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Most people have a Plan A for reaching their goals.

It’s a strategy that they’ve devised that they hope will get them closer to their ideal future.

They read it somewhere, they heard about it from someone or they came up with the strategy themselves and they think that they’ve found the magic bullet for success.

But life isn’t always that easy and the first thing that you try doesn’t always work.

So what do you do then?

Do you give up?

Do you adjust your goals to something less ambitious?

Or do you go to Plan B?

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Affirmations are powerful, positive statements that we repeat to encourage and inspire ourselves to greater heights and persevere through challenging situations.

They are often quotes from famous philosophers, writers or successful people and when use repeatedly, they can have a significant impact on our mindsets.  A helpful way to use affirmations is to repeat them three times a day, in the morning, afternoon and evening.  Over time, this entrenches them into your thinking and with such positive statements, that’s a great way to renew your mind.

As someone who prays and reads the bible on a daily basis, I have come across a few amazing affirmations from scripture over the years that I have found extremely helpful and inspirational and I trust that they are relevant for people from all beliefs.

Here are my 10 favourite affirmations from the bible:

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Having a bad day?

It’s better with enthusiasm.

Do you have a meeting that you’re dreading?

It’s better with enthusiasm.

Is your career in a rut?

It’s better with enthusiasm.

Are you struggling to engage your audience?

It’s better with enthusiasm.

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It always seems slightly cruel to me when a young bird is kicked out of its nest and forced to fly for the first time.

The chick always seems hesitant to leave and its first attempts at flapping its wings seem clumsy and ungainly.

In that moment, it’s vulnerable and for a few moments it looks as though it will be unsuccessful.

Then something remarkable happens.

After all of the seemingly futile flapping, the bird launches into the sky.

And in that moment, it transitions from a chick to a bird, from a creature that belongs in a nest to a creature that belongs in the heavens.

We have similar stages in our lives as well.

When we try something new, especially something grand, it seems uncomfortable at first.

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Tom, Dick and Harry grew up in the same area together.

They went to the same school, played in the same football team and had the same aspiration for when they grew up.

They all wanted to own their own coffee shop.

However, Tom didn’t really believe that he could do it.

And Dick couldn’t be bothered getting started.

That left Harry, who was confident enough to find an opportunity and had the initiative and drive to open a coffee shop that became very successful.

Every few weeks, Tom, Dick and Harry would meet at Harry’s coffee shop to catch up.

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Sometimes, we wish that we had more courage to do the things that we know we should.

We pray for it.

We read about it.

We hang around people who have it.

We really, really, really, really want it.

But it doesn’t work that way.

You don’t get courage, you build it.

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I admit it.

There are times when I just want to sleep in, but my kids won’t let me.

Or times when I just want to watch a football game without having to answer a hundred questions.

Or just be able to go to the toilet without someone yelling “Daddy!” and interrupting my fortress of solitude.

There’s no doubt that my kids can be a pain at times, but if that’s all that I focus on, what a miserable person I would become.

They may be an inconvenience sometimes, but being a dad is an enormous privilege as well.

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Last year, Karen and I did some landscaping in our front garden.

Amongst other things, we planted about 10 lavender plants to go alongside our front path.

Everything was going well for the first few months and the front yard looked great until one of them started to go slightly brown, then lose leaves, then just die.


Why did it die?

All of the other plants seem to be flourishing.

They all get the same amount of water, the same time in the sun and sit in the same soil.

I don’t understand why this one plant is dying and perhaps I never will, but as I thought about it, I realised that people aren’t very different from lavender.

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Adrian PetersonOn December 24, 2011, Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson ruptured the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee.

It was a shocking injury that ended his season and normally results in a significant recovery time of over a year.

World-renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews said of such injuries that, “The average NFL player … only about a little over 50 percent are still playing after two years.”

Adrian Peterson didn’t just come back within 8 months, he was a popular and worthy winner of the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2012 season after falling just 9 yards short of breaking the NFL all-time rushing record.

How did he make such a remarkable comeback and why is he such an inspiration?

Peterson himself humbly suggests that genetics played a big part and that may be true to an extent, but I suspect that there was more to it than that.

Here are a few things that we can all learn from such a tremendous athlete, especially if you have ever suffered a setback in life:

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Who smiles first?  You or them?

Who encourages first?

Who starts the conversation first?

Who says sorry first?

Who acts in love first?

Too many times, we wait for the other person to take the lead and we respond to their initiative.

Too often that means that no-one smiles, no-one encourages, no-one starts the conversation, no-one says sorry, no-one acts in love.

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