Category: Inspirational/Motivational


Sunday Inspiration: What You Must Overcome (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“I’m giving it everything I’ve got.” 1Co 9:27 TM

The second issue you’ll have to address is your emotions. While they can be a gauge of how you feel and a clue to what needs to be changed in your life, never let emotion alone dictate your decisions. Ask anyone who has to perform at the top of their game, and you’ll find that much of their time is spent overriding their emotions. However, listening to your emotions to get to the core of what’s bothering you can be a very revealing indicator of your condition. Consider these two statements: (1) I don’t feel like working today. Why not? Did you stay up too late last night? Perhaps you need to change your schedule. Are you eating well? Maybe you need to adjust your diet. Not motivated? Talk to God, read His Word, spend time with an encouraging friend, etc. Don’t just sit there, do something! (2) I’m a little depressed. Are you getting enough relaxation? Have you taken a vacation lately? Our moods generally swing up after exercise, so start moving and get into shape. You can’t afford to live life based on your emotions. They’ll delay you, stop you, and create detours on your journey to success. You say, “I’m waiting for inspiration!” As novelist Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” Follow Paul’s example: “I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself” (vv. 26-27 TM).

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/things-you-must-overcome-2

Practice For Your Victory (Re-post)

This week marks the beginning of the NCAA tournament and March Madness. I thought it was appropriate to re-post this from 2016. It’s not just for basketball fans, but for anyone who loves an inspiring story of perseverance and dreams that come true!

It’s that time of the year again! College basketball tournament time, AKA “March Madness.”

Anyone who knows me well knows how passionate I am about college basketball and the madness of the NCAA tournament. Originally from North Carolina, college basketball and March Madness is in my blood.

My dad made it clear to me at a very young age that our household pulls for Carolina. When I was little, he bought me a UNC blue and white basketball and taught me how to play HORSE using our neighbor’s basketball goal. I’ve been a Tar Heel fan ever since.

When I was 8 years old, I remember rooting for the ’82 Carolina team in the NCAA championship game against Georgetown. That team included the great Michael Jordan. I was allowed to stay up late to watch Carolina beat Georgetown and be crowned the national champions.

A year later, I got to stay up late again to watch NC State (one of Carolina’s conference rivals) play in the ’83 championship game. That night, there was a bit of a shift in our household.

Doing the unthinkable, accomplishing the impossible

While we had always pulled for Carolina, my mother loved the coaching style of NC State’s Jim Valvano. She loved his enthusiasm and excitement. She loved how he wasn’t afraid to show emotion, unlike the even-keeled (which she called “boring”) coaches Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.

Jimmy V’s enthusiasm and determination led an unlikely team to a national championship. The team was off to a bad start in the regular season, losing a total of 10 games. The only way they could even get to the NCAA tournament was to win the conference tournament, which seemed nearly impossible with their record.

Practice your victory

But Jimmy V was a big dreamer and a big believer in his dreams. He would schedule a practice every so often where his team would leave the basketballs on the ball rack, and instead grab a pair of scissors and practice cutting down the nets.

(For those of you who don’t know much about basketball, cutting down the nets is a celebratory ritual the winning team does when they’ve won a championship title.)

As the season went on, the NC State Wolfpack started improving their game, and were able to get past the previous year’s national champions, the UNC Tar Heels, to win the ACC tournament and make it to the national NCAA tournament. They got their first chance to cut down the nets!

Never give up

However, when they got to the national tournament, they weren’t expected to make it past the first round because they were the “Cinderella” team. They were one of the lowest-seeded teams in the tournament. One loss and they would be out. And they were up against some big giants.

But Jimmy V never gave up hope his team could win the whole thing. And guess what? They did! No other team has gone from such a low ranking to becoming the champions. Never before, and never since. NC State was such an underdog team. But they had so much heart, so much emotion, and so much enthusiasm.

On the night of the championship game, our household became Wolfpack fans. Everybody in North Carolina was so excited to see history being made, it didn’t matter if you were also a Duke or Carolina fan. That night, if you were a North Carolinian, you were an NC State fan.

I’ll never forget those last nail-biting seconds of the final game. When the winning basket was made, I remember my dad jumping out of his chair and raising his hands to the ceiling. I’ve never seen him look so tall!

I also remember seeing the now-famous scene of Jimmy V running around the court with unbridled emotion and excitement. And the Wolfpack got to do what they had practiced. They cut down those nets!

 
NCAA Tournament
Image courtesy of Unsplash

 

An inspiring example

This past weekend, my dad was visiting me from North Carolina and together we watched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary of Jimmy V and his team accomplishing the impossible. I’ve personally seen the Survive and Advance documentary several times, and I always smile at Jimmy V’s passion for life and his love for his players, and I always cry when it shows his inspiring “Never Give Up” ESPY speech.

It was in this documentary where I first learned of the team practicing cutting down the nets. It was also in this documentary I first learned from the interview with Jimmy’s wife how he kept note cards of his goals in the inner pockets of his sports jackets. One said, “Win a national championship,” and one said, “Beat cancer.”

We know Jimmy V accomplished the first goal. And while we all know he didn’t beat his own personal battle with cancer, he is accomplishing his second goal through his Jimmy V Foundation he set up from his hospital room to help fund research to find a cure for cancer.

Cut down your nets

I share all this to remind you that life is short. Cancer cut both Jimmy V’s life and my mother’s life short. I also share this to ask you:

Are you living a life of passion and enthusiasm?

Are you putting your goals in writing?

Are you carrying them close to your heart?

Are you practicing for your own victories?

Are you practicing what it will be like and look like when you accomplish your goals and victories?

Those are pretty inspiring and powerful practices, especially when you see such an inspiring and powerful example of how those practices work.

If you’d like to watch the story of Jim Valvano and his ’83 Wolfpack team, you can watch Survive and Advance on YouTube. Even if you’re not a sports fan, I encourage you to watch it.

Jimmy V always said every day you should do three things:

  1. Laugh.
  2. Spend time in thought.
  3. Have your emotions moved to tears.

He said:

“If you laugh, think and cry in the same day, then you’ve had one heck of a day.” (Jim Valvano)

I guarantee the documentary will make you laugh, will make you cry, and will inspire you.

And if you’d like to set big goals for your own life, goals that lead to victory, join the paNASH mailing list to receive a complimentary Goal-Achievement Plan. Your practice for victory will lead to your victory.

Title photo source: http://southerntorch.com/area-champions-crowned-sub-regionals-set/

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Sunday Inspiration: What You Must Overcome (Part 1)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Do not turn…to the right or…the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Jos 1:7 NIV

Peter McWilliams said, “To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes, may be the biggest mistake of all.” For the next few days let’s look at some things you must overcome to succeed in life. Situations. Do you feel like you’re mired in a dead-end one? Maybe you’d like to go to college but you can’t afford it. Or change jobs, but you feel trapped by your salary or the fear of forfeiting your retirement pension. Perhaps you feel trapped by a physical challenge or illness. The secret to overcoming is to divide your circumstances into situations you can change and those you can’t. Nearly everything in life can be changed, or approached in a different way. But it can’t always be done right now. Make a list of things you can change. Too many of us fail—and keep failing—because we persist in trying to change what can’t be altered. Stop banging your head against a wall, and practice realistic thinking. Understand the difference between faith and fantasy. Somebody said, “For every problem under the sun, there is a remedy or there is none. If there’s a solution go and find it, and if there isn’t, never mind it.” God has given you certain gifts. When you discover, develop, and deploy them He’ll give you success in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Ignore what you can’t change, focus on what you can, and opportunities will reveal themselves. As Hannibal said during his famous march across the Alps, “We will either find a way, or make one.” You need that spirit too!

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/things-you-must-overcome-1

Sunday Inspiration: Viewing Your Work As God’s Will (Part 3)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly blog post for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside published devotional resource (as referenced). My hope is these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our regular weekly original posts. Enjoy!

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Ps 127:1 NRS

When your skill level is high but the challenge of the task is too low, you experience boredom. When your skill level is low and the challenge of the task is too high, you experience frustration and anxiety. But when the level of the challenge matches the level of your skills—then you’re “in the flow.” We don’t work mainly for money, recognition, promotion, applause, or fame. We work for flow. We live for flow. We hunger for flow, and when it’s present, something happens in our spirit as we connect with a reality beyond ourselves and partner with God. This is why the Psalmist says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Flow is part of what we experience in that partnership, and in that, God in turn uses flow to shape us. Bezalel experienced flow when he carved wood, David when he played the harp, Samson when he used his strength, Paul when he wrote a brilliant letter, Daniel when he ran a government, and Adam when he gardened. If other people report to you, one of the great spiritual acts of service you can perform is to ask whether they’re experiencing flow in their work, and help them experience it even more. When you’re working in the flow of service to God, when you’re experiencing flow in activities that enhance and bless the lives of others—you’re working “in the Spirit.” Paul was in the flow when he described himself as “poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2Co 6:10 NIV).

Source:  https://lacykitkat.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/seeing-your-work-as-gods-will-3/

Sunday Inspiration: Viewing Your Work As God’s Will (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly blog post for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside published devotional resource (as referenced). My hope is these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our regular weekly original posts. Enjoy!

“Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Col 3:17 NIV

Research shows that the best moments of our lives don’t come from leisure or pleasure. They come when you’re immersed in a significant task that’s challenging, yet matches up well to your highest abilities. In those moments, you’re so caught up in an activity that time somehow seems to be altered; your attention is fully focused without your having to work at it. You’re deeply aware, without being self-conscious; you’re being stretched and challenged, but without a sense of stress or worry. You have a sense of engagement or oneness with what you are doing. This condition is called “flow,” because people experiencing it often use the metaphor of feeling swept up by something outside themselves. Studies have been done over the past thirty years with hundreds of thousands of subjects, to explore this phenomenon of flow. Ironically, you experience it more in your work than you do in your leisure time. In fact, your flow is at its lowest ebb when you’ve nothing to do. Sitting around doesn’t produce flow. This picture of flow is actually a description of what the exercise of dominion was intended to look like. God says in Genesis that we’re to “rule” over the earth, or exercise “dominion” (Ge 1:26, 28). We often think of these words in terms of “dominating” or “bossing around.” But the true idea behind them is that you’re to invest your abilities to create value on the earth, to plant and build and write and organize and heal and invent ways that bless people and cause God’s kingdom on earth to flourish.

Source:  https://lacykitkat.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/seeing-your-work-as-gods-will-2/