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I’m reminded of Woody Allen’s famous quote that “90% of success is turning up.”

It can be a helpful reminder, especially in a world that lacks reliability and consistency.

But today, I want to encourage you to do more than just turn up.

If you have a job interview, of course you’re going to be there and on time, but that’s not enough.

Prepare beforehand.

Practice your answers.

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Greatness is never on sale.

You won’t find it in the discount aisle.

You can’t wait until it’s half price.

You gotta pay full price.

No short cuts.

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It won’t always be pretty.

Your actions won’t always result in a nice outcome wrapped in a fancy bow.

It won’t always be smooth sailing.

Effortless, chilled, dreamy.

I won’t always be successful.

At least not to the outside observer looking for evidence of your capabilities.

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In a chaotic, noisy world full of shiny distractions that feed off our attention, we need moments of peace and quiet.

Just you and your thoughts.

No gadgets.

No talking.

No activity.

Don’t be afraid of the silence, although it can feel strange at first.

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Cover bands don’t change the world.

They sound OK.

They make an honest living.

They have cool, authentic looking outfits.

But they are never as good or as impacting as the original.

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Australian author, Morris West once said, “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

I’ve met a lot of people who do that.

They anticipate bad things happening.

They can see the clouds from a long way off and immediately start to fret.

They don’t allow themselves to enjoy life because to them, it can all come crashing down in an instant and they don’t want to be let down.

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As I walked Dusty earlier this evening, I had the chance to stop and watch the sunset.

Part of me didn’t want to.

It was cold (it’s winter here in Australia).

It was getting dark.

I wasn’t sure when dinner was going to be ready.

But for some reason, I felt compelled to stop.

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Do you expect today to be a great day?

Do you expect the people around you to do remarkable work?

Do you expect to have a flourishing marriage?

Do you expect your kids to do their best?

Some people temper their expectations.

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I just feel prompted today to ask you all to check in on a friend.

It could be an old friend, or a new one.

It could be a work colleague, or a mate from high school.

It could be a phone call, text, DM, email or hand-written note.

It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is showing that you are thinking of them and that you care.

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Lord, thank you for the challenges that we face.

They help us to build resilience.

They remind us to appreciate the moments of peace.

They teach us invaluable lessons that can’t be learned in comfortable times.

They force us to think.

They remind us that we are alive.

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