Seasons

I believe we all go through different seasons throughout our life. Each season contains its own set of challenges, highs and lows. 

Seasons help us to develop and form many areas of our lives. From personal areas such as relationships, attitudes to professional development like gaining new skills or knowledge. How we view these seasons and whether we embrace or resist through these times will affect the outcome of who we are and how we relate that to others.

Understanding our strengths and gaining insights to how we can mobilize each strength will help us to view  seasons correctly and embrace rather than resist the challenges. This leads us to understanding ourselves better and learning to communicate that  to others. Ultimately we become more mature and successful people. 

What are the seasons you are facing? Are you resisting or embracing your current season? Do you know your Top5 Strengths? If so, how are you applying them? What insights are you gaining? If not, how are you currently viewing your season and what are you doing to become more mature and successful so others are able to see you for who you really are?

As a Certified Top 5 Strengthsfinder coach, I encourage you to discover your natural Strengths and use them to help journey you through your seasons of life. 

For more info Check out:

Gallup Strengths

Develop Your Strengths

Advertisements

Climbing the Mountain

Our lives are filled with good times and bad times. I translate this into Mountain top times and valley times. Life is not a continuing straight line that will take us from point A to point B. There are many curves and ups and downs and crossroads that take us on  different directions filled with  various experiences;some good and some bad. How we act and respond during each time will determine our next direction and experience. As a Christian I believe we are given one life to live with a purpose. I have chosen, God to direct my life due to me listening and obeying His call. But in this I still hold an overall choice. God gives me the desired direction, then leaves it with me to make the choice to follow. My choice will ultimately decide weather I have a mountain top or valley experience.

My recent time in Hospital was a very low valley experience;filled with pain and frustration. But I chose to allow God  control and help me see the right way to handle the situation. I chose rather than keeping sad, angry or depressed about the situation , I chose to keep positive, relying on Gods strength to keep going with a positive attitude. It was hard, very hard, especially when I had the collection of fluid form and wound back in hospital after only one and a half weeks out. Because I made this choice, I started to experience an uplifting in my spirit . This was an experience where I could see past  my pain and above my circumstance and see purpose and new direction that was part of Gods plan for my life. I gained peace and an assurance and that I was on the way to recovery. Also, that the valley time, time of pain and sickness had purpose of its own. For me it was a time of character growth and learning to be patient, wait, allowing God to work His plan through my life.

I became stronger as a  person through the time to which I now apply to future experiences.  I now know i am back climbing my mountain filled with peace and assurance but knowing I will also have future valleys. The difference being that I can take what I have learned from this experience and apply it to the future, believing in faith that I will continue to climb the mountain to complete my purpose in life and fulfill all that God has set for me in this given life. To this i am very thankful to God for His strength, gifting and the huge amount of support around me.

I encourage you to face your valley times with a different perspective. Don’t see them as negative experiences that knock you back and hold you from moving forward. See them as  opportunities to grow stronger as a person and create  launching pads to step off into new and exciting times  filled with joy and assurance that you are living the way you were created to live, that your life holds purpose and direction that serves as  example to others to follow so they too may learn  to face their valleys and find their mountain to climb. Remembering in all this to NEVER GIVE UP!!

The Battle Continues!

So…. the last week I have spent back in hospital dealing with a fluid collection and mysterious pain down my left thigh. Just when i thought I was on the mend “Bang” it hits me…The battle continues. Through this time i was reminded about the battle we are in and there are two ways we can go. Firstly, we can back down, give up and say I surrender! and give in to the battle. Secondly, you can choose to fight till you die! and never give up until you have victory. I choose the latter, submission in this battle of sickness is never an option and never will be. But I must be very straight and truthful with you, Its never by my strength do I do this, I totally rely on the Strength found in my faith in God the father, faith in Jesus Christ and reliance on the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. They go hand in hand, one cannot be without the other and make up the true essence of a complete spiritual experience and life with the one and only God who created the heavens and earth and ultimately us to share it with.

Life is not complete without my faith, it completes who I was created to be. Every battle that I face like the current battle with Crohn’s Disease will always be examined in the light of my faith and what that determines my next step to be. In this case, understand that there is an enemy who wants to take me out and try to get me to surrender to this sickness, to which my reply will always be NO!! I will choose to Overcome and Trust that my God will strengthen me and lead me through the time and finally to gain victory over the current circumstance.

To be honest it is never easy, there are times when I feel like quitting and say enough is enough, but thanks to God for placing the right people in my life that offer support and challenge me not to give up. This encourages me and helps me to hold on; and through prayer and reading the Bible I gain spiritual strength and wisdom that overrides any form of natural strength to then continue the battle to the point of victory.

This has become a way of life for me, so i can move towards the purposes that God has for me right now and in the future. The enemy’s purpose is to take me away from this so others cannot get to know the freedom that comes from living a life of faith and purpose. The enemy has many names such as, sickness, fear, disappointment, failure, self-blame,… Oh! and his common name…satan….The list goes on to which I will give no more attention to but to this I testify…he has no power over my life because I have a God in Heaven who is stronger than anything he throws at me. Gods love is stronger and overcomes any sickness I may face. The battle continues, but i move in the face of it with a Victorious spirit, attitude and Faith to which no glory goes to me but completely lies with my God.

I don’t know what you are facing in life, or if you have any type of spiritual Faith but I do know this. I have found something truly special in my personal faith.

NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Attitude counts for everything

The last few days has seen me face some challenges. Health wise I have had some new pains which means apart from the extreme pain I have had at times  i may need a surgical review next week. Also, not being able to drive, missing out on kids sports games and literally being stuck at home to recover has tested my attitude and patience to new levels.

So, while not being perfect (just ask my wife) I have learned that attitude is everything when facing these daily challenges. I have had to appreciate the moments of rest and recovery and choose the make the best of a bad situation. There’s a saying I discovered a while back that says “Attitude will determine your altitude”, so what that means is if you choose a good attitude you will be able to rise above your challenges and become stronger as a person, but if you choose a poor attitude then basically just watch yourself crash and burn! as the challenges get the better of you and you get stuck in life’s rut and find it very hard to get out.

So thankfully I have been able to choose the positive attitude and although these times are still very challenging and not nice to go through, it’s not the end of life, and if used wisely, this time can be an extremely helpful time to grow as a person, family and learn some very valuable life lessons.

So my encouragement to you is choose your attitude wisely, don’t miss out on opportunities that life brings along hidden in the form of a hard time or daily challenge. You’ve got what it takes to overcome and succeed in life and become the person you were made to be. Let your life be an example to others around you and….NEVER GIVE UP!!

A strengths Perspective

We all have unique strengths that are specific to who we are. As an accredited Gallup Strengthsfinder Coach I love to help people discover their “Top 5” and coach them to leverage their strengths to bring personal and professional success. For me my “top 5′ are

Harmony, Responsibility, Relator, Belief, Achiever

So what does this mean? how do i leverage these strengths to create success?

Recently I went through a very tough surgery due to ongoing issues with Crohn’s Disease. So from a strengths perspective this is how I dealt with all this surgery brought personally into my life. Firstly the upheaval of family life and the stress it put on my wife and children. I could have easily shut out any concern for my wife and children and the stress they were bearing due to my own stress and pain from the surgery. But life and marriage has taught me this is not fair and we must support each other and care for others more than ourselves. This is where my Harmony strength was greatest. Harmony looks for the win-win situation in every circumstance it doesn’t avoid conflict but deals with it from a positive perspective and considers all people involved. Having this as one of my top strengths helped me to look at my surgery as a positive rather than negative. I looked around the room and soon discovered their were worse people off than myself. I choose to listen to my wife and take on board the stress and worry they were going through. I then decided what can I do to support? although limited I was able to do basic things like continue to help with business accounts and filling out forms. This was greatly appreciated by my wife and helped carry the load she was carrying. So together we formed a partnership and understanding together.

Next was my responsibility. People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty. I took full ownership of my recovery, I did what it took to recover the fastest and get home. I still am limited by the physical recovery of my body but I have been able to leverage my responsibility strength to ensure no more burden is placed on my family or others than required. In saying this it is important that we allow others into our situations during times like these and receive help. This allows others to leverage their strengths and share the load of stress and pressure. It also helps develop friendships and deepen relationships. We have been so encouraged and supported through the various ways so many people have helped us and without this support it would have been much harder to cope. This is where my Relator Strength was able to flourish. People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal. My goal was to get well, pure and simple. But I would not have been able to do this without the amazing people who came and visited and prayed with me, encouraged me. I was able to deepen my relationships with many friends. In other words during my recovery I was able to be who I naturally am, often this is difficult when you are in foreign surroundings such as a hospital and going through UN-normal circumstances such as a surgery. But knowing this was a natural strength I was able to consciously choose to leverage this when people came to visit and so therefore the time in hospital was given purpose and reason and was not wasted time.

This also gave room for my Belief  Strength to show through. People who are especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life. My belief says to me that things happen for a purpose and reason and there are always certain lessons and growth to be gained. For me personally my personal christian faith and belief in God is central. The time in Hospital could have been just another event that I choose to get through as quick as possible and viewed it as a negative situation to be avoided. But my personal faith has taught me differently and so focusing on my Belief strength I was able to see every situation with a positive perspective and an opportunity to encourage others and be an influence where I was. I took every opportunity to encourage those around me who some were far worse than me. Also, I choose to uplift those who came to visit me, taking the focus off me and more a shared conversation. this in turn created room for mutual respect and strengthening of existing relationships. Finally my Achiever strength benefited from this time. People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive. Although not physically working the time in hospital and now the 4 month recovery at home is focused on being productive and achieving certain goals and objectives.  Apart from getting well, I have seen this as an opportunity to not be so worried about what I do and more about who I am as a person. Thinking about the things that I enjoy and do that make me the person I am. I then am finding ways to express that outwardly and publicly in an endeavor to be an encouragement to others and help others who may be facing similar situations. This would be the main reason for this Blog, in the hope that it can make a difference in others and help others grow in their own life journey.

So ends a Strengths perspective on this current situation. I aim to give more Strengths perspectives as opportunities present themselves. Feel free to leave a comment and more than happy to create a Strengths discussion. Also if you would like to know more about Strengths visit www.gallupstrengthscenter.com 

Here you can start your own strengths journey that will help you leverage your own unique strengths and help build personal and professional success. If you do decide to purchase the “top 5” strengths online assessment and are looking for an Accredited Gallup Strengthsfinder Coach, I would be happy to become your personal Strengths Coach and guide you on your way into personal discovery and growth.

Until then… Keep living, keep growing and NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Time Choices

Yesterday I discovered the importance of time and remembering key appointments. My son Josiah was due to have his rugby photos taken but with not being able to drive and my wife picking up our eldest child from school it completely slipped my mind. Initially i was really upset at myself and disappointed for my son that he had missed out.  But as i thought about it again i realized i was left with a choice. I can live in the disappointment or realize in the scale of life as a whole it was not such an issue and there would be an opportunity next year. Sometimes we choose to live in the disappointment and allow ourselves to get all screwed up inside. The problem with this is it affects our relationships with the people closest to us. We close up and we shut up closing off any open communication we had. This creates a gap in our relationship and without realizing can cause long term damage if not dealt with sooner rather than later.

But instead of this I choose to communicate my feelings and remain positive about the situation. I apologized to my son to which he gracefully forgave me and went back to play. I then choose to go back to what I was doing not allowing the moment to become a distraction from what I was trying to achieve in that moment of time.

Don’t allow the small things rob you of precious time. Learn to see each situation positively and seek out a win-win situation for everyone. Life becomes more enjoyable and less stressful when we take this approach.