Be Happy with Who You Are


I remember when our son, Maverick, was about 12 years of age, I asked him a question for fun, “If you can become any one in the world, who would that be?” I thought he might choose to become someone he admired at the time like the famous professional footballer, David Beckham, or the extraordinary entrepreneur and inventor, Steve Jobs. He replied with pure confidence, “I’d like to be myself. I don’t want to be someone else.” His reply was a pleasant surprise to me. The more I thought about his response, the more grateful I become. He is happy with who he is. Are you?

Many people going round seeing themselves wrong and feeling lack on the inside. They think they are not good enough. They want themselves to have better look, slimmer body, nicer personality, more educated, more talented or more successful in order for them to feel happy about themselves. God designs each one of us to be the way we are on purpose. We are created in the image of God and in His eyes, each one of us is a masterpiece. Understand that, we are not average or ordinary; we are one of the kind. We have a special seeds of greatness inside us and we are extraordinary and marvelous. We should be confident, content and happy with who we are.

What we see on the inside will eventually show up on the outside. If we see ourselves as confident, talented and valuable, subconsciously we will carry ourselves in such manner and that’s the way others will see us. Like wise, if we see ourselves as inadequate, not talented, and not valuable, we will subconsciously translate our thoughts into our behaviors and others will see us the same way. It is therefore very important to have a positive self image and to love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, we will never be able to love the people around us. In the other word, if we don’t get along with ourselves, you will never be able to get along with others. This is because we cannot give what we don’t have. Even though we have weaknesses or shortcomings, it doesn’t mean that we need to criticize or quit loving ourselves. Instead, we should see it as a journey of continuous improvement and personal growth. Understand this, we all have our strengths and areas for improvement. We are not inferior or superior than others. We are intentionally made differently by our most high God to carry out our unique assignment in life. If you can see it this way, you will never feel the need to compare yourself to others. Instead, you will truly appreciate the value of individual differences and appreciate diversity. You will have joy and peace from within because you are happy with your own true self.

You might not feel that you are a master piece right now. May be you are over weight, you struggle with addiction, you failed in your business or your marriage. Know this, these are God’s tests for you. Your value in your Creator’s eyes is not base on your external success or performance. God values, approved you the moment he created you and His love to you in unconditional. If you feel that you are not where you want to be right now, you must first learnt to accept yourself first while you carry out the process of positive change. If you feel guilty, condemned or against yourself, you won’t be able to have the strength and motivation to create lasting change. Shake off the guilt, condemnation and self criticism. Start to love yourself again, seek help from others who can give you strength and courage to make those changes and have faith that God will fight your battle.

Friends, if you can see yourself a masterpiece, be happy with who you are, appreciate your unique talents and most importantly love yourself, you will feel the joy and peace from within and open doors to receive God’s tremendous blessings into your life.

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Embrace Solitude

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We are living in a busy and noisy world. Our demanding jobs, family and social activities can easily filled up our days. On top of that, we are surrounded by radios, televisions, computers, phones and tablets which are constantly feeding us with massive amount of information, from the latest trends to the worldwide news, from advertisements to experts’ opinions and critics etc. All these activities and information can easily drain our bodies and minds. In fact, the information that we are exposing ourselves to everyday is influencing how we think, how we behave, and eventually how we live our lives. If we do not have a clear purpose of life and strong core values to hold on to, we will end up listening to the noises and following the crowd. We will let our busy life take over our minds and bodies that we forget who we are and what makes us truly happy and fulfilled.

How is your everyday life looks like right now? Do you feel energized when you wake up each day or do you feel tired and struggle to get up? Are you excited to go to work each day or you can’t wait for the weekend to come? Do you feel in control of your time each day or do you feel too busy rushing around, too stressful or out of control? If the later parts of these questions describe you, you are probably not yet living in alignment with your passion, your values and your purpose. May be its time for you to pause, reflect and adjust. The good news is, we all have the power to change for the better, and I find that very often we don’t need to make drastic changes to make things better. All we need to do is to make small daily improvements each day, and over time, it will lead to significant improvement.

I used to live a hectic life too. Starting from a young age, I liked to be productive and achieve things. I would describe myself as optimistic, hard working, discipline and ambitious. I like setting goals, working hard, achieving my goals, then setting new goals to achieve and repeating the process again. I accomplished quite well both academically and professionally but somehow I felt something was missing inside me. I was achieving but not feeling truly happy and fulfilled. One day I picked up a self-development book to read. In this book the idea of “Embracing Solitude” was introduced to me. It explained show a simple act of being quiet by ourselves on a daily basis can help us towards living a happier and more fulfilling life. The book made so much sense to me and I started to catch a glimpse of the possibility of living an extraordinary life filled with joy and peace. It was exactly what I needed to hear at the time and I felt that God was speaking to me. I was compelled to give it a try. I began to give myself 30 to 60 minutes quiet time every morning prior to my work.

During this quiet time, I express my gratitude, I meditate, I read good books, I reflect, and I visualize how I like my day to be. At the end of my quiet time, I would feel inspired, motivated and ready to live my day the best I can. On weekends, I love to spend my quiet time in nature such as trail hiking, walking at the park, sitting by the beach listening to the waves or simply sitting at my balcony at home watching the gorgeous sunrise and sunset while listening to my favorite classical music. I discover that it is in our moments of solitude that we truly discover myself and know “who we are”. The clearer we know about ourselves such as our strength, our talents, our passion, our values and our purpose, the more effortless it would be for us to live our everyday life.

Ever since I developed this daily ritual of solitude and to have positive expectancy of each day, positive things started to happen in my life. The right persons and the right solutions show up naturally, favors come into my way and blessings flow through me. My stress disappeared. I became happier, healthier and more peaceful. The personal clarity that I gained through my solitude also allows me to say “no” to many things that are not aligned with my purpose and values, so that I can focus my energy on the few things that I do well and matter to me. I am also less concern about how other people think of me as I allow my inner compass from within as my guide. The daily ritual of solitude has served me amazingly well and it has transformed my life.

Friends, I sincerely hope that you will find your clarity, strength, joy and peace while you embrace solitude each day. I’d like to leave you a beautiful quote from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He said, “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between.”

May you live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life!

 

Use Your God-Given Talents

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Every one of us is gifted with unique God-given talents. They are custom-made for us. They are within us the moment we were born. Our son, Maverick, for example, was born with a unique talent in drawing. When he has a pen in his hand, he draws. Starting at the age of 4 years old, he could already sit in his chair for one or two hours to do his drawing. It’s easy for him and he always enjoys doing it. I still keep a lot of his artwork and they are amazing. Our daughter, KK, on the other hand, has a special gift in creative writing. Wherever she goes, she will always bring a book, a pen and a notebook with her. Over the years, I’ve seen her writing journals, letters, short stories, poems and novels. They are inspiring, touching and beautiful. I observed that whenever our children are expressing their talents, their eyes lit up with radiant confident. When they create, they are focus, on flow and in joy. I believe this is the “Essence of Life”. When we can tap into our unique talents and channel that into our work and our life, we can do amazing things.

In my role as corporate trainer and executive coach for over 15 years, I come across fantastic people who are very enthusiastic at work while others who don’t seem to have a tiny bit of passion with what they do. I noticed that one of the main reasons for their job dissatisfaction is their inability to express their talents at work. They go to work for the sake of working. I asked them why they are doing the jobs that they don’t like, I usually hear responses like these… 
~ “I don’t like my job but it pays well.”
~ “I have kids’ education and mortgages to pay and I can’t afford to change my job.”
~ “I choose this job because it is a secure job.” 
~ “I choose this job because my parents told me to work for this company.”

The mistakes that these people make is that they follow their head, not their heart when it comes to choosing their profession. They chase money, promotions and social status at the expense of passion, personal growth and fulfillment. They allow materialistic possessions to compensate their boredom, dissatisfaction and stress at work. They achieve a lot on the outside, yet they feel empty, indifferent, lonely, bored and unhappy inside. They are unfulfilled. Here’re my questions to you: What are your God-given talents? Are you actively developing them and expressing them or are you hiding them?

Scripture says, “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 25:29, NIV)  That means, if we use our talents well, God will continue to gift us with more talents and our lives will be filled with abundance. If we don’t use our God given talents well, it will eventually be taken away from us. So use your talents, or you will lose them!

Friends, if you have a tendency of feeling bored, frustrated or unfulfilled at work, chances are your talents are not being utilized and expressed. It may be time for you to pause and think. What can you do to express your talent at work? What kind of work will excite you to get up every morning and look forward to each day? Would you be able to “turn your vocation into your vacation”? That means can you build your career around your passion and talents so that you don’t feel you need to work for work sake again? Remember, you don’t need to have an extraordinary gift for God to use you in a great way. All you need to do is to be productive right where you are. Quit discounting yourself. Start to express your talents, enjoy them, and have fun with them. If you are already utilizing your talents regularly, I congratulate you! I will invite you to continue to stir up your talents, stretch yourself more for further growth, dream bigger and impact more people.  I believe that if you can express the talents within you, nurture and develop them intentionally, and use those talents to serve others, you will live a truly happy and fulfilling life.

Live by Faith

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Fear and faith have something in common. They both ask us to believe something is going to happen that we cannot see. The difference between the two is that fear asks us to believe that something bad is going to happen, and faith asks us to believe that something good is going to show up.

Oftentimes, Robert (my partner) and I receive wonderful questions from our friends, clients and students like, “Robert & Charlotte, how do you both stay so young?”, “You both seem to be always happy and positive, how do you do that?”, “What are the secrets to your happy marriage?”, “What is your best practice of raising happy and confident children?” or “How do you maintain such a great work-life balance? The more I hear people asking us these questions, the more I start to ask myself, “Well, we must have done something right. What is it that make all these good things possible for us?” Sure we are not the most talented, skillful or educated. We too have challenges and setbacks like most people do.  One day I decided to meditate on it, with the intention to share what we have and help others. “What is it that makes the difference?”, I asked before I got into my meditation.  In my moment of stillness, I can hear one word, “Faith”.

I contemplate on this word “faith” after my mediation and I started to recall a few turning points in our lives, both good and not so good, and it is that “faith” within us that helped us overcome our barriers and propel us to rise higher. The more I thought about it, the more I realize how this one choice of “choosing from fear to faith” has brought us tremendous blessings, abundance, joy and prosperity in many areas of our lives.

Here’s what I believe to be true from our personal experience. Whatever we meditate on is going to manifest. If we dwell on negative and fearful thoughts, we are inviting them to turn into reality. The things we fear will come upon us. But if we choose to only pay attention to our positive and faithful thoughts, we are inviting good things and favors to show up in our lives. All through the day we have a lot of thoughts coming through our mind. Yet these thoughts are not reality. They can only become real if we give them enough attention. Sometimes our thoughts can deceive us too. We don’t need to agree with all of them. If our thoughts don’t serve us, simply ignore them. They don’t deserve any space in our mind. In order for us to live a happy and fulfilling life, we must switch our thinking from fear to faith. We must give attentions to our positive thoughts and stop dwelling on the negative ones. The more we can practice faithful thinking, the more we will allow the blessings to come into our lives.

Scripture says, “ For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

May God bless you with abundant faith so you will continue to live you life to your fullest potential that God created you to be.

A Journey to Inspire


 

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2016 is Here! I am relaxing and reflecting by the sea, reminding myself the many blessings that I have, I start to have tears in my eyes.

I have a husband who inspires me and loves me unconditionally. I have 2 wonderful children who are smart, positive, talented, fun to be with and have good values. They are my inspiration! My parents are healthy and living well. I have awesome friends around the world, whom we care and support each other. I get to do what I love to do everyday with the love of my life ~ inspiring others through writing, coaching, training, speaking and simply connecting. We are living in our dream home overlooking the blue ocean and surrounded by lush green mountains. Thanks to my friend who recently reminded me that it is like a “bungalow in the sky”. I can enjoy the gorgeous sun rise and sun set from the balconies of our own home and our private beach. I can recall the awesome inspirational moments by simply watching the sun rise and sun set that have changed my life. The great weather, fresh air and clean water here is priceless. I feel blissful and abundant here. Above all, what I treasure most is the time and freedom I have, to think, to observe, to meditate, to create and to do things that matter. As my relationship with God is becoming closer each day, I feel more joy and peace from within. As I close my eyes now, feeling the breeze and hearing the waves from the ocean, I can hear this gentle voice from my heart saying to me, “Charlotte, you are living your dream.” I feel Awesome !

I feel awesome and grateful. “What’s next?”, I asked. “To Share and Inspire“, I heard. The scripture Luke 12:48 showed up in my mind, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” I truly believe that we are put to this world to use our God given talents to serve others, to lift people up and make this world a better place.

In this moment of gratitude, I receive this calling from God, “To inspire others, calling out their seeds of greatness, helping them to rise higher and become all that God created them to be.” I can hear this inner voice from my heart, “If I can do this for the rest of my life, I am truly fulfilled.” I smile, with gratitude. With God all things are Possible. Let the journey begins!