Tag: LIFESTYLE

Is it 10 or 11?

Once, at the end of a conference, we were told –

Fill out these one-page surveys and bring them to us when you are done. Be honest. We will like to know how we are doing and how you enjoyed the conference.”

To be honest, the conference was a blast. I had so much fun. I learned so much. I made friends. And I had a breakthrough sharing the most vulnerable part of my life with a complete stranger who also took time to reciprocate.

I thoroughly enjoyed this leadership conference. The people, the dancing, and two-stepping to folk music was a refreshing experience. So, how could I accurately convey how I really felt? On this survey, words were not permitted. Only checks in boxes. And as usual, the survey read –

“From 1-10, 10 being the best and 1 being the worst, rate your experience. How did you enjoy this conference and was it helpful?”

How then could I convey everything I was feeling? Selecting 10 would reflect the outcome but, not what the conference and the people did for me. I need to check this box in a way that filled the page with the level of joy and gratitude I wished to express.

But, wait….! I had an idea.

Write down 11 and 12, drew boxes beside both of them and checked box 12 as if to say you score 12 out of 10. You have two extra points. You went the extra mile.

Then it hit him.

Sometimes, we have only a few choices. Sometimes, we have to choose between a bad and a worse choice. But other times, if we are keen, we can invent space for possibilities. All it takes is negotiation the space between us.

Creativity simply means asking

“Why not? and Why can’t I do this?”

Creativity is simply adding one or two more boxes in the context of what you need to do. Why does creativity start with the question why? Because

Unlike how and where, why gives the new box a reason to be, a reason to exist.

But why pose a question?

Questions lift your soul out of its body box, allowing it to leave its current desert experience to encounter what is possible so that when it returns it can be a source of inspiration and empowerment to the body box, helping it expand with time and with pace.

That’s how we begin inventing space for possibility. That’s why –

Never stop looking for what’s not there. Opportunity is also what’s not there. It is creativity that is not apparently there but is. And questions like “why not” help us get there.

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One Love, One Spirit


 

Miraculously Lost in Music

Phew! Last week was rough.

So, I forgot to write something in time today. My bad! I was writing a defense for my Masters and briefly stopped to write about what God is doing.

First off, thank you all for reading my posts. A special thanks to Maurice for sending encouraging words and prayers. God bless you. I just figured if I am ever given a chance to tell my story, I would need to be deeply vulnerable. So, “Why not start here?” Isn’t that what a blog is for anyway?

Anywho!

Last weekend, I found solace keeping it real with big brother J.C (Jesus). As it says in Hebrews 10:22, “Draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings.” I did and this past weekend, I found comfort and peace. But, that’s not the surprise I want to tell you about.

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I feel like Groot right now

See, while I was vacationing on the wild side of Catalina Islands, I discerned the Holy Spirit leading me to write a short book for diplomats, leaders, visionaries…in Africa. Of course, I questioned my ability to do that. But, I wrote down the idea.

Since, I returned, in the midst of the pressures and trials, somehow, I finished it in three weeks. I realized that even though I didn’t know much, the more I wrote down or typed what came to me, the more the words came forth. It was beautiful.

Then, I started drawing and came up with illustrations for theories that just blew my mind. I was in awe of what God can do when you just let go and let God. When you just swiftly and completely obey.

But, this is not the surprise.

During the weekend, I was just thanking God in the midst of the tasty challenges comprising of disappointments, loss, betrayal, and criticism…when I got a phone call. It was from Mike, a former Hollywood actor, entrepreneur, cyber security buff..whom a friend had recommended me to months ago.

Apparently, Mike had been working on a project and while praying discerned the Spirit leading him to call me and discuss ideas, find out what I was doing etc. When he first reached out, I was at a loss. I didn’t know who in the world he was. He had to remind me.

Anyway – we talked and he told me about things he was doing in Africa and how he was working with this CEO from Africa and how they agreed they need ideas, a framework etc. to help diplomats engage communities, entrepreneurs etc.

Well! How about that?

I just cracked up and explained that all the questions he just asked was what I just wrote about. I told him of the sense of urgency from the Holy Spirit to do it. I’m glad I obeyed. Then I told him of some other stuff and it just blew his mind.

He’d just been reading the scripture which I used to create these frameworks for gold medal peak performance for business and leadership. Halo! And what did I have to do with it? Absolutely, “rien du tout” (nothing at all). God is good, ain’t he?

Wait! There is more. 

People of stature – Marine Captain, Innovation Strategist, Ambassador, City Inspector… – are accepting my request to review it. How is this happening? Man, God is good. Oh…and there is this Pastor whom I met who is reading it to. He was so kind to me. Our meeting was a kind of divine appointment. Unplanned people, unplanned!

Wow! This is bigger than I expected. God is good. Consider keeping me in your prayers.

I write to encourage you and me to keep being faithful, pressing on, and never –

“Become weary of doing good for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9

That said, you need to hear this Old school jam remixed by Dmitri from Paris. Listen! Its got your boy #Motown here sliding to the goodness of God and looking up, trusting His process, and looking ahead with faith.

God throwing this surprise at me as well as me finding this jam is no coincidence. I  think its God inspiring me to become miraculously lost in the music of His unconventional ways and in the music that is life.

Enjoy folks! Y’all have a marvelous week.

 

The Best Compliment EVER!

Let me keep it real with you all.

Following Jesus is hard. Saying yes to an adventure he calls you to: saying yes to leadership can be painful. Leadership is hard! It involves a commitment of your emotions, feelings, as well as your mental prowess..

On Monday, I wrote about a crisis I am going through, titled – God is good, my confessions. It was nerve raking. Matter of fact, I am still trembling. I think it is the after effect of being so vulnerable with strangers. After I shared the post, I removed it. Then, I posted it again and then hours later, I removed it. I did this about 5 times.

I was conflicted. Below was and perhaps still is the battle in my soul –

I kept asking myself – Have I shared too much? This is too personal to be sharing with people I don’t know. What the “hell” am I doing?

But then I thought – Ish, you need to preserve yourself and the dignities of those included or connected to these struggles. But, is this a cop out? But it will help someone. But who reads this anyway…? Does it matter…?

Too many thoughts.

I am still shaken because I know its too late. It is said that, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” It is true for the internet. What happens on the internet stays on the internet. Difference is not everyone goes to Vegas but everyone is on the internet. And since what I shared stays on the internet stays, even if I delete it., people will find it anyway.

Saying yes to a call from heaven is hard. Leadership is hard.

When you lead or are called to lead, you deal with so many secret pressures and pains. Your hands and body often tremble under stress, fear, and anxiety, while you struggle to keep your composure and think clearly. You don’t have answers or know which way to go. You hold onto faith, but wonder just how much you can take and how much more you can give. There is lonely decision making.

Even though people are all round you, you could be suffering, dying, sweating and silently as well as secretly crying for help and those around you wouldn’t even hear it. Sometimes, you wander what to say. What do you tell people, your people? How do you say it? How do you even explain it when it is so spiritual? Where do you begin? Will “they” understand it?

It is hard to be a leader. Harder still, is fighting the good fight of faith on this ultimate adventure with the Almighty. You’ll do things for its own sake and people will never know. You pray and hope for others even when you yourself are barely holding on and people will never know. You’ll fully engage in celebrating the victories of others and wander – but, what about me? Did I do something wrong? Or is it something right? You pay such a hefty price and then wonder, is this all that I get or is this just life?

While driving this morning, my body was vibrating under all the trials. I was struggling to focus on the words of his promise. But, it was hard. I wondered if I could keep going. I thought to myself – this is hard and when I finish this part of my adventure with the Almighty, I am tempted to say to him – I don’t know if going on with this is still worth the price…! (Its – the pain speaking).

The problem with life is not that it is rationale or irrational. It is that it is almost rationale – J.K Chesterton

Meaning, just when everything seems to fall into place and you seem to be getting a hang of things, and moving along in life, suddenly something happens that throws everything off balance, setting you like a chess piece in a box called – paradox and contradiction.

Suffering brings courage ~ President SirLeaf of Liberia

That said –

It is during our lives lowest and most challenging periods that a patient and listening ear as well as mere words spoken out of love and understanding echo divine messages and become our greatest gifts. Such a message came from my mother.

She is a true African Queen. She is wild at heart and her passion keeps her youthful. She is my biggest supporter, sides with God on everything concerning Ish even when she knows it will be long and painful, and never allows me to say the word depressed. She can feel it when I am losing strength and courage. She just knows. She knows things man.

Anyone have a mom, friend, or a person in their life like that?

Recently, Ms. Mom was talking with a friend. Knowing my trials, her friend expressed concern because she was worried about her own children and couldn’t imagine her children standing under a similar cross if they carried it. Without skipping a beat, Ms. Mom said of me,

I know my boy. I am not worried about him. If any of my other children were in his shoes, I would be worried, crying, and shrieking. But, its him – I’m not worried about him.”

Then, she added this gem –

If you take him and throw him into a sea, he will come out dry. He will come out with a smile. No matter how long it takes. He’ll be fine.”

This gave me much courage. The fact that she believed in me gave me courage. Not many people may understand your life and your life’s call from heaven. You may be lonely on your journey to meet God on page 898 in your book of destiny from page 123. But, the words of that one person – family, friend or stranger – may be all you need to keep going.

Ms. Mom’s words empowered me to keep looking at the Master amidst these divinely engineered storms. Thanks Mom! This is by far the best compliment I have ever received.

Enough with my musing.

What about you? How are you doing and how are you holding up, friends?

What is the best compliment you have ever received in your life?

Why did it matter to you so much?

 

I would love to read your thoughts too. Don’t be shy. I don’t bite.

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One love, One Spirit.


 

 

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  – Continue reading “Discovering the Vehicle for your Calling”

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 Continue reading “Miracles and Humor at the Beach”

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 

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”

Done is Better

Done is better than perfect – Greg McKeown

Don’t let your desire to be perfect in execution make you forget what’s most important – your voice being heard – even if you don’t have all the ideas to share yet

It is your voice. Your destiny is in your voice. All you can do is use it to begin touching lives so those lives can touch cities.

You would be right – in an ideal situation, getting everything together, all the ideas, the learning before sharing is better. But when there is a fire 🔥 raging, everyone who can lift a bucket must help put it out. Continue reading “Done is Better”

BIG DECISIONS

Making decisions is a humbling process, especially if they’re are BIG. Great leaders (Churchill, MLK, Gandhi, Mandela) all had to do it. For it’s in the moment of decision that our destiny is shaped!

You are a great leader. But you have to make big decisions to become great ~ Ish’mael (Destiny Class)

1.) Interestingly, BIG decisions come with equal part sense of EXCITEMENT and TERROR. Like making a big investment, proposing to a loved one, moving to a new city or starting a new venture.

It’s hard to be INDIFFERENT when making these big decisions. If you are truly indifferent, then the decision is probably not big enough. Continue reading “BIG DECISIONS”