Are You Committed?

What are you committed to? Commitment is what we are willing to give 100% to achieve, while putting aside personal gain and recognition. Being committed is a willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill and follow through on a responsibility. It may not even be something we enjoy, but none the less, being committed means that you are going to do it regardless. A primary key to knowing whether or not you are committed to something is if you are willing to sacrifice what you want in order to keep your commitment.   Commitment also involves loyalty.  Do you stand by your commitment even though it will cause interruptions in another area of your life? If you are willing to show loyalty even when it costs you something that is proof that you are truly committed to that person, place or thing.

The most important thing about being a committed person is not about the recognition you receive but the courage and discipline you display.  Leaders show a remarkable amount of commitment. If a leader is not committed to the success of their goal, others will lack the initiative to be fully committed and the desired results will never be achieved. Commitment is the marker that separates success from failure. The level of commitment you have is the difference between good and great. When confronted with a challenge, a committed person will always search for a solution but the uncommitted person will always search for a way out.  Commitment is what drives us forward. Commitment is what gets us out of bed each day and what keeps us awake with excitement at night.

Determination and commitment go hand in hand.  There will be inevitable set-backs along the way to achieving success, and without the determination to overcome these road blocks, your commitment will begin to waver.  A committed person will face obstacles with resiliency and fortitude.  A committed person will accept the challenges that will surely come and take the necessary steps to work past any barrier.  Instead of viewing change and unexpected outcomes as problems, a committed person will view them as opportunities . Committed people are invigorated and energized by the chance to rise to the occasion. Being committed means you accept and perceive challenges as part of the journey toward the larger accomplishment that you are committed to. Committed people work hard even what it is hard to work. It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up!

Being a committed person will also simplify your life because you will know what to focus on and what to let go. Though, at the same time, there may be a cost for the utter dedication it takes to be committed. It takes courage to stay focused on what you are committed to. You will encounter people who will not understand your commitment. With this in mind, it will be important to hold steady and keep your goal in the fore-front of your mind. Sometimes you just might have to commit to a dream that no one else can see but you. Work hard in silence and let success make the noise. Don’t confuse your path with your destination. The path to your success may be a difficult one but everything you go through will prepare you for the success you dreamed about.

F. L. Y.

How often have you said, “I just want to be happy”? Everyone wants to be happy but how well do you know exactly what it is that would make you happy?  Would a bigger house, a new car or a new job make you happy? Many people would define happiness as having more of something that brings them pleasure, but what about the people you see who have very little but seem to enjoy every day life just where they are despite what they lack in material things? Happiness is a choice. Happiness is being content no matter what your circumstances might be. Happiness is having what you want and wanting what you do have. Having a lot of something won’t necessarily make you happy. One important key to happiness is to enjoy what you do have. Being frustrated about what you wish you had is pointless because it robs you of enjoying the present.

Happiness is an inside job and it begins with loving yourself. If I were to ask you to name all the things that you love, would you even think to include your own name? These are many things that are important in this life but nothing is more significant than loving yourself.  Everything else really falls in line behind this. Loving yourself means that you recognize that other people have opinions, anger, resentment, jealousy, fear and none of these feelings they have are about you even if they are directed at you. Loving yourself means being able to say no when someone else wants you to say yes. Loving yourself means not giving up before you get started because someone else said that you won’t be able to make it. Loving yourself means you might have to let go of some things (people, places and things) and embrace other things that you once thought were not important.   Most of all loving yourself means living in a state of forgiveness – which includes forgiving yourself.

Love yourself enough to make the changes in your life that will bring you true happiness. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life you are excited about. Embrace and accept yourself including all of your imperfections. Stop hating yourself for everythings that you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything that you are. Work on loving the person in the mirror who has been through so much and is still standing. You have made it this far because there is so much more for you to do. You are special. You are unique. You have been courageous when fear tried to stop you. You have been honest when it would have been easier to lie. You have been compassionate when others were not. You have been real in a world filled with so many artificial things. You will never know how many people you have already inspired.  Love yourself and then you will have the blue print for loving others.

Learn to F. L.Y. – First Love Yourself

Re-do, Restart and Rebuild

If you were given the chance for a do-over, what would you do differently the second time around? We all have things that we have either done or said that we regret. Choices that we have made that we wish we could do differently if given the chance. Some might be really small, others would alter the life you now live but there would diffinitely be something that we would like to do over. No one is completely satisfied with everything that has happened in their life. We all have made decisions against what our inner voice was saying to us. How fortunate would we be to have an opportunity to set some things right; heal wounded relationships or make a different choice.

It’s not possible to go back and change the past but it is never too late to right a wrong . It is never too late to pursue a dream or act on the passion that you are carrying in your heart. It’s never to late to say I’m sorry or I love you.   All of these are possible right now. The present is never too late. Right now is your opportunity to change tomorrow before it becomes yesterday. Take control over the things in your life that you do have control over. Life doesn’t get better by chance. Life gets better by change.  Every day you wake up with the opportunity to renew, refresh and reset. If you think that there is no use to start over then think of a reason to begin again and create something new. Never be afraid of something falling apart because it is an opportunity to build something better.

Make the rest of your life the best life you can. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you always got. If you want things in your life to change, you will need to change some things in your life. Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go just remember how far you have come and everything you have already faced. Life has already pushed you over but you pushed back and survived. Just when the caterpillar thought life was over, he became a butterfly.  If your only focus is on results, you will never see what changes you need to make. However, if you focus on change, you will get the desired results.

Make today is the beginning of whatever you dream about. Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you. Strength doesn’t come from what you ca do. Strength comes from overcoming the things you have been through. Remember, the end of one day is the beginning of a new day.   There are so many people who will tell you that you can’t, but when that happens say to them ‘watch me.’ Your belief in yourself must be greater than everyone’s disbelief in you. Your life is your story. You are the only author. Your story has a beginning and an end and what happens in between is entirely up to you. It’s never too late to do what you have always wanted to do. Never give up; just start over. Starting over carries with it more knowledge, strength and power. Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you ever imagined.

 

How To Handle Disappointments

Disappointment is an emotion that we experience after having high expectations that something would work out a certain way, but unfortunately things didn’t turn out as expected. Unfilled promises and expectations are difficult to deal with for all of us because disappointment carries with it negative thoughts. In fact, you might even catch yourself saying:

  • I’m just not good enough
  • Nothing ever works out
  • This always happens to me
  • When it rains it pours

However, this is never helpful and these thoughts will keep you from seeing disappointment for what it really is. Disappointments should help you to take a good look at your expectations and find another course of action that will result in the successful attainment of your goals. Disappointment is also an eye opener to new possibilities and perspectives. Disappointment is to be a place of empowerment and will put you in a better position to think more clearly and intelligently about what exactly you need to do next. As a result you can move forward with renewed confidence that you can make the most of any situation no matter what happens.

The secret to dealing with disappointment is to not let it grow into stronger emotions like discouragement and depression. Disappointments are not meant to keep you down but to help you grow. Turn the negative thoughts of disappointment into a positive emotion like determination. Disappointment won’t kill you; it will make you stronger. Disappointment is just a learning process for the things you will do in the future. Disappointments can turn out to be blessings in disguise.

Disappointments are hard and frustrating but always think positive by thinking that something better will happen than what you had planned. Positive thinking will allow you to do everything better than negative thinking will. Be patient. Good things are worth the wait. Any person who has had even the smallest degree of success in life has faced some disappointments. Winners just don’t quit. Winners learn from their failures and disappointments and go on to achieve their goals.

Train your mind to see the good in every situation. Do not allow disappointment to lower your self-confidence. Learn how to deal with your disappointments effectively so that you will be able to move on to bigger and better things. You can become your own biggest motivator! Never underestimate the power of encouraging yourself by saying, “I can do this. I can make it. I will get through this!” The question isn’t ‘what if I try and fail but can I afford not to try’?

Wisdom

There are many things that we need to live a fulfilled and successful life and one of those things is wisdom. We all know that education is necessary to earn a living but knowledge is just the beginning. We live in the information age where you can get any kind of information on anything at the click of a button. The problem is not how to access information but how to use the information we have access to.  Knowledge will get you far but knowledge is not enough to meet life’s problems. We need wisdom because wisdom enables you to see the big picture and arrive at a solution of your problem. Once wisdom is attained everything else becomes attainable. As we go about acquiring material things that we can really do without, wisdom is something to be acquired no matter what the cost.

The Bible emphasizes that one of the greatest qualities we can possess is wisdom.  Proverbs 3:13, 17-18: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom. … Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.” Wisdom helps us to understand the difference between what is right and wrong in God’s sight. Wisdom makes a man think before he acts. Acquiring and exercising wisdom will lead to happiness and longevity of life. The foolish things we do in life are the result of a lack of wisdom. Wisdom will produce a way out of any problem. Effective choices and decisions are determined by the amount of wisdom we possess. It takes wisdom to know that you need wisdom because wisdom never comes to those who believe they have nothing left to learn.

Listed below are words of wisdom that will help you on your life’s journey:

Every test in your life will make you bitter or better. The choice is up to you.

Don’t think too hard about the past or the future for you will miss the moment right in front of you.

Patience with family is love. Patience with others is respect. Patience with yourself is confidence.

Faith is the ability to not panic.

Persistence is a characteristic of a winner.

Be thankful for each new challenge you face because it will force you to change what isn’t working for you.

Look around you and you will see that another person’s hardship will make yours look like a minor inconvenience.

Expect obstacles and meet them head on. Don’t give up or back up. Your success is on the other side.

The test of a good coach is that when they leave others will carry on successfully.

A good exercise for your heart is to bend down and help someone else up.

People want to be heard and respected. Give it to them. You want the same.

 

 

Be Yourself

“Keeping up with the Joneses” is an expression that is commonly used to describe the attitude of always wanting to keep up with the neighbors in terms of possessions and wanting to have the things that our neighbors have. Envy is another word that can be used to describe this attitude.  Envy involves jealousy, resentment and a strong desire for something someone else has, usually at whatever the cost. One reason why envy is such a problem is that if you are envious of another person’s success, that means you will never be satisfied with anything you ever achieve.   Another reason why envy is a problem is because it means you have no clue what you want for your own life. Just because the Joneses have it does not mean you should have it too. Envy and jealousy are habits you must always be weary of and stay clear of.  Like other bad habits envy will only rob you of your energy, creativity, drive and zest for life.

It’s important that you have a clear vision for your own life, and then and only then, what another person achieves or acquires won’t matter to you. You are completely satisfied because you know exactly who you are, why you are here, where you need to go and what you need to do to get there. Having your own goals will enable you to avoid the trap of spending your time on thinking about what others are doing. Instead you will be focused on what you need to do to become a better person and be happy in the process. Your success depends entirely on you and the work you put in. Do not judge yourself based on what others have achieved, but rather base your success on what you want to achieve. Success is not about wishing you were someone else or having what someone else has. To the contrary, success is achieving your goals without compromising your integrity and then helping someone else do the same.

Focusing on yourself is a winning mindset. If you are to succeed in life and become the person you are meant to be, then you must know that your success is not for you alone. You must help others to succeed and to become great if you are to be great yourself. It is often said that the greatest people are always those that help others. Your journey in life has molded you for the greater good. It has taken each and every situation you have gone through to make you who you are today. You are not unimportant nor are you insignificant. You are unique. Never stop being you. The gifts and talents within you can only be brought to the table by you. There are people who have been predestined to be influenced by the person you are. Don’t deny them the experience of sharing life with you and have the opportunity to glean the wisdom you possess about being successful.

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. Find out who you are and then do you with a purpose.

Look Back But Don’t Stay There!

It’s important not to look too much into the past or keep your mind there for too long because you can easily get trapped there.  For example, if you’ve experienced something physically or emotionally painful, your mind may keep recycling those memories thus keeping you in a continuous cycle of the same stress you previously endured. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to separate the past from the present so that you can live a healthy and productive life. However, there are reasons when looking back on the past is beneficial to your future growth.

One reason to look back is to see how far you have come. Sometimes, you might be hard on yourself and get discouraged in life. Reflecting on the past will help you to focus on the progress you have made and the things you have overcome. It will put the present in the right perspective and point you in the direction you need to go. Even if there’s still a long, rough road ahead, looking back on your progress can help you gain the encouragement and motivation you need to get to the finish line.

Reflection on life helps keep your mind open and can even help you to refrain from judging others.  For example, if someone is in an unfortunate position in life, it’s always important to remember that maybe at one time in your own life you were in an unfortunate spot as well.  You may even have been given the third degree by someone and judged on the spot but looking back on certain memories will help you to have empathy for others. Having empathy for others instead of criticism will enable you to help someone who is still dealing with an issue that you have already overcome.

Life is a long and complex journey, and it’s easy to get sidetracked.  If you have been on your journey a long time, you may even forget why you’re still going.  Now is a good time to remind yourself why you decided to take the path you are on and become reinvigorated with the same energy of intention that you had when you started out. Looking back will force you to not only see the positive but the negative events in your life.  However, you can actually use the dark times to create the brightest light.  Ask yourself why the dark times happened and if there is a lesson you can take from your struggle. Make a decision to move forward even stronger. In fact, the secret of many successful people is their ability not only to have made a decision to never quit, but they dig down deep and begin again with more tenacity than ever.

When you travel though life there are always those times when decisions just have to be made and the choices are hard and solutions are scarce. There are some situations where all you can do is simply let go and move on. There could be adventures you never imagined just waiting around the next bend. So keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking life day by day. There’s a brighter tomorrow that is just down the road. Look back but don’t stay there.

What Are You Thinking?

 

Watch your thoughts for they become words.

Watch your words for they become actions.

Watch your actions for they become habits.

Watch your habits for they become character.

Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

Have you ever heard the statements, “you are what you think.” Or, “if you think you can’t, then you can’t!” Statements like these reflect how powerful our thoughts are. The things we think about impact our lives in a significant way. We express our thoughts in words which in turn influences our actions and what we do will soon become a personal habit. Our habits become so much a part of us that they become our identifiers. It is your habits that your family and friends will use when describing you to another person because that is what distinguishes you from another individual. In reality your character is what other people know about you. The things you do, both good and bad, are the markers that will follow you all the days of your life – thus becoming your destiny. The bottom line is a man’s thoughts determines the character of his life and become the foundation of who he is.

Your thoughts are significantly important for they will create either a positive or negative reference for the choices that you make each day. You build your life thought-by-thought and deed-by-deed. It is through a lifetime of thoughts and deeds that you form yourself and determine the impact your life will have on others. These thoughts and deeds are, in reality, choices that you make about what you will say or the way you will act. As a result, it’s not something that happens to you, but rather how you choose to think and what you choose to do that determines the type of person you’ll be and the level of happiness you’ll ultimately achieve. If you choose your thoughts and deeds wisely, you are destined to live a happy and rewarding life.

Schools teach math, English, science and history, but very little about the fundamentals of good thinking. Parents urge children to make good grades and to do their best, but typically they provide little instruction to a child concerning how to think through a choice they are about to make. Friends, who are often as untrained in making good choices themselves, become a source of advice for many of us. But, until we personally take the initiative to become better thinkers, we are more likely to make snap judgments and head off in some direction with no real thought as to how our decisions might impact our life.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. Today is a good time to stop and assess the nature and quality of what we spend our time thinking about. If we take seriously the belief that our thoughts are the true index to our character, it is imperative that we take control over our thoughts and take responsibility for changing any and all thoughts that are not good or positive. You are not known merely by your words for talk is superficial. Words are often used to conceal or to misrepresent. You are known and judged by the content of your character. The essence of human character is found in the heart and it is the condition of the heart that provides the evidence of the true man.

 

The Unexpected, Unplanned Life

We often live life with an idea of what our future will look like. We are comfortable with life as it currently is.  We are certain of the direction we are going and the plans we have made for ourselves. Suddenly, the unexpected happens and we find ourselves in a situation that was unplanned and our life no longer mirrors the image we had become familiar with.  It’s at times like this we are forced to take a step back and take a closer look at our journey and at the changes we must go through.  When the unexpected and unplanned happens we must learn to shift gears, change our course of action and steer the wheel of our lives into unfamiliar territory with the goal of fulfilling our purpose in life and becoming our best self.

The good thing about having the unplanned and unexpected happen in your life is the fact that it allows you to learn things about yourself that you might not have discovered.  You will find strength you never knew you had.  The unexpected will teach you that you are in control of very little.  The unplanned will force you to recognize that God has a better plan for you and that His plans will make you happier than you ever thought you could be and that you will be just fine.  God works in mysterious ways and it is best to try not to go against the flow of what He brings into your life.  Sometimes it is better to look up and say “God, I know you got this and I will trust you and obey.”

When you experience unplanned and unexpected things in your life, it will humble you.  It will make you a kinder person, a more sympathetic person, a wiser person, a stronger person, a less judgmental person, a deeper person.  Or simply put, it will make you human. You will learn to accept the unplanned and unexpected and learn not to deny truth.  You will learn that when it is all said and done, life has surprised you in a good way.  You will one day look back and be able to connect the dots and make sense of all the confusion you went through.  So, don’t resist the unplanned and unexpected when they happen.  Realize that life is full of challenges that will cause you to grow as a person.  You are not meant to understand life.  You are meant to live it.

My advice to you is to be brave.  Learn to relate to life in a new way. Discover what the unplanned and the unexpected is trying to tell you.  Let go of how you thought your life should be and embrace the life that you currently find yourself in.  You must be willing to let go of what you are use to so that you can have the life that is waiting for you.  Life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned or the way you once thought it would, but that doesn’t mean it won’t turn out better than you could have ever imagined.  Embrace the unplanned life.  You may be shocked at how perfect it could end up.

The Value of Encouragement

Imagine having a family and a circle of close friends where everyone is your greatest cheerleader.  They believe you can do great things and they do everything in their power to help you. They help when you stumble, and they’re thrilled when you succeed. If this is your reality, then you have a lot to be thankful for.  Unfortunately, this is not true for many people.  A lack of encouragement and emotional support can result in discouragement. Discouragement can make the greatest person ineffective.  It can choke all growth. It brings progress to a standstill.  It can stop a person in their tracks and cause them to lose sight of their dreams and goals.

Every day we need to be prepared to encourage one another. Encouragers are like jumper cables to a person who has become stuck on their journey in life.  We’ve all had the experience of being out some place and the car won’t start because the battery is dead. The short term solution is usually for another car to come along side and hook up a set of jumper cables from their car to yours. Encouragement works the same way.  Encouragement will jump start another person by giving them the energy and power they need to get them going again.  Encouragement gives an individual a second chance. It is the hand that is extended to help you get back on your feet.  Encouragement doesn’t hold peoples failures against them but says instead ‘I see your potential and you can do it!’

It is so important for us to give and receive encouragement and support because it emphasizes to another person what could be and helps them to refocus and points them in the right direction. We have all known what it is to be discouraged and we all know people who are in great need of encouragement.  Fortunately, we live in an age where connecting with people is easier than it has ever been. There is no excuse not to reach out to someone who desperately needs a pick me up. The best way to experience the encouragement that you long for is to be an encourager to others. Proverbs 12:25 says “ “anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (NKJV). Your encouraging words can breathe courage into someone who feels hopeless and overwhelmed. Therefore, use your words to strengthen another person and not tear them down.

We can encourage one another through acts of service.  Take someone a meal, or clean the house for a sick friend.  Offer to babysit for a friend so they can have a little quiet time for themselves.  Buy a gift, and it doesn’t have to be expensive but the thought will mean a great deal. The most important thing to do is to make contact with someone who is going through a crisis.  Being there with someone who is hurting and offering your support is huge.  A true friend stands by their friend on a good day and stands even closer on a bad day.  People don’t always need advice. Sometimes, all they need is someone to hold their hand, or an ear to listen to them or a heart that understands.  Be that person who lifts up another soul and not the person who keeps another soul from flying.