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Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

By SPENCE FINLAYSON

Many times in life we face numerous distractions that cause us to take our eyes off the proverbial prize. In the timeshare industry, sales consultants are often reminded to “keep the main thing, the main thing”, which is closing the sale.

Professional football players in the National Football League are focused on getting to the Super Bowl. So all season long, despite what happens during the weekly games, they are encouraged to wear blinders and just remember that their ultimate goal is playing in and possibly winning the big game, the Super Bowl.

We need to remain focused on our goals despite the unforeseen circumstances and upheavals in our personal lives. Marketing expert Alan Pariser said, “The Sun’s energy warms the world. But when you focus it through a magnifying glass it can start a fire. Focus is so powerful.”

We must continue to press on despite the adversity we may face. When we remember to “keep our eyes on the prize” we transcend oppression and we persevere despite the struggles and obstacles that may arise in our path.

We need to rely on God as we move through the changing scenes of life. I encourage you to pay close attention to 2 Timothy 1:6-7: “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by putting on my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

We must have the courage to continue to seek answers to difficult problems and the self-discipline to press on during the highly stressful times.

Once you have established what the ‘prize’ is, then you can doggedly work towards achieving it. The prize may be a promotion, a luxury European car, a palatial home, a yacht, a deeper relationship with your Creator, starting your own business, getting elected to political office or starring in your own reality television show. You have to strongly believe in yourself and in your abilities never minding that others have told you that you will never amount to anything in your life. You see those people don’t know you like you know yourself. Remember, “what you think about me is none of my business but what I think about myself is important.”

Max Ehrmann’s "Desiderata" sung by Les Crane in the early 70s was very inspiring to me as I listened to it every morning with my late mother Diana while getting ready for school. The words from this great poem will assist wonderfully in keeping your eyes on the prize: “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence...Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit..."

I grew up in the Valley, and me and my corner boys like Kevin Colebrooke, Edda Colebrooke, Een Colebrooke, Stan Smith, Brad Smith, Phillip Sparrow Saunders, Dr Austin Davis and his brother Anthony Davis, were huge baseball fans. So the year Pete Rose was about to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record in Spring training he was being interviewed and one reporter blurted out, “Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record. How many at bats do you think you’ll need to get the 78 hits?”

Without hesitation, Pete just stared at the reporter and very matter of factly said: “78”. The reporter yelled back, “Ah, come on Pete, you don’t expect to get 78 hits in 78 at bats do you?" Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim: “Every time I step up to the plate I expect to get a hit. If I don’t expect to get a hit, I have no right to step on the batter’s box in the first place. If I go up hoping to get a hit then I probably don’t have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place.”

Pete Rose made a choice to hustle and win. History records that even with his shortcomings, he accomplished his goal because he kept his eyes on the prize. That’s is exactly what Apostle Paul is telling us, what Jesus showed us, and what our God expects of us.

So as we go through this life’s journey be mindful that “the road will turn”. It will turn very sharply, knocking you off your stride. During this period of adversity we are often asked to be strong, embracing the unknown and accepting the outcomes. Prolific blind-deaf author Helen Keller once said: “I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.”

• Spence M Finlayson is the founder and CEO of The Phoenix Institute For Positive Development, a human resources development firm based in Nassau. He can be reached at 601-6162 or by e-mail at phoenixinstitute@gmail.m. His website is spencefinlayson.com.

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