May you flourish like the trees of Lebanon…and become as famous as the wine of Lebanon.
This is a blessing I read in the bible. Wine has a good rep and the respect of people with class. I can prove it to you. When you think – wine tasting – what comes to mind? Who comes to mind? But I want to focus on the word flourish.
Let the word – flourish – sit in your mind and in your heart for a moment…
Feels good doesn’t it?
It is a loaded word and you can feel the weight can’t you? To flourish means to grow, thrive, prosper, do well, burgeon, increase, multiply, proliferate; spring up, shoot up, bloom, blossom, bear fruit, burst forth…all in one.
It means to be be healthy in the above sense both inside and outside.
You definitely want to flourish.
Below are four key thoughts that will enable you to flourish as you journey a Bonne Voyage on the destiny lane.
1. Gauge Your Progress and Success by Relationships:
And God said, “It is not good for man to be alone – Genesis 2:18.” As you advance on the destiny highway, people will come and people will go. That’s normal. But if after each mile on your journey to destiny, you don’t make new friends, strengthen old bonds, or make new and deep connections, you are building in misery into the success you will subsequently achieve.
The surest way to know you are flourishing is to gauge each knew breakthrough or advancement with the birth, emergence, or development of a relationship. This goes for both family and friends.
Let’s face it! Family is gold and some friends are more than brothers.
As you grow, not a lot of people will appreciate your progress. We all know some Haters! (Hola at your boy with a like or comment if you know some). As we grow, we need people who can empower us, lift us up, challenge us, and support us as we do the same. But the most important is this:
As we grow, we need people who can REALLY celebrate us. We need people who without pride or prejudice and in all their authenticity can celebrate us as well as our progress; people who will not flinch when they find the opportunity to promote us even though they are doing the same thing you are doing
We sure need those kinds of people. These types of friends or connections are called Confidants. They are not with you for what you DO: they are with you for YOU. Gauge your success by relationships such as these, not excluding family, mentors, and other.
I have a friend by the name of Louis. Not only does he challenge me, but he celebrates me like nobody’s business. He built http://www.threelly.com which is a platform (eg: Facebook/Youtube) which is doing extremely well.
Each time we talk, we learn something new, plot new ideas, and keep each other accountable. Then there is Clifford who is the founder of Opportunity Africa.
To be close friends and confidants with these two: to know you are friends with visionaries, hard-workers, and high performers is a blessing. If bad companions ruin good character, you can be sure that good companions build it. Because of their example, I can’t slack off in being creative. But because we are in it for each other, I can share my vision, successes, and failures with them and still be celebrated and lifted up. Sharing in each others vision is just the bonus. Without it, we will still be close. Now, that is beautiful.
As part of my routine, each weekend, I send them ‘my peeps’ messages or call them just to chat. Its a new process I started a while back and it is working for me. so each week, I get to talk to my brothers and my friends – those who make life worth it and those who celebrate everything about me. You are in relationship with those you are in contact and communication with. That’s why I like to keep it fresh.
You have heard it said that life is not about the destination, but the journey. But I differ slightly. My philosophy is that:
Life, dreams, visions, destiny is not about the destination, and neither is it about the journey. Its about the people on the journey to your destination.
2. Connect with Like Minded People:
As the bible tells us, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm – Proverbs 13:20 ESV.” My twin brother, who died a few months back, always used to tell me, “If you want to be intelligent, hang out with intelligent people.” I think this wisdom translates into everything. If you want to flourish, hang out with people who do. They will provoke you to jealousy (in a good way) and you will almost always find yourself learning, growing, adapting, and becoming the word – flourish.
If you walk into a room where people are smoking, you will eventually come out smelling like smoke. And even if you are a saint, everyone who comes close to you will smell NOT a saint. Find some rooms where wise, intelligent, blessed, good thinking, and creative people are and enter with a contribution. They will connect with you. That room can be an online platform like WordPress, your neighbors house where there is a book club, your church or synagogue, or a learning center near you.
Since I began blogging, I have been privileged to be followed by some amazing people whose stories I absolutely love. Thank you all for reading my stories. Thanks for the likes and follows. Let me talk about two for now. There is this beautiful and authentic lady – actor/nanny – behind Beautybeyondbones. She is the funniest blogger I have come across. Her Youtube posts are so funny (Always some blooper in it). She has a way with GIF’s and I learn style and finesse each time a read a new post. Her posts are constructed with love and vulnerability. That has taught me much.
Then there is Jesse Kerema. I read 5 Reasons you need a mentor which he wrote. Well, I have had issues with mentors. Mine have been runaway mentors. But Jesse reached out with his email to connect and share some thoughts. That to me was daring and encouraging and it blessed me. There are a host of others but I just wanted to highlight two.
To connect with people on a level you want to be on; to understand them, to share their thoughts and feelings, and work with them to bring hope to a generation, you have to be willing to step on the platform and create space by starting something that serves someone other than you. Once you do, others will find you, encourage you, give you counsel, and connect with you. In this regard then I say,
Don’t give up on that project. Its okay. God is with you. Keep believing and reach out for help. Someone will lend a hand. You are not alone, never without a friend, and never without a helping hand
3. The Issue of trust:
This is relatively simple. If you want to flourish, you must learn to trust people. You must learn to trust and keep trusting people even when people betray your trust. When someone betrays your trust, it hurts. But if you stop trusting, you cannot be truly and intimately known by others. Then you start becoming fake. Then people know you are fake though its not your intention. Then, you wall off beautiful pieces of your truest identity in some dream hideaway. Then depression begins. But you are beautiful – a masterpiece – and you need Masterpiece YOU to fulfill your God-given destiny.
Trust that you will be loved and trust others with the true you. Its not always easy, but its a journey you can begin. Read and watch people like Beautybeyondbones.com and see how authentic she is. The courage of these folks to be vulnerable is infectious. Its a start to trusting that what you say or do will not be taken the wrong way but rather would be welcomed and appreciated.
On the other hand, you can’t really go far if you yourself are not trusted by others. Would you put you money in a bank that is shady? Well, why not? Its just a shady bank. Its not that big of a deal. To be trusted means you have to be relevant and reliable. You have to be responsible and do what you do with class, finesse, and a smile.
Yes, even if that means cutting the toe nails of your grandaunt’s toe nails, cleaning the bathroom when someone else messed up the floor, or washing dishes at a restaurant even though you have a degree…! Talk about humble beginnings. Humble beginnings doesn’t define your identity. You are special, a special bunch, and part of the millionaire generation. Do what you do with class.
4. Continue to Rehearse:
i. Always do it with an attitude!
I mean walk, talk, dance, speak, act…with an attitude. Whatever you do, muscle up some enthusiasm and do whatever you do with an attitude – a positive attitude. A positive attitude is just a thought a way. That’s it! Practice positive thinking. My life verse is this – “Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts (Proverbs 4:23).”
You are were you are and in what you do because of the way you thought. And if your thoughts got you to where you are and you don’t like it, just have another thought. If you are going to be entering a circle of people who think on a higher plain – start having new and refined thoughts. This time, brilliant and radiant ones.
ii. Wear your best!
Its simple – pull out those nice shirts, shoes, and suits and put them on people. Dress like you are going to a classical concert with whatever your best is. The reality is this – as you grow wider or taller or both, those nice clothes will become small. So, no harm in rocking them now, right?
Put them on! I started doing that a few weeks ago and it felt good. But how people saw me, changed. Maybe the dress matched my mindset – winner, blessed, favored, joint heir with Christ, a King, millionaire generation. But maybe, the dressing up shifted my mindset to where it ought to be. I think its both.
Dressing up is an empowering moment. It brings with it the flourishing feeling. It is a good start.
I hope this blesses you.
I wish you a week full of good health and prosperity. May you, your family, and friends flourish like the trees of Lebanon and become as fragrant like the wine of Lebanon. God bless you.
Happy Independence Day America
Happy July 4th.