2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
It’s something that is often talked about, but many rarely ever try to achieve. But what if we do try? What could happen to our lives and the lives of those we impact?
What Is Great?
Let’s look at a definition of the word great and what it means to me. The dictionary definition of great is “notable; remarkable; exceptionally outstanding.” From my perspective I would add at the end of the definition “consistently over a sustained period.”
Being great doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to become great, then it takes a persistent commitment to excel day in and day out to remain great. The people who aspire to become great know it’s a daily challenge they look forward to mastering.
It’s tough for most of us to just get by on a daily basis, let alone strive to be great. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. Most of what stops us from doing more is what we believe is possible.
In the movie Facing The Giants by the Kendrick brothers, there’s a scene where the coach is running a drill. He knows the players can give more, so he has the player the team respects the most do the drill again, this time blindfolded. When they finish the player realizes he’s done twice as much as he thought was possible. This changes what the team believes is possible.
If we are going to be great, we have to harness the power of what we think is possible and use it to our advantage. Henry Ford said it best, “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Once we adjust our thinking, our actions need to follow. You’ve heard it said we are creatures of habit. Our habits define our actions and our outcomes. So to become great we need new habits.
In Psalm 5:3 King David declares, “In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” David is committing to get up every morning and spend time in prayer because he knows this is pleasing to God and the best way to start his day. Besides changing his actions, David also points out he will do this consistently.
I can decide to eat right, but if I only eat one good meal a week I won’t get much of a benefit. Once you change your habits, you open yourself up to whole new possibilities.
I was watching a show years ago about retired NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Chris Carter. He was mentoring Randy Moss. They were sitting on the bench together and Chris told him, “every good man goes through something.” That stuck with me. Everyone is going to face adversity, especially if you want to be great. Paul the Apostle tell us in II Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Paul was encouraging the people to keep pressing, to find a way to push through, because if you do you can achieve so much for Christ.
I remember when Derek Jeter was playing his 20th and final season of major League baseball, he told a story of how when he was in the minor leagues he wasn’t very good. What struck me when I saw this was here is a guy who has almost 3500 hits, 5 championships, and countless accolades, but he struggled and had to find a way to overcome. The secret was continuing to make adjustments. He kept the foundations, a strong work ethic and his ability, and added the new habits, mentorship, coaching, and opportunities of facing tougher competition to improve.
If we take the same approach to everything we do, we too can become great over time.
Give yourself the permission to be great and see how much more you can do!
About James R. Cooper
James R. Cooper is a Business Strategist, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Maxser Consulting Group, LLC, Pastor of Restoration International Christian Ministries and author of From Crackers to Caviar: A Guide to Personal Development. James is on the board of several non-profit organizations and is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. For more information about James, book him to speak at your next event, seminar, or workshop, go to www.fromcrackers2caviar.com or www.maxsergroup.com.