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Your best-life-now-summarypdf
Your best-life-now-summarypdf
Your best-life-now-summarypdf
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Your best-life-now-summarypdf

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  • 1. SUCCESS Points In this book you’ll learn how to: • Discover the power of your thoughts and words • Let go of the past • Find strength through adversity • Choose to be happy Faith Words, Hachette Book Group USA © 2004, Joel Osteen ISBN: 9780446532754 306 pages, $21.99 SUCCESS.com SUCCESS BOOK SUMMARIESPage 1 Don’tWait— Begin living your destiny today. QUICK OVERVIEW In Your Best Life Now, Joel Osteen takes readers through a seven-step process to reaching one’s potential. He begins by addressing the importance of dreaming big (which he refers to as “enlarging your vision” and “raising your level of expectation”), and moves on to explain the value of a healthy self-image, the necessity of a proper mindset, and how-to selectively choose your thoughts and deal with disappointment. He also offers insight on dealing with challenges, the necessity of giving, and choosing to be happy. Osteen’s best-selling book blends his personal experiences with present-day anecdotes and biblical references. The result is an engaging combination of validation, encouragement and step-by-step instruction for living Your Best Life Now. APPLY AND ACHIEVE In the chapter titled “Living with Enthusiasm,” Osteen offers advice on how to find the good in almost every situation. Regardless of discouraging circumstances or challenges, Osteen encourages readers to find things to be grateful for: people, relationships, opportunities and talents. He explains that although much of life is routine, we can stir up a fresh supply enthusiasm within ourselves. It’s not momentous events in our lives that ignite enthusiasm, nor even perfect situations. Rather, enthusiasm springs from choosing to look for grace and blessings in our lives. Making a habit of living with gratitude and searching for good can open your life to positive, life- changing opportunities. While acquiring this habit requires discipline, the rewards soon become evident. OCTOBER 2010 Your Best Life Now 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen
  • 2. Your Best Life Now Page 2 SUCCESS.com SUCCESS BOOK SUMMARIES Have you ever thought that you’ve already peaked, that you’ve reached your limits in life, that you will never be more successful? I’ll never achieve significance, do something meaningful, or enjoy the good things in life that I’ve seen others enjoy. Sad to say, but if you think this way, you’ll be exactly right… unless you are willing to change your thinking. That’s why the first step to living at your full potential is to enlarge your vision. To live your best life now, you must start seeing your dreams coming to pass. You must conceive it and believe it is possible if you ever hope to experience it. To “conceive” it, you must have an image on the inside, of the life you want to live on the outside. The image has to become a part of you, in your thoughts, your conversation, deep down in your subconscious mind, in your actions, in every part of your being. I tell my children all the time, “You’re going to go much farther than Daddy. You have so much potential. You’re going to accomplish great things!” I’m not simply trying to instill pride in our children; I want them to have a big vision. I want them to conceive great possibilities at an early age. And I know they must have it on the inside before God can ever bring it to pass on the outside. My own father accomplished great things in his lifetime. He inspired people all over the world. But I’m not going to be satisfied to do merely what Daddy did. I don’t want to simply hold my ground and maintain. No, I want to press on toward new heights. RAISING YOUR LEVEL OF EXPECTATION An old adage purports that if you want to be successful, you must follow your dreams. While I’d never suggest that anyone should abandon his or her dreams, the truth is, your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, your life will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life. If you expect defeat, failure or mediocrity, your subconscious mind will make sure that you lose, fail or sabotage every attempt to push above average. That’s why one of the key elements to enlarging your vision is raising your level of expectancy. You have to change your thinking before you can ever change your living. It’s important that you program your mind for success. That won’t happen automatically. Each day, you must choose to live with an attitude that expects good things to happen to you. When you get up in the morning, the first thing you should do is set your mind in the right direction. Start your day with faith and expectancy, and then go out anticipating good things. Expect circumstances to change in your favor. Expect people to go out of their way to help you. Expect to be at the right place at the right time. Don’t be surprised if you hear a voice whispering in your mind, You don’t have a chance. This is going to be a lousy day for you. Nothing good ever happens to you. You might as well not even get your hopes up. That way, you won’t be too disappointed. Don’t listen to such lies! You can’t even have faith without hope! Start expecting doors of opportunity to open for you. Expect to excel in your career. Expect to rise above life’s challenges. DEVELOPING A PROSPEROUS MINDSET How we see ourselves will make us or break us. It’s important to understand that you are already equipped with everything you need to live a prosperous life; you’re filled with possibilities, incredible potential, creative ideas and dreams. But just because those things are within you doesn’t mean they will do you any good. You have to start tapping Understand, you are not a cosmic accident, wandering randomly and aimlessly through life.
  • 3. Your Best Life Now Page 3 SUCCESS.com SUCCESS BOOK SUMMARIES into them. In other words, you’ve got to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have what it takes. You were created to excel; you have ability, insight, talent and wisdom. Maybe you have come from a poor environment, or maybe you don’t have a lot of material possessions right now. That’s OK; there are good things ahead for you. But let me caution you; don’t allow that poverty image to become ingrained in you. Don’t grow accustomed to living with less, doing less and being less to the point that you eventually sit back and accept it. No, start looking through eyes of faith, seeing yourself rising to new levels. See yourself prospering, and keep that image in your heart and mind. You may be living in poverty at the moment, but don’t ever let poverty live in you. Too often we become satisfied and complacent, accepting whatever comes our way. “I’ve gone as far as I can go. I’ll never get any more promotions. This is just my lot in life.” That’s not true! Your “lot in life” is to continually increase. Your lot in life is to be an overcomer, to live prosperously in every area. Quit eating the cheese and crackers and step into the banquet hall! CHOOSING THE RIGHT THOUGHTS A war is raging all around you, yet, amazingly, you may not even be aware of it. The battle is not for a piece of land or for natural resources such as gas, oil, gold or water. The prize in this war is much more valuable. The battle is for your mind. To live your life at your full potential, you must discover the power of your thoughts and words. Thoughts determine actions, attitude and self-image. Really, thoughts determine destiny. We must be extremely careful not only about what we ingest through our eyes and ears, but what we think about. If you dwell on depressing thoughts, you will live a depressing life. If you continually gravitate toward negative thoughts, you will gravitate toward negative people, activities, philosophies and lifestyles. Your life will always follow your thoughts. Almost like a magnet, we draw in what we constantly think about. If you’re always thinking positive, happy, joyful thoughts, you’re going to be a positive, happy, joyful person and you will attract other happy, upbeat, positive people. Our thoughts also affect our emotions. We will feel exactly the way we think. You will never be happy unless you first think happy thoughts. Conversely, it’s impossible to remain discouraged unless you first think discouraging thoughts. So much of success or failure in life begins in our minds and is influenced by what we allow ourselves to dwell on. Many don’t realize it, but we can choose our thoughts. Nobody can make us think about something. You decide what you will entertain in your mind. Just because a negative, discouraging thought occurs to you, doesn’t mean you have to “water” it, nurture it, coddle it and help it to grow. Anyone can be temporarily discouraged and depressed. Life is tough, and sometimes it takes its toll on us. We all get knocked down occasionally. But you need not remain down. If you are depressed, you must understand, no one is making you depressed. If you’re unhappy, no one is forcing you to be unhappy. If you’re negative and you have a bad attitude, nobody’s coercing you to be bored, Change the Channel We all know how to use the remote control to change the channels on the TV. If we see something we don’t like, no big deal—we just flip the channel. We need to learn how to mentally change channels when negative images of the past pop in our minds unexpectedly. Unfortunately, when some people see those negative experiences on their minds’ “screens,” instead of quickly changing channels, they pull up a chair and get some popcorn, as though they’re going to watch a good movie. They willingly allow themselves to relive all those hurts and pains. Then they wonder why they are depressed, upset or discouraged. Learn to change the channel. Don’t let your mind or your emotions drag you down into despair. Instead, dwell on the good things in your life.
  • 4. Page 4 SUCCESS.com SUCCESS BOOK SUMMARIES uncooperative, sarcastic or sullen. You are choosing to remain in that condition, and the first step out of that mess is to recognize that the only person who can improve the situation is you! We must take responsibility for our own actions. As long as we keep making excuses and blaming the family tree, our environment, past relationships, our circumstances and attributing blame to anyone or anything, we will never be truly free and emotionally healthy. We must realize that, to a large extent, we can control our own destinies. Your circumstances don’t have you down. Your thoughts about your circumstances have you down. On the other hand, you can be in one of the biggest battles of your life and still be filled with joy and peace and victory—if you simply learn how to choose the right thoughts. It’s time to think about what you’re thinking about. REPROGRAMMING YOUR MENTAL COMPUTER Your mind is similar to a computer. What you program into it dictates how it will function. How foolish it would be to complain, “I hate this computer! It never gives me the right answer; it never does what I want it to do.” Think about it: you can have the most powerful computer in the world, but if you program it with the wrong software or with misinformation, it will never function as the manufacturer intended. Beyond that, we now have a myriad of computer viruses lurking in cyberspace, waiting for an opportunity to destroy your hard drive and the information stored in your computer. Such viruses can get into a perfectly good computer and contaminate the software. Before long, the computer will develop a sluggishness; it will malfunction. You may not be able to get to the programs you need. All too often, you unwittingly pass along the virus to a friend, family member or business associate. Usually these problems occur not because the computer is defective, but because somebody reprogrammed or contaminated good, valuable programs or information within. Similarly, too often we allow negative thoughts, words, and other devious viruses to access our minds, subtly changing our software, or corrupting our information or values. We were created to live abundant lives, to be happy, healthy and whole. But when our thinking becomes contaminated, we make serious mistakes and wrong choices. We go through life with low self-esteem, worries, fears, feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Making matters worse, we pass on our negative attitudes to others. When you recognize these things happening, you must reprogram your computer. You must change your thinking. Understand, you are not defective. But until you get your thinking in line with your owner’s manual, you will never operate to your full potential. We never get to a place where we don’t have to deal with negative, destructive thoughts. So the sooner we learn how to control our thought lives, the better off we will be. Because no matter how positively we live, we all will occasionally be susceptible to discouragement. HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE You may be tempted to think that your best life is still a long way off. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Your best life starts today! The final step to enjoying your best life now is to choose to be happy today! You don’t have to wait for everything to be perfectly straightened out in your family or with your business, or for all your problems to be solved. You don’t have to forgo happiness until you lose weight, break an unhealthy habit or accomplish all your goals. No, you can be happy right where you are, right now. Happiness is a choice. When you get up in the morning, you can choose to be happy and enjoy that day, or you can choose to be unhappy and go around with a sour attitude. It’s up to you. If you make the mistake of allowing your Do you take time to make a difference, to encourage others, to lift their spirits, to make people feel better about themselves?
  • 5. Your Best Life Now SUCCESS.com SUCCESS BOOK SUMMARIESPage 5 circumstances to dictate your happiness, you miss out on abundant life. You may be going through tough times, or you may have major obstacles in your path, all of which give you good reason to be unhappy or upset. But being unhappy won’t change anything for the better. Being negative or sour isn’t going to improve anything either. You might as well choose to be happy and enjoy your life! To enjoy every single day of your life, you must stop fretting about the future. Quit worrying about how everything is going to turn out. Live one day at a time; better yet, make the most of this moment. It’s good to have a big-picture outlook to set goals, to establish budgets and make plans, but if you’re always living in the future, you’re never really enjoying the present the way you’re intended to. You must learn to live one day at a time. By an act of your will, choose to start enjoying your life right now. Life is too short not to enjoy every single day. Learn to enjoy your family, your friends, your health, your work; enjoy everything in your life. Happiness is a decision you make, not an emotion you feel. Certainly there are times in all our lives when bad things happen, or things don’t turn out as we had hoped. But that’s when we must make a decision that we’re going to be happy in spite of our circumstances. It’s extremely important that we know how to live a life of peace. If we’re going to do that, we need to be flexible and willing to make some adjustments. When things happen that would normally bother us, we need to put our foot down and say, “No, I’m not going to let that take my peace. I’m going to rule over my emotions. I’m not going to allow myself to get upset or aggravated. I’m going to choose to be happy.” Forgiveness Sets You Free In 1973, during the middle of an intense Houston Rockets basketball game, a fight broke out at center court. Player Rudy Tomjanovich, rushed over, running at full speed. Just as he got there, a player whipped around and without even looking, swung as hard as he could. Unfortunately, the punch landed right on Rudy’s face. It fractured Rudy’s skull, broke his nose and cheekbones, and nearly killed him. Rudy was sidelined for months. One day, after he had recuperated, a reporter asked him, “Rudy, have you ever forgiven the player that did that to you?” Without hesitating, Rudy said, “Absolutely, I’ve totally forgiven him.” The reporter shook his head. “Come on, Rudy, that guy nearly killed you…. Do you mean to tell me that you don’t have any anger, any hatred or bitterness toward him?” Rudy smiled. “I don’t have any at all.” When the reporter asked how he could possibly forgive the player who’d hurt him so badly, Rudy replied, “I knew if I wanted to move on with my life, I had to let it go. I didn’t do it for him. I did it for me. I did it so I could be free.” A relaxed attitude will not only lengthen your life, it will make it much more enjoyable.
  • 6. Your Best Life Now © 2010 SUCCESS Media. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without prior written permission. Published by SUCCESS Media, 200 Swisher Rd., Lake Dallas, TX 75065, USA. SUCCESS.com. Summarized by the permission of the publisher, FaithWords, Hachette Book Group, USA, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen. © 2004 by Joel Osteen. Page 6 SUCCESS.com SUCCESS BOOK SUMMARIES About the Author Joel Osteen, named one of Barbara Walter’s “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006,” delivers weekly messages heard by the 38,000 attendees of Lakewood Church in Houston. The subsequent broadcast is viewed by an additional 7 million people each week. Osteen hadn’t planned to be a minister, much less an author who reached the top of the New York Times Best-Sellers List. He studied radio and television communications in college, and then happily worked behind the scenes, producing his father’s televised sermons at Lakewood Church for 17 years. He finally accepted his dad’s consistent invitation to preach, and delivered his first sermon in January 1999. Later that week, his dad passed away suddenly. Two weeks later, Joel became senior pastor of Lakewood Church. Within six years, the church moved to a 16,000-seat arena that formerly housed Houston Rockets basketball games. ACTION STEPS Get more out of this SUCCESS Book Summary by putting what you’ve learned into action. Here are a few questions and thoughts to help you get started. 1.Forget the barriers of the past, and dream big. Enlarge your vision. 2.Remember to keep a can-do, positive mindset. When faced with a challenge this week, focus on the solution rather than the problem. 3.Be choosy about the thoughts you focus on. 4.Your past doesn’t determine your future. What one action will you take today to move you toward the life you want? 5.Don’t let anything make you give up. Post pictures and journal about your goals to keep them at the forefront of your mind. 6.Take time to be kind and give to others. Whose life can you improve today? 7.Choose to be happy. Recommended Reading If you enjoyed the summary of Your Best Life Now, check out: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill Above All Else by Chris Widener The Power of Self Talk by Dr. Jim Will About the Author

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