“Do not throw away your confidence; it will be…rewarded.” Heb 10:35 NIV

Consultant Dan Sullivan talks about the difference between our “ideals” and our “actuals.” He says, “The ideal is a picture we create of future desirable events and situations that enables us to move forward in time. The ideal does not actually exist outside our minds, nor is it achievable.” Why? Because it depends on everything being perfect. Life is, at best, messy. It’s filled with surprises—both good and bad. If you need the ideal picture of your dream to come into being in order to feel fulfilled, you will never be fulfilled. That doesn’t mean you should cast aside your ideal vision. It is useful for helping you to establish goals, find internal motivation, and strive for excellence. However, you also need to temper it. Where idealistic dreams expect to be realized immediately, realistic dreams make you appreciate the time it takes for them to become a reality. Where idealistic dreams do not tolerate anything less than perfection, realistic dreams leave room for you to be human and imperfect. Where idealistic dreams set you up for disappointment, realistic dreams set you up for success. The man who never made a mistake, never made anything. Indeed, the man who never made a mistake probably gets his salary from the one who does. The reason God doesn’t whitewash His heroes in the Bible is to let you know that in spite of your flaws, He can use you to accomplish great things. You say, “But am I not supposed to work on my weaknesses?” Yes, but you’ll only succeed in what you’re called to do by working from your God-given strengths.