by David Thompson
NASHVILLE, TN – Like beauty— success is often in the eye of the beholder.
Plato believed “Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” Let us never ever forget that the world is a stage—- and others are always watching. Everything you do inspires someone to do something…good or bad.
Yet still— at the heart of true success is the idea of “Resolve.” That’s why Peter Drucker noted, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.” So, in a world of very little commitment— please know that ultimate dedication wins the day! Having noted this—it is what you do, not say that matters. Said Andrew Carnegie, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say, I just watch what they do.”
In a world of too many “talking heads” with too many “talking points” let us do more than we say! Along that vein, it’s relevant to know how our framers understand success. “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have NO meaning.”— Benjamin Franklin. Ole Ben was right……why? Who you are carries more weight than words and even more than what you do.
So, what is success? Hear from one of the most successful coaches of all time, John Wooden who had similar beliefs when he preached to his team, “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of the self-satisfaction of knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” And believe it or not, halfway around the world, and in a completely different society with completely different ideas, one idealist notes a very similar thought said Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, “The meaning of earthly existence lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul.”
You may be thinking this, “Well they don’t know the struggles I have had” ……. maybe not, but my guess is they learned to deal with it. And so, Frederick Douglas touted, “If there is no struggle…. there is no progress.” If I have learned anything— it is that successful folk never ever allow themselves to make excuses!!
Parenthetically— the attitude and mindset of achievers is often a matter of the heart,
soul, and spirit. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed— “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
Also, herein lies yet another matter of the heart to consider. So, what is your crowning achievement? What is the crown you wear? (The Invisible Crown). Said William Shakespeare, ”My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy.”
And that being factual, the opposite is true to form “worry” must be the opposite of said contentment. Hear the lighthearted heart of Robert Frost, “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” So even though it sounds like a line from a cheesy song, “Don’t worry…Be Happy!” Now surely there is more than that. I love what Albert Einstein taught, “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
So maybe you just need a new motto, by the way, each state has one, Ohio finally got one, it took them 156 years but they finally did and they got it right, ”With God, all things are possible.”
So, if everything else has failed for you, I dare you to just try that and trust the God who alone can be trusted!
That equals success!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. David L. Thompson holds an undergraduate degree from Belmont University in Psychology and Religion, a graduate degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Education, and a doctorate in Counseling and Pastoral Psychology. He has served as a chairman of the Church Planting Group and Executive Committee Chair at the North American Mission Board for 10 years. He has been a Police Chaplain since 1991 and served as a Corporate Chaplain to the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Nashville, Tennessee where he resides with his wife. He has six children and five grandsons.