Friday, May 10, 2013

Maintaining Focus on What is Important....with TULIP

For some time now I have been planting fresh "T-U-L-I-P" at the beginnings of my days to help me focus on what is important.  TULIP is an acronym for five attitudes: thanksgiving, un-offended, love, identity and purpose.

TULIP is used as a memory aid in another context, but I like it for what I am doing.  You may want to focus on a different set of attitudes; the point is to keep them in front of us every day until they become an unconscious part of life.

I "plant" these in my journal at the beginning of the day.  Writing them each day keeps them fresh in my mind.  Because they are fresh, they continue to transform my mind, and help me remember to act on them during the day.  I become what I focus on.

Here is how I use TULIP:
T-Thanksgiving = I want to stay in a place of thankfulness.  Hard things will happen in every life, and I want to give thanks in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
U-Un-offended = I have chosen to live an un-offended life.  Offense blocks love.  Love is the essence of God and His Kingdom.  Love is more powerful than we can possibly imagine.
L-Love = Jesus commands that those who follow Him love their brothers and sisters. John 13:34-35 It's easy to pay lip service to that command, but I want to pay it feet and hands service, especially since I have seen its power.  Jesus loves everyone.  Why would I do less?  I have begun to say "I love you" to people: mostly behind my eyes, but when the circumstances are right, I say it out loud.
I-Identity = I am a son of the living God, and an heir. Galatians 4:7  If God is the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) and He has made me a son, that makes me a prince.  I chose to walk in and from the princely identity of my sonship.
P-Purpose = My purpose is to worship God with my life.  I have other specific purposes within that; some I know and others are being revealed to me.  I write them out.
This is an actual example from my journal for May 9, 2013:
  • Thanksgiving - Lord Jesus, I am deeply grateful for my Linda.  She's yours really, but you brought us together.  I love her on so many levels. 
  • Un-offended - I will live un-offended today.  I will not allow offense to turn off my love.
  • Love - I will change atmospheres by loving those around me today.  I will say "I love you" to those around me with my heart or my words.
  • Identity - I am a prince of the Kingdom.  I will walk, talk, think and act as one today. I am an embodiment of the love of Jesus.
  • Purpose - My purpose is to worship the King.  I will live my life today as worship.
This works for me.  When the opportunity for offense comes, I often remember my affirmation of living an un-offended life.  More and more I am speaking "I love you" behind my eyes.  Affirming my identity makes me walk taller and modifies my behavior.

How do you keep focus on that which is important to you?

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