Category: Inspirational/Motivational


Sunday Inspiration: 5 Steps to Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life

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!

By Neil Kennedy

It’s simple: We don’t chase after things we have no desire to obtain. Therefore, our pursuit of anything is ample proof of valid desire. But desire alone doesn’t bring success. We must have a clearly defined strategy.

Defining a successful strategy is one of the most challenging exercises a man faces. Even Jesus warned of this process in Luke 14:28-30 (NIV):

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

God leads us in steps, not by leaps. Most men want to jump into their success, yet a “leap of faith” is not a biblical concept. If we’re going to fulfill our purpose, we must take steps to do it.

Here are five important steps you can take now to fulfill your purpose.

Step 1

You must decide for yourself what is worthy of your pursuit. No one else should decide for you. You may receive counsel from others, but you should make the decision; otherwise you will be unfulfilled in your pursuit. There are countless stories of men who achieved great success yet remained unfulfilled because they were living another person’s dream.

Step 2

Go to your Source to understand your potential. God spoke to the land and said, “Produce!” He spoke to the seas and said, “Teem with creatures!” He spoke to Himself and said, “Let Us create man!” Only God has a complete understanding of why you were created and what your potential is. You may have a hint or a glimpse of this understanding, but you will never know complete fulfillment until you fully know the Source of your potential.

Step 3

Write down on paper or develop a vision board of every dream, goal or desire that is important to you. Write down anything you want to become, do or possess. This is extremely important. I’ve learned that what I have received from God requires me to write it down so I can repeat it often and closely guard the accuracy of the goal He has given me.

Step 4

Narrow your focus to the top three pursuits. After you’ve written down what you want to become, do or possess, develop actions steps you can take now to create momentum toward those things. The big vision will come from a series of small decisions.

Step 5

Be aware that God will network you with others to help you get where you are going. People are God’s hands on this earth. You may find two different types of people will come into your life—one a person you have the ability to help, the other a person who has the ability to help you. Recognizing and discerning these people is vital.

You will never achieve your purpose in life unless you become strategically motivated to pursue it. Make plans right now to get alone with God, pursue Him and listen for His affirming voice to clearly define your purpose, write it down, develop action steps and get moving.

Source: https://www.charismamag.com/life/men/17497-5-important-steps-to-fulfill-your-purpose

How to Be More Joyful in Your Work

You may be one of those lucky people who has a job that brings tremendous joy in your life. Most likely you’re one of many struggling to find joy in your work.

While you may be temporarily stuck in what feels like a dead-end situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your own uniqueness to add some joy to the daily grind.

By finding ways to put your own thumbprint on your work with your unique quirks and skills, you can not only make your work more joyful for yourself, but also for others.

How Others Have Become More Joyful

My favorite example of this is the story I once heard of a school janitor in New Hampshire.

One of his duties is to vacuum the carpet in the classrooms. Everyone is familiar with how a vacuum leaves lines and tracks in carpet.

Well, this janitor uses his artistic abilities to create various designs in the carpet with his vacuum cleaner. It gives him joy in his job to have this kind of creative outlet. In turn, the school children experience joy when they come in to their classroom each morning to find a new carpet mural.

vacuum

Photo by Angie Wyand

Another example is my favorite salesman of The Contributor. Shawn sells at the Music Row round-about. Every holiday he dresses up in costume while he sells newspapers to fund his housing and his own T-shirt company.

the-grinch

One way I put my own thumbprint on my work is by occasionally taking my clients out for a stand up paddleboard lesson. It brings me joy both to be out on the water and to teach someone something new. It brings my clients joy because it gets them out of their normal routine, clears their mind, and exposes them to a potential new hobby. They always comment on how relaxing and fun it is.

The Possible Results

Using your uniqueness to bring joy to your work and to others can open doors to an even better opportunity for several reasons. It can:

  • Increase your positivity.
  • Get you noticed in a good way.
  • Make a difference in the lives of the people you serve in your work.
  • Indirectly impact the bottom line of the company in a positive way.

All of these things make you a valued asset for both your current company and any other company you may be interested in working for, therefore likely resulting in a promotion, a pay raise, or a new job. Or, it could just simply brighten someone’s day.

Have you ever thought about including your unique way of bring joy to your work on your resume or in your responses to interview questions? This could make you stand out from a sea of other candidates!

How Can You Be More Joyful?

What’s a way you can (or already do) add your own thumbprint to make your work joyful? I REALLY LOVE stories like this and want to hear more so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share in the comment box below your own example or others’ examples you’ve witnessed.

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Sunday Inspiration: Overcoming Failure

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!

“My flesh…may fail, but God is the strength of my heart.” Ps 73:26 NIV

As you drive toward your destiny, you’re sure to hit potholes along the way, or take some wrong turns, or forget to check your gas gauge and run out of fuel. The truth is, the only way to avoid failure is to not leave your driveway!

In the words of author William Saroyan:

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.”

The real issue in life isn’t whether or not you’re going to fail, but whether you’re going to learn from your experience and turn it into the wisdom needed to succeed.

In a survey of successful people, not one of them viewed their mistakes as failures. They considered them “learning experiences,” or “tuition paid,” or “opportunities for growth.” That’s the winning attitude!

Henry Ward Beecher said:

“It’s defeat that turns bone to flint…gristle into muscle…and makes men invincible. Do not then be afraid of defeat. You are never so near victory as when you’re defeated in a good cause.”

So the next time you fail at something, stop and ask yourself:

  • What have I learned?
  • Am I grateful for this experience?
  • How can I turn it into success?
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Who else has failed like this, and how can they help me?
  • How can my experience help others?
  • Did I actually fail, or just fall short of an unrealistically high goal?
  • Where did I succeed as well as fail?

Then go one step further, and ask God for greater insight. If you do, you’ll grow stronger and wiser because of what you’ve been through (See James 1:5).

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/overcoming-failure

Sunday Inspiration: Understanding How God Works

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!

“Because you say so, I will.” 
Lk 5:5 NIV

The Bible says: “When he [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will’…When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break… When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees…For he and all his companions were astonished…Then Jesus said…‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they …left everything and followed him” (vv. 4-11 NIV).

The real test of your faith comes when nothing you’ve tried has worked, and God tells you to do something that stretches your faith to its limit. At that point you have two choices: Give in to your doubts, or say with Peter, “Because You say so, I will.”

This story teaches us God works in three ways:

  1. He uses the common to do the uncommon. In their workplace where nothing special ever seemed to happen, Jesus showed up, called them, and changed their lives. So look for God in your daily routine, and don’t be surprised when He surprises you.
  2. He moves you out from the security of the shallow to the risks of the deep. The great catches and the great storms are both in the same sea. If you want one, you have to contend with the other. No risk, no reward.
  3. He involves you in one thing to teach you another. Christ’s plan for these men was to involve them in an even greater miracle: fishing for souls.

Today that’s His plan for you too. And it begins when you say, “Lord, because You say so, I will.”

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/understanding-how-god-works

How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to others! Comparing yourself can be destructive to your self-esteem, detrimental in the pursuit of your purpose, and downright depressing!

Yet, you probably find yourself playing the comparison game quite often. Does it tend to happen most when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? Yeah, that’s what I suspected.

We all know logically that (most) people only post their best moments in life on social media, and edit out their worst moments. But emotionally it’s hard for us to remember this. As a result, we end up comparing our worst to someone else’s best, while forgetting others also have a worst.

If you don’t learn how to stop comparing yourself to others, you will never reach your own potential.

So how can you stop? Let’s look at the following case study to find out.

Stop Comparing Yourself (A Case Study)

Artists of any medium (performing artists like dancers, actors, singers and songwriters and visual artists like painters, sculptors, and photographers) tend to be much harder on themselves and compare themselves more to others than non-artists do.

Jessica* was no exception. I met Jessica when I was giving a presentation on the topic of personal branding at the Nashville Arts & Business Council. She was a songwriter attending the event along side various other artists, including everyone from graffiti artists to jewelry makers.

After I led the group through the three phases of my personal branding program, Jessica broke down in tears. She quickly let the group know her tears were happy tears.

She explained how she’d been comparing herself to all the other songwriters in Nashville since she moved to town to pursue her passion for music. And now, this program helped her see she doesn’t have to compare herself to her competition. She said it taught her how to better pinpoint her own uniqueness.

Jessica felt relief and was freed from the damage she’d been doing to her self-esteem with unnecessary comparison.

How you can stop comparing yourself to others

While artists might compare themselves more to their peers than you do, I’m sure you find yourself doing so more often than you’d like. So what are some things you can do to stop?

One, when you get the urge to pick up your phone and start scrolling and comparing, instead put your phone down and go find something to do that will make you forget to check your phone.

This could be something you enjoy so much you easily lose yourself in it. Like, reading a new book, taking a walk, writing in your journal, making something with your hands, trying a new hobby, etc.

stop comparing yourself

Two, realize everyone has a unique way of doing the same things others do. When you do those things in your own unique way, no one else can do them like you can. It’s like having your own thumbprint on your process.

Three, discover the things you’re good at and how you do them uniquely. If you need help discovering what you’re good at, I encourage you to check out my personal branding program for yourself. You can go through it in one of three ways:

  1. Purchase the paperback book on Amazon.
  2. Get the book for free with purchase of the on-demand video course.
  3. Get personalized one-on-coaching to help you with your specific needs and questions on discovering your unique skills and developing your personal brand.

Restore your self-esteem by being productive in the pursuit of your passion and purpose instead of wasting your time comparing yourself to others!

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*Name has been changed for privacy.

stop comparing yourself