Busyness Is the Enemy of Greatness

Investing in a dream, whether it’s an entirely new venture or just a side project you’re passionate about, takes time and energy. Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor at The Potter’s House and Founder of TDJ Enterprises, always has multiple projects—or what he calls “jungles”—going at the same time. He likes it that way. “No day is ever the same,” he says. “But that works for me because I’m the kind of person who bores easily.”

However, he warns that “busyness is the enemy of greatness. You can become so busy that it deafens your ability to hear what’s going on in your heart. If you can, find a way to step aside and listen to your heartbeat. Calm yourself for a minute. Put yourself in different atmospheres.”

Although he tries to constantly challenge himself, meet new people and stimulate his imagination, there is one thing Jakes strives to keep constant: “What I try to keep consistent is me. Never get so happy that I’m distracted or so depressed that I lose my rhythm. Just stay within the parameters and live my life within the bars. You know, musicians play within the musical bars, the cleft notes, the treble notes. I try to stay within the bars. Every now and then I get a high one and a low one, but I’ve stayed within the same key as much as possible.”

When he gets “off key,” he says prayer pulls him back in, along with some good boundaries and the ability to say no to at least some of the countless requests he receives. “I do get off sometimes, you know, I give too much energy to something or someone. I quickly learned that I could not give them me.”

He says setting good boundaries so he can stay focused on what’s important begins with acknowledging that he’s a limited resource. “God is unlimited,” he says. “I’m limited, and I have to let him be God and I’m just a guy. You know, once you get that straight, you’re good.”

His other tool for combating busyness and confusion is structure. “Whenever life is extremely demanding, I add more organization,” he says. “Organization and structure are my responses to multiple demands. If you can take what you do and not love it so much that you hold it too tight, giving it away will make it live. Delegating it. If you have your hand on every donut, it’s going to take you a little time to have two dozen. But if you can throw a new structure and a new system and then mass-produce it, you can supply the whole country with donuts and still be the CEO over the corporation, as long as you throw structure at demand.”

The pastor and author shares ways for finding your place in the universe. Learn how to harness the power within you and use instinct to succeed.

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