Attitude Changes Everything…

positiveattitudechangeseverythingYou ever watch people and wonder why some are successful and others are not? Lately, that’s exactly what I have done.  I am not talking about success only in terms of financial wealth or status. I am talking about how people deal with life, their jobs, families, relationships, or their personal goals.

I have met people who could find one job after another with no problem and others who were always out of work and when they finally landed a good job, they were immediately in conflict with their bosses and let go.  I have known leaders in organizations who were confident and candid, thought of as rude, yet quite successful and other leaders who were thin-skinned and passive-aggressive, who were thought of as nice, yet stuck in place. I have seen strong and independent types as well as weak and co-dependent types.  I think about the people who were genuine and those who were phony. When I think about different people, especially the ones that were not happy or joyful; the ones who were anxiety-ridden and those who were highly insecure, I believe I have found the reasons some people thrive in life and others do not–it’s their Attitude!

First, I believe there are physical and psychological problems people deal with every day. I do not deny that people have real physiological and mental problems. However, I also know that many times success in life has very little to do with a medical issue, it has everything to do with how people see their world.

positiveattitudesmileyfaceHow do you see the world? How is your their attitude towards whatever it is you are dealing with? Do you see the glass half-empty or half-full? Do you see your part in making sure your relationships work or do you rely on others to do all the heavy lifting? What kind of attitude do you have?

Quite frankly, if you are a Believer, I have never understood a “Believer” with a negative attitude.  I just don’t.  A positive attitude is foundational to a Believer. How? Because you have faith in Christ.  That faith translates to trust—you trust that “All things work together for good” or you trust that “If He is for you, who can be against you?” Faith and Trust = Optimism. Optimism is positive. Your positive attitude will not allow you to continue to embrace anger, bitterness, jealousy, anxiety, worry, or pride; which are all negative!  These traits will not allow you to live a successful life. What will help you live a successful life?  Being intentional, understanding that changing from negativity to positivity takes time, and by asking God for help. In Philippians 4:6 we are told: “Do not be anxious for anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  We are also told in Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” 

You want to be successful? Stop being the victim, stop blaming others for what’s happened to you, stop making excuses for not changing your life.  Remember, It’s Your Life, Own It.  It does not matter what has happened in your past, what matters is God can help you change your negative responses to situations to positive ones.  My question is, Do you want Him to help you?

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.”

 

 

Only So Much Time…

 

reflectionsA few days ago, I was walking to the park, letting the breeze hit my face. (This is something I do a lot of the time. I do it as my second exercise of the day, but also to talk to God). When the wind brushes against my face, I have a habit of saying “Lord, I feel You in the wind.” Just a little thing between God and me.

Anyway, as I was walking, a thought occurred to me; “one minute you are 5 years old and before you know it, if you’re lucky, you are 55 or maybe 65.”  It is wonderful to be alive, isn’t it? My mom died at 28 years old, so I’d always feared that I would die before I made it to 28.  I am still alive and far pass the wonderful tender age of 28 and I am so grateful.

Still, I have been thinking about my mortality lately, especially since several people I’d worked with over the years recently passed.

The reality that there is more life behind me than what is in front of me, is daunting.  The reality of my humanness causes me to either push the thoughts out of my mlifeisshortind or I sit and contemplate what’s next. The latter can cause stress because, let’s face it, I want to live forever. Don’t you? Maybe I will feel differently at 90 or 100, but I don’t feel like leaving this world anytime soon.

In fact, I dread the thought of leaving this world. Not because I don’t know what is on the other side, I just don’t think in my humanness, I cannot accept that I will no longer be here in the thick of things.

Listen, I sure don’t want this blog to be a downer, so let’s talk about the time we do have on they earth.  What will I do with the time I have?

I want to make every day matter. I want to get up each day and get going. I want to do things that will make an impact on others and on me!  I just do. I can’t imagine not going after my dreams, whether that means trying to run my own business or trying my hand at a new job. It is traveling to places I have never been, experiencing people and things I have never experienced. I want to tell people about Jesus, but I also want to show people Jesus through acts of kindness. I want to offer hope to others and I want to share in the joy other people experience as they learn how to make their own dreams come true. I want to get up each day and run. I want to write books and articles and I want to speak to the masses. That’s a lot!

What about you? What is it that you have always wanted to do and just didn’t feel that you were qualified to do?  Or maybe you just felt scared. There is no better time than now. There is no better reason than you simply want to try.

life-is-so-short-1-728Occasionally, I remind myself that tomorrow isn’t promised and I then ask myself, what is it that you want to do? I then turn to the scriptures and try to hear what God has to say to me because it’s what He says that matters; not what other people “think” I should do.  How about you?

First and foremost, what should matter is your relationship with Jesus;  never forget that.  I make plans for tomorrow, but I also know full well that I may plan, but it is God who determines my steps (Proverbs 16:9). Knowing this also keeps me humble as I pursue my goals. Seek Him first in all things (Matthew 6:33).

James writes (4:13-14a), “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.”

Life is short. What will you do with the time you have been given? Make it matter.

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

Come-a-long-wayHave you ever looked back on your life and thought to yourself, “Wow, I have come a long way?” Ever sat around collecting your thoughts and considering the life that’s right before you now and thought to yourself, “What a blessed life?” or “What a crummy life?” Have you ever been so mesmerized with the status of your life that you just could not believe you made it to where you are now or are you terrified by the choices you have made and regret every moment of everyday of being you?

Whether you are living the life that you have always dreamed of or if it is just a mess, I believe that you have come a long way.  Everything that we experience in life has been designed to bring us to where we are right now. All of the choices we have selected and the decisions we have made along the way, have all been a part of the process that makes up who we are right now. Good or bad; it is what it is.

It is always good to evaluate where you are. Even if it’s hard to face. By doing so, you have an opportunity to either continue down the path of success or you can now course-correct; you can make adjustments that can alter that path you are on. Maybe you have made many mistakes or bad choices, but I don’t believe it is ever too late to make your life count.

The totality of who you are and what you want to be all fall into one camp; the decisions you  make.  You want to get on the road of success?  Whether that success is in your personal life, professional life or spiritual life, think differently and act differently.  Start to move into the direction of what you deem as success. Don’t sit around and continue to accept mediocrity, or accept excuses or place blame, just do something and make it productive and positive. Make it something that will move you towards your goal of succeeding.

you've come a long way3You have come a long way baby whether you think you have or not.  You have come a long way whether you have succeeded in attaining your goals or whether you have fallen short. If you are where you want to be, great. If you are not there yet, you still have time to get there. However, you must act. You must make changes and do things differently than you have in the past. You see it is easy to accept the status quo and easier to remain complacent. It’s easy because it is comfortable. Doing the same things the same way won’t get you to where you want to be. Be daring, be a risk taker, use your past experiences to your advantage. What have you learned from them? If you re-evaluate them, you will find you have learned a lot.

Whatever you want, won’t just happen, however. It will happen when you begin to do. So get up and get started. You may not have as far to go as you think!

 

This Year Can Be Different…

new_years_resolutions_listEvery year starts with lots of New Year’s resolutions.  In fact, all kinds of goals are set. Resolutions range from fitness to career to relationship goals.  Many begin the year with all good intentions but for some reason, not too long into the year, those resolutions begin to fade into the background as every day life issues begin to happen.  Before you know it, you are at the end of the year again, only to look around and find that none of those resolutions you intended to achieve during the year never got started.

Disappointment set in. Then you become discouraged and ask yourself why. Maybe you try to ignore that you didn’t even try after your initial resolution was made, so you get a little perturbed with yourself. You might even blame yourself for not being disciplined enough to ever master your resolutions.  Well, don’t beat yourself up because you can do better.  Yes, you can even if you have tried over and over again.  It’s never too late to start again. You should never stop trying because I truly believe that you will eventually get the right process in place that will work for you. That is, if you won’t quit.

However, I will tell you this; it takes more than making resolutions each year to actually achieve them. You have to put some strategy in place. You see, sometimes New Year’s resolutions do not work because they are not well thought out. They are just thoughts that haven’t been formulated to be achieved. When New Year’s resolutions are made, generally, the person making them are just picking something fun to do or they may be frustrated with some area of their lives, so out of frustration,  they pull these types of resolutions out of the air and then announce what they “hope” they can master in the new year. Because they haven’t put any thought to the actual resolution, it fizzles out along the way.  When no results are seen, frustration, maybe even anger or disillusionment sets in and then you begin to tell yourself that New Year’s resolutions never work anyway.  You are right. If they are handled haphazardly, they don’t.

So how to do you ensure that this year’s resolutions don’t turn out the way your previous ones have turned out? Do things differently this year.  Begin your year with pen and paper. Write down your goals, put timelines and actions that need to be taken in order to achieve them. If you do these small actions, you will have better results.

YOU-DONT-NEED-A-NEW-YEAR-TO-MAKE-ADon’t let this year be just another year of loose resolutions when it comes to the things you want to see happen for you this year. Write down your top 3-5 goals for the year. Think through them. Make sure your goals are SMART, which means specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. If they are, you are off to a great start.

This year can be different and you can achieve your goals. I don’t care how many times you may have missed the mark before.  Don’t you dare stop trying. Like with anything, the more you try, the more you practice, the better you become.  You may not have been the best at achieving your resolutions in the past, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually. Maybe, you simply need to change your process.

Are you ready to live the life you always dreamed of? Are you ready to do the work, be committed and never give up until you see the results you want to see? Well, that takes time, its takes real commitment, diligence and determination. Most of all, it takes you not listening to others or to your inner voice that may tell you that you failed before, why try now. I tell you why, because you want to be better and you want to do better. As long as you have the desire to do so, you can.

This year can be different, but you have to be different too. So get started the very first day and keep at it everyday for the rest of the year.  You are bound to see better results. Remember, I am rooting for you!

God bless you in the New Year and may He help you with your resolutions too.

Will Your Plans Succeed?

Businessman shouting her victory to the world

Many times we dream of being a huge success. We daydream of being at the top of the pyramid. We want the highest position and the most money. Oh, don’t forget about power.  We want successful careers as well as success in our personal lives.

Many of us have even dreamed of being as successful as  Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, maybe even Donald Trump? While others have more altruistic ideas of success like feeding the hungry and other social justice issues. I have on many occasions, dreamt of living a life that helped others; kind of like what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa have done. Oh, let’s not forget the Pope; especially Pope Francis!

I think that it’s okay to dream of being successful. I know some  don’t think we should. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with dreaming big and reaching for the stars.  Recently, I was pondering my life and looking at some of the successes I have experienced. I was thinking about what’s next. As I pondered,  I considered how important it is for me to make sure my desire for success didn’t control of me.  I thought of how important the Bible is to me and that I want to make sure that as I continue to live and accomplish things that whatever I do is inline with God’s will for me.

Commit-to-the-Lord-whatever-you-do-Proverbs-16-3One morning I was praying about a particular issue I was dealing with and as I read my Bible that morning, I was led to two scriptures. One was Proverbs 16:3 and the other was Proverbs 16:9. In Proverbs 16:3, I was gently reminded if I committed my life to God, He would ensure that my plans would succeed.  Later in that same chapter, in verse 9, it says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”   As I read these scriptures, I felt that they were jumping off the page to speak to me. In fact, I knew they were talking to me. I was struggling with a decision that I needed to make and did not want to move forward because of popularity, money or anything like that. I wanted to make sure that my decisions were not driven by greed or my desire for power. I think those scriptures answered my lingering questions though because I came away knowing that I was in line with what God wanted, but also that if I wanted more success, that was okay too.

Some might have you believe that your dream of success if not what you should think of; that you should settle.  I say they are ridiculous.  Some may say that the goals you set are too ambitious; too audacious, that you should think smaller.  I say, hogwash. Don’t listen to those who will keep you locked in “smallness”.

If God has planted a dream in your heart and you have transferred them from dreams to actual goals, make sure your life is committed to the Lord and then trust Him to help you succeed.   You see, there is nothing wrong with success, it just has to be aligned with God’s will for your life. Always remember to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.  I believe that!

 

A Pentecostal Perspective …

Jesus-is-Lord-Manila-1

I am a Proud Pentecostal.  I am a Positive Pentecostal too. Pentecostals are known for being charismatic and excitable people. We show emotion in our worship and some may think that we are weird. When I was a little girl, I was thought of as weird for sure.  We were the people in the church where people were “dancing in the Spirit” and No, we were not snake handlers!

Many people meet me and don’t believe that I would buy-in to this type of religious group.  You know, they think I am too intellectual, too smart, too informed and educated, to be a part of such a group. I am!

I love being Pentecostal.I love the excitement and the emotion expressed in our worship. I would not want to be identified with any other group. I am devoted to my faith.

My faith influences every part of my life!  My faith has not only informed my life, it has been the key element in me believing in myself and in the creation on my ideal life. I believe in prayer, Bible reading and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Because I am a follower of Jesus and believe strongly in the tenets of my faith, I don’t think that I am supposed to live a life of negativity, pessimism nor poverty. The Bible says, “All things are possible” and I truly believe that all things are. I believe in hope; my faith tells me that I have a blessed hope.  My faith also helps me overcome my fears, helps me to believe in myself and has enabled me to take risks that I may not have ever taken had I not believed in what my Bible tells me about me.

You may ask, how does religion help you to live your ideal life? For me, it certainly gave me self-confidence, which of course affected my self-esteem. I don’t see myself as less than anyone. I don’t feel inferior, I don’t feel inadequate. That’s how my faith has helped me move forward and why I have achieved so much. I am not afraid to try. I hope you won’t be afraid either, ever.