Want to Build Hope and Community with another Unique Ubuntu Challenge?

How would you like to look back on 2021?

As the year you explored ubuntu? As the year you created a healthy relationship with exercise? As a year you changed a child’s life by helping them learn to read? By changing someone’s life currently living in a shack? By Changing a communities capability to teach their children by building a school?

These are all possible.

It’s been quite an overwhelming year. I don’t know about you – but the sheer scale of death and economic hardship being experienced sometimes feels insurmountable.

And then I’m reminded about my challenge 3 years ago that 99.9% thought was insurmountable: Climbing a mountain every day for a year. With ‘Ubuntu’ as my guiding principle to create a more compassionate world – 744 people of all fitness levels joined me pushing their own capabilities in the process, and together we fundraised almost R1 million building a home for orphaned and vulnerable children; providing 12 of the poorest primary schools with literacy aids teaching children to read; and created 60 new donors with the Sunflower Fund to help them save lives.

My greatest lesson that year was what we can accomplish when we work together. It’s in that spirit that I have another challenge for us.

It’s called ‘50in50’.

Each week the challenge is to create the outline of each state in America tracking a walk/run/cycle across 50 Saturdays – and you can join! I don’t expect you to do it to scale! (Unless you’re Ryan Sands or Rich Roll in which case crack on) The outlines are the tricky parts as you’ll see below. I’ve decided to start this challenge on the 50th day of the year: 19th February 2021.

50 weeks may sound like a big commitment – but in reality the challenge isn’t about long we commit to something. The challenge is what we do today.

While the pandemic continues to affect the lives of so many, the importance of being healthy, having a bigger purpose to focus our energy on, and supporting each other in the process has never been more apparent. The aim is to build a community around what we can do & control our inputs even while external forces continually change and challenge us. We’re all in the same storm – we just using different boats. The way I see it, if you have space in your life raft, pulling one person in changes their life. This time I’ll be asking people to donate $50 aiding companies already doing great work to build our communities and make them stronger.

Where do these Ideas come from?

This inspiration is thanks to my friend Stephan Pieterse.  His charity fundraiser, a biennial event ‘The Gratitude Run’, was hosted virtually instead of at their usual venue Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. This gave me an opportunity to participate in New York, even  though it’s 12 525km away. One of the 4 categories was ‘creative’ – so using my sports tracker to create a picture, I tried to create a heart with D4D in the middle (Their charity is called ‘Distance 4 Difference’). I shared this map with our friend here in New York and she exclaimed, “Oh that looks like the map of Ohio!”

Those 8 words made me ponder the fact there are 50 states – and two days later the question ‘what if I created an outline of each state?’ inspired my next ubuntu challenge. I’ve added another element just for some fun to see if I can climb the elevation gain of each state across the 50 weeks –a mere 93 967,7m or the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building 365 times (No I won’t be climbing it every day, unless you have a contact for me to chat to about this??)

The best part about this challenge is just as you can join me from wherever you are – I can still complete my weeks challenge if I travel.  

I’ll be going in order of each states ratifying the constitution of the union – starting with Delaware. Fun Fact: It’s the home state of the current sitting president Joe Biden (46th) and he’s the first president to be elected from this state. It got its name in 1610, after the first governor of Virginia, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr.

The first state outline to be done on 19 February 2021

Building Purpose into Each Step

The charities supported by the donations you can choose from are:

  1. Habitat for Humanity (RSA or East Bay and Silicon Valley area) – building homes.
  2. One Heart for Kids (RSA or New York) – building literacy.
  3. Pencils of Promise (Africa or New York) – building schools.

50in50 isn’t just building community to support one another through unprecedented times, it’s building our discipline; our commitment to helping others; compassion for others circumstances; and last but certainly not least – a healthy habit that contributes to a strong immune system.

This challenge is for you IF:

  1. You’re tired of making New years resolutions about health and/or exercise that evaporate by Valentines day.
  2. You haven’t been severely affected financially by the pandemic and wish to help others out of their hole.
  3. Want to use 2021 to create a milestone in your life of positive change.

Not only will it be fun to recreate each states map, but we’ll forever be changing the course of another human beings’ life. That’s priceless. I’ll be working closely with each charity to provide you with interesting facts about what your impact means to children finally getting a safe building to learn in; learning to read; or own their first home that has running water and their own toilet.

Rabbi Tarfon who lived almost 2000 years ago around 73CE said, ‘You are not obliged to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.’ Covid has certainly shown me how we’re only as strong as our weakest link, and why it’s important to do what I can to empower others.

Understanding the essence of Ubuntu means working on two sides of the same coin: personal development & working together for the betterment of mankind.  I Changed my definition of how to measure success to support this; to borrow Nelson Mandela’s words:

A beautiful part about this challenge is that, just like climbing a mountain, we all arrive at different levels of fitness – BUT – with consistency and perseverance we can track our progress as we travel through the various states creating our own United States of America.

There’s always strength in numbers so these are the ways to get involved and help:

  1. You can pick a cause and donate.
  2. Take part yourself and donate what you can (R50 or $50 a month is great!)
  3. Take part and invite 1 other friend to join as an accountability partner.
  4. Join and create your own team to represent your own state/city and see if you can finish top of the leader board.
  5. Think of people who are looking for a supportive community to build a healthier lifestyle and/or want to empower others and share this with them.

I’ll finish how I started: how would you like to look back on 2021?

Anythings possible. I hope you’ll join me in making 2021 a year to remember (for all the right reasons!)

Head over here to register in 3….2…….1…….

8 Ways to Build Momentum

The longest journey starts with the first step.

9% of people buying online courses – finish them.

Not implement. Not become successful. Finish.

My last post was about feeling inspired and removing blockages. Inspiration is the easy part, today I’m sharing 8 tips I’ve used successfully to help you act on your inspiration and implement daily rituals to become part of the 9%

Life Happens

We’re all trying to improve something, but no matter how inspired we get, as soon as we’re back to our real life it’s a slippery slope back to old patterns.

‘Unleash the Power Within’ was exactly like the moment I had the idea to climb Table Mountain every day for a year.

My soul. Was on. Fire.

Opportunities flooded me from the idea and I focused on the solutions to each problem or challenge I’d face (like having no days off for an entire year, gale force winds, seriously cold and wet weather but a few) instead of letting them dissuade me.

As strong as that was, the outside world came along to poke its negativity holes in my full bucket of water.

One by one the holes started spewing more water until it felt like there’s no more inspiration left.

Should you just give up? Never! Can you do anything to negate that? Absolutely! It’s why you here.

I hope this creates opportunities for ideas to flow and for you to feel what it’s like to have your soul set on fire. Mind, body and spirit in synch, like a grand cosmic alignment.

Living your purpose.

  1. Set an Audacious Goal

This gives you a clear place to work back from. Get fired up because now you can break down what needs to happen each day. Training or preparation – essentially – becomes a way to condition our brain to enjoy pushing our capabilities for our ultimate goals.

Have fun with it! I’m currently doing hill training in preparation for my next event and I love pushing extra each day. Comparing today versus yesterday and this week versus last week, and tracking progress creates the only competitive streak that matters: being better than you were yesterday.

HOT TIP: Going bigger stretches you; when your gut feeling is one of great excitement – go for it! Don’t keep it bottled up and don’t let others dissuade you – they can only meet you at their level of experience and understanding.

2. Do One Thing Now

Thinking about aaaaaaall the days ahead will drive you insane and most likely overwhelm you.

Focus on a simple fact: I just need to act today.

I had six months to train my mind and body. I worked out a plan on how to be ready for the audacious challenge of tackling the vertical equivalent of 71 Mt Everests.

You know what I started with?

I stopped using the lifts.

I lived on the 8th floor of an apartment block. Forgot something at the shops? Off I went back down the stairs – get it – and back up. No excuses. No exceptions.

A small decision that was easily implementable with massive ramifications.

HOT TIP: What you think today, is the same as what will happen tomorrow. ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ is a phrase that keeps you busy but gets you nowhere – like being on a rocking chair.

3. Your Inner Voice

Dr John Demartini says ‘when the voice and vision on the inside is more profound than all the opinions on the outside; you’ve begun to master your life’.

It’s your life. It’s your tapestry of experience you’re creating. Following through on an idea that ignites you creates momentum for the next idea to arrive. You don’t need permission or justification from the outside world.

99% of people didn’t understand or even believe I could climb Table Mountain every day. Did it matter? Their opinions weren’t the ones climbing the mountain.

HOT TIP: When you get an idea that inspires growth and positive change? It won’t matter what others have to say. Keep your actions aligned to why you got excited in the first place.

4. Highways have Onramps

Why? They allow us to transition from a slow speed up to what’s required. Think about what your onramp looks like to go from inspired to implemented.

My body wasn’t ready for 365 consecutive summits in 2017– so my plan was to ramp up my training getting the mind and body ready. I even simulated fatigue and ignored the ‘I don’t feel like it’ days by doing a leg workout at gym before heading to my first climb of the week.

My Onramp:

July: 1 weekly summit up Table Mountain.

August: 2 summits every week

September: 3 summits

October: 4.

November I was in the United States rallying support for my challenge; which created an opportunity to climb after 27 hours of travelling back for Miami to Cape Town that afternoon I landed. Then I slept, woke up and climbed again.

December I completed eight days in a row mid-month as a final test of will and fitness.

I was ready.

HOT TIP: You’re building a habit; a new lifestyle – the only quick fix is making a decision in your mind. When you realise you’re in it for the long haul, you create incremental sustainable gains towards your goal.

5. Your Focus

Become dogged in your pursuit to achieve the outcome of your inspiration. You equal chance of failing as succeeding – so which one will you focus on?

Focus on failure and you’ll find excuses. Focus on success and you’ll find solutions.

It’s no good looking at the top of the mountain wanting to be there. You’ve got to put one foot in front of the other to make that a reality.

HOT TIP: You got excited and inspired for a reason. When those days of ‘I don’t feel like it’ come, focus on what got you fired up in the first place. Think of a way to get back into that state – a song. A special move. A vision board of everything you stand to gain. Then take that next small step to make it reality.

6. Linking Pain to Pleasure

Achievement lies on the other side of the pain, be persistent and learn from the lessons you get to achieve your goal.

Climbing Table Mountain once is tough. Twice will leave most people knackered and perhaps taking a bit longer to get up off the toilet a couple days later.

I obsessed on the benefits of accomplishing something so outlandish. I believe in sharing what I learn so I knew I’d be able to share this and empower you to push through and successfully hit your goals.

‘Pain’ is simply the universes way of testing resolve to see who genuinely wants what they desire. The greater the ‘pain’ – the greater the reward on the other side.

I say pain, but really its just a readjustment to living outside our comfort zone.

If I’m doing it right, pain never goes away – and I know I’m growing.

HOT TIP: The hardest part’s getting started. You’re already a master at talking yourself out of it – so use that same skill to talk yourself INTO it. Do whatever it takes to get excited! Condition yourself to feel the way you do afterwards when the endorphins are flowing like the satisfaction of completing another workout. Today’s a success – celebrate that!

7. ‘Who’ instead of ‘How’

You don’t procrastinate because you’re lazy. You procrastinate because you don’t have clarity on where you want to go – or the next steps to get there.

In short, we get paralysed on HOW to do it. That’s been me for the last five months prior to UPW.

The correct question is ‘WHO can I enlist to empower me to get there?’ when I don’t have the answers.

Hiring coaches has created clarity on what to do next. Their 62 years of experience combined with a desire to create successful driven individuals focused on adding value back into the world, means our values align and their proven methods immediately put my train back on track.

HOT TIP: Stop agonising over how you need to progress and ask the question who can empower you to get where you want? Don’t be too stubborn to ask locals where to go when you’re lost. This is why coaching is so important.

8. Gratitude

Are you still not able to get yourself pumped up to follow through and build momentum?

Practice daily gratitude.

Focusing on what’s already right in your life and all the ways you were challenged in the past to get to today builds joy in the moment now. You’ve made it! You’re here! Celebrate that and embrace gratitude.

Gratitude enables you to enjoy the process and be the fuel to your momentum.

HOT TIP: Swap ‘I have to’ with ‘I get to’. I’m grateful for my amazing body that looks after me and helps me experience the beauty in this world. Gratitude helps me appreciate the smallest things and realise how blessed I am.

Demand Higher Standards

You know yourself better than anybody. Be realistic about your goals and what path to take. Wanting to be the best triathlete when you don’t even know how to swim makes no sense. You can do it! If you understand exactly how much work you need to put in.

Don;t beat yourself up if you miss a days. Or two. Weekly targets allow you to track consistency. Missing days should be an exception.

Again: What you think today – is what you’ll do tomorrow.

Get into the habit of doing something when you think about it.

Whatever your goal, crafting excellence takes time – and the reward is a sustainable ingrained lifestyle to achieve your dreams.

Now isn’t that worth taking time to savour?

Kick ‘one day’ to the curb. Switch the words around.

Struggling to get started? Reply YES here for direct Monday morning tips, tricks and inspiration to pursue your dreams with passion, purpose and clarity with Andrew. Discover the same daily drive within.