Love somebody…

“Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward.”

Princess Diana

Fear, doubt and worry are all ultimately rooted in self. What is going to happen to me? How will I manage if something bad happens? Granted, you might be worried about others and what the implications are for them, but the center of the worry is a focus on self.

Instead of devoting energy today to things that are outside of your control, instead focus on finding someone else to love. Give a part of yourself away. It can be as simple as a smile to another person to another person on the street, paying for the meal of the person in the drive-thru line behind you, picking up groceries for a neighbor that isn’t able to leave their home, etc.

The point is to intentionally and purposefully find ways to give a tiny piece of yourself away. Look for ways to do good. Seek opportunities to serve. Focus on what you can do for someone else. Not because of what you are going to get in return, but because we all share the same human condition of being slaves to self. Follow the principle Paul spoke of in his letter to the church of Corinth.

‘Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. ‘

2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Break those bond of slavery to self through fear, doubt and worry and seek to sow the seeds of love in your actions today.

Love what you are doing…

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

Pelé

There truly is no such thing as an “overnight success.” Sure, luck or chance can play a role, but one has to be ready for those opportunities when they arise. You can’t look at someone who happened to win the lottery as successful. Winning the lottery isn’t success, that is just being incredibly lucky against the odds, though based on all the research on the unhappiness of lottery winners I am not certain it is all that lucky…

Soccer star Pele in action during World Cup competition.

I think it is important to remember that “success” is, or should be, internally defined, not externally defined based on whatever the world has decided success should look like. An artist who devotes their life to capturing a certain quality of light in their paintings is successful if they achieve their goal and are happy with the result. They might never sell a single painting, but they weren’t working and sacrificing in order to sell their work, they invested their time, effort and energy because they loved the work itself.

How do you define success? Is it through the lens of the modern world? Money, fame, fortune? Or is your definition of success based on something internal and intrinsic to oneself? Can you consider yourself successful if you are never rich and famous? What is it that you want to achieve, and will follow the recipe mentioned in this quote above to accomplish?

Regardless of how you define success, and what it is that you want to achieve, you can’t get there without demonstrating the attributes of “hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” These principles apply to everything in life, your marriage, your hobbies, your family relationships, your work, your projects, etc.

What stands out to me the most is this, if you don’t “love what you are doing or learning to do,” you are going to have a hard time generating the energy necessary to do all the other things required to make yourself successful.

Take the time to define your success and ensure that you truly love what it is you are doing. Then the hard work won’t feel quite so hard.

Find your purpose, and live it…

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

John Irving

What is it that you love to do? Have you found a way to make a living from it? So many people in this world have “jobs” that they do to simply earn a living. If you can find the beautiful intersection between a calling, a passion, and God gifted purpose you are a lucky soul indeed.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Perhaps you aren’t lucky at all, perhaps you are just blessed…

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