Many of us are wondering if God really hears our prayers. And I want to believe that He does. There may be times in our lives when all our questions remain unanswered – no matter how much we prayed and asked God for the answers.
Many times, God remains silent to our questions, our petitions, our prayers. There were times when He just keep mum in the midst of all our doubts, fears, and pains.
Or is He? What if God speaks to us in ways so familiar to us, so common, so natural, that we fail to recognize it. We expect God’s answers to be like that of the ancient time when thunder roars, lightning strikes and bushes are consumed by fire.
What if God speaks to you through the gentle breeze, the singing of the birds, the scent of a rose, the hug of a friend, the smile of a child, the kiss of a lover? We will never know unless we open our hearts and take the time to listen.
Most of the time, we expect direct, loud and thunderous voice from the heaven to tell us what to do and give us the answers we longed to hear. But God is the God of the gentle things too. Listen to your heart. Listen to the soft whispers to your soul. God may be talking to you right now but because you speak too loud, you can’t hear Him. Take time to stop talking, stop asking and stop begging. God may have already given you the answers you’ve been waiting for so long but because all you think about is yourself, you failed to hear it.
Let the stillness of the night, the silence of the most boring part of the day, be a moment of listening to God’s voice. A moment of silence may be all that you need to find the answers you’ve been asking God all your life.
As I write this letter, half of the world is asleep, resting and renewing their energy for another battle of the day ahead. As I write this letter, thousand thoughts run thru my head. Exhaustion from a day’s work shrinks in comparison with my troubled mind. And yet, as I write this letter, my thoughts are wandering on some distant land where joy and happiness rule together, a place where love, forgiveness and peace adorn every corner and fill every heart.
My mind wanders in a world where men lives in harmony with one another, where gardens are filled with flowers and the trees are bending because of the fruits they carry. As I write this letter, my mind wanders in a world where people live with the ones they love, where the only noise that can be heard are children’s laughter as they play on some green valleys chasing colorful butterflies and picking-up some lovely lilies. As I write this letter, my mind wanders in a world where no man has ever been, where life sees only joy and love and peace; a place without night and without darkness, without hatred, without fear.
My mind wanders in a valley where children are playing while the grown-ups are laughing and talking. Everyone is out in the sun, but they feel no harm, just the warmth of the golden sunshine. Not far from where I am, I see the horizon, the shore of an unknown land. It calls to me. The more I stare at it, the more it pulls me. I can feel the soft green grass beneath my feet, slowly turning into warm and dry pebbles until it turns into a moist, soft and fine sand. I can feel the warm splash of the water from the sea. I feel the water rising higher and higher – my eyes still fixed to that unknown horizon that calls to me.
It is already past midnight and yet my mind refuses to rest. My eyes are tired yet they don’t want to embrace the night. No, not yet.
As I write this letter, I dream of a distant land where I feel no fear to set foot on an unknown land. I dream of a place where there is no fear, where worries are forever banished from its face. As I write this letter, I wander into a land where love rules as king and hope and courage and wisdom are the princes, and together, they rule in sovereign. As I write this letter, I realized that that world is only in my mind.
It’s been a while since I’ve created this blog (although this is not the first or the only one that I’ve created). My first goal is simply to share my ideas. But the internet told me that blogging can make some money too.
If I am going to earn from my blogs, I need more viewership and I need advertisers. But the thing is, most of the view statistics of those blogs came from me. So I got disappointed. I will visit my blogs for a few inspiration every now and then, especially “Live the Good Life”, and then check the statistics to know if there are people who visited. Most often, instead of being motivated and inspired, I get frustrated. It is so frustrating I wanted to stop writing at all. So I evaluated myself and my articles. Here are the few things that I’ve learned.
Why other people won’t read my article
I’ve been writing all about myself. I wrote about my experiences, about what I know and what I want to do. I been writing things that I want to say and share. I’ve been writing for myself and about myself. Of course, the only reader I will get is myself. What more should I expect?
How to get other people’s attention
“Writing is communicating, and like every effective communication, it is not how much you say but how much you listen.” If there’s a genuine intention to write and share ideas, there should be genuine desire to know what other people needs to know. Writing is not about the author – it is about the reader.
It takes time
Getting credibility as an author of articles that people would want to read takes time. It doesn’t happen in an instant. Building credibility starts with walking the talk. If people will know that you practice what you preach and do what you say, they will believe in you. I’ve seen this in my personal relationships, in my professional career and in almost every aspect of life. It can apply to writing as well.
Clean, lean and mean.
As a reader, I don’t want to read boring articles with a lot of beatings around the bush. People are busy. They need time to do other things than reading my articles. So some of the improvements that need to be incorporated in the succeeding articles are (1) fewer spelling/grammatical errors (2) conciseness, and (3) straight forwardness (how about limiting it to maximum of 500 words per article).
Write with both heart and mind.
One can write the most scholarly work using his mind and the most touching piece from his heart. But readers are not simply two-dimensional people who uses either heart or mind. So the key is to share ideas from the mind and put it in words coming from the heart.
I have to constantly remind myself that
“You the author, not the reader. Write about the readers, not about you.”
Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And surely, there must be some place to start.
Analysis-paralysis has kept me stuck in here for too long… Here. Here is where I need to start. With myself.
From John Maxwell I’ve learned that there are only two great days in our lives, one is the day we were born and the other is the day we learn why. So far we have experienced the first. And it is going to take a long while before we find out the second. As for me, I think it is going to take some time even more.
Why am I here is what I often ask myself. One thing for sure, it’s not all about me. Because we are created not merely to fill out the spaces on this planet. We are here for a purpose (at least).
For quite some time, I have been looking for that purpose, that “why.” And in the process, I’ve realized that I have been looking for my self as well. “How will I know my purpose if I haven’t found my self?” And so I started this journey looking for me…
I’ve been in this lifetime for nearly three decades, and until now, I haven’t figured out who am I and why am I here? I know I am not the only one. If that is something that should comfort me or not, I don’t know. But I guess that’s just normal but it doesn’t feel right at the same time.
What if the world is filled with a bunch of people like me – wandering around not knowing who they are, where they are going and why they are here?
I don’t know how long I will be in this planet… Whatever time is left for me, I don’t want to waste that time looking for the kind of person that I was supposed to be. Because the word “supposed” doesn’t really mean that much. I mean, what’s the use of thinking what I should have been if I can think of what “I can be.”
Why am I here? Or, who am I? I must admit, finding the answers to those questions isn’t that easy. Even if at one point in my life I thought I’ve already figured life out, I was wrong. Finding our purpose – our “whys” – doesn’t end in a single point in time. Finding our “whys” is a never-ending quest… And as long as we keep on finding our purpose, our knowledge of ourselves, of who we are , will never end as well.
Join me, my friends, as we embark on this journey together… So, if one day you meet me and looking like at a lost in some deep thought, just pop me a question… I might just still be looking for something – looking for me.
Have a blessed week ahead.
P.S. Maybe you can find one of my “whys” here as I have already figured it out.
This was written nearly five months ago and because of the temporary hiatus of Phase II, it is only by now that this article will be shared to you.
Phase II hopes that you may learn something from this articles.
Today, I had an opportunity where I was asked to write an essay based on predetermined topic (something of which Phase II is not very much accustomed to). There are lots of choices and I opted to write about “The value of excellence in one’s job.” I don’t have a copy of my original article but I will try as much as possible to replicate it here.
What We are Paid For
If someone would say that he is paid, let say, Php50 per hour, that person does not have a right perspective about what he is being paid for. We are not paid for the time we’ve spent on our work. Rather, we are paid for the value we add into it. If we are to be paid based on the time we spent on work, people with 12-hour shifts would be the highest paid employees. But such is not the case.
What is that value we are paid for? Is it simply for doing our assigned task? For the sake of compliance? I think not. It is about the excellent value we add into it.
You and I are being paid for the value of services and contribution that we give. As Jim Rohn said, we are being paid based on the value we provide to the market place.
(Because it has been too long ago, I can no longer remember what my exact words were, but let me continue in this current setting)
What we are actually being paid for are for the things that we contribute to our work. The more we provide, the more we receive in return. But more often than not, we equate activities, to accomplishments. I am guilty of it, then as much as today. Brian Tracy said, mediocre people equates accomplishments with inputs; excellent people equates accomplishments with output.
If only we are to honestly jot down every activity that we do in a day, we will be surprised to learn that most of it are not that important at all. As they say, 20% of our time devoted to meaningful activities provides 80% of the results we desire, and 80% of the time we really spent produce only 20% of the results. The unscheduled meetings, unexpected visitors and phone calls, chitchats over snack rooms, emails that demand answers… and a lot more that consumes most of our time at work. Are we being paid for these things? Well, even though these are parts of our daily activities at work, we are not necessarily paid because of these things. We are paid for the results. We are paid for the excellent results we provide.
But what is excellence? Is it being on top of the group, the alpha of the pack, the cream of the crop? Being excellent is not being number one as compared to everybody. Being excellent means being better than your best every single time. When you exceed your best, be it attitudes, performances, and accomplishments, you are demonstrating excellence. It is not being the best; it is being at your best.
So how do you beat your own personal best?
First, know where you are and what you’ve done. When you know where you are standing, you definitely have the edge over the others. There is no better security than knowing where your feet are planted.
Second, know where you are going to go. As one of my former bosses told me, “the world makes way for the man who knows where he wants to go.”
Third, commit to excellence. Daimler Gottlieb once said, “Das Beste oder nichts” which means “the Best or nothing at all.”
Fourth, devote more time to improving yourself. Again, mentor to millionaire Jim Rohn said, “work harder on yourself than you work on your job.” Why? When you excel in your job, you produce excellent results, but when you excel as a personal, you produce an excellent individual – and that is something you can always carry wherever you go whatever job you may take.
Fifth, acknowledge your limitations before God. You may always be at your best, working out to be the excellent one, but remember that you are still human – subject to errors and mistakes. So acknowledging your weaknesses and limitations before God means you are acknowledging a higher power. Only God can truly bring you to excellence.
At the end of the day, what we planted is what we will always reap. So plan well to be paid well.
Until next time, I hope that you’ve learned something new as we continue our journey towards Phase II… the next phase of our lives, the next phase to excellence.
Have a great day and God Bless.
After almost a month after I have completed the manuscript of the book The Five Successful Ways to Fail, I have submitted it directly to amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing. In just 12 to 24 hours from now, if everything goes well, it will be published. I will be a published author! I am so excited about this and I want to share the excitement with you.
In just a short time, it will be available for sale worldwide at a very affordable rate. My words seem to be without sense right now, maybe it’s because of the excitement I’m feeling or may be it is the feeling of fulfillment that I have completed one of my goals – to have my work published.
Hummm… what do I feel right now? Pure Excitement!
What am I thinking? A lot of things! When will I publish my second ebook? Will this book be able to sell? I don’t want to dwell on the negatives right now. But I do hope that amazon.com will be generous enough to have my works published immediately.
I can’t really explain how I feel after taking that step of conquering my fear of rejection and mockery. I know I don’t write as well as the others. It’s just my experiences and my thoughts that I’ve shared in this book.
Once published, I will give you an update in this site and on the other sites where I write so keep posted.
God Bless Everyone!
P.S. If you are too excited about this book as much as I do, send me a private message. You may never know, I might give you a surprise.
It is now 05 March 2012. Nearly two months since I’ve published my book. It is still available in amazon.com. In case you haven’t got your copy yet.
Those experiences left an impression on me – deep scar as you may like to call it – that I am no good in writing, be it a news, an essay or a poem. I have been turned down many times. I’ve given up.
Why do I like to write in the first place? I write to express my self. I write to share what I know. I am an introvert, you’ll often see me on one corner, alone, and writing has been helping me to communicate – at least to my self. But of course, I want to communicate to real people, to other people. If I can’t do the talking, I thought I can do the writing.
But after I was turned down many times, I forced myself to give up. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I had enough. Until recently when I realized that it’s not about me but it is about the information I will be sharing to other people. It is about that “something” that I will be sharing to someone. So I said to myself, “I am going to try again.” And when I learned about Ezine Article, how they published articles from contributors, I said, “I will try it again. I won’t stop until I have my article published.” Sadly, my first draft was not approved. I felt like giving up again. But then I said there’s no way I am giving up again. I made some revisions, resubmitted my article, and now it is published. It was December 2, 2011 but only now that I’ve learned that it has already been out.
It is truly a very wonderful feeling, knowing that your article has been reviewed and scrutinized and then approved. Now, it is available in the world wide web for all people to see. I no longer see my own blog address before it. The moment I saw it, I got so excited I have it shared on facebook and on twitter immediately.
With that, I would like to thank the Lord for being so merciful to me, for giving me the opportunity of having my article published. Secondly, I would to thank Ezine Article for giving me the chance to make my dream come true. Moreover, Ezine Article staff are very helpful.
Friend, if you are now reading this and you are presently going through trials, if you’ve been hurt or rejected before, or you failed before, know that is God working in mysterious ways to heal you, complete you and make your dreams come true. Just keep on working on those dreams. Learn more on what you have to learn and BE MORE!
Update on my first ebook: It is nearly completed and I am too excited to share it with you.
God bless you and make your dreams come true!