Category Archives: Success

How to Keep Asking When the Answer Is “No”

dont-downgradeWhen the answer is “no,” do you give up or keep going?

Rejection is one of the main sources of angst for most people. They get so caught up in their frustration with the results that they don’t see past the present moment. Instead of knocking on more doors or trying a different course of action, they dwell on feelings of defeat and continue on a downward spiral of rationalizations about why they “can’t do it.”

Let’s examine, first of all, the reasons why people give up. The following list was derived and adapted from another blog post:

Top 10 Reasons Why People Give Up

  1. “You can’t do it!” If you have been told that over and over, you begin to believe it and internalize it as though it were truth.
  1. Your life is already good enough. You don’t want to leave your comfort zone.
  1. Lack of self-confidence. You shoot yourself in the foot before anyone else does.
  1. Lack of focus. You get too easily distracted by social media, phone calls, etc. that you lose focus and forget to go after your goals.
  1. You don’t see immediate results. We live in an age of immediate gratification but real results require real persistent, consistent and diligent effort.  Long-lasting results are not produced overnight.
  1. Lack of motivation, enthusiasm and inspiration. When things slow down and are not going as smoothly as you thought, it’s tempting to lose motivation.  Remember your initial zeal and passion when you started your project.  Don’t let your fire die out but keep it going until you bring it to completion and fruition.
  1. It’s not your dream. Have you been trying to make someone else’s dream happen rather than following your own passion?
  1. You miss your comfort zone. Remember what initially prompted you to step out of your comfort zone.  Don’t live a life of stagnation and mediocrity.
  1. People think it’s a stupid idea! Don’t let other people’s opinions sway you. 
  1. You think it should be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, but the sacrifices you make will be worth it in the end.

What do we gain from giving up? Do we just chalk it up to “It was not God’s will,” or do we keep on going?

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7

Feeling depressed and alone? Afraid to move forward

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 – Emphasis on “at the proper time.” God only knows when that time will be, but the harvest will be plentiful if you don’t give up.

Imagine the harvest that nine celebs would have missed out on if they gave up too soon!  Click here to read their full biographies.  Here’s a little excerpt:

  • JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter, was on government aid and was so poor she could barely feed her baby before she got her big break
  • Stephen King lived in a trailer with his wife and they were so poor they had to borrow clothes for their wedding and they couldn’t afford a phone
  • Jim Carrey bombed his first stand-up gig but remained determined to cash in on his dream. He wrote himself a fat check and visualized his success every single day and night until he fulfilled his dream.
  • Tyler Perry was physically and sexually abused as a child, and he attempted suicide twice. In 2011, Forbes named him the highest paid man in entertainment.  Tyler is a big-time overcomer!!

Even when the odds are stacked up against you, God can still make it happen. Nothing will be impossible for you, as long as you trust in God who makes all things possible.

“With man this is impossible but not with God. All things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

#persevere #persistence #PersistencePaysOff #trustGod #NothingIsImpossible #believe #musingz4life #faith

 

Go in the Strength You Have

strengthSometimes you are not meant to have all your ducks in a row.  Being slightly unprepared or underprepared gives God a chance to work in your favor.  When Gideon was called to defeat the Midianites (Judges 7), God told him:

“You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.  Judges 7:2-3

The Advantage of Being Underprepared

I am not trying to undermine the importance of preparation.  As a professional, you have to be prepared for anything that comes your way, whether it’s in the form of giving a presentation, going to an advisory board meeting, having your report ready for your boss, getting ready to give employee evaluations, etc.  No matter your station in life, it’s important to be prepared to bring something to the table.

There are times, however, when you feel under-prepared.  This is a struggle for many perfectionists, for no amount of preparation is ever adequate enough to meet their expectations.  On the day before the big meeting with a client or the boss, you rack your brain for any contingencies you might have forgotten.  When your boss calls you to do something you’ve never done before and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, remember how God used Gideon to deliver his people from the Midianites:

  • Fear Factor – God told Gideon he had “too many people” so He wanted to disqualify any fearful men from Gideon’s army. About 22,000 left.  (Judges 7:3)
  • Water-screening Test – The 10,000 men that remained after the first screening now had to pass the second screening, and God said, “Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go” (Judges 7:4).
  • Gideon was ready with an army of men, but God whittled his army down to 300, to be exact – to fight against the Midianites and their people, who were as “thick as locusts” and whose camels “could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12)

The Appearance of Improbability Amplifies God’s Power

If there’s any occasion to feel inadequate, this would be it for Gideon.  He already felt small about himself, full of self-doubt and doubt about God’s faithfulness and power.  Throughout Judges 6, you can hear the sense of inadequacy and powerlessness coming from Gideon when you listen to the way he speaks about himself and his family.  Being a man who already felt small, imagine how he felt when God shrank his army from 32,000 men to only 300!  But God’s plan is always perfect, if you allow His ways to unfold before your trusting eyes.

Just Say the Words

Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp. Judges 7:8-9

We humans need words of affirmation.  We could be the greatest, most competent person on Earth, but we still need to know that someone else believes in us, even if those words are coming from an enemy.  God knows where to send us to hear those words, even in the strangest situation, like hearing your competitor’s feelings of fear about you rather than a friend’s encouragement and faith in you.

Go in the Strength You Have

When the angel of the Lord first approached Gideon under a tree, He commissioned him, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.  Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14)

What is God calling you to today?  Has your boss appointed you to tackle an impossible task?  Have you been given new responsibilities for which you have little or no experience?  Are you called to do something that raises the hair on your arms and causes your heart to jump out of your chest?

You are where you need to be, whether you have one duck or all of them in a row.  Do what you can, and God will handle the rest.  Don’t panic, fret or worry how you will appear to others, because at the end of the day, you’re not here to impress anyone but God.  God has placed you in this position because He, first of all, believes in you, and you have all you need to succeed for God’s glory.

#success #God #strength #trustGod #RelyonGod #musingz4life #overcome #movingforward

 

Meant for Greater Things

“Righteousness guards the man of integrity but wickedness overthrows the sinner.” Proverbs 13:6

Definition of overthrow:  “Remove forcibly from power”

Synonyms: depose, topple, oust, displace, dethrone

The definition and synonyms imply that there was a position of authority and power from which one is ousted when sin reigns in one’s life.

Jesus spoke of this authority that He gave to us (his disciples and future generations of believers):

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.Luke 10:19

We may treat sin lightly, saying to ourselves, “Oh that was just a white lie — completely harmless!” or “Who’s gonna know?” However, when we practice sins such as those  mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21, fully knowing what we’re doing yet dismissing the gravity of sin in God’s eyes (Isaiah 59:1-2), not only are we endangering ourselves eternally but we also forfeit the power we could have on earth.

Jesus promises that you could do great things — even greater things than He did:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…” John 14:12 (emphasis added)

In Christ, you have the authority to overcome evil and to help turn others to God. Why forfeit that power and jeopardize everything you have here on earth and your eternal future?

#holiness #reign #Christ #power #authority #musingz4life #righteousness #integrity

Always at the Top, Never at the Bottom

top

When Duty Calls

“The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on.”  Proverbs 16:26

Nothing motivates people more than necessity.  Some people find it natural to be ambitious, but for others, they probably would stay in their comfort zone until they need to step up to the plate.  The young pregnant teen starts thinking about her child’s future and decides to stay away from the party scene; the young dad-to-be pushes aside college education to get a job that will pay the bills and provide for his family.  The single working professional suddenly has to find a different job that will pay more because new responsibilities were thrust upon them when they have to take custody of a niece or nephew.  The divorced family man is faced with new caregiving responsibilities when his father had a sudden heart attack or his mother had an unexpected fall and broke a hip.  You find yourself in a position where you have to plan – and you have to think fast!  Life happens, and the last thing you want to do is fail.  How do you guarantee success when you’re making plans for your life?

The Way to Success

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”  Proverbs 16:3

The first scripture that comes to my mind is Proverbs 16:3.  Whatever you decide to do, or if you are clueless what to do next, pray about it and take it to God.  Include God in your planning and thinking, and get as much advice as possible.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”  Proverbs 15:22

Athletes have trainers; gym rats have personal trainers.  Executive coaching and life coaching are booming industries because everyone wants to be successful at what they do, so why not apply this same principle to spiritual training?  Make a new friend with someone at church, someone whose walk with God you highly respect.  Make it a point to meet someone who is successful professionally and spiritually, and watch how this person relies on God for everything they do.  After all, I don’t know about you, but I am a visual learner, and I learn best by watching someone model what I think is success.  Monkey see, monkey do.

 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

— Deuteronomy 28:13 (emphasis added)

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God….

12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God

17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Deuteronomy 8 (emphasis added)                                   

One important ingredient to success is to NOT forget God in the process.  God is the One whom we should strive to please.  If God is not happy with you, you may not like the results of your life.  Am I promoting works over grace?  Nope I am not.  However, the scriptures are clear that when you care enough about God to pay attention to His commands and do what pleases Him, “you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.”  When you are pleasing God, you are nurturing your relationship with Him.  In a marriage, you do things to please your spouse because you love your wife or husband.  How would this be different with God?  All the sins we commit, the “bad things” we do, hurt our relationship with God, so why do it?

29 At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.”

Deuteronomy 28:29 (emphasis added)

If Deuteronomy 28:29 is the antithesis of obedience, then that means you will be successful in everything you do.

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” Proverbs 21:31

At the end of the day, God calls the shots, and He decides whether you will be successful or not.  As long as we recognize that our ability to produce any kind of wealth comes from God, we will see how much we need Him, and hopefully this will inspire us to honor God and love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.

#success #victory #plans #musingz4life #depend #God

Not Always Forgotten

 forgotten“But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.” 

Psalm 9:18

Even the best of us feel forgotten from time to time.  Some are better than others at expressing their needs, while others keep a strong front as if they don’t need anything at all.  They appear independent and are usually the incredible caretakers whom we look up to because they get things done and are always taking care of other people’s needs.  No matter who you are, in God’s eyes we are all equal.  Everyone has some unmet need, some longing that has not yet been fulfilled, and it is this unfulfilled longing which levels the playing field for the human race regardless of their social or economic status.

For those who are used to achieving results through hard work and dedication, it can be pretty frustrating not to get what you want.  Some things are just out of reach, whether it’s the American Dream you’re striving for or that perfect soul mate who hasn’t come around in years.  What can you do?

“I have trusted the Lord without wavering.  Test me, O Lord, and try me.  Examine my heart and my mind, for your love is ever before me.”  Psalm 26:1-3

If God gave you everything every time you prayed, how does that require trust?  Psalm 9:18 promises that the needy will not always be forgotten.  If you’ve had some need or heart’s desire that has never been fulfilled, or if you have tasted the bitter fruit of disillusionment, God has not forgotten you, but He wants to see if you will be faithful to Him.  Will you waver in unbelief?  Will you react by rebelling against God and doing what you want, even if you know it’s wrong?  Are you willing to let God test your heart and examine what you’re made of?

Nothing is more trying than waiting.  But…

11 I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

I have seen strong men fall and I have seen the disadvantaged rise to the top.  Who are the winners in society?  It is those who trust in God through time and chance, the good and the bad.

26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:26

You don’t have to be rich or be married to be happy.  You don’t need multiple degrees hanging on your wall to feel validated.  I am not putting those things down; if you are well educated and wealthy, you have incredible blessings, but being blessed does not equate with happiness, for there are many rich, competent, high profile executives who are unhappy behind the mask they wear.  As Ecclesiastes 2:26 states, happiness comes from God alone, and He gives happiness to those who please Him.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

God created you to have a relationship with you.  Of course He wants to give you things that you desire; He is the “Good, Good Father” who cares for His children, but He wants you – He wants your heart, and the one recurring theme throughout the entire Bible is God’s longing for His people to trust in Him. God is the Original Source of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength.  Will you commit to trusting in God without wavering?

#TrustGod #UnwaveringTrust #NotForgotten #Musings4Life #happiness