15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


Visioneering 2013, part 2: Creative Destruction

ImageAndrew Carnegie did something unusual in the steel business. Every time a new invention, discovery or innovation was introduced into the industry, he would destroy and rebuild his factories. Understand, this is a steel plant. It’s not the same as upgrading your laptop’s version of Windows. This was millions of dollars of construction every time. But after several rounds of “creative destruction,” he was the world leader in the steel industry.

Bear with me, this relates to my Visioneering project for 2013. I’ve been rereading Andy Stanley’s incredible book Visioneering; going through it at a leisurely rate, just a chapter a day. But I’m actually taking the time to stop and do the exercises at the end of each chapter, which I’ll admit, I never do (and I bet most of you don’t either).

  • How do I envision my career and finances in the future? Retired, financially independent, travel around the world. I’ll also write books
  • Family? God will provide me with a blessed wife; she will complete me and be my partner in life, business and ministry
  • Together we will raise children that will see and live a life of unlimited possibilities; they will be champions, visionaries and world-changers

So far, so good. But most of that has to do with a personal vision. It’s all about me, my family, my career, my accomplishments. Not that that is necessarily bad, but should I be thinking bigger?

Chapter 5, “Faith, The Essential Ingredient” convicted me. In the exercises at the end of the chapter (that I usually skip over) there was this sentence: “I think it is safe to assume that most Christians are not attempting anything that requires God’s intervention.” Which caused me to stop and evaluate my existing vision.

He calls faith the essential ingredient in a vision. And the greater the vision, the greater the faith required. Looking back, here are some of the sentences that I highlighted in the first half of the chapter:

  • Faith is confidence that God is who he says he is…
  • It is simply an expression of confidence in the person and character of God.
  • Pursuing a divine vision is really an act of worship.

Thinking small is a sign of lack of faith in God’s ability to provide. I believe that God wants us to be prosperous and blessed. I believe that God is looking for visionaries to propel the world forward. I believe that God uses people not based on their ability, but based on their willingness. So, I would rather attempt something great and fail than attempt something mediocre and succeed.

So I’m creatively destroying my vision for my life and rebuilding it from scratch. And setting the dial on my vision to 11. So, here’s a new attempt at a personal vision (this is just a first draft so I reserve the right to revise it later).

I want to reach one million people in the world. What do I want to do with those people? I want to touch them in a significant way, to teach them to improve their financial, family or spiritual lives all for the glory of God. I will travel around the world to teach and train people on the principles of success, entrepreneurship, motivation and inspiration. I will be an exemplar of lifestyle evangelism, and live my life as a model for others to follow.

Taking a look at my current book sales and online followers, it becomes apparent that I have a ways to go. But that’s kind of the point. If it’s easy to reach, if it’s possible for me to accomplish on my own, then my vision is only for my glory not God’s glory. Time for me to stop trying to control everything and have some faith.

And while I’m placing everything into God’s hands, I’d also like my wife to be a mega-hottie.

Casting out a net to every mind reading this, what should I do–or begin to do–to achieve my vision of positively impacting one million people?

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Self-Motivation and Mathematics

If you are lacking motivation in your current endeavor, then where is that lack coming from? Thanks to modern mathematics, we now have a formula to determine what we need to analyze and increase our own level of motivation.

Motivation = Needs x Faith

Keep in mind that I failed the last math class I took, so if you want a second opinion by an actual mathematician or statistician or actuary you will need to look elsewhere. In my defense, that class was AP Calculus in my senior year of high school. Also, in my defense, I did get a 4 on the AP Calculus exam and tested out of any math classes for my entire college career so “in your face,” teacher.

Let’s analyze the variables.

Needs. Your need is a want, a dream, or a desire of some sort. If you have no need, then you have no motivation (do the math, zero times anything equals…?).

If your level of motivation is low, then perhaps your need is unclear. That’s why when leaders and motivational speakers talk about your dreams and goals, they tell you to be specific about what you want and when you want it. Money is a need to everyone who lives in modern society. But the person who is motivated to pursue wealth is the person who has a burning desire for a certain lifestyle. A certain lifestyle that they think about, dream of, meditate on. The greater the need, the greater the multiplier. The more clear and vivid your need is in your mind, the greater the motivation. See my last post on creative visualization.

But even with an enormously clear and vivid dream for your life, you can still have zero motivation. “Wait, how can that be?” I hear you cry. Again, do the math and you’ll figure it out. If your need is an 11 you can still have zero motivation if your faith is…? No, let’s not see all the same hands.

Without faith, you will never be motivated. I’m not talking about religious faith, I’m talking about faith that you can actually achieve whatever you are attempting.

Faith can be broken down into two categories. Faith in yourself and faith in others.

Faith in yourself and your own abilities, gifts and talents can either greatly increase or greatly hinder your motivation. If you see yourself as a “C-minus” achiever, then you will continue to perform at that level. Increasing your needs can only take you so far if you are being dragged down by a lack of faith in your self. See my last post on self-image.

What about faith in others? This is something that you have little control over.

Would you continue to work at a company that has laid off half of it’s employees every month for six consecutive years? (That’s actually not mathematically possible. I will wait while you confirm it). If a boss lies to you about a raise, will you continue to work in good faith? If they continually change your performance evaluations to keep you from getting a promotion or a bonus? Low faith in your employer equals low motivation.

How can you increase your motivation when you have no faith in other people? Either you can trust them blindly (meh). Or change the people around you to folks that you do trust. Sometimes people will surprise you, but continuing to put blind faith into people that continually disappoint you will damage you. So in that situation, where you have no faith in your employer, I’d advise switching jobs or consider becoming an entrepreneur. If you have more faith in yourself than the people you work for or with, than take control of the variables so that you can have the result you want.

Besides if the economy continues to implode, self-employment may soon become the new normal.

How’s your motivation level? How’s your level of need and level of faith? Where are you strong or where are you lacking? What’s the square root of 16?