Friday, 9 February 2018

Pressing toward the goal

Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.
Louis L’Amour

You will make sense of your life when you start living each day in the present. Many people regret the present moment and yearn for the past or future. They either live in the past, wishing they could turn back the hands of time, or they spend their time wishing for a better life in the future.

Paulo Coelho describes the problem beautifully: “We have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we're always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn't act as we should have. Or else, we think about the future, about what we're going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don't want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.”

Are you living in the past or are you waiting in great anticipation for your future? What about now? Isn’t the present moment important, too? According to Mahatma Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today.” Yes! Every thought, decision and action today impacts your present and your future. Are you focused on the here and now?

You alone have the power to make good or bad decisions.

Your decisions in life are influenced by the present moment and the people who are with you at the time. You have to decide who or what it is that is guiding you to make your decisions because the decisions that you make affect your plans and your mood. They determine whether you will be happy or disappointed. If you make bad decisions, you will experience negative outcomes, but good decisions will lead to a successful future. 

How do you make decisions? Do you make decisions independently or do you allow others to help you? Do you make decisions that are best for you or do you make decisions that are best for others? Do you fear that every decision you make may be a wrong decision? Do you prefer not to make decisions at all and allow them to be made for you?

Every moment of your life defines you.

You are who you are in each moment. The decisions that you make may stretch across many moments, but the minute you make the decision you create a new direction. Even when the decision turns out to have been a mistake, and the outcome is negative, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You may have taken a wrong direction, but it’s a learning process. You can turn it around.

At some point in the future, you may discover that a choice you had made in the past is not what you planned or wanted. You needn’t regret it, though. Don’t focus on the choice as a mistake and don’t dwell on the time that’s been lost. Focus on the process of learning that came from the experience. You have grown because of it. If you never make mistakes, how will you ever learn or change?

Choices always lead to new opportunities.

Your decisions can be average and ordinary or they can be life-changing. Joel Osteen said, “If you think you’re average, then you’ll be average. If you think you’re ordinary, then you’ll live ordinary. The truth is there is nothing ordinary about you. You have something to offer that nobody else can offer.” Do you think that you’re just an average person? Genesis 1:26 (ESV) reads: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. Yes! You have been made according to God’s likeness. Do you still think you’re average?

The way you think defines you. You can’t have a successful future if you think you’re average. You can’t have a successful future if you don’t know why you’re here. You can’t have a successful future if you don’t plan ahead. If you want to have freedom and money one day, so that you can lead a successful life, you’ll also need to know what success means.