Ralph Waldo Emerson considered by many to have been one of the greatest thinkers in America, said the following concerning success. “To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of little children.
To earn the appreciation of honest critics, to endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave this world a little bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know that even one life breathed easier because you lived, this is to have succeeded!”
Success is not materialism, self-indulgence, pleasure or things. Success is reaching your full potential; it’s fulfilling what God wants our lives to be. It’s the person who primarily lives for others that achieves true success. The great statesman Charles Malik, said it this way. “Success is neither fame, wealth, nor power; Rather it’s seeking, knowing and obeying God. If you seek, you will know, if you know, you will love, if you love, you will obey.”
So to live a life of real success, let me give you three ingredients.
Look out and not inward. Self-examination has its place, but too much introspection becomes self-defeating. If you look too much within yourself, you will reinforce your failure patterns. In the Book of Job, Job turned his misfortune around when he stopped lamenting his misfortune and began to pray for his friends.
Look up not down. When the famous Mr. Kaiser of California asked why his giant earth movers weren’t running his foreman said, “Because the rain has turned the ground to mud.” Mr. Kaiser replied, “I don’t look down I look up, the sun will soon come out and dry up this mud.”
Look forward not back. Let me ask you a question, how do you drive a car? You look forward, right? The windshield is a lot bigger than the rearview mirror. That is how your life has to be.