I haven’t been on social media for two weeks. The horror!
However, terrifying that was, I learned many things. And many miracles happened, see.
First, time is so precious and limited. I had so little time to do all I needed and eliminated social media to rid the distractions and focus. My goal was to capture and mine the gold of every minute in every hour of every day while I observed and measured the impact on my relationships.
And let me tell you – amazing results. But, there was still not enough time even after eliminating social media for a bit. On the other hand, there was no shortage of contacts and connections. In fact, I hardly had time to keep up with my old and especially new friends.
I learned much about the people I was meeting and about what they were doing. The opportunities that emerged from mere conversations were mind-boggling. My conversations were real, simple, filling, and refreshing. Continue reading “Lost in the Real World”
I can’t figure HIM out. He is somethin’ else. Our heavenly dad’s ways can be frustrating at times, won’t you agree Making us wait when “It don’t make no sense.” I mean who does that? Doesn’t it bother you how sometimes He seems to be talking with you about something trivial like He didn’t see the elephant in the room?
Like “Duh” Jesus, hello…challenges here. What’s up with that?
But, He will be who He will be. The meaning of I AM THAT I AM (Not hating Jesus, just saying). Anywho!
Sometimes, you meet people who just light you up. Following mother’s day, I thought I’d share about a woman whom I met and listened to last week. She reminded me so much of my mom.
Speaking of Mrs. Mom, I called and read Thank You Mrs. Mom as a gift for Mother’s Day since she is so far away. Well – she sobbed. Scary stuff. But, it made her happy. Oh…and the defense? I think I did alright. Presentation was good. But, I could have done better on one or two questions.
Back to our Motown Sister.
I shared a leadership framework which I use to analyze different leadership styles called Sharp Leadership which you can use to carry a vision, your people, and their conversation. Speaking of the Sharp Leadership rubric, it includes five core principles which are:
(i)- Tell the truth, (ii) Be accountable, (iii) take care of your people, (iv) give/receive feedback, and (v) be fair
Based on that rubric I want now to talk about a Soul Sister.
Say hello to an achievement model and a conflict resolution legend. This role model embraces her roots and culture and colorfully champions BET’s “Black is Gold” and “Black Girls Rock” theme in her person like a hashtag representing ethnic pride on different social media frequencies. Quite simply, she is – A Rockstar – whose passion keeps her forever young.
Ms. Avis Ridley-Thomas is that Rockstar. In my observations from dealing with people, I find that the type of music one listens to says a lot about them and about what moves them. Like a Celt, I was curiously searching for the reason for Ms. Avis glow throughout her lecture in order to musically explain her inclined leadership style.
Though she listens to all kinds of music which explains her love for diversity, I may have been sidetracked in my attempt by her preferred love for Motown which compelled me to express a hint of pleasure during her lecture class. I wonder if my reaction was childish. But, I can explain my engagement as delightfully professional.
So, why does she listen to all types of music?
In the words of the Rockstar herself, she said, “It is because I can hear all the talents that people have.” This was music to my ears. Though her statement may sound like “Old Skool” slang, as a fellow Motown lover, also nicknamed Motown for the love the genre, I am certified to translate her wisdom as –
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?
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.
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.
Yeah! Just add some specific set of skills to it and viola!!!
So, obviously, I am talking about the conversation I had with Jesse about tracing your calling. In discovering the vehicle for your calling (which you can follow the link to re-read the conversation) a major, job, title, invention is just a tool, a vehicle, with which to carry your calling.
Once you discover your calling and turn it into a mission, you can easily decide what vehicle you wish to use. You can decide what vehicle is capable supporting, empowering, inspiring, and wholly transporting your calling. In my conversation with Jesse, after sharing this thought about a vehicle, these followed.
Me to Jesse
Now that you know and are living your mission, a good question to ask is –
What specific set of skills would you like to add to that mission to help you build on, develop, and accomplish your mission? What type of courses and perhaps college major can help you build on that mission? Can you take a few courses here and there or go into the industry and learn hands on as an apprentice?
Lastly, ask yourself –
Who are you hoping to help? What type/category of people – college students? Diplomats? families? Communities? Artists? Citizens? What type of people?
If you could start now, what age group would you like to give your first talk, speech, seminar, or meet up with first? With this, can you determine what sought of training and skills you need to add for developing your mission?
Tracing our calling, turning it into a mission, deciding what skills to pack for the journey to destiny, and deciding what people/age group to begin serving with this, is not as hard as we may think. Introspective questions really help.
On the other hand, those with big dreams often have wild imaginations and often dream of doing many things. And it is good. So, here is the tip, if you are confused because you have many things you want to do and don’t know how and where to start, that’s okay.
Pick one and start with it. Your other dreams will fall into place as you grow, make connections, and establish the first one you picked.
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: Continue reading “Clues to Your Calling & Destiny”
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.
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?”