Your Choices Determine Your Destiny

If you are over 40 years old, you can see that some of the choices you made as a young person determined the course of your life.

Destiny is all about the choices we make and the chances we take.

Everyone has their own destiny. Not everyone makes the choice to pursue it.

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice. It’s not a thing to be waited for, it’s a thing to be achieved.

Life is all about choices. Good or bad; right or wrong; your destiny will unfold according to the CHOICES you make.

You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.

Making a big change in life is pretty scary, but regret is even scarier.

If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.

Right now, everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.

When you make a choice, you change the future.

The choice is yours…

The Story of a Son – Author Unknown

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.

The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.

The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.

He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?”

There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted, “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”

Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids! “But still the auctioneer continued, “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

“We have $10, who will bid $20?” “Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.” “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!

A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!” The auctioneer laid down his gavel, “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”
“What about the paintings?”

“I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”

God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, “The Son, the Son, who’ll take the Son?” Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

The Pain of Discipline or The Pain of Regret…The Choice is Yours!

Are you doing everything you can with all those amazing talents and gifts of yours? Do you even know how extraordinary you are? I hope so!

I know we can have many great attributes and dreams and life philosophies but if we never put them into action…where do we end up? Absolutely no where in this life.

Every single day, you can make a new choice. Repetition can be your saviour or your sword. Over time, neglect will lead to more neglect and discipline will lead to more discipline.

Taking away the blame and stepping into the responsibility of your own life’s direction IS the way to achieve your dreams. The weight of self-discipline is very much lighter than the load of regret.

The choices we make will either build our self-worth or tear it down. The choice is yours, and yours alone to make!
Make it a great day!

Remembering Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

“You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

Remembering Maya Angelou, who inspired us to be better.

24 Inspirational Quotes from Maya Angelou

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.”

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

“Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“Everyone needs to say to our children, ‘Children, this is your world. Come out. Stand out. Earn it.’

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a life.”

“We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror?”

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

Rest in peace Maya Angelou. You inspired me! Thank you for your words.

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A Call to Holiness

A Call to Holiness

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Teilhard de Chardin

The journey for our inner peace begins when we start to seek the simple and beautiful things in life, those little things that really matter.

“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, and violence multiplies violence in a descending spiral of destruction… Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King

Such divine love, which is able to transform enemies into friends, is the greatest power in the world because it can change human hearts. It can heal a conscience that has become twisted, and it can give a soul its original beauty. Love can forgive, heal and renew!

Divine love is the greatest power of life – a source for continual inspiration and change!

However, such divine love is not easy to obtain. The truth is, it is difficult to love those who hate us, to forgive those who hurt us, or to have mercy on those who offend us.

But God is ready to give us this love, to fill our hearts with His divine love. It is from the ocean of God’s love that the tiny drops of our own ability to love come from.

We receive the ability to love only through the grace that comes from Christ! He can help us overcome anger, bitterness, hatred, and evil so that they no longer have any control over our lives.

Through divine love, we will find the freedom to discover our true nature – our identity as God’s beloved children.

We all need to ask ourselves the most important question in life. Why are we here? What does God seek from our lives during this short time on earth?

The answer is love! We are called to be loved, and to love! To recognize our identity as God’s beloved children, and then share that love with others. This unconditional, sacrificial, divine love opens up an unending wellspring of power within our lives.

There is an old story about a scorpion and a holy man, who while meditating beside a river saw a scorpion drowning in the river. He reached out to rescue it, and the scorpion stung him! The holy man dropped it back in the water, on reflex. But then, he reached out again, and scooped up the scorpion, which once again stung him — and again he was unable to hold onto the scorpion and dropped it … but reached out again to try to rescue it.

Finally a passerby shouted at him, “Let the evil creature drown! It will only kill you if you keep reaching out for it!”

The holy man asked, “Do you know why the scorpion stung me?”

The passerby said: “It is the nature of scorpion to sting.”

And the holy man said, “Just because it’s the scorpion’s nature to sting doesn’t change my nature to save. It is my nature to love. If a small insect like a scorpion does not give up its nature, why should I give up my nature? Should I give up loving others because they hurt me?”

Don’t give up loving.

Don’t give up your goodness.

Even if people around you sting.

The Work of Love

So many roads, so many choices, and it seems like I’ve chosen them all in this short life. Life is about choice and we are the sum of our choices.

Our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it.

The work of love is choosing to love. Choosing to treat each other with kindness. Choosing to keep the relationship alive and healthy. Choosing to give to one another. Choosing to remain friends despite conflicts. Choosing to negotiate conflicts to mutually agreed resolutions. Choosing to combine our resources. Choosing to value and respect our differences. Choosing to create a beneficial partnership of independent, yet interdependent individuals.

Real lasting love is a choice.

I googled “I choose love”, and stumbled upon the great quote below by Max Lucado, gathered by goodreads.

It is now I must make a choice. I’m free to choose. And so…

“I CHOOSE LOVE…
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I CHOOSE JOY…
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I CHOOSE PEACE…
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I CHOOSE PATIENCE…
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I CHOOSE KINDNESS…
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. I will be kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I CHOOSE GOODNESS…
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS…
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My spouse/family will not question my love.

I CHOOSE GENTLENESS…
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.

I CHOOSE SELF CONTROL…
I am a spiritual being… After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.”

― Max Lucado

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Remember, valentine’s day is not all about giving and receiving presents. It’s about your love between each other and that presents are just side-solutions to love.

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Fences in Your Mind

Excerpt from Living a Five Star Life by Betty Mahalik

This book is beautifully written. It is a treasury of wisdom, common sense and inspiration.

I’ve watched the movie Chicken Run at least a half-dozen times. Just beneath the surface of its simplistic look and story line lie a number of wonderful messages told through the eyes of a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate at the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: “the fences are all in your mind.” She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that a bigger obstacle than the physical fences they’re surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.

It’s been a good reminder for me on those occasions when I’ve been dealing with my own mental fences…those created by self-doubt, uncertainty, fear. Can you relate? Where have you fenced yourself in mentally in recent days or weeks? Perhaps your mental fence is procrastination, a deadening habit that keeps you stuck. Maybe yours, like mine, is related to self-doubt, and the on-going internal noise it produces that keeps you immobilized. Perhaps yours is the belief that you don’t deserve success, so you sabotage yourself to avoid having to find out how successful you could be. There are a million variations of the theme, but the result is still the same: we stay stuck like the chickens in the movie.

Here are the questions I invite you to ask yourself as you continue on your own personal development journey.

1. What are your mental fences?

2. What is the cost of maintaining these fences (physically and mentally)?

3. Are you willing to let go of your perceived realities (fences) and attempt to conquer them?

If you answered “yes” to question number three, I have a simple equation that will assist you in this process.

VISION + CONSISTENT ACTION = FREEDOM!

Your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you’re simply looking “at” them. As soon as you begin to establish a vision and take actions consistent with your vision, I can promise you that your fences will disappear.

If it’s self-doubt, sit down and write out everything you value and why it’s important. Then challenge yourself to eliminate anything that doesn’t absolutely reflect your values, or add something that is a profound statement of who you are.

And remember, the fences are all in your mind!

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