No matter where we are in our lives, learning some new tactics to apply on a daily basis helps propel us forward.
Today begins the “Official Book Launch” for, Making Room: Doing Less So God Can Do More, releasing on January 15th. There is an enormous amount of work that happens way before that date.
The timeline for the book starts back in January 2015, two years before the actual book release. I started working on the book proposal then. Edits upon edits happened before I pitched the book to publishers. My first pitch was at the She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, NC, in July of 2015. I left that conference with two resounding, NO’s, and one, “Send me your full proposal.” By the end of August 2015, I had my third no. Looking back now, I made an excellent decision going into that conference. I chose to learn. With every experience during and after the conference, I asked the question of others, “If you could suggest one thing for me to work on as a new writer, what would that be?” I had some interesting responses and some amazing encouragement. I learned from that question. The knowledge helped propel me to where I am now, promoting a book.
Here are 5 foundational truths to help improve our lives.
- I am whom God made me to be what He desires me to be. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me,” 1Corinthians 15:10.
I can only be what He created me to be and do what He desires me to do. Yes, I can do a lot more in my strength and driven personality and desires, but ‘success’ comes when I align my future with his Will. We have to remember we are not ‘her’, or ‘him’, or whatever we compare ourselves.
- Define success. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity,” Proverbs 3: 1-2.
It is very easy to define success by the standards of others. During the beginning of writing, I created a strong foundation on how I interpreted success. Keeping a strong foundation of God’s Word in our hearts, we define success based on God, not ourselves.
- Do the next thing. “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand,” Psalm 37: 23-24.
The path we need to follow isn’t laid in front of us like the yellow brick road. We have to trust that God will be with us in every step. Getting rid of the fear of failure is a first step in doing the next thing. No experience in life is exempt from some element of failure. We will stumble, but we will not be down for long because God holds us with his steady hand. You will not be down for long!
- Take criticism as an opportunity to learn something new. “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise,” Proverbs 15:31.
Choosing to hear comments as a learning tool rather than become defensive allows us to grow in knowledge. Each time I heard, “better your writing,” I wanted to sulk and be defensive. When I turned the comment from a negative feeling into one of gaining knowledge, my writing became better. I grew stronger in my understanding of the writing process. Sometimes we can hear the same comment from two different people and take it two different ways. Commit to gleaning the positive out of all comments.
- But first, be thankful. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” 1Thessalonians 5:18.
Thank you, Lord! Without God, I could never accomplish writing a book. Many days were overwhelming and spirit-depleting in my strength. Each day, I start with prayer. Each prayer begins with a slew of things I am thankful for today. Some days the things I was grateful for were not in abundance. As I looked around with an attitude of thanksgiving, I found all sorts of details of gratitude.
You don’t have to be a writer with a goal of publication to apply these to your life. With a determination to become better and move forward each day we can accomplish more than we ever dreamed.
How can you take these 5 applications and begin the day with a new mindset, exactly where you are, in this season of your life?