Monday, February 18, 2013

Here's to Your Success

Do you feel successful?

To answer that we need to know what success means to our individual life.

Off the top of my head, my answer is: I'd like to know I follow the plans God has for me and that I'm pleasing Him along the way. I'd like to use fiction writing and my interest in natural things to generate income. I'd like to earn enough money so that my husband and I could travel and visit family on a regular basis. I'd also like to be involved in our local community.

What does success look like to you?

Discovering your deepest, most valued goals takes time, time to think, ponder and pray. Here's where we Americans lock ourselves in a "no-success" closet. We rush through our day trying to check off as many things from our to-do list as possible. We rush through our meals, wishing food could be faster, then run to our evening activities. Finally we plop into bed and set the alarm to begin again.

If we don't schedule quiet time for prayer, meditation and just plain thinking, we'll never discover our real goals. Without this quiet time, we can't create either. It takes time to develop new ideas.

Try this exercise: Find a quiet place in the house where you won't be disturbed for at least 20 minutes. Sit comfortably. Breath slowly, allowing your breath to go deep into your abdomen. Think about the sounds around you for a moment. Now block out those sounds and think about your breath, slow and deep. Next focus your thoughts on an aspect of God's character, or on an idea you'd like to develop. Ask God to bless your thoughts and give you insight. Don't push your mind to hurry and come up with all the answers. Just relax. Breath. Ponder.

Once you decide what you really want, then you must make judgements about every opportunity that comes your way. This means saying "No." That one little word will enable your success more than any other single word or act. Read the last two sentences again. . . Ponder that!

You have to say "No" to everything that does not directly or indirectly feed your goals.

Another thing that increases creativity and productivity is allowing time for the basic necessities of life. We need to schedule time in our day to brush our teeth, bathe, clean house, organize our papers, pay the bills, check our emails, etc. (Be careful not to get sucked into Google search-land while on the computer. #1 Time-waster). These are the things that can bog us down and halt our creativity and thought life if we let them get out of control. And please don't forget sleep, water, and proper nutrition. Without these our brain doesn't function at optimal capacity.

It really is okay to take care of yourself.

So, to sum up:
1. Schedule time to pray and think. Use breathing exercises to help you relax and focus.
2. Decide on your goals
3. Say "No" to those things that don't fit in with your goals.
4. Keep up on the basics: neatness, cleanliness, exercise, drinking water, eating healthy food and sleeping.

Success isn't the biggest house with the most/best stuff in it. Success ins't working 60+ hours a week or even having the most prestigious title at the company. Success is accomplishing your own personal goals, while maintaining good relationships with those you love (first of all God), and enjoying good health along the way.

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