BOUNCE BACK - POSITIONING

IT’S AMAZING HOW MANY SPORTS DEPEND ON POSITIONING.

Basketball is an obvious example, because a player who gets loose for a shot beneath the basket is in a far better position than the player who is double-teamed at mid-court, and the player who is positioned for a rebound following a missed free throw is in a far better position than the player who is ten feet from the basket when the shot is missed.

But positioning plays an important role in other sports, too. In golf, the object of a 300-yard drive is not to hit the ball into the cup. Rather, the object of a 300-yard drive is to position yourself for the easiest possible approach to the green on your next shot. Likewise, the object of a good pool shot or the object of bowling is to position yourself for the next attempt.

This analogy applies to the rest of life as well. Most famous actors and actresses gained their stardom by positioning themselves early in life for starring roles later on. Most famous musicians became wealthy and prosperous because they positioned themselves to be discovered and to satisfy the musical appetites of an ever-changing culture. And the typical politician has risen through the ranks of our political system by positioning himself to become his party’s next superstar.

In life, positioning matters. What you do today will affect tomorrow, and what you decide today will shape tomorrow. If stock car drivers know the importance of positioning themselves to take the checkered flag, then you need to understand that the educational decisions, the financial decisions, and the career decisions you are making right now are destined to shape the way you finish your race.

My advice to you, as a life coach, is to find out what you need to know to be well-positioned and then obtain that knowledge before you take another shot at your goals.

Be teachable, not prideful, and you will succeed in all that you do. Every person should know that there is a real difference between the good kind of pride and the bad kind. Even the Bible teaches us that there is a distinction between these two attitudes, and the differences can yield diverse outcomes in a person’s life.

On the positive front, we should all be aware of the talents and skills that God gave to us when he made us. The apostle Paul encouraged the Galatians, for instance, to take pride in themselves (see Galatians 6:4). But he encouraged the Galatians to do so without comparing themselves to one another, because the tendency to compare is where the bad kind of pride comes into play.

The bad kind of pride is the kind that God hates (see Proverbs 6:16-17). God hates this kind of pride, because it “delights not” in the specific talents that he gave us. Rather, it delights in the fact that others do not have what we seem to have. Bad pride focuses on all of one’s good points to the neglect of one’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities, so it elevates its owner to the point that he can no longer see where he needs to grow.

All of us need to grow, and that is why bad pride is so reprehensible. All of us need to grow, and that is why bad pride can lead to failure and to a lot of self-inflicted pain. If you have failed in the past, there is a good chance that your failure was due to some knowledge that you lacked or some skills that you did not have at the time.

A lot of factors contribute to success. While some of these factors are beyond our control, most of them are very much under our control. One of the essential elements of success is a work ethic that just won’t quit. Successful people position themselves for success by working hard.

Who are you? What is the most accurate way to describe you? What are the primary qualities and traits that comprise your life? What are your strengths, and what are your weaknesses?

If I were to ask you to write your answers to these questions, your responses would be quite different from the responses other people would give regarding your character and personality. And these discrepancies would not be surprising, because you see certain things about yourself that other people do not see, and vice versa. But the objective reality of who you are is shown in the things you do when nobody else is looking. The things you do behind closed doors are the things that truly define you.

Behind closed doors, are you honest or dishonest? Behind closed doors, are you confident or insecure? Behind closed doors, do you have a strong work ethic, or do you just talk a big game and blow a lot of hot air?

So behind closed doors, are you working toward your goals or just talking about them to people who seem impressed by your ideas? Behind closed doors, are you implementing a plan that can get you to the pinnacle of that mountain you want to climb, or do you tend to waste your time on unproductive activities that are designed to bring you temporary happiness?

The highway to greatness is paved with imagination and ingenuity. But the fuel that drives the engines that can carry you down that highway is hard work and sacrifice. Don’t be afraid to work for what you want.

If you had told me when I was in college that I would get married one day, I would have believed you. If you had told me that I would have a family, I would have believed you. But if you had told me when I was in college that I would see the legalization of same-sex marriage in my lifetime, I don’t think I would have believed you.

The lesson here is that the world is changing. For better or worse, the world is changing every day. The 7 billion people on this planet are pushing for change in every arena of life, so we are feeling the forward thrust of change the same way you can feel the forward thrust of an automobile when you press down on the accelerator.

Society is changing, technology is changing, and entertainment is changing. The role of government is changing, and even the food that we eat is changing. So you must be willing to change, too, if you intend to stay relevant and competitive. In fact, there is no faster way to get left in the dust than to dig in your heels and refuse to change, because your ability to change with the fluctuating needs of business and with the shifting priorities of society will define your ability to succeed.

That is why proper positioning for any pursuit requires a continual assessment of one’s relevance and continual movement away from outdated practices and toward new and better methods. You should never abandon your core values, but you should always be alert to what is happening in the world, and you must be willing to respond to current trends.

Are you willing to adapt? Are you willing to make the changes that are necessary to succeed? To be positioned for greatness, you must be willing to learn what you need to know, remain teachable and not prideful, work hard, and be willing and able to adjust to the changing circumstances around you.

Success

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