Avoiding the 4 Steps to Destruction – “Determining your future”

Written By The Thrillionaires Published April 12th, 2010

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By Dr. Dallas Humble

Changing ones self is difficult. It has been said, “The distinguishable difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that they are motivated by a dream that is bigger than themselves.” In order to determine where you want to be tomorrow, you need a dream today. In order for that dream to come true you must be motivated, have faith and know how to pursue it. Make the necessary changes in your life that allow that dream to one day become a reality. Without a dream that encourages a vision and the hope it will come true, a person will stagnate in life. This in turn causes bitterness toward the past and present and the cycle of dreaming or determining where you are and where you want to be starts all over again.

At a very difficult time in the life of Helen Keller she was asked what could be worse than being born blind. Without hesitation she replied, “To have sight and no vision.” That’s what dreams are made of, seeing not only with your eyes, but also with your mind.

If I were to ask you what you want out of life, you could probably without hesitation tell me your desires, wants and dreams. But if I asked you what had the slightest possibility of becoming a reality? Would your wish list be as long as the first?

Dreams accompanied with action are what this world was built on. Can you imagine if you had lived before the invention of electricity or the telephone? Individuals with a vision pursued these dreams. What ridicule, condemnation and disbelief they must have undergone. They could have easily given up. They could have given into the world’s way of thinking: it can’t be done. But they didn’t! Can’t was a four letter word in their vocabulary and four letter words of this sort were forbidden.

Today electricity is so much a part of our life we can’t live without it and for heaven’s sake, don’t take away the telephone. It is the very nucleus of communication today. If these dreams had not been ingrained in their minds with persistence at the core, where would we be today?

Do you have dreams that you believe in, but no one believes in you? Don’t feel alone. The only person who knows your dreams is you. You are the only person who can make them become reality unless, of course, someone else thinks of them and pursues them before you. Even so, no one knows your most inner thoughts. No one knows your vision exactly the way you do.

How often have you had an idea that later became a dream? You envisioned it. Having a picture of it in your mind, you wanted to act on it only to find out that someone just did.

Remember, many of the dreams you have are probably not yours alone. Others may also have them. The difference is the motivation and the persistence to pursue it to the end. You have dreams. We all do. We have dreams of a new home, dreams of you and your family enjoying a vacation together in a special place. Many have dreams of pursuing a goal in life that you have always wanted but were afraid to try.

Dreams. They make life exciting. They give it meaning. How do we get off course from realizing our dreams?

To avoid this there first needs to be a willing to change and act upon that change in your life. Next, you need to have the vision embedded deep in the recesses of your mind of what your dreams are. Then comes the persistence necessary to make them become a reality.

In between these points are the four steps to destruction that cause us to take our eyes off of the dreams that are dear to us. Each is important to understand so that we do not become their victims loosing sight of the dreams we have in life.

It is important that you recognize each of these destructive Ds when they manifest themselves. They are always present, haunting us in all aspects of our lives. It may be in your relationship with the one you love, with a friend or even with God himself. It may be in your pursuit of success in your life and a dream that you have envisioned for sometime. Regardless of what part of your life they affect, always be wary of their presence. You must remain focused if you are to circumvent their snare and ultimate destruction on your life.

Let’s take a look at each in detail as we relate them to our lives. As I list and define them, you will probably see how these steps to destruction have affected you at sometime during your life.

The 4 Steps to Destruction

Step 1. DISTRACTION

As we pursue a goal or dream in our life, one of the first ways we are led down the wrong path is by distractions. Something or someone takes our eyes off of the vision we have established for our life causing us to loose focus. The distraction often seems more appealing, fun or productive.

For many it was the pursuit of the almighty dollar. It distracts many people from their family, friends and even God. The funny thing is you couldn’t have convinced me of that at the time. That’s how destruction works. It takes your eyes off of where they should be and, without knowing it, places them where they shouldn’t be. Then the next step to destruction begins its devastation.

Step 2. DECEIT

Once distracted, your sense of direction fools you. You think this new path you now focus on is better. But you are being set up. The distraction allows deceit to quickly set in. It falsely comforts providing all the answers. It reasons and justifies with you that you are now on the right path.

One of my distractions earlier in life came in the form of a partnership. It seemed to be the thing to do and had glamour written all over it. I believed that if I didn’t form the business venture before me, I would miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Because we were not equally yoked, we didn’t have the same philosophies about business much less life or where we should be 5, 10 or 15 years later.

Things appeared to be going well. But due to overly aggressive management, overwhelming debt soon surpassed our means to service it.

We continued growing, justifying every move assuming our assured success. I see this step often among small business entrepreneurs. Every step that increases debt load and cost is justified by how many customers it would take to make a profit. It’s fine to be sure your decision is a profitable and correct one. It’s another thing to justify it without the first minute of a devil’s advocate review.

Now that I look back, I realize that I had that little “voice” talking to me on the inside, but superficially everything seemed too good for me to listen. If you are confronted with a decision, listen to that inner “voice.” Look at the downside should things not work out the way you anticipate. Looking at the downside can, many times, save costly mistakes. Understand what deceit is and where it leads if not recognized soon enough.

Step 3. DEFEAT

The next step to destruction is the defeat you will ultimately suffer from. When we are distracted and led into deceit we generally are not aware of what is happening to us. When defeat sets in, it is the first step of realization that we have made the wrong choice. It is during this stage that we see the empty pot at the end of the rainbow.

I first realized defeat in my business venture when debt had accumulated to the point that we could no longer manage it. We were “Robbing Peter to pay Paul.” I was always one who lived up to his obligations. The very thought of this broke my very spirit. At that point, all that was wrong surfaced before my very eyes.

If aware of our predicament we can avoid destruction—the next and last stage after defeat. The problem is having the wisdom to turn the right direction before it is too late. By the grace of God and hard work, I was able to prevent total destruction in my life.

Coming that close to the destruction stage awakened me with a new vision changing my outlook on life forever. I terminated my partnership. Sold what I could sell, negotiated where I could negotiate and called creditors directly and personally. Should I not have taken these steps, I would have lost all: my family, my business and my name. In this life, your name is basically all you have that separates you from someone else. It states whether you can be trusted and whether your word is worth the paper your name is written on.

Defeat is an humbling experience. It takes no preference on whom it strikes. Those with prideful hearts are struck the hardest. I know. I was one of them. The worse thing about defeat, if left unrecognized, is the fact that it leads to ultimate destruction.

Step 4. DESTRUCTION

This is the last and final step of the destruction cycle. For those that reach this stage, the lowest of lows and deepest of valleys have been reached. This stage has no mercy and is experienced by those that have made the wrong choices in life and refused to recognize their mistakes along the way. To avoid these progressive stages constantly be aware of your surroundings and those things you come in contact with.
Furthermore, be willing to admit you made a mistake and make whatever changes are necessary. The reason so many people continue into this stage is because they are not willing to admit they are wrong. They allow their lives to be destroyed by pride rather than face up to a wrong decision. If you review these four stages of destruction, you will see how they relate to all aspects of your life. From distraction to destruction, your life can be affected if you are not continuously aware of happenings around you.

Seeing someone caught in this destructive trap is difficult especially if that someone is close to you. As stated before, these stages can affect all aspects of your life from outside business ventures to extramarital relationships. Once distracted, the grip of destruction takes hold and drives you through the other stages as quickly as possible. At this stage, find someone you can talk to that you trust. Ask for their support at getting your life back together and holding you accountable. Accountability to someone can assist you greatly in reversing this cancerous cycle.

I fortunately did not fall into the last category, but it takes prayer, hard work, dedication and often changing your course to succeed in life. There are times, however, that no matter what we do it seems success is never the end result. Does this mean you can never succeed, that you don’t have what it takes? Not at all! It does mean that we are given a vision and dream being endowed with a special giftedness from our Creator. This giftedness has often been described as qualities we can use to do something big and make a difference in the world. It is up to us to use that giftedness to the best of our abilities.

We can have dreams, but if these dreams are not within the scope of our God-given gifting, we will ultimately fail. Many people try to be like others by coveting their talents and gifts. The sad part is they never find their gift in life and go to their grave believing they are a failure. To try and fail, takes courage. To fail to try takes nothing and leads to nothing.

When I now see someone who has succeeded in life as it relates to a particular vision or dream, I see someone who was willing to fail. Failure breeds success and dreams allow us to have a reason for trying. We all have our different gifts in life. If we are to make a successful effort at determining our future, we need to realize who we are and what we are gifted at. By doing so, we have made one of the most significant steps towards our attaining success in life that we can make.

Look around you. Most people who lack drive or motivation are not sure what their purpose in life is. When asked, the response is usually, “If only I could do this or that I would be happy and motivated.” That particular this or that is usually what one likes the most in life and is generally a gifted area. Fear and a lack of faith keep them from developing that talent to the best of their ability. We have all had visions. We have all had dreams. You may have even held one in your hands.

As you set out to determine your future and explore who you are, evaluate yourself deeply. You may be pleased at what you find. We were all given seeds of greatness. It is up to us to determine what they are and nurture them as we would a plant in a garden. It needs to be watered regularly, allowed to receive sunshine in its life and treated with tender loving care. If we fail to do this, the plant dies, as will our gift and therefore our dreams.

Don’t let a day go by that you do not give thanks for who you are today. Likewise, don’t let a day go by that you do not pray for your dreams, future and the faith to pursue to the end the plan that has been given you. Praying for your dreams, having the motivation and persistence to carry them through and recognizing your giftedness is the key toward determining your life tomorrow. Poetically speaking, I pray you are given dreams that allow you to fly and the faith to pursue them no matter how high.

Suggestions on Determining your Future

1. Be willing to take the necessary steps toward changing your life even if it means changing yourself. Changing is difficult. Nobody can change you. It only happens if you are the one making the change.

2. Determine your gift in life by evaluating what makes you tick on the inside. What are your talents and gifts in life? Pursue dreams that revolve around your giftedness, not someone else’s.

3. Pray. Dream. Remember life without a dream is life without purpose. Envision tomorrow the way you want it to be to the point of seeing it vividly with your eyes closed. Remember, if you can believe it you can see it and if you can see it, you can achieve it. It’s your choice.

4. Pursue your dreams. No one said you were going to make them all become reality. However, if you do not try, you do not know how far you can go, what you can accomplish or what difference you can make in the world we live in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Dallas Humble is an author, speaker and business coach. He has written numerous articles published in professional journals worldwide as well as authored numerous books on business management and success principles. Dr. Humble has spoken to and consulted with thousands of his colleagues and individuals and on inspiration, personal development, motivation, leadership and business management. He is also featured in the movie, The Journey, an inspirational film about life and the pursuit of success with Brian Tracy and Bob Procter. Often known for his Make It Happen Strategies, his positive messages have created hope, belief and a winning attitude in people from around the globe and have placed him among the top speakers in America today. For more information on his services, products, events or speaking engagements visit his web site at www.makeithappennetwork.com or email him at support@makeithappennetwork.com


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