Rick Warren, author, speaker, and pastor, once said, “Transformation is a process. As life happens, there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery. There are moments on mountain tops and moments in deep valleys of despair.”
Lao Tzu on his perception of a journey said, “Do the difficult things while they are easy, and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Dreaming is the essence of life. Planning is essential. The real magic happens when we have a willingness to work on ourselves and have the will and perseverance to do the necessary things so we can ultimately realize those dreams.
It’s not hard to dream. It’s not difficult to formulate a plan. It’s not always easy to execute and to stay with it.
This is what the journey is all about.
Life is a series of decisions and a daily discipline. It’s doing things few people are willing to do in order to have or to accomplish things few ever accomplish.
Let me share with you what I see from this perspective, and 9 critical lessons from this journey called life.
1: Every experience offers an opportunity to learn or grow.
At a young age, I was abused and experienced unbecoming and tragic events. I did not want it, but it happened. Out of that came tremendous brokenness and emotional baggage I carried for many years.
As I’ve received healing, I have learned, grown, and been able to help many people. Even my most tragic experience produced a beautiful result in the end because I took what happened to me, and made it my mission to learn from it, grow from it, and ultimately add value to my life so I could add value to others.
2: Our greatest pain or challenge is oftentimes the building block(s) for our greatest contributions.
The thing you may see as disqualifying or disabling is actually your qualification to a greater good. The greatest pain you’ve ever experienced, the greatest challenge you’ve ever faced, if you steward the right way, most times becomes the framework for making a great contribution and a significant difference in our world.
3: God involves Himself in our lives to the degree we invite Him to.
God has plans for your life. The creator of the universe has very specific designs for your life. They’re for your good. They’re for your prosperity. They’re for your health and your wellness. They’re for you to make a significant impact through meaningful influence.
He will involve Himself in your journey only to the degree you allow Him to. The God of the universe desires to involve Himself in your life to help you to become, accomplish, to be the person He’s always known you had the capacity to be, but He will only involve Himself to the degree you allow Him.
4: Every level we attain in life has upper limits.
The best you’ve ever experienced is not the best you can experience because the level to which you attain where you experience that best has a ceiling. Once you arrive at that ceiling, the onus is upon you to recognize the time and the season to exist and operate on this level may be coming to an end.
There is always a new place to go to. You have to be willing to pursue the new level.
5: Not every relationship you have or have had in your life will make the transition with you to the new level.
You’ve got a lot of good people in your life, a lot of meaningful people, and you love them. When you decide to take your life, leadership, influence to a new level, not everyone is going to be willing to make the necessary adjustments so they successfully transition with you. In fact, not everybody wants you to go to the new level. When you do, it leaves them behind.
Sometimes you have to be willing to walk away in order to possess what’s on the other side.
6: What you are presently doing may not be what you are ultimately called to do.
It may simply be the classroom or the laboratory God has created for you so in that place He can work on you, and you can work on you so you’re ready for the thing when the thing shows up in your life.
Did you get that? What you’re doing today may not be the thing. It may be the pathway to the thing.
7: What you do is not who you are.
I know you’ve heard this before, but most of us wrap our identity in what we do. We place our identification in tasks we perform, jobs we do, or the company we work for. The challenge is to pursue understanding in a deeper identity of who we are.
Who are you? Why are you here?
8: If you’re wearing yourself out, you’re probably doing the wrong thing.
You’re probably involved in something you should not be doing. I don’t mean sin, reproach, or bad behaviors. I’m talking job, vocation, career. If you’re burned out, stressed out, unhappy, miserable, that’s a good indication that is not your highest and best use. That is not the place God created you to be functioning in.
9: Striving is not succeeding.
If you are striving, if what you’re doing is hard work, over the top, I would suggest you’re no longer operating out of a place of rest or faith. If you’re no longer operating out of faith, there is no grace to do the things you’re doing.
When in faith, there is a bona fide heavenly grace that comes to empower, give the strength, the impetus, the wisdom to do what you’re doing.
If you ever get outside of faith, you get into striving. If you’re in striving, there is no grace. Do what you were created to do. If you’re striving, reevaluate.