NOBODY ACHIEVES ANYTHING GREAT BY GIVING THE MINIMUM. NO TEAM WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS WITHOUT MAKING SACRIFICES AND GIVING THEIR BEST. – JOHN C. MAXWELL
Monthly Archives: October 2012
Skill brings success. But skill does not come cheap. As I wound down these particular series of posts let me tell you these five things I have observed about skill.
1. SKILL IS NOT A BLESSING! What I mean is this: You may be blessed with talent or anointing but nobody is blessed with skill. You develop and cultivate skill with practice. Therefore, skill is not something you can fast or pray about, or wish it into existence! It will be produced with sweat. Period!
2. NOBODY IS BORN WITH SKILL. You may be born with talent – an innate ability to sing, paint, draw, act, speak, and dance or whatever. But nobody is born with skill. Every talent is raw at birth. It must be developed by practice before it can be marketed and celebrated. Talent wins but not without discipline (the discipline that skill cultivation brings). Genius is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. If you are inspired and you don’t perspire, you will expire! Every expert is only an amateur who kept on practicing. Keep on sharpening and honing your skills because only your skills would bring you success. Nobody buys raw talent; skill is the only thing you can market. Period!
3. SKILL IS PRODUCED WITH TIME. Skill is cultivated by practice, but practice takes time. Proficiency is gained by long hours on the same job. A medical doctor friend of mine once said to me that the difference between an average and the better surgeon is the number of hours of practice.
4. SKILL IS PRODUCED WITH ADEQUATE INFORMATION. Skills are basically learnt. So you can update your skills by exposing yourself to current information in your line of calling. Some who were masters of their trade yesterday are no more in business today because they are outdated, and thus outclassed and outperformed! “Any enterprise… profits [only] wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” (Proverbs 24:4, The Living Bible)
5. SKILL IS ALSO ENHANCED BY GOOD ASSOCIATION. When you associate with men of skill, people who are at the top of their game, you will improve too. Seek great mentors. Drink from their fountain of wisdom. Develop friendships with the experts in your field. He that walks with the skilled will soon become an expert too. (See Proverbs 13:20) Hear what the scriptures say further: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
If you have stayed with me in these series of posts, what I have tried to say to you is simple: PREPARATION IS A VITAL KEY TO SUCCESS IN ANY ENDEAVOR. You can program yourself to succeed. You only need to prepare yourself. And you can start today. YOU WILL SUCCEED!
If you’ve been blessed by this, you will like the previous posts in this series:
Part 1 – Success is not an accident
Part 2 – Be Prepared!
Part 3 – Accumulate matter!
Part 4 – Practice makes perfect
Part 5 – Skill brings success
There is what I call the 6 by 1 principle. This principle helps you in getting your goals accomplished by helping you develop skills or cultivate habits that generate success. Do you want to reach a goal? Do you want to cultivate a habit? Do it for just one hour daily, six days a week. Before you know it, it becomes a habit with you.
You want to improve your prayer life? Put in one hour daily, six days even seven days a week.
You want to become a loving husband to your wife? Just do it for an hour daily for the next six days.
Do you find it hard maintaining a daily devotional time with God? Put in one hour daily just for the next six days.
Are you a habitual latecomer to church or your workplace? Make yourself come early even if you don’t feel like it for the next six days and you will break that bad habit.
Habits die hard. Yes. But the easiest way to break a bad habit is to cultivate a good one. And don’t forget, success is largely a product of habit. No man chooses his destiny. You choose your habits and those habits choose your destiny. The six by one principle only buttresses the truth that success is a product of what you do daily. Your success would be the sum of those small efforts repeated daily. You are and will become what you repeatedly do!
If you want to taste success in your field, cultivate skill. You will be paid and celebrated for it. Dr. Panam Percy Paul is a celebrated worship leader today. He plays almost all instruments of music. Plus he is a gifted singer. But he just wasn’t blessed alone. He’s been known to spend 24 hours, seventy-two hours even at a stretch in the studio, worshipping, and playing, singing, composing and writing music. Now he comes on stage and everywhere is electrified. He is successful at what he does. But he didn’t get there overnight. His skill brought it to him. Practice enhanced his skills. William Shakespeare said, “What you do on stage depends on what you’ve done backstage.” YOU WILL SUCCEED! (TO BE CONTINUED.)
Another thing that preparation entails is practice.
The time-tested saying holds true even today: Practice makes perfect. Having the necessary information, or even the ability or innate gifting to perform in a given field does not guarantee eventual success. Practice is a very strong key to victory in your vocational and career endeavors.
“If the axe head is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.” [Ecclesiastes 10:10 NIV]
Skill brings success. The word ‘skill’ as defined in my dictionary means dexterity, expertise, knowing well how to do a thing.
Expertise generates success. Nobody wants a jack of all trades and master of none. An average man on the street does not want the services of an amateur but experts are respected at their jobs.
But do you know that expertise and skill is cultivated by practice? It is practice that perfects your skills. And skill in turn now brings you success.
God bless my dad. He taught me an unforgettable lesson on two occasions as a young boy living at home. One while I was in primary school, the other was in junior secondary school.
While in primary school, I had a classmate who was much more skilled at pencil drawing than I was. I coveted the same level of dexterity but didn’t know how to go about it. Know what I did? Yours truly would bring home his drawing book and trace them out onto my own drawing sheets. Then I’d touch them up and make them look like I drew them myself. All these I did under cover of the night when the whole household was asleep. I’d show the drawings to my parents who were very proud of it. My mates praised my skills too.
Until one night, my dad caught me at it. I was floored. But he gently corrected me, saying, “You draw yours no matter how bad it is, looking at his as a guide. And as you consistently do it, you’ll soon become very good at it.” And that was what I did and I became so good at fine art that at a time I nursed the intention of doing it for a living! I learnt the lesson. If I want to be good at anything (so long I have a basic gift along that line) I should be consistent at it. Constant, habitual practice, under the guidance of a good tutor anyway, makes you too an expert.
A couple of years later, in junior secondary I kept getting very low scores in Math despite my excellent performance in other subjects. I seem to get no better no matter how hard (so, I thought) I try. My dad called me one day and said that if I would take the recommended texts from the first year and work through every sum and problem, and work on it every day, I would find out there is nothing difficult about Math. “Math is not hard, you only need practice,” so he put it. “Well,” I said, “I’ll give it a trial.”
I approached a mate who I knew had a better grasp of the subject (she, in fact was one of the best in the class) to put me through. Every day after school, I cut down on play and TV and worked every sum I could find. From that term till I left secondary school I never had less an 88% score in Math. Every session I collected the class prize in Math and Further Math and I was prepared to sue the examination body if I had less than an A1 grade in the Senior School Certificate Exam.
Why was I that bold? By the first school term of my senior secondary class two, I’d covered the entire SSCE Math syllabus. Also I had worked through every sum in ‘New General Mathematics’ by Indira Chacko et al from books 1 to 3 of junior secondary and books 1 to 3 of the senior secondary! Anyway, I never had to sue the exam body because my preparation paid off. I had an A1 grade in Math and an A3 grade in Further Math. And till date I don’t need extra prep to handle any Math exam up to the B. Sc. 200 level! In fact I put the challenge to you, try me! Practice makes perfect. Skill brings success. I have proved it many times over and it works! YOU WILL SUCCEED! (TO BE CONTINUED.)
If you have not been following my posts here over the last few days, you need to go back and read the last two posts: Success is no accident and Be prepared. Preparation, again I’ll say is a vital key to succeeding in any endeavor. It is the key to success. Let’s move on.
Every day I’m accumulating information relevant to my purpose in life. Why do I do that? The Holy Spirit said to me one day in 1999; “Accumulate matter, if you want to matter.” And because I want to succeed with my purpose, I gather stuff. I want to make a success of my calling as a pastor and preacher so much that I put myself on a perpetual study program. I am an eternal student!
As I’m writing this, I have two books I am reading while there are more than twenty-seven on my desk waiting to be read. I have more than seven CDs I’m listening to. More are on the bookshelf waiting to be perused. Every week I make sure I read at least two books or approximately four hundred (400) pages of printed matter. Don’t let that intimidate you! That is what my own calling demands. You determine what works for you and stick to it.
Acquire information. “Every enterprise is built by wise planning; it becomes strong through common sense and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” (Proverbs 24:3-4, Living Bible) Keep abreast of the facts. Gather relevant and current information about your vocation, line of trade/business or industry. Anthony Robbins wanted to be a problem solver. By the time he left high school, he had read more than 700 books on personal development and attended every seminar he could find. That is what I’m talking about. Bishop David Oyedepo said he gathered information filling forty-two files before stepping out to answer the call of God to ministry. That is preparation. YOU CANNOT OVER-PREPARE, YOU CAN ONLY UNDER-PREPARE!
Go, hide yourself if need be and accumulate matter. “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.” (Proverbs 18:1, KJV) Invest in books, CDs, journals and magazines. Raise your own personal library of books. Study, if you want to be studied. Read; if you must be read. Seek to know and men will seek to know you.
Attend seminars where specialized knowledge in your field can be imparted to you. Pay to get information, it pays. “An investment in knowledge pays dividends,” Benjamin Franklin said. “It takes facts to be fat!” someone else added. Get knowledgeable about your dream seed. Get overqualified for your present position by preparing yourself for the next level of responsibility.
You may need additional schooling. Do not hesitate to get it. If you need expert advice and tutelage, get it by all means. “With all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) You are only preparing for your future success. It is worth the stress and trouble. You cannot get something for nothing. “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” (Proverbs 24:5 KJV) YOU WILL SUCCEED! (TO BE CONTINUED.)