It Matters

Hello dear readers,

As many of you are aware, my heart’s desire is to encourage you to live our best life as a purpose-driven believer. When I read this post fragments of a song came to mind however I cannot recall all the words, or even how it begins. The words are: ‘It’s not about me Jesus. . . ‘

This is a long post but well worth reading to the end, so I encourage you to do so.

Have a blessed weekend!

pure devotion

It MattersColossians 3:1-3 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

I used to work with someone who professed vehemently to be a Christian. In theory, the confession was absolutely true. This person would tell others that God was in control… which He is. Serving in church attending all the services and sharing the experience. Feeding the soul with the Word and good teachers – conversationally this person was living the life. However, at work this person was not a…

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The ‘S’ Word

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

 

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

 

Today, I’d like to focus our thoughts on the concept of SURRENDER.

Whenever I think of this word two images spring to mind.

 

  • A wrestling match where one wrestler has the upper hand and is mean, standing (even jumping) without mercy upon an area of his opponent’s anatomy and causing pain until said opponent cries out or signals “I surrender!”

 

  • A war situation where the battle is one-sided and a member of the losing side runs out hands in the air, or waving a white flag signalling complete surrender.

 

In today’s culture no one wants to surrender to another person. It speaks of weakness, or categorises us as losers and in some situations, it can even make us the victim.

However, the SURRENDER I wish to focus on today relates to our relationship with God, as purpose-driven believers and achievers. It is a surrender made because of love, not through fear. It is a surrender that completes us as children of God, rather than diminishes us as human beings.

The following are some thoughts gleaned from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Everybody eventually surrenders to something or to someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego.

Rick Warren

 

So let’s turn now and examine this concept – what does surrender to our Father-God look like?

Trust:

Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender. You won’t surrender to God unless you trust him, but you can’t trust him until you know him better.

Rick Warren

How well do you know God? Are you seeking to know him better?

 

Understanding

Do you understand what true surrender is?

It is not passive resignation, an attitude of fatalism, or an excuse for being lazy.

It is not becoming a doormat or exhibiting cowardly behaviour.

It is not forsaking rational thinking.

 

Godly surrender is:

Our heartfelt response to God’s unconditional love and mercy.

Our sacrificial dedication of our lives in wholehearted worship and spiritual service.

Our yielding complete control of our lives into his care.

 

Warren tells us in no uncertain terms that:

…surrendering is never just a one-time event… There is a moment of surrender, and there is the practice of surrender, which is moment by moment and lifelong.

 

For Further Thought:

…the greatest hindrance to God’s blessing in your life is not others, it is yourself—your self-will, stubborn pride, and personal ambition. You cannot fulfil God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans.

(Rick Warren)

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Why not share your response in the comment box below and consider sharing it with your social media network(s)?

My sincere thanks in anticipation!

 

Whoo Hoo Wednesday!

 

I’m giving thanks today to my Father God, my precious Lord Jesus and my creative director and associate, the inimitable Holy Spirit.

Why am I thanking this divine trio?

Because today is another day in my writing history where I have cause to flag up some new achievements. I give my thanks and the glory to this awesome holy trinity, because I consider them to be indispensable members of my success team.

And now for the reason for my joy and for this post.

Recently I’ve felt a little discouraged because

  • Blog growth is slow.
  • Blog interaction is erratic.
  • And a recent attempt to rally interest in my first blog challenge event has so far met with zilch response.

But this morning after discovering certain email in my inbox from three individuals, I felt over the moon.

The first was from a blogger friend Kato, a dear and humble minister of the Lord, who was asking whether I’d mind him sharing my post Pick up Your Cross on his site. He deemed it an important message. Would I? I felt both touched and honoured and of course I granted permission. Please check out his blog. Some of you may recall that I’d recently reblogged one of his posts regarding discovering our life’s purpose.

The second cause of joy came from the editor of a Christian women’s magazine. A guest post, Love’s Sacrificial Mind-set, has been published in this beautiful magazine, Ruby for Women. Further, my article has been featured on the main page of the RUBY community website  and on the Ruby blog.

Dear reader, even if you have read this particular post before, please check out the magazine. And you writers out there if you’re interested in contributing an article, poem, photograph or other artwork, please check out the submission guidelines. The site also hosts a Christian Community, so why not check this out also?

And the third cause of joy came from an editor of a literary blog, which I highly recommend. An article I’d submitted was published on Monday. I’d be so grateful if you’d kindly go along and visit and support me with your likes and comments. Here’s the link.

Unbeknown to me, whilst I was feeling low, these three emails have been sitting in my inbox since Monday. And so I declare today as Whoo Hoo Wednesday! May there be many more whoo hoo days to come, for me, my lovely followers, readers and supporters, the editors of Two Drops of Ink and Ruby for Women and also dear Kato.

Whoo hoo! I’m a writer – yay!

Whoo hoo! I’m a published writer – double yay!

 

Credit: CC0 image – courtesy of Oberholster Venita at Pixabay.com

Push A Different Button!

Purpose-driven believers, on your way towards success, whilst pursuing your destiny I’m sure you will encounter difficulties and disappointments.

I don’t know how you currently deal with such events but if you find yourself going round and round in circles without experiencing the change you crave, then this post may be pertinent.

The following is a post re-blogged from my other site – Women of Warfare!

Women of Warfare! (WOW!)

Those of you who have read my posts for some time know that every now and again I share something from an excellent devotional resource that I use, the UCB Word for Today, written by Bob & Debby Gass.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if you don’t get on with daily devotional books (for a long time I didn’t!), you can read it as a straight forward book, or dip into it from time to time (as I started out doing). Before you know it, I’m sure you’ll become a fan (as I have!).

The following is an extract from last month, which I feel led to share with you all.

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MIND-SETS ARE patterns whereby your mind automatically operates a certain way. That means you can set yourself up for misery by reacting to the same people and circumstances in…

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Use Your Kindness Kit!

 

Every one of us has a ‘kindness kit’ we carry with us everywhere we go. It’s better known as our tongue. Never underestimate the power of one kind word.

(From: UCB Word For Today – February-April 2017 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, I wish you an abundantly blessed and productive week!

From Slavery to Celebrity!

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Last year during one of my devotional readings, I came across the name of George Washington Carver. I vaguely recognised the name but didn’t really know who he was. In fact, to be honest, I had confused him with George Washington, first president of the USA!

Now from my devotional reading, I learned that Carver had become famous for growing peanuts and discovering hundreds of ways to use them, that he’d been invited to Washington DC to appear before a congressional committee and share the secret of his success. Now this is what he told them:

“God created the peanut. So I just asked Him to tell me what could be done with it, and He showed me!”

Isn’t that amazing?

And so today, whilst wondering what I should share today, I decided to look up this man to see who he was. I was so surprised to learn that he’d been born a slave. If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating man then click here:

 

 

And so today’s theme is: POTENTIAL.

Carver developed both his potential as a human being with the lowest start in life imaginable, as well as the potential of the peanut.

He definitely enters my personal hall of fame for successful dream achievers and to me, he is an excellent and most eminent example of a purpose-driven believer. As such, I’m proud and honoured to share the following thoughts mined from this highly creative genius.

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It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.

 

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

 

No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.

 

There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.

 

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

 

Where there is no vision, there is no hope.

George Washington Carver

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Why not share your response in the comment box below and consider sharing it with your blogging friends and social media network(s)?

Many thanks in anticipation!

 

Are You Committed?

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

Unlock your SUCCESS!

 

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THEME WORD:

            CHANGE

  • To make or become different
  • To substitute one thing for another
  • To remove and replace with something different
  • A variation from one’s regular habit
  • To alter gear
  • To adopt a different intention or opinion (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

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In a recent post I sought to encourage people to be the change, i.e. a positive force for good, in the lives of others around them.

However, we cannot be for others, what we are not for our own selves. In my own life, I realised I had to change – change my thoughts, change my attitudes, change my conduct.

If we have not achieved success doing the same old things we’ve done in the past, guess what? We have to change!

Whether we desire success in our business, career, relationships, or other goals, I can guarantee that nine times out of ten, some kind of change needs to happen in our lives. And a change of habit, a change of outlook, a change of any kind requires commitment.

How committed are you to making that necessary change?

Below is a 4mins video that I hope inspires you – not only today whilst you are reading this post but whenever you require a boost. In fact, let me encourage you to keep some kind of motivational portfolio that you can turn to during times of defeat, despair or discouragement.

 

 

Whoo Hoo! Make way for the change-makers, the destiny-pursuers and the dream-achievers!

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

What changes will you commit to making, in order to be ‘the change’ in your circle of influence?

 

12 Shades of Thinking (and FREE e-book!)

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

 

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

 

Today’s theme word is THINKING and the thoughts I share in this post are a slightly modified version of a devotional, taken from the UCB Word For Today (February-April 2017), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

 

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In his book Thinking for a Change, Dr John Maxwell discusses eleven different types of thinking. They are:

  • Big picture thinking: the ability to think beyond yourself is required in order to process ideas from a ‘faith’ perspective.
  • Focused thinking: the ability to think with clarity on issues by removing distractions and mental clutter
  • Creative thinking: the ability to break out of the box and explore ideas and options in order to experience a breakthrough
  • Realistic thinking: the ability to build a solid foundation on facts, to think with certainty
  • Strategic thinking: the ability to implement plans that give direction for today and increase your potential for tomorrow
  • Possibility thinking: the ability to unleash your enthusiasm and hope to find solutions for even seemingly impossible situations
  • Reflective thinking: the ability to revisit the past in order to think with understanding
  • Questioning popular thinking: the ability to reject common thinking and accomplish uncommon results
  • Shared thinking: the ability to include others who can help you think ‘over your head’ and achieve greater results
  • Unselfish thinking: the ability to consider others and their journey, to think with collaboration
  • Bottom-line thinking: the ability to focus on results in order to reap the full potential of your thinking
  • Spiritual thinking: the ability to think in line with the mind of Christ. One God-given thought can change your life! (NB: this last added by Bob & Debbie Gass).

 

Wow! I don’t know about you but I find Maxwell’s thoughts about thinking refreshing and challenging. It made me want to further explore what he has to say in his book.

If you feel the same way, you can apparently download this book for free at: http://www.productmanualguide.com/download/thinking-for-a-change-john-maxwell-pdf.pdf (note: you will be asked to set up a FREE account)

OR

You can purchase a copy from Amazon

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

CREDIT: above graphic is a CC0 image courtesy of Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com) 

 

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below and if you enjoyed reading, consider sharing it with your social media network(s).

Many thanks in anticipation!        

A Desire To Inspire

I came across this post and wanted to share it with you all.

A worthy aspiration indeed – to seek to inspire others.

Enjoy!

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Aspire to Inspire!

I look for my life to be a canvas of inspiration

Not only to those who with me share this moment in the earthly realm

But for those whose lives are beyond our physical reach;

Those who will live and breathe when our purpose and calling we have […]

via Aspire to Inspire! — Unraveling the Mind

Focus, Focus, Focus!

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD: FOCUS

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Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.

Roy T. Bennett

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To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.

T.F. Hodge

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You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.

Sabrina Bryan

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I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.

Venus Williams

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When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

Joel Osteen

 

The following is a short motivational video encouraging us to focus on our dreams.

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

When it comes to following your dreams and pursuing your goals, have you  allowed your focus to be broken?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers – Have a blessed and focused week!

 

Enjoy the Gift of Life

My Thinking Corner

CCO image - Pixabay.com
CCO image – Pixabay.com

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

Today my thoughts are on the subject of LIFE. I’ve heard it said that life is a gift. If that is the case (and I believe it is so) then the onus is upon us to unwrap it and enjoy it.

How can we make the most of this precious but transient gift, with which God has blessed us?

Here are my thoughts on how we can enjoy an abundant, satisfying life which glorifies our gracious Giver.

  • Don’t just make a living – make a life! (i.e. a meaningful, productive, God-honouring and successful life).
  • The four key ingredients of a successful life are:
  1. Love – unconditional love (for God, self and others)
  2. An indomitable spirit (develop a refuse-to-give-in mindset)
  3. Faith (in God)
  4. Enthusiasm.
  • Be a giver. A constant ‘taker’ in life becomes fat with egotism, ingratitude and selfishness. As a giver (of your encouragement to others, love, kindness, time and resources), your generosity will reap dividends.

As the Bible promises:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:38 (NKJ)

Thoughts are free from toll

(William Camden)

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite quote regarding life? Why not share it in the comment box below.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, have a blessed and productive week!

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Let Go of Past Regrets!

CC0 image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

Regret is a waste of time, unless it teaches you wisdom and fuels your resolve to do better next time.

Bob and Debbie Gass – UCB Word For Today ­ (Daily Devotional – Aug-Oct 2016)

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

If past regrets are preventing you from moving on in your life, these useful tips from an expert, may assist.

 

Daily Motivation is a Daily Decision

motivationgerdaltmann-pixabay-361783_960_720CC0 image: courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD: MOTIVATION 

Motivation in its very early stages is an act of discipline and you will find it will need to become more and more a part of your personality.

Peter J. Daniels –  author of: How to be MOTIVATED all the time

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The above author, Peter J. Daniels, came from a broken home and a background of poverty. Despite suffering bankruptcy in business three times, he is a millionaire land developer, a top motivational speaker in Australia attracting international demand, and a campaigner for Christ. As such, I believe he has invaluable advice for us as aspiring dream achievers and purpose-driven believers.

If we are interested in achieving ongoing success in our personal lives then you and I will need to develop and maintain those habits which keep us motivated all the time.

To this end, Daniels challenges readers with the following words. He says:

Move up to a level of living and achieving by becoming highly motivated. Recognise that motivation is deeply personal and that it can only be achieved by making it a daily part of your existence.

Daniels further goes on to say that motivation cannot be permanently imposed from without but must be permanently created within.

In other words, although we can become temporarily motivated by inspirational quotes, or motivational stories and videos, permanent motivation has to come from an inner drive and become a daily discipline. Which brings us back to the thoughts expressed in my theme quote above.

So dear follower and visitor, in order to maintain a motivated mindset, are you willing (if necessary), to change your perspective, your habits, your lifestyle?

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Do you know what motivates you? Have you discovered what it is that propels you to act… what it is that drives you towards your end goal? How are you able to sustain that drive?

Purpose-driven achievers and believers – have a blessed and highly productive week!

 

How To Be Effective

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You become effective

By being selective.

(Rick Warren – The Purpose Driven Life)

 

Dear Dream-achiever,

And Purpose-driven believer,

 

Select the company you keep

Select the kind of food you eat

 

Select the literature you read

Select the harvest of your seed

 

Select the thoughts you contemplate

Reject the paths of war and hate

 

Select the habits you must maintain

To secure your dreams and joy sustain.

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Knowledge + Application = Wisdom!

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

We live in an age where information abounds. As bloggers we have a plethora of posts to choose from at the Reader. Bloggers we’ve chosen to follow, showcase their wares and at the click of our mouse we can access their thoughts on a variety of subjects. We have access to their creative endeavours. We have access to the inspirational or motivational quotes they wish to bring to our attention. We have access to valuable life lessons—all posted in a bid to influence, to encourage one another on our journey in life, on the path we tread towards our destiny.

And if we also happen to be members of Facebook, or signed up to Twitter, or any other social media platform, the scenario is repeated again and again.

Advice. Information. Words of wisdom. All for the taking.

Now lately I’ve been thinking about this vast fount of knowledge at our fingertips. And I’ve been asking myself a question: if I retained even a small measure of what I read, if I was regularly applying even one sound principle in my day-to-day experience, how different would my life be?

And so, I challenge you today dear reader to think about all that information you are consuming. Are you learning? Are you putting even one of those precious principles you so passionately endorse into daily practice?

Food for thought, don’t you think?

knowledgekenneth-sookhai-pixabay-1916448_960_720
Are you applying your knowledge?

 

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, home-owner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25 (The Message)

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

John Locke

 

Knowledge is power? No. Knowledge on its own is nothing, but the application of useful knowledge, now that is powerful.

Rob Liano

 

No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and application of wise thought that counts.

Bob Proctor

 

Knowledge without application is like a book that is never read.

Christopher Crawford

 

. . . start applying what you are learning. Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.

Stephen R. Covey

 

 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22 (NKJV)

 

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

 CREDITS: The above photos are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, please don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media network(s). Many thanks in anticipation!

 

 

Foster Good Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

 

In his internationally best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey defines a habit as:

“. . . the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.

Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.”

SELF-SCRUTINY

Are there any habits in your life, which undermine your potential for success?

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3 Tips For Making Successful Life-changes

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details. (Unfortunately, Lady Cee only has capacity to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays).

 

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My Thinking Corner

 

mtc-coffee-cup-1684640_960_720

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

It’s a new year and with it comes the promise of new opportunities. With it comes new hope for old dreams and even enthusiasm for new ones. At least that’s how I feel. How about you?

Now I’m aware from talking to others and from articles read on the subject of self-motivation and pursuing personal goals that some people, disheartened by past failures, have given up completely and do not even attempt to make new resolutions, or New Year goals.

If you belong to that category of “no-hopers’ and have laid aside your ambitions, or if like me, you are refusing to give up on your dreams and are choosing to set out on that path of optimism once again, I hope the following thoughts and suggestions will encourage, perhaps even inspire you.

 

1.  EAT MODERATELY

It’s easy when you are feeling excited and self-motivated to try and saturate yourself in as much knowledge as possible. So you buy a book, research appropriate resources online, perhaps seek out a mentor. But this can lead to information overload, to mental and emotional indigestion.

When it comes to making life changes, or pursuing dreams, you will most probably need to seek out information. But in your enthusiasm, or haste to get from A to B quickly, you can overdo it.

Have you ever been unwell, gone on a diet or a fast? Do you remember your stomach shrinking from not eating your customary amount of food? Think of your desire to cram in as much information, as quickly as possible, as being much like you gorging lots of rich food after a period of fasting. It makes you feel uncomfortable, perhaps even sick.

The trick is to consume the information you need in digestible portions. The trick is to make small demands upon yourself. Take small steps daily, rather than trying to make significant changes overnight. Think elephant – the way to eat one is by taking small bites at a time!

 

2.  EXERCISE GENTLY

Have you ever been unfit?

I can recall a time when I suffered from a chronic back problem. Even my normal walking pace was significantly affected. I’d set off down the road and people seemed to zoom past me, even though they weren’t walking particularly fast. School children reluctant to get where they were going and even elderly folk, managed to disappear in the distance, whilst I struggled to put one foot in front of the other. I had to be patient with myself and determined. Thankfully, over time, I regained my fitness.

Pursuing goals, achieving your dreams, requires you to exercise your life-changing muscles regularly. Just as you wouldn’t just pick up a set of heavy weights and try to lift them the first day or week you visit a gym, exercise those life-changing muscles slowly and gently. When it comes to pursuing your dreams, start out with small changes, then increase efforts, once your capacity to deal with more, enlarges.

 

3.  EXCISE RUTHLESSLY

Become your own personal development surgeon.

You know yourself better than anyone else. Which cankerous areas of your life do you need to remove? Cut out those excuses (no time, no money, no skills). Remove time-wasting activities and if need be, sacrifice the odd leisure pursuit in order to make more time for learning, or practising, or working on your project.

Above all, ruthlessly sever wrong thinking! Replace negative thoughts (I can’t do this, I’ll never master that, I’m not intelligent enough), with life-enhancing meditations. Renew your mind with the Word of God. Adopt a pertinent motivational quote as your mantra for a week, a month, even the entire year.

 

Before I close this thinking session, let me leave you with a quote from Carole Gaskell, life-coach and author of Your Pocket Life Coach:

We are all capable of making changes in our lives, the secret is to break things down into SMALL STEPS – tiny steps in fact – and spend a few minutes EVERY DAY taking action. Little and often is one of the fundamental secrets to successful transformation.

 

Purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers – we can do it! Have a blessed and victorious week.

 

CREDIT: The above CCO image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com 

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media network. Many thanks in anticipation!

 

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Work At Your Dreams

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 Dreams don’t come true when more time is spent talking about them than praying and working toward achieving them.

Stormie Omartian

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

What action are you taking to make your dreams, goals, or aspirations become a reality?

 

A Dream Plus Persistence = Success!

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MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD:

PERSISTENT – continuing with determination in spite of discouragement; dogged; tenacious

(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

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Ambition is not enough! Desire is not enough! And wishful thinking will certainly not catapult you into the pathway of success!

I have heard it said that pursuit is the proof of desire. And I know from personal experience that pursuit is not a one-time-effort. It’s not a once-in-a-while activity. Pursuit must be consistent. Your dream, your goal, requires persistence.

The question is: do you and do I have what it takes to cross the finishing line?

The following is a 3.5 mins motivational video, which I trust will encourage and spur you towards the fulfilment of your dreams.

 

 

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, may 2017 be your year of achievement and success, as you persist with your endeavours.

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Is there a dream, goal or vision that you’ve abandoned or neglected because you felt discouraged? Are you willing to try again, to persist until you succeed?

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Wishing You All A Wonderful New Year!

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As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future. ― Peggy Toney Horton

 

What do you need in the New Year? You need a dream; your dream needs an action; and your action needs right thinking! Without right thinking, you can have only unrealised dreams! ― Mehmet Murat Ildan

 

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential. ― Ellen Goodman

 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,

Whispering ‘it will be happier’. ― Alfred Tennyson

 

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

 

My heartfelt thanks to all followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It has truly been a blessing and an honour to share my thoughts with you. I wish you all God’s very best and look forward to the pleasure of your visits throughout the coming year.

Best wishes,

Carol

—————————————————————————-https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

 

The Path Of “Adulting”

BLOG CHALLENGE

(for details visit: Life with Grace and Beauty)

 

Prompt Seven | When You Finally Started “Adulting”

Oh to be a kid again!  Except now we’re adults with careers, responsibilities, and other grown-up business.  When did you finally start “adulting”?  What moment marked your transition to adulthood?  What makes you feel like an adult?

 

Child or Adult Mode?
Child or Adult Mode?

 

I remember when I turned 18 years old. I thought “Yes! I have the key to the door”. And then when I turned 21 years old, I thought “Oh Yes. I’m a true adult now”. At 18yrs and 21yrs, I may have been viewed as an adult legally but in reality I was still quite innocent and naïve. Decades later, am I any more adult than I was then? Not absolutely sure!

Of course since receiving that golden key to the door of adulthood, I’ve clocked up significantly more years of life experience—but does that make me an adult in the true sense of the word?

Maya Angelou made the following interesting observation:

I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias. ― Maya Angelou

I think she makes a valid point.

Psychologist and author, Robert Firestone Ph.D also seems to support Angelou’s statement. He says:

Most people are unaware that they are conducting their lives more from a child’s frame of reference than in an adult mode. Although men and women mature physically and become more capable in their practical lives, rarely do they achieve emotional maturity.

Oh dear! Perhaps “adulting” and adulthood are two different things. I will however, treat the two terms as interchangeable throughout this post.

To be honest, I’ve never heard the word “adulting” before. Perhaps it is an Americanism. Or perhaps it is an original term coined by our blog challenger. Anyway, I’ll respond to her question according to what I think it means—i.e. those activities and behaviours, which mark ones transition from childhood dependency to adult independence.

I suppose securing my first full-time job was my first step upon the ladder of adulthood. Working 9-5 and earning a wage, made me feel as grown up as my parents. Most of my school friends decided to stay on at school but I was in a hurry to work and earn. I saw it as a definitive move through the door of independence. However, I was still living at home and I was expected to hand over my pay cheque, so the feeling of independence was incomplete.

Moving out of the family home, having to pay rent, buy food and plan meals allowed me to put my foot on the second rung of adulthood. Unfortunately, irresponsibility with money matters meant I found myself in debt and had to square up to the responsibility of dealing with debt collectors, pay back monies owed plus the exorbitant interest, plus still afford the daily costs of living, whilst trying to maintain an independent lifestyle.

That experience introduced me to another rung in the step ladder of adulthood—the discipline of delayed gratification. I promised never to get myself into that situation again. For years I kept that promise. However, when my husband and I moved into our new house, I couldn’t wait to see it furnished and styled the way I envisaged. So out came the credit cards! If my life could be likened to a game of snakes and ladders, I suppose at that point, any adulting ground I’d made was almost completely lost.

moroccodanielwanke-pixabay-1623127_960_720My most memorable step into adulthood occurred the first time I went abroad on holiday. I went with my best friend to Morocco and we had a whale of a time. We decided that we didn’t want to go to the usual places like France or Spain, and so chose an 18-30s holiday where the accommodation was in mud huts with thatched roofs, arranged in villages. It was called Camp Africa!

When we first planned this we were both so excited. But I recall my mum and an insurance man (who perhaps wasn’t very happy about me cashing in a policy to pay for the holiday), putting severe doubts in our minds about the safety and salubriousness of our country choice. As it turned out we need not have worried. We had a fantastic time and I can honestly say, it was one of the best holidays of my life.

keysilviafrankpixabay-1809636_960_720My next significant move up the ladder of adulting, came when I got married. Setting up a home with a husband and learning to live together, learning to say “we” instead of “I”, learning to consult instead of independently making my own decisions, learning to become a united two rather than a solitary one, were part and parcel of that ascent. I’d like to think that I’ve moved up several stages in the curriculum of covenant relationship and marital harmony but since marriage is a life-time education, I’m probably still some way off from achieving my certificate of distinction!

My latest rise up the ladder of adulthood came when my dear mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For several years I had to effectively put my personal life on hold, in order to be there for her as a part-time carer, whilst still holding down a full-time job. And then this year my wonderful, supportive husband gave me leave to take a sabbatical from work in order to look after mum full-time, since I did not want her to go into a home. Sadly, my mother became quite ill and died in hospital in September this year. I wrote a post at my other blog called The Politics of Hope, sharing my thoughts and emotional struggles during this time, which you may be interested to read.

And so, it’s here that I now pause on the ladder of adulting, whilst I determine my next move, or wait for another chapter of life’s vicissitude to unfold . In terms of emotional maturity, I know I have a long way to go. But I do believe that even in this area of weakness there has been some discernible growth.

Thank you dear readers for listening. I appreciate you taking the time to hear me out and trust I did not bore you!

And should you want to know what Robert Firestone deems to be the hallmarks of true adulthood, you can read his article at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-experience/201306/six-aspects-being-adult

PHOTO CREDITS: All images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

My Paper-round, Parents and Career Pursuits

BLOG CHALLENGE

Are you up for the challenge?
Are you up for the challenge?

For details on how to participate visit: https://lifewithgraceandbeauty.com/2016/11/17/blogging-goals-whos-up-for-the-challenge/

 

Blog challenge – Day 5/Your First Job

We all start working at different ages and for different reasons. What was your first job?  Where did you work?  What was your schedule like?  Why did you start working there?

 

When one of my sisters became poorly and could not do her usual paper-round, I stood in for her for 1 week, so that she didn’t lose the position. And that was my first taste of having a job, being responsible for a role, fulfilling that responsibility to the best of my ability and receiving payment at the end of the week.

newspaperkaistachowiak-pixabay-973049_960_720I recall returning my newspaper bag to the sweet shop owner each day, long after others had returned theirs. I seem to have taken longer delivering the dratted newspapers to his customers on my allotted route. Whether this was because I was more painstaking than the others I have no idea. I certainly didn’t want to mess things up for my sister.

I remember feeling excited about the role for the first 1 or 2 days but after that the necessity of having to get up super-early and the novelty of the job soon wore off. I couldn’t wait for the week to be over! This paper-round however, was not my true first job, since it was not a position that offered regular employment and was not wholly mine.

Well, I subsequently secured a Saturday job at a local drycleaners. I was so pleased I’d landed this position and the proprietor, Mr Williams, was very nice to me. I believe I held that position for a few years. What I cannot recall is whether I had this post in addition to my day job, or whether it was purely a Saturday job—a means of earning pocket money, since my parents couldn’t afford to give us any. It’s just that I don’t think I could have been less than 15-16years old. Now I come to think of it, I believe it may have started out as a Saturday only job but that I continued working there for a while (at Williams Drycleaners), even after I began working properly elsewhere, as a full-time employee.

drycleaningunsplashfh4uo2pya-m0851Williams Drycleaners had a reputation for offering an excellent service. I did not appreciate it at the time, thinking a drycleaners is a drycleaners. But my own experiences since, of a less than desirable service from other establishments; complaints from my husband about the lack of good drycleaners (who don’t put double creases into his trousers and who return your items looking crisp and clean—not shiny, or in the same unclean condition in which they were handed over), plus the anecdotes from one of my brothers, whose cleaning and mending instructions were not followed to the letter, made me realise this is not the case!

My first full-time job was as a typist in the Civil Service. I worked in the Land Registry Department. My boss, the typing pool supervisor, was most impressed with my typing and presentation skills. I am not surprised because I had learnt to touch type at the age of 13 or 14 years old.

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Do you remember when salesmen used to call at your door selling their wares? Well I believe a salesman from the Scheidegger Training Institute had called at ours and my father, who wanted me to have better prospects than becoming a factory worker, decided to enrol me. I learned how to touch type, and earned a Diploma confirming I’d completed the “ten-finger touch method typewriting course including copy and speed typing, use of English and letter writing”. I was very proud of this achievement, especially as I’d achieved it outside of the school curriculum and a good 2-3 years before I actually left school.

Well, dear reader, my civil service job lasted approx 2-3 weeks!

I believe I was one of the youngest in the typing pool. I’d not been there a full week when I felt bored and wanted to leave. My other colleagues constantly moaned about how they hated their job and hated working there. I wondered why they didn’t leave and decided I did not want to turn into someone who stayed in a job they detested, yet moaned to all and sundry about how unhappy they were. So I decided to leave and I did.

Looking back, I can now understand those women. I was young, living at home, with no responsibilities. They were probably married, had a mortgage, plus bills to pay and children to raise. They could not afford the luxury of walking out of a secure job at whim. They had to be responsible. They were adults!

Now because I had this typing ability and because my father had sacrificed to pay for my tuition, I wanted to honour his sacrifice and please him. I did not want his sacrifice, or the skill it had secured, to go to waste, so I decided I’d become a secretary or a personal assistant.

My mother however, wanted me to use the excellent dress-making skills she’d passed on to me and secure a job in the fashion field. I later regretted not trying to pursue this.

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Perhaps I would have been a fashion designer now, or held some other position in the glamorous world of fashion. And who knows, perhaps (unlike Meryl Streep), I would have become The Angel Who Wears Prada!

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Please let me know your response in the comment box below. Thank you.

 

A Debt of Gratitude

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CC0 Image – Pixabaycom

 

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer

 

As a follower of Christ and a purpose-driven believer, I want to live my best life possible. I want to glorify God, honour his name and pursue the purpose ordained for my life. I am aware that I cannot achieve this on my own. I not only need God’s assistance, I also require the help of others. There are people (past and present) who will play (or have played) a part, whether minor or major, in helping me to accomplish my dreams and fulfil my God-given purpose. To those people I owe an inestimable debt of gratitude.

Amongst those people are two who are dear to my heart—my mother and my very first pastor and father in the faith, Archbishop Malachi Ramsay. Both have now gone on to be with the Lord but both in their individual ways made a significant impact upon my life and left a valuable legacy in terms of my spiritual walk with God.

Just as in the natural, the first five years of a child’s life are fundamental in helping to shape them into healthy and competent adults, so I believe the early years of a Christian convert’s life determines their future spiritual development, competence and maturity.

And so I thank God for placing both these commendable individuals early on in my Christian walk. I thank God for their:

  • integrity
  • unswerving commitment to Christ,
  • passion for the lost,
  • fervency of spirit,
  • excellence in service to the Body of Christ,
  • diligence in the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer,
  • willingness to teach and model their spiritual convictions to others.

 

I also want to thank God for their exemplary input into my life, which has helped shape me into the Woman of God I am today.

Are there people to whom you owe a debt of gratitude? People who have perhaps prayed for you? Friends who stood with you in good times and bad? People who believed in and encouraged you? Folks who have invested time, perhaps even money in you? Have you thanked them? Are you continually grateful to God for them?

PDA followers and visitors, let’s take care that we don’t undermine verbal expressions of gratitude with behaviour that sends a contradictory message!

Have a blessed week.

Gratitude Determines Your Altitude!

My Thinking Corner

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  Please check out her blog and if you’d like to join in – see Jacqueline’s “Thinking Corner” (Tuesday Trickles) for further details.

 

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Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

CC0 Image -Erika Wittlieb (Pixabay.com)
CC0 Image -Erika Wittlieb (Pixabay.com)

 

As many of you will be gathering with loved ones this week to celebrate thanksgiving, my thoughts turn to the subject of gratitude.

Experts say that having a thankful attitude in life improves our health, enables us to be more resilient when troubles assail us, and can even raise our level of contentment.

Maintaining an attitude of gratitude heightens awareness of, and appreciation for the positive aspects of our lives.

So, instead of succumbing to stress over unfavourable conditions (which will only have a detrimental impact on our emotional and mental well-being), we can choose instead to focus on, and express thanks for, the good things in our lives.

The more we engage with life from a grateful perspective, the more we can enjoy a stable, self-disciplined frame of mind and the happier we will become.

The following are quotes I hope will encourage you to pursue thankfulness as a lifestyle, rather than an occasional or seasonal exercise.

 

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

John Milton

 

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”

Maya Angelou

 

“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”

Roy T. Bennett

 

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

William Arthur Ward

 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John F. Kennedy

 

“Forget yesterday – it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift – today.”

Steve Maraboli

 

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.

Author Unknown 

 

 

Happy thanksgiving to all those celebrating and to all purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, have a great week!

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Do share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading,  don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media networks. Many thanks in anticipation!

 

 

 

A Heart Brimming over with Thanks

thankyouheartpda
Thank the Lord for all the glorious things he does… (Psalm 105:1 – The Living Bible)

 

It’s Thanksgiving!

We don’t celebrate this over here in the UK but I join with you all across the pond (why on earth do they call the Atlantic Ocean a pond?), in expressing my gratitude. Yeah, I join you all with my own low key celebration (no turkey – just fresh air pie!).

I am thankful!

The following is an extract from my writing practice journal, written earlier this year.

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I’ve just spent about an hour or so editing and reading recent entries. I am struck about how negative and depressing many of those entries are, about how negative I am regarding my life, my future, my prospects.

It reminds me of David and Asaph, who complained to God about the unfairness of life, the unjust challenges they faced, the persecution they encountered. I don’t want murmuring and complaining to be a constant feature of my life. I don’t want to always see things from a negative viewpoint. I recall WJ saying I am not as negative as when we first married. Nevertheless, thinking negatively seems to be my default place. I want that to change.

I liked when I used to write for the blog feature “My Thinking Corner”, since it forced me to think positively, so that I had positive things to share. I miss that and look forward to renewing that feature, and re-introducing that attitude in my life, in my thoughts. And so, I thought why don’t I make this entry one of positive reading? Why don’t I focus this entry on the good things in my life?

So first of all, I am so thankful that I am saved, that somehow God opened my eyes and took hold of my rebellious heart and drew me toward him. I am glad, I’m not the same person I was when he saved me some 30 odd years ago. I love that God LOVES me unconditionally! I love that there is nothing I do that can or will change this fact. God loves me! Period.

I’m thankful that I have someone to share my life with and that this someone (WJ) is thoughtful and at times considerate and we get along fairly well. I am grateful for our home and I’m thankful that we are both working and have been in full-time work for much of our married life. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to pay our mortgage and bills and enjoy leisure activities and pursue our interests.

I’m supremely grateful for the gift and talent God has given me to write… for the joy I experience when I do write… for the satisfaction this gives me personally and for the enjoyment and encouragement, even inspiration (hopefully) that my writing has provided to others.

I am thankful for my dear, dear mother*. For her prayer legacy. For her example as a committed woman of God and as an intercessor, as a staunch member of her church and for her unwavering love for the Lord.

I am thankful for my ‘ivory tower’ (so dubbed by my husband). My room of my own. My personal space in which to withdraw, to spend time with God, to study, pray and write.

I am appreciative and thankful for the freedom to follow Christ and both enjoy and express my faith through worship and church attendance, even though with respect to attending church, I don’t always take advantage of this privilege.

I love that I am not on my own. That despite my pessimism sometimes, despite my complaints and angst, I know God is with me, has a plan for my life and is in TOTAL control. I am thankful for the assurance that what I’ve gone through in the past, and what I’m going through right now, is not my final destiny, is only equipping me for better days ahead.

I’m thankful for this country into which I was born. It may not be the Seychelles. It may not be Barbados. It may not be the exotic location for which my heart pines but at least the economic climate is temperate. And at least, as a place which adheres to democracy, the political climate is somewhat stable.

I am thankful for each new day. There have been still-births, cot deaths, road traffic accidents, murders and catastrophic events, which have occurred over these past days, weeks and months robbing precious lives. I am still here, still alive and kicking (or alive and sometimes stressing) – praise God!

I am thankful for the assurance that one day (whenever God determines), yes, one day when I leave this life, I will enjoy a new, fear-free, stress-free, glorious life in Heaven. It is hard to conceive that one day I will inhabit a place where the brilliant, pure and stunning light of Jesus, which emanates from his holy, illustrious being will flood that awesome atmosphere, so that there is no need for the sun or moon to shine. He will be the light.

My mind can hardly conceive the possibility of seeing a world with gates made out of a single pearl, foundations made from precious stones, roads and pathways paved with gold, animals of prey co-habiting in peaceful existence with weaker animals, even children.

It is hard to imagine a world of perpetual peace and happiness, of continuous, inexpressible joy. A world peopled with the likes of King David and his son Solomon, with faith-giants such as Abraham, prophets like Elijah and Elisha, disciples such as Peter, James and John, leaders like Moses and saints of the ilk of Paul the apostle.

But, most of all, it is hard to conceive that on that momentous day, I will actually see face-to-face the beautiful shining countenance of the one who loved and loves me, the one who died for me, interceded for me, cherished me, had high hopes of and for me, sustained and preserved me.

For all these, I am truly thankful.

 

*Since writing this entry in July of this year, my dear mother went to be with the Lord.

It’s Not About You!

CC0 Image - courtesy of ryo taka (Pixabay.com)
CC0 Image – courtesy of ryo taka (Pixabay.com)

 

Effective communication is not about showcasing your wit, or rhetorical prowess. It’s about discerning the needs of your anticipated audience. It’s about speaking to and satisfying their expectations.

(Lady Cee – aka Carol)

 

 

 

Speak to My Heart!

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An effective communicator does not merely speak to your ears but also to your heart… your emotions… your aspirations.  (Lady Cee – aka Carol)

 

 

PERSONAL CHALLENGE:

Have you heard or read something recently that inspired you to ACTION? If so, please share with the PDA community in the comment box below.

 

 

7 Keys for Effective Communication

My Thinking Corner

 

CC0 Image courtesy of Rebecca Matthew (Pixabay.com)
CC0 Image courtesy of Rebecca Matthew (Pixabay.com)

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  Please check out her blog and if you’d like to join in – see Jacqueline’s “Thinking Corner” (Tuesday Trickles) for further details.

 

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CC0 image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

(George Bernard Shaw)

 

 

Today, my thoughts turn towards communication and how we, as purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, can become more effective at communicating with others.

I believe communication is the life-blood of relationships. Customers and retailers, husbands and wives, parents and children, politicians and constituents, all rely on effective communication (the exchange of words and non-verbal clues), to make themselves understood.

Whether the relationships in our life flourish or die, depend upon our communication skills. Show me a relationship where the parties refuse to speak to, or trade insults with one another, and we can pretty much deduce that the said parties are in strife, or are indifferent to one another’s feelings. This type of behaviour amounts to dysfunctional communication. This type of behaviour undermines success.

So how can we improve our communication skills? The following are a few practical tips that I believe will enhance our ability to relate positively with others.

  • Use your words to build—whether bridges, self-esteem, or understanding. Avoid the temptation to exchange insults or putdowns. You not only diminish the person at whom your barbs are aimed but you also diminish yourself.

 

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. (Yehuda Berg)

 

  • Be engaged in the moment. Are you listening (both to what is said and what remains unsaid), or merely waiting for the other person to stop talking, so you can have your say? Worst still, do you interrupt someone speaking mid-flow?

 

  • Don’t be habitually competitive. Avoid turning social exchanges into a “well, my circumstances trump yours!” scenario. (I’m sure many of you will know someone whose health issues are always worse than yours, or whose house/car/children are bigger or better than yours).

 

  • Follow known etiquette in each communication context (e.g. observe personal boundaries when speaking face-to-face and don’t use CAPITAL LETTERS within email).

 

  • Be aware that potentially negative signals sent (non-verbally) to your audience, may unintentionally contradict what you say. For example, I recently watched an episode of Come Dine with Me. One of the contestants kept smirking whilst eating a meal prepared by someone he saw as a potential rival. He had already discounted the other competitors.

Everyone around the table noticed it and asked whether he was enjoying his meal, to which he replied that he was. However, the host saw his behaviour as an unspoken and unfavourable comment on her food and, to me the onlooker, the smirks seemed to be a gamesmanship ploy, particularly as the host’s menu was similar to his own.

Again, let me remind you of Tip No. 1. Refrain from sending negative, non-verbal signals to others, as a deliberate put down.

  • Make appropriate eye contact. Neither stare at someone so intently you make them feel uncomfortable, nor on the other hand, give the person with whom you are speaking, the impression that they’re not worthy of your time. Whilst conversing with others, avoid texting or staring at your phone, looking around at what others are doing, or continuing with your duties.

 

  • Be concise in your verbal exchanges, thereby allowing your listener to engage with you in dialogue and ask for more info etc., if they are interested. However, don’t be curt whilst communicating with others. And please don’t commit the cardinal sin of going on and on and on, ad nauseam, because you happen to have a captive audience. In effect, you are saying to your listener(s): in future, avoid this person like the plague!

 

  • Smile. You may give others the wrong impression if your face looks hard and unapproachable, or stern and unfriendly. Also, remember a smile makes your voice sound warm and helpful, when speaking on the telephone.

 

Finally, to my fellow believers, remember God requires us to season our speech with salt (Colossians 4:6) and to keep our lips from speaking with guile (1 Peter 3:10). Furthermore, no matter how articulate, or eloquent we might be, if our communication with others is not expressed with, or motivated by agapē love, then (according to 1 Corinthians 13:1), in the eyes of our Father God, our endeavours are the equivalent of loud, clashing symbols!

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

  • Are you guilty of any communication blunders?
  • If so, which of the above tips will you begin to put into practice this week?

 

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, or considered the above tips to be useful, don’t hesitate to like and share this post with your social media contacts. My thanks in anticipation!

 

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

 

My Thinking Corner – thoughts/thinking

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  Please check out her blog and if you’d like to join in – see Jacqueline’s “Thinking Corner” (Tuesday Trickles) for further details.

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Image by: Monoar Rahman Rony - Pixabay.com
Image by: Monoar Rahman Rony – Pixabay.com

 

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

Last night as I considered what my theme should be about for today’s post, I suddenly thought, why not focus on thoughts and thinking itself? After all thoughts affect our emotions. Our emotions influence our decisions. Our decisions dictate our actions and these actions can produce our habits. Habits then form our character and our character determines our destiny.

As you can see, our predominant thoughts play a significant role in whether or not we achieve our goals, or fulfil our purpose. Thoughts can steer our lives towards success or shipwreck our hopes upon the rocks of negativity. And so, without further ado, today’s focus is on THOUGHTS/THINKING.

 

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.

(Wade Boggs)

 

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

(Henry David Thoreau)

 

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

(Norman Vincent Peale)

 

“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”

(Warren Buffett)

 

I like to think of thoughts as living blossoms borne by the human tree.

(James Douglas)

 

Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.

(W. Clement Stone)

 

One cannot think crooked and walk straight.

(Author Unknown)

 

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”

(Marcus Aurelius)

 

Thoughts are like an open ocean, they can either move you forward within its waves, or sink you under deep into its abyss.

(Anthony Liccione)

 

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

(Swami Vivekananda)

 

Question: Bearing in mind the above quote by Marcus Aurelius, if you were to assign your predominant thoughts a colour, what would it be and why?

 

 

My Thinking Corner – Integrity

MTC-BeachHammock(Pixabay)-457311_960_720
Image from Pixabay.com

My Thinking Corner

Hello lovely readers,

It’s that time of the week again when we share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate one another on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts. For further details check out her blog and if you’d like to join in, don’t hesitate to visit Jacqueline’s “Thinking Corner” (see Tuesday Trickles at side bar section for full details).

 

This week, my focus is on INTEGRITY

integrity-quote(vollanza.com)Integrity is not what you appear to be when all eyes are on you. It’s who you are when no one is looking. It’s a level of morality below which you never fall, no matter what’s happening around you. It’s a high standard of honesty, truthfulness, decency and honor that is never breached. It’s doing for others the way you would want them to do for you.

(The Power of a Praying Wife – Stormie Omartian)

 

Integrity is a heart-deep moral stance – not a stage for shallow showmanship

(Carol Hind)

 

Integrity is a choice to honour your moral or godly principles above popularity or personal gain

(Carol Hind)

 

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

(Bob Marley)

 

Integrity(BrianTraceyquote-quotesgram.com)
And for a portrait of someone who walks in godly integrity see Psalm 15:1-5

 

 

 

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

Blogging Break

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Image from Pixabay.com

 

Dear fellow bloggers, followers and visitors,

 When I first started blogging I had no idea just how time-consuming this would be. I had not reckoned on the time it takes to interact with others, or the amount of time required to maintain a site. Even though I don’t post as regularly as some others, I’ve found my posting schedule difficult to maintain.

 For various reasons, I’ve decided to take a 2-3 month break from blogging, so this will be my last post for a while.

thank-you(OberholsterVenita)-971644_960_720I’d like to thank all those who have visited and supported me with your comments, likes and encouragement and trust you will still be around when I return.  And I’d like to thank all those bloggers who have, despite their personal trials and busy lives, made time to share their inspirational posts, creative endeavours and beautiful images which have truly, truly blessed me these past few months. Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to re-connecting with you in the near future.

 Best wishes,

 Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

Pursue Creativity

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY

creativity(geralt)-396268_960_720

 

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Creativity:

  • the ability to make new things or think of new ideas
  • the quality of being creative
  • the ability to create

Merriam Webster Dictionary

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 In my post Unlock Your Potential, I said:

as human beings, made in the likeness of our creative Father, [we] share the same incredible potential to find creative solutions in whatever context we may find ourselves. We have the same ability to make valuable contributions to the world in which we live”.

 

As purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, are we nurturing a spirit of creativity in our lives?

I have selected the following inspirational quotes in a bid to both influence our thoughts about and, encourage us toward creativity, whilst we pursue our dreams… whilst we journey towards our destiny.

 

  • Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward de Bono

 

  • Creativity is bound up in our ability to find new ways around old problems. Martin Seligman

 

  • There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period. Brene Brown

 

  •  An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. Edwin Land

 

  • Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. Steve Jobs

 

  • I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. Brene Brown

 

  • When we are angry or depressed in our creativity, we have misplaced our power. We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued. Julia Margaret Cameron

 

  • There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. Sophia Loren

 

  • Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. Edward de Bono

 

  • A lot of people forget how important it is to be creative. We get caught up in getting ahead and in day-to-day minutiae. But creativity is a fundamental mode of expression, as is being tenacious and standing by your own convictions and passions, even if it’s not the ‘popular’ choice. Tabatha Coffey

 

SELF SCRUTINY

Did any of the above quotes resonate with you?

If creativity is not something you have actively pursued in your life to date, have any of the above quotes inspired you to change that this year?

If creativity has been a feature of recent endeavours, were you happy with the result? Bearing my above quote in mind, how did it make a positive contribution to the lives of others?

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please share your comments in the box below.

Discovering Your Purpose

CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.com
CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.com

 

I believe that God has put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of every one of us. When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe that you’re a person of influence and a person of purpose, I believe you can rise up out of any situation.

Joel Osteen

 

What is my purpose? Have you asked yourself this question? If so, did you receive a satisfactory answer, or are you still in the dark?

I believe that at some point in our lives, God drops that purpose into our hearts. I believe that even from an early age, without being aware of it, we can find ourselves enacting an element of this purpose, or we can display the beginnings of our God-given calling.

As a young person I loved to teach.  I would help my younger siblings with their homework, hold play classes, and even taught 2 of my sisters how to touch-type.  By the time they arrived at secondary school they were proficient and were streets ahead of their fellow class-mates.  It made them feel good and I felt proud that I’d not only been instrumental in making them shine, I had also equipped them with a valuable skill.

Through my help, these sisters had developed their potential.  They didn’t just watch me and say: I’d like to type one day.  They listened to and obeyed my instructions and they practiced. Gradually they improved until one day they became proficient enough to stand head and shoulders above their classmates. Potential.

Similarly, if we want to discover what we’ve been put on this earth to do and, if we wish to develop our potential, we can engage the assistance of one who is eminently qualified. The Holy Spirit, who has been sent alongside us to be our helper, knows God’s plan for our lives. He is able to reveal to us our Father’s pre-ordained purpose. He is able to teach and equip usbut whether we actually develop our potential and fulfil our purpose, is entirely up to us.  We have to want to discover our purpose. We have to want to do whatever it takes to fulfil our God-given calling.  Cherishing a dream is not the same as actually pursuing it!

For years I spoke to others and said I wanted to be a writer. Years. But I only spoke about it, read how-to books on it and cherished the desire in my heart.  Did that make me a writer? No! Absolutely not. After all, a writer writes! Apart from the odd poem here, an article there or some bible teaching notes at irregular intervals, I did not write at all. It was only when I began to write regularly and practically apply my knowledge that I started to feel I had earned the right and could say to myself with confidence – I am a writer!

Do you want to be a purpose-driven achiever? Then you need to seek God’s face, learn his ways and apply His Word to your circumstances. You need to pay heed to James’ exhortation and be a doer of God’s Wordnot just a hearer (James 1:22).

Let’s consider two biblical examples of people who discovered and fulfilled their God-given purpose.

Although Moses was brought up in Pharaoh’s palace, there was a burning desire in his heart to see his people (the Children of Israel) delivered from enslavement to the Egyptians. I believe he was being driven by God’s ordained purpose for his life. Somehow, whether it was an instinctive knowing, or the Lord had revealed this to him, Moses realised he was not called to sit back and enjoy the pleasures of Pharaoh’s palace  but to deliver the Children of Israel from bondage (Hebrews 11:24-26).  Unfortunately, he took matters into his own hands and murdered someone.

Joseph knew he was destined for higher things. He dreamed of prestige and prominence and was confident his future held much more for him than his family’s mundane life as a shepherd.  However, the coat of many colours he wore and his God-given dreams and vision, made him feel and act superior.

The above examples illustrate how wrong actions and attitudes can get in the way of us fulfilling our purpose. God then needs to bring us through a process to humble and purify our hearts. Moses, forced to flee for his life, spent decades in the wilderness looking after sheep.  Joseph, sold by his jealous brothers as a slave to merchants, was falsely accused of attempted rape and left to languish in jail.

God’s process of humbling and honing our characters, reminds us in no uncertain terms that He is in control. It hammers home the fact that our Father looks not for ability but for availability. It underlines the truth that he uses those with a servant heart, those whose lives bear the hallmark of  humility. God wants us to recognise that our success, or our accomplishments within the context of his divine purpose for our lives will not happen by self-effort, personal might, or willpower but by his Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).

Do you have an inkling of what your God-given purpose may be? If you do, are you working consistently towards that purpose? If you are not yet aware of what it is God has called and gifted you to do, are you willing to seek Him until he reveals what that pre-ordained calling is?

Dear reader be assured of this: God has both purposed and empowered you to be a dream-achiever.

 

Reading the Reader – Exploring this Cyberspace

Exercise 3 – Follow 5 new tags and 5 new blogs in the Reader.

 

CC0 Public Domain - Image from Pixabay.com
CC0 Public Domain – Image from Pixabay.com

 

Easy-peasy I thought when I saw this exercise. This should take me next to no time. Well was I wrong!

I’ve spent several hours looking for suitable tags and blogs with content I wanted to browse or read regularly. Through comments from others on the course who’d completed this exercise, I was aware that some people are following so many blogs it seemed practically impossible (and certainly unlikely) that they were actually reading them all. But, if I’m wrong and they are, then I wonder how they find the time to write for their own blogs. Oh well, that’s a matter for Mystic Meg and her crystal ball to figure out, so I won’t worry my little grey cells about this any more.

I could have taken the fast and easy option by selecting tags indiscriminately plus the first 5 sites that presented themselves in the Reader. However, I also didn’t want to follow merely for the sake of saying I’ve completed the exercise. I saw this as an opportunity to check out the contours of this exciting blogging world that I’m now a part of. I saw it as an opportunity to explore this alien terrain, check out unfamiliar voices and venture into new avenues, in the hopes that my views will be  expanded, clarified, even challenged. After all, it is only when your own convictions are questioned that you are able to test whether you stand firm in your self-confessed beliefs, or whether the contrary opinion of others has the power to push you away from your standpoint and over the cliffs of uncertainty.

This veritable expanse of the blogging universe sat unexplored, compliant and waiting – its delights ready for the taking. It promised fresh (even jaundiced) perspectives. It hinted at colour, spice, va va voom! I imagined pleasurable forays into unknown worlds of aesthetic culture, creative endeavours, exotic travel, gourmet delights and literary opinion. And so I sought erudite voices, vicarious experiences. I relished the idea of undetected and unashamed voyeurism into the lives and souls of others.

The first thing that came to my notice was that the Reader has been taken over by a bunch of people referring to themselves as “Blogging 101”. Honestly! The Reader was completely hi-jacked by authors of posts framing cries for help on technical issues; bloggers making outright pleas or subtle overtures for site visits. Both self-assured calls and tentative requests were being made to other course participants, asking for feedback on completed assignments. There were tales of frustration or woe over technical issues encountered, or whoops of delight as people provided updates on their attempts to fulfil assignments.

All this made interesting reading but don’t they know I’ve got work to do? An assignment to get on with? I cannot allow myself to be distracted.  With firm resolve I begin exploring potential tags and posts with gusto. Despite my highfalutin ideas, I was drawn to what I know… to what sits comfortably within the confines of my personal interests and passions. I’ll leave exploratory trips of the Brave New World to someone else.

Meanwhile, in case you’re interested in which new tags and blogs I’ve decided to follow, details of these are listed below. And if the fancy takes you, feel free to hop on board.

Tags:

  • Christian Book Reviews
  • Exotic Travel
  • Friendship
  • Lifestyle
  • Street Photography

Blogs:   

  • Daily (W)rite – damyantiwrites.wordpress.com (popular blogger and fiction writer who shares both blogging advice and insights into her daily ritual of writing)
  • Live to Write, Write to Live – https://nhwn.wordpress.com/ (group of professional writers share their experiences and tips regarding the writing life/career)
  • Passionately Pursuing Christ – dharrisdevotionals.wordpress.com (a published poet whose stirring words evidence passion and commitment for Christ)
  • True – shoppetrue.com (Website showcasing tasteful home furnishings and unique ideas for interior design)
  • Storyshucker – storyshucker.wordpress.com (talented story-teller shares poignant tales from memories of bygone days).

And you know what? I’ve even been able to complete the extra exercise set with this particular assignment, which was: Feel free to publish a post in addition to completing this task.

Voila!

Granted, I’m posting 2 weeks after the course concluded but I’m not going to let that concern me. Phew! That’s three exercises done and 12 more to go – so watch this space!