I have personally observed during the past four decades of my life that there are so many men and women who enthusiastically start on their personal chosen roads-to-success full of hope, excitement, and verbalized commitment, who later, in fact, for a myriad of reasons wind up quitting their chosen efforts, and ceasing their previously voiced commitments. In other words, they prove first to themselves and second to all other people with whom they have been temporarily connected, that they in fact are liars. Their decisions and actions overshadow their choices. They fail to do what they said they were totally committed to do! Now I realize that the word “liar” is a very strong one. But, it is certainly appropriate to describe the point I am making.
True Success is a very important word that best describes a life long process encompassing total commitment on the part of the performer.
No real man commits to becoming a true success in life and then later on decides to throw in the towel on himself and family just because his success was not achieved in the time frame he chooses or demands for it to be accomplished. Quitting a committed effort prematurely and thereby going back on your own word as to what you said you were going to do, is one of the highest forms of admission that you are a failure; that your word is no good; that you lack character; and that you do not possess personal integrity. All of these personal attributes are required in order to be able to succeed. If you lack them and are unwilling to persevere and develop them, then it is no wonder why you have chosen to fail. Every recipe for success will end in failure if you give up on yourself and quit working in your own behalf.
Before beginning your up-hill trek to your personal chosen arena of success, may I suggest that you truly learn, know, and understand what true success really is,…really looks like,…really feels like. I promise you that in so doing you will make your journey much easier.
Remember that God is sovereign. He is always in total control. His thoughts and work efforts are greater and higher than are man’s. You will never be able to out-think or out-plan what God has in store and is doing for you!
God’s time table is the one that always prevails, whether you like it or not,…whether you agree with it or not. God is always patient. He is never in a hurry.
There are always so very many things that you miss in life if you are always rushing here and there and everywhere, never stopping or taking time to enjoy the life you are trying to build. Trust me, before you can snap your fingers, your 75+ years on this earth will end. Don’t go home to heaven with a sackful of accomplishments and no life time memories of significant personal relationships developed while you were enjoying and sharing those accomplishments with other people you love the most.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, author and lecturer and one of my personal mentors, once penned a real definition of true success. Permit me to share what he had to say regarding real success.
“How do you measure success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a redeemed social condition,
or a job well done;
To know even one other life has breathed
because you lived–
this is to have succeeded.”
These are indeed very good words that aptly define true success. However, I would really desire you, the reader or listener, to take notice and appreciate what Emerson did not mention. In his definition Emerson did not once refer to money, status, rank, or fame. He says nothing about power over others, either. Or possessions. Or a super-intimidating self-image. Or emphasis on size, numbers, statistics, and other visible nonessentials in light of eternity.
Read his words again, out loud. Maybe you missed something the first time through. Pay closer attention to the verbs this time: “to laugh…to win…to earn…endure…to appreciate…to find…to leave…to know….” And all the way through the major emphasis is always outside of ourselves. I personally find that to be the most refreshing part of all of what Emerson has to say about True Success. That is truly a very rare occurrence even among all of the success oriented literature available.
Most people who are immersed in success principle writings and related positive mental attitude literature seem to focus all of their attention on one’s outer self–on the physical, non-spiritual side,…how smart can I appear, what a good impression I can make, how much I can own, or how totally I can control or how fast I can be promoted, or…or…or…..It is only very little or nothing that I read as written by other “experts” that places emphasis on the individual’s heart, the inner being, the seed plot of our own thoughts, personal motives, and decisions. Nothing, that is, except the Holy Bible,….God’s Love Letter to His children.
Interestingly, the Bible says little about success, but a lot about the human heart and mind, the very place where true success originates.
Always remember that every thing that occurs in life begins in the form of a thought within some human being’s mind. What subjects are at the forefront of your own mind right now?
Small wonder that within the Book of Proverbs, Solomon challenges his readers:
Proverbs 4 : 23 ESV:
(23) “Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.”
That’s right. You are to guard your heart and mind and exercise great care over what you allow to come into it. For what you allow into your own heart and mind will become the basis upon which you anchor those things which you think about. So put a 24 hour a day sentinel on duty to guard the gates of your own mind. Be vigilant. Watch it carefully. Protect it. Pay attention to it. Keep it clean. Clear away the debris. It is there, within the confines of your own mind, that bad stuff can easily hide out, like we are warned in the Book of Mark, Chapter 7, verses 21–23 ESV:
(21) “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil
thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
(22) coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander,
(23) All these evil things come from within, and they defile a
You know, all the things that finally emerge once the heady, sweet, smell of success intoxicates us, causing the “wellspring of life” to splash and slosh all over us, soaking us and all of our thoughts, causing us to once again refocus our thoughts back on to ourself instead of others.
How important is the human heart? Not the physical muscle inside the human chest which pumps blood through our vascular system, but rather the spiritual heart, the mind that resides inside the human cranium and where all thought originates. It is within the human heart that character is formed and developed. It alone holds all of the secrets for achieving true success. It’s treasures are priceless,— but they can be stolen.
Are you guarding your own heart? Honestly right now from where you stand, are you really guarding the gates of your own mind? Sin’s ugly and poisonous roots find great nourishment deep within the the human spiritual heart…the human mind. Though we look successful, sound successful, talk all about success, and even dress for success, all the while our actual hearts may be on a drift. It is still possible to be privately eroding from the very things our lips are publicly extolling. It is called pretending. A harsher term is hypocrisy….and successful people can be awfully good at it.
Carefully consider these words:
“Jesus warned His disciples, we must be aware of hypocrisy–pretending to be something we aren’t, acting with a mask covering our own face. Hypocrisy is a terrible sure sign of trouble in our life or sitting on the fringes of our life, and about to come into our life. It waits only for a day of exposure. John Milton, author of the great literary work “Paradise Lost,” had this to say about hypocrisy:
“Neither men nor angels can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible–except to God.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thoughts on success as stated above are indeed very profound. May I exhort you to take the time to write them down and memorize them. May I also exhort you to include in your memory work what has been additionally said about the human spiritual heart,…about diligently guarding it,…about diligently watching carefully over it so as to prevent the wrong thoughts, words, and ideas from ever entering into it. This gate-guarding effort on your part is absolutely essential. It is not optional. It is not easy. It won’t come naturally. It requires complete honesty. It calls out for purity.
Your personal desires, efforts, and prolonged commitment can lead to great successes, but they can also become all-too-soon failures before your very eyes. All it takes for that to happen is letting your guard down.
A real man always keeps the guards for the gates of his own mind in place, prepared to perform their assigned duties, and at work performing them at all times. He never drops his assigned guards and they never take a day off.
Peace and Love to All of You……………….Poppa Bear