Ah, Success! Everyone wants it, but not everyone is prepared to do the work to get it!
And the truth is, to reach your goals, lots of hard work will be necessary.
Yet, in addition to hard work, there are three key elements that will keep you moving forward toward your goals. If you miss one of these, you're sunk! So grab a pen and write these down somewhere where you can review them daily. Remind yourself that your goals are worth your full investment of energy, creativity, and gumption!
Here they are! The 3 D's you need to be successful:
If you are going to achieve your goals, they must be based on your true desires. This may sound obvious, but how many of us have really taken the introspective time to determine what we actually desire in life? What do you want your business to look like? How about your relationships? What about your spiritual life?
To be successful in living the life you were created to live, you've first got to nail down exactly what you're building toward. Then you can begin to make decisions that align with those desires.
If you're thinking that desires are "selfish" or un-Biblical, think again. God wants us to have our desires, so long as we are submitting them to His will. The amazing thing about God (well, one of the innumerable amazing things about Him) is that the more that we enter into relationship with Him, the more He will shape and mold our desires. Eventually, as we grow in our spiritual walk, our desires will not be for the worldly things that the Jones' have; instead, they'll be for a deeper relationship with God and for a fulfillment of His call in our lives.
Once you've identified your desires and put your goals into words, you've got to take action to reach them. Here's where discipline comes in. It's all well and good to say you'd like to build a seven-figure business. You can even visualize yourself flying business class and signing a hefty paycheck to yourself (heck, you can write out the check and stick it in your wallet, with a future date on it to hold you to your goal). But if you lack discipline to pursue your goal of building your business, you're not going to fulfill your desire.
Think about the parable of the talents (see Matthew 25:14-30). You're probably familiar with this parable already, but in case you aren't, I'll paraphrase it here. A master who was going on a journey called his servants together. He gave each servant talents (a monetary unit) that were proportioned according to his abilities. One servant received five talents, another received two, and the last servant received one. Each servant received this gift from his master and was left to his own devices to do what he would with the talents.
The servant who received five talents multiplied those talents and gave the master ten talents. The servant who received two talents multiplied the talents and gave the master four talents. But the one who received one talent buried it in the ground and had no increase to show his master. The two servants who received the greater number of talents were praised, while the master was displeased with the servant who did not multiply his talent.
The Bible doesn't tell us how the first two servants multiplied their talents, but we can safely assume that they took action that resulted in this increase. The Bible tells us that the third servant buried his talent in the ground. There's no better way to say you're being inactive than that you've buried your talent.
This parable has lessons for us today. If we want to live successful lives, we must be disciplined in the actions that we take to achieve our goals. Success doesn't just simply flow to us. Absolutely, God's blessing pours out on us in myriad ways everyday. But He clearly honors those who take the talents that He has given them and cultivate them so that they will increase, to His glory.
This is perhaps the most difficult "D" of the 3 D's you need to achieve success. Dedication means that you do not give up when the going gets tough. It's nearly inevitable that you will face hurdles, challenges and obstacles on your pathway to success. For some of us, these are relational struggles; for others, they're financial, or perhaps vocational. Whatever your definition of success, you're pretty much guaranteed to run up against resistance.
The test is whether you'll fight through that resistance and remain dedicated in your disciplined pursuit of your desires. If so, you'll have a high likelihood of achieving those desires.
About a year ago, when I was frustrated with the slow growth of my business, I heard my coach give the analogy of a business start-up being like a pot beginning to boil. All the tiny bubbles are coming to the surface, and the big bubbles are just about to brew! But, you can't tell yet that the water is near its boiling point. "Don't quit," she advised. "Don't quit just before the pot boils."
I think about how many people I know who've started working toward achieving their dreams but who end up giving up before they taste their own sweet success. Don't be one of those people. If the Lord has given you a desire to do or be something, then pursue that desire with disciplined dedication, and know that success is on its way to you.
And, in the meantime, enjoy the journey! It will make for some fantastic blog posts down the road.
All my best,