I am coming off a fabulous, purpose filled and transformational red carpet event at our nation’s capital (you can see my event page or social media pages for more information). I have successfully made the switch to working smarter not harder even though the intensity level is heightened! After waking up to news of the death of Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s oldest son, I am even more appreciative of my D.C. event experience.
Joseph “Beau” Biden was truly a survivor as demonstrated soon after birth. At two years old he survived a car accident that took the lives of his mother and one year old sister. His life was quoted as one of service: as a young lawyer, working to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo; as an Iraq War veteran who was awarded the Bronze star; and as Delaware’s Attorney General who made it his mission to protect children from abuse. Beau was said to be considering a running for governor of Delaware.
He valiantly continued his service through his health battles: in 2010 he suffered a stroke; in 2013 he was diagnosed with brain cancer after seeking treatment due to his feeling disoriented and weak while on vacation. (Side note: routine health screenings, follow-ups and going to the doctor when anything seems unusual is important.) Beau underwent surgery and was given a clean bill of health. When the cancer returned this spring 2015, Biden aggressively pursued treatment up to his death where he was surrounded by his extended family.
Time is promised to no man as demonstrated by his age—Beau Biden was only 46 years old. What we should take away from his example is the importance of living a life of purpose and service. Once you discover your divine purpose, let nothing stop or hinder you from fulfilling it! Learn what things you need to let go of, align yourself with those who are like minded and willing to serve with you on the battlefield and work expeditiously as if time was running out. Time waits for no man or woman and no day is promised:
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work.
—John 9:4, KJV
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--Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru
Author of Sometimes all you have is Happy (available on Createspace, Amazon and Kindle)
I simply was not prepared. I started my Memorial Day celebrations early and took some much needed time to rest. I enjoyed a wonderful church service, picked up an evening gown for a red carpet event for the following week and made it to the gym minutes before it opened. Protein shake in hand, bottle of water, swim goggles, etc., and I was ready. Swimming laps on my back one after one when, 15 minutes in, it hit me (queue the lack of preparation).
I transitioned from swimming on my back to on my stomach. I have being swimming for years so there is nothing unusual about this transition. Oddly enough, I tired quickly and struggled to make it to the end of that one lap. Passing the seven ft. mark, I was losing my breath, started taking in water and felt like I was going to drown. I had a few feet left but I felt panic trying to set it. I kept repeating to myself, “calm down, you’re no novice; just keep pushing, remain calm and you can rest when you get to the end”.
Well, obviously I made it to the end because I am sharing this lesson. What went wrong? I had not consumed enough calories for the task ahead of me. Oftentimes in our lives, we start with excitement, vision and passion with the end goal in sight without the proper equipment. We do not do our research or count the cost so, when we get to a certain point and feel overwhelmed, our first thought is quit. The reality is, in the heat of your fear, you need to encourage yourself, keep pushing and be determined to make it to the end.
After all, if I had quit in seven ft. of water with three more to go, what would the end result have been? I guarantee you, lifeguard or not, quitting would have done more harm than me pressing on. In the heat of your fear, how many times have you given up? What passions, goals, visions or destinies have you forfeited or let die? Want to go back and reclaim what is yours? Here’s a FREE kick start:
If you are a Joy Enthusiast w/the tagline of The Joy Guru, there is one question you hear all the time: how do you stay so happy all the time? I laugh and reply, "that's simple; you don't"! Let me explain . . .
As I share in my book, happiness and joy are two different things; joy is a permanent state/happy is predicated on conditions. If you have been around me or heard me speak, you'll feel a certain happiness and joy that radiates from me. However, I am not happy all the time; I am human. I hurt, I cry, I experience setbacks/devastations/disappointments and failures like everyone else. However, there is one lesson I have learned and am forced to implement repeatedly in the pic above: LET IT GO!
Our parents meant well but most of them taught us wrong: while it is important to treat others as you would like to be treated, equal or greater emphasis should have been placed on the no matter what you do there are going to be some people that hate you and do everything to hurt you lesson. There are those that despite your dedication, time spent, energy poured into and affection for will turn around and display the Judas spirit. Truthfully some of them don't even need 30 pieces of silver in exchange for your life; they would sell you for a mere promise! What should you learn from those experiences?
After the hurt, anger, devastation and pain, ask yourself: what side of the door did I extend to Judas? Once you recognized that Judas spirit, did you open the door to escort him or her out or did you open the door to your heart just a little wider, hoping that if you gave them more of you it would yield a change of heart? I am not saying Judas was innocent but . . . you can't blame Judas for what he did after you refused to escort him out and opened the door wider for him to come in.
--Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru
One of the frequent questions that my mother always gets is, You don’t have any grandchildren? The world is shocked that someone with two adult daughters has no grandchildren or son-in-laws. Maybe that is a phenomenon in today’s society but it also reveals a sad truth.
Society is filled with people who subscribe to preconceived notions and standards of what true happiness is and the way to obtain it. You are only happy and truly successful if you have xyz. Some even add to these standards by giving you a specified time (theirs) for you to accomplish all these things. No one ever ask my mother how happy her daughters are or what quality of life do they have? No one ask what are her daughters’ recent accomplishments or successes? No one ask my mother how are your daughters changing the world for the better or how are they productive members of society? Some would rather see you married with children and miserable than to be single with no children and fulfilled and happy. [Disclaimer: I am not saying that because you are married and have children your life is miserable; life can be miserable regardless of your circumstances and commitments.]
With maturity, I’ve learned to not be bothered or upset by those questions or statements; rather I feel sorry for the askers. I always say, you can tell a lot about a person by the questions they ask you; not what they say but what it translates to. The difference in the questions in the previous two paragraphs will tell you the substance and life perspective of the asker. People speak and share based on where they are in their life and the sum total of their experiences. Sadly, many have bought into keeping up with the Jones-es or trying to keep up with the status quo. I’ve learned that both of these states will keep you depressed and miserable; you will never have enough or be enough. Typically, when you have reached that point, you feel stuck and unknowingly spread the same limited mindset to others.
Buyers beware: be careful of the words, thoughts and questions you entertain from others! You might not be able to stop someone from asking a particular question or making a statement but you can stop it from taking root in your life and living based off of it. All of us question things from time to time and, in our vulnerabilities, doubt our success and outlook. If we veer off course, we must remind ourselves that Jesus is in control of our lives, our future and our destiny. He withholds no good thing from his children nor is his time our time. For every preconceived notion and standard the world provides God has his own plan and standard for each one of his children. [This is why the company you keep is so critical; when your weak, they will hold you up and remind you of these things.]
Are you one of his children? Then I pray that whatever plan God has for your life, may He open your eyes to see it, may you fulfill it, thrive in it and live the best you RIGHT NOW! May you not be fooled by the opinions of others or shamed into attempting to seek what they say you should have when you should have only to be repeatedly disappointed. Rather may you seek the purpose and the life that you created for in such a time as this.
With God’s blessing and by his power, may you learn how to live a life that is full, abundant and joyfully uninhibited because it is not predicated by the dictates of man. Let no one else’s questions, looks, disparaging remarks (intentional or otherwise) or negativity rob you of the miracle you are. No one knows your story like you know it and, if the truth be told, they are not happy if they constantly criticize and question your life; if they were they wouldn’t have time to be all up in your business asking you why you haven’t done XYZ!
Now don’t get an attitude or tell them off; feel sorry for them but let nothing stop your shine! Beware of the probing and judgmental questions of others; if you are not careful, you will buy into their labels and standards and lose the blessing that is your life!
Oh yeah, there is a brilliant author that wrote all about this; you can purchase your copy today, lol: