Most people, if you ask them about what they truly want in life, they will tell you their goals and dreams. I am no exception. I have many goals and dreams that I would like to accomplish in life, such as writing a book, speaking at a TEDx talk, and traveling around the world.
However, to achieve these goals, it will not only take hard work, planning, and motivation. It will also take faith. Faith in my ability to communicate my ideas both on print and on stage; faith to overcome the fear of criticism and failure; and faith to trust in where my intuition takes me.
As motivational author Napoleon Hill explained in his book, Think and Grow Rich, this intuition actually comes from within, from that inner voice inside you. That inner voice is from “Infinite Intelligence.” Other names for this entity include God, or the creator of the universe.
I have come to realize that in order to not only become a success but live a fulfilled life, more than anything, I must work on my relationship with God. In other words, I must engage in the development of my spirit, which is the medium of contact between me and God, who ultimately reveals one’s purpose.
As a strong believer in this truth, I used to engage in many spiritual exercises. Attending college and living on campus at the time, I would sometimes leave my dorm to take the train and travel to late night prayer meetings every week. I would make it a habit to pray for an hour every day.
If I missed a day or two of prayer, I began to get a little upset with myself and force myself to try to make it up the next day by praying twice as long. Applying this same practice to my physical development, I would plan to workout for 30 min daily. If I missed a day, I would double it the next day.
While I thought these practices were acts of consistency, I began to realize that they were not. They were really examples of legalism. That same legalism that the ancient Pharisees and other religious leaders practiced in biblical times, which transformed them into cold individuals who would scorn an individual (AKA Jesus) for healing a man on the Sabbath.
When it comes to spiritual development or any goals you’re striving for, there is a fine line between consistency and legalism. Consistency arises out of discipline while legalism is more a result of guilt and a feeling of inadequacy. What am I saying? I am saying that having discipline and consistency in life is very much needed and required if you want to achieve any dream or goal, whether spiritual, financial, or relational.
However, as speaker and author Terri Savelle Foy said in her book titled 5 Things Successful People Do Before 8AM, you must be “gentle, but firm.” If you are striving for your goals and dreams and commit to do things daily to develop yourself, don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss a day or two. But keep to your word, stay committed, and keep looking to what the future holds for you if you stay on that path to success.