Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku
Overcoming Buffaloes in Our Lives
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Informative and captivating FREE electronic newsletter that brings
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off the job.

Issue Number:        Volume 1 No. 5
Publisher:               Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku
Date of Issue:               May 2, 2002
© 2002 Overcoming Buffaloes in Our Lives. All Rights Reserved.

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1.       Looking Back: Part Two
2.       Special Thank You
3.       Forget Yourself to Serve Others and Others Won’t Forget You
4.       Don’t Forget
5.       9 Tips on How Adults Learn, Remember and Grow
6.       ONE Leadership Lesson From Gardening
7.       Happy Mother’s Day: My Mother’s “Nairobi”
8.       Featured Turning Point Experience Piece

Looking Back: Part Two

In last month’s looking back article I shared how 5 years ago, I left
“a full time, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. job to be a professional
speaker, trainer and author. I could no longer expect a paycheck every other
week. No more employment related benefits-401K, Health and Life
Insurances. No assurance of when or if I would be called to give a speech
and by whom. English is not my native or even second language. My
college education is not in any remote way related to what I was
embarking to do.”

While I had known what I wanted to be, a professional speaker,
trainer and author and prepared for this change for over four years, it was
still a tough decision to make. Thoughts that my family would have to
do with unpredictable paychecks and maybe with no insurance coverage
were nerve wrecking. But then I had to rely on God and strength
gained from past triumphs over adversities.
To gather enough courage and embark on the journey I had envisioned
and prepared for, I reflected on past life storms, lessons learned and
successes. It was through hope, hard work and a spirit of never
giving up that brought successful completion of academic, professional and
personal goals that could never have been predicted based on reality.

Tough experiences and overcoming them made me believe that
yesterday’s victory over obstacles is today’s pride and inspiration for a
better tomorrow. To focus on the benefits of the future you envision,
remember and reinforce past successes with confidence; focus on the next
project and prepare and execute it as if it is the only thing you
have to do in life; keep a mental picture of a winner; focus on your
strengths, not on those of your competitors and go work like you have
only one obstacle to overcome.

Again, as you read this, you may be at the cross roads of life.  Your
tomorrows may seem to be darker than your yesterdays based on
prevailing circumstances.  Your crossroad may be family relationship issues,
business related obstacles, the passing on of a loved on,
professional matters, decisions your children are making or spiritual issues.
There are three things that can propel you to your next positive
experience: 1. Desire to change to a life with definite purpose that is
backed by positive mental attitude, decisions, actions and burning
desire. 2. Being flexible to let go that which is of less value in order
to hold that which is precious. The ability to adapt to changing
situation while maintaining your composure will turn you from a victim to
a victor and 3. Desire to never quit when you face real and/or
imagined obstacles.

Special Thank You
Beloved reader,

April 11 2002 is a milestone in my professional path.  It marked FIVE
years from the day I committed myself to full time life
mission-working with individuals and organizations to increase productivity and
achieve optimum potential.

As I reflected on many highlights, with tears of joy, I couldn’t help
but think of YOU.  Along my path in these FIVE years, God sent angels
that have provided the wings for me to soar to new heights.  YOU are
one of my special angels. 

Without your participation, encouragement or leads to new grounds, I
can’t say I know what I would have learned, tried and accomplished.
You are an undeniable part of who I have come to be and what I now
call my work.  But frankly speaking, I have no work to do—just a great
life to live. It’s strikingly amazing that ones mission, work and fun
can be inseparable.

Yet now I know it’s because of special people like you—with the
ability to believe in others, and sometimes provide the launching deck,
that someone with humble beginning can believe in himself, step out and
embark on a mission that’s worthy undertaking.

Please accept my simple THANK YOU since the English language lacks
appropriate words that can truly express what is in my heart as I write
this letter. And also there is no single gift that can portray my
deep appreciation for the joy you have brought into my life. You are

May the Almighty God richly bless you and bring peace in your life
even in the presence of storms. May your path be illuminated by
reflections of the light you shine in the paths of others. May your dreams
become reality while your relationships and spiritual journey keep on
Forget Yourself to Serve Others and Others Won’t Forget You

In the last FIVE years, I been amazed by the intangible and tangible
rewards you get from serving others.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer, medical missionary and Nobel Peace Prize
winner, said, “Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who
have a need of help, something for which you get no pay but the
privilege of doing it.”

There is an African story about a major savanna fire in dry season.
The fire, given momentum by wind, was consuming everything.  Animals,
large and small, birds and rodents scattered all over. But, there
was one small weaver bird who flew to the nearest water source and draw
water into its beak. He then flew back to the burning area and let
down the drop of water and flew back for more.

An elephant noticed this small bird fly back and forth several times
and eventually asked him, “Why are you doing this. Do you think you
can put off this huge fire with just a drop of water here and there?” 
“No, my friend” said the bird, “I don’t think I can put off this huge
fire.  But, this is all I can do, and I would rather do it than do

Just do what you can remembering that, "What we do for ourselves can
get us by. What we do for others is what gets us ahead; whether in
our profession, spiritual pursuits or relationship." Dr. Vincent Muli
Wa Kituku

Don’t Forget

Thriving in the 21st Century: How to Bring Success, Balance and
Customers into Your Organization— Dr. Kituku’s Popular Seminar.  Learn all

When:                May 23rd-24th

Where:         Double Tree Riverside Hotel, Boise Idaho

Note:                Call 1-888 685 1621 and ask for fifth anniversary celebration

 For more information visit WWW.KITUKU.COM or call (208) 376-8724
Rave Reviews From Satisfied Past Seminar Attendees

“Appreciated so much the refresher course of life and its priorities. 
Your wisdom with enthusiasm was inspiring. We look forward to
attending again in the future. God bless you in all your efforts! Thanks
again!”  --Ted Friesen

“I very much liked the material presented. The inspiring and
encouraging information and steps presented is applicable to all areas of
business and life whether one is a CEO, a staff member, a future
business owner, a parent, a friend.  Inspiring!  Thank you!” Anonymous

“Your hand-out materials are very helpful, well-organized, and will
make review of the information easy. I will use them when working
with my clients and my team members in my business… Your stories were …
so illustrative of your points.  The frequent breaks were great!! 
Thank you also for the gift…!” --Barb Bunner

In FIVE years, I Learned 9 Tips on How People Learn, Remember and

In the last FIVE years, I have presented and trained adult learning
programs for Fortune 500 Companies, regional, national and
international organizations. Training and speaking to adults in these businesses
and organizations has been the window to: how grown ups learn,
remember what they learned and use it to grow.

Ø        It’s not about you the teacher, presenter or trainer. They are
there for their future, be it faith, health, financial, relationship,
personal or professional endeavor. What you know, as the teacher,
presenter or trainer is not as important as what they take home and use it
to better their lives.

Ø        People come to learn packed with their own knowledge, experiences
and wisdom. If you can use their input as your foundation, they will
be included, willing to participate and ready to accept what you are
transferring to them.  Always remember people never challenge their
own experiences and information.

Ø        Stories, both yours and theirs, build a bridge of trust and
connection through shared obstacles, expectations and triumphs than any
other form of transferring knowledge known and used by men and women in
any given generation.

Ø        The depth of what people learn, remember and use is largely related
to the amount fun they have.

Ø        Teaching by example is the most effective way of transferring
knowledge and also for predicting your expected results.

Ø        Repetition of key points through out the course of learning
increases memorable-ability.

Ø        Learning is tedious. Changing the method and flow of information
does keep trainees awake and learning. Stories, quotes, startling
revelations, anecdotes, rhetorical questions, and call for action keep
learners’ interest.

Ø        Individual participants reflections and small group discussions can
be the only part of the presentation that someone takes home.
ONE Leadership Lesson From Gardening

I had my first own garden when I was 10 years old in Kangundo, Kenya.
I still plant a garden every summer in Eagle, Idaho. My garden
provides a spectacular site. In a 20 by 40 feet piece of ground, I grow
collared greens, tomatoes, yellow and red onions, carrots, cabbages,
peas, green peppers, eggs plants, cantaloupes and broccoli plus trying
different crops like corn or sweet potatoes.

I learned some of my best lessons on how to bring the best in people
by bringing the best out of my vegetables. When vegetables don’t grow
well, I don’t blame them.  I want to find out why they are not
growing or why their leaves are turning yellow or why are they dying.  Is
it because of lack of water or manure or are there worms and/or
insects? Is the problem affecting all plants or just few plants of the same
species? And what side of the garden is the problem?

When people are not doing well, you want to know, who is it? Is it
just some segments within your department or organization? Is it the
lack of a two-way communication? Are off work issues affecting at-work

You separate problems from an individual or individuals. This shows
respect, and your love for them without compromising pre-set
standards. Again, it comes down to when people know how much you care, their
interest in what you know and want to pass on to them soars—they
become a fertile ground to grow the best crop.

PLEASE NOTE: This is very useful if you are raising a teenager or

Happy Mother’s Day: My Mother’s “Nairobi”

Here is another Mother’s Day.  A day filled with precious memories
with our mother, grandmother, or a woman who made a difference in our
lives. It’s a day I devotedly think of my mother—a woman I seem to
never run out of memorable experiences to write about. Her contentment
with basics of life in my childhood years left a lasting impression I
wish I could pass it on to my four children.

She would say, “Muli ndetee kiwu na kalai ni thambe. Nienda uthi
Ilovi” meaning“Muli, get me a basin with water.  I want to take a bath
and go to Nairobi.”  This was the request of my mother after I arrived
home from school.  A visitor in our home might wonder, “How can she
go to Nairobi at this time of the day?”  My mother seemed to have the
punch line ready, “I am going to my husband’s store. That is my

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, had its charm, especially for
rural folks who rarely had the chance of visiting the, “place of cool
water.”  Nairobi dwellers had different perspectives from those who
lived in country sites.  They had exposure to different cultures and the
Western lifestyle. Their food was different from that in the
villages.  Cultivation, which roughened the skin of rural folks, was not
practiced in Nairobi.  Thus, dwellers of Nairobi had smoother skin.

As I was growing up in Kangundo, it was a special event for a woman
to visit her husband in Nairobi. When she returned, she brought new
clothes for her family.  Sometimes, she brought bread and other
unusual items. If her visit lasted a month or so, her skin would affirm
the comfortable lifestyle of Nairobi.  It was smooth and starting to
soften.  When communicating with neighbors, she would use Swahili or
English words here and there, which were the dominant languages of the
big city.

My father left the King’s African Rifles (British Colonial Army) in
the early 60’s to start a business in our local shopping center, about
one mile from our home, but 70 miles from Nairobi. Every evening, my
mother would go to the shop to help him and close the business for
the day.

What was fascinating to me was her contentment.  She was so proud of
it she could never miss the “real Nairobi.”  When my mother went to
help Dad, she also bought cooking oil, meat, kerosene and other
supplies the family would need.  For my mother, this was her “Nairobi.”

My mother’s attitude and contentment were my first encounter with the
Biblical teaching, “But Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1
Timothy 6:6).  It is the contentment that makes the heart leap with
joy in the midst of material poverty; contentment of the soul that
gives the mind unexpected peace to enjoy the triumphs of the day without
focusing on the wants of tomorrow or languishing on past
disappointments; contentment that culminates with an attitude of gratitude for
the blessing of life, appreciation for divine providence of basic
necessities, thankfulness for a closely-knit family and an understanding
that God has the best in store for us.

There is a lot to be thankful for: Being alive, having air to
breath, clean drinking water, food, shelter, good health, having a family
and/or friends…and maybe a job. Millions of other folks in this same
world are not as privileged with these things we may take for granted.
Contentment starts with an attitude of appreciation. Just count your
blessings. Mine starts with having a mother who was content with her

In last month’s newsletter, I promised to share what I have learned
in different areas of life/business. Every month there will be a
Featured Turning Point Experience piece that reflects a unique
circumstance either in speaking or writing arenas.   Here is this month’s piece:
People Committed to Life

In the business world, “P” and “L” stand for profit and loss.  This
perspective is a relatively new way of doing business. In this
background, the well-being of individual employees is often relegated to
secondary position.

I admit, it wasn’t until I called some employees of St. Joseph’s
Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) in Lewiston, Idaho that I contemplated on
the dying perspective of putting people and their lives before profit
and loss in business.  In this hospital, employees kept saying that
management lived up to the hospital’s philosophy…People Committed to
Life.  While employees in many workplaces feel disconnected to top
management, it isn’t the same here. 

This workplace has a basic, albeit profound philosophy. Their
philosophy transcends human interactions of all generations and cultures.
They believe and approach their business from the viewpoint that each
person has a uniqueness that is eternal and is entitled to
unrestrained respect…thus each employee is treated fairly with compassion and
justice. In turn, each employee’s burden is to perform his or her task
responsibly as the management establishes policies that help
individuals to grow personally and professionally as they treat all people
with compassion, “without regard to race, creed or economic status.”

I find the aspect of helping employees grow personally and
professionally noteworthy, especially in these times when some companies have
either cut funding for employees’ education or only make partial
payment. Employee appreciation days or company picnic days and Christmas
parties have become rare, depending on the dynamics of profit and
loss. The loop side of this is that employees tend to become less and
less loyal to the employer.  They may feel unappreciated and trapped
with limited chances of improving their skills, knowledge and abilities.

SJRMC is different. Since 1984, they have set three days, Thursday,
Friday and the following Monday, for appreciating their employees.
This is practiced once every year. Employees in each department
corroborate with each other in signing up so that only a third attend in one
day without significantly destabilizing their unit’s workload. An
invited guest speaker is brought in to share with the entire employee
body different aspects of life that empower them to balance work and
life, define their identity and stress reduction strategies. They
learn survival skills for chaotic times. They hear attributes that help
them grow personally, get some skills that they can use in their
workplaces and just have fun.  They are paid to attend these
presentations, get free meals and a payroll deduction plan is activated in case
an employee chooses to purchase any materials to enrich themselves or
their loved ones.

Volunteers are also given the opportunity to attend these
presentations. Further, volunteers and employees are encouraged to bring
guests.  Guests’ meals and any workbooks for the presentations are also
paid by SJRMC. One man, whose wife works at the medical center, told me
he takes a day off to attend Appreciation Day because it has enriched
their marriage.  In addition, he has learned new things that have
been helpful for his workplace.

Because of the uniqueness of SJRMC, I asked more than five hundred
employees to list five reasons they liked working at SJRMC. There was a
tie for first reason, support from management and co-workers. They
talked about how the management cared for them, how they felt
appreciated as individuals and the fact that management practiced the
philosophy and the mission of SJRMC. Co-workers were valued for creating a
family-like environment, being there for one another, respect and fun.

Two other reasons were viewed as important in making the employees
like SJRMC.  Opportunity to further one’s education and people enjoying
what they do.  The Ford Motor Company recently “wowed” the world when
they announced that they were making computers available to all
employees. Well, SJRMC is ahead. Employees, in addition to the funding
and encouragement to improve their skills and knowledge, have the
option of getting loans for computers with no interest. They have pride
for where they work, feel personal fulfillment and have challenges to
overcome, hence they enjoy their jobs.

Benefits, flexible schedules, care for patients, clean facilities and
state-of-the-art equipment to work with are also reasons why they
like their employer. Employees feel their employer is not only
interested in improving their professional skills, but the total quality of

SJRMC serves as a trailblazer for other organizations to emulate
their visionary business strategy and philosophy…People Committed to
Life. © By Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku, Author, Motivational Speaker and
Trainer. P.O Box 7152. Boise, Idaho 83707. Phone (208) 376-8724

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