My first post of 2015 was where I told those who follow my blog that my goal was to practice piano for 1,000 hours by the end of the year. How'd I do?
I practiced 252 hours. That's less than 25% of my goal. BUT..... that one goal took me on the ride of my life. My 2016 looks drastically different than 2015....
Top of 2015
-My skill level was WAY further behind what it should have been
-Had minimal experience music directing a large group of musicians
-Was not very confident in my skill level, particularly in a live setting
-Lived in Oak Park, IL (where I was for 5 years)
-The musical portion of my career was pretty much on pause
Top of 2016
-Drastic improvement in my skill level; very comfortable playing in most keys
-Got almost a year's worth experience music directing a band for a major international ministry
-Much more confident playing live and using new software (Ableton Live)
-Moved to Homewood, IL (new church home)
-Exploring exciting new musical opportunities
-*Bonus... I'm expecting my first child in May! :)
All of that came out of accomplishing 25% (not even half) of one goal of practicing for 1,000 hours! How? What made that particular goal so significant?
1. GOD placed the goal on my heart.
No, I didn't have a group of angels visit me at night, nor did I hear some mystic voice while reading my Bible. But I had an unshakable sense of knowing that this was something I was supposed to do. My motive was to be in a better position for God to use me and to steward the gift he gave me much better than I had previously. I believe since the goal that was placed on my heart by God, there was supernatural assistance available to help me progress. As well, I believe the goal is connected to God's ultimate plan for your life, as this one obviously was. The subsequent opportunities that opened for me were a part of God's plan; he just used the goal to "lure me into" the direction he had for my life.
2. The goal required full engagement.
Showing up in the practice room day in and day out required more from me than I realized! Even being a musician for nearly 20 years, it was very challenging for me to show up. I fell off track many weeks. Sometimes I got frustrated with myself when I couldn't master a technique. Sometimes I felt like the practicing was going nowhere. Many times I just didn't feel like practicing! The process of showing up and practicing worked many "character muscles" like patience, discipline and perseverance.
3. The goal lead me into new areas and opportunities for growth.
If nothing happened, I would still be a much better musician, and more capable of serving people with my gift. However, the opportunities that opened up for me have caused me to meet and connect with new people and awaken other areas of my talents. Serving as a music director caused me to wake up my talents in leadership, audio editing and strategy. So, I grew in more areas than playing scales correctly!
So, in your creative journey in 2016, select goals that will rock your world also! What am I aiming at this year? Something similar to 2015:
Practice Piano for 500 hours.
I still believe I am supposed to eventually hit that 1,000 hour marker! So much was uncovered as I started down this path, so I'm going to keep going unless otherwise directed. I'm just really excited to see what will unfold as I keep walking down this path... and of course I'll share it with you!
FOLLOW RODNEY'S BLOG! http://www.rodneyrjyoung.com/blog/119-how-one-goal-changed-my-life
PHASE 1: Shift the Family Paradigm
Just like so many parents, when I look at my children I want so much for them to be happy. It’s inherent, it’s a God-given desire, and it’s healthy. That feeling of desiring happiness for my babies, however, is trumped for my burning desire to raise them to be godly men and women for the Lord. Halloween, and many other traditions of our western culture can get tricky. That’s why we should treat them with sensitivity and care. If you’ve read the article posted on our ministry’s website about the origins of Halloween (if you haven’t you SHOULD. Really… go now. It’s much more important than what I have to say), you probably immediately wanted to take a strong stance against Halloween. As a matter of fact, I remember when our boys were 8 & 9 years old and we gave them the article to read for themselves. It was the first year I personally had been enlightened about the holiday’s origin, and honestly, I was concerned about the reaction my own boys would have after finding out that we were no longer going to observe Halloween. I only hoped that they would understand so this would feel more like a ‘family stand’, rather than some kind of ‘surprise discipline’. After finishing reading the article, my second son (8 years old at the time), blown away by what he had just ingested, looked up from his paper, and slowly and dramatically said, “Why… would ANYONE…celebrate… Halloween?” My husband and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as a new season seemed to sweep the atmosphere. We no longer participated in Halloween, and it was an enthusiastic decision for the whole family! Now don’t misunderstand: if our children hadn’t come to the right conclusion themselves, we would’ve done it for them, but it would’ve been more difficult, and a bit bitter. We are so thankful to God that he had prepared their hearts to receive the revelation that Halloween is literally and boldly celebrating “…all that is cold, dark and dead”, on “…the eve of the new year for witchcraft.” (see article The History & Origin of Halloween)
PHASE 2: Do Something Different
So now what? Do we stay inside our house, turn off all the lights, and hide from the trick-or-treaters, hoping not to get egged? Do we leave treats outside in a bowl to appease the tricksters, while refusing to encourage and affirm their own celebrating? What do we do?...
By: Rodney Young
All this garbage about guys staying out of a girl's "friend zone" is just stupid. I got a WIFE.... a QUALITY WOMAN by being a friend first, treating her like a sister. I didn't have to do all the work of playing mind & emotional games with her. I didn't have to flirt or act like a player to get her interested. Fellas, it's GOOD to be in the "friend zone" - don't let society tell you otherwise!
I Timothy 5:1-2 NIV
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
So, HOW can you benefit from treating a girl you're interested in like a sister?
1. You get to know the "real her".
I'm blessed to have 2 beautiful, intelligent sisters. If you have sisters, you know how the relationship is.... they don't feel like they need to "front" with you! You know their ups and downs, qualities and quirks. When you start off flirting and trying to impress, the fronting begins! When you treat a girl like a sister, she'll feel more comfortable to be herself.
2. You can develop trust.
When you know someone for a while without the pressure of trying to impress them, you can see their character and know how you can trust them! This is important - if you eventually want to enter a God-honoring dating relationship with her, you need to be able to trust her! When I was interested in my wife, I was her friend first, and I saw how she treated people over time, and I knew I could trust her.
3. You might just realize you don't want to date her!
This happened to me many times! LOL In college, I met a few girls I was interested in, so I just treated them like sisters. I ended up finding out stuff about them that made me say, "Never Mind"! If you make this decision BEFORE you start dating, it saves a ton of heartbreak and bad feelings.
SOOOO - don't "avoid" the Friend Zone! Be a brother in Christ to women, and you'll make wiser decisions about dating!
By: Rachel Johnson
Ever wonder what it really means to be the hands & feet of Jesus?
I hadn't given it much thought until today, but with all this talk about love at Go Hard lately, I thought it might be time for me to step up my love game!
The Bible has so much to say about love. In fact, it mentions the word over 500 times! That's a lot! I think God might have been trying to tell us, or at least me, something!
So I decided to turn to some of the familiar scriptures that mention love, like "love your neighbor as you love yourself" and "love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul & strength" ...that may actually be the same scripture :) but more than being interested in the actual scriptures, I wanted to know how this applied to me! What does loving God look like? What does loving others look like?
So I took these questions out on the street into what turned out to be a bit of a love experiment! I'm going to love people & I'm going to love God like I've been commanded to...practically! I didn't have a whole lot of time, so I made it my goal to go out of my way to do something nice for someone as I went about my day. I decided that I didn't have to do big things, just little things done in love.
And you know what?! People respond well to LOVE!! Often times I'd just stand a few extra seconds and hold a door open for a mom with young children, or maybe I'd pick up something that someone dropped on the floor or smile at a stranger (in a non-creepy way) or leave a generous tip for my waiter. And every time I showed love to someone, I received it back! Sometimes they were super appreciative and I felt loved by them, and other times they didn't really seem to notice, but it was those times that I felt like Jesus was super happy with me for loving others like He would! And you know what?! I think part of loving others shows our love for God!!
So who's ready for a little love experiment?! Try doing something nice for someone today, it's time to be the hands & feet of Jesus!
What would happen if we all gave out just a little more love??...It might turn into a LOVE REVOLT! #TheRevolt
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US BELOW & You could be featured in our new "Paying It Forward" segment of service!
THE GO HARD LIFE
Our Go Hard for Christ Team weighs in on life, purpose and what going HARD looks like in this blog!