Attitude for Success (I)
Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8)
God wants you to be successful. Actually, you were wired and programmed to live an outstanding life on earth. This is because the nature of God is in you; and there is no failure in God. If you fail at all, it is either you are yet to understand spiritual principles that guaranteed success or you misappropriate them.
You will never see anywhere in the Bible where God expresses a thought of failure concerning you. One of my favorite passages of the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11. God, speaking through the Prophet, assured the Israelites then (and by extension to you too) that His plan is to prosper them and not to harm them and that He wants them to have a future filled with hope. This is a reflection of the mind of God for your life. Even when we fell to sin (through Adam) and we lost our glory and dignity to the devil, God still sent Jesus to die for us so we could be restored to our original status of dominion and radiance.
Your success here on earth is a manifestation of God’s glory; and this always gladdens His heart. That is why God is interested in your success. What I mean is this; if you don’t succeed in life you make God a liar as a manufacturer. Because when He made you, you were tested and certified okay before you were released to the earth to showcase His handiwork and live to your maximum capacity (Gen. 1:31; Psalm 139:14).
The question now is why then do some people fail? There are few reasons for this. Many don’t feel the need to succeed; many are suspicious of success; some are afraid of success, others have a wrong understanding of success while a few have wrong attitude to success. I am going to dwell on the last two factors by letting you know what success stands for and the pivot role of possessing a right attitude in living a successful life.
What is Success?
The problem for most people who want to be successful is not that they can’t achieve success. The main obstacle for them is that they misunderstand success. To some, success is due to some genius, some magic, something or other which they do not possess. Let me ask you too, that if you see success, will you be able to recognize it? How does it look like? The first misunderstanding you must avoid is that success is not equal to wealth. A lot of people believe that if they accumulate wealth, they will be successful. But wealth does not bring contentment or success.
I have equally seen people who equate success with how much happiness they have. The truth is being happy is a function of so many external forces or factors which change with time. Life is uncertain, and emotions are not reliable. Happiness simply cannot be relied upon as a measure of success. It then means that if you make happiness your goal, you are almost certainly destined to fail.
Perhaps, the one that is common is for people to equate success with power. That probably account for why many clamor for one measure of power or the other. It appears every one desire to be in control or have an attachment to one official position because it often gives an appearance of success, but even then, it’s only temporary. If power is equal to success, then many people in position of authority, holding outstanding positions would have just been satisfied. But you also know that this is not so. By itself, power is neither positive nor negative. And it is not the source of security or success.
Still on the list of wrong pictures of success are those who have a picture of success as progressive realization of a predetermined goal. Goal setting is good and everyone must master the art of goal setting but success is not a list of goals to be checked off one after another. It is not reaching a destination otherwise a time comes that you realize that you have achieved a stated goal and you still not yet maximized your potentials. Success is a journey! And this is the foundation for having the right perspective about success.
What then is success? One of the most profound definitions of success I have come across is the one given by John C. Maxwell. He defined success “as knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” If you understand this definition and you apply your mind to it, your life will be an outstanding success. You can now see that by this definition, success cannot be a destination; it is a journey.
Now, let me analyze that definition. God created you for a specific assignment on earth of which He has also configured you with corresponding abilities (called potentials) with which to serve humanity. When you recognize this purpose, it then becomes your life assignment that will bring you utmost joy and satisfaction. It is only by this that your life can benefit others. When you truly are on purpose, the people, resources, and opportunities you need naturally gravitate toward you. The world will also benefit from your life too, because when you act in alignment with your true life purpose, all of your actions automatically serve others.
Let me illustrate it this way by sharing my own personal discovery with you. After much search for a successful life, I realized God had planted an enormous ability in me meant to serve a specific purpose here on earth for His glory. I eventually discover the reason for my existence which is captured with this statement of purpose: “to help young people discover their purpose, develop their leadership potentials and deepen their lives on biblical integrity. Realizing this truth suddenly open my eyes that I have certain abilities in me that God has put in me to fulfill this assignment. One of such abilities is the gift of speaking and writing, teaching people the truth of God’s word in a way they can practically apply it to their situations. This gift alone has opened several doors of opportunities for me to meet people, generate enough financial and material resources to meet my needs and traveled around the world. I studied Statistics in the university but I have never used it once as a means of employment. Today am leading an organization, set up primarily to fulfill that simple but awesome mandate. So, in its full sense I am a successful man.
Your number one and primary pursuit therefore, must be to recognize and understand why God placed you here on earth and the corresponding abilities He had packaged with you. The very moment you make the shift to finding your purpose, growing to your potential, and helping others, successful is something you are right now, not something you vaguely hope one day to be.
Transform yourself for Success
Actually, in the strictest sense of the word, success is who you are. So you’ve got to have the right opinion about who you are. That is what is called attitude. If you don’t know, attitude is simply an opinion or feeling that you show by your behavior. And your behavior is deeply rooted in your thinking pattern.
It then means that for you to behave as a successful individual, it must first be settled, rooted and reflected in your psyche. That is why Solomon said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). The same philosophy is what Paul emphasized in what he wrote in Romans 12:1-2 especially verse 2: “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect”(TEV)
Sincerely, you can positively alter your life by altering your attitude. Your attitude will not only direct your future, it will also affect who you are today. The choices you have made up to now have come as the result of your attitude. Your attitude determines your actions, and your actions determine your accomplishments. You may or may not like to think about it, but the person you are and where you are today are the results of your attitude.
If you must realize God’s best for your life in alignment with His great purpose for you, then you must break away from negative attitudes and plunge your life in the pool of God’s word which is able to refocus your life for excellence. That is what it means to get your mind renewed. Your inner man must be renewed after the nature of his creator. You must get your self-image defined by the word of God. You will never attempt to get anything that you fell the person inside you is not qualified to get.
Get connected with God in your spirit man and let everything kick start from there. This is achieved when you get born again. If you are not yet born again, you are already at dead end; you can’t think right in the first case. You must surrender the control of your life to Jesus and allow the Spirit of God to domicile in your heart. As a child of God, however, you must grow in your knowledge of God as revealed in His word. When this is in place, you can use that strength to reshape your attitude and you will begin to see things fall in line. These are few attitudinal patterns you can engage:
Know that you are created for a great purpose: you are not a misfit. You are important in God’s global agenda. So uncover and write out a statement of purpose to live with. I gave you my own personal example at the earlier part of this writeup.
Be ready to take 100% responsibility for your life: what I mean is that you have to give up all excuses for your failure. Stop passing blame on any person or circumstances for where you are or who you are today. In fact, it has been said that 99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses. Know that it is not what happens to you but what happens in you that matter most.
Learn to live a life of faith instead of living in fear: fear cripples you from taking giant steps that will gravitate toward your dream. Remember Caleb in Joshua 14. He was still able to realize his dream of 40 years old of possessing a land of the Anakim because he was courageous.
Spend time with the right people: understand that you are an average of the five closet people you walk with. And as it has often been said that you will be the same person as you are in the next five years depending on the kind of people you move with and the kind of books you read.
Select a success role model to follow: Some people have accomplished great feet for God by discovering and following God’s agenda for their lives. These are role model. You can definitely locate one that is doing something similar to what God has ordain for your live and learn from them. This may be through their books, or tapes or seeking opportunity to have physical interaction with them.
You are the next in line to be celebrated!
Gideon O. Akanbi
The Godly Brains