From birth we all have a desire to achieve the things we set out to accomplish. This doesn't have to be taught, it's an innate human characteristic. Have you ever watched small children trying to do something independently? They try over and over and over until finally they are able to do it with no concern for how many times they failed befored it was achieved. Somehow life experience teaches us that failure is a terrible thing and that we should avoid it at all costs. We're taught that we should feel ashamed when we fail and, after a few more unsuccessful attempts, that maybe we should just stop trying. If I surveyed a large group of people I'm certain the majority consensus would be that failure is a bad thing. However, a recent television interview gave me a new perspective on failure and I'd like to share it with you.
Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, is one of the wealthiest women in the US and was named in Time Magazine's list of the most influential people in the world. In a recent interview Blakely was asked about her opinion on failure and she shared that while growing up her father encouraged she and her brother to fail at something every day. Every night at dinner her father would ask them what they failed at during the day and he would be disappointed if they had nothing to report. To Blakely's father failing meant that they had actually tried something outside of their comfort zones and Blakely attributed much of her success to this daily habit. Ultimately the lesson learned was never to give up, to never stop trying, to be comfortable in discomfort, to step out on faith believing that you can actually achieve what you set out to achieve. Somehow Blakely's father had figured out a way to help his children sustain their innate determination so they wouldn't have to accept the world's view of failure.
If you listen to the stories of most influential people you'll see this same trend. Almost all of them were faced with some opposition that they were determined to overcome. Their desire to achieve outweighted their fear of failure to the point that, like for Blakely, failure became a positive because it meant that they actually tried. I welcome you to join me as I also transform my opinion of failure and step out to achieve my personal and professional goals.
Let your legacy be a story of perseverence, not a tale of surrender.
You have truly pushed me further than I ever imagined I could handle. I thought I had seen the worse that life had to offer me but by only the grace of God I'm still standing. Every tear, heartache, disappointment, and feeling of defeat challenged me to push a little bit further. The moments I wanted to be alone to sulk I was challenged to straighted up and act right. I was smacked in the face with the scriptures I quote, the advise that I give, the affirmations I proclaim, and my very own words to find out where my faith truly lies. For all of that I am thankful.
Thank you, 2016, for reminding me how imporant it is for me to walk what I talk. Thank you for slamming me down and forcing me to tap into the divine power placed inside of me to conquer all things that seek to conquer me. I now see better than ever that all things work together for my purpose...and I finally really believe it. On January 1st I expected you to be the best year of my life and when it all fell apart somehow you really were. You were the year that made me reevaluate everything about myself and led me to find that I am truly all that God says I am. The year that made me take hold of what was and declare over it what I am determined it will be. Never before had I been able to see the sun shine so brightly and in you I realized the only way I could see it was to be in the midst of clouds.
2016, I am grateful for everything you have brought me and look forward to the remaining days we have together. I will forever remember the things that you taught me and how you showed me that the battle is already won.
With great expectation,
It's here! Unstuck The Rut: 7 Days of Thought Transformation is my first multi-day personal development program and I am so excited to be presenting it to you today. This program is the perfect way to jump start your journey if you're just getting started and to kick it up a notch if you're already on your way. Invest in yourself and your legacy today!
Regardless of your religious beliefs it is an undeniable fact that the Bible is full of nuggets of wisdom that are applicable to everyone. One such pearl is found in Matthew 7:13-14 when Jesus encourages His followers to "Enter by the narrow gate..." which, while difficult, leads to life. Aside from spiritual connotation, this guidance is both relevant and profound for all people who seek to have an impact on the world around them and, since you are reading this, I believe you are such a person.
So what does it mean to "enter by the narrow gate"? Generally speaking, it means not to follow the crowd. It means to do what you know is right; to follow your heart and what you believe in even when it goes against the grain of everyone around you. We, as people, have a natural inclination to want to fit in. We want to feel like we are a part of something whether that's a family, a peer group, a team, etc. Our desire to feel like we belong is so strong that it can become detrimental to us. Once we feel we belong to a group we often follow the direction of that adopted group whether for the good or for the bad. This primal need is how children get caught up in gangs and eager young professionals get involved in corporate scandals, they just wanted to fit in.
This desire to follow the crowd is a subconscious, innate need. Scientific research has shown that on public transportation and on major highways the majority of passengers and cars are always in the center; the closer you get the the extremes the fewer people you find. Isn't this true of life? Start paying attention as you go about your days. When shopping in stores there's always more people in line at the center registers, always more people in the center of the crowd at concerts, the homes at the center of neighborhoods often sell more quickly. Why? Because we like to fit in and belong. There's always comfort and a sense of security in the crowd for which we yearn. We like to take the "broad gate" so we don't stand out and so everyone accepts us. But, I venture to say, that if you follow this blog you are tired of that crowd and you are ready to stand out.
Building a strong legacy requires that you think and step outside of the box. That you challenge the norm and refuse to settle for the status quo. Sure, we all leave a memory of ourselves behind that is itself our legacy but, if you're like me, we want to have an impact beyond the job you worked or the house you lived in. I want to be remembered as a person who inspired people, who motivated people, and who helped them to strive to reach their greatest potential. I want to build future leaders of the world who work not only to change their families and communities but to change the nations. If I am to achieve these goals I MUST stand out; I CANNOT fit in with the crowd. And so I challenge you today to "enter by the narrow gate" in your life so that your legacy is one of great power and profound impact. Can I count on you?
Think about the biggest thing you've been hoping and praying to have or accomplish. It could be material gain, a new job, a business contract, or some other opportunity, get it in your mind and think about why you want it. Now imagine it shows it at your door (literally or figuratively) today, would you be ready? Have you prepared yourself to care for something that you've wanted for such as long time? Could you maintain it or would it fall apart because you're not yet ready to handle the responsibility? What do you need to make it work? Do you have the resources for it to last? Have you even thought about any of these questions? If not I have to tell you, you're not ready. If you haven't contemplated and started planning to care for what you've longed for then you probably couldn't handle it if it actually happened.
We often dream of things much greater than ourselves but lack the motivation to prepare ourselves in faith that they will actually happen. We get so caught up in the idea of things that there's no effort to make them really happen. I challenge you today to prepare yourself for your dreams. To put yourself in the position to make them happen and to make them last. Educate yourself, invest in yourself, take whatever action is necessary to make your life conducive to the life you want to live and take one step at a time to actually get there. You don't want to lose what you've waited so long to have, make sure you're ready when it arrives.