9 Things You Simply Must Do (to succeed in love and life!)

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Published: 07th July 2010
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Strong sense. I would be talking with someone, either in therapy or a consulting role, or even in a business situation, and I would think, wait a minute¦ Ive met this person before. I would try to remember where, and quickly I would realize that I could never have met this person in any other context. The feeling was an illusion. I would chalk it up to a lack of sleep and move on. But experience kept repeating itself, and each time it had the same feel. It seemed like a moment in which time almost stopped. It always had that ring of I know you from somewhere. Then one day, it happened. I was working on a business deal, and a particular situation came up. One of the guys in the meeting said he would take care of it, and went on to describe the way in which he would proceed.

I had the feeling again¦why did this seem so familiar? Where did I know him from? And then, it hit me. I did not know him from anywhere else. It was not him at all that seemed familiar¦it was what he did that seemed familiar. I had seen the same thing only a week before. I thought back to the previous situation. It was true, the man I was with at the moment and the person I had been with the week before, in similar circumstances and facing a similar dilemma, had responded in exactly the same way.

What was giving me a sense of was not the people, but the way in which they had operated. I had seen them before. 1 So, I went on a little research project down memory lane. I reflected on where I had seen that way before. I had seen other people in similar situations who had done exactly what my friend had done. And they had done it in a very similar manner. It was as if all these people were the same person, in a way. Then the bigger realization came¦all of them had the common denominator of being successful in their relationships and in their lifes work. They all had accomplished a lot, and were the kind of people who were not stuck, but for whom life was working. At this point, I decided to really investigate this particular way of operating, to see what it had to do with success. What I found was interesting.

When I began to study successful people to look at this particular way of operating, something emerged. I had the same experience, but with a twist. There were other behaviors that these people had in common in addition to the ones I had first witnessed. I began to identify several ways of behaving and responding to situations that successful people had in commonways that they handled themselves, their relationships, their work, and their lives. The realization was this: People who found what they were looking for in life seemed to do a certain set of things in common. So, I became a student of these people for a number of years. Since I do a lot of leadership consulting, I get the opportunity to see how high functioning people operate, and they proved to be a good laboratory.

The interesting thing was that they were not necessarily without problems, per se. Some of them had significant issues, like depression, or other clinical or relational things to work through. But, for some reason, even while they were growing through some very difficult things that all of us clinicians spend time working with, their lives were working. And that is good news for all of the people we work withyou dont have to have it all together for life to begin to work. By learning a handful of strategies that the Bible affirms and teacheswisdom strategieslife can begin to work even if we still have clinical issues to complete. That is good news for all of us. I realized that as a clinician, I had focused on helping people mostly fix what was wrong. This line of exploration was giving me an opportunity to also add to the mix a set of content for successful life strategies and principles, apart from healing dysfunction. In the book, Nine Things You Simply Must Do, I talk about many stories that illustrate the success that these principles can bring in all areas of life in greater detail. While we cant do that here, we can take a quick look at the principles themselves, and hopefully you can use them as a diagnostic tool for yourself and others as to how you might grow in these time-tested ways of living that tend to identify people who do well.

1. Dig It Up

People who get what they want out of life realize that success always comes from the inside and works its way to the outside world. So, they dig up, from deep in their hearts, their real dreams, passions, motivations, and the like. They do not allow them to remain submerged. You will not find a successful person who allows a dream or a passion to be buried in the darknesslike the parable of the talents warns us against. They dig up their deepest dreams and invest them in the real world, no matter what the odds or obstacles. They are not walking around with a lot of I wish I coulds in their souls.

2. Pull The Tooth

The winners in life do not chew on one side of their mouth metaphorically speaking because they have a nagging pain on the other side that they have failed to face. If they do have a pain, they go to the dentist and get it fixed. The principle is that successful people do not allow negative energy drains to exist in their souls, minds, hearts, schedules, relationships, budgets, or any other arena of life. They see those as keeping them from what they want or need, and then address them.

If something is wrong or bothering them, they quickly make the call and do something about it. They do not let pain, conflict, or negative matter take up space. Another big part of this one is that negative does not have to even be negative. Even if something good is keeping them from spending time and old_resources on the best, they let go and move on. For example, if they are working on five projects, all of them good, but see that three of them are keeping them away from their true calling or the thing that truly has value, they let the others go. They pull the tooth.

3. Play The Movie

These people realize something that those who stay stuck do notevery moment, every choice, every day, is just a scene in a larger movie. They do not look at what they are doing right then as the real deal. They play that scene forward and see where it leads. If they write that scene into the movie of their lives, how does the movie end? Where does that particular choice take them later? One woman mentioned that her goal of becoming an attorney would take too long. I asked her how long and she said three years. My answer, based on Play The Movie was, You act as if that three years is optional. It will come, whether or not you go to law school. You will be on earth three years from now.

The real question is not whether three years is too long or not; the real question is if you play the movie of your life forward, three years from now, do you want to be looking at the rest of your life with a new career that you have always wanted? Or do you want to be looking at the rest of your life with no degree and planning on hating your work for another 30 years? That is the real question. People who succeed look at things like this: they see every move as meaning something down the line, and make choices accordingly. For moral choices, they look further down the line at the consequences. For ways that they spend their time, they look at where that will get them a year down the road. For ways that they handle their relationships, they look at what that comment or behavior may mean later. It is just the way they operate. As the Bible teaches, they know there is a reaping coming.

4. Do Something

People who do well do not wait for outside things to change in order to make something better. They always ask themselves, in any situation, What can I do to make this better? In a relationship, even if they are not the one at fault, they ask what they can do to improve things. People who stay stuck think that if the other person is the one who is causing the problems, they should make it better by changing. In business, they dont wait for the economy, the company, the customer, the industry, or the boss to change. They say, This is not good. What can I do to make it work? They see themselves as change agents. They are initiators to the solution, even if they do not see themselves as the problem. The key, though, is that the problem exists in their lives, and therefore they are not okay with it continuing to exist. They assume, without being told, that they can take existential responsibility to make it better. They are active without being prompted.

5. Act Like An Ant

The principle is illustrated in the way that an ant builds a city in an ant farm. If you have never seen this, you should. They take one grain of sand at a time, move it across the sand to what seems like no place in particular, and then do it again. It looks as if they are accomplishing absolutely nothing. But if you give them a week or so, it is amazing. Through one grain at a time, they build a city of tunnels, highways, and structure. And they do it appearing like they were getting nowhere. That is why Proverbs tells us to go find an ant and observe its ways (Proverbs 6:6-8). Reality is that every major accomplishment, from losing 100 pounds, to building IBM, happens this same way one phone call at a time, one session of exercise at a time, one meeting at a time. No one ever accomplished anything significant all at once. Successful people realize that their huge accomplishments will happen one grain of sand at a time. Unsuccessful people want to get rich quick, and never do. They want to get over a depression in a day, and never do, because they never do the hard work of talking through one hurt at a time, one session at a time with a therapist, or unpacking one negative thought at a time.

They want it right now, so they skip the work that would lead to happiness. It is the same in relationships, as resolution at a time, and one expression of compassion at a time. It is the way that John Grisham, while still a practicing attorney, became an author. He got up a little early and wrote one page a day, until after more than a year; he had his first novel ready for submission to a publisher. Then, after one submission at a time, he found one who would publish itjust like the ant. Successful people know no formula for having it all right now, or all at once. As a result, they get results, because that is the way that God designed things to be done and to grow. They do not get derailed by the fantasy of right now or all at once. They do it like the ant, and they win.

6. Hate Well

There are two ways to hatepoorly and well. Hate is something that is built into us from being created in the image of God. It is part of His personality and he has passed it on to us. We can tell a lot about a person by both what they hate and how they hate. God hates haughty eyes, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked schemes, feet that rush to evil, false witnesses, and the stirring up of dissention among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19). When you read that, and really think about it, that sounds like a good person (i.e.he hates things that cause pain for people). You read it and see it as the kind of person you would want on your side. In addition, he takes action to stop the things that he hates from taking over life, but does it in a way that solves the problem without trying to hurt the people involved.

He does it in redemptive ways. In short, he does it objectively, aiming at the issue and the problem and not the person. But people who do not do well do not do that. Unlike the person, they hate subjectively instead of objectively. They allow their subjective feelings to hurt people and make problems worse instead of better. Successful people do not walk around with a lot of subjective hatred inside of them ready to spew out at any moment. Their values dictate what they hate and function as kind of an immune system in their lives. When the bacteria of a value violation enter the scene in a relationship or situation, they quickly move to solve the issue, but in an objective way that makes things better and not worse. As a result, their hate is a well- functioning immune system that keeps their lives healthy and the people in them better, not worse. They do not hurt others when they move to solve problems.

7. Dont Play Fair

I was conducting a business deal one time when the man I was dealing with said, I look forward to working with you, and we will do fine. You treat me well and I will treat you well. You do your part and I will do mine. As long as you treat me well, you will never have a better partner. But dont do me wrong or Ill get you back. As long as you do me right, we will be great. I knew at that moment it was over because this man operated by the principle that will destroy every relationship in lifeplaying fair. Fair means that when people treat us well, we treat them well. Things are fine as long as you love me, but when someone does something hurtful, fair means that we do something hurtful back. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That is the just and fair law, and it is why good peoples marriages fail every day. They love their spouse until the spouses dysfunction appears. Then, they return dysfunction for dysfunction. If one is short or snitty, the other comes back in kind.

That is fair, but destructive. It is the adult version of But Billy hit me first. He started it. Successful people do not return evil for evil, dysfunction for dysfunction, or even immaturity for immaturity. Instead, they ask how they can give back better than they were given. They are not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). That is not fair at all. It is better than fairit is love. That is how God operates and is the only way to live that makes things better. That is why successful people do well even in bad situations. They do not allow those situations to bring them down to the others level. Instead, they lift other people up to their level by giving back better than they are given.

8. Be Humble

I asked my friend who built an $800 million dollar soap business in China how he did it. His answer, I got a job on a rice farm, he said. What? I asked. How does that equal selling so much soap when no one else had been able to do that? Well, I wanted to know how the people there used soap. Did they use it once a day? Did they carry it around with them? Did they share it? I had no idea, so I had to learn, he said. What he learned was that they had to go long distances to wash their clothes because of a hardness of water. As a result, he had the company add a compound that made more suds with hard water, and they killed the competition by saving people the long journey to wash their clothes.

Was it working on a rice farm that made him so successful? Not hardly. It was something elsehumility. He was humble enough to not think that he knew it all, having been successful on 9 19:19, which says that if you rescue an angry man you will only have to do it again tomorrow. They know that some people, because of their character, will be upset, throw tantrums, withhold approval, criticize, and the like. But they do not allow those things to affect the decisions that they need to make for themselves and their principles. Instead, they are guided by what is good and right. They take other peoples feelings into consideration and care deeply if a decision affects someone. They empathize and do whatever they can to make it as good as possible, but they do not alter their course just because someone is not going to like it. In that way, they have an internal compass which guides their values, principles and what they need to do for the people, causes and goals that they care about.

As a result, they do not count their critics, but instead they weigh them. How do they keep score? If the good people are pleased with them, and the critical, self-centered ones are not, they know they are doing well. If the righteous people like your decisions, and the Pharisees do not, then you are a lot like Jesus. Have your actions subjected to the feedback and scrutiny of good people, and do not upset them because they three other continents. He still maintained a realization that he had something to learn. And because of that humility, he did learn and beat all the competition who thought they knew it all. People who do well in life assume that they have something to learn in each new situation, with each person and conversation.

They identify with other peoples failures and reach out to help them. They expect themselves to not always get it right, and as a result, can learn from mistakes instead of beating themselves up for them. They are acutely aware of their weaknesses and plan for them and work hard to make them better. And they possess the highest jewel of all, the ability to be corrected and take confrontation well. This traithumility, builds successful businesses, marriages, children, and a host of other accomplishments. Without it, people can have short-term or segmented success, but will not build long-term, integrated success in all areas of life. People who do well are those who embrace humility in all that it means, instead of the false humility of putting themselves down or negating accomplishments. Instead, they just accept themselves as they really are and work from that base.

9. Upset The Right People

But I cant do that, he will get mad. How many times have you as a counselor heard words like those? People who are stuck tend to weigh every decision by the reactions that are likely to come their way by other people. Their compass is the opinion of others. So they often cannot do what they want, need or must, for fear that someone is not going to like it. And many times, they are not even free to do what is right and essential, beyond their own wants and desires. For example, they are not free to confront another person for fear of the reaction that they will get and that the other person might be upset. Successful people do not think this way. They realize the truth of Proverbs will weigh you according to principles, not their own self-interests. Selfish people will only judge you by whether or not you are doing what they want, and that is not a good guide.Take help from internet counseing .

Ways Of Wisdom

So in the end, we do well to remember something. People who do well do not do well because of more brains, or better genes, or because they are always healthier than the rest. They do well because they practice the ways of wisdom that the Bible talks about. If you watch them, as Solomon says, you can learn those ways as well. And when we do, things just work better. That is how God made it, and that is good news for all of usour counselees and us as well.

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