imageWe are now about a week into the Olympics and have witnessed the triumphs of great athletes from across the globe. As I watched all of these individuals compete, I listened to stories of the Olympic dreams some had as young children and of the sacrifices they and their families made over the years to achieve those dreams. As I watched and listened, the word that came to mind repeatedly was “goals.” Before the sacrifice, the hard work and yes, even before the medals, they all had to start with a goal.  Our ability to achieve our own goals and even what those goals are may be influenced by many things.  Below are a few that come to mind…

Gifts that God placed inside each one of us. Before we were born God “knit” each one of us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). I believe that in doing so, He placed a unique gift in each of us that manifests as a goal.  Someone’s desire to write may be different than your desire to dance. Your desire to dance may be different than your neighbor’s desire to paint or your coworker’s desire to excel at tennis. Our job is to acknowledge our unique gifts and to share them with the world.

Obstacles that try to get in the way. I am sure that all of the Olympic athletes faced obstacles as they worked towards their dreams. It may have been an injury or a heartbreaking defeat. Whatever it was, they overcame it and pushed through it. Similarly, maybe you have faced obstacles as you set out to achieve your goals or maybe you tried and you failed. Get up and go for it or simply try again.

Ambition to achieve success. In order to successfully achieve a goal we first have to have the determination and fight to put in the hard work that will be required. Achieving a goal requires more than just sitting and wishing. It requires standing and doing. We have to be willing to stand up for our dreams and be willing to do what it takes to achieve them.

Love, as in loving ourselves enough to not hold back. So often we sacrifice so much for those around us. We push our dreams and our goals aside to help everyone else achieve theirs. We have to love ourselves enough to put our dreams in the forefront and not hold back. Remember, goals are a special gift placed inside each of us. If someone gives you an exquisite gift would you just throw it away? Similarly we should not be willing to throw away our special gifts and talents.

Success defined. Success is defined differently by each person. Most of the Olympians will not become millionaires because of their wins. In fact, most will accept their medals and go home to do other things to make a living. That doesn’t minimize their success. They were still successful in what they set out to do and they may go on to be just as successful at other things. How we define success may not be the same as someone else would define it or even how we may define it in different areas of our lives. We have to define what success means for us and not let it be defined by anyone else.

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