Triumph Over Dejection in Upside Down

This is how my triumph over dejection in upside down happened. February 2020 started with an episode I’d like to call “Toni’s Deepest Dejection.” I had just submitted the draft of my book and was looking forward to great things in my speaking and training career since 2019 was promising. All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with the burning desire to make a bold move to change the perspective of corporate executives, L&D, HR training heads when it comes to developing soft-skills programs for their employees. 

It started with a question: Amidst all the new training workshops that emerged (such as  Conflict management Time management Stress management Communication skills Company culture Emotional intelligence, Personal productivity, Change management and Critical Thinking), how come some companies still struggle with improving their culture and productivity? 

After checking the Return on Investment of Soft-skills learning initiatives (by measuring engagement rates, Interview or survey their employees, track productivity rates, measure, and compare staff turnover, look at the impact on conflict, survey customer satisfaction, measure success with process optimization), some business owners still have no idea why they’re not getting the results they want.

It makes one wonder, what is the secret sauce for the following:

  • Leaders, to maintain high ethical standards?
  • Businesses to serve employees and customers first?
  • Companies to be good stewards of company resources?

Many may not agree but I believe that the missing link is the spiritual growth of leaders and employees.  Spiritual growth involves increasing your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, decreasing the frequency of your habitual sins, regularly practicing of Christ-like qualities, and improving your faith and trust in God. 

The missing link in maintaining high ethical standards is the spiritual growth of leaders and employees.

Toni Miranda

I realized this and I would like to share how these lessons connect with my recent journey.

A Week Without Food

I just finished my one-week, liquid-only fast and it has been a blast. This is not the first time I did this and this blog post is not about how and what to do during a liquid fast.

A little context: my diet has gone crazy since I got home from Hawaii in November last year. I gained more than 12lbs.  Then December was fully booked with speaking and training workshops during mornings and Christmas parties at night.  January was also an all pig out crazy eating, I found myself gorging on sweets and carbohydrates.

One day I thought, this is not the TONI I know.  I suddenly became careless of my diet and health. I started feeling lousy, tired, and too lazy to exercise. Until one day, I got very sick.

That was when I realized something is wrong.  I was just lying in bed because walking was difficult.   During those days, literally every view was upside down.   I only see things above from the view on the ground level. 

It was also during this time that I started appreciating the simplicity and beauty of everything from above like the stars at night.  I appreciated the top view of our duhat, mango and bamboo trees.  Looking up the palmera tree from the bottom perspective was so beautiful too.  And even the view of my pets was cute.

I realized I never appreciated these views because I was too busy.

It was then I decided to lessen my schedules and reset everything: my perspective, my health discipline, and daily habits. It was time to re-align with God’s will for me.  I needed to refresh my view of my performance in the different associations I serve in, in the book I was writing, and in other aspects of my life.

How The Fasting Progressed

During my break, instead of asking prayer requests for myself, I focused on praying for my family, friends, and d-group. For me, I only asked GOD, “Father God, how do you feel about me? What is your will for me this year? Help me fulfill Your will whatever it takes.”

Praying is the time well spent.

I said no to food for a while. Every day, I took water, did my devotional and journal. Despite the lack of meals, I felt peace and joy being reconnected exclusively with the Lord minus any distractions. 

I was happy to hear GOD’s voice clearly again. In just a week, I got clear answers to current challenges. He convicted me of my time management, my ungodly ways, attitude, and treatment of others. He satisfied my frustration in waiting, revealed to me the people I should work with. 

I had revelations about a relative, an employee, messages for colleagues, and affirmation of His promises. He asked me to do things that are out of my comfort zone (speaking truth in love, forgiveness, letting go), and He gave me courage and comfort.

God reminded me that this is not the first time I am encountering this “upside-down” situation. 

He reminded me of my “upside-down” situation four years ago, which when I started to give up my sinful life, stopped controlling everything in my life, and submitted everything to Him. Read my blog on my marriage here.

I wanted less of me and make GOD more prominent in my life.  I trusted Him of everything after that.

It changed my perspective that the change was a journey of suffering.  But the upside-down situation made me see the beauty in simplicity, honesty, and minimalism (removing clutter and distraction).

So how does this relate with my sentiment about leadership?

Perspective in the Workplace and the Lord

When corporate leaders and employees have more quality time with GOD, they can recalibrate their perspective about their lives and pursue matters that honor Him. Leaders will be intentional in maintaining high ethical standards.  Businesses will be mindful to serve employees and customers first. Company employees will be intentional in being good stewards of company resources.

It is also vital that you nurture yourself and be a good steward of the body that God has given you. I cannot stress enough the importance of moments with your family — an uninterrupted time of meaningful conversations and enjoying each other’s company, being intentional in connecting with every member of your family.

You don’t need to be rich to have financial freedom, but having the wisdom to manage your finances is also a principle God has given us so we can become a blessing to others. When we desire to be financially stable so we can generously bless more, that is a noble thing to desire.

Sustaining this lifestyle does not end with you. We pursue this path because we believe that by existing for God, our lives become more valuable in transforming another person’s life. By taking your stand of living a Christ-like lifestyle, aspire to inspire another person to do the same. Model the lifestyle to the next generation.

A Chance at Something New

Do you want to experience a life that really matters? Do you want to leave a legacy that is inspiring? Tired of striving after wind and chasing after meaningless matters?

GOD knows how we can get caught up in our selfish desires because of our sinful nature. And left to our own devices, we do more damage to ourselves. Our lives are short and we waste precious time by pursuing things that are not from God.

He understands the longing that we have in our hearts, and only He can fill that longing. This is why the Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sin and to redeem us into everlasting life and purpose that will advance His glory and presence in all the earth.

All we need to do is acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves from the vanities of life and that we need Jesus Christ to grant us new life and make us into a new creation. Let me invite you in a prayer of surrender so you can begin to live your new life in Christ.

Dear Jesus, I acknowledge that I have been living a sinful life, pursuing selfish interests and desires. Please forgive me and save me from this sinful nature that continues to rob me of the life you promised. I surrender myself to you receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. From now on, direct my life and teach me how to live according to Your Word. Thank you for my salvation and eternal life. Use me for Your glory. I pray in Your name. Amen.

Today, I hope you experience a fulfilling upside down to see the beauty of the one true love above who can change your life and enable you to fulfill your potential.

How about you? What is your perspective on employee’s spiritual growth as the secret sauce to influential leadership and good customer experience?