Are You Important?

Out of a hundred people who hear this, one of you will do this and you’re the one who will succeed.

I have a question that I would seriously like you to think about. Are you important? Are you? This is a vital question and it speaks to something we call self-image. It’s popular to believe that your self-image, having a good self-image, a strong self-image, a positive image of yourself is wrong. It’s popular to say that. This is the first line of attack of the enemy, trying to deceive your mind by convincing you that you’re not important.

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Spiritual Foundations

Spiritual Foundations

The Book of Mark, chapter 12, “Then, one of the scribes came and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, asked Jesus, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

Jesus answered him,

1. “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”

2. “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

According to Jesus, if you want to love your neighbor, what do you have to do first?

• If we adopt the mindset, “I’m a worm and everyone else is awesome,” and then, we're told to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must first love ourselves. Not in the sense, “Oh, I guess I'm okay.” God is not contradictory.

• If you worship God as the all-sufficient Creator and Father, then, you're doing no service to the Artist by condemning His art. Now, think about this: you’re doing no service to yourself by calling something beautiful (you), ugly.

• “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” and then, he said, “There is no other commandment greater than these.” That's strong language. No other commandment, not even your favorite one, whatever that might be.

Are you important?

In Romans 12:3, Paul says to the church of Rome, “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”

Now, this verse is often quoted to communicate, “Think poorly of yourself.” But it says, “Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”  He's saying, “Take an honest assessment of yourself and think that.”

Just before that verse, Jesus gives you a plan of self-improvement. Paul says, “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world (the system of thinking that is present in the world today), but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” His will for you is for you to be good and pleasing and perfect, a plan for self-improvement.

Tip of the Week

I’m about ready to abandon Evernote. Evernote, of course, is a note-taking application.

Here’s the thing that’s been bugging me lately. Evernote has its own proprietary way of storing your stuff.

You’re locked in and I think of it as a “roach motel.” Your documents go in, but they never come out.

I think I’m going to replace it with a new note-taking application called Bear, B-E-A-R. Here’s the reason why:

• It uses plain text files to store all your documents.

• It uses markup to do any formatting, so it exports to any other application.

• There’s no translation problem getting into virtually any other application.

• They have a special function to help you export all your notes out of Evernote into Bear.

• You can preserve your tags.

• You can get your notes into plain text files so they’re portable. So, no matter what happens in the future, you future-proof your documents.

Feature Presentation “Are You Important?”

The three reasons to get your self-image healthy and robust:

1. We limit ourselves by the imagery we hold of what we're capable of doing.

2. Our self-image is self-constructed, made of our words, the pictures we hold in our mind and our actions or our physical environment.

3. You grow your life by growing your self-image, not just making it better but making it bigger.

Our self-image is self-constructed. Dr. Denis Waitley says, “Relentless repetitive self-talk is what changes our self-image.” What are you saying to yourself all the time?

The most powerful force in the human psyche is people's need for their words and actions to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.

If we have this belief that we suck and that we're bad, then, we will work very hard to make that consistent in our lives. Our brains want consistency. It all starts with how we see ourselves.

Our self-image is self-constructed made of our words, pictures and actions, our physical environment, and our beliefs, which lead to our values, which lead to our rules, which lead to our actions, which lead us to our destiny. Destiny is a big word that people think is grandiose, all it means is destination, where you're headed.

What do you do with all this super philosophical stuff? You should get out a journal and write this stuff down.

A friend of ours, Dave Lakhani, says, “Writing is the doing part of thinking.”

If you don't write it down and just think it, you haven't really done the work.

There's something about transferring it from your brain through your hands to the paper that solidifies and crystallizes your thinking and gives you a level of understanding and commitment to the ideas that you wouldn't have otherwise.

JOURNAL the answer to these questions:

1. If you had a bigger vision for your life, what would it look like now? Nobody else is going to read this, so go nuts.

2. Construct the person you want to become. Now, I'm going to offend some of my friends who teach goal setting, but don’t worry about specific outcomes. Concern yourself with who you want to become and the values that underpin that image.

3. Grow your self-image intentionally. Write out your plan for how you're going to grow your self-image intentionally.

Perhaps there are things that you want to do, you want to achieve, instead of just thinking about them. This is where people get all screwed up. They think, “Well, I want to travel the world and visit every continent.” They start immediately thinking about, how do I do that? When what they really should be thinking about is, who do I have to become in order to make that happen?

Because if you don't become the person who can achieve that thing, you will never achieve it.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. Is this desire something that sustains my life?

2. Am I trying to win the approval of someone in my life?

3. Am I trying to prove to the world around me that I am successful?

Well, when you're on your deathbed, are you really going to care whether people thought you were successful?

What other people think of you is none of your business.

No, it doesn't matter. It's what you want in life, not what you think other people want you to want in life.

“Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness,” Ayn Rand

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Bear note-writing app

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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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