Personal Transformation

In my last blog (What is Success in Life & How is it Obtained?) I explained how lack of self-confidence had contributed to my failure to achieve my first real passion in life: To become a professional footballer. Soon after this a personal transformation took place. But it wasn’t a step change or a random event.

After finishing an apprenticeship as an Instrument Technician with ICI, I was asked if I would like to be part of a chemical plant start-up team in Malaysia. This was a 6-month contract which would entail helping to commission a multi-million pound Granulated Fertiliser, Nitric Acid and Ammonia Storage facility. I didn’t have to think too long to decide that this was an exciting opportunity. It involved both supervision and training of local Malay and Chinese personnel. The 6-month contract was successful and was extended by a further 6-months.

I was then asked to go back for a further 12-months to cover plant maintenance and training of local instrument personnel. So the initial 6-months became a 2-year contract. It was a demanding and responsible job, supervising and training a 12-man team to be Instrument Technicians, who were essential to ensure the smooth running of the complex. I returned to the UK a transformed person, in terms of increased knowledge and confidence gained over the 2-year period. On many occasions the responsibility for solving problems and finding faults on the plant was down to me. Something I learned about myself on the way: I enjoyed the responsibility. I was the Instrument “expert” on site during the second 12 months of my stay. This was a 24/7 plant, manned by process operators on a 3-shift system.

On my return to the UK I went back to College to obtain advanced qualifications in Instrumentation and Control Engineering. Then, just as I was thinking that I had arrived at a very good career position with ICI, the opportunity arose to go to University. This came as a shock. It scared me! Not in my wildest dreams had I considered going to University! I debated whether I was capable of doing it? All of my previous education since leaving school, aged 15, had been part-time, which meant my job did not depend on it. But going to University meant leaving ICI and becoming a full-time student at the age of 27.

This was a greater challenge than going abroad on the Malaysia project. I hate exams and was not at my best in them. At University I would have to pass exams every year for 3-years. It meant I would have to face my fears again: The fear of failure in an area that I regarded as one of my weaknesses. Despite all of this, I decided to go for it. The success I had previously was a significant factor in this decision. So was the fact I was about to marry a beautiful girl I had met on my return from Malaysia. So she came with me to Brighton and the University of Sussex, just 3-months after our wedding.

Jumping ahead a little and missing out some significant steps along the road, I graduated with a Second Class Honours Degree. We returned to our home town and I obtained a middle-management job with the company I had left to go to University. What a transformation, from failed footballer, lacking in confidence, to a graduate engineer. Strangely enough being an engineer was not my personal choice, I just wanted to go as far as Icould with the talent I had. My motivation was not in doubt: It kept me going through fears and challenges.

During the transformational period I received help and guidance from a number of sources. My manager before and during the Malaysia Project showed every confidence in me and was a good guide.The church I belonged to in Malaysia was a verypositive influence during my stay. My Christian faith was an increasingly powerful influence during the whole process. My lovely wife was also both a great support and ever present encouragement to me.

On a number of occasions I had to take steps of faith which took me out of my comfort zone. This was especially so when leaving ICI to go to University.

This was not an over-night success story. There were struggles and lots of hard work. But the process was just as important as the end product, since it developed my character and stickability.In fact it was only as the process unfolded that the end product became clearer. And this was not the end of my life, I was just into my thirties.

Finally, if I hadn’t learned to believe in myself I would never have made it. The fear of failure, at various stages, could have defeated me. But failure is only really failure when you give up. A major factor in learning self-belief was that God, himself believed in me and sustained me throughout the process.

 

Being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't. Margaret Thatcher
The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but God will make us good because he loves us. C S Lewis
Fear is misplaced faith. Kris Vallotton
God has already seen every mistake, every failure and every weakness, and the good news is he's already forgiven you. He is not holding it against you. Joel Osteen
God is not nearly so interested in changing your circumstances as he is in changing you. Joyce Meyer
Pray, and let God worry Martin Luther
Those who never change their mind never change anything. Winston Churchill
What you do (for a living) is not who you are.  Celia Apeagyei-Collins 
 People who write you off when you fail know nothing about history and even less about life. No person ever fully succeeds until they fully fail. Lance Wallnau 
There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.  C S Lewis
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot
You never know how much you really believe anything until it's truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you. C S Lewis
If you know you are loved, faith is easy. It's easy to trust someone you know loves you. David Forster
Every moment that you spend upset, despaired, anguished, angry, afraid or hurt, because of the behaviour of someone else in your life, is a moment in which you have given up control of your life. Unknown
Remember, you do not have to live today by how you feel, nor by what you think about yourself, nor by what someone else thinks about you. The person who created you thinks you are wonderful, and he waits with open arms for you to agree with him. David Forster
Shift gears from doing something in God's presence to simply being in God's presence. Lance Wallnau
Your future doesn't depend on what is in front of you, it depends on who is in you. Lance Wallnau
Did you know that you are utterly and completely loved by God, without doing a single thing, good or bad. David Forster
no one knows how bad they are until they have tried very hard to be good.. C S Lewis
If we are living daily by faith, we will be constantly over our head; Beyond our ability to do this our that. We should all be in that place in some area of our life. If we are not, we will be like an old wineskin; too rigid and inflexible to receive the Lord's new wine. Rick Joyner
For a believer intimacy with God is not an option, it's a necessity. Guidance and direction depend on this intimacy and sensitivity to Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for the latter. Graham Cooke
Jesus reveals the Father to us. He gives us peace and rest. He is not a hard taskmaster. David Forster
The God who creates everything, pursues you. Don't let anyone tell you you're are worth less than that. Louie Giglio
In the kingdom, physical obedience brings spiritual release. Bill Johnson
Don't be surprised if you pray for nearness to God and he sends a trial. Nearness always requires dependence. Desiringgod.org
Our corporate worship doesn't meet a need in God, it meets a need in us. Sam Storms
How you feel is not who you are. Feelings are great servants and terrible masters. Kris Vallotton
There is a lot that is good in your life. Don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggle that you mis the gift of today. Joel Osteen
The enemy commits identity theft when you believe you must earn what God freely gives. Alison Brown
If you agree with your creator and receive what he freely gives, you will have serenity in your identity and confidence in your countenance. David Forster
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. David Forster
A satisfying and exciting life organises around an identity focused on Jesus, not the church..  Graham Cooke
Satan cannot impose his will on anyone, he has to have our agreement.  Graham Cooke
Every day adjust yourself to where God is taking you, that is, toward the prophetic vision he has given you. Lance Wallnau
Real faith is not faith in an outcome (of a particular situation or circumstance), it's faith in a person. David Forster
Be in no doubt that God will redeem the losses and mistakes of your past life. David Forster
God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because there is simply no such thing. C S Lewis
Wealth, women and status; these are the major temptations that can draw a man away from God. Each is morally neutral; yet given the appropriate significance, each can control us. David Forster
The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist. Anon
Fear is the enemy of love. The two cannot exist together. We have to choose daily: Fear or Love. David Forster
You are not saved because of the quality of your faith. You are saved because of the object of your faith; The Redeemer! Tim Keller
Revival goes from the bottom up; Reformation goes from the top down. Therefore reformation is institutional and revival is personal. Lance Wallnau
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
Inner peace is key to experiencing God's presence. Rest is a weapon against the enemy Graham Cooke
Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. G K Chesterton
When you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with yourself and with other people. David Forster
You can believe in Christianity in the same way you believe that the sun has risen; Firstly, because you see it and secondly because by it you see everything else. C S Lewis
A little while ago I became old enough to start believing in fairy tales again. This means there are far better things ahead of me then what I have left behind. C S Lewis
Your unfinished destiny is your most potent argument with death. Graham Cooke
I am not focused on what I am not, I am focused on what he is for me. David Forster
Reaching the Heights