Sloths Aren’t Always Adorable
Do you know those people who always seem to be reaching beyond what's seemingly possible? Part of me wants to hate those people because it's like, come one, how is what you're doing even humanly possible? But another part of me thinks, why am I not doing those things too? I'm talking about the everyday people who chase their crazy far-fetched dreams and actually accomplish them. What is it that they are doing so differently with their 24 hours that allow them to pull their goals down into reality? Unless they have some superpower that I don't know about (which could be, I mean who knows), they are just like you and me. So, what allows them to succeed where so many others fail?
Recently, I've been convicted of slothfulness in my life, or more subtly put, laziness. I was reading through the good ole B.I.B.L.E. and came across Jesus' that details a businessman who gave different amounts of 'talents' or money to his workers and then came back to see how they used that money. I realized as I read it that for the last bit of my life, I've been the guy who took his talents and out of fear and apathy, buried them in the ground. I'm pretty sure that's the life that I or any of us are called to. So, how do we dig up our talents, put them to use, and become who we know we're supposed to be?
1) Say No
The first thing we can do, which may seem counterintuitive at first, is to say no. Now more than ever we live in a thoroughly distracted, multi-tasked, shallow society where text messages, emails, Netflix, news sites, and social media all constantly vie for our attention. We don't create space for a focused life. By saying no to an extra movie or by turning our phones off for a few hours, we set ourselves up for success for what we want to accomplish. We should live intentionally instead of allowing our time to be dictated to us.
2) Develop a schedule and stick to it.
One of the most significant reasons I've found for not doing more with our lives is that we just let it happen. The most successful people I know schedule their time and exercise self-control for how they spend it. Time is our most precious resource, and we all have the same amount of it. To get where we want to go, we need to use it wisely, and one way to do that is to develop a schedule and stick to it. Even if only 5% of how our time is spent changes toward the positive direction, then that's a lot closer than we were before.
3) Ask for help.
Find people who you genuinely admire and ask them what they did to get where they are at. In my experience, most people are open to sharing their 'secrets' to success if you are honest with them about why you've asked them for advice. It might take time to get them on your calendar, but that's ok. Trust the process. Also, surround yourself with individuals who can keep you accountable to your aspirations. It gets pretty challenging to shrug things off if you constantly are being asked you if you've done what you said you would.
Ultimately, if you want to pull yourself up off the couch and dig your talents up out of the ground to become who God created you to be, then you have to just begin. You could be in the fastest car with every possible upgrade with only the road ahead of you, but you'll forever be just sitting there unless you turn the ignition on and go. You don't have to get to where you want to go overnight, and you probably won't, but just start anyway. The most magnificent trees begin as the smallest seeds, and you aren't any different. So, grab a shovel, pry up those talents that you buried and put them to use.