How to Live a Successful Life

A successful life is something we all aspire to have. We seek success in our careers and in our personal lives. As babies, we come wired with an innate need for mastery; we strive to learn how to walk and to talk. As we grow we are encouraged to do well in school, to excel on the team, to get a good job, to prosper. The desire for success is the hallmark of the American dream. People come from all over the world to our land of opportunity for a chance to achieve their own measure of success.

But what exactly is it? Is succes having wealth, owning nice things like expensive cars and fine clothes? Is it obtaining a title or having designations to go after your name? While those things may be nice to have they're just external symbols. The American Heritage Dictionary defines success as the achievement of something attempted. Success isn’t dependent on what family you’re from, if you have a degree or not, where you live or what your title is. Success in life is within everyone’s grasp, if only we are willing to work towards it.

For one who follows Christ, the pathway to success is clearly defined in God's word. It includes:

Priority But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33) The first step of the path is priority. When we place God first in our lives, everything else falls into place because we have the proper balance.

Trust Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Where we place our trust is critical to our overall success. Do we place it in ourselves and others or do we place it in God. If it is in God then we can be certain that our path will always be true.

Obedience 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) Next on the path is walking in obedience. God promises that we will have success when we are true to His word- even when it’s not easy.

• Generosity Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Proverbs 3: 9-10) The tighter we hold on to possessions the tighter their hold on us. When we are generous with what God has blessed us with, both towards the church and to others, God is generous with us.

• Action All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:2) Success will only come through our taking action. God will provide the wind but we have to set the sails to move our ship out of the harbor and across the sea.

Fearlessness Be anxious for nothing but in all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your heart and mind at peace through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7) The path to success will not be a smooth one but we can't give in to fear- it's not of God. When we give it to God along with our thanks, He will give us peace. 

To paraphrase a quote from Thomas Jefferson, nothing can stop a person with the right mental attitude from achieving any goal, but nothing on earth can help the person with the wrong attitude. Success isn’t something that happens to you; rather it is something that happens in you.

Here’s wishing you great success.

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