Foundation is the most important part of a building structure and successful empire. For that reason, builders spend so much time, effort, and resources on it. Before we get deeper into our topic, let me tell a short and vivid story…
One day in the morning, I was just walking around, and behold, a gigantic tree with huge branches was lying on the ground. The tree has been uprooted probably by a strong wind. But the funny part of it is that smaller and bigger trees were still standing. They were not uprooted by the same mighty wind which carried away the large tree. Upon seeing this scene, I asked myself several questions like What was the problem with this fallen tree? Was it not strong enough to withstand the wind? Were its roots too shallow? Why didn’t small and other big trees fall?
Honestly speaking, in my mind, I thought smaller trees were the ones that were supposed to fall, not this big tree but ironically that’s what happened! Well, there are so many life, leadership, ministerial and entrepreneurial lessons we can learn from this short story. Our major focus, however, is going to be on lying a strong foundation in one’s various aspects of life which results in one living a successful and meaningful lifestyle. Without wasting much time, let us quickly dive into our winning lessons!
Test Detects Strength
The test is the best revealer of strength, you can hardly recognize the strength of your foundation unless you got tested by trials, tribulations, rejection, crises, betrayal, and traumatic situations. The fallen tree we just read about, despite being huge was not strong enough to withstand a mighty wind. The reason was probably it had shallow roots which of course could not hold the trach and braches as a result of a mighty wind that came out of the blue. Dear businesspeople, leaders, and champions, it is extremely suicidal to climb the ladder of success having shallow roots, or a crackly and brittle foundation. No matter how great you may become, falling is unavoidable so long as the foundation is weak.
Unless you are tested in a furnace of obstacles, you can barely recognize your strength. Your ability to survive hard and traumatic times proves how strong you are and on the other side, your inability to survive reveals how weak your foundation is. Sometimes we do not necessarily have to curse God or give up working on a vision or particular project only because of tough times. We need to learn to maneuver and see the positive side of every test. you know what? Tests are not meant to hold you back or to destroy you, but to catapult you to the next level (but this can only happen when your foundation is strong). Their core purpose is to set you to another dimension. They are meant to awaken and let you discover your strengths and weaknesses.
The other thing I like about tests is that they help us discover areas we need to develop on our personal development, businesses, relationships, you can name it. When a mighty wind comes out of nowhere, it may carry away weak areas or crack your foundation. This is a warning light notifying you that you need to go back to your foundation and put a lot of reinforcement to make it stronger. As for the cracks (caused by the wind) on the walls of your success empire, you may repair them. If it is managed in your business that has been cracked, well it means more training, or replacements are needed in that area. So count it joy when tests come, do not shield yourself against tests!
Despite being big, the huge tree I saw could not survive a strong wind while smaller and bigger trees did not fall. So, never get disappointed by the stage you are at now. Keep investing in your foundation. Others might rise rapidly than you, but don’t get discouraged because they might be rising with weak foundations which is suicidal. When tests come, such people, organizations, and businesses will fall while you remain standing and progressing.
Time Is the Best Revealer
Time is very crucial because it reveals hidden things. I am sure that a lot of people who used to see that big tree (before it was uprooted) thought it was one of the strongest trees in the area. Without a doubt, they judged it based on its successful growth and its big branches. However, they ignored to examine its roots before praising it. For years, they could not notice that it had shallow roots thereby making it the weakest tree despite being taller than many trees. But with time, I am convinced they realized that they realized their misjudgments. You see, the foundation is the most important thing than anything else. People cannot see it, yet it is the one that holds everything! The greatest mistake we make is that we usually adore beautiful structures and fail to appreciate the foundations holding the structures and all that is inside them.
Before you start working on your dream success empire, you need to diligently spend more time and resources on the foundation. By foundation, I mean your relationship with God, personal development, mission and vision statement, and the vision at large. If by any means you ignore that, you might succeed in life, but I am a hundred percent sure that one day it will collapse. When the right time comes, your foundation is going to be exposed. It is worth knowing that one can build something tangible even with an improper foundation-but that will be vanity and a waste of time since that thing is destined to fall.
Build Having the Future in Mind
We need to build our life foundations with the future in mind. In the middle of the building, we need to try by all means to see the end. That is the power of vision; it makes you see the end from the beginning. Builders of lasting empires are future-oriented. The importance of pursuing goals, dreams, and purpose with the future in mind lies in the fact that it gives: hope, strength to maneuver, and courage to face fierce storms of economic bankruptcy, discouragements, and rejection by close friends and loved ones. Without the end in mind, you can easily give up and spend the rest of your life clothed with shame, regret, and frustration.
Never build anything just to fulfill the “now needs”, but rather, build to leave inerasable footprints. We need to build empires that will not only sustain us today but the upcoming generations, too. While building, let us have the result in mind. Real entrepreneurial champions lay foundations having the future in mind. They prepare for mighty storms and winds before they come. In the holy Scriptures, Jesus, the greatest Rabbi ever gave a short yet profound parable to demonstrate the importance of laying a strong foundation. The Bible says:
“…he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”(Luke 6:48 RSV)
From the parable, Jesus is teaching us that when building, we need to dig *_deep_* in preparation for floods and strong winds that are sure to come in the future. You see, when the foundation is well-built, heavy winds and floods may come against what you are, or what you have built but they will never shake or crack it because of the solid foundation. But if we ignore the future, we became like a foolish man whom Jesus in his parable said…
“But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”(Luke 6:49 RSV)
You see, failure is inevitable when we build our successful empires without the future in mind. What is it that you are planning for the future? Is the vision and mission statement of your business vivid? Are you putting in place measures or adjustments for your business to survive future crises? What are the future obstacles your business is likely to face (eg hyperinflation, competition, ever-changing government policies), and how are you going to overcome them?
You should be able to honestly answer these questions if your foundation is going to keep existing and being relevant, also! Planning for future challenges is not a senseless move, that’s wisdom and that is how thriving organizations and businesses constantly do to keep existing.
Foundation Determines What to and What Not to Build
Every kind of foundation we lay determines what we are to and what we are not going to build. This explains why the foundations of upstairs, skyscrapers, and tuck shops are different. When builders want to construct a skyscraper, they lay a deep foundation and use a lot of building materials and heavy machinery. But when it is a tuck-shop, they dig a shallow foundation and use few building materials and you can hardly see them using any machines. Therefore, whenever one sees any of these two foundations, he can tell the size of a building to be built even without seeing the plan!
If we are going to start businesses or trademarks that are going to outlive us, we need to dig deep! We cannot leave outstanding legacies when our foundations are too shallow. If you have a big dream that scares you when you visualize it, you are on the right track but you need to start working on putting a deep foundation. You can’t build a skyscraper on a tuck shop’s foundation…if you are attempting to do so, that’s insanity! As long as it is going to thrive even when you die, the foundation has to be deep.
But doing so has a dear price to be paid just like a rich man constructing a skyscraper. Some of the prices that may be paid are maintaining self-discipline to protect what you are building from cracking, busyness, enduring obstacles, denying the comfort zone, developing winning-attitudes, mindset, daily disciplines, and walking in line with the will of God which may cause pain.
Failure to do so results in self-disappointment, failure, and letting down those who will be leaning on your vision, mission, and purpose. Remember the huge tree that was uprooted? If it had nests, just imagine how many birds became homeless or died as a result of its downfall. Think about the shade and oxygen it used to give which it can no longer offer. That is how we will disappoint those who depend on our successes when we fall due to shallow foundations.
There are people you ought to elevate, empower, impact, impart into, and assist. You need to have a sense of purpose when building and remember that your God-given purpose is not meant to elevate you only, but to serve the world. So, when God gives you a great vision, spend a lot of time constructing the foundation because it is the one that is going to hold the vision. By not doing so, you can easily abort your destiny and purpose.
Your Foundation Must Reach a Rock
“…he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and *laid the foundation upon rock*; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built”(Luke 6:48 RSV)
If your foundation is going to be outstanding and subdue crises, it must be laid upon a Rock-Jesus Christ. No matter how deep you build, it is highly recommendable to allow Jesus to hold it for you. He is the Foundation of foundations! The wise man’s house managed to keep standing regardless of floods and a strong wind because its foundation was placed on a rock who is Jesus.
In conclusion, the foundation is the most important thing to your vision and any other things you may be working on. Every aspect of your life needs to have not just a foundation, but a deep and strong one for it to last as it ought to. Without foundations, we can waste our time and resources building weak empires that will fall/will not outlive us.
Knox Phombo is an inspirational writer and founder of Knox Winning Inspirations. You can follow his inspirational quotes on Facebook @Knox Winning Inspirations or WhatsApp +263 786 037 290