So, you're ready to learn the secret to success. Before you read any further, I want to preface all that you're about to read with this declaration of my faith.
I believe in God as Creator and Ruler of the Universe.
I believe that God is our Source of Life.
I believe that God loves people.
I believe that sin separates people from God.
I believe God loves people so much that He perfectly crafted and completed a plan for people to be in personal relationship with Him.
I believe this plan was accomplished through the miraculous birth, sinless life, sacrificial death and bodily resurrection of God's Son, Jesus Christ.
I believe that people who accept their sin as rebellion against God, and genuinely repent of that rebellion are forgiven. Their forgiveness is made possible by their understanding and humble acceptance of Jesus' willingness to pay the penalty of sin--a debt we could not pay.
I believe that because Jesus rose from the dead, people who enter in to a personal relationship with God through the forgiveness of their sins can expect the God of the Universe to be engaged in the details of their lives.
I believe that God exerts His power in the lives of His people in response to their prayers.
That's what I believe.
This belief is the basis of the secret to success I'm about to share with you.
Here is my formula for success:
Let me define these elements:
Truth—I am talking about those things that are real. The things in life that are beyond our control; things that lie beyond our power to change. They are what they are. (The eclipse Monday was an example of truth.) In order to experience success, you must be aware of the things that are true and the things that are not true. You must also be able to differentiate between the two!
Responsibility—By responsibility I am talking about the things that we do have control over. There are certain things that you, and only you, can control. When you accept responsibility for those things that you have control of—you will be 1 step closer to experiencing success.
Holy Spirit—Remember Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6) He also said, “The truth will set you free, and you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). A personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the secret ingredient of my success equation.
Apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit you cannot experience success. You can experience the world’s temporal success, but not eternal, rock solid worth investing your life in success.
Success—Success does not come from getting what you want when you want it (that is fiction); Success is the result of releasing your absolute best in life every minute of every day no matter what happens around you. Success is dreaming your dream and doing what you can multiplied by what only God can do and experiencing that dream become reality. Success is enjoying the journey as much as the destination!
Let’s break this down piece by piece:
Awareness of Truth—When you are aware of the fact that there are things that you cannot change, then you are taking the first step toward experiencing success.
In my book, Taking Responsibility for the Choices We Make I talk about these things in the first 3 chapters:
Chapter 1: Shift Your Focus from what you feel to what is real
Chapter 2: What is real?
Chapter 3: What is real about your relationship with God?
For the sake of time I’m going to highlight 5 realities we must accept in order to experience success.
1. Failure is real.
It is also inevitable. You can’t avoid failure, so determine today that you will instead learn from it! Let failure be an unpleasant teacher who provides you with a valuable education.
2. Disappointment is real.
Therefore, don’t feel defeated simply because you experience disappointment. Don’t set yourself an unrealistic standard by assuming you will never be disappointed. Don’t necessarily go out like Eeyore looking for disappointment, but don’t be shocked when disappointment shows up uninvited and wrecks your party.
Just have yourself a good cry, clean up the mess and be glad you don’t ever have to live that day again.
3. Crisis is real.
It is, it’s terrible but it’s real. Things are going to happen that completely derail you. Remember the old saying (my mother in law said it all the time) “God willing and the creek don’t rise!”
There are going to be times when the will of God shocks you and the creek will sometimes rise.
When those times come, and they will, grab hold of a branch, and hang on for dear life. The crisis will pass, you’ll be different when it does, but you will find your breath again. It might take time, but you will.
4. Shattered dreams are real.
Not everything you set out to do will succeed. Sometimes you’ll have to come back to the drawing board and dream a new dream. You might think that you want to paint, and your paint and brushes might be taken away. Don’t assume that just because you have no paint, you have lost your “art.” You may become a potter rather than a painter, and though it be a different dream, it can be a good one.
5. Life is real…
Life is real HARD!
You can read more about things that are real in my book! In fact, I'm giving a few away. SHARE this blog post on Facebook, comment in the space provided to let me know you shared it, and on September 11, 2017 (my birthday) I will draw the names of 5 winners.
Remember the Serenity prayer?
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
…the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference…
Awareness of the truth: those things that you cannot change is the first key to my secret formula for success.
Acceptance of Responsibility—Understanding what you do and do not have control over and exercising that power is the second key to experiencing success.
There are many things that we do have power to control. Praise God for that!! We could spend the rest of the day identifying parts of our lives that belong to us, but for the sake of time I’m going to borrow Dr. Henry Cloud’s list if nine. These are the things you, and only you, are responsible for:
1. Your physical appearance
2. Your attitudes
3. Your feelings
4. Your behavior
5. Your thoughts
6. Your abilities
7. Your desires
8. Your choices
9. Your limits
You, and only you have full responsibility and control over these things. If you think that some of these responsibilities have been taken captive by someone or something else, it’s only because you relinquished your control. In Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend’s book Boundaries you will learn that these 9 things belong inside your property lines.
If you deal with feelings of anger, frustration, guilt and resentment, chances are you are blaming others for interfering with something inside your boundaries lines OR you are focusing your attention on something inside their lines.
We distract ourselves from taking care of our own stuff by deceiving ourselves into thinking we can take care of someone else’s stuff.
Remember our prayer?
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (truth), the courage to change the things I can (responsibility), and the wisdom to know the difference.
Multiplied by the power of the Holy Spirit:
When you are aware of the truth (those things you cannot change); both the reality of your creative power, keen intellect, and possible resources…AND the reality of your limitations, short-comings and baggage…
AND you add to your awareness of truth, a mature acceptance of responsibility (those things you have the power to change) with all of their challenges and opportunities you are almost there.
Take that bundle of budding potential and roll it into the compounding power of the Holy Spirit and you will experience incredible SUCCESS!!!
How on earth am I to do that?
We, who have a personal relationship with God, have something others don’t have. If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, then I’ll let you in on what we believe.
We believe that the God of the Universe will exert His superior power in and through our lives by doing things that we cannot do when we invite him to do them. (So long as those things line up with His desires). We also believe that God engages in our circumstances when (and only when) we completely surrender control.
When we give our dream/ambition/project to Him and yield “say so” over it to Him, He takes control of it, breathes His life into it and carries us and our dream to new territories we never imagined we would go.
Let God have your dream. Release it to Him.
Don't skip this step.
Success is pouring the best of you into the dream God gave you.
Success is pouring the best of you into the lives of the people God gave you.
Success is knowing that when this life is over and you stand before your heavenly Father you can say with Jesus, “I completed the work You gave me to do.”
TRUTH + RESPONSIBILITY x (Power of the Holy Spirit) = SUCCESS
Taking responsibility for the choices you make will deliver success! You, and only you, can make or break your dream. You, and only you, can deliver to our world the contribution you, and only you, can make.
We need what you have.
We need what you can do.
You matter a lot.
God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
If this article was helpful to you, and if you'd like for your name to be entered in to a drawing for my book Taking Responsibility for the Choices We Make please share the link to this blog post on your social media, and comment on my Facebook page that you shared. The drawing will be held September 11. I will private message you on Facebook if you win.