You and your GOALS

Does meeting your goals equal success?

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day,
Thou cannot then be false to any man.”

It is a bit annoying that one of my favourite quotes was originally uttered by a rather odious character, preachy, platitudinous old Polonius in Hamlet. Remember though, that in the Elizabethan consciousness he meant that one’s own interests come first. He did not mean self indulgence or some New Age self realization quest.

I suspect he was referring to making sure that you are solvent, strong, healthy and sensible, so that you can look after others. At a deep level we have to take responsibility. There is no escaping that basic fact of being in the world.

The delights of dope may delude you into thinking your purpose is great, but humans have only these three things in common: we defecate and we die, and we don’t get away with anything. I am not a space cadet, but this I know: At the deepest esoteric level we get what we deserve.

Who am I?

A fulfilling life as a goal, has at its core self-realisation. Material or worldly success may very well be one of the goals you set out to achieve, may be a true expression of your innermost self. But say you have all this and the trappings thereof by the time you are thirty; the yuppie dream come true, and you find yourself not happy, what then?

The increase in white colour recreational drugs is telling, no? If you define yourself only by the things you can buy, what happens when you suddenly lose it all? If physical beauty is your goal, what happens if you get old or you are the statistic of plastic surgery failures? This is the trick question of our age.

To be the person you want to be

How can I be the person I really want to be unless I know who that person is? the goal of living only for others can be as much of a denial as an entirely selfish life. Mothers know this give-take conundrum intimately. The empty nest syndrome is a big ‘who am I?’

However, freely chosen selflessness is not the same as self-negation – Self indulgence is not the same as owning your identity, being able to “impart meaning and direction to your life of yourself.” This is a question of ‘who you are’, nobody can answer for you, but I think it is in the realm of the heart. Ambitions are great drivers of action, but the goal of the soul is a subtler prompt. Yet, if unmet, it can have dire consequences.

In the Western world, identity is tied up with what one does, one’s work. The Dalai Lama was stumped by the question “What do you consider your primary job?” in an interview. His final answer was, “I just take care of myself. That is my main task.”

How to be the person you want to be? I don’t have the foggiest. But I shall leave you with a Langston Hughes poem, as there is something there that rings true when thinking about goals, not in the mind, not in the practical arena, but somewhere in the region of the heart chakra:

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

One of your most important goals should be to Insure all your valuables!



This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.


The TOP 10 Bad Driving Habits

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Bad Driving Habits

Bad driving habits that annoy other drivers

South Africa and the UK have something in common; the bad driving habits of tailgating and failing to use indicators especially when overtaking another vehicle or going into and exiting a traffic circle. Actually people all over the world don’t know how to indicate at a traffic circle.

Of all the bad driving habits, two out of three drivers in surveys hated being tailgated and most drivers get extremely agitated when others don’t indicate before changing lanes. Another bad driving habit is inconsideration and lack of lane discipline. In South Africa many drivers think they own the lane they are using, especially on the five lane freeway between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

As long as these misbehaviours go unpunished in both countries, it will become more common. It might seem less serious, but it is equally dangerous to other traffic offenses.

In the UK drivers are disappointed at the behavior of fellow drivers who don’t show gratitude for being let through or allowed to pass. This is the case in SA too! No more emergency indicators used to thank the driver that moved into the yellow line so he/she could pass.

South African drivers, come on, lets show some consideration to other road users again. It is up to you and me to avoid poor and dangerous driving habits.

Top 10 bad driving habits

• Tailgating, driving too close to the car in front. What became of safe following distances?

• Drivers cutting in and reducing the gap between you and the vehicle ahead. The gap that you created for safety.

• Talking on the cellphone and steering with only one hand.

• Drivers not indicating before turning.

• Drivers turning around to talk to passengers in the back or to yell at the kids.

• Driving much below the applicable speed limit. Crawling actually.

• Trucks attempting to overtake other vehicles when their speed is too low.

• Drivers scrounging for things in the backseat

• Drivers not letting you in and preventing you from moving/joining lanes.

• Drivers pushing into a parking when another driver already indicated the intention to park and was waiting their turn.

Get Excellent, Affordable Car Insurance NOW


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

To Bribe or not to Bribe

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Is it acceptable to bribe?

When I heard last week that South Africa had been accused of bribing the FIFA Decision Makers to bring the World Cup to our continent, I was shocked. The first thought that went through my mind was, ‘not another black mark against our name’.

One of our proudest moments as a nation, watching our Madiba on that field, waving to the hundreds of thousands, millions even, spectators watching both in person and on the television screen. The pride we felt as our vuvuzelas were heard across the globe. Knowing that all eyes were on us. A moment of unity, of togetherness, of Ubuntu.

Only to have it dashed, five years later, into smithereens. As South Africans, bribery and corruption is certainly not a foreign word. More like a daily occurrence. A part of our ethos and our culture. Terrible thing to have to admit to, but we all know it is true. We are taught from a presidential level how to manipulate the facts as best suits us.

Let us hope as a nation that these latest allegations prove to be false and as a nation we may hold our heads high!


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Your Financial future is in YOUR hands

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Take responsibility for your financial future

The current global economic outlook should be considered a wake-up call to take responsibility for your financial future. The International Monetary Fund forecasts muted growth of 2.1% for South Africa in 2015.

Recently, at a post-budget breakfast hosted by Deloitte, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene reportedly stressed that “much higher levels of economic growth” is needed to curtail South Africa’s main challenges, poverty and unemployment.

The losses to the South African economy so far for the 2015 calendar year due to load-shedding is calculated at a staggering R4.6 billion, according to Dwaine van Vuuren from PowerStocks Research in a post published in the March 2015 edition of MarketViews.

The South African consumer is under severe strain and faces challenges such as high levels of consumer debt, the rising costs of electricity and fuel, and e-tolling to name a few. The rand isn’t performing optimally and is a struggling Emerging Market currency. With labour unrest almost a given and rating agencies keeping a strict eye on South Africa’s credit rating, it’s no wonder that the ordinary South African is rethinking his or her financial position.

It’s imperative that you immediately start taking responsibility for your financial future and ultimately your financial fate. The sooner you take control of your spending and start saving for the proverbial rainy day, the better off you’ll be in future.

The number one rule is to save more than what you spend. Guard your savings jealously and resist dipping your fingers in the money box when a gorgeous pair of thigh-high boots winks at you flirtatiously. Compound interest earned on your savings will add a rosy glow to an uncertain tomorrow.

Yes, you only live once and it’s understandable that you want a semblance of a social life – meaning you want to have a cappuccino with your friends when the opportunity presents itselfwithout having to always think twice before you splurge money on yourself.  By all means draw up a budget and allocate funds for the occasional treat but stick to said budget religiously.

Taking responsibility for your financial future means you need to be creative with your money. Invite friends over for coffee at your house. You’ll save a lot and if you can persuade someone to bring a sweet with, you may just have your cake and eat it too. Save every cent and think outside the box when it comes to having a great time with as little money as possible.



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

For ever, Valentine

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Ever seen the delightful music video of Shania Twain’s song Forever and for Always? Probably one of the very best depictions of Valentines’ Day. Such an inspiration to see how the friendship between the little boy and girl growing up together, turn into romance and a love for ever and for always. It inspires to believe in true love once again.

Over the years, a huge treasure chest of love songs from the most brilliant songwriters and singers were collected by humankind. What better way to celebrate the beauty of love on this joyous holiday, than with a few love songs? Without music, the world would be unimaginably poor. And of course, every couple has their very own special song. It is such a significant part of it all, isn’t it?


Almost every single quarter of the year, and more, has some or other special day or holiday to celebrate. And then, what happens? It gets commercially blown up to something just a little short from “cheap”! It all turns into a convenient way to make money. Well, there might be nothing wrong with that, unless it takes the emphasis away from the real meaning. Christmas isn’t about the lights and trimmings and Easter is neither the bunny, nor the egg. After all, as they say: all that glitters is not gold. Well, the chocolates, red hearts, roses and the greeting cards are very much part of the Valentines’ Day vibe!

On the flipside of this “coin”, life is busy and things are sometimes forgotten in the midst of life’s storms. All the hype about these big days serves as convenient reminders. The pretty Valentines’ Day trimmings help put you in the mood and are an important part of the excitement.


Why wait for the next special big day to show you care? Life will be quite something else if we start living every day as if it is Valentines-, Christmas-, Mothers- or Fathers Day, you name it. Let’s show our love, affection and appreciation every single day, forever and for always.


Confusius – 6th century BC Chinese Philosopher shared these wise words with us. Let us take it to heart, forever and for always:

“When the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated

When the personal life is cultivated, the home life is regulated.

When the home life is regulated, then the national life is orderly

When the national life is orderly, then the world is at peace.”


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Boost your Business NOW!

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Your Business should be Visible On-line

It’s a jungle out there. It is vital for all businesses, specifically small business, to have a highly visible online presence. And their online presence, specifically their website, needs to have absolute quality content.  Why is this so vital? We live in a Google era. People will find your company online, rate your performance online, and crucify, condemn or commend your business in that same space.  You need to be prepared.

Make sure that you are highly visible in all Google searches. Ensure that your Search Engine Optimization is maintained, current, relevant and visible, so that when companies search for you, they not only find you, but they contact you. Pull them in; have them fill out their email address in order to access certain information, so that you have a guaranteed manner in which to contact them again. Enthrall them with the content of your site. Do not overload them with frivolous facts, but ensure that you have just enough to answer any questions they may have, all the while convincing your reader that you are, without doubt, the only subject-matter expert in this field worth consulting. That any other searching would, in fact, be futile.

If you can engage your reader with quality, they shall come back with quantity. Repeat visits, increased curiosity and vast faith in your brand will abound.

Boost your business by giving it a website to be proud of. A website that does it justice and will generate all the business you can handle. Ensure that it gets repeat visitors which will ensure repeat business for you. Many happy returns!


This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Cell Phone Addiction

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Are YOU suffering from Cell Phone Addiction?

A satirical, personal look at cell phone addiction

Cell Phone Addiction  and Rehab for mobile addicts

I had never felt the need for a cell phone; I am far too available already. I have lived in a self-created grand central station, with hordes of children and a pathological inability to cook for fewer than twenty people. But always there has been the desire to write, and writers need solitude (sic). I acquired a door mat that read, “If you really have to see me, bring a warrant”, laid down boundaries for the children, and ruthlessly took the phone off the hook when I was busy with the definitive seminal all time great novel, so why would I want a cell phone?

I was given my first cell ‘phone by a friend who had to upgrade. The ‘phone was a dinky number that flipped open and had a sticky out aerial thingy. He said it suited me as it looked like a powder compact with a make-up brush. Family life does not allow much privacy and I rather liked the idea of a private conversation. Confidentiality was not so much the issue as being able to complete a sentence without interspersing directions to the location of clean socks.

I informed a select few that I was in cyberspace and got on with my life. Later I packed the ‘phone prior to a journey, and saw missed call and sms records stretching to infinity. People seemed to assume that I now had to be in contact constantly. I checked. Nobody had anything to communicate, yet they were hurt or furious. Only one was funny- “Anybody out there, or shall I send a message in a f-n bottle? “

Identifying Cell Phone Addiction

Cell phone addiction presents classic signs of dependency:

1. Usage increases (as tolerance builds up and the original dosage no longer provides relief)

2. Personality changes (rudeness in social exchange when the need for the product allows concentration lapses, inability to sustain listening, blackouts in areas of etiquette, everyday responsibilities become secondary)

3. Social withdrawal (to protect and indulge in secret)

4. Continued use after the need is met, going to lengths to obtain the product, preoccupation with the quest and mixing with people the addict would otherwise not be attracted to in order to prolong usage.

5. Emotional changes (other interests no longer bring joy)

6. Forgetfulness (not retaining instructions as blanks will necessitate use of ‘phone)

7. Defensiveness (lashing out to defend the need, covering up by false logic implicitly believed by addict.)

Prompt intervention

If you notice more than three of the above behaviors in anybody you love, you must intervene immediately: throw the cell phone out of the window.


Ref: N/A

This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Retrenched? What now?

Composition of people with different expressionsRetrenched? This is what you should do

Get every benefit

If the company offered a health plan, use it while you still can. If your boss offers a letter of referral, get it right away.

Cut back on your expenses when retrenched

Cut back financially as far as possible, to reduce stress while you search for a new job.

Know the crisis point

Don’t take the first job that comes along if you don’t absolutely have to, but don’t take a loan to extend the crisis point. This will just make the situation worse and put you in debt.

Update your CV

Polish your CV while you have time. An improved CV will increase your chances of finding a job.

Know what job you want

Assess the likes and dislikes of your previous job. If you don’t have to take the first job on offer, figure out which job and responsibilities will suit you best.

Register on job seeking websites

Don’t panic. Register your updated CV on job sites and have relevant jobs sent to you.

Stay motivated during the job hunt

Though job hunting is challenging, it’s important to remember that nothing is impossible. Start practicing ways to stay motivated. Never stop your job search.

Set up a timetable

Allocate an hour or three to job hunting, but don’t let it take over your entire day. Stick to this time table. Do something constructive with your spare time, such as volunteering or upgrading your skills.

Follow up

After applying, don’t dwell on the outcome too much. Follow up after a week. If the application was unsuccessful, ask for constructive criticism. Fine tune your CV and cover letter.

Control your stress levels

Manage your job search stress levels. Participate in pleasurable activities. Exercise, eating healthy, learn something new or chat to a friend to relieve stress levels.

Don’t take Rejection personal

There are candidates who are better than you. Rejection is not personal, don’t let it get you down.

A positive attitude and hard work will get you through this tough time!



This article originally posted on and reposted here with permission.

Writing Tips from Science Fiction Author

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6 TOP Writing Tips from Science Fiction Author

Louise Viljoen, a South African author, just celebrated the successful launch of her Afrikaans science fiction novel, Die Roofdier (The Predator). Die Roofdier is published by Thompson Boekdrukkery who, together with Afrifiksie, aims to promote authors who write science fiction and fantasy in Afrikaans.

What is science fiction?

Science fiction writing is all about creating imaginary worlds and civilizations whilst incoporating sience and technology. Authors can create totally new worlds or simply write about our own world as they imagine it to be in the future. There’s no limits to possible scientific and technological innovations and advancement in the genre – the only rule is: know your created world’s reality and stick to it. Magic has no place in science fiction; all action should be based on scientific theory.

Keep the following in mind when writing science fiction:

  1. Don’t even think of trying your hand at science fiction writing if you don’t read the genre.

  1. Never forget the human element when writing science fiction. Readers need to identify with human emotions and limitations. The more human the protagonist is, the more the reader will relate to him or her.

  1. Characters drive the plot. Know your characters well and do not depict them as perfect. The ideal character is complex and flawed and do not have all the answers. He or she makes mistakes like any other person.

  1. Use ordinary language that your readers can relate to. If you do invent a new world where an alien language is spoken, use the alien vocabulary sparingly.

  1. The SF reader is a gamer who brings a problem-solving intelligence to the story. This is the SF writer’s one great advantage. Use it.” Thus states Terry Bisson, a succesful science fiction author.

  1. According to Allison Emm, a writer and illustrator from Colorado, a science fiction author should ask the following questions when plotting a story: “How does technology change human interaction, global economy, and everyday needs such as food and transportation? Do the same rules of physics apply in your fictional world as they do in the real world?”

Die Roofdier makes science fiction seem ordinary

Bekka Malan owns a farm and grows organic vegetables for a living. Strange things start to happen and Bekka is convinced that her life is in danger. She is shot at and her shed is burnt to the ground. Hector Krige wants Bekka’s farm and is willing to do anything to have her sign the offer to purchase.

Nicholai Craigg is a handsome stranger who rides into town on his Harley Davidson. The colour of his eyes spiral and he can read Bekka’s mind. Bekka receives a hologram-message from her late parents wherein they warn her that a predator is coming for her blood.

Who and what is Nicholai? Is he the predator? Why does Hector want Bekka’s farm? Exactly who or what is hiding in a cave in Kransberg, the mountain on Bekka’s farm.

Louise Viljoen’s Die Roofdier can be ordered here. Louise Viljoen is a writer, proofreader, editor and manuscript developer. Contact her at for all your freelance writing needs.


Christmas: A Time to be Grateful

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Be Grateful this Christmas

Before we even knew what hit us, 2015 is drawing to a close and it is time again for Christmas celebrations. For many of us Christmas – and especially the week between Christmas and New Year – is a time that we can slow down and take stock of the year that has passed. It is also the time of year when we should find the time to be grateful for all that we have, as sometimes we tend to forget just how much we are blessed with. And even if you do not celebrate Christmas, you can still spend some time to remember all the things you can be grateful for.

For many Christmas time is as much about spending time with family and friends as it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. While there is a lot of excitement about Christmas and a build-up which already starts when the first of the Christmas decorations appear in the shops, we also have to remember that it is not all about the gifts and the food. It is also about fellowship.

Sometimes it seems as if everyone gets more relaxed, friendlier with strangers, and try to connect with friends and family which they have not seen in months or years as Christmas draws closer. But Christmas and New Year’s should not be the only time during which we think of others in this way; we should actually be doing this throughout the year.

When we look at the world as a whole and see all the suffering which is taking place on a daily basis, we can really see how lucky we are to still have family and friends around us and how lucky we are to still be alive. It is also during Christmas time that we all try to give something to those less fortunate than ourselves because we see that we have much to be grateful for. But we should also try and do this throughout the year. May we all in the coming year remember the feeling of gratitude and fellowship that we have at Christmas time and may we carry that with us throughout the year.


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