We all woke up to the news of the death of singer and music diva Whitney Houston. It also coincided with my teaching that morning in Church on the Law of Empowerment from John C. Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
I could not help thinking that we never really heard of Whitney's many problems until she got married to Bobby Brown and to my mind became isolated from her family and support system. The more I thought that she was actually dead, the more I could point how many ways not to pursue our dreams, and I will want us to examine some of them together.
In one of my posts many months ago, I asked the question; "Who is on Your Team? And I was very emphatic about the kinds of people we allow to exert influence over us in any regard, especially when we are living our dreams.
First question we must answer is the purpose question: Just what really was Whitney's gift meant for? How and where was she supposed to exercise her gift? Every gift that we are endowed with or given is for us to become a blessing and Whitney's gift obviously blessed many. However, there is also the issue of how we should conduct ourselves while exercising our gifts and living the dream.
You cannot achieve much alone, because others are put in our circle for reasons great and small. Whitney's family was a great one to have come out of, but I remember watching the interview she did with Oprah and she narrated how Bobby cut her off from everyone who could exercise some influence over her in those dark days and I couldn't help thinking, so who else was on her team at this point? You cannot allow others decide who should be on your own team. You alone know what you need.
However, it is extremely easy for us to look at the Bobby factor, especially in this emotional time, and forget that people make it on our team because we give them permission. How much influence a man will exert over us, will be determined by how much room we give them. The law of empowerment says secure leaders give power away, and maybe Whitney gave Bobby Brown and drugs too much power, but that may be because she didn't, deliberately enough, pick those in her inner circle, as the law of the inner circle says a leader's potential is determined by those closest to him.
Who told Whitney her support system in family and faith were no longer required? How did she go from an A-gamer to a person with such great struggle with drugs and all the domestic abuse?
As we live our dreams if we make the required sacrifices success will come to us, and maybe fame will come to us, but those who remain on our teams at this point will determine how we will manage the success and fame. We need to remember that we don't go to sleep forgetting all the principles that helped us grow, because we have become successful.
If you are growing a business, remember the clients who took a chance on you even when no one will give you the time of day! They know you, the real you, and they can tell you when you are going off course. Their business may not be anything compared to your newer clients, but you keep them because they stuck with you when you needed someone to.
Another thing that comes to mind is the power of self control and self discipline. Incidentally, my Pastor taught on Conquering Ourselves, this Sunday and I cannot help but think how does something produced by another man like drugs, take over the mind of a man? While I am not disputing that drugs can be powerful, I also think if we can control ourselves and conquer our urges, cravings and desires then we can resist the power of drugs and the like. Because in my book even though substance is powerful, it still is inanimate! I can think, substance cannot! What is your own drug of choice? Food? Shopping? Anger? Pride?
In living your dreams, please stop today, and consider again: who is on your team? Whose counsel do you listen to? How did you pick our team members? How much self control do you possess? Who have you kept on the team whose job is to tell you the truth?
Whitney's passing at 48 is a tragedy indeed, but we can stop and learn from her life the how to and how not to live our own dreams.
You will make it NeverTheLess.