You Are Enough – Guest Post by Chris Morris

It would seem God is telling me something about myself through my recent interviews and guest posts: to take a different perspective on the chronic illness I battle.

I expect many of my readers battle a chronic illness. I pray today’s guest post ministers to your heart and encourages you to continue to reach for your dreams of writing and publishing.

You Are Enough

Guest post by Chris Morris.  [Read more…]

Know the End from the Beginning

Back in December I took Michael Hyatt’s new Best Year Ever course. I then set 10 goals and was very excited about 2014 and the plans I’d made for the year. Almost immediately after—within a week—my mood plummeted. I spent a week or two wallowing, then began to examine why I felt depressed.

Dr. Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People stated that Habit 2 was “to begin with the end in mind. …To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.”

Mark 11:24 from the Bible encourages us to do something very similar. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Yet another biblical example is the story of Peter walking on the water (see Matthew 14:22-33). While he kept his focus on Jesus, Peter walked on the water. But the second he looked at the storm raging around him, he began to sink.

What does this have to do with my foul mood?

What I focus on, or think about, affects my mood—positively or negatively.

This is the time of year when people set resolutions and work toward making some positive change(s) in their lives. There are many reasons why most don’t succeed, but focus is one of them. They’re thinking about the hard work and change (and pain) it’s going to take to reach their goal, instead of the end result.

What does envisioning the end from the beginning look like?

Let’s make this personal. You read my blog because you want to be a writer. Like me, you probably want to be a famous author, right? Then believe you already are. Envision the end—I am a famous writer—from the beginning.

What does being a famous author look like? Does it mean having a best selling book (or three or four)? Does it mean traveling the States doing book signings and appearing on national TV and radio? Does it mean $$$ in the bank and no financial worries? For every writer, being famous means something different. Determine what it is for you.

Now envision what being a famous author feels like. Emotionally connect with your goal so you are positively motivated to achieve it. I learned that from Tony Robbins, but both Dr. Covey and Michael Hyatt state the same.

There’s a law of nature at work here, though like gravity, I don’t understand how it works. I only know it does. What we focus on has a direct bearing on the outcomes of our lives. Having the end in mind from the beginning helps us achieve our desired outcomes.

I’d like to blame my foul mood on the dark days of winter. That may partly be the cause, but in the midst of it I learned that when I’m feeling bummed, I need to stop and think about where my focus is. Am I thinking about the end goal or all the reasons why I may never achieve that goal?

How about you? Where’s your focus? Leave your comments below.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2014

Recommended reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Getting Past Failure

I’ve blogged about fear before, many times. For me growing up and as an adult, fear rode on my shoulder like the proverbial mini devil whispering in my ear. Maybe fear had a stronger influence on me because failure equaled rejection.

Recent events in my life have brought a lot of questions. Is my goal to make a living as a full-time freelance writer impossible? Do I need to give it up and go back to the traditional world of 9 to 5?

Does going back to a 9-5 job mean I’ve failed at my dream? No, it doesn’t! Because I can still keep working at my dream while working my day job. With determination and perseverance I will succeed.

Through all this I’ve learned it’s okay to fail because it means at least I tried. Too many people have dreams and that’s all they ever are—dreams. They don’t even try; they just make excuses.

Don’t let fear of failure, or fear of anything, stop you from reaching for your dreams. Because unlike so many others out there, you can say “At least I tried. Did you?”

With determination and perseverance you boost your chances at success. So get up off the bench and trot out onto the field. Believe in yourself. Begin today to reach for your dreams.

What are your dreams? What’s stopping you? Leave your comments below.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2013

We All Have Two Beginning Choices

I overslept the other day, throwing my schedule way out of kilter. I had two choices when I threw off the bed covers: berate myself all day for not getting up on time, or tell myself it’s okay, I’ll do better tomorrow.

I’m well acquainted with the dirt life dishes out (If you want to know more, email me). And if there’s one thing I’ve learned through all my difficulties, it’s that all decisions are birthed from a positive or negative attitude. I can face the situation head on with an attitude of “I can do this” and then proceed to win the battle. Or I can plop down and say “I can’t do this” and let the circumstances defeat me.

Maybe that seems simplistic to you, but it’s true. Our attitude directs our decisions. If you tend toward negativity, a change in attitude starts with positive thinking. But as you succeed in one battle, and then another, and another, thinking becomes believing. Deep down, gut level believing.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve done my share of moaning. I believed I would get through, but my negative outlook kept me from being as successful in the fight as I could have been.

I don’t want to “just get through.” I want to come out stronger and wiser, not wounded and hurting. Having a positive attitude can make that happen. A positive attitude also gives you the peace and courage you need.

How about it? Next time life throws a pebble, rock, or boulder, stop first and examine your attitude, then make the necessary decisions.

Tweetables:

All decisions are birthed from a positive or negative attitude. (Tweet this)
Our attitude directs our decisions. (Tweet this)
A positive attitude makes all the difference. (Tweet this)
A positive attitude gives you courage and peace to face life’s difficulties. (Tweet this)

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Debra L. Butterfield © 2013

New Beginnings

Easter is a season of new beginnings—Christ rising from the grave to bring salvation and redemption to a lost world. Second Corinthians 5:17, The Amplified Bible states, “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”

There is a time for everything. We investigate. We consider. We decide. And then we act. (tweet this)

Years ago I attempted to live my life without Christ and his strength. I was miserable. (tweet this) Thankfully those days are long passed. Though I don’t think about it every day, I know that when I embraced Christ I became a new creation. What once controlled me no longer has any power over me. Through Christ I found the strength and courage to examine my beliefs and conquer my fears.

I believe in Jesus, and my Christian worldview affects both the words I speak and those I write. You can impact the world with your words, too, but you must find the courage to step out. I read in 2 Corinthians 6:2, NKJV, that “now is the day of salvation.” This tells me every moment of every day represents the opportunity to decide and act.

Will you decide today to act despite your fear? Will today be the day you take the first step toward your dream as a writer?

Today, and every day, is a day of new beginnings. Let’s make the journey together.

Leave your comments below and tell us about your decisions so we can encourage one another along the way.

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Debra L. Butterfield © 2013

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