The good times will come and the good times will go. The bad times will come and the bad times will go. Our job is not to cling to one or fight the other but to allow them both to teach us and polish us. The secret is to ride life like a raft in a river and let it carry you through the rough water and the calm water and beyond. Just trust the flow of the river.
There was an interview with Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, and what he said reminds of a river:
“Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you are getting ready to go into another one. The reason for that is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.” He talked about the lesson he learned in the greatest and toughest year of his life. That year he made millions on his book but his wife was diagnosed with cancer.
Life is really more like two rails on a railroad track, rather than being made up of hills and valleys. At all times, you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad, or not great, that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things may seem, there is always something good you can thank God for.
Life is a wild and wonderful journey. Chaos will come and calm will follow, and then it will do the whole thing all over again. The secret is to enjoy the journey, savor the ride...ALL OF IT!!
Probably one of the best pieces of advice we can give is that you should always be investing in your own knowledge and personal growth. A great way to do this is to get involved with local conferences that you find valuable. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when you are at a conference:
Let’s talk about gardening your mind for greatness!
What does it take to make a garden grow? Once we plant the seeds, then we need to focus on watering those seeds and nurturing them with daily focus, attention and soil cultivation.
We need to be aware of upcoming storms and weather that could potentially destroy the garden we are trying to grow…
Every day we need to be out there watering and caring for our garden if we want to grow the best garden.
FOCUS = GROWTH
“Where our focus goes, our energy flows”...Ralph Waldo Emerson
If we focus on the great things going on in our life and water those thoughts each day then our mind will become a beautiful garden full of bright, colorful flowers. If we focus on the negatives and feed and water those thoughts, each day our mind will start to get overrun with weeds.
We must be mindful of what you tell ourselves and the thoughts we entertain. We get to CHOOSE whether we see a situation from an optimistic or pessimistic point of view.
We have to realize this ...much like we train our physical body for strength,power and endurance, mental training takes the same amount of daily work, discipline and consistency.
It takes practice...we need to shift our thoughts to have the positives outweigh the negatives. We must be present to realize what is happening with our thoughts. Make sure we are protecting those seeds in our minds, only watering with the purest water and the very best fertilizer.
The fastest way to guarantee success and happiness in all that we do is by being positive and seeing the optimistic side of each and every moment, and seeing every obstacle as an opportunity!!
REMEMBER...You only have ONE, so ROCK THIS LIFE NOW!!!
Do you ever find yourself frustrated with all of the noise and chaos in our culture? It seems like a constant rat race to the bottom of social media, in politics and in news and media. It is as if every belief or opinion someone has is attacked and called “evil” by anyone who does not hold the same belief.
I recently listened to the David Dilemma by Chris Hodges and he referred to what he called “The Highest Standard and the Deepest Grace”. The number one question was how do we stand for the truth without compromise (the highest standard) and show unconditional love to everyone at the same time (Deepest Grace).
Let’s look at both personal and professional perspectives when we think about this:
If you own a company, or lead a group of people, the worst thing that you can do is have no standards and no grace. If you do not have standards then people do not know what to do and what is expected of them, and if you have no grace, then people are constantly in trouble.
As a leader, one of our primary roles is to grow and develop our people. This is absolutely critical!! The higher the standard, the more room for growth. The deeper the grace, the more room for growth. People are inspired by high standards and people need grace because no one is perfect.
Now, let’s look at it from the personal side. If you want to grow as a person in every area of your life then you need to set your standards high, otherwise you will have no reason to grow. You also have to give yourself grace, because you WILL fall short, you WILL fail, and you will mess up from time to time. Grace is that forgiveness that allows you to drop the weight that is keeping you from climbing higher.
What do you do when someone challenges the High Standard that you have set? You start by extending to them the Deepest Grace. When you accept them and come from a place of love it does not mean that you are compromising your High Standard or approving of their standard. Grace just goes a long way to building bridges and allowing for growth to occur.
Are you sick of being stuck in the same place? When it comes to perspective, - we could all use some!!
Break through your limiting beliefs ...you know...the doubtful thoughts that creep in, the nasty little voice that says “who do you think you are”, that we often have keeping us exactly where we are…
The negative attitude we sometimes have about our own abilities…
This can all change if we simply learn to shift our momentum by “shifting a gear up”. Take it one gear higher! I’ll show you what i mean:
*Reading - Read 2 or 3 chapters instead of 1
*Work - Take on some bigger tasks
*Workouts - Instead of 3 days, do 4 or 5, instead of 20 minutes, do 30
*Finance - Add 10% to your monthly savings
*Relationship - Have 2 date nights a week instead of 1
In every area of our life we ...WE...have the ability to shift up one more gear, walk the extra mile, so to speak. Don’t overthink it - JUST DO IT!! It is the compound effect, just doing one extra thing per day or week adds up when you compound it over the course of the year...one small improvement can change your entire life dramatically!
Thinking and acting like a successful person doesn’t just automatically happen just because you have a prestigious degree from a fancy business school...there was a study conducted at Babson College, which is considered to be the #1 ranked school for entrepreneurs according to U S News and World Report. It was a study of graduates who went through their entrepreneur MBA program and 90% of them never did anything with their degree. It found that they actually went on to accept jobs with companies - working FOR SOMEONE ELSE!!
The study analyzed why 90% did not succeed in their own businesses and they found that they just did not even START...not only did they not even take the first step, but they took absolutely no steps to even launch.
When you take action of any kind, you inevitably get more ideas for more action, your confidence level begins to sky rocket and you get feedback where you can start to course correct - find out what works and what doesn’t. If you have an idea then ACT ON IT!!...take that first step to Do SOMETHING!! Why do people fail to take the first step? What stops them from starting?
I believe, inevitably, it comes down to fear...fear of failure, fear of what other people will say or think, fear of it being too challenging & difficult and fear of loss. It most likely stems from something that shaped our belief system much earlier in life - the disapproval of other people in our lives.
We have to train ourselves to think like successful people:
1. Fill Yourself with Positives
Surround yourself with positivity, from people to books, to courses, to affirmations. Keep feeding your mind and “tending your garden”! Food is to the body, what growing and learning is to the mind.
2. Look for the opportunity in every obstacle, the good (or “set up”) in every setback
Successful people look for the good in every problem, they ask themselves what can they learn, how can they be better..
3. Look for the Lesson
Develop the habit of always looking for the lesson...what can i learn so that growth can occur and this won’t happen again. Practice zero-based thinking and ask yourself: “If i was not doing what I am doing today, would i get into it today?”
Look for the opportunity in every obstacle and remember success doesn’t happen without failing first.
When God created you, he went to great lengths to make you exactly as He wanted. He designed you on purpose to be the way you are and you have exactly what you need to fulfill your destiny. You have to be confident in who God made you to be.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s masterpiece”. This means that by no means are you ordinary. You were not mass-produced. You are unique and one of a kind. Nobody in the world has your fingerprints and there can never be another you. You must see yourself as unique, as on original, if you are going to reach your highest potential. You are God’s most prized possession, so don’t go around feeling that you are not good enough. Quit wishing you were taller or thinner, or looked like someone else. You have been painted by the most incredible painter that ever could be.
When thoughts creep in telling you everything that you are not, remind yourself that you are a masterpiece and you are extremely valuable. People may try to make you feel average. Your own thoughts may try to convince you that you are ordinary and life will try to push you down and steal your sense of value. That is why, all through the day, you have to remind yourself of who your Painter is. We are so busy putting ourselves down, focusing on all our flaws, comparing ourselves to others whom we think are better. You have to get in agreement with God so that you do not miss out on your destiny. The recording that should be playing in your head all day long should be, “I am valuable, I am a masterpiece, I am a child of the Most High God”. Could the recording you currently play be holding you back? There are enough people in life already against you. Don’t be against yourself! Change your recording and start to see yourself as the masterpiece God created you to be.
If you let the negative recording play, you will never tap into your full potential. You have EVERYTHING you need! Be proud of who God made you to be. If you don’t love yourself in a healthy way, you won’t ever be able to love others in the way that you should. If you do not get along with yourself, you will not get along with others. If you see yourself as “less than”, not talented, not valuable, then you will become exactly that. You are constantly conveying what you feel on the inside. If you feel unattractive on the inside, you can be the most beautiful person in the world, but you will convey feelings of unattractiveness and this will push people away. The problem is on the inside...you carry yourself the way you see yourself.
What’s on the inside will eventually show up on the outside. There is a great story about the mayor of a small town. He was in a parade, riding in a float down Main Street with his wife next to him. While he was waving to the crowd, he spotted his wife’s former boyfriend, who owned and ran the local gas station. He whispered to his wife, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t marry him? You’d be working at a gas station”. She whispered back, “No. If I would have married him, he would be the mayor”.
You have to know who you are!! You are excellent in every way! You are not ordinary, you are not average, you are extraordinary! Remember, the most important opinion is the opinion you have of yourself. How you see yourself is how other people are going to see you..so start seeing yourself as the ROCKSTAR you are!!!
Disappointments are for a season, but our relationships are for a lifetime. We must nurture them and take care of them.
There is a story about a little boy who had a bad temper and his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper and lashed out with his words, he would have to hammer a nail into their beautiful white picket fence that surrounded their yard.
The first day after the father made the deal with his son the young boy drove eight nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, however, as the boy learned to control his anger, the number of nails he had to hammer each day drastically decreased. Finally, the day came when the boy did not lose his temper at all. He was so proud of himself and told his father about his accomplishment. The father put his arm around his son, walked him out to the fence and told the boy to remove a nail for each day he did not lose his temper. Quite a while passed when finally the young boy was able to remove the very last nail. As soon as he finished, the boy ran to tell his father.
The dad hugged him and said, “You’ve done so well at keeping your temper in check and I am so very proud of you but I want you to see something”. He took the boy by the hand and walked over to the fence.
“See all those holes in our beautiful fence?” he asked, and the little boy nodded his head. “That fence will never be the same”, the father said, when you say things in anger, those words leave scars just like the nail holes in our fence. You can pull the nails out, but the marks are deep and they are permanent. The same goes for our words. It does not matter how many times you say you are sorry, you can’t take those words back and the scars are still there”.
The boy’s eyes filled with tears as he looked at the beautiful fence, now riddled with holes, and said, “Please forgive me for the holes i put in the fence”.
The father smiled at the son and gave him a big hug. “Of course I do son, but from now on, just think before you speak and always speak so our words won’t hurt someone else”.
Remember, love doesn’t just happen - we must choose it!!
The biggest gift you can give the world is your authentic self, the one God created you to be. The most important “job” you have on earth is to be the most authentic version of yourself. God is not finished with you! “He who started a good work in you will bring it to completion..” Philippians 1:6
It may feel like He’s given up on you or that He could never use you like you once thought He could, but God’s gifts and calling in your life are permanent and enduring. Romans 11 tells us that the “gifts and calling of God are without repentance”, and repentance literally means irrevocable.
Think in terms of a checking account...gifts and talents and God’s “deposits” into our personal accounts, BUT we are the ones who determine the amount of “interest” on them. God’s gifts are not loans, they are always deposits and the more attention we are able to give to them, the greater the value becomes.
Never underestimate the purpose of the gifts within you! They are given to us, not only so we can fulfill to the fullest the calling in our lives, but also so that we can impact all who are attached to those gitfs. There are so many people waiting to be affected by what God has placed inside of you. Don’t make the mistake of not using the gifts God has given you to reach your ultimate God given potential. Be the best version of you so that you can share with others who God created you to be.
A great quote by Grant Cardone is “The biggest reason people tell you to do less is because they quit doing more.” If you are not pushing your limits often, you may be impacting your future goals and aspirations. You must continue to push your comfort zone in order to continue growing and learning. Too many people go around saying that they’ve burnt out, when it reality, they may have lost their focus, or worse, their purpose entirely. Luckily, you can certainly make the conscious choice to get going again! Try new things, put yourself in new scenarios, and keep pushing those limits! Grant Cardone’s original post here.