Facing Opposition

There once lived a man named Nehemiah. He built a wall of Biblical proportions. In fact, you can read about it in the Bible in the book that bears his name. In 52 days, Nehemiah built a massive wall to protect Jerusalem against enemy attack.

But he built more than a wall. Nehemiah built the nation’s self-esteem, beauty, and pride. But at every step, he faced opposition. And from his experience, we learn two valuable truths that apply only to people who try to do something bigger than themselves.

First, we learn to expect opposition. The only person who faces no opposition is the person sitting still. Expect criticism, but don’t take it personally. Remember, you will be criticized for doing anything, so make sure you are doing the right thing.

The second truth is that you must keep on track. Keep working as though it all depends on you. And keep praying as though it all depends on God. Don’t give up, and don’t get discouraged.

Jerry Falwell was right when he said, “You can define the greatness of a man by what it takes to discourage him.”

Founder of World Wide Web Born 62 Years Ago Today

Tim John Berners-Lee was born in London on June 8, 1955. Not surprisingly, he was born to a family of computer scientists. Tim received a first-class degree in physics at the Queen’s College of Oxford University in 1976 and began designing computer software. After a short stint at CERN, the prestigious particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, Berners-Lee developed a prototype system called Enquire to store information that could be linked between computers, allowing scientists to share their results, techniques, and practices 24 hours a day.

He used the hypertext idea behind Enquire to create the World Wide Web. Having designed and built the first web browser between October 1990 and the summer of 1991, he became an enthusiastic early proponent of the web. Knighted in 2004, Berners-Lee subsequently received two upgrades to this honor. He became president of the Open Date Institute in 2012

Talk about a resume builder. “Inventor of the Web.”

But I can beat that. “Married 35 years.” “Follower of Jesus Christ.” “Father of amazing son.”

What’s on your resume?

The Rushmore Report: Ten Great Quotes on Success

There are many roads to success. There are countless strategies and theories on success. What there isn’t is anything new under the sun. What has worked in the past still works today. If you want to be a success, find someone who is already a success and learn from them. I know this – God wants the rest of your life to be the best of your life. Consider these ten great quotes on success from some of the most successful people in the world.

Vince Lombardi – “The price of success is hard work.”

George Patton – “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.”

Bobby Uncer – “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”

Winston Churchill – “Success is not final, failure is final. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Albert Einstein – “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of virtue.”

Henry Ford – “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Winston Churchill – “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

John Maxwell – “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”

Arthur Ashe – “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Alexander Graham Bell – “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”


The Rushmore Report: Ten Secrets to Great Wealth

If you Google “millionaire” and “secrets,” you get more than 10 million results. I’m a veteran of the technology industry, and have spent decades studying successful leaders. I’m talking about hundreds of men and women who have become wildly successful. These are their secrets. If you want to enjoy great success financially, or otherwise, practice these steps carefully.

1. Quit reading dumb articles like this one.

Think I’m kidding? This is so not funny. None of those hundreds or thousands of successful people I’ve known wasted their time on nonsense like “the secrets of millionaires.” Quit searching for miracle solutions and silver bullets; there aren’t any.

2. Reach beyond your grasp.

Perhaps the most brilliant advice in history is Robert Browning’s famous quote, “A man’s reach should not exceed his grasp.” If you want to be successful, you have to consistently strive to tackle tough problems. There are no wealthy slackers. None.

3. Make good choices.

Becoming successful is all about making good choices. Listen to smart, accomplished people, but in the end, trust your gut.

4. Always pay down your debt.

Better still, stay out of debt. There are exceptions. It’s okay to have a mortgage, but pay it down as soon as you can. And everyone needs a car, but they don’t need a new car.

5. Work in a high-demand, low-supply field.

It’s sort of funny how the most basic economic principle, the law of supply and demand, eludes most people. It’s so simple. Demand is proportional to price. More competition means less income and wealth. It’s that simple.

6. Learn to do one thing better than anyone else.

It doesn’t matter whether you learn it in school or on the job; strive to be better than anyone else at just one thing. You do that by accomplishing one thing at a time. It helps a lot if that one thing is something you love to do.

7. Be a raging workaholic.

Look I’m not saying you can’t have a family and fun. I do. But every wealthy person is also a hard worker with a strong work ethic. In other words, they get the job done, meet their commitments, and set a fine example for others.

8. Prioritize, focus, be disciplined.

Forget all the books and blogs about personal productivity and self-improvement. All you have to do is know your priorities, focus on what matters, and be disciplined about it.

9. Get equity.

Salary pays the bills, but saving money is challenging and it’s always tempting to dip into the cookie jar. Equity from stock, options, or business ownership solves that problem because it’s not liquid. In other words, you can’t spend it. Just don’t squander it when you can. Instead of cashing out, diversify your investments.

10. Don’t do what everyone else is doing.

The key message from my new book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow, is that nobody ever got ahead by doing what everyone else is doing. Nobody. Unfortunately, social media promotes cultural conformity, herd mentality, and dopey fads like nobody’s business. Leaders lead. Followers follow. You can’t do both.

About the Author

Steve Tobak is a management consultant, executive coach, columnist, and author of Real Leaders Don’t Follow.

The Rushmore Report: The Greatest Secret to Success that No One Is Talking About

There is no shortage of productive hacks. Most people equate more with better. To be successful, they sleep less, work longer hours, multi-task, work in airplanes, bring work home, and drink more coffee. But being uber-productive can ruin health and relationships. Is there a better way? You bet there is. Here is the greatest secret to success that no one is talking about.

The greatest secret to productivity is . . . LESS

By doing less you will accomplish more. Let’s begin by redefining productivity. When was the last time you finished everything? When was the last time you thought, “I’m so productive that I got it all done”?

A new definition of productivity

The common definition works well when describing assembly lines, but we are people, not machines. What if productivity was not about getting the most done, but by getting the most important done? What if productivity was not about doing it all, but doing the main things well? If your purpose in life is to churn and burn, and that’s really what does it for you, nothing here will help you. But if you want to do more with less – keep reading. These principles will work if your incorporate them into your life.

1. Learn to edit.

We mindlessly add things to our lives and rarely subtract anything. Make an extensive edit list to clear away the things that really don’t matter.

2. Make a love list.

What do you love to do and why are those things always on the bottom of the list? If you are waiting until you get everything done, until you work enough, make enough, and save enough, you will never do what you love most. Start now.

3. Rest.

God created you for rest. There’s even a command about that in Scripture. Without rest, you can’t give fully to your family and friends. You are less creative and motivated when you don’t rest. Just stop. Rest.

4. Have fewer ends.

If you are constantly worried about how to make ends meet, it’s time to think about having fewer ends. What are you paying for right now that you don’t need? What if you got rid of those payments? Could you work less and make less? There are better things than to be rich.

5. Drop more balls.

More balls in the air requires more juggling and more ball dropping. When you forget to do something or you accidentally drop the ball, you feel guilty and unworthy. What if you intentionally dropped the ball, or simply removed a few balls from your juggling act?

6. Say no.

This may be the hardest for you, if you are a people-pleaser. I get that. I’m president of People-Pleasing International. Learn to say no to some things. Not every opportunity represents a green light. If you say yes all the time, you are letting someone else run your life.

7. Single task.

Multi-tasking is overrated. Paul said, “This one thing I do,” not “These many things I dabble at.” Author Brooke McAlary writes, “Make time for the one thing you are thinking most about. Let that purpose your life.” Do a few things well, instead of a bunch of things poorly.

8. Stop measuring your worth by your accomplishments.

At the end of the day, we have a bad habit of measuring who we are by what we have done. If our to-do lists don’t have enough check marks, we feel like we haven’t done enough. Instead of measuring yourself by what you get done, measure yourself by how you make people feel. Measure by what’s in your heart and not by what’s on your list.

Toppling Walls

Have you ever faced an insurmountable wall that needed toppling? Henry Blackaby did.

When the World’s Fair came to Canada in 1986, Blackaby saw an opportunity to reach more than 22 million people with he message of the gospel. One problem: the association of churches blackaby served in Vancouver had just 2,000 members and a budget of less than $9,000 a year. Still, convinced of God’s leading, Blackaby set a budget of $202,000, prayed and trusted God to do the rest. God didn’t disappoint. By the end of the year more than $264,000 had come in from all over the world, and some 20,000 people began personal relationships with Christ through the efforts of a small but faithful band of believers.

The Israelites had their own wall to topple before they could enter the Promised Land. The wall they faced surrounded Jericho, a fortified city with “walls up to the sky” (Deuteronomy 9:1). When the Israelites arrived, Jericho’s residents had just completed the spring harvest, and the city’s walls were brimming with spring rain. Archaeological experts estimate that the inhabitants probably could have held out for several years. This would be one of the most amazing victories God’s children would ever enjoy.

When the wall in front of you is too tall, too thick, too wide, and too impenetrable – rejoice. God is about to show up. He’s got this! Your wall is about to come toppling down.

How Far Will You Go?

How far will you go in life? Today, let’s talk about the single most important factor in determining your worth and destiny.

Doug Firebaugh said it this way: “Achievement to most people is something you do. But to the high achiever, it is something you are.”

Professors James Kouzes and Barry Posner have spent more than 25 years surveying leaders in virtually every type of organization, in which they ask, “What values, personal traits, or characteristics do you look for and admire most in a leader?”

During those years, they have administered a survey questionnaire called “Characteristics of Admired Leaders” to more than 75,000 people on six continents.

“The results,” they report, “have been striking in their regularity over the years, and they do not significantly vary by demographical, organizational, or cultural differences.”

And what quality is most admired in leaders? The answer is honesty.

Norman Schwarzkoft said, “Ninety-nine percent of leadership failures are failures of character.”

The good news is, you can go really far in life and achieve great things. But you must come by it honestly.

Texas Spindletop

On this day in 1901 an enormous geyser of oil exploded from a drilling site at Spindletop Hill, a mound created by an underground salt deposit near the city of Beaumont, in southeast Texas. Reaching a height of more than 150 feet and producing close to 100,000 barrels a day, the “gusher” was more powerful than any previously seen in the world. The drilling operation in Beaumont represented the persistence of self-taught geologist Pattillo Higgins, a one-armed mechanic who believed that a great deal of oil lay underneath the salt dome. His idea had long been ridiculed, and early drilling efforts had failed, but a last-ditch attempt was spectacularly successful. A booming oil industry soon grew up around the oil field at Spindletop, and many of the major oil companies in America – including Gulf Oil, Texaco, and Exxon – can trace their origins to that spot.

Colin Powell said, “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” No one personified persistence more than the one-armed mechanic named Pattillo Higgins. Because of persistence, oil became king in Texas.

Persistence. Nothing great is accomplished without it.

South Pole Is Reached – 59 Years Ago Today

Mountain climber and Antarctic explorer Sir Edmund Hillary reached the South Pole by tractor on this day in 1958. Nine years later, he was among the first to scale Antarctica’s Mount Herschel at 10,941 feet. The son of a beekeeper, Hillary began climbing as a teenager in his native New Zealand. On May 29, 1953, he became the first explorer to reach the summit of 29,029-foot Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.

He was accompanied by a Tibetan mountaineer, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary was knighted and received many other honors for his achievements in Nepal, particularly the Sherpas. In 2003, 50 years after his epic climb up Everest, Hillary was made an honorary citizen of Nepal.

Sir Edmund Hillary is known throughout the world for one thing. He went where no one else had gone and he loved to climb mountains. What mountains are you going to climb in 2017?

The Right Book

There is one thing we all have in common. It doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, tall or short, young or old. We all want to be successful.

Admittedly, we define “success” in a myriad of ways. But however you define it, you want it. We all do, and that’s okay.

I love to visit bookstores. I often find myself gravitating to the self-help section. On a recent perusal of a local store, I came across the following titles: Passport to Prosperity, Winning Moves, Good Greed, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Winning Through Intimidation, Cashing In On the American Dream, The Art of Selfishness, How to Retire at 35, Techniques that Take You to the Top, How to Get What You Really Want, and Secrets to Quick Success.

Who are we kidding? Even if these books worked, is there really anything to be gained by being selfish or rich?

Jesus said the dumbest thing anyone can do is to get lots of worldly goods, but lose his own soul. I found that in another book. It’s called the Bible.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).