Thoughts or Destiny?
Recently, I attended a Toastmasters meeting in Johannesburg with 20 or so young South African professionals and burgeoning business owners. If I might add, eloquently spoken individuals. A somewhat energetic, fair skin, young lady presented a speech on THOUGHTS which was quite intriguing. She transparently explained how she desired to be an actress. Instead, she is a 36-year-old, single mother, working as a consultant, living with her parents. She quoted quite a few biblical references at the beginning of her speech like
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”
and I’m assuming the question she’s pondering is do your THOUGHTS genuinely play a part in the outcome of your life or does destiny have the final say. I personally believe that both play an integral role in the outcome of our lives.
Be Honest With Yourself
A trip down memory lane reminded me of my dire life status in 2009. Single, unemployed, 28 years old, living with my sister and her husband. I was an on and off college student. I was enjoying too much – hanging out with friends, etc. After almost 9 years of being enrolled in some form of higher educational institution, I had failed to obtain a bachelor’s degree. I always dreamed of having my S#!@ together and visualized what that looked like for me. I wrote my fantasy life in a journal. I described the amount of money I wanted to make, the type of career I desired, and where I wanted to live. Sadly, I never put a lot of effort into realizing those dreams.
My sister and I were looking for a new church home. Both of our churches had a long commute which presented a struggle for us to attend church on a regular basis. My sister found an advertisement for a local church in the neighborhood newspaper. The church was less than 10 minutes away from her home. The biblical reference regularly used when we first started to attend the church was Ephesians 3:20,
“Now unto him that can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or THINK, according to the power that worketh in us.”
Over time I started to open my mind to endless possibilities. Ephesians 3:20 (repeated over and over to my subconscious mind) awakened something within me. My THOUGHT pattern transported to another realm. I still needed destiny to play its part to navigate me toward my dreams.
Goods Thoughts Are Transformative
I graduated from college within one year after adopting this THOUGHT paradigm. Consequently, not with one bachelor degree but with two. On the other hand, I was still unemployed living with my sister and her husband. I became a regular attendee at their subdivision home association meetings made up of 40, 50 and 60 plus-year-old professionals and some retirees who took pride in the upkeep of the subdivision and their homes. I met a grey-haired, public-spirited neighbor in the home association who sent out weekly job announcements, he added me to his weekly email blast. He sent out an email announcement that the Georgia Department of Revenue was hiring for various positions. I snagged an interview for a real estate appraiser position. The job ended up going to another applicant. Fortunately, another position opened up and I was offered the job.
Thoughts about the life I wanted for myself consumed me – thinking as far as my mind at the time would take me. I created a vision board for my life. I cut pictures out of magazines of vacation destinations and contemporary furniture.
Meanwhile, my brother in law was offered a job in Newnan, GA. Newan is almost an hour commute from the city. As a result of my life affirmations, I went to the swankiest neighborhood to find a new abode. I found a high-rise that had a gym with a pool, a communal area with a pool table, television, furniture and a wet bar for use by building occupants and their guests. Every type of cuisine (French, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Japanese) was a stone’s throw away from my potential residence. I had an unobstructed view of the city’s skyline. A far stretch for a girl raised on the west side (in my Ice Cube voice) from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. All the magazine cut-outs of furniture I had pasted to my vision board, I had acquired for my new place. My new conquest inspired me to dream even bigger dreams.
Visualization Is Even Better
Meanwhile, my pastor announced the church choir was going to Italy. Guess what was on my vision board?!?!?, a picture of the Roman Colosseum. I was convinced God provided this trip as a vehicle for me to strike off another passion. Money was tight after the move to my new place but that didn’t stop me. I sold some personal items and met the deposit deadline. Another win!!!! This was my first trip to Europe, and experiencing it with my church family made it even memorable. The trip opened my eyes to more possibilities for my life – regular future vacations abroad.
Regular vacations abroad took a backseat. I ended up meeting a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed co-worker at my job’s Toastmaster club. She acted on even bigger dreams. Come to find out, she lived around the corner from my new swanky high-rise. We would schedule outings where she divulged her travel expedition of a 3-month solo trip to Vietnam. A seed was planted. I too desired to experience the world as she did.
Destiny Definitely At Work
A few years later, my church planned another international trip this time to Greece. I initially paid the deposit, but after hearing about my co-worker’s adventure, I wanted to make this trip on my own terms. Once again I was moving to slow. My co-worker decided to accompany me and she planned the first two weeks of my birthday trip abroad. She provided me with the momentum to plan the remainder of the journey. It was everything and more. After my co-worker left to return home, another eager, spontaneous, adventure seeking, young professional friend of mine saw my pictures on Facebook and met me in Paris for the duration of my trip. I consider that as God co-signing my birthday trip.
Originally I wanted to do 3 months similar to my co-worker, but my job would not approve the leave, and my family didn’t think it was a good idea. Some thought I may get homesick, it was actually the other way around. Instead, I had a bad case of wanderlust when I hit American soil.
When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade
In 2017, mold contaminated my beautiful studio and I had to do an emergency evacuation. Fortunately, this unfortunate event allowed me to move in with a friend and free up some cash to pursue my wanderlust. I vacationed in UAE for Christmas break in 2017, my first solo trip. I went to Thailand for my birthday in 2018 and back to UAE for Thanksgiving in 2018. On December 30, 2018, I boarded a plane with a one-way ticket to Dubai, and I’ve been living abroad for almost half a year. It all began with a THOUGHT, but destiny gave me the push I needed to manifest my dreams.
Reliving my past has taught me THOUGHTS, along with visualization and destiny (God) plays an immense role in the outcome of my life. For now on, I’m going to let my imagination run wild. I’m going to dream bigger…….. so BIG that it could possibly result in failure. As my favorite motivational speaker of all time, Les Brown, says
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.”
This new way of thinking will aid me in reaching the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself. Join me in “finding yourself,” and discovering new ways of thinking, new ways of living, and new ways of working. You’re invited!