Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making Your Way Prosperous

My wife worked with master motivator Zig Ziglar for years so I had many opportunities to spend a little one on one time with him.  I can tell you that he was a genuine off the stage as he was on the stage.  His book “See You at the Top” was built on the premise that if you help others to succeed and achieve their goals, you will also succeed. 

Ok, I can’t resist, here’s a quick list from Zig’s book.
1) Success starts with self-image because you are the only one who can make that possible. Before you convince anyone else, you have to convince yourself.

2) Successful people are ‘Good Finders’; they look for the good in other people. “You can have anything in your life, if you help others get what they want.”

3) No goals = no game. Activity is not accomplishment. Don’t be a wandering generality. Goals should be big, long range, daily and specific.

4) Unlimited possibilities. Records were meant to be broken. Until Roger Bannister ran the four-minute mile, most thought it was physically impossible. After his achievement, people broke the record constantly.

5) Work as a team. There is a limit to what you can accomplish by yourself. Example: Geese fly 72% farther by flying together.

6) Attitude is everything. It determines the outcome. While you cannot control the environment, you (and only you) can control your attitude. The pessimist says. “I will believe it when I see it.” The optimist says, “I will see it when I believe it.”

7) Create good habits because habits define our lives. Example: The average teenage student watches 17,000 hours of television before they graduate high school.

8) Successful people enjoy their work.

9) Keep going. "The price of success is less than the price of failure".  

So, with all that being said, what am I about to say?  That I was reminded of these principles as I was reading Genesis 39 this morning...which immediately reminded me of Psalm 1:1-3.  Zig was always very forthright about taking Biblical principles of success and applying them life.

Joseph, 11th son of Jacob, firstborn of Rachel, has been sold by his brothers into a life of slavery.  He is purchased by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh.  Let’s be honest with ourselves, if you were placed in the same position most of us would be complaining, screaming, seeking justice and revenge.  We would be seeking to escape, a way to get home to the plush life of multi-colored robes, no hard labor, favorite son status and the affluent life. 

Most of us complain when small changes take place at work.  We complain when we encounter just the slightest of hardship that upsets the perfect and harmonious balance of life.  All I see in the first few verses of Gen. 39 is the right stuff.  Joseph clearly has a right attitude despite his circumstances.  Joseph becomes successful in Potiphar’s household because he is a hard worker, he desires to see his master succeed, and he acknowleges God whom he serves.  God blesses Joseph AND everyone sees that it is the Lord that is bringing the increase.  How do they know it is the Lord?  BECAUSE Joseph isn’t hiding who he serves, it is GOD.  Joseph doesn’t keep quiet that he is a Hebrew and serves the creator of heavens and earth.  That’s why! 

Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of external pressures in my little world.  New software at work has wreaked havoc and I have had more than my share of angry customers.  I was reminded of a few months back when I saw my right attitude have a positive influence on my employers.  I saw their business growing like wildfire and I knew God was blessing.  But this morning I was reminded that my attitude at work is not all that it has been or should be.  It’s my choice.  Right attitude, helping others (sounds a lot like the two great commandments, Love God, Love Others).  What will you choose? 

“Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”
(Psalm 1:1-3 ESV)

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