And welcome back to another journey towards a Steady Mind.
It's the 1st of October 2022 - two months into a new year and you're probably thinking about your desires and expectations for the months ahead.
For the past three years, life has taken us on a wild ride. The constant ins and outs, highs and lows, ups and downs have left many feeling unsure and unstable. If you're anything like me, you've probably learned more about yourself than ever before.
Identities, desires, goals, passions and perspectives all have been shaken and redirected.
Who am I? What am I doing with my life? What truths and/or foundations am I rooted in? Am I still passionate about this career path? Do I still want to be invested in this relationship? Do I still want the same things in life? Is it okay to change my mind?
The answer is - absolutely! Thoughts are shaken. Strategies take on different forms. Passions and desires are ever-changing. But, one thing that remains constant is our ability to dream.
A person with the ability to imagine what life can be, partnered with the level of faith and tenacity to believe in its possibility is one who is unstoppable.
Now, while our ability never goes away, the reality is, our desire to dream sometimes leaves us. The issues of our lives have been known to suffocate our desire to both dream and act on them.
Disappointment and disapproval have been the catalyst for our complacency and impure contentment. To top it off, we barely acknowledge the trauma and burnout that comes with being disappointed.
Boldness is defined as the willingness to take risks and act innovatively.
While we often use this word to characterize those who speak up for others, save lives and go against the grain, I believe we must include those who are willing to try again after failure and disappointment.
"All successful people are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision."
- Brian Tracy
Those that dream require boldness. But those that want to turn their dreams into reality require strategy. It is an amazing thing to follow your heart, but we must learn to do so with a leveled head.
I believe that the first strategy every dreamer must learn is the ability to pick up where they left off.
Life happens, and many times circumstances and situations cause us to put our dreams and desires on the back burner. While this is okay, what is not okay is the fear, shame and/or anxiety behind picking them up again.
If God gave you the tools to start, He's able to give you the strategy to start over. Why wait for a New Year when your goals, passions, desires, and purpose await you today...
My prayer for you is that you would not just have the ability to dream, but that you possess the ability to dream again - and dream after. After you've been disappointed. After you've been broken. After the door has been closed.
It takes great boldness to pick dreams and strategies up again after loss, failure, fatigue and hurdles. But as you prepare to use your strength to do so, here's some friendly advice...
Loose the Shame
So, you didn't finish the degree. You shut your business down 3 months after the launch. You stopped going to the gym after 3 weeks of hard work. And now you're afraid to pick your dream back up because you feel that people will label you as "inconsistent" and a "failure."
In reality, the fact that you were bold enough to start speaks more volumes about your character than anything else. Though some would call it "inconsistent", your desire to not let go of your passion throughout life events shows your tenacity within.
There is nothing embarrassing about having to "start, stop, and start again." What's more embarrassing are those who find time to analyze the process of your purpose, gifting and talents, but have yet to identify any of their own.
Sometimes God pauses us to prepare us. Who cares that this is your third time around? You now have more wisdom than you did in the first and second.
When we allow people to project their insecurities and fear of failure on us we allow ourselves to become distracted by their satisfaction with mediocrity.
Eating the Elephant
Sometimes the greatest thing that can hinder us from picking a dream back up is the thought of how much time has been lost and how far we'd have to go to get back to where we were. But there's an old saying... "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
Instead of worrying about all that the entire process would entail, take the process one step at a time. There should always be a plan before executing anything. Both Winston Churchill & Benjamin Franklin tells us that failing to plan is a plan to fail. Jesus tells us that no man builds the house except he first counts the cost (Luke 14:28).
The only access to your dream is through the pathway of strategy. Put less focus on the tools you need for advancement and more focus on what you can accomplish with what you currently have. With timing, patience and proper planning, you'll find solutions to your problems and your mountains will begin to look like molehills.
Strategy is how David beat Goliath. Strategy is how Jeff Bezos built Amazon, Inc. Strategy is how Captain Sully landed the plane safely on the Hudson river. And strategy is how you'll get back in the race,
Take the First Step
No one is requiring you to have all the answers. But we are requiring is the willingness to move forward. Peter's duty was to have enough faith to take a step out of the boat, but, it was Jesus' job to keep him walking on the water.
And maybe today, you feel that desire to come out of whatever boat you're in and step onto the waters of your dreams, desires, and purpose. May you understand that in all you do and all you go after, He is the one who holds you up.
Whether you take it afraid, broken, tired, or frustrated, take the first step - and He'll keep you above it all. I'm excited to see you pick up where you left off...
Here's to a Steady Mind!