God has given us inherent natural laws and spiritual laws that we can put into practice to gain mastery over the flesh and to excel and maximize our potential as human beings. Non-believers can also tap into some of these laws and excel in some areas of their lives because of the common grace that God extends to all.

The following are some of these principles that all leaders need to learn to walk in.

I. Have A Positive Attitude (Philippians 4:8)

• The Bible commands us to only think of things that are good, pure, noble and of a good report.
• It is not just a matter of feeling good after you pray; it’s a matter of always keeping a positive attitude.
• It’s never what a person does to you that matters; it’s what you do to yourself with your thoughts that matters. Many of us allow hurtful words to continue to influence us and determine our future.

II. Visualize Your Successful Future (Hebrews 12:1-2)

• Jesus endured the cross because He saw the joy set before Him.
• Don’t let your present circumstances determine your future (Romans 4:17-19).
• Don’t keep dwelling on your hurts, failures, or people who have let you down. Don’t let these people continue to destroy you! Focus on all the potential, gifts, abilities, and power of God available to you as you believe Him for victory.

III. Be Consistent With Short-Term Goals That Are Easily Reachable

• When I started playing the guitar again (after laying it down for almost 10 years) I didn’t even know how to strum a cord anymore! I got back mastery of the instrument by practicing scales 5-10 minutes per day several days per week. I didn’t attempt to play seven hours per day seven days a week like I did as a teenager. Then I would have been discouraged and never started again. Start with small steps and be consistent. It is amazing how effective consistency is! Even a commitment to a small amount of reading, praying, and practice if done consistently throughout the day in small amounts will transform your life!
• It has been said that if you read on one subject just one hour per day for three years you will become an expert in that genre of knowledge!

IV. Invest Your Time With Your Short And Long-Term Goals

• You would be shocked how much time the average person wastes every day.
• Every highly skilled person has the same 24 hours each day that the rest of the population has. If we would wisely plan how we are going to spend our time and invest it in something significant instead of watching television, videos, playing online poker, etc. then we would be able to accomplish great things! Every time you say yes to one thing you are saying no to something else. If you want to live a life of leisure you will never reach your full potential.
• Even when I was working secular jobs in a camera store, restaurant, and as a security guard I kept a small Bible in my pocket and read one book of the New Testament each day. During every five minute break I would study. During my lunch break I would carve out time to study and every day I was able to squeeze out 30-60 minutes of study per day which made a huge difference!

V. Harness Your Passion Towards Things That Will Feed Your Primary Purpose, Not Your Hobbies

• Just because you have a passion for something doesn’t mean you are called to focus on that. For example, I love to ski, play ping pong and chess, and do physical exercise but that doesn’t mean I should engage in these activities several hours every day.
• I also have a passion to study, mentor, and create communities that create a movement. Since these are all part of my primary purpose I have devoted most of my time every day thinking about how to excel in each of these areas.

VI. Remain Focused On One Thing At A Time

• When you are with your family, be present with them and not your work. When you are at work, be present there and not a hobby. For example, when you are at work don’t surf the web or go on Facebook and allow distractions. This will stop you from excelling at your job and compromise your productivity. Give all your focus to what you are responsible for, when you are responsible to accomplish it!
• James 1:8 says that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

VII. Never Compromise Your Core Purpose, Vision, And Mission

• Purpose answers the question “why”.
• Vision answers the question “how”.
• Mission answers the question “what”.
• The enemy of what’s best is what’s good.
• I have a lot of opportunities on how to spend my time. I have to answer the question of whether or not an opportunity fits my mission (what I am supposed to focus on) and, if it does fit my mission, do I have the time to give to do it with excellence?

VIII. Keep A Healthy Balance In Life

• If you are not balanced then your mastery in a particular area will suffer.
• For example, God made the human body so that its health is dependent upon every area being healthy and functioning correctly. For example, a masseuse ministers to the muscles in the body; a therapist the joints in the body; and a chiropractor to the nervous system in the body. When any of these are out of whack your body, soul, and spirit can be negatively affected. A dentist understands that the hygiene of the mouth actually determines the health of the heart. Thus a specialist in any medical or health field can claim that their field is the most important because each area of the body can be shown to impact the rest of the body.
• I am called to be faithful, consistent, and excellent in every responsibility that is in front of me, whether it is my primary passion or not. (I have to pitch in to help the church and my family and others in ways that may not necessarily fit my gift mix and passion. This is a test of faithfulness that develops character. If I can’t be faithful in these kinds of responsibilities then I am not balanced and God cannot trust me with things having to do with my passion. The greatest in the kingdom is the person who doesn’t think of themselves but functions as a servant.)
• I am called to live a life that puts first the Kingdom of God in regards to my family, vocation, and personal renewal. Life is a constant battle to keep a good balance in the shifting sands of life and circumstances. For example, I may give my whole life and focus to creating wealth and become very successful at it. But while I gain mastery in the area of business if I lose my health, family, or connection with God it is not true success! Balance means I am working hard, playing hard, getting enough sleep, eating correctly, seeking God privately and corporately, and hearing what the Spirit is saying to the church so my contribution to our corporate destiny can be realized.

Dr. Joseph Mattera