DCL 1.1 Instruction | Daniel: A Man Who Demonstrated That Today Matters

“Daniel made up his mind…so he sought permission from the commander… And God granted favour to Daniel…”

Daniel 1:8-9


Daniel was one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. He lived during the Babylonian captivity—one of the most difficult periods of Israel’s history. Somehow he knew success would come from choosing well early in life. He continued to live by those decisions when it wasn’t easy or glamorous. He began good habits as a young man and never turned back. Here are some of the lessons we learn from Daniel:

Video Presentation: Tom Atema, VP of International Ministries and Strategic Partnerships, EQUIP

1. Effective people make right decisions early, and then manage them daily.

Daniel made up his mind he wouldn’t compromise his values even though the king offered him great food and comfort. He made some right choices early in his life and managed those decisions for the rest of his life.

2. Making right choices may go against the trends of popular culture.

Daniel took a stand in the face of what everyone else was doing. His decision seemed like it would put him at a disadvantage with his peers; however, he stuck with it, and his convictions were proven to be right.

3. The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda.

Daniel began living by his values as a young man. He may have begun as a child. Every day he practiced certain decisions he made, such as praying three times a day. He continued doing this even when he did so in civil disobedience. He knew what he stood for and what he wouldn’t stand for.

4. When opportunity arises, it is too late to purpose for it.

Daniel didn’t wait until he had become a famous prophet to begin practicing important decisions. He was preparing for his future when no one was watching. Because his spiritual life was in great shape, he was ready when the king needed him to interpret a dream or provide some wisdom. He was open to scrutiny after just ten days in Babylon.

5. You never change your life until you change something you do daily.

You will become what you are becoming right now. Great accomplishments are the result of a daily routine that compounds over time. Life change happens when habits change, and habits change when you change what you do in your daily agenda.

6. Decisions help us start. Discipline helps us finish.

Daniel made right decisions early on, which helped him begin in the right direction. However, it was his daily discipline that allowed him to follow through on those decisions. The decision is an event. The discipline is a process. Decisions help you to start well. Discipline helps you to finish well.



  • Consider the life and leadership of Daniel. What impresses you most about him?
  • Which of the lessons above are most challenging to you?


Focus On These Twelve Big Decisions

You begin to build a better life by determining to make good decisions, but that alone is not enough. You need to know WHAT decisions to make. We believe there are twelve important areas to focus on in your life:

1. Attitude: Choose and display the right attitudes daily.

2. Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.

3. Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.

4. Family: Communicate with and care for my family daily.

5. Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.

6. Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.

7. Finances: Earn and properly manage money daily.

8. Faith: Deepen and live out my faith daily.

9. Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.

10. Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.

11. Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.

12. Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily.



  • In which of these twelve are you the strongest?
  • Where are you the weakest?

When we were born, the conditions and circumstances around us dictated what happened and when it happened. We were helpless as babies. However, as we grow into adulthood, the chief factor God holds us responsible for are our choices, not our circumstances.


Making the Twelve Big Decisions a Reality in Your Life 

1.  Review the decisions and discover which ones you have already made.

2.  Identify the decisions you still must make.

3.  Choose one of those decisions and determine to make it this week.

4.  Learn the disciplines that go with each decision. (We will do this together throughout the course of this notebook.)

5.  Repeat the process until you’ve mastered each of the daily dozen.




Write out your top three strengths and weaknesses from the list of twelve decisions.  Which are you doing well in and where do you need the most improvement?


Now focus on one of them and try the five steps previously listed about how to make them a reality in your life.


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DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2.