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Your true potential

๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐ž๐๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž?
I believe that happy people are involved in something they believe is much bigger than themselves.
Indeed, I have found that those who are happiest oftentimes lose themselves in a meaningful job or worthwhile cause.
Furthermore, those who find satisfaction in many organisations often describe their daily work as a โ€œ๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆโ€ rather than a job or even a career.
Individuals who make this connection with a calling see their work as contributing to the greater good, to something larger than they are.
Those feelings are prevalent in our current service opportunity here in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
It is an honour and a privilege to work with so many young missionaries from all around the world.
Like each of our missionaries, I have a strong desire to serve and help others.
In essence, simply, to do good.
It drives my behaviour and aligns my beliefs and thinking.
What about you?
Being involved in a cause can give our lives greater meaning, purpose and direction in lots of different way โ€“ it keeps us actively involved in something we feel is worthwhile, that is making a difference to a greater good.
It helps us by looking beyond ourselves and our own self interest.
โ€œFocusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because itโ€™s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realise your true potential.โ€ Barack Obama
๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ?

Too much to do?

Are you pushing yourself too hard?
Personally, Iโ€™m the kind of person that likes being busy, at least most of the time.
If you are not careful enough though, the side effects of the daily routines can include – physical aches and pains, difficulty sleeping, missing meals, abandoning exercise, headaches, stomach problems, forgetting things, feeling overwhelmed, feeling guilty, isolating yourself, irritability, anxiety and even depression can all kick in.
Have you noticed any new aches and pains recently?
Maybe you should listen to your body more often?
Yes, we all need to kick into a higher gear occasionally to get things done, but we need to put things into perspective, by taking care of ourselves and our relationships.
The way to succeed is not to work long hours, but to work hard in each hour.
And take short breaks – regularly!
Remember โ€“ life is short!
It is important to take time every day for yourself and to slow down, to enjoy the beauty you can find all around.
Open your eyes and see.
Perhaps it is time for you to re-connect with your core purpose and watch how your behaviours will shift along the way.
What can you do to slow down today?

Marathons and Missions – the same, but different

๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐š๐ฉ๐ก๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž: itโ€™s long, thereโ€™s often discomfort, it requires perseverance, your mindset makes all the difference and the rewards for endurance are simply wonderful!
Mission life requires a lot of self-discipline as you constantly work towards future goals.
I am learning that a huge part of taking part in any marathon, just like mission life, is all about looking after your wellbeing – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally โ€“ all of which effect your ability to succeed in the mission.
I have also learned that the best marathon runners have a structured daily plan and routine. Sticking to the structure provides a roadmap through the months of service and allows for more balance to focus on whatโ€™s truly important and matters most of all.
I have learned too that pushing too hard can impact your immune system and leave you a little weakened and shaken. Maintaining a balance is critical.
In marathons, and in life, sometimes you make great progress, and sometimes your progress is slowed to a crawl, setbacks are inevitable.
Running a marathon takes a long time, and yet time in the mission field flyโ€™s by incredibly fast.
Participating in a marathon is exhausting โ€“ enough said!
One of my biggest lessons thus far – Small steps work more effectively over the long run.
7 months ago, I wrote a short article that mission life is a marathon, not a sprint. Now I know that for a fact, but I love every minute of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Honesty

“That’s amazing! We have never received that amount ever in one summer before.” said the cashier.
It was the summer of 1985.
I had just completed my mission for the church, and a good friend got me a job working for the local council for the summer, before continuing my education in the autumn.
The job? It was the best ever! I was a children’s bicycle attendant in the local park (the Glen, in Dunfermline.) I worked outside the whole time and had the best tan ever!
Parents and grandparents brought their children along to the park where they were able to hire a range of different bikes which were used on a complete road system that had its own traffic lights! It was popular with generations of children from the 1950’s.
Every day, lots of visitors would arrive, they’d pay me the fees for the hire of the bikes in cash and I’d issue them a ticket in return. It was a simple numbered system and if you weren’t completely honest, it was a simple system to abuse.
At the end of each day, I’d complete a little report that tallied up the number of tickets issued, count up the cash and walk up the High Street to the local council office and deposit the money.
Usually, it was the same cashier every day and over time we got to be a little chatty with one another. At the end of the season, that is when she made the memorable statement above.

What does it mean to be honest?

In my mind it is simple. It means that we do not lie, steal, or break the laws of the land and we do not deceive in any way.
What was the honest thing to do that summer in Dunfermline? It was simply to hand in every penny that I collected. And I did.
As children from an early age in our home, we had been taught to be honest. Said the writer of Proverbs โ€œTrain up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from itโ€ (Prov. 22:6).
The result of the honesty?

I was asked back again the next summer season.

How can you be completely honest?

New beginnings

I know I canโ€™t turn back time, but this I do know…… itโ€™s never too early and itโ€™s never too late for a new beginning.

“Four young men sit by the bedside of their dying father. The old man, with his last breath, tells them there is a huge treasure buried in the family fields. The sons crowd around him crying, “Where, where?” but it is too late. The day after the funeral and for many days to come, the young men go out with their picks and shovels and turn the soil, digging deeply into the ground from one end of each field to the other. They find nothing and bitterly disappointed, abandon the search……

…๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜…๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ.”
– As told by Benjamin Zander in “The Art of Possibility”

Perhaps now is a good time to refine your plans for future harvests.

Is it time to start and dig a little deeper perhaps?
What new beginnings lie ahead for you?

Work

“There is no substitute for hard work” – so said Thomas Edison.

It was in my childhood that I started to learn the value of work. Throughout much of my school years, I was up early to deliver the morning papers. No matter the weather, I was up and out on my round by 6 am.ย  An early rise has been the pattern of my entire life.

Even before my early departure, I remember, mum or dad being up to clean out the coal fire, remove all the ash and set it for the day ahead.

There is a certain charm in a real coal fire, but there is also a lot of hard work to enjoy those benefits.

“Work is honourable. It is good therapy for most problems. It is the antidote for worry. Work is the equaliser for deficiency of native endowment. Work makes it possible for the average to approach genius. What we may lack in aptitude, we can make up for in performance” – J. Richard Clarke.

No matter what we do, or who we work for, we should give of our best – always.

By finding something that you really love to do, working will then not be a chore or a burden, it will be a joy.

I’ve seen work without success, but never success without work.

Keep stoking the flames of your own coal fires of life, a strong work ethic, will always keep the fire burning.

Promise

I know I canโ€™t turn back time, but this I do knowโ€”that itโ€™s never too early and itโ€™s never too late for a new beginning.
“Four young men sit by the bedside of their dying father. The old man, with his last breath, tells them there is a huge treasure buried in the family fields. The sons crowd around him crying, “Where, where?” but it is too late. The day after the funeral and for many days to come, the young men go out with their picks and shovels and turn the soil, digging deeply into the ground from one end of each field to the other. They find nothing and bitterly disappointed, abandon the search……
…The next season the farm has its best harvest ever.”
– As told by Benjamin Zander in “The Art of Possibility”
Perhaps now is a good time to refine your plans for future harvests.
How are you digging a little deeper?

Harvesting

What we sow, is what we reap.

Anything of great value and worth in life, takes persistence, patience and perseverance, as well as great attention to detail in order to ensure a great harvest.

Growing anything takes time. With any crop the process of fertilising and tilling the ground, planting seeds, weeding, feeding and regular watering will eventually lead to a great harvest. Sometimes bad weather can damage or destroy crops too and so a great deal of preparation is called for in order protect the harvest. I’m always amazed that one tiny seed, can multiply itself so many times over to produce a bounteous harvest.

So it is in life.

As a coach I work with people who are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. And yet, over time as we work together in planting new seeds, or work through a process that takes persistence, patience and perseverance – these challenges start to diminish, simply through the law of the harvest – reaping what you sow. Frequently, its never easy, in fact, its often difficult to face up to the challenges. Yet, with hard work and effort, I wholeheartedly believe, that through time, with the right help and using the correct tools, all of our harvests can be great ones, no matter how tough it may seem.

What will you sow today?