Last week, I said that in order to hit your mission in life, you need to align 3 things: your passion, your potential, and your purpose.
Today, I’d like to talk about potential.
You see, passion isn’t enough to discover your purpose.
I know some people who love singing but singing doesn’t love them. One day, a woman come up to me and told me, “Brother Bo, I heard God tell me, ‘I’m calling you to sing to the world.” She proceeded to give me a sample of her singing. And as I listened to her, I wondered if she heard wrongly. Perhaps God told her, ‘I’m calling you to sting the world.’” Because that was what I was experiencing at that moment. She wasn’t a singing sensation, she was a stinging sensation.
You need to identify your potential, your special gift. God has given you one. And it’s very simple to find out what it is. Ask yourself, “Where do I excel? What one thing do I do that when I do it, people are blessed?”
This is your core gift. And this is how you become a superstar.
Face it. People love superstars. People like to deal with superstars. People will buy from superstars. People will listen to the music of superstars, watch the sports of superstars, eat in restaurants with superstar chefs, wear the clothes of superstar brands, and read the books of superstar authors.
Here’s my belief: God has given you a unique gift that will make you a superstar in your world. God is telling you today, Do not neglect your gift. (1 Timothy 4:14)
If you find your unique gift, develop your unique gift, and resist the temptation to divert away from your gift—you’ll be Number One.
80% Of Your Life Should Be About Your Special Gift
I’m not saying, “Abandon everything else you’re doing.” My gift is in speaking and writing, but I still do other stuff like running my businesses, leading a lot of meetings, and pioneering new projects. Those things are still necessary, and I have to do them. But I focus at least 80% of my productive time in what I do best—speaking and writing.
And when I say superstar, I’m not suggesting that you be superstar of the entire world.
Just the superstar of your niche.
Be A Niche Superstar
Let me give you an example.
I’m not the best preacher in the world.
Again, my mother will disagree, but please be quiet about it and don’t burst her bubble. She’s 87 years old and I want her to live the remaining 23 years of her life on earth (yes, she’ll live until 110) with the belief that I’m the best preacher in the world. So Shhhhhhh…
But this I can accept. I think I’m one of the best (1) Lay, (2) Catholic, (3) Filipinopreachers who preach on (4) practical topics, (5) especially in the area of personal finance, personal health, and personal relationships, (6) that speak in a very simple and down-to-earth way, (7) who always gives it from a spiritual perspective, (8) whose audience is primarily the English-speaking crowd, (9) funny in a corny way, and (10) who has a huge black mole on BOTH of his ears. In that tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny niche, I’m a superstar.
Question: How can you be a superstar in your niche?
Mark your boundaries and call it your property.
Let me give you a very simple example about my property…
Focus On Your Strength—Forget Your Weakness
Here’s my niche: I preach mainly in English.
Which is a problem. Because I can’t reach the majority of the Philippine population. And believe me, I want to! I still feel a pinch of envy when I hear my fellow Feast preachers preach in fluent, spontaneous, powerful Tagalog—and they connect to all sorts of crowds—something I can never do.
Regularly, I get comments from Facebook and my blog, telling me, “Brother Bo, please preach in Tagalog so we can understand you more.”
But today, I realize that this is what God wants me to do—to preach and write in English.
Yes, I can keep on working on my Tagalog preaching. But no matter how much I try doing that, I’m ashamed to say that I can’t preach in Tagalog in the same level that I preach in English. If you heard me preach in Tagalog and were impressed, don’t be. I was probably giving one of my memorized Tagalog talks. (I have 3 of them!)
Yes, I can preach in Tagalog adequately, but I always sound… uh, queer. Let me give you an analogy. When I preach in English, I feel like I’m driving the fastest motorbike in the world. My thoughts and words flow like the wind.
But when I preach in Tagalog, I feel like I’m riding this rusty bicycle overloaded with stuff in my mind that I can’t express…
Again, I’m not proud of this.
I don’t even have a Filipino accent. Years ago, when I preached in the US, Americans think I live there. Some of them asked me, “What State were you born? California?” I told them, “No, I was born in the State of Caloocan.” They get surprised why I speak the way I do. “Did you grow up here perhaps?” they asked.
I told them, “Well, I lived in Chicago for 20+ years.”
“I knew it, ” they smiled.
“Every morning, from Chicago, I turn right to New York, turn left to Aurora Boulevard until I reach Araneta Coliseum.”
This conversation happened years ago. That doesn’t happen anymore today. When you speak without a Filipino accent in America, they now ask, “Do you work in a Call Center?”
Why do I preach in English? I see two twists of fate that made me speak this way…
First reason: I was born to parents who spoke only two languages—English and Spanish. Since I felt that Spanish wasn’t very useful for me, I grew up speaking only English.
Second reason: When I was one year old, Dad’s company transferred him to Cebu. We lived there for 8 years. As a kid, I learned Cebuano, not Tagalog. But when I transferred back to Manila at 9 years old, I forgot my Cebuano and wasn’t great in Tagalog.
It’s Divine Orchestration. Through my history, God prepared me to preach in English.
But here’s a fact. When you have a strength, you also have a weakness. And that’s okay. Let me give you my controversial point: Focus on your strength and forget your weakness. Often, our school system aims to produce well-rounded students who are jack-of-all-trades, but masters of none. Believe me, that’s the recipe for mediocrity. Successful people aren’t well-rounded people—they’re extremely fantastic in one specific field and a total nincompoop in other fields.
I can write a book in five days with ease. But I can’t dance.
I can give a whole day seminar in my sleep. But I can’t memorize the multiplication table. (I keep forgetting what’s 8 x 7 and 9 x 6…)
Goodness, I can’t even replace a light bulbdecently. Believe me, I tried. Three weeks ago, my wife asked me to change the light bulb above our bed. So I stood on the bed and reached up. The light fixture slipped off my hands and it shattered to a thousand pieces. My wife looked at me and said, “Bo, go back to preaching.”
Do you want to be successful in life? Focus, focus, focus. Be good in one thing. Be a master of one skill and make that your special gift to the world.
Next week, I’ll give you my final installment of this message on passion, potential, and purpose…
May your dreams come true,