The Primary Ingredients for Success
I believe that everyone desires to be successful in life, but what success means to you may be completely different than what it means to me. Regardless of what you view as success, there is a “recipe” that contains 20 special ingredients that will help you to be successful in any area of your life. Our next two Wisdom Notes will provide you with the ingredients that you will need in your life to be successful.
- 1.) You have to make decisions you’re afraid to make. – All of us have fear to a certain extent. Some people are less risk tolerant than others, but unless the decision will cause bodily harm or death to you or others, then you should make the difficult and fearful decisions. Move forward with a decision based on the knowledge and experience you have at that point. “Remember, not making a decision, is a decision.” From a Biblical perspective, fear should not be an overriding character trait in us, especially if you are a person of faith. In 2 Timothy 1:7 the Apostle Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
- 2.) You have to get up earlier than you want to get up. – As a morning person, this is not a significant problem for me, but for my wife Paula, it is much more difficult. I have long since learned that she will never be a morning person, and that is fine. It’s not that you have to get up early every day, but to be successful, you must get up earlier than you would really like to. Most mornings, I desire to sleep longer. I think most people do, but it takes sacrifice to live a successful life.
- 3.) You have to give more than you get in return right away. – ” If you only give to get in return, then success will elude you.” The principle of life is that you have to give first before you will see a return. Proverbs 11:25 puts it this way, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
- 4.) You have to care more about others than they care about you. – If your desire for success is driven by selfishness, then you will be frustrated most of the time and probably not be successful long term. In all areas of life, we should care for others just because of our concern for them. This is true in both personal and business capacities. The rules are always the same for both. Philippians 2:3 reads, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
- 5.) You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore. – If you quit when things get rough, then you will not be able to achieve success. You must be willing to fight for your dreams and goals. You need to be willing to overcome life’s obstacles. You need to continue on even when your strength is small.
- 6.) You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter. – Even the most successful people in life feel unsure and insecure much of the time. What allows a person to be successful and to push through those feelings to achieve the results desired? Have the confidence to carry on when others would quit.
- 7.) You have to lead when no one else is following you yet. – This is a difficult one. Most of us would like to have a tribe to lead before we begin leading. We need to lead for a cause that we believe in, and then our tribe will come to us. Proverbs 12:24 says to, “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.” Hard work proceeds leading. Follow this pattern for success.
- 8.) You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is. – You cannot expect others to invest in your growth if you are unwilling to first invest in yourself. “Your growth and success are your responsibility.” Even if no one else ever invests in you, it is always worth investing in yourself.
- 9.) You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have. – If you allow your pride to get in the way, you will not succeed long term. We all look foolish at times. As long as you don’t make a habit of being a fool, then looking foolish once in a while is both a humbling and a growing experience.
- 10.) You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off. – We will always be tempted to take the path of least resistance, but that will rarely bring success. The old saying is that the devil is in the details, which means it is the small details of a task that makes it difficult. But, they are most important. JW Marriot put it this way, “It’s the little things that make the big things possible. Only close attention to the fine details of any operation makes the operation first class.” And, the Bible in Luke 16:10 mentions how important it is for us to be honest with ourselves when it comes to the small details, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”