Monday, November 16, 2015

A Step In The Process

A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good. Luke 6:45

     We develop our muscles through exercise.  When our muscles encounter resistance they become stronger.  To build our muscle we increase resistance with time.  To boost our moral we scream, yell and make all sort of noise to get over that hump during our workout sessions.  When we are done we leave the session proudly, looking back at it as an accomplishment.  Though we are unable to see the difference that moment in our bodies, we are able to feel it.
     The Bible tells us that we become stronger spiritually through constant exercise using the muscles of our minds.  Often our daily challenges come in the form of suffering and affliction.  It is often said it is not what happens to us in life that determines who were are but it is how we interpret and react to it that makes the difference.
     Our reactions to life's event can be tailored by how we have used our 'mental muscles' in the past.  If you are being chased by someone (friendly or otherwise) after a few minutes of running you will find yourself out of breath.  If you are a long distance runner, you can travel long distances before running out of breath.  In both instances, your mind pulls on the resources that it has stored based on past experiences to facilitate the current situation and sends these messages to the various muscles and organs of the body.
     We exercise our mental muscles by reading and learning from the experiences of others.  Those who study the bible and make it a habit to live a life that reflects Christ will intentional rely on those experiences to react in ways that reflect Him when trials and suffering come their way.  The disciples of Christ often rejoiced when they were beaten and ridiculed as they count it as joy to have this experience because of their faith in their Lord.  We often see young basketball players practice the moves of their favorite player when they practice.  They practice for extended periods until they get it right.  They can be trained, if they wanted to; to do likewise for the Lord.
     Daily, make it a habit to go into your mental gym for a work-out of the mind.  Put aside thirty minutes per day for this routine.  They say success is eighty (80) per cent mental and twenty (20) per cent physical.  To accomplish anything, you have to accomplish the task in your mind first before accomplishing it physically.
     Pay attention to what you feed your mind.  In the same way we should be mindful of what we put into bodies, we should also be mindful of what we feed our minds.  The word of God (The Bible) is highly recommended along with other books that are also high in mental protein for example Joseph's Memoirs: Life Lessons for a Successful you.
     Find a workout partner so you will be more motivated to accomplish the task.  People who work out with others tend to accomplish more than those who don't.  They hold themselves and each other accountable.
     Document and review your accomplishments.  Your mind tends to forget things at times so learn to document your journey.  So we can relate and reflect on the failures and successes of others, God ensured that the life struggles and victories of His most prolific children are documented for our benefit.   

Monday, November 2, 2015

Don't Wait Until December

The end of the year is only a few weeks away and many people are waiting until the final days, or hours of December to begin planning for the New Year.  Like all the others times this will lead to failure in the New Year.  Why is failure for most people a tradition?  You have heard the cliché many times, 'He who fails to plan, plans to fail'.  Though we know this statement is true we still procrastinate with planning and end up failing. 

The best way to succeed is to begin planning early.

Most people make weak plans to comfort themselves and will end up failing just as miserably as those who didn't bother to plan at all.  Sometimes we take it for granted that we know what to do where planning our lives are concerned.  If this was true, we would be doing better than we are currently doing.  To help you in the planning phases I have copied an article from Success Magazine which I think you may find helpful.  It's a summary of the steps needed to make a lasting change from Tory Johnson's new book, Shift for Good: Simple Changes for Lasting Joy Inside and Out

Step 1: How fed up are you, really?

In other words, are you finally sick of the way things are now? When you’re at the point where the pain of the present outweighs the pain and sacrifice that change demands, you’re ready to shift.

Step 2: What are you willing to give up?

Big change requires big sacrifice. There’s no way around it. If you want to shift for good, nothing can be more important than tackling your goal. You must be willing to give up things that are near and dear to you, including certain behaviors, to succeed. You must be ready to commit fully—be willing to accept the shift as an all-or-nothing deal, as hard as it sounds. The process is hard but becomes easier to live with over time.

Step 3: What’s your plan?

There’s no winging it if you’re serious about making a significant life change. You need to establish clear, concise rules in order to eliminate ambiguity. Make a simple plan for how you’re going to take on your issue.

Step 4: What’s your daily accountability?

It’s easy to slip up when nobody’s looking. It’s also possible to fool yourself into thinking that you’re on track when you’re not. Take a moment to review each day to see which emotions and attitudes reigned: calm or panic, happiness or anger, joy or joyless. If you consistently practice the action steps you outlined in your plan, you’ll see and feel results. Progress begets progress, which makes daily accountability important.

Step 5: How will you develop patience and celebrate your victories?

It’s hard to go from panic to perfect overnight, no matter how much we want it to work that way. A journey toward wholeness takes time. To stay motivated, celebrate teeny victories with rewards that won’t derail your success.

- See more at: