Work Hard

 

 

 

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We all have our beginnings and our middles.  Few of us can say we have our endings. Only those who persevere to the end have their endings. And even then it doesn’t truly end.

No matter what your goal is in life there are 4 stages of pursuing it.

1.  The decision. This is probably the hardest part of going after your goal.  You have to make a decision.  You have to choose to leave safety behind. You have to live with risk, live in a state of faith, where you take the leap and whether there is a net to catch you, or a rock hard fall, you are choosing to begin.  Stop wasting time deliberating, you already know in your heart of heart what you want to do, and there comes a day when the planning has to end and the action has to start.

2. The start.  This is often an easy stage, you’ve made the decision and are moving forward, you are excited of all the possibilities to come.  You have energy, vitality and you are going to get this done.

3.  The middle.  This is the second hardest part. You feel stuck, like you will never hit your goal.  You feel as if you are doing everything in your power to hit your goal, but it’s just not enough.  During this time you have to keep moving forward, you may feel like you are making no headway, but keep at it.  Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.

4.  The end. You’ve hit your goal!  Congratulations!  But it doesn’t end here.  After hitting your goal life isn’t all butterflies and rainbows, you have to keep up your victory, you have to maintain it, and you have to now plan a new and bigger goal. Don’t ever become complacent.  There is always more you can do.

 

The Voices

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This life is filled with so much noise.  We have hundreds of talks shows on TV and the radio that are someone’s opinion, millions of books trying to persuade people to think a certain way.

Politicians with million dollar campaigns telling you how to vote.  Pasters of mega churches telling you what your faith should look like.

The business world tells you the perfect model for becoming a business woman/man.

And then there’s the millions of opinions floating around social media and your workplace.

It’s enough to drive one crazy.

Just remember, some of the greatest people in history were told they were dumb and would never amount to anything.

They said Einstein was stupid.  They called Walt Disney a failure.  But the great people we look up to had only 2 simple things that led to their success.

1.  They knew what their burning passion was and went after it.

2.  They didn’t let anyone tell them what they should do.

Stop listening to the voices. You have your own voice, start using it.  Do whatever you have to, but ignore the naysayers.  Shut out the voices, and become who you were born to be.

What Happened to Christianity?

 

 

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There once was a lion who we will call Christian.  At one time it’s face was set as steal. Nothing could faze it.  It minded it’s own business, and did it’s thing and attracted millions.  It didn’t have to put on a show, didn’t have to have lights, fancy music, or business plan to make it.

It was somewhat tattered looking, dusty and dirty from real work.  Scarred with wounds it had received through time.

It didn’t listen to outside voices, it knew its purpose and nothing could shake it.

It didn’t point the finger, it stayed true to who it was in silence.  There was no need for shaming, no need for blaming, no need for calling people out.

This lion was revered. Simply because of its actions, its every day life, nothing else.

But somewhere along the line this lion starting becoming more concerned with what others thought of it than who it was.  It started thinking it needed to groom itself more, look prettier, smell nicer, and speak vehemently out about things it disagreed with.

Soon the lion became someone entirely different, it lost respect in its attempt to please, and it lost sight of who it was.  It looked better, sounded better, and could draw a crowd, but it no longer was who it was born to be.  But still, buried somewhere underneath the layers, the true lion lurks, and maybe one day we will see it again.

Decide Already

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We can miss out on so much because of indecision.  We have the opportunity to do something, but rather than just trying it and seeing if it works out, we put off making  a decision until the opportunity passes and then lamely say, “guess it wasn’t meant to be”.

Um, pardon me, but that’s not the way it works.  If an opportunity presents itself and you don’t act on it or try it, it’s your fault if what you want doesn’t pan out.  Opportunity isn’t some perfect dream that lands in your lap, it’s making hard decisions and working towards something.  It’s taking the leap of faith even though you don’t know all the cards that are dealt.

Opportunity is choosing to live today, making choices today, that affect your future, not waiting for something to fall in your lap, because that will never happen.

Christian drive me the most nuts when it comes to that. God puts these huge dreams in people’s hearts and rather than using them they use the most bull crap excuse in the world, “I need to hear from the Lord on whether I should.” BULL. This is the lamest excuse ever for “I don’t have the guts to do it.”

Unless it’s something that is just a blatant sin, if God put it in you to do, then quit beating around the freaking bush and do it.  Because if you don’t, He’s going to find someone else with the guts to do it.

Be Present

 

 

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There is something I’m not great at but am working really hard at lately.  It’s really easy to get self-absorbed, caught up in what I’m currently going through, or what I’m in the middle of.

Things as simple as being absorbed on my phone while checking out in line at a store.  I want to live intentional every single moment.  I want every person I come into contact with to know I genuinely want to know how their day is, how they are doing, and that for that brief moment I shared with them, they were important.

No matter who I’m with I want them to have my full attention.  No distractions.

This also includes moments when I am alone.  I don’t want to just live in a fictitious world.  I want the things I do to matter and to be intentional, growing myself and moving forward with who I am as a person.

 

Do What You Love

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It’s really easy to get on band wagons of talking out against what we hate.  But how often do we really work towards what we love?

If you had to ask all the people you know what you are absolutely enthralled with or what you can’t stand. Which would they be able to better answer? What you love, or what you hate?

With social media like it is, it’s so easy to argue and give differing opinions about things, but how often are we really promoting things we love.

If we are only bashing what we hate what good are we really doing? Other than probably pissing some people off.

Do what you love, promote what you are passionate about.  No, everyone won’t agree with you, but you aren’t setting out to please them in the first place.

Don’t Stay Stuck

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Have you ever felt like you are stuck in life, like on one of those escalators that are really crowded, and it’s just taking you to another place and there’s not anything you can do about it?

There’s definitely been times in my life where I’ve felt like this.  Felt stuck.  Like I’m glued to something and can’t move.  But this is really all in my head.  I am never stuck.

We are  never stuck in life.  There’s no mold that we get poured into and can’t get out.  There is always a door for us to walk out.  Just because we spent eight years getting a degree we don’t care about doesn’t mean we can’t pursue our dream.

Just because we landed a good stable job doesn’t mean we can’t take a risk and move to another state to pursue and real dream.

It’s never too late, and it’s never impossible to move or go after something different. You are not stuck.  You always have a choice.  If you stay stuck, that is your decision.  Not life’s, not some other persons.  You are you.  Get unstuck and go for it.

One Year Ago

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One year ago my wife and I went to Guatemala, I can’t believe it’s been that long ago already but it has been.

Even today I am still affected by that trip.  My thinking, my perspective, was forever changed. I saw suffering, I saw desperation, I saw humanity in a way that I never before saw it.  Still to this day it sobers me.

I saw people who would possibly never have the chance to succeed in life due to cultural rules, due to lack of financial support, due to expectations of people’s gender.

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I saw people in wheel chairs, with grossly infected legs who would never receive medical aid.  They couldn’t just go to a hospital.

I saw children scavenging for food, selling anything they could find for mere pennies so they could have something to eat that night.

I saw men and women working hard labor intensive job day in and day out, with no hope of an education to a brighter tomorrow.

In short it made me feel extremely selfish.  The people I saw have problems I will never know about.

Here we freak out if our internet or cable goes down for a day.  If we break our phone and have to go without it for a few days.  If our car battery dies, and we are without a car for a day.

We have scholarships, loan programs, to better ourselves, to better our future, to receive an education.

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We have hospitals that if someone walked into who was desperately sick, they would care for them.

I don’t think I have ever complained about money since going to Guatemala, and don’t ever think “we don’t have any money”, I don’t know what the true meaning of that phrase even means.

It made me grateful for the things I have.  It humbled me in a way no words ever could, and it made me what to help those who don’t have the resources available to me.

Face of a Lion

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Have you ever heard someone say “I’ve always wanting to…(fill in the blank)”.  We all have big dreams, things we can sit back say “if this was different I’d do this or that”.  If only’s can rule our conversation.

If only’s kill our imagination and stifle our dreams.  It cuts us off from who we really are and keeps us from growing, keeps us from fulfilling our dreams and making the come true.

The truth is if you want something, I mean really want it and it’s not some passing fad, you can make a way to achieve it.  You have to set your face like that of a lion.  Unflinching, with fearlessness, tackle your problems, tackle your challenges.

If you want a different life, you won’t get it by doing the same old things you always do.  That may sound incredibly obvious and yet so many of us tend to stay stuck on that same things and we somehow expect different results to come of it.  It’s just not going to happen.

You want a different life?  Start making steps that you haven’t before.  Don’t let fear of the unknown cripple you, because all your worst case scenarios are only in your mind.  Set your face like a lion and step forth with boldness.  You can do this, and you were meant to do this.

This Will Pass

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There are times we hit a season of life that is really hard.  We are hit from every side with difficulty, and we have trouble getting through the week emotionally.  It happens.  We all have those days, all have those moments.

It can be really easy to despair during those times. When your marriage is on the rocks and you have been arguing more than usual.

When your kids are mad at you.

When you’ve  had a disagreement with your family

When your job is beating you into the ground.

When that one coworker keeps making jabs at you.

When your boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t sure you are going to work out.

When God seems far away.

All these things can try our patience and will.  It is so key to remember that even though it may suck for a time, it is a temporary thing, it will pass.  Nothing is final, and nothing will completely destroy you unless you let it.

So do your best to get through the time you are in, but know that it will get better, you can make it better.