Whose Dream Are You Living?
"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...
13 B.I.G. Business Ideas for 2013
Most entrepreneurs want to build a big business, but they are often focused on temporal measures of success that won't stand the tests of time. However, a “B.I.G.” (Bold, Innovative, God-Inspired) business is one that focuses on building significance, i.e. the ultimate legacy that you want to create based on how you and your business impacts people and communities. Significance happens by helping others achieve success. If you focus your efforts on building a significant business, you will definitely reap success along the way.
Here are 13 B.I.G. ideas to propel you to have a significant championship year personally and professionally in 2013:
What are some of your B.I.G. ideas for 2013? Leave your comments below...
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Learn from your yesterday to make decisions for your today that benefit your tomorrow.
Last week I wrote Part 1 of How to Achieve Successful Setbacks. Here's Part 2...
One of the things that keeps me going after a setback is that I don’t run my business just for the sake of money, fame or success. I see a much bigger purpose for my business and my life. I am living a legacy, so that I can leave for the next generation. Therefore, when I am confronted by challenges, I need to see beyond myself in terms of how I handle them.
I love the quote from the movie Gladiator, when Maximus tells his men who are about to go into battle that “what we do today will echo into eternity“. The focus of your life should not be just what happens to you today, but the legacy that you will leave tomorrow.
I operate from the perspective that the things that happen in my life aren’t just about how they impact me. I consider how my experience could benefit the people that I will meet later in life who could be facing a similar situation. I think about how life lessons that I learn through difficult tests will help me to be a resource to my children as they confront comparable challenges. Therefore, when I am faced with setbacks, I know that I can’t quit because someone important to me is waiting for me – even depending on me – to succeed. And that person may not even be born yet. Whether you realize it or not, someone is waiting on you to succeed also.
Perseverance is a key component of a successful setback. And while persevering for your own goals is great, persevering to help others reach their goals is even better. I believe the human spirit comes alive when we fight to help others achieve a better life. A great sense of fulfillment awaits those who persevere for the benefit of others.
A key question to ask yourself is “What are you a part of that’s bigger than you, that can’t be accomplished by only you?” If your vision for your business or life is not on that grand of a scale then it needs to get bigger. When you discover and embrace the fact that your purpose in life incorporates more people than just you, you will adjust how you see life and how you respond to the things that happen to you.
One of the critical roadblocks that keeps people from extending themselves to others is fear. Fear paralyzes people, keeping them from stepping outside of their comfort zones, either to get help or to give it. It also prevents them from bouncing back quickly from their setbacks, because often it takes connecting with those outside of our comfort zones to get us back on track. We can learn a lot from others’ experiences that will help us get back on our feet after a setback. Your relationships will determine your results in life. If you try to do life alone and self-focused, you will fall far below your success potential.
As you finish strong in 2012, think about somebody (or somebodies) into whom you can invest your time, talents and resources. Let that person or group of people be part of what drives your determination when you encounter frustrations. Don’t let fear or anything else prevent you from connecting with the people who you need… or the ones who need you.
Remember that a setback is a set-up for you to develop the character and internal fortitude you need for the journey that lies ahead of you. If you’re going to fail, then fail while moving forward toward your goals and dreams. Keep learning and keep growing. I look forward to your success!
How do you successfully overcome setbacks in your life?
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died today. Among all the things that have been and could be said about him, it's easy to see that he was a pioneer.
Now you many never do something as grand as walking on the moon, but that doesn't mean the steps you are taking should be any less significant. You have a legacy to build and lives to impact. You have a mark to leave on history.
If you believe it's possible, you have an opportunity to do something that has never been done before. You too can be a pioneer in your circle of influence.
What steps are you taking toward your destiny that will create greater opportunities for those who follow you? What are you pioneering that will create a path for someone else's destiny?
Today the world is mourning the loss of a giant in the technology industry, Steve Jobs. The innovations he inspired as the CEO of Apple changed the way people listened to music, watched videos, operated cell phones, and utilized computers. His impact reaches far outside the technology industry. His fans and foes alike have praised him with words such as “genius”, “visionary”, “legend”, and “iMortal”. The fingerprints of his legacy will be visible for decades to come (and maybe longer).
You may never get famous, invent an iconic device, or build a spectacular product. Regardless, you still have the opportunity and ability to have a spectacular impact and change somebody’s life with your love, skills, and ideas. Because the truth is when you die God is going to ask you what you did with the time, talents, money, relationships, and other assets that He entrusted to you. How will you answer Him?
What will you do to change the world?
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling