9 Things you simply must do to succeed in love and life By Daniel Shane Tomlinson Student ID: 23260859 Presented to Dr. Steven Brooks In partial fulfillment of the requirements of Introduction to Pastoral Counseling PACO 500 Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary Lynchburg, VA July 20, 2008 Cloud, Henry. 2004. 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. . HEY! My Summation In the book 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life Dr.
Henry Cloud gives a contrasting analysis of those people who embrace certain principles that aid them in excelling at love and life and those who ignore and, in effect, reject those same principles and ultimately experience disappointment. These principles revolve around the character and behavior of people, the propensity to avoid these principles and the result of ignoring these principles. The principles that Dr. Cloud aligns success in love and life are born in catch phrases that lead to defining values.
These values lie in the principles titled dig it up, pull the tooth, play the movie, do something, act like an ant, hate well, don’t play fair be humble and upset the right people. The overarching theme of Dr. Cloud’s message is communicated through the term “Deja vu people” who are described as those who identify the nine contextualized principles in successful circumstances and take action to developing these principles into meaningful attributes that promote and facilitate success within their own life.
The identifiable qualities that these people recognize are not those of people but of patterns of behavior that reveal a path that successful people commonly walked (4). Deja vu people are “those persons who practice those ways and enjoy the success that they bring” (8). Subsequently, Cloud commonly illustrates the duality of those who do not act upon these principles and the resulting consequences thereof. Dr. Cloud’s findings communicate significant messages that stress growing these principles within each person’s life.
Cloud states “growth is not only about getting healthy but about learning ways of living as well” (11). Cloud contends that by growing these individual qualities that aid a person in taking meaning inspiration from life’s successes, difficulties and challenges and translating them into meaningful life experiences that increase their own quality of life. YOU! My Reflection The Lord speaks to me quite bluntly at times. On many occasions, He has addressed me through circumstance on issues that I fail to acknowledge for fear of repercussion.
As I was reading chapter four of 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life I realized that God was revealing something to me through the experience of, what Cloud would consider, a deja vu moment. I am currently in a transition between moving into a new house and selling the old house. Usually, this process is reversed but my family was blessed with finding a home that was at an irresistible location and will allow us to care for my wife’s aging parents. After a considerate amount of prayer, we felt that God’s favor was on this transaction and that we would have to lean on Him during the next few months for provision.
When this type of life experience occurs there are many foreseen and unforeseen issues that surface resulting in a great load of stress. As a result my ministry has suffered, my studies are strained, my work projects are not being attended to properly, and my family is experiencing a high level of stress. I came to the conclusion that I was trying to make co-workers, church leaders, family members and school fit into a box that was too small to contain off of these priorities. I started to question my decision in buying the house.
What was truthfully occurring was that I was blaming myself for the decisions made. Clouds states in Chapter four that “your ability to confront and resolve negative things quickly, directly, lovingly, thoroughly and effectively” will directly impact relationship and quality of life (54). As I read those words, I knew immediately that boundaries had to be set and respected by those in demand of my time. This had to be communicated with love and firmness. I made a list of all the people needed to be involved in understanding these boundaries and called them together.
The “cringe factor” that Dr. Cloud spoke of had already occurred during the buying of the property so there was only one thing left to do which was to communicate what I feared to those that needed to hear it the most (65). I had to pull the tooth. These boundaries have helped my family life cope with the temporary strains, my work life by allowing for deadlines to be pushed back and my ministry due to the lessened burden. In effect, pulling the tooth seemed like a bigger ordeal than what was earlier envisioned.
I had to focus on getting the cheerful heart that God desires all of us to have (67). LOOK! My Investigation As I reflect on the content of what I read in the 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life I am often bewildered by the number of times that I have been faced with the “deja vu” moments that Dr. Cloud spoke of. Many times I have ignored the very thing that I have sought, which is to be successful according to God’s standards and the goals that I have set.
Obviously, there are certain key things that I feel that I can better act upon. This realization came as I was reading chapter four and encountered the statement that “while contexts (of any given circumstance) change, the constant is who we are as people, our character, and how we express that character in the way we live” (106). The bottom line is that the act of “doing something” requires a practice of ownership and responsibility. As Cloud states “God did not put us on the earth to fail to reflect His likeness” (116).
If we, as ministers, are to impact the community, the country and the world then it is imperative that we jump out of the normal current of life’s stream and dive into an alternate current, or perhaps go upstream. This means that we have to be active in attaining, and obtaining, our given goals. For example, my current goal is to achieve a Masters of Divinity but there are many influences that attempt to distract me, mainly work. I am currently managing a European wide initiative that demands frequent trips to Europe, the management of team members and the coordination of events.
Obviously, there are conflicting time demands. If I am to obtain my goal then, perhaps, I need to reevaluate my current standing as a project manager. Dr. Cloud states “Be who God created you to be. Get Active” (116). Success in the corporate world is not in my current goal and, I believe, is not required by God for my life. DO! My Application After reading this book I feel that there are components that exist within my life that need to be re-evaluated and conditioned to aid me in becoming the pastor and minister of God that I have been called to be.
Matthew 6:33 says “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ” This verse has much in common with Dr. Clouds writing. This verse is about priorities and where God stands in your life. I realize that even a seminary student can allow things to come in between myself and God. To mitigate these issues I plan to incorporate the following initiatives within my life. First, I need to evaluate my patterns. Dr.
Cloud states that there are several ways “of behaving and responding to situations that successful people have in common” (5). When faced with life’s challenges I need to be objective about how I respond, and behave, to situations that better reflect God’s image. Second, I need to “pull some teeth”. By this I mean that, by embracing my first initiative, there needs to be action on my part. Dr. Cloud says that “you can find out if something is fixable only by getting busy and fixing it (51).
Shortly put, when I make an evaluation that can improve my relationship with God then I need to act upon it. This may be the biggest challenge because, at times, I succumb to the fear of hurting or disappointing those around me. If I need to evaluate my position at work then I simply need to act upon it. Thirdly, I need to run up the score. This deals specifically with the ministry. God has called me to minister to others the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is apparent that this gift has been given to me by God who has used many people around me. People who succeed in life do not go around settling scores”, they give back better than they are given (176). This entails embracing God’s call and acting upon the gifts given to me by the Holy Spirit. By embracing His call I will, no doubt, impact those that God sets before me. Lastly, I feel that, even though I am a minister of the Lord, I do not seek His name as much as I should. Jesus says that the one who asks, seeks, and knocks will receive. Recently, through prayer, God told me that if I give Him one hour a day He will give me a week of desires.
God is true and His answers are amazing blessings. Still, if my desires are to align themselves with God’s plan then a steady and diligent prayer life is needed, something that I have much room for improvement on. In addition to these initiatives I plan to incorporate the nine rules of achievement that Dr. Cloud records. Those who enter the ministry do not do so with small expectations or goals and I humbly admit that I am one. The inspiration for all motives should be rooted to God’s will and plan. Following Dr. Cloud’s nine steps will be a tool in achieving this success.