Nancy Mulligan


It’s unfortunate, but we’re creatures of habit and we’ll hold onto our convictions until we’re literally forced to stop…. This is a very personal bit of writing that I am doing but it will pretty much touch on everything that falls under self-improvement, growth, peace-love and of course PoS!tIvE EnErGY. We use a whole lot of energy trying to hold everything together in our lives but what I have come to realize in the last couple of months is that not everything is meant to be in your life at that particular time. Simplify your life and the right things will remain in your life. The right people. You are who you attract.

We spend a whole lot of time thinking we are living when we are actually dead inside. Yeah that’s real insightful but what does that actually mean. When does one actually acknowledge the point they start living or remain in the world of the living but exist as an extra in the walking dead.

Nancy Mulligan… What I define as a Nancy Mulligan isn’t just Mr Ed Sheeran’s grandmother but the person in your life you don’t particularly deem a love interest because of the circumstances in your life. More often than not this one person is always around you but remains in the peripheral sections of your heart. They remain in the friendzone because it is the right thing to do.

The friend zone is a relatively modern phenomena. Traditionally guys and girls restricted their friendships to the same-sex. Any fraternizing with the opposite gender was usually a foray into a romantic relationship. The blurring of boundaries and genders over the last fifty years ( made up statistics ) or so has resulted in many healthy and long-lasting friendships… and that has to be good, right? Right… You know the chest pains you feel when said person is around another person who you consider a threat.. Or the chest pains you feel when you listen to the Calum Scott rendition of the Robyn classic “Dancing on my own”

What if… Now just stay with me… What if… Your growth trajectory has been influenced by your Nancy Mulligan. What if…? What now… ? What’s one to do… Option 1- Take the, “When Harry Met Sally” approach… Option 2- Die a little inside and forever hold your peace…

There’s nothing worse for a guy than being in the ‘friend zone.’ The friend zone is an urban legend, though. Invented years ago by one of those beautiful southern belles (Mount Pleasant, Harare) who were simply too nice to tell the ugly guy friend that she wasn’t interested. Instead she decided to say he was “too good of a friend” and that she “didn’t want the relationship to end and be without a friend.” It’s almost always bullshit. (perhaps one day I will explain this in detail…)

Anyway, so… Here you are… On your way to self-improvement and you come to concerning realisation that this person is actually the very reason behind your balance. This person who for so long was looked at in a certain light is the reason why you are in your happy place.. This person is… is your Nancy Mulligan…

It’s important to understand it’s your choice to remain in the friend zone. No-one can force another person to fall for them romantically, despite all the advice telling you the opposite. Either the attraction is mutual or it isn’t. There should be no blame assigned. But what happens when it evolves and spirals out of control.. What then?

It is hard to give up on a relationship that you hoped would last forever. The trouble is, if you stay as you are it *will* last forever. You are wasting your precious time waiting for someone to see you in a different way than they do. If you’ve tried everything you can think of to encourage them to think of you as more than a friend and it hasn’t worked, then you have to put yourself first for once and exit that friendship zone quickly.

Sidebar… The soundtrack to any Woody Allen movie would be ideal as you read this and shake your head repeatedly at how accurately this mirrors your life…

Nancy Mulligan

So… Nancy Mulligan, why have you been placed in our lives… ? What is your purpose? Are you a figment of our imagination? Are you … Are you for real..? Will you disappear the moment I reach out…? Will you stay? Will you be my Nancy Mulligan…. sigh… You are light headed and tingly all over. It is either you are in love or you have small pox…

Small Pox it is then….

2016…..


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The Long Walk, Windsor Castle.

“Imagination cannot picture an approach of greater magnificence, produced by circumstances which ages alone could bring about, and of which ages alone can produce a rival.

2016  has been good to me. As a matter of fact, it has actually been very good to me. The song that inspired this song (yes there is always a song & moment) that inspires these blogs.  The song that has inspired this is Ray Noble’s The Very Thought of You. Eighty years later, it’s still a hot idea. The piece is certainly prominent in The Great American Songbook and sparkles in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Very Thought of You has generated a huge pile of recordings — in every conceivable format and compilation, arranged and re-arranged by every generation’s superstar pop recording artists. The tune occurs no less than four times in the soundtrack of Casablanca, and these days, there’s nothing subliminal about it. Lol…

The musical preamble is of course to set the tone and I am just a sucker for classic Jazz. So let me tell you what was on my list start of the year and how I have done thus far in terms of completing my annual to do list.

1. Read and Memorize all the works of Shakespeare. Be able to quote key verses at will, especially during faculty meetings, awkward dinner parties, and while buying groceries at Whole Foods. ( So when the Portland native cashier says , “How’s YOUR day going?” I’ll reply “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” Hmm, maybe “ It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves” is more appropriate….)

2. Memorize every song, tune or piece of music written between 1600 and 2016. (Actually, I’m going to make it easier on myself and just start at composers of the Baroque Era. I mean, If I’m leaving out Josquin De Prez, then I might as well leave out Constantijn Huygens, I mean, let’s be real, people!) – Like for real…

What? You Don’t know any Constantijn Huygens tunes? Gosh… Okay .. We will stick to underground hiphop and stuff…
3. OK, I’ll admit that last year, one of my resolutions was to solve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict And I’ll admit that I fell short on that one. Hey, I’m only human! You can’t win them all! I mean, clearly, the middle east is moving in a positive direction, and things are getting better, of course. With a little patience, and the power of positive thinking, I think that by this time next year, everything in the Middle East is going to be A-OK!

I came close to two of my to do lists for the year and fell narrowly short on one. My amazing 2016…

 

 

Mont Blanc


Mont Blanc (French pronunciation: [mɔ̃ blɑ̃]) or Monte Bianco (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmonte ˈbjaŋko]), both meaning “White Mountain”, is the highest mountain in the Alps .It rises 4,808.73 m (15,777 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.

Now, I know you are reading this and thinking Lu why on earth you going on about the white mountain. I use the term to describe a great achievement or almost impossible feat that you (I ) conquer. The glorious white mountain could be running your first marathon, bungee jumping, kicking a category A drug habit or actually climbing the mountain.

I am well in my 30’s and absolutely loving it. A lot has changed in my life and I have certainly slowed down but one thing that stands out is  the evolution of my emotional intelligence. I am surprised with how well I have improved my dealings with other people which has ultimately improved my decision-making process.

Coincidentally, this has fallen in line with the acquisition of a life coach. Yes a life coach folks. A mutual respect that works exceptionally well for me given my rather complex approach to everyday life ( somewhat of a social pariah ) Such a pretentious thing to say right. NO! We all need a life coach people. So what does this all have to do with getting a life coach then you ask..?

Now, my theory in life is very simple. What makes artists immortal is that they take what we have every single day and portray it in a way very seldom seen by most people. My journey in life is so much that I may not be the smartest person in the world, nor am I the funniest or most handsome (what was that?) ….. Anyway, my modus operandi is very simple to be honest. Everything I need to be great is already available, my job and gift to god’s green earth is to put it all together and present it in a very unique way which only I see. This will hopefully bring forth extravagant trappings and wealth … I find it extremely cool that every person wants that one thing that will define and justify their existence in the world. I believe I have found mine and am now ready to execute. I may not always blog about the process but I certainly will document the milestones.

Mont Blanc

 

Why Not ?

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I remember growing up  feeling pain during the pre-season of my track and field training and thinking why am I doing this…? Sweating, hurting, holding back tears… Why was I putting myself through all this.? “Why not ?” is the answer… Why not hurt today so that tomorrow you can look back and marvel at your achievements. Why not fail today, so that you learn to better yourself next time. Why not look silly today and be a paragon of hope for your son or daughter or wife or brother or father or mother tomorrow. Why not be called names and prove them wrong tomorrow. Life generally follows the same pattern I have come to realize. One inch, one day, one habit at a time. Mental conditioning is very important.

A wise man once said to me during practice,” Limits just like fears are often just an illusion. Your mind is more powerful than you will ever fathom young man.” … Passion works hand in hand with your mind. Passion is fueled by what you believe in and by choosing what makes you happy. Today, tomorrow and forever is determined by right now. 

Life will throw you curve balls. People will disappoint you. People will die. Your heart will be broken. You will be called names. Money will never be enough. Life will generally suck . But I assure you, there is nothing more beautiful than overcoming adversity to get to your goal. I tell myself that I will only cry when I achieve something or when I am happy because those tears are earned.

I hear the words to this day coming from my track coach in high school. ” Dig deep boy! ” Those words have always stuck with me since then. Digging deep is actually enduring all pain that is in the moment in sheer hope that it is temporary. Yes, pain and adversity is temporary.

This is not meant to be an inspirational entry or anything of the sort. I really just wanted to share what keeps me going. Every second, every minute you are alive is a chance to affect the next seconds, the next minutes, the next day. Pardon the sporting examples, its just that its easier to explain things from a sporting point of view given my background.

Today, tomorrow and forever will be engraved in history by the actions of now. Now is you at your best and worst. Learn, grow and love but remember to pursue what makes you happy. If you are to take anything away from all of this, it is this… Only you can destroy you. Take care of you and all will fall into place.

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Today, tomorrow and forever.. 

 

 

 

 

Orion’s Belt…..

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I normally never really know what I want to write about until I start writing and so is the case with this blog. The name of the blog is in connection to one evening that involved pounding of grape and absolutely intriguing conversation. Those are the best… Anyway, it was during one such evening that I looked at the person who was going on about the stars and casually sipping the Sauvignon Blanc *pounding grape* that I had a moment. I tend to have a lot of such “moments” when  pounding grape is involved….

One has dark phases in life that almost break you just enough to make sure when you are finally on the mend, you can take a similar calamity and shake it off.  Life really isn’t that complicated if you think about it. I read somewhere that,

if you really want to mess up your 20’s then you should think you are meant to have everything in check.

This friend of mine had not a single care in the world and approached life with the zeal of a 3 year old. It was refreshing and enlightening to see someone in my age group appear at ease.

Eventually with time you realise that life really is not as complicated as it appears to be early on. A few months ago, I was at soiree and was meant to be socializing with everyone and found myself peering at the ocean and sensationally zoning the *eff* out. Life really is meant to be easy and with a lot of planning we kind of miss the whole concept behind living. Now do not get me wrong, I am not saying quit your job and start inhaling certain worldly herbs. All I am saying is life should never be complicated or stressful. Emancipate yourself from mental and emotional slavery. Live life and just smile.

Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. It’s not as bad as it seems at the time friend. Do not let the world mistreat you.

Orion’s belt….

Shimmy Beach Club, Capetown

Shimmy Beach Club, Capetown

May I just add that the last time I wrote was a fair bit ago. A combination of writer’s block and just lacking any inspiration worth writing about. My burst of inspiration comes from a book by Charles Dickens called “A Tale of Two Cities” … This particular passage is the most famous and really is just amazing. So many quotables … Enjoy…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

A Way Of Life…..

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Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Amid the noise and the haste

Amid the noise and the haste

Control…


1. Smarten UP

A prerequisite is to be aware of new ideas, thoughts and behaviours. A prerequisite for what you ask? well.. A prerequisite to taking control of your life. Read, listen, watch. By any means necessary emancipate yourself from mental slavery. SMARTEN UP! The saying goes,” You earn from what you know but you ONLY grow from what you learn”

2. Start Engineering your destiny.

Avoid routine, accept nothing and question everything. Be conscious of what you do and be responsive to change. This might be a little weird of an analogy but its my blog so you sort of have to read it anyway. Be the chef and not the waiter.  The Chef makes simple changes to the combination of ingredients and we have a totally different meal. The waiter accepts all and goes by that.

3. Simplify everything in your life. EVERYTHING

Identify what is important and eliminate everything else. Taking a little hiatus from social media, normal routine and everything that takes up a lot of your time will bring forth a more simplified approach to life. Make time for yourself and LEARN TO SAY NO. Plain and simple. This is surprisingly based on Confucian theory and also my run in with one of the most influential Five star Army Generals of our era, Former President of the United States of America Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower… He came up with the amazingly simple Eisenhower matrix. Read up on it if you have time and come back to this blog and imagine me giving you a nod of approval.

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.

My journey has led me to this blog entry. I thought I would share the positives from my journey and how I am soldiering on and what I am doing differently. The “better man project” for me started out as a six month stint that turned into a lifestyle choice. Lots of faint superhero music from yonder, epic battles of the mind and heart, wine, excruciating work outs and lots of reading. Lets create a moment here, Lux Auterna by Clint Mansell is playing and your mind is moving a million miles a second. Something had to give. That is how I came up with these three easy steps that gave back my sanity and gave me a renewed lease on life.

Lastly, if you have a career. These three steps will now have you in tiptop shape to execute your daily and monthly KPI’s.  Deliver without compromise and deliver one project at a time. Focus on what is important.  Enjoy life, celebrate the little victories and remember to smile. Life is a beautiful journey.

Over N’ Out.

Terra Incognito + Hope …

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Uncharted territory is very daunting but sadly that is what we are forced to navigate as we deal with this little mystery called the future. We hope for a better day tomorrow, better couple of months and generally try attain something unknown that we believe is better than the  status-quo. Terra Incognito + Hope Theory.

This is not exactly a certified Oxford University theory but something I randomly put together in my noodle when I was watching “The Great Gatsby”.. Yes, “The Great fxcking Gatsby” … “The majestic grandeur of the silver screen..Ah Chinema!!!!!*Lu voice*

Now stay with me while I put everything together. In the movie, we have the role of Nick Carraway played by Toby Maguire. This gentleman narrates the movie and ultimately sums up what the “Terra Incognito + Hope” theory is.

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In life, we all aspire to better ourselves and are always trying to appraise our advancements every quarter, half-year or annually. This indeed is a good way to go about your life but one thing the movie does point out is that in our never-ending search to better ourselves, when do we know when we are pushing too hard that we lose our way and end up with nothing. Without ruining the movie for those that haven’t watched it or  read the original book that it’s based on (which is totally different BEEE TEE DUB).

On a personal front, I have always lived life trying to better myself and in the process losing sight of what it is I am trying to achieve in the first place. All I really know is that I am genetically predisposed to trying to change myself and create a better and more advanced model. When does one know when they have achieved that? Is there ever a moment when you realize you are getting close? Why do we do it anyway? The shocking answer is I don’t know.

Well, in retrospect when we critically analyse situations we realise we could have handled them better. There is always a better way to do things once they have come and gone. You cannot bring back the past and we should not even try to. All we can do really is attempt to ready ourselves for a similar situation and that is only achieved by making alterations to the approach you took last time it happened. In anticipation of such events we hope that we deal with them better than last time, we hope that they are better situations than last time , we hope that we are a better version of ourselves than last time, we hope that this better version somehow makes amends for the shortcomings of the earlier version.

Nick Carraway: You can’t repeat the past. 
Jay Gatsby: Can’t repeat the past? 
Nick Carraway: No… 
Jay Gatsby: Why, of course you can… of course you can Old Sport

Nick Carraway: In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.” While reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope, I’ve come to admit that my tolerance of human behavior has its limits. Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this story, represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. And yet there was something gorgeous about him. Some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, a romantic readiness such as I’ve never found in any other person and which it is not likely I’ll ever find again. 

My parting words are that we all want to better ourselves and that is admirable and all but let us not lose ourselves in the grandeur of the quest as we pioneer through uncharted territory. The very inspiration that fuels that need to better ourselves is the balancing factor that humanity needs to continue. Hope!!!

Nick Carraway:Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter… tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning.. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. 

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Over N’ Out

The Calm ….

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Go PlacidlyI really shouldn’t be blogging right now as I have decided to completely go cold turkey with all social media or anything remotely affiliated with the internet. I had to share this picture above as it reminds me of a place in the city and neighbourhood that raised me. I took this picture when I was dealing with a lot back when I still had baby fat.  The quote on the board is from a poem called Desiderata  by the very talented American writer Max Ehrmann in 1927.

Anywho, to get right to the reason I decided to go against my self imposed media blackout, I was thinking and realised just how much we complicate life. There was a time I used to frequent this once hidden place in Greystone Park Harare and would be overwhelmed with a sense of calm. No matter what life throws at you, there is always a way out.  As I continue my valiant journey to ultimately believe in my decision making process, I urge you all to tap into that inner voice and groom it so it gets louder and clearer.

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the GENUINE in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” -Howard Thurman

Over n’ Out…

Keeping it 100…

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The Better Man Project 183 is going well. Its had its challenges here and there but I am soldiering on and learning a lot about myself.

The ultimate goal is to begin to trust the decision-making process. How one goes about getting here is a personal choice really but I have opted to deal with it, as and when the dark moments come. Dark moments in this case being flashbacks of situations that are painful or bring about shame or deeply rooted sense of disappointment. The more of these moments you can actually handle thinking about and dealing with, the more you begin to see the error of your ways and build the confidence in your decision-making process.

I like to think everyone has moments when you remember something, cringe and then just shake it off or conveniently sweep it under the carpet. In order for the project to work, the carpet is going out to the cleaners and all the emotional debris will have to be dealt with.

Many a time we find ourselves not particularly too impressed with the bloke/lass you see in the mirror. When you can’t recognise or respect your own reflection is the very moment you are supposed to re-evaluate your life. It comes down to one thing, you are glamourising reality and adding instagram filters to your life. Life is not very complicated I have come to realise. It comes down to what you feel is acceptable and not acceptable. Decision Making in general. We are genetically predisposed to know what is right and what is wrong and its only when we over ride this disposition that we start to live a lie. The truth becomes blurry and eventually your mirror image is not a clear and just representation of your real life.

I challenged myself on this journey  to dig deep and deal with the brutal honesty of the moment and the jagged teeth of reality. Ladies and gentlemen, we are a flawed species and we do make mistakes. The magic behind healing and living better is how we manage the mistakes we make. Be true to thyself and be fearless enough to embrace the truth.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

This is not to say we should be afraid of trying and living our everyday lives. Live life and learn from every experience. The greatest mistake you can ever make in life is the habitual fear of making a mistake.

Now I started documenting this journey so  that I can refer to it when I get where I need to be and if at all anybody else is in my situation then they can benefit from my journey. This is in no way an attempt to become a self-righteous douche pendejo dude who floods the internet with words of wisdom that ultimately come from soapy movies.

I am flawed and am a work in progress. My aim is to become even half the man my mother desired me to be. Let me not bore you any further. My parting words are , celebrate the little victories and leave the foolish to seek happiness in the distance.

A belated happy mothers day to all the women of virtue and honour that work tirelessly to raise their children. I salute you all.

My sentiments, my truth, my journey… BMP183

Wilson's Prom

Over n’ Out