Living According to Your Potential

potential

Every single day, we make decisions large and small. From what to eat for lunch (I take this one pretty seriously) to whether we should take a job offer and how to spend our money. Then there are hard ones. The ones where our wants and needs are scales apart, and when we ignore the rules of should and shouldn’t. 

At 23 years old, I’m arriving at a point where I can no longer make stupid decisions and get away with it. Well, technically I can, but it’s only affecting me. I’m still young, but my choices matter and I’m old enough to know right from wrong. I’m not 18 anymore and I actually need to take responsibility for myself.

These days I’m finding that when I stuff up, I know better and I know that I know better. Bad decisions usually come from my overpowering impulsive side instead of my wise and measured side. When I use my head, I’m smart.

But I’m human, so I have a heart which likes to pipe up every now and then (as it should). Then there’s sin which often gets the better of me, and the result is a situation where I let myself and maybe others down. So I make excuses to numb my conscience and soothe the condemning voice of my guilt. Recently as I was going through these same motions, a small and captivating whisper commanded my attention;

You are called to greatness,
and you need to make decisions as such.

There is no arrogance in that epiphany. I’m not going to save the world or become the next Prime Minister. Those words simply consist of faith, grace and hope, because I am indeed called to greatness and so are you.

There’s only a few things I am positively certain about in this life, but one of them is that you and I were both created by God to be kind, intelligent and successful human beings. All within our own individuality, none of us being exactly like another. While doing so, He knew full well it would be very hard for us to be as complete as He created us to be, for the fact that we live in a fallen world with sin on our doorstop from the moment we are born.

In a word, we all have great potential within us. I believe that in heaven we will fulfill that potential because that’s where we will flourish in all our God-given glory. No sickness or sadness or pain. Just the way God intended earth and humanity to be before the fall of Adam and Eve.

Now, I think I’m on my way to being the woman God created me to be, but I’m not there yet. I think I please God a lot of the time, but I know I’m not anywhere near fulfilling my potential. You know why? Because I continue to make choices, often in the moment, that are not leading me to fulfill my call of greatness. They stunt me, leaving me feeling unworthy to keep moving. But I am, because God says I am.

I don’t mean greatness like we are all going to be rich, famous and make a huge impact on the world. Let us not limit greatness to be only one thing. Greatness is reaching your potential, and that is not an easy feat, but it’s absolutely possible. We just need to make choices that align with this goal.

I often compare myself to other people, and think “X would never have done this”. But there’s no point in that, because other than comparisons being entirely discouraging and unhelpful, we should only be measuring against ourselves. Who we are and who we want to be. Where we are and where we want to be.

Imagine if we all made everyday, seemingly unimportant, choices with this framework in our mind. How great would we each become in our own individuality? I’m willing to put it to the test and find out.

Do you find it hard to make choices according to your potential too? What are could you make better choices? Do you believe that you are called to greatness? 

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Don’t Live in the Moment

‘Let’s go all the way tonight,
No regrets, just love’

Many of us know the Katy Perry song, Teenage Dream, these lyrics are derived from. I was listening to this song as I ran last night, it was just the fast beat I needed to keep going. But all of a sudden each step I took became heavier and more purposeful as I really thought about what I was listening to.

I hate those lyrics. I hate that there are teenagers listening to songs like these and subconsciously digesting them as truth. Living for the moment, in whatever context, is not the teenage dream. There isn’t a dream, because we live in the real world with real consequences. I know, I’m such a fun sucker! (Feel free to quit reading now and go back to living in the moment, because it only gets worse from here).

Teenage life is a circus act of juggling identity, friendships, hormones and more. As a Christian it was a whole different ball game for me but better than it could have been. Without God, highschool would have been a much greater struggle. I definitely would have made worse choices, and there are multiples times where I am thankful I didn’t ‘live in the moment’ (among the ones where I foolishly did). There is one particular moment that I chose wisdom over emotions, and I believe it set me up for harder years to come.

I won’t get into details, but there had been a situation at home. It was a traumatic day for me and I was taken back to my grandparents house. I was 16 and had a life of my own, so I didn’t have to stay with my grandparents that night. I had choices. It was a Saturday and there was a party starting in a few hours at my friend’s house.

All I wanted to do in that very moment is go to that party and get roaring drunk. Just to forget, even for a few short hours, that the day had ever happened. I had never been drunk before and never wanted to, until that day. I was very sheltered from alcohol and in my mind it was the root of all evils, so it wasn’t like me to think this way. But life was hard and alcohol was looking like a fitting saviour. To be perfectly honest my attitude was ‘fuck the world’.

Instead I called another friend who didn’t get me drunk, and to this day I’m glad I did. Had I chosen listen to my emotions that day and gone to the party, it probably wouldn’t have ended terribly. After definitely embarrassing myself, I would have spent the next day deservingly hungover, and that’s about it. However it could have gone another way, and we’ll never really know. It only takes a moment.

Just ask the young couple who got pregnant from one night without protection. Or the girl who cheated on her boyfriend in a moment of lust. What about the guy who reacted with violence in a moment of anger, and ended up in jail? Obviously these are extreme cases but they can also happen to anyone.

For me, I think that defining moment was a case of ‘until the next time…’. There were more moments to comes when I hated my reality, and would probably turn alcohol to numb the pain, again, and then again. Next it would be drugs and sex to help me through. I know myself and wouldn’t put it past me. I am naturally a very impulsive person. When I want something, I want it now.

These days my challenges are different but the goal is ever the same; choose wisdom. It always pays off, trust me. Just a few days ago I had to do it again, and at the time I wanted to kick and scream. Later I was so thankful that I didn’t give in to that moment of weakness, and I had a big glass of red wine to congratulate myself!

Our lives are made up of moments and decisions; some are life-changing, many are not. Yes, enjoy your life and all of the moments! Be present in the moment, just don’t be deceived by the convincing lies of some of those moments. Katy Perry is wrong, there are regrets! Choose wisdom, not the irrational demands of your emotions in the moment. It only takes one moment to change your life, for the better or worse.

Are there any defining moments in your life that came to mind when reading? What do you think about the cliche of living in the moment, do you think I’m being extreme? Leave a comment. 

Don’t Live in the Moment

‘Let’s go all the way tonight,
No regrets, just love’

Many of us know the Katy Perry song, Teenage Dream, these lyrics are derived from. I was listening to this song as I ran last night, it was just the fast beat I needed to keep going. But all of a sudden each step I took became heavier and more purposeful as I really thought about what I was listening to.

I hate those lyrics. I hate that there are teenagers listening to songs like these and subconsciously digesting them as truth. Living for the moment, in whatever context, is not the teenage dream. There isn’t a dream, because we live in the real world with real consequences. I know, I’m such a fun sucker! (Feel free to quit reading now and go back to living in the moment, because it only gets worse from here).

Teenage life is a circus act of juggling identity, friendships, hormones and more. As a Christian it was a whole different ball game for me but better than it could have been. Without God, highschool would have been a much greater struggle. I definitely would have made worse choices, and there are multiples times where I am thankful I didn’t ‘live in the moment’ (among the ones where I foolishly did). There is one particular moment that I chose wisdom over emotions, and I believe it set me up for harder years to come.

I won’t get into details, but there had been a situation at home. It was a traumatic day for me and I was taken back to my grandparents house. I was 16 and had a life of my own, so I didn’t have to stay with my grandparents that night. I had choices. It was a Saturday and there was a party starting in a few hours at my friend’s house.

All I wanted to do in that very moment is go to that party and get roaring drunk. Just to forget, even for a few short hours, that the day had ever happened. I had never been drunk before and never wanted to, until that day. I was very sheltered from alcohol and in my mind it was the root of all evils, so it wasn’t like me to think this way. But life was hard and alcohol was looking like a fitting saviour. To be perfectly honest my attitude was ‘fuck the world’.

Instead I called another friend who didn’t get me drunk, and to this day I’m glad I did. Had I chosen listen to my emotions that day and gone to the party, it probably wouldn’t have ended terribly. After definitely embarrassing myself, I would have spent the next day deservingly hungover, and that’s about it. However it could have gone another way, and we’ll never really know. It only takes a moment.

Just ask the young couple who got pregnant from one night without protection. Or the girl who cheated on her boyfriend in a moment of lust. What about the guy who reacted with violence in a moment of anger, and ended up in jail? Obviously these are extreme cases but they can also happen to anyone.

For me, I think that defining moment was a case of ‘until the next time…’. There were more moments to comes when I hated my reality, and would probably turn alcohol to numb the pain, again, and then again. Next it would be drugs and sex to help me through. I know myself and wouldn’t put it past me. I am naturally a very impulsive person. When I want something, I want it now.

These days my challenges are different but the goal is ever the same; choose wisdom. It always pays off, trust me. Just a few days ago I had to do it again, and at the time I wanted to kick and scream. Later I was so thankful that I didn’t give in to that moment of weakness, and I had a big glass of red wine to congratulate myself!

Our lives are made up of moments and decisions; some are life-changing, many are not. Yes, enjoy your life and all of the moments! Be present in the moment, just don’t be deceived by the convincing lies of some of those moments. Katy Perry is wrong, there are regrets! Choose wisdom, not the irrational demands of your emotions in the moment. It only takes one moment to change your life, for the better or worse.

Are there any defining moments in your life that came to mind when reading? What do you think about the cliche of living in the moment, do you think I’m being extreme? Leave a comment. 

Hey You, Be Better!

Sometimes, I’m very impressionable. Occasionally, I make bad choices. Every now and then, I lose sight of who I’m living for.

Most of the time, I know I can be better.

Whoever you are and wherever you are; you can be better too. Don’t get me wrong, you’re already great. Chances are we’re friends if you’re reading this and I’m only friends with great people. (If you’re reading this and you’re not my friend then that is GOOD and you’re great too because it means I’m gaining more readers!)

Trust me, I know my good points and I know I’m already pretty great. But my point is that I can be greater. I can stay the same as I am now but that wouldn’t do me any good, because I can be better.

I’ve realised that I can be very influenced by my world around me to the point that I reduce my ideals and standards according to others, either for their approval or just to fit in.

Then I remember I’m not like everyone else; I am from the world but I am not of the world. I’m living for the audience of One, the One who loves and adores me as I am. The One who believes in me and knows I can be better too. The One who makes me better.

Always be inspired by the great people around you, but never try and be them. Be you.

Don’t excuse yourself from certain behaviour because you saw someone else do it.

Never think of yourself better than anyone; you haven’t arrived and you never will.

And don’t live for the approval of people, you will die trying.

Better is whatever you make it. Better is one step further than where you are now. Your better and my better are probably different. That’s okay.

For me, better is

+ Smiling more on the tube where no one smiles (I am honestly too scared which is ridiculous, I know)

+ Sitting down with the local homeless guy and chatting

+ Giving my friends the time they deserve

+ Living with an open hand

+ Being on time all the time

+ Giving God the praise He deserves

+ Working hard at my craft

+ Living with integrity

+ Persevering, committing

+ Forgiving

+ Giving my very best in my job

+ Worrying less, trusting God more

You get the picture. What is better for you? Define it and live it. But also encourage yourself. It’s a journey. Perfection is not the aim, growth is. That can be one step or five steps, the point is that you’re growing and being better.