The Power of Inspiration

Yesterday we flooded our Dream BIG Facebook Page with Michael Jordan quotes.

The quotes were like surges of pure energy rushing through me. They did much to call me out of my little shelter into greater things.

There were many fantastic quotes but perhaps the one that spoke to me the most yesterday was:

expecting things with image

Michael’s quote echoed what I’d been learning in the past week about how vital the image I had of myself was to my success.

Whatever we see of ourselves is  who we become.

Successful people have failed many times. Even when they become successes they still experience failures. It’s part of life.

But what makes successful people different is that they see failures as incidents  and not as the story of their lives.

In an interview with Dream BIG, entrepreneur Max Mugabe, speaks of how we cannot prevent things from happening. He said “The happening will always happen, how we react is what matters.”

People who perpetually fail are usually marked by an inner belief that their entire  lives are failures. So the cycle of their failures continues because… it’s what they expect.

Sometimes a person will say one horrible thing to us. We take that nasty word and nurture it; We give it a supreme place in our hearts. We water it, cook for it, feed it… Soon that one word is a sentence, then a paragraph- before we know it we’ve written entire books from one bad word someone threw at us!

Successful people don’t operate this way.

Our lives are only meaningless when we choose to believe they are.

I’ve been through bouts of depression many times.

A few times I went through depression so bad I contemplated taking my own life.

Once I went so far as taking an enormous amount of pills- but I thank God for pulling me out of that pit! The way He did it was by reminding me that there was far much more to my life than I was belittling myself to.

Looking back at every single incident of depression I’ve had I can surely say each one begun with allowing wrong thinking to grow in my mind. Since I realised this I’ve been extremely vigilant about what I allow my mind to dwell on.

If you don’t hope for something better for your life you will die. Maybe not physically but everyday will be like death for you.

If you don’t have something great that you’re working towards every day you breathe will be long and unbearable.

Plunging into resources that inspire you sparks neurons, ideas, visions, energy-

I’ve seen with my own life that when I’m surrounded by inspiration I get excited about what lies ahead for me. I find myself sparking with brilliant ideas- I’m empowered to take more steps and strides towards what I hope for.

If we allow ourselves to perpetually dwell in places where failure is the  option then it’s inevitable that failure will be our constant experience.

People may say they don’t choose  failure- but every time we dwell in negativity we are choosing failure.

Looking back at all the guests we’ve had on Dream BIG it appears to me that failure was never an option for any of them.

I don’t think it’s that they were perfect or utterly confident in their abilities- what I saw in each of our Dream BIG guests was a drive for success that was far greater than their regard for failure.

This is not to say that they didn’t ever have moments or even periods of failure- they did- but they saw those failures as mere incidents  and not the be all and end all of their lives…

Inspiration is vital for sustaining this kind of attitude.

One of our Dream BIG guests, Jennifer Swanepoel, shared that her faith in God was her lifeline.

I think one of the reasons for this is that God has a history of making people super successful.

The Bible is filled with stories of God’s victory, His favour, His incredible ability to do the impossible, His generosity in turning dire situations around… when we tap into Him we are flooded with inspiration that tells us that the dump we may be in is not final.

William Jimerson, another Dream BIG guest, spoke to us about opportunity. He said no matter where a person was from, no matter how poor they were, opportunity would come for them; The question was would they be prepared for that opportunity?

William spoke about how (even though he came from a rough environment) his family exposed him to places and people that inspired him.

Today William has one of the most influential financial firms on the African Continent.

As a single, teenage, mom Jennifer worked two, sometimes three, jobs to ensure that her children went to schools in environments that inspired them to be great. Because Jennifer knew this profound truth: Inspiration is essential.

Oftentimes we feed ourselves with so much rubbish it’s an absolute miracle we don’t self combust from all the negativity we allow in our minds- Then we wonder how come we’re so depressed? How come we’re so miserable? How come it’s tough for us to be positive? How come year after year we remain in the same rut unable to make progress? To each question the answer is always: The junk we fill our minds with.

Until we change the image we have of ourselves in our own minds the greatness we hope for will never happen. It can’t.

It’d be like hoping sunflowers grow in the antarctic- that environment would never allow that.

The only way to create and sustain environments that nurture our dreams is to dwell in resources that inspire.

It’s impossible to be positive and resilient when we dwell in negative, life sucking, environments.

And by environments I mean ways of thinking.

The majority of poor people stay poor not because there are no opportunities available to them- but because they don’t ever change how they think.

Even when flooded with wave upon wave of opportunity they remain exactly where they are. Because as Will said- we have to prepare ourselves for opportunity.

Reading Michael Jordan’s quotes yesterday I received a fresh wave of inspiration;  First about myself and then about our work on the Dream BIG Project.

Since we started the project I’ve known that it was a “cool” project but now more than ever I see it as such an essential part of our existence: Firstly because Dream BIG exists to nudge each one of us to unleash the tremendous potential within us. And second- Dream BIG is an opportunity for each of us to delve into the amazing power inspiration holds.

Our daily goal at Dream BIG is to bring you nuggets of inspiration each day. Follow us on Facebook and see the power of inspiration change your life.

Having said that I’m also the first to say that of course we’re not the only source of inspiration on the planet. There are millions of resources available to us every single day.

Tap into them and live out this amazing life you were put on this earth to enjoy.

 

Our favourite Inspirational Resources:

God

The Scriptures

Dream BIG

Joseph Prince

 

Our favourite Dictionary Definitions of Inspiration:

  1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
  2. A sudden brilliant or timely idea.
  3. A divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.

Does he show you Jesus?

One of the first things I really took note of about my guy shortly after we’d just met was a conversation we had about bats.

A tad crazy huh? Yeah I know…

In any case I was telling him how bats freaked me out- and his response was so beautiful and so childlike that years later I can remember exactly where and how he was sitting as he told me that bats were perhaps one of God’s most favourite creatures.

I can remember how he looked at me as though trying to help me see these little beings as God had intended for them to be perceived… beautiful, important in nature and so utterly harmless.

All my life I’d believed bats to be of the devil… I’d learned that they were evil and those that dabbled in the dark side used them only for witchcraft.

But as I listened to this rather weird and bizarre guy tell me how much God loved bats I was enamoured by how he expressed this belief.

He went on to tell me that one of the reasons he believed God loved bats so much was that God had made so many kinds of bat. There are over a thousand bat species.

Before then I’d always known of God to be this aloof Guy- sitting on the throne somewhere in heaven- and yet here was someone telling me that God loved bats.

As he spoke I imagined God walking through the forest and loving. Not only bats but ants and butterflies and earthworms… I imagined Him examining bark and grass and loving the nature that He had created.

As I chatted some more to this guy, I barely knew, what I knew for sure in my heart was that this was a man who loved God.

Years later I remember our discussion about bats- and this man I barely knew then is now my bestest friend in all the world. He is the father to my gorgeous children. He is my most influential mentor. More and more I find his wisdom to be such an essential navigator through life. And years later he is still such a strong force in pointing me to the God who loves bats; A God who is not far off but right here in my heart; A God who walks the earth and touches soil and dances in the rain.

I guess what I’d like to say to so many young women who may still be praying for the right partner is this- look for those simple moments of brilliance and Godly vulnerability that truly reveal a man’s heart.

It’s so easy for us humans to proclaim our “undying” love for God- but what I’m coming to discover more and more is that men who truly love God speak about His wonderful nature.

One of the most incredible gifts a man can give you as a woman is to point you to Jesus; To help you see yourself as God sees you and to remind you often  that Jesus loves you absolutely and unconditionally. A guy who does that will be such a force in your life that you’ll have to put a lot of effort into failing with someone like that loving you.

I don’t know the formula for finding the right guy- but it is my very strong belief that a guy who will love you as a woman’s heart desires points her to God and shows her the God that Jesus came to reveal: A God of mad, crazy, love; A true Father you can depend on always; A Present Help in time of need; A Giver of every good and perfect gift; a humble King- a wonderful and generous Saviour.

My guy told me all these things in a simple conversation about how God loved bats.

 

Related Post: Your man can’t fix you

Indescribable

I was so encouraged by a CUM staff member yesterday.

I’d been a tad disappointed that I was not getting the chunk of a discount people with loyalty cards qualified for.

I filled out forms to get the card… but the short version is that for the meantime I’d have to pay full price.

I didn’t want to wait for my card to get my hands on these much needed resources.

A little disappointed that I wouldn’t get the discount a staff member said: “What do you need a discount for? You are a child of God.”

And then it was like flood gates burst open in her. She started declaring how BIG God was and that as I believer the only way I had to look was up and never down.

This lady broke out bringing an experience and picture of Heaven’s abundance…

As she spoke I realised that my focus was (and usually is) on money and not on God’s abundance. I pray you’ll realise the depth of this…

I was so encouraged by her and I realised that yeah… I can be so particular about rands and cents- the truth is that the abundance of heaven cannot even compute my monies- they’re too small.

Compared to the abundance of heaven my little wallet is not just little- it’s really really really so tiny it’s impossible to describe just how infinitely small my finances are next to God’s abundance.

When Paul wrote to the Philipians he said this to them: “..my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

I once heard Jospeh Prince say “According to” means what we have access to (on this earth) as Children of the Most High God is not just a “portion” of God’s abundance- it’s all of Heaven’s abundance. God’s not holding anything back from us.

Most of us haven’t even begun to tap into the abundance of Heaven. We look at our pockets and we make that our reality- God wants to free us from that tiny, minuscule, thinking.

Our pockets are just carriers… What I was challenged by yesterday was this: will I trust the numbers on my bank statements or will I trust the numbers God shows me in the Scriptures?

We have got to see through eyes of faith on this one…

As this CUM staff member was pouring her heart out about God’s blessings, her colleague joined the conversation. She shared how, last year, she’d wanted so badly to go to Israel for three weeks- God has opened doors for her and she’s going to Israel for three months!

During my visit to the store I was helped by one of the most amazing young men I’ve come across in a long time- he couldn’t have been older than 19. Let’s call him Wikus.

Wikus’ excitement and passion for Jesus was evident. He was generous and humble and respectful- I was blessed to meet him.

Watching Wikus I was encouraged to come across a man so young, outside of the Sunday church environment, who was on fire for Jesus.

Wikus recommended I watch  Indescribable.  He was so excited about it that at one point I thought his feet would set on fire and he would shoot out of that store like a rocket.

When I got home and watched it I understood why Wikus had been so excited about the message in this DVD.
When I watched this I understood why Wikus had been so excited about the message in this DVD.

It tied in beautifully with what the two women had shared with me about God’s BIGness.

I cannot fully articulate what’s in this resource- you’ll have to watch the DVD yourself.

All I can say is that whatever (and I mean whatever) you’re facing it doesn’t even come close to the BIGness of God and the vastness of His abundance.

All In!

When I was battling to have children there came a point in my life when God was all I had left.
I knew He would have to come through for me or I’d never have kids.
Fertility rounds failed.
So I ditched all the fertility treatments- everything- and chose to trust God. All or nothing!

I believed with everything in me that I was meant to be a mom. And so against all evidence that it would happen I would rub my belly and speak to the baby I believed I was carrying inside me. I would write to this baby. I even went out and bought clothes for my baby- because I knew I would have the children I wanted.
Eventually I did. Naturally. Well Supernaturally is more accurate.

As I trust God for other dreams I know this for sure- it’s not enough to just want. Everybody can want. To get we have to get all in. And “all in” means we need to dwell in the place that we’re believing to get to.
I was already acting like a mom and preparing for my babies long before there was any sign they would come. Now I have two beautiful children- bless God.

In our minds we need to create the reality we want to experience.
And we need to fight for these desires even when we look ridiculous.

Once while I was still trusting God for my baby I was sick and needed x-rays.
I refused the procedure because I felt the x-rays would be harmful to my baby.
As I walked out the doctor thought me crazy because he didn’t believe there was a baby to protect but I was dwelling in the reality I wanted to see happen.
It turned out I wasn’t pregnant that time but still I believed.

Months later we were in a 4X4 on tremendously rough terrains.
I half stood in the vehicle because I didn’t want the impact to hurt my baby.
There were NO signs of pregnancy- but I believed.
A few weeks after that 4X4 adventure I found out I was a few weeks pregnant!

Prior to this some folks had told me that: “Some people are just not meant to have kids”. I rejected that instantly because God in the Scriptures said “be fruitful and multiply.” Nowhere did He say “Be fruitful and multiply… oh except Hannah.”
You have not been excluded from ANY of God’s blessings.

It doesn’t matter how crazy you seem when you go all in- the real question is how badly do you want to experience your dream?

It’s not up to God- God has already blessed you with everything you will ever need- It’s ALL up to you.
Will you 1. Believe? and 2. Act on your belief?

Below are the children I was “never supposed to have”…

I didn’t just get kids- I got amazingly gorgeous and spectacular children.
Dare to go all in!

My miracle baby Luke
My miracle baby Luke

My love baby Sky
My love baby Sky