I am about halfway through the reading of an inspiring book by a worthy spiritual mentor, my pastor Jentzen Franklin. I wanted to share a segment that really hit home with me. It is from his chapter "Take Hold of Your Dream" where he lists the stages of how a dream will unfold and how you can take hold of every step.

I Sought It– This is the time in your life when you become focused on a thought, a desire, a revelation. This happened to me after I first heard about how people were making money on the internet, changing their lives, tapping the power of the growth of the web. Since the real estate market had spiraled down so quickly, this captured my attention. I often contemplated, "Why can’t I do that? I can do that. I would like to do that a whole lot better than what I’m doing now. What’s stopping me?"

I Caught It– This is the stage where you begin to talk about it. You begin to explore and investigate. This was the stage when I spent countless hours scouring the internet, searching, reading, pondering, questioning. I started having discussions with people who were already involved with internet marketing. I considered plans, looked at companies, and tossed and turned relentlessly. Jentzen Franklin writes that this is where a lot of people let their dream die. They don’t go to the next step- they don’t push through. Thank God I found Carbon Copy Pro. Now that was truly one of those ‘miracle days’ in my life.

I Bought It is the next stage. It is this stage, he writes, "You decide that you’ve circled the same mountain long enough, and you go in to conquer it." My mountain was the past, the uncertainty, and expectations. I wanted some sort of guarantee – some low risk, sure thing. I’d been kicked around enough times. That’s when I just got aggressive and got on a plane and flew out to Las Vegas for a one-day live event. I met people. I shook hands and looked people in the eye. I talked, listened, looked, analyzed, then listened some more, and I saw it for myself… and I believed, and I bought into it. Yes, I had to buy into this dream, and yes, I have to lay it on the line.

But as Franklin writes, "You decide that your old life is just too boring and you decide to take a risk." Get out of the boat and say I’m going for it. You do whatever you have to do. You start equipping yourself- educating yourself- positioning yourself.

I Sought It stage: This is the sweat equity stage. You become like a maniac on a mission- you can’t think of anything else. He writes that you have that look in your eye. You have the eye of the tiger on the hunt. This was the most dynamic and exciting stage for me. I can see my dream. I can feel it, put words to it, measure it. It’s alive. It’s a driving force that makes waking up a new and fresh experience again. Life is purposefully renewed.

I Got It! You’re there- living your dream! You’ve paid the price and are reaping the rewards. And you’re so happy that you really did it- the feeling of accomplishment. You sleep better. Your life is not crippled with the cancer of regret. Franklin writes,"My worst fear is to be sitting in a rocking chair forty years from now saying what if?" I don’t want to look back on my life and see a bunch of lost, discarded dreams in my wake… a crumpled heap of what ifs. I want to be able to say "I got it." Don’t you?

I Taught it. Now it’s time to teach it, to give it away, to mentor and empower others. Jentzen asks, "Who are you mentoring and who is mentoring you?" Which step are you at in life? Which step would you truly like to be pursuing? Is there a way? Is there someone who would lead you? Is there still time?

Jim Rohn says, "People have to experience one of two pains in life- the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The pain of discipline eventually goes away. The pain of regret never does." The choice is yours.

(Thanks and ‘perspective writing credits’ go to my wife Lynn Anne who has been instrumental in this endeavor with undying support. Without her love and friendship, this journey would have never begun. I love you Baby)