Destiny by T.D. Jakes
Another book that was gifted to me, Destiny, was a great read. I loved the voice that T.D. Jakes had as well as the messaging throughout the entire book. Right away, I was drawn into the book. The first thing I highlighted was about action.
Pg. 13, Someone simply had the vision to bring it into reality.
This made me think of the expression, “fill your own cup and let it overflow unto others.” If we don’t help ourselves and ensure that we have health or a free state of mind, we won’t be able to help others. At times, we will also be the receiver. People like to help others and we all help people in different ways.
Pg. 29, But after a while, you get back in tune with your own needs. “What about me?” you may ask… If you’re always the giver and someone else is always the receiver, you’re bound to become frustrated
Nothing I can really add to what I highlighted on page 42, we all have our own divine purpose. We are all going to experience different trials and tribulations. Along with that, no one’s purpose in life, no one’s mission is greater than anyone else’s. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Pg. 42, God has not designed one person to be better than another. Don’t waste time comparing yourself or your destiny with someone else’s. You were created for a reason. You are alive for a reason. Pursue that reason with passion and live in your true purpose.
I’ll say it again. Unless we help ourselves, we cannot help anyone else. We should be at our best. We NEED to be at our best, otherwise, that’s selfish.
Pg. 44, It’s actually the most selfless thing you can do. God has an appointment for you to serve humanity in the greatest way possible for you. Therefore, you owe to yourself to others, and to the Creator to prioritize your life in preparation for Destiny.
The following was such an eye-opener for me. The way that these three types of people were explained was a wonderful perspective.
Pg. 56, If you are to live as a child of Destiny, you will interact with three basic types of people.
The first type of people was the most important for me to note. I care the most about surrounding myself with the right type of people. It is essential for us to understand who we are surrounded by because ultimately, we pick up their habits. We want people who are honest with us and can be real with us.
Confidants are the people who love you unconditionally. They are into you. They have your back whether you’re up or down. They are with you for the long haul. You need a good confidant in order to reach Destiny. They are not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong and affirm you when you are right. Without them, you’ll never be who God called you to be.
What about the people who “make it” and then say that there are people from their hometown or from years ago calling them up and saying they’ve always been there? These are likely some of the people who fall into this category.
Constituents are not into you; rather, they are into what you are for.
I think about people who might work together for a short while. Maybe just to knock a competitor down a few notches or for another reason. Whatever it might be, these people don’t really care about you as much as they care about the goal.
Comrades make strange bedfellows. They will team up with you, not so you can reach your destiny, but to fight a common enemy.
Identity is so so so so important. I cannot overstate that. God created each of us to be unique. People might see parts of us, but we should not let that go to our heads. Just because I read books and some people might like my ability to learn things quickly, that does not mean that they love me. They might just like the things I’m learning and I mustn’t let that bother me. Pride is dangerous and thinking that people love me rather than what I provide to them could make me very very prideful.
Pg. 72, But don’t confuse the gift with you. They know Bishop T.D. Jakes. They don’t know Thomas Dexter Jakes, the man. I don’t get it twisted and neither should you. Just because people love your gift doesn’t mean they love you.
And T.D. Jakes reemphasizes a previous idea. We must help ourselves first and also, be cognizant of what others are receiving from us. Just because someone asks something of us or just because we offer something to someone does not mean that we need to give ALL of us. It is usually better to simply give ALL of just one portion or aspect of us.
Pg. 73, Be aware that you may share your gift and not share you. Make that distinction so people who constantly want something from you will not drain you.
The gift doesn’t shine if the giver is extinguished!
Many people do not realize their potential and end lives sad, why? Because maybe they are not resilient enough to push through the difficult stages and times in their lives to become better and persevere.
Pg. 79, I sometimes wondered if it would be better to let go of the pain of wanting and settle for the calm mediocrity of the status quo. I learned to persevere, even in the tempestuous, arduous, agonizing becoming stage.
The following is important. Just because you are good at something does NOT mean that is your destiny. But God can reveal that IF you ask Him and seek that your destiny will be revealed.
Pg. 90, But if retail management is not your destiny, giving you a promotion there would only make you and everyone around you miserable.
Take advantage of the opportunities in front of you, right? It’s common sense, isn’t it? Maybe not. We may often think that we do not need to learn specific things, but God knows what we need to know and if God is behind what you are doing, you should definitely pay attention.
Pg. 92, Go to the best school your finances and grades allow. Study hard and earn the best grades you’re capable of getting. Take time to learn all you can about your job, even the things you think don’t matter.
This may not happen right away. It probably won’t happen right away. While you are working, in quiet, others will be out having fun. But, the sacrifices you make today will be the reasons for your success tomorrow.
Pg. 93, As people watch you make sacrifices to invest in yourself, they will want to invest in your dream, too.
People get tired. We must sleep. We all require different levels of rest. We are all built and created differently. Some of us need 8 hours of sleep a night, some only 5 or 6. Some of us need 5000 calories per day, some only 2 or 3 thousand. Learning from others in this area is vital. People do different things and some things will help you, and some will not help you. Having options and new things to try though will always increase your success.
Pg. 104, If you live in a high-stress environment, as I do, you need to know how to take care of you for the long haul. Downtime isn’t a waste of time. Rest rejuvenates while laziness deteriorates. Find ways to rest your body and mind from day-to-day stress, many things can be highly restorative.
I read this sentence like 10 times. I read it another 5 times while writing this. We need to maintain CONTROL over our time, the only thing part of earthly life that we cannot attain more of.
Pg. 119, Yes, share your time, but don’t invest more in others than in yourself… Living through others is not Destiny.
Remember the following. If you remember nothing else, remember this. Every single day is an opportunity and WE alone are responsible for what we do during each day, it’s all a collection of our choices. God can direct us but we must decide, that’s the beauty of free will.
Pg. 128, Our lives are a series of days, one after another. Each day is an opportunity to either seize Destiny’s invitation or pass it by.
I don’t remember quite what this was referencing but, we need to put ourselves in front of the people who are going to listen to us, and the people who want to listen to us. People are not going to listen to us just because we have something to say.
Pg. 136, I told them that you have to earn the right to be heard.
Wow. Think about this one for a second here. There can be good that comes out of EVERY situation and EVERY trial and EVERY tribulation that we go through in life. Even if we do not see the good, someone else will, shouldn’t we help others so they do not have to experience what we did and can hopefully learn from us?
Pg. 137, If you’re not using what you’ve been through to encourage somebody else, you’re not helping anybody.
There is nothing else to really add here for me. I just spent a little time reflecting about who I am and why. I thought about the person I am and then tried to reflect objectively and think about certain events that impacted me. But, another important thing is to get the perspective of others, ask people how you’ve changed in the past 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. More likely than not, they will have seen a change around an event that was impactful in your life.
Pg. 138, If you look deeper at your life and the uniqueness of its complications, they are the clues that unfold Destiny. Every strange, dysfunctional, or unexplainable event in your life helped make you the person you are. The experiences don’t necessarily make sense at the time they’re happening, but they shape you. They can affect you and mold you into a person of Destiny.
God rewards a good plan. If you are not ready, why would God bless you? Think about the parable of the 3 servants. The master went away for a long time and entrusted one servant with 5 coins, one servant with 3 coins, and one servant with 1 coin. The servant with 5 doubled the value and turned them into 10 coins. The servant with 3 doubled the value and turned them into 6 coins. The final servant simply buried the coin and returned what he was entrusted with. Which servant are you? The first 2 servants were trusted with more. The third servant? Even what he had was taken from him.
Pg. 143, You can wish, hope, and pray for a provision, but you need a vision for it. If you’re praying for a job but you don’t know why anyone would want to hire you, it’s going to be hard to get hired. See yourself as the person who is destined to do that job. You can ask for a spouse, but if you don’t see why anyone would want to marry you, you may never marry. See the desirable person that you are, the person who would be an enhancement to your spouse’s life. See the wonderful characteristics in you that would attract someone to you and inspire them to want to get to know you better and spend a lifetime with you. A clear vision steers you to the provision you need for Destiny.
Know the truth. Live the truth. Model the truth. If you don’t know God’s Word, you can be easily swayed. If you do not know the truth, how can you trust? We may not always understand everything, our perspective is small in comparison to God’s view.
Pg. 157, You may not understand God’s strategy, but follow it. You have to be engaged in the process. But as the saying goes, work as if Destiny depends totally on you and pray as if it all depends on God.
I love this story. There are ALWAYS costs associated. Often, people are NOT willing to pay the price to become what they think they want to be. We all have our unique destiny. We all have our purpose. But, not everyone accomplishes theirs.
Pg. 159, An accomplished pianist gave a concert, and at a reception following his performance, a woman said, “I would give anything to be able to play the piano like you do.” The man replied, “No you wouldn’t.” The woman looked puzzled. The pianist explained, “You wouldn’t practice for fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. You wouldn’t practice until your hands become stiff and sore. You wouldn’t give up having a social life because you’re on the road performing more often than not.” The woman considered the man’s comments and realized she was not willing to make such an investment.
She was unwilling because being a concert pianist wasn’t her destiny.
Just because you’re gifted to do a task doesn’t mean you won’t have to work at it to live your destiny.
Most people only pursue what they love.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
What are we really here for? Something huge. God’s purpose. His purpose for our lives. What is your purpose? Of course, it affects more than just you.
Pg. 201, Barack Obama (gave a speech to a group of college students), “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
People are always there. There are so many talented people who never do anything of value, they never do anything meaningful with their lives. Why? They don’t apply themselves.
Pg. 217, The truth is, they’ve been around, but they have not put in the same amount of work as you.
T.D. Jakes shared a story of a young man. He aspired to become a millionaire. He thought about the people he spent energy and time with. Have you ever thought about that? Who is making you better and who isn’t? That’s quite important, isn’t it?
Pg. 218, After he had completely replaced his network of friends, he made a list with two columns: those who would improve his life by association and those who could drag him down. Then he made two decisions: he would spend as much time as possible with the people who would improve his life; he would never spend more than five minutes around the people who could drag him down. After three years, the man was a millionaire!
In closing, I loved this book. I learned a lot and loved the biblical foundation throughout the book. God has created each of us to be unique and to be amazing and incredible people. What is your destiny? Have you found it yet? Identify which group of people those closest to you are part of. Are they confidants, constituents, or comrades? Along with that, who is improving your life and making you better? Who is holding you back and could be dragging you down from all that you could be?
Remember, achieving your destiny and realizing your potential will NOT come easy. But, it WILL be worth it.
I gave this book a 4.5/5