Lessons of 2019 – June.
This is the sixth part in a new blog-series about the lessons I’ve learned this year. Read the full into in the January post, but basically I’m sharing the stand-out lessons from the last year in the hope that they will inspire and encourage others, and I also want to urge you all to be intentional about capturing and retaining the lessons that will make you a better person. Here is June’s lesson…
June’s Lesson: Stop thinking about what you don’t have and start using what you do have.
Why do we so often focus on what we don’t have, instead of what we do have? Why do we keep making excuses for why we can’t do that thing? Why don’t we just start with what we’ve got? It doesn’t have to be perfect for us to start. We don’t have to wait till we’ve got everything we could possibly need or want before we set out.
Sometimes our goals and dreams become so laden down with all the preconditions that we put on them that they can never get off the ground, like an overladen hot-air balloon. It’s better to start with what you’ve got than to not start at all. You can always improve on it and add to it once you’ve started, just like it’s easier to steer a ship once it’s in motion.
Idealism can sometimes lead to inertia. I mean the kind of idealism that insists on everything being ideal before we can start. Maybe you haven’t got all the answers yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start with what you do know and learn the rest as you go. You might not have all the money you think you’ll need, but that doesn’t mean that God won’t provide the rest as you step out in faith. You might not have backing or permission from as many people as you’d ideally like – but why should that stop you? If God has put something on your heart, whose permission do you really need?
As a new author I’d like to have famous names endorsing me, big reviewers shouting about my book and a huge marketing campaign to throw money and exposure behind my new novel. Of course, those things would be great, but just because I don’t have those things doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. Why waste time wishing for perfection when I can be proactive with what I do have? I might not have the huge industry campaign, but I do have vocal fans, strong material and my own initiative. I’ll squeeze everything out of what I’ve got and see where that gets me. I might find, after a while, that it’s taken me further than I thought, or that what I’ve got, once in motion, helps unlock new resources.
Maybe those excuses we make are just covering up our fear – fear of failure or ridicule or of not measuring up to arbitrary standards. Maybe we should stop deferring and start deciding. Decide to be the best person you can be with the means at your disposal. Do what you can with what you’ve got – you might surprise yourself. You might not achieve perfection, but so what? At least you had the courage to try and didn’t waste what you did have. And you never know, you might fly past that goal, smash that target or exceed those expectations.
I believe God has given us everything we need for what we’re supposed to do right now. I don’t think He stockpiles in us what we need for tomorrow; I think He supplies that when we need it, so that we keep looking to Him and trusting Him. In my experience, God expands your capacity and grows your resources as you give Him what you’ve already got and use it to the best of your ability.
Are you wasting time waiting for a long list of conditions to be fulfilled before you can start? What might it look like if you simply started using what you’ve already got? What could you do?
January’s Lesson: Don’t Worry About Tomorrow, God is Already There.
February’s Lesson: Inconsistent Parents Raise Insecure Children.
March’s Lesson: Thank God for what He is going to do, even though you don’t know how He is going to do it.
April’s Lesson: Dream Big but Start Small.
May’s Lesson: Ambition is the path to success; persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
Come back tomorrow for July’s Lesson. Even better, subscribe to my blog by email and never miss another post.