You are to be commended for all the good that you have done … for opening yourself up to be a channel of God’s good and God’s blessings through you … over the course of the past year.
You are to be commended for having impacted certain people in a positive, up-lifting, and encouraging way. Those people NEEDED that positive impact from you. They REALLY needed it. And God’s Spirit flowing through you … and you purposely being your best and most-developed self … enabled you to make that much-needed impact upon them.
You are to be commended for all the positive influences you have had in other people’s lives. There were people who were going in a direction that was not good for them … but the love of God flowing through you … and your kindness, compassion, consideration, and care for them influenced them in such a way that they changed and began to move in a better direction.
You are to be commended for the important lessons you learned over the past year. It was smart of you to look back over your successes and your failures … to look back over the good and the bad … and extract out the important lessons … so that you can carry them forward into the next year and use them in a way that makes the rest of your life … and the lives of those you interact with … better.
You are to be commended for all that you achieved and accomplished over the past year. Achievement and accomplishment does not happen by accident. It ALWAYS happens as a result of a person doing certain things on purpose.
You are to be commended for all the good choices and decisions you made … and for all the good consequences that have come and will come into your life as a result.
Now, let’s ask ourselves some personal questions and see if we can spot any opportunities for greater good in our lives…
Was 2012 more or less the same as 2011 … which was more or less the same as 2010 … which was more or less like 2009 … and so on?
These are the years of my life. Am I satisfied with them?
Are they meaningful years?
Do I want more years just like them?
Are they years of growth, development, increase, and value?
Or, are they years of sameness, stagnation, and mediocrity?
To chart a trend, one only needs three “data points”. What kind of “trend” does the last three years of my life chart?
And, if the trend stays the same, what are the next three years likely to hold for me?
Now, if after considering these questions I feel pleased with how my life’s journey is progressing, then I can acknowledge and appreciate that.
On the other hand, if after considering these questions I feel displeasure over the lack of progress in my life’s journey, then I must ask myself, “When and how will I decide to do things differently and better so that I can get different and better outcomes and results?
When will I make the commitment to invest the effort needed to make a real change in direction?”
The pattern of my life is a function of my meaningful learning’s, my meaningful efforts, my meaningful people-connections, and my meaningful value-offerings.
What have I learned in 2012 that was meaningful?
What effort have I invested in 2012 that was meaningful?
What meaningful people-connections have I earned, developed, and fostered?
What meaningful value-offerings have I created and presented to the world?
I have spent a LOT of money this year. But the question is, what do I have to show for it?
Here’s another question … how much of that money was an investment in developing myself, my spouse, and/or my children in a meaningful way?
People who do well in life are continuously expanding and increasing what they are aware of, what they know about, what they can do, and the value they can provide.
People who do poorly in life rarely ever expand their awareness in a meaningful way, they rarely learning anything new that’s significant or meaningful, and they rarely offer anything of value to other people.
Time and life are irrevocably linked. To value my time is to value my life. To use my time wisely is to bless my life.
Here is an important question…How much of my time … how much of my life … have I wasted creating nothing and earning nothing … while WANTING those to who have created and earned … those who have learned and worked … to give to me?
The strategy of letting other people do the learning and work … of letting other people do the creating and earning … while WANTING them to give THEIR REWARDS to me … is a strategy that will keep me in a state of UNHAPPY WANT.
How well have I nurtured and protected my ability to influence others for God and for good?
There is a way to interact with other people that positions me so I can influence them for good … and there is a way to interact with them that destroys my ability to influence them for good.
If I choose to be the kind of person who holds no influence in the lives of other people … if I choose to live and operate at that level … then I render myself ineffective and I block myself from much good.
When I look at the overall message God conveys to His people in the Bible, I understand that He wants me to be in right relationship with Him. He wants me to love people. He wants me to be full of good works and right deeds. He wants me to be in good health. And, He wants me to prosper. The little book of 3 John gives me an excellent synopsis of this truth.
What this means is that God does not want me living a restricted, constricted, limited, ineffective, or non-productive life that is non-fruitful or less than my best before God and man.
The fact is, God WANTS me to be fruitful and prosperous … both in relation to Him and in relation to humankind.
Those who loved me before they passed on … and those who love me now … do not want me living a restricted, constricted, limited, ineffective, non-productive life that is less than the very best that is possible for me. Actually, they want the very best for me in every area of my life.
And certainly, those who follow along after me in my footsteps do not deserve the harm that would come to them if I were to live my life in a non-fruitful way that is less than my best before God and humankind.
So, in what ways have I been limiting myself?
HOW have I been limiting myself?
What constraints and limitations have I accepted that really do not exist anywhere except in my own mind?
What possibilities have I blocked out of my life because of how I represent things in my mind?
How am I imposing constraints and limitations upon myself that imprison me and hold me back from the greater good that should be a part of my life?
How much good are these self-defined, self-imposed, and/or accepted-from-others limitations costing me personally … and all the others that I love and care about?
What do I need to begin doing differently?
What needs to change so that I am no longer limiting myself?
Also, is there anybody in my life who I have been letting hinder and limit me?
Have I been letting the mindset and behavior of another person hold me back?
If yes, when will I stop giving this other person power over my life and define a new interaction with them that serves me better?
What am I doing that is affecting me adversely?
How am I doing things such that I am costing myself much good?
How am I behaving and operating such that I am blocking myself from the greater good that I want and desire?
Do I like costing myself good so much so that I choose to continue on as I have been?
Or, would I rather have greater good in my life to the point I choose to make the necessary changes?
It’s easy to go through life seeking entertainment and recreation while procrastinating on (or even avoiding) that which is important, meaningful, significant, and life-impacting.
Certainly, entertainment and recreation is needful if one is to be balanced and healthy … but a good thing over-extended … too much of a good thing … becomes unhealthy and destructive.
So, how much of my time, energy, and effort is devoted towards entertainment and recreation … and how much of my time, energy, and effort is devoted towards creating good, providing value, and making a positive difference in people’s lives?
These are important questions because I don’t want to be one of those people who spend and waste their prime years in the pursuit of entertainment and recreation.
How much of my time, energy, effort, and resources am I devoting towards trying to gain the recognition, attention, and approval of certain other people?
When am I going to realize that it is pointless, fruitless, meaningless, and detrimental to live my life in this way?
When am I going to stop giving away my life to other people?
God truly has a purpose for me … He purposely put me on this earth to do certain good works … to affect certain people in a good way … and if I am living my life trying to do what other people assert is right for me … instead of what I know is right between me and God … then I am thwarting God’s plan for my life … and that is NOT a good thing to do.
How, when, and where am I going to develop and foster new win-win, mutually-beneficial relationships?
How, when, and where am I going to contribute to other people’s lives so that other people are inspired to contribute to my life?
How, when, and where am I going to develop and foster new relationships where all of us are encouraged, inspired, and uplifted on a spiritual level, on a financial level, on a health level, and so on?
Here’s a way to find the gaps in my relationships so I know where I need to developing and fostering…
If I had to have 5 people who could and would willingly, enthusiastically, and authoritatively endorse me and vouch for me on a spiritual level, who would those five people be?
If I had to have 5 people who could and would willingly, enthusiastically, and authoritatively endorse me and vouch for me on a business level, who would those five people be?
If I had to have 5 people who could and would willingly, enthusiastically, and authoritatively endorse me and vouch for me on a health level, who would those five people be?
If I do not have at least 5 such people in each of the important areas of my life, then that is a major limiting factor in my life that shows and proves I am not providing sufficient value in other people’s lives … and if I want greater blessings in my life, then I must provide greater value to many people which will in turn attract those key, high-quality, high-value people into harmony with me.
Positive, significant, meaningful, and important experiences with other people are always more valuable and enjoyable than are mere possessions or assets.
There is zero happiness in having and hoarding money and other material possessions. But, happiness and satisfaction is released when money and material possessions are used and shared for good with people I care about and who care about me.
So, as I go into the next year, what experiences do I want to have with other people?
Who will I use and share my money and assets with so that joy, happiness, and satisfaction is released in my life and theirs?
Having said this, resentment comes from giving to or sharing with those who choose to be users, takers, moochers, and beggars for no legitimate reason. The ONLY thing one should offer to such people is the opportunity to EARN.
I do not watch others participate in life and wish I could win like they do. Instead, I am an ongoing learner so I can participate and win. I am an ongoing worker so I can participate and win.
To participate is to win. To not participate is to lose. That is why I participate … that is why I continuously ratchet up my skill by learning from everything … that is why I ratchet up my value by working intelligently and diligently … I am participating UNTIL I DO win.
I realize that many of the good feelings desired by the masses are on the other side of learning and working … and unlike some, I am willing to learn and work … which is why I enjoy many satisfying feelings.
Similarly, many of the possessions and experiences that the masses wish to enjoy in life are on the other side of learning and working … and my willingness to learn and work is precisely why I enjoy many wonderful possessions and experiences.
Those who are not happy … those who have not … those who are failing and losing in life will think I am weird and crazy for learning and working … and they will be quick to let me know what they think. But, I pay them no mind because their results are NOT the results I want. I want different and better results … which means I willingly do what they are not willing to do … and I purposely do what they disdain doing.
Of course, those who fail and lose in life “say” that they “work”. But a closer analysis of their “work” reveals that they are like a disconnected windmill … the fan blades are turning … sometimes they are REALLY turning … but nothing much is happening in terms of producing something of value.
As I go into 2013, let me keep the following modified quotations in mind:
“I choose to keep a green tree in my heart so that I will always be able to enjoy the cool shade it creates and the music of the songbirds it attracts.”
“Some people will love me for who I am while others will hate me for the same reason. So, I choose to be all that I can be so that those who love me have even more to love me for … and those who hate me will have even more to hate me for.”
“This is the beginning of a new day and a new year. I have been given this day and this year to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. What I do this year is important because I am exchanging a year of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever. When next year comes, this year will be gone forever. In its place will be something that I have left behind. I choose to make it be something good.”
“Every single human being is born with an equally incredible potential to do great and awesome things in their life. I choose to be one of the few who actually does something incredible and great and awesome.”
“Most people look for what is bad, wrong, or offensive … and they usually find it. I choose to be one of those few who are different. I choose to look for … and find … what is good, right, and pleasing.”
How much am I appreciating the people who bring money into my life…whether an employer…or customers…or a spouse?
How much do I SHOW them love and appreciation?
It really is quite amazing how many people will despise, disparage, and vilify those who bring money into their life…and any person who does this should become aware that this is a proven strategy for CAUSING those people to STOP bringing money into their life.
So again, those who bring blessings, resources, money, wisdom, and understanding into my life…how much am I expressing and showing my appreciation and gratitude to them?
Is it enough appreciation and gratitude that they are motivated to continue pouring blessings into my life?
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