I am a wife, mother and business women who wanted to contribute to creating a positive future for South Africa and believed that I could do so by publishing a book.
You’re Awesome – Living a Fulfilled Life – was written from my own viewpoint as an older woman who has a degree from the University of Experience. The lessons in my book were acquired through my own life experiences, based on the many books and lessons that I have learned through people who have inspired me.
So, in short, the process was thinking through my own life and taking the lessons I had learnt along the way and then writing them down. I then started revising, researching, then more revising and more researching until I felt I could take my first manuscript to an editor.
Because I have had so many enquiries about how to write a book and how to get a book published, I am going to write a couple of blog posts which I hope will generate some conversation and also guide writers – old and new – in a positive direction.
Seven Top Tips if you’re Planning to Write a Book:
I have asked Paul Smith, who is studying for a PhD in Entrepreneurship, to write an article on the research around writing so watch out for my next blog post. Paul’s article which might well put you on the road to becoming a writer…….
I think back to Christmas 2006 when my husband Guy gave me a book called The Women’s Freedom March of 1956. The inscription he wrote in the book goes as follows: “May these women of S.A inspire you as you start your journey to a “free” South Africa. I will be with you every step of the way”.
He understands the undying love I have for my country. He understands the vision I have for a free and democratic South Africa as was the promise in 1994.
In 2006 when Guy gave me this book as a gift, many people we knew were thinking of leaving South Africa because they were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the high levels of crime, corruption and fraud that were growing rampant in our society. I looked on in dismay as a culture of greed and dishonestly began to develop in South Africa.
Women’s Freedom March of 1956
I read about the unsung heroines who came before us in the Women’s Freedom March of 1956. I deeply believed, and still do, that the integrity, morals and truth that sustained these women burns brightly within the majority of our people in South Africa today. I stand firm in this belief.
It is my deep commitment to South Africa and the people of our country that has resulted in the writing of my book which has recently been published called You’re Awesome – Living a Fulfilled Life. I did not realise as I began writing the opening paragraph of my book that it would be a journey that would take me over two and a half years to complete.
So to answer the question – “How does it feel to have had your first book published?” I can only sum it up in the following words – “It is as difficult as the marathons I have run and as demanding as when I paddled the Duzi Canoe Marathon.
The difference is that when I came to the end of those events I knew I had crossed the finishing line but having now published a book, I find myself once again at the start.
The start begins with a new journey to reach out to those who want to improve their own lives and influence the lives of others around them through the messages in this book.
Love Affair with Africa
My own love affair with Africa has prompted the writing of this book. I dream that within its pages the calling to greatness will awaken in each one of us. I dream that through this awakening we will walk together into a future and create the country and ultimately the continent that we have it in us to become. It will be then and only then that I would feel that I have crossed the finishing line.”
Invitation to two book launches of You’re Awesome – Living a Fulfilled Life by Di Smith.
By Di Smith
We are often anxious to improve our circumstances, but if we are unwilling to improve ourselves we cannot move forward to living to our highest ideals. If you wish to get the most out of life there is one essential requirement – a deep, driving desire to learn and the determination and discipline to apply certain principles daily.
The only way to learn and improve is by doing. Genuine change does not happen overnight. Good behaviour patterns and the art of choosing them come step by step with gradual familiarisation. By self-analysing and applying the following principles at every opportunity in your daily life, you will be on the path to discovering your true self.
Until you make peace with yourself, you cannot be content with who you are. It was Neale Donald Walsh who said: “So long as you’re still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself”.
I have outlined below some of the principles which will take you down the path of self-discovery. Should you require a more comprehensive study of these principles they can be found in my book You’re Awesome – Living a Fulfilled Life. Go to the online shop at www.awesomesa.co.za or purchase the book from any of the South African book stores.
Principles in Living your Life with the Correct Choices
1. Take time to be still and silent
This is the path to discovering your true self.
2. Accept Yourself
You are unique with your own unique looks and talents. There has never been anyone on this earth who is exactly like you and there never will be again.
3. Develop Self-discipline
Dignity is closely connected with self-discipline. Self-discipline gives you freedom from the temptations of greed, passion and prejudice.
4. Let go of Your Ego
“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. These are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up” – Deepak Chopra
5. Conquer Your Fear
Desmond Tutu explains: “All of us experience fear but when we confront and acknowledge it we are able to turn it into courage. Being courageous does not mean never being scared; it means acting as you know you must even though you are undeniably afraid”.
6. Honour Your Family
The foundation of community is the family. Your family and your community give you the emotional stability and support that empower you to go out into the world with confidence and become all that you can be.
7. Live in the Moment
“For yesterday is but a dream and to-morrow is only a vision; but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope” – Kalidasa
8. Learn to be Humble
Nelson Mandela says: “If you are humble, you are no threat to anybody. Some behave in a way that dominates others. That’s a mistake. If you want the co-operation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble. You know that other people have qualities that may be better than your own. Let them express then”.
9. Count Your Blessings
In a world driven by self-gratification we live with feelings of not being good enough, not having enough and with the endless treadmill of striving for more, bigger and better. By counting your blessings, you will open the pathway to the feelings of comfort and joy. You will feel complete and at peace.
10. Embrace Ubuntu
By harnessing the concept of Ubuntu, you will step up to the true measure of your greatness and will receive the most rewarding blessings of all – a life filled with family, friends, laughter, joy, love, peace and spiritual success.
“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of the mine worker can become head of the mines, that the child of a farm worker can become president of a great nation” –Nelson Mandela
The extract above has been taken from the soon to be released book called “You’re Awesome – Living a Fulfilled Life”
Justin Hines Song
Have you seen/heard the SA remix of the Canadian, Justin Hines song?
He is raising money to uplift schools locally. Apparently he has a rare genetic joint condition called Larsen Syndrome, which keeps him wheelchair bound.
This was filmed in the Despatch area using a local capella group.
Stephen Leacock Foundation for Children
“Justin is currently campaigning the “Say What You Will” initiative which will help build schools in South Africa and benefit youth education. The campaign aims to raise funds for the Stephen Leacock Foundation for Children, The Association for the Physically Disabled (Eastern Cape) and other charitable partners.”
In South Africa, the Stephen Leacock Foundation for Children ensures that: