabs what they think are important aspects in education.  Over the last 5 years RLabs has  trained over 8 000 persons from the Cape Flats, in areas such as Social Media and Management. A common understanding is that many persons enroll in courses in order to improve their chances of finding employment. And so I wanted to find out what the community experience at the RLabs Academy. My team mates gave me their feedback which I summarized in 7 key aspects. These aspects  tend to be overlooked, even though it appears to be critical for the holistic development and future accomplishments of a person.

education facts

  1. Education builds confidence (Inter-personal growth);
  2. It serves as a place of safety for some;
  3. Provides an environment for change and growth;
  4. Provides acceptance to those feeling out of place;
  5. Gives a network of friends and contacts;
  6.  Affirms and promotes self-worth;
  7. Provides a space where persons can escape reality and the pressures of life.

Now I am the first to admit that we can easily focus on sharing knowledge and getting a targeted number of students to graduate. After considering the above feedback from my team mates, it clearly shows that the actual education experience and process, is so much more important, than the number of students that you actually graduate. The more meaningful the experience students have, the greater the chance for learning, personal growth, and future success. What do you think is important in education?

GIVE WHAT WE CAN

The need to donate to worthy causes has become a big focus for society, business, universities and the ordinary wage earner. Some people even acknowledge that giving makes them happier. This is obviously no science to determine the positive impact giving has on the giver and the receiver.

A new movement was allready launched by students of Rutgers University in America. to inspire lifelong giving. One of the students said that,  “People making an ordinary income can make a massive difference by donating.”  It is admirable to see ordinary people with limitted resources contributing their time and money to serve great causes within their respective communities. I know of individuals (See photo) who without fail contribute sacrifice their time, and sometimes even a permanent job to serve their communities through local Non-profits.  To view the work they do you can check out my activist account in support of the great work they do. http://craigdumont.givengain.org

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