My mentor, Rod Lawrence, is gracious and wise. From the time I started meeting with Rod a little over 2 years ago, he's said three words: Work the plan.

He says this when I share my hopes and dreams with him. He says this to me when I share the challenges of the work I am involved.

At first, I thought it was just something he would say to keep me plowing ahead. But recently I've discovered that these three words truly outline the simplest model of finding your center, no matter what it is you happen to be be working on.

The assumption here is that first, you have a plan, and second, you are willing to work.

No matter what it is. Raising kids takes a plan and it takes work. Finishing school takes a plan and it takes work. Being married, believe it or not, takes a plan and it takes work.

So the first question to you is, what’s your plan?

What measures are you putting in place to help you know whether you are on track? Is it getting up at a specific time? Is it adhering to a specific diet? Is it reading a specific amount of books on whatever topic?

I remember when we were beginning to plant our church, we had a detailed strategic plan that we followed (and we still do). We knew the minimum amount of funds we needed to raise and how many bibles we would need to order.

So what’s your plan to get where you want to go?

As the modern proverb says, “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.”

The final question is, are you ready to put in the work?

I have been there--wanting so bad to accomplish something but not having the discipline to work. Are you complaining about the lack of resources or the lack of opportunities? Are you worried about the challenges you will face? Are you afraid of rejection or competition that will arise? Good. That means there is a healthy fear and respect for whatever it is you want to accomplish.

However, there is only one way to overcome all of this. Work. As Rod would say, “Work the plan.”

Working the plan is the single most important thing about accomplishment.

You should pray, but if you don’t work, those prayers are meaningless. You should prepare, but if you don’t get out of the “paralysis of analysis”, all the preparations are a waste of time. You should rest, but if you like rest more than work, you will fall short of the joy of accomplishing that thing.

Even Jesus worked the plan: I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. John 17:4-5 ESV)

It’s your turn.