Traditionally, a new year is often attached to new beginnings, new orientation and new resolutions. Time is in reality a constant factor in the affairs of man. Like money in the bank, this vast resource is available for your judicious use as we wade through the New Year. While you strive to get organized and control yourself and time, time management is a misnomer, very elusive to handle or control. The challenge is to manage yourself and develop habits that keep you in checks and balances through time and space.
Commit Thy Way unto God
Weariness, self-distrust, lack of faith in God, lack of trust in God’s promises and assurances usually lead to failures in the attempt to attain resolutions and dreams. But The Lord “giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa 40: 29 – 31).
God has assurances for you this year. Gideon succeeded in routing the great enemies of Israel, the Midianites, with only three hundred men. When the kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, escaped and fled, Gideon, in his desire to completely wipe out these enemies, continued in their hot pursuit.
He approached friendly Succoth to obtain refreshments for his wearied men, but was denied because Succoth doubted his ability to annihilate the Midianites. He forged ahead undeterred. Again he stopped by at neighboring Penuel to feed his fainting men. Penuel thought that Gideon’s expedition was presumptive and doomed to fail, so they refused to support his campaign. His band was mocked and laughed to scorn. Divine assistance and guidance came. Gideon’s faith and confidence in The Lord saw him through to completely wipe out more than fifteen thousand Midianites and their great kings. He returned with songs of victory to Penuel and Succoth. Though Gideon’s exploit seemed irrational and his tactics and exploit seemed indefensible, however, there existed a very vital factor in the affairs of men that we often overlook – absolute faith in God’s leading and guidance; and bold confidence and in His promises and assurances. Learn to embrace those assurances this New Year.
Challenges, disappointments and dotting failures of 2012 should not rob you of the faith for greater out-turns and gallant successes in 2013 if you could muster enough faith in God and the possibilities in personal endowments to attain great heights in the New Year. Gideon cultivated a certain level of faith in God, unalloyed trust in His promises, and uncompromising belief in His abilities in order to eventually reap success in the battle front with the Midianites. New Year resolutions demand that you develop basic individual character and attitudes to become a man or woman of integrity, vision, faith, and determination. This way, no mountain or challenge in 2013 shall be insurmountable for you, and great shall be your accomplishments this year, and many years to come.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Heb 11: 1 – 3).
We demonstrate faith through our strong belief that our expected desire already exist physically as if in concrete terms though not yet manifested. To rise from prison to become the Prime Minister of Egypt like Joseph, remember it took Joseph through slavery, servitude, unjustified imprisonment to get an appointment with Pharaoh, and become installed as a ruler in Egypt. No crown without a cross!
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” (Heb 11: 24 – 26).
Faith is an active demonstration of personal principles and belief in what is yet to manifest as if they already exist. John Caldwell Calhoun, in his early years at Yale College, believed that he would soon graduate in a certain year, and begin a successful career as a notable Congressman and frontline politician. He actually accomplished that to the chagrin of unbelievers and on-lookers. He eventually became a Vice-President of the United States.
To excel and be successful in the New Year you need to keep positive, affirmative and faithful thoughts and speeches, because as a man thinketh so is he. You become literally changed to the thoughts and affirmations of your mind as well as the declarations of your mouth. Faith is a deep-down belief that, regardless of the present circumstances, you are going to make it, and achieve what you have set out to accomplish.
Commitment & Integrity
It is not impossible nowadays to demonstrate similar faith in God as in the Biblical eras. George Washington emerged a hero of the American Revolution with one of the greatest legacies in American history. Riddled with formidable challenges during The War, and a military force that was hungry and haggard, demoralized and almost consumed by the icy winter on the River Delaware, George Washington and his rag-tag military band prayed and demonstrated strong faith in God and their personal endowments to cross the Delaware River, demonstrating integrity, vision, faith, fortitude and unflinching determination to wrest victory from the jaws of defeat. Washington’s troops annihilated better-armed and well-trained Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey, in a logistically challenging and dangerous operation. His army also defeated the British reinforcements under Lord Cornwallis, as well as their rear guard at Princeton. General George Washington had won the battle in his prayers of faith, his plans and determination before crossing the Delaware River.
Cross your Red Sea in 2013 as Prophet Moses did in Egypt; rout your Midianites and disappoint your detractors as Gideon did; and cross the Delaware as did by George Washington. Have faith in God, believe His words and be confident in your God-given talents and endowments with unflinching commitment and integrity. Whatever and whoever you are, painter or Professor, orator, writer or musician, engineer, technician or technocrat, salesman, marketer or preacher, whatever it may be, you always need to work in partnership with God and His Plan to obtain the secrets that unlock your success through trials and tribulations in 2013 and beyond. Be committed and dedicated to the goals and aspirations well-thought out and adapted as your purpose and dream in life, your raison d’être for life and living.
Open-mindedness is the habit and ability to be unprejudiced to other people’s ideas and opinions; it also implies the habit of giving recognition to the rights of others. It was the habit of open-mindedness that made Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream with a useful advice that fetched him the breakthrough in his tough and thorny life.
It was open-mindedness that made a Thomas Edison saved a lonely baby from the tracks of a moving train; made him bury self into the opportunity of telegraph operator which transformed his life from a newspaper vendor into one of the greatest inventors in history. Tolerance and open-mindedness is the habit of great men, and the hallmark of successful people. We all need to be ready and willing to accept our peculiar endowments with open mind and enthusiasm, work with it in positive outlook to get the best for self and mankind. The Divine influence will definitely guide and lead you as Daniel was guided, as Joseph was led, and as Jacob was assisted to attain your lofty goals and dreams in 2013 and beyond.
An unwavering ‘ faith in your innate power to accomplish whatever noble task you undertake breeds the confidence to persistently pursue such gallant goal. The determination and persistence to find and make concrete the desires and aspirations of the heart would definitely lead to success and creativity in areas where the world often denounce as impossibilities. Whatever we long for, yearn for, struggle for, and hold persistently in the mind will eventually turn out to become materialized just in exact proportion to the intensity and persistence of the thought. The man whose mind is set firmly toward achievement is in himself success.
The persistent man or woman refuses to give up on his dream no matter the challenge or obstacle. When the going gets rough, the tough gets going. Tough guys are discovered in times of adversity, obstacles and recurring challenges. Persistence and resolute determination keeps you from getting discouraged come rain or sunshine. Think out your goal in concrete and plausible terms, be persistent and dedicated unto it, and you’ll soon see the concrete realization as days go by.
Persistence is an important quality against futility, because, without some flexibility in your approach, you could end up trying to move an immovable object for the rest of your life. While Henry Ford developed a good all-American automobile, it took him a lot of flexibility and adjustments to forge out an economical Ford Model T that won the heart of all Americans and the whole wide world.
To get greater benefits in the future, you need to change what you are doing in the present in order to adapt them to future applications. Persistently and doggedly, Thomas Edison improved on the discovery of the incandescent light. It took flexibility to keep the discovery aglow after many failures. The willingness to constantly change what we are now doing for greater future gains and benefits translated Apple Inc. from a leading computer company into the leading corporate body on the globe, knowing what consumers wanted and did not need, and placed herself to catch on upon that niche.
Attitude affects so many things in life. Gratitude and thanksgiving is the hallmark of the founding fathers of America. The Pilgrims, in the Fall of 1621, shared along with their neighbors, the Native Americans, bountiful harvest of corn and beans, fish, chicken, and games in joy and happiness with each other. This consolidated the founding of the most powerful nation on Earth.
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Gen 45: 4 – 5).
Despite the harsh and wicked treatment from his brothers, the dehumanizing circumstances that he went through from Portiphar and his wife leading to imprisonment, Joseph sounded grateful to God. Joseph down-played the negative aspects of his predicament in life, while emphasizing the positive outcomes of those events.
Gratitude is fundamental to maintaining an optimistic outlook on life, even in the face of difficulties. To be thankful to God and appreciative of mankind attracts blessings and goodness; it cast away depression and stress, with resounding progress and growth in personal and social adjustments. Learn to be thankful and grateful this New Year and always.
“We seriously undervalue the passion…a person brings to an enterprise. You can rent a brain, but you can’t rent a heart.” (McCormick). Despite the many claims and acclamations of the gurus and self-help coaches, there seems to be no mental trick or hypnotic devise to make you successful without the special collaboration of hard work, common sense, intuition, personal skills, creativity, discipline, organization, resolute determination, and passion.
Passion for one’s calling in life demands the discovery of vision, flexibility, knowledge, communication, and hard work. These are essential leadership tools and abilities that are contagious and infectious on people around the man of success. The development of these essential qualities leads to valuable habits, and guarantees a successful out-turn as you journey through the New Year. Endeavor to develop them and make them your habits.