Entrusted Gifts

I don’t want to waste my life.  I don’t want to waste the gifts that have been entrusted to me.  This is the fuel that keeps the fire burning within me.  I don’t want to waste anything that has been given to me.  NOTHING.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  I know it is so easy to slack off, so easy to let up, so easy to slip into, give into, laziness.  It’s so easy to take this life for granted, so easy to take the gifts we have been entrusted with, for granted.  It’s so easy to become complacent, to allow mediocrity to rule our lives.  So easy to waste time, gifts, and opportunities.  We have to fight!  We have to realize what God has given us!  The gifts, the talents, the abilities.  The breath to breathe today, to live today, to serve today.  TODAY is a gift.  This life is a GIFT.  We must fight the natural pull, the natural tendency to live comfortable.  We must fight the natural pull to let our guard down.  This life is so very short!  There are no promises, no guarantees.  We must live relentless.  We must take our entrusted gifts and refine them, work on them, use them!  Use them to help others.  To build others up.  Be thankful for what you have.  Be thankful for what has been entrusted to you.  Live life fully.  Put in the work.  Change lives!

Stuck

So many people are stuck.  Stuck in the past.  Stuck in how it used to be.  Who they used to be.  So many people are stuck in this life.  They are going nowhere.  They are accomplishing nothing.  Their life is empty.  Meaningless.  Dead.  There is no substance.  There is no purpose, passion, or enthusiasm.  People have no foundation.  They live to just make it through “another” day.  There is no growth.  No maturity.  No learning.  Stuck people are delusional.  Many think they are good.  They have it together, all figured out.  They don’t.  Their pride has blinded them.  Their pride has stunted their ability to grow, change, adapt.  They think they know.  They rest in what they have done, who they used to be.  Stuck.  Stuck in the past.  Stuck within themselves.  Stuck in the comfort of what they have always done, been, and known.  I have been around so many of these people, stuck people.  I have family members who are stuck.  Co-workers who are stuck.  It is a scary place to be.  It is a scary thing to witness, to watch.  Someone who lives stuck.  Someone who doesn’t recognize they are living stuck, wasting their life.  The majority of people in this life are, in fact, stuck.  It is a very few who are not.  I fear becoming stuck.  I fear becoming blinded by my own pride, my own arrogance, my own comfort.  No one is above this.  No is above becoming stuck.  Above the comfort of their pride.  God help us please!  I never want to live comfortable.  I never want to live prideful.  I never want to allow myself to become stuck.  It is a constant fight.  A daily battle.  Each and every day we must force ourselves beyond ourselves.  Force ourselves into the uncomfortable.  The fearful.  The difficult.  You can’t become stuck in the past, if you are constantly challenging the future.  Constantly challenging yourself.  You won’t become stuck if you allow yourself to learn.  If you allow yourself to be tested.  If you allow yourself to let go.  Life is not about you.  Life is about others.  Life is an opportunity to serve, love, and positively impact others.  An opportunity to encourage others, challenge others.  Build others up.  Life is about living.  Living full.  Living today.  Living in the present.  Focused on the present.  Where are you today?  Where is your mind?  Your heart?  Your soul?  Are you stuck?  Are you blind?  Are you alive?  Do you even care?  Wherever you are, you have put yourself there.  You have chosen.  It is your choice.  You can always change.  What will you choose?

Talk is Cheap

Nobody cares about what you say.  Talk is cheap.  Everyone is talking.  Everyone has something to say.  People give their opinions, even when they have no opinion to give.  Talk is an addiction.  People are addicted to talking.  Addicted to hearing themselves talk.  Our culture pays people to talk.  We pay to listen to people talk.  It is CRAZY!  Words.  Words.  Words.  Empty, unprofitable words.  Most people have no clue what they are saying.  They just spew.  Talking is easy.  It is natural.  It’s what we do.  It’s what we get rewarded for from a very young age.  Literally, people celebrate our first word.  Our first words.  We are rewarded, applauded for speaking.  Scary.  Words have meaning, obviously.  They can be powerful.  Helpful.  Talk has its place.  The problem is, talk without action is waste.  Words are weakened absent action.  People want to see who you are by your life lived, not by the words you speak.  Talk is easy.  Taking action is hard.  Doing, being, is hard.  Living a life of doing, being, is powerful!  Allowing your life to speak rather than your words is uncommon.  Different.  Refreshing.  I want to be a man of action.  A man of doing.  Of being.  A man who lives a loud, full life.  A life that leads.  We desperately need men and women who lead by their lives, and not their words.  We desperately need parents, teachers, and coaches, who are willing to set aside their agendas, and are willing to lead our youth.  The next generation.  We need people to shut up, and lead by living, NOT talking!

A Different Path

I am a kid walking down a different path.  I have always been this kid.  I have always walked down a different path.  I can’t explain it.  I really don’t get it.  There is something deep within my soul that drives me to be different.  Something deep within my soul that won’t allow me to be satisfied with normal.  Satisfied with living a life of mediocrity.  I don’t want to be like anyone else.  I don’t want to model my life after another man.  I want to be me.  I want to live my life.  The life God created me to live.  I am an individual.  I want to live out my individuality.  I want to share, and express my individuality.  I want to give.  I want to give my life.  Fully.  Passionately.  Relentlessly.  I want to be faithful.  Faithful in the little things.  I want to be committed.  Patient, yet aggressive.  I want to be focused.  Disciplined.  I have followed the wrong people in the past.  I have gotten caught up in stupidity.  I have allowed myself to abandon myself.  I have tried to be someone I am not.  It sucks.  I regret it.  It’s embarrassing for me to look back upon.  Pathetic.  But, I learned.  I am learning.  I am who I am right now, because of the past.  I want to continue to learn.  I will continue to learn.  I have a hunger, a thirst to learn.  To grow.  To mature.  To lead.  To be a positive, impactful example.  I am a failure.  It is surreal to be growing older.  It’s hard for me to think about being close to 31 years old.  In my heart and mind, I am just a kid.  A small-town kid from NW Iowa.  I am an adult.  I have been for a long time.  But I am still a kid.  I will always be a kid.  A kid walking down a different path.

The Standard

Be the Standard.  Hold the Standard.  People will come.  People will go.  They know the standard.  They know what to expect.  What will be expected of them.  Some will rise to the standard.  Some will exceed the standard.  Some will set a new standard.  AWESOME.  Most will turn away.  Give up.  Quit.  Will never even start, begin, or make the attempt.  The standard will be too high.  Too hard.  Too time-consuming.  You can’t control others.  You can’t control their choices, their decisions.  You can’t live a life for someone else.  You have to live your life.  You are responsible for your life.  Responsible to live your life fully.  To be the standard.  To hold the standard.  To lead others by your example, by the life you live each day.  You have been given, so that you can give.  You don’t have to fear being different.  Fear standing out.  Fear the opinions of others.  Be you.  Do you.  Be the standard.  Hold the standard.  Boldly.  Fearlessly.  Relentlessly.  Patiently.

Consistency Counts

Just keep showing up.  Keep putting in the work.  Keep stepping.  Keep grinding, by faith.  Day after day after day.  Don’t allow yourself to lose too much ground.  Don’t allow yourself to veer too far to the left or the right.  Just keep moving forward, relentlessly, consistently.  Consistency counts.  You don’t have to be the fastest, brightest, strongest, biggest, smallest, most educated, best trained etc. etc., just simply, be the most CONSISTENT!  BE CONSISTENT!  Consistency in life is often over-looked, under-valued, under-appreciated.  Often, forgotten.  Everyone wants what they want, RIGHT NOW.  They want the flash, the bang, the bright lights, the glory and recognition, RIGHT NOW.  Most want the rewards without the work, without the consistent work and effort.  Most don’t want to wait, they don’t want to allow life to unfold as it should.  They don’t want to endure the process, they just want the result.  Life doesn’t work that way.  Life generally doesn’t care about what YOU want, when YOU want it, or how YOU want it.  Life generally doesn’t reward the impatient, but the patient.  Life generally doesn’t reward the inconsistent, but the consistent.  There are things to be learned, to be gained, and attained throughout this life.  Lessons that NEED to be learned, gained, and again, attained.  Life will teach you these lessons, IF, YOU, are willing to learn.  And more often than not, life’s lessons are taught over time.  Consistent time.  When life wants to teach us, not necessarily when we want to be taught.  Consistency is powerful.  Consistency produces results.  Consistency definitely works!  Consistency isn’t easy.  It takes discipline.  It takes effort.  Focus.  Concentration.  Dedication.  Humility.  Willingness.  You have to be willing to suffer.  Be willing to pay now, not later.  Everyday.  You have to be willing to put in the work, time, and grind consistently to get where you want to go.  To become who you want to become.  You have to be willing to live in the dark, toil in the dark, so that eventually, possibly,  you may reach the light.  You have to be willing to spend years in last, to eventually, possibly, reach 1st.  Not always “fun.”  Not always “enjoyable.”  NOT EASY.  Not recognized.  Not promoted.  BUT, always worth it.  The process of consistency is always worth it.  The learning, the gaining, the attaining, the growing, the maturing, the refining, through the process of a consistent life, is always worth it.  In the end, consistency will ALWAYS count!

Be Willing to Listen…….

The moment you stop listening, is the moment you will stop growing.  Learning.  Maturing.  Expanding.  Evolving.  You stop moving forward.  Progressing.  You must be willing to listen.  I must be willing to listen, IF we want to lead people.  IF, we want to positively impact people.  IF, we want to add value to this world.  We MUST be willing to listen!  We do not have all the answers.  We do not have it all together, this life all figured out.  We need to be willing to listen to others.  Be willing to listen to what others have to say.  Their ideas, suggestions, corrections, possible solutions.  Different people, see the world through different lenses.  They see the world through a different light.  Each of us offers a unique and different perspective.  By listening to others, we can gain a wealth of insight, a wealth of knowledge.  Insight and knowledge that we can use to become better humans.  Insight and knowledge that we can use to help others become better.  Through listening, we can also gain an understanding of how we DO NOT want to live out this life.  Having a willingness to listen, exudes humility, strength, and confidence.  It shows a hunger for learning, growth, and a desire to want to become the best version of ourselves.  Having a willingness to listen, above all else, makes it clear to others, that you care.  Don’t be the arrogant prick who doesn’t listen.  The guy who thinks he knows, thinks he has it all figured out, when everyone around you knows, you clearly don’t.  Don’t be an idiot.  Don’t be a fool.  People know.  You know.  Be real.  Be vulnerable.  Be willing.  Willing to listen to others.  Willing to learn.  Humble yourself.  We need to humble ourselves.  We need to be willing to allow others into our lives.  Be willing to be wrong.  Be willing to be right.  We need to be open.  We need to be willing to change.  Adjust.  Correct.  We need to listen.  Be willing to listen.  Willing to apply.  Grow.  Mature.  Expand.  Evolve.  Positively impact lives.  Positively impact the world.  Live a life of adventure.  Live a life of light.  Live a life of love.  WE NEED TO BE WILLING TO LISTEN.