I get a lot of strange looks when I walk into work because along with my iPad, I am always carrying a book under my arm. The conversation starts, “You know, you can actually download those on your tablet.” You can imagine the chuckles I got when I was lugging around the Steve Jobs biography along with my iPad. I don’t know, call me old school, but some books are meant to be held, dog eared, underlined with the pages yellowing and put up on a shelf to pull down at a time when you need them most. One of my most treasured gifts to my children will be the library I leave behind. Some books I have literally paid pennies for, yet they are worth millions to me because of what they have taught me and allowed me to experience. Novels, memoirs, biographies, I love them all, but there is a special section reserved for personal development, which is where the true treasures lie.
My latest read, which I can’t put down is a book by Norman Vincent Peale. “The Power of Positive Thinking”. In it he states that ” Fear is the most powerful of all thoughts with one exception, and that one exception is faith. Faith can always overcome fear. Faith is the one power against which fear cannot stand.” Simple, not easy, but simple. I have really struggled with this in my life and in my career. Sometimes you need to borrow someone else’s belief in you until you can believe in yourself. I am very fortunate to have had friends and family that have done that, most of them without even realizing it.
You have the power to experience your lives through a vision of faith rather than a vision of fear. Think about how much of our lives we spend in fear, how much time we waste worrying. We have financial fears of not having enough money, a big enough house, the right car, or the right clothes. Social fears of not being accepted or being popular. Now that there is a camera in every phone, we have become obsessed with how we look instead of who we are. We need to tell our kids every day, I believe in you, I believe in your dreams and you are going to make them all come true. Instill in them an inner voice of faith, trust me, that voice is something they will never forget. Jim Valvano said that his father’s greatest gift to him was that he believed in him, especially when Jim didn’t believe in himself. The rest is history.
Out of Peale’s book I have taken a mantra that I repeat every day. “I believe I am always divinely guided. I believe I will always take the right turn of the road. I believe God will always make a way where there is no way. ” We need that in our lives because we are constantly drawn away from that which we already have, the goodness in our hearts and all that God has given us. We must keep reminding ourselves that all that we are, all that we aspire to be and all that we were before is by the grace of God. It’s so much easier for us to focus on our fears and what we don’t have; we have becomed conditioned to do so.
I told you once before, I was laid off from my job. The day previous to that, we sold our house. I had no idea I was getting laid off it just worked out that way. More incredibly, the day we closed on our new house, we walked into the parking lot of the lawyer’s office and I received a call that after several rounds of interviews at a new bank I was hired. These aren’t random acts. Peale goes on to explain, “when you expect the best you release a magnetic force in your mind which by a law of attraction tends to bring the best to you.”
I have read countless books on world leaders, athletes, coaches, musicians. The common theme in all of them is that they didn’t operate from a place of fear. More importantly, they didn’t fear failure, because to them they never failed, they just figured out another way. Every one of them envisioned success, whether it was getting sworn in, hoisting a championship banner, or winning a Grammy. We become what we think about. He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right.
If you still have doubts, the answers are there for you. You just have to look….Matthew 17:20.