Why the Ugandan protest turned violent, and how it can be prevented.

After the arrests of opposition leaders Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Bobi Wine on 18th November 2020, widespread protests erupted all over in Uganda for 3 days. Furthermore, Ugandan diaspora protested in other countries such as Canada, Netherlands, Kenya as well, while #freebobiwine was shared by leaders such as Barack Obama and Joe Biden. But the strongest protest took place in central Kampala, which became the scene of frustrated and increasingly angry youth. These youth expressed their anger with burning tires on the streets, and tearing down symbols of the military NRM regime. The state quickly responded with brute force.

This was done through heavy deployment of the Uganda Police Force (UPF), and by unleashing non-uniformed local defense units (LDU’s) who have become increasingly violent during the corona epidemic in the last months. These LDU’s are heavily armed, seemingly uncontrolled, and claiming to be licenced to kill. Through a hail of bullets, killing protesters and innocent bystanders indiscriminately, the marginalized youth saw no other choice than to response with limited acts violence of their own, such as throwing stones and destruction.

Within some incidents, a simmering Buganda ethnic tension resurfaced, who started to rob and intimidate non-Buganda civilians. Although only few incidents, this increased fear among many other elements within society and expats, and played into the hands of the regime, who branded the protesters as ‘NUP hooligans’, even though 90% of the protest did not use violence themselves. This article will delve into why these protests, in particular in Kampala, turned violent, and how it can be prevented.

Patrick Oboi Amuriat arrested

Although Ugandan opposition parties have consistently preached nonviolence, the regime have consistently responded to peaceful actions with extreme violence. Therefore, there is a real danger for explosions of violence among marginalized youth both in urban and rural settings when the status quo remains. In order to understand why the protests became so widespread among youth, and why it turned violent, two concepts are crucial are understand. The first is ‘identification’, and the second is ‘political society’.

Identification

Bobi Wine is just one person. But throughout the lives of youth in Uganda, who form 78% of the population, he has been a present factor using his platform as a musician to speak out against social injustice. His own roots within the marginalized youth, the so-called ‘outcasts’, led to his rise as the ‘Ghetto President’. A leader of those in the ghetto. When he contested for Member of Parliament in Kyadondo East, this campaign led to the ‘People Power movement’. For the first time, youth saw one of their own stand up, facing oppression, hopelessness, and their desperate cry for change. In this process, Bobi Wine became more than a person. He became the personification of Ugandan youth itself.

Therefore, his identity turned into a symbol. His continued defiance to the regime, who turned unable to stop his rise, made him a living legend among many of those who live in the ghetto. Therefore, when he is arrested, for them, it feels as if they themselves are arrested. For them, Bobi Wine became their voice of the voiceless.

They do not care about his academic or intellectual excellence. They have no problem with less articulated messages, as he speaks their language. As no other before him, they feel united by him as their symbol. He drafted political messages preached by other legends such as Dr. Kizza Besigye and Patrick Oboi Amuriat towards what his audience understand and identifies with best: through music. In this process of communication to the youth, simple symbolic messaging and acts are most important.

Bobi Wine arrested

Political society

In most contemporary African countries there are four groups in society: national elite, civil society, rural society, and political society. In contrast to the well-known concept of civil society, organized in groups such as student associations, labour unions, religious communities, and many other NGOs groups, political society live at the most marginalized edge of society. In order words, political society are the urban lower class.

They are the ones facing extreme unemployment, poverty, and their focus is on daily survival. They have only two relations to the state: complete neglect, or extreme violence. Often they are neglected, increasing their marginalization. In contrast to civil society, who might be critical or in communication with the state in favour of reforms, the political society demands are always only met with brute violence.

Because of their extreme poverty short-term thinking within a survival mindset guides their actions. This makes NRM bribery of votes for small things like food or 5.000 ugs effective, a thing called ‘kitu-kidogo’, something small, something the NRM regime has effectively used to corrupt their political engagement.

On their own, political society can be easily oppressed through a combination of brute force and short-term economic benefits. As the constant language they have received from the state when they demand for change is brutal violence, the only method they know in their interaction with the state is violence of their own (Branch & Mampilly 2015). This is a strong difference from civil society protesting in Western countries, to which this sort of police brutality would be unthinkable.

Ugandan protests, 18-20 November

So when Bobi Wine and Patrick Oboi Amuriat were, they felt they themselves were arrested. They went to the streets and demanded change through the only language they know in relation to the state: acts of sabotage, burning fires, tearing down NRM symbols, throwing stones, and occupying public spaces through protest and occupation. As they are not organized by experienced protest veterans trained in nonviolent protest (such as those of FDC), they did what they could. As they stand isolated from the rest of Ugandan society, their own grievances were the main focus. Unfortunately, by protesting in this form, they played directly in the hands of a military regime.

Oppression of political society

Military regimes excel in using force, this is where most focus and resources are allocated to. So when political society uses violent elements in their protest, such as throwing stones, burning tires, and other forms of sabotage, they make it difficult to perceive who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys. Weaker parts of society, or foreign expats, become terrified for instability, and seek for safety and stability.

By using violent acts as peaceful demonstrators, the image becomes blurred, and when the image becomes blurred military regimes will directly exploit it in their propaganda. This can worsened by simmering ethnic sentiments, which also came to the surface in the violent Buganda riots of 2009. In 2009, non-Buganda Ugandans were halted and those that spoke Luganda with a dialect were robbed or beaten. This short eposide of ethnic violence created extreme fear among all other elements of society, which is still present. Any sign of Buganda violence therefore directly distances civil society, NGO’s, and the international community. When acts of violence are used by political society, all others become afraid, and instead of uniting society, it divided society.

A similar thing could be observed in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the United States. When the protests were peaceful, all of society, old people, parents with children, civil society, women, joined the protests in signs of defiance. However, when elements within political society used acts of violence and sabotage, fear spread, and they distanced the other elements of society. This is a shame, as all are united in that they agree on the reason for protest, but the method, acts of throwing stones and burning tires & buildings, is what then divides and eventually stalls a protest. Therefore, in the moment of protest that acts of violence were used, it resulted into the stagnation of the protests and can lead to eventual failure.

Of course, it is of extreme importance to have understanding for why they use violence. Almost always, it is the state, not the people, who start using violence. As a result, decades of oppression, fear, anger, loss of the oppressed, all explode into these moments of action. But it is instructive to not perceive youth as ‘hooligans’, as the regime narrative is now trying to do, but as political society who have only known the language of violence because of their brutal oppression. But successful protest can be done a different way.

Way forward

Fortunately, the Ugandan opposition under leadership of FDC and NUP have never preached violence, or ethnic division. Their messages where of a constant focus on the liberation and empowerment of all Ugandans, not only certain ethnicities. They have called for nonviolence in all their actions. The several incidents of Buganda discriminating other ethnic groups during the instability have been condemned, and should be perceived as isolated incidents of a lurking danger when violent instability comes.

However, the opposition leaders understand the realities of the Ugandan political society, and the extreme desperation and anger that live among them. They try to prevent violence at all cost, but they are aware of why political society uses violence.

Therefore, there is a strong demand to maintain non-violence in opposition activities. In this, they are confronted by a military regime that uses extreme force, especially in the form of the illegal LDU units. Often, the regime uses incognito agents to provoke violence in protests, so they can use their own violence to most effect. When it are only state security forces who are using violence, the people can use their own suffering to most effect.

Using your own suffering as your main weapon will need training, but there is nothing more powerful than a defiant people, suffering injustice with dignity and continued defiance, and let the world see what is happening.

When they only use violence, while the people optimize only use their suffering, it becomes extremely clear who the bad guys and good guys are. This is the essence of peaceful revolution. This also what Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dr. Besigye, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and Bobi Wine have constantly showed.

LDU killing unarmed citizens in Kampala

Alliances between political society and activists, students, and civil society

The answer to prevent political society using acts of violence again in protest, lies in forming alliances between the political society, and other elements of society. In particular, the experienced nonviolent activists of FDC, who have become used to optimizing their own suffering against violence, students, and civil society should connect and unite with political society in the ghettos. In this alliance, they nurture the importance of nonviolence, and training in how to show defiance without throwing stones and burning tires.

Successful peaceful protest

An effective form of peaceful protest can be marches and vigils, using chants, music instruments, and singing, in showing desperation and demand change. This was also effectively used in the successful protests of Sudan in 2019. The Sudanese were also met with extreme violence, but they maintained their nonviolent nonetheless, and achieved victory within a matter of time. The following video’s illustrate their protests.

Although the regime now tries to create a narrative of protesters as ‘hooligans’, as this benefits them in portraying the peaceful opposition groups as ‘terrorists’ to the international community and civil society, this is incorrect. In contrast to the incidents of violence and sabotage, Ugandans also protested in very effective ways.

Walking together massively, chanting freedom, using singing and music, they became an inviting sight. It inspires those that see it, create a feeling of joy instead of fear. As you can see in these video’s you see children, elderly, and parents joining these inspirational marches. It creates in the two most important goals of peaceful protest: uniting society against injustice, and nurture joy & hope instead of fear.

https://www.facebook.com/100054213758211/videos/162215428928915/

This form of protest should be used in all following moments of mass action in Uganda. This can be achieved by efficient organization of activists in their relation to political society, and the inclusion of students and civil society in community works and charity.

Uganda is one of the most fertile countries in Africa, focus opposition resources on providing a lunch of posho & beans for political society by these groups of FDC activists, students, and civil society. With a full belly, this gives an excellent opportunity to create understanding for nonviolent action, and the training for protest. United, where students, activists, and civil society provide ideology and training, and political society provide strength and mass, protests will become so huge that it will be impossible to counter.

Female Commando’s

It is a good idea to prevent police confrontation during demonstrations. In this a barrier of attractive (and brave) Ugandan women between the police and the angry young men can be used. These are the Female Commando’s. As the young men are most eager to clash with the police, and police will earlier use force when they are afraid, it can be effective to provide a ‘wall’ between both groups. Let these women fraternize with the police officers, let them hand over short leaflets of opposition goal directly targeted towards police officers, give them food, easy tensions. Police officers who are not afraid that they will be attacked by violent protesters, will be more hesitant in using force themselves.

Female Commando’s

Protest Police

Huge crowds often attract criminal elements that love the opportunities to create chaos and anarchy. These are indeed the real ‘hooligans’. For every planned protest, appoint a team of strong and calm activists that function as the ‘protest police’. Train them to locate potential individuals or groups of hooligans and how to neutralize them, and move away from the crowd of genuine peaceful protesters. As a regime often sends officers without uniform into protest crowds to try to provoke violence (for example by starting with throwing stones), this Protest Police can be instrumental to allocate and remove them before they can do harm.

Good luck

Get creative in finding ways for building alliances between political society and the rest of Ugandan society, and devise ways for how to maintain nonviolent discipline in the face of extreme oppression. When the Ugandan democratic forces succeed in uniting the whole population by building alliances, and transforming their abilities for continued peaceful protest, they will be free within a matter of time.

References

Branch, A. & Mampilly, Z. (2015). Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change. London.

De Bruijn, M. & Both, J. (2017). Youth between State and Rebel (Dis)Orders: Contesting Legitimacy from below in Sub-Sahara Africa. Small Wars & Insurgencies, 28:4-5.       779-798.

Di Nunzio, M. (2012). “We are good at surviving”: Street Hustling in Addis Ababa’s Inner City. Urban Forum (2012) 23:433-447.

Honwana, A. (2012). The Time of Youth, work, social change and politics in Africa.          Kumarian Press. Sterling.

Katebalirwe Amooti Wa Irumba. (1985). The Role of the Educated Youth in Rural            Development. Mawazo Vol. 6 No. 2 December 1985.

Sharp, G. (2002). From Dictatorship to Democracy. Serpent’s Tail.

Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (https://canvasopedia.org/)

Our image of the world is wrong

Images are powerful. They can alter unconscious beliefs. In the last 400 years, one image in particular has greatly influenced the beliefs of both Africans and the rest of the world population about Africa.

Let me first use an example of the destructive power of images. It is in the interest of western aid organizations that their populations start to feel pity for poor people. As a result, they share lot of images and videos to generate that feeling of pity. Especially the image of black African baby’s with flies around their faces seems to have been effective. By constantly showing this image, this has instilled the unconscious belief that Africans are poor, helpless, sick, and in short: desperate to be saved.

By constantly seeing this image of Africans as victims, a sense of victimhood was developed. This image of a victim led to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The aid that is sent from outside is not used for long-term solutions of empowerment, but for a cycle of dependency. Even worse, both African governments and major aid organizations benefit most from this situation, and most of this aid ends up into their pockets.

That is why many initiatives (often of young Africans) in the last years have tried to create a different picture of Africa. A positive image where Africa is not depicted as this miserable place full of disease and starvation, but full of beautiful lands and cultures like any other place on earth. What they try to do, is to change the image. Because when the image changes, the unconscious belief will follow.

The world as you know it, is an illusion.

In this blog I will focus on a different image of Africa. This image has greatly distorted the reality. The world as you know it, is an illusion.

The Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator created a map of the world in 1569, which is known as the Mercator Projection. The focus of this map was on naval navigation, which was of particular importance for trading routes from Europe. Due to the central position of Europe, the Northern Hemisphere was greatly expanded, while the Southern Hemisphere was projected much smaller than it actually is. This image Is still the most widely used image of the world.

The Mercator Projection

There are some things that stand out. One element is the enormous size of Northern America versus Southern America, or the size of Greenland versus that of Africa. Also Europe is quite large in size compared to Africa. It is important for us to realize that this map is a projection, and in this case, a projection that has greatly distorted the actual sizes of the different continents on the world.

For many hundreds of years, this projection was used as the universal standard. It has implanted an image of the world and its continents in our brains. This has created a false belief about both the size and central position of what is we often call the Western world, the First world, or the Northern Hemisphere.

A more recent projection was developed by German cartographer Oswald Winkel in 1921, which is currently overtaking the Mercator projection. It is the official map of National Geographic, which adopted it in 1998. Most educational institutes and textbooks have also started to adopt the projection. However, a more recent projection shows the real sizes of continents relative to each other.

The Winkel Tripel Projection

This critical approach is the Gall-Peters projection. The projection became a point of debate in the early 1970’s by German historian Arno Peters, who brought the design of Scottish clergyman James Gall of 1855 to a larger audience. In this projection all areas have the correct sizes relative to each other. Especially Africa stands out, as it far larger than most people realize.

The Gall-Peters Projection

In order to achieve the projection of correct sizes relative to others the actual shapes of the continents are a bit distorted, so the image is not yet perfect.

However, it creates a more realistic image of the size of the continents compared to each other than the Mercator’s projection, or even the Winkel’s Projections. That is why UNESCO has started to use this projection, and since 2017 some schools in the United States are replacing their maps with this projection.

The single most important problem of African youth are their beliefs and mindsets.

Why is this so important? The single most important problem of African youth are their beliefs and mindsets.

Many young Africans constantly see the colonial projection of Mercator as the map of the world in their classrooms. This has created the belief that Africa is a marginalized southern continent, less wealthy and powerful than the great, exemplary western world of Europe and USA.

Besides this wrong image in their geography lessons, they also receive wrong images in their history classes. As a legacy from colonialism, Western history still takes a prominent place in most African education textbooks. Many learn about Cicero, Shakespeare, or Napoleon. What they don’t learn, is their own glorious history of Ancient Africa. Of Egypt, Carthage, wealthy Mali, and the trans-Saharan trade routes full of gold. Or the sophisticated libraries of Alexandra and Timbuktu. For most of human history, Africa was a center of science and wealth. There are many thousands of inspirational stories about African history before it was colonized. As an Africanist reading about this inspiring history of Africa, I have realized how distorted the image of Africa in the last 300 years has become.

This lack of images of their own correct history and geography, has greatly influenced their self-worth as Africans, and has had a destructive influence on their identity. Many young Africans look up to the Western nations as role models. Many brilliant students try to leave Africa as soon as they have the network, scholarship, or job to do so. Sometimes, they are even ashamed for their black skins. A worrying phenomenon is the increasing amount of African women who are bleaching their skin in an attempt to chemically ‘alter’ their outlook.

In contrast to this majority, there is a growing group of Africans that are fully aware of their real history and their real geography. They have become confident, critical and inspiring leaders as a result. They realize that black is beautiful, and nothing to be ashamed of. They have connected to and accepted their identity as Africans, and are proud of it. I expect that these enlightened role models will increase in number in the coming years.

I firmly believe that when African youth will start to replace the old images with the real images, this will greatly influence their beliefs. No longer shall they want to be pitied, and be dependent on ‘saviors’ either white or any other color.

African youth must be enlightened, and made aware about their own glorious history, extremely vast and rich lands, inspiring culture full of art and science. This is what is called the African Renaissance, and with this blog I aim to share what I have learned from inspirational African scholars about African history.

Only when African youth will escape from their current mind-sets and beliefs, will it become possible for them to start become independent, confident, and proud Africans, who need no one to solve their challenges besides themselves.

As all journeys start with a single step, so should the first step in this journey be that all primary, secondary, and tertiary schools in Africa replace the Mercator Projection with the Gall-Peters projection. I would even suggest that all schools in the world should consider to start using the Gall-Peters projection.

A comparison shows how large Africa really is

This is not only important for young Africans. It is important that all citizens in the world become aware about our distorted images of the world, and Africa in particular. Too often, people that have not visited Africa yet, have been faced with incorrect images by aid commercials, negative news stories, or Hollywood stereotypes. As a result, they have gained an unconscious belief that Africa is full of misery and need to be saved. I hope that with this blog I have enlightened the minds of both Africans and non-Africans. Africa does not need to be saved, it only needs to be awakened. As soon as Africans become aware about their glorious history, geography, culture, and opportunities, peace and prosperity will follow.

References

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=258516312255215

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/11/all-over-the-map-mental-mapping-misconceptions/

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/world-map-wrong-mercator-peters-projection-boston/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2596783/Why-world-map-youre-looking-WRONG-Africa-China-Mexico-distorted-despite-access-accurate-satellite-data.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6381437/Our-maps-WRONG-Graphic-shows-just-touch-common-world-map-really-is.html

https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/travel/2017/04/16/the-world-map-is-wrong-heres-how-it-really-looks/

Is your research based on outside-in perspectives?

The perspectives that establish the situation of a foreign country are often determined by the government and news agencies. These are informed by the intelligence of defence, government, NGO’s, and local correspondents. The perspectives shared with the Dutch or European population at large are often informed by these ‘outside-in’ perspectives, not necessarily creating a realistic view on what is happening underground. This is interesting, as my personal experience has been showing a different perspective while doing research in Uganda for my thesis of the master African Studies.

From the outside-in perspective, Uganda is considered as a reliable, stable, and safe partner of the Netherlands. It is praised by the Dutch government as a regional policeman, contributing to security in the region, with a steady macro-economic development. Dutch citizens can safely visit and do business in Uganda, which is receiving millions of development aid. But the inside-out perspective says otherwise.

Inside-out perspectives

After interviewing youths in Uganda, from students, professionals, activists, to slum dwellers about their current social-political and economic situation, I got a completely different description of the Ugandan government. It was described as an oppressive dictatorship by all persons interviewed. There are critical internal voices about a sophisticated veil of intelligence in order to maintain control of the government, based on external legitimism like in colonial times. Several hundreds of thousands motorcycle-taxi drivers were enlisted as informers, to ensure that there was no freedom after speech, even though it seems the Ugandan population have freedom of speech to the outside world. The population has been forced into dependency of the government; a situation described in the academic debate as waithood. Civil society organizations or opposition groups were actively neutralized to ensure control of the government. Semi-structured interviews helped me to discover that the ‘outside-in’ image of international donors on security and governance can be quite the opposite from the ‘inside-out’ perspective of the Ugandans themselves.

This painful contrast between the outside-in perspective which describes Uganda as a safe country, and the inside-out perspective which instead describes Uganda as a sophisticated dictatorship actively oppressing any opposition and free behaviour, contribute to instability instead. It makes me wonder if this is the case in more African countries. What if our approaches has been built mainly on outside-in perspectives, and less on the real situations, based on inside-out perspectives?

Day 9: Energy

Some people seem to have energy the moment they wake until they go to bed. Others are tired all day long, watching the clock continuously, hoping that they can go home again soon to watch their favourite TV programme.

I did a course about how to optimize your energy some time back, at SoChicken made by Jelle Hermus. I found his comparison to a rechargable battery and a bucket of water interesting.

The common convention is that we are batteries, that start at 100% and get to 0% as the day progresses. Over time, we need evenings, weekend and holidays to recover. He argued that there are so many leaks these batteries often get broken, especially when there is too much pressure with not enough recharging moments. When these batteries are using their emergency ratio’s consistantly without time to recharge, this often leads to a battery who is not able to recharge well anymore. The same happens with people that get a burn-out. After a burn-out, they need a much longer time to repair their battery again.

The leaks he mentioned were multi-tasking, bad sleep, lots of caffeine, sugar and alcohol, television, social media, constant use of mobile phone, distractions by news and apps, overthinking, procrastination and sad or angry emotions. All of these leaks made the battery lose energy.

However, he also argued that when these leaks would be taken away, preventing energy to leak and thus remain usable, we could become overflowing buckets of water. Instead of starting the day with 100% energy and having 0% at the end of the day, we get energy from specific inputs: sleep, food, sports, relaxing time, travelling, energizing work, interesting conversations etc. If we can prevent the leaks as much as possible, combined with having as much energy inputs as possible, we start to gain more energy instead of lose it, becoming an overflowing bucket of water.

I definitely liked this philosophy behind energy and try to minimize my energy leaks while optimizing my energy inputs as much as possible, with more fulfilling, productive and enjoyable days as the result.

Day 8: Morning Ritual – Productivity

A third benefit of waking earlier to have a morning ritual is to plan your day. By making a plan for the day, visualizing yourself achieving it, you create focus and order.

This can be done by creating a to do list for the day, plan how much time you want to allocate per task (the larger ones), how you will take breaks and how you enjoy your free time.

By better planning and focus you upprade your productivity, and it will eventually be how productive you become, how much income you will earn.

Day 7: Morning Ritual – Gratitude

One of the most powerful realizations in my life has been that you can not be afraid, or sad when you feel grateful. Compared to most people I know, I am generally calm and in control of my emotions and optimistic.

This has an effect on a lot of things, as I am extremely grateful for a lot of things. When something bad happens, I am often the first who looks for things to be grateful for which alters my emotions completely.

By being grateful for what you already have in your life: life itself, health, a house, family, friends, a partner, a pet, a job, financial income etc. at the first moment of the day, this influences the rest of the day and life in general. You make your choices based on your hopes instead of your fears.

Day 6: Morning Ritual – Sports

The idea behind doing exercises in the morning is that you activate your body and metabolism so it will process food more effectively.

The exercises could be anything, personally I like to do push-ups to build my core and as you can do them practically everywhere, I could eventually add or completely replace this with sit-ups. I do 2 sets of 50 push-ups.

You could also make the whole ritual based around sports as you are running, cycling or swimming anyways. At the moment I cucle 2-3 times per week to my work in the Hague which is 22K back and forth. I want to either run or swim the days that I am not cycling.

Day 5: Morning Ritual

One of the most effective areas to transform that will affect the rest of your areas and life is to gain a morning ritual. It will make you healthier, stronger, calmer, more focused, grateful and productive. Furthermore, it gives you the most important resource you can never get back: time.

The morning ritual often consist out of several aspects of which some exercises, gratitute mindset and plan for the day are most common.

Even though I have know the benefit of installing a morning ritural for years, as a natural night owl I find this super difficult to implement. Many nights (full of motivation) I made the decisiion that today was the last time sleeping out. I often used the drastic change method without effect. I have been able to wake up early for several prolonged periods such as two summers ago or my internship in Uganda. At these periods I achieved super-human productivity and felt super fulfilled, disciplined and confident,

That is how I want to be / feel every single day, so I aim for 06:00 to have 1 to 2 spare hours before life starts. Currently I wake up around 7:30 – 08:00 AM.

I am using the kaizen method to wake daily 15 minutes earlier, reaching 06:00 this sunday. After that I will take a month to make it a habit.

The benefits of this changed behaviour will be financial wealth, a Spartan body and mentality, and time/productivity to make my dreams become a reaility such as finishing my book.

Day 4: Personal Transformation

I am interested in becoming the best version of myself, by optimizing my behaviours and routines.

In general, there are two methods to achieve this transformation: Drastic change is the sudden and extreme change from the current state to the desired state, often implemented when one is motivated and enlightened. This is the usual method used in the Western world, romanticised by Hollywood movies. In reality, this is also the most difficult (and least likely to succeed) method.

Repeated and subtle change is called Kaizen in Japan, as an alternative method to the drastic change. Instead of drastic change, a strategy is formed to use a lot small intermediary steps to go from the current state to the desired state. This simple method is more effective, often leading to faster transformation compared to several failed drastic changes with decreased confidence as a result.

Even though the second method is less heroic, it is more effective and simple while it leads to the same result: transformation. In the end it will be the transformation that is visible to outsiders.

While I have been using the drastic change often, with repeated failure as a result, I will shift to the kaizen method.

365blogs

Day 3

As I will hopefully graduate soon, real life is about to start.

While I have been working on installing daily/weekly routines to bring me to the next level over the past years, this has worked with ups and downs. This year I will make no more excuses and succeed in making myself the person I want to become.

To motivate myself, document my progress and share it with you, I will blog about it every single day. These blogs can be about sports, financial success, self-discipline, control of emotions, vision and more.

One exercise to realize your dreams is to think ahead 90 days. Imagine that you just had your best 90 days of your life, and you are looking back. What happened? What choices did you make? What changed in your life? This exercise helped me to have an amazing internship in Uganda and complete my master thesis to my highest standards. Now it will help me to get the job of my dreams.

Where am I in 90 days?
– I found a full-time and well-paid Africa/NGO job
– I wake up daily 06:00 AM
– I completed the first draft of my book 
– I wrote 90 daily blogs
– I either have my driver license or getting close 
– I am in my best shape ever

Where will you be in 90 days?