Tag Archives: tenacity

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.

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Don’t You Flinch in Your Moment of Truth

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          In school, we played a card game called “knuckles”.  I don’t know if you ever played it, but the object was whoever lost the hand would have their knuckles struck with entire deck of cards.  The object was to try to get the person who lost to flinch when you went to hit his knuckles.  If he flinched, the edge of the cards would cut his knuckles but if he didn’t flinch, he would just absorb the blow.  If the boy flinched, we would call him scared.  And from that point on, we would torment him until he learned not to flinch under the threat of danger.

          I remember as a soldier standing in line to receive my immunizations.  Each moment I got closer to the medic who held that needle which would penetrate my skin, my heart rate increased, my skin sweated profusely, and the only thing the medic told me when I was next was don’t you flinch.  He said, if you flinch the needle may scar your arm and give you a wound for which you will need treatment.  I stood there afraid, but I didn’t flinch.

           Flinching is shirking back in the face of danger, suddenly, you move off your position, you take down your guard, and you yield to the okie doke.  Flinching occurs when you’re unsure of your calling, your purpose, and your ability to do what you set out to do.  If someone or some circumstance lurched at you, would you flinch?  Or would you stand still and remain confident of your ability to be successful.

            Flinching occurs when your fear is greater than your resolve. But when you know that you know that what you are standing for is justice and righteousness you must not flinch.  Friends may not understand you or your mission.  They may even believe that doing you harm will do God service, but you must not flinch. Flinching shows a lack of confidence in your stated calling and a lack of courage to persist until you succeed.  If you flinch in front of your enemies, they will bully you and cause you to back down.

              In the movie “What’s love got to do with it,” Tina sits in her dressing room, about to start a new life.  Ike enters out of nowhere, shows up brandishing a revolver, and sits it on her dresser.  He asks “what you going to do now Annie Mae?”  She just sits in the mirror, she didn’t flinch, neither did she panic.  You could see the look in her eyes that regardless what Ike did, she was determined to maintain her resolve.  She told Ike people were in the audience waiting to see her perform.  She told him he could do what he wanted with his gun, even shoot her, but she was moving forward.  She had made up her mind to begin a new life and his threat of bodily harm would not stop her.  She got up from her desk, walked past Ike and went on to do a wonderful performance of “What’s love got to do with it.”  Tina Turner stood her ground and when threatened she did not flinch.  Her resolve was stronger than her fear and she won the victory. 

          You should do no less; don’t you flinch!  It’s your season; it’s your time!

You Can Handle It!

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”              (1 Corinthians 10:13)

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Life’s difficulties are proportionate to what we can handle.  Getting laid off from your job may seem overwhelming, but you can handle it.  Losing your baby at an early age or at birth may throw you into a fiery furnace of turmoil and pain, but you can handle it.  Being abused by your husband or disrespected by your wife resembles being tossed to and fro by angry waves and fierce winds which propel a hurricane, but you can handle it.  You may have insufficient funds to pay your bills and creditors are threatening or have already come and repossessed what they loaned you, but you can handle it.  That’s right, Life’s difficulties are proportionate to what we can handle.

In other words, whatever you’re going through, God has already worked out a plan for you to be able to handle it.  That’s why you need not turn to the left hand or to the right hand in search of resolution of your various trials and tribulations.  That’s why you need not toss in the middle of the night frustrated and wondering how you’re going to make it.  The answer to your dilemma is found within you, and all you need do is pray and fast and allow the Holy Spirit to show you the way that God has already made for you to be able to bear up under the weight of that burden until the door is opened for your exit.  Is that not why the old folks in the heat of the day exclaim, “I’m so glad that trouble don’t last always.”  Hallelujah!

Do It One More Day……Until It Clicks

 

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“It’s always too early to quit.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Woke up this morning with quitting on my mind.  Reached for my Samsung Galaxy S4 to do my social media postings and ran across this quote.  Talk about adrenaline rush; I lay there thinking about what Norman Peale meant and concluded a person has to keep pressing on despite those days when it seems useless to keep at it.  Success, wealth, fame, or name recognition are things that come through a person being excellent.  However, what Peale was telling me was that those persons had to go through days where the possibilities seemed hopeless.  Peale was referring to persistence and perserverance role’s in dream fulfillment.

Dale Carnegie tells the story of a man who bought a gold mine; found some gold and convinced relatives and friends to invest in the gold mine.  He drilled and drilled but hit a fault line that made it appear they had obtained all the resources that mine had to offer.  He sold his equipment, the mine and everything associated with it to a poor, common man whose only attribute was vision and common sense.  That common man immediately hired an expert in mining who explained what fault lines were and calculated where the man should begin to dig.  And you guessed it; 3 feet down from where the other man had quit, this man hit a gusher.  Millions more dollars in gold came from that gold mine.  

When you hit a blockage and you don’t know why; ask someone for help who knows what to do.  Always be teachable and invite others to help you with your dream.  Don’t give up on your dreams, your goals because you think it won’t work.  My father used to tell me, “Son, It only costs a nickel more to go first class.”  So, when you wake up with that quitting feeling, “do it one more day, enlist help, and keep doing it one day at a time until it clicks, until you reach your destination.

It’s your time to soar because you deserve the life you dream!  

Prayer and Corresponding Action

She came home to be caregiver to her dying mother. Her four children came with her. She quit her job with as a para professional and relocated. For almost two years she was unemployed but the Lord provided. Then her mother died and when the insurance money ran out she only had God to sustain her and her children.

She had a B.S. in Business degree as well as an Associates but she could find no job. The school board in her area wasn’t hiring. Only temp agencies were used by employers. For two years she searched, went on interviews praying and fasting for her breakthrough. This last time the interviewer promised she was hired. But the devil would not let her blessing through.

But she knew what to do; she decided to trouble her trouble. She read this text and decided spiritual warfare was appropriate. Daniel 10:11-13: “The man said to me, “Daniel, you are highly respected. Pay attention to my words. Stand up, because I’ve been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, trembling. He told me, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. God has heard everything that you said ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in front of your God so that you could learn to understand things. I have come in response to your prayer. The commander of the Persian kingdom opposed me for 21 days. But then Michael, one of the chief commanders, came to help me because I was left alone with the kings of Persia.”

Her plan was simple. Be persistent; this job would meet her family needs. The temp agency held up her job based on a background check they claimed had not been processed (this proved to be dishonest). She called each morning and afternoon. She did research to find the company performing the background check. She called her interviewer. She was persistent and God used an angel on the inside who first told her about the job to help. It took 30 days but her breakthrough came and she went to work. Persistence is the key to your breakthrough! Faith works when you work your faith. Hallelujah!