He seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. - Psalm 113:8
What Do You Have There?
Last year, I was in a conference, and I heard something that stuck with me. It wasn’t the most powerful thing I ever heard, but it was true. It was a simple statement, and it spoke to me. “There are people out there that could play with your deck, and win!”, Wow! If you don’t get the card analogy right away don’t worry, I am about to make it plain. There are people who are not only wishing and hoping for a piece of what you already have, there are people out there who could WIN with the exact gifts, talents, and tools you already have in your hands.
I am going to be totally upfront with you. Too many of us, myself included are waiting for the goose that laid the golden egg the great idea, the powerful thought, the multi-millionaire idea and guess what, you already have it. The skill and talent, that you have knowingly or unknowingly cultivated for years has the ability to blow your mind. Do you know everyday someone somewhere is searching the internet, asking their friends, or searching their minds thinking, “If I only had someone who could teach me how to do X, or someone who could do X for me”, and bottom line is they are looking for YOU.
You already have everything you need to get started, to push, to move, to grow, and to succeed, except for maybe three things, the belief, the steps, and perhaps the support. When I heard about people who come from where you are from or less, who are billionaires, and when I hear about teenagers who have 6 figure yearly incomes working part-time, I have to ask the question, why not you? If someone can do it, you can do it, so the real question is what are you waiting for?
Houston, we have a problem!
The biggest hurdle we all have is our belief that this little old idea, or this little old thing could be it. Most of us have bought the lie that life changing ideas have to be complicated, and they don’t. Think about it, how many times have you seen one of those crazy idea you’ve had for years, show up on an infomercial with those wonderful words, “for only $19.99”, and wanted to kick yourself. Inaction and unbelief, are killing your dreams and your wallet, and it’s time for all of that to come to an end.
There is no better time to start than now! Today I am working with an inventor and several start-up companies, and I can tell you at the core, they are no different from you. They have ideas, just like you do they just decided to act, they put those ideas to action. Be willing to leave the gate, because the chances of you winning without starting are zero. You have to be willing to fail so that you can succeed. You have to be willing to test out that nagging idea in your head, and see where it goes. It’s not enough for us to have this amazing big idea, the question is what are you doing with it.
In all my travels, rarely do I find someone without a dream, or idea, I see dreamers every day in masses. Unfortunately, I find tons of people who cultivate dreams, and very few who are actually pursuing them by doing the work that will put those dreams into action. Winning is a choice. You fail, and you get back up, you work, and you celebrate as you see the results, you learn from your mistakes, and you do what you need to do to move forward. Stop sitting on your great idea, and be willing to take a chance by doing what it takes to bring your dream into reality.Read More
Take The Scraps, Take The Lessons and Start Again
At times, I go into my refrigerator, and I think of all of the food I waste. Of course, I don’t do it intentionally, but there are times when I get busy, and there is a little of this and a little of that and food just kind of gets wasted because I either forgot about it or don’t know how to pull all of the pieces together. I love to cook, and the amazing thing about cooking is to see how folks who have lived for a little while can make something beautiful with the scraps. Some of my favorite meals are made with scraps, a little chicken, the vegetables in the fridge, throw it all together with some love and you have an amazing stew that you couldn’t beat the taste at a 5 star restaurant.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have done some cleaning up, some resting and a lot of thinking. I believe in looking over things, and I hope you do the same thing, as well. You have to take time to look at your failures and your successes, the things you are happy about, and the things you could have done a little better. At the end, you need to take inventory and figure out what you have left, so you know where to go next.
Through my travels, I have spoken to a lot of people. Some are as happy as happy can be, and others aren’t. Time goes by so very quickly at times, and before you know it 10-15 years have gone by, and you have to ask yourself the question what have I done with my time, talents, and money. Our money is an area that gets our attention because it demands it, but you may want to take a closer look at your time and your efforts and what you maybe losing in that arena. Time and talents often come with an expiration date, traveling at 65 is not the same at traveling at 35. You need a little more rest to walk around a town, your stomach may not be able to handle the spices, your eyes may not appreciate the fine detail. You probably won’t be a rock star at 70, and you may not want to other things maybe a priority like spending time with family and friends.
Take some time this week, and look at what you have left. Thoughtfully consider what is important to you, and ask yourself the question are you honoring it? Once you have taken inventory, think about all of the things that have not made it to your todo list. Do you need to go back to school, do you have unfulfilled dreams, do you need to start again? The great thing about life is at anytime, you can decide to have a lifestyle makeover. You can create the life you want to live, and not the life that you have allowed to sneak in while you were busy living day by day. Take those scraps, be willing to start again, see what kind of love stew you can create out of your life, and make it your business to do just that.Read More
Parents, A Great Book For The Toolkit!
This book has literally been staring me in the face for weeks….and Boy am I glad I picked it up and read it. Parenting a teen is no easy task. It takes tons, of time, energy, prayer, and most of all a lot of wisdom. Our children live in a much different world than we did just a few short years ago. When we grew up things just seemed easier, the community was their to support you and the society we lived in was just slower. Navigating parenting in the midst of these changing times is difficult, the technology that’s out is something else, and keeping up with everything is like trying to keep up with everything that came out of pandora box to say the very least.
Growing Great Kids by Kate Battisteli, is an amazing read, and like a balm for parents whose goal is to grow God fearing and loving children. It is the kind of book that I appreciated with a teenager, but I would loved to have read it ten years ago with a very young child. Some of her great advice I found out on my own with much painful trial and error, a way I don’t personally recommend!
As a parent of a teen, you can use all the reassurance you can get. You often are faced with very difficult decisions that aren’t quite as open and shut as one might imagine. So reassurance that, life will return to normal when your child’s ragging hormones finally stabilize is great news. In this very counterculture time period, we now live in, where values seem to change like pop songs on the radio, and children can feel ostracized when they can’t or don’t do what other kids their age are able to do, and they deem you the enemy for being so strict can be quite taxing. Kate’s words of encouragement were great, if for that reason alone.
From the very beginning of the book, I was met with great words of wisdom like mining the greatness, to remembering how you live determine how your child sees life. It is easy to forget how your response to almost everything places an imprint in your child’s lives and hearts about how they could and should live. I greatly appreciated the parenting traps and tips on not hindering the dreams of your child. The chapter on Timing is everything was full of rich and encouraging points that I think held true for us all and were incredibly encouraging for me as a mother. The chapter on praying for your children and watching your words was also an amazing gifts.
As parents navigating our lives through the difficulties we face knowing the incredible responsibility we have to raise children with standards and morals, this book was a Godsend. When you think of the work you have before you, it is important to remember how much you really need God to navigate you through this process daily. Kate’s book did something great for me as I looked at the honest shares, struggles, and suggestions. I celebrated her result a daughter, who has made her light so shine. It is a blessing to hear from others who have successfully done their best job through this process, making mistakes, and walking away with bumps and bruises, yet living to tell about it! I am happy to recommend this book to others and hope that you would consider it for yourself or for someone else with a child. It was full of great advice and wisdom, from one parent to another!
As part of the CWA Review team, I received this book for free in order to review it.Read More
What IS Stopping You From Doing IT?
What To Do With The Fear!
Have you ever watched Fear Factor? People walk away from an opportunity to change lives, particularly their own because of FEAR. No, I am not encouraging you to eat a cooked snake, or to bungee jump off of a cliff, but I do wonder what fear is keeping you from, and ultimately is it worth it?
Fear is paralyzing, and it feels terrible when you have to look it straight in the eye, yes, I am a witness! What is in front of you feels like it could take your life, even though it is rarely or ever that way. Fear has a way of putting all of the what if’s of life in front of your face, almost lining them up like you are on a firing squad, and letting them rip. The truth is our fears only come to fruition about 10% of the time at most, and even when we experience them, they are rarely as bad as we expected.
To have the kind of life you want, you have to be willing to move past your fears. You have to be willing to aggressively push forward as if your very life depends on it, because it does! The trick of fear is to get you so focused on the potentially bad outcome, you forget how amazingly rich the reward is for continuing to press forward and continue on. Our failures in life are small, according to our successes, and within each failure there is also a seed of success. Just keep going!
The next time you are faced with fear, decide to do this.
1. Think about your fears, and rationalize them. Remember that your fear are actually there to help you, they have just gone overboard. Fear is actually a protective measure. It is there to stop you from hurting yourself. Your body expects you to use your brain to cancel out fears when they are not appropriate. For instance, you should be afraid of what will happen if you jump off a roof, but jumping off the steps shouldn’t be scary and it’s not once you have done it.
2. Ask the what is the worst thing that could happen question? Whenever a fear comes up your first response should be, “What is the worst thing that could happen?”, you should look at the response resonably and decide what you should do on a case by case basis. Most of the time we fabricate a stories that are not true, about what will happen if we move forward. Rationally pull them apart, and move forward.
3. Be willing to take some risks. Life is meant to be lived that means you have to be willing to take some risks. It’s not just because you can, it is also because you need to. Living on the safe side of the street is boring, so be willing to try something that pulls you out of your comfort zone. Trust me, it’s worth it!
4. Keep fear in it’s place. Fear is a surface feeling, so you should constantly ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?”, and answer that question honestly. Our fears are often born out of our memories or the memories of someone else. Every once in a while, you need to see where they have orginated because you may need to push the big return to sender button. When we are young we will often take on the fears of our parents, friends or loved ones. Although, that may of been a safe approach, it’s often leads to a bunch of feelings or ideas that don’t have any real basis. Understand the origin of your fears, if you are fearful of something at the bare minimum you should understand why!
Don’t allow the little things in your life, seem like the big things because they are not! Fears job is to get you to stop YOURSELF from moving forward, but once you decide to not to allow that to happen the very world will open up to help you succeed. So push, and be willing to go beyond your fears, so you can live the life you were meant to live!Read More
I have a question to ask you, it’s short, but it’s powerful. Is There Something Better? This very direct question can be applied to any area of your life.
You may love every part of your life, and if that is the case, that’s great, just read along so you can share these points with someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that living a life with gratitude and being thankful is part of living a happy life. But, where in your life do you need to stretch?
Wanting more is not a crime, it should be an expectation. You should want to continue to get better with time, not worse. There will always be things we cannot control, and those come and will continue to come with time and age, but that is not your whole story. There should also be things that we intentionally try to improve so that all of our days are lived out fully and with purpose. Yes, you can live a life that is status quo, but why would you choose that if there is something better?
I smiled last week when I saw the 105 year old woman, who created a Facebook account so she could help a local charity that she loved get the support they needed. Within days, she had the maximum amount of Facebook friends request allowed, she was on the news, and she had people across the country connecting with her, talking about what she did, and asking how they could support her community. It may not seem like much to you, but she accomplished her mission. No, I am not saying that you have to do what she did that is just the way that she went about it, but what could you do. I know you have celebrated the success of someone you love who gotten over a hurdle that has been challenging them for years, whether it is getting a high school or a college degree, losing a ton of weight, living healthier, giving up smoking, or just breaking out of their shell. It is exciting, and it just makes us proud, so what are you capable of doing?
Challenging ourselves to grow gives us something to look forward to, it creates something bigger than us, a legacy, a gift, an accomplishment that we can always remember and celebrate. What are you doing on a consistent basis to get better, to stretch yourself, or to grow? When we see what someone else has done or accomplished one thing becomes clear, or at least it should make you wonder. If they can do that what can you do! When we do the things that scare us, they open up a door, not just for us, but for the person who looks on while we push. As someone looks at how we made it through, and how we began, it gives them the ammunition they need to dream, to create, and to try!
When you tell your story, you open the door for someone else who never believed it was possible. If you can overcome the very obstacles that challenge you, and make you want to quit, and you keep on going. You create a door of opportunity, not just for yourself, but for those who will come behind you.
Today, I encourage you to look at your life, don’t just ask if it’s working ask where it could get better. If your life is great, ask yourself, what it would take to push things over the edge to unbelievable. Your gift is life changing, but the real question is, are you using your life-changing gift. This week as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, look at celebrate, and decide to use the amazing gift that is inside of you!Read More