Seven Secret of Success
By Rick Warren
There are many ways of defining success: status, power, promotions, money, and many other things. But one important measure of success is impact – the influence individuals have on people surrounding them, whether in the workplace, the community, or their own homes. What difference has their life had on others?
Looking historically, as well as spiritually, few people have made as much of an impact with their lives as the apostle Paul, whose life and writings are presented in the Bible’s New Testament. By the end of his life, Paul had been instrumental in spreading the Christian faith across the entire Roman Empire, despite traveling mostly on foot. Imagine what he might have accomplished if he he’d had a jet, a cellular phone, and a fax machine!
Even though many of us devote our lives to pursuits in the business and professional world, I believe the life of Paul offers many lessons that we could apply to our own lives. Here are keys to his successful life:
SENSE OF DIRECTION: To achieve success, it is important to know where you are going – what your goals and objectives are. “I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize…” (Philippians 3:14).
UNDERSTANDING: We need to be able to deal with unexpected circumstances and rise above adversity. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12).
COMMITMENT: Once we embark on an important enterprise, success requires willingness to persevere in the face of difficulties and challenges. “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me” (Acts 20:24).
COMPASSION: Just as the apostle Paul remained sensitive to the needs of people around him, we also must strive to protect the best interests of those working with us. “I may have all knowledge…and the faith to move mountains…but if I don’t have love, it does me no good” (1 Corinthians 13:2-3).
ENTHUSIASTIC FAITH: Successful leaders believe strongly in their mission, and their enthusiasm is contagious. “I have the strength for all things through Christ who empowers me. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me” (Philippians 4:13).
SERVICE TO OTHERS: Self-centered leaders generally have short tenures. The leader devoted to serving others, helping them reach their goals, is the one that finds eager followers. “I will be glad to spend all I have, and myself as well, in order to help you” (2 Corinthians 12:15).
STAYING POWER: The adage reminds us, “It is not how you start, but how you finish.” This certainly was true of Paul. “I am hard-pressed on all sides, but I’m never frustrated; I’m puzzled, but never in despair; I am persecuted, but I’m never deserted by God; I may be knocked down but I’m never knocked out!” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Try building these qualities into your own life and see what happens.
© 2011, Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Adapted from a column by Dr. Rick Warren, the author of numerous books, including the highly acclaimed, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages and sold throughout the world. It affirms the importance of having a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life. It has been named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He also has written The Purpose-Driven Church.