By: Harrison Wendland, Rengaged’s Content Manager, rating: 4/5
What is success?
How do we get it?
Is there a right way to get success?
There is no “right” way. One of the things that Proctor said not to do is to say that there is a “right” way. He says instead that we should say to someone, “That is a good way and I might act on it. However, there is a better way, and I will look for it.”
This was probably the most important takeaway that I had from the book. As someone who loves to plan everything and lives with almost every moment scheduled and with scheduled time to be spontaneous. That is the way that I have thrived.
But, after reading this book in particular, and then also the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, I realized that flexibility is a strength.
Steve Jobs was said to change his mind on a dime when presented with new information. I realized that this is a strength. By being set in a way or set on an idea that is not the most efficient and not the most effective, we are in essence, leaving money on the table.
So regardless of what we deem to be the best and the right thing, there is always a better way and always a better option. People thought that walls were the best things to write on, then they thought scrolls, then they thought books, now we have the Internet like this. It is much better to distribute this content online than via the wall of a cave.
The second part of the book had more portions about goals and about thinking consciously. He included a quote from George Bernard Shaw, “2% of the people think; 3% of the people think they think, and 95% of the people would rather die than think.”
He went on to say that only 13% of people have a clearly defined direction in life. Only 3% have their goals in writing. The 3% that have goals in writing enjoy the highest incomes. They lead meaningful and exciting lives. But why do they lead meaningful and exciting lives?
Because, I would say, they first of all, know what they want. And secondly, the pursue those well-defined goals and therefore live in alignment with their purpose.
My favorite parable is that of 3 servants. As the master was leaving on a trip, he entrusted five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last – dividing it in proportion to their abilities.
The one who received five bags went to work investing it and doubled the silver to 10 bags. The servant with two bags of silver went to work and earned two more. The final servant, he buried the bag of silver and hid it.
Upon the master’s return, he praised the servant who received five bags and the servant who earned two bags of silver beyond the original two.
I like to try to live by this parable. Many of us may not know what we want in life, so that is of course, the first step.
However, once that is defined, often with the help of God since He created us and determined a vision and purpose for our lives, we can move into the action steps associated with our goals. With that in mind, I like to remind myself that God has total control over my life and just like the master did in the parable, God can choose to bless us with more or take away what we have.
It is my main goal to do things each day, all day, all night, and always for God’s glory and for the kingdom. If I can show God that I can be trusted with myself and with my actions, He can trust me with more, thus empowering me to reach all of my goals, I just make it personal to be sure that my goals align with God’s vision for my life.
To bring it all together, what I got from this book is that there are many contributing factors to success, all require work and effort, and that if something is morally wrong, it will most likely not be successful, especially not in a sustainable way.
Share your stories of success below in the comments !!