Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Success is Won

Safe Methods of Business, 1920-

“Success is a happy word for the average American. To achieve success is the aim of everyone. It would more frequently be gained were it not that it is too often wrongly understood to be innate smartness. Young man, the sooner you get rid of the notion that you are smart, the sooner will you win success. You may be a genius of exceeding brilliancy, but the chances are one to one hundred thousand that you are not. It is safer to conclude that you are just a plain ordinary mortal and then set about doing the best you can with the capital nature has given you. You may soar so high at first, but then, when your balloon of youthful conceit collapses, you will not have so far to fall. Bear in mind that there are thousands who consider themselves exceptionally smart and through a dependence upon that smartness have made utter failure of life, while on the other hand the apparently dull and stupid youth has by proper means overcome and is enjoying the prosperity that the supposed talented youth has dreamed of.

“Success must be won if it is to be enjoyed. The person who waits for it to come along is like a man who waits for the train to arrive before he gets a ticket. To use an ordinary term, both are apt to “get left.” Men ordinarily fail to succeed, not because they are naturally destined to fail, but they lack business ability, which is made up of equal parts of business knowledge, sterling integrity, strict economy and everlasting push.

“In our day knowledge can be acquired and is in the reach of all who possess the other qualities. The other qualities ought to be in the possession of every youth of sound mind. If not, nature can hardly be blamed for the deficiency.

“Again, success is the child of confidence and perseverance. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it, so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success. As the tide goes clear out, so it comes clear in. Sometimes business prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.

“A firm resolution, that barriers shall be surmounted, that difficulties shall be cleared away, goes far toward achieving success, Let us repeat, success must be won. It never comes uninvited, never without effort.”

*Isn’t it so true that success must be won through hard work…

The Business Man’s Code 1920

“Business in every age of the world has been the chief pioneer in the march of man’s civilization. Blessings everywhere follow its advancing footsteps. We honor and respect our upright energetic business men. They start every noble project; they build our cities, and rear our manufactories; they whiten the ocean with their sails, and blacken the heavens with the smoke of their steam vessels and furnace fires; they draw treasures from the mines, and give to mankind the various products of every clime and the benefits of skilled labor throughout the world. These results are achieved not by love of ease or idle wish, but by energy that knows no defeat, by that indomitable spirit of push that lays the foundation of true prosperity and builds the structures of success and progress, right over the ruins of defeated projects and apparent failures. The man who was financially ruined by the Chicago fire, but who began his business at the old stand right in the midst of the burnt district and advertised his goods on a shingle the day after the fire, richly deserved that which he received – applause of the world and a successful business, with which his former business bore no comparison. Everybody admires the courageous spirit that overcomes difficulties and manages to rise in the world. It is the invincible spirit of the ‘get there’ that people like.”

We learn this same lesson from Jacob when he was dealing with Laban, his father in-law. Genesis 31 and 32 there is a story of the most amazing genetics project of all time. Jacob was the hardest worker in the herding business and Laban knew it. Jacob had worked for 14 years to gain the hands of Laban’s two daughters, in this time; he had increased Laban’s herds. As wacky as the stick trick was (see Genesis ) and the way the spotted and striped flocks came about, Laban could not deny that Jacob’s hard work was being blessed by God, and in turn blessing him. It intrigued Laban to the point that he wanted to be a part of the process even if Jacob’s herds were growing by leaps and bounds over his.

Jacob could have just packed his bags and gone home, but he didn’t. He stuck it out for another 6 years or so and largely multiplied his herds through the blessing of God.

In other words if life gives you Lemons, turn around and make lemon aid! Then watch and see how the work of your hands will be blessed by God.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Cannots of Life

When my work for good or evil is done; I cannot go back and repair what was amiss; I cannot now do what has been undone; I cannot recover the hours that have been wasted; I cannot correct the evils which may have resulted from my errors; I cannot overtake and arrest what I have spoken or written; as it has gone out into the world; I cannot summon back the opportunities for usefulness which have been neglected; I cannot obliterate the reality or the memory of wrong thoughts, or wrong motives, or wrong words, or wrong actions. All that has been thought or said or done in these past years has been fixed as a reality never now to be changed.
The only hope of a man – at any age – is not the errors, and sins, and follies, of the past can be changed: it is only that they may be pardoned by a merciful God; that they be covered over by the blood of Christ; that though they must remain forever as facts – facts fully known to the Great Savior of hearts – their quilt may be so taken away that they will not be punished; that by the bloodshed on the cross they themselves may be so covered over – so hidden that they will not be disclosed on the final trial before assembled worlds. That hope, the religion of Christ offers to all. No well-founded hope of heaven ever rests on our merits. The hope of any and every man is found alone in the blood of Jesus Christ which cleans us from all sin! Amen and Amen.

The end of the sermon on May 2, 2010