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Thursday, September 19, 2013

5 Steps To Success

As most of you know, I teach Sunday school. I like teaching classes like this, it means I can talk for an hour straight and I never have to grade homework. It does leave me with some odd thoughts though. Sometimes things come up during a class discussion that send me scuttling to my library of books and the comfort of fellow theologians (many who are devout atheists but still well-read theologians) to ask them if I did the math right.

Such was the case last week.

As a class we were discussing a passage of scripture and we made a list of the things that the people were told to do to survive the current trial they were undergoing. And we boiled it down, because specific things like "collect mana daily" don't translate as well as "work every day."

When we were done  the list was surprised me. The more I looked at it, the more I realized we'd distilled some basic advice that could make you successful in any field. This interests me so I'd thought I'd share  with most of the religious references stripped away.

1) Organize -
Kind of simple, but that's got to be step one. You need to make a plan. For writers, get your work space organized, set your goals. If you're planning on hitting the gym, get your workout clothes set out the night before. Whatever you're working toward, organize to make it easier for yourself.

2) Make and Keep Promise-
Don't lie. If you agree to do something (law-abiding, consensual, ect ect ect) than you need to do everything in your power to keep that promise. You also should hold people to their promises to you. If someone repeatedly lies to you, cut them loose. And don't lie to yourself. Don't make excuses for why you can't do something. If you want this, you will make it happen.

3) Be Self-Reliant- 
As much as possible, make sure you can take care of yourself. Be able to cook your own food, change your own tires, take care of yourself. When it comes to writing, be able to edit your own work, write without outside motivation, and promote yourself. The more you can do for yourself, the better. You may never have to do all these things, but it doesn't hurt to know how.

4) Take Care of Others -
Pure Religion is defined in the Christian gospels as "to care for the poor, the fatherless, the widow..." i.e. the people on the lowest rungs of society, the forgotten ones. In the modern era this concept is called Paying It Forward.  If you're writing, help other writers, encourage them, cheer them on. If it's business you want to succeed in, mentor. If you're applying this success list to working out, encourage others who are just starting. Respect everyone no matter where they are in life. Successful people don't have time for hate.

5) Support Good Works-
Being a part of something bigger than yourself helps you keep success and setbacks in perspective. So pick something you believe in, and support that cause. Plant trees. Build homes with Habitat For Humanity. Donate an afternoon a month to reading to the blind, or working at a soup kitchen, or helping out at the animal shelter. If you get hyper-focused on your passion it becomes an obsession, and that never ends well.

- Liana


  1. Interesting parallels here... Must ponder. :)

  2. Hmm, if I had had teachers like you in Sunday school I might have stayed with the church. However, I was the one that asked the questions no one wanted to answer and so was told not to be disruptive and to basically shut up.

  3. I hear that with alarming frequency, and I wish you were close enough to come to my class. You can't learn if you don't ask questions.