I was recently struck with the realization that my goal is to serve women by encouraging them to proactively plan for their futures. The book I wrote Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life provided a bit of a description of my experience of having to deal with my husband being diagnosed with a spinal tumor and having to undergo emergency spinal surgery. People that aspire to make a difference in peoples lives always seem to be able to point to a time in their lives or an experience in their past that was the starting point of when the decided to start on a meaningful journey. Mine was my husband’s surgery, I went through a lot of growth and had to look within in order to get through the experience. My faith, my family, and my friends were strong pillars that provided me with the strength I needed. It was an experience I will always be grateful for as it launched my writing career, here I am three years on, sharing my story in order to encourage women to proactively plan for their futures. You might ask yourselves why I have chosen this path, believe you me I have asked myself the same question and I will try and explain myself.
Women disproportionately take on the burden of caring for the family, whether it be caring for their parents, their spouses or their children. This is the culture, this is the expectation and because of this women are the ones that end up spending less of their working years actually working and as such save less towards retirement. Women are also paid less than their Male counterparts and as such have a disadvantage from the get go. Yes this is a generalist view but you just have to google pay inequality and you will get a lot of statistics on the actual figures. I believe that sharing these facts can go a great way to educating women that they have to start early in planning for their futures. Prior to my husband’s surgery I never really worried about these things, I wasted so much time in my twenties not signing up for retirement accounts and not bothering with educating myself. I was basically following the herd. I was doing what others around me were doing, how was I to know better. Who worries about the future, well a lot of people do, because whether we like it or not we are getting older and we can not predict what tommorow will bring but we sure as hell can prepare for it. Let me share a story that might help you see why its important for you as a woman to plan ahead.
My son moved out last week, he left the nest, although he is only 80 or so miles away he has actually moved out. This is a positive thing right, he is getting independent, working, paying bills and following his dreams. I am excited for him but I am also reflective. I have raised this young man to this point in his life but he will always be my baby. A mothers love never dies, mothers are the first to run to your side when things go wrong. When I was in college living my best days ever, I got into a car accident, I knew I was screwed because I shouldn’t have been off campus in the first place. Thankfully my injury wasnt that severe , a dislocated shoulder, and a few bruises. My dad was livid his initial reaction was to let me stew it out, he even discouraged my mom from coming out to see me. But guess what … a mothers love…. my mom took the first opportunity to drive up to be by my bedside while I was in the hospital. This is just how caring women are, they have that nurturing nature in them, they always put other before themselves. In the end who is there for them. How many times have you had to take time off work to care for someone at home? This is the reason why you need to take the time to seriously start planning ahead for your future. Are you putting aside enough? Are you following your dreams and living your purpose, if not this is the day to start. Starting is easy , it just begins with a decision. Women tend to outlive their spouses and that is why I so feel passionately connected to sharing my message. Start planning for your futures, I may be preaching to the choir but if you feel that somehow this message resonates with you at some level keep following. I am going to keep harping on.
Have a great week and always remember that mothers love.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani
A few weeks ago I started off by stating the obvious point that “time waits for no man” and I hope that this encouraged you all to reassess where you are in life and ask yourself whether you are living your life with purpose or are you are just coasting by? One area I want you to consider seriously looking at is your career, for the stay at home mums you are also included. What dreams are you sitting on? What were you trying to become before the babies came along? Motherhood is such a fulfilling job but it can also lead to losing yourself in it. What were you aiming to be before you became Nandis Mum (Nandi is my daughter’s name)? I want to encourage you to continue chasing your dreams, it might be a slow process but start it either way.
There will come a time when the nest will be empty and that time might be too late to start chasing those dreams of yours. I want to encourage everyone to follow their dreams. Bare with me for a minute, I know there are those who are living their best lives ever because they are doing what makes them happy, being mum to their kids and enjoying every aspect of it. For those of us that have to work, I ask you the following questions. Do you like your job or do you dread the thought of Monday? Considering the number of years you will have to work to get to retirement are you willing to continue going to a job that you hate? Are you in your dream job or are you in the job that took you when you graduated college and had to start paying bills? I ask these questions to guide you into reflection. If you hate your job and you dread Mondays then I think it time that you Stopped, took a breath and Reassessed life. It’s scary to question the path you have chosen but it is necessary unless you are okay spending the next 20 to 30 years doing something that you are not passionate about. I encourage you to go back to the drawing board, go back to your dreams and see if you can change your path and do what your heart desires. Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to be irresponsible and quit your job without a plan, I want you to have a plan and realize that there may be some sacrifices you might have to make.
The first thing you can do is give yourself permission to ask what your dream job would be, describe it, visualize it, and start researching it. That is assuming you are not in your ideal job. What skills do you require to get into your dream field? Do the work, google is your friend. Another option is to find the joy in your current job, what do you find exciting, what brings you fulfillment, can you do more of that. Make the effort to enjoy your job, you might have to be there for a while, while you figure out what you want to do. Try and reconnect to why you joined the profession in the first place, does it still give you meaning, does it still make sense.
If you do a deep reflection and find you want a career change do the work, acquire the necessary skills and be willing to intern to get the necessary hands-on experience if required, but avoid taking on a student loan at all costs. It all seems impossible until you start asking the right questions. All I am saying is give yourself permission to explore other possibilities. Your happiness should count for something, don’t be miserable in a job you hate. Take the steps to explore what makes you happy.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani
Its the 2nd week of July and I felt the need to address the fact that we are half way through the year. If you are like most, you probably usually have some new year goals that you formulate at the beginning of the year. Consider me your accountability buddy. I am here to check up on you and ask you how your goals are going. If you have stuck them out and have been able to develop the habits that are getting you closer to your goals then kudos to you. You should acknowledge the progress and celebrate the achievement. If by chance you haven’t moved on any of your targets/plans dont give yourself a hand time you can use this half year mark to re stock and realign yourself to your goals.
Find the clarity and revisit the reasons why you had those specific goals. One thing I have learned about goal setting is that if you dont have a strong emotional connection to the reason behind the goal, the chances of achieving it are going to be very slim. Take me for example, I had exercise as a goal for every year for the longest time, but I was never really able to sustain the regular exercise goal. This year I decided to make it more specific. I also dug deep to find an emotional connection that would keep me focused on my goal. I have a family history of hypertension and diabetes and I wanted to take the necessary steps to address this risk factor. Added to that I have 3 wonderful kids and a loving husband and I want to do what I can to ensure that I will be here for them. Granted I could be hit by a bus tommorow and that is something that I cannot control but I can control and reduce my chances developing diabetes by taking my own preventative steps. Having found my why it was then easier to think of a strategy for my fitness. I had to come up with something that was doable for me. Considering my night shift schedule I knew a realistic starting goal would be to go to the gym 3 times a week . I also knew my limitations where jogging was concerned. I therefore opted for group classes. I can happily report that I have been able to maintain this fitness goal. I go to the gym three times a week and I attend group exercises as my exercise. On good weeks I am even able to go 5 times a week . The fact that I had set a realistic goal of going to the gym 3 times a week has made it possible for me to stick to my goal. Perhaps this is a strategy that might be helpful for you as you attempt to revisit your goals.
Are you someone who looks at the glass as half full or half empty. In order to revisit your goals and attack them successfully you will have to become a glass half full type of person. It is halfway through the year and the perfect opportunity to finish the year strong. You have 6 months of the year left, go out there and start working on those goals.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani
I want to share my recent experience as I feel it applies to everyone. I am a member of a local toastmasters club and I was recently promoted to the role of Vice president of Education (fear, limiting beliefs, stress) were my initial reactions to this news but then I decided to take a step back and reflect. I was voted into the role for a reason, obviously the people around me felt that I had the skills required to take on this role. I am sure there is a lot of us out there that do not have faith in ourselves and we allow our negative self talk limit us from becoming whom god created us to be. Well I am here to share the little wisdom I have learned in the hope of encouraging you all to take the risks and chances that are out there for the taking. A great way to progress is to take on the role of a protégé especially when you are starting out something new.
A protégé per dictionary definition is ” a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person” . I am in toastmasters for a reason, I want to develop the skills necessary to spread my message to the masses, that message is mainly aimed at women but anyone can really make effective use of it. I am inspired to encourage people to proactively plan for their futures. The whys will eventually be explained but my own personal experience has awakened me to the fact that life happens and most of us are ill prepared to deal with emergencies. I am here to encourage people to consider the fact that “Life Happens” and to ask themselves whether they are adequately prepared to deal with these “Life Happens” situations. I wasn’t prepared but I am getting myself situated to deal with what life can potentially throw at me. I am also aware of the fact that I might not be the only person out there and I want to use my experience as a learning opportunity for others. Thus my seeking out toastmasters, I joined toastmasters in January of 2019 and in June 2019 I was voted in as Vice president of Education. Part of my toastmasters journey has required me to fulfill different roles that have made me a better person. I have evaluated speeches , I have timed speeches, I have run meetings and I have intently listened for mistakes . In the 6 months I have been enrolled in toastmasters I can confidently share that I have added to my skill set, but what I want to share with you more is my last project.
I was introduced to mentorship and coaching from the perspective of toastmaster’s international. My last project dealt with mentorship and coaching, but the interesting thing is that it required me to think back to a time to when I was a protégé. I was required to give a 5-7 minute talk about a time I was a protégé. This was easy I was able to recall the time I was a student nurse and had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I appreciated toastmasters for providing me with the opportunity to reflect on my life and humble me into the reality that life is all about learning. We become what we become due to the life experiences that come our way. As a protégé student nurse I was dependent on those that came before me to show me the way. As humans we are not born knowing everything but we are born with the capability to learn from others and as a consequence we are given the responsibility to share our knowledge to the next generation. We evolve through our life experiences, I am grateful for the fact that I can acknowledge my shortcomings and I am willing to learn. I might not be a protégé nurse anymore but I am a protégé in different things in life. I am willing to learn and I am willing to share my knowledge , if you come with an open mind and a willingness to humble yourself you will find that life is meant to be enjoyed and being opening to learning is a grand way of enjoying the life god designed for you. Next time you have a bad thought about someone asking you a question, try and have some empathy and think back to a time when you needed some help with something you didn’t know.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani
The dictionary defines serenity as the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Now that the formality is over let me share my own personal experience of serenity. If you have been following me you might recall me mentioning that a good way of growing is to participate in challenges. I recently participated in a book reading challenge, if you want to call it that. I watched daily videos over a 12 day period as we read the book ” As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. Now I am no literature nerd, so this book was rather challenging to read even with having someone else explain it to me. I know that I will have to read it several times over to fully appreciate it . I did however get the gist of the book which wad, our thoughts are our biggest weapon…its up to us to decide whether we want to use our thoughts to grow or to stay in our mediocrity. This is a very simplistic summary of the book so I recommend that you read it so that you can come up with your own opinion about the message.
It was a tough book to read but it did contain some of the best writing I have ever come across. It is a poetic book that is filled with a lot of wisdom. I am still dissecting the book word by word and will continue to do so for a while. Again a key nugget of wisdom was the important role our thoughts play in what we end up becoming in life. Before I get off point let me get back to my purpose of writing this post (Serenity).
I was required to read the final chapter of the book “As a man thinketh” which is titled SERENITY. I had to read it for 5 consecutive days as well as write down the chapter word for word for 5 straight days. Now I can’t imagine that every one that participated in the book reading challenge carried out this activity but I sure did. My o My how grateful I’m I that I did so. Serenity sure is calmness of mind. My interpretation of the reading is that an evolved being is one who has mastered the art of serenity. This is a person who is able to stay calm in the midst of chaos. One who people want to deal with out of respect because they value and appreciate the calmness of the person. Serenity means you are beyond reproach. you are able to take things in stride.
You are serene because you realize that tempers dont get you anywhere and you keep a cool head when things are going south. I know mine is a very simplistic summary of some of the best writing in the world but the key take away was calmness of mind trumps high tempers any day.
Based on this exercise I have decided I will make an effort to always remain calm and serene where my life is concerned. I understand it will take time but I also realize that functioning on anger, stress, and high tempers is not good for the soul and if I can do something about it why not give it a try. I am therefore making a pact to function at a higher level by always aiming to be serene, and I encourage you to choose calm over stress whenever the opportunity arises.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr Fatsani Dogani
I am one person who doesn’t shy away from setting ambitious goals. I have been setting goals for some years now but the weakness that I have is that I don’t always see them through. I have a funny habit of buying cute looking notebooks from the dollar store and I always have the best intentions of using them as my goal and idea books. I always start off well but somehow midway through the year I find myself forgetting all about these little notebooks, when I find them a year or two later I see all the ideas and goals that were great on paper but that never amounted to anything. I sometimes look at some of my goals from 7 to 10 years back and ask myself where would life be if I had put these ideas into action. I try not to dwell too much on the what might have been but rather also focus on the fact that everyone’s path is different and oftentimes there are reasons why god lets us take the paths we lead. I am accepting of the fact that my journey was meant to take me here. Now is my time to Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life. With that has come the realisation that I have been going about this whole goal setting business the wrong way. I have always had great goals but I lacked a method of sustaining the interest that would have encouraged me to take the action necessary to achieve the goals. I came to this realisation as I was going through a change management online course the other day. Within the course content there was an old Japanese proverb that I believe was directly speaking to me.
“Vision without action is a daydream , action without vision is a nightmare.”
What this means to me is that all those goals (vision) I had were daydreams because I did not take any action towards them or even attempt to have a strategy thinking session as to how I would achieve them. At the same time starting out with action without really having a clear vision is a nightmare. To break it down even further, if my goal was to run a marathon and I did nothing towards this goal that goal would mean I was just daydreaming. Similarly if I just started running without having a clear vision of why I was running , I would be setting myself up for failure (nightmare). I therefore came to the realization that the goals that I had been able to achieve in my life were due to the fact that I had a clear vision for them and actually took the action towards them , such as pursuing my PhD or starting my fashion business with my best friend.
What I am trying to share is that when you set your goals you have to have a clear vision of what the outcome is going to be, the goal has to be able to move you towards taking the steps and action necessary to get you to where you want to be. Goal setting should not be taken lightly , it should be taken as a major responsibility to be treated with the utmost importance. After all, this is you finally giving yourself the permission to do something about living the life you want to live. You are now saying to society ” this is not what life is all about, I can be more than this, I can do more than this , I wasn’t meant to be mediocre, I was meant to be great.” Once you give yourself the permission to improve your life and to live your best life now, you will find that the goals come to you. What have you always wanted to do, what have you always thought was out of reach?Once you start to visualise and set the goals, your mind opens up to opportunities that can lead you to your better life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you set goals and sit back, you have to take the action necessary to reach your goals. Take the example of the marathon, just because I say I want to run a marathon does not mean the opportunity for a marathon will just come to me. I have to start taking the steps to get me there. This would require researching types of marathons, cost of marathons, training required etc , etc, . Then followed by the action of training until the point that I would feel prepared to run the marathon. Goal setting can get you to where you want to be if approached the right way. I hope my take on goal setting has triggered a small desire in you that will encourage you to do some soul searching about whether you are living your best life now or whether you need to Reassess where you are in life.
I hope this blog post has some of you thinking . As always I encourage you all to Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life.
I would like to personally welcome you to my awesome blog. This is the first of many postings that I plan to share with you. As I was thinking about launching my personal blog and website I spent many a day wondering what my niche subject should be. Deciding on a topic area was giving me endless headaches because I just couldn’t decide what my focus should be. Then I decided to leave it to God…and Lord and behold that inner voice started asking me why do I have to choose a niche topic. It said “Fatsani you are so multifaceted in what you do, why do you have to choose one aspect of your life to talk about”. That then had me asking myself,” who said I have to stick to one thing, why not talk about different aspects of my life?”. So that was all I needed to decide that this platform will be used to share the different things that I am passionate about. After all, I am who I am because of the different life experiences I have had.. In list form which is by no means conclusive… I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a cousin, I am a mother, I am an auntie, I am an entrepreneur, I am a fashion designer, I am a nurse, I am a PhD, I am an immigrant, I am an author, I am a Speaker….. And so on and so forth. So why limit myself to a specific “NICHE” Topic, I feel I would be doing the world a disservice by limiting what I share with it. So here I am, first blog post on my brand spanking new websiteI am here to share my story and to inspire, to move you all to get better every day. My drive behind going to all this trouble is to share the story that made me “Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life” which also happens to be the title of my first self published book. See not so long ago I was living life as it came.. With goals and ambitions but with no urgency to change much about life. Then my husband got diagnosed with a spinal tumor that required major surgery that he is still getting over today and that was the kick that I needed to reassess where I was in terms of personal goals and achievements. Don’t get me wrong when people glance at my life and what I have been able to achieve I am sure they say I am not grateful for what I have. I have the PhD, a home, a great job, a great family etc, etc but added to that I also have the huge student loan debt. I am grateful for what I have but at the same time I know that the Lord created me to be more and to do more. I have the God given potential as do you to be able to live at a higher level. My thing is that I know I can do better, I know I should be living a life of financial freedom or rather I can live the dream life that I want as long as I put my mind to it. So here I am today reflecting on the fact that it took my husband being diagnosed with a tumor for me to realise that I wasn’t really living the life that I could be living. I hope that by sharing my story I can help others see that life is never guaranteed and that the unexpected can easily creep upon us and change our lives as we know it. So I am here to encourage you all to ask yourselves the hard questions…
- Are you doing what you love ?
- Are you waiting for the right time time?
- Are you prepared for the curveball we call life?
The right time might never come, you just have to decide what you want in life and start taking the steps to change your reality. I usually get carried away when I start talking about personal development and living our better lives so as a first post I will stop here. Just know I have a lot more to share with you. I will use this platform to educate where I can by sharing my stories and my life experiences. Like I said, I am such a multifaceted individual so expect to see different topics from me. I will aim to keep it entertaining and educational. I have a lot to share and I hope you keep coming back for new content.
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Till the next posting remember to Stop,Take a Breath, and Reassess Life.