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

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Patience – Preparation – Prayer

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At the beginning of the year I posted several posts on vision and my own visioneering project. You may remember I announced my vision right before reading the chapter on not announcing your vision prematurely. Predominantly because the early stage of your vision is when it is most susceptible to ridicule from your peers. Fortunately, none of my friends and family read my blog, so I was safe from that.

Remember, a vision requires patience. It is just important to remember that patience does not equate to standing by idly waiting for God to fulfill your vision. Proper patience involves preparation and prayer.

So I’ve changed my daily habits over the last few months in order to prepare myself. I’ve added several books by John C. Maxwell to my daily reading queue. John Maxwell is the world renowned expert in the field of leadership. When I donate money to charities, Maxwell’s Equip Ministries is one that I wholeheartedly support. Too often, charities waste money on overhead and expenses and not enough toward the cause they supposedly support. Several well-advertised charities employing C-list celebrities sometimes give less than 20 cents out of every dollar towards those starving children or abused puppies. Equip Ministries applies 100% of it’s donated funds toward supplying biblical resources and material to help train leaders worldwide. When he recruited his board of directors, he shared his vision, then told them that they were paying for all the operating expenses for the ministry. Not only do I incredibly respect John’s accomplishments, but I want to learn what he teaches. Because my vision to positively influence one million people is something he accomplishes literally on a monthly basis.

So I recently finished Talent is Never Enough (because to be honest, I think I skated through life relying more on talent than perseverance). Next on my list from John are Developing the Leader Within You and Developing the Leaders Around You. I never thought of myself as a leader in the past. However, one of John’s most repeated quotes is “Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.” If you want to influence people, you need to be a leader. I think I may have some natural talent in that regard, because most of the jobs I’ve had over the last ten years I’ve been promoted to a lead or management position quickly. But managing a coffee shop is orders of magnitude different from influencing a million people. So to elevate my game, I can’t just rely on talent. (see the strategic path I’m taking with my reading schedule). Also in the queue is Dare to Discipline Yourself by Dale E. Galloway, because I know me and I know I could use more discipline in my life.

So that’s some small changes in my reading habit designed to prepare me to be an influencer. I also plan to start looking for some more venues for public speaking, just because after reviewing my radio interview, I realized I say “uh” a lot more than I would have guessed.

And on the prayer front, I also made a small change before I do any writing for the day. Before I start, I say a short prayer. I ask for the right words to positively impact my readers. Then before I start writing on my subject I first write “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all good things will follow.” Because I want to make sure that my motives remain pure; And God plus me is a much better writer than just me.

Also, if anyone has a recommendation on a great book on the subject of self-discipline, please, shout it out.

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Visioneering, Part III: Pour the Foundation


I have horrible eyesight. Without my contact lenses I can’t read the giant “E” on the chart. Seriously. Fortunately even terribly near-sighted people can still have incredible vision in the sense of  “a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation: visions of wealth and glory.” (dictionary.com, definition 5).

Helen Keller (whose eyesight was considerably worse than mine) said that what is worse than being blind is having sight but having no vision. People are attracted to visionaries. Walt Disney was as successful and popular before Mickey Mouse was created as he was after Disneyland was built–because he saw the vision long before it was reality. When Disneyworld was being built, someone remarked to his widow, “If only Walt could have seen this before he died.” To which she answered, “He did.”

Why is vision important? Your vision is the foundation of your future. By having a vision in mind, you ensure that your daily actions and habits are in harmony with your long-range goals. If you have a vision to be a professional athlete (long-term vision) then that will influence your decision on whether or not to smoke that pack of cigarettes, chug a bottle of vodka, and eat a dozen bear claws (short-term pleasure).

Unfortunately most people do not have a personal vision in their lives. They meander through life without any meaning or purpose, and frankly get not only what they deserve, but exactly what they asked for from life. Ben Franklin said that most men die at age 25, sadly they are not buried until forty years later.

So develop a vision for your life and keep it constantly in your thoughts. How do you do this?

1. First of all, write it down.


Hey, it’s January. This is the time that most people make their New Week’s resolutions (yes, I meant to say new week not new year–“new weak” also would have been applicable to most). But most people never write them down, so writing down your personal vision for your life will put you one up over the competition.

2. Second, keep it somewhere that you see it every day. Whether it’s on your bathroom mirror (not good for me because first thing in the morning before I put my contact lenses in I can’t see a darn thing), on the refrigerator door (better), or on the home page of someone’s Facebook page that you’re obsessed with (no comment).

3. Third, talk about it all the time. Frankly this is the hardest one to do. Because most people do not have many positive people in their lives to share a vision with. If your friends and family try to squash your dreams and visions under the pretense of “keeping you grounded,”  then share with them how important your vision is. If they are flat-out negative and ridicule your vision, then the best (and hardest) thing for you to do, is to change your association and find people who are uplifting and encouraging and willing to share in your vision. They are not as hard to find as you might think. After all, people are attracted to visionaries. And if there’s nobody in your life right now that you can talk to; you talk to yourself and you talk to God.

With a vision constantly in your mind, it becomes clearer and more vivid each day. Your vision will energize you, keep you focused, and stabilize your emotions against setbacks. So have one; and if you don’t have one, get one! Otherwise some other person may have a vision for you to be a destitute, hopeless, failure for the rest of your life–and without a vision of your own, you get stuck with their vision for you.

Do you have a vision for your life, for your marriage, for your children? Would you like one?

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Your Fuzzy Vision Creates Foggy Followers


Last post I announced very publicly my vision to positively impact one million people. Still flush with resolve and excitement about pursuing this vision, I continued on to the next chapter of Visioneering entitled “Taking Inventory,” which is filled with important and vital steps that you should take before announcing your vision.


In fact the next two chapters were about HOW to publicly announcing your vision and why you should wait.

Oh well.

So maybe I’m not the greatest student. Still, I haven’t given up and I’m not taking my vision back (although you may recall I did reserve the right to revise it later). But I will be taking the time and care to make sure that I am crafting a vision that is clear and focused.

According to Stanley, all effective visions have four components:

  • The problem
  • The solution
  • The reason something must be done
  • The reason something must be done now

It is also important to ask yourself the question “why?” not just once but many, many times through the course of refining your vision. From Chapter 8 “Going Public, Part II:”

Repeatedly asking why forces the dialog to move from the realm of circumstance to one focused on values.

Try it. This actually works with any subject not just divine visions. Start off with the question “Why are you feeding your dog now?” and after enough why‘s you eventually will enter into the subject of compassion and responsibility and nurturing.

I actually have a lot of why material. In fact I have an entire book addressing the issue of why that I was planning to write for my fourth book (but maybe I’ll move it up in the queue to #3 now). But an effective vision statement needs to be concise enough to be compressed into a single sentence. Or a brief paragraph. An “elevator pitch” if you will. Being a part of someone’s vision shouldn’t involve reading his book first; that’s a pretty imposing barrier to visioncasting.

So even though I may have jumped the gun (see my post on Leap Before You Look), 2013 is still my year of Visioneering. I’ll still be posting vision updates here; I’ll still be moving forward; planning and praying and preparing. I will just be spending less time trumpeting and more time revising, refining and redefining. But when I do post on my vision, I’ll try to make sure that my message is clear, concise and (insert another adjective that starts with C here).