Positive Quote For Today

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."— Maya Angelou

Becoming Assertive

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Quote Fancy. All rights reserved worldwide.

The renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson is one of my role models and favorite authors. I admire him not only because he is black like me but also because he has made it in life in spite of him being a softie.

Like Ben Carson, I am also a softie. I fear hurting the feelings of others, so I am often kind. And whenever I wrong someone, I strive to make up for it in one way or another.

Maybe it's due to my softness that I was never appointed a prefect during my high school years at Starehe Boys' Centre. Frankly speaking, I don't think I would have summoned the courage to command my fellow students to go down for twelve press-ups the way most prefects in the school did to errant boys.

It's also due to my softness that my siblings usually instruct my brother Bob Njinju to come home to supervise their projects. Bob, a former soldier, drives all the way from Nairobi to our home here in Kiserian where I live.

While there is nothing wrong with being a softie, I must admit that for many years, my softness bordered on timidness. I allowed others to bully or exploit me without me speaking up for myself. A doormat I was.

I continued being timid well into adulthood. Even after I turned 21, I was an adolescent in the body of a grown-up man.

At one time in 2010 when I was at the University of Nairobi for instance, I loaned some money to a female classmate and was afraid of asking for it back. I exhibited the same weakness in 2012 when I lent money to an evangelist in a local church. That's how timid I was.

After I acquired a disciplined lifestyle four years ago, I came to believe that I had evolved into a man of valor. But alas! Something happened several weeks ago that made me realize the Englishmen were right when they quipped that "old fears die hard".

Well, my brother Paddy brought home a valet named Jeremiah to be looking after our aging Dad. That evening Jeremiah came home, I became fearful of handing my clothes to him for washing. I worried that he might refuse the clothes and order me to wash them myself.

My fears, it turned out, were unfounded, for Jeremiah has been washing my clothes and cleaning my room since he came to live with us. He is such a submissive man despite him being much older than me.

Jeremiah is also hard-working. On his first morning here at home, he woke up before 5:00 a.m. to do some general cleaning in the house. And he often tries to keep himself busy during the day.

Perhaps on noting how kind and humble I am, Jeremiah has asked me to do some tasks in the house. Having grown smart enough to know that I shouldn't do chores that others are paid to do, I have assertively declined to do the tasks.

The great thing about Jeremiah is that he takes my "no" in good faith. He doesn't sulk or do something evil in retaliation; he just goes on with his duties like a clock that has shown the time.

If Jeremiah had come home a couple of years ago when I was a lazy and weak-kneed young man, he would have domineered over me. He would have made me carry out jobs that he, not I, is paid to do.

Not that I dislike Jeremiah, but I like to think that he represents all those people who have bossed me around in the past. It has been fulfilling for me to assertively resist his commands. And when I loaned him some money last month, I was bold enough to ask for it back.

Yes, my softness bordered on timidness for many years. I hate to think that some of the people I was afraid of could have been liars, fraudsters or addicts of various detrimental things. How glad I am that I have grown more assertive without becoming less kind and humble!

In a world full of theft, lying and exploitation, it's important for us to become assertive. To assert our rights and let our principles be known. Even Bill and Hillary Clinton, the most powerful couple in American history, encouraged their daughter to be assertive. That's all I am saying.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on becoming assertive, you might also enjoy another one on "Developing Courage" which I wrote more than five years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Part 2: Seizing Opportunities

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from Success.com. All rights reserved worldwide.

Like I have said before on this blog, I didn't want to join the institute division of Starehe Boys' Centre. At one time in 2005 when I was in my final year in high school at Starehe, I got to know of a college in Nairobi called Computronics Training Centre.

Since the name "Computronics" had a nice ring to it, I must have thought it was an excellent college to learn about computers. So, in a pretty handwriting characteristic of innocent high school students, I penned to the college the following letter which I have edited for clarity:
Dear Sir/Madam,


I am a 17-year old Form Four student at Starehe Boys' Centre. Upon finishing my high school education later this year, I would like to join your institution for an information techonology course in the period before I join university.

Therefore, I request you to send me details of the course, including its cost. I would also wish to know whether you offer any scholarships.

Hoping that you will take my request into consideration, I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours faithfully,

John Thuita Maina.
Probably because I never mailed a copy of the letter, I can't remember receiving a response from the college. So I had no choice but to report back to Starehe in January 2006 to pursue a diploma in information technology in the institute division of the school.

And you know what? For me, studying at Starehe Institute turned out to be an enriching experience, intellectually as well as emotionally. I felt very much at home in the institute where I pursued my interests with unbridled zeal.

Chief among the interests I pursued was computer programming, something I had desired to learn when I was in high school. I became quite skilled at creating computer programs. And the skill came in handy when I took up blogging as a career a decade later.

Besides computer programming, the other interests I indulged in at Starehe Institute were piano-playing and public speaking. It was during my time in the institute that I sat for my Grade 4 and 5 piano exams - both paid by some friends of Starehe.

Indeed, studying at Starehe Insitute was for me an intellectually and emotionally enriching experience. And imagine I didn't want to join the institute when I was finishing my high school education. I am now glad that fate forced me to seize the wonderful opportunity of learning at Starehe Institute.

Another time fate forced me to seize a fantastic opportunity was in 2011 when I was dropping out of the University of Nairobi due to my family's inability to pay my tuition fees. At that time, I didn't want to stay at home here in Kiserian. Instead, I desired to live in Nairobi City, away from the influence of my parents.

As life would have it, I stayed in Nairobi for about two months and then headed back home. The stresses of living in the city with nothing exciting to do are what compelled me to leave Nairobi where I had been bullied by the fellows I was staying with at a certain hostel.

My parents were delighted to see me back home. And guess what! It eventually dawned on me that my home was the best place for me to reside in, for I was surrounded by loving parents who granted me freedom to pursue my interests without putting any demand on me.

Among the interests I pursued were singing, playing the piano, setting up a monetized blog and reading the wide variety of books, magazines and newspapers that my father stocked at home. I am still pursuing those interests and getting better at them. How glad I am that fate forced me to seize the opportunity of staying at home!

Reflecting on those two marvelous opportunities that fate forced me to seize has made me realize that God has always provided me with what I need to fulfill my destiny. It is my foolishness that has blinded me from discerning the opportunities on my way. Consequently, I have ended up wasting time and energy desperately running after things that weren't beneficial to me.

One thing I have discovered about life is that if we are desperate for something - be it a job, money or a relationship partner - there are bound to be people who will take advantage of us and make us waste our resources. Let us therefore seize the opportunities on our way before it's too late. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above part 2 story on seizing opportunities, you might also enjoy part 1 of the story which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Bible Quote

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

~Phillipians 4:4-7 (TLB)

About the Author

Name: Thuita J. Maina
Nationality: Kenyan
Lives in: Kiserian, Rift Valley, Kenya
Mission: To inspire the world to godly living, one person at a time.

Just For Laughs

There was this drunkard named Azoge who loved drinking at Josiah's Bar. On being told a certain Hon. Nanga was flying to America to be conferred a law degree so that he could be admitted to the bar, Azoge replied, "Why fly all the way to America to be admitted to the bar while you can get into Josiah's Bar any time?"

The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth

Author's Note

I am learning to treat life as a journey, not a destination. So I am trying to enjoy each day as I anticipate to fulfill my dreams especially meeting my soulmate and traveling abroad. Tomorrow may never be mine.

Fun Facts

  1. The fear of having no cell-phone service, running out of battery, or losing sight of your phone is called Nomophobia, reportedly affecting 66% of people.
  2. A single Google search needs more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the moon. The Apollo computer was less equipped than a modern toaster.
  3. Besides being some of the biggest names in the tech industry, HP, Apple, Google and Microsoft share another commonality. They all started in garages.
~Extracted from Codingforums.com

Health Tip

So many of us take for granted the wonderful construction of the human body and the workings of its various parts. Some of us even expect it to function efficiently with less than the minimum care and attention. Learn the much you can about your body and how the care of it can help to give you that greatest blessing of all - good health.

Wonders of the Modern World

  1. The Simplon Tunnel
  2. The Sky-scrapers of New York
  3. The Boulder Dam of Colorado
  4. The Panama Canal
  5. The Golden Gate Bridge
  6. The Taj Mahal at Agra in India
  7. The North Sea Oil Drilling Rigs

Great Example for Politicians

"My life in politics was a joy. I loved campaigns and I loved governing. I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to lift people's spirits, and to bring them together. That's the way I kept score."

~Bill Clinton

Scientific Marvels

  1. Space travel
  2. Heart surgery
  3. Fibre-optics communication
  4. Concorde
  5. Computers & Radios
  6. Anesthetics
  7. The atom bomb

My Supreme Desire

Although I'd like to be rich and famous, my supreme desire is to be radiant: to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and goodwill. I wish to live without hate, guilt, worry, jealousy, cynicism and envy. I wish to be honest, natural, confident, clean in mind and body - ready to say "I do not know" if it be so and to treat all men with kindness - to meet any loss, failure, criticism and rejection unabashed and unafraid.

Greatest American Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Franklin Roosevelt
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. Andrew Jackson

Making Peace With the Past

"Dwell not on your past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."

~Eileen Caddy

Toughest Colleges to Get Into

  1. MIT
  2. Princeton
  3. Harvard
  4. Yale
  5. Stanford
  6. Brown
  7. Columbia

Why You Should Trust God

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities and pour out peace."

~Ezra Taft Benson

The 7 Greatest Scientists

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. Galileo Galilei
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Aristotle
  6. Archimedes
  7. Charles Darwin

You Matter

"Always be yourself. Never try to hide who you are. The only shame is to have shame. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always question what other people tell you. Never regret the past; it's a waste of time. There's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. The only way you can ever get the respect of others is when you show them that you respect yourself and most importantly, do your thing and never apologize for being you."


The Most Industrialized Nations

  1. The United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Italy
  7. Canada

Keys to Success

"...in his effort to withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to disregard the superficial for the real - the shadow for the substance; to be great yet small, in his effort to be patient in the laying of a firm foundation; to so grow in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth. This is the key that unlocks every door of opportunity, and all others fail."

~Booker T. Washington

The 7 Social Sins

  1. Politics without principle
  2. Wealth without work
  3. Pleasure without conscience
  4. Knowledge without character
  5. Commerce without morality
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Science without humanity

Cherish What You Love

"Cherish your visions, cherish your ideals, cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts - for out of them will grow all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built."~James Allen

The World's Largest Cities

  1. London in England
  2. New York in the United States
  3. Tokyo in Japan
  4. Berlin in Germany
  5. Chicago in the United States
  6. Shanghai in China
  7. Paris in France

Benefits of Optimism

"In terms of success, optimistic people out perform their pessimistic colleagues. Research shows that they are consistently promoted higher and make more money while working fewer hours than those who think pessimistically. Optimists also contribute more significantly to social progress. It is the optimists who start and run successful companies, who win elections and carry out reforms, and who make breakthroughs in the realms of science and technology."

~Pepe Minambo

The World's Greatest Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea in the Commonwealth of Independent States, C.I.S. (formerly U.S.S.R)
  2. Lake Superior in North America
  3. Victoria Nyanza in Central Africa
  4. Aral Sea in C.I.S.
  5. Lake Huron in North America
  6. Lake Michigan in North America

Demonstrating His Love

"Take your communication for instance - the way you address others. It ought to be with loving, gracious and edifying words. Never talk people down. Never use words that hurt and demean people. Communicate excellently with others without destroying their self-image or making them feel sorry for themselves. Talk to people in a way that they never forget the excellence of your words, the love and grace of Christ that you communicated. It's how God wants us to love."

~Dr. Chris Oyakhilome

World's Longest Rivers

  1. Missouri-Mississipi (U.S.)
  2. Amazon (Brazil)
  3. Nile (Egypt)
  4. Yangtse (China)
  5. Lena (Russia)
  6. Zaire (Central Africa)
  7. Niger (West Africa)