#132: Roadblocks—12 Impediments to Success

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Have you ever noticed that some people are successful at nearly everything they put their hand to? Have you ever noticed that some people fail over and over?

Roadblocks

I know a couple of people who have a “gold thumb” for business. They are exceptionally bright, well-reasoned people. But most of the successful people I know are plodders. They work and fail, work and fail, but eventually they find success.

Whether you have a “gold thumb” or you are a plodder, if you are an achiever chances are that you plan, prepare, and implement well. When you fail chances are it is because of one of the twelve roadblocks listed below. Knowing them, confronting them, and building around them will increase your chance for success.

Roadblock #1:  Money

It is amazing to me the number of businesses that fail due to under-capitalization.

Jesus said, “For which of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?  Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-30 NAS)

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#131: How Space Mountain is Like Following Jesus

I always liked Disneyland, but after living in Southern California for many years and taking numerous trips to the Happiest Place on Earth with family and friends our visits had slowed.

Space Mountain, Jesus, Following

I hadn’t been to Disneyland in several years that is until my daughter, Rebekah, invited dad along on a father-daughter day at Disneyland in the summer of 2008.

Rebekah, who was a student in college at the time had an annual pass and had become the families’ de-facto expert on all things Disney.

Rebekah planned the entire day; the time we needed to arrive, which fast passes to grab first, and what rides to do in what order.

At some point during the day, she took me to Space Mountain. I had never been on Space Mountain, but it looked cool as we entered the bowels of the mountain.

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#130: The Higher You Climb the Harder You Fall

Remember the saying “The higher you climb, the harder you fall?” When I was younger I always thought the author of this quote got it wrong.

Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar

I’ve fallen out of a tree and off a ladder once or twice and believe me it wasn’t hard to fall. The falling part was easy! The landing part, now that was hard!

Now though I think I finally understand what the author meant (I’m slow sometimes). In the context of your career, your position in life, falling from the heights of power is indeed hard.

Just ask billionaire investment financier Bernie Madoff who was convicted of the largest investment fraud in U.S. history. Bernie is currently serving a 150-year prison term.

Or Jeffrey Skilling the former CEO of Enron who was convicted 35 counts of fraud and insider trading. Jeffrey served 14 years of a 24-year prison sentence.

Falling from the heights of executive power to the depths of a prison cell was hard!

Someone who fell even further and harder than Madoff and Skilling was Nebuchadnezzar. His story is a lesson for anyone who is climbing the ladder, and especially for those that have reached the top of the ladder.

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#129: What have you done for one of the least of these?

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me, said, Jesus, as he was teaching the disciples (Matthew 25:40).

Donald Gould, Least

A sign that I am a follower of Christ is seen in my willingness to help my fellow man.

Jesus spoke a similar message in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In this parable a priest and a Levite passed by an injured man, and purposely avoided helping him by walking on the far side of the road. Then along came a Samaritan man who stopped and cared for the injured man. This, said Jesus, is the how the disciples should behave.

In today’s world, the homeless people living on the streets are certainly “among the least of these.” And I must admit on more than one occasion I have been like the priest or Levite, purposely avoiding the homeless so I won’t have to stop to help them.

I was convicted of my pious attitude when I saw the YouTube video of the homeless man playing the piano on the street in Sarasota Florida. What I saw was a skinny, dirty, long-haired scruffy looking man.

But then I learned his story. His name is Donald Gould and he is 51-years old. Donald didn’t always live on the streets. He served his country honorably as a U.S. Marine, went to college, and dreamed of teaching music the rest of his life.

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#128: Running the Great Race

11 Qualities of a Winner

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  (1 Cor. 9:24)”, they knew very well what he meant.

Winner Running Race

The citizens of Corinth were familiar with athletic contests since their annual Isthmian games were second only to the Olympic games.  They knew that to win a runner must stay on the course, focused on the race, and keep going until the race was over.

How do we, as Christians, run the race in today’s marketplace, in such a way that we “get the prize”?  You don’t have to go far to find people willing to give you the answer.  Bookstores are full of books that proclaim methods sure to harness your inner powers to win; to be successful in life.  Entire magazines are devoted to teaching you the secret power of your inner-self on a monthly basis.  The problem with these self-help volumes is that they focus on how you can serve yourself and they call that “winning”.

Sadly, there are millions of people who accept this advice, focusing on their own pleasures and success, but suddenly they find a great emptiness in their gut.  The title and corner office at work, the luxury car, the nice house, none of these visible signs of winning bring true satisfaction.  So how can you live your life so as to “win” the race?  How can you serve God and win the greatest prize of all?  Here are eleven qualities of winners that will get you started.

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