REACHING OUR POTENTIAL – Part 1

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Reaching Our Potential – Part 1

I would like to begin this series with explaining the inspiration behind this series.  Thousand Foot Krutch is one of my favorite bands and one of my favorite songs by them is Fly on the Wall.  I have heard this song thousands of times, but a couple of weeks ago, it spoke to me differently; I realized there is so much more to this song than I originally realized – it is all about how we are not at our potential even though we are all capable of being kings and queens.  Here are the lyrics to this song:

The other night
I had a dream
There was a world full of kings and queens
But it was cold
Dark as the night
We were the fire on the moonlit skies

We weren’t divided
We were the same
And we were free
But we all wore chains
We couldn’t see it
But we created
A place between truth and overrated

If I could just see it all
Just like a fly on the wall
Would I be able to accept what I can’t control?
And would I share what I saw?
Or just sit back and ignore
Like nothing never happened,
I haven’t seen you before?

I’m on the run from a thief
I let into my head
I know, I hold the keys, so don’t be scared
When I turn and shout:

I don’t think I need you anymore
Take your words, and your lies and just beat it!
I don’t think I need you anymore
Take the hurt and the pain, I don’t need it!

I wanna live, I wanna be the change
We can all be kings and queens
If we can just learn to believe
If we can just learn to believe

We had a plan to build a wall
A great divide that would never fall
To separate us
From all the pain
And keep our skeletons locked away

And brick by brick
We built it so thick
That it blacked out the sky and all the sunlight
And one by one
We all became numb
We were making the bullets to a broken gun

If I could just see it all
Just like a fly on the wall
Would I be able to accept what I can’t control?
And would I share what I saw?
Or just sit back and ignore
Like nothing never happened
And I haven’t seen you before?

I’m on the run from a thief
I let into my head
I know, I hold the keys, so don’t be scared
When I turn and shout:

I don’t think I need you anymore
Take your words, and your lies and just beat it!
I don’t think I need you anymore
Take the hurt and the pain, I don’t need it

I wanna live, I wanna be the change
We can all be kings and queens
If we can just learn to believe
If we can just learn to believe

I don’t think I need you anymore
Take your words, and your lies and just beat it!
I don’t think I need you anymore
Take the hurt and the pain, I don’t need it!

I wanna live, I wanna be the change
We can all be kings and queens
If we can just learn to believe
If we can just learn to believe…

(To listen to the song, click on the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZUifYeKaQo )

The part of this song that spoke to me the most was the chorus: “If I could see it all just like a fly on the wall, would I be able to accept what I can’t control?  And would I share what I saw?  Or just sit back and ignore like nothing ever happened and I haven’t seen you before…I wanna live, I wanna be the change.  We can all be kings and queens, if we just learn to believe.”

This is the mindset of so many of us.  We sit back and watch saying and doing nothing – wanting to live, wanting to see and experience change, but doing nothing to make it happen when we all have the potential to be kings and queens.

A little backstory I want to share right quick is the reason for the name of this blog.  AMP2 stands for Accomplishing the Master’s Plan while Acquiring Maximum Potential (Get it?  AMP, AMP = AMP2).  Originally, this was the name of my nonprofit organization but when God laid it on my heart to start this blog and I was thinking of a name for it, I could not help but think that AMP2 was the PERFECT name considering the mission of this blog is to encourage people to accomplish God’s plan for their lives by sharing wisdom, experiences, and providing advice that would help them reach their full potential.  Not to mention, if I am going to use a name that encourages people to reach their potential according to God’s plan for their lives, should I not also do a series teaching people how to do that?

WE ALL HAVE VARYING POTENTIAL, but many of us are not striving to reach it.  We are shaped through our experiences and academics – this is how we gain knowledge.  Experiential knowledge involves learning from the stories of our lives; essentially, these are the things we have experienced.  Academic knowledge is learning from others whether it is through reading, listening, researching, or through the experiences of others including family, friends, and experts.  Our knowledge grows from the life we live and the things we learn.  Thus, we all have the capability to reach our potential.  However, many people run away from the burdens that come with striving to reach our potential and are unwilling to take on the weight of responsibility that is required to have ownership of the results.

There are many people in history who took on the responsibility of overcoming obstacles in order to reach their potential.  Let me give you a few examples:

Susan G. Komen: breast cancer
Blake Mycoskie: shoes
Scott Harrison: clean water
Martin Luther King Jr.: civil rights
Wendy Kopp: education

You may not agree with importance of certain people’s causes or approaches to reaching their potential, but you have to give them credit for taking the steps to reach their full potential.  I believe there is a direct correlation between the people we admire most in society and the way we live our lives – our motivation to reach our potential.  People who have reached their potential do not just have resumes, they have stores of solutions!

There is such a thing as personal predisposition – the idea that we can be anything we want to be.  To achieve your potential, you have to develop a sense of what you are naturally according to your interests, natures, strengths, and talents.  This allows you to understand what your potential is and avoid wasting time trying to be something you are not called to do.

Potential is an ominous term that cannot be measured, quantified, or defined.  Yet, we all have the ability to reach our fullest potential.  Throughout this series we will understand who has the ability to reach their potential, what it means to reach our potential, when to reach our potential, why we need to reach our potential, and how to reach our potential.  In order to do this, we must have an open mind.  Many opportunities pass us by because we are stuck in a certain way of thinking and are afraid of taking risks – if there is no real or perceived danger, take the risk!  Having an open mind is the first step in reaching your potential because it gives you the willingness to take risks.  The simple fact is this – we will never be the best we can be if we are always playing it safe.  Secondly, seek out new perspectives and contexts.  The more perspectives you seek, the more you push the boundaries of your mind.  Get outside of your box and move out of your comfort zone.  Third, “ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7).  Ask God for guidance and direction for your life.  It surprises me how many people fail to get what they need simply because they are too afraid to ask.  The fear of rejection and embarrassment hold them back from asking for help.  In order to get what you need, you have to have the courage to ask – the wisdom to work together with others to accomplish what you cannot do alone.  Next, help others succeed.  The best way to reach your potential is to help others as much as possible; then, when it is your time to ask for help, people will be more inclined to help you in return.  By helping others, you create a wide network of support because truth is, most people cannot reach their potential on their own.  Fifthly, during this series, think differently.  Most people who have reached their potential have not been afraid to step out of the norm – such as Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Ralph Waldo Emerson who were considered radical thinkers and are now known from their genius minds.  This does not mean you necessarily go against the grain, it simply means having the courage to express your individuality.  It is accepting your unique strengths and talents that will help you reach your greatest potential.  Next, work smart, not hard.  This means saving yourself a ridiculous amount of time by paying attention and taking your time to do your research without obsessing.  Working smart means modeling other experienced individuals and doing your homework.  Lastly, change your auto-response – when you want to do something, don’t think about it, just do it.  Many of us pass by opportunities in life because we simply cannot make the decision.

I cannot wait to begin diving into this series.  This series will include topics about why we are not currently at our potential, learning to let it go, following God’s direction and making wise decisions, God’s gifts and using them, and essentially becoming kings and queens by reaching our potential.

NEW SERIES!!!!

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New series starts tomorrow on REACHING OUR POTENTIAL!!! This is going to be a fantastic series so don’t miss out on it!  This series will cover so many great topics on how to reach our potential, why we are not currently at our potential, learning to let it go, following God’s direction, making the right choices to reach our potential, God’s gifts and using them, and essentially becoming kings and queens.

This series was inspired by a number of songs that will be incorporated throughout the series.  To get a head start on the series, get your heart right with God and listen to the song So Far Gone by Thousand Foot Krutch by clicking on the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-sigUxXsAA

Be ready to see changes in your life.  This series, I can assure you, will be like no other!!!

Reaching Our Potential Series – Prequel

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Reaching Our Potential Prequel

In order to prepare for the new series on Reaching Our Potential, it is vital that we first prepare our hearts.  God has laid a lot of wonderful topics on my heart to discuss in this series and I just feel like in order to really value from it and take away all that God has in store for the series, we need to first get right with Him.  So, take a minute and read the lyrics to this song – pray them, embrace them, mean them, and set your heart in the right place to hear God’s amazing messages.

So Far Gone by Thousand Foot Krutch

I know they say that the space between
Can make it stronger than we’ve ever seen
They might be right but I disagree
Cause I’ve never felt stronger than when you’re with me

Sometimes I wonder why you even care
Cause even when I leave you’re always there with me
And like a candle makes a brighter place
This mark you’ve made on me can’t be erased.

I wanna be so far gone in you
So far nothing else will ever do
I wanna be so far gone in you
In you..

I’ve stood alone and I’ve fallen down
Your hands were there to pick me off the ground
Sometimes I cry cause I can’t believe
Your love is big enough to cover me

Sometimes I’ve wondered if you’re even there
But when I feel far away you meet me there
And like a candle makes a brighter place
This mark you’ve made on me can’t be erased
Yeah..

I wanna be so far gone in you
So far nothing else will ever do
I wanna be so far gone in you
In you..

I wanna be so far gone in you
So far nothing else will ever do
I wanna be so far gone in you
In you..I wanna be lost

I wanna be lost in you
Like a ship in the night
I wanna get lost in you
Underneath your sky

I wanna be lost in you
Like a ship in the night
So far gone tonight

I wanna be so far gone in you
So far nothing else will ever do
I wanna be so far gone in you
In you…

So far gone in you
In you
In you
So far gone in you

To listen to the song, click on the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-sigUxXsAA 

LOVE Series – Part 6: Are We Capable of Love

Have you read the concluding post in the LOVE series? It is totally worth the read. Read it now!

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So far in the LOVE Series, we have defined love, learned what the Bible says about love, the types of love, whether we really need love, and how to love; but, are we truly capable of love?  Being in love is a desire to be around that person always and thinking about them when you are not.  Without that person, your life feels incomplete.  It requires trust and the yearning to do anything for that person and strive to make them happy always.  You put their needs before your own.  Love drives you to be affectionate, devoted, and to make sacrifices.  It is intense, powerful, and passionate.  It is the “irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” (Mark Twain).  The Bible defines love as being patient, kind, not envying, not boasting, not being proud, honoring others, not self-seeking or easily angered, keeping no records of wrongs, rejoicing in truth, protecting, trusting…

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LOVE Series – Part 6: Are We Capable of Love

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I never truly knew what love was until I started this series.  Because of this series, I have realized the true definition of love, the importance of all types of love, how to show love, what God says about love, and have determined if we are truly capable of love.

Have you read the concluding post of the LOVE series?  Part 6: Are We Capable of Love, is definitely worth reading.  Check it out now!

LOVE Series – Part 6: Are We Capable of Love.

LOVE Series – Part 6: Are We Capable of Love

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So far in the LOVE Series, we have defined love, learned what the Bible says about love, the types of love, whether we really need love, and how to love; but, are we truly capable of love?  Being in love is a desire to be around that person always and thinking about them when you are not.  Without that person, your life feels incomplete.  It requires trust and the yearning to do anything for that person and strive to make them happy always.  You put their needs before your own.  Love drives you to be affectionate, devoted, and to make sacrifices.  It is intense, powerful, and passionate.  It is the “irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” (Mark Twain).  The Bible defines love as being patient, kind, not envying, not boasting, not being proud, honoring others, not self-seeking or easily angered, keeping no records of wrongs, rejoicing in truth, protecting, trusting, hoping, and persevering (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).  A lasting relationship is composed of all types of love and must include Agape’s unconditional commitment and decision to love, Phileo’s affection, Storges sacrificial love, Eros’s romantic love, Ludus’s flirting, Philautia’s love for ourselves, and Pragma’s long-lasting relationship.  We need love to feel complete and gain a sense of belongingness, because without love we will always be searching for it.  We can speak the language of love through words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, physical touch, and quality time; but no matter the love language, it is important to be united in love (Colossians 2:2) and to show love with our actions and not with words (1 John 3:18).  Yet, with all we now know about love, we have not answered the final question: “Are We Capable of Love?”

The decision to write about love came from my own personal experiences and observations.  It was God calling me to share not only what I know about love, but to learn more about love for myself as well.  It was during the course of writing this love series that I finally started to understand what true unconditional love means and determine if we as humans are capable of such love.

My Experiences with Love

It was 2005, when I first experienced love; but it was not until 2007 that for the first time I experienced real love, when I married the man of my dreams – a godly man, a worship leader, my best friend.  The wedding was perfect; then marriage began and babies were born and Satan all too quickly began to introduce temptations.  My husband had an affair while I was pregnant with our second child and left our children and me.  Just like that, the love was over.  He chose no longer to love our children, our God, or me.  Despite everything, I still to this day know that God’s plan was for me to marry that man when I did; but God also gave us free will, and my ex-husband used his free will to mess it all up.

images (5)There I was, 21 years old with a child and another on the way – left alone to raise our kids.  I thought I would never find love again.  Who in their right mind would want to date a 21 year old with two kids?  I had all but given up on love when God brought someone very special into my life.  We are not still together, but I will always be grateful for the time we had because he restored hope and taught me so much about real love and about myself.  For that, I will always love this man.  Not only did he WANT to date me, restoring hope that I will find love again, but he taught me a lot about love.  He taught me how to love and how to show love.  He taught me that there are additional factors to consider when dating when you have children and what I should now look for in a man.  He taught my things about myself – making me more independent and able to do things on my own.  Thanks to him, I no longer need a man in my life and instead simply just WANT a man.  He restored my hope in men, my hope in God’s plan and desire for my life, my hope in finding real love.  He gave love to my children where they lacked it from their father.  For that, I could never repay him.

Since then, I have found an amazing man and for the first time in my life, I have experienced unconditional love.  Trust me when I say, it has not been an easy road and our relationship has been through its share of challenges.  Nevertheless, it is because of our unconditional love that we are able to survive.  We have been through battles and hardships in our relationship and in our personal lives, which affected our relationship.  Yet, we stuck it out, and together overcame it all, and I think we are better as a couple because of it.

It has taken an incredible amount of work for us to get to where we are today – many fights, countless sleepless nights, and many times, the desire to give up; but we have not given up!  As a result, we have grown closer and finally learned how to have a real relationship full of real unconditional love.  We have finally figured out how to make the appropriate sacrifices for one another, learned to work as a team to raise our children, understand each other’s feelings, show each other love, and most importantly, communicate with one another to let things go.  Moreover, because of it – I now know what real unconditional love feels like, looks like, and it has changed my perception on the capability of being able to truly love someone.

In January, my parents got divorced after more than 26 years together.  At the same time, my own relationship was on the rocks and in jeopardy of ending – which is not something I wanted, but was fearful of it happening.  Now, looking back, I think I have a lot to thank my parent for in terms of my relationship and where it is now.

It was because of their divorce that I discovered how important it is not to give up on love.  That is when I started fighting to make my relationship work.  That is when I started to desire to experience and show real love, to change my perception on unconditional love.  It was watching my parents give up that made me want to fight harder; and because I chose to fight, I now am on the way to having a happy life in a relationship full of unconditional love.  How I responded to this situation came from deep within my heart and it was as real as real gets – my reaction surprised me and inspired me.

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For decades, scientists have studies brain activity to try to uncover the secrets of unconditional love.  Biologists believe that love is fundamentally a biological construct that all human cultures have the capacity to experience.  Scientists consider unconditional love a separate emotion from romantic or sexual love.  Unconditional love is a feeling of tenderness and affection, the desire to be with that person associated with feelings of pleasure and joy which often leads to tendencies to belong, posses, own, or sustain recurrent reception.  It is the act of giving for the benefit of another – the only contentment that derives comes from the satisfaction of bringing about the positive changes to the life of the other person; the experience being indirect.

Unconditional love is a term to describe love for someone regardless of actions and beliefs.  Many scientists, psychologists, therapists, and spiritual leaders believe we need to practice unconditional love in order to survive and evolve.  However, are humans capable of it?  Some say it is not possible because humans are too selfish and self-centered; yet, we all long for unconditional love.  Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Give love and unconditional acceptance to those you encounter and notice what happens…” as “…the greatest gift that you can give another is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.”

Unconditional love is a spiritual state, not an emotional one.  It is not a choice and exists forever.  All types of pushes and pulls from our emotions, upbringing, personality, temperament, ego, and experiences affect our ability to love unconditionally.  These things make us who we are but also make us imperfect and fallible.  The question is, can we rise above all these things and actually love someone unconditionally?

What Unconditional Love Really Meansshutterstock_93326353

Since my parents’ divorce, I have given lots of thought to the meaning of love and
how the word is so easily thrown around with ease.  From my experiences, I have come to learn what true love means.  The test of true love, unconditional love is this:  would you still love the person even if they did something awful and hurtful?  Would you still care about them and want what is best for them?  If the answer is yes, you love unconditionally.  If you answer is no, then what you are feeling is not unconditional love – it may be a strong emotion or feeling of attachment, but it is not love.

The state of love occurs when the love inside us aligns with the deep energy and frequency level of the love within someone else.  This connection is not about desire, attraction, enjoyment, similar interests, common values, or emotions – it is something that happens outside of our own control.  When the internal love alignment occurs, it lasts forever and can never be broken; forever connected with that person regardless of what happens on a humanistic level.

How to Love Unconditionally

  1. Loving unconditionally is a behavior, not a feeling. It is the act of extending ourselves into uncharted emotional territory with the belief that regardless of the outcome, we want to benefit the other person.  Love is a behavior and the satisfaction of extending unconditional love is the feeling you get thus becoming a pure act of generosity.
  2. Ask yourself, “Am I truly acting with the most love I can for this person at this moment?” Unconditional love is an entirely new process to many of us and we want to convey sincerity with each person we extend that love to so that it is genuine and not conditional.
  3. To love someone unconditionally does not mean that the act of love is always going to be easy or comfortable. We have to be there for others when they have challenges and need to foster growth – even when there will be pain and discomfort.  Unconditional love is honest but gentle, kindly communicating without judgment to help see them through to the other side.
  4. Forgiveness!!! Again, this is a behavior, and probably the most difficult aspect of true unconditional love that we must perform.  This is something we consciously need to work on every day.

images (14)Are We Capable of Love?

Do I believe we as humans are capable of love?  To be honest, yes and no.  I think we all have the capacity to give and receive unconditional love, but we do not all choose to.  I do not know why some of us are willing to embrace our capacity for unconditional love and others are not.  It is still a mystery to me; but, from my experiences, it is a choice whether or not we allow ourselves to love unconditionally.  If we are honest with ourselves, most of our life experiences teach us what we must do to show and receive love.  Unconditional love is available to everyone.  If God lives within us, then we have the capacity to show unconditional love.  The way we receive unconditional love is by giving unconditional love – without any expectations or strings attached.

Unconditional love is uncommon but not impossible.  God’s plan for each of our lives has always been uncommon, since the beginning – so this is not exactly a new concept.  When we break the ranks of our culture and embrace the uncommon approach of love, we invite the opportunity to extend unconditional love to others within our everyday lives.

If you think carefully about those closest to you, there is likely at least one person in your life who understands and practices unconditional love towards you.  When unconditional love is introduced into the equation, everything changes, and nothing stays the same – you simply cannot go back after having experienced it.  Unconditional love heals the broken, empowers the timid, affirms the hesitant, and elevates those who have been overlooked, forgotten, and silenced.  There is a power that comes to those who show and receive unconditional love.

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Food for Thought

Love everyone and everything without attaching strings and without judgment.

Why Wait til Tomorrow – New Post Coming out in an HOUR!!!

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Why wait til tomorrow?  The last post in the LOVE Series publishes within the hour!  Be on the look out.  It is definitely one of the best!!

Just a little teaser… “If you think carefully about those closest to you, there is likely at least one person in your life who understands and practices unconditional love towards you.  When unconditional love is introduced into the equation, everything changes, and nothing stays the same – you simply cannot go back after having experienced it.  Unconditional love heals the broken, empowers the timid, affirms the hesitant, and elevates those who have been overlooked, forgotten, and silenced.  There is a power that comes to those who show and receive unconditional love.”

Last Post in the LOVE Series Publishes Tomorrow

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The last post in the LOVE Series publishes tomorrow, topic: Are We Capable of Love

We have defined love, learned the types of love and what the Bible says about love, and now understand how to show love – but are we truly capable of loving another?  Find out when the FINALE of the LOVE series publishes tomorrow.  Be on the look out!