Saying “No”

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This last month has been a roller coaster for my emotions and my mental capacity. There is a new Starbucks opening up in town and it is the same parking lot as my gym. From the moment i saw that it was being built i said that i would do anything it took to get to that Starbucks, even if i had to prophetically claim it and name it. Two weeks ago, a sudden feeling came upon me and i had the urge to ask when the store was opening, who the manager was, and talk to my boss about transferring. I was able to talk to my boss and she knows that there are no hard feelings between her and I but I really want to be at this new one. If you’ve been following my blog you’d know that I am working on a promoting inside the company i work for. The manager at this new store is one of the top managers in the district. When I went to the interview for the position she was the only manager who thought i wasn’t ready. Her reasons for this had nothing to do with how hard I work but it has everything to do with how I can coach our team and I understood her and was ready to work on it. 

Last week, my manager, after knowing how much I really want to transfer, was approached by her boss and was asked to ask if i wanted a promotion inside the store, I wouldn’t have to transfer and I’d be promoted. When she approached me with this, i felt my stomach drop and all appetite was lost, and the fear of man tried to come upon me. I knew that saying no would put a void on all the work that I put in this last year. At that moment I knew that the most important thing for me wasn’t my position but my placement. I said “No” to the promotion. The reason why is because this new store is 8 minutes away from my house, and right next to my church, and gym. 

Saying “No” can be more important than saying “Yes” because your “no” lets people know that you have feelings, Your “no” helps keep the things that you cherish with you and the things that hinder you away. When it comes to your dreams and your goals, you cannot allow anything to hinder you, One of my goals for 2014 is to gain 25 lbs in muscle, I cannot achieve that goal if i don’t go to the gym. I am very particular about the times i go to the gym and between the hours of 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. you will not see me there because the crowd is obnoxious and people are messy. 

Cheers!

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I don’t know about you, but for me, the days between the start of the year and tonight felt as if they were extended. I almost feel like i am two weeks into 2014 when it hasn’t even been a week. This week i was greeted with some great news i didn’t feel ready to share.

In 2008 i got hired at Starbucks. At the time I had no idea what i was doing and the only thing i knew was I need money and I am bored. So i went to school and got a job. I went to the community college here in Stockton. Since i just moved here a 5 months before starting school I had zero friends so i got used to isolating myself with poetry and my lovely iPod. This all changed when I got tired of wasting my time and money and wanted to put my time and effort into something worth pursuing, so I joined Kingdom Culture School of Ministry.

Six years later, I am still at Starbucks, why you ask? It has been a terrific company to work for, while people can be unreasonably picky over a luxury that is treated as a necessity, the majority of people are nice. It has been an excellent job as far as flexible availability and great benefits. Being in school flexibility has always been my favorite part, not to mention getting raises all the time.

The closer i got graduating, the most popular question would become more and more real, “What next?” I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen. In March i was sitting down reading, praying, and conversing with God, I was asking about what is next, what are we going to do? The only thing i knew i had passions for was recording and producing music, and preaching the love of Jesus. But then, i started getting visions of what was going to happen, the place I’d call my “dream come true” I wont reveal that to you yet, but it is big.

A few months pass and only a few people know my dream and I am thinking of practical things i can do to start walking my dreams out, so I’d record music on the side, record songs with my friends, write songs, etc. As far as money went, I was still at Starbucks. Throughout my life at Starbucks, the fire for the desire to move up in the company was kindled a total of 4 times. The first two times I couldn’t due to me getting a new manager each time and the third time I couldn’t because of school and how I don’t have the availability to work full time. But this fourth time was different, I had people believing in me and people pushing me. So I went for it. I have been practicing for promotion and been in communication with my manager about it and she believes in me as well.

This promotion would be a great opportunity for me to learn how a business is run as far as cost of labor, profit and loss, and also make use of the great leadership skills I’ve acquired from KCST.

Earlier this week, my boss brought up my promotion and it excited me. What she asked was “how would you feel about having an interview with our district manager?” I in a completely confident way hiding any nervousness said “good.” So she believes i am ready and her and I will be working on my answers as well as getting me to look more at numbers and such. I will keep you all posted about this.

No Holding Back

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We are entering the final few days of 2013. While the anticipation for the new year leaves us in excitement, one thing that stills my soul is reflecting on the past year. In my reflection i was brought to tears because the earlier months in the year and even sometimes towards the end I would see opportunity to give my all but I held back. As you know, I am a passionate lover of Jesus and my hearts desire is to pursue Him and experience His radical love. While I don’t live in regret, guilt, or shame, I am saddened because there were opportunities for me to reach the next level but i held back. I’ve learned that you spell faith R-I-S-K, risk. A comfortable life never gets us anywhere. In the midst of comfort stagnancy dwells and many times this last year I became stagnant. And you’re probably wondering, “If you don’t live in regret, guilt, or shame, why are you saddened at this?” And I am glad you’re wondering. And I’ll respond with this, In life, the only thing you ever have to lose is what you have to gain. If you never step out in risk you’ll never gain anything. Every situation in life is a situation where you’ll be taught something. And this situation taught me what life is like when you hold back, and that stagnant life isn’t the life I desire to pursue, but the life of risk and the life of faith is what i desire to pursue. And the only way I can do that is to live a life where no area in my life is held back. To give 111% percent on the field because everyone else is leaving 110%. My heart isn’t to out due anyone but my heart is to give it all and because 110% is a little cliche. 

This post almost sounds like a “this is my new years resolution” post, but it isn’t because as of 20 minutes ago, It started. And for you, all my readers, I want to encourage you not to make a resolution, but to have a vision for 2014. With out vision people perish. A resolution is sometimes shallow and has no purpose. But when you sit down and envision what you want to see in 2014 a fire will be sparked inside your heart to see this vision pass. Our generation is a show me generation, we’re done being told things, because for most of the world seeing it is believing. So when you see your vision for 2014, you’ll believe it and once you’ve seen it, write it down. Then you’ll be able to show it to your friends. And in my life this far I’ve learned that when you can get people to see your vision, they’ll support you. 

If there is one thing you can take from my time of reflection is to keep pressing onward. Life is to short to allow a single slip up to hold you back from your ultimate destiny. Your goals are achievable and your dreams are not impossible. The journey isn’t easy, but your vision gives purpose to your pain, to you struggle, and it’ll drive you. Don’t allow anyone to tell you “You’re the same old you and you will always be that!” because it isn’t true. Six years ago, i was a completely different from the man i am today, I lacked drive, I lacked morals, and I lacked vision. But before your eyes, I now stand as a man with passion, with vision, and with drive. Don’t be afraid to become great. Keep pressing the envelope and break those limitations.