THE FOUNDATION FOR SUCCESS
In this new month, we are going to use a theme quote from the brilliant, inventive, creative genius Thomas Edison. I will most likely say it every week in the hopes that it gets fully and totally embedded in your mind and heart! And that quote is: "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."a
Never able to leave well enough alone, I want to make this statement personal to us. How about this? "If I did all the things I am capable of doing, I would literally astound myself."
Now let's say it together: "If I did all the things I am capable of doing, . . . I would literally astound myself."
Would you astound yourself by doing all you are capable of doing? Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? This month, I want us to be astounded -- literally astounded -- with the power that lies within us - that rests within us - that's as close as our hands and feet - that enables to do the things we didn't know we were capable of doing, but that we are!
Said another way, our focus this month is going to be on the power that we have at our fingertips to succeed -- however you define succeeding. Perhaps you define it as . . .
* a purpose-filled vocation?
* soul-satisfying relationships?
* dynamic, vibrant and radiant health and vitality?
* a deep and abiding sense of your oneness with God?
* an abundant flow of prosperity?
* walking in a state of Grace and Inner Peace?
* experiencing deep and abiding Joy, regardless of conditions and circumstances?
* making a profound difference in the lives of others?
How about all of the above and more?
However you define success, this is the month to astound yourself by recognizing and aligning with the Source of all manifestation.
In Talks on Truth, Charles Fillmore wrote: "The source of all my manifestations is my mind. This source is exactly like the Father - is the Father in degree. An idea arises in my mind of something that I want to do; this idea is the Son. I express that idea in definite thought; that is Spirit going forth to accomplish that whereto I have sent it."b
So, this month, we will use this spiritual concept that we are One with the Power of the Universe to create and we can use it to create a successful life, and we will put that concept into practice by pulling some wonderful tools and techniques from the book Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield so that we might literally astound ourselves! Sound good to you? By the way, this book is in our bookstore.
Before we get started, I need to give you a heads up: There are 64 Success Principles in this book. Obviously in four weeks, we can't talk about 64 principles. So, I've selected the ones that resonate with me the most, and I encourage you to explore the others on your own.
Today, we will lay the foundation for success by exploring two fundamental Principles; in fact, the first two.
PRINCIPLE NO. 1
Principle No. 1: Take 100% Responsibility for Your Lifec
According to Canfield, this is Principle One -- the foundation on which all the rest are laid, so what exactly does it mean to be 100% responsible for your life?
Here's what I believe. Everything, everything, everything comes into our lives in one of four ways. Either:
* we create it,
* we promote it,
* we allow it or
* we "step in" it!
"Stepping in it" means we don't see any way that we had anything to do with bringing that into our lives and yet here it is! And there are certainly times when we can't see that (at least not in the moment), but we are still responsible for how we respond to what we stepped in and that makes all the difference in the world!
One of the greatest ways to take responsibility is to use a formula -- which Canfield gives us under this Principle. E (event) + R (response) = O (outcome) If you don't like the outcomes you are currently getting, there are two basic choices you can make. First . . .
a. . . . You can blame the E (event) for the O (outcome).
In other words, you can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, lack of education, the current administration in Washington, the past administration in Washington, your spouse, your employer, etc. etc.
If you're a golfer, you've probably blamed your clubs or the course for a bad game; if you are a skier, you may have blamed a "snow snake" for slithering right in front of your skies causing you to fall!
Other than the snow snake, all of these conditions actually do exist -- and they may be things you have no control over - you just stepped in them! But they are not deciding factors of success. If they were, no one who ever encountered any of them would ever succeed!
This first choice, then, (blaming the event for the outcome) is not the response of the person who astounds him or herself with what he or she can do! The second one, however, most definitely is!
b. . . . You change your R (responses) to the E (events) until you get the O (outcomes) you want.
You can change your thinking, change your communication, change the picture you hold in your head, change your behavior -- and change your Life! What have you got to lose if you change!? It's not working the first way, is it?!
Definition of insanity: Doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results.
Remember this formula: E + R = O; it is the basis for your success. And it's the FIRST THING YOU MUST DO!
Principle 2 - Be Clear Why You Are Hered
The second principle in importance, after taking 100% responsibility for your life, is the second one we will explore today. It says we must get in touch with what we were put here on earth to do/be! That's a big one, isn't it? I know a lot of people struggle with this.
We have probably all heard the powerful and oh-so-true statement of Marianne Williamson: "You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. You were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within you."e
Canfield writes: "With a purpose, everything in life seems to fall in place. To be 'on purpose' means you're doing what you love to do, doing what you're good at and accomplishing what's important to you. When you truly are on purpose, the people, resources and opportunities you need naturally gravitate toward you. The world benefits, too, because when you act in alignment with your true life purpose, all of your actions automatically serve others."f
You have a purpose. Within you, there is a purpose. And this purpose will not leave you until it is fulfilled. It will actually be like the pea under the mattress of the princess (remember that play??). It won't let you rest until you discover it.
You might postpone its fulfillment for years. But because God implanted this purpose in the center of your being where it cannot be erased, it can't be lost. What we can do, and we do this quite well, is we can lose sight of it. We can temporarily forget it (for a very long time). We can argue against it; pretend that it isn't there. Yet because God has put it there, we cannot erase it, we cannot lose it.
So what is this purpose? What's your purpose? It isn't to win the lottery, although you very well might.
It isn't to be chosen to be the CEO of your company, although you very well might. It isn't to become the savior of the world -- and you probably won't do that! Your purpose isn't to marry a certain person or to take an around-the-world cruise or to turn left or to turn right. Although these things very well might be a part of your experience.
Your purpose is to awaken to who and what you are in God and who and what God is in you.
Now, I've said that before from this very pulpit. And I think those words are wonderful and absolutely true -- but what do they mean to us in a practical, day-to-day sense?
Two fundamental elements exist in a purpose of awakening to who and what we are in God and who and what Got is in us: Joy and Service. What brings you Joy? How does it serve the world?
And there are many, many ways to approach defining your purpose.
And, there is a very powerful and extremely simple exercise in Jack Canfield's book Success Principles. It involves spending a little time in quite reflection asking yourself three questions and then combining the answers to them in a statement. I'd suggest buying the book to get the full benefit of it -- but I'm going to give you the three questions now.
a. First, identify two of your unique personal qualities, such as - enthusiasm, creativity, logic, passion, humor, gift of music. Write those down on the paper provided.
b. Second, ask yourself "What are one or two ways I ENJOY expressing those qualities when interacting with others?" Examples would be - support, inspire, entertain, motivate, teach. Write those down on the paper you have.
c. Next, assume the world is expressing perfectly right now. What does this world look like? How is everyone interacting with everyone else? What does it feel like? Write your answer in a BRIEF statement in the present tense, describing the ultimate condition, the perfect world as you see it and feel it. Remember, a perfect world is a joyous place to be! For example, Everyone is freely expressing their own talents. Everyone is working in harmony. Everyone is expressing love. Now write that down on your paper.
d. Finally, combine the answers to the three prior questions into a single statement on your paper. (e.g., "My purpose is to use my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others to freely express their talents in a harmonious and loving way." You have examples of this on the back of your paper.
And there you have a purpose statement. This is how you are going to express who and what you are in God and how God is going to express who and what He/She/It is in you.
Why is it so important to do this? With a purpose, life seems to fall into place. To be "on purpose" means you're doing what you love to do, doing what you're good at and accomplishing what's important to you. Being on purpose means God is expressing at the highest level through you!
So here we have our first two ideas for achieving the success that you were meant to achieve. Of course, we start with consciousness, because that's where it always starts -
* Take Responsibility
* Get Clear Why You're Here
These two ideas lay the foundation for the other principles, some of which we will explore as the month unfolds.
I encourage you this week to look at how the E (event) + R (response) = O (outcome) formula is working, remembering that you only have control of the R, but that is everything!!
And, carve out 30 minutes or so to do the purpose exercise this week. You will be glad you did!
Finally, remember, you were born to make manifest the glory of God and you don't serve the world by playing small. So, are you ready to serve the world in really big ways by succeeding in life in every possible way? Good! So am I!
bCharles Fillmore Talks on Truth p. 134
cSuccess Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Jack Canfield
dSuccess Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Jack Canfield
fSuccess Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Jack Canfield p. 19