New Year, New Start: Monday Morning Motivation

beautiful day

With 2015 dawning on us we have a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate to make anything possible! So with that in mind…

Ralph

bicycle

next chapter

fear

start

good

Inconvenience

live your dream

new beginnings

past and future

better things ahead

fairy tales

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New Year’s Resolution: There is no try, so just do it!

yoda

2014 is coming to a close and 2015 is just about here. Not going to lie, i’m pretty excited. I’ve always really liked the start of the year because it’s a fresh start, a clean slate full of opportunity. And yes as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I am one of those people who makes New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s so easy to write what you want to accomplish and achieve, but the follow through is where the difficulty comes in. I mean it’s easy to say I want to go to the gym 3 times a week, but getting out of bed on those cold winter mornings at 5 in the morning is really really hard! Or trying to eat healthier is great, but who actually has time for it? It’s so much easier just to buy something at school or work, which typically ends up being not so healthy.

I’m a pretty disciplined person but there needs to be more than discipline with following through on goals. There needs to be desire. You have to really want it. That desire pushes you even when you feel like it’s impossible and you don’t have an ounce of motivation left. Let’s face it, if you are waiting to feel motivated to start, you aren’t going to get anywhere. That desire however, it forces you to move even when you don’t feel like it. It’s deeper than a feeling.

I just recently came up with a catch phrase (aka stole 2 other phrases and mashed them together) for 2015 for following through on my goals. It’s pretty deep. Ready? Here it is… “there is no try, so just do it!” Yoda and Nike, can’t beat that combination can you! Yoda is a pretty wise guy and his advice to Luke Skywalker of “Do or do not, there is no try” is 100% true. If you think about it, try doesn’t exist. Trying is just a way to make ourselves feel better about not reaching our goal or not committing 100%. It’s a way to let us down easy. For example, lets say I want to get out of bed at 7am. Either I get out of bed at 7am or I don’t. I can say “I tried to get out of bed but I was just too tired”. Sure I can say that. But all that really means is I didn’t get out of bed. It makes me feel better because at least I tried, but when push comes to shove, “try” doesn’t mean anything. Either I did or didn’t. One of my goals for 2015 is eliminating the word “try” from my vocabulary.

Once you have the goals and the desire, then comes the hard part. The doing part. This is the part where you put that discipline into action and face your obstacles, all the difficulty and discomfort and just push through knowing that the end goal is worth it all. It’s the thinking that yes, that chocolate bar would be delicious, and yes I’ll enjoy it, but it’ll be gone in 2 minutes and then I’ll feel crappy, so I’m going to be healthy, not eat it and feel better in the long run. It might not feel good now, but by keeping the end zone in sight, you force yourself to just do it and keep moving forward. For me, as a Christian when I’m feeling like giving up, I can always remember Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”. That’s a huge part of where I find my strength to do anything in life. Even something as small as saying no to a chocolate bar.

Lastly, along with desire and disciple, timelines are key in achieving any goal. A goal without a timeline is just a dream. You have to take action  in order to reach your goal. For me, that means mapping out steps of how I’m going to accomplish my goals, practical realistic steps. Whether that goal is going to take a month, a year, or 10 years, a game plan with a timeline is a huge part of successful reaching that goal.

So there you go, some my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. Hopefully I’ll be able to follow my own advice! Here’s to 2015 being the best year yet!!

Tim Keller: Monday Motivation Motivation

1. relentless grace

I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to a Tim Keller sermon or have read any of his books, but they are fantastic. I’d definitely recommend checking out his books or sermons. There’s an app called “Redeemer Presbyterian Church” where you can listen to his sermons (whether they were from last week or 10 years ago) which I find great for the commute back from work. Counterfeit Gods is also one of my favourite books by him (but you can’t really go wrong with anything he writes). Here is just a small taste of some great quotes by him.

Hope everyone has a great week:)

2. underqulified for God

3. Suffering

4. identity

5. God's grace is huge

6.Crace saves

7. courage

8. come as we are

9. Be focused on God

10. Jesus is everything

C.S Lewis inspired Monday Morning Motivation

C.S Lewis is one of my favourite authors. The Chronicles of Narnia was kinda my childhood. There were more than once occasions where I would open the closet, go through the coats and hope the further I went, those coats would turn into trees and lead to Narnia. Sadly, they never did.

As I got older, I discovered his other works, Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and so many other fantastic books, some that I have read and some that still need to be read. That man had so much insight and I always feel so inspired after reading his works. He has like a bazillion amazing quotes, but here are 10 that I especially like.

1. Aim at Heaven

2.Desires

3.forgiveness

4.looking ahead

5.love 2

6.ordinary

7.painful circumstances

8.we are what we believe we are

9.sunset

10.God will make us good

I’m going to try and review these incredible insights this week do my best to remember them throughout my day. Happy Monday!

Good is the enemy of the best

Comfort is overrated. Yep, I said it. Sure it feels good, but is good good enough? If you look at the lives of people who have had incredible success, the road to get there was not comfortable. There were mountains to move, battles to fight and pain to be preserve through. It’s not an easy life.

However, our society promotes easy. Comfort is a must and we want instant gratification without the hard work. We are happy with good but there’s a huge divide between good and great.

Something I think that can be learned from kids is that they don’t really have “good” in their vocabulary. They dream massively huge and always want the best. I mean, when you are 10 years old, pretty much anything is possible in your mind. There’s a refreshing innocence about the way kids look at the world. Nothing is unachievable and they always strive for the best, something we seem to lose as we get older. But it seems to me, successful people keep those dreams.

It was September  25, 1976, when 4 kids from Dublin Ireland with big dreams had their very first band practice. Who would have guessed that one day, they would become one of the biggest rock bands in the world. 38 years later and still going, their new album was released to over 500 million people via iTunes, the biggest album release of all time. Yes, some people didn’t like the fact that they got the album, but you got to give U2 credit, they aren’t afraid to push the boundaries. Greatness pushes limitations. I personally think it was a brilliant idea. But the point is, you don’t get to that stage of incredible success by being just good. There’s a lot of blood sweat and tears involved to get to that level and it’s not easy to maintain. Bono says it so well, “As you get better, you get very good and very good is kind of the enemy of great. You can mistake it for great”. 

It’s so easy to become complacent and forget those dreams of greatness, of changing the world and of making a difference amidst the everyday grind of life. Becoming caught in the rut of comfort is a trap many people fall into, myself included. It’s comfortable and easy to stick with what you know, what works, with where you are right now.

But the thing is, I’d take great over fine, or good any day. Life is short and I want it to be great, a life well lived. I want to help people, I want to make a difference in other people’s people’s lives and as much as this is the king of cliches, I do want to change the world. And that doesn’t come with just good. For me, I can’t live a great life myself, it’s only through Jesus Christ where I can truly make a difference. Living for Christ is a life well lived.

Oswald Chambers also has a great quote that i’d like to share, “The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always  the enemy of the best”. For me, that means living a radically generous life that most likely won’t be comfortable, that will be difficult, and that will be outside of my comfort zone. It means pushing myself and breaking through the limitations and being exceptional even in the little, everyday ordinary things. I don’t know where living that kind of life will lead me, but in the words of Bilbo Baggins, “I’m going on an adventure!”.

So here’s to living not good, but great lives and striving for the best!

Oswald Chambers Devotional: Monday Morning Motivation

There’s this fantastic devotional that I’m working through right now called My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. It’s very short, less than 1 page for each day, but each line is ridiculously insightful and very practical. Highly recommend it. That being said, I just wanted to share a few passages that have stuck out for me.

“Which are the people who have influenced us most? Not the ones who thought they did, but those who had not the remotest notion they were influencing us. In the Christian life, the implicit is never conscious. If it is, it ceases to have the unaffected loveliness which is the characteristic of the touch of Jesus.” 

This is beautiful because when you are so lost in Christ, the love of Jesus just flows so naturally.

“Are you so identified with the Lord’s life that you are simply a child of God, continually talking to Him and realizing that all things come from His hand?”

Something that I need to work on, having that constant back and forward with Christ throughout the day.

“It is so much easier to do something than to trust in God. We mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him.”

This so applies to me because I like to get things done. I like to be productive and do things. But sometimes you aren’t supposed to do anything, just trust in God, and yes, that is extremely hard.

“It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things.” 

Even in the everyday ordinary things we can shine for Christ.

“Prayer does not fit us for the great work: prayer is the great work. We think of prayer as a common sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God’s work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ, prayer is the working of the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of God.” 

Enough said.

Anyways, those are just a few snippets from Mr. Chambers. I could probably blog for days about all the insights he has to offer!

Happy Monday:)

Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. A holiday where we can take a moment and realize how truly blessed we are and how much there is to be thankful for. As I’m writing this, the smell of turkey is wafting into the living room where I’m lying on the couch with a blanket, pillows, listening to U2’s new album and feeling so blessed. Yesterday was Thanksgiving dinner at the cousins and today is a super chill day of hanging out in pjs, doing nothing but eating turkey and pumpkin pie (yes I waited all year for that pumpkin pie). I’ve actually been able to take some time today and reflect on what I’ve been given and how much I have to be thankful for.

Having today off and spending it with the family is a nice much needed break from the craziness of work. To be honest, in day to day life, I often and regularly forget how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for. So much of what God’s blessed me with, I just assume that I deserve it and forget that everything in my life is a gift from Him. Each day my heart is beating is a gift.

On Saturday I was seriously reminded of this. A friend I’ve known since I was young passed away last week and there was a memorial service for him. Stephen was only 25 when Christ called him home. We were never really close but I grew up with him, we played hockey together and even tried starting a band back in the day. It was shocking news to hear of his passing because you figure at that young of an age, you have have so much time left, but you really never know. The short time that he did have here, he touched so many people and made a difference with his life. He really made every moment count and now he’s living in Paradise with Jesus.

No matter what’s happening in your life, no matter what you are going through, there’s always something to be thankful for, you just need to look hard enough for it. Stephen’s best friend shared with us at the memorial service that Stephen had that mentality and always found the good in any situation. That’s an amazing way to live life.

So as this weekend winds down and everyday life starts up again tomorrow, I’m really going to make an effort and try to complain less about things and instead, remember what I’ve been blessed with. Happy thanksgiving everyone, eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie!!