My better half, Matty, decided to guest blog for me! He has such an AMAZING heart for God and is constantly looking for ways to encourage me daily, so here is a little bit about what's been on his heart.......
In our instant gratification and self-entitlement culture, it is easy to get caught up with wanting things “now”. More pay, better job, nicer car, faster race times, you name it. We see that other people have it, so we think we also deserve it. What is easy to overlook is that “they” didn’t start where they are now, and they probably put in a lot of hard work and made many sacrifices to get where they are.
The important thing to remember is that it is never too late to start, “now”, putting in the effort to get to where you want to be. I’m fortunate to be a Director in Marketing at a Fortune 500 company, and while I haven’t really accomplished a whole lot yet in the big scheme of things, and certainly have made plenty of mistakes along the way, there are a number of specific things that helped me get “here” as I reflect back a few years in my professional progression.
Faithfulness – You can’t let any job or task be “beneath you”. Spend your energy on doing the job in front of you to the best of your ability, no matter how insignificant it might seem. If you don’t do that well, how will someone trust you with greater responsibility? But once you are proven to be reliable where you are, you can be confident in going after more. (Luke 16:10)
Patience – It is almost a guarantee that progress won’t happen overnight. For endurance athletes, the necessary physiological changes to get better occur over many years. In the corporate setting, it can take years to get that promotion you thought you earned 2 performance reviews ago. I’ve been guilty of being impatient on both fronts. What has helped me is to set my mind on a goal and going after it hard, but not be fixated on reaching it in a certain timetable. You only qualify for the prize if you persevere until the end! (Hebrews 10:32-36, 12:1)
Attitude – A great quote from Chuck Swindoll: “life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”. Face it, we all have good and bad circumstances, but our character is shaped by how we come through the circumstances. You are going to find many more “allies” to help you through if you approach life with an upbeat, overcoming attitude. It is just important to seek to help out others to lift them as well! (Philippians 2:3-5)
Learn – If you aren’t honing your skills you are probably falling behind. A big part of this is continual development, whatever form that takes for you. This has got to be deliberate and usually self-directed. I ask God almost daily for wisdom, to help me figure out what I need to learn, and how to apply it to my every day circumstances. Over time this has worked wonders for me! You should try it! (James 1:5-6)
Hard Work – Last but not least, success takes hard work. Long hours. Sacrifices. Discipline. It isn’t always fun in the moment. The faster or higher you want to progress, the harder you will have to work. Go the “extra mile” to make your work stand out…it will be noticed and will give you confidence to push towards your goals. Repeat. (Proverbs 14:23)
It is hopefully evident that my success is borne out of God’s gifts, grace, and direction in my life. I wouldn’t have achieved anything without God’s help – putting me in favorable situations, giving me opportunities, helping me through struggles, and directing my steps. God’s word applies to every day situations and with it we can be victorious in life!
Even as I read through these words before they are posted, I am resolving to make this coming week, and hopefully each after it, an example of these principles at work. Today is a great day to change perspective and commit to putting in the time and effort to reach your goals!