Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Belief and Perseverance and Others

I am coming face to face with the fact that I cannot do anything for someone else.

My problem is that for most things I do or have done or want to do, there is an aspect of wanting approval and notice by others, something that others will notice and praise me for, whether for skill or breadth of interest or knowledge or unusual facts.

That's not bad, I suppose - except that when the support goes away or is not there, so does the interest in doing these things. This would explain the litter of items and projects in my life, prospects started and never finished.

(It strikes me [on a somewhat related note] that this is the reason that "stars" end being excellent performers but often lousy people making lousy choices: they are so programmed for response and approval, they will do anything to elicit them - even bad things.)

Great. So what?

It occurs to me that, based on this, the key to succeeding is 1) Believe you can do it; and 2) Persevere until you do it.

Belief and perseverance: in both cases, this is something which has to come from within. One cannot (nor, it seems, one should not) rely on them being based on the inputs of others, because others cannot maintain that level for long periods of time - and if all you are basing your drive to succeed or excel on is the approval or interest of others, you will inevitably fail.

Actually, not totally true. There is One - the audience of One, God - who can. I get a hint of this idea of working with the audience of One in mind (something Os Guinness speaks to so eloquently in The Call.). Only God can pay attention to what we do, support us at all time, know both the intent of our hearts as well as the outcome of our deeds - and only God can fully reward us, not just here in time, but in eternity. In that sense, working for the support and approval of God is the appropriate place to use this seeming bent for approval.

The other thought that occurs about belief and perseverance is that belief precedes perseverance - one cannot persevere in anything unless you believe that you can succeed in the thing that you are persevering in.

So here's my though to chew on for today: how do I rely more on internal resources (belief and perseverance) towards the audience of One and less (or truly, not at all) on the external resources (interest and approval) of others?

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