The Talk Illusion: Talk doesn’t equal results. Often times, our minds will play a trick on us by giving the illusion that talking or thinking about something means that action has taken place on it. Think about it for a moment, have you ever prepared a to-do list and by the time you are done listing the items you feel wore out, but yet happy, like you have accomplished something. Or maybe you have had intense conversations about a new business idea or life calling and by the end of the conversation you feel good. No matter how good you feel, the reality is, you haven’t done anything yet. For many people this illusion is the hardest to get over because they truly feel that by just thinking or talking about something they have taken action. These same individuals will also become quickly confused as to why these grand thoughts or plans aren’t getting accomplished. They will bemoan the lack of opportunities, claim they don’t know how to do something, blame other people or “the system”, blame God, or just stubbornly say things like, “I am waiting for God’s timing.” They will do anything, but the one thing that will actually make something happen. And what is that one thing? Work. So why do people talk instead of work? The reason is — talking is a source of instant gratification that gives the illusion of accomplishment. For example, imagine a person who wants to start a new business, what’s easier for this person to do: file new LLC documents and set up a website, or chat at a local coffee shop with friends about a great new idea they have and get validation from them? Most people will always choose the later by default, because they need to be told they are good enough and doing the boring work can wait for later. People hate to work, and thus, dreams die. Proverbs 14:23 “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
Work = Results: Look at any person you admire or individual from history that made a significant impact and you will see a person who believed passionately and followed through on their beliefs by working extremely hard. Work is the ingredient that will get your calling off the ground. However, in churches today the vague rallying cry of “You need to dream big and God will bless you!” has stalled many people from moving forward. People already dream big, they just lack the will to work. Work isn’t fun. It can be downright dreadful, but you know what is at the end of all that hard work? Results. It will take blood sweat and tears to achieve even half of what you are dreaming of doing, but when you pay that price you lay the groundwork for those beautiful results. Hard work takes your dreams and makes them realities. If you are not seeing results in your life, take a look at the work you are putting in. Challenge yourself to do more, resist the effort to complain, don’t blame others, just work harder and know that labor will reap results. Read a few of these quotes from people who know a little about success and hard work:
"If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all." — Michelangelo
"I was always willing to work; I was not the fastest or biggest player but I was determined to be the best football player I could be on the football field and I think I was able to accomplish that through hard work." — Jerry Rice
“I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” (A great witty response to luck) ― Thomas Jefferson
“The best plan is only good intentions unless it degenerates into work.” — Peter Drucker
“Opportunity is missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas Edison
Working in Silence: A real workman will take to his task and work when no one is around. In our society today it is increasingly difficult to labor in silence. Social Media and the addiction to constantly be heard make it unpopular for people to work without the applause. It’s far easier to chat about something, post something, or criticize something rather than create something. If the end result of why you are laboring is for the applause or validation of others, you will be sorely disappoint by what awaits you at the end. Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” When you labor in silence you will work at an honest level. Whereas, working for the applause of others inflates your successes and ignores your struggles. It’s not real and you don’t learn anything. But when you work in silence it’s only you and God. You learn to challenge yourself and appreciate your labors more. This doesn’t mean your work will never be seen by the outside world, but rather, when it‘s ready, it will not only be seen, but appreciated at a higher level. People who work in silence, away from the applause and talk, are on the right track to achieving real results, and those results will show true mastery.
Step upon Step: Success won’t come overnight. But as you set yourself to work you will see progress each and everyday. No matter if you are a painter who gets closer to finishing with every brush stroke, or a carpenter who nears the end with each beam set in place, or a writer who finishes one more chapter in their novel, each bit of work gets you nearer your results. Don’t get overwhelmed if you struggle for a day, week or a month. It took Edison 10,000 attempts to create a lightbulb before finally succeeding. His reply to all those supposed failures was, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” In life it is easy to give up or talk about imagined success, but if you simply put one foot in front of the other you will see real results. He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.