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Volume 13, Issue 18: Focus And Win The Day

I like starting my day on a high note, getting things done before taking it easy. My approach is to get the most important and hardest tasks accomplished early in the day and early in the week, then take it easy towards the tail end of the day and week. This is a pay then play approach to life.

If you resonate with this approach, what do you do on a day or week when you have a lot on your plate? On such occurrences, I have found that it helps to start the day or week with quick wins. This motivates me to keep going after more wins, to keep plowing away at the tasks.

What's likely to happen on a loaded day or week is to feel overwhelmed and consequently paralyzed from taking action. Resist that temptation. Rather than looking at the whole pile of work that needs doing, just pick one and pretend it's the only task that needs your attention. Or start with short and easy tasks to register quick wins to motivate you to keep going.

Planning ahead gives focus to your day. And focus enables you to tackle your day efficiently and get what matters most done. Additionally, think of what you would be most proud of yourself today if you got it done and focus on getting it done first.

James Clear put it this way, "Focus is how you knit the hours of the day together. With focus, the day becomes a beautiful tapestry. Without focus, you end up holding a bundle of loose strings."

Focus is the compass that directs your energy towards your goals. It helps you cut through distractions and stay on track, allowing you to make progress efficiently. With focus, you can channel your efforts effectively, making it easier to overcome obstacles and achieve success. Whatever your pursuit, maintaining focus is key to winning the day.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 17: Define Your Success This Season

How do you define success in this season of your life? I have found that as seasons of life change and we encounter unfamiliar territories, we run into the risk of feeling we are failing. If for instance your definition of success is tied to your job, how do you define success when you are in between jobs, or when you retire? If your definition of success is tied to being a caregiver, how do you define success when you become an empty nester?

Each of us has an overall definition of success. But life comes with seasons, and in each season, we have different things playing out in our lives. We need to develop a list of how we define success in each season of life. Whether there's one marker of success or several, you should be able to look at your list and know immediately if you are doing the things that matter in the season you are in.

Most of the past year was a very demanding season for me professionally. My definition of success in that season was ensuring a successful project and office closeout. It was profoundly important to me that I finish well, and that I help my office and the projects that I supported wrap up well.

Shortly after that, I went into another season where I lived and worked abroad. That was a unique season in my life in every sense. In that season, my definition of success was maintaining the wellbeing of my family back home through daily connections. My other definition of success at that time was putting my best foot forward at the office and showing up well for the people I worked with. Success to me also meant maintaining my daily habits in the absence of accountability structures.

And now back home from abroad, my definition of success in this initial period of being back home has been remaining vigilant in my professional life in the transition phase that I am in, and being present with my family and efficient in homemaking. I know I am doing well, but I felt the need to develop success markers to help me stay aligned to showing up well.

Last evening as I was reflecting on this, I asked myself this question. "What is the one thing that if I did would make me feel successful this season?" My answer was "Leaving my bedroom by 7.00am every morning and returning to my bedroom by 7.00pm every evening would make me feel successful."

I am sticker for keeping time. The second phase of the morning routines starts at 7am but lately, I have been running late, sometimes by close to an hour. I have also been stretching my 8pm bedtime by equal measure. As such, I have been feeling that I am not operating at my optimal levels. I feel rushed and undone. I feel that I am not doing all the things I should be doing.

Reading a post from the famous coach Valorie Burton yesterday, I have learnt that if we don't define success for ourselves, we'll unintentionally embrace a vague definition of success that we never quite live up to. So be sure to define what success looks like to you in the season you are in currently.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 16: Wait Well

No Season is wasted. God uses every season for our good and for His glory. Even a season of waiting can be beautiful and meaningful. When you release your care to the Lord, you wait with ease. The Lord is faithful to occupy your waiting season with meaningful activities and gladness of heart.

Are in in between jobs, trusting for a job after your last one ended? Wait well. Are you waiting to start a business, or for your business to hit it off? Wait well. Are you waiting for a spouse or for a child or for the restoration of a relationship or situation? Wait well. Are you waiting for something to come about or for something to turn around? Wait well.

How do you wait well? By surrendering your care to the Lord. When you really give your care to the Lord, you no longer carry it. It ceases to be your burden. As such, you do not worry about it. You are not impatient, and you are not concerned about how long it would take. You are just there, happily going on with the business of living as you wait for the fulfillment of your heart's desire.

However, please note that waiting well doesn't hasten God. It makes life beautiful for us. We don't make ourselves wait well to manipulate God to act quickly. We wait well because it's good for us, it's the right thing to do, and it honours God. Besides, God cannot be manipulated. He is God, Sovereign above all. He does things in His time, which always turn out to be perfect timing.

You do yourself a disservice when you let your season of waiting rearrange your demeanor and put you in a frenzy. Do yourself a favour and cast your care to the Lord and wait well in your season of waiting.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 15: True To Yourself

I liken living in a family to living in a community, even if your home life includes just one or two or three other people. You may be the clean and organized type, or the getting things done and thoughtful type in your family. It's unrealistic to expect your family members to be just like you.

Expecting your community to mirror your living habits is setting yourself up for disappointment. I reckon the best you should do is communicate your expectations as clearly as possible then leave it up to your community to choose to live up to them or not.

Regardless of how they choose to carry themselves, you have only yourself to live up to your standards. Purpose to do your best even when your community chooses to just get by without much thought to being considerate with shared spaces and responsibilities.

More importantly, keep a check on your attitude. Be careful to not focus on your community's "deficiencies" and be upset by them. Happily maintain the space as you like it and enjoy your life. After all, some straightening up or cleaning up after someone takes just a few seconds or minutes. It's not worth rearranging your disposition.

The same attitude applies to how we respond to people's behavior. I like how James Clear put it in a recent post. "I can't control the other person's behavior, but I can control my response. Their actions may be rude or unacceptable, but I still want my response to be measured and thoughtful. Even if they aren't doing what is right, I still want to make sure I'm doing what is right."

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 14: When God Gives You A Word Part IV

This is a follow-on article to a prior week's post. Please read "When God Gives You A Word" and "When God Gives You A Word Part II" and "When God Gives You A Word Part III" then come back to this post. In that first post of the series, we spoke about how you know that God has given you a word, what happens in many cases and what to do. In this post, we are highlighting the last of five examples from Scripture of when God gave a word.

5. God's Word for the Children of Israel (Genesis 13:14-16; 17:7-8; Exodus 1)

God gave his word to Abraham that his descendants would live in Canaan. And he promised Jacob as he went into Egypt that he would bring him and his descendants back to the land of Canaan. A lot of time passed, and Pharaoh even tried to eliminate the children of Israel by ordering the killing of the boy child. The midwives disobeyed Pharaoh's order to kill the boys at birth and God saw to it that their numbers continued to multiply tremendously. God then raised up Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Pharaoh refused to let them go despite several miraculous signs from God. And even when he finally let them go after the death of all Eqyptian first borns, he changed his mind and went after them to get them back. The children of Israel faced the Red Sea, and the Jordan, and war from their enemies. There seemed to be no way through to the promised land.

Despite all the obstacles that the children of Israel faced, God made a way. He made a passage through the Red Sea and later through the Jordan river and the children of Israel walked on dry land. He drowned Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. And he slew their enemies in battles. They could have died of thirst and hunger on the way but he provided food and water in the wilderness until they made it home. Until He fulfilled His word.

God fulfilled his word for the Children of Israel. When God gives us a word, nothing can stand in the way of its fulfillment. Not the passage of time. Not mischief. Not obstacles. God is able to make a way where there is no way to bring to fruition what He has spoken to you.

When God gives you a word, hold on to it, travail for it, pursue it, persist in it and keep praying for it. Refuse to drop the ball just because it looks like nothing is happening. When God gives you a word, don't give up on it unless He says so.

As I conclude this series, could you think of examples of when God gave you or someone you know a word and what transpired?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi