No More Striving

I believe life happens in seasons.

High seasons. Low seasons. Stormy seasons. Peaceful seasons. Waiting seasons. Harvest seasons. There’s no defined number or type of seasons (depends on the individual), and there’s no better or worse (although some will be more enjoyable than others).

I’ve started to see life less through the prism of white/black, good/bad, success/failure. Instead, I’ve started to see life more as a learning journey. My only responsibility is to remain curious, observe, and learn in every season.

For the past 8–9 months, I’ve been in a stormy season. It’s been one of the most difficult seasons of my life on multiple fronts: family, friends, work, faith, dating. There were many instances where I was just grateful to survive, sleep, and wake up to a new day. But amid this extended storm, I’ve learned more than I can articulate.

Here’s a condensed list of the top things I’ve learned along with the source that inspired the learning:

  1. No more striving. To strive is to enter the territory which is beyond your control. There’s a distinct difference between giving our best (i.e. doing everything within our control) and striving (i.e. doing things outside of our control). Do your job and trust God to do His. It’s not about trying harder, but trusting more. @judahsmith
  2. Feel your feelings. Your feelings (Fear, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Sexual Feeling) aren’t good or bad, better or worse. They were given to you, so you could fully embrace them in the present moment and learn from them. By feeling your feelings, you allow others to feel theirs. @caneeljoyce
  3. Every storm runs out of rain. Seasons are temporary. They don’t last. The present is momentary and it too shall pass. @mayaangelou
  4. Faith is our response to what God has said. The opposite of faith isn’t doubt, it’s sight. Faith is believing before you see and comes from hearing God. Your goal is to gain proximity to God, so you can hear Him. And when you’ve heard it from Him, you have it. @samlopez
  5. Celebrators, not investigators. Surround yourself with celebrators. Get rid of investigators. Investigators want to get close to gather evidence and discredit you. Celebrators know the worst about you, but speak the best about you. Surround yourself with those who celebrate you when you’re on the highest mountain and cover you when you’re in the deepest valley. @johngray @natebrown
  6. Why do you exist? And why should people care? Every brand must answer these two fundamental Q’s. Strong POV and values = strong brand. @philchang
  7. Don’t be precious. When you want something so badly that you hurt for it. You’re not gonna get it. It’s only though the disallowing of it. Don’t hold anything too tightly (i.e. don’t be precious) … Just wish for it, want it. Let it come from the intention of real truth for you. And then let it go. If it’s supposed to be yours, then it’ll show up. But it won’t show up until you stop holding it so tightly. @oprahwinfrey
  8. Arrive at the end of myself. The most powerful posture you can arrive at is where you’re at the end of yourself. Where you surrender and admit, “I can’t do this myself.” Instead of being anxious, you should be excited because that’s where God steps in. Your limp (weakness) keeps you going back to the only one who can sustain you. God will carry you through seasons and to places you cannot go by your own strength. @judahsmith
  9. Direction > Speed. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient). @richwilkerson @jordanpeterson
  10. Companies are bought, not sold. People want to experience something only your brand can deliver on. Focus on doing things that are uniquely you. @nathanielru
  11. How would I behave if I were already enough? At the core, you have two fears: I’m not enough and I’m not loved. Most times, you behave out of a response to these two fundamental fears. By reflecting on this prompt, you can respond from a beautiful state of being enough. @caneeljoyce
  12. Follow the 72-hour rule. Don’t react in the moment. Sit with your emotions, and they always go away. You know what, you’ll go to sleep tonight, you’ll wake up and it’ll still bother you. Then you’ll go to sleep again and you’ll wake up and it’ll bother you a little less. And then on the third day you’ll wake up and something else will else will have done something stupid enough that everyone will forget.” @drake
  13. Clarity is possibility of sight. Vision is accuracy of scale. @brookeligertwood
  14. Don’t mistake God’s preparation for punishment. God uses trial not to condemn, but to refine. Through the trial, we are refined and prepared for the weight of glory. There is weight in the request, and the journey prepares us to bear that weight. If God brought you there, He will sustain you there. @samlopez
  15. Marry the person who brings out the best version of you. Be with someone who allows you to be more of yourself. Someone who brings out the best version of you, and you bring out the best version of them. @fadyhanna
  16. View both strengths and weaknesses as gifts. Your strengths and your weaknesses will be the two greatest hurdles in accepting God’s grace. Treat both your strengths and your weaknesses as gifts that bring us closer to God. How you relate to your strengths frustrates your relationship with God. He doesn’t need your help. You’re not called to help God, you’re called to follow him. You also tend to obsess over our weakness. You give your weakness more power over your life than it deserves. You take the power away when you think well of your weakness. @judahsmith
  17. Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. @nike @colinkaepernick @serenawilliams
  18. Availability, not ability. You often discredit what you perceive as small, humble beginnings. You also give too much credit to what you perceive as impossible. Life is about availability, not ability. It’s not dependent on your strength, but rather your availability to a great God. God opportunities are often disguised as insurmountable obstacles. @judahsmith
  19. Every brand needs a specific, core community. The biggest and most fatal error a young brand can make is trying to be everything for everyone. Trying to be everything for everyone is how you start losing perspective on why you even exist in the first place. Supreme didn’t become a billion dollar business because of $30 t-shirts and skateboards. It became a billion dollar company because it is strictly for and by New York skateboarders — no one else matters to them. Making everyone desperately want access and proximity to that scene is what got Supreme to $1B. @philchang
  20. Identity leads to destiny. My destiny is moving toward me at the speed of my obedience. @brookeligertwood @timtimberlake
  21. Start with why. What’s my purpose? We create stories to block connection. Are you pretending this is about them when it’s really about me? Instead, the focus should be how can you be more open to learning? What can you learn? Not what can you control. @caneeljoyce
  22. Occasional praise is no match for consistent prayer. By praying, God will do one of two things: He will answer your prayer and work a miracle OR He will reveal what you should actually be praying for. It’s a win-win. @richwilkerson
  23. There is no tipping point. It’s all little steps. A tipping point only appears in hindsight. @alexbanayan
  24. Progress over perfection. You’re perfect the way you are. Focus on your own race. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. “Thus, you set the following goal: by the end of the day, I want things in my life to be a tiny bit better than they were this morning. Then you ask yourself, ‘What could I do, that I would do, that would accomplish that, and what small thing would I like as a reward?’ Then you do what you have decided to do, even if you do it badly. Then you give yourself that damn coffee, in triumph. Maybe you feel a bit stupid about it, but you do it anyway. And you do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. And, with each day, your baseline of comparison gets a little higher, and that’s magic. That’s compound interest. Do that for three years, and your life will be entirely different.” @richwilkerson @jordanpeterson
  25. Love God. Love People. Love Life. @hillsong