Fame or perceived success – it all comes from group think.
Earlier this week the music industry celebrated the 59th Grammy Awards. There were many dynamic performances, but the one that caught my attention and many others was Chance the Rapper. What impacted me the most was the fact that he was willing to use a secular platform to boldly proclaim his faith. And while many people are celebrating his rise in the industry, I also wonder how many people,though, have whittled down his elevation to a few familiar and overused buzzwords.
One of those buzzwords that typically gets thrown around around stories like his is "passion." With him being an independent artist it's easy to apply that label to him and say that's what caused him to be in the position he is in right now. It's hard enough becoming successful in the music industry with a major record label behind you. So it would have to be many times harder going the independent path to becoming a successful artist.
However, passion alone didn't win him those awards and accolades. Passion of course was part of the formula, but he had to be excellent at his craft in order to be recognized by the Industry as the best artist in his category.
It always irks me when people use passion as an oversimplified path to achieving your dreams. It's a waste to be very excited about what you do but not develop the character and discipline to grow into being very good at what you do.
If you want to get to the top of your industry you must realize that passion should push you become excellent at your craft, skill, or gift. But it's not enough by itself. Passion should give you the motivation to practice even when you don't feel like it. Passion should propel you past convenience and comfort. True passion will drive you to do your best even when no one is looking. If this doesn't describe you, then I would question whether you are as passionate about your dream as you say you are.
We can see his end results now, but very few people saw the money invested, long nights, early mornings, series of rejections, and painful experiences that led up to this point.
If you never demonstrate excellence in your supposed area of expertise, passion will become just another random word and empty promise.
So find something that you're passionate about and then become excellent doing it. Develop your skills. Build your expertise. Become the best at what you do.
And even if you're not celebrated on a stage like Chance the Rapper, you can still be confident that you have given the world your best and not just another buzzword.
Connect Your Passion to Your Profession!
Many people spend lots of time looking to do something in life that they are passionate about and they qualify the value of spending their time on it by how much it will enhance their life. However, I believe the true meaning of the concepts of passion and purpose challenge us to dig deeper and ask ourselves the question, "Is my dream worth dying for?"
Of course during this time of year we are again celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And while most of the conversations often focus on his dream, what was generally overlooked was what his dream cost him. His dream cost him his life.
When most people think about their dream, their are usually focused on how much better they want their life to be. And from what I have observed, most people aren't thinking about giving up the life they have to see their dream fulfilled. They pursue things that cause them to be more attached to this world than less attached.
Dr. King was very much aware of what the continual pursuit of his dream would cost him. Yet he still soldiered on in pursuit of something that was more important than his comfort. He still pressed forward to do something that others said was a lost cause or not worth the trouble. He was willing to speak out against materialism, poverty, and militarism when it was very unpopular to do so. And many historians would suggest this is what brought him into the crosshairs of a Remington 760 Gamemaster, not his push for civil rights.
So, what about you? Are you concerned more about living well than leaving a legacy? How much are you willing to sacrifice to see your dream come to pass?
Dr. King's dream was worth dying for. Is yours?
As we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am reminded of one of his most potent quotes:
"If a man hasn't discovered something to die for, he is not fit to live."
Click below to watch this special video message and ask yourself if you're willing to die for your dream...
Recently we concluded ourInc. My Dream Young Boss Camp in South Atlanta. And we had such an incredible time working with these ambitious middle and high school students. We help build the student's confidence, understand the dynamics of being a leader in the marketplace, and strengthening their foundation to embrace their purpose and passions. Enjoy the video!
Learn more about Inc. My Dream programs for youth and adults at www.incmydream.com/programs.
RELATED: Inc. My Dream 301: What Problem Will This Solve?
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"A dream comes through a multitude of business…" Ecclesiastes 5:3
The source of everything that's in existence was once an idea. Joel 2 tells us that God gets His ideas into the earth through dreams and visions. One purpose of this process is to provide us with the tangible activities that we are to engage in order to manifest His Kingdom. And for many people those ideas can be turned into Kingdom businesses that help fulfill your purpose and fund God's work.
So why don't we see more Christians having major success in business? The challenge for a large percentage of them is they are unaware of an effective process or strategy to transform a God-idea into an enterprise. Too many give excuses as to why the idea won't work, allowing it to lay dormant and it never produces fruit in their lives. For others, failed attempts lead to frustration and feelings that the idea maybe "wasn't meant to be." It seems like only a precious few are able to transform their ideas into profitable ventures.
The truth is if God is releasing ideas into the world through dreams and visions, He intends His ideas to yield results that benefit you and others. God doesn't do "trial and error." He always produces a positive return on His investments (Isaiah 55). The question is will you be the one that produces the harvest or shall God look for another?
That's why I'm so excited to announce that my highly anticipated forthcoming book, Inc. My Dream: A God Inspired Process to Turn Your BIG Idea Into A Dream Business, will walk you through the process of getting an idea from God and building a business strategy around it so it can become profitable and sustainable.
James 1 tells us that we shouldn't be hearers of the Word without doing it. Likewise, we shouldn't be dreamers with big ideas who never follow through on implementing the ideas that God gives us. He is providing us an opportunity to be stewards of His ideas in the earth. If you're ready to take up that challenge, I'm ready to help you.
Just go to www.incmydream.com to learn more about this unique and dynamic resource that will help you make the successful transition from dreaming about business to doing it!
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It’s very interesting how early experiences as children can shape our thinking and perceptions well into adulthood. This especially relates to money. I’m sure you can clearly remember a time or two when your parents responded to one of your requests for something that you didn’t realize the value of with a resounding, “Money doesn’t grow on trees!”
And while they surely meant well with their retort, the long-term implications for many is that you still think it’s hard to make money, money in large amounts is only available for a certain groups of people, money is evil, or other unhealthy perspectives. Even if it’s only subconsciously, many Christians have brought these and other mindsets into their relationship with Jesus and thereby operate from an adversarial relationship toward money. And if you have an adversarial relationship with money more than likely you won’t keep very much of it for very long. This may sound a little strange, but stay with me.
Click here to read my full article Yes, Money Grows on Trees in Brotha Magazine
I look forward to your feedback...
"A man's heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps.." Proverbs 16:9
Today is the day we are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And as is often the case on this holiday, in reflecting and commenting on his life many people are going to reference what he so eloquently articulated as his dream. This of course is a great thing.
You know what else is great? When you discover God's dream for you and you live on purpose to accomplish it. However, I wonder how many people have chosen to live for something that is an alternative pathway compared to what God has intentionally designed for you? I suspect it's far, far greater than what most people would like to admit.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
Many people live in pursuit of a dream that's different or far smaller in scope than what God has planned for them. His plans and expectations for us are so far beyond what we see for ourselves, but, unfortunately, many people settle for what they can see not what God has for them. Fortunately, we have a wonderful example in Dr. King of living a B.I.G. dream based on God's purpose for his life.
From the perspective of his life, here are five key characteristics to assess whether you are living your dream or God's:
So do you need to reevaluate your dream? I look forward to your comments below...
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7
You should be tired of playing it safe and seeing others accomplish great things. You should be done with standing on the sidelines cheering for others while inside you know you should be out there playing too. You should be finished with pushing others to the front while standing in their shadows neglecting your God-given talents, ideas, and solutions.
"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." ~ Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
This is your season to live fearlessly. It's your season to step out in faith and into your dream. This is your season where scriptures becomes more than words, they come to life!
Fearless does not mean reckless. It means that you are going to obey God like never before, trust God like never before, and live like never before! Check out this excerpt from my book Dream B.I.G in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative, God-Inspired Life…
"We were created in our Father’s image, so we should not shy away from being courageously bold, extraordinarily spectacular, amazingly awe-inspiring, and innovatively brilliant as we reflect His marvelous power and glory in the earth… God desires to show His greatness to the world through the thriving lives of His children. So, you actually do the world a disservice when you dismiss or discount the creative application of your talents, abilities, and ideas."
If you're going to live fearlessly in 2014, you need to change W.A.T. you do everyday. What is "W.A.T."? It's your words, actions, and thoughts. Your daily habits connected to the thoughts you think, words you speak, and actions you do will determine your direction and destiny in life. It's imperative that you make conscious choices about W.A.T. you do everyday. Your thoughts, words, and actions should be godly, positive, focused, intentional, and directly connected to the dreams, plans, and goals that God has for you.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." ~ 1 John 4:18
Fearless living is not just for daredevils or risk takers. It's for every person who recognizes they are passionately and unconditionally loved by God and that love compels them to live in a way that is exceedingly and abundantly far beyond all they can ask, think, or imagine. On the other side of the captivity of fear is a life of amazement and wonder that cannot even be dreamed.
"When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream." ~ Psalm 126:1
God is waiting on you to live fearlessly. And so is the world. Are you ready? Let's go!
What fear have you overcome for this year? Leave your comments below...
I love it when I have the opportunity to interview people who are diverse in their talents and using them in unique ways that glorify God. This Thursday on Passion in Action TV I have the privilege to interview Dr. Mark Williams, a board-certified ear, nose, and throat physician. In addition to his establishing his private surgical practice on the campus of Southern Hills Medical Center, he is also an adjunct assistant professor at Meharry Medical College and founded the Voice Care Center of Nashville, where he specializes in treating and preventing voice problems in Christian and Gospel music artists. As an independent gospel recording artist himself, Dr. Williams has a keen insight to not only the medical and surgical implications of voice disturbances, but also the many spiritual impacts.
You can learn more about this dynamic man of God and how he uses his talents in business and ministry this Thursday at 7 PM EST at www.passioninaction.tv. Don't forget to invite your friends. See you Thursday!
The vision of the Benham Brothers at BENHAM Companies is to be a catalyst for cultural change in global and domestic marketplaces by striving to erase the line that separates business and ministry through a new and unique global movement we termed “Missioneering”. Our vision combines the aspects of pioneering and engineering to the foundation of global missions and creates self sustaining revenue centers for the purposes of taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unreached & unengaged.
Continue reading the inspiring story of these serial Kingdom entrepreneurs: Twin Brothers Boost Business Through "Missioneering"...
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling