I had another birthday this year. Every now an then as I age I start to think…. something I didn’t do as much when I was younger. So here’s my advice to my illusionary younger self: Life lessons I now know that have hugely helped me navigate this crazy adventure we call living. I trust these will help you also. Please apply and share your own thoughts on living well.
1. In making others successful I will be successful myself
Life without community is lifeless.
We are all on this planet together and the quicker we work out that our individual fulfillment is inextricably tied to the people around us, the better it will be for all of us. A part of your success is tied up in the people around you. Give and it comes back to you. Serve others and you will find yourself elevated. Ignore others, pursing just your own self interests and you will find yourself hampered, or even hindered by God Himself (who resists the proud but elevates the humble).
If you intentionally look around you and ask how you can help others succeed you will look back in time and be amazed at your own growth and accomplishment.
“…they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Hebrews 11:40
What is important to the people around you? What is success to them? How can you help them discover and move towards that? What could you do this week to make someone else’s dream come true or make someone other than you ‘look like a genius’?
2. Conflict is my friend and the pathway to greater connection
I hate conflict and confrontation. I used to avoid it. Still do if I can get away with it. But the more I grow, the more I realize I can’t live without it… if I want to live with people.
Disagreement, differences and misunderstandings are inevitable. You get to choose whether those challenges will restrict you, divert you or provide a pathway to increased connection growth and health. Or you could ignore, avoid or ‘stuff’ the problems only to have them eventually come back to bite you, bigger and badder than if you confronted the difficulty in the first place.
Be quick to confront in a loving and honorable way – you don’t know what is going on in the other person. Be quick to deal with conflict. The longer you leave it the harder it is and the more excuses you will have to do nothing.
Unfortunately, not all conflict ends up with a better connection because that depends on more than one person. However I can share from my own life that many MORE times it has lead to better understanding, better connection and better life together. DO IT!
Who are you avoiding? What situation have you silently removed yourself from because you don’t want to risk the outcome of conflict? What will be the cost of your silence or avoidance? What will you do about that? For more on this check out Danny Silk’s book Keep Your Love On.
3. God is with ME!
This is becoming a life message for me. I know what it is to love God, serve God and desire to honor Him in all I do. But I’ve discovered God WITH ME is a whole different ball-game. Actually, it’s a different ball, a different park. I have discovered that God doesn’t want me to just do what He tells me to do. That’s the cosmic boss theology which in part is true but is like judging a ten course meal by the color of the napkin. He is way better than a boss. He is a loving Father and He wants to do life with ME. Wow. That changes the way I do everything. From fear to love. From striving to rest. From wait to go. From anxiety to peace.
What does it look like to have the God of ALL CREATION walking WITH ME every moment of the day?
God has offered to partner with us in our lives on earth. He is not talking about just turning up on Sundays at your local church; He wants to be with you in every aspect of your life. Assuming you spend three hours at your local church on a Sunday, that leaves another 98 percent of your week He still wants to be involved with. “God wants us so badly that He has made the condition as simple as He possibly could: ‘Only believe.’” Smith Wigglesworth (Plumber by trade, friend of God by occupation, 1859– 1947).
What could that look like for you? He knows your job better than you, your marriage better than you, your life better than you. And He is not scared of your mess. What if you involved Him in everything. What if you tuned in to be aware of God with you in all things? It starts with an invitation. It never ends. You choose when to push play…
(If you want to know more on this topic grab a copy of God With You at Work available on Amazon.com).
Reading this blog, what impacted you the most?
What will you do differently as a result?
Who do you know that needs to read this?
Andy Mason comes from New Zealand and has 15+ years experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality. He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development. Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, Ca.