#229: Achieving Your God Sized, Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal

Think Big, Start Small

As far as I know, Jim Collins was the first person to coin the phrase “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals” (or BHAG’s for short) in his 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

Goals

Jim’ s idea spread quickly through Fortune 500 companies, including P&G where I worked at the time.

A BHAG is a visionary statement that is both strategic and emotionally compelling. At least in the case of P&G, we added the concept that to be a BHAG the idea must be so large, so visionary, that we don’t know how to accomplish it.

A perfect example of a BHAG from my youth was expressed by President John F. Kennedy. In announcing the United States’ intention to lead the world in space, Kennedy said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Kennedy could have said “the United States will expand the space program,” but that would not have been visionary or emotionally compelling. Kennedy’s goal was certainly a BHAG because at the time, no one knew had to get a man to the moon, land, and return safely.

Long before Kennedy, another man proclaimed an even bigger BHAG. Jesus said to the disciples, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The disciples, a rag-tag group of doubters and misfits, had no idea what was in store for them. Yet, through them, Jesus’ proclamation changed the world.

Not all of us can change the world through our actions, but we can change or corner of the world. To impact our corner of the world we need to establish our own BHAG’s.

Establish Your BHAG

To achieve a goal, you have to establish a goal.

To achieve a BHAG, you have to establish a BHAG. You have to think BIG! Think so big that it is beyond what you know how to do. Think so big that it is beyond what you are capable of doing. Think so big that the only way it can be achieved is through God’s power.

Paul, writing to the Ephesians said God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). That power at work in us as believers is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!

Do you want to make a God-sized difference in your corner of the world? Then establish a God-sized BHAG; something that can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit working through you!

When you establish a God-sized BHAG, that is aligned with Gods’ will for your life, then you can be assured that “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s provision.

Get Started

But to achieve a God-sized BHAG you have to get started, and the best way to get started is to start small.

There is a Greek proverb that roughly translates, “the beginning is half of every action.” To accomplish any goals, let alone a God-sized BHAG, you have to get started. Getting started is often the hardest first step.

Here are three suggestions to get you started on your BHAG:

Start Small

Start with a small amount of faith and move against your God-sized BHAG.

Jesus told the disciples that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed they will be able to move mountains (Matthew 17:20). The tiniest amount of faith, combined with the power of God can and will accomplish great things.

Pray

Commit your BHAG to the Lord and reinforce your faith with prayer. James admonished believers saying, “You want something but don’t get it…you do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).

Thank God

Thank God for who He is and what He is doing for you. God is blessing and enabling you to accomplish more than you could ever hope or imagine. So, follow the example of the psalmist who said, “You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you” (Psalms 118:28).

If you want to make a difference in your corner of the world,  establish a God-sized BHAG. Then get to work on accomplishing what God has called you to do by starting small, committing your efforts to the Lord in prayer, and thanking God for his blessings and provision in your life!

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. Have you established a God-sized BHAG to impact your corner of the world? If so, any suggestions for the rest of us?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God

 

#228: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

This week should be a wonderful week of celebration here in the United States. It is the 241st anniversary of the July 4, 1776, signing of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from Britain.

United We Stand

But, I don’t feel much like celebrating. As I look around the political landscape of our country today, it seems we have not been this divided since the Civil War.

The de facto motto of the United States, “E Pluribus Unum,” was adopted at the same time as the signing of the Declaration. The motto, which translates to “Out of Many, One,” symbolized the strength of the 13 original colonies becoming united as one country.

It was through this united stand that the poorly equipped and largely untrained army of the colonists defeated and won independence from the most powerful country in the world.

Our motto reminds me of the line, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” from Aesop’s Fable, “The Four Oxen and the Lion.”

In this fable, four oxen are arguing with each other and so head off to separate corners of the field to graze. A lion comes along and devours each of the four oxen.

Had they settled their dispute and stayed together they would have been able to fend off the lion.

Divided they fell.

Divided we will fall. Not necessarily to an enemy from the outside. More likely, the enemy is within us. The lion that may devour us is the bitter division of intolerance.

The oxen could not tolerate each other’s differences of opinion, and so they all became lion food.

I fear the same will happen to us.

In late May, Steve Tennes, a Christian farmer in Michigan who lives 22 miles from East Lansing was denied a business permit to sell his crops at the local farmer’s market. Why?  Because he believes God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.

A few weeks ago, actress, preacher, and gospel singer Kim Burrell preached against homosexuality in her church. As a result, her appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show was canceled. Burrell’s radio show was canceled. She was disinvited from an appearance as co-honoree of the BMI Gospel Music Awards. All because she preached a Biblical message in her church.

These are just two of the many examples of Christians who have been marginalized and oppressed for trying to live their lives in a way that honors God and His commandments.

The people who claim to be the most tolerant, are in fact among the least tolerant. They are not willing to let those who do not share their views live amongst them.

This is not a free and open society.

This is a divided, oppressive society.

President Abraham Lincoln, in a speech at the Republican Convention of 1858 said in part,

“We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.
In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.”

Lincoln’s line, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” is a reference to Jesus’ warning to the disciples about the importance of unity in the Church.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” Matthew 12:25.

We cannot exist as a productive society as long as there are those who seek who do away with God and His plan for humanity.

Christians, remember Jesus’ warning, “…every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

Let us come together as believers, setting aside our minor differences, and agree to unite against the common enemy that confronts us.

As long as we are in different corners of the pasture, we will become lion food.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. Have you experienced oppression for maintaining your Christians values?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Personal Development | Values