Partnering with God moves you to the BEST of what is possible for your life.
Success Is Within You reveals the power to create our goals and dreams resides in all of us and it is stronger than circumstances that may surround our lives.
Yesterday I was browsing the Internet as many of us do for entertainment or just to satisfy our curiosity about things we did not even know we were curious about until we start surfing. I love cars and I am trying to figure out what my next car would be. Now my dream car is too expensive and aside from that car, I have not seen anything on the road that appeals to me. This was until yesterday when I saw a car on the Internet that had me drooling. It has everything I want in a car. Next my mind shifts to scenarios of how to make the financing work with my existing obligations. Does this sound familiar? You see something new that you did not realize would become a desire until you saw it for the first time. When we were kids these kinds of desires were usually satisfied by our parents. Adults on the other hand with existing financial obligations have to find a way to budget for the new item depending on the cost. What I have found to be extremely helpful is to go through a “cooling off” period. Most likely the item of your desire will still be available even if a little time passes before your prospective purchase. If you still desire this item, at least you can make an intellectual decision considering important factors instead of an emotional, impulsive decision. There are situations where your desire is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. What do you do in a case like this? I would still employ a cooling off period but understand I have a shorter time window in which to make my decision. Certainly having less time to decide creates a little pressure so I ask myself an important question. “Is this desire consistent with the dreams and goals I have for my life?” That is to say, is this item going to support me or help get me closer to what I want to achieve long term? If the answer is no, then this desire is just a temporary distraction. Distractions are not necessarily bad; sometimes we indulge ourselves merely for pleasure. If the answer is yes however, now this desire can become an investment in your future. For me this is more pleasurable because you are enhancing the pathway to becoming a better person and this leads to even more happiness.
Now we must consider the case when we “miss the deadline.” The time expires and we have missed the opportunity because we had a limited time window in which to make our decision. What to do in this case? I missed the chance. That opportunity will not be available any more. This scenario can lead to disappointment or frustration. Such emotions are understandable but do not remain down in the dumps. First of all, ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve in my life?” Reflect on this and let it serve as a reminder of what the target is for your life. Keep your focus on where you want to go. If you did not get your desire this time, where you are right now in the absence of your desire is not the final destination of your life. If you remain true to the dreams and goals of your life, then what is forthcoming for you is the best of your life. Keep the faith and believe in yourself.
There is no such thing as a missed opportunity because the power of God makes anything possible. Now you may think, what if I pray to God and he does answer my prayer and I do not achieve my dream. “I could fail even without God’s help; if God does not respond to me, have I accomplished anything?” I invite you to take a new approach. Do not pray to God because you want something and when things are okay, God’s help is not even considered. Instead keep your focus on your dream and then partner with God in its attainment. I discuss this concept in my book, Success is Within You. “God, I want to win a gold medal in the Olympics, how do I achieve this?” “God, I want to start my own business, how do I achieve this dream?” As you set forth on the path toward your dreams, you want God all the time, not on an “as needed” basis. Partnering with God in achieving your dreams establishes a relationship over time so your faith grows stronger. You allow God to guide you and you will be less affected by bumps in the road along the way. Your eye is on the target and you and God will get to the destination of your dreams together.
Michael W. Jackson
I remember going to church and feeling very moved while I was there. Yet this feeling was temporary and I have noticed in others also that physical presence in a church or other places of worship does not necessarily translate to everyday behavior. Clearly what is necessary is to have the principles reinforced in our mind more frequently than the once a week visit to our place of spiritual enrichment. This can be accomplished through study groups or on the go self-education. It is said what we think about, comes about. This is an empowering statement because it suggests we have some control over what we want to create in our lives. Therefore if you desire to achieve something, you should be thinking about it frequently. As you go about your daily routine, you should think about your goals and dreams. Those individuals who attain outstanding achievement think about it so much it becomes an obsession. Now your dream may not be so big as to require obsessive thought but I would certainly encourage anyone to have a dream or goal that causes you to stretch beyond the capacity that is within your comfort zone.
So how does one begin? First of all, you need to have a dream that is a little bit hard to do. Why is this important? This is important because when you accomplish a difficult goal or dream, you will have the confidence to pursue even bigger dreams and harder goals. Suppose your dream is to pay off your home early. Start by writing it down and think about paying off your home early most of the time. As you go about your daily routine including working at your place of employment, you may need to focus exclusively on the task at hand. In fact, most of the time you may be performing tasks that are unrelated to your goal or dream. So if achieving our dreams requires more thought and a lot of time we are performing tasks unrelated to dreams, how can we hope to see the manifestation of those dreams in a shorter period of time? Mentally link even mundane or simple tasks you do with the goal you want to achieve. When you brush or teeth or take the dog out for a walk say to yourself, “I am paying off my mortgage early.” When you conduct yourself at your place of employment, say to yourself, “I am paying off my house early.” If you imagine that most any action you are taking is moving you closer to your goal, then you will perform that task with better care and quality. You are thinking about your goal and dreams on the inside and your actions are transforming you into a better person on the outside.
The next and most important step is to ask God for help. Many will fall short of their dreams because they neglect this step, especially if your goal is very hard to achieve. Now your ego might say that you want to reach all high achievement in your life through hard work and persistence. These are important qualities but if you want to fast track the pathway to your goals and dreams and have more peace of mind in the process ask for God’s guidance. Now you and God are partners in achieving your dream and for this dream you seek, there is not a better team. You have the vision of what you want to achieve and God has the power to make it happen. We are used to working within the realm of cause and effect. If I want to pay off my mortgage early, I need more money. The laws of physics do not apply to the power of God. Consequently, we cannot comprehend how God could make something happen in a way that defies our conventional view of the world. We do not need to know how. God knows how. We only need to trust and have faith in our dream and our partnership with God and your dream will fall into place according to his will.
Michael W. Jackson
One of my passions in life is writing computer programs. They are a creative outlet for me as well having practical utility. I have programs that perform a variety of functions from calculating how much fuel I will need to fill the gas tank in my car to balancing my checkbook. Now it may seem archaic to design programs which are readily available through an app on a Smartphone. Writing customized programs is a labor of love and besides I have more control as to how the program works. It take can take as little as 30 minutes to as much as a week to develop something depending on the complexity. Over time these programs evolve as features are added and improvements are made. Observing the iterative versions of a program, I see in some cases the development has occurred over a course of years. Many times modifications are needed because the program fails to give the expected outcome. Either there is an error in the program or the data presents “real life” scenarios which the program was not designed to handle. Working through the debugging process and trying to resolve a complex problem can meet with some frustration but at the end of the day, the program is better. When I look back on previous versions of a computer program, I see the current one is significantly better. I believe this is a good analogy toward becoming more excellent in our lives.
We all make mistakes from time to time. However those individuals who actively pursue excellence in their lives because they have a dream, a goal or are aiming to be proficient in a particular skill will find it hard to accept errors. The idea is to move closer to the outcome you seek and errors or falling short can be very disappointing. To those extremely motivated achievers do not be too hard on yourself. In my book, “Success is Within You”, I explore the concept that it is possible for humanity to be perfect. For those that truly seek to be better, perfection is not a destination, perfection is the process of self-improvement. Even a computer program that works as designed can be improved and you can always better yourself. Yet when you make an error, is there something you can change that would prevent the error in the future? When I modify a program to fix an error or address a particular issue, it becomes a better program. Similarly we can modify our own human program when it produces errors or outcomes that are less than ideal. Acknowledge that an error has been made and take appropriate action to fix it. Afterward we can reflect on preventing similar mistakes in the future. It is in this self-reflection that we learn to be better if we so choose. I say if we so choose because for some this will not be a learning process because they choose not to learn and grow from their mistakes. However, if you choose to be better, if you are choosing the pathway of excellence, you will see your errors with more openness because you desire to be better and embracing your errors and learning from them is the process that takes you toward excellence and being a better YOU.
Michael W. Jackson
Almost every time I tune in to CNN there is breaking news about more drama in American politics. It is not unlike a TV reality show where you are just waiting to see what happens next. I feel fortunate to live in the United States but our government has made this country a disgrace on the global stage. Amidst the chaos and confusion, is there any place where we can find purpose? I believe the answer is yes and where we find purpose is by looking within. We have to turn within and begin to ask ourselves important questions. What is my purpose here as a human being? I believe most of us never ask this question because our perspective of our place in the universe is very narrow. Our primary interests focus on what affects us immediately: taxes, the business meeting tomorrow or picking up the kids from daycare. Just to keep my own life on track is a challenge; I cannot possibly save the world. Certainly our immediate circle of life warrants our attention but too much detachment between ourselves as individuals and the big picture of life creates a mindset where we expect others to deal with the issues that do not “belong” to us. The problem is, there is no “others.” The “other” people do not exist. There is only one human species and it is all of us together. When we visualize the world in a sort of segmented, compartmentalized way, we disconnect from our relationship with humanity as a whole and our interrelationship with life on earth.
There is hope for humanity and it begins with changing the way we think. However you think or whatever your beliefs and values are, you were not born with these. All of humanity is born with a “blank slate” in terms of our thinking. All of the beliefs, values and behaviors that divide us as a species were learned. If negative programming was learned earlier in our lives, we have the power to unlearn this programming and replace it with a way of thinking that is more positive and life affirming. Yet changing the way we think requires an understanding that by doing so we can elicit change in our circumstances. This is absolutely true. The collective thinking of society is responsible for many of the challenges that confront the human species today. Pollution is not necessary. Starvation is not necessary. War is not necessary. Global warming is not necessary. Any of these can be reversed by choosing to think differently and using our minds creatively to come up with solutions. Now it would be easy to relinquish to the notion that I am merely one person and no effort that I make as an individual is going to make a difference on such huge problems we face in our world today. I would say this is flawed thinking and is precisely the kind of mindset that needs to change. All of us matter and all of us can make a difference, even as individuals. Yes we all have to deal with the immediate affairs of our lives but for even a few moments of your day, give yourself permission to be creative. Give yourself permission to use your mind to express your creativity. Your creativity can be expressed by thinking of something new and working on it. This creates an immediate change because something has manifested as a result of your action that was not there before. If we choose to do nothing, we will stagnate as a society and remain victims of the way “other” people think. If you choose to think differently, to think creatively, to believe in yourself and know you have the power to make things better for yourself and those around you, little by little you will begin to see positive change. It only takes enough of us thinking creatively, bringing the full power of the human mind to bear, that we can tackle the big problems of humanity and our world.
Michael W. Jackson