Morning Cup of Joe – From Start to Finish

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During one of my trips to Miami to visit family I found a perfect teachable moment to help my nephew learn a valuable life lesson. When I arrived at my sisters’ house, I couldn’t help but notice one of my favorite nephews, Michael, was sad and moping around. I instinctively asked him what was wrong and he replied “My mom said I can’t go outside and play until I finished my chores”. I then asked, “So, what’s wrong with that? When you’re finished with your chores you can play”. He replied, “Uncle, this is way too much work for a kid and I’ll never ever finish”. I smiled and immediately sat down with him to explain a very important life lesson. The lesson is simple; the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll finish.

Explaining this to my middle school aged nephew wasn’t as difficult as I initially expected. I explained to him that sooner or later you’ll eventually run out of things to clean but you cannot and will not run out until you start. Most adults have a similar mind-set that creates an illusion that the workload is so heavy that they may never get it done. There are some things that we should be doing but many find it easier to mope around and host “whine” socials about them instead of tackling the problem. Do not be discouraged if the task seems too great; believe that you are equipped with the necessary tools to combat any problem and start working now.

As I mentioned before, if you don’t start, you will never finish. Stop worrying about the amount of work you have to do and start chipping away at it with the knowledge that eventually the work will be complete. A man once asked another man “How do you eat an elephant?” the other man replied, “One bite at a time”. The metaphoric elephant in this scenario is similar to your problems and/or issue(s) you are attempting to tackle; no matter how big your situation may seem, if you attack it one day at a time you will eventually overcome it. Stop trying to bite off more than you can chew and focus on the task at hand.

Don’t wait, start today!

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Who Are You?

She stands in front of the mirror staring at herself wondering if anything has changed. She has an image of what she feels she is supposed to look like buried in her head yet that image is incongruent with how she sees herself in reality. With eyes wide open, a hopeless gaze overcomes her eyes as she stares hopelessly at the image in front of her. She wonders why her body hasn’t changed, not taking into consideration that it has been over six months since she last visited a gym. You cannot reasonably believe and/or expect that your circumstances will change if you are not the change agent.

We have all had the unpleasant experience of having to face the man-in-the-mirror and questioned the person staring back at us. We consistently make the error of comparing ourselves to others; wondering why God did not bless us with what He seemed to freely give to them. Learn to accept the person you are. You are made in his image, and according to Him, you are perfect. If you believe that he does not make mistakes and he made you than surely you realize that he did not make a mistake when he made you. Learn to love yourself unconditionally.

Although it is important to strive for perfection, it is equally important to understand that no one is perfect. Nope; not even the person you imagined after you read that statement. Not even them. Everyone wishes they could improve some aspect of their lives. I encourage you to continuously seek opportunities that will make you better. There is nothing wrong with how you were created; you must honor and protect your temple. You already know what you have to do if you are unsatisfied with your situation; do something about it. It’s not enough to simply wish things were different; you must take charge and influence the change you seek.

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. – Author Unknown

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Delays & Deferments

To defer means to put off to a later time or postpone a certain action. A delay is simply a period of time by which something is late or postponed. With one of these you have complete control over while the other you may not be in control as much. When you defer you are in many ways preventing the inevitable from occurring mainly because you are not taking necessary actions within a reasonable time period to ensure that it actually happens.

I want us to focus on the thing you cannot control; the delay. Have you ever waited on a bus or a train that was late? You anxiously look at your watch and recheck the schedule to see if perhaps you read the arrival time wrong. You peek down the road to see if you can make out a large object that may be a bus or a train. Right when you are about to give up on the fact that the bus may not show up, even though it’s a little late, it finally arrives. Although it did not come when you wanted it, it arrived when it was supposed to. Your dreams work the same way.

Just because something is late does not mean it is not coming. So many people give up on their dreams mainly because they expect it to happen by a certain time and when it does not they defer their actions which delay and eventually kill their dream. Dreams happen when they should. Now is not the time to put off tomorrow what you can do today. Now is not the time to contribute to the delay by deferring your actions. Now is the time to work even harder when it does not show up especially when you expect it to.

Treat your dreams like you would a bus or train that you expect to show up. Even if it’s a bit behind, trust, believe and maintain the faith that it will show up and eventually it will. Don’t lose hope.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Blame Yourself

Some people are wired to automatically defer the cause of their demise to external forces never taking responsibility for their own actions. They will say that the reason why they aren’t succeeding is because of this person or that situation. They will say and falsely believe that if ‘this’ was a certain way or if ‘they’ gave me a chance then I could be successful; never once pointing out the real reason why they have not experienced success. Maintain the understanding that when you point out your finger, three are pointing right back at you.

If you are in a place where you haven’t succeeded, there is only one person responsible for your outcomes; YOU! You are the reason why you haven’t succeeded. Stop blaming it on your circumstances because there are some who have overcome much worse who are doing much better than you are. Stop blaming it on the fact that other people won’t help you because there are some who have built their dreams from the ground up brick-by-brick by themselves. Stop blaming it on the stars not aligning because if you are waiting on the right time to act understand that the right time may never come.

One of the main reasons why some people never reach their full potential is because they lack the fortitude necessary to succeed. The first step is prioritizing your life. Maintain the understanding that some things that you are putting at the top of your list of priorities should not have ever made the list. Reevaluate what you consider to be important because there is a huge chance that it isn’t. If you want to get your life together you must first distinguish between what is important and what is not.

The second step is to stop feeling sorry for yourself. You were born to win, commit that to memory. If it seems that no one will help you then you must help yourself. If you were in a burning building, would you wait until someone came to rescue you or would you try to find a way out? Clearly you would do whatever it takes to stay alive and find a way out. Success is no different. Stop waiting on the shooting star and start trying to figure out how to be one.

The third and final step is perhaps the most challenging; acceptance. Accept the fact that God, in his infinite wisdom, created you just the way you are for reasons you may not even know. Accept the fact that if you want to succeed you have to be hungry. You have to want it. Accept the fact that the people who love you the most will not enable you to continue to fail by supporting your destructive behavior. Accept the fact that the only reason why you fail is because of your own efforts or lack thereof. Accept the fact that if you want your situation to change then you must be that change you seek. It is impossible for your situation to change if you are not willing to change yourself.

Throughout my life’s journey, I have succeeded and I have failed. I have been lied on, talked about and mistreated. I have been told that I would never amount to a hill of beans. I have been ostracized and neglected. In the eyes of so many I have been all of the aforementioned and more. The one thing I will never be is defeated. I will never be defeated because I take responsibility not only for my actions but for my outcomes.

If you are not successful and your life is in shambles, don’t blame the world; blame yourself.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – No More Excuses

Maybe I’ll start tomorrow. What if I fail? Maybe I’ll wait until my bank account is at a certain level. What if it doesn’t work-out? Maybe I’ll wait until next year. What if I’m not good enough? I don’t have enough time. First I need to find balance between my work and home life. Maybe it’s not my time. We have the ability to create as many excuses as possible as to why we are not taking action. Perhaps it is time to end all of the excuses. Actually, the excuses end today. You cannot afford to go one more day thinking about what could have been as tomorrow is not promised. It’s time to just do it.

If we do not want to do a particular thing we will do whatever it takes to avoid it. The most common excuse doubles as a common fear; the fear of failure. Understand that success comes at the risk of great failure. When I was in college there is a quote I learned that I seldom refer to and thought that it was poignant for this message. Moving forward I invite you to repeat it each time you make an excuse for why you aren’t following your dreams and accomplishing your goals. The quote is as follows “Excuses are tools of the weak used by the incompetent to build monuments that lead to nothingness. Those who use them seldom amount to anything.”

You are not weak and you certainly are not incompetent. You can do this! You have the power to build whatever your beautiful mind can conceive and yet you find reasons why you shouldn’t. The only thing standing between you and achieving your goals and dreams is yourself. Get out of your own way and make it happen. Stop filling your head with useless excuses as to why something isn’t happening. You’re the reason. Imagine a life filled with joy, peace and achievement. If you stop making excuses then you won’t have to imagine. That life can and will be yours.

Time is truly a precious commodity that we have limited use of. Make the best use of your time while you are still here and chase your dreams until you catch them. No more days off, no more debilitating self-talk and definitely no more excuses.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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