Learning to Be Strong and Courageous
Living a Life of Focus – Part 15
Happy New Year!
As the first web-post for 2021, I thought it would befitting to share our focus statement for the year. As you know and for those who may not, each year Pamela and I set what we call a focus statement. It’s an area of focus that we use to target an area of our lives we wish to improve. Before I get to ours, there are two reasons I’d like to share these thoughts on a focus statement with you:
1) You can compound the results in your life.
2) You get to apply change in your own life.
You compound the results in your life.
You and I are blessed with time. If you are reading this that means you still have time. Time is a gift if you see it as a gift. However, normal is viewing time as something other than a gift. I’ll not focus on the normal as that doesn’t take much effort. However, the gift of time gives you the designations needed to make things happen. For this example, we’re giving attention to areas in which we apply the change we’d like to see in our lives using our focus statement. At the end of the year (time), we will be able to look back and see the accomplishments we’ve achieved. Only time can afford us this opportunity.
Time is compounding like interest on money or interest on your life. Each day, you get to add something to your life that was previously not there, not developed, or not sharpened. The opposite is also true and happens normally; with time you can add daily to your life in ways that limit, diminish, and even dull your life. That leaves us with this question, how will you compound the results you desire to see in your life this new year?
You get to apply change in your own life.
If I’m honest, there is only one person who can change you and that’s you. If you’re looking for change to happen in the future it’s not going to happen. Change occurs today. It occurs one day at a time and those results compound over time. Therefore, you have to learn how to apply small steps each day to produce big results. Over a year, you can have 365 steps or compounded results that make big differences in your life.
With that thought, let me share our focus statement in which we plan to apply daily steps throughout this year.
“So be strong and courageous!”
On my birthday back in November, I awakened to these words “Kerry, be strong and courageous.” It moved me to the realization that we could use some improvement in this area.
What does it mean to be strong and courageous? Because I didn’t have a really good definition, an uncommon definition, it’s a perfect area to apply focus towards an entire year. Whenever, we set a new focus statement we allow our thoughts to begin to shape and evolve around the phrase and the words. This is some of the thinking done so far.
What does it mean to be “strong“? To be strong means you have power to move, power to advance, the ability to withstand the forces that fight against you doing whatever it is you do. So think of this, you have no need to be strong if you have no plans of doing anything. Therefore the first step is to find something to do that’s worthwhile.
What does it mean to be “courageous?” To be courageous means one isn’t deterred away from the goal they set out to accomplish. Courageous means instead of running away, I face the danger, the difficulty or the uphill work that leads me to doing something worthwhile.
Let’s put the two together. If the instructions are to “be strong and courageous”, the implication is that normally we’re not “strong and courageous.” Does that mean the default response or way of life is to be weak and fearful? Listen to what it means to be weak. Having little power to move, advance, or to withstand. That sounds pretty normal. This first round of thinking gives me the perspective in which to begin the work that’s ahead through the year. Identify where we’re strong and more importantly the areas where we lack ability to move, advance, and withstand.
Does the implications mean the default response or way of life is to also be fearful? Fearful or full of fear means to instead of facing danger, difficulty, or the uphill work it takes to do what’s worthwhile, we turn away from it, we avoid doing. When I put it in this perspective, you can now understand why there’s room for improvement. How often are we weak (unable to advance) and how often are we fearful (easily deterred)? That’s a good place to start.
This leads us to steps of identifying the actions we don’t want to face, find too difficult to pursue, and the areas that give us the most friction. Then we can come up with plans to be strong and courageous.
Today is Friday!
As I mentioned at the start of this web-post, the changing of a new year provides two benefits: 1) the blessing of time used to compound the results we get in life and 2) the ability to apply change how we want to. I leave you with this thought now that you have a year of experiences behind you, use this momentum to further your progress. In other words, “be strong (press forward) and courageous (face your challenge head on).”
Question: What area of your life would you like to spend this year improving?