Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
William Arthur Ward


What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I do think New Year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, don't you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.
Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones's Diary.

Happy New Year Everyone and a bloody Happy one it shall be.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

7 Sensible Love Lessons

They say love is blind. And young love is the most blind of all, isn’t it? I’ve learned a lot about love over the past 20 years. Most of what I’ve learned is common sense, but I’m going to repeat these common-sense love lessons here because it’s pretty clear that the world needs them, common-sense or no.
 

1. Never Settle for Ambivalence:
Your time on this earth is far too valuable to waste on a partner who isn’t certain he or she wants to be with you. You deserve to be wanted. You deserve someone whose dedication never falters. Never settle for less.

2. Relationships Should Fit Comfortably: By and large, relationships should feel comfortable. Safe. Warm. Loving. Mutually beneficial. Peaceful. New relationships in particular should be easy, fun, and rewarding. If they’re not, why are you there to begin with? If you find yourself having to “work” on a relatively new relationship, chances are you’ve hooked up with someone who is a bad fit for you. 50% of relationship success comes from choosing the right partner – don’t hamstring yourself by settling for a poor fit.

3. Sex is not Love: Any fool can stick it in and pull it out. To love someone is where the task lies. Many people often confuse sex with love, maybe because of the overwhelming emotions stirred up by close physical contact. But a bad relationship is still a bad relationship, sex or no. It’s wise to ask yourself what you would love about your partner if the physical attraction faded. After all, beauty and youth are fleeting, while the heart and mind endure.

4. Emotional Need is not Love: Real love – the sort of love worth saving – is more than just an emotional mish-mash of wants and desires, which brings me to my next point…

5. Love is a Verb: The warm, fuzzy feeling that poets and songwriters have struggled for centuries to define is only one small component of love. Real love is based upon action, not merely emotion. The feelings associated with love are fantastic, but love does its best work as a verb, where each partner constantly works in the best interest of the other.

6. Worthwhile Relationships Inspire Happiness: Successful partnerships produce happiness. If you don’t enjoy being around your partner, you have a problem. I only wish this bit of sense were as common as it sounds.

7. Changing Someone is a Bad Goal: If making your relationship work requires you to change your partner’s personality or behavior, consider finding someone who is a more natural fit. Conversely, if you sense that your partner’s aim is to change your personality or behavior, kindly point him or her toward someone who doesn’t require such ministrations.

Listen, I know that some of the items in this list are oversimplifications. For example, any long-term relationship will involve change – both requested and inspired – and there will undoubtedly be tough times that require work. The key word in the previous sentence is “long-term,” meaning relationships that have proven their worth over time.

New relationships, on the other hand, have not proven their worth. Many of the warning signs of a potentially disastrous relationship appear within the first six months. During these early stages of a new relationship, a little common sense can go a long way.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Finding your Calling

When I tell someone the secret to success is to do what he or she feels passionately about, they frequently ask me how they can identify the passion that will bring them the greatest success.
Here is what I answer:
You are a unique individual, endowed with many things that make you special. God was not stingy in giving you many powerful qualities. You have more than one passion and more than one talent.
So here is how to start the process. First, make a list of all your gifts. In other words, what talents or characteristics do you possess that are special? What makes you unique? Include on your list those positive areas where you are a contrarian or a deviant or a rebel. Your power lies on this list.



Now make a second list of all those things you love to do or feel passionately about. Include on this list the answer to this key question: what do I GIVE that when I'm giving it I am filled with great joy. Chances are that you love giving what you have in abundance. And what do you have in abundance? Those gifts or talents you put on the first list.
It would be extremely helpful to consider WHY you like a certain activity. What are all those things about a particular activity that feeds your passion? If something lights your fire then you must have some insight into why it does and in what ways it does. Write down what about it inspires you, what pleases you, what reveals more of yourself to you, what makes you laugh, what about it contributes to a greater good, etc.
NOW: think of ways or activities that involves SEVERAL of your talents, gifts, passions, and unique characteristics at the same time. We want to kill two (or more) birds with one stone OR, better put, hug two or more birds with one embrace.
The more passions and gifts that you can intersect at one point the better.
If, for some reason, that intersection of passions does not have a commercial component, modify it with more passions or talents until it does. At the intersection of many passions and talents, there should emerge a service, or a product, or an artwork, or a body of information that can be spun off commercially. This way you get to pursue your passions, grow your talents, give of yourself to others, contribute to a greater good, and, as a by-product of all this playing around, generate wealth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Working Hard

Getting up very early in the morning is discipline that I would love to possess. There is nothing that beats an early morning approach on life every single day with out the rush and panic of a hectic morning. We all strive for excellence in our lives and we show our efforts through hard work and focus. I encourage you to stay strong for you will be rewarded for you efforts. How to Focus and Never Give Up






Irrespective of whatever heights you may have achieved in the past, every day is a new day and one needs to look ahead, plan and work. Oh but please don't forget to have Joy in your path or else there is just no point of all your works. Being constantly motivated in our work is the greatest challenge. How to Stay Motivated at Work.


The top performer’s have an attitude for success : If I work smart, there are ways to accelerate the decision-making process. If I work hard, too, I’ll find more opportunities to do that than my competitors will. There’s a danger, though, in trying to work too smart, or not hard enough. You start cutting corners and start forgetting what is really important.

Working hard and working smart go hand in hand.


A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun.- Thomas Carlyle
Remember to reward yourself through all your effort and be strong of mind. For success is a steep hill that we must climb and sometimes a hill we climb alone. When we get to the top it is truly glorious but it does not mean it will be the end of the journey. For life is build out of lessons that we choose to take and whether you choose or not, destiny will be your own fate. Conquer Yourself because you are your own worst enemy. 


It is easy getting to the top... its harder staying there. 
(The greatest lesson I learnt  when it comes to competition. )

Monday, December 6, 2010

5 Steps for Happiness in your Own Llife

How can you capture happiness in your own life? It comes through your own effort. Don't bother looking for someone or something else to make you happy. It just won't happen. This is a wonderful thing, because it puts you firmly in control of your own happiness!
Some spend their entire lives searching for the person, thing, or situation that will make them happy. They don't see the happiness within their own reach - in their everyday, ordinary life.





Here are five steps you can use right now, in your own life. to capture happiness.

Step Number One:
Be thankful! That's right, by showing thankfulness and gratefulness for what you do have, you automatically become a happier person. Say "thank you" when someone does something nice for you. Remember to be grateful for those little things in your life - things you may be taking for granted right now.
Even those with the hardest lives can find something to be grateful for. Have you noticed that it's often people who have the hardest situations that are happiest? Someone who is profoundly disabled or has lost everything in life through no fault of their own often has a positive outlook on life that boggles the mind of everyone around them. It's because these people have learned to be grateful for what opportunities life has given them.
Be thankful for your home, your apartment, or even the room you're still living in at your parent's house! Be thankful for the meals you get every day, no matter how meager they are. Be thankful for the job you're able to go to, and for the money you make. Be thankful for the smiles on people's faces. By making thankfulness a habit you'll automatically lift your mood and become happier.

Step Number Two: 
Notice the good things. Humans tend to dwell on the negative and just gloss over those good things in life. This step goes hand in hand with thankfulness. Pay attention to your life. Good things do happen to you, no matter how small they are. Notice these details and give thanks for them.
One good event can carry you through a week of bad ones. Just notice something good happening and hold onto it. Keep giving thanks for it. Remember how it made you feel. Know that you can create more happy times like that. You'll be surprised at just how many.

Step Number 3:
Lend others a hand. You'll find that just by focusing on someone else (for a change) you'll start to feel better about yourself. This works in two ways - first, you'll see you're not the only one with "problems" and your life is not quite as tough as you thought it was. Second, it just feels good to help other people and know you're making a difference for them.

Step Number 4: 
Take time off for hobbies. Spend time out walking in nature, sewing, needlepoint, playing a sport - just find something that you enjoy doing. This can be a release for you. Make sure you pick something you truly enjoy. If it brings more stress into your life, that's not what you need. Sitting back in the bathtub reading a good book can qualify. This time to unwind, relax, and possibly express yourself will really enrich your life and help you feel happier.

Step Number 5:
Protect yourself and your thoughts. You'll find as you start to focus on the good things in life the world will try to bombard you with negative. Your family, friends, and co-workers will even try to get you "down." It's human nature to want others to feel the same we do, and as the saying goes "misery loves company." Stop reading or watching the news if it always brings you down.
If co-workers are constantly negative, just excuse yourself from the conversation and say you need to get to work. It may be harder with family, but excuse yourself from negative conversations. You may even find you need to change friend groups if everyone in your group is constantly negative - and especially if they have a "victim" mentality. The outside world will try and bombard you with negative - and you need to protect yourself.
These five steps will give you a good grounding in developing a positive attitude. You'll find yourself feeling happier and life will become an exciting opportunity for you and those you love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Have a Dream and Take Action


This first step is develop a dream that is based on:

- what you want to accomplish in life
- those things that bring you happiness, enjoyment, and joy
- your values
- your strengths


The second step is to develop an action plan. Action takes courage, but it also needs a road map. Too many people dream, but never act. Successful action requires:

- pushing yourself to reach your true potential, to break out of your comfort zone

- setting a series of goals that will lead you to your long term aspirations in life. These goals should stretch you, be measurable and attainable, be intrinsically rewarding, and have a specific time frame. What do you need to accomplish this month? In three months? This year? As the old joke goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!" Set a series of 90 day milestones that map out the goals you need to reach to move your toward your dream.

- create an honest assessment of what happens if you don't achieve your goal. What's the worst that can happen? It is probably not as bad as you think, so don't let your fears stop you.

Successful action requires accountability -- to yourself and to those who support you on the journey to your dream.


Do you have a dream? Are you ready for the calling?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Time by Georges Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways ,but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.



We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...


Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Monday, November 29, 2010

11 Ways to Cure Someday Syndrome


  • Someday Syndrome: not doing what you want to because you don’t know what it is, because you’re procrastinating about it, or because you have too much stuff getting in your way.

Everyone suffers from Someday Syndrome at some point in their lives, often catching it repeatedly. For me, most recently, I’d been saying that I really should give running a try without doing anything about it.
You probably have something similar going on in your life – a project, a task, a goal – that you just haven’t got around to doing yet. Right?
I could quote Nike and say: Just Do It, but if it were that simple Someday Syndrome wouldn’t exist. I hate suffering from Someday Syndrome. I want so much and I want it all now but slowly I am trying to train my mind that things take time and that someday can start right now. Everything I do to achieve that goal everyday is me constantly living my dreams and goals. My someday is my everyday.
1. Be you. This is The Happiness Project’s number one Happiness Commandment. If you can't be you who are you living for. Who are you doing all the hard life searching for if it is not for you. 
2. Clear out the junk. If you don’t know what would suit you better, it could be because your mind and emotions are all cluttered up. I mean, seriously, if your mind’s in chaos, how could you possibly make a clear decision on getting rid of your somedays? The clutter I’m talking about includes the negative thoughts.
3. Know what you want. And why you want it. If you are going cure Someday Syndrome, you’ll need to know details about that desire and the reasons behind it.
And if you don’t know what that is, the blogosphere is full of blogs ready to help you figure out your dreams.
4. Make a grand plan. I say “grand” because this is the big picture plan. Don’t get carried away. Planning can feel like action, but really it’s no different than talking. Until you actually do something, you’re still procrastinating.
5. Take one step at a time. The only details you need to choose at this point is first steps. I get overwhelmed by details. When I look past the big picture I don’t just see a few details – I see all of them, therefore I focus on just the next two or three things that I’m going to do.
6. Ignore the rest. That’s right. Ignore everything else in the goal except what you’re working on. We often use comparisons of where we are now to where we want to be as a form of procrastination. While checking in is always a good thing, we can do it when each small task is completed, and not in the middle of a task.
7. Get help. Daniel Gilbert in his book Stumbling on Happiness, says that the best route to figuring out if our goals will actually make us happy is to talk to others who have done it.
8. Don’t compare. Be careful when you get help, because the dream-shattering tendency to compare lurks nearby. Leo talks about the bad side to comparisons in his post: Life’s Enough. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
Enough said. (Yes, I’m taking my own advice about Getting Help and moving on.)
9. Be uncomfortable. Judith Sills in her book The Comfort Trap, or What If You’re Riding a Dead Horse? talks about how we might be terribly unhappy, but we’re comfortable so we don’t do anything about the unhappiness. Happiness is a risk, but the current situation even if it’s painful is safe.
Which would you prefer? Comfortably in pain and unhappy or uncomfortably blissful? I live my life the second way and would recommend that you always choose the uncomfortable option.
10. Celebrate the process as well as the end. I don’t mean celebrations like Dash’s Grade 3 “graduation ceremony” from The Incredibles. I mean acknowledge your progress. I Tweet my runs and mention them on my Facebook status. I also talk with other runners and we talk progress and tips.
And in turn this sharing inspires others and helps them move past their own Somedays and toward achieving their goals.
11. Don’t stop at the easy point. Wait a second. Most lists are only ten points. Why does this one have eleven?
Because it’s important to push yourself just a little bit further than you think you can go. 
So, while you’re celebrating and taking it one step at a time, come up with one unexpected action you can take that’ll add energy, excitement and a bit of fear to your goal.
Believe me, that bit of fear will probably be the best motivator you’ve ever found.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to be Successful in Life

Smell the ambition,motivation and success in the air. Johannesburg is a city built on dreams. Built on ideas that where not scared to take the first step. Everything in this city gives you the opportunity to be yourself and live the life you want. There is definitely a word for Johannesburg, South Africa its called Passion. People need it, people look for it cause when you are hungry success is sure to follow. 


I build my profession in Johannesburg. Working like a slave for TV productions and Commercial companies and loved it. I am Tv/Film Director because of this city. If you are not ambitious and living in Johannesburg, you are wasting your time. I have been gone for almost a year but you never lose that ballzy- guts and confidence that comes with Joburg.

The famous Jozi Skyline.

Expect Success
The first thing you need to do is change your mindset to that of a successful person. This means that you should begin to expect to achieve things in your life. You deserve success, and you need to remind yourself of this fact every day. Not only do you deserve it, but you are, in fact, entitled to it, and it is coming your way--it is only a matter of time! If you convince yourself of this, it will be nearly impossible for you to fail.
Now, make a list of the things you want. Do you want to make more money, or change your career? Do you want to get married? Whatever your goals, write them down and then read what you have written. Then tell yourself that you can have these things, and most importantly, that you will.





Success will not lower its standard to us. We must raise our standard to success. - Rev. Randall R. McBride, Jr.
Act

Once you are confident in your ability to be successful, start acting to initiate the changes in your life that you want to see. If you want a better job, start looking every day, or enroll in classes that will help you get it. If you want love, throw yourself headlong into the dating scene. Immerse yourself in the things that will help you achieve success. Remember, time passes quickly, and if you do not take action now to pursue your goals, you may lose the chance to live up to your dreams.






Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. – Henry Ford

Have Determination
Do not be discouraged if things don’t immediately go your way. Though it may seem like people achieve success overnight, the truth is that most successful people have worked very hard to get where they are. Have patience, and do not lose your drive. With confidence and determination, you will become successful.
Success is a journey, not a destination. – Ralph Arbitelle

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

8 Friends Every Women Needs

Essential Friendships 
You know that close friendships feel good, but did you know just how much of a health boost they can be? According to a 10-year study of older people in Adelaide, Australia, satisfying friendships predict longevity better than even close family ties, and they can protect against obesity, depression, and heart disease, among other health problems. “When women get stressed, our instinct is often to find a friend and talk things through,” says Joan Borysenko, PhD, author of “Inner Peace for Busy Women.” “Both touch and talk release the hormone oxytocin, which has a profoundly calming effect on your mind and body.”

You don’t need 600 Facebook friends or a jam-packed social calendar to reap these impressive perks (in fact, both can backfire). Research shows the following “types” of relationships are especially potent for your health. Here’s how to cherish these friendships and make sure you stay close for the long haul.

A Childhood Friend 
She can still remember the boy-crazy, artistic girl you were at 16.

Longtime intimates are special for many reasons. They knew you and your family while you were growing up and likely have many memories and stories of you that no one else does. "These friends remind you that you are still the person you've always been," says Rebecca G. Adams, PhD, a leading friendship researcher and sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Nurture these ties by starting a members-only Web site — groups on Yahoo, Google, or Facebook are free and make it easy. Use them to plan vacations or share links to digital photo albums. Or keep things low tech — just stick a card in the mail now and then, and stay in touch with phone calls. Research from the University of Notre Dame shows that people who chat at least every 15 days have the best chance of staying close over time.

A New Friend 
Unlike members of your grade school crew, newly acquired pals have no preconceived notions about you.

"As we get older, we can fall into ruts," says Pamela McLean, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Barbara, CA. "New friends ignite different kinds of thinking and fresh ways of being." What's more, they'll connect you to another network of people, says Rosemary Blieszner, PhD, a professor at Virginia Tech who has researched friendships among older women. That network can be helpful if you’re looking to make a career change or find a new pool of potential dates.

Find new friends at the office, befriend your kids’ friends’ parents, or try new activities, like that Zumba class at the gym.

A Workout Friend 
She’ll drag you out for a jog on days when you’d rather be parked on the couch.

Experts agree that exercising — whether walking, golfing, or salsa dancing — is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health and longevity. And a good friend may be the glue that makes this healthy habit stick. A University of Connecticut study of 189 women ages 59 to 78 found that strong social support was key to maintaining a new exercise regimen for 1 year.

Video: Which friends will help you live longer?

For best results, set a joint exercise goal together — whether it’s going for a neighborhood walk 4 days a week or running a 5K. It's the best way to boost the get-healthy payoff of a workout partner because neither of you is poking and prodding the other, which is a recipe for resentment, says Marcia G. Ory, PhD, a researcher at Texas A&M Health Science Center.

A Spiritual Friend 
Being part of a spiritual community — not necessarily an organized religion — helps people stay resilient, research shows.

A study from Duke University Medical Center found that people who regularly attended religious services or engaged in activities such as prayer, meditation, or Bible study had a 50% lower risk of dying over a 6-year period than others of the same age and health status.

That's not to say it's easy to forge a connection in a room of 300 worshippers or while meditating on your own. Seek more intimate opportunities at a local church or temple: Volunteer in a canned food drive campaign, or attend a lecture series. Or try a neighborhood yoga center or community college; they often offer spiritually meaningful courses.

A Younger Friend 
How did you juggle your full-time job and three kids? Your 10-years-younger friend really wants to know.

Research shows that an essential element of a happy life is to nurture and feel useful to others — by cooking a wholesome meal, say, or passing on what you've learned through experience. For many women, that itch gets scratched by raising children. But mentoring younger friends (from the office, for example) can give you that same feeling, Blieszner says.

To maximize the benefits of this friendship, let advice flow in both directions. A younger confidante can explain the social networking site du jour or offer a fresh take on current events.

Your Partner’s Friends 
Becoming tight with your husband’s pals is good for your marriage.

The more a couple's family and friends intermingle, the happier spouses are after even just 1 year of marriage, found one study that examined the social circles of 347 couples. "We were surprised," says researcher Kenneth Leonard, PhD, a professor of clinical psychology at SUNY Buffalo. "Including your spouse in your network of friends is nearly as important for marital happiness as making them feel they are a part of your family."

Your Mom 
About 85% of adult women say they have a good relationship with their mother, according to a Pennsylvania State University study.

Despite the inevitable conflicts between grown moms and daughters, the relationships are generally strong, supportive, and close. "There is great value in this bond because mothers and daughters care so much for one another," says study author Karen L. Fingerman, PhD. If you’d like to be closer but run into the same roadblocks over and over, here’s some advice to overcome the most common issues.

• You find it hard to enjoy time with mom: Stop trying to change her, and focus on what you do enjoy, says Fingerman.

• You keep clashing over the same old issues: The women who had the strongest relationships didn't take the conflicts personally. Instead, they tended to see criticism as a reflection of their mother's habits or traits.

• The relationship feels too close for comfort: Daughters who did the best with this accepted that their mothers wanted more time together. Instead of telling their moms what they couldn't do, these daughters focused on when they could get together and what they could do for their mothers.

Yourself 
If you’re like a lot of women, you’d drop everything to help a friend in need — but often don’t pay yourself the same respect.

So, how does one befriend herself, exactly? It starts with self-knowledge, says Prevention advisor Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland. “Getting to know yourself is an amazing adventure,” she says. “Think of what makes you fall in love with someone: how genuine, sincere, and caring they can be; the unconditional love they offer, no matter what. Doesn't that describe how you should feel about yourself?”

Peeke recommends you repeat the following mantra as a reminder: "I love and honor myself as I do the other important people in my life." To give yourself the TLC you deserve, write down seven things that make you feel happy and healthy (cooking dinner, talking to a friend, running, reading a book), and make sure you do at least one every day.

Shared by Prevention.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My beautiful South Africa

8 Things You Might Not Have Known About South Africa
Just landed in beautiful sunny South Africa. I could be the happiest person in the world right now. JOY! 
Here are some great fact about South Africa.
  1. The world’s first heart transplant was performed in Cape Town at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1967 by Dr. Christiaan Barnard. In addition to having performed the first heart transplant, he also performed the first heart/lung transplant. The donor of the first heart transplant was a white girl who also had her kidneys donated to a black recipient, which was extremely controversial at the time.
  2. South Africa is by far the largest producer to strategic minerals. It produces 90% of the platinum, 80% of the manganese, 73% of the chrome, 45% of the vanadium, and 41% of the gold.
  3. The two biggest man made holes in the world were excavated in South Africa. The Big Hole in Kimberly and the Jagersfontein Mine are both gigantic, open pit diamond mines. Both mines were designed to extract diamonds from underground Kimberlite Pipes which come from the mantle of the Earth.
  4. South Africa is home to the world’s largest bird (ostrich), largest mammal (bull elephant), smallest mammal (dwarf shrew), largest reptile (leatherback sea turtle: 1500 pounds), largest earthworm (African Giant Earthworm), fastest animal (cheetah), tallest animal (giraffe), and the largest fish (whale shark).
  5. The second highest waterfall in the world is in South Africa: Tugela Falls. It checks in at 948m, 31m less than Angel Falls in Venezuela.
  6. The best example of a living fossil was found in South Africa in 1938: the Coelacanth. The fish was thought to be extinct since the Devonian period and is considered the linked between fish and tetropods.
  7. In 1879, the largest defeat of an army with gunpowder to an army without guns occurred in South Africa. 1,400 British troops were defeated by 30,000 Zulu warriors armed primarily with spears and shields. Over 1,000 British were killed (71%) vs 3,000 Zulus (10%).
  8. South Africa has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
What other interesting things about South Africa do you know? Has anyone else traveled there or planning a trip soon?