By ‘Femi Asu
Hope you could make sense of that statement. I stumble on those words recently in a newspaper advert; it was all about having a pension plan. If you have yet to catch the drift, here is an explanation from the advert: “Your very essence defines the word ‘swagger’. You live like a king [I think, it is more apt to use “like the biblical prodigal son”], but what about tomorrow?”
Living large, to be sure, can be fun, but it can also be detrimental to the fulfillment of one’s dreams. It is easy to engage in conspicuous consumption – spending money or buying things you don’t need just to show off; it is easy to be a couch potato – watching television all day; it is easy to spend the day on frivolous activities, meandering around with a swagger. But it is not easy to achieve anything worthwhile in life. It requires a great amount of discipline.
“You will never be disciplined in your life until you have real vision,” says Dr. Myles Munroe, “Vision is the key to an effective life because when you see your destination, it helps you to discipline your life in ways that train, prepare, and provide for your vision.”
In his book The Principles and Power of Vision, Dr. Munroe posed the question: “How disciplined is your own life in relation to your dream?” Here are some of the questions he said we should ask ourselves if we truly desire to make a difference with our lives.
*What am I using my energies on? What are you putting your heart and soul into? Is it worth it, based on your purpose?
*Where am I investing my money? Your vision dictates where you put your resources. Are you buying things that are more expensive than you can afford and that you don’t need? Are you so much in debt that you can’t channel your money toward fulfilling the vision in your heart?
*What movies and television programs am I watching? If you know where you are going, you will choose to watch things that are related to your vision because you want to invest that time in your future.
*What books am I reading? Is what you’re reading helping or hindering you? For example, if all you’re reading is romance novels, you are living in a fantasy and not your true dream. You could be reading something that helps you in the knowledge or skills you need to fulfill your vision.
*What hobbies am I pursuing? You can choose to play games that prepare you for what you were born to do.
*What am I taking into my body? There are talented, gifted people who are dying prematurely because they consistently eat food that isn’t good for them. If you’re going to make it to the end of your vision, you must take care of your health. Your vision may take twenty years to be fulfilled, so you need to start eating right and taking vitamins now. If you neglect your health, you will be more susceptible to sickness, and by the time you are halfway to your vision, you may be too ill to complete it (or no longer here).
*What am I risking? Are you abusing alcohol, drugs, or sex? If so, they could easily short-circuit your vision. For example, if you are a young woman who is being pressured into having premarital sex, think about how that might affect the fulfillment of your life’s dream. Will it be easier to fulfill your goal if you have a baby out of wedlock or are infected with a sexually transmitted disease? If a young man starts to touch you inappropriately, tell him, “You are interfering with my future. Take me home right now.” You must protect your vision.
*What is my attitude towards life? If you know where you’re going, you can keep your attitude positive. When things go wrong, you can say, “That’s okay. This is only temporary. I know where my true destination is.”
Choose to live well. Associate with people and be involved in things that are conducive to your dream.
Please, bear this in mind: Today’s ‘swagger’ can be tomorrow’s ‘stagger’.
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