Help Yourself (Don’t wait for someone to chew the food for you)
During the early times of history, only few privileged people possess knowledge. Maybe you can even count them in your fingers. Plato in Europe, Confucius in China, Solomon in the Middle East and a few more others. People would have to travel for months or even years to go to Greece and learn from Plato or Aristotle. African leaders were reported to have visited Solomon to seek advice. They even paid him extravagantly for the services he rendered, perhaps a consultancy fee.
Imagine these ancient people yearning for knowledge to be alive today. They would be shocked to find out the availability of knowledge and information. They would shake their heads in disbelief though and they will be shocked even more, as most of us take for granted this knowledge and wisdom without realizing the immense benefit it brings to our lives. Would you believe me if I tell you that more information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the last 5000 years and there are more than 4000 books are published around the world every day?
I have read that today, a college degree does not automatically insure success. A piece of paper they call a diploma can no longer guarantee a sure-fire job in the competitive job market. You still have to indicate your potentials and abilities in your application letter or resume’ that other applicants do not possess. You can write sentences and paragraphs but if you have to copy a sample of an application letter from your college textbook, this might be a sign of lack of knowledge. It is very limiting. Opportunities will come as often as the rain in the desert.
Harvey Mackay, a businessman and author, says that you have to endeavor to learn other jobs or interests, so when opportunities appear, you’ll have much greater chance of seizing them. Better jobs could be waiting for you but you have to help yourself.
Look for ways to win.
It took David one small stone to defeat a battle-scarred and much bigger warrior. The strength of the entire Israel’s army was not helpful when David confronted Goliath. There were no encouragers present. Only a deafening silence of doubt and skepticism surrounded Israel’s camp moments before David cast the first pebble. Their unbelief however was shattered by the earth shaking impact of the giant’s colossal body hitting the ground.
His past experience with the slingshot aided his accuracy of hitting the unguarded forehead of his foe. Anyone of those experienced soldier could have said, “That boy just got lucky. It’s just that that idiot happens to have a wide forehead” Was luck the cause of David’s victory or he planned and studied every possible means of defeating Goliath. While noble and great warriors among the audience were worried about being wiped out, David was busy looking for a way to overcome the problem and win.
Practice makes perfect.
Success is not about getting lucky. It is not about kissing a frog or picking the right combinations when betting in the lottery. It is about preparing for the opportunity. It’s about getting ready. David’s previous experience in fighting wild animals prepared him to face the uncircumcised Philistine. He spent a lot of time studying how to win and succeed while he was tending the sheep. He must have been practicing his throw. He must have been perfecting how to hit his target instead of napping under the fig tree. No wonder he was confident on that day.
Calculate your steps.
David did not act aimlessly. He was not merely hoping that his throw was strong enough capable to inflict a fatal injury and the stone will land on a sensitive area. His every move is deliberate and calculated. Once you have that wisdom, you have crossed the boundaries from failure to success.
Believe, really believe, that there is a better life
The famous Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao was not well-educated. He was in deep poverty when he was growing up. But these overwhelming circumstances could not quench his burning desire to fulfill his dream. The only job he knew was selling cigarettes and candies along the streets of General Santos City. But he was smart enough to believe that there is a better life than being a street vendor.
Success is promised to everyone (see Jeremiah 29:11). But it’s not going to happen if all we do is lie down and wait for it to drop in our lap. Success is not going to be a knight in shining armor that will come and carry you into the sunset. Success comes but it does not mean we just idly wait for it. Polish your skill. Improve your aim. One author explains that you have to do something to deserve success. “Vision without execution is hallucination” said Thomas Edison.
Walk with the Wise.
He who walks with the wise will become wise (see Proverbs 13:20). Associate yourself with wise people and you will increase their number. Your mental ability will start to accelerate. You will absorb new ideas one at a time. You will determine what is important to you. You will know which road to take. You will identify what business that works for you and what’s not.
I hope one or two of these pointers can push you higher to hurdle your barriers to success. More importantly, since there is nothing wrong if you try, I hope you apply them in your life.