I’m confident to say that if you want to grow in a profession consistency is the key…” – Eliud Kipchoge.
It was September 13, 2017. I do not recall the weather that day, but I remember my soul’s excitement and fear; my palms were sweaty, and my heart raced as I was about to publish my first blog. Each time I read the content I uncovered more reasons not to do it than to go ahead with it. I wondered how the blog would be received by anyone who read it. I was putting my labor of writing on display. It meant vulnerability. Yet, there was a sense of excitement because I enjoy writing. That excitement overrode the fear as I said a short prayer and hit “publish.” In my mind, I wondered, Should I switch off the website and stop this altogether? But I remembered my goal, which is and always will be to raise the quality of life of anyone who reads my writing. This became the vision and mission of my weekly blog, Discover Your Treasure. To be a place of encouragement and edification through relevant and challenging content to be better, no matter the age or stage of life.
This month will mark my third year of blogging. And it has been an adventure, to say the least. When I wrote the first blog post, I never anticipated the journey that lay ahead. One of the greatest challenges of writing is weaving. According to Wikipedia, Weaving is interlacing distinct threads or yarns to form a cloth or fabric. I view writing similarly. Taking the threads of what is current and interlacing them with purpose, value, and my faith in Christ, to form a message of edification and encouragement. This process serves as a significant challenge and joy, even as I look ahead to my fourth year. 2020 has seen changes take place as no other year has. But in reflection, I have realized that there are still some constants in the variables we have encountered.
This month, I would like to share four constants that have been part of my lessons learned in my blogging journey. They have guided my writing journey this year. At times they have acted as guardrails to keep me on course before going off track. I believe they will assist you as you step into the last quarter of the year.
- The Constant of Vision (today’s post)
- The Constant of Veracity (coming 9/10)
- The Constant of Faithfulness (coming 9/17)
- The Constant of Growth (coming 9/24)
I have learned that in sticking to the constants I can remain consistent, maintain my course, and persist in my purpose. Let’s begin with the constant of vision.
A Fresh Set of Eyes
In a way, we have all been forced to look at our lives with a different set of eyes. The events of 2020 have opened our eyes to what is important but largely ignored in life owing to the hustle and bustle frenetic pace we have adopted. I believe the value of vision is being able to see clearer. Writing has a lot to do with vision. So does life. What we see and how we interpret and express it makes an impact, whether through words on paper or decisions and actions on the canvas of life. It takes courage to maintain vision when life is chaotic. With it, you possess the “ability to see above and beyond the majority” as pastor Charles Swindoll once said. This ability is what drives decisions and actions that are not controlled by the current circumstances, but by what you believe is possible despite the obstacles.
The scariest thing for me to encounter each week when writing my blog is a blank computer screen with a blinking cursor. But I also envision with new eyes the potential that the blank screen holds. And with that vision, I see the blinking cursor as an invitation to encourage and edify others with my words. A positive attitude rides on vision. Nothing kills vision like pessimism. How can you adopt a fresh set of eyes in this season of your life? How can vision help with adjusting your attitude, not just to do better but to be better? Sometimes an old goal or dream simply needs a fresh set of eyes for it to rekindle the flame of possibility.
Where did it Fall?
The pace of the twist and turns of the year has been enough to make us lose sight of not just our goals but our vision as well. Here are a few ways to recapture a fallen vision:
Be A Model: This means to walk in alignment with what you envision. Most visions are aborted because we walk contrary to them. Modeling what you believe is possible with actionable steps will rekindle and keep the fire of your vision ablaze. The smallest of actions will do. The key is to build momentum toward the reality of the vision.
Revive Your “Wow”: Vision can quickly fizzle when “How” becomes the prevailing issue at hand. Instead, take time to revel in what it would mean for your vision to come to fruition. Earlier this year the question, “How will I have enough content to sustain a weekly blog schedule to the end of the year” pestered my mind. It was enough to make me resist the desire to continue. Reading Beginner’s Pluck by Liz Forkin Bohannon gave me a fresh perspective. In her book, she references “WOW TIME” as moments to “visualize what the future could actually look like.” As I read it, I let my mind envision the encouragement I could give people each week. A “Wow” perspective developed, and with it a resolve to keep writing. Your vision needs a continuous flow of “Wow” perspectives to keep the pressure of “How” from crushing it before it has a chance to emerge.
Help someone else achieve their vision: Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” This is a counter-intuitive strategy. Most of the time, we want to lift ourselves up and afterward offer our assistance. But Ziglar flips the script by advising that by lifting others up, we in turn get to where we want in life. I have found this to be a true statement.
Final thought: If, either by way of the daily grind and pressures of life or the current pandemic, your vision has become blurry or even lost, know that you don’t have to stay stuck in a vision less life cycle. You can opt-out by putting on a fresh set of eyes and allowing yourself to see past the current circumstances. Stoke the fire of vision. Walk in a way that is consistent with your purpose or potential. Find a “Wow” regarding what you believe is possible in spite of not knowing “How” exactly it will happen. And finally, avoid the landmine of self-centeredness by helping others achieve their vision. It is one of the constants we need for life to move forward.
Keep on Keeping on!