Monday, May 12, 2014

A Commitment to Our Fraternal life in Minority and Excellence

Can you identify a Religious Congregation, Institute, and an Order or an individual that is not committed to its life, mission, charism and excellence?  It would be extremely difficult to find such reality.  However, in today’s high-tech, fast- paced, ever-changing world it is not so not easy to find individuals and Institutes who are not committed to their goal, charism and mission.  But the question we must ask is are we losing our commitment?   Has minority and excellence been replaced with superiority and expediency?  Is it possible to become minor and excellent at something when things are constantly changing?
The answer to the last question is a resounding YES.  It is not only possible, but it is necessary and urgent.  It is just as important today as it has ever been for a Congregation, order, business or an individual to commit to a standard of excellence. In their book In Search of Excellence authors Peters and Waterman wrote - “Excellence is extraordinary performance by minor, humble and ordinary people.”  They did not say you had to be an extraordinary, superior person to do extraordinary work.  They did not say it had to be a low-tech, high-touch, slow-paced world to perform with excellence and to be minor.  “Extraordinary Performance.”  
Many friars speak these days during the celebration of the chapters about fraternal life in Minority and the positive voices spoke with conviction that we live out faithfully the virtue of minority in all its sense and entirety. They have agreed and promised many things, in order to live this aspect well in Fraternities in a fitting manner so that as pilgrims and strangers in this world, will serve the Lord in poverty and humility.
As the friars in the provinces where chapters are over and they will take up new assignments and ministries let us keep in mind that as minors we can excel in all that we do. Let us formulate a vision-mission statement for next three years so that we are able to accomplish and fulfill the mandate that the chapter has given to us. To make our minority more vibrant let us have interpersonal dialogue and relationship with one another, let us be available and open to our friars and people whom we serve. To make our minority more stronger let us give top priority to life of prayer and contemplation. Let our authority be an obedient authority where we allow another to grow and prosper. Try to cultivate inspirational authority which will lead us to a fraternal and loving dialogue.
 How do we make a commitment to minority and extraordinary performance in our personal, communitarian and apostolic lives? 
1.       Set standards and then live up to them.    We have our rule, constitutions and statutes as spiritual standards to achieve minority, adhere to these in faith.
2.       Develop a dogged devotion to superior work.  Don’t settle for mediocrity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing just enough to get by.  If you want to stand out in the crowd, and stay ahead of the pack, commit to minority and excellence.
3.       Bolster determination in the face of obstacles.  Lots of people use difficulties as an excuse not to perform well.  When things are difficult, bolster your determination and do more, not less.   Things will improve and you will become known as a person who can be counted on in difficult times. 
4.       Get inspired by challenges. Our need and struggle  should excite and inspire us.  Use challenges to motivate you to do better. Overcoming challenges can build self-confidence and bolster our self-esteem.
5.       Find a cause, discover a passion.  Our cause should be to cultivate the spirit of minority and our passion should be growing into it. When we have something that we are passionate about we tend to do more, and try harder.  We work tirelessly for that which we believe in.  Find that cause or discover that passion that motivates you and you too can do “extraordinary things.”
Remain flexible, stead fast and committed to minority and excellence.  Not a perfectionist.  There will never be a perfect time, perfect place or a perfect opportunity.  It doesn’t have to be.
1. What results do I intend to achieve? What are my goals?  What do I expect to accomplish? 
2. What must I do to get those results? What will I have to do to get the results I want?
3. What are my priorities? What are the priorities involved? 
What order do I want to accomplish my goals.
4. How much time will each activity take? How much time am I prepared to dedicate to each activity?  How much time can I realistically commit to each activity?
One song can spark a moment; one flower can wake the dream. One tree can start a forest, one bird can herald spring. one smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal One vote can change a nation, sunbeam lights a room One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey. One word must start each prayer. One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what's true, One life can make a difference, You see, it's up to you.

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