Friday Feeling: How Ambition & Desire Magnetize Success & Abundance

Just posted on the Your Youniverse Channel on You Tube:

Using ambition and desire pushes a person into actions that create what is wanted. Eager desire, a true love regarding what is wanted, is a powerful force that magnetizes success and all things wished for. Living a better life, acquiring abundance and prosperity and being truly successful requires an eager desire. We each have the remarkable ability to acquire success and whatever we want through focused ambition and desire.

“The backbone of an eager desire to change is discipline.” – Jim Rohn

 

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Five Minutes with the Word: Discipline

Today’s Lenten meditation:

“You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you… . When you do these things, should I be silent?”

(Psalm 50:17,21)

 As teenagers, many of us turned a deaf ear to our parents’ advice, cast­ing their warnings behind us. But when we run into challenges down the road, we often find these pearls of wisdom echoing in our memory! “A person is known by the company he keeps.” “To have a friend, you must be a friend.” “Planned deceit is a lie.” “A stitch in time saves nine.” “Think the best of each person.” “You’re never too busy to say thank you.”

The apostles must have had a sim­ilar experience. Jesus said so many wise things, but not all of them made sense at first. For example, it was only after Easter Sunday that they could possibly understand that Jesus’ death was exactly the medi­cine this sinful world needed. They must have spent hours and hours together recalling the words that each of them remembered and discussing the meaning that was becoming clear as they lived this new way together.

It’s never too late to heed the words of wisdom that echo in our memories! His words never fail, and his mercy toward us is new every morning. There is no deadline to putting his words into action.

Jesus told his disciples: “You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers… . The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but who­ever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:8,11-12). He is always ready to teach us—if we are ready to humble ourselves and listen. He is always ready to bless us—if we are ready to lower ourselves and serve one another.

Spend some time today jot­ting down the sayings you often heard from your parents or a favor­ite teacher. Or maybe look at some of the Bible’s words of wisdom. Think about the ones you have put into practice and found to be true. Then ask the Holy Spirit to show you an area where you can continue to grow and learn. God’s resources are infi­nite; there’s always more you can learn!

Pray: “Lord, I long to learn more and more from you! Bring to mind what I most need to take to heart today.”

Whatever you have on your schedule today, I wish you the discipline to accomplish all of your tasks with a little help from above.

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Water Signs: Countering The Culture of Self-Absorption

 

No mere love story, Water Signs celebrates the values that made America the “last, best hope on Earth.”

In today’s climate of government irresponsibility, where the same “leaders” who helped cause the economic meltdown (e.g. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank vis-à-vis Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are not only absolved of all culpability, but actually permitted to retain their posts; and an increasing number of citizens erroneously believe it’s the president’s job to pay your mortgage and put gas in your tank, it is easy to lose sight of the enduring principles upon which our country was founded. Try as I might, in the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I cannot extract anything remotely resembling a health care, employment or housing mandate on the part of the federal government.

Then again, I am a third-generation offspring of a family lineage in which faith, determination and hard work are the only things you need to find success in a free and democratic nation. My relatives are hardly unique in this regard, as America’s Founding Fathers—and most of yesteryear’s immigrants—shared the same philosophy. Their spirit of self-reliance lives on through my book’s main characters, many of whom are based on real-life people.

Take Ken Lockheart, for example. A handsome young man of 18, he wants more out of his life than his sleepy Jersey Shore town can provide. Unfortunately, Ken’s working- class parents are unable to assist with paying for the formal education he so ardently desires. Moreover, his father misinterprets his son’s ambition as a personal insult, threatened by his industriousness, and enraged that he would dare forge a different path from the one set out for him by his three older brothers.

An optimist by nature and a patriot at heart, Ken defies his father by enlisting in the US Navy, where he serves his country honorably. Upon his return to civilian life, he accepts the employment opportunities he discovers—not because they align with his ultimate career goals—but because they offer a means to meet his financial obligations and develop a reputation of accomplishment and reliability, even as he strives to attain something better.

Although he faces formidable challenges, it never occurs to Ken to be envious of others who don’t share them, or to whine to the government for assistance. Having seen first-hand the brutalities of some foreign regimes in faraway lands, it is enough for him to live in a country where anyone can rise above their circumstances through sheer force of will.

When Ken unexpectedly meets the beautiful Madeline Rose, he not only falls deeply in love with the sweet and frustratingly self-effacing young woman, but also with the successful family from which she hails. In particular, Ken regards renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Rose as the embodiment of notable achievement tempered with affability, humility and sincerity.

Like Ken, Dr. Rose enters life as one of four sons in a blue-collar family, though he faces the added challenge of being a child of immigrants. While the good doctor’s upbringing is filled with love, it is also lacking in the financial resources necessary to pay for college and medical school tuition. But rather than cry about the unfairness of it all, Joseph relies on his own diligence, perseverance and sacrifice, working three jobs while maintaining a stellar academic record. He eventually earns a reputation as a top neurosurgeon in Philadelphia.

Both Ken and Joseph embody the American Dream, a concept that has been completely distorted in modern times, where it is not only commonplace, but completely acceptable to wallow in “victim-hood.”

Personal responsibility, patience and a Higher Power be damned! We want it all and we want it now!

The character of Erin Maloney exemplifies our current culture of self-absorption. Though married to a faithful man and devoted breadwinner who loves her dearly, Erin becomes thoroughly intertwined in the negative aspects of the Boca Raton lifestyle, with its obsessive focus on plastic surgery, designer clothes and extravagant mansions. In a futile attempt to retain her youth by means of endless surgical procedures, she ultimately causes the disintegration of her own family. Of the three transplants to South Florida, she’s the only one who loses sight of her traditional values.

Lastly, in the character of Madeline Rose, we find the internal conflict of desire versus morality, driven by the difficult challenge of honoring one’s moral upbringing while functioning in the contemporary dating world. Exacerbating the situation is her stubborn resistance to seeing herself as the lovely young woman she is, rather than the chubby child and adolescent of her past. Contemporary women’s magazines—none of which seem to reflect her viewpoints as a female and a Christian—only compound the problem by extolling the virtues of casual sex, size-2 figures and artificially enhanced breasts. Yet Maddy stubbornly upholds the high standards that have shaped her very existence.

When presented with a heart-wrenching moral dilemma, she chooses the honorable path, hiding her feelings for Ken so as to avoid hurting another woman. In the process, she inadvertently lays the groundwork for the darkest period of her life. Yet in the end, Maddy emerges victorious by holding firm to her faith in God, nurturing her personal relationships and moving through obstacles with resolve and determination.

Perhaps if America were exclusively populated with citizens like Ken, Joseph and Madeline, economic bailouts, unscrupulous politicians, moral relativism and the looming specter of socialism would be the stuff of horror films, instead of just another day in D.C.

Note: This piece was also published by Smart Girl Nation.

Preview and purchase Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal on Amazon.com.

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