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Transform to Perform in 2014: Lessons From A Seed

In my morning devotions I was drawn to Paul’s writing on resurrection. He uses powerful imagery of a seed to make his point:

“…When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t a grow into a plant unless it dies first…You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant” 1 Corinthians 15:36 (NLT)

A seed is dry and looks almost lifeless, yet it has much potential. When a seed is planted in the darkness of the soil, it soon breakthroughs the soil into a glorious plant. Without going through this transformation process , this seed will not perform as a plant.

A few lessons to ponder as you start this week and looking ahead into 2014:

1. You have great potential in you. You may look nothing like it – dry, wilted and struggling, but there is something great and alive in you
2. The circumstances of life are the soil in which the seeds in you will be birthed
3. A seed is not ‘buried’ but ‘planted’. When going through transformation process you are not dying but being changed. You may not like the process, but it’s what brings your progress.
4. A photo is developed in a dark room like a seed. The negative experiences of life are the dark places where your potential is developed

Transform from dry seed to a lively plant. If you don’t transform you will deform. If you transform you will perform.

Declare: I have the seeds of greatness in me. I flourish where I am planted. I am productive and fruitful.

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You can get a copy of book Seeds of Greatness to fully appreciate the success lessons from seed.

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Time for A Life Facelift & Uplift : Arise & Shine!

“There was a woman present, so TWISTED and BENT OVER with arthritis that she couldn’t even LOOK UP. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was STANDING STRAIGHT and TALL giving GLORY to God” Luke 13:11-13 (MSG)

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. You may be going through an ugly situation or dealing with a challenging matter. It doesn’t matter – God can deal with any matter. The condition might have gone on for years. So what? There is no condition beyond the grace of God to deal with. It’s time to know the following liberating truths:

1. Jesus makes the twisted financial, marital, business, work, relationship, health situations straight
2. If you are bending over under the weight of challenges today you are free.
3. The indignity and shame of your situation is taken away – you can now LOOK UP . You have a FACELIFT now.
4. Where you came short, Jesus has given you an UPLIFT – you can stand tall again

Declare this:

I have a major facelift and uplift. Every shame has been replaced with fame. I can rise and shine above the crushing weight of inadequacy, guilty and shame.

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How To Transform Yourself To Succeed (Part Three)

Crossover Stage – ‘Go Over’

In previous articles we looked at the Passover Stage and the Makeover Stages of transformation. Today lets talk about the Crossover Stage.

Can you imagine if billionaire Richard Branson of Virgin Group would keep saying ‘I had acute dyslexia when I was a kid’, or if Nelson Mandela would always talk about spending 27 years in jail? They would never have moved on in life. In order to crossover you need to forget what lies behind and set your eyes on the future. Today I would like to share a few lessons on the instructions which were given to Joshua to crossover and takeover Canaan. The Israelites had been in the wilderness of confusion, drought and lack of progress.

“Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross {over} this Jordan River…to the country I am giving to my people” : Wipe them tears Brother Joshua, life goes on! Watch carefully the kind of language and words used here:

Forget The Past – “Moses my servant is dead”

In other words, forget about the past, do not pity party about how things were bad in your social, financial, economic or political wilderness. If you hold on to the past, you will have no hands to grab the future. You might have had it rough and tough in the wilderness – no electricity, no good schools, no running water, no jobs, no fancy food, no fancy clothes. You have passed over that now. Your wilderness experience might be a bitter divorce, retrenchment, rejection, betrayal, bad deal, broken promises, financial loss, grief, past successes, trophies or victories – so what? It is all in the past – IT’S DEAD!

Do not make a funeral of your past. It is instructive that there is no mention of Moses’ funeral – or mourning period. The living have no business with the dead! Point at your ‘wilderness’ and say “Thank you but no thanks, never again, I am crossing over”

Keep Moving – “Get Going. Cross over”

A man who is released from prison does not hang around the prison gate – he moves away quickly to enjoy freedom. Joshua is told clearly ‘get going’. There is kinaesthetic feel about these words – there is bodily movement and muscle engagement. In simple terms there is ACTION.  What is it that you have always wanted to do? Start today. The crossover transition is a game of faith. In the wilderness you deal with the familiar – in the crossover you deal with ‘unknowns’. You may not even know what awaits you on the other side – just do it! Let’s get practical about things now – write that application, register for that course, publish the book, start that project, get your visa, make that important phone call, send that vital email, set that key appointment or make that crucial visit.

Without crossing over you cannot takeover. When you crossover you need a specific toolset and unique set of skills to deal with uncertainty and the unfamiliar. I will share those in the next instalment in this series in the next article on Takeover. For today get going. Just do it. Keep walking until you crossover for your takeover…

 

How To Transform Yourself To Succeed (Part 1)

As a coach and mentor one of the things I have learnt is that personal and business transformation is a journey and not an event. However along this journey there are defining moments or events. A lot of people and organisations fail to make the transition from one level of success to the next because they fail to read these key stages. The world abounds with stories of people who did not get great opportunities but made great of the opportunities life presented them. An opportunity of a lifetime exists in the life of that opportunity. The secret is in understanding times and seasons. I shared recently in an article how phone maker Blackberry failed to read the times and they have paid a heavy price. To perform you need to transform. If you conform to the norms you will deform and lose your form. I am a firm believer in disruptive innovation – this requires to be misunderstood… to be a little crazy and weird in pursuit of game changing transformation. Disruptive innovation is understood in hindsight.

There is a simple story in the Bible in Mark 8: 22-26 and I want to share some important lessons on transformation:

“Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village….his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village…”

Jesus encountered a blind man. He took this man ‘by hand’ out of his village. The first time after being laid hands upon this man could see ‘man like trees’. The second time around his sight was completely restored. Jesus then told him not to go back to village. I want to share the 4 vital stages of transformation for your success. These stages are Passover, Makeover, Crossover and Takeover in that order.

Passover Stage – ‘Go Out’

Jesus took the matter of this blind man literally into his own hands, by leading him out of the village ‘by hand’. In order to progress in life you need to leave your village. Village represents familiarity, limitations, little exposure and limited vision. Village is not necessarily a place but is also a state of mind. Village is a place of surrender and condemnation. In Africa the old, retired, sick, rascals and hopeless folk are send to the village. The children of Israel once stayed in a village called Egypt for over 400 years until a time to ‘passover’ came.

In order for your career, marriage, ministry, business or project to flourish you need to leave your village.  A village or cradle mentality makes you a slave to the familiar, daily grind and routines. In order to experience growth you need to break out of the familiar and go out of your village. For some your job, industry or country has now become your village while others the village is in the mind – you want to stick to the familiar and you think there are sharks out there. Dare the undared, try the untried, venture into the unknown, blaze the trail, go out, break out – passover!

Dont miss out the next Blog for the Makeover Stage…

How To Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

There is a story from ancient Israel of a man who was paralyzed for 38 years. He lived by a pool that was called Bethsaida. This pool had healing powers. An angel would come periodically and stir the pool – if any sick person jumped into the pool at that time, they would get healed. This man for 38 years desired to be healed. Jesus turned up one day and saw the man. All the man could tell Jesus was “There is nobody to help me into the pool”. He was looking for a pity party. Jesus responded with three verbs: “Stand up, pick up your bed and walk” The gap between wholeness and 38 years of lameness was just ACTION!

Many dream few execute. Many desire and few perspire. Action must now succeed where words have failed. Action is the spark in your dream. I want to share with you four principles critical to executing your dreams.

Principle One – Change Your Mentality

You cant be winning in life if you are losing in your mind. The lame man had a dependency mentality. For 38 years he was waiting for someone to help him get into the miraculous pool. It never happened. Execution of your dream is one thing you can never delegate. Your dream hears your voice. What YOU can conceive YOU can achieve. You have the power to turn your dreams into reality.

Principle Two – Change Posture

Position determines possession. The man had been sitting for 38 years. Jesus asked him to change his posture – “stand up!” Execution sometimes requires that you change your methods.

Principle Three: Change Your Focus

You become what you behold. For 38 years this man focused on his inability to get into the pool. He had a deficit inquiry than appreciative inquiry approach to issues. He looked at what was not working rather than what could work. Positive focus is the force that turns dreams into reality.

Principle Four – Action, Action and Action

Action is the bridge between your dream and reality. It is instructive that Jesus did not make a hell shaking prayer or sing a powerful hymn for this lame man to be made whole. He gave a simple command – stand up, pick up your bed and walk. 3 verbs! Therein rests the greatest key to executing your dreams – action. I want to persuade you to turn the great ideas from thin paper to thick action. That song must be sung. The book must be published. That business must get busy. The project must get off the ground.

Rise up; pick up your ideas and fly!

WINNER MENTALITY – RESULTS MATTER!

“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi

The story of David and Goliath is a familiar story. I want to quickly share a few thoughts on some success principles from the story. David was a trained killer – he had killed a bear and lion before. Goliath is a described as a “man of war from youth”. Simply put David was a trained killer and Goliath was a trained fighter. David went into the battle to kill, Goliath went into the battle to fight. A few lessons to ponder:

1. Don’t be content with ACTIVITY, but focus on OUTCOMES. Goliath was concerned with fighting, David was concerned with killing
2. Never get bogged down on methods. David refused to be weighed down by armour – he chose an unusual method – sling and no armour
3. To have your way, do it your way. David stuck to his style learnt in the desert

Action to be effective must be directed to clearly conceived ends. Action without production is sterile. In a game of football teams play to win, not to entertain. Today approach life with a mindset to produce results, to make a difference, to leave an impression and make an impact.