Brown ChairAnd old brown leather chair and it’s matching ottoman occupy one corner of our keeping room.  The chair has never been among my favorite pieces of furniture.  It’s just too big and bulky to suit my decorating preferences.  In truth, no one usually even sits in the chair at all unless we happen to have company.  Surprisingly enough, most of our visitors actually like the chair and have commented on it’s comfort.

More often than not, I use the chair for another purpose altogether.  Over the years it has become a laundry center where I sort, fold and store our clothing fresh from the dryer.  I’m almost ashamed to admit that approximately four days out of each week, the chair is buried in stacks of clothing awaiting transfer to their proper destinations.  Because I use the chair to hold the laundry, it is rendered unavailable for it’s intended purpose, which is of course to be a place for people to sit!

The chair functions just fine as a laundry center and I suppose I could continue using it in that manner forever.  It really is a waste of a good piece of furniture though.  A plain old $5.00  plastic laundry basket would be a much more practical and useful container for our clothing.

Some people live their entire lives in much the same way.  They were created for something specific, yet they clutter their souls and surroundings with so many other things that their original purpose stays hidden, or even worse, lost altogether.

Unlike a piece of furniture, which has no knowledge of why it is on the earth, people tend to be unsatisfied unless they are doing what they were meant to do.  They may function just fine in whatever ulterior role they choose , but most of the time they will have a nagging feeling, a sense of restlessness that tells them something is amiss.  They will not be fully content until they are walking in the calling for which they were born.

God  has a purpose for your life.  The Bible says He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  He created you and placed your spirit in a human body for a specific purpose.  A purpose so unique that no one else can fulfill it!

Now that should make you feel pretty special!  The Creator of the universe not only knows who you are, He has a specific plan for you! (Oh! And according to Jeremiah 29:11-13, that plan is for your good!)

Of course, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you will carry out your true purpose, and God loves you no matter what you choose.   But imagine how He must feel when He see His children being less than He designed them to be!

Are you sincerely happy with the way you are living, or are you merely functioning day to day?  Are you doing what you believe you should do, or are you simply doing what’s easiest or most convenient?  Does the idea of pursuing your true calling seem like too much “work”?   Following the path you were meant to follow may not necessarily be easy, but the rewards are so much worth the effort!

It’s not too late!  Take that first step in the right direction today!

Follow your Passion!  Pursue your Purpose!

Become the Person You Know You Were Born To Be!

Philip, enjoying the big brown chair as it was meant to be used!

Philip, enjoying the big brown chair as it was meant to be used!

Becky J. Taylor

http://www.boldnewday.com

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Sweet Success!

November 18, 2009

What does “success” mean to you?

Sadly, I find many people are determined to compare themselves to others in their definition of the term.  To some, “success” involves a seven-figure yearly income, nice cars and a big house.  Many tend to feel like they’ve failed themselves and society if they are unable to keep up with the proverbial “Jones ‘”.

(Not that I find anything wrong with having a seven-figure income, nice cars and big houses.)

My question would be, what good is a seven-figure income and all those other great things, if you don’t feel satisfied that you are doing what you were meant to do with your life?

You were put on this earth with a purpose to fulfill.  Maybe your purpose is to make a lot  of money so you can share your blessings with others, or maybe it is to live simply, foregoing all those things society has labeled as indicators of “success”,  and go instead to the mission field to dig wells for thirsty people.

The truth is, there are as many ways to be successful as there are people on this earth. No one else can judge your level of success. Only you and God can determine that.

So I’ll ask again, What does success mean to you?  Are you striving toward what you feel is truly important, or are you struggling to fulfill someone else’s expectations for your life?  Chances are, if you’re feeling empty despite your best efforts to succeed, you’re reaching for the wrong goals.  If you don’t feel a spark of passion when you think about your work, you’re probably not in the field to which you’ve been called.

As this year is quickly drawing to a close, think about your personal definition of success (not one that’s been fed to you by society.)   Are you on the right track?  Do you feel good about what you’re doing with your life?

If you feel called to be a mother and a housewife,  be the best mother and housewife you can be!  You will be a success!

If you know you were placed on this earth to be a great scientist and find cures for deadly diseases, then pursue that field with all your might!  You will be a success!

No matter what you know you are meant to do, do it with passion and enthusiasm.   Do it without regard to what others may think.  Do it without comparing yourself to any one else.

Simply pursue the passion God has placed in your heart, and you cannot … will not, fail.

To your success!

Becky J. Taylor

Certified Personal Life Coach

Bold New Day! LLC

http://www.boldnewday.com

About a week ago I had the privilege of visiting with a group of dear friends and business partners.  The purpose of our meeting was to discuss our business strategy for the coming year.  During our time together it was suggested, among other things, that we begin sharing the responsibility of taking the stage and giving the presentations.

Until now, our friend Lou has been doing all the presenting.  Her big smile and bubbly, outgoing personality demands attention.  The moment she steps up to the platform all eyes and ears are on her.  One could accurately say she is a “natural” at what she does.

The suggestion that someone besides Lou take on the role of a presenter was met with some opposition.  In the course of the conversation I began to realize that several of us were hesitant to do so merely because we felt a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to fill Lou’s proverbial high heeled “shoes”.

It was not so much that any of us were concerned about our own competence on stage.   If memory serves me correctly, we all agreed that we really had no problem standing in front of a crowd and talking.  It turned out that our reluctance was rooted in the fact that we didn’t think we could give the presentations just like Lou gives them!

Well, she definitely is a hard act to follow, BUT …

Something is very wrong with that manner of thinking.  There we sat, a group of mature adults, each quite successful in our businesses and daily lives, and yet we’d all fallen into the trap of comparing ourselves to someone else.  We’d re-defined our concept of what a “successful” presentation should look like.  Lou’s method of presenting had become the new standard and of course, the rest of us were certain that any attempt we’d make would fall short of the mark.

In the end, we had a good laugh at ourselves and agreed it was “ok” to deliver presentations in the way we each felt most comfortable without the added pressure of  wondering whether or not we could “measure up” to Lou.  We decided that we were each “who” we were, and that was a GOOD thing!

Are you guilty of setting a similar snare for yourself?  Do you tend to judge your own success according to the performance of others?

If so, you are doing yourself a great injustice!

The truth is, you are “who” you are for a reason!  You entered this world with your own uniquely wonderful God given strengths and abilities!   Wouldn’t it be nice to operate unashamedly in those talents without feeling intimidated by someone else’s performance?

My challenge to you this week is to make a conscious effort to stop making comparisons.  Set your standards according to your own abilities and aspirations.

Deep in your heart, you know “who” you were born to be. You have an assignment here on earth that no one else has been given.  You, and only you can accomplish it.

So just do it!  Start now!

Make it a point to become boldly and unashamedly YOU!

Let’s say you are standing looking over this brand new piece of “property” you’ve acquired,  which is in this case,  the year 2009.  With your drawings in hand, you survey the land in front of you on which you plan to build your dreams, and picture in your mind how it’s going to look when it’s all finished.  That alone should bring a smile to your face!

Just yesterday, my husband and I attended a New Year’s Day party.  The house where it was held was in the process of being remodeled. The owner took us on a lengthy tour, proudly telling us the plans he and his wife had for each individual room.  It was a huge house!  Some of the rooms were nearly completed, and some of them were still stripped down to the bare bones.  A couple of them had not even been started on yet.

Never-the-less our host beamed with pride as he explained “This will be the master bedroom, and here is the master bath, and the closet ….” etc.  It was obvious that he didn’t see a big house with a lot of unfinished work when he walked through his home.   He saw instead,the finished product.

And it was BEAUTIFUL!

I can say that with a fair amount of certainty, because I too have remodeled houses in the past and know that in order to remodel, you’ve got to first have a vision of the home as it will look in the future.  That’s what keeps the momentum going and the dream alive in one’s heart.  Whenever you feel discouraged, it’s wonderful to take a fresh look at your plans and be reminded of the reward that lies ahead at the completion of your work.

What do you see in your future?  What will you accomplish in the coming days, months … year ahead?

What can you do TODAY to take your first step toward that end?

May I make a suggestion?

Chances are there is some debris left from your past that might impede your progress or even worse, prevent your success altogether.  It’s imperative that the debris be identified and removed so you’ll have a clean slate to work with. Otherwise, your efforts will surely be undermined.

Debris comes in many forms.  It can be old hurts from the past such as, “emotional baggage” that has no place in your life.  Debris can consist of bad relationships, negative influences or  habits that are counter-productive and can seriously cripple your efforts to move forward once and for all.

Get rid of it.

NOW!

I apologize if I’ve said anything up to this point to insinuate that building a dream is an easy process.   Quite to the contrary,  it can  be very hard work.  Breaking an old habit is hard.  Getting negative people and influences out of our lives can be even more difficult.  But it can and must be done!

Our church holds an annual fast that starts the first Sunday of each year and lasts for twenty-one days. Our annual fast has become so widely known that not only does our own congregation participate, we are expecting about 100,000 people worldwide to join us in 2009

The fast can take various forms and our Pastor leaves it up to us to choose one for ourselves.  The “Daniel fast” is the most popular by far. While on the Daniel fast, one avoids all meats and sweets, and drinks nothing but water (an occasional glass of natural fruit juice is allowed)  Our diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and some beans and legumes.  While it’s possible to stay on the Daniel fast for three straight weeks and never actually feel all that hungry, let me assure you, it is not an easy endeavor.

The fast has a wonderful effect on the physical body.  Many of us spend the first three days on a “water only” diet.  This jump starts a de-toxifying process.  Not only do we avoid introducing new toxins into to our bodies, we begin to cleanse ourselves of any that were already present.

While as I said, this is a wonderful effect, it’s also something I dread terribly!  You know why?  Because it invariably makes me feel downright sick every year.   For beginners, my body is accustomed to absorbing unhealthy amounts of caffeine on a daily basis. (My own stubborn fault!)  Without that caffeine intake, I must go through a withdrawal period.   This translates to an horrible, sick headache that can last up to an entire week.

During the fast, not only do we deprive our bodies of most of the foods we normally eat, we also “feed” our spirits by reading God’s Word and praying.

Wonderful things happen as a result!  At the end of the fast we all feel physically and spiritually clean!  The fast enables us to enjoy a clearer vision of our purpose in life.  We feel closer to God and more in tune with what He is saying to us not only as a church body, but as individuals.

Because the “debris” we had in our bodies and spirits before the fast began has been eliminated, it is as if we are seeing the world through brand new eyes.   All distractions that once hindered us have disappeared. Often, we discover we’ve been given a whole new dream.  Our priorities are rearranged.  Our understanding of what’s important … and what isn’t, is crystal clear.  We are free to forge ahead and pursue our real calling.

Here at the beginning of this New Year, please begin the task of ridding yourself of any debris that is standing in the way of your dreams.  Prayerfully consider how to go about it.  Personally, I’ve found fasting to be a wonderful tool for cleansing both the physical and spiritual aspects of our being and provide a solid foundation on which to build the future.

May God richly bless you as you begin this marvelous experience!

(For more information on the Daniel Fast and other types of fasting, please see:  http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/fasting )

One important key to discovering your purpose can be found by thinking back to your childhood.

What were you like back then? What were your interests?  What sorts of things were you just naturally drawn to?  What types of situations have repeated themselves over your lifetime, which you’ve consistently demonstrated an inborn ability to master?

Chances are, your ultimate purpose was beginning to manifest itself even when you were a young child.

For almost as long as I can remember, I have had a desire to help others live better lives.  There have been periods of time when I’ve done other things .. I went to college and got a degree in Science, then worked for several years in a hospital laboratory.  After that, I spent eleven years of my life working in a uranium enrichment plant wearing safety goggles, blue coveralls and steel toed boots.  (Now THERE’S a picture, huh?) … then back to the hospital for a couple more years before I decided to take a break and “re-invent” myself, so to speak.

Back then I was doing the things necessary to make a living for myself and my family .. but even during those times I found myself being the person everyone seemed to come to for help with issues in their life.

In fact, it occurred to me only recently that I’ve been “Life Coaching” since as early as age six.

On the second day of first grade, I was playing on the merry-go-round at recess when I noticed a little blond haired girl sitting on the gravel with her back against the brick wall of the school house.  She looked sad and lonely, so I got off the merry-go-round, ran over to her and asked her if she wanted to play.

She smiled and said “Yes”

Her name was Nancy, and the result of my actions that day was that Nancy and I remained friends through out high school.

Meeting Nancy in first grade did not happen by accident.  Now I understand that even as a six year old, my purpose in life was beginning to evolve!

There are many other similar instances I can recall but I won’t go into all that right now.

Suffice to say, if you think about it, I’m pretty sure that you can remember events that have repeated themselves in your childhood and your own life as you were growing up when your purpose displayed itself very clearly to you and to others.

So, I’ll leave you with this challenge today!  Take the time to meditate on the four questions I asked at the beginning of this post.

  • What were you like as a child?
  • What were your interests?
  • What sorts of things were you naturally drawn to?
  • What types of situations have repeated themselves over your lifetime, which you’ve consistently demonstrated an inborn ability to master?

Chances are, you’ll discover that your purpose is not very far out of reach after all