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Volume 12, Issue 27: Genuinely Interested

What am I genuinely interested in? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I think most of us have, especially earlier on in our journey. But then life happens and we get busy with what our hands find to do and with the business of life that we forget all about what interests us.

When an opportunity to slow down comes, maybe when we find ourselves in between jobs or when our children grow up and become more independent, it's a good time to find out what we are genuinely interested in.

Before picking up the next thing or occupation that comes along, it's good to pause and find out what you are genuinely interested in. Then align your path in the direction of your passion.

I believe doing what we are genuinely interested in goes a long way in making life effortless. It makes it easier to wake up in the morning because we know we get to embark on things we enjoy doing. You would also find it easier to learn and improve your craft and ultimately become excellent at it.

This quote from James Clear supports this. "If you are genuinely interested, you will find endless opportunities for growth. But if you are disinterested, even obvious improvements will feel like a chore. And, if you can maintain your genuine interest and curiosity as the years accumulate, you will become hard to compete with because you will have skill to go with your passion. If you are interested, you are dangerous."

So, what are you passionate about? What do you most enjoy doing? Take it upon yourself to find out, then take advantage of a pause or change of pace in your career or life to make the shift to do what you are genuinely interested in.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 12, Issue 26: Stewardship of Battles

I was glad to learn this week from Jonathan Evans, the author of Fighting Your Battles book, that battles and struggles are stewardship roles. It is good to know that we don't just steward resources like money and time, we also steward battles.

Are you being a good steward in your struggles or are you stewarding your battles badly? The unfortunate truth is that we are always either in a battle, from a battle or on our way to a battle. It's the nature of life. My achiever orientation wants to make sure that I am doing great no matter the season.

The Word of God directs us on how to carry ourselves in a battle. It says that by prayer and supplication, we make our requests known to God. After that, we choose to receive his peace that surpasses understanding. This means that when we pray, God release his peace to us. But whether or not we take the peace and walk in it is up to us.

Here's what being good stewards of our battles and struggles looks like. We give God the battle by making prayers and supplications. Then we let him take care of the outcome. When we do this, the burden should be easier, the yoke should be lighter. The struggle doesn't go away. It just means that we are different in it. Even if it doesn't change for awhile, or at all, we are changed.

Isn't that just great! As mortals, we have no power to change certain things like God does. What we need to thrive in a battle is to surrender it to the one who has the power to change it, and accept his peace and work in us irrespective of whether he changes the circumstance or not. That's how we steward our battles and struggles well.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 12, Issue 25: Effortless

While looking for Greg Mckeown's Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less book, I found his Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most book. I listened to the audiobook multiple times last week to increase my retention of the content. Reflecting over the content, here's what I found to be the meaning of effortless for me.

Effortless first starts with essentialism, which is the art of doing only what matters most, and doing them mindfully and wholesomely. Effortless is then learning to do essential things with ease.

For me, effortless is when I divide a big task into manageable pieces and tackle each piece one by one over a defined time frame.

Effortless is when I set schedules ahead of time to do the things I need to do routinely such as my workouts, my home maintenance tasks and the like. Then I don't have to figure out what to do, and when to do it.

Effortless is when I maintain my weight and health by consistently walking and strength training for about an hour a day and eating mindfully, compared to being irregular at these practices and having to do extraneous workouts and heavy diet restrictions to get back in shape.

Effortless is baking a few weeks ahead of a birthday, preparing the frosting a week ahead of the birthday, applying the cram coat a few days ahead of the birthday and doing the final coat and decorating the cake a day or two ahead of the birthday.

Effortless is going through a challenging time without burdening myself with needless worry or guilt or overthinking. It is going through a difficulty with a positive mindset, choosing happiness. Effortless is going through a difficult season unburdened.

Effortless is choosing to do less when that is a viable option. If I have two family birthdays being celebrated at one event, effortless is baking and decorating one large cake rather than decorating two cakes.

Effortless is maintaining the tidiness of my closet or kitchen or pantry daily, than having to tidy up every now and then as a result of not having the discipline of returning things where they belong every time I use them.

Effortless is deciding my family's menu for the week ahead of time and doing the meal prep accordingly, rather than having to figure out what to cook each day and working on the dish from scratch.

Effortless is deciding and writing down what to wear for each day of the upcoming week over the weekend rather than facing the mental fatigue of figuring out what to wear each morning. I actually have a printed list of daily outfits for 3 weeks in a row, which is all the clothes I have my closet.

What does effortless look like to you? What can you do to make your life more effortless?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 12, Issue 24: Resilience At Work

Not so long ago I wrote about developing resilience. At the time, my focus was on big things in life. But this past weekend my experiences revealed that resilience is just as important in minor life occurrences as it is in major ones. I had just come from hosting a birthday party for my daughter and needed to bake for two other birthdays.

Starting Friday afternoon after work, I embarked on a task of baking and decorating two cakes for my brother's and nephew's upcoming birthdays. Ready to put the second cake in the oven, I found that the large round baking tin I intended to use had a fault. So I used a large square baking tin instead. Getting the cake out of the tin after cooling resulted in part of the cake breaking. That didn't worry me too much as I figured I could plaster it with frosting.

Prior to this, I had passed by a nearby grocery store on my way back home from dropping my son to school in the morning. I wanted to pick the brand of margarine I use for my buttercream. Unfortunately, it wasn't on the shelves, so I picked a brand I had never used before. While the cakes were cooling, I started working on making the first batch of buttercream. It turned out to be a complete flop as the margarine was too light and runny. I ended up using two extra packets of icing sugar in the hope of firming up the buttercream. The buttercream didn't thicken enough nor whiten but I thought I could still use it.

Come early Saturday morning, my mission was to be done with frosting the cakes by the time I needed to drop my son for his basketball training. Shock on me. The buttercream was a mess. It didn't hold either of the cakes, nor successfully patch the broken cake. So I picked another set of icing sugar packets and the right brand of margarine from a different grocery store after dropping my son off for basketball training.

Getting back home I baked another cake to replace the broken one. I scraped off the imperfect buttercream from the other cake and started the process all over again, eating into part of my Sunday afternoon. I realized that throughout the flops: the buttercream backfiring, going back to the store, spending money on products I had already spent money on but lost as a result of the flop, rebaking a cake, preparing buttercream and frosting the cakes a second time, I kept telling myself not to let it discourage me. It was important that I keep my motivation up.

If that's not resilience in its basic form then I don't know what is. I could have thrown in the towel and given up on the cakes. Or, I could have powered through discouraged. But having developed resilience prior to this experience, I knew that I could not only not give up, I also couldn't power through in a discouraged state. So I focused on the positives instead.

I told myself that by repeating the work, I would be getting better at frosting cakes. These were going to be the best cakes I ever presented. More so, I reminded myself that it was an honour to get to bake for my family on their birthdays. That this is one of my opportunities of being a blessing in my community.

What small things have you had to pick yourself up from recently? Don't dismiss your small acts resilience because it is still resilience.

 

Related Article: Build Resilience

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 12, Issue 23: Keep The Habit Alive

I recently listened to the Life Changing magic of Tidying Up audiobook by Marie Kondo. I am glad I picked up the book because it confirmed what I thought was true all along.

I don't tidy up my wardrobe or kitchen or pantry over and over again. I rearrange these spaces a couple of times a year, but I don't tidy them, because they are already tidy. I did the tidying work once, and that was enough. All I do on a daily basis is maintain the tidiness by returning things back to their designated spaces in the neat state they were in when I got them out.

In the book, Marie Kondo stresses that tidying is a once and for all exercise. If done right, it's not something that one has to keep doing repeatedly. However, I must add that for this to hold true, an individual's systems must be ingrained to ensure the space stays tidy afterwards.

I routinely tidy up my family members' closets. But there's one family member's closets that I stoped organizing all together a few years back. This is because I accepted that this family member doesn't have systems in place that would ensure that once organized, he would keep him closet tidy. As a result, his closet would be back to the mess it was in, in a few days, rendering organizing it in a first place a waste of time.

Tidying up a space for the first time can be daunting. But once tidied, keeping it tidy is easy with the right systems in place. Similarly, I find working out now, which I do to stay in shape much easier than it was when I started twelve years ago, needing to shed off the extra pounds I had accumulated. Likewise, my once a week all day long cleaning service is hard work on my cleaning lady. Keeping the house clean throughout the week is much easier on me.

"Keeping the habit alive is a powerful act. It's easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. It's easier to keep a house clean than to get it clean. Many days it may feel like you are treading water, but maintaining your progress saves your future self a great deal of work." James Clear.

Whatever you are working on, keep up the momentum. You will soon get to the sweet spot of maintenance. Don't fall for the wagon. Keep showing up. Your future self will be glad you did.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi