Where did the year go??

It has been a while since my last post, and boy a lot has changed! The planet has gotten hotter; there are wars raging in different parts of the world; millions have become adults; plus many other significant changes. For some it has been new jobs or retirement, or even mundane things like a few strands of grey hair on their head or elsewhere.

Some have lost loved ones (my condolences!), and welcomed others as newborns into the world (congratulations!🙂).

No matter who you are or what stage of your life you find yourself, it is quite possible that you have experienced significant changes. Through it all, how have YOU changed? This is not about the physical or the peripheral. This is about the core of who you are.

Have you grown stronger? Have you been broken? Have you renewed your commitment to being the best version of yourself? Have you ‘fallen off the wagon?’

Seriously…how has the past year set you up for the year ahead? Or, what changes will you make this year? Whatever you do, make sure it involves becoming a better version of yourself. Forget about others – they have their own path to figure out; forget about other people’s expectations of you – some don’t believe in you anyway. Forget about your past – except to the extent that you use your past to make you stronger, better, more committed, more enthusiastic.

Make this year yours!


Youth is wasted on the young! Or is it really?

“With age comes wisdom,” declared Oscar Wilde. “But sometimes age comes alone.” On the face of it we can’t honestly disagree with such, well, WISE words! 

If you put a middle aged person in the same situation as a teenager (let’s say eighteen year-old), it is quite reasonable to expect, even ahead of time, that the older person will respond in a manner that is superior (calmer, more reasoned, more appropriate for the situation) to the younger person’s response.

Years of learning would certainly have a significant impact. Past experiences, which provide the opportunities for learning, would prove to be invaluable!

But nobody is born mature, or old. Nobody is born with such advanced capacity for making equally wise decisions. All of us, to different degrees, will have done things in our youth which we can consider to be poor judgement. That is a reasonable conclusion! 

Some of us did things that have led to grave outcomes and consequences! These will always be part of our story…and yes – they do define us, and who we become, for better or worse! 

Sometimes we look back with regret at decisions we made – actions we took or opportunities missed. We look at who we have become and either feel we have come ‘a long way’ or, perhaps, that we have missed our way towards fulfilling our dreams. 

While such self-assessment is helpful in determining our next steps, they also serve as important reminders:

  • Appreciate your younger self
  • Do not deride, nor neglect, youth who make mistakes
  • Be willing to offer guidance to all who you feel would benefit, and who are willing to receive it
  • Recognize that everything you know today comes from lessons learned, some of which were learned based on experiences you had when you were young
  • Keep learning

Youth is not ‘wasted’ on the young. Being young simply means someone has the opportunity to grow and is in the process of ‘becoming’ who they will ultimately turn out to be. 

Youth is in itself a right that should be shared by everyone.


So what if I fail…?

I fall down sometimes, but I just keep GETTING RIGHT BACK UP! There’s really not much I can achieve unless I get back up is there!?

Yes – I make mistakes; that means I am trying!

The journey might involve numerous challenges and falls, but keep going!

#dontquit #dontgiveup #fighton #motivation #inittowinit #inspiration #motivation #race #life #reward #youcandoit #winning # victoryisyours


A Better Measure of Success

“Part of being a successful person involves pursuing opportunities for others to thrive from your actions and ideas. True success and fulfillment are not attained through accumulating material possessions. Instead it is through: the way you influence and help others to become better individuals; the way you remain humble regardless of your accomplishments; and the way you are prepared to work hard even when you do not ‘have to.’

Indeed, it is mostly the extent to which we are prepared to extend help to others in need which makes our life significant.”

What’s your perspective on this? Please weigh in.

#humility #helpingothers #success


A Perspective on Forgiveness

‘Some things are unforgivable.’ For some this view is deep-rooted and will be hard to change. After all, the emotional and/or physical pain which results from an action by someone you trusted, but who has betrayed such trust, are not easily healed. This is, admittedly, a normal, logical and justifiable human perspective to take. The saying ‘who feels it knows it’ is all too true for those who have experienced, endured and sometimes miraculously survived acts of betrayal or any of a number of untold hurt. For such persons, who can blame them for holding such a view?

For such persons, it is understandable that they view extending forgiveness to be a case of ‘giving someone something they do not deserve.’ And that can be totally understandable because, let’s face it: the nature of some actions (or even words) directed against us can make them excruciatingly painful to experience and could be deemed ‘unforgivable’ to even the most forgiving of persons!

However, choosing not to forgive is really a case of us choosing to prolong the hurting, by holding on to the pain we experienced. Over time, we will find that we are actually hurting ourselves more than we are hurting the person who did us wrong, and whom we find it so very hard to forgive.

It may sound contradictory, but choosing to forgive someone who has wronged us is actually a real case of giving OURSELVES what we deserve. Choosing to forgive empowers us to move on and releases us from the deadly poison that would otherwise have been festering inside us. Yes – choosing to forgive is choosing freedom from the anger and the pain, disappointment, or even fear, that we otherwise continue to experience.

This is not to suggest that forgiveness is easy! On the contrary, it is because it is so difficult that we have so many cases of people carrying out acts of violence in the name of revenge, that for others will appear so out of character; some, even years later! This is why some persons have chosen to destroy their own lives just for the ‘satisfaction’ of seeing someone pay for what they did. This is why for some, trusting others becomes nearly impossible.

The irony about forgiveness is that with forgiveness it is the giver, rather than the recipient, who benefits most. So go ahead and DARE to forgive someone today. YOU deserve it and you might just find it to be an act of administering well-deserved healing, while also being beautifully liberating.

Photo Credit: Kathy DeGraw


Throughout life’s journey you can always find opportunities to rise above your circumstances and grow, sometimes leaning on Family, friends, and so many others for help. To ultimately reach your desired destination this journey requires great sacrifice and motivation as you face each day with boldness and optimism. Reject the opinions and proclamations of those who would seek to hinder you through their own short-sighted negativism.

Setbacks happen – but you can move past them; maybe you fail in your efforts to get back on track but with persistence and commitment, ultimate success is all but assured.

The situation you face today might not reflect the outcome you anticipated. Where you are today might not reflect where you dreamt of being. Today, you might find that various negative situations have seemingly conspired against you. Yes – today might have found you deeply wedged between competing struggles that threaten to ensure that the mountain of negative situations you have faced for your entire life pale in comparison!

But keep on fighting; keep on pushing through and if, by chance, you find that you have come out of the darkness with your hope renewed, your faith intact, and your future looking brighter than a few days/weeks/months ago, would you please consider paying it forward? Keep on supporting those around you; give a word or two of encouragement to someone knowing that at some point in the past you might in fact have found yourself where they are right now.

Yes, you might already have discovered that struggles serve to help you grow; challenges, when overcome, tend to make you stronger. Success born out of dire circumstances can be most meaningful! You might also have learned that challenges, when overcome, serve to prepare you for the next challenge ahead – yes, rest assured that other challenges WILL come, but now you have confidence that you will do alright no matter what!

And as you continue your journey into your future – whatever that future holds for you – remember to pause from time to time and just take a moment to look back at your journey, while holding your head high, regaining your strength as you spread your wings…and fly!

Remember: You’ve got this!

Soar above your circumstances; let the winds of positivity and encouragement inspire you and keep you afloat.


Taking care of others

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.


The Pursuit of BETTER

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.

#motivation #inspiration #pursuitofbetter #thoughts #growing #becoming


So, You Are Scared

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.

Then continue to fight on…

#fighton #nevergiveup #inspiration #encouragement #success



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.

So …what’s your story?

#whatsyourstory #mystory #yourstory #inspiration #encouragement #livingyourstory #story #life