Seize Your Moment: Realize Your Dream

2 07 2009

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed.Genesis 37:6 KJV

Read Genesis Chapters 37, 39 – 41

1. What a Dream. Joseph had to be shocked and devastated by the devious plot of his brothers to sell him into slavery.  As shocked and devastated as he must have been, after arriving at Potiphar’s, his new master in Egypt, he managed to get about the business of making the best of of his situation.  Joseph successfully rose to the top of every situation, no matter the predicament.  Whether he was a son, a slave, a prisoner, or a citizen, he always persevered to a position of favor and authority.  While in prison, Joseph’s time had come to realize his dream and he seized his moment in Gen 40:14 where he interprets the dream of the baker and the cup bearer.  Having used his gift, he was later summoned by a troubled Pharoah to interpret his dreams and soon found himself second in charge of all of Egypt where eventually his brothers and his father would be subject to him as in his dream.

Questions: (1) What are some of the character traits that Joseph portrayed throughout the scripture? (2) Through each very difficult circumstance, Joseph remained faithful to God.  How did he do it?

2. Practical Life Lessons.  As we look into the life of Joseph, we see that life is not always easy and that there will be seasons of fruitfulness and seasons of barrenness.   God shows us through Joseph, that we can  be ready for whatever comes our way.

Questions: (1) In Genesis 47 during the years of plenty, Joseph put away 20% of all the produce of the land;  Is this amount still relevant today?


Fail Well

22 04 2009

Fail Well:  Live well after a failure

In life failure is inevitable, trust me, you will fail at some point. What you do with that failure after that will determine if you continue to do well in life or not.

Many of us think of failing and start shaking in our boots, but studies have shown that 80% of what we fear never happens. So most of our lives, we live in fear when the only reality is the fear itself. There is no substance behind the fear. Wow! That statistic should set us all free. A failure is never as bad as it seems. And that fear paralyzes us and steals the most significant dreams. If you come out on the other side of a failure above the ground, then you still have work to do for God and mankind, so you might as well get busy.

The grave is full of books that were never written, art that was never painted or sculpted, big ideas that never saw the day of light. Don’t let it happen to you.

Change your perspective. See failure as just a step in the evolution of your success. See failure as what shapes you into the person that you need to become to attain the prize ahead. See failures as the steps on your stairwell to greatness.

Failure is necessary, but we must be careful to use failure properly. We cannot internalize failure because then it becomes a shackle. It can bind us with fear and hurt and self-doubt if we internalize it when it happens.
Failure is neutral like a brick and bricks can be used to build a home or a prison. You choose what you do with the failure in your life. Also, remember this point, that when you do fail, you are not a failure, you had a failure. So, fail well my friends, fail well.

More Resources —  Get His Book “Failing Forward”

Never Never Never Give Up!

13 04 2009

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb

“Success is achieved through perseverance, so never, never, never give up!” I still remember the day I came home and told my wife that. I don’t remember the particular goal that I had in front of me at the time, but that statement became the motto for the Tillman family. If you have ever called my home, you have heard it on our voicemail. You can not make any significant impacts in the life of others without this character trait in your repertoire. I have heard people say, if you are struggling with it, then you might need to try something else. I disagree with that. Success is hard. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Success is not easy
Business owners know this all too well. A profitable business is a result of many qualities that you have learned successfully over time. A well run business has many aspects that are all working well together. A business needs great customer service, quality production, good financial habits, etc. To get a business to this state, the owner has to work relentlessly on each of these. How does it all happen? Late nights of going over the books while everyone else is sleep, refining product recipes that are already good so that customers are wowed the next time they interact with the product, remaining on the phone with a customer for as long as it takes to resolve their issues and so on. This is what it takes to win and late nights and brain storming sessions for product improvement and extra customer care means less sleep for the body. This concept is not easy to adopt for most. Hey, there are only 24 hours in a day, so if you add something else to your life then one of those 24 hours will need to be occupied by it. And if you are a productive citizen, then you probably work 8 hours or more per day, sleep 8 hours, relax for 2, spend a couple of hours eating, drinking, exercising, grooming etc… you get the point. You have to starting giving something in that routine up once you decide to achieve more. Due to the excitement of achieving something new, sleep is usually the first to take a hit and you also don’t have as much time to watch TV or go to the movies. Most people are not willing to give up their sleep or syndicated TV shows and so they consciously decide to remain the same.

Pain is weakness escaping
Those who have reached the boiling point (where the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change) are ready for to make some sacrifices. It will not feel good, but it will be necessary.

It is much like an athlete striving for that perfect body so that he can perform at his peak. The workout is great, but the morning after is quite painful. When we workout, our muscles actually breakdown and as they heal the tissue is rebuilt stronger and this process is painful. Success requires us to persevere through the inconvenient pain. Think of that pain as weakness escaping.

After many late nights and false starts and brick walls and financial difficulties, you may say what many have said before you, “It just ain’t worth it”. I challenge you to be the few and not the many and persevere. If you are passionate about what you are doing, then come hell or high water, you must persist. Reach for that single degree that will bring your dream out of the world of imagination into reality. Read and watch material that will encourage you to persevere. I’ve embedded a video that personifies perseverance, watch it.

Again, the pain you feel is weakness escaping, so be strong, have courage…persevere.