Push Yourself For Yourself. No One Else Matters..

push yourselfI was out running one morning and was amazed at how many times my mind would tell me to stop.  I could hear myself say “no, just don’t stop.”  As my feet hit the pavement, I felt exhilarated and tired at the same time.  Again, I would hear that voice in my head say, “just stop running and walk; you’re tired.” I would be tempted, but I would literally say to myself, “push, don’t stop.”

What’s funny is I run so early in the morning, and I am living in a new place, so no one knows me and no one cares what I do.  So I could stop if I wanted to do so.  I could just walk, or I could cut my run short and just turn around and go back home, but I don’t.  I don’t because it’s not about the run. It’s about me being able to overcome the negative talk that is going on in my head.  Besides, how will I ever get better if I don’t push myself?

You see, to continue running when my mind says to stop, means I overrule my mind.  My philosophy for every area of my life is “try and try harder. Push yourself until you can’t anymore. Never give up. Give it your all.”  I tell myself constantly all that is required of me is my willingness to try. Plus, I don’t push myself only when others are looking on, I push myself for me.

You see this discipline applies to goals in every aspect of our lives, whether it is selling Mary Kay, Nerium, Advocare, Scentsy or whatever.  This discipline is important if you are going to school and trying to finish a Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate. It applies if you are writing a book or an article. It applies to healthy habits and spiritual disciplines. It applies if you are single or married. It just applies to life.

Those who succeed are just gutsy enough to decide that they are not going to listen to what the naysayers have to say, even when their own mind becomes the primary naysayer. They are not going to give up because a sale didn’t happen or a peritsgoingtobehardson let them down. They keep on getting back up and pushing. That’s why some drive their Nerium Lexus or Mary Kay Cadillac or go on Scentsy cruises year after year. They are tenacious. Yes, they experience disappointments just like all of us, but they don’t wallow in them. More importantly, they understand how important it is to get up and do their thing every single day. They don’t freak out over the “no’s”because they understand that all they need is that one “yes.” They are not deterred because the people they thought they could count on, were not the ones they could count on at all.

As much as I love my family, I have always reminded myself of one thing; there are two people I can count on, God and me.  I know it’s important to trust God and to have faith, but I also know that God is not a genie and He wants me to do something with the gifts He has given me.

Many times the reason someone isn’t successful has nothing to do with a lack of skill, it is due to the lack of motivation and the fear of failure. Oh but those successful ones, they find the motivation when it isn’t staring them in the face. They may have some fear of failure, but their faith in God and in themselves, is far greater than the fear. They push when the fearful pulls back. They find a way to climb that mountain when the mountain seems too hard and they run when that voice in their head says “you should stop; you’re tired.”  They respond “No, I am not.”

 

 

Value or Disrespect

 

sassysayings56I don’t mind giving advice, but one area that I hate to give advice is in the area of dealing with abusive people, especially mentally abusive bosses. Some of the stories I hear infuriate me and the boss can be so terrible that I find myself wanting to punch them! But I would never do that and that would not be my advice to you either.

I don’t want to ever advise anyone to give up on anything, yet, I struggle telling anyone to stay with anyone who treats them like crap.  I want to fight for what is right and I like working hard for what I get. I get a kick out of the struggle. In fact I have a saying that reads “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it”.  I believe in tenacity, diligence, dedication and hard work. If you want something out of life, you got to do your part. One of my mottos could be that  diligence pays off. Yet, I want to tell the person who feels inadequate because of the actions of another person to leave.

It is easy to sit in a chair and write pretty advice.  It is easy to say what you should do once I have crossed over my own challenge of having to deal with a nasty boss.  So I won’t write the pretty advice but I will be straight up with you.  If you have a boss who is mentally abusive, who depresses you, dishonors you, disrespect you and you don’t think that person will ever change, leave.

That’s my advice. Leave.  Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”, and I agree with her. That lady was one wise woman.

You see I have had wonderful bosses who were positive, supportive and saw to it that I was developed and given opportunities. I have also experienced cunning and unethical bosses too. I have never, ever had a boss yell at me, cuss at me, talk to me as if I were stupid or talk down to me. I think God made sure that I didn’t because I don’t know how I would have handled them in my early years.

I have told you on many occasions how destructive words can be.  When you stay with a person, whether that person is a spouse, friend or boss, who has little interest in uplifting you or in making your life better, why are you staying with them? You don’t rely on others to make you happy; that’s not what I am saying, that’s your responsibility.  What I am saying is that disinterest or detachment from you is one thing, but disrespect is quite another.

We stay with spouses and friends longer in bad relationships, because we have vested relationships with them. We do not have that same investment with an abusive boss. I get that it is hard to walk away from a job when you need the money, but it is even harder to walk away from a marriage when one depends on the support of a spouse, but people do it everyday and find support.

I am not saying to just quit your job when you have an abusive or narcissistic boss. That’s a decision that only you can make. I just want to remind you that you are valuable and you are important. It doesn’t matter if you are the janitor or the CEO. And just so you know, even if you are dependent on a person for a job, that does not give them the right to disrespect you.

I can’t tell you what is enough, I can only tell you that you are enough. “For we (you) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that (you) we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

 

Happy Attitudes = Happy Lives

ecclesiastes-3-12-13
Ecclesiastes 3:12 reads “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”  See, there it is!

One writer stated “The goal of every Christian should not be happiness because the Bible never promises happiness to the believer but joy, that is a totally different story.  While happiness is temporary and is based upon happenings, joy is from the Lord and you can still experience joy during trials, suffering, and testing.  Joy is permanent but happiness is fleeting.”

I understand what this writer is saying, but isn’t this just semantics? I don’t disagree, but I don’t think we have to get hung up on this either.  In fact, I feel if we are going to disagree on something, it should not be on whether or not God wants us to live a life of happiness?

11690912-attitude-is-everything-text-written-with-chalk-on-a-blackboardWe should not be fighting over this. So why do we? Is it just easier to sit and fight and to be negative?

Do you think that God designed us to with the attitude of negativity? No, He did not. In fact, the Bible tells us in Philippians to think on things that are good, pure, honest, all of these are positive thoughts. I know that it takes intentional effort to be positive, that’s why Romans 12:2 tells us that it is important to transform our minds and that’s what the Holy Spirit does for us. He helps us to draw from His strength when we would automatically default to the negatives in this world. When our minds are transformed and when we focus on what we are thinking about, I think we will work hard to stop random negative thoughts from becoming permanent negative thoughts that become our daily lives.

The Bible tells us “there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good.” I bet the happiness that is talked about here is not seeking to live our lives out of selfish gain, nor out of stepping on others to get to the top, nor is it in fame and popularity; neither is it just an emotional state that one feels just because something good happened. I think the end of the scripture really tells us how we will live a life that is happy and positive; a life that rejects negativity. We do it in being productive and not idle. We live happy by working and seeing the works of our hands, whether it is something tangible or intangible we produce.

When we reach out and touch the lives of others and when we add to the lives of others, those kinds of acts bring about joy and joy produces happiness in our lives.  Happy attitudes result in happy lives. So, can we actually accomplish what is stated in Ecclesiastes 3?  I think so. That, too, begins with our attitudes towards work and life

Being Different Is Good..

differentI think we forget that we are all different people.  Oh sure, we say we know that we are different and we come to table with different perspectives, but for some reason, at the end of the day, we still expect the people we encounter to make the exact same decisions that we would make if faced with the same situations.

The fact is, until we truly embrace the notion that we come to the table with different life experiences that filter how we see the world, we will never accept others for who they are.  You may say, that’s not important, but it is. Don’t you want others to, if not value your opinion, respect that you have a right to your own opinion?  I do.

I have been on social media sites and watched television or listened to radio, and I am always frustrated and disgusted when people are so closed-minded that there is no room for anyone else to have a point of view.

I watched a lady get attacked recently because she posted to social media that she had decided to delay having another baby in order to purchase her dream home. What happened next was just down right crazy!  Others attacked her for making that decision.  On the morning news, the media reported the story and even stated that she indeed had the right to decide, but the reason she was attacked so viciously was because people on social media thought that she was out of touch with “everyday” people.  That there were too many other things going on in the world to worry about, rather than her writing that from her pristine life and protected life.  I don’t know her at all, but what I feel is that she did nothing wrong. That’s her life. For some of us, the issue would not be  sitting and trying to decide between having another baby or buying our dream home, my issue could be deciding between continuing working on a business that may not be producing what I want and spending thousands of dollars on holiday with family. I wonder if I chose to continue to put money into a failing business rather than speeding it on my family, if I, too, would be violently attacked. The point is, as humans, each of us have the right to make our own decisions based on what we feel is right for us and guess what? Maybe yours will be different than mine and vice versa.

Hey, chill.  The world would really be a better place if respect replaced exerting our own will. We will do so much better in love and in life, if we can learn to respect each other. Whether you believe the world was created or that it simply happened, that’s totally your own business and your opinion does not affect mine, nor does my beliefs diminish yours. I believe in God, you don’t and that’s okay. You not believing doesn’t affect what I believe at all. Right?

Having different opinions will be influenced by many things that have happened in each of our lives. Having different ideas about life is really more than okay.  It is wonderful because if we were all the same, the world would truly be a boring place. God loves diversity and that’s more than skin color.

Let “Status Quo” Be Uncomfortable

Expand-yourself-Get-out-of-comfort-zoneAre you afraid to be uncomfortable? Good. I find that when I am uncomfortable living a regular, everyday life, I do something about it.  I can’t sit still. I become restless and I have to do something. Anything! How about you?

There is a negative connotation associated with being restless.   I don’t see it as negative. In fact, I think restlessness can be a good thing.  For some, it is negative but for others, restlessness pushes us to action.  I say, restlessness can be stressful, but it can also be liberating.

In my book, It’s Your Life; Own It. No blame, No Excuses, one of the things I talk about is the importance of going after the life you really want.  I talk about how important it is to decide on what it is you want and then to plot a course to achieving that goal. I talk about how some people will talk, talk and talk about what they want and they never do anything about getting what they want. They make excuse after excuse about why it is that they can’t do something. The make every excuse as to why something can’t be done and they blame everything that they can think of as the reasons why that don’t move towards the goal.  When the real reasons may be as simple as being uncomfortable; taking a risk; doing something; anything.

Don’t you know of people who set goals and never achieve them? Me too. I have heard people say that they wanted to write a book or that they wanted to start a non-profit or that they wanted to start their own business, yet year after year, you see them and they are still saying the same things they said 3 years prior. You ask them what have they done to get closer to that goal and the answer is “nothing really.”   Have you helped someone lay out a plan to do something only to see them months, sometimes years later, and they have not done a thing? Of course you have. I certainty have.  Listen, they are happy being comfortable with the status quo; it’s that simple.

Are You A Goal-Setter or Goal-Achiever?

There is a big difference between a person who is a goal-setter and one who is a goal-achiever.  There is a big difference between dreamers and achievers and there is a real big difference between those who always talk about what they want to accomplish and those who get out there and actually accomplish the thing they want. Do you know what the difference is?  Comfort and Discomfort.

where-magic-happensMany are comfortable living just as they are day after day. They claim that they want to do more and to achieve a stated goal, but it’s just talk.  Then there are those who embrace discomfort; they are the risk-takers. They can’t imagine living day after day just dreaming their lives away.  They would rather take a chance; they understand that failure can happen, but that does not scare them. God bless those who are happy with comfort. It’s okay if that’s what they want to do; if that’s how they choose to live. I just would prefer that they would recognize what they are doing and that they would stop talking about achieving a thing that they never intend to achieve.  I wish they would recognize that they are living a fantasy and that’s okay too because it is their lives. I just don’t want them acting like the victim.  It’s okay but it’s not what I want for my life and that’s okay too.  I prefer to embrace being uncomfortable.  I prefer taking risks. Because by doing so, I have stretched beyond my wildest dreams. I have accomplished things I never thought possible.

The challenge here is to decide what you want out of life.  Recognize that most who are successful, take risks. They have learned to embrace the unknown and the uncomfortable.  Remember, we all like the familiar; we all want to live in comfort, but what’s frightening about that is that I will end up living a status quo life. I am terrified that each day will become mundane and that I will wake up one day and would have not experienced so much that God placed inside of me.  I would encourage you to think about what’s holding you back.  Is it that you are happy nursing what you are comfortable with or are you willing to take a risk and do something that you have always wanted to do?  Guess what? It’s up to you.

It’s Your Life; Own It…

We Were Not Designed to be Perfect

NoPerfectPplDo you think that perfection is honorable? It isn’t.  Perfection is a dream that no one can attain.  Even the most respected people must deal with the idea of not being perfect simply because others think of them as being that way. If you have a problem with always seeking perfection and never attaining it, you might want to remember that we weren’t designed to be perfect. There was only one human that was perfect and, of course, that was Jesus.

I have heard people talk about being perfectionists and at times, they berate themselves because they aren’t. They feel that nothing that they do is ever good enough. They can’t move on with a simple project because it has to be perfect. They can’t write a paper or paint a wall or coordinate a table setting because every little detail must be perfect.  I understand what they mean, but I also understand that if I live life that way, I probably won’t get a lot of things done.  If I were to wait for whatever I am trying to do to be perfect, I would be frustrated and deflated!

In fact perfection can be hard on a person. It is debilitating!  It is stifling! and it can be harmful to one’s self esteem.  Talk about a sure way to hurt your self-confidence. You don’t have to because you can choose not to be a perfectionist. You know, sometimes those things that hang us up are our own self-imposed pressures.

Listen, if you want to be successful, learn to accept that doing your best is good enough. Just make sure it is your best.  When you have prepared yourself, worked hard and done all that you can to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve, let the chips fall where they may.  Stop worrying, stop stressing, stop second-guessing. Look yourself in the mirror and say, my best was all I had and I gave all of me. Then walk away confident that if it doesn’t work out, it will be okay because you will be right back trying again tomorrow.

No you don’t have to seek perfection, you just need to be persistent.

 

 

Jesus Christ was the only perfect person.

Inspiration for It’s Your Life; Own It.

Beckwith photoI have been asked what inspired me to write, It’s Your Life; Own It. That’s easy to answer.  For years I have coached or counseled others, whether professionally or personally.   I have taught young students and mature students , undergraduate and graduate. I have led people in government, in non-profits and in for-profit companies. One thing that has remained constant and has transcended age, gender, race or socio-economic status is the tendency of people, including me, to blame others for not having the life they dreamed of having.

I am sure you have experienced frustration, and maybe even anger, when things just did not work out as you had hoped. I saw that trait in my self when I did not get the promotions I thought I deserved. I had every excuse that anyone could think of as to why others kept me from moving forward.  Year after year, I would blame someone else for why I didn’t get what I felt I deserved. One day I woke up. I said to myself, stop it! Whatever you want in life, go after it and stop blaming. If you get it, good, if you don’t, you tried.  Just stop blaming your life’s situation on others. If you do, you not only draw negativity to yourself, but you will have given others power over you.  It’s your life, not theirs. Own your choices; own your decisions; own your risks or your lack of taking risks. Whatever you decide to do, though, is all on you.

I experienced an epiphany that day and it dawned on me that it wasn’t just me blaming others for my life; it wasn’t just me making excuses. Heck, I had heard many people do the same.  So, I decided it was time to tell others, what I told myself that day.  That’s the story of how and why I was inspired to write this book.  I hope you gain something from the experiences that are shared in it.