On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
How To Acquire Success Skills
PEOPLE who succeed in life have the single-minded devotion to their goal that is best described as total commitment. Some people refer to these over-achievers as workaholics. But like alcoholics that implies illness, and if you are doing what you want to do more than anything else in the world, why punishing yourself by cutting down on things that make you happy?
In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton attempted the first crossing of the continent of Antarctica by land. But his ship, Endurance was crushed by ice. Ernest Shackleton and his 27 member crew were stranded 1,200 miles from civilization, drifting on ice with just three rickety lifeboats. Eventually, they reached an island and waited while Shackleton and a few hands took a lifeboat 800 miles over rough seas to a whaling station. Shakleton returned with a rescue ship and everyone survived the 18 month ordeal. How did he keep everybody’s hope alive? It is optimism. Shackleton was an incurable optimist. He described optimism as moral courage, believing his crew would survive, he spread his optimism around him. Second, he kept everyone involved by seeking their opinions, urging them to pray as a group and making them feel they are part of the solution.
Thirdly, he used humour to neutralize fear and enable his crew to overcome their obstacles. Shackleton was a prime example of how one person can keep hope alive.
Moreover, Shackleton knew “the right environment for answered prayer as one that is free from anger or disputing,” 1 Timony 2:8. God blesses where there is unity. That is why satan keeps husbands and wives at odds with each other. That way we won’t pray together, much less expect our prayers to get God excited. Peter said “If you don't treat your wife as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers,” Peter 3:7. When a couple’s prayers are hindered, the devil has the key to the house and he can come and go at will.
James also has an angle on the foolishness of fighting and praying. He says we should have prayed for our need instead of fighting about it. He writes: “What is causing the quarrels among you? Don't they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don't have so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it. And when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong,” James 4: 1-3.
However, patience is what God gives you when bad things remain unchanged. It is His sedative for the troubled heart. It is the healing balm He rubs into your aching muscles when you are stretched to breaking point. These are the times when the pain lasts so long that only God can release the patience required – the sheer grace to get you through.
Indeed, there are great benefits to waiting. For example if you learn to wait and observe you will make better choices. The thing you think you can’t live without today, you may be glad to be rid of it tomorrow. “No good thing will withholding from those who walk uprightly,” Psalm 84:11.
So when God says “Wait” trust Him. Either it is not what you need at this time or Jehovah has something better in mind for you. You say, “But what am I to do now? “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart,” Psalm 27:14 is God’s admonition for that. Stop fussing, stop pushing, allow God to work and you will come out stronger and with a better deal.
Solomon writes: “Riches do not endure, a crown is not secure for all generations,” Proverbs 27:24. When we impress people we think are important, we are trophy collecting. A trophy is anything you get others to look at that will make them say “Wow!” Every vocation has its own trophies. Some pastors have trophy churches, trophies to their ability to win souls and become millionaires. Such trophies are troughs with which to feed the ego. But the problem with feeding at a trough is that all you ever get is slop.
In her book, Glittering Images, Susan Howatch tells about a clergyman who devoted his life to always appearing godly, wise, loving and charismatic. Meanwhile his soul starves because no one knows him. They never meet the man he kept hidden. They only meet the man on display. “I call him the glittering image because he looks so good in the mirror. But beyond him lies the angry stranger who appears in the mirror whenever the glittering image goes absent without leave.” His ministry was his trophy and also his prison. But there is the right kind of trophy. And you don't have to outdo anyone to get it. Paul wrote to the church at Philippi that his old crowns he now considered dung. He was collecting a new kind of crown, one in which we will glory in God’s presence, 1 Thessalonians 2:19. For Paul the ultimate trophy was not his personal achievements as a church builder. It was the joy of winning and investing in the lives of others. What about you?
Here are a few action steps to deepen your success skills, one, don't tell your problems to people who cannot help you. And stop making excuses. Successful people seek to mentor those who look and sound like success. Always talk affirmatively on your progress and ambitions.
Two: Find winners as role models that you can imitate and pattern yourself after. When you meet a mastermind, become a master mime and learn all you can about his success methods. When you find an area you fear, get someone who conquered what you fear and get educated.
Our champion for today is Sir Walter Nash, the New Zealand statesman who was premier (1957-60) and who as deputy prime minister and finance minister in World War II guided New Zealand to economic progress and prosperity.
Sir Walter was born in Worcestershire, England in February 1882. While into self education, Nash worked as a costing clerk in Birmingham, becoming a wholesale confectionery merchant by 1907. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1909. Then he joined the Labour Party and from 1919 to 1960 he was a member of the party’s executive. He entered Parliament in 1929, becoming the first Labour finance Minister in 1935.
In 1938, he was named head of the newly formed social security programme which provided free medical care and improved pensions. Nash was deputy prime minister from 1940 to 1949. During the war he introduced family welfare benefits – a programme under which New Zealand experienced a smaller decline in the standard of living than did the peoples of other nations of the world. From 1942 to 1944 Nash also served as minister to the United States, serving as member of the Pacific War Council. He was a delegate to the United Nations financial conference at Bretton Woods, United States.
After leading the Labour Party opposition in Parliament during 1950-57, Nash served as prime minister and Minister of External Affairs (1957-60). He led the party in opposition again from 1960 to 1963. In foreign affairs, he opposed the United States incursions into Indo-China (Vietnam war) favouring the seating of the Peoples Republic of China in the United Nations. Nevertheless, he supported New Zealand’s treaties with the United States. Knighted in 1965, Sir Walter died in Auckland in June 1968.