Success

“Self-Help” Programs Don’t Help 

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I remember when I was really young, probably my early teens, I read an ad in a magazine about being able to do or be anything I wanted.  So, like many other people, I decided to give it a shot.  Guess what?  It didn’t work.  I was out about twenty dollars, but even worse, my wallet was open.  I pursued these programs, buying new ones as they came out.  After all, once a publisher or distributor of “self-help” programs sells you one, you are then on their mailing list and you begin to receive catalogs describing how good things can be, if you only spend a little more money.  Like most people, I spent a ton of money, but got nowhere.   

Cheerful Tithing

I am going to take some time, right now, to discuss a very controversial topic.  It has become controversial, but it really shouldn’t be.  I am going to discuss tithing, or the practice of taking ten percent of everything you make and giving it away, first, before you do anything else with your money.  I am not talking about generosity in general; I am talking about tithing in particular.  Tithing is not “generosity.”  Tithing is required.  There is an entire principle based on generosity.  For now, let’s discuss taking the first ten percent of everything you make and giving it away.  I can see those of you who know about tithing with your eyes glazing over, but stick with me now.  Those of you who haven’t heard about tithing are going to get a very important lesson.  It will have a direct impact on your future financial prosperity. 

What Failure Is 

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It is important to know the difference between permanent failure and temporary failure.  Most people never make that distinction.  They allow the normal setbacks, that are designed and allowed into our lives to push us along and make us grow, to become life altering and destroying events.  They allow these things to sap their energy, and destroy their dreams.  They allow bitterness and resentment into their lives. 

What Failure Isn’t

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As I previously discussed about what success is and is not, I think it is appropriate to have the same discussion about failure, before I move on.  If you are to experience any success in life, then it is almost certain that you will experience setbacks along the way.  In fact, the more success you have, the more “failure” you will encounter before, during and after that success.  Remember this and keep it in front of you continually.  Print it in big letters and keep it in front of you.  Refer to it often. 

What Success is: The Starting Point 

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Now that we know what success is not, how do we define what it is?  Maybe what you always thought was true has now been turned upside down.  That’s okay.  That’s more than okay; you are now at the starting point of an incredible journey.  One that may even take you places that you never dreamed you would go.  You may even see some old childhood dreams re-emerge.  One thing is for sure, if you stay on the path you have now begun, and work at it continually, you will have real success.  Most of all have fun!  Dale Carnegie once said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” 

What Success Isn’t

Before defining what real success is, it is important to discover what success is not.  The world and our troubled

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society have had a lot to do with most people’s current definition of success.  If you were to take a field trip to your local mall and stand at one of the entrances, you would get a fair cross section of society.  If you asked each person who walked by you to define success in their life, you would get many different answers.  The answers would be just as varied as the people who pass by.  I would be willing to bet, though, that the vast majority of these answers would revolve around the following themes: power, prestige, fame and the big ones, money and possessions. 

Real Success Starts With Failure 

I know many people will dislike the above words, but they are true.  The kind of real success that I am talking about is much more than society’s version of success, i.e., a big house, a fancy car and a wad of money.  Funny thing is that I happen to know people like that, we all do.  Many times those people are not successful because there is no sense of fulfillment and not much to life beyond their career and quest for money.  There is the crowd who went to college, got a good job and has been climbing the corporate ladder, never looking back.  I am really happy for those types, if they want me to be, but I’m appealing to someone else here.