Category: Inspirational/Motivational


Sunday Inspiration: How to Discover Your Assignment and Purpose

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!

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:6-8

If you look hard enough, you will find that there are clues to your assignment everywhere.

Finding your assignment in the kingdom is critical.

You are treasured. You are valued.

If it was true for Jeremiah, it’s true for you. Before you were in your mother ‘s womb, He knew you, called you to an assignment, had a plan and a purpose for your life.

We all become pretty good at believing in other people’s call and other people’s assignments and other people’s potential, but we don’t see it in our self. We call it humility, when, in reality, it’s the spirit of intimidation and fear that causes us to feel unimportant.

In God’s eyes, you are treasured and valued. He knew you before you were in your mother’s womb.

The first step in finding your assignment is understanding God can talk to you.

We need to know that God is still speaking today, and He is still calling people to be a part of His kingdom purpose. He speaks through church services, through  preachers,  He will speak through  circumstances, and through other people. And He always speaks through His Word.

You’ve got to learn to listen and hear God’s voice. That’s how He puts dreams in you! He will speak to you.

I get amused hearing people say, ”I’m going to take a course on how to hear God’s voice.” When I call my mother and hear her voice on the other line, I know it’s her. I don’t have to take a course on recognizing her voice.

When you know God, you know His voice. It’s that simple-and it is important.

You get to know Him by spending time with Him and listening. The more you listen, the easier it will be to recognize His voice.

Jeremiah begins chapter one saying, “The word of the Lord came to me saying … ” The Word spoke to Jeremiah, and The Word is still speaking today.

Listen for Him. He knows how to talk to you.

A true assignment from God will showcase your inferiority and your limitation. It will be bigger than you are and make you feel incapable of achieving it.

Don’t focus on your weakness; God gets glory out of what happens in spite of your weaknesses. God said, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

You’re not here by accident. You were created for purpose and for His glory.

Start believing your assignment is so much less about your ability and so much more about your availability.

It’s not your responsibility … it’s your response to His ability.

Think About It

  1. Rate your confidence level in knowing your calling in Christ on a scale between 1 and 10, with 10 being “I know exactly what I am supposed to do” and 1 being “I have never thought about having a calling.”
  2. Rate your ability to hear God’s voice on a scale between 1 and 10, with 10 being “loud and clear” and 1 being “never ever.”
  3. Based on today’s study, what can you do to move those numbers closer to a 10?

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/fasting-day-18

Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Lose Your Passion

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!

“He never lost sight of where he was headed.” Heb 12:2 TM

Concerning Jesus, the Bible says: “Because he never lost sight of where he was headed…he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever…When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again” (vv. 2-3 TM).

It’s your vision that fuels your passion.

Ever notice how God often transforms the worst of sinners into His greatest servants? That’s because they’re passionate, and once that passion is harnessed and redirected they become effective in His kingdom.

Now you understand why the Enemy has tried so hard to destroy you. He knows once you line up your passion with God’s plan, there will be no stopping you.

Passion is spiritual energy; without it you’re as limp as a wet noodle and as bland as hospital food.

So instead of trying to stifle your passion, let God redirect it.

Jesus told the end-age church, “You are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!” (Rev 3:15 NLT). Who is He speaking to? Professing Christians who live, marry, have children, buy cars, accumulate stocks, and do all the things their modern-day counterparts do, but without passion. They were simply going through the motions!

The Bible says, “Taste and see” (Ps 34:8); in other words, step up to the plate and swing the bat! So what if you miss? The fact is you’ll miss for sure if you don’t swing!

Your instinct for self-preservation can rob you of the only chance you may ever get at life.

So if you’re down today, get back up. If you failed, try again. Ask God to rekindle the fires of passion within you.

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/dont-lose-your-passion

Sunday Inspiration: You Must Know Your Life’s Purpose

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!

“For we are…created…for good works.”Eph 2:10 NKJV

The Bible says God “creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (The Message).

Before you decide on a career or what you’ll devote your life to, seek God for guidance. Nothing can take the place of knowing His will. If you don’t know it, you’re likely to spend your life doing the wrong things.

And even if you’re well-paid, you’ll experience an emptiness and lack of fulfillment within.

Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, a Nazi death camp survivor, said: “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life…a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced…everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity.”

God created you for a specific purpose. Your responsibility (and your joy) is to identify it.

Here are four questions to ask yourself when it comes to identifying your life’s purpose: 

(1) What am I searching for? All of us have a strong desire in our hearts; something that speaks to our deepest thoughts, longings, and feelings; something that sets our souls on fire. 

(2) Why was I created? Think about your unique mix of abilities, the relationships and resources available to you, your personal history, and the opportunities around you. These are all directional signposts.

(3) Do I believe in my potential? One leadership expert says, “No one can consistently act in a manner that is inconsistent with the way he or she sees themselves.” 

(4) When should I start? The answer to that question is “Now!” 

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/you-must-know-your-lifes-purpose

You Don’t Have To Be a Slave To a Paycheck

You may remember reading about my client Robert in my post entitled “How to Know If You’re In the Wrong Job”. Robert is the one who has talents and passions in both illustration and foreign languages.

But instead he had a job he dreaded going to every day.

When you first heard about Robert, he was just starting to turn his passion for illustration into a side hustle with the hopes of eventually leaving his job pursuing it full-time.

Over the weekend I received this update from Robert. It truly is inspiring, and can show how applying paNASH’s coaching techniques can be life-changing!


A Drastic Career Change

Hi Lori,

I hope things have been going well for you. I’ve finally had some drastic changes in my career take place recently I wanted to update you on.

A couple of years ago I found out there was an instructor at Lipscomb University who used to be one of the top tier animators for Disney feature films for 15 years. He animated moves like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.

Once he left Disney, he moved here to the Nashville area. Then, Lipscomb University recruited him to teach and develop an animation program.

I had heard about him and for a long time I’d always wanted to get in touch with him. He’s a real celebrity in the animation world and has numerous connections in the industry.

I thought it would be so cool to connect with a guy like him and to learn from him. It had been bugging me for two years that a resource like him lived just 20 miles away and I’d done nothing to try to make that connection.

So, in March, I finally got up the nerve to reach out to him.

I sent him an email explaining my passion for character design and told him how I’m trying to transition into the industry. I asked him if he was open for a discussion and he agreed to meet with me.

It turns out he’s a very kind, generous person willing to help aspiring artists as best he can.

I asked him if it would be possible to audit just one of his classes at Lipscomb. He said yes and after coordinating it with Lipscomb’s admission’s office, I registered for his character design class that would begin in August.

The Inevitable Obstacle

I was so excited!

However, there was one huge problem.

The class was held mid-day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This of course conflicted with my work hours at my job in Hendersonville.

I would have to be away from the office a few hours three days a week, just to take a class that has nothing to do with my job. I knew my company would never approve such a request for that much time away from the office.

So, my wife and I started praying about what to do.

Having a mentor is absolutely essential for an artist to fully reach his potential. I’d already been praying for two years for such a mentor who could help me grow as an artist.

It looked like God was providing an answer and an opportunity for me to learn from the best of the best, but there was the obstacle of my job. Lots of prayer and discernment ensued.

A Fork in the Road

By July God was still putting it on my heart to not let this opportunity slip by.

At this point I decided to sit down with my boss and explain my situation to see if there was anything that could be worked out with my company.

My boss is a very understanding guy and he knows art is my passion, so I knew he would get how big of an opportunity this was for me.

I asked him about the possibility of working remotely on the days I had class. I’d read the book The 4-Hour Workweek you suggested to me when I was asking you about how to pitch working remotely to my company, so I was using what I learned because it was my only chance of keeping my job and taking the class.

When I pitched my idea to my boss, he was supportive, but HR was not.

This didn’t surprise me.

It seemed clear at this point I wouldn’t be able to keep my job and take the class. I was at a fork in the road. I was going to have to choose between my job and my dream.

And I was going to have to make a decision soon because the class was starting in a few weeks.

A Paycheck Isn’t Worth the Unhappiness

My wife and I continued to pray and we talked about it until we were blue in the face.

Through all this prayer and discernment, I realized the only thing keeping me at my job was money. Everything else about my job was not worth staying on for.

I realized it was a dead-end job because if I stayed, I’d be stuck doing the exact same thing ten years from now.

Literally I was showing up every day just for a paycheck.

The most interesting thing I realized though was the paycheck wasn’t as important as I originally thought.

Yes, everyone needs money. But being constantly unhappy was not worth the money.

My wife and I discussed our finances and figured out with her income and our combined savings, we’d be fine for at least a year. She gave me her blessing and support.

She’s the most loving and supportive woman I could’ve possibly found in this world. She told me if God was calling me to pursue my talent in art and we had enough money to make due, to go ahead and leave my job for my passion.

So I gave my boss two weeks notice.

My last day of work was August 17th and my first day of class was August 20th.

It’s a Faith Journey

Now, I’m free of my soul-sucking job and I’m finally getting to do what I’ve been dreaming of for years! (In fact, I’m writing this email from a computer on Lipscomb’s campus!)

My plan is to spend the semester taking the class and practice my skills to get them to a professional level while also building my relationship with the instructor.

Then, when the semester ends in December, I’ll assess my next steps.

The instructor is known for helping connect his students with other people in the industry. I’m hoping he’ll do the same for me even though I’m only auditing his class.

Since starting the class a few weeks ago, I’ve been making the experience my new full-time job.

I arrive on campus every morning at 7:00am, whether I have class that day or not, and I stay until 4:00pm. I spend my time honing my craft, taking the class, networking with other artists, and building a professional relationship with my instructor.

It’s been great but it’s also been a challenge spiritually and emotionally.

The devil is trying to break me down every day by telling me I’m wasting my time, I’m a selfish, irresponsible husband and it’s ridiculous for me to chase my passion while my wife works.

I expected this to happen because I knew the devil would do this.

And most days it’s hard not to let it get to me. But that’s what comes with the territory of a faith journey.

And this is definitely a faith journey.

No Longer a Slave to a Paycheck

Now that I’ve settled into my new schedule, I’m going to start advertising around campus my Spanish tutoring skills. I think it would be a confidence boost to earn at least a little money while also helping others.

I find I work best when I move between two different things rather than focusing on just one thing.

This will allow me to make my own schedule and charge what I’m worth instead of working part-time waiting tables.

I’m also going to start using the Passion Planner you gave me at paNASH’s client mixer to better structure my day and maximize my time.

For so long my job was holding me back and I was just a slave to a paycheck.

Now I’m finally doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m not doing it full-time YET, but I am still receiving commissions for my artwork as a side hustle which is helping fund my dream while I learn from the best.

Thank You!

I write all this to say your help is partly what enabled me to arrive at this major career decision to pursue my passion.

The skills you’ve taught me, the encouragement you’ve given me, and the resources you’ve connected me with have all played a huge role in getting me to this point.

And you don’t know this, but your blog posts have really been an inspiration to me as well.

Specifically, the one entitled “When Is the Right Time to Leave Your Job?” was published the exact same day I had to make my final decision about quitting my job, and it helped me know for sure I was doing the right thing.

And the one you wrote the following week about the ropes course also reassured me I’d done the right thing.

Those two posts were divinely orchestrated at just the right time for me.

I really wanted to thank you for the help you’ve given me and especially for being available on occasion even after our coaching sessions were over.

I wanted to share all this with you so you could see the fruit of your diligent work with me.

Thank you!

Robert

Robert’s Art

Reading Robert’s email made my whole week!

He’s such a talented and gifted artist, and I believe in him so much last fall I commissioned him to do a drawing of me as my childhood hero, Wonder Woman. (I’d always wanted to be Wonder Woman when I grew up!).

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Illustration by Robert Hughes

And he’s also taking commissions from anyone else who’d like something similar.

In fact, he’s currently taking pre-orders for personalized holiday cards in which he’ll do cartoon characterizations of your family members! (See samples below.)

To submit your own pre-order, email Robert at rchughes2@gmail.com.

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Illustrations by Robert Hughes

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How to Have a Good Life: Do These 7 Small Things

What does it take to have a good life?

As a career coach to those currently going through career and life transitions, I often have clients coming to me because they’ve realized their jobs are eating away at their personal lives.

They feel like they’re life is no longer good because they’ve lost their passion or can’t enjoy their passions due to the rat race.

When this happens, I guide them through several exercises to help them get unstuck so they can either move forward or move on to something new.

These exercises include the following seven small things you can do to help you have a good life.

And who knows? Maybe one or more of these exercises will help you discover a new purpose for your life and career!


1. Know What Energizes You and What Drains You

Pay attention to the daily things that energize you and the daily things that drain you. Be aware of what gives you peace and what stresses you out every day.

Incorporate more of the energizing and peaceful things into each day, while reducing the number of draining and stressful things.

Don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries to accomplish this if you have to.

One very simple thing I do is I don’t take phone calls from people I know who will drain my energy unless I have enough energy to give them. I usually wait and call them back when I have the energy to do so, but within a reasonable amount of time (within 24 to 48 hours).


2. De-clutter

De-clutter and get organized!

Get rid of clothes you no longer wear. Get rid of devices you don’t use.

Straighten up your surroundings. Make your bed everyday.

Organize your schedule a few days ahead of time.

Having things neat and organized creates a sense of serenity.

A few years ago I reduced my closet down to a capsule wardrobe (about only 30 garments). I got rid of 2/3 of my closet.

Since doing this, I don’t have as much trouble deciding what to wear each day, and therefore I don’t get frustrated and don’t waste time trying on several different outfits.

This also makes me less moody in the mornings and I get out the door on time.


3. Treat Yourself

Treat yourself every once in a while.

If you’re the type of person who never puts yourself first, you need this!

One of my favorite ways to treat myself is going out to eat with a friend.

Another way I treat myself is making time in the middle of the week for my favorite hobby, stand-up paddle boarding.


4. Become Uncomfortable

On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who goes overboard treating yourself, find a way to become uncomfortable. This will challenge you and build your character.

Step out of your comfort zone by taking a class to learn a new language, or volunteer in a setting that makes you nervous. Do something that seems scary, like speaking in front of a group.

Maintain a balance by rewarding yourself only after you’ve done something productive or something where you’ve served others.

My personal goals each year are to learn something new, serve others, and share my knowledge.

While I was able to do all of the above in one week while on my mission trip to the Amazon jungle, I’ve found it easier and more manageable to spread these things out over the course of a year instead!


5. Ask, Listen, & Apply

Ask about and learn from other people’s stories.

Listen to them.

Find out how they got to where they are.

What have been their biggest regrets thus far?

What did they learn from both their failures and their successes?

Apply what you learn from them to your life in your own unique way.

I love having one-on-one conversations like this with people from different backgrounds.


6. Break Out of Your Everyday Surroundings

Break out from your everyday surroundings once in a while.

Take a drive to a nearby town and be a tourist there for the day. Or go visit an attraction in your own town you’ve never been to.

Every year I drive two short hours away to spend a weekend at a monastery where there is complete silence.

They have accommodations and a cafeteria for people to come there for a silent retreat, and it only costs the amount I’m led to give as an offering.

It’s one of the most peaceful weekends of my year.


7. Reflect

Take time to reflect on what you’re truly passionate about (note: this requires some peace and quiet!).

What are the things you lose track of time doing?

What are things you’d do without getting paid?

Incorporate these things into your life as recreation or find a way to make money doing them.

My own passions include helping others pursue their passions, writing, and stand up paddling. I’ve found a way to incorporate all three into my work as a career coach.


How to Get Started on Having a Good Life

If all these ideas sound a bit overwhelming, just choose one or two to try for right now. Give them a long enough chance for them to become habits. Once they do, then try a couple more.

You can also get started by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. Following the steps in this plan will help you not just set goals, but also achieve them!

Before you know it, you’ll see a major impact on your life. You’ll have more joy, peace, and positivity. You’ll have a good life!

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