Monthly Archives: November 2016

Luck, Preparation and Opportunity

There is an old saying, attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca:  “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  I wrote a few weeks back about how I have prepared my whole life for today.  Of late I’ve given more thought to this and how we prepare ourselves for when opportunity comes knocking at our door.

Recently I was in a presentation a colleague of mine was giving to a group of young professionals.  He summed up the main theme of the presentation using the phrase:  “Hunt or Die.”  Either we are going out and actively finding our food or sitting in our cave and slowly starving to death.

My colleague went on to relate a story, a parable if you wish, about two farmers in a drought.  One farmer went out and prepared his fields in anticipation of rain.  The other farmer sat back, did nothing, and simply waited for the rain.  When the rains came which farmer reaped a harvest?  Naturally the farmer who had prepared for the arrival of the rain.  This farmer had prepared his fields in the absence of evidence that rain would fall.  In fact, he had no guarantee the rain would ever come, but he prepared nonetheless.

This struck a chord in me.

In my life I have come across, essentially, two types of people –  those who actively seek out opportunities to grow, to study, to better prepare themselves for that day when a new opportunity comes knocking at their door, even though that opportunity has not yet presented itself.  The other type sits back, loathe to study, to stretch their minds, to gain more experience, lamenting that there are no opportunities immediately available.

We can’t see into the future.  We can’t predict when the next opportunity will come knocking at our door.  However, we can choose what we do in the interim.   It doesn’t matter if we are dreaming of the perfect job or the perfect relationship.  What matters is how we are preparing for it today.

As the Girl Guide motto says:  “Be prepared.”

luck preparation opportunity

Yours in lifelong learning,



Passion – Turning Challenges into Success

I am passionate about sharing knowledge.  I love investing in the training and development of people from all walks of life.  To see another person grow whether personally or professionally is incredibly rewarding for me.

I am blessed to work for a company that recognised this in me.  They tailor-made a position for me within their structures to afford me the opportunity to follow my passion.  As the old saying goes:  “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.”  I don’t have a job, I have a calling.

The challenge I face is often this role requires me to present training programmes to a wide audience and that involves public speaking.  How many of us are comfortable with public speaking, standing in front of an audience and doing a presentation?  I find it downright nerve wracking.  Performance anxiety and I are old friends.

As a youngster I attended speech therapy lessons for a few years.  I had a speech impediment to overcome.  Something I never quite mastered.  When saying the word “Rubbish” it still sounds like “Wubbish”.  The “K” sound sometimes comes out as “Kkkk…”

Added to that reading aloud is somewhat of a challenge too.  Words and letters move around and run into one another on the page.  The result – I can’t read my presentation or my notes to my audience.

So why on earth am I in a vocation that involves public speaking?  The odds seem stacked against me.  Short answer – I’m passionate about sharing knowledge.

How can one share knowledge without speaking about it?

I was determined not to let the challenges facing me stand in the way of me fulfilling my passion. I learnt to compensate and turn these challenges into my favour.  Nothing worse than sitting through a presentation where the presenter reads the slides to you.  Since I cannot do this I find my audience less bored and glassy-eyed as I actively engage with them.  To compensate for challenges in speech I slow down just a little and pronounce my words a little more carefully.  I find myself better understood.  Am I saying that I am an outstanding presenter?  Far from it.  I am, however, saying that I am fulfilling my passion.  I believe I am successfully sharing knowledge.

Every one of us face challenges in our lives.  No one is excluded from this on our journey through life.  It is what we do with the challenges we face.  We can use them as excuses for not conquering what life throws at us, or we can use them as opportunities to grow. I choose growth.

Passion is what I have.  Challenges are what I seek.  Success is what I deliver.


passion challenges success


Yours in lifelong learning,




How to order a dozen wings at KFC

It is seldom I consume fast food, but occasionally I relent.  A while ago I decided to indulge in some Kentucky Fried Chicken.  With great anticipation I took a drive to a KFC outlet.  Obviously I had chosen the wrong day of the week, time of the month as the queue was snaking out the door.  Patiently I waited my turn and perused the menu.  The wings looked very appetising and thus my choice was made.

Eventually I get to the counter and am warmly greeted and asked what I would like to order.  With great eagerness I requested a dozen wings.  A confused look came over the face of the person serving me.  They informed me that they do not serve a dozen wings.  My thought processes kicked in and I came to the conclusion that perhaps there is a language barrier at play here and the term dozen has been misunderstood.  I restated my request, this time asking for twelve wings.  Again I am informed that twelve wings are not served.  I enquired as to what wings are served as they are clearly displayed on the menu.  Imagine my confusion here.

The person serving me informed me that they serve four wings or eight wings.

Quick as a flash I ordered four wings.  My order was duly rung up and entered into the system.  With a broad smile and great enthusiasm I was then asked if there was anything else I would like to order.  I promptly placed an order for eight wings.  The response I received: “Hayibo” (pronounced \hah-yee-boh\), which is South African for absolute disbelief.

Very confused my second order was questioned and confirmed several times.  It would appear that when going to a KFC you may only order either four or eight wings but not twelve!

After some convincing my order was rung up and entered into the system.  Again my order was confirmed with me.  At least they are thorough with ensuring my order has been captured correctly.

In due course I paid for my four plus eight wings and moved to the area to wait for my purchase.  When my order arrived I had a good chuckle.  There were two separate boxes containing my wings and they were placed into two separate packets before being handed to me.

So now you know how to order a dozen wings at KFC.


KFC Wings


Yours in lifelong learning,