Today, I’m giving you good news.
You can succeed in life.
Because time is the great equalizer.
Every human being is given the same amount of time. A billionaire in New York has 24 hours. A beggar in Quiapo has 24 hours. It’s really what we do to those 24 hours that impacts our lives.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the 10,000 Hour-Rule in his book, Outliers. He believed that greatness requires the giving of enormous time—approximately 10,000 Hours.
The Phenomenon From London—
Or From Germany?
One of his examples was The Beatles.
The Beatles is the most successful band in the history of music. You must forgive me as I will only tell you what I heard from others. Growing up, I actually never heard The Beatles. I’m only familiar with Charise Pempengco and Sarah Geronimo. (Wink.)
Some say The Beatles were very successful because they were simply super talented.
Not completely true.
Talent isn’t enough.
Talent is over-rated.
Do you know of very talented people who are unsuccessful?
I do. I also know there are millions of them around.
According to Gladwell, The Beatles were successful because of what happened in Hamburg, Germany from 1960 to 1964.
What was so special about Hamburg, Germany?
Not that they paid well. (They didn’t.) Or that they had the best equipment. Or that they had the best music scene.
Hamburg was special because of the huge amount of time you were forced to perform every single day.
In Hamburg, if your band was hired by a club, they’d make you perform from Monday to Saturday, 8 hours a day, non-stop.
Do the math. If The Beatles performed over 1,200 times, multiply each performance by 8 hours. That’s 10,000 hours of playing time in a span of 4 years.
So by the time they came back to England, The Beatles “sounded like no one else.” And the rest was history.
I repeat: Give your 10,000 hours in one area, and you unlock your greatness in that area.
Why He Became The Richest Man In The World
Bill Gates is another example of the 10,000 Hour Rule.
How did he become the richest man in the world?
Was it because he was a super genius?
Or was it something else that happened when he was a kid?
In 1968, Bill Gates was only 13 years old when he attended a private high school. It was one of the very few high schools on planet earth that had a computer in its campus.
Bill Gates was only 13 years old when he fell in love with the computer. He was totally fascinated by it. He couldn’t do anything else except write computer programs.
When everyone was sleep, he would sneak out of his house at midnight, run to the school, slip into the computer room, and use the computer until the wee hours of the morning. He’d go back home before dawn to get ready to go back to school.
Remember what I told you that successful people are a little bit crazy? That’s Bill Gates.
By the time he hit 18 years old, he already logged in 10,000 hours of computer programming—at a time when very few people in the world even knew what a computer was.
Let me give you some of my examples.
Teen Idol Becomes A Servant
My friend Adrian Panganiban is a fantastic singer.
One reason: He started singing on TV at the age of 4.
A few years later, he became a teen idol.
He joined Apat Na Sikat, together with Lala Aunor, Winnie Santos, Arnold Gamboa, and Dondon Nakar.
Adrian told me that during that time, he would have concerts everyday—flying from one town to another, sometimes from one country to another. Sometimes he would have to sleep on the bus or plane, performing back-to-back concerts.
Adrian has had 10,000 hours performing to huge crowds, unlocking his greatness in that area.
But today, he’s giving that greatness to God.
Today, Adrian still performs in concerts.
But he sees himself more as a servant than a star.
Let me introduce you to another friend.
Theatre Actor Becomes A Preacher
I see myself in George Gabriel.
I’m not talking about our great looks only. (Didn’t I say that successful people are a little bit crazy?)
I’m talking about the fact that George gave his life to God when he was 12 years old—the exact age I gave my life to God.
George was willing to do anything for God. He sang, he led worship, he did concerts, he preached, he played the drums, and he became a theatre actor.
When he had a musical, he performed on stage everyday, twice a day, Monday to Friday.
Very easily, George clocked in 10,000 hours of performance.
Today, this Theatre Actor doesn’t do musicals anymore.
But he continues to preach with his powerful theatre skills.
(By the way, George has launched his first book, Love Life. Grab your copy.)
George is now 34 years old.
That means that for the past 22 years, he’s been serving God.
That’s much more than 10,000 hours, believe me.
What’s my message?
If you want big returns, big success, big rewards in your life, you have to give 10,000 hours into what you love to do.
What Area In Your Life Do You Want To Succeed?
The 10,000 Hour Rule of Greatness works in any area.
Question: Do you want to be great in your family life?
Many marriages are failing because of neglect.
Give 10,000 hours to your marriage—and it will prosper.
Why is it that before the wedding, boyfriends and girlfriends spend so much time together? They love talking to each other, laughing their hearts out, and hanging out together.
But the moment the wedding happens, they forget all that.
If you want your marriage to work, work on the relationship. Spend time. Go out on dates each week, more if necessary.
And do you want to be great parents?
Quality Time Isn’t Enough
I’ve also spent many hours talking with parents whose kids are drifting away from God and hanging out with the wrong crowd.
I know my next statement is very simplistic.
But bear with me.
I believe kids get into trouble usually because parents didn’t spend enough time with them. Parents failed to unlock the greatness of their children by not spending both quantity and quality time with them.
All is not lost.
Reach out to them now.
Tell them you love them. Go out of your way and spend time with them.
The other night, I went home totally exhausted. I told the family I was going to sleep early.
But after I dozed off on bed, my five-year old son entered the room and wanted to jump on a trampoline.
In his mind, my body was his giant trampoline!
He’d step on me, walk on me, and jump on me.
A part of me wanted to say, “Francis, not now. Daddy is really tired.”
But the words couldn’t leave my lips.
Because I knew that a time would come when he’ll no longer be playing with me in this way. A day will come when he’s all grown up and he won’t jump on me anymore. (At least, I hope he won’t!) While we can play together, I’ll do it.
I’ve said “No” to my kids when they ask for toys.
I’ve said “No” to my kids when they ask for junk food.
I’ve said “No” to my kids when they ask for gadgets.
But to this day, I’ve never said “No” when they ask for my time. No matter how busy or how tired I am.
I urge you: Give 10,000 hours to your kids and you unlock their greatness.
Put God First;
Give Him Your Ten Thousand Too
Here’s my final message: Give 10,000 hours to your relationship with God.
Put God first. Prioritize Him. Seek Him first.
I don’t want to complicate things, so let me just put three things before you.
Here’s Number One Thing: Give at least 10 minutes a day to connect to God.
I recommend reading the Bible everyday.
To know what to read, I suggest you use a Bible Guide—such as Didache, Companion, and Sabbath. I heard that those who publish and write those Bible Guides are really fantastic people. (Smile.)
Even if you don’t understand what the Bible is saying, just read. Just clock in your 10,000 hours.
In due time, you’ll understand.
If you want to receive Bible reflections in your inbox everyday, join my international, non-physical, borderless, virtual community called Kerygma Family. Log on at www.KerygmaFamily.com now!
Here’s my second recommendation: Join a prayer meeting every week to nourish your soul. If you don’t have one, I invite you to the Feast. I nicknamed it the happiest place on earth. For more information on time and venues, you can email Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make it a non-negotiable item in your schedule.
Don’t miss feeding your spirit.
And here’s Number Three: Give your time to God by serving Him in the people around you.
“I Wasted Sixty Years…”
Many years ago, when I was still a teenager, a woman called me up to pray for her sick husband. “Ben is 61 and he’s dying,” she said, her voice breaking. “My husband has cancer.”
That happened a long time ago, but I can never forget him. Meeting him had such an incredible impact on life.
The next day was Valentines Day.
I was single and had no date on Valentines Day, so I told her, “I’ll visit your husband tomorrow and he’ll be my Valentines Date.”
The next morning, I saw their huge home.
The woman told me that her husband was a doctor—a very successful one.
When I entered the living room, I saw him seated on a chair, wearing his pajamas.
I tried to imagine him before his sickness.
A strong man. A powerful doctor. So in control of life.
Now, he was a broken man. Totally dependent on others.
We greeted each other.
“Hi Dr. Ben,” I said, “before I pray over you, can you tell me your story?”
He nodded. “Six months ago, my doctors discovered the cancer in my body. They gave me six months to live. That was eight months ago. I’m living on extra time.”
“Bo, when I found out I had cancer, I prayed to God. I started going to Mass on Sundays. I even went to a prayer meeting with my wife. I was too busy to do all those things before. Bo, I wasted 60 years of my life!”
That was when he began to cry.
A successful man, sobbing before me.
In between sobs, he said, “But… but… after awhile, I had to stay home because of the pain in my body. Most days, I cannot do anything else but lie down in bed…”
He gripped my hand.
“Bo, please…” he said, “I want you to pray that God extend my life. Even just a little bit more. Just a little bit more. Because all these years, I was very busy earning money. I didn’t spend time with God. I want to serve Him… I have so many plans. So many things I want to do for Him. If only He’ll give me more time.”
I prayed over him.
Driving home, I felt God was speaking to me through this man’s life.
When I arrived home, I knelt down and said, “Lord, when I grow old, I don’t want to be like Dr. Ben. I don’t want to have regrets in my life. While I’m young, I want to serve you.”
You Hang Onto Life By A Mere Thread;
It Can Snap Anytime
I read somewhere that three people die in one second.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick…
That’s 15 people who died in the past 5 seconds.
If it took you 15 minutes to read this article, 2700 people have already died in the world. (When you’re done reading, please check your pulse. Just in case you were part of the 2700…)
Friend, life is so incredibly fragile.
You hang onto life by a mere thread.
Anytime, it can snap.
Every moment is a great gift from God.
The Bible says, Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise. (Psalms 90:12)
You see, God never promised you that you’ll wake up tomorrow morning. Everytime you wake up in the morning, you should throw a party. Celebrate! It’s an undeserved gift.
While You Have Breathe, Love God
While you’re alive, I urge you to give your time to God.
While you have breath, love God.
While you’re still strong, love the people in your life.
Jesus says, As long as it is day, we must keep on doing the work of him who sent me; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light for the world.” (John 9:4-5)
Jesus knew that night was coming “when no one can work.”
All of us will one day face that “night”.
Today, I want to remind you of that stark reality.
Here’s a suggestion.
To know how short your life is, count the number of Sundays you have left.
I read that the average life expectancy in the Philippines is 66 years old. That’s pretty short.
There are 3432 Sundays in 66 years.
I’m now 44. That means I’ve already used up 2288 Sundays.
If I live until 66, I only have 1144 Sundays to go.
1144 Sundays only!
I read this somewhere.
If you want to be reminded by how short your life is, I suggest you get a jar of seeds.
Any kind of seed would do.
The seeds should be the exact number of Sundays you have left in your life.
And every Sunday, remove one seed from the jar.
Every Sunday, you’ll see the seeds in the jar decrease.
When you reach 66 years old, and no seeds are left, each Sunday becomes a big Bonus from God.
Use Your Time Well
Because You Can’t Replace It
You can replace lost things.
Money. Cellphones. Cars. Houses.
But you can’t replace lost time.
Remember the jar with the seeds inside?
Each moment of your life is a seed.
When you remove a seed from the jar, you have a choice.
It’s the choice every single moment gives to you.
a.) You can throw the seed away and lose it forever.
b.) Or you can plant it in soil and make it eternal.
What am I saying?
When you spend your time loving, you’re doing something that will last forever. When you love, you’re planting a tree in the soil of Heaven.
According to Dr. Ben, for the first 60 years of his life, he threw away the seeds. He wasted them. He spent them in selfishness.
Don’t make that mistake.
I invite you to give each moment to God.
Spend your life loving people.
Heaven is waiting for your seeds.
May your dreams come true,
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