Hello Friend, how are you doing? I hope the pieces are gradually coming together; the good pieces I mean! Staying hopeful will trigger the necessary creativity to enhance your life.
Source # 1 – Deciding
Deciding is how it all begins. Taking a position possibly from the conventional way it has always previously been done. Deciding maybe small or big, but that act of faith could simply be the moment that changes everything in your life. Deciding is the force that creates the motion and momentum. Deciding is the pacesetter for any form of advancement. You can wish all you can. You can guess all you can. You can even pray all you possibly can. But until you decide; the magic word – “until” you draw a definite mental line between being controlled and being in control, nothing will happen. Deciding is the offshoot of all possibilities. Maybe you have been dreaming of something; somebody you aspire to become or even something you want to do away with – a habit, a relationship, a job, name it. It begins with deciding. Deciding means you have a hold on your life. Deciding is the greatest quality that marks the distinction between you as human and any brute. A significant advantage of deciding is that it begins the process of lifting your self-esteem. It creates a near feeling of accomplishment. But of course, not deciding has consequences: Indecision is the thief of opportunity. Indecision is tantamount to closed doors or suspended opportunities. Indecision robs you of any form of healthy self-esteem. But when once you have decided then you need to follow through. Once a man has decided on his path, the universe conspires to make it happen.
Source # 2 – Planning
Deciding is the start button. It is the initiator that triggers the inspiration process. But once it’s in place, then you need to follow through with the next source of inspiration which is planning. The Great Teacher, Jesus, speaking to His disciples said (I paraphrase): “If anyone would decide to build a house, won’t he first sit down to determine what it will take to fulfil his ambition …” Planning is a terrific source of inspiration. It gives limbs to the decision you have made. It provides decision with the necessary ability for it to be effective. It’s grand to start seeing on paper what has only had its existence in the mental realm. Just reflect a bit about any of these experiences:
• You, being able to finally present the blueprint of your business plan to a potential investor. Gosh! Imagine the feeling!
• Putting together the last part of your thesis or seminar as a final year student.
• Itemising strategies that will help you develop a habit or eliminate a weakness.
It’s so exciting to start committing imagination and belief to paper. It’s like having a support system – “for the soul cannot think without a picture.” The lifeline of deciding ends and begins with planning. That is the sequence. Refusal to plan leads to the breakdown of courage and unpleasant surprises. Lack of planning makes decisions vulnerable to extinction. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery quipped, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Or in the words of the sage, Benjamin Franklin, “that by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Planning means you’re armed, equipped, prepared and schooled for the third source of inspiration. Gordon Hinckley said, “You can’t plough a field simply by turning it over in your mind.”
Source # 3 – Beginning
Beginning – getting started on what you have been deciding and planning. The German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe puts it this way, “whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” Turn that thought, those notes on paper into action. Assembling thoughts from the intangible realm (deciding), pencilling them down into a 2nd-dimensional format (planning), and then firing them up into the 3rd-dimensional state (beginning) is a fantastic sequence of inspiration. Imagine saying to yourself finally, “what I thought about for so long; I have finally started.” You can’t completely comprehend what will happen to your self-esteem when you can do this. For instance, the idea of owning a personal library, the moment you walked into a bookshop to purchase your first book that could just be the first step of an incredible journey. Consider self-promise of committing to inspiration and learning; the thought of surrounding yourself with uplifting information, then that moment you enrol for the class/seminar, and there you are seated, pen in hand, ready to pen down notes on a pad. Whoop! What a feeling! You never know how well plans can go until you finally commit to the first step of the journey – executing. Sadly, you never finish what you haven’t started nor do you achieve what you didn’t begin. The mountain mover started by carrying away small stones. So, overcome the inertia. Step out and begin. Just start. “For anything well began is half-done,” says Horace. There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth – not starting and not going all the way.
Source # 4 – Progressing
Progressing is a great source of inspiration. Not just progressing in terms of time, but advancing at a new gradient curve of learning, making new discoveries as you accelerate towards your goals. The word “continue” carries a lot of dividends.
Quickly let’s look at two analogies about the word “continue/progress:”
1. You start jogging along the block, and then, you don’t stop but pursue this art of discipline, and daily you keep extending your effort. Not long the dividend begins to set in. You notice an increase in oxygen circulation and gradual weight loss.
2. You couldn’t face an audience of five persons because you were too shy. Then you decided to commit to the art of public speaking. You begin with a person or two, seizing every moment of interaction to learn something about rhetoric. Then you progress to three, four … though it’s challenging, but you persist, and before you are totally aware, you are addressing an audience of ten … fifty … a thousand. Suddenly shyness becomes obsolete.
Progressing is gaining mastery and ground in the art of your pursuit. You shouldn’t be expecting a baby when you had aborted the embryo. Your decision won’t be achieved, your plans won’t be realised, and your beginning won’t gain credibility unless you are progressing. Progressing is the oxygen in the wheel of attainment. It is what generates daily hope. It is the freeway between aspiration and actualization. To move from point A to B, then you have got to be progressing. Franklin Roosevelt echoed: “the only limit to our realisation of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” Also, he added: “To reach a port we must set sail; sail, not tie at anchor; sail, not drift.” Unhappiness is simply the lack of progress towards a pre-set goal and happiness is making continuous progress. You can be a slow walker but never walk back.
Source # 5 – Achieving
A boy enrols for entry exams into college. What do you think is his primary motivation? Very simple – graduation. The day he will be rewarded for his efforts; that day he will finally walk the aisle not as a candidate but as an alumnus! Or what do you think inspires a pretty young lady so much that she decides to embark on the demanding journey of a nine months’ gestation period with all the dangerous statistics of high mortality rate, unknown medical complications, physical deformation, etc. – the chance that she could become a co-creator of another life! What an achievement. The possibility of achieving is what inspires hope, engineers faith, and leads to the accomplishment of a set course. The core motive of any undertaking is the nursing thought of achievement.
Just like the illustrations above, it is okay to say that every human is a goal-driven being. It is our ability to look beyond the immediate mundane and aspire towards something higher that gives value to our creative culture and a sense of purpose. Albert Einstein puts it thus, “that if you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Achieving will guarantee a high self-esteem. If you set a goal and then actualize it, then most certainly it will become a booster towards the pursuit of more related ambitions.
The truth remains “that nothing succeeds like success.”
Well, on the other hand, the achievement may not always be attained, but always the desire to achieve will often serve as an elixir to pursue goals. The overwhelming fact remains that you can reach that goal. You can achieve what you have wished for and what you have dreamt of provided you will draw from the sources of inspiration. Deciding, planning, beginning and progressing, then you will know the incredible inspiration of achieving, of finally being there, finally becoming the person, finally accomplishing the goal.
POINT TO RUMINATE ON: If you’re bored with life; if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things; then you don’t have enough goals. You probably need to create goals, discover a driving purpose, engage in a mission that will so earnestly motivate you to reach and accomplish something worthwhile. In that way, your boredom will vanish, and you will be governed by a new sense of inspiration.