Leadership, Personal Development

Focused Like a Beaver

So what can we learn from this video about a beaver building his house?  We can learn about the Power of Focus!  There are so many good things to do in life – fun things, meaningful things, necessary things – and some of us want to do them all.  However, if we spread ourselves too thin we won’t be able to do any of them effectively.

One principle of success is the Power of Focus.  Find what God is calling you to do at this time (it may change from season to season in your life) and focus on it.  Make it good.  Don’t get too distracted with too many things going on.  It’s better to focus on a few things and try to do them well rather than a lot of things and do them poorly.

I’ve been a missionary in Cambodia for 20 years.  I came to focus on church planting.  With that we discovered that an essential part also includes humanitarian work such as digging wells, building houses for the poor, small businesses, healthcare and some basic agriculture.  We’ve done that and more (www.nlfcambodia.org) and have been successful.  We have more than 150 locations in 13 provinces where we have a Christian witness and are doing Gospel Work as well as Humanitarian Work in almost all of them.  We have what some say is the largest single congregation in Cambodia in Phnom Penh and support 200 children at risk, have men’s and women’s ” Next Step Houses”  and provide education to youth.  We have some of the most sought-after leaders for conferences, crusades and other activities, including hot music bands.  Some people see all the activity that we’re involved in and may think that we’re spread thin.  We are at times, but we are constantly evaluating how each activity contributes to the overall whole and purpose of our mission in Cambodia.  If not, we consider cutting it so we can remain focused.  I tell people that in all that we do there is very little that is not strategic.  It has been well-thought out and ties into our strengths and overall mission.

I encourage you to watch this video about the industrious and focused beaver and evaluate what you’re doing.  Are you focused or scattered?  Are you strategic of haphazard?  Make adjustments when necessary.  Cut activities when necessary.  Make partnerships when necessary.




Leadership, Personal Development

The Power of Choice

(Much of this and the previous posts are a summary of a book by Edwin Cole entitled Treasure.)

In my previous blog post I talked about Levels of Life.  We choose the level of life at which we live.  Even those in desperately poor situations have come across opportunities to make a change – some make the choice to do what is necessary and move into a new level of life, and some, unfortunately – perhaps because of emotional wounds or victim mindsets from abuse – choose to stay at their current level.  Nevertheless, our level of life can be changed by choice.

Edwin Cole says Once you make a decision you become the servant of that choice.i

An overweight man heard the above statement as he was getting ready to eat another slice of pizza.  He lifted the pizza to his face and spoke to it:  ” Pizza, you are under my power of choice and I refuse to be your servant.”  He put the pizza down and ate a piece of fruit instead.  Over the next several months he practiced this principle and lost 60 pounds

Here’s another principle:

A decision creates energy.  Not making a decision (indecision) drains energy.  Choosing not to decide is actually a decision that usually has negative results.

A housewife can’t decide to go to the market with her friend or stay at home and clean the house.  Her indecision leaves her without motivation for either so she drinks coffee and reads the newspaper and doesn’t do anything.  Her indecision took away her energy.

Seth lost his job.  He searched the internet for the kind of job he wanted.  He pursued the company he wanted to work for until he obtained an entry-level job.  He went to school at night to develop skills to rise to new levels in the career he wanted.  His decisions created energy he didn’t know  he had.  If he had done nothing he would have stayed at the level of life that he was at, but because he made a decision to do something he found energy and rose to a new level.

Circumstances that we encounter do not determine our level of life – the decisions we make at those circumstances determine our level of life.  

Each new level we encounter requires more ability, time, faith, energy than we have.  But as we make a choice to move forward, we find the ability, time, faith and energy we need.  The life we  have is the result of decisions we make at each stage and level of life

If you don’t like the life you are living then change your choices.  Through God’s grace and wisdom you can change your circumstances if you are not satisfied to stay at the same level.  The verse from the Bible below is God’s heart for you.  He wants you to succeed and not fail.  He is for you if you seek Him and discover the principles of life He has laid out in the Bible:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

The Book of Proverbs is one of God’s manuals for success in life.  I encourage you to read a chapter each day…slowly…and meditate on how it applies to your life.

Proverbs 1:1-7,

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Many in the world have a Victim Mentality.  They pity themselves and their situation.  It’s true their situation may be desperate.  I live in Cambodia – a very impoverished  country with so many hopeless situations.  However, I’ve seen those in poverty rise out of it because of their choices, determination and faith in God.  Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t rise to a new level of life.  Your choices (even you choice to not make a choice) has consequences.  Refusing to use your power to choose allows others to make a choice for you – government, colleagues, significant others in your life.  Allowing others to make a choice for you allows them to create your future.  Others will always create a future too small for you.  God has more!


Leadership, Personal Development

The Levels of Life

Life is lived at different levels. Some people live life at the lowest level – low education, low income, low relationships, low productivity, low influence and low impact on the world they live in.  Many people are satisfied at the level at which they currently live, but others want more.  They want to move up to a new level – increase their education; increase their income; increase their influence, relationships and impact on the world in which they live.  Here’s an important truth:

Life is lived at different levels; we arrive at each level in stages – a little bit at a time.  At each stage we must choose to move forward or fall back.  To move up to a new level of income, education and influence it will cost you something.  It will cost you discomfort, discipline and giving up something.  As John Maxwell says, ” To go up you have to give up.”

I heard of a man we’ll call Andy, who worked at a low-level position at a company.  He did really well at his work and he was noticed by  his supervisor and recommended for a higher position in a different department of the company.  The higher position meant more money, more skill development and more influence.  Andy took the job but after only a few weeks he asked to be transferred back to his previous position.  The new position was too difficult.  He had to learn new skills and learn how to work effectively and with a team.  He preferred the comfort of his lower position.  When he returned to his previous role his friend Mick was offered the new position.  Andy warned Mick that he would not like the new position as it was stressful and you had to learn a lot of new skills.  However, Mick took the new position and did well.  Eventually he became a manager of that department and earned a high salary with benefits and helped the company move forward toward it’s goals.  One person rejected the work and change necessary to rise to a new level and the other man took the risk, made the sacrifices and worked hard to learn new skills.  One man chose to stay in the comfort of his low level and the other man chose to be uncomfortable for a season and move into a new level – his family benefited from the increased income and the company benefited from the new skilled staff.  One man changed the direction of his descendants, moving them in the direction of success and prosperity.  One man keep his descendants at a lower level of opportunities for their future.

Every person has the opportunity to rise to a new level in life but some are afraid of failure.  Some people don’t want to do the hard work.  Some people don’t want to give up one good thing for something better.  Some people are satisfied with short-term benefits and reject the sacrifice and hard work necessary to achieve long-term benefits.

Passing through the levels of life is a pattern that we all must discover.  If we want to achieve success in life we must pass through these stages and levels.  Often we want to go directly to the top of the next level but we must start at the bottom of the new level and as we develop our capacity, wisdom and  experience we rise to the top of that level.  But we will then face a new level and we will have to  decide if we want to rise to an even newer level where we will have to learn more job and relationship skills.

This is a principle of life:  In order to  improve our level of life we must have courage, faith and be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to rise to that new level.

Personal Development

Books Are Your Best Friend

Some people say, “A dog is a man’s best friend.”  But Edwin Cole in his book, “Treasure”  says that’s not correct, but books are a man’s best friend.

Books can become your greatest resource for success in life because they contain principles and patterns that others have discovered and pass on to you. We receive the result of their hard work and experiences in life.  The habit of reading books helps create the power of concentration and creative thinking.  It provides greater understanding, sharpness of mind and enjoyment of life.

To learn the most valuable principles and patterns of life read what others have discovered for you.  The discovery of printing has been the most valuable discovery of mankind as it allowed people to read for themselves and disseminate information to the masses.  The printing of books and literature has influenced the internet.   It’s essential to learn to read and make a habit of reading in order to rise to new levels of success and become all that God wants us to become.  If we don’t read we are limited and confined.  The normal person stops reading after they finish their schooling, but the above-normal person continues reading and growing throughout their life.

A love for reading should be transmitted from one generation to another.  Parents must create this habit and pass it on to their children.  One of the best things a parent can do is to read to their children.  In the year 1644 the State of Massachusetts (USA) made a law that fathers were responsible to read to their children.  This is pretty strict, but the idea is a good one – fathers should read to their children.  Do not leave it to others to educate your children.  Reading creates a bond between the parent and child.

My friend, watching TV, videos and games is not the answer – reading is much better.  The truth can set you free and books are a way of discovering the truth – starting with the Christian Bible and including other novels, historical and informative books.  Books reveal truth to us, but truth is like soap – we must apply it to be useful.  Act on what you learn.

One principle that you learn from a book can change your life – marriage, business or career.  Make it a habit to read and pass this love for reading and habit on to the next generation.

Personal Development

The Power of Principles

Some people live by their emotions – that is they do whatever their emotions tell them to do : fear, anger, worry, “fight”, or ” flight”.  Some people live by their comfort zones – that is they stay within what their comfortable with and don’t venture out to do something new, difficult, stressful or that stretches them.  They stay within their cultural comfort zone or family traditions.  Some people live by intuition – that is they follow their “gut feeling”.  Sometimes what they do is beyond reason or outside their boundaries, but their experience has proven that these “hunches”  are sometimes from God and sometimes successful.  However, others live by principles.

Principles are basic truths; fundamental laws of the universe, facts of nature.  They are constants – if it happens one time it will happen again.  They have been proven to be true in many, if not every different situation and culture.  Principles work.  They produce results.  Giving 10% of your income to God is a principle – it works.  God rewards you.  It works in the USA, Mexico, Canada and Singapore.  It works every time.  Exercise and be careful about the kinds of food you eat will cause you to loose weight – fat.  This is a principle.  It works if we apply it.

People who seek after principles succeed.  There are principles for a successful family; principles for a successful business.  Principles for successful relationships.  Principles for successful health. When we discover, apply and live by these principles we will find success in that area of life.

Edwin Louis Cole says in his book, ” Treasure” that all of life is based on principles and follows patterns.  Patterns are ways the universe operates.  Seed time and harvest time is a pattern.  You become successful and prosper when you base your life on principles and find patterns that work for you.  The pattern you learn determines the life you live.  The better the pattern the better the life.

Seek out the Principles of Life that others have discovered and applied and look for patterns that others have discovered and follow them yourself.

Personal Development, Uncategorized

A New Blog: Embracing Your Destiny

I’m not the most technologically savy person and thus for some reason I cannot access any of my old Word Press Blogs so I have to start over.  I’ve also changed my primary private email address to charles.edward.mccaul@gmail.com.  You can keep an eye on this site for personal thoughts from me, insights into life issues that I’ve discovered and articles that have encouraged or inspired me which I want to pass on to others in hopes it will be an encouragement to them as well.

My primary Life Message is this:  God has a plan for you!  He has a destiny!  I believe this with all my heart and it comes out in almost everything I do.  I believe that each of us was created for a purpose and our life brings us through mountains and valleys over the years, but if we respond correctly they can turn out for our good and to further us a long on our journey of discovering all that God has for us.  This is my hope and prayer for you – that you will become all that God has called you to become and do all that God has called you to do.  You can put that on my tombstone!

Below are a couple Bible verses that have encouraged me over the years:

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.