“Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you say you can do; what matters is how much you accomplish. Many people have a good talk about what they can do, and if you listen to them, you would think that they can save the world. Sadly, many of these talkers accomplish nothing. If I had to choose between someone who can talk a good talk and someone who lets their accomplishments do the talking, I would take the one who lets their accomplishments do the talking every time. If you are going to be the person who lets your accomplishments do the talking, you are going to have to watch out for those things that hinder accomplishments. This proverb identifies six things that hinder accomplishment.
First, promises hinder accomplishment. Verse 2 says, “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth…” Many people get themselves tied down to things that don’t really matter. I often teach not to add too many things to your life. You can truly hurt your ability to get things done by spreading yourself too thin on things that don’t really matter. You better be careful what you commit yourself to if you want to be a person of accomplishment.
Second, sleep hinders accomplishment. Verse 4 says, “Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.” Just because you are tired doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accomplish something. Successful people are tired people who work through “tired” because of the need to get things done. If you let “tired” control you, you will never get anything done.
Third, lack of self-motivation hinders accomplishment. Verses 7-8 show that the ant doesn’t need someone to prod them to work. You will never be a person of accomplishment if someone has to always get you to do what needs to get done. People of accomplishment are self-starters and get things done without someone having to tell them to do it.
Fourth, procrastination hinders accomplishment. Verse 10 says, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:” Putting things off for a better time will always keep you from getting things done. There is no better time to get what you need to get done than right now. If you always put off until tomorrow, you will always fail to accomplish and live a life of failure. There is never a good time to get things done. You will always find an excuse as to why you can’t do something. Stop putting off and get what you need to get done now.
Fifth, associations hinder accomplishment. Verse 12 talks about the “naughty” and “wicked” person. Who you associate with will determine what you get done. If someone you run with keeps you from doing what you are supposed to do, you would be wise to stop running with them. One of the best ways to be a person of accomplishment is to spend time with people who accomplish tasks because you become who you spend time with.
Sixth, a lack of self-control hinders accomplishment. Verse 14 says, “Frowardness is in his heart…” A person who doesn’t have the character to tell themselves “no” is a person who will find accomplishment flee from them. You won’t become much in life if you don’t crucify your flesh. Accomplishment and success come to those who know that they must do duty over pleasure.