Monday, July 26, 2010

Every Wall Has A Window or A Door

Recently I took a mini vacation to visit my older brother at his beautiful historic home in Springfield, Massachusetts.  There was a door in the room where I slept each night that I hadn’t used and I wasn’t sure where it led to so I asked him.  He explained to me that it led out to the family room before saying, “Every wall in this house has a window or a door.”  As simple as that sounds, I found it to be quite fascinating.  It made me think about how it could be a perfect analogy for how we view our lives.

In life, we come up against many obstacles, barriers, or walls.  These walls might be financial hardship, relationship related heartache, neglect or abuse, health issues or loss of prized possessions or loved ones.   More often than not, even though they are walls that we cannot literally touch or see, we tend to look at them as very real set-backs or dead ends.  Since we cannot see these obstacles with our eyes, why not throw in a bit of blind faith and believe that each wall that we come up against has a window or a door. 
Now that I look back and mentally picture the design of my brother’s house, every wall really did have a window or a door.  All of the windows were portals to the outside world, as were the front and back doors, but the remaining doors led to other rooms or closets.

With some obstacles, the way out is clear, as was the case with the windows and the front and back or side doors.  Those obstacles that we face that feel too hard to get through may have one of those doors that lead to another room or a closet.  When you come to a barrier that has a door that leads to another room this is representative of a barrier that has been put in your life to lead you in another direction, or show you another way. 

When you are at a wall and the door leads to a closet, this represents that there are some things that need to be stored or tucked away. Hence, some barriers in your life are meant to teach you valuable lessons that you are to store in your mental arsenal to use at another time or to help others get through what they are going through.

So the next time you come to what seems to be an impenetrable wall in your life, know that there is a window or a door and take some time to think about what type of door it may be.  If there seems to be no way out, there will always we another way or a lesson to be learned.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Get Out of Your Own Way

Take a moment to envision where you want to be in life.  Where do you want to live?  What do you want to look like? How do you want to feel emotionally?  What kind of car do you want to drive? How much money do you want to make?  What do you want the state of your business to be? What do you want for your family?

Now, think about the thing or things that are holding you back from where we want to be.  If we are completely honest with ourselves we will admit that our largest obstacle is often the person that we look at in the mirror every day.

There are several ways that we get in our own way.  The most obvious is not believing in our own abilities thus allowing fear, doubt, negative self-talk and procrastination dictate our futures.  If we do that, we know it…but I want to call out some of the other hidden and sometimes subconscious things that we do to sabotage ourselves.

1.    Burning the Candle at Both Ends and In the Middle!

When you have a vision or a goal that you’ve set for yourself, it’s a natural tendency for those that are driven to want to grind and give it all we’ve got.  The problem is that sometimes we go so far as to give it what we don’t have as well. 

I remember the first and only time that I ever ran out of gas in my car.  I was ripping and running all day, and I actually had the money.  I was just so busy pushing my agenda to the limit that I never set aside the few moments that it would take to refuel.  So as a result, there I was, in the middle of the freeway, at midnight, out of gas.  So now, not only was I held back, I was brought to a screeching halt.  I went from doing too much to not being able to do anything at all.

There are two things to keep in mind if this sounds like you.  First of all, you won’t be good to anyone or anything if you are burnt out mentally, physically and emotionally.  That purpose or calling that has been placed on your life will be placed on hold and you will be placed on a stretcher or a hospital bed.  And finally….challenge God and allow him the opportunity to show you all that He can do for you.   Trust that He’s right there next to you on the battle field of life.  Faith takes work, but even God rested.

2.    Spending Time Talking About What You Can’t Do and Doing What You Don’t Want to Do.

I went to see author, ReShonda Tate Billingsley speak the other day, and one of the many things that she said that stood out to me was, “Every minute spent talking about what you can’t do is a minute that could be spent doing it.” This rings so true! We spend SO much time talking about what we can’t do and why we can’t do it.  Those minutes, hours, days and weeks could be spent taking action on the plan that is burning inside of us. 

On the same note, we often spend just as much time doing things that we know we don’t want to do.  Perhaps it’s that job that you hate and you know that deep down in your heart, if you step out on faith and leave it, God will have something even greater waiting for you.  Maybe it’s all of those things that you do to help others reach their goals and realize their dreams…which is great…but what about you?

Start thinking of your moments as money in a bank account that will disappear if you don’t spend it or invest it. Think of every hour as one million dollars.  You get the same amount each day, Twenty-four million dollars, and how you use it is up to you.   Will you use it wisely?  Will you waste it?  Or will you go too hard with it and fall into burning that candle at both ends and in the middle?

There are several other factors that contribute to you getting in your own way of that future that you want including the company that you keep, your willingness to give, how you manage what you are given and so on.  I just wanted to give you the two above to ponder and digest.  If they hit home for you take a step or two TODAY to make shift in a different direction.  Take a path that is clear of obstacles.  Get out of your own way!