I want to share some things God has taught me in life that helped improve my life until I got sick and I have even used it to a much more limited extent during my illness just to survive. And remember that these lessons apply to ALMOST everyone. The only people they will not apply to will be the people who are physically or mentally incapacitated; in other words, God didn't provide them with the opportunity. These truths apply to everyone whom God has provided the opportunity because opportunity is the most important element for success. Without opportunity, you cannot succeed.
The biggest secret to success in anything in life is attitude. If you have the wrong attitude, you will fail; if you have the right attitude, you will probably succeed. Other than opportunity, attitude is better than 95% of being successful.
In studying history, sports, and science as a kid, I noticed something very interesting; a lot of interesting coincidences. All of the small people or better than 95% of the people in the world, when looking at a task they have never done and don't know how to do ALWAYS ask the question, "Can I do this?" Obviously, since they don't know how to do it, the logical answer is ALWAYS "no". This causes them to instantly give up and not try, therefore, they will not learn to do whatever it was and will fail by failing to try.
Remember that nothing is impossible with God.
The great people in history in all areas, whether science, sports, military, or anything else, CANNOT ask that question. The only question they can and will ask is, "HOW can I do this."
See the difference?
This question causes them to LEARN HOW to do it and succeed because, once you know how to do it, you can do it. Attitude and knowledge are the first steps towards success.
The questions are both logical but based on different logic. The first logic will stop you dead in your tracks and keep you from being a success and the other logic will take you to success and the top. That right there is the single most significant secret for success in the world. ALWAYS ask the right question, "HOW can I do this?" All of the great people never questioned whether they could do something but how they could do that something.
When I learned this, my life took off like a rocket. I was one of those people everyone respected but hated because I was a "Mr. Can Do Anything." I would learn how to do something and then just go do it. In my mind, there wasn't anything I couldn't do, if I just learned how to do it and there wasn't anything I failed at doing.
I was very good in sports, I was very good at coaching, I was very good in college and could learn anything, I managed businesses, taught school, worked in print shops, drove fork lifts, worked construction, and even shoveled bird feces for a day to make money for food. There was nothing that I couldn't do, NOTHING.
As an athlete, I was in world class shape. I regularly trained one-on-one with ranked world class athletes and could challenge them. I made starting lineup for middle guard in college football at only 160 pounds because someone said I was too small and couldn't do it. I did it, proved them wrong and then went back to bike racing. You didn't tell me I couldn't do something. It really ticked me off.
I am a two year state champion in bicycle road racing and one of the best coaches in men's professional road racing in the US. I was told by a number of people independently of each other that I was top three. I was an outdoors person who could do anything. If I wanted to do something like cross country skiing, I just went and did.
In 1974, when I came back from Thailand and was out of shape because I had not had the opportunity to train in Thailand, I started doing base work to get back in shape. Base work is where you do moderate endurance at a pace where you can easily talk without gasping. I ran into a guy named Mike McDonald who had just run the 10K and one other middle distance event in the 1972 Olympics. He was both riding a bicycle and running for base work so we rode together for a while. He convinced me to start running with him because he saw I was in good enough shape and he wanted a running partner. It took me two weeks to condition my legs for the running and then, 5 days a week at 5 am, he and I would do 5 consecutive sub 5 minute miles while having a chat. It was easy and fun and I never questioned whether I could do it.
Better than 95% of the people on this planet will NEVER run ONE sub 5 minute mile in their lives, running as hard as they can. That is how good of shape I was in.
If I wanted or needed to do something, I just did it. I worked on my car, doing things like changing head gaskets and transmitions with no help to keep the car running. I know how to use most hand tools including pick and shovel and a framing hammer. I am not afraid of work and even love work. I have dug waterlines in hard baked clay and river gravel with pick and shovel and could two stroke 16 penny nails in framing buildings with the best. I got books and taught myself html coding. I have studied all of the hard sciences and math, law, business and economics, sports, journalism, electronics, and other things in college.
There literally wasn't anything I couldn't do and I never questioned whether I could do anything. If I didn't know how to do it, I could learn and I knew it. I never, ever, ever asked the question, "Can I do that" because I knew I could learn to do it, therefore, to me, I could do it. The only question I could ask was, "HOW can I do that." I had learned well from history.
I became over confident and arrogant and even began to believe that I didn't need God because I could do everything I want or need.
And God said, "Really? Let's see."
God knows how to fix that, believe me. All He has to do is take away the opportunity and remember that opportunity is the most important thing for success. That is one lesson I have learned the hard way.
When my health began to fail (God removing the opportunity), suddenly I couldn't do things and that was a massive shock to me. At first it was just little things but those things kept getting bigger with time.
Today, I have to sit most of the time because I can't even stand very long. I lead the life of a couch potato because my health is so bad that there literally isn't anything I can do.
If I had been a couch potato, what would have been the change?
But imagine going from being an extremely fit outdoors marathon athlete to being forced to be a couch potato. That was a tough change to make and it took me years to learn to accept the change and God's will be done.
Today, I depend on God for everything, absolutely everything. My life has become one continuous storm or flood of miracles just to survive. I explained the health problems in the two previous essays.
I can't even do the basic work on my car to keep it running. My 1971 VW Bus has not had a tune up in more than a decade. That is right, the plugs and points in it are more than a decade old so that, every time I turn the key and it starts, it is a miracle. When it takes me to the store and brings me home, it is a miracle.
I can't work on the car and my poverty is such that I can't pay anyone to fix it. I have to depend 100% on God to keep it running.
I used to frame houses and businesses and use to run on rafters. I got so sick I couldn't even get half way up a one story ladder before I fatigued and have not been able to do maintenance on my home. The fact the roof is still over my head, is a miracle. My health has improved enough that I can now make it all of the way to the top of a ladder (one story) but I still can't get on the roof and, if I got on the roof, I know I wouldn't be able to get off.
I told you before that, because of my illness, I forgot the html coding I taught myself and can't build web sites. There is very little I can do on the Internet.
There isn't anything I can do because God took away the opportunity, even with me knowing so much more than the vast majority of people will ever know because, without opportunity, which is provided by God, even knowledge can't help you. The opportunity that God provides is the most important thing for success. Without it, you CANNOT succeed at anything.
I am 100% dependent on God for EVERYTHING and I feel like Elijah sitting by the stream with God using ravens to bring him bread and meat twice a day. That has been a hard lesson and change.
One of the toughest things for me has been to learn that I can't just do things. God has nailed BOTH of my feet to the ground so that all I can do is write these essays to teach and help you. That is it, that is all I can do. Even with that, I can't write unless God inspires me to write.
Remember that I told you that I have dyslexia and my severe chronic fatigue syndrome makes it much, much worse?
I have had some interesting experiences with that since I got sick. Before I got sick, my brain had adjusted to it to where I had very little trouble with it. Since then, wow.
One day I had written a page in Word and started proof reading it knowing I was so tired I probably shouldn't have been continuing to write. I had not learned to pace myself yet. I had just started reading the second paragraph on the page when my mind said, "enough, I need rest." Suddenly EVERY letter on the page moved to where the letters were all equally spaced on the page like one of those word games where you find and circle the words but I suddenly couldn't recognize any of the letters to put words together. It was like I was suddenly reading some foreign language or Martian or something.
My first thought was, "OK, nap time." I went and took a two hour nap, came back, and everything was fine. This happened to me a number of times before I finally learned to pace myself.
If I get too tired, I literally become illiterate and can't read or write because my mind plays games on me. I can only write these essays when God makes it possible for me to write them. I am absolutely 100% dependent on God but now I know it.
Then I sit here physically incapacitated watching all of you people out there with all of that God given opportunity with good health and money and you are wasting it because of what you have been taught to believe. You have been taught to believe that you can't be as good as other people. If you even mention you want to do something you dream about, you are afraid you will hear, "Who, you?"
Just ignore those people. Just because they are losers doesn't mean you have to be one. If you have the God given opportunity, then all you have to do to be a success is change your attitude and learn how to do what you want or need to do. That's it, it is just that simple.
So, please don't waste your God given opportunity. Don't ask, "Can I do it?"; ask, "How can I do it?" and learn to do it. But sure to thank God for the opportunity.
I lost my opportunity, don't lose yours.
BTW, God knows that, when I get my health back, the first thing I am going to do is get my butt back in shape and go hammer 100+ miles through the mountains as hard as I can on a bicycle just for fun. I so miss that.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.