Did you know that God has a standard, a will, and a specific purpose for your life? Yet, many people have no idea how to pursue, perceive and/or walk out God’s purpose. Fulfilling your life mission doesn’t “just happen.” No, no, no! It is to be discerned and pursued with all of your might!

Here are five ways to help you get started!

#1. Become a partner with God.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God loves you, and He is working everything out for your good. Get on one accord with God through His Word and prayer. Get God on your calendar of important people to talk to on a daily basis. When you become a partner with God, everything and everyone around you will benefit.

#2. Change Only Happens through the Power of God. Before we can effectively do what God specifically purposed us to do in the earth, it requires us to change in how we think and how we see the world in our hearts. You can’t change yourself…True and long lasting change only happens over time and through the power of God. If you are going to do what God is calling you to do, it is going to require you to submit to Him, and humble your heart – so that you can hear Him with ease. Ask God for change in your inner being and stay committed to it.

#3. Be Strong in the Power of His Might. Ephesians 6: 10 – 11 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil God wants us to be strong in Him.” Be sure to strengthen your inner man, even when times are good. Get into the zone of renewing your mind, your spirit, and your heart.

#4. Make a decision to pursue your purpose and stick to it. The most successful people in life are not “the smartest people in the world”, but the “most determined”. Once God tells you what you were made to do – you must be determined, committed and willing to stick with it, no matter what happens. Stop letting others distract you. Get focused, get determined and pursue all that God has for your life!

# 5. Be Kind to Others.   It doesn’t take much to be kind to others. In fact, the way you treat people is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside of you. Wilson Mitzer says, “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” Galatians 5:22 – 23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”

When you are living according to God’s standard for your life, the benefit is a sense of fulfillment, joy and a continuous flow of God’s peace in every area of your life.

Let’s keep this conversation going… Please share one change you can make today towards pursuing your destiny. How does this change reflect your core values?

Optimal Living Magazine now has certified Life Coaches available to assist you with living your best life and mapping our your purpose and destiny! Visit our website: http://www.optimal-livingmagazine.com/lifecoach, and write us at: upgrademylife@optimal-livingmagazine.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute Life Coach session. Some of the areas we focus on are:

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Yesterday on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, a man asked Steve Harvey, “What should I do about finding out if I am the father of an unborn child with a married woman?” Steve proceeded to tell him that there is no future or anything good that can come out of this situation, and to walk away from the situation. As the man kept talking, I was shaking my head and thinking “how did this man get himself in a situation like this to begin with?” He was so blinded spiritually by this situation that he couldn’t see the consequences of possibly losing his own life, by pressing the matter with the woman and her husband.

Many times people choose blessings or curses for their lives by making simple choices. Adultery has the potential of destroying one’s wealth, body, soul, and reputation. Forgiveness is possible (1Cor 6:9-11), but many affects of adultery can sometimes continue throughout someone’s life. No matter how appealing a person makes him or herself, it is never okay to  even consider a married person for a romantic relationship.

For this reason, I wanted to re-post one of OLM’s Relationship Thursday articles titled, “Are You Married, But Living Single?” Please copy & paste the following link into your browser to view the article: http://eepurl.com/USjxf

* What are your thoughts on how people can safeguard their marriages from adultery? How can single people stay away from the trick on getting caught up in affairs like this?

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                                      By Hasani Pettiford

Hasani Pettiford

The tenth habit of successful people is valuing relationships. Someone once said that 90% of your success or failure is determined by who you choose as a spouse. The same principle can easily be applied to all personal and business relationships. People have the power of doing one of four things in your life: add, multiply, subtract and divide. Successful people only associate with people who add and multiply blessings of opportunity to their lives.

Successful people are very discriminative with whom they allow in their immediate surroundings. Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, hold no standard for their personal and business relationships. Many people reside in a place of mediocrity because of wrong associations. There are people who feel it is their responsibility to convince you of why something can’t be accomplished. Often, those closest to you feel that they have a special calling on their lives to try to talk you out of everything you try to do.

Simply put, your relationships will either enhance your vision or choke your dream. Proverbs 13:20 states, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Your ability to form meaningful personal and business relationships with positive people will be critical to your success and achievement. All it takes is one person to open up a door for you that will change your life forever.

Successful people have a knack for continuously networking and developing mutually beneficial relationships with people, not just contacts. Successful people network to gain access to resources. They realize the more people they know, the more access to resources they have. Developing relationships opens doors to resources, money and opportunity. These are often opportunities that set people up for success. An old proverb in business is: “If you want to be prosperous for a year, grow grain. If you want to be prosperous for ten years, grow trees. If you want to be prosperous for a lifetime, grow people.”

Make a list of all the people you know and identify key people in your life. Develop a plan to establish a higher quality relationship with them. Determine to meet as many people as you can that can assist you in your journey. Understand, the key to networking is being a go-giver as well as a go-getter. Give of yourself first. Offer any help or assistance that may be needed. Eventually, the tides will turn. The more you give of yourself with no expectation of return, the more that will come back to you from the most unexpected sources. Networking works when you understand that there is very little that you can do or have in life without working with other people.

As an award-winning author and speaker, Hasani Pettiford has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation. For over a decade Mr. Pettiford has been a recognized authority on human sexuality, interpersonal relationships and personal growth and development. Hasani has directly impacted the lives of many nationwide with his best-selling books and speaking engagements. Much of Pettiford’s work has been featured in major media outlets, including national publications, television and radio programs.

For more information, visit: http://www.hasani.com.
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Tanisha Hopson

beautiful-living-room-ideas-4 = wholeness starts at home

When I was growing up, if someone was acting out foolishly in the streets– the more “seasoned women” in my community would say, “Hhhhmm, that person has no home training”… The term “home training” implies that a person has manners, respect for others and displays acceptable social etiquette. However, I would go a little further and say that if a person is acting out of character or in a foolish manner, he or she might not have gotten what he/she needs at home and could be broken in spirit.

My grandmother (like many wise old school grandmothers) taught me that home is where the heart is. She was always sure to share that your home should always be a place of healing, restoration, nurturing, and rest for your soul. It should be clean, well swept, pleasant smelling and in order – much like your spirit. Home should be the place where God can freely speak to your heart in preparation for whatever the day has in store for you. If you are constantly getting the proper spiritual vitamins from home, your soul will reflect a confident, whole individual who will have a Word from the Lord and smile to brighten someone’s day.

Here is a special Motivational Monday nugget from Isaiah 26:3: “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

If we keep our priorities straight spiritually, mentally and physically – everything else cooperates with us. Let’s get back to the basics of putting first things first in our relationship with God, family and home. Remove the clutter of unnecessary material things, unresolved relationships and unforgiveness. If the world is going to be a better place, it starts with you. As you head out to take on the world today – remember that wholeness starts at home. You have the power to make it an awesome place!

My wholeness confession for today: “I have peace, power, love and a calm and well-balanced mind because I trust God. I don’t worry about anything, instead, I pray about everything and God blesses me by giving me His peace. I am well equipped to handle any problem that comes my way, because God is with me and my soul is in perfect peace.”

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By Tanisha Hopson

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Some people are easy to love; while others are just tolerable. Some people really do talk too much without thinking; while others stay quiet and use wisdom before speaking. Some people have earned the reputation of being the life of any party; while others are quiet by nature and enjoy spending time by themselves. Some are dependable; while others are extremely unreliable. Some people are gossip bearers; while others try their best to mind their own business.

Regardless of the case, whether we like it or not; we are all called to love our neighbors as ourselves. The sooner we all learn to accept people for who they are and where they are – we will see major improvements in our lives and relationships.

When we have no power to change situations, we must choose to “accept” and pray for improvements regarding circumstances. One nugget that could help you out tremendously today is: “You cannot change anyone but yourself, so stop tripping and enjoy the journey.” You can only change your perspective, your way of thinking, and what you will or will not do. End of story. So, take the pressure off yourself, other people and put God back in charge!

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Hasani web photo

By: Hasani Pettiford

The ninth habit of successful people is the ability to focus. Don King said, “Great wealth calls for concentration, singleness of purpose, one unwavering aim. To drift from day to day is easy. No skill is required, no effort or pain. On the other hand, to set goals for a day or a week or a month, and to obtain those objectives, is never easy. All wealthy men and women are noted for their power of concentration, which makes them oblivious to trial pursuits.”

In order to focus on something there must be a target. A target is simply a desired goal that someone aims for. The object of the game of darts is to aim for the bull’s eye. Whoever lands their dart closest to the target, wins. The same principle is applied in the game of life. All successful people have specific targets called goals that they aim for. In order to hit the bull’s eye focus is required.

When you choose to be focused, you’ll experience a sense of achievement and increased success. Focus builds momentum for faster results, leaving you more productive and effective.

The bible warns of the dangers of being unfocused. James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” Unsuccessful people are often guilty of being double, triple and even quadruple minded which pulls them in many directions, leaving them stagnate. When our mind is focused we do not scatter our energy on unnecessary activities. Unfortunately, many people loose their concentration too early in the game. Whether it’s with diets, New Year’s resolutions, fitness programs or a renewed commitment to their jobs. They begin with great intentions, ride it for a while, and then start to slide. Once the newness wears off, focus starts to wear off as well.

Countless others lose focus due to over-commitment. T oo many things at once often leave people feeling scattered which keeps them from producing desirable results. Overloaded people fail. Successful people release themselves from many obligations in order to maintain their focus. They know how to keep the main thing the main thing.

Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with an unswerving singleness of purpose. Most people believe in having a back up plan just in case their plans don’t work out. They often said ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ That’s a loser’s strategy. They are unconsciously anticipating failure. Winners think differently. Andrew Carnegie said, “Put all your eggs in one basket and watch the basket.”

When you decide to put all your eggs in one basket, or destroy all possible means of retreat and escape, the possibilities of success increase dramatically. If you concentrate on one purpose you will succeed

Commit yourself to work single-mindedly on one task, the most important task, and stay with it until it is 100% complete. Persevere without distraction. Push yourself to stay on the job until it is done. Learn to master the habit of successful people: focus.

Hasani Pettiford

As an award-winning author and speaker, Hasani Pettiford has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation. For over a decade Mr. Pettiford has been a recognized authority on human sexuality, interpersonal relationships and personal growth and development. Hasani has directly impacted the lives of many nationwide with his best-selling books and speaking engagements. Much of Pettiford’s work has been featured in major media outlets, including national publications, television and radio programs.

For more information, visit: http://www.hasani.com.

Follow OLM on Twitter @Olmagazine
Follow OLM on Facebook @ Facebook.com/OptimalLivingMagazine

By: Tanisha Hopson

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. ~ Ephesians 5: 8 – 13


From time to time, I believe we have all been guilty of wanting what we want, when we want it. However, I have found that there are things going on behind the scenes in situations that we are completely unaware of; but God knows.  God knows best and He knows exactly how to get you where He wants you, in His perfect will and timing. 

Divine purpose is produced through consistently staying in God’s will through surrendering your will, in exchange for His will for your life.  This act builds character, cultivates endurance, and increases your confidence in being led by God.

You might not be able see it now, but God’s perfect will is way better than what you can imagine for yourself.

In my lifetime, there have been numerous occasions when I thanked God that I didn’t make a move out of season, as a result of listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading to either slow down or stop. However, on the contrary, I have also made some choices that ended up causing me to wait longer for my blessing because of my own disobedience.

1 Samuel 15: 22 says,
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Likewise, Psalm 14:12 says,
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

The other side of obedience is filled with abundant life, joy, peace of mind, provision, and protection from the wiles of the enemy.  Today, I want to strongly encourage you to obey God and start surrendering your whole life to Christ.

                                                                       Choose today who you will serve…

Today’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank you for one more day. Father God, today I surrender my whole life to you. I choose to serve you this day. I renounce the sin and wrong thinking of my past and I welcome you into my heart, my habits, and my way of thinking. I give you full permission to guide, lead, and shape my life into the original masterpiece that you have especially purposed for me. I promise to study your Word daily and to be led by the Holy Spirit. Today, I exchange my will for your will and promise to obey your Word and to walk in your ways. Thank you Lord, for another chance to get it right today. I love You and adore You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.