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“If only I had more time!” How often have we said that? Time is an oxymoron, it waits for no one.Time is a thief; it steals away your peace. How are we using our time today? Are we treasuring it, using it to our maximum advantage or squandering it in wanton waste?
A.W. Tozer says, “When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.” Yes, Time past is time over which has no power, but time to come lays upon each one of us as how are we going to make use of it.
Do you know, what is the problem of many youngsters today? They’re never on time. They always think we have ‘tomorrow’ to work on and so we need not worry about today and hence they always find an excuse to escape ‘the present’ but a wise man named Bill Keane once said, “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is mystery, Today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present”. It is very sad to say, we are living in a hour where many people fail to realize the value of time. But, a certain anonymous author penned while writing about the value of time;
To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a grade.
To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute; ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one second, ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
This anonymous author has a very keen sense of the time. Time is something we often take for granted, unless we have some focused purpose in our life. Every human being has got exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. It is only upto us on how we use it or how are we going to use it.
Use time wisely
The Holy Bible records a parable entitled, “the ten wise and foolish virgins” which reads, there were ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.So,all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are blowed out”. No, they replied. ‘There may not be enough for both of us. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves’. But, while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
This is exactly today’s scenario with almost everyone.We love to do our jobs at last moment. We think we are last moment workers.But, no.If we want to achieve something in our life then we have to be systematic because goals are never achieved in a single day. Also, the last moment workers can never be equal to the people who work hard every single day constantly. For example, if we’re given a particular project to finish it in ten days. What we usually do is, take rest for eight days and suddenly something inside us wakes up at the ninth day and we hush to complete the given work at the last moment. Yes, we may finish the work but we can never be satisfied with our work. So, let’s be wise and use time wisely.
Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with 86,400 and it carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Remember, each of us has a similar bank within us. It’s name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this,you have failed to invest in good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
So, how are we using our present? Just think about it. You may be rich enough but you can’t buy more hours. You may be a scientist but you can’t invent new minutes. Also, you can never save time to spend it on another day. Remember, time is limited and it is still running and it waits for no one. So, utilize it to the maximum and make use of each and every opportunity that you get. Put in your maximum efforts in ‘today’ in order to get a better ‘tomorrow’. Also, invest time so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is still running, seize the day.
“Make the most of every opportunity” – Ephesians 5:16
Failure is one of the toughest parts of our life to overcome. When it comes to failing, our egos are our worst enemies. Everyone has seen or experienced failure at some point in their life. Nobody escapes it. Sooner or later, everyone experiences it. If someone gets hit by major setbacks in his or her life, people often misinterpret it as a breakdown. Always remember, failure is a staircase to success. You may fall from it, maybe a hundred times but make sure you climb up again. Some people never fail, because they never aim for success. Yes, some people are so focused on not failing that they forget to aim for success.
Failure is actually a very important part of our success. It isn’t really a problem anyway. The problem lies when we limit ourselves, and fail to learn from it. Always deal with the problems of your life with a positive attitude. Negative response leads to nothing but setbacks and blunders it may cause you to give up on your goals. Everyone deals with setbacks but they can be overcome only if we see them as a part of bigger life picture. Use failure as a valuable learning tool.
You can benefit from every failure, obstacle, or embarrassing experience by asking yourself the following questions:
- What did I learn from this experience?
- What can I do differently next time to avoid it?
Thomas Edison, whose most memorable invention was the light bulb, which purportedly took him 1000 tries before he developed a successful prototype. “How did it feel to fail 1000 times?” a reporter asked. “I didn’t fail 1000 times,” Edison responded. “The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”
Fear of failure
Firstly, most of the people never succeed in life because of their fear of failing. Of course, no one wants to fail. We’d like to succeed every time. But we do learn more from our failure than we ever will from our successes. Rather than labeling your setbacks and blunders as failures, choose to say you have learned a lot of ways not to do something at the second attempt.
Secondly, some people never overcome their failure because they never forgive themselves for failing. Instead of moving beyond failure to success, they continue to punish themselves with self-inflicted guilt. If you have failed, admit it and start over afresh. The key to success is determining how you’ll handle your failure. If you try to hide it, it will haunt you. If you confess it, you can conquer it.
“Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the wrong direction.”
– Al Bernstein.
Use failure as a platform
Failure can be used as a platform – it can be used as a launching board towards something incredible. I remember a short story of a girl and an artist. One day some ink was, accidentally, spilled onto a beautiful and an expensive handkerchief by a girl during her painting classes and that mess was observed by her teacher-an artist who decided to make the best of the situation. So, he drew a picture on the cloth and used the blotch of ink as part of the scenery. At the end, something beautiful was made on a blundered product.
God is well-equipped to do the same for us, if we allow him to. Place your problems and failure in God’s hand, it’s never too late. Sometimes, we forget that god is a miracle worker. He is well able to take our failures and work them into his plans for our future. Above all, allow God to direct your paths. He will take care of everything.
“The righteous may fall seven times but still get up”
– Proverbs 24:16
Never give up
When we study life of some beautiful minds who have succeeded in their life, one quality they almost always have in common is “persistence”. They never give up. They know that the longer they hang in there and the more they persist, the greater the chance that something will happen in their favor. Never give up on your dreams. You may find it challenging but quite often the challenges you face will help you learn new lessons, get good at making difficult decisions, and develop your character.
Here is a small incident that happened with Thomas Edison – a well known scientist. Thomas Edison invented the microphone, the phonograph, the incandescent light, the storage battery, talking movies, and more than 1000 other things. December 1914, he had worked for 10 years on a storage battery which had greatly strained his finances. One particular evening, spontaneous combustion broken out in his film room and within minutes all the packing compounds, celluloid for records and film, and other flammable goods were in flames. Fire companies from eight surrounding towns arrived, but the heat was so intense and the water pressure so low that the attempt to douse the flames was futile. Everything was destroyed.
The damage exceeded two million dollars; the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof.
The inventor’s 24-year old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him, calmly watching the fire, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind. “My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67 – no longer a young man – and everything was going up in flames. When Edison saw him, he shouted, ‘Charles, Where’s your mother?’ Charles told him, “I didn’t know.” Edison said, ‘Find her and bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.”
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is a great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank god, we can start anew.” Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph.
Similarly, there are n numbers of notable individuals who have failed in life more times than they have succeeded. They never gave up over their works which brought them success in future.
Remember, our Holy Bible reminds us in Jeremiah 8:4 as, “when people fall down, do they not get up?” So, you may fall or you may fail but be bold. Rise up, Run.
You may be a student or a parent who is reading this. Whether you’ve experienced failure as a parent, in the form of bankruptcy after starting your own business, or a student who has failed in exams, remember you did the best you could with the knowledge and skills you had available at the time. After all, you did survive. Now you know, you can cope up with the results of failing. To get yourself up and running once again, focus on past successes. Remind yourself you’ve had more victories than defeats. Try to spend time with positive, caring friends and family who can validate your worth and help you refocus on your goals.
Never let your failure break you, and the only way that failure can break you is if you let it. What you have to understand is that everybody fails but not everyone gets back up and tries again. So, no matter how many time you fail, get up and try it again. Never let the failure stand between you and what you want to accomplish. Once you’ve created a new plan of action, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and move in the direction of your dreams. It was the comedian, George Burns who said, “I, honestly, think it is better to fail at something you love than to succeed at something you hate.”
Failure isn’t the end, it’s a new beginning!
Goal setting is a process, a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future. Goal setting energizes you like nothing else because when you set goals you know the purpose of your life and that purpose motivates you to go beyond dreaming. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. Setting goals helps you to think about what you want to achieve in life, and most importantly setting goals increases confidence, develops your competence level and boosts your level of motivation.
Why set goals?
All successful people are intensely goal oriented. They know what they want and so every single day, they are focused single mindedly on achieving it. Top level athletes, successful business people and achievers in all fields, set goals. Just think, why do successful people set goals? According to me, setting goals gives them a long term vision and a short term mission, and this is the only reason we often get to see the words ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ in many offices and business areas. Remember, vision and mission allows you to see the bigger picture of your life. Mission pushes you forward towards your goal and it inspires you with an intensity of desire that you don’t normally possess.
There are people who live without goals. Simply, a goal-less life! They live without a sense of purpose or mission, and no doubt their life is full of chaos and despair. Their attention is always being shifted, and their thoughts are continuously scattered. Their activities and accomplishments are meaningless.
If you don’t really have goals, stop! Have one. It is never too late. Because, when you have goals in your life, you’ll find your career accelerating. Setting goals is as important as surviving and when you set goals you fly like an arrow, straight and true to your target.
How do we set goals?
Set your lifetime goals first and when you set goals make sure that they motivate you which means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. Think what you want from life and then set formal goals, and when you set formal goals, you’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can so easily lead you astray. Be clear about what you want to accomplish. Your goals should always be tough enough to challenge you but not so daunting that it squashes you.
Here are few questions which might help you to discover your goals:
Try answering them !
- What is your deepest desire?
- What do you feel most passionate about?
- What idea never leaves you?
- What would bring you the greatest fulfillment?
- What is the most important thing you wish to do in your lifetime?
When you set goals, the very first step is to have a long-term goal and then short-term goals. How to set a long-term goal? Imagine where you’d like to see yourself after 10 years or may be after 20 years. You might dream to become the chairperson of a company or a successful business man. That’s it.Note it down. Make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or friends might want. This is important. Never let others to set your goal. Most importantly, set goals that you can achieve.
Once you have set your long-term goal, set a five year plan of smaller goals that you need to complete which will help you attain your lifetime goal. Further, create a one year plan, followed by a six month plan, and then a one month plan. Then create a daily To-Do list of things that you should do today in order to achieve your long-term goal. You can even make a list of your goals and rate them, according to priority.Lastly,work your way through the list, one at a time. For example, your goal might be to work as a nature photographer in Africa one year from now. Set goals that have a clear sense of purpose and work towards it. Most importantly, know what you want to achieve in your life, this will help you in concentrating on your efforts. Make sure you set goals that match your values and if you pursue goals that don’t match your values, they’ll drain you of mental and emotional energy and you’ll be left thinking “Is this all I wanted?” Sooner or later, your system will break down physically, mentally, emotionally. Give yourself a value check every now and then.
Finally review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.
Wisely setting goals leads to better results:
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit”
– Proverbs 21: 5
Dreams are a very important part of our life. Every beautiful mind has got a dream. It would be hard to find a person with no dream. Dreams are just as important in your everyday living as they are in the big picture of your life. Think about it. Without a dream, you would not have goals. Without goals, you would not make any plans. And without a plan, you cannot transform your dreams into reality.
Who are dreamers? Dreamers are the one who create society; dreamers are the one who inspire others with their beautiful mind and thoughts. Dreamers have no fear of breaking new grounds, initiating new ventures, and forging new paths. They are forward thinkers and being forward thinkers, they are often ahead of their time and sometimes pay the price by being criticized or misunderstood. They are dreamers, the far-sighted, the imaginative, the creative, and the visionaries. They are generally happy, healthy, and energetic.
Inside everyone one of us is the seed of the person we’re meant to become. The problem is many of us fail to care and water that seed. Look at some fantastic minds that have succeeded in their life, turning their dreams into realities. Their journeys weren’t easy, they have gone through lot of failures, and they were often insulted, discouraged, fired from their jobs, and even rusticated from their respective colleges/universities. They have gone through a lot of things but one thing they never stopped to do was dreaming and working hard towards their goal. Goals are never achieved in a single day, we have to work constantly and if we lose touch with our dreams, we end up becoming numb to our own desires and we would never have a chance to blossom.
It is a fact that we often feel demotivated while moving forward towards our goal. Here’s a fun and valuable exercise or activity, once taught by my closest friend which helps me at times to boost my inner soul and here it is;
Sit quietly with a large sheet of paper or journal and a pen or some colorful markers and draw something which will help you feel relax or make a list of your goals or dreams you need to achieve in your life and let your imagination free and dream without restricting yourself. Ignore obstacles, limitations, and barriers. Don’t inhibit this dreaming exercise by concentrating on the reason something might not happen. For instance, don’t focus on why it looks impossible, or don’t direct your attention towards the hurdles that stand in the way. At this moment, make a list that includes everything you can imagine becoming, accomplishing, or attaining at some point in your life or maybe 10 years down the lane.
Now the question is, why should we have a dream? When you do, you’ll stay focused on what matters most while living a life of purpose and integrity. You’ll be motivated and inspired to strive toward excellence while fulfilling your destiny. Your life will go from ordinary to extraordinary, from average to exceptional, and you’ll experience victory in ways you never imagined. You will let go of the past, develop a healthy self-imagine, reach your potential for greatness, and create brighter future for yourself and those around you. You will discover more fulfillments in your life, more satisfaction in your relationships, and a deeper intimacy with your creator. Even if you get knocked down, get back with double strength and make sure you give your 200% efforts. Always remember, failure is just a stepping stone to success. With failure and mockery, you’ll acquire new lessons to fight your battle. Keep going, no matter what. With a dream, you’ll enlarge your vision and start believing in all you can become.
If you truly want to fulfill your dream, you must fix your sights on it and not get caught up in anything that won’t take you there and rather than dedicating your time and energy to tedious, unproductive, unfulfilling time – stealers, devote your attention to those pursuits that will bring you a step closer to your goal. Cut back on television viewing and internet surfing, instead dedicate those hours to activities that contribute to your highest dreams and goals. Remember, you are a person of destiny. You may not realize it but you have a dream inside of you. Not only dream, you even have the potential to transform that dream into reality. Dreams start as small flickers. Throughout your life you must constantly fan the fame and add fuel to get them blazing and as you dream, know that god is at work. Your responsibility is to consider the various areas of life and the lives of others that will be transformed once your dreams become realities.
The poor man is not he, who is without a cent;
But he who is without a dream!
– Harry Kemp