I once heard a story about a young, aspiring actor in Hollywood who was invited to go to one of the local parties. It was in effect a Hollywood networking function where famous actors and actresses attended. One of the movie actors there was Walter Matthau. Walter Matthau during his lifetime appeared in more than 60 movies, and won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and two Tony Awards. Reportedly, Matthau asked the young actor how it was going. The aspiring actor replied, “I’m just looking for that one big break!” Matthau laughed, and said, “Kid, it’s not the one big break. It’s the fifty big breaks.”
Just like the aspiring actor, you won’t achieve overnight success. One big break will not help you. Unless it is supported by other breaks, that one big break will fade. You will attain success through incremental progress—by gaining one big break after another.
You can achieve the success you want if you will focus on these practices.
No one likes to be criticized. It’s not fun to be told what you did wrong. But criticism is exactly what we need to hear to get better.
If you were taking a college writing course and got glowing remarks every time you turned in a paper, those remarks might make you feel good at first. But if the remarks became a consistent trend, they would begin to ring hollow. As a result of the consistently positive feedback, you would eventually realize that you weren’t getting any feedback that would help you improve. You would sense that you needed some constructive criticism to help you get better.
While not all criticism is constructive, it can be received in that way. But that requires that you look at criticism in the right way. Here are three steps to deal with criticism and make it work for you.
Because you are a leader, you are a spiritual target. You have people depending on you to do the right thing. And the enemy of your soul wants to take you down.
Pastors are leaders with big targets on their backs. But business leaders have targets on their backs too. And parents especially have targets on their backs. Because all these leaders carry the responsibility of leading and caring for those in their charge.
It is imperative to watch out for how you can be targeted by the enemy of your soul. Here are some warning signs from James 1:14 to help you handle being a spiritual target.
If you have achieved success in your business, then that should be commended. As Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, it is the gift of God when you can rejoice in your labor and take your portion as a result of attaining riches and wealth. Therefore, you should not feel like an impostor.
God knows exactly who you are—and who you are not. If you have been successful, then it is fine to acknowledge that God has blessed your efforts. But it is not good to put on a false humility. Neither is it good to believe that you had nothing to do with your success.
Don’t give into thinking you’re a fraud. Here are three DON’Ts to remember when you think you are an impostor.
All distractions can steal your time, but some distractions can steal your potential. Even though all distractions can take you off course, these potential-limiting distractions can make you think that you are still on the right road.
These potential-limiting distractions play upon your desires and fears. If you do not keep these desires and fears in check, these potential-limiting distractions can make you think you’re doing what’s best. But they will prevent you from realizing God’s best for you.
Here are three potential-limiting distractions to watch for in your life.
There will be times that you feel you can do nothing right. There will be times you will feel that you can’t get your spiritual life on track. You’ll feel at times that you are poisoning the relationships you have with others. You will feel at times that you can’t get a handle on the sins that you commit. But that doesn’t mean God is finished with you. Because you are not disqualified to serve God.
When you continue to stumble in specific areas of your life, you can still be used by God. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. You should NOT be content to sin and cause havoc in your life and in your relationships. It is important to admit the sin, repent of it, hate the sin, and put it away from you. But it is OK if you still wrestle with sin in your life. The key is that you keep wrestling.
The enemy of your soul will try to convince you that you are useless to God. The enemy of your soul will try to tell you that you might as well give up and give into the temptation. But you are not disqualified to serve God because of your sin. It’s how you handle it that matters.
Here are some heroes of the faith from Scripture who had sin issues—but God used them nonetheless because they were not disqualified to serve Him.
What you expect will come your way. It is a biblical principle: you will become whatever you believe in your heart (Proverbs 23:7). You won’t be able to change your life until you change your self-talk.
Fear and faith are two opposite concepts. But they both are self-fulfilling. Both imply a belief system that will support their fulfillment.
You have a choice to make. You can either choose to listen to faith or listen to fear. What you listen to will determine how you think. And how you act. And what you say.
Here are three ways you can change your life by changing your self-talk.
Soon after my book Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew became a #1 best seller in three categories, my thinking went into a downward spiral. I developed a defeatist attitude about the book, about myself, and about life. After about a day of wallowing in this funk, I realized I had to give myself a talking-to. Because I had to remind myself what was true. I had to remind myself that the book had 30 endorsements. I had to tell myself it received 18 glowing reviews. And I had to say out loud to myself that I thought it was a good book. Because I knew that I can’t believe everything I think.
There will be times that you will have similar situations. You will feel beat down by circumstances—and sometimes you won’t even know why. You will get negative thought patterns stuck in continuous loop and you won’t know how to get out of it. That’s why you can’t believe everything you think.
Because those defeatist days will come, it’s important to know when they will come. Using biblical accounts as illustrations, here are some times to watch out for “stinking thinking.” Because you can’t believe everything you think.
Have you ever made an error that made you lose everything? Most people have not lost everything, but they live as though they might. That’s because they fear failure more than they believe in themselves.
Most people are so afraid of failure that they don’t do what they could do and they don’t become who they could become. They try so desperately to avoid failure that they are afraid to try.
But God doesn’t want you to live that way. He wants you to embrace all that you can be. Here are three steps you can take so that you won’t fear failure in the process of becoming who God made you to be.
You cannot avoid risk. In fact, in this economy, and in God’s economy, taking risks is good for you. That’s why you should embrace risk as a way of life.
I’m not saying that you should be doing stupid stuff. Taking risks doesn’t have to mean being foolhardy. Instead, it means being willing to step out of your comfort zone and doing something you haven’t done before—and trusting God for the results.
Here are three reasons you should always be taking risks.