Strength Archive

What I Learned About Dreams From Susan Boyle

Posted March 6, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I’m not one to sit around watching reality TV or shows like America’s Got Talent. Just not my thing. In fact, I rarely watch TV at all. But there is one YouTube video that I do watch and never grow tired of viewing it. It is the April 11, 2009 initial audition by Susan Boyle as she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.

The country looked on as an odd woman marched out to the center of the stage. No one thought she could carry a tune in a bucket.  In fact, they whistled and cat-called as she introduced herself. The auditorium erupted in laughter as she announced she’d be singing I Dreamed a Dream from the musical Les Miserables. Moments later she opened her mouth and instantly changed the world. Before the end of the second sentence, the entire audience was on their feet applauding her and remained standing throughout the duration of her performance.

From start to finish, that night she was on TV for five minutes and fifty seconds but during those three hundred and fifty short ticks of the second hand, Susan completely transformed the way the world thinks about living our dream.

She became an instant celebrity… a household name. And that was before the actual competition ever began. Forget her record smashing album sales. Susan became the hero of the average man, woman, boy and girl across the globe that night on the audition stage. It became the song hear around the world.

There are so many lessons I learned from watching that five minutes. Here are but a few:

People will be quick to judge us. When she walked out onto the stage, the judges and audience instantly concluded that her entire audition—other than to humiliate for sport—was an enormous waste of time.

Those same people are usually wrong. They were proved wrong the instant Susan began singing. 

You don’t have to defend your gift. Susan didn’t spend a moment trying to convince the judges or a cackling audience that she was a singer. She let the gift speak for itself.

No one laughs when your gift goes forth. Susan’s voice instantly pierced the hearts of everyone there and before she could sing the second line, they were on their feet cheering her. A fickle lot… we humans.

I could go on and on. I would encourage you to view this video. You’ll have to do it more than once. And as you do, remember you’re just like Susan. You may not have her voice but you do have gifts unique to you. And you also have those in your life who don’t believe in you. As sad as that is, it’s true. But that doesn’t change the gift, or your need to use it to change the world!

Stop spending time trying to convince people of who you are. Just be who you are and when you do,  your gifts, talents and fruit will speak for themselves. Even more importantly, you’ll change the world!

Like Susan Boyle on that night in the spring of 2009, this is your time. Seize it. Change the world. Make your mark… that lasting imprint and legacy that will flow to generations to come.

How many more ways can I say to take your rightful place. The world needs YOU!

Have you had a situation where people didn’t believe in you or your gift, only to have the gift prove them wrong? Begin changing the world right now by sharing it here!


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Only the Strong Survive, But Who is Strong?

Posted February 27, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

You’ve heard it just like I have… that old saying, only the strong survive. You’ve seen it play out in the episodes of National Geographic as the more powerful animal overtakes and conquers the weaker or perhaps wounded one.

With that in your emotional hip pocket, during those moments when you feel especially vulnerable, know what happens? You feel you’re doomed. When you’re beat up, beat down and in the middle of an immense battle, you feel anything but strong. And, naturally, your emotions tell you the lion is about to devour you.

But there’s just one tiny little omission your emotion is guilty of. And leaving out that one truth makes all the difference. You see, the TRUTH is:

1) Greater is He that is in You than he that is in the world.

2) His strength is perfected in your weakness. Therefore, when you are weak, HE is strong. Therefore, your strength is perfected.

3) You can do ALL things through Christ, which strengthens you.

Just a little thing your emotions—or the circumstance—forgot to mention when it made you feel you’re being overtaken by the lion.

Look, the truth is that even on our best days, we’re not strong enough to carry the whole world on our shoulders. We can’t even support our little portion of the world. So if we use that as our frame of reference, we’ll always conclude we’re peep squeaks.

While that’s true, it’s not the truth and there’s a huge difference between those things that are true and that which is truth. The truth is YOU ARE AMAZINGLY STRONG through Christ whose strength is made perfect in you.

It is true that only the strong survive. Oh, I suppose a weak on will slip through in the underbrush and avoid being eaten for dinner, at least for a while but eventually, a lion or bear will lick their chops and dig in for a feast.

But the truth is no weapon formed against you will prosper. The truth is you are weak but He who lives in you is strong, mighty and able to easily withstand any and every foe.

Big difference, huh?!

You may be feeling pretty weak right now. Life has been beating you up. You’re weary from the battle. You think you couldn’t lift a wet noodle off the counter. And you may be feeling pretty badly about feeling pretty bad.

Well, I just have two words: STOP IT!


You are STRONG in Christ. Embrace His strength and use it to your advantage like firefighters use the hydraulic strength in the jaws of life to rescue someone from a mangled car after an accident. Do you honestly think they care that it’s not their own strength? Nope.

Hook onto Christ’s jaws of life and use His strength to get you out of your circumstance.

You are strong! Remember that today!

How strong—or weak—do you feel today? Share it here!

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