Be Consistent, not Legalistic

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Most people, if you ask them about what they truly want in life, they will tell you their goals and dreams. I am no exception. I have many goals and dreams that I would like to accomplish in life, such as writing a book, speaking at a TEDx talk, and traveling around the world.

However, to achieve these goals, it will not only take hard work, planning, and motivation. It will also take faith. Faith in my ability to communicate my ideas both on print and on stage; faith to overcome the fear of criticism and failure; and faith to trust in where my intuition takes me.

As motivational author Napoleon Hill explained in his book, Think and Grow Rich, this intuition actually comes from within, from that inner voice inside you. That inner voice is from “Infinite Intelligence.” Other names for this entity include God, or the creator of the universe.

I have come to realize that in order to not only become a success but live a fulfilled life, more than anything, I must work on my relationship with God. In other words, I must engage in the development of my spirit, which is the medium of contact between me and God, who ultimately reveals one’s purpose. 

As a strong believer in this truth, I used to engage in many spiritual exercises. Attending college and living on campus at the time, I would sometimes leave my dorm to take the train and travel to late night prayer meetings every week. I would make it a habit to pray for an hour every day.

If I missed a day or two of prayer, I began to get a little upset with myself and force myself to try to make it up the next day by praying twice as long. Applying this same practice to my physical development, I would plan to workout for 30 min daily. If I missed a day, I would double it the next day.

While I thought these practices were acts of consistency, I began to realize that they were not. They were really examples of legalism. That same legalism that the ancient Pharisees and other religious leaders practiced in biblical times, which transformed them into cold individuals who would scorn an individual (AKA Jesus) for healing a man on the Sabbath.

When it comes to spiritual development or any goals you’re striving for, there is a fine line between consistency and legalism. Consistency arises out of discipline while legalism is more a result of guilt and a feeling of inadequacy. What am I saying? I am saying that having discipline and consistency in life is very much needed and required if you want to achieve any dream or goal, whether spiritual, financial, or relational.

However, as speaker and author Terri Savelle Foy said in her book titled 5 Things Successful People Do Before 8AM, you must be “gentle, but firm.” If you are striving for your goals and dreams and commit to do things daily to develop yourself, don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss a day or two. But keep to your word, stay committed, and keep looking to what the future holds for you if you stay on that path to success.

Share Others’ Burdens: But Don’t Worry About Them

Don't worry about dem worries!The topic of this blog post might sound confusing at first glance. Allow me to explain. For all my life really, I have done very well in school. In fact, I always say that “academics is my specialty”. As a result, I have often found myself helping friends and classmates with school work. Because I love it when others succeed academically, sometimes I go out of my way to help someone out.

For example, one friend from college had to write a paper for her class and she wanted me to proofread it. At the time, I had some assignments that I needed to work on and I was studying for an exam. But I decided to help her, because I just really wanted to help her succeed on the assignment. By helping my friend with the assignment, in a way I was “sharing in her burdens,” her academic burdens that is. 

However, because I was so worried about my friend succeeding in the class, I nearly did not have enough time to study for my exams and complete my assignments. Now, am I saying that you should not help people? No. Am I saying that you need to focus only on your own priorities and not consider others? No. What I am saying is that we each have our own individual lives and at the end of the day, we’re responsible for our own lives. 

Therefore, you already have enough issues and priorities you must address in life, whether that be raising your family, passing a class, or even looking for an apartment or a job. There is nothing wrong with helping a friend or family member sort out whatever they got going on. But don’t allow yourself to worry about others’ issues and burdens (except of course if it’s your children…that’s different). You have enough to worry about.

 

 

 

S.L.O.w down

Take a moment and imagine that something like this happened: 

One day, when you are standing in line waiting to check out and leave Wal-Mart, you notice the cashier looks a little down. All you can see is an expressionless face, with the slight attempt to strike a grin at customers’ jokes. You’re surprised, because ever since you have been going to this Wal-Mart, this particular cashier has always had a smile on her face, laughed with everybody, and just created an environment of positivity wherever she was. Being in a haste to get back home, you dismiss it as a mere “bad day” for the employee and grab your groceries, load them in your car and drive off. Three days later, you hear it in the local news that the same cashier committed suicide the day after you left. 

Now, while the above story sounds deprssing and maybe is a little extreme to consider, it helps to drive my point across. If you or another customer would have stopped to just ask how the cashier’s day was, that would have been an opportunity to encourage her through whatever she had going on; and possibly prevent her from ending her life. 

What am I saying? I am trying to say that sometimes we should “slow” down and consider the people around us who may be hurting or need a helping hand or just a dose of encouragement. What does this look like in real life: living a life of Service, a life of Love, and a life of Obedience. 

You can serve others in many ways, such as offering to help that classmate struggling with chemistry problems or volunteer in a homeless shelter. You can show love and kindness towards others by simply opening the door for that employee you don’t really like, or by just being there for your friend whose parents just divorced. Finally, often times, there is something like an inner voice telling us to do something, such as encourage a stranger or inspire a friend. And a lot of times, it is best to obey in these moments.

So in all the hustle and bustle of life and with all our busyness (including me), sometimes it seems that we may not have time to help others. But I strongly believe that practicing “slowing” down and considering the interests of others can make a big difference in their lives. I know from personal experience from meeting a homeless individual on the verge of suicide.

Let me know in the comments below if you want to hear more about my personal experience and generally how you liked the post! And please share with others!

Life ain’t easy, but it is simple.

Dear anyone reading this blogpost,

What I am about to tell you right now, you may or may not like it. It just depends on how you look at it:

Life ain’t easy, but it is simple.

What I mean by this statement is that while life may not be easy to get through, it is simple when you genuinely and diligently use the right principles. For example,  most of us at some point in our lives have heard the phrase “seedtime and harvest” or ” you reap what you sow”. These phrases are true in that whatever you sow, or invest your time in, you eventually end up reaping, or manifesting that thing in your life. The same way you plant apple seeds in your backyard and get apples is the same way you plant “seeds” of positive thoughts, kindness, and hard work in your life to receive a harvest of peace, grace, and prosperity. Seedtime and harvest is a principle.

What principles do is simplify life, so life doesn’t seem as complicated as we might think. You can find these principles in the Bible or you can hear it in inspirational messages from personal development coaches and motivational speakers, like Dr. Eric Thomas, John Maxwell, and Tony Robbins. Another principle is this: Treat others how you would like to be treated. You could even say that this is the number one principle of life that can direct you in nearly any situation or decision you encounter. Why do I say this? Well, assuming you want others to treat you well, with respect, dignity, and so on, I am sure that you would not like to be treated like you are worthless.

Therefore, living by this principle means that in the same way you would like to be shown kindness, respect, and love is the same way you as a human being have a moral responsibility to show others the same. With that said, if you do not learn anything else from this blogpost, remember these two principles:

Treat others how you would like to be treated.

What you sow, you shall surely reap.

Appreciate More. Worry Less.

Disclaimer: This message is for me too.

Many times in life, we tend to worry excessively and let the troubles of life overtake us and overwhelm our minds. We may find ourselves entering into a state of anxiety and unnecessary distress, spending time overly focusing on what we have to do and all the work we have to get done. Or we may feel that we “need” to check our Facebook status to see how many likes we got; or we may want to check our inbox for new emails.

Whatever it is, the point is that the technological advancement, industrializaton, and modernization today has resulted in a society so consumed with social media, keeping up with the latest trend, and accumulating materialistic wealth. And as a result, worrying tends to dominate our lives. What this worrying does for us is to keep us from fully appreciating the life around us and it distracts us from enjoying the moments we share with others.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing necessarily wrong with engaging in social media, making a lot of money, or buying new things. However, all I recommend is that we do not keep these things as our primary focus in life. But rather, we should take time out of our busy lives every now and then to take a step back and appreciate the world for what it has to offer that actually lasts and has value: healthy relationships, joy, and fulfillment.

How to Pursue a Goal

When you are pursuing any goal, the following 3 steps are critical in the success of that goal:

Fellowship – Talk with God.

Whether or not you believe it, you were created by God, the Ultimate Creator. He is the one that crafted you in your mother’s womb, and created you for a purpose. Consult with Him for creativity, inspiration, and insight as to how to carry out your goal.

Intellect – Think about your plans.

Regardless of the revelation and insight you receive from God (or the higher power), you HAVE to still think about how you will actually go about reaching that goal. Ask yourself: “What is the best plan to accomplish this goal?”

Act – Take the first step. 

After receiving insight and deciding on a plan, you do not just sit their and wait for the goal to be acheived. The next thing to do is to take action towards reaching that goal. Ask yourself: “How can I execute this plan to ensure I acheive my goal?”

This is how you put “Faith In Action”!

Four Things You Should Never Do In Life

If you want to get the most out of life, here are four simple rules that you should follow at all times no matter what: 

  1. NEVER quit. For pain and suffering are ALWAYS temporary. And failures don’t make you a failure; quitting does.
  2. NEVER judge a book by its cover. In other words, never judge anyone without the intention of getting to know that person’s actual character and personality. 
  3. NEVER assume anything about someone or a situation, unless you know without a doubt that you are 100% correct. 
  4. NEVER underestimate anyone or look down on anyone. For you never know what an individual is capable of doing. There could be a world-renowned author, a successful business leader, or another Bill Gates in your mist, and you don’t even know, because the individual isn’t there yet. 

And please guys, this list is not at all exhaustive. I’m sure you have something to add. If you want to add to it, please let me know at ylnatss@gmail.com

How to Succeed in Academics: Combining one’s physical effort and mental ability with His divine intervention

C.A.B.

What’s the purpose of a cab?

A cab takes you to where you need to go, and all you need to do is pay the required fee.

  • Cab drivers have no choice but to take you to your desired destination.
  • But there is something you must do: Pay the Price.
  • In the same way, to get to where you want to be in your academics, you must pay a price.

WHAT’S THE COST? Yourself, Your time, and Your pride.

C.A.B. –

C – Contact Christ through prayer. Learn to call on Him for help in your studies. He has given you free access to contact Him through your spirit. Simply dial…

  1. Psalms 50:15, when you’re in trouble
  2. Daniel 1:20, when you’re discouraged or losing hope

A – Apply what you’ve learned. Don’t just read these scriptures; don’t just read your class notes. You’ve got to take action by putting it into practice. (Refer to James 2:17)

B – Befriend someone who already excels in the class; be attached to someone who has excellent grades and is very studious; learn from them how to study effectively (Refer to Proverbs 13:20)

But Always Be Well-Spoken

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In life, when it comes to communicating with others, there are three ways you can speak: You can be soft-spoken, or persuasive and mild in your language; you can be outspoken, or frankly honest; and you can be well-spoken, speaking in a polite and approriate manner.

I believe that certain situations in life call for you to be soft-spoken. For example, these are times when you must persuade a board of directors to believe that your plan for the company will bring success. This is also how parents should speak to their children: If you have kids and you want to talk to them about say, the birds & the bees, you have to actually sugar-coat it; the only way to convince them to “stay away” without actually sharing too much information is by speaking in a careful, soft-spoken manner.

Other situations you experience in life require you to be a little more frank. These are the times you must be outspoken. A perfect example is the case of a 45-year old pastor who has to speak to a group of teenagers about what not to do at their age. Let’s say this man wasn’t exactly a saint in the past; he’s done everything from selling dope to partying at the club every weekend. Now tell me: If this pastor wants to properly warn these teens to make the right choices, should he speak in a mild, soft, don’t-want-to-hurt-your-feelings voice or should he speak with complete honesty? The best way to get through to them is by telling them the honest truth.

While certain circumstances may call for you to be soft-spoken, and others may call you to be blatantly outspoken; you must remember: Always be well-spoken, thinking about what you want to say first and how to say it appropriately. Take the case of the parent mentioned earlier: you want to politely persuade your child to avoid sex while their young, not to scare them into avoiding relationships. While the pastor wants to be frank and honest with the teens, he still needs to be respectful of the fact that his audience is filled wtih a bunch of 17- and 18-year olds; he must speak appropriately, not telling them too much, but telling them what’s necessary.

This is the best way to ensure that whatever comes out of your mouth, whoever it’s directed to, is impactful but appropriate: Be soft-spoken and outspoken when needed, but always be well-spoken.