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Missed opportunities are the curse of potential… How not to miss your opportunity! – Words to Live by

Lonnie McCowan

By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan

When I was a kid I played Little League ball, my coach told me not to worry about striking out. He said just don’t be afraid to swing, champions failed at the plate about 60 percent of the time.

Football’s greatest quarterbacks complete only six out of 10 passes. The best basketball players make only half their shots. Even with satellite mapping and expert geologists, oil companies make strikes in only one out of ten wells. Actors and actresses auditioning for roles are turned down 29 in 30 times. And stock market winners make money on only two out of five of their investments.

Since failure is a given in life, success takes more than leadership beliefs and solid behavioral patterns. It also takes an appropriate response to the inevitable, including an effective combination of risk-taking and perseverance. I meet people all the time who are seeking security at all costs, and avoiding risk whenever and wherever possible. Knowing that certain changes would make success much more likely for them, they nevertheless take the path of least resistance: no change. For the temporary, often comfort of staying as they are, they pay the terrible price of a life not truly lived.

I read story years ago that read “There was a very cautious man, who never laughed or cried. He never risked, he never lost, he never won nor tried. And when he one day passed away, his insurance was denied, For since he never really lived, they claimed he never died”.

In other words, missed opportunities are the curse of potential. In our eagerness to avoid risk, we forgot its positive aspects. Many of us continue to overlook the fact that progress comes only when chances are taken. And the security we sought and continue to seek often produces boredom, mediocrity, apathy and reduced opportunity.

And herein lies a paradoxical proverb: You must risk in order to gain security, but you must never seek security.

When security becomes a major goal in life–when fulfillment and joy are reduced to merely holding on, sustaining the status quo–the risk remains heavy. It is then a risk of losing the prospects of real advancement, of not being able to ride the wave of change today and tomorrow.

The two greatest fear busters are knowledge and action; get the knowledge put out the effort. You can’t concentrate on the reverse of an idea. A fear is a goal moving in the opposite direction from your desire.

Think of your imagination as a skill rather than a talent and learn to use it.

Motivation is an inner force that compels behavior. Your inner drives will propel you further and faster than external perks.
It’s not the experience of today that causes us the most stress; it’s the regret for something we didn’t do yesterday. The most important opinion you’ll ever have is the one you hold of yourself. Motivation is motive in action.

The ability and willingness to be teachable is an important aspect of champions. Fight the urge of thinking you know it all. It takes much resistance to being told anything by anybody. There is a tendency to respond with “I know that” or “I read that, already!” Both of those statements are clues of defensiveness. In addition, having read or heard a concept does not mean you are actually practicing it. Being teachable means that you must start out with a “beginners mindset” and a humble attitude.
How easy is it for you to admit that you don’t know something?  How often do you pretend or exaggerate what you really know? Can you be humble without feeling vulnerable?

We are all students of life. How often have you heard or read something many times and finally one day you hear it in a new and different way and finally it sinks in? We are never too old to learn. Current longevity studies show that the more we are committed to curiosity and learning, the longer we will live. Today look at the world with beginner eyes and at the end of the day spend a few moments reflecting on what you saw and what you learned.

Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email at lonnie100@msn.com or by visiting www.miraclecenterventura.com.


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