Love

Love is one of the most desirable things in life, the most natural and readily available. Everyone wants love, but many don’t know how to give it.

To love others, you must first love yourself. Not loving yourself makes it difficult for others to love you.

Our ability to love is often shaped by our experience of love and dictates how we live.

Many people have learned how to pretend to love – how to speak kindly, avoid hurting feelings, and appear to take an interest.

Authentic love not only requires our concentration and effort, it demands our time and personal involvement.

Breaking Through Barriers

Our society offers many barriers that divide: race, religion, education, gender, and wealth, to name a few. These are personal obstructions that hinder our growth and block us from each other. Until you care enough to confront and resolve these underlying barriers, you become less effective in fulfilling your purpose.

The strength of what we believe is measured by how much we are willing to sacrifice for those beliefs. We can’t control what others say or do, but we can control our response to it. Some people thrive off of discrediting others. You are the only one that can define who you are despite what others say or seek to influence. When you come to this realization, your life takes on new meaning.

We must resist the tendency to think about the limitations our environment creates for us and find ways to counter it. When we believe in ourselves, there is little that we cannot accomplish.

Envisioning what we want, setting goals to bring that vision to fruition, and watching how it unfolds inspires us to keep moving forward in our quest.

Ignorance is No Excuse

Where there is ignorance, society does not advance. We are living in a state of confusion and mixed messages. Yet, there is a wealth of information at our fingertips.

Ignorance is no longer a plausible explanation. If we expect certain behaviors to change, we must first understand what reinforces it and do something about it instead of making excuses for why it exists.

We are all accountable for our actions and have been equipped with the manual of life to teach us morality. Anything outside of that becomes free will.

It only takes one person to create a domino effect of change, so take a stance and speak up. Allowing others to force you into a position of ignorance only perpetuates the problem.

Never stop the pursuit of seeking knowledge because every time you find it, wisdom will grow.

Behind the Name

At the beginning of time, names established genealogy and also signified a person’s character, authority, and worth. Fast forward to the twenty-first century, and you come across names given because they sound interesting.

The name given to one can affect the perception of oneself and can become a hindrance throughout one’s life – whether being teased by peers or overlooked for various types of employment.

A name has more power than we may realize. Why do you think those in the entertainment industry tend to use catchy or more appealing names?

Names are also important in business. An unfavorable business name can risk potential customers. How comfortable would you be purchasing a car from Lemon’s Automotive or home from Shack Realty?

Creating a name takes careful thought and should not have implied meanings such as Anthrax, Pistol, Stud, Cowboy, Zero, etc.

While a name doesn’t necessarily represent a person’s character or business performance, it gives you cause to wonder.

Do Your Best

You don’t need a prestigious title to perform a significant role in life.

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Much of the necessary labor for any organization may be considered grunt work by many. But such work is vital for the business to run smoothly.

Engineers and millionaires may design and finance a magnificent building, but it is the bricklayers who get the work done.

We are not all designed to be the “stars” of today. Some of us are the supporting cast. There would be no star without the supporting cast, so don’t be misled into thinking your purpose is not as important.

Taking the Easy Way Out

Some people drift through life only concerned with making the easy choice rather than making the right choice. Yet, the right choice is often evident. 

Opting for the path of least resistance may not be the best way of reaching your goals. Taking the easy way out often makes life more difficult and delays the growth process. 

It’s better to go through a process than to deal with all the shortcuts life has to offer, such as: Being Underhanded, Getting Over, Going Around It, Side Stepping a Process, etc. Imagine if your banker took these shortcuts with your bank account or your doctor with your operation.

If you have a choice between doing something the hard way or the easy way, and it results in the same outcome, work smarter, not harder. 

However, if the shortcuts you take consistently produce negative results, you may want to reconsider your method of execution.

Be Yourself

Being ourselves no longer seems to be original, so we do everything we can to shield the true essence of who we are.

Modern science has provided us the ability to change our external appearance through cosmetic surgery, steroids, etc. Unfortunately, the side effects of these advancements can cause more harm than good, and it doesn’t change who you are internally.

The spirit of self always prevails over camouflages of self. Sometimes we don’t allow people to get to know us completely because we’re afraid they’ll discover something they won’t like. Your true self eventually surfaces – discarding any mask you attempt to hide behind.

Be secure in who you are, and you will attract people who appreciate what you represent.

Periods of Uncertainty

Periods of uncertainty often reflect an urging to progress in some area of your life. Whenever you feel strongly about something, you’re on your way to manifesting the improvements your uncertainty is pleading you to make. By understanding what frustrates you, you’ll better understand what fulfills you.

Change is a contributing factor to experiencing periods of uncertainty. Since there is no timeline as to when you should have everything in life figured out, don’t get discouraged in believing your situation will remain unchanged. You need these transitional periods to reflect and put a new plan of action together.

Whenever you are at a crossroads, take inventory of your resources. You become far more effective by analyzing what’s available to you than plunging into the unknown. Uncertainty is priming you to create new and meaningful value in your life.

Growing Up Too Fast

Our social climate has changed tremendously over the years. No longer are the days of imaginative play or community discipline. Children are physically developing faster and 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 presented 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. Stumbling blocks may be encountered, but keeping an open line of communication will allow you to steer your child down the appropriate path when necessary.

Death is Inevitable

Our time on Earth has a 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 here.

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 every one 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.

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, and money at your disposal. These are only temporal measures. The essence of success is completing whatever it is that you set out to do.

Observing spiritual principles and maintaining personal integrity may not be considered a 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 describes the small world phenomenon. The idea is that we are an average of six people away from each person we would like to meet. That means everyone you encounter has the potential to be the gateway to someone else that aids 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 the first encounter. But, you never know what kind of challenges or opportunities may be presented to you in life, that people you have encountered will play an instrumental role.

Many of life’s advancements involve people you know. When you connect with the right people, it will be easier to get to the places you are trying to go.

Naysayers

In your quest to accomplish significant goals, there will be people who 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 whatever you set out to do. 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 requires an open mindset. Our thought process is directly related to how we feel and influences how we act. We cannot maintain the same thought process and expect a different outcome.

We make a mess of our lives when we refuse to change the things we can or pretend to change without meaning.

Being resistant to change is a natural reaction. We even find ourselves cringing when we hear the word change. Change is not a bad omen or meant to be feared. It is through change that you grow and move forward.

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

We spend a lot of time and money augmenting our physical appearance. While there is nothing inherently wrong with taking care of our bodies and projecting an image that is pleasing to us, 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 radiate far beyond physical appearance alone.

We are quick to 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. Remember, physical characteristics change over time regardless of the cosmetic enhancements you make.

Take a Good Look in the Mirror

The most significant 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 with people that confirm what you believe to be your self-identity.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone helps shatter the assumptions you have made of yourself and reveal areas of improvement.

Know Who Your Friends Are

In our fast-paced world, friends come and go, and circumstances change. Each can have a place in our lives in different ways. The friend you party with may not be the one you care to tell your deepest secrets.

Friendship is one of those areas full of hidden assumptions and unspoken rules. We only discover the value of our relationships when those assumptions clash.

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 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 mindful 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 to those with prepared hearts. Many people miss this guidance when they close their minds off to new options. It is paramount to broaden your perspective to become more perceptive of the signs introduced in your life.

The signs come in many forms, but their purpose is the same – to give you understanding, to caution you, and to prepare you for the journey ahead. How you respond to signs presented 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 to your desire.

Life Is Not Easy

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 we didn’t experience any challenges in life, it would create more harm than good. How else would we learn about work ethic and respect for what we have? 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

There are many 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 person may not necessarily work for you. A new outfit, cosmetic surgery, or tangible item 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 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 undergo. 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 dealt with, 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 many cultures and the messenger of your goodwill.

Someone once said that the world is a looking glass and gives back to
every man the reflection of his face. If this is true, a smile given is a smile received.

Smiling is a critical factor in our lives and is often the most overlooked. While it costs nothing to smile, its value is priceless and produces significant 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, visit a Chick-fil-A drive-thru. Even if you are unable to see the greeter’s facial expression, you can hear the smile in their voice – which makes it a more pleasurable experience.

Giving Someone a Choice

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As human beings, we have the right to choose. Unfortunately, some people take away this right for selfish reasons or cultural beliefs. An extreme example is slavery and forced marriages. More common abuses are lying and cheating.

Imagine meeting someone new and taking a personal interest in them. During preliminary conversations, this person does not reveal that they are in a committed relationship. As time goes on, you develop a physical and emotional connection with this person and later discover they are actively involved in another relationship.

While it may be easy to carry out our lives in an oblivious manner, others should not suffer from selfish choices made on their behalf and without their input. Honesty gives others freedom of choice.

Welcome

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Welcome to the Journey of Life’s Lessons. We all have a journey before us. It is up to you to decide which path to take.

You can either follow the roadmap 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 new destinations. Whatever road you take, they are all on the way to 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 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 seek to understand the journey. Remember to reflect on how far you have come versus how far you have to go and live out your purpose each day.

The goal of this blog is to evoke thought and raise questions. Please check back frequently for new entries.