Posts tagged south africa

6 Things We Do to Ourselves That’s Just Not Worth It.

This so-true list of things we do, often without realizing, usually holds us back from becoming the next-level individuals that we aspire to be:

Hanging onto fading relationships

Like those long-time friends who know everything about you – those relationships are the worst to let go of. People become friends when they discover similar interests, and friendships fade when interests change. It’s neither good nor bad when relationships fade, but it can become stressful and awkward when your lives have changed so much that you cannot relate to each other.

Thinking that we are our own people and our surroundings don’t change us

From the time you were born, people have been influencing you – what you eat, what you wear, which language to speak, and so on… Every living being that you’ve spent time with has the capacity to shape you. In a scene from one of my favourite films, Cloud Atlas (which was based on the book with the same name), Sonmi the protagonist, says: “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” Basically, you develop similar traits or interests as those you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.

Avoiding closure

When there are too many maybe’s floating in one situation – when you don’t know what’s going on but “let’s just drop it”. Or when you pass up on the chance to go to what could be an awesome event because you don’t want to see someone who may also attend. Yep, that’s a definite no-closure situation. Sometimes, self-assurance is the only closure you need.

Neglecting your schedule to suit someone else’s

This often happens if you’re the kind of person who hates missing out. You love spontaneous adventures but have conflicting long terms goals. Strike a balance when making plans and more importantly, decide what would be worth sacrificing for the long run.

Being afraid or too proud to ask for help.

South Africans can probably relate. We’re the ones who mostly say, “if I don’t have, I will go without”. We don’t like to be the ones asking for help, even if we’re not asking for ourselves. It’s good to be independent but opportunities won’t fall into your lap. It’s only in asking that we unpack all the universe has to offer us.

Passing negative comments about ourselves or others.

According to, your brain responds more strongly to negative words than positive ones. The theory by postdoctoral researcher, David Carmel, is that when you are speaking negatively (even about others) your brain will process these thoughts quicker than positive thoughts. And as you know, positive thinking equals a positive life. All remarks made, impacts your frame of thinking.

Have something to add to the list? Post your comments below or email me directly to

Feature Photo/ Carey Chanquin


12 Things that Constitute Real Riches By Napoleon Hill

I’ve begun reading a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Lately, I’ve been jumping books, where I’d be reading a book and then become so distracted that I don’t finish it; so my new plan is to write about. That way the words get entrenched in my mind, and I am able to simplify my understanding of it.

I’ve always wanted to read this book. I’ve heard people talk about how helpful the guidelines have been to them, so I’m eager to test Napoleon Hill’s theories.

Who was Napoleon Hill?

One of the world’s earliest self-help gurus. He’d researched hundreds of successful people over decades, to create these brilliant manuals for personal development. Some of Hill’s books are: The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, The Master-Key to Riches, and You Can Work Your Own Miracles, to name a few.

Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937 (nearly 80 years ago), but the book still sells for over R100. Talk about a best-seller! You can order a paperback from right now for R134. Or you can continue to read the summaries as I post them here Be Whole. I’ve also downloaded a FREE Think and Grow Rich App for Android on Playstore, to listen to the audio version of the book when I feel inclined.

According to Hill’s research for this particular book, which spanned 20 years, the 12 things that make (wo)men rich were discovered in hundreds of successful people, from all walks of life, who each appeared to share the following 12 qualities:

1. Positive mental attitude

2. Sound physical health

3. Harmony in human relations

4. Freedom from fear

5. The hope of future achievement

6. The capacity for applied faith

7. Willingness to share one’s blessings with others

8. To be engaged in the labour of love

9. An open mind towards all subjects for all people

10. Complete self-discipline

11. Wisdom with which to understand people

12. Financial security

He then emphasizes that financial security was intentionally listed as the final point to obtaining riches, because money is merely a component of wealth, not the purpose of it. Are your ducks in a row people? I can think of at least five that I seriously need to work on.

More notes on this book to follow! Do you or someone you know possess each of the 12 components mentioned? I’d love to feature you! Email me directly to or leave a comment in the space below.

Featured Image by Tara Courtené

From Bellville to Grenoble.

As the first in a series of stories by South Africans, in pursuit if their dreams, Lynn Cupido highlights her own story, which was always to live in France.

If it’s meant to be, it will be. I was a digital intern at a world-renowned magazine. I’d lived in a quiet neighborhood, with a spacious backyard, and compared to other parts of South Africa, I’d say that I’d come from an extremely privileged background.

It’s been a dream of mine to live in France for almost my entire life. My fascination with French culture and language only grew as I got older.

The work that I was doing made me realize that I wanted something more, and that if I didn’t follow my dream now, I’d never do it. Ultimately, my goal is to start my own language school within France.

It’s really difficult to get a work visa. One of the first things that you have to do is prove that you’re not going to be a freeloader and that you’ve already found work.

For more info on how to obtain a work visa, go to,

Right now, I’m teaching little kiddies English, which is both a frustrating and rewarding task.

You generally need to obtain a TEFL course in order to teach English as a foreign language, go to for more info regarding course offerings and fees.

I’d been really lucky enough to find a quaint apartment attached to the home of a local French family in the city of Grenoble. They’ve helped me adjust to the French language and way of life. The only thing that limits me is the language. One of my biggest highlights has been the eagerness with which many of the French embrace me.


The closest ski resort is roughly about 10 kilometers, if not less, from where I live. The bus stop leading to main stations, that would take you to the city and surrounds, is about three minutes away. [And] the city centre is a hub of activity, no matter what the time of day. Cars aren’t even able to drive through the centre, leaving space for trendy bars, restaurants and typical French architecture.

I’d say that the cost of living is quite similar to South Africa. You pay for where you shop and live. If you’re living in the city with a beautiful view of the French Alps, you’re going to be paying more.


The one thing that constantly surprises me is the level of diversity in France. Race is not something that dominates France like in South Africa; it’s both refreshing and unnerving. From Moroccan Muslims to Scots, all cultures are well integrated and influence French culture. I’ve met some amazing people… There’s one little lady from North Carolina, in particular – we often gawk at how similar we are.

Moving to a different country makes you appreciate the familiarity that you often take for granted.

Whether I plan to stay for the rest of my life, or a year, it’s definitely an experience that will influence me forever. France is the siren and I’m the sailor.

To find out more about Lynn and her life in the French Alps, visit her blog, here, or follow her on Instagram.

If you’d like to share a story of how you or someone you know is following their dream, post a comment in the section below, or email me directly to

Story compilation as per interview. Images supplied

The 5 Rules for Growth.

Let this be a guide to refining the best of you.

My journey through Blogging 101 has been quite rewarding – I’ve connected with a diverse blogging community and learned so much in the interim. One thing that I’d discovered was that successful people always write and speak in simple terms, and stick to the key components of any development process, which I’ve jotted down for you below:

#2: Don’t Be Pretentious

It’s really annoying. But more importantly, it does more harm than good for what you’re trying to accomplish. My favourite bloggers are the ones who write truthfully, and simply, for example, Alice, author of Are you Better Yet? writes about her life as a 23-year-old woman suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. Her stories are heartfelt because she is just so brutally honest. And then there’s Janet Sunderland, who simply recalls moments of her life in the most exquisite way – you’ll imagine that you’d shared those moments with her, that’s how great her writing is.

Everyone won’t find you appealing but at the end of the day, your goal should be to surrounded yourself with like-minded people.

#3: Start small

Whether you have big dreams or small goals, it only ever becomes reality once you do something about it. One of my colleagues runs for exercise on a weekly basis, and she says that the hardest part of running is getting your shoes on. Once that’s out of the way, you’re hyped up and ready for action. And I could absolutely relate. Small changes make a big difference.

#4: Be consistent

And be patient. I’m the type of person who’ll get home after a workout and stand in front of the mirror to spot bodily changes. I know that the results won’t show immediately but before I hop into the shower, I’ll turn another 360° in the mirror, just to be sure. Try your best not to do that with your goals. You’ll notice the results of your small changes in a big way, if you are consistent and patient.

#5: Learn from the experts

How deep is that line by Elizabeth (Lauren Graham) in The Answer Man (d/ John Hindman, 2009) when she says to Arlen Faber: “I only have three rules: don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with, try not to do something you can’t take back, and something is what it is and it’s not something else.” Can I get an amen?! There is something to learn from everyone but you should ensure that you’re collecting tips from the right people. Look to the ones with (successful) experience in your field for guidance.

Can you think of any more rules of development to add to the list? Post a comment in the section below or email me directly to I’d love to hear from you!

20 things you realize in your early twenties.

Some of us have always known what we want to pursue in life, while others are still figuring things out. Your roaring twenties is said to be the time for exploration and establishment. Here are 20 things you realize when you hit your early twenties:

1. Time really flies. You wake up on Monday, go to work, prep your diary, and then all of a sudden, it’s Throwback Thursday.

2. This is not how you thought your twenties would be. Only some of what you’d planned happened? Work, relationships, the whole shebang… It’s not what you had expected. And you thought your teenage years were confusing.

3. You won’t change by doing the same things – you need to be what you aspire for and not what you were. The minute you fall back into your old routine, you’ll relapse into your old ways and deter from your plans for the future.

3. Success is about building relationships, not making money. And that’s how you make money.

4. Age isn’t important. The minute you hit your twenties, no one cares about how old you are anymore; but say that you’re in your twenties and you’ll hear: “you’re still a baby”, “you’ve got your whole life ahead of you”. Colleagues have joked that they have shoes older than I am. Must be some quality shoes.

5. EVERYONE makes mistakes – even those in their 40s, 50s, and up. Not everyone knows what they’re doing. You may learn hard and fast, as Robin Sharma says, “mistakes come to us to help us grow”. There’s no time to dwell on what could have been. Just prepare. Mistakes will teach you more than anything else.

6. You don’t even feel older. Some people in their twenties still feel as if they’re in their teens, except that now they have less time, more bills, and a bunch of decisions to make.

7. There will always be another party.
Every party that you can’t attend will seem like the best event ever. Don’t be too bothered about missing out; there will be others.

8. You don’t like drinking shots. Least of all Tequila. Let’s be honest, tequila will quickly get the party started, but you don’t really like chucking anything down your throat, or do you?

9. Friendships aren’t at all like they were in your teens. We’re not bothered about having besties, or spending everyday together. Now, quality time is scheduled via group email, and settled for the day when we’re all free to meet. No more, casually “dropping by” and hanging around – you need to request and confirm.

10. Talk less, do more.
It’s better to speak of experience than aspirations. Especially if it’s something intimidating like shaving your head and it turns out that you actually don’t have the balls to go through with it, or that you risk being compared to a certain blond, semi-bald celebrity. Do your research before making hasty decisions; find alternatives.

11. Two incomes are better than one. Invest while you’re young.

12. Stay active. Your metabolism is not what it used to be.

13. There’s no need to be flawless.

14. You have an ability to influence others. When you know someone in your age group who’s a teacher. It’s just, wow. That really puts your age into perspective – someone your age is molding minds.

15. What you do is more important than what you have. You meet someone new and your conversation begins with, “so what do you do”? Tell me that’s not the pinnacle big-girl/big-boy-pants conversation.

16. You feel tired after waking up.
You could sleep until 1pm if you weren’t interrupted. But you wouldn’t call it fatigue. Sleep is a gift from God – so valuable, so treasured.

17. “It’s up to you”. This is like the lifestyle version of: “it’s not you, it’s me”. No one want to hear it. And those comments come at the times when you’re really not in the mood to decide for yourself. People will make a couple of suggestions and tell you that you can decide or delay because it really is up to you. That’s when you know. You’re responsible now.

18. Ask more.
The response will either be rejected or approved but it’s better than nothing.

19. You can’t remember why you were so excited to grow up in the first place. Those who are most child-like, achieve more because they’re fearless. Look at Richard Branson.

20. Keep learning.
You will need to find a mentor who has lived the life you aspire for. Focus on specialized knowledge, and listen more than you speak.

An entry for Twenty Somethings Edition 1.

PICS: 10 quotes that should motivate the hell out of you

Stay motivated.

One of my favourite quotes is from a fable by Paulo Coelho, called The Alchemist. It reads: “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure”. And I’m sure that this rings true for something in your life like your career aspirations, your love life, or any other dreams that you wish to follow. If you absolutely love what you’re doing, you can carry on for hours and not even notice the time go by.

Think about one point in your life, when you thought, “Wow! I could do this forever!” Or “I love the way this makes me feel!” That feeling, that’s what Paulo calls “your treasure” – the reward for the work you’ve put in. And like you’ll see from one of the amazing quotes below, nothing worth having comes easily.

Sometimes, during the hustle of the day, we forget why we began our journey in the first place – we take our eyes off the prize and focus on how hard it is for us to reach our goals. Then we become consumed by our challenges, and decide that we’ve had enough so we’re giving up.

But there are some people who bite through the tough times – they’re the ones who you’d admire for their success, and sometimes look to for guidance. Anyone who can work through a challenge, is someone who is closer to finding his/her treasure.

You could be one of them. Get ready and stay ready.

Here are 10 Instagram quotes that have been posted by self-motivators who keep their eye on the prize:

Check out the profiles below for more motivational quotes by simply clicking on the user’s name.





5. This is a really important one.



8. This is just so true…

9. And this one too…

10. Eric Thomas the Hip Hop Preacher said that you don’t get out of life what you want, you get out of life WHO YOU ARE. So BE the things you want. If you want great things, guess what? You need to do great things.

Special thanks to Anita Wapenaar and the folks at Cape Town International Airport, who really helped me find easy-to-use methods to managing my challenges, as well as to stay motivated.

I’d love to know which quote you liked most. You can let me know in the comment section below.