Idea to Reality: 8 Steps to Make It Happen

So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” – 2 Kings 4:2 (NKJV)

Some time ago I wrote a post called “What’s In An Idea?” I discussed what an idea involves – Imagination, Development, Empowerment, Achievement. The purpose of that article was to get your thoughts rolling about the ideas you have had and maybe dismissed them and didn’t pursue for one reason or another. I wanted you to see how important the thoughts you have were and what pursuing them could do for you and others. You can take time to read that post here.

Today I want to develop that original post a little further. To have an idea is great but to do something with that idea is even better. It takes discipline to move what ideas you have – whether it is to increase you income, change you career, have better relationships with your family members, grow deeper in your walk with God – from thought-state into reality. For the last few months, I’ve been occupied with many ideas and I’ve been learning in the process. Some of what I’ve learned is what I want to share with you.

As God’s creation, you are full of ideas. For me, it doesn’t take much for ideas to start coming to me. As I interacting with people in ordinary conversation; thoughts of what that person can do or what I can do will start to swiftly come to mind. I get lots of ideas when I am listening to the word of God whether at church or at home on my computer or from the television. Reading books can also trigger new ideas. Most importantly in my alone time with God; I often receive God-breathe thoughts or ideas.

But there are some realities about ideas that I’ve also experienced:
• Ideas don’t die. You may recognize that one or two of your ideas seem like repetitive ones but with a slight twist to the previous. Those ideas are hard to ‘shake’ off and almost seem to be screaming at you to bring them to reality.
• Good ideas are God-breathed and are given to you to implement. Even if you don’t carry out the ideas you’ve been given, God in His providence will pass that idea unto someone either within your family or without to bring that idea into reality
• Ideas benefit you as well as others within your immediate sphere of influence and beyond
• Ideas – whether many or few, big or small – can be overwhelming. In this case, you and I must get God’s direction on what to do. This requires constant connection with Him
• Ideas are unique because you are unique. Even though someone else may have a similar idea to yours it’s not the same as yours. You bring your own personality, experience and perspective to every idea you have.

But the purpose of the post is to talk to more about what you can do with your ideas especially those that don’t seem to leave your thoughts. What do you do with the ideas that you want to see become reality? There are two initial and necessary responses to such ideas: First, write down the idea as clearly as you can and second, seek God’s purpose for your idea and ask for success.

In 2 Kings 4, the account of the indebted woman seeking advice from the prophet provides a backdrop of how an idea can go from thought to reality. Although we often look at this as the “getting out of debt” process, it bears close resemblance to the steps we need to take to get our ideas into reality.

1. Get direction
Seek advice for sound people – business people, pastors, people with specific expertise like lawyers, accountants, medical professionals, etc., – to help you get started on the right path.

2. Start working on your idea now
Don’t hesitate. After writing out your plan and seeking help from God and others, it’s time to buckle down and get a move on that idea. The quicker you start the more likely you are to finish it.

3. Avoid distractions
Avoid too much chit chat. Avoid social media and socializing too much when you know you have something great to accomplish.

4. Have an inner circle
Get your family and friends involve in your goal; specifically those who can be trusted and who will work with you and not pull you and/or your idea down.

5. Delegate some tasks
You can’t do everything. (I am still working on this one!) If you are building a business you can’t do all the associated business related task. You will become overwhelmed and worn out. Know your strengths and work those. But where you are weak or where the task is time consuming and un-enjoyable for you, delegate it. Maybe you can even rendered one of your services or products in exchange for something that you need for your business.

6. Don’t give up!
Keep moving forward until your idea becomes a reality, until you reach your goal or until you are experience the level of success in a particular area that you’ve always desired. Even when you attained a certain level of your dream reality, you have to keep moving forward to maintain it and to accomplish even greater. Why? The more you grow the more ideas will come to you of other things you can accomplish.

7. Always seek advice
Yes, at the beginning of your idea you would have received some direction but you still need more. At different stages where you may hit a roadblock and you’re not sure what next to do – go back to God, go back to your trusted advisors, do some research, read books and study other information to help you get over that hurdle. When you get the answer – move on, act on it.

8. Make History
Really, make history? Yes, you can! You may be the first in your family to do something different but that okay. Be the ‘you’ that God created you to be. Don’t be a stereotype or a copy of others. Your idea may be something that no one in your generation has done before. So what! Go for it!

I hope that this article gives you some encouragement to move your idea into reality. One last note…I journaled these two thoughts earlier in the year after attending a conference and captioned it as “From the Lord”:
“Don’t allow the greatness you see inside of you to scare you but rather let it propel you to move forward until it becomes a reality.”
“With every great dream and thought you have, invite God to partner with you to make your dreams become real.”
(Signed and Dated: PC. 08-Jul-2017 @ 12:24am)

This is my encouragement to you. As you seek God and aim to carry out His specific purposes in your life – ideas, great big ones, will come. Don’t hesitate to act on them. God’s got your back while you’re in the trenches working out His plan in your life. He will be with you all the way. If you don’t give you, you will receive your rewards. Let this encourage you and be the empowerment you need to take action in any area of your life you desire success.

God bless. PamC

10 Ways to Move Forward in the New Year

I like this time of year. Yes, it is filled with much excitement. However, I also like it because it’s an opportunity to start afresh. The New Year is a new season, a new beginning. It’s a time to keep moving forward but with renewed hope and energy.

As I look back on the year it was indeed for me a Year of New Beginnings. The Lord helped me to make some new and wonderful starts in my life. I started a new job, began a blog, purchased a much-needed vehicle, worked hard at completing the writing, editing, and interior and cover design for my new book and published the e-book in December. I achieved more than I expected but frankly it was all that I desired.

As I reflect on last yer there were some habits I developed and things I did which I will continue to do in this year. I hope that by sharing these you too will adopt one or two of them to help you through this year:

  1. Step out in faith. Do that thing you have always wanted to but didn’t because you were afraid that it won’t work or that people would laugh at you. Whatever was holding you back don’t let it anymore. Faith requires corresponding action.
  2. Start and continue with prayer. Try to keep a visual of your yearly goals (in short form) in your Bible, on your cell phone, on your computer desktop or even on your fridge door. At church the Senior Pastor challenges us to write our goals and to present them before the Lord even before the New Year begins. With those goals in hand, throughout the year, as you work at them you would also pray about them. What goals would you like to accomplish this year?
  3. Put fasting in the mix. It’s a good practice spend some time at the beginning of the year before the Lord. Although I normally spend time in January reading through the Bible, in 2012 I added fasting. I felt that I needed to know the heart of God concerning many areas of my life.  Prayer along with fasting helped me to focus more on the Lord’s will for my life.
  4. Keep working steadily. It takes discipline and diligence to keep working toward your goals. Sure, we are not perfect and we may at times fall off track but we have to get back up and start moving again. Revive yourself if you have slackened your pace and start again.
  5. Trust God to help you. Don’t rely on your strength. I like Isaiah 41:10. God promises to help me and strengthen me. I need that reminder very often. Sometimes we can get discouraged and become afraid of those things that are seemingly bigger than us, we need to remember that God is with us and will help us. Not only that He will sustain us and give us success.
  6. Take short breaks. Refresh yourself. I am always on the go and sometimes find myself too exhausted. I have experienced the benefits of taking short breaks – sometimes just 15 minutes during the day is enough to recharge me.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t accomplish the goal when, where and how you want to, make adjustments and keep moving forward to your goal. Tell yourself that you can make it instead of being hard on yourself.
  8. Ask God for favor. You need His goodness all the time and you need others to show kindness to you too. It starts with asking God to touch the hearts of others to help you in your daily activities.
  9. Make adjustments. I can’t begin to mention how many times I changed my timeline for publishing my first book. With family commitments, other responsibilities and the unexpected events of life, I had to make changes along the way but still I was able to achieve what I wanted. Changing course does not mean giving up. A traffic diversion does not mean you won’t reach your intended destination.
  10. Give thanks along the way. Sometimes we can get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to honor God with thanksgiving. As I mentioned in an earlier post, create seasons throughout the year to review and celebrate where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going. Pause (Selah) and think about how God has helped you and give Him thanks for His blessings.

I plan to continue using these habits and principles during this year. I hope you will too. This year, keep moving forward. Challenge yourself and set goals that take you outside of the box.  Expect the goodness and mercies of the Lord to follow you and overtake you.

This year may the blessings of the Lord increase in your life and His goodness be more real to you. Happy New Year!

7 Ways to Live on Purpose

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about living on purpose and the importance of pursuing your dreams. But what does it really means to live on purpose? I’ve defined this as intentionally living out your vision – dreams, goals or pursuits. It’s living out God’s will for your life. To live on purpose is to live your life by design.

That sounds great but how do you do this? I’ve noticed that it can be challenging to keep the fire burning and remain purpose-driven. In my life recently I’ve been telling myself that “there too many moving parts” towards my pursuits. I’ve been wondering how to keep up with all of life and still live out my dreams in an effective manner.

The question is: How do I daily keep focus on my purpose? What do I do to continually move forward and achieve my goals?

This post includes some of the habits I use to maintain intentional living.

Know what your purpose is. This may go without saying but still we need to be reminded. What is your dream or the major goals you want to accomplish in your lifetime?

  • Ask God for direction if you’re not sure of the specifics. God’s will for you is wrapped up in you waiting to come out.
  • Assess yourself. Learn about you. What are your likes, dislikes, gifts, talents, education, personal experiences (problems you have overcome), passions, and interests? A good question to ask is: What do I love doing and would be willing to do without being paid for it?

Have a vision and write it out. Sit down in a quiet place with no distractions of any kind and dream a little, no, a lot. This can be a scary thing but you need to take time to think about your life and what you want it to look like. The challenge is linking it to God’s will for you but if you approach this time with prayer (and fasting, if possible) the Lord will guide you. Remember He is your Shepherd.

  • Whatever your dreams are – write them down. Get it out of your head and on paper. It will clear your mind and relieve the mental load you may have been carrying.

Set small goals. I would suggest that you do this the same day as your dreaming day but don’t delay too long.  Choose another quiet time and begin to put your big dreams into smaller goals.

  • Span those big goals into your lifeline from current tasks and projects, to one- to two-year goals, three- to five- year goals all the way up. For your one year plan break it down in quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks.

Create signposts. We are encouraged to know the Word and keep it close wherever we can see it. I believe that you can do the same with your goals. You’ve written them out but to keep focused on them and act on them you’ll need to develop signposts.

  • Post these goals along with God’s promises to your computer or mobile phone as the wallpaper or in a file that you constantly refer to
  • Post them where you frequent the most: your dresser mirror, refrigerator door, home office desk
  • You can even create picture collage that represent all the different aspects of your dream and post it where you can see it often.

For example, maybe you have goal to lose five inches off your waist (my wish) and strengthen your abs – post a photo of a fitness advertisement and write on it, “How am I doing today?” Make sure it is strategically placed where you can see it to motivate you to exercise and eat right.

Depend on God’s direction. Again, I refer to what God says about His word – talk about the Word when you get up, lay down, with your children, at all times really. You need to do the same for your goals.

  • Talk to God throughout the process. God is the CEO of your life. He is the Master Strategist. He will give you direction to help you live on purpose and fulfill your destiny. Trust God through the process and enjoy the journey which is all part of living on purpose.

Talk about your dream. When you talk about something a lot it becomes more and more real to you. Talking positively about your dreams is a great self-motivator.

  • Speak the word concerning your dream. Visualize and confess the word as it relates to you dream. Speak those things as though they already exist even though they are yet to become real. Your tongue is a creative force. Use it well to build your life and fulfill destiny.
  • Talk to trusted friends. Choose carefully those who you share your most important goals with. There are some who will support you and there are others who will question your dreams. Find and hold to those who will rally around you and support you in prayer and in practice.

Work on your purpose daily. Work your dreams. This requires daily effort but you can do it.

  • Review your goals daily and every night write at least seven things you want to accomplish the next day.
  • Keep that list where you can clearly see it and make sure to act on what you have written down. Set you mind daily to do at least two or three tasks related to your goals.

No amount of planning is useful with acting on the plans.

I hope my list above will benefit you. It is by no means an exhaustive discussion on the topic but hopefully it’s enough to either help you move in the right direction or encourage you to continue living intentionally.

Tell me and encourage others too: What do you do to keep living on purpose?