What does it take to succeed? Is success a consequence of luck, personality, talents, perspiration and focus? I think all of these things can be ingredients to help us succeed and I think there’s another essential component that is often overlooked because it’s simple and obvious:
What you do everyday will predict where you will succeed. I saw this principle play out in my life from some advice from my dentist. It went something like, “Sarah, if you will floss more regularly, our teeth cleaning appointments will be shorter, your gums won’t bleed and your breath will be less offensive.” So I decided to try out this advice & guess what?!?!?? It worked! And I’ve taken this idea and integrated it into my daily routines for areas where I want more success. These are some examples of where I’m seeing more success because of cultivating better routines and habits:
writing: I want to be a better writer, so I’ve been writing virtually everyday for the last few years
intimacy with God: going to bed earlier every night has helped me so that I can get up in the morning to catch some daily time with God
fitness: I’ve been endeavoring to walk, at a minimum, everyday and my pants seem to shrink less from the dryer ,)
I know that God wants us to succeed, so let’s be sure to cooperate and work into our daily routine, habits that will foster successful outcomes!
I had an interesting chat with one of my children this morning about the importance of planning. In our conversation, they told me that they didn’t want to make a plan for the summer to achieve a particular goal. I replied, as I’ve learned from my husband, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” As much as this quote rankles me, it’s nonetheless true, across a variety of platforms, including prayer!
Watch this quick video for an idea to help you with prayer!
I’ve been around lots of high achievers throughout my life & these great people have inspired me in various ways. I’ve met individuals who’ve overcome educational deficiencies, social disparities, financial impossibilities & physical disabilities. Regardless of these obstacles, these individuals have accomplished seeming impossibilities. Here are a few common things I’ve observed from these individuals:
Faith – not so much in themselves but moreso in God’s presence & power working through them
Persistence – it’s hard to find “quit” in high achievers
A little more – even if it’s s smidgen, iota, millimeter or micro-speck more, high achievers give that extra push.
Whatever the challenges that lay in your path, be sure to see them as opportunities for God to grow you to be bigger than
I’ve been doing some new projects: trying my hand at making bread & working on getting my YouTube channel up & running! With my attempts, I’ve had lots of bumps along the road. For example, I forgot to turn on the mic & focus the lens for the video stuff & my bread stuff last week wasn’t tasty. But I keep trying & more importantly, I keep improving!
The principle of gradual improvement is a good thing to embrace because it helps us avoid the failure trap. This trap says that the failing as an action becomes failure, the noun. Just because you fail doesn’t make you a failure. Let’s be aware that failing is an integral part of the process for succeeding, when we stay in a state of continual learning. Succeeding is the consequence of learning from both failures & mistakes. So let’s celebrate the bumps along the road because they inch us closer & closer to success!!
One of the things from my parents that I deeply cherish, is the “try it!” attitude. So when I was growing up, I tried heaps of stuff: lacrosse, blue corn tortillas, clarinet, softball, Perry Mason tv mysteries, eating crawdads, swimming in canals, classical music, basketball, viola & loads more! Of course I wasn’t proficient in most of these things but my parents were always super encouraging, even when I miserably flopped. So to this day, I’m a “try it” kind of person & I love this mindset!
Indeed, I’d rather try & fail, then not try & succeed at not trying. Peter was like this with Jesus when he walked on the water. He tried it & had some failure, but it seems to me that he was the first human water walker just because he tried!
I can’t think of a person who wants to fail or be unsuccessful, but I think we need to be careful about how we define success. If success is our bank account, then we might be letting money be an idol. If success is our achievements, then we might be in danger of becoming self-absorbed. If success is how we look, then we run the risk of worshipping the image idol.
There are lots of ways to frame or define success, but if we use the Bible to define success then let’s consider Jer 9:23-24. These verses say that success isn’t based on our wealth, our strength or our intelligence. Instead, success is based on the life pursuit of knowing God.
May everything we do spring from this definition of success: that we live to know God better day after day, with the help of the Holy Spirit!
All of us face adversity of different sizes, shapes, seasons & intensities. From what I’ve learned, it’s not always possible to avoid adversity, so shat to do? Here are some thoughts to help you have some success in the midst of this stuff
Focal point: focusing on the adversity seems to make it bigger, focusing on Jesus helps to keep the adversity in the right perspective
Practice: think back over the past struggles you’ve come through & remember that the current adversity is practice ,)
Get Help: more than professional help, all of us need divine Help & this is exactly who the Holy Spirit is, so be sure to ask for Help!
Time: decide to outlast the adversity, one day at a time
Prayer: agree with some friends to prayer for their struggles & that they can pray for you as well – this one helps me boatloads!
Be sure to pass this along to some friends who are going through some tough stuff 🙂