Excerpt from Mission Possible by Tim Tebow
Living a Mission Possible Life: Lessons from Daniel
Living a mission possible life means watering and fertilizing and cultivating the ground where you are planted, even if it seems nothing more than a wasteland. I love what Jesus said, “The one who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and the one who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous in much” (Luke 16:10). I try to look for such faithfulness in the people who work with me. If I see someone who is faithful and doing a great job in smaller assignments, I take notice. Recently, I interviewed four potential employees for the foundation. I didn’t ask them questions about their skills. I had read their resumes. I already knew where they went to school and where they worked last. I focused my questions on investigating if they had the ability to learn, grow and adapt. I don’t need perfect employees who don’t make mistakes. I need people around me who are willing to be stretched, to constantly learn, and to grow. These are people who strive to be better tomorrow than they already are today.
The way I see it, there are three practical ways to live a mission possible life with the excellence that Daniel in the Bible models for us:
1. Do it with integrity, even if no one is watching.
Growing up, my parents created a rewards program for us five kids called Daddy’s Dollars. Every time someone outside our family complimented our character, Dad would give us a dollar. Sometimes he’d give us a real bill, other times a printed paper we could exchange for a prize in a chest of goodies or for privileges, like TV or computer time. We would also get dollars for doing extra chores. My family is super competitive. It didn’t matter if we were playing Monopoly or basketball, we would hustle and duke it out and do everything in our power to win. Even as the youngest of five, I was determined to get the most Daddy’s Dollars out of everyone, so I worked hard for compliments. I helped carry groceries. I always held the door open for someone. I was first to raise my hand to volunteer. And I did most of these things in front of my parents, on purpose, so they could see how awesome I was and give me a buck. And that was the problem.
Eventually, I realized how empty it was to do nice things for a dollar, or a pat on the back, or any other material reward. I remembered one of the Bible verses I memorized growing up, “For the ways of everyone are before the eyes of the Lord, and He observes all his paths” (Proverbs 5:21). God is always watching us. He sees us doing the right thing, the wrong thing, and nothing. Who are you when no one is watching? Do you do the right thing because it’s simply the right thing to do? When we start living and acting like God’s eyes are always watching, I can guarantee we will start living a little differently. And even if no one notices that you swept up the store or organized the file system without being asked or spent two hours after your shift was over to help the new employee get adjusted, it doesn’t matter. While it’s nice to be rewarded with stuff, it’s more fulfilling to please our heavenly Father.
2. Do it with a heart of gratitude.
There were many times as a professional athlete when I wasn’t crazy about an outcome. Getting cut, for instance. It stung every time. And although I was crazy blessed outside of football, it was easy to feel bitter at not getting something I worked so hard for. I’ve learned the importance of flipping my mentality and choosing gratitude, every time. It’s so easy to turn off the sweet melody of being grateful when we find ourselves in a funk or grumpy for what we may think is a pretty good reason.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it can happen every now and then in a split second on an ordinary Sunday afternoon. I could have a super spiritual morning at church, fun time with family and friends at brunch, but once in a while, I’m watching a quarterback play in an NFL game and listening to announcers make a passing comment about something he may not have done so well, and I could get I get a little twisted thinking those same commentators would have verbally bashed my head in on the same play. And all of a sudden, I forget about the great worship experience a few hours earlier or how good I felt hanging with my mom and munching on good steak. I sulk, and if I am not aware and refuse to do anything about it, I stay anchored in that ugly place. I have to be mindful of what I’m feeling. I have to think about what I’m thinking about. And I have to choose to think about what God has done in my life and how faithful He is. It may take time to remedy my poor attitude, but I commit to choosing gratitude. It’s funny what happens when I shift to being grateful. Everything changes. I find myself smiling more. The muscles in my neck relax and the headache that sprung up on me dissipates. I don’t snap at people. I become more patient with my wife. And all of a sudden, I’m in a much better mood, though I still disagree with the critics.
There is much to say about the regular practice of gratitude. The benefits are many. For one, being grateful improves your physical health. A study conducted by psychologists at the University of Miami observed a group of subjects. A third of them were asked to keep a daily journal of all the things that happened they were grateful for. Another third of subjects were asked to write down the events that happened that irritated them. The final group of subjects were asked to record daily events without any either positive or negative description. At the end of the ten-week study, in comparison to the other two groups, the group that practiced gratitude felt more optimistic and positive about life, were more physically active, and had fewer visits to the doctor. There are many studies that include similar findings. Gratitude improves relationships, they correlate to better moods, and reduce the risk of heart failure. You may not feel like it, but there’s always a reason to be grateful. Even right now, thank God for the very breath you are breathing and His presence that is within you this very moment.
3. Do it with excellence.
Aim to be and even top your personal best. If you’re a barista, do your job with excellence. If you’re a full-time parent, be intentional in how you raise and lead your children. If you’re a student, study, study, and study some more. If you’re an athlete, train and keep training. If you manage a company, set high standards and teach your employees how they can meet them. Make an effort. Put in the work.
You can find Tim Tebow’s book Mission Possible, here.
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Excerpted from Mission Possible: Go Create a Life That Counts Copyright © 2022 by Timothy R. Tebow. Published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Tim Tebow is a two-time national college football champion, Heisman Trophy winner, first-round NFL draft pick, ESPN contributor, and former professional baseball player. He is the author of Mission Possible: Go Create a Life That Counts along with four New York Times bestsellers including This is the Day, Shaken and Bronco and Friends: A Party to Remember. His second children’s book, Bronco and Friends: Mission Possible will be released by WaterBrook on April 12, 2022. Tim’s true passion remains the work of the Tim Tebow Foundation (TTF) which he began in 2010. The foundation’s mission is to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. Tim is married to Demi-Leigh Tebow, (née Nel-Peters), a South African model, speaker, influencer, entrepreneur, and Miss Universe 2017. Tim and Demi live in Jacksonville, Florida, with their three dogs, Chunk, Kobe, and Paris.