I recently read a story concerning the man who in the 19 th century was referred to as the “richest man in the world” – Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie was a leader in the industrial revolution in America and a great philanthropist. His example of unselfish prosperity is a living example to us today. He did not rise to great heights without lifting the lives of those around him.

When asked one day why so many of his managers had become wealthy and successful, Mr. Carnegie responded with this illustration. He said, “Finding greatness in an individual is a lot like mining for gold. When you go into the mine you realize that you will have to move a ton of dirt to find an ounce of gold. However, you never go to the mine looking for the dirt. You always go to the mine looking for the gold!” That is the way we find the greatness in those we work with … we never go looking for the dirt … we move forward looking for the gold!
If we are to develop and mature in our personal lives and help develop the lives of those around us, we must learn what to look for! What is it that God is attracted to? Let me share four things. None of these items have anything to do with your talent, your special gifting, or your financial status. Yet, all four will affect each of those areas and help determine your success in life and ministry.
1. Teachability – there is no substitute for the desire to learn and apply truth. Paul writes in Colossians 2:6.7 that we are established to the degree we have been taught. You will only become proficient at what you have learned to do well.
“A winner knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others. A loser wants to be considered an expert before he learns enough to know how little he knows.”
Sydney Harris
2. Initiative – The world bestows its prizes, both its money and honors, on primarily one thing and that is initiative! Initiative is the willingness to take responsibility for your life and your assignment. Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is the willingness to accept responsibility”! When a company finds an individual who will take initiative, they will reward them with promotions and opportunities. Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see a man who is diligent in his work? He will stand before kings …”!
3. Passion – Passion is defined as an intense desire that motivates one to action. One of the key ingredients to people that excel in life are they are passionate about what they are doing.
“There are many things which will catch my eye, but there are only a few things that catch my heart. It is those things that I consider and pursue”.
Tim Redmond
How many dispassionate people have you seen succeed? How many great leaders do you ever give your admiration to that were indifferent and lacked enthusiasm? When you are passionate, you are contagious! Real passion turns your have to’s into want to’s!
4. Courage – Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to do what is required in spite of your fears. Everybody faces moments of doubt and being overwhelmed. It is what we do in those moments that determine what our lives become. Some cower in to their circumstances and become victims. Others rise above their fears and become victor’s!
Let me challenge you today to begin to look for the right stuff! The possibilities of Maximizing your life, business, or ministry is in finding the proper ingredients. Don’t look for the dirt … look for the GOLD!

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