"I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw."
University of Iowa junior Mark Perry had wrestled Johny Hendricks many times in his life and had come up short every time. When Perry and Hendricks met for the fourth time in the 2006-07 season and the national championship was on the line, however, Perry pulled off the upset with a 4-3 victory. Iowa assistant and wrestling legend Dan Gable said of Perry, "He never acted like he could not beat him. He taught himself that no matter how many times he gets beat, he analyzes it and can beat anybody. And I think he proved that tonight."
Both in competition and in life it is important for us to carefully observe what is going on around us, to internalize it and apply it to our lives. We can learn valuable lessons by taking an honest look at how we are living: what are we doing well, what do we need to change, etc. However, a wise friend once told me, "I don't have time to make all the mistakes myself, so I have to learn from the mistakes of others, too." Study those around you to see what lessons you can learn from them, both good and bad.
In Proverbs 24:30-34 we read of a man who walks past the field of another man. The field had thorns and weeds all over the place, and the wall around it was in ruins. The passerby then looked beyond WHAT he saw and internalized HOW it got that way, and through that, he learned a lesson about diligence. "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest --and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man" (vv.33-34).
Take time to examine your life and the lives of others and internalize not only what you see, but why it is and how it got that way. In doing so, you will gain priceless wisdom to help you in life and in competition.
1. What are some recent lessons you've learned as a competitor?
2. What is something you have learned (good or bad) by observing another person? How have you applied this to your life?
3. As you examine your life and the lives of others, what do you find to be God's role? (Proverbs 2:6)