In a culture that is obsessed with "doing what you love" and "staying in your strength zone," people are always looking for the next best thing as they consider the most effective way to invest their time and talent. And while I am young enough to understand this lop-sided self-help movement of willing your way to success on your own merit, I am also old enough to respect and value the virtue of hard work and keeping first things first. That said, here is a simple formula (from my personal experience) on finding new opportunities.
In short, two words cover it all: be proactive. But, since you're probably looking for a little more value than just those two words, here is a list of ideas, each being just two words, that sum up what I mean by being proactive.
1. Seek God.
2. Pray daily.
3. Meet people.
4. Build relationships.
5. Work hard.
6. Give more.
7. Stay positive.
8. Be patient.
9. Have faith.
This list obviously does not share how, when, or where, those opportunities will present themselves. I don't have it all figured out, nor do you. You have to be okay with taking care of what you can control and letting go of the rest. Great stories aren't created by people knowing all of the details to their story before their story unfolds.
My main advice would be to remember your values and focus forward. A life well lived is one big learning experience. So, give yourself permission grow. You can't see a new opportunity ahead of you if you're focused on what's behind you.
I'll leave you with an affirmation I read aloud each day that helps me remain positive and opportunistic: "I am consistently presented with new opportunities and successes!"
Love you guys. Let's grow.
Although the release of my new book, The 25 Secrets to Staying Excited: Everyday Wisdom for Real Joy and Contentment, is way behind on the original release date (THANK YOU for being patient), I thought with today being "National Book Lovers Day," it would be appropriate to share a small excerpt from Secret #3. Who comes up with all these national and international days, by the way? Let me know when you find out. Until then, enjoy the following snippet.
When was the last time you performed what I call an Association Evaluation? In short, who are you hanging out with? Are they encouraging you or are they discouraging you? Are they breathing life into you or are they sucking the life out of you? Seldom do people in your life chill out in the middle of the road. They are either helpful or harmful. If you don’t like the trajectory of your life, it may be time to get some new friends, like yesterday!
It blows my mind, each year, how many people sing the same tune as January approaches: “New Year, new me, baby!” And not to squash anyone’s hopes or dreams (because I’m the guy who encourages people to dream!) but many of those people are hopeful in their anticipation of change without ever changing the toxic environment and people they’re around. It doesn’t work that way! Don’t be naive enough to think that you can change without changing who you spend time with. YOU BECOME WHAT YOU HANG AROUND. The sooner you accept the truth that other people's excitement, passion and creativity can help propel you forward in your endeavors, the sooner you will get real picky about who gets access to your precious, finite time.
Maybe you’ve picked up on my tough tone regarding this Secret to staying excited… I don’t play around when it comes to who I associate with, nor should you. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Much harm may result from bad company and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse rather than what is better.
-Teresa of Avila
While having lunch one day, I overhead a couple of folks complaining about some people in their network (I’m only an amateur in eavesdropping, so don’t worry). But isn’t it funny how we often pick up on conversations that are negative, but not so much the ones that are positive? I couldn’t help but notice they were speaking of how some folks never get on board when it comes to making positive changes. I smiled because I remembered what my mentor, Clifton Lambreth, once told me: “Beware of C.A.V.E. people. These are people who are Collectively Against Virtually Everything, and they often find reasons and make excuses why not to do something.” Stay away from C.A.V.E. people!
Cultivate friendships with hopeful people. Surround yourself with friends who think positive, faith-producing thoughts and who contribute to a creative atmosphere.
-Norman Vincent Peale
Copyright 2016 Taylor Leadership Development, LLC
Make it a positive, productive day, and do a friend a favor by sharing a good book with them. We are either growing or we are dying. So take responsibility of your personal growth and development by cultivating a healthy habit of reading at least five pages of a good book each day. Who can do that? Anybody!
Love you guys. Let's grow.
Grab a copy of my first book here.
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