If you are growing in any area of your life you are learning. The question is; who are you learning from? To learn anything important, I look for someone to model my life on. I look for someone who has been a success in a particular arena of life, so I can stand on their shoulders and go further faster.
Truth is we all want to make good decisions and identify with success. Having a mentor helps. The problem is how do you find a mentor?
Formal mentoring relationships are often found in the workplace, school or sports. Then there are informal ones; people who have mentored me but have no clue who I am. Through the books they’ve written, through the talks they’ve given, and through the lives they’ve led I have been changed.
Meet the greatest mentor who ever lived; the apostle Paul. He mentored a younger man named Timothy. He has some amazing, God inspired insights about what others can see in you that you can’t see in yourself.
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
1 Timothy 4:14-15
You’ve heard it before, but do you believe it? Think positively and life will be brighter. It’s the basis of starting the personal development industry.
But we’ve all been in a funk. Those positive thoughts have slipped our minds many times. Even though many of our problems can be traced back to the way we think. We seem to be able to find good reasons for our hostile thinking.
Consider the way we approach problems, whether positively or negatively, affects their outcome.
It comes down to this: change your thinking, change your life.
King Solomon said it best:
For as a man thinks in his heart so is he.
Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
Recently there has been a trend in my life, where people I meet have one basic problem – they think “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Whether they are affluent or not, they feel trapped in their life and look with envy at those who are successful, fulfilled and inspired in their lives.
Is there a gap for you? Between where you are and where you want to be? Is your income and personal success lacking?
The solution may not be in changing jobs, going back to school, or in winning the lottery, but simply in “seeing” with new eyes what you already have. I didn’t come from a wealthy family, don’t have a lot of post-secondary education nor have ever, or wish to, win the lottery. I saw opportunity all around me and went after it. Opportunities in business and in a supportive family that were unearned, unmerited favor; I attribute to gifts from God.
How does perspective on your side of the fence and the opportunities you have been given affect you?
A thought from the Bible on this:
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
In Acres of Diamonds, you can read a well known principle…..sometimes the opportunities you are looking for are right under your nose.
But it takes the right perspective. Are you brave enough to step out and look at your own opportunities in your own field? What will it take – it’s going to take planning and perspective.
One of my favorite quotes is;
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Sit with a toddler for more than a few minutes and you will discover a repeated question – “Why?” Curiosity, persistence and observation are a toddler’s key strengths. Then we “grow up” and stop asking “why” and focus on “what”. Most of us get drawn into the motions of life without thinking or inspiration. Reactive and missing a framework for understanding THE Story of life we don’t see how life matters or WHY? Where do you turn for inspiration, meaning and purpose?
For me, God provides illumination. The purpose of my life as a believer in Christ is to obey Jesus when He said,
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”
Most people in the world operate with a 1 to 1 approach to life. One hour work equals one-hour pay. Productivity is limited by the number of hours in a week. Productivity isn’t always focused and without a life plan priorities are often missed.
Successful entrepreneurs are not like most people. Never content to settle for a 1 to 1 relationship between efforts and results they achieve far higher levels of productivity. We all know someone whose productivity is outstanding.
The problem is if you’re already working as hard as you can, you’ve hit a limit on what you can produce. So how do they do it? How can you learn to increase your productivity?
Jesus provides the answer. In his first and most famous teaching metaphor, the Parable Of The Sower (Mathew 13:1-23) Jesus describes four different scenarios in which an investment, in this case seed, produced significantly different levels of productivity.
Politicians, entrepreneurs, parents and pastors – everyone you are leading is looking for you to take responsibility. When you lead others it’s your tribe that keeps you accountable. What about when you are leading your own life? How are you taking responsibility for your own personal and spiritual development? It was one of those very disruptive, pivotal, thought provoking, experiences of my life, when I considered my responsibility for my own spiritual growth. It made me think about responsibilities in a whole new way.
Responsibilities. We all have them. However, we may not all take them as seriously as we should. Wouldn’t it be great if we all took responsibility for the things we are responsible for? Our finances, health and relationships.
Everyone loves the underdog. People who begin with limited opportunity and overcome great odds. These people often could complain ‘Life’s not fair’. But, instead they choose not to make excuses, but to leverage what they have for the benefit of others.
We’ve all said ‘Life’s not fair!’ We all say it when we feel we’re comparing ourselves to people with more opportunity. But some of us learn to do the best we can with what we have. How do we learn to understand life’s apparent inequality and begin to start taking responsibility for our own life?
Can you imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t imagine? Seriously, complicated or simple our lives can be influenced by what we imagine. Strategically we call this vision. Our vision, passion and purpose are of utmost importance. Most people’s biggest deathbed regrets could have been avoided if they’d thought about vision, passion and purpose.
But what if you are doing your best? Isn’t that good enough? NO! This isn’t about effort or intentions, it’s about your vision, purpose and passions coming together to guide your efforts.
Everyone ends up somewhere. Few people end up somewhere on purpose. Many people spend their days and even lead organizations with only a sense of plodding along and not working with vision, passion and purpose. Are you ready for a change?
God through King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived provides us with truth.
Where there is no vision the people perish
Proverbs 29:18 KJV
It’s time to get personal and share with you some of my journey to redirecting my own story. Wondering about how to make a difference? Want to redirect your journey?
In Finding Your Purpose, by Regi Campbell, an eBook on his blog Radical Mentoring there is a simple analogy; “if your life is a dollar bill, what are you spending it on?’ The average person meets over 10,000 people during their lifetime. That’s 10,000 opportunities! It’s often small things that are done that accumulate to a big difference. Don’t overlook the little things!
Young or old, we all wonder if our life is going to make a difference? We all want to find purpose in life and make our lives count for something. But how do we find out where to invest our time and our money? It’s not enough for us to do our best. We need to figure out God’s plan for our lives and THEN do our best. But where do you turn to for insight?
God through the apostle Paul provides illumination
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Some stereotypes are almost impossible to escape. Think of all the sales industries that try to come up with names for their employees that mask their true identity! Executive consultants, advisors, experience managers, development directors…..the list goes on. A tacky suit and a pushy approach are usually equated with sales and regardless of venue we all push back against the idea that we are being “sold” something.
In reality one in four of us are in sales or service industries. But so are the other three.
Whether we send email, sell something on eBay, pitch ideas to coworkers, are entrepreneurs enticing investors, or parents and teachers encouraging children to study, we spend up to forty percent of our days persuading others. Almost everyone is engaged in “non-sales selling.” As a result, we wrestle with the tension between selfish “selling” versus selflessly serving others.
Being a Christian I think there’s a basis for understanding this problem. Peter, who hung out with Jesus, provides illumination.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10