Faithfulness

It's 3:02A – I wake up in a panic. This seems to be the running trend in my life for the past few months, no actually, since 2018 started. Anxiety hits and the pressures of finances, relationships, everything rushes in. Sound familiar? We've all been here. For me, this feeling knows me all too well. This morning was no different. I couldn't sleep in the wee hours of the night. Immediately I felt God ask me, "but have I not already taken care of you?" Faithfulness is one of the hardest things for me. God has proven Himself in my life over and over again yet I never seem to understand in my moment of desperation that God is faithful.

Isaiah 40: 28 MSG
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.

I was reminded of this verse in Isaiah about God's faithfulness. I love The Message translation where it says, "God doesn't come and go. God lasts." He knows me, He knows what I'm going through and he didn't even pause to catch His breath. How incredible the faithfulness of God this verse displays.

At my weakest, when there is nowhere I can turn, when I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel – God lasts. If that's not encouraging I don't know what is.

As you make your way through your day, I want to encourage you that God is faithful. Whatever you're going through, big or small, God is faithful.


Take Action

Have you ever wondered why some people fail and others succeed? I've been curious about this question my entire life. At 25, I've lived just enough life to see friends I've grown up with make something of themselves. Some are now lawyers, doctors, celebrities, and others are still at the same place in life they were at 18 years old. Why is this? Some say it's environmental, other studies show it's time management, education, etc. I want to take a few minutes and raise some thoughts that aren't exactly in the self-help books of success.

As 2018 started, I reflected on what 2017 taught me. I realized there were points in 2017 where I was creating so much and other points where I was lazy and unmotivated. Have you ever been at that point – laying in bed wondering, "how did I get here?" I had a few of those last year. Through those moments I learned a lot about myself. I'm inherently lazy, as much as I want to be a morning person, I like to sleep, and most importantly, if my mindset wasn't right, I wasn't budging.

How does one go from lazy and unmotivated to feeling as though they've conquered the world? Ok, so that might be a little bit of an overstatement. For me, it has everything to do with mindset and environment. I'm going to share a few points on things that have helped me become more motivated and less likely to stay in bed all day. Disclaimer: I'm not one to read books or post on Top 5 Habits of Successful People, or Eat these three things to become a better Communicator, personally I think it's all BS. You've got to create a system that works for you. There isn't one path to success, these are just a few things I've learned over the years to help me focus and get work done.

Turn It Off

This is something new I've been doing and it's helped me focus more than anything else. When I start working on a project that I know needs full attention, I turn my phone off. Usually, during the day I keep it on silent and turned over on my desk. This ensures that I'm dictating my day instead of my phone directing where my time goes. This is probably a good time to mention that I have no notifications turned on. I receive texts and email popups, everything else is turned off. This seriously has become a lifesaver for me, that way I'm checking my phone when I schedule that time to do so.

Morning Routine

Unfortunately, I don't always follow this, but I'm definitely getting better at creating and sticking to a routine. I don't check my phone first thing in the morning. I don't want to get sucked into the abyss that is Snapchat or Instagram stories. I try my best to get up, have my coffee, and open a book. It's like prepping your mind for a more focused and productive day. You could even call this a meditation time, a time to clear your head before the craze of life happens.

Dwell in Joy

This is probably the most life-changing piece of the weird puzzle I'm creating. Mindset and attitude is everything. Choosing to wake up, be thankful, and be happy is one of the biggest components of productivity for me. Regardless of where you're at in life, choosing this mindset develops habits of gratitude that benefit not just you, but others as well.


I'm not sure that any of these suggestions are prescribed by the self-help books of today, but I do know that they've been working for me. I'm realizing more and more that the life we desire is ours to create if we simply take action and create it. Environment, resources, and ability aside, it all comes down to you. To quote Ghandi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Get out there and start creating.


Intention

Intention comes from the Latin word, Intentio which means stretching, thought, purpose. I came across this and found it fitting as we bring 2017 to a close. Wow. What a year. Looking back there were great strides as well as mistakes made. I spent more time out of Arkansas this year than I ever have in my entire life. I completely reworked my business model and set a new trajectory for the career I've created for myself. One of the most important lessons I learned this year is having a true support system. Surrounding myself with people who will keep me accountable, keep me honest, and most importantly, challenge me.

As this year comes to a close and new dreams and goals are set for 2018, I'm reflecting on some lessons learned in 2017.

Be Honest With Yourself

This year I learned that being honest with yourself is vital to mental and emotional stability. From personal life to business, if being honest with yourself isn't at the top of your list, it should be. Clear direction only comes by being 100% open and honest with where you're at and the next step to take on your path. Without brutal honesty to yourself and those around you, each step seems more fabricated than the last.

You Don't Need Permission

After completing over 10 of the largest events I've ever been apart of this year, I've realized that the only person you need permission from is yourself. Stop waiting to create. Action is always talked about yet rarely ever taken. Stop asking permission to create that next project, host an event, or share your talent with the world – take action and create. I learned that surrounding yourself with people who are brutally honest and those that have an interest in your success is important. These are the ones that will help you, push you, and hold you accountable. The world needs your passion, talent, and energy. You don't need permission to show us what you can do.

It Takes A Village

I've heard several younger individuals this year address how they are self-made and how they did it all by themselves. I cringe every time I hear that. In my own life, not only can I not do it alone, but it takes what feels like an entire village to get the most minute task accomplished. We all have those that have given us a hand up. Let's not forget where we came from and those who have helped get us there. To those in my life, you know who you are, thank you. It's because of you and the support you've shown that I wake up every day thinking of new ways to create and add value to my world.


I started to film a short YouTube video to accompany this post, however, I'm a super sentimental guy and I couldn't hold it together long enough to get through filming. Words cannot express how grateful, humbled, and truly amazing 2017 has been. I can't wait for 2018 to get here. It's going to be a year like no other. My heart is definitely full.

M


Book List - FW18

I have a problem. There I said it. I love to read. As the months turn colder, I always find myself reading more. It's during the fall/winter months that I get inspired and recharged for the spring/summer. I have a strict policy of only reading non-fiction. For some reason, I just don't like reading fiction books. So if you're looking for fiction based titles, this isn't the list for you. This season I decided to put together a book list of my favorite reads as well as some I'm going to be reading this year. I've noted which books I've read(*) and which I'm going to read(+).

Business

Leadership & Personal Growth

To view my complete library, click here.


Pursuant - Mason Kesner

Pursuant

Today is Halloween. It's a very cold day in Bentonville, but as someone who loves cold weather - today was for me. I got up this morning with the purpose of doing one thing. A digital clean. Those closest to me know that I get inundated with emails, messages, phone calls, as most of us do. I am, however, notorious about realizing that I've received a message then getting sidetracked and forgetting to respond. Today was my day to clean hundreds of emails, texts, voicemails, etc... today was admin day.

As I began to wrap up this process I started thinking about purpose. I've been rereading Power Through Prayer, it's an all-time favorite that I try and read a few times every year. As I began reading, my mind went to the question, "what was the last thing God told me to do?" This question is so important when we think about purpose. Most of us tread idly through life wondering why we were put on this planet. We ask God, or whatever version of god we ascribe to, what our purpose is and what truly is the meaning of life.

Sometimes when I find myself lost or having feelings of loneliness, I ask myself that question, "what was the last thing God told me to do?" If there is one thing I've learned it's that in life, we're only able to take the next step after we've completed the previous one. Those feelings of being lost and not knowing which way to turn are a direct result of not completing the previous step. Sometimes this issue is hard to address. Maybe there is something you know you need to be doing, but aren't doing it. Maybe it's a relationship that needs repairing, or maybe it's something life changing like switching careers. Whatever it might be, that next step won't be evident until you complete the previous one.

This week, as I experience fall in Arkansas, I'm challenging myself, and you, to be pursuant of the last thing you know you should have done – and do it.