A few days ago while taking my son to school I had a revelation. Near his school is a mortuary that has a huge cemetery. I have driven by this cemetery a thousand times and thought nothing of it. But, this time I had a revelation that seemed to come out of nowhere.
As we drove pass the cemetery, I began to wonder, how many people were buried in the cemetery that had dreams but never took action to live them out. How many had an idea for a business that could revolutionize how people live but it never got passed the idea stage? How many had dreams of living debt free, traveling the world or starting a ministry but never took action?
These questions and about a dozen more entered my mind. It was an eye opening revelation. When I dropped my son of at school, I drove back by the cemetery and my mind immediately went back to the thoughts of how many people missed living their dreams.
I kept wondering about the possible hundreds of people in that cemetery who missed living their dreams because they made every excuse in the book to why they could not live their dreams. The revelation that God was showing me was not only about the people in the graveyard but about me.
I have dreams that I have done nothing with because I allowed the fear of failure, doubts of my abilities and worry what others might say or think hold me hostage. I talked about what I wanted to do. I wrote elaborate plans and strategic goals but I never took action.
My ride into work that day was very sobering. I thought to myself that I did not want to die with my dreams still in me. I thought about several things I needed to start doing and some things I needed to stop doing that day to help me move in a different direction. I decided I was not going to waste any more time missing out on living my dreams. I was going to take action in spite of fear, doubt and worry.
The first step I took that helped propel me in the right direction to living my dreams was to examine my life. After an intense examination of my life, I discovered six things I had to stop wasting time on to start living. This is not an exhaustive list, but these six things if not dealt with can have a negative impact on your life and those connected to you.
Six things to stop wasting time on
1. Negative thinking. If you don’t kill negative thinking it will take over your thought life. Negative thoughts divert your focus. They hold you stagnant. Negative thoughts will hinder every area of your life if you allow them.
If you are constantly bombarded by negative thoughts, you must make the conscious decision to fill your mind with positive and productive thoughts. It may be difficult in the beginning because we live in a world that is constantly bombarded by negativity. Whenever your mind starts to focus on the negative replace those thoughts with something positive and the negative thoughts will be harder to take hold in your mind. It can be as simple as reciting an encouraging scripture, listening to an inspiring song, reflecting on a positive life event or thinking about an empowering message.
2. Comparing yourself to someone else. You may resemble your father or mother, but you are not them. You may have similar skills as someone else, but you are not them. You are unique. You are an original. When you compare yourself to others, you negate the person God created you to be. You say to God, you made a mistake when you created me. The comparison syndrome will leave you frustrated and angry about whose you are. It will rob you of the joy of living out your designed destiny.
Don’t waste valuable time trying to walk in some else’s shoes when you have your own shoes to walk in. It is okay to be different. It is okay to live out your uniqueness. Don’t get caught up in the social media, marketing and television hype that you have to be like someone else or you are lacking. Don’t hide who you are because you think you don’t measure up to someone else. God created you to stand out and not blend in. Because if you don’t live out your uniqueness then who will.
3. Focusing on the past. Don’t shed another tear over your past, it’s gone and will never come back. Your past is like scrambled eggs and you can’t unscramble eggs. Whatever happened in your past deal with it so you can move on. Don’t stress yourself out another minute over something you can’t change. You must do your best to live in the NOW and make this moment your best moment.
Don’t let anyone hold your past over you. You tell them you are not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. You let them and the world know that your past is a stepping stone for you to grow to become a better person.
4. Trying to get people to like you. – One of the best ways to free yourself from the unnecessary pressure of trying to get everyone to like you is to realize everyone is not going to like you. It is not the end of the world if everyone does not like you. It is not your responsibility to make people like you. It is your responsibility to treat people like you want to be treated.
If you are overdoing your personality to get people to like you, please stop. Just be your unique self. If people can’t like you for who you are then you don’t need them in your life. I have learned no matter how you live or what you do someone will always disagree. So my advice to you is to live your best life and let the rest take care of itself.
5. Surrendering to fear. – You will never find peace by holding onto fear. Your fears will attack you morning, noon and night. They want you to give up on your goals and dreams. They want you to walk away without putting up a fight. Your fears will constantly tell you what you can and cannot do.
You must confront your fears because you can’t overcome what you are unwilling to confront. Today is the perfect day to deal with your fears directly before they deal with you. The best way to gain the strength and stamina you need to overcome fear is to go ahead and do what you’re afraid of doing. It will not be easy, but with unwavering courage and relentless consistency then victory over fear is possible.
6. Holding onto unforgiveness. Don’t live your life in bondage to unforgiveness. Holding onto unforgiveness hurts you more than the person you don’t forgive. You miss living your best life because you are focused on someone else. I am not saying what happened did not hurt, but when you don’t forgive it hurts you worse. Your thoughts are hindered. Your peace is disrupted. Your other relationships are hampered.
Unforgiveness is like a boat anchor. If you hold onto it, it will keep you stuck in the harbor of discouragement, disappointment and depression. The only way to release yourself is to forgive. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my life.” “I am going to forgive so I can move forward and live.”
“Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Question: What things have you wasted time on that has hindered you from living your dreams? Leave a comment below.