Inquire Within

Cheryl Denton author of Among the Ashes, When Hope was Gone, and The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #47

Trust your intuition.
Jack talks in this lesson about the small voice from within that we know as intuition. I prefer to think of intuition as direction from the Holy Spirit. Many people have learned to pay attention to God’s advice and have experienced success. You can, too.

Develop your intuition through meditation.
Jack recommends using meditation to access intuition. What is meditation? It’s the process of clearing our minds and stilling our souls so that we can tap into messages from God. By focusing on our breathing, one word, a phrase, or an image; we can filter out extraneous thoughts so that we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Make time to listen.
Learning to meditate is not difficult, but it takes time. Like any discipline, it requires that we practice it regularly. Yoga, spiritual retreats, and massage therapy are just a few of the ways we can relax deeply so that we can connect with God.

Jack also recommends sitting in nature, listening to inspiring music, praying, or writing in a personal journal. God has so many things he wants to say to us, but we must make time to listen if we are going to benefit from his words.

We may receive messages from God in the form of an audible voice, a sensation, a vision, a dream, words spoken by other people, or phrases from the Bible.

In the movie, Bruce Almighty, the main character asked God for a sign. Immediately, a truck full of road signs forced him off the road. This comical answer to prayer illustrates powerfully that God can show us the direction he wants us to take, provided we’re paying attention.

Ask questions.
God can provide answers to anything we need to know. All we have to do is ask. Some sample questions include:

-Should I take this job?
-How can I achieve my ideal weight?
-How do I set boundaries?
-Should I marry this person?
-When should I sell the house?
-Who can I ask for help?

Write down the answers.
When we ask God questions, it is imperative that we immediately write down his answers. Research indicates that any new idea that is not written down within 37 seconds will never be recalled again.

Jack recommends using a digital voice recorder or 3 x 5 cards to record God’s answers to our most pressing questions. For years, I have kept a journal beside my bed, where I record visions, dreams, and messages from God.

Take immediate action.
If we are going to tap into God’s power, we must take immediate action whenever he gives us an answer. Jack provides a few inspiring examples of people who responded swiftly to God’s directives.

When Jesus called his disciples, they all responded instantly. In Matthew 4:19-20, we see this clearly when Jesus called Peter and Andrew. “Come, follow me, ‘Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”

I have often wondered why these twelve men dropped everything to follow Jesus. I have come to understand that his divine love must have compelled them to trust him completely. I believe that the more we trust God, the more quickly he provides us with ways to accomplish our dreams.

Today’s Challenge
Spend some time today jotting down questions to important problems you are facing. Then, sit quietly and ask God to give you some answers. When they come to you, write them down immediately. Then, take swift action to carry out whatever God has instructed you to do.

I  said yes to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to find out more about me and my books.
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery

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Mastermind Your Way to Success

Cheryl Denton author of Among the Ashes, When Hope was Gone, and The Road to Forgiveness

Left to right: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone Image courtesy

Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #46

Masterminding is the process of meeting with five or six people every week to problem-solve, brainstorm, network, encourage, and motivate each other. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone met regularly at their winter mansions in Fort Myers, Florida to encourage one another.

The secret to the success of masterminding is that God stands at the center of any group where all of the members are focused on the same goals. In Matthew 18:20, God promises, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Accelerate your growth through a mastermind group.
More can be achieved in less time when people work together. When we share new perspectives, knowledge, experiences, and resources with others, we can move beyond our own limited view of the world.

A mastermind group can be made up of people from a single industry or from a variety of professions. The members can focus on business issues, personal issues, or both.

In a mastermind group, everyone must be comfortable enough with each other to tell the truth. By keeping confidences about what is shared in the group, participants can progress rapidly.

Through loving confrontation, group members can help others to grow. Jack Canfield’s partners confronted him about over-committing, selling his services too cheaply, focusing on trivial issues, failing to delegate, and playing it safe. He really appreciated their help and their honesty.

I have been a member of Al-Anon, which is similar to Jack’s mastermind group; but instead of focusing on business, I learned to cope with the alcoholics and other dysfunctional members in my family. Within the confidential safety of Al-Anon, adult children of alcoholics, victims of incest, and survivors of sexual abuse can learn new perspectives, problem-solving skills, networking, encouragement, and motivation.

There are many mastermind groups which are similar to Al-Anon. They help people to cope with a multitude of problems, such as grief, divorce, job loss, step-parenting, and many other life issues.

Organize a mastermind group.
Anyone can organize a mastermind group, even if they haven’t yet achieved their goals. The success of organizing a mastermind group lies in inviting members who are a notch above us. If that seems intimidating, remember that we’re the ones organizing and facilitating the group, so it’s relatively easy for our would-be mentors to get involved. Jack reminds us to keep the group to five or six people so that everyone’s needs get met.

Conduct mastermind meetings for success.
Mastermind meetings should occur once every week or two for 1 to 2 hours. For the first few meetings, one member should familiarize the others with his situation, opportunities, needs, and challenges. In later meetings, each member gets a specified amount of time to update the others, get feedback, and ask for help. One person must be assigned to serve as the timekeeper.

Jack recommends following a set format for proven results:

1) Ask for spritiual guidance by delivering an invocation.
Mastermind meetings should always begin with a request for God’s spirit to surround them and guide them. Members can share this duty, or one person can be assigned to handle it.

2) Share what’s new and good.
Each meeting should begin with a success story. This habit keeps the group focused on the positive.

3) Negotiate for time.
Each member negotiates at the beginning of the meetings for the time needed to address issues. This prevents monopolizers or dominators from driving away other participants.

4) Individuals speak while others listen and then brainstorm solutions.
Discussions can include a variety of topics, such as: “I need to find a new assistant;” or “I’m looking for a psychologist to help me with my child’s behavior problems;” or “I need to learn how to set better boundaries.”

After the person has described their problem, the rest of the group brainstorms possible solutions. The minute the allotted time has been used, the timekeeper states, “Time’s up!” The discussion moves immediately to the next person.

5) Make a commitment to stretch.
Prior to the close of each meeting, the timekeeper should ask each member to state briefly what his next action will be to move himself closer to his goal. This ensures that the group keeps moving forward.

6) End with a moment of gratitude.
All meetings should end with a group prayer to express gratitude. One person can lead it, or each person can contribute.

7) Be accountable.
At the opening of the next meeting, each person should report whether or not he carried out his actions as promised. This is one of the most powerful aspects of mastermind groups, because we’re more likely to carry through on a commitment if someone is expecting results from us.

Find an accountability partner.
If it’s not possible to join a mastermind group, we can follow this same format with an accountability partner. I have done this a number of times, with mixed outcomes.

If the partner we choose is as committed as we are to achieving success, it works well. But if our partner doesn’t listen to us, fails to follow our advice, or breaks commitments; it’s more difficult to help her achieve success. I believe a larger group wields a lot more power than one person does in holding someone accountable.

Get started with a mastermind group now.
For those of you interested in growing a business, you can get information about masterminding through the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, The Executive Committee, and the Young Presidents’ Organization online at,, and

For those looking to address personal issues, look online or in your local newspaper for information about Al-Anon groups, religious organization support groups, parenting associations, or weight-loss meeting places.

Today’s Challenge
Organize your own mastermind group this week or join an organization that will allow you to brainstorm with others who share similar interests. If you can’t join a mastermind group, find an accountability partner through a Stephen Ministry program, therapist, Al-Anon sponsor, or business person who shares similar interests.

I  said yes to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now or check out my web page at
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Hire a Personal Coach

Cheryl Denton author of Among the Ashes, When Hope was Gone, and The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #45

Recognize the need for coaching.
A personal coach can help us clarify our life purpose, set goals, support us as we overcome fears, keep us on track, change outdated behaviors, validate our successes, and expect the best from us. There are many types of coaches available to us, including business coaches, writing coaches, marketing coaches, and personal coaches.

Coaches are great encouragers.
If we have experienced long-term abuse, we can rediscover our strength through people who have the gift of encouragement. My purpose statement stems from Hebrews 3:13: But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today… Throughout my life, I have been encouraged by mature women who understood my need for support and direction.

Make a careful search for a coach.
Jack provides information about The Strategic Coach Program, one which helps entrepreneurs to double their free time while earning more money. Another one he likes is Mike Foster of Tech Coach, a technology and computer coach (

Coaching can be done privately or in small groups. We can expect a coach to help us develop goals, strategies, and a plan of action to help us succeed. The frequency of meetings with coaches varies from once a week to once a month.

We can find coaches by searching the Internet, looking in the phone book, or asking around. Organizations such as Coach U and the International Coach Federation can help us locate a coach.

As a survivor of abuse, I have found excellent encouragement (coaching) through: my minister, my high school guidance counselor, Al-Anon for Adult Children of Alcoholics, psychologists, Stephen Ministers, and my husband. All of these kind souls have helped me to set boundaries, to develop goals to improve myself, to encourage me to stick with my action plan, and to sort out the harmful effects of abuse.

If we have been blessed with excellent coaching, it’s not something we can easily keep to ourselves. I have passed on this gift of encouragement by coaching people for years.

My career as a coach began when my students started approaching me for help. I taught them how to cope within their abusive families and how to respond to their parents who were alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and inmates.

Over time, students from other classrooms sought me out, as did their teachers. Eventually, I was hired by my school district to serve as a consultant to other teachers who were dealing with abused kids in their classrooms.

When my own children became adults, I offered them assistance with money and time management techniques. I have coached friends who needed to improve their organizational and household management skills, and I have emotionally supported women as they fought their way out of abusive marriages.

Today, I write about coaching, teach classes, and meet with individuals to encourage them to thrive, in spite of life’s unexpected hurts. If you would like my help, you may contact me by email at

Today’s Challenge
We all need a coach at some point in our lives. Can you recognize the people who have supported you in the past? In what area of your life do you need encouragement now? Take time today to search for a coach to help you achieve your dreams in the new year. Make this your best year ever!

I  said yes to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now or check out my web page at
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Find a Wing to Climb Under

Cheryl Denton author of Among the Ashes, When Hope was Gone, and The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #44

Successful people constantly ask for advice from mentors who have triumphed over the same hardships in the past. Do you have a mentor?

Determine in advance what you want from a mentor.
Mentors can help us to see possibilities that we can’t. Perhaps they can open doors for us. Or maybe they can refer us to someone else who can help. Sometimes a mentor simply validates what we’re doing. In any case, we need to be specific about what we want them to do for us before we meet them.

I met with my mentor yesterday, with several specific questions regarding ways to protect my health. I had encountered two very abusive people during the holidays–people I would call crazy-makers.

Through prayer, I have overcome considerable pain and a lot of psychological junk in the past few seasons. In just a few days, those crazy-makers undid a lot of the progress I had made. The pain was back, and so was the inner turmoil that I thought I had put behind me.

My mentor was wonderful. She validated my responses to the abusers, praising me for speaking truthfully to them and for naming their crazy-making behaviors accurately. She advised me to avoid these people in the future; neither one of them is helping me to achieve my goal of recovery from illness and abuse. She reminded me that all it takes is one encounter with a crazy-maker to reactivate my PTSD.

I want to say to you, dear reader, that all of the success principles we’ve been discussing are useless if we live or work with people who make us crazy. It’s impossible to be productive and successful when we’re spending all of our time defending ourselves against their attacks. We must leave them behind if we want to live a healthy, peaceful, successful life.

Do your homework.
Everyone could use a mentor to help them with their profession, as well as with their personal pursuits. But where do we find them? We can read our specific industry magazines, look on the Internet, ask others in our profession, or attend seminars.

Most people are afraid to approach a mentor for advice. This is silly. Many well-rounded and experienced people are happy to share their secrets for success. By helping us, they can leave a legacy for the next generation.

So how do we approach a mentor? Here’s a quick script that is similar to the one from The Success Principles:

Hello, Mrs. Smith. My name is Cheryl. We haven’t met yet. I know you’re a busy woman, so I’ll be brief. I own a small life coaching business. Over the years, I’ve watched you building your business into one of the most successful in the country. I’m sure you encountered some challenges when you started out. Well, I’m in those early stages, trying to figure everything out. Mrs. Smith, I would really appreciate it if you would consider being my mentor. All that would mean is spending ten minutes on the phone with me once a month so that I could ask you a few questions. I’d really appreciate it. Would you be open to that?

Most mentors will agree when we put it to them this way. If someone turns us down, we must keep asking until we find a good match.

There is a network of over 10,000 retired business volunteers who offer advice. They work for SCORE, Service Corps of Retired Executives. We can find one of them at

I’ve utilized the services of the Small Business Development Center near me. They’ve been very helpful. I found them by looking at

Take action on your mentor’s advice.
After we find a mentor, we must not waste her time by ignoring what she advised us to do. In my case, if I invited one of the crazy-makers I recently encountered into my home, it would invalidate everything I learned from my mentor.

Be prepared to return the favor.
Whenever possible, we should try to help out our mentors. We can keep them informed about a new trend in our industry or call them with new opportunities for their businesses. One of the best ways to repay the favor is to pay it forward to someone else who needs a mentor. I know that the reason I am so interested in helping others is because so many wonderful women have helped me over the years.

Turn to God for advice, too.
When our mentors are unavailable to us, God is always there to provide wisdom and comfort. Psalm 91:4 is one of my favorite verses: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…

There have been many times in the past when an abuser rattled me so badly, I couldn’t function. I turned to God, with this vision of being like a small bird nestling under the warmth and protection of his wing. He never failed to comfort me and give me the courage to go back out into the world and try again.

Today’s Challenge
We can all use a mentor, either for business advice or life coaching. Figure out today where you need help, then identify someone more experienced than you are to help you reach your goals. Take the initiative to make that phone call and ask for the help you need. Remember, you get what you expect, so think positively about their response!

I  said yes to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Say No to the Good So You Can Say Yes to the Great

Cheryl Denton author of Among the Ashes, When Hope was Gone, and The Road to Forgiveness

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Film Museum

Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #43

Are you constantly chasing after misguided schemes for success, dedicating your time to activities that lead you away from your life’s purpose? When we say yes to anything that takes us in the wrong direction, we’re preventing God from blessing us with something better.

Bypass good opportunities to pursue great ones.
We’ve already learned that watching television, surfing the Internet, rescuing dysfunctional people, and gossiping on the phone are all time-wasting activities. But that’s not exactly the point Jack is trying to make here.

He tells about Sylvester Stallone writing the screenplay for Rocky. Stallone was offered a lot of money for the story, but he wanted more: he insisted on playing the lead role. So he bypassed several good opportunities and found financial backers on his own.

He produced the movie on a measly $1 million budget in just 28 days. Rocky became an instant hit, earning over $225 million in 1976 and winning Stallone Oscars for best picture and best director. By foregoing some good opportunities, Stallone turned his venture into something really great.

What better activity could show up in your life if you were willing to say no to the good?

What do you fear?
In my opinion, a better question to ask would be: Why are you passing up great opportunities to settle for the mediocre? I believe that most people are afraid of failing, afraid of looking foolish, or afraid of the changes that tremendous success might bring. So they play it safe in mundane jobs and volunteer pursuits, all the while preventing great opportunities from surfacing because they keep themselves busy with run-of-the mill work and activities.

God promised to rescue his people and provide them with a land flowing with milk and honey. When they got close to Canaan, the leaders sent spies into the land. They came back carrying a single cluster of grapes that was so huge, two men had to bear the weight of it on a pole between them. It was truly unlike any place they had ever seen.

There was just one problem: the men were terrified of the giants who lived in the land. All but two of them didn’t believe that God would help them conquer the inhabitants. Only Caleb and Joshua trusted God and encouraged the people to take over Canaan. As a result, Caleb and Joshua were the only Israelites out of the entire bunch who ever got to live there. (Numbers 13-14)

Are you afraid of going after your dreams? Or do you have the courage of Joshua and Caleb, who believed God’s promises to bless them?

Clarify your life purpose.
Do you know what God’s purpose is for your life? I know why God sent me to earth. Here’s my purpose statement:

My purpose is to use my gifts to teach underprivileged, abused, and traumatized women new life skills so that they can learn how to thrive.

Since I know what my purpose is, it’s easy to figure out when I should say yes to great opportunities that arise. I can use my gifts of writing, sewing, or success coaching to help others.

A group of women from church asked me to teach them how to make quilts a couple of years ago. I agreed, because it matched my purpose statement. Quilting turned out to be a great opportunity, because the women I teach are growing in their faith and abilities.

Say no to anything that takes you off-track from your purpose.
Someone once asked me to teach Vacation Bible School. I agreed, because they were desperate for someone to work with five-year-olds: my area of expertise at the time. I ended up feeling tired and resentful every day that I worked with those kids. Just because I had a teaching degree didn’t mean that good opportunity was a great one for me.

I have learned to discern when I am off-track. I compare opportunities to my life purpose, and if they aren’t in-sync, I say no. We must all be careful to say no to good opportunities so that we can make time for the great ones.

Get some good advice.
Jack suggests some activities for bypassing the good and pursuing the great. He recommends talking to advisers about the potential in any new pursuit. We can ask questions of people who have traveled the same road before us. They can tell us how much time, money, effort, stress, and commitment will be required.

Test the waters first.
Don’t just jump in with both feet when a new opportunity presents itself, Jack warns. We should run a test, spending a limited amount of time and money. If it’s a new career field, we can take a part-time job for a little while to make sure we like it. If it’s volunteer work, we can offer limited time to a project first to see if it’s what we really should be doing.

Today’s Challenge
Clarify your purpose statement to determine whether or not you’re spending your time chasing after good opportunities or great ones. If you’re headed in the wrong direction, make corrections today to get back on track.

I  said yes to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Just Say No!

Cheryl Denton author speaker Among the Ashes The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #42

Successful people know how and when to say no to things without feeling guilty. Can you? Jack makes some suggestions to help us learn to say no.

Eliminate tasks, requests, and time stealers that don’t have a high payoff.
Quit agreeing to things that make you unhappy or unproductive by creating a ‘stop-doing list.’ This list contains policies that you stick by, no matter what, such as never loaning your car to anyone, not scheduling social events on family night, and not giving money to people who call on the phone.

For victims of abuse, I think the list should include policies, such as: never let him talk disrespectfully to you; never feel guilty for spending money that you earned; never believe that every argument is your fault; never put up with his childish outbursts; never listen to his lame excuses for hurting you; and never lie to family and friends to cover up his behavior.

Consider giving up your cell phone and email.
I agree with Jack that cell phones cause a lot of interruptions, and email includes just as much junk mail as our mailboxes used to. But to give up both cell phone and email in this day and age is ridiculous. A person simply needs to discipline themselves to turn off the computer or their phone when it’s time to work. Calls can be screened, and junk emails can be deleted without being read.

Figure out why it’s so hard to say no.
Jack points out that we find it difficult to say no, because we’ve been programmed to be agreeable. When we were children, saying no bought us a spanking. At work, we could be disciplined for saying no to projects.

As a survivor of abuse, I can tell you that saying no to an abuser is a surefire way to get mistreated even more. The pain we experience from refusing to go along with the abusive person prevents us from saying what we truly want.

I meet women frequently who are terrified to speak up, due to past or current abuse. I call them ‘go-along girls.’ They rarely have an opinion, and if you ask them for a preference, they will undoubtedly shrug and say they don’t care one way or the other. Even though it may be perfectly safe for them to make a choice in some settings, they will always defer to others. Fear has robbed them of their ability to think for themselves. The abuse has turned them into automatons who react to all requests with compliance. When a person’s freedom to choose is shut down, so is their spirit.

One of my favorite quotes, which I keep on my fridge, was written by Dr. Seuss: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. Every time I read these words, I feel empowered. We have as much right as the next person to say what we think. And if we need to tell someone no, we should feel brave enough to say so.

Most abusers are bullies who crumple up like collapsible blow-up Christmas yard decorations if we merely stand up to them. When we are certain that we are safe from further abuse, saying no to our abusers and other boundary-busters is a great way to regain control of our lives.

Use Jack’s excuse.
The next time someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, use Jack’s excuse: “It’s not against you; it’s for me.” For instance, if someone asks you to volunteer on a committee, and it’s not on your list of goals; you can simply say, “I’m saying no to you, not because I’m against what you are trying to do. I’ve been over-committing myself, and I’m trying to carve out some more time for other things. I’m saying no for me.” Most people will understand immediately and will respect you for your strength.

Today’s Challenge
Make a list of things you plan to stop doing. Post the list on your refrigerator or above your computer. Include any request that makes you feel pressured, uncomfortable, or angry. The next time someone makes a request that is on your stop-doing list, remember to tell them that it’s not against them…it’s for you.

I  said yes to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Build a Powerful Support Team and Delegate to Them

Cheryl Denton author of Among the Ashes, When Hope was Gone, and The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #41
According to Jack Canfield, every high achiever has a powerful team of staff members, consultants, vendors, and assistants who do the bulk of the work. This frees the business person to create new sources of income and new opportunities for success. In my opinion, this chapter may be more helpful to high-powered business executives than to the average person.

Practice the Total Focus Process
Jack suggests this exercise for finding the one, two, or three activities that best utilize our core genius, bring us the most money, and produce the greatest level of enjoyment.

1) List every activity that occupies your time: business, personal, and volunteer. Include everything, even small tasks such as making phone calls and photocopying.

2) Choose one, two, or three activities that you do better than most other people. Then, choose the three activities that generate the most income. Focus on the activities that you’re brilliant at and that produce the most income.

3) Create a plan for delegating everything else to other people. This may take a long time, but Jack asserts that if you keep chipping away the things that are mundane, you will create a brilliant career.

I like the idea of delegating some mundane tasks to free up time, but I don’t believe that everything else should be delegated. I get my best plots for writing novels when I’m folding laundry. And Joe loves the physical exertion he gets from pushing the mower around the yard.

I’m not sure that focusing so much time on our core genius is the best plan. I can imagine people becoming very self-centered workaholics who under-appreciate the people who do all of their grunt work.

Seek out key staff members.
Becoming an entrepreneur early in life is one of the hallmarks of the most successful individuals. So, if you’re a business owner, start looking for a dynamic manager who could learn everything that you do. Then, delegate less important tasks to her and concentrate on what you do best.

When I owned a drapery workroom and suddenly found myself paralyzed, I could have used a clone to take over for me. If you’re running a business, please be sure that someone else can do your job. That way, if you become ill or temporarily disabled, she can step in for you so that your business can stay afloat.

If community volunteer work is your business, find others to help you. College interns and local foundations can be very supportive. I trained another quilter a few summers ago to learn my role as team leader. It was very timely, because I was injured in a car accident, and she was able to keep the volunteers working until I could return.

For stay-at-home parents, Jack recommends seeking out a house cleaner, teenage helper, babysitter, or gardener to help. For single parents, he believes this support team is extremely important and should be chosen with great care.

In my opinion, most single parents don’t have the resources to hire others. After my divorce, I recruited my kids! They helped do the yard work, toiled alongside me to rehab an old house, and performed weekly chores. My oldest son chauffeured the younger kids to school events while I worked.

Discover why you need personal advisers.
Everyone needs a powerful team of personal advisers. Jack believes that your team should include a banker, lawyer, accountant, investment counselor, doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, and religious leader. He suggests keeping in touch with these advisers monthly, quarterly, or semiannually.

If a person can afford these advisers’ services, I agree that they can be very helpful. But if their fees send us to the poor house, they won’t do us quite so much good. Bartering with professionals to trade their services for something we can offer may be a good option if we’re strapped for cash.

Trust the team members that you’ve chosen.
Jack recommends off-loading anything and everything that takes you away from focusing on your core genius…even personal projects. He tells about a man who sold his home and delegated the task of leasing a one-bedroom luxury apartment to his assistant. She selected the apartment, hired a moving van, packed the fragile items, supervised the movers, hired a cleaning crew, arranged the furniture, unpacked the boxes, and put everything away. All the while, he was on vacation in Florida.

This idea of delegating so completely makes me squirm. While there are parts of moving that I dislike, such as carrying countless boxes to a third floor apartment, I actually enjoy the satisfaction of turning a vacant room into an inviting retreat.

I think that most of us would be more comfortable asking others to help us, rather than completely delegating anything and everything outside of our core genius to someone else. I believe this sense of needing to work as a team comes from I Corinthians 12.

This chapter in the Bible speaks about Christians as if they are parts of a body: The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body…there should be no division in the body, but its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (I Cor 12:12;25-26)

We weren’t put on earth to do everything by ourselves. I agree with Jack that we need helpers and advisers, but I just don’t think delegating so completely is realistic or well-balanced. Jesus came to earth as a servant to all, and I think we should be willing to roll up our sleeves to do even the most mundane tasks, just as he did.

Our executive minister took time out from his very busy schedule to help our daughter move. By doing so, he created an opportunity to model how a mature Christian man should help others. If he had chosen to sit in his office and simply delegate this work to others, he might have missed God’s purpose for the interactions that arose. Like our minister, I would much rather be a servant leader than an absentee delegator.

Today’s Challenge
Begin today to build a team of helpers and advisers to make your life more manageable. Look to your religious organization and surround yourself with successful people who can help you to become all that God intended you to be.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Redefine Time

Cheryl Denton Among the Ashes Road to Forgiveness writer speaker

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #40

Today, we learn about how Jack Canfield divides his time between work, family, and recreation. He suggests three types of days: Best Results Days, Preparation Days, and Rest and Recreation Days.

Best Results Days
To achieve our best results, we need to spend at least 80% of our time working within our core genius. Remember, our core genius means that we’re working at something we love so much, we hardly feel like charging people for it. On a Best Results Day, we’re achieving the highest payoffs for the amount of time we work.

A Best Results Day for me would be one spent writing, editing, quilting, speaking, or coaching other women. The payoff could be monetary, but it can also be the fulfillment of a dream. Hearing from a reader that I’ve changed her life for the better is a wonderful form of payment for me. Having plenty of money is nice, but serving God’s purpose for my life is even better.

Preparation Days
When we prepare ourselves for more Best Results Days, we are learning a new skill, locating a better resource, training our team, or delegating tasks to others.

Preparation Days for me would include networking with other published authors, taking classes to learn better methods for helping women to thrive, attending a writers’ conference, reading books such as The Success Principles, or attending a quilt show.

Rest and Recreation (R & R) Days
An R & R Day extends from midnight to midnight. It involves absolutely no work-related activity of any kind: no business-related meetings, phone calls, e-mails, text messages, or reading. We are not available to our co-workers, clients, or students.

By setting strict boundaries around our R & R Days, we actually help others to become more self-reliant. If we aren’t there to rescue them when a problem arises, they become more creative and self-confident.

Jack believes that all R & R Days do not include children, either. He suggests that we hire a babysitter, send the kids to visit relatives, or swap child care with neighbors and friends.

I think this is unrealistic. I could never have afforded that much child care, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be away from my children that much. I do believe that parents need some time away from their kids, but not on every single R & R Day of the year.

Jack believes that it should be every person’s goal to have 150 days off every year. By simply taking every weekend off from work, we immediately free up 104 days of rest. Adding another 46 days off in the form of long weekends, holiday weeks, and 2-week vacations brings our total up to 150 days without work.

For most women reading this, I can imagine them rolling their eyes at this one. There’s an old saying: A man can work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done. We may be able to curtail the business-related meetings, phone calls, emails, and reading; but we certainly cannot skip doing housework, cooking, and laundry that often. Our homes would be disaster areas, and the kids would be committing mutiny.

A wise minister’s wife with eight children once told me that she had a rule about rest: no matter how much work was not completed by 7:00 in the evening, it would just have to wait for the next day. She headed for her recliner in the living room, where no children were allowed to disturb her for two hours. She spent the time reading and meditating while her husband put the kids to bed.

The Travel Industry Association of America reported that the average vacation lasted 7.1 days in 1997. By 2001, it was down to 4.1 days. That report is 10 years old. I wonder how many people even take vacations anymore.

After years of overworking, my husband and I have finally learned to take advantage of paid time off. When we work too much, we experience burn-out, and nothing is pleasurable anymore. Taking more R & R Days can actually help us to work more efficiently, because rest helps us to see things more clearly and creatively.

Like many of Jack’s success principles, this one is not new. God gave the Israelites the following command concerning rest: “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord.” (Ex 31:15) If we are in the habit of over-working, we can begin the new year by making sure that we at least rest on the Lord’s day.

Today’s Challenge
Take the following steps to achieve more Best Results Days, Preparation Days, and Rest and Recreation (R & R) Days:

1) Schedule four Preparation Days during the year to increase the productivity of your core genius.
2) Clear your calendar of activities that steal away time from your core genius so that you can focus on working within your life’s purpose. You’ll achieve far more Best Results Days by doing so.
3) Schedule at least four vacations for the year, to include either long weekends or week-long vacations. If you don’t plan them, they won’t happen.

Start today to control your time. You’ll be amazed by the changes in your productivity and happiness.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


Posted in Christian Living, General Entries, Personal Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment