Don’t Focus on Goals | Focus on Growth!
I hope you had an awesome year and were able to take new steps on your journey! We have been very busy all year preparing for 2016 ourselves, focusing on getting resources together that could really help the Journey Principles Nation around the world. Recently, I was thinking back to many of the obstacles we faced in order to get to our next step. I thought of the smiles and wins, as well as some of the hurt experienced along the way. We had relationships and projects that did not turn out the way we had hoped. At the same time, we had many projects that turned out better than anticipated.
As I began to watch all the programs gearing up for this year’s New Year celebration, I felt slightly frustrated because I saw broken people searching for answers in taking the next step on their journey. I kept hearing the word “goals” over and over. It took some time, but I finally realized that goal-setting never really helped me get anywhere personally! What did were planned areas of growth.
We have to grow toward real change. Life change takes effort, commitment, and focus. If you can do that, you can and will do anything else you put your mind to do!
As you make the choice to grow and invest in yourself this year, I would like to offer you six Journey Principles that are based on reality, instead of end-of-the-year hype. If you master these, you can overcome in any area of life. It is not easy, but definitely worth the effort. The choice is yours!
6 Principles for your Journey, that can help you overcome any area of life!
Growth Principle 1 | Find The Burning Desire
Seek to understand your real self and life’s direction by simply identifying what your deepest desire is. What is it that wakes you up at night and keeps you from falling asleep? What is the deepest yearning of your heart? What is the thing you would do for free if time and money were no matter? Once you can identify this desire, then discover what is within you that can motivate you to overcome the obstacles, hurdles or roadblocks in the way. What will ignite this passion in you to be able to move past the challenges before you?
For example, I have a relentless desire to inspire minds and motivate hearts. I suffered for years simply because I chose not to face a fear, persevere past a problem, or understand the need to grow. I wasted years in this process, and I don’t want you to waste a single moment of your life. I want you to really live, experiencing both joy and sorrow, but most of all, not just walking through life, reacting to situations around you. When we truly experience the best life possible, we give others the courage to do the same. Each time I get a testimony of how JP has helped someone grow, it gives me a renewed hope, a restored mind, and a persevering spirit.
Growth Principle 2 | Accept The Hard Work
I tried for years to get to the end result too quickly. Ignoring the things that were needed to prepare me for what was to come, I sought the fame, fortune, and blessing. I wanted it all without the sacrifice required.
There is no substitute for hard work. This requires focusing on an outcome and moving through each step with integrity and humility. Develop your plan with small steps, and keep focused! You may have to get up earlier, move quicker or slower, sacrifice unhealthy relationships that are in the way, and replace them with encouraging ones. Just learn to expect work, hunger for it, and grow from it. This plan can be applied to family life, the business world, or even small areas of life like the gym. Instead of accepting mediocrity, decide to do what is required to work through your current circumstances, keeping the end result in mind.
Growth Principle 3 | Find Common Agreement
The power of common agreement is often grossly underestimated. This is one principle we can all make a better attempt at. The power of agreement focuses on the outcome or key issue, instead of a person or problem. If we can come into agreement with accountability partners, then we are now fighting a war with troops outside of ourselves. Do you remember King Leonidas from the movie “300: Rise of an Empire”? He and 300 Spartans held off armies numbering in the thousands. This was only possible because of the power of agreement. He and his Spartans were in agreement that the survival of Sparta was far more important than petty squabbles. There was no talk about anything other than extreme focus as a team. Teams create armies, and fools create isolation. Find a group heading in the direction you want to go, and make sure their influence is full of character, and not just ambition. Then come into agreement and choose to stand in healthy insulation, not isolation.
Growth Principle 4 | Expect To Have Conflict, But Focus On Overcoming It
Conflict is all around us, especially when we are about to do something we have never done before. This conflict, if used properly, can create a springboard effect into a future built on character, but only if we expect it, accept it, and grow from it. Most of us, if we are honest, get lost in the mundaneness of every day life and are not truly focused on our direction. If we can expect conflict, then we have a better opportunity to learn from it before the weight of the conflict is upon our shoulders. It also gives us time to prepare, and helps us overcome it because we are prepared.
If you were going to bake a cake, you would need to prepare ahead of time to make sure you had all the required ingredients in order to avoid potential conflict (running out of eggs while in the process of baking the cake). Life has a way of presenting us with obstacles and opportunities for growth. Like baking a cake, this process takes following the required steps, focus, determination, and direction.
Growth Principle 5 | Create Healthy Relationships
The biggest mistake I ever made in building a business, family, or mission was thinking that my relationships did not matter. Healthy relationships are the foundation behind every dream and every outcome. If your mission is to create wealth, then healthy relationships will be needed. We can obtain wealth without relationships, but at what cost? What good is it to have money but no one to enjoy it with, no one to experience travel with, or no one to enjoy relaxing with? Likewise, it is an excellent goal to lose weight, but what good is it to lose weight if there is no objective to sustain life for future healthy relationships?
Healthy relationships can help us stay motivated to overcome obstacles, stay focused on a direction, stay engaged in the moment, and can keep us from experiencing isolation. Most importantly though, they can be a source of mentorship, rejuvenation, and can give us hope in future possibilities. There is nothing that builds a person or a business quicker than healthy relationships. Choose three people who are emotionally strong and healthy. Find one that can pour into you, one that you can pour into, and one to bounce ideas off of. When we build these kinds of relationships, we create true meaningful connections. If you have trouble finding these kinds of people, try some additional resources. There are millions of ways to engage in healthy relationships through social media, YouTube or books. Whatever the resource, make sure it can teach you what you do not already know.
“The only thing that isn’t OK is giving up your unique personality or hiding your gifts because someone else shamed you into shrinking from your potential.” -Daniel DiPiazza
Growth Principle 6 | Go After Personal Growth
If you apply all the other principles well, then you are already on your way to personal growth. At the same time, personal growth is never ending and needs to be sought out on a daily basis. In order to do so, we have to create a new routine. This routine may be uncomfortable at first, but just like conflict, expect it and prepare for it. Develop routines that empower your mind and motivate your heart everyday. Use your calendar to plan your days accordingly. Your day may not look like this, but here is a sample of my daily routine.
My Personal Sample Daily Schedule:
- 6:00 am I wake up and give 10 minutes of thanks to my Creator
- 6:30am I leave my home and head to the gym
- 7:00am I arrive at the gym and do most of my writing including right now as I am writing this blog on a piece of cardio equipment!
- 7:30am I listen to a devotional to empower my mind and encourage my spirit as I hit the weights
- 8:00am I hit the showers, shave, dress, and drink my protein shake
- 8:30am I head toward one of my two offices to begin my day of scheduled appointments
- 11:00 am I answer my first batch of emails
- 12:00pm I (try to remember to) break for lunch
- 1:00pm I return back to my pre-scheduled events
- 3:00pm I do video tapings, podcast, or media broadcast
- 5:00pm I answer my second batch of emails and begin my journey home for family time
- 6:00pm I spend time with my family, participating in dinner, homework, and family discussion
- 7:00pm I make it a priority to have one-on-one time with my spouse to stay connected and talk about anything that we need to discuss away from the children, or just laugh and cut up. This builds agreement, unity, and connection.
- 10:00pm Time for Rest & sleep!
It may seem at first glance that this routine can come across as “too scheduled”, but it truthfully keeps my day from controlling me. In the first part of the day, I focus on growing personally through mental, spiritual and physical health. The middle of the day is focused on helping others grow, as well as the growth of the businesses God has entrusted to me. The last part of the day is focused on building a healthy family and strong relationship with my wife.
As you can see, every day is focused on growth and development. As I look back, sometimes I am amazed at the goals that have been accomplished without specifically focusing on the goals themselves, but on the small things that make the goals happen. I know it takes work. I know it takes focus. Most of all, I know it requires relationships. If any one of these elements is missing, then the goals will never become reality. You can focus on helping those around you to grow in whatever environment God has placed you. You can achieve far more than you ever dreamed possible. The Bible tells us that the person who is faithful with the little things will be made master over much (Luke 16:10). We need to plant seeds that can truly grow. Goals are not seeds; they are dreams that can only become reality when our personal growth becomes a priority!
In your service,