Trail Reflections

Live Intentionally. Become Fully Alive.

Why Simplicity is Necessary to Live in a Story that Matters

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Chris Peek

Today, I have the honor of guest posting over at The High Calling, a fantastic resource dedicated to “Everyday conversations about work, life, and God.”

I hope you will head over and read my post: “Why Simplicity is Necessary to Live in a Story that Matters.”

The Effect of Your Today (eBook Excerpt)

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Chris Peek

The following excerpt comes from my recently released eBook, Blaze Your Own Trail. Feel free to pick up your copy here at a price you want to pay. If you would prefer to check it out at no cost, just type $0 into the price box. No credit card info is required.


Why are you doing what you are doing?

Today? Right now?

Why are you going to do what you are going to do tomorrow?

And the day after that?

Is it out of habit? Obligation? Because it’s always what you have done in the past?

Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal mission. You were created to become fully alive. The question is – Are you becoming more fully alive?

Our lives are filled to the brim with daily, never-ending to-do lists. We push aside the important for the urgent. We move from one “emergency” to the next, rarely taking time to intentionally pursue those things we will “eventually get around to.”

Daily work and “adult responsibilities” have certain urgency about them. Without even thinking about it, we forget to pursue three important (but not urgent) acts that will have a far greater impact upon the trajectory of our life than most pressing and passing concerns of today:

1. Creating – This simple act adds value to the lives of others. Instead of spending hours in front of the TV, why not use the gifts God has instilled in you to create rather than consume? Find something that gives you meaning and energy. Test the waters.

2. Relationship Building – We mindlessly kick this can down the road because it rarely seems urgent.  Author Charlie Jones writes, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

3. Personal Development – The second half of the Jones quote – “…the books you read” – sums it up. Entrepreneur Dan Miller takes it a step further, “Studies show that if you read three books on any subject you will be an expert in that topic. And if you read for ten minutes each day, you will read about one book per month.”

The bottom line – it is imperative for us to shift our mindset away from the short-term and fixate on the long-term vision. We can continue to put out daily fires (the urgent), or we can be intentional about our life’s direction and take daily, meaningful action (the important).

Over the next 48 hours, record each activity you engage in and how much time you spent on each one. Then highlight whether these activities will have a positive or negative impact five years from now. Provide an explanation as to why you chose to engage in the activity and how it will impact your life five years from now.

table

The daily choices we make in terms of how we allocate our time do not seem to be exceptionally crucial in the moment, but a little TV here, a dash of playing with apps there can add up to thousands of hours over the course of a year. But pursuing our life’s call demands sacrifice and hard work. The trek commences by breaking old habits, starting new ones, and building a life of consistency.

Blaze Your Own Trail eBook Launch!

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Chris Peek

Today is the day! It is the official launch of my first eBook, Blaze Your Own Trail: Pursue Your Life’s Calling and Take Control.

Do you feel like your life is stuck in a rut? Are you in pursuit of your place in God’s great Story, but you spend most of your time living in someone else’s life for you? Are you frustrated that your calling seems just out of reach?

Blaze Your Own Trail will lead you on the path to…paperbackfront2

- Discover your God-given life calling

- Write your life story

- Incorporate both consistency and spontaneity into your life

- Learn how to overcome life block

- Explore the desires of your heart

- Discover your personality style

- Create a bucket list

- Craft a personal mission statement

Blaze Your Own Trail is not your traditional eBook in the sense that you read through it, set it aside, and allow it to collect virtual dust. It is a field manual that you trek through at your own pace. The more honest you are with yourself, the greater clarity you will receive from this ebook, as you reflect upon and respond to the deep questions of the heart.

Thirty pages long, I would recommend printing it out. I have created space so that you can journal directly in the book.

The best part: YOU PAY WHAT YOU WANT! If you feel it’s worth $20 to you, great. If you are unsure of the value and want to take a look, you are not obligated to pay anything. No amount is too little, no amount too great. Just enter the price you want to pay in the “contribution” box.

Again, you pay what you want! No strings attached.

Whatever value you place upon this resource, my hope is that you dig deep, explore questions that you may never have even considered before, and pursue your life’s calling by taking control. I look forward to joining you, as we blaze our own trails!

You can purchase your copy here: Blaze Your Own Trail Ebook

Just Say No to Networking

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by Chris Peek

Just say no to…

- Networking

- Tribes

- Fans

- Followers

- Audiences

All terms that are impersonal and vague. Each one demonstrates the true heart of our agenda – to build a platform or relationship for self-serving purposes.

If networking is out, then how do we meet others, lead, and influence? Through…

- Relationship

- Connection

- Friendship

These terms represent a mutual give-and-take. The motive is (or should be) – how can I serve you?

What is your motive? Are you networking or building real relationships?

Upcoming Ebook Launch – Blaze Your Own Trail

Posted on April 9th, 2014 by Chris Peek

paperbackfront2I’m excited to announce next week’s release of my first ebook, Blaze Your Own Trail: Pursue Your Life’s Calling and Take Control.

Next Tuesday, you will be able to download your own copy. In addition, if you would like an advance copy and want to be a part of this launch by reviewing the book on your site, please let me know. I will send one out to you right away.

Here is some additional information about the ebook:

This ebook will guide you on the journey to:

- Discover your God-given life calling

- Blaze your own trail

- Write your life story

- Incorporate both consistency and spontaneity into your life

- Learn how to overcome life block

- Explore the desires of your heart

- Discover your personality style

- Create a bucket list

- Determine your personality style

- Craft a personal mission statement

Blaze Your Own Trail is an e-workbook is designed to be a journey taken at your own pace, as you reflect upon and respond to the deep questions of the heart.

I hope you will stop by next week as you seek to blaze your own trail.

Authenticity in Relationships & A Few of My Imperfections

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Chris Peek

Authenticity

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
– Mother Theresa

More often than not, the most difficult relationships are those in which one person refuses to be authentic or does not understand the need for transparency. You know the kind I mean. The friend who never has a bad day. The relative who has all the answers and emphatically tells you what YOU should be doing. The acquaintance who won’t move past surface-level conversations. The Christian brother whose one and only response to any life struggle is “God has a plan.”

Our most meaningful relationships allow for authenticity. They are a refuge. We can shed the masks and just be real with one another.

What is it about authenticity that binds people together?

Authenticity promotes shared connection based around genuine life experiences. We can relate to those who have flaws.

Authenticity lowers expectations and allows for grace.

Authenticity makes us human.

Authenticity breaks down barriers to real relationship.

Authenticity promotes accountability as we seek personal growth.

While I intrinsically know the value of authenticity, I often have a difficult time expressing my faults and being transparent. But there are plenty of imperfections:

Acting like I have it all together. From needing every hair on my head to be perfectly in place to appearing like I know what I am talking about, I want to project a positive image in all aspects of my life.

An Inconsistent Prayer Life. I pray daily, but the prayers are often said as I’m dashing off to work or briefly before dinner. Frankly, I can be lazy when it comes to prayer.

Perfectionism. I despise making mistakes. Hate them. I mentally beat myself up if I don’t have something new figured out in a few minutes.

Jealousy. Sometimes, I allow jealousy to creep in when I see others achieving success faster than I am.

Self-Focused. I spend a lot of time reflecting on where I am in terms of achievements, friendships, fitness, etc, instead of being others-centered.

False Humility. I appear pretty humble by nature, but honestly, a little pride wells up inside of me because I’m writing, pursuing my calling, and not wasting time in front of the TV.

Finishing what I start. At times, I have a bad case of shiny object syndrome and want to pursue a new desire before I’ve finished the one I’m working on.

That was a pretty difficult exercise for me, but I can’t expect my relationships to deepen or to experience personal growth if I am unwilling to be authentic.

 Do you ever struggle with authenticity? If you would like to practice a bit of authenticity right now, what flaws have you noticed in yourself?

Photo Courtesy: patricklanigan

Stop Waiting on God or Someone Else

Posted on March 31st, 2014 by Chris Peek

When I walked across the stage on the long-awaited graduation day to pick up my master’s degree in communication, I was handed the most expensive piece of paper I had ever received. At that moment, I thought I held the keys to the kingdom and that potential employers would be blown away by my impressive, educational credentials.

Was I ever in for a dose of reality. It turns out that my education couldn’t buy the next step of my calling. I spent a depressing summer searching for someone else to provide me with an ideal opportunity in my field. I was waiting on God to show me His perfect plan. I figured the windows of heaven would fling open and that He would pour out the ideal job that fit my passions, skills, and abilities to a T – a place where I would be completely fulfilled for an entire 40 hours per week.

Instead, I was served up a massive slice of humble pie. Desperate for income after a couple of months job hunting, I took a seasonal position with Lawn Doctor. I instantly became the most educated lawn seeder in the history of lawn seeding. One fellow seeder questioned, “You have a master’s degree. What are you doing here?!”

The Passive Life Model

It is unfortunate that, through both schooling and western Christendom, we have been taught a passive life model – that we must patiently wait on both God and an employer before we can actively pursue our calling.

“Waiting on God” has become the catch phrase to spiritualize the unending time period when we have no clue what to do next. But God doesn’t treat us like a baby with few skills beyond crying out for help. He has clearly given us the intelligence necessary to think, act, work, and create. He gives us a compass; we’re expecting a pre-programmed route on our GPS.

In addition, our calling is not dependent on any other man or woman. It is not found solely in a place of employment. It can’t be contained to a particular relational role, such as father or mother.

Rather than remaining in a regular pattern of waiting, often we are called to take the knowledge of our God-given passions and skills and step out on faith right where we are.

My Leap of Faith

Three years ago, I took a leap of faith. I finally stopped waiting on the perfect conditions and on someone else to provide me with an opportunity to write.

Instead, I started writing. I was scared out of my mind to hit the publish button and let you inside of my head. But I did it anyway. 259 blog posts later, I’m still writing. God has given me a desire and passion to write. What purpose would it serve to keep these deep reflections in my head and wait on a “the perfect time?”

I make no argument that I have “arrived” as a writer. I have a long, difficult journey in front of me. However, I do recognize that writing has allowed me to help others pursue more intention in their lives. It has provided a vessel for the establishment of new relationships and the deepening others. Blogging has played a major role in positively impacting my thought patterns and has offered an outlet to share the thoughts rumbling around inside my head.

Yet, none of these positive outcomes occurred because I sat around waiting for God to draw a map or for someone else to provide the ideal writing opportunity. I have a deep desire to write. Therefore, I write.

Are you waiting on God or someone else to provide you with an opportunity to put your calling into practice? How could you take meaningful action instead?

photo courtesy Oscar D. on Flickr.com

photo courtesy Oscar D. on Flickr.com

I have not written one of these posts in a while, so today I thought it would be fun to bring back a series of posts I call “Around the Water Cooler.” One of my absolute favorite things about blogging includes the two-way interaction that occurs and subsequent friendships that develop around sharing ideas.

So let’s dive right in. Recently, we’ve discussed how to build successful relationships and how social media has permanently transformed relationship building. In addition, I’ve posted about unleashing the art inside of you and how to make sure your calling flourishes.

To bring all of those posts full circle, today I want to know what role you believe relationships play in your calling. How have relationships brought you to where you are today? How are you investing in them currently? How do they help guide you on your life journey in pursuit of your calling?

Ready. Set. Go.

 

Navigation

Copyright © 2009 Trail Reflections. Theme by THAT Agency powered by WordPress.