Tag: success

Want to be a millionaire?

The common line is….”I just wish I could win the lottery.”   Or….”I’ll be working until the day I die….I don’t know what retirement is.”   Some of us justify our poorness by saying “my treasure is in heaven” or “I’m richly blessed in other ways.”  All of those may be true statements.  Wealth is a tricky creature.  There are new get rich schemes started every day.

I made the decision at a young age to own a business.  Other than part time summer jobs while I was in school I have never worked for a company.   For me it was a passion.  Of course I thought I’d get rich along the way but that wasn’t my driving force.  But when my company bottomed out in 2009 I hit rock bottom with it.  Two things bothered me – 1) It was my baby and it was dying and I had to do something to save it; and 2) I immediately thought that I was too old in my 50’s to recoup the loss and rebuild it.   For the first time I wished that I had gone another path – school teacher, pastor, or anything that was paying a pension.    I won’t get into the depression topic but you know that was rough.

The crazy thing about wealth is that we all work to get it.  Some of us make it to “wealth”  but most of us get to the level of “getting by”.   “Getting by” is a very subjective term and worthy of a whole different article!

Here is the crazy point that I’m getting at:  I started my business in 1980.  I bought my first Apple Macintosh in 1985 (I still have it).  I sweated a lot of trials and frustrations over the last 36 years trying to make it.  I could have easily bought $10,000 of Apple stock, taught 6th grade and I would be worth almost $3 million dollars today plus a pension.   Did I miss the opportunity?   Yes but I could have bought $10,000 in stock in 2007 and I’d be worth $740,000 which is far better than my business did in that time period.

Opportunities don’t disappear.  Yes they change.  The hard part is knowing what will be an opportunity and what will be a failure.  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates started out close to the same time as me.  I don’t need to tell you who made more money.  Someone will come up with the new opportunity today.  I don’t care how many times you have failed in the past, you can be a part of the new thing today.  If not today, maybe tomorrow.

God doesn’t want you living in a shelter.  He has opportunities laid out before you every day.  Wake up tomorrow and look for them.  You might be surprised what you find.

Ephesians 5:16  Make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Don’t Believe the lies

It’s a brand new year…again.  Time to set goals and to reflect on the past year.  My encouragement for this year is “Don’t believe the lies”.  We all battle the attacks of the enemy in some way.  For some we may be too fat.  For some we may be too old (or too young).  For others we may be worthless or without talent.  I’ve said it before that I battle with “Failure”.   Here’s my example today:

I’ve been playing the stupid (I call it stupid because it is very addicting!) game of ‘2 Dots’ on my phone.  I hit a level that I couldn’t pass.  Immediately I began to believe that I wasn’t good at the game and that I was a failure because I couldn’t pass one level.  God pointed out to me (as a lesson) that I was battling over level 775.  “If you are not good at this game, how could you have won 774 games before this level?”  Good point I said.  “Remember when you got frustrated at level 50 and you quit and deleted the app only to download it again the next day start over?”  Yes I said and I now I’m at 776 because I finally won 775 as I began writing this.

How many times do we look at one failure and believe that our whole life is a failure?  How many times have you loved your children but you sulk when you lash out in frustration or weariness and believe that you are a bad parent?  How many times have you sinned and felt like God will never love you again?  How many times have you ended a project and say you will never try again?

Don’t believe the lies.  You are not called to failure and you are not called to quit.  If you do it wrong this time, throw it out and start over.  God doesn’t love you because you are successful.  He loves you because you are you.  Count the 775 things that you have done right and don’t worry about the one that has you frustrated at the moment.   You have way more successes than failures.  Remember that!

Luke 1:37
For no word from God will ever fail.

I lost, or did I win?

Some Random Thoughts on success and failure following the elections and World Series.

Success and failure are two items that are very, very hard to judge and evaluate.  No one wants to lose.  No one wants to get second place.  Who remembers who was the loser in last year’s World Series or the Superbowl?  Those players may walk off the field feeling like failures but they did get to 2nd place.  Would they have been better off not making it into the playoffs at all?

Let’s take a rising baseball star who is “famous” for his high school ball playing.  He leaves high school a hero and huge success.  He gets into minor league play and is “average”.  He makes it to a major team but is benched and fades out after two years.  Still loving to play baseball, he signs up to play minor league ball in small towns for several years before ending up a coach for a high school team.  Here is the question: When was he most successful?  A rising star in high school?  An average minor player?  A lack luster major?  An average left over player?  Or a coach?  When was he a failure?  Was he ever a failure?

Although his professional career was not “shining”, he did make it to the professional arena.  This is far beyond the hopes of most ball players.  By most standards, this player was very successful and he should be elated.  In reality, he may sit in his room and feel like a total failure because he didn’t “succeed as a professional”.   Would he have been happier to walk away as the high school success?

Many incumbent politicians got voted out of office yesterday.  Are they failures?  Is holding a governor’s post for four years a failure because of not getting re-elected?  Is it an oxymoron to use the term “failed presidency”?  If you make it to the level of president, can you be considered a failure?

We should all strive to reach the best and highest level that we can.  At some point, we will all reach our limit of “success”.  We all hit a point of limit – it may be because of talent, skill, age, time, or just will power.  Success isn’t gauged by the point of limit but the attitude and effort getting there.

Although the “failed” baseball player didn’t succeed in his eyes, in my view he outdoes the player who quits before making the big league.  The challenge to all of us may be finding the “success” at whatever level we are at.  That ball player may end up being the best coach the school ever had.  That failed governor may become the best husband, father, grandfather and citizen in the state.

That is success in my book.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.