Why does it seem like certain people just know how to obtain excellence? How can some set themselves apart from the pack? It's really not as complicated as one may think. It comes down to the fact that some people know what they want and others don't. Let me say it this way, if you don't know what you want, excellence will always elude you. For example, when Tom Brady was asked which Super Bowl ring was his favorite, do you know how he responded? "The next one," Tom replied. Now that may sound cocky, but it's really one insight into why Tom Brady has been labeled as the the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T). Tom Brady knows what he wants. He wants the next championship. And because he knows what he wants, he knows what to do. Train hard to win the next one. Now I know there are many other factors involved, but could we agree that excellence begins with a clear sense of direction?
Now, the reality is, most of us struggle with really knowing what we want. We can get unclear, uncertain, and unable to really articulate what we want. And therefore we can get very frustrated with life. We may even think excellence is not for us, but the chosen few. However, that couldn't be farther from the truth. God wants all of his children to experience excellence because excellence is from Him. So, "What should I do?" Well, if we would sincerely ask God, "What's the win?" in any given situation or relationship, God will help us know what the win is. God will help us know what we really want.
And when we know what we want, we will know what to do. Most people, when they know what they want can figure out how to get it. The Daniel of the Bible did.
When Daniel was taken captive by the Babylon Empire, he didn't give up on God or his faith in God. He didn't wallow around in uncertainty even though he was living in very uncertain time. Instead, Daniel asked God what the win was and then was resolved to do what it took to accomplish it. Daniel knew the win - do not compromise my faith - and because he knew the win he knew what to do. He made a deal with the guard, ate vegetables instead of the defiled food, and in the process demonstrated the first quality of excellence - resolve. And God was there to help him all the way. Daniel resolved, made up his mind, drew a line in the sand, had a life defining decision and then figured out how to follow through.
Today, if you are wondering what to do, there is good news. Excellence is awaiting you. And your first step is to ask God, "What's the win?" When God reveals it, you will start moving from uncertainty to clarity. You will move from tired to energized. You will move from stagnation to activation. And you will be on your way to striving for excellence.
Now, if this is all new to you, start small. You likely are not in captivity from a foreign ruler. You may not be as far as Daniel was with his faith. But you can ask God today "What's the win?" in one area of your life. Maybe it's a relationship, financial matter, emotional issue, physical concern, or spiritual need. If you sincerely ask God to help you understand what the win would be in that area, God will reveal it to you. Then the "What should I do?" will turn into an "I know what to do." Then go do it!
Scripture: Daniel 1:8 (NIV)
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
"Father, your name is excellent. Your Son did all things well. We are called to do everything as if we were doing it for you. Father, excellence is not a burden, it is a gift. It is life of asking you what the win is and then figuring out how to get it done. So God I sincerely ask you, "What's the win?" [start with one area of your life, maybe not the most complex, but an area that needs some attention]. Father, you are revealing to me right now what the win is. I am energized by knowing this and now I can start working on what to do. Grant me the resolve to follow through so I may bring glory to Your Name. In Jesus Name, Amen."