I try not to be cynical. It is not something that I want to do. The old adage “if you don’t believe anything good will ever happen, you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t” kind of rings a lot in my life. Naturally, I am a negative person. I have to force myself to believe that there are good things that happen in life. I have to make a concerted effort to be a positive person. The coffee mug could be half full of coffee and I will think “well…I am almost out of coffee….” But seriously, over the years I have certainly developed this toxic gift that I am constantly working on. I don’t want to be cynical, but you guys out there in the real world make it really hard for me not to be.
When someone has been working their whole career to get ahead just to be left behind constantly, it is easy for that person to believe in the old adage that I mentioned earlier. When our finances continue to hit a brick wall, it is hard for me to be glad for the guy who was able to pay his house off and start his own business from scratch without borrowing a penny. I digress. My hope is that I can become as successful as Abraham Lincoln….without all the failures…
Time Line of Failures of Abraham Lincoln
1832- Defeated for State Legislature
1833- Failed in Business
1835-Lost his Fiancé
1836- Nervous Breakdown
1838- Defeated for Speaker
1843- Defeated for Nomination for Congress
1848- Lost Re-nomination
1849- Rejected for Land Officer
1854- Defeated for US Senate
1856- Defeated for Nomination for Vice President
1858- Defeated again for US Senate
1860-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9 NLT
I was surprised that this article did not mention that Lincoln had lost two of his four sons to death while they were children and one while he was in the White House. Not to mention that his wife was clinically insane. Lincoln had a lot of opportunities to develop an attitude that was toxic. It would have been easy for him to become cynical. It is easy to think only good things happen to certain people and the rest of us are left behind to remove the manure.
It is important that we have our eyes set on greater things and better things. I am not proclaiming some message of weird witchcraft. But I am saying that the Bible verse from Proverbs 23:7 which reads “As [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.” If you are thinking doom and gloom, do not be surprised if you get doom and gloom. If you think your kids are hoodlums, do not be shocked when they are arrested for disorderly conduct…okay, that may be a stretch. But do not be shocked if they grow up causing trouble. If we can get our minds around this, what power would we have as men of God? Amazing!
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
Driving home from work the other day, I had a thought. Don’t be scared, I won’t be taking over the world any time soon. Though the thought has crossed my mind, I digress. I was thinking about the successes of men and women who are living their dream and what could I do to imitate their actions. The thought that came to mind was this;
“There is great power in redundancy.”
How often do you and I go into an adventure that we have been dying to do only to find ourselves rejected, dejected, defeated, and mistreated? We put on the depressing Sarah McLaughlin music with our tears flowing into our favorite drink with thoughts of just throwing in the towel on our dreams… what? You have never had those feelings? Right. Then, we see the amazingly successful men and women get out there and kick butt. We believe the old adage that they became an “overnight success” only to find it too took them 20 years to see it come to pass.
The thing is that in order for ourselves to be successful, we have to see how they became successful. Whether it is because they keep their nose to the grindstone or kept their eyes focused on the prize. Whether they keep their heart directed towards that dream or they fight to keep that very dream alive. They win! What’s the common denominator?
“The power of redundancy”
Here are three things that successful people do when practicing the power of redundancy;
So my challenge for you today is to tap into the power of redundancy. Don’t quit. Keep pressing forward. Why? Because you’ve got this!
“Instead of asking, “WHAT should we do to compete?” the questions must be asked, “WHY did we start doing WHAT we’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?” Simon Sinek – Start with Why
Have you asked yourself the question “who are all of these people on my Facebook feed?” I did that recently. I was scrolling through my feed and I couldn’t tell you whose story I was reading. I couldn’t even tell you where I remember meeting these people. I scrolled for what seemed like an eternity and I may have seen a few people that I knew, but all in all, I didn’t see very many people that I did know.
I tried to justify keeping them on my feed and yet, I couldn’t tell you why. One of the things that I learned from reading Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why was to ask the real question. That got me thinking about the reasons why we have certain people in our lives and it hit me; it fulfills the need to have someone in our lives just for the sake of having them in our lives.
With that, I began to purge my social media feed. Within an hour, I removed over 400 profiles from my feed. I looked through my list and if I could not remember who they were, they were removed. If I didn’t have a social media conversation with them within a certain period of time, they were removed. If I didn’t talk with them one on one in a period of time, I removed them.
Now, you may be asking, “aren’t you afraid of offending those you unfriended?” Not really. If I haven’t had a conversation with them, they most likely won’t notice anyhow. It is easy to get tied up with the “what ifs” when it comes to social media. It is almost like a prison. We get so tied up with wondering what other people think that we lose who we are in the process.
I unfriended about 400 people at the time of this writing. I also unliked quite a few groups and pages that I was a part of. I didn’t do it for the people or the groups. I did it for myself. Why? Well, that’s another story for another blog.
What have you done to clear the clutter out of your life?
I love God.
It is important that you know this from the very beginning. He is amazing and is the central part of my life. He has rescued me from so many things that I cannot even spend time telling you. Though I have had a great relationship with God, I have found myself lately with an emptiness. I have a great relationship with my wife and my children. I have a pretty good job. Yet, when it comes to a relationship with other people, there’s a hole.
I used to think that going to a church was a place where relationships could be formed and perhaps even have friendships that would last a lifetime. Perhaps, I am expecting too much from those in the flock. I have come to the point of asking myself this question; “What is the point of going to church?” I asked this question recently from my readers and here are the answers that I received;
“When we choose not to meet together, we deprive ourselves, we deprive the church, and, of course, we disobey a biblical command to meet together with the fellow members of the Bride.”
“To discover the reason to go to church.”
“For me, it’s my time with God plus I can be in community with others. As a cradle Catholic, I find comfort in the ceremony as well as the words. I can go to Mass anywhere and it is basically the same.”
” Community. ‘No man is an island’ -John Donne”
“Because it changes us. Every time we are in the Lord’s presence I believe we change. When I hear and receive the Word and let the Holy Spirit show me what it means just for me and I can hear how to apply it to my everyday life…I change for the better every time. I also get to hang with some people and develop great relationships!”
“Family. That is what I miss from not being a member of a church. Divorce hurts.”
These are all great answers. They have good intentions behind them. However, it doesn’t answer the question fully. What I mean is this; is there a real purpose in going to church? I have had many people quote Hebrews 10:25 to me as an answer;
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
It is credible – it’s the Bible! Here’s the thing; we have to read the whole context of it. To get that context, I have included versus 19-25;
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” v. 19-22
Because of Christ’s death on the cross, we can go into the Most Holy Place with boldness. He can go right into the presence of God without any barrier! This is so good.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” v. 23
We can hold tight in knowing that God will keep His promises! These are all great things. Now – here’s where I struggle;
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” v. 24-25
From this, I gather that the reason we go to church is that we encourage one another, love one another, and help one another. Our goal as believers is to be there as a community to build one another up, to love one another, and to help one another in times of need.
What can we do to enrich the lives of others when we go to church?
Have you ever felt like your dreams were on hold? Have you ever wondered why it is taking God so long? Often, we find ourselves questioning God on His motives and why He hasn’t moved on our behalf. I know that I was and am at a place where I wondered this exact thing. For nearly twenty years, I have had a heart to serve people through coffee. And then the unexpected would happen and keep kicking us off course. God often will speak to us through the trials that we go through. There are times that I know that He has put things on hold for our dreams. I wouldn’t say that it’s on hold, but that it’s not the right time.
Daniel was a man of integrity and of great faith. He had been praying and fasting for the nation of Israel and their release. Daniel knew that there was power in fasting and prayer, but it seems like an eternity to hear from God. As a matter of fact, it had been several weeks before God would respond to Daniel’s prayer in the form of an angel.
“And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling. Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.”
Daniel 10:11-13 NLT
I often wonder if our dreams and visions have been hindered because of this very situation. Your prayers enter the very throne room of God and He responds to them (see Ps 18). Not only does He respond, He comes with great authority. There is the threat from the enemy that tries to get in the way of the dream and vision that God has given to you. This causes those dreams to be on hold for a period of time. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul wrote that the “weapons of our warfare are not flesh and blood but for the tearing down of the stronghold.”
As you and I pray and wield the sword, the word of God, we begin tearing down the stronghold of Satan. The answer to the prayers of the saints are answered and we see the miracles of God come forth. My prayer is that though your dream and vision may be on hold, that you wield the sword of the spirit and begin to tear down the power of Satan.
What are you waiting for to happen in your life?
I have to admit, I thought doing a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) would work out for me and for my family. I thought that if I got out there and tried to convince people to get on board, I would become financially secure. I really could make a difference selling a product that helped “change lives.” I know you have gotten “that” email or DM from a friend of yours. You know… “What would you do if you could make an extra $500 a month? Let me show YOU how!”
Now, let me preface this with two statements;
I learned a lot in the year that we did It Works. Personally, the name itself is what turned me off initially. Seriously?? But I understood the marketing aspect of it. You don’t forget a name like that! I digress. I will say that we never went for broke. We were thoughtful in our intentions and followed a lot of the ways that the “experts” in the company did.
I remember often being told that you can make these things work even if you do not have a salesman personality. I am sorry to report that this is not true. You are in the market to sell the product, the distributorship, and yourself to anyone that you talk about your MLM.
You may ask, are you still in MLM. Yes. We no longer do the conventions or stay on long phone calls listening to the directors hyping us up. We just listen to the people we know and suggest a product that we have we truly believe that they need it.
Are you a recovering MLM distributor? Are you a current one? What have you/are you learned/learning about the process?
I am amazed at the awesomeness of God. I seriously stand amazed at what God is doing and will do for His kids. In Psalm 91, it says that “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Right now, I believe that we are experiencing the peace of God through the rest of God. We are to be resting in Him in the shadow of the Almighty. Following the “rest” of God is “This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.” We are refugees of this world in the arms of Christ as we fight on. It is so easy for you and I to preach to one another. The hard part is living it.
Several years ago we discovered a major leak in our kitchen. We had been soaking towels from time to time and could not figure it out. I moved everything in our mudroom out thinking it was coming from the wall where our bathroom is. Dry as a bone. I looked by our water softener, which we haven’t used since we moved in, dry as the desert. I looked at Sara and said “it’s the fridge.” I was avoiding that because you and I know that it’s not cheap buying a refrigerator.
The easy thing to do is to rant and rave at the fact that, yet again, we are forking money out that we don’t need to be spending in our one income family. I have to side step here and will readdress this at a later time but for a one income family with three kids, God has been taking great care of us. The hard thing to do is to stand back and go, “God we need a great deal.” Where’s your faith?! Speak to that fridge and tell it to dry up in Jesus name!
Let’s be real. Perhaps God wants to bless my family with a greater fridge. Maybe someone will give us a new one. Maybe we will find the deal of the century. What if we didn’t? I look at the three Hebrew boys in Daniel who were commanded to bow to the statue of the king and refused. It was said that even if God didn’t save them, they still would not bow down.
Instead of losing our peace or losing our hair, we are, in the shadow of the Almighty, to come to Him and pray. I have been reading a book called “Just Like Jesus” by Max Lucado which has revolutionized my way of thinking. Yesterday’s was on “being led by the unseeing hand.” What would have happened if I had been lead by my own hand? The next verse of Psalms 91 would not happen. “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.”
But Will, your fridge is leaking. How is that rescuing you? This question may arise in your mind. There are always tests that we live in. The enemy loves to have a cackle to try you on what God’s word says. The enemy knows the word and if he can get you off track, he can get you out of the shadow of the Almighty, he will do it.
Be led by the “unseen hand” by being in communication with Him. I am finding myself more each day being challenged in this area. If I had a rough week, what would have happened if I had not communicated with the Lord my need? He would not have had the opportunity to fight that battle for me and I would have been off track for what He had planned for me. With the fridge leaking, my peace is not if my appliances are working, my faith is not in the finances to replace the item, my thoughts are not on who is going to help install it, my focus is not on the principal of the matter. My peace is in Him who gave me the focus to focus on Him who will provide a way even where there seems to be no way. What are you doing this week to be in the shadow of the Almighty? How are you communicating with Him? Are you communicating with Him? Open the lines of communication with your heavenly Father for He desires to talk to you about everything.
I have noticed over time that there is a great need for education with Social Media. Have you ever seen an “I bet this won’t get a ‘like'” or “have you seen me?” that is outdated? There are hundreds of opportunities for people with malicious intent to serve yours with malware, viruses, and permanent damage to your computer. There is no need to be fearful, but there is a need to be observant. Here are a few things that I have learned over many years of dealing with Social Media scams.
There are a whole lot more that I could post. It important to use caution when browsing Social Media, but there is no reason to fear because you are equipped to handle it. Simply put, don’t share something that you don’t know where it came from and don’t click on things that aren’t familiar to you.
Do you have a story of a time when you fell victim or caught someone who was trying to finagle their way into your social media? Share it below!
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Declaration of Independence 4 July 1776
There were 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. These men knew the weight of what they were doing. They knew the gravity that was to be held by their decision to break ties with England and become the nation that we live in today. I often wondered what went through the mind of these 56 men when they signed their death warrant to the King. I believe that they felt in their heart that this was the right thing to do and that someone had to have the nerve to do it.
These men would give up their freedom so that this nation would embrace freedom. The Declaration of Independence was one of the most controversial documents in the history of the country. This document would expose the true feelings of the colonist of America towards the King and his policies. To go against the King of England was to go to your death. Wow. These men decided that their lives were worth losing over this nation’s freedom.
Those men would go down in history as the greatest traitors. They would turn the nation of misfits into a nation of greatness! As you go about your day enjoying the liberties afforded to you, remember those men.
What are your plans for the Fourth of July?
“But the Lord said to Samuel”; “Do not look at his outward appearances or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 21:6
Have you recently found yourself unemployed? Whatever the reason for your departure, you have entered in the new world of endless hours and countless opportunities. It is easy to get home from the initial meeting and throw in the towel in life. Perhaps just giving up is an option. The only problem with that is…you’re a rock star and rock stars don’t quit. So what do you do now that you are an Unemployed Rock Star? I have five keys that I am finding that works in my life as I go through this journey.
1. Read. I found myself at a place where I didn’t want to read. Why? I have the gift of cynicism. You know – why try if it is going to fail anyway, right? Reading helps jog the mind into activity and also grows the knowledge of the person who is reading. When you read while you are unemployed, you are more likely to get out of any funk that you are in.
2. Stay on Schedule. I was tempted at one point to just stay in bed and not get up until noon. I didn’t want to be on a schedule because I had just spent the last twenty years doing just that. If that is the case, why did I stay on a schedule? It gave me purpose. That’s right, I am not just aimlessly floating around the universe. Keeping on a schedule will help you in your job hunt too and self-employment endeavors as well.
3.Stay Active. Who doesn’t like to sit around all day and binge watch the season of their favorite shows? This may be okay for a day or so, but like lobster to the rich…it will get old. Its important that you get up and get out. Make a plan to walk. Make a plan to run if you can. Make a plan to move off the couch and into the office to look for a job. Simple steps to staying active will help you become even more the rock star that you already are.
4. Keep Looking. There are millions of jobs out there that you don’t qualify for. There are thousands of companies that are not looking for you. Here’s the kicker – YOU HAVE CHOICES!That means, you can keep looking until you land that amazing opportunity that you have been looking for.
5. Don’t Give Up Hope. This might be the most important part of this piece. Why? When you have looked and looked over and over again for a job, it is easy to get depressed. It is easy to get discouraged. I have been there! You can’t give up hope. Too many people need you. I don’t mean your family and friends – they are important. I mean the world needs you. Why? Rock stars don’t get to where they are by themselves. They have a community that knows their potential.
Okay. Now you have 5 ways to set in a great habit. What are you going to do next?
After the fact, there was an addition that I felt was important for this piece. It might be the most important part of this post.
Learn. I know I mentioned reading earlier. I feel this is beyond simply reading. This is the part where you can now reinvent yourself. I sure dud. I changed professions and entered a new career. I learned lessons in IT which opened the door to a renewed passion in technology. What are you wanting to learn?
You grab my latest book Unpacked : Life Lessons of an Unemployed Rock Star for 1.99!!