Success principles; motivational speakers preach them, PMA books outline them, individuals - urning to achieve their full potential - invest enumerable dollars in seminars and programs promising to deliver them.
Have you ever noticed the similarities between the marketing of “Success Principles” and the marketing of “Diet and Exercise” principles? Each claim to possess precisely the “yet to have been discovered secrets” for achieving desired results. Each claim to offer their own exclusive patented formula. Each attract repeat hopefuls; maybe THIS TIME!
There comes a point when a wary public realizes they have been purchasing the “feel-good” marketing not the message, the sizzle not the steak, the flash not the enlightenment. Why does it continue to be profitable? Because people continue to search for happiness, fulfillment and purpose.
The opportunistic entrepreneur recognizes people’s desire to “feel good” about themselves. They address this universal human need by supplying self-improvement cd’s videos, seminars and books that temporarily satisfy. Once “hooked”, the public returns for their next “fix”. It is the drug of, “potential perfection”. We are told, “you think you feel better now? JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU PURCHASE MY NEXT VIDEO!”
So is there anything wrong with self-improvement? Not at all. In the book of 2 Timothy 2:15 we read:
“Study (make it your ambition - be eager) and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing (cutting it straight - rightly handling and skillfully teaching) the Word of Truth.”
Moses set the standard for self improvement when he addressed Israel in his second discourse to a new generation saying:
“...HEAR, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may LEARN them, and KEEP, and DO them.” - Deuteronomy 5:1
HEAR, LEARN, KEEP DO; not bad advice for continual improvement. Moses continues in his discourse to explain that results do not happen immediately:
“For the land which you go in to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you came out, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot laboriously, as a garden of vegetables. But the land, which you enter to possess, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinks of water of the rain of heavens. A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And if you diligently heed My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your mind and heart and with your entire being, I will give the rain for your land in it’s season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full.” - Deuteronomy 11:10-15
“If you diligently heed ... I WILL give the rain IN IT’S SEASON and I WILL GIVE grass in your fields for your cattle.”
Success begins when we come face to face with Truth. It manifests Itself when we make it our ambition to learn from, and internalize It’s power, being daily equipped to outwardly express It’s reality in us.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way the TRUTH and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) me.’” - John 14:6
Balance, success, fulfillment, purpose; HEAR, LEARN, KEEP, DO.