Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Persistence Really Is the Key

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derilicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve problems of the human race." Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America

I think Cal is on to something.

I came across this quote on a friend's Facebook page last week and it jumped off the page and into my heart. I agree, I concur - this is ON POINT!

Dictionary says persistence - is the state or quality of being persistent. Persistent is defined as:

A. existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously - contiuning without change in function or structure

B. continuing to exist despite interference or treatment

We've all heard the cliches like "anything worth having is worth waiting/working for". But how do we measure up with regards to persistence?

As humans - I'm thinking we stink at this.

Persistence and waiting seem like they are mutually exclusive (and I will do a post on waiting - actively waiting later this week) but they are not.

When we wait - we wait with confident expectation that something is going to happen. Something is going to change or be different.

When we perservere (which is the active verb related to persistence alongside steadfast) - we 'press on' in confident expectation of what we are pursuing. We expect fruits from our pursuit.

So why is it then, that people so readily give up and move on to the next thing?

My theory to correct this phenomenon is this...

We must know how to discern what is worth perservering.

We must build the muscles within us to do the work necessary to perservere until the finish.

We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by the temporal things the flutter in and out of our lives - we must focus on things that are eternal such as character building, love investments and true connections with people.

We must allow ourselves to mourn losses properly - even little ones along the way. This authentic recognition of our state of being powers us forward - denial of any kind inhibits progress.
Finally, we must share our triumphs and failures with those around us. Nothing motiviates a person more than knowing that someone they know or can relate to has perservered to victory.

I am convinced that the tears we cry during our "persistence" seasons of life actually nurture and grow the seeds of what we want beneath the ground we stand on.

So today - where ever you are in your journey - I urge you to PRESS ON in the conviction that you are not working/waiting in vain.

Also, know that there are many others working/waiting alongside you. Including me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A New Twist on an Old Saying

"Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it."

Not sure to whom we attribute that quote but I've got an updated message about it.

Be brave to receive what you ask for so that you know what to do with it - Denise Barreto.

It isn't quite the same but I hope my point gets across.

Daily, I had been praying and working, as God has led, for a serious situation in my personal life for 8 months and 16 days until this past Wednesday. Finally - what I believe will be the first steps in moving towards the fulfillment of that prayer came raining down on me last night.

We are not talking soothing, crisp cool rain that interrupts a long hot, dry spell.

Nor are we talking about trickles of water intermittenly falling down over the course of an afternoon.

I am talking full on -strong winds blowing, "sideways" water curtain rain came down in my situation last night.

Here's the beauty of it...

It was cleansing and healing.

It was freedom for one, who was (until this storm) still bound in darkness and determined to stay there.

Last night I was so angry, probably the most angry and hurt that I have ever been in my entire life. I had little sleep and woke up an hour earlier than normal to read and pray. During this time - I heard a prompting and it was this...

"You have repeatedly asked for full disclosure, repentance - redemption and restoration, this is the first manifestation of that. Why are you so angry? You asked. You asked 500 "Creekers" to join you in praying for this, just this past Easter Sunday. Stop. Lay your anger and hurt here... at the cross. I got this now. I've had it the whole time and nothing that has happened has been outside My control. Be brave and face this as you have every other tough path in your life. It is going to be alright. Trust Me."

Now - I am certain that you MUST be willing and brave enough to face whatever it is you want in life so you know how to handle the next step.

Off the subject but you know what comes to mind - lottery winners. Those people - no doubt - have prayed, dreamed and planned for their windfall. Yet when it comes, 85% of them don't know how to handle it. They blow it. Some end up in bankruptcy or worst, dead from self-inflicted fill-in-the-blank.

So today I am thankful that I am on the new path to fulfilling my prayer and thank God that I am brave enough to face everything it takes to receive what He has prepared for me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tough Times Call For New Paths

I just read an article that made me stop in my tracks.

Very interesting take on how hard it is to hire good people our current climate. The article characterizes "A-players" in an interesting light.

As someone who considers herself an "A-player", I had to pause and jot this thought down.

To me - an A-player is the top tier of people who are absolutely self-motivated, innovative and game-changing in the way they approach all areas of their lives. 

These people constantly push for improvement and are- often times -  the most hated folks in the room but always the most respected.

With that in mind, A-players flourish in all times, even downturns such as the one we are experiencing. Because of their innovation  - they morph and evolve to fit the times - think Madonna. While I have never been a big fan (apart from "Like A Prayer" on a jukebox in a bar - watch out),  I absolutely love what she represents from a business/career perspective. Over time - this woman has evolved before our eyes and continues to sell platinum albums and fill stadiums around the world. There are very few A-players at her level, in her game.

Take my current journey. I am venturing into public service alongside my corporate marketing career. In the last five months, I have taught classes for park programs,  spoke in multiple educational settings and was recently elected to a municipal office. This is me - evolving with the times and not out of necessity.

I evolved because that's what A-players do.  I assert that B and C players do it, too but out of necessity and find themselves loving the thrill and rush that A-players crave all the time.  

In these times - many B and C players find the A-player within and never go back.

Friday, April 10, 2009

First Quarter Update on 2009 Objectives

On this 10th day of April, I want to take a moment to reflect on the my original post about 2009 Objectives and do that gut check on where I am.

Clearly this week, I can check off number 4 - I won my Lake in the Hills Village Trustee Board election.  This was a big one that took lots of time getting to know people around this village of 30,000 residents.  I loved every minute of this interaction and grew as a person through the process. Actually - I shrank - I lost 16 pounds since January - seven of which I directly attribute to canvassing every weekend. NICE side benefit.

I have been pretty decent with number 1 - taking time off with my kids not related to travel - once in January and spring break for a few days. This will be a bit tougher as the year progresses but I plan to keep it high in the priorities.

Beth Moore Bible Study a quarter is going well. I need to identify the new one as I have less than 40 days left in my current study of the Apostle John. What an incredible figure in history he was! Here is a guy who walked along side Jesus from early in His ministry and was referred to throughout the new testament as the "the one whom He loved" - He being Jesus. No one writes about love more than John nor does anyone appear to have understood the sovereignty of Jesus as God's son like him. I am being transformed as I study John and his writings.

There was an addition to the original list - I started taking piano lessons with Emma in February.  I had on the kid's list to get them piano lessons since we were blessed with a free piano in Oct of 2007.  I play by ear but do not read music. My goal is be able to play music for Christmas and it's going well so far.

I am lacking on many items - I'm still "cleaning" my own house, with no new cleaning lady on the horizon. Sigh.

Emma and my nails are woefully neglected - although I did manicure last weekend. Plus you know Emma has demanded that I keep her nails up. This is an easy fix.

Date night with my husband has not happened in the first three months. April is not over and there is a surprise planned later this month. Shhhhhh.

Regional/national conference speaking engagement is not scheduled nor have I made any progress here. This new quarter - I will put some energy here. Anyone have any leads for me to pursue? Send them over... I could use the boost :)

Finish my first book - nada. Just some outlines and notes but no manuscript even started.

OK - I am not getting down or overwhelmed,  we are only through 1/4 of this year.

I will take this weekend to relax with my family and celebrate my first quarter accomplishments. We even have a celebratory dinner planned for next Tuesday at one our favorite pig-out spots - Texas de Brazil! (Thank God for eClub coupon deals)

Where are you with your 2009 objectives? 

The key to completing objectives is regular accountability checks. You are all my witnesses and feel free to chime in on what I can do to hit some of the areas I am falling short. I welcome the feedback. 

And thanks again for joining me on this journey.