We all make them: lose weight, exercise, eat less, get more rest, stop gossiping, and on and on. The list of resolutions is endless. Sadly, most of us start faltering along about January 2 and by the end of the first week of each new year, we say the heck with it (notice, I said heck – resolution: stop swearing!) and continue on as though the word “resolution” was erased from our personal dictionary.
I was recently listening to a CD on one of my favorite speakers/writers, Zig Ziglar, and as always I was moved by his simple wisdom backed by his tremendous faith in Christ. Zig died in November of 2012 at the age of 86 and he will be missed by his army of Ziglarites. He has been writing books and giving seminars on motivation, on relationships and on sales since the early 1970’s. Some of his most catchy sayings are:
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
There is little you can learn from doing nothing.
Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
You can have anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.
Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
If you are sincere, praise is effective. If you are insincere, it is manipulative.
There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.
The foundation stones for a balanced and successful life are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.
It would be easy to fill up page after page of this man’s aphorisms but the simple point is that we are all made by God and God does not make mistakes. You are perfect … or at least all the ingredients of your perfection were created when you were conceived. You may be exactly where you are supposed to be right now in your life or you may feel that there is something more and thus, your new year’s resolutions. Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” At your birth, you were presented to world as perfect and the world proceeded to beat the cr…. oops, language, Dan, language … perfection out of you. Look at any new baby and you will agree that God showed us who we are and we should believe Him.
Well, guess what? The perfect you still lies within. Find a place where you can “get quiet” and take a look at yourself. Inside, you know that you are worthy. You know that you are kind and spirited and spiritual and good and caring and loving. Let 2013 be the year that you allow yourself the joy of believing that you are more than the persona you let others come to know. Turn over that new leaf…no, really, turn the leaf over. You will see the intricate underbelly of the wonder of God’s creation in the simple structure, makeup and purpose of one single leaf.
You are so much more than that leaf and God wants you to be all that is in you to be. If you are a janitor, be the best janitor that the company you work for has ever seen. If a brain surgeon, diagnose and operate and treat and continue your education so you can be the best. We all have 24 hours each day and we can use each hour to the benefit of those we love doing all that we can do to be all that we can be. Be in the moment. If you are at work, really work no matter what you are working at. When you go home, be the best parent and spouse that you can be. New Year’s resolutions are meant to prompt us toward developing new, healthier and happier habits. Failure happens out of habit, as does success.
Re-read Zig’s words above. Truisms are such because of the truth that lies within the simple arrangement of words. We can all become better people by finding the habit that leads us to being at peace within ourselves. Although we are human and destined to mess up at times, I say “so what?” Get up, dust yourself off, and begin again. If you wanted to drop a few pounds, start again. Until your subconscious believes you when you say you want to lose weight, or stop smoking, or start going to church again, you will not do it. Write it down. Look at your list of things that you feel are important enough to consider changing, and change. Take responsibility. Find a cheerleader who will help you or who will encourage or even work with you that you trust enough to share your hopes for the New Year with and who will push you along.
An excellent book to jump-start your campaign of taking personal responsibility for who you are and who you wish to become is Larry Winget’s “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life”. The title pretty much lets you know that you will need to buckle your proverbial seat belt when you start reading it. His is a much harsher, in-your-face approach to improving oneself than the softer approach of a Zig Ziglar. However, both write with the thought that we are all already filled with the ingredients from God to be exactly perfect, but few of us are disciplined enough to change our lifestyles in order for us to realize who we really are and to appreciate the impact that we have on those we come in contact with on a daily basis.
So, it is a New Year. Let your own fiscal year begin today as you read these words. And if you fail, get up, dust yourself off and start again. After all, you are already filled with the seeds of perfection. Take God as your partner and let Him carry the load when things get too tough. However, with practice, you will see that you will not have to be carried as often, and you will even find the strength to help others that you meet carry their load if they forget to trust in God.
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