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


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Ration Your Passion (or) a Tale of Two Rabbits

rabbitsA few weeks ago we had a guest pastor at our church talking about marriage relationships. One of the bullet points he taught for having a marriage that rocks (as opposed to a marriage that’s on the rocks) is to be a good steward of your passion.

Years ago, I heard from a successful multimillionaire that we have a limited amount of passion that we can apply to our worthwhile endeavors.

At the conference for independent business owners I recently attended I was reminded several times about the importance of focusing your passion.

See, the universe is telling me to blog on this topic.

Passion, excitement, enthusiasm can be a driving force for your goals, dreams and visions. But it is possible to squander your passion by trying to focus on too many things at once. And not necessarily stupid things like video games and television. You might be trying to do too many good things at once.

Confucius say: A man who chases two rabbits catches neither.

Some of us may think that we are human dynamos, that our excitement and passion will never fade. Sorry, but that isn’t the case. We grow weary. We even grow weary of things we love.

We need to be intentional about applying our passion and creative energy towards things that matter. (<–Click to tweet)

I’m looking back on the first two-thirds of 2014 and thinking that I haven’t got as much done as I’d like to have gotten done.

  • My buddies and I are still struggling to iron out some website difficulties for our business/non-profit launch.
  • I’ve finally finished a ghost-writing project that really should have been done as long ago as January.
  • I plotted out a joint writing project with a friend that we still haven’t started.
  • I’m behind on some financial goals.
  • I’m behind on some business growth indicators.
  • I’m behind on completing my third book (which will drive back the dates for 4 through 7 – yes I’m up to 7 books that I plan to write).
  • I even missed blogging a couple times in the past couple of weeks. (In my defense I had a great blog post all written up to announce our business launch, I just didn’t post it because I didn’t want to drive traffic to a site that isn’t working).
  • And of course I’m way behind on meeting my dream woman and getting married.
  • I’m even behind on battening down the hatches for a pair of hurricanes that are just 36 hours away.

What’s the point of me recounting all the reasons I’m behind the eight ball? My point is my energy has been directed in too many directions. It’s like trying to light eight fuses with a magnifying glass by rapidly zooming from one fuse to the next. Sometimes you need to stick with one thing, apply a consistent amount of work towards it and give it a chance to ignite.

We have a limited amount of creative energy that we are allotted each day. Some of our best hours we are forced to spend at work, but of our remaining time, we need to make sure that we are applying it to what is most important in our lives; our vision, our purpose. You may not have the freedom to give all the time to your dream that it deserves, but be sure to give it your best time. Give it all the passion that you can muster up and stay focused on it.

Remember the Native American saying, “If you chase two rabbits you will lose them both.”

Have you ever felt like you are pouring your best effort and energy into many different things – and somehow nothing is getting accomplished?

Step back.Rabbit_Killer_Small_5885

Prioritize.

Pick a rabbit.

Kill it.

Just be careful you’re chasing the right rabbit.

 

What’s your rabbit for this week? This month? This year?

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True Sustainable Energy

ImageFor my first blog of the new year I will muse on the subject of passion.

Sustainable is a big buzz word with government know-it-alls these days.

We need sustainable energy.

We have unsustainable spending.

I hate borrowing buzz words from a group that can’t even “sustain” an approval rating in the double digits (I’m looking at you, Congress 6%). But…

A truly sustainable energy source is human passion. Anything we enjoy doing we do often. We may get tired, but we don’t grow weary. Filing reports at work may give you a headache. That is a daily activity that you can grow weary of quickly. But an avid stamp collector doing similar tedious and intricate work going through stacks of envelopes is excited to do it.

A popular expression, which I just this moment found out is from Neil Young is “Better to burn out than rust out.” The truth is, you will never burn out when you have passion. When someone says that they are burnt out with work, with exercise, with bowling, with life; their problem is not physical, it’s mental.

They’ve lost their passion. They’ve rusted out. And often it’s because they gave it too little effort rather than too much.

Do not fear burning out. This year make a high and holy resolution to live with more passion in your life.


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Passion Overcomes Complacency

A human being will not take positive steps to improve their life for one simple reason: it is easier not to. All improvement requires change, and all change meets resistance. The only time there will be a change in the status quo is when desire overcomes fear and laziness.

passion
Today, I’m writing specifically for those people that have a vague idea that they would like to improve their life in some way, but have not yet taken proactive steps toward that idea. Either because they are scared to attempt it, or not motivated to try. These are five steps to develop a passion to overcome complacency.

1. Have a goal. When you create your goal, be specific. Not: Lose weight, make more money; instead: lose fifteen pounds, earn an extra $1000/month. Not: Be more social; rather: meet two new interesting acquaintances. Little goals are fine. Start small. Everything worthwhile begins with small improvements, and the idea of a “quantum leap” to success is largely a myth.

2. Write it down. And keep it posted someplace where you see it every day. More than one spot is fine as well. The bathroom mirror is a good spot, because it is usually the first place you see yourself in the morning. So is your car dashboard if you drive every day. Your refrigerator door if you eat every day. Keep a copy in your purse or wallet.

3. Think about it all the time. Visualize yourself having already achieved your goal. Experience the emotional satisfaction in having achieved it. If you have to set aside an alarm clock to remind you to think about your goal for fifteen minutes every day, do it. All I’m asking you to do is daydream; even the most fearful and lazy person could do this step.

4. Self-Talk about it. First you should talk about it with yourself. When you are looking at your bathroom mirror first thing in the morning, you should say to yourself “I will lose fifteen pounds,” “I will earn an extra $1000 a month.” But the next step is the most crucial and the one which will eliminate most people from progressing any further.

5. Talk about it with people that matter. This is the first step that involves anything resembling risk, because someone may tease you. If your passion to achieve your goal is not greater than your fear of being teased, then your future is sabotaged right here. That’s why you should only talk about your dreams and goals with “people that matter.” Who are those people? People that can help you and people that will encourage you. Avoid negative people like lepers. If someone has an attitude that you don’t want to catch, stop associating with them. Period. Does that sound harsh? Perhaps, but why would you want to hang out with someone that belittles your dreams? Small people want everyone around them to lose so that they can remain comfortably losers themselves.

I stole this quote from a businessman named Bob Kummer:

“The Bible states that Samson killed a thousand enemy soldiers with the jawbone of an ass. Every day, hundreds of people have their dreams stolen from them by that very same weapon.”

These are baby steps for developing a passion towards positive change. The more you think about it and talk about it, the more your goal begins to focus into a crystal clear image. When it begins to move from your head to your heart, you will develop a desire to achieve it; and when that desire–your passion–is great enough, it will give you the courage to overcome fear and the urgency to overcome laziness.

All achievement is accomplished twice. First in the mind, second in the body. So talking and thinking and imagining your way to success is not a waste of time. It is in fact a vital first step. Once you’ve gotten this far, you are literally halfway towards fulfilling your goal (and further than any of those negative “friends” have ever gotten).

Next post, an Action Plan to convert your goal into reality.