Success Is Your Choice
By Tommy Newberry
You must put our fundamentals into practice if you want to awaken your potential and achieve great results.
In the last issue, I wrote about the “unrepeatable opportunity” you and I have to do wise, wonderful and grand things with the limited time we have in life. We have the chance to find our “genius,” or area of greatest strength, and apply it. We have the opportunity to grow in a relationship with the Lord, really love our wives, and influence our children and their children for generations to come.
Although we are called to satisfy these priorities, we are not compelled to do so. A man can abandon these divine man-dates, but he will lose forever the opportunities they offer.
What about you? How are you doing with your opportunity? Are you seizing it and making the most of it? Or are you running from it?
Remember, maximizing your full potential is only a possibility, only an option. It is not a guarantee of greatness, excellence or success.
As men who are Christians, we do have a higher calling: to obey and honor Christ. With this lofty mandate also comes a greater responsibility to deliver back to the world that special “something” God entrusted us with when He breathed life into us.
In my coaching practice, I have observed that lack of focus is the No. 1 reason men underachieve professionally and personally. By “underachieve” I mean to fail to access and then apply God-given potential to the opportunities of life.
“Mental discipline,” on the other hand, is the ability to keep your thoughts focused on goal-directed or high-value activity to the exclusion of all else. Fortunately, you can train yourself to develop superior levels of mental focus so that you can accomplish practically any worthwhile goal you resolve to pursue.
Applying a high level of mental discipline will enable you to reach the right goals faster, be more joyful and become a lot more fun to be around. Without mental discipline, however, even relatively easy goals become a strain.
Weak mental muscles allow for an emotional life that is random and unpredictable. Mental laziness slowly dissolves your potential for greatness: first privately, then publicly.
By deliberately working to improve your mental game you will upgrade every area of your life. You will hit your business goals faster. Your family life will be more peaceful. With “strong, toned” mental “muscles” you’ll be more fit, spiritually, emotionally and even physically.
Here’s a simple formula to unlock your full potential. You can use it to better understand your past, present and future performance: NT + ASK x MD = PPP.
Your Natural Talent (NT) plus your Acquired Skills and Knowledge (ASK) times Mental Discipline (MD) equals your Personal Performance Potential (PPP).
The great equalizer, as you can see from this formula, is your personal degree of mental discipline. You can’t alter your genetics or natural talent so that you won’t squander your effort in that area, but you can improve your skills and knowledge through study, repetition, exercising your will and developing an exceptionally strong work ethic. This can add tremendously to your potential.
Mental discipline can exponentially multiply your personal effectiveness in any area to which you wish to apply it. You must cultivate the following four fundamentals and put them into practice if you want to awaken your potential for great results through mental discipline.
With this first building block, you clarify what is to be accomplished, both in the immediate moment and the long-term. Without a precise target to shoot for, your thoughts will bounce back and forth between competing objectives-or non-objectives-between what you want to achieve and what you want to avoid.
How can you possibly experience mental discipline if your goals are fuzzy or ambiguous? It’s critical to know what you need to accomplish right away as well as in the future-such as what your annual revenue should be or the legacy you want to leave.
This building block refers to how well you stay focused on the current moment and fixed on “What’s Important Now” (WIN). Anything less than 100 percent concentration reveals divided attention and double-mindedness.
Distractions are misplaced attractions that downgrade your potential. The nastiest villain for interrupting pure concentration is multitasking-trying to do or think about so many things at one time that you cannot concentrate.
Distractions often arise from dwelling on an unchangeable past moment or worrying about a future situation instead of transforming the present circumstances to your advantage. They cause you to lose the current moment.
Confidence is building block No. 3 of mental discipline. This is your belief in your capability to reach a particular goal or set of goals.
Although genuine confidence is rooted in actual accomplishment, past performance alone does not ensure confidence will be developed or maintained. Sustainable self-confidence grows from exhaustive preparation, winning moments, positive memories and a focus on incremental progress instead of perfection.
How much preparation have you been pouring into your most important relationships and priorities? Are you focused on achievable progress or on unattainable perfection?
The final building block of awakening your potential is challenge, meaning, the degree of demand you willingly place on yourself. Your mental discipline will rise to meet the level of the goal you establish for yourself.
Small goals will extract only surface potential. Huge goals release untapped reserves and trigger breakthroughs.
Too many men look for the quick fix or easy answer. They think in terms of, “That’s good enough.” They evade the moments of pressure or spotlight that introduce champions to the world.
As a man of God, this is not for you! Your best self is revealed when the stakes are high, when the deadline is looming, and when the game is on the line. Anyone can occasionally experience peak performance. We all can have a great day now and then.
But your standard is much higher. Success is your choice, if you’ll make it.
Focus On Your Gifts
When you strategically pick a career pursuit in which you are naturally gifted, it will awaken your potential for peak performance in ways that you may have never expected. This is the place where you are capable of making the greatest contribution to the world.
You can become really good at lots of things, but greatness is only possible when you identify your unique strengths, fortify them with practice, infuse them with wise counsel and then multiply them with mental discipline.
What is God whispering in your ear? What do you secretly want to do with your life? Only when you really love what you do like a cherished hobby will you have what it takes to generate tremendous results in the marketplace.
Exercise the courage to honestly identify where you have been uniquely blessed, where you have special talents and abilities that can be leveraged in service to others. I believe every man has the ability to become outstanding in at least one thing if he is selective and if he throws his whole heart into becoming the best.
Like a world-class athlete, when you master mental discipline, you will find yourself replicating your best performance at will. When you do, you’ll also find that excellence is inevitable.
Article “Success Is Your Choice” written by Tommy Newberry is excerpted from New Man Magazine the 2007 September/October edition.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”