Slay Your So-Called Giants

Have you ever heard of a giant? You know, guys like Goliath or Andre The Giant.

They’re bigger than life. And scary! Could you imagine picking a fight with either of those two? I’d be shaking in my boots.

Even though I most likely would be fearful meeting either of these giants, others have faced them. And defeated them.

They slayed their giants. I believe you can slay your giants too.

Yoda vs giant Hulk figure

Image by JD Hancock

What Is A Giant?

A giant could be many things. Your giant may be a person standing in the way of your dream, a larger organization, or a disability you have.

Anything you see as bigger than your dream could be considered a giant.

They’re standing in front of you. Taunting you. Telling you you can’t succeed.

Looking at the giant in the way, you begin to believe what you’re told. You can’t do it.

Is this really the truth? Will the giant be victorious? Will he continue to stand in your way?

The choice is up to you.

Why Your Giant Might Not Be So Powerful

During his talk at Catalyst Atlanta, Malcom Gladwell shared what he’s learned about the battle of David & Goliath. His insights into this Biblical battle shed new light and gave me a new appreciation for David and the fight he had with Goliath.

Gladwell explains the giant Goliath may not have been as powerful as many people think. In fact, Goliath may have been ill.

Could you imagine that? The scary giant that terrified the army of Israel was sick and possibly dying? Couldn’t be true, could it?

Gladwell shared some compelling arguments:

1. Goliath was led out to the battlefield by a helper: Why couldn’t Goliath go walk out to the battlefield by himself? He might have had trouble walking or his eyesight might have been bad (Which leads to #2).

2. Goliath thought he saw David carrying multiple sticks: David approached Goliath with one stick and a sling. Goliath asks why David came at him with sticks as if he were a dog. There most likely was something wrong with Goliath’s vision.

3. Goliath was most likely slow-moving: There’s no way around it, Goliath was big. Almost 10 feet tall. He was also a large man with a lot of armor on. No ordinary man could move well in it. More than likely, he couldn’t move quickly in the armor either.

Yeah, Goliath had a height advantage over the normal Israelite. And still he had issues that caused him to be weaker than he appeared.

Look at your giants. They may appear big at first. Look again. Do your giants have any weaknesses? Look deep enough and you’ll begin to see the cracks in their armor.

When we look at it this way, your giants become so-called giants. You may be able to slay the giant after all.

The giant’s weakness may be:

Your competitor is so large they take too long to course correct: While you’re small, you’re also light on your feet. You’re able to change the direction of your company quickly while your competitor has many hopes to jump through.

Your size is an advantage. Use your ability to shift and move quickly to your advantage.

They have a big ego: Ego is very dangerous. When you buy into ego, you begin to look towards yourself rather than looking for the help of others.

You may be able to watch as the ego consumes the giant and it’s gone before you know it.

They lack vision: You may be facing a giant who’s telling you your vision is too big or too wild. That it can never be done.

Like Goliath, they may not be able to see well.

Get wise counsel and seek advice to see if your vision is valid. If it is, sidestep the giant who lacks vision and move forward with your plan.

They over-estimate their tools: Goliath thought he had it all. He was big, really big. He had the right set of armor. He had a huge sword. He was invincible.

Yet he wasn’t. He was beat by a young man with a sling (though don’t discount the slingers, they could shoot a sling that hit like a .45 caliber bullet).

Sometimes it’s not about having every tool. It’s having the right tools and knowing how to use them properly.

Slay Your Giant

I think we’ve knocked some giants down. We can see how size doesn’t mean victory. The tools don’t guarantee success. Your bravado doesn’t help.

You’ll discover it’s the seeming underdog who actually has the advantage.

By being light & agile, knowing the tools at your disposal, having clear vision, and being humble, you can slay your giant.

Question: What giant do you need to slay today? How will you slay your so-called giant? Let’s share our thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sometimes I am my own worst giant. Other times, I’m the mighty giant-slayer. I think it all depends on what day of the week it is. LOL

    Learning to love yourself is the best thing a person can do. Unfortunately, this comes with time – no easy shortcuts here.

    Acceptance of your faults and shortcomings comes quicker when you realize that you need other people, and that you can use their intelligence to your advantage. This is not meant to sound negative; on the contrary, it is a positive thing. Think about it… you wouldn’t call a plumber to fix an electrical problem, would you? No. You’d call an electrician.

    When you realize that each person has something special to offer, and you create friendships with those people, you become a richer person as a result.

    • I feel you Lorraine. We can be the obstacle to our success more so than anything else.

  • rcsinclair952

    Andre the Giant wasn’t even what he seemed. By all accounts, he was a gentle giant. He died in Paris while going to his father’s funeral of congestive heart failure in his sleep. Some say he died of a broken heart.

    It is all our own perspective.

    If you wrote in a journal of all your worries and giants, you would read it a year or two later, I am sure you would wonder why you spent so much time worrying about the giants!

    • That’s true Bob. Andre was very gentle and kind. So sad lots of people couldn’t see that.

  • Great post and reference to what you have experienced lately Joe. While taking your your Giants and slaying them is a gratifying feeling. You can’t help but wonder how many people don’t slay theirs. You laid out some great points to help in that situation.

    • More than one could imagine, I’m sure Lincoln. People see struggle and what looks like a challenge and give up. If only they knew that they could defeat them…

  • Loved reading this because I heard about Gladwells talk but wasn’t at Catalyst to hear it. As you pointed out, Giants aren’t always as difficult to overcome as they seem at first! Thanks.

    • Rich, you missed a great conference but I’m glad I was able to help you get to learn about a part of Catalyst. If you want to hear his talk, be on the lookout. It looks like I may be giving away one of the Catalyst Experience kits which includes audio and video of the Catalyst Conference.