Category Archives: Mistakes,Excuses; Failing; Blame-shifting; Accountability; Personal Responsibility

We Expect the Best from Others, but do we Expect the Best from Ourselves

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We Expect the Best from Others, but do we Expect the Best from Ourselves

 

     How often have we walked into a restaurant or department store only to leave disappointed because we did not receive the Brand Promise during our visit.   We left thinking, “They did not give me their best.”   Yet how often have we looked at our lives and come to the same conclusion, “I have not given my best to my Church, to my Work, or even to my Family.” 

     It appears that many people, including Christians, are happy with ‘being average’.  We must understand how Average is the enemy of Greatness.   Here is the basis of my belief.   Average identifies you as the Best of the Worst, yet it also identifies you as the Worst of the Best!  

     No one pays a great salary to those who are merely average.   No Pastor of a growing, thriving Church wants to hire staff that will be mediocre and average at best.   They are praying and searching for those that daily will give the best they have to offer to bring onto their staff.

     As the ministry God has led me to start, JimKilgoreMinistries, continues to develop, I am constantly searching to add men from all over the world to our International staff.   We currently have a Regional Director for JKM in Central America, Pastor Timothy Aguire from Mexico.  We also have a Regional Director for Asia, Pastor Jonathan Aparre from the Philippines.  We have also assembled a team in Asia called, JKM Team Asia.   Six godly men were selected because of their love for Jesus Christ and their passionate desire to win souls and start new Churches on every Continent.

     If I had suspected they would only commit to an average effort for JKM, they would not have been selected.   God’s work, especially on the International level, demands commitment to excellence and a dedication and urgency in reaching the World with the Gospel.  

     A friend asked me a fascinating question several years ago, “Jim, if you were in charge of quality control of a factory, what percent of errors would you tolerate?”    “None,” I responded. “I’d be unhappy with anything less than 100 percent quality.”

     He told me that he’d asked that same question to several people and their responses varied from 95 % to 99.9%. To the person who would tolerate quality errors of one-tenth of one percent, he showed a list with the heading:   If 99.9 %  is  Good enough, then:

  • Twelve newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
  • 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped this year.
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled in the next hour.
  • 2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
  • 315 entries in Webster’s dictionary will be misspelled.
  • 800,000 credit cards in circulation will have incorrect card holder information on their magnetic strips. 
  • 2 million documents will be lost by the IRS this year.
  • 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written this year.
  • 291 pace maker operations will be performed incorrectly.

 

Do Your Best

You can’t be perfect
You can’t always be the greatest
What commands the most respect
Is your effort to do your best

When the curtain is finally down And the music has finally stopped
There is nothing more satisfying to self
Than to say, ‘I did my best’

It’s healing to say the least
And empowering to hear people say
‘All the labor of your hands
Will never be in vain’

In those words you’ll find perfection
They mirror all your effort
If ever in need of courage
Pick this poem and read again

You might not be the greatest
Or the best that ever lived
Provided you do your best
You’ll be, one of the greatest of all time

David Beckham

Points to Ponder on our Personal Effort

 

  1.  Can we accept less than 100 percent?
  2. To improve upon “average” I have some great advice: SMALL changes over time will make BIG difference! Improvement is achieved in INCHES rather than in MILES!
  3. Advancement only comes with continually doing more than is expected from you.
  4. “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”  Jackson Brown
  5. You are doing your best only when you are continually trying to improve what you are doing.
  6. Successful people were not born that way.  They became successful by daily doing those things which the unsuccessful person refuses to do.

 

Someone once said, “If I continue to do what I have been doing, then I will continue to get the same results.”     The question is, do you really want the same results you have been achieving?

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No One Can Make You Feel Like a Loser Without Your Personal Permission

No One Can Make You Feel Like a Loser Without Your Personal Permission

                            Jim  Kilgore,  Missionary Evangelist

Loser

     Years ago, Olympic diver Greg Louganis was asked “How do you deal with all the pressure and stress that comes from competing at such a high level?” He simply said, “When I get up on the platform the second before I dive I say to myself ‘Even if I blow this dive my mother will still love me.”

     Much of my life as a young person was spent feeling inferior to nearly every other person.  I was reminded by the “in- crowd” that I just didn’t fit in with them.  I was laughed at, ridiculed, left alone.  Then it happened, I began to excel at sports and suddenly I had “friends.”    My self-esteem began to rise, yet even today at times I am haunted by feelings of inadequacy.

    What I am about to share is what I read when the serpent of inadequacy visits me.  I do not know whom to credit, but I thank God for the paper I have read for at least 35 years.  It has encouraged me; inspired me; and provided hope to me.   This true story reminds me to take my eyes off of the negative and disparaging remarks of others.  It reminds me that I have been created in the very mage of God (Genesis 1:26).

From a “DUNCE to a GENIUS

     When Victor Seribriakoff was 15, his teacher told him he would never finish school and that he should drop out and learn a trade.  Victor took the advice and for the next 17 years he was doing a variety of jobs.  He had been told he wasn’t very smart, and guess what?  He lived down to this belief others had of him. 

An Incredible Transformation was about to Take place

     When he was 32 years old, an amazing transformation took place in Victor’s life.  He was required to take an evaluation at work.  The evaluation revealed that he WAS a Genius with an IQ of 161.  Guess what happened next?   Since he learned of his “Genius Status” he began writing books, secured a number of patents and became a very successful businessman!

     Perhaps the most significant event for this former high school drop-out was his election as the Chairman of the International Mensa Society!   The Mensa Society has only one membership qualification.  You must have a minimum IQ of 140.

           

How Many Other Victors are Living DOWN to the Expectations of Other People?

     The story of Victor Seribriakoff truly makes me wonder how many geniuses we have walking around feeling like a loser because of any of the following:

  •       Sin(s) that has been committed, confessed, and cast-a-way. 
  •       Social Standing.   From a lower income group.  
  •       Struggling with a new task or job.

 

I had a man tell me DAILY the following phrases when I was in construction at the age of 19.

  •       You are Dumber than Dirt
  •       You will NEVER amount to anything
  •       You are so Stupid

     I have learned not to pay much attention to the Critics (they can reveal blind-spots to me).     I have learned not to pay much attention to the Compliments either.  Both can affect me adversely.   I simply remind myself that “I am what I am by the Grace of God.”

     Once Victor started listening to the correct choices around him, his life completely changed!  When he saw himself differently, he started living differently.    Proverbs 23:7 says: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

 

Genius

What about you?  What is your story?   How have you dealt with feelings of Inadequacy?

Will You Get Back Up?

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A football coach was showing a film to his team in which a player was being tackled again and again.    Each time the football player would get back  up and try again. Yet the opponent would tackle him yet again.    This went on until he had been knocked down nine or ten times. 

The coach suddenly stopped the film and asked his players, “You have all seen what happened.    Which player would we want on our team?”  “The one that keeps knocking the player down,” the players all agreed.   

“No,” said the coach, “we want the one who keeps getting up!”

 

This player represents what we Christians must learn to do.  That is, we MUST get back up once we have experienced a difficult issue, or, perhaps a series of setbacks.

 

The Bible says in II Corinthians 4:8-9:   “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;   9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” This passage of Scripture is most certainly a Soft Pillow for a Troubled Heart!

 

The words Paul used are Quite Interesting

 

Troubled means, “to press.”  The idea is that our troubles are pressing in on us; squeezing the hope, the very spirit out of us.

Distressed means:” to cramp; to pin.”  The meaning of these two words are, “we are pressed, but we have not been pinned.”

Perplexed means: “to be without resources; to have no place to go;  no place to turn to.”

Not in Despair means, “Not without resources; “The meaning is this.  I have nowhere to turn;

my situation is very bleak at best.  Yet Paul said, that as a Christian, you ALWAYS have a place

to turn.   There are always options in the life of a Believer.   God’s Word provides this hope!

Persecuted means, “to fall behind.”   It carries the idea of a runner who is running in a race and yet for one reason or another has fallen behind.

Forsaken means “not abandoned.”    Again, the teaching is simple.  Paul said that you may be

running the race of life and have fallen behind, perhaps through wasted years; missed

opportunities; or even fallen behind because of sin.  Yet, he said, you have not been abandoned

by God!    God is where he has always been.  He is still sitting on His throne.

Cast Down means, “To be knocked down; to be cast down.”  It carries the idea of being knocked

down with a great deal of force.

But not Destroyed means   “to lose; to die; to be rendered useless.”  The meaning is that we

may be knocked down, but we are not knocked out!

 

Scripture Provides Hope when there Appears to be NO Hope

I love this passage as it provides hope to those who have lost hope.  There are some right now who feel as though there is no hope for a better tomorrow, due to the complications of life.

This could be as a result of poor choices or circumstances.  You are on the canvass about to be

counted out.  Yet this passage reminds us that we can be knocked down, without being knocked

out; that we can be pressed, without being pinned; that there may “appear” to be nowhere to

turn for both Hope and Help; that you may have fallen behind in the race of life, but you have

not been left behind by God!    These verses should remind us that we can ‘Fail without being a

Failure!’    Failure ONLY happens when we give up.

 

How to View Your Problem

 A problem is merely a GAP between where you are and where you want to be, with obstacles

existing which prevent EASY movement to close the gap. Problem solving involves discovering

new ways of dealing with the obstacles in our lives.

What tangible steps can you take today that would close the Gap?

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Eliminating Excuses

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Most of us have experienced failure in our lives.  My earliest encounter with failing  entered into my life at the age of 13.  It was then that I played fast-pitch baseball for the first time.  I was horrible.  I batted a miserable .011.  I got one hit the entire season when the pitcher “accidentally” hit my bat with one of his pitches.  I could have made excuses such as, “the other guys had played for years; this was my first season.  Rather that excuse my poor performance, I accepted the responsibility for improving myself.  I practiced for ten months.  When the second season rolled around, my batting average sky-rocketed to .558. 

Yes, at times, each of us has failed in some endeavor. Perhaps we failed to do what we should have done.  At other times we were guilty of not doing something which we should have accpmlished.  Once we were questioned about our failings, our focus should of been on accepting personal responsibility and making an honest admission of our faults.  Instead, many have been guilty of making excuses.  John Burroughs has an interesting thought to consider on failure: he said, “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”

What do you suppose is the significant difference between one who consistently achieves the expected results and the person who habitually fails in accomplishing his objectives?   And how can you tell if one remains a success though they have suffered a devastating defeat, or have become a failure?  How can you tell if you have now become a failure?   This is so easy to discern, for all one must do is to listen for the excuses to roll in.  Failures make it their habit to manufacture excuses when adversity comes; it’s why they have a history of failures. They continue doing what failures do, make excuses. Successful people consistently own their shortcomings and seek to learn from them.  The person who really wants to succeed will search for a way; the other person will invariable seek an excuse to take the focus off their failings. Don Wilder said, “Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.”  The successful, when encountered with an obstacle or set-back will accept responsibility, set goals, establish objectives, and create actionable steps which will enable them to climb the ladder of success.  The Failure however, makes excuses in a feeble attempt to justify his role in the problem.   Florence Nightingale was quoted as saying, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.”  And neither should the modern-day leader.

Being a success is not quite as easy as it may seem.  It pre-supposes that you have relinquished  your “right” to take the easy way out, by refusing to submit excuses.   It means that when you have a temporary failure, you will at once ask yourself,  “what could I have done differently” rather than “why am I constantly placed in a position to fail”?

1.   Dedicate yourself to the development of problem solving skills. If something is important to you, you will find a way to fix the issue.   If not, then you’ll find an excuse in hopes it will satisfy your insecurities.

2.  There must be a commitment to change one’s attitude towards disappointments and set-backs. To eliminate the excuse-making from one’s life, a concrete decision must be made to “Stop making excuses and begin to make some positive and constructive changes to your situation.

George Washington Carver had little patience with excuse-makers.  He was heard to say the following about excuses:  “99% of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”  This is certainly true.

3.   Adopt the philosophy that set-backs are the key that will open the door of success for you.   You must understand that you can fail without being a failure.  Failure need not be final until you begin making excuses, or unless you make it the final chapter in your book of life.

4.  Stop making excuses and begin at once to search for solutions.    You must understand that life is full of options if one only knows where to look for them.  There is always a way…  The portrait of your dreams may not be delivered in the frame you had custom-designed, but if you, the artist, will begin to touch up the painting which you call failure, there is every reason to believe that through this disappointment, your picture might one day become as favored a painting as a Michelangelo. Did you know that most great ideas were born out of adversity? There was a problem that frustrated the crowd, but someone decided to find a solution to the problem. Most threw away the key which would have unlock the window of opportunity.

However, there was one small, seemingly insignificant face in the crowd that said, “I will let failure become my Teacher.” I will learn. I will experiment. I will climb this mighty mountain. I will scale her heights. There doesn’t appear to be a solution now, but I will persist until I find a way. There are always options! There is always a better way. I must probe until she introduces herself to me in my search for her. Greatness will come once my failing meets with creativity and persistence. I will not quit! I will not blame anyone for my situation!

Excuses Must Be Eliminated!

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It’s not my fault, he said. Well, it certainly isn’t mine, she exclaimed! The leader will invariably be forced to deal with the various excuses that people make.

From the outset, one must understand how critical it is for one to make a conscious decision to terminate life lived under the negative and highly unproductive regime of blame-shifting, negativity, and excuse-making.  Listed below are two common allies in the army of excuses.

  • I can’t.”   One must choose to change the focus by rephrasing the “I can’t” into a positive and profitable question: “How can I” defeat my foe?   Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me.”  I can is what makes a great person!
  • It is not my fault. The fault belongs to ….. This must change to a positive question as well. It doesn’t matter who deserves the blame, the best use of my time and energy is to determine the root cause and seek solutions.

Isn’t it interesting how people who have a fear of failing, can conjure up countless excuses rather than admitting how frightened they are to tackle the issue or task?  The words “fear” and  “frightened” were just used in the above statement. But how does fear and excuse-making work together in harmony to defeat us as we march toward our dreams?

F.E.A.R. stands for: Finding Excuses And Reasons.   Isn’t this what happens nearly every time a problem arises. People will flee to the hills in order to escape the assault of accountability. When one’s flight has been intercepted, a new approach is often used. The decision to utilize this tactic is as old as the first man and woman who lived. After yielding her will to the Tempter, Eve immediately played the Blame Game by shifting her failure over to Adam. Adam in turn, decided to cast blame and accountability upon God for his moral and spiritual failure: ” God, this is not my fault, I am not the one to blame here, it is the woman’s fault, you know, the very one whom Thou hast given to me.”   Can you believe that Adam actually blamed the Creator of the Universe for his failure? Such is the history of mankind. While change transpires with the speed of light, some things seldom change. The one constant has been an individual’s unwillingness to accept personal responsibility for mistakes in judgment; errors in decision-making; yielding to temptation; and becoming accountable for “the project” which went south on during our watch.

John Maxwell recently said this about excuses: “Excuses are the Exits off of the highway to accomplishment!”  If this be true, and I believe that it is, then one must accept that the wrong exit will most assuredly lead the driver on a detour headed straight into the failure zone.  No one really wants to live there.  Certainly no one wakes up dreaming of spending their life in such a horrid and putrefying place. This detour is not “the destination spot” of America or the world.  Once a driver veers off the highway of personal responsibility and accountability, the bypass will take those in the car far from their original course.  The tragedies are legion.  One wastes and loses valuable time while on the detour.   Furthermore, one may never find the road to success again.  The driver of this vehicle must follow his roadmap carefully.  He must identify the “excuse exits” and commit to following the predetermined course.  What are some common “excuse exits?”

  • It is not fault, so why should I get involved.
  • I am too busy.  I cannot possibly take on another responsibility.
  • I cannot get anyone to help me.
  • What good will it do anyway.
  • I don’t have the money.
  • This is just too hard.
  • Why should I be the one that…..

I hope you get the idea.   We can use several excuses, but how will the excuse accomplish the needed objective?

It was Benjamin Franklin who once remarked, that “a person who is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else!  How completely prophetic this statement has proven to be in the lives of the masses.

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I have taken the position that an excuse is a reason which has been stuffed with a lie. Furthermore, my personal philosophy for the last 20 years has been:  No EXCUSES, only a careful EXAMINATION of the opportunity, and then EXECUTION.  

What do you think?   Have you been guilty of, or do you work with an excuse-maker?  The trouble with always leaving yourself a way out through the vehicle of an excuse, is that most always take it.
Look for my next article on eliminating excuses from our lives.

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