The world is changing quick and fast and so must we, lest we overtaken by events. Learning is no longer an option if you are in pursuit of success. The quality of your decision making corresponds with how much relevant information you have at your disposal.
The more information you have the more likely you are to make a quality decision and the converse is true. Learning empowers the mind and the more and more we learn the more and more we enhance our brain power. Learning widens your mind and imaginations and brings within our mindframe what in the past would have been unthinkable.
Business leaders have been forced to change the way they think.
As Napoleon Hill popular adage goes “what the mind of a man can conceive it can achieve” it underscores research that show that, our response to the stimuli is deeply connected to our past. Our past is nothing than just a “body of knowledge” inscribed in both our conscious and sub-conscious mind. If we do not learn we will always respond to stimuli in the same manner.
Learning re-engineers the way we think, positions us to respond effectively to new challenges and inscribes into our subconscious new information that helps us respond in a particular way. Learning cannot be through formal means only, there are thousands and thousand resources which enables access to vast information and learning resources.
Audio on how to be productive, how to be a millionaire, the seven habits of highly effective people etc. can turn your car into a learning resource. Instead of complaining about the traffic situation, you have got the greatest opportunities to boost your mind with knowledge through audio CDs as you meander through peak hour traffic jams. There are just so many ways to empower yourself with new knowledge if you want to be successful.
You cannot be successful if you do not do what other successful do. Despite the billions of dollars that Bill Gates has amassed, today he still reads before he goes to sleep as an ongoing habit. If you want to be success you cannot stop learning.
If you close your mind to learning then you are effectively closing your door to new opportunities. You will then operate within the same borders of knowledge and fail to avoid common mistakes or acquire new knowledge. While basic entrepreneurship principles has remained the same from the era of Warren Buffet to the era of Mark Zuckeburg; new technologies, new leadership methods, new employees have brought a new twist into modern business operations.
We have moved from the era of manpower to the era of mindpower. We no longer celebrate physical muscles but we celebrate brain muscle. Thoughts largely determine who we become. If we continually think of ourselves as destined to success we open ourselves to opportunities that are in consonance with our thoughts. And the good thing is that we can learn to control what we think about most of the time.
Learning improves our mind power, challenges us to think of new ideas, new ways and in the process we exercise our brain and improve our intellectual capacity. The greatest obstacle to human improvement is the inability to recognize that learning is important to human progress. Think of the new inventions, innovations, systems, improvements that are results of dedicated learning.
The world rejects people who refuse to learn and they regress as their peers’ progress. Your aim should be in the top ten percent of the best paid people in your field. You can only achieve that if you are committed to learning and learning.
An open mind provides a fertile ground for planting new knowledge; and enthusiastic learners are likely to retain knowledge as opposed those who grumble about training as a waste of time. Remember the biblical story of seeds that were planted on barren land and fertile land?
It is really the same if you open your mind to learning you are the fertile soil and you will reap the rewards of a good harvest. Unfortunately if you are anti-learning you will harvest nothing but it really comes to an individual choice.
The truth is that if you are not going to learn then you will not improve. You will remain in the same job that you have been for years and years with very little compensation. You will become an employee of compassion; an employee of compassion is an employee that the company keeps because if they are fired they will never be hired by somebody else.
If you learn you increase your value and become an employee in demand. Your worth skyrockets everyday because your commitment to learning greatly improves your abilities, skills and your decision making is on-point. Your influence in the company will grow and your chances of ascending up the ladder are double.
Start improving yourself today, read magazines linked to what you do, read books and listen to audio CD’s in your car and never miss an opportunities of seminars and conferences that are relevant to your line of work.
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This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”