Chess players know it's all about position. Every piece has a position and every move you make has implications on the outcome of the game.
Every move is vital.
And so goes life. Where are you going? Do you know?
Yogi Berra said: "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else."
How true is that? Some people allow life to order their steps and others step toward the life they designed.
The best life is the designed life. We design our lives by discovering our passions and reaching for them. This requires introspection, sacrifice and risk-taking.
Again, it's about putting yourself in the right position.
To experience the Dallas Mavericks game, we must choose to purchase a ticket and enter the stadium where the game is being played. Some people buy a ticket and stand in the vending area and never position themselves to experience the actual game. What is that about?
If you choose to stand in the hallway, you can hear the game, but you will not experience the actual game. Have you ever noticed people in a venue who hang around the bathrooms or just wander around?
We must position ourselves to gain the most from our experience. Let's challenge ourselves to get in a position to experience the most productive year of our lives.
Opportunity is everywhere, even the worst of places. The worst places offer us the best opportunities. Needed change is obvious in the not-so-good places.
We must position ourselves to grab the opportunity in front of us.
Here are a few ways to get in position for 2020.
- Let go of the past. This is challenging for most.
Niklas Goke said: "We all keep past versions of ourselves in a closet somewhere, and every time we open it, we feel pain and suffering. We can't change the people we once were, but we can make peace with them. Open the closet and let in some light. Reconcile. Otherwise, our past will forever be a drag on our heels."
How often have we experienced the drag of the past with the wind behind our back? Rather than live in the present and plan our future, we pay too much attention to our former days. This is a thief of our future.
George Orwell said: "He who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
Our best life is always in front of us. Have you ever met a person who is a victim of their past?
The former hurts are real, and the pain merited, but to stay in disappointments of the past cripples our progress.
We cannot allow our past experiences to be the mold that forms our future. It is not our experiences that shape us; it is our response to them. Despite thinking otherwise, healthy people are never exempt from difficult circumstances and bad experiences.
Ayodeji Awosika said: "Life throws a lot of negativity at you. If you try to pretend it doesn't exist and force yourself to "think positive," you will never address the root cause of your discontent in a useful way.
Negative emotions are signals that something is wrong. Often, negative emotions are signaling you to act. To be better. To find a different path."
Instead of ignoring negative emotions — they're not going away soon — why not use them to your advantage?
Like Ayodeji said, "We must use the negativity of the past to our advantage. This is not a suggestion but a demand. A demand that only you can demand of yourself. Without it, we will repeat the former years."
- Realize that it's never easy. You never just find yourself in the perfect position. It's rare. We work our way there. And we work hard. Real hard.
Yes, there are breaks along the way. Yes, we gather some luck. I call it favor. And yes, providence plays a role. But we rarely see a great opportunity open to us without positioning ourselves in some manner.
Success occurs where preparation meets opportunity.
And that is nothing but true.
Allow me to quote Ayodeji again.
"People think trying to become successful is arrogant. It's not. Becoming successful happens when you let go of your ego, admit you suck and seek wisdom. The schmucks are the arrogant ones. They think life should just get better on its own, for no reason, with no extra work or changes in behavior. Do the work, without questioning the process, for an entire year and see what happens."
- Step back to step up. Every time a bigger opportunity is in front of you, it requires a sacrifice. For instance, most people sacrifice a full-time salary and benefits to go freelance or chase entrepreneurship.
This means the sacrifice of security and embracing the unknown. Many just cannot do this.
It's called risk.
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." – T. S. Eliot
The biggest risk is the failure of not taking any risk.
Geena Davis said; "If you risk nothing, then you risk everything."
Are you positioning yourself for a great 2020 or hoping for change? Hope is not a strategy, but hard work is very strategic and rewarding. Let's go. Put the past behind you, realize it's never easy and be willing to take a risk.
Staying safe on the shore will never allow you the opportunity to experience the open seas. 2020 is before us, and so is the opportunity for your best year ever.
Thank you for reading this post. You can find additional articles at my website.
Thomas McDaniels is a pastor/writer and the guy behind thomasmcdaniels.com. He has written for ChurchLeaders.com and currently is a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas. Thomas can be found on social media, Instagram and Twitter.
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