Growing Up Too Fast

Our social climate has changed tremendously over the years. No longer are the days of imaginative play, reading for pleasure, or community discipline. Children are physically developing faster and are being exposed to more confusing messages than ever before. There is a certain amount of excitement that comes with being young, but this excitement can become a hindrance if focused only on passing pleasures.

With the overwhelming influences of today’s society, we must take extra care to teach our children to relish in their childhood. Once they are faced with adult responsibilities, they’ll be unable to go back and recapture the innocence of their youth.

Many parents want to make all the choices for their children, but this hurts them in the long run. You don’t have to monitor every step they take once you’ve taught them right from wrong. This is not to say that stumbling blocks will not be encountered, but keeping an open line of communication will give you an opportunity to steer your child down the appropriate path when necessary.

Death is Inevitable

Our time on Earth has tremendous purpose for it determines how we’ll respond to our Creator’s call. Death is an essential component of all living things and nothing escapes it. We were born to die, and everything that happens in between these two events, helps prepare us for the fulfillment of our time on Earth.

Many people fear death because they can’t control it, nor understand it. Death casts a frightening shadow over us and renders us helpless in its presence. We may be able to endure various ailments throughout our life, but no amount of strength or courage can overcome death.

Life is short, no matter how long you may live. Power, health and wealth may make you feel as if you can live forever. But death strips everyone of all external security. If your life isn’t the way you would like it to be now, don’t assume that change will come more readily at a later date. Learning how to live, overcomes the fear of dying.

Success Isn’t Defined By Money

Society denies what it cannot measure and is often of the mindset that money is the answer to every problem, but money in a fool’s hands leads to wasteful spending and the ability to lose it at a faster rate. While money affords you certain comforts and opportunities in life, setting your sights on money alone will still leave you dissatisfied and craving something more.

Success is more than having certain powers, influential personal contacts, a relentless desire to get ahead and money at your disposal. These are only temporal measures. Success is simply completing whatever it is that you set out to do.

Observing spiritual principles and maintaining personal integrity may not be considered success by society’s standards, but it is what gives us strength when we are weak, encourages us when we stumble and rewards us when we are faithful.

Networking

Six degrees of separation has been used as a synonym to describe the small world phenomenon. The idea is that we are an average of six steps away from each person in the world. This means everyone you encounter, has the potential to be the gateway to someone or something else that aides you in your journey. Consider it as a series of networks.

Networking is a powerful way to operate and is just as much about helping others as it is about helping yourself. Many people think they can judge someone’s usefulness upon first encounter, but the world is filled with uncertainties. You never know what kind of challenges or opportunities may be presented to you in life that certain people you have encountered, will play an instrumental role in propelling you forward.

Many of life’s advancements derive from a person you know or have been introduced to by someone else. When you connect with the right people, it will be less difficult to get to the places you are trying to go.


Naysayers

In your quest to accomplish great feats, there will always be those that oppose you and even hope you fail. Personal attacks hurt, especially when the criticism is unjustified, but criticism is a necessary evil, often at the forefront of those who lead.

Listen to constructive criticism, but do not spend valuable time and energy worrying about those who may oppose you. Instead, focus on those who are ready and willing to help. When you expect opposition, you will be prepared rather than surprised. 

Naysayers are good at what they do and never cease at their work. They are the motivators that indirectly encourage you to accomplish greater feats. What better way of thanking them, than by becoming better than you already are? Whatever you do, do not allow naysayers to get into your mind and create self-doubt. Continue on your pursuit, hold your head up high and keep a smile on your face. Do not get even – get better! Achievement is the ultimate revenge.


Resistance to Change

Change begins in the mind. How you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel, influences the way you act. We make a mess of our lives when we refuse to change the things we can or pretend to change without meaning. Change is a continuous process and happens all around us. It is through change that you grow and move forward.

Being resistant to change is a natural reaction. We even find ourselves cringing when the word change is presented. Change is not a bad omen or meant to be feared. Yet, we cannot maintain the same thought process and expect a different outcome. Instead of asking others to change, identify areas where you may need improvement. A changed life speaks volumes and is often the most effective way to influence others. 

Physical Appearance

Physical appearance is important and we spend a lot of time and money improving it. While there is nothing inherently wrong with taking care of our bodies and projecting a certain image, we must also invest in developing our inner beauty. Internal beauty treatments such as love, gratitude, patience and respect don’t have a monetary value, but radiates far beyond physical appearance alone.

We are quick to try and emulate those possessing physical beauty, wealth and strength, but what a person possesses internally will eventually be revealed externally. A physically attractive person on the outside, can be decaying on the inside. A rich person without morals can be spiritually poor and a strong man without faith can be mentally weak.

Consider the life of the visually impaired. Outside of external input, they are often attracted to others by their voice or personality. They don’t have the luxury of assessing someone’s physical appearance as a first criterion. Just remember, physical characteristics change over time no matter how many cosmetic enhancements you make.

Take a Good Look in the Mirror

The greatest judgment you make each day starts with looking in the mirror. Its reflection does not lie and breaking the mirror does not change who you are. We spend countless hours maintaining our outward appearance when we should be doing more to develop our inner character.

We all have a mental picture of who we think we are. Naturally, there is a part of us that would like to believe we are smarter, more attractive, giving and morally better than those around us, but these self beliefs can often expose us to weaknesses in other areas. When we become confused about our self-identity, we open the door for problems to enter.

Until you understand who you are, you will not understand where you belong. You also become stagnant in your growth when you surround yourself by people that confirm what you believe to be your self-identity. Stepping outside of your comfort zone will shatter the assumptions you have made of yourself and reveal areas of improvement.  By developing the virtue of introspection, you will see your true self in the mirror of your heart. 

Know Who Your Friends Are

In our fast paced world, friends come and go and circumstances change. Each can have a placement in our lives, but in different ways. The friend you hang out with, may not be the one you care to share your deepest secrets with. Friendship is one of those areas full of hidden assumptions and unspoken rules. We only discover the true value of our friendship when those assumptions clash.

The greatest evidence of genuine friendship is loyalty and trust. Real friends give to and receive from each other; fair-weather friends do not know the meaning of reciprocity. They take all we have to give, but we never see a return on our investment. We all need friends who stick close, listen, care and offer help when needed, in good times and bad.

Our friends can have a profound influence on us, often in subtle ways. Be cognizant of whom you choose as your closest friends because you will surely grow to resemble each other.

Pay Attention to the Signs

Divine guidance comes only to prepared hearts. People who are locked into one way of thinking are likely to miss this guidance because they have closed their minds to any new options. It is important to enlarge your vision and broaden your perspective. Growing in your vision, helps you become more perceptive of the signs introduced in your life. The signs come in many forms, but its purpose is the same; to give you understanding, to caution you and to prepare you for the journey ahead. 

Many people live in the world they are presented with and do not take the time to question what they see. If they happen to question something on a grander scale, they simply accept what they are told. 

How you respond to signs presented to you, is usually determined by the situation and source. Be careful when searching for signs because you become more susceptible to being deceived, by discrediting anything that is in opposition of your desire. 

Life Is Not Easy

Life’s trials can be the means for development and refinement. The tendency is to want to give up when the going gets tough, but those who really know how to enjoy life, view each day as a gift.

We are going to face many challenges throughout our lifetime. It is how you handle those challenges that set you apart from the rest. Challenges help develop our character and sensitize us to others going through similar experiences.

If everything was given to us with ease it would create more harm than good. How else would we learn about work ethic, respect for what we have, and why we have made certain choices in our lives? Our experiences and hardships are sometimes overwhelming, but its purpose is to bring about unconditional growth in us.

As you take a hard look at your life, you must be prepared to feel more, think more, question more, hurt more and do more to fulfill your life’s purpose and find peace within.


Love Yourself

We are constantly bombarded with images of how we should look, what we should consume, what material items we should possess and the list goes on. This false sense of identity keeps us chasing things that may not be in our best interest and does not define who we are within.

How you see yourself is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We all have something in us that makes us unique. Take the time to discover who you are. What works for one, may not necessarily work for you.  A new outfit, cosmetic surgery or tangible toy does not make you any different internally.  You will still have the same insecurities with these items as you did without them if you are not secure within yourself.

Loving yourself begins with making a conscious decision to be happy with who you are and what you have been blessed with, and channeling that energy to lead a more fulfilling life.  The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

People Go As Far As You Let Them

Sometimes when you are not in tune with what you desire out of life, you may find yourself susceptible to situations or people that are unbecoming of you. What you often experience in life is a result of what you choose to experience. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must remain steadfast in what you will and will not tolerate.

Many people you interact with are a manifestation of what your mind believes you need.  Regardless of the type of relationships created, they are as they are because you are supporting the continuation of such. There are times when serious issues must be confronted, even if the process and consequences could be painful.  Don’t let an attractive proposal or individual seduce you into lowering your moral principles as a condition of their friendship, companionship, or employment.

Smile

Our days may be stressful and complicated at times, but there is always a reason to smile.  For when you
smile, the world smiles back.  Think
about it.  A smile is the universal body language understood by every culture
globally and the messenger of your good will. 
Someone once said that the world is a looking glass and gives back to
every man the reflection of his own face. 
If this is true, a smile given is a smile received.

Smiling is an important factor in our lives and often the most overlooked. While it costs nothing to smile, its value is priceless and produces great returns.  Smiling is also an inexpensive way of improving your physical appearance, helping you reduce stress, elevating your mood and building self-esteem.  

A smile can be reflected in your eyes and projected in your voice.  For example, while I am not a big fan of fast food restaurants, I can say without fail, that every time I frequent a Chick-fil-A drive-thru, I am greeted by a happy voice that finds pleasure in serving me.  Even though I am unable to see the greeter’s facial expression, the voice is pleasant enough to make the menu pricing palatable.  The power of a smile should never be underestimated; its contagious effect creates a chain reaction that is immeasurable.

Giving Someone a Choice

Since the creation of mankind, life has been derived upon
choice.  Unfortunately, some take away
our right to choose for their own selfish reasons or cultural beliefs.  Forced marriages and slavery are extreme
examples of people being deprived of personal choice.  Lying and cheating are more common abuses of
today’s society.

Consider the idea of meeting someone new and taking a
personal interest in them.  During
preliminary conversations, no disclosure has been given about the person’s commitment
to another.  As time goes on, you develop
a physical and emotional connection with this person to later discover they are
connected to someone else in a similar or greater capacity.  The odds are, you probably found out about
this other connection in an unexpected way and are now faced with the painful
consequences of not having been provided a choice in the matter.

While it may be easy to carry out our lives in an oblivious manner,
others should not be penalized by selfish choices made on their behalf and
without their input.  When you are honest
with people upfront, you give them the opportunity to choose what they are
willing to engage in.

Welcome


Welcome to the Journey of Life’s Lessons. We all have a
journey before us and it is up to you to decide which path to take.  You can either; follow the road map that
reveals the safest routes and obstacles to avoid, travel without a map and
spend additional time taking detours, or rely on your inner
guide to propel you forward to places that have yet to be ventured.  Whatever road you take, they are all on the
way of getting you to your final destination.  

As you embark on this journey, you will encounter many people.  Some will travel with you for an extended
period of time creating extra baggage. Some will need help alongside the road.  Some will bring you to a complete halt
requiring major servicing, and some will help you get closer to your
destination.  We are to trust and be
grateful for each set of circumstances we encounter along the way and
understand the journey we are in.  Remember
to reflect on how far you have come versus how far you have to go and live out
your purpose each da
y.

This blog is designed to evoke thought and raise questions.  Please check back frequently for new entries.