Time is the one resource that has been proven time and time again to be nonrenewable. It doesn’t have half-lives that extend its impact. You cannot develop a synthetic minute. It is what it is. We have a finite amount of time to experience an infinite combination of experiences and spending it on everything but your own purpose is an affront to the Creator.
That being said, make every moment the best one you’ve ever had. I’m aware that each second cannot be as exhilarating as your favorite memory. I will never be able to replicate the first time I had pieces published on Blavity or Revolt. Walking into work on Monday morning may not be as exciting the first time your vegan blog got 500 hits in a day. And I’m willing to bet that, no matter how she tries, I’m willing to bet a mother will never shed the tears of joy she did when she saw her firstborn child smile. But we can all choose to make an attempt at finding the beauty in every second. And, if there is no beauty in that moment, there is a lesson that can bring you to a beautiful place if you take heed.
Somewhere, the seconds we have are predetermined. Whether you will take your last breath because of old age or as a result of a meteor that comes crashing down to end humanity, no one knows is certain. What we do know is that we have a choice. Choose moments to make every moment matter.
Make meaningful moments a priority.
As I write this on a dreary spring forward Sunday morning, I write with one thing in mind: Even on a rainy morning, a bird gives its all to sing. That bird doesn’t know if today is its final day to sing. It doesn’t know which note will be its last. It just knows that a part of its purpose is to sing its song from the tree in the morning and, therefore, it does just that.
How often do we shirk our responsibilities or our purposes because it’s raining? Whether we decide not to dress decently, at the very least, because of literal rain or we choose not to give our all because of a storm we are currently going through, we are disrespecting the Creator and all those who invested time, money, or energy into their belief that we could be something great.
You are important and the world needs your gifts, so don’t sell yourself short. Take that risk. Apply for that job. Let go of that comfortable thing that is only hindering you. Get up every day and sing your song. Live your purpose. The bird has a lot less to sing about than we do and, yet, he’s out here on this overcast Sunday. I’m willing to bet he’ll be out there with that same intensity on the next sunny Monday too.
Make being great every day a priority.
Firefighters. Law Enforcement Officers. Medical First Responders. Emergency Room Physicians.
What do all of these professions have in common? They’re seen as life savers. The work that they do is often deemed critical and necessary to our well-being and longevity. And I will not challenge that, but instead I will add some professions to that category of “super important jobs”.
Chef. Nutritionist. Physical Trainer. Teacher. Pastor. Psychiatrist. Artist. Musician. Guidance counselor. Adoption Placement Specialist. Postal Worker. Waste Disposal Specialist. I could go on and on. Any job can be a life saver. It’s all about how you treat people. Last Monday, I was out for my evening run and saw Mike, one of the groundskeepers in my development. I stopped and we talked. Just his friendly disposition, his work ethic, and his words of wisdom and encouragement brought joy to my night. Mind you, this man doesn’t own the complex. I don’t know if he’s even the head of his team. But he changed my day.
Now, I’m not suicidal. I’m actually very happy most of the time. But imagine someone, anyone, seeing a suicidal person on a day when (s)he feels like giving up. Imagine the postal worker who never paid you any mind deciding on a random Tuesday to ask how you’re doing and genuinely want to know. Imagine wanting to call it quits but you hear a small local band do a cover of your late granddad’s favorite song. Or maybe a pilot gets you to your destination safely on a trip you’ve needed to take in order to prevent yourself from having a complete meltdown. We all have been blessed with the gift of kindness. Find ways to show love in your profession and you will save more lives than you will ever know.
Any person can be a hero. Spreading happiness is a super power.
Make love a priority.
Remind yourself every day that you cannot abandon your purpose. You are not here to make money for the sole purpose of making money, no matter how much you are offered. You are here to serve people with your gift(s). Money is necessary but money is only a tool, not a goal. I went into debt for school, and now I must pay that debt off so that I can not be owned by any entity. I will go into debt for a home and for cars throughout my life but not with the goal of living outside my means. I have a purpose and excessive debt doesn’t allow me to fully explore that purpose. I do need money, but I cannot let it become my master.
Every day do something that will move you closer to that purpose. And, once you plateau, take a leap of faith onto the next platform. This is my first post on the next level of blog site. It required that I invest more dollars in order to increase the number of young professionals that my message could reach. I have a purpose that is bigger than my 8 to 5 and I know you do too. Don’t let your W-2 define you. You’re much greater than that one document.
Make professional development a priority.
I was born into a generation where folks believe that what you see is what you get. I’m here to refute that. Stop being OK with mistakes. Yes, they happen but, if you can fix them, do it.
I was looking at an acquaintance’s social media account the other day. The person wrote something along the lines of “These Are tough days In america. No one knows Which way is up.” Now, this is a degree-holding adult with no understanding of where to place capital letters. Or, worse, it may be that she just doesn’t care.
Now, on to the next example: Recently, a gentleman reached out to me on LinkedIn. I didn’t know him from a stranger on the street but, sometimes a person’s profile will intrigue me enough to accept the invitation to connect. Sadly, his did not. Immediately, I saw that his profile photograph was scanned in, poorly cropped, and discolored. Additionally, the positions he listed on his profile didn’t align with my professional goals. All in all, there was nothing that made me say “It would behoove me to connect with this fellow.” A polished profile may have done that though.
I’ll put it this way: Shoes are made to serve a functional purpose, but the unpolished shoe won’t get you past the interview. The same applies to your presence online; it serves a purpose but, if the purpose it serves is unintentional and lazy in nature, you won’t get past Point A.
Make professional development a priority.
Good morning! I’m sitting here at work and I thought I’d hit you all with some inspiration. Every Monday used to be #MotivationalMonday on The Reader but I got tired of restricting myself to just one day of motivating. So, I do it now whenever I feel that it is necessary. Well, today is one of those days.
The time changed yesterday but, being that today is the first day of the work week, it’s only now that many of us are actually feeling it. And, getting out of bed, all I could think about was the fact that I did not want to get up and go to the office. It’s not that I hate my job. I really don’t. I could actually see it turning into a career for me, being that this is the second development (fancy way of saying “fundraising”) position I’ve held in 5 years. I just know that I’m meant for much more than this version of reality. But, I have bills. And I need experience. And, though unideal, it’s not unethical nor unbearable. So, here I am at 9:00 AM on Monday morning. But I also can push through it because I know that my purpose is greater. There are days I leave here and go speak to young people about professional development and I love it. I get home and help millennials build résumés or cover letters and, though I charge for the service, there are plenty of instances in which I’ve done it for free.
Now, sometimes, a job can change into a career and you can find a way to inject your passion into your career but, when that is not the case, you have to find ways to fit your calling into your life.
Everyone’s calling isn’t the same. And, just because someone’s passion differs from yours, don’t look at them differently. I’m not here to judge what you’re meant to do. I’m just here to say “Figure out what it is.” And then, do all you can to do it, while still making sure your basic needs are met.
Make professional development a priority.
“The only thing worse than death is a regret-filled coffin.” Jermaine Cole
I don’t believe in the YOLO (You only live once) philosophy as some use it to excuse reckless behavior. But I do believe that dying with regrets because you did not give your all everyday is one of the worst ways to go. Of course, we all will leave this earth knowing there were things we could have done they we didn’t but to have lived a life full of regret is sad. We were given life not only to enjoy it but to make a difference in the lives of others. Those others could be the kids down the street or your own family. But live everyday with purpose so that you won’t die with regrets.