After my mentor Fitzy passed, I continued my journey. I felt aimless, working hard for an unknown. Though I was earning a meager income from my telemarketing day job, I tithed faithfully, which is, giving back ten percent to God. I was working my day job at Bose, thirty hours a week. I marketed myself every chance I got. I delivered speeches for a fee or for free. I did enjoy that part. I followed Fitzy’s advice, and I recorded myself every time. I took the VHS tape, watched it, and put it in my closet.
Quite frankly, most of the time, it felt like a waste of time. No significant pay fees were coming in. How am I ever going to quit my day job? In the professional speaking world, I heard a rule of thumb was to have at least six months of income to cover expenses before you quit. I didn’t even have six weeks covered.
How did I keep going when I was feeling and seeing no progress? I honestly did not know. A sense of duty? An obligation? I didn’t want to let Fitzy down?
Wait? Where is God? Did he not remember my commitment and request? I’ve been tithing and doing my part. I know I heard God loves a joyful giver. I found it hard to be a joyful giver when I felt no joy and wondered if God had forgotten about me. Yeah, I know that they say He’s working behind the scenes, but He’s God! Why is He taking so long? What am I doing wrong?
You will have times in your life like this. You will have times when you are pedaling as hard as you can, and you feel not an ounce of progress. When you do, talk to God. Yell at God. I believe he wants to hear from you. It doesn’t make sense sometimes. It’s not supposed to. I think that is why they call it faith? We trust and move forward even when it does not seem to make sense. Does that make sense?
We never know how long our plateaus will be. Sometimes short, sometimes long, and sometimes they feel never-ending. This plateau lasted over two years. I worked my day job, prayed, tithed, spoke as often as I could, and recorded myself every time. Then I put the video in my closet.
It is like when Dr. Seuss, in his book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” talks about the waiting place and reminds us that we’re not going to like that place. Everyone who achieved any worthwhile dream had to endure their plateau. When you are the underdog, you will plateau from time to time. I wish I could guarantee you something. The only thing I can assure you is if you quit, you quit. It is done! The naysayers win. If you reach that point, pray on it. Ask God and listen. Really listen. What if it is a test? I remember what Vinnie said to me that first night. I was ready to quit when I asked him if he knew who was going to make it. He quickly replied, “That’s easy, whoever keeps going.”
What is the Underdog Principle?
- Plateaus will happen.
- Some will be long-some will be longer.
- Will you pray?
- Will you listen?
- Will you surround yourself with God-centered encouragers?
- What does this mean to you?
Thanks Darren – I think this would be a great chapter in your book. Mentally I have been struggling and it is nice to have a reminder I am not the only one that has had plateaus. Plateaus bring in lots of doubts on the journey. Thank you! I needed this particular post today!
“There are two ways to look at something. Nothing is a miracle. Everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein.
One of the most incredible, poignant and dichotomous views on life comes from “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” by Harold Kushner and “Power in Praise,” Merlin Carrothers.
Read Kushner’s book first. He is an angry father who shakes his fist at God for allowing his son to be born with a rare disease called Progeria. (Rapid aging. Many patients never make it to twenty years old.)
Carrothers’ book rejuvenates your faith and hope and helps us to understand and realize that “everything is a miracle and everything that happens to us, is good.”
Oh, the places I went after reading “Plateau. ” This has been a difficult year, full of losses. Your message was a word in due season, Darren, which has gifted me with a fresh and heartening perspective on this challenging time. Thank you.