Category Archives: dreams

Dream Again

Dream again

Your Never Too Young or Too Old

Recently, I have had the opportunity to speak frequently on the topic of  “Dream Again.” In these talks I remind people that no dream is too big or too small. I also tell people that, “you are never too young or too old to pursue your dreams.” I have sighted such people as Joan of Arc, Bill Gates and Mark  Zuckerberg on the “too young” side of the spectrum and Harlan (Colonel) Sanders, Mary Kay and Julia Child on the “too old” side of the spectrum.

A couple weeks ago this concept was brought to life in a very real way. I was a guest speaker a great church, that is about two hours from my home church. After speaking on “Dream Again” many people approached me after each service to tell me about their dreams (either unfulfilled or fulfilled). One particular gentlemen really stood out to me.  This gentleman was in his 60’s and spoke with a profuse stutter.  It took him at least three times as long to tell his story as a non-stuttering person would have. His story was this… He had always wanted to sing in the choir because when he sings he doesn’t stutter. He had, had this dream his whole life. he had hung on to it and not let anyone take it from him.  Well last year he was invited to join the church choir, and recently he had the privilege of singing a solo.

As he told his story his face told the story of profound joy. The joy of a passion realized, and a dream fulfilled. What dreams are laying dormant in you? What dreams are you still chasing?  I encourage you to keep going; keep chasing that thing that God has placed in your heart. I encourage you to DREAM AGAIN!

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“For of All Sad Words of Tongue and Pen, the Saddest are These, It Might Have Been…..” – John Greenleaf Whittier

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Handshake is Here

Handshake - What the Great Do that Others Don't

My New book, Handshake – What the Great Do that others Don’t, launches this weekend, April 23rd and 24th. I truly beleive this book will help anyone who is wanting to be successful in their lives.  Handshake is also set up in such a way that it works well for a group study. The book will be available at our Main Street Campus. It will also be available for the order of a hard copy and digitally at the Celera website.  It will soon also be available on Kindle, NOOK, iPad, and Sony Reader.  All proceeds from the book go right back into the Celera ministry.

Here is what others are saying about the book.

“Chris Sonksen’s new book, Handshake, powerfully demonstrates that success is obtainable for anyone who wants it.  Through the real life stories of these inspiring individuals, Chris reveals that success is less about the talent we have and more about the choices we make.  READ IT, LEARN IT, LIVE IT!”

Mark Batterson

Lead Pastor/Founder National Community Church and Best Selling Author

 

“This book can certainly be used as a compass to keep anyone on track to being better.  I never started out to be great or even thinking I could be, but as I read Chris’ book Handshake, I began to realize that doing these same things took me from the cotton fields in Alabama, all the way to a premier in the Rose Bowl.”

Coach Bill Yoast

The man behind the hit movie, “Remember the Titans” 

 

 “This book is for all those who continue to chase after their dreams against-all-odds. Handshake, is the perfect guide for those willing to never lose sight of their quest for greatness.

Rudy Ruettiger, The man behind the TriStar motion picture “RUDY”

 

 “I would encourage everyone to read this inspiring book; especially those who are feeling defeated and hopeless.”

Marlene Owens Rankin, daughter of Jesse Owens,

V.P. and Managing Director

The Jesse Owens Foundation

 

 “These 10 Daily Choices not only separate the good from great, but they are essentials in achieving great things and living life beyond mere good intentions.”

 Stephen Arterburn, founder and chairman of New Life Ministries

 

 “Inspirational stories from an inspirational leader – Chris Sonksen’s Handshake, delivers practical and uplifting insights that can help you increase the quality of your life and productivity of your career.”

Dr. Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor

12 Stone Church

Lawrenceville, GA

 

 “Chris Sonksen re-introduces us to some of the most influential leaders in history, and by dissecting their lives, enables them to mentor us today. You will love the stories and the practical take-aways in each chapter. This book represents your chance to sit down and be coached by the most effective people anywhere. I know you’ll enjoy them as I have.”

 Dr. Tim Elmore, President of GrowingLeaders.com

& former V.P. for John Maxwell’s INJOY

 

“Chris lays out clear principles in this book that can help everyone achieve their full potential.  These are many of the same principles that helped my teammates and I achieve excellence in the Olympic Games as we brought home the Gold.  Chris reminds us that even in everyday life, accomplishing great things is a choice and we can all make it happen.”

Leah O’Brien Amico, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.”

– Ralph Marston

Bill Gates and the power of Vision

Bill Gates Vision

Bill Gates is a man of Vision

Vision is Powerful! This excerpt from my new book, Handshake, highlights the life of Bill Gate and his incredible Vision. He is a man with a highly focused,with a constant vision and an adaptable strategy… What are your thoughts about vision?

Bill Gates and the Choice of Vision

Over the past several years computers have taken the world by storm.  Business people, parents, students and children are using them.  We use them to store information, write letters, keep track of finances, design graphics and send information.  They started out filling entire rooms, but now some can literally fit in the palm of your hand.  And when you think of computers you most likely think of one individual, Bill Gates…

…With a reported fortune of $54 billion, Gates retained the top spot in 2001 Forbes magazine survey of the 400 wealthiest Americans. In 1994, he married Melinda French, a Microsoft employee, and they now reside in a 40,000 square foot home on Lake Washington.  Taking after his mother, Gates claims that he will give away the majority of his fortune through charitable contributions.  His largest contribution came in August of 1999 when he donated $6 billion to his charitable foundation, the largest donation ever made by a living individual.  Recently, it was reported that if Bill Gates wanted to spend his fortune in the next 40 years, he would have to spend $2.74 million every day.  (I sure wish I could help him!)

Bill Gates is a man with vision and the entire world has benefited.  “It is the idea (vision) that unites people in the common effort, not the charisma of the leader,” writes Robert Greenleaf in The Leadership Crisis.  These words could not be truer for Bill Gates.  He is not a charismatic leader but his vision is big and people follow it.

In this chapter you will learn how to create a plan for your vision

Step 1 – Dream without reservation
Step 2 – Put your dreams/vision in writing
Step 3 – Make a plan for your dream/vision
Step 4 – Be committed to do whatever it takes

Your will also learn the step-by step instructions for creating your own personal vision.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“There is something magical about vision.” – Anthony Robbins

Oprah Winfrey and Thinking Big

Oprah - think big

Oprah Winfrey Thinks Big

There is a quote by Daniel H Burnham that states, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.” There is such amazing truth in that statement. The next chapter of Handshake highlights a woman who did just that. She made and continues to make big plans, and she stirs the souls of men and women around the world. In this except, we will take a look at the life of Oprah Winfrey and her choice to think big.

Oprah Winfrey and the Choice of Thinking Big

Oprah’s path that led from her grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi to becoming the first African-American woman billionaire is a story of unwavering focus and the ability to think beyond her circumstances. Oprah Winfrey serves as our hero in this chapter as someone who learned to think big.  When education may have not happened without the hard work of earning a scholarship, she thought big.  When others may have been limited by a painful past, she chose to think big.  Seeing the needs of children and families, she established programs that would make a difference because she decided to think big.

William Arthur Ward claims, “Nothing limits achievements like small thinking; Nothing expands possibilities like unleashed thinking.”  We are limited by our thinking. In the case of Oprah Winfrey, she was faced with multiple issues that could have limited her thinking.  She once said, “Nobody had any clue that my life could be anything but working in some factory or a cotton field in Mississippi.”  Others may have thought that about her, but she refused to accept that way of thinking.

That’s what thinking big will do for you; it will shape your future into an image of success.  It will bring you to a place that you were meant to be.

In this chapter you will learn the rewards of Thinking Big. The benefits include…

1)  Makes dreams possible

2)  Opens opportunities

3)  Gathers the great

4)  Forces teamwork

5)  Gives you influence

6)  Turns circumstances into stepping stones

7)  Unleashes potential

8)  Promotes growth

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“As long as your going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
– Donald Trump

Handshake excerpt – Sally Kristen Ride

Suttle launch

Sally Kristen Ride achieved her dream through persistence and personal development

Here is an excerpt/preview of Chapter 3 of Handshake. Thanks for the comments. Please, keep them coming!

Sally Kristen Ride and the Choice of Personal Development:

In April of 1982, Sally’s years of personal development had a giant pay off when NASA announced that she was selected to be part of the crew for the STS-7, or seventh shuttle flight, on the Challenger space shuttle.

This announcement made history!  Sally Kristen Ride would become the first woman to ever journey into space.  Her years of hard work, late night studying, and pursuit of personal growth had paid off in a way that maybe she had never imagined.  Dr. Ride’s choice to pursue personal development placed her in the history books and opened the door to a journey that most will never experience.

Her six day, two hour flight into space in June of 1983 was a giant success! All that NASA had hoped to accomplish was completed. Although the journey into space had ended in just six short days, the journey of personal growth and development for Sally had just begun…

… Personal development will open doors for you just as it did for Sally Kristen Ride.  It will open the doors of opportunity and allow you to walk through them.  When you realize that learning and growing is a life long journey you will see that along the way opportunity will knock and you will be prepared for it.

IN THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL LEARN THESE BENEFITS OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT:

Personal development…

1.    Prepares you for future opportunities
2.    Keeps you ahead of the game
3.    Creates other avenues for success


Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
– Doug Firebaugh


Handshake excerpt – Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens focus

Jesse Owens chose to be focused

Following is an excerpt from chapter 2 of Handshake.  This chapter is based on the life of Jesse Owens, and his unwavering choice to remain focused on his dreams despite the obstacles thrown in his path.  I am looking forward to your feedback.

Jesse Owens: The Choice of Focus

Three world records shattered.  One tied.  The world was introduced to “Jesse” with the megaphone of monumental focus.  It seemed that making a way to win when there was a world of odds against him became his signature.  Perhaps it was a complex metaphor of his own life; winning against all odds because of a determination birthed from focus.

News of Jesse’s unbelievable performance spread through the country and with the Olympics only a year away, Americans began to pin their hopes on the star from Ohio State.  Jesse continued to train, overcoming obstacles, and defeating odds that would cause most people to quit.

He believed in himself.
He believed in his dream.
He never lost focus.

… Jesse Owens was different.  Jesse chose to be focused and it served him well in his career as an athlete.

People cannot become great in the future if they are not willing to practice focus in the present.  Owens didn’t wake up one day in his mid-twenties and say “I’m going to be a Gold Medalist.”  He decided early on in life that he would use his God-given talent and mix it with self discipline.  This was his edge.

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT FOCUS THAT YOU WILL LEARN FROM JESSE OWENS:

  • Know and Choose What You Want
  • Determine What It Will Take To Get There
  • Think “Can” not “Cannot”
  • Find a Focus Coach
  • When Knocked Down, Get Up


Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.
– Tony Robbins

What is Higher Ground?

The view is better from the top

Excerpt from: In Search of Higher Ground

What is Higher Ground? It is anything good and positive that you desire for your life. It may mean financial freedom, early retirement or the ownership of personal property. It could mean the beginning of a business, that up to this point, has only been a dream. Higher Ground may be the corporate ladder that is waiting for you to climb, the book that is waiting to be written, the idea that is waiting to become reality. It could mean a better way of life, a healthier marriage or successful parenting. It may be freedom from an addiction or an overcoming of a past hurt that continues to damage the future. Simply put, Higher Ground is the place where you live out your dreams. Higher Ground is different for everyone…its path is different, the obstacles vary, and the surroundings rarely look the same. Although it varies in size, shape and color, what it takes to get to Higher Ground is most often the same. Dreams, goals, taking risks, letting go of fear and insecurity, good character and mental attitude, the right motives, and accountability, are all things you must place in your backpack as you journey up the mountain to this place called Higher Ground.

Many years ago, I was invited to go on a long backpacking trip. Those who know me well, know that I am not much of an outdoors person. My idea of the outdoors is lying by the pool at the Marriott. To be a part of this backpacking trip, I was told I would have to attend an orientation meeting in which we would receive instruction on what to bring and how to prepare. Beyond my better judgment, I attended this meeting and received the information. The guide for the trip had divided up the list of who would bring what. Each person was assigned various tasks and duties to help make the trip a success. I purchased 21 of my assigned items, and in a few short days I found myself on a week long backpacking trip that I will never forget. We drove all night to the mountain we were to climb, until finally we arrived. With very little sleep we began to climb the mountain. For the next 8 hours all we did was climb. The guide and the few who had been on a trip like this were doing fine. Myself and the others who had never been on a backpacking adventure felt like we were dying. After hours of climbing and complaining we finally arrived at a sight where we unpacked, got cleaned up, and had an opportunity to eat. Even though it wasn’t very comfortable, we slept like babies through the night. The next morning however, the guide woke us up and told us it was time to pack up and continue the climb up the mountain! I honestly thought that we had arrived the day before, that we were not going to climb anymore. I tried to reason with the guide, I asked him what is the difference between staying here and climbing higher? The trees look the same, the ground looks the same, what could possibly be different by climbing the mountain any higher? After much pleading, complaining, whining, and anything else I could do to change his mind, we moved on. We continued to climb all day until we arrived at our final destination, just about sunset. I was so tired that after eating and getting cleaned up, I went immediately to sleep. The next morning I awoke and realized that we were at the top of the mountain.The guide was absolutely right. The trees looked different, the air was cleaner, the surroundings only something I had seen on a postcard.

I realized something that morning that I will never forget, that the view is always better at the top of the mountain. Somehow you forget all the work that it took to get you there, when you finally arrive at Higher Ground! The first characteristic to reaching Higher Ground is found in this story of my mountain top experience. You see, the difference between me and the guide, was that he had been to the top and I had not. He had a picture in his mind of what it looked like and I had never seen it. The mountain top was a place he loved, a passion he had, a dream that so captured his thoughts, that fatigue would not and could not stand in the way. You see, that’s the power of a dream. It becomes your compass, your passion, your love, your guide and your thoughts. Dreams become a sense of purpose and direction for where your life is headed. Without a dream, life becomes something to be endured, not enjoyed. Life becomes something where we get by, but not ahead. The first step towards Higher Ground is knowing your dream and being committed to it.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”

– Tom Bradley