"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why we call it 'The Present'."
Trust is such as delicate thing. We can’t see it but it is clear when it is present or lacking. There are many different levels of trust; the higher the level the more painful the hurt when it is violated. Trust is a very simple word but the experience of it is remarkably complex. Too much of it can be dangerous and too little of it results in a miserable life. How can we find the balance? How can we make the right decisions with trust?
For many of us the negative events and experiences in our pasts create barriers when it comes to trusting others. Very often we are so concerned with protecting ourselves and our feelings that we miss out on great opportunities because we won’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We have all had unpleasant things happen in our lives that give us a need to act with caution, here are some tips I use to make decisions on trust:
Regardless of your religious beliefs it is an undeniable fact that the Bible is full of nuggets of wisdom that are applicable to everyone. One such pearl is found in Matthew 7:13-14 when Jesus encourages His followers to "Enter by the narrow gate..." which, while difficult, leads to life. Aside from spiritual connotation, this guidance is both relevant and profound for all people who seek to have an impact on the world around them and, since you are reading this, I believe you are such a person.
So what does it mean to "enter by the narrow gate"? Generally speaking, it means not to follow the crowd. It means to do what you know is right; to follow your heart and what you believe in even when it goes against the grain of everyone around you. We, as people, have a natural inclination to want to fit in. We want to feel like we are a part of something whether that's a family, a peer group, a team, etc. Our desire to feel like we belong is so strong that it can become detrimental to us. Once we feel we belong to a group we often follow the direction of that adopted group whether for the good or for the bad. This primal need is how children get caught up in gangs and eager young professionals get involved in corporate scandals, they just wanted to fit in.
This desire to follow the crowd is a subconscious, innate need. Scientific research has shown that on public transportation and on major highways the majority of passengers and cars are always in the center; the closer you get the the extremes the fewer people you find. Isn't this true of life? Start paying attention as you go about your days. When shopping in stores there's always more people in line at the center registers, always more people in the center of the crowd at concerts, the homes at the center of neighborhoods often sell more quickly. Why? Because we like to fit in and belong. There's always comfort and a sense of security in the crowd for which we yearn. We like to take the "broad gate" so we don't stand out and so everyone accepts us. But, I venture to say, that if you follow this blog you are tired of that crowd and you are ready to stand out.
Building a strong legacy requires that you think and step outside of the box. That you challenge the norm and refuse to settle for the status quo. Sure, we all leave a memory of ourselves behind that is itself our legacy but, if you're like me, we want to have an impact beyond the job you worked or the house you lived in. I want to be remembered as a person who inspired people, who motivated people, and who helped them to strive to reach their greatest potential. I want to build future leaders of the world who work not only to change their families and communities but to change the nations. If I am to achieve these goals I MUST stand out; I CANNOT fit in with the crowd. And so I challenge you today to "enter by the narrow gate" in your life so that your legacy is one of great power and profound impact. Can I count on you?
I wanted to send out a heartfelt thank you for all of you who follow me at Journey to Legacy every week. When I started this blog it was just a means to building my brand but now I actually forward to writing. Each week I look forward to the challenge of choosing content that is thought-provoking, positive, and still fits the message of building legacy. I hope what I share adds to your life and you look forward to reading it.
The Journey to Legacy following has truly been greater than I ever expected. As of today Journey to Legacy averages the following each week:
868 total views per week
161 unique views per week
These numbers show that over 1000 people take time out of their schedules each week to visit the blog and actually read what I have to say. And you guys stuck with me during the weeks I didn't blog so the numbers actually grew instead of falling off... I'm speechless. I truly appreciate your support and hope that you continue to join me on my Journey to Legacy as you continue on your own. Be positive!
Positive Thinking takes conscious effort as you retrain your mind to minimize negativity. Trying to see good in everything and everyone can be a struggle some days so I want to highlight small moments of positivity that I see as I live day to day. These moments are featured as "Heart Smiles".
It's been a while since I did a Heart Smiles post so I thought I'd share something that I take for granted but am reminded of whenever I'm away from home for many days.
Some say that chivalry is dead. When women say it they are referring to men not opening doors, pulling out chairs, sharing their jackets, etc.; when men say it they are referring to the level of independence modern women demonstrate driven by the need to be treated equally. I say that there is a unique balance between the two where chivalry is alive and well and both genders are treated equally yet the roles are clear. I say this because I see it every week...at my church.
After having a hectic month and missing multiple church services in July I sat back this Sunday and my heart smiled as I watched chivalry live and in action. I've become used to it but I always notice it after I've been away from it. As soon as I arrived on the grounds I notice the men directing traffic, something our leaders won't allow women to do because it requires exposure to the elements and weather. Walking up to the doors I notice two men holding them open for everyone to enter and, once inside, I notice two women greeting everyone with a smile and a hug as they enter, a role reserved for women. Next I enter foyer where everyone is there fulfilling whatever duties are assigned to them. I see men on security, more women greeting, and both men and women providing information on various upcoming events and activities. Then I enter the sanctuary where both men and women serve as ushers directing people to their seats. I look around a see a sea of God's people, just as many men as there is women. As the service progresses I notice that every time a women goes up or down the stairs of the altar a man is there to hold her hand for support. After the choir finishes singing one man goes the the base of the stairs and holds the hand of each woman coming down while the other men wait patiently until all the women have descended. One man even waits as the female soloist finishes out the song ensuring that he is there to help her down the stairs when she is ready. My heart smiled at his attention and patience. After the service ended and I was leaving I noticed the doors being held open by two teenage boys as they followed the example set by them earlier in the day. And as I exited the same men directed traffic out of the parking lot as we all entered into the rest of the day. My heart smiled as I took in this demonstration of gender equality and chivalry all in one setting. This reminds me that it can be done and chivalry is not dead for those who choose to apply it. The example has been set, it's up to us to take it to the world.
It's been a while and, now that things are settling, I'm back and ready to share something I've learned: we're all a little "SUPER" but most of us are not committed enough or confident enough to use our power. Let me explain.
I share a lot with you about my Journey to Legacy and it's no secret that the past few years have been a roller coaster ride. This year, however, I decided that I refused to continue accepting the situation I was in and that change had to come and would come. Not eventually, not soon, but TODAY. Every day I committed my mind to the idea that the changes I needed would happen. And as days went by that nothing happened I woke up the next morning convinced it would happen that day until one day it finally did. I put my faith in God and the prayers I had prayed confident that change was coming today. Now, I think many of you do this as well, trying your best to stay positive and think good thoughts about the changes you want to see in your life. I found, however, that the problem is often that we stop right there and, for me, nothing changed until I took it a step further.
For the first time I completely committed to not allowing anyone or anything change my mind about my change. I didn't allow myself to get discouraged, I didn't allow rejection to set in, I shut down anyone's negative comments or statements of doubt. I even went as far as the stop communicating with anyone whose speech brought doubt into my mind, no naysayers in my head space. And every day it got easier and the fact that nothing had changed the day before carried less and less weight. And now, today, my change is one that has caused others to want change of their own and given them a desire to pursue it.
Ultimately, I learned how to use my "super" power: The Power to Change My Own Life. How did I do it? By changing the words I spoke and the thoughts I thought to only things I wanted in my life. I stopped being committed to the things I wanted to change and confidently committed myself to actually creating the change I wanted. And you can do it too. Tap into your Inner Super and see just how much your life changes.
Romaine A. Wright