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Episode 71: Making the Most of Where You Are

September 11, 2018

Episode 71: Making the Most of Where You Are

We so often forget to be content with where we are. This podcast builds up ideas to make the most of where God has placed us. It is not always the location that matters, but the attitude you have in your space.

EPISODE RESOURCES

GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. Instagram: @ReneJMolina
  2. Instagram: @Gilrilla
  3. RLAchurch.com
  4. www.modernabolition.com/

Episode Quotable

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Episode 71 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

Hey everybody, thanks for tuning in to the PD Podcast. You know, from time to time we get the luxury of traveling around the country and actually bringing our podcast to conferences and events that are happening all over the country. This conversation took place at thrive conference. It’s an incredible one hosted by Bayside Church. Enjoy the episode. What’s up everybody? Welcome to the Purpose Driven Podcast. My name is Mingo, your long time host. I love doing this. Here’s the deal. We’re at Thrive Conference right now, and here’s what I determined our tagline to be. Bro, why are you wearing sunglasses inside real quick? I’m sitting with one of my guests.

Gil Acevedo:

[singing] “I wear my sunglasses at night.”

New Speaker:

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Guys, hear me out on this one.

Gil Acevedo:

Okay.

Mingo Palacios:

This podcast when we’re at a conference is all about killing conference FOMO one great episode at a time.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

Because how many times do you see people somewhere they’re all experiencing something and you’re like, “Dude, why can’t I be there? Why can’t I get a piece of that? Why? Why is my life lined up in a way where I don’t have the opportunity?” I’m here to say, we’re on your side. We’re going to deliver a conversation. We’re going to bring the conversation right into your lap, right into your world so that you can cut the FOMO and be a part of the conversation.

Gil Acevedo:

Nice.

Mingo Palacios:

Feel me?

Gil Acevedo:

I do.

Nolan Umana:

I feel you.

Mingo Palacios:

I’m sitting with two of my favorites today. Gil –

Gil Acevedo:

Acevedo.

Mingo Palacios:

Listen, long time lovers I grew up with. Gil, I was going to go for your social handle. That’s kind of what I was going to go for. Gilrilla.

Gil Acevedo:

Mingo Palacios:

@Gilrilla. Nolan Umana.

Nolan Umana:

Don’t even try.

Mingo Palacios:

Fellow friend. Nolan and I live in the same city, you do. Gil.

Gil Acevedo:

Burrito extraordinaire.

Mingo Palacios:

Nolan. When I first moved to Orange County, when we met, he invited me to church.

Gil Acevedo:

Nolan saved you.

Mingo Palacios:

Nolan invited me to Saddleback.

Gil Acevedo:

Really? No way.

Mingo Palacios:

But Nolan didn’t know that I was actually a pastor at Saddleback.

Gil Acevedo:

Seriously.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, but as a good friend would. Our kids were in school together. He’s like, “Hey bro, you should come to church with us.” That’s awesome.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s dope.

Nolan Umana:

I even saved a seat for him.

Gil Acevedo:

No Way.

Mingo Palacios:

He did save a seat for me.

Gil Acevedo:

He showed up late.

New Speaker:

[crosstalk] [laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

You guys. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been there. So here’s the conversation today, this episode is going to be about one thing when you think you should be somewhere else, but you have to make the most of where you’re at. That sounds very ambiguous. But that topic isn’t random. We experienced that.

Gil Acevedo:

Yes.

Mingo Palacios:

We wrestled through our own perceived disappointments this morning.

Gil Acevedo:

Yes, that’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

Because you know, we’re out here at this conference, we’re on display and we’ve brought what we thought was something that was going to be very hospitable. We wanted to offer something to the community that was going to come by way of breakfast meals. How’d we do? Including the fact that we showed up with the airstream for the first time, 1964 airstream super flipped out to be a studio. What was our initial knee jerk reaction Gil?

Gil Acevedo:

Oh man, we’re in the back like we’re hidden. That’s like, “Yo, we have all this stuff, but we’re in the back. What do we do?”

Mingo Palacios:

Like, “Hey, do you guys see how legit our offering is? Like, you probably don’t know how much work we put into this, but man, I feel like we’re not where we should be.” Tell me that’s the question young leaders say often more often maybe than we would ever confess.

Gil Acevedo:

And it’s even funny too because we were getting hit up by people saying, “Hey, if you want to you can move here or there” and, and at the same time you’re going, “but we’re here, we’re set up.” So it’s like a double whammy too. You’re like, “Am I giving in or am I content?”

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Gil Acevedo:

Big difference, right?

Mingo Palacios:

And Gil, you’ve taught me a lot about contentment in the last year because I think inside all of us is this idea that God has built us, that we’ve been crafted for a space or we’ve been crafted for an opportunity or we’ve been built for a potential position. But sometimes your position, your location doesn’t matter as much as your attitude where you are in the moment. Right? So here’s what we did. This is the honest confession of the morning is we set up hundred percent to our absolute ability. I think that’s easily transferrable to any individual or any leader is like where you are, it’s your duty to show up, full fledged right? Don’t hold back any punches. Go all out, roll every gift, everything you’ve prepped for, everything that you know you can deliver on. Never hold back thinking that you’re going to roll it out better later, right? It’s our duty. If it’s in you, you roll it out. That’s what we did when we got here. Then we take a walk and this is something that happens with leaders, bro. You go full display and then you take a walk looking at the “competition.” I’m using quotes. If you listen to the podcast.

Gil Acevedo:

Two fingers, four fingers.

Mingo Palacios:

Looking at my ministry partners, my peers, looking at other people and where they’re positioned and what’s the first thing that goes through my mind. Confession, “Man, I should be in a better spot. How do you deal with that? How do you deal with that Nolan? You’re not in a ministry role. You volunteer in ministry, probably the majority of our listeners are in the same boat as you. What happens when you bring the best of what you have and you’re like, “Hey, do I get a better opportunity? Is there something more?” How do you wrestle with that? How have you wrestled with that?

Nolan Umana:

It’s a daily thought process that I go through because I think about, I’m in a corporate America job and I want to serve and I see conferences like this and I want to get out and do something right. You create but it’s a daily thought process that I have to go into work and say “I’m here for a reason. God’s called me to where I’m at and I’ve got to be content. I’ve got to manage contentment and do the best with what I have and bring it to the table every day. And when I have that attitude first thing in the morning, my day’s totally different. It’s something that fulfills me more and then when I have an opportunity to come serve, because I’m content with where I’m at and then I have an opportunity to serve, I’m just much more prepared to do something like this.

Mingo Palacios:

It’s funny. Did you hear him? He said mentally he starts with a posture. He’s proactive instead of reactive. Lean towards me and then bring your microphone this way so that you can be in the shot.

New Speaker:

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Because that’s our camera right there. That’s our camera right there.

Nolan Umana:

The reason I was leaning back is because my back hurts a little bit.

Gil Acevedo:

Nolan works making burritos from heaven.

Mingo Palacios:

It’s true. Cuban burritos.

Nolan Umana:

Oh, I’m Columbian. I’m done.

New Speaker:

[laughing] [crosstalk]

Mingo Palacios:

That’s it, I’m out of here!

Nolan Umana:

I’m taking a first class flight from Southwest.

Mingo Palacios:

From Palm Springs to Orange County. A 13 minute flight.

New Speaker:

[laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

Gil, tell me, how honest are you willing to be with the listeners, especially because this is your tribe. This might put you in a position, but I’m asking you when and how did you deal with, what were the processes that you self navigated through or when you found yourself measuring your abilities and then looking at your position and feeling like they didn’t line up, how did you navigate it as a pastor, as a person in ministry? I know this question rubs so many people the wrong way. They look at their abilities, they look at their opportunity and they feel like they don’t align.

Gil Acevedo:

Right. It’s a humble moment, man. I would say humiliating because you come to the reality that in God’s eyes you were created, special, but you’re not the only one that is special. What I mean by that is just because you are where you are doesn’t mean you can’t be what you’re supposed to be either.

Mingo Palacios:

Whoa.

Gil Acevedo:

Here’s what I mean by that is if you look at it as all part of a process, then today or tomorrow isn’t even the end. It’s all a part of preparation for what’s to come or those moments that are to come. I think of it like a baseball swing. Like, you’re not going to have a home run hitting baseball swing, practicing putting on the golf course, but yet to expect, “I’m a really good putter. I should be able to hit though.” No, you know, does that make sense? I think it’s all part of like all of this is helping shape to have the proper swing so when the big pitch comes, you’ll be ready.

Mingo Palacios:

In ministry, they say like when you experienced growth in ministry, they say, “Oh, it’s just a bigger elephant. It’s just an animal.” But it’s not a bigger animal. It’s actually a different animal.

Gil Acevedo:

It’s a different animal. And it’s a different, like you said, place. It’s really humbling when you go into a place assuming I’ve done this, I’ve been there, I’ve done this or whatever. And then you go. And it’s like, but the people are different. Therefore it has to be different because new relationships occur, new conversations occur, new experiences occur. Although my surroundings may be similar, but it’s different and you have to embrace that man. And that humbles you because you’re going, “Man, like there’s still so much to learn. The work is still worth it even though you don’t feel like you’ve accomplished everything.”

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. Were you gonna say something? Something coming to mind? I think I’ve always suffered more when my head was on a swivel. When I was looking left and right, left and right, left and right. As cliche as it might sound, the more I’m confident in who my creator made me to be, the less I suffer from wondering what my brother in ministry or the guy who I just met who’s doing what I think I should be doing. When I understand and trust that my Maker has me on a plan for development, maturity, growth, and He has a time table that will not shipwreck me. Because I think all too often people who are hungry, who have abilities and who will have awareness that they can bring something to the table, it’s not the expression of their ability that puts them at risk. It’s the coming to the table before you’re ripe, that usually will shipwreck somebody because your maturity isn’t developed enough to get the spotlight, to get the platform, to get the attention, to get the followers, to get the microphone. Does that make sense?

Gil Acevedo:

Yeah it is because it resonates with something someone said at Digital Makers that going viral isn’t always the best thing for you, especially if you’re not ready for what’s to come.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, that’s good.

Gil Acevedo:

You know what I mean? Because like most people go, like in a digital world, “It’s viral man. Everyone’s seen it!” And it’s like, “Yeah, you’re right. Everyone has seen it and you’re not ready for what’s to come next because it happened to fast.”

Mingo Palacios:

Nobody thinks actually what it takes to manage it.

Gil Acevedo:

100 percent. Yeah they just want to get to that.

Mingo Palacios:

And we were talking about this as an interaction for a people who are hungry for followers, viewers, for-

Gil Acevedo:

Face.

Mingo Palacios:

Face time. The question would be, so then what? You got 10,000 likes. What’s that doing for you, right? Are you going to leverage it? People go like, “Of course, if I had a following, I would do so much with it.” But the question is, what are you doing the following you have right now? Are you praying for your followers? Do you know your followers? Are you using your platform to promote those that are following you? Are you giving your following away or are you just trying to hoard more?

Gil Acevedo:

Yeah and promote your agenda. And that’s tough man, because you as a human, if you’re honest, you want people to buy into you and what you’re passionate about and what you love to do, but there’s more than that. It’s got to be more than that because you know something you’ve always said too, and I love about what you say is the greatest gift you can give someone is when you have a platform is to help give it away. Because that would be sufficient because in everything you did, it’s still going because if everything starts and ends with you, then it really is all for nothing really if you think about it, because once you’re done, it’s done. But to hand it off and allow it to continue to grow, to evolve and to be even better, potentially better than everything you did. That’s winning.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s called legacy.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s legacy. Yeah that’s it. I think of that with our kids.

Mingo Palacios:

Man. As fathers.

Mingo Palacios:

You ruined it.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s it.

Mingo Palacios:

It’s right in front of your face. That’s the thing is like sometimes when you’re chasing recognition in a different lane, you realize that you’ve been recognized and sometimes it’s by the squirreliest six year old and two year old, but that’s the platform God’s given you. That’s your platform for the moment. How are you stewarding it?

Nolan Umana:

Everyday? I mean I think about that because I want to be able to reach a lot of people, influence a lot of people, but the person who is seeing my character the most in myself is my kids. I come home and that’s what I’m passing down to them is my legacy is my character. And so they’re going to be my first followers, right? They’re going to be the people that are going to be influenced by me the most. So if I’m chasing this other thing and not really worrying about my home life then it’s not worth it.

New Speaker:

[crosstalk]

Mingo Palacios:

Everybody listening right now, “Man. I’m glad I don’t have kids.” Or, “Man, I should start thinking about my kids more often.”

Nolan Umana:

Oh God, it’ll all get real when I have kids and I’ll just-

Mingo Palacios:

“Yeah dog my life will really start when I get a family.” For our listeners, here’s what I’m going to encourage you with a short conversation sometimes where you’re at is not where you think you should be, but it still has every opportunity to shine as bright as God’s made you. And sometimes being off in the margins, God I love that word. Sometimes being off in the margins is the best place for you to develop that which is going to be on display once God has you ready for the main space. But if you try to exit the margins too soon, you’ll never mature. You’ll never come to the fullness that God is hoping to use in you when it’s time for you to make the play. When it’s time for you to get to the stage, when it’s time for you to start speaking your message.

Gil Acevedo:

What’d you say? Sorry to add on to this, but that just sparked something with me. A question is how do we help each other from presetting the end goal versus trusting God enough that he has it in mind. In other words, our goals are always a lot shorter. Our dreams are a lot smaller-

Mingo Palacios:

Short term.

Gil Acevedo:

Short term, right, very temporal, and we’ll work hard for those and we want them to succeed. That’s not the problem, but how do we allow God’s dreams, God’s vision, God’s plan to remain bigger than our own? Does that make sense though, bro? Like I think it-

Mingo Palacios:

It does. Here’s what I believe though I don’t. I believe that your dreams are not your dreams. Your dreams are straight inception. Leonardo Dicaprio by Jesus into your heart and into your soul.

New Speaker:

[sound effects] [laughing]

Mingo Palacios:

I don’t know what just happened. Nolan, did you hear the question? Did you understand the question?

Nolan Umana:

Um, to be honest, I thought about is Woody the Woodpecker. You just did the whole thing. One thing that I would say though is, the whole identity and self awareness thing. I think it’s what I try to focus on is the little things God trusted me with the little things.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Gil Acevedo:

Because it’s so, I have goals, I have big goals and I want to accomplish those goals, but I need to focus on the disciplines in my life, the daily life, the little stuff to be trusted with the big stuff.

Mingo Palacios:

The stuff that’s right in front of you.

Nolan Umana:

Also, the more that I come closer to that identity in Christ, the self awareness, the more I get trusted with the little things I get revelation on the bigger things, start to see God’s dream and God’s plan knowing that it’s far greater than anything I could ever imagine.

Gil Acevedo:

What would you say helped you define those? I think a lot of people I talk to, because when they hear the word small, they see it as a negative, so-

Mingo Palacios:

What about how tangible?

Gil Acevedo:

Tangible, clear, small things that are actually powerful.

Mingo Palacios:

I would say digestible. A lot of times we’ve got hungry eyes.

Gil Acevedo:

Alright just went Dirty Dancing.

New Speaker:

[singing] “Hungry Eyes”

Gil Acevedo:

Patrick Swayze, RIP.

Mingo Palacios:

Gosh, no but I’m saying our eyes are bigger than our stomach. Like we think that we-

Gil Acevedo:

Okay. I think that’s it. Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

You know, we think that we’re due more or we’ve got capacity for bigger or the next position.

Gil Acevedo:

But we don’t understand what bigger means. That’s what I’m saying. Like we say bigger and it’s in its comparison to someone who did the small things right.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. You forget. You negate the fact that the person you’re looking at paid in to the small things. And this is the dynamic. This is the ultra deficit of a generation that is able to get so much so quickly. You cannot get everything quickly. It’s the story of this air stream. As much as you want to make it go fast, the most quality will come from taking your time where time needs to be taken.

Nolan Umana:

Yeah. That’s good.

Gil Acevedo:

And we don’t like that, right?

Mingo Palacios:

No, of course not. It’s like, yeah, who wants to go there slow?

Gil Acevedo:

“I’ll pay for it. I’ll just pay for it.”

Mingo Palacios:

You think you can pay your way to the top and you can’t. This is a great conversation.

Nolan Umana:

It goes back to being patient, willing to learn, willing to listen, humbling yourself. Getting rid of the ego every single day, every single day doing that.

Mingo Palacios:

The frequency I think is a point to be taken.

Nolan Umana:

It’s so key because there’s mornings where I wake up and I’m like, “I should be five years ahead of myself right now. I should be doing something completely different.” But it’s in humbling myself. What am I going to learn today? What do you want me to focus on today? What do you want me to, you know, be patient-

Gil Acevedo:

Would you say that’s in counter to how you identify with who you’re comparing to or what you’re comparing to? I think I think something like for the listeners is where do you come to that? How does that-

Mingo Palacios:

How do you arrive there?

Gil Acevedo:

How do you arrive there? Because I think people go, “Oh no, I don’t really come here.”

Mingo Palacios:

If I could offer a small answer based on how our relationship, I think a lot of times you arrived there because you assess when you don’t shine when you start in that posture. There’s days when we come to the table we’re like, “I don’t like who I was today. I don’t like the way I reacted to some of the people who have given me some of the best shots.” You make it more about you and you make it less about the place that has you.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s good.

Nolan Umana:

More about us is what hurts you.

Gil Acevedo:

Yeah. That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

You guys. If you wanted to hear more from Nolan, you knew that he led, he cohosted the Millennial Experiment, the podcast.

Nolan Umana:

Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about that.

New Speaker:

The podcast didn’t go away. It still lives online.

Nolan Umana:

No. I’m pretty sure it’s ended. I think it is.

New Speaker:

You didn’t pull the episodes off the Internet?

Nolan Umana:

Yeah, I think it did actually.

Mingo Palacios:

Okay, nevermind guys.

Nolan Umana:

Actually it is on. You’re right. But it was something I wanted to try. Yeah. So it was one thing that I wanted to try it again. I wanted to have influence, I wanted to have impact. I felt like I had something to say but more so when I look back on it, it was just a really awesome learning experience. I learned from it and that’s what I went in with. I think my expectation was-

Mingo Palacios:

To be an influence.

Nolan Umana:

Yeah. And that’s a lot of thing that people focus on too and get caught up on is like, for me, the worst thing that can happen is me learning something.

Mingo Palacios:

You said that’s the worst thing that can happen?

Nolan Umana:

No, no, no. I mean, the like failing is like I’m going to learn something. Like, I can make no money from this podcast. It could be one follower but I’ve learned something. Yeah. And yeah, it did it about seven or eight months. Just saw where it was and leaned into it. It’s also a pride thing too. I didn’t see it going further than it was going to go and so I was like, okay, you know, I’ll take step back, learn from it and then start focusing on other things.

Mingo Palacios:

And sometimes it’s good. Well, I was saying this yesterday, like too often we wait for milestones to celebrate. So too often we wait for the biggest achievement and then say, “Okay, now we can take a moment, reflect and celebrate.” I think we need to scratch that and you treat every stepping stone like a milestone because if you find yourself in a posture of celebrating every small thing, you will magnet other people to the process because people want to be on a crew that are celebrating every victory. It doesn’t matter. We just cook three dozen eggs. That was unbelievable, right? Like we just flipped an airstream in 10 days. That’s unbelievable. We are running a podcast that’s pushing like over 10,000 listeners. That’s unbelievable.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s freaking cool man.

Mingo Palacios:

But sometimes we would just hold for the big numbers. You got to celebrate the fact that we just busted like three dozen eggs this morning.

Nolan Umana:

It was awesome.

Mingo Palacios:

It was awesome. It was an effort we saw we set out for and it served others. It created a space to get connected and it was insanely hospitable.

Gil Acevedo:

Mingo, I think something that people would love to hear from you is how do they get to a place where the three dozen eggs mattered because all of them matter. And in a world where influence is a conversation with an individual or it’s with at least one individual, correct? Where the one, the five, the 10, the 20, the weight of value is still high with thousands. What do you do? I’m putting you on the spot, homie. What do you do to keep to that place of like the three dozen eggs mattered because that was what? People.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. I have been in a position where all I could bring to the table was three dozen eggs and I’ve been in positions where it was seen as indifferent. Like I did three dozen eggs and nobody cared. My leader that I was doing it for, the person that I was on the team for, he was indifferent about it. But then I’ve been on a team where my three dozen eggs or the same as three dozen messages dropped on the mainstage. And there is a truth that in God’s economy there are no small efforts.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

Every effort has a maximum outcome. Rick says the funniest thing and it’s like such a dad joke, but he goes, “You know, the most important light in my house isn’t the grand chandelier in my dining room. It’s the little night light that’s in my bathroom when in the middle of the night I’m getting up to go to the bathroom.” So he’s like “And my wife would say that the most important light is the one that turns on when I opened the refrigerator.” But a lot of times what we see we think has the most glory has the most to be celebrated, but in God’s economy it’s often the least of these things that have the most potential. And so I try to find myself in the three dozen egg situation no matter what position I’ve got.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

You know? So that’s my answer.

Nolan Umana:

That’s good.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

Shall we wrap it?

Gil Acevedo:

Like a burrito made from Columbia.

Mingo Palacios:

Like a Columbian burrito. We’re going to wrap this conversation.

Gil Acevedo:

I come here from Cuba.

Nolan Umana:

First flight, out.

Mingo Palacios:

Hey, for our listeners, I want to give you guys the opportunity as we wrap 26 minutes. Gil, if people want to follow along with your ministry, you’ve got a lot of facets to who you are as a human being and a creative and a pastor.

Gil Acevedo:

Thank you.

Mingo Palacios:

Where can they start the journey of finding out who Gill Acevedo is? Well, you can follow me on Instagram @gilrilla. G-I-L-R-I-L-L-A. You can check out our website modernabolition.com. It’s a collective of individuals that want to inspire, inform, and impact the world through art and creativity. And we love to do stuff, love to make stuff, and love to tell stories of people and help those who don’t have a voice. So Gilrilla on instagram. GilrillaArt on twitter and modernabolition.com.

Mingo Palacios:

Nolan, if people want to follow you and your insane Cubano-nes. Nolan’s 100 percent, Columbian but all trip we’ve been writing him as Cuban.

Gil Acevedo:

“Gil, you’ve got to meet Nolan bro. He’s this Cuban. He’s awesome. He’s this super dope Cuban guy.” Oh cool!

Nolan Umana:

Dude, I already ordered Uber for right after this conversation so I can freaking get out of here.

New Speaker:

[laughter]

Mingo Palacios:

If people want to follow you Nolan?

Nolan Umana:

I’m @unumana. U-M-A-N-A. Really what you’re going to see is me and my family because right now that’s where my ministry is.

Gil Acevedo:

That’s life bro. That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

To all of our viewers. Thank you so much for tuning in and thanks for sticking with us through the madness. I’m hoping, I’m praying that there is something good that resonates out of this for you guys. Until next time, we’ll see you guys soon. We hope today’s insights left you feeling inspired and propelled towards your greatest potential. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of the PD Podcast. Until next time.

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