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I’m a Little Scared Right Now

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Success is risky, but the rewards are huge.

Never before have I been so scared and excited of my goals and dreams – all at the same time. That’s how I know, I am dreaming big. If you have nothing to lose and it is not a must for you to make it, then your dream is not big enough.

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The Urgency of Now

We are faced with many choices every day. The choices that matter most are the ones that help to make the world a better place and the ones that help to elevate our brothers and sisters.

Do not be fooled. Our lives and our needs are intricately connected that what we do on a personal level has the capacity to impact our entire world.

Now is the time to take action and to speak against all that is unjust and destroying our world. Let’s be encouraged by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who sacrificed his life for injustice, so we can live in more just world.

I am reminded of a quote I heard from watching the Green Book, a movie set in the 1960s about a genius African-American classical pianist who decides to leave the comfort of the North to go tour the segregated deep south.

GENIUS IS NOT ENOUGH,

IT TAKES COURAGE TO

CHANGE PEOPLE’S MINDS.

Green Book

Dr. Don Shirley, the main actor, was good enough to entertain White folks but could not have a meal with them, use the same hotel, or bathroom with them. It took courage for him to willingly put himself in dangerous situations in an effort to change how others perceive people of color.

How will you show courage today to ensure that your voice is heard? How are you stepping out of your comfort zone to combat injustice?

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There Will Never Be a Right Time

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Right about now your new year’s resolutions are starting to look less interesting. It’s been two weeks and life is settling in as normal and that burst of energy you felt for change at the end of 2018 is slowing down.

One thing is for sure. Time is not slowing down. It stops for no one. Whether you feel like acting on improving your life is irrelevant to time. Time will continue to do what it does best…keep going.

Are you waiting for the right time to act on your goals? Are you waiting to be motivated to start taking action?

We have the tendency to act slowly when we must get something done. The problem is the longer we take to act, the likelihood of us doing it diminishes greatly.

Now is the time to start growing.

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We will never be ready in our minds to tackle life, so just do it and you will have a greater understanding of how to get better.

The truth is we are robbing ourselves of what life has to offer when we want to wait for the right time.

As a beginning real estate investor years ago, I paid dearly for neglecting to act when the market screamed financial crisis. Rental income greatly diminished, debt quickly accumulated, and instead of selling to recoup what I could, I held on to foreclosure.

I waited for the right time to sell and it never came. The dumbest decision of my real estate investing experience.

So, do not wait until the situation gets worst, start now.

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The Consistency Difference

Consistency 4

 

Success sounds wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to have it? So many have made it sound so easy and beautiful in every way.

However, that is far from reality. Success requires hard work and is at times not very beautiful.

Achieving daily success includes:

  • Waking up early to review your goals and to perform your morning routine.

  • Pushing back the “I don’t feel like doing it” to the aside and proceed to your agreed commitment to yourself.

  • Working hard when others around you are having “the time of their lives.”

The truth is success is hard and it is not for the faint of heart. It requires consistency.

Consistency 1

Inherent in the word consistency is the promise that if you take consistent action towards your goal, you will be rewarded with consistent success. We get better at things when we do them repeatedly or consistently.

Consistency does not in any way demands perfection.

Consistency 2

Consistency is a decision to:

  • Do something every day no matter how small it seems to you.

  • Refusing to give up when you face negative people, obstacles and emotions.

  • Keeping your eyes on the goal.

No matter what the pursuit, consistency is the key.

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When Was the Last Time You Were Brave?

The answer may very well surprise you.

Because being brave is a decision and you make decisions every day.

Brave is not a word people often use to describe themselves. It is too grandiose and lofty. It is too far removed from how we see ourselves on a daily basis.

It is a word used to describe warriors, soldiers, and fighters because they face danger and pain willingly. The reality is BRAVE is a word that describes YOU when you:

  • Do things others will not.

  • Greet a stranger.

  • Ask for what is important to you.

  • Take the first step knowing that you will not be perfect.

  • Admit you have all you need at this very moment to start making a change.

  • Feel the fear and do it any way.

So being brave is not about having all the answers, because you do not. It is not about not being afraid. It is all about acting unafraid and pursuing your goal anyway.

A valuable strategy that can be helpful is acting as if. You can pretend bravery — encouraging yourself to actions that are out of your comfort zone. The more you take action, the better prepared you will be to be brave when the next opportunity present itself.

 

 

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When Was the Last Time You Saw a Fish Climbing a Tree?

The fish does not climb a tree because it was not created to climb a tree. It has its special intelligence that equips it to navigate its environment with ease. The water environment and the skills necessary to thrive there is empowering not self-defeating.

So, why do we belittle ourselves and hinder our progress on the basis that we are not intelligent enough. Let’s be reminded that “God does not create junk.” The problem occurs when we place ourselves in the wrong environment and engage outside of our skill set.

We don’t have to spend our lives thinking that we’re stupid simply because we are in the wrong environment, doing something we are not prepared to do.

Remember, we have the potential to learn and become better at anything we put our minds to. According to Merriam-Webster, intelligence is defined as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with difficult situations.

Some people naturally possesses or are drawn to a specific type of work. That is wonderful. That does not in any way diminish our ability to learn that type of work or skill.

Einstein says it best, the measure of our intelligence has very little to do with where we are right now. Our ability and our flexibility to change makes all the difference.

We can improve our intelligence on a daily basis by:

  • Reading widely
  • Take a workshop or a seminar 
  • Spend time with people we want to learn from
  • Take daily action toward change
  • Feed our minds everyday
  • Be nice to ourselves–often

So don’t decline that promotion, we will be surprise to see that we know more than we think we know. Knowing that there is nothing new under the sun, we can find people and resources to help us no matter what we may face.

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When Was the Last Time You Gave Your Attitude a Check?

INTELLIGENCE. HARD WORK. EDUCATION. TALENT

That looks like the recipe for success in life, work, and business.

Surprisingly, these are myths. They do no weight as much as we think they do.

The experts and researchers have affirmed that the number one thing that holds people back from success is their ATTITUDE.

DEFINITION: a way of thinking or feeling about something, someone, or an event that is usually reflected in one’s behavior.

As trivial and insignificant that may sound, our attitudes has much to do with what we do in life and how we do it.

This is awesome, very encouraging, and literally life transforming.

According to Charles R. Swindoll, attitude is everything: Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

We certainly have little control over what happens to us in life. We can take precautions to decrease the likelihood of something hurtful, damaging, or devastating from happening to us, but we cannot guarantee it.

What we can be certain of is that we have the power to react in positive, uplifting, and life changing ways. We can choose our responses. We can learn from the experience helpful lessons and throw away the rest. From that experience we can begin anew with a different skill set.

John C. Maxwell, the very successful New York Times Bestselling Leadership Expert  is one of my many mentors. From him I learned that we learn best from EVALUATED EXPERIENCES.

It is not enough to say “I learned a lot from this experience.” We must break the experience down and study it to determine lessons worth learning. In that way, the experience will become an asset rather than a hindrance.

So, let’s check ourselves to see how our attitude is holding us back from:

  • Taking that critical first step to pursue a goal
  • Seeking the help that can change our lives
  • Asking for what we what we need
  • Taking the necessary risks

Even in the business world,

There are a few jobs where straight

up skills are all we ask for.

Perhaps in the first violinist in a string quartet.

But in fact, even there, what actually separates

winners from losers isn’t talent,

it’s attitude.

Seth Godin

The bottom line is people like to be with, work with, and do business with people they like. If our attitudes are constantly negative, who in their right minds will want to spend time with us?

Please leave a comment and tell me about your experience.

 

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Attracting and Developing Lasting Friendships Part I

We all want at least one good friend who will accept us no matter what, who will not judge us when we fall, and who will stick around not just for the good times but for the trying times as well.  However, so many of us find ourselves alone wondering, “Does anyone out there care?” Indeed, there are people out there who would have showed up for us, but quite often we neglect to do the prep work that is essential to attracting and keeping good friends. Like every good thing, good friendships does not come out of nowhere. We have to be intentional about creating and developing them.

Here are seven keys to building lasting friendships.

  1. Be Friendly

That goes without saying. To create and to develop lasting friendships, you have to be friendly and be genuinely interested in other people. Proverbs 18:1 states, “Unfriendly people care only about themselves.” If we are only about ourselves and the only person we can talk about is “me,” then it will be difficult to show people that we care about them. Some of us carry a “mean and don’t approach” demeanor around. We refuse to smile and say “hello” to people. How will the door be open if you intend to carry daily your “NO, DON’T APPROACH” face?

  1. Be Not a Complainer

We all have fallen short of that once or twice. We complain about things, people, work, and environment we don’t like and expect people to be willing to listen to our toxicity all the time. People get tired of that—they want to be lifted as often as possible not dragged down by all of the baggage we are loading on them physically and mentally. Phillipians 2:14-15 commands us to “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Complaining does not attract good friends, it repels it.

  1. Be a Good Listener

There is a very good reason why we have two ears and one mouth. We were met to use our ears much more than our mouths. But it is totally the opposite for some of us. We like to talk and others will listen whether they want to or not. To begin to change that, we need to practice James 1:19: “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” We will find it very hard to get to know people if we are always running our mouths. We may keep the avalanche coming because we don’t know what to say. In that case, we need to learn the skill of asking revealing questions. “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out” Proverbs 20:5). Asking good questions will help us to understand others better and put them first during conversations.

  1. Be Accepting

Many of have this deep desperation to change people to our liking. The only problem with that is that –that is not our responsibility and frankly we do not have that power. We must learn to accept people just the way they are. The apostle Paul in Romans 15:7 admonishes us to “Accept one another…just as Christ accepted you.” We are all broken and in much need of love. Let’s not ask people for things that they cannot give us. Let’s not sacrifice ourselves to mold them in way that they do not want to be molded. We will find ourselves exhausted beyond measure and disappointed in the results.

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Direction

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Direction is simply the way one chooses to go.

The way that is familiar, comfortable, and full of events–

the ones we keep creating over and over again

the ones we adamantly convince ourselves

that are not in our control.

Direction is simply the choices we make daily.

The choices that seem so trivial and unimportant–

the ones we count as nothingness, emptiness, and worthlessness

the ones we dismiss as insignificant

but extraordinary enough to create our futures.

Direction is fluid, dynamic, and evolving–

where we have the power to change our minds, responses, and actions.

It is the everyday opportunity to create a new you

capable of touching lives, making a difference,

and changing the world.