My wife (Sharon) is an expert at cooking chicken. Growing up, I never enjoyed the taste of chicken stew. In fact, the only chicken I ever wanted to eat was some version of deep fried chicken. But since we got married in 2013, I find myself looking forward to a chicken dish (with stew) prepared by Sharon.
Her process usually starts with a mixture of herbs and spices and other things (I’m not the chef… I just eat the chicken) in which she marinates the chicken for a while (usually overnight) before she eventually cooks it. This process of marinating the chicken is essential to the taste of the final product.
What are you marinating in?
It’s incredible the extent to which the things we marinate ourselves in influence who we become. What we listen to, what we watch and whom we hang out with all contribute greatly to the flavor of the lives we live.
This thought often comes as a cause for caution. “Be careful what you watch, what you listen to and who you hang out with!” But today, I’d like to present at as a cause for hope! A cause for hope because, knowing that what we marinate in defines who we become, we can choose to look at our dreams for the future and become both selective and intentional about what we marinate ourselves in.
Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change your destination overnight but you can change your direction overnight.”
We can make the choice today to start living lives soaked in the right flavors that will, in time, position us to see our dreams come alive. As John Maxwell said, “People do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future.”
In December 2008, while at a youth camp organized by All Saints Cathedral, my Aunt Theo introduced me to Reverend Omondi from Garissa, Kenya. He asked me, “What do you do?” and I froze. You see, I had gotten used to saying I was a student whenever this question was asked. But at that particular time, I had just dropped out of school.
“Tell him what you do!” Aunt Theo kept insisting until, tired of waiting for me to answer, she told the reverend, “He plays the guitar.”
I wasn’t used to hearing someone say something like that. To me, playing the guitar was merely a hobby… not something I DID! And unfortunately for me (back then), that was how I lived; like a school dropout with no future or purpose. When I look back now, in light of everything I am today, playing guitar was probably the most relevant skill I acquired in my teenage days. That exchange with Aunt Theo and Rev. Omondi opened my eyes to this reality. Their words saved my future.
What you listen to and what you tell your self define your belief system and your belief system determines your habits which determine your future. If you soak in words that say, “you can’t do it”, “you will never make it”, “you don’t deserve it!” then that’s all you will believe and that’s how you will behave. Marinate yourself in words that add life to your dream.
“We either create the future we want or we endure the future we get.” John C. Maxwell
When our clothes get stained, we soak them (Usually overnight) in detergent to get the stains out. In a similar way, bad habits won’t go away by themselves. We have to make the intentional choice to be soaked/marinated in the right environments in order to get them out of how we live.
We all have the capacity and opportunity to thrive in life. What we marinate our selves in will influence how we live today; how we live today will determine the future we get. So ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to do with my life?
- Who will my life reach/influence?
- What is the difference between who I am now and who I need to be?
- What Skills do I need to acquire
- Who do I need to know?
- What can I listen to?
- What can I read?
- What can I watch?
Now go and marinate yourself in the right spices in light of your dreams.
“His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” 2 Peter 1:3
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23