If At First You Don’t Succeed…..

Most of us have heard the expression, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” It is a catchy cliché that hints to the thought to never give up. If we were talking about being persistent and never giving up, then I agree with the statement. However, there are those who use it as more of an excuse for failure. Rather than certain failures or setbacks being the result of not trying, they may be more of a result of not being fully committed to the goal.

I heard of a man who wanted to stop smoking. He made a committed decision to never ‘touch’ a pack of cigarettes again. He stopped smoking at that very moment. Then, about a month later while cleaning his car, a partial pack of cigarettes slipped out from under the seat. As he reached to pick up the pack to throw it away, he remembered his commitment to never ‘touch’ another pack. He went into the house and returned with a pair of kitchen tongs which he used to pick up the pack and throw them away. To some, the illustration may sound a little extreme, but it surely gets the point across.

As a leader, you are constantly faced with decisions and goals. How often do you fall short of accomplishing your goals because you simply did not put forth the necessary effort to reach them?

Recently, I heard a valuable illustration which expressed that, when you truly need to meet a goal or tackle a challenge you have faced time and time again, you turn up your efforts at meeting that goal. The visual picture the author gave was to imagine using a sledge hammer to kill an ant. This is the sort of focus you need to take when you are trying to reach a goal at which you have previously failed.

No more excuses. No more half-hearted attempts. No more shrugging your shoulders and wondering why things did not work out. Be a leader. Make a quality decision to reach your previously failed goal by using a “sledge hammer” level of effort this time. Focus the necessary energy, prayer, strength, and commitment to get the task done!

Gary R. Linn

Print This Print This