When are you ‘in your element’?

When are you most ‘in your element’?

What activity, hobby or type of work makes you feel like the hours are just flying by?

Ken Robinson wrote a whole book on the concept of finding ‘our element’. In it, he says:

“Sometimes reaching your Element means walking away from the life you’ve known to find an environment more suited to your growth.”

He tells the stories of various people – famous and otherwise – who faced all sorts of obstacles and opposition on their way to achieving their goals and pursuing their dreams.

Robinson talks about how some people get to do what they love for work, and others keep their one true passion as a hobby. Regardless, he says, it’s important to incorporate our ‘loves’ into our lives as much as possible in order to find fulfilment and joy.

Sometimes we can get so caught up in paying the bills and meeting the needs of others that we can forget to make time for the things that make us come fully alive.

But when we spend too long neglecting the gifts God has given us, we can start to feel dead… dry… in a rut.

Sometimes getting out of that rut might mean taking small steps towards a new career, or joining a class, or emerging from our comfort zone to meet new people who might challenge us more.

There will be obstacles along the way – and of course we have to work out what’s realistic for the season we’re in – but I think we can each do one small thing to make life more pleasurable and fulfilling, even in difficult circumstances.

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I will never let you down – God

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http://bible.com/111/heb.13.5-6.NIV
God will never leave you once you are his. He is the only sure and certain thing we can hold on to in this world. Rest first in Him.

Moments make up a life

I think sometimes we think our life is only worth something if we become massively famous or we leave some great, obvious, lasting legacy.

Don’t get me the wrong – I believe the impact each one of us can make is potentially huge.

But by huge I mean the culmination of lots and lots of little moments. Gestures. Comments. A touch of the arm. Kisses. Hugs. Gentle questions.

It’s the little things, I think, that make up a life.

Our lives really are just a bunch of infinitesimal moments of impact… both good and bad.

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Each of us has the potential to hurt and heal; to show neglect, and mercy.

We have the power to notice the victim, or look away. To make someone’s day brighter, or wound them deeply.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own distress that we fail to see that of others. And so be changed in the process…

Look around you.

What small impact can you make today? And how will you be impacted by what you see?

May each of us open our eyes to the hungry, the hurting, the broken, the burnt-out.

And stop, just for a moment.

Because moments matter.

Moments, indeed, make up a life.

Be humble, gentle and patient

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http://bible.com/111/eph.4.1-3.NIV

We are surrounded by flaws – in our family, our friends, our workmates, our children. It’s easy to forget we are also flawed and need forgiveness. Where possible, let’s seek to offer grace, gentleness and mercy rather than judgment.

Live a life without limits

Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs, and has spent a lot of his life speaking to people about what it was like to grow up this way.

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Nick is known for his positivity and sense of humour, and inspires others to live the life of their dreams despite the obstacles they might face.

Here are some of the tips Nick shares in his book Life Without Limits:

  • Each of us has some gift – a talent, skill, craft, or knack that gives us pleasure or engages us, and our path to happiness often lies within that gift. Do you agree with him? Many of us might even have more than one gift. Have you unearthed yours yet, and what are you doing to nurture it? It really does make all the difference to our quality of life when we use our gifts, whether in work, ministry or play. If you’re still not sure, Nick suggests making a list of your favourite activities. What do you find yourself drawn to do? What can you spend hours doing, losing track of time or place? If you’re still stumped, ask your family and friends what they think you’re best at.
  • Nick has suffered much in his life, experiencing the pain of ridicule and rejection. He’s had major challenges doing the everyday things many of us take for granted. For him, the most powerful thing to do in the midst of suffering is to reach out to others. “Lift others up so that they will be comforted with the knowledge that they are not alone in their suffering,” he says. “Offer compassion when you need it. Be a friend when you need friendship. Give hope when you most need it.”
  • Thirdly, Nick says to do something ‘ridiculous’ every day to keep yourself young and alive. I agree with him that allowing time to have fun is vitally important for our mental health. Many of us have lost the art of play, as day-to-day responsibilities tend to swallow up our creativity. But when we connect with our “inner child”, either through simply doing more of what we love, or just investing in some good old ridiculous risk-taking activities, we come alive. What makes you come alive? For me, I’m in my element when I’m learning and rehearsing a script or a speech to present to other people. I know for others it might be a high-energy gym session, or time spent putting a floral arrangement together. Perhaps your ‘thing’ is bungy jumping, or writing, or cycling. Finding your passion is not self-indulgent unless you allow it to become so. It can connect you with others, increase your happiness, or even become your great life work.

I hope, like me, you feel inspired by the life and thoughts of someone who has risen above his obstacles and discovered how to live a life of purpose and passion.

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Enjoy meeting Nick here.

Love even them…

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http://bible.com/111/luk.6.35-36.NIV

This sounds impossible for some of us, but when we know how much Christ loves us, even loving and forgiving our enemies seems possible…

All things were created by him, through him and for him

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http://bible.com/111/col.1.16.NIV

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