Dr. Vincent Kituku's Monthly Newsletter - December 2012
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alden waggoner

born to succeed


Overcoming Buffaloes, hosted by Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku is now a weekly radio program on KBXL94.1 FM, in the northwest United States on Tuesdays at 4:30 pm.

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Issue Number:
Volume XI No. 16
Kituku & Associates
Date of Issue:
December 2012

© 2012 Overcoming Buffaloes in Our Lives. All Rights Reserved.

An informative and captivating FREE electronic newsletter designed to equip you with powerful tools and timely information to achieve new heights in your professional and personal life.

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A story is told of a man who, after a long day at work, found his wife searching for a lost sewing needle in their living room. Dinner was not ready. Children’s homework had not been checked. And stamped envelopes with payments for their monthly bills were still on the table where he left them in the morning.

After greetings and noticing her frustration as she searched for the needle, he asked her what was going on and she replied that she was looking for a lost needle. Then he asked her, "Where did you lose it?" She calmly said, "In the bedroom" which naturally invited his next question, "If you lost it in the bedroom, why are you searching for it in the living room?"

"It is where there is enough light" was her response.

Are you sometimes involved in activities that you had hoped would bring you fulfillment only to be disappointed? Have you changed jobs or moved to another location with the hope of having peace of mind, only to find it elusive, a common occurrence in industrial countries? Do you sometimes feel like you are running on an empty tank?

And then your dilemma grows bigger as your search bears no fruits regardless of your intentions, your energy and the efforts you invest. At the end of the day, you are tired, mentally exhausted and physically fatigued. You are spent. You just drop with no fuel remaining for things that matter.

The question is, are you searching in the wrong places or for completely useless things?

Man searchingI recall a man I met in the early 1990s who seemed to have everything we associate with modern success. There was golf after work. Weekends were spent fishing, camping and other activities that he told me keep him from the stress of his job.

Out of curiosity, I asked him what his wife and children felt about his absence. "They understand," was his response. Images of his emaciated body still go through my mind when I recall the day I met him a few years later after his wife had left him.

Hobbies have their value in our lives. Nothing can take away from my sense of accomplishment after climbing Mt. Borah, Idaho's highest peak, or surviving the annual Race to Robie Creek, a self-punishment of 13.1 miles that leaves you wondering, "Why do it?" But hobbies cannot provide the sense of belonging experienced in healthy relationships, spiritual exploration or serving the less fortunate.

Unrestrained desire for excessive material possessions, at all costs has been known to wreck lives. I knew a relatively wealthy retired woman whose level of dissatisfaction was evident from some distance. A naturally upbeat lady, she was walking with her head bowed and shoulders lower than usual. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, "Why don’t I have as many things as my sister?" She had not visited her sister, who lived in a different state, for years. It was during the last visit that dissatisfaction with her "limited wealth" started when she found out the sister had more material things than she did.

"Things" have their place and value in our lives. I truly appreciate a functioning car whenever I recall my 1973 Ford Maverick, our family's first car when we moved to Wyoming from Kenya. It seemed to drive just fine for half of the trip, forcing us to provide manpower (push it) the rest of the trip or to the nearest mechanic. But material things are only that, objects that lose their value and/or perish. Can you imagine how relationships would be strengthened if they were provided the same level of attention people give to their "toys?" There is no substitute for inner peace. The good thing is, that peace has nothing to do with material possession. In fact, it is available to you, free of charge!

Stop looking for happiness where it will never be found. Start your day with the right attitude:

1. If you woke up alive this morning — count it a blessing
2. If you had a meal and are assured of the next one — another huge blessing
3. If you have clothing on you — count that too
4. If you have someone to love you — count it
5. If you have a job — consider it a blessing
6. If you have the joy of loving and serving others — it’s a blessing with added value
7. If you have hope — add that to the above
8. If you have faith in God — don’t take it for granted
9. If you have goals that are keeping you occupied — that’s a blessing

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I was in a hurry to the hall where I was to speak, thus no time to look at the photo that had been taken of me and the four students. When I at last saw the photo, I was sad. I felt insensitive as I noticed that I was the only one smiling. None of the orphans that posed with me had a reason to smile (Please see their photos after being in high school for one a year and a half).

FamilyTwo days before the students were brought to meet me, I entered the office of the principal where they all had attended elementary school. It was the school I left in 1974. Without revealing who I was, I asked the principal how the 8th grade students had performed and how many were to join high school (in Kenya, not all 8th grade students pass the high school entrance exam). He had the list of the students with him and started showing me the names of those who passed.

He reached the name of one girl and fell silent. When he gathered himself, all he said, "Yii niyo mwaka wa keli wa kelitu kaa kwika mutiani uu nesa, indi kaithi sukulu." This is the second year for this girl to pass this exam so well, but she will not be going to high school.

Pauline (15), the girl in a red sweater, is an orphan. When her parents died, she was left under the care of poor grandparents. They too died and left her with a maternal aunt. In 2009 she sat for the national 8th grade exam and passed but lacked the minimum $300 - $350 tuition and fees to join high school. The solution was to have her repeat 8th grade. Because primary school education is free, the hope was that she would spend a few more years before she is big enough to get married. In 2010 she passed again and without help from a well-wisher, she was again destined to be in the 8th grade in 2011.

Mueke (15), the girl in blue, is a victim of the complexities of illiteracy and poverty. This girl too was supposed to repeat 8th grade until "maturity."

Kimani (18), the tall boy, is a sophomore. A child of a widow, Kimani had passed the exam several times before he decided to go to a high school near his home at 17, but he spent more time at home than in school due to lack of tuition and fees.

Dominic (18), the boy on my left, visually impaired, started school at the age of 10. His poverty level is so devastating that the school had to adopt him. He became the first blind student from our school to pass and secure admission at a prestigious school for the blind. Misery spares no one.

I, too, was a freshman in high school at 18, but for reasons other than being orphaned and without someone to pay for my education. I was born and raised by two parents. It’s hard for me to imagine life of a poor child without parents in Africa where there are no governmental support systems. As a father of three girls, my heart trembles when I think of a girl waiting to be big and get married in 8th grade instead of joining high school.

Yet if someone makes a small sacrifice of $300/year, a destitute girl or a boy has hope of becoming a teacher, a medical doctor, engineer, police, public leader, accountant or preacher to name a few opportunities for Kenyan students who are privileged to attend high school.

I had no choice but to help these children. The two girls are now in the same high school and each had a B+ in their first term's performance report. Kimani, after being in school for three months without interruption, was number 24 out of 212 students in his class.

When you sponsor (any amount helps) an orphan or a child of a widow in Kenya, Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope, a 501 (c)(3) EIN 27-3127770. will provide you a student's name, photo, school name, the address and principal’s contact (including phone number). Your contribution is 100% used for tuition and fees.

To learn and help sponsor a high school orphan, read more at www.caringheartsandhandsofhope.com or please mail a check to Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope Inc, P.O Box 7152 Boise, ID 83707

Please note: the transformation of these students life after a year and a half in boarding high schools where they are safe, have three meals a day, are provided with uniform in addition to an education that prepares them for a better tomorrow. These four children are a testimony of how sponsors are transforming young lives!

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Lee Iacocca, former chairman of Chrysler Corporation, said that most of the 242 million working people, "swing out of bed, yawn, and figure: 'Oh hell, I’ve got to make it through another day of drudgery'." Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup For the Soul, said that about 75% of workers don’t like what they are doing or who they work for.

A major explanation for stress has been uncertainty in the workplace. These changes have been experienced nationally and locally. Is change new to humanity? Are there better ways for an individual to thrive in a world of uncertainty? How can one balance the demands of personal life and work?

1. Establish your purpose on earth from a perspective that is independent from your daily activities. In today's chaotic workplace, each one should ask himself, "What is the primary purpose or mission in life?"

2. Commit to your vision, decisions and actions on activities that help you achieve your purpose. In what ways can your employment help you attain that purpose? How are your life goals aligning with the vision and mission of the organization you are working for?

3. Self empowerment allows you to take risks and venture into the unknown with confidence. You apply your creativity and authentic potential to achieve your purpose as well as creating an environment for your employer’s success.

4. Change must be viewed as natural processes that perpetuate growth. It brings new opportunities, including skills, knowledge and abilities, thus improving one’s employability.

5. Adherence to one's faith, reflection on what has happened, staying in contact with others and physical activities are springboards for the soul, body and mind as your forges ahead with your journey of accomplishing his mission.

6. Flexibility is a major survival strategy. The ability to let go of perceptions and practices that may not be beneficial to oneself or an organization is a stress-reduction step. Adhere to the wisdom that, "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bend out of shape."

7. Involvement in community affairs provides opportunities to learn, socialize, help others and strengthen a sense of belonging. It is not only a networking strategy, but also an opportunity to help others, which is one of the secrets of success.

Earl Nightingale said, "There is nothing we can do that will bring us more in the way of rewards than daily striving to become better adjusted, happier, more productive human beings. It’s a lifetime job and worth every minute we spend on it."

Please Note: This article was first printed in 1998 and published (a version of it) in Dr. Kituku sought after Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life

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Read What Others Are Saying About Dr. Kituku's Programs:

"WOW! What a great presentation ...As I reach the end of this program, there is so much information to digest. Thanks for the written material. I am so excited to read it and put what I have learned into practice. Thanks so much!"
Alan Sturtevant, Owner, International Minute Press

"Thanks again for your outstanding work with our team over the last two days. Your presentations on leadership and team building were exactly what we needed and right on the mark. Even though you never played football, your understanding of how a team must function as one to be successful is amazingly accurate...The way the workbook flows and the way that each group is interactive within the presentation allows for much better retention of this vital material...Keep up the great work and we look forward to having you back with us again soon."
Dirk Koetter, Head Football Coach, Arizona State University

"Your insights were invaluable and your sense of humor amazing..."
Geri Rackow, Deputy Director & Public Information Officer, Eastern Idaho Public Health District

"You gave us all much to think about and your impact has become a part of the way we look at ourselves and our program."
Colleen Van Winkle, SHIBA Regional Coordinator

"I personally met Kituku last year when he visited Kenya. When I learnt of his ability to motivate..., I persuaded my head teacher and we sacrificed a morning session to listen to him. Since then the students have never been the same...that was the turning point for both students and teachers who heard him. They were left bewildered that someone can pass such serious message in such simplicity..."
Joshua Kivuva, English teacher, Kinyui Girls High School, Kenya

"I will never forget the seminar I attended here in Moscow that you were the speaker. Thank you for being you and sharing." Jan Ahles, Community Relations Director at Good Samaritan Society, Moscow "Everyone thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. It was a hoot!...I certainly appreciate the time and effort you put into preparing for this event! The added touch of customizing your presentation to fit credit unions and our theme of "Trek to Success," topped it off..."
Marian Kenworthy, Education Specialist, Idaho Credit Union League

"I enjoyed your seminar this morning at the Chamber of Commerce. I've already told several people that was one of the best seminars they've had. I've heard some of your marketing tips before from other speakers but you have a special talent for making it much easier to understand. I've heard about the elevator speech before, but the speaker took much longer and was more complex at explaining it. After the few minutes you spoke on it, I understood it much better and was able to come up with my own, "I help small businesses market their business on the Internet."
Duane Hinkley, Down Home Web Design, Inc.

"...Your buoyant, encouraging message certainly demonstrates to everyone involved how to not only survive, but thrive in the turbulence of unexpected life changes...Your message crossed all boundaries; from the coach to the athlete, continuing on to the entrepreneur and business manager all the way to the company employee. It does not matter your "position" in life as your message conveyed and answered loud and clear..."
Gary Beck, Executive Director; Humanitarian Bowl

"Dear Dr. Kituku,
Just a note to let you know how much we enjoyed your energetic and motivational keynote address at the opening ceremonies of the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association's annual spring conference...we heard many remarks throughout the conference praising the opening ceremonies as one of the best that the participants had experienced..."
Gregory P. Wyatt, Conference Co-chair, Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association

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Have you ever heard statements like these?

- There is no solution for this situation - it's overwhelming
- Why change from what we are already doing?
- I am not the manager or CEO - why ask me?
- This is not my business, I just work here
- I wish I can have time for my children

This special offer is not online. Fill and fax the form below to (208) 323-7612 or call our 24/7 toll free number 1-888 685-1621. Supply is limited.

You will be inspired to:

- Set yourself apart at work and in life
- Re-discover talents and resources you need for growth
- Thrive by repeatedly providing exceptional services
- Be part of something bigger than a career
- Bounce back after setbacks
- Move forward without leaving your life behind


Call (208) 376-8724 or email Dr. Kituku at vincent@kituku.com for information on keynotes and/or training opportunities for your organization or conference.

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Copyright © 2012 Kituku & Associates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Kituku & Associates
P.O. Box 7152
Boise, Idaho 83707