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. 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 Jim Collins. "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. 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. Once I fill the jar to what I felt was the top, I kept quiet. I knew something else was under the 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.
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. We feel OK because whilst we may not have reached our potential, at least we’re not bad.
We can do good work on auto-pilot, but great work takes initiative, creativity, passion and courage. That sounds like a lot of effort when there’s no burning need to change.
That’s why good is the enemy of great. It’s because it lulls us, deadens us and seduces us into thinking that we don’t really need to try. You’re not that bad, so why bother?
Too many times, we think that so long as we aren’t the worst, so long as we’re competent, if the person in the next cubicle isn’t performing as well as we are, then that’s good enough.
It’s 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’t settle for good. 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’s not just about talent. It wasn’t talent that made Michael Jordan the best, it was motivation, passion 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’t 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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