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Sometimes the biggest results come from the smallest beginnings.

Have you ever stopped to think about how tiny an atom is?  But strangely enough the most enormous power ever seen from a bomb is released from tiny atoms of uranium or plutonium. These atoms are split, releasing enormous energy. But these atoms are much larger than some of the smaller atoms. The hydrogen atom is the very smallest of all atoms and yet the hydrogen bomb is much more powerful than the atom bomb.  It gets its enormous power from fusing hydrogen atoms together.  Isn’t that amazing?  The most powerful force known to man at this time comes from the smallest atom.

Prayer is the same way.  We may think that our prayers are small and insignificant, but God knows that they are not.  I heard a preacher say that he began praying for the country of Libya during a certain year.  Seven and a half years later he talked to a man at a conference who told him that he had a high government job in Libya.  He personally killed over 90 people as part of his job.  That was in the days that Libya was heavily involved in terrorism.  But one day he suddenly had a burden to become a Christian.  He became a Christian and some of the other officers found out about it. He was brought before the leader who told him he would have to renounce his Christianity or be killed.  He said he could not renounce.  Later he was taken away to be tortured but he escaped from the prison by a guard who helped him.  He went to another country and began preaching on the street corners.  But he learned through the grapevine that a team was sent from Libya to kill him.  So he moved to another country.

Later he ended up at the conference talking to the preacher that prayed for Libya.  The preacher was absolutely amazed that he had become a Christian the very month that he started praying for Christians in Libya.

Do you feel your prayers don’t matter? Don’t feel that way. Your prayers are much more powerful than you realize.

Have you ever stopped to think that the more you enjoy something the better you will do at it? For example Michael Jordan loves basketball. He would have to love the game to be willing to put in the incredible number of practice hours that he did. And Einstein loved physics. He would have to really enjoy it to work as a patent clerk in the daytime and work on his Theory of Relativity in the evening and during his free hours at work.

A husband who really enjoys his wife and children will be a better husband and father. He will not only be more loved by them, but he will love them more and be happier with the results of their lives.

We can take a look at two hypothetical employees, Bill and Tom. Bill has learned to love his job and continues to learn to love his wife more and more. Tom hates his job and does not get along well with his wife. His boss would tell you he has a bad attitude and doesn’t get along well with others.

Bill comes in to work about fifteen or twenty minutes early almost every day. He has plenty of time to go to the coffee machine and buy a steaming cup of black coffee, just the way he likes it. He goes to his desk and organizes his day so that he can control events instead of events controlling him. He is relaxed and ready for a brand new day.

Tom often comes in ten minutes late. He is in a rush every day and it stresses him out. When he arrives at his desk a coworker is already waiting for him with a question about a project he is working on. Tom doesn’t have time to relax with a cup of coffee and his day is already set – stress and frustration.

Bill likes his job. He is grateful for it. That does not mean he never faces problems or difficulties. But he has a good attitude and that helps him cope with anything that goes wrong.

A couple of years ago I did some studying on what American companies are looking for when they hire employees. I found that attitude is considered very important by most companies. In fact many large companies say they prefer a person with a good attitude over a person with more experience and skill.

The Apostle Paul told us to be overflowing with thankfulness. A person who is really thankful for what he has will enjoy life more and be more excellent in his relationships and his job. When Bill drives home from work he begins to look forward to seeing his wife and children. He enjoys them. He takes time every now and then to think about the benefits of being married to his wife and the joy of each of his children.

When Tom is driving home from work he is thinking critical thoughts about his wife and children. Probably the dinner will be late and he is very hungry. The kids will be naughty and noisy and he won’t be able to rest. He will probably lose his temper with either his wife or one of his children and then everyone in the family will be unhappy for awhile. They will sit down and eat together, but it will be very quiet and rather tense.

If dinner is late for Bill he eats a snack or lies down for awhile until he is rested and refreshed enough to face this new challenge. He enjoys the noise the children make because he knows they are having fun, and he enjoys seeing (or hearing) them have fun. If the dinner is late, it doesn’t matter, he knows his wife has been busy with many different tasks around the house all day and she won’t finish work until all the kids are in bed.

Psychologists and business experts tell us that positive reinforcement is more effective than negative. That means if we want to change other people’s behavior it is better to tell them what they are doing right instead of what they are doing wrong. Getting angry and shouting at people may change them for awhile, but it usually brings about more harm than good in the long run.

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John Grisham, the famous writer, was turned down by 16 agents and a dozen publishers before he got his first book published. It is amazing that he was only turned down that many times because many great writers were turned down ten times more than that.

John was a lawyer working 60-80 hours a week in Southaven Mississippi. But he still found time to write. He would get up at 5 AM every morning to write for an hour. After three years he finished his first novel – A Time to Kill.

Actor Harrison Ford was told by the VP of Columbia that he just didn’t have what it takes to become an actor. Ford became a self-taught carpenter and made cabinets and other things for the rock band The Doors, Sally Kellerman and a recording studio for Sergio Mendes. He made cabinets in the home of Georg Lucas, who gave him a role in American Graffiti (1973). Lucas didn’t give Ford the part of Han Solo right away. It took a lot of work and persuasion by Ford, but that role made him extremely famous.

Steven Spielberg tried to go to filmmaking school but was not accepted. He visited Universal Studios and met Chuck Silvers, an executive there. Silvers invited him to come back. Spielberg did and hung around the whole summer, pretending to be an employee there, wearing a black suit and carrying his father’s briefcase with nothing inside it but his lunch.

10 years later Spielberg directed Jaws, which made more money than any other movie at that time.

How to find your voice 148528_
Ideas from a free class by Jeff Goins

What is voice?
1. It’s your style
2. It’s your unique way of expressing yourself
3. It’s how you see the world

Why do we read the authors we read?
1. We believe in them
2. We resonate with their worldview
3. We like the way they tell a story
4. We trust them

Who are you and what do you want to say, how do you want to say it? Until you become Hemmingway or Faulkner you may be uncomfortable with your style of writing. Some people will like to read your stuff even if you say the same thing someone else says because you say it in a way they like. It is not a good idea to try to copy someone else’s voice, but it is a good idea to think about what you like that others write and learn from them.

How long does it take to find your voice? A long time! Maybe not until you write five or six books, or maybe a lot less.

How do you become a great writer? Begin writing! Set aside 30 minutes at a certain time. (my note: it is best to do it at the same time of day in the same place) Don’t try to do 3 hours to begin with. Just write what interests you and don’t worry if it is good or bad. Don’t get up until you have written something. Don’t edit it until later, just get as much content down as you can. You have plenty of time to improve it. Worrying about whether what you write is good or not will hinder the flow of ideas. The secret to success is to write, write and write some more.

Stephen King says the secret of becoming a great writer is butt glue. In other words sit down and write!

Ask for feedback from friends and blog readers. Hey you all, leave a comment, what are some things you don’t like and like about this blog? Be honest!

Seeds of greatness

Brad Stanton —  March 15, 2013 — 1 Comment

163917_16 - CopyYou have seeds of greatness inside you that enable you to achieve the goals and dreams in your life. When you plant a seed, you probably water it often, weed it, and put fertilizer on it. The more you cultivate it, the better the harvest will be. In the same way, your seeds of greatness need cultivation to grow and cause you to be extraordinary.

Your goals may be a happier marriage, a promotion at work, to get out of debt, or better health. These are all possible goals and dreams.

Some ways to cultivate your seeds of greatness are to think positive thoughts instead of negative. Set goals and believe that you can achieve them. Be persistent, diligent and enjoy working for the dreams and goals in your life. The more you enjoy working toward the goals, the better you will work. You will end up working smarter instead of harder. Thomas Edison said he never worked a day in his life because he enjoyed it so much it was fun, not work.

Faith, belief, optimism are powerful forces that help you achieve the extraordinary. Most people don’t even think about becoming extraordinary. They don’t believe they can do it, so they don’t even try.

Affirmations are one way many people achieve success. The famous story of the Little Engine that Could is an example. The little engine was faced with a task that seemed impossible, but he repeated “I think I can, I think I can” over and over until he mustered the gumption to pull a heavy load. He accomplished the task and all the other engines cheered.

If you are a Christian, there are plenty of powerful affirmations you can use. One of them is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil 4:10

The problem is, accomplishing big things takes lots of time, sometimes years. It is easy to get discouraged along the way and give up. But you have never failed until you quit. The old saying really is true: winners never quit and quitters never win.