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Play the Game to Win

Play the Game to Win

“Look deep into the wild and then you will understand everything better.”
– Albert Einstein

I’m on safari in Africa. It’s already humid at 5:30 a.m. and the sun is ready to come up on the horizon. The air is so clean. I breathe deeply – my lungs full of air – as I take a mental picture of the moment. I feel a rush of adrenaline as I anticipate the adventure that awaits us for the next three hours on our morning safari drive.

I’m in the back seat of our Land Rover (Landy) with ranger Eliat, and his tracker, who is up front in his little seat on the hood. We are driving through the thick bush surrounded by open wilderness with wild game scattered over thousands of miles. This area around the Kruger National Park – the largest game reserve in Africa (8,000 sq miles) – remains relatively “untouched” by man.

Ralph Safari 2

I suddenly get hit by the realization that what my 10-year old daughter has the privilege of experiencing for the first time, may not be around for her children to enjoy and witness. I’m completely at home in the bush; this is in my blood. Growing up, we spent many holidays camping out enjoying the wild…the smell…the fire…the Highveld sun. It’s exciting to be on a quest in this untamed land where the life and death struggle to survive plays out each and every day. The Impala, kudu and Waterbuck that watch the sunset may not be around come sun-up, as a predator may take their lives in an instant. I find this ebb and flow of life to be fascinating. This struggle for survival plays out in our lives too, if not to quite the same degree. We need to remain strong, healthy bread winners to ensure we live our lives the way we want too. If we become weak or sick we could lose everything we have worked for.

Suddenly our tracker points us to the right of the Landy. “Leopard,” he says! It takes a second for our eyes to see her. Oh’ ah! We are excited by the sighting, as we move through the thicket. A female leopard on the hunt, she takes no notice of our presence, listening intently to her surroundings, she continues on her walk. She stops and crouches. We can see a male lion a few hundred meters away.

Ralph Safari 1

Have they seen each other? The leopard stays low, while the lion sits still. Then we see another male lion, off to the side. The leopard sees him. We are all excited to see a leopard and lions in the same day. Eliat – the ranger with 32 years of experience – sees the danger. The lions are chasing the leopard. Rare, but too many predators in an area means less game for them to eat. The leopard doesn’t seem to recognize the danger. Soon another male appears, blocking her escape route. Sensing her danger, the leopard retreats and tries to flee from the area. Eliat – sensing a trap – points out the other lion males, which number six in all.

Soon they have her surrounded and as she tries to flee, two males bring her down and her life is over in an instant. Its gut wrenching to watch the drama of this hunt, as the beautiful leopard is slain right before our eyes. All we can do is watch the drama play out thousands of miles from our daily reality of work, win, work, lose, spend, buy, and play. It makes us view things with such clarity, that all these animals know how to do was taught at birth over millions of years.

Ralph Safari 3

As humans, we have choices. We can wake up today and change anything we want in our lives in an instant. We can change jobs, alter relationships, move to a new town, city or country, start a business, lose weight, get healthy or pig out. The list is endless. Yet from my experience, most of us are living our lives in a mind box. We see things worse than they really are. We won’t take chances because we might fail. But aren’t the most successful people the ones who have failed multiple times? Yes, I know for many of us, the excuses will flood in, convincing ourselves it’s too hard, too slow, or too expensive to try something new.

Forget all the labels, such as goals and dreams, and instead write down a description of what you want your perfect life to look and feel like, on a daily basis. This exercise is a great wakeup call to take action. Just do it; make it happen. Take the first step, start a new business, write a book etc, but start the process of doing something to create your perfect life.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
– Carl Bard

Our journey for Ideal Home Resource Guide started twelve months ago. It’s like having a baby and creating something out of nothing. If this is what it’s like to have a baby, I empathize with all women! The journey was tough. For the past 6 months my team and I have been beaten and battered, feeling rejected every day, and yet we began to see small victories each week. Today, we have won the race…the baby is born. We are so excited to offer you this Annual Guide of top Home Improvement companies in Orange County, featuring everything from ads and business stories to top tips. We did it to give our readers – like you – a Resource Guide filled with quality services and ideas to make your home a sanctuary. We wanted to create your refuge from the world where you feel safe and comfortable, and can enjoy, laugh, love and have fun.

May you have the very best 2015! Make sure you rise to the top of the food chain. Your life, goals and dreams are in your hands. Make it happen!