One of the reasons why many people never succeed in life is they give up too soon. I played lots of sports when I was young and still like to today. My favorite sport to play was basketball. Everybody knows that you often win in the last couple of seconds. The last couple seconds of the game can determine the ending. Great people are simply ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination. They don’t know how to quit. Failure is never final. It’s a temporary setback. They get up. Everybody fails. Effective people fail. But effective people have staying power. They get up and they keep on keeping on.
Often the matter of being effective is simply the matter of hanging on long enough. Maybe you need to do that in your marriage, or with your kids or your career. Hang on long enough.
1. BE YOURSELF
Don’t try to be somebody else. There’s nobody who can be you except you. There’s something liberating about being yourself. The quickest way to an ulcer is to try to be somebody you’re not. If you want to live an effective life, step one is to relax and be yourself.
2. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LIFE
Don’t blame somebody else for your life. Don’t say, “It’s not my fault.” Do something about it. Decide to change. The fact is, I have choices I can make in life and so do you. I have options of making these choices. Society loves to let us pass the buck. “It’s not your fault! Blame the environment.” Plenty of excuses. “When you were a little baby your mom held your head under the water in the bathtub too long so you had these repressed emotions and it’s no wonder you’re raping and pillaging the land today. It’s not your fault.” Plenty of excuses.
You cannot blame somebody else for the direction of your life. The fact of the matter is, nobody can ruin your life ultimately except you. If you want to be effective in life you be yourself and you accept responsibility.
3. ESTABLISH A VALUE SYSTEM FOR YOUR LIFE
You have to settle this issue, “What is really important?” This is not something you decide haphazardly. You give it serious thought. You give it consideration. “What is really important to me?” Set up a value system. What are you values for life? What are the values on which you base your life on right now? That you say, “These are the things that are important to me, on which I make my decisions.”
Why is this an important principle? I’ve discovered that if you don’t determine what’s valuable to you in life, other people will do it for you. If you don’t decide how you’re going to use your time, other people will decide it for you. If you don’t decide how you’re going to spend your money, other people will make that decision for you. You have to determine your values in life. What is important?
4. NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE GOAL
Why should I do that if I want an effective life? Because we never make progress without problems. The question isn’t, “How long can you wait?” The question is, “When the answer does not come through, do you just give up and say, `Maybe it’s not going to happen?'” Do you get discouraged and quit? Do you lose your enthusiasm? What does it take to discourage you?
How do you overcome discouragement? You do it by renewing your vision. Get a clear vision. Set your goal. Get God’s purpose for your life and focus in on it. And then hang in there and never, never give up. You endure.