Life Prepares You for the Journey

Happy New Year!

I realized something over the holidays, life works itself out. What I do at RT Consulting is specialize in marketing plans, which requires me to forecast months and quarters ahead for client goals. When the holidays were “planned”, my role slows down as business carries on. Through the holiday, I realized life prepares you for the journey.

One day I was working in the morning and had a play date with my nephew in the afternoon. The plan was to get work done early, play in the afternoon, his mom (my sister) pick him up, and get more work done. Easy enough.

We went to the playground and I brought a pen and notebook to write my thoughts as I had one eye on him. After a few minutes of writing, I found myself playing “monster” on the playground with him and the other kids. When I got tired, I sat down and soaked in the atmosphere. Another parent got of his phone and he started where I left off. It was a magical experience.

When it was time to leave, my nephew asked me to carry him on my back. He is six and over 40 pounds. Sure he could have walked, but I’m his favorite aunt and I know he is young only a short while. I carried him home a mile away. It wasn’t easy but it made his day.

Life - Journey

Fast forward to today. I was leaving a client’s office when I was asked to take some equipment out of the office for an event. I had to carry it to my car. Guess what? The equipment was actually lighter than my nephew, which made the process easier.

During another client meeting I was asked what my resolutions were for 2015. When I was at the park the day before, I wrote down:

Be present – focus on what is in front of you

Be proactive – step out of your comfort zone and unwind when it is time

Be prayerful – find peace in between the now and not yet

as my focus for the upcoming year. My writing has turned into action and shaped my meeting with campus leader and friend, Sarah Greenwald.

I was prayerful prior to our meeting and definitely present with her in the time we spent together. We shared stories since we last met and it was great. I wasn’t “clock watching” or worried about my next meeting. It was great to be in the moment with her.

What does all this have to do with life and our individual journeys?

Maybe we are supposed to go after what our heart desires until we find peace. Keep searching for what brings value to you and your purpose. Peace brings the assurance that propels our path for what lies ahead. It is the process from searching from within that prepares us for the world. We may not have all the answers or timelines figures out, but what we face today prepares us for the journey for what lies ahead.

 

 

I am Free

I woke up this morning in a funk realizing I have slacked off on a goal I had set for myself. The problem with my goals I set for myself is I immediately want to see results. I want to see progress now. Everything around me has wired me to think I can get “instant gratification” when in fact; things do not always work out that way.

Instead of staying in a slump, I realized I am free to start over. I am free to try again. I am free to live by a new set of rules to help push me further than giving up completely. Once I admit I slipped up, I am free to focus on why I set the goal in the first place:

be better tomorrow than I am today.

This clarity and new-found freedom is a beautiful thing.

Don’t let bumps in the road deter you from finishing the journey. Get up and get moving again!

The Wonderful, Awkward Truth of Online Networking

With a college degree behind me, letters after my name, and a killer resume I was certain I would find a job sooner than later. Unfortunately, it is much harder than it used to be. The economy this, the economy that… it has become “who you know” in a dog eat dog world.

I have had the privilege of meeting great people through the steps I took in practicing networking, which I would recommend to anyone to start now and stick to it! What I failed to mention in my blogging about my experiences in networking is that there are boundaries that come with differentiating people as friends and as contacts.

The hard lesson I learned is a contact can become a friend, but a contact is not always your friend. Please let me elaborate. Most of the contacts I have met have been through networking events, mutual friends or other contacts, jobs, or internships. The key word is met.

For a contact I find on LinkedIn or Twitter, I am communicating with them but have not met them yet. If the communication leads to a meeting, then the connection can evolve. If a meeting does not happen, then do not force it. If I have met him or her already, the communication has a familiar setting.

There is no right or wrong way to network with someone and genuinely want to stay in communication with him or her. The friendships will form naturally, while contacts are there to promote you in support of what you are going for in life. It would be awesome if your friend was in your contact list and was supporting you in your career choices as well, but this does not always happen. We are all human with similar thoughts and feelings. Do not take the boundaries to heart or allow them to get you discouraged. Some contacts are as friendly and eager to help you as you are to them. In the end, some people just might surprise in a positive way.

Signs to tell if Your Contact is Just a Contact:
• He or she is not a friend on Facebook.
• You only know him or her on social networking sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Triberr, Pinterest, etc.)
• You have sent a thank you card to them for helping you out. (e.g. referring you, job lead, advice, etc.)
• You have asked if he or she can introduce you to another contact within the same job or field (if you know he or she already knows the contact).
• Contact mentions the communication between you and him or her has crossed the line or has become inappropriate.
• Contact does not respond to your e-mails, phone calls, or letters. Ever.
• Contact responds to you and asks you to refrain from communicating with them again.
• Contact repeatedly asks how you know him or her.

Signs Your Contact can become a Friend:
• You want or have added him or her as a friend on Facebook.
• You want to call him or her and invite them to lunch to catch up.
• You schedule time to catch up over the phone if lunch is impossible.
• You update him or her on your interests or changes in direction you are taking.
• Contact is receptive to your communication efforts.
• Contact asks specifics how the last update you gave is progressing.
• Contact accepts your friend request on Facebook, follows you on Instagram, follows you on Twitter, recommends on you on LinkedIn.
• Contact encourages you with your concerns and experiences.

What are some ways you have differentiated a contact from a friend? Or have evolved a contact into a friendship?

This is a foray into some honest discussion about stuff we’ve all encountered in the age of online networking. If you haven’t encountered any of this, you’re either a master of digital socialism or not trying hard enough.

This article was originally crafted and published in May on the Ad Buzz.

I’ll Tell You Once, I’ll Tell You Twice

If you have experienced déjà vu, then you can relate to what is going to be said in this post. If you haven’t, déjà vu is an occurrence or illusion of experiencing something that was encountered for the first time. This is to suggest that the realization comes from the real event taking place reflecting on the thought that it had previously occurred. Others might call this intuition or fate taking its course, but I believe it’s God giving me guidance.

Reading those words might shake up some people, but be patient with me. For as long as I could remember, I always had this insight before I took any action. I would be lost in thought and something would interrupt my thoughts, which took my previous thoughts further. To give an example, I will share a story with you.

A few weeks back, I was working in the front office and a female customer came up wanted to play lotto. As she got her tickets out to check, she made a gesture to pray but in a way I knew that was not sincere. Ok, most people would not think twice about this but I am not like most people. I started to think to myself and knew she was not really mocking God, and then something gave me the thought it was possible she was lacking true faith that goes behind her prayers. At first I ignored my thoughts, but as I told her she had did not win any money, she said, “Well the Lord doesn’t want me to win this time. Here, play these” as she handed me more tickets. I am not suggesting her faith would have given her a winning lottery ticket, but her prayer was an empty promise. The words empty promise burned in my mind. Before handing her the tickets she had played, I had spoken out in faith.

In a kind, gentle voice I said,  “Please forgive me, but I know you weren’t mocking God earlier, but I think you are putting your faith in the wrong things and are actually winning in other areas of your life other than the lottery.” I could tell I had hit a nerve and had made a connection with this woman because her eyes swelled with tears as I spoke each word.

“You know…you’re right. My bills are paid and there is food on the table to eat and a little extra for things like this. I just want more…” she said.

I nodded and asked, “Have you tried talking to God about your needs and wants instead of doing it this way?”

“I need to talk to him more. I have put my faith in my own hand’s and he deserves more,” she had said.

***

By the end of the conversation, I knew those thoughts were not my own but had come from God to share his love for Wendy. Now, when we see one another we encourage each other and see where God is playing in our lives.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of what I am talking about when I say my thoughts get interrupted and are taken to a new level. God does that do me and he did it again this morning. I read a Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life and reread the same devotion from yesterday today. I could have skipped it and I told myself to go on and read today’s devotion, but my thoughts got interrupted telling me this was meant to be read twice. With the encouragement I have received the past two days, I want to share this with you:

God could be telling you right now to get up and get on with your dream or vision, your assignment, your life, because He is giving it to you. Your part is to walk it out. 

Do what you need to do. It may not be easy. It might take some time. But trust God and go for whatever it is. Look from the place where you are right now – and go! (Genesis 13:14)

I told you once, I’ll tell you twice about another event that took place in my life. Just about two hours ago I was getting my books for my two post-graduation classes I start today. As I was checking out with Amanda, she noticed I was purchasing a writing and fundraising book and asked if I was taking a non-profit class. I told her the title and how I had experience with an advertising agency and now wanted to try the other side. I thought,  a balance of both worlds. She proceeded to tell me about a club that meets and aids classes like this to give students opportunities to network and career shadow in the non-profit sectors. We both had business minors and felt led to help those in need.

God has talked to me a lot this past year. I have done what I wanted to do, and now it’s time to follow what he wants me to do:  trust in him more. I graduated in Communications for advertising because I wanted to embrace my creativity. Through that I know I am uniquely made to enjoy left-brain and right-brain tasks like research and engaging in creative forms. During my internship, it confused a few of the professionals how I had strengths on opposite paths and encouraged me to pick one and stick to it. I appreciated their guidance, but I honestly could not decide. Instead of compromising and picking one over the other, I am embracing them both and giving it up to God. Right now, God has assured me that “it all works together for his greater good.” In a nutshell, I am the type of person who can research and propose ideas to engage with people all while putting on the hat of leadership.

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How does this apply to you? Has God or something instinctively interrupting your own thoughts? Take the first step to walk out in faith and see how God will continue to move in your life.