Perry gave the credit to God, but shared another secret to his success on a video blog that many are learning from.
In part, Perry said, “My only focus was to do my one play, and I knew if I could get that to work, everything else would come to pass. There’s so many people who go in so many directions. This week they’re doing this and next week they’re doing that. Those kind of people are all over the place and I usually try to get them to focus. Focus on one thing, one area.
“Put all of your energy into watering one area. If you spread the water across many, many seeds, you don’t have as much water for one seed. So focus on one thing. Make it your priority and stick with it no matter what. No matter how many people told me no, no matter how many people lied to me, no matter how many times I put the show up and nobody came.”
Perry said from 1992 until 1998, no one was showing up in the audience, but he did not stop. He added, “The only thing is if you’re trying to get there, you cannot stop believing in any way. No matter what anybody says, no matter what anybody tells you, you have to know it beyond knowing it. It is a feeling.
“When something is for you (this is how I knew it was for me), when something is for you, there is a feeling that is deep down inside of you that will not allow you to let it go. It will keep you going when you can’t even keep yourself going.
“So what I would tell you is this: Don’t stop. Narrow your focus to one idea. One. And make it work. That will give birth to all the others. All you can do is plant the seed and water it. God Himself has to give the increase. Only God can make the sun shine. Only God can bring the rain. But if you’ve planted the seed then you’ve done your part.”
Perry took an age-old principle from the Holy Bible and applied it in his life to become a success. Paul said at 1Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” — New King James Version.
No one can deny the writer, director, actor and producer of numerous family-friendly films have done his part to reap what he has sown in the film industry.
After reading that, however, I wondered if Christians today could benefit from being as single-minded in their sacred service to God? What if they narrowed their focus? Could revolving our lives around the one aim of learning and doing God’s will be the secret to true success?
The life and ministry of Jesus Christ exemplifies the importance of being single-minded in our service to God better than anyone else. He said at John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.” — New King James Version.
Nothing could distract the Son of God from preaching, teaching and fulfilling God’s will for him. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged anyone who wanted to please God not to be distracted by other things.
At Matthew 6:22, Jesus said, “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Are we better able to let our light shine if our eyes are focused on a single thing, the doing of God’s will, as Jesus encouraged? You decide.
This has been the recipe for success in many fields. Billionaire Bill Gates said, “My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” The problem with material success, however, is that it often competes with spiritual success. The results? It’s often one or the other.
Jesus explained the danger of trying to focus on both at Matthew 6:24. He said, “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for riches.” — New World Translation.
Some believe you can do both. Jesus said we can’t. Who do you believe? Even Billionaire Donald Trump acknowledged, “What matters is where you want to go. Focus in the right direction!” Where do you want to go?
Jesus said at Matthew 6:33, “Be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.” — Good News Translation.
It takes prayer, study and focus to seek first God’s kingdom. But millions are doing it. Of course, God's Word, at Ephesians 4:28, encourages us to make a living by working. But making a living and making riches our focus in life are two different things. Can you discern the difference? Can we please God if we can't?
I met Tyler Perry on the set of two of his motion pictures while covering stories about the film industry. He is a very focused individual. The question is: Can we be more focused in serving God?
We may never become as successful as some people, but if we keep our eyes on the prize by focusing on one thing — seeking first God’s Kingdom — we will store up “treasures in heaven,” as Jesus said at Matthew 6:20, and reap what we have sown — everlasting life with God.
*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more than 100 Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.