A well known verse in the Bible (Proverbs 27:17) states “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Whether you are a believer or not, one cannot deny the power, meaning, and truth behind this verse. An iron blade is best shaped and sharpened with another tool made of iron; most substances do not have the strength or durability to modify iron.
In applying this principle to our lives, it is important for us to surround ourselves with people who are likeminded. The iron in our lives can be those that have similar goals and can provide genuine encouragement and support with honesty. If we expect to reach our potential, we must surround ourselves with others who are striving to meet their potential. Those people will relate to what we are going through and are likely to provide needed advice and encouragement. We typically seek to be successful in a number of areas which are interrelated: relationships, financial security, spiritual growth, and work, to name a few. Striving for success in these areas is a complicated and difficult process with many potholes, stops, and detours along the way.
No one achieves great success without the support of others. We all need and depend on others to provide support in some form or fashion. Support can be providing encouragement, advice, time, or financial support. The bottom line is that it is extremely important to surround ourselves with people who have similar visions and ideals like us. There is mutual benefit when we do this. Embracing the meaning “iron sharpens iron” is key in reaching our goals!
The beginning of September signals the start of one of our country’s favorite past times ….football season! Over the years, I have seen how sports provides such great analogies for life in general. Just like the start of a sports season, our lives can be broken down into seasons. There are many lessons that can be learned in equating the start of the football season to the various seasons and cycles in our lives.
- Importance of preparation. Every team has prepared by learning and training during the offseason. Each team has spent many hours doing conditioning and learning plays. A lack of preparation will definitely insure that the team will be unsuccessful. Same with us on an individual level. We cannot take advantage of an opportunity if we are unprepared mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. We must commit ourselves to learning and improvement.
- Losing (disappointment). Most teams will lose at least once. It is rare that a team makes it through a season undefeated. A few years ago, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl having lost half of their regular season games. In life, we will suffer disappointments, but the good news is that, like the New York Giants, we do not need to be close to perfect to succeed at our goals. More importantly, we must develop the mental stamina to deal with those disappointments which may arise.
- Injuries (unexpected challenges). Teams will have key players that get injured. Those teams that have good systems in place always seem to suffer less of an impact when this happens. This definitely relates to preparation and foresight. Disclaimer: There are things that happen to us, just like an injury to a key player on a team, which can derail a whole season. We want to focus on things within our circle of control. This is where preparation helps.
- One Game at a Time (the process). A team must focus on winning the game at hand, not the game that is 3 weeks from now or the championship. Winning the game at hand puts the team closer to its goal of making the playoffs or winning a title. Same with us on an individual level. We must focus on the steps to accomplishing our goal as opposed to the actual goal itself. Mastering the steps will naturally result in accomplishing the goal.
Good luck this season!
Thanks for reading. Please like and follow me on Facebook.
How you see things is everything. There are some people we know who suffer through some truly horrific circumstances in their lives, but are seemingly happy. Then, there are some who that had a lot of things in their favor and are unhappy. Heck, I remember watching a program where the person acknowledged they had a great upbringing: loving & understanding parents, money, good schools, health, etc. However, can you believe they actually said that having an upbringing that seems to avoid many of us, was a problem? Really????? Perfect example of how perception shapes our reality. If you choose to see something as a problem, it is a problem. To change our lives, it helps to change our perceptions. Below are 3 ways we can change our perception:
- Spend actual TIME helping people. Notice I didn’t say spend money to help people. Don’t get me wrong, giving away money can be helpful, but it doesn’t seem to provide the same sort of impact for the giver and receiver that spending time does. You will definitely gain some insights into life when you spend time helping or getting to know someone.
- Read about people you admire. Many times, these people have overcome great odds to achieve greatness. Their stories can be inspirational and, more importantly, provide perspective.
- Learn your history. In addition to reading about history, talk to those who have lived through different eras. Understanding your place in a WORLDLY and HISTORICAL context will change your perception and put you on the path to finding your purpose.
I was watching a video of motivational speaker Les Brown and he instructed the audience to say “Good things are supposed to happen to me.” He recommended that the audience say this to themselves daily. Brown then went on to say we tend to expect bad things to happen to us, so we need to affirm the positive. Affirmations are designed to change our subconscious thoughts by constantly referring to them in our conscious minds. Our subconscious impacts us in ways we are unaware of. We tend to have thought patterns and experiences in our past which, if we are not aware, can undermine our conscious efforts to do better in the present.
So what happens when we start to internalize the message that “good things are supposed to happen to me?” Does that mean everything we pursue will happen? Of course not! Does it mean that you won’t be disappointed? Absolutely not! This message is rooted in your faith in a higher power (God) and yourself. People who believe good things will happen for them will start to become more perceptive of opportunities. They will tend to attract those good people who genuinely can help them.
There is a flip side to this type of thinking. If you truly believe good things are supposed to happen for you, then you will believe that if something doesn’t happen, it just wasn’t a good thing. I’ll keep it real with you, sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow if you are in a desperate situation or have tried repeatedly at something. It’s ok to feel disappointment, but we can’t let it keep us down. In this day and age, we have many opportunities to overcome our circumstances and do well. It can happen when we exude a faithful, positive mindset, with efforts to match.
I know it is not easy to be cheerful when after doing your best, everything you do just go wrong or don’t turn out the way you expected. When your business enterprise you started that looked really…
Source: Give it Another Try
This past Christmas, I, like many parents, spent a portion of my day reading directions and putting together gifts which require assembly. It seems as though it is becoming more difficult to remove toys from packages and put things together, but that’s a discussion for another time. My youngest daughter received a desk for Christmas. The instructions were fairly easy to follow, but as anyone who has assembled furniture knows, it can be time consuming. The last step in assembling the desk was attaching it to a wall. The instructions recommended a specifically sized drill bit to drill holes and attach the desk. Of course, I did not have that size; I had a drill bit that was close to the recommended size. I knew I could not go out and purchase the recommended bit on Christmas Day. I attempted a number of alternatives, hoping they would work. I probably spent an hour or so trying different options, to no avail. After an hour or so, without much more I could do, I decided to try the drill bit I had. It was not the recommended size, but it was close. Guess what? It worked just fine!
We are often looking for ideal solutions to our goals, problems, etc. Many times, the ideal solution is not available. However, we often have what we need within our grasp! Especially in today’s day and age, the right people, knowledge, and skills can be a few clicks of a mouse away. Technology has connected our world and opened doors that were not available several years ago. I did not have the recommended or ideal tool for attaching the desk to the wall, but what I did have was good enough. We may not have the absolute, best resources for what we are looking to accomplish, but we usually have enough to get started. This is a message which especially needs to be conveyed to all, especially our youth. Many come from challenged backgrounds, but there are people and resources that can put them on the road to overcoming their circumstances. We must have the awareness to recognize and share available opportunities and start on the process of success!