“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement.”
Ever heard anyone say, "I'm living the dream?" Often people make this hyped tongue-in-cheek remark because of wishful thinking. Most folks "live lives of quiet desperation" as the the great writer once declared.
Yet, dreams really do come true daily. The young man who works his way out of adversity to help others; the older woman, well past her prime, keeps moving and starts her own business. Yes, dreams do come true.
So, what constitutes the difference between successful dreams and nightmares? Perhaps Henry David Thoreau was on to something when he opined:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Let me, in theological terms, exegete this baby for a moment and see what we get:
If you keep moving. Don't stop moving forward. Quit looking back. You'll turn into a pillar of salt if not careful
Confidently- This one's a bit scary. We lose confidence from time to time. One must recite daily affirmations in order to bolster their confidence. Read Norman Vincent Peale or Robert Schuller for help. Google them for their bibliography.
in the direction- always keep your dream out front. Write it on a card and carry with you.
endeavors - literally means to make an effort; It implies simplicity of effort. In other words, just do something in the direction of the dream life you're seeking.
success- in the context means, achieve one's dream.
unexpected common hours- someone once explained it to me this way: Some day out of the blue you will get that call. I've witnessed a legion of people teeter on the brink of giving up when all of a sudden the heavens open and the dream begins its noticeably majestic work.
What is your dream? Have you written it down on paper? I suggest you take a day to think about it on paper. Realize too that some may discourage you; explain that it can't be done. Some of those well meaning nay sayers will surprisingly be family members. But, you keep moving confidently. Eventually you will see the dream just over the horizon. And, when you do it will be greater than you imagined.
Ive been the process of moving, but I am now ready to get back to work at the old salt mines as Beaver Cleaver's dad used to say.
Lately I've been reading John Maxwell's classic TODAY MATTERS: 12 Daily Practices To Guarantee Tomorrow's Success. The book offers a plethora of disciplines that promises to insure success for anyone who diligently practices them. Every executive, manager, leader, and businessman ought to read this masterpiece. I believe it will become your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I want to share with you the questions from the book that Maxwell passionately believes you must ask in order to grow in discipline and success:
Is your attitude a plus or minus today? Are your priorities keeping you focused today? Is your health enabling you to succeed today? Does your family situation provide support today? Is your thinking mature and productive today? Have your commitments been kept today? Have your financial decisions been solid today? Has your faith been active today? Are your relationships being strengthened today? Has your generosity added value to others today? Are your values giving you direction today? Is your growth making you better today? Maxwell then exclaims, "Be brutally honest in answering these questions!"
These challenging questions can overwhelm us if we try to examine all of them at once. I suggest you look at one per day for the next 12 days. Face the issue at hand and write out some intuitive thoughts that come quickly to your mind as you mull the question over. Then, for each question write out:
Not long ago I posted two articles about our dreams. Indeed, we must possess a dream (or the dream must possess us) if we want to stay in the race. Recently I read a powerful quote from H. Jackson Brown, author of Life’s Little Instruction Book, that illustrates the difficult work of tenacity when trying to hang on to your dream.
Rule #1 Take one more step. Rule #2 When you can’t take one more step, refer to Rule #1. That’s what it takes to achieve a dream: the will to take one more step, even when you’re convinced you can’t.
One more tenacious step often feels extremely impossible. Sometimes you may wake up and desperately ask, "Where do I go from here?" We all do it. Pundits and sages alike call this phenomenon STUCK. And, stuck stinks. It carries the potential of destroying our dreams. Using the letters from the word DREAM as an acronym, I offer some principles to help you develop tenacity.
Do it now, do it now, do it now. Every morning when you get out of bed repeat this powerful phrase to yourself 100 times. After 90 days you will feel more like doing whatever you need to do to fulfill your dream. The 90 day principle has been tried and true.
Repetition of price. The dream does not not necessarily require a huge price. Often it requires the repetition of small price tags.
Eat your dream daily. I know, this sounds utterly ridiculous. If you are a person of faith however, you understand that the ancient Hebrew language defined meditation as "chewing" or "eating." Literally it means going over and over it again until you ingest it and it becomes a part of your being. This crazy eating habit will one day cause the dream to get so amazingly deep within you that you will think the dream was there at the moment of your birth.
Application of these principles. Many of us love to read great books that will help us achieve our dreams. Yet, if we do not put what we learn into action we'll crash and burn. John Maxwell insists that we all have good intentions, but do not live intentionally. Application means intentional living.
Many others must eventually get involved with your dream. It takes a team. Teamwork makes the dream work. My gifts are teaching and speaking. If you put me in charge of administration I will kill your business. Thank God I've had some tremendously gifted administrators to work with. In fact, just yesterday I met my knew administrator. She has tons of experience. Early on in our conversation she assured me she will take care of all my tedious paper work. Already a team is beginning to develop between her and me. Later the team will involve MANY OTHERS.
I pray that this inspires you to tenaciously hold on to your dream with all the energy you can muster up.