The new you starts here

New doesn’t mean throwing out the old. Those mistakes, that failure are things you’d like to forget—but don’t. Becoming new means taking the old and learning from it, growing through it. Just as the flower dies in winter and feeds the seed in spring, your past helps your future bloom. Without the old, you cannot be new.

Happy New Year!


Recommended reading to become a new you in 2020 (some links are affiliates):

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***: Now his language is what it is as you can tell from the title, so if that is too distracting or offensive, skip on; but this is a refreshingly honest book about how to see life.
    On Writing: Imagine Stephen King writing a book on writing, and this is what you get. King shares his own story of how he became a writer and his tips on how he creates his masterpieces. Now, I’m not an incredible writer, but reading this has improved how I write.
    The Bible: For spiritual renewal, this book holds the greatest words for true refreshment, telling us the story of the one who loves you like no other and went to lengths to show you his love that no one else dare do.
    Mere Christianity: Here’s another book for your spirituality. C.S. Lewis was one of the worlds foremost thinkers, and in this book he explores Christianity honestly and intelligently.
    Sleep better: This post shares all that I do to help me sleep like a mummy every night. Up your sleeping game by reading this post.
    Get fit: In this post, I share my story of going from being obese to fit, even in midlife. I hope it inspires you to build healthier habits in your life and know that your worth it.
    Start a business: Here’s my story of how I started my first successful business. Believe me, if I could do it so can you.

I hope these find you well and better, friends.

May 2020 be our best year, yet!

The most important thing that should matter to you

What matters, really? Your life does. The very fact you get to breathe, wake up, chit chat with your neighbors is paramount. Without it everything else wouldn’t matter.

Another thing that matters are relationships, getting to be with loved ones, the people who really love you and whom you love—for whom you would die—and know.

And that’s when you know what really matters when you’re about to die. It’s ironic, really, that you often can’t see what matters in life until you reach the end of it. What really matters is invisible until you’re about to close your eyes for the last time. But don’t wait until then. That’s too late, damn it!

Why not wake up and live for what is worth dying for before you’ve spent your life living for something or someone you never intended? Don’t make that mistake! Do what’s important.

Start by imagining yourself on your deathbed, drawing your last breaths, dreading the inevitable. In that, what or who are you thinking about, caring about? That is what matters. Death is the key to life.

Because when nothing matters is when we realize what really should matter and that we made what shouldn’t have mattered matter.

That insult, that heartache by that lover we spent too many years fretting about, that partner who cheated us, that parent who failed us, that job we never cared for, that failure we made, that money we didn’t make, that party we weren’t invited to, that flaw we have don’t matter when compared to what really does.

And remember this.

You matter.

One of the best friends you should have

We are often our own worst enemy because we haven’t learned how to be our own greatest friend: We criticize ourselves when we should encourage, rage against when we should extend peace, yell at when we should listen, hate when we should love. We shouldn’t just be kind to ourselves; we need to support and believe in what we are doing, who you’re becoming.

The one thing you should never do

There are times when life tries to drag you down, crush you, take you out. And you’ll want to surrender.

Darkness will envelop you, swallow you whole, blind you.

You will crawl, cry, pray, choke, scream. But it won’t matter. You can’t change what happened.

And you’ll be tempted to think that it will always be this way that you’ll always be crawling around in the dark.

But no matter what happens, you must remember this.

Never give up.

 

 

You need to know that you’re more than just you

“Just” is a word we should use sparingly with ourselves. “I’m just a mom,” or “I’m just an employee,” or “I’m just a woman,” or “I’m just a child.”

“Just” limits you. It strips away the potential you have, what you can reach. You aren’t just you.

You are becoming, always. You are changing, growing, learning, experiencing. And if you aren’t doing that well, you can, anytime.

It’s a choice. Reaching your potential is always before you and you can choose it today, now.

You’re not just an associate; you can become a partner. You’re not just an employee; you can become an owner. You’re not just a mom; you’re molding the future. You’re not just a kid; you can be wise as a sage.

It will take work, risk, overcoming challenges, facing fears. But you can do it. You just have to do it, go through the pain, face the fear, read that book, glean that lesson.

“Just” doesn’t do you justice. It’s small and keeps you low. That’s just what it does.

You’re more than just the present you. You can always become the future you.

You’re never just you. You can become a better you. Choose it now.

Choose it always.

Are you living for the right person?

We all live for people. But are you living for the right person?

Maybe you became a buttoned-up lawyer because your parents “made” you, when you really wanted to be an artist in paint-covered jeans, flicking the perfect strokes like Bob Ross, but it was too “impractical.” Now, you’re miserable. 

Or, maybe you’re feeling frantic because you never say no. Everyone says that you’re so capable and competent, and you don’t want to let anyone down and cause them to think that you’re not as capable as they think you are. So you’re doing everything: PTA, church groups, Boy Scouts, working late, going out with friends. You go. You do. And as a result you’re beyond overcommitted, and, even worse, you’re burning out. 

Or, maybe you have a significant other whom you love, but you find yourself going wherever they go and doing whatever they do. And you have your own ideas, but you aren’t expressing them. You don’t want to cause waves. You don’t want them to stop thinking you’re the perfect person. So you keep going along with them even if it’s not your true self. 

All three examples are of people who make other people their meaning. 

Maybe you can relate? 

Meaning is the deepest root of our lives. It’s planted in our hearts and sprouts up the reason for our existence. And for many of us, what’s rooted in our hearts are people, others, parents, friends, even strangers. 

There’s one major problem with that. 

People are fickle and impossible to please. They change their minds, are emotional, get in funks, are funky. And saddest of all, they die. That makes trying to impute the meaning of our lives into people, even our loving parents, insufficient. People aren’t enough. 

Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. Parents, friends, others, should influence us. Their well-meaning words should be considered. We should take others’ advice.

But if you make your entire life about pleasing them, you are going to go for a ride you don’t want to go on. Because people are difficult to please—impossible, really—you won’t ever find them fully pleased by what you do. 

I’m also not saying that we should stop doing things to please people. If we do that, we probably wouldn’t keep a job, have friends, grow a marriage, be human. It’s natural to want to please people, good, even. And the reason we try to is found in this idea. 

We all want to be, not only accepted and loved, but favored. 

Many of us may not be familiar with that word, favor, but it’s what we really want, pine for. It’s more than just people saying that you’re good, or that they like you. Sure we want to be loved. But this is different than that, but not any less desired, needed.

You see, we’re dying to be seen. It’s that sense of recognition from your friends, colleagues, parents that you so desperately want, that they are not just looking at you, but see you. And they gush over you. They embrace you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. You aren’t just loved and accepted; they are proud of you. You are the apple of their eye, their treasure, treasured, esteemed. You are delighted in: Favored. 

But because we seek favor ultimately from people—fickle, inconsistent, and emotionally driven beings—we only get a nibble of what we truly want. It’s a morsel, not the meal; it’s the hors d’oerves, not the main course. It won’t satisfy our appetite because it’s not meant to. Without the entrée, it will frustrate us and leave us hungry. 

The issue that we run into with placing our meaning ultimately into the hands of people is that their hands are not big enough to hold it. 

What we should do is find the right person who can carry it. 

From my experience and learnings, the only person that is capable of carrying our meaning for us is God. 

He is the feast we are looking for. He is the person who can feed us what will truly satisfy. He’s not just the meal but also the dessert. He is ultimately the only person capable of carrying our meaning.

God is faithful, unchanging, consistent, true, good, loving, all-seeing, and all-knowing. He will not die. He is the ultimate person, with greater celebrity than Beyoncé and Jay-Z put together, more powerful than the US President, more royal than the Queen of England, and wealthier than Jeff Bezos. 

And he sees you

And all of the accolades, respect, honor, and fame that we pine for is found in spades in God. He’s the only true wellspring of favor. 

Root yourself in him.

He satisfies.