July 25, 2010

When a warrior returns...

This life goes quickly. Too quickly it oft seems.
One moment you are a child of hope,
the next an older man
with not but dashed and broken dreams.

What causes a man to cease pursuit,
of that dream that as a child took root?
What causes him to step no further,
and chase no longer with passion resolute?

The demons in his mind mock and jeer,
claiming he is less than worthy.
The warrior that stood once strong and proud
now lowly kneels with quiet tears.

He once was going to change everything.
What hope he had is now withered gray.
Who owns the blame for his undoing?
Will he ever overcome the bitter sting?

For so much more this man was made,
the Lord awaits his return to the fray.
For the enemy that haunts and torments
will once again feel his blade.

When this man awakens and the warrior heart
within his brokenness cries again,
No power shall dissuade or trouble
new strength found to play his part.

Where once a man broken fell, now stands strong again.
For his hope is not lost but found.
And his enemies shall laugh no more.
When the man accepts his mission.

July 18, 2010

It wasn't intended for this.

If you are using something for a purpose that it wasn't intended or designed for, you have no right to get upset or angry when it doesn't work as you expect.

For instance, the other morning as I was running out of the door for a workout, I grabbed a plastic container and filled it with water. The container was a Rubbermaid 1-Quart MixerMate. While this container has a flip-top cap and certainly holds liquids, it is designed for mixing powders with liquid, not for providing a remarkable spill-proof experience. As a result, water was spilled.

At first, I was upset and frustrated. There's a nice flip-top lid on the container. It holds liquids. Therefore, it must be spill-proof. However, I was not using the product in the way that the manufacturer intended for it to be used.

Conversely, when I use it to mix powdered drinks, it works great. The powder mixes with the water effectively. I am using the product as it was intended to be used.

Our lives are not any different. Our lives have been uniquely designed and created with specific purpose and intent. When we use the life we have been given in the way that the manufacturer intended, things tend to work the way that they are supposed to. Does that mean everything is perfect? Absolutely not, however, it greatly reduces the number of challenges and frustrations that we are going to experience along the way.

Are you using your life as it was intended to be used, or do you often find yourself frustrated and upset because everywhere you turn and everything you touch seems to topple over and spill?

If it is the latter, perhaps you are using your life in a way that the manufacturer never intended for it to be used.

July 11, 2010


If what you are doing today does not help you to be the best at creating your art, you owe it to yourself and to those looking to you for direction to stop.

Whether it is being the best family member, or writer, or broom pusher, you must understand that a divided focus will only prevent you from you being everything that you possibly can be.

The first step in doing this is to identify those things that you are doing that are not related to what you need to be the best at and stop doing them. Cut these things from your time budget relentlessly.

Next, start saying no. If someone asks you to do something that is not aligned with what you have been designed for, refuse to do it. Sure, there are times that you are going to need to attend an event or do something for others that is not directly related to your passion.

These are not the things that I am talking about. In fact, it is important that you still do things for others even if there is nothing in it for you. Keep in mind, the gifts and talents that you have been given are for the benefit of others, and not for your own selfish gain.

What I am talking about is getting rid of the routine time wasters that rob you of your potential. Ultimately, doing something routinely that does not make use of your unique gifts and talents benefits no one. Conversely, helping others by using the gifts that you have been given has tremendous mutual benefits.

Start making a difference by stopping. Now.

July 04, 2010

But how can I be sure?

The other day, a good friend of mine asked me how a person can be certain that they are doing the work that they have been uniquely designed for. Having read a multitude of books on personal growth, leadership, and making a difference, I naturally felt that I was informed enough to field this question.

My response to him was this:
  • Listen to the whispers that are calling to you, keeping in mind that the distractions that seek to prevent you from doing what you have been designed for are in your face and screaming for your attention.
  • Try doing many different things often until you find what you love to do. The key to this is failing fast and often until you find what works.
  • Focus on doing what you are best at, and manage your weaknesses.
From a textbook perspective, I get this and it makes perfect sense. However, as is often the case, reality proves to be much more different than theory. Application is all that really matters.

The short and honest truth is that you can't fully know that what you are doing is what you have been designed for. This is where that component of faith and trust becomes imperative. You can chase what you think you have been designed for, but if your focus is not on the one that knows best, your chasing is meaningless.

From my experience, here are a few things that I have found to be fairly good indicators of being on the right path:
  1. The path looks impassable, impossible, scary, and lonely. Just thinking about what might happen is usually enough to prevent even the bravest of souls from taking the first step.
  2. Once you decide to take the first step, everyone calls you crazy and will try to talk some sense into you. Most of the time, doing what you have been designed for looks foolish and impractical. Oddly enough, it is often the foolish and impractical that makes the greatest impact.
  3. You know that you're doing the right things when time ceases to have meaning. Hours pass in what feels like mere minutes; Days in what feels like hours.
What are some other ways that we can have an idea that we are doing the right things?