Everyone has a dream. Everyone has a goal. Everyone was born with an innate desire to become someone that contributes to something bigger than himself. That innate desire is called purpose and far too many people are living below the level of greatness God put in us. There is a time in our lives when we have to face the grim reality that we are today’s answers for tomorrow’s problems. When we fail to be who we are called to be the world suffers. Barack Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” Want to be a world changer? Here are 6 things to help you get started.
Be committed to self-development:
Self-development is foundation for success. Leaders teach what they know and reproduce who they are. It’s unlikely to find a successful person that hasn’t worked on himself just as much as he’s worked on others. Lao Tzu believed, “He who conquers others is strong, but he who conquers himself is mighty.” Often times, the most engulfing snares and visceral fears come from within, but seldom do we take the time to seriously assess ourselves. There are three important questions every person must ask himself: (1) what do I want, (2) why don’t I have it and (3) what am I willing to do to get it? If you want to be successful find someone who has gone where you’d like to go and learn from them. Whether a spiritual leader, business expert or community activist, find someone to model. You can also read books, attend seminars and often times access a plethora of free resources at your local library. Remember, you are the change you wish to see in the world. Whatever you want to see happen must first start with you.
Be insanely myopic concerning your goal:
There is no plan B. Ever wondered why you see horses race with blinders? Horses have peripheral vision and when racing they can become distracted. Jockeys use blinders to keep them focused. When you set a goal, motivation will get you started, but commitment will keep you going. Commitment is doing what you said you’d do long after the feeling is gone. When you take the time to focus and resolve in your mind the goal has already been accomplished there is nothing that can stop you. A great example of this is Diana Nyad, who recently became the first person in history to swim 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without the assistance of a shark cage. This was the fifth attempt of a thirty year journey. After the 53 hour voyage she said, “I have three messages and one of them is never ever give up.” By the way did I mention she is 64 years old? She had an unyielding resilience, unconquerable desire and laser focus.
Surround yourself with people that are headed in the same direction:
We’ve all heard the phrase, “birds of a feather flock together”, but have you ever wondered why? Scientists researched geese flying patterns and found out the V formation they assume serves two very important reasons. Number one is energy conservation. When all the birds are doing their job then each bird’s energy is multiplied. The second reason is communication. In the V formation it is easier to communicate with each other. Because of this, the V formation is commonly used among pilots, military regiments and more. You are an average of your five closet friends. Where are you flying and who’s to the left and right of you?
Work for something bigger than you:
Proverbs 1:7 tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This knowledge is more than a mere understanding and conceptualization of principles. It is connected to a deeper understanding of life and character. We’re all in pursuit of some kind of knowledge. We want to know who we are, why we are here and what to do with the time we’ve been given. When we decide to work for something greater than ourselves it does three things: (1) gives us meaning, (2) motivates us when discouraged and (3) puts life’s vicissitudes in proper perspective. Author and activist Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Who are you working for? God? Family? Your community? Learn to work for something greater than yourself and see how much further you can go.
Have a strong “why”:
Your why is the absolute fundamental, rudimentary, nucleus of your passion. This is the sole reason you strive towards a goal. Your why should make you cry. Simply put, you have to tap into something you’re so passionate about it will make you vehemently defend it when no one else will. Your why, when all else fails, will keep you in the fight regardless of the disappointments, discouragements, dejections. This has to be written down and takes some introspective reflection to discover. Usually, it’s something you will do whether or not you got paid for it. Sometimes the problems that bring us the most frustration are the ones we are here to solve. What makes you MAD (Motivated And Determined) enough to make a difference?
Get rid of your excuses:
George Washington Carver believed ninety nine percent of failures come from the people who have the habit of making excuses. An excuse is any reason given that helps us justify why we don’t do what we know we are supposed to do. We all have them and choose when we want to employ them to escape the accountability of reality. That is to say, we use today’s excuses to pacify yesterday’s failures. They have been with us since the beginning of time and will be with us tomorrow. Regardless of their believability, they eventually prove unfruitful. Remember Adam’s excuse for breaking God’s commandment? Remember what Moses said when he was called to lead the people? What about you? What excuses do you make? Learn to identify them and be responsible enough to take a punch in the gut by the grizzly truth when necessary. Think about the past five years of your life and assess whether or not you’ve moved closer to your goal? If not, then why? What will you do differently today that will ensure the next five years aren’t like the past?
Mark Twain suggested twenty years from now we will be more disappointed by the things that we didn’t do than the ones we did. Remember the world is waiting on your voice, gifts, talents and abilities. One of greatest tragedies is to have lived a lifetime only to realize that you never really lived. Make a difference and DO IT TODAY!