I could do that if…

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If I had “that”, I could do “this”.  Have you ever heard a statement like that?  Or more importantly have you ever thought or spoken a statement like that?  I have heard it and I have used it.  In my experience working with people, those that have been most successful are those that have the ability to focus on what they have and put it to best use.  I write on this because I have personal experience on both sides of this topic.

During my 20’s and 30’s I believed many lies, below are 4 of them.

1)  If I made more money I would be able to save – Saving has always been a struggle.  Over the past decade I have seen our family income rise dramatically.  However, our savings did not.  Not until I realized that saving is a way of living, it can be done no matter what the income. Saving money is tied directly to the stewardship of everything else in my life,  My emotions, relationships, desires, and passions.  Saving financially is a by-product of these four areas being in balance in my life.

2)  If I had nicer things I would feel more fulfilled –   Huge lie!  They do bring momentary happiness but never fulfillment.  It can all be gone in a heartbeat.  The best way to enjoy nice things is when your fulfillment is based outside of them. Sharing nice things and giving nice things to others is where the fulfillment comes from.  We more than doubled the size of our home 3 years ago.  It was amazing to be in the first 6 months, after that it just became a house like any other.  I now enjoy this house the most when it is full of family and friends that I can share it with.

3)  If I didn’t stutter I could have more of an impact – verbal words don’t come easy for me. They never have.  This has been one of the greatest struggles for my entire life.  For many years I sat on the sidelines watching.  Waiting for a time that I would not stutter, hoping I would outgrow it or learn to overcome it. Wanting to join in conversations but keeping silent. Knowing the answer to a question but not speaking up.  Finally I began to realize that it would be with me for life.  Instead of seeing the limitations, I began to see that I still could speak,  I just have to work harder, choose my words carefully, and push through those times of speaking what I am thinking.  My stuttering in fact has become an asset.  It has helped people to connect with me in ways I can’t explain.  It has given others hope, and helps to keep me humble.  I may never be an amazing orator but I will continue to keep speaking no matter how much I stutter.

4)  If I had a better education I could be a better leader –  I finished grade 12 but never pursued any further education.  I now lead a multi-million dollar company and have often found myself thinking that perhaps I could do better if only I had a better education.  Instead of dwelling on what could have been, I now focus on the experience I have gained over the past 20+ years and use that to fuel my leadership.  I pursue learning new things, improving my knowledge, and surrounding myself with people that can help me in my leadership in areas that I am weak.

On which side are you?  Do you spend more time wishing you had more thinking you could do more?  Or do you seize upon that which you have and make the most of it?

I leave you with some verses that have been of great encouragement and comfort to me on my journey of learning to use what I have.

Philippians 4:11-13
 11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

-Winston

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