An ambitious young man had been trying for months to be granted an interview with a major computer manufacturer. After making dozens of attempts he finally managed to get the HR Director to take his call. The young job seeker asked if he could get into their well-known training program. With dozens of qualified candidates already in his files, the HR Director replied, “I’m sorry but I can’t interview you now. Why don’t you call back in about five years?” Now that was really a very rude remark but guess what happened?
The smiling young man replied, “Morning or afternoon?”
Now don’t we love people who do not surrender easily?
Confucius says: “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
Talk about perseverance.
One day, a man was sitting at home when he hears a faint a knock at the door.
He gets up, opens the door, and sees… no one. He looks around in the dark a bit before he just shrugs his shoulders and goes back to the living room. But a couple minutes later, he hears the same faint knock. He runs to the door, swings it open, and still sees no one until… he looks down and there’s a SNAIL on the step! He picks up the snail and throws him into the woods.
Two years later, the man hears a faint knock on the door. He opens it and looks down – the same snail is there. He looks up at the man and the snail says “Now, what was that all about?”
Famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar gives us his thoughts on this. According to Ziglar, “Somebody once said the difference between a big shot and little shot is that the big shot was the little shot who kept on shooting. There’s much truth in that witticism. The reality is, no matter what our target might be, we seldom hit it on the first try unless the target is low, which means the accomplishment–and the rewards–will be insignificant.”
In bow shooting, experienced archers test the wind by using the first shot to judge its strength and direction, enabling them to zero in on the target with their following shots. In short, archers learn from their mistakes. That’s good advice for all of us. Success in business, athletics, science, politics, etc., seldom comes on the first effort. Walt Disney went bankrupt a number of times and had at least one nervous breakdown before he made it big. Athletic skills are acquired over a long period of time and after countless hours of practice. Authors by the hundreds can tell you stories by the thousands of those rejection slips before they found a publisher who was willing to “gamble” on an unknown.
It’s more than just a cliché that persistent, enthusiastic effort produces powerful, positive results, that failure is an event–not a person–and that the only time you must not fail is the last time you try. Whatever your target might be, chances are good that you’re not going to hit the bull’s eye on the first effort you make at being “successful.” The key is persistence and the willingness to try again in the face of those early misses.
You can learn from those early mistakes and if you do keep on shooting, it’s just a question of time before you, too, are hitting the bull’s eye.”
We often times see the glamour of a person’s success. What we don’t see is the tremendous amount of effort and perseverance thrown into the work before the win. We see the champion whose hands are raised before the adoring public in the middle of the ring but what the public does not see is the tremendous amount of punches the champion absorbed before he finally hits the bull’s eye.
There is no short cut to success. It’s always toiling and striving and sweating it out and fighting the voice that rings in our head “Give up Francis, this is not getting you anywhere…” It’s refusing to give up when it seems like the effort is futile. Same thing in business, same thing in career and it’s certainly the same thing in the Christian life.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan says: “I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot . . . and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Oliver Cromwell says it very well: “Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.” Guess what the wisest man in the book of Ecclesiastes has to say about this:
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
And by the way, it’s a beautiful day today. Go to church!