Thursday, April 19, 2007

What pictures are you looking at?

A wise man once said, "Your context gives you the picture to look at. Your paradigm determines what you see."

No one lives in a vacuum, unaffected by a (certain) context. We all are bound by a certain context where we live, work and play. No two peoples' contexts are alike, even if they are alike, their paradigms will differ and that will cause them to see their 'similar' contexts in a different way.

Let me tell you a story that might encourage you to understand that your paradigm determines what you see, irrespective of what you look at. Two (separate) American shoe manufacturing companies send their top marketing specialists to investigate the market for shoes in Africa. After two weeks both of them reported back to their respective head offices. The one's reply read: "Don't bother to exploit this market, no one in Africa wears shoes." The other one's reply read: "You won't believe what I have found. The most unexplored market in the world. No one here wears shoes yet."

Albert Einstein was right again!

Albert Einstein once said, "You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that caused the problem."

We all run into problems (or challenges as I like to call them). In our journey in life we get to these challenges mainly because of the way we think. The way we think (our paradigms) brought us to where we are today and if today has a challenge it could be attributed, amongst other reasons, to the way we thought yesterday and the day before that.

Expand your thinking, think differently, shift your paradigm, but don't use the same thinking to solve the problem. It is that "same thinking" that caused the problem in the first place and what makes you think the "same" thinking is (now) suddenly going to solve the problem? "You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that caused the problem."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Black and white bowl us out, no?

I recently had an awakening about my paradigm (mind-set) of why I find it difficult to hear certain people and why it is so easy to hear others.

Last week I negotiated my future with a good friend of mine. Now, I remarked to him that I find our styles and ways incompatible. Before I continue, let me remind you that I find it very difficult to think in terms of right and wrong. This said, neither my friend nor am I right or wrong.

My friend is quite strong in negotiations, the traditional way. He is actually an expert in negotiations because of his experience and academic background. If I was a union representative he would be the last person I would want to negotiate with. He looks at things and he sees what is right about it and what is wrong about it. He has a very good ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

I, on the other hand am not a good negotiator. I have no clue about the first principle of negotiations. What I think I am good at is dialogue – to talk and listen (deeply) until we draw with our words a true picture of reality, understood by both of us in basically the same way.

A day later I had another incident amongst friends where I was talking about my way of viewing change in people. After I laid out my paradigm one of my friends simply ‘cancelled’ my paradigm by remarking she totally disagrees with what I just said. I found myself at a loss of words and just said, “oh”.

The following morning i found my mind kept itself busy with reflecting on my being-at-loss-for-words and the possible reasons for it. I realized I find it difficult to understand people who think in black and white, right and wrong. That paradigm challenges my paradigm. I realized I am more comfortable with dialogue - to talk together. Dialogue, I embrace, even though we might differ in paradigm.

Looking at differences, I think, make me think someone must be wrong. Someone else will most probably be wrong and not me. I can't be wrong, because if I was wrong I would not have believed what I believe. Since I believe what I believe and I don’t want to believe ‘wrong’ things, I surely am right then, ain’t I?

For me, it makes sense to (really) hear one another rather than to think about where someone else differs from me (and are therefore wrong!) May my mind forever rather seek to understand than to judge who is right and who is wrong!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Change is no small money

We live in a world of change. It is everywhere and here to stay. The older our planet gets, the more we understand our lives are soaked with change.

Change like God, is a constant. A constant never changes; it is established and stays the same forever.

God will always be true to who he is. He is God and that is who he will be, forever. His character and identity is not influenced by anything in the universe. He will never become someone else and no one can stop him from being God.

This same principle applies to change. As said, change is also a constant. What will not change is that everything will change. Although we are unsure of many things, we can be sure that everything will change. We might not know exactly what the future holds, but we know it holds change. It is pregnant with change and every now and then gives birth to the life in its womb. We cannot escape the truth that everything in and around us is changing – constantly!

Nico who?

Yes, where can one start to tell others who you are?


I have fulfilling relationships with God, my wife Ronell, my five kids - Nicole (nearly 12), Dillon (10), Luke (7), Daniel-David (4) and Matthew (1 and a half), my father Dice and mother Luitha, friends - lots of them and many others.


I am a Psychologist that has been in the people development business for 19 years. I have trained managers and leaders, coached others toward more fulfilling lives, counselled others to get healing from past hurts and developed many learning programmes.


I have a passion to facilitate processes where people can grow and become who they are born to be...

An awareness...

I have observed through the years that my way of thinking (paradigms) has a way of being different from people who think in terms of 'right' and 'wrong', black or white. That doesn't make me 'right' and them 'wrong'. Remember that!


As we continue our dialogue (through this blog) I also hope to get to know you ... and most probably you will get to know me better.