achievementThe very word ‘achieve’ implies earned so let’s first eliminate the unexpected blessings we receive. But for those rewards that we do in fact earn there seem to be three main characteristics.

They are hard. Ignore the person who tells you otherwise. Running a marathon, opening a business, starting a new job, getting married or having children are all hard. (Until they are not). The goal is to push through ‘The Dip’. This is a term coined by Seth Godin a few years ago from a book with the same name. It describes the midpoint you hit when you consider quitting or trying something new. Stop here for a moment. Think of the last time you accomplished something significant. You know that moment we are talking about, don’t you? You can even remember how it felt. Time and again, I have found if you push through ‘The Dip’ you will find a new energy and an easier rhythm.

You are never alone.  If you come to my office, you will see a wall of pictures I call the “Wall of Gratitude”.  Next to the pictures is the framed quote: “One is too small a number to achieve greatness. No accomplishment of real value has ever been achieved by a human being working alone”. Some of these people will be behind the scenes silently supporting you so you have the time and capacity to achieve your goal. However, other times they are directly working with you seeing you to the finish line in real-time. It is like watching the medal ceremony of the Olympics. In team sports is clear you are not alone but I dare say even those who stand up there alone have an army behind them that helped them get to that podium.

You must be flexible and able to pivot. Your plans may include retiring at the age of 65 and living in a cabin in the mountains but God might have something else He wants you to do. This will take you having a relationship with God, knowing the sound of His voice, and being open to His promptings He will reveal supernaturally or through other people. By leaning into His will and walking courageously through the open doors He puts in your path (even if it’s a pivot!), you will ALWAYS end up at a better place than where you wanted to go in the first place.

Finally, in case it isn’t obvious, our greatest achievements can also occur after our biggest failures and setbacks. In many ways, these humbling moments can be the most character-defining seasons of our life. What greater time to pause, reflect, and course-correct? Press on!

Your best achievements can be ahead!