Emily gazes across the fence at Bella’s lawn. She sighs as she wonders, “how did she ever get her grass to look like that? I water my yard too…. this isn’t fair!” Little does Emily know, but while she is sound asleep, Bella awakes at 5:30am 3 times a week to water and treat her grass. She also has a professional lawn care service assist with the upkeep monthly. Although Emily is frustrated with her situation, she does little to improve matters. She rarely waters her grass, never removes the weeds, and refuses to pay for regular maintenance.
Does this sound at all familiar? How often have we gazed across the professional fence, inquiring about our neighbor’s green lawn? It is quite easy to make assumptions when there is a lack of information. Perhaps like Bella, other professionals have done their part; trained, sacrificed and taken the time to develop themselves to get where they are. Their grass doesn’t always speak of the late nights, early mornings, failed business ventures, times of limited resources or depleted strength. What you see, may indeed be the result of a tireless effort, and years of undying perseverance.
Instead of becoming envious, congratulate your colleagues and support their efforts. You have no idea what it might have cost them to get that grass so green! If a lush lawn is what you desire, seek God for next steps, then make the necessary adjustments so that you too, can gaze across a plush yard!
The pursuit of a professional goal can be quite similar to that of what an adventure junkie endures. There are risks, failures, wins and rewards involved! At times, both thrive off of adrenaline and desire the fulfillment of a high paying end result. It often requires the removal of boundaries and comfort zones to succeed. The journeys for each are grueling, and oft filled with setbacks before obtaining the prize. They must train and condition themselves both mentally and physically to stay the course. There are moments of supreme comfort, and periods of extreme deficit before reaching the peak. Ah, but the moment of victory…brings amazement far above what was ever dreamed.
Are you willing to accept the challenge to achieve your goals? Don’t be afraid of failing, falling or losing steam. Capture the image of fulfillment in mind, and cling on to it as you chase after your destiny. The joy of fulfillment awaits you!
There are times when life can appear overwhelming and full of turmoil. It’s as if a constant fire blazes night and day, with no end in sight. Though you may weather the storm, equipped with fireproof gear and all, what happens once the smoke clears?
There is always the possibility that after years of dousing fires, you can become fatigued ……So how do you keep yourself engaged to fulfill the ultimate plan for your life? Work to better yourself, mentor others and give of your time, talents and resources to pull you through. Though the fire shines brightly, you are not required to succumb to it’s heat. Yes, you may exit with tattered gear and singed boots, but when it finally burns out, the remnant of the fire doesn’t have to stay with you. Though the battle may have lasted longer than expected, you can be thankful that the flames weren’t able to engulf you. Once the smoke clears, you can remove your protective gear, dust off and begin anew.
Smile, it only lasts for a season. Your impact will far outlast the flame!!!
Carla found herself drifting for many years. She went from one assignment to the next, often wondering if and how she would ever leave her mark on this world. She was blessed with a wide range of gifts and talents, but was unsuccessful in determining her true passion. She searched and searched…only to return void. As she began to look back over her life through her journals, she discovered a path. Along that path she noticed a series of dots that connected, leading her to this point. What she uncovered wowed her in the most amazing way. Purpose she thought..as she relished in the aha moment. She realized that her true life’s mission lay within her all along. She shook her head in disbelief and picked up her pen. How could something so simple have hidden itself for so long? She smiled as she began to write… realizing that this was one way God would use her to impact this globe.
Have you ever pondered your life’s purpose? Like Carla, many people do. We entangle ourselves in trying to mirror the images and titles that the world desires for us, only to be left empty and often times without joy. In order to leave your mark on this world, you must determine where your true passions lie. Perhaps you are most fulfilled when you paint and/or cook. If that is the case, then find a way to incorporate these areas into your life as a profession, or faithful hobby. Life is a journey, compiled of a series of events. You are most capable of reaching your full potential when you take pleasure in what you do. The opportunity to experience the alignment of passion and purpose is in store for you. What will you choose?
When you hear the term Blue Ocean Strategy, what comes to mind? If you haven’t a clue, I recommend you review the book written by W. Chan Kim and Renee’ Mauborgne that discusses the concept and strategy in depth. They focus on how to “create uncontested market space so that you make your competition irrelevant.” (Blue Ocean Strategy 2005.) It’s a phenomenal concept that has worked well for numerous organizations and they’ve experienced stellar results from use of it. This same concept can also be applied by individuals when considering how to separate yourself from the pack, so that it’s as if…the competition never existed. The idea of “beating out” your peers then becomes a thing of the past because you were the obvious choice and candidate all along.
So how do you pull away from the crowded sea? What can you do to eliminate the red ocean concept that thrives on taking down the competition? I would challenge you to give this some strong consideration and work to recreate your brand. Set goals, and work to implement strategies that increase your market share. Find useful ways to help your current or future organization run more efficiently. The pool of candidates is vast and talented. Prepare yourself today. Find your Blue Ocean Strategy..now! It just may be the next major step to your destiny.
Mary is in between work assignments at present. As a result, she decides to sleep until noon most days and scout out new opportunities twice a week. She doesn’t attend any professional functions and is uninterested in taking additional coursework. Though she’s received social invitations in Oakland, she refuses to cross the bridge. On the other side, Martha is also between contracts. However, unlike Mary, she is up at 6am each day, has set a goal to attend four networking events a week, is finishing up a new certification and is also reviewing her French workbooks. Martha eagerly drives to San Francisco in hopes of connecting with other business professionals too. Which candidate is in better position to answer the call when it comes? Why of course…. Martha is. She is working while she waits.
Often times in life… the word “wait” is meant to be an action word. Think of it as synonymous to running or walking. As you await your next season, be sure to prepare yourself. This is not a time to rest until you receive a new set of marching orders. Get some additional training, take up a new language or enroll in a course. The waiting period can be lengthy or brief. It depends. In either case, you want to ensure that you are ready when your next opportunity knocks at your door. Do not mistake waiting for resting. It is a time that requires great diligence and extreme discipline. It’s the only way to successfully get across the bridge to the other side.
Remember to work while you wait!
Skylar stands atop a hill, gazing over the ocean. She notices that the vessels floating below appear as minor objects from on high. She captures shot after shot as the sweat pours down her temples from the heat. She is amazed as she takes in the scenery from this angle. The savvy traveler gasps in a state of awe, then smiles and takes a seat. Skylar thinks…”they don’t call this place Shirley Heights for no reason.” She is elated over the view and grateful for the opportunity to uncover such remarkable beauty. Her focus shifts to various aspects of the scene not witnessed from ground level. As a result, her outlook is expanded!
How often do we see our circumstances from a bird’s eye view? It can be difficult to elevate our thinking in times of turmoil and uncertainty. It is wise to take a step back, pray for discernment and seek the Most High for clarity. Our vision below can be limited so we typically miss out on the full picture. However, an aerial view can provide a completely different outlook. It forces you to look beyond what you’re able to “see” in your immediate surroundings. Your reality may be quite the opposite from what you perceive. It requires faith and perseverance. In order to reach new heights, a panorama perspective is needed!
Shirley Heights in Antigua
Jonathan heads west, while others remain. He is determined to reach his Promised Land even if it requires him to take the path less traveled. He is now aware that he was created for a purpose and plan far greater than he imagined. Though unaware of the cost, he is determined to go in faith, in the direction that he is led. On the other side of the country there is another man. His name is Jackson and he feels a strong desire to head east. However, this gentleman allows fear to set in and decides against it. He is comfortable in the wilderness, and refuses to enter the next leg of the journey. Jackson is terrified that the pursuit may require too much from him and cringes at the idea of failure. Therefore, he chooses to settle and stay, while Jonathan perseveres and wins.
What makes Jonathan take the path less traveled, while Jackson is seized by fear? Answer-He has purposed in his heart to reach his goals despite the possible challenges of the mission. His counterpart doesn’t think the journey is worth it and chooses to accept his situation and remain stagnant. Unlike Jackson, Jonathan grabs hold of the wind and soars to new heights!
Life is full of choices, and the decisions we make affect the outcome. Although the idea of change can cause restlessness, and the anxiety of the unknown can appear overwhelming, there should be more concern over choosing the wrong path!
Will you let the idea of failure block the blessings that lay before you, or will you battle and endure? The path less traveled is not an easy one, but it’s worth it! Be encouraged as you “walk” today.