“The poorest person in the world is not the person who doesn’t have a nickel. The poorest person in the world is the one who doesn’t have a vision. If you don’t have a dream – a goal and a purpose in your life – you are never going to become what you could have become.” – John C. Maxwell
2014. A Fresh start. A chance to change. The beginning of a New Year brings the opportunity to do things differently. The promise of new things brings hope, and resolutions for self-improvement are the talk of the day for many. Forming good habits, stopping bad ones, loosing those extra kilos or making more money are common examples.
If you are like most mortals, you probably made some resolutions on December 31st 2013. Or you silently purposed in your heart – “some things need to change this year.” But have you ever wondered why many New Year resolutions fail? Like the rest of us, you know how it is. Every year we have good intentions, and then?
Within a couple of hours, days or months its business as usual. We are back on the tread mill, spinning our wheels. We “fail” our resolutions. Until December when we go through the motions again.
Many people fail, despite good intentions, for lack of a clear vision and plans on where they want to go in life. After all, life is a journey, and common sense urges us to plan for journeys. Like holidays; we dream of travelling to a certain place, we see it and make plans towards this dream vacation.
I believe often we fail to stick to the New Year resolutions because we have no long term vision. No dreams to pursue.
Dreams. Interesting nebulous word. Many of us know Martin Luther King Jr´s famous quote: “I have a dream…”
But have you ever enthusiastically shared a great idea or desire you had with others, then had them look back at you sceptically, roll their eyes and call you a dreamer? The negative implication here is; you are being unrealistic. Demeaning your dream, they may even have mocked you, or gone on to tell you why you can never have, do or be whatever you are “dreaming” about. Or they just plain ignored or laughed at you. Ouch! That hurt ha?
If you are a dreamer, and have had such an experience, I understand your pain. Because I too have had people belittle my ambitions and negatively call me a dreamer. We both know that can take the wind out of your sails.
So what else is new?
If you are familiar with the Bible, you may have heard about Joseph the “dreamer.” His brothers were jealous of him. They hated him so much when he shared his dream they plotted to kill him. They sold him off to slavery and lied to their father he was killed by wild animals. In my book, I call such people dream killers. They existed in the bible days and they still exist in this day and age of the internet.
Be careful who you share your “dreams” with whether tweeting, a Facebook status or LIVE. People will hate on you just because you have a dream or are living in a perceived “dream world.” But the good news is if God gave you the dream and He be for you, no one can be against you. It will come to pass. Joseph went on to become the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt after pharaoh. Read about it here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2037
See Josephs brothers thought they had killed his dream but little did they know he would actually save them from starvation many years later. Read Gods ways and the happy turn of events here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2045
For a moment, allow me to bring it home kidogo…I have lived over 15 years abroad and for the last 5 years I have alternated between living 7 months in the Diaspora and 5 months in Kenya, and it saddens me when my fellow Kenyan brothers and sisters hate on each other. Whether we are hating on those living in Diaspora or those in Kenya, it’s contra-productive. Why be jealous of someone who just may save others from starvation? Now am not saying we in Diaspora save Kenyans from starvation, but truth is many of us support or have supported our families and invested in our countries economy out of the fruits of our labour in “Egypt” Diaspora. Whether we are cleaning toilets, washing dishes, nursing the old or teaching in universities or living in pharaohs palace, do we realise God may have sent us here for a reason and a purpose beyond our short-term thinking?
OK back to those New Year resolutions… Did you make some? As the countdown rolled in and the fireworks crackled did you envision some dreams being fulfilled in 2014? I hope so because it is written “For lack of a vision people perish.” Some areas in our lives may be perishing (unsuccessful) because we lack a vision therein. We lack long – term dreams that inspire us to follow through on our resolutions.
But, we can give those nebulous dreams some substance by setting goals. One of my life’s philosophy is that: goals are dreams with deadlines. They help us follow through on our New Year resolutions and achieve the success we dream of and desire.
From the five letters in the acrostic GOALS, based on my book 7 Steps To Success – How To set and Achieve Your Goals, here are 5 simple tips on how to achieve your New Year resolutions:
- G – Get a vision for your life and set worthwhile goals;
- O – Organize and plan effectively for your success;
- A – Act. Take action and overcome procrastination;
- L – Learn. Acquire and implement knowledge and skills;
- S – Stick to your goals, despite hindrances and obstacles.
There you have them. 5 simple steps to help you achieve your 2014 resolutions.
So do you have a vision for your life and some dreams? If not, may I suggest you get some?
Like Joseph and Martin Luther King Jr let’s believe in our dreams and give them deadlines. Whether you have people cheering you on and supporting you or secretly jealous and hating on you. Let’s dare to dream because as Benjamin Elijah Mays said…
“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.”
God is a dream giver, and sadly some people allow themselves to be used by the devil to be dream killers. But what Joseph’s brothers meant for harm, God turned around for good. Just like Joseph’s dream would later benefit his brothers and the Nation of Israel, may your dreams make a positive, lasting impact on many, people’s lives. Yes, even on the lives of those who hate on you…
Whether in Diaspora or Kenya, I wish you a healthy, happy, successful New Year. God bless!
Copyright © Nancy Gathecha.
To get Nancy´s free Goals4Success E-workbook, visit her here:
By Nancy Gathecha