Paul was an outstanding man and and apostle. He personified his exhortation to Timothy that he should pay special attention to himself and to his ministry (1Ti.4:16). He was not so engrossed in his ministry that he neglected his personal sanctification, and he was not preoccupied with his own sanctification that he had no thought for others. He has left us a good example to follow (1Co.10:33;11:1).
Let us take a challenge from some of the things that drove Paul.
His personal goals
A deep repentance(1Co.15:9,10). The more he thought of the way he had messed up his life before, the more zealous he was to be different now.
The love of Christ(2Co.5:14,15). This was what propelled every part of his life.
The knowledge of having to give an account(2Co.5:9,10). Paul had a great balance between the fear of God and the grace of God.
To be found in Him, in the resurrection(Php.3:8-11). He wanted no part of self-righteousness.
To the prize of the high calling of God in Christ(Php.3:14). He wanted to reach the highest level of life that anyone could reach.
To be a partaker of the gospel(1Co.9:23). He was aware that he needed to experience more of the power of salvation even as he preached to the others.
Not to get disqualified at the end(1Co.9:27). He was very much aware that finishing the race was more important than a dramatic start.
His ministry goals
Compulsion to preach the gospel(1Co.9:16,17). Paul did not consider his ministry as an optional extra he could take or leave.
By all means to save some more(1Co.9:22;10:33). He was always on the lookout for new openings, new ways, new fields, etc.
His ministry to be acceptable(Ro.15:16). He knew that the only acclaim that mattered was what would come from God.
To preach the gospel without cost(1Co.9:18). Not only to preach 'free' grace but also to demonstrate it.
To present every man perfect in Christ(Col.1:28). Getting men to forgiveness of sins was only the starting point.
To cut off opportunity from his accusers(2Co.11:12). He was jealous for God's reputation that was at stake through his ministry.
I am sure there are many more things we can learn from Paul's example. But even these are enough to point us in the right direction, aren't they? We are all so lazy, indifferent, careless and lethargic compared to Paul. But we don't have to continue to be like that. We too can learn, and we too can change. We may not be called to be apostles, and so our sphere of ministry may be different. But we too can pay careful attention to our personal lives, and we too can fulfil the ministry that the Lord has entrusted to each one of us.