Do you remember when we were all enamored with”The Secret?” Don’t get me wrong, I loved the principles that were revealed. I mean really, how many people connect what they believe and expect with anything that happens in their life? Not many I suppose. Most people seem to think that achievement happens because some external something makes something happen and often that something comes along quite unexpectedly. Well, it’s safe to say that’s not true. But, what I really didn’t like was that message that appealed to our “inner-lazy” by saying we could mentally expect money and somehow money would start showing up in the mailbox. Life, real life doesn’t work like that. Even God who isn’t limited by anything brings us our hearts desires as we believe Him and does so in the context of how life works. In other words, He’s not a weird, mysterious genie sitting in the clouds waiting to freak our minds out! LOL So in keeping with our theme, “Be honest with yourself,” how do we achieve our goals? How do we get the things in life that we say we so earnestly want? Do things really happen by happenstance or serendipity? Is it luck? (How can someone not believe in God but believe in luck? ~ I digress…)
Today I had an epiphany or an Oprah “ah-ha” moment! It happened as I was reading through some older life goals. By older I mean this year and the year before and the year before. Interestingly, my 2010, 2011 and 2012 goals were the same (I’m consistent I guess…). Apparently, I’m very clear about what I want (smile). But here’s where it gets very telling. Of all of the grand goals of success that I had planned, only one was accomplished; getting an MBA. Oh yeah baby, that one is in the books! But why did I achieve that one and not the others? Oh you could make the argument (if you weren’t being honest for my sake) that you can only pursue one thing at a time. But in reality, I got my MBA in 18 months and my goals go back to 2010 (I’ll wait while you do the math!) In fact, now that I’m being honest, most of those major goals I had back in 2007. So, why did I achieve one and not the others? Why do many people not get what they want out of life? Because there is a major difference between believing and just plain old wishing. Believing, expecting, whatever you want to call it, always has some element of action in it. For example, if at this very moment you believed the roof would cave in, my guess is that you would be well on your way out of the living room. But, if you simply wished it would cave in (come on go with me here…maybe you want to claim your insurance or would like it fall on your spouse 🙂 ) chances are you would still be sitting in that exact spot watching the Kardashians! You starting to get the picture? Wishing is passive and leads to nothing! I’ll say it again, wishing is passive and leads to nothing; nada; zip! People who wish for things spend a lot of time wishing and a lot of time watching TV. Year after year, same hopes, same dreams, same wishes… I got my MBA because I took action! I finally got off my butt (or but 😉 ) and started it! It was self-paced, but not really because every semester costs money. Since I don’t have unlimited funds yet…I was motivated to work on it. I studied when I wanted to drink Cabernet. I studied on the weekend when fun stuff surrounded me. I studied at night when I was tired (because after-all I work full-time…poor me). I set a plan, mostly stuck to that plan (mostly) and chipped away at it. Every week I had a telephone call with my student mentor (the sweetest mentor a man could ask for). Unbeknownst to me at the time, that weekly call held me accountable. It wasn’t that I dreaded being berated by my mentor (see previous comment regarding sweetest…), it was that I didn’t want to get on the phone with her and tell her that I didn’t do anything…(being honest with myself).
So how do you accomplish your goals and get to what you really do want and stop just existing in your own life? You have to set a plan and work your plan (emphasis on work). Sure you should still pray about it! Sure you should still expect God to give you the desires of your heart, like He promised! But just try to imagine how God is going to bring you to that thing while you are STILL watching the Kardashians. The genie maybe, but not God! I met a lady who got that same MBA in 4 months and 10 days. When she told me, I consoled myself by thinking she obviously didn’t work full-time like me (more poor me…) until she said she also worked full-time! Dang it. Note to self ~ you can get your MBA in 4 months and 10 days! She probably didn’t have time for anything else, but now 4 months and 10 days later she has lots of time!
If you are serious about accomplishing your goals (short sacrifices for long results), you have to get serious about working on them. Life is short (says the 51-year-old)! Whatever price you have to pay in the here and now is wayyyyyyyy (Utah expression used for emphasis) worth it when compared to the remainder of your life! If I told you, you could have 5 million dollars if you dug 1000 feet deep in a certain spot, my guess is that you would find a way to dig down 1000 feet! Even if you had to sell your house to fund the expedition (and you knew beyond all doubt that the money was there) – one more house would be listed on the MLS… That is “real life” believing!
So, take some time to revisit those goals you wrote down once. Ask yourself, is it worth it? Would the life you would be living then be that much better than the life you are living today? If the answer is yes, then make your plan! Even the worst salesman on earth will be successful if he makes enough calls! Make the calls folks. Set your goal; break it down into months and weeks and days. Then, do what you said you were going to do today, then tomorrow, then tomorrow, then tomorrow. In no time at all you will be living what was once just an idle wish. There is really no other way to do it!
That’s the secret!