It’s guest post Monday!!! This post is by Ngina Otiende who writes at Intentional Today. Make sure to check out her blog and follow her on Twitter. If you would like to be featured as a guest poster on my blog click here.
I was walking through a parking lot the other day when I noticed two kids. They looked no more than 8 years old and were seated in parked car. Actually their shouts caught my attention. I couldn’t believe my ears at first. I have never heard such shameful words leave a child’s mouth.
I was mortified to be on the receiving end of their unbecoming abhorrent behaviour. But my biggest shock came when I noticed two adults lurking in the interior of the car. A man and a woman. I was close enough by this time to hear the low voice of the man in the back ground, right before the shouts of the kids. From the kids’ behaviour when I slowed down (ducking and giggling) it occurred to me that the man was probably telling them what to say. I was broken for the girl and boy. I wondered what kind of people they would grow up to be. The two adults in their lives were unbelievably poor role models.
In life, we often find ourselves operating out of deep-rooted thought-patterns and attitudes that we cannot even explain. Most probably taught in our formative years. Like the two kids, we ‘parrot’ away – lacking our own language – and repeat the things that we have been told to say.
Success too begins in the mind too, just like failure does. You never grow beyond what you have taken in as truth.
Finding success in any area of life often involves breaking certain molds and starting on a fresh plate. You may not change how you were brought up for example. But you still have something that cannot be taken away from you –choice. Regardless of our backgrounds, we have the ability to change.
I was not always aware that succss is intentional however. I didn’t know it was predictable. That I had a bigger a role to play, besides ‘wishing hard’ for it.
I have since learned that success in any area of life – marriage, business, relationships, church – will always involve working on these three areas.
I admire people who listen with a silent mind. The ones who are not thinking up rejoinders in 99.9% of their conversations as the other person talks. I am one of those that are enrolled for “the class of the quiet and teachable’ for life.
All of us come wired differently. No one comes perfect and understanding this keeps me from having an unhealthy preoccupation with my weaknesses. It also helps me operate in mercy. People who live in glass houses sometimes like throwing stones. The same way hurting people often hurt others. But glass-house inhabitants also have the greatest potential to change, to be outstanding. Because they understand weakness, they have empty spaces that can be filled.
We are all constantly learning, adapting, growing, stretching. We are life-long students.
2. Embracing the curves.
I like figuring out things. It may have something to do with being a woman. But truth is, it’s more like a lack of deep faith. When it comes to curves, you don’t really see what’s ahead. You only keep going because you believe in what you are doing and in the road you have taken.
When God says ‘I’ll never leave you’, that includes ‘curve times’ too. So that assurance is supposed to make everything okay, no matter what’s going on around me. But I have found it easier to believe God when His word appears true..blue skies, calm oceans, happy spouse, fat wallet.
But I struggle when what He says doesn’t quite line up with what I feel or see. Especially because He expects me to take the curve like someone who is seeing all the way ahead. And that is life. It is everyone’s lot. To keep to the task at hand – loving their scowling spouse, whistling with an emaciated wallet, hugging their wild child – even when we feel like inventing a one-way ticket to Mars. For in the end, we realize that it’s the curves which make us strong, not the straights.
Even God, who loves me to bits, cannot live my life for me. Not even my husband, who loves me more than himself and his tech gadgets. So if I have a dream, it’s up to me to see it through.
Others will come alongside me, but only so far. The buck stops with me. Like David, must I become my greatest encourager and coach. The real guts must come from within me. Sticking to it means holding on to the unseen until it becomes visible. If it was visible, it wouldn’t require perseverance. Many things will bang against the boat of life but nothing can throw you out of the boat if you have set your mind on staying inside. (Well, unless you are Jonah – in which case you are in the wrong place anyway)
Question: In seeking success, what other areas do you watch out for in your own life?