Alex Zanardi: An Extraordinary Man

With less than a liter of blood left in his body, Alex Zanardi’s heart stopped seven times and he was read his last rites by a priest on the helicopter ride from the Eurospeedway to the hospital.

Fifteen years on from the day his car and body were severed/cut in two, the former F1 and IndyCar driver enters the history books as a three-time Paracycling gold medalist..

The Italian could have turned away from elite sport forever, but his injuries have been life-threatening as well as life-changing; today, Zanardi considers his appalling accident one of the greatest opportunities of his life.

“Normally I don’t thank God for these type of things as I believe God has more important stuff to worry about, but today is too much, I had to raise my eyes and thank him,” Zanardi told reporters after the race (2016 Paralympics).

“I feel my life is a never-ending privilege.”

Now at 49, the Italian overcame men half his age to take the title, despite originally taking up the sport to keep fit.

A few things to learn from him

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Self-Reflection, the Pivot of Transformation

No man is born perfect and no circumstance remains the same. These are paramount reasons why change is constant. However, no change is necessary unless its effects are important in transforming existing situations. To become and Extraordinary Gentlemen, personal transformation is necessary and self-reflection is the pivot of personal transformation. Today I love to share with you a few thoughts of self-reflection.

Perfect yourself daily, both personally and professionally, until
you become a consummate being, rounding off your gifts and reaching eminence
by Balthazar Gracian

Image source: tristanlewis.com

There exist various periods in the life of a man that he comes to a realization of his current inadequacy in dealing with particular situations. Such a situation usually arises from changes in relation to people around him, institutions or even changes in the man himself. However, as we have many times discussed, no matter the particular situation the man is facing, his circumstance falls into one or more of the three fields of manhood; Ministry (purpose), Marriage and Money (career and finances).

The various inadequacies that a man identifies in his life influence the way he deals people (men, women and children), institutions (society) and invisible forces (divine and devilish) that exists in the three fields of his life. For example a man can discover that his anger problem has become a limitation to his ability to interact with his family, co-workers or even disciples over long period of time without a heated confrontation or two. This problem with anger becomes an inadequacy that affects his effectiveness and efficiency in life and therefore calls for personal transformation. A man who therefore desires to be an Extraordinary Gentleman must be ready to undergo continuous sessions of change or transformation that can be exciting, challenging, boring or painful, but rewarding. As the bible says… let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily beset us…(Hebrews 12:1).

An important process in effecting a personal transformation is self-reflection. We will consider Self-reflection to involve a calm, usually lengthy, conscious consideration of one’s personality or issues that relate directly or indirectly with to him as a person. As Proverbs 14 vrs 8 puts it, the wisdom of the wise is to give thought to his ways. A man must therefore give thought to his ways, considering what has happened, what is happening, what will happen, what should have been happening and what should happen (what he has to do). This process involves identifying, analyzing and making decisions or resolutions on issues in our personal life. A successful pursuit of our resolution is what is important in transforming us into Extraordinary Gentlemen.

I will like to share with you some characteristics and a simple way to do a self-reflection. I hope it helps you in your own process of self- reflection and most importantly, I hope and pray that you pursue without delay every single resolution or decision you make

image source: salesprogress.com

CHARACTERISTICS
Self-reflection must be:
Conscious – it must be a choice and a controlled process, not a time for your mind to wonder around
Truthful- be blatantly honest with yourself, don’t make excuses for yourself (after all, no one is listening
Biblical – all conclusions must have scriptural or spiritual basis
Written – major self-reflection sessions must end up with a written resolution
Implementable – simple, understandable, measurable resolutions.
Prayerful- pray in the beginning (I am usually guilty of this), confess sins and pray for strength to overcome during the process and be thankful in the end.

THE PROCESS

1. Consider your vision for life: (create one if you do not have, and make sure it carries elements of what you want to be in relation to your Marriage, Ministry and Money)
E.g. I want to be a great dad, wonderful husband, outstanding salesman, incredibly spirit-led usher and a loving philanthropist by 2020 onwards. (And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it” Habakkuk 2:2)

2. Consider your actions in the day or period under review if they align or contradict your vision

3. Tell yourself the truth; humbly congratulate yourself and celebrate victories, but regret and repent from failures, (remember to confess failures that are also sin and ask for strength and will to overcome)

4. Write out failures and corresponding resolutions, especially during major self-reflection moments (remember Habakkuk 2:2 above)

5. Pray for the strength and the will to accomplish your resolution (I usually write my prayer under the resolutions).

6. Go out and bring forth fruits that befitting of your repentance (Matt. 3:8, Luke 3:8)

I hope the Lord Almighty blesses your life through this and give you deeper and relevant understanding. God bless you and remember I cherish your comments and contributions.

What you should think

In our last discussions entitled “What You Think, What They Think and What He Thinks; On Reputation” we considered issues about self-image, reputation and true reputation.
We concluded that what we think about ourselves is not valid until it is equal to what God thinks about us.
The question then remains what then should we think about ourselves?

source of image : forbes.com


The problem with what we think about ourselves does not originate with the thought; it originates with the mindset that is employed for the thinking.

Have ever wondered why certain evil thoughts still flooded your mind considering the fact that you are born again or considering your “age” in Christianity? Well it is all because only your spirit was born again when you believed and confessed Christ, your soul (emotions and mind) have to be saved by renewal which usually takes a lifetime to complete and your body will be saved by assuming incorruption at the coming of Christ. So there is the answer, to think right and see things from the perspective of God,

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect Romans 12 vrs 2.

And be renewed in the spirit (attitude) of your mind, and put on the new man which is made after the image of God in true righteousness and holiness Eph 4:23-24(and so should be acquainted with thinking like him)

After all,
the new man is guided by the Spirit of God who knows the Mind of God.
Thus there is a need for us to adopt a new mindset, yet which of mindset is the best. Well the recommendation is this
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…he humbled himself…Php2:5-8

How do we achieve this?
For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him Romans 12:3
Sober self-reflection and self-judgment scarcely takes a step out of the perspective of God.
There is a lot more to say and I trust God to give me the opportunity to come your way next week Wednesday, stay blessed and remember I cherish your comments.

What You Think, What They Think And What He Thinks; On Reputation.

I nearly skipped this week’s post, and though I am doing it a day late, I am glad i did it for what can gladden us more than doing the will of the father, as Jesus described it, it is like eating a most choice food that keep you satisfied for a long time (John 4:34). I am however going to keep it very short and I hope it blesses you.
There are thoughts or perceptions we hold of ourselves, who we are, what we do and what we say, let’s call that self-image.
There are thoughts or perceptions other men hold of us, what we are, what we do and what we say, let’s call that reputation.
There are thoughts or perceptions that God holds of us, what we are, what we do and what we say, let’s call that true reputation.

Image source:exceljockey.com


These two things
1. What we think about ourselves (self-image)
2. What others think about us (reputation)
Are not valid, until they are equal to what God thinks about us (divine reputation).
Jesus said in John 5 :31-37 , 31 if I testify of myself, my testimony is not valid…,34 Not that I accept human testimony,…36 I have a testimony weightier than that of John…, 37 and the father who sent me has himself testifies concerning me.
What is Gods perception of what you do, say or think?