The Be, Do and Have Principle

“You've got to be before you can do, and do before you can have.” – Zig Ziglar

One of the most powerful principles in the process of growth and development is the realization of who you are (or what you want to be) to determine what you can do and have. Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar and Robert Kiyosaki discuss this principle. But let me explain using time as an example. Often we say things like if “I had more time then I would be able to exercise more or read more.” The only problem with this outlook is that we see the lack of time as an external problem. We see the problem as ‘out there’ and out of our control so therefore we limit our ability to find a solution. According to Stephen Covey, what we have failed to do is focus on our circle of influence, that is, what we can change. Until we look at the solution as being within us first the problem will remain. Change must first occur within us to affect what comes out of us. Yes there are occasions when we genuinely may not have the time or the resources we need, and in such situations we need to discover why. Nevertheless, if we understand that something like exercise can help to make us more alert, more healthy and more productive, we probably would ‘find the time’. So in this scenario we would start by saying something like ‘I am great at time management’.

But what if you’re really not that great at something like time management – why would you say you are? Well, the importance of this lies in the notion that you cannot consistently act in a way that you don’t see yourself. The purpose of such self talk is to bring you out of where you currently are into where you could be – through your words you are creating a picture of yourself in the future. Mohammed Ali revealed: “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was!” Eventually one of three things will happen; either you will begin to see the picture of yourself in what you continue to say and hence your actions will change to match your confession (you will do because of who you are and have because of what you do), you will see inconsistencies and begin to analyze, figure out and take actions on your problems and the qualities that aren’t consistent, or you will give up because you feel so far from the solution. Please don’t choose the last option! Even if you slowly changed the problems in your life it would be a remarkable long term investment.

Also note that this is not only a physical or mental principle; it is also a spiritual principle. Even when Christ calls a man or woman from darkness to light he uses the same method. He says, “You are the light of the world.” or “You are the salt of the earth.” You might not always feel like it, in fact you may not even act like it sometimes. But that doesn’t change your position. Just as prince Harry and Williams are part of the royal family (even if they make mistakes!), so are you. God then says “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Rom 12:2 – that’s what makes the difference.

PS: If you need a starting point, Zig Ziglar has a useful self talk card (it’s free!) that you might want to check out

God bless and Protect

Quote of the week:
“For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is.”- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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