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5 Powerful Life Lessons from David and Goliath

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5 Powerful Life Lessons from David and Goliath

David and Goliath dates back all the way from the 4th century. You know the story behind David and Goliath, right? Or at least how David took down Goliath regardless of him being such a giant, regardless of everybody being too terrified to challenge Goliath.

There are 5 powerful life lessons from David and Goliath that you can learn from and they relate to almost ANY situation.

Here are the 5 life lessons:

 

1. Be bigger than your fears

Twice a day for 40 days Goliath would challenge the Israelite’s demanding a 1 on 1 battle. All the Israelite’s were as terrified as a Lions prey on the verge of death. None of them would dare to challenge Goliath. But after David heard about the reward for defeating Goliath, he accepted the challenge as if it were nothing but a child’s game.

When David confronted Goliath who had armor and a javelin, all David had was a staff, sling and 5 stones. Not to mention he was like a baby in size compared to Goliath. But did that stop him? Yeah right. Not long after the battle started, he pulled his sling back with a stone attached to it then he let it rip right into Goliath’s forehead!

Killed him in the process. If that happened to be any of the other people around him, they would have ran in the other direction and backed down, because the Israelite’s were smaller than their fears, and David was bigger than his fears…

But are you?

If you’re not, you’ll end up settling for the things that are LESS than your fears….And you’ll be enslaved by your fears no matter what situation you’re in or what decision you need to make. Look at things logically, look at the facts, get out of your head and take action already!

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone

2. Size doesn’t matter

In life you’re bound to come across big challenges, small challenges, tiny challenges and enormous challenges. But the size of the challenge, problem or obstacle is Irrelevant. Why? Because that doesn’t determine what’s possible for you.

The only thing that determines what’s possible for you is YOU, your mindset and your beliefs. If size mattered to David (as it did with the Israelite’s) he wouldn’t have had the courage to take on Goliath. Especially with just a staff, 5 stones and a sling.

David knew size doesn’t matter, it’s HEART, COURAGE, and COMMITMENT that matters. You can apply the same principle and same level of thinking to your life and the challenges you’re facing. Think bigger than the challenge, be bigger than the obstacle, and act as if it’s impossible for you not to fail. Have self confidence, conviction and believe in yourself MORE than you believe the challenge is too big to handle.

 

3. Make use of what you already have

Many people complain about:

  • What they don’t have
  • Why not having what they don’t have is a problem
  • Why they need “that thing” before they can get started
  • Why not having “that thing” is holding them back

But the truth is you have to make USE of what you’ve already got to get what you want. Compared to the armor and the weapons Goliath had, David seemed insignificant. After all he only had a sling, 5 stones and a staff (Even though he turned down armor that was offered to him).

Yet he made use of it and it happen to be more than enough to get the job done. He still defeated Goliath regardless of the comparison in weight, strength, Armory, weapons, etc. David didn’t moan or whine because of the differences like the Israelite’s would have. He had a “so what?” attitude and left everyone in shock after defeating Goliath so effortlessly. With nothing but a sling and a stone.

Stop making excuses!

You want to start a business? Improvise and use what you already have. Want to start singing? Record through your phone If you’re not ready for the studio. Want to make YouTube videos? Record videos through your phone instead of complaining about needing expensive equipment. Want to be a graphic designer? Watch tutorials on YouTube instead of moaning about not having “Photoshop” yet.

 

4. Believe it’s possible

The Israelite’s didn’t believe it was possible to defeat Goliath which is why they feared him. If you were to rate their self belief on a scale of 1 – 10, their self belief would have to be less than 5.

But on the other hand, David’s belief would have been at least an 8 or more. That’s why it wasn’t an issue for him to challenge Goliath head on and even take him down. And don’t forget David turned down the offer for armory, which proves he strongly believed it was possible.

Do you believe it’s possible?

Without a strong belief that what you’re pursuing is possible, you’ll fail. You’ll quit on yourself before you even get half way. Think of it like the guy who’s too afraid to approach the girl he likes. How come he won’t approach her? His self belief isn’t strong enough, so he quits on himself without making a move.

If your fears are stronger than your self belief and faith, you’ve shot yourself in the foot without knowing it. Until you believe in yourself more than the fear or the obstacle, you’ll continue to quit on yourself.

“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

5. Don’t underestimate your capabilities

It’s always dangerous to underestimate yourself. When you underestimate yourself and your own capabilities, you end up achieving less. Judging how Goliath looks and appears compared to David, you’d think Goliath was the superior one.

But the outcome of the battle turned out to be a lot different than the Israelite’s expected. David didn’t underestimate his abilities or himself. He had self confidence and lots of it. He was smart enough to know that he was more than capable of succeeding.

Stop underestimating yourself!

It doesn’t matter If: You’re a writer, a pianist, plumber, real estate broker, personal trainer, musician, parent or college student; You’re capable of much more than you believe. You’ve just yet to see it because you haven’t given yourself the chance to.

If anything you should be overestimating, because then you’ll end up giving and doing more than is expected and you’ll end up achieving more and reaching your potential in the process.

“It is always dangerous to underestimate anybody.” – Abdallah II of Jordan

Thank you for reading my article! Which of these 5 life lessons has helped you the most?

Theo Ellis is a blogger, author, writer, and online retailer. Speaking on subjects such as confidence, personal development, he writes from personal experience to benefit the lives of others through justbereal.co.uk.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Eric

    Sep 21, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Hey Theo great article and it’s great for me and my wife. We have two sons both in high school one a freshman and the other a senior. The freshman is always doubting himself and he let others bring him down. No matter what me and my wife say it doesn’t seem to get across to him but this article speaks directly to his situation thanks for the word. On the other hand our senior is a football player and plays quarterback he is a good player but his issue is he is short like 5’7 short. We all know in the football world that is way to short for a quarterback but after reading this there is definitely hope and encouragement for him. Again Yheo thanks for such a powerful word.

  2. Dike Daniel

    Aug 1, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Good work!
    I will like to talk about that of size doesn’t matter. you know in this world of ours people seem to be underestimating there fellow human being; what do I mean? when someone is achieving a great feat or showcasing there talent, some people will like to pull them down. but we should all know matter anywhere we may find ourselves, and in anything we may be achieving, we should shut our ears to antagonists and keep on moving as if nothing is happening. because whoever is trying to pull you down knows within them, that they are below you. again; it is always good to trust in the lord….nice article one again

    • Theo

      Sep 6, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Hey Dike. Yes you’re absolutely right. When someone tries to poison you with their negative attitude towards your dreams, how big you think or what YOU believe is possible, it says more about them then it does about you. Act deaf and block it out!

      Thanks for sharing I appreciate your comment 🙂

  3. Jagdish Kashyap

    Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I agree!
    Most of all “Make you of all you have” and I totally agree, peoples see the negative side always.
    They make excuses and give up easily, if you don’t have potential to go beyond your limits then I have an advice for you, don’t start working on your dreams!
    Thank You!
    Cheers! Great Stuff 🙂

    • Theo

      Jul 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Wow. Great comment Jagdish! You made q great point there. It’s all about shifting your perspective on to the things that will push you forward as opposed to holding you back. 🙂 Thanks again

  4. Stella Chiu

    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Hi, Theo

    Good Article about overcome the “Fear”. It is also a story about “small is big”. David knew battle was won already because he believed the mighty God was inside him.

    Thanks for the good article.

    • Theo

      Jul 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      I completely agree. It’s amazing what you can achieve and do with a simple shift in mindset. Conviction is important. Thanks for commenting, Stella!

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    These are some very powerful lesson that really correlate with what happened with david and goliath, I really like the one where you stated that you should be bigger than your fears and face them. The main thing that hold people back from living the life that they want to live is their fears. Les Brown once said, so many people are not living their dreams because they are living their fears. Once you face your fears and believe that you can do it, you have already won half the battle.

    • Theo

      Jul 20, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Absolutely, Lawrence. Fear is a BIG one and we all have to be bigger than each one to get past them. Les Brown is a great by the way. Thanks for commenting I appreciate it!

  6. Heide Padilla

    Jul 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    David and Goliath is one of the favorite stories from the Bible and has a lot of moral lessons like these, and though sometimes it’s so obvious, sometimes we ignore them, we give in to our fears and just give up fighting for what we believe in. This is a nice reminder that life may be hard but it’s not as complicated as we think. Nice post.

    • Theo

      Jul 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Hey Heide. I agree David and Goliath is a great story that I’ve only started getting into as of recent. Many great lessons (which is why I shared) Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. Stefanie

    Jul 20, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Great article! I like the comparison because it’s easy to understand and got me an “aha!”.
    What I liked most was the first lesson “Be bigger than your fears”, especially the aspect “If you’re not, you’ll end up settling for the things that are LESS than your fears”. That made clear what it really means in life. Thank you!

    • Theo

      Jul 20, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Hey Stefanie. That’s amazing you took an “aha” moment from reading this post. I’m happy to hear it! 1. Is a big one isn’t it? Thanks for taking your time out to comment 🙂

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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