(How to…#5) have a breakthrough – part 1.

December 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Every now and again, most people come to a place in their lives where a breakthrough is needed.

During the past year, my wife and I twice needed financial breakthroughs. Some people need a leap forward in their business and for others an improvement in marriage relationship is of paramount importance. Others must find a dramatic improvement in their health, while some is in a crisis about the way their children behave. It does not matter in which area of one’s life a breakthrough is needed; there is a systematic and proven way of ensuring such a sudden development.

The Oxford Dictionary gives that explanation to the word breakthrough, a sudden important development, or success.

The Webster’s says it is a decisive or dramatic advance, especially in research, knowledge, or understanding. In a military sense, it means an attack that penetrates an enemy’s defensive system into the rear area.

For the purpose of this topic, I want to use three people from different aspects of life who experienced great breakthroughs as proof for this structured, even scientific method of securing a breakthrough. They are King David from the Bible, Dr. Jonas Salk who invented the poliomyelitis vaccine, and Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete who ran a sub 4-minute mile. We shall see the similarities in the methods employed by the three men, although each needed a breakthrough in a different area of life.

The similarities are:

  1. All three trained under excellent mentors.
  2. All three worked very hard prior to their breakthrough for a number of years.
  3. They were unafraid to apply new ideas not previously tested and to disagree with the status-quo.
  4. They pushed the boundaries of what were previously thought to be impossible.


1. Mentors

A mentor is an experienced person in a specific field who trains and advises new employees or students. Any guide, friend, teacher, or advisor who has more experiential knowledge in the area where you need help, insight, or a breakthrough, can be your mentor.

King David’s mentor was the prophet Samuel. Samuel reigned over Israel for 40 years and according to the Bible, God withheld the enemy form the nation because of the way Samuel lived and worshipped before God. See 1 Samuel 7:13. When David fled for his life from King Saul, he stayed with the prophet and learnt the ways of God. Although not known to him at that time, his mentor imparted practical wisdom, which came to his aid the day he was crowned over Israel and needed a breakthrough against the enemy lines.

Dr. Jonas Salk worked under Thomas Francis Jr. who was an outstanding virologist and epidemiologist. Thomas Francis Jr. was the first American to isolate the influenza virus and was professor of bacteriology and chair of the department of the New York University College of Medicine from 1938 to 1941. It was under this man that Dr. Jonas Salk learnt the methodology of vaccine development, which ultimately led to his polio vaccine.

Sir Roger Bannister did have a coach for a short time but had a fall out (his own words) with him. He trained on his own but did not succeed in the way he wanted to. He came fourth in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games and nearly retired from athletics. Then the track and field coach Franz Stampfl developed a new training method and helped Bannister in his preparations for the sub-4-minute-mile attempt. The rest is history….

I know that not everyone can afford a mentor or know a person with the required knowledge, insight, or understanding. Nevertheless, nowadays the internet can take the role of a mentor where at the click of a button (or a mouse) we can have the latest news, reports, and even videos. Last year my 13-year-old daughter competed in the long jump event at her school’s athletics. This was her 3rd year of competing. The previous two years she got a 3rd place and so she asked me to coach her. Not knowing anything about long jump, I searched the internet and got hold of YouTube videos, techniques, and training tips. Armed with all this information we began our training sessions, which in the end, resulted in a 1st place for her and she progressed to the next round of the athletics championship.

Jesus said, Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Your breakthrough will not come with your current level of knowledge, methods, or expertise. You need a mentor! (To be continued…)

About Edgar Phillips
Husband, Dad, Ordained Minister and Missionary who loves God, Pastoral & Functional Therapist, Imago Professional Facilitator, EFT practitioner.

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