Those Who Don’t Take Chances Don’t Make Advances

Have you ever wondered why it seems that some people always just happen to get those “lucky breaks”? They are so lucky…… they’re always just at the right place at the right time. But wait a minute, there is something wrong with this picture. Why does it always happen to the same people? What if this “luck” they seem to have, is not luck after all? What if these are the people who are actually the ones who are willing to take the risk?

This brings me to this week’s nugget for discussion as we find it in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. His nugget #20 says: “Those who don’t take chances don’t make advances”.

Those Who Don’t Take Chances Don’t Make Advances.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging anybody to take reckless, non-calculated risks. Whenever any big projects are file2751255704217taken on, proper planning and risk assessment is an essential part of the process. But no significant achievements have ever been obtained by taking small risks on unimportant issues.

A relatively new term – emotional intelligence – has become a popular subject of discussion since the mid -1980’s. It has been said that EI (emotional intelligence) is becoming just as important as IQ (intellectual intelligence) in modern day business. Where decisions are normally being made based on documented facts and history, people in key positions of big companies are often required to make quick decisions or appoint someone in a new position without having any access to any previous written information or statistics. Emotional intelligence plays a very important role in these situations. People sometimes refer to it as making a decision based on a “gut feel”. They just had a “gut feel” to close a certain deal, or to appoint a certain person in a key position, and it turned out to be the best decision ever.

There is often huge risk involved in making these decisions, and it cannot be taken lightly.

This means that you need to be:

  • Very competent in what you are doing.
  • Well-informed about what is happening in your industry.
  • Well aware of changes that are taking place in your company and industry, and the demands that come with these changes.
  • Very confident about your decision-making.
  • Very strong in your faith.

There is a huge responsibility that goes with this kind of decision-making.

Stretch Yourself and Get Out of That Comfort-Zone.

People often get stuck in their comfort-zone. It becomes too challenging to stretch yourself and expand your horizons. Fear 100_2615is normally one of the first and biggest obstacles. “What if I don’t make it?” people would ask. But what if you do make it?
Often people would say that they are happy with what they have. “We are comfortable with our weekly/monthly wage, and we can pay the rent. We don’t need anything more.” Well, have you ever thought of all the people you could help if you “enlarge your territory” (1 Chronicles 4:10) and get out of your comfort zone?

Dream Big and Strive to Reach Your Full Potential.

I challenge you to start dreaming again. Dream big, and strive to reach the full potential of your calling. Focus on the important stuff, and let go of what is not important. Get excited and live life to the full.

H. Stern said “If you’re hunting rabbits in tiger country, you must keep your eye peeled for tigers, but when you are hunting tigers, you can ignore the rabbits.”

There is an old saying that says “even a turtle doesn’t get ahead unless he sticks his neck out”.

I am not encouraging you to get reckless, neither am I saying you ought to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but think soberly according to the measure of faith that God has dealt you (Romans 12:3). Start dreaming again. What are you passionate about? Then set out to achieve your full potential, because Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. So don’t put your faith in yourself, but “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), and then believe Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) that says “13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me”.


Be Courageous, Have Faith and Enlarge Your Territory.

We’ve all been dealt with a measure of faith. We need to develop that faith and aim high. If I may quote John Mason….”We Christians need to reach to the potential, not reckon to the past”.

Are you stretching yourself to make those advances? Tell me about them and what you have learned along the way.


12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stay Down

Life is not about what happens to us, but about how we respond to what happens to us. Isn’t it amazing how our failures can so quickly eliminate our successes? It is as if that one failure can destroy all previous successes. Have you ever thought of any reason why you shouldn’t stay down?

On a daily basis we need to respond to what is happening in the world around us. Then it hits closer to home; we need to respond to what happens to us. How do you respond to your successes? Do you get so caught up in celebration that you eventually lose momentum, or are you so focused that you can just carry on with your journey to success? Yes, it is very important to know how to respond to success, but it is just as important – if not even more – to know how to respond to your failures.

Failure Is Not the End of the World

This brings me to the next nugget for discussion. The next nugget as we find it in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average is nugget #19: “The most natural thing to do when you get knocked down is to get up”.

We all make mistakes and experience failure. The most successful people in life often are the people who have also made the most mistakes and have had more failures than what you care to remember. There is saying that says “show me the man who never makes a mistake, and I’ll show you a man who never does anything”.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stay Down:

  1.  It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again. – Vince Lombardifile6431283194820

    The only time when failure becomes final, is when you decide not to get up again, and that is a decision. You may fall ten times, as long as you get up eleven times, you are still going. Everybody falls down but the anticipation comes to see whether you are going to get up again. The falling doesn’t matter, what matters is whether you are going to stay down, or whether you are going to get up to continue the journey.

  2. If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate. – Thomas Watson, Sr.

    Every successful person in the world today will be able to tell you about a whole series of failures before they became successful. Overcome the fear of failure, and accept those failures with grace as a learning process, and you will be well on your way to success. Every time you fail, you have learned about another way that wouldn’t work. So you know to avoid that in future. If you didn’t try, you wouldn’t have known. Keep on trying, until you find the way to success.

  3. If you worry about yesterday’s failure, then today’s successes will be few. – Anonymous

    Failure can be a valuable tool in your journey to success. Great lessons can be learned from your failures. Take note of what you have done to cause failure and make sure not to repeat it. Whether it was failure in a business venture, or even if you made a mess of your life at some point, take stock of what happened, change what you can and accept what you can’t change. Then make peace with it, leave the past behind, and face the future. You can’t go back to the past and tomorrow will always be in the future, which is why today is the only present we have. John Mason also has a good way of putting it by saying; “the key to being free from the stranglehold of past failures and mistakes: learn the lesson and forget the details”.

  4. It is a great art to laugh at your own misfortune. – Danish Proverb

    By falling victim to stress and depression due to your failures, you are diminishing your health. Besides that, you will also start pushing people away from you. Yet, have you ever noticed how pleasant it is to be around someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously…someone who can laugh at his own misfortune? By learning this art, you will not only improve your health, you will create a better environment around you.

  5. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it. – Washington Irving

    You have not been placed on this earth to be “little” and to be subdued. You have been placed on this earth to have dominion and to subdue (Genesis 1:26-28). “How can I get my mind to rise above my failures?” you ask. I’m glad you asked. According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, “it has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan”.

  6. It is no disgrace to start all over again. It is usually an opportunity. – George Matthew Adams

    People often make a big deal out of their failures. Yet, it often only seems to be a big deal to them. Sometimes you would have some (often ill-informed) people or relatives making some negative remarks for a day or two, but then everybody continues with life as normal, while you are still battling with feelings of shame, guilt, depression and who knows what else. Few people (if any) are even aware of what you are going through. Many of the richest people in the world today, have gone through more than one bankruptcy before they became successful. Does that mean you have to go through such ordeals as bankruptcy before you can become successful? No, but I would definitely classify bankruptcy as a failure. Yet, even failing to that level is not final and it is not hard to find proof of that. The secret lies in starting all over again. Why would you want to stay down after any failure? To start all over again is an opportunity, grab it with both hands and give it all you’ve got.

  7. Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they have half the strength you thought they have. – Norman Vincent Peale

    There is also the saying that says “whether you say ‘I can’ or whether you say ‘I can’t’, you are right”. That makes it quite easy. If you decide that your obstacles are just too overwhelming…..well, you’re right. But that is your decision. You can also decide to stand up to obstacles and do something about them. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and John 16:33 (Jesus speaking) says “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” That means that if you have accepted Him as your Saviour, you can overcome any obstacle, and through Him you can do all things.

  8. Never give up. – Winston Churchill

    This one is so straightforward and to the point, nobody can say it better. Just “never give up”.

  9. The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success. – David Sarnoff

    Just how serious are you about achieving your goal? Do you have a passion for what you want to achieve? Will it make a difference? What is your reason for wanting to achieve your goal? This might be a harsh example to use, but for the sake of explaining the will to persevere, let’s use the example of me getting mugged at knife point and some youngster takes off with my wallet. I would let him go. I could always buy a new wallet (and I hardly ever carry any cash in my wallet anyhow). So it is more of an inconvenience. But if someone threatens the safety of my wife or my daughters, it becomes a different scenario altogether. I will put up a fight until the end to protect them. As I’ve said, that might sound very extreme, but the point is; how important is it to you to achieve your goal. Know your “why”, and you will be able to persevere until you achieve success.

  10. When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there. – Zig Ziglar

    The obstacles will come. So be prepared, and when they come, be willing to maybe change your plan of action, use a different strategy or a different approach, but once again….”never give up”.

  11. The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do. – Orison Swett Marden

    We all have the ability to dream. If you have forgotten what it’s like to dream, I want to challenge you today, to dare to dream again. Where do you think that dream came from in the first place? You have been created with a purpose. God has placed that dream inside of you. You don’t need to be pastor or a preacher to be in God’s plan. God also needs doctors, teachers, writers, and business people in this world to name but a few. That doesn’t mean you can’t work for the Kingdom. If you work to achieve your God-given dream, you can fulfill your God-given potential.

  12. Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t. – Richard Bach

    So, here is the final test: are you still alive? If you are reading this, I pretty much think so. So your mission is not finished.

Are You Going To Stay Down or Are You Going To Get Up?

So, obviously your mission is not finished. What are you going to do about it? I would love to hear what you are going to do about it. Or even better still, what are you doing about it? I know I’ve had to get up many times already, but I’m still going, and you?

How to Take Control of Your Life

One of the biggest problems we are facing in today’s society is the fact that people don’t want to take responsibility. Whatever goes wrong, it is always someone else’s fault.

Parents get blamed for all kinds of addictions. When people have problems with alcohol addiction, it is “because my dad was a heavy drinker, that’s just how I grew up”. Battling with violence, it is because they grew up in a violent home, or the neighbourhood was to blame.

When turning to crime, it is because of the bad economy, and they just can’t afford to make an honest living. I’ve even heard the devil getting credit for this when people say things like…”I don’t know why I’ve done it, the devil made me do it”.

I think they are giving the devil more credit than he deserves. The devil can’t force you to do anything, unless you are willing to do it.

This brings me to nugget #18 from John L. Mason’s book, An Enemy Called Average. The nugget as he gives it to us is: Found_855293808_2036549“The best helping hand you will ever find is at the end of your own arm”.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions

If you grew up in a bad neighbourhood or with violence in your home or with parents who had some addictions, it is still no excuse for not taking responsibility for your own actions. It should actually serve as additional motivation not to repeat their mistakes, or to make the world a better place for everybody to live in. The well-known John D. Rockefeller was a classical example of this. He didn’t exactly have an easy life as a child, with his father only being marginally employed and his mother struggling to keep them going, despite the lack of finances. Yet, he turned out to become the wealthiest man in the world.

In Deuteronomy 28, God sets before us all the blessings and curses. Then in Deuteronomy 30:19, we are given the responsibility to make our own choice.

Each one of us has a choice. There is not one single person in this world that has been created without the ability to make choices. Granted, we sometimes make the wrong choices, but that doesn’t mean we have to stick to them. Once you realise that you have made the wrong choice, take responsibility, change your course and make it right.

Nobody said that taking responsibility is going to be easy either. You most probably will get much resistance for making the right decisions. But pray about it and ask for wisdom and guidance from God (James 1:5). Once you have peace about your decision and you are convinced that you are on the right track, don’t back down, persevere and press on. Don’t give up at the first sign of failure.

Then, once your course has been set, keep on keeping on. Never lose momentum.

Success is not final, and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Who or What Do You Put Your Trust In?

It is amazing how many people are desperately seeking for help from other people, while – between them and God – they have everything they need.

People tend to always look horizontally, and end up seeking help only from other people, such as business people, financial institutions, life coaches, motivational speakers, etc.

There is nothing wrong in itself with any of the abovementioned people or institutions. Proverbs 15:22 (NIV) says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. It is wise to seek knowledge from people who are well informed where it concerns the situations you need to make decisions about.

The danger is when you are not careful about:

  1. Who you approach.
  2. Putting your trust in these people instead of God.
  3. When you become willing to give up control of your vision in exchange for money or sometimes even companionship.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (NIV) says “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans”, and Psalm 118:8 (NIV) says “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes”.

The Best Helping Hand You Will Ever Find Is At The End Of Your Own Arm.

So, it is wise to get the counsel of the appropriate people and to get constructive advice. But your trust should be in the Lord.

Dare to dream your own dreams, receive your own vision from the Lord. Then take the responsibility of taking control of your own vision. You will need to apply faith (and lots of it), but when your priorities are straightened out, you will succeed.

We all have been blessed with the ability to choose. So you choose. Do not allow someone else to choose for you. Then put your hand to it, and do what you need to do. If you want to take control of your life, accept responsibility for your actions.

How do you overcome obstacles in your life? How do you cope with the challenges coming your way? I would love to hear from you.