How to stop the “silent killer” of your dreams

In Game 4 of the 1987 Finals, Magic Johnson was in a bind. His team was down and he only had seven seconds to act. He got the ball and the clock fell off in five seconds. Kevin McHale moved toward him as Magic went for the basket. He found himself double-teamed when Robert Parish joined McHale. The magic didn’t miss a beat. He ran in and stunned the Celtics with a “junior aerial hook.” He sank into the back of the net with two seconds left. The Lakers won the NBA Finals 4-2.

He had done this before. When asked how he was able to do this, his answer surprised me at the time.

“I’m able to do it, because the night before a big game I picture myself making a big play.”

I’m paraphrasing here, but I’m not too far off.

His statement got me thinking. How can you train your mind to achieve anything? It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or if you’ve failed in the past.

Every day we allow a “silent killer” to stop us from achieving our goals and dreams. These are God-given dreams, sitting in the deepest parts of our hearts. But something stops us. This Silent Killer is made up of four smaller counterparts. Each one does a great job of keeping us from becoming all that God made us to be.

Four triggers that feed the “silent killer”

Trigger #1: Personal defeat

Nothing gets us down like personal defeat. Inside our hearts and minds is a movie projector. Reproduce our biggest mistakes and failures. Every time I was trying to start reaching a goal or a dream, this projector would start replaying my past. Little by little I lost ground. After a while he would gather enough courage and faith to try again. But the vicious circle repeats itself. This can make it take longer than necessary to achieve your dreams.

Trigger #2: Inadequate Approach

One of the worst things you can do is have a false view of yourself. In his book Changes That Heal, Dr. Henry Cloud says that people need to have a proper and healthy view of themselves. Believing that you are not good enough, smart enough, or rich enough to achieve your dreams burdens you with a false view of who you really are. God says in his word that we are wonderfully and terribly made.

Trigger #3: Reasons to fail

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this one! When evaluating a goal or a dream, it was easy for me to think of all kinds of reasons to fail. In the end I achieved much less when I was younger. Making up these reasons cripples your ability to move on. You never give yourself the opportunity to achieve what God has put before you.

Trigger #4: Inadequate Entertainment

Hey, I’m not trying to spoil anyone’s “fun.” I am a big fan of movies and documentaries. I enjoy watching the latest and greatest information and blockbuster movies. But the other night I was watching a documentary about gangs. It’s a show called “Gangland.”

If you watch the show enough times, you start to be afraid of living in certain places. A quiet little voice asked me a question. “Do you really want to feed on fear?”

As a Christian, my answer was obvious. And you? Is there something you are watching, reading or listening to that is feeding you a strong dose of fear? If so, he or they are keeping this “Silent Killer” alive.


Negative thinking is a cold-blooded killer. Every day it silently kills our dreams. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to think that you can’t achieve your goals or dreams? From a young age we are programmed to believe that bad things will happen. For some reason we think we can’t do something when we really can.

The great Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” And in Proverbs 23, David tells us that as a man thinks, so is he.” In the Bible, God goes into great depth about the importance of thinking right. Engaging in negative thinking slows your progress.

For many years I tried to find a way to overcome this type of thinking. Through God’s Word, inspirational books, and CDs, I’ve discovered three easy ways to squash negative thinking one day at a time.

How to crush negative thinking

When I first learned these three steps, it seemed too simple. He had spent a lifetime thinking negatively on most levels. The faith thought spurts were great, but I hadn’t fully understood how negativity works. But now three simple steps were going to solve the problem?

The first day I tried it I was amazed at the results! This is what happened. I quickly took care of and got over any issues. The things that would normally stay on my mind and bother me were extinguished. Three days later my breathing changed. He went from quick breaths to long, steady ones. And believe it or not, the answers to prayers came much faster!

Try these steps and let me know how they work for you.

Step #1: Replace negative thoughts

It says in the Bible to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Every time a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with a positive one. I warn the devil every day that negative thoughts of him are not allowed in my mind. I resist him and the thoughts of him and they both run away. You have a choice about what stays on your mind. You can’t control what goes in, but don’t let negative thoughts live in there. Keep replacing them with positive ones. Example: A negative thought came into my head about me and another person not getting along. I replaced it with a thought of him and me talking and shaking hands. The feelings of bitterness and anger were gone.

Step #2: Imagine your dreams

When I’m having lunch or have a few minutes to myself, I imagine achieving my dreams. My goal is to be a full-time, effective writer. Sometimes I’m sitting on the beach writing a book. In others I am speaking to a large crowd about how God inspired me to write a certain book. And I imagine building something for others, with the profits from my books. The conclusion is the following. Whatever you need to achieve, imagine it every day!

Find a quiet place and dream. Do this for yourself. God uses it to reign in your passion to achieve what He wants for you.

Step #3: Read God’s Word

Every day I read the bible. I don’t, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I certainly don’t read it, because it’s politically correct in the church. It is my spiritual food. Without it I starve spiritually. The Word of God reminds us of who we really are in Christ. And it tells us how much God has in store for our lives. It gives strength, encouragement and truth. Something that is rare in today’s world. Without the Bible, I couldn’t write a word of my mystery books.

The devil knows how powerful the Word of God is. It’s one of the reasons he works so hard for us to ignore him. But don’t take the bait! Take 5-10 minutes each morning and night to read the Word. Before you know it, you will have a lot of spiritual strength to accomplish anything.

Here are some scriptures to get you going. Feel free to memorize them.

Philippians 4:8 Colossians 3:2 Isaiah 26:3 Romans 12:2

Try these three steps for a week or two. Send me an email and let me know how it went. You no longer have to be a prisoner of negative thinking. Use these steps to achieve your goals and achieve your dreams!

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