Have you ever heard a quote that you wish YOU had come up with? Ray Lewis was giving a speech at the Potter’s House, and he said: “Before anything great is really achieved, your comfort zone must be disturbed.” In other words, if you don’t take a chance, you don’t stand a chance (author unknown).
I have written about the comfort zone before, but after seeing Ray Lewis speak, it lit a fire in my belly. I realized there was a lot I needed to do outside of MY comfort zone. We all get comfortable where we are. The path of least resistance is the one we typically settle on. The low hanging fruit is what we end up picking. The problem with that thinking is that we are missing the best. You have to extend yourself to get the best fruit.
I was listening to the wife of my pastor today as she talked about how we get discouraged when we don’t see immediate fruit for our labors. She told how she had a friend that had an orchid. It was absolutely beautiful…in full bloom, but she said it was not always that way. She said that for 10 years that orchid did not bloom. She watered it and cared for it, trusting that someday it would bloom. Wow. 10 years??? How many of us would have given up on that plant in a month, or at least in a year? The secret is that she believed and she received.
Endurance is part of the calling we have in life. Each of us has a unique calling on our life, but endurance is part of the equation. This lesson is like a lot of things in life…simple yet complex. Here are your lessons:
Be willing to not just get outside of your comfort zone, but disturb your comfort zone to achieve something GREAT.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You snooze, you lose. Get it?
“The path of least resistance is not the one that you necessarily need to take. Pursue the path of excellence.” Dan Skognes (Yes, it is my quote).
“Endurance is part of the price we pay for the crown we want to wear.” Dan Skognes (Yes, LOL, I thought of that one too).
“Be willing to disrupt your way of thinking. Don’t allow the limitations of other people’s thinking to define your future.” Dan Skognes (my last quote of the day).
Have you ever wondered why some people are miserable and yet refuse to change what they are doing? It is kind of crazy when you think about it, but the simple truth is this: You can’t change what you refuse to confront.
You can complain about your lot in life all day long but nobody really wants to hear it….so stop it. Change is uncomfortable even when it is for your own good. It involves conquering fear of the unknown. What is going to happen if I do or don’t do this? What will happen to my marriage, my health, my finances, my friends, or to my family?
If you are not where you want to be, change what you are doing. Find your passion and do whatever you can to do more of that. Finding your passion and living it will bring you great joy and fulfillment. Your passion will lead you to your purpose.
You are only a prisoner of your past if you allow your past to define who you wish to become. Change where you live. If you have been living in the past and bemoaning where you are today because of bad choices or bad luck, let go of the past and take up residence in the here and now. It is much brighter in the present than in the past, and you can begin today to take new steps in the direction you want to be residing in. That is a matter of choice.
If you are not who you want to be, change how you think and how you speak. There is great power in the words you speak over yourself. You either speak life or you speak death, so think before you speak. You speak blessings or you speak curses. If you say, “I will never find a job that pays what I am worth.” Guess what, you won’t! Guard your heart and take every thought captive. Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Have you noticed how some people seem to be eternally hopeful despite the terrible things they have had to endure? It is not by accident. What we do not see are the scars and the dirt under their fingernails for what they had to endure in digging their way out. They have learned the secret of not complaining and remaining thankful. Those two things will keep hope alive and allow us to make the necessary changes in our lives.
Don’t give up on yourself or upon others. Risk changing to become who you want to be in life. Even if you think you are totally fulfilled and happy, be willing to change for the better. Nobody is perfect. There are levels of greatness that await your first steps of courage. Your destiny is within your reach. You just have to believe it and seek it. Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Swim out to it.
Have you ever known someone who is “Livin’ the Dream?” How does that happen? The real question is: why do so many people do something they hate to do for a living? It goes back to passion and purpose.
I read a book many years ago by Rick Warren called The Purpose Driven Life. It is an incredible book that has helped countless people to discover the meaning of their life. At a convention this week he gave the testimony about his son who had committed suicide. His son suffered from depression and fought it for many years, but he finally gave in to the desire to just end the pain. Rick took an extended sabbatical when this happened and was overwhelmed by the numerous emails and mail he received letting him know that his son had impacted their lives in a very positive way for the Kingdom of God. Rick’s testimony was this: “It is only by the grace of God that allows a broken tree to bear fruit.”
That is pretty deep. I can’t begin to imagine how he felt and I hope I never have to go through that type of loss. No parent ever expects to bury their child, yet it happens every day for a myriad of reasons. Life is short enough as it is.
The reason I share the testimony is to highlight the brevity of our lives. We are here but for a blink of an eye in the scheme of eternity. A pastor friend of mine was talking with a young child one day and the kid said to him, “May you live all your life.” Wow…out of the mouths of babes. To really live….to live on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose…is that not what we all seek on this planet?
My challenge to you is to find your passion. That is the thing you would do even if you had to do it for free because it is what lights your fire. It ignites your engines and fuels you with energy. Your passion is usually identified as a God-given talent or talents that you have and naturally exhibit. You don’t have to strain to do it. Work is still required, or course, but the normal stresses of work are not there when you do what you are passionate about. You don’t dread doing this because you love what you do and others are blessed by it as well.
When you find your passion, it will naturally lead to your purpose. Your purpose is revealed as you step into your destiny…what you were designed to do. We each have a unique design and a unique purpose. There is only one you and one me…and in my case that is a good thing. I don’t think the world could handle two of me. LOL.
If you are doing things that you hate to do just chasing the dollar you will never find peace and fulfillment. You will continually find reasons to hate your boss, hate your hours, hate your job, and hate your customers. Don’t allow the dollar to be your goal. Chase your passion with all that you have and the dollars will follow. Find your passion and you will find your purpose. You can love your work if you find your passion.