I’m upset! Just kidding.
I am extremely happy, filled with joy and covered with grace. This is a place I have been praying to be at for several months now, as this year did not start off how I thought it would. In between a long-term relationship ending, canceled flights and lost luggage (Thank you, American Airlines), and postponed speaking engagements, my life’s rhythm was out of whack. And to be honest, I was lost and did not know what to do.
These interruptions slowed down my activities of daily living and my vision and forced me to see the trees within the forest. Also known as blind spots, I began to be confronted with unarmed truths about myself that were actively working to prevent me from becoming my best, whole self. Some of these bling spots included:
- Identifying insecurities about myself rooted in years of unhealthy behaviors and thinking
- Toxic relationships that I held onto for tenure, rather than purpose
- Self-destructive decision making trying to please the wrong people, places, and things
I have always encouraged my students and peers to speak their unarmed truth, failing to realize that I couldn’t even keep it 100 with myself.
Whoa. Talk about a reality check.
A mentor once told me, “don’t be more style than substance,” and the moment of truth was finally here. After years of being concerned with superficial recognition, I started to focus on my inner self. Despite ongoing external success, I realized that I could gain the entire world and lose myself in the process. I wanted people to connect with the real me, not “Tim the Sigma,” “Tim from Ohio,” or “Tim the speaker.” I knew that this decision may not net 500+ likes on social media, but I continued walking because I knew I would earn sustained peace.
So, I started focusing on Tim. I invested in Tim spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I started to read more, watch sermons online weekly (s/o to Pastor Furtick and Elevation Church), and work out every day. During a conversation with a trusted friend, I shared that I was investing 2.5 hours of every single day to myself. Seventy-five minutes dedicated to learning something new – reading, practicing a skill, or writing in my journal – another seventy-five minutes for working out. This time allotment netted about 10% of each day and thus, Tim’s 10% was born.
Slowly I began to endure a spiritual transformation that yielded results in the physical realm. For years, I tried gaining muscle/weight but was never successful – mostly due to the fact that being “small or skinny” was an insecurity that prevented me from accepting my whole self. It wasn’t until I started exercising my inner being that I witnessed physical gains I had been yearning to see. Spent more time with God and learning about myself and what He promised, came to past.
Now in July, I can honestly say that this is the happiest I have been in a very long time because I finally love myself. Through this ongoing journey, I’ve become my own best friend and loudest cheerleader. I made the executive decision to not only name myself as the funniest person I know, but to also award myself a superlative as “most likely to become a university president.” Most importantly, I have learned that the love and relationship I have with myself and with Christ is the standard by which all of my relationships with others will function. Period.
Three weeks ago, I moved to a new city to start a new job and now I can announce that I am a new Tim. My emerging self continues shows me previews of God’s promises with my name on it, each glimpse inspiring me to persevere in purpose. I have a continued fresh mindset with a renewed spirit, ready to take on these next six months and beyond.
As I close, I invite us to consider the following questions:
- What are your blind spots? How are you mitigating the potential risks they hold to threatening your development?
- How do you choose to invest in yourself? Daily, weekly, annually?
- How has your vision/mission evolved as you continue to learn more about yourself?
Thanks to Tim’s 10%, my vision is clear, my mission is fearless, and my peace is infinite. I’ll always bet on myself because my purpose cannot lose.
Encourage somebody to be great today!