Imagine you were being honored with a special award for your accomplishments. During the award ceremony, different people would be called on stage to say a few words about you. As you are sitting there in anticipation to hear what they have to say, would you be excited or worried? What would these people have to say about you? What a great person you are and how you inspired their lives? Or that they thought long and hard but just couldn't find any positive words to say about you?
Who doesn't know the hashtags that talk about goals? - #relationshipgoals #friendshipgoals #fitnessgoals, #hairgoals and the list goes on. But are we setting the right or enough goals in our own lives? Should we aim for relationship goals, for example, because we see a couple smiling into a camera and that automatically makes us assume they are doing great? Have we become that shallow?
At some point in life we all encounter that one person that pushes our buttons. A particular person that seems to be constantly teasing or even mocking us. That person that makes us feel scrutinized or even judged at all times. That unwanted adversary that appears to be in constant competition with us. Someone you want to - just have to prove yourself to.
Trials and tribulations are a reality and part of life. In James 1:2-3 NIV it says: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." That means when we pass through difficulties and go through the process it helps to build us up. In essence, the struggle is real and for our benefit! So, suffering is good. Struggling is good = all good! Not so fast...
Instant success! You have an idea, roughly map out how you want that idea to come to life, make a few phone calls and "boom" you find yourself on the cover of Forbes magazine as one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs of our time. A walk in the park. A piece of cake. Easier than learning how to play a new instrument. Others have done it so why can't you, right? Unfortunately, it is not that easy.
I do advocate for seeing failures as lessons because they truly are. But this shouldn't be mistaken for being oblivious to the areas you still need to work on. In fact, only a foolish person would not think about and weigh the things that led to not succeeding. There is so much value in self-reflection. That is the key to growth.
When it gets dark, it becomes difficult to see. It takes a while before our eyes adjust to the darkness. Some researchers state that it can take up to 30 to 45 minutes for 80% dark adaptation and up to several hours until our eyes have fully adjusted to the darkness. Which means that we were naturally not built for constant exposure to or living in darkness. In fact, studies have shown that our eyes adapt to bright light much faster than they adapt to darkness.
I believe that receiving recognition and being awarded for your work, something you have put time and effort in, is one of the greatest feelings there is. The awareness that someone has seen and appreciates your hard work, even though in some moments it may not have seemed like it. But this is not where it ends. Your awards don't mean "It is finished. I can relax now." On the contrary, recognition also comes with more expectations. It sets the bar even higher and that can be a good thing.
The last fireworks have puffed up in smoke. Street sweepers are gathering the leftovers of empty champagne bottles, broken glass, and firecrackers. Like fleeting shadows, those who partied a bit too much are slowly making their way home with long and tired faces. Another new year's celebration has come and gone. We made it once again: it's a new year! Another year for change and new opportunities. What will this year be for you?
Being comfortable is soothing and provides a certain level of peace and calmness. This feeling of fitting right in and being in the right place at the right time. But that state of mind can also pose a danger. Getting too comfortable with your current situation will cloak you in a false sense of security when you should be alert. It will make you feel relaxed when you should be on your toes and on snooze-mode when your alarm should be going off.