Begin small. Start somewhere. Let not lofty ideas of perfection stop you from starting with a few mistakes.
Have a Vision
Great dreams are deposited in human hearts by divine hands. Then an ordinary man becomes a dreamer. He starts thinking beyond his time and circumstances. It is soon followed by the dreamer being shaped by his dream.
Dreaming big has many impacts. First of all it changes you from within. It enlarges your heart to think of possibilities. It gives you an increased measure of faith to trust in God. It gives you a sense of destiny. When these kind of things happen you feel a stirring within you to fly high above your circumstances that might be trying to pull you down.
When dreams are lived out it is quite natural to encounter rough weather. It can come in the form of mistakes, unkind criticism, threats, failures, thoughts of giving up, and finally loss in many forms including finance and reputation. But bad times enlarge one’s heart, strengthen one’s resolve, fuel the passion to achieve and steel one’s character with integrity.
Go On. Finish Strong
The temptation to give up midway into the success story is common to man. It all happens when one loses sight of the finishing tape. Then the focus gets blurred. Other distractions too can easily side-track at this point in time.
Plan Your Innings
It is a great surprise to me to see how many people go through life without any serious planning. All they do is crisis management. Instead if they could have a game plan and stick to it they can have success. Be flexible to change according to what the situation demands without totally destroying the original game plan.
Wisdom to Run Your Business
A lamp cannot burn if there is no supply of oil to it. Likewise a man cannot continue to shed light if his wisdom runs out of supply. He, in order to successfully run an enterprise, needs a continual supply of wisdom. It is needed not only to plan but also to make right decisions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 Bible).
Forget the Past
The secret of success is to be able to look forward with hope to the new thing that God can do in one’s life. This is only possible by forgetting the past. Leave it behind. If we feel we are victims of our circumstances we never go beyond the length of the chains that tie us tight to the past. It is of utmost importance that we break such chains.
Time and Opportunities
Time cannot be bought nor can it be saved. Yet we often procrastinate and allow the doors of opportunity to close. Therefore “Never leave till tomorrow which you can do today” as Benjamin Franklin so wisely observed.
Celebrate What Is That Is Uniquely Yours
Others are usually good at pointing out what you are not good at. But it might take a long time for them or for you yourself to know the worth of the treasure that you carry in your earthen vessel. Even the ability to gift a loving smile can be that treasure which is uniquely yours.
It is when you become yourself that others start to respect you. But sadly all our lives we strive to be what we are never created to be; comparing ourselves with others and feeling inferior, and at times trying our best to imitate.
But realize that each one of us has a gift of his own. And it is in the exploring, developing, and maturing of that gift to fruitfulness that a person becomes useful to others. Therefore fan into flame the gift of God that is in you.
Failures Do Not Mean the Game Is Over
Perhaps we need to learn to fail successfully. Of course its primary lesson is sportsman spirit. One has to learn to treat failures with the same courtesy with which one treats successes.
The second lesson of course is to know that failures happen once in a while to the best of men. But we will never lower our standards. And never stop striving to win.
Purpose Is Important
Purpose gives direction to life. It helps you to focus on priorities and not get entangled by the niceties of life. A purpose-driven life is not easily distracted. Instead such a life is relentlessly focussed on achieving the goals and objectives which it had set out to accomplish and finish.
Growth: You Cannot Afford to Stay Still!
Growth in life is a complex process. But its principle is simple. It can be said in two words, “Let go!” And there is much value in those two simple words. Real growth in life comes only when we learn to leave self-defeating habits and negative thinking patterns behind.
Progress Is Directly Related to Excellence
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29).
Focus, I believe, is a key element in any success story. Being sure of what you want to do in life and why! When you are focused you will eliminate all good things that are distractions. In modern contexts, gadgets and social media can take your focus away quite easily.
Empty spaces can come in the pursuit of any dream. See those blank spaces through the eyes of music which too has empty spaces. “The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes — ah, that is where the art resides” so said the noted Austrian classical pianist Artur Schnabel.
Looking at Closed Doors
I have learned from experience that God is in the business of opening and closing doors: “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open . . . See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut (Revelation 3:7b, 8)” is what he has said. Therefore looking ahead with hope and trust in God when doors close is part of a dreamer’s attitude to achieve success.
Loss of Confidence
Loss of Confidence can strike after a series of defeats. It can make you think that you are not worth it and that all your efforts were in vain. It can drain away initiative from you.
But surprisingly loss of confidence can happen at the best moments too though I have never discovered why it happens. That is a whole lot more difficult to handle. Often a smile, an encouraging comment, a positive feedback or an unexpected phone call are those little things that has put confidence in me back again in such situations.
This is the simple and most enduring lesson I have learned: Keep on doing what you are good at in spite of all doubts, despair, discouragement, disillusionment and defeats. And bounce back from most astonishing setbacks.
Leave a Legacy Behind
You leave a legacy behind when you have been able to show someone the stairway they had to climb in life.
You leave a legacy behind when you have been a small match lighting up great torches.
You leave a legacy behind when you have been able to make a person smile.
The Bible in the words of the Prophet Daniel promises a rich star-studded legacy to those who have tried to live like that: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:3)!”
The above post is a condensation of Century Notes published on the occasion of the Century Batch of Bejoy Peter’s Public Speaking. In the preface I had written then:
“The journey has by no means ended. But when one hits a century it is always an emotional moment. Yet it is also a time to look back and find out what elements had contributed to the success story.”
The 100th Batch was held at the Trivandrum YMCA from 2nd July to 14th July, 2007 with 16 students in attendance.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth