A farmer went out to sow his seed...Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown - Matthew 13:3-8
In the series of Grow to Your Fullest, we learned the first three steps so far: Step 1 is to find our vision as vision is our compass in life; Step 2 is to conquer ourselves because we are the biggest our own enemy; Step 3 is to overcome all unexpected obstacles on the journey with a stubborn faith as faith can move mountains. Today let’s discuss the final step 4, Go beyond Yourself, multiply your fullness.
Once you have gone through the first three steps, you are blooming to your fullness: you reach your dreamed destination after a long tedious and exhausting journey. Now your vision comes true and you can enjoy your success. However the blossom is the only beginning of your fullness, you are not yet in your fullest. You have to go extra miles to go beyond your personal maximum by bearing fruits and once again die to yourself. Like a plant, the full blossom is not the end, it has to bear fruits so people can enjoy the fruits and get nourished, or the fruits produces more seeds that can be seeded for growing new plants in hundreds or thousands of times.
You need to take five steps to go beyond your current level of success and reach to your fullest.
1. Expand Your Vision
There is no summit of your talents as your current success only means you have reached one of the tops. Life is in multiple dimensions, so are your talents. And they are not isolated instead they are beautifully woven into a life mosaic. Your Fullest is not reached yet as far as you live this life and you do not know the ceilings of your talent except for God. Your responsibility is to continue identifying your untapped gifts in depth and breadth. You may leverage existing experience and knowledge to create something unique or move up a brand new level in the same domain. If you have pastured a church successfully, you may perceive some special opportunities like the specific methods to reach out a unique minority; if you started a new company and grew it to its most profitable time then you may see new development areas; if you have been a marketing specialist in retail, you may apply the skills in new industries like social media by learning some related skills. In this way you expand your life vision and raise new horizons.
2. Step Down
There is a time to bloom, there is a time to fall. Like a plant, the full blossom is not the end, it has to produce fruits. In order to bear fruits, the beautiful petals have to fall first. It takes humility to acknowledge our weakness, wisdom to recognize new stars, courage to step down and promote new stars. You cannot live forever, you cannot stay a position forever. But in order to multiply your success, you have to find the right successor and step down and make the venture continue growing and flourishing even after you leave the world. Stepping down does not mean doing nothing instead you start a new journey to pursue a bigger vision, play a new game and reach new horizons.
After resurrection, Jesus appeared to their disciples for 40 days to strength their faith, then he ‘step down’ left with a great mission to his disciples. Similarly you should also step down at the right time and pass over your authority to your successor with blessings and initiate a bigger mission.
Most people do well in personal success but fail developing others or they are not willing to step down that leads to ruin the empire they built. Every time, you give up something good or you broken your own fortress, you go one step further beyond yourself, you are beyond your bond and limitation.
3. Share Your Stories and Life Wisdom
Albert Einstein said, Try to become not a man of success but try rather to become a man of value. Your success in life is not only for your own benefit but for people around. You have to add values to others to maximize your life value by sharing your life wisdom. During your unique journey, you learn a lot of life lessons. Those lessons can be the nuggets of wisdom. When you share your failures and any success tips, you nourish others.
King Solomon wrote book of proverbs to shared the life lessons he learned so people can gain insight of life when reading it. For example, He said, Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor (Proverbs 18:12). When we are becoming successful, we can easily become proud and forget keeping what is right. The world seems pleasant because we are getting more honors or praises than before. Keep being alert and aware who we are, where we come from, where we will go, what is the right path is very critical for moving up to a higher level of success. King Solomon reminds us to be humble so we can have a long lasting honor. Similarly you can write down the lessons you learn on your journey and share your stories so people who follow your steps can gain wisdom and shorten their paths.
4. Give Direction to Others
You can make broader influence by sharing life’s nuggets but the influence is usually not deep enough as it lacks personal touches from real life interactions. When you know people at individual level, you are closer to them with more personal touches and you know their dreams that are similar to yours, you can provide them with more specific directions when they are starting their journey without a clear direction.
The whole bible shows us how to live a life of fullness and Jesus told us specifically, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me(John 14:6). Before Jesus left his disciples,he said, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit(Matthew 28:19 NIV)
Jesus not only called the twelve disciples following him, but also did he give them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. (Luke 9:1-6 NIV)
Similarly, you can provide consulting to people by helping them get started: developing a vision, creating a road map, setting up short term goals.
5. Provide Hands on Coaching to Others
Even further you can lead people by providing hands on training and coaching on their journey. Jesus did not only choose his disciples and give them directions but also developed them with specific teachings and daily training for three years. He was leading the disciples by doing and played a role model. Mark 9 tells a story, Jesus heals a boy possessed by an demon. The boy’s father first asked his disciples to cast out the demon but they failed then the father turned to Jesus. Later his disciples asked Jesus why they could not heal the boy. He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” (Mark 9:29 NIV)
You can train others step by step. When people fail, you help them stand up and encourage them being perseverance.
The above five steps help you go beyond your personal success and reach a new level of success. Stepping down current role and starting something new is a way to multiply your success through expanding boundary with continued learning. By being a leader and sharing your wits of nuggets and training others, you are planning seeds in soils. Dr. Robert Schuler said a provoking line, you can count the number of seeds in an apple but you cannot count the number of apples in a seed? You never know how much you can influence and how many fruits you can bear through others. In this way, you go beyond yourself, multiply your success and live to your fullest.
Going beyond yourself also needs self-brokenness, to love and help people who never love or help you. If you only love these who loves you, you will never go beyond yourself. If you cannot give up what is good, you cannot get something great.
When we live out our talent from God and for God, we will have the confidence to see his smiling face and welcome us with praising, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Never and never let your limitation limits God’s power in you!
Being Grow to Your Fullest is like a seed sowed in good soil. Not only does it grow to its full blossom, but also does it bear fruits and produces a crop that are thousands of times - that’s your Fullest in this life.
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May you follow the four steps to grow to your fullest!