I'm sure that most of us have dreamed about accomplishing something but discovered that our goal was not going to be easy. Some individuals, maybe yourself, became so determined to succeed that nothing could prevent them from achieving their vision.
So what causes a person to be so passionate and excited about what they love, and where do we find this ability to focus and the internal drive to persevere even in the face of incredible resistance and seemingly impossible challenges? Can anyone develop a persistent never-give-up attitude? Is this only for certain individuals whose brains are wired a certain way?
Well, we are all unique, but I'm also convinced that each person has the God-given potential to unlock success when the excitement of achieving becomes greater than the fear of trying.
We all want to experience a sense of worth and respect, to grow and make a difference through meaningful work and to live with the joys and peace of contentment.
I want to share two simple phrases that I believe can help us reach our goals and encourage us to keep pressing forward.
First, we must know our source. As a Christian, I believe that we should always acknowledge God as our source and believe he works through us by empowering, enabling and equipping us to succeed for him. Since he is the one who is helping us achieve our mission, it only makes sense that he should receive all the glory for whatever we might accomplish.
When we reject this wisdom and place our confidence in our own abilities, we are puffed up with pride and wrongly take the credit for ourselves. Consider this passage, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths" Proverbs 3:5-6.
Second, we must know our direction. Until you know where you are going, I can promise you will not get there.
When we are surrounded by uncertainty, we can feel discouraged, helpless and alone. Some do not know what they have been called to do, while others might have a desire to do something but feel afraid and overwhelmed at what seems impossible.
So how can we know our purpose and destiny? Whenever we are trying to find something, it pays to know where to look. In the case of our spiritual purpose, seeking God's voice is always our answer. Matthew 7:7 declares, "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
What a wonderful word of confidence that we can freely ask him to reveal our direction. Unfortunately, many suffer from their negative imaginations more than they do from reality.
Courage and faith are like muscles that grow stronger the more we use them. Victory is not developed in pleasure and comfort. Only through trials can we learn and grow in wisdom, and in suffering can our soul be strengthened. A successful person will find a way to lay a confident pathway with the bricks that others throw at them.
Many of you have heard the remarkable sports story about a young girl named Becca Longo. In high school, she was a successful soccer and basketball player, but she also had a desire to play football. The idea to enter into an all-male sport was quite a challenge, but to everyone's amazement and a lot of hard work, she managed to arrange a tryout for her high school team and was accepted solely for her ability to kick.
She was very accurate and scored so many points that she earned the attention of the football coach for Adams State University, a Division I college in Alamosa, Colorado. They offered her a full scholarship, which made her the first female in history to earn a football scholarship at the NCAA Division I level. This was not a publicity stunt but a legitimate situation where the school needed a good kicker to help them win games.
Longo is quoted, "So many people told me I could not play football and I should just stop and give up. Many have asked for advice, and I tell them don't stop just because someone says you cannot do something. No matter how long the odds, no matter how others may criticize and judge, you must always believe!"
William F. Holland Jr. is a minister and chaplain based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Read more at billyhollandministries.com.