Just like your physical heart has four chambers Andy Stanley wants you to see that your immaterial heart has four enemies. Your immaterial heart is the core of your identity. It directs your behavior, your thoughts, your emotions, your consciousness and your will. Your heart is the essence of you that can work for evil or for good.
Relationship problems. Financial problems. Health problems: they all come from your heart. And if your heart is unhealthy, it threatens everything else – your family, friends, finances, career – everything. How do you keep your heart on track?
When the wisest man in the history of the world, King Solomon, summing up all he had learned for his son to know; he said…
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Invest in learning how to think and not just what to think. Consider new ideas and change your future prospects. That’s what millionaires do, they share an approach to the future that highlights possibilities and outcomes that others ignore.
How many young people do you know that are at the stage of making a career choice? One very important factor in vocation is compensation.
“After studying millionaires for more than 20 years, I have concluded that if you make one major decision correctly, you can become economically productive. If you are creative enough to select the ideal vocation you can win, win big time. The really brilliant millionaires are those who selected a vocation that they love – one that has few competitors and generates high profits.”
90% of deca millionaires graduated from college, but view themselves as average academically; however, vocational choice made the biggest difference for most of them!
Have you hung up on one of THOSE phone calls lately? You know the kind I mean, the ones that ring at exactly the moment you are sitting down for dinner. Regardless of the organization, these calls are all in the same category; SALES. But did you know you are not that far off being one of THOSE callers.
Author and trend identifier, Daniel Pink notes in his book To Sell Is Human,
“Like it or not we are all in sales now.”
Your platform may be the boardroom, a pulpit or even sitting around the kitchen table. Communicating with clarity and making a difference are your goals. We all know lives can be transformed by our ability to communicate. But where do you learn this skill? If you don’t learn at home or in school, where do you learn to overcome the fear of public speaking? How do you gain confidence to communicate ideas and faith?
The Bible contains an important principle on this topic:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15
Plenty of research shows that curiosity and learning have health and social benefits throughout your lifetime. Learning is not isolated to age groups,educational institutions, classrooms and libraries.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Our economy has shifted from an agricultural economy, to an industrial economy to an ideas-driven economy. Great business guru, Peter Drucker, calls our generation the “knowledge economy”. Since most of us are visual learners and will spark our curiosity by learning something new through a visual medium; TED Talks are an outstanding resource for business and personal growth.
Curiosity sparks ideas! Ideas worth spreading – that’s the slogan for the TED Conference – one of the world’s most admired conferences. TED (Technology, Education, and Design) ideas are the currency of the modern knowledge worker. TED’s free 18-minute online TED Talks have over one billion views.
“What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know.…The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do…. to find the idea for which I can live and die.”
Working for success often does not bring us the fulfillment and sense of an idea worth living for, rather it leaves us wanting more. Discovering our strengths and using them to help make a difference that changes the world; that is the idea that Kierkegaard struggled to define. Where do you start to make such a big difference and capture an inner heartbeat that sets the timing for your life?
In most of the western world people have “two lives”. Our first life is the typical work life from 20 to 60 years old. Our second is the 20 to 30 extra years of life. In the developing world like Kenya, where I’ve just returned from, the average life expectancy is 45 years old. Like generations before us, they don’t have the benefit of this second stage of life.
“The 20th century is the first in which substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have real choices about how they will invest their time and talent. . . . Most people are totally unprepared for it.”
Peter Drucker, Renowned Business Expert
If we have no historical framework to base this extra time on what are we to do? How are we to find that one idea we can live and die for? With 5,000 advertising messages high jacking our attention, how are we to know if we are being effective and doing the right things?
God provides illumination, meaning, purpose and hope in his word the Bible.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
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.
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
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
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.