Past Present Future

In a matter of hours I will have another birthday. This is considered a big one by most people. I will be 50 years old. It is honestly hard for me to believe that I am 50 years old. It seems like yesterday that I was 16 and getting my first car.

I have lived a lot in these 50 years and thankfully I have learned a lot. No matter how much I have learned, the main thing I have learned is there is always more to learn. When I look back over my years I realize how many stupid mistakes I’ve made through the years and things I wish I could do over, but they all made me who I am today. I thank God for bringing through all the things that could have killed me or caused me to be bitter. The death of my Father and the death of a spouse could have caused me to give up and throw in the towel but God had better plans ahead for me.

I’m in a really good place in my life now. God has blessed me with a beautiful wife who amazes me with all she has accomplished and she is just getting started. He has blessed me with two sons that make me laugh and mean the world to me. They are such good boys and I believe God has big plans for them both. I am thankful to be their Father.

I have two businesses that are doing great and I am one class away from finishing my degree at Regent University and will graduate in May of next year. It has been a long journey but it is so exciting to finally be finishing. I am so thankful for all I have learned over the last three years.

I have never been more excited about the future than I am right now. I truly believe my best days are ahead of me. My next 50 years are going to be amazing and I plan to never stop dreaming bigger dreams because God is more than enough to help me do all He has called me to do.

Thank you God for 50 years of living, loving and growing.

It's Time To Get FAT!

Are you FAT? I know, that’s an odd and even offensive question to ask. It’s kind of like the question my friend received when he went to the doctor for a checkup. The first question the doctor asked him was,”Are you having any problems other than obesity?”. Not the kind of question you want to hear from your doctor.

The FAT I’m talking about is the acronym for Faithful, Available and Teachable. Maybe you are wondering what does it take to be successful in life. I believe that living out these three words will go a long way to helping you be successful in life and even more important, to live a life of significance. So what does it mean to faithful, available and teachable?

What does it mean to be faithful? Webster defines faithful as, "deserving trust : keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do." We are in the political season now and we are hearing all kinds of promises being made to the American people. Only time will tell if those promises are kept but I believe keeping our promises is one of the most important keys to living a life of sigificance. As a business owner I know my word is my bond to my clients. Being faithful to our families, our church, and our friends builds a life of consistency that shows them and the world that we can be trusted to do what we say we will do.

Being available is the next key to living a life of significance. Available means present, able and willing. I’ve had so may opportunities open to me because I was present when needed and I was willing and able to help in any way I could. I personally believe that God places me in situations that allows me to be used and to help people in ways that I would have never been able to do on my own. One of those times happened to me earlier this year in Paraguay. Because I was available and willing to go with a team of John Maxwell coaches, I was blessed to help start transformation in that country by teaching values and principles that will change the lives of the people of that country.

That brings me to my last word, teachable. If we want to live a life of significance, we must be teachable. The people in life that make a difference in the world are the ones who are always growing and learning how to be better in every area of their lives. People who are prideful and who think they already have all the answers will never live a life of significance. We must always seek out people who are further along than we are that we can learn from. It’s been said, “if you are the smartest one in the room you need to find a new room.” Find people who will stretch you and cause you to become greater. Maybe its a coach or a mentor. I have several mentors in my life and I have a personal coach who is helping me to become better in every area of my life. I’m not content with just existing. I want to live a life of significance. I hope you do too.

So remember, work on being FAT. Be Faithful, Available and Teachable. You were not born to just exist. You were born to be great. God has given you everything you need to live a life of significance. Start believing that today and live the life God intended you to live.

Where will you be in 5 years?

“We will be the same person in 5 years that we are today except for 2 things: the people we associate with and the books we read”
 Charles Jones

I read this quote many years ago and I can honestly say that it changed my life.  Twenty-Five plus years ago I was working a job I hated, and barely getting by.  I was going no where fast and hanging with people that were doing the same but God brought some people into my life that would have a big impact on my future.

I started being around people that had big dreams for their life.  They knew what they wanted out of life and were pursuing it with a passion. They started to recommend books to me that would change my life, like How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  There are just a couple of the dozens and dozens of books that I have read since that time.

Before this time in my life I wasn't much of a reader. I had maybe read ten books in my life and that's being generous, but I started to read every chance I got because I wanted my life to change.  I didn't want to be in the same place in five years that I was then. 

I stopped hanging with people that were bringing me down and keeping me on their level.  I started to associate with people who thought bigger than just getting by and were willing to do something about changing their situation in life. Their attitude about life wasn't like anyone I had been associating with up until this point in my life and it started to impact me in a huge way.

I can look back now and see from that point forward how my life changed for the better. My income increased, my attitude about life changed, my relationship with God changed and my ability to communicate with people and handle situations in life grew tremendously.

I thank God for bringing people into my life that have shown me how important reading and the people you associate with are to your future. Since that time I have not stopped growing and learning.  I'm reading several books now and have many more in line to read.  If you want your life to change then start looking at who you are spending time with and what you are reading. I can promise you that your life won't change unless you do.  Start today living a life on purpose for purpose! 

3 Things You Can Do Today To Get Unstuck And Moving Toward Your Dreams

3 Things You Can Do Today To Get Unstuck And Moving Toward Your Dreams

Nobody likes to be uncomfortable. We don’t like to be put into uncomfortable situations but I’ve learned in my own life that when I’m comfortable I’m usually not growing.

It’s so tempting to take the easy road or the shortcut, but that path doesn’t require us to stretch or grow. By taking that path we risk becoming stagnant.

According to Merriam-Webster, stagnant means not flowing, not active, changing or progressing. Wow! How many people do you know that fit that description? Maybe you’re feeling like you are one of those people. I understand.  I’ve been there and if I’m not careful I can allow myself to become stagnant again.

We can become stagnant in our careers, relationships, spiritual life, health and our personal growth. I can honestly say I have at some point in my life been stagnant in all of these areas but thankfully I didn’t stay there.

If you find yourself stagnant in one or more of these areas, here are some things you can do to get moving again.

The first step is to realize you are stagnant. It sounds simple but so many people don’t realize they are stuck. They wake up everyday and go through the motions day after day not realizing they are on autopilot. We need someone in our life that will be honest with us. A coach or mentor that can help us realize, first where we are, then help us discover where we want to go and finally help us to move in that direction.

The second thing you can do is learn new things. When I was young I didn’t enjoy learning but as I grew older I came to love learning. I am always hungry to learn more. This has helped me tremendously in my career. If you feel you are stagnant then maybe it’s time to start learning something new. Become a lifelong student. Seek out opportunities to become better at what you do. We are rewarded for the problems we solve. Bigger problems mean bigger rewards. Be a problem solver for your employer or your clients.

Asking questions is another way to learn. In my companies I ask my clients questions to determine what their biggest problems and needs are then I help them discover solutions to those problems. Be a problem solver and I promise you will never be without opportunities.

The last but definitely not least is you need to have a dream. The Bible says, “where there is no vision people perish.” Anyone who is close to me can tell you this is one of my favorite things to talk about and they also know that Joseph of the Old Testament is one of my favorite people in the Bible.

I won’t go into the whole story here but you should read it in Genesis 37. Joseph was a dreamer.  God would show Joseph the plans He had for him by giving him dreams. Not everyone was happy about these dreams. You will have to deal with the same jealousy many times with your own dreams.

Joseph went through many hardships and betrayals before his dreams became a reality but he never stopped believing in God or the dreams God had given him. His story encourages me so much. Most of the time our dreams won’t happen overnight. We will go through some tough times and things will happen to try to steal our dream from us but we have to keep believing that if God gave us the dream then He will bring it to pass.  I just have to keep doing what I know to do.  Learning everything He wants me to learn and being faithful in what I’ve been given to do until the dream becomes a reality.

I love this quote by Les Brown, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.”

Don’t believe the lie that says it’s always been like this and will always be like this. You don’t have to be stagnant. Your life can change but it will require you to change. No it won’t be easy but it will be worth it.  Start believing in your dreams again. Find that coach or mentor that will help you get moving again in the direction of your dreams. You were not born to be mediocre. You were Born To Be Mighty!  Believe it!

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?

How many times have you heard that and just thought, that's a nice quote and then went on with your life never really considering the question?

Me too. Stop for a minute and really think about what that question is saying. Maybe you've had a business idea for a long time but you thought, "what if it fails?" Well, what if it does? Is it the end of the world?

If you look at the lives of great business leaders you will find they had businesses that failed before they found the one that made them famous. What if they had never been willing to chance failure? They would have never reached the level of success that they now have without those failures. 

As John Maxwell says "Sometimes you win, Sometimes you learn.”

You have to be willing to fail to ever achieve great success. Whether it's starting a business, writing a book, starting a new realaionship, getting a degree, whatever your dream is you will have to risk failure to know the thrill of succeeding and becoming all you were created to be.

So many people are dying a slow death. Many have already died in their spirit and mind, they just haven’t been buried yet. At one time in their life they were full of dreams and excitement about all they were going to do in their lives and they had a reason to get up in the morning. 

Life has a way of knocking you down. You attempted something great but it didn’t work out the way you planned. You loved only to have that person break your heart. You lose a job, a loved one. Someone lied to you...on you. There are so many things in life that can cause you to want to give up and just stop trying. You just start going through the motions.

Believe me, I’ve been there.  I’ve lost loved ones. I’ve been discouraged when my business wasn’t growing like I wanted. I’ve had more month than I had money and been knocked down more times than I want to count but the key in life is to get back up one more time than you get knocked down.

I love this quote by TD Jakes,”You cannot control the variables, you can only control the perspective.” That is so true. How you view your life and the setbacks of life make all the difference.  Don’t ever allow yourself to stop dreaming and believing that your life can be better.

The first thing you need to do when you get knocked down is look up! If you can look up you can get up. Look up to God to help you see the future He has for you.

Next you need to eliminate the negative in your life.  The relationships that are dragging you down, stressing you out and robbing you of your peace. Life is too short to allow negative people to steal your joy and keep you from becoming all you were meant to become.

It’s time to start dreaming again. You can’t change what happened yesterday but you can dream a new dream today. Dream BIG! Search your heart and let God show you the big dreams He has for you.

Lastly, you have to put some action into your dreams. They will always stay a dream unless you start putting in the work to make those dreams a reality. It may be small steps to begin with but each little step will bring you closer to making your dream a reality. You may need someone to help you start dreaming again.  A friend, a coach, a mentor. Someone that will believe in you and help you start believing in yourself again.

Today is the day to start living again. Don’t be one of those people that’s waiting to be buried. Be present in the moment! Live your life! You were Born To Be Mighty!

Are you living in the past or walking in purpose?

Are you living in the past or walking in purpose? I don't know if you are like me but I have a tendency to look to the past more than I should. I look at past mistakes and think, why did I do that? What was I thinking? Then I start to beat myself up and self doubt starts to creep in. That voice in your head starts to tell you all the reasons why you can't be successful or why you can't be more than you have been because of all the times in the past you have failed.

There are also the times that I look at past successes I've had and long for those times again. I think if I could just be like that again.  If I could recreate that feeling I had back when I did that or accomplished that great thing. When it doesn't happen now the way it happened then, the voice in your head starts to beat you up all over again just as badly as when you dwell on the failures of the past.

Both of these scenarios are equally destructive to you finding and walking in your purpose for today.

I love this quote by Steve Maraboli,“Sometimes it's the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”

It may have been one of the greatest moments of your life or one of the most painful ones that took your breathe away but if you handle those moments right they can lead you closer to finding your purpose. There are a few things you can do in these breathe taking moments of life to ensure you don't get stuck in the past and learn to walk in purpose.

Enjoy the moment. I've had some great times in my life. I've been on stage and been able to speak encouragement to hundreds of people.  I've had the joy of holding my newborn sons and seeing the miracle of life that only God can give. I've built businesses and had the thrill of seeing them grow.  All of these things are great and I wouldn't trade them for anything. The key is to enjoy them, be in the moment. Be thankful for them and allow them to propel you into the next thing God has for you.  Let them propel you to greater heights. Don't get comfortable and rest on your successes.

This too shall pass. Along with the joys that I've had in life, I've also had some very dark times as well. I will never forget the day my dad died suddenly from a heart attack.  I wasn't prepared for that. I watched my wife battle cancer for three years and ultimately lose the battle. These were dark times. When I was in the moment, I didn't think the pain would ever go away but as time passed and with God's help I was able to move on from those hurts.  You never forget those times but you can't allow yourself to become bitter and say why me? You can't get stuck in the pain. If you can learn to take that pain and direct it toward your purpose, there are people who need you and need to know that because you overcame they can too.

Attitude of gratitude. Learn to develop an attitude of gratitude. This is something I've had to work on.  It's so easy to take the little things for granted. We get so caught up in the day to day activities of life that we many times miss the little things that make life great.  Like listening to your child play and laugh. Laying your hand on your wife's stomach and feeling your son kick. Seeing a beautiful sunset or sunrise. These are all little things but they are what make life special. As we become grateful for the little things, God can trust us with the bigger things in life. Learn to never take God's blessings for granted.

You were born for a purpose.  I know that as sure as I'm setting here looking at this screen. Don't let yourself dwell in the past. Your best days can be ahead of you if you stop living in the past and start believing God has a great plan ahead for you.  Trust Him to help you walk in the purpose He has for you. The Best Is Yet To Come!