Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to Become an Overnight Success

Overnight Success Takes Years

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. Galatians 6:7

What is success?  Great question. Before we can talk about it with any clarity we must define it.  If we ask most people to answer with little thought, I suspect the answers largely deal with finance and popularity.  If one could answer with some level of thinking, answers like goal achievement, happiness, family, freedom or quality of life would likely surface. Yet ultimately, the answer is pretty subjective.

Disclaimer;  success is easy to define, it means achievement; or to accomplish something.  Most people think of success as a lifetime achievement or ultimate success and not the little things that happen everyday like, I successfully dropped the kids off and made it to the office by 8:30.  Still both are success but this article will focus with the former, ultimate achievement type success.

So now that we are dealing with ultimate success; that indeed does intersect with happiness and quality of life.  Our focus here is more than just the theory of ultimate success but how servant leaders are motivated to ultimately succeed.

Things that make for great substitutes for success, yet are not; Fame and fortune, happiness and; Quality of life.  Lets not get them mixed up.

Inherently, I believe there are only 2 types of success; who you are and what you do.  I sometimes think of them as internal success (who I am) and external success (what I do).  To only have one type of success is, IMHO, only half of success, a shortcut at best.  It is difficult to have ultimate success without internal and external elements;

Internal success is who we are; it is both nature and nurture.  Internal success includes our very DNA, our family lineage, education, self worth, life experience, etc.  It is spiritual.  Our internal success sometimes takes a while as it cultivates, as it ebbs and flows.  Sometimes it takes a lifetime to cultivate this and it is aways difficult; the best things in life always are.

External success is more easliy seen.  It is easy to assume that this is the only part of success.  We see the evidence of people striving for this type of success only and just as quickly as they “make it” they fail.  That is because without internal success, external success will never last.

A marriage made in heaven is when a wise person seeks with their whole heart to find internal success with no regard to external success because they know that is a by product of it.  

Intrinsic motivation happens when one learns that internal and external success are the one two punch of ultimate success.  True motivation happens when the realization of internal plus external success is about being successful long term, eternally.

Here are the options for success.  Only the last option allows for Ultimate Success.


No Internal or External success Selfishness, lack of motivation, no life

External but no Internal Short lived, no substance

Internal but no External Powerful, wise but selfish, stagnant, no influence

External before Internal Showy, frustrated and very difficult to build internal

Internal then External The sweet spot, this is how it is done

Pay the price of success.  Anything worth having is worth working for, especially success.  Work now, serve now, give now; cultivate your inner man, where success spawns.  Play it forward, sew your seeds and in due time they will grow.

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