Category Archives: Goal setting

Wake up! There is No Santa Claus for Mental Health

Neither is there a tooth fairy, superman, or even dare I say a ‘Jesus’ who will wave a magic wand, sprinkle fairy dust, heal you, and make all your problems disappear for you to have better mental health.

We all like to get involved in stories where there is a hero or heroine with a white horse, Aston Martin or some sort of super power. In reality though the story we are involved in everyday is non fiction. Its real, and made up of earthly problems. Continue reading

Do You Have A Rhythm of Alignment?

The steering wheel was dancing around in hands like it seemed it had a mind of its own.

Vibrating in little jolts, this way then that, I knew exactly what the problem was. My steering wheels were out of alignment. It was like one wheel wanted to go one way whilst the other wheel wanted the car to go in another direction.

Back and forth the battle continued until I limped into the tyre shop for a wheel alignment.

Continue reading

I’m So Angry That I’m Going To …

I am angry.

I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and …
This is not a normal feeling for me, or perhaps it is and I have been too P.C. (pastorally correct) to embrace it. 

No more Mr. Nice guy‘ from Alice Cooper storms into my thinking.


What am I angry about?
Let me turn that back on you. What are you angry about?

What stirs a few embers in your soul? What causes you to shift a little in your bed of complacency?

Does 200 girls being kidnapped in Nigeria push your red button?

Fears for the fate of more than 200 Nigerian girls turned even more nightmarish when the leader of the Islamist group that kidnapped them said he’ll sell them. … We have the commitment and capacity to get this done. CNN

What gets you angry? What charges up your heart?

Moving away from the world scene, some thing most likely far far away for you, what is going to change your situation? What are those frustrations you face, the swirl of life pounding at your heart.

Something tipped Jesus over.

There was some little trigger that caused him to take up a whip and act out his inner righteous anger.

Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.” John 2:15-17 (The Message)

Jesus let loose because the religious rulers were extorting the poor in their desire to worship.

Fury must have raged through this soul.

I wonder what the disciples thought about this! I wonder what you think about this.

No more Mr. Nice guy‘ from Alice Cooper storms into my thinking.

Paul comes to us says

Be angry but do not sin Ephesians 4:26

Anger is ok, but don’t sin.

Don’t let your anger consume you away from what God is doing.

 Sin is not being far from God, its turning our gaze in the wrong direction. Simone Weil

I don’t want my emotional feelings of anger to shift my gaze away from God. I don’t want to take actions into my own hands.

I want to keep focused on what God is up to and my part in it. I want a Zeal for my God to consume my focus.

So this is what I am going to do.

1. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and … pray

First of all I am going to pray seeking God’s kingdom come. Their rule, their way, their timing.

This is what I pray

God, help me to see things the way you see them.
Compassion and grace in tension with anger and justice.
Show me the big picture you are working in and my role in it.
Help me never to step out of your dance studio
but always to be listening to your heartbeat.
Show when to act and when to not.
God there is a season for everything.
May I be still enough to sense the changes and patterns,
the whispers and the shouts.
Amen

2. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and … act.

This what I am going to do. Prayer must lead us to change. Prayer invites a response to do what only you can do.

What is it through prayer that God is calling you to act on.

What goals are you setting that reflect with the communion of prayer you have?


Prayer and action, therefore, can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive.
Prayer without action grows in powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation.
If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service.
And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer.
In prayer we meet Christ, and in him all human suffering.
In service we meet people, and in them the suffering Christ.
Henri J. M. Nouwen  Compassion

3. I am so angry that I am going to take up arms and … invite.

This journey is too long and dangerous to go alone. Invite others to go with you. Brothers and sisters that have a zeal for God like your own.

Who are you inviting on the journey with you. Who will hold your arms up when they get tired and whose arms are you going to hold up.

We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

Servant Song

If you lie down and just let life happen then roadkill will be the outcome. Carpe diem – seize the day!

Question to consider and leave a comment. What stirs your heart up into zeal fired action?

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: fihu via Compfight cc

Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 5

If we want to see our goals achieved we have to negotiate the plan with those that will influence the outcome.
Do you negotiate your plans?
 
Over the last four posts I have been going through some lessons Daniel, a character from the Bible, has taught me about achieving goals. This is the final post in this series.
In Daniel’s story we find him making a goal of not eating the Kings food. It wasn’t so much the food that was the problem it was the significance of eating this food. It would have meant that Daniel was saying to the whole world that he was aligning himself with the pagan worship of idols of which the food had been offered to.
So Daniel made a plan to achieve his goal.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Daniel couldn’t rely on just wishing that his goal would be achieved. He didn’t sit back and hope and pray that his goals would be achieved. Instead he formed a plan.
I call it his S.TA.N. plan
Simple to understand by all
Timed for a Review
Aimed at a Deep Value
Negotiated with Key Others.
 

5. Lesson Number Five. Your plan needs to be Negotiated with Key Others.

Daniel negotiated the plan with the palace master. If Daniel was going to be successful with this plan and achieve his goal he was going to have to get permission and support from those he was in relationship with.
 
Here is the tricky part. We like to be in control of our lives, we don’t like to have to depend on others views and influences of what we are planning. We have a natural bent towards independence, rather than interdependence, but if we look further at this passage we see that God was at work in the relationship Daniel had with the Palace Master.
 
Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. Daniel 1:9
 
If we dig a little deeper into the Hebrew of this passage we discover something of the quality of this relationship. The two words used to describe how the palace master viewed Daniel were kindness and tender love.
 
kindness – especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable
tender love – a compassion, brotherly feeling, of those born from same womb
 
God was at work in forming the relationship between Daniel and the Palace Master.
 
Because this relationship had already been fostered and developed into something akin to brotherhood, the Palace Master felt secure and was easily able to trust Daniels motives.
 
So God was at work in the relationships that held the power of success or failure.
 

How do we negotiate our plan with others

  1. Pray. Daniels plan was embraced because God was already at work in the relationship. Daniel was a man of prayer, calling on God to help him in everything.
  2. Face your fears and go for it.
  3. List out all those that will be involved in the plan.
  4. Go to the key influencers and discuss your plan. Remember it has to be simple to understand, timed for review, and aimed at something of deep value to you.
  5. Ask them for feedback. What they like, don’t like, ideas to help the plan succeed.
  6. Rewrite the plan, if needed, incorporating their feedback
 
If we want to see our goals achieved we have to negotiate the plan with those that will influence the outcome.
 

Some quotes to consider

Sometimes you just need a ‘big’ person to give you permission to fail, or to quit. We all need a kindly mentor to remind us that not all of our expectations are realistic.” David Riddell
 
During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.Brian Koslow
 
It is better having one person working with you, than three working for you. Unknown
 
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it. -Halford E Luccock
 
We will surely get to our destination if we join hands. – Aung San Suu Kyi
 
The momentum in a group can help you progress in a way you can never achieve on your own. To achieve your goal, first link-up with those who are like-minded. David Riddell
 
Do not be someone who does not hear others or God because you only want to make your own point and pursue your own personal goals. Larry Crabb
 
Questions to consider and leave a comment
  • Why do we have a natural bent towards independence rather than interdependence?
  • Who are the key influencers to the success of your plans?
  • What can be gained by involving others?
  • What can be potentially at threat if you involve others?
 
For the previous posts on this topic check out these links
 
Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: Florian SEROUSSI via Compfight cc
Please, don’t be an Unguided Pastoral Missile.
Check out my new book.

To get daily insights and quotes Follow me on  Twitter     Facebook      Google+        

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p8XwtF4HLkrQ1SkNYl83yWGJwptEAqpFq0GKiMB1U2abCRqtOy9wYbeVkWezKTnFF6NYN-xj19HIvBOeBHGtzFyD5wxaVr8tSwd8bX0S0_M0naugXe00OuAU Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 5

Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 5

If we want to see our goals achieved we have to negotiate the plan with those that will influence the outcome.

4164756091_c6970987d1_o Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 5
Do you negotiate your plans?
 

Over the last four posts I have been going through some lessons Daniel, a character from the Bible, has taught me about achieving goals. This is the final post in this series.

In Daniel’s story we find him making a goal of not eating the Kings food. It wasn’t so much the food that was the problem it was the significance of eating this food. It would have meant that Daniel was saying to the whole world that he was aligning himself with the pagan worship of idols of which the food had been offered to.

So Daniel made a plan to achieve his goal.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Daniel couldn’t rely on just wishing that his goal would be achieved. He didn’t sit back and hope and pray that his goals would be achieved. Instead he formed a plan.

I call it his S.TA.N. plan

Simple to understand by all

Timed for a Review

Aimed at a Deep Value

Negotiated with Key Others.

 

5. Lesson Number Five. Your plan needs to be Negotiated with Key Others.

Daniel negotiated the plan with the palace master. If Daniel was going to be successful with this plan and achieve his goal he was going to have to get permission and support from those he was in relationship with.

 

Here is the tricky part. We like to be in control of our lives, we don’t like to have to depend on others views and influences of what we are planning. We have a natural bent towards independence, rather than interdependence, but if we look further at this passage we see that God was at work in the relationship Daniel had with the Palace Master.

 

Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. Daniel 1:9

 

If we dig a little deeper into the Hebrew of this passage we discover something of the quality of this relationship. The two words used to describe how the palace master viewed Daniel were kindness and tender love.

 

kindness – especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable

tender love – a compassion, brotherly feeling, of those born from same womb

 

God was at work in forming the relationship between Daniel and the Palace Master.

 

Because this relationship had already been fostered and developed into something akin to brotherhood, the Palace Master felt secure and was easily able to trust Daniels motives.

 

So God was at work in the relationships that held the power of success or failure.

 

How do we negotiate our plan with others

 

  1. Pray. Daniels plan was embraced because God was already at work in the relationship. Daniel was a man of prayer, calling on God to help him in everything.

  2. Face your fears and go for it.

  3. List out all those that will be involved in the plan.

  4. Go to the key influencers and discuss your plan. Remember it has to be simple to understand, timed for review, and aimed at something of deep value to you.

  5. Ask them for feedback. What they like, don’t like, ideas to help the plan succeed.

  6. Rewrite the plan, if needed, incorporating their feedback

 

If we want to see our goals achieved we have to negotiate the plan with those that will influence the outcome.

 

Some quotes to consider

Sometimes you just need a ‘big’ person to give you permission to fail, or to quit. We all need a kindly mentor to remind us that not all of our expectations are realistic.” David Riddell

During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.Brian Koslow

It is better having one person working with you, than three working for you. Unknown

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it. -Halford E Luccock

We will surely get to our destination if we join hands. – Aung San Suu Kyi

The momentum in a group can help you progress in a way you can never achieve on your own. To achieve your goal, first link-up with those who are like-minded. David Riddell

Do not be someone who does not hear others or God because you only want to make your own point and pursue your own personal goals. Larry Crabb

Questions to consider and leave a comment

  • Why do we have a natural bent towards independence rather than interdependence?
  • Who are the key influencers to the success of your plans?
  • What can be gained by involving others?
  • What can be potentially at threat if you involve others?

 

For the previous posts on this topic check out these links

Part One; Part Two; Part ThreePart Four

 

Barry Pearman

Photo Credit: Florian SEROUSSI via Compfight cc

You just finished reading Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 5’. Consider leaving a comment!

Please, don’t be an Unguided Pastoral Missile.

Check out my new book.

To get daily insights and quotes Follow me on  Twitter     Facebook      Google+        

Get my blog posts sent to you. Sign up to receive my blog posts for free via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book on Depression FREE.

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Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 4

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Zig Ziglar
What are the deep meaningful values underlying the goals you are aiming at?

In the last couple of posts I have been going through some lessons Daniel, a character from the Bible, has taught me about achieving goals.

In Daniel’s story we find him making a goal of not eating the Kings food. It wasn’t so much the food that was the problem it was the significance of eating this food. It would have meant that Daniel was saying to the whole world that he was aligning himself with the pagan worship of idols of which the food had been offered to.
So Daniel made a plan to achieve his goal.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Daniel couldn’t rely on just wishing that his goal would be achieved. He didn’t sit back and hope and pray that his goals would be achieved. Instead he formed a plan.
I call it his S.TA.N. plan
Simple to understand by all
Timed for a Review
Aimed at a Deep Value
Negotiated with Key Others.

 

4. Lesson Number Four. Your plan gains importance when it is aimed at something of deep value to you.

For Daniel this was a really important goal. Eating the Kings food would mean he would be turning his back on God. Deep down in his life his relationship with God was of more importance than anything else, even food.

 

One of the reasons we don’t achieve our goals is because we don’t tie them into something of deep value to us.
Winston Churchill, in a famous speech, pointed the people of Great Britain, and indeed the whole world, to something of deep value.

 

We shall defend our island,
whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender.
Winston Churchill

 

He brought to the listener’s imagination pictures of beaches, fields, streets, hills. Places of importance and value. It connected the plan with the value.
Are your goals tied into something of deep value to yourself? Your health, your relationships, your family?

Simon Sinek writes about a time of great stress for him.

While I was trying to understand why some marketing worked and some didn’t, I had tripped over something vastly more profound. I discovered why people do what they do. It was then that I realized what was the real cause of my stress. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do or how to do it, the problem was I had forgotten WHY. I had gone through what I now know is a split, and I needed to rediscover my WHY. Simon Sinek

 

My personal plans are aimed at the values contained within a personal mission statement I wrote many years ago.

 

To know God and to make God known
To Love and Honour my Wife like a Queen
To raise my family in such a manner that they will wish to raise their children likewise
To be an expression of God’s love to the poor, the prisoner, the blind and the oppressed.
To be work-smart, enabling me to be an un-busy pastor focusing on listening, praying and teaching.
To develop leaders that can take the love of God to the community

 

I aim my plans at goals that are in accordance with the values expressed. I don’t always achieve my goals, but I know that if I aim at nothing I am sure I will hit nothing.

Ask yourself – Why is this goal so important?

If you can deeply understand the WHY then you are halfway to achieving your goal.

Some quotes to consider

Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things. C.S. Lewis

 

If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. Stephen R. Covey

 

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. Stephen A. Brennan
For the previous posts on this topic check out these links

 

Barry Pearman

Photo Credit: martinak15 via Compfight cc

You just finished reading ‘Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 4’. Consider leaving a comment!
Please, don’t be an Unguided Pastoral Missile.
Check out my new book.

To get daily insights and quotes Follow me on  Twitter     Facebook      Google+        

Get my blog posts sent to you. Sign up to receive my blog posts for free via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book on Depression FREE.

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Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 3

Stop, pause, pull back and spend some time in considering how things truly are.

 

In the last couple of posts I have been going through some lessons Daniel, a character from the Bible, has taught me about achieving goals.
In Daniel’s story we find him making a goal of not eating the Kings food. It wasn’t so much the food that was the problem it was the significance of eating this food. It would have meant that Daniel was saying to the whole world that he was aligning himself with the pagan worship of idols of which the food had been offered to.
So Daniel made a plan to achieve his goal.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Daniel couldn’t rely on just wishing that his goal would be achieved. He didn’t sit back and hope and pray that his goals would be achieved. Instead he formed a plan.
I call it his S.TA.N. plan
Simple to understand by all
Timed for a Review
Aimed at a Deep Value
Negotiated with Key Others.


Lesson Number Three. Your plan needs to be Timed for a Review.

“Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.” Daniel 1:12, 13
Daniels plan was simple to understand and had a time limit. A short time limit where a review was going to be done.
In working in Mental Health I often used a problem solving sheet. I would sit down with the person I was supporting and possibly their family members or friends and we would together draw up a plan as to how we would help the ‘client’ achieve a goal they had set.
At the bottom of the sheet would be  a review date where we would come back together and review the progress in achieving the goal. It might be the next day or the next week, but it was never too long that it would be forgotten about or that procrastination would set in.
At this review time we would simply and gently ask, without any sense of condemning judgment, as to how the plan was working.
  • Has the goal been achieved?
  • What worked?
  • What didn’t?
  • Are there changes that need to be made to the plan?
Praise was given to any progress made, any accomplishments. We erred on the side of positive reinforcement of any progress.
A review date is not a judgement date, its a time for the support team to gather together and see how things are going.
Also, in setting a date for review it gives those that are dubious about the plan a time limit to see if the plan will work or not. The plan can be reviewed and renegotiated at a certain time.

Tips for reviewing a plan.

  • Make the review time sooner rather than later. Better to make course adjustments early in the plan rather than later when you are maybe far off track.
  • Encourage an attitude of positivity. Praise all efforts and spend a lot of time focusing on what has been achieved.
Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.  George M. Adams
  • Encourage team responsibility and support. Probably 90% of our plans will involve others being part of the outcome. Having a team around you can turn the dream into a reality.
  • Write down your plan. Who is doing what by when, the outcomes and any tweaks to the plan when reviewed. Give a copy of the plan and any changes made to everyone involved. Even the recording of progress can be a source of great encouragement and hope for when times get tough.
Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through your fingertips. Dawson Trotman
Some quotes to consider
Reality must be embraced before it can be changed. David G. Benner

 

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. Max De Pree

 

If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Henry Ford

 

With your goals, do you have a plan that has a review time in it? Leave a Comment below
For the previous posts on this topic check out these links
Barry Pearman

Photo Credit: i_yudai via Compfight cc

You just finished reading ‘Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 3′. Consider leaving a comment!
Please, don’t be an Unguided Pastoral Missile.
Check out my new book.

To get daily insights and quotes Follow me on  Twitter     Facebook      Google+        

Get my blog posts sent to you. Sign up to receive my blog posts for free via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-book on Depression FREE.

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Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 2

I’m not ‘simple’, I just like to keep things simple. Do you?
Complexity baffles me, frustrates me and adds to the resistance to achieve goals.
I like to keep things simple.
I’m not alone in this as I read the story of Daniel and the goal he set of not eating the Kings food. Check out the reasons why in my previous post. It was a do or die goal that needed a plan to achieve it.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Daniel couldn’t rely on just wishing his goal would be achieved. He didn’t sit back and hope and pray his goals would be achieved. Instead he formed a plan.
I call it his S.TA.N. plan
  • Simple to understand by all
  • Timed for a Review
  • Aimed at a Deep Value
  • Negotiated with Key Others.
 

Lesson Number Two. Your Plan Needs To Be Simple Enough To Be Understood By All.

Daniels plan was a simple plan. It was easily understood by all, especially by those  directly involved.
“Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.” Daniel 1:12, 13
One of the sure fire ways of not achieving your goals is to make the plan to achieve them too complex.
Here was Daniels plan.
Have a diet of vegetables and water for ten days and then compare with others.
Do you ever give up on achieving your goals because its too overwhelming to think of all the things you have to do to achieve the outcome.
K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple Stupid
Daniels ultimate goal was to not eat the Kings food at all. To do this he broke it down to a simple plan of a trial period of not eating the food for the next ten days.
Daniel broke the complex down into the simple.
I have set myself a goal this year of writing an eBook on Forgiveness. To break this down to something simple I have my first S.T.A.N. plan.
Print out a series of sermons I gave on forgiveness and review in the next week.
Simple, easy to understand, and achievable.
Daniels plan wasn’t just simple, it was also easily understood by others. Daniel needed the support and trust of those involved in the plan. This was life or death goal. He wanted to make sure that they knew and understood.
If your plan involves others then make sure they understand the plan. You might like to ask them if there are any questions, anything that needs clarifying.
 
Want to achieve your goals? Make sure your plan is simple!
 
Questions to Consider and leave a Comment
  • Do some of your goals seem too large and overwhelming?
  • If something seems too big or overwhelming  what happens inside of you, in your motivation to achieve the goal?
  • For a goal you have set, what is the plan? Is it totally understandable by those involved?

 

Was this post helpful? Like to share it with others? Use the share buttons below. Thanks

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: Sarah Ross photography via Compfight cc
You just finished reading ‘Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 2’. Consider leaving a comment!

 

Lessons Daniel Taught Me About Achieving Goals. Part 1

Saying the word ‘Goal’ can bring a trigger for a flood of nervous anxiety. Your mind quickly remembers all those failed goals and the negative feelings around them.
As a former Mental Health Support Worker I can well remember the many conversations I had with people I was supporting who had Mental Illnesses. As part of the support program they had to have goals.

The problem was that often the need to set goals was forced upon them. They didn’t want them because it would just be yet another opportunity to fail.

Resistance

I recently heard one person say they don’t tell anyone their goals because if they don’t achieve them they won’t appear a failure.

Are you like that?

I discovered a great mentor that has helped me achieve many goals and over the next few blogposts I am going to be sharing some insights he taught me.

Daniel has long since passed away but his wisdom lives on in the Bible and particularly in the first chapter of Daniel. Read it here.


Daniel had been taken as a prisoner away from his country of Judea and was now living in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar. The King wanted Daniel to leave all his Jewish traditions and adopt the customs of this new home. One of these was to worship and be aligned to a new god.

Daniel lived totally for Yahweh, God of the Jews. To worship any other god would be totally against every value that he held dear. He would not do it. The line in the sand he was expected to cross was the eating of food from the Kings table. This was food that had been offered to idols.


Andy Stanley explains why.


Daniel drew the line when it came to his diet. Eating from the king’s table had overtones that Daniel wasn’t comfortable with. It wasn’t so much the food as much as it was what the food symbolized. Traditionally, the Babylonians worshiped their pagan gods through offerings of meat and wine. After they offered the meat and wine to the gods, the leftovers were eaten by the king and his court as a final gesture of loyalty.

Eating the food offered to the Babylonian gods was a symbol of submission to their authority. By eating the food, participants acknowledged the gods as the source of their provision and strength. In Daniel’s case it would, in effect, be giving the Babylonian gods credit for his wisdom and abilities. And that constituted a clear violation of Daniel’s loyalty to the God of Israel. Andy Stanley

Life throws us challenges that require us to make tough choices. Daniel had a challenge that was life threatening.

Daniel set himself a goal of not eating food offered as worship items to pagan gods.

There would be severe resistance to his goal. Certainly from his captors and I am sure within his own self as realised that it could mean his death.


Lesson Number One. There will be Resistance.

Setting a goal will mean a challenge to the status quo. Things will have to change.

There will be resistance. A pressure pushing back against you. A wind of challenge that presses on you. It might be like a soft whisper that you can easily push through, or it might pressing into a wild life threatening storm that pounds against everything you hold dear.

Steven Pressfield writes this

In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term grown, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our high nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.

The more resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art/project/enterprise is to you – and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it. Steven Pressfield

How do we overcome the resistance?

The first step is to acknowledge that it is there. It is real and must be taken into consideration.

As I set my goals for the year I see some goals that have a huge resistance factor to them. As I look closer though I notice a pattern that those that challenge me the most are generally the most important and have the greatest outcome for me. They have a deep significance, long term.

In my next post I will consider what Daniel did to achieve his goal.

Questions to Consider and leave a Comment

  • What does the word ‘Goal’ trigger in you?
  • Why do some of the most significant goals we have also have the most resistance associated with them?
  • What goals have you set and what is the resistance that would stop you achieving them?


Barry Pearman

Photo Credit: sidewalk flying via Compfight cc

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Seven Steps to Change your Default Thinking Patterns

Whether you drive on the left or on the right, changing your thinking is difficult.
It must be very frightening for foreign drivers who are used to driving on the right hand side of the road coming to places such as New Zealand and having to adjust to driving on the left hand side.
 
I remember following your typical white tourism camper van once, and as it came up to a roundabout it turned right instead of left. I wondered where on earth it was going as I met it on the other side of the intersection.
 
When you have driven on one side of the road, all your life, it becomes a deeply ingrained thinking habit. So deep that it takes moment by moment concentration and effort to make sure you don’t revert to old patterns.
When you are
trying to change
a thinking habit,
or a behaviour,
it is just like learning to drive
on the other side of the road.
 
Addicts find it incredibly difficult to change because they need to oppose every pull of thinking and feeling that would have them slip back into the old rut.
 
It is not just those with addiction issues that find it difficult to change, we all do.
 
Often we don’t change because it’s too difficult, too much effort required.
 
We won’t try to change until we are fully convinced that the current pattern of thinking and behaving is dangerous. Even then it is just so easy to slip across the median line and into real danger.
 

Seven Steps in Changing your Default Thinking Patterns.  

  1. Pray. Ask God for the help you need to change. Ask for an awareness of when you are slipping back into the old habits. Ask for help to Lasso those Varmint Thoughts.
  1. Identify the Dangers. Be very clear of the dangers of continuing in this pattern of thinking and behaving. If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got. Write out the consequences for you, and others, if you keep on doing what you have always done.
  1. Have a Compelling Vision. What do hope you will achieve through a new way of thinking and behaving. What are you desiring for in the change? Does it excite you?
  1. Create cognitive reminders. It might be a notebook of new thinking habits, verses of scripture, encouragement journal, a scrapbook journal of pictures of the potential new you.
  1. Oppose your old thought patterns with new insights. Your old thinking patterns and self talk are ‘stinky thinky’ and need to be replaced with new thoughts and phrases. e.g. ‘My past does not define me, it is the decisions I make today that define me’
  1. Oppose your feelings. Feelings are often repeating echoes of past experiences and don’t truly represent current reality. We need at times to discount our feelings before they discount us.

    In order to oppose the influence and direction of one’s old feelings, a rational mind first needs a very good reason. Without truth to reassure, change isn’t possible. D. Riddell 

  1. Get a coach. I don’t think anybody likes to corrected or challenged, especially by backseat drivers! So often though, we need others beside us reminding us to keep on the right side. It maybe a friend, a family member or a counsellor. Someone who can give encouragement and praise sprinkled lightly with correction and warning.
People change when they
hurt enough that they have to,
learn enough that they want to,
or receive enough that they are able to.
John Maxwell
Questions to consider
  • Where do you seriously need to change thinking and behaving tracks?
  • What qualities are needed in people who can coach you into change?
Barry Pearman
Visentico / Sento via Compfight cc