If you had a room full of people and asked them, “do you want success or do you want failure?” I guarantee that every single person would answer, “success.” Success is what we want! Success in our finances, success in our relationships, success in our careers, success in our health, success in our hobbies, success in everything. No one purposely chooses failure! While no one chooses failure, we choose failed actions. Failed action after failed action leads to failure in life. Failed actions are derived from failed thinking. Yes, we want success, but no, we don’t or won’t choose the hard actions that bring success. We think about success, we just don’t think successfully. We must change our thinking in order to find success. Here are some ways we kill success in our lives.
o Live in the moment. We don’t have the big picture in sight and fail to think strategically. Successful people see the end before the beginning even begins. They make long range decisions. Short term, living in the moment thinking kills success.
o Kill creativity. When we refuse to take time to simply be quiet, listen, and reflect, we kill creativity. Successful people reflect and evaluate their lives on a daily basis, and this breeds creativity and organizes chaotic thoughts. We live in a noisy world that feeds our chaos 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You must find quiet time each day to reflect and allow your mind to rest (this is not a nap, but active rest). This type of rest strengthens the brain.
o Unrealistic thinking. We believe that success will just happen if we wait long enough, yet we never change behaviors or take care of the things we can control. Successful people take action on the things they can control and find help from God and others with the things they can’t control.
o Believing success is simply not possible. We live defeated lives. We learn defeat from those with whom we surround ourselves. Successful people change their crowd and surround themselves with other successful people. Negative people fail. Our brains actually have mirror-neurons that light up when we see people laugh or cry or other actions. Our brains are wired to automatically relate to the people-activity around us. These neurons help us express empathy and sympathy for others, but they also help us to connect in other ways (positive or negative). We are designed to feed off of each other. We can literally can light up our brains for success or failure based on who we choose to associate with, (Switch on Your Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf, p. 112).
o Unwillingness to learn and grow. We are not teachable and refuse instruction and counsel from others. Successful people submit themselves to a lifetime of learning and surrounding themselves with people who are smarter than themselves. If you are always the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.
o Selfishness. When we do find a measure of success, we hoard it. Selfishness eventually breeds failure. Selfish people lose in the end. Successful people lift others up.
You and I cannot expect success in life until we make a choice to get uncomfortable and give up some control. We have some tough choices to make. Our destiny will be determined by the choices and decisions you make every day. Deuteronomy 30:19 states,
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”
God says choose life! Choose success. Choose blessing. That is your responsibility. These things will not simply choose you. You have to decide. Do not fall into unrealistic thinking. God will not do it for you, but when you do choose to do things God’s ways, God can then come in and express His glory and power through you. Your godly choices are then boosted by God to display Himself through you! God calls “heaven and earth as witnesses today against you.” God will display Himself through you as you choose to follow Him. When God displays Himself through you, watch out!