I have often said, success is not about the destination, and its not about the journey either. Its about THE PEOPLE on the way to your destination. Our dreams and visions are for the people. Through our interactions with them we get inspired to think, dream, and imagine.
To succeed, we find out what they want and serve them. Regardless of how talented and gifted we are, we still need to deal with people. And even after all the adventure is done, we are left with – people – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we still need to deal with them.
But, I often think we forget just how powerful our interaction with people are.
So, here’s a perspective* from The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory –
“You think that human interactions are like chemical reactions. When two elements interact, they result in the creation of a third compound. But people aren’t chemicals.
~ When people interact its like A NUCLEAR REACTION ~
A nuclear reaction has a center, from which further reactions spread in all directions. As the outer rings of that sphere gets larger, the number of reactions grow exponentially.
Likewise, when you touch the heart of one person very deeply – even just for a moment – he in turn will touch many other people, triggering a nuclear explosion of positive influence.”
Honor is something that should dwell among us. A step further: it should dwell on our lips in what we say or what we keep ourselves from saying. Let honor fare better with us that among thieves. This coming from a man who has made so many mistakes in this area. Oh well…God help us.
Let’s cross examine Joseph (the dreamer’s) story. First, we learn that Joseph has dreams of ruling. Jacob loves Joseph more than his other children which sparks jealousy and hate. Joseph’s brothers sell him to the Ishmaelites (ironically my name is Ishmael) and the Ishmaelite’s sell him in Egypt.
We know Joseph rises in rank and is in charge of Potiphar’s house. Next, he is framed by Potiphar’s wife, he is put in prison, and years later, after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he is made Viceroy of Egypt. It will be 7 years later when a famine (agricultural depression) hits and his brothers come to Egypt to buy food (1).
Woa wooa wooa…! What’s your point?
Okay! Why didn’t Joseph send an email back to Canaan to tell his father Jacob he was alive? I’m sure they had either Camel or Donkey telecommunication services. That’s how word traveled. Okay, maybe when Joseph was being transported by the Ishmaelites he was only a transaction with no rights. No big deal.
What about when Joseph was head of Potiphar’s house? He most definitely could have sent an e-mail (eagle/bird mail) to his dad. Why didn’t he? Even so, when he became Viceroy of Egypt, he could have gone back or sent a messenger: why didn’t he? Continue reading “Honor among gossips? WHAT!”
In life, you won’t always have ideal circumstances, but you will always have opportunities in un-ideal circumstances for advancement.
Nothing is ideal.
The world is not ideal. Our circumstances are not ideal. People are not ideal. The stars won’t always line up for you to be able to make your move, date, marry, or start a business. Even when we hope for the ideal times to take a risk, they never come.
And if you are waiting for that ideal thing or person, gifts and blessings will always pass you by. But, indulge me for a sec.
I noticed that in the midst of the un-ideal circumstances are silent opportunities, echoed only by the wind.
You won’t see these opportunities. You won’t hear them. But for a brief moment, you will feel the breeze of one or two opportunities caress your countenance. ONLY for a brief moment.
*If you are adamant about perfection, perfect circumstances, and ideal circumstances, you will likely dismiss silent opportunities too quickly. You will brush it off as a temptation and miss the God moments, signs, numbers, symbols, and signals. You may miss God’s voice in the mundane and the unconventional.
*If you have an open mind, you will pick up the scent. And perhaps you will debate in your mind the outcome of either choosing to pursue set ideals or risk taking the opportunity in front of you. (NB: I’m not talking about values and ethics. Just life).
*You may consider that going with the opportunity you find. But of you, this choice will require great honesty on your part. Honesty about what is currently possible about your situation.
Honesty about what the current limits, boundaries, and restrictions of your situation are. And honesty as well as a painful admission about whether you are willing to pay the price to overcome set obstacles and limitations.
The choice will always be yours.
We don’t live in a world of fairy tales and happy endings.
THIS IS THE REAL WORLD. WE ARE LIVING IT
We can’t always make situations ideal but we can at least grow toward becoming our ideal selves
What makes our failures, hopes, ruined expectations…painful is hope deferred.
That’s because we have to contend with life living its own life. Life has a life of its own. It has its own good days and bad days.
But, even as we contend with what we wish were an ideal set of circumstances for our lives at the moment of pondering a decision, there will always be hope.
There will always be an opportunity or a possibility in the midst of un-ideal circumstances to chose something, chose someone, or make a simple choice that can be a long term blessing. But that will require some mental, emotional, and physical work.
That’s for sure. So –
We may not have ideal circumstances. But we can manage and have the ability to shift our journeys and circumstances toward the ideal side of the life spectrum after the fact
On the other hand –
Failure to take an opportunity just because circumstances are not ideal may become the one pivotal thing in life that you look back on as failure. Regardless of that, you can become a pirate of your crisis. So –
Work with the ideal in mind but plan elaborately for the worst and for alternatives. Better yet, “Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will order your step (Proverbs 3:5).”
This is the real world.
Even so, its in the midst of us living “in the real world” and being a part of it that makes the work of the Almighty in us and through us a light, a delight, and a testimony.
With that in mind, I want to thank The Two Most Important women in my life – Grandma Dinah and Mom. These women sacrificed almost everything to raise me. They would die for me. Thank you so much.
Here’s is an intimate look at my origin through Grandma’s eyes.
She is over 100 and still going.
First, I mention them to show you where I came from. Secondly, it is to add life to a blessing/prophecy they gave me when I was young, a word which is unfolding. And lastly, their blessing connects me to the person this post is about.
Still reflecting on stuff! Its been a lazy week for me – because I am still in reflecting mode. But, its been helpful for me to STOP and go back to basics. While at it, I have been reading things I wrote years ago. Perhaps this has been the reason for this season.
And I want to share something which – you already know (I hope).
C. S Lewis wrote –
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
In your soul is the light that gives you life. It may be dim, but that’s the journey most of us are taking. Our souls embody the dreams and visions of grandeur, the essence of our ideas, the motives of our success, and questions of worth and meaning.
When we lose our will to live, we die. When we give up or quit, we become the living dead. When we lose our passion for life and our enthusiasm for a bright future, our faces become dim and we begin to crash into despair and depression. Continue reading “Back to Basics”
Hands up if you have ever watched a video or read an an article that said something like:
The THREE things you need to succeed
FIVE keys to success
This ONE thing will make you rich in a year
SEVEN Life Changing Keys to Success
SIX Traits the Most Successful People Have in Common
….and so on.
Now! Hands up if you are sick and tired of hearing about “this” key to success, “that” key to success, and the many other different keys to success that never seem to end?
These days, listening to “The Experts” these days end up confusing and frustrating some of us. They share keys like be consistent, determination, commitment, communicate well, excellence is required, vision is necessary…or need I go on?
While these are informational, across the board, they are highly personal to the experts. Folks need different keys for different areas of their life and business; for different industries, at different times. That’s why “keys to success” never seem to end.
After listening to several or trying to put them to work, you end up becoming frustrated. I think its because the many “keys to success” out there miss a pivotal focus.
First, because of my initial reaction to the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
When I heard of the shooting, I didn’t feel any pain or connection. None! I was angry at myself for not feeling pain. I didn’t know why. Maybe I have been desensitized by TV. Even though I planned to lift Texas up in prayers before bed last night, I forgot.
I felt horrible for forgetting. I’m sorry!
But, in Zumba class this morning, a country song was playing and in that moment, I remembered the shooting. I had completely forgotten about it. Even then, I felt no emotion. No connection. I am embarrassed to even say that.
But when I slowed my dancing pace and looked around at everyone laughing, smiling, and two-stepping to the beat, I wondered –
“Is anyone in here thinking about Texas? Do these people realize what happened in Texas in that little church? Why do we feel so detached from this?”
I had a terrible cough and nose bleeding for a week. And traveling didn’t make it easy. But my travel wasn’t all cough, blood, and tears. I met, connected with, and drove with a wonderful young man for 10 hours from Redding, California to Los Angeles.
Meet Landon from Idaho.
He is an organic farmer (7 years running), world traveler, and extreme hiker from a wonderful family. Plus, he is only 23. Our drive was fun.
Landon shared his passion for storytelling, script writing, film, and production. But, he had questions for me. And the questions was the sign to share this post. Initially, I felt that it was premature to share this, but Landon inspired its release.
Exception: I like writing short posts. But, because of the weight and life changing nature of this post, this will be a little emphatical for the sake of clarity. It will benefit you greatly. It might change your life. I will try to be brief. (That said…)
Here’s the deal –
We all have God-given gifts and talents. Let’s call these cluster of gifts and talents – your circle of competence. They are your strengths and can cause you to blossom.
“The gift makes way for the man” ~ unknown
Having gifts and talents does not mean you will succeed. Finding them doesn’t mean you will automatically grow.
Understanding the lifecycle of your gifts and talents (circle of competence); and understanding where you are in that lifecycle can help you to – become clear, find peace in your search for meaning, and enable you to grow intentionally and effectively on your journey toward destiny.