6 Essentials to Conquering the Monumental Task

An author recently piqued my interest as he spoke of his experiences mountain climbing.  But it is probably not what you’re thinking.  It was not tales of death-defying ascents up a sheer cliff.  No, it was just some of the mundane.

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He spoke of how his climbing group, a well-respected organization located in the Pacific Northwest, developed a document referred to as Ten Essentials.  As you might already envision, these Ten Essentials is a list of what every outdoor lover should carry at all times.

The list included such items as a compass, map, flashlight, water, and food.  Other items that might seem less important to an indoor lover were also called essential.  For example, sunglasses, a pocketknife, and extra clothing were on the list.  Completing the list was the call for a first-aid kit and a fire starter.

Before you respond with I don’t do mountain climbing or some other phrase that might dismiss the need for an essentials list, stay with me for just a moment.  What the author was trying to illustrate was that every large task had an associated group of essentials for completing the task.  So if we would dream big, we should also consider the essentials for seeing our dream come true!

So the author offered six essentials for completing monumental tasks in life.  According to the author, these inner qualities are absolute necessary to “survival and success” in the quest for the mountain peak.  The author offered six necessary items for success.

6 Essentials 

  • Commitment

Commitment is “the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.”  It requires a promise to yourself that you will stick to your journey is spite of the obstacles that will arise.

  • Perseverance

Perseverance is the inner fortitude to continue the resolve to overcome inevitable challenge and adversity.  President Calvin Coolidge observed that “nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not . . . genius will not . . . education will not . . . .  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”  While Christians realize that only God is omnipotent, the importance of perseverance should be duly noted.

  • Stamina

Just as climbing demands significant energy and physical exertion, stamina is required of any successful educator.  It is not optional!  Whether writing, teaching, researching, developing lessons, grading and assessing student work and progress, stamina is what it takes.

  • Positive Mental Attitude

“Everything can be taken from a man except the last of human freedoms, his ability to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances.”  I remember the first time I read that statement.  Indeed, mom was right when she consistently reminded me that happiness (attitude) is a choice.  Henry Ford put it this way, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”  At the core of high achievement is a positive attitude.  And we must never forget that attitude is a choice.

  • Courage

Because we are human, we will always face fears; however, if we will succeed at the mission to which our God has called us, we must learn to boldly face our fears (This is courage!).   American author, Mark Twain, aptly stated, “Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.”

  • Spirit of Adventure

Adventure includes undertaking tasks that have unknown risks and embracing change that brings both exciting opportunity along with unknown risks.  Indeed, it means taking the road less traveled.  Most of our limitations are self-imposed.  If we will ever climb higher we must begin our journey with a step of adventure.

So, are you developing the essential qualities to climb to new heights in your calling?  Perhaps, like me, you find an area or two that you need to re-shape and address.  And . . . ,

Is there an “essential” that you might add to this list?  

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Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.