Over the last weeks, I have shared one of the following “Life’s Alphabet” with staff members each Monday morning. I asked them to create their own one-word description for each combination of letters and email me their responses – hundreds were received. I began with A-B-C. . .
Always Be Curious
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but curiosity is the key to adventure, new ideas, exciting relationships, and fulfilling work. Being a lifelong learner doesn't require hours of study each day; it just requires an openness to God's beautiful world and the nudging of His spirit to scale heights you never imagined. Always be curious.
Develop Enthusiastic Faith
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). The late William Friday, president of the University of North Carolina system for 30 years, included faith in the Big Three of his life: Faith, Family, Friends. He was not alone in that observation. Faith isn’t just for the tough times. Faith is a daily practice, a daily reality, a daily lifestyle. This is the day the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).
Give Hopeful Instruction
Someone – somewhere – has his or her eyes on you. They are focused like a laser beam on your actions, reactions, words, and behavior. If you act in a certain way, so they think, then it’s okay for them to act the same way. Be positive and upbeat in your daily interactions. Everyone – everyone – is up against it in one way, shape or form. Sharing hope can change lives.
Try it. . .you'll like it.
Just Keep Loving
When all else fails, LOVE. But, don't wait until there are no other options. Begin your day with love – expressed to your spouse, children, family, God. End your day the same way. In the “in between” hours, live in the Doxological mode – praising God from Whom all blessings flow. The greatest gift given to us that we can give to others? LOVE!
Mention Names Often
Yes, indeed, there’s no sound sweeter to a person than the sound of his or her own name. Weave it into routine conversation. Speak aloud the name of casual acquaintances as well as intimate friends. Names are easily forgotten. Even people with sharp memories have trouble with names. The solution: Mention names often. People will remember that you thought enough of them to call them by name.
Preserve Quality Relationships
As the 21st century dawned, BCH launched a year-long initiative called QSTQR. All employees knew what that meant. They “lived it” and “acted it out” for an entire year. QSTQR – Quality Service Through Quality Relationships. Preserving Quality Relationships takes time and effort. A true best friend – a BFF – is hard to come by. If you have such a friendship, nurture it, enhance it, affirm it, bless it.
Strive To Understand
“Lord, grant that I may seek rather to understand than be understood,” is a line from St. Francis of Assisi’s famous prayer. To “understand” means to listen with an open heart and a closed mouth. Want to seek an understanding heart? Maintain eye contact, ask a follow-up question, have an empathic spirit, and learn the power of acceptance and forgiveness. That’s what striving to understand is all about.
Visualize Wondrous X-factors
X-factors represents life’s great unknowns, which means, LIFE is an x-factor. When I have a project requiring deep research and extensive practice, I visualize the end result. But, the x-factor always remains. I may soar or I may flop. But, I've not been afraid to face the unknown (the x-factor); else I would remain immobile, inert and ineffective.
See it. . .do it. . .become it.
Yes. . .Si. . .Oui. . .Ja. . .Sim. . .Ken. . .Sea. . .Hai. . .Ndiyo. . .Haan. . . Igen. . . Da. . .Nai! Whatever the language, YES means “gladly, beyond a doubt, most assuredly, of course, sure thing, unquestionably.” YES to life in Christ is the most important YES we will ever utter. Do it with zest, enthusiasm, positivity. Life is a gift. We are on this stage for a few brief seconds. There’s a 100% mortality rate. So, live life to its fullest. Celebrate. Be zest-full. Never look back and say WHY. Always look ahead and say WHY NOT. Seize the opportunities that this day has already presented to you. YES! Zest!