Weekly Thought – May 30, 2032
Fred spoke directly to others – not as a power play, but as an exercise of his gift to stretch them. He told them the truth to be helpful. Questions from people about mission and vision were common until his death.
Goals and Accomplishment
One thing I always feel I must be working on when I am seeking accomplishment is simple: start right where I am. Everyday take a step, not waiting to be in a different place, with different circumstances.
Ken McFarland, was one of the greatest platform speakers of his time. Even when he was attending class in a Kansas one-room schoolhouse. He told me when his teacher asked him to stay afterwards one day and asked him, “Kenneth, how far do you want to go?” “As far as I can go,” was his answer. “Then the ladder starts right here” as she pointed to the floor. It was the greatest lesson he could learn: success starts right where you are. There is no need to move somewhere else to find the ladder. Start climbing right where you are. There may (and probably will) be taller ladders somewhere else along the way, but if you don’t take the first steps right where you are, chances are you will never accomplish your goals somewhere else.
A caveat on goal setting: we have to become mature in our judgment about our capabilities, strengths and weaknesses.
For example, I wanted to be an opera singer. My vocal coach told me he had never had a student who worked so hard, was focused so clearly, or loved music like I did. “Fred, there is only one thing missing: talent.” His comment sounds cruel, but it saved me much time and money which was much better used elsewhere.
There are times when inspirational material beyond reason can be hurtful. Telling people they can do absolutely anything they want to do is harmful. For years I was rightfully known as “Fat Fred.” You could tell me 24 hours a day I could be a jockey at Churchill Downs, but it was never going to happen.
When we set goals serious reality is necessary. Vision beyond any possibility of reality sets us up for disappointment. I knew a young woman who suffered for years regretting the fact that she didn’t “go for it” and become a major Broadway musical start. She agonized about the fact she didn’t take the risk. I had the opportunity to speak with her voice teacher. The fact was she didn’t have the voice. It wasn’t opportunity at all. It wasn’t lack of risk taking.
When we are envisioning we need to avoid indulging in the mystical to the point of fantasy. The common philosophy of just dreaming it makes it possible is implausible and a stumbling block. When the dream doesn’t come true it sets the person up for assuming they are a failure. That is when I always remind them: “Only your plans have failed; you haven’t.”
This week think about: 1) What helps me accomplish my goals? 2) How do I assess my talents? 3) When do I experience the greatest energy?
Words of Wisdom: “We have to be mature in our judgment about our capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.”
Wisdom from the Word: “With this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 NET Bible)