percent of life is about showing up: Being there for your parents, your
spouse, your children and friends, keeping commitments, working hard.
But what about the remaining 10
percent? How does that factor into success in life?
The first 10 percent is the fuel
that powers the 90.
Showing up is good. But let’s be
honest, showing up doesn’t guarantee success. I can “show up” at Weight
Watcher’s meetings for support and inspiration and never lose a pound.
I can “show up” at my desk to write a book and never complete a page. I
can “show up” for a new relationships but never gain a friend.
The other 10 percent must be
about planning, creating purpose, and charting a course.
The apostle Paul wrote to the
church at Ephesus to make the most of our time because the days are
evil (Eph. 5:16).
What we do with our time does
matter. We will stand before God’s judgment seat and give an account.
When I first started writing, I
worked full time as a software program manager, ministered with my
husband, led worship, and served as vice president of American
Christian Fiction Writers. In my quiet moments, I’d pray and dream up
After a year or so, I went to
the Lord with this prayer: “I can’t stand before You and account for
all the time I’ve spent trying to write. If You have something else for
me to do, show me. If you want me to write, open the door.”
Within a few months, the first
publication door opened and I walked through.
I’m not a detail person. In
fact, my husband tells people I don’t write down what I need to do; I
journal what I did. But I began to organize my time in order to meet my
first deadline while working, ministering, and serving.
I wrote evenings and weekends
and took a couple of days vacation. I planned my word count for each
session and typed until I’d achieved it.
In the early 2000s, I lost
weight by tracking “points” with Weight Watchers Online. If a special
meal event was coming up, I planned for those extra points.
One of my goals is to have a
rich life in God. I want to know Jesus, enjoy Him, and fellowship with
Him. Showing up doesn’t get me there. I can show up for worship
services and prayer meetings, work parties and pot luck and still not
know Him. I have to purpose to know God. I have to plan my time away
with Him and take my thoughts captive.
To achieve this goal, I gave up
television. I don’t go to a lot of movies. My husband and I don’t have
a lot of outside hobbies. But we are satisfied by our pursuit of Jesus.
This is my story. What about
you? What are your goals and dreams? What plans or purpose do you have
in mind to achieve success? Are you living by the tyranny of the
moment? Are you
the 90 percent fuel the 10? Do you go from
drama to drama? If so, you’ll never achieve the calling you feel on
the 10 percent of your life:
1. Start with prayer. Go to God
and ask for a plan. If you don’t have clear direction or vision, ask
Him. First Corinthians 2:9 tells us we can’t even imagine the good
things God has for us.
2. Take back your time. Are you
doing only the things God’s called you to do, or things that please
others? Do you care more what man thinks than God, or your family? Take
a hard look at what you’re doing and remove things from your plate.
3. Give of your time. Maybe
instead of doing too much you do too little. You can’t serve or put
muscle into achieving your goals because you might miss an episode of Lost
or an installment of American Idol. Guess what?
While you’re watching, they’re achieving. You were made for more!
4. Schedule your time. Even if
you’re a nonscheduler like me, you need to at least look at your day in
segments: work, sleep, and family time. Then you can block off time for
writing, creating, studying, praying, exercising, or meeting a friend.
It doesn’t have to be a big start. Thirty minutes. Just start.
5. Just say no. Keep away
distractions. Achieving goals, working toward a dream is hard work.
Some days I welcome distractions because the blank page is painful, but
I must press on or miss my deadline. Learn to embrace the journey from
inspiration to perspiration. You will love the finished product!
You can do it!