Monday, January 5, 2015

And They Are Off ....

Hugh Rowe is a speaker and author of "Joseph's Memoirs: Life Lessons For a Successful You"  

     It's 2015 and the resolutions which were made are (or should be) in high gear.  By tomorrow, more than half of those resolutions will be forgotten.  Like the paper some of them were written on, they will end up in the trash and the dreamers will return to their normal routine.  A few will stick to their plans and will succeed.  Why will the few succeed and the majority fail?  Those who succeed planned to and those who fail planned for this as well.
     Success in any endeavor takes planning.  We all know this, however, only a few take this phase serious enough to do it.  Success also includes failure.  Planning to overcome failure is a key component to succeeding at any task and tends to be overlooked.  Those who overcame failure, held their feet to the fire and were determined to keep on keeping on.  We see their successes and most time say how lucky they are.
     Some time ago I was reading about ordinary people who became famous because they did not allow failures and what others think of them to prevent them from reaching their goal.  People such as Michael Jordan, who was cut from his high school's varsity basketball team (hard to believe), Harland Sanders was turned down by more than 1000 restaurants when he pitched them his secret (KFC) recipe. One of my all time favorites is John D. Rockefeller, who was sidelined numerous times when he sought venturing in the business arena.  Constantly he had to keep borrowing money to stay afloat in his numerous ventures before making it in the oil business.
     Today we admire these individuals but continue to choose the path of least resistance.  Jesus encourages us in Matthew 7:13 to, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."  Though Jesus was making reference to eternal damnation, one may equate this to abnormal levels of diseases that are rampant in today's society as a result of high levels of stress.  An increasing number of deaths attributed to heart attacks and high blood pressure are the results of stress and not micro-organisms.
     Recent studies have shown that we live in a era where most diseases are preventable.  With proper diet and exercise we could live longer, happier lives.  The problem is we lack discipline.  We wish to live as we want, eat as we like and and be rewarded the right way.  Life isn't like that.  Somewhere along the line we have to 'pay the consequences or reap the rewards for our actions'.
     As you embark on your journey through 2015, are you continuing to do what you have always done over the years and expecting a different result?  Einstein called this 'insanity'.  If you haven't yet done so; stop for a moment and grab a pen and a sheet of paper and begin your reflection.  Do this daily and make this your journal.  Ask yourself the important questions such as, "where am I heading in life? Why am I heading in that direction.  Is that the direction that is best for me?
      Take the time to answer these questions.  If you are at a crossroads and you are wondering which way to go, remember the words of Jesus.  I also added those of poet, Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both ....... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
    Have a great 2015!