achievement

No Limits

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.                      - Matthew 19:26, KJV

 

I love the way Oprah Winfrey captured the secret to her success on the last day of her show’s 25-year run:

 

"People often ask me what is the secret to the success of this show. I non-jokingly say, ‘My team and Jesus,’ because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me."    -  Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show - Final Episode (5/25/11)

 

“I always knew I’d be a millionaire by age thirty-two,” said Oprah in 1987. “In fact, I am going to be the richest black woman in America.” Nineteen years later, with a net worth of $1.4 billion, Oprah has become not only the richest black woman in America, but also one of the richest people in the world.

This success has not come by chance. Oprah has made her fortune by setting clear and ambitious goals on both the professional and personal levels. “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret,” she says. “Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

According to Oprah, the biggest hurdle people need to overcome in order to be successful is their belief that there are limits to how much they can accomplish. Goals need to be set and set high; expectations need to be limitless; and ambition cannot be restrained. “If you believe you can only go so far, it is an obstacle.”

 

The Bible says that with God, all things are possible.  But, as Christian leaders we must establish goals that are first vetted with Him.   “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5, ESV).  So, make sure you follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in identifying the right goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics to fulfill the path that God has ordained for you (Proverbs 3:5-6) and to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

When establishing your goals, make sure that they are SMART, which is the commonly used acronym for:

  • Specific (i.e., be precise about what you intend to achieve)
  • Measurable (i.e., ensure that your objectives are quantifiable)
  • Attainable (i.e., make sure that your goals are achievable)
  • Realistic (i.e., confirm that your objective is one that you are willing and able to pursue)
  • Time-bound (i.e., identify the timeframe or deadline for achieving the stated objective)

 

Example of a SMART Objective:  To gain 25 percent of the U.S. market for smart phones by December 31, 2020.

 

As God’s ambassadors in the workplace and in the marketplace, it is perfectly acceptable to have clearly defined goals and objectives, but we must make sure they are established by God and remain flexible to His timing. For instance, don’t be tied to a specific destination with your business such as going public or capturing a certain percentage of market-share within a certain timeframe. He’ll let you know what to do and when to do it.  Wait for His perfect timing in planning and executing your initiatives.

 

When you commit your plans to the Lord and allow Him to direct you, your plans are guaranteed to come to fruition (Proverbs 16:3). The Bible says that if you obey God, He promises to make your name great, or enhance your reputation, and make you a blessing to others (Genesis 12:2).  Remember, no one has seen what God has prepared for those who love Him, and no one can change the plans of God (1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 43:13).

 

You and the Golden Gate Bridge

Follow me on this one. I am going to make a comparison between you and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. The analogy is a good one to use in the sales profession. At the conclusion of this, I wish you would think about this comparison. Here are some facts about The Golden Gate Bridge. It was first opened to traffic on May 28, 1937. It is known as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World." It was built to withstand a huge traffic load. The annual revenue generated by tolls on the bridge was $59,289,000 in fiscal year 2002! That's a lot of quarters.

The annual traffic in fiscal year 2012 was 40,694,792 vehicles.   The monthly load on The Golden Gate Bridge is 3,391,233. That equates to a total of 111,493 vehicles each and every day for an entire year. WOW! This is truly an engineering marvel. The engineers who designed this structure were pretty smart.

OK. Now, here is the point. The Golden Gate Bridge was designed to handle the traffic load in a systematic way. In other words, if you were to put the annual load of 40 million vehicles on the bridge at the same time, it would collapse under the weight. The bridge was not designed to handle that type of load. If you were to put the entire monthly load of 3.9 million vehicles on the bridge at the same time, it would collapse under the weight. The bridge was not designed to handle that type of load. THE BRIDGE WAS DESIGNED TO HANDLE ONE DAY AT A TIME. So are we!

It is important - even vital - that we plan our sales year, our sales quarter, our sales month, and our sales day. By so doing, we have a better chance of achieving our sales goals. However, we have to handle our sales career one-day at a time. If not we will collapse under the weight.

Full Feeling vs. Fulfilling

Are you someone who knows what it is like to have a feeling of success and achievement, but don’t really feel fulfilled?  Is your routine of running from place to place and task to task leaving you less than satisfied?  Do your instincts tell you there has to be more to life than this? You’re right, and your life is not just supposed to be full every waking moment in a mad dash to the finish line.  When you align yourself with God’s perspective, you can sort out what is important and fulfilling and what is simply busy work that leaves you full feeling.  Psalm 32:8 tells us “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Personally, I have always run full steam ahead with a calendar that contains no blank spaces.  My life has always been—and continues to be—very full, but today I can also say it is richly fulfilling.  The difference is when I use my gifts and abilities to pursue God’s calling, the completion of each task feeds me and reenergizes me to tackle the next one. I feel a strong sense of purpose and peace, even when I am not sure just how it is all going to get done.  I don’t feel anxious.  I may be tired at the end of a challenging day, but I never feel depleted.

When we reach the finish line, we will not be asked, “What did you do?” but rather “What did you do with what I gave you?”  God has given each of us a calling, and when we find it, we owe it to Him to nurture and pursue it; that is the key to our well-being, and the difference between living a fulfilling rather than a full feeling life.