Personals from the Editor

Are There Laws to Success?

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Everyone would like to be—and be thought—a success. Yet most people fail without knowing why. There are basic laws to success. Do you know them? Did you know they exist? Do you know what success is?

Most people have no idea how to define success, let alone how to achieve it. Nor have they been taught the laws that govern reaching it. Almost no one has ever heard that such laws exist. Yet they do—and knowing them is priceless knowledge!

I have never met anyone who truly wanted to fail. Everyone wants to be considered successful, and be successful. Yet most have no idea how to achieve success. And they are not sure how to recognize it if they see it—either in themselves or in others. Supposed “higher” education has never taught it. Nor have most understood there are basic, specific laws that must be employed to reach success.

Just what is success? So many seek it, having never defined it. As a result, very few people ever really achieve true success. And most never actually sit down and try to analyze the reasons for their failure. Most are certainly capable of recognizing they have failed—but they cannot explain why!

Though some might feel they are destined to fail, this is not true. Men and women of all ages can achieve success. But they must understand and practice the right formula—and only after they understand exactly what they are trying to achieve!

The idea of success carries common assumptions. Many believe success involves achieving a certain amount of wealth. Their only purpose for being is to accumulate money and material goods. As one man said, “The goal is to see who can die with the most toys.” They seem to believe that only by having a significant “net worth” (and many possessions) can they say that they have “arrived.” Yet these same people never find true happiness at the end of the “money rainbow.”

Others come to believe success is a reflection of how much power they have. It is as though the measure of their life is counted by their influence over people, events or even economic, governmental or world affairs. Such people usually have “controlling” personalities. To them, success is how much—or how many—they control. Generally speaking, these people are more miserable than those who seek wealth. And they often make others around them even more miserable than themselves. They usually live in fear of losing their power.

Still others hope to achieve fame. These people are often driven by a need to be known. The more people who are aware of who they are, the better. They seek “name recognition.” Of course, everyone would love to enjoy at least their “15 minutes of fame.”

But not everyone believes that fame equals success. And those who are famous represent probably the most miserable “success” category. Take a moment and think about what is even most commonly known about the private lives of the “rich and famous.” Tabloids and gossip columns are usually filled with unsavory stories about what is at least generally true in the lives of so many people who have been deemed successful.

In every case, the people who appear to have achieved success have gained a certain level of status. Whether that success involves wealth, power and influence, or fame, a certain status in comparison to others has been reached. In other words, success involved elevating oneself above others.

Very few are ever considered to be a success without having obtained one or more of these commonly described elements of status.

Think for a moment! And be honest. How many people can you think of who you consider truly successful, but who do not fit into one of these categories? Probably few, if any.

What about people generally thought to have achieved success in their fields?

Some time ago, a great baseball player died. Whenever famous athletes die, sports writers delve into their accomplishments by examining their statistics in comparison to other “greats” in the same sport. Most sports writers and fellow baseball players considered this “hall of famer” to be the greatest hitter of all time. At age 19, he had openly stated, “I want to be the greatest hitter who ever played the game.”

He achieved his goal. He even went on to be one of the greatest sport fishermen of all time, holding records in various categories of fishing. Yet he was married three times and generally considered to be a very unhappy person. He maintained a love-hate relationship with fans in his city for over twenty years. He despised the press until the day he died because of a single item they wrote about him at the very beginning of his career. His children fought over his remains—with one son seeking to freeze and clone him into more identical great hitters. This son hopes to “bring him back to life.”

Is this success? Did his life reflect success?

Many great athletes achieved the records and resulting recognition that they did because they set out to accomplish them. But usually by their thirties, and certainly by their forties, they could no longer compete and perform at the world-class level they once did. Eventually, their records were always broken by someone who was a little better, faster or stronger. Before long, most of their feats on the field of competition were forgotten.

Did recognition by peers, fans and sports writers of their era mean they were a success?

What about movie stars or popular musicians? Some achieve a level of worldwide fame practically unparalleled in any other endeavor. They are virtually viewed as gods and goddesses. They are pampered, continually written about and photographed, and often become extremely wealthy, having as many as five or six homes in various parts of the world. Yet, when many cannot find happiness within several marriages, they turn to alcohol, drugs, sex and, in many cases, suicide.

Do these people’s lives reflect true success? Of course not—yet so many seek to emulate them.

Consider the great captains of industry. Many command enormous salaries and wealth, and wield great power within multi-billion dollar corporations. They truly live lives where their enormous wealth drives their every decision. And yet, an almost endless string of unfolding daily scandals reveals that many of these “captains” wanted even more money and more power—and were willing to break laws and practice corruption in order to accumulate what they sought. In the end, they had no principles—and seemingly little or no character!

Were these really a success?

And what of the more respectable great business tycoons of just 100 years ago? After being gone so long, who remembers what they accomplished—assuming anyone even remembers their names? How many people today concern themselves with the net worth of J.P. Morgan? And how many even know who he was? How many remember Carnegie, Guggenheim or Mellon?

Were such men truly successful? In the end, what did their wealth and fame gain for them? If “they couldn’t take it with them,” and they have been largely or entirely forgotten, what good did it do them—what permanent success did it bring? Whatever “success” they achieved was temporary—at best a fleeting illusion.

I read recently of one multi-millionaire who proclaimed, “Ever since I was three years old, the only thing I wanted was to make money. I wanted to own more university properties than anyone in the world.” This man received a long prison sentence for drug-related charges and the government seized everything he had. Ultimately, where did his goals take him? What did they achieve for him?

Many years ago, my father sold one of his businesses to a man who had been one of my childhood friends. He told my father, “My goal is to be a million dollars in debt.” He explained that his reasoning was “if I am that far in debt, it means I have so many irons in the fire, something has to pop.” Because the nature of my father’s business had peaked, he sold it at the right time. My father enjoyed reminding me that he had certainly “helped your (my) friend toward his goal.”

This is an unusual example. But it shows how some people’s values and goals can become terribly mixed up.

Ask another question: Did famous authors or inventors truly achieve success, simply because their works outlived them? If you answer “yes,” are you sure? On what basis were they a success?

Are you absolutely certain your definition of success is the correct one? If most people’s view of success is correct, then why is there so much misery in the lives of people who have achieved human wealth, power and fame? Why do they often change mates like they were changing shoes? Why are so many of these “success stories” quietly delving into drugs, alcohol, overwork, free sex, materialism, escapism and pleasure-seeking? Why are their lives empty—devoid of meaning?

Why are their children often shameful examples evidencing miserable home lives? Why, when asked, do so many say that wealth, power and fame was not satisfying? Why are so many unable to handle “accomplishment”?

Now let’s look at success in a different light. The general assumption is that success is largely a by-product of one’s natural ability. It is as though “you have it or you don’t.” Most think they have little control over their own success or failure. They have been programmed by common assumptions to believe they cannot do much to change their level of achievement in life.

Is this true? Is success or failure entirely connected to talents one is born with? Past a point, I have learned that success or failure has little to do with ability or talent, and that people’s success was far more connected to the desire to produce, learn, grow and achieve than to any other reason.

Yet, I found that virtually all those who did not succeed, could have—if they had known and applied the laws to success. I came to realize that people fail by choice, not by inherited traits—their “genetics.” I learned that people have far more control over the direction of their lives than they realize, or are willing to admit.

So, most languish throughout their lives believing there is little or nothing they can do to achieve the success they long for.

Most do not understand that there are absolute, definite rules, which must be applied on the path to a specific, carefully established goal. Neither do most even try to figure out the one great goal toward which they should point their lives to achieve.

Eventually, everyone dies (Heb. 9:27)! In every case, the wealth, power and recognition of even the most famous of people die with them. Though some very few may be remembered for some period beyond their lifetime, none have knowledge of this from the grave. And even the remembrance of the accomplishments of their lives is fleeting.

God intended that every human being become a success. In the greatest overall sense, fulfilling your incredible human potential is reaching the level of true and final success vastly beyond anything possible in this life. While most professing Christians would probably agree with this statement, it has occurred to almost none of them that the greatest Author of success—GOD!—reveals how to achieve such true success!

This is what the wealthy, the famous, the powerful, the great—the supposedly “successful”—of this world never recognized!

It is a great irony that most people ignore and reject the instructions of the very God they profess to serve—and from whom they hope to be given eternal success—salvation. Yet, in an additional ironic twist, these same people would probably line up by the millions if they could buy a copyrighted formula guaranteed to bring them success with no effort.

There is a formula—SEVEN laws of success—and you can know them. I urge you to read our booklet The Laws to Success.

You need not fail!


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