Birthday Countdown – Reflections (Part 2)

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There was a time in my life when a huge portion of my self-validation was influenced by people-validation. I sought the approval of others to feel good about what I had accomplished and who I was. I allowed others to determine my worth while I unconsciously undermined my accomplishments and value.

One day, I sat down and made a list. In that list I documented all the projects and responsibilities that I had undertaken throughout my career. The results shocked me! Over the 6 years of my career, I had undertaken over 30 projects, most of which I led and a couple of which were my brainchild. That list also emphasized that I always demonstrated a willingness to undertake and execute roles and projects that were outside the realm of my responsibilities. Through that attitude, I gained a lot of experiences in areas that persons would deem me too young to have in the professional world. The problem is, many, including myself, still undervalued or underestimated me.

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Birthday Countdown – Reflections (Part 1)

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Today is the first day of April. April 1st marks the countdown to my 26th birthday. I’ve decided to slate this period (from now to the big day) as a season of reflection. Today, on reminiscing about some of the horrible seasons that I overcame, I feel incredibly grateful.

Recently, I had a conversation, with a friend about some of the seasons I’ve gone through. The conversation made me realize something important. My past difficult seasons prepared me for future, more difficult, seasons. For example, dealing with a horrible breakup while attending university full-time and working part-time taught me how to handle my business despite emotional trauma. This experience prepared me for a season in my professional life where I was required to handle a difficult professional scenario while dealing with health, family and emotional difficulties. Despite the difficulties and emotional toils, I fought hard and soared! I now feel incredibly grateful for the hardships of my difficult seasons. The future benefits outweigh the past hardships.

I also feel a sense of assurance. God prepared me for something that I didn’t even know that I needed to be prepared for and through it all, He held my hand. I will echo, once again, I am grateful.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

 

Great Things Never Grow There

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My backyard had a huge mango tree that shaded more than a quarter of our backyard land space. Recently, we were forced to cut down the mango tree after discovering that it served as a home for termites. Following that big chop I complained about the misfortune (aka as missed opportunities for mango juice) until I noticed the following changes:

  1. The entire yard looked brighter. The sun now had direct unlimited access to my entire backyard.
  2. My brother begun planting flowers and foliage in the area. They bloomed.
  3. Grass continuously sprung up in the areas that used to be shaded by the mango tree.
  4. Our laundry dried quicker.
  5. There were other blooming fruit trees that were previously overshadowed by the mango tree.

The transformation of my backyard got me thinking. My beloved mango tree was the comfort zone of my backyard! Our beloved mango tree shaded the backyard so long that the land, in conjunction with the sun, never had the opportunity to fulfill its potential and nurture and grow plants. We also didn’t understand the potential that existed in getting laundry dried faster and planting new flowers and foliage. Catch this, we were so focused on the vastness of the mango tree that we totally missed the fruit trees that were also blooming.

Similarly, our comfort zones shade us from the things we need to grow, overshadow other opportunities and limit our potential. Through this we often miss opportunities to fulfill our potential and make life easier. Are you willing to grow more? Are you ready to step into your potential? Step out of the shade of your comfort zone. Great things never grow there.


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Did you like Today’s Post?

Don’t forget to hit the Like button and share your thoughts in the Comments Section below!

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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

A Way to Conquering Anger

Anger

Early in life I recognized two facts:

  1. I did not have a talent for cussing (quarreling and cursing). Since I never entered a match that I was bound to lose, I avoided the back and forth trading of barbs and curses.
  2. When angry, I lacked the time or patience to beat around the bush. When triggered, I got to the point physically, or I deemed my opponent unworthy of my time and energy and walked away to deal with more important things.

Whilst I tended to choose to walk away more often than not, at 17 years old I found myself in an altercation with a neighbour. Provoked, one too many times, I grabbed the man and attacked with the only thing in my hand, a steel fork. In the midst of my white-hot rage, something stopped me. I halted to find that I had cornered the man and had the fork pressed to his jugular. My red-hazed intent was to make him an example. In that moment, one thing crossed my mind: “If I continued on my current path, I was bound to end up in prison.” No one should have that much power over me or my life. I paused, looked the man up and down, said simply, “You’re not worth it.” and walked away. Shaken and stunned, he uttered not a word.

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Bible in 365 Days – Day 6

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 18-20
  • Genesis 21:1-7

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 19:12-13 NLT

Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.

 

THE REACTION

Genesis 19:15-16, 23-26 NLT

So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking.

At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!” When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”

Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon.Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Lot’s son-in-laws did not believe him when he told them of the pending danger. Not everyone will believe in your revelations or be willing to partake in the journey it requires, not even when they are close to you.

    So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking.

  2. Despite the instructions given by God’s angelic representatives, Lot lingered and hesitated to leave. In taking the first steps to departure, he had to be supported and urged by the angels. Even when the situation is dangerous for us, sometimes our attachments stall our departure and we have to be hastened by God who is cognizant of the dangers if we remain and is intent on getting us to safety.

    When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful.

  3. Despite God taking them to safety, Lot’s wife chose to look back, ignoring the warnings of the perils of doing so. For this, she paid with her life, turned into a pillar of salt, her gaze frozen backwards. Oftentimes, we are instructed to move forward from the past and its dangers, however our inability to let go results in our doom and extinguish our futures.

    When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”

    But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

     

Application:

The attractions of the past can be very alluring. We must be very alert and refrain from being dragged back into or holding on to the unhealthy situations from which we have been guided and extracted from by God. As Lot’s wife demonstrated, returning or holding on to the pass can extinguish our futures, even from a point of safety.

As Lot proved, the first steps from the known into the unknown are always the hardest. More so, when we are forced to leave behind all we are familiar with and the people we love, who refused to heed our warnings and be a part of our new journey. Still we should not hesitate or delay because we have the assurance that God will lead us to safety.

XOXO,
Chañel

5 Life Lessons I Learned During 2018

2018 represented my 25th year and what a year it was! Based on the pronouncements of my 17-year old self, this should have been the year I got married and completed my second degree. My seventeen year old self was wrong and wronger lol. It’s a good thing I learned long ago that, things don’t often occur the way we planned them however, leaving them in the hands of the Author as He works and fulfills on His timing, no matter how impatient I become, is the better choice. Despite things not occurring as my idealistic 17-year old self would have planned, 2018 was a fulfilling year of self-sufficiency with some crucial lessons to learn. so, here goes, 5 lessons I learned during 2018:

 

Lesson 1: Not everyone’s opinions should be needed or heeded.

I recall the first time I heard the quote “a wolf does not concern himself with the opinions of sheep”, I thought I understood it until I realized that I wasn’t living it. An acquaintance bluntly (getting a taste of my medicine is not an easy pill to swallow) pointed out that I concerned myself too much with the opinions of persons who weren’t the subject matter experts. It took months for me to stop seeking or heeding the opinions of persons not qualified to give it. When I achieved this, things changed.

The truth is, whenever you step out to do something, two things will happen:  you may doubt yourself and everyone will want to have a say, especially if the move you are making goes against the norm.

Take the opinions of subject matter experts (the wolves) with a grain of salt and ignore the sheep!

 

Lesson 2: Trust your instincts

This year, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, which focused on recognizing and trusting the subtle but critical messages that your subconscious sends to your consciousness. In all honesty, this year, if I had trusted my gut, a lot of things would have turned out differently. It is also a bit painful when I realize that the primary reasons I didn’t trust my gut were because:

  1. I got caught in the web of analysis paralysis
  2. I focused on my responsibilities and caught up in the moment
  3. I focused on my conscious interpretation of the circumstances and outcomes I could see.

Faith requires seeing, not with just your eyes, but deeper…sometimes beyond the physical.

Listening to your subconsciousness requires going with your first instinct even if you don’t have physical plausible explanation as to why. Trusting your instincts requires you to be attuned to yourself enough to hear the subliminal messages that your mind communicates. I like to think that our subconscious is just another think that God uses to guide and warn us.

I find it amazing that God equipped each of us with our own personal alarm system. It’s a pity we don’t listen!

 

Lesson 3: Know when to walk away!

Know who you are and what you need.

This year I chose to walk away from people I loved who were toxic for me. I turned my back on things I didn’t believe in and people who didn’t believe in me or refused to invest me. I left my fears and doubts and anything that was not good for me behind!

If anyone had told me that the key to meeting Mr. McDreamy (can’t help my Grey’s Anatomy reference) was to go off on a cruise, I would have packed my bags and gone on holiday without prodding in early 2017. I met and clicked with Mr. McDreamy in late 2017. We invested in early 2018. To me, he was perfect…at least for a few months. While we aligned on a great many things, I soon realized that there were critical areas of misalignment. McDreamy was willing to wait for me to change my mind. I wasn’t! Especially when it came to what I needed or the things that defined me. I wasn’t willing to gamble with that on a whim, so I walked away.

Walking away is a hard and constant struggle but totally worth it.

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A Goal-den Journey

It felt like just yesterday when I decided I was ready to pursue my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Today in my mind but my journey began in May of 2017.

Having defined my goal, I begin reviewing what would be needed to accomplish it. I realized immediately that whilst I would have liked to have gone straight for the PMP exam, I didn’t have enough work experience hours managing projects. I could take the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) instead because it had pre-requisites that I already fulfilled. With that realization, I made a commitment to myself: I would break my plan into two sub-parts with the intent to complete part 1 in July 2017 and part 2 within a year of completing part 2.

My plan started on track but sometimes everything doesn’t work out perfectly. By the time I begin preparations to pay for the CAPM exams, I found an unforeseen issue! The exam body did not facilitate the online exam in Jamaica! Imagine my shock! Based on my initial reading and planning, I had not come across this bit of information! Even the exam facilitator that I had intended to use had not known this. I immediately set out to verify and determine alternative options.

Before long, I learnt that the exam body intended to facilitate the online exam in Jamaica by August 2017. Though I had intended to complete part 1 by July 2017, I decided to wait and took the exam in August 2017. Much to my delight, I completed the exam successful and shifted my focus to part 2.

Part 2 was much trickier! I needed to gain about 1000 project management work experience hours as well as study. At the time, I had just been onboarded to a new project that was beginning to ramp up.

Every project manager will tell you of that one project that totally made them:

  1. Question and redefine all they thought they know and understand about people and projects.
  2. Doubt themselves and their abilities.
  3. Sincerely wish they could walk away.

This was the project for me. I now fondly refer to it as my “hell project” because it was that one project that truly shook me to the core and taught me to never take anything at face value when it comes to projects “trust but verify and verify and verify again.”. Some positives came from it though. It was the project that I put so much effort into that I earned the 1000+ working hours by January 2018.

With that aspect completed, I breathed a sigh of relief and begun preparations to study for my PMP exam with the optimistic goal to complete everything by May 2018. Again, my plans were thwarted because of the amount of effort the project required. I worked truly long hours and by the time my day ended, I was too exhausted and wound too tight to even consider taking up my textbook. By April 2018, I readjusted my plan and shifted my most-likely completion goal to June 2018, factoring in the project’s completion date of a month earlier.

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