Hinds Feet

“O Shepherd. You said you would make my feet like hinds’ feet and set me upon High Places”. “Well”, he answered “the only way to develop hinds’ feet is to go by the paths which the hinds use.” -Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet in High Places

Do not be afraid to advance in life. On the journey you might find steep hills and low valleys. The path may be rugged and tough. It will all be for your betterment. Use your strength to climb the rocky slopes and your gracefulness to balance it all out. Your humility will keep you steadfast and unmovable and passion will grant you access to wisdom along the way. Don’t allow hesitation to be the beaten path that keeps you from a spring of refreshing water. Instead leap over the impossible and land in a harvest of plenty. Your time has come. Seize the moment.

Love -Your Biggest Fan

Driven: Help my Unbelief

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Exactly where am I headed? What do I want to accomplish? Is it even possible for me to achieve this? Am I ready? What if? These are a few questions that haunt us on our journey of success. These are questions we ask when we are faced with the task of making decisions. They are questions that we fluently entertain while setting goals and implementing change.

Denis Waitley, writer and motivational speaker says, “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”

I am an avid goal setter. I believe it is important for you to have a clear vision concerning your life. How can you move in the right direction if you have no idea as to where you are headed? One of the things that I hate most about driving is having to travel when there is heavy fog. There’s nothing like a caravan of dense and visible aerosol clouding my line of sight. It makes driving difficult. It slows you down and prolongs your travel time. And all you want to do is get to your destination, right?

Fog creates an inconvenience. If you look at some websites that offer advice on how to drive in fog you will learn:

  • Use should use your low beams if your car isn’t equipped with fog lights. Never use your high beams because the light will be reflected back by the low bearing clouds of white.
  • You must slow down because speeding is a safety hazard especially when you can’t see where you are going.
  • Stay focused! This is not the time to do your hair, put on your makeup, eat a breakfast sandwich, and make a phone call.
  • If it’s too bad, your best bet is to simply pull over until it thins out.
  • If you want to continue your pursuit, you should probably put on your hazard lights so that others are aware of your presence and keep their distance.

Look at all of the advice. Oh, and this isn’t even all of it. There’s plenty more road rules where these came from.

Fog does to our drive what the lack of goal setting does to our lives. It limits our view and it prevents our progression on the chart to success. If you’re like me you love setting goals and achieving them but can I let you in on a secret, although I love setting goals, I sometimes lack the confidence that I will really achieve them. The biggest wrong and injustice that you can do to yourself is not believe in your own dreams. It’s not enough to establish goals. You must believe that no matter what happens on the highway, you have the ability to get to your destination. You are in the driver’s seat, you have all the tools you need to get to where you are going. Stay focused and continue on your drive.

The one thing that I noticed about one of the directions provided about driving in the fog is that you should probably hit your hazards so that others can see you coming and keep their distance. The last thing that you want to have is a head on collision or a fender bender. This is what happens when there is no goal setting in life. You have the potential of becoming a hazard to others around you, including yourself. In order to have a purpose driven life, you have to have a vision. Write down your goals that support where you’d like to be in life in the next five to ten years and pursue them for dear life!

The one thing I like about life is that it is personal. Your journey is unique and so is mine. People and things can propel us into the direction we should take on our journey but no one can truly make the journey for us. Anyone can come along if companionship is a desire but it is a personal journey that requires our direct action and commitment.

It’s not about the cars in the other lane and how fast or slow they may be going. Neither is it about the make, model, or year. However, what your drive is about is your personal preference on whether or not you’ll take backroads, make pit stops, deviate off your course, or invite a friend along the way. You’re in control of the temperature, your speed, what you listen to, and how soon you get there.

I’ve been blessed to see a lot of my goals and dreams develop and blossom right before my eyes into true manifestation. Have you ever set a goal and felt like you reached the destination overnight because it all happened so fast? It might have seemed like a whirlwind in the night. You knew it was coming but you couldn’t forecast the direction in which it would pursue until it overtook you. This is one of many possibilities and encounters you may experience when you’ve committed to setting goals for yourself.

Setting goals sets a tone for our lives. It allows us to pace ourselves so that we don’t become weary in our well doing. It allows us to track growth and make adjustments as required. It gives us purpose and esteem. The key is to set goals that are realistic and attainable but sometimes you have to set goals that might be a little beyond reach for the moment. Set your goals based on what you would like to harvest in life, and not what you see others pursuing. The last thing we need as goal setters is another fad that creates a seed of continuous discord and road blocks.

When was the last time you really looked at your accomplishments? When did you last take note of the strategies that you implemented to make travel on your route successful? Do you take out the time to goal set? If not, there is true value in it.

The Holy Bible states in Proverbs 29:18 that, “People perish when there is no vision.” I’m starting to realize the very words of Colin R. Davis are so true, “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” The difference is that most persons that believe in setting goals have passion that drives their pursuit on the journey.

The goal that I have moving forward is to continue my passionate driven life by staying in my own lane and by preplanning and setting goals. I will remain focused and uphold the truth that I am equipped for the success that I shall obtain. My most important goal is that I truly believe in myself because I can’t depend on the external confirmation of others to affirm that I am on the right road and moving in the right direction. I will remain steadfast in my truth that goal setting is key to reach my destination and I will continue with my passion driven life. Will you?

What are your goals moving forward?

See you in the next post right? Same time?

the Mountaintop

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“It’s possible to climb to the top without stomping on other people.” -Taylor Swift

When I first read this quote my mouth dropped in awe of the truth that this statement holds. We can get to the top of any mountain without trampling over others. You don’t necesssarily have to bring someone with you. (If truth be told, there are quite a few that enjoy the view from the ground anyway.) However, if you find yourself climbing to the top, be sure to take note of your surroundings. You don’t have to be an underminding backstabber to get to where you’re going successfully. Stay focused on your goals. Strive to remain committed and watch the elevation. When you arrive at the peak, don’t forget to share with others how to get there too.

Love -Your Biggest Fan

Empowered Thoughts, Altered State of Being

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“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” -Proverbs 23:7(a) the Holy Bible

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” -Philippians 4:8

It’s important that we spend less time thinking about things that cause us to have a negative connotation on life. If you think that you’re a failure, you’re going to manifest failure. If you think that you’re destined for greatness and if you think about it enough, you should eventually take the steps towards such. What you spend your time reflecting on the most will be the very thing that sets the tone for your environment. Happy people tend to think happy thoughts. They are optimistic about life and all that they encounter. People that are unhappy do the complete opposite. Today I challenge you to think only those thoughts that make you smile. That make you laugh. That inspire you to think of your future in a brighter way.

Love -Your Biggest Fan

A Prepared Table

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“Thou preparest a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies.” Psalm 23:5, the Holy Bible

This verse says a mouthful. It sheds light on the agony that we sometimes face in persecution. Gone are the prayers and private thoughts of wishing that our enemies would just go away and leave us alone. He is going to do no such thing on your behalf. You are going to grow in their presence. You are going to be blessed in their presence. You are going to receive your breakthrough in their presence. You are going to receive your overflow in their presence. God is going to give you a greater anointing in their presence. GET OVER THEM! They are here to stay and so are you. Just remember, when your ways please Him, He will cause them to be at peace with you. Gone are the days that we taunt ourselves and wish for life no more. God is about to blow your mind but it will be in the midst of those that persecute you.

Love -Your Biggest Fan

Dear Future Me

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If I told you to stop reading this and head over to Future Me to write a letter to your future self, what would it say? What key points would you make? Here is a snippet of what I would say to myself:

Dear FutureMe,

I see you girl being committed to your many roles in life! You must be tired from all the progress you’ve made. Sit down and take a load off.

First and foremost, thank you for staying committed to your dreams and goals. You’re doing great! Continue to pace yourself as you move forward, don’t forget “the race isn’t given to the swift.”

Have you practiced the art of saying no yet Misses Obliger? Probably not. And the school year, how is it going? I know you’re having a blast with your students and are teaching them some good stuff.

In all seriousness, go easy on yourself. Don’t overdo it; a slow steady pace is key. I have to admit, there’s not a lot of people that can handle your many responsibilities. Continue to acknowledge God so that He can continue to strengthen you and bless everything that your hands touch. Continue to ask questions. Continue to challenge your level of comfort. Do what no one else wants to do. Continue to be you.

Kiss the kids, hug the hubs. You are amazing and the very thing you’ve been praying for will soon burst from the heavens above.

Love you -Your Biggest Fan

The Red Carpet: Speak My Language Part 2

Disclaimer: Refer to Speak My Language Blog Post 1 for background information on “The Four Tendencies Framework.”

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“Agreeing to disagree isn’t license to hold hateful and condemning beliefs about me as though it doesn’t negatively impact our relationship.” 
― Jamie Arpin-Ricci

“Often after arguing about differing opinions, I hear people say, “let’s agree to disagree.” I look forward to a time, so open-minded I’ll hear people say, “I’m right and you can be, too” 
― Paula Heller Garland

The above quotes hold a lot of magnitude and weight when it comes down to relationships and what we takeaway and bring to our team tables. In “Speak My Language (Part 1), “I wrote about Gretchen Rubin’s “Four Tendencies Framework” which categorizes individuals according to their response to life’s presentations. I took the quiz to find out that I’ve been an obliger (pretty much all my life).” Over the course of the past 15 years I’ve worked on numerous teams with various partnerships in college, my workplace, and of course, in my personal life. In each an every one of them I can pinpoint my active role as an obliger.

Today, let’s talk about the ideal team? What does readily available research suggest of the ideal team characteristics like those of partnerships, marriages, or teams in the workplace? Which personalities deem the most effective and superior for getting things done progressively? I’m not looking for a team that doesn’t have arguments and differences. I’m looking for a team that truly exemplifies the meaning of “agreeing to disagree”; that in spite of the odds, in spite of the elements at hand we can agree that we aren’t getting this done this way so let’s just do it in spite of. Or we can walk away from the assignment and yet respect each other. I’m looking for commitment that says, “I won’t go behind a door and defame you, I may go behind a door to vent about my grievances, but I will walk away as an adult and still support you, our partnership, and our team with 100% efficacy.”

The Facts

In most circumstances, when the maturity level isn’t at a height that is required for trust and support, we find ourselves doing exactly what Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s quote insinuates. We allow our inabilities to agree on a matter to control our beliefs about an individual causing us to operate in a response (mostly that which is of the rebel) that isn’t conducive to the team making progress. The team’s environment becomes tainted by the endless propensities of ineffective communication and mockery based on one or numerous episodes of the inability to agree in previous experiences.

What happens when you don’t get to choose your team? This isn’t a gym class where the teacher picks the leaders and let them get in front of the class and choose their preferred group members to play with. This is a group of adults elected to lead and work together; the dilemmas that plague childsplay has passed, or at least they should have.

The Rebel and Obliger   
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According to Rubin, when it comes to relationships, the rebel and the obliger are great together. Say what! Her research coins the two as working well together because rebels remind obligers to take care of themselves. They create a balance for each other. Research or not, I am yet to work with a rebel that balances my obliging. In my opinion they have a tendency of being very condescending and who wants to work with someone that makes them feel as though they are incompetent, illogical thinkers. If I were a student standing in the front of the classroom picking team members to be a part of my team, I would leave the rebel seated. Yes they can potentially bring a liberating sense of ease to the group atmosphere but their liberation could also invite unwanted stress with their nonchalant attitude towards tasks and deadlines.

There are ways to work with the rebel even if you don’t favor them. You have to learn how to leave them alone unless they show genuine interest in working with the team to complete an assignment. You have to trust that regardless of their lack of response to demands that they will work to get the job done. They don’t need you standing over them. It will only cause tension between the both of you. Here are some ways to work with the rebel to create a uniform sense of peace within the team.

  1. State directions and deadlines clearly.
  2. Set up times to check-in on progress.
  3. Don’t stand over them, they already have a shadow; yours is not needed.
  4. Mind your own business. Check-ins serve as a constant reminder.
  5. State your commands in ways that don’t sound so demanding.

The one thing that you should remember when working with a rebel if you are an obliger is that you both struggle to meet internal expectations. Hopefully this knowledge will allow you to be more forgiving when interacting with him or her.

Questioner and Rebel

In my opinion, I have found that the questioner and the rebel are better at working together. This may be because they both tend to reject outer expectations. This will cause them to side with each other during times when they may need someone in their corner. Both the questioner and rebel bring a challenge to the cohesiveness of the team. It may take more energy and practiced communication to learn how to properly deal with both. Most rebels tend to make decisions based on their feelings, as will the questioner. Rebels tend to be the leaders for questioners, due to their free spirited nature and their commonality to question the requests of their services. These personalities together can rattle the nerves of the obliger and the upholder, although the upholder will most likely be affected most. When both personality types are present and have an obvious alliance, it’s best to:

  1. Address both separately. If you address them both at the same time, you may regret it.
  2. Learn to be quick to hear with the questioner. Carefully observe the emotion and question that is present and answer accordingly.
  3. Be sure to not answer in a condescending manner when responding to the questioner. (This is sometimes easier said than done.)
  4. Arguing facts is not going to convince the questioner to act, it will cause more resistance.
  5. The questioner is grateful to have a rebel on board, he or she feels as if the rebel is there to protect others from the misuse of authority.
Upholders and Rebels

Although rebels drive the upholder absolutely crazy with their free-spirited and eccentric nature, they really are both the same. The difference is that the upholder will meet the deadline for the boss as well as get things done for him or herself. The upholder too is free-spirited in nature but not to the extent of ignoring the rules of the game. Once the rules are acknowledged, the upholder is going to play his or her best game and enjoy playing it. He may question the rules but it most likely won’t stop him from playing the game. You may feel like the upholder has the personality of holding the team together but in actuality the upholder might find him or herself angry with the other personalities if they don’t willingly commit to executing a particular request. It’s important that we remember that:

  1. Upholders are accountable to themselves and others in nature.
  2. They want what is best for the team.
  3. They are driven by following rules and meeting requirements.
  4. They are easily stirred when resistance is present because they just want to get the job done.
  5. They need balance and the help of the team. Don’t always rely on them to get the work done alone.

The nature of personalities and individualities really require moments of research and reflection. In education, as with any career, you will work with people that you are acquainted with and those that you are unfamiliar with but might have heard of. Yes, people engage each other in ways outside of personality alone. You might find that you both like to watch the same sports or enjoy the same hobbies and your relationship becomes centered on that. You might also find that the deeper you all dive into communication that things aren’t solidifying after several successful past interactions. The more time you spend with your team or partner, the more aware you will become of the multi-faceted tendencies that are present. It is not reasonable for us to box ourselves into one category of propensities as we all will find we share some commonalities with each other. However, it’s very logical for us to work on our team building by continuing our awareness of what each individual brings to the environment.

I am not an official researcher of personalities and the knowledge I obtain is from that of others whose careers are centered around observing, questioning, and testing human nature. Learning to effectively work with others is a goal that is of high importance to me. Teamwork is inevitable, especially if you are actively engaged in moving forward in your career. The more we know, I would like to think, the more we will be able to learn to agree to disagree or at least do as Paula Heller Garland supposed, “agree to both be right.”

Learning others teaches us how to internalize from our teammates’ points of view. We become more sensitive to the nature of our entire team and not just that which we exemplify. There is no I in “team?” Actually there is. There are individual “I’s” that make up “we” and “us.”

Shall we meet in the next post? Same time?

A Thankful Heart

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Being thankful and showing gratitude has a way of lifting your spirits when nothing else will. There’s nothing like helping someone else during their time of need. What are some things that you are grateful for? How often do you stop to reflect and show gratitude for the things you have in life? It is imperative that we learn to show appreciation for where we are in life and for what we currently have. Waiting until you have the perfect car, best house, six-figure income, and lavish lifestyle is not the time. The time is now. Showing gratitude now will create a mindset that will hopefully keep you grounded when the overflow begins to come into your life. If you haven’t been exemplifying gratitude now, you’ll most likely display a character of pride and haughtiness when you begin to receive your blessings. In all things we should give thanks. Begin to thank him for the not so great job and aggravating boss, the point A to point B car, and horribly decorated house. If you find appreciation for where you are now you would have disciplined yourself to show appreciation in all things. What are your grateful for?

Love -Your Biggest Fan

Disciplined Success

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Discipline in the absence of motivation equals success; motivation doesn’t contribute to success. Motivation is a result of feelings. Feelings come and go. Discipline is a lifestyle. -Personalized Outfitters

You can be motivated to get a job done but without discipline you will be prone to execute without precision. Today challenge yourself to complete tasks with careful detail and thought. Gone is the attitude of “Well, at least I did it. I didn’t have to do it at all.” My response to that is, why did you? The last thing a paying customer wants is for someone to give them horrible service and to treat them as though they don’t matter. Now translate that paying customer’s attitude to the attitude of your every day responsibilities. Serve with love and discipline. There will be days when emotions overwhelm you due to feelings of inadequacy it will take discipline to get you moving. Clothe yourself with discipline like you should with wisdom. Let discipline be your best friend, your life line. Motivation is a prisoner to your emotions. Discipline will be there to guide you through the process. Let’s get it done. Discipline is key.

Love -Your Biggest Fan

Keep Going

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Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong

Don’t make drastic decisions based on temporary circumstances that could very well become permanent. Don’t quit out of fear of failure. Don’t stop pursuing your dreams because they feel out of reach. You can do this. You can succeed! Whatever the pain is that you feel on your journey, it will subside. Life and its many lessons will happen. Don’t be discouraged, you will reap your harvest in due season. Don’t throw in the towel today, your blessing could be scheduled for manifestation tomorrow.

Love -Your Biggest Fan

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