Have you ever come to a place in life where you are overwhelmed with work, ideas and you feel you have so much work to do and so little time to get it done? Have you ever felt that people are demanding so much from you and you have little to offer? Have you ever felt like you are letting yourself down, and not only yourself but also your family, loved ones, friends, and people who look up to you? Have you ever felt that you are living a life that is lower than your capabilities, gifts, and talents?
I know because I have come to all such situations in my life where I have felt that I am cutting myself short, where I have felt that I cannot keep up: the pressure and expectations from me are too much and I feel drained out.
Breathe; you are in the right place, in this article I am going to discuss step by step ways of renewing your hardworking spirit, living a productive life and getting rid of stress, frustrations, pressure, and procrastination. You are going to learn how to live a successful life and work hard for your dream.
I want to ignite that fire in you. To draw your inner child who knows that they can overcome anything and in the words of Lupita Nyongo when she won an Oscar “Your dream is valid”. You may have thrown in the towel just like I had but I want to let you know that the best place to start is where you are with what you have. The situations and predicaments that you are in right now do not dictate your destiny only you have can limit yourself. You are actually your biggest enemy. Henry Ford said that “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Self-confidence is a powerful thing.
You change your destiny by taking a leap of faith; by first believing in you then taking ACTION! And other people will also believe in you! You do not need to convince people with your talk so that they can believe in you or invest in you. Talk is cheap – show people by your actions and results- by the fruit/results of your hard work.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT says Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
Here are the step by step ways of working hard for your dream and living a successful life.
Proverbs 14: 23 NIV says that All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
There is no shortcut around this. To have success there must be hard work.
Suppose you are a multi-millionaire and you want to invest in young people businesses because they are innovative and energetic. Would you invest in a business idea or an already established business? I would definitely go for the person who has converted their business idea into a business even though the business is struggling.
This is because the person is a risk-taker and they are willing to take action by putting in the work. If the business is already up and running we are able to review past performance, learn from our mistakes and predict our future. We are able to use available figures and statistics to show us where the business is heading and the corrections we need to do to steer it in the right direction.
In short, convert your ideas into a business by taking action.
For there to be success, there first and foremost must be hard work. You cannot forgo hard work and get success; work is inevitable! In fact, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. You must plant a seed in order to harvest. You must work in order to succeed. In fact, I do not believe in luck, but I believe that chance and opportunity happens to everybody. The educated and uneducated, the simple and wise, the rich and the poor, no matter what part of the world you are in, which gender, your colour of skin; all these do not matter because chance and opportunity happen to everybody.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT says that I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skilful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
That’s why am saying unless there is action there is no success. What people say is luck is just chance and time meeting a prepared person. Unless you have seed on the ground even if it rains you will still not harvest anything. Whitney Young said it’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
I see people win millions of dollars on lotteries and I do not advocate gambling or get rich quick schemes; such people had to take a chance or risk by buying these tickets or through action and “luck” happened.
What I am just saying is that opportunities that do not meet prepared minds may even become burdensome. We need to be ready for the opportunities that God will put in our way by taking risks, going out of our way- out of our comfort zones, being adventurous, and putting in the effort. Opportunities will not fall on our laps we need to go find them.
Sometimes problems need to push us to get us out of our comfort zones. Proverbs 16:26 ISV says that The appetite of the laborer motivates him; indeed, his hunger drives him on. Are you willing to sacrifice for your goals, dreams, and ambitions? How badly we want to succeed will determine the amount of time, energy, effort and sacrifices we are willing to make. Good enough does not cut it your dream is worth fighting for.
Goals and dreams come at a cost. You need to be willing to put in the extra effort; no effort is ever wasted into making your dreams come true! The difference between the people you admire or wish you had their lifestyle and you is that they were willing to sacrifice and make it happen! They just really wanted it more than you did.
I have seen in the news and also watched documentaries where thieves have dug tunnels for months, gotten into banks and stolen millions of dollars. These thieves were hungry and thirsty for success. They put in the work, planned out everything and had the patience to execute the plan. I am not advocating for anyone to be a thief, I am just saying that we can all learn from such real-life stories about people who are willing to do anything to achieve their goals. If you are hungry and thirsty enough for it – life will give it up for you, it will no longer withhold it if you are truly committed to getting that which you want.
There are some things that cannot be sacrificed over your dreams; those include your relationship with God, spouse and children, loved ones, friends and so on. In the end, relationships are what matter most! The positive impact you had on other people is what really counts! It is not healthy to live for work, to neglect all other parts of your life just because of work. The other parts of your work are supposed to integrate with your life.
You need to involve people especially your immediate family in your work and let them know what you do. If your work adds value to people you are most likely to be motivated to do your work.
That is why it is not always about the paycheck but the joy we bring into other people’s lives. Firefighters, soldiers, policemen risk their own lives in order to save us and keep us out of harm. If you are changing our society for the better we appreciate you and celebrate you.
Proverbs 13:22 NIV says that A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
We work to provide for our families but we should not be carried away and bury our heads into work and neglect spending time with them. Money cannot replace you as the wife/husband/parent/son/daughter/grandchild/friend. We need to always spare time to re-connect and bond with our loved ones as theses create balance in our lives and help us know the real reasons why we work hard. It is not worth losing your family/friends over work. We need to be well-balanced.
Watch this video about Les Brown. How his hunger drove him to success
Time is a precious commodity; one that we need to treasure. Time wasted can never be recovered. You need to account for how to spend your time. If you don’t account for your time other people will do it for you. People will call you randomly and you will wind up using your time in an unprofitable way. You need to take control of your time by assigning activities to it in order of priorities.
Time usage requires the discipline of doing useful/profitable things and forfeiting useless things. This requires even more discipline for self-employed people because you are your own boss and you dictate what time to work and what time not to work. Where employers are involved, time is more controlled. We are all given equal time at our disposal, the rich and the poor, the wealthiest of billionaires and the poorest of the poor all have one thing in common. They have 24 hrs in a day but every individual has to choose what they are going to do with it. Everyone has to choose what time they will get up and what time they will go to bed. The rich use their time wisely; they do not squander time.
You need to get rid of all distractions. You need to use your time wisely by building yourself up with pleasant things. One of the best ways to kick-start your day is by filling your mind with positive energy from what you read or listen to. Control the spirit of your day especially in the first twenty minutes after you are awake because your subconscious mind is usually most impressionable during this time.
Philippians 4:8 NIV says that Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
I recommend starting your day by reading God’s word from the bible or any good book that will build you up and make you a better person and keep you focused. This helps you to avoid negative thoughts of discouragement, stress, anxiety, and confusion among many others. It gets you geared up to confront the day’s challenges.
Avoid squandering your precious time on useless things on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat etc. Most people use a large percentage of time on social media and wind up being unproductive. Delegate a duration of time to spend on social media eg 1hr to avoid spending excessive time on your social media platforms.
Make sure the larger percentage of your time is spent working on your dreams and goals. Make strides each and every day that drive you closer to your dream. Invest your time in making your dream come true.
You need to be fully committed to your work. You need to be all in, do not just have your toes in but your entire self. Do your work wholeheartedly as if tomorrow was never promised.
Colossians 3:23 NIV says that Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
Stand out in your workplace and business because of your diligence. You do not need to be supervised in order to get your job done but you do it willingly and from your heart. This actually turns a “boring” or “bad” job into an amazing experience because a good ATTITUDE has the power to change how we view things.
Proverbs 18:9 NIV says that One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
You cannot work only when you feel like. You need to have a disciplined mind; of getting past feelings of laziness. You need to give 200%; give your best shot. That’s what employers are delighted in. Employees who are self-motivated, disciplined and achievers are such great joy to their employers. They climb up the ladder with ease. Find joy in what you do and give your all!
Proverbs 24:30-34 NLT says that I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest– then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Dwelling on your past makes you shortsighted if have experienced success. It also hinders you if you have experienced a lot of failures. You here young people who are below 35 years talk about their glory gays and you are astonished! They have their whole life ahead of them but they are blinded by their past performances and achievements. They are unable to aim higher in their lives and careers because they live in the past.
You cannot succeed beyond what your mind can see and perceive. Other people have been beaten by life to submission such that they have made a lot of mistakes, had a lot of challenges and problems in their lives- which has left them discouraged, frustrated and depressed.
There is a reason why the windscreen of a vehicle is bigger than the side mirrors and it is because your future is bigger than your past. Look ahead and forget about the past- You only need to learn from the past and gain wisdom and understanding which can be applied in living today. Do not worry about your past failures, mistakes, and disappointments because by learning from them you become STRONGER and WISER!
Constantly thinking and worrying about tomorrow will rob you of your present. We constantly worry about how to provide for tomorrow and we wind up having fear which prevents us from doing what we are supposed to do today!
Matthew 6:27 NIV says Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?
Matthew 6:34 NIV says that Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Nothing good can ever come out of worrying. In fact, you just need to think for just a while and you will start getting worried. Do what you are supposed to do today and leave the rest to God. Live in the present, not in the past or future!
Our environment plays a major role in how we think and behave. The people we hang out with, what we see on television, social media and newspapers, the books we read influence our character, doctrines, and way of life. Whatever you invest our time and money in; there our heart also is. You are likely to learn the ways of those you spend most of your time with and have the same character as them.
Proverbs 13:20 NIV says Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Surround yourself with people you admire and want to be like. Hang around winners and positive-minded people. There are people you will share your dream and vision with and they will poison and kill it with their words of discouragement and hurt. It’s your dream, not theirs! Just because it didn’t work for someone it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Guard your dream with all you’ve got. Read books written by successful people. Watch shows that build you up. Follow people that inspire you on social media.
Proverbs 22:24 NLT says Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.
Proverbs 15:22 NIV says Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Seek advice from people who are in the same field as yours. We can learn a lot from other people. Seek advice from older people because with age comes experience and wisdom. Know the do’s and don’ts of your professional field from people who are in the same field.
Proverbs 27:17 NIV says As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
If you want to have a happy and successful life you must avoid the 3 C’s mention above which are: Comparing yourself to other people, coveting what other people have and competing with other people. When you compare yourself with others you sell yourself short.
Everybody is created different and unique with their own unique purpose. Embrace your differences because the maker has a purpose for those differences. Do what desire what your neighbour has; wife/husband, car, home, job or anything else. Do not compete with others. You will wear yourself out because there will always be someone better at something than you.
Proverbs 23:4 NLT says Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
Comparison, coveting and competing only leads to discouragement, depression, and discontentment. Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
Your work needs to be founded on Godly principles. Do not be corrupt in your dealings. Do not give or receive bribes. Do not show partiality to people who are in the wrong. Do not show favouritism but treat everyone equally. Do not dump your company’s waste into the neighborhood but follow the law and properly dispose of your waste without polluting the environment. Use proper licensing and follow the laws of the country. Pay your taxes. Simply conduct your business with integrity and God will bless it!
Proverbs 16:11 NLT says The LORD demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.
Proverbs 16:8 CSB says Better a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.
Proverbs 16:3 NIV says Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Seek guidance from the Lord about your business. Pray about your business and seek God’s favor upon your business. You may have all the right ingredients for your business and still fail.
Proverbs 21:30-31 NIV says There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. 31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
Psalm 127: 1-3 NIV says 1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Pray for wisdom from the Lord. Pray for divine connections- that God will connect you with the right people.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT says Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:9-10 NLT says Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
When you earn your salary or profit give 10% or more to the Lord. By this, it shows humility before God your provider and shepherd. You keep the Lord as the center of your business. The Lord loves obedience than sacrifice.
What will really touch his heart is conducting your business with integrity and reverence of God. Pay God first before anything. Do not keep him last in your finances and do not pay tithes last because you may be tempted to spend it. Give voluntary offerings from your profits and salaries to the Lord.
Trust in God as your provider. Do not trust in your riches. Because Proverbs 11:28 NLT says Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
For you to be successful you need to spend your money wisely. When you receive your salary/profit pay God first in tithes and offerings. Pay yourself- save, invest, you can also treat yourself according to your budget and pay others-pay your bills.
Pay your debt. Debt is a limitation. Proverbs 22:7 NLT says that Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
Who you hang around with matters. You should hang out with people you want to become like. You reap what you sow.
Invest your money into profitable ventures. You can invest in mutual funds- money markets, stocks, shares or real estate. You can pay to get professional advice from an expert financial investor.
This is my favourite because I love putting smiles on people’s faces. It feels better to give than to receive. This should be the main essence of working hard; to impact people’s lives. Giving changes us and it pleases God. In fact, research shows that you have a longer lifespan if you are a giver. Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT says Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Some people are rash to spend their hard-earned money. Money should be spent with wisdom. Proverbs 21:17 NLT says that Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
Do not desire things you cannot afford. Work hard and save and pay for your purchases in cash. Avoid using credit cards because you will just wind up in debt. Simply work hard for want you want in your life, avoid shortcuts!
Proverbs 21:25 NIV says The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.
An attitude of gratitude and contentment makes you more aware of God’s goodness, love, and blessings. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Even though you had a bad day you should be thankful to God; it could have been worse! You will always have something to thank God for even at the worst of circumstances. A happy you leads to a more productive you and hence a more successful you!
1 Timothy 6:6 NLT says Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
You need to take care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Exercise and meditation are good for you and pivotal to your success. Developing a healthy lifestyle takes the edge off your life and helps you to manage things rather than allowing them to manage you. It gives you more personal power to deal with stuff.
You can’t feel well and do well if you don’t have good health. You cannot perform if you don’t have good health. Your health is valuable. Develop a health plan- a plan that you will follow because this is the only vehicle you have to carry you through this experience called life. And you want to take good care of it because you love you enough, you care enough about you. That is not easy, it is not easy having a health plan and sticking to it but you are worth it doing it again and again and again.