The Key to Successful Living

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I was caught in a rush the other day and had to heat some food up in the microwave. Something that I try to keep to a minimum as I was always told it was not that healthy, but it was just one of those moments when I needed it.

The thought reminded me of when I was younger.

Remember when you had someone that would tell you, don’t eat that, don’t wear that, or I wouldn’t travel there. When we are younger, we had family members, friends or other people in our lives trying to give us wisdom.

We rarely listened, and even when we did, we convinced ourselves that it was our idea.

At that moment I thought; we all need that voice in our lives. Someone to tell us to make the call, or to remind us that when we say sorry all will be ok, or someone to say, ‘if you are out of breath walking up some stairs, maybe it’s time you walked to the corner shop rather than take the car.’

But the voice is not there.

Achieving what we want in life is not easy, and there is no one to keep you on track, you are sadly on your own. Something that I recommend that has worked wonders for me is reading from the Bible every day. It centres and calms the mind so that you can think clearly.

The key action that turned my life around was the day that I discovered the Great Book and started to let its wisdom wash over me. I became more understanding, loving and compassionate and shared that wisdom with family and friends.

It changed the direction of my life.

When we are going around in our mundane lives, yes it can be boring, but it is safe, it’s easy. But this is not the life destined for us; we were created to do great things.

What I found is, there are two reasons we underachieve in life, one, the fear of failure, ‘what if I don’t succeed, what if I invest my time and it doesn’t work. And secondly, the fear of success, ‘what if I do succeed, what if it leads to bigger things.”

When you read from the Bible God will speak to you, the words will translate into the message you need to hear. Fearful thoughts fade away. You will gain an unshakable faith in your abilities, and in time you will find the direction you must take.

You will soon discover that success is an ongoing process, not a destination as we are led to believe, there will be setbacks along the way, you will stumble and fall, but you must carry on.

As humans we want the easy way out, we don’t want to put in the work. Everyone wants to be successful and live the high life, but they want it handed to them. This is not how the world works.

Finding our own truth is something that we must all do, and for me, this can only be achieved reading the word of God. Through scripture, God will speak to you, and you will know what you must do.

I wish you all the best on your journey. May you find what’s true to you.

Enjoy your week.
Rev J Martin

The Crossroads of Should and Must?

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There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And each time, we get to choose.

Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us.

When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.

Must is different—there aren’t options, and we don’t have a choice.

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self; it’s God calling us to take action to fulfil our destiny.

Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our true calling from within, deep within our soul.

Must is the reason that I am writing this post today, the rest of the days I was saying I should write a post. Simple words, but incredibly powerful how they can shape your life.

But if Must is so great, why do we not pick it every day?

Well, it turns out that choosing Must is scary, it’s hard, and can feel a lot like jumping off a high cliff when you can’t see what’s down below.

Must is taking that leap of faith. Must means action.

Grab a piece of paper and write the numbers one through ten on the left side of the page. At the top, title it “What I should do?” This is the things that you have been meaning to do, but for one reason or another have been putting off.

You’ve got ten minutes to write them down.

Go.

list list list

Welcome back.

These are the ten things that are holding you back from living the life that you were destined to live. Ultimately, it’s fear that is stopping you, but you may never admit it.

You may list many excuses; I’m not talented enough yet, I’m not confident enough, I haven’t got the money. I’m too fat, too thin.

Line by line, walk yourself through each one, have a conversation about all of your fears. These are the biggest obstacles standing in your way.

Fear will never go away unless you face it.

Sometimes our greatest fear is that we will achieve great things. There is a famous quote— below.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frighten us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson. Author, Lecturer

 

You have something special inside of you, and it’s about time you gave your best shot; honor that calling in some small way — today.

Now go back to your list, and stroke out the word should at the top, and write in the word Must; WHAT I MUST DO. Choosing Must needs to be a daily practice, a recurring choice for you to see progress in your life.

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If you feel a knot in your stomach because you can see the enormous distance between your dreams and your daily reality, take one small step towards it by doing something — today. It could be as simple as checking what options are available or making a call.

If you’ve been peering out over the edge of the cliff but can’t quite make the leap, dig a little deeper and find out what’s stopping you — today.

There is a recurring choice in life, and it occurs at the intersection of two roads. We arrive at this place again and again. And today, you get to choose.

Take the word ‘should’ out of your vocabulary; it is such a dangerous word for making a change in your life. I should eat healthy— maybe tomorrow. I should speak up for myself— will it really make a difference? I should look for a new job— I might be unhappy here but at least I can do my job with my eyes closed.

I’m sure you have some of your own, so how do you make the change?

From today change all the should’s to musts; if you find yourself saying should— change it to must.

I must eat healthier, so I have the energy to go for the adventures that I love.

I must speak up for myself, what I have to say matters and is the truth.

I must get a new job; I need a new experience; I want to grow in my personal and spiritual life.

When you make the decision that you MUST do something your mind kicks into action, listing the series of steps that need to be completed. Should is almost an excuse that we use to put things off.

Change a should to a must today; give birth to a chain of events that could change someone’s life.

Have a fantastic week, and remember God only wants the best for you, which means living a life without fear.

 

Rev J Martin

Gain success love and happiness.

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We are born into this world with two fears; fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learnt.

The good news is anything learnt can be unlearnt. What I have found from my own experience is, behind a fear can lie an opportunity for growth.

Recently a young lady asked me for advice, she worked in an office, it was a well-paid job, but she was unhappy and needed a change but did not know what she could do. I have changed her name at her request.

Explaining this principle, that we can sometimes learn more from our fears than staying in our comfort zone. I asked Olivia to think of a fear she had overcome that made her a stronger person

She was very open to the idea if I believed that it would help.

After some thought, Olivia revealed to me that one of her first jobs was in a major high street clothes shop; a weekend job to help her through college. The job mainly involved getting the clothes ready for sale; tagged, priced, etc.

She picked the job because she didn’t feel confident being on the floor dealing with customers, and the thought of working on the tills was something she dreaded.

Then one Friday evening after she finished her shift, management informed her they were very short staffed for Saturday and needed her on tills. Saturday being one of the busiest days of the week, Olivia panicked.

‘Well, I went straight home and curled up in a ball.” She said, “Fear had gripped me; my mind was quickly filled with doubt.”

She went on to tell me that, thoughts like, what if I make a mistake, what if others laugh at me, what if I forget to remove the security tags, tormented her.

The more questions she asked, the bigger the problem became. Within hours Olivia told me she had stomach pains. She couldn’t eat and found it hard to sleep. Even though it was her worse fear, she knew that it was something she had to do.

That Saturday someone shadowed her for most of the day, which helped her greatly. Olivia explained, “I was slow, I was clumsy, I made mistakes, but it was expected of me.”

Olivia was then told she would be on the floor on a more regular basis. Over the next few weeks and months, her confidence grew; although she still did not like being on the floor alone.

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By the time she left college, Olivia was one of the best till operators in the shop. She could greet the customer, talk to the customer, neatly fold everything into the bag, quicker than everyone else.

It got to the point where she was chosen to go on tills when they wanted the queue down quickly while still maintaining excellent customer service.

Then Olivia’s eyes lit up, I could see ideas were dancing in her head.

“I enjoy communicating and helping people face to face. You have been so helpful, thank you,” she said emotionally.

I reminded her that I had done nothing, she had only become aware of a talent that she possessed.

I share this story today to highlight a point. Behind your greatest fear could be your ultimate skill. Maybe like Olivia you have already discovered it but cast it to one side.

Whatever your fear, unless you confront it; you will never know what’s on the other side.

It could be success, love or happiness.

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Beyond your fears is a world you may never know; part of you that you will never know exists, part of you which could offer so much to the world.

Overcoming fear builds confidence and faith; it expands your character allowing you to grow.

Now I’m not trying to fool you that it will be easy. No no no, it will be one of the hardest things that you have ever done in your life.

And, you will make mistakes.

But over time you will get better. The thing that you once feared will actually become enjoyable, so enjoyable that one day you will tell a story that will make you realize how far you have progressed.

How much you have achieved.

You will have the realization that conquering one fear opened the door to a new world, and your life grew at such an alarming rate that the initial fear almost seems ridiculous.

You will also know if you had shied away from it, you would be living such a different life.

My challenge for you today is to face one of your fears. This may seem like a daunting task, so I will make it easy for you.

Pick something small, something you keep putting off. It could be as simple as making a phone call or signing up for a class or course.

Whatever it is, make a decision to confront it today.

Action creates momentum.

Simple changes have a way of leading to significant results.

 

Have a fantastic week
Rev J Martin

Power Of Words

YES I CAN

Words have a great impact on your world. They inform you, educate you and have the power to make you buy one product over the next.

What if you could harness this power.

I have already written a short book on the subject but would like to expand on the topic today as over the last week it has come to my attention that we all need a reminder from time to time.

I know a man that says, I always seem to miss the bus, or it is pulling away as I arrive. His daughter, on the other hand, says, I always seem to arrive just before the bus comes or when it is pulling into the station.

Each of them has made a separate law for themselves. One for success and one for failure.

This is a simple example that may lead to missing a plane from time to time, but often people through their words create many limiting laws for themselves, restricting what they can achieve in life.

I never remember.

I can’t learn anything new.

I don’t have the time to read.

I haven’t got enough education to do that.

If you say any of these things or anything similar you are not alone. It is estimated that by the time a child is 18 years old, it has been told that they can’t or don’t do that, 147000 times.

It is not surprising then as adults we take a negative view on life; avoiding trying anything new. The good news is you can change it all today by harnessing the power of your words.

When faced with a new task or challenge; turn I never, I can’t; I don’t, I haven’t, too – I always, I can, I will, I have.

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Do not be fooled my the simplicity of changing these words. Simple changes like this in your language can have a massive impact on your life and those around you.

Now changing language is only the first step, you must then put in the ground work of speaking these words of faith regularly; it will change your outlook, which in turn will change your life.

First Steps

This week, make a conscious effort to monitor whenever you say something negative about yourself or towards another; at the end of the week, you will have a list of the words or phrases that may be limiting your life or damaging your relationships.

The next step is to speak the opposite purposely. Example: I will never learn this, too, With practice, I will learn this

Many things we say have almost become a habit, they just roll off the tongue without thought. To break any habit at first may be hard but the fruits of your efforts will be very rewarding.

If you have the habit of saying, I haven’t got the time, make the time. As you would not miss a doctor’s appointment, set an appointment for yourself – to visit an old friend, to read a book or attend the gym.

James 3:2
If anyone can control his tongue, it proves that he has perfect control over himself in every other way.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your Sunday and week ahead.

Rev J Martin

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More Happiness; Less Stress.

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I came across a book on gratitude, which has actually changed my life, and I was a very grateful person, to begin with.

We all have problems; they come to us all. Some are physical, others are emotional, and sometimes even spiritual ones arise.

We like to be in control of any change in our lives, but it doesn’t always work out that way; life evolves at an alarming rate. With all the pressure, stress and worry, we can easily get caught up in it, not seeing a way out.

“I would be very grateful if things would just work out the way I want.” Then it works out, and we are thankful for a fleeting moment.

In the book, it made reference to Matthew 13:12. “Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

Many people have said to me, this passage sounds unjust, as it seems to be saying the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. For me, Jesus is talking about knowledge of the kingdom of heaven, but gratitude fits very well.

“Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he has will be taken away.”

We live in a society of MORE, everyone wants MORE, they want to lose more weight, they want more holidays, they want more money, then they will be happy. In their search for more, they are missing a vital ingredient – Gratitude.

The art of being grateful for what we already have.

When you are grateful for your job, even if it’s not perfect, your view on it will change, meaning you will enjoy it more.

When you are grateful for the relationships in your life, even if some of them are not perfect, you will begin to look at the positive aspects of them, and the appreciation for them will grow.

When you are grateful for the money you have, no matter how little, you will find, this simple change of focus makes a huge difference in how rich you feel.

The flipside is when you are not grateful, you will find that you will only look at the negative things in your job, in your relationships, you will complain about the lack of money, meaning you will not even get the enjoyment out of the little you have.

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What You Focus On Grows.

It was recommended to write down 10 things each morning that you were grateful for. I thought to myself after a few days this is going to be difficult, but what I found was, during the day new ideas kept popping into my head. It became clear to me, very quickly, there was so much in my life to be grateful for.

My list started with the Internet because it is the reason I am connecting to you today. My family for giving me a solid foundation of faith. My senses so I can experience the world in all its glory. It actually alarmed me the number of things that I took for granted.

If you mentioned being thankful for your sight to anyone that has sight they would not really appreciate what you mean. Take it away from them for even an hour, and their life would come to a stand still.

Throughout the week my list started to include the simple pleasures of life, coffee, food, clothes, nature. Then I began to realise the number of people that contributed to provide service to me throughout the week. Thousands of farmers, manufacturers, packers, delivery drivers. All essential people to my survival, but all of which, until recently – I took for granted.

Happy Person That I Am

The more I was grateful, the happier I became. There was so much in my life that I took for granted; I simply did not realise how rich and successful I really was. I have absolutely no excuse to complain about anything. In today’s high standard of living, I haven’t got much, but I am still richer than half the people on this planet.

Some people might say, all this grateful stuff is not going to make my life any better, so what if I can walk, so what if I can talk, feel, hear, see, everyone can do these things? What am I gaining by being thankful for what I already have, it seems pointless?

You will find that these same people are not entirely happy; they will constantly be depressed and stressed. No matter how much money they have, they will still have a void in their life. They will spend all the money they have, maybe even more than they have, with the illusion that MORE will fill the void, but they will still be unhappy stressed and depressed. They will still say that gratitude is a waste of time.

When you think, I don’t like my job, I’m not happy in my relationship, I haven’t got enough money, my life’s a mess, I cant pay my bills, no one appreciates me, I haven’t got enough time, then you attract more of these experiences.

Learn to turn it around to:

I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful for the relationships that make me happy; I’m thankful for the money I have, I’m grateful for my life. I’m grateful that I am able to use service’s before I need to pay for them. I’m thankful for the people that do appreciate me.

True happiness and fulfilment come from being thankful for what you already have. When you are grateful, even the smallest increase in any of these things feels like a gift.

Much of what we take for granted living in the west, people in other parts of the world dream about.

True riches come from gratitude. Try it just for today, and you will see the difference that it makes.

Have a good weekend.

Rev J Martin

 

17 Ways To Be A Lot Happier In 2017

2016 has had its ups and downs, full of personal heartache, sickness, and a little slice of success.

New doors are opening in front of me, and although scared what may be on the other side, I’m also confident, when I walk through them; a new world awaits.

Within the year, I’ve learned new lessons about what happiness means, and how you can attain it, which I would like to share with you today.

Here are my 17 ways to be a lot happier in 2017.

 

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1 – Take Good Care Of Yourself

Unless you are running at 100%, you can not truly help others. You must first look after your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Only then, can the Spirit of God flow through you into everything you do.

 

2 – Stop Trying To Change Others

It very rarely happens. The older we get, the more set in our ways we become. You can’t change others; you just can’t. Be the change you want to see in others, which ties in with number 3.

 

3 – Work On Yourself

This might sound a little selfish at first, but you will quickly realize how challenging it is to change your bad habits, which will make point 2 a lot clearer.

 

4 – Take Your Time

When you slow your life down and realize it is not a race, you begin to enjoy it more. When we are always running after others, or ourselves, we miss out on all the good things.

A beautiful sunrise or sunset, birds chirping, and the soothing sound of a stream.

 

5 – Surround Yourself With Good People

The people that you surround yourself with, has a massive impact on your life. It can seem good to help negative people, but if you are not careful, negative people can affect your spirit.

Make sure you are surrounded with good people, people that encourage you and help you grow. People that can keep an eye on you when your life gets out of balance.

2017 is a year for growth. Cut out all the dead weight – all those that are holding you back.

 

6 – Trust Gods Timing

In life, we want everything on our timetable, but I have found life has its own timetable. The more you fight the natural speed of things, the more you will be stress, depressed or anxious.

Learn to surrender in 2017.

 

7- Be Mindful Of What You Consume

Food, friendships, media, etc. Get rid of everything that does not support you, and help you become a healthier version of yourself.

 

8 – Forgive, Even When You Have Been Wronged.

Forgive yourself and others quickly. Forgiveness is one of Jesus central messages and one of the most important ones.

When you forgive, you do not forgive their behavior. You are not saying what they did was right. You are simply releasing the infection, emptying out the toxins, so they can no longer poison your life.

 

9 – Look For The Silver Lining

Even at the worst moment, there is a lesson to be learned. There is always a reason things don’t work out, or happen in the way we expect, but often we need to look hard for it.

 

10 – It’s Not Always About You

Sometimes how someone treats you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. Their actions or words reveal the condition of their own heart.

Learn not to take things personally. Instead, pray for that person.

I forgive you for not being who I want you to be, I forgive you and set you free.

 

11 – Don’t Be A Doormat

Have enough respect to walk away from the people that misuse or mistreat you. People respond better to you when you are assertive and ask for what you deserve.

 

12 – Apologize

If you are in the wrong, be big enough to admit it.

 

13 – Understand That Everyone Has His Or Her Own Perception

We all view things differently. How you look or feel about a situation can be completely different than the next person. Example, one person looks at the glass half empty, the other looks at the glass half full.

 

14 – Put Down The Phone, and enjoy what is happening around you.

I recently visited a beautiful waterfall. As the sun came out from behind the clouds, the way the light bounced off it was breathtaking. Everyone took out their phones, and so did I.

As the water was spraying everywhere getting a good shot was near to impossible. Before I got one, the sun had gone.

Lesson learned.

 

15 – Realize Social Media Is Not Reality

Don’t buy into the hype. Everyone is human, with ups and downs in life.

Facebook, etc. are excellent ways to connect with people, but I often see others trying so hard to impress, trying to portray a perfect life, only posting exciting cool things.

You can easily feel that you are missing out on something, but you’re not.

 

16- Never Assume Someone Knows How You Feel

People cannot read your mind. If someone has hurt you, get it out in the open. In many cases, when I have done this I realized that I took what was said the wrong way entirely.

Issues cannot be resolved without communication.

 

17 – Stay On Your Own Path

Most of us think that we are qualified to tell others how they should or shouldn’t be living their lives; even if we have zero experience in the matter.

Unless asked for advice, plus have firsthand experience, I have found it’s better to let others make their own mistakes, as they grow wiser and stronger.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Rev J Martin

 

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