Daily Devotions

Self-Awareness: Benefits

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Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Self-Awareness is tough. It requires us to face our own insecurities and foibles. Yet, if we are to become who God intends us to be – healthy and mature –  then we will need to become self-aware. If we are to face the struggle and pain, we need to appreciate all the benefits. Nick Wignall, in his article, “How to Be More Self-Aware,” provides the opportunity to become more self-aware.

First, according to Wignall, a healthy self-awareness creates “Better Relationships.” When you are self-aware you become less defensive and more open to the people around you. When you are self-aware, you will experience “Improved moods.” Our moods relate to how we feel about ourselves in a given moment. The more we are able to appreciate ourselves, the better we are able to face challenges, and control our moods.

Self-Awareness also provides “Clearer thinking and better decision-making.”  Poor decisions often come from emotional reactions that occur when we feel out of control. Part of having better control is that we are better able to provide “More effective communication.” We are able to communicate our feelings and needs effectively because we can be assertive without being overly aggressive or fearful.

Finally, better Self-Awareness provides “Increased productivity.” Wignall describes procrastination “…isn’t a lack of effort or commitment, it’s interference from ourselves.” Increased productivity helps with relationships and it starts a healthy, meaningful cycle. Now that you know the benefits, pray that over the next few days of devotions, as we focus on the process of self-awareness with courage and Divine trust.

Risking It All on a Dream

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For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

When I read self-help books and articles, I am amazed at how many recommend you quit your job and follow your dreams. The idea can be romantic, but without a clear plan, the romance can quickly become a nightmare. Why is the person thinking of quitting their job? First, one must decide if you are running to something new, or just running away from something?

Jeff Goins, warns in his article, “Why Quitting Your Job to Chase Your Dreams Is a Terrible Idea,” pulls back the curtain on such a radical decision. Goins recommends, “Before you quit your job or make your next career transition, take your time building the skills you’ll need to do that job well.” I’ve had a number of people, through the years, in my office, claiming that God is calling them to leave their job and follow their passion. Often, they later blame God when it doesn’t work out. Even if God called them, I am sure God also called them to formulate a legitimate process of transition.

Goins recommends starting “small-really small.” Take steps toward your dream, rather than jumping off a vocational cliff. It will help you recognize many of the unforeseen challenges while you can still make adjustments, financial and otherwise. Plus, Goins says that starting small also helps establish new habits. “Habits make everything easier and each of us better.” More than likely, your financial situation will be tough for a while, and starting slow helps develop the habit of living on less. Different jobs often include daily changes in routine, and the more comfortable one is with new habits, the more successful the transition.

Finally, like anything else, the more you do something, the more proficient you become. Starting slow helps you increase proficiency in all areas of this new part of your life. It is true, the wisdom attributed to Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Yet, most of us cannot follow our dreams without continuing to fulfill our obligations. Seek God’s guidance, start small, and take steps toward your dreams. But don’t sacrifice what should be your two most important dreams, caring for your family and honoring God. If either of these two areas are damaged, it isn’t the right dream. If your small steps continue to produce affirmation, then it will likely be a Divinely inspired dream

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