“Choose to stay free from a spirit of competition and just run your own race in life. Not only will you enjoy your life more, but you’ll see your gifts and talents come out to the full.” – Joel Osteen
I love this because the joy in life is celebrating you. It’s about really maximizing, investing in our selves — with joy.
The last part of that sentence, joy, is necessary, wondrous. Please do think about how unique you are made. You think differently; you have a perspective which is irreplaceable. No one else just thought that last thought… greeted someone with such warmth… opened the door to your office with joy and welcome… cooked a meal, and kindly, gently served it to your husband or wife. They just didn’t. They didn’t do it just as you did.
No one else scales the mountain with gusto, running ahead. Or no one else thoughtfully, quietly, transcended the hiking paths in prayer, peace and contemplation.
No one strongly coached that young soccer team with high demanding standards. No one took a stand like you did when faced with an unjust comment. No one backed up your friend when he was feeling unsuccessful after losing his job like you. You came in full force to demand the best today, support the important people in your life.
No one comforted the employee as you did… or closed that business deal with determination. No one called your mother as you did today, saying hello and loving her, finding out how the start of her morning is. No one greeted the mail deliverer as you did today, thanking them. You looked them in the eyes. You thanked them sincerely for their service. You had compassion as someone faces a possible phase out of their job or post office. You didn’t take it for granted, rush off, or lose your sensitivity. You were patient.
No one greeted this morning, as you did, with amazement. You knew the joy of living. That you were able to wake up today, and to be purposeful, and helpful. That your smile would spread to a hundred other individuals, because they passed on that smile, that joy, that peace as well. You affected people today positively.
And it was all unique to you.
So how could there be competition? The word does not exist. Because you are you… because you think, breathe, live each moment with a unique charisma or calm, dynamism or thoughtfulness…you cannot replace another or be replaced.
Today, let’s celebrate who we are by living just as we are. But you need to recognize it. Recognize the special care, contributions and qualities you bring to the world… as well as others’ unique contributions too. Be committed, purposeful; provide meaning to yourself and others; be joyful, kind and loving. Then, you are living in love, as no one else does.
Joel Osteen is a native Texan and the Pastor of Lakewood Church. Born in Houston, Texas, Osteen is one of five children of John Osteen and Dolores (“Dodie”) Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church where Osteen is the current senior pastor. For many years, John Osteen encouraged Joel to preach, but he always declined preferring to work behind the scenes. But, in early 1999 Joel felt compelled to accept his father’s invitation and he preached his first sermon on January 17th of that year. Osteen married Victoria in 1987, two years after Osteen met her when he stopped by the jewelry store her father owned. Their two young children, Alexandra and Jonathan, also take an active role in Sunday services.
In 2004, his first book, Your Best Life Now, was released by Time Warner debuting at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List and quickly rising to #1. It remained on the New York Times Bestseller for more than 2 years and has sold more than 4 million copies. Osteen’s popularity led to him being featured as one of ABC News’ “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006”, and was named “Most Influential Christian in America” in 2006 by The Church Report.