Many years ago, I read best-selling author John Maxwell’s fascinating book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” Maxwell told a dramatic story about businessman Roberto Goizueta, the former CEO of Coca-Cola. In 1997, only a few months before his death, Goizueta delivered a brilliant speech to the Executives’ Club of Chicago in which he shared the passion which motivated him to get up each day. He said, “A billion minutes ago, Christianity emerged. A billion seconds ago the Beetles performed on the Ed Sullivan show. A billion Coca-Colas ago was… yesterday morning. And the question we are asking ourselves now is, ‘What must we do to make a billion Coca-Colas ago this morning?’”
Making Coca-Cola one of the most successful companies in the world was Goizueta’s highest priority right up to the end of his life. Making his business increasingly successful is an understandable goal. In a world where far too few of us set any long-term goals, Guezueta’s goal seems especially remarkable.
Frankly, it is much easier to allow ourselves to drift through life looking only at what we believe will make us happy today. If I am not careful, I find myself living day to day without considering big-picture goals.
All of us need balance. Some focus so much on their long-term goals they fail to live each day well. However, I suspect a lot more of us allow ourselves to casually drift through life without ever giving much thought to the future.
Nearly everyone wants their life to count. While I am fascinated by Roberto Guezueta’s goal, honestly, it does not move me nearly as much as the life-long goal of the Apostle Paul.
“…I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me… I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:12-14, NTL)
Paul’s words motivate me deeply because I want to become the person God made me to be. I want to learn from my past, but not focus on it. I want to live with the eternal perspective that my ultimate goal is pleasing God. To further God’s kingdom while I love and serve God and love and serve others. For believers this is our calling. If we do it well, our lives will make a significant difference and ultimately we will one day hear our Father say, “well done.” Hearing those words should be our ultimate goal.