Learning and changing your thinking does change your life, but first hand experiences take the thinking into action. Discovering how you can use your abilities, strengths and resources for purposes outside yourself leads to life changing impact for yourself and the people you encounter along the way.
Discovering through first hand experiences has been the life-changing event that opened my eyes to the needs of the world around me and the organizations that are making an eternal difference in these needs. Through an umbrella organization called 410 Bridge, www.410bridge.com our family is planning a trip! As a development agency, based in the U.S, the people at 410 Bridge work alongside local people to transform lives and enable individuals to utilize their God-given gifts to help create sustainable change in Kenya, Haiti and Uganda.
Embracing other organizations and working together, this collaborative partnership approach seeks to address 6 key areas of need in the communities.
One of my personal coaching strategies is to begin with laying a foundation about goals. Unanimously people affirm the power of written goals yet few are able to articulate their own.
“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar
Lack of written goals surprises me. Most people know instinctively written goals would help them have a target. Yet aimless wandering leads to many unfulfilled lives led in quiet desperation.
Goal setting can change your thinking and change your life. I’ve been setting and achieving goals my whole life. Now I help others do the same. Problem is most people have never been taught how to write goals. How can that change?
Prophets generally make observations about the present and predictions about the future. Being a Christian I believe there is truth in the prophet Isaiah’s observations. Known as the “Shakespeare of the Bible” for his poetic style and rich vast vocabulary, he wrote,
“But the noble man devises noble plans; And by noble plans he stands.”
Most people are looking for the cue from others when it comes to giving. Consider some of the recent campaigns for various causes that have gone “viral” – people follow leaders in giving. But many don’t know what it means to enjoy generous living. Despite the viral campaigns that catch our attention the facts remain, tax returns show only 23% of Canadians give anything at all. Truth is generosity brings contentment. Generosity breaks the bond of materialism and discontentment.
Generosity provides meaning and purpose……that means that 77% of Canadians are discontent!
Generous living directs your focus on one goal: Be rich towards God.
Consider the clear picture Jesus portrayed in the parable of the Rich Fool.
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
‘Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’
‘But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
‘This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.’
Luke 12:16 – 21
Being generous is often overlooked as one of the greatest attributes of a human being. Achievement and status are the measures of our culture. Being truly generous involves self sacrifice and giving to make a difference. But sometimes I wonder why I should give. I wonder, will it really make a difference?
I imagine there are times where you weren’t sure why you should give either. We think it’s usually just a small amount of time or money and the world is so big, the problems and challenges so daunting. The truth is we can all make a difference.
Go to www.GenerousGiving.org to watch stories of inspiration, meaning and hope on giving. Or visit www.ilikegiving.org to watch more stories like… I Like My Dad. Or take the 3 Day Giving Experience.
Every time you read this blog I have the privilege of sharing my story with you. Starting off from humble beginnings every time I hear my own bio I wonder – is that really me? It’s always my desire that you will find something inspiring and helpful. Changed thinking changes lives!
When I finished university, I didn’t want a typical job. My dreams, ambition and high expectations resulted in a big problem – how would I make these dreams a reality? Where would I start and who would show me the way? I started a home building business but school didn’t teach me the best business practices to lead to future success.
Building the homes was the easy part….often the product you deliver is the easy part….it’s the “specialized technical information” of how to run a great business that is missing. That’s what was missing for me….specialized technical information. But how was I to acquire the skills I needed to get ahead?
Doing the right thing, for the right reason and at the right time is the sweet spot of success. Sometimes being stretched by too many tasks in life others are making the choices for me and I bet it’s the same for you. We often confuse being busy with being productive with little Margin. Accepting every opportunity, squeeze in one more commitment, one more phone call, one more email. We operate on the principle of scarcity rather than abundance and are tempted to take everything on all at once! Change your thinking and it will change your life.
In ancient times, Moses father in law Jethro was the first life coach and business consultant. Watching Moses exhausting himself judging all the Israelites, he suggested the appointment of others to handle the simpler cases and freeing Moses to judge the complex ones.
Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.
Earn, invest, and spend! Giving and being generous were not part of the conversation. A culture of consumption led me down a self absorbed road for a long time. Even though there’s been a shift towards generosity and giving in our culture, it’s a small step towards a great goal. Truth is most people don’t know how to give. That was me – 35 years old and self serving. Self examination doesn’t show us how greedy we are…..you can’t see it in the mirror.
Has anyone taught you how to be rich by giving? Society, culture, TV, advertising taught our parents to want it all and to overspend to get it. This left them with little to be generous with. Few schools teach how to give. Then fear of the future robs us of our desire to give and be generous. Often we don’t give as we value security, not only materialism, hoarding our possessions. There is often competition for Lordship in our lives between God and money.
How can you change? What’s the process?
Start with the foundation…..
Jesus himself reminds us, “…you cannot serve both God and money”.
Then consider the real security in life…..
“Therefore, do not worry about your life”
Jesus assures us we don’t have to worry about our life because God’s promised to take care of us.
……further Jesus teaches in verse 33,
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Then start praying…..
God what do you want me to do with all you’ve entrusted to me?
We talk a lot about growth in our culture. Personal growth, economic growth, population growth and more! In the church these days we use language that is sometime confusing – after all, what does it mean to have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. I just returned from a Build-Up Conference and it seems to me, we need to shed some light on this phrase.
God provides illumination in the words of Jesus in the story of the Roman centurion who demonstrated such great faith it was preserved as a model in the Bible.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
Travelling and taking a vacation is not the same. After all do great explorers set out on a vacation? Time for rest and relaxation is important but engaging in the adventure to explore the world myself has shaped me and helped me to understand God as the creator of all and His plan for me. Reading adventure books about travel as a young child from authors like South African writer Wilbur Smith inspired me early in life with the desire to explore. You too should take the time to see, smell hear and touch the fullness of life when you can. Travelling is setting out on an adventure to explore.
Jesus himself spoke these words of wisdom …
“When you were younger you went where you wanted; but when you are old someone else will lead you were you do not want to go.”
There are many I meet who wonder about travelling and seeing more…..firsthand. My advice is – GO! No excuses! It will be one of the best things you’ll ever do. It will change your thinking and your life. Don’t buy into the excuse of thinking there is nothing new to explore and watching it on the IMAX while you munch on popcorn will do!
At any age you should travel.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
Think of a word that is used in science, math, psychology, politics, religion, business, society, social media and medicine …..the purpose of the word creates understanding, context, expectations and changes outcomes…..it’s….
Between numbers, principles of matter, chemistry, business, the economy and so much more…..RELATIONSHIP is the important factor which helps us understand the world around us. How things interact with one another? How they are affected by one another? Let’s focus on people…..I am not a psychologist or an expert in human behavior but recently I came across an incredible statistic: 76 million Americans have no one to confide in. That’s 25% of the population. In a world where everyone is connected digitally, people are not connected relationally.
I was no different. Driven as an entrepreneur and businessperson, I had many friends but few people to trust with the inside story…..the truth about my life.
Eventually, there comes a point where we can all identify with having “needs”. Freud believed mans greatest need was pleasure. Victor Frankl believed it’s a pursuit of meaning and purpose. 18th century pastor Charles Spurgeon thought mans greatest need is “the willingness to know and be known”.
If relationships are so important…..on what basis can we have real relationships with God and others? Jesus’ brother James gives illumination.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:7