Good morning. Happy New Year. That’s it. I’m not going to ease you into the new year. If you're looking for a warm touchy way to deal with the year to come, find a shrink. I believe the Daily Nation set the pace for us all with their fierce but honest editorial to the President on Saturday and it's only right we maintain the pace and tempo.
Let's start with the obvious noisemakers of the moment. Parents who are crying foul over school fees. As Caroline Kimutai asked on her Facebook post, were the invoices delivered on January 1, 2016? Just asking. I am sure that as schools closed, the book list and the school fees invoice came home along with the report card. Why are we wailing about fees almost two months later. Lesson for 2016, be pro-active, not reactive. Plan and stop waiting until the last minute to deal with what's important; and that goes for all of us, not just those crying over school fees costs.
Two things we must all be keenly aware of: school fees is not coming down in the foreseeable future, not even university fees, and the price of real estate today is the cheapest it will be for a few years to come. Rent isn't coming down either. Mission for 2016: Take the Centonomy class or any financial literacy class and learn about the time value of money. The way I see it, my daughter's school fees will continue to go up by at least four per cent every year and if I factor inflation at a modest seven per cent, I have my work cut out for me until she's 23. Oh yes, snap out of it and start taking charge of your financial future. You cannot live by demonstrations and hashtags — they don’t pay bills.
Four days into the new year and there are still people getting all wired about the most basic of opinions, notices, basic tweets and Facebook posts. For heaven's sake, get over yourself before someone slaps you side-ways. Lesson for 2016: Don't take it so personally. It’s not personal. It rarely ever is. That person who can't seem to wait their turn at the bank, at the movies, at the airport — that person doesn't even notice you. They want to get to where they are going faster, they believe their journey is more urgent than anyone else's and above all, they have a ridiculous narcissistic brain that only seeks to satisfy their ego. When you stop taking things like that personally, you’ll feel better. Even in cases when it is personal, your life will be better if you treat it as if it wasn’t. People have personal demons and struggles that have nothing to do with you. Every time you see someone acting up and being nasty, please be aware it comes from within. Hurting people hurt people. Mission for 2016: Ignore nasty people or be kind in return, they rarely know how to respond to that. Let me say this again — it's not you, it's them. Hurting people, hurt people. It's as simple as that.
If you don’t agree with me, that's okay, I won’t take it personally either. See what I did there?
Stop talking! Have you prayed about it as much as you've talked about it and if you have prayed about it have you acted on it. Stop telling me. Show me. The fight on corruption, the security discussion, wanting better leaders, doing more, achieving your goals, saving for what you want — planning and talking about it has its place, but they are a complete waste of time if you don’t take action. Act, stop talking. Lesson and mission for 2016: Don’t tell me, show me! Action is the only thing that counts. Period.
This was a hit in 2013, but I know it still rings in your ears. Sing with me, "Let it go, let it go... " Not giving up doesn’t mean holding on when you’re wrong. When you're wrong and all signs show you that you're wrong, holding on because of pride or because you're simply stubborn or because you're worried about what others will think of you, is a stupid reason to keep on doing the wrong thing. Let it go! Sing it and believe it. The dress, the job, the nasty relationship, the bad marketing plan, the bad hairstyle, the dubious investment club — put it behind you. Lesson for 2016: Let it Go. If it doesn't edify you, Let.It.Go.
Dump those people. Yes, the ones you looked at keenly over the festive season and wondered why you even bother. Shukisha them. Now. You are who you spend your time with, whether you like it or not. I know you've heard me say it over and over again — you are the average of the five people you hang out with. If you spend time with people who are in shape, you’ll be in shape. If you spend time with lazy people, you’ll be lazy. We all want to belong to a group and we do so by appearing similar to the group we want to belong to. Choose wisely who you spend your time with because it’s who you’ll become. There are people I have chosen to love from a distance but they are not allowed in my life, in my work and certainly not in my heart or home. You will become the conversations you have and the people you associate with. Don't tell us how "some people I know are always whining, always broke, never satisfied, always angry, petty or even bothersome.." That my friend is you. Damp them. Mission for 2016: De-clutter more than just your wardrobe and your in-tray and your desk drawers. De-clutter your life and in so doing make room for great things and great people. Once you're done taking the trash out, open your doors and your mind for relationships with high-quality individuals — people who add value. In your career and working circles, only work with co-founders, clients, and partners that you are excited to collaborate with and vice versa. Only date individuals who want to be with you as much as you want to be with them. Your life will improve no end. In 2016, there should be zero tolerance for negativity, hatred, bullying, intimidation, or intentions of hurtfulness. Ikiwa hutaki, ishia!
This one is for my people, my sisters. Stop multi-tasking. Yeah, you read that right. Women love walking around bragging about their ability to multi-task. Nonsense. Look at the guys. They might do just one thing at a time, but they do that thing well. What we do is several things poorly or barely well. I can see you seething and I don’t care. You know I’m right. Laughing at people who commit to a job and do it well is silly. Multi-tasking is the continuous back-and-forth switch between tasks. Every time we switch, it takes a while to warm up before we operate at full speed. I've always told people I am structured. I work to a target and according to a plan. I still get puzzled looks from people wondering how I get so much done. I focus, that's how and I also delegate. The world doesn't come crashing down if I don't do everything myself. Empowering others empowers you and allows you to excel at what you do best. Mission for 2016: thou shalt not multi-task.
For my younger pals, ease up on the social media. I'll let you in on a little secret: No one's life looks like their Facebook posts or their Instragram pictures. No one; not even the Kardashians.
It can be so easy to start comparing yourself to the people on your social media feed. Do you know it is a fact that young people under 30 years are the most depressed. Why? Because you go through social media all day and compare yourself to someone else based on a picture smaller than the size of your phone screen. A picture that was probably taken 20 times and edited several times as well. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are truly wonderful, but they are a small window into the best parts of a person's life.
Mission for 2016: Enjoy social media, don't try and live it.
Finally let me state this emphatically. Happiness is an inside job. Your happiness is not the responsibility of others — not your spouse, not your partner, not your boss, not your pals and not your children or your parents or your following on social media. No one can make you unhappy without your consent. Given that solid fact, no one can make you happy if you are not willing to invest in your own happiness. Being mean and nasty because you have outsourced your life and hence your happiness will get you nowhere fast. Incidentally, this goes out to my sisters and the very entitled millennials. How you get your smiles is none of our business. Mission for 2016: take charge of your life and your happiness.
Finally, Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni and Donald Trump are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We shall re-evaluate them again in March and their staying power ability, but sometimes accepting the obvious and what isn’t in your control, frees you up to take charge of what you control and in this case, that is you.
Operation 2016 is on. Live your best life. How? Purpose it, action it, speak it. As a great musician called Jay Z once said, “I believe you can speak things into existence.” Be proactive and speak only of what you want to see manifested in your life. Have a life-changing 2016.