A GREAT and good life is not devoid of challenges. You are not alone facing the fight that life always throws at us. At times, it’s extremely hard. It’s hard to lose your hard earned cash in an investment that did not work.
It’s hard to see yourself having to pick broken pieces of relationship that you have invested so much in. It’s hard! At times life is not fair, you attract enemies even if you are a good person.
There are hard seasons that everyone goes through. Every dry season has its importance. In most cases such times prune our bad character to bring the best out of us. Such times herald a new season that we are about to enter into. When we fail this step, we cannot graduate to the next level. The bad behaviour we cannot conquer when we are in tough times, determines how long we stay in the desert. Your dream will at one time make you stand in “…the midst of a fiery furnace”.
This is good! You have to go through the tough and the rough times.
Elisha Goodman, in his book Passion Prayer of Jesus the Christ (2004) illustrates it so painfully frank; for David to reach the top, there was to be a Goliath.
Goodman further goes on to say “… your enemy is as important as your friends…friends create comfort while your enemy creates rewards”. Do you want to be rewarded? Then there has to be a test. Tests, trials and tribulations give birth to testimonies and triumphs. Storms are unavoidable, but misery (when passing through those storms) is what is optional. In this instance, when things seem gloomy, that is when many people give up, not realising that it is like a woman giving birth; if she stops pushing she will experience at least one of many fates such as hurting or killing the child or aborting. Some people have failed in the process, thereby, aborting their dreams.
Now, we stand on the edge, with two options to embrace. One option is to abandon your dream in fear of the tests and the other is to dive into the dream and see yourself being battered left, right and centre to come out refined and find yourself in the history books and standing with the great. In life, there are two basic people that we have on earth, connotatively, those that dream and those that sleep. Dreamers are those people who have been branded by society as being ambitious, who love to see things happening and always want to make this world better than they found it; by making their own contributions.
Sleepers are those that do not care what happens. They are not into changing this world, but they are simply tossed to and fro by its change. At times they detest change and these are the people that have always wanted to be led, told what to do and they usually spend the rest of their lives being employees. I am not saying quit your job, but be an engineer of your own destiny. The dreamer is innovative and creative; the sleeper is imitative and would want to maintain systems like some managers who have not grasped the power of leadership and change. There are people who cause action and those who watch action and those who are reeling in confusion, they do not even know what causes action, how it is caused and they do not bother learning how to bring about action. They specialise in gobbling what others have toiled for.
They do not necessarily get positive tests, but they just would want to always taste what others have done.
The problem with sleepers is that they are not in the archives of history. The unfortunate thing is that sleepers do not leave a legacy; they are simply born so they die. On the other hand, dreamers leave a mark that the generations will always cherish. Now, I believe greatness does not just fall from the stars, but it is created by those who want to be great. Let us explore some of the practical tests that one goes through when they want to be on top.
This test measures your accuracy against your potential. It measures what I have professed to be, against what I have accomplished in my dreams. People are watching us, some are saying, Jonah, push and go up higher, but others are folding their hands and saying we want to see if he will make it. Now, one is caught between two worlds here. One, I do not have to disappoint my fans who are supporting me. Secondly, I have to prove myself to the enemy that I have what it takes to be the world’s greatest. Both these two groups of people are important.
In most jobs, before you are employed, you are interviewed to prove your competence. Your expertise in the field that you are pursuing is core and the more you understand your strengths the better to reach your dream. The best thing in being successful is not the weaponry or tools you have at your disposal, but the proficiency to use them. A good example is this: there are some people that own the latest computers, but they do not even have an idea what that computer could achieve. In the army, the most important aspect when going to war is not how much and how big your firearm is, but your expertise in using it. It is as good as in car racing; the important thing is not only the speed of the car you are using, but the skill of using it to its best potential. That is why the racer goes through intense exercises before they are in competition. Yes, the power is in the racing car but to win is the ability of the racer to use that power. One of the tests that you will go through to be approved as the best is the acumen test. This, therefore, calls for individuals that will seek to improve their skill.
Do not be afraid to seek training, mentoring and learning so that you be the best and when the test comes you will beat the rest.
Restraint or self-control is important in all your success endeavours. As you go along your temperance will go through fire. A good example is that if you want to prove the weakness of a preacher, just step on their toe or push them to the corner. They might punch you if their temper is not controlled. A snake is sometimes not dangerous if not disturbed, but the moment you step on its tail it strikes. Our temperance test in most cases comes when we are under pressure. The temperance test has made me learn it the hard way. When you are short tempered it is easy to punch someone in their face and the next thing is to see yourself behind bars for assault. When things subside or when you get back to your right senses you regret. Along the way of success there is always a temperance test. Begin to control your temperance; otherwise it could bring a downfall to your dream.
Stamina is all about how you endure, how you are determined to press on until your dream is given birth to. In such instances, when your staying-power is tested, you could easily give up. Giving up to me is as bad as abortion. Pressing toward your destiny is like travelling from one point to another. Your stamina will determine your progress. For example, when one faints in a track race they fall down because they have run out of stamina they need to progress. If no one helps them up or if they do not get back up they stay there until others in the same competition reach their goal. In the journey to success, stamina is to have the power to push on. Endurance is bitter, but its reward is sweet. So have the verve to press-on. The courage to say I will fight until I hold it. I will read until I pass the test. I will pay the price despite what it costs. I won’t lose patience until I am on the pinnacle. I won’t stay down on my failures, until I be the first. I might be hearing dissenting and discouraging voices, but I will stay my course. The process might be painful, but I will never let go the promises that God has given me. Reaching my Canaan may be very long and very laborious, but I will press on until I get my honey and milk. Mount Everest might be very tall, but it is too early for me to give in before I reach the crest. This is stamina!
At times you have to go against the tide and embrace the real you rather than what other people want you to be. People around you do not have a correct concept of what you are, other than the real you and God. If at birth, Bill Gates’ mother knew fully what she was carrying in her hands, she would have started celebrating the success of her child. Those who went to school with Barack Obama would have treated him in a better way if they knew that one day he would be their president. Generally, people around you do not have an idea of who you are and what your potential is; so stop letting their perceptions define you. People might misunderstand you, but that does not mean that you are wrong or have to be what they want you to be. Stop puzzling yourself with what people think or want of you because they might be also busy trying to figure out what you are thinking about them. Rather think about what you want to be.
Some people have said that what is important in life is not necessarily how we start the journey, but how well we finish it. People will not celebrate the start of your athletics competition, but how you have finished. So there is the time factor between the starting point and the end line. So whatever your dream is, it should go under the test of time before it is celebrated. Your dream might be taking long to bring fruit, but it will definitely bring one if you hung in there. Possibly you are thinking of quitting because it has taken very long for you to break through: take yet another mile and you might smile. The thin line separating those who are successful and those who have failed is this: those who have won refused to quit and those who failed gave up when the race got rough. Simply, I say, do not give up until you hit the finish line.
Your faith needs to be put under test to make sure it is built on a firm foundation. In His ministry, Jesus, after fasting for 40 nights and 40 days, was tempted (Matthew 4vs. 1-10). As you pursue that dream, you need to realise that those that are heroes have to pass the test. Your faith test, as long as you have an assignment, will definitely come. The bigger the test the larger the triumphs. Little tests bring little victories and big tests bring bigger testimonies. The bigger your faith is in what you want to achieve, the bigger the test. Faith says, before you see it you have to visualise it, before you visualise it you have got to go through certain processes and one of the ingredients in the process is passing the faith test.
The other test is the fear of your own weakness. Fear might creep in because you are not confident of your abilities. Fear is a tumour that might cause paralysis to our dreams. The solution to this is you and your fear.
Your dream has to be big enough to attract denial from some sectors of the society. In most cases, people go well with what they already know other than a new design. People are naturally opposed to change and the new invention that you might want to experiment on can cause some people to be against you. Does that mean you should give up? NO! This test is trickier if there is helping hand when need arises. That should not trouble your heart because you are unique enough to be different and to attract opposition. At times denial is proof that you want to change the situation. Usually if you want to bring change, there will be a few people who will support you. Some deny you because they fear taking risks. Secondly, they are timid that if your plan crumbles they will be identified with you when you turn into a laughing stock. Thirdly, some are afraid of you becoming great.
The most defining moment in life is when people will hate you simply because of who you are. Enemies are important because they push you to aim high. Whether you like it or not, there are people that will be your enemies even though you love them. At times, it is the enemy who will tell you the truth, point blank more than your friend, who may be flattering you with lies or chocolate-coated words to impress you. The person that might betray you is one who is closest, because they might give you a false kiss but at the same time lie to you. That is betrayal! The enemy test is painful like a medical injection, but at the same time as important as the medicine in the injection for treatment.
● Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach, leadership trainer and public relations consultant.
Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.successlife.co.zw