Why Can’t Every Day Be Friday?

FridayThank God it’s Friday! There’s just something very special about Fridays. I always notice that I have an extra pep in my step on the aforementioned day and have to admit that it would require something astronomical to ruin my mood on Fridays. The sun just seems to shine brighter on Fridays and things that much easier to deal with. Fridays are always exciting because they usher in the weekend, are the end of the work week for many as well as one of the most anticipated days of all; Pay Day!

I sometimes wonder what life would really be like if every day were Friday. I guess the reason most of us consider Friday our favorite day is because it symbolizes freedom to us. We love knowing that we can kick back and put our feet up for the next two days and not have to worry about the drudgery demands our jobs impose on us. Being able to break free from the usual five-day work schedule and routine is something most people really look forward to.

A majority of us aren’t living the lives we envisioned for ourselves and feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled as a result. We greatly anticipate the weekend because it provides us with a much needed escape and the opportunity to “reclaim our lives” and determine what to do with our time. What we often fail to realize is that life wasn’t designed to be lived in such a manner but rather purposefully, passionately and with excitement for each new day.

Eric Thomas; founder of TGIM (Thank God it’s Monday) played a huge role in changing my perspective regarding Monday. When we live authentic lives and allow ourselves to embrace our calling and purpose in life; life becomes that much richer, exciting and fulfilling and every day, something to look forward to; even Monday. When we are excited about and love what we do, we are eager to get the week started so that we can get back to our passion and continue making a difference through our purpose.

Although many of us haven’t discovered what our calling is; we were all created with a purpose and have something to contribute towards life. It’s difficult for most of us to imagine that we can make a difference in the grand scheme of things and therefore we unconsciously resign ourselves to lives that allow us to just get by while operating on autopilot without much consideration that there must be more to our lives than we have allowed ourselves to embrace.

Allow yourself to imagine for just a second what your life would be like if you allowed yourself to do what you desire most to do. What would your day to day routine entail? How would you feel about your life and yourself? What do you love doing that you believe you could spend your entire life doing even if you wouldn’t be paid to do it? Our passions often define our purpose and, our purpose comes with provision. Life will support and accommodate everything you were born to do if you allow yourself to fearlessly embrace your assignment. Where there’s will, there’s a way!

Just like with everything in life, creating the life you envision for yourself requires effort and due diligence on your part. You have to be willing to work with what you have and start where you are. Most success stories have a humble beginning and weren’t achieved overnight but rather over time. Do whatever you can today to move you one step closer to where you want to get, no action is too trivial. As long as you make a commitment to stay true to your path; you’ll find yourself where you were meant to be someday and once there; discover that time freedom isn’t an illusion and that every single day thereafter, can feel like Friday after all.

 

You Don’t Have to be a Product of Your Environment

How do some people who appear to have the odds stacked up against them go on to succeed in life and accomplish dreams that seem larger than them? I am talking about people who grew up in or surrounded by poverty, individuals that were raised in broken homes or dysfunctional families or those who were the unfortunate victims of abuse or witnessed violence or the people around them living the fast life of drugs and addictions.

While some people choose to limit themselves by accepting labels or stereotypes placed on them by society because of their backgrounds and perceived disadvantages others choose to defy the odds, break through and raise above those very perceived limitations and go on to do big things with their lives. They refuse to fall through the cracks and become a statistic by the choices they make.

I can definitely empathize with the frustration and hopelessness the Youth in Baltimore, Maryland expressed during the recent civil unrest that took place in their city this past May as a result of Freddie Gray’s death in the hands of the city’s Police. To most of them, the future seems very bleak and unpromising as they struggle with trying to determine and identify their place in society.

Racial discrimination and disparities are still very prevalent in the current world we live in. The black race still faces numerous injustices, disadvantages and is often looked down on and not taken as seriously as it should despite the fact that Slavery was abolished years ago and America is considered the land of justice and freedom. A lot of Black Men unfortunately have experience a lot of injustices first hand and as a result have become embittered and developed great distrust for authority figures, governance and the white race.

As a black woman, I feel it is time for the black race to realize that we are responsible for shaping our own destiny, have the power to re-write our stories as well as create the lives we desire. Not all black men who live in the Projects earn a living through selling drugs or will end up in prison at some point in their lives just as not all Caucasians who live in trailer parks are uneducated meth junkies who live off welfare and get their food from local area food bank. We need to rise above these stereotypes and define our own labels as individuals before we can do so as a family, community or race.

I am reminded of two stellar examples of black men who have done extraordinary things with their lives despite the odds having been stacked up against them while growing up. With Mother’s Day having just been celebrated this past month, I would like to mention that just like the Baltimore mother who stepped in to remove her son from the volatile situation upon recognizing him in the frontline during the unrest; these men’s mothers were instrumental in and responsible for instilling belief, confidence, determination, and discipline in their sons’ lives and encouraging them to dream big. Parents should never underestimate their role in shaping your Child’s life; they are their child’s first teacher and cheerleader.

Dr. Ben Carson; currently in the limelight for his bid for a Republican nomination ticket for President of the United States of America in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Race.

Dr. Ben Carson was raised in a single parent family home in an impoverished neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan by his Mother. His parents divorced while he was eight years old leaving his mother to struggle with solely raising him and his older brother on a meager salary.

Ben was a below average Student who didn’t enjoy school and often placed last in his class until his mother instilled in him the importance of education and being diligent. She encouraged him and his brother to borrow books from the Library and had them write two book reports each week which promised to review despite being illiterate. It wasn’t long before Ben and his brother developed an affinity for reading and studying. He transformed himself from a self-proclaimed dummy into a star student class and went on to receive a full scholarship to Yale where he studied Psychology before proceeding to the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Ben Carson went on to make history by becoming the first Surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined by the head while a Surgeon at John’s Hopkins Hospital where he was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the time. This is a guy who could have easily fallen through the cracks and not amounted to much based on his childhood background had he not made the proactive decision to change his life and go after his dreams.

Ben Carson has gone on to receive numerous medical and academic awards and honors and written six best-selling books including Gifted Hands which was adapted into a made for TV movie. He is an inspiration to many and was once ranked sixth on a list of most admired men in the World; all this from a below average student raised in the poor city of Detroit by a single Mother. He rose above it all and refused to become a statistic!

Chris Gardner; the inspiration behind the movie; The Pursuit of Happyness (yes, spelled with a “y”) based on his real life and portrayed by Will Smith.

Chris was raised in Foster Care for a majority of his life after his parent’s divorce. He witnessed alcoholism and domestic violence in his biological home and experienced a great deal child abuse in his Step-father’s hands before being placed in a foster home.

He struggled with homelessness at one point in his life while single handedly raising his toddler son; Chris Gardner, Jr. after him and his wife divorced. He and his Son often slept in shelters, parks, on public transportation and at one time, on the floor of a public restroom in one of New York’s Subway Stations. Although Chris had it bad, he was determined to give his son a good life and make something of himself despite the many challenges and injustices he encountered along the way.

Upon one day noticing an impeccably dressed man emerge from Ferrari and learning that the man was a Stock Broker; he determined that was the career path for him. He studied for the entrance exam and was able to gain acceptance into the Dean Witter Reynolds Stock Broker Program where he became a top trainee and was eventually offered fulltime employment. He was able to accomplish all this while struggling to make ends meet and provide a home and basic necessities for his son and himself.

He went on to become a very successful Stock Broker before establishing his own multi-million dollar Brokerage Firm and having his life story adapted into a movie, with Megastar; Will Smith, portraying his life on screen. Chris is today known as an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist and motivational speaker who encourages and inspires others to dream big and believe in themselves and life’s possibilities.

I am sure you know of people in your own life who have overcome adversities, not allowed Society to dictate what they could do and be and have gone on to do what was considered impossible with their lives. Maybe you are that person, yourself and have transcended limitations and become a success story and inspiration to others; if so, Kudos for not allowing yourself to fall through the cracks.

Let us remember the responsibility we have to ourselves and not allow ourselves to get caught up in or believe the stereotypes or limiting beliefs placed on us by others; be they our family, friends, colleagues or Society. Write your own story and determine that you will not become a statistic.

5 Quotes That Should Get You Thinking

A Year from now, you may wish you had started today – Karen Lamb

Life is progressive and time, ever passing; it never stops or stands still. We sometimes lie to ourselves that we have a lot of time on our side and that we can always attend to things when we finally decide to, without realizing that every day we let go by, is sometimes an opportunity missed.

Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Don’t wait for the “right time” to pursue your goals and dreams, make the time right today. If you start today, you will be one year into whatever it is you want to do by this time next year and closer to fulfilling or fully accomplishing your dream.  Don’t procrastinate, start today!

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The prospect of beginning something new can sometimes be nerve-inducing and scary at best. We sometimes want guarantees that everything we attempt will turn out well and that our efforts will be rewarded; sometimes this isn’t the case.

Some goals and dreams might be daunting and require so much from us to achieve them. It is easy to get discouraged at times when we think about everything we have to do or how long it will take to accomplish some of them. Sometimes it’s wiser to just take the first step and each day as it comes rather than focusing on the end picture and everything it will take to get there.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened unto you – Jesus

If there ever was anyone who was wise and had some great & profound things to say, it was Jesus.

As obvious as this quote is, we sometimes fail to realize that anything worth having requires effort and initiative on our parts. There are things that might be handed to us but for most, we have to merit by making things happen on our own and being proactive in ensuring that they happen.

You will only get some things if you ask for them, discover some things if you actively seek them and accomplish some dreams and be awarded some opportunities, if you pursue them. You hold the keys in your hands and are responsible for making things happen in your life.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck – Dalai Lama

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes what we deem as tragedies, misfortunes or injustices might sometimes just turn out to be blessings in disguise. At times what we want might not always be what we need or what is best for us.

Some doors that close on us are meant to remain closed and not forced open and some opportunities that are lost need to be let go. As long as we keep looking back at the past and what we believe to have lost, we miss out on the great things and opportunities that present themselves or are in store for us. The best things are never behind you but ahead of you.

Do what you can, where you can and with what you have – Theodore Roosevelt

Life is unpredictable and always presents challenges, inconveniences and enough to deal with. It is easy to use this as an excuse as to why we can’t get things done. We sometimes wait in vain for things to be right and for a perfect and more opportune time to present itself without realizing how slim the possibility of that is.

When you are willing to step out in faith and do things with what you can and with what you have, life will offer you the support you need and “miraculously” make things favorable for you. Just taking a simple action leads to more action and before you know it, what you deemed impossible materializes in front of your eyes. Time will never be perfect and neither will you, work with what you have.

Faith + Action – Doubts = Results

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Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.
Hebrews 11:1

I don’t know about you, but this faith stuff isn’t easy; anyone who says it is, is lying through their teeth. I am one of those people who likes to know that things will turn out in my favor or at least pan out well. I sometimes struggle with believing in the unseen, I am more of a seeing-is-believing kind of girl. I like to see supporting evidence…..I love the tangible!

I have come to realize, however, that faith plays the biggest role in determining the manifestation of a goal or dream. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faith as the belief in something or someone (especially with a strong conviction/without doubt). Faith is synonymous with belief and trust. Nothing is possible without belief and all things are possible when one believes.

When you believe in something with deep conviction, taking whatever action is required to ensure the manifestation of what you desire is easy because you don’t doubt your ability to bring it to pass or the possibility of it occurring. Your faith/belief becomes the driving force that propels you into action thus creating results.

Faith without action is, however, dead. No matter how strong your conviction is and how much you believe in something, nothing will materialize into tangible results if you don’t take the necessary action required. Rather obvious statement, but something that is often overlooked or taken for guaranteed; for things to happen, you must ACT.

Perhaps, like a majority of people you day dream about winning the lottery someday, living a life of no want and finally being able to tell your boss to take his job and shove it. Well, despite the slim odds of becoming a millionaire overnight happening, you have to regularly play the game to win it, you have to buy a lottery ticket to increase your odds; that is the action you have to take.

Maybe your clothes are starting to fit tightly and you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror. You know that you need to lose weight; in fact it has been on the top of your new year’s resolution list year after year and yet you continue to struggle with it. Well, it’s never going to change unless you get serious about taking some action towards achieving this goal. If getting off the couch, changing your eating habits and signing up for a gym membership is what you have to do, then do it.

No matter how mundane or profound your goal or desire, unless you are willing to take the necessary action(s) to turn it into tangible results, all that goal and desire will ever be is, wishful thinking. Talking about it, dreaming about it and even telling others about it won’t make an iota of a difference; what will, is taking action.

Action with doubts is futile and won’t produce any tangible results either. When a farmer sows seeds, he expects to reap a crop. He takes the necessary actions that involve, watering the seeds, fertilizing the soil and pruning weeds as soon as they come up, to ensure that his seeds are in an environment that will allow their maturity.

He knows and believes without a shadow of a doubt that in due time he will reap a harvest. He doesn’t dig up the soil to see if the seeds are indeed germinating or take up camp on his farm so that he can witness first hand their growth. He knows that as long as he does what he is required to do, he can trust nature to do its part; he can trust in the process.

And so it is with our desires as well, as long as we act in our faith and don’t allow our doubts to discourage us and stop us midway our goals because results aren’t evident or are taking longer than we would like; we too can be assured that results are imminent…our actions will turn into results, we too, shall reap.

For today, continue to believe in your dreams, continue to take the necessary action and continue to trust the process!

5 Quotes That Everyone Should Know

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events ; small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt

It has often been said that we become like the people we surround ourselves with. Surround yourself with development-minded, progressive people who believe in and support your dreams and with whom you can bounce off ideas and brainstorm with.

Limit your interactions with naysayers and people who try to dissuade you from following your dreams and find pleasure in only talking about and doing things that don’t add value to your life.

Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem  – Anonymous 

How one chooses to react to situations usually demonstrates one’s true nature. People who magnify problems tend to blow things out of proportion and make things worse then they need to be.

Choose to be proactive rather than reactive when faced by situations that challenge you or throw you a curve ball. This will help you not only develop character but also help you become a better and not bitter person.

The only place where success comes before work, is in the dictionary – Vidal Sasson

Nothing worth having comes easy. You have to work for, put forth effort and be willing to do what it takes to make your goals and dreams a reality.

People don’t value things that are handed to them or for which they haven’t merited and tend to take them for granted since they haven’t struggled or made sacrifices to earn them.

If you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it; teach yourself to be impatient. – Gurbaksh Chahal

It is said that good things come to those that wait, well, better things come to those who go out and get them.

We have to develop a healthy sense of urgency when it comes to pursuing our goals and dreams. Some opportunities don’t last a lifetime or present themselves often and have to be grasped as soon as they present themselves.

Don’t sit around waiting for the right time, make the time right, yourself.

When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect – Mark Twain

We need to be independent thinkers who aren’t easily swayed or influenced by others, even if it sometimes means rocking the boat and being the odd man out.

It’s okay to hold different opinions and not agree with things if you don’t feel they are right or resonate with your truth. Stand for something or you will fall for anything!

 

There’s No Time Like The Present!!!

Time

The recent attack at Kenya’s Garissa University reminded me of just how unpredictable and fragile life is. It can’t be said that the innocent victims were at the wrong place at the wrong time for they were indeed at the right place at the right time doing what they had probably dreamed of for some time; pursuing a long term goal and trying to secure a brighter future for themselves.

For some, being admitted at the University was most likely a dream come true and for others a rite of passage. Some were probably the first in their family to attend University while others, their family’s only hope for a better life. Whatever, the case, on that fateful day they lost their lives; many dreams and promises died as well.

Yesterday is the past and can never be re-lived, while tomorrow is in the future and cannot be guaranteed. Today, the present; is surely but a gift because it’s the only day we really have control over and can truly live in. It’s sad though because we have become so accustomed to taking life for granted and thinking that time will always be available to us.

We go to bed each night without much care for “tomorrow” and with the assumption that we will be present to witness the following day. Some people didn’t have the privilege of waking up & seeing today, the story of their life came to an end.

Life is unpredictable; it can change in a split second, usually without warning and completely turn our world upside down. We have come to accept the terrible lie that time is on our side. I am here to tell you that it isn’t. We postpone things for tomorrow that we could easily take care of today, put things on the back burner with the hope that we will re-visit them someday and allow ourselves to pass up opportunities because we believe they will present themselves again someday. Well, someday is here, someday is today.

It has been said that time wasted can never be recovered. Once a day has passed, it is gone forever and with it sometimes, the opportunity to accomplish things we have been putting off. One of the biggest regrets people share while on their death beds is having not lived a life that was true to them.  Are you currently living a life that is true to YOU? Are you content with your life or do you feel like there’s a lot lacking in it?

We are so conditioned to just going through the motions and doing things for the sake of doing them, usually without giving much thought to whether what we are doing is really what we want to be doing. We give priority to things that don’t add value to our lives while sometimes ignoring and not giving much attention to the things we need to focus on. What is your purpose for living?

A life of regret is a sad existence. There are people lying in hospital beds today who wish they had embraced life more when they had the chance to and others making promises to start being more true to themselves when they regain their health. You have the gift of health on your side; do things while you can and while you still have the strength to.

What have you been putting off? What dream(s) have you put on the back burner? Maybe it’s finally time for you to go back to school, pursue your passion, let go of that habit that doesn’t serve you or start that business venture you’ve been meaning to. Perhaps it’s time for you to stop worrying about what others are doing or not doing with their lives and start worrying about and focusing on yours.

Life keeps moving whether we choose to move with it or not. It will never stop in an attempt to help you catch up or do the things you need to do. Know that it’s never too late for you to finally start living your life. Don’t wait until Monday, the start of a new month or to make it next year’s resolution. Do it now, do it today….do it before it’s too late!!!

Carpe Diem – Seize the day.

 

 © Yvonne Kariba and http://www.schoolcalledlife.wordpress.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Yvonne Kariba and http://www.schoolcalledlife.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Purpose

Purpose

I have to admit that at some point, I was envious of people who seemed to have “mastered” life and appeared to be living purposefully. While I felt like I was wandering through life like a nomad in no specific direction, they seemed to have figured out their purpose and calling and were living the fulfilled life I so much craved.

I imagined I must have been out to lunch the day God handed out purposes and as a result missed out on mine; I seriously believed I had been overlooked. It wasn’t until I learned that every single thing and person in existence has a distinct purpose that I finally got really excited about life and determined to discover mine.

Every human being craves significance & relevance and wants to feel that their life is meaningful. In his book, Unleash your Purpose, Myles Munroe states “the greatest tragedy in life is not death, but life without purpose.” It’s no wonder so many people feel empty and are dissatisfied with their lives.

A life lived without purpose not only feels empty  but can be life-draining as well. Until we discover our purpose for living, we will waste a great deal of time, money and energy in the pursuit of things that won’t bring us fulfillment or happiness and serve only to delay our true calling in life.

Your purpose and assignment in life is unique to you, only you can fulfill it and are perfect for it. God has equipped you and instilled in you everything you need to fulfill his intended purpose for your life in way of the talents, gifts, qualities, characteristics, abilities and skills you possess.

What comes naturally for you? What are you really good at? What are you passionate about or derive satisfaction doing? What do people compliment you on often? These are some questions, along with deep contemplation that can help you determine your purpose. You will find that what you love and desire to do naturally is often what you were born to do.

Often times we compare ourselves with others and feel like we don’t measure up and try to emulate others without realizing that we all have something special to offer, we have a contribution to make in life.

We limit ourselves in thinking that since we don’t have the most obvious and sought after talents such as singing, acting, dancing and so on, that we really don’t have much to offer at all. I guess that’s the real reason behind celebrity fascination, their lives seem larger than life and their talents/gifts so obvious and “exciting”.

It’s easy to feel like we are pale in comparison when we idolize others so much and fail to recognize our own significance. Your talents, skills and gifts might not be as grand, glamorous and attention-grabbing or even land you on Forbes World’s richest list but they are important nonetheless.

Never underestimate yourself or the difference you can make in the lives of others. Know that while you are waiting on life to reveal to you your calling, life is also waiting for you to finally discover why you are here and really start living life.

Along with your purpose comes the provision with which to fulfill it. Once you determine your purpose and choose to actively pursue it, doors will open for you that will enable you to do what you have been called to do. You will receive provision through guidance and ideas or encounter people and circumstances that will facilitate the manifestation of your purpose and help bring it to fruition.

Rest assured that you were created for a divine reason, are extremely significant and that God does indeed have a purpose and plan for your life.

© Yvonne Kariba and http://www.schoolcalledlife.wordpress.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Yvonne Kariba and http://www.schoolcalledlife.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.