Category Archives: Personal Growth

Awesome night with the Jesus Geeks

Awesome evening with fellow geeks at Eastview!

Tonight's discussion centered around the story of David, and bringing the ark to Jerusalem. Then reflected on the last statement ".. and David went back home to bless his family".

That was quite powerful for me. How can I relate to that statement? How do I bless my family? Am I a blessing to my family? -Am I worth looking up to?

I should certainly reflect on giving more time to my family - my wife and children. Play with them more. Listen more. Listen intently. Love them more.

Reading List

Here is a list of books that I'm currently reading, or plan to read soon. Notice that most are motivational or business books -a little different from the technical books and manuals I read and write every day.

I enjoy these titles mostly because they fuel that entrepreneurial spirit inside me, and because they take my mind off the grind of technical material reading I work with daily. -It's nice to do something different on your break

  • Over the Top, by Zig Ziglar
  • 48 Days To The Work You Love, by Dan Miller, Dave Ramsey
  • Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
  • QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life, by John G. Miller
  • How to Win friends and Infuence People, by Dale Carnegie
  • Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, by Seth Godin
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, by Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! (Miniature Edition), by Robert T. Kiyosaki

I'm working on this list, and will soon be adding Flo's and the kids' lists.

2010 Family Goals to Achieve

Like many things, the New Year in 2010 brings new hope, new wishes and many unknowns.

This year's resolutions will be a little different from all others that we have had before. We (family) have decided to take a team focused approach, and even redefined the term "resolutions" to "Goals to Achieve".

This shift in paradigm is designed to integrate our changing lifestyle, past experience in goal setting and achievement, and also begins to shape how our children adapt to meeting life's challenges.

Combining our goals as a family unit gives us more opportunities to succeed, greater incentive to achieve, and perhaps more importantly -provides us with peer support and accountability.


In our Goal Setting session this year, each of us described personal goals to shoot for. Some goals were common to all of us, so we made those into family goals and modified them so that they were easy to meet. We also resolved to start tracking achievements and problem areas so we could later cheer ourselves on the successes, and re-align those goals that were not going so well. Instead of scoring individual "points", we will score family milestones to enhance the team focused approach.

Our common goals also focus on long-term benefits for each individual and the family as a whole.

Common Goals

  • Make daily family prayer an integral part of our lifestyle

    This is an expansion of the 10-seconds prayers we normally have at dinner-time. We hope to dedicate 3-5 minutes every day just for prayer and bible study as a family. We think this amount of time is small enough to begin to nature our minds about the whole concept of (link: dedication).

  • Healthier lifestyles for all of us

    Instead of the same old "we need to get into shape this year", we have set clear, specific milestones we each need to achieve. These milestones include maintaining healthy weights (privately specified), an exercise program, and signing up at our local community center weight-watchers support group.

    As part of our new healthy lifestyle goal, we are also planning in advance for healthier home-cooked meals and variety.

  • Financial wellness

    Our family financial agenda is a continuation of what we started in 2008. We have made significant progress and reached every milestone ahead of schedule. The last stretch of our financial plan is within striking distance.

    This year, we included charitable giving and tithing as part of our financial responsibility.

  • Read more books

    We as a family generally read a variety of books so this seems simple enough, but it really boils down to including more non-fiction books. We will add more titles to the list of books we have already ear-marked to read this year.

  • Organize our house

    We've accumulated a lot of "stuff" around the house we no longer need, so this year we plan to reduce the stuff by giving away most of it, and selling some of it on ebay and craig's list. That oughta be a money minting goal!

Individual Goals

After going through most of the common goals, there weren't many individual goals left. There are however some personal goals that we articulated to each other, and that we will support each other on as part of our 2010 milestones.

Financial Peace

Florence and I attended Financial Peace University (Mar - May 2008) at our local church (Grace Church) -inspired by radio and TV personality Dave Ramsey.

Dave suggests that the key to getting out of debt and building wealth involves seven "basic" steps.

The pre-requisite is to make a commitment to get out of debt.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start a cash emergency fund: around $1000.00
  2. Pay off debt using a debt snowball
  3. Save 3-6 months of expenses in savings
  4. Save 15% of household income into retirement savings accounts
  5. College funding for children
  6. Pay down mortgage quickly
  7. Build wealth and give

Performing a quick search online suggests there are variations on these steps or even just about the whole debt thing. As for me and my family, we have chosen these steps and have seen them work.

To form your own opinion on the subject, watch Dave Ramsey's show on the Fox Business Network or search online.

In Memory

Today Sep 28th 2009 marks the 6th memorial anniversary of my father's passing.

I pray that his soul continues to rest in peace. I also pray for my mom, whom I know remembers this day everyday. I pray that she finds peace in her heart, and the energy to wake up everyday to a new day with new opportunities to experience God's blessings.

I pray for my brothers and sisters, who with me miss a loving dad -a unique person in all respects.

I pray for our children, who miss a grandfather to relate to and seek wisdom from.

I miss you dad.

Valentines Day Memoirs

This morning, I woke up to the sound of a kid's show on the Noggins TV channel. I couldn't quite make out what the show was, -I didn't try. Then there was the sound of a spoon against a cereal bowl.

Undoubtedly, Ceke was engaging her morning cereal. I could tell from the enthusiasm and fervor that she had been awake for a while. There was an urgent need to catch up with the day. I went back to sleep.

10 minutes later my sub-conscious alarm went off as it went through my to-do list. I hazily performed a mental check list of must-do things on the list.

Top-most, I needed to prepare Ciku's breakfast and get her ready for my 10-O'clock appointment with my Financial Adviser. I figured I had beau coup time given that it was only 5 minutes away, if that. I forced myself out of bed and made it to the kitchen. Along the way I discovered -not surprisingly, that everyone else was awake and miles ahead into the day. Ciku jumped up to me, inspired by her instinctive knowledge that my first order of business should be to fix her breakfast. A tune and 3 minutes later, she was enjoying a large bowl of porridge.

Next, I cracked open my laptop to catch up on overnight email -as if anyone in my time zone was sending me email after I went to sleep at 3:00am. I should know by now that the only emails in the morning are from a timezone at least 5 hours ahead of mine. There were none today. There was however, a Valentine's day Love letter from my wife Florence. It went thus:

Dear Eddie,

Today is Valentine's day. Happy Valentine.

It has been twelve years since I met you.

What a day and what a season in life.

Throughout the years, you have continuously complemented me and helped me be my best, and for that I say thank you.

I love you more now for many reasons. One, for being you. you have taught me how to stay calm during storms of life. Sometimes I wonder how you handle issues but I truly admire your style.

I love you for the family that we have. When I look at our children, I see the imprints, now and then of your wisdom and your guidance. My prayer is that this will continue throughout their lives.

I love you because you are you. I would go on and on, or go get a card from the store. The point is I love you and have a wonderful Valentine's day.

Your Wife,


Started my excercise plan

Two days ago, I set out to the local gym at the civic center in Maryland Heights to "check it out" about 6:30p or so, just after they had closed for the day of course. I haven't been to a gym in years -so how how would I know if that was odd or not. I assumed they close early and thought nothing of it. I really wanted to weigh myself though, just to get an idea of where I am.

Well, I drove on into the evening and decided to take a longer route home -passing by the nearby high school where you could see the track field from afar. The gate was open, so I continued in and parked near the stadium style track field. I lazily walked up the few steps into the track field and gazed at the bright halogen lamps that lit up the field.

Inviting. That's what I thought of it as I broke into a jog to start my 2 laps of the evening.
Halfway around the first lap my heart was pounding. I emptied my mind of all thoughts and listened to the rhythmic pounding and heavy breathing. I missed this. What now filled my mind was the memory of my high school sports days -the seven-a-side rugby, the 3000m steeple chase. I used to be quite active.

100 yards to the finish line I slowed to a walk and reality settled back in. I would have to make this a regular part of my activities to get back in shape. I'm going to work hard to make this happen. My goal is a few inches off my waistline for a start. Then refine my plan as I go along. There's a chance this will work.

Civic Duty

Driving down the street earlier this afternoon, I witnessed a near head-on collision. A white mid-sized sedan on my left ran a red light into the path of a dark colored sedan making a left turn onto the freeway. The driver of the white sedan immediately got out of the car and darted a few steps away from the scene -to the casual observer one would have imagined the car would burst into flames given the haste in which he made his maneuvers.

What immediately caught my attention was the leaking antifreeze from the white sedan. I figured there wasn't enough antifreeze in a car that size to warrant a hazardous material cleanup crew.

Anyhow, I wished I had remembered to carry my Canon Powershot SD770IS digital Elph. -Not exactly a picturesque moment, but nonetheless more evidence than words could tell. I pulled out my Samsung SCH-i760 Verizon phone and dialed 911. It rang for at least 30 seconds. I hang up as the operator answered. I re-dialed and told my story. -Help was already on the way.

I activated my four-way blinking lights to secure the scene, left the comfort of my car and approached the scene on foot. I inquired into the status of the occupants. No one seemed terribly hurt -save for the driver of the white sedan. She was in obvious shock, holding her neck, crying, and unbelievably she was talking on her cell phone. She was certainly not available to answer questions at the moment.

The first officer on the scene arrived within 2 minutes and immediately assumed command of the area. She interviewed me as a witness, took notes and jotted down my name and address. My work here was done. I left shortly after to continue my errands -I still had to pass by the fish market to buy some cat fish for dinner.

Closer to God

Moving closer to God for me means a lot more than just getting to know Him. It means living what I pray for every day and being more of a leader in my family by living as an example. For the longest time, I have admired the strength and faith portrayed by my wife Florence. I take pride in the way she has been an active participant in introducing and guiding our children to grow up knowing that there exists a higher spiritual Power that we can call on anytime. Perhaps part of our marriage strength has been the blessings we have received over time. We both come from very strong religious up-bringing.

-Eddie Gichuhi, Jan. 2009