Why we chose the business we did

A lot of people ask me similar questions and only yesterday someone said,  “How did you select which company to build a business with once you had decided that the Network Marketing Profession was for you? It seems to be a  minefield,  there are so many companies out there.  I don’t want to put in lots of effort to find it all fizzles out when the company leaves the country or goes out of business altogether. I hear about that happening a lot.”

I had to agree and over the years I  have been approached to join dozens of companies very few of which are still going strong with the great majority having actually folded meaning any investment made in them of time money and effort has been lost.

So how do we pick a company to partner with that will be around for years to come and will continue to reward our efforts fairly. Here are a few of the requirements we had 15 years ago when we started out. Although times have changed, for instance the internet and social media are certainly playing a much bigger role now, the fundamentals are still the same. Its always been a people business and it always will be. The computer is an important tool but talking to a real person on the telephone and face to face meetings are just as important as ever, maybe even more so.

Obviously there are no guarantees, even Woolworths closed their doors in the UK, but you can still do your due diligence and give yourself the best possible chance.  If we consider not just Network Marketing Companies but all types of businesses most of those that start fail in the first couple of years, in fact 90% go under in the first 18 months and at 5 years only 1 in 1,000 is left.

Who would stake their time, money, probably most important, their reputation, all their goals and hopes and dreams on a 1000-1 chance. Not the Channings family for sure. We figured it would be best for us to choose from those companies that had overcome the early hurdles and were at least 5 years old. Actually the one we chose was almost twenty years old back then and has gone from strength to strength. We did not just want to build a business that would last our lifetime but we want to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren too.

Next we considered various products and services, there was telephones and  utilities and of the friends we have that took that route some have done very well. I just couldn’t get interested in that although it definitely fits the criteria. We wanted consumable products that if they were better than what people were using now they would come back for them month after month, year after year. We didn’t want to educate people on why they should use a product they didn’t already use, we preferred to just ask them to switch stores and try different brands not very different than what they were already using. Of course they would have to be the top quality and they would need to compete fairly on price or why would anyone swap. There were a few that fit the bill but we were certainly narrowing the field down.

We wanted a privately owned company that could prove it was financially sound and a strong, stable management team was also important. WE saw lots of videos of owners and big hitters in their flashy cars and big mansions but to be honest all that hype turned us off.  When I wanted to talk to these people to ask a few questions and get the feel of how they might think of their workforce it proved very difficult in most cases or virtually impossible. So when I finally was able to meet the CEO of one of these multi-national companies and found him to be a humble, family man who showed he genuinely cared I suppose I was sold. It was actually near two years of research that ended in an hour long meeting. His parting shot to me was “Welcome aboard, I hope we grow old together”. We have spoken a few times since and it is always a pleasure for me, and it never seems to be too much trouble for him.

It might not be the right fit for you but whatever company you choose let me encourage you to do all you can to get a feel for the character of the people at the top. I don’t care what car he drives, actually I have no idea, all I know is he wants me to succeed in an honest and ethical way…his motto, “Exceptional products at reasonable prices” his company Mission Statement…   “To enhance the lives of those we touch by helping people reach their goals”…and something I have heard him say many times at various meetings and conventions…  “there is never any need to exaggerate, the truth is always enough”.

So let me finish there, in promoting your products and your business you will have to tell your story time and time again, sometimes to people who know and trust you and sometimes to people who you only just met but if you can’t put your hand on your heart and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about your company, then either pick another company or get out of the business altogether.

 

 

Forthcoming book, a sneak preview just for you.

OK. so this is looking like the first chapter of my forthcoming book.  I am sat by the pool on the 24th floor of a Las Vegas hotel and made the big bold statement live on Facebook only yesterday that the book will be out before the end of the year. So I am looking for feedback please, pull no punches.

This chapter follows an introduction, or it might be better to call it the big picture in which I state that if we want different results to those we have been getting then we are going to have to do some things differently to what we have previously done. This will be the first of 3 chapters that will form section One of Three that will make up the whole book. Readers are not just going to be told we have to change this that or the other thing, thet already know that. Together we are going to discover exactly what needs to change and more importantly, HOW to make the changes and sustain them for the long haul.

I USE ANCIENT WISDOM A LOT, ESPECIALLY THE BIBLE. I won’t be changing that but don’t let that stop you from being totally honest in your critique

Chapter 1

In Psalm 37:1,2 King David wrote Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
His son King Solomon wrote Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words. Proverbs 23:6,7
So the message is don’t envy a wicked man or eat with a miserly avaricious person. To sit down and eat with someone really meant much more in ancient cultures than we understand in our fast, modern fill em up and send em out society. In some cultures today, hopefully more and more in our church life, it means fellowship, not just sharing food but sharing our lives.
So when Solomon says don’t eat with that kind of person he is thinking on the same lines as Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians “Don’t be misled, bad company corrupts good character.” 1Cor 15:33.
So they both agree, these wise men living 1000 years apart, they give good advice, don’t hang about with ungodly people, don’t wish to be like them or envy their possessions.
Not everything is as it seems… his smiling face might be hiding his true character from some people, but God is not fooled, and the Spirit of God will give you discernment too, if you are careful to read and meditate on the Word of God.
The wicked may appear to have more materially than you right now but it is better to be content with what little you have than to be rich and still not satisfied.
David has much more to say about it in Psalm 37…just one example in verse 10 he says Soon the wicked will disappear.  Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.
You see money can be a good servant but it is a harsh master. However much the men described have they can never be satisfied, they will always want more and they will never be filled… and worse they can never properly enjoy even what they do have.
Now that doesn’t mean its wrong to have money…Solomon said in another place
A good person leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren, but the wealth of the wicked is reserved for the righteous. Proverbs 13.22
Most people have heard the saying, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’, but without always realising it goes all the way back to wise King Solomon.
James Allen’s wrote his seminal book in 1903 which he called “As a Man Thinketh.” John Maxwell in his own book ‘The 15 invaluable laws of Growth’ says he read it in 7th grade and almost a dozen times more before the penny dropped with him that he was responsible for his own growth .
We are all responsible for our own growth.
Solomon’s statement… As a man thinks in his heart so is he…embraces the whole of a man’s being, and reaches every condition and circumstance of his life.
God created Adam in His own image and God provided all that he needed for him and his beautiful bride to enjoy a perfect life. Sadly they chose their own way rather than walk the path God planned for them and so man’s character was forever flawed.
A division came between Adam and God…the relationship was broken…and all of Adams offspring were to be born slaves of a principle within themselves, which the bible calls sin.
Many people in our modern society would like that word removed from our language…but there is no other word for it…mans inbuilt desire to serve himself before pleasing God is called sin…it is not the selfish acts themselves, if it was we could just stop doing wrong things and we could save ourselves…it is the force within a man that drives him to act in ways that are contrary to God’s will for us.
King David said “Teach me your ways Oh God”…and he was sincere, he wanted to keep God’s ways…but he couldn’t…and before anyone points the finger at David…no-one else has managed it either…only Jesus.
God never gave up on man and has made a way for him to be completely restored, a way which begins with receiving forgiveness of sins.
Paul wrote in Romans 2:4 Do you have contempt for God, who is very kind to you, puts up with you, and deals patiently with you? Don’t you realise that it is God’s kindness that is trying to lead you to Him and change the way you think and act? (God’s Word Translation)
God in His kindness draws us to the cross on which the Prince of Glory died.
There is no other way, there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved,… but at the Name of Jesus Christ every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that He is Lord of all.
It is not complicated, confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Yes, it is a big decision, one some people are not willing to make. They think more highly of what this world has to offer. But Jesus Himself tells us, “If a man found a very valuable pearl in a field he would sell everything he had so he could go and buy that field.”
It may well be the start a hard road, a narrow path, but you are not called to walk it alone, the very Spirit that raised Jesus from death will be with you all the way and and for that alone it is worth it. Jesus is the way, the only way to God and to heaven. No amount of work will do it, no religious ritual will earn it, no money can buy it…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
Now having said that…and knowing we cannot deviate from that at any time our purpose here today is to discover how a man’s character is literally built out of the complete sum of all his thoughts, and that holds true whatever his religious or belief system, or even if he has no religion at all.
If you don’t believe in Christ you are the sum of all your thoughts…and if you do believe in Christ, you are the sum of all your thoughts, but when you commit your life to Christ He sends the Holy Spirit to lead you in to all truth…and if you will cooperate with Him you will be renewed in the spirit of your mind. You thoughts will change and your life will change.
That’s why Paul writes to the Romans in chapter 12:2 Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Just like a plant springs from, and couldn’t exist without the seed, so every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.
Actions are the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruit; so whether for good or ill we have all made our own circumstances and our own environment.
Our family moved into a vicarage a few years ago, the garden reminded me of the children’s story Sleeping Beauty. Remember she had been asleep inside the castle for so long the trees and bushes around it had grown so thick, the woodcutter had to take his axe and hack his way through it so rescue her… with a kiss.
Well our garden was like that and I had to take a machete to it and it was a long old job.
It had been neglected for years. Thick bushes had been planted around the edges, maybe on purpose, maybe they had seeded themselves, I don’t really know, but over the years thick roots had travelled under the ground sending up this wall of dense scrubby bush maybe 15 or even 20 feet thick in places. Nothing of any value or use was growing anywhere in that garden.
There was what had probably once been a vegetable patch alongside the house, you could only tell because it was laid out with paths of flagstones: but the soil was as hard as the flags, we broke it up, dug it over, planted vegetables but the first year nothing grew, not even potatoes. The second year there was a very small improvement, the third year it was a bit better…as I write we are in the fourth summer…a couple of time this week we have eaten our own potatoes and some broad beans, and raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries.
We have tended and cared for it and now we have dominion over it. I say we, but I really mean My wife Stephanie.
Why am I telling you about our garden?
Because your mind is very much like a garden. Any persons mind is.
A garden can be intelligently cultivated, and it will, in time bring forth good fruit and beautiful flowers.
OR
It can be allowed to run wild and eventually it will come to ruin and no good thing will grow there.
But one thing is certain, whether cultivated or neglected, it will bring forth.
If no useful seeds are purposely planted there then an abundance of useless weeds will take root and quickly begin to take over, the birds will bring some, the wind will carry others, some, like our scrubby bush will travel secretly in the darkness underground and believe me, the only goal that bush had was world domination.
We reap what we sow.… and that applies to every area of our lives.
Cause and effect are as certain in the realm of thought as they are in the visible and material world. A sincere prayer to God uttered in faith and according to His will is guaranteed to be heard in heaven. Guaranteed…we know that He hears us and that we already have the answer. We may not be able to see the answer with our eyes yet but if we see it clearly with the eye of faith, and if our words are congruent with that faith it is on the way. No need to trouble ourselves with how, we must only believe and not doubt.
I did say whatever we ask must be in agreement with the will of God. Sometimes we do not have because we have simply not asked and at other times it is because we ask selfishly. If we are sincerely trying to develop godliness and a noble character we will ask according to His will. A noble character is not given as a gift neither does it come by chance. It is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of sustained, God-like thoughts.
By the same process a disreputable character is shaped by continual, habitual thoughts of a negative nature.
For good or ill the character of man is made by his own thoughts: he can forge the weapons by which he destroys himself or the tools with which he builds for himself a castle of joy and strength and peace.
With a majority of good choices (we all make some poor ones) and the application of right thought, man may rise to great heights and will look back upon a life blessed with many splendid accomplishments. It is important for him to know there is no limit to what a man can do except the limits he places upon himself.
It is wonderful to me that God created man in His own image but did not make him a puppet. God did not preordain what a man should do or put any limits on what a man could do if he so desired.
God made man the master of his own thought, the moulder of his own character, and the maker of his condition, his environment and his destiny.
As people of power, intelligence, and love, and as the master of our own thoughts, we hold the key to every situation, and we have within ourselves the power and the knowledge that we can be whatever we will to be.
Want to be is not enough, will to be is more than that. It involves deep, concentrated thought.
God has endowed mankind with great power, if we search for understanding of certain laws, which work for the righteous and the unrighteousness alike, we will become wise stewards directing our energies and thoughts with intelligence and passion into only fruitful enterprises.
Good fruit will be brought forth by diligent application, continual self-analysis and the accumulation of all our life experience. As a Christian I have found that God can use even small, seemingly trivial, everyday occurrences to teach us more about himself and about ourselves and how much He loves us.
We must co-operate with the omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit by cultivating positive, godly thoughts and so we will gain understanding, wisdom and power for living godly, fruitful lives, highly successful lives.
But whatever we build in the inner man, what the mind conceives and believes, what it constructs in the world of thought the mind will then find a way to build it in the physical world and the forces of heaven will cooperate in the work.
But we must understand it works both ways…prolonged negative thinking will bring its own reward…
A man does not become destitute or find himself in prison by accident, fate or circumstance.
I led a prison study group for a number of years. To meet a man who would admit he was the only one responsible for his being there was rare. The stories were many and varied and sometimes very creative but they had been repeated so often to themselves in their inner thoughts and to others in spoken words that they genuinely believed them to be true.
But this is the real the truth. They all got there by a well trodden pathway of unworthy thoughts and base desires. And if they would take responsibility they could learn to replace them with better thoughts and more wholesome desires and they would certainly rise up from whatever depths to which they had fallen.
Pure-minded people don’t fall suddenly into criminal acts, or immoral circumstances because of pressures placed upon them from outside themselves; thoughts of greed or avarice or envy or lust have for a long time been secretly fostered in the heart, nurtured and meditated upon….and when the day of opportunity comes to reveal its gathered power. The trap is finally sprung.
In the book of Genesis 4:7. we read that the bloodless offering of Cain was not acceptable. He was jealous of his brother and angry at God because of this and it showed on his face. The thoughts of our inner man show on the outside, and if not checked they result in actions which manifest the fruit of suffering. You may know the way the story of Cain plays out but do you realise that had he only listened to loving correction and been obedient to the words of God it could have been a very different story.
God said to Cain In Genesis 4: 6  “Why are you so angry?” … “Why do you look so dejected?  You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Sin is crouching at the door in all our lives. It begins with sinful thoughts and if they are dwelt upon and not substituted with good thoughts, sin can bring about the fall of even the best of us. In the case of Cain and many men since, the fall has been great and still they wake up and ask “How have I come to this?”.
Circumstances did not make the man this way…they revealed his inner man. The man he has created by his own habitual thoughts.
No one descends into vice or criminality and the sufferings it brings upon themselves and their loved ones except by vicious, avaricious, or lustful inclinations,
And no one becomes virtuous and attains the happiness which is the fruit of it without the continual cultivation of good and virtuous aspirations. Man is the master of his own thoughts, and the author of his prayers should he choose to share his thoughts with God. By those thoughts he is the designer and manufacturer of his own character and ultimately the architect and builder of all his circumstances and his physical environment.
You might ask where is God in this?
The fallen man has no hope and seemingly no power to overcome. Even if he can obtain release from the prison bars, he cannot break free from the prison of his mind.
In truth some unbelievers do very well in life and many Christians do badly and to me this is ample proof that God is fair to everyone. He has given all of us powerful tools within ourselves and is available to help and advise all those who choose to seek Him and commit their lives to Him.
Sadly not all people who profess religion are positive people, some have no idea of the freedoms and abilities they have locked away in their religious boxes.
But what does the Bible say about those who are in Christ
1 Corinthians 2:16 For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
Ephesians 4:22-24 …throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.

(Notice that lust and deception are thoughts and they can be replaced by better, purer thoughts.)

23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

In Philippians 2:5 Paul says…Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

and then in Philippians 4 he gives us a lesson in how to…

how to have the mind of Christ…

how to let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes….

how to let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think.

Paul knows the law of substitution…we can only think of one thing at once…don’t try to resist the bad thoughts, that only makes them stronger…substitute them with good thoughts.

Jesus knew about the law of dual thought…that means there are two ways to look at every situation…when we are abused or persecuted we can sometimes adopt a victim mentality but Jesus said

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

the Monty Python team wrote a song about that…”always look on the bright side of life” some Christians were up in arms at the time, they said it was blasphemous, I am sure Jesus saw the funny side…He is not as stuffy as some of us…there’s always two ways to look at everything.

Lets finish with a look at Paul’s how to in Philippians 4

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

So what is Paul telling the Philippians to do here? Think…think joyful thoughts. Choose to be joyful. And it really is your choice.

5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

But you might not feel like being considerate and here is Paul telling you to let everyone see how considerate you are…how are you going to do it?…Paul tells you how…He says remember the Lord is coming soon. Think about Jesus, direct your thoughts towards Jesus…focus on Him…and His soon coming…and then you will find it easy to be considerate to others.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

There are good thoughts and bad thoughts…He says ‘don’t worry’ why? because that’s a bad thought…it is not trusting…it is not faithful… it is positively harmful spiritually, mentally and physically…worry leads to stress and stress is responsible for many serious illnesses. My doctor told me… stress is a killer.

So try the good thoughts instead…pray about everything…tell God what you need and give thanks for what He has done.

You might say I only just prayed…He hasn’t done it yet.
Gratitude is the cause, God knows what you need before you tell Him and His provision will be the effect, the reward of a grateful heart.

7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

What is peace…it’s thought isn’t it…tranquil thoughts…your heart will beat slower… your blood pressure will come into line…you will experience a greater feeling of well being.

That’s why Solomon says “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

But back to Philippians 4 verse 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts…Paul is clear that you can choose whatever you think about…and He is aware that you can only think on one thing at a time. He knows you can’t pray with gratitude and worry at the same time. Which is why he says…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Putting into practice means action and keep putting into practice means continual action… remember action is the blossom of thought, and peace will be the fruit of it.

Then the God of peace will be with you.

so finally…from Numbers 6:24

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favour and give you his peace.’

God told Aaron to bless the people in that way and He promised that whenever he or the priests that come after him did so then God Himself would indeed bless them. The way I understand it everyone who believes is a priest…but even if you don’t believe right now I want to leave you with this thought…. God has promised to bless you and He always keeps His promises…just meet Him half way…use the law of substitution, get your thoughts right and your words congruent with them (we will talk more about words in the next chapter) and watch how quickly your fortunes change.

4 Keys that can Unlock the Doors to Everything in Life You Really Want

4 Keys that can Unlock the Doors to Everything in Life You Really Want

I can hear you thinking already. Surely it can’t be that simple?

Well you are probably right… but it’s not so difficult as you might think either. The 4 keys will definitely work, 100%,  you can take it to the bank…but they are not switches, it won’t be instant, it will take a while, but it will be days not weeks before you start to see encouraging results. We have a 21 month plan to financial independence but experience tells me that 21 months is too long for some people to cope with. Sorry, thats the best we’ve got, we don’t do magic.

We have applied the 4 keys to our Network Marketing business where it is having astounding results for a lot of our team members…but you can take it and apply it to whatever you like, these are universal keys and you can have them for free.

But lets be honest, there is no free lunch, as it is in our business so it will be in yours… it’s not magic…the ones who are pulling up trees are the ones who are using the keys at the same time as they work hard on the business plan, they follow the time tested path we have all trodden before them. Everyone uses their own personality but no-one is trying to reinvent the wheel.

Before I get to the keys let me give you a basic formula…don’t be put off because I said it’s basic. It’s the only way to achieve massive, sustained success.

You can get a much more in depth report on this from us later but this will get you going. I borrowed some of it from Mark Januszewski and I happen to know he borrowed most of it from elsewhere. There are seldom any original thoughts, we are all just ideas reporters, but it has stood the test of time and it is good stuff. This is the Formula.

DMP + PMA + POA + MMA = Everything You Really Want in Life

To explain briefly DMP stands for definite major purpose, you have got to know why you are on the planet. Producing this is the work of weeks or even months but don’t worry, help is available.

PMA stands for positive mental attitude and believe me, there is much more to that than rah rah rah. There are ways to get one and keep one and transfer one to everyone around you.

POA means plan of action…like I said before there is no magic, it takes a plan and the plan needs to be worked continuously and diligently until the goal is achieved.

MMA is a mastermind alliance, this comes from Napoleon Hill’s seminal book Think and Grow Rich. If you haven’t read that it’s a great place to start your growth journey. Basically it means no-one gets it done by themselves, you need like minded people to give and receive help. Together everyone will achieve massively more than the sum of all their individual efforts.

So you can get the full script on that another time, lets get to those 4 keys.

1. The Key of Gratitude

Remember I am applying this to our business and you are going to adapt it to whatever you like, so this is what I tell my team if they don’t get how blessed they really are.

I say be grateful you live in a free society where you can study and read and take your education as far as you want to. A country where you can worship according to your own conscience without fear. A society where anyone can apply for and land any job they are qualified to do or they can freely choose to start a business for themselves, and if they work hard and continuously improve there is no limit to how far they can go with in the job or the business. We went the business route because we wanted something to eventually pass down to the family so lets concentrate on that.

Some businesses cost many thousands to set up and maintain and the proprietors have a great many hoops to jump through. So I tell our guys “We should be truly grateful that our business costs less than £200 to set up and maybe £60 a month to maintain and yet there is no ceiling at all on what we can earn.” Be thankful that millions has been spent on product development and we get all the benefits of top quality products that help our customers stay healthy and help look after the planet for the next generation.

Be grateful that all of our customers get their orders sent from the manufacturer directly to them so we don’t have to stock inventory, make deliveries or collect any money. For me I am very grateful for that one, I am hopeless with paperwork.

Oh and last but not least since we all use our own products I am grateful that they are keeping me healthy, young for my age and beautiful. (IMHO)

So the first key is THE KEY OF GRATITUDE

2. The Key of Generosity

If you want to unlock the door to everything in life you really want you have to help enough other people get what they want. (Thanks Zig) That means you have to be generous. You can’t be stingy with the opportunity and keep it to yourself. You have to let some other people in on our secret. You have to give it away and you can do it sincerely believing you are doing those who will receive it the best favour ant friend ever did. Now the timing is not always right for everyone but who do you know who wouldn’t like to be healthier, wealthier and free up quality time to spend with their loved ones doing what they like to do best. I ask around the team and people tell me the thing they appreciate more than anything is the ability to take better holidays and build memories together. I speak to a lot of older people and a theme with them is ‘travel, see as much of the world as possible while you still can.

People you helped to make those especial memories will be grateful to you for ever and you will be continuing the cycle by teaching someone else to use the Key of Gratitude.

Give without expectation of reciprocity from the channel you bless, just give to give and not to get. That’s truly using the second key which is THE KEY OF GENEROSITY

3. The Key of Encouragement

With so many negative people in the world you will really stand out when you use the Key of Encouragement. Your words of Gratitude and the actions that follow as a result, the generosity you demonstrate as you give of your time and share your knowledge is the best way to lead by example. And when your words build people up and make them feel special when sometimes all they have heard before has pulled them down you will soon become a person they want to be with, a person they will want to follow. And you can let them follow for a time while they find their feet and learn their craft but you will be a real encourager, a real leader when you rejoice to see them fly past you and enjoy even greater success than you have. This is the only business I know where the leaders are happy to see the people they mentor go on to do better than themselves. What could be more encouraging than knowing the more people you help to be successful the higher you will rise as a natural consequence. A rising tide lifts all boats and everybody wins when you use the third key which is the KEY OF ENCOURAGEMENT.

4. The Key of Faith

The fourth key is really the Masterkey to all success in any field. Without it we are lost, and sadly so many people are.

In the Bible can be found the Book of Hebrews where it says “Faith is the Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of the things do not yet see.”

Faith really just means believing, well more than that I suppose, more like knowing that the thing for which you are hoping will come to pass. If you are conversant with the Bible you will know that hope has a much stronger and more certain meaning than the wishy washy way we use it today. If you follow the plan, use the keys and believe you will see what you hope for materialise in due time. So as you go about your daily walk believing become more and more the person who gives others the hope for Joy, Affluence, Kindness, Peace, Prosperity, Love and as you cause those kind of thoughts to flow out from you in your words and actions you can be sure that you are in the flow and all you give out will come back to you many times over. Jesus said if you give with a generous heart men will give back to you pressed down shaken together and running over. Now that will be fun.

Once last thing, while you are using the Keys in daily life confess this over yourself every day…out loud and with enthusiasm. I am Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious, Healthy and Happy.  Say it NOW!

Say it often, make it true.

I hope this has helped you as much as it helped me and lots of other people on our team. Feel free to pass it on and we don’t even mind if you take the credit. We are only ideas reporters after all, and there is nothing new under the sun. There is plenty more where this came from…perhaps you might like to work with our team…if so we will be doing on line webinars and telephone interviews over the next few days. We will be evaluating you to see if you would fit in and you can make a judgement on us and our business. No strings. 

Drop us an email at rob@aglowhealth.com with your thoughts, questions, what town you live in and maybe your mobile number if you’d like a chat. We will send you some good stuff and hook you up with the person on the team who is nearest where you live. But please remember we are busy people, not robots or auto responders so be a bit patient and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Build a whole new life from the remnants of your broken dreams

This is a bigger than normal post and I thought long and hard as to whether I should publish my thoughts here…I know that to some they will be controversial but I am sincere in the hope and the belief that they will help some find new light. That is my prayer.

I have gained immeasurably from the Master Key by Charles Haanel and other writings suggested in the course of studying it…yes I see some flaws in Haanel’s work some of which he may well bring up to date with the benefit of later science…but they are not so significant when I compare them to the overall benefits of the knowledge gained.

It also shone light on flaws in my own previously held dogmas and being set free from them has helped me help others powerfully in areas where I was previously impotent.

The recent re-reading of ‘As a man Thinketh’ has been done in a new light and I have attempted to write a 21st century version that puts God back on the throne but does not in any way bring down the power invested in man.

In my new and I trust improved understanding we Christians have been afraid to talk about the soul power of thought in some cases even suggesting it may be occult.  (Haanel deals with the dangers inherent in the occult side of these things very well).  On the other hand there are people who talk about the Universe as if it had designed and created itself and are afraid of using the Name of its Architect and Builder lest they offend those who have no concept of God. Haanel says the infinite designer made an infinite environment for himself and this is thrilling to contemplate. For those without God I am not offended at your views and I trust if you cannot accept mine you can at least engage in peaceful discussion without taking offence.

We ARE eternal SPIRIT beings, we HAVE a SOUL which consists of our mind, our emotions, our will and for our time on this planet we LIVE IN this wonderful earth ship we call our BODY. Some like to talk only of the body, some talk only of the Soul and others retreat behind the walls of theology and suggest that only the spirit is of importance. We are whole people and I have come to see that more clearly than ever before…I will post my thoughts from ‘As a Man Thinketh’ in a few instalments here over the coming days…

In Psalm 37:1,2 King David wrote Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

His son King Solomon wrote Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words. Proverbs 23:6,7

Don’t envy a wicked man or eat with a miserly avaricious person, don’t wish to be like them or envy or desire what they have.  Not everything is as it seems… his smiling face might be hiding his true character from some people, but God is not fooled, and the Spirit of God will give you discernment too.

The wicked may appear to have more than you right now but it is better to be content with what little you have than to be rich and still not satisfied.

Money is a wonderful servant but it is a harsh master. However much the men described have they can never be satisfied, they will always want more and they will never be filled… and worse they can never properly enjoy even what they have.

Those words of King Solomon prompted James Allen to write a famous book in 1903.  called.  ”As a man thinketh.” and most of us have heard the well known aphorism ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’, without always realising it goes all the way back to wise King Solomon.

I am  going to borrow some of his thoughts. Some of us have been reading John Maxwell’s  The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth as we are watching his Leadership videos’s.  He mentions James Allen’s book in the first chapter saying he read it in 7th grade and almost a dozen times since.  I am going to borrow some of my thoughts from it this morning in the hope that it will help us all to grow in certain areas .

Solomon’s statement As a man thinks in his heart embraces the whole of a man’s being, and reaches out to every condition and circumstance of his life.

God created man in His own image and wanted a perfect life for him and his beautiful bride. Sadly they chose their own way rather than walk the path God planned for them and so man’s character was forever flawed. God never gave up on man and has made a way for his complete restoration, which we may get to later.  But our first purpose here is to discover how a man’s character is literally built out of the complete sum of all his thoughts, and that holds true whatever his religion, or belief system.

Just like a plant springs from, and couldn’t exist without the seed, so every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called “spontaneous” and “unpremeditated” as to those which are deliberately executed.

Actions are the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruit; so whether for good or ill we have all made our own circumstances.

Cause and effect are as absolute and undeviating in the spiritual realm of thought as they are in the visible and material world.

A noble and God-like character is not given as a gift neither does it come by chance. It is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts.

Let me show you what I mean from Scripture. Look at Philippians 4 with me…from verse 4

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

So what is Paul telling the Philippians to do here? Think…think joyful thoughts. Choose to be joyful. And it really is your choice.

5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

But you might not feel like being considerate and here is Paul telling you to let everyone see how considerate you are…how are you to do it?…Paul tells you how…He says remember the Lord is coming soon. Think about Jesus, direct your thoughts towards Jesus…focus on Him and what He has already done…and look forward to His coming again…and then you will find it easy enough to be considerate to others.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

There are good thoughts and bad thoughts…He says don’t worry because that’s a bad thought…it is not trusting…it is not faithful… it is positively harmful spiritually, mentally and physically…worry leads to stress and stress is responsible for many serious illnesses. Not to beat around the bush… stress is a killer.

So the try the good thoughts instead…pray about everything…tell God what you need and give thanks for what He has done.

You might say I only just prayed…He hasn’t done it yet.

Gratitude is the cause, God knows what you need before you tell Him and His provision will be the effect, the reward of a grateful heart.

7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

What is peace…it’s thought isn’t it…tranquil thoughts…your heart will beat slower… your blood pressure will come into line…you will experience a greater feeling of well being.

That’s why Solomon says  “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

But back to Philippians 4 verse 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 

Fix your thoughts…Paul is clear that you can choose whatever you think about…and He is aware that you can only think on one thing at a time. He knows you can’t pray with gratitude and worry at the same time. Which is why he says…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 

9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Putting into practice is action… and remember action is the blossom of thought. And peace will be the fruit of it.

Then the God of peace will be with you.

By the same process an unworthy, or a disreputable character is shaped by the continued, habitual thoughts of a much more negative kind.

For good or ill the character of man is made in the laboratory of his own thought: he either forges the weapons by which he destroys himself or the tools with which he builds for himself his castle of joy and strength and peace. With favourable choices and the application of right thought, man may ascend to great heights and look back upon his many splendid accomplishments. Between the extremes of the great and the deplorable are the multitude who think more of less average thoughts and lead unremarkable lives and who may be very content to do so. That is a matter for each man to decide but it it is important for him to know there is no limit to what he can do if he chooses save the limits he places upon himself.

It is wonderful to me that God created man in His own image but did not make him a puppet or preordain what a man should do or put any limits on what a man could do if he so desired. God made man the master of his own thought, the moulder of his own character, and the maker and shaper of his condition, environment and destiny.

As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and as the master of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation, and contains within himself power and the knowledge that he can be what he wills to be.

When he begins to reflect upon his power and searches diligently for the law upon which his being is established, he becomes the wise master, directing his energies with intelligence and fashioning his thoughts to fruitful issues. This fruit is brought forth in due season by diligent application, continual self-analysis and the accumulation of every experience, using even the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of himself which is understanding, wisdom and power.

However low a man has fallen there is a great hope…there is redemption for the man who will turn around…there is a God who will forgive every truly repentant heart and if your heart is open and you want to start again please know he will restore you to the place He originally intended for you…His Name is Jesus Christ…He will listen to you cry out to Him…and He will not do it all for you but…He will help you build a whole new life from the remnants of your broken dreams…

we will look at how, and what your part in it must be in the next instalment.

 

Fishes gave me clues to Optimum Performance.

I was sitting in my garden by the pond earlier…watching the fishes enjoying themselves, playing under the waterfall… and wishing I could join them, they seem so relaxed, like the grass they don’t even try to grow, they just grow. Well it is 28 degrees, which in Manchester is pretty hot and we are just not used to it… I reckon I could get used to it though with very little effort, and it was all very relaxing as I was trying to think through something someone told me a few days ago.

“I work best under pressure,” he said, “I must have a deadline to do my best work.”

Well I have been reading through his work, and if I am going to be blunt about it, it’s not that great. In fact it would be difficult to hide the signs of the shortcuts he had forced himself to take because he left himself so short of time to do the job properly. I mean I do agree that a deadline is important but do we have to do all the work in the hours approaching that deadline, wouldn’t it be great if those final hours were saved for last minute changes suggested by a subconscious mind relaxed in the knowledge that the task has already been completed.

But the truth is he really believes he works best under pressure, and he really believes his rushed efforts represent good work and actually he seems quite proud of it. That’s a shame because it will be my job to shine the glaring light of reality on the situation.

I will do my best to bend and shape him without breaking him and hopefully we will see both of us grow through the situation. Really that will be more up to him than me, will he be teachable or will that pride cause him to harden his heart? I have seen both examples with others in the past and it really can be a ‘sliding doors’ situation. It comes to all of us sometimes, doesn’t it: none of us are perfect and we must learn to grow. Question is, Do we want to grow?

But what have I gained out of this as I relaxed gazing at the fish whilst taking to God amid the beauty of our creation? That was the first thought, I noticed all the variety of colours, so many greens and yellows and purples. I used to thing there was just green or just red but it is the infinite variety of God’s palette that has allowed him to paint such beautiful pictures. And then I remembered what the garden was like four years ago when we first moved in, I even had a glimpse at the old pictures that are saved on my phone.

And I felt God smile and whisper, “We did this together. I created you in my image and I gave you the ability to create too. You thought about this all by yourself, it came from a blueprint that I put inside you but you saw it before it was ever here, you saw it clearly in your mind just like I saw you before I made you.  You had to see it first and then you were able to take the action to create it. I did add the finishing touches of course; you would have struggled to make a fish by yourself. Thats why we work together, that’s why I called my disciples to be fishers of men: we are partners.”

Well that was good, it thrills me when God speaks back in my times prayer and meditation and it would have been worth taking the break and sitting in Gods presence just to hear that, but what about this ‘working to a deadline’ challenge I was facing? What could I learn about that?

My young friend is not alone in claiming he works better under pressure, and I have to be honest, I have often left things to the last minute and stayed up into the wee small hours to get them finished myself but lets see what actually happens here.

Looking back we recognise the enemy is procrastination. The time just seems to melt away, but actually it doesn’t melt: we freely choose to spend it on less important things knowing we will invoke the old habit of cramming just ahead of the deadline. The pressure we think we work best under is really the optimum amount of tension that we can take between giving up on the job altogether or what we need to move us to overcome that procrastination and its resultant inertia.

The best work I have ever done, and I now I am not alone, has always been in the times I have been enjoying myself, when I have been excited about the task, where I could anticipate the satisfaction of the breakthrough, the new learning, the job well done and yes, I am no different from anyone else, the recognition that would result. “Pride cometh before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction,” says the ancient scribe, but I know he did not mean that I should not do such a good job that I cannot look on it with the satisfaction of knowing I did my best and enjoying the pleasure or profit it has given to myself and others.

I will try harder now to serve my young friend, if I bring positive input as I gently correct him I am sure I can help him to be teachable. If I can show him the benefits, that he can feel and actually be more positive, that if he will meet the challenges early he can tackle them with optimism and not with fear, that he can enjoy the doing, not just the end result, that he can delight in the journey and not flop down exhausted at the destination.  If he is relaxed, he will learn on the way, he will perform more often in what some of us call ‘the zone’ and his results will be far above what he can even imagine right now.

The Law that always Replaces Failure with Success.

I may have a different philosophical view to the lady I am about to quote below but I have read her work and wholeheartedly recommend it, particularly Atlas Shrugged which I regard as her masterpiece.

If we only read books by authors who tickle our ears…who we know write in line with our existing viewpoint, how will we ever learn and broaden our horizons? If we are not secure in what we believe and are afraid to debate and discuss then our faith will falter eventually anyway since it is not really faith but dogma. If we dare to believe we already know all we need to know we are sadly mistaken and are in a dangerous place.

“It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful.”Ayn Rand

I wrote in my previous blog post about the power of words and what can happen just by changing even a single word…if you read the post you will remember we had a card on which we wrote a task to be completed by a certain deadline. In the beginning we referred to the card as a “Chore Card” and then we switched its name to “Service Card.” The atmosphere around the card and the task changed instantly and although the goal was the same the personal pleasure derived from good performance was far greater. If I am doing a job to tick a box I can’t get very excited but if I am serving my fellow man, well that’s entirely different.

Ayn Rands comment above is not peculiar to communists. I have often heard people who see themselves as unsuccessful refer to those they perceive to be more successful as having cheated in some way, deprived others to gain what they have. Whilst this is not helped by the television soaps who seem to depict successful business people as rogues more often than not it is no excuse because we are all responsible for our own thoughts and the words that follow.

In truth very few rogues have ever made it to the top and stayed there.

I recently heard a quote. “People say, “It’s lonely at the Top” but they don’t know, they have never been to the top because nobody gets there on their own”.

In truth the great majority of people who achieve and maintain success are the people who serve the most people well. They take other people with them on the journey and they recognise that greatness comes with humility and a desire to serve.

The Master Teacher said “if any would be great among you let him first be your servant”

If you are not currently as successful as you would like to be you are the best person to change that situation and you can start right now.  I want you to take action immediately. If you have in the habit of using negative words regarding other people because you are jealous of their success I want you to apologise right now. I understand they are not with you and you may not even be able to name a particular person. That doesn’t matter, you are apologising to yourself for your attitude to others in general. Do you see, you have never been able to affect anyone else by your attitude and you have not diminished their success but you have bound yourself. If you resent someone else riches and say so your thoughts and words have cursed you with poverty.

So now repent…say out loud “I am sorry I have taken such a churlish attitude regarding people who have done better than I…I see now that their success has been achieved because of their willingness to give and serve where I have too often expected something for nothing.  I forgive myself, I ask God’s forgiveness and I resolve to change from this moment on.

I will no longer see my work, even though it may be menial right now, as a chore but I will do it proudly as a service to others. I will guard my heart for out of it come the issues of life, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Then I will guard my lips and ensure that only words of praise and encouragement come from them. If I feel negative emotions or unhelpful thoughts come into my mind I will not try to suppress them. I will use the Law of Substitution and immediately begin to replace them with new thoughts of something good, something great, perhaps I will sing a song of Praise, croaky and difficult at first but rising in tone, clarity and volume. Soon I will be lifted higher. I will get to work and I will do the best I can and I will resolve to read in my profession so that I can do even better tomorrow. I will learn to use positive words. I will eliminate idle curse words from my vocabulary. If I cannot think of something good to say I will say nothing.

Can I promise you if you will do that for even a few days you will feel better, you will soon begin to see better results. People will begin to favour you and if you maintain this new positive attitude of yours for thirty days it will become a habit and will sink deep into your inner man and you will be a new person. True success is available to every person…it is never achieved at the expense of anyone else and in fact you becoming successful will be a service to many around you. You may have heard it said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats”

Can a Single Word Change a Destiny? MKMMA continuation

Early on in the MKMMA course of study we switched the use of just one word and replaced it with another which proved to be so much more powerful. Whilst the thing the two words described did not change at all the attitude towards it and therefore the effectiveness of it changed greatly. Let me explain in greater depth for clarity and to enable me to take the lesson learned to another level.

We had a 3×5 card on which we wrote a promise to do something new each week, nothing too difficult, it was ‘keeping’ the promise that was important for the exercise and not the size or nature of the promise itself: so it needed to be something we could definitely achieve in the timeframe. The idea was to convince the subconscious that “I always keep my promises” by actually keeping each weeks promise. So the promises started simple, like “I promise to tidy my office by Sunday the 4th” or I Promise to wash the car by Sunday the 11th” and they gradually got more challenging like  “I promise to contact 4 people about my opportunity by Sunday 18th” There was no significance about Sundays except thats when we met online to discuss our progress.

Early on we called this 3×5 card “The Chore Card”… and it was a chore that had to be done and indeed was done.  After a few weeks we renamed the card…from that day on it was to be called “The Service Card”.  Everything else about it was to remain the same but the change in name put the card and the promise into a completely different light. Instead of doing a chore we were now giving a service which made it much more pleasurable and felt like we were now making a contribution to ourselves and others instead of simply meeting an obligation. Same job…but done with more enthusiasm and with love.

That was to set the scene…we also have what we called the Law of Giving and Receiving and we wrote these out by hand on another card and read them aloud daily.  Obviously the aim was not just to say them but that reading them would influence behaviour from the inside out and cause us to do them. I will get to the Laws themselves in a second but first I wanted to apply the previous lesson to them…A few weeks ago I realised that they were not Laws at all and my calling them laws was putting me in the same mindset as the chore card had done earlier.

We are studying the Masterkey by Charles F Haanel. A Master key will open any lock but it occurred to me that these four sentences we were reading each day were actually not laws but keys each of which would open its own lock .

So where I used to say, “I promise to read the 4 laws of Giving and Receiving 3x daily I began to say…

“I promise to use my four keys to giving and receiving 3x daily…since words carry power the very act of speaking them was using them and then taking action in line with the words was further reinforcing the power of repeated use.

Can I recommend that you write them out for our yourself by hand and also begin to read them out loud each day… faith comes by hearing and there is nothing more powerful than hearing the repetition, with feeling, of our own voice.  The four actual laws/keys are in bold below. The additional writings around the bold letters are from other sources or are my interpretation and what I want my own subconscious mind, my inner man, to hear and believe.

so here is my new reading…

I promise to use these four keys of giving and receiving as a normal part of my life and I read them aloud three times each day…

The first is the key of Generosity…Wherever I go I bring a gift, I may bring a compliment, a prayer, a trinket, a flower, but I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.

The second is the Key of Gratitude  Because gratitude is a cause and not an effect…I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, noticing nature, kindnesses, smiles and compliments, which I gladly receive with a ‘Thank you’.

Third is the Key of Encouragement…I promise to give the hope for Joy, Affluence, Kindness and Love consciously with every encounter regardless of the brevity.

Fourth is the Key of Faith…I promise to give without expectation of reciprocity from the channels I enrich because I know (I have faith) I am in the dynamic flow of giving and receiving and I know my God shall supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I always Keep my Promises

I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences these past months…I am not a hearer only but a doer…I have not succeeded on every encounter but I have on very many done exactly what I promise each day to do… I have received some amazed responses and occasionally have caused delight far above the effort I have invested. These keys unlock the treasuries of mens hearts. I bought a box of pens with a torch light on the end especially to give away and although they cost not much more than a pound each some people have responded as though I had given them a gold coin. As the Master Teacher said “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

The City of Heroes: Developing Leaders

I am writing from Manchester on the day 40,000 people turned up to run the annual 10K around our Great City…The newly elected Lord Mayor was one of the thousands of heroes who completed the 10K run in absolute defiance of the ISIS loser who blew himself and 21 innocents up earlier this week. Hundreds of thousands turned up to cheer the runners on. They want us to be afraid…NO FEAR…Our city has so many heroes. We always need heroes, and we certainly need more leaders and today we saw many who were willing to step up to the plate, to take the lead, to show we will neither be oppressed nor defeated. I makes me proud to be a ‘Manc’…

I am honoured to be part of the leadership of a wonderful church that meets in Greater Manchester. A church committed  to produce heroes and develop leaders. This week we held the second of our fortnightly training meetings. People of several generations and both genders, different countries of origin and levels of formal education all masterminding together and  all moving toward one worthy goal.

The first scroll in Og Mandino’s book, The Greatest Salesman in the World was about replacing habits that do not serve us with habits that will lead us towards our Definite Major Purpose in Life. The first of the exercises involved reading the scroll every day, three times each day actually, reading for understanding and reading to establish the very habit of daily reading.

Self development author Brian Tracy says you will double your income if you read in your profession for half an hour every day. I agree with Brian and I would also add that if you read other books and essays not directly linked to your profession they will build you up in every area of life. If you want a reading list The Bible is obviously top of mine and even for non believers there is more wisdom in that book than can be found anywhere else. Steven Covey has been a favourite and I would use him to prove my next point…we will come back to the reading list later

If you want to pass on some of the skills you have learned you will find people are not used to reading and some may find it pretty hard going at first.

That may apply to you who are reading this now so let me ask you to think of it like an athlete. Whatever his sport the athlete will need to learn and perfect skills and techniques: they will need to strengthen certain muscles in order to be better, stronger, faster.  With muscles it is impossible to get more unless you use what muscle you already have and test it, stretch it to its current maximum. Pretty soon the athlete finds what used to be hard gets easier…well it’s exactly the same with learning a new subject…if you read a book that’s ahead of where you are it will be hard, there will be words you don’t understand, it will stretch your brain muscle but if you persevere, one day you will look back and see it as basic, foundational, but by then you will be reading and understanding on a much higher level.

…so back to Stephen Covey…people have told me they started his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and found it hard going so they never completed it. I have to admit I also found it tough but I persevered and now I find the book that’s become his legacy has helped me raise my game. OK so sometimes I have to use a dictionary but now I find things like Emerson’s Essays, Epictetus, Peter McWilliams Charles Haanel have all become staple diet to me now.

So we are looking to develop leaders with the aim of growing the church from the present congregation of 60 or so to what I expect to be 500 within the next four years. That’s a lot of growth and so it means I will have to grow personally, and I will have to develop many leaders, probably twenty or more and be willing for them to take all of the credit and want none of it for myself. I love the sayings of Jesus as he leads up to teaching the disciples to pray in the Sermon on the Mount, he says if men want the credit from other men, they can have it, but that will be all the rewards they will ever get. We know how fickle men are, the adoration will be withdrawn as quickly as it was given. The rewards God gives will be eternal.

So we are studying together a video course by John Maxwell called “Developing the leaders around you”. At the same everyone is supposed to be reading his book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”.

How we are getting on with the videos can be found on the church website at HGFChurch.org under the developing leaders tag but the personal growth part I want to pursue here.

Last time we looked at the first 5 chapters briefly and though each one was important we thought a bit more about chapter 5 which is called the Law of Consistency. We have to replace habits that are not serving us with new habits that will lead us towards our purpose and not away from it. Habits are things we do every day and are so powerful they can control our lives.

As Christians we believe that God has given mankind free will but it is my belief that we have often surrendered that free will to our habits and addictions.  I personally believe that God’s principles will work for all of mankind but there are certain conditions to be fulfilled. Belief or Faith is the key.

So the free will we have will allow us to choose habits that serve us and honour God.

The first habit as foundation to  many others is the daily reading and it will be easier to do if we set up a conducive environment… which brings me to John Maxwells this weeks edition of Maxwells 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

Chapter 6 The Law of Environment

First you must create your own personal environment to help you learn better. Find a place where you can be comfortable, quiet and undisturbed every day, your den, your office, the bottom of your garden if like.

Then agree with yourself on a special time, even if you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, but whenever it is block it out of your diary, and don’t let anyone take it away. If they try just say, “Sorry, can’t do it then, I already have an appointment”.

Be sure to leave some time for just sitting and thinking over what you have read, make some notes, write it up in your own words… like I am doing right now.

If you learn something new or an alternative way of understanding something you already know…think about how you can teach or at least discuss it intelligently with someone else, you will learn a lot more from teaching. Maybe you can share it on a blog like this one.

The chapter in Maxwell’s book covers all the other environments that affect your life, your workplace, church, associations etc…if you feel they are no longer places you can grow and you can’t affect them positively to change that environment for the benefit of everyone there then you may have to move on.

I like to keep goldfish in a pond, I used to keep them in tanks but it was not long before I noticed they would stop growing according to the size of the tank. When I moved them from the tank to the pond they would quickly double in size. Sometimes we have to change our environment to grow. That may take courage, you may have to push back the boundaries of your comfort zone but you only get one shot at this life. So go for it.

Propagating our new knowledge for the benefit of others.

As a consequence of six months study with the MKMMA  a big part of my DMP, the part which involves significant growth in the membership of the church where I am pastor, has become clear and the pathway to get there plain.

We are looking to develop leaders because we have a vision to greatly grow the church in numbers and in significance. It is evident that a strong church family is the body to support the home family unit and to lead a successful society.

So talking to the individuals who came to our first early Saturday morning session eager to lean and develop as individuals and leaders we introduced the session this way.

Before you can have you must do and before you can do you must be. But you can be anything you want to be provided it is in harmony with the will of God.

You can be what you will to be…meaning you can design the future you by thinking the thoughts, speaking the words and beginning to do the things that the person you want to be in your future would do.

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. The scripture tells us that nothing shall be impossible to us if we trust in Christ and live right with God.

You can have anything in life you really want. You just have to help enough other people get what they want. Jesus said if any would be great among you he must first be a servant. Therefore the greatest among you will have served the most people the best way possible. The more you serve, the greater your reward and the closer you get to your own goals.

We then watched John Maxwells Lesson which will be reviewed separately.

And then looked at the first 5 chapters of John Maxwell’s book  “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” Because as well as watching the Developing leadership videos we are conscious that we must all grow individually into the position as leaders and have chosen this as our first text.

Chapter 1 The Law on Intentionality I choose to grow…and I take action every day to develop myself. Of course there is much more in the full chapter and these brief summaries are only to serve as a memory jogger. Please read the book one chapter a day.

Chapter 2 The Law of Awareness   I know myself…I know where I am now…where I want to be…I am working hard to find out what are the various ways to get there and especially what is the best way for me right now.

Chapter 3 The Law of the Mirror.  I see value in myself… I am a child of God… He thinks I am worth saving so I must believe I am worth the effort it will take to develop myself to reach my full potential.

I don’t see this as a chore…but as a service to the world around me. The more I develop myself the more I have to offer. If I add value to myself then I can add more value to the world. This is a virtuous circle since the more value I add the greater will be my rewards.

Chapter 4 The Law of Reflection. I must let the growth catch up. Spend time each day thinking, concentrating on the person I wish to become… allowing my spirit to bring my soul up to speed with what I have learned. The penny may take a few days to drop when I am leaning new things at a fast rate. Time spent in meditation and thought helps me to gain an understanding rather than simply storing facts by memory.

Chapter 5 The Law of Consistency

Success in any venture does not come by one massive effort though it may sometimes look like that’s what happened…but success is built over a long period, many small positive steps taken one day at a time.

Similarly failure does not come by one big error of judgement although it can be that one error that finally brings a man down. The character that finally brings about the error was built over a sustained period. Lots of small steps taken every day until they became habitual.

So whatever we have consistently thought and done in the past has produced the person we are now. Whether that is good or bad we can’t turn the clock back but we can make it better. We can develop, we can grow.  And over the next 16 weeks if we help each other we can all be better and we can all be on a track to life long improvement.

 

Long live the Revolution

For six months the information has been coming in from all directions.

I have rediscovered old friends like W Clement Stone who’s ‘Success System….’  helped me to go from zero to hero almost 30 years ago at Encyclopaedia Britannica: old friends like Napoleon Hill whose ‘Think and Grow Rich’ has always been on the shelf and has been off it more than most, or like Og Mandino whose works have always been a staple but have never before been read with such fervency. MKMMA has raised the bar thats’ for sure.

I have met some new friends too, like Ralph Ward Emerson (well he was new to me) and Peter McWilliams, both fascinating in their different ways and both taking my thoughts into new and exciting areas. The great weekly conversation with Charles Haanel has risen at times through debate to occasional argument but it has been nothing if not stimulating. My favourite book and the eternal benchmark has always been the Holy Bible (currently the NLT), and I am grateful to the aforementioned authors for their having helped open up new understanding to passages previously overlooked or confirmed and enhanced some which I had understood but maybe not completely. (That does not meaning I am claiming to understand them completely now, but I do have more light than I had.)

With information coming from so many diverse sources and with some opening up my understanding immediately and others taking time for ‘the penny to drop’,  there have been times of excitement and even exhilaration but there have also been times of confusion. So now it is time to take stock, organise and begin to apply the distilled wisdom. As Og Mandino said in Scroll I “Much has been filtered and tossed to the wind, only the pure truth lies distilled in the words that remain.”

It would be a great shame to live and die with so much insight but without practical application that would produce the fruit. The thoughts are the cause…we have discussed that at length… but the effect does not just appear by magic. The thoughts must be turned to action and it is the action that will produce the results. Thinking has taken up much of my time, in fact all of my spare time and there has been little left for action. Organised thought is a wonderful thing, I know most people have not experienced even that fully, but organised action is what will move the mountain. I have thought a lot about Jesus’s words and their implications…you can move the mountain IF…If you believe with all your heart, nothing doubting.  You may not know this but the Number One reason for His arrival on Planet Earth was to introduce ‘The Law of Forgiveness’ and make it possible for all men to give and receive forgiveness. Every man is forgiven every sin…it’s no use pretending we have no sin…if we do that the Bible says we call God a liar.  We have all sinned, we have all fallen short, but forgiveness is available to every man and woman on earth and it’s really simple to appropriate it.  The Mountain of Guilt and Shame that stands before all of us at times can be cast into the deepest sea never to be seen again and the rules for its removal have never changed…Only believe that Jesus came to give you forgiveness, paid the price for it so it’s completely free to you, believe nothing doubting, and unreservedly forgive those who have sinned against you. If you can manage that you can walk the earth as Jesus did.

OK. So I am a Pastor with a congregation. Am I to keep them mentally trapped inside some ancient hereditary dogma or am I to show them how Jesus came to give them a more abundant life. How He came to bring physical and emotional healing, to prosper them as they give into the lives of others. How God is always good and that he has provided enough for every single person on earth to have enough, no more than enough. There is no limit to what God has done, what He can do and what He wants to do for every people group on earth.

There is no lack in Gods house…when Jesus said pray “Your Kingdom Come on Earth” he was not proposing a rich ruling class and a great unwashed mass forced to live in poverty and slavery, that’s what men have done.

It’s time for us to organise our thoughts, to begin to Mastermind together, to plan the work and work the plan and to begin to see the Kingdom coming on the earth.

It needs a renaissance of thought and a revolution in action but if we are up for it God is able to do a quick work and He is ready to use a willing army of people who desire more than anything to see His Kingdom come.  If we ask anything according to His will we know He hears us and if we know He hears us we already have the things for which we are asking.

Our asking is the cause, so if we do our bit and ask the effect is on the way.

Long live the revolution.