Win or Perish?
There is a Viking legend backed up by actual historical data, that long ago, a great warrior faced a situation where surrendering in battle was not an option. Yet he and his armies faced a very powerful foe. They were significantly outnumbered and “had no chance”. After sailing to the enemy’s country, the warrior chief unloaded his soldiers and equipment, and then had every one of their ships burned to ashes. Addressing his men before the battle, he is reported to have said, “Do you see our boats going up in smoke? There is no retreat. We win – or we perish!” Legend has it that each soldier fought harder than he ever had before in his life, and they won against great odds.
Many of us have ideas for change in our lives. There are dreams we want to follow. Yet, it is much easier to become comfortable in our daily lives, and put our dreams on hold for “someday”. Unfortunately, “someday” never comes. As long as you cannot imagine it, your dreams will never come true.
Self-defeating thoughts and self-imposed ceilings limit your financial progress. Your thoughts and attitudes will determine your success. If you have no strength to overcome this mindset, you will fail to reach the potential God intended for your life. It is not a lack of resources or a shortage of talent that prevents you from achieving wealth; it is the barrier that resides inside your mind. Your thoughts can keep you from living the financial life God has prepared for you. You will never change your financial future until you change your thinking. Do you think God will want to provide you with new, exciting, and fresh ideas if you continue having negative thoughts and a bad attitude?
Envision your dreams coming true
Envisioning your dreams coming true is a huge key to your success. Have you ever seen the movie Rudy? It is based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. He grew up in a mill town and dreamed of playing football at the University of Notre Dame, for his dad’s favorite team. The obstacles facing Rudy were tremendous, to say the least. A few barriers included Rudy’s poor grades and lack of money to attend Notre Dame, insufficient talent to play football, and not having the physical size (Rudy was 5´7˝ and weighed 165 pounds) to play football for the Fighting Irish.
Instead of chasing his dreams, Rudy takes a job at the local steel mill and settles for mediocrity until his best friend, Pete, is killed in an explosion at the mill. It is then Rudy decides to make his dreams of attending Notre Dame and playing college football for the Fighting Irish a reality. He is ridiculed by friends and family for his idea and is even rejected by Notre Dame. He could have let bygones be bygones, but instead goes to a small junior college, hoping to qualify for a transfer to the university.
During his final semester of eligibility for transfer, he is granted admission to Notre Dame. After walking onto football practice tryouts, Rudy convinces the coach to give him a spot on the football practice team, where Rudy exhibits more drive and desire than some of his big name varsity teammates.
Ultimately, it is this drive and determination that get Rudy to fully realize his dream of playing in a game. In the final game of the season, the coach is persuaded to insert Rudy (after all the players and later the fans chant, “Rudy… Rudy… Rudy . . .”). Rudy gets in the game and sacks the opposing quarterback to end the game. Rudy is then carried off the field by his teammates and becomes the last Notre Dame player to have such a distinction.
No accident – choose success
This was no accident. There was no stroke of luck. Rudy saw what he wanted and made it happen. He first had a dream, and then he stopped at nothing to make his dream come true. He could have quit very easily, but his determination and desire to change were overwhelming.
Rudy believed he could do it when no one else did. Wanting to change and actually changing are two separate paths. If the desire to change is small, then changing will be difficult. However, if your desire is overwhelming, change will become inevitable. It all begins in your mind. If you continually allow negative thoughts and a poor attitude to dictate your life, you will stay imprisoned in a life of defeat and failure. However, if you see yourself achieving wealth, becoming successful, and being closer to God, nothing can keep you from reaching your goals.
Over time, if you truly desire to change, you can wipe your financial slate clean and begin a new journey. The road to success begins with examining the past in order to prevent repeating mistakes. Do not let your past barriers prevent future financial progress. If you truly desire to make changes, you will need to develop new habits. In order to unlearn bad behaviors, you must understand the reasons why you’ve made certain choices.
Root out poor habits
If you have poor money management skills, you should seek to learn the roots of those habits. Have you ever wondered why some people seem destined for greatness while others are dead broke? Expect God to do great things in your financial life if you put Him first and trust in Him.
God is constantly trying to plant new seeds in your heart to help you grow and expand beyond your current capabilities. Like Peter, who stepped out of the boat toward Jesus and walked on water, you have to take the first step in faith. Fresh ideas and a new outlook go a long way.
Eighty percent of your results will come from your own changed behaviors and attitudes about money. If you don’t change your behavior, your results cannot change. It is simply a matter of cause and effect. No matter what your financial situation, you should always keep in mind that there is hope.