Become Greater Than You Are – 4 Case Studies

david palmerOn May 6th, my friend, David Palmer, will graduate from the University of the Cumberlands. This is how his Facebook post read today, “Only took 6 years. Lol May 6th, finally!” David stayed with it regardless of the many challenges he faced over the years. Just like “The Tortoise and the Hare” it does not always matter how fast we finish, but that we have the perseverance to finish no matter how long it takes.

David’s announcement brought back memories of my own journey. I was never a good student academically. I was a “C” student at best. I always enjoyed school. A matter of fact I enjoyed the 6th grade so well I took it twice.

Tommy LanhamEven in college, I did not do well. Just like David, it took me six years to finish. My story was recently highlighted in my friend Daniel Matthews’ book “Spear Your Fear”. Matthews writes,

      Take my friend, Tommy, in the 1990’s, he was asked to leave college because of his grades. He was given a second chance and after a 6-year struggle, he managed to graduate with a 2.3 GPA.
     Most recently, he graduated with a Master’s Degree that was completed in just over one year and did so with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Today, he spoke at his former high school on “The Success of a 6th Grade Flunky.”
     Tommy knows that if you want to become greater than you are, you not only must be able to recognize the successes within your failures, you must be able to exploit them (p. 117).
daniel matthewsAs Daniel Matthews stated, I did go on to get my Master’s in Life Coaching with a 4.0 GPA. Daniel also struggled academically when he was younger deciding to drop out of high school. Several years later he graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University summa cum laude. (To find out more about Daniel Matthew’s journey read the book “Spear Your Fear” available at www.continue2improve.com.)

SorenI used to be somewhat embarrassed that it took me six years to graduate college until I discovered it took Soren Kierkegaard 10 years to get his undergraduate degree and today he is considered one of the top thinkers of the past 200 years. So, hey! I am in good company.

So, whether it is David Palmer, Daniel Matthews, Soren Kierkegaard, myself, or the countless others who have persevered in the face of trial and failure, ignored the naysayers who said it could not be done and realized that this life is not a sprint but a marathon I salute you. I salute us.

Never give up! Continue to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you (Philippians 3:12). It does not matter how long it takes it only matters that you complete the race.

Image result for daniel matthews spear your fear imagesThank you, David Palmer, Daniel Matthews, Soren Kierkegaard, and the many others who have inspired me with your perseverance.

God is not done with you…so never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down…Here we go!
Matthews, D. Daniel. (2016). Spear Your Fear: Five Simple Steps to Retrain Your Brain for     Success. Continue2improve. Lexington, KY.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability:

God, Save Us From Practical People

Do you know what the most repeated command in the Bible is?

“Fear not” or “Do not be afraid.”  Yet, often times, we are controlled and limited by fear.

I am amazed at how adults change the way they talk to young people as they grow older. When kids are very young we say, “You can be anything you want to be!” We encourage them to dream. We want them to reach for the stars!

However, as they become teenagers we began to say things like, “You need to be practical.” “You can’t always do what you want.” “No one in our family has ever done that.”practical people

God save us from practical people!

Give us people who encourage us to dream. Give us people who continue to tell us we can do whatever we set our minds to. Give us people who are not so controlled by their own fear that they want to control everyone around them as well.

“Fear not!” “Do not be afraid!” Keep moving forward in the face of self-doubt. God is bigger than our fears no matter how practical we are encouraged to be.

My friend, Daniel Matthews, has written a great book on overcoming your fears titled; Spear Your Fear: Five Simple Steps to Retrain Your Brain for Success. In it, he gives great advice on how to move forward in the face of fear. Daniel states, “To keep your fears and self-doubt from winning, find your higher purpose, have a single focus, and look beyond the result by developing process-based goals.”

I believe the Bible reflects the same sentiment in Isiah 32:8, “The noble man makes noble plans and by noble deeds, he stands.”

Develop a focused enthusiasm for what God wants you to accomplish. Then develop specific goals to accomplish that. Then, and this may be the most important factor, take action! Just simply taking action will help you overcome your fear.
Image result for take action images

Take action!
Take action now!!
Whatever the fear may be, taking action will help you overcome it.
What step can you take right now towards overcoming your fear?  Leave a comment and share your dream with me and how I can help you overcome any fears that may be stopping you.

Subscribe and you’ll get motivation, encouragement, and accountability in your inbox to help you reach your God-given potential!


_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability for speaking at your next event!