Welcome to #2015 – What are you adding, keeping and getting rid of?

As you welcome the change of a calendar year, you may also be reflecting on the changes that you want to make in your life.  Some question why you should wait until the calendar changes to make these changes. Honestly, I have no answer because I believe in constant self evaluation but it seems like January 1st is the perfect day for the big evaluation.

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

Most of you who follow this blog have read about the Add, Keep, Get Rid Of list in the past.  Rather than making a bunch of promises or resolutions, take some time to consider:

What do I want to add to my life? Be intentional about some of the things that are missing.  You may not be able to make the change today but create a plan for the year that will allow you to integrate those changes into your routine so that it becomes a lifestyle change and not for the moment.  For me, I want to add sightseeing… Ok, I know that may sound a little crazy but I visit so many cities for a variety of reasons but I usually focus on the business of my trip and neglect carving out a few hours for myself to experience the city, even some familiar cities.  So I plan to become intentional about sightseeing when I travel.

What do I want to keep in my life? Not everything has to go.  Take some time to think about what is important to you, what do you want to preserve in your life.  I’m a firm believer in living your priorities.  This one requires that you think about your top three priorities and evaluate your resources – time and money.  Are you making the time commitment and using your financial resources to keep those priorities at the top of your list? It goes without saying that my ministry, being a mom, studying and building my business are at the top of my list.  Today, as I work on my budget for the upcoming year and evaluate my back to school schedule, I will be seeing ways to ensure those things are kept at the forefront so I don’t get caught up with busy work that isn’t important to me.

Finally, what do I want to get rid of?  Admit it.  We all have some habits that we need to get rid of.  Some of us have some people in our lives that we need to get rid of.  Think about those things and/or people that kept you from achieving your goals in the past, that prevented you from being the person you want to be.  As I get this seminary thing under control, I need to get rid of procrastination.  I want to be more proactive about reading, completing my assignments and writing my papers.  I got the job done last semester but I definitely see some areas for improvement.

Being the person you want to be, most importantly – the person God created you to be, is hard because it requires that you live at a higher standard than just existing and going through the motions.  However you choose to chart your course forward, be intentional about the type of life that you want to live.

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What would you do if you were not afraid to fail?

time-will-pass-dream-big-picture-quote

So often we fail to start a project, a business, a plan or to execute a great idea because of the negative self talk in our minds.  We think that we should wait until tomorrow, next week, next month or next year but that’s an illusion…

We are deceiving ourselves if we think that we have time to wait for anything.  Life is happening now.  The time you spend waiting and dreaming is the same time that other people are taking chances and getting a step closer to their destiny.

I saw a Dominos Pizza commercial last night where the CEO admitted that they have failed at some of their innovative ideas but he reminds the viewers that if they had not tried to do things differently, they would be in same place with the same product that they always had.

If you have a dream, it is ok to step out on faith (with a plan) and try to make it a reality.  You won’t succeed at everything that you try.  Some of my past failures still hurt my heart a little bit but I learned a lesson from each of them and got up to try again with a little more wisdom and some experience.  You won’t know what you can or can’t do until you try.

Bishop Richard Keith Thompson asked me in August why wasn’t I going to seminary and I honestly had no reply.  He and I both knew that continuing my theological education was something that I needed to do but in my mind, it was something that I would get around to.  And then he said, “Why not do it now?  Three or four years will pass anyway, the difference will be whether you have a degree or not…”

Just like that I was convicted… He was absolutely right… So many times we think later but later will come and what will be different?

Taking his advice, I applied to Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and was accepted into their Fall 2014 class (with a scholarship!!).  Exactly, one year from our conversation, I will be executing the idea that we discussed.  That year could have passed with me still thinking one day but instead I stepped out on faith to try to make it a reality.  Even if I had been rejected, at least I would have tried…

So, today… Examine some of the things that you say you want in life and really ask yourself, am I doing the things necessary to make my dreams a reality or am I just dreaming?  Am I waiting for a one day that will come and go yet I will be no closer than I was before?

The road to your destiny won’t be easy but it will be worth it if you are able to appreciate all of the moments you stumble and fall as much as you appreciate the moments that you are flying high toward success.

 

You are the sum of your influences

Treat yourself, don't wait for someone else to treat you

A lot of times we try to deny the influence that our past has on us by simply saying that we have moved on.  Yet moving on is not the same as dealing with, accepting and moving forward.  We deny the effects of the people in our lives by thinking we are stronger than them and will triumph over whatever comes our way.  For example, sometimes you share your goals and visions with people who may be your family or friends but because they can’t see it, they will distract you from where you are supposed to go.  They don’t do it out of malice but simply because the experiences have told them it is not possible for them, therefore they don’t think its possible for you either.

What we don’t realize is that we are the sum of our influences.  Everything that happens to us, around us and because of us will have an effect on us.  These effects are sometimes positive and sometimes negative.  Guess what… you have control over that.  Many of us discount the impact that we have on our destinies because we don’t fully embrace our power therefore never realize our purpose.

Did you know that we are all created separate but equal?  That is not just jargon on a legal document but it is reality.  The sum of those influences from the day we are born until this moment has an impact on each decision that you make.  Otherwise, how can two people raised in the same environment, whether a drug-infested ghetto or a million dollar mansion, will take different paths and achieve different levels of success.  One person may look at their situation and resent everything around them and vow to take a different path while the other will accept life as it is and continue down the same path.  Do you see the key to these situations?  Each person made a choice.

You are not the victim of your circumstance.  No matter how much you may try to blame those around you for your situation, you have a choice at every turn and those choices not those people will dictate what happens next.  We have become so accustomed to allowing others to define us, dictate our steps and create our images that we lose sight of ourselves.  Even when dealing with your past, you have to realize that you can continue to wallow in everything that could have been, should have been and would have been or you can accept that it made you who you are and work toward who you want to be.

You are the sum of the influences and it is up to you to decide whether that will be a positive or a minus.  I choose victory and I am a positive.  What are you?