It is not the quantity of tasks that you accomplish that will set you apart.
It is not even doing many things right that will stand you before kings.
It is doing the right things with exceptional excellence that makes you remarkable.
Please note: this transcript is auto-generated so forgive any (or many) errors 😲 – click the timestamps to play that section directly in the audio.
Well, good day, good people, how are we all doing today? I hope you are. Well, I’m jumping back in and still riding my productivity hobbyhorse. There’s actually a webinar that I’m doing tonight called Purposeful Productivity, which will kind of bacon even more into this productivity pie that we’ve been enjoying today. I want to talk about excellence in everyday tasks. And as part of that, really one aspect of that is being committed to complete the things that you start, because really it’s not that it’s not just the quantity of tasks that we accomplish that will set us apart.
It’s not even doing many right things that will stand us before King’s. It is doing the right things with exceptional excellence that will make us remarkable and buy the right things. I generally mean a few things. Yeah, it’s being a jack of all trades may be kind of useful in an everyday way, but to stand out and to really make a difference, generally, people will be focussed on becoming excellent in just one or two things. And I think that the call of God works very much like that.
And you just listen to various ministers and preachers and business people or whatever, they generally come with one message or they come with one kind of real focus on that they bring to the table. Now, it doesn’t mean that they can’t speak on numerous things. It doesn’t mean that in the business sense or whatever, they can’t do many different things. But I think as we go forward, things tend to boil down and become more and more concentrated into specialisms.
And doing those things that we really know that we have been called to is such an important key to actually not just producing, but finding a sense of purpose in what we produce. And it’s real easy to get caught in the shiny headlights thinking that like great lives are developed by doing all sorts of great things. But the honest truth is for most people, I’m not going to I don’t want to really talk about the outliers. I’m talking about ordinary folk like like myself.
And, you know, and I know that I put myself in amongst the greats. By the way, don’t don’t misunderstand me. But I think that when I look at great lives, what I see is that they have become great by learning the discipline of doing everyday things. Well, you know, doing mundane better than most others will actually take you a long way. Not excusing lazy habits will lift you above the kind of general populace and never opted for easy where difficult is required will make the difference.
So you can make a difference as you go out there into the marketplace, as you go out there in ministry, as you go out. And that’s just even as you operate in your own home, it’s going to make a difference that you refused to back off some of the difficult things that need to be done in order to become the best you, the best person that you can possibly be. And I think really what I want to focus on, particularly today, is the need to commit to complete one of the key components, I think, to excellence in the everyday is committing to complete what we begin.
You know, there’s a there’s a lot of there is an element of both Laura and I are pioneer people. You know, we love to pioneer things and we’re both creatives. And, you know, that’s like a whole heap of ingredients that make us very prone to the excitement, particularly myself. I can’t speak for Lorna, but make us very prone to the excitement of beginnings. You know, that that like that pioneer, that dreaming, that envisioning it can be so intoxicating.
But, you know, pretty soon the dopamine hit wears off and we’re then left with a decision on we you know, are we going to press through the pain of dull discipled? To make this dream a reality, oh, will we just simply swing round and look for another first date? You know, it’s we don’t want to have a string of first dates. We want to move on and deepen our commitment and really marry ourself to the mission that God has given us and that we are called to walk in.
And that really does take commitment in the same way as natural marriage takes a commitment beyond what would be considered ordinary, normal, reasonable. It takes an unreasonable commitment to love someone as you would love yourself and beyond how you would love yourself so much can be learnt from that in how we choose to commit to the mission that we feel God has placed within our hard, because there will be seasons of great joy and great fulfilment and great connexion. But there may also be seasons where we feel disconnected, where we feel as though the wires are crossed in.
And I’m not talking about marriage now. I’m talking about the mission and accomplishing the tasks that we believe that were placed here on Earth for. You know, you are not always going to feel like absolutely massively motivated to, like, make big moves and to continue in what you’ve been called to do. There’ll be days where you are dredging through treacle. And it’s really sometimes I think what you do on those days that determines how many of the kind of mountain peak moments you will you will enjoy along the journey.
And you know, pressing through the pain projects and opportunities, are prone to invigorate us when we don’t realise what it will really take to pull them off. Her vision is a beautiful thing and we’re visionary people. I believe in vision, but like a dream board or whatever, where you want to kind of express and define and frame your vision is a great deal easier to make than the reality of those things being worked out in your life. You know, and you know, we can begin with that hopeful, ignorant optimism, but then the painful realisation comes that this is going to take work, this dream of mine, to create an online creative academy for Christians, teaching them how to publish books, create courses, develop blogs, podcasts, whatever this is that like, oh, wow, what a great vision.
But the actual building of it takes a bit more than maybe I anticipated. And I’m sure that you can relate that you’ve had things in your heart. You’ve embarked on certain projects. And then it’s not until you actually get into the trenches of that project that you realised just what it takes. And, you know, in it, you know, you’re going to walk through days of disappointment, discouragement, despondency, dreary days, just doing the same things over and over again.
Sometimes there are those kind of repetitive tasks that are required and there’s going to be all sorts of other undesirable results of this huge vision and commitment that you’ve made. And yet there will also be incredible rewards. And I guess in the midst of all that, it’s allowing ourselves and giving ourselves time to keep our eyes on the rewards and understanding that the biggest rewards, the deepest, most satisfying rewards come from a long term commitment, not just a 100 metre sprint.
That there is an element of faithfulness and establishing faithfulness and learning through and growing through. The doing of something that actually builds the kind of foundation that’s necessary for the bigness of the house that you’ve envisioned, the bigness of the impact that you desire, the the breadth and length and depth and height of the income that you dreamed of. It takes more than maybe you’d anticipated at the outset. And sometimes in that kind of dip in the middle, it’s very easy to want to turn back and go back to that hopeful optimism that was not kind of informed by the down and dirty daily work that would be required to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.
But if you move your way through and commit to complete. If you commit to complete, you will see the reward, you know, how many books fail to really reach the last page? How many businesses fail in the first leg or second leg? How many marriages become just a heartbreak? You know, all of these things start with an optimistic once upon a time, and then things catch up and they’re happy ever after, just never gets written.
But we don’t want to we don’t want to stay there, do we? I mean, my my my kids and my wife would would laugh if I tell you I am the classic dad. Yeah. I’m the classic classic man of the house. I’m so relate to my own father in this is that after a day after a day’s work, I’ll sit down with the family to watch a film or watch something on TV. And I’m the classic dad who falls asleep and starts snoring halfway through the film.
And you know, the truth is we don’t read stories for the beginning. We read them for the end. You know, and I can tell you as someone who falls asleep halfway through, you know, it’s being be leaving all of the questions unanswered, you know, where the guy hasn’t won the girl or the girl hasn’t won the guy. And all I know is the kind of challenge failed middle. And then I’ve dropped off literally. There’s not the same satisfaction, and although we need to enjoy the process, there is a joy and a kind of capstone that that we can put on a project or put on a dream, put on a vision, put on something that we’ve set out to do that brings a level of confidence and a level of satisfaction that just kind of being in the trenches can’t do.
We need to complete what we started. There’s a great there’s a great verse in Ecclesiastes, verse seven, chapter seven, verse eight. It says, Better is the end of a thing than the beginning there of the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. That’s what Solomon said. And it takes humility to be a finisher. It doesn’t happen by accident. And to be honest, if you are committed to complete what you set out to do and what you begin, it will humble you along the way.
Most of the time, things will not always work out the way that you’d hoped. Sometimes they may turn out better, but you’ll never know unless you take it. Unless you walk it. Unless you live it. And and it’s not just the big things either. And that’s why I say every day, excellence, excellence in the everyday tasks that face us is really the building blocks of us fulfilling those bigger visions. DNA, dust your desk, file your papers, dump your trash.
Pay your bills. Make your bed. The key, though, is that whatever we set out to do, we finish. You know, I don’t don’t just run in every direction. Don’t try and see all and be all understand that this is why it’s so important not just to commit to complete, but also to choose carefully what we commit to. Doing the right things, not doing the right things, not just random things, right? Yeah, just doing the right things.
If you don’t plan your path, someone else will plan it for you. I heard someone say. You know, be your first rate focussed self and bring your A game to the table in the things that you are called to do. Know what I’m called to do or someone else or Joe Bloggs or Jane Jane Smith on Facebook or Instagram or wherever else. You know, there are so many so many opportunities for us to be derailed in our own commitment.
But I tell you, the commitment doesn’t have to be some grand thing. The commitment begins in our every day. The commitment begins with what’s right in front of us and being diligent to do those things well, faithful in little faithful in much faithful in small things provides the foundation for God to commit greater things into our keeping and our stewardship, you know, but many of the things that I’m talking about will be mind numbingly ordinary, you know, but a mix of mundane, everyday excellence.
Yeah. There’s also going to be in that mix just one or two things that fill you with a fiery passion that cannot be extinguished, areas of activity in which you excel, you know, and that doesn’t even even in areas that you excel, it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily shine in those areas or arenas without sweating. Yeah, it’s very unlikely, especially when you’re just beginning to hone those skills. You know, if excellence were just a matter of talent, we would have a great deal more talented people making waves in the world because most people are talented in some area and some way beyond most other people.
We have areas of excellence, areas of expertise and areas of natural talent. But that natural talent is raw and needs to be tamed and harnessed vigorously and trained in the trenches so often before it can be set free to flourish. You know, a lot of folk want the glory of the victory banner without the boot camp of character shaping them so they can actually carry it in it. Don’t be don’t be one of those people commit to a patient continuance in the things that you’re called to and then let God shape your character as you do.
And as you do that as you as you do the work, as you put your hand to the plough, as you allow work, thought, prayer, perseverance, all of these qualities to be in the recipe of your everyday life, you know that you as a person will be built and it will ensure that you build broad, strong shoulders to carry the kind of success that God has marked out for your life. And those things, those seemingly kind of unimpressive things like discipline, like perseverance, like patience, all of those like alongside the more kind of spicy ones like faith and joy and love and peace.
They all work together, faith and patience. He inherits the promises. All of these are going to work together to take you to your final happy ever after, you know, and that’s what’s going to be written over your efforts, not just once upon a time and then kind of some cliff edge fall like halfway there. You are going to end up on that last page saying, man, I’m glad I committed to do that. Things that I believe God called me to do.
I’m glad I committed to go through whatever was necessary to develop me as a person to fulfil on what he has placed in my heart. Well, thanks for listening, hopefully. It’s been an encouragement to you today, if you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.