Don’t Let Your Dream Die
You Have A Dream? Don’t Quit! Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. I can tell you from experience this is true!
I remember playing baseball for two years at the ages of 14 and 15. My first year I had struck out every single time but one. A pitcher by the name of Dave Dalby was the pitcher that made the mistake of throwing a pitch which “inadvertently” hit my bat. Once the ball hit my bat I was as shocked as anyone! I raced towards first base as I watched my first, and only hit of the season drop into right field.
That year of frustration and futility was full of life lessons that has remained with me the rest of my life. Our Fans had booed my every trip to the plate. They knew I would strike out. And guess what? So did I. I had such a defeatist attitude. Probably much like the defeatist attitude that you carry with you.
Lessons Learned About Failing
· You can listen to your critics and quit, or, you can listen to your critics and use them as motivation to drive you towards the fulfillment of your dream. We all have critics and far to often we are all a critic. I believe most critics in my life are well-meaning and desire to help me. However, some will criticize without even getting the facts. Some time ago, I was sharing my ministry of evangelizing people on every Continent and then starting Churches from those evangelized. After two minutes my critic said, “You will fail.” Now this is a good man that loves God and has done a wonderful wok for God. However, I was faced with a choice. Do I retaliate and defend myself; feel sorry for myself; allow this statement to discourage me? Or, would I choose to listen in order to learn?
I Listen to my critics of today, by Asking the following Questions:
o God, will you help me to have a teachable spirit, even if the critic has been harsh?
o What blind spot have I missed? We all have those areas where we are weak, yet we cannot see how these weaknesses are hindering us from achieving our dream So when a person criticize me, I immediately begin to seek what my blind spot might be.
o What can I learn that will help me further my Dream? What action step have I missed? What else do I need to learn?
· I learned that if I choose to listen to negativity without Evaluating the Experience, I would quit. I would be wasting the criticism that perhaps was needed to help me.
· You can focus on what you do not have, or, you can focus on all that you do have. I had talent; I was an athlete, I simply did not have the timing down on my swing. This skill could be learned with the great hand-eye coordination I had. I simply had to put in a lot of work while others were busy playing their “second” sport. That I did. I practiced day and night. My next door neighbor, Rick Estes would throw me a tennis ball at CLOSE range until I became so good that he made me learn how to bat with my left hand. The result, thanks to Rick was I went from a .011 batting average to batting .558 the very next season.
· I learned who my real friends were. It was my Dad, Robert Kilgore, who came to every game and watched his son strike out every time but once; who listened to all the other “Fans” booing his son each time I walked to the batter’s box. The next year the same “Fans” were cheering each time I walked to the plate.
· I learned to see Value in people BEFORE they succeed. I knew I had potential. I was a mufti-sport athlete. I had simply never played fast-pitch baseball before. I knew that if someone would help me, that I would be very good. Sound arrogant? No, I simply saw value in me that was hidden from everyone else. Therefore, I have in all my adult life been for the underdog. I have tried to support other people that had a dream, even when no one else would encourage them. I have a core belief that people are basically good all over the world, and that God has given talents and gifts to us all. Sometimes that .558 batter is just one friend away. I want to be a Rick Estes and be that friend that makes a difference in someone’s life.
· I learned that is more important to BE a friend that in HAVING a friend. This is what Rick taught me. He was only focused on helping his friend become a success in baseball. He displayed a very unselfish commitment to his friend. I made a silent commitment to try to “Add Value” to people the rest of my life. Guess what? There is GREAT JOY in being a Rick Estes, an encourager; an inspiration simply by believing in people.
· I learned that success does not come cheaply. There is a price to be paid to be successful. The question each must ask is, “Have I Counted the Cost and am I willing to Pay that Price?”
· It is so easy to overlook modest beginnings. We imagine highly-successful persons being blessed with almost superhuman talents. I am certain that any new players on the second team I played on thought that I was always a .558 hitter. In life, making this incorrect assumption might lead many to think that their big dream might be somewhat unreachable to the average people in life. As my Mentor, Dr. Maxwell said, “There are no secrets to success—only simple truths, principles, and disciplines that have been around for thousands of years.”
Principle to Ponder
Failure Happens; Success is a result of learning from our failings and making the necessary adjustments.
Failing need not be Final! Everyone fails from time to time! How will you Evaluate your failed Experiences to allow you to move forward in a positive and significant way?