How different would your life be if everything was perfect? What if you were working the job you’ve always wanted, had a healthy and happy family and lived in your dream home? What if your greatest worry was simply waking up the next morning? What if all of this was true? Could your life be what you’ve always dreamt it could be? Is it really that farfetched? In many people’s minds, this is not a reality that they will ever know. Simply because they haven’t discovered the thing that makes all of the aforementioned possible; that thing called vision.
Vision means having an unusual competence in discernment or perception; intelligent foresight. Being visionary forces you to focus on the future. Your head & shoulders can only face one direction at a time; you cannot look forward if you are constantly looking backwards. While the past may serve and should serve only as a reference guide, most people use the past to dictate their present and not their future. Most people make the critical error of allowing their past to control many of the outcomes in their lives by spending time focused on something you can never change; the past. Visionaries use the past as a road-map to eliminate the possibilities of running into the same obstacles over and over again. When the obstacle won’t move, you must.
If you cannot see or visualize how great you can become, it will be nearly impossible to live up to your full potential. While it is very important to focus on and have the ability to drill down to details, it is imperative that you learn to develop the skill of visualizing everything from a bird’s eye view. Being a visionary means having the ability to see that which is not there yet maintain the belief that it will appear one day. When we intently focus on something, just like magic, it seems to magically appear in our lives. If you want to start living a more fulfilling life, you must create a mental picture of what that life specifically looks like. While some claim to have the ability to see the future, you certainly have the ability to see and create the future you want to see in your life starting today. Open your eyes and witness the possibilities.
Having a vision is critical to your success; if you can’t see where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
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“But that’s how it’s always been done”, “I just don’t want to go through this again”, “Things will never be the same”; these are examples of the self-talk many people have about experiencing change. Most people fear the unknown for the same reasons they should embrace it. The fact that you cannot determine the future should be comforting simply because you should accept the things you cannot change nor affect. Conversely, accept the fact that you are equipped with the necessary tools to handle any type of change. We do not know what changes will come about in our lives but we must embrace them or risk being left behind. Change happens.
You have been down this road before and stared at the same street sign, this time make the right decision. It baffles me how many people stay in horrible situations simply because they have not figured out how they can survive outside of that situation. You are in control; plan then execute. What happened to the fight that was in you before you got into this situation? What happened to your “Not Me, Not Ever” speech? Exercise your right to understand that you have alternatives. Being miserable is truly a choice. Since we now know this as fact, choose to live a life worth living; even if it means starting over. The greatest difference between living the life you were meant to live and the life you are choosing to live now is a matter of personal choices.
The Civil Rights Movement brought about positive change in America. The road was long, the task arduous and the mission seemingly impossible yet these brave souls were committed to change, even if it meant their lives. Are you willing to die for something you believe in? Imagine a world where the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill and Gandhi simply accepted things as they were and did not champion change.
Change is good, especially if you take advantage of the incredible amount of opportunity that comes with it. You should strive to stay prepared as you never know when you will experience change but be certain that it will inevitably happen. It is not a question of “if” change will happen in our lives; it’s a question of “when”. Be prepared and commit to memory the fact that you don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.
This is a New Day and the world welcomes the New You! There is nothing wrong with pressing the reset button if the system freezes.
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Imagine sitting in a car driving towards a specific destination. For our purposes, I want you to focus on a particular part of the car; the rearview mirror. The rearview mirror shows you what you are leaving behind and it also helps you see what is approaching from the rear. In addition, the rearview mirror allows you to continue to move forward while taking necessary glances behind you allowing you to view the road from behind. The rearview mirror of life works in this exact manner.
As you begin to progress forward toward a fruitful and abundant life, you will have to take necessary glances in the past to examine how far you’ve come. After all, how else will you be able to measure your progress? Where you are today is the sum of all of your experiences. Likewise, where you will be tomorrow will be determined by the choices you make today. All of your errors, mistakes and lessons learned combined to create the person you see in the mirror.
Here is what is so awesome about yours and any journey; the final destination. No one cares how you get somewhere so long as you get there. Spend time reflecting on how far you’ve come. Look into the rearview mirror of life without regretting the things you have left behind. If you don’t have them now, you may not have needed them to move forward. Do not be misled; reflecting on the past is very different from dwelling on it. It is imperative that you not spend precious time focusing on what could’ve been simply because it isn’t and there is nothing you can do to change the past.
The rearview mirror of life allows you to take necessary glances at your past and the beautiful journey you are on while maintaining a sharp focus on the road ahead. The past simply serves as a reference guide not a road map. You alone ultimately determine how far you will go. Adjust your rearview mirror and press forward.
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I am not sure if you have ever induced a self-imposed fast for a definite amount of time but it is one of the most challenging things to do. Restricting yourself from the things you have come to enjoy on a daily basis is not easy. Thirty one days ago I decided to go on a self-imposed fast because I wanted to gain better clarity on my life and the direction I should go. A fast is similar to a spiritual contract with God. You give up the things that bring you the most satisfaction with the understanding that God will do His part in providing that which you seek. Like any contract, if you breach it by not following through with your word, the contract becomes void.
During my fast I placed myself on a restricted diet which included fruits, vegetables, grains and some fish while drinking water only; nothing else. I completely removed all meats, poultry, dairy, sweets, bread, coffee, soda, juice, and any fried foods from my diet. I must tell you that it is not easy to go 30 days without eating or drinking any of the aforementioned items but I did it!
This morning I woke up with an immeasurable feeling of accomplishment and joy unlike any other. My will power has been strengthened as a result of resisting temptation. My sense of self and direction is clearer now than it ever was. I was able to strengthen proverbial muscles including resilience, determination, discipline and willpower to name a few. If you have ever been on a fast you realize how much temptation is out there. It is interesting how the things you are fasting from are the ones that are freely offered. Not only are they offered, they seem to be everywhere in abundance. That is not an accident; temptation is a test of will.
This thirty day journey has taught me some valuable lessons which I will share with you. I learned that if you set a goal, you can reach it if you don’t give up! I learned that if you really want something, no matter how others feel about your chances of getting it, you can have it if you stay committed! I learned that everything must be in moderation, meaning you cannot over indulge in anything! I learned that you must make sacrifices for the things you really want! I learned that God will keep his promises and begin to fulfill His end of the bargain almost immediately! I learned that doing the most difficult and challenging thing is what gives you the strength to endure.
When you decide to be successful in life understand that you are going to face challenges; expect it. The road less travelled is the road you must pave to make it easier for others to pass. The challenges you face are not designed to break you, they are designed to make you appreciate the journey. No one said it was going to be easy but it’s certainly going to be worth it.
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I make it a habit to keep my mind fresh by constantly reading and constantly learning new things. If you want to grow old fast, there are two things you may want to consider; first, stop reading and second, stop learning. I am not prepared to do either one and neither should you. I read everything from creative messages and quotes from billboards on the highway to novels with several hundred pages; I do whatever it takes to keep my mind sharp. Besides, you never know when that message is being sent specifically for you.
While visiting family one weekend, I decided to stop at this consignment shop. Consignment shops always have some pretty neat gems and I am somewhat fascinated and genuinely excited about the potential finds. While rummaging through items I saw this poster with a quote on it. It’s funny because I had heard this quote before but it never had the impact it was about to have on me after I read it and I can bet you’ve heard it as well. The quote is from the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu and said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
What that simply means is your journey towards self-improvement and experiencing true success as defined specifically by you cannot begin unless and until you take the first step. In addition, you don’t know how many miles it may take to reach your destination but you will never know if you don’t take the first step. Your journey may be long or it may be short but it will never be a journey if you stand still. Don’t be afraid to take the first step.
There are things you want to do, things you dream about doing and things you’ve already done. The greatest difference between the three is simply with one you decided to take the first step. Once you decide to take the first step, God will direct your path.
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