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Have the courage to hold onto the best and let the rest fall away. (DeWitt Jones)

GROWTH

Do you ever get tired of waiting for things to change? The economy, a difficult manager at work, an overdramatic friend, a situation blocking your path.  These have all, at one time or another, made it to the top of my “Would You Please Just Hurry Up and Change” list.  But my current number one offender is … myself. I really do want to change the world, and I really do think it’s possible, but if it is dependent upon ME changing – well there’s going to be a problem.

Oh, it’s easy to change the things I do:  recycle, volunteer, give more to charity.  But changing the way I think, which pretty much means changing who I am? That’s when my defense mechanisms go up. My first inclination is to throw a fit and start screaming, “Why should I have to change?  What’s wrong with me being this way?”  This reaction in itself reveals to me the importance of the change – moving from immaturity to maturity. My second inclination is to dig my heels in and say, “I’m tired of having to be the one who has to change, why can’t they/it be the one to change this time?” This petulant reaction triggers a question: what if the person or circumstance NEVER changes? Am I willing to stay stuck, just to make a point?  Are you? …

EXCELLENCE

… Pursuing excellence in our lives pretty much means that changing ourselves is a given. Changing the ordinary into extraordinary, changing average into greatness, changing the mediocre into superb, changing ourselves into the most excellent version of ourselves. That actually sounds pretty good to me.  So what are we waiting for?

PURPOSE

Last week I wrote, “I believe that God has created every human being with individual gifts, talents, skills, abilities, tastes, desires, interests, affinities – things that bring us satisfaction and make us feel alive.”  For most of us, these things are easy to list about ourselves:

  • “I’m good with numbers”
  • “I love to paint”
  • “Modern contemporary furniture is to die for”
  • “I want a waterfront home”
  • “Everyone loves my cinnamon rolls”
  • “I couldn’t live anywhere but New York City.”

But for some of us, we’ve lost our way.  The cares and concerns of life have become so tightly packed down around us, we can’t think past what is currently happening in us and to us. We feel stuck.  We feel like we’ve missed it.  We feel like we blew it.  If you feel this way, I want to give you permission to take five minutes out of your schedule to do the following:

  • Say this sentence to yourself:  “I want something more. I need something more.”
  • Remember what used to bring you satisfaction and made you feel alive and write them down.
  • Say this sentence to yourself: “It’s okay to want and need something more.  It’s okay to want to feel satisfied and alive.”

Next week when you visit again, bring your list with you and we’ll take a closer look.

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. (Chinese Proverb)

There’s been a sense of something missing from this blog since I began it last month. It suddenly dawned on me that a whole chunk of my objective is missing.  Since my passion is to help others toward their purpose, there is now a separate section devoted to “Purpose.”  To make way for this,  the Exellence and Success sections have been combined (since the whole point is that true success is only found in pursuing excellence).  

GROWTH

Do you remember the very first time that you recognized that you had grown up a little?

When I was about ten years old I had a habit of throwing my jacket on the coat closet floor.  My mom would get after me about it and I would usually say, “Oh, it must have fallen off the hanger.”  One day I decided put a little zip into my story by actually putting the jacket on the hanger and then throwing the whole thing on the floor.  Ha! Worked like a charm! But the second time I did this, the thought came to me, “If you are going to take all the trouble to put it on the hanger and throw it on the floor, why don’t you just hang it up? It’s just as easy, and you won’t have to waste time later coming back to do it.”  When I put the hook over the rod, I realized something had changed in me.

Even as adults, our moments of growth don’t have to be earth shattering to be a turn in our life’s path.  Growth can be subtle.  A nudge to increase our awareness of a situation can lead us to a different point of view about what is really needed.  A prompt to adjust our attitude can keep us from an unwarranted argument.  A spur to revise our perspective can open us to new creativity. A check to hold back on a comment can save us from our own ignorance, or protect another’s character. These seemingly small things can lead to the expanding of our life in ways we might not see until we are further down the road, a little more… grown up.

EXCELLENCE/SUCCESS

Found on pinterest.com:

PURPOSE

The Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”  It’s a great statement.  And it leads to a great question: How do we glorify God and enjoy him forever?

I believe that God has created every human being with individual gifts, talents, skills, abilities, tastes, desires, interests, affinities – things that bring us satisfaction and make us feel alive. I am pretty sure that each person faces unique experiences and circumstances – things that challenge or threaten us. I am learning that the conglomeration of all the giftings and all of the hardships results in a person’s unique purpose in life. And I know that finding that unique purpose, pursuing it with excellence, and honoring God with it is how each person finds fulfillment. When you become what you are created to be, that  brings glory to God.  

Discovering our purpose is a matter of understanding our strengths and our challenges. Implementing our purpose is a matter of finding practical expression of it in our lives. Completing our purpose is a matter of . . . well, that’s not possible. Remember the catechism, we are to “enjoy him forever.”

“Life doesn’t give us want we want, it gives us what we go claim.” (Stephen Pierce)

GROWTH


“The most difficult battle you ever fight is the battle to be unique in a world that will marshal its every force to keep you the same.” (James Ray)

EXCELLENCE

It is 3:00 in the morning as I write this.  I am extremely tired, my eyes are blurry, and yet I cannot sleep.  My body is restless and my every thought leaves me either cranky or in despair: What did so-and-so mean when they said what they said earlier today? I think I hate them now. – cranky. What did so-and-so mean when they said what they said earlier today? Do they hate me now? – despair.  This state of weariness leaves me unable to measure the true weight of… something or other… what’s the word I’m looking for… anyway, the point is that I am not at the top of my game at the moment. It is not a good time to try to make a decision or try to accomplish anything of significance. When it comes to establishing excellence in your life, it’s important to know your limitations, your areas that need strengthening. It’s about being aware of times/circumstances that may cause you not to perform at your peak. You need to know when to hold back, wait, ask for advice, or even hand it over to someone else.  (Just don’t hand it over to “so-and-so” — I’m not sure about them at the moment.)

SUCCESS

Success is not about achieving a goal or being satisfied with an outcome.  A successful person is one who makes a daily choice to move forward through both accomplishments and setbacks, understanding that it is the depth of your work, not the width, that is the true measure of a lasting legacy.