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courage  Over the years, I’ve received priceless handcrafted creations from my daughter. Since she was 2, I’ve responded with great enthusiasm, given her mommy squeezes and then admired the prizes. Most of the time, I instantly see her intent and smile into the rest of my day, proud of both the creator and the masterpiece.

We all have amazing ideas, creations and goals that have shifted shape or dimension over time. We run happily into the world, where the arms of our loved ones and admirers wait, secretly desperate for validation and approval. However, all it takes is one negative comment or skeptic to make us second-guess ourselves. How many times have you placed an idea on the shelf because you allowed the music of doubt to circulate throughout your creative cloud?

We enter the earth realm with an arsenal of gifts that await the appointed time in which to evolve. If we lend them to negative space and people, they may never manifest. Consider who Dr. King would’ve become if he allowed racism to stifle his passion for social justice. Would Mary McLeod Bethune be among our greatest philanthropists if she let closed doors stop her from visioning? Would Madea’s witty insight on perseverance linger the way it does if Tyler Perry had quit after his first empty house of theatre seats?

Each of these individuals developed the courage to tap into an effective resource: the power of perspective. Perspective involves one’s view of a particular situation or concept. How you see your success or failure plays a major role in its outcome. Dr. King vowed to become a voice for justice. Dr. Bethune spent her life advocating for education. Tyler Perry used his life experiences and humor to create a platform of healing. All three exceeded their goals and have inspired generations. Their stories are examples of how important it is to look to God as a source of approval and praise. What they all came to know is that their gifts transcended human understanding, once they acknowledged that perfection wasn’t necessary, and failure could be used as a launch pad.

Even when surrounded by doubt and adversity, your perspective can give you the power to rise above whatever obstacles or distractions that may come. The human reality is that God, the creator, lends us these moments of distraction and blockage to test our faith and resiliency, and to prove to us once again that he is able.

Take each one of your life goals and carefully turn it inside out, shifting your perspective to see the best in what God has given you. If you need to change the environment to reflect more love and light, then do so with grace and wisdom. If you need more courage or faith, pray for God to show you where it is. God is just waiting for you to notice your potential and tilt your heart a bit to see just how amazing you are. Begin today by affirming of your purpose and intent. Then smile and take a different look at your goals every now and then. You’ll see that you already have the power, that you’re worth the investment and that God is smiling with you, proud of both the creator and the masterpiece.

Esih Efuru, a 43 year old writer, artist and minister, is raising a daughter in Charlotte, NC. Email her esihefuru@gmail.com

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