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Do you know what the difference is between a professional musician and someone who dabbles with the saxophone at home?

Or the difference between a pro golfer and a weekend hack?

Or the difference between an international marathon runner and some dude who can do a couple of laps of the block?

Or a masterful writer and a wannabe?

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Do you avoid pain, or embrace risk?

Are you colouring within the lines, or creating a masterpiece?

Are you trying to please everyone, or doing what you know to be right?

Are you hesitant to take the next step, or are you charging into the fray?

Do you wish everything would just stay the same, or are you driving and delivering change?

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I don’t know about you, but it seems that the world is getting nastier and meaner.

People seem to be standing across a large ravine shaking their fists and shouting insults at each other.

Intelligent, civil debate has been replaced by insults and abuse.

More and more, people are becoming more fearful, more suspicious, more aggressive.

I see it in our politicians, on the news and even at local junior football games.

I often pray that God would intervene and bring more of His peace into situations, but increasingly I understand that we each have a role to play in answering that prayer.

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Did you marvel at the sunrise this morning?

Was there someone who inspired you with their story?

Did you learn something that you didn’t know before?

Were you amazed by the progress of your kids?

Did the love you felt towards your spouse take your breath away?

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If you’ve got the flu, no-one wants to catch it from you.

And if you ever catch chicken pox, you can keep that to yourself as well.

But you have got something.

And it is contagious.

It’s your attitude.

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Every office has a guy like Bob.

He’s Mr Average.

He’s always the last to arrive and the first to leave.

He has longer coffee breaks than anyone else.

If there’s a tough team deadline to achieve, you can almost guarantee that he’ll call in sick.

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When we think of flair, we often think of show-offs.

Or perhaps we are reminded of people who don’t play by the rules.

We think of extraordinary flukes that make the evening sportscast.

Or musicians who go on rambling solos, just because they can.

And too often, we think that flair can never apply to us, we’re just not that flamboyant, that brilliant, that talented.

Iconic Australian hockey coach, Ric Charlesworth recently gave a speech where he described flair as just another way of saying, “Superior skills that have been practiced extensively.”

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In his autobiography, Steve Martin writes,

“I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.”

In this microwave, high-speed broadband, instant gratification era, we forget that greatness takes time.

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Much to the delight of my 9 year-old daughter, Australian Ninja Warriors launched on television this week.

And as a result of seeing these phenomenal athletes propelling themselves across incredibly difficult obstacle courses, gym memberships have gone through the roof across the country.

The series has been created to entertain us, but it’s a terrific unintended consequence that such a show and such athletes are inspiring others to emulate their achievements.

My question today is a simple (and obvious) one… Who are you unintentionally inspiring?

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To do what you want to do in life, there may not be a manual.

If no-one has been where you want to go, there won’t be a map you can follow.

So what do you do?

Do you wait for someone to tell you what to do or where to go?

Or do you just get started?

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