For every reason conceivable, David should have chickened out, but he realized something important that gave him the confidence and the ability to defeat a giant.
I would suggest that each of us have that ability. We have something special that would allow us to do great, unimaginably great things.
So what did David realize that was so special? Well, instead of focusing on his weaknesses, his puny arms, and the overwhelming odds against him, David focused on the things he did have.
David was a shepherd, and the son of a shepherd. He grew up protecting sheep and had used a sling and a stone more times than he could count. He had defeated wild beasts and become confident; the sling wasn’t just a tool, but an extension of David’s arm.
Compared to the shining swords, pointed spears, armor and the smell of battle, this skill of David’s seemed like child’s play. Yet he rested on his skill, on his beliefs and on his calling. He realized that he had capacity to make a difference.
It is easy to stand in the midst of giants and to focus on what you don’t have, but this bit of truth just may free you up to claim your true capacity to make a difference and to have fun doing it. You have so many resources at your disposal. Sometimes even the folks closest to us can’t see how much we have to offer. You have the capacity to make a difference--you just have to embrace it.
Sure, money helps! When the community comes for help they often ask for money. We crack open the wallet, moths fly out, and we feel like we have nothing left to give. Even when we do have money to support a cause, giving without involvement can leave us disconnected from the difference we could make. Your capacity is more than your money.
Experiences: the good, the bad and the ugly. In life we have mountaintop experiences, joy and fulfillment. We also have awful, painful, hurting experiences--the kind of disappointment and sorrow and grief that lasts a lifetime. Some of us have more good memories and others have it rough. No matter what experiences pepper your past, you can use those to relate to others and to make a difference in their lives like no one else can. How can you put your experiences to work? How can you relate to others today by sharing these stories?
People You Know. Where do you have influence? Who looks up to you? Who do you look up to? These relationships are so important and you have more authority in the places where you have earned a right to be heard. Foster these relationships and seek out new relationships in your community with folks that care about the same sorts of things you do. Help to make their lives easier and more enjoyable by doing what you love together. How can you multiply your capacity by using the word we instead of the word I?
Outlook and Attitude. Folks live life with either an outlook of scarcity or of abundance. This can shape every action they take. We looked at the example of David; he didn’t see his lack of resources. He saw what he had and he used it. Those who live a life of scarcity seem to take-take-take. They are engaged in Win-Lose situations where they try to win at others' expense. In the end, this mentality ends up costing them more than the alternative.
You can see this in the business world. A business that serves customers well can make a profit but when the bottom line becomes the only goal, the customer suffers and the business struggles for it. On the other hand, someone who sees life through a lens of abundance will leave the world better than they found it and for their efforts, they will find themselves in a better world.
Beliefs and Values. I was raised in the church and there isn’t a place in the Bible I didn’t go as a kid, but something special happened when I embraced my beliefs and values.
As a youngster I’d cut corners on every task and try to make life easier in that moment. It never paid off. Once I stopped doing things for myself and started doing them for God’s glory, the desire for excellence became more natural. I used to complain about mowing my lawn, now I mow it to honor Him. I once had to force my work and loved the snooze button on the alarm clock. Now, as I honor Him in my work, it comes easy and brings joy. I still struggle, but behind my beliefs, there is more capacity than the world has ever known, and I am invited to tap into that as I work for something bigger than myself.
What is your passion? Imagine two musicians in front of a crowded room. The first is a violinist while the second plays a saxophone. We ask them to trade rolls. The sax player picks up the violin and makes a noise like nails on a chalk board, breaks a few strings and nervously sets the violin down. The violinist knows nothing about a saxophone and honks away for a while. The crowd doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Now we place the proper instruments in the hands of the professional. The sound is so pleasing that the entire room is energized, especially after the frightful performance at the beginning.
When a person is in the wrong role you can tell, can’t you? You also take notice of a person in just the right role. When a person matches all of their capacity with their passion, something special happens.
Linear Change vs. Exponential Change When somebody realizes their capacity and puts it to good use, it makes their life better. They are able to do more and they feel better about their work.
But isn’t there more to it than just that?
Just like the previous example, when there is a fit, it’s not just the individual that does better and feels better. There is a positive energy around that person. The folks around them are better off. Their family, friends, clients and community are better off. They are Win-Win people, and for some reason these folks breed positivity. Instead of just a slight positive gain in their own personal satisfaction, they produce and reproduce good vibes. As they use what they have effectively, we don’t just see a smile on their face more often. We see a contagious joy spreading. That is exponential growth.
Unpack your bags and get to work building a platform. Now it’s up to you. What capacity do you have? Life can certainly be lived in a mentality of scarcity, but a life that is full and amazing--that takes a mentality of abundance.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
– Teddy Roosevelt