One of my favorite bible stories is the story of Noah’s Ark. God tells Noah a flood is going to destroy the earth. God then tells Noah to build an ark, so that he and his family will be spared. God also told Noah to put two (male and female) of every animal on the ark.
Noah builds the ark; he puts the animals on the ark; his family boards the ark. It rains for 40 days and nights. The world is destroyed. Noah sends out a dove a couple of times. Finally, a dove comes back with an olive branch. They know it’s safe to get off the ark. The world starts anew. Pretty simple, huh?
Well there are a couple of things about this story we all learned in Sunday School that make it my favorite.
One, when God told Noah to build the ark, it was not raining outside, nor had it ever rained and historians say Noah didn’t live anywhere near a body of water large enough for an ark. The dimensions of the ark were about one and a half football fields long and four stories high (interesting fact, shipbuilders still use this ratio of the length to width today). To me this is significant because often times we have to have faith that things are going to be alright when we are doing what we are supposed to do, no matter how ridiculous everyone else may think the path we have chosen is. We have to continue in spite of…. (Warning, before you do anything too outlandish, be sure that you are walking in your purpose).
Another thing, get this… Noah was about 400 years old when he started building the ark and was almost 500 when it was finished. So, he worked on the ark for almost 100 years, with no evidence that what he was working on would ever be used. Lesson here, success is not an overnight thing. It comes after years and years of hard work; hard work that sometimes no one else sees. So, you may think that, such and such had it easy or his or her road was or is not difficult as yours; but like the old folks say, it may be a case of “You see my glory, but don’t know my story”.
In my opinion, it is also important to note, that although we don’t know Noah’s “pre-flood” occupation, after the flood, he owned a vineyard. So I guess we can assume he probably was not a ship builder when he was told by God to build an ark. Noah is remembered for building an ark, not for his wonderful wine making abilities. From that I gather that it’s not important that you always knew exactly what your purpose or gift to the world is, it’s just important that when the time comes for you to give that gift, you know and you give it.
Ok, last thing…Noah’s family (his wife, his three sons, their wives, a total of 8 people) were to be on this ark with ALL those animals for the duration of the flood (40 days and 40 nights) and the period for the land to dry and become habitable. (Historians believe it was a total of one year after the floods stopped). I can’t even imagine being trapped on a boat with my extended family and a bunch of animals for over a year. I have to admit, I would have immediately started asking questions like, “why me?”, “are you sure, this is what I am supposed to do?” But, Noah just goes about doing what he was told to do, having complete faith that he is walking in his purpose.
As entrepreneurs we are unique people. We make our way and create, build and try. There are people who tell us we can’t, we shouldn’t, it will never work, or that it hasn’t been done before. But I challenge you, if you are doing what you have been “told” to do, if you are walking in your purpose, then like Noah, you have to continue to walk in YOUR purpose. Noah had faith that he would acquire the tools and the knowledge required to get that job done, despite his age, despite the time required, and despite what others said. We must have this type of faith in our dreams if our purpose is ever to be fulfilled.
But, when you hear all the negative talk, when your feelings are hurt, when things just don’t turn out how you planned, what do you do? How do you keep from giving up and having half an ark in your yard when the rain comes?
- An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it!
The one thing that you can do in pursuing your goal is to keep an open mind. You will be more aware of ideas and opportunities around you that could help move you closer towards your goal.
Once you say “I quit”, you basically are closing off your mind from any more ways to getting closer to your end result and having any breakthroughs.
Thing to Remember- There are always more ways than one to do something!
2. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!
One thing for you to remember when you get discouraged is that you actually tried in the first place. You made an effort! If you got a result that you didn’t like, you will need to adjust your action based upon your result until you get a better outcome. Especially in the beginning of something; we feel overwhelmed at times and think that we will never get there. Yes, you may have temporary setbacks, but if you learn from those and change your actions, you will get what you want.
The spirit of “stick-to-it-iveness” is the one that wins! Each time you try again, you WIN!
3. Questions are the answer!
When you run out of ideas, it’s time to start asking questions. Who do you ask the questions? YOU! That’s right, you have to start asking yourself the questions and you WILL come up with more answers. What do I mean by that? Ask questions that are geared towards getting what you want, not what you don’t want. Keep the questions positive!
4. Somebody HELP ME!
Is there somebody that has already achieved the same goal? Find them and ask them what they did to get there (people love to talk about themselves). Asking doesn’t cost anything. If they won’t help you, find somebody else!
5. Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
A sure way to keep you from starting or even continuing towards your goal is to come up with an excuse. Let’s face it; there is always an excuse ready for you to use if you so choose. It’s easy to come up with excuses. If you find yourself making excuses, take a minute and you will see that you are really just cheating yourself!
6. If you Can Believe It, You Can Achieve It
I know that to make your goals a reality it most likely requires you to venture outside of your comfort zone. That can be scary and very uncomfortable at first! Keep focusing on the benefit of your goal to push yourself further along.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t succumb to pressure. Remember when you are walking in your purpose, your gifts will make room for you.