If you farm, or grew up on one, you know that keeping the rows in the field straight is critical to your success with your crop. If the rows are crooked it makes it all the more difficult to cultivate it later without damaging the plants. It also is a point of pride between farmers, even as kids we would give each other no end of ribbing when riding the school bus and seeing one of the fields you did that wasn't straight. How do you do it, how do you keep things straight, especially when there are no straight edges to the field? My Dad taught me how to do this when I was just a kid. You walk off the distance to set your furrow and then tie a rag on the fence, or tree. Then you go to the other side of the field walk it off and then line up the tractor to drive straight toward the flag. You have to focus on the goal on the other side of the field and drive toward it and you will be straight, looking back to see if you’re going straight will mess you up every time.
“ Jesus said to them, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Paul, wrote over half of the New Testament. He started out persecuting the Church, then did much to establish the Church, and then ended up being prosecuted for the Church. Frankly, his personality didn't change at the road to Damascus, his focus and goals did.
He said in
Philippians Chapter 3,
“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are past, and reaching forth for those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize.”
The key to his success is sandwiched in that statement in two words, “I Press”.
Most people don’t press. Most people you meet in life don’t press, they meander, they drift, they go with the flow, they float, they don’t press. People who press are rare. You need to become the person who will Press.
Life was not designed to make you a success.
You’re not going to succeed just because you live and breath, that is called welfare.
You’re going to succeed because you press, because you push back against the flow.
Life was designed at best to push you down. Even to just stay even, you have to push back. To succeed you have to push back with everything that is in you. You have to fight against the odds, you have to buck the system. You have to make a decision, a choice that you will not be put down, that you have a dream, a goal, a purpose, that you will have, and that you are pressing toward that mark! That is the only way you will ever succeed. You will never succeed by drifting along.
Most people don’t press, and here is why….. They don’t know where they’re heading.
Think about it, why would you press if you have no destination, no dream, no goal, and no passion? How many people live their lives with a passion? How many get up each morning knowing exactly where they are headed? How many people wake up each morning saying “I’m one step closer to my destination that I have set for myself”.
Most people don’t press, most people just want to get through their days, weeks, months, years and life. Most are more running away from something that they don’t want, bankruptcy, debts, bills, whatever. Most are just trying to barely make it through life. Anyone who is trying to just make it doesn’t have the first clue about success. Did you know that most people wake up each morning in neutral? They just go out into the world and wait for something or someone to point them in the direction that they are supposed to go.
START YOUR DAY IN GEAR!
You need to know where you’re headed, where you’re going, a destination, a dream, a goal, a plan, something that gives you a burn that no matter what comes you’re going to take one step closer toward that Prize!
You have to do that.
Look at what Paul said: “I Press toward the Prize.” If you don’t have a Prize that gives you a burn on the inside you aren’t going to press. Whenever you don’t press, you need a bigger prize! Have something worth pressing for, find something that will give you that passion! Get a prize out front of you that makes it worth doing. That makes the sacrifices worth it all. Most people don’t have a big enough dream, or prize. Find something that excites you.
“This one thing I do.”
Let’s count them:
1. Forgetting those things which are behind.
1. And reaching for those things which are before.
1. I press toward the mark.
Let’s look at the verbs: Forgetting, Reaching, and Pressing. Did you know that you can’t do one without the other? If you’re going to Reach, you have to Forget. You can not hang onto the past and to the future at the same time.
What does this have to do with success in sales? Everything, I have seen people who couldn’t succeed because they were eaten up with bitterness on the inside. Nobody wants to be around someone who is bitter. A friend of mine has been having a serial challenge in dating, I set her up on a blind date with another friend of mine. The date was a disaster according to him. He called me the next day and told me within minutes he started hearing how awful her ex-husband was and learned all about it throughout the entire date. Her bitterness was still poisoning her.
You can’t hold onto the past and reach for the future at the same time. If you hang onto every negative thing that happened to you, you will never get onto the future because you’re stuck in the past. You have to let go! However, human nature, we want to hang on to them, because we were wronged… they promised me! Has anyone ever promised something to you that they didn’t keep? We all have. What do we do with that, how do we handle it? It depends: Is your future more exciting than your past?
If your future is more exciting than your past, it doesn’t matter.
You can tell how big someone’s dream is by what gets them upset, what makes them lose their cool. If you have nothing going on, no place you’re excited about going, you have time to sit and deal with the negatives.
When you hold a grudge, you don’t hurt the person you’re angry with, you hurt you.
When your future is more exciting than your past, you don’t have time for that.
There was a medical study trying to figure out what common things were in the lives of those people who lived over 100 years. The interviewer had a list of questions for each one, on diet, exercise, smoking, habits, etc. None of those things were common. One 101 year old lady was asked about if she smoked and her reply was at 95 she had heard it was bad for her so she quit. The one common thread was: Don’t ever forget this. They didn’t take life too seriously. They didn’t take themselves too seriously. They never held grudges. They learned to leave the past in the past.
“forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth toward those things which are before, I press.”
You can’t reach for something, unless you have something to reach for. I’m convinced that any human being who makes a decision, a choice can succeed. You might think that you can’t because of something that your parents said, your teacher said, your spouse said. Let me ask you something, what are you telling your self? That is what makes the difference is what we tell ourselves.
A very successful friend of mine told me something once. He said, “The other guy might be smarter than me, he might be more talented than me, but he won’t be able to outwork me. When he is asleep, I will still be working.”
If you have a dream, a plan, a purpose you’re headed for, if you make it big enough in your mind, what is in the past won’t matter. Those little negatives, or even big ones are still going to come, every day, week and year.
When you look at successful people it is tempting to minimize any challenges that they have faced and make ourselves feel better because they had it easy. It is never easy, for anyone. One of the things I have heard that we should always remember if we all put our troubles into a hat and passed them around trading with each other, most of us would want our own back. It’s about how do you handle the negatives.
Get so excited about your future that you can stay on top of them. Don’t get “under the circumstances”.
Many of you have people in your life are telling you right now that you’re not going to make it. Turn on the news they are sure telling us so.
I ask you, what are you telling yourself.
If you make the decision to do this one thing, you will make it.
What is this one thing?
Forget, Reach, and Press, and You Can Do It.