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Un-used Air Conditioner

Have you ever discovered a talent you did not know you had? Perhaps you were aware of it but never used it. Has the use of the once-neglected talent changed your life in any way? Have you wondered what delayed you from utilizing it earlier?

I learned in high school physics class in my native Kenya that ?AC? meant alternating current. In 1986, I came to Wyoming for my graduate program at University of Wyoming and bought a car. It had a button that was marked ?AC?. I did not dare to touch that button!

One hot summer, we drove from Laramie, Wyoming to Portland, Oregon and back with seven people in the car. We improvised ways of keeping cool. We opened the windows, stopped regularly and used hand-held fans.

Later, while riding with my family on a hot summer day, our friend Sandra Biegzube, asked why the air conditioner was not on. ?Our car has no air conditioner,? I replied. She pointed at the ?AC? button and pressed it. Relief had been at our fingertips all the time!

Do you have a spiritual or social air conditioner that you are not using? Is there something you have always wanted to do but you have been afraid to try?

Millions of talents and gifts come and go from this world packaged within people who never used them. Yet, when you use a hidden talent, you significantly enrich your life and the lives of others.

There are factors that stop us from pressing on the ?buttons? of spiritual, professional or personal growth.

1. Loyalty to the past. If I had not learned that ?AC? meant alternating current, I probably would have tried to find out what that button was used for. Past experience, especially failure, may be a hindrance to progress. A key to success is to try and try again after failure. A spider web is distorted by other insects over and over again. But the spider keeps trying until the web is completed, even if it is completed in another location.

2. Loyalty to others. Fear of appearing stupid has caused thousands of spiritual and social buttons to remain unpressed. What others would say if you did something unexpected. Successful artists present the world as they see it themselves, not what they think other see.

3. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown is worse than fear of certain pain. I have heard it said that if people were to put their worst misfortunes into a common basket and then choose whatever misfortune they wanted from that basket, each person would choose his own. To the Israelites, going back to Egypt, the land of bondage, seemed better than the talk of the promised land. This factor has kept people in jobs they hate, abusive associations, destructive habits and spiritual stagnation. Remember, the ship is safe at the harbor, but that is not what it?s made for.

4. Self-devaluation. Focusing on what you think you do not have instead of what you have. Moses, when called to redeem the Israelites, talked of his inability to speak. If you will take a minute and list the resources you have for the life you envision, you will be surprised to discover that you already have a resource that can get you started in any venture.

5. Looking for success ?out there.? Spiritual success is only found by a close relationship with God. Trying to find meaning, fulfillment, worth and identity in a career that you dislike, unprofitable associations, or habits that are detrimental to yourself or others is like trying to improvise a cooling system. It does not work. God?s help is only a prayer away, but we have to get down on our knees and press the button!

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