How full is your basket? Recently I was having one of my low moments and I realized that all the things I was concerned about does not identify who I am. Therefore, I decided to put my thoughts in a mental basket and allow myself to see that what’s in the basket does not define who I am, but it’s a part of who I am. We need to stop making hasty decisions based on one feeling, one incident, or one wrong turn. A lot of what we are experiencing is caused by our anxiety, our failures, our hopes and dreams, or our past mistakes. It’s okay to allow those feelings to go thorough your body as long as you don’t stay in that place.
With the excitement and the pressure that the New Year brings most of us feel that this is a great time to start new projects. But not necessarily! Don’t get caught up in the New Year, New You phenomenon. For most people this should be a time of reflection on what worked, what did not work, and the changes we need to make moving forward. When you look at your basket you need to be able to see it as something outside of you and not see it as you. When I gathered my thoughts and concerns and put them in my basket, I must say that my basket was full. However the great thing about that was, I was able to separate the basket from me. I could look at it when I needed to or felt like looking at it. I could also leave it sitting there altogether. I could add items as they came to mind, and that in itself removed the thought or concern from the immediate forefront of my mind. It’s almost like writing down what needs to get done. Once you release it on paper you are no longer bound by your thoughts. So, is your basket full? If it is then that’s a good thing. It simply means that you have transferred your thoughts to a place outside yourself where you can deal with them at your leisure.
Failure to see round the corner. It is a shame when you are so fixed on what’s in front of you that you lose sight of what’s possible. In life there are many crooks and turns, however we are putting a ceiling on our potential by our failure to see round the corner. God always leads us to where we need to be and not where we want to be. When you began to see your stops along the way as a training ground rather than a punishment, you will start to realize that all things work for your good. There is no need to feel like what happens in life is there to take you out. As a child who was raised with no electricity and no plumbing until I was in grade school, I know how to survive when the lights are out or the pipes are frozen. This is not a crisis to me but an adjustment instead. So many times we get comfortable with a situation to the point where we fear moving forward. Familiarity is easier than taking a risk. Why consider going around the corner when we know what life is like in this present space? What if I go and fail? What if I don’t like it once I get there? What if they talk about me? That could happen. You may fail, and you may not like it once you get there, and they will talk about you. But I can guarantee you this much, if you stay where you are you will continue to be where you are. You cannot take what you know into the future unless you are willing to go there. No time or effort is wasted as long as you learn something. It may not be clear what the lesson/meaning is at first but in due time, you will be amazed when you see stuff start to fall into place. I cannot count the times when I have said to myself, “Wow, I’m so glad I learned or went through this or that!” So go ahead. Make that move. Don’t just peep around corner, go round it! You never know what might be on the other side.
Underneath the Drip! Are you so blindsided by what you don’t have that you fail to see what’s right under your nose? What about the days when it seems like the world is against you and nothing you do is working? Remember that one thing that you knew was a sure go and it turned out to be a mistake in the end? You cried your heart out because you just knew she was the one. You spent hours in the kitchen preparing his favorite meal because you were told, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, all is not lost! There are times when we are getting exactly what we need for growth from a very unlikely source. We are so conditioned to micromanaging our results that we can overlook our blessings.
During my bible study today there was this story about a man who saw a beautiful flower growing up through a crack in the concrete. He wondered how did this plant manage to survive with such hostile surroundings. When he looked up he saw that there was an air conditioning unit dripping water directly above the plant. The plant received the help it needed from the water above. We are just like that plant. We need to appreciate the help that is sent even if the source is not what we expected. Are you underneath the drip?
Know your right now vehicle! A vehicle is something that takes you from one place to another. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a motor vehicle, although that’s our first thought. What about your business or career moves? What resources bring you the best results? What are your weaknesses and your strengths? Why not work hard on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses? Are you trying to get to the top on your first vehicle? We need to know what our “right now” vehicle is, and master the gift where we are before upgrading to a new vehicle. As we close out one year and look to the next, it can be easy to get caught up in what everyone else is accomplishing. Maybe they have been riding the same vehicle for awhile and you just didn’t see them. Remember we all have a back story to our success. Be careful about wishing for someone else’s life, because you don’t know what it took for them to get there. Do you really want to carry their cross?
How many times has your heart been broken? Not just by the opposite sex. What about having your heart broken by your children, your boss, or by your dreams? When it comes to reaching for the moon we tend to hesitate, because we think that if we don’t make it we have failed. There are so many things that I have done or started to do that broke my heart. But I learned so much about who I am and what I am capable of getting done under pressure. Just because you fail at something does not mean that you are a failure. Failure teaches you what not to do and/or what needs to be done differently. Most of the time failure prepares the way for a smoother ride going forward. We allow others to break our hearts and we continue to survive, so why are we so afraid to be brave enough to break our own hearts?
When I did my book tour this year I was so psyched it was unbelievable. However, when I ended up visiting two states instead of four, I never considered it a failure. The knowledge, the exposure, and the momentum that I gained simply by having my name out there was indescribable. Now doors are opening for future collaborations in the year 2018. Remember, everything you go through is preparing you for now or later. No time is wasted if you look at life from a learning perspective and realize that things happen at the right time. In addition, I have people who have watched me grow over the years and are now asking me to speak. If you put in the work eventually you will reap the benefits. Patience and persistence will always create results.
Disappointment is caused by unmet expectations. It is normal to expect things in life. If you sit in a chair, you expect that chair to hold you. If you work all week then you expect a paycheck on Friday, or whatever day your payday falls. There is nothing wrong with having expectations. When you create a vision board don’t you expect those visions to become reality? Why else would you do the board? Why waste your time and energy on something that you don’t expect to happen? A disappointment starts when there is an appointment. There are four elements to an appointment: 1)people, 2)place, 3) purpose, and 4)time. So all of these elements play a vital part in why and how we become disappointed. First, people will let you down. Second, this may not be the right place for what you anticipate to happen. Third, you may have the wrong motives for this particular endeavor. And lastly, it just might not be the right time! So think about these elements as you put your plans into motion.
The other side of the coin is when we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and on others. This automatically sets us up for disappointment. Unrealistic can mean that, there is no way that it can be done, or it could mean, that based on previous experiences you know that it’s NOT going to happen. Not to say that people and circumstances can’t surprise you, however, then it becomes a pleasant response to your expectations rather than a disappointment. You cannot be disappointed about something that you didn’t expect to happen. That’s just common sense.
Uber dating! Now that I have your attention, let me ask you a question: Have you heard about people using Uber to get to the ER rather than using an ambulance? I was shocked when I heard that. Who would risk their lives in the hands of an Uber driver when it comes to your health? It was stated on the news that riders said, Uber is cheaper so they are willing to take the risk for illnesses that are not life threatening. I thought emergency rooms were for life-threatening illnesses!
Back to my story about Uber Dating! I didn’t literally get a “real” date through Uber. But for two hours on a recent Friday night while driving for Uber, I pushed aside all my financial concerns as I sat in an Improv Comedy Show downtown thanks to one of my Uber riders. I picked up this couple and her brother who were going to Theatre 99. As I was sharing my conversations about who I am and why I do Uber, I also talked about some of the blessings that I have received as a driver. During our conversation I mentioned that I had always wanted to go to Theatre 99, but for one reason or another had never gotten around to doing that. Low and behold, the brother who was sitting in the front with me turned and said, “I have an extra ticket for tonight if you want to park your car and go. I’ll give it to you for free and you don’t even have to sit with us if you don’t want to.” So, for once in my life I decided to do something impulsive and stop the world so I could get off. The gentleman gave me his phone number and told me to call him after I find a park and he would meet me at the door. In less than ten minutes I was parked and seated inside the theatre with three people who did not know me from Adam. I had the most fun that I have had in a long time. We all talked and laughed as though we had planned to be together. Because of that gentleman’s generosity I will start to enjoy life more and will definitely go back to that theatre: I plan to schedule a date with myself for my birthday next month. Bottom line, it pays to be authentically yourself!
Don’t burn bridges that you haven’t crossed. We get so caught up in deciding who means what to us, that we sometimes miss an opportunity to receive from those we don’t know is watching. We want to rub elbows with people in the higher echelons thinking they have more to offer us, when what you need may be in the hands of the small guy standing right next to you. Everyone passes judgment whether they want to admit it or not. How many times have you said to yourself, or someone else, “that person probably won’t even consider me as an option to do business with,” or “what do I have to offer them?” We never know where our next big idea will come from. The person you think is too big or too small to consider your product or service may be the one who challenges your growth. We network with a purpose, which is not always to build relationships. We size people up based on who their friends are. If someone does the same thing as we do, then we hesitate to spend time with them. There is enough space, time and money on this planet for all of us. No one can do YOU like you do YOU!
Who’s pushing your swing? There are swings that are so low to the ground that you can push yourself with your feet, or you can have someone else push you. Then there are the ones that are much higher off the ground, and you need a push from someone else. We are very comfortable when people we know are pushing our swing. It’s a different story when a stranger comes up and offer to push. We tend to be a little hesitant, and that’s understandable. It always seems like more fun to have someone else push, so that you don’t have to do the legwork. Some things are only learned by doing them yourself. Remember, there are some people who will push you so high that they hope you fall out. Then there are the ones who will push you ever so gently because they want you to enjoy the ride. I have friends like that who know that I am capable of going higher once I get pass my fears. Others show up just as your swing starts to slow down. Some are there to give you a small nudge, and some show up to discourage you and make you believe that the swing is broken. Everyone on the playground is not playing fair. Be careful who you let push your swing!
Why is it that the motto for news is, “If it bleeds, then it leads?” Have you ever wondered why there are so many sad stories in the news? Are we conditioned to focus only on what gets the adrenaline flowing? Unfortunately, we all created this desire for drama and now we wish we could turn it off. I’m guilty as well. It seems that a painful story sticks with you longer than a story about what’s good in the world.
As human beings we also tend to remember our own painful stories and we continue to share them every chance we get. I challenge you today, “Don’t park at your place of pain!” Get out of that parking space. Allow someone else to use it. Take the handicap sticker out of your window. Step outside the blue lines! You have to reach for your blessings. Neutral won’t move your car forward. You gotta put your car in drive.