Five Ways To Build A Morning Ritual

Creating a morning ritual has the ability to set the course and expectations for your day. It brings what’s important into focus and allows you to create a strategy that will help you achieve your goals no matter what comes your way and harness a strength of determination that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

I’ve noticed many of the successful men and women I follow from a distance, who specialize in the areas of my life to improve, ALL have morning rituals that have set them up for massive success. Here are five ways to help you build morning rituals.

    1. Praying to the Most High God. Prayer allows you to stay in tune and in alignment with the Creator of the Universe. When you walk in step and in covenant with the Lord Jesus you receive supernatural instruction through his Word and Spirit. A good place to start if you don’t know how to pray is in the Book of Psalms.
      “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” – Psalm 1: 1-6 (New Living Translation)
    2. Reading a Book. Reading opens up the mind to new possibilities, sparks creativity and oils your mental gears to problem solve. I didn’t understand the Power of Reading Rainbow until I was well into my 20’s. I just thought it was about the LeVar Burton talking about cool books. But the truth is, it was meant to engage the imagination of children and spur them to read because there is power in applied knowledge.

      “A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” – Abraham Lincoln

    3. The Power of Music. Music stimulates and helps the brain vibrate thought into action, if applied. More, studies have shown that it has the influential power to control the central nervous system which controls our blood pressure, heartbeat and brain function – and also the limbic system. Most professional athletes listen to some form of music during pre-game that gets them ready for the actual game. Now, if athletes position themselves to achieve success on the court, field or in the arena through training and listening to music that allows them to focus all of their energy on specific set of tasks – then I think we can learn something from their example.
    4. Eat your Wheaties. Breakfast builds you up physically and mentally. I remember rising out of bed and running to jump on the bus and missing breakfast altogether. And on those days I didn’t eat breakfast my focus was thrown off and on occasion my attitude was terrible. It’s important to eat breakfast because it does a few things:
      1. It helps with weight control
      2. Boost fiber intake
      3. Boost brain activity
    5. The Power of Affirmations. Affirmations prime the mind for the probable. If you’ve already made up in your mind what you’ll do and accept for the day then you’ll have the type of action that backs up that “Affirmation”. More, affirmations when combined with Scripture produce faith that enables you to do basic to incredible feats.

You can also build and create your own morning rituals that help you take action and conquer your goals. Here are five ways to help you do that:

  1. Being Still – sometimes you just need to slow down and take a break from the culture around you
  2. Knowing and maximizing your Strengths will help you strategically take on things that you are best suited for
  3. Analyzing and Writing down your Goals. Then based upon that Goal Sheet you’ll be able to put a plan in place to help you achieve those goals
  4. Listening to Music – stimulate the mind
  5. Mastermind your way to Success – Jump into a group of people who will hold you accountable, stir up your gifts and challenge to become better

Implementing any of these Morning Rituals can drastically change your daily production and outlook. Your life will produce whatever you consume on a consistent basis. And if you Build Morning Rituals into your life then they’ll give and multiply to you benefits that you only dreamed of.

What are some morning rituals that you practice that help you produce more and better results?

Ideas, Taking Action and FEAR

Ideas

Every great movement, amazing product or incredible service started with an idea. There isn’t anything that has been made that wasn’t an idea first. Ideas can be birthed through a number of ways, which can include:

  • Meditation
  • Accidental Findings
  • Spontaneity
  • Crunch Time Situations
  • Spiritual Disciplines

An idea’s existence is subject to a person’s thought process. And a person’s thought process is subject to what it has been unconsciously and consciously exposed to. Eventually a person will become whatever he or she consumes on a consistent basis. If the mind is filled with negativity, junk, fear and doubt then it will have no choice but to take its cues from its diet. It will not magically produce positive actions, faith and good stuff at the snap of a finger.

Ideas have the power to move nations, birth technological advancements, fixate into the minds of men and women a lifestyle to be obtained and so much more.

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. – W. Clement Stone

Action

I’ve known people who have some of the most innovative ideas but never take action on them. If you do not take action on your ideas then you will NEVER see #progress. Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, found a key ingredient in the lives of 500 millionaires he studied and interviewed from the early 1900’s to the mid 1930’s – DEFINITE OR DECISIVE ACTION. These industrialists, entrepreneurs and dreamers just didn’t talk the talk about their dreams – they took action on their dreams and made tweaks along the way that produced great wealth!

Fear

In the process of taking action on your Ideas and Dreams you will come up against notable adversaries but none will hit harder than FEAR. FEAR has caused many men and women to go back to their bedrooms, shut the door and hide under their beds never come out again. FEAR holds no punches and seeks to paralyze ALL of it’s opponents. FEAR will be present during any endeavor but you do not have to give into it. Here’s an acronym for FEAR when it rears its ugly head:

FALSE
EVIDENCE
APPEARING
REAL

ACTIONS

  1. How do you interpret the FEAR acronym?
  2. What are you currently feeding yourself?
  3. What will you do in order to make your dreams a reality?

What Is Your Definition Of Success?

Business leaders, kings, commanders, entertainers, authors, the religious and the influential from all over the world for centuries have determined and defined the varying degrees of success. I believe many of the definitions and principles are true however, there is one that supercedes them ALL.

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. – Joshua 1:8 NLT

Scripture paints the ultimate picture of what success looks like and the necessary preceding actions that allow a person to be successful. It involves hearing from God, believing what God said and lastly taking action on what God said.

What is your definition of success? Write your thoughts in the comments below.

4 GREAT Chinua Achebe Quotes

Humans.

Yes Humans.

We have a tendency to of getting caught up in the affairs of life and losing our way from time to time. And to make life stickier it can have a number of paths, streets, directions and voices pulling at the fibers of your soul all while vying and luring our hearts into dark places. Life is real and we often feel the tangible consequences and collateral damage of just being human. We understand right and wrong. No RELATIVISM. Stealing is stealing. Coveting is coveting. Now, we may not call it that. But by definition… we know what it is.

Interestingly enough, in the midst of life I’ve always been amazed of how God reminds and nudges our hearts back to life through his goodness that brings us repentance.

While waiting in the fertile place of repentance we need to build ourselves back up through filling our hearts with things of Truth, Respect and Good Rapport. Which brings me to Chinua Achebe, again. I first encountered his writings in high school years ago when I was still wet behind the ears. Now that I’m older and a bit wiser his words resonate with me world more. The majority of his writings explore how his Nigerian culture was hijacked by Christianity. Therefore, the framework that he writes and speaks from is at times fragile, sometimes very volatile and from a state of victory or defeat.

Here are 4 Achebe quotes that you can reflect on as you press forward in life:

  1. There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter… Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. – Chinua Achebe
  2. “Every generation must recognize and embrace the task it is peculiarly designed by history and by providence to perform.” – Chinua Achebe
  3. “Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad daylight, then know that something is after its life.” – Chinua Achebe
  4. If you don’t like someone’s story, you write your own. – Chinua Achebe

Action Steps

  1. Write down a list of strategies that will help you move through life when it gets messy
  2. Who are you? And what are some of the tools/devices you deploy to remind you of that?

You Find Time By Making Time

Year after year millions of people make countless New Year’s Resolutions about goals they want set and achieve. And year after year these millions of people kiss and experience defeat as they see their goals unreached, unmet and unrealized.

Goals can be met and dreams can be realized with making time for what truly matters. WE prioritize what matters to us. If we wanted to celebrate an upcoming 18th, 21st, 25th, 30th or 40th birthday in style, we’d do it. If a college student was determined to no longer live on campus and wanted to move into an apartment for more privacy and liberty, they’d find a way to do it. When Christmas time rolls around we break our necks trying to get our loved ones things that wow them, even if those things are needs.

Hint: You find time by making time because time stands still for no one

Here are 3 things to consider when setting goals for the New Year.

  1. Make your goals Simple and Realistic
  2. Make your goals Specific and Deadline Driven
  3. Make your goals  Strategic and Targeted

It’s a New Year filled with new possibilities! Possibilities that could make this year the best year yet! Now, go get it!

Image Source: Kingdom Life Media

Negative People Can Kick Rocks

Negativity is expensive and will always cost you something.

Goals, dreams and a plans can be thwarted by one negative person in your life who is full of indifference. It’s important to get the right people on your team and the wrong people off your team if you want to achieve your goals, have peace, jump into new opportunities and more.

The verb form of the word negative means
to deny; contradict.
to refute or disprove (something).
to refuse assent or consent to; veto.
to neutralize or counteract.

With this definition in mind, do not empower negative people in your life to throw or cast shade on the God given abilities and dreams. Negative people are leaches who feed off of your energy, fears and hopes, prying their way into your inner circle, and turning around and doubting the moves you make.

For this, Negative People Can Kick Rocks.

Life is too short for dream killers to suck the life and energy out of you. Make up in your mind what you need to do with them today.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DEALING WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE

  1. Restrict or limit your time with negative people, especially if you can’t get rid of them because they are a blood relative, classmate, colleague and etc.
  2. Don’t jump into foolish talk with negative people; keep it black and white
  3. Don’t bow to their influence
  4. If you are the negative person get the necessary tools to help you overcome your negativity

Don’t Let Your Dreams Die

“Don’t let your dreams die,” has been my father’s motto to my brothers and I since I can remember. My old man has always been adamant and a stickler about us pursuing our dreams, even to a fault.

Langston Hughes poem A Deferred Dream poses questions much like a catechism but without answers. Instead he allows you to critically think through the consequences of a delayed dream. He writes,

like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?

The imagery is meant to stir desire and provoke action in your heart.

I’ll put it another way,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13;12

Here are some ways to keep the Dream Alive and Keep Going!

  1. Authentic desires and dreams are given to us by God, for his honor and our good/fulfillment. Therefore, trust him to accomplish in and through you his purpose for your life through the dream he’s given you.
  2. Put some action to your dream. It doesn’t make sense to keep talking. We all know the guy who is 41 and still has dreams of going to the NBA, don’t be him. Laziness delays your dream and is not a viable solution for accomplishing your dreams.
  3. Study! Study! Study! Read up on the influencers and achievers in the areas and apply some of their methods to your madness. Build up your skill sets.
  4. Your dream sometimes evolves and changes shape as you acquire more wisdom and exposure to different things.
  5. Know your circle! Keep people around you who will encourage you toward righteousness.
  6. Don’t wallow in past failures and mistakes. You have to know that your future and bright and full of opportunity because there is a God in Heaven of gives favor to his children.

Taste the feeling accomplishment and fulfillment when we achieve our dreams. The issue is not that life is too short. Life is short for the 90 year old woman compared to eternity. The issue is, what’s the point of living if you never fully live out the God given dream in your heart that honors him and brings you fulfillment.

6 Things About Moving Forward

The Lion King is one of the most beloved movies of all time and spans 2 to 3 generations. It’s a beautiful story of redemption full of colorful characters who aid and or hinder the protagonist. The nuggets of gold, truth and life lessons throughout this movie resonate with men, women, boys and girls in real life situations.

One of my favorite characters is the wise and old baboon/mandrill Rafiki. He is able to see what others can’t! In addition to his engaging personality, he has one of the best lines in the whole movie after he hits Simba in the head with his staff thingy. They exchange a couple of lines and then Rafiki says…

“Ah yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

It takes a willing heart to tackle the issues of their past and launch out into the deep for greater reward. However, as mysterious as the deep is… it is far better and greater than the superficial gains of wading in the shallow waters we often tend to find comfort in. Moving forward is a delicate balancing act and art of growing, gaining closure and healing.

Here are 6 things about moving forward that I’ve grabbed so far!

  1. Every relationship, in a sense, gives you another chance to resolve issues you didn’t get squared away in the previous one
  2. Healing the past will allow you to protect yourself from repeating the pain in your present
  3. Those who stare at the past in glory turn their backs on their future
  4. We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it – Lyndon B. Johnson
  5. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – George Santayana
  6. Your present is inextricably linked to your past and if you are weighed down by regret, pain, and guilt over things that happened days, weeks, months and or years ago then you will not be able to live fully in your present

Last, one of my favorite rock bands, Relient K, has a song called Forward Motion which tells a story about how moving forward can be very difficult but worth every bit of the fight and conquest that is within you in order to have something better in life!

i got evicted now i’m living on the street
my spirits lifted…oh wait, that wasn’t me
too many turns have turned out to be wrong
this time i learned that, i knew it all along – Relient K

Live life today and move forward.