What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

It’s the end of the year! At the same time, it is the time to look back the year that was and look forward to the year ahead of us. The feeling of a new year is always good; the resolutions, the new beginnings, and the “sense of change” around us.

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Some of you may want to lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, stick to a budget, stop smoking, save for the future, and spend more time with family.

If you haven’t had time to ask questions to yourself, with only 1 day remaining until the last day of 2013, it is now the time to ask yourself “what you should change in the following year”. Even though a lot of us know what we want to change and why we want to change, these are different from knowing when to change no matter what the cost is.

 Then, does the Bible say anything about making New Year’s resolutions?

The answer is NO—the bible doesn’t specifically mention about making resolutions at the beginning of each year. However, it does urge us to regularly check our daily lives and to seek God’s help to become a better person every day (Lamentations 3:40).

Have you ever questioned yourself why sometimes it is really hard to keep the resolutions you made at the beginning of a year? One possible reason could be that sometimes our resolutions were not realistic—we had no clear New Year plan for reaching them. In addition, they may be self-centered, totally ignoring whether or not they are GOD’s will.

However, the main reason why we fail to keep our resolutions is because we always try to reach them without God’s help, but with our own strengths instead. As a human being, we are physically and spiritually weak and the Bible says “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).

Before we start the New Year, 2014, Pray to God and ask Him to show you what He wants in your life during this upcoming year. With the help of Holy Spirit, you will be able to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

– T.S

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What does it take to become an Achiever?

In statistics, normal distribution is an important phenomena applied to many real-life situations in the field of natural and social sciences. The feature of the normal distribution is that it is symmetrical in shape about its mean, which is well-known as a “bell curve.”

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The peak in the bell curve represents the mean (average) of the population, but in simple terms it is the highest number of occurrences of values, which is the mode. The important thing we have to notice is that the curve is concentrated in the center and decreases on either side. This is significant in that the data has less tendency to produce extreme values, called “outliers,” as compared to the values fall under the peak in the middle. Most individuals in a population fall under this region of the bell curve and standard deviation lets scientists estimate the extent of the deviation from the mean. In a normally distributed curve, there is a relationship between the population mean (µ) and the standard deviation as follow;

  • 34.13% of the area under the curve is contained between the mean and a score that is equal to µ + 1σ.
  • 13.59% of the area is contained between a score equal to µ + 1σ and a score of µ + 2σ.
  • 2.15% of the area is contained between scores of µ + 2σ and µ + 3σ.
  • 0.13% of the area exists beyond µ + 3σ.

If you add up all these values above, this accounts for 50% of the area and another 50% accounts for the area that is in opposite side of the bell curve (since it’s symmetrical in shape). The term “outlier” is a phenomena that is numerically distant from the mean and it is believed to occur due to either of measurement error or experiment error.

However, the outliers are those who succeed in the real world and one may think that only a few selected individuals can succeed in their fields while rests fall under the “peak” of the bell curve. However, the Bible says nothing is impossible when we do all to the glory of God. Let’s look at some verses from the Bible.

1 Corinthians 10:31: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Mark 9:23: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

1 Corinthians 10:13: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Believe that you can succeed your life with the power of prayer! If you do everything in your life for the glory of God, He will show you the path and also make a way to escape if you may not be able to bear it.

T.S.

References:

http://www.concordspedpac.org/Bell-curve-ss.htm

The Gift to Change

There are several distinctive qualities of mankind that distinguishes humans from animals. Unfortunately, I don’t know the full list but I believe one of them is blushing. The reason why blushing is a characteristic only belonging to humans is because it represents the conscious awareness of other intellectual beings around us, who may have encountered our embarrassing moments. That is why an adult will not necessarily feel embarrassed for something they wish to hide if they had been in the same space with an infant. The infant is not intellectually capable of noticing and recognizing the observance as socially humiliating, and the adult knows this and will not blush. Animals can’t process that recognition or the ability to feel embarrassed.

Another one is mentioned by an American psychologist named Rollo May. Here I quote him:

This consciousness of self, this capacity to see one’s self as though from the outside, is the distinctive characteristic of man. A friend of mine has a dog who waits at his studio door all morning and, when anybody comes to that door, he jumps up and barks, wanting to play. My friend holds that the dog is saying in his barking: “Here is a dog who has been waiting all morning for someone to come to play with him, are you the one?” This is a nice sentiment, and all of us who like dogs enjoy projecting such cozy thoughts into their heads. But actually this is exactly what the dog cannot say. He can show that he wants to play and entice you in to throwing his ball for him, but he cannot stand outside himself and see himself as a dog doing these things. He is not blessed with the consciousness of self.

An animal is not blessed with the consciousness of self, which is the ability to see yourself outside yourself. Isn’t it amazing how you can imagine yourself as though you have a mental mirror by which you can see your reflection quite clearly? This ability is seen very early on. Children imagine a great deal, and their ability to imagine scenarios of which they play a mental part is an example of being able to detach yourself from yourself. Also, we see little children speaking in third person. “Sally wants food. Sally is hungry. Sally wants to play!”

The idea of self, the recognition of it is quite phenomenal.

However, for argument’s sake, let’s ask why has God gifted man and only man this distinctive characteristic? What was its purpose? And why does Rollo May call it a “blessing”?

All throughout history, we come across great thinkers who have captured a hint of some universal truth and have awaken many a dead souls with their profound truths. What had elevated them above the ordinary thinkers was the ability to see the obvious in some creative light that had developed into an undeniable reality many people took for granted. It is as though their experience of an epiphany had drew the curtains away from their eyes and have allowed them to finally, see. All those who had been blind are also taught to see, and that truth adds a cut, an angle to their world knowledge as well.

Many of these great thinkers had one thing in common and it was the realization that the more they discovered, the more they realized they did not, in fact, know anything. It boiled down to the hard core truth that ultimately we, humans, do not know enough and that the quintessential task of man is to “Know Thyself” (Socrates).

Just like the phenomena of the world around us, we can also be blind to the things that happen within us. Our mentality and emotional capacity are worlds of themselves, equally complicated and intricate in their workings. It is easy to get lost in our own complications, especially when confronting a hardship of reality.

God provides man the ability to see himself outside himself so that he may see in his due time, where he has ended up and where he may lead. Not many people can view themselves objectively, especially in moments of hardships. However, there is nothing as important as believing in the power of change at moments when you see no other way out.

“The Gift to Change” is about never giving up and believing that there is hope because things can change, for the better. This hope is what gives people the power to change their environment, and not to simply accept what they are in. Humans adapt to their environment by creating or recreating their environment in different formats. The physical survival adaptation isn’t the only thing humans can do. They can also change their world, their environment by their mind frame and how they choose to process the flow of observance around them.

TAC encourages people all over the world to believe that man is gifted with consciousness of self so that he may, in his dark and blind hours, see himself in a new light and believe that at the dead end of a road, it is not the end. And that is because man can pave a new road for himself and for others to follow, and like Leo Tolstoy once said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”, begin by creating a better world by creating a better self.

Youtube Channel

TAC is a faith-based non-profit organization established in 2003, focusing on nurturing future Christian achievers and leaders to take on the role of inspiring people to use their God-given talents and skills for the glory of God. Through TAC’s Youtube channel, we hope to reach out to a greater audience and share our thoughts on life, God, and success.

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