I read an old story the other day. It is one that almost everyone is familiar with, and as I read it, I realized that it is filled with a strategy for successfully defeating giants. Yes, giants. We all have them in our lives: Self-doubt, bad habits, financial difficulty, bad relationships etc, can all be giants in our lives.
The story? David and Goliath. Take a journey back in time with me and see if there isn’t a great deal of truth in this story that we can apply to our own lives today.
Here are the timeless principles I see in this story of the little guy beating the giant:
Expect giants to block the way to the Promised Land. Too many times we go for our dreams expecting that it will be like a cakewalk at the county fair. Not true! If you want to get to something as great as the promise land you imagine for your life, realize that the world isn’t just going to roll over and die. No, competitors will do anything they can to keep you out. Naysayers will stand before you and tell you it can’t be done. Giants will appear and you will have to go through them to get where you want to go. Don’t go into your journey with your eyes closed. Expect to battle a giant or two!
Attack your giant for a reason bigger than your own victory. For David, his reason was to defend the honor of God, since the giant was taunting God. Yes, he heard that he would get a wife out of the deal, but his biggest reason wasn’t personal. The same is true with us. Yes, we will gain a lot from our successes but I have found that personal gain is usually fleeting in regard to long-term joy and happiness. Those things that bring a deep sense of personal satisfaction come from accomplishing something positive for an altruistic reason, or for some cause that transcends us!
Recognize your own strengths. When asked if he thought if he could really defeat the giant, David reflected on his past successes. He thought about all those times that he was guarding his father’s sheep and had to ward off animal attackers. Surely if he had killed both a lion and a bear, this human – even if he was nine feet tall! – wouldn’t be much to do a way with. David knew his strengths. He knew what he could do, and he would do it again and again until he reached his goal.
Don’t use someone else’s armor. Okay, the king was convinced: David could go ahead, but first, the king put his armor on David. Like a 10 year old in his father’s suit, David walked around in the armor. “No thanks,” said David. He knew what he needed and it wasn’t what worked for someone else. Yes, we need to take advice, but what works for one doesn’t always work for everyone else. There is no cookie cutter path to success. There is more than one way to skin a cat (By the way, who came up with that disgusting analogy? But I digress…). “Dance with the one that brung ya,” they say. So on your way to success, stick with what works, not someone else’s plan or strategy. David knew a slingshot would work just fine thank you.
Take five weapons, though you may only need one. This was one of the really fascinating parts of the story. David obviously knew that he was good with a slingshot. Good enough to kill a giant, at least. So there was some assurance and self-confidence there. But he also knew that sometimes things go awry. He knew that sometimes it takes a few shots to kill the giants. So, even though eventually he only needed one smooth stone to do the job, he had four others for backup! What about you? Are you five deep in the resource pocket? If not, find a few more stones to do battle with your giant with.
Run toward the giant, not away from it. Here was another interesting point. The story is sure to mention that David ran toward the giant. Why? To get a good shot! S many of us run away from our giants, hoping that if we do we will be able to avoid giants all together. Not true. We will just have to do battle with another giant somewhere else, and all we have chosen to do is go the circuitous route rather than the direct one. Move in close to your giant, and let him have it!
Make sure it is dead after it falls. One shot and David’s giant took a tumble. Did David party? Nope, he went and made sure that Giant wouldn’t rise to haunt him another day. He went in close and with a big swipe of his sword, took the giant’s head off! Giants have way of coming back to life, so be sure that you have really conquered your giant before you move on!
Just like David, you CAN conquer your giants! You CAN move past them into your own promised land! Just stick with these age-old guidelines and you will be well on your way!
Here they are again!
- Expect giants to block the way to the Promised Land.
- Attack your giant for a reason bigger than your own victory.
- Recognize your own strengths.
- Don’t use someone else’s armor.
- Take five weapons, though you may only need one.
- Run toward the giant, not away from it.
- Make sure it is dead after it falls.
Take up your slingshot and take a few throws at your giant today!