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Tour Guide. Travel Agent.

The Advice Paradox- Leonard Lebere

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In my recent blog The Walking Notebook, I spoke about the idea of taking notes on almost everything. Evernote has become my version of a walking notebook, because outside of my normal notebook I use it for most of my miscellaneous notes and questions. I recently started asking my friends the question, “Who is credible to give advice?” And after a couple of weeks, I have a breakthrough to my question. To explain my discovery, I am going to use a Travel Agent and a Tour Guide as examples.

A travel agent’s role is mainly to book your flights, accommodation and tours for where you are going. Travel agents normally sort out the admin and paper work of your travel. At times travel agents have never been to where you want to go, but they are responsible for selling the holiday package you desire. On the other hand, a tour guide is there to be with you when exploring a new city/town. Tour Guides remember landmarks and understand the history of destinations; they can even answer whatever question you might while on tour with them. The reality is that you are less likely to get lost when you are with a tour guide than when you are with a travel agent. You get the idea?

Let us take it further into our age of technology and information overload, how do we decide on whose advice to take when there is so much content being released on the internet? Our first reference can be asking ourselves, “Is this person a tour guide or a travel agent in this topic? I wanted to share a few points from a Leadership DVD that I have been watching, these points highlight the reasons why followers listen to leaders. I took it a bit further and started using it as a metric for deciding whether or not I am going to watch a video on YouTube or listen to that podcast, I even look for these pointers when I buy a book.

The reason why Followers listen to Leaders:

*Sacrifice- People listen because of what you have suffered.

*Insight- People listen because of what you know.

*Experience- People listen because of what you have achieved

*Character- People listen because of your integrity.

*Relevance- People listen because you identify with their needs.

John C Maxwell, Becoming a Person of Influence.

These points are not complex and we can think about them when we are searching for people to give us advice. “What has the person suffered? What does this person know? What has this person achieved? Does this person have integrity? Does this person meet my needs?” This is what I think about when I am looking for answers or advice.

I have been working hard at trying to develop a style of writing more like that of a tour guide. I would honestly be the worst person to ask about how to fly a plane or how make a million, because those are areas I have no experience in at all. You can certainly ask me about Leadership, Self-Development, Intellectualism and Self-Management to name a few. These are the few topics I have had first-hand experience over the years.

I wrote this blog so that we do not become shallow people that just take advice from every moving lip or readable text. My desire is that people would have the power to decide whether or not they want a Tour Guide or a Travel Agent. This is the paradox of advice and deciding where to take it from.

Thank you once again for reading. If you would like to share any comment please feel free to do so below. Don’t forget to like this post and share it with a few people.

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The Walking Notebook

Why a short pencil is better than a long memory- Leonard Lebere

Wouldn’t life be much easier if we all had notebooks that could walk, they would follow us everywhere and they would even take notes of almost everything we deem as important? How would our lives and conversations look like if when we meet, we all pull out notebooks and discuss points made from: conversations, ideas, lectures and all reminders? Have you ever wondered why you actually take notes in a class or why we tend to write down that which is important? The reality is that a short pencil is better than a long memory.


I have a genuine passion for learning. I enjoy learning from different mediums: YouTube Videos, Podcasts, Books, Online Lectures, Sermons. The biggest challenge was always being able to remember the information. What would happen is that I would listen or watch the content then I forget to take notes or I am just tired at that point and a few weeks later I would get excited trying to remember the information to tell a group of friends, but then I would have very little to remember because I had not taken any notes at the time. The most disappointing time was when I had coffee with an affluent leader who helped a company generate Millions in turnover; he agreed to give me 2 hours of his time and in this 2 hours I would ask him as many questions possible. He shared real Leadership essentials on how he really made it and my mistake again at the time was that I did not bring a notebook with me. I still regret not bringing a notebook because I still can’t remember a lot of what he told me. This was the meeting that really birthed my desire to have a ‘Walking Notebook’.


“You have to make your own condensed notes. You learn from making them. A lot of thinking goes into deciding what to include and exclude.”

Peter Rodgers, Author of Straight A at Stanford and On to Harvard.


I have really fallen in love with stationary and notebooks. I never leave the house without my notebook and pen because I told myself that I do not want to miss the opportunity of noting something important down. I write down ideas that I would like to take on, I write important points from conversations I have with people and I even go to the extent of writing down points of discussion to have with my leaders and friends for when I meet them. I use my notebooks to write titles of blogs, I have over 3 months of blog titles ready in one of my many notebooks. The biggest upside of note taking has been being able to remember lesson I learned from different mediums, the joy of just turning a few pages and having access to the lesson/lecture all over again is just amazing.


This specific blog is less about having a Walking Notebook but more about taking notes of almost everything we deem as important. We should be a peculiar people who take notes whenever we can and where ever we can. I challenge you to invest in a Notebook for this year, then take notes consistently and create a note-taking system for yourself. Remember that, “A short pencil is better than a long memory.”

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The Professional Promise

The Real Key to thriving in the Upcoming year- Leonard Lebere

“It will cost you $5000 to fix that, but I do not feel like fixing it today!” How would you react if this was a mechanic speaking to you about your broken car? It would not make sense right, I mean he is a mechanic and it would be expected of him to deliver on what he does. Going into this New Year, what are some of the promises that you have made, maybe not in your professional capacity but promises that you made to yourself personally?

The idea of a professional promise is that sometimes we might not feel like doing something, but because we are professionals, we commit to doing it either way. I have a friend who is a Medicine student and I would not want to imagine the day I visit her practice one day and she tells me that she is not interested in finding out what is wrong with me. The reality is that we should allow our promise to supersede our feelings and if we do not, we will instead be working backwards and failing to make an impact.

John Maxwell said that, “People who take risks and stretch themselves have a greater shot at significance than those who do not.” I have succeeded in my Professional promise of posting a New Blog every Monday, I have done this for the past 13 weeks and I am excited about writing 52 Blogs next year. Many people have asked me if I do not run of ideas, the truth I that sometimes I do, but the because of the professional promise, I choose to take time and find something to write about even if I do not feel like writing that week. I am learning more about writing as I write each blog and I cannot help but point out that I am striving to get better with each blog. People can associate your reputation with the professional promise that you make. I learned this the hard way when I committed half-heartedly to a project that firstly had a lot of finances involved and secondly really needed me to keep my professional promise or I would cost the whole team. And indeed I did cost the whole team that is why I am writing this blog, to prevent others from making a promise they cannot keep.

A New Year, comes with a fresh wind and desires. At the dawn of a New Year, we remind ourselves about the Goals that we have set for the year to come. We can consider these Goals as, “Promises made to ourselves.” Not everyone will have the full desire to see through their professional promise through, this is why we finish a specific year ahead or behind of others. The difference is simply in the people who kept their professional promise.

I really want us to thrive in this New Year and I am convinced that we can do that with ease if we commit to keeping our professional promises. We will easily stand out and be recommended for our skills. Not just that but being able to take our goals seriously, I hope this gives you a new way at looking at your New Year!!

Thank you for Reading, may you have an amazing New Year.

Leonard Lebere

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Sinking Relations- Leonard Lebere

Understanding how the Sunk-Cost Fallacy made it difficult for us to end relationships- Leonard Lebere

Think about this for a moment. Imagine a guy preparing five hours for a picnic this afternoon. The excitement grows greater and greater as the time for the picnic comes and after a long time of preparation, this guy eventually makes it to the picnic spot. Ready for the picnic only to his surprise the weather starts changing and out of nowhere it starts raining. Thinking about all the time he spent preparing for the picnic this guy decides to have picnic under the rain because he cannot get over how many hours he prepared for this picnic. If you are asking yourself, “Who would commit to having picnic in the rain?” I have an even better question for you, “Who would choose to invest in relationships that are dying or have a low return on investment?” This concept is the classic Sunk-Cost Fallacy.

Just to expand on this, here is a foundational explanation:

“A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning that makes an argument invalid. The conclusion drawn the does not follow that preceded it.”

Samuel Rochenhizer, A conscious Rethink.

“A sunk- cost fallacy occurs when people irrationally continue an activity that no longer meets the original expectation. People then get trapped because they convince themselves that it will get better.”

According to Cristopher Olivda who is known for his work in psychology, Sunk Cost Fallacy is defined as, “Pursuing an inferior alternative merely beaus we have previously invested significant, but non-recoverable, resources in it.” A further elaboration from Cristopher goes on to say,

“The Sunk Cost effect is the general tendency for people to continue an endeavour, or continue consuming or pursuing an option, if they have invested time money or some resource to it. The effect becomes a fallacy if it is pushing you to do things that are making you unhappy or leaving you worse off.”

Cristopher Olivda, Psychologist

“The longer you have been together the harder it is to breakup” is a good example of the sunk cost fallacy, besides the Picnic Conundrum presented in the previous paragraph.

I got to all this research because I am fully convinced that I need to take stock of the relationships that I have formed over the years. Besides my love for research and passion for philosophy, I had great intentions when I read all the information. Reflection (thinking and writing down my thoughts and observations) which is a tool I use to maintain a good level of mental health, made me realise that there are some relationships that I am still committed to only because of the  time invested in those relationships. I was obviously not satisfied with that point of reflection, it is the same as committing to having picnic under the rain because of the time spent to prepare for it. 

I realised a few things from the research I did. Firstly, many people (myself included) need to rethink their definition of friends. My other realisation was that Social Media has watered down our level of authenticity, not only with the people we are connected to, but to ourselves too. The sad part is this, when reality hits and push comes to shove (a relationship becomes toxic or is at a point of no growth), we will need nothing but bravery to be able to end the relationship.

“We tend to commit to friendships because we convince ourselves that we have invested too much. The reality is that sometimes we need to realise that the friendship has outlived its purpose.”

In my time of reflection, I came to a personal conclusion that the conversations that got us to where we are in most of our relationships are not going to be able to carry us into the next season of the relationship- unless both parties acknowledge the need for growth and change. We cannot run friendships like gamblers, always thinking that it is going to get better.

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”


Will Rogers, American Humourist.

Here is a concluding extract from an article I read,

“Sometimes the best move you can make is quit. Get over the stigma associated with quitting, Quitting is a sensible response when the goal will no longer deliver what it once promised.”


Samuel Rochenhizer, A conscious Rethink.

I am not a relationship-guru, but I found this information critical in helping decide which direction I intend to take in my relationships. I hope it helps you too. Please do not have picnic under the rain. How many of your own relationships are Sinking Relations?  

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/Big Mo

The New Year’s Power of finishing strong.


Momentum is the word we speak about when we look at the form of a sports team. We deduce that if the team has maybe won 10 games in a row;they are bound to win the 11th game. Can we conclude the same when it comes to the months on the calendar?

I find it quite surprising that we have a full year filled with dashes and periods dedicated to rest, yet when the month of December comes, we want the full out rest as if we have not had time to rest throughout the year. I have nothing against people use December to fully rest, I think that my only contention comes with dismissing that we have had many days to rest and did not use them wisely. I know of people who still push to rest in times when they should be working; I am of the opinion that in the end people produce mediocre work because of how they manage the free time and work time.Though this is just my opinion, the bigger question is what is the role of momentum going into a new year?

A common misconception that New Year’s resolution has presented is that when a New Year comes, you become a new person and are bound to reach your goals just because you set them. The problem with this way of thinking is that because of our goals we start off the year with a bit of direction then in the 3rd quarter of the year, we convince ourselves that we can slow down because next year presents us with this “grand restart.”We do not even have to go through the Neuroscience to realise that it is a mediocre expectation to do the same thing and expect a different result, not just that but it is difficult to imagine how our brains will suddenly build new habits and neural pathways if it takes about 63 days to build a habit. A strong finish can lead to a strong start. This does not mean that we do not rest, but it certainly does point out to the fact that we at least have to have an aim to finish strong with a win.

There are so many ways to imagine yourself finishing strong.In accordance to my last blog about what do you want to be remembered for, you can treat the New Year as a human asking you, “What do you want me to remember you for when December comes next year?” Beginning with the end in mind is a way for you to stay focused and motivated to finish strong. As much as when the plans we establish might not come to pass, the least we can do is have a desire to finish strong going into a New Year. How you finish is more important than how you start, this will give you the right momentum going into the New Year.

Thank you for reading, if you found this blog interesting please do share it with people you know will enjoy such and feel free to subscribe via email.You can like our Facebook Page: @TheCommonLine100 and our Instagram Page: @the.common.line.There is a new Blog every Monday. Thank you once more.

Leonard Lebere- Winners Win!

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Tombstone Writings.

What do you want to be remembered for?
Leonard Lebere

If you have ever attended a funeral of any sort, you will have an understanding that death has a special way of reminding us that we are mortal beings. The fact the when our existence vanishes from the face of the earth, there will be someone who will give account on how they saw us live our lives. The question is, “What will people be saying in our absence?”

Let me get a little personal. I am not a fan of funerals, a mournful environment has often been really hard for me to handle. I think the biggest wake up call was when my father passed away and I had to attend the funeral. I realised that I was one day going to die (not in a negative or voodoo weird way) and upon my passing, someone will tell people about my life. A rush of emotions came to me when I realised the importance of making the most of our time on earth.

I asked myself the question, “Why is realising that I am one day going to die, so important?” After many days of thinking, I realised that when we start thinking about our Tombstone Writings, we live life more intentionally and with a great sense of motivation. Myles Munroe said that the richest place on the face of the Earth is the grave yard. That dying with ‘potential’ would be like dying with the music inside of you. James Allen put it this way, “People are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.”

There are many aspects to think about when it comes to Tombstone Writings.It might be a bit complicated and misdirected when we have to think about our whole lives. A more simplified approach would be to think about ‘what we want to be remembered for’ in different areas of our lives: School, Work,Relationships, Volunteering. We then have that opportunity to live more intentionally and with a little more motivation. Joseph Addison said,

“When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow: when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes,I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great Day when we shall all of us be Contemporaries, and make our appearance together.”

Jospeh Addison

Now the questions becomes, what will your obituary or Tombstone writings say about you? What will they say at work, what will your family say,what will your friends say? I dare you to write your desired Tombstone Writings. The earlier we ask ourselves these questions, the more intentional we will live our lives. We are mortal beings and for us, death is inevitable, the question is, “What do YOU want to be remembered for?”

Thank you for reading, if you found this blog interesting please do share it with people you know will enjoy such and feel free to subscribe via email.You can like our Facebook Page: @TheCommonLine100 and our Instagram Page: @the.common.line.There is a new Blog every Monday. Thank you once more.

Leonard Lebere- Winners Win!

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Benchmark Success- Leonard Lebere

The metrics of determining whether you had a good year or not.

Definitions are important because they bring a foundation to important conversations. When definitions are not agreed upon, there remains room for many disagreements. For the purpose of this blog I wanted to define the word ‘benchmark’. Benchmark, “A standard or a point of reference.” As simple as it is, I will simply be referring back to this definition. A New Year is upon us and we are a month away from an annual restart. The question is, “How do we know if we have had a great year?”

This time last year during an end-season evaluation and investigation, I was talking to a leader of mine and he happened to ask me, “What is the one goal or achievement that would have made this year great for you?” I did not understand the question and did not even know what to say. He went on to explain that sometimes we can have so many desires for a year, but there is always that one thing that brings the most fulfillment and for him at the time, he had just finished his last semester in Business School. How would you respond to that question if someone had to ask you the same question this year?

 There are benchmarks (standards and points of reference) everywhere around us. In school there is an established benchmark (standard) that determines whether you progress to the next grade or not. In University there is also a benchmark that determines if you get to write your exams or not. When we think about Health there are many benchmarks (points of references) that distinguish between a health person and an unhealthy person. Different people and situations have different benchmarks, because benchmarks are designed to be unique to wherever they are required.

 As people, we have no right to be disappointed about the year we had if we had no standard or aim. Benchmarks need to stay intrinsic. The amazing thing is that even if you did not set out benchmarks for this year,you still have time now to establish them before the New Year starts. It would be a personal atrocity for you to float (have no goals or desires) into this next year. Acknowledge that there is hope for this New Year.

The idea of having a benchmark is a good way to establish whether or not this has been a good year. Taking time to set out a goal -knowing that there will be a ton of fulfillment that comes out of achieving that goal-is worth it. The benchmark you set has to be personal, because there is no benefit in embodying another person’s desires if your backgrounds are not ‘fully’ the same. Your benchmark might be to: lose 10kg, run a marathon, save 30% of your income, start a business, travel overseas, get x amount of distinctions, payoff your student loan, express your gratitude to your parents, write a book,etc. It can be anything that will bring you fulfillment within a year.

Benchmarks (standards or points of references) can be good foundations for our overall success. We should not be the people that overlook the importance of having personal benchmarks. This can become our system of determining whether we had a good year or not.

Thank you for reading, if you found this blog interesting please do share it with people you know and feel free to subscribe via email.You can like our Facebook Page: @TheCommonLine100 and our Instagram Page: @the.coommon.line.There is a new Blog every Monday. Thank you once more.

Leonard Lebere- Winners Win!

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Build the Garage Before the Car comes- Leonard Lebere

A reason to increase our capacity before the growth manifests.

Goal Setting has become a very interesting concept for my  generation. It has given us new possibilities to achieve and we have become more laser-focused in what we want. Teams and organisations have found greater  purposes and drive because of the reality of goal setting. The real question is how far do we actually go when we set our goals?

Think about your favourite car and lets say that you have just won your favourite car through a competition you entered months ago. And the only condition for you receiving the car and taking it home, is you need a garage. This would be a crazy requirement, thinking that when you entered the competition you did not expect to win- hence you saw no need to build the garage. Now you have won the car, but cannot take it home, what now?

The reality is that many people set out goals with that attitude of convincing themselves that they might not hit the mark with the goal and they see no need to change or adjust their lives for what they set out to achieve. For where we are as a generation, the possibilities of winning in life have increased and now there is more than one way to: make money, set up a meeting and get an education. The question is simply this, “Are you well-position for what you are expecting of yourself?”

I told myself that once I am married, I will build a nursery room way before the baby comes. For the days where I will be older and I see that the house might not be big enough for all the children I might have, then I will simply build a bigger house ‘in advance’, because I do not want to get caught off-guard with the increase that I am anticipating.

Myles Munroe had an interesting perspective on seasonschanging:


 “The average person does not respond to change- many react to it. Merely reacting to change essentially gives change an advantage over you, rendering you victim to your circumstance.”

Myles Munroe- Keys to Change


 “Change is always the introduction of the future to the present. Change is tomorrow taking over today, and the denial of change is a decision to live in yesterday. Eventually, to deny change is to become irrelevant.”

 In the case of this specific blog, the change would be the growth that you would be expecting.

If you enter a car competition, build the garage. If you are expecting a professional promotion, then read books about the position you wish to occupy. If you are convinced that you will be making Millions of money in the next few years, then I also see no reason why you should start equipping yourself about investing like a Millionaire. The idea is more about increasing your capacity to show that you are expecting a change from the goal that you have set out to achieve.

Be smart and anticipate the growth before it comes. Increase your capacity as a sign of your expectation for the growth.

Thank you for reading, if you found this blog interesting please do share it with people you know and feel free to subscribe via email. You can like our Facebook Page: TheCommonLine100 and our Instagram Page: the.coommon.line. There is a new Blog every Monday. Thank you once more.

Leonard Lebere- Winners Win!

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Before Social Media Made it Abnormal

Pointing out the ostracizing nature of Social Media- Leonard Lebere

We have all been swallowed by this idea of trends on Social Media, so much so that our own ‘Normal’ has shifted off axis and been redefined. We no longer have the courage to enjoy what we used to enjoy because Social Media has ostracized many of our likes. In this day and age we even struggle to embrace our cultural differences because they do not fit with the norms of Social Media. What has social media really done to my generation?

“Akimbo”, it means a bend in the river (something different if we remove the figure of speech). The question I asked myself when I decided to limit my time on social media was, “Does the online world permit an Akimbo (a bend)? Does it do well with something that is different and not popular?” It does not take a genius to realise that we are more connected now because of the advancement of technology, however, it does take a long reflection to realise that there are some norms this technology age has made abnormal.

My original title for this blog was ‘Give birth at 54’. Think about it for a moment, how normal would it be –medically- for someone to have the physical strength to actually give birth at age 54. This is the abnormal that I am talking about; the online world has redefined many peoples’ ‘normal’. Our main concern has evolved to become more about getting the next like or the next social media account verification that we shift from the timeline which we originally wanted to archive a significant goal.

Its like Social Media has written an entirely new Constitution of “Normal and Abnormal.” The new Normal (created by trends) receives the most likes and attention. The new normal has become more about what you ‘have’ than who you are. So it becomes ‘normal’ if you have the worst attitude and drive the latest G-Class or if you are a misogynist who has no regard for women but have the latest Balenciaga Shoe, under the new constitution of Social Media- this has become normal. The reality is that this social media constitution will spit you out if you do not fit to its norm. You get side-lined if you took 7 Years for your 3 Year Degree, you get disregarded if your girlfriend does not gym or have 100 000 followers on Instagram, if you fail in business and decide to post a picture saying that you are going to bounce back from your failure- these ideas are considered not normal or popular with the majority.

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that being an online influencer is a problem, the problem is that there are many norms social media has made boring. My generation has so much pressure to achieve that I have seen a few people fail and were more concerned about the fact that would not be able to post that picture or share the success of that story because it would mean a lot to them if people saw their new benchmark. For social media (in this day and age), failure and delayed achievement is now abnormal- it is simply not celebrated. Take time and look at who gets the most likes and follows on your social media, its rarely that guy who has a passion for children or that lady who has been feeding the poor for six years…

I presented the problem because I simply wanted to bring my reflections into the light, I might have be a bit acute with some of my observations and I am willing to be corrected. Now with all that in mind, what is the solution to this snowballing challenge of normal and abnormal?

The main thing that we have to do is: Decide What is Normal. When we do not decide what is normal for ourselves, we uniquely give social platforms an opportunity to send us these subliminal messages that end up deciding what is normal to us. We also need the courage to: Follow What We Really Like, this gives you a unique opportunity to see posts that resonate with your interest. The last solution to this norm issue is to: Post What You Really Like. There are no real rules that dictate what you can and cannot post on YOUR own social media accounts. If you do not want it to be there permanently, then you can use your stories or something temporary, but just make sure that you post what you really like.

The serious conclusion I have to make is that we are all on different journeys, our use of social media is different and we cannot have an expectation that we will universally reach our destinies at the same time. Before social media makes it abnormal, get your own normal in order.  So be patient if it takes a little longer, though it might be abnormal to others; let it remain normal (totally in sync with your personal timeline) with you.

As I celebrate my 21st Birthday today, the best gift to me is having you read this blog. Thank you once more for reading, remember that there is a blog every MONDAY. I can finally announce that The Common-Line Podcast will be launching soon, stay tuned to iTunes (for IOS users) and Google Podcast (for Android users). Please do leave your comments or questions, I would love to engage with you!

Leonnard Lebere

 

 

 

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The paradox of (choosing your sister’s boyfriend) choice.

Understanding how choices make us and why we should not try to make them on behalf of others.

Choices are powerful. We are confronted with the reality of choices everyday. Every morning. We need to choose whether we will wake up or press the snooze button for the seventh time. The choices that we make can make us or break us, the certainty of choices is that they separate us. With all this truth, we need to acknowledge that this paradox will eventually confront those who are prepared and those who are not prepared.

I have spent some time thinking about how my life will look like once I am a Father. How teeth-gnashing is the idea of your daughter walking up to you one day and introducing a boyfriend? Or to the other extreme where you have to walk your daughter down the isle to an idiot (the husband to be) you have known for over a few years. I thought to myself that life would be great if every Father could choose a suitable spouse for the children. This would take away the worry of having to investigate who your son had to pick up for coffee or what the note says in the flowers in your daughter’s room. The reality is that choosing husbands and wives for children is nothing more than a desire, they need to make the choice not us.

My little sister is amazing, I love her to bits, the only thing that is catching up with me is how comfortable am I with the fact that she is approaching a time in her life where she might have to choose a suitable counterpart as a Boyfriend. There are two options to this. I can just choose which guy she should date (someone I know and trust) and eliminate the need of her getting heart broken or I can take the unpopular approach and teach her how to choose someone.

Anxiety has overtaken many people I know, some even to the point where they will decide that their life decisions should be taken by someone else. This approach makes it easier to blame someone in cases of failure or under-performance. Any brother would choose the option of choosing a boyfriend for the sister, but this eliminates the opportunity to learn. Then what is the solution if we cannot make choices on behalf of others?

We need to teach people how to think and make them understand the cost of certain decisions. We can do this by intentionally asking questions that promote critical thinking, this would include having the difficult and uncomfortable talks. As a leader, I remind always try to remind myself that, “I am not leading people into dependency, I am leading people into independence.” So even in my little sister’s case, I am not there to be insecure about her future boyfriend, but instead I am there to make sure that everything I impart in her, gives me the confidence to stay peaceful knowing that she chose what was best for her,

The thoughts to gather from this blog are: We can be objective when we talk to people but even in our quest of being objective, our preferences still exist. Though we might not be aware our preferences, we express without even thinking (in what we read, watch, listen to, talk about and follow on social media). So rather than making choices for other people, let us rather equip people with the right thinking tools so that they can make better choices.

Thank you once more for reading, please do subscribe. There will be a new Blog EVERY MONDAY. Feel free to leave your comments or questions below.

Leonard Lebere

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The Paralysis of Fear

In my honest quest to start this blog, I was overtaken by a paralysis that has overtaken many people in my generation. That paralysis is the Paralysis of Fear. Starting The Common Line was quite a hurdle. I had intended to do this while I was back in high school, but it only happened years later when I was done with school.

The Common Line as a blog was actually established 6 months before the first blog was posted. June of 2016 I created the domain though WordPress and in my mind I was ready to write. Honestly, I was not really ready until the January of 2017 and if like me you are asking yourself what took me so long, I will try and put it in in simple words. Over the course of 6 months I was overtaken by fear and not just any kind of fear, ‘The Fear of Feedback’ to be specific. I had come to a point in my life where I was not prepared to deal with the honesty of people, I could not imagine listening to someone tell me about how good/bad my first blog was or someone questioning why I am even writing blogs that are totally unrelated to my field of study. This is what caused me to delay the opportunity to share my imperfect blogs with people.

“Why don’t we act on the ideas that we have?” I had this question for months, my answer came months later after writing a few blogs and I was listening to Brendon Buchard who is a High Performance Expert. When asked why people do not attempt anything new he said, “Watching Netflix is very easy, you can watch one episode after another. If you have enough time, you can even finish an entire season in a day. Why? Because there is no feedback to it, it is passive. When you think about starting a business or acting on an idea you realise that it might be a unique opportunity for someone to critique your precious idea. In the end people fail to act because of their fear of feedback.” Even though I might have paraphrased a lot, I think the point is clear and the last sentence speaks for itself.

In this technology driven age, we can agree that the root of our perfectionism as millennials stems from our very fear of receiving feedback. Could it just be that the cure to perfectionism can start with giving ourselves the most extreme feedback first? This question anyone can answer.

The important take from this blog is that it is not easy starting, neither is it better waiting for ‘Perfect’. People will always talk and you cannot control what they say, but you can control how you react. In the end, I guess from here going forward we will all need the courage to Nike  all our ideas,

“JUST DO IT.”

Leoanrd Lebere

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The Mid-Year Report

Our need for Reflection and why it can help us make this year better.

Leonard Lebere

One way we can manage ourselves better is by looking at how we have been using our time and resources over the past 6 months; if you haven’t realised it, this year is already at its 7th month! If there is something personal management has taught me it would have to be that, “When we grow in management we grow in the actual growth.” What I mean by this is that when you become a better manager of yourself, you can easily save more money when you budget, save more time when you schedule and probably manage your weight better when you watch what you eat. I wanted to write this specific blog to put weight on our need to reflect and how this can help us make sure that the rest of this year is still great.

A few weeks ago, I sat in a friend’s office when she had to submit her mid-year report for the work that she has been doing. While I was sitting there watching her, I couldn’t help but think that every company that employs people has an expectation that the people employed at that specific place should account not only for how they use their time but why they should still be in that company. Think about it for a moment, if you work for a company that keeps you accountable you are bound to give it your best knowing that at the end of a specific period you would have to account for your presence in that company.

The funny thing is that as people, we get so busy that we even forget to look into our own lives and take stock of what we have been doing all along. Ironically many of us still have the audacity to expect a better version of ourselves, but once again we don’t treat ourselves like a company that wants to improve. And maybe it might be the first time you read my blogs and you are wondering, “Why is he making such a big deal out of this ‘review and reflect’ issue.” My dear friend, if you are that curious, just know that it really is that serious. Conscientiousness is one of the top 5 predictors of success, there is so much research that supports this idea as a fair predictor. Reviewing and reflection can easily fall part of being conscientious. By this I am not saying that you should change who you are to fit what I am describing in this blog, but I am also not saying that your way of doing life should remain fixed; just know that you can use your mind to change your brain and I will try and write about neuroplasticity in the near future.

I genuinely enjoy reflecting and reviewing my life over shorter periods of time, in this case it would simply be a period of about 6 months. I can honestly say that this is something I have been doing for most of my life, from high school right into university. The unfortunate thing though is that I could never point out what I was doing, my desire was just to realise where I messed up and make sure that I really improve. It wasn’t until I read John Maxwell’s 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth when I came across one of the chapters that dug deep into this concept of ‘Reflection’. In the book he mentions that,

“What we reflect upon changes into insight.”

And this insight is simply a better understanding of events that have happened to us or outcomes for our actions. Personally, my need and consistency in reflection stems from my desire to be self-aware and having my life be a lesson/testimony to as many people as possible. I once read a very intellectually demanding book titled How to Read a Book and one of the quotes I still think about when I reflect is,

“When we read more facts we increase our information, when we read more insights we increase our understanding.”

The gap between knowledge and wisdom can be made smaller when a better sense of understanding. We can grow from reading our own insights captured in reflection, this is important if you really want to be a better individual.

I think if you are reading a blog like this you are someone who also has desires going into a new year. Let me tell you the truth, I set goals for this year of 2018 and even though I set all my goals, from reflecting on the past 6 months I realised that I am not even half way with achieving most of my goals. The challenging thing about goals is that they are like a leaking bottle, the less you look at them and work towards them, the less you become conscious of your need to accomplish those goals. This is one of the reason why I plan have my goals not only in my room, but in many places where I can still be reminded of what I actually want to achieve. If you are like me and you know that you are still far from achieving all the goals that you set for yourself take comfort in this,

“There is never an unrealistic goal, there is only an unrealistic deadline.”

So instead of scratching out the goal, rather just bump the deadline to a later stage. These are some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned about goal setting over the past 8 years.

This blog was to just help you prepare for the rest of the year by making you realise that what you have been doing over the past few months is really critical to how you will finish the rest of this year. I wrote a comprehensive blog about Reflection last year, if you would like to expand from this blog you can read on reflection by clicking here.

Once again thank you for reading The Common Line, even though we have our differences, we should acknowledge that there are some habits that can help most of us. If you have not liked our page on Facebook, you can still do that here. If you would like to follow me on Instagram my handle is @leonard.lebere_. Stay tuned as we will be launching “The Common Line Podcast”, where we will be tackling self-development and productivity. Details will follow. Thank you once more for reading, you are such a WINNER, because WINNERS WIN! WINNERS READ BLOGS.

Leonard Lebere

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The Best Teacher

Pain and Challenges teach the most valuable lessons from the most unexpected events.

The best Teacher- Leonard Lebere

There is a great reality to pain. The funny thing about it is that when you are experiencing it, it sometimes feels like the end of the world, but when we look back we say, “It was not that bad.” By writing this blog I wanted to share about how pain is not the worst thing that can happen to us. The only question is, like athletes, how do we turn pain into gain?

A month ago my dad passed away and it was the bitterest feeling in this universe, words can’t explain how that experience affected me over the past few weeks. When I heard the news over the phone,  reality pulled a slow motion stunt on me: I couldn’t think clearly, pay attention long or even do things I would consider routine like time management, running or even reading. As painful as that experience was, even from the support I got from friends and family, I couldn’t help but realise that good management of a bad experience leads to growth! This is one of the things I have always told myself in tough times,

“Only a good management of a bad experience leads to growth.”

This blog is not limited to my dad’s passing but I have had some great achievements and diamond-deep failures over the past few years. I can’t help but think of John McDonnell who said,

“Every problem introduces a person to himself.”

In 2016 while doing my first year as a first generation university student, a lot did not go my way and it was difficult navigating through all those challenges with the great need of focusing on my academics. I did a lot to avoid the reality I was faced with, from over-committing to student associations to starting a lot of projects I would not have the desire to finish off. Pascal, Pensées observed,

“I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room… What people want is not the easy peaceful life that allows us to think about hour unhappy condition, nor the dangers of war, nor the burdens of the office, but the agitation that takes our mind off it and diverts us. That is why we prefer the hunt to the capture. That is why men are so fond of hustle and bustle; that is why prison is such a fearful punishment; that is why the pleasures of solitude are incomprehensible.”

If you don’t understand what that means, I challenge you to read it again and again. The reality of it is that as human beings we will do anything that takes our eyes off the reality before us. It’s not that we don’t care, we just don’t enjoy thinking about it.

The real differences between people who thrive and people who survive is in how they deal with their problems and challenges. By writing this blog, I’m definitely not trying be insensitive to pain many have felt; we always have to find something positive in the tragedy that we face. Cheryl McGuinnes, who lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks that struck America, wrote a book a few years later reflecting on how that event impacted her entire life. She wrote,

“As unfair, unreasonable, and impossible as it seems, we still have work to do after a tragedy occurs. We still have roles to fill. We still have responsibilities to family and others. The stuff of life may pause for a while, but it doesn’t stop. Fair or not, that is reality.”

What I like about Cheryl is that she allowed her loss to become the gain of others, it was a bold step to write the book Beyond the Ashes reflecting on that experience. As people we don’t love problems and challenges, but at times our greatest gains can come from our pain.

The thing about pain is that everyone experiences it.

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly just because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to charge you because you are vegetarian.”

Dennis Wholey. We don’t  really like painful experiences and few people make bad experiences positive lessons. A bad experience will either make us better or bitter.

While reading the 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth, I came across a common misconceptions among us as millennials. Frank Hughes said,

“Experience isn’t really the best teacher but it sure does serve as the best excuse for not trying to do the same silly thing again.”

Experience can only be the best teacher when take time to reflect on it and allow those lessons to turn into insights. I guess sometimes we just need to allow our discomfort to be a catalyst for growth.

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is the difference.” Virginia Satir.

What I really wanted to point out in this blog is that facing difficulties is inevitable, learning from them is optional. Personal development requires a bias towards action. A bend at the end of the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn. My desire is that this blog will help you understand that sometimes pain is not the worst thing that can ever happen to us, pain can be the reason we make eminent changes that will bring a great deal of success in our lives.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, there are links below for other blogs that I have written and if you would like to receive these blogs via email, please leave your email [here] and I’ll be sure to notify you when a new article is up.

Leonard Lebere

 

When the Television Stops Working.

Learning to be alone with your thoughts.

Many people cannot even imagine a life without Television. For some television has become an intricate part of their lives, so much so that the mere idea of it not working could be the beginning of their personal deterioration. Entertainment in itself is good for people,but the idea of having dominating thoughts that we never assess could be very detrimental to a lot of faculties in our lives- mental health being one of them.

My generation has been programmed to avoid thoughts that are scary and extremely confrontational. I think we have a natural progression; if the television was to stop working we would follow this natural progression. We would go from the actual television to our cellphones, to eating and then deciding to sleep until the problem is solved. Just anything to help us from dealing with ourselves.

6 years ago, my tactic was practicing chess, I would practice for about 4-6 hours a day. This was always enough to eliminate feeling unproductive even though many of my practice routines were quite redundant. A tactic I have seen many households use in my country use is the act of watching television from about 18:30- 22:00 with nothing more than a few advertisements (that we can count as distractions or opportunity to catch up on social media) pausing the Series that would be on at the time. Once again, I am not saying that Entertainment is bad, I am convinced that it is beneficial even for recreational purposes but, what I do not support is the idea of using entertainment as an excuse of being busy and not making time to be alone with your thoughts and think.

I love Philosophy and the study of logic, the personas that come this discipline are quite remarkable. One of my favourite quotes,

“I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room… What people want is not the peaceful life that allows us to think of our unhappy condition, nor the dangers of war, nor the burdens of office, but the agitation that takes our mind off it and diverts us. That is why we prefer the hunt to the capture. That is why men are so fond of hustle and bustle; that is why prison is such a fearful punishment; that is why pleasures of solitude are so incomprehensible.”

Pascal, Penées.

 As human beings, we will do anything that takes our minds off the reality that is before us. Its not that we do not care, we just do not enjoy thinking about such. In his book that sold of 750 000 copies, Bob Buford had this to say about people being alone with their thoughts,

“We find greater satisfaction from the thrill of the chase than from the success completion of the conquest. Burying ourselves in the hustle and bustle of daily exercise, we rarely take time out to experience the wonder and stillness of solitude, where the quiet most audible voice of God is most audible.”

Bob Buford, Half-Time, ‘Moving from Success to Significance.’

If you are reading this and you are waiting for the solution, it is very simple: Learn to be alone with your thoughts. This can take form in sitting in a room alone, meditating, writing in a journal (I always implement this one), reading a book or simply talking to yourself. Theologian and Philosopher Søren Kiekegaard once said,

“If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I should reply: Create Silence.”

Søren Kiekegaard

John C Maxwell writes about the Law of Reflection in his book 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth and he said,

“When we reflect, what we reflect upon changes into insight and reflection allow us to catch up with our rate of growth.”

John C Maxwell, 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth

I have a passion for this topic and I also wrote a Blog about it. I have been a beneficiary of being alone with my thoughts. I have found that my state of mental health gets better and better when I take time to be alone with my thoughts. My thinking and presenting is also more direct because my mind does not race all over the place when I try to communicate.

The main takeaway from this blog should be: Do not wait for the television to stop working before we can decide to be alone with our thoughts, rather switch the Television off yourself.

Thank you for reading, if you found this blog interesting please do share it with people you know and feel free to subscribe via email. You can like our Facebook Page: @TheCommonLine100 and our Instagram Page: @the.common.line. There is a new Blog every Monday. Thank you once more.

Leonard Lebere- Winners Win!

Happy Birthday to my Little Sister, Relebohile, I love you big time ♥♥♥