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It’s easy to look at the success of others and think that they are a rare breed of person and you could never have the impact that they have on the world.
It’s easy to look at your skills and capabilities and think that you don’t have much to offer.
It’s easy to look back at your track record of mediocre results and think that this is your future destiny as well.
It’s easy to listen to the critics who don’t believe in you, allowing their voices to become the ones that you listen to the most.
Let me encourage you today to not underestimate your potential.
Tasmanian devils are truly remarkable creatures.
An endangered carnivorous marsupial that is endemic to the Australian island of Tasmania, they have developed a fearsome reputation, despite their small stature.
One of the devil’s most impressive features is its extremely powerful jaws and that leads me to an important lesson.
My dad grew up on a farm in Tasmania and he told me of devils who had been caught in traps that had chewed their own legs off to escape.
I’ve always found that to be an extraordinary trait.
They get caught in a trap and they are desperate enough to do anything to get out.
As a life and career coach, I meet a lot of people who say that they feel trapped in their current work situation.
Who dares wins.
But I suspect that there’s more to it than that.
Who dares, also:
- Forges a path,
- Builds momentum,
- Inspires others,
- Leads the way,
- Reaches their goals,
- Increases in confidence,
- Makes a difference.
Imagine two people with equivalent skills, experience, opportunities and aspirations.
The only difference between them was that the first person consistently took action, whilst the second was passive.
The first person made things happen, whilst the second waited for things to happen.
The first person moved towards her dreams, whilst the second just dreamed.
The first person learned from her experiences, whilst the second stayed the same because she didn’t have any.
The first person acted in spite of fear, whilst the second was paralysed by it.
It’s easy for a musician to play covers.
Singing songs that you know other people like seems like a good option for someone who is looking to make a living.
It’s safer, it’s more convenient and it make sense… unless of course you want to be a true artist.
It takes courage to expose your original songs to the world.
It takes courage to risk rejection.
It takes courage to put your innermost thoughts to music and perform it in front of an audience.
And it’s that kind of courage that we need more of.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon in Judges 6, he called him a “Mighty Warrior.”
At the time, Gideon was far from a mighty warrior, in fact he was in hiding from his enemies, but God saw what Gideon could become if he took action towards his calling.
“But how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
He chose to define himself, not by how God saw him, but by his own insecurities and perceived limitations.
It’s not an unusual response.
I’ve met many people who knew, or thought they knew, or suspected they that knew, what they were supposed to do with their lives.
I’ve always had a lot of affection for the city of Boston.
Since I was a child, I have been a fan of the Boston Celtics as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish led them to multiple championships in the 1980’s.
It’s a beautiful city and is one place that I would love to visit one day, but my heart was lifted even more when I watched the city respond with such resilience in the lead-up to the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
To see the way the Boston Red Sox organisation and fans honoured the survivors of this tragedy was wonderful.
To see runners from all over the world determined not to be kept away from Boston by fear is magnificent.
In his iconic western, High Plains Drifter, Clint Eastwood’s character chastises the town of Lago with these words:
“You don’t want your shops or houses burned.
You don’t want your women touched.
You don’t want anything to happen.
Except you’re afraid to do anything about it.”
She has a point.
It was on that day that Jesus went through his sham of a trial.
That’s not good.
It was on that day that Jesus was betrayed and abandoned by those who had previously followed him.
There’s nothing good about that.
It was on that day that Jesus was mocked and beaten and had a crown of thorns pushed down on his head.
There are people who consistently perform at a phenomenal level.
The standard that they have established for themselves over the years is one of excellence and they are recognised and respected for their professionalism and brilliance.
Of course, every now and then, they make a mistake or momentarily drop their standard, but those who know them understand that this is just an exception to their usual standard.
Then there are those who perform at a much lower level.
They aren’t renowned for anything other than average, they don’t try particularly hard and no-one expects anything remarkable from them.