Goal Setting and Planning Starts With Dreaming

I have said it many times before, and I will say it again; “I don’t believe in co-incidence”. Earlier this week I have done a post on my personal blog about goal setting and planning. After that I’ve had quite a hectic schedule  for the rest of this week and didn’t get the time to properly prepare for this post at Victory Lifestyle yet, besides knowing that I would be writing about nugget #14.

A Goal Is a Dream with a Deadline

Having a full schedule and dealing with some unexpected situations, I frequently fell behind schedule. Needless to say, I often had to deal with frustration. Doing the post on goal setting and planning actually helped a lot to keep me focused on my goals, in spite of everything.

This morning as I was about to do some final reading before getting ready to write this post, we had a power failure. Can you imagine the frustration?

Frustrated, I grabbed John Mason’s Book “An Enemy Called Average” and started reading nugget #14. By this time I was stressed out, as I didn’t have an opportunity earlier to go over this week’s nugget and I felt as though I was not properly prepared for this week’s nugget.

Well, guess what. As I opened the book to nugget # 14, there it was, today’s nugget is “a goal is a dream with a deadline”.

Not only is this in line with what I am passionate about, I was as prepared as could be, having done a post on the same topic earlier this week. Today I can expand on the same topic.

No Co-Incidence

To take it one step further, coming to the end of this week, I feel nothing short of utter amazement. As I was working through this nugget, I couldn’t help thinking about my quiet time this morning, doing Bible study. In these hours I’m also working through a book called “The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You” by John Ortberg. This morning’s reading was about dealing with any difficulties or issues in life. Living in the flow of the Spirit and dealing with situations is about more than avoiding these situations. Situations will come across our path in areas where we need to grow. If I need patience, there will be some difficult people in my life to help me develop it. If – as in my case – I have a hard time dealing with frustrations, I will meet with situations to help me learn how to deal with it. Yet, we are never alone on this journey.

As mentioned already, I don’t believe in co-incidence. This whole week I had to face one frustration after the other, and here I’m getting to the end of this week, and it ends in victory.

Stay Focused

No matter how frustrated you get or how many times you fail, stay focused on your goals. There is a saying; “it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, what matters is how many times you get up”.

Habakkuk 2:2 says “….Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it”. Your vision should Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscapebe written down. As long as you keep your vision in your mind, it is not really a goal; it actually remains more of a dream. It has been proven that when you commit something to writing, commitment to achievement naturally follows. A point of interest that I would like to add to this though, is that you need to write it down and keep it in sight where you can frequently see and respond to it. There is no sense in writing it down and filing it away where you never see it (out of sight, out of mind). But by committing it to writing and then frequently referring to it, definitely brings a sense of commitment.

The next point of importance is to stay focused and keep your eye on the goal. In referring to the same Bible verse in Habakkuk 2:2, the key word is “run”. Whenever you are running towards something, you are much more focused. You look straight ahead of you, with your eyes fixed on your destination. When you are casually strolling towards something, it is way easier to start looking around, get distracted, change direction and totally lose focus.

Proverbs 24:3-4 says “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts”.

In other words, effective goal setting and planning provides you with an opportunity to bring the future to the present and deal with it today. Achievement becomes much easier when your outer goals become inner commitment.

Prepare Yourself through Goal Setting and Planning

You cannot set out on a journey, unless you are properly prepared. You need to determine where you are now, where you want to go, how you want to get there and why.

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can actively start pursuing your goals and stay focused.

It takes just as much energy for a dull life with no direction, just surviving from one day to the next, as it does for a good life. Many people float through life with no real meaning, just because they never decided to write down their vision and follow through on it. If you can’t see the mark, if you don’t know your destination, you’ll never arrive there.

Many people has become so negative in today’s society, they would say “I don’t even dream anymore…..I don’t know what my vision is”. Believe me, allow yourself some time alone and start dreaming again. It’s a God-given gift. We all have the ability to dream. So allow yourself to dream again. Then write it down, start planning, get focused, set deadlines and achieve your goals. Remember, a goal is a dream with a deadline.

What do you do to overcome distractions? Do you find it difficult to achieve your goals? Let me know, I would love to hear from you.

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Warning: You Might Be Closer To Success than What You Think

Its nugget time again. Today is nugget #13 in John Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average.

Keep Your Feet on the Rock When You Reach the End of Your Rope

Nugget #13 reads; “keep your feet on the Rock when you reach the end of your rope”.

The all important message from this nugget is to never quit. You may change what you do or the way that you do it, but never quit.

When God sees someone who doesn’t quit, He looks down and says, “There is someone I can use.” – John L. Mason

If you have ever wondered about what your purpose is for being here, I want to challenge you to dare to dream. You didn’t get your imagination by chance, and by using your imagination you are not necessarily just building castles in the sky. The difference between senseless day dreaming and using your imagination constructively is to freely use your imagination, and then determine practical action steps to enable you to manifest those dreams in the form of goals – one step at a time.

The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do. – Orison Swett Marden

As John Mason also says in his book, one of the best scriptural examples of a person who did not quit is Joseph. From being trapped in a pit, to being sold into slavery, to being thrown into jail for a crime he didn’t even commit. Yet he was elevated from prisoner to prime minister in one day. He never gave up on his dreams.

The main ingredient for success though, is perseverance. You can have the most inspiring dreams and the best intentions; if you do not persevere, you will not succeed.

There are so many people who get right to the edge of success, and then they quit. The sad part is the fact that they didn’t even realize how close they were to success.

The only way that you can lose is when you decide to quit.

Have you ever quit, only realizing later how close you were to success? Or are you currently tempted to quit? How do you stay motivated to persevere? Tell me more about it by leaving a comment.

How to Deal With Fear in a Fear-Filled World

What is your greatest fear? Do you fear some illness? Are you scared of losing your job? Do you fear failure? Or maybe file000815084387you fear for the well being of your children? What about the future? What does your future hold for you? Yes, we all do face fear. There is no doubt about that. But where did fear originate? Do we really have to accept it as part of everyday life?

Fear is an enemy we all have to face. My emphasis is on fear as an enemy, not as something natural, because it is not a natural human emotion.

Where Does Fear Come From?

The majority of people will tell you that fear is the most natural thing on earth. They will even convince you that fear is often good for you. This is based on the fight or flight response when you are suddenly threatened by some dangerous situation.

It is true that you can benefit from responses in your body caused by the emotion of fear – in extreme situations. It immediately improves your sense of awareness (in some cases people can even achieve a state of over-awareness….lol) and adrenaline starts pumping through your body that will increase your strength and physical responses dramatically.

But is this always a good thing? For your body to respond in the way described above is only in extreme situations as mentioned. It is not healthy to constantly have to deal with fear. To constantly live in fear, or even to experience fear frequently, is not natural. The human body is not designed to deal with fear on a frequent basis. The effect it has on your body when exposed to fear frequently, is bad for your health, causes stress and speeds up the aging process.

Fear entered the world with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:10). If you follow the events from the beginning, you won’t find fear anywhere. In fact, all the animals were brought to Adam to see what he would call them. He walked with God in the Garden of Eden in the cool of day. There is no fear here. What on earth would he be afraid of? Adam was created to rule over the earth and to subdue it. You can’t be afraid of something that you are supposed to rule over. But the minute when sin entered, fear entered with it.

How to Deal With Fear

So, now that fear has entered the world and we all have to face it, does that mean we can do nothing about it? Do we now just have to live with it? Shall we do as the rest of the world does, and act as though it is a good thing?

The answer is a simple “no”. I do not deny the existence of fear, but I do not have to accept its ugly presence either. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. James 4:7 says “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”.

If God says he didn’t give me a spirit of fear, why do I have to accept fear as normal in my life? If God didn’t give me any fear, then where does it come from? I’m sure you know the answer to that one.

There are many more scriptures about fear and how we should deal with it. (Here are just a few: Matt. 8:26; Matt. 14:27; Isa. 12:2; Isa. 41:10; Sam. 22:2-3; Ps. 78:53; Ps 61:4 and many more)

I have recently worked through a book called Fear Fighters: How to Live With Confidence in a World Driven by Fear, by Jentezen Franklin. It is an excellent book and extensively deals with the subject of fear in the areas of faith, finances, relationships and health. I can strongly recommend this book for good reading and I will soon do a review on the book on this blog. The book is available on Amazon.com.

Fear: Part of Life or an Intruder?

Fear is tormenting hundreds of thousands of people. How do you experience fear and how do you handle it? Do you resist fear? Do you battle with fear? Or do you think fear is good for you? Let me know? I look forward to hear from you.

One Factor That Can Affect Your Peace of Mind

My previous blog post was about “How to Get Peace of Mind”. Fridays have become my “discussing the nugget’s” day, but it so happened that the nugget up for discussion today is a perfect fit to further discuss my previous topic. It leads me into the discussion today about “being busy” versus “having peace of mind”. Or is it plainly being in “the rat race” versus “having peace of mind”? Whatever you want to call it, today’s nugget from John Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average (Updated and Expanded), is plainly “versus”. Was that co-incidence? I don’t know. I’m not really a big believer in co-incidence. I tend to believe everything happens for a reason.

Decisions

We are all confronted with options every day, and we need to make decisions on a daily basis. We have to choose the one or the other. We cannot do everything and we cannot choose more than one option at a time.

As already mentioned, the nugget for discussion today from the book An Enemy Called Average (Updated and Expanded), is “versus”. John Mason goes on to give various examples of one choice versus another, but I would like to take only a few of these choices today and show how indecision can rob you from having peace of mind.

Indecisiveness cannot bring any harmony into your life. It can only bring doubt, fear, regret or chaos. The choice here is between indifference versus decisiveness. Coming to a final decision, can bring finality and enables you to carry on with life.

Choosing between being bitter versus being better sounds like an easy choice to make. Yet, if that was such an easy choice, why are conditions such as stress and depression taking its toll on society today? Suffering from bitterness is destroying people all over the world today. Many people get caught up in the rat race today, in an attempt to escape their feelings of bitterness, to stop them from thinking. If that is you, when are you going to stop? When you collapse due to a nervous breakdown? Healing is a decision away. I can hear your thoughts…”you don’t know what has happened to me”, or “you don’t know what this or that person has done to me”. Yes perhaps you are right. I don’t know what has happened to you. But I do know what has happened to me and my family. I do know, that when these things happen, we have to deal with it, make peace with it (forgive and forget), and move on. If you don’t, it will eat you up alive. Nobody said it is going to be easy, but if you want peace of mind, you have to. Get counselling or do whatever it takes, but make that decision and do it.

Deciding between how much we do versus how much we get done, is another critical decision that can steal you peace of mind. Do you have an endless to do list? Every day you tackle that list and see how much you can do. At the end of the day you are exhausted, but looking back you cannot show what you have done. Many people feel “successful” when they are busy. The question is, you might be busy, but how productive are you? If you want to get peace of mind, get productive instead of busy. This can be done by proper planning, time management and using a calendar.

Choice versus chance is another challenge. You would often hear people talking about successful people who “just were at the right place at the right time”, or referring to them as being lucky. I’m sorry to pop that bubble. It’s got nothing to do with luck. And what about being at the right place at the right time? Hey, they made the decision to be there, and they were there, weren’t they. Talking to any really successful person, you will find that they are working in order to be successful. Yes, work is not a swear word. When I’m talking about getting peace of mind, I’m not indicating that you will never have to work. But by proper planning and becoming productive, you can avoid the “busyness”. By simplifying your life, you can eliminate much of the “busyness”, and get more done by doing less (meaning less activities), leaving you with quality time for family and relaxation. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by other people’s opinions of how busy you are. You know what actions you need to take to get certain results, just do them.

Too many people (and I am sorry to say, but often our own Christian people) has the attitude of “whatever must be will be”. Yes, we do not have any control about what can happen tomorrow, but we do have control over what actions we take today.

It’s Your Choice

We all have the same amount of hours in a day. We all have to make choices. What effect does it have in your life? Are you in the “driver’s seat”, or are you being “driven”?

How to Get Peace of Mind

In today’s modern lifestyle, it is considered one of the most natural things to be stressed and always rushing around. Many canoe_01claim to even get a “kick” out of it. “I feel productive when I’m always busy, rushing around and working under pressure”, they say.

Statistics Tell A Different Story.

I sometimes get the impression that the busier people appear to be, and the more stress they take, the more successful they feel. It’s almost like the “latest trend”. We need to be stressed to be “in”. Everybody wants to be busier than the next person, and everybody must take note and see how busy they are.

I am sorry to say this, but many employers welcome this trend. They are all to eager to increase the workload, and the more you are willing to do, the more eager they get to add some more.

And this is all for the sake of “success”. Is this really true success? Can money alone really buy your health and happiness?

Statistics tell a different story. Lately we cannot imagine the workplace without stress. In Great Britain, “work-related stress depression and anxiety is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work”. In the U.S., anxiety disorders are said to be the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults age 18 years and older. Why on earth would we want to use that as a status symbol?

The funny part is the fact that being “busy” doesn’t always mean that you are being productive. You might just be “spinning your wheels” so to speak, looking important while ruining your health. That may sound a bit harsh, but those are the facts.

Calm Down If You Don’t Want To Pay the Price

“So how on earth do I calm down in this rat race?” you may ask.

It all starts with your thinking. Here are a few points to ponder:

  • Stop being overly concerned about other people’s opinions. People are going to make remarks about you, whether you like that or not. You will never be able to please everybody and not everybody is going to like you – make peace with that. When they start making those remarks, you can choose to start meditating on what they say, feel embarrassed and just get depressed. The irony of this is that the same person who has made the remark, has already forgotten what you have done (and what he /she has said) and he is carrying on with life as normal while you are still beating yourself up.
  • When you really did mess up, take stock of what you have done. Learn from it, and don’t do it again. See what you can do to make things right. If you have offended someone, be the bigger person and apologize. Once you have done everything that is within your power, put it behind you and get on with your life.
  • Plan your life. I think going through the day in chaos must be one of the most stressful things you can experience, not knowing where to start and what to do next.
  • Stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. Negative thoughts lead to you speaking negative words. Your sub-conscious mind cannot differentiate positive from negative and believes whatever it hears. That is why you eventually start believing negative things about yourself and you start acting accordingly, thus getting negative results.

Achieve Calmness and Sanity – You Would Love Yourself for It

In the book The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You, John Ortberg describes a simple but powerful way that you can use to monitor your mind. It is called the experience sampling method. Program a watch or iPhone to beep at random intervals through the day. When it does, write down (or make a mental note) where you were, what you were doing and what you were thinking.

Let’s say you want to be more connected to God and experience peace. Then, when you make these notes, monitor your thoughts on a scale from 1-5 like this.

VERY GOOD NOT AT ALL
PEACE 5 4 3 2 1
CONNECTED TO GOD 5 4 3 2 1

Do this for a week, and look for those activities and people that had the best influence on your thoughts. Start focusing on spending more time with these people and activities. Also take note of what activities prevented you from achieving your desired mindset. Find ways how you can avoid it or change it.

Another simple experiment you can do to prove that you cannot think negative thoughts while thinking positive thoughts, is the following. Ask someone to silently count to ten. Then interrupt them by asking them to say their name out loud. Note that as the person says his name, he has to stop counting. That proves that you can only focus on one thought at a time. You cannot think negative thoughts while focusing on positive thoughts.

Do You Still Want To Rush Around, or Does Some Peace Sound Like A Good Idea?

So calm down and improve the quality of your life. You have nothing to lose, but much to gain.

What do you do to remain calm and enjoy some peace of mind?

Warning: You Are What You Say

It’s Friday again, and it’s time to discuss the next nugget in the book An Enemy Called Average (Updated and Expanded) by John L. Mason. We have now reached nugget #11 which says “our words are seeds planted in other _DSC9559people’s lives”.

The Power of Words

We often hear people saying things, and making ridiculous claims, and later when asked about it, they would casually make it off as “oh it was only cheap talk”. Cheap talk? When I look at the price sometimes being paid, I wonder how you can say it was cheap talk.

I personally know a family where the father has walked out on them. Leaving his wife and four boys behind; he embarked on a journey sowing bad seeds for years to come. He would disappear for long periods of time, and when finally showing up again, he would start making all kinds of promises to get favour with his sons again. Still being young and naïve they believed him many times.

I can recall the one instance when the second eldest son finished primary school and was ready to go to secondary school. His father magically appeared on the scene again, and made promises of how this young boy could come and stay with him and his new wife. He promised how he would put his son through one of the best secondary schools. The son was so excited. His father has finally turned from is old ways. At last he was going to get the recognition from his dad he was so desperately craving for all his life.

Arrangements have been made for the father to come and pick him up. Even long before the arranged time, the boy was packed and ready. With excitement glowing from his face he was sitting in the lounge with his mom, waiting for dad to come pick him up. His dad never showed up and for years after that they have never heard of him again either.

All four those boys are grown men today. They are married and successful in their own right. But their father has no part in their lives or families. That was bad seeds that were sown. On the other hand, their mother kept on speaking positive words (good seeds) into their lives and motivating them, and by the grace of God, she has raised four of the most beautiful young men I know today.

In this instance, words have both built and destroyed relationships. The mother built relationships with her sons that are unbreakable today. The father on the other hand, has totally destroyed the relationships with his four sons.

Whether You Say You Can or Whether You Say You Can’t, You’re Right.

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” says Matt.12:34. Everything originates with a thought, and whatever dominate your thoughts will eventually manifest over your lips, with the words you speak.

I also love the saying that “a wise man can learn more from a fool’s question, than what the fool can learn from a wise man’s answer”. Even a fool can appear to be wise by speaking less.

So whatever you say is a revelation of what is going on in your mind. It is also a proven fact, that you will never achieve anything unless you believe in whatever it is you are doing and also believe in your own ability to achieve it. Hence the saying “whether you say you can or whether you say you can’t, you are right”. That is no indication of your physical ability to execute the activity; it is an indication of what you believe.

This is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people. Successful people believe they can, and speak accordingly. Unsuccessful people believe they can’t, and speak accordingly.

Words Are Seeds.

What seeds are you sowing? Are you sowing good seeds or are you sowing bad seeds? I believe that from this discussion we can clearly see that the words we speak are not only seeds in other people’s lives, but also in our own lives. Isn’t it time we start paying a little more attention to the words we speak?

How do you monitor the words coming from your mouth? Or do you sometimes feel that bad seeds are sown into your life through the words of other people? How do you handle it or what do you do about it?

I would love to hear from you.