Discovering the Vehicle for your Calling

Let’s go back to – Catalina Islands…for a sec

One of the most fascinating creatures on God’s green earth that I met was Jesse.

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Meet Jesse – (So cool)

 

Jesse is an epiphany. She redefines coolness. She had that cool, colorful, Malibu groove going on. She is graceful, calm, charming, lovely, wise, intuitive, respectful and one fine sister who really loves Jesus. Don’t judge. Just bragging about Jesse is all.

While facing the beach we engaged in a conversation to inquire why we were each glowing. And no…it wasn’t love at first sight or last sight (though if Jesus made it possible…okay…I should stop now). Just kidding.

We swapped stories and compliments. Then, Jesse shared her dilemma. She didn’t know what her calling was. She wanted to know what it is God was inspiring her to do and how to do it. She was a sophomore in college but wasn’t sure what to chose for a major. I listened and we just talked and swapped experiences. Then, our talk went something like this  –

Ish: What do you hope to achieve in life?

Jesse: I want to help people.

Ish: Okay. Let’s go deeper. What does that look like? What does helping people look like to you? What is supposed to be the outcome in people’s lives that you helped them? What impact do you want to see in their lives 10 years down the line because you helped them today?

Jesse: I want to make them feel better in…

Ish: Cool. In what area of their life do you want to help people? You can make people feel better in different ways. You can help them feel better in a financial sense, inspirational sense, family sense, medical sense, business sense, entertaining sense….what is your preference? In what way do you want to give your help?

(Jesse told me what she wanted but was worried about choosing a major. When she did, this followed -)

Ish: Jesse? The beautiful thing about Catholic tradition is that you are taught servant leadership. You are taught to bring heaven to earth. You are thought to instinctively turn a vision to a mission. Without being aware, you have successfully turned the vision of wanting to help people in this specific area into a mission. You are literally doing it. Can you see that?

Jesse: Oh…

Ish: And that’s all it is. Your calling to your mission. You can fulfill that mission now and at any other time as long as you meet and connect with people. You can apply that mission to your family, community, friends, and so on.  But as you grow, you will need money, a job etc. Yes?

So, this is the big question.

What vehicle would you like to chose to transport that vision turned into a mission? 

Jesse: I guess, I haven’t taught of it that way. A vehicle…

(I didn’t either, but it felt smart when it came out of my mouth and I didn’t mention it)

Ish: Yeah. For example –

McDonald’s vision may be to feed people. Its mission is to do so with tools such as burgers and shakes. But, it needs a vehicle to transport that vision, yes? It uses buildings and sytems to deliver that burger to you. 

Nike is a perfect example. Its visions/mission may be to say help folks develop their inner athlete. Its vehicle is to craft and sell shoes and apparel that transmit the message and make that reality true.

So, what vehicle would you like to use to transport your vision/calling?

Don’t worry about a major. It is just the vehicle. Simply chose which vehicle you would like to transport you and your vision/mission. You can drive downtown in a car, a bus, or take the metro. Same thing with your vision. Your major is just one vehicle.

If you are a student, your mission can help you come to a better vehicle by design. For a working class adult, their mission can help them chose what extra courses to help them keep living a specific mission while making money. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can begin to imagine what to build or write in order to transport that vision/mission.

Does this help? That may be a good start.

But, here’s the cool part.

To be continued…


 

 

 

 

Miracles and Humor at the Beach

Ladies and gentlemen,

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I’M BACKKKKKK….!!!

Hahaha. Oh my goodness. I missed you guys.

Thank you for all the likes, follows, and comments in my absence. They blessed me and encouraged me. It tells me that what I share is of some benefit to you. Merci…thank you.

But – Listen people – I have been stressed!

Mi familia has been experiencing a sudden stream of trials. We lost our grandma, our cousin is out of work because of a stroke, another in Canada jumped out of her car before it crashed,….phew…#lawdjesus. [Please pray for us]

Its been hardships and heartbreaks. I was so stressed from work, school, project, and life that I started to reach my physical limits. I began having cold breakouts and shiver under anxiety and stress, loosing vision, and having small brain shut downs – literally.

When this happened, its as if our Lord was telling me to stop – everything – and retreat with him. The moment I said yes, I received a message from an organization with a scholarship to visit the wild side Catalina Islands. My first question was – “Is Catalina Islands in the United States?”

“Duh” – its in California just 30 minutes away from by seas. And people, let me tell you something – wild and beautiful. I enjoyed the –  No cellular service – part.

While I was there, I experienced cool things. On my beach walk, I walked into an eagle eating fish. When I said – “hey bro, how are you doing?” it flew away. I’m not sure if it was being racist or was just scared of a brother.

Then, I sat down and just worshiped and came up with a new song. Then I saw something swimming and shouted, “Dolphin…hey dolphin. Come say hello.”

Yep, you guessed right – it wasn’t a dolphin. Turns out, it was a flippin’ baby sea lion.

Cute right?

That’s what I thought too.

Not until I was like, – “Oh wait, its a baby sea lion. W…a…i….t a minute. Where is its mother? Oh wait, where is the mother?” Hey, I was man enough to run okay. That’s what real men do.

Then, on my beach walk back, I got trapped by high tides that flooded the shores and my path, closing in me into the rocks with a rock hill behind me.

So – I was trapped at the beach with a rocky hill behind me that I couldn’t climb, closed in by high tides, threatened by waves, watching a baby sea lion missing its mother within a few yards away from me. 

Ha…! I almost called my mom. What? That’s what real men do when they are in trouble – hello, 21st century here (lol).

Then, I got a new nickname too – Motown!

That’s right. Its all about that Old Skool people. Its all about that Patti LaBelle. The name was given to me by three tough ladies who went kayak racing with me. Yep – they won…hmm…the first time, because I let them. I’m telling the truth.

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#Motown

I made friends, played Mafia for the first time and kept throwing everyone off their game because I laugh all the time and no one figured that out about me. I told them – Listen, I am a happy man – and they didn’t believe me.

But, here’s what amazed me.

This young lady kept following me to talk. Then another guy. Then they engaged me in conversation. We talked, for a while and I shared a bit of my story and what God has done for me. And let’s just say it led to two of them committing their lives to Jesus.

Then, I spoke with two of my Catholic sisters and some wisdom just came out of my mouth regarding tracing their calling and it blew us away. Blew my mind. I knew I wasn’t that smart. And during a confession-discussion time, they used the “exact” words I shared with them. It was so honoring being a vessel even at rest. God is so…good y’all.

Did I mention I went snuckling? Woot woot…this guy is trying new things. Well…okay, I didn’t put the googles on and I used a board.

What????

There were string rays and “supposedly” harmless baby sharks. Like I would believe that. And I made some new sea friends. I didn’t find Nemo, but I found Sebastien. We had a good time – fo’sure.

But, I didn’t forget y’all. Hello….!

I took you all with me in my heart and prayers.

This week I will try to unpack the wisdom of tracing your talent and calling. They will be brief. Enough said! No matter old you are, its never too late to make a difference people. I leave you with this –

Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped – African Proverb

Meaning: Don’t look at your mistake: look at what caused it.

Better yet,

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you – Jesus

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One Love, One Spirit


 

 

 

 

Sharp Leadership: Influence vs. Movement

Leadership is not just about influence: it is a movement.

If you move and influence people, alone, then that’s it – you influence them. If you want to create real impact, carry your people with you. If you carry your people with you,

1) you won’t be alone, 2) you will get support, and 3) the sound of all y’all’s feet will cause an earthquake of positive influence…

…which will impact people behind you, beside you, in front of you, and generations down the line. Bonus – you will be happier.

In my class, our professor, a former U.S Ambassador, brought in a speaker – Carl Sharperson, a former Marine Corp Pilot and a top Leadership Innovation Strategist, to speak to us. He authored Sharp Leadership. His book is transforming the way I lead my life and interactions.

– Below is my Sharp Leadership project (how did I do?)

You can use Carl’s Five key principles below to – carry yourself & your people with excellence. These principles are –

1) Tell the truth: how important is this? E.g. – If as an engineer, you tell your marine pilot his plane is half-full when its not, because you are scared, you may have just cost the pilot his life if he goes flying far thinking his fuel tank is full. Let your responses be – no, yes, or I will find out.

2) Be accountable: Be a man/woman of your word. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Do what you say when you say you will do it and how you say you will do it.

3) Take care of your people: If you take care of your people, your people will take care of you.

4) Give and receive feedback: Use a sandwich model – compliment, offer criticism, then compliment. Or use the Bringles Model – Ask for feedback first and then give feedback after.

5) Be fair: From speaker LeRoy Crooks, an industrial genius – “Don’t do something for one person if you can’t do it for everyone.”

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Keep it 100

One love, One Spirit


 

What You Do vs. What You are Called to Do – the difference

In my previous post, Clues to Your Calling, I referred to an article, The Call, written by Rabbi Sacks in which he shared the four characteristics to discovering your calling.

Click here to read the full (short) post.

I often had questions. How do I differentiate between what I am good at, what I do, and what I am called to do?

That was a hard question for me to answer. I love stories and in his talk, Rabbi Sacks told shared a personal revelation which resonated with me. He said –

I have known great judges who were also brilliant pianists.

Wittgenstein trained as an aeronautical engineer but eventually dedicated his life to philosophy.

Ronald Heifetz qualified as a doctor and a musician but instead became the founder of the School of Public Leadership at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

We can be good at many things, but what gives a life direction and meaning is a sense of mission, of something we are called on to do.”

And what is the real test for a calling?

“The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves” ~ Logan Pearsall

Finally,

All real achievement requires back-breaking preparation. The most common estimate is 10,000 hours of deep practice.

Are you willing to pay this price?

~ Rabbi Sacks

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Keep it 100

One love, One Spirit


  1. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Call (Vayikra 5778), Rabbisacks.org 

Clues to Your Calling & Destiny

How does one find out what their calling, their vocation, or their destiny is?

This is a question I battled with and sometimes still battle with.

It is quite a journey and for me it has been hard and it has taken me over 8 years to put – some of it – together. In the beginning, it was blurry. I just knew what page God was on in my book of life and destiny and where in the future he was calling from.

But, like Father Abraham, I had no idea what to do, where to go, or how to go about it. It was a cold call – cold turkey.

My journey has been about learning the nuances of “God’s call to us” and sharing the process. It has involved stepping out of myself to see the work and the hand of the divine working on myself while doing life myself.

It now involves sharing what I have experienced to be the MOST IMPORTANT pieces to keep in mind or work with in order to help friends, family, and others make that practical shift and take action not on their own, but as a community.

That’s why I started this blog.

Recently, while listening to Rabbi Sacks discussing a weekly bible portion on Leviticus, he shared some thoughts and clues to identifying your vocation which I thought was awesome. I saw myself in the process. In his article, he quoted the late Michael Novak in, Business as a Calling: work and the examined life, shared these four characteristics to identifying your calling:

Firstit is unique to you.

Secondyou have the talent for it.

Thirdit is something which, when you do it, gives you a sense of enjoyment and renewed energy.

Fourthdo not expect it to reveal itself immediately. You may have to follow many paths that turn out to be false before you find the true one.

*Does this give you any idea as to what your calling is? Does it clue you in? What came to your mind when you read this? I hope at the very least, it helps you.

Next, I will post on the difference between what you are good at, what you do, and what you are called to do.

Until next time, I wish you good health and prosperity.

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Keep it 100

One love, One Spirit


  1. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Call (Vayikra 5778), Rabbisacks.org 

First, Improve the World before Perfecting Yourself – here’s why

And…Its all about timing

I know, I know…sounds like marlarkey – meaningless talk, nonsense…! But, I assure you, it isn’t it.

In the previous post, Your Calling vs. Your Mission, I shared the following quote:

Improving the world around us comes before perfecting our own inner world ~ Mendel Kalmenson

Then I asked the question –

Did you notice the twist in that quote? Well, did you?

Its true. Transformation begins on the inside before it can be expressed on the outside. It only makes sense to work on yourself first before you work on the world. One must blow the flames of God’s word and God’s call in their souls first so that the heat of their fire can bring warmth to those around them.

But,

Do you have to “perfect” yourself first to before improving the world around you? When a house is on fire, anyone who can carry a bucket of water to put out the flame is required to.

When you work on yourself and obtain some wisdom, knowledge, or understanding, begin improving the world around you. Find a need, a problem and speak or write or contribute a thought, an idea, an alternative to it.

You have little to share. God can multiply your two loaves and five fishes to feed the 5000. Have faith to share the little you have. That’s all he needs

You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to perfect your craft to do something. Perfecting yourself means focusing largely on yourself most of the time to build up strengths and develop weaknesses. It means perfecting your craft before crafting something to share.

But, that means the world around you will keep burning and sobbing because you “voice” is silent. That voice may be public speaking, art, singing, comedy, acting, painting, drawing, teaching, writing, blogging, designing, finance…you know yourself.

By the way, perfect may never be attained. Any true master knows there must remain a student of life and their craft. So –

If you have come to a point where you can offer something, do it. Start now! If not now, when? If not you, who? If not here, where?

Don’t forget –

Done, is better than perfect 

And though it is necessary to work on yourself, it is NOT required for you to become perfect to offer what little you have that is currently needed to put out the flames of evil confusing beautiful souls and destroying your part of the world.

Its all about the timing. 

Work on yourself first. Do good work yes. Push to be excellent, to be perfect – yes! But, prioritize your decision to improve the world around first, before pushing to be perfect.

Ideas inspire! Actions achieve

 

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Keep it 100

One love, One Spirit


 

Your Calling vs. Your Mission

A calling is a vocation, something other, from your day job or what you do everyday. A calling is God’s call to you from the future. He is already there, sees you as He knows you are capable of becoming if you say – yes – to his ultimate adventure.

It means in your “book of destiny”, God is on Page 898 and seeing you at page 127 is saying to at Page 127,

Hey there! I know you don’t know me or know what will happen in your life. But, if you focus on this mighty task which I would like for you to consider pursuing in additional to all your other responsibilities and life in general, and if you calibrate your compass to follow this divine map, you’ll meet me on page 898 in the future. Along the way, you will experience me, meet or get to know my Son, and receive help from my Spirit. Are you in?”

When God calls you, it means you are not there yet. You are not that person yet. You are not “it” yet. It means you have a ways to go. But, here’s the sad thing –

Your calling can remain only that – a calling – if you don’t turn that calling into a mission. That’s when things change. It depends on your perception

When God calls you, that’s it – He calls you – to a possibly remarkable future or personal experience of knowing His capabilities. You can talk about it, rejoice over it, write about it….but until you start “seeing that calling as a personal mission” you risk letting your calling remain a calling.

Yes, you have a calling. But, if you see each and every day as an opportunity to live that calling to the fullest; if you see every day as an opportunity to perform a single tasks that fulfills the potential of that calling – things shift.

Don’ t worry about the provision, big meetings, divine connections, and big break that may happen down the line. God will provide. He’ll make a way. Like me, you may feel jealous. You may be tempted to judge yourself by likes, follows, and so on. But, keep your cool. Be relentless in your mission.

Even if you feel like you want it to be all about the money, do what you can about this mission until what you do becomes a part of you and subsequently has little to do with wanting money, fame, or resources

Each day, find an opportunity to bless, empower, inspire, lift…up a soul with the little you have. Words can heal the world…of someone or a homeland. Start with that. Daily Instagram posts or positive Facebook updates is a good start.

Phone calls, sms’s, letters, reports…are other forms. Asking questions, suggestions, feedback, seeking help, or attempting to tryout for opportunities you may be qualified or under qualified for is another start. Have faith. Take the risk! Its worth it.

A calling is from God and calls you to the future. When you turn it into a mission, something you can act upon daily with baby steps,  it becomes personal. You own it. It becomes a personal responsibility and makes you an active co-author of your destiny.

If you have learned the basics of something or in some way have overcome in life, love, laughter, wisdom, beauty, Anorexia, business, politics…then you know enough to start filling the void in our young, a void left by the absence of parents, the arrogance of elites, and the ignorance of those insisting on maintaining unhelpful bureaucratic systems.

Improving the world around us comes before perfecting our own inner world ~ Mendel Kalmenson.

Did you notice the twist in that quote? I’ll share that later.

Until then….

Turn your lifelong calling (from heaven) into a mission which you observe to do daily with baby steps in the right direction. Start with a word, a positive phrase, a blessing, a gift, a message, a phone call, a sentence, an application, a business plan….! Just do it!

Again – anything that needs to be done should be done right away.

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Keep it real, keep it simple

One love, One Spirit

Life is NOT full of surprises, YOU ARE!


 

You Don’t Have to Be on the Same Page

Often, we think that to get along, especially in relationships, we have to be on the same page. Well, I disagree.

We are all different. We are each unique expressions of the image of God with different hopes, dreams, and ideas. We each have our own experiences and differentiating nuances in world views. Yes, even when we believe the same thing.

Imagining romantic relationships here – what if her level of spirituality is different from yours? What do you do then? Is it a good match or not? Obviously, one of you has much to learn, yes?

So, being on the same page is not really plausible. What do you do then?

When you are in a relationship or intend to begin a deep one –

You don’t have to be on the same page.

You just have to be reading from the same book.

Here’s why – Continue reading “You Don’t Have to Be on the Same Page”

Power Introductions

God’s greatest gifts are people and He sends his gifts to you when you are about to enter a new level of your mission here on earth. People connect and complete the circle of your destiny.

Whatever it is you are asking God for, it is in other people, in the hands of other people, in the hearts and minds of other people who may very well be right next to you.

But here’s the thing.

God can touch hearts, inspire people to think and favor you. What He won’t do is do the loving and talking for you. God will send you his gifts, his people, his friends. But –

If you don’t pick up the scent of God’s favor through the people he sends who may very well be unconventional; if you don’t love and respect them, they will leave you: they will walk away. And yes, your blessings will too

God said he’d help you. But don’t get it twisted.

If you act like a jerk…you’ll lose them.

Power introductions have an influence on your destiny and here’s why and some examples you can use and build on – Continue reading “Power Introductions”

The Four Way Test

Listen! You are light and you are life. You cannot be hidden. Bloom! Shine!

Jesus said that “You are the light of the world” and “A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

If the light of the world lives in you, that makes you light too. If the one called wonderful dwells in you, that makes you wonderful too. But –

So what? How does it help your people and the community that you are life, light, and wonderful?

Continue reading “The Four Way Test”