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
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
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.
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
Did you know as Canadians we spend 99.6% of our income on ourselves? The average donation in 2010 was $260 on the average family income of $69,860. Worse only 23% of Canadians claim a charitable donation. That means 77% claim zero. Until 11 years ago I was one of them. I’d give a $20 at church here or there. Even a $100 thinking I was generous. But until you look at your tax return you have no objective means of analyzing generosity. It’s like learning how to be rich. Learning how to be generous takes thought.
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
How are you going to make a difference.?
The Bible speaks about training in this area of our lives as the apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice Timothy:
It is required of a steward (property and money manager) that he be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
“Faithful” – What does that mean?