I was intrigued by a speaker at church recently who was visiting from Kansas. Usually messages by official visitors like this are heavy on doctrine, and sometimes quite dry, which can make maintaining focus a major challenge. This fellow was different. He opened with a statement that made me grab my notebook (yes, I take a notebook to church). He said, “Asking questions prepares the mind to receive and retain answers.” This really struck me, because not 24 hours prior to this, Hubby and I had had a conversation about how statements can close the mind and how the right questions can open the mind. Good questions, in my opinion, are an indication that the student is ready to learn.
Without getting preachy, I’d like to share some of what Brian Rawson said in that Sunday speech, because it’s really got me turning things over in my brain. (He related everything to spiritual growth, of course, but you’ll see how well these two questions in particular apply to everyday life and achieving success. Read on.)
One question he asked was, “Do my habits match my hopes?” In other words, am I consistently doing what I need to do to have my hopes and dreams come true? I think it is safe to say we all have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Some of them we really do want. Some of them are just wishful thinking, pipe-dreams. Does the effort you are putting out really equal the strength of your desire to achieve the hopes and dreams you have?
Another question he posed was, “What are the ideal conditions for my personal (or spiritual) growth?” He went on to suggest that growth comes with sacrifice, some struggle, and effort. Growth is not easy. Remember how hard you worked in university or to fulfill an apprenticeship? Remember how hard it was to learn a new skill or to train to be able to run 5 miles? It was hard, but you did it because you could see the value that accomplishment held, you had a clear goal in mind and you were focused on it. Funny thing, once we start growing in an area, it takes ongoing work to maintain what we’ve gained. If we stop nurturing growth we’ll backtrack, and it’s often hard to start over. Nurturing growth becomes a lifestyle. Rawson suggested we need to embrace the discomfort of growth and even find joy in it.
Rawson said many more things. I was riveted for his entire 30+minute discourse. He really struck a resonant chord with me. It has helped me to redouble and focus my efforts in several areas of my life. Perhaps it will you, too.