Purpose of Life: Don’t Abandon Your Gift

Uniquely Created

Being unique means you are one of a kind. You were not made from a mold but fashioned together very carefully. No other being exists like you. There may be someone who is similar to you that may have the same hair color, the same car or listen to the same type of music. But they are not made exactly like you in every way.

That was not done by accident. You were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” To be fearfully made means you were made greatly with much intensity and thought. The first step in learning who you are is to understand how you were made. You are born of His spirit and wonderfully made.

For A Purpose

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” Ephesians 1:11 NKJV

Not only are you unique but also you are chosen for a specific purpose that works in accordance with God’s overall plan. Initially you may not know how you fit into the overall plan, which causes you to fumble around in darkness. But as you grow spiritually, you will begin to understand that you have a purpose to fulfill.

You may  have discovered that you are a good writer and begin writing a book about your spiritual journey. You may have discovered you can write and compose songs and begin working on inspirational songs. You may have discovered that you are able to understand and teach God’s word to anyone and begin teaching Sunday school. You may have discovered that you are able to soothe those who are hurting and begin encouraging others. You may have discovered that you are able to lead a group of people and became a leader.

But something went wrong and you began to doubt your ability and effectiveness. Eventually you stopped practicing your gift. You fell into a slump and life became unbearable for you as you began to stumble around in the darkness again. But you can recover from this minor setback because God loves you and has invested in your success.

Expression of His Love

New parents hold their newborn in their arms, gazing in awe at what has been created out of their love. They softly caress her face and check her hands and feet to make sure they are complete. They watch her as she grows and gets excited when she discovers her foot for the first time, then lovingly watches as she keeps putting her new foot in her mouth, exploring it. That is how God is with each of us. We were created out of his love and are lovingly watched as you grow. He gets excited when you discover your first gift and watches as you learn to use it.

Just like the baby starts by putting her foot in her mouth, she soon realizes that her feet are not for eating but for walking. Sometimes you don’t know how to properly use your gift and may use it for the wrong purpose and begin to experience struggle. Continuously doing so may make you decide it’s not worth the effort anymore, so you abandon the gift.

Similarly, the baby, now a toddler, discovers she is able to stand and begin to move around the room if she stands up and moves her feet. She begins to experiment with standing until gradually she builds up to taking a step. This is an exciting time for both parents and child. But if the toddler has a bad experience during her discovery and practice, such as falling or getting hurt, she may experience a set back in perfecting her gift of walking. Without proper guidance from the parent she may try to abandon her gift all together because of fear.

Intimately Known

The parent plays a big role in helping the toddler feel secure and continuing to practice her gift until she masters it because the parent knows the toddler intimately. He watches her practice and anticipates the ways she may mess up, so he makes preparations to keep the toddler on track and avoid a major setback, by installing safety measures in the house. As a result the toddler is walking without assistance and secure in her ability to do so.

God knows you intimately and will do the same for you. When you find yourself struggling or fumbling around in the dark with a gift, pray and allow your spirit to be fulfilled with purpose. Seek guidance to:

  • Ask where you got off track and then ask for the proper way to cultivate your gift.
  • If you have developed a fear in that area, seek protection and courage to practice your gift again.

Just like the parent does with the toddler God will fill your spirit:

  • Give you praise when you reach a milestone,
  • Caution when you are going in the wrong direction,
  • Encouragement when it gets hard,
  • Protection from the unseen dangers and,
  • Lovingly reward you when you get it just right.

Accept Your Gift

So take a minute to revisit that book you stopped writing, that song you stopped composing, those classes you stopped teaching, those people you stopped encouraging, that degree you stopped pursuing or those sheep you stopped shepherding.

Accept that your spiritual gifts  are part of you and that you were fearfully and wonderfully made to fulfill purpose through that gift. It’s time to stand and face those struggles and find out how to start again, but this time ask allow your spirit to guide and actively engage you through your process. You will find it is much easier to navigate your new gift with a little loving guidance.

Purpose of Life: Are You on a Focused Path?

As part of my new endeavor, in May 2010, I continued blogging with a new purpose under Free in the Spirit, which has its own history, as this blog originated before I became a Life Coach. I spent the past five years honing my skills and shifting my focus because I realized that it was easy to become a Life Coach but not so easy to establish a niche, as the market is huge.

So here I am again blogging but not under Free in the Spirit. This blog is intentionally related to my niche and my destiny. But I purposely included some of my old posts here as well. When I wrote 40 Days of Success back in 2010, it was my first attempt to write on purpose. I have known since I was a teen that I was a writer but I failed to focus my craft over the years.

As you will see in those posts, there were some days when I did not have a clear focused topic. But I published something anyway because the goal was to write for 40 days straight. I will admit that it was not easy either. There were days when I did not want to continue but I knew if I quit, then I would not be successful as a writer.

Never confuse activity with productivity. — Rick Warren

Focused for a Purpose

I was being proactive but was I really being productive? No, I was attempting to become productive but during that 40 days I did not produce much. Why? I lacked focus. My writing did not have a focus. I wrote about random things which as a collective did not amount to one solid piece of work. I realized this when I attempted to rewrite the series into a short e-book. Upon careful review, I found that in the entire 40 days I only produced five consistent pieces that I could bring together into one solid e-book, called The Cycle of Failure. I did have some decent posts in the last ten days, as I became more focused and deliberate about the content. But during that time the purpose of my writing was to create discipline as a writer.

Lack of focus will have you spiraling in all directions, always starting things but rarely completing anything. I continued to write sporadically until 2013, when my voice went silent. I was silent because I did not have focus nor a purpose for the blog. I allowed God to pour into me and I began a five-year journey towards purpose. I went back to school to focus my craft of writing and Life Coaching as I knew this was my destiny. But I also knew that I would not be effective in either unless I allowed God to show me how to use them purposefully. It was a long journey and it took much discipline because I had to shut people out as I became purposeful in the use of my time and energy.

Focus Feeds Purpose

Today is quite different for me. As a result of my purposeful endeavors I am focused. I have been writing consistently now for two years. I completed a book, write poetry daily, and am currently working on two other books. I write on my phone, my tablet, in many notebooks, on my computer, and anything else that will allow me to record. I now have enough content to write several books. I launched out into the world of fiction writing and now maintain two blogs producing focused, deliberate content on a weekly basis. Very seldom do I sit down and struggle to find something to write about because knowing why I am doing this empowers me to create.

My purpose for writing is to be the voice for the voiceless, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and empower them to live on purpose. Writing is the vehicle God has given me to uplift others by sharing my journey and by showing others that anything is possible when you believe, in God first, then in yourself. Allowing God to shift your focus is the first step towards living on purpose.

Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
9 Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor. – Proverbs 31:8-9 (Voice Translation)

Day 39 – Start Living, It’s Not too Late

 

I got a new client today. I was so excited because she found me in the yellow book, which means my ad is paying for itself. Life moves so quickly, one moment you are thinking about something, just an idea and the next you find yourself bringing the idea to life. This was just an idea about six months ago. Just like this journey is almost done.

My new client just turned 72 and she is still very active. She has only been retired for two years. She has so much spirit, enthusiasm, and a great desire to make a difference. At her age she has decided to take on a project that she is passionate about. I am honored to be working with her and pray that I will continue to have that much energy when I reach her age.

Life is too short to continue to make excuses for dreams not realized and goals not met. It is never too late to start over or finish something you started years earlier. Life only ends when you stop moving, stop dreaming and stop making a difference. What are you passionate about? I am passionate about making sure that people with Asperger’s have a voice and resources available to be successful. It is something I will always work on for business and charity.

Get up and start moving today. Tomorrow is too late and yesterday will never come again.

Day 34 – Time Management is a Key to Success

Time management is the ability to manage your schedule effectively to meet deadlines and accomplish goals. I am a Choleric personality type, which is a natural born leader. This type is goal oriented, loves a challenge, has high expectations for themselves and can be inpatient when learning new things. The Melancholy type is the very organized one who is good with time management. I do like things to be in order but I do not do well with managing my time.

I have become better at it by using tools such as my Google calendar and my Blackberry to keep up with appointments. However sometimes I tend to still get off track and underestimate my time. I have found this journey to be quite a challenge with regards to time management. I did not know going in exactly how much time would be needed to get this done.  I think I took for granted that I could just write at a certain time everyday and it would just be that simple.

Well that did not happen. I started out pretty steady writing mostly at night, but on days when I was tired or when life was going on I would not write. Then I would lose track of which day I was on in the journey. I did not anticipate the level of energy required to maintain such a schedule.

Properly anticipating the time and energy involved in completing a task is important to your success. If you go into the journey with low expectations you may end up missing your goal or accomplishing it at a much lower level. Do some homework or perhaps a trial run of the task prior to committing. Make sure you have the time and energy to devote to the successful completion prior to committing.

Proper time management is a key to success.  Use whatever tools you need to stay organized and manage your schedule. There are many free online calendar tools available such as Google Calendar that will sync with your handheld device. I also send myself reminders so that I know my daily schedule.

Day 31 – The Eve of a New Year

It is New Year’s Eve and I want to share my day with you today. I started my day with the intentions of going somewhere tonight. I did not want to sit at home for New Year’s. I really wanted to be in the sanctuary of my church in Baltimore. But I cannot drive my car right now; therefore I was trying to get two of my friends to go with me. I asked earlier in the week. I was not upset when it turned out that they would not go. One of my girlfriends moved into her first home this week. I am so happy for her and was not upset at all that she was tired.

So I sent out a text message this morning to about ten people to see what their plans were. I was really trying to text one person but it went to ten. Six people responded. All had wonderful plans. I was happy to hear that they were going to be bringing the New Year in with people they loved. I was going to go with one of my other girlfriends to a gathering at one of her friends house.

I took the children bowling, which seemed to be such a big deal. I don’t know why I was so emotional, so edgy, so just not there. We got through the bowling. The excitement wore off half way through the first game, that was not good since I had paid for two games. We painfully got through the next game and needless to say were very ready to go. But the trip was good for the children; everyone fell asleep in the car on the way home.

So I connected with my other girlfriend, the new homeowner. I want you all to know that I am extremely proud of her for achieving such an important goal. She really deserves this and the many more blessings she is due to receive. But she even offered to go with me this evening to the gathering because I did not want to be a third wheel hanging with my other girlfriend and her man.

I was still very undecided about what I really wanted to do. By the time I got home I was very emotional and did not really want to be anywhere but in Ohio. See I know where I wanted to be tonight and with whom I wanted to bring the New Year in with. But I knew that I was not able to be with them. This made me very sad and disappointed. I felt it very hard when I returned home.

So I ended up home and about 8:30 pm it was sealed that I was not going anywhere. So I turned on my computer and watched my pastor preach. His sermon was entitled “I Need a Break”. God was waiting for me. The words that he said came right out of my heart and out of my mouth just about an hour earlier. I said those very words “I need a break” and why does everything have to be a challenge for me.

The words blessed me so much and I got some much-needed answers. I was not meant to go anywhere but right to the alter tonight. As the tears rolled down my cheek, I did not realize my heart was so heavy. I could not take notes, I could not talk, all I could do was cry. But there is so much peace and excitement in knowing that God listens to me and knows what I need before I do.

I am ready for my new year and excited that I can leave these tears in 2010. I can look forward to new beginnings, double portions and peace. The word my pastor spoke said that I would never have another year like 2010. So as I look forward to 2011 I am glad to say goodbye to wandering, to feeling lost, to having less than what I am entitled to, to disappointments from the same people, and to faithless people.

Happy New Year!

Day Seventeen – Doing Your Best is a Key to Success

I strive for perfection in all that I do. It has benefited me in several ways especially in business because my clients know that they will receive a quality product. However there are times when it has not been my friend because I am not okay with performing less than perfect. Although I clearly know that I am not perfect. This leads to stress and anxiety.

This journey has been a challenge for me because I want so much to finish what I started and to stay on the schedule. But it is okay if I miss a day right? I need to allow myself the flexibility of being able to do a job and not feel pressured to do it perfectly. That does not mean that I will ever sacrifice quality to get a job done. It means that I will do the best I can and be okay even if it is not perfect.

I am learning to allow myself additional time to get things done so that I minimize my stress level and things remain balanced. Having balance is important as it keeps me from exhausting myself. I have also learned about re-framing my thoughts. I take those negative, overly critical thoughts and turn them into self-inspiring, motivating thoughts. Instead of kicking myself for missing a day in my journey, I congratulate myself for not quitting and completing 16 days. I did my best.

I was very disheartened when I learned that my best efforts on my previous job were not appreciated nor acknowledged. It began to make me doubt my ability as a manager and made me want to quit. But I chose not to quit and stuck in there. I did a self-evaluation of my performance, remembered that I was a good manager and knew my job. I set out on a path to do my best and to work on the areas where I needed some improvement. After about three months I began to regain my confidence and saw some progress. Upper management would not acknowledge my progress but this time I did not allow it to make me feel bad about myself, because I knew that I had done my best.

Doing your best is all you can do because none of us will ever achieve perfection. The next time you are ready to beat yourself up over not doing something perfectly or someone else does it to you remind yourself that you did your best and therefore are still successful.

I would like to share the following poem with you and hope it helps remind you to do your best.

Do the Best You Can

by Rhoda-Katie Hannan

This I pray for you, my friend

That you strive to be all that you can be,

Yet never become a copy of another

That you realize your own unique qualities,

And all that makes you special

That you open your eyes to the beauty in each day

That you reach out to others less fortunate than you

That, by giving, you learn the joy of receiving

That you let go of the sadness of the past,

Yet always remember the good moments

That you learn to accept life as it is,

Even with its problems and disappointments

For life is meant to be enjoyed and, at all times, endured, but never taken for granted

And I pray that you will be aware at all times that you are one special person,

Among all special persons

And do the best you can.

Day Fifteen – Focus is a Key to Success

Today I attended a webinar on Web Analytics. It was boring, can’t really say that I learned anything other than all of the acronyms that are used when talking about analyzing web data. But it did spark something for me to consider for the business. I do need to track and analyze the traffic data from all of my websites. But recently I have really taken on too much, thus my focus has shifted and I now feel like I am missing some things.

Focus on Immediate Needs

I have taken on something new without making sure that the things I had already started are completed and today I felt that pressure. I decided that next year I will need to get some help if I am going to accomplish my goals. So I started looking for a Virtual Assistant. But during that process my focus shifted from what I was working on to a future need. Then it all became too big and overwhelming.

Focus means, “to concentrate attention or effort.”[1] In order to meet your goals and be successful, you need to be able to focus and not allow your focus shift towards things that are not related to your immediate goals. Yes, hiring a Virtual Assistant is related to my business goals, but it is not an immediate goal. It is a mid-term goal, which means it will not happen for another 3 to 6 months. The more immediate goals need to be accomplished within a one-month period. Therefore my focus should remain on them.

Getting Off Track

When you get off track and allow your focus to shift towards longer terms goals your task can seem overwhelming thus leading to confusion and anxiety. So goals should be attainable and manageable. For example what I am working on right now is an immediate goal because I need to use it this week, however it will benefit my business on a larger scale on a longer term as well. Therefore it has a bigger picture but a more immediate need. Versus the need for the Virtual Assistant, which right now I am handling things on my own. However I realized today that as I get more clients, my time spent doing administrative and operational tasks will diminish. The bigger picture shows that I will need an assistant but the need is not immediate. Therefore it is not something that needs my immediate focus.

So how do we stay focused on our immediate tasks? I have a dry erase board that lists only the immediate business tasks, projects or clients that I am focused on. Therefore these things are what usually get my focus. When I was shifted today, I did not immediately go back to what I was working on. So I took a break. I stepped away from all of it and cleared my mind so that I could get back on track. When I came back I was able to set aside the search for a Virtual Assistant and pick up where my focus should have been.

Distractions will come so you should expect them. But you need to have something that will jolt you back to your focus. Sometimes it is helpful to write out your immediate goals and post them somewhere visible so that you can quickly refer to them. Find what works for you but you need to stay focused in order to succeed.


[1] Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition. 2001

Day Twelve – Commitment is an Important Key to Success

I love Fridays because I can reflect on my week and can finally rest. I had a good week. I get so excited about my business. I learn something new everyday. I love being a coach and helping people succeed.

This week I met all of my goals except one. I am stuck in one area and that is not good. But I will get back on track. I have to reset the goal for myself and assign a new completion date. I may need to have someone hold me accountable this time. It is harder with this one thing because it is not something I really want to do but need to do. So my discipline is low with it. I don’t need anyone to hold me accountable for finding new products for my business because I am passionate about that and can do that in my sleep.

But this goal is not like that it is a practical one that needs to be done and does not illicit the same passion. But I will get it done because I committed to doing it. Commitment is a big deal, if you cannot commit to anything you will not achieve the level of success you deserve. You may continuously start things but rarely finish.

I used to be that way; I always liked the excitement of starting new things but would quit when I lost interest or when it got hard. But I realized that I had missed so many good things in my life due to lack of commitment. Therefore I had to make some changes. Today my commitment record is much better. I have seen my way through some difficult situations that I really wanted to back away from. But I saw it through to completion and learned from the experience.

Thanks for taking this journey with me. I have learned so much in the first 12 days.

Day Nine – Adjust Your Mirror

Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms. What inspires one may not inspire another. God has placed some extraordinary people in my life. I am often amazed at their level of devotion and admiration of my accomplishments. I don’t always see myself the way others see me. But my mirror has been changing over the past few years.

When I used to look in the mirror, I did not like what I saw. I always felt like I was unattractive and unimportant to those around me. I never wanted to have the spotlight on me and was usually very quiet. When I look in the mirror now I am in awe of the beauty that stares back at me. She looks at me now and says, “Where have you been?” “What took you so long to notice me?”

But I notice her now. She is bold and confident. She still does not like to be the center of attention but no longer shies away from it when it is given. She notices when her gifts shine brightly and bring life to those around her. Therefore, she will never ever believe that she is unimportant to those around her again.

Are you reflecting the good parts or the false parts? The law of attraction states that you attract what you think or energy attracts like energy. If your mirror focuses on negative parts of you then you will also maintain a negative energy thus attracting similar people. But once you clean your mirror and begin to see the real, positive and gifted person on the other side, you will begin to attract positive energy. You will be able to see what others see.

What do you see in your mirror?

Day Six – A Day of Rest

Do you know I have always been my own coach and I push myself? But I never knew how to unwind and just rest. I would push myself to exhaustion; I guess sometimes I still do, based upon what happened yesterday. 🙂

But about a year ago I started to take a day of rest. I adopted Saturdays as my day of rest. It is my day to do whatever I want, I don’t serve others on this day. I don’t cook and if I want to stay in bed and watch TV that is what I do.

In the beginning my family would continue to ask me what was for dinner and I would have to remind them that it is Saturday, my day of rest. Now, my children never starve, my two boys are old enough to cook for themselves and I still take care of my little one. But it is really a day of rest for me. I have found that it is a much-needed rest. Sometimes I get bored and get tempted to open my laptop but I don’t.

When I wake up Sunday morning, I am refreshed and ready to begin my new week. I get my word in the morning from my Pastor and then I go about my day to prepare for the upcoming week. Sunday is a big cooking day for me. I always like to have a nice dinner on Sundays and I bake the kids a treat.

Take a day of rest and refresh yourself, God did. You are not going to lose anything by taking a day of rest.

See you on day seven.