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Be a Success

After over 200 blogs, I’m finally getting around to writing a blog about what it takes to be successful.  Well, that is not entirely true because all my blogs are really about helping people be successful.


Like many of you, I regularly search out and read articles by respected authors about what it takes to be successful.  Many authors identify the “10 Tips to Achieve Anything You Want in Life,” the “15 Things to Remember If You Want to Be Successful,” or the “Secretes to Success.”

These articles are interesting but mostly redundant.  They generally say the same thing and suggest the same steps that we logically arrive at when thinking about achieving success. At the risk, however, of joining this list of authors, I’d like to provide the three most important elements of success, as I see them.

  1. Dream big, but be realistic

It is unrealistic for a middle-aged, five-foot-tall, uncoordinated man to dream of being an NBA basketball player.  No matter how hard he practices, dreams, and studies, he will never overcome his lack of the basic criteria to play basketball at the professional level.  It is statistically challenging enough for a young, tall, highly talented person to make an NBA team, let alone anyone lacking in those qualities.

One practical place to start when attempting to answer the question of what your success will look like is your past successes.  For example, you have had success in playing the piano, of learning fairly difficult pieces of music and enjoy performing before large crowds.  These characteristics lead to the possibly a successful career as a concert pianist.

  1. Define specifically what success is for you.

If I asked you if you want to be successful, your answer rightly should be “yes.”  Seldom, however, do we follow up that question by asking what you want to be successful in.  Everyone wants to be a success in their field of work, but they do not further define success beyond that.  Most business people have not taken the time to articulate a definition of their personal success.

A consistent trait of nearly every highly successful person includes a plan on how to be successful.  Successful people develop a logical step-by-step strategy that will take them from where they are to the point of success.  You need to be able to visualize how you are going to be successful.

Developing this plan requires a realization of your starting point and a definition of a finishing point.  The motivational quote, “Knowing where you are going is the first step in getting there.” is true.

  1. Understand It Takes a Lifetime

Whether you are following the 12 steps to success or the 15 things to remember, they will invariably take a lot of time and effort.  You need to be prepared to invest your entire life into being successful, and ready yourself for setbacks, detours, and revisions.

Additionally, throughout your lifetime it is likely that you will follow this exercise of determining your success multiple-times over.  You set your definition of success, follow it and ultimately become successful.  Then you start over again and again become successful.  Then you start over again…

The Bible

Anyone who want to be successful needs to study the lives of successful people as found in the Bible.  A study of Joseph, Moses, Daniel, David, Solomon, Joshua, Paul, Deborah, and many more will reveal that success did not come easy, it came with failures, and it came from being faithful to a single principle.

As taught in the Bible, successful people are obedient to their definition of success.  They are unwavering in their plan to reach success.  And their integrity is what finally helps them reach their success.

It is healthy to study how to be successful.  Ultimately, however, you need to set yourself on a path that leads to success.  The Bible has shown us what that path looks like; maybe it’s a good idea to follow that same path.