Archive for December 10th, 2010

Overnight Success

December 10th, 2010

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Luke 16:10 NIV

“Success and achievement are not synonymous; success follows achievement.”

My thoughts today are about “overnight success.”

Everyone wants to start at the top. You might hope for the big and important opportunities first, but that is not how life works. You may look at the ease with which someone does their job so successfully, and assume that you could do it just as easily.

But you do not know all that prepared them to succeed, how long they worked to develop their skills, the struggles and mistakes and resulting lessons learned, the life experience that prepared them, the small responsibilities in which they proved themselves along the way. And when their opportunity came, they were ready for it. Every “overnight success” takes a long time coming.

More often than not, people who enjoy too quick a promotion and success usually don’t handle it well, or enjoy it long. They haven’t been carefully schooled and prepared. They seldom have had time to learn to handle promotion. Mistakenly, a person can think it is all about what they alone have done, instead of what really happens – people along the way see potential and purpose, and in kindness and generosity gave opportunities to succeed.

As I look back across my life, anything that I have been allowed to do or become has been the direct result of the grace of God and the graciousness of a lot of people toward me. I have given the effort, but others have given their help.

Don’t confuse success and achievement. Everyone wants success with all its benefits, privileges and rewards they see others enjoy. But true success only follows achievement, and that takes time and requires hard work. The world and its culture prize the product more than the process. Achievement requires that you reach for it with diligence, sacrifice, and much effort, but success comes because you are ready for it.

Be careful and be wise. Success can result in ultimate failure. It can subtly corrupt your values and cloud your judgment, making you proud when you should be humble or greedy when you should be generous. Hold it gratefully and lightly; use it wisely.

Achievement and success begin right now with what you have. Jesus taught, “If you have not been faithful in that which is least, you will not be faithful in that which is much. If you have not been faithful with riches, who will give you true wealth? If you have not been faithful in what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:10-12. Be faithful; it’s the little things you do today that are preparing you for the bigger things to come. Success may seem to come overnight, but it was built upon every achievement made along the way.

My prayer for you today is that you will be trusted and blessed with God’s best.

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