We all want to win. And most of us recognize that there’s a price to pay to do so. There will be giants to fight, obstacles to overcome and wounds along the way.
It’s always valuable to learn from those who have won remarkable victories, so today I have chosen to consider an incredibly young man who made history in a big way. He was idealistic, zealous, exuberant and energetic. A real world changer. Generations have been inspired by David and the story of the day he pulled out his slingshot and killed the infamous giant, Goliath. That was before anyone knew that he would become a king and influence the destiny of a nation.
The majority thought Goliath was too big to fight – David thought he was too big to miss. Perspective is everything. Some days, it seems we must face multiple giants, but the giant named “Fear” is the one that all of us have encountered somewhere along our journey.
I’ve pulled 7 lessons from the legendary encounter of David and Goliath that are as relevant today as they were centuries ago. Methods change, but principles are timeless. I like to think of these lessons as “Slingshot Success”.
7 Lessons on Winning
1) There are more forces working against you than those that are for you. This doesn’t mean that those forces have more power or authority, but if the way isn’t smooth, the opposition shouldn’t come as a shock. Giants don’t yield their territorial hold with a polite shrug. When you get on target with the task you’re uniquely gifted to accomplish, the resistance you face is actually likely to increase for a season.
2) Feelings of inadequacy are normal. You don’t have to feel adequate as long as you know you are not in this alone. David overcame an enemy no one else was willing to fight. He wasn’t deluded into thinking he was the most powerful warrior in the land, but he did know his identity in his relationship with God. That was key.
3) Expect criticism – especially from friends and family. David’s brothers were scornful and belittling, but he disregarded their negativity and pressed through until he had audience with the king. Get critical information and base decisions on your own research and instincts, lest the facts be tainted by naysayers.
4) Beware of well-meaning advice that doesn’t apply to you. Guidance offered with the best intentions can still be utterly wrong. King Saul thought David should wear the king’s armor. The armor didn’t fit and it wasn’t a strength for the young David. Thankfully, he went with his gut feeling and not the recommendation of others.
5) Show up. More deals have been closed, contracts have been rewarded and sales have been made by average people with above-average work ethic. Being present at the moment of decision is critical to success. David’s legendary victory was magnified by the fact that no one else was willing to step up to the plate.
6) Know your strengths. Train and prepare with vigilance as you watch for the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned. David didn’t have experience with slaying giants, but he had killed his share of lions and bears as a shepherd.
7) Start where you are with what you have. Don’t wait until you have the title, the money, the influence or position. You can be a world changer when you start where you are, with what you have in your hand. Every act of courage is a win and you are destined to win.