May I ask you a question? Well, actually, I’m going to ask you eight powerful, life-changing questions in this chapter. These questions are designed to make you take an honest look within yourself and the life you have created for yourself thus far. When answered truthfully, these questions will create a radical shift within you and will propel you forward towards your goals and dreams – the life you were meant to live.
Questions are very important. They require you to get silent within, to listen to the inner voice of reason. The questions that you ask yourself on a continual basis control your destiny. They control your future. Questions create decisions, and your decisions control the actions that you take on a daily basis. So, without further adieu…
Question #1 – What are your daily decisions? The daily decisions that you make either move you forward to success or keep you stuck in a mediocre existence.
God wants you to prosper! Are you living up to your full potential? Are you following your goals and dreams, or are you allowing the masses to make your decisions for you? Your daily decisions are either helping you or hurting you. REALLY ask yourself “Are the decisions that I’ve been making on a daily basis keeping me stuck in a rut” or “Are my daily decisions helping me to create the life of my dreams?”
Your daily decisions encompass every area of your life not just your finances. Take a moment to think about the daily decisions that you make for yourself – spiritually, socially, mentally and physically. Do you take care of your body, mind, and spirit? When’s the last time you exercised? I exercise every single day, because I care about and honor my body. When my body is unhealthy, my mind is unclear and unfocused. I honor the body that God gave me.
Ali Vincent, a 32-year-old hairdresser fromMesa,Ariz., lost more than half her body weight during the television show, The Biggest Loser, and won $250,000 for her efforts. She was tired of being overweight and made a decision to apply for the show. When she was chosen as a contestant, Ali began declaring that she would be the first female Biggest Loser. The power of spoken words and her decision to lose weight pushed her to the top. During the 2008 season finale, Ali was presented with the title of the first female Biggest Loser. Later she was quoted as saying “I’m going to continue to go for what I want. My physical being is a direct representation of what I feel inside, which is strong and confident and beautiful.” Her life is changed forever, because of her daily decisions.
Who are the people that you hang out with on a daily basis? Are they motivators? Are they people that you admire? OR Are they losers? Are they people whose only enjoyment comes from arriving home from their J.O.B. and watching television? According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of television each day. That’s twenty-eight hours per week, or two months of nonstop TV-watching per year. In a sixty-five year life, that person will have spent nine years glued to the tube. That same person will moan and complain about their life, but did absolutely nothing to change it. Does this sound like some of your friends? If so, it’s time for you to make some decisions about your associations.
Proverbs 11:14 says “Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” You have to surround yourself with people that provide you with wisdom and guidance. Make a decision today to build a mastermind team of positive people that believe in you and your dreams.
Your physical fitness and social network are just two areas of your life that you make daily decisions about that shape the rest of your life. What about the other areas? What decisions are you making today that will predict your future?
Question #2 – What’s your Why in life? Your Why is your ultimate purpose in life. It’s the very reason that you get out of bed every single day. I have a very powerful Why that keeps me laser-focused on the road of success and prosperity. I speak my Why out loud on a daily basis, not just once, but many times. Speaking your Why helps to move it into existence. The power of the spoken word is unimaginable. Its power is incomprehensible.
Dr. Creflo Dollar is one of my greatest spiritual mentors. I was recently reviewing one of his online Bible studies and found this statement about words:
“The power to change begins with your words. Your words have serious power; and good or bad, you will have what you say. When you begin to take responsibility for your words, you will change your life. Judge your speech and train yourself to only speak what you believe. By speaking faith-filled words, you position yourself to receive the promises of God.”
As usual, Creflo over-delivered by providing this Bible reference to back up what he had said:
Proverbs 18: 20-21 says “A man shall be filled with the fruit of his words whether good or evil. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
I want you to take a minute to really internalize what Dr. Dollar emphasized in this teaching. It’s important that you understand the words that you speak shape your life – good or bad. I challenge you to stop allowing negative words to curse your life and start speaking blessings over yourself and your family everyday by saying your Why out loud for the world to hear.
I know some of you reading this may being saying, “But John…How can I say my Why out loud if I have no idea what it is?” Your Why is what naturally drives you and creates your daily decisions and actions. If you don’t know your Why yet, don’t worry. Take some time to really examine this question and to think about WHY you’re here on this beautiful planet Earth. God has a purpose for everyone. Get quiet, turn within, and search for the answer. Grab a piece of paper and just starting writing your Why in life. It will flow effortlessly once you start. Most importantly, make sure your Why is truly yours and not the Why of someone else. Don’t ask anyone their opinion about your Why. It has to be yours! You only have one life so take action and decide what you ultimately want to do with it.
Growing up, labels were placed on all of us. Family, friends, schoolmates, and society in general had their own ideas of what we should be doing with our lives. However, they rarely took the time to shape their own lives. Instead, they lived vicariously through you. Have you been living their Why, the life they think you should be living? No one has the power or right to live your life except you! If you’ve been living someone else’s life, least of all your own, begin to take control of your life and find your Why by continuing on with this chapter and asking yourself the next question.
Question #3 – Do you dream BIG? Do you allow yourself to dream big, or are you too afraid to have big, powerful dreams? Do you start to dream big but then shrink away at the fear of HOW you’re going to accomplish that goal, that dream, that desire?
When you allow yourself to dream big dreams, it requires you to stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you dream within your comfort zone, you are limiting yourself and your potential. What’s comfortable and normal for you may be scary and difficult for me. We’re all different. We all have our own dreams. ALLOW yourself to dream! Sometimes our dream muscle gets sore, small, and tired from lack of use, but it’s like any other muscle in our body. If we stretch it and develop it every day, it will get stronger and more powerful day by day.
Do you know what you want for yourself in the next year, the next five years, or even the next ten years? If you don’t, is it because you’ve stopped allowing yourself to dream? Or, have you gotten so caught up in life’s daily distractions that you’ve stopped actively controlling and directing your future? Take action now and stop allowing life’s distractions to determine your level of success. It all begins with focusing on your dreams and what you really want out of life.
I want you to come up with twenty-one dreams to reach for and achieve in the next five years. Why? Not only because of the things that you will acquire, but most importantly, because of the person you will become in the process. I guarantee you that you won’t be the same person in five years as you are now IF you actively pursue those twenty-one dreams. Once you achieve even one of those dreams, you’ll have gained skills and knowledge that will allow you to dream bigger and achieve even more.
Create a dream board. Gather pictures of the things you want to accomplish in the next month, year, five years, ten years, and so on. The time frame doesn’t matter, but rather, it’s the dreams themselves that are important. Surround yourself with these images of your dreams. Flood your subconscious with them. Allow yourself to believe in your dreams. Allow yourself to believe in yourself, in your potential, in your God-given abilities. DREAM BIG! You are more powerful than you could ever imagine.
Question #4 – Can you hear your heart’s words and desires? Can you hear what your heart is saying? Can you hear what it’s asking you to do? Are you on the right path that will lead you towards your heart’s wishes? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you MUST get quiet. Actively take some time, get quiet, and look within. Allow yourself to really examine these questions that I’m asking you. What is your heart saying? Is your heart full of joy or is your heart filled with the sadness, pain, and regret of living an unfulfilled life? It’s NOT too late! You can take back the life that you’ve always wanted to live! I believe in you, maybe even more than you believe in yourself.
I want you to look past any hurt, pain, and fear you may feel, and actively begin to create and manifest your heart’s desires. I promise you that those desires wouldn’t be there if you couldn’t achieve them. You are more powerful than you could ever imagine. The Almighty God created you, and God does not make junk! He wants you to be happy. He wants you to dream big and achieve your goals and dreams. I want this for you too. I’m here to help you create the life you’ve only dared to imagine.
Your heart’s desire is worth more than all of the gold and money in the world. You simply can’t buy the feeling that you get when you have accomplished even a little part of your life’s dream. That feeling will take you through any challenge, tribulation, and storm that comes your way. It will drive you to keep striving for what you really want out of life.
Take the time to constantly thank God for instilling that little spark inside of your heart. He gave it to you, and only you, for a reason. Now, it’s time for you to pour some motivational fuel on that spark to turn it into a raging fire that drives you toward the achievement of your goals and dreams. The enemy will try to extinguish your fire by casting doubt into your mind. When this happens, you refuel your fire by speaking your Why out loud in the face of the enemy. It’s similar to this scene in Rocky 2:
Rocky was beaten and battered by the enemy (his competitor) in the boxing ring. The announcer says “What is keeping him up, I don’t know. He can’t even get his gloves up to defend himself.” Rocky falls again. Mick, Rocky’s trainer, tells him “DOWN, DOWN, STAY DOWN!” At that moment, Rocky sees his wife, Adrianne, and gets back up for more. As he sat in the corner prepared to fight the battle of his life, he said “I ain’t going down no more!” Rocky was declared the Heavyweight Champion of the World.
The enemy tried to smother Rocky’s fire inside of his heart. Even his trainer was telling him that it was over. It wasn’t until Rocky saw his wife and thought of his family that the little flickering spark in his heart was reignited into an inferno that lead to the achievement of his ultimate goal in life. Don’t let the enemy snuff out the flame of faith in your heart. Instead, fuel that little spark with your affirmations, your dream board and your Why in life. That tiny little flicker will turn into a beautiful firestorm that will give you the strength to forge forward towards the achievement of your goals, dreams and desires.
Question #5 – What would you do if you KNEW success was guaranteed? What risks would you take if you knew you that you couldn’t fail? If your success was certain, what would you do? Think about that for a second. I want you to visualize what action steps you would take if failure wasn’t an option.
Unfortunately, success is not guaranteed no matter who you are or what you do. You have to step out in faith whenever you begin something new or learn about an opportunity that you know will change your life. I hear so many people say that they don’t believe in faith, because they can’t see it, feel it or touch it. My simple response to that is “You can’t see, feel or touch gravity but you sure won’t jump off a building to test it. Instead, you believe that gravity exists and you don’t question it.” In order to be successful, you must have the same belief about faith – you don’t question it and just know in your heart that it exists. Remember, faith stands for Find Answers In The Heart.
I understand the frustration that most of you feel when I say that you just have to step out in faith. No, it’s not comfortable. Yes, there’s risk involved. But think about remaining in the same place that you are currently in and never moving forward, because you didn’t have the belief in yourself to take a leap of faith that would have changed your life. What’s holding you back? Is it fear? Is it uncertainty? Or is it just a matter of not making a DECISION to change your life for the better, to be the person you DESERVE to be, to use your God-given talents to influence everyone around you for the better?
Sarah Reinertsen was born different. Her left leg was deformed with a condition called proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD). After maneuvering on a stiff leg brace from eleven months to seven years old, the decision was made to amputate her leg. In school, Sarah was always picked last for team sports and wasn’t encouraged by her coaches or teachers to engage in regular play with the other children. At the age of eleven, Sarah went to her first track meet for kids with disabilities. She finished first in the one hundred meter race. Flip forward to October 15, 2005. This was the day that Sarah finished the hardest Ironman triathlon inKona,Hawaiiin fifteen hours and five minutes. If Sarah wouldn’t have taken that step of faith to go after what she wanted or allowed her disability to limit her or if she would have listened to all of the naysayers, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for her to achieve her dreams.
Who are you listening to? Are you listening to motivated teachers, reading books by inspirational authors, and attending life-changing seminars and events? Or are you choosing to listen to your loser friends, your idiot coworkers, your negative relatives, etc.? Are you surrounded by successful or mediocre people? Do they support your dreams? Do they believe in you? More importantly, do YOU believe in YOURSELF? You are the most important person in your life. Without you, the world as you know it would cease to exist. You must be the most important person in your life, because you are when it comes to determining your level of success or failure.
Stop living in fear and uncertainty. Start living a life of prosperity and abundance. Step out into the unknown and trust yourself. You will be completely supported by your faith and nothing else. I’m not sure who wrote this quote, but it pretty much sums it up in only a few words – “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.” You must believe deeply in your heart that faith exists and trust that belief without question. Your heart will lead you in the right direction IF you take that first step of faith towards your destiny.
Ask yourself this question again, “What actions would I take if I knew that success was guaranteed?” I’m sure that you could think of a whole list of actions that you would start taking today. Don’t wait any longer to take those actions. Start going for your dreams now! Act as if your success is guaranteed by stepping out in faith, and you will be met with more success and prosperity than you could ever imagine.
Side note…Make sure you are asking yourself these questions in order. Don’t jump forward to the next one or skip any. Each question naturally leads to the next. If you find yourself avoiding a particular question, that is the question that you need more than any other.
Question #6 – Do you immerse yourself in life-changing, inspirational and motivational material? Or do you watch waste-of-time television shows and read trashy novels? We were given four inputs (eyes & ears) and one output (mouth). Our bodies are readily equipped to immerse our minds in material that we hear and see. However, you must actively choose what you allow into your mind. Have you ever heard the saying “Garbage in, garbage out?” Whatever you listen to, read about or watch – good or bad – will pour out of your mouth like an open fire hydrant.
Everyone is a student of life in something. I continually invest in personal development materials, because I am fully invested in my future. Every single day, I listen to two hours of personal development material, because I know that the material I listen to has a direct effect on my future. Listening to motivational material helps me to stay focused and reach my heart’s desires. I am actively committed to achieving my goals and dreams. By listening to motivational material and attending life-changing personal development seminars, I am surrounded by people that support me along my pursuit of success. I am continually surrounded by teachings, people, and information that focus on allowing me to dream big, believe in myself, and achieve all that I could ever imagine!
How are you spending your time? What are you actively choosing to listen to? What noises and words are your ears being exposed to? The choice is YOURS for the making. Most of you reading this are likely saying “John, I just don’t have two hours every day to devote to motivational materials.” Believe me when I say that I understand busy schedules, and I recommend that you start small. Just 1/96th of your day is enough to get you started.
Let me explain. 1/96th of twenty-four hours is fifteen minutes. Just fifteen minutes a day is all it takes for you to begin to see your results EXPLODE! Invest in some type of personal development CD, DVD or book. Not just anything…something that you know will assist you along your success journey. Most likely, you have something already sitting around that has become shelf-help instead of self-help. Start today by picking it up and devoting fifteen minutes a day to that material until you finish it. I also recommend that you journal what you learn from each fifteen minute segment. Of course, you can invest more time, but the 1/96th of a day habit is a great way to start.
Allow the motivational, inspirational material to get inside your heart. When you allow the words of positive motivation to get inside your heart and create a solid, rock hard foundation, you will truly begin to live the life of your dreams! Your desire to listen to naysayers, gossip, negative TV programs, etc. will sharply decline, because you begin to realize that those things are only hindering your success.
Question #7 - Are you completely passionate about your ultimate Why in life? Most people start out with bigger than life dreams, and the passion underlying their dreams is fire hot. Over time, they continually water down their dreams and goals to fit their current surrounds or situations in life and that passion slowly disappears.
If you leave a plant out in the sun and forget to water it, what happens? Of course, without water the plant will die, because the seed isn’t receiving the nourishment that it needs to grow. Similarly, your passion for your dreams must be continually fed. If you just let it sit in the back of your mind, then it will slowly die just like the plant.
This is SO important! You can’t just leave your dream lying around to fend for itself. You must feed it every day by releasing the passion in your heart that originally got you fired up about your dream and made you believe that it was even possible. This is the nourishment that will keep your dream alive. After all, if you don’t have the desire to achieve something, then likely you won’t.
Keeping your passion strong is not easy. It will require you to invest time in saying your affirmations, reading and/or listening to personal development material, building a dream wall and associating with people (a mastermind team) that believes in your dream as much as you do.
Don’t shy away from the bad days when you simply can’t fathom the possibility that you will ever achieve your dream. On the journey of success, bad days are bound to occur. When it happens, just allow yourself to be stretched outside of your comfort zone into believing that you can do it. You will NEVER stretch, NEVER grow, and NEVER achieve success unless you are willing to pay the price during these bad days.
Nancilea Foster began diving when she was only five years old. Her passion for the sport kept her committed to the long hours of rigorous training. At the age of fourteen, her dreams were nearly shattered when her head slammed against the board during a routine dive. The accident broke her jaw, knocked out nine teeth, shattered cheek and sinus bones and caved in part of her nose. Despite her injuries and fear, Nacilea’s passion for the sport led her back to the diving board.
Eight months later, it happened again. Most people would have given up after the first accident. After recovering from the second set of injuries, Nancilea headed back to the diving board. She struggled with fear, but her ultimate passion, her faith in Christ, gave her the strength to keep going. Nancilea’s willingness to pay the price for her dream led her to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she placed eighth in the 3-meter springboard final.
Can you even imagine how easy it would have been for Nancilea to give up after her first accident? Hearing stories about champions like Nancilea makes most of us realize that your worst day on your success journey could never compare with what she faced not once, but twice. She battled the fear and doubt that often cause people to quit. Nancilea’s passion for life and her dream conquered her biggest nightmare.
Do you have that kind of passion for your dream? If not, then you haven’t found your ultimate purpose in life yet. You will know it when you discover it, because your passion for it will almost overwhelm you. Just like Nancilea, you must let the passion drive you and be willing to pay the price for your dream no matter what adversity you may face.
Question #8 - Will you step up and live the champion life? The word “champion” has been defined as a fighter or a warrior. Another definition is someone that fights for a person or a cause. As you relentlessly pursue your ultimate dream in life, you must take a champion stance and fight for your dream. I’m not talking about a physical confrontation. However, you must be just as ferocious in your fight for your dreams. Realize that the enemy has placed adversity in your life to stop you and you simply can’t let it happen because you are a champion!
When you commit to living the champion life, you talk, walk, believe, dream, build, stretch, motivate, and fly like a champion. Are you living like a champion now? Do you associate with other champions? Whether or not other people see you as a champion isn’t important. What’s crucially important is that you see yourself as the champion you were born to be!
We’re all born champions, each and every one of us. Sometimes, we just forget that simple fact so tell yourself each and every day:
I am a champion!
I am dreaming like a champion!
I am walking like a champion!
I am challenging myself like a champion!
Champions make decisions. Champions know their Why. Champions dream huge. Champions listen to and hear their heart’s desires. Champions act as if their success is guaranteed. Champions listen to motivational materials. Champions step up and live the champion life!
If you successfully completed this chapter by asking yourself all eight questions and answering them honestly, then you are a champion. You made a decision to invest in your future. You, my friend, are well on your way to achieving ultimate success!
For more from John Di Lemme visit http://www.LifestyleFreedomClub.com
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