Gallup Strength Speaker, Coach, Book Author & Artistan
Decades of research has shown that when employees are given the opportunity to do what they do best every day, the effect on individual, team, and organizational performance is powerful. The problem is that most people aren’t able to accurately identify their own strengths and therefore can’t intentionally use them.
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We don’t pick the circumstances of our life. We do not pick the time of our birth or the family we are born into. We do not pick our talents or strengths or even our disadvantages. We do not pick the color of our skin or our nationality. We arrive “as is” and must face whatever life throws our way.
We can be sure of one thing. Adversity will come whether we are ready or not. We can pick our attitude but not our circumstances.
Theodore Roosevelt was born sickly and frail struggling with asthma. There were times he would spend weeks in bed recuperating and all this further weakened his body. Then he decided to do something about the circumstances that were handed him. He spent the next 5 years working out in a gym his father built for him. During this time he developed his upper body and strengthened his lungs. By his 20’s Teddy Roosevelt had won the battle over asthma and he went on to become a “rough rider” and one of the most physically active presidents ever. He faced adversity with determination and discipline.
Daniel was born in Jerusalem at a time when the winds of war were blowing. King Nebuchadnezzar had the city under siege. Nothing came in and nothing went out. When he finally broke into the city he took captives. One of them was Daniel.
Daniel was taken from his Jewish roots, family, home and culture. But Daniel was prepared for this adversity. He determined he would not give in to a heathen culture. (Daniel 1:8).
When the Jews celebrated the Passover they understood the bitter herbs and unleavened bread called “the bread of affliction” because they knew set backs and adversity was their lot. Daniel would understand the Passover as a ritual that forewarned and forearmed them. Daniel prepared for life’s adversities by developing a prayer life. Circumstances good or bad did not dictate his prayer life, he prayed three times a day. His prayer life developed his strength and resolve to withstand the pressures of a heathen culture.
Some people get strong in good times and then become bitter in bad times, blaming God for their misfortunes. Daniel had no such reactions. He prayed and lived a disciplined life. Some people only prepare for success. They prepare for “better” but not “worse”. They prepare for “Richer” not “Poorer”. The are prepared for “Health” but not “Sickness.” Prayer helps us deal with all of life, both good and bad.
As with Daniel, obstacles will come and how we are prepared for tomorrow’s trouble will determine how we survive.
Athletes are to be disciplined in their sports. Christians need to be disciplines in their spiritual life. Prayer and reading God’s word is a discipline.
An arch is strengthened by putting weight on it. Weight binds the stones around the arch making it capable of bearing a heavy load.
And so it is with a disciplined life.
Things happen to us.
How we handle obstacles which are sure to come will determine our ability to survive.
Put on the whole armor of God [Eph 6] which portrays a prayer life.
Putting on this armor does not make us invincible but it is the preparation we need for battle.