I was listening to Earl Nightingale’s audio program Lead the Field earlier this week. I have listened to this recording about 5-6 times now, and something hit me once again. Mr. Nightingale taught that one of the things we can do to make ourselves successful (success being defined as “the pursuit of a worthy goal”) is to engage our minds in a rare but powerful excercise: thinking.
What? We think all the time!
It wasn’t until I listened to his illustrations a few times that it really impacted me. As I saw my past and how my thought had in many ways brought me to where I was, I realized that I had engaged my mind so poorly during those previous years. Sure I got A’s in the public school system. Sure I could ace tests. And I could even present messages for the churches I have served on a regular basis. In fact, I did many things really well.
As I heard this audio again, I began thinking…
This is the truly challenging thing about the use of our minds: We must not gauge how well we have done or are doing by measuring ourselves up with other people. God didn’t make my mind like yours. We each have different strengths and weaknesses, and only God knows our full mental potential. If we are not pressing our limits, seeking to learn more and do more with our thinking, then we are likely being poor stewards of the wonderful gift of the mind.
To tell the truth, thinking is possibly the most underused gift that God has given mankind. We keep up with the culture, with what we are told to do, and with what already makes sense to us. But the “measure of a man” is how man uses his mind (This certainly holds true for ladies as well ). It is this mind that God designed to ultimately pursue the knowledge of our LORD. It is also this very ability to think for ourselves that allows us to creatively think about how we can fulfill our life’s mission.
This week, be challenged to use your mind to the fullest. God didn’t create that pile of grey matter to sit unstretched and flabby. He made us for big things. He made us for adventure.
I have to say that in the past two weeks a ton of things have been happening for me and my family. We have set goals that seem to be en route to fulfillment faster than we could have hoped.
As I was listening to Earl Nightingale’s Lead the Field program today he shared his famous saying, “We become what we think about.” Those with goals that are big, other-oriented, and positive who truly focus their hearts and minds on those goals will most likely achieve them. Most people, unfortunately, do not spend their “dream time” during the day to think of where they want to be in five years and how to get there. Instead, the average person thinks about what is on the news, the radio, programs on television, their favorite video game (my personal danger zone!) or any other number of things. While these diversions are not always bad, they are dangerous if they are all we think about.
Much of the big picture things my wife and I have been doing have been thought up and discussed during our “dream time.”
Also, everything positive that has been happening in our lives has come through the personal connections we have been making. These connections are not about us getting what we want, but serving other people in ways that benefit everyone. Zig Ziglar is known for saying, “If you help enough people in life get what they want, you will get everything you want.” Another way of expressing this is to say, “If you ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ then they will!” Big things happen when you serve others in big ways.
While I cannot share all the details, we are very excited about the future opportunities that God has in store for us. This, more than anything, is important for us to remember. As we set God-honoring goals and remain connected with our heavenly Father, big things can happen as we seek to live this adventurous life.
Keep your mind thinking about the big things you can accomplish, and look for people whom you can serve to help you accomplish them. There is an entire world out there that needs people to dream and do–Be one!
I am writing this at 10:47 pm…pretty late for a dad of four kids (when did we get up to four?)
I am writing late because I am trying to relax. I figured one of the best places to unwind my nerves was here on my blog. I couldn’t get any sleep because I am anxious.
I just got off the phone with a friend who is going through a major life transition. Will I still have my own job in the next month?
We look on the news and we wonder, “Is this nation/world/neighborhood going to be around next year?”
I am going to be heading to the doc tomorrow because of some chest pains: heart, pleurisy, anxiety attacks or something else. It is the not knowing that makes me the most nervous. I think I finally reached the point in my life where I truly wonder: “Will I be around tomorrow?”
Worry is so easy to listen to, but not very useful. I was in bed thinking about getting up and writing this blog I really thought about how thankful I am. I am thankful for my four awesome kids. I am thankful for my wonderful wife. I am thankful for such a great experience so far with Team Eagle and the ministry of our church. I am thankful for my friends from college, church, and the 48Days.net community. I am thankful to God for this day that I have been given; each one really is a gift.
I’m reminded of the fact that “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
What do you do when worry hits you like a ton of bricks? Has being thankful ever helped you?
“Thank you God for making this food so yummy and smelly.” – Anna
The prayers of preschoolers are awesome. Thanksgiving is coming up in just 4 days, what are you thankful for? Make sure to thank God for the smelly foods on the big day!