Tag Archives: success

How to Harness the Power of the Routine

I am a free spirit; I am spontaneous; I hate structure that locks me down to doing the same old thing in the same old way.  Therefore, I don’t always finish what I start.  Sometimes in fact, I have too many things going on at once because I am a sucker for variety and excitement.  I like the thrill of the chase but not necessarily catching what I’m chasing.  I have dreams, ideas aplenty, but when the rubber meets the road, I end up without anything to show for my efforts.  I would rather be free than tied down to a particular pattern for any length of time.  Therefore, I have discovered that freedom without discipline is a curse.  I don’t do well with mundane, routine, ritualistic activities.  That is one of the weaknesses on my personal SWOT analysis.  There you have it, I admit it.

But now since I’ve been on my personal leadership development quest, I have learned the power of harnessing the routine to ensure success in any venture.  Let me just say that routines are powerful tools to ensure you remain consistent and get continuous victory in whatever path of life you choose.  Creflo Dollar teachings it this way, “Consistency is the key to your breakthrough.”  The Bible says Be Patient which means remaining consistently the same (routine) when you’re facing hardships, troubles, or trials.  Keep doing what you know is effective even when it gets monotonous, routine, ritualistic, and difficult to focus.  Your free spirit wants to flee, but you must harness your spirit, mind, and body and stay the course.  There is victory in staying the course even when your emotions are on hiatus.

The Apostle Paul warns against those who inspire others, yet after others have been inspired you refuse to do what you taught.  You refuse to practice what you preached.  He writes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

There are a lot of people who can give advice but live unstructured, undisciplined lives.  They’re not bad people, they just have not learned how to harness doing things they don’t feel like doing.  They haven’t mastered the art of staying in a system, staying on a course when things aren’t glamorous.  In other words, adversity does not cause them to become more steadfast in practicing effective principles of success, adversity causes them to flee, to switch careers, switch spouses, switch banks, switch whatever they’re doing in favor of trying something new.

Trace the lives of those with free spirits and you will find people who have a track record of not finishing what they have started.  At first it seems the things they have walked away from are limited to one area, but when you look at the totality of their lives, traces of a lack of tenacity are evident wherever they have gone.  These type of people are good motivators but bad leaders.  They are good speakers but poor administrators.  They are excellent observers but incompetent doers.  They hate detail, routine, and refuse to discipline themselves to do the hard and unflattering,  things in life.  Freedom is their curse not their blessing.  Until they harness the power of doing something systematically the same day in and day out, they will always be operating under this curse which guarantees that their success will be limited, spotted, and minimal.

And so today I want to teach those free spirits like me to harness the power of the routine so that we can reach our destiny and maintain our tenacity through boring, mundane, routine, ritualistic actions necessary for us to reach our goals.  In other words, I am teaching about how those who are daydreamers and free spirits can take full advantage of the blessings contained in self-discipline, ritual and routine.  Are you ready, let’s do this.

Routine provides structure, builds good habits, negates the need for willpower and motivation.    Willpower is finite and motivation is not constant.  That is why relying on routine to accomplish tasks is a lot easier than relying on willpower and motivation. Routine saves you work on the back end, and helps you become good at things thereby increasing your efficiency.  Systems can be improved upon and made more effective.  However, spontaneity is not subject to such scrutiny.  The power in routine is its ability, flexibility, and adaptability to environments, circumstances, and conditions.  You need to learn how to create systems, routines that serve your needs and those of the ones who depend on your service.  Harnessing systems and directing them to a definite end is a powerful tool to fulfilling your destiny.

According to Ash Roy, noted blogger, in his article for Productivity, “How 12 Highly Productive People Used The Power Of Routine To Achieve Greatness”, The secret to being a high achiever is a lot simpler than you’d imagine. It’s all about routine and focus.  He writes that Steve Jobs upon discovering his cancer asked himself one question each day, “Everyday he’d ask himself “If today was the last day of my life would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” When the answer was “no” for too many days in a row he knew he had to change something.”  This simple routine produced much added value for the customers and shareholders of the Apple Brand.  Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day; that’s his routine and it has led him to be one of the most wealthiest men and most wise investors in the world.  What is your routine.  Consistency. Routine. Habit.  That’s the key to success for so many.

I want to share five steps to mastering or harnessing the power of the routine.

First step is Brain dump time.  It is the step where you determine what you need to get done this day.  Begin by answering these questions:

  • What tasks do you need to complete each day in order to get to work?
  • Which tasks do you need to do each day to get your kids to school?
  • Which tasks do you need to do each day to eat?
  • Which errands do you need to get done daily?
  • Which tasks need to get done each done in order for you to get some exercise?
  • Which tasks do I need to get done to maintain an organized home?

Second, create a timetable by assessing your energy levels. Think about when you do your best work.  Flexibility is the key; don’t mimic anyone else; be true to your own timetable.

Third, add some flexibility for exceptions.  Your work process or schedule may not fit neatly into this, and that’s OK; the point is to harness your most productive times to use for your most challenging tasks, and your least productive times to do the more mundane tasks.

Fourth, put it all together.  Write your daily agenda.  Start with anything that has to be done at a certain time each day (like picking your kids up a school or eating lunch).  Then slot in tasks based on when you think it makes the most sense to tackle them.

Fifth, test drive your agenda.  See how it works for you and adjust where it’s not working.  Your daily agenda is your key to consistency; the key to your success.  Becoming a creature of habit is not altogether bad.  If you run a business or lead an organization, you need to have structure so people will know when to expect you to be and do certain things.  Becoming reliable is a good thing.

Developing the systems that make your routine tasks more efficient is the key to harnessing the power of the routine.  Systems create avenues and seqways to greatness; don’t delay establish routines that add value to your life and your professional career.

Becoming a Person of Influence Webinar

Please register for Learning to Become a Person of Influence on Apr 07, 2016 7:00 PM CDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8355315676922352132

Everyone influences others. You don’t have to be in a high-profile occupation to be an influencer; whenever your life connects with another person, you exert influence. Everything you do—at home, at work, or at play—has an impact on the lives around you. No matter what your goals are in life, you can achieve them faster, you can be more effective, and the contribution you make can be longer lasting if you learn to develop your influence.
People respond to one another according to their level of influence. The more influence we have, then the more people seek our advice, trust our decisions, and follow our lead. If we desire to be successful and lead the way, then we must focus on gaining influence.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Be Intentional in 2016

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No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT)

Perfection alludes me; I’ve got work to do. If 2016 is going to be different from 2015, I have to do something different. I have to be intentional about the changes I need to make if I am to be successful.

In 2016, I will be Intentional! Join me in a special webinar, January 4, 2016, 7pm and let’s talk about it. R.S.V.P. on my G+ page or on Facebook messenger!

It’s Time to move to the Next Level

Text:  Deuteronomy 2:1-3

Introduction

The children of Israel had taken 40 years to complete a journey, which should have taken only a few days.  God charged them to move into their land of promise, but they refused.  They tried to remain encamped on the top of the Mount Horeb.  And if they couldn’t stay where they were, then they decided to stay in the wilderness.  Because they rebelled against God’s opportunity due to the opposition that lay before them, they could not enter into the opulence that their land of promise afforded. 

So God decreed that the generation that started out with Moses would not enter the Promised Land; only the next generation would enjoy
This new generation had wandered in the wilderness for 40 more years watching their ancestors die without receiving the promise.  They had been receiving instructions on how to live as people of God.  God taught them how to fight in order to preserve their freedom.  God taught them how to worship in order to preserve their faith.  God taught them how to love one another and to care for one another to preserve their nation. 

Finally, God taught them how to get wealth to preserve their independence from other nations.  Never again did God intend them to become slaves.
It was time for them to move to the next level.  They had everything they needed to move.  God was with them; a skilled proven army was with them; faith was with them; unity was among them; and wealth was among them.  Nothing was missing and nothing was broken.  They were ready – destiny was upon them. 

Now, Moses stands atop that same mountain peak rehearsing the travels and journeys of God’s people throughout the last 80 years.  He challenges the next generation to move to the next level with faith in their God.

Move 1

The opportunity God presented was in front of them.  But in order to take advantage of this opportunity they would have to face opposition.  In order to get to the opulence God had decreed for them they would have to confront their enemies.  You see, beloved, when you decide to act in concert with God, God will give you an opportunity and you will have to face opposition before the opulence flows into your life.

First, let us look at the opportunity.  God gives you opportunities that belong only to you. 

What God has for you no one else can take.  Notice verse 4-12 and 17-23 [read] What God promised the children of Esau, he fulfilled.  What God promised the children of Lot, he fulfilled.  God did not allow the Israelites to possess lands he previously promised to others.  And what God promises to you, he will fulfill. 
Beloved, you serve the God of an open door.  The Bible declares, “God will open doors that no man can shut, shut doors that no man can open.” 

When you determine, to move into your destiny, God will guide your steps. In other words, your brothers and sisters in the LORD will not lose their blessing because God has chosen to move you forward.  So be not afraid, neither be dismayed.  It’s time for us to move to the next level. 
Not only that, but in your personal life it’s time for you to move to the next level.  You’ve circled this mountain long enough.  You’ve been bankrupt, distressed, and in a mess long enough. 

In short, God has granted us opportunities that we have wasted because when opposition came we bailed out instead of confronted the enemy.  It’s time for us to move to the next level.  We’ve circled these stagnant  mountains long enough.  Hallelujah!

It’s time for each of you to take advantage of the opportunities that God has provided for you.  And you don’t have to worry about getting what God has for somebody else.  God wouldn’t do that.  What God has for others will always belong to them.  But what God has for you belongs to you.  Don’t delay; don’t procrastinate; don’t hesitate; step out of your place of pain, and step into your place of peace.  It’s time for you to move to the next level.  Again, you’ve circled this mountain long enough.  Now is the time to act!

The story is told in 2 Kings 7:1-20 of a time of utter turmoil in the lives of the people of God.  Their enemies the Syrians had besieged them.  Nothing could enter and nothing could leave the city without encountering this opposition.  In due time famine set in and people were reduced to eating their own children. 

Then Elisha the prophet declared, “Hear this message from the LORD!  This is what the LORD says:  By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost only half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only half an ounce of silver.”
This was God’s way of presenting them with an opportunity.  God always sends us a message, a Word of direction, purpose, and destiny.  If you miss hearing God’s word about your situation, you miss God’s opportunity. 

Simply put, once you hear God’s word, you have to mix it with faith in order for it to benefit you.  Hebrews 4:12 reads, “God’s promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there.  For this Good News – that God has prepared a place of rest – has been announced to us just as it was to them.  But it did them no good because they didn’t believe what God told them.”
But thanks be to God there were four lepers who believed.  They heard the word and decided to take advantage of God’s opportunity.  They looked at one another and asked, “Why should we sit here waiting to die?”  They reasoned among them, “We will starve if we stay here, and we will starve if we go back into the city.  So, we might as well go out and surrender to the Syrian Army.  If they let us live, so much the better.  But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”

Someone here this morning needs to hear this Word.  You need to surrender your life to Jesus Christ.  Why keep sitting in a place of pain, misery, and anguish?  Why keep circling the same of mountain of defeat when God is presenting you an opportunity to go to the next level.  You know in your heart, just like those four lepers that you need to act.  You need to move forward.  You need to believe the word that God has sent this morning.  You will come, won’t you?  You will take advantage of God’s opportunity, won’t you?  It’s time for you to move to the next level. [Pause]

Move 2

Well, let us move on.  The Second thing you encounter when you decide to act in concert with God is opposition.  Look again at Deuteronomy 2:13-16 [read]

When God presents you with opportunity, you encounter opposition from two fronts: within and without.  The first opposition came from within their minds.  They felt inferior to the people who already lived in that land.  They felt that they were powerless, sinful, helpless people. 

Their minds could not imagine ever living among so great a people.  They could not imagine fighting these foes and being successful.  So, they talked themselves out of their own blessing.
And that’s the problem with slavery, addiction, or abuse of any kind.  It so demeans the victim until the victim begins to see themselves as their affliction.  You go from having diabetes to being a diabetic.  You go from having a drinking problem to being an alcoholic. 

In Numbers 13:33, God presented an opportunity for the first generation to enter the promised land. They responded “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants:  and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.  You can’t face opposition without boldness and confidence in who you are.  If they had not seen themselves as less than those people, then the Anakims would have seen them differently as well.  How do you see yourself compared to other people?  Because how you see yourself will actually be how others see you and treat you. 
Are you bold, confident, self-assured, full of faith in God?  Do you see yourself as wonderfully and marvelously made?  If not, now is a good time for you to see yourself as God sees you. 

In his 1994 Inaugural speech Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa quoted these words penned by Maryanne Williamson:

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
Other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

However, once you get your self-image realigned to conform to the image that God designed, you must still face external opposition.   

When you decide to act in concert with God, enemies will show up and try to beat you back into your old place.  Look at Deuteronomy 2:24-25 and 3:1-13 [read] Notice how God had destined these enemies for defeat even before the children of Israel encountered them.  I’m telling you that when you get with God you become invincible. 

The Bible declares, “God always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus our LORD.”  The Bible declares, nay, we are more than conquerors through Christ which loves us.”  The Bible declares, “No weapons formed against us shall be able to prosper.”  When God gives you an opportunity, he also prepares your opposition for defeat.  Just like it’s time for you to move to the next level, it’s also time for your opposition to move to another level.  And that level is to move out of your way or face God as their adversary. Gardner Taylor, would tell his enemies “your arms are too short to box with God!”

We must face our enemies.  We cannot hide, sidestep, or dodge them.  We must confront them.  We must let them know our purpose!  We must announce our objectives!  We must send word that we are moving to the next level.  Hallelujah! 
And we must let our enemies know that we are ready to fight for the souls of our children.  Let the weak and the faint of heart stay at home and watch the house.  But, let the young of heart, the bold, and the fearless arm themselves for battle.  It’s time for us to move to the next level.  It’s time to take this church out of neutral and put it into drive so we can win souls for Jesus Christ! 

Let us challenge ourselves to go further than we have ever been to announce the kingdom of Christ.  God has promised:  “Fear him not:  for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand.”
Paul faced opposition with every opportunity.  He said in 1 Corinthians 16:9, “For there is a wide-open door for a great work here, and many people are responding.  But there are many who oppose me.” 

Beloved, with every opportunity, there will be those who oppose you, but keep on moving.
Your mind may tell you to turn around, but keep on moving.  You may begin to get cold feet, but keep on moving.  You may be ostracized and criticized, but keep on moving.  Your friends may walk away, but keep on moving.  Your friends may even become your enemies, but keep on moving.  You may not understand where you’re going, but since you know that where you were was misery, pain, and despair, keep on moving.  Keep on moving.  Don’t let opposition spoil your opportunity because you’re on your way to opulence, which is the plan of God for your life and this church.

Move 3

Finally, when you decide to act in concert with God, you encounter opulence. Opulence means “wealth, riches, sumptuousness, prosperity, lavishness, and luxury.  When God presents an opportunity, don’t despair the opposition because when you take advantage of God’s opportunity it leads to opulence.  God desires to bless his children more than they could ever imagine.  The purpose of the opportunity is to open up channels for more people to experience the blessings of God through your hands.  The act of accepting God’s opportunity ensures that your life will abound with blessings. 

The Bible declares, “The blessings of the LORD they maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it.”  The bible declares, “Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above anything we could ever ask or think.”  The Bible declares, “The LORD has increase on his mind.  He is always thinking about you.  He wants to bless you more and more.”  But you have to overcome opposition and stand your ground as you pursue the opportunities that God places in your path.

Beloved, God wants to do exceedingly more with this church than he has ever done before.  “Eyes have not seen, neither has ear heard, what good things the LORD has prepared for those who love him.”  It’s time for us to move to the next level.  We’ve circled the mountain of average, and mediocrity long enough.  It’s time to move into the area of excellence.  It’s time to get motivated, fired up, and charged up to be used by God to bless somebody else.  It’s time for us to go higher as a resource in this community.  We have to rid ourselves of the status quo and begin to do things differently.  We need to explore the opportunities regardless of the opposition.  Amen.

The story is told in Luke 5:1-10 of some anglers who had fished all night long and captured nothing.  Finally, after hours of exhaustive work with no results they began to clean their nets and prepare to accept defeat and go home.  But then Jesus showed up and asked them to allow him to use their boats to minister to the crowds.  After they had served the LORD, he wanted to bless them.  He told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat opposite from where they had toiled all night.  They almost missed this opportunity.  They were tired, exhausted, and frustrated.  The majority did not want to do it.  But thank God, Peter was willing to try it.  Peter was willing to say as their leader, let’s at least try it his way.  And when they did they caught so many fish, they were living in opulence.  This one catch done God’s way made them rich beyond their wildest dreams.  Their opulence was such that they had to enlist others to come help them put the fish in their boats.  They had more than enough.  This was a testimony that God had been with them and many other lives were impacted through their knowledge and belief in God.  God used this opportunity, though fraught with opposition, to bless them and those engaged in the fishing business with them. They were a changed people, changing the world.

Beloved, don’t be afraid to trust God’s word.  He is telling us that it is time for us to move to the next level.  I challenge you to excel in whatever you do for the LORD.  When God presents an opportunity for you to minister to someone else, take full advantage of it.  Embrace all the opposition as challenges and keep on moving.  You will experience walking in your wealthy place.  Oh, the joy of leaving poverty, sickness and despair behind.  Oh, the joy of experiencing true love and friendship.  Oh, the joy of not having to repeat mistakes from the past because you did what you needed to do to learn from your mistakes.  Now everyday in everyway your life is getting better and better. 

Beloved, you’ve circled these mountains of defeat long enough, turn north.  Turn toward God through Jesus Christ and allow him to change your entire life.  Decide that you are going to work in concert with God and not against God.  Determine that from now on you refuse to serve the world, your own selfish aims, and the devil.  Resolve to embrace God’s way and God’s word.  Resolve that you’re going to seize God-given opportunities, overcome opposition, and enjoy opulence as you serve the Lord.  Then and only then will you reach your promised land.

A Servant’s Heart

“When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.”

Be wary of ambition for the world’s applause is deceitful and deceptive.  Seek to serve not to rule for pride comes in ruling. However, serving produces love.

Awards stir the flames of pride. Jesus taught us to put out those flames.  He said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty” (Luke 17:10).

Money, fame, power tempt our hearts to take confidence in our abilities and if left unchecked, pride will follow.  Service, on the other hand breeds love for humanity and births a sense of gratitude for life.

“If you want to be great, serve; anyone can be great because anyone can serve,” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). Wisdom comes from service because by serving others you enter into their collective experiences. You learn how to overcome challenges and how to have patience through difficulty.

Be wary of ambition for the world’s applause is deceitful and deceptive. Seek to serve!

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Things are never as bad as they seem!

Things are never as bad as they seem. Challenges always first appear overwhelming. Even if challenges come in as ferocious as a hurricane or tsunami, still challenges are not as bad as they seem. Now this is the testimony of the person who believes in God. Things are not as bad as they seem because we have a God who is accessible to us through prayer.

Jehoshaphat discovered this to be true when he was challenged with being overthrown by his enemies. Not just one enemy but a coalition of the sons of Lot came against him. Their armies outnumbered and were better equipped than those of Judah. But Jehoshaphat remembered the power of prayer.

Listen to this snippet of his discourse with God: “If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you— for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.” And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:9-12 ESV)

Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” That’s the strength of the believer, our eyes are watching God in times of challenge and distress. Because our faith is in our God and not our selves we have unseen resources working on our behalf. God answers prayer and God intervenes in human affairs. That encourages me in discouraging situations. I hope and trust that you too will keep your eyes on God when challenges arise in your life. Remember, things are not as bad as they seem. You have a God waiting to help you when you call. Amen.

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A Rare Jewel

A jewel in its natural state appears worthless; its value hidden underneath layers of hard, calloused material. It has to be cultivated with care and appreciation for the hidden value within. The person who cultivates the jewel must have a vision and purpose for the finished product. That person must commit to the time, patience, and passion required to unearth the its value for all to see.

The Bible reads: “Whosoever finds a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

The word “finds” is used in the same sense of a person seeking a jewel. A true wife is a rare jewel, cultivated by her husband. When the husband first sees his wife she may not look valuable to others, but that husband sees her through spiritual eyes. He has a vision of her future as related to his own. He has purpose for her related to the vision God has given him.

A man cannot be so shallow as to marry a pretty face, a nice body, or even a cultured woman. External beauty fades and culture is related to the environment. A man should marry the woman whose inner beauty and strength, once cultivated, fits his purpose.

When a man marries “a help meet suitable” for the vision that possesses him, God will favor him and bless the family. That marriage will be strong because it will be based on a God given vision and purpose that is eternal.

Single men pray for God’s vision for your life, pursue that because your wife is along that path. Single women develop your gifts and remain flexible as you serve God in this world. If you want a husband and you’re doing God’s will, he’s coming. Let him find you pleasing the Lord for that is a sure sign you can please him.