Inspirational Commitment

This month we’ve been talking about commitment.  What are you committed to?  For some thoughts on commitment, check out these inspirational sayings.

“A renewed commitment to the freedom and opportunity of our people is the touchstone of our time.” Bill Owens

“America’s greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments.” John W. Gardner

“You have to have made the commitment within yourself to do whatever it takes to get the job done and to try to inspire other people to do it.” James Cameron

“You must have a commitment to work hard and to never give up.” Nancy Greene

“Commitment to family and to faith, to community and opportunity, to freedom and to hope, will be the light that shines to lead us forward.” Bill Owens

“Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive.” John W. Gardner

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Zig Ziglar

“As leaders, we become whole when we see that our focused, singular commitment to making the numbers and the metrics cannot be effective on its own, but only when it is part of the whole picture – only when we see that it takes more than metrics to make up the whole.” Lance Secretan

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” Mario Andretti

“If you make the unconditional commitment to reach your most important goals, if the strength of your decision is sufficient, you will find the way and the power to achieve your goals.” Robert Conklin

What about you?  What about commitment inspires you?

Big, Bold You

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? …You are the light of the world — like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket!”  Matthew 5:13-15

I’ve really been thinking big lately: big picture for my life, big future for my business, big impact for God, and how big God is (from my devotional this week).  Is it scary to think big?  Sometimes, but it’s also really exciting thinking about all the possibilities of bigger things.

One of the coolest things about going big for God is that you get to shine!  Yes, the bigger you go for God (as long as you go in the direction God wants you to go), the more your talents and gifts will be revealed.  The more time you spend with God, the more you’ll know about Him.  The more time you spend in nature and learning about yourself, the more you’ll know how everything works together in your life in God’s plan.

The reverse is also true, if you don’t use the gifts God has given you and you don’t spend time with God, you won’t be able to have the same impact in life that you would otherwise.  You’ll probably find life rather dull and feel purpose-less, mostly because you’re not fulfilling your purpose.

So it’s up to you: be the big, bold, beautiful, blessed you and live a fulfilling life for God or just get by with a prayer here and good deed there.

What are your thoughts?  How do you feel when you’re using your gifts and talents?  What makes you glow like a city on a mountain?  I’d love to hear your insights below.

One Special Woman

What makes someone special?  Is it the dream they have?  Is it their physical beauty?  Is it the background they grew up in?  I have to say that I don’t think it’s the physical beauty or the background, and even the dream someone has might not make them special.  What really makes someone special is what they choose to do with what they’re given, with the life they are blessed with.

Mother Teresa was born on August 26, and the legacy that she left behind when she passed away in 1997 was incredible.  She managed single handedly to transform not only Catholic missions but also spread her mission of peace around the world.

For many years Mother Teresa was part of a transformation around the world.  Her legacy has carried on her work, but when all is said and done, it would not have started without the special heart Mother Teresa had.  What made Mother Theresa so special?

-She had a dream. As we talked about on Wednesday, dreams are important to feeling alive and living a full life.  But, like Dr King, Mother Theresa actually did something about her dream.  She went out there and worked in Calcutta and around the world doing whatever she could to make a difference.

-She listened to her heart.  After being called to the life of a nun, Mother Theresa was called to do something that most women didn’t do back in 1946 and start a mission working with the poorest of the poor.

-She worked hard.  She never gave up and said that it was too hard or that too much was being asked of her.  Instead she not only developed an incredible relationship with God through her mission work, she was willing to do what it took to help those in need.

-She didn’t do it by herself.  Initially yes, she was doing a lot of the work herself.  But she didn’t leave it at that.  She told former students, priests, other nuns, and I’m sure, anyone else who would listen to her plea for compassion and love (and the response to her words was incredible!).

In honor of Mother Theresa’s birthday today, and in honor of Dr. King’s work as well, I encourage you to do your part: listen to your heart, follow your dreams and work towards what you’ve been called to do.  If you’re struggling with any of these steps, talk with someone!  Neither Mother Theresa or Dr. King would have accomplished anything without the support of others.

Are Your Dreams Alive?

I’ve met a lot of people who have dreams.    One of the best examples of someone who had a dream was Martin Luther King Jr.  This man marched to Washington DC, and proclaimed his dream of freedom and equality to over 200,000 people. King’s legacy has been great: sweeping changes were made around the US, and countless individuals were prompted to bring their dreams to life.  Although nothing is perfect, King’s dream has helped to make differences in the lives of many people.

Many people don’t bring their dreams to life though.  Why?  What prevents people from doing with Dr King did and proclaiming their dream to others?  Some people get distracted, there are a lot of things going on in the world, it’s easy to be influenced by the next big bright shiny object.  Some people get intimidated by their dreams.  It’s true that real dreams are big and scary.  And some people just decide that their dream isn’t worth it.

Big dreams, dreams like those of Dr King, are scary and intimidating.  Without the support of others, your dream is just that:  a dream.  Nothing will ever happen if all you have is a dream.  Dr King had a dream that had feet, his dream wasn’t just a dream, it grew into a plan of action that countless individuals could participate in and help bring to reality.

Don’t discount your dreams or pass them up.  Your dreams are important and could make a big difference in the world.  Share your dreams below to get started on gaining feet.

When God Shows Up

“I don’t just want to have a comfortable life and good retirement account.
I want to have stories to tell of God showing up in a big way.”
Steven Furtick

I love this quote by Steven Furtick, who I recently discovered through the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.   There are a lot of things we can focus on in life, from people to possessions, but there’s another thing that’s also worthy of our spending time on: our future.  When we focus on our future not only are we impacting and preparing for our future, we’re also paving the way to help others with their future too.

I’ve had the privilege to be raised in the church, although I wasn’t really exposed to God showing up in a big way until I was a senior in High School and I started attending a Pentecostal church.  Years later I’ve traveled around New Jersey and Pennsylvania and gone to El Salvador and seen some pretty amazing things.

I’ve heard stories of people like Tommy Tenney, Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake and Mary Woodworth Etter who have these unbelievable stories of how God showed up in their lives and in the people they were working with.

Right now I’m discovering where God is going to use me next.  What about you?  Are you seeing God show up in a big way in your life right now?  Are you in need of God showing up?  How is God using you? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Game Over?

Last week around the USA, people met to listen to some of the best leaders speak on leadership, spirituality and life at the Global Leadership Summit. One of the great thoughts that came out of the Summit was this:

“Failure doesn’t mean “game over.” It means try again with your new experience.”
Len Schlesinger

You’ve heard it said before that failure is only really failure when you don’t get back up when you get beaten down.  You can choose to be defeated by your failure or you can choose to see it as an opportunity.

The blessing of failures is that you’ve learned what doesn’t work and you’ve probably learned a few other things through the journey.  It’s one of the reasons I recommend keeping notes or journaling so that you can go back and see not only your successes and what worked, but also find where you should have done something differently.  You’ll learn so much about yourself when you do this.

The blessing of experience is that you’ve been given a gift of working through something and now can help someone else through that experience, or you can even help others avoid that experience all together.  Each experience adds a little more spark to your life, dimension to your story and perspective to your attitude.

It isn’t easy to just bounce back after a failure, but the truth is that you’ve got a choice to either live that failure as a “game over” or just a turnaround in life.  Personally, I love turnarounds and new experiences.

What about you?  Are you struggling with a failure?  Share your challenge below and I’ll share some perspective shifts with you.

Being Friends with You

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that I must like, and maybe even love, myself before I can like or love anyone.  One of the hardest aspects to love or even like about yourself is your body.  What can you do to be in better harmony with your body?

Feed it right:
Not only should you feed it what it craves, you should feed it good food so it craves good food.  Some people crave chocolate bars, while others crave watermelon.  Do I believe you should only eat healthy 100% of the time? No, I don’t think that’s practical.  I believe in everything in moderation, but the more good food you eat, the better.

Exercise it right:
Make sure to exercise every day.  Maybe your body asks for a massage.  Maybe it asks for yoga. Maybe it asks for biking.  Whatever mode your body is in, do something each day that will help the circulation keep flowing and body release the tension.

Treat it right:
Don’t push it to extremes all the time, rest, take naps, take days off, dream, imagine, plan, educate yourself.  Your body can only help you so long as you help it.  Open yourself to new opportunities, things that will stretch your mind, body and create some amazing memories.

Love it:
When it all comes down to it, the truth is the more you say kind things to and about your body, the more you will be ok with the body you have.  Should you be 100 pounds overweight?  No, that’s not healthy.  But berating yourself day in and day out is almost worse than eating that extra cookie.

My first step towards loving me was making better decisions about what I eat.  What will yours be?  I’d love to hear your thoughts below.