Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Googleplex


Be dumbfounded. The below video was an episode of Oprah where she pressed her nose up against the glass of one of the greatest modern success stories, Google. Start preparing your resumes. After this video, who wouldn't want to work at Google? you just have about 75 000 other people to compete with. 
Nothing too major. 



Anthea

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I am your follower

Like the flow of the economy where a worker is employed and paid by an employer and in turn the employer receives something from the worker, a blog and its followers are the same. 
I write, share, lament and explode onto the page and my followers read my blog, follow it, comment and give feedback and even share it with others.


Not.

I have 127 followers. 127 followers. That's not a bad number, agreed? I feel like I have about 5. What are you talking about Anthea? Is something wrong with your eyesight? 
Nothing is wrong with my eyesight. I see 127 there, but other than that pretty number, I have no indication that my writing is really reaching more than about 10 people. 

I am a writer. I thrive on other's evaluation and reactions to my work in order to improve and grow. My dear readers, I have decided today to bluntly -and pleadingly- say, what I've been hesitating to say for a very long time; 

Being a reader is not enough. For me or for any blogger. 
I'm feeling neglected, and I am not alone.

A follower is a person that makes their presence of being a reader to the blogger known, but a follower is also a person that is an active participator with critique and praise given to be received by the writer.

Bloggers are like flowers. We flourish when we are watered (with comments and feedback telling us we're either worth something or not at all, in which case we can fix that), and we can then grow and reach greater heights. But if our leaves and petals are all dry and shriveled because nobody waters us, well, firstly we'll become depressed and then finally, flower suicide
Deleting the blog. THE HORROR!  


I, Petite Dynamite am suffering, along with millions of other bloggers, who are also craving for a teensy increase of reader echos in their comment boxes.

Comments. Comments. Comments. Comments. Comments.

That's all we really want. Bloggers want to know that what they are writing and sharing is reaching some soul out there. I myself want to jump for joy whenever I have a comment in my Inbox. My favourites have always been the comments that are more than three and four lines and that have actually spoken to me as a human being and an individual. I'd like to share with you some of these comments. They really are incredible.

Firstly, Lance Upercut. What a brilliant existence. 
His blog is called Just a Little Something. Do check it out.

Here are a few comments of his that blew me away;

My first introduction, on I'm going a bit deep here..., a post on true love, and his reply to a comment I posted on his blog arrived:

"Anthea,

Thank you so much for the comment. I really do enjoy the feedback, and I rarely get enough of it. Relationships are a crazy thing. It's really scary to take all your love, affection, and trust in one person. Which comes to me. 

Since my post "Broken Hearts All Around" post the girl who blew me off basically broke up with her boyfriend and came back to me. It took me awhile, but I eventually came to the conclusion that I wanted her back in my life because she was the closest thing I've ever had to a true love like you've described in this post. She broke up with me about or month or so later. I was heartbroken for awhile. I still think about her sometime. It's strange, I've had other girlfriends and attractions (as outlined in "I Survived the Gulags") but it always comes back to her when I'm feeling down. She was the first and only girl I can say I was truly happy to be with. And I really have a question to ask you. 

You yearn for this great guy to come into your life and sweep you off your feet. But what happens if things go sour? I would guess your perfect guy wouldn't do such a thing. But it's still something to consider. The greater the connection, the heavier the blow to your heart. That's just the thing. Like I said, relationships are crazy. And it actually got to the point where I was asking myself what I'm doing with my life. I've been played, broken, and stepped on to the point where I didn't even care anymore. So I've been abstinent for the past month or so of all things female (outlined in "Time for Change"). 
It's been pretty good. I'm learning to be happy on my own. I'm widening my view and interests on different types of women. And most importantly, I'm not letting my guard down until I meet a girl who's really worth getting hurt over. That'll be the day. I wish you the best of luck in your mission to find the one. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believed you posted something about coming out with your blog to family and friends on the forum. That's awesome. It's great that you're finally figuring out who you are. Stay strong and keep your head up. It'll happen one day. And then it will all be worth it.

-Lance
"

And in response to my post The Naked Truth where I opened my comment box up for others to share their truths:

"I can't stand hate and ignorance. Unfortunately it seems to be more widespread than love and knowledge.

There's some things in life you just don't care about.

I feel like there's someone for everyone in the world.

Whenever I see a new love interest I imagine how great our future could be together, and the fact that it isn't happening right now bothers me.

I have been around the block a few times, that doesn't mean you should judge me for trying to figure out what I want in a partner.

My heart has been broken so many times that I find comfort in the only consistent love around- in my lord in savior Jesus Christ.

There aren't enough hours in a day. There's never enough sleep. And life's too short.

I really wish I could go back to simpler times.

Sometimes I'll just sing to myself. People find it weird, but it's what I do.

I hate people who are condescending. You aren't better than anyone else here, so don't act like it.

Just because someone has one unfavorable characteristic doesn't mean they're a bad person.

There's beauty in everything, you're just too ignorant to try to go find it. 

Why can't you be a journalist and a writer? William Cullen Bryant and Ernest Hemingway did it. It would probably give you a more stable income while you pursue other things.

There's still that one girl who I get depressed when I see or here about. She still has a part of my heart. And I don't think I can ever get it back.

You have no idea how awesome I think you are and how much of an impact you just made in my life. It's amazing what you can do by just being yourself.
"


"Hey me again :)

Thank you so much for your compliment! It really means a lot coming from you. I enjoyed this post; I really did. I've always been a great advocate of individuality. BE THAT PURPLE COW GIRLFRIEND! If you're looking for some other great literature I suggest you check out Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It's about a society that combines mass production and biology in order to create a society where everyone is the same. Very interesting and could very well be realistic, at least to me over here in the US. By the way, you're from South Africa. Whoa. Chalk one up for you on the interesting scale! Hope you achieve all of your resolutions and have a very nice 2013 :)

-Lance
"

Now this is a follower. Ç

Next I have Crazy Cris. Have any of you ever logged onto your blog dashboard and after weeks of seeing 1 comment for moderation , saw 24 comments for moderation? Well, let me tell you, I was over the moon. Cris, of Crossing the Globe and two other blogs, after finding my blog, read every single blog post I had ever written at that point in time and commented on each and every one
Now that is incredible. 

Yes, I took a photo. (Grins)


Here are two favourites:
On Cracked, broken and bare..., a post on poverty in my country:

"Very heartfelt post.

It brings back images of Mexico to my memory. I lived there for 9 years and was in a similar situation to yourself. Comfortable living surrounded by either incredibly wealthy people, or incredibly poor. The middle class in Mexico barely figures in the population statistics. You get immunized against it... it's sad but you do. You barely notice the people living in such dire conditions. It's good to have a wake-up call, to have your humanity get a red-alert at what it sees around you.

That's definitely one of the things I do NOT miss about living in Mexico... :o(

Shoes... yeah.
"

And on The life and climbs of the daydreaming blogger..., a post on my climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro:

"O!M!G!

You've climbed Mt Kilimanjaro?!?!?! How amazing is that?! I'm envious. What a fabulous experience! And you did a really great job sharing it with us! It's just... wow! I've got to share this post with a few other bloggers I know who will love it!

I ran down the side of a volcano in Mexico once, it is definitely a blast!!! :o)

I'm familiar with altitude sickness. I lived in Mexico City for 7 years (about 2300m) and whenever friends/family came to visit us we always had them doing "light" activities the first couple of days so they could get acclimated before they started climbing pyramids and such. ;o) If I went back that would be me too since I've been living at sea level for years now. Weird...

Wow... I'm still in awe. :o)
"

Now onto a few comments that though not arriving from followers as zealous as the above two, really were quite amazing to read:

A man named Valance on I'm going a bit deep here... :

"Hello Anthea. I wouldn't worry about it just yet. It'll happen when it happens, just the way it does when it's meant to be. Some lucky fella is out there right now. He just don't know it yet." 

And him again here on The advice I will never give again... on the topic of why talking to guys is so terrifying:

"'Why is it so hard to talk to you?'
Hmm, I wouldn't know. I ain't met a woman yet that had trouble talking.

Strange things, women. Their moods change with the breeze. Temperamental and contrary, they’re easily upset. A hurting woman is trouble, especially when she won’t come right out and say so. Instead, she’ll go sullen and do a lot of pouting. A smart man recognizes she’s daring him to ask her what’s wrong, but while there’s a slim hope that he’s blameless, he’ll keep his mouth shut and bide his time. Careful not to look her in the eye, he’ll quietly wonder what he did, or said that upset her. When that leads him nowhere, he’ll simmer his brains trying to remember what it was that he should have done, or said, and didn’t. Then, as silence continues and uncertainty creeps in, along comes a fear that he’ll be branded uncaring. And that’s when he weakens. 

‘Something the matter, hon?’ he asks, nonchalantly as he can. 

‘Nothing!’ she snaps, in a tone somewhere between distraught and triumphant. 

‘Was it something I said?’ he asks, desperate for a clue. 

‘It’s not what you said, it’s what you meant!’ she screeches. And that's when things get complicated, because her reply is mystifying and the only clue he's given is a look of pitiful hatred. And that's when she starts stomping around, and getting tearful and sniffy. 

It's about now that a man realizes he’s in big trouble. And there’s not a damn thing he can do about it. He’ll find out what he meant when she's ready to tell him, but until then, all he can do is soak up the sufferance willed upon him, and wait for her fury to explode.
"

Then Raz Darnell on Utterly Creative:

"This looks amazing. All of it. And I know what you mean about buzzing with creativity. I went to an art show once and didn't get back until like midnight, then I stayed up and just painted for hours because I was so excited to create. +followed"


"Anthea, I enjoy your blog and will follow it if I can figure out how that is done. (new at reading blogs).

About guys: Many if not most guys, even those much older than you are fearful of numerous things:

-guys fear to appear weak or "unmanly (what ever that means)

-guys want to be loved but are fearful of subsequent rejection or humiliation.

-guys like to feel as if they have control over what they do and when they do it and fear that being in a relationship will eventually erode their sense of autonomy. Women learn how to make their needs known so the man in their life can choose to do those things as if it was their own idea.

-guys are always looking around at other women and how they respond to their presence, even when they are committed to one partner. They do this to assure themselves that they are still attractive and can potentially compete successfully with other men.

-guys long to feel safe enough in a relationship to disclose their sensitive emotions and needs. They will do this as they learn to trust their partner to not humiliate them or disclose their emotional disclosures to other people without his expressed consent.

-guys like to feel needed and competent. That's why acknowledgement and appreciation of what they do goes a long way with them. Guys are less likely to remember to reciprocate in this area until they learn how much gals and women value this.

The above notes may be useful but they certainly do not cover everything. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask me.

I am a (retired) psychologist who is married and finally in a great relationship that fulfills my needs and according to my wife, it keeps her happy much of the time as well.
"

Miss Unordinary on Cracked, broken and bare...:

"wow this truly hit my heart like a brick... i do come from an african american ehtnicity and to know that this is what can happen to people really sticks a sword through me. you blog is turly amazing and nothing similar to mines though i would appriciate it if you checked it out. "

Silver Feathers on Cracked, broken and bare...:

"i'm glad i accidentally came across this post. .now i will never look at shoes as just shoes. thank you . :)"

Even something as simple as this is an instant smile:
CB: "Beautifully written!"

But, my favourite of all time has been this one:


"Hello,
I sense you have a beautiful mind.
There is no way you wont find your true love someday. Just remember to NEVER EVER be under the v e r y h a r s h ~i l l u s i o n~ of cinema photography a.k.a movies. Remember this. Look at the true nature of things in life. Search for your inner peace and most importantly The Truth. It's out there, you just have to look farther than the human eye can see :) Once again , Don't let falsehood and illusions blind you from the truth, such as movies,television,etc. ~ I wish you nothing more and nothing less than peace on earth <3
"

How amazing is that comment?

These are people that I have had the greatest privilege to have reached with my blog. When I receive a comment, I feel spectacular. To any readers, followers and commenters, who may not necessarily featured above, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your feedback and support. 

Don't forget about the writer on the other side of the computer. 
We want to know what you think!

Anthea
P.S Please, do let the comments flow in.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

POP! goes my heart for POP Poetry: Part 1

Poetry fans of the world, and even people who claim to be 
non-poetry people, perk up your ears! 



I know you venerate the idolized Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets, your 'the cat sat on the mat' rhymes and even your more modernized poems, but slam poetry is in a category all in its own. Slam poetry is a self written type of poetry performed to an audience and also commonly to judges as part of a competition. Topics are wide and range from social issues like abuse, racism and bullying to lighter topics such as commercialism. The audience may cheer, clap, click or boo during the poem and the competition is usually set to a very casual atmosphere. The poems are meant to evoke a response of the audience, whether it be outrage or jubilant agreement.




I was recently invited to go and watch the finals of the POP Poetry: Power of the people competition. POP Poetry was started by a friend of mine named Ruby-Anne Birin. Last year she was part of a student exchange program at Oxford University where one of her courses was Creative Writing. Poetry was one topic that was covered, and that was where the world of slam poetry was awakened to her. When first introduced to slam poetry, she thought, 
"This completely encapsulates South Africa. It is South Africa"
And therefore, POP Poetry began. Teaming up with Boston College, Ruby-Anne has organised a wide competition between many of Johannesburg's major, and not so major schools. The results were incredible, astonishing, mind-blowing, breath taking and just utterly wondrous. 

"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language."
W. H. Auden

I saw talent like I've never seen before and the passion of everyone participating -whether audience member or slam poet- was spectacular. I look forward to future events.

Now, just to ease into slam poetry, below are some awesome performances I think you will very much enjoy.

Katie Makkai - Pretty

Dan Vaughn & Dasha Kelly - 6 million ways to die

Def Poetry - Dawn Saylor - When I Was 14

Tell me they are not brilliant.

I think I'll end off with a poem.

Poetry...Poetry...

Poetry...Poetry...
Poetry is in the beginning of new life, 
Poetry is in the tears of a child, 
Poetry is in the warmth of mother's kiss, 
Poetry is in the child's bliss, 
Poetry is in the hug of a father, 
Poetry is in the love of a dear, 
Poetry is in the happiness of affection, 
Poetry is in the pain of separation, 
Poetry is in someone's loss, 
Poetry is in missing someone very close.

Poetry...Poetry...

Poetry is in the first rain, 
Poetry is in the cultivation of first grain, 
Poetry is in the first light of dawn, 
Poetry is in the drops of dew o the grass of lawn, 
Poetry is in the blowing of cool wind, 
Poetry is in the beauty of green, 
Poetry is in the twinkling star, 
Poetry is in the aroma of a flower, 
Poetry is in thunder and lightning, 
Poetry is in the heat scorching.

Poetry...Poetry... 

Poetry is something more sweeter than sweet, 
Poetry is something more closer to heart beat, 
Poetry is something more than the most beautiful creation, 
Poetry is something more than the depth of an ocean, 
Poetry is something more higher than the blue, 
Poetry is something more true, 
Poetry is something more enjoyable than wine, 
Poetry is something more shiner than sunshine, 
Poetry is something more pure than air, 
Poetry is something which is present everywhere.

Poetry...Poetry...

Poetry is not just rhyme, 
Poetry is but the voice Divine, 
Poetry is not just Poetry, 
Poetry frames History, 
After so many lines, 
Poetry still remains undefined.

Poetry...Poetry... 
Anthea
P.S I will be posting Part 2, which is of the actual finale I attended, very soon.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Okay, so I'm not a fan

Mr. Pablo Picasso and I have never really attuned to each other much. 



I'm just not a fan. 

You can like him. Fine by me, but personally, I have no opinions or affections for his art. That said, I am still an avid art fiend, and I would like to share with you a recent display of amazing creativity.



In tribute of Picasso, forty years after his death, Madrid-based fashion photographer, Eugenio Recuenco decided to take some of Pablo's best paintings and to re-create them using models and his own fashion interpretation. The results were stunning and magnificent. Enjoy.








And my personal favourite...



Anthea

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Leader without a Title

Ever heard of Robin Sharma? No? Yes? You should.


Robin Sharma is one of the world's most widely read authors, famous for The monk who sold his Ferrari, The Greatness Guide and The Leader who had No Title among others. He heads an international leadership training firm and on a continual basis conducts motivational talks/workshops all over the world. He has recently completed his Africa tour where he started in Lagos, Nigeria, then Angola and he just left South Africa.












To start, Robin is an exceptional human being. Last Saturday I was given free tickets to go and see his motivational talk on leadership. My parents and I as well as classmates of mine with their parents all came to see him. I'd like you to guess how much the tickets we had received for free were. R7500. That's $726, or £545. Most of the people there had received tickets from their companies that had payed for them to attend. My mother -a titanic fan of Robin Sharma, having read most of his books- made a joke that "Unless he is going to anoint us with oil" she didn't know how the tickets were the price they were. It was worth it.

I was genuinely awed by his power and amazing-ness, and also his insight into what he calls "Leading without a Title"


Soon the talk started, and he began with saying that the number one factor that defines success is a word called "Grit". I really can't write his entire two hour speech and workshop for you, but I will be sharing gems that I picked up during the talk. I was scribbling furiously throughout the entire two hours, not wanting to miss a word, so be assured, the below is all the good stuff.


We don't get lucky, we make lucky.


You can be liked, or you can change the world, but you can't have both.

We must have the guts to do what only the 5% of the population does.

Run your own race.

We are still too frightened!


If everything seems under control, you're not moving fast enough.

Ideas without execution are an illusion.

All the great leaders all had one thing in common, which was a monomaniacal focus to execution.

Small acts of execution every day lead to stunning results.



Nothing fails like success.

How many of you are successful? I say most respectfully that you are in the most dangerous place you have ever been.

Take on the apprentice mindset (AM).

We all have a learning disability. It's called "I can't".

We are in a war against distraction. We are too busy being busy.



Leadership is a way of thinking. A way of being.

We chose to be victims.

All work has dignity.

A job is only a job if your chose to see it as a job.

Adults are no more than deteriorated children.



Don't wait until you're inspired to do a difficult job.



Steve Jobs tells the Apple team, "I want you to make the inside of the computer more beautiful than the outside" 
"But Steve, nobody is going to see it," they replied.
"But we'll see it" he said.

 Disrupt the way you worked yesterday. Push the envelope. 

Be scared.

Say you're a 50 person company. Be a 50 leader company.
Instead of being the CEO, rather be the CIO. Chief Inspiration Officer.

"When you have a problem, you're the only one who's going to solve it." said by Bert Cleeland who has been a carpet-installer for the last 55 years. He loves his job.

Have one hour a day of non-stimulation. No TV, no music, no talking, no noise, no doing things, just silence.

Clean out the energy vampires in your life.

As you flex the brain, as you use the brain, you get the brain you deserve.

We go through every day thinking of the things we haven't done, but we actually need to celebrate what we have done!

Be a master of your craft.


Be so good at what you do that people cannot ignore you.

Go minimalist. Focus on the small things, and the big things will come.

Leave the crown of mediocrity.

Oscar Wild: "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."

JZ: "If people don't hate you, you're probably not doing big things."



The business of the business is people.

People may forget what you do or what you say, but they won't forget how you made them feel.

When people laugh at you, that takes courage.

Be kinder than expected.


 "Once I put the person together, the world was okay."

Don't neglect the power of gratitude.

Don't be successful but alone.

Be world class, but don't miss out on the small perfect moments.

Every day matters.



Win a victory for human kind.

"Almost everyone who has had an idea that's somewhat revolutionary or wildly successful was first told they're insane." Larry Page, co-founder of Google.




"You don't want to be merely the best of the bestYou want to be the only one who does what you do." Jerry Garcia, famed musician.

"Being the richest man in the graveyard doesn't matter to me. Going to bed every night knowing we've done something wonderful matters to me." Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple (1955-2011)




"The goal isn't to live forever. The goal is tho create something that will." Chuck Palahniuk, author of The Fight Club.



At the end, the entire group of just over a thousand people stood up and clapped for him. I'm not saying that everyone "got it", and I'm not saying that everyone had the unbelievable experience I had, but one point they couldn't fault him on was that he was inspiring and put every cell of his make up into what he does.
I spoke to some of my fellow students afterwards and I was actually disappointed to find out that they didn't get him. Some said it was "irrelevant to us" or "great but too difficult to carry out".

Oh my friends, the first step is to see that it is not difficult. We need only look at it as easy and it will become that. Maybe not initially, but eventually feeling motivated, brilliant, living in the now will become second nature and Bam! You are a master.

Quite a funny, but exceptional sight for me was a group of women behind me who at every encouragement and brilliant statement said by Robin, would go "Mmmhhmmm! That's right!", "Yeah!" or "Yes!". It sounded like a mini gospel choir sitting behind me. It was brilliant. People got it! Amen!

I would like to share two videos of his with you:








It's time for us to change the world too.

Anthea
P.S Here are some more links to incredibly powerful articles on Robin Sharma's website and blog: 60 Tips for a Stunningly Great Life ; Robin Sharma Podcasts ; Do your Part ; 62 Tips to get Unstuck in 2013.