It’s OK to have a plan – a strategy, if you will. It’s even right to have a strategy. But I think most people misunderstand strategy. Football players understand strategy and so do generals in the army.
Do the rest of us understand strategy?
What Isn’t a Strategy?
A shortcut isn’t a strategy. We think it’s a strategy because we’ve misunderstood what strategy is. And most often, what we’re looking for is a shortcut – an inside track to success – rather than a strategy.
A quick Google search yields a number of people willing to sell you their social media “strategies” for success. A similar search will find you any number of “secrets” that will make your life amazing, fulfilled, and all-together unbelievable. We look for these magic pills to fix our marriages and make ourselves look slimmer without diets or working out.
Can you believe that we buy into that stuff?!
Maybe not all of it, but some of it. And why?
We buy into it because we don’t understand what strategy is. We go looking for what we think is a strategy but what we really want is a shortcut. We want a magic pill that will make everything better and easy and cost only 3 easy payments of $39.95. But the magic pill doesn’t exist. And even if it did, the magic pill isn’t a strategy.
What is a Strategy?
A strategy is actually really simple (at its core). It consists of four parts.
- Objective – What is the overall vision of what you want to accomplish and when?
- Assets – What and how much do you have that works in your favor?
- Liabilities – What and how much works against you?
- A Plan – With consideration of assets and liabilities, how will you accomplish your vision?
That’s it. A strategy is nothing more than a plan that uses assets to overcome liabilities to achieve a goal.
Why is this Important?
Well, I think it’s important so that we don’t get duped into thinking a shortcut is a strategy. A shortcut – at best – is a tactic.
Your strategy might be “I will use shortcuts to achieve my goals” and that would be a strategy. Not necessarily a great long-term strategy, but a strategy nonetheless. And if that’s your strategy, head back to Google and search away for the “magic pill.” Good luck.
I Have a Strategy
In my relationship with God I have a strategy. It doesn’t involve buying anything and it’s surely not flashy or trendy or even complex. But let’s use it to go through the process.
- My overall vision is to be fully formed into the image of Christ and in perfect relationship with God and humanity.
- My assets are God and the time and abilities he gives me.
- My liabilities are me and what I think I can and can’t do.
- My plan is REALLY simple. Trust God and do the four things below.
- The Bible – spend time in the Word to meet and learn about God
- Prayer & Worship – spend time with God, listen, adore
- Fellowship – spend time with God’s people
- Service & Sharing – show and tell what God has done in your life
If I were to write it out, it would be something like “I will trust God to form me into his image by his great power and I will partner with him to overcome my weaknesses by investing my life in the Bible, in prayer and worship, in fellowship, and in service to others.”
Of course, you will notice that very little of my strategy relies on me – at best I “partner with” God. That’s because my objective can only be accomplished through God’s power and my weakness. So I have aligned my strategy to consider that.
Do You Have a Strategy?
What’s your life strategy?
Photo credit: The US Army