If I were to assess myself, I’d say that there’s nothing I really excel at. When it comes to things like sports, music and ministry, I’m the ultimate generalist. I’m what they call the “jack of all trades and master of none.” And as a result, I have been forced to be creative in the way I live and lead. Your mind tracks at a pretty high speed when you know your opponent is taller, faster and more skilled than you are. You dig deeper into the clearance racks when you know you ain’t got much money in the bank. When preaching, you begin to think outside the box and pray a little harder when your charisma isn’t captivating your congregation. I compare my ordinary life to someone attempting to squeeze out that last bit of toothpaste from the container, “Just… one… more… time!”
Frankly, my limitations has become one of my greatest assets. Accepting the fact that I will never be number one makes me think and work like I’m a number two. This kind of underdog mindset can be summed up in one word… LEVERAGE.
I first learned about this word in a community organizing class I was taking a while back. Community organizing revolves around the notion that almost everything you would need to restore or develop a community already exists within its borders. It’s all about leveraging the resources you already have. The task of a community organizer is to facilitate, draw out and utilize the hidden power within its population in order to bring about change.
As a leader, I’ve been really challenged by this approach. It pushes me to see what I already have rather than chasing things I don’t even need. Currently, success to me, is all about maximizing the resources I have and being a good steward of what God has given me. If you get one talent, there’s no need to feel inferior to others who produces ten (Matt 25). The question is whether you’ve squeezed out all the potential of that one talent.
Sometimes I get so caught up in where I want to be that I fail to steward what I have. I would always wish for more influence, more power and more connections in order to get where I wanted to go. I felt like I needed to be extra ordinary in order to make a difference. But when you think about it, where’s the fun in having everything you need in order to accomplish your dreams. I wouldn’t even have dreams if everything was at my disposal. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that life’s a lot more interesting for us ordinary folk.
So instead of waiting for the planets to align, ask yourself if you’ve truly assessed your assets. Challenge your limitations and believe that there’s more toothpaste to be discovered.
I saw this video by One Days Wages today and felt inspired by how much influence they have exerted with such limited resources. When you read about their humble beginnings, it produces a whole lot of hope of what to look forward to in the future.