Whoa! Has anyone else noticed the extreme number of last minute offers flooding your inbox? Many of them appeal to my sense of pride an ambition promising that if I sign up with them, all my plans will succeed. The tug is there. Who doesn’t want to be successful? Who isn’t on a mission to make 2013 better than 2012? Answer: We all want that, of course we do. But here’s a shocker – reading a book and buying into one more program isn’t the answer. I’m speaking to myself here too. This time of the year is like a magnet pulling me toward starting a new success plan, finding a roadmap to success and getting on it. Isn’t that what we all want; to be successful at something?
God has a plan for each of us, and it’s good to seek ways to put his plan into practice and live out our purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 (the Message) I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Here’s a challenge. Before buying another book, before signing on for someone else’s plan, before ordering that new miracle exercise device, stop! First know yourself. Do some intense soul searching and ask, “What is it that I am trying to accomplish? What does success mean to me? What am I willing to do to be successful? What will I give up now to see my dreams through to reality? What do I want my life to look like 6 months from now, a year from now, five years down the road – and counting?
Act one: Know yourself
Act two: Write specific goals
Act three: Consider what you need to do to get those goals from the paper to your life.
Here’s a word to ponder. Discernment
There are literally thousands of books to read, hundreds of programs architected to make you the poster child for success and yes! I can happen to you. But remember these words from your childhood: Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Remember? It still applies today.
So before investing in another book, another plan, another program that promises unprecedented success, consider act three. Carefully read through the offers of unprecedented success. Remember that it is you, who will engineer the plans of others to fit the goals you’re written out for yourself. With the Psalmist, prayerfully consider your decision. “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.” – Psalm 119:125
Proverbs 3:5 & 6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.
And let’s remember to set priorities so we keep the main thing, the main thing. Matthew 6:33 (NIV) Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.