Tuesday, February 12, 2013


"I (name), take you, (name), to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner, and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family, and friends; I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times, and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and to cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live."

Vow-A solemn promise.

We live in a fantasy driven world.  We are often surrounded by images of luxury cars, mansions on hills, exotic vacation spots, designer bags, fancy clothing, and high-end jewelry.  Most of us enter into our sacred marriage vows with every intention of holding to our commitments.  However, in more cases than not, we run into problems when attempting to balance our vows with our desires to acquire many of the material possessions that we are exposed to on a daily basis.

The purpose of this entry is simply to share just a few tips on steps that we can take in efforts to honor the commitments that we have made to our spouses, and/or families, while also pursuing our dreams. Topics covered in this entry will include: keeping your family in the #1 slot, allowing your family to contribute to your mission, dealing with day-to-day responsibilities, and beginning with the end in mind.

The #1 Slot-Your family

Our ultimate objective in life is to achieve "happiness." Society wants us to believe that "happiness" comes in the form of new cars, big houses, large bank accounts, shopping sprees, sex, drugs, etc. The dictionary defines happiness as- A state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.

Your family, which includes your spouse, your children, your siblings, etc, serves as the GREATEST resource of "HAPPINESS" that you will ever find in this life.  So with this understanding, prior to your ever setting out on a mission to accomplish the life of your DREAMS, you must understand that this vision starts and ends with your family.

Your husband/wife has needs. Each of your children has needs. These needs may include spending quality time with you, having you there as a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble, romantic dates, and/or physical interactions (with your spouse), your attendance to ball games and various sporting events, etc.

As you are creating your list of tasks that must be completed on a daily basis, with regards to the pursuit of your goals, it would also be wise of you to include notes on the things that you will need to do for each of the members within your family. There will obviously be days where you are completely SWAMPED, and unable to attend to the needs of your family, but this should be the EXCEPTION, and not the rule.

So your spouse, is #1. Your spouse can actually make or break the life of your dreams.  A miserable spouse will cause you to be miserable, and when you're miserable, you will not be in a position to perform to the best of your abilities.

So how do you go about pleasing your spouse, while maintaining the focus that will be necessary for the achievement of your goals? This is simply a matter of communication. Communicate with your spouse. Do this early, and often. Ask about his/her goals? Find ways to contribute to his/her passions. Clearly illustrate the point that although you are ALL OUT in pursuit of YOUR OWN goals, you are also tuned in to the needs and desires of your spouse. This takes us to the next tip.

Allowing Your Family To Take Part In Your Mission

Millions of individuals make the mistake on an annual basis of treating their goals and their families as two entirely separate entities. One of the best things that you can do on DAY ONE, as you are setting out in pursuit of a defined goal, is to have a sit down with your spouse, and each member of your family, to not only share your goals and ambitions, but to also seek the input of your family, and to invite each member of your family to take part in your mission, by offering assigned roles.

Ex. John Doe has a goal of becoming a network marketing superstar.  Achieving this goal will enable John Doe to provide a nice lifestyle for his family, fun trips for his kids, romantic outings with his spouse, etc. However, the WORK involved with building the business, will require phone calls, hotel meetings, email letters, sample mailings, etc.

So John organizes a meeting with his wife, and each of his three children, aged 12-15, to share the vision that he has for his business, and what the business will do for his family. John then offers each of the members in his family roles within his business, that will allow the GROUP to work as a TEAM towards the achievement of this dream.

The wife will make the phone calls to invite guests out to the hotel parties. One of the children will send out the emails. A second child will mail out samples. The third and final child, will prepare the presentations at the hotel meetings, and greet the guests as they arrive. When the family signs new customers, and/or business partners, then they will celebrate these accomplishments as a team! When John is honored at national conventions for his performance, then the family will take to the stage as a TEAM to celebrate the mission that they are pursuing TOGETHER as one UNIT!

This "team" arrangement will free up a great deal of time, allowing John to be available to attend sporting events with his kids, to spend quality time talking and hanging out with his wife, and to simply lead a balanced life that is not ENTIRELY consumed with business.

The antithesis of this, would be for John to abandon his wife and kids, and to attempt to spend all of his waking time performing each of these tasks on his own.  This will eat up the time that he has available to spend with his family. His wife will feel neglected. His children will feel neglected, and as a result; John will not be able to perform to the best of his potential, and his business will suffer as a result.

Now in this example, I used network marketing. However, your dream may not involve network marketing. This same principle applies to whatever it is that you're pursuing. DO NOT force your family to sit at a distance feeling isolated, and abandoned, while WATCHING you go after the object (s) of your desires. This takes us to the third tip.

Daily Responsibilities

1 Timothy 5:8-But if any provide not for his/her own, and specially for those of his/her own house, he/she has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Life does not stop when we decide to strike out in pursuit of our dreams. I am unable to count on TWO hands the number of families that I have seen destroyed, because the provider....or the individual who SHOULD have been providing, neglected his/her DAILY responsibilities, while chasing after fanciful dreams.

You have the right to pursue the dream of becoming a rapper. You have the right to pursue the dream of becoming a business owner. You have the right to pursue the dream of becoming an author, a painter, a motivational speaker, etc. HOWEVER, you ALSO have the OBLIGATION of providing for your family, and this obligation must take precedence over the pursuit of your dreams.

In other words, if the pursuit of your dreams prevents you from working a JOB, and your family suffers as a result; then you are OBLIGATED to place your dreams on the back burner, in order to first address the immediate needs of your family. The #1 cause of divorce in America is money, and more importantly, disagreements that take place over money, or the lack thereof.

You should never underestimate the value of a college education. Yes, the ceiling for your earnings with a degree may limit you to $70,000-$100,000 annually, and your dream may involve becoming a millionaire. HOWEVER, $70,000-$100,000 annually will enable you to provide for the needs of  each member within your household, who lives and operates under your direct care, as you pursue you dreams.

As one can imagine, your spouse is much more likely to support your visions of becoming the next John Grisham, if he/she is not eating canned soup and wheat bread for dinners on a nightly basis. Be sure to take care of the "FIRST THINGS FIRST," and this will drastically raise the likelihood of your dreams falling right into place.

"But Winslow, I'm going ALL OUT after my DREAMS, and I don't have time to go to college, or to work a job."  Well, you sacrifice the right to go ALL OUT, and to avoid working a job, the moment that you sign the dotted line as provider of a family! There are exceptions, and if your spouse is in a position were he/she can support the family, as you are pursuing your dreams, then so be it. However, more often than not, this is not the case, and divorce, along with broken families are usually the result for individuals who neglect the responsibilities of handling DAILY obligations.

Begin With The End In Mind

By now, I'm sure that most of you have had the opportunity to read Stephen Covey's book entitled, "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People." In his book, Covey talks about sitting down and gaining an understanding of the desired outcomes, PRIOR to setting out to accomplish various tasks.

So as you're creating your vision board, START with an image of your family. Understand that your life begins and ends with the success or failure of your family. As you're adding each item to your vision board, reflect back on the image of your family, and take into consideration the needs of your family, as well as the sacrifices that will be necessary to acquire or to achieve each of the items on your vision board.

Your vision board is INTENDED to serve as sort of a pathway to success. Every vision board will be slightly different, as most of us will have a different interpretation of what success looks like. However, I can tell you this: IF you should acquire the dream car from your vision board, and the dream house from your vision board, and the dream vacation from your vision board........and lose your spouse, and your children in the process; then you have failed.

So as you're making decisions on a daily basis, take the needs of your family into consideration. Consider the END of a thing, meaning, "How will this decision impact my family 1-5 years from today? Would my spouse be happy with this? Would this place me in a position where I will be unable to be there for my kids, etc?"

Allow your values and your commitments to serve as the foundation for your daily actions.  The #1 commitment that you should reflect upon each and EVERY SINGLE DAY, is the commitment that was made on the day that you married your spouse:

"I (name), take you, (name), to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner, and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family, and friends; I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times, and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and to cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live."

No comments:

Post a Comment