Keep Your Vision in Front of You
A young man dreamed of being an actor, but in the early 1980s, he wasn’t getting the big parts he wanted. Broke and discouraged, he drove his beat-up old car to the top of a hill overlooking the city of Los Angeles and did something unusual. He wrote himself a check for ten million dollars for “Acting services rendered.”
This young man had grown up so poor his family lived in a Volkswagen van at one time. He put that check in his wallet and kept it there. When things got tough, he’d pull it out and look at it to remind himself of his dream.
A dozen years later, that same young man, the comedian Jim Carrey, was making fifteen million to twenty-five million a movie
Studies tell us that we move toward what we consistently see. You should keep something in front of you, even if it’s symbolic, to remind you of what you are believing for.
because you don’t have the faith, the talent, or the determination, but because you’re not keeping the right things in front of you. All over your house, you should have pictures that inspire you, scripture verses that encourage you, mementoes that strengthen your faith.
Run Your Race
There will always be people who try to squeeze you into their molds and pressure you into being who they want you to be. They may be good people. They may mean well, but the problem is they didn’t breathe life into you. They didn’t equip you or empower you. God did.
If you’re going to become the winner you were created to be, you need to have a boldness. The second quality of a winner is that you run your race the way you want to run it.
You can’t be insecure and you can’t worry about what everyone thinks. You can’t try to keep everyone happy. If you change with every criticism and play up to people, trying to win their favor, you’ll go through life letting people manipulate you and pressure you into their boxes.
You have to accept the fact that you can’t keep everyone happy. You can’t make everyone like you. You will never win over every critic. Even if you changed and did everything they asked, some would still find fault. You’re not really free until you’re free from trying to please everyone. You’re respectful, you’re kind, but you’re not living to please people, you’re living to please God.
Expect Good Things
Our expectations set the limits for our lives. If you expect little, you’re going to receive little. If you don’t anticipate things to get better, then they won’t. But if you expect more favor, more good breaks, a promotion, and an increase, then you will see new levels of favor and success.
Every morning when you wake up, you should declare, “Something good is going to happen to me today.” You have to set the tone at the beginning of each day. Then all through the day you should have this attitude of expectancy.
Like a little child waiting to open a gift, you should be on the lookout, thinking, “I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen”—not passive, but actively expecting.
Too many people drag around, thinking, “Nothing good ever happens to me.” Instead, start looking for good breaks. Expect to be at the right place at the right time. Expect your dreams to come to pass. Expect to be a winner.
Have a Positive Mind-set
Every day we get to choose our attitudes. We can determine to be happy and look on the bright side—expecting good things, and believing we will accomplish our dreams—or we can elect to be negative by focusing on our problems, dwelling on what didn’t work out, and living worried and discouraged.
These are the choices we all can make. Nobody can force you to have a certain attitude. Life will go so much better if you simply decide to be positive. When you wake up, choose to be happy. That is the fourth undeniable quality of a winner
A good attitude does not automatically come. If you don’t choose it, then more than likely you’ll default to a negative mind-set, thinking: “I don’t feel like going to work. I’ve got so many obstacles. Nothing good is in my future.”
A negative attitude will limit your life. If you become caught in traffic, think positively: “I’m not going to be stressed. I know I’m at the right place at the right time.” If your medical report wasn’t good, you can choose to think: “I’m not worried. This too shall pass.”
If your dream is taking longer than you thought, you can choose to think: “I’m not discouraged. I know the right people, and the right opportunities are already in my future, and at the right time it will come to pass.”
Commit to Excellence
We live in a society in which mediocrity is the norm. Many people do as little as they can to get by. They don’t take pride in their work or in who they are. If somebody is watching, they may perform one way, but when nobody is watching they’ll cut corners and take the easy way out.
If you are not careful, you can be pulled into this same mentality where you think it’s okay to show up late to work, to look less than your best, or to give less than your best. But God doesn’t bless mediocrity. God blesses excellence. I have observed that the fifth undeniable quality of a winner is a commitment to excellence.
When you have a spirit of excellence, you do your best whether anyone is watching or not. You go the extra mile. You do more than you have to.
Too many people suffer from destination disease. They reach a certain level, earn their degrees, buy their dream homes, and then just coast.
Studies show 50 percent of high school graduates never read another entire book. One reason may be that they see learning as something you do in school, just something you do for a period of life instead of as a way of life.
Winners never stop learning. God did not create us to reach one level and then stop. Whether you’re nine or ninety years old, you should constantly be learning, improving your skills, and getting better at what you do.
You have to take responsibility for your own growth. Growth is not automatic. What steps are you taking to improve? Are you reading books or listening to educational videos or audios? Are you taking any courses on the Internet or going to seminars? Do you have mentors?
Jesus said if you want to be great in the kingdom, if you want to live a blessed life, there’s a simple key: You have to serve other people. He wasn’t talking about an event that happens every once in a while. He was talking about a lifestyle in which you live to help others, and you’re always looking for ways to serve.
When you live a “serve others” lifestyle, you help friends, volunteer in your community, and take care of loved ones. It’s not something you have to force yourself to do. It becomes a part of who you are. You develop an attitude of giving to everyone you meet. That’s when you’ll have true happiness and true fulfillment. You live not to receive, but to give.
You were created to give. God has put people in your life on purpose so you can be a blessing to them. Every morning you should ask, “God, what is my assignment today? Help me to see the people you want me to be good to.”
Studies show that enthusiastic people get better breaks. They’re promoted more often, have higher incomes, and live happier lives. That’s not a coincidence. The word enthusiasm comes from the Greek word entheos. Theos is a term for “God.”
When you’re enthusiastic, you are full of God. When you get up in the morning excited about life, recognizing that each day is a gift, you are motivated to pursue your goals. You will have a favor and blessing that will cause you to succeed.