I’d like to deviate from the football theme today and just express some thoughts. Thoughts about our journey here on earth, focusing on our journey from pressure to promotion.
I live in Huntington Beach, CA, about a mile from one of the best beaches in the U.S.A. One of my favorite things to do is walk along the beach in the morning or at sunset, taking in the fresh ocean air, watching the surfers bob up and down along the waves, but most of all, I love the sound of the surf. I find it to be just the right place for praying and pondering…you know, just getting a lot of the inside gunk worked out.
Just the Facts Ma’am
I’ve been downsized three times in the past nine years. I’ve decided I don’t want to go back into the corporate world – the entrepreneurial life is the life for me. Along the way though is pressure…pressure to support myself, pressure to pay for my own medical insurance, pressure to just survive sometimes. Self-bossing is not for the faint-hearted.
I want to share what my journey has taught me, in hopes it will encourage you in whatever pressured place you find yourself in.
1. Start and end your day with an attitude of gratitude. The first thing I do in the morning is thank God I was granted the privilege of waking up. Some people didn’t even get to do that. Every day I wake up is a gift I’ve been given and I need to value that gift like the priceless treasure it is.
Every meal I eat, however humble, is greeted with a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving because many people are starving in the world. Sometimes, it’s a matter of living in the moment and thanking God that I’m o.k. that moment.
2. Do SOME kind of exercise every day. Whether it’s walking up and down stairs a few times, through your block or apartment sidewalks, or maybe even doing jumping jacks in your living room, something is better than nothing. It will get the endorphins pumping in your brain and that alone will make you feel better and will also help you sleep better. Making better food choices will help you feel more energized as well.
3. Know that your choices make a difference. Every moment, every circumstance, every personal encounter requires a choice. It has been said that you are the sum of your choices, and when under pressure, the choices you make shape your minutes, hours, days, and ultimately your life. Choose thoughts that fill your brain with hope and happiness.
Ask yourself, “Am I successful in my depression and isolation?”
“Is that thinking helpful?”
As the Bible says, “this day I set before you life and death…choose life.”
If you have a personal relationship with God, you can choose to focus your thoughts on His love and goodness. It’s my power source for trying times as well as good times. As they say in my church, “Why you trippin’ if God’s got yo back?”
4. Choose your friends wisely. I have three close friends who are my greatest supporters and confidants. When I’m in the pit of doubt over ever seeing my goals and aspirations fulfilled, I know who to call. Albeit, three very different perspectives, but three doses of wise counsel. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for these friends…actually, I tell them so. When you’re feeling pressured, reach out and call someone, the RIGHT someone.
5. Kill doubt. How often do you give life to your doubt? Do you feed it daily with negative thoughts and replaying the same old mental record? Doubt destroys your destiny. It keeps you stuck and stagnant. Don’t kill your dreams with doubt. Are you willing to sacrifice death of your doubt for an abundant, productive life?
Under pressure, we become indestructible – like a diamond – which only becomes a diamond through pressure, heat, and time. Promotion comes when we’ve allowed the pressure, heat, and time to mold a multi-faceted, impenetrable spirit, abundantly abiding in our own body. Indestructible from the forces that seek to destroy it.
Promotion to a higher level of thinking comes from practicing the five steps above on a daily basis. It’s a process and certainly not an easy one. Take the tender garden of promotion and plant seeds of gratefulness, exercise, productive choices, and wise friends while killing the weeds of doubt to yield a higher mental altitude. What have you got to lose?