WRITE THE VISION (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers #1)

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We all have dreams: goals we hope to achieve, things we want to accomplish, even relationships we long to develop or repair.

We may be creators working in words, music, graphics, film or other media. We may be innovators or entrepreneurs, trading in better ideas and great inventions; researchers, analysts, or computer programmers, searching for new solutions to life’s pressing needs and problems. We may be parents or grandparents, teachers or youth workers, shaping attitudes and training the next generation of pioneers; public servants or spiritual leaders — all working together to build a better world.

Wherever we find ourselves, whatever we’re doing, chances are, we’re working toward a goal or dealing with a problem; waiting and hoping for answers and breakthroughs. We may have talent and abilities, intelligence and good looks — and more ideas than we know what to do with. We may have money and connections. Then again, we may possess none of these things!

Regardless, whether we’re well on our way to accomplishing great things, or just getting started, the road to pursuing our dreams can be long and arduous. Along the way we can hit speed-bumps and encounter roadblocks. And often, when “life happens,” we’re forced to take detours or, worse, pull over and park for a time. So it’s easy, and also very tempting — while struggling to achieve our goals, or waiting for a promise that seems to be taking forever — to mutter “Enough!” and give up. To throw in the towel and just walk away.

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Talent and ideas always help. However, in the “long haul,” such things are never enough. Life always demands more, and takes more. It’s never enough to chase a dream. We need a plan … and stamina … and still something more. We need the backing, encouragement, comfort, strength, and reassurance that comes from One greater than ourselves.

Here is the first of several important spiritual steps toward reaching your goals and fulfilling your dreams. Consider this the first session of “boot camp for creators and dreamers.” Ready?

  1. Write the vision [your hopes, dreams, goals, and creative ideas].

Sounds like so much hocus-pocus, and yet God admonishes us to do this — and He would never lead us astray. He commanded one of His prophets to “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come….” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV)

There’s so much truth in these two verses, about being prepared, focused and determined. But for now, let’s simply concentrate on the phrase, “Write the Vision.” Authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen state, “Just writing them down [ideas, goals, plans, and dreams] will set into motion an amazing process of bringing these things into your life.”

How? Well, Words have spiritual power, to encourage, to create, or to destroy. In fact, the spoken word holds “the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21) Imagine how much spiritual power resides in the written word. Which is why legal contracts are rarely based on verbal agreements; words on paper are far more influential, carry far greater weight, and are far more binding.

But from an entirely practical standpoint, writing down information and ideas aids the learning process (the mental acquisition of these ideas) — which is why teachers encourage students to take written notes; writing down information and ideas helps us to focus and refine them. Hence, the creators of the Chicken Soup books state, “The more you write about [your dreams] and talk about it, the more clear and believable it will become.”

When it comes to formulating and solidifying your ideas, plans, and goals, writing the vision is extremely important. Innovations and inventions, the seeds of great plots and plans, begin to take shape and grow when properly recorded.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book….'” (Exodus 17:14 NKJV)

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme…; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1 NKJV)

“Moreover the Lord said to me, ‘Take a large scroll, and write on it with a man’s pen….'” (Isaiah 8:1 NKJV)

Once you’ve recorded the vision [your hopes and dreams, plans and goals] you’ll be ready for the next spiritual step in the journey … along the path to fulfilling the vision!

Join us Friday for more Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers.

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Don’t Make Yourself TOO Comfortable! (Diet for Dreamers)

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Thomas Edison once stated, “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” If you examine many of the innovations of the 20th Century, and ponder the motivations behind them, you’ll understand Edison was right. No one invents anything simply to prove it can be done. Innovators (and dreamers) aren’t like mountain climbers; they don’t accomplish something great “because it’s there”!

Vaccines are developed when disease threatens our civilization; faster modes of transportation because people are … well, in a hurry; smaller, smarter, more powerful phones and tablets because we want to be able to communicate, access information, and enjoy all the other benefits of computers on the go and with less to lug around. The point is, when a society finds itself in an undesirable situation, or isn’t satisfied with its level of comfort or convenience, it generally responds with the innovations necessary to elevate itself from its troubling circumstances.

What was the motivation behind the invention of the electric light? Several people were striving to make it work — Edison stuck with it until he succeeded — but why so much interest? Well, can you imagine what it was like to read by a kerosene lamp? Or worse, a flickering candle? Edison and others weren’t satisfied with these relatively poor sources of light. They wanted something better.

Many inventors such as Edison or Henry Ford also wanted to solve a specific problem. Ford used the assembly line to overcome time constraints in production. Milton S. Hershey formulated a chocolate bar that resisted melting at temperatures above 90 degrees fahrenheit because U.S. troops in WWII needed just such a bar.

Edison goes on to state, “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I’ll show you a failure.” A strong statement — which may sound illogical as well as unbiblical. It’s neither. When we’re comfortable, we’re not challenged to change, and specifically, to improve. If we’re satisfied with where we are in life, we’ll stop trying to go higher. Getting back to Edison’s first statement, when we’re discontent with our surroundings, our wasteful or harmful habits, our spiritual state, we’re more likely to make the necessary changes. Discontent is a powerful motivator. Which is why, in life, many people have to hit rock bottom before they get fed up enough to finally change.

So, in life, in innovation, in our relationships with God and the people around us, we never want to become complacent. Now, this doesn’t mean we should become discontent with what the Lord has blessed us with. The Apostle Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV) To do anything less is to present our Lord with an ungrateful spirit. On the other hand, we should always strive to improve ourselves, our circumstances, and the circumstances and conditions of others. Let us all work together to make the world a better place.

If you’re pursuing a dream or trying to achieve a goal, you’re more likely to achieve it once you make up your mind NOT to be complacent. Make the most of whatever situation you’re in, and by all means, be happy! But don’t get too comfortable. Aim higher. And then, when you find yourself overworked and underpaid, unchallenged and confined, by a job, a relationship, etc., you’ll probably also discover the motivation you need to pay the price, to do what it takes to succeed, or to change.

Meow. Yawn. Meow.

People who are comfortable tend to stay right where they are, whether it’s the recliner in front of the TV or a job that’s “not great but pays pretty good.”  So, don’t get comfortable — unless you’re planning on staying for awhile. Be discontent enough to climb out, climb higher, keep on climbing. Not because “it’s there” but because you long for something better, greater, nobler.

“Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: Please bless me and give me more territory. May your power be with me and free me from evil so that I will not be in pain. God gave him what he prayed for.” (1 Chronicles 4:10 GOD’S WORD)

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