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Levi Lusko - Too Small to Fail

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This series is called You in Five Years. You in Five Years, and we're asking the question, who will I be by 2023? And who do I want to be by the time a half decade goes by? There's a Chinese proverb that goes like this, even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that's kind of inspiring. You think, man, it's overwhelming, all that's in front of me, but no matter how long the journey, it starts the same way as any journey does, with one step. If you keep on stepping you'll eventually get, and you'll be at a thousand miles. But that should also give you pause, because it's a double-edged sword.

You see, depending on which direction you are facing, that's either a great thing, a terrific thing, or a terrible thing. Because the same thing is true in reverse. Meaning, if I take a single step in the wrong direction, then I could very easily end up 2.000 miles away from where I want to be. Because a thousand miles one step at a time will take me a thousand miles from where I am today, and then I'm even further, still another thousand miles from where I want to be. You see, we get to where we want to be, and we get to where we don't want to be, the same exact way. One day at a time. And in a message that I'm calling Too Small to Fail, I want to talk to you about that exact same idea. Something small adding up over time. Too Small to Fail.

Deuteronomy 7 and Exodus 23, both passages, interestingly enough, say the same thing, but we're going to get one detail in Exodus that Deuteronomy doesn't give us. Both of these that we're about to read are a series of advice, commands, a pep talk before the nation of Israel enters into the promised land. A little back story, most of you it's probably pretty familiar, but maybe not for all of us, there was this man named Abraham. Abraham was just a guy, just a random guy, and God made some spectacular promises to Abraham. Like, you're going to become a nation, you're going to have so many kids, and your kids are going to have kids, and your kids' kids are going to have kids' kids, have kids' kids, have kids' kids, have kids' kids, have kids' kids. And eventually, your family is going to be like the stars in the sky. God spoke this to Abraham as he stood up looking at the stars one night.

Now, here was the only interesting thing about this, Abraham and his wife were really old. Like, really old, and had no kids. And were unable to have kids. And his name was "father". Abraham means father, exalted father. And God said you're going to have so many kids that you're going to be this exalted father, the father of many nations. And Abraham looks down, that's not happening. However impossible it seemed, he believed God. He believed God. The Bible says God waited till his body was as good as dead to fulfill the promise, and that's not a compliment, if you're wondering. Like, how's your body? It's as good as dead. Don't think that's in a lot of Tinder profiles. My name's Tim, I'm in banking, love soccer, cook occasionally, my body's as good as dead, swipe right for a good time. No, no, I don't think so.

And yet, Abraham believed God. Believed God on the spot, and the Bible says God accounted it to him as righteousness. Why? Because that's faith. That's faith. Genesis to Revelation, that's faith. Faith is taking God at His word. Faith is believing God, no matter what. Faith is just trusting that what God has said is going to come to pass, no matter what. And that's how anyone is saved ever. Ephesians talks about salvation is by grace, meaning it's God, it's His gift, but it's accessed through faith. We believe Him and... salvation, it's not like you think. Salvation isn't behave and get saved. Maybe that's the church you grow up in. Behave and get saved. Keep these laws, keep these rules, and you'll be good. It's not behave and get saved, it's believe and receive. That's how you tap into God's grace. That's how you receive positional righteousness before God. And so that's what Abraham did, and he modeled for us how to approach God through faith.

Well, God did keep His promise. Abraham's family become a great nation and through a series of events they ended up as slaves in Egypt. I know, long story, you had to be there. But they end up as slaves in Egypt, and they they're there for 400 years and finally it's time to come out. So you know the story, God raises up Moses to deliver them. He's a type of Christ. When you look at Moses, you see details that are like, that's what Jesus would eventually do. Actually, Moses said of himself, there's one coming after me who is greater than me. One coming after me, a prophet like me but way better, and He is going to really lead you out, deliver you out of sin, out of bondage to death, out of bondage to the grave, out of fear of death and Hell itself, and that of course was Jesus. And as Moses led them out of Egypt, we have a picture of us being led into salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. They went across the Red Sea. It was dramatic. The waters parted, the whole thing was rather dramatic. Nile River turned into blood, flies showing up, frogs, death of the first born, pestilence. I mean, it was very, very interesting.

And so they get lead out. That's a picture of faith in Christ. Again, of trusting Jesus. Coming through the Red Sea, that's a picture of baptism. But that wasn't the end of the story. You see, just because they'd come out of Egypt doesn't mean they had entered into the promised land. You see, many people mistake faith in Christ as simply fire insurance. But the end of your faith and relationship with God isn't just that you wouldn't go to Hell. That's just the starting pistol. God wants to use your life so that you would be a part of Him shaking the very gates of Hell. There's a calling on your life. There's potential inside of you. You are His masterpiece. There are plans for you to walk in. And tragically, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. That's a picture of so many who have a saved soul but a wasted life. Who are saved, you're going to Hell, but you're just not doing anything for Heaven along the way. You're not becoming more like God, you're not accessing all that God has for you.

And so we know of course, after Moses was gone, Joshua was raised up. Who again, is a picture of Jesus, who would lead them across the Jordan River. And in the Jordan River we have this picture of stepping into your calling. Stepping into all that God has for you. Kind of that idea of when you tap into the Holy Spirit's power in your life and strength, and the day-by-day abiding with Jesus, and denying yourself, and picking up that cross and moving forward, and making progress. And learning more, and becoming more, and transformation, and that's where the heart of this series, the five years from now. We don't want to be who we are today. We want to see God change us so much that if we bumped into who we're going to be five years from now, we wouldn't even recognize them. And we'd be like nice six-pack, also, right? In Jesus now, I'm just speaking it in faith, right?

So here's what we we're talking about, we're talking about Israel entering into all that God has for them, and what we're about to read is God giving them a pep talk before they went into the promised land. Why? Because it wasn't going to be easy. It's not going to be easy for you to become who God wanted you to be. It's easy to stay with your problem, with your temper. It's easy to stay with unhealthy habits. It's easy to stay lazy. It's easy to stay argumentative, and cantankerous, and gossip, and to be critical. It's easy to not do anything but want everything, and to be entitled. That's the easiest thing in the world. Water seeks its own level. You don't have to do anything to do that. You don't do anything for your life to pass by but you not to enter into any of the great things that God has packed inside of you. For your story to be a tale of what could have been. For you to die with the music still inside of you. That's easy, and it's happening to many of us right now.

As the world keeps turning and the brief vapor of a second you got on this earth is passing you by. There were going to be battles, y'all. There were going to be nations that would try and keep them back from taking the promised land. In fact, the Bible describes the nations they were going to have to fight to take what God wanted them to have as great and mighty nations. Great and mighty nations. And it was exactly for that reason that Israel was scared to go up against them on the battlefield. Because these nations are great, and they're mighty, and guess what, they are greater and mightier than we are. And because they felt so small, God knew they would feel weak and they thought I'm so small, I'm going to fail. You ever felt like that? But what God wanted them to understand was that it was exactly because they were small that they were going to depend upon Him and when God is with you, you are too small to fail. I'm telling you, in His strength, in your weakness, there's a perfect combination for doing what you were called to do.

Now we're all caught up, let's jump in, Deuteronomy 7:17. He says to them, "If you should say, in your heart, 'These nations are greater than I, how can I dispossess them?' you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt". I love that because he was telling them, don't look to your limitations, or your opposition even, look at the Lord, and remember all that He's done for you. And that's why these pivotal moments, a time of fasting, a time of prayer, any great thing God has done for you, you have to pull those back into mind when you're going through present difficulties. It's why David talked about the bear and the lion he killed when he was going up against Goliath. Whenever you face something difficult, just remember how God was faithful to you when you went through something difficult.

When you went something hard, he said remember that I'm with you. Remember what I did in the Red Sea. Remember how I smote that Egyptian Army. Remember the Nile River turning to blood. Remember that I am God and I am still in control and I am bad to the bone. Remember the Lord. What He said. And then in verse 21 he said don't, "be terrified of them; for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you". And look at this, "And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to," this is getting weird, "you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of," this is really where I want you to focus, "lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed". It's just going to be little by little. Not what they wanted to hear, I guarantee it. Because He had made this promise, listen, He had made this promise that He was going to send fear into the hearts of those they were about to fight before they got there.

So they go up against this huge, scary, tremendously bigger than they were army but God said I'm going to send fear ahead of you. So I know they're going to look big and bad and you're about to die, but don't worry because I'm sending my fear. In another place He said, I'm going to send my hornet before you. I don't even know what that means. I have no clue what that means. Send a hornet? I read 14 commentaries this week trying to figure it out, so I could tell you about it, and every one of them like, I have no idea what that means either but it sounds scary, doesn't it? So what someone said maybe it was real hornets. Someone said maybe it was a giant hornet. Now, that would scare me. Giant hornet showing up, I'd run away too, I wouldn't fight anybody. And so He promised He was going to do this, but it wasn't going to happen all at once, it was going to happen incrementally.

Same thing, Exodus 27, let's look at the exact same passage, we get one more detail, just to see the scope of time that was going to play out while this was happening. It says in verse 29, "I will not drive them out before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you". So instead, look at it, "Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and you inherit the land". So God was saying I got this. Trust me, don't be scared, I got all the power in the universe. And if you doubt it, just remember what I did at the Red Sea. If you doubt it, just remember what I did bringing you out of Egypt. But also know, I'm not going to use all my power at once. I'm going to meter it out, itty bitty drops of it at a time, as you fight each and every battle.

Why? Two reasons. Number one, because if God gave them all the power, if He just caused an F-18 Hornet to fly over the land that scared them all to death, right, so they all ran away trembling, why would they need to ever pray again? Why would you ever need to pray again if God gave you all the answers to next year's prayers? Why does God lead us one step at a time? Why does He give us one day's worth of strength at a time? Why does He tell us sufficient for today is its troubles? Why does He say that we should pray God give us this day our daily bread? Why can't He have a bread truck come and bring a bunch of loaves of bread that he got at Costco and take care of your bread? Because it's perishable. Power's perishable. It only lasts a little bit of time. It's got to be used actively. You can't tomorrow rely on yesterday's revelation. You can't next month rely on today's quiet time. A year from now you can't be talking stories about how you trusted God today and stepped out in faith and believe that's going to rouse you again for the battle that's to come.

We need Him every day. We got to keep our walk with God in the present tense. We've got to every day trust and every day believe in Him. He's going to allow things to happen that seem like they're out of control and He'll give us the power just as we need it, not a moment sooner, but not a moment later, either. But there's a second reason, and that's one He actually cited. He said I can't drive out all the enemies who are currently living in these places that I'm going to actually have you live in eventually, because if I drove them out now, you guys aren't numerous enough to populate all of these places. And I don't want you to bite off more than you can chew and swallow. Right now they're living in these cities, and they're mowing the lawns, and the oil changes are happening, and the vehicles that you're eventually going to drive.

God actually promised them I'm going to cause one day you to live in houses you didn't build. I'm going to cause you to enjoy food from fields you didn't plant, and I'm going to have you drinking from wells that you did not dig. And I just believe for you as well that there is favor in your future, there's blessing in your future, you're going to walk into things that people are going to go, that doesn't make sense, and that's not fair, and that, sure, people can be angry about, but God's going to bless you in ways that will cause you to rejoice and other people to not so much, right? But for them, if God drove out all the people and they weren't ready to go live in these towns, he says the wild beasts would become too numerous for you. They'd be Walking Dead Atlantis, guys, that's what would happen if there was no people in it for a while, everything would get all decrepit, and the vines would grow up, and vehicles wouldn't start, and it would just be all complete chaos. And then they'd go to move in and it would be difficult for them to drive out all the wild, there would be a grizzly bear living in a house, and you're trying to live in it, that would be difficult.

You see, they'd have to go beat it back. And here's a lesson from this. You have to maintain whatever you obtain. Oh great, you can afford the car, how about the payment? I got the down payment, how about the monthly payment? Yeah, I can do that. With gas? With insurance? And eating? I don't need to eat. Really? That's not practical. OK, so you can afford the rent, but what about the HOAs in the community. You have to consider all the factors. And so guys, I'm not going to give it to you before you're ready to maintain it. I'll give it to you just at the right time. So trust me little by little, it's a drip campaign, it's gradual. And I think the words that God spoke to them apply to us as we look into the future. The words are little by little. My message in a sentence is this, victory isn't one huge thing and then all of a sudden you're undefeated, it's a small thing continually repeated. That's my whole message.

I got it, have a good week. We'll see you soon. Victory isn't one huge thing. Epic, wow! Roar, fire, look what I have created, right? And then all of a sudden, boom you're undefeated. It's a small thing continually repeated. One city at a time, one battle at a time, what about after we fought the Hivites? OK, now go fight these Girgashites. What about after the Girgashites? Now you've got to hit the Jebusites. All right, I got the Jebusites, what about the termites? You see what I'm saying, they had to just keep going, keep going. Then the hill country, then this city, then this fortified embankment. And there were battles stretching on, He said it's not going to be done in a year. It's not going to be done in a year. In fact, when you read the book of Joshua, the major battles lasted a period of seven years, and then there was the mop up operation that would follow. So it was meant to be this continually repeated thing happening again and again and again and again.

And so I think maybe we need to rethink what it's going to take. Because throughout this series we've been saying, what would be the dream in your heart five years from now? I'd really love to see this new language that I could speak, or this new thing that I could do, or this new thing that I would launch, or this new thing that I would be doing in my life. And I think we need to really make the steps that are going to get us there smaller. If we're ever going to get there. The steps that are going to get us a thousand miles need to be small enough that they're sustainable, you see. That's why I called the message Too Small to Fail, because I was reading this book called Mini Habits. M-I-N-I Habits. It's only a hundred pages, I mean, you can read the thing in hour, hour and 10 minutes, or maybe never, if you don't read. I only say that because of those with a college degree in America, one out of three did not read one book last year.

So most of us don't read. But if you read this book, you would read what he says, I think is brilliant. The concept of micro habits, mini habits. He said in the book, and I loved it so much I stole it for my title, that we should make our habits too small to fail. The steps that it's going to take to get to the thousand miles need to be small enough that we'll actually do them. Most of us, it's not that we're dreaming too much, planning too much, hoping too much, inspiring too much, for most of us, we make them so big that there's no way we can possibly do them and keep them up for a year. Forget about that, but much less than that, still be doing them 60 months from now. So he says here's a solution. You should make your goals stupidly small. Stupidly small. What do you mean by that? Well, he says he had this epiphany when he was trying to talk himself into a 30 minute workout. Anybody ever been there?

The closet, I know my gym clothes are in that bin. You just know what it would take to put them on and go to the gym and do a 30 minute workout. You're just trying to psych yourself up. And he said he found himself sitting on the couch, unable, unable, just could not summon the willpower to go to the gym for a 30 minute workout. So you know what he said he decided to do? He said I decided instead to just do a push-up. I did one push-up and I felt better. And so he realized wait a minute, maybe I'm on to something here. So he says maybe your goal could be from now to the end of the year, if you're completely out of shape, to say a hundred push-ups today, first of all, in two days you'll be so sore that you will be walking around like a Tyrannosaurus Rex from your first a hundred push... What's is the matter with you? New year resolution. Don't want to talk about it, right? Forget about doing it that day, you won't you won't be able to get yourself off the ground.

And so the hundred push-ups, he goes maybe that's not sustainable. Maybe, he says, you should say I'm going to do one push-up. Why? Because if you're sitting on the couch and it's the end of the day, and you realize you didn't do your commitment, the thought of going to the gym may not even be realistic, if the gym's closed. The thought of doing a hundred push-ups before bed, you will talk yourself out of that faster than you could think, but if you said I could do one push-up before I go to bed, that's actually so stupidly small that you'd be embarrassed to not do it, right? It's easier to do it than to not do it because you made it so bite-sized that it's accessible. You think, I can obviously muster the stamina to get down on the ground, even at my bedside, what's that going to take, two seconds? And I could all of a sudden, wow look at that, met my goal for the day. Wait a minute, well, I'm already down here.

All right, he says that oftentimes, what's going to happen is, when you start doing your small thing, you're going to realize Newton's law's right. An object at rest stays at rest, but once you get in motion, it's easier to stay in motion than to stop. And so more often than not, now that you know you've already met your goal and you're actually technically getting extra credit, you might even start mixing it up and get fancy. You could do a couple of diamonds. You could do some wide grips. And all of a sudden, you're going this is great. Why? Because you did more than you have to do. Because you got yourself going by doing something small. So he says shrink your goals. And in fact, my favorite thing what he said in the book was, he said make you goal for the year, floss one tooth a day. Just one. It's like, that I could do. Floss one tooth a day. And while you're in there, I could just floss that little guy, and that little guy, and you might just keep going. He says don't say you're going to read for 30 minutes a day.

Say I'm going to read two pages a day of a book. Two pages. And he's tricky, because a lot of times you're going to want to know what the end of that sentence says, and it happens to be on page three, you're like, well I know I'm not supposed to, but I might just read one more, I'm so naughty. And you're playing into your own devious nature. By setting us a goal that's so stupidly small. This lines up with what the sick man who invented the Spartan Race said, he's the guy who created it. This barbaric sport where people are lighting themselves on fire and dragging logs up ski hills and that sort of thing. No, thank you. Much too civilized for that. I did a mud run one time on a Marine base, and there were Marines yelling at me, and it so scarred and traumatized me, I decided that I don't want to ever do anything like that again. Here's what he said, this is Joe De Sena. Francisco. Francesco. That's a fun word to say.

All right, he said, that's a quote from Elf, "The hardest part of a Spartan Race isn't actually doing it. It's getting to the starting line. " It's the willpower to begin something and hopefully you've made it intelligently so you're able to do it. All right a couple pointers as we put this into practice in our lives. What God is speaking to us little by little. Say that phrase out loud with me, little by little. It's all over the Bible, by the way. You can read it from the mouth of Jesus, who said the kingdom of Heaven is like, look at this, "a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field," next verse, "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so the birds of the air come and nest in its branches". Something little, something stupidly small, something too small to fail, and it becomes something so great.

Why do so many people not get there? It's because so many of us do what Zechariah says not to do and we despise the days of small things. We look at the one push-up, we go, there's no way that's going to help me, so what's the point? We look at what we're paying on our credit card to pay it down, and we say that's not even going to cover the interest I'm going to incur this month and we despise the small things that if we just kept persisting, and just kept persisting, and just kept persisting, and the little by little, by little by little, city by city, that eventually you'd get somewhere great. But we just get discouraged because we want instant progress. We want instantly to see that we've made a difference. And that's just not how it works. But if we trust the process, like Job does, though we start little, look at this, we start little, we can end with much. If you just keep trucking. All right four words of caution as you begin to shrink your goals and approach all that God wants for you little by little.

Number one, choose carefully. Choose carefully. Why? Because not all goals are created equally. Some have a greater ability to transform your life than others. Researchers refer to this as keystone habits. Keystone habits. That is to say, there are some areas of life that you can change. And if you do, they will have cascading effects that will spill over to other areas of your life. Google it. Read about it. It's amazing to think about. What are keystone habits? Well, flossing actually happens to be on the list. For some reason, I don't know. Not just one tooth probably, but if you do the one, maybe you'll do the rest of it. I'm just doing this upper left quadrant and then no more. Just have full cavities everywhere else but right there. Making your bed is a keystone habit, interestingly enough. Co-related with the ability to spend less on your credit card.

Now those are very different things. But if you make your bed every morning, somehow it gives you a greater sense of discipline and purpose and you've accomplished something great. My wife takes it so seriously she makes the bed with me in it. It's a problem for us in our marriage. But they say, of course, physical fitness is one. So if you choose the right things to get healthy. I believe so much in tithing as a spiritual discipline that has effects that are far beyond your finances, as you make the decision to orient your heart towards Heaven and earth. There's different things we can choose, that if we get these things right, it will be like Tetris. Click, click, click, click, is a keystone habit. Of course, the word keystone itself refers to the part of an arch that if you take it out, the whole arch falls down.

There's a lot of stones, every stone in an arch is important, but there's one stone, that if removed, causes the whole thing to lose its integrity and stability. And that's why we put God first and seek God first. Because we're choosing carefully. There's a second thing I think you should do, you should spell it out specifically. You've identified, hopefully, where you want to be five years from now, and now we're starting to go, one step at a time to get there. But whatever your one step is going to be in the coming days, spell it out specifically. Make a concrete plan. That is to say, don't use any fuzzy language. Paint with bright lines.

That's how lawyers describe contracts, where as you read it you know exactly what is being specified. I have to tell you, when I read contracts, I think their goal in life is to make sure no one understands what's happening. It's all so fuzzy, so many loopholes, conditions, and clauses, you're like, all I wanted was a frequent flyer card. I don't know why this is 17 pages in font three. This doesn't make sense to me. But when everything is real clear and you see what the deal is, that's called using bright lines. So as you spell out what's my step going to be per day that's going to get me to where God wants me to be, use bright lines. What would be an example of fuzzy lines? I'm going to eat better. Yeah, going to do it. How will you ever know if you got there? How will you ever know if you haven't got there? That's fuzzy lines. Because in the moment you can rationalize.

I heard Jimmy Fallon say the other day, talking about this whole topic, what are you doing eating bad, I thought you only have one cheat day a week. Yeah, but I divided my cheat day out all week long, and so my cheat day's one day but I just give an hour of it to every day. You see what I'm saying? I'm still eating better, I only have one cheat day, I Just have a little bit of the cheat day every morning, lunch, and dinner. I'm still keeping them, because I got 24 hours of my cheat day every... You're not eating well, but you're eating better. Than what? Jabba the Hutt? You see what I'm saying? There's always... That's bright lines. They're not being used. What would be an example of spelling it out specifically? How about this? If chips are your problem, I'm guilty, man. Chips and salsa in the evening, a little guacamole, and we've got revival in my house. But if you say, I'm never eating Doritos again. Never eating Doritos again this year. We will know if you have violated it, because you'll have orange hands, you see what I'm saying? That's bright lines. You at least know there's no fuzziness to that. I think fuzzy lines would be I'm not going to text while driving.

That would be a good goal, right? But I think that's a fuzzy goal. Why? Because you could email, you could Instagram. Don't text while driving. I'm not, I'm drafting an email, right? Wait a minute. How about bright lines? I'm not going to touch my phone while my car's in drive. Not going to touch my phone when my car's in drive. That means no stoplights, that means no selfies, that means no Instagram store. But I'm not texting and driving, I'm good. How about the bright lines for your goal, so that you will know whether or not you have got there. I'm going to drink less next year. Less alcohol, less than who? There's always somebody drunker than you. See what I'm saying? Five beers in, he's obviously drunk more, I'm drinking less this... See what I'm saying? We have to use bright lines as we spell out what it's going to take to get to where God wants us to be. There's a third. And the reason that one's so important is because we are capable of endless self-deception. Endless self-deception.

All right, number three. Track it diligently. So you're not just choosing carefully and spelling it out specifically but you also need to track it diligently. Why is that? Well, as the authors of the phenomenal book The Four Disciplines of Execution that FranklinCovey put it, the truth is if you're not keeping score, you're just practicing. If you're not keeping score, and those of you lead and marketplace in business or any team endeavor I would highly encourage a read of that brilliant book, they put it this way. They said, "Bowling through a curtain might be fun in the beginning but if you can't see the pins fall it will soon become boring even if you really love bowling". Imagine throwing a bowling ball, but there's a sheet it has to pass through before it gets to the pins. How long will you play that game? You might hear them knocking over, I think I got one or a couple of them. Eventually you are going to lose interest. Why? It's the keeping score that makes it fun.

What's the first thing you ask when you see a game on and you walk into the room if they're not showing it, if they're on a commercial break? What's the score? What's the score? Score is what causes things to be interesting. And so if you want to keep yourself interested in the change you want, you have to keep score. To keep score, you have to have data. To keep data, you have to write things down. What am I eating? Write it down. That will open your eyes. First time I ever started, for my birthday my wife, I don't know if she was sending a message, she bought me a FitBit. I think she was saying I got a fat butt, but here's the thing. She gives it to me and it's got this app, and it says write down everything you eat, and as I'm doing it it's opening my eyes to what I'm putting in my body. And half the times I sit there wanting to order something, but actually talk myself out of it because I don't want to have to write that down. I don't want to have to write that in, and it's just amazing. Why? I was getting the data. I was tracking it diligently, and that change, if you write down when you work out, if you write down when you have a quiet time, if you write down that you read your Bible, it actually causes you to keep score.

And when you keep score, you'll stay interested longer. It is absolutely life-changing to keep track of the small, incremental steps that add up to the life that you want. There is a fourth and the fourth is this. Once you've done all that, you've got to guard it aggressively. If you put those three things in place, you're on the right track. Now guard it aggressively. Meaning you fight to keep that small thing from adding up. Here's what we're guarding. Days linked together that have not been interrupted of our progress in our goal. We would be much better in having 5% back on our investments for a lifetime, than 50% every 10th year. Spikes of intermittent, this is a great return, no, just slow and steady. So we want to keep today I got my step. Today I got my push-up. Today I flossed one tooth. Today I read my two pages, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. You're guarding aggressively the days linking, this is called the Seinfeld method.

What? Yeah, apparently when he was starting out as a comedian, his goal was write one joke a day. He bought this enormous wall calendar. He has to fill a whole monologue. He has to fill a whole TV show eventually. Has to fill his whole career eventually. How's he going to do it? He said I bought a huge wall calendar, and I said I'm going to write one joke a day. One joke? You can't you can't do a whole 60 minute comedy special with that. It's OK, but I'll get one tomorrow, too. And he would walk up with a Sharpie and write a big X on every day that he had written one successful joke. And his goal was to string together as many days as he could where he accomplished it. I'm going to talk to you a little bit more about that next week, and I'm going to talk a little bit more about how what things have been in place in my life to write the two books that I've written.

And how right now I'm actually, I forgot to even tell you this, I'm almost done with my third book, that's going to be coming out this year, so excited about it. But the kind of approach that will cause that to be possible, and we'll get specific about it, so I really hope you'll come back next week. But basically, you're guarding aggressively momentum. You're guarding aggressively the trend. And as you see that pile up it'll just give you more and more steam. And whatever you do, don't skip twice. Don't skip twice. What does that mean? It mean there's going to be a day where you're not going to do it. You fell asleep, everything got crazy, you got sick, whatever happened.

OK, you get it, you miss a day, all right? So the temptation we would have is to wake up the next day berating ourselves, feeling like failure, and going, all right we'll try again next year and better luck later. But instead we should double down on our efforts to start a new chain. Start a new chain. Never miss twice. And the author of the book Superhuman by Habit calls that habit suicide. He says missing once, it's going to happen. Missing twice is habit suicide. Because now you're getting back to being an object at rest, and it's going to take all of that momentum energy to disrupt the inertia to get going once again. I like this excerpt from the book Superhuman by Habit, what's Tynan's last name, I can't figure it out. And all his books just state Tynan, so he's like kind of like Prince or something.

So here's what he said. He said, "By failing to execute, potentially you're not just losing a minor bit of progress, but rather threatening the cumulative benefits you've accrued by establishing a habit. This is a huge deal and should not be treated lightly. So make your habits relatively easy, but never miss doing them". What did God say? Same thing Tynan's saying, little by little, but don't stop fighting, and don't stop going because little by little eventually becomes a lot. My wife pointed out to me that the word "by" is used to multiply. Two by two. Four by four. You multiply with the word "by" and God said little times little, little times little. What do we get when we multiply things together that are the same? We get compound interest.

Now, throughout the series I've been using props that border on dramatic at times, and I thought this week I need to really keep the excitement level high, so we gave every single one of you a prop to participate when you walked in. So go ahead and grab the prop that we handed you, our guest services team gave you on the way in, and hold it up when you got it. This is an amazing demonstration of compound interest. Do as I do, if you're at home, grab a piece of paper, any paper will do, and fold it in half. That's one. But now we have two pieces of paper because one and one is two. And if we take two times two, it equals four. Well it's not four times four, it's four and four is eight. And eight plus eight is 16. And 16 and 16 is 32. And I'm out, are you out? I can't go more than that. The world record's 12. That's amazing. But here's the staggering thing about this. This is a demonstration of escalating, compounding, exponential growth. Why? Because every time it just continues to double on itself.

And they say if you could get to 10, which I can't, you would be as wide as your hand. What if you could get to 30? If you could get to 30, it would reach to what the limits are of space, 100 kilometers. 100 kilometers is how thick the stack of papers would be. What if you could get to 42? You'd be to the moon. 51, the sun. What if you could get to 103 folds and you would keep adding every single time the amount to each other? You would be at a distance of 93 billion light years. 93 billion light years, or the thickness of the observable universe. Why? Because little by little eventually becomes a lot. Or as Charles Spurgeon put it, and I love this so much, "Courage, my heart! Go on little by little, for many littles will make a great whole". In Jesus' name.
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