Have you ever felt like you couldn’t do something you really wanted to do because you just did not have the resources to do it? Have you ever felt inadequate because you think that those who are successful in their career have the wherewithal that you do not have, and as such you think your deplorable condition is excusable? In any case, I have got a special story to share with you today about how a boy defied his obstacles through resourcefulness.
David’s Curriculum Vitae seemed appealing to Saul who had doubted the ability of the young lad to go against Goliath. The fearless Shepherd boy was confident that the invisible hand that gave him victory when his flock was attacked by wild beast, is able to give him victory over the formidable opponent. Still not convinced, Saul retorted, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” Truly, It made no human sense that a little boy who is not experienced in battle would attempt to fight a well-armed Goliath, who is adjudged a Champion, one who had been trained in the act of war from his Youth.
But David, confident of his unpublished, yet brave exploits, was certain that the same invincible guardian would give him nerve and strength to overcome this more dangerous encounter. With this tenacity of purpose, and steadfast faith, he replied Saul saying, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.” (I Samuel 17:34-35). Amazing as his testimonials is, his experience with the animals cannot replace the military prowess that is required to defeat the proud Giant who threatened the armies of Israel, and defied their God.
For forty days, Saul and his army camped in the valley of Elah, but none had courage to confront this powerful enemy. Eventually, Saul agreed that David should fight Goliath, probably by virtue of his display of brevity and faith in God because I don’t know what would make Saul want to allow an inexperienced little shepherd boy to go to battle against a proven warrior like Goliath. The next step was to equip David with the weapons of war, and the available resource was the armory of the fearful King Saul. “Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.” (Vs. 38).
Alas, David was dressed like a warrior, but he could not move because he was not used to them. “Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (Vs. 40). Yes, that is resourcefulness – the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. “Let Saul’s coat be ever so rich, and his armour ever so strong, what is David the better if they fit him not?”1 When what is needed for success is not available, a resourceful mind will invent a tool to achieve the feat.
A resourceful person will always make opportunity to fit his/her needs. According to Naomi Wolf, ” Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience and resourcefulness. “I do believe that out of adversity comes incredible resourcefulness”, opined Phil Keoghan* For David, his obstacle was the weight of the armoury, and of course his inability to use them. Hence, he resolved to devise a clever and more fitting way to defeat the proud enemy. Five smooth stones from the stream, and his sling was the product of critical and strategic thinking, and resourcefulness.
Many people who have remained in a state of poverty tends to blame their predicaments or failures on the lack of resources. But the fact is that it is the lack of resourcefulness, and not the lack of resources that causes failure. In every man lies the seed of greatness. The difference between a successful man and a mediocre is the ability to explore the ingenuity within. It is not the resources you have available, but the resourcefulness in you that determines your success. In the words of Robert A. Heinlein, “At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that ‘news’ is not something that happens to other people…his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness.”
Lots of people blame their failures on others, and some blame the leadership, or society for their difficulties. In as much as we know that we can suffer from the decision or indecision of others, it is noteworthy that our ultimate success depends on our ability to explore our resourcefulness when our resources fail. William C. Menninger writes, “The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness. People who wait around for life to supply their satisfaction usually find boredom instead.“
Creativity is probably your most valuable asset when it comes to getting anything you want: more money, the perfect partner, a better body, a better career. Money is not everything! Yes, no matter what you want in life or how expensive it seems, experience has shown that you don’t always have to have money to get what you want. Resourcefulness is more important than resources. If you are creative, and persistent, resourcefulness will make up for what you lack in material resources.
What values do you add to your organization? Resourceful people are perceived as high-value employees. When the chips are down, only intelligent, creative and value-adding employees have the chance to be retained. Every serious employer looks for employees with amazing problem-solving skills, and not liabilities who only seek to make ends meet. “A very good case can be made, on moral as well as economic grounds, for a system in which the individual is required to stand on his own feet, not to lean on the state for handouts. Character, resourcefulness, capacity are formed and developed in struggle with obstacles, not in waiting passively for benefits from outside.“2
Think brilliantly, think big, and explore the potential in you. There’s certainly no limit to a man with tenacity of purpose, and a resourceful mind. You are winning! Yes, we are winning!
1 Matthew Henry