Five Keys to Realizing Your Potential

There is no heavier burden than an unfulfilled potential Charles Schulz

When I was growing up, we had a framed piece of wisdom that hung on a wall:

Don’t regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.

As I celebrate my birthday this week, that piece of wisdom is one of many that continues to inspire me.

I’d like to share with you just a few more lessons that may be just what you need to hear right now. There is nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon once said, but every now and then, we need to be reminded of what we already know.

1. You are here for a reason.
If you are alive, there is a purpose for your life. Your purpose answers this simple question: “How is a person’s life better because they crossed your path?” Your purpose may be to bring joy to others, provoke thought, educate, inspire, teach, or connect people with one another. Whatever it is, it uses your natural gifts, talents, passions, and experiences (both painful and joyful) to make a positive impact on the world.

2. People can change (but you can’t change them).
We all have the capacity to change, but lasting change comes from within. External pressure may affect a temporary shift, but true transformation occurs from the inside out. Out of the heart flows the issues of life. Until one’s heart changes, transformation is impossible. It requires a personal commitment to facing truth and walking through fear in order to step out of habits and behaviors inside your comfort zone. So don’t waste your time trying to change others. Focus on changing yourself and praying for others.

3. Change is a process.
Occasionally, change happens “suddenly.” There’s the cigarette smoker who stops cold turkey or the person who becomes fed up and makes a major life-changing decision. But most of the time, change does not happen overnight. Give yourself permission to fail, learn from mistakes, and try again. Eventually, just as you learned to ride a bicycle or read, change will take root and won’t take as much concentrated effort. Adjust your expectations so that you give yourself the space to improve over time.

4. Fear is inevitable.
Expect it and keep moving forward. As you may have read in my book What’s Really Holding You Back? Fear is the emotion that threatens to keep us from our dreams – if we allow it. One of the keys is answering your “what if?” questions: “What if I fail?” “What if I’m wrong?” “What if they say ‘no’?” “What if I’m not good enough?” Answer the questions that conjure up fear and you’ll begin pushing through your greatest fears.

5. Baby steps will get you to the finish line.
Getting stuck is a vicious cycle. Fear keeps you from taking action. Not taking action leads to poor results. Poor results convince you that you cannot succeed.

Consider your vision for this year and identify a simple step you can take this week to move you closer to it.

Lastly, I’ve learned that happiness is a choice. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Studies have even shown that when people attain the things they believed would bring them happiness, their level of happiness increases only temporarily, then falls back to their previous level. Having more money, getting married, having a baby, landing your dream job – these are all wonderful milestones, but they are not the key to happiness. You hold that key. It is your choice to acknowledge your blessings, love fully, conquer your fears, maintain perspective, nurture relationships, and live your divinely-appointed purpose that brings happiness.

My challenge to you this week:

Embrace the change you are trying to make in your life as a process. Don’t beat yourself up for not changing perfectly, succumbing to your fears, or taking baby steps. Allow it to be a process – with ups and downs – until you get to your finish line.

Journaling assignment:

How is a person’s life better because they crossed your path? With regards to a change you want to make in your life, what is your biggest fear? What baby step could you take forward despite your fear?

Today’s article was written by Valerie Burton and is shared from the following website: http://www1.cbn.com/finance/five-keys-to-realizing-your-potential

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The One Principle that Surrounds Everything…Stewardship

I I Research concept with businessman in boat in the middle of the sea and lightly cloudy skies.

I love today’s quote. Life is such a gift! Our ability to be stewards of our lives is such a blessing! God is the giver of all that is good! May we receive all that is good and wisely manage the stewardship that is ours!

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Can You Make a Difference?

 There is no man living who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can Henry FordPOTENTIAL

In his book, The Americanization of Edward Bok, Edward Bok, one-time editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal, tells a story about his grandfather, who lived in Denmark. It seems the grandfather had been commissioned by the King of Denmark to lead a band of soldiers against pirates who were playing havoc with shipping along a certain coastal area. The elder Bok set up his headquarters on a lonely, rocky, desolate island just off the coast, and after a few years was able to clear the pirates out of the area.

Upon returning to the mainland Bok reported to the King. The King was very pleased and offered Bok anything he wanted. All he wanted, he told the King, was a plot of land on the island where he had just lived and fought for so many months. They told him the island was barren. Why would he want to live there? “I want to plant trees,” was Bok’s reply. “I want to make the island beautiful.” The King’s aides thought he was crazy. The island was constantly swept by storms and high winds. He would never be able to get a tree to grow there.

Bok, however, insisted, and the King granted him his wish. He went to live on the island, built a home, and finally was able to bring his wife to it. For years, they worked industriously, persistently, planting trees, shrubs, grass. Gradually the vegetation took hold, the island began to flourish. One morning they arose to hear birds singing. There had never been any birds on the island before.

Eventually the island became a showplace and now is visited by thousands of tourists each year. When he died the grandfather requested that the following words be inscribed on his tombstone: “Make you the world a bit more beautiful and better because you have been on it.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Edward Bok, the grandson, who had become an American citizen, believed that anyone who was able to do so should retire at 50 and spend the rest of his life making the world a more beautiful and better place to live. And he was as good as his word. At 50 he retired as editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal.

One day, while traveling around central Florida, he came upon Iron Mountain, elevation 324 ft. above sea level, the highest point in Florida. Immediately the thought hit him — why not repeat in America what his grandfather had done in the old country? He bought the site and set to work. Eventually he was more than successful. The place is called Mountain Lake Sanctuary, Lake Wales, Florida. Upon his death, Edward Bok willed it to the State of Florida, and it is now a major tourist attraction. Upon the younger Bok’s catafalque were the words: “Make you the world a bit more beautiful and better place because you have been in it.”

Bits & Pieces, March 31, 1994, pp. 17-20.

Today’s story was shared from the following website: http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/p/potential.htm

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We Are Spiritual Beings Full of Promise!

The mind in its natural state can be compared to the sky, covered by layers of cloud which hide its true nature Kalu Rinpoche

Finding Your Purpose

Most people struggle with three basic issues in life. The first is identity: “Who am I?” The second is importance: “Do I matter?” And the third is impact: “What is my purpose in life?” Over the years, I’ve noticed that even many couples serving together in ministry often struggle with clarifying these issues. But the answers are found in understanding God’s five reasons for creating you and putting you on earth.

God’s purpose for your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It will last longer than your family, your ministry, or even your dreams and ambitions. To know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.

The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point – ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like: “What do I want to do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, and my dreams for my future?” Focusing on yourself will never reveal your life’s purpose because the Bible says in Job 12:10, “It is God who directs the lives of His creatures; everyone’s life is in His power.”

How then do you discover the purposes that you were created for? You only have two options. Your first option is speculation. This is what most people do. They conjecture, they guess, they theorize.

Dr. Hugh Moorhead, a professor of philosophy at Northeastern Illinois University, once wrote to 250 of the best known writers, philosophers, scientists, and intellectuals in the world, asking them, “What is the meaning of life?” He then published their responses in a book. Some offered their best guesses, some admitted that they just made up a purpose for life, and others were honest enough to say they were clueless. In fact, a number of famous intellectuals asked Professor Moorhead to write back and tell them if he discovered the purpose of life!

Fortunately, there is an alternative to speculation about the meaning and purpose of life. It’s revelation. We can turn to what God has revealed about life in His Word. The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it. The same is true for discovering your life’s purpose: ask God.

God has not left us in the dark to wonder and guess. He has clearly revealed His five purposes for our lives through the Bible. It’s our owner’s manual, explaining why we are alive, how life works, what to avoid, and what to expect in the future. It explains what no self-help or philosophy book could know. The Bible says in 1 Cor. 2:7, “God’s wisdom… goes deep into the interior of His purposes… It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest – what God determined as the way to bring out His best in us….”

God is not just the starting point of your life; He is the source of it. To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths. Ephesians 1:11 says, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.”

This verse gives three insights into your purpose:

  • You discover your identity and purpose through your relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • God was thinking of you long before you ever thought about Him. He planned your life before you existed, without your input! You may choose your career, your spouse, your hobbies, and many other parts of your life, but you don’t get to choose your purpose.
  • The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity.

Because of the brevity of this article, let me suggest five questions that will help you get started in thinking about God’s purposes for your life. I urge you to set aside some time to seriously think about the answers to these questions. They will affect not only the rest of your life, but your eternity.

Life’s Five Greatest Questions

1.  What will be the center of my life?

This is the question of worship. Whom are you going to live for? What are you going to build your life around? You can center your life on your career, your family, a sport or hobby, money, or many other activities. These can all be good things, but they don’t belong at the center of your life. None is strong enough to hold you together when life starts breaking apart. You need an unshakable center.

In 2 Chron. 14:4, King Asa told the people of Judah to “center their lives in God.” Actually, whatever is at the center of your life is your god! If you have committed your life to Christ, He moved into the center, but you must keep Him there on a daily basis. How do you know when God is at the center of your life? When He’s at the center, you worship. When He’s not, you worry. Worry is the warning light that God has been shoved to the sideline of your life. The moment you put Him back at the center, you’ll have peace again. Philippians 4:7 says, “A sense of God’s wholeness… will come and settle you down”. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

2.  What will be the character of my life?

This is the question of discipleship. What kind of person will you be? God is far more interested in what you are than what you do because you are going to take your character into eternity, not your career. Make a list of the character qualities you want to work on and develop in your life. You might begin with the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22-23 or the Beatitudes of Jesus in Matt. 5:3-12.

3.  What will be the contribution of my life? 

This is the question of service. Knowing your combination of spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences (your S.H.A.P.E.), what would be your best role and how can you make a difference? To be balanced, you need both a “ministry” to believers and a “mission” to unbelievers. You serve in both the church and the world. What will be your ministry in the Body of Christ?

While you’re shaped to serve others, even Jesus didn’t meet the needs of everyone while on earth. You must choose whom you can best help, based on your shape. You need to ask “Whom do I have a desire to help most?” Jesus said in John 15:16a, “I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last.” Each of us bears different fruit.

4.  What will be the communication of my life?

This is the question of your mission in the world. God not only has a mission for your life, He has a unique life message that He wants to speak to the world through you. Who needs to hear your unique story of faith? If you’re a parent, part of your mission is to raise your children to know Christ, to help them understand His purposes for their lives, and to send them out on their mission in the world.

Of course, our lives must support the message we communicate. Before most unbelievers accept the Bible as credible, they want to know that we are credible. That’s why the Bible says in Phil. 1:27 “Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ.”

5.  What will be the community of my life?

This is the question of fellowship. How will you demonstrate your commitment to other believers and connection to the family of God? To which church family will you be joined as a functioning member? The more you mature, the more you’ll love Christ’s body and want to sacrifice for it. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.”

 What Will God Say?

I once heard the suggestion that you develop your life purpose statement based on what you’d like other people to say about you at your funeral. Frankly, that’s a bad plan. At the end of your life, it isn’t going to matter what other people say about you. The only thing that will matter is what God says about you. 1 Thessalonians 2:4b says, “Our purpose is to please God, not people.”

One day, God will review your answers to these life questions: Did you really put Jesus Christ (not your ministry) at the center of your life? Did you develop His character? Did you devote your life to serving others? Did you communicate His message and fulfill His mission? Did you really learn to love His family, the Church? These are the only issues that will count. As Paul said in 2 Cor. 10:13, “Our goal is to measure up to God’s plan for us.” This is what purpose-driven living is all about.

Today’s article was written by Rick Warren and is shared from the following website: http://justbetweenus.org/faith/spiritual-growth/finding-your-purpose/

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Personal Power…Your Potential is Limitless!

When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you Lao Tzu

Living Limitless – An Inspiring Story of Ultimate Human Potential

I was ushered into the auditorium in a wheelchair. Being a tetraplegic (which means paralyzed neck downwards) I cannot move an inch on my own, nor can I do any work without the help of a caretaker. As my caretaker smoothly guided my wheelchair onto the stage, an estimated 500-strong audience broke into applause. I was conducting an inspirational seminar in Mumbai, India for an international IT company. They had certainly been briefed about me, ‘The Positive Man’ – the title given to me by The Times of India. They were curious to know how a 90 percent-paralyzed man completely confined to a wheelchair can inspire or help them in any way. In a split-second, my mind traveled back 16 years, to the accident.

In December 1999, I was in Goa, India with my wife Eesha to welcome the new millennium. That was when I was completely able and traveled internationally for my interior design projects. Deep-sea diving was one of my favorite adventure sports. The spirit of festivity was in the air. We reached my favorite point – a perfect spot for deep-sea diving and soon I was on top of the cliff ready for my dive.

Months passed. I did not die. Something kept me alive, giving me courage even when I had none, soothing my forehead and asking me to relax.

I sprang with a certain experienced acrobatic maneuver towards the sea. 
A couple of seconds later, there was total darkness, only regaining consciousness on a hospital bed, with no track of time. I could only move my head. It was later in the day that the doctor explained the diagnosis – my cervical spinal cord nerves had been entirely pulverized and I was now neck-downwards paralyzed for life.

There was absolutely no cure for my condition and chances of survival were minimal. Even so, I would be living the rest of my life as a vegetable. I was devastated. Totally in denial, I refused to believe that this could happen to me. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. I was being sucked into an abyss.

Months passed. I did not die. Something kept me alive, giving me courage even when I had none, soothing my forehead and asking me to relax. One thing was for sure. This something was growing bigger and bigger within me, almost becoming a rebel, a stronger voice with each passing day.

“Girish. Wake up. Get out of the abyss. You have come into this world for a purpose. Your accident was not meant to defeat you. Wake up and march ahead. Fulfill your mission. Go inspire a billion hearts. Hope and positivity will spring from your heart and inspire all. You are the Hope Factory. Go, Fulfill -Mission Positive Earth. Touch and light up seven billion lives globally. Remember – the greatest success stories come from people who turn biggest adversities into greatest opportunities.”

Nothing made sense to me. I met the doctor who had given me the defeatist prognosis in my wheelchair. And yes. I did approach him in my wheelchair and told him with a determined and passionate voice. “Doctor. I appreciate your diagnosis. But I refuse to accept your verdict. I will not live like a vegetable for the rest of my life. Rather, I will spread hope, inspiration and positivity in the hearts of millions.”

He stared at me with definite awe. Looking at him, I knew that I had motivated him. A certain sense of confidence started building up inside me – if I can motivate a world-class doctor, I can motivate the whole world. Turning my biggest loss into my greatest strength, I can conquer seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I can accomplish –Mission Positive Earth.

One day, our driver drove my father, my caretaker, and me to Mumbai Central Railway Station, the largest landmark in Mumbai. The newly refurbished interiors unraveled before my eyes. The revamping was planned by me, and executed to perfection by the architects, engineers, and workers. This was one of the 15 international interior designing projects, which I did after my life-changing incident.

My father had wondrously exclaimed, “Hats off to you my son. Handling such a daunting task. In spite of being 90 percent paralyzed. Possible only with willpower, enduring passion, perseverance, and sheer determination, simply because you refused to quit and give up in life.” My heart swelled with pride and gratitude. I felt happy to note that several of my projects had featured in many international architectural magazines.

I must mention here that had it not been for the tremendous moral support of my parents, my sisters and my wife, it would not have been possible for me to keep up the fight. 

However, something was still bothering me. I confided in Eesha – “I am still feeling an emptiness within.” Eesha helped me to see that I wanted to reach out to others. Inspire them to fight against their adversities. Share my own example of resilience, grit and death-defying survival into victory.” Eesha’s words got etched deep in my mind. “Yes,” I acknowledged, “Now it’s time to share my life.
We came to observe life very closely. We realized that the human spirit is far stronger than anything that could happen to it, and also realized that giving is the highest level of living.

However, tragedy was to strike again. Eesha was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a deadly degenerative disease which also has no cure.

 Over the months and years, her condition deteriorated, and she gradually lost 70 percent of her vision and 90 percent of her speech. She too became completely paralyzed neck downward, unable to move even an inch or do anything on her own.

Despite her being completely bedridden for the last nine years of her debilitating condition, we stood stoically beside each other like pillars of support. Rock bottom became the foundation on which we rebuilt our lives.

We came to observe life very closely. We realized that the human spirit is far stronger than anything that could happen to it, and also realized that giving is the highest level of living. I shut down my thriving interior designing business to answer my divine calling – which was to reinvent myself as an inspirational and motivational speaker.

Considering the world as one global family, duly loving and respecting each individual unconditionally, sharing our example of resilience in the face of grueling adversities with everybody and inspiring them to transform from victim into victory and trial into triumph – like a diehard optimist. And though my wife cannot accompany me physically for my seminars, in spirit she is always a part of Mission Positive Earth.

Obstacles actually strengthen our resolve even more. Struggles help us build character. Every challenging situation actually brings us closer to our inevitable victory.

Looking back at all these incidents today, I feel that every adversity I went through and am still going through is actually a divine plan to prepare me for the bigger challenges lying ahead in the global pursuit of Mission Positive Earth. I also feel that each of us has that powerful voice deep within and that the deepest core of every human being is a field of infinite possibilities.

I was finally beginning to understand what that voice was trying to tell me – “If we human beings realize that all the power we need to succeed is already within us, and if we can channelize this untapped potential, nothing is impossible. In every human being’s heart lies a spark of fire, which lights up in the darkest hour of adversity. All that lies behind us and all that lies in front of us is too little in comparison to what lies within us, and when we realize this, we find that limitations are but imaginary. And if we simply accept this miracle and march ahead with a positive belief in ourselves, we can overcome all our hardships and turn all our dreams into reality.

Obstacles actually strengthen our resolve even more. Struggles help us build character. Every challenging situation actually brings us closer to our inevitable victory. 
The small seminars at orphanages, old age homes, leprosy homes, home for the blind, non-profit organizations, etc., soon turned into much bigger corporate seminars for multi-national companies and educational institutions (my first corporate seminar being at Taj Palace Hotel, Mumbai.) A pulsating burning desire within me broke the shackles of my disabled condition. I – “The Positive Man” – became regular news in the media. I received the Karmaveer Chakra, The Positive Real Life Hero Award, and the MTC Global Top Ten Thinkers Award. But I do not work for awards or honors.

Someone once asked me how much I earn. I replied that my current turnover is a staggering seven billion good wishes and blessings from people all around the world. My real award is when someone tells me – “IF YOU CAN DO IT, SO CAN I”. Yes, I do receive generous donations from big corporations for every motivational seminar that I conduct, most of which I channel towards similar programs for the underprivileged sections of society.

A living is made by what we get, but honestly, life is made by what we give. I sincerely believe in receiving graciously and giving unconditionally. For it is said that our potential is God’s gift to us. And what we do with it is our gift to him. I believe that ultimately the collective energy of billions of humans can achieve anything, including fighting climate change and attaining World Peace. And I am determined to achieve these through my global pursuit called Mission Positive Earth. Sharing these thoughts with people through social media platforms is the main activity of my global mission. Every fiber of my being stands for this noble cause as I believe that total commitment is paramount to reach the pinnacle of success.

Today once again, I set out to touch hearts, inspiring all to live out their highest vision. Because each man is capable of doing more than he thinks he can do. Does it matter that I have lost sensation in 90 percent of my body and my respiratory function is only about 50 percent, that I cannot drink a drop of water on my own or eat a morsel of food on my own, that my four limbs don’t function leaving me completely dependent on my caretaker round the clock, that I have zero control of my bladder and bowels or that if I am neck downwards completely paralyzed ?

What really matters in life is that I am neck upwards wise and positively analyzed. I still have a heart that beats, a soul that feels and a mind that thinks optimistically.

Dear readers – never give up in life or lose hope, as we humans are born to win. And only those who have the strength to overcome are faced with hardships. So don’t run away; don’t escape. Let those hard times ignite the strength within your heart and blow away your adversities. Let us each be grateful and thankful for this wonderful, amazing and priceless opportunity called life. Indeed our I cans, I ams, and I wills are far more important than our IQs.

With this, I take your leave, dear readers, as I commence my seminar: 

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen! What a miraculous journey life is …”

Today’s inspirational story was written by Girish Goggia and is shared from the following website: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/living-limitless-an-inspiring-true-story-of-ultimate-human-potential-bbab/

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