Poverty trains you to take care of necessity but it doesn't train you to look for, expect and prepare for opportunity. It teaches you to downsize your dreams to fit a "hand to mouth" lifestyle. I learned this as a child who grew up in an extended time of poverty as an adolescent. I remember the feelings. I remember the emotional abdication as I adopted the lie of the "haves and have nots", knowing exactly where to categorize myself and my dreams. It wasn't until years later that I would break that mentality and realize I had a choice in life, a choice for my dreams. I call it the "Dream Factor." I could either down-size my dreams or up-size my income. I chose the latter. I realized that our job will never fund our dreams if they are of any significance. But, the choice of most people is to down-size their dream to fit their income. I decided to keep up-sizing my income to enable my dreams. I learned the power of and ways to build multiple streams of income. I could serve my divine calling and still keep my dreams. I learned to give, save, budget, practice contentment, invest, look at and seize opportunities, manage time, create value, increase value, buy real estate, sacrifice immediate pleasure for long term enjoyment, etc. I trained myself in what poverty had not trained me. Yes, i kept my dreams, expanded them a bit, and continue to pursue what I want to possess. Don't down-size your dreams- Up-size your income!
Before a person is motivated to attain or participate in something, they must first understand the purpose and benefit. Understanding the purpose and benefit of a particular thing in our life motivates us. A clearly defined vision is a way to not only help us understand what we are called to do and be, but is also a way to provide motivation for people to become a part of our vision. A clearly defined and articulated vision provides direction, discipline, and destination for all of those involved.
True vision has an end goal to fulfill what is believed to be a calling and mandate given by God. It has at its core the overarching desire that lives in our heart and it finds both its foundation and focus there. Therefore it is not based on a human desire or a good idea; it is anchored in a true sense of calling and divine destiny.
Webster defines vision as “the ability to foresee or perceive something not actually visible.” Vision is both a physical ability to see what is in the natural surroundings, as well as a spiritual ability to see that which has not completely occurred in the nature as of yet. A vision is a picture of our future, a spiritual glimpse of the future and the mission chosen for us. A vision is seeing in your heart what you will one day hold in your hand.
But, a true vision is more than just a mental picture. It is a picture that must be drawn so that it becomes
visible in the natural. It must become a written picture that others can see. In ancient scripture,
Habakkuk is told to write the vision down so that it could be read and that people could run with it. We formulate the vision as a mission statement, a vision statement, and key priorities to help people understand what we are going to do and to help them look forward. The are four aspects of a clearly formulated vision.A vision is:
Does your vision have life? Does it have these elements? So now you know where to begin in making your vision more clear to yourself and to those around you. This is the first step to holding in your hand what you are holding in your heart.
How to Make a Colossal Difference with a Small First Step
By John C. Maxwell
Many people look at all that’s wrong in the world and mistakenly believe that they cannot make a difference. The challenges loom large, and they feel small. They believe they must do big things to have a life that matters. Or they think they have to reach a certain place in life from which to do something significant.
Does that seed of doubt exist in you? Have you ever found yourself thinking or saying, “I will only be able to make a difference . . .
“When I come up with a really big idea,
“When I get to a certain age,
“When I make enough money,
“When I reach a specific milestone in my career,
“When I’m famous,” or
“When I retire?”
None of these things is necessary before you can start to achieve significance. You may not realize it, but those hesitations are really nothing more than excuses. The only thing you need to achieve significance is to be intentional about starting—no matter where you are, who you are, or what you have. Do you believe that? You can’t make an impact sitting still. Former NFL coach Tony Dungy once told me, “Do the ordinary things better than anyone else and you will achieve excellence.” The same is true for significance. Begin by doing ordinary things.
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That’s true. In fact, so does every human being’s first journey. As children, we had to learn how to take that first step in order to walk. We don’t think anything of it now, but it was a big deal then.
Every big thing that’s ever been done started with a first step.
When Neil Armstrong took his first walk on the moon, he stated, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But the first steps of that achievement occurred decades before. We can’t get anywhere in life without taking that first small step. Sometimes the step is hard; other times it’s easy. But no matter what, you have to do it if you want to get anywhere in life.
You never know when something small that you do for others is going to expand into something big. That was true for Chris Kennedy, a golfer from Florida. In 2014, a friend nominated him to do the Ice Bucket Challenge for the charity of his choice. Kennedy passed along the challenge to his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senercia because the two liked to tease and challenge one another. Kennedy chose ALS as his charity because Jeanette’s husband suffered from the disease. Jeanette accepted the challenge, posted the video on her Facebook page, and nominated others.[i]
That was a small start of something big. In today’s digital world we talk about things going viral. The term viral was coined because ideas and initiatives can spread quickly the way germs do. Almost anything that starts out as a single idea, a bold statement, a YouTube video, or a creative or memorable photo can gain vast popularity and quickly spread through word of mouth via the Internet.
The Ice Bucket Challenge soon went viral. If you somehow missed out on it, the idea was to either donate to the ALS Association or record a video of yourself being doused with ice water, and then challenge three other people to donate or get doused.
This turned out to be a brilliant idea to raise money for an important cause—to help fight a disease that many people otherwise might not have known about and would not have donated to see cured. I participated in the challenge. Sure, I was aware of the disease, but it wasn’t a charity I normally gave to. I was nominated by colleagues to take the challenge, and I was happy to participate.
Most people chose to give and get doused. When I accepted the challenge, I made a donation and asked three of my grandchildren to do the honors of soaking me. They used not one, but three, freezing cold buckets of water on me. Though I pleaded for compassion and warm water, the grandkids showed no mercy!
The best part is that over $113.3 million was donated between July and September of 2014 as a result of the ice bucket challenge, compared to $2.7 million dollars donated during the same period of time the previous year. On Facebook alone, over 28 million people uploaded, commented, or liked ice bucket related posts the last time I checked. The purpose of the campaign wasn’t just to raise money. It was about raising awareness. But they accomplished both with great intentionality.
What can you do now? As you think about making a difference, be willing to start small. You never know whether your passion-fueled idea will have an outcome similar to that of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
~ Adapted from John C. Maxwell’s new book Intentional Living
 Alexandra Sifferlin, “Here’s How the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Started,” Time, August 18, 2014, http://time.com/3136507/als-ice-bucket-challenge-started/, accessed January 29, 15.
The Resolution Solution-
Studies conducted by the University of Scanton show that 45% of people make New Years Resolutions. But, only 8% go on to achieve those resolutions. 92% of people quit before achieving their resolution goals! According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, of those making resolutions, 79% of people maintain them for 1 week, 71% for two weeks, and 64% for one month. 1 out of 3 people abandon their resolutions within one month! And, 73% give up before even meeting one resolution goal.
After 25 years of working with people, I believe these are the main reasons people never see their resolutions, or even other goals, come to pass.
No Clarity: The resolutions are unrealistic- Most resolutions are just new years ideas. The great thing about ideas is they lead to more ideas. The bad thing about ideas is they lead to more ideas! But an idea is different than an action and once the idea dissipates, the motivation also dissipates with it. On a recent airing of Shark Tank, it was noted that 85% of all exercise equipment purchased by US consumers is only used one time! What sounds sweet loses its appeal once we have to sweat.
No Congruence: The resolutions have no real significance- Significant things are not easily abandoned. Many resolutions are not congruent to our true values or desires. So, there is really no motivation once the initial idea wears off. Since we have no real clarity about who we are and where we truly want to go in life, the resolution is often inspired by the calendar but not by the core of who we are. What I want and what I believe myself to be are two different things.
No Concrete Action: The resolutions have no viable plan- The plan of action for many resolutions is simply to adopt the plan that others are using. So, we pull a diet program off of the internet, a workout plan off of Facebook, or a budget out of a book. The problem is that we are not invested in the plan because we are not involved in the planning. It is not really our plan. Things we create we work to make successful. We labor, sweat, invest, and pray to make it work. We are far less likely to abandon a resolution when we have created the plan. There are simple, strategic ways to develop a plan for every life goal in a manner that will inspire you to succeed. We will learn more about that in upcoming MoreMentum forums.
So, if you are going to make a resolution, also resolve to create the plan, align it with the real you, and plan to persevere.
I am Ray Popham, a speaker, teacher, writer, and coach. My mission is inspiring and empowering people to live, achieve and influence. My passion is helping people. My gift is inspiring people. I help people that want to Own Life by living more intentionally, achieving more consistently and influencing more deliberately.