A trip to USOpen2018: Expected to run an errand without my legs

The labyrinth of New York

My worst experience ever dealing with hotels was in China Town, New York. Since I had stayed at the same hotel in 2017 I thought the journey planning would be a doddle. From experience it’s stress free and doesn’t cost much to travel if planned well. Having said that, to avoid the unforeseen transport issues that I had encountered earlier in May going to Cyprus, I made sure that I go to Manchester Airport early in the morning though my flight was departing in the afternoon, at 14:00. At the airport I checked-in betimes, as soon as the check in commenced.

Earlier that morning I had failed to locate my phone charger. Never mind I will buy one at the Airport, I thought. As I was being checked in, “make sure you empty all the contents from the side pocket of your chair… Also take your wallet and remember to take it with you into the plane”, said the lady on the counter. After the check-in the lady put my wallet in the side pocket of my hand luggage.

In the lounge I decided to go to Dixon’s, a renowned U.K. electrical shop. In there I took out my wallet from my bag, which was on my lap. The shop didn’t have an American or universal adapters but they allowed me to charge my phone and to keep an eye on it. When I left the shop the time was 12:40 which means I had roughly about 20minutes to charge it before thinking about boarding. I then went back to the lounge and soon after I was bursting for the loo. I couldn’t see no signs for disabled toilets on the ground floor, I asked someone and I was told to go upstairs. Aware that I was pushing it, I decided to take my phone from Dixon’s. In the shop, I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t see my phone where I had left it, let alone all the sales personnel were busy helping customers. Finally, “do you want your phone?” Someone asked me to my great relief.

He then went into the office at the back of the shop and brought it to me. Thereafter I went to find the lift to go upstairs. After the loo and in the lift I alarmingly heard my name being announced. “Mr Mteliso can you please make your way to flight number…” I assumed that the ground staff couldn’t find me where I was supposed to be. Trying to up my speed but to my frustration I was annoyingly in a lift seemingly slow moving. In the moment I forgot that I had left my crutches behind in the lounge. In the tunnel to board the plane is when I recalled and I asked one of the Aeroplane crew to go get them where I had left them. Instead of being one of the first passengers to board as a disabled person, I was the last one.

After 30 minutes the flight arrived in London at Heathrow airport. One of the grounds staff came to me and suggested that they were going to load my chair in the connecting flight. So I was pushed to yet another check-in where the ground staff who was pushing me had an altercation with the girl at the check-in desk. The check-in was subject to stringent checks similar to American Airports. As the ground staff was pushing me towards the check-in desk, she whispered in my ear, “if she asks you to take off your shoes, tell her you can’t… As a disabled person they can’t force you to do anything”. “Sir can you take off your shoes” the lady at the check-in desk looking like Janelle Monáe cried out. I thought they looked alike, maybe it was the similar hair style effect. “Unfortunately I cant” I retorted, boy oh boy, she was apoplectic. She said to me with a voice festered with anger “if you can’t take them off then you can’t go through”. Back in my mind I wanted to compliment her looks but after the unfriendly remark I didn’t. I therefore asked to speak to the manager and when the manager came, I was given a green light to go through without any further checks. Whence I was taken to board my flight. After around an 8 hours flight we landed at JFK Airport.

Continue reading “A trip to USOpen2018: Expected to run an errand without my legs”

What matters is how you finish the race not how you start it: rip Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Mugabe’s last days as the president of Zimbabwe before he was ousted by the military.

RIP to (the so called) God father of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe. He was so smart as an academic that’s why he was regarded as the world’s most educated leader, boasting 7 degrees including two Masters. However before he assumed the office he was merely a teacher. His premiership started in earnest and he vowed to be a president for all. As a charismatic leader his speeches were coherent and moving. When I grow up I want to be like this guy, I thought after listening to one of his speeches as a kid. Back then the concept of sustainability was beyond my scope but I listened to his words promising environmental, economic as well as social changes to usher Zim into the new Millenium. Ushering free education as well as free health for all, driving the economy in the right direction as a bread basket of Africa and that. Other African nations used to envy Zim. Tourism was thriving. “I know Rhodesia or Zimbabwe man, I used to come there all the way from Angola to do my clothes shopping”, a guy I met in Portugal wants said. As an adult I began to understand that he wanted a better country for the future generations. As the South American chief Seattle said

“we borrow the earth from future generations”.

Continue reading “What matters is how you finish the race not how you start it: rip Robert Gabriel Mugabe”

Crisis can either make you or break you

Where there is crisis I see opportunity. Crisis can either make us or break us. React to it wisely, you a winner my friend, if you don’t it will beat you down to your knees. In the Chinese alphabet the character for crisis also means opportunity. To overcome crisis you have to become more resolutely stubborn.

Christopher Columbus said

– Refuse to give in to temporal defeat you must keep on trying and trying again. By prevailing over all obstacles and destructions one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination-.

Mamoudou Gassama

What a hero, he deserves film roles in Hollywood or better, imagine if he got the fame and fortune of Toby Maguire who popularised the Spider-Man fantasy. He risked his life for he could have died as a result many disliked his act of heroism. Last time I checked the YouTube video showing the incident, the ratio of thumbs up to thumbs down was 71k👍🏿: 3.3k👎🏿. However for many it was an act of unprecedented heroism and the president of France realised that and made him an honorary French citizen coupled with a french medal of courage and in June 2018 he received the BET Humanitarian Award. Also he was offered to join the fire service.

Before this Gassama was an immigrant who crossed the Mediterranean and acquired legal papers to stay in Italy after taking a treacherous journey from Mali to Europe via Bekina Faso, Niger and Libya were he was reportedly incarcerated and beaten like a piñata. Despite getting papers in Italy, he wanted to be reunited with his brother living in France.

As a young lad prolly single and nothing to loose, he decided to take the riskiest move to climb four stories to save someone’s life. Little did he know that the crisis at hand would present him with opportunities.

Where there is chaos there is opportunity #DonaldTrump #SatoshiNakamoto #Zimbabwe

For instance, who benefited most from the financial rescission of 2008?

Globally it could be argued that Donald Trump and Satoshi Nakamoto. I presume that all of you know who Donald Trump is- the most powerful man in the world right. Before coming to political salience in 2014, Trump was widely known as a B-Star TV celebrity, a Real Estate mogul and a billionaire. Throughout his campaign he came across as a demagogue garnering the support of those who least felt the slow economic recovery benefits from the 2008 financial crash. He criticised the Federal Reserve, blasted trade deals like with China and NAFTA, and called into question the unemployment rate. Despite the animosity from a considerable number of influential figures in the USA and the world at large, he is at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world.

The other notable name which benefited hugely from the 2008 financial recession is Satoshi Nakamoto. This could be a male Japanese individual or the name of an entity. However what is known for certain is the name is the alias used by the creator of Bitcoin. Google the name and find out yourself.

Nakamoto rivalled the foundation of money by creating cryptocurrency in early 2009. Is it fortuitous or not that, the creation of the Bitcoin just happened to perfectly correspond with the collapse of people’s confidence in the financial system. Or Nakamoto is an opportunist who used a well calculated strategy to wait for the right moment to unveil his/ their idea.

Recently I went back to the matrix and I was greeted by tired looking buildings as well as poverty from every conner. However amid the misery and despair they be some thriving businesses, individuals and thugs benefiting from subtle as well as blatant corruption.

I know that the key to weathering the economic chaos is to find the opportunity within it. But do not benefit from the misery and suffering of the less advantaged, it’s unscrupulous.

Be obsessed and be idiotically confident

First off I digress, it’s been a while I know but I’m back and I promise to give you more words. For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, however mine word is not from the mountain top.

Back to my word: Work doggedly and be idiotically confident to rise to the loftiest heights.

Following my previous posts, someone contacted me and said there is nothing wrong with wanting more and argued that our Heavenly Father wants us to be prosperous. I 100% agree and that’s why it is important to create value in whatsoever you desire or choose to do for it is written in Luke chapter 12 that to whom much is given much is expected. Many acknowledge this by making donations or contributions towards various causes and that’s creating value. Your business could create value directly or indirectly. If your objective is to create value you will not view charity as a contribution or donation but as an investment.

⁃The greats and the succetssful people are arguably jewels in a crown, they do not only make the world go round but also make the world a liveable place.

⁃Be obsessed or be mediocre: unending desire to create something: be idiotically confident.

⁃without the capacity to work tirelessly or to be obsessed you can never be great. Obsession and steadfastness are key attributes here, better yet anyone in a functional state of mind can have them. You don’t need any qualifications whatsoever to acquire them. For example who thought a guy with no formal education could lead a successful nation. It has been said that Jacob Zuma of South Africa had no formal education but self taught. He did not only serve one term but two terms (forced resignation before the second one ended). Before he came to power he was already a successful man even one of the wealthiest figures in Africa. His flamboyance is expressed by his many well looked after concubines and swag. It’s fair to acknowledge that he had worked tirelessly to get to the pinnacle before the government corruption allegations. When he made a silly mistake particularly when delivering speeches he would use his charisma to destruct people in order to take they eyes off him.

⁃Along the road to the top they gon be haters and naysayers, use those as fuel to keep at it even to up your game. Does this sound familiar “I love you the way you are so don’t try to be something you not” or “slow down will you and don’t stress it’s not good for your health” or “don’t compare yourself to others” or “relax a bit, take some time off”

⁃many people will tell you that the obsession of success or greatness is not a good thing. However each and everyone has some greatness in them, own your greatness.

⁃Obsession will allow you to keep pressing forward to the next best thing. The best not only for yourself but also the wider community

⁃If you use the same innocents and energy you had as a child you will never go wrong. Without honesty and integrity you may end up falling from the pinnacle like Zuma.

pray to god like your life depends on him and work even harder like peoples lives depend on you

Your body is a temple

First off most of what I write are my beliefs or notions. Unlike laws, my beliefs are open to deliberation. If you disagree feel free to refute.

⁃ Our bodies are vehicles for getting things done. That said the healthier you are the better the chances to accomplish your goals.

⁃ Many ask me how I maintain my body given my circumstances, by and large I use my wheelchair to access outdoors.

1) I try to use my crutches, as much as possible 2) I don’t live to eat, I eat to live 3) I use my body weight to do the exercises that are within my ability and capability. 4) I make sure that I sleep for at least 6 hours 5) I drink a lot of water.

⁃ I hardly spend a dime to stay fit, no price to maintain my priceless body. However I would be lying if I say I never joined a gym. Admittedly, I was once a gym rat- spending a lot of time there working out, swimming lessons, steaming in the sauna, and lounging. Yet Richard Branson was laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of man like me. Thankfully I got busy in my life and I made a conscious decision to stop going to the gym.

⁃ In conclusion, Biblically apostle Paul asked that “or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? try and treat your body with maximum respect.

⁃ A healthy body is key in life and remember that life ain’t a sprint it’s a marathon. Do not abuse or over use your body in this day and age where life is subject to a rat race. Remember to occasionally rest and enjoy a good meal. Otherwise you will burn out or run out of fuel.

How poverty is one of the worst enemies of humanity.

⁃ Arguably one of the most influential figures of our generation once said

⁃ If you are born poor it’s not your mistake but if you die poor it’s your mistake. (Bill Gates)

⁃ In other words he challenged every one living in abject poverty to break the vicious cycle in they bloodline and failure to do that shame on you.

⁃ The question is do you agree with Bill or not. Personally and to some extent I don’t. In some circumstances the rich will always be rich, unless they are stupid enough to loose it all. The poor will always find it hard to break through but it’s suffice to say that everyone in the right state of mind aspires to live a descent life even to make it big. Hence the phrase “Get Rich or Die Trying” which was coined in the ghettos of America. This phrase implies that the only way out for the poor is to commit crime if they can’t be propped up by some sort of means weather by the government, religion or other means. Poverty is one one of the worst enemies of human kind. It wastes people’s potential, depriving societies and economy, affecting the skills and talents of those who have valuable contributions to make.

⁃ Myself I go to a church which provides platforms to help folk to access work and become self-reliant. With regards to the government and the wider communities, governments across the world could do a lot to make a difference. In the U.K. and from a Town Planning point of view the Joseph Rowntree Foundation In 2016 proposed a five point plan to eradicate poverty

⁃ 1) Boost incomes and reduce costs;

⁃ 2) Deliver an effective benefit system;

⁃ 3) Improve education standards and raise skills;

⁃ 4) Strengthen families and communities; and

⁃ 5) Promote long-term economic growth benefiting everyone.

To my fellow physically and mentally challenged I say to you we are different and difference is what makes this world. As a result you can bring something different to the table if you can. For instance learning difference like dixylesia can be a struggle in the early years, particularly the educational process but it will be a mighty advantage in the long run because if you different you can see what most people don’t see better yet life will only get better. For instance man like Richard Branson and Albert Einstein were dyslexic but they became very influential persons in life. Unfortunately the talent of people with learning difference from impoverished backgrounds particularly third world countries will never be realised.

The Countdown: Just do it

⁃ Mel Robinson a lawyer by profession in the USA had an epiphany, one day when she was watching a space shuttle lift off, before going to bed. That famous count down gave her an insight and made her wonder if she could use it to launch herself out of bed in the morning. The following morning when the alarm went off she started counting down from 5 to 1 and afterwards she got up without procrastinating. Having said that she was really impressed by her discovery and spent 3 further years researching and scientifically proving if her 5 seconds rule countdown works. She went on deliver a Ted talk about it and the world was listening. Many tried to use it and many found it to be a vital tool to eschew procrastination echoing arguably one of the most powerful tag lines “Just do it” used by Nike. Therefore it could be argued that- Just do it- is the concept and the 5 second rule or the countdown is the tool. I said or the countdown because I believe that the count down could start at any figure and be just as effective. Some people could start at 3 simultaneously some could start at 10 depending on preference.

⁃ However scientifically, it is argued that the moment you have an instinct to act upon something, you only have 5 seconds to act on it before your brain shuts it down.

⁃ Therefore counting down from 5 to 1 makes sense. The countdown does not only awaken the pre frontal cortex but disrupts your negative patterns. From this point of view this tool could be used to disrupt any bad patterns. Try it and see if it works for you, do not let the biological imperatives go out of hand, if they do start using this tool.

⁃ You can’t control how you feel but you can control how you act. For instance you might feel attracted to someone but it is within you to have the courage to talk to the person or you would rather choke. Another common example is that of Marathon athletes, they can’t control their exhaustion but more often than not many choose to continue running rather than stoping.

⁃ The countdown tool gives you the courage and with courage you have the impetus to do or change things. You might not change the world but I guarantee you that you will change yourself for the better. Many across the globe tried it and successes range from having the voice to running multi-dollar businesses. That said it can help to boost your productivity, live a healthy life, cut futile procrastination and so forth.

⁃ Mel Robinson discovered this tool at 41, stuck in the swamp (despair) and now she is living a purposeful life even successful, she a doctor now.

⁃ If you can change the morning routine you can change everything. Try the 5,4,3,2,1 rule to wake up early in the morning. Set up your early alarm and do the wake up challenge and boom you are awake it could take a lot to wake up but it will get better as the day prolongs. Sleep inertia, you will require more energy to wake than you need to get by rest of the day. In a similar vein science says that more energy is required to initiate the movement than to sustain the velocity. To reach your potential you gonna have to push yourself to take that first leap. The general consensus here is that you can accomplish more if you wake up early in the morning however it could be argued that productiveness and efficiency has more value and different folk are best productive and efficient at different times. Some feel productive and creative at night ironically some feel the same in the morning. Some at various times through out the day. Albeit the widely known productive hours are the first hours of your day, before your mind is distracted or bombarded by a myriad of thoughts. In other words that’s when you exhibit maximum freshness.

⁃ Which takes us to the importance of taking a nap. Winston Churchill was known for taking naps during the hit of World War II. As a result he attributed his successes to the naps he took. So don’t be hard on yourself by forcibly trying to keep awake throughout the day like a hard man, it’s ok to take a nap. You will be restarting and refreshing the mind.

⁃ Taking a nap is like an episode of productive procrastination- allowing your mind to wander as part of the creative process, sometimes we do this because we are stressed.

In conclusion conquer your doubts and fears, just do it. As Miyamoto Musashi (a great swords man) said

Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

How to take control of the situation

Continuing from the last blog post about fear -An American-Portuguese Neuroscientist named Antonio Damasio found out that our bodies react to fear and stress before our minds do, the empirical study was carried out in 1997. Having said that it is critical to pay attention to our body awareness, and read the signals in our body in order to take control. The secret to mind control is to realise the manifestation of fear in our bodies.

⁃ Biologically, our bodies react by releasing a stress hormone (cortisol). Dr Jill Bolte, a neuroanatomist in her book; My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Sceintist’s Personal Journey (Jill Bolte Taylor).

⁃ she states that

⁃ “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop”.

⁃ Something happens in the external world and chemicals are flushed through your body which puts it on full alert. For those chemicals to totally flush out of the body it takes less than 90 seconds.

⁃ This means that for 90 seconds you can watch the process happening, you can feel it happening, and then you can watch it go away.

⁃ After that, if you continue to feel fear, anger, and so on, you need to look at the thoughts that you’re thinking that are re-stimulating the circuitry that is resulting in you having this physiological response over and over again.”

⁃ I myself I know I’m in fear when my hair stands on it’s end, at times shortening of breath and losing balance when standing. Different people react to fear differently it has been reported that some experience tightening of chest, tightening of throat, rush on your throat, excessive sebum (white staff which comes out of the pores everytime you squeeze your nose or chin, gross right?…unfounded I just made that up).

⁃ Within the 90 second window learn how to calm yourself down. Here is what to do to address the moment of fear 1) simply breath slowly and count to 90 2) breath slowly and get up and walk around. 3) hug someone you know for 90 secs

A Beautiful Mess

⁃ “Beautiful front garden wall” they say, the only person who thinks it’s an eye soar is my neighbour. Jealous nosey neighbours, I despise. However I don’t think he jealousy, it could be that he hates or fears change, he will get used to it. I live adjacent to a gateway to a primary school and the parents who come to pick up they kids after school seems to be captivated by it. To build it I initially contracted an independent builder. To erect a simple structure under 1 metre to avoid the hustle of procuring a planning permission. A brick wall with black coping stones and ceder cladding intervals. When the first phase was completed (without the ceder cladding) I fell in love with it. However after several weeks of waiting on the builder to finish the job. I called him several times at first he gave me excuses while insisting that I was the first on his priority list.

⁃ Disappointedly the coping stones started to come undone meanwhile I was trying to get in touch with him but he was avoiding me like the plague. He had gone AWOL that’s when I realised that behind the nice guy facade, he was a cowboy builder and he was never going to come back to finish the job let alone to rectify his mess.

⁃ That said I looked for another builder and found a reputable building company called Lux Construction design & Build, based in Leeds and 5 star rated by yell.

⁃ As you can tell from their work, they know well how to execute their craft. An upcoming but genuine and thriving company.

⁃ I expressed my vision and they were able to turn a flimsy messed up wall into a beautiful sturdy mess. A beautiful mess like a patchwork quilt after a good snooze.