Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cloud Nine Mentality

Somebody said, “Your altitude determines your attitude.” Life is a series of scaling different mountains, hills and valleys. There is always that inner desire to reach a height or “cloud nine” no matter what the cost or sacrifice involved. Any student in elementary, high school or college will say, “I will study hard… finish…and graduate.” An employee will declare, “I will work hard to get a promotion.” Even an Olympic athlete running in a 100 meter dash will prepare and practice four years to run just under 10 seconds. Their goal: to stand on the podium with a gold medal around their shoulder. No matter what you will say every achievement even miniscule compared to others deserves being on cloud nine. It is an important aspect of every achievement. It is a crowning moment! It is an invigorating feeling that you’ve accomplished your objective. And that really feels good! What a rush! Hurray!!!!

Here are some indicators of being on cloud nine: you are elated on the results; ecstatic with positive outcome; fascination with personal achievement and enjoys sharing it with others. Don’t worry; you deserve to be on cloud nine because you’ve worked hard for it and you deserve that moment. Enjoy it and congratulate yourself for it even when others do not. But do not forget the God-factor and the others who were with you on your trek. Let me give you some things to consider in order for you to avoid the trap of the “cloud nine” mentality. There should be some underlying guidelines for continuous uphill victories rather than downhill slides. Primarily, it is important to pause and enjoy every “cloud nine” moments. But never to linger too long that you will just stay put and become at ease. Never allow yourself to be pre-occupied with what you have done while saying to yourself, “I have already attained.” And lastly, never stop looking forward for more and bigger challenges. They are still out there waiting for you to conquer.

The Scripture gave us a stern warning of a man who became rich, his “cloud nine” and his reaction towards it found in Luke 12:16-20, “And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."' "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

As mentioned earlier, where you are determines your next move. Where you are determines your attitude and outlook on life. Never lose your edge after reaching a “cloud nine.” When you reach the top, you have to make a decision to stop and stay there or say to yourself, “I will go to the next mountain.” You might be surprised to discover that the mountain you are standing on is only one of the many mountain tops. The Apostle Paul gave a very important principle to follow in this regard. Philippians 3:12-14 states, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” What the Apostle Paul describes is the ultimate experience of “cloud nine” in a very literal sense - Heaven itself!

All past achievements must not become your focus for what you will do next. Let them remind you of past victories and they are that: past victories. Keep them on your shelf to encourage you on next conquest. Therefore, do not lose heart if it seems that you are struggling now to reach your objective. Nobody said it would be easy! But every step you make towards it is a step towards victory and you are just few steps away from your “cloud nine.” What are you waiting for? Keep going.

Let’s talk again!