Monday, June 16, 2014

The Secret to Reaching your Fullest Potential

As you may already know, I typically write my Monday blog post on Sunday nights unless something interrupts that routine like a business trip, my crazy schedule, or a holiday..... in this case it was Father's day that led me to wait until tonight. I am happy however, because I was not really sure what I was going to write about and just as it often does (because everything happens on purpose) the delay did me good. Tonight, as I read Abrielle one of her favorite bedtime stories, I was inspired with this blog topic. So.... as I sit here with Pandora "classic lounge radio" piping through my headphones as I type, I deliver to you a little secret.

How many times in your life have you wondered "why me"? How many times have you looked at the people around you and felt that they were much better off than you as you struggle through every single day, every financial woe, jump every hurdle and exhaust all your efforts to gain what you feel is a bunch of nothing? We have all been there at some point, maybe more points than we care to admit. I can certainly share that I lived that way for many years. I had direction in my mind and even had my written plan of how it would all happen but doors would shut and waves came crashing; yet something inside of me kept making me get back up... a drive, an ambition, a will to continue on ran deep in my veins just as it does today. Today, however, I look at things very differently... I realize that every hurdle is a gift that will lead me to the greatness that is meant for me just as it is for every single one of us if we merely pay attention.

As I read my daughter that story tonight, I smiled as I do every time I read this particular book because the moral behind  it regardless of what you faithfully believe is so true. The name of the book is called "Hermie" the Common Caterpillar written by Max Lucado. In the story there are two common caterpillars; Hermie and Wormie and they are living life feeling very common. What they do that is not common is that they talk to God. In the story Hermie and Wormie often wonder why they are so common and ordinary and continuously ask God why they are. Each time they talk with God, God tells them that He is not finished with them yet and tells them to be patient. This answer makes them happy each time until they come across some creature who is more beautiful or has something more extraordinary than them and then they question everything again. God continues to tell them not to worry.

How often do we size ourselves up against things that surround us, comparing our worth to that of what we see others accomplishing? It's normal, but it also stops many people from reaching their fullest potential, it is exactly what causes so many to simply give up hope. This is exactly what kept me running in circles for years. All of us have this "explosion" inside of us that needs to happen, that we want to happen, that CAN happen, but we stifle it by comparing our lives to the lives of others, by wanting more and not appreciating the blessings and talents that we already have, and then giving up when we think that we will never become something extraordinary.

The story continues...

Finally, after several feelings of disappointment that he is just a common and ordinary caterpillar, questioning God about his intentions, Hermie has a heart to heart with God one night and tells Him that it's okay he is just a common caterpillar... and that because He loves him, he realizes that alone makes him special.

How many of you can stop right now, in all your chaos, disappointment and strife and accept yourself for who you are and realize that you too are special regardless of it all?

And so the story ends....

Hermie goes to sleep after his talk with God that night with peace and acceptance in his heart and overnight God blesses Hermie with all that he has ever hoped for. As Hermie wakes the next morning he is in a cocoon and as he wiggles out of it, beautiful, colorful new wings spread... for he has now become a beautiful butterfly. He quickly flies to show and tell his friend Wormie that God wasn't finished with him after all and his friend cannot believe how beautiful Hermie has become and with this Wormie finds hope that he too will become a beautiful butterfly.

You don't have to believe in God to get this message or to understand the moral of this story. Whether you think it is God, the universe or simply a coincidence.... we can all be beautiful butterflies. However, life must often humble us before we can reach our fullest potential. I was completely humbled back in 2005 and with that also came the beginning of my renewal in faith. Since then, I have grown so much, more and more each year, and I am now sharing hope with others through my writing, mentoring and speaking... for my wings have been revealed.

I hope that this blog makes you think, that it inspires you to change a little, or a lot. I hope that it helps humble you so that your wings can spread too allowing you to soar high above anything you have ever dreamed of. For until you have reached your fullest potential... you are not finished.... you have more to become and I encourage you to simply go after it.

Wishing you a productive and positive week. See you next Monday!

xoxo

Shells

                                                          
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