We do ourselves a great disservice when we miss an opportunity to lift someone up. It is by lifting someone up that we separate ourselves from the common and selfish among us, and are elevated to a level where we are fulfilling our God-given responsibilities. We are blessed so that others, through us, may also be blessed and in blessing others, we avail ourselves to even greater blessings.
As we approach 2022 let us make a commitment to being a source of inspiration to someone else to grow; a helping hand lifting someone up; to become better at being our brother’s keeper; and above all else strengthening our faith in God’s ability to keep us through the year ahead.
From justthinkingoutloudblog, please have a wonderful and success filled year ahead.
You could perhaps call it ‘the Cliche of the century’ but it still remains true: everyone is different. No two persons will have the same combination of experiences, traits and genes that will allow one to be a replica of the other. Our values will therefore be different, and our expectations will be different.
To try forcing our views and values on someone else, or setting our expectations of others based on our own is therefore futile, and perhaps even silly.
I suggest that our best option in effecting change, is to BE the change we want to see in others. If we value respect, hard work, honesty, strong relationships, or whatever the case may be, then our best bet is to demonstrate these values by practicing them. We will find that it is the consistency of our actions that has the greatest impact, not the loudness of our ‘preaching.’
People see, experience and interpret things through the lens of their own experiences. I believe it is important for each of us to be self aware – having a good understanding of ourself, and to seek to recognize that we do not need to understand where another person is coming from in order to respect their right to be different, or to act different.
We usually claim the right to having our own opinions about things, and will defend that vigorously. Others have equal right to do so as well.
As we approach the new year, how about striving to be more self-aware, supportive, patient, respectful and tolerant of others while celebrating our differences. Then witness how beautiful the results would be!
We are all in this journey called life together, each of us being unique – just like everybody else.
So someone says you have changed – and that might be the best compliment ever!
Stagnation is not only boring, it is also dangerous. No matter how much you enjoy who you are today, or enjoy what you do today, don’t expect this to be the case always. It should NOT be the case always.
You see, change is a natural part of life. Take a look in the mirror; do you look the same as you did five, or 10, or 15 years ago? Aging is not something you DO, it is something that HAPPENS! Almost without realizing it, you are changing.
Similarly, your different experiences lead to a constant evolving of your outlook on life, the goals you have set for yourself, your level of general maturity, your capacity to tolerate hardships, among other benefits. When someone says ‘You haven’t changed one bit,’ that is not necessarily a good thing!
Embrace changes, not only in your external environment, but more importantly from within! The hardest thing to conquer is one’s self. Bringing our base impulses under subjection is a difficult task, especially when those impulses are inconsistent with what we know to be best for us! Nevertheless we should always aim to aspire to greater things: greater love for others; greater humility; greater self-control; greater awareness of our need for ‘community’; and above al else, greater willingness to submit to the power and authority of our Heavenly Father!
So next time someone says ‘you have changed’ just respond ‘Oh thank you for the compliment! I have been working hard at it!’
The START…it hardly ever looks anything like the final product. In fact, it is quite likely that there is hardly any resemblance whatsoever! However, in your pursuit of BETTER, to achieve that end product – whatever that looks like – you have to START somewhere.
We sometimes make excuses: “I don’t have the time,” or “It will take too long to finish,” or “It is too hard,” and sometimes we tell ourselves that when the right situation, or person, or opportunity comes along we will start. Unfortunately sometimes that never happens.
We are often our own worst enemies. Forget about others who tell you it can’t be done, or that you are making a mistake, or that you are wasting your time. People will attempt to discourage you, especially where they are assessing your capabilities through their own impaired, narrow-minded vision of themselves. Just START.
Some things are beyond our control: we breathe, we sweat, we grow older, we…die. Simple and mundane things like the passing of the seconds on the clock, yet all critical to the sustenance of life. But to achieve the outcome we desire, so long as that outcome represents a desired improvement in our current situation, it requires the faith to just START…from somewhere. From wherever you are at, this very moment.
Time always flies when we look at it in hindsight. When you look back – weeks, months, or even years from now – will you be able to say it was time well spent? Will you be able to say that you were bold enough to START even though the end result was not immediately clear? Or will you have to concede that it was time wasted…all because you failed to START?
The choice is yours; I’d love to hear your perspectives!
That first draft, whether just a thought, an idea, a concept, is sometimes a crude representation of what is to become, ultimately, the final product. It becomes transformed over time as it is crafted and re-worked, sometimes a number of times. The aim is to make it not just good enough but rather, just right.
When we were conceived we were the perfect representation of God’s creation. Nevertheless we were a mere draft of who we were meant to become. The experiences we have during the course of our lives, often times impacted by what others do or say to us, help to craft us into improved versions that bring us closer to the finished ‘product.’
Our aim throughout the draft process is to grow into someone better, someone who is not merely a replica of another but each representing a unique personality that has their unique contributions to make to the world we live in.
The end result sometimes bears little resemblance to the first draft, but if that end result represents an improvement over the draft, then we have indeed grown.
We might not yet be who we are meant to be, but if we hang in there we will no doubt prefer that outcome as we embark in pursuit of a BETTER us.
The past year might not have been good to you, and from all indications the new year ahead doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that a turnaround will come anytime soon.
You feel you have had your hopes shattered like glass into a million pieces before, despite being all pumped and enthusiastic about what finally looked like that elusive victory. You have come close to seeing things turn around for you only to find yourself on your face and yet again seeing no way out.
You might have lost a loved one, your ‘Rock,’ to the dreaded enemy Death, and now feel you are like a rudderless ship being tossed everywhere the wind of life blows. You feel you are too far gone to even fight anymore.
You might have made great strides in your fight against an addiction and have counted many days, weeks, months, and felt so very hopeful that you would finish the year ‘clean!’ But alas you stumbled; you fell badly, and the clock starts over. Do you bother to fight anymore?
Who said success was the absence of failure? Who said growth is a one-off situation where you are not allowed to make mistakes? Who ever said you only qualify as a hero if you excel at something that others struggle with?
Doesn’t being successful, and indeed a hero, depend on one’s willingness to fight for what is right even when defeat might be the only realistic outcome? Isn’t being a hero a matter of deciding to keep fighting no matter how insurmountable the challenges you face along the way may seem?
Isn’t success mostly a case of having the courage to get up yet again, right after this most recent defeat?
May today represent for you an opportunity to redefine success; an opportunity to right a wrong; an opportunity to push the bounds of what you felt possible.
Give today your best shot! You deserve every success that can be yours if you just keep trying, again and again, until you make it back on your feet.
Everyone has a powerful story, just waiting to be told, Yearning to be shared with others, if only we’d be so bold; Whether we think it’s exciting, or mundane, or even sad, Our story is a blend of all the good and all the bad.
We didn’t start our story, but we can surely shape it’s end, For some, that will come early; while for others, it’ll extend well beyond our wildest dreams, with many a chapter and verse, and many twists and turns yielding a story quite diverse!
If you were to write your story, what exactly would it say?
Would it tell of only victories and successes that came your way? Or would it also tell of many battles fought and lost, and obstacles and challenges with devastating cost?
Would it speak of the love of God and His blessings in your life, and the way He’s kept you going in the midst of pain and strife? And would it showcase to the world the amazing person you are, whose story serves as an inspiration to others near and far?
Your story is being told daily through the little things you do, are your actions and your words attracting others to you? Or is the way you do your tasks as you go about your day Impacting others far more than the most eloquent words you say?
Don’t be afraid to tell your story for all the world to read; You never know who it’ll help in their time of deepest need!
Even if you think it’s dull, or boring, or mundane, or sad, It might just be the best encouragement someone has ever had.
The beauty of a smile is dependent not on the aesthetics that adorn it, but rather on the magnitude of pain and the sadness through which it has struggled to shine.
The value of a smile is accentuated when it is provided to someone who, despite their inner turmoil, harbours a feeling of loneliness and hopelessness which, on the receipt of such a smile, manages to smile back in return.
A smile serves its best purpose when it shines through despite circumstances and events that might seek to keep it hidden.