Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Heart Can't Be Taught, It Can Only Be Inspired

Some things just can’t be taught. No matter how many classes you take, and no matter how much you study. Some things just can’t be bought. No matter how much money you have, they just don’t sell it. Some things just will not be given. No matter whom you ask, no matter how much you ask, it just will not be given to you.
What I’m talking about is heart. You can’t buy heart. No one can give you heart. No one can teach you heart. It’s something you have or you don’t. You can be the most talented person in the world and have every opportunity in the world to succeed but if you don’t have the heart you will always be searching for more.
Some say, “I do have heart, but I still can’t find a job. I have the heart but I do not have the opportunities. I have the heart but I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.” And therein lays our problem. There will be obstacles and challenges; there is nothing we can do about that. But heart doesn’t have a “but”! When you have heart you find a way to make your dreams a reality. When you have the heart you’re willing to do whatever, whenever, however to see your goals accomplished.
During a quarter life crisis it is easy to lose heart. In fact, you can say that, that was either how we got here or it was the first sign we were having a quarter life crisis. You see, in school that taught you the material. They even equipped you with some skills necessary to succeed. But what they didn’t teach you and what they can’t teach you in school is how to have heart.
Heart is something you get when you look in the mirror and you decide, “That come Hell or High Water, things in my life will be different! Whatever I got to do, whoever I have to talk to, wherever I have to go, I will because I want this with ALL MY HEART!” Did you catch that? ALL YOUR HEART! There is no way to be happy in this life by giving 50% or 70% or 95%, you must give whatever you want to do, everything you got and then find something else and give that too. In fact, you feel worst about yourself when you’re only giving 70%, don’t you? You let yourself down because you know that you’re current effort isn’t the best of you.
Like I said, you can read all the books you want and feel as guilty as you want but that’s not going to change anything. It’s time you invested you’re whole being into something great. Here’s a couple of secrets about giving your whole heart: 1) It’s difficult. Failing isn’t difficult. Getting hurt isn’t difficult. Being excited isn’t difficult. Getting back up again and again and again after you’ve failed repeatedly is hard. Putting yourself back out there after someone close to you hurt you is hard. Being excited when there is nothing visibly to be excited about is hard. 2) They don’t give away heart after 7am. I said it in my last article, you need to get rid of the snooze button. Heart is earned in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is dreaming. You can’t convince me, or yourself, you’re giving your best in life if you’re still hitting that snooze button. And that’s why you feel miserable. Because you know you’re not giving everything you got.

So like I said: this stuff can’t be bought, it can’t be given, and it can’t be taught. It must be found. When was the last time you talked to yourself in the mirror out loud? I challenge you to do it and find the heart you need to do the things you need to do. It’s your life and I don’t have the heart for your life, only you have that. You just need to go find it 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Exposing the Lies: You Can Be Successful And Hit The Snooze Button

WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Today we are continuing our series on Exposing The Lies. Today’s lie: “You Can Be Successful And Own A Snooze Button” I just had a powerful “Quiet Time” this morning where I was studying out laziness. Now you may not be a Christian or believe in the Bible but you must respect wisdom. This is deep. So there’s only one thing you need to do if you want to start making progress out of your quarter-life crisis. And that one thing is STOP PUSHING THAT SNOOZE BUTTON!
                The reason why so many of us are even in the situation we are in now is because we’re lazy and we procrastinate. Trust me, I know. I obtained my PhD in Procrastination by the time I turned 17. I had it down to a science. I used to say things like: “I’m good” “I got this under control” “I work better under pressure” And a lot of you say that too. You said that in high school, you said that college, and now you’re sitting here like, “Man, what am I going to do with my life?”
                No one benefits from a snooze button. “Laziness brings on a deep sleep” Proverbs 19:15. Isn’t that true? On the days where you sleep in or on days where you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you’re more tired, you have less energy, and you miss tremendous opportunity.
                So you may be thinking, “I need my 8 hours. I can’t function without my 8.” Okay, let me put this into perspective for you. You have 24hrs a day. If you spend 8 of it sleeping, you spend a 1/3 of your day dreaming about doing something, instead of actually doing something. You need to learn to be able to function at full capacity off 3, 4, 5, and maybe even 2 hours of sleep if you want to progress your life. Some days you not even be able to go to sleep! “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.” Proverbs 20:13
                You got to hate the snooze button. I know for myself, if I wake up past 6am I’m mad at myself. Why? Because I know that I let an hour or two past and I’m never going to get those hours back. They’re gone forever. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m trying to wake up at 5am or 4am on my off day just because. Eventually I’m going to start getting up at 3am because I need to attack all those boring tedious tasks I hate doing so that by 10am, I can use the next 12 hours to work on what’s important to me.
                So I’ll say it again, WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Stop pressing that snooze button! You’re the only one who is suffering. Stop complaining about how boring your assignments are and get to work on them. Make them a thing of the past so you can have more time to focus on what’s really important to you. The rapper 50 Cent said, “Sleep is for those who are broke” It’s true, you can’t be successful and stay in bed. So stop pushing that snooze button. It’s hard but if it was easy you wouldn’t want it anyway. Lie exposed!

Wakin up at eight, is too late to be great,
Wake up at seven, not while we’re in a recession,
Wake up at six, and you might get picked,
Wake up at five, now you’re alive,
Wake up four, and you’ll have many open doors,
Wake up at three, and you can be anything you want to be,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quarter Life Crisis Symptoms: Identity Crisis Pt. 2 - Find YOU

Erik Erikson said that an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. In laymen’s terms: You’re trying to figure yourself out. Most of us have spent so much time living the way we think people want us to live that when we’re by ourselves, we find ourselves searching for who we really are. We accept the world’s standard of beauty, the world’s standard of living, the world’s standard of us that we don’t have our own standard by which to measure ourselves. We know exactly where we fit in the mind of society but have no idea where we fit in our own mind.
                The problem is we haven’t set up our own standards. What is important to you? What are your values? Stop trying to figure out what everyone else thinks you should be and focus on what you think you should be. Until you figure that out, you will never be where you want to be because you never took the time to figure out what you wants.
                Quick story: So you may know that I work as an intern at a Christian church. That’s one of my values, growing to be a better Christian. Not perfect, but better. Anyway, part of being a Christian is evangelizing and helping other people to become Christians. So I’m in this Bible study with this guy. We’ll call this guy Mike. Now Mike knows he’s not a Christian and he says he wants to be one. So we’re in the Bible studies and Mike is giving me all the right answers but outside the studies his life really isn’t changing. Now some people will tell you that “you can’t change only God can change you” but personally I don’t believe that because I see people change and prove that saying wrong every day. You can change, YOU have to change. But I digress again… So finally we’re in this Bible study and I ask Mike, “Man to man, don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. Do you even want to change your life?” Mike says “No” So I closed the Bible and I say, “Alright well then we’re done. If you don’t want to do this then don’t waste your time. Yeah sure I want to be a Christian, but I can’t be a Christian for you. And I’m not going to force you to become one so if this isn’t what you want to do and you’re just doing this to please me then let’s stop wasting your time.” And we never did another Bible study together after that.
                What the point of the story? The reason why Mike was never going to reach the goal, which was to change his life for God, was because he didn’t really want to. It was not important to him. Do I think he made a mistake? Yeah, but I’m not the one living his life. I don’t decide when he comes and goes and what he does for a living, he has to decide that. And what I’m saying is that the reason why so many of us are having an identity crisis is because we’re too busy trying to please “the guy leading the Bible study”. We show up to life every day, doing the right things, saying the right stuff but we never get in touch with the right person. It’s time to get in touch with you. What is important to you? What are your values? I can motivate, inspire, spur, encourage, but the one thing I cannot do be you. Only you can be you.

                So you’re having an identity crisis? Good! You need this. You need this more than you know. You need to sit down in a room or go to some place where it’s you and no one else and just focus on what is important to you. I take time to do this every morning. I call it “Quiet Time”. This is your life and only YOU can live it. You need to find you and stay true to that person. Stop trying to live up to everyone else’s standards. Find you and stay true to that person. Find you and stay true to that person. Find YOU and stay true to THAT person.   

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Don't Do It Alone

  Hopefully by now if you’ve been following my articles, you’re starting to feel a little inspired. Hopefully by now you’ve began thinking of some things you want to do or changes you want to make to escape this quarter life crisis. So here’s something that you need to understand: You cannot do it alone. I know that all these successful people want you to believe that they got to where they are by their own personal talent and hard work, and I don’t want to minimize that because they did work very hard, but the truth is everyone needs help.
                Nobody can accomplish anything completely by themselves. We, as humans, aren’t made to be alone. We’re social creatures all with different talents and capabilities. And when we all use our talents to help one another, we all succeed. If you want to be successful, you need to make as many friends as possible. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of enemies and naysayers and obstacles in your path to greatness, so try to make a couple of friends along the way.
                Why do you need help? Because some people have skills that you need but don’t have right now. Some people have resources that you’re going to need to get yourself started. Some people have insight and knowledge that only comes with age and experience and unless you have this team around you, you will never go to where you want to go. Unless you can go to those people and learn the skills they have, you will never be where you want to be.
                I’m not talking about professional help, like you’re depressed and need to see a psychiatrist. I’m talking about you need guidance. Whatever it is you want to accomplished, chances are that there are thousands of people out there who can help you do that, you just need to find them. It’s going to require some humility. It’s going to require some courage. It’s going to require some faith.
                Many of the greats partnered with other people to get started: Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, you name it and although we know only the one name, chances are if you do your research, you’ll find out there was a great team of people behind them. So who’s on your team? Whose helping you get to where you want to be? Also, if you have people in your life that are a hindrance to what you are trying to do, now is the time to get rid of them. Nothing personal against them, but you’re trying to go places and do things and like I said, you’ll have many obstacles to overcome, so the last thing you need is heavy baggage slowing you down.

                Get a team! It may be all that you’re missing to take that next step. Some guidance, some partners, and some people who have access to resources you need. You cannot do this thing alone. You’re going to need all the help you can get.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Fundamentals: Wisdom Over Wealth

 If you had a choice, would you rather be wealthy or wise? I was reading about Walt Disney and his story is amazing. Essentially he started three different animation companies, all of them failed and one even went bankrupt, before he finally got his business off the ground with the creation of Mickey Mouse. Why do you think that happened? Because he had a bunch of money? No! Universal Studios basically stole all of his animators in his last venture before Mickey Mouse. He had nothing. So how did he do it? He was wise. Even though he was only 26 years old at the time, he had wisdom far beyond his years.
                Wisdom is what you need to get anything started. Wealth can only provide you with opportunities and resources, but wisdom provides you with a whole lot more. As a matter of fact, wisdom is what protects wealth. Wisdom will take you places that wealth can’t buy. Wisdom is precious, worth far more than any amount of money. So the question is, how do you get wisdom?

                One of the biggest challenges for someone going through a quarter life crisis is that they feel unsuccessful; not knowing that the path to success is what stops many people from being successful. In our minds we think: Great Opportunity + Hard Work = Success. So we get frustrated because we think that we haven’t had any opportunities to succeed. But the formula for Success is actually: Success = Wisdom + Great Opportunity + Hard Work. And the formula for Wisdom is: Wisdom = Failures + Perseverance. The problem with so many struggling young people is that we’re too afraid to fail. And when we do fail, we don’t take responsibility and own it. It’s about time that you accepted the responsibilities that come from your mistakes. Because without accepting the responsibility, you will never learn the lesson that Wisdom is trying to teach you.

                Laziness and selfishness. We just care too much about what we want to do and pampering ourselves that we’re both physically and mentally lazy. Discipline is the reason I wake up at five o’clock in the morning when I don’t have to be at work until 2pm. Why? Because I just want the discipline. I want to deny myself of something I love (i.e., sleep) just because. How serious are you about discipline? This grey zone that you’re in is the perfect time for preparation. Start disciplining yourself now to prepare for the blessings ahead. Otherwise, you’re character won’t be able to handle the place where Wisdom wants to take you.


                Some of us will never be wise because we’re too prideful! You think you have it all figured out. You’re too busy trying to teach so you’re unable to learn. What you need to do is just move yourself to the side and go talk to your mother or father and get some advice from them. If you don’t have a mother or father, go to someone older that you respect. If you don’t respect anyone older than yourself, then go read a book by a successful person. Talk to and listen to some older people about how they did it and be humble and imitate them. Stop being rebellious all the time, it’s foolish. You’re the only one who suffers from being prideful. You’re the only one who suffers from being undisciplined. You’re the only one who suffers from quitting after you’ve failed. It’s time to use your time to prepare and be wise. Wisdom over Wealth. 

Without Vision People Perish

                Could you imagine being born blind? What if you never saw anything? Concepts as simple as “green means go” mean nothing to you. Not knowing what your parents look like or you significant other, or even yourself? Not being able to identify objects or never able to see what beautiful or perfection looks like. I guess if you were born blind, that although it would be difficult at first, you could train yourself because you wouldn’t know what is was like to see. But imagine if you were born with perfect vision and then all of a sudden without reason one day you woke up and couldn’t see anymore. How paralyzing would that be? How dark would the darkness be then if at one point you knew what light was? It would be challenging, depressing, and may even feel like it is too much for you to handle.
We all would agree that vision is important. Now here’s the key: Your problem, if you’re going through a “quarter life crisis”, is that you have no vision! You’re living in darkness! Yeah you can taste your destiny, you can even feel it deep inside of you at times but you can’t see it! It’s blurry or worst not even there.
                Maybe you’ve just graduated college and now you don’t know what to do. Maybe you’re in school and you’re struggling to find motivation to complete assignments. The word motivate comes from the Latin word “movere” which means to move, stir or agitate. What agitates you to get out of bed in the morning? What moves you to start taking action in your life? What stirs your soul and aggravates your spirit? It you do not have vision you will perish! You will be mediocre.
                I’ve been studying a great people of history and successful people of our generation and they all were just like everyone else. Just like you. Having a “quarter-life crisis”, trying to figure out what they should do with their life. And then one day they had a vision. And they’re vision motivated them. It helped them take that first step. It helped them disciplined themselves. It got them out of crisis and into conviction.

                Even a GPS system, which uses state of the art technology, needs a destination before it can navigate. Do you really expect to get out of your crisis without a destination? T.E. Lawrence said, “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” Do yourself a favor: Go grab a pen and a piece of paper write down your vision. In details, with specifics. Where do you want to be? Whom do you want to be with? What do you want to be doing? What are you passionate about? Don’t be afraid to have a big vision either. Something that will change the world, change the way we think about society, change the way we approach life. Something that will require everything in your very being to be accomplished. I only have one small request as you write down your vision: If your vision isn’t so phenomenal that you can’t even think about it without smiling, so worthwhile that you think everybody should be doing it and so big that it scares you, then cross it out and GET A BIGGER VISION! Otherwise you’ll wake up tomorrow still in darkness.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are You Willing To Fail to Succeed?

                So as some of you know I work with a local church doing some counseling and ministry building for other young people who desire to go into the ministry some day or even just to be a better Christian. The great part about all is that I get to do all this alongside my amazing girlfriend. My girlfriend and I were having a conversation the other day about what it takes to succeed not just in ministry but in life in general. She asked what I thought on the subject and I told her one of the most important qualities any successful person has is their ability to overcome failure.
                Consider this: Let’s say you were unemployed and had been for a while. You have filled out hundreds of applications to everywhere the past few months but nothing. But then let’s say God or a fortune teller or someone or something that could see the future told that the next 2000 interviews you go on, no one will hire you, how would you attitude be?
                For some of us, we would get discouraged and unenthusiastically show up to our next 2000 interviews half-hearted because we know that we would not get the job anyway. Some of us would try to blow through the next 2000 interviews recklessly just wanting to get them over and done with. Some of us would start out enthusiastic, determined to get a job but then after a couple hundred interviews would get discouraged and quit. Some of us would just quit our job search all together before we even got to the first interview.
                All of those people will never be successful. A successful person knows how to fail. A successful person doesn’t waste a failure but rather learns from them. A successful person could fall flat on their face 1000 times and still get up that 1001th time. In our generation everyone wants to win and they want to win now but know wants to suffer. You cannot be afraid of suffering and failure.
                For some people, that can be one of their biggest fears, being a failure. But I told my girlfriend that being a failure is one of my greatest strengths. Sometimes life just needs to knock you on your butt before you really develop what it takes to be successful. How many times are you willing to fail to achieve one of your dreams? How many times are you willing to be humiliated before you’re finally valued? How many bad ideas are you willing to have to finally come up with one great one? If your answer is not many, then prepared to be mediocre the rest of your life. Although, mediocre people don’t make preparations, they just wait for things to happen to them..
                Are you willing to fail to succeed? The other day I got my first email response from this blog from a young woman who said that it really is giving her inspiration during her quarter life crisis. I started this blog 8 months ago and I am just now receiving my first comments and email responses. Out of all the thousands of people who have viewed my blog in the past 8 months only one has responded. Not to mention that millions out there who don’t even know this blog exist. Now that’s failure. I don’t write just because. I write with a purpose and with an intention. An intention to inspire and motivate other people who have a lack of hope in their life. And now, just now, am I starting to see that happen. 25 blogs just to inspire one. How many more bad blogs until I inspire another one? I don’t know, but one thing I do know, is that I am willing to keep writing bad blogs so that maybe one blog will inspire one person to make one decision that will change the rest of their life. With that being said, it’s time to fail my way to victory.