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Gregory Dickow - Champions. Forward-Focused

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    Gregory Dickow - Champions. Forward-Focused
TOPICS: Leadership

Well, welcome back to Think Like a Champion, a podcast designed and dedicated to help you win in every way and to enjoy every day. Listen, now the joy is in the journey, not in the arrival. Many people are fighting for the arrival, but never enjoying the journey. I can assure you that if you haven't learned to enjoy the journey, well, it's never too late to start learning to enjoy the journey no matter where you're at on it. But if you don't learn to enjoy the journey, you won't enjoy the arrival no matter what you think. Even if it's everything you hope for. Because there's a there's a victory. And when we find the cadence and rhythm to life, we can't ignore this because we can find joy and comfort. It's right in the moment, right where we're at. If we realize we're on a journey and we're not alone, we have a great God who is for us, with us and in us. And we have a community of champions that we're building right here.

So think like a champion isn't for just athletes. It's for everyone who and anyone who wants to think like a champion. Right? It's for you because you're a part of building a community of champions right here. So today we're going to dive into part three of our series on Leading Yourself. Remember, leaders lead themselves. First, leadership all begins with leading ourselves, then leading others, then leading leaders who lead others. But every bit of it is built on the foundation of leading our self. And in particular, I want to talk to you about four things that will keep you forward focused. All right. So four things almost at five, there are four things that are going to keep you forward Focused. Leadership isn't about being the boss. It's not about being the top dog. It's not about even gaining recognition or respect. It's about doing the hard work on yourself, the self-discipline, the self-improvement, the self-awareness.

You know, the Apostle Paul says it in First Corinthians chapter nine in verse 24, when he says, Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize run in such a way as to get the prize? Now, listen, the race you're in, you can win the prize because you're racing against your former self. You're racing against who you used to be. You're not racing against me or somebody else. But how do we run in such a way to win the prize, to gain the prize? So I'm going to give you the four overarching strategies on leading yourself champion style.

Ready, number one. And this all go together. Number one is moving forward. We began to talk about this last time moving forward. Boy, sometimes just moving a little bit forward is all it takes to experience the victory that you're looking for. And you experienced the joy in the journey. You know, if we draw inspiration from Jesus, which we should find our greatest inspiration in Mark chapter 14, verse 35, it says, Even in the midst of temptation to give up what he was about to do, to go to the cross, to drink the cup for our salvation, the cup of sacrifice for our salvation. When he felt like giving up because he had human feelings just like you and me. We don't have a high priest that cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who's been tempted in all things as we are yet without sin.

So in the midst of that temptation to give up Jesus, it says He moved forward a little. He moved forward a little. He didn't move a mile. He didn't move a mountain. He didn't move the earth. He just moved forward a little boy, the king of kings and the Son of God can teach us a lesson about progress, and that is just move forward a little. Happiness doesn't come from the attainment of things. It comes from forward progress. We simply need to move forward, even if it's just a little every day, even it's just tweaking One thing, doing one thing different, one thing better, one moment better of every day.

So number one, there's moving forward. Number two, it's all about fighting forward. Remember, when someone is fighting you and someone is resisting you and someone is pushing you, you know, don't fight back, fight forward. But there's something powerful in this play on words. Instead of fighting back, we fight forward, fighting back is a just a a human reaction. That is a reflex to feeling hurt, betrayed, let down. We have to master this art of fighting forward. We have to realize that when somebody pushes against us or life pushes against us, instead of trying to fight that thing, instead of trying to fight back with it, instead of jumping into every fight that the enemy picks on with you or picks you or picks on you with instead of fighting back, fight forward. In other words, decide in advance how you're going to respond to life's challenges.

Don't wait for life's challenges to then fight back whatever challenge comes, decide in advance, because that's how you fight forward. We can't control all the challenges that come against us, but we can control which which direction we put our energy in. Because energy is power. Energy is money. Energy is success. And who harnesses the energy the best is the one who's going to be most successful. Now, I want to really help you get this point, and this is something I'm learning. I want you to learn with me. We're all learning this together, but we're not we're not going to fight back. We're not going to be reactors. We're not going to be responders to life's problems. We're going to be forward thinking and we're going to fight forward and we're going to put our energy in a way that's going to move us forward.

So, number one, we're going to move forward. Number two, we're going to fight for where listen, in order to fight forward in this journey of leading yourself, when I talk about deciding in advance how you're going to respond, I want to give you a few things and then I'll get to point number three after fighting forward. But we're talking about fighting for I'm going to give you a few pointers or a few things that we have to decide in advance about how we're going to respond before it happens. Decide how you're going to respond.

So, number one, how will you respond to adverse city? How will you respond when life is going against you? How will you respond when something unexpected becomes a roadblock in your life? Will you let it defeat you? Will Will you let it fuel you? Will you let a challenge be something that inspires you? Will you let it be a stumbling stone or a stepping stone? See, we have to decide in advance that when adversity comes against us, we're not going to let it move us. We're just going to keep moving forward. We're just going to keep doing what we know is the right thing to do. You know, you can't control everything that comes against you, but you can control the choices that you're making on how you will respond before it happens. Decide in advance. Decide in advance, Decide in advance.

Why do we decide in advance how we're going to respond to adversity? Because if you let it lead your response, you will make a rash, emotional decision. But if you decide in advance and a quality decision is is a decision from which there is no debate and in which there is no retreat, did you hear that a quality decision is a decision in which there is no longer any debate about it and in which there is no retreat from it? That's a quality decision. What about unanswered prayer? This the the next thing that I want to talk about deciding in advance how you're going to respond to it, because we all are going to pray some things that don't don't don't seem like we're getting an answer.

Can we trust God anyway when we ask for something, even if it's something we know that we know that we know is a promise from God in his word? Sometimes the answer doesn't come right away, or it doesn't come in the way that we were expecting it. And sometimes times it's a delay. But a delay is never a denial. You can turn a delay into a denial by giving up. But when you ask for something and there's a delay, wow, decide in advance you're going to trust God. When adversity comes, decide in advance. You're going to ignore it and keep moving forward When when unanswered prayer comes, decide in advance that you're going to keep trusting God, in fact, decide in advance. The longer the delay, the more praise you're going to give God.

Wow, you can't fail. You can't lose in that situation, all the the physiological chemical benefits of praise and praising God. It's medical. Medical science has proven science does not contradict God's word. Scientists opinions that are not based on factual evidence. Those things might contradict God's word, but science in and of itself does not contradict God's word. So there are chemicals. Medical science has proven there are chemicals that are released in your body through the giving of things, through the words of praise. And while we're praising God, the one who deserves it most, there is a physical transformation that happens in your body, in your in your tone, in your mind, in your brain, physically, emotionally and spiritually, in the invisible world.

Praise is a powerful weapon. So how are we going to respond to unanswered prayer? Decide in advance we're going to praise God anyway. Decide in advance we're going to trust God anyway. Decide in advance. You're going to thank God anyway, to sign in advance. You're going to praise the sign in advance. You're going to trust decide in advance. You're going to give thanks in everything, give thanks. The Bible says, for this is the will of God. See, we might be praying for this thing. Whatever this thing is, we might be praying for this thing. And it's in the giving of thanks when we don't have that thing yet that we truly find the answer we were looking for, we're truly in the will of God when we give thanks anyway, He says in everything, Give thanks for this is the will of God.

So even an unanswered prayer, I decided I'm giving thanks anyway, because that's what puts me in the will of God. That's what keeps me in the will of God. That's what moves me forward into the will of God. So having that thing is less important related to the will of God than praising and thanking God. Even when you don't have that thing you see, you might think, I know it's God's will for me to have that thing. We know it's God's will for you to give thanks and everything. So start there. And having that thing will be put in the proper perspective. And I'm not saying God doesn't want you to have that thing or you don't need to want that thing. I'm just saying decide in advance when that thing is in showing up yet give thanks anyway. So we're going to decide in advance how we respond to adversity when life works against us.

Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good. We're just going to believe that Romans 8:28 is going to turn that adversity into victory, turn that adversity into prosperity, turn that adversity into a blessing. What are we going to do in advance? What are we going to decide when we have unanswered prayer? We're going to decide to give God praise. We're going to decide to give thanks anyway. We're going to decide to trust God anyway. Thirdly, what do we do when we're disappointed by others? Will it shake your confidence? Will it shake your assurance that God is good when the disappointment of others hits you? Are you going to let it shake you off or are you going to shake it off?

Now I want you to think about this. Will it shake you or will it strengthen you? Will you shake it off like Paul did in the Bible as he shook off that viper that latched on to his hand, and then all the people on that island thought he was going to die on the island of Malta. They all thought he was going to die because he got bit by this viper. And the Bible says he shook it off and went on. And then they said, Oh, he must be a god. Well, he wasn't a God, but he sure had the the God of the universe living inside him like you and I do, too. He shook it off and he kept moving forward. He shook it off and he prayed for the sick. He shook it off, and he kept on the assignment that God had for him. When people disappoint you, when people let you down, when people don't come through with their promise, I think that will help you. It's helped me. It's made me realize that only God will not disappoint me. Everybody else might disappoint me, but God will surely not disappoint me.

You know, disappointment is a blessing sometimes because it makes you realize what you've been trusting in. It makes you realize what you've been building your happiness on. It makes you realize that there's a gap between you and being in the right state of mind when people let you down. What is that right state of mind? You know what? No matter who lets me down, God will pick me up. No matter who lets me down, God will lift me up. No matter who lets me down. God will never let me down. You see, really in life, everybody's going to have adversity. Everybody is going to have unanswered prayer at times. Everybody's going to have disappointment, you see. So it's not really what happens to you, but it's how you respond to what happens to you. And when you decide in advance how you're going to respond, you're unstoppable, you are unstoppable.

And what about setbacks? What about when you have like a real failure, a real setback that time can't capture or time can't make up for you or a setback that puts you back in years or in finances. That's when setback hits you. I want you to decide in advance that setback is merely a set up for a comeback. That setback is a set up for God to do, exceeding abundantly above and beyond all that we can ask or think. So these are some things that we have to decide in advance how we're going to respond to. That's what I mean by fighting forward, not fighting in response to everything that comes against you, but deciding in advance how you're going to respond to anything that comes against you and keep moving forward, that is fighting forward rather than fighting back and always being stuck where you were.

So we talked about moving forward, we talked about fighting forward. And I want to talk about this third one that I call Failing Forward or Falling Forward, whichever one that you want to call this. It's really the same. That failure can you can either help you make progress or it can make you paralyzed, it can paralyze you and get you stuck thinking that that's your destiny or that's your that's the final word on that situation. But nothing is ever the final word on a situation except God's goodness and God's power and God's ability to deliver you. He has delivered you. He is currently now delivering you from something, and he will yet again deliver you from whatever comes against you. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, the Bible says in Psalm Chapter 34. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. It doesn't say, you know, the righteous, but they don't have as many afflictions as the unrighteous.

Now, it doesn't say that. It says many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers a lot of them all. You know the difference between the child of God when he has afflictions and the person who's not a child of God that has afflictions. There's no difference in whether they're going to both have many afflictions. The only difference is for the child of God, the Lord will deliver him from them all. See? See, there's so many benefits of being a child of God. Are you a child of God? Are you born again? Have you received Jesus as your Savior? Why should we go any further without giving you an opportunity to become a child of God? The Bible says to as many as received him in John Chapter one, verse 12 to as many as receive loved him to them. He gave the power to become children of God. Will you receive Jesus? I'm not done with this lesson, but will you receive Jesus right now? Pray this out loud. Just say "Heavenly Father..." pray that out loud.

Heavenly Father, I receive Jesus into my life. He is the Son of God, and Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. God, You are now my Father. In Jesus name, Amen.

That's it. That's all it takes. Now you're a child of God to say that I'm a child of God. So what happens to a child of God when affliction comes? The Lord delivers Him out of all the afflictions. We're all we're all going to have affliction. Some it's a spectrum, some way more, some less. But all are on that spectrum somewhere of affliction, and many are the afflictions of the righteous. But the Lord will deliver Him from them all. All right. So we're moving forward. We're fighting forward. We're falling forward or failing forward. Listen, what does this mean? It means that we have to be humble when we fall, When we fail, God gives grace to the humble. It's okay to fall. The Bible says we're human. We're going to make mistakes. We're going to have errors, we're going to sin. We're not in sin because we're born again. We're in Christ, but we're going to sin. We're going to make mistakes. We're human beings.

And to neglect that reality, to to lose our humility, thinking that somehow we're above all that is just not true. We we are above all that in Christ, but we all are going to stumble. We're all going to make mistakes, not because we intend to, but because we're human. But the person who can be self-aware, the person who can be humble when they fall, the person who you see it, really the greatest test of life is not how you respond when you're successful. I think the greater test in life is how you respond when you fail, how you respond when you fall, how you respond when you disappoint yourself, or you disappoint someone else. We talked earlier about others disappointing us, but what about when we disappoint ourselves? What about when we disappoint somebody else? What we do then matters.

What we do then shows our truest character. And I'll get to that in a moment. But falling forward means when you stumble, you're you realize that God is bending over to help you up. And when somebody else stumbles, you're never looking down at them unless you're looking down at them to help them up. God's never looking down on us except to help us up. We have to embrace this self-awareness that we're human, that others are going to make mistakes against us. And we need to forgive. We need to do unto others as we would want to be done onto ourselves. We need to learn that golden rule. We need to realize that we're human and we're flawed, and so we can embrace our humanity and we can say, you know what? Gods? God gives grace to the humble. All I can say is, Help me, Lord, I need your help in my weakness. That's when I'm strong. Is humility. It's not self degradation, it's not self-hatred. It's that's not what humility is.

Humility comes from the word ground, earth or humus. It comes from the earth. The ground to be humble means that we're you know, we realize we're from dust and we realize how God is breathed into us The breath of life. Even though we're made of dust, life can be gone like that. You know, in the blink of an eye, people die. I think there's some statistic 300,000 people in the world die every day. And I wonder how many of them didn't realize that that was going to be the last time they woke up. I wonder how many people were actually ready. I wonder how many people had this view that life is very precious and very fragile at times. And if we would realize that it's so fragile, but God, it's so fragile. But I mean, God's hands is so fragile. But even when I fall, I can get back up and it's life is so fragile. But even in the worst of the worst failures, humility is the solution to anything in every relationship.

If you'll be humble in every job, if you be humble again, it's not beating yourself up. That's not humility. It's being honest with yourself, self-aware. Realize that you have whatever good you have is from God. It's a blessing. Acknowledging it, thanking people, thanking God, thanking people, always realizing that somebody gave you a moment, somebody gave you a chance, somebody gave you some blessing or some gift or God used them to get something to you. Humility is to just immediately be grateful rather than think that you're so deserving, immediately be humble rather than to think. It's about time somebody recognized me immediately. Not only just become humble, just stay that way and be honest with yourself and be aware of your humanity and and be self-deprecating, not not beating yourself up, but being able to make fun of yourself without beating yourself. Something very sweet about that in people. Right? So now we've talked about moving forward. We've talked about fighting for we talk about falling forward.

And number four, I want to just mention this and we'll come back to this next time. More reaching forward, reaching forward. What is this? What is reaching forward? This is all about pursuing something. And you know what? Everybody on social media and everybody in this world is pursuing something. And what I've noticed is this. We can either pursue personal growth or personal gain. If we pursue personal gain, we may get it and accidentally, we may stumble across some personal growth. But if we make as our ambition to go after personal growth, the growth of your spirit, your soul, your health, your body, all of the things that are good and right, if we go after personal growth, enhancing our understanding, our relational skills, our our emotional intelligence, our financial stewardship, if we if we we will focus on personal growth and character, we will always end up with personal gain.

If we pursue personal gain, there's no guarantee we're going to get it and there's no guarantee we're going to get any personal growth from it. If we pursue personal growth, it is a guarantee we will get it and it is a guarantee we will have personal gain as well. Remember our character is not something we do once in a while. It's the habits that we've sustained over time, leading to an unbreakable force of energy that cannot be stopped. It's not about being perfect, but it's about energy and force that comes from your character. If you want to know the simple definition to character, it's I like to say that character is what we've learned to expect from a person's character is what we have come to expect from them. You know, if someone is late all the time, you've begun to expect them to be late. That's their character. If somebody is on time all the time, you've come to expect them to be on time. That's just one example, but it's there when a person comes to your mind, there's a certain expectation you have of that person based on a consistent pattern that's character, good or bad, it's character.

All right. So, wow, if we could get a hold of this moving forward, if we get a hold of this fighting forward, we can get a hold of this really getting a hold of falling or failing forward and then start reaching for personal growth, reaching for the blessing of others. Blessing others. The blessing will come back to you. If God can get it through you, He can get it to you. Wow. Champions. Let's decide. Let us decide today that we're moving forward. Let us decide today we're fighting forward. Let us decide. Today we are falling forward and let us decide today that we are reaching forward. And you will not be disappointed. Man, God bless you. I want to just end today with an encouragement that we have an opportunity to win in life and the people who stay win the people who stay with it, win the people who reach for more and have joy on the journey like astronaut right here.

He's reaching for the stars, but he's having joy along the way. That's you. That's me. That's our community of champions. Thanks for joining me on things like a champion. Would you share this with someone who needs to hear this? Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. And I want to thank you for those who give. Remember what I just said earlier. If God can get it through you, He can get it to you. Some of us want it God to get it to us, but God wants to get it through. You be a channel of blessing, be a channel of paying it forward.

If you want to be a part of that and be a part of this community of champions who are paying it forward champions who are reaching forward, champions who are helping others, champions who are making a difference in impacting other people's lives. Go to life changes, church dot com slash giv and plant your seed. Every seed's going to produce a harvest. Let's plant good seeds, let's plant even financial seeds and we will see growth in our financial life. But mostly it's because of the generous spirit that produces a great life. The world of the generous gets larger and larger. The Bible says the world of stingy gets smaller and smaller. Thanks for giving. Thanks for paying it forward. Thanks for plant in your seat and thanks for being a part of this community of champions. I can't wait to see you next week on Think Like a Champion. That's you. God bless.
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