Go Get Your Dream!

 

Do you have a dream? Then go get it!

 

GO

Move forward.

Proceed.

Travel in direction of.

Walk towards.

 

If you are not moving forward you are either stagnant or regressing!

 

GET

Achieve.

Obtain.

Own.

Make effort.

Possess.

Succeed.

 

You need to plan, pursue and execute!

 

YOUR

An inner compulsion.

Individual.

Personal.

Unique to you.

 

Not borrowed, coveted or stolen from others. So stop competing with the Joneses, with the Kardashians, with celebrities!

 

DREAM

Ambition.

Aspiration.

Desire.

Personal ideal.

Seed of imagination.

Vision.

 

Nurture and nourish your dream then trust God for its fulfilment!

 

And by way of further encouragement and motivation here’s a song to spur you on your way.

 

Have a great week dream-achievers and purpose-driven believers. And, if this post has encouraged you today please let me know in the comment box below. Likes, shares, ratings also highly appreciated.

 

CREDIT: This beautiful CC0 Image comes courtesy of San Wai Han at Pixabay.com

The mountain

. . . if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

 

Purpose-driven believers, aspiring dream-achievers, are there mountains in your path which you’ve convinced yourself can never be overcome?

Don’t believe the lies of the Enemy who whispers in your mind, taunting you to give up, to ‘get real!’, to let go of your dream, who brings out the catalogue of past failures as ‘evidence’ you don’t have what it takes.

Listen to what Christian Mihai has to say on this subject:

The mountain ahead is not the real test. The real obstacle. The real mountain is your mind. The sky isn’t the limit, your belief system is.

 

I recently came across the following motivational post by Mihai, which I just had to bring to your attention.

Do please read, reflect and respond.

Cristian Mihai

7e94b6ca15764dd139ba2f8146844331“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

Ever felt like a failure? Worthless? Lonely being redemption, broken beyond repair. A waste of time?

Ever felt that it just doesn’t matter?

Ever felt like you couldn’t do something because it was too difficult? Because you were just not good enough? Or smart enough? Or you didn’t have the resources you needed?

Ever felt hopeless, seemingly destined to spend your life daydreaming about what would never be and what was and could no longer be?

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The ‘S’ Word

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

 

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

 

Today, I’d like to focus our thoughts on the concept of SURRENDER.

Whenever I think of this word two images spring to mind.

 

  • A wrestling match where one wrestler has the upper hand and is mean, standing (even jumping) without mercy upon an area of his opponent’s anatomy and causing pain until said opponent cries out or signals “I surrender!”

 

  • A war situation where the battle is one-sided and a member of the losing side runs out hands in the air, or waving a white flag signalling complete surrender.

 

In today’s culture no one wants to surrender to another person. It speaks of weakness, or categorises us as losers and in some situations, it can even make us the victim.

However, the SURRENDER I wish to focus on today relates to our relationship with God, as purpose-driven believers and achievers. It is a surrender made because of love, not through fear. It is a surrender that completes us as children of God, rather than diminishes us as human beings.

The following are some thoughts gleaned from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Everybody eventually surrenders to something or to someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego.

Rick Warren

 

So let’s turn now and examine this concept – what does surrender to our Father-God look like?

Trust:

Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender. You won’t surrender to God unless you trust him, but you can’t trust him until you know him better.

Rick Warren

How well do you know God? Are you seeking to know him better?

 

Understanding

Do you understand what true surrender is?

It is not passive resignation, an attitude of fatalism, or an excuse for being lazy.

It is not becoming a doormat or exhibiting cowardly behaviour.

It is not forsaking rational thinking.

 

Godly surrender is:

Our heartfelt response to God’s unconditional love and mercy.

Our sacrificial dedication of our lives in wholehearted worship and spiritual service.

Our yielding complete control of our lives into his care.

 

Warren tells us in no uncertain terms that:

…surrendering is never just a one-time event… There is a moment of surrender, and there is the practice of surrender, which is moment by moment and lifelong.

 

For Further Thought:

…the greatest hindrance to God’s blessing in your life is not others, it is yourself—your self-will, stubborn pride, and personal ambition. You cannot fulfil God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans.

(Rick Warren)

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Why not share your response in the comment box below and consider sharing it with your social media network(s)?

My sincere thanks in anticipation!

 

You Are Never Too Old To Dream – This Is Why!

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME THOUGHT:

You Are Never Too Old To Dream!

 

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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

 

I have seen the above quote attributed to C. S. Lewis and also to Les Brown. I am presuming that the quote originated from Lewis, but at this point I’m not that concerned. I’m just glad I found a quote relevant to this theme.

 

Fears of Passing Years?

Dear friend, follower or visiting reader, do you entertain fears that your ship has sailed, that opportunities have passed? Do you wonder whether you are too old, whether it’s too late to achieve your ambitions, pursue your destiny, follow your dreams?

It is tempting to think that dreams are only for the young. After all, they still have much of their lives before them. If they’ve not yet found their niche in life, not yet accomplished their goals, not yet discovered their purpose, then potentially, they have years in front of them to do so.

Well, whilst I was researching this topic, I was surprised to see a post from a woman who had entertained similar fears at the grand old age of 30yrs. So what of those who have moved past the age bracket of 30-40 yrs, or 50-60 yrs, even 70-80yrs?

 

Foolish or Faith-filled?

What of those who feel there are less years in front of us than there are behind us? What of those who are concerned that whilst time is slipping by, whilst maturity means we cannot abandon our responsibilities and run off into the sunset to pursue our dreams, the opportunity and potential for realising said dreams is ever decreasing?

Should we still hold onto our ambitions? Should we still cling to those cherished dreams? Should we still seek to discover and pursue our destiny?

Before I answer that question, let me just say that as purpose-driven believers, our first frame of reference whenever we want direction, need a troubling question answered, or seek godly wisdom for our lives, should be the Word of God. That said, what does the Bible reveal? Listen up!

 

Some Dreams are in God’s Hands

  • Abraham – fulfils his dream of fatherhood at 100yrs old (Genesis 21:5)
  • Caleb – at the age of 85yrs felt as fit as he was at 40yrs and subsequently fought and drove out the inhabitants of Hebron, taking that city as his inheritance (Joshua 14:10-14)
  • Moses’ dream of becoming Israel’s deliverer only started to take shape when he was 80yrs old (Exodus 7:7)
  • Simeon’s cherished desire to see the promised Messiah with his own eyes, came to pass when he was in the winter season of his life (Luke 2:25-32).

And so, if this message speaks to you where you are at, be encouraged dear one. You are never too old to dream!

Perhaps some of you are still sceptical. Yeah right, Lady Cee. I hear you. But how about showing me a modern day example – huh?

Ok. I will do.

 

A Modern-day Inspirational Icon

Have you heard of Deshun Wang? I do hope you haven’t! But if you have, allow me to refresh your memory.

Below is a 2min video (I beg you – please, please don’t skip it!).

Prepare to be blown away! Prepare to have your biases, concerns and reservations about old age and the pursuit of dreams challenged. Prepare to have negative preconceptions regarding the parameters of success dislodged.

And now, allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Deshun Wang.

 

 

Purpose-driven believer and aspiring dream-achiever, I trust you have been encouraged, inspired, yeah motivated afresh. Have a wonderfully blessed and fruitful week.

For further relevant reading check out:

Pursuing your dreams? Be tenacious! https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/a-dream-plus-persistence-success/

Use spare time wisely – whilst you are still able! https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/prodigal-or-profitable/

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Were you encouraged in any way? If so, please do not hesitate to let me know your response in the box below. As usual, your likes, comments and shares are gratefully received and appreciated.

CCO Image (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

 

Use Your Kindness Kit!

 

Every one of us has a ‘kindness kit’ we carry with us everywhere we go. It’s better known as our tongue. Never underestimate the power of one kind word.

(From: UCB Word For Today – February-April 2017 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, I wish you an abundantly blessed and productive week!

From Slavery to Celebrity!

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Last year during one of my devotional readings, I came across the name of George Washington Carver. I vaguely recognised the name but didn’t really know who he was. In fact, to be honest, I had confused him with George Washington, first president of the USA!

Now from my devotional reading, I learned that Carver had become famous for growing peanuts and discovering hundreds of ways to use them, that he’d been invited to Washington DC to appear before a congressional committee and share the secret of his success. Now this is what he told them:

“God created the peanut. So I just asked Him to tell me what could be done with it, and He showed me!”

Isn’t that amazing?

And so today, whilst wondering what I should share today, I decided to look up this man to see who he was. I was so surprised to learn that he’d been born a slave. If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating man then click here:

 

 

And so today’s theme is: POTENTIAL.

Carver developed both his potential as a human being with the lowest start in life imaginable, as well as the potential of the peanut.

He definitely enters my personal hall of fame for successful dream achievers and to me, he is an excellent and most eminent example of a purpose-driven believer. As such, I’m proud and honoured to share the following thoughts mined from this highly creative genius.

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It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.

 

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

 

No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.

 

There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.

 

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

 

Where there is no vision, there is no hope.

George Washington Carver

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Why not share your response in the comment box below and consider sharing it with your blogging friends and social media network(s)?

Many thanks in anticipation!

 

Are You Committed?

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

Unlock your SUCCESS!

 

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THEME WORD:

            CHANGE

  • To make or become different
  • To substitute one thing for another
  • To remove and replace with something different
  • A variation from one’s regular habit
  • To alter gear
  • To adopt a different intention or opinion (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

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In a recent post I sought to encourage people to be the change, i.e. a positive force for good, in the lives of others around them.

However, we cannot be for others, what we are not for our own selves. In my own life, I realised I had to change – change my thoughts, change my attitudes, change my conduct.

If we have not achieved success doing the same old things we’ve done in the past, guess what? We have to change!

Whether we desire success in our business, career, relationships, or other goals, I can guarantee that nine times out of ten, some kind of change needs to happen in our lives. And a change of habit, a change of outlook, a change of any kind requires commitment.

How committed are you to making that necessary change?

Below is a 4mins video that I hope inspires you – not only today whilst you are reading this post but whenever you require a boost. In fact, let me encourage you to keep some kind of motivational portfolio that you can turn to during times of defeat, despair or discouragement.

 

 

Whoo Hoo! Make way for the change-makers, the destiny-pursuers and the dream-achievers!

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

What changes will you commit to making, in order to be ‘the change’ in your circle of influence?

 

How Are You Using Your Gift of Imagination?

You will always move in the direction of your strongest and most dominant thought.

 

One of the most beautiful gifts God has given you is your mind. There are two major functions of your mind. One is your memory, the other is your imagination. Both are God-given gifts that can help or hurt you. Your memory will photograph, file and replay pictures of your past. Your imagination, on the other hand, creates and preplays pictures of things you want to happen in your future.

Dream Seeds – Mike Murdock

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

Where are your thoughts focused – in the past, or towards the future?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers – enjoy an abundantly blessed and productive week!

 

CCo Image: courtesy of Sophie Janotta  (Pixabay.com)

 

Lady Cee’s Not-So-Secret Recipe for Underachievers’ Pie

Dear blogger friends and visitors, I’m feeling mischievous today!

It all started with this idea for a light-hearted blog post, which came to me during this week (see below).

Warning – indigestion tablets may be required!

 

Under-achievers’ Pie (serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 generous pinch of procrastination

1 tablespoonful each of foiled plans and thwarted hopes

1 convenient pack of slothfulness

Several dollops of self-doubt

8oz of crushed dreams

Method:

Mix above ingredients together with several cups of negativity and leave to harden.

Garnish with a handful of sour grapes and serve with as much or as little shame as occasion warrants!

 Appetising huh?

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 I then decided to look for a suitable quote to add to the mix (no pun intended!) and was surprised at what I discovered.

For a start, someone (a doctor no less!) has actually written a book advocating that one settles for underachievement, rather than  strive for success.

If you’d like to read what one journalist has to say about this work, click here:

Intrigued? Want to know more?

Then you are welcome to take a peek inside this book at the author’s Amazon page:

But before you go dashing off, let me share two reviews, which might tickle your taste buds:

This one from Amazon rated four stars (4*) even though the book was supposedly not read!

I knew this volume would confirm what I already hold to be true, so I didn’t read it. In that light it’s the best unread book I can remember for ages. Sometimes not making use of a thing can be revelatory.

 

And this one from Goodreads rated three stars (3*):

So, why did I read this book? Two reasons.

One, I am known to be an overachiever (and after reading this book, this is not something to be proud of, really.)

Two, I hate self-help books and I thought it would be funny to read a book that subtly made fun of all of them at once.

Am I going to start being an underachiever? Probably not. But it did give me perspective. Never be too depressed because you didn’t achieve as much as you wanted, because, truth is… you’ll never stop wanting to achieve more than you already do. It’s a bottomless pit!

Time to sit back with a cup of coffee and stop caring about being productive all the time.

Dear reader, I did find my quote in the end. You may be surprised to learn the name of its originator – I certainly was!

QUOTE:

You must always work not just within, but below your means. If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way, the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.

(Guess who!) – *See bottom of page for answer.

 

Links:

Amazon reviews:

Goodreads Reviews:

And if your interest has been piqued and you’d like to explore the subject of overachievers, as well as underachievers, you may wish to read this post: (Worth reading the set of strategic golden rules for managing perfectionism)  https://theeducationcafe.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/overachievers-and-underachievers/

 

What’s your view? Do you think there’s a valid argument for underachievement?

Please share your opinion in the comment box below and you are welcome to share my secret recipe with your blogging friends and social media contacts!

 

* Pablo Picasso (Did you guess correctly?)

 

Credit: CC0 Image from Pixabay.com

 

Focus, Focus, Focus!

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD: FOCUS

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Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.

Roy T. Bennett

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To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.

T.F. Hodge

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You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.

Sabrina Bryan

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I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.

Venus Williams

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When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

Joel Osteen

 

The following is a short motivational video encouraging us to focus on our dreams.

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

When it comes to following your dreams and pursuing your goals, have you  allowed your focus to be broken?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers – Have a blessed and focused week!

 

Are you Wearing God’s Crown of Success?

crownpixabay-1304612_960_720
CC0 Image is from Pixabay.com

 

In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

(Proverbs 3:6 – The Living Bible)

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

Is God’s word and will a priority in your life?

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers have an abundantly blessed and productive week and may your efforts be crowned with success.

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How To Discover Your Purpose

“The discovery of purpose is a journey, the fulfilment of purpose is the pinnacle of achievement.”

So says a switched-on young man, whom I met today during my cyber travels. His name is Kato Nkhoma and his inspirational words of wisdom kept me happily consuming the well-seasoned meat of his posts.

I had meant to stop over for a brief call and then move on to visit other blogs but God had other plans. Sometimes, what you believe to be a random choice, turns out to be a divine appointment. Thank you Father God, for bringing me across this young man’s pathway!

Now if you’ve been following my PDA blog for a while, you are aware that I am an advocate for discovering and pursuing your God-given purpose. The following post makes keen observations and shares some valuable keys on how one may discover your life’s purpose.

Enjoy the read and let me encourage you to visit Kato’s blog regularly for more insightful posts. Better still, why not follow him?!

Life On Purpose

KEYS TO DISCOVERING PURPOSE

The discovery of purpose is not an event. Unfortunately, you also can’t take a course on “Purpose”. Purpose is not taught, it is discovered. The best anyone can do is point you in the right direction, the rest is up to you! The discovery of purpose is a journey, the fulfilment of purpose is the pinnacle of achievement.


Acts 13:36

For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

This should be your story at the end of your life, that you would have served your generation. “How can I serve my generation?” you ask. You serve your generation by fulfilling your purpose. The scripture above might as well read: “For David, after he had fulfilled his purpose, fell asleep…….”. The will of God for you is your purpose…

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Enjoy the Gift of Life

My Thinking Corner

CCO image - Pixabay.com
CCO image – Pixabay.com

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

Today my thoughts are on the subject of LIFE. I’ve heard it said that life is a gift. If that is the case (and I believe it is so) then the onus is upon us to unwrap it and enjoy it.

How can we make the most of this precious but transient gift, with which God has blessed us?

Here are my thoughts on how we can enjoy an abundant, satisfying life which glorifies our gracious Giver.

  • Don’t just make a living – make a life! (i.e. a meaningful, productive, God-honouring and successful life).
  • The four key ingredients of a successful life are:
  1. Love – unconditional love (for God, self and others)
  2. An indomitable spirit (develop a refuse-to-give-in mindset)
  3. Faith (in God)
  4. Enthusiasm.
  • Be a giver. A constant ‘taker’ in life becomes fat with egotism, ingratitude and selfishness. As a giver (of your encouragement to others, love, kindness, time and resources), your generosity will reap dividends.

As the Bible promises:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:38 (NKJ)

Thoughts are free from toll

(William Camden)

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite quote regarding life? Why not share it in the comment box below.

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, have a blessed and productive week!

 💖 💖 💖

Let Go of Past Regrets!

CC0 image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

Regret is a waste of time, unless it teaches you wisdom and fuels your resolve to do better next time.

Bob and Debbie Gass – UCB Word For Today ­ (Daily Devotional – Aug-Oct 2016)

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

If past regrets are preventing you from moving on in your life, these useful tips from an expert, may assist.

 

Daily Motivation is a Daily Decision

motivationgerdaltmann-pixabay-361783_960_720CC0 image: courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD: MOTIVATION 

Motivation in its very early stages is an act of discipline and you will find it will need to become more and more a part of your personality.

Peter J. Daniels –  author of: How to be MOTIVATED all the time

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The above author, Peter J. Daniels, came from a broken home and a background of poverty. Despite suffering bankruptcy in business three times, he is a millionaire land developer, a top motivational speaker in Australia attracting international demand, and a campaigner for Christ. As such, I believe he has invaluable advice for us as aspiring dream achievers and purpose-driven believers.

If we are interested in achieving ongoing success in our personal lives then you and I will need to develop and maintain those habits which keep us motivated all the time.

To this end, Daniels challenges readers with the following words. He says:

Move up to a level of living and achieving by becoming highly motivated. Recognise that motivation is deeply personal and that it can only be achieved by making it a daily part of your existence.

Daniels further goes on to say that motivation cannot be permanently imposed from without but must be permanently created within.

In other words, although we can become temporarily motivated by inspirational quotes, or motivational stories and videos, permanent motivation has to come from an inner drive and become a daily discipline. Which brings us back to the thoughts expressed in my theme quote above.

So dear follower and visitor, in order to maintain a motivated mindset, are you willing (if necessary), to change your perspective, your habits, your lifestyle?

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Do you know what motivates you? Have you discovered what it is that propels you to act… what it is that drives you towards your end goal? How are you able to sustain that drive?

Purpose-driven achievers and believers – have a blessed and highly productive week!

 

Knowledge + Application = Wisdom!

 

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details.

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My Thinking Corner

(NB: Lady Cee aims to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays)

 

We live in an age where information abounds. As bloggers we have a plethora of posts to choose from at the Reader. Bloggers we’ve chosen to follow, showcase their wares and at the click of our mouse we can access their thoughts on a variety of subjects. We have access to their creative endeavours. We have access to the inspirational or motivational quotes they wish to bring to our attention. We have access to valuable life lessons—all posted in a bid to influence, to encourage one another on our journey in life, on the path we tread towards our destiny.

And if we also happen to be members of Facebook, or signed up to Twitter, or any other social media platform, the scenario is repeated again and again.

Advice. Information. Words of wisdom. All for the taking.

Now lately I’ve been thinking about this vast fount of knowledge at our fingertips. And I’ve been asking myself a question: if I retained even a small measure of what I read, if I was regularly applying even one sound principle in my day-to-day experience, how different would my life be?

And so, I challenge you today dear reader to think about all that information you are consuming. Are you learning? Are you putting even one of those precious principles you so passionately endorse into daily practice?

Food for thought, don’t you think?

knowledgekenneth-sookhai-pixabay-1916448_960_720
Are you applying your knowledge?

 

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, home-owner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25 (The Message)

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

John Locke

 

Knowledge is power? No. Knowledge on its own is nothing, but the application of useful knowledge, now that is powerful.

Rob Liano

 

No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and application of wise thought that counts.

Bob Proctor

 

Knowledge without application is like a book that is never read.

Christopher Crawford

 

. . . start applying what you are learning. Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.

Stephen R. Covey

 

 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22 (NKJV)

 

Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

 CREDITS: The above photos are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, please don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media network(s). Many thanks in anticipation!

 

 

Foster Good Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

 

In his internationally best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey defines a habit as:

“. . . the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.

Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.”

SELF-SCRUTINY

Are there any habits in your life, which undermine your potential for success?

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Prodigal or Profitable?

If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.

Benjamin Franklin

 

It’s Saturday morning!

This time last year, I was a full-time employee and part-time carer for my beloved mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. This time last year, on a Saturday morning, I didn’t have the luxury of a whole day to myself, with which I could do exactly as I pleased.

This time last year, I was ruminating with regret over past years and decades, when I’d enjoyed a similar luxury but hardly ever spent my spare time in a meaningful way. How I wished I’d used my time more wisely!

Last year, out of necessity, I had to put my dreams and goals second place.

Purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers, realise that your spare time, is a precious commodity. You never know what your future holds. Don’t be deceived into thinking you have all the time in the world to achieve your dreams, accomplish your goals, fulfil your destiny. And if you are currently a “free agent”, pretty much able to spend your leisure hours doing as you please, don’t be deceived into thinking that your current situation will remain the same, indefinitely.

Fulfilling goals and dreams, or the destiny God has pre-ordained for you, requires diligence, hard work and the productive use of your time. If you are in the habit of squandering those precious moments, spending an exorbitant amount of time on activities that don’t really matter… that don’t add value to yourself… that don’t take you forward in the direction of your dreams, then you may later regret it (as I did!).

Don’t let slothfulness, procrastination, indecision, fear or folly rob you of the quality time you have available now, which could be spent productively on pursuing your dreams. By the time you wake up, or decide to pursue you dream in earnest, circumstances may have changed. You may find yourself having to juggle unexpected responsibilities and having to squeeze in micro-moments for yourself. Take it from someone who knows. Take it from a procrastination queen!

There are two types of wisdom available to you dear reader. There’s the one you acquire from your own hard-earned experience, and the type you gain from listening to and learning from the hard-won experience of others.

In the context of using your spare time profitably, which type of wisdom will you choose to learn from this year?

Wisdom is the principal thing;

Therefore get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

(Proverbs 4:7 NKJ)

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers have a blessed and productive week.

CREDIT: CC0 Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Are you guilty of wasting your spare time, or are you a workaholic?

Did you enjoy reading this post? Please let me know your response in the comment box below. Likes, ratings and shares will be most gratefully received.

Best wishes,

Carol

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“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

My other blog: (Women of Warfare!)

My Google Collection: (Soul Surgery)

 

 

 

3 Tips For Making Successful Life-changes

MY THINKING CORNER aims to share positive thoughts to encourage, inspire and motivate us on our journey in life and towards personal achievement and success.

Every Tuesday, Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha hosts a weekly challenge to share snippets of positive thoughts.  If you’d like to join in, please check out this link for further details. (Unfortunately, Lady Cee only has capacity to participate in this blog challenge on alternate Tuesdays).

 

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My Thinking Corner

 

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Thoughts are free from toll – William Camden

 

It’s a new year and with it comes the promise of new opportunities. With it comes new hope for old dreams and even enthusiasm for new ones. At least that’s how I feel. How about you?

Now I’m aware from talking to others and from articles read on the subject of self-motivation and pursuing personal goals that some people, disheartened by past failures, have given up completely and do not even attempt to make new resolutions, or New Year goals.

If you belong to that category of “no-hopers’ and have laid aside your ambitions, or if like me, you are refusing to give up on your dreams and are choosing to set out on that path of optimism once again, I hope the following thoughts and suggestions will encourage, perhaps even inspire you.

 

1.  EAT MODERATELY

It’s easy when you are feeling excited and self-motivated to try and saturate yourself in as much knowledge as possible. So you buy a book, research appropriate resources online, perhaps seek out a mentor. But this can lead to information overload, to mental and emotional indigestion.

When it comes to making life changes, or pursuing dreams, you will most probably need to seek out information. But in your enthusiasm, or haste to get from A to B quickly, you can overdo it.

Have you ever been unwell, gone on a diet or a fast? Do you remember your stomach shrinking from not eating your customary amount of food? Think of your desire to cram in as much information, as quickly as possible, as being much like you gorging lots of rich food after a period of fasting. It makes you feel uncomfortable, perhaps even sick.

The trick is to consume the information you need in digestible portions. The trick is to make small demands upon yourself. Take small steps daily, rather than trying to make significant changes overnight. Think elephant – the way to eat one is by taking small bites at a time!

 

2.  EXERCISE GENTLY

Have you ever been unfit?

I can recall a time when I suffered from a chronic back problem. Even my normal walking pace was significantly affected. I’d set off down the road and people seemed to zoom past me, even though they weren’t walking particularly fast. School children reluctant to get where they were going and even elderly folk, managed to disappear in the distance, whilst I struggled to put one foot in front of the other. I had to be patient with myself and determined. Thankfully, over time, I regained my fitness.

Pursuing goals, achieving your dreams, requires you to exercise your life-changing muscles regularly. Just as you wouldn’t just pick up a set of heavy weights and try to lift them the first day or week you visit a gym, exercise those life-changing muscles slowly and gently. When it comes to pursuing your dreams, start out with small changes, then increase efforts, once your capacity to deal with more, enlarges.

 

3.  EXCISE RUTHLESSLY

Become your own personal development surgeon.

You know yourself better than anyone else. Which cankerous areas of your life do you need to remove? Cut out those excuses (no time, no money, no skills). Remove time-wasting activities and if need be, sacrifice the odd leisure pursuit in order to make more time for learning, or practising, or working on your project.

Above all, ruthlessly sever wrong thinking! Replace negative thoughts (I can’t do this, I’ll never master that, I’m not intelligent enough), with life-enhancing meditations. Renew your mind with the Word of God. Adopt a pertinent motivational quote as your mantra for a week, a month, even the entire year.

 

Before I close this thinking session, let me leave you with a quote from Carole Gaskell, life-coach and author of Your Pocket Life Coach:

We are all capable of making changes in our lives, the secret is to break things down into SMALL STEPS – tiny steps in fact – and spend a few minutes EVERY DAY taking action. Little and often is one of the fundamental secrets to successful transformation.

 

Purpose-driven believers and aspiring dream-achievers – we can do it! Have a blessed and victorious week.

 

CREDIT: The above CCO image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com 

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  If you enjoyed reading, don’t hesitate to like, comment on and share this post with your social media network. Many thanks in anticipation!

 

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Work At Your Dreams

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 Dreams don’t come true when more time is spent talking about them than praying and working toward achieving them.

Stormie Omartian

 

SELF-SCRUTINY

What action are you taking to make your dreams, goals, or aspirations become a reality?

 

A Dream Plus Persistence = Success!

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MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY (1st Monday of each month)

Sharing and Savouring Secrets of Success…

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THEME WORD:

PERSISTENT – continuing with determination in spite of discouragement; dogged; tenacious

(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

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Ambition is not enough! Desire is not enough! And wishful thinking will certainly not catapult you into the pathway of success!

I have heard it said that pursuit is the proof of desire. And I know from personal experience that pursuit is not a one-time-effort. It’s not a once-in-a-while activity. Pursuit must be consistent. Your dream, your goal, requires persistence.

The question is: do you and do I have what it takes to cross the finishing line?

The following is a 3.5 mins motivational video, which I trust will encourage and spur you towards the fulfilment of your dreams.

 

 

 

Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, may 2017 be your year of achievement and success, as you persist with your endeavours.

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Is there a dream, goal or vision that you’ve abandoned or neglected because you felt discouraged? Are you willing to try again, to persist until you succeed?

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Wishing You All A Wonderful New Year!

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As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future. ― Peggy Toney Horton

 

What do you need in the New Year? You need a dream; your dream needs an action; and your action needs right thinking! Without right thinking, you can have only unrealised dreams! ― Mehmet Murat Ildan

 

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential. ― Ellen Goodman

 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,

Whispering ‘it will be happier’. ― Alfred Tennyson

 

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

 

My heartfelt thanks to all followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It has truly been a blessing and an honour to share my thoughts with you. I wish you all God’s very best and look forward to the pleasure of your visits throughout the coming year.

Best wishes,

Carol

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https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

 

My Paper-round, Parents and Career Pursuits

BLOG CHALLENGE

Are you up for the challenge?
Are you up for the challenge?

For details on how to participate visit: https://lifewithgraceandbeauty.com/2016/11/17/blogging-goals-whos-up-for-the-challenge/

 

Blog challenge – Day 5/Your First Job

We all start working at different ages and for different reasons. What was your first job?  Where did you work?  What was your schedule like?  Why did you start working there?

 

When one of my sisters became poorly and could not do her usual paper-round, I stood in for her for 1 week, so that she didn’t lose the position. And that was my first taste of having a job, being responsible for a role, fulfilling that responsibility to the best of my ability and receiving payment at the end of the week.

newspaperkaistachowiak-pixabay-973049_960_720I recall returning my newspaper bag to the sweet shop owner each day, long after others had returned theirs. I seem to have taken longer delivering the dratted newspapers to his customers on my allotted route. Whether this was because I was more painstaking than the others I have no idea. I certainly didn’t want to mess things up for my sister.

I remember feeling excited about the role for the first 1 or 2 days but after that the necessity of having to get up super-early and the novelty of the job soon wore off. I couldn’t wait for the week to be over! This paper-round however, was not my true first job, since it was not a position that offered regular employment and was not wholly mine.

Well, I subsequently secured a Saturday job at a local drycleaners. I was so pleased I’d landed this position and the proprietor, Mr Williams, was very nice to me. I believe I held that position for a few years. What I cannot recall is whether I had this post in addition to my day job, or whether it was purely a Saturday job—a means of earning pocket money, since my parents couldn’t afford to give us any. It’s just that I don’t think I could have been less than 15-16years old. Now I come to think of it, I believe it may have started out as a Saturday only job but that I continued working there for a while (at Williams Drycleaners), even after I began working properly elsewhere, as a full-time employee.

drycleaningunsplashfh4uo2pya-m0851Williams Drycleaners had a reputation for offering an excellent service. I did not appreciate it at the time, thinking a drycleaners is a drycleaners. But my own experiences since, of a less than desirable service from other establishments; complaints from my husband about the lack of good drycleaners (who don’t put double creases into his trousers and who return your items looking crisp and clean—not shiny, or in the same unclean condition in which they were handed over), plus the anecdotes from one of my brothers, whose cleaning and mending instructions were not followed to the letter, made me realise this is not the case!

My first full-time job was as a typist in the Civil Service. I worked in the Land Registry Department. My boss, the typing pool supervisor, was most impressed with my typing and presentation skills. I am not surprised because I had learnt to touch type at the age of 13 or 14 years old.

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Do you remember when salesmen used to call at your door selling their wares? Well I believe a salesman from the Scheidegger Training Institute had called at ours and my father, who wanted me to have better prospects than becoming a factory worker, decided to enrol me. I learned how to touch type, and earned a Diploma confirming I’d completed the “ten-finger touch method typewriting course including copy and speed typing, use of English and letter writing”. I was very proud of this achievement, especially as I’d achieved it outside of the school curriculum and a good 2-3 years before I actually left school.

Well, dear reader, my civil service job lasted approx 2-3 weeks!

I believe I was one of the youngest in the typing pool. I’d not been there a full week when I felt bored and wanted to leave. My other colleagues constantly moaned about how they hated their job and hated working there. I wondered why they didn’t leave and decided I did not want to turn into someone who stayed in a job they detested, yet moaned to all and sundry about how unhappy they were. So I decided to leave and I did.

Looking back, I can now understand those women. I was young, living at home, with no responsibilities. They were probably married, had a mortgage, plus bills to pay and children to raise. They could not afford the luxury of walking out of a secure job at whim. They had to be responsible. They were adults!

Now because I had this typing ability and because my father had sacrificed to pay for my tuition, I wanted to honour his sacrifice and please him. I did not want his sacrifice, or the skill it had secured, to go to waste, so I decided I’d become a secretary or a personal assistant.

My mother however, wanted me to use the excellent dress-making skills she’d passed on to me and secure a job in the fashion field. I later regretted not trying to pursue this.

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Perhaps I would have been a fashion designer now, or held some other position in the glamorous world of fashion. And who knows, perhaps (unlike Meryl Streep), I would have become The Angel Who Wears Prada!

 

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Please let me know your response in the comment box below. Thank you.

 

Chameleon? Colour? Controversy?

DAILY POST WORD PROMPT

 

I wonder… to be, or not to be?

 

Daily Word Prompt: New Skin

Would I benefit from new skin?

Perhaps a white one, so I could generally find acceptance in a white man’s world. Perhaps then I could walk around life batting my blue eyes, flicking my fair locks and use these as a passport to a world of dignity.

rhinoceros-pairlynngreyling-pixabay1612629_960_720Then again, perhaps I should swop my skin for that of a rhinoceros. They often say sensitive people need to develop a hard skin. I imagine that should be hard enough! Toughen up baby! But, is that not just semantic speak for saying you should not get upset when people don’t celebrate you, when because of your colour they doubt your ability, snub you and systematically besmirch your reputation—or (horror of horrors!) even decide their dog deserves better treatment and respect than you? (Now there’s a thought – perhaps I should just get me the skin of a lap dog!)

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But if I were to develop a hard skin, such that I didn’t feel it when someone hurts me, would that mean I’d have become an unfeeling, uncaring so and so?

I suppose I could swop my skin for that of a baby’s just for the fun of it, for the sake of having that soft sweet baby smell. But I’m not sure that would work either. Loved ones wouldn’t take me seriously. baby-tawnyvanbreda-pixabay784608_960_720They’d start conversing with me in that strange baby-speak, tickle me under my chin, and try to feed me with that yucky pureed stuff in jars. Nah!

So I guess I’ll just have to be content with my own skin. Learn to live in it comfortably. Adapt my behaviour in order to accommodate its likes and dislikes (as opposed to allowing racist rhetoric to make me feel uncomfortable within it, or pandering to anyone’s demands, fears and suspicions, as a direct response to it!).

After all these years, I should be able to shrug off the received but unwanted, unwarranted prejudices towards the colour of my skin. I should be able to – right? And, I should be able to ignore the ignoramuses who believe because my skin’s black and because my black skin is stretched over a female form, I don’t belong to the human race… I don’t have a right to speak up… I don’t have the right to be taken seriously… and I certainly don’t have the right to self-respect. Yep, under no circumstances should I show ambition or promise – no siree!

Well dear reader, I have come to a conclusion. A new skin? What good would that do? I just wouldn’t be me anymore!

Now I can’t think of any more fitting conclusion than this song, which confirms and consolidates my convictions on this subject, so I invite you to boogie along with that consummate musician—the inimitable Michael Jackson.

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Wanna read more or participate? Then hurry along to: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/new-skin

And don’t forget to leave me your responses or feedback in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

NB: photographs used are all  CCO images from Pixabay.com

 

 

It’s Not About You!

CC0 Image - courtesy of ryo taka (Pixabay.com)
CC0 Image – courtesy of ryo taka (Pixabay.com)

 

Effective communication is not about showcasing your wit, or rhetorical prowess. It’s about discerning the needs of your anticipated audience. It’s about speaking to and satisfying their expectations.

(Lady Cee – aka Carol)

 

 

 

Quit Comparing!

Hello dear readers,

I wrote the following article some years ago, to encourage myself and other wannabe writers. I think the fundamental message of this post can also be applied to newbie bloggers, or to anyone pursuing their dream (whatever that might be), or to those who perhaps feel discouraged during their journey towards achievement.

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All images from Pixabay.com

Very often we view success in much the same manner as a gorgeous gem within a jeweller’s window display. We’re attracted by the lustre of those diamonds, the flashing brilliance of those stones and the fine quality of gold.

rings (Pixabay)We forget these beautiful jewels have been specially crafted. We forget those precious stones and polished metals had a beginning and that if we were to retrace the journey of those glittering jewels back to their origin, we’d see those finished products from a very different perspective.

RubyNecklace(Pixabay)We’d discover that the item nesting alluringly against a rich velvet backdrop and shining so brilliantly with the help of strategically arranged lighting, started out in a place of complete contrast. It started out in the bowels of the earth.

mine(Pixabay)

Once extracted, if you didn’t know what you were looking at you’d maybe throw it away as a valueless lump of rock. You wouldn’t realise it had the potential to be a thing of beauty, something that evokes admiration, even desire of ownership. You wouldn’t appreciate its capacity to bring pleasure.

The journey of an unpublished writer is very much like the above scenario. We ooh and ahh over the creative brilliance of polished writers. We appreciate their carefully crafted words set against the backdrop of an artfully arranged world. Attracted by another author’s style or success, we long to ‘own’ similar achievements.

books(Pixabay)

However, in our approbation of these works, we often leave a relevant factor out of the equation. Much like our appreciation of a beautiful diamond or sapphire, we forget that this artistic work, these authorial presentations had a fairly insignificant genesis.

Perhaps if we didn’t forget this, we wouldn’t feel despondent, frustrated, or threatened about our own endeavours. Perhaps we’d give ourselves a break, stop mentally flagellating ourselves because we haven’t crafted the ‘perfect’ article, short story or novel.

Perhaps we’d stop dismissing the raw materials mined from the bowels of our creative imagination and instead realise: “Hey! This may not look like much now but given time and patience, it can actually become something of value”.

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And perhaps, instead of constantly comparing the finely crafted pieces of other writers with our freshly mined lumps of untreated ore, we’d start to appreciate, even enjoy our modest beginnings. We’d begin to see our pursuits, not as a path of frustration and defeat, but of learning and adventure.

Fellow writers (I speak to myself as much as to you), let us view our beginnings and efforts with less negativity and more realistic expectations. Let us put our goals, dreams, aspirations and the different paths we take in order to achieve these, into the right context.

SuccessSignpost(GerdAltmann)Let us not fixate on publishing prowess as the ‘be all and end all’ of authorial accomplishment. Let us not be in such a hurry to arrive at ‘Success Street’ that we forget to enjoy the novelty and nature of our quest.

As aspiring writers, bloggers, purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, let us find encouragement in, and take the following words of Ben Sweetland seriously to heart—Success is a journey, not a destination!

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Faces of Longing

Hello lovely readers!

 Many of you will be familiar with the Daily Post prompts. I do not choose to participate every day, or even within the same time-frame that the prompt was posted.

This is a new feature to my blog simply because as a purpose-driven achiever, I would like to improve my creative writing ability and this WordPress feature allows me to do so without feeling the pressure to produce something every day.

I hope you will all enjoy and would appreciate your feedback on these posts.

 

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Image by Breanna Whimsy (Pixabay.com)

  

The Daily Post – Daily Word Prompt: LONGING 

Longing.

It’s a word that has the very sense of yearning and earnest desire about it—don’t you think? I have lots of longings. I’ve had longings that have been fulfilled and I have longings yet to come to pass.

Take the time I was walking on Finchley Road in London with my friends. There was a posh travel agents that we passed and in the display window I could see an open brochure or poster, showing what looked to be the most beautiful place on earth. I learned that it was the Seychelles.

I did not know that it was a place that people considered to be a dream holiday destination. I just knew that as I looked at this seemingly idyllic place, the blue, blue sky and turquoise waters, the palm trees and powder-white sandy beach, I wanted to go there. No. I longed to go there.

I decided there and then that if I ever got married that was where I wanted to go for my honeymoon. Well afterwards when I checked into the costs of going to such a place and saw that it would cost about a million times more than a holiday to say Spain, I held onto the dream in my heart but felt it was unrealistic. I believed it was a longing that would not be fulfilled.

Years later, when my fiancé asked me where I wanted to go for our honeymoon, I mentioned my longstanding dream but quickly added: “I know it’s impossible, it’s very expensive.” Well dear reader, I could not have been more surprised by his generous response! He agreed, we planned and we went. And it was beautiful and even better than I had imagined.

Longing.

Long held dreams.

The Seychelles was a longing that became fulfilled. And later, when I think about my other ‘impossible’ dreams, I thank God. Because I know he is in the business of making dreams come true. Particularly, if he has placed those dreams in our heart in the first place.

And so it encourages me when I think about my other dreams, which requires a miracle for them to happen. Although I might not be able to see how that dream, how that longing could come to pass, I need not worry. I just need to leave it in the hands of my loving Father God and leave the logistics, leave the actualisation of those dreams, leave my longings in his most capable hands—the hands upon which I am inscribed (so my Bible tells me – see Isaiah 49:16)—inscribed so that he never forgets me and because he celebrates me!

Longing.

It can be a beautiful thing but it can also be a destructive thing. Like longing for something unfeasible. I think of the protagonist in Toni Morrison’s book: The Bluest Eye. This child is a poor, black girl who has noticed she is not favoured by her school teacher and class peers. She observes however, that a white girl with blond hair and blue eyes is popular and very much the favourite.

And because she is not loved at home (she is verbally and physically abused), and because she is not accepted or celebrated at school, she longs to have blue eyes. She believes if she has blue eyes, she will be favoured. She will be loved. She will be acceptable. She will be a person. She will no longer suffer the pain and shame of ill-treatment, or mockery, or rejection, or ridicule.

And so this girl prays to God whom she believes is able to do anything. She prays and whilst she waits for her miracle, she longs and longs and longs until it becomes an obsession. But her prayer is not answered, frustrating her longing and disappointing her desire.

To the reader, her longing is foolish and sad and painful. And we feel for her and feel her longing and feel the pain she undergoes, as she obsesses over this unrealistic desire.

LONGING. It can be a thing of joy, or a source of deep pain.

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, what are your longings? Have you had a long-held desire fulfilled? Please share with the PDA community in the comment box below – you never know who needs that encouragement!

 

PS: for those of you who may wish to participate, or would like to read other contributions on this prompt,  please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/longing/

 

 

Pursue Creativity

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY

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Creativity:

  • the ability to make new things or think of new ideas
  • the quality of being creative
  • the ability to create

Merriam Webster Dictionary

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 In my post Unlock Your Potential, I said:

as human beings, made in the likeness of our creative Father, [we] share the same incredible potential to find creative solutions in whatever context we may find ourselves. We have the same ability to make valuable contributions to the world in which we live”.

 

As purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers, are we nurturing a spirit of creativity in our lives?

I have selected the following inspirational quotes in a bid to both influence our thoughts about and, encourage us toward creativity, whilst we pursue our dreams… whilst we journey towards our destiny.

 

  • Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward de Bono

 

  • Creativity is bound up in our ability to find new ways around old problems. Martin Seligman

 

  • There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period. Brene Brown

 

  •  An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. Edwin Land

 

  • Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. Steve Jobs

 

  • I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. Brene Brown

 

  • When we are angry or depressed in our creativity, we have misplaced our power. We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued. Julia Margaret Cameron

 

  • There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. Sophia Loren

 

  • Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. Edward de Bono

 

  • A lot of people forget how important it is to be creative. We get caught up in getting ahead and in day-to-day minutiae. But creativity is a fundamental mode of expression, as is being tenacious and standing by your own convictions and passions, even if it’s not the ‘popular’ choice. Tabatha Coffey

 

SELF SCRUTINY

Did any of the above quotes resonate with you?

If creativity is not something you have actively pursued in your life to date, have any of the above quotes inspired you to change that this year?

If creativity has been a feature of recent endeavours, were you happy with the result? Bearing my above quote in mind, how did it make a positive contribution to the lives of others?

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please share your comments in the box below.

Give God Your All

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Image from: Pixabay.com

Has your life been a failure so far? God can change that! Have you enjoyed a measure of success? God can take you to a higher level of achievement! Want to maximise your potential? Make yourself available to God! He is able to do infinitely beyond your highest desires and dreams.

The following is an excerpt from The UCB Word For Today, a free devotional* written by Bob and Debby Gass.

Now to Him, Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Ephesians 3:20 (Amplified Bible)

 

IF YOU only have a thimble-worth of capacity and you’re standing on the edge of a vast ocean, you have access to a lot of water but you won’t get much of it because your capacity is so small. If you have the capacity of a bucket you’ll get more than a thimble, but once the bucket is full the ocean can do you no more good. If you have a barrel you’ll get more than a bucket, but once the barrel is full you will still only have taken advantage of a miniscule part of the ocean.

The idea is to offer God the biggest container possible. Offer Him all of you so that He can accomplish what He wants to do in your life. And no matter how successful you may be, you still haven’t maximised all that God wants to do in you and through you. Paul puts it this way: ‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.’

When you give your life to Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within you. That means if your life has been a failure thus far, He can turn it into a success. And if your life has been successful thus far, He can take you to a higher level of success. That’s why you should begin each morning by praying: ‘Lord, I make myself totally available to You this day; work through me to accomplish Your will.’ That’s a prayer God will answer.

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Purpose-driven believers and dream-achievers why not make 2016 a year where you increase your availability to God and increase your capacity to be filled with more and more and more of Him?

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF  (UK and Republic of Ireland only)

For the online version, or to receive by email visit: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

Discovering Your Purpose

CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.com
CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.com

 

I believe that God has put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of every one of us. When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe that you’re a person of influence and a person of purpose, I believe you can rise up out of any situation.

Joel Osteen

 

What is my purpose? Have you asked yourself this question? If so, did you receive a satisfactory answer, or are you still in the dark?

I believe that at some point in our lives, God drops that purpose into our hearts. I believe that even from an early age, without being aware of it, we can find ourselves enacting an element of this purpose, or we can display the beginnings of our God-given calling.

As a young person I loved to teach.  I would help my younger siblings with their homework, hold play classes, and even taught 2 of my sisters how to touch-type.  By the time they arrived at secondary school they were proficient and were streets ahead of their fellow class-mates.  It made them feel good and I felt proud that I’d not only been instrumental in making them shine, I had also equipped them with a valuable skill.

Through my help, these sisters had developed their potential.  They didn’t just watch me and say: I’d like to type one day.  They listened to and obeyed my instructions and they practiced. Gradually they improved until one day they became proficient enough to stand head and shoulders above their classmates. Potential.

Similarly, if we want to discover what we’ve been put on this earth to do and, if we wish to develop our potential, we can engage the assistance of one who is eminently qualified. The Holy Spirit, who has been sent alongside us to be our helper, knows God’s plan for our lives. He is able to reveal to us our Father’s pre-ordained purpose. He is able to teach and equip usbut whether we actually develop our potential and fulfil our purpose, is entirely up to us.  We have to want to discover our purpose. We have to want to do whatever it takes to fulfil our God-given calling.  Cherishing a dream is not the same as actually pursuing it!

For years I spoke to others and said I wanted to be a writer. Years. But I only spoke about it, read how-to books on it and cherished the desire in my heart.  Did that make me a writer? No! Absolutely not. After all, a writer writes! Apart from the odd poem here, an article there or some bible teaching notes at irregular intervals, I did not write at all. It was only when I began to write regularly and practically apply my knowledge that I started to feel I had earned the right and could say to myself with confidence – I am a writer!

Do you want to be a purpose-driven achiever? Then you need to seek God’s face, learn his ways and apply His Word to your circumstances. You need to pay heed to James’ exhortation and be a doer of God’s Wordnot just a hearer (James 1:22).

Let’s consider two biblical examples of people who discovered and fulfilled their God-given purpose.

Although Moses was brought up in Pharaoh’s palace, there was a burning desire in his heart to see his people (the Children of Israel) delivered from enslavement to the Egyptians. I believe he was being driven by God’s ordained purpose for his life. Somehow, whether it was an instinctive knowing, or the Lord had revealed this to him, Moses realised he was not called to sit back and enjoy the pleasures of Pharaoh’s palace  but to deliver the Children of Israel from bondage (Hebrews 11:24-26).  Unfortunately, he took matters into his own hands and murdered someone.

Joseph knew he was destined for higher things. He dreamed of prestige and prominence and was confident his future held much more for him than his family’s mundane life as a shepherd.  However, the coat of many colours he wore and his God-given dreams and vision, made him feel and act superior.

The above examples illustrate how wrong actions and attitudes can get in the way of us fulfilling our purpose. God then needs to bring us through a process to humble and purify our hearts. Moses, forced to flee for his life, spent decades in the wilderness looking after sheep.  Joseph, sold by his jealous brothers as a slave to merchants, was falsely accused of attempted rape and left to languish in jail.

God’s process of humbling and honing our characters, reminds us in no uncertain terms that He is in control. It hammers home the fact that our Father looks not for ability but for availability. It underlines the truth that he uses those with a servant heart, those whose lives bear the hallmark of  humility. God wants us to recognise that our success, or our accomplishments within the context of his divine purpose for our lives will not happen by self-effort, personal might, or willpower but by his Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).

Do you have an inkling of what your God-given purpose may be? If you do, are you working consistently towards that purpose? If you are not yet aware of what it is God has called and gifted you to do, are you willing to seek Him until he reveals what that pre-ordained calling is?

Dear reader be assured of this: God has both purposed and empowered you to be a dream-achiever.

 

Develop Your Potential

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One of the saddest experiences which can come to a human being is to awaken, gray-haired and wrinkled, near the close of an unproductive career, to the fact that all through the years he has been using only a small part of himself.

(V. W. Burrows)

 

Everyone has potential. Everyone. How could we not? After all we have been created in the image of an awesome God.  We only have to consider the work of His hands – the wonderful world in which we live with its mind-boggling universe, its astounding fauna and flora and its beautiful landscapes – to gain some insight into that fact.

Since we are the offspring of such an ultra-creative being, then we too have the potential to be highly creative. To put it another way, we are all chips from the old block! No discourtesy intended!

And so we have this enormous ability inside of us – a potential to be, to do, to become. Do you agree that you have an incredible range of capabilities within you just waiting to be discovered? Are you using your God-given abilities? If not, are you willing to explore, discover and develop your potential?

Apart from there being latent abilities within us, our God-given dreams also have potential. They have the ability to be transformed from an idea, a desire, a wish, a persistent thought or a vision, into the realm of reality.

However, this process, from dream-seed to reality, requires faith (confidence in God and in who you are in Christ). But not faith alone – the process requires faith and works. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). So right there we are being given a clue – our dreams (the focus of our faith) require action and without action our dreams are dead, or will eventually die. They will remain dormant, their potential unrealised.

I have wasted many years believing that because God said I was going to be such and such and do so and so, all I had to do was wait for it to happen.  How mistaken was I! No my friends. We have to apply ourselves to a task and/or get involved with some type of activity, in order that the Godhead may guide, help, inspire, motivate  and work with us.

If we merely sit around waiting for our big dream to materialise, or feel that somehow, some sweet day, God will catapult us into fulfilment of our dreams, then we are labouring under a misapprehension.

You want biblical proof of this? Done! 1 Kings 19:16-21 reveals God’s ordained purpose for Elisha. He was to be Elijah’s successor. Prior to that, he’d been content as owner of 12 yoke of oxen. He’d been content to plough fields.  However, God’s call upon his life stirred within Elisha a new dream – he craved a double portion of his master’s anointing (2 Kings 2: 8-15).

So Elisha served (action), he observed and imitated (action). He developed his potential and realised his God-given dream of becoming an effective and powerful prophet of Israel by adding works to his faith. In doing so, Elisha achieved phenomenal results, to the extent that he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah, to the extent that even though he had died, his skeletal bones produced a miracle! (2 Kings 13:20-21).

Edwin Louis Cole, author of The Potential Principle – Living Life To Its Maximum, observes:

“Everything in life has potential, but it must be developed. It never develops itself.”

My heart-felt prayer for every reader of this post is that God will encourage, empower and inspire you to constantly develop and maximise your potential.  Don’t wait a moment longer – become a dream-achiever!

 

Unlock Your Potential

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Potential – the range of capabilities that someone or something has; powers or resources not yet developed or made use of (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

“Potential is like a seed.  It is buried ability and hidden power that needs to be cultivated.”  Myles Munroe, Understanding Your Potential

You may not believe it. You may not want to accept it as truth. Nevertheless I am going to say it – you have enormous potential! How can I say that? Because you are the handiwork of a master creator! We have seen and marvelled over the work of God’s hands, the ingenuity of his mind.  As people made in his image, that same capacity for creativity, that same potential for greatness lies within each man, woman and child.  However, the onus is upon us to discover, develop and nurture it.

Humour me for a moment and let’s travel back in time to the Garden of Eden.  When God created Adam, He gave him a specific task to fulfil (see Genesis 2:19-20).  Adam had no one else to consult, no one with whom he could confer and no one to emulate.  He simply had to get on with his assignment, drawing from inner resources to fulfil his responsibility. Can you appreciate the creativity and imagination required for Adam to name every beast and every bird? (I sometimes find it hard to come up with a suitable password!)

These two verses paint a scenario of significant achievement.  They demonstrate that we as human beings, made in the likeness of our creative Father, share the same incredible potential to find creative solutions in whatever context we may find ourselves. We have the same ability to make valuable contributions to the world in which we live. That is potential with a capital P!

In order to grasp the reality and scope of what lies within each one of us, I want you to consider potential as a seed – the seed of a fruit tree.  Now that seed contains the latent ability to develop into a tree and produce fruit and that fruit contains more seeds and therefore the potential for more trees…  more fruit…  I’m sure you’re getting the picture.

You and I are like that seed. Within each of us lies a fount of untapped ability and resources – the stuff of dreams! Yet, according to scientists, we use as little as 10% of our abilities. A shocking fact, when one realises that within most of us, as much as 90% of our capabilities lie dormant.

Regarding human potential, American philosopher and psychologist, William James, had this to say: “Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses power of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”

So how do we remedy this habitual failing and unlock our potential? How can we tap into that fount of creativity?  Winston Churchill believed that “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential”.  It sounds simple and accessible doesn’t it? Not superhuman strength, or super-intelligence – just continuous effort. It would be easy to dismiss Churchill’s observation as being too simplistic.  I mean if that’s the case, why aren’t people generally more creative? Why don’t we experience an ever-flowing release of our potential?

Well, I believe the key lies in the phrase ‘continuous effort’. Not now-and again effort, once in a blue moon effort, only when I’m in the mood effort – but continuous effort! Does that mean becoming a workaholic, or being so driven your life becomes unbalanced? Absolutely not! It means you and I have to learn to adopt a mind-set that focuses on an end goal. It means arming ourselves with a determined will to find a way through obstacles and go all the way to the finishing line. It means being persistent despite difficulties or discouragement, for they will surely raise their ugly heads during the course of our pursuits. It means not expecting God (or anyone else) to present us with a silver platter of opportunities from which we can select our heart’s desires. It means not resting on our laurels.

In his book An Enemy Called Average, John L. Mason challenges believers to step away from the well-trodden path of mediocrity.  He says: “If you choose not to step out and make maximum use of the gifts and talents in your life, you will spend your days on this earth helping someone else reach his goals.  Most people let others control their destiny. Don’t allow anyone to take over the driver’s seat in your life.  Fulfil your own dreams and determine your own life’s course.”

If the above speaks to you where you are at right now, are you ready to accept Mason’s challenge? Are you prepared to discover and utilise your unique skills and abilities, your God-ordained purpose? Will you commit to developing your potential?

RESOURCE LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/Enemy-Called-Average-John-Mason/dp/089274765X

Dream Seeds: Part 2

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In my previous post, I referred to the concept of dream seeds –
pictures from our imagination hidden away in our heart.  I mentioned
how these seeds take time to germinate and required the right
conditions in order to flourish. I spoke about dreams and how they
required both patience and dogged commitment if we want to see and
enjoy their manifestation and I concluded with a challenge to
resurrect dead dreams or in the case of deferred desires, to cling to
the hope of eventual fulfilment.

Now some of you might be sighing and I wouldn’t be surprised if others
are thinking: I’ve heard this all before.  I’ve tried the
goals/time-management thing and it just doesn’t work!  If this is you,
then I suspect you have not read Donna B. Comeaux’s  article “Success is a ‘choice’ away”, as recommended in my first post.  If that  is the case, then I encourage you to read it now before going any  further.  However, if you have read it (but forgotten the message and  challenge of this thought-provoking post), then my advice to you is:  STOP making excuses – instead, make opportunities! Become a  dream-achiever.

Easier said than done?  I both agree with you and relate.  But who
said following our dreams would be easy? Experience of everyday life
with its twists and turns should prepare us for the reality, yet still
we can feel flummoxed by the task of discovering and developing our
potential. Still, we expect the process of achieving our dreams to be
easy. Why?

Is it because we’ve been brainwashed by bulletins,
deceived over documentaries and seduced with stories about businesses,
celebrities and entrepreneurs that have become an “overnight success”?
But we know better than that – right?  We know that there’s no way
these individuals got up one morning and experienced success the
following day, week or month. So if we have somehow fallen into this
make-believe trap, we need to ask ourselves: why should it be any
different for me?

I’ve realized that it takes courage to achieve your dreams.  It takes
courage because there will be obstacles. Listen to what the Brazilian
author of best-selling and internationally acclaimed book, “The
Alchemist”, has to say:

“I was struggling to establish myself as a writer and to follow my
path despite all the voices telling me it was impossible.  And little
by little, my dream was becoming reality. Ten, a hundred, a thousand,
a million copies sold in America.

…The book has been translated into fifty-six languages, has sold more
than twenty million copies, and people are beginning to ask: What’s
the secret behind such a huge success?

The only honest response is: I don’t know.  All I know is that, like
Santiaga the shepherd boy [protagonist] we all need to be aware of our
personal calling.  What is a personal calling? It is God’s blessing.
It is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. […] However, we
don’t all have the courage to confront our dream.” Paolo Coelho

So there we have it. One dream-achiever’s frank account of his journey
towards success – a journey that required him to overcome overwhelming
obstacles of self-doubt, personal struggles, nay-sayers and
dream-slayers, until eventually the arduous terrain altered and he
found himself on ‘Success Street’.

In “Forgetting Your Past – Turn Your Pain Into Purpose”, Bob Gass says:
“The greatest tragedy that could happen to you would be to grow old
and know that somewhere along the way you’d lost yourself, and never
succeeded at being who God called you to be.”

Another writer believes that a wealth of dreams and unfulfilled potential lies forever lost within burial grounds. The late Myles Munroe, author of “Understanding Your Potential”, mourned the loss of untapped resources within individuals, which result in aimless lives, haphazard decisions and the tragedy of what should have been.

Do you regret wasted years and lost opportunities? Then ask your
Heavenly Father, to redeem the time that you have left here on earth.
He is capable of making you super-productive… of accelerating your
progress.

Remember Joseph? His dreams of power and prestige seemed
ridiculous, even impossible when he was sold into slavery and later
imprisoned but he continued to hone his abilities, working for and
serving others with diligence.  At God’s appointed season, Joseph was
promoted to the position of Pharaoh’s right-hand man – his dreams came
true!

Oprah Winfrey is credited as having said: “The biggest adventure you
can take is to live the life of your dreams.”  My question and
challenge to you is: will you? Will you leave the security of your
comfort zone and embark on that adventure? Will you tap into your
potential? Will you follow your dream?

Congratulations to those of you who have already discovered your
God-given purpose and are fulfilling your dreams  – keep going, keep
achieving! For those of us who may be struggling to find that path,
I’ll leave you with this final thought by Janet Autherine, author of “Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters”:

“Greatness is finding your natural talent, fuelling it with passion,
planting it in well-nourished soil, and toiling in the garden until it
breaks through the earth and reaches for the stars.”

RESOURCE LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Alchemist-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0061122416
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alchemist-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0061233846
http://www.amazon.com/Forgetting-Your-Past-Turn-Purpose/dp/0882708171
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgetting-Your-Past-Bob-Gass/dp/0882708171
http://www.amazon.com/understanding-your-potential-discovering-hidden/dp/156043046X

Dream Seeds: Part 1

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About to get married in a few months’ time I was worried, really concerned. You see I did not consider myself to be much of a talker. I had a strict upbringing and grew up at a time when children were “seen but not heard”.  So I was used to keeping myself to myself, keeping my opinions locked away in my heart.  Now that I was about to acquire a husband and fully expected to be with him until death do us part, I was afraid that I would not know what to say to him.  I was afraid that the demise bit referred to above, would come sooner rather than later – since my non-existent conversational skills would surely bore him to death!

As it happens, I need not have worried. More than two decades later, my husband chides me for interrupting him when he speaks and for anticipating (wrongly) what he is about to say, then finishing off his sentences. And I suspect he secretly despairs about my tendency to become extremely chatty at bedtime when all he wants to do is slip away peacefully to the land of nod.

Now as I embark on this new journey into the blogosphere, I feel some trepidation. Will I make it? Will my potential readership want to know or even care about what I have to say? Will my dream of entertaining, influencing and inspiring others through my writing come to pass, or will it bite the dust? Only time will tell.

Despite my trepidation, I’ll admit I’m also quite excited.  To see one of my dreams take shape and become a reality after years and years of yearning… thinking… procrastinating… being side-tracked… more procrastination… forsaking… dream-retrieving… then finally doing – is beyond awesome.

So why did it take me so long? Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington believes: “dreams without goals are just dreams and they will ultimately fuel disappointment!” Okay.  I agree.  I not only agree, I can even testify that I made goals (very often the same goals) year after year, after year. Maybe there are some of you out there who can relate.

Well, Dan Rockwell (blog owner of Leadership Freak) explains that making long-term goals give us direction, whilst setting short-term goals spur action.  He further advises: “deadlines turn dreams into reality”.  My failure to set and commit to a timescale was a significant (but not the only) factor that immobilised me.

In his book Dream Seeds, author and motivational speaker, Dr Mike Murdock, refers to “pictures of possibilities” hidden away in our imagination and he further goes on to describe these pictures as “dream seeds”.  We don’t have to be an expert gardener, or farmer to know that a seed once buried in the earth remains invisible and takes some time to germinate.  Before the desired result is achieved (crop, flower or plant), there is a necessary process. And all the while, this process requires the right conditions in order for the seed to flourish.  Is it any wonder then that in the midst of everyday life with its demands and disappointments, its trials and traumas, its ups and downs, the majority of our dream seeds result in crop failure?

Do you have a dream, or have you allowed people, circumstances, even your own self to abort, or uproot it? If you have a dream but you are struggling to keep it alive, don’t be weary – take heart. It may seem like trite counsel but historical evidence from people such as Thomas Edison, has proven the truth of a well-known proverb: “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”

Life coach and author, Jason Harvey asks: “Are you just “showing up” in your life or are you taking an active role in guiding it to reach your full potential and dreams?” If your response to Harvey’s question is to make a bunch of excuses, I implore you to read Donna B. Comeaux’s excellent article: Success is a “choice” away (see link below). There’s just no way after reading this post that you could come away still feeling your excuses are justified.

Yes, dreams are notoriously difficult to translate from the sphere of our imagination into the realm of reality but not impossible. It takes planning, persistence and much perspiration. Perhaps you are someone who has given up on your dream. Whether big or small, why not make the decision now to recapture that abandoned desire or aspiration?

Meanwhile, in a bid to both encourage and spur into action, I close with the following words by American poet and playwright, Langston Hughes:

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

SEED THOUGHT:   Dreams require goals with deadlines

SELAH (pause & consider):  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)

SELF SCRUTINY:   Are you burying a talent or planting a dream seed?

What small step will you take this week towards achieving one of your goals?

RESOURCE LINKS:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dream-Seeds-Mike-Murdock/dp/156394149X http://www.amazon.co.uk/Achieve-Anything-Just-One-Year/dp/0981363903 http://awriterfirst.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/success-is-a-choice-away/