The Secret of Change

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.” ~ Unknown

I’m pretty sure this is where I’ve been falling down. More often than not I’ll spend much of my time and energy ensuring the ‘old me’ doesn’t come back. I keep a close eye on it and make sure it doesn’t increase.

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The problem with this of course, is if I’m looking at the past and how it’s holding me back, I can’t take hold of the future and the change I desire.

Even after taking hold of the new, I still find myself seeking some comfort in the old world. It’s like there is a piece of me left back there that I have a tie too, a deep affection.

Yet, I know it’s unhelpful. I know it won’t be the thing that sustains me over the long-term.

So I’m doing it differently. It’s time to really focus on the future and the world I desire to be part of and the habits that will enrich my life.

Doing this will slowly begin to see the past as an unattractive addiction.

Whilst the future will be enticing.

Watching Australia Grow Up

Adam Goodes. The mere mention of the man’s name will elicit all sorts of responses.

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Whether you like the tribal dance that he (and Lewis Jetta) did or not, there is a broader issue at play. A conversation is happening for all Australians to determine the values and characteristics they want to live by, which will set in motion the actions of forthcoming generations.

But what we’re seeing is Australia, a relatively young country in comparison to the rest of the world, wrestling with major issues, in much the same way a young adult wrestles with their identity as they’re let loose into the world after completing school and turning 18.

Freedom abounds, but with freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility to others, and to society at large. 

Australia has left school and is growing up and in the process, figuring out what’s important and who she’d like to become.

It’s growing up because it is being forced to wrestle with a plethora of difficult topics: Same Sex Marriage, climate change, asylum seekers, overseas food imports, value and sanctity of life, national security and the list goes on.

Add to that, racism, and the debate sparked by Adam Goodes, a former Australian of the Year and proud Aboriginal.

It’s playing out in the media and Adam Goodes is the bloke who has drawn the attention, but make no mistake, as a country, we are sorting out our moral code and the values we hold dear.

So as the conversation happens around you, consider the type of person you’re becoming. Consider how racism and prejudice of all kinds may influence your choices and determine the people you hang around with.

It’s up to us to be the world we want to live in, and teach those values to the people who are watching us.

The chorus of hype surrounding freedom of speech is alive and well, yet when it happens it divides.

You have a freedom to speak, but you don’t have a freedom to segregate. Words are powerful, choose them carefully, and in the process you’ll learn what you stand for and what’s important.

When we all analyse ourselves in this way, our country matures and we unite.

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Here is a great video explaining the issue really clearly. Watch from 0-2.30mins

Flying Anytime Soon?

Wow. Pretty amazing it actually landed!

Create a Lifestyle Instead

Mostly we set goals. Health goals, career goals, emotional goals, relational goals and so on. And these can be helpful.

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But not as helpful as crafting habits which lead to a lifestyle that brings pure joy.

It reminds me of a quote by Seth Godin:

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

I know I’ve been guilty of this. Hanging out for holidays so I can escape my 9-5 world. I didn’t know it at the time, but I couldn’t work out why I was never refreshed and energised to return to work. It was because I wasn’t happy with the lifestyle I’d created and my employment was slowly eating me away.

I’ve changed a few things up and feel like I’m getting closer to the lifestyle which I’ll enjoy over the long-term.

So when you’re setting your next lot of goals, take a moment to consider how achieving these would lead you closer to a lifestyle that you’d love to wake up to.

If they don’t, maybe they’re not worth setting.

How to Walk With Others in Their Pain

We seriously make this out to be a bigger deal than it needs to be.

How to Walk With Others in Their Pain

We’ve all experienced pain and loss in our own lives, and we’ve experienced the good and the bad of how to be cared for.

Intuitively, we know what works and what doesn’t. We know what’s been helpful for our own lives and what hasn’t. Using our own experience makes it much easier to walk closely with others.

So often we believe we need to be something extraordinary, say something wise and clever, or provide the appropriate gift at just the right moment. And sure, if you can do those things then great. But most of the time we feel a bit uncertain about how to deal with our friends, family or colleagues as they are experiencing pain and loss of the highest magnitude.

So it makes sense to simplify it as much as possible.

When we tone down our own expectations and quieted the fears that may arise, we relax, and our role becomes easy: just be with them.

Care about them and genuinely be interested. Don’t try to convert them or minister to them, just show Christlike love and offer an abundance of understanding. Go the extra mile in your actions, drop in little mentions of your prayers and that you’re thinking about them, then leave the rest up to God. Be attentive to what may be pulling at your heart-strings throughout the days and nights…and act on them.

If at any time you begin to freak out and become uncertain about what you should do next, you’ve taken too much control instead of just being present. You don’t need to do anything special except be yourself and be around.

In the end it boils down to being present, seizing opportunities, going the extra mile and being prepared to offer the peace and contentment which comes from knowing Jesus.

Anything more than that, and it might get a little complex.