Celebrating a birthday, a year that you turn older, definitely has a way of putting things of importance into perspective. Especially after you pass the 30 year mark :). You start thinking more about purpose, past accomplishments and failures, retirement, significance, legacy…stuff like that.
For me, it happened 16 days ago on me and my twin brother’s 37th birthday.
I’ll admit, along with my wife, I am extremely hard on myself. I started to look at where my life is now, versus when I got out of high school 19 years ago. I looked at all of 37 years of life’s experiences that I’ve been through (more on that in another post)…and I started to dream about my future.
I almost went down the path of starting to wish I had made better decisions. I almost started to get down on myself. But then I had to remember that I know God. And He knows the plans He has for me…for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Instead of feeling like I wish I woulda…I started to be grateful.
And I asked God to give me strength and grace to make the next 37 years of my life more impactful than the first. Then it hit me. Intrinsically, when our birthday comes around, we’re all about us. Or rather all about me me me. If we’re not careful, that is how we live our lives.
I made a conscious decision to no longer live for Adrian but to live to serve others. To use my gift of communicating the word of God via teaching, preaching, written words, and video, to serve the nations. Jesus was the ultimate example of living a selfless life.
He lived to die. To die for us. To eternally correct man’s problem that Adam caused thousand’s of years ago. God the Son, the Creator of the Universe and galaxies, took on human form to bring us back into right position with God the Father. Everything He did was to benefit us.
Talk about selfless.
So I started to really desire to be great. Not just talk about it, but be about. My goal is not to be the best pastor, preacher or teacher. But to be the best Adrian that I can be. To live up to the standard that God has for me. To be a great husband to my wife Vanessa. To be a great brother, son, preacher, human being.
Due to me being a sports junkie, I’m constantly scrolling on my phone on the ESPN app. My love for sports is deep on many levels. One of the biggest is that through the many stories of athletes, it is often an excellent example on pushing beyond your limits, developing a strong mindset, and what it really takes to be great at what you do.
The most recent story that I read was on Kyrie Irving, championship point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He talks about his desire to be great, living without fear, and staying true to himself. You can check it out by clicking on the picture below.
That story really hit me. It created a stronger desire to want to be great in my own life. Heck, we only got one life to live, might as well live it to the max.
Then today, I finished up the book “The i Factor” by Van Moody. It basically shows you how building a great relationship with yourself is the key to a happy, successful life. It’s a book that my wife suggested I read because she knew that I’d enjoy it. And boy did I! I highly recommend that you get this book yourself.
In the last two chapters, Van Moody talks about Seven Steps To Greatness. They really resonate with me. So much so that I’ve already committed them to memory. Not only that but I’ll be using them as a systematic process to make sure that I’m on the path to greatness for every area of my life…
…spiritual, marriage, health, career, relationships, preaching, etc.
I’m only going to mention what the seven steps are. I’m not going to go into detail on each one because I want you to get the book :). I hope they are impactful to you as they are to me.
Seven Steps To Greatness according to Van Moody:
- Make quality decisions
- Make God’s Word your manual for life
- Change your thinking to change your life
- Utilize the power of your words
- Take charge of your emotions
- Put the past behind you
- Embrace change that produces growth
Simple right? Yet very effective.
Let me briefly share with you how I’m going to use this in a very challenging area of my life…fitness.
My 7 Steps To Greatness For Fitness:
- When I’m out and about and don’t have healthy snacks on me, instead of buying whatever I want to justify it, choose to eat as healthy as possible. Say no to fast food and junk food.
- God says that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I do not belong to myself (1 Corinthians 6:19). Which means I can’t eat and treat my body any type of way. His Word also says in many places about being a glutton. If you know me, you know I love food. Admittedly I overeat a lot. But not anymore. I choose not too. ← My statement of faith (Lord help me!!!)
- Start seeing positive results from working out and eating right instead of viewing it as a chore or hard to do.
- Speak to myself about how I enjoy working out and eating healthy. How my body is in excellent shape.
- When I don’t “feel” like working out, just go do it. When I don’t “feel” like eating right, just do it…always keeping in mind the long term benefits.
- You’ve started so many programs in the past and stopped. That’s behind you know. The emotional attachment of starting and stopping is no longer hindering you. Focus on how you are going to stick with what you’re doing now for the rest of your life.
- Soreness is a good thing. Lifting weights is a good thing. Going to the gym instead of staying home and doing a home workout is a good thing. You’re growing by getting outside of your comfort zone.
I’ve written it, now I’ve got to follow through with action. I hope this inspires you to apply the 7 steps to be great in your life. Let me know below in the comment section what’s the 1st area you’re going to apply this too!