In the depths of our hearts we all want to storm the hill, win the victory, feel like we have arrived. It beats deep within each of us. It is why sports draws you in, you can see the victory, the result of effort.
But life is not always so clear cut. Most people, if they were honest, would say that they either feel like they are losing at the game or that at the best, they are just getting by or holding their own. Few people feel victorious in all aspects of their lives. Even the people we idolize, in their private moments, feel like fakes-for they do not “feel” successful. These people ultimately “fall” and we are left to wonder, left to try to figure out how that can happen to one so gifted. This topic is way too much to address in a quick e-mail, but I want to address one facet of it today for it burns on my heart. We tend to dismiss the little things and yet those little things are the seeds of our future victory. Don’t miss this piece. It is critical.
It is when you don’t feel like doing the thing, and you do it anyway, that you build your future victory. It is when you don’t feel like calling the client, but you do it anyway, that changes everything. It is when you go to your spouse and ask “what’s wrong” when you know the answer just might be you-but you ask anyway. These little moments-they are the seedlings of greatness. It is in doing this time and time again that the fortitude and power come from to eventually win the day. Champions are never born in a minute-the opportunity for greatness finally opens up to the one who is ready for it-and a new story is born. Jeremy Lin, the “hot new thing” for the NY Knicks is a great story. His chance came, he took it and nailed it. At least for now but what we don’t hear about is the preparation for that time. The work put in. The days as a fourth string player that was not given a chance. Or we hear about it, but we forget that there were days Jeremy Lin despaired that his chance would not come. The opportunity to quit was very real, to not get up and go to the gym to practice. It is those moments, when he got up, that his later victory was really forged. Note, he is not some 300 pound couch potato who won the lottery. He was ready for the moment-and then it came.
You and I face battles like this each day. We don’t feel like getting into the arena, to fight the little battles that often seem petty-maybe even stupid. We don’t want to write that memo, make that call, face that teenager with anger issues. But we MUST face these things if we want to have greatness. That is how steel is forged. One thing you can do to help is create a mantra. When I find myself wimping out, I tell myself to “gut it out pansy boy” and I get back into the game, I do the thing, I have the power. Though childish maybe, something about that phrase angers me, reaches deep and forces me to make that call, do that thing. I don’t want to be a pansy I guess and so I get up and just do it. Whatever gets you back in the game, find that phrase and use it. Remember, each time you do, you build your strength, you grow. You get ready for YOUR time, and your time is coming. The fact that you have breath tells me that you are not done yet-your best days may be in front of you. Just remember, you need to be faithful in the little things before your great day will come. Be faithful….and thrive!