Do you ever look at really successful people and wonder, How did they do it? Maybe they’re successful in their jobs or marriages. Or with their health or finances. Or perhaps they seem really close to God and make a great impact for Him.
How do successful people become successful people?
It’s not luck; it’s consistency. Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally. What do successful people do consistently? Habits.
People who are amazing at parenting or repairing cars or open-heart surgery or crossword puzzles or writing code or Frisbee golf or writing books or acting or taking companies public or preaching sermons or editing videos or performing stand-up comedy or break dancing or juggling chainsaws got there a little at a time.
Today, through small and consistent decisions, you’re getting somewhere a little at a time. Getting the life you want will be the result of countless seemingly small decisions, done consistently over time.
Nehemiah in the Bible was the cupbearer for Artaxerxes, the King of Persia. 70 years earlier, the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem. Though he had lived his entire life in Persia, Nehemiah was Jewish. When he got word of how bad things were in his homeland, he “sat down and wept” (Nehemiah 1:4).
You might feel like crying over how some area of your life is not what it was or what it should be. Nehemiah could have thought, There’s nothing I can do. It’s been this way for a long time. I have no power to effect change. (Sound familiar?) But he didn’t. He took action.
Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem and let the people know of his plan to rebuild the wall. They certainly thought he was crazy. In their minds, the work simply could not be done.
That may be how you feel about the change you want. You think there’s just no way. But Nehemiah convinced the people they had to do something.
Under his leadership, the people hesitantly started to rebuild the wall–one brick at a time. The same is true for you. You will change your life one small habit at a time. I’ll say it again: Getting the life you want will be the result of countless seemingly small decisions, done consistently over time.
In his story, we see that whenever Nehemiah felt discouraged, he prayed. Twelve times we see him face opposition and, in response, pray. Here’s another huge truth for us to learn: We must value progress over perfection.
You will trip. You will fall. Your journey won’t be perfect. But keep moving in the right direction. Your goal is not perfection; it’s progress unto perfection.
When we submit to and obey God, it may seem like a one-time decision. It’s not. We’re training ourselves to be faithful. You don’t become successful when you achieve the goal in the future. You’re successful when you do your strategic habit today.
Rev. Lordson Tabi is the Senior Pastor of All Families and Nations Outreach Ministries in Soa, Cameroon. He’s a writer, marriage counselor and relationship expert. Email: email@example.com