Yesterday, I purchased several books at Barnes & Noble while running my weekend errands on a rainy yet chilly Saturday afternoon in South Jersey. I went to the local Starbucks near my home, ordered a grande hot chocolate and banana nut bread, and sat down to start reading one of my new books: John C. Maxwell’s How Successful People Think. I remember one of my coworkers using this book to facilitate a counseling group session about positive thinking several months ago. I decided to purchase How Successful People Think out of curiosity since I’m always interested in personal growth and development.
After skimming through the Introduction, I read the first chapter about how individuals should cultivate a big-picture thinking mentality when it comes to exploring new ideas and new opportunities. Maxwell pointed out the benefits of this technique including, but not limited to, leadership, focus, teamwork, and viewing things from different perspectives for business and/or personal growth. I agreed with some of the advice the author gave to his readers to develop big-picture thinking like learning from every experience and gaining insight from others. At the end of the chapter, Maxwell poised the following thinking question: Am I thinking beyond myself and my world so that I process ideas with a holistic perspective? Inspiration stuck as I pulled out my journal and pen and started writing.
I do think beyond myself and my world so that I process ideas with a holistic perspective. I do think, dream, and have big goals that I want to accomplish in my life. Some include 1) being a multimillionaire by my 50th birthday; 2) effortlessly bench pressing 225 lbs. for five reps and five sets; 3) writing a New York Times Best Seller novel and book; and 4) marrying the lady of my dreams who will be my wife, my best friend, and my soul mate. These are large goals considering 1) I’m currently living paycheck to paycheck and experiencing financial struggles; 2) I have a torn ligament in my left wrist that prohibits me from lifting heavy weights (and also writing for lengthy periods); 3) I’m procrastinating when it comes to my writing; and 4) I haven’t been in a relationship since I broke up with my last girlfriend six and a half months ago. However, I’m not about to be discouraged.
One thing that I learned over the years through my past challenges is to never allow any unfavorable situations to define my present and future. There were times in the past when I didn’t think I’d find a way to overcome stressful situations like working three years at a job I hated during a difficult economic period when many companies weren’t hiring new employees. Or trying to complete my master’s degree in six months working five days a week as an unpaid intern while being employed on weekends as a resident counselor. Somehow, someway, by the grace of Spirit, I found a way to not only make it through those situations, but to also continue to thrive and prosper.
I am determined to accomplish my big goals and to fulfill my vision of who I am and will be. I am faithful and confident that everything will fall into its proper place and perspective in the fullness of time. When I focused and determined to achieve my goals, I live by five words that empower my mind, my body, and my spirit: I will not be denied! My attitude is to live each day as if it will be my last. To some, that may sound morbid, but for me it’s not. I push myself every day to do something, anything that brings me closer to manifesting the big picture. I may not be able to save money like I desire, but I am saving. Just because I can’t lift heavy weights to work on my upper body doesn’t stop me from weight training my legs or doing yoga. Consistent journaling keeps my mind active and fresh for new ideas related to my creative aspirations. Just because I had a bad dating experience after nine years of being on relationship sabbatical won’t close the door forever for meeting my soul mate.
I recognize and visualize my big picture. I’m making progress to take action to see what needs to be done. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne said it best, “the value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.” And on that note, it’s time for me to make use of this day.
Take care and be blessed!