“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
We’re all guilty of living in the past. Our memories can hold us tightly – either positively or negatively. Former sins can come back to haunt us, even when we know that God has forgiven every one of them. When we make blunders in the workplace – when we botch up in school – when we say something that can’t be taken back – when we hurt another with a word, a snub, a look – when we refuse to give up old habits – these all become deterrents to progression. We cannot move forward if we’re living in the past.
One of the secrets to success is to have a vision of optimism. Looking forward can open doors to new thinking, innovation, invention, entrepreneurial growth. In fact, in most cases, the toughest door to open is the one leading out of our own thinking.
What is important in your life? Is it each rung on the ladder of corporate success? Is it the amount of money you’re bringing home each week? Are you consumed with materialism, outward achievements, trophies, notoriety, acclaim, great performance? If those things are at the forefront of your thinking, you may receive success temporarily. It might mean stepping on some toes or making enemies along the way, but you can’t become the big man on campus if you don’t make any noise – right?
In our society it doesn’t seem to matter if we butt heads with another, talk trashy about our opponents, think we’re much better than anyone else. In the past 40-50 years we’ve been told that we can be anything we want to be and, if we believe in ourselves, we can accomplish anything. Why? Because we deserve it. A new generation of self-confident young people has emerged from that way of thinking. Unfortunately, they’re soon going to realize that they have to prove themselves. Once in the world of business or industry, they cannot simply sit on their past certificates of participation.
We need to prepare for the future by using past experiences for growth. We cannot move out of the abyss, if we never experience it. The darkest moments in our lives can be the greatest lessens for living a rich and fruitful life. They were meant as a tool to sharpen us, to prepare us, to refine us.
True success doesn’t come in this world. God has given us this world as a place to prepare us for our ultimate life – eternity in paradise. I call that real success. Keep your eyes on the prize!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”