The word “invincible” is defined as “incapable of being defeated, conquered, overcome, or subdued.” Here’s my question again, phrased differently: If you were incapable of being defeated, conquered, overcome, or subdued, what do you think you could accomplish?
There was a time when the great heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Muhammad Ali, was invincible. During the 1980s, the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, was invincible. For several years, Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity was invincible. For most of his reign as pope, John Paul II, was invincible.
So I’ll ask you again, What could you accomplish if you were incapable of being defeated, conquered, overcome, or subdued?
Last week, in A New Year’s Resolution That Can Transform Your Life, I wrote about my high school years. Because of what I was able to accomplish in school, I developed a high level of confidence and immunity to criticism. As a result of my success, I developed the belief that I was invincible.
The foundation of our attitude and behavior is based on our beliefs. A “belief” is something that is held in our mind as true. If someone questions one or more of our beliefs, we become defensive and immediately discard the point that the person is attempting to convey to us. We are experts at supporting and defending our beliefs, even though some of those beliefs may actually be contrary to reality.
Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson believed that they were invincible because they possessed skills, talent, and ambition that were superior to the skills, talent, and ambition of their competitors. Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II were invincible because they fervently believed that despite their weaknesses, they were acting as God’s instruments, and because of their faith in God, they were fearless and immune to the criticism of others.
Michael Jackson and Muhammad Ali were in a category that I call human invincibility. Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II were in a category that I call faith-based invincibility. While human invincibility is temporary, faith-based invincibility is eternal because the goals that are being achieved are based on God’s divine plan, not the selfish desires of the person who is achieving the goals.
I hate to admit this, but the belief that I possessed in high school that I was invincible was based on human invincibility. The primary reason that I was able to achieve success was because I was blessed with a level of skill, talent, and ambition that most of my classmates were not blessed with. Like most people who achieve success, I took credit for my achievements instead of giving the credit to my Creator.
Last week, I told you that I wanted to share a concept and a technique with you that when fully embraced and implemented, could significantly change the direction of your life and help you build the self-confidence and immunity to the criticism that you need to accomplish more for yourself and your family.
The concept and technique I was referring to incorporates the notion that each of us has the God-given ability to reach a certain level of faith-based invincibility. While most of us do not possess the superior skills, talent, and ambition that would help us to attain human invincibility, each one of us possesses the ability to achieve faith-based invincibility.
Do you know what happens when a person achieves faith-based invincibility? All servile (unnecessary) fear is vanquished. Servile fear is the primary emotion that holds people back from doing the things that are necessary to achieve true greatness. Faith-based invincibility also makes a person immune to the criticism of others.
One of the primary techniques I use to bring the concept of faith-based invincibility to fruition is to imagine myself as the center of my own universe. When I was growing up, it was common to hear someone tell a conceited person, “You think you’re the center of the universe!” The technique I’m suggesting here is not to make you believe that you are the center of the universe, but to shift your perspective from “I am in the world” to “I am the center of my universe.”
I got the idea for this shift in perspective from Jason Leister (incomparableexpert.org), a business coach who teaches owners of companies that they have unique gifts that no one else in the world possesses, and that if the business owners can harness those gifts and communicate them to their potential customers, they will find that their customers will view them as the most valuable expert in the world for what the customers need.
According to Leister, before a person can accurately identify their unique gifts, they must shift their perspective from “I am in the world” to “I am the center of my universe.” The I-am-in-the-world perspective that most people have makes them vulnerable to the unsolicited beliefs and opinions of others and turns them into victims of outside circumstances that should not have any impact on what they’re trying to accomplish.
The I-am-the-center-of-my-universe approach allows you to separate yourself from the world and surround yourself with a protective shield that gives you the freedom to take personal responsibility for everything that happens in your life. By taking personal responsibility for everything that happens to you, you are no longer a victim of circumstance, and you are free to ignore the unsolicited beliefs and opinions of others who are attempting to influence the way you think and behave.
This new way of thinking frees you up to use your skills, abilities, and imagination to create a future that is unencumbered by fear and the whims and negative influence of others.
You may ask, Is it really possible to have some control over my own future? The answer is yes. By refusing to blame others for your problems and failures, you will develop a willingness to take full responsibility for your own actions. If you adopt this approach to life and choose to treat others the same way you would want to be treated — with charity, respect, and gratitude — you will find that you will begin focusing on creating value for other people and most of those people will reciprocate by treating you the same way that you treat them.
More importantly, if you combine the I-am-the-center-of-my-universe perspective with the belief and attitude that your universe derives its power from God Almighty, you will, over time, develop a faith-based invincibility.
While Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II may not have been aware of this particular approach to life, it was something that they practiced in their own way, just as all the other saints before them did.
You and I have the ability to accomplish great things for God and for mankind, but we often fail to do what we were created to do because of fear and because of the unsolicited beliefs and opinions of others.
When we die and God reveals to us everything that happened during our lifetime, it will not be our sins that surprise us the most. It will be our repeated failure to give Him credit for our gifts and accomplishments and our failure to perform the thousands of spiritual and corporal works of mercy that we had the opportunity to perform.*
I would suggest that every morning when you wake up and at different times throughout the day, you say to yourself,
I am the center of my universe, which means that I will take personal responsibility for everything that happens to me. I will not blame others for my situation, condition, feelings, or problems. I will not allow myself to become a victim. I will not allow servile fear or the unsolicited beliefs and opinions of others to influence the way I think or behave. I am a unique child of God and I will use my God-given gifts, which include my skills, abilities, and imagination, to learn more about God, grow closer to Him, and create value and happiness for others by performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
God will give you 8,760 hours of time this year. Don’t waste it on social media, gossip, excessive entertainment, or unnecessary comfort. Use it to develop faith-based invincibility so you can enhance your relationship with God and help others in the way that God expects you to help them.
* As a reminder, the corporal works of mercy are, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. The spiritual works of mercy are, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the sorrowful, and pray for the living and the dead.