Good Planning and Hard Work; Two Critical Keys to Prosperity

What are two keys to prosperity?

“By the book” tells us that there are two keys. Number one is good planning. Number two is hard work. So good planning and hard work, lead to prosperity.

Don’t we all know people who are great at planning? They have these elaborate plans, they have these flow charts and elaborate diagrams with their goals charted out and color coded and in a binder. They can tell you exactly what they want and when they want it, and how they’re going about getting it. But yet, it’s all talk. There’s no action. 

In a similar way, we also know those people who are hard workers, but they don’t really take the time to think about what they’re doing, how they could do it better, why they’re doing it, or what the end result is that they are going for

Both are important. We have to have a very clear cut goal of what we’re going after. We have to know exactly what we want, we have to have clarity of focus. We have to have the plans to implement it, but then we have to put action to those plans to bring them about.

Planning without hard work will not take us to prosperity, nor will hard work without good planning take us to prosperity. 

Think of another example; the individual who has earned a lot of money from their hard work, however, they also lack the discipline to invest it wisely. And they spend everything they have and more. Almost before they earn it. 

If we have a plan of where we are going to put the money, of how we are going to invest it, of what the end result is, we will enjoy prosperity. Both are critically important. 

So let me ask you, do you engage in both? Are you more of a planner? Are you more of a hard worker? Do you have a clear cut goal for what you’re going for? Do you know the steps, the actions you need to take to reach a goal? And are you putting them on your calendar? If I were to see what your day looks like and how you’re spending your time would it reflect that you’re actually moving towards your goal, that is a priority for you? 

So today, take the time. Think about what it is you truly want. Think about the steps you must take to reach that goal. And then also take those necessary actions to move you closer to those goals. “By the Book” tells us that good planning and hard work, lead to prosperity. 

Here’s to a prosperous future for all of us at “Our Future Best.” 

Now go out and make today, an Amazing Day!

Divinely Designed; Our Speech

Did you know that you are divinely designed; that within you is what I would call a God code purposely placed within you to become what God has uniquely designed you to become?

You know, as we read the story of creation in the book of Genesis, we read that God said, Let there be and there was, let there be and there was, let there be, and there was.

There is creative power in God’s speech. It also says that you and I are made in God’s image, and the implication is that our words also have power. 

Now, we not may not be able to do like God did as far as speaking worlds into existence, but our words still have power.

Raymond  Hollowell, in this book Working With The Law shares a story about a woman who is very wealthy, who had an estate with grounds, gardens and a beautiful view of a lake. But she always made the comment that she longed for having just a room with a suitcase to live out of; and nothing to keep up with. 

The story goes that eventually through bad investments, she ended up living in a room on the top floor of her sister’s home. Her life had become constrained to that what she had spoken.

Then we have the stories of a brain surgeon, a pioneer in brain health, who often made the casual comment that he would probably die of a brain tumor. And he did. 

So I have to ask, What are you telling yourself?  Zig Ziglar says that the most important conversation we have is the conversation that we have with ourselves. We may not believe what we hear from someone outside, but the thoughts that we constantly play over and over in our mind are what we really believe and what we act on. 

The challenge today in our Divine Design is to take a notice of, be aware of our thoughts. What is the conversation that you’re having with yourself?  Are you thinking and speaking abundance?t. Are you thinking and speaking life? Are you thinking and expecting the best to happen to you? 

Or are you expecting the worst? And then are you surprised when the worst seems to show up with regularity in your life? When we choose to control our thoughts, we can control our speech. And ultimately, we control our outcome. 

That’s all part of the Divine Design that is created within us, part of our God Code. Today, let’s take the first step of examining our thoughts and our speech.

Now let’s go and make today an Amazing Day. 

Divinely Designed; 1

Did you know that you are divinely designed, that there is a divine design within you? And that there’s a divine design for your life. That in you, in your very cell structure there is what I would call a God code for your life. 

Think about it. If you  look at a green leaf, look at a cell within that green leaf. Observe the photosynthesis process going on within that green leaf. 

If you were to look at that under a highly powerful microscope, you would see within the cell within the components of the cell, and even within the components that make up the components of that cell…the equivalent of a huge manufacturing plant. From the smallest particle that makes up the protons, electrons that compose the atoms that make up molecules that make up cells that make up the smallest bacteria to the largest star in the universe; there is an Infinitely Intelligent Design present. 

Why?  Because there is a God who has infinite intelligence, and he can do that. He’s capable of putting in divine design in anything. 

So the question arises, why should you or I be any different?  Why should we expect that we as humans would be absent from that divine design–that God code within our makeup. 

If we think that we are just the random selection of an evolutionary process, then we’re just another cog in the wheel and our life really has no purpose other than propagating the race and the survival of the fittest. 

But that doesn’t hold up, you and I know better. We know that we have a unique purpose to fulfill in this earth during our lifetime. 

There’s something that we each bring uniquely to the world that the world needs. It is recorded that when God created humans, he gave them the command to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill the earth, and to have dominion. 

Now that doesn’t mean that they’re to have dominion over other people. It doesn’t mean that they’re to take advantage of creation but they’re to guard as a steward; they are to have dominion over their surroundings and over themselves. 

God expects us as individuals to fully live up to the divine design and he has within us.

Unfortunately, we lose sight of that as we get caught up in the details of day to day life. We get caught up with having to earn a living, pay the bills. We get distracted by many things. But I want to encourage you to take a few minutes every day, a few minutes every week–to think about the divine design within you. To walk with us on this path as we cover that unique divine design for your life. 

The world so desperately needs you to bring your unique gift right now. 

We can’t depend upon the government, we can’t depend upon outside circumstances. We can’t depend on someone else to take care of us. 

That’s not what God expects of us. He expects us to fulfill the divine design, within us. 

We’re here to help you walk through that process. I think you will find it fascinating. And I’m glad to have you on the journey with us. 

Meanwhile, go out and make today an amazing day.

Write the Vision, Make it Plain

The title is actually from a quote by an ancient master who lived in the middle east many years ago. 

And yet the wisdom is powerful even, and especially today.

Do YOU have a vision? Do you know what your preferred future looks like? Is it clear? 

Or maybe you are just busy living life and hoping that everything turns out ok for you and your loved ones in the end.

That’s sort of like driving down the highway, taking your hands off the steering wheel, and hoping you reach your destination.

More than likely, you will end up in a ditch. Or worse.

If you wouldn’t drive your car like that, why would you live your life like that?

A great life doesn’t just happen naturally. It must be planned. It must be monitored and adjusted continually.

Even with the best of intentions, life has a way of causing us to drift off course. Gradually. Imperceptibly.  We wake up one day and are surprised to find ourselves so far off course.

Years ago my Uncle Bill took my wife and I out on his sailboat. We were miles offshore in the ocean, and he allowed me to take the helm. He pointed out a landmark, and instructed me to steer towards it. 

I noticed that I had to continually make adjustments, steering right, then left, then right and left almost constantly.

The wind and the current were causing me to drift. Diligence, duty, and the desire to reach our destination kept me alert and continually adjusting.

The same is true of our life Vision. We must continually adjust our course. 

You see, the end goal will be the same, but the path to reach that goal may require changing, indeed, I can almost guarantee that it will require changing along the way.

Our path may change, but the goal, the vision remains constant.

How are you doing? Is your vision clear?

Maybe you could use some help. We have a Mission Statement Resource Guide available for you.

The Law of Awareness, Part 2

The law of awareness states that in order to grow yourself you must first know yourself. 

Today we’re going to look at two questions of 10 that help us to begin living the life that we truly long for. The first question is, do you enjoy doing what you’re doing? Do you like what you’re doing now? 

You know a lot of people don’t. A lot of people wake up on Monday morning with dread. They live for the weekend. I know every job has aspects of it that are not pleasant. Every job has some tasks that we don’t enjoy doing.

But is the overall feeling that you have towards your job, one of regret, resentment, dislike, or is it something you truly enjoy? It feels like you are living according to your purpose. 

It has been said that an ironing board is a surfboard who gave up their dreams and took a boring job. Don’t be an ironing board. 

Socrates supposedly said the unexamined life is not worth living. Someone took that question and rephrased the question that the unlived life is worth examining. 

So let’s examine our life today and ask Do we enjoy doing what we’re doing?” And if not, we may need to make some changes.

Which leads us to question number two. What would you like to do, what would you enjoy doing?

Now, there are  some things that you can’t get paid to do, probably like eating ice cream all day long, but I did meet the fellow who was at the Navy SEAL museum who worked there and I asked him how he enjoyed his job and he said it was like getting paid to eat ice cream. So there may be something that you could do that would meet that criteria for you that you would so enjoy. Even with the difficult challenges that come with any job,

that there are certain things that you enjoy doing it would be like getting paid to eat ice cream. 

When we do something that we enjoy doing it gives us a passion. We bring a certain passion to that job. And it has been said that a person who has passion is greater than 99 who only have an interest.

So do you enjoy doing what you’re doing?

Whatever we plan to do, traveling the world, going back  to school, joining the workforce or taking some time off to think…we should not just  listen to our head. We should also liisten to our heart. Do what you really love to do and if you don’t know quite what that is yet then continue to search, because when you discover it, you’ll bring that something extra to all that you do. If we never figure out what we want to do, we will be frustrated all of our life.

Stephen Covey said how different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us. When we keep that picture in mind and manage ourselves, each day to be, and to know what matters most. 

Knowing what matters most to us, are some of the most important things that we’ll ever do in our life. 

The two questions today are. 

  1. Do you enjoy doing what you’re doing? 
  2. What would you like to do? 

The Law of Awareness, Part 1

In order to transform our life and begin living the life of our dreams, we must know and work with certain laws of life. One of these is the  law of awareness, in order to grow yourself, you have to first know yourself. 

Many people will have a general idea that they would like to improve their situation… that they want more in life, but that is not specific enough. It would be as if I said: “I want to go to the beach”. 

I live in North Carolina, so I have many choices along the coastline. I can choose to go to Virginia Beach, Virginia. I could choose to go to the Outer Banks in North Carolina I could choose to go to Wilmington, Morehead City, or Atlantic Beach. I could choose to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I could choose to go to Charleston. I could choose to go to Savannah, Georgia. 

I have to be specific, as far as where I want to go. Also have to know where I’m starting from. In fact, if you’ve ever used Google Maps or something similar you know it asks you for the destination that you’re looking for and also asks you where you are now. 

We have to know where we’re starting from and where we’re going in order to have an accurate map of how to get there.

Life is similar to that too. It’s not enough just to have a general idea that you want your life to get better. You have to be able to define what that looks like. What is a better life? What is more money? What is a better job? What does that look like in specific detail? 

And where are you right now, where are you in your finances, where are you in your job, what are your responsibilities? 

In order to map out the course that will get you where you want to go, you have to know exactly where you’re going, as well as where you’re starting from. 

When it comes to where we want to go, people tend to fall into one of three categories. Either they are the people who have no clue as to what they want; or they are those who know what they want, but they’re not making any effort to get to that and so living a very frustrated life. And then there are those who know exactly what they want to do, and they are living that life. 

So let me ask you today:Where are you in the scheme of things and do you know where you want to go? Are you making progress in your journey towards that end in mind? Are you still trying to figure out what it is you want and where you are or are you living the life of your dreams already?

We will be looking at some of the key questions we need to ask ourselves over the next several days, and I hope that you will stay with us as we examine these in more detail the law of Awareness

Unlock Your Future Best: Stay “On the Nest!”

Outside my office window, earlier this year I observed a cardinal building a nest. She laid her eggs in the nest.. And she sat on it consistently; faithfully for a period of time. 

But then one day I noticed that she flew away and I noticed that she would leave periodically but always returned to the nest. But this time, she did not return. The eggs were still in the nest, but she did not return. Later on I noticed that the eggs were missing so I went out to check and see if they had fallen out of the nest onto the ground below, but they hadn’t. 

Obviously, the eggs had been eaten by a predator, perhaps the neighbor’s cat or perhaps something else. But the eggs were no longer there. 

So what does this proverb have to do with us and specifically in areas of our finance, our fitness and our key relationships? 

Well the key principle here is about keeping our commitments, are we keeping our commitments to ourselves and to others who are depending upon us. 

When you think about these three areas of your life… are you keeping your commitments to them. 

Number one, are you keeping your commitments to yourself. Are there things that you have promised yourself that you would do, maybe in the area of your health, maybe you’ve committed to getting a certain number of hours of sleep each night. Or maybe to losing a certain number of pounds, or maybe to exercising consistently throughout the week. 

Are there commitments that you have made to yourself in regards to your health and fitness, that you are no longer observing. You’ve gotten slack. Well, in that case, it’s time to re-commit and pick up those healthy habits once more. 

What about your key relationships?  Are there commitments you’ve made to your spouse or to your children or to your friends that you have forgotten about?

Maybe you’re not being consistent. Maybe you’re not being committed to them as you should. Take some time to examine those key relationships and those promises that you have made to these individuals, these loved ones these friends. And to get back on track with keeping your commitments,

Finances.

Have you agreed to pay off certain debts, but you’ve gotten slack?

How about your calling, your purpose, that which you felt a burden to accomplish; your sense of mission in life.

Have you forgotten about it? Has it gotten to be kind of inconvenient or life seems to be crowding it out. 

I want to encourage you to examine that once more, and to recommit. 

You know, We have to stay focused. We have to stay committed. We have to stay “on the nest” in order to guard that which is most precious to us from those who would come and steal it away from us. 

So how are you doing? Are you staying on the desk or have you flown away? 

We’re here for you. Visit us at SteveLewey.com, we have resources to help you. We are committed to helping you unlock your future best in the areas of fitness, finances, and key relationships. 

Meanwhile, go out and make today an amazing day.

Power Principle: Priorities

Today we have another powerful question for you to consider as you evaluate your priorities. 

My mentor Jim Rohn made the statement that if you don’t have a plan for your life, and you’re expecting others to have a plan for your life, guess what they have planned?

That’s right, not much.

Zig Ziglar, another mentor of mine asked: Have you ever noticed that those who don’t have anything to do want to do with you? 

The key to avoid the “not much plan” and the “not doing a lot today” plan of others is for you to have a specific plan for your day to day life.

One of the keys is asking the right questions. Previously we discussed the question of asking what is required of me? 

What is it that only I can do or that I should do? In my role as a spouse, as an employee or employer…what is required of me? 

Today we want to ask a second question, and that is 

What provides the greatest return?

Think about your time like you would your money. If you, if I were to say to you. Let me have $10,000 for the year. And I’ll give you $20 at the end of the year. Or if I said,

$10,000, a year and I’ll give you $2,000 at the end of the year which would you choose?

 Well, obviously you would choose one that gives you the better return. Time is similar in that you want to spend your time where you get the biggest return.  

That may mean that rather than spending your time doing something like filing or paperwork. Maybe you need to be having more face to face time with your clients because that gives you a greater return, brings you closer to closing a sale. 

So think about your day. Think about your activities, think about all the things you could be doing on any given day, and determine which one of those or which ones of those give you the greatest return. 

That’s the second question, the first question being what is required of me. Second question being, what is the greatest return. Think through these things, write down your thoughts and ideas and join us next time as we look at the third question. 

Meanwhile, make today an Amazing day.

What are you doing today to make tomorrow better?

Today most of us begin a new workweek. 

How will today be different from every other day last week? Or do you expect and experience simply more of the same, every day? Are you like so many who have one year of experience simply repeated for X number of years?

If today is the same as yesterday, then my friend, you are simply dying a slow death. You are wasting your potential to make tomorrow better by refusing to make today better.

I don’t think that most people live this way intentionally. I think it is easy to get stuck in a rut, a routine, and become comfortable or complacent with the way things are. We hear comments all the time such as “Don’t rock the boat,” “Let sleeping dogs lie,” “That’s not a battle I want to fight,” or the infamous, “That’s not my job,” and “That’s not what they are paying me for.”

Is that really how you want to invest your life? 

Maybe it’s time that you DECIDE to make today better in order to have a better tomorrow.

Here are three keys to beginning this process.

First, Determine Your Priorities. What are those key results that you are paid to deliver, AND that you truly desire to accomplish in your personal life. Are those items on your schedule? If not, put them on your daily schedule in order to make sure that you can deliver the goods. For your employer or clients, and for those depending on you, and especially for yourself.

Second, Guard Your Time. Isn’t it true that those who have nothing to do want to do it with you? How many people do you know who casually throw out the phrase “killing time.” Time is the stuff that life is made of. We all have a limited supply of time. Do you really want to allow someone else who has no direction to squander YOUR most precious resource? Develop a NO TOLERATION Zone for Time Wasters and Time Murderers. 

Third, invest some time at the close of each day for Reflection and Evaluation. How did you do? Did you accomplish your key priority items? What went right? What could you have done better or differently? How can you make tomorrow even better? Plan on improving tomorrow based on what you discovered today.

These three simple actions, implemented every day, will allow you to live a life that makes a difference. Because, Today Matters. More than you realize.

Steve Lewey is  a mentor and coach to leaders in the corporate arena, non-profits, and sales. For the past 20 years he has  helped leaders and entrepreneurs to accomplish their vision and transform the world. Reach him at Steve@SteveLewey.com