Preston 馃悵 Vander Ven

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The Enemy of the Great is often the Good


I was listening to my pastor at church and he was teaching a lesson from the Book of Philippians.聽Yet, what caught my attention what not the lesson in whole but just one part of the lesson. While, my friend was teaching, he shared a quote by聽Jim Collins.聽"The Enemy of the Great is often the Good."

This made me think back to a lesson I took part of years ago. I went up on a stage with two other people. The speaker had three one-gallon glass jars sitting in front of us. From under the table he took out a tub of large rocks. He then told us, "completely fill this jar to the top."

These rocks were hard to fit just right into this jar. But, after I got my fourth rock into the jar. The fourth one was sticking out of the top of the jar and so I said, "Finished." He nodded for me to wait until the others were done with their jars.

He asked, "Is everyone's jar filled?... You can grab another rock if you want." There was no way I could put another of these rocks in my jar.聽We all agreed that our jars were filled.

Next he took out a small barrel of marbles from under the table, and "Tell me when you Jar is filled?" I realized that there was open space between all my rocks. I began to pour marbles in to fill these gaps. When the marbles filled the jar to the top, I again was the first to say, "Mine is full." He nodded and we waited 'til the other two agreed.

He again pulled out a large bag of large bad of sand, and said "Tell me, when your jar is full."

I began to see a pattern. So I took the sand, and poured in the jar. The sand easily slid into all the gaps between the large rocks and marbles. The jar was getting heavy.聽Once I fill the jar to what I felt was the top, I kept quiet. I knew something else was under the聽table waiting. I just didn't know what, yet. Not surprisingly, so did the other two people with me. We all agreed so thing else could go in.

Lastly, the speaker took out a large container of water, and said, "Tell me, when your jar is full."

I grabbed the water and began to pour into my jar. The water still was again to go into the jar even though I filled it to the top three times before. When filled the jars to the top with water, we all said, "Filled."

The speaker, then brought out three new containers, one for each of us. Yet, this time each was already filled with water to the top. He said, "Place the same number of large rocks in this jar as you did the first jar."

I grabbed four rocks, and each time I placed one rock in the jar, water began to displace all over the table.

So, what was the Lesson of this Story.聽

The Jar represents our Life, and the Rocks are Greatness. The smaller the objects we put into the jar the less great they are. Yet, time is limited. Once something is in the jar you can't take it out.

Many people have bold aspirations and dreams, but they end up settling for good instead of great. Instead of placing large rocks, they throw "Good" grains of sand and "Good" drops of water into their hourglass.

Unfortunately, this good gives us a false sense of security.聽We feel OK because whilst we may not have reached our potential, at least we鈥檙e not bad.


We can do good work on auto-pilot, but great work takes initiative, creativity, passion and courage.聽That sounds like a lot of effort when there鈥檚 no burning need to change.

That鈥檚 why good is the enemy of great.聽It鈥檚 because it lulls us, deadens us and seduces us into thinking that we don鈥檛 really need to try.聽You鈥檙e not that bad, so why bother?

Too many times, we think that so long as we aren鈥檛 the worst, so long as we鈥檙e competent, if the person in the next cubicle isn鈥檛 performing as well as we are, then that鈥檚 good enough.

It鈥檚 not anymore. We need your greatness. We need your performance to match your potential. We need you to step up and go to the next level.

However you define yourself, parent, husband/wife, leader, employee, artist, follower of Jesus, don鈥檛 settle for good.聽Aspire to greatness!

Imagine if Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King had settled for good? Greatness changes the world, while good merely treads water.

And it鈥檚 not just about talent.聽It wasn鈥檛 talent that made Michael Jordan the best, it was motivation, passion聽and hard work.

You may not possess the talent of the person next to you, but what if you were more motivated, more driven, more enthusiastic, more diligent?

Bo Bennett puts it better than I can when he says, "Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness."

You can be great!

Don鈥檛 settle for anything less.

This world has so many good people and not enough great ones.

Let me help you put a stone in your 'Glass Jar', CLICK HERE

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