Life is a race and the key is how we run it. The classic tale in Aseop’s fable, The Tortoise and The Hare reveals a powerful moral. The tortoise, a very slow turtle and the hare, a very fast jack rabbit are running a race. The hare starts out running fast and is confident he will win, so he stops to take a nap. While he is napping, the tortoise is still moving along slowly and ultimately wins. The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. Not only that, but the quiet humility of the tortoise kept him focused on his task, whereas the pride of the hare was his downfall.
A goal or a dream can seem so far off, so many years away even. When we look at those around us who are lightyears ahead of us in progress, we wonder “why am I even trying to make a mark in the world? How will we ever get ahead?”
But that mentality is the problem. When we are focused on the result, the promotion or the title and not the process, then we will fail. We may actually reach the goal, but we certainly will not be happy once we get there because the motive was wrong.
When I made my resolve as a 13 year old that I wanted to be Miss USA one day, everything I did in my life was for the purpose of preparing me for it. I followed every Miss USA and researched what a day in the life was like. It was busy, non-stop, full of speaking engagements, making people feel special and caring about others. She was a confident leader and at the time, I wasn’t.
I decided to model my life after the job of Miss USA instead of just the competition. I filled my planner with extra curricular activities, performing in musical theatre productions, serving as class president in high school and college, public speaking classes, working out and volunteering. I wanted to be so prepared for the actual job of Miss USA, that doing the competition itself would be a simple byproduct of being. Nine years later, it worked.
1. When God gives you a vision, do it.
One of my greatest strengths can also be a big weakness. I am an activator, so when I get a vision or great idea, I get super excited and want to make it happen now. I make quick decisions and get to work on it immediately. But when the project starts dragging out, I lose steam or feel discouraged and then quit. I put stuff off all the time that would take too long to see results on. Sound familiar?
As I’ve grown in spiritual maturity and self-awareness, I am able to see the downward spiral right when it starts. As you are working on your dream or goal, recognize that the enemy doesn’t want you to complete it. Recognize the onset feeling of defeat or discouragement and snap out of it. Don’t let yourself to get to the point where you have to dig yourself back out again.
Satan will dig his talons into your weaknesses and use them to stop you. But when God gives you a vision, remember that fire you felt and tap back into that to refuel you. Remember the moment He gave you the dream and how it made you feel. It might have been 5 -20 years ago, but the dream is still relevant because it hasn’t been brought to fruition.
He gave it to you and it was real and you can pick it back up at any time because the Lord is on your side.
2. Pretend like you already are what you want to be, then live like it.
Imagine that you are already exactly where you want to be in life, in that dream career or position. What does their day look like? What time do they wake up? Do they exercise, eat clean, take vitamins? Are they social? Do they take time for themselves? Are they on the road a lot with a hectic schedule? How many hours do they write a day? You may ask these questions and realize you actually don’t want that life at all.
But if you do, then get to work and start to remodel your life to emulate the daily life of your dream life. Start tracking and keep tracking every single day. It’s in the consistency of every day life where change happens.
3. Become who you want to be.
Not only do you want to do the things that will prepare you for that promotion or career goal. You also want to pay attention to the character qualities this dream entails. Character and integrity equals longevity. Taking short cuts or manipulating your way up the ladder may get you the promotion earlier, but it won’t keep you there and you may lose respect and burn bridges along the way. Maintaining integrity means taking a loss or being overlooked sometimes, but God always upholds the righteous. We may not be getting fast promotions in the world, but we are certainly getting spiritual promotions which ultimately prevail.
Who is someone in your field of interest you admire? For example, Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer are two of mine, so I look to them to see what their personal qualities are. They are honest, hard-working, transparent, generous, passionate, opinionated, strong, humble and love God with all their heart.
Who is yours and what character qualities do they possess?
4. What you do behind closed doors when no one is looking.
A dream is accomplished in what you do when no one is watching. It requires keeping your head down on your work and chipping away day by day. There may be some days you don’t know what to do, maybe you can’t afford the resources it would take to make something happen. In those moments, you can whip out your journal and strategize with God. You can brainstorm, make lists and research. I have had to work on this one.
There are weeks that go by that I’m not active on social media because I have to protect my mind from losing motivation or getting defeated. It’s the only way I can stay focused on the daily work it takes to accomplish a big project.
As a society, we are addicted to affirmation. But in order to reach your dream, it isn’t just about what people see, it’s about how you manage your time on a daily basis.
5. What you do now leads to promotion.
We can’t wait to get the title, the promotion or the relationships to start doing the work that comes with it. Don’t wait to become Miss USA to start doing charity work or being intentional with your instagram posts. Don’t wait to get the dream boyfriend in order to stop sleeping around. Don’t wait to be booked on a job in order to start acting. We have so many tools at our fingertips now to create our own channels and outlets to do what we love or want to do, so there really is no excuse why we can’t be doing it.
Our job is to start doing what God has put on our hearts and then trust that promotion will come when we are prepared. The race has to be about the journey, about the little gifts, growths and relationships you form along the way. The race is ultimately about becoming the woman you are meant to be because then the doing will fall into place.
Remember– slow, steady and humble wins the race.
Consistency in daily life = The Sparkle Effect
Please give me the endurance and patience I need to focus on producing good works in my life, even when I don’t see results. Lord, I want my life to honor you. I want to live a life worthy of my calling. God, help me to eliminate distractions and pridefulness. Help me to see the moment I am about to start fading and losing hope so I can reset my mind on you and pray for strength. I never want to come into the dangerous agreement with the enemy that leads to self-pity and defeat. God, I pray for a fresh revival of my dream and a new burning to take place in my heart. Lord, infuse me with enthusiasm to wake up every morning to do sow into my purpose. Give me clear vision and renewed hope in you so I can feel your energy flowing through me every day and in everything I do. In Jesus name, Amen.
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:9-10 NLT
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:11-12 NLT
It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who made foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 1 Peter 2:15 NLT
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23 NLT
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Ephesians 6:7
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