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Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…

Thankful Report

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What am I thankful for? I am thankful for the continued provisions that I have been afforded. I am thankful for the greater understanding and relationship that I have built with Christ. I am thankful for a family that loves and cares for me. I am thankful for my beautiful daughter that loves me to no end and that I am willingly responsible for nurturing her through Christ and all other life matters. What am I thankful for? I am thankful that I continue to pursue being the greater me in which I was created to be. I am thankful for the talents and gifts that I inherently possess. I am thankful for those that support me when I do not feel I deserve any of it. I am thankful for the belief that there is good at the core of most, any, human being and that their ability to love on others exists. I am thankful that I want to love on others, can, and do. I am thankful for my health and my ability to work to improve it. What am I thankful for? I am thankful that on most days I realize that I have more than enough to be thankful. I am thankful that through my darker days I have increased faith to move me forward and believe that greater days are coming. I am thankful that I have the life I have and will continue to love myself unconditionally exactly how God created me.

From everyone at Passion Living Out Loud may your Thanksgiving be a day full of memories to add to your list of thankfulness!

Dream and Dream Again

dreamsHave you ever grasped a hold of a dream; tasted the goodness of your fruitful labor in attaining that dream; reveled in the glory of finally having that goal or dream under your belt? When all the fanfare was over did all you want to do was sit down and take a break? If you have not, I can honestly say I have. Think about it. Some dreams take quite a bit of time and energy to achieve. They can require so much of your spirit and soul to make it happen that when it has finally been actualized, you may feel overwhelmed. The important thing to keep in mind though is that your last dream can not be your last dream. You have to continue dreaming and then continue preparing and activating that energy to obtain that next dream. You have to dream and dream again.

It is important to know that life is a cycle. There are ups and then there are downs and everything in between. That is what the cycle of chasing your dreams should be. Just because you achieve one dream does not mean any other dream that you have should be delayed in reaching. It is ok to take a break, but keep in mind that the break should be short; not lengthy. Do not let the break be so long that you miss the window of opportunity for that next dream. Yes, pace yourself, but know that your pace should be as steady as possible. You do not want to burn yourself out or overwork yourself, but you do want to keep your stamina up in order to move forward. The time you are on break should be treated as a time to rejuvenate yourself and prepare for the next thing on your agenda. Heck, you owe it to yourself to see what else you are capable of achieving.

So again, I implore to you, just when you’ve reached one of your dreams, keep dreaming. Don’t stop. Let the last dream be the foundation for the next dream and the future dreams thereafter that you’re destined to reach.

 

Passion Grinding: Thankful Thoughts

Think of all the many things you have to be thankful, embrace them and let them carry you into your next blessing…

Empower Your Empire

empowerWho better to influence the projection of your life than you? Sometimes we look for external factors to catapult us into our next sphere of success. We hope that our bosses, spouses, community leaders, etc. move us to the next climactic point of our existence. We seek encouragement from others as if their words are the only that will truly make it happen for us. The truth is, the outcomes of our life, outside of God, are a direct result of your actions. A direct result of your belief in yourself; your abilities; your gifts and talents. It is pertinent that we intentionally do everything within our own power, or empire to empower ourselves.

We are the authors of our happiness, our successes, our victories and so on. You authorize all of these things in your life. Looking to enhance your empower, influence those around you? It starts with you empowering yourself. It requires you to look internally and pull out all the great qualities you already possess, expand on those qualities, and integrate each and everyone into the sphere around you. Today and every day going forward me intentional, tapping into yourself to move yourself into the next victory as if everything was riding on it.

Believing and entrusting yourself with the success of your empire is the first step. Remember what you build today serves as the foundation for how solid your future will be. No one owes it to you more than yourself. Make it happen!

The Imaginary Cliff

textgram_1478185549Imagine you are standing at the very edge of a cliff. The highest you could ever dream. Your foot may wobble for balance; knees may weaken a bit. Your heart begins to race; brow pulling sweat from within. You may even see a few crumbles of rock break away and fall beneath you. As you look down you begin to feel every emotion inside telling you to fear what may be below that cliff. From rejection to unresolve to failure, you believe that what is waiting for you underneath that cliff is anything but your next step to success. Instead of taking your next step, you contemplate if you should just stand still or actually turn around. As if those options are safer. You are practically convinced that moving forward is not your best option. The reality though is that sometimes taking that step; moving forward is your only option. It may be the only option you have to reach whatever that next goal is that you have set in your life. So why believe anything else?

Your somewhat distorted belief may be based on some past experiences of yours or at least the negated ones you choose to recall first. Once upon a time maybe in the far distance or even if your recent moments, you have taken a step that led you, in what you felt, was the opposite direction of victory. The truth however, is that for every opposite direction of victory you have encountered, you have for sure accomplished a victory. Remember that job you have been on for a while now? Victory. How about that degree you are almost finished with? Victory. Did you forget how your children excelled in various areas in their life? Victory. Are some of your closest personal relationship currently sound? Victory. Maybe you closed off in your mind the victory of you making it from day-to-day. The point is, in all of those victories you stepped off the cliff. You did not turn around. You did not stand still. You took a step. With each step it turned out that there never really was a cliff. You did not fall. You actually stood tall and walked into your next victory. Those are the moments that are important for us to recall.

textgram_1478185434We are not perfect, thus our emotions are not always in the best position to keep our victories in mind. If you are currently in a state of anticipating defeat, remember that you may simply be imagining a cliff. It could actually not exist. Also, remember the feeling you’ve had ever time you achieved a victory. Reject the idea that you are going to fall; knowing what it feels to stand tall and be able to move forward. In the words of a short fiction piece I wrote a few years ago, always work to ensure your Faith is Greater Than Fear.

 

 

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Your Story

story-of-transparencyLife is a culmination of colorful and vibrant stories. Stories of triumph, pain, resilience, joy, and more. Whatever the backdrop of the story, each one is worth sharing. Why? Because every story has a message. It’s those messages that nurture change and growth in ourselves and others.To keep our stories to ourselves, in my opinion, is a selfish way to live life. It becomes an additive to only existing and not living life out loud. Imagine if everyone in the world kept their story to themselves? It’s not a world I’d want to be apart of. Everyone would be bland, potentially limited in dimension and simply not offering the best of who they could be otherwise.

I recently had an in-depth conversation with one of my younger family members. They are new to college and starting to experience some of life’s woes. Reality is beginning to set in. Their sound decisions and/or lack thereof are beginning to truly shape the path of their future. During our conversation, they explained that no one understood them. No one knew what they were dealing with. And without hesitation, I stopped them in their tracks to share my story. I didn’t stop them because I didn’t want them to express themselves, yet I wanted them to know that they were not walking alone and someone else could understand or at least empathize with them. I shared the traveled road of what it felt like to explore all of life’s nuances independently for the first time. I did so without hiding my faults and mistakes along the way; choosing to be as open as I could. By the end of conversation, they expressed that they could see the correlations that I made between their experiences and mine. Their willingness to open up grew. Furthermore, they more greatly embraced the knowledge that I could share. It is my hope that my shared story becomes apart of the backdrop for their choices; their decisions and thinking process.

So, how does sharing your story help you? I like to use the relationship between myself and one of my mentors. Periodically, I’m able to sit down and share my past and current experiences with her. From those conversations, she’s able to pour into my knowledge base. I learn new ways to do things. I develop diverse perspectives on things I possibly couldn’t do without having had the dialogue. In some instances, when I’m sharing, she in turns shares her story. Thus the sharing cycle continues. Her vantage point becomes pieces of my own. I become more well-rounded and thorough in my thoughts. I then become a more layered individual, capable of having more resources to use for my future backdrops.

Every day you have the opportunity to impose positive and powerful movements in life. Every day you can be the catalyst between what makes life’s nuances endearing, empowering, and engaging.Own your stories. Transparently tell your stories. Know that your stories have meaning or else they wouldn’t even exist. All of our stories together become the inner workings of life itself; its how we function; how we all continue to be great!

 

The Worst Doubt…

Passion Living Out Loud

self doubtI read a great quote today that I hope resonates with you today:

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”

Most days you are faced with some type of adversity. Unfortunately, some of that adversity is people doubting your abilities to be great; to achieve greatness; to be 100% all you were created to me. They are the naysayers, haters, success blockers, and out right negative people. Some you may not come in contact with and others you know very well, as they may be co-workers, friends, and even family. Life is quirky that way. It’s full of opposition.

Opposition from others is something that you can’t get around. The worst opposition you can have is the opposition against self. Yet, it is the easiest opposition to avoid. Stop questioning yourself. Stop wondering if you have what it takes to make it to that next phase in your life. You…

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The Benchmark Track

BENCHMARK: a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed (Oxford Dictionaries).

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In business, benchmarks are used all the time to help make business decisions, to determine what moves to make with finances, to redefine processes, or even what employees to hire. Those benchmarks can be drawn from the business’ own experience or the experience of other companies. Either way, when studied appropriately, a benchmark can be the leading example for others to follow; to maximize potential for success.

In your personal life, it’s no different. We often seek people or observe people from afar that have similar talents or skills. Maybe they are an expert in their field of creativity or business. When we’re trying to reinvent, evaluate or strengthen ourselves, we almost involuntarily look to others to help determine what the standards for ourselves will be. Even if we draw from our own experiences, there are external references that help us decide what our next moves will be.

Well, what if you became the benchmark? What if you became the guide; the mark; the reference point for others? I’m convinced that if you’re striving to become the benchmark; you’re intentionally and consistently working to be the leader of the pack; to persistently find ways to grow more solid and rooted than before. If you’re the benchmark, you’re laying groundwork for others, in turn reaching back, helping others to become benchmarks; thereby carrying the torch of community.

Being the benchmark doesn’t mean you’ve done everything there is to do or that you’ve mastered all there is to master. Life is a mountain of growth, often times with endless peaks to reach. Therefore, even as the benchmark, you’re steady-looking for other benchmarks around you. You’re constantly looking for those reference points to refuel you; guide you to the next point.

Working to become or continue being the benchmark helps ensure that you’re staying on the right track – the track that you purposely have defined for yourself and work hard to clearly follow.

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