We are faced with many choices every day. The choices that matter most are the ones that help to make the world a better place and the ones that help to elevate our brothers and sisters.
Do not be fooled. Our lives and our needs are intricately connected that what we do on a personal level has the capacity to impact our entire world.
Now is the time to take action and to speak against all that is unjust and destroying our world. Let’s be encouraged by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who sacrificed his life for injustice, so we can live in more just world.
I am reminded of a quote I heard from watching the Green Book, a movie set in the 1960s about a genius African-American classical pianist who decides to leave the comfort of the North to go tour the segregated deep south.
GENIUS IS NOT ENOUGH,
IT TAKES COURAGE TO
CHANGE PEOPLE’S MINDS.Green Book
Dr. Don Shirley, the main actor, was good enough to entertain White folks but could not have a meal with them, use the same hotel, or bathroom with them. It took courage for him to willingly put himself in dangerous situations in an effort to change how others perceive people of color.
How will you show courage today to ensure that your voice is heard? How are you stepping out of your comfort zone to combat injustice?
For the Lord God is a son and a shield;
the Lord gives grace and glory;
no good things does he withhold from
those who walk up rightly.
Many of us have a warped perception of God. We see God as a domineering father figure who is ready to strike us down when we do something wrong. To the contrary, God is the opposite. He is loving, benevolent, generous, and caring. God does not pay us lip service when He says that only He is good. He has given us ample evidence to demonstrate that. He shows us his goodness through nature, the way that he cares for us, and through His Son Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, the evidences for God’s goodness permeate our everyday living. The natural blessings that we take for granted on a daily basis. For example, we take for granted waking up every morning, having good health, and experiencing the seasons of life. God is good enough to give us food when we need to eat, clothes when we-re naked, comfort when we feel afraid, and music to soothe our very soul. God delivers us from everyday troubles. He delivers us through the ups and downs that we go through when we experience life’s trials and challenges.
When we understand the goodness of God and we take it to heart, the Spirit of God will move us to repentance because we often doubt that God is good and that He has a good future for us. Once we have God’s goodness in the right perspective, the mind will be renewed, will have the confidence to pursue a different direction; and as a result, we will begin to see the Holy Spirit change our lives. In addition, when we understand the goodness of God, we will not be surprise when adversity comes. As a matter of fact, we will be excited to take big risks and step out on faith. Deep down we know that God will never ask us to do anything that will hurt us. Everything He asked us to do is to transform us to the likeness of His Son.
Psalm 84:11 is a good example of God’s goodness. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly.” “The Lord is the sun” – your source of power energy and resources. He’s a shield – your protector. “The Lord gives grace and glory” – your comprehensive source of resources and blessings. “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly” – if you live your life God’s way, he will make sure that you lack no good thing.
Here is a prayer by Chip Ingram taken from God: As He Longs for You to See Him that will be a blessing to you if you decide to meditate on it.
Oh Lord, full of goodness and mercy, as I look into the
face of Jesus and ponder the goodness of the cross, grant
that I might
repent of my unbelief and ingratitude,
rest in your goodness even in the midst of trials, and
risk trusting you in every area of my life like never before.
I praise you that I live under a friendly sky, that you are for
me, and that I need never be afraid of the future because
you are good!
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
The answer may very well surprise you.
Because being brave is a decision and you make decisions every day.
Brave is not a word people often use to describe themselves. It is too grandiose and lofty. It is too far removed from how we see ourselves on a daily basis.
It is a word used to describe warriors, soldiers, and fighters because they face danger and pain willingly. The reality is BRAVE is a word that describes YOU when you:
Do things others will not.
Greet a stranger.
Ask for what is important to you.
Take the first step knowing that you will not be perfect.
Admit you have all you need at this very moment to start making a change.
Feel the fear and do it any way.
So being brave is not about having all the answers, because you do not. It is not about not being afraid. It is all about acting unafraid and pursuing your goal anyway.
A valuable strategy that can be helpful is acting as if. You can pretend bravery — encouraging yourself to actions that are out of your comfort zone. The more you take action, the better prepared you will be to be brave when the next opportunity present itself.
January is a hopeful month.
A month during which we seem to have super powers. We feel like we can accomplish anything.
We have that burst of energy and the motivation to work hard to change our circumstances.
We are determined, focused, and ready to conquer the world–for the first seventeen days.
After the first seventeen days out of the year, we resign to our old self, unsatisfied with the status quo, but we are too tired to do anything about it.
For some of us, sprinting seem to be the way to get things done. Too exhausted to run the course, we have lost tract of time–with every hour looking like more of the same.
We don’t see the value of taking one step at a time and doing a little bit every day. It takes too long, so we quit.
In order to conquer this type of misguided of motivation. We must create a growth plan and quit-proof it.
To create a growth plan, it is important to do the following:
- Take inventory and assess the areas for growth.
- Decide on the steps to be taken to address the areas for growth.
- Break the steps down further and indicate the specific actions to be taken and the specific date you intend to take it.
- Create a growth environment.
- Surround yourself with growth-minded people.
From day one we must be ready to follow the plan. It is crucial to put it in momentum. It is important to have people and resources standing by to take you from discouragement to bravery, for example. It is important to know day in and day out, what you intend to accomplish and stick to it.
The time will come when we will feel defeated and unable to move on. But that feeling should last for just a moment. We must be ready for it by being prepared. When we anticipate such obstacles, we’re better prepared to handle them when they do come.
We have to prepare for a marathon, not for a sprint because we know that what we need to accomplish can only be done one day at a time.
I sought the Lord
and required Him,
and He heard me,
and delivered me
from all my fears.
My husband is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fan.
After many years of being a supportive wife and a team player, conditioning sets in and now I am a completely engaging participant.
Over the years, I have spent countless hours screaming, yelling, coaching players from the couch, and/or catching a heart attack to tell you the truth. In that moment, I seem to know exactly what he or she needs to do to get the win.
I can tell when a fighter comes to give his heart out. I can tell when a fighter comes to win. There are a number of different aspects of the fighter that speak volume. For example, a fighter’s body language demonstrates confidence or lack there of–need I mention Aldo vs McGregor.
What I learned from that fight and many years of watching similar fights are essential to a champion’s performance. To become a champion, you must:
- Remain Hungry -So many people become lazy and complacent after a certain level of success. Aiming for the best is no longer a priority. When success and winning are no longer the goal, that is when the stake is higher. That is when the goals, strategies, and purpose must be reevaluated. That is when you should up your game. Remaining hungry has always been a prerequisite for peak performance.
- Focus on your Brilliance – As much as you would like to do everything yourself, that is a luxury you cannot afford. You stand to lose a lot more than you think you’re putting in. So, focus your time, energy, and resources on the things that will increase performance, productivity, and definitely your bottom line – the areas where you will gain the most reward.
- Discipline Yourself – Practice, Practice, Practice – no one becomes great without it. McGregor is constantly at the gym working on his brilliance – what he does best. LeBron James makes it his business to make hundreds of jump shots daily. Lionel Messi did not become the best soccer player in the world because he likes to take it easy on himself – dribbling practice is a daily activity. Therefore, peak performance is something that is earned with blood and sweat.
Undoubtedly, my number one bad habit is that of consistency.
Couple that with the myriad of distractions such as television, electronic devices, the internet, and the many demands of work and family activities and I find myself in a whirlwind.
I am sometime overcome by paralysis just thinking about it. The result is a plethora of negative consequences that I do not care for, but that are undeniable nevertheless.
One of the ways I plan to change the consistency problem this new year is to develop a morning and evening routine that will help me stay on track of what really matters.
I will make sure that what really matters–the things that I must consistently do–on a daily basis remain literally in my face.
I intend to review them morning and night. Most importantly, I will take action and not become complacent. I will take small steps every day until my mind gets it.
One of the things I will do this year is write a blog post every day -so you, the reader will keep me accountable. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you see any slacking on my part.
I believe that will be a game changer for my business and personal life.
What is the one bad habit if you were to make it a successful one would be the game changer in your business or personal life?
“Learn how to separate the majors and
the minors. A lot of people don’t
do well simply because they
major in minor things.”
Learning to master the skill of FOCUS is as essential as reading and writing. It took me a long time to learn that.
Every single year I would create a long list of goals and resolutions that I felt compelled to accomplish. The list would usually be staggering with items that could literally take years to achieve.
I would give it my best effort for a good week or two before I was too exhausted to continue. It is clear that I was major in the minors.
It was just too much.
I have learned to break this bad habit.
I have learned to distinguish between the majors and minors.
Now, my list contains no more than three items.
In this way, I am more focused and prepared to give everything on my list my very best.
The likelihood of me accomplish three goals with consistent daily action is astronomically high as compared to spreading my time to work on thirty different goals.
So, check out your list and see whether it is set up to accelerate or impede your success?
We have heard that “your habits determine your future.”
We have heard it so much that we have neglected the power of these simple words.
We have neglected the power to change our future for the better.
We can unrecognizably change our lives from failure to success by focusing on the few habits that matter the most.
What habits will you change this year to maximize your success?