I am reading a book by Henry Cloud who identifies the 9 things he has seen in successful people in life and love. I love this kind of stuff because I have now seen it for over 30 years. They are:
1. Dig it up
2. Pull the tooth
3. Play the movie
4. Do something
5. Act like an ant
6. Hate well
7. Don’t play fair
8. Be humble
9. Upset the right people
1. Dig it Up
a. The reality of the life we see and live on the outside is one that emerges from the inside, from our hearts, minds, and souls. It is our internal life that creates our external one.
b. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23
c. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. –Proverbs 14:8
d. Those who succeed in life cannot ignore their heart, mind, and soul.
e. Negative things buried in our heart should not remain there.
f. Positive things buried in our heart should be allowed out and pursued.
g. Avoidance of risk is the greatest risk of all.
2. Pull the Tooth
a. Successful people do not hang on to bad stuff for long. They get rid of negative or sideways energy.
b. You can find out if something is fixable on by getting busy and fixing it.
c. Avoidance always prolongs pain, in the end.
d. Hope is one of the great virtues in life, but it is not a fairy tale wish. Hope means investing time and energy towards results that you have solid reason to believe can be achieved.
e. It is not hope to invest time and energy in a goal that has no forces acting upon it to bring it about. That is stagnation. It is a waste of time.
f. If something makes you cringe or take a big gulp to get involved, don’t get involved.
g. A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. – Proverbs 22:3
h. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22 (Quickly deal with whatever is crushing your spirit.)
3. Play the Movie
a. Any one thing you do is only a scene in a larger movie. To understand that action, you have to play it out all the way to the end of the movie.
b. We need to see the positive and negative implications of our actions.
c. This applies to both big and small decisions.
d. This applies to all areas of our life: relationships, parenting, morality, health, etc.
e. Not all movies are bad. We also need to play out positive pictures of the future to motivate us into present actions that will takes us to that desired future.
f. Well-done, good and faithful servant! -Matthew 25:21
4. Do Something
a. Successful people ask this question: What can I do to make this situation better?
b. Proactive – Taking positive, initiating steps in life as opposed to merely reacting to situations.
c. Locus of control – Successful people are controlled from inside themselves, not outside.
d. Dependency – Successful people do not depend on others to do what is their job.
e. Ownership and Responsibility – Successful people take ownership for their entire existence. We cannot determine everything that happens to us, but we are responsible for how we respond to what happens to us.
f. We all need help at times, but we must d our part.
g. Philippians 2:12-13 says, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to act according to his good purpose.”
h. God provides for the birds of the air (Matthew 6:26), but have you ever seen one that did not leave the nest when it grew able to fly?
5. Act Like an Ant
a. Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, No overseer or ruler,yet it stores its provisions in summerand gathers its food at harvest.Proverbs 6:6-8
b. Ants build cities one grain of sand at a time.
c. Successful people achieve their goals by taking tiny steps over time.
d. Successful people judge success by whether or not they are doing the small things, not whether or not they have achieved their goal yet.
e. Wanting it all keeps you from having any.
f. Wanting it now keeps you from having it.
g. Break down your large tasks into tiny little steps that can be achieved over time.
6. Hate Well
a. What we hate says a lot about who we are, what we value, what we care about. And how we hate says much about how we will succeed in love and life.
b. Character is in part formed by what we hate, because we move to be different from whatever that is.
c. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. – Romans 12:9
d. Successful people hate in a way that solves problems as opposed to creating them.
e. Successful people move against the problem, and show love and respect to the person at the same time.
f. Subjective hate is a pool of feelings and attitudes that resides in our soul waiting for expression.
g. Subjective hate blasts people, causes overreactions, dissensions, inability to resolve conflict, broken relationships, and many other relational diseases.
h. Transform subjective hate to the kind of hate that solves problems, protects things that you value, and stands against the things that you do not want in your life.
i. Find the real objects of the hate, make them specific, and use objective measures to enforce them productively, getting rage out of the equation.
j. In other words: Go hard on the issue, soft on the person.
k. A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. – Proverbs 15:18
l. Successful people tend to have immune responses to things that are truly infections, poisons, toxins, and dangers.
m. Successful people tend to address the real toxins of life in specific effective ways that face the issues and respect the persons involved.
n. Hating well displays exemplary character:
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
- I Proverbs 6:16-19
o. King David hated the following things:
I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
The deeds of faithless men I hate;
they will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
him will I not endure.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.
No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
- Psalm 101:3-7
p. Make your values intentional. List the things you value and things you will take a stand against.
q. Build up your immune system. Be around people who make you stronger. Find a support group or a counselor. Do what it takes to get stronger.
r. Deal with your subjective hatred. Find the source of your subjective hatred and make it objective.
s. Mix hate with love and respect. When you bring hate for something, bring love for the person as well.
t. A person’s anger is often an indicator of how afraid he is of whatever he must encounter.
An angry man is like a city without walls. –Prov. 25:28
When people do not have strong immune systems, fear takes over causing them to lose control.
u. You are strong enough to give grace and overlook an offense when necessary (Proverbs 19:11).
v. Build your skills by learning good conflict resolution skills.
7. Don’t Play Fair
a. Give back better than you are given.
b. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
c. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
d. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
e. Successful people do not let anger spoil relationships. It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel (Proverbs 20:3).
f. Mature people ask: “How can I turn this around? How can I help? What does this person need? What could get him to a better place?”
g. Goodness and maturity are not dependent on another person; they simply are. To possess these attributes, you must practice them regardless of how you are being treated.
h. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.-Proverbs 15:1
i. To give people better than they deserve is what the Bible calls grace.
j. Overcome evil with good.
k. Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.-Proverbs 24:17-18
8. Be Humble
a. Humility is not having a need to be more than you are.
b. To defer to others is a sign of humility, and to assume a low ranking instead of having to be on top are all-important indicators.
c. Successful people are not surprised when they make mistakes, and as a result, they can identify with others who do, give to them, and not judge them or wrongly judge themselves.
d. Successful people show kindness, understanding and help to others who fail.
e. Successful people are not derailed by their own failures; they accept them as part of the process.
f. People who win in life do not condemn themselves for failure; they accept it. They learn from it.
g. Self confidence and belief in yourself comes from accepting flaws and mistakes and realizing that you can grow forward and grow past them, and that you can learn from them.
h. People who think they have it all together are kidding themselves: For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. –Psalm 36:2
i. Successful people know their weaknesses.
j. They admit it quickly when they are wrong.
k. They receive correction and confrontation from others well.
l. Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.-Proverbs 9:7
m. A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.-Proverbs 15:12
n. Being humble is giving up thinking that we know it all. Giving up thinking that we can do it all. Giving up thinking that we have to do it well all the time. Giving up thinking that we are better than others when they do not do it well. Giving up needing to be seen as right or good all the time, and giving up defensiveness. In all these cases, the way of the successful person is basically to be real.
o. Successful people do not see success as who they are, and lord it over others; they see themselves as people just like everyone else, and they do all they can to love and serve those around them.
p. The moment you think some task or position in life is beneath you, take a time out. Go spend some time with someone performing that task or in that position and you might meet a human being superior to yourself.
9. Upset the Right People
a. Successful people do not make decisions based on the fear of other people’s reactions.
b. There are many who have kept someone happy, but have lost their own way.
c. What you should do, and what someone’s response is going to be, are two very different issues.
d. Hurt is a normal part of life. Surgery hurts but is good for us. Harm is when we injure people by doing destructive things to them.
e. Sometimes a wise strategy is needed when confronting a person who is out of control.
f. Woe to you when all men speak well of you.-Luke 6:26
g. You cannot speak the truth, live out good values, and choose your own direction without disappointing some people.