When you start a charcoal grill you have to have something that will activate the coals and cause them to burn together. You can light one coal but if the wind blows it could blow out. You need to get the coals so hot that no matter what the circumstances are the fire will thrive.
When we are inspired by a great idea, we can have great excitement to pursue something new but the excitement can fizzle out when adversity strikes. It often leaves us with nothing to motivate us and keep the excitement going. I’ve learned some ways to create and maintain my “grill” of passions:
A young husband just got off of work. As he is walking to his car, he receives a call from his wife, asking him to purchase diapers and wipes for their baby girl. He heads to the store and grabs the diapers and wipes, as well as some baby clothes and other items he finds on sale. He is so excited to get home and show his wife what he’s found. When he pays for the items, the cashier tells him that his card was declined. Confused, he doesn’t understand why the payment is declined since he just received the card. He calls customer service and checks his bank account. When the automated operator informs him of his positive balance, he asks the cashier to try again. Again, the card is declined. Frustrated, he tells the cashier that he will just purchase the diapers and hands the cashier cash. As he takes his card back from the cashier, he sees a sticker: ACTIVATE BEFORE USE. He shakes his head, laughing, as he walks out of the store.
If you’ve ever received a new bank card or credit card in the mail, before you can use the card, you have to activate it. The issuer puts a sticker on the card to remind you to activate the card immediately before you try to use it. Your funds are attached to the card and without you first acknowledging that you are in possession of the card, the card issuer will not give access to the funds. The card is of no use without activation.
We are living our lives trying to acquire the resources we need to help support our purpose and dreams but we are met with resistance. We know we have the ability and talent required to do what we love but something is missing. We need to be activated! We need to go to the One who issued our gifts and talents to us so that we can gain access to not only possess them but to also use them.
Imagine having a credit card with unlimited spending power. When you walk into a store with it, you would have confidence that whatever it is you want, you can buy. You would carry yourself differently. You wouldn’t have to worry about being declined or coming up short because you know what you hold.
You are carrying that “card” right now. On this card is unlimited potential inside of you but to gain access to its power, it needs to be activated first. When you live activated, you have a different perspective on life. You are able to draw from your source at any time. There is a freedom in knowing that what you have will never run out. It’s a confidence that’s not in what you possess but in the One that possesses you. If you make a mistake, you know that someone has your back regardless. When you are in need, you know that your needs will be met.
It is time to activate your dreams. The “Dream Giver” is waiting for you to communicate with Him. He wants your acknowledgment that you have received what He sent to you. More importantly, He wants you to use it once you activate it. There is no dream too big, no challenge too intimidating. Take ownership of all you have been created to be. Live, knowing that you are meant for this moment; nothing will stop you.
We are more than able to face anything that comes our way because we are backed by “the bank” of God who has called us to live and live abundantly. Stop holding on to your gifts and surrender them to God. Let God activate your life now!
What does it mean to live your dream life? Honestly do you know?
I have been in pursuit of my dream ever since it came to me. As adversity followed me the dream resembled more of a nightmare. No matter how many good things came to me doing what I loved, it was never enough. I wanted more. I would write a life changing book and share it with the world. Then move on to the next book. I never took time to rest because I was in pursuit of something greater. I would work so hard that I would forget to eat or drink for hours. My eye would twitch and I just kept on working. My pursuit of the dream clouded my vision. I lost sight of what I loved to do because I was blinded by ambitions of greater. You see, I wanted it so bad that I was stressing myself out. My grip was so tight that I was squeezing the love out of the dream. What happened then is the work took over and love sat on the sidelines. Like Peter on the fishing boat toiling all night and not catching one fish. I doubled down on the work but was getting further from the dream in the process. Peter had Jesus on the sidelines. Jesus was on the shore and yelled out to Peter to cast his net on the other side. He obeyed and caught a full net of fish. Peter was in position but needed direction and vision to receive what he desired. In my situation I was praying about pursuing the dream and God spoke to my heart. "You are living the dream." Light flooded my spirit and a heaviness was lifted. I had it all wrong. I did not need to pursue anything. I had all I desired living inside of me the entire time.
Love directs us to look inside of ourselves for answers and vision.
When you can see again you don't have to work for the dream it works for you. You can do what you love and love is the prize. Nothing outside of you can satisfy you. You will always long for more. But what is inside of you can satisfy you.
The divine spark that caused you to dream is the same energy that will cause you to live the dream.
The world defines success by the accomplishments and positive outcomes you achieve. Basically, it is about your performance. Your performance determines how successful you are, but I have discovered you can be successful by the world’s definition and still feel unfulfilled. Your life can be void of purpose and passion even while having all of the achievements in the world. So, are you truly successful if you are unfulfilled?
I am learning that success comes from within; it's a part of me, not something I achieve. Success is who I am. I am successful because I choose to be who I am in all things. I choose to be present in spite of my insecurities and fears. I choose to love myself even when I feel I don’t deserve it. My success is not measured by the number of awards I receive or the reviews I get for my work. My success is rooted in the infinite love that dwells inside of me. My connection to the infinite allows me to live freely in who I am created to be. The Infinite created me and that means my identity is enclosed in unconditional love. No longer trying to prove I belong, I accept who I am and carrying an attitude of success wherever I go.
There is one thing that can stop a dream before it starts; non-action. You can say you believe in your dreams but never take action towards reaching them. When you don't act on your dreams, you forget about them. Life happens and as reality sets in you have no time to dream. The life you want may be a fantasy, it may seem impossible but what is wrong with that? What is wrong with having a dream so big that it scares you? It is okay to be scared as long as you don't let fear stop you from action. Your actions reinforce your beliefs.
You are more than able to reach your dreams. More importantly you can live the dream now. Your actions now may seem insignificant but they are purposeful. They shape your life and prepare you for where you are going. Keep believing in yourself. No matter how hard the journey may see, you are worth it. Your life matters. Your dreams matter go live them out.
If we are honest, we like to be distracted. We don’t want to see ourselves without the filters we carry with us. So we play make believe. Trying desperately to prove that we belong and that we are not a waste of space. We want to be someone more than what we feel we are. So we play pretend. We put on our capes and dress the part of super heroes with special powers able to do the impossible. We ignore anything that resembles truth because the lies look and sound better. The lies are louder. We like loud because there is a pain that can only be heard in silence. That pain is what keeps us from being who we are. It hurts too much to confront yet we can’t escape it. The truth is there is nothing scarier than loving yourself unconditionally. I mean every aspect of you. Everything.
How can you love your mistakes?
How can you accept your flaws?
True love is scary because it causes you to let go of your capes and filters and fully expose yourself with no condemnation attached to you. It causes you to confront the person in the mirror. You have to face reality which is not always pretty. It is not refined and it is not always attractive. The unmasked you is worthy of love and worthy to love. When you take the hard road of self-acceptance you discover that loving yourself is your superpower. That is your gift to share with the world. Meaning the world is easy to point out what is wrong with you. There is a long list of things that show how imperfect you are. But Love is what matters, everything else is a distraction. When you love unconditionally it gives your surroundings to do the same. You empower others to accept themselves. You free them from the monsters they have been tormented by in their minds. You show the world that we don't have to put on a cape to have the power we already possess the power.
You are a superhero. You have the power to change the world through the love in you. You don't have to play pretend, you are the real thing.
NO MORE PARTICIPATION AWARDS
If you played youth sports you received a certificate of participation. The thing is no one cherishes participation awards. Regardless if we want one or not we all receive participation awards for our life. Our life has to have more meaning than a cheap certificate acknowledging that we lived. Participating does not mean you are winning only existing.
The truth is a lot of us are content with just participating. Not you. You are not content with just existing you want more out of life that is why you are reading this right now. You don’t want to go through the motions you want to live with a sense of purpose and meaning. Deep down you know that you possess greatness. The thing is we all do but few pursue their greatness. You are one of the few that will not accept participating without engaging at the highest level. You will push yourself regardless of who is there to support you. You will win because you don’t accept losing. You don’t take no for an answer.
The point is we all can be tempted to settle for less than who we are. But we know what settling get us. A certificate of participation is something you receive no matter if you win or lose. You receive a birth certificate when you are born and a death certificate when you die. What happens in between is your choice. You write your life’s story through your choices and actions. Don’t settle for just existing, your life has meaning. Find out what you were born to do and don’t waste time, do it now. When you do your life with be filled with rewarding experiences that will leave a story to tell the generations to come.