Personal Development - I Believe I Am Therefore I Can

September 5, 2010

My encounter with a life-changing answer to a normal question

It was my twelfth working year and my seventh job. I was restless once more; a feeling I was familiar with because I had been through it six times and I knew its results well. The circumstances were different all six times, but the script was the same. I would get restless, and start speaking to myself.
In my conversations with myself, I would start wondering what more there is to do in this particular job, start toying with the idea of moving on, actually start reading job search materials, seriously start looking for a new job with bigger challenges, do the 'must-do' of a job search, find a new job, start new job, work-work-work, get restless…
It was the story of the last twelve years of my life and how I had gotten to my seventh job; a feat never attempted for majority in my country in a lifetime let alone accomplished in a little over a decade.

So this time I decided I would like to change the script a bit. The routine was becoming, well… sort of routine, and a change was welcome. So I started looking around in my favourite spots, the bookshops, for something ‘interesting’. I would be lying if I said I really knew what I was looking for; I was just looking. It was then that a non-event happened and with it came a total turn around.
In the seemingly normal lies the super-normal
It started with a fairly mundane phone call in the morning.
'Morning, are you so and so?' the caller asked.
'I am so-and-so and I am calling from such-and-such company. Do you know a person by the name so-and-so?”
'Yes,' I relied, 'she is my sister.'
It turned out that my sister had sent me a parcel which did not meet the standards of the courier company so they had withheld it. The caller then instructed that I go to the head-office and collect it personally.
It was that call that had me in an unusual section of town, so I drove through with a tourist like approach, noting all the changes that had taken place. Nairobi the capital city of Kenya, in East Africa, being a fairly fast paced town is ever changing. When you don’t go to a place for six months the next time you’re there you are a total stranger, complete with losing your way because you cannot recognise anything on the landscape. It was in this bemused state of observation that I noticed a new supermarket of one of the catching-up chains.
Nothing exciting there, but hey! Wait a minute! Is that a bookshop? Now I am a bookshop junkie. I can never pass one, especially not one that I have never been in before. My obsession with bookshops is like the obsession women have with shoes.
Once inside, I browsed lazily and was on my way out when an amazing title caught my attention. The book was called 'What to say when you talk to yourself' by Dr Shad Helmstetter. This little normal encounter marked such a turnaround in my life, I will tell you more in a little bit.

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