Archive for April, 2011

Is the Life You’re Living Your Own?

To most, the title of this post might seem like a strange question, but I’ve learned that it’s not as strange as people think.  How many times has someone told you what you could/should be and you’ve set out to do it with no thought of your own about it?  Have you ever found yourself pursuing something on the basis of what your family, friends, peers, or co-workers have said you should do?  What about where you live and what you drive (if you even drive at all)?  Were those your choices or a consensus with your spouse/significant other or was it all someone else’s idea?  Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in getting feedback/opinions, but that doesn’t mean that your life has to be a product of what everyone else but you believes it should be.  I told someone recently that you need to make sure that you are getting the most out of your college experience and if you are not satisfied with what has been made available to you, then you need to speak up about it.  Don’t let someone else dictate the course of your life and education for you.

In my time on this Earth thus far, I have found myself doing so many things that I’ve never wanted to do because I allowed myself to believe what someone else said my destiny should be above what I wanted and believed.  Some of these things I enjoyed for a time and some I didn’t enjoy at all.  But since I’ve “woken up” I am pressing forward with doing what it is that I truly want to do and am using some of what I have to do as a vehicle to get there.  In other words, I have reclaimed my life from those that I gave control of it to.  Now from a context of Christianity, this may seem like a contradiction as there are places in the Bible that say to submit to the leading of God and that I need to wait on Him as my life is not my own.  Well, lets just say if you do the research and understand what God was saying in Psalm 37:4; 1Peter 2:9; as well as the Kingdom Message that Christ preached you would understand that what I’m saying here is not a contradiction at all.

I just want people to be who they were Created, Born and Made to be.

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Having the Strength to Endure

You know one of the hardest things that any person has to due when they are going through tough times is learning how to endure them without getting worn out.  I know for myself that hasn’t always been the easiest thing in the world to do, but it has been a necessary thing.  No plan is perfect and no person is perfect so there will always be “bumps in the road”.  One of the things that will really show your character throughout times like this is how you handle these “bumps”.  Will you handle them with grace and poise, or will you throw a tantrum and become defeated?

For most people, I would think there would be a little bit of both for the first few bumps that you hit.  I guess there comes a time for some people when they choose to look at the “bumps” as an obstacle to overcome instead of a place to throw a pity party.  This has been a trying few days for me and I’m finding myself coming out of it with strength to endure and a determination to continue to press forward.

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Your Mental Picture

Your mental picture is critical to your success or failure in any life endeavor.  You can be one of the most brilliant, creative, and innovative persons in any field but if you hold an image of yourself that consistently speaks to failure or you not being good enough, you will manifest that in what you do.  This is also true of our personal relationships.  Some of us have suffered greatly in our personal relationships because we believed that we weren’t good enough for our relationships.  I’ve been thinking about this long and hard because I realized that 1 of the biggest reasons why I haven’t achieved some of my goals and dreams is because I allowed the negative that people said to discourage me to  become my own mental picture of myself and didn’t even realize it.  Every time I would try to do something towards one of my biggest dreams and goals, I would know that I could be successful but then create a series of excuses based on the mental picture I had of myself at that time.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to feed your mind, soul, and spirit those things that are going to be useful for your growth and advancement and not listen to people who would try to tell you that you’ll never be able to achieve or do what it is you are working towards.  Your mental picture of you will be the one thing that can help you to, as David had to do in the Bible when his own men were ready to kill him, encourage yourself to move forward.  I now choose to keep a mental picture of me conquering all that I set out to conquer and living the life that I desire, and you know what, that’s exactly what I’m doing now!

how your mental picture of yourself and others can be a help or detriment.  Examples of how I’ve felt about myself as a musician and its effect on my ability to go out perform and play.

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This Time

I find myself aimlessly writing at the moment.  The last few weeks have been filled with a lot of ups and downs; lots of good news and progress along with some bad news and setbacks.  It has definitely been a roller coaster of triumphs, learning experiences and emotions.  But the one thing that I really understand more than ever at this very moment is that this is the time when in the past I would have probably given up on what I’m pursuing.  I would have talked myself out of moving forward by giving some lame excuse like, “This is too hard!”; “I don’t have the resources!”; “I don’t have any help!”; “Why can’t I get the support that I need?”; etc.  Well this time, I’m not going to allow for any excuses to stop or derail me.  This time, I’m not going to allow the discouragement that I see, hear, and receive from other people stop me from achieving and being who I am.  This time, I will prove to myself that I am more than a conqueror, I will be successful at all that I endeavor and want to achieve, I will press forward no matter what it looks like, I will not quit nor will I stop!

This time, I will win.  If you ever hope to accomplish anything in this life, you have come to your “this time” moment.  The moment when you realize that all of your dreams, goals, as well as the quality of your life (when I say quality of life I’m thinking of an overall perspective not just monetary) are all dependent on if you are going to rise above this and every other disappointment, setback, or failure that has ever been able to hold you back before.  I can’t speak for anyone else other than myself in this area, but this time I will press forward, overcome the obstacles, achieve my dreams and goals, as well as help others achieve theirs.  Will you join me on this journey?  I hope so.

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The Church Is Growing….

This is a phrase that I’ve heard many times, in fact I just heard it again this past weekend as I visited a church.  But I have a few questions (and answers) concerning this statement, and make no mistake this post applies not only to churches, but to businesses, families, and any organization for that matter that is claiming growth.  I just happened to pick church for this post because of this particular visit (and by no means is this pointed at any particular church or organization).

The church may be growing in numbers but are the people that make up the church growing?  I think what is being confused here is the expansion or increasing number of people attending this church versus the personal growth of it.  I mean truthfully speaking, the church as the Bible speaks of it isn’t the building, it’s the people that occupy the building.  Now with that said let’s ask the questions, is the church really growing?  The answer to that question would be that some of it is and some of it isn’t.  True organizational growth doesn’t happen unless the people that make up the organization are growing to be, as Matthew Kelley would say, “the best-version-of-themselves.”  What this actually means from an organizational standpoint is that both the member/employee and the organization head or supervisor/employer have a responsibility to make sure that the members/employees are growing and achieving so that the entire organization can grow and achieve as the organization will only grow to the extent that the people who make up the organization will grow.

I’m not against church/organization growth, but what most people have deemed to be growth is artificial at best.  It’s time that all of us understood what growth really is and work together to make sure that everyone is growing and benefiting instead of just a select few.  The next time someone says my church/job/organization/etc. is growing challenge them to define what that means because there’s a difference between personal growth and population growth.

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Motivated & Inspired

I have been renewed in my motivation for achieving my dreams and goals.  This renewed motivation has come from having a great experience this weekend performing music as well as watching one of my favorite pro wrestlers, Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Recently the WWE brought back their Reality-Show Contest Tough Enough which is about people training and competing for a WWE contract as the prize and Stone Cold Steve Austin is the host.  In the episode that came on this past week, Stone Cold said that when he got his first call to come work in the WWE that he was asked to be a character that he knew had no future and would never headline a show, but he saw it as a foot in the door.

Once he got into the door of the WWE, he started to introduce the character of Stone Cold Steve Austin, something that he said no one was thinking about, but once he took the initiative and made it happen, he began to achieve the success, status, and recognition in the wrestling business that he now enjoys today and that has propelled him to make movies.  The thing that motivated me most about this is that he said that he took the foot in the door that he was given and created not only an opportunity but a legacy that wouldn’t have happened without him taking the initiative to make it happen.

Sometimes that’s all it takes, a foot in the door so that you can take who you are to create what you are dreaming for.  I don’t know about you, but that’s motivation and inspiration enough for me to continue on, especially with all of the good things I have going on in my life right now.

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You Don’t Have All of the Answers

One of the things that God has truly blessed me with is helping people see a path to their dreams and goals when they tell me what it is that they want to achieve; at the same time the frustrating aspect of this is that I’m not necessarily able to do the same thing for myself with some of my dreams and goals and there’s a legitimate reason for that.  That reason is clearly the title of my post said this way, I don’t have all of the answers and neither does anyone else in the world.  We are made to be interdependent, which means that we all need something that someone else has and in that way we have to work together not just for a common goal, but for the fulfillment of our individual dreams and goals.  I’ve had the pleasure this past weekend to play a lot of music and live part of one of my dreams, and one thing that I really was humbled by and enjoying is the fact that without all of the musicians that I played with, my music would never have been able to be played in its entirety and it would not have sounded as good as it did.

We must all come to a place in life when we realize that in order to get where we want to go, we will need to consult with others.  That can be either through conversation, reading a book, article, or blog or some other function of communication.  I’m proud to say that I don’t have all the answers and look forward to collaborating with the various people that I’ll meet throughout the rest of my life so that not only can I increase in knowledge and wisdom or get closer to the achievement of my goals, but also so that I can contribute to the achievement of dreams and goals of others.

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