The Myth Of Finding Your Life’s Passion

find your passion

What Is Your Life’s Real Passion?

“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.”
Sabrina Bryan

Is passion missing from your life? Are you living with a lack of real purpose? We put way too much emphasis on living out our true purpose in life but passion and purpose may not be all they’re cracked up to be.

Say what?

You soldier through life hoping your passion takes over and you live the life you were meant to live but what if that type of thinking was all wrong? What if your time could be better spent unlocking your true potential and working towards improving your talents?

I can remember when I was a young boy. All I wanted to do was play sports. Morning, noon, and night my life was consumed by sports. Whether it was baseball, basketball or football, that was my passion. I worked hard at my game. I honed my skills, studied the game, and did everything I could to be the best I could be.

Did I end up becoming a professional ballplayer? No. Why not? No matter how passionate I was, I realized I wasn’t ever going to be good enough to be a professional athlete but I wasn’t the only one. Was I devastated? Kind of, but it didn’t ruin me. I knew I was more than just a ballplayer. I had other talents that I could fully exploit. This is why I believe in the myth of finding your passion in life because we are more than just our passions.

God has given all of us many talents that we can use to change the world. Just because you can’t do one thing great doesn’t mean there aren’t other talents you can use that will fulfill your vast potential. God knows what’s right for you and all of your talents work together to make you the person you are.

Is Your Life’s Passion Holding You Back?

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.”
Wanda Sykes

fireworks

Ask any student in college what they want to do with their lives and many cannot honestly answer that question. They’re still trying to find themselves and need to see the bigger picture in life. Forcing them to find their passion and concentrate on that particular field of study may not be the best idea. In fact, it may put too much pressure on them and take the focus on the becoming a well-rounded person.

Why is that?

Sometime, passions are things that make us happy right now but in the long run may fade away. They may be things that give pleasure in the short term but are not things you can make a living at right now.

For me, writing has become my passion. It was something I always loved doing but until I realized I couldn’t make a living with sports did I alter my plans for life. Now that I’ve been writing for years, my passion has grown as well as my respect for writers in general.

What are you passionate about? Does it make you happy? Can you make a living at it? These are valid questions you must ask yourself before you make a decision about both your passion and your purpose. If you can’t answer these questions honestly, then your passions and purpose need to be adjusted.

What your life looks like 10, 20 even 30 years in the future will all be based on the decisions you make now so you better have a good idea whether your passion fit your purpose or you will be one sorry and frustrated individual.

Missing The Opportunity To Find Your Real Passion

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Nelson Mandela

For our entire lives, we have been told that we need to have a singular mission and that is to find our passion. Once we find that, it will lead us to a successful and happy existence. Well, that doesn’t always work.

Are you a failure if you don’t find it? I don’t think so. Are you going to live a life less than perfect with all the stress of living up to a purpose that may or may not be for you? Let’s hope not.

Author Terri Trespicio states that, “Passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling. And feelings change.”  She goes on to say, “We continue to use passion as the yardstick to judge everything, instead of seeing passion for what is really is: the fire that ignites when you start rubbing sticks together.”

We feel that if we don’t find the passion in our lives that we’ll get on the wrong train at the wrong time and go down the wrong road and everything will all be for naught in our lives but that is just fear playing with us.

Terri goes on to say, “You don’t create your life and then live it. You create it by living it, not agonizing about it.” She finishes by saying that, “Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you’re so busy looking for this passion you could miss opportunities that change your life.”

If you don’t have a great passion, does that mean you’re not interesting or ambitious? Heck no!

Let me tell you how to uncover your real passion. How to live life without the tunnel vision you’ve been stuck in since you were a little kid.

Find Your Passion And You Find Your Purpose

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”
Jon Bon Jovi

what is your passion

Find Your Passion And You Find Your Purpose

The first thing you need to do is stop waiting for passion to show up because you’ll be waiting a very long time! Instead, be a problem solver. That means, find problems that need to be solved. People will pay you for your problem-solving abilities.

The difference between following your passion and living your purpose comes with having  a clear message while prioritizing your time and energy.

Do your talents empower who you are inside? Is this for yourself or are you doing things unselfishly for others?

That’s a big key here. Don’t burden yourself with a monumental decision that overwhelms you. You can’t do anything if you are totally overwhelmed. Don’t jump too far ahead of the game. Your goal is to think in the here and now where you are following your excitement.

Your talents are like a personal taxi which bring you along to each avenue of your life. If you need to get off at a particular stop, you’re not strapped in too tight to any one destination. Talents and passion go together and compliment one another but they do not determine whether they are your final destination.

There are always bumps in the road. That is why you need to focus on a theme that you can connect with.

Here are 7 questions that can help you find your passion and begin the journey:

  1. What floats your boat without boring you to death? 
  2. What do you want to be known for when you pass on from this life?
  3. Can you see yourself doing this 5-10 years in the future and why?
  4. What problems do you like solving and why?
  5. Do you spend your time doing things you love surrounded by like-minded people?
  6. Does the authentic you shine through or is this all about the money?
  7. Who is this for… you or someone else?

If you can honestly answer these questions then you’re on the right track. I’ve seen far too many people look at passion from a financial standpoint and they let that rule their decision-making process. Things will come up that will rock your boat so you have to be flexible in your attitude.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you comes alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman

Want to know the secret of success? It starts with your passion. The infographic below tells the tale in 8 words that should ignite a fire in your belly.

Secrets of Success in 8 WordsFrom Visually.

Are you open to the possibilities of life? Everything that has happened in your life to this point has been a teaching lesson. It has gotten you ready for what you were put here on earth to accomplish but you have to understand this one important idea:

When you share yourself to the world, nothing is as important staying true to yourself. You can drift through life as if it were a dream but is the true you standing out from the crowd? You see, passion originally meant suffering (as in Jesus suffering on the cross) so in order to find your true passion, you will need to go through many trials and tribulations which is why you must stay authentic to your own personal ideals and beliefs.

This is called empowerment. True passion feeds off this power. It gives you insight into what you need to do to carry that passion forward, what experiences you need to offer the world that can help others, and finally, what action you need to take to make your purpose a reality.

Passion and purpose are not easy. It’s not all peaches and cream. There will be potholes along the way. You will be angry at your situation, feel like quitting and think you made the wrong decision but that is how you grow. Most people give up when time get tough but Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th century British Prime Minister one said, “Man is only great when he acts out of passion.”

What are you acting out of? Only you can answer that!

The word is full of amateurs who are walking down the wrong path in life believing what all the experts have to say about passion and purpose. Be different. be unique but be careful. Learn all you can about what you are passionate about and allow life to to dictate what you do for things change and I would hate for you not to change with it.

Successful Tips For Breaking A Bad Habit

bad habits

What Goes Into Breaking A Bad Habit

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.”

Steven Pressfield

 

Are you stuck in a bad habit and want to break free? Do you feel like no matter what you do nothing can help you overcome your bad habits? Do you constantly catch yourself doing things you know you shouldn’t but are powerless to to make a positive change in your life?

Everyone has a bad habit or two and feel like they’re in control of what they do but science knows differently what is really happening in our brains. Our daily habits play an important role in what we do, where we go and how we interact with others.

You know the drill, the better your habits the more successful you will be and vice versa but that is only a small part of what your habits are all about.

One of the hardest obstacles in breaking a bad habit is being motivated enough to take the necessary steps to break them.

Here are the 3 best known ways to break a bad habit:

  • Going cold turkey altogether
  • Setting a date in the future to quit your bad habit
  • Replacing your bad habit with a better one

These methods may or may not work for you depending on your motivation and personality. The problem is, breaking a bad one and replacing it with a better habit takes more willpower than we have to give. We need others to help motivate us when we lose hope or the desire to go on. Without a motivating force, we end up procrastinating and put it off until a later date… and we all know that once you put something off, it’s almost impossible to start unless it’s life or death.

But here is a different and more profound way to break bad habits for good and start cultivating good ones that lead us to a more successful and joyful life.

Managing Your Bad Habits

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

Benjamin Franklin

What is the process involved in managing your bad habits?

According to James Clear, author of “Transform Your Habits” states that most bad habits are caused by stress and boredom. These two factors play a huge role in our lives and are a way we cope with the realities of our daily existence.

How you deal with the stress and boredom goes a long way in how you ultimately manage your bad habits. Why do we react to stress and boredom by installing bad habits? Many of the issues we’re dealing with on the outside actually come from deep within our unconscious mind. Our daily habits are the pathway we walk along every day and we are leading ourselves down this path with our actions.

Want to change your pathway?

You must first realize the underlying causes of your bad habits before you can overcome them. Most people try to rely on their will power but fail miserably and give up too quickly. This is an exercise in futility. The idea is to replace a bad habit not totally eliminate it.

Your bad habits have some good benefits or you would not be where you are today but spending energy on things that don’t improve your life keeps you from becoming the person you were meant to be. Take that energy and put it to good use by replacing that bad habit with a habit that offers more benefits and addresses your needs in a positive manner. Cutting out your bad habits only reinforces certain needs and makes it harder to stick to a daily routine.

Here’s the 7 simple steps to breaking a bad habit

How to Break Bad Habits - In 7 Simple Steps

From Visually.

How To Break A Bad Habit

“Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.”

Carlos Santana

Breaking a bad habit may be the hardest thing you will ever try to do if you don’t plan out your change. Just saying you want to change and not executing the change is a worthless endeavor. Habits don’t change by themselves which is why you must start with these important lessons.

1- Choose a positive substitute for your bad habit – How you respond to the bad habit is all based on your choices. Since we know it’s too hard to eliminate a bad habit altogether, let’s substitute a positive habit for the bad habit and work on the positive habit.

2- Get rid of the triggersWhat triggers your bad habits? The only way to know is to be aware of when your bad habit happen and write them down as they occur. How often do they occur? Where were you when they occurred? Who was with you when they occurred? What were you doing when they occurred? When you can answer these questions honestly and openly, only then can you start breaking old habits and replace them with better habits.

3- Surround yourself with like-minded individuals – It only goes to reason that if you hang out with the wrong people you will pick up bad habits that influence you negatively. The more you spend your time with people who share your same likes and dislikes, the easier it is to to turn those bad habits into good ones. The right people also give you a positive support system which is so important when trying to kick a bad habit.

4- Visualize your success – a key element to any successful habit breaking is to visualize your success before you even start. The positive visualization reinforces the things you’ve already overcome and starts you on the right foot giving you a picture of what you want to accomplish in the end. Science has found that the mind cannot distinguish between the real and the imagined. This is why visualization works so well. You conceive, then believe, then achieve. All the while focusing on the steps that lead to success by visualizing them first.

5- Change your environment – This step is more important than you think and one that most people find the hardest to implement. Your environment plays a big role in who you are and how you function but it also influences you more than you know. Find the right environment that inspires you and motivates you which cuts out the distractions. A new environment allows you to break out of your comfort zone and give you a sense of freedom while an old environment’s familiar surroundings can lull you into a false sense of security.

How To Turn Bad Habits Into Good

know the rules

“People try to change too much at once and it becomes overwhelming, and they end up falling off the program. So gradually changing bad habits makes much more of a difference than trying to change them all at once.”

Ian K. Smith

Now that you have a good idea of what’s involved in breaking a bad habit, let’s move on to turning those bad habits in good ones and making long term plans for turning those new and positive habits into a successful new you.

Awareness of what you do on a daily basis separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Its the difference between being happy and finding lasting happiness.

You need to be conscious of what you do. Do not live in the unconscious world where we are ruled by our habits. This is called hyper-awareness and it means you consciously watch what you are doing and the obstacles you face.

How do we accomplish this type of hyper-awareness when it comes to breaking bad habits?

1- State what you will do and go out and do it – Good habits are built upon stating what you will do as oppose to what you won’t do. When you focus on what you won’t do, it is a negative multiplier that punishes us instead of rewarding us. That change of mindset is the difference between taking the first step and being distracted by temptation. When we can’t have something or are not allowed to do something, temptation grabs us by the throat and begs us to get involved. Stating what you will do gives the mind a clear and present pathway to walk down and the action phase starts on a positive foot.

2- Know your obstacles – Walking blindly into traffic is a recipe for death but when you know the obstacles in your path, you can easily avoid them and continue on your way. Too often, we don’t plan for obstacles coming our way and we don’t know how to deal with the when they occur. This is a big part of being aware. Be prepared by knowing the types of challenges that may or may not occur. This gives you confidence to believe success is within your grasp.

3- Create and identify your target goals – Goals are great but if you don’t target and identify what you actually want to accomplish, it will be like travelling without a map. You’ll always be guessing what the next  step is on your road to better habits.

The Secret To Transforming Your Bad Habits 

how to stop a bad habit

“Sometimes when you’ve had a long series of disappointing things happen, you can get into the very bad habit of just expecting more of what you’ve already had.”

Joyce Meyer

There are so many ways we fall into unhealthy behaviors. The struggle is what keeps us from achieving the best self we can be. We must learn how to transform your bad habits into something positive and life-affirming.

It’s not just the transformation we are looking for. That’s great but the process in getting there is worth it’s weight in gold. When you master the process, the transformation comes next and you’ve overcome the bad habit while putting the good habits in motion.

You are the sum of all your habits. No matter what you do today, it came from small decisions you’ve made over the course of your life but you can learn from those decisions and become a better person.

James Clear, talks about the 3 “R’s” of habit change in his book “Transform Your Habits”.

They are…

  1. Reminder (the trigger)
  2. Routine (the behaviour)
  3. Reward (the benefit)

The concept of the 3 “R’s” actually came from behavioral psychology research from noted Stanford scientist, BJ Fogg and New York Times bestselling author and journalist, Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power Of Habit”. The interesting fact they make is your mind is coded by your past actions.

It starts with the ring (the reminder) which triggers the the routine (the behavior). When you answer the ring, you reward yourself with the benefit. The final result is the reward which is built up over time and every time you answer the call, your brain is rewarded.

This ends up being a never ending cycle of ringing, answering, and rewarding until it becomes an unconscious habit.

Here;s a great tool for helping you break old habits and start good ones.

HereFrom Visually.

Want to use the 3 “R’s” to start a new and positive habit?

Here’s the trick…

1- Set up visible reminders – These reminders act as triggers for the actions you want to complete. This way, you don’t have to be motivated or remember a set of rules. The visual reminder is your cue to take action at that moment in time.

2- Start small and work your way up – You can’t climb a mountain in one leap unless you’re superman. Instead, like life, it’s made up of small steps that propel us to the top. Even if there are roadblocks or failures along the way, it’s not how good or bad you are but whether you are building up a consistent action that gets results.

3- Celebrate your successes – Your victories, no matter how big or small are worth celebrating. It’s what life is all about. Everyone needs positive reinforcement from time to time so reward yourself. It’s a big part of the habit-forming process.

To break your bad habits for good, we go on to the next level of change.

1- Self identity – What do you feel inside about yourself? It’s not enough to want to change your bad habit but to change who we are to become what we have been born to be.

Sound hard? Not really. It’s a matter of two small steps. James Clear states we need to…

  • Decide the type of person we want to be
  • Prove it to ourselves with small wins

How can we make this a reality in our own life?

It starts with small steps and then working your way up to bigger and bolder things once you have the wisdom and confidence to go on. Stop worrying about the end result and work on achieving small victories in the here and now.

2- Make tiny changes to your daily routines – Find things in your daily routines that you can change for the better. These tiny changes should allow the brain to quickly learn and implement these changes without stopping to think whether they are good for us or not.

3- Set up schedules not deadlines – The problem with breaking bad habits is we focus too much on deadlines. “I need to change by his date” is an all too common mantra that needs to be discarded. Research has found that it takes 21 days to install a new habit. That doesn’t mean if you don’t make it by 21 days you’re a loser. Schedule out your actions so they take as long as needed, the idea is to be consistent in your actions and always going forward.

If you miss a deadline, then you set yourself up for failure and failure is not part of the process.  Consistency and positive action are what gets results. Clear and precise decisions give you boundaries to work with. You can’t makes excuses if they don’t fit into your plan.

By following this process that I’ve laid out for you, breaking a bad habit will not be a lesson in futility. Challenges are part of life and this is another challenge for you to overcome and build confidence as well and inner strength.

What Does Spiritual Transformation Look Like To You?

spiritual transformation

What Is Spiritual Transformation?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23

What happens when you live a life apart from God?

Many people have finally realized the futility of trying to live life on their own terms. They see how hard life is without having an advocate who loves us so much that He’s always looking out for our well-being. For this reason, many individuals have decided to go through a spiritual transformation and live the type of life God has envisioned for them from the time of their conception.

This may seem like a scary time in your life but look at it this way: Before today, you were driving on the wrong side of the road, unable to handle the speeding car as it made it’s way down the road. You ran into signs telling you which way to go while ignoring their messages, smashing into dividers that kept you from careening off the road while at the same time driving with a blindfold that took away all hopes for seeing the truth in front of you.

That may seem like a an extreme example of what life is like without God but let me tell you this, it isn’t far off from the truth. How often have you screwed up parts of your life and didn’t know which way to turn? How often have you gotten yourself into a bind and had no way of knowing what to do?

Like you, I too had trouble living a life apart from God. When I was younger, I thought I knew it all. I thought I was indestructible and could make my way down the road without any direction whatsoever but when I crashed, I realized I needed God to be there with me. I just couldn’t do it alone anymore. That’s when I realized I needed to transform my life with the awesome power of God’s love!

body of Christ

How about you?

Are you at the point where you’ve thrown your hands up and said… yes God, I surrender myself and give my heart to you?

Society today puts so much pressure on us to succeed and be happy but it doesn’t give us a roadmap on how to get there. That, my friend, is where making a spiritual transformation comes about. Society doesn’t make room for God in it’s plans for you.

In John 14:15-21, Jesus promises us, “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you. I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you. In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see that I live and you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you. Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.”

That is where you must make the decision to awaken the spirit within. You need to firmly grab hold of the unconditional love God has given you and make a turn for living the spiritual life that brings a much deeper happiness and joy. This way yo can forge a real and genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.

How To Make A Spiritual Transformation

hands of God

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel 36:26

Now that you have come this far, your main question should be, “How do I make a spiritual transformation in my own life?”

The first and foremost idea regarding a spiritual transformation is that this is an opportunity given to you by Jesus. In Colossians 3:10, we see this in action, “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

That new self is the key to your spiritual awakening. It’s a pathway the Lord has opened up for us but you need to open both your heart and mind to His calling. The change the Lord is calling us to make is a deep-seated ethical change that occurs within our outward appearance and goes straight down to our character.

It involves showing and bringing unconditional love to our fellow human beings which puts the emphasis on others instead of ourselves. In the age of selfishness, finding the true meaning of life comes from knowing God intimately.

Colossians 3:1-4 states this unequivocally, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

Unleashing God’s power brings about a transformation so profound that it literally knocks the shoes off your feet! When you attune yourself to God’s vibration everything changes. You become the person God wants you to be.

So how do you get there? How do you make the impossible possible in a world that doesn’t value your soul?

Everything you do is part of the overall picture that brings the whole world together. You are part of a bigger picture but society conspires against you and your happiness if you don’t conform. They would rather have you stay set in your sinful habits and addictions.

That’s your cue to start the transformation. But before you can ride the horse you have to learn humility. This means it’s not all about you. Service and unconditional love are hallmarks of a spiritual transformation.

There are 4 models of transformation –

1- Fellowship – Your soul needs to connect with others. With this type of intimate connection with others, you learn how to live out the Gospel. The love one another challenge that God offers us changes our perception of how the world is supposed to be and gives us the impetus to make it a reality. The more we pray and support one another the closer we are in our walk with Jesus. 1 John 1:6-7 tells us this.  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  Community brings accountability to all believers and through this community we have encouragement to keep us on the proper road of spirituality.

2- Discipline – Your spiritual journey is nothing without discipline. You cannot expect to transform your life if you lack discipline. That is where devotion, prayer, and meditation are so important. Our obedience to God is found in our fundamental attitude towards life. We find this in Jeremiah 17:7-8: “The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”  This is what discipline offers us when we give ourselves with love.

3- Desire – If you want something bad enough your desire will take you there. God has put that desire in your heart so that you will know Him. It is the will to go deeper to know the real Jesus Christ. Everyone has the desire to know the true God. We carry this responsibility in our hearts to live out the faith that is required to know God. According to Dallin H. Oaks, “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.” Desire leads us to finding God in everything we do. In fact, St. Augustine in the fourth century stated, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

4- Faith – No matter how strong our desire or discipline is, faith is the most important part of any spiritual transformation. Faith is what moves us in the direction of God. It is what Author Christy Wimber says that “It takes faith to trust and walk in that each and every day. However, if you’re faith doesn’t continue to grow in your relationship with Christ, you won’t have the faith to see God’s Kingdom come not only in your life, but in the lives of those around you.”  Faith is a gift given by God which is an action verb – which means it needs to be put in practice. Your transformation depends on it.

The Key To Spiritual Transformation

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 51:10-12

God is the key to your spiritual transformation. He opens up the world for you to experience it in all it’s glory. We are told to Colossians 3:1,“Set your heart and mind on the things above.” From there, our heart, mind, soul, body and relationships must be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ to have any hope of salvation.

The ultimate goal is to be Christ-like. That means, we must imitate Christ while rejecting everything around us which drags us toward ungodliness behavior. This means obeying God and denying thyself.

“Behold, the kingdom of God is within you…”  Luke 17:21. 

It’s all within you but you have to learn to unlock that power. If you want to experience the power of God in your life you must cultivate the consciousness of Christ.

According to Rev. Marty Blackwelder, “In order to reach that goal, and to reach our full potential in Christ, a transformation into the image of Christ must occur – a maturing, developing, evolving process must take place in our lives spiritually.”

A transformation takes time so we must allow our spirituality to mature and develop with time. Philippians 2:13 tells us: “For it is God which works in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God needs time to bring this out, not because he cannot work through us but we are spiritually like babies and we must learn the ways of God through practice, prayer, and meditation. These experiences

We place ourselves under the divine influence of God.  Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky writes,At just the right time there’s a God moment and their life collides with God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.” This is how our spiritual transformation takes place.

Awareness is the final key to personal transformation. It is through self-discovery that we find God. Awareness is the state of being conscious of something. For us to live, we must be in constant awareness of His presence in our everyday lives.

Do you know He is there with you everyday? Do you know He is watching over you? Awareness of God’s presence is  the foundation of the spiritual life. When you unite your faith with His presence, He raises your consciousness with a personal power that is prosperous in His spirit.

Want to become closer to God? Want to make your own spiritual transformation? You can find it in my #1 bestselling book entitled “Summoned To Love – A Spiritual Blueprint For Rediscovering Inner Peace, Unconditional Love, And True Happiness.”

Summoned To Love

Turning Your Joy Into Lasting Happiness

lasting happiness

Turning Joy Into Real Happiness

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”
Don Miguel Ruiz

Do you believe you are a happy person? Do you cultivate any type of joy whatsoever in your everyday life? Let me show you how to turn the simple act of joy into a lifetime of lasting happiness.

Throughout the ages, man has tried unsuccessfully to turn the joy he feels at any given moment into happiness that lasts a lifetime. As hard as he has tried, he has never quite put all the pieces together to enjoy the happiness that surrounds him.

Why is that and how can we fix it?

Before we can turn joy into lasting happiness we need to understand the distinction between joy and happiness and why they are so important in our life.

The days of instant gratification are long gone. The world has evolved despite the selfishness that pervades our culture. Even though most people look for joy, they can’t seem to find it or even when they do it doesn’t last long enough to appreciate.

This is understandable given the fact that we all lead complicated lives but that is the problem. We complicate our lives so much we can’t seem to witness the beauty all round our eyes and ears. Our hearts have grown cold with the bitterness of envy and disrespect for our fellow man.

Finding Lasting Happiness In Life

choose joy

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Do you want lasting happiness? Learn to take the energy you use in negative thinking and negative actions and put them to better use. Find things in your life that bring pleasure and put them in the forefront of your life.

Examples of this can be found in how we treat others for it always comes back to us how we treat others especially when we want to be friends with someone. Happiness comes in the relationships we have with others. Unfortunately, too many people don’t live by the golden rule of treating others as we would have them treat us.

The idea of feeling joy occurs frequently in the bible. Joy comes even amidst the suffering of day-to-day life. Joy is associated with the Holy Spirit. We see this in 1 Thessalonians 1:6, “For you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”  as well as in Acts 13:52, when we read , “The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

No matter what happened, the disciples lived with joy in their heart. Even amidst the suffering that Christians experienced at the hands of the Romans in the first century, their love of Christ brought extreme joy to their hearts and souls.

To nail this point home even further, we find this in Psalm 5:11; “All who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy” and in Psalm 35:27; “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore.”

Now that we see what part joy plays in our life,it is much easier to find a way to lasting happiness.

The Pathway To Happiness

“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”
Goldie Hawn

All roads lead to Christ and whether you believe or not, the joy in your heart comes from one source and that is Jesus Christ. Our hopes and dreams rely on our faith in God yet people work way too hard looking for and experiencing happiness that is fleeting.

Each one of us is a sinner and the more we sin, the guiltier we feel inside. We try to cover it up by looking for things that make us happy but they don’t fill our hearts with joy. Something’s missing that can’t be filled by what’s on earth. This is why we look towards heaven for our joy.

In their book entitled, “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu, we read some very inspiring and beautiful quotes about joy and happiness.

“We create most of our suffering, so it should be logical that we also have the ability to create more joy. It simply depends on the attitudes, the perspectives, and the reactions we bring to situations and to our relationships with other people. When it comes to personal happiness there is a lot that we as individuals can do.”  ― Dalai Lama 

To bring joy is what we were created for by the Lord.  Joy is love and the more we give love the more we will receive it in the end.

“What the Dalai Lama and I are offering,” the Archbishop added, “is a way of handling your worries: thinking about others. You can think about others who are in a similar situation or perhaps even in a worse situation, but who have survived, even thrived. It does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole.” Once again, the path of joy was connection and the path of sorrow was separation. When we see others as separate, they become a threat. When we see others as part of us, as connected, as interdependent, then there is no challenge we cannot face—together.” Desmond Tutu

The greater whole is where the path of lasting happiness starts. It does not comes from the selfish thrusts in life but our gentle offering to the souls of others.

“In fact, taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life.”  ― Dalai Lama

We discover pure joy in others. They bring out our true love and care and that is what happiness is all about.

Another way we find lasting happiness is through self-realization. Paramahansa Yogananda, the celebrated 20th century Indian yogi and guru who taught the benefits of meditation and Kriya Yoga, was a big proponent of the thought process.

He taught that you should “Change your thoughts if you wish to change your circumstances. Since you alone are responsible for your thoughts, only you can change them. You will want to change them when you realize that each thought creates according to its own nature. Remember that the law works at all times and that you are always demonstrating according to the kind of thoughts you habitually entertain. Therefore, start now to think only those thoughts that will bring you health and happiness.”

The majority of people walk around in a fog each day drowning themselves in negative thought. The negative vibrations bring on a myriad of diseases both physical and mental that cause us unhappiness.

The way we think determines what happens in our life and when we choose (keyword here) to make a positive change in our lives, our actions follow our thoughts. But to turn joy into lasting happiness, you must take the next step in the evolution of your life.

Experiencing Empathetic Joy

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

According to Christina McMahon, from her article entitled, “Cultivating Empathetic Joy: Ancient Buddhist Wisdom for Creating Lasting Happiness” she writes, “Empathetic joy is the third of the Four Immeasurables from Buddhism, which also encompass loving-kindness, compassion, and equanimity. These are positive qualities we can nurture through meditation and our intentional practice of them in everyday life. While empathetic joy, or mudita, is typically defined as delight in others’ happiness or good fortune, it can also mean celebrating the virtues of others.”

Do you feel like every day is like the movie Groundhog Day? The same old circumstances with the same old results? Christina makes this observation and puts it all into perspective  when she writes, “Rather than greeting every day with a weary expectation of sameness, we open our eyes wider and see opportunity.”

Life is full of opportunities to be free and happy but we lock ourselves up in a prison of our own making. Whether it’s excuses why we cannot do things or letting others rule our happiness to the choices we make, we always have the chance to choose lasting happiness.

Research - What makes us happy?

From Visually.

It is up to you to become more aware of what is happening around you and cognizant of the way you react to them. Then, start to simplify your life. The more complicated you make it the harder it is to juggle everything going on around you.

It’s all about building character and living a humble life. The author Henry David Thoreau wrote about this in 19th century when he commented, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen.”

Finally, do you have a purpose in your life? Are you going from point A to point B? Or are you all over the place? Those that have a real purpose to their life are happier and more committed to a deeper sense of meaning with their life.

Let me leave you with this quote from Psalm 21:6-7; “Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.”

Happiness is there for you to take. It doesn’t rely on what others think, say, or do. Lasting happiness is God’s gift to you. You have to reach out and take it and then live it to the fullest. Don’t waste time looking for it in all the wrong places.

Want to find lasting happiness in this world. You can discover it in my #1 book on Amazon.com entitled “Summoned To Love – A Spiritual Blueprint For Rediscovering Inner Peace, Unconditional Love, And True Happiness”

Summoned To Love

What Do Happy People Know That You Don’t?

happiness is love

The Amazing Secrets Of Happy People

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23

What is the secret of being happy? That is the question humans have been asking for thousands of years but at the heart of being happy is none other than love. Without love, happiness cannot flourish. It cannot breed it’s beauty and fulfill its prime directive… that is, bring us closer to God for happiness has been given to us from the Lord.

Happy people go about doing things much differently than unhappy people. They live in a away that is kinder and more gentle than unhappy people. Happiness is a way of life. It’s a way to be not a way to act or even a way to receive.

Want to see what happiness looks like? Take a peek at this infographic outlining a happiness checklist:

Happiness Checklist

We here all the time about being happy but how many people do you actually meet on your daily journey who are truly happy? Society has taken a huge toll on the individual spirit and has put us at a disadvantage. Our ancestors knew how to be happy. They treasured happiness as if it were gold. They worked hard to toil the land but at the end of the day, they had a joy that most of us would be jealous of.

What part of your life is lacking happiness?

What are you doing to change the equation and bring more happiness, more joy and more peace to your everyday life?

At the heart of being happy is reveling in the Lord. When you know Jesus, you can live knowing you have an advocate on your side. This can take away much of the stress we suffer from in today’s hectic world. But Christian joy and happiness are not one in the same. Happiness is not some warm and fuzzy feeling that only lasts a certain amount of time

The Root Of All Happiness

“We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”
Joseph Campbell

Christian happiness goes far beyond that of society’e version of happiness. Joy, not just happiness is expressed in the bible as:

James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

James 1:2-3

It is here that the real secret of true happiness comes. Happy people cling to joy because they know they have control over it as opposed to happiness where we think it comes to us. This difference makes it possible to feel joy even when things don’t go as planned or there are troubles in life.

The majority of people are like the wind. When tough times come, happiness flies out the door. When Christians feel joy, it reverberates throughout their lives no matter the circumstances. They know God is in control of their lives and they can feel it all the way through their soul.

When you read the new testament you find that we are commanded to be joyful. What is the source of this joy? It is the Lord, of course. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4,  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

We are in Christ and He is in us so no matter what happens, we have God inside our hearts. He leads us through the hills and valleys of life. He is the ultimate source of strength especially when we can’t go on. It is a union that we heartily embrace. oy comes from faith in the Lord.

How To Be A Very Happy Person

happiness is a gift

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

James 1:2-3

Happiness is a gift from God. It is something not to be taken lightly. Joy comes to when we are keenly aware of God’s grace and are relishing His favor in us. Too often, we spend our time focusing on the negative parts of life without being grateful for what we have and the life we are living. If you turn your thinking around and see the positive side of life then happiness and joy will follow you all the days of your life.

For many, these words have no meaning because they are too caught up in themselves. Happiness is not just a selfish thing but something to be shared. We are a community that prays and obeys God in all things. This means it’s a choice to be happy even though we are commanded to be. God gave us the choice because He doesn’t want to force us. He wants happiness and joy to flow through our veins and become an integral part of who we are as Christians.

In their book,  “The 9 Choices of Happy People” authors Rick Foster and Greg Hicks write that “Intention is the active desire and commitment to be happy. It’s the decision to consciously choose attitudes and behaviors that lead to happiness over unhappiness.”

We also find this in the book, You Can Choose to Be Happy” by Tom G. Stevens, PhD. when he states emphatically, “Choose to make happiness a top goal,” Choose to take advantage of opportunities to learn how to be happy. For example, reprogram your beliefs and values. Learn good self-management skills, good interpersonal skills, and good career-related skills. Choose to be in environments and around people that increase your probability of happiness. The persons who become the happiest and grow the most are those who also make truth and their own personal growth primary values.”

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” ~William Penn

Gratitude and forgiveness should also be a big part of being a happy person. You can’t live without being grateful for what you have. Selfish people are not happy people. They live for themselves not for God. That’s the big difference here. The more you are thankful for what you have the happier you are.

Why be grateful?

It’s all a matter of how you think. Rather than focusing on the things you don’t have, try focusing on what you do have and be grateful for them. Remember, there are people who would kill for what you have. God wants us to be happy with what we have and be able to give from our hearts because what we do have all comes from Him anyway. The happiness that comes with gratitude can be life-changing when you learn to put it in action.

Forgiveness is something most of us have trouble with. No matter how hard it is forgiving others, it is as much for our own psyche as it is for the other person. The secret is, don’t dwell on your anger or hurt, but instead put that  vengeance to bed. Open up your heart with love and forgiveness and allow the peace of the Lord to dwell in your soul and eel the peace and joy that He offers you.

Happiness can be short-circuited by our thoughts. The more we remain in a negative vibration, the more unhappiness grabs hold of us. The idea is to let positive thoughts and emotions fill your mind so that you are uplifted which allows you to have control over your thoughts and feelings.

 Jon Haidt, the author of “The Happiness Hypothesis” states that “If you learn techniques for identifying negative thoughts, then it’s easier to challenge them.” You have full control over whether you feel happy or not. Wrestling that control from negativity can be tough but it must be done to enjoy being happy.

Making Happiness An Everyday Habit

experiencing real happiness

“Happiness is a habit—cultivate it.”
Elbert Hubbard

You would think that being happy would come naturally to humans but the problems we all face daily can put a damper on experiencing lasting happiness.  The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can learn to pick up habit that will help bring out the happiness that you honestly deserve.

Here are 5 Ways You Can Make Happiness A Daily Habit

  1. Change Your Perspective On Life – See life from a different angle. The more you experience different things, the less boredom can take a hold of you and your thoughts.

  2. Learn To Embrace Your Fears – Challenge yourself from time to time. If you let your fears get the better of you, stress and anxiety will rule your day. A good challenge gets the blood flowing and forces you to better yourself.

  3. Learn To Smile More – There’s nothing better than a good smile. Happy people smile more and love to laugh. Are you a smiler or a frowner? The more you smile the more positive your outlook, Smiling also brings you closer to others and the better your relationships the happier you will be.

  4. Put More Emphasis On Helping Others – Psychologists have studied people who spend time helping others and have found they are happier because of their service and bring more happiness to the people they are helping. Are you serving others? Are you a giver or a taker?
  5. Commit More Random Acts Of Kindness – Most people don’t think about what their actions can do for others. They are so caught up in their own life they forget they have the power to make an impact on the lives of others. The more acts of kindness we can offer the world the better we can enjoy the love that’s all around us. Take time to be good to others and it will leave a happy feeling in your heart and a smile on the faces of others.

No matter how you slice it, happy people make an indelible mark on the world. Go out and make the supreme effort to be happy. Even when it’s raining inside your heart let the world see the sunshine in tour eyes. You’ll be much better off for it.

Want to experience happiness like you’ve never felt before? Step out of your comfort zone and find it in my #1 bestselling book on Amazon.com entitled “Summoned To Love – A Spiritual Blueprint For Rediscovering Inner Peace, Unconditional Love, And True Happiness.”

 

Summoned To Love

The Art Of Building Self-Confidence

building self confidnce

Building Up Your Self Confidence

“It is only necessary to have courage, for strength without self-confidence is useless.”

Giacomo Casanova

One of the biggest things that holds people back is lack of self confidence. It can be the difference between becoming the person we were meant to be and hiding from our responsibility to the world. We all have so much to give and to let it die because we fear the unknown is not only stupid but selfish as well.

It is our duty is to build self confidence and make a difference in this world for if we sit life out, what use are we for God? As a Christian, I have faith in my abilities because they are God-given. Do you have faith in your abilities? If not, I would advise you to set a course to become someone worthy of both self respect and a person of action.

If you want to build self confidence and self esteem you need to ask yourself this one important question.

How do you feel about yourself at this moment in time?

No matter where you stand in the world you must decide whether you want to increase your self confidence or not. Despite everything you’ve been told about your image of yourself, only you have the ability to change your life and how you feel about yourself.

Ways-to-Build-Self-Confidence

From Visually.

Boosting Your Self Confidence

There can be no failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self respect, or his self-confidence. He is still a King. Orison Swett Marden

Too often, we find ourselves turning away from the process of facing our biggest hurdles in life… being confident in who we are. People who are confident in themselves are the kind who are admired by both others as well as inspire confidence in their peers.

Is confidence a big part of your life? Are you having a problem facing your fears head on without any results?

Whatever obstacles come our way, facing them with confidence is our first concern. Barrie Davenport states this in a very succinct way. “Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced and mastered — just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change better.” 

Look, if you don’t believe in yourself, who else will believe in you?

Self-confidence is powered by positive feelings. The more positive you are, the more positive you will be. Enthusiasm seems to help bring confidence to new levels by helping people bring a new sense of excitement to their lives. This is important for you to implement in your own life as it will help you overcome your weaknesses and improve your strengths.

In my own life, the only way I was able to boost my own confidence was by accepting who I was and facing my challenges head on. It didn’t matter whether I failed or not but the fact that I battled my way to where I am now. We can’t win all our battles but by preparing ourselves for success, we can improve our own self-esteem.

How Confident Are You In Building Self-Confidence?

building up your self confidence

“Discouragement, fear, doubt, lack of self-confidence, are the germs which have killed the prosperity and happiness of tens of thousands of people.”
Orison Swett Marden

The level of confidence is directly correlated to how you deal with others. As an example, do you focus on unrealistic expectations or standards when dealing with others? Most of us have areas in our lives where we feel competent to speak on the subject without making a fool of ourselves but self-confidence goes deeper than that. Those who are confident in their abilities usually have very little fear of the unknown and can stand up for what they believe in.

Can you stand up for what you believe in and actually debate the facts? Most people try to fake it and fall flat on their face. You’ve seen that person, the one who thinks they know everything but gets cut down when trying to prove it. Being confident comes with the knowledge and overcoming our doubts.

I can remember many times thinking I knew enough about a certain subject but after talking with experts my lack of confidence came out very quickly. Did I believe I was inferior or inadequate or incapable of being around these people? No, but it was a learning experience on my part. That is something you must be prepared to live with when something like this happens.

Another example comes from people who are able to stop judging themselves by basing their confidence on outside events. My daughter has a beautiful voice and has sung in school musicals but ask her to sing at a party by herself and she all of the sudden becomes introverted and shies away. Why is this? It is not that she doesn’t have confidence in her ability to sing but a fear of what others may think and feel. If you worry too much about how others may think you’ll never be able to boost your self-confidence enough to to take chances that can bring you happiness.

7 Building Self-Confidence Tips That Really Work

“For me it’s just about that self-confidence and finding what you love and just chasing after it with reckless abandon and never letting anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”
Kelley O’Hara

You must be willing to work on both your self-esteem and self-confidence issues if you want to succeed in life. There is no other way around it but many people try to avoid putting themselves out there for fear of rejection. I can relate to that personally as it took me years to get up in front of people and speak but once I did, the more I did it, the better I became.

Tip #1 – Always do what you believe is right. believing in yourself comes from having both the right values and morals.

Tip #2 – Be willing to take risks and get out of your comfort zone. If you stand in the shadows you’ll never the light of day. You need to put yourself out there to build up confidence.

Tip #3 – Prepare for the confident journey ahead. That means taking stock of who you are, what you want to accomplish and where you want to go in life. Knowing these things will place you ahead of 90% of everyone else.

Tip #4 – Know your strengths and what you have already achieved in your life. By making a log of your achievements, you can see just how special you are and that you have abilities.

Tip #5 – Focus on the positive. The more you focus on the positive side of things the more you will build self-confidence in your abilities and see life from a better point of view.

Tip #6 – Start with achievable goals and then work your way from there. Most people get this part all wrong. They set lofty goals and never reach them. They give up before they reach the summit of their dreams and are always making new goals (and failing all the same).

Tip #7 –  Learn to accept and like who you are. God made only one of you because you are special. He gave you all sorts of abilities and and talents. It’s up to you to use them the best you can. Enjoy yourself and be willing to learn from your mistakes.

Building self-confidence is a never ending ride that takes us everywhere we go. It’s something we are always working on and is a work in progress. One things you do need to beware of  is this: No matter how much others mock you or put you down, you are a special person that God loves. You have the right to be confident in yourself and your abilities and you have the right to do what makes you happy.

I have seen how cruel people can be when they are jealous or covet something you have. Don’t mind them. Focus on always improving yourself and you will become the confident person you’ve always wanted to be. It takes work (there’s no denying that) but nothing is as sweet as the feeling you get when you accomplish something you set out to do.

Want to experience self-confidence and self-esteem like you’ve never felt before? Step out of your comfort zone and find it in my #1 bestselling book on Amazon.com entitled “Summoned To Love – A Spiritual Blueprint For Rediscovering Inner Peace, Unconditional Love, And True Happiness.”

Summoned To Love